The Crew of LIBERATION arrived at the RIM’S DREAM slightly ahead of schedule. Benjamin, Randa, and Mack remained on LIBERATION while everyone else jammed into Shuttle Two, The Whoop Chicken. Thanks to some quick work from Quinn and Randa, the ship arrived undetected allowing the Whoop Chicken shuttle to disengage and head towards the V.I.P docking bay at Level 3. Meanwhile, LIBERATION started the process of docking with the Luxury Liner at the standard port.
Randa and Quinn both access The Rim’s Dream’s Information Matrix using their Cortex datapads. Among the various entertainment advertisements, they discover that the ship has been having some issues with lighting around the Grand Lobby and the Weapons Detector at the main docking bay. They both find this to be a might odd. They also managed to get the Manifest detailing all major crew members, guests, and cargo. They were surprised to find that most of the crew were active Alliance, but most of them were charged with various criminal offenses.
Doctor Edwards noticed that the pilot, one Sheila Grabowski, has several offenses linked to Possession of Controlled Substances. Her major offenses appeared to be unauthorized use of Desoxyn. Her file reported that she was a competent pilot. However, after paying her way through flight school, she had been in debt and was unable to hang onto money that she received. This was due to a recent diagnosis of Desoxyn Addiction. Suddenly, Edwards devised a cunning plan!
Additionally, the Manifest has strange documentation about a Blue Sun Corporation medical facility on Level 7 of Rim’s Dream. The documentation is purposefully vague, only indicating that it is a medical facility for weapons development. This perked the interest of several of the Crew, especially when Edwards realized that the Crew Manifest listed several Alliance physicians connected to Project: ORACLE dealing with Human Experimentation.
Under the pretense of a delivering some crunchy Desoxyn, otherwise known as Methamphetamine to Sheila, Doctor Edwards is able to get the Whoop Chicken into the Level 3 docking bay usually reserved from V.I.P. guests. The crew on Whoop Chicken noticed right away that the Star Voyager was present, and so were several Alliance Stormtroopers. Everyone else remained on the shuttle while Edwards went out to carry out the delivery of the “medication.”
Quinn noticed the laboratory set up in the rear of the Whoop Chicken, and came to the realization that Edwards has been using the shuttle as a mobile drug lab. She isn’t sure how Benjamin will react to the fact that LIBERATION is acting as a mule for Edward’s drug trafficking.
Meanwhile, the captain has been told to expect them, so they have no difficulty docking with the cruise liner. The crew is instructed to remain in the bay and await further orders. In time, Templeton Steele arrives, alone. Once he heard that LIBERATION had docked, he ordered his two bodyguards and attorney to remain in the Honeymoon Suite to guard the Blue Diamond necklace. He arrives in the bay and speaks with Benjamin. Steele knows that Lilianna is supposed to remain on board LIBERATION until it’s time for the wedding breakfast, but he wants to see Lilianna and make certain she’s safe. He also wants to have some time with his wife-to-be, regardless of her feelings on the manner.
Back with Doctor Edwards on Level three, the female pilot, Sheila, arrives escorted by two plainclothes bodyguards. She escorts Edwards to the Medical Bay on Level 2. The Medical facility is staffed by a doctor and two nurses. It can provide medical services for four people at a time. There is a small operating theater, for use only in case of emergency. Extremely ill patients are transported to the nearest Alliance hospital. Edwards is taken to a private room within the Infirmary, and he presents the Methamphetamine offering Sheila to check it’s purity with a “taste.”
Sheila refuses, stammering about how she can tell by looking at it that’s it’s good product. Edwards suddenly realizes that Sheila has none of the usual features of long term Meth addiction. The toxic ingredients in meth lead to severe tooth decay known as “meth mouth.” The teeth become black, stained, and rotting, often to the point where they have to be pulled. The teeth and gums are destroyed from the inside, and the roots rot away. This woman’s teeth were perfect. White. Unstained.
Edwards flips his game, deciding to pretend that this was some kind of Alliance operation. He flashes his out-of-date Indent Card, and starts ranting about how she was the sloppiest Alliance operative he’s ever met. His loud fast talking unsettles Sheila enough that she blows her cover. She blurts out that she is a Companion hired by the Baron to make sure that Edwards arrives and remains on The Rim’s Dream.
Sheila’s real name is Nova Norling, a registered Companion. The Baron hired Nova and she can’t break a contract or it could mean that she would lose her commission. However, Nove knows that Templeton Steele is a bad person, and wants to warn Lilliana about him.
Back at LIBERATION, Templeton Steele was becoming frustrated with the Captain. After some back and forth between the two, Benjamin finally agrees to let the arms dealer on to the boat. He asked Randa to please escort the visitor down to the guest lounge. Once he has his back turned, Benjamin cracks him in the back of the head with his trusty pistol. Steele goes down hard, and Randa hog-ties him for safe keeping. The bridegroom would no longer be an annoyance.
Randa begins the process of hacking Templeton’s banking account to drain the creep dry. She transfers a large sum of credits through a few dummy accounts, and then into an account she created for situations like this. Also, she makes sure that Templeton makes a few charitable donations to some of Randa’s favorite charities, including the one that Lilliana founded.
Meanwhile, Randa and Abel went up to Templeton’s suite to try to scope out for the Blue Diamond. They were disheartened to find that Steele’s two bodyguards and attorney were still waiting in the suite. Randa expertly presented herself as a prostitute hired by Templeton for some pre-nuptial entertainment. Abel played the strong, silent type pretending to be the muscle. They decided to leave the suite for the time being, and excused themselves from the situation.
Back at the Whoop Chicken, Quinn worked her magic to access the Cortex and figure out where Daniel was being held. Although he was not mentioned by name, there was a standing medical order to have one of the physicians complete an hourly check on a male located in the Baron’s STAR VOYAGER.
The Doctor and Abel manage to shanghai the doctor outside the docking bay. They make their way to the Baron’s ship and encounter a Shepherd who has been trying to gain access to Daniel to check on his well being. Edwards invites the holy man to join him. They find Daniel being held within the ship, guarded by two armed thugs. Edwards is surprised to find that Nove Norling is there as well. Nova is on the ship because she was hired by the Baron, but also making sure that the thugs don’t harm Daniel. Daniel is in rough shape, obviously the victim of a severe beating. The thugs comment that the Baron gave Daniel a beatdown to “keep him in line.”
The Shepherd demands that Daniel get medical attention for his wounds, and the Doctor informs the thugs that Daniel will be taken to the infirmary. The thugs could care less, and let the Doctor take Daniel. At this point, Nova explains to Doc that if they agree to take her with them, she will override the Cruise Liner’s Systems to allow them to undock without difficulty.
Abel wanted to know more about the Blue Sun facility on Level 7. He used the Ident Card from the doctor they bushwacked outside of the elevator to go to Level 7. He found that he arrived at a set of large blast doors, guarded by two Alliance stormtroopers. Abel turned on the charm, and pretended that he had been sent there to relieve someone. The guards denied that they were to be relieved, and Abel left Level 7, mumbling about mistakes in the guard schedule.
The plan falls into place from there. LIBERATION will undock using Nova’s access to ship controls, and meet with the Whoop Chicken out of sensor range. They will make sure that the STAR VOYAGER makes it safely off the RIM’S DREAM with Seth, Nova, Daniel, Lilliana, and the Shepherd on board. During the trip back to Persephone, Daniel and Lilliana will be married.
Also, Randa uses her hacking to create paperwork declaring that Templeton turned over all mineral rights to the Baron. It includes a note that he decided to take Lilly and elope to avoid complications. The Baron is pleased with this outcome. He was a minor government functionary with the Bureau of Terraforming who saw the potential to make lots of money out on the Rim. He acquired the 900,000 acres of land he owns on Persephone in return for setting up certain influential politicians with some very sweet deals on other planets. Now that he owns the mineral rights to the land, he will be a rich man because it’s is stuffed to the gills with platinum.
Once they reach Persephone, Seth is going to put the Baron’s ship into storage for Doctor Edwards. The Doctor paid Seth enough money to keep him going in exchange for the ship. Edwards just has to make it back to Eavesdown Docks at some point to claim the ship.
Nova plans to continue her career as a Companion, adding the Baron to the blacklist. She will be a good contact for the Crew to have in the future.
Daniel and Lilliana aren’t sure what the future holds for them, but they have a dream of finding a small moon in some out of the way place and setting up a refuge for people who need a safe place to hide and start a new life. Daniel comments with a smile, “Maybe we’ll call it Haven.”
Benjamin got the job done, and he got paid. The Crew will be happy to get their back wages. LIBERATION will get some upgrades, and maybe a few tweaks. Should keep the boat in the black and flyin’ for a time.
And even Badger ends up happy with the outcome of the job.
All’s well that ends well!