Episode 09

Kana: “I knew we were in for trouble when I saw how much energy the ambassadors frantic communications drained before the jump. ‘State business’ he said, none of ours … of course it’s our business, when our ‘noble passenger’ is being chased …” “When we emerged in the Ghotegho system our sensors showed the other ship right away, intercepting our course. Good thing Lux hand steered us clear of all those asteroids … Ghotegho has an aweful approach, even if you’re not beeing chased.”

The Mocking Jay is a Subsidized Merchant also known as a Fat Trader, apparently unarmed, but with 13 staterooms and thus with up to 26 active crew aboard.

Tahir Kadri is the Expat Comrades spokesperson aboard the Mocking Jay.

From Kadri’s report: “The Blue Heron was easy enough to pursue with a just in time pursuit flight path adjuster and the ID tracker. The crew did not suspect a thing. Unfortunately for us, the intelligence we got was not good at all. Personality profiles indicated a drunkard, a kid, and weak scientist-type, and psycho-prescience reports indicated that their military veteran Chang was going to be out of action. All of it true. What they didn’t say was that they’re violent, armed, and ready to fire guns inside their own ship. We were all luck that no important internal systems were hit.”

Penjani Lubega is the Mocking Jay’s pilot.

Brega: “These f-ing guys again… They owe me $20k! They are going down.” Puts on the second-hand Darth Vader outfit, sharpens his daggers, practices his scary voice. Then stabs ineffectually and gets knocked out.

Shirley Whetten is the Mocking Jay’s engineer with contacts to the Expat Comrades.

Kana: “Yay, I wonder if they even noticed us reading out their manifest, while they were closing in to bord us … at least we knew what to expect … sort of”

The two strong women turn out to be hired thugs from the Red Star Cartel on Draye called Dame Anna and Hessa Lamombi.

Kana:“That was a fierce fight, the bruise on my head still hurts. So the Expat Comrades are doing business with the Red Star Cartel? … interesting … I guess we just might have some leverage now. And if I find out nothing else about the Red Star Cartel, I’ve at least got something to report.”

Bo: “OMG the Red Star Cartel again! SO ANGRY!!! I’m glad we could keep the ambassador safe, even though we took a beating. I thought the guy would be a highfalutin prick, but turns out he’s just a down-to-earth guy who loves his fungi (don’t we all?!).”

They say that Tahir’s second in command is Imai Mira, the one that got away.

From Mira’s report: “My reservations regarding the hiring of local thugs for a non-violent boarding actions proved correct: the target had gun support and did not hesitate to use it, where as the Red Star muscle we hired promptly got shot down. Not versatile enough, no tactics, no smooth infiltration technique. A failure as as soon as we boarded the ship. Suggested corrective measures … “

Further people aboard the ship are the medic Omusa, the steward Zahirah Elmaleh, in other words, they had eight people aboard and now there’s only six left.

Shots fired inside the Blue Heron’s common area: 1× rifle by Kana, 1× SMG by Louis, 2× Shotgun by Bo.

Brega: “I told you NOT to do this, now we gotta check for holes everywhere! Well, in any case, thanks for saving my butt.”

Bo: “Good thing that thug was kind enough to stop Kana’s bullet; she was firing straight towards the fuel tank! I hope the double bulkheads protected the drives from any stray SMG bullets. I wonder what we do now. I don’t feel like sharing starport with the Mocking Jay. Could we skim fuel off one of the gas giants and head out ASAP? Would we have to jettison one of the captives?? I don’t think I could do that.”

Louis: “We fought them off! This is great! The repairs will cost about 400 Cr and ambassador Cheung already reimbursed me for it – but we still have to dock and actually spend the money on repairs, as well as reload life support basics like food, water treatment, CO₂ filter regeneration, all of that. Sometimes we can do without on long scout missions planet side, but while jumping with 75% over normal capacity.

Cheung Duyi: “Wow, thanks for saving me! I guess they must not have expected all of you aboard, armed to the teeth! Don’t worry about the holes; I’ll let my contacts at Pyxis Liners know you’re coming and it’ll be fixed up in no time, at my expense. And I’ll make sure you all get the reward I promised you before the fight.”

All in all, fuel and life support is all paid for. Plus the safe passage bonus: 50K Cr. for the crew, i.e. 10K Cr for each one of you.