06 August 2009

Dragonfly: Episode I

The continuing adventures of the MRV (merchant registry vehicle) Din Sua Bah (Dinosaur Bob) as recollected and adapted from the tabletop adventures of a crew playing Serenity the roleplaying game.

Dramatis Personae:
Yuri Leonid Spassky: Captain of the Din Sua Bah, ex Russian Mafia trouble-shooter.
Justinian Edumton Bartholomew Stuart III, esquire: Ace pilot, gambler, gun-fighter, duelist, womanizer, and morphine addict.
Senior Chief 'Stunty' Ryan: Diminutive ship's Engineer and intuitive mechanic, served with JEB in the war.
Dr. Hex: Ship's Medical Officer, former Independent Army Special Forces combat medic.
Kat: Public Relations, former IASF scout-sniper, served with Dr. Hex in the war.

The Din Sua Bah, an ancient and weathered Dragonfly class mid-bulk transport is floating through the inky black of space, on course for the terraformed moon known as Whitefall. Inside, the crew is cleaning up, the entire ship looks like it was shaken upside down by a giant, and everything loose went flying. In the cockpit JEB glaces behind him as the Captain enters the cramped space, looked out of sorts.

"Did you see that? Ah shaved three hours of flight time with that slingshot about Persephone"

"And next time, you give crew more notice when you pull hot pilot shit!" Yuri says icily before he slaps his over-dressed upper class twit pilot on the lop side of his thick head.

"Ah thought the gravy would hold up better, how old is this ship anyway?'

"One hour, you give crew one hour notice next time!"

"One hour, aye sah!"

"Good, we can still charge customer for full flight time and pocket difference, just don't break ship!"

Yuri glares at his pilot until JEB mumbles his apologies and busies himself with checking his sensors and flight plan.

"Now I go and check tractors, farm-boys on Whitefall all very eager for tractors, pay much money!"

The tractors in question were rusty second or third hand models from used lots on Beleraphon, along with boxes of spare parts, and drums of fuel and hydraulic fluid. Cleverly hidden inside the shipment were several thousand pounds of small arms, ammunition, and explosives. Someone was buying enough for a small army, and the simmering cold war between Whitefall's major ranchers was about to get hot. He dragooned his dwarf and the shooty lady into doing the heavy shifting, making sure things were ready for the inevitable customs inspection. He wasn't sure about this crew, his old crew had... left suddenly and this one had fallen together a little too easily. Maybe someone was pulling strings, and would want a favor in return. The thought made Yuri nervous and a nervous Yuri was a paranoid Yuri.

The ships intercom crackled and JEBs much chastised voice drawled out, "Captain, we're being hailed by an Alliance Patrol Cruiser, they want us to heave to and prepare for inspection."

"OK, make it last another few minutes!"

"How?" JEB thought to himself, then grinned. He summoned up his best, thickest drawl, "Ahh Terrible, this is MRV Din Sua Bah, Ahm having some trouble with the hydraulics in the port engine pod, going to have to compensate and killing my delta vee is going to take a bit longer than anticipated" JEB grinned, between the accent and the non-standard banter just figuring out the transmission would delay the purple bellies in the other ship.

Half an hour later three Alliance Federal Officers were standing in the Bob's cargo hold going over the tractors and crates. They looked a little green, since JEB had managed to convince the Terrible that they had to shuttle over, the main docking collar was 'busted'. Two were obviously going through the motions, but the third was poking his nose around like he smelled something. Yuri watched that one through slitted eyes.

"Captain Spassky, what is this?" The man, Jefferson was what his name-plate said, beckoned over the captain.

"What is what?" Yuri gave it his best impenetrable east-blok trade patois. He spoke very good, unaccented standard Anglic, but rarely. As he leaned over to look inside the engine compartment of one of the tractors, at what was obviously the receiver of a auto-rifle attached to the frame of the machine and covered, sloppily, in engine grease he put his arm around the agent. "I don't see anything!" Yuri grabbed the Fed and slammed his head into the side of the tractor, and then injected a syringe of fast acting sleep agent. Standing up he made beckoning motions at the other feds, "Help, this one fall down!"

"What happened?"

"I don't know, he fall over, hit his head on tractor, not wake up!"

"What the...?"

"No worries, I have doctor!" Turning to the intercom, Yuri pockets the syringe and mashes the all call button. "Doctor!, hurry, bring something for Fed!"

A few minutes later Dr. Hex, a nondescript figure with plain face and wearing unremarkable field utilities carrying a big bag with a red cross on it comes pounding down the stairs. "Were is he?"

"Over here!"

Hex runs over to the stricken Fed, glancing at his captain as he does so. Yuri shakes his slightly, and then points to the fallen man. "Hit head, fall down, won't wake, something must be wrong!"

Hex runs through some simple diagnostics, shining lights, taking pulse and pressure, doing witch-doctory things. Then he gives the man a shot saying, "Looks like he passed out and hit his head, can't say why, but he needs to get to proper facilities fast."

"Alright, we're out of here, Captain here's your stamp for inspection, now get of my sky."

"Ok, have good day!"

Later, as the ship was preparing for landing, Yuri asked his doctor "What did you give him?"

"A dose of insulin, he'll come up as diabetic on the scan, that'll explain the fainting, probably end his career though."

"Good, one less purple belly to worry about. Let's get this deal done, I got a funny feeling about this run."

...to be continued.