“I don’t think of it as pimping, I think of it as sending in my best negotiator”
Previously on Into the Black… The Hera was packed to the air vents with trinkets and passengers to be delivered to the resort moon Paquin.
As Twitch prepared to make her decent to Beaufort alarms begin to blare in the cockpit and engine room, and the Hera becomes unresponsive to all attempts to regain orbit or control her entry into atmosphere. The captain and first mate run down to the engine room and stare stupidly into the churning mass of machinery. Neither one can tell a catalyzer from a compression coil so their usefulness is limited. It is about that time that the crew realizes John the mechanic must have left the ship prior to departing Beaumond. But luckily Rook notices the maintenance robots are still on the ship and functioning. Captain Mitch manages to get the robot to diagnose and temporarily patch the the broken engine part with just minutes before emergency evacuation would have been necessary. The patch was good enough to get the ship on the ground even if it was less than graceful. The Hera hit the ground with a thud, but Twitch’s skillful piloting prevented additional damage.
Beaufort is like any amusement moon you have ever been to. Tourists packed in like sardines to participate in some over-hyped, overpriced attraction. Thieves working their way through the crowds like kids in a candy store filling their baskets with any temptation that catches their eye. Hera’s passengers disembark so they can be among those being parted with their credits one way or another.
While Twitch was telling the Captain about a new applicant for the Security position he had advertised, Rook went for a walk through the port to find the part listed on the maintenance ‘bot printout, and a mechanic capable of performing the repair. He stumbled into a repair shop and arranged for Joe, the shop owner’s kid, to make the repairs. Rook was able to talk the kid down to Ȼ800 from his initial price of Ȼ1,400, but then Twitch used her “charm” to renegotiate the price down to Ȼ200.
The new recruit introduces herself as Elaine Ganz who the crew immediately recognize as The Champ, a prize fighter with a left hook revered throughout the ‘verse. She was hired on sight, but the crew went through the whole new hire interrogation process anyway. They learned about her 43 bare knuckle knockouts, her impressive collection of hardware, and that her Cortex file is flagged–but no details why. Elaine also sized up the crew making note that the Captain has no qualms about using his pilot’s assets to his own advantage, and that the first mate really strikes her fancy. Twitch was just excited to have another girl on board.
After surviving the landing, finding a new Public Relations officer, and getting a considerable discount on Hera’s required repairs, the Captain was in an uncommonly good mood and feeling a might generous. He suggested the crew go to this bar he knows down the way called Space Sprocket where he’d offered to buy the first round. But as things seem generally go, just when you are feeling like everything is going your way, that about the time something is about to ruin your day.
Just as Mitch starts telling Rook and Elaine to mind their valuables, he feels someone bump into him. As he turns, the Captain catches sees the credits that had just been freed from his own pockets being tucked away by the pickpocket. All three of them chase after the rogue. Elaine manages to cut him off and immediately drops him to the ground. Just as the Captain and First Mate arrive, the kid manages to knock Elaine off and get to his feet. But Elaine quickly earns her new title when she recovered from being thrown off and managed to get the pickpocket in a full nelson in one fluid motion. The group continued on their way to the bar as the crowd applauded the Captain getting his Ȼ8 back.
As they neared the bar, they noticed an older man in the streets trying to fend off three Spacers with nothing but a bar stool. While it appears obvious that the man has dished out a few blows of his own, it is obvious he won’t last long without help. Rook realizes that the man is The Black Fox and he rushed in to help fend off his attackers. Mitch and Elaine follow closely behind. With a single blow to the head, Elaine killed one of the Spacers. After a dizzying few seconds of fists flying everywhere, Rook pulls out the sword hidden in his walking stick and convinces the remaining assailants that it is time to move on. Of course it could have been the blaring Alliance sirens.
The crew dashed back to The Hera with The Black Fox and closed the cargo door just as the Alliance troops were closing in. Twitch managed to release the land lock and few out of atmo before any of the Alliance goons were able to get their ships off the ground. They did however, get a general description of the ship and the crew onto the Cortex which might cause some complications down the road. Especially, if there is more business to be done in Paquin.
Once safely out of the orbit of Paquin, Fox told the crew about the dozens of Alliance cargo ships he captured during the war. And that even though he had been pardoned the Alliance had seized all of his property, including his home on Hera, leaving the him with nothing. The Captain was visibly disturbed by Fox’s story and agreed to help Fox recover some hard money he has stashed away on Hera before disappearing into his bottle of whiskey…