Episode 412: Borrow and Steal

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Air date: 21 Sep 2010
Present: Kim, Maer, Terri, Andy, and Bobby

Monday 04 Aug 2010
Kuiper II class, Summer’s Gift
In orbit, New Canaan
Blue Sun (Qing Long) system'
0930 hrs, ship’s time

We linger over breakfast discussing what we’re going to do next. We know we’re going to Pericles, we just aren’t certain of the details. Do we have Joshua Borrow someone off Neptune? If so, who? There is much wrangling but in the end, Joshua decides to Borrow Calico Jack. Of all the people likely aboard the pirate ship, Jack is the person with whom he is most familiar. Everyone agrees, with various degrees of enthusiasm. Nika undocks from Valdric and sets our course for Pericles station.

En route to Pericles:

It’s an 11-day journey, giving Joshua plenty of time to prepare for the role. He enlists Collings to help him, gleaning as much detail as he can to make the Borrowing more convincing. Joshua goes to Kiera for the face change, exits her container with Calico Jack’s face and voice … and starts living the role of an extremely charismatic pirate. He’s suave, he’s engaging, and he’s thoroughly not Joshua. Jack likes keeping tabs on everyone, always looking for the angle that would allow him to manipulate people. He continues to sit on the bridge with Nika, though she refuses him the conn, and it’s not long before he starts fiddling with the controls. He takes it on himself to check our course and make adjustments to it, which annoys Nika to no end. And there are other drawbacks. Jack is no cook and steward and for the duration of the journey, we are eating our own cooking and doing all the little things Joshua did for us. Results are mixed, to say the least.

We’re one day away from Pericles and Nika is on the bridge when scanners pick up another vessel. She checks the heading and sees it’s on an intercept course. It’s at the outside limit of our range with plenty of time to change course to avoid hitting us. Nika keeps an eye on it, aware that even this close to Pericles Station, pirates might be present. After an hour, the ship has not changed its course but is heading right at us.

Looks like our plan to draw out El Raton is working.

Nika orders Rina to the engine room to spin up the thruster package for half hour hard burn, to be activated on her mark. Good timing on her part, since it’s not long before Joshua announces what the scanners are telling him: the other ship’s weapons have just gone live. Nika sends Joshua to our gun turret to deploy countermeasures and to warm up our big gun. Arden replaces Joshua on the bridge and mans the scanners.

The other ship hails us, claims it’s the PDF Alamo, and we should stand by to be boarded for inspection. Nika asks for their authorization code and says she will not let anyone aboard until she receives it. PDF Alamo—or possibly El Raton’s ship, the Neptune—launches a pair of missiles at us in reply.

Taking evasive action while still in pulse is a tricky business. Nika hauls on the controls, yells for the countermeasures and gives Rina her mark. The thrusters kick in, we gain some speed and distance, the countermeasures deploy. Both missiles are destroyed only to be replaced by two more. Joshua shoots those with the big gun and manages to hit each one. We take damage from the debris but not bad enough to prevent us from continuing on to Pericles. Nika aims us for it, on a course designed to avoid the mine field between us and the station.

The other ship gives chase and knowing the configuration of the Quan-Fu and its capacity for weapons and ordnance, we know that we cannot hope to win the battle if Alamo decides to employ her guns on us. Furthermore, our ship is a speed class lower than the Alamo, even with our boost. All we can do is fly out of there and hope they’ll give up. Nika is busy flying evasive maneuvers and cannot prevent Arden from sending a distress call on wide band to PDF Decatur. And against all odds, Decatur answers by showing up. The appearance of the Longbow sends the Quan-Fu packing and we all breathe a big sigh of relief. We thank Decatur for her assistance and we fly on.

Of course, now the mopping up has to be done and Rina is not happy with the repairs she’s going to have to make, but she makes them. The galley is a mess, the maneuvering has caused any number of spills. Pericles Station is a welcome sight by the time we arrive and we dock gratefully aboard it.

Friday, 15 Aug 2521
Pericles Station
0930hrs, local time

The incident with the Quan-Fu has reconfigured our plan somewhat. We’re going to go into the station, sabotage it with a stink bomb to cause a biohazard scare, and go in disguised as a haz-mat team to steal the evidence box—or rather, open it and remove the money and leave the box where it is. With luck, it will be days or even months before the tampering is discovered and we will be long gone.

And 5000 credits richer.

Joshua decides to keep Calico Jack’s face a little longer. It might come in handy. The Neptune might still dock at Pericles and we might still get a chance to rescue Dyson’s son.

Rina and Kiera rig up an aerosol delivery vehicle for a stink bomb made from the samples Arden took from the Valdric. A men’s room near our target is the chosen location and Joshua and Rina walk onto the station to put it in place. Joshua slips inside when the last customer leaves and Rina distracts a would-be user from going by playing lost tourist asking for directions. Over the man’s shoulder she sees Joshua exit and she thanks the man for his assistance and gets out there. The bomb is on a timer and it works as it’s supposed to. Before long an incredible noxious odor is detected and we get into our faked biohazard suits to save the day … only to discover we’re not the first responders as we’d hoped.

No matter. In fact, the crime lab holding our target is even easier to infiltrate because it has haz-mat teams in it already. Instead of sticking out, we blend right in. We manage to get ourselves assigned to check and clean the evidence room and while the others look busy doing their job, Rina picks out the box we’re looking for out of all the other identical boxes by dint of the salt corrosion on it. She picks the lock open, removes the hard drive disc case and removes the money Collings stashed inside. She puts everything back to rights and joins the others and we all slip away. We make it back to the Gift without incident.


Collings is delighted to get his money at long last and promptly peels off our reward: 5000 credits in Alliance bank notes. It’s more money than we’ve made in a very long time, perhaps ever, and while it is pretty much useless outside a Core-allied world for banking purposes, it is still currency we previously didn’t have. It will still spend and we have some needful spending to do.

On the topic of other needful things, we still have the matter of Kim Dyson and his recovery. We have been unsuccessful in finding Kim and Dyson himself is ready to cut his losses and find help elsewhere. We discuss the options with Dyson and we agree to part company. Dyson will go back to the Core with Collings to help him clear his name. Rina resolves to alert her friend (and former employer) Omar on Persephone as to Dyson’s situation, thinking that Omar might be able to pass along further leads as they show up, thanks to his network of intelligence gatherers. It’s a long shot but it goes a long way to assuaging Rina’s conscience over our inability to reunite father with son.

That will have to wait until we’re next in the Core. Which is a good thing, since Arden’s acquaintance from his last stay here, the charming Dr. Rava, is on-station. In point of fact, she’s glad to see him when he gives her a call. It seems she’s gathered all her findings and test results on him and taken them to the Core for further analysis. Would he be interested in what she found?

Arden would and she tells him that it appears he has receptors for paxilon hydrochlorate near his pineal gland. How very odd. And it looks as if those receptors are made to somehow affect his reaction to the Pax should he be exposed to it. What if Arden’s receptors are a key to a cure for the Reavers, that there might be a way to reverse the process that turned them into Reavers on Miranda. Would he be interested in exploring that possibility?

Whoa. Reversing Reaverism? What scientist could say no to that?

We make plans to stay on Pericles Station to give us time to take stock of our situation on financial and personal fronts. For now, we have money in our coffers, no one is sick or wounded, and our ship is in reasonably good repair. No one is actively gunning for us right this second and we can relax.

It’s anyone’s guess how long the respite lasts.

Go back to: Humanity | Go forward to: Frankie Goes To Pericles
Back to Season Four: Trials and Errors