Episode 302: Turning on a Dime

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Present: Maer, Terri, Andy, Bobby, Tony
Air Date: 12 Jan 2009

Friday, 20 Sep 2520
Kuiper I Class, Borderland Express
Rockhaven Waypoint Station, Halo
White Sun (Bai Hu) system
10:30hrs, local time

Joshua and Rina face off with the goons holding them bottled up in Rina’s dressing room. The guards tell us to come out, we refuse to obey. Despite the fact that the guards are armed, they seem reluctant to hurt us and after a moment more, they retreat to the ship and lock us in.

Now what?

Rina’s wasted no time getting dressed again—no way is she going to tackle whatever happens next in nothing but a thin skimpy robe. Joshua’s duds are out of reach in another dressing room so he’s going to have to make do with what he’s got on. Before we can decide what to do next, we hear the guards announce over the intercom that we’re to come out or they’ll space the container with us in it. An ominous grind and clank accompanies their words and Rina recognizes the winch assembly holding the container to the ship has been activated. We dither. Another clank and a discernible shift underfoot decides us.

The bastards are going to space us.

We leave the dressing room to find the corridor empty but for two pairs of handcuffs. The guards tell us to put them on. When we’re slow to comply, they give the container another nudge and we reluctantly put the handcuffs on. Joshua suggests faking it by leaving one of the cuffs per pair only marginally closed, uncaught by the internal ratchet. That way we could make a move when the opportunity presents itself.

The guards see right through that one and tighten them up.

They march us through the ship and Rina notes again how similar the layout is to the Gift. Once belowdecks, they shove us into a central container of six, and shut us in. We turn and find Nika, Rick and Arden already there.

At least we’re all still together.

Rina’s the only one dressed in something other than a robe and she starts going over her options for tools. Nothing much presents itself as a picklock for her cuffs besides the stiffened end of her bootlaces. Arden pulls one free and manages to undo her cuffs with them. He’s unsuccessful with Joshua’s and we’re resigned with having the man cuffed until we get out of this mess. While Arden goes over to see if he can hack into the door lock, the rest of us go through the container, looking for anything we can use to get us out. Or in Rina’s case, that and anything we can use to make weapons with. Which the others don’t seem too keen on do. We search on anyway.

The best candidate for weapon looks to be a slightly loose section of pipe from one of the sinks. The elbow and straight run might be useful if we can detach them. Rina has a few ideas but first we’re all interested in finding the cutoff valve to avoid losing any finite water supply we’ve got to the floor. We find it under one of the built-in benches. It’s hard to get to, stuff is in the way. The space is too tight for a person go get under or into and Rina’s reduced to kicking the damn thing apart.

Which she does with enough force to crack a section of the rigid plastic liner of the wall…and behind the opening she’s made we can see the outline of the container door.

Of course.

And the lightbulb goes off.

The container we’re in is like the ones on the Gift, with the containers there sporting two doors along the sides. We’ve just found one of them and since it’s the container centered in the group of six on this level, there must be a container on the other side of the door we can get into. And by going through the linked containers we can get out of here. We waste no more time on the lock—we get that container door open and stumble into the container beyond.

It’s a half container filled with luggage—trunks, suitcases, duffels. And with all but Rina in nothing but robes, the luggage is immediately searched for clothing more suitable for a jail break. Also, Arden finds something better to pick Joshua’s cuffs open and Rina gets her bootlace back. Thus unfettered, dressed and able to move about, we go through the door for’ard and step into the next half container.

We’ve stepped into a gun turret and it gives us pause as we consider what the real agenda of the Borderland Express is. There is a retractable gun in here taking up most of the floor space, with self-loading racks of ammunition for it crawling up and over the walls. On a console centered in the container is a light machine gun, its belt-fed bullets coiled and ready in the hopper on its side. Rina immediately starts looking for tools to get that machine gun free of its moorings and Rick volunteers to carry it out of here, Rambo-style. He even takes a tie and ties it around his forehead. Rina gets the gun free and pulls the hopper off—it’s only in the way. Arden steps up to carry the ammo, draping the belts around his shoulders and arms. With Rick and Arden taking point, we exit the container going forward and find the transverse corridor leading to the stairs.

We duck back inside and consider it. We decide to explore the rest of the containers and the one aft of the luggage container is full of steamer trunks. Unlike the holding cell container we busted out of, the rest of the containers we’ve entered are undressed. Bare metal walls make it easy to find the connecting doors. We push through to the container beside the one we’re in and find plastic again—just like the plastic we kicked through to win free. We’ve found another holding container. Tapping on the plastic and getting an answer from the other side only confirms it.

We break through to find six people inside. Four pretty Chinese women and two Caucasian men, all of them looking thin and haggard come forward and we hustle them out of there. They ask us if we’re going to rescue the others too.

Others? What others?

The dozen or so they came with.

Knowing that it would take too much time to bust through the plastic on the opposite walls to gain the container just beyond, we retrace our steps through the other containers to the corridor. We advance with the machine gun on point, and creep to the container at the far end, to port of our jail cell. We have no trouble with the locks and step into the twin of the gun turret starboard. Behind it, the corresponding half container is a scraps and parts room and for a second Rina is in heaven. Then she gets practical and finds the part we need to fix the Gift: the Inverse EM power converter that the Borderland Express’s engineer said she had. In the container aft, there is nothing but pallets for cargo. No people to rescue.

Which means if there are people left to bust out, they’ll be on the upper deck. Where the crew is.

We tell the freed prisoners to stay at the airlock and wait for us to join them before evaccing. And given the nature of the ship, its crew and our luck, any evac made will likely be a quick one.

We have Rick and Arden take point and we take the stairs up to see what we can see.

We see what we saw on the trip in. Leading aft of the transverse corridor is a lounge area the width of a container, cut off at the rear by another container. The flanking containers hold the dressing rooms we’d visited to starboard and another container to port. The lounge container has three crewmen taking their ease over drinks and cards and they are quite frankly unprepared to be staring down the barrel of their own machine gun.

We order them to stand down and they obey. Nika goes to each in turn and takes their weapons. They are a pistol and a pair of collapsible riot batons. Rina takes the pistol and Joshua the batons. Rick and Arden? They got what they need, thanks.

We push aft and find a container outfitted with four jail cells and a small head, with a narrow corridor running down one side. Marie and Annie are there, along with about eleven others who the prisoners belowdecks alluded to. They were better heeled and apparently they were being held separately from the other prisoners for ransom. Well, in the best case scenario, it would have been ransom. Beside the point. They’re free now.

We get the prisoners out of there and we spare a glance at the cells themselves. Metal doors with bars across them for reinforcement. They should be sufficient to hold the captured crew in. We march them into that container and lock them up.

Meanwhile, Arden looks for the Captain’s quarters to see if there are any logs he can hack into, to find out the activities of the Borderland Express and Joshua takes his place at Rick’s side. Rick goes to the bridge to secure it and in so doing, finds the Captain and the pilot. hey are very surprised to see us there and they give up without a fight.

Suspicious, Joshua tries reading the pilot. Her name is Connie Wang and he gets a weird read off her. He warns her not to do anything stupid and the Captain calls her down as well. She subsides and we usher them off the bridge. Once we’re joined up with the others we do a head count and realize that we haven’t found the engineer yet and realize that she’s locked herself in the engine room.

And that’s when the bargaining starts. We know from the other crew we’ve captured and from the activities we’ve directly witnessed that the Borderland has money. We bargain for it, saying if they hand over the money, we won’t turn them in as slavers, and we’ll call it square. The Captain says his lockbox is in his quarters. Arden and Joshua follow him there, watch as he kneels to reveal a built-in safe. He starts fiddling with the locks and all of a sudden he closes his eyes.


Arden, the Captain, and Joshua are stunned. Joshua revives first and grabbing the still-unconscious Arden, starts dragging his crewmate out of there, money-be-damned.

Meanwhile, Nika’s in the jail container aft, simultaneously guarding the prisoners we’ve put there and the door leading aft to the engine room. She has a split second to move when the door aft pops open enough to admit a grenade.

Nika turns, she sprints, the grenade goes BOOM!

It’s a concussion grenade and in the confined space of the corridor, the shockwave is horrific. Nika’s lightning reflexes, however, have saved her—she’s wobbly, but she maintains consciousness and scrambles to her feet. She checks the Captain’s quarters and seeing Joshua struggling with Arden, helps him. She sends Rina down below to get the airlock open. We slap the intercoms to all-ship so she can wait for our signal. Rick see the door at the aft end of the lounge open slightly and finally, FINALLY gets to fire off the machine gun, laying down suppression fire to keep the Engineer bottled up aft.


Bullets spray down the bar with a shower of splinters and broken glass as he paints a line of fire all the way to the door. The door stops moving.

Rick: Let’s just get the hell out of here.
Rina: (hearing everything over the intercom) Copy that.
Nika: Get him up.

Meaning Arden.

Joshua: I’m working on it.
At the aft of the Captain’s quarters, she spies a door and investigating it, she sees a container outfitted with cells beyond. At the far end of it is yet another door and she sees movement. She fires off two warning shots.

Nika: (to the far door) I will not hesitate to blow your head off.
Voice: (faint) Uhhh….okay….

So says whoever’s on the other side of that door. Just before they pitch in a grenade.


Nika yells a warning to Joshua and Arden. She jumps back through the connecting door and slams it shut, but the grenade goes off before she’s done.


Belowdecks, Rina and the freed prisoners hear the explosions and the prisoners start getting worried. What’s going on? Rina starts working on the lock—explosions mean trouble and trouble means double timing it out of here. Just the normal part of doing business.

Back upstairs, Nika, Arden, and Joshua pick themselves up and take stock. Everyone’s in one piece. To hell with this, let’s get out of here. In the lounge, Rick covers our retreat and we all hit the stairs down to the airlock. We come off the bottom tread just as Rina pops the lock.

Rina: Marines, we are leaving!

We get the hell off the Borderland Express. Right into the arms of station security, klaxons blaring. They see our guns—especially Rick’s machine gun—and order us to stand down and drop our weapons. We immediately comply, point back the way we came and tell them about the slavers and their grenades and how they’re dangerous people and how we—

All right, all right, step over here please.

They get our freed prisoners off to the side. Arden’s patching Nika up from the injuries she sustained in the last grenade blast. More security folk show up, along with what looks like a civilian posse (Yikes!) and lastly, a woman.

Tall, blonde, and rangy, with a determined jaw and no-nonsense attitude, Stationmaster Dr. Vera ‘Doc’ Halloway strides right over to the docking console for the Borderland Express and hails the ship.

Halloway: Listen up. Everyone in there drop your weapons or we’re gonna gas this ship.

Heh. Rina likes her already. It’s refreshing to have someone take our side right off the bat. The way she sees it-- from the security team's POV it doesn’t look good: explosions are heard aboard a ship, gunfire, and then you have a bunch of scared people running out and right after them come people with guns. In Rick's case, a big-assed gun. And the people with guns are saying, Hey! We're the good guys! The bad guys are back there!

Who are you going to believe?

Halloway’s no dummy. She gets everyone to drop weapons and then she starts sorting the facts out. She sends security onto the Borderland Express and one by one the crew is marched out, hands on heads.

Halloway: All right. Who of you can explain what’s happened here?

The Borderland crew say nothing.


Halloway: (to security) Take the crew to the brig, search the ship for anyone else who might be on board, and I’ll see you in my office.

She points at us.

Arden: They have some stuff that they stole from us.
Rick: From a lot of people.
Halloway: Seal it off. Nobody goes on or off the ship without my say-so.

The Borderland crew is led off and we’re taken to her office to deliver our statement.

Halloway: All right. What the hell just happened here? I know the whole Verse has gone to hell in a hand basket but not on my station.
Nika: Well, ma;am, answered an ad to make some extra credits because we needed to get our ship fixed when we docked.
Halloway: (not really a question) You answered an ad for some credits.
Nika: They were advertising for….(too mortified to say it)
Rick: Models. Full body scans.
Nika: (giving in) Models.
Joshua: Look. Stupidity, while rampant, is not a crime. Or last time I checked it wasn’t a crime. Is it a crime?
Arden: (sourly) It should be.
Nika: Well. We got aboard and they locked us in a cargo container. And being the enterprising crew that we are, we managed to get out. We found out in the next cargo container over there was another slew of people being held and they’d been held there a lot longer than we had. So we took it on ourselves to…..
Joshua: Liberate them.
Nika: (There you go!) Liberate them.
Arden: Didn’t they inform us that we were going to be sold into the sex trade?
Joshua: Plus upstairs they had about eleven people who looked like they had some credits to them and they might have been thinking of ransoming them or maybe they were going to sell them to a higher purpose of sex trade than us.
Arden: Or a lower purpose.
Joshua: Either way, they had bad intentions in mind and they didn’t seem to concerned about it. Or us.

Halloway holds up a hand.

Halloway: Now who are you? Where are you from?
Nika: The Summer’s Gift.
Halloway: All right. Nobody’s leaving the station. I may need to call you back, once I find out what’s going on.
Nika: Can we get onboard and do the repairs on our vessel while we’re waiting?
Halloway: I don’t think so. Listen, the law’s kinda broken down so on this station, I am the law.
Rina: Yes, ma’am.
Joshua: We’e got no problem with that. Obviously. I have to say, actually, your law has been more efficient than a lot of the other law I’ve seen pre-Cortex Breakdown.
Nika: (affirmative!) No joke.
Joshua: So I’m all on board with whatever you decide.
Halloway: That’s why I bought this place.

With ownership comes privileges. Like calling the shots.

Halloway: You’re free to go back to your ship or wherever you’re staying but don’t try to leave.
Nika: We won’t.
Arden: So we can’t go on our ship and try to fix it?
Halloway: I’m not giving you any support.

Everything we took off the Express was confiscated, including the converter.

Rina: We just want to turn the heat back on, ma’am.
Halloway: Nothing leaves.
Nika: We won’t undock.
Halloway: Nothing leaves the ship, we’re not giving you any supplies, do what you wanna to do.
Nika: My word. We won’t undock. Thank you.

We take our leave and go back to the Gift to take stock.

1. We’re screwed.
2. We’re not completely screwed—we’re no longer prisoners and we’re on the right side of the law.
3. We have no power or the parts to bring it back on.
4. We had the power converter.
5. It’s been taken away from us.
6. We’re screwed.

Joshua: Let’s not jump to conclusions. Let’s see how it all falls out before we start saying that we’re boned, cuz we’re not necessarily.
Nika: (dryly) You have not been with this crew long enough to understand.
Joshua: Probably true. but maybe I’m a good counter…antidote….or something.
Arden: One can only hope.
Rina: The learning curve. It is steep.

And we laugh. Because, really, what else can you do? And right on the heels of that conversation, we get a buzz from the Shepherd asking when we were planning on leaving. Rick takes the call.

Joshua: Should we tell the Shepherd that we’re not taking off?

Rick tells the Shepherd about our little problem with our scheduled take-off. The Shepherd hears him out and does a recap.

Faria: You were looking for some extra cash, ran afoul of slavers, rescued the slaves—commendable—and then…I’ll talk to the Doctor, see what I can do about getting you that part.
Rick: Any help you can give us would be great and we would be able to head along.
Faria: Is there anything else you want to tell me that went on, is going on?
Rick: No, there’s nothing else going on.

After all, Rick already told the man about the body imaging scam.

Faria: Nothing else on the ship I should know about? You’re not carrying contraband or anything like that?
Rick: No.
Faria: No criminals or anyone like that?
Rick: No. Well….

Do Marie and Annie count as criminals? Rick comes clean on those two and the Shepherd ends the call.

Sunday, 22 Sep 2520

It’s been two days since the escape and nothing much is happening. We’re repairing what we can and staying warm at night by sleeping all in one container. Rick and Marie share their sleeping bag and their nocturnal activities make sharing the container a bit problematical for the rest of the crew. The rest of us just turn around, plug our ears and do what we can to ignore them.

After the first night, we’re called back to Halloway’s office.

Halloway: I’m in a somewhat uncomfortable position. The authorities are not really helpful at the moment and the fact is, much of my clientele would prefer not to have an overly authoritarian regime. On the other hand, I can’t have this kind of stuff going on. So. I haven’t fully decided where we’re putting these people away for a bit but as near as I can figure, their ship is up for grabs and you have first salvage claim. You rescued the prisoners and all that and even though they want to leave here and head back to the Core, they don’t have any money. So feel free to take from their ship what you want, or take the ship if you want it.
Arden: What’s the salvage cost?
Halloway: What do you mean?
Arden: I mean—
Joshua: (to Halloway) Thank you.
Arden: I’d like to ask a question, please. What does salvage rights mean?
Nika: It means we can take whatever we want and anything we don’t, we can sell.
Arden: They’re not going to charge us for it?
Nika: No.
Arden: Then take the entire ship, send it back to Christian and we’ll have a second ship in our fleet.
Joshua: Who’s going to fly it?
Arden: Marie and Annie.
Nika: They’re not going that way. They’re going to Blue Sun. They have no interest in that.
Arden: How do you know? You didn’t ask them.
Joshua: That’s not a bad idea. I’m just not sure if it’s going to be technically feasible.

Halloway interrupts our impromptu staff meeting.

Halloway: We may end up having to do something—I’m not sure what we’re going to do with these prisoners but we don’t have the facilities to deal with them. We’re going to have to do something drastic with them. I’d rather not, but as I said, to keep things working around here I can’t hanker to slavers. That’s not okay and that needs to be known. However, that’s not your concern. So yes, I’d like to see that ship gone, but if you salvage what you want from it, take it if you want. If you don’t, I’ll have it towed out to deep space and destroyed. It’s up to you.

She settles back in her chair.

Halloway: But if there’s some parts you to fix your ship, you’re free to salvage those as well.

We thank Halloway for her amazing generosity and we apologize for bringing chaos to her station. Halloway says she doesn’t see it as our fault. She sighs and leans forward.

Halloway: Things are….I’ll tell ya, things are…They’re lookin’ tough, so when somebody does the right thing, I think in this time we need to support that. I suppose technically the ship’s mine to do with it as I choose, but I’d rather people see that there’s a reward for doing some good. I don’t have any cash to give you, but I can give you first pickin’s off that ship. I think some of the personal belongings aboard that ship actually belong to the—

Arden gets it right away—those belongings are property of the people who were kidnapped. Of course we will return them to their rightful owners. True, but Halloway asserts the rest is up to us.

We thank her for everything, apologize for the chaos and make a quick exit. And on the way back to the Gift, we start thinking about our windfall. We can restock our small arms. Heck, Rina says we can think bigger and fit our ship with the Express’s guns. Why not? They’re fitted to containers, containers our ship is equipped to use. They’re half containers to boot—we won’t lose out entirely on valuable cargo space after we put the guns on. And since we’re taking Faria to Blue Sun, it’s best to go armed.

We debate the idea of selling the ship but we don’t have a way to find buyers or even alerting Christian we have it to sell. Joshua mentions that we could just have Marie and Annie take the ship and fly the freed slaver victims back to the Core. Rick says the Express has food stores we can raid and still leave enough aboard to accommodate the mercy mission. Arden wants to know what’s in the lockbox in the Captain’s quarters. Nika agrees we can take just what we need and ask the freed slaver victims if they want a ride back to the Core.

Interviewing them we find that they have no ship personnel, no engineers or pilots among them. Instead they have models, gamblers, a chemist, a banker, a couple of technical people, some doctors, a couple of independently wealthy people. And they tell us that they’d been told different stories by the slavers. The ones with trade skills were told they would be sold into indentured servitude for their skills, with the promise of earning their way free of their bond. The others, the models and good looking prisoners, were not exactly told of their intended fate in the sex trade, but they had little hope for a different outcome. The aristocracy—the independently wealthy prisoners—they were treated all right at first. But then talk amongst their captors about ‘payback’ led to their being made to do all sorts of menial chores, with more unpleasant work threatening in the future. There was also talk of being ransomed. However, the lack of Cortex was making it hard for the kidnappers to make their bid for ransom known to interested parties, and the prisoners were using this opportunity to try to negotiate their own escape. So the Borderland Express was trafficking in more than just the sex trade. They were spinning every angle: offering jobs as servers, domestics, you name it.

While some of us are interviewing the freed victims, Arden is going through the Captain’s quarters looking for any logs, journals, papers…basically anything that can tell us what happened to the Express before it docked here. Going through the navigational data, Arden discovers the original crew flew the Express out of Bellerophon to Persephone, then were slated to fly out to Paquin. They were intercepted outside Persephone. He finds out the slavers’ plan was to fly the Express to New Kasmir and there were several Cortex messages to random people to that planet, though no record of the contents remain. It appears they were independent operators, not linked to a larger network of wrongdoers. The impression is the pirates that took the Express weren’t pirates for long, but were simply taking advantage of the opportunity to do so.

He also found 100 credits in the strongbox.

Asking the people we’d freed where they want to go, their response is to go back to the Core. We decide to find someone to take them back to the Core on the Express, filling the needful crew positions from our passengers if possible and in return, the passengers will pay for their passage when they arrive. With the Cortex down there is no way they can verify their identity, much less access their bank accounts, but home in the Core, they could transact the necessary business in person. Payment is possible, it’s just delayed. Of course, if any of the passengers decide to become permanent crew, they will be offered shares in the ship as employees of Morningstar.

Joshua says he trusts Marie more than any happen-chance stranger we could find at the Station to fly the Express. The crew has noticed as well that Annie has changed her attitude toward us, now that the reality of Jack’s betrayal of her has sunk in. Rick states he trusts Marie as well. After all, he’s sleeping with her and she hasn’t killed him yet.

When we ask the women if they’re willing to do this, Annie defers to Marie’s leadership and Marie says having a ship would definitely be a good start. She knows we had reservations of rescuing the treasure Jack and El Raton are after. But she doesn’t feel right about taking the Express when she didn’t take part in its liberation from the people who stole her—why is she being rewarded with it?

Joshua makes the case it is better to have her take it and put it to meaningful purpose than having it towed out into deep space and scuttled. Which is what will happen to it once we take what we need off it. IF she doesn’t take it on.

Arden chimes in that she could consider it a down payment on a future favor she could do for us. Rick says she could potentially work for us at Morningstar. Once the Cortex is back up, she could run cargo. It’s not millions of credits but it’s steady work, enough to keep them flying and get them what they need. Arden interjects it’s free—they won’t have to pay us for the ship. And Rina adds that there’s a lot of trade disruption due to the Cortex being down and once it comes back up, there’s going to be a lot of work to be had.

Marie admits that the prisoner do need to get back home and since the rest of us are headed in the opposite direction, she could take them back and see how it goes. Nika asks Marie if she’s going to pursue the run out to Blue Sun. Marie admits she doesn’t know. Rick says if Marie does, she should find a way to contact us and find us. We can give her our initial flight plan out to Blue Sun, she can try to track us that way. He has no problem with her running cargo for us, though he can’t speak for the rest of us. Nika says she’ll give Marie our drop box that we have for getting in touch with Christian.

While Marie doesn’t answer right away in the affirmative, the read Rick gets off her is she’s not entirely willing to cut all ties with him….which might bode well for her taking over the Express as a ship in the Morningstar fleet. And Marie clinches the deal by agreeing to it: she’ll take the prisoners to the Core. When she arrives, we’ll give her our contact information for Christian and our flight plan.


The next two days are busy with setting up ownership and housekeeping of the Express and continuing repairs to the Gift'.

We take 158 days food off the Express for the Gift’s crew and her sole passenger and there is still enough food left over for everyone else flying back to the Core on the Express to make it without starving. Say what you want about the slavers, they knew how to lay in supplies.

Rina grabs the spare power converter off the Express and gets to restoring power to the Gift. She also repairs the power and sewer coupling ports on our hull. When we dock at our next port of call, it should be business as usual.

Shepherd Faria’s worried about going on a ship that’s entirely unarmed. Do we have access to weapons? Rick says he’s got a light machine gun we can use, but he also assures him we have container mounted gun turrets at our disposal. So, while the Gift came to Rockhaven unarmed, she’s leaving armed. We’re taking one of the guns off the Express and mounting it to the Gift. We also restock our armory where it’s low from the Express’s arms locker and leave the rest onboard for the Express’s defense.

We don’t have enough fuel capacity to make it all the way to Blue Sun without refueling. We agree to stop at Pericles Station on the way, 20 days away.

The Shepherd boards with several steamer trunks. We have to restrain Arden from going through them. Arden flat-out states he doesn’t trust the Shepherd is on the up and up. Recent events have made him suspicious of all cargo and passengers but we manage to restrain him. The cargo is safe from Arden’s interference but apparently the Shepherd is not. Arden asks the man what a soul is. The Shepherd says it’s the part of you that makes decisions—for free-willed beings, that is. Which brings up the discussion of free will and who has it and who doesn’t? How does one tell if one has a soul or not? Uncomfortable topic for at least two of our crew.

Marie and Annie are fully onboard with flying the Express for Morningstar. The opportunity for work, room and board is too good to pass up and they find themselves going from being pirates to being legit cargo haulers again. Respectable people doing respectable work.

They rechristen the ship MeiMei, the little sister to Summer’s Gift.

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