Episode Four


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 Love and Bullets.


A gypsy woman in the Bazaar on Panquin accosts Eleanor and persuades her to have her fortune told. She is told that the one she who will lead her to her goal is tall dark and handsome and is here. He is strong but has been changed and is in pain. Beware of hidden enemies who will try and stop you.

Cue music ......

Louis, Eleanor, Joe, Nathan and Pinto are going down the street when a bald man calls Louis Wu a thief and a con-man. It seems he sold the man a hair restorer some years ago. The man gets his body guards to go over to pummel Louis, and Nathan steps in to stop them trying to intimidate the thugs. Joe starts sneaking round to the bald guy. Louis eventually agrees to give the money back to the bald guy - some 200Cr.

A man (Bill) accosts Joe in the street and they go off to talk about a job. Eleanor and Pinto see the carnival show with the "hairy man" that they saw on Persephone as Eleanor got the feeling that she needed to see it. Inside they see a man with black fur and feline teeth. Eleanor noticed that he was West African and spoke to him in her native language. He seemed to understand but didn't respond. She asked to buy him off the carnival holder, but he wanted 3000Cr and instead she took some fur for a DNA sample.

Joe returned and told everyone he had a meeting with a potential client in the Travellers Inn. She was a Companion who wanted something recovered that was stolen from her. At the meeting Delores Cranbourne (52) told them that about a month ago a man called Brin Morgan was taken on as a client, but after she had conducted her business and he'd left she noticed that her necklace with a pendant on it was missing. She did some research and found that he worked for a Senator on Londinium who wanted to hurt her. The Senator's name was Walter Jarrett and they'd had dealings in the past and he wanted to hurt her which is why he'd taken the locket. She was willing to pay 5000Cr for the recovery of the locket which had sentimental value. She was asked more about the necklace but told them it was personal. The deal was agreed.

Joe checked out the carnival and discovered that most of them would be off to Hera in a couple of weeks.

On the trip Gau Baum Lim noticed that there was a cracked casing that would need repairing once the ship got to Londinium. It would take a few days. After realising some of the costs involved a belated 1000Cr deposit for the job was asked of Delores who paid without fuss.

Some research was done on Brin Morgan and it transpired that he was an architect who'd designed the security on Senator Jarrett's house. Research was also done on Delores and it transpired she was indeed a companion.

On Londinium Fey and Joe went up the HG Tower (tall tower in the centre of Londinium) to recover the disk Alleyne stole. The disk was on the roof of the revolving restaurant and Fey provided a distraction whilst Joe slipped through the door and climbed on the roof to recover the disk.

Louis, Eleanor, Pinto and Nathan went to the hospital to get Nathan checked out. They waited 2.5 hours in accident and emergency before Nathan was seen by a doctor. Nathan went in with Louis Wu. The doctor initially said that such a scan would take months as there were others in the queue, but on seeing Nathan's medical record the doctor changed his mind and said they'd do it as soon as possible. Of course they'd need to give him and anaestic before they scanned him. Louis looked over at the computer screen and saw a message written across the file - "If seen report to Dr Weir." Louis tried to warn Nathan, but Nathan seemed happy to go along with it.

Eleanor and Pinto took the DNA from the cat/human creature and also some of her DNA to a clinic to see if they were related. After 3 hours they got the results. The cat/human thing had part Panther and part human DNA and was of her racial type (although not directly related).

Back at the ship the crew examined the disk and found that it was encrypted with heavy military encryption. Louis Wu was not able to crack it. Joe knew a guy on Santo called Kevin Davy who might be able to break the encryption. A background check was made on Dr Weir and what little information was left was that he was 42, born on Osiris and attended university there and got a degree in Robotics. All other information was security restricted.

Meanwhile thoughts turned towards getting Delores necklace back. Eleanor decided to contact Brin's firm and make an appointment. The secretary she spoke to said he was "tied up" today but agreed to get Brin to call her back that night. Brin did as his secretary promised (a good looking man with slicked black hair and glasses) and said he could meet Eleanor and the man she was representing at breakfast. Eleanor pushed and implied her client was from Sihon and thus Chinese and got him to meet them that night at the Poison Ivy Restaurant at 9pm.

Louis was co-opted into the role of the client and dressed to impress. At the restaurant (with Pinto and Joe acting as chaperones) it soon became clear that Brin fancied Louis and thus swung both ways. He invited Louis to go dancing with him at Club Flamingo and first they'd get changed. Joe went off to get Louis a change of clothes whilst Brin took him back to his apartment. Joe and Pinto got some tranquillisers to use on Brin and handed them to Louis whilst they handed him over his change of clothes.

At Club Flamingo Louis drank and danced with Brin until he went off to the loo. Then he slipped the tranquillisers in his drink and waited for them to work. Pinto and Joe came in to help the "drunk" Brin out of the club and back to the ship.

Brin was tied up, gagged and a bag put over his head. A liberal dose of Sodium Pentathol was administered to Brin. Under drugs and duress Brin admitted that the reason he'd taken the object was because the Senator had some blackmail photos on him. He told them about the security he'd built in the Senator's house (for nothing). Joe wanted the plans from Brin's office, but Brin wouldn't give them the login after Louis had hacked across to his office. A promise was made to try and get the blackmail photos back from the Senator, though it held little validity. Brin resisted all attempts at fake torture to reveal the password until an additional amount of Sodium Pentathol was administered and he revealed the password before he went under.

Joe studied the plans and together with Pinto decided on a plan. Brin's wallet was examined and 1000Cr were removed. No one's morals seemed to object to this, although they did seem to stretch to not using the man's credit cards. A plan was formulated by way of buying an old shuttle and programming it to crash into the side of the building where the comms room was to shut off the signals in the collection room. Then Joe and Pinto would "arrive" dressed as policeman and try to evacuate the place, getting the necklace back in the process.

The plan went seemingly OK as the shuttle crashed in the right place. Pinto and Joe went in and got past security easily enough. Joe went upstairs to the collection whilst Pinto waited downstairs. Then everything went belly up. The Senator came to the balcony and saw Pinto and said

"What are you doing here?" In response Pinto claimed that he was here to evacuate everyone in case the building collapsed. The Senator once again demanded

"Which one are you?" To which Pinto made up a false name and repeated his claim to be evacuating people. The Senator fed up with this called the guards to take Pinto and took him around the safe side of the house to where the swimming pool was.

Meanwhile Joe negotiated the collection room and cracked the safe surprisingly quickly. He took the pendant and replaced it with a fake one. Then he rushed out to the bedroom at the pool side of the house.

The Senator was explaining that Pinto he was one of the twin sons that the whore (Delores) bore after his liaison. He took them away from her and ensured they had good homes with good families so that his children would grow safely. He asked again for Pinto's name and he replied "Harrison".

The Senator told him that his parents "Alan and Deborah" really wanted a son and were glad to adopt him. Pinto asked where his brother was (after prompting on the comm) and the Senator replied that when he last heard his brother was on Santo.

Then Joe shot one of the guards from the window. The second guard returned fire and missed. Pinto drew his pistol and shot the second guard dead before taking the Senator hostage. He said he still did not believe the Senator but his actions said otherwise. Briefly they gave the comm link to the Senator so that Delores could tell him she had found again the twin boys that he had hidden from her all these years. Joe got the guards to drop all their weapons and they then stole one of the Senator's air cars leaving him as a hostage. The Senator was calm and assured and told them that they would not hurt him. Pinto struck him to proving otherwise, drawing blood from his lip. The Senator merely approved of the nasty streak in his son. The Senator told them that they were being tracked and that he could smooth things over with the police. They asked him to do it, realising that the police were probably tracking this car and their comms. The Senator made a call, saying

"Two of my guards were killed in the shuttle crash and were badly burnt. See that it happens."

Realising that they were not going to get away if they killed the Senator and that he was going to do nothing to his son they decided to stop at the spaceport and let the Senator have his car back.

Meanwhile in the ship Fey had put in a tell to Pinto's parents and got them to corroborate the story. They did a blood test on the blood Pinto got from the Senator and Delores to conclusively prove that they were Pinto's parents. The tests came back from the DNA lab three hours later to reveal the full truth to Pinto. Brin Morgan was released from captivity (less 1000Cr) and advised not to mention the kidnapping to anyone. Gau Bau Lim finished the ship repairs and Nathan came back to the ship looking pale and groggy. He said he'd be ready to fly soon ......