Episode Eight


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 A Fistful of Wu's


A young woman comes into a younger sixteen-year-old Louis Wu’s trailer and seems to be upset. She accuses him.

“You said that if I gave you 500 credits that I’d get pregnant. Well it’s been two months and your potion still hasn’t worked. I want my money back!” she pouted. Louis Wu leaned back in his swivel chair and grinned a broad smile.

“I think that I can help you my dear. Just step through here with me to my main consulting room where I can examine your problem. Now just lie down on the bed next to me and we’ll have a quick poke!” 

Cue Music.….

On board the Serendipity Joe went to see Captain Flint as he had a request for her. He wanted a couple of days off as he had some personal business that he wanted to deal with on Athens. Captain Flint asked that the business didn’t affect the ship before granting him permission. Flint asked him to keep in contact each day on the comm.

Pinto received a knock on his door from his mother. She tried to persuade him to stay with her on Athens at the farm, but he told her that he didn’t need her as he already had a mother. This had the effect of making her burst into tears. She said that it wasn’t her fault and he’d been taken from her when he was young. She’d tried her best and wanted to make up for all the lost years. Pinto said he was better on his own, but eventually conceded that he would stay in contact with her via waves.

Delores spoke of the farm and her family on Athens. She had not been at the farm since she was twelve when her father, mother and elder brother Bernard went missing. They had now been missing since that time and technically they should be declared dead. The family solicitor Hamilton Finlay who worked at Finlay and Capulet would have the will. Eleanor told everyone that they should get her parents declared legally dead and get the will read, so she waved the lawyers and told them that they would be dropping in.

Thomas and Dr Wu went to talk about the events of the past few days as Captain Flint brought the Serendipity in to land on Athens. The Spaceport was not far from the town within the ruined city. They’d decided to go in on the mule and at the side of the street was a woman wearing a fox costume handing out Snackabix biscuits. Suddenly she spotted something in the mule and called out. “You monster you,” she calls “You took advantage of me you beast and now you’re going to pay.” Her finger was definitely pointing to Louis Wu as Captain Flint ordered the speeder to increase in speed and get them out of there.

At the offices of Finlay and Capulet the receptionist told them that Hamilton Finlay had died some time ago but that his son George had taken on his responsibilities. She told them that she would make an appointment at 3pm.

With four hours to kill, the group decided to head over to a bar / coffee shop over the road from the lawyer’s office. As the crossed the road a well-dressed man with a woman with a kid in tow shouted at Dr Wu. “You have a cheek coming back here. I demand satisfaction from you.” With that he began to stride over towards Louis. Pinto mounted up on Horse got in the man’s way.

“Out of my way, this is none of your business, this man seduced my wife.” The man bellowed. Pinto initially stood his ground but after reflecting that Dr Wu had dishonoured the man’s wife he decided to step aside. It was obvious that the Caucasian couple with a half Chinese baby obviously had had a cuckoo in the nest somewhere. The man, who identified himself as Nigel Penhalighan, took out a riding glove from his back pocket and slapped Dr Wu on the cheek. “I challenge you to a duel tomorrow at dawn. You may choose weapons; pistols or swords?” Dr Wu replied that he would prefer pistols and asked where this duel was to take place. Mr Penhalighan replied “Next to the Cemetery so it won’t be far for you to go afterwards.” Captain Flint tried to talk to Mr Penhalighan’s wife, but Nigel Penhalighan told her that she was very angry with Dr Wu for dishonouring her.

Some research was performed in the coffee shop on both duels on Athens and on Nigel Penhalighan. Mr Penhalighan it seemed owned a ranch outside the town and had never been involved in any duels in the past. In addition they looked up Cranbourne Farm and found that the local papers had several stories about ghosts frightening off people from the farm over the years.

Around 3pm the crew headed back to the lawyers office. George Finlay had brought the will up from the vaults and read it to Delores. Her father had left the 7-acre ranch to her elder brother Bernard and some money and shares to her. In the event of her brother dying beforehand Delores was to get the ranch as well. George Finlay offered to start an action to have Delores father, mother and brother declared legally dead as they had been missing nearly forty years.

As they were coming out of the lawyers office and getting onto the mule a woman yelled out Louis name. Noticing a trend here Captain Flint decided to make a run for it and started the mule going. Unusually the woman seemed to be pleased to see Louis and he called out to her and told her he’d see her later. He remembered that her name was Lillian and that she’d worked at a General store in the town with her parents. Dr Louis Wu remembered all of his conquests.

Thomas radioed the crew as they were heading over to the farm and suggested he bring the Serendipity to the farm. The mule arrived at the farm first, followed some ten minutes later by Pinto riding up on Horse. The crew were starting to assess the ghosts (whom they soon guessed were really holograms) when the Serendipity flew by. A missile came out of the chimney and started to home in on the ship. Thomas took evasive action and the missile missed the ship and started to circle back to follow the ship again. Thomas decided to take the ship up into the upper atmosphere and hit the drives. The missiles lost their target and then locked onto the next nearest warm target.

Bau spotted that the holograms had projection units below them in the grass and spotted an automatic gun nearby the one to the right. Some tests showed that the guns fired based on movement with the judicious use of a few rocks. Pinto got some grenades out of the ship and threw them wildly at the auto-guns making some big holes in the ground. Bau extended the idea of throwing rocks at the guns to make them safe by running them out of ammunition. Thomas checked the front and back of the house and spotted a couple of extra guns in the front of the house.

Eleanor wondered how the house got power and Delores told her that the power comes in under the house. With the guns out of ammunition Bau disabled them more permanently.

Captain Flint decided to go in through the back of the house, but the outhouse did not lead to anywhere. She asked Delores for a plan of the house before they went in and she was happy to comply. Eventually Captain Flint decided to go in through the window of the kitchen and with Bau’s help she managed to break in. There were no dust on the floors and the conclusion was that it had been lived in fairly recently. Bau took the time to dismantle the remaining guided rockets in the kitchen.

Pinto and Thomas heard the sound of horsemen arrive outside. The crew took positions at the front of the house and watched as the men went up to reload the ammo in the automatic guns. They noticed that the machines had been tampered with and called out to the crew to come away from the ranch. Captain Flint said that they had the authorised owner with them, but the men refused to listen. Dr Wu noted that they were behaving oddly, almost as though they were Zombies. A gunfight ensured and Bau, Captain Flint and Pinto took out three of the four men, with the remaining one left injured. They went and checked the IDs of the gunmen and after Thomas had brought the Serendipity back closer, found that they were from neighbouring farms.

The crew searched the remainder of the ranch, and during that search Bau found a transponder in one of Delores toys that he believed formerly belonged to the Serendipity. He told the Captain about what he had found. 

The only area that they had not yet explored was the cellar. Pinto covered the cellar with his gun as one of the two doors was opened. Immediately they noticed that there was a light on in the cellar and Pinto spotted a robot very like the ones that Dr Weir had on the space station. He signalled and Bau shut the trap door. Bau threw down a cup that was destroyed by the robot, however a second attempt to do the same failed to provoke a reaction. Thomas rigged up a camera on a rope and they lowered it into the cellar. A scan around the room spotted a pool table, and the guard robot in the corner of the room with Sinead there.

Joe called in to check on how things were going and said he might have found a job for the crew.

Fey called down to Sinead and they talked, but it soon became clear to Fey that she was not talking to her sister but to another robot. This one it seemed was some kind of kinkly love robot of Dr Weir who had left her to guard something here. She said that

“Ethan took Belinda away and left me here to guard this place. He doesn’t love her, he loves me.”

Fey tried to persuade Sinead-bot to come up as they had Dr Weir hostage and he was going to die. Sinead sent up the guard robot, who Pinto promptly fed a live grenade to. The Sinead love robot realised her error and then refused to fall for the trap a second time. Pinto charged down the stairs to grapple with the Sinead robot but found she was much stronger than he was. She got him in a grip and attempts to free him by the Captain and Eleanor failed. Pinto using his weight to tip her back eventually succeeded with the Captain’s help. As the Sinead robot fell she broke a power cable. Seizing the cable Eleanor shorted out the robot.

The crew searched the next room and found the backup generators, a set of canisters containing AB negative blood, a computer, a workbench, and a large slab construction looking a bit like a medi-bed. It had both electrical wires and medical monitors that fed from the edges of the slab. The crew looted what they could from here but left the medi-bed.

Delores was advised that she might not be safe to stay here after this as Dr Weir might return. Delores said that reluctantly she would instruct her lawyers to sell the place of her childhood and buy somewhere else.

Dr Wu did an autopsy on one of the horsemen from a neighbouring ranch and found that he had a chip imbedded in his brain just as Nathaniel had. Pinto wanted to keep the horses for his mother, but reluctantly agreed to let them go. The remaining bodies were to be taken and spaced.

Dr Wu decided (against all sensible advice) to continue with his duel against Nigel Penhalighan. With Pinto acting as his second he turned up at the appropriate time to find his opponent and a crowd of about 30 people waiting for him. Thomas noted that Blanche Penhalighan and her son were talking to a couple of gentlemen wearing blue gloves. The officiator brought out the duelling pistols and told each combatant to stand back to back, take ten paces and fire. They did so and Dr Wu fire marginally ahead of Nigel Penhalighan. Against the betting Dr Wu received a non-fatal shot to the shoulder whereas Nigel Penhalighan received a near mortal wound. The doctors rushed in to help Mr Penhalighan whilst Thomas noted that Blanche Penhalighan, her son and the two men had disappeared. Once Dr Wu had noticed he searched for them but found no trace.

“You did come back to me Louis” the woman Lillian said to Dr Wu as she approached him. “Now you can meet your daughter Marie-Anne and we can get married.” Dr Wu said he’d consider it and get back to her. Amazingly he actually did consider marrying her to protect her and his daughter from the men who’d taken his son, but he concluded he couldn’t marry every woman he’d accidentally got pregnant. Dr Wu reported the kidnap of Blanche Penhalighan and ensured that Nigel Penhalighan got the best treatment.

Bau looked at the transponder and found that it had previously been called the Herodian. When he mentioned it to the rest of the crew Eleanor said that she knew that name from elsewhere. It was one of the ships on Professor Moran’s list of ships that left in secret some forty years ago, possibly to find the lost Ark Calypso.