The crew returned to Ita to meet Gale, who docked the Icarus into Owen’s yard and returned to the Not For Hire. He and Markus inputted the new data into his map analysis and the final nav point seems to be in the Uroborus asteroid field, and their calculations gave them a good idea where it might be in that large area. While the crew discussed possible hideouts to base the drug operation from, Hart recommended the old slaver asteroid. There was some concern that the slavers would still be there but Hart assured them that it was unlikely, he plagued them before they left, as a “gift” for their hospitality. Not only are the original slavers not there, it’s highly unlikely anyone else would go once they found out.
Shylock decided it was time to get some seed stock so the crew packed up and headed to Hubal. Upon arriving, they found the spacescape to be changed somewhat. While an alliance presence had always been there, it was rarely a Tahore city ship, nor nearly as many cruisers, much less the budding construction of a Skyplex with an obvious agro- section attached to it. Shylock had Butch to assemble the still in Engineering (much to Mikki’s grousing) and start making booze out of it…he took very little convincing, while the crew decided on a course of action. Watching the orbital traffic, it seemed that, unlike the normal inspections that occur upon arrival, the Alliance was inspecting upon departure, making it clear that taking off from Rhamba with seeds, plants, or anything like that would be an extraordinary bad idea.
Deciding that being in the area at all was a bad idea, they opted for another moon of Djinn’s Bane and went to Sin. Sin was the most populated world around the gas giant and going through a boomtown tourism phase because of the extraordinary success of its terraforming. Locally owned (corporate) and operated, the planet consisted of the starport and surrounding city, and a large number of resort towns, each containing its own support staff in residence.
Around the starport was the typical boomtown low-rent district where people who came to make their fortune and found it too hard slept in shacks and rundown tenements.
As the ship came into orbit around Sin, they were hailed by the local customs officials to wait in a queue for inspection. They waited for around two hours, watching freighters and starliners come and go, until the customs tender finally made it to them. Having done the drill before, Shylock and Gale discussed how to handle this and decided on just the right amount of bribe. The tender docked and two people debarked, an older gentleman and his “bodyguard”. Shylock met them at the airlock, money changed hands, and Jim (the older gentleman) dismissed his bodyguard and talked shop with Shylock, recommending where to dock, a few places to visit, and told them they’d pass on a call to a friend to see what kind of cargo that might be available. Jim debarked and the ship settled down in the primary starport.
Shylock was contacted on the ground by people that would come see him tomorrow to discuss cargo, giving the crew a day on planet with nothing to do. Ivy begged to go out without her implant on, and after quite a bit of wheedling the Capt was convinced to let her take a “peek”. After finding no “bad men”, the crew debarked about their various errands, locking the ship tight. Markus went out to the planet’s many casinos to make his fortune, Hart vanished into the tenements, Mikki vanished entirely, and the rest of the crew went trinket shopping, finding three trinkets, two green and an orange.
Additionally, they found a few of the low-end terraforming pieces that Brian needed for his project.
At one point, someone brushed past Shylock and Ivy whispered to the Capt “that person just robbed Shylock”. Shylock told Butch to pursue and after a moment’s hesitation he took off, with Gale in pursuit.
Gale found Butch in an alley, one kid pinned to the wall by his chest, five others surrounding Butch, brandishing crude shivs. Butch seemed unconcerned (probably because of his body armor) and Gale nonchalantly taunted them while Butch played “bad cop”. Eventually, the kids decided discretion was the better part of valor and bolted, surrendering Shylock’s wallet as they fled.
Once the shopping trip was completed, on towards the afternoon, the crew split further, with the Capt and Ivy going to a waterpark, under Gale’s watchful gaze, and Shylock heading to the coastal hotels, seeking company. After an exhausting day at the waterpark, the Capt returned Ivy to the ship, tucked her in, asked Brian to watch over her, and headed back out, choosing the alpine lodge as her destination. She had fun but nothing came of it, the people there being rather boring, and she retired early.
Markus had a fairly successful evening of gambling with one event that caught his eye. During one game, he found himself up against someone that seemed to be doing very well against everyone else but couldn’t match Markus, a younger man with dark hair and very bright green eyes. After playing him for awhile, Markus realized that the man’s “tell” looked exactly like Ivy’s when Markus had his implants on, like he was trying to read him and couldn’t and it frustrated him. After awhile, the young man walked away disgusted, seeking another table.
The following morning, Mikki limped into breakfast looking like she’d spent the evening fighting, but wouldn’t comment on it when asked.
She ate slowly and went back to engineering when done. A trio of gentleman approached the ship and explained that their friend Jim indicated the crew was looking for work. They had a herd of 100 horses that needed to be moved to Highgate, along with hay and feed.
Nothing special, no tearing hurry, the planet just had entirely too many from the various “Dude” ranches and there was no market for horsemeat in the various restaurants. Shylock contacted Hart (who had already left for the day) and explained the deal, Hart agreed to meet at the ranch later in the day. Shylock then hit his family contacts and found a “mule” on Hubal who agreed to carry something from there to Sin for him. Later in the afternoon, the crew headed out to the Ranch where Ivy and the Capt rode horses while Shylock and Hart went over the herd. Hart pronounced them hale, Shylock sealed the deal, and they said it would take at least two days to get all the horses moved and loaded.
That evening, both the Capt and Shylock head out to one of the tropical resorts to try their carousing while Markus returned to the casinos to have a good night’s gambling. Shylock found a young lady to spend the evening with, but the Capt was not impressed with anyone she ran across. On a lark, she called up Mikki and asked if she could join her in her activities. Mikki seemed evasive but told her where to meet her. The Capt returned to the starport and met Mikki in a more run-down part of town. Mikki tried to talk the Capt out of it again, saying she was entirely too….proper…for the kinds of places Mikki went to, but the Capt was insistent. The trio (Gale in tow) headed deeper into the warren, approaching a warehouse district. The music was audible long before the place was visible. The destination turned out to be a huge converted warehouse, with amazingly loud music blaring and pounding out into the street. Through the open door, they could see what could only be described as a sexual mosh-pot. Mikki looked once again at the Capt, glancing down at her dress and shoes, and frowned at her. Realizing how this would likely turn out, the Capt decided to take the hint and returned to the ship, leaving Mikki to her night’s debauchery.
The next morning Shylock and Butch took off in a shuttle for Hubal, and Brian headed out into the starport town to find parts for a personal project. The horses started to arrive and Gale and Mikki (more than a little worn from last night’s activities) supervised the loading. Shylock arrived on Hubal without incident and tracked down one of the contacts he and the Capt found in their prior visits, a guy by the name of Mario. After careful negotiations, with neither party wanting to be left holding the bag, a deal was struck. In two days, ten pounds of seeds would be left in a specific place at a specific time, where the mule would pick them up and move them. Shylock paid in full up front and the deal was struck. Shylock and Butch headed out, passing through the VERY thorough inspection as they left orbit (a scan of themselves as well as the inside and outside of the shuttle) by the Alliance, and returned to Sin.
Brian had spent the day modifying one of the shuttles into a flight simulator/entertainment center and he and Ivy spent the day fighting Space Aliens and flying combat simulations, much to the Capt’s chagrin. It reached a point where Brian put in a sensor to detect when the Capt was close and an auto-boss switch on the games which turned them into virtual Sesame Street games whenever she was around.
However, Ivy being most unsubtle, running around shouting pew pew kablooey all over the ship, the Capt was not fooled.
That evening Shylock and the Capt went out carousing again, but Shylock didn’t find what he sought and returned for the evening. The Capt was out dancing on the floor and noticed someone watching her, a rather handsome young man with dark hair and bright green eyes.
Unlike most men who watched her, he seemed…amused. Curious, she approached him and struck up a conversation. He was charming enough, if somewhat distracted, and introduced himself as Javier Carados. He seemed unlike any man she’d met, genuinely (and intensely) interested in who she was and what she was doing, asking questions about things that he shouldn’t know much about. After a short exchange, he dismissed himself and took his leave. The Capt gave up for the evening and returned to the ship.
The horses were continuing to be loaded the next day when the Capt struck upon the idea of taking Ivy to the circus (Soleil, not Barnum). The three of them (Gale again in tow, obviously) were enjoying the show when the Capt noticed that Ivy was talking to someone who wasn’t there, saying things like “oh, because I have an implant” and such. When asked, she explained she was talking to “the nice man”. The Capt, concerned, turned on Ivy’s implants (much to her chagrin), called an alert and asked for folks to come to the Circus to help. Butch, Shylock, and Markus hopped into the mule to run over.
Arriving at the circus, they spread out to cover the exits while Markus tapped into the security system and piped it back to Brian, who turned the shuttle into a surveillance station.
The Capt conveyed her story from last night, about meeting Javier, and Markus confirmed that it was the same young man he’d met two days prior, so Markus and Brian began searching the crowd for him. After a few moments, Ivy pointed out that she could find him if they’d just let her, so the Capt turned off her implant, giving her a headache from the sudden crowd of noise that descended upon her. She scanned about but could not find him, so the crew decided to head out, hurriedly. On the way out, Javier contacted Ivy again, pointing out that he’d left the circus when the Capt called, but was fascinated at how quickly the team responded. Markus passed along comments about his gambling prowess and a bit of bantering ensued.
We left the crew on Sin, headed back to their ship.