Episode Two


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 Waltzing with Matilda


The crew bought more fuel and decided to try and make contact with the law firm representing the estate of Josiah Flint. Eleanor contacted the firm and got a hold of the secretary who informed her that Alvin Crump was unavailable at the moment but might be able to see them later in the afternoon. From her knowledge of Mr Crump she remembered his fondness for whisky and decided that in all probability he was probably drunk and the secretary was covering for him.

So the crew went about their business and agreed to meet up at the appointed time. Bau completed repairs on the ship. Joe went to his secret storage to recover much of his equipment including his armour vest. Eleanor had time to go and visit her uncle Jeremiah whilst she was on Persephone. He was delighted to see her and make tea and traditional food for her. As they ate conversation turned from the light hearted to something deeper. Jeremiah told his niece that he had been disturbed recently as the spirits of the lost members of their tribe were calling out to him in pain. As a spiritual leader of the tribe he could detect these things and felt the pain of his people. It seemed that most of the tribe fled Earth that Was in the same ark which never arrived with the other ships. Nothing has been heard of the lost ark since and it was deemed a great tragedy. Only a few of the tribe who went on other ships remain, and Jeremiah asks Eleanor to try and find them and help them. Eleanor accepts not fully understanding how Uncle Jeremiah can know these things, but accepting that his power as spiritual leader is beyond her understanding.

Around town there are a number of complaints about a security lockdown by the Alliance due to the Browncoat terrorist General Emerson. It seems that General Emerson has been in hiding for years since the war and has gradually been rebuiling his forces. Recently his attacks have been getting more and more high profile and recently he destroyed an Alliance ammo dump on Shadow.

Whilst the crew are walking around town an arrow suddenly is fired and hits Joe in the shoulder. The crew draw guns and turn to face their enemy but it seems that the assasin is gone. There is a note attached to the arrow that Joe reads to himself. It warns Joe that if he is seen around here again the next arrow will kill him. Joe's armour saves him any serious injury, but Louis Wu insists on looking at it.

Pinto and Eleanor continue looking around town until they are due to see Alvin Crump, Pinto looking nervously over his shoulder occaisionally. They passed a carnival booth advertising the amazing hairy man beast, but slightly distracted they ignored it.

The crew arrived at Mr Crump's offices to find him drinking coffee and still slightly drunk. Eleanor helped him play the video will which gave most of Josiah Flint's share of the Serendipity to his wife Fey. Unfortunately he owed a gambling debt to a man called Badger that was only part paid back. This meant that on his death the remaining debt went to him in shares of the ship. Full details of the will can be found here. It was decided to go and find Badger and tell him the news.

The crew were led in to see Badger with various of his goons surrounding them. They told Badger of the will and he seemed quite pleased. Badger said that he had a little job that needed doing and that it was something that Captain Flint with her ship would be just perfect for - transporting an Alligator called Matilda to Verbana. A deal was struck whereby Badger would give up 1% of his shares in the ship in exchange for them doing this little favour. It was agreed that the crew would do further little jobs to recover their shares in the ship. Badger told them that they could gain more money by taking on another job - he didn't mind since Matilda would only take up a small space.

Joe tried a few of his contacts in town and it seemed that a man called Jergen Vals wanted to transport some twenty horses to Verbana. Pinto was keen on the idea of transporting horses right up to the point when he heard who it was for when he went back to the ship and refused to go and help citing "local troubles".

Eleanor was assigned the task of finding some additional passengers for the trip to Verbana. Using her charm and professional manner she was able to find a married couple who were going to the fair on Verbana. She also managed to pick up a Catholic Novice called Brother Murphy who was going to a Religeous conference there. They decided to put Brother Murphy in the spare cabin, the married couple in one shuttle and the Alligator Matilda in the other one. The Alligator was sedated by Louis Wu and sign put on the door saying "Beware - Alligator" so that there was no mistakes. Unfortunately Dr Wu was not a vet and gave the Alligator a slow acting stimulant instead.

Joe and Nathaniel went to Jergen Vals ranch to pick up the horses. They were installed in the cargo bay with straw matting put down. Pinto briefly spotted Nancy running about the ship, as no-one had secured her in a cage from the Will.

Part way through the journey Bau feels a stabbing pain and the power goes down on the ship. He begins to investigate and heads for the cockpit. Fearing for the horses Pinto heads down to the cargo bay and he notices that one of the horses is looking a bit sickly.

Meanwhile the Aligator Matilda panicks in the dark. Fuelled by the drug cocktail that Louis Wu gave him that made him hyper he escaped his chains. The passenger Ray not able to see in the dark went back into the wrong shuttle and was savaged to death by Matilda.

Bau takes off the panel underneath the main flight deck and begins to investigate. It seems the main power cable has been gnawed through. He reports this to the captain and Nancy is imediately suspected. He also notices that there is a secret door behind the wiring. Fiddling about he opens it and finds a crate behind there. He decides to leave this for later and fix the broken wiring. As he is fixing it he notices a bomb hidden to the left of where he is working. The counter on the bomb reveals that they have about 3 hours left before it explodes.

The Captain orders Joe to go and check on the Aligator. Joe finds that the door is open and the young man they took on as passenger is dead in the shuttle. The chains are lying in ruins on the floor, but there is no sign of the beast. Nathaniel goes down to help Joe look for the Aligator, whilst the Captain heads to the bridge to look at the bomb. Bau deterimes that the bomb has a signal that goes out to two other bombs on board the ship. If they are dismantled in the wrong order then they will blow up. Bau having fixed the wiring gets the power back on. He works out that by traingulation that the other two bombs are in the engine room and the cargo bay. A search of the cargo bay reveals nothing, but Bau finds the one in the engine room.

Just as he does so there is a comm from an Alliance Cruiser - the Utopia. They wish to come aboard and inspect the ship as part of a routine search. Captain Flint tells them that they have problems with Navigation and cannot comply, setting a course away from the Cruiser. The Utopia closes in on them and orders them to stop else they will be fired upon. A warning shot is fired and the Captain is forced to take evasive action ....

Meanwhile down in the cargo bay on the top gantry Joe and Nathaniel have found Matilda. The Alligator is looking not at all happy and snarls at them. They decide to attempt to grapple the Alligator and as they do the ship takes evasive action. This slams the 'gator into the gantry knocking it unconscious. Louis Wu catiously administers some sedative and Joe and Nathaniel carry Matilda back to the shuttle where she is tied up again and locked in. Pinto notices Nancy chasing a rat in the hay. It seems that Nancy has been unfairly maligned as the straw was infested with rats.

Captain Flint apologises for their non compliance and says she has shut the engines down so that the Alliance Cruiser can board. She confesses that they have bombs on board and request help from the Alliance with bomb disposal experts. Lieutenant Ash Hunter says that he will bring some people whilst he is searching the ship to verify Capatin Flint's story. He sounds very distrusting. They will be able to dock in some fifteen minutes.

Meanwhile the search in the cargo bay for the last bomb narrows down on the sickly horse. Electrical readings confirm that it is in the belly of the horse. Bau decides to take action and shoots the horse in the head. This leads to a confrontation with Pinto who felt that they could have removed the bomb in a more humane way. Bau said that they didn't have time. The stand off over a gun battle continues for a minute or so, and eventually Pinto tells Bau that he won't forget this.

Bau determines that the horse bomb is the first one that needs deactivating. He together with help from Joe and Nathaniel spend time deactivating the bomb. Meanwhile the Captain goes to meet the Alliance contingent who are about to board. Lieutenant Hunter is very distrusting and slightly obnoxious. He orders his men to search the ship for contraband as he knows that "These Fireflies have lots of little boltholes to store stuff in." He orders two other men to go and help Bau, but they don't seem to be particularly knowledgeable about deactivating bombs. Lieutenant Hunter spots Nathaniel Grade and sarcastically refers to him as "The hero of Athens". He goes on to deride the traitor who couldn't follow orders. Nathaniel bites his lip and doesn't rise to the bait.

Pinto heads back to his quarters and sees a Tell from Persephone. It is from Jergen Vals gloating that this is what happens to people who steal from him. He trusts that Pinto will be happy in hell. It seems that Jergen Vals, unhappy that Pinto stole his prize racehorse found out that he was on the Serendipity and decided to take some revenge. Pinto decided it best to inform the Captain of his discovery.

Eleanor decides to go and give the bad news to the young man's wife and try and console her. She determines that she needs the woman to waive any liability in case she makes a claim against the ship. The woman is very upset, but Eleanor's smooth manner manges to calm her down and see that it was her husband's fault for entering the wrong shuttle.

Bau with help from Joe and Nathaniel deactivates all the bombs with 40 minutes to spare. Bau decides to keep the explosives for his own use later. Lieutenant Hunter declares that the search has revealed nothing, but warns Captain Flint not to be evasive when faced with an Alliance Cruiser again. Bau then heads up to the bridge to "finish up repairs" and he takes the box from its hiding place. The box is marked "For the Attention of Dr Kinsala" and contains one hundred flasks labelled with numbers and a encoding. Bau decides to show his find to the rest of the crew. Louis Wu determines that they are some type of genetic samples. A few of them seem to have spolied. Captain Flint determines that there is not much that can be done with them now without the correct equipment, so they are hidden again until later.

The ship lands on Verbanna and the Alligator handed over. It seems that Matilda is going to be used at the fair for a bit of Alligator wresting for money. Joe and Nathaniel feel they've already done enough of that as it is. The horses are handed over to the guy running the fair. He pays them (less the one missing horse who died) and does not seem suprised to see them. It seems that he was not involved in the plot to kill them with Jergen Vals. Having been paid for a successful trip Captain Flint says that they can visit the fair for a bit of R&R ......