Things have been downright lean for the crew of Liberation. Your last big job offer was from Badger who wanted the crew to run some of his slaves from Persephone to Newhall. Badger’s been in the slave trade for awhile, and he mainly smuggles children. The job would have paid nearly 5000 credits for a seemingly easy run. However, as soon as The Captain got wind of the fact that the slaves were children, he refused to do the job.
Badger was more than angry. He was pissed. He blacklisted Liberation just for spite. Blacklisting is usually not a big deal for a tramp freighter like Liberation, but Badger has some pull in Persephone, and its makin’ for a hard time trying to pick up work that pays well. The jobs that you have been offered would bring you too close into contact with the Alliance. You managed to get some work from Percival Chao running some Sinhon Coursers from Persephone to Bellerophon. That was three long days putting up with loud, high energy racing dogs for pay that will hardly cover your expenses. The 2000 credits sounded good at first, but with docking fees, tariffs, Chao’s cut, fuel cells, supplies, food, and crew wages it will leave very little remaining to go into the already dusty coffers. Still, Captain will have to make the tough decisions to keep the boat in the air.
Shea and Zlatana have been naggin’ about necessary repairs to the ship for weeks now, but the coffers are empty enough that there’s just no money to do anything about it. However, the ship has been experiencing brownouts from time to time, and even Quinn has started making sing-songy comments about parts needin’ fixin’. Everything the mechanics want to do is completely logical because the ship is likely to go cold fish in the middle of atmo and kill you all. Luckily, the girls are some of the best fixers around and they’ve been holdin’ the ship together with cobbled together parts, bailing wire, and duct tape. Despite all the jury-rigging, there are several problems that remain to be repaired.
The left thruster is lagging right, forcing compensation while flyin’. This has been making Quinn quite cranky but will take 250 credits to replace. The Compressor Coil on the engine housing has developed some fractures. They keep welding it, but it won’t last forever. If it goes, the ship will be dead in the water. That’s another 750 credits to be replaced. The intake manifold on the port outboard thruster has been slowly dyin’ for weeks now due to corrosion on the pipes. The girls have tried, but they can’t resolve the problem. If the corrosion busts the pipe, it could get sucked into the thruster. This could make the ship go into a spin and hurtle you mightily toward the ground. Only 500 credits to fix that problem. And last, but not least, are the brownouts. Yes, the girls have made it painfully clear that some serious work must be done on the electrical system. It’s showing age and causing power fluctuations. To do the job right, you’ll need some high-capacity line to resolve the problem running about 150 credits. But since everyone on the ship uses the Cortex – for personal and professional reasons – both mechanics have been pushing for some upgrades including a deadicated source box which will run an additional 700 credits.
To make matters worse, Liberation’s fuel cells are running dry. There’s just about enough to get docked at Persephone. After that, there’s roughly 100 hours of fuel left. And that’s drier than you’ve ever had to run before but lack of funds keep The Captain from fully filling the tank. Everyone knows fuel is expensive and its going to take about 600 credits to fill the tank completely.
The rest of the crew is bellyachin’ as well, mainly because they haven’t been paid lately. This tends to make the crew irritable at the hardships, and has made life a little more difficult living cramped in the Firefly. In fact, the only one who seems happy on board right now is Edwards, and he’s just plain crazy. He’s been a bit of a fish out of water with the crew, but at least he pays his rent on time. That’s helped a little with getting some basic needs taken care of while in dock. Honestly, the doctor and his men have come in handy. Medical folks are well respected almost anywhere. And his credentials, although suspect at times, seem to get the ship into places that a tramp freighter usually couldn’t go without a doctor aboard.
The gunslingers in the crew have made it clear that ammo and supplies are low. It’ll take about 50 credits to stock back up on ammunition, assuming that you run light on fancy stuff like grenades. Double that if you want to restock the grenades. And the Mule is running low on fuel as well. That’s another 50 credits. Not to mention that the infirmary is scarce on supplies, and the lack could result in a crew member not getting the treatment needed during a job. 100 credits will restock the medical supplies. And it’s also obvious that foodstuffs are lacking. Although Cullen does a good job of keepin’ bellies full, he’s down to protein paste and sage. Another 25 credits would go a long way to adding some goodies to the kitchen.
The Captain needs to land a decent job soon. Quinn and Randa both know that the crew needs to turn their fortunes around , and that doing so would require The Captain to kiss Badger’s ass to remove the blacklisting. The Captain knows it too, but is trying to work every angle to avoid the inevitable. Maybe, just maybe if Liberation pulls off a shiny job for Badger, the little man will take his thumb off of the crew.
The ship will arrive within the hour at Eavesdown Docks at Persephone. The Captain is going to see Percival Chao to get paid for running the dogs, and then is supposed to go see Badger about raising the blacklisting. The rest of the crew have errands to run with what little money they have in their pockets. Hopefully in about three hours time, The Captain will return to Liberation with some good news. Otherwise, it looks like the Crew will be running dogs and cattle for the foreseeable future.
Next: Wanted for Questioning