The crew was heading towards the fair when suddenly
Gau Bau Lim's eyes rolled in his head and he began thrashing about wildly. The
others rushed to him as he dropped to the floor.
Young Bau was playing when his mother came bringing a
strange white man wearing a tweed suit with her.
"Bau its time for your tests again. Go with Uncle Harland sweetie."
His mother said.
Bau followed the strange man, slightly intimidated by
him to a room with a single desk in a trailer. Uncle Harland tried to talk to
Bau nicely in that strange intimidating way that some adults have.
"Now Bau I'm going to take a card from the deck.
I want you to tell me what it is without looking." He said.
"I don't know - Six of Spades" young Bau
said quickly. The man shook his head and placed a wooden block on the table.
"Now I want you to move this without touching it,
just using your mind." Uncle Harland said. Bau desperately wanting to get
out of this place put on a show of struggling to try and move it without
More tests later and Uncle Harland was filling crosses
in all the columns on his clipboard.
"It looks like you're not developing as we
expected." Uncle Harland said. "Still another ten to check."
Feeling a failure Bau left crying...
Cue Music ....
Bau awoke at the fair lying on the ground in the
recovery position. Dr Wu was advising the others what to do, and Captain Flint
was worried for her crewmember.
"He's just had a fit. I assume its something he
gets regularly." Dr Wu said. Bau confirmed that he'd had fits intermittently
throughout his life and that he soon recovered from them. Captain Flint
commented quietly to some of the others that they would need to keep an eye on
this when Bau was in a dangerous situation as it could jeopardize things.
The crew headed on to the fair and Pinto was soon at
the rifle range showing off his prowess with the gun. Even with the sight
skewed slightly to the right he was able to notch up a more than respectable
score and win a huge stuffed turtle. Nathaniel and Joe also showed that they
too could shoot well and also won themselves large plush turtles. The crew took
a further look around the fair and then Pinto, Eleanor, Dr Wu and Nathaniel
decided to head further into the town and try and find something to drink.
There was a large inn in the town and on going in Pinto ordered a whiskey. The
barman poured him a shot and he took a gulp. Eleanor asked the barman what else
he had. Not being used to being asked this question he tentatively said they
had water as well. So it was that the others all ordered a whiskey each.
Eleanor and Dr Wu were not used to whiskey and the less than smooth vintage
they served at this bar was quite a shock to them both. Pinto began chatting to
one of the local girls and seemed to be doing fairly well.
Meanwhile outside near the outskirts of the fair by
the speaker’s platform Captain Flint, Bau and Nathaniel lined up to listen to
the opening speech by Captain Wildheart under the large banner proclaiming
“ALLIANCE REWARDS THOSE WHO REWARD THEMSELVES".
“Thanks to the good Alliance people of Verbena, our
shoe factory is opening ten days ahead of schedule. Verbena was scarcely
surviving, barely more than a piece of barren rock, but now with the Alliance
factory opening you and your families will be able to lead full and satisfying
Then a huge massive explosion blew out the factory.
Debris flew all over the place and people were running around in panic. Those
that could stomach the whiskey quickly downed it before racing out of the bar
to see what was going on.
"Damn treacherous Browncoats," shouts came
from the crowd.
Captain Wildheart seemed to be urgently ordering men
around, some to set up a field hospital for the injured, and others to try and
settle down the crowd. Captain Flint found Nathaniel and suggested that he go
and warm up the engines in case they needed to leave. Captain Flint edged
closer to try and hear what the officers were talking about and learnt that
they already had a suspect. A deputation around Captain Wildheart was baying
for Browncoat blood as they'd ruined the chances of a recovery on Verbana now
that the shoe factory was destroyed.
Captain Wildheart stood up and told people not to
panic and that they would have everything under control soon. Louis Wu headed
to the field hospital and made his services available as a doctor. Several of
the injured were being ferried in using Alliance troops, and Dr Wu did his best
to save them.
Captain Wildheart ordered that all ships would be used
for the pursuit of the suspect who had made off in a small shuttle. There would
be a CR 5,000 reward for the capture of the suspect. Bounty hunters would be
assigned to each of the ships to assist in the search. Captain Wildheart gave
Lieutenant Hunter a picture and pointed to the Serendipity. Lieutenant Hunter
came over to Captain Flint whilst Captain Wildheart disappeared away towards
"Since your ship is the closest I'll be coming
along on it in the pursuit. Captain Wildheart will be monitoring the progress
from the base. Oh and we'll have a couple of local bounty hunters along for
their local knowledge." He stated as though there was no argument on the
subject. He handed Captain Flint the picture of the suspect - one Alleyne Hill.
The two bounty hunters Gunter and Mather seemed to be local men who wanted
revenge on the suspect. Gunter chatted happily to Pinto about their guns and
showed not a scrap of good sense. Captain Flint questioned Lieutenant Hunter
further about the suspect.
As soon as Louis Wu was aboard from the field
hospital, Lieutenant Hunter gave the vector co-ordinates of the shuttle to
Nathaniel Grade - with a number of snippy comments about following his orders.
Nathaniel found that his head was starting to throb slightly. Captain Flint
shared the information she had with her crew and they determined they needed to
ditch the two bounty hunters as soon as they could. It seemed that the suspect
Alleyne Hill had been taken on as an electrical engineer in the factory. The
explosion happened in an area that she had been working and what is more she
had stolen the shuttle and taken off south soon after the explosion. Further
she had a record with the Alliance for graffiti and stealing and had spent some
time in a young offenders institution. Lieutenant Hunter was clear in his mind
that she was guilty.
Nathaniel noticed despite his headache that the
shuttle had started to follow a regular pattern and he determined that it had
in fact been put on autopilot and that the occupant had probably ditched
earlier. He tracked back the course to the shores of a large lake where she
probably had ditched. He notified the Captain, who told him to continue, as she
wanted to ditch the bounty hunters. The shuttle continued for a while until it
eventually ran out of fuel in a forest. They landed the Serendipity nearby and
they went to explore the shuttle remains. They found little as expected, and
suggested that perhaps Gunter and Mather remain here to try and see if they
could track the culprit whilst the ship backtracked on her trail. Lieutenant Hunter
agreed to this, but disappointingly said that he would stay with the ship and
fill in Captain Wildheart on progress.
The lake had at its centre a huge Cathedral on an
island. As they flew over Nathaniel noticed the instruments behaving strangely
and he determined that there was some kind of interference coming from the
island. Since the tide was low now the causeway that was available to cross to
the island. Joe, Bau, Pinto and Eleanor went across whilst Captain Flint,
Nathaniel and Dr Wu stayed with the ship and the Lieutenant. Pinto determined
that tracks on the beach into the water headed to the Cathedral. They crossed
and were met at the door by a Priest who requested that they leave their guns
at the entrance. They complied and headed into the Cathedral to be met by
Father Allesandro Valerio. He told them that there was an enclave of Bishops
going on at present but that they were welcome to come in and pray or take
confession should they wish.
Eleanor asked about the young girl who had recently
come here and was told that she had requested Sanctuary, which had been
granted. She was currently getting changed, but they could talk to her later.
Eleanor explained to the others the legal situation revolving around the
principle of Sanctuary in a church and that the Alliance could not come in here
and storm the Cathedral to get her. Bishop Lorenzo Marques came out to talk to
them in a friendly manner. Bau spotted a man in Church robes sneaking around
the top balcony and decided to go and check out the "Ninja Priest".
Joe tried to communicate back with the ship but found
that the comms were being interfered with somehow. As he took them to visit
Alleyne, the Priest Father Valerio explained that the Cathedral was built on
the site of a miraculous healing that took place here some 100 years ago and
that as a result was a holy place. The healing was attributed to God although
scientists had determined there was a strong natural magnetic field here, which
Alleyne Hill was wearing an ill fitting Priestly robe
over her slight frame. Her wet hair was now drying and she was slightly shocked
to see the visitors enter the room with the Priest. The Priest spoke calmly
saying that she was still under the churches protection and that these people
merely wanted to talk to her. Alleyne declared that she was innocent and that
she was being framed by the Alliance based on her past misdemeanors. Joe asked
her why she had run and she told them that it was because she was fearful that
the Alliance would try to pin this on her. The group left with the Priest and
went back downstairs.
Meanwhile in the upper balcony the "Ninja
Priest" sidled up to Bau who was looking for him. He introduced himself as
Cardinal Santo Russo and told Bau that he was an abomination to God and that he
was the enemy of the church. Bau asked the Cardinal to elaborate, as he was
stunned at the sudden accusation.
"You are not born of God via a man and a woman. You are an abomination and
should be killed." The Cardinal replied. When asked how he could tell
this, the Cardinal explained that he was a special envoy to the pope
specifically appointed to root out this evilness from the Alliance and
eliminate it. Bau decided it was best if he got out of the Cathedral quickly
and headed out to the shoreline to signal to the Serendipity.
At this point there was another explosion in the
upstairs room. Joe was first to react and headed up to where Alleyne was. To
his relief Alleyne was unhurt, but a room a little down the corridor had been
destroyed. It was where Alleyne’s clothes were. Joe determined from his
knowledge of explosives and the debris that there had been a small bomb,
probably placed in one of Alleyne's shoes. Joe waved off the others and said
that he wanted to talk with Alleyne alone. Joe identified himself as her
cousin, citing his knowledge of the family to gain Alleyne's trust, and asked
her if she really did it. At this point she opened up and told him that she had
hated the Alliance for a long time since her mother had told her that father,
Graham Suddenham, had been unfairly imprisoned and killed by the Alliance. This
was why he had never married her and had left them alone. She had gotten into
trouble, rebelling with graffiti and petty theft. She had broken into the high
security Boros shipyards on a whim and stolen a disk, which she had gone to
juvenile prison for. Once she got out she'd been met by a woman called Jade Zho
who she'd met in a bar on Panquin and recruited her to strike a blow against
the Alliance. She was surprised when she was told that people had died as she'd
been told no one would be in the factory when it exploded. She was due to be
picked up here by the resistance, but after her shoe exploded she knew that
she'd been double-crossed. She now had little hope since she could not go back
to the rebels - who obviously wanted her dead so that she could not tell the
Alliance about them, and could not let the Alliance capture her.
Joe who knew differently who her father really was,
told her that he'd see what he could do to help her. He went back down and told
the others an edited version of what Alleyne had told him and convinced them
that they ought to help Alleyne.
Meanwhile back on the ship Lieutenant Hunter had
contacted Captain Wildheart and requested backup from a drop ship. These troops
had come down and started exploring the perimeter. The tide had come in and
covered the causeway meaning that the only way that they could get across was
by shuttle. Captain Flint, together with Louis Wu piloted the shuttle across
the lake, obstensively to pick up Bau who was signaling, but also to take
Lieutenant Hunter and two of his men across.
Lieutenant Hunter headed to the Cathedral and was met
by the Priest on the door. Hunter ordered the Priest to hand over Alleyne Hill
who was a suspect in a terrorist outrage. The Priest calmly explained that the
young lady was granted Sanctuary by the church. Lieutenant Hunter brashly told
the Priest it was his civic duty to hand her over and if he didn't he was a traitor.
After a few more of Hunter's threats the Priest told Hunter that he would not
be allowed in the church with his men. Hunter threatened dire consequences.
Captain Flint having spoken briefly to Bau entered the
Cathedral with Dr Wu. Joe apprised Captain Flint of the situation and there was
some discussion on whether they should help Alleyne or hand her in for the
reward. Pinto wondered if there was a secret tunnel out from the church and
they determined to try and find out. Eleanor spoke to Bishop Marques and told
him that they were in an awkward situation, citing the example of the previous
case to back up her argument. It would be better all round if the crew of the
Serendipity took the problem of Alleyne away from the church. She asked if
perhaps there was a secret way out of the Cathedral. The Bishop said that
indeed there was a secret tunnel that went out through the crypt under the
water into the forest. A plan was formed whereby Joe would smuggle Alleyne out
of the Cathedral via the tunnel. Joe and Pinto checked the tunnel out to see
where it would come out so that they could come back across this way later.
Meanwhile Louis Wu was startled by Cardinal Russo
sidling up behind him. Like Bau he was told he was an abomination not formed by
God and that the Catholic Church wanted to eliminate such abominations from the
world. Louis Wu asked how he could tell that he was an abomination and the
Cardinal took him up to a secret room above the entrance where he showed Louis
a series of screens. One of them did a genetic analysis via a bioscan and
showed anomalies in his DNA.
"You have been created by man's tinkering, trying
to play God. The church will not permit this, and next time we see your kind
you will be eliminated. I already have been absolved of my sins in this by the
Pope himself." Louis did not wish to stay in the church and headed back
outside. Captain Flint began to head out but was caught by the Cardinal who
wanted a word. He could see that she was a good Catholic and it was her duty to
obey the word of God. She had a number of abominations on her ship who were not
born of God and she should search her conscience and remove them from the world
before God's anger came down upon them. Shocked Captain Flint made no promises
and left the Cathedral. She piloted them all back across the lake to the
Meanwhile Captain Wildheart had arrived to take
control over operations here. Lieutenant Hunter wanted to storm the Cathedral,
but Captain Wildheart said that they must use a diplomatic solution. She
determined to take some diplomats across to the Cathedral to negotiate.
Lieutenant Hunter was visibly not in agreement with the decision, but had to
comply with the Captain's orders.
Meanwhile Joe headed back into the Cathedral to get
Alleyne and Pinto prepared the mule with Horse's dung to take outside into the
woods. The Alliance troopers took one look at the dung and let him go through.
Pinto met up with Joe and Alleyne at the entrance in the woods and hid Alleyne
under the dung. He then headed back to the ship in the mule.
Whilst Alleyne was showering off the stench of the
dung, Captain Flint requested permission to leave since the Alliance now had
control of the situation. This was granted and they took off. Then the debate
began on whether they should give Alleyne up for the reward or should help her
escape. There was some debate about it and Bau and Benjamin wanted to give her
up for the reward. Eventually Captain Flint was persuaded to help Alleyne.
Benjamin took this decision badly and said that he couldn't work on a ship,
which made poor decisions such as this. He wanted out and was open to offers
for his share of the ship. Joe had money stashed away and volunteered to buy
out his share. They dropped Benjamin off in Verbana town and refueled where
they decided what to do with the fugitive Alleyne. It was agreed that she could
not stay on the ship and that she'd have to be dropped off somewhere. Initially
it was decided to head for Athens to drop her off there.
Meanwhile Louis Wu and Pinto (who both fancied
Alleyne) turned on the charm with her. Much as Pinto thought that he was a
ladies man, his chat up lines lead something to be desired. The handsome Dr Wu
however was much more of a catch and Alleyne fell for his charms. Pinto stormed
off slightly disgruntled that he'd been beaten in the art of wooing.
Nathaniel's headaches were starting to get worse and
Dr Wu did not have the equipment on the ship to find out what the problem was.
He would need to get to a hospital on one of the core planets to get a check
Part way through the journey to Athens, Joe had his
father to ask for his help with Alleyne. His father confirmed that both Joe's
Aunt and himself were being watched. He said he'd help, giving Joe a contact on
Panquin who could help Alleyne get a new identity. So the ship was turned
around and it was decided to head towards Panquin. Captain Flint was interested
about the disk and determined that it was a disk that was stolen from her
father's office. She questioned Alleyne about the disk and found that she had
hidden it on the top of a tower on Londinium. Alleyne said she had no need of
the disk and that Captain Flint could have it if she wanted.
Captain Flint decided that they would go to Panquin to
drop off Alleyne and try and get another job that would take them to Londinium.
There they would recover the disk and Nathaniel could get his brain scanned at
On Panquin Joe soon made contact with the man his
father had set up to meet him and he was able to get Alleyne set up with a new
identity. Louis Wu did not seem all that upset that Alleyne was leaving him and
happily set about looking at the flasks that were hidden in the compartment at
the front of the ship....