Campaign of the Month: January 2011

Honour Among Thieves

Nine Tenths of the Law Session Five

It's the crew's first time in the Core, and it goes about as well as you'd expect.

Several hours passed as Shenmue made its way towards Osiris. The members of the crew did what they normally did on long trips – YJ stayed on the bridge, Jonah sat at the galley table working with his counterfeiting kit, Worth puttered around the engine room, and the Doc self-medicated in his quarters.

The quiet of the voyage was suddenly interrupted by the blaring of Shenmue’s proximity alarm. YJ snapped to attention on the bridge. Checking his instruments, he peered out the viewports and paled as he saw what had caused the proximity alarm to go off.

“What do you see, YJ?” Jonah called up to the bridge.

“Your tax dollars at work,” YJ sighed.

What he saw out his viewport was a Tohoku-class cruiser, the singular symbol of the power and prestige of the Alliance. A floating city with four spires projecting out of a massive superstructure, the cruiser was surrounded by a cloud of picket ships – ASREVs and Leeway-class launches – that flitted about like flies around a lumbering beast. The cruiser was close enough that YJ could read its name printed on the hull – IAV Ericson.

“Prepare to strap in,” YJ called over the intercom as he slapped a few switches on the dashboard. He mentally debated his possible courses of action – going dark, or engaging the pulse drive in full burn. Then he noticed a blinking light on the communications console. “Permission to be ignored?” he muttered hopefully to himself.

He hit the internal comm. “Guys, we’ll be experiencing some slight turbulence, so please return to your seats, close all overhead compartments and place all objects under the seat in front of you, because we are humped.”

A flood of curses emanated from aft of the bridge. The Doc started to flush his stash as Worth and Jonah ran about with armloads of unregistered weapons, intent on shoveling their arsenals into any out of the way place they could quickly find.

“Better stash those pictures from Wild Sky’s dorm while you’re at it!” Worth called out to Jonah, who nodded agreement. The thief grabbed his counterfeiting materials and breathed a sigh of relief at his foresight in ditching the Alliance stun pistols and police IDs.

Their goods squirreled away, Jonah and Worth settled into their shipboard roles – Worth strapping on a tool belt and rubbing some engine grease on his coveralls, and Jonah collecting the documentation for their payload, ensuring all the paperwork was in order.

“Unidentified Firefly Class transport, prepare to release control of your helm for docking and immediate customs inspection. Stand by to transmit copies of all required documentation.” The communications officer aboard the IAV Ericson said.

“Hello,” YJ replied. “How are you?”

“This your first time in the Core?” the disembodied voice asked with a hint of a smirk coming through the communications array.

“Hello,” YJ repeated. “How are you?”

“All right, transmit your crew and cargo manifests and prepare for pulse beacon verification.”

“Right away,” YJ said.

Worth found Jonah in the cargo hold. “You know where it’s going to get awkward,” he said. “Wild Sky’s lab.”

Jonah’s face fell. “What are we going to do, throw a blanket over it?” he asked.

On the bridge, YJ felt the pitch of the thrusters change slightly, and the starfield ahead of him wobbled a bit. He realized he was no longer, strictly speaking, flying his own ship.

“Confirming helm control release.” The communications officer said. “Shenmue, we now have control. Bringing you in now. Please ensure that all crew and passengers have convened in a common area with their identification.”

Shenmue rotated on its longitudinal axis as it was pulled in towards the cruiser’s ventral docking assembly, and before she went belly-up, YJ noted the racks of gunships just waiting to be released. Then, moments later, the crew felt a shudder as Shenmue was brought to a halt, trapped like a rabbit in a snare.

The crew assembled in the cargo bay and waited for the airlock doors to open. Soon enough, there was a flurry of activity on the other side of the doors, and the hatch was pushed inwards. The Alliance Boarding Inspection Team walked in as if they owned the place. An officer wearing smart Alliance grey was flanked on either side by eight armed and armored Federals, their weapons out but not yet pointed in the crew’s direction.

“Good day gentlemen,” the Alliance BIT officer said. “Papers, please.”

Jonah handed over the crew’s documentation.

The customs officer glanced at the crew manifest. “Okay, Captain Johnson, don’t be alarmed as my men secure the airlock controls, bridge and engine room before we begin our little tour.” As he spoke, six of his comrades moved with practiced precision to the various strategic locations on board ship, leaving two behind who stood shoulder to shoulder with the inspector.

“So, what have we here?” The officer asked as he pulled a hand scanner from his belt.

“Rolled titanium from Beaumonde, bound for delivery on Osiris,” Jonah said, handing the cargo manifest over.

“Right, Toshiro Heavy Industries, got it.” The officer said, reading the manifest as he handed the scanner to the fed next to him.

Apparently satisfied with the payload’s paperwork, the officer shifted his attention to the large pieces of salvage equipment that took up space in the rear sections of the cargo hold.

“So, Captain Johnson, are you a licensed salvage operator?”

“Er, no.” YJ said, hands in his pockets. He tried to change the subject. “Not a lot going on eh, you guys must be bored. Space is a big place, eh?”

“Stop talking,” hissed the Doc.

“We accepted this salvage gear by way of payment for a recent job,” Jonah interjected.

“All right,” the officer said as his comrade made a note on the scanning device. “This all you got in the main hold?”

“I hope so, or else we’re not getting paid properly,” YJ said.

“Okay, then let’s move to the secondary cargo hold, shall we?”

“You bet.” YJ said cheerfully.

They moved into the secondary cargo area, which was home to the ship’s foldout surgical unit, the salvage command module, and Wild Sky’s workshop.

The officer gave the infirmary a cursory glance, but his gaze soon focused on another item in the cargo hold. “Is that a command and control module?” he asked in an excited voice, pointing to the spherical unit the mad doctor Carver had brought on board. “Wow,” he said. “I haven’t seen one of these since the war. May I take a seat?”

YJ nodded uncomfortably as the officer hopped into the chair and pulled himself closer to the banks of video screens. “Yeah, we picked it up at an antique show,” he said.

“I can see how this would be useful in coordinating complicated salvage jobs,” the inspector said, tapping a few buttons.

“Well as I said before, we don’t do salvage operations,” Jonah said. “Maybe in the future.”

“It’s nice to see surplus goods finding use out in the Black,” the officer said.

Jonah shrugged. “Well, the Alliance makes the best stuff.”

“Very true.” The officer sighed a nostalgic sigh, and then straightened up as he remembered the task at hand. Climbing out of the seat, he dusted his uniform off. “So,” he said. “What’s that? He pointed to Wild Sky’s workshop.

“That was here when we got the ship,” YJ said.

“Oh yeah?” The Alliance officer said, unconvinced. “Really. Well, open it up, then we can go upstairs and take a look around.”

“Well that’s the tricky part,” Jonah said. “The lady that ran the ship before us sort of disappeared before-”

“Shut up…stop talking…” the Doc prayed.

“-now, let me assure you…” Jonah was saying.

“We really can’t get in,” YJ interrupted.

The officer frowned. “So what you’re saying is, you’re not going to open it up?”

“We can’t open it up, because we don’t know how. We actually disconnected the power supply.” Worth spoke up.

Jonah indicated the scorch mark on the door. “And I tried to cut my way in. The material’s pretty dense.”

“It’s beyond our expertise, if you feel that your men have the expertise, then by all means,” YJ said.

“So you can’t open the door.” The customs inspector repeated.

“We don’t know how. She was very private.” YJ said, a sinking feeling slowly working its way through his guts.

The officer looked over to the guards beside him, then tapped a button on his multiband. “Code 211,” he said plainly into the mic input. There was a rattling of BDUs and weapons from above deck. He turned to the crew and clasped his hands behind his back.

“You know, there’s a few ways to interpret an inability to comply but unfortunately I can’t give you gentlemen the benefit of the doubt.” He smiled in mock sadness. “So we’re going to have to continue this conversation in a more official capacity onboard the Ericson.”

The crew could hear the sound of weapons being cocked behind them.

“Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I’m willing to stand here and let you guys get into that, but we really don’t know how to open it.” YJ said.

“In fact we’d be curious to see what’s inside.” Jonah added.

“Wonderful, then you won’t mind us taking you to a location where you might be more comfortable while we engage in a more thorough search of your vessel.” The officer said.

“You’re kidding!” YJ blurted. “We want to see what’s inside! You don’t know how long we’ve been waiting to get a look in there!”

The Doc stepped forward. “Is there any way we can smooth things over? I feel like we’ve gotten off on the wrong foot here. We definitely need to step back, and-”

A heavy, gloved hand clapped down on his shoulder. The Doc froze.

Each member of the crew now had a security escort pushing him back into the main cargo hold, where the remainder of the Boarding Inspection Team had gathered. They were quickly and efficiently patted down, and then escorted into the tunnel-like airlock tube connecting their ship to the Ericson.

The customs officer called to them as they rounded the corner and out of sight. “By the way, welcome to the Core!”

“By the way, your mother’s a whore!” YJ muttered. “What?” he said to the annoyed faces of his crewmates.

The corridors of the ship were as shiny and cold as the crew had imagined. They were ushered down a long corridor and then were split up, shoved into side chambers by their escorts, before they had a chance to collect themselves.

Each man found himself in a stark holding area – a small room with one mirrored wall, a metal table, and two chairs, all of which were firmly attached to the deck plating. The doors sealed behind them after the guards walked out. The rooms were a little chilly – an air conditioning vent near the ceiling blasted cold air in and was the source of a dull roaring sound.

Time passed. Half an hour turned into an hour, which turned into two, then three. The Doc got tired of rearranging his bolo tie in the mirror. Jonah smoked all his cigarettes. YJ started to worry that the shipment of titanium was going to be overdue. Worth worried about what the Alliance was doing to the ship. Jonah began to experience nicotine withdrawal, to say nothing of the Doc, whose last self-dose had worn off a while back. They had no visitors, and there was no noise save for the rumble of the air vent.

After an interminable amount of time had passed, the hatch hissed open and a man walked in. He was wearing a rumpled grey suit that looked part uniform, part what he rolled out of bed in that morning. He was sporting a trimmed moustache and was going grey at the temples.

The Doc thought he recognized the man from somewhere, but couldn’t place him.

Jonah stifled a cough as he realized that the man was one of the Interpol agents who had been sniffing around the scene of their shootout with the Sundeen Seven back on Persephone.

Worth just sat there and glared.

After their interviews, the crew was left to cool their heels for another uncomfortable period, and then, with no explanation from the stoic guards, they were sprung from their various cells and escorted to a customs area. There, another Alliance bureaucrat waited to process them.

“There are a number of fees involved in securing travel clearance,” the official said. “There’s a cargo bay tax, and a Core Worlds Travel Clearance certificate, both payable immediately.”

“Tulsa,” YJ turned to the doctor. “Pay the man.”

“How much?” Tulsa said, slightly resentful of his position as ship’s purser.

“535 credits.” The official smiled.

Tulsa gulped as he considered the ship’s fund. “So are these fees at all negotiable?”

The smile turned to a bureaucratic frown. “No.”

“He’s got really soft skin, if you’re into it.” Worth said, indicating the doctor.

“Can you explain these fees to us?” Jonah asked.

“Certainly.” The customs officer said. “All vessels traveling into the Core for the first time since their registration are required to pay a levy based on the available cargo space on board their vessel, and a vessel must pass inspection and receive Core World travel clearance or you will find landing on a Core world very difficult.”

“Also, we’re holding the keys to your ignition.”

“How do you sleep at night?” Worth asked.

With their travel clearance verified, the crew was ushered back to their ship and told that once they regained control of their helm they were to fly directly to Osiris, and any deviation from that course would result in a return visit to the Ericson.

Evans and Jonah both bolted for the secondary hold to check on Wild Sky’s workshop. Inexplicably, the module was still there.

“I told you,” Worth said.

“Nothing to worry about.” The Doc said.

“Surprised they didn’t move it out,” Worth said. “Not that they could fit it through the hatch.”

Jonah checked on his hiding spot. Everything was where he left it.

Worth scratched his head. “Doesn’t even look like they tried to get into it.”

Jonah turned to YJ. “Let’s follow their instructions, Captain. Deliver the titanium and then let’s never return to the Core.”

“Yeah, I don’t want to end up as cannon fodder.” YJ said.

“Isn’t there a ship we were supposed to steal on Osiris?” the Doc asked.

“Repossess,” Jonah corrected.

Shenmue was pulled out from under the Ericson, and after it was moved to a safe distance, control of the helm was transferred back to YJ, who laid in a course for Osiris.

“God, I am feeling no pain right now.” The Doc said dreamily.

It wasn’t long before Osiris appeared before them, a blue-green orb set against the darkness of space. YJ checked the coordinates for their destination – Capital City – and angled Shenmue into the Core planet’s atmosphere.

YJ shielded his eyes as he brought Shenmue into the traffic approach corridor. The Capital City approach corridor was jam packed with floating animated advertisements in all three dimensions and about a million colours. Blue Sun, Far East, Iskellian, Fruity Oaty Bars, YouGo, and about a thousand local businesses had seemingly poured their advertising budgets into the approach lane. Billboards and Corvue screens were held aloft by gravity modules carefully placed just outside the busy approach corridor so as not to interfere with the hundreds of ships coming in for a landing at one of the busiest spaceport complexes in the Verse. Beyond the neon and 3D displays the crew could see the skyline of Capital City itself, dominated by the gargantuan glittering pyramid that was home to the Alliance’s High Court, towering imposingly above the other bejeweled spires and skyscrapers.

Traffic Control directed Shenmue towards the incoming freight lanes, diverting the ship from the main passenger approach. Their destination was the corporate complex of the Toshiro Heavy Industries Corporation, holders of their fee for the delivery of the titanium sheeting.

Jonah set about prepping the cargo for delivery, cleaning up the cargo bay.

Toshiro’s landing complex was a spaceport in its own right, with as much traffic as places like Athens or Greenleaf. Osiris Traffic Control handed them off to the much more businesslike Toshiro Shipping Operations department, and the crew was informed that they could land at Loading Platform Epsilon, where they would be met by a crew of receivers. They were also informed that they would have a 15-minute unloading window, followed by another 15 minutes to collect their fee from the Shipper/Receiver office. Any delay beyond that, and they would be fined.

Shenmue landed on an oblong concrete pad at the edge of a massive, sloped concrete structure that made up the manufacturing complex.

The cargo bay doors had barely opened when a crew of receivers stood there waiting in their jumpsuited and safety vested glory. There was a foreman and half a dozen crate busters waiting for them.

Jonah waved the cargo documentation at the crew. “Hey boys, here it is, let’s go.”

“Cal Winters, at your service.” The foreman said. “Mind if we inspect the cargo before unloading it?”

“Knock yourselves out.” Jonah said.

Winters took the documentation, scanned it with a hand scanner attached by a lanyard to his utility belt, and the scanner then imprinted a mark on the bill of lading. He performed a visual inspection of the cargo.

“All right, looks good. Take this verified bill of lading up to the office and get yourselves paid.”

“Where’s the office?”

“What you wanna do is go down the walkway here outside the landing pad until you hit some catwalks, then you walk all the way up, can’t miss it.”

“How long does it take?” Jonah asked.

Winters smiled. “Depends on how fast you can run.”

“Okay,” Jonah said as the cratebusters went to work. A reach-stacking mobile crane slowly drove up the cargo ramp and extended its long arm, attaching itself to the pallet holding the titanium sheeting.

“Worth, keep an eye on things while I haul ass for the office,” Jonah called.

YJ strolled into the cargo bay and decided to follow Jonah.

The pair started out at a brisk pace along the concrete, and then broke out into a run as they noticed other freighter captains making a beeline for the catwalks in the distance. Jonah pulled ahead of the struggling YJ, and didn’t wait. YJ grimaced as he felt a stitch in his side burn.

Sweating and out of breath, they made it to the catwalk, which was affixed to the slanted surface of the manufacturing complex. As they caught their breath, a small cart laden with freighter crews pulled up smoothly, and the passengers disembarked, giving the pair disdainful glances as they started up the stairs, as fresh as daisies.

The Receiver’s Office was a rectangular protrusion from the edifice of the Toshiro warehouse complex, situated several flights up a network of catwalks affixed to the sloping exterior walls.

Jonah and YJ scrambled up the catwalk and joined the long line in front of the Receiver’s Office. Ahead of them was a queue of corporate transport crews, their jackets and uniforms emblazoned with the Toshiro logo.

The Receiver was short, overweight, and balding, and barked “next” as soon as they got to the front of the line.

Jonah stepped up and handed over the bill of lading.

YJ noticed that several of the other pilots were giving him and Jonah the stink eye as he was waiting. A couple of guys in particular were shooting visual daggers in his direction.

Meanwhile, back on board Shenmue, the Doc stumbled into the cargo bay and observed the shipping crew hard at work removing the titanium. “Good work, gentlemen,” The Doc slurred.

In the Receiver’s Office, YJ stepped out of line and walked over to the freight jockeys. “Is there a problem?” YJ asked.

The pilots looked at one another, then back to YJ. “Yeah there’s a problem.” The first pilot said.

“Explain it then.” YJ folded his arms.

“Where’s your union tab?” the second pilot asked, fingering a small emblem on his collar.

“Paid,” YJ said.

The pilot’s eyes narrowed. “What?”

His companion sniffed. “Scab,” he growled, and then turned away dismissively.

“Sorry I’m not part of the club.” YJ said. “Good night, boys.”

Meanwhile, the shipping officer took Jonah’s receipt, glanced at it, and said, “Looks like it’s 1750, all right?” He walked over to the cash register, and withdrew a sheaf of bills from the till, counted it out on the counter, wrapped a Toshiro paper band around it, and handed it over.

YJ paged Worth. “How are things down at the ship?”

Worth keyed open his communicator as he stepped out into the landing deck area, avoiding the titanium retrieval, and looked down the row of ships parked in a row beside Shenmue. “Looks good,” he replied.

YJ turned to Jonah. “I think we should run back.”

“Sure, let’s go as quick as we-” Jonah said, and then thought for a moment. “Why? What? We’ve got some time left, no need to kill ourselves here.”

“Yeah, we don’t.” YJ said. “We don’t, but I don’t like the way everyone’s looking at us. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’ve given us a bit of the cut-eye. They said something about union tabs and do you know what a union tab is? I don’t know what a union tab is.”

“I get it,” Jonah said.

“And we’re off,” YJ said.

As he left, Jonah turned and shouted, “Your union is Joo Fuen Chse!”

YJ nodded to the pilots who had harassed him earlier. “Keep your ear to the grindstone and hold on to those jobs, fellas.”

“Gorram scabs!” the pilot shouted, red-faced.

“Hey, easy, easy!” the Receiver shouted from behind his counter.

YJ and Jonah bolted down the catwalk in record time and hustled back along the pedestrian walkway. It didn’t take long for Jonah to notice that the duo was being tailed.

“I knew it!” YJ said as Jonah indicated the two pilots from the shipping office trying to close the distance between them.

“I can’t imagine what’s got them so upset,” Jonah said. “So, break out into a sprint in three?”

“Yeah. One, two-” and YJ bolted, leaving Jonah flatfooted behind him.

“Gorram it!” Jonah said as he began to run after Johnson.

As Jonah passed YJ, he closed a fist and aimed it for the Captain’s kidneys, but Johnson parried the blow.

“Focus, man!” YJ shouted at Jonah.

From behind them, they heard a pair of out of breath curses as the two pilots strained to keep up. One of them lost his footing and tripped, catching his partner, and they ended up in a tangle of limbs and angry shouts.

The Doc was standing at the edge of the cargo bay when YJ and Jonah ran full tilt into the cargo bay. YJ hit the door controls as he ran by. “All right, we’re going!” he said as he took the catwalk stairs two at a time. The cargo bay doors began to cycle closed.

“Business as usual,” the Doc said to himself.

Jonah stopped and threw the wad of money at the Doc. “Fill up the purse, Doc. Let’s get out of here before we get fined.” He wiped his brow with a hundred-credit bill.

YJ set about getting Shenmue prepped for lift off. “We should probably go back and pick up our wayward passengers.” He said over the comm.

“We not going to concern ourselves with repossessing that ship?” The Doc asked.

“Your call,” Jonah said. “But they believe we’re coming back. They might think we’ve abandoned them if we’re longer than a day.”

“Ah, they’ve got 20 days,” the Doc said dismissively.

“Ten days,” Jonah corrected. “You don’t want to mess the math up on that one.”

“Where’s this ship repossession supposed to be again?” YJ asked as he pulled Shenmue into the air.
“They said it was from here on Osiris,” Jonah said. “At the very least we should get back and give Whitaker and Quinn some food and water.”

“They’re good for ten days,” YJ said.

“No, they’ve got enough air for ten days,” Jonah shot back. “To be honest, Whitaker makes me nervous.”

“We should also send another payment over to Mr. Ferris,” YJ said. “We’ll go to a bank, wire the money, go repossess the ship, and then pick them up.”

Making a quick pit stop on a floating service station, Doc deposited some of their credits into an account and wired the money to Wes Ferris.

“Do we make some inquiries or do we just get Whitaker done?” Jonah asked. “Because I’m all inclined to just get rid of Whitaker, but I’m willing to go along if you wanted to try the repossession. At the very least we should go and rendezvous with them.”

“We should just get it while we can,” YJ said.

“So we should send a transmission to Quinn.” Jonah said. “Something like ‘We’re okay, we’re just going to be a little longer than expected.’”

YJ smiled. “That doesn’t usually equal good news with us.”

Jonah quickly composed a wave and sent it to the shuttle:

“Quinn, we’re going to be an extra day or so. Enjoy peeing in a can.”

A thought occurred to Jonah. “What did you guys tell the detective?”

“I told him I didn’t remember anything.” Worth said.

“Atta boy,” Jonah said.

“I told him I didn’t remember anything,” Doc said. “But I had a medical condition.”

“And I told him I got hit in the head with the plating when we had that incident on the ship,” Worth said. “So I barely remembered anything.”

“But you guys remember that detective, from before, right?” Jonah asked. “This, uh, Inspector Clouseau?”

“Yeah he was there at the scene of our last big crime, wasn’t he?” Worth said.

“Yeah, on Persephone.” Jonah said.

Worth’s paranoia suddenly kicked in. “Time out.” He motioned his companions to be quiet and indicated in crude sign language that there might be hidden ears listening to their conversation.

Jonah nodded, and mimed looking around. The crew fanned out and began to search for any bugs or listening devices, but came up empty.

Undeterred, Jonah retrieved a debugger module from his quarters and gathered everyone for a meeting in one of the unused passenger dorms, turning the debugger on. "This things puts out a field that should scramble anything trying to listen in,” he explained.

“I’m never going to be able to relax on this ship again,” Worth said. “It’s stressing me out.“

“Not until we get a Newtech scanner, because they could put anything anywhere and we couldn’t find it.” YJ said.

“Which is a problem now,” Jonah said. “Because if we take Whitaker back on this ship, and they have some fancy scanners, if what he said is right, they’ll find him in a second.”

“Lets get a new ship then,” Doc said.

“Sure, let’s buy a new ship. How much do we have?” Jonah asked sarcastically.

“No, not buy,” Doc shook his head.

Jonah’s eyes lit up. “So if we get our hands on the Desdemona…”

“Can it carry cargo?” YJ said.

“It’s a cruiser, a big ship,” Jonah said.

“And it can be used to carry passengers.” Doc Tulsa.

“Yeah but aren’t we returning it?” YJ asked.

“We didn’t agree on the route that we’d return it by,” Jonah said.

“I see what you’re saying.” YJ nodded.

“And I’m pretty much as good as YJ is behind the stick,” Jonah said.

YJ shot him a look.

“So we fly both, get them to where he’s going. Hell, don’t even take Shenmue there. Stop a couple of planets short, so even if they’ve got a locator on, no one will know where our boy has gone. And then meet up, both fly back, and drop Desdemona off wherever Ferris wants us to.” Jonah said.

“This is where it would be very helpful to have Wild Sky around,” YJ said. “She would have some gear that could scan this thing.”

“Well, how far are we from the Resort?” Jonah said. “It’s on Branson’s Mark.”

YJ consulted a star chart. “One of Shadow’s moons, right? It’s the furthest planet out from Georgia. Hell, we’re not more than a day from there, if we push it.”

“So, how do we do this?” Jonah said. “We have to keep them all alive. Now this could be tricky. Supposing that Wild Sky’s still alive, and we grab her. The problem is, if we bring her about this ship-”

“We attract attention.” Doc said.

Jonah nodded. “I guess we wouldn’t bring her on board until she knows what’s going on and how to deal with what bugs have been put in place. We can go in and retrieve her stuff if need be before she comes in so she can clean the ship up. Then get back, grab the Desdemona if it seems convenient and easy, but if it seems like it’s a long term thing then I say we just get Whitaker off to Blue Sun.”

“So you want to go to the Resort?” YJ asked.

“Well that’s where we suspect she’s at. And if we can’t get our ship cleaned up it will be hard for us to go around committing crimes.” Jonah said.

“Fair enough,” YJ said.

“Those Alliance guys did seem pretty interested in her and not our crime, so to speak. Is it wise to go straight to her after running into those guys?” Doc asked.

“Right now she’s in the hands of the last remaining Sundeen Seven. I think we’ve delayed too much as it is," Jonah said. "And the fact is, even if she was there, she sweeps the ship, and we get out of there.”

“Well, you know her better than I do,” Doc said.

Jonah laughed. “Well, nobody really knows her.” He indicated the star charts. “It’s so convenient right now I can’t imagine not going.”

“It will be interesting,” Doc admitted.

“So then, let’s go to the Resort.” YJ said.

“I need a vacation anyway,” Doc smiled.



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