Skrel and Hydra rethink attempting to board the Losorri frigate they fought earlier. The action seems hazardous, and as a military ship it is most likely designed solely for an Incarnate crew. So they return their focus on delivering the medical supplies to Losorri.
Skrel re-hacks the Gullwind ship registry transponder again, generating a new certificate that is likely to be accepted in Losorri System.
Registry Hack: Space Pirates, especially those whom are Hackers, are adept at manipulating ship registries. This requires a Check each time the ship enters a system, or otherwise encounters an entity that is attempting to verify the ship’s identity, such as a patrol ship.
The Gullwind sails to Losorri System. Skrel’s registry hack appears to be masterful. They hear a system-wide broadcast that states the green planet of Losorri Prime is quarantined, and no ships may approach, although the trade station is still open.
The Gullwind docks at the Losorri Trade Station and Skrel starts to search for a Losorri citizen who might own land on the surface, or some other way to have a legitimate reason to travel down to the planet. Skrel and his business partner “Tyson Sanders” (Hydra) find a squib rancher by the name of Mosselprom. Skrel certainly needs to see the ranch to assure his buyer that the squib are healthy and well outside the quarantined area.
Squib are a species of domesticated herd animals, native to Losorri, that taste like chicken, at least after they are descaled and reprocessed into nuggets. Ummm, squib nuggets, so good!
The next step is to convince the port authority to allow the Gullwind access to the surface, but Tyson Sanders request is denied (station: “request denied”). Mosselprom suggests finding a way to contact the Squib Ranchers Union, but all communications with the surface are also subject to the “quarantine”, with jammers blocking low-powered signals such as from ships or civilians. Skrel creates a message that appears to be originating from the planet, which the station will reply to, in order to send his own message to the Squib Ranchers Union. Then through the marvels of PACs the Gullwind somehow is granted clearance to visit the surface (station: “request approved”).
The three medical drops are on the other side of the planet from the Mosselprom Squib Ranch, but Skrel finds a way to plot his flight path so that he overflies the three main quarantined islands.
The Gullwind flies down the surface to visit the Mosselprom Squib Ranch. Skrel plays at evaluating the livestock, putting them through a gauntlet of self-invented tests, finally complaining that they are “too green”.
Attempt 1: Blockade Runner
Hydra tries to find a smuggler who is willing to enter the quarantine zone and deliver medicine to the Orethi resistance, but finds it to be so heavily patrolled that the risk is deemed to high. (“You’re crazy.”)
Attempt 2: Plagued Squib
Hydra delivers some bad news to Mosselprom, tests revealed the squib are plague-positive. This comes along with the observation that the squib are greener than expected, and deep-frying the squib nuggets prevents the tests from showing positive results for plague. (Interestingly, Mosselprom’s nugget factory went into high-output mode overnight.)
Shortly thereafter, government hazmat teams descend upon the Mosselprom Squib Ranch and start herding people at bayonet point for quarantine and processing. Skrel and Hydra are ordered to remain sealed in the Gullwind. All of the squib has been nuggetized, so the agents are left with doubt. They can’t positively find traces of plague, but there is plenty of suspicious behavior, and decide to quarantine the province.
Tyson Sanders offers to dispose of the plagued squib nuggets for Mosselprom before the agents find a better test. The ranch hands start loading pallets of nuggets onto the ship. Skrel and Hydra are trying not to laugh too loudly. Hydra notices that the ranch hands are upset and seem to be preparing to do something. Skrel defuses the situation by locking the hands in the cargo hold, and then kicking them out after they have dropped their weapons.
The Gullwind lifts off from the ranch and flies to the nearest large city in the quarantine zone. Ironically, now that the Gullwind is inside the quarantine zone, they are more free to move about than before. The city is in shambles, war-torn and plague-ridden.
The first set of drop coordinates are on top of the Gazprom Tower, the headquarters of a major Losorri corporation. The tower is over 500 stories tall and wide enough that the Gullwind could land atop it. Skrel contacts the tower, mentioning a really good supply of deep-fried squib nuggets, and is given permission to land.
The Gullwind crew disembarks and enters the building. They are shown to the executive boardroom to talk business, and welcomed by a large group of executives in expensive suits.
Plague, we has it.
Chet has prepared a special recipe with secret herbs and spices and his own special dipping sauce, which includes the plague cure medicine. The Gazprom execs have an “intern” try the nuggets, who remarks how flakey they are. Chet quips “my nuggets are always fresh, ripe even”. Tyson Sanders negotiates a steep price for the nuggets, 1MCr.
However, he isn’t satisfied, and the discussion stalls, and Tyson Sanders makes move to leave, saying the cargo isn’t actually aboard the Gullwind anyways. While the Gazprom execs are smooth, Hydra realizes that he has probably just tipped his hand, and has probably been caught in a lie by one or more of the corporate Espers that are doubtlessly in the room.
The Gazprom team, ever professional, keep pressing, also pointing out that the medicine and delivery were already bought and paid for by them, and the Gullwind crew have no right to keep their property from them. The spacers also realize that Gazprom probably has other courses of action they could take, should the “deal” fall through. They raise the ante, probing how much the price might be to accept delivery of all three shipments of medicines here, rather than at the previously agreed on delivery points, as a counter to Tyson’s concerns over risk to the ship.
Next Session: Will the negotiations end in a win-win, cash for nuggets? Or will the crew stiff Gazprom and possibly need to fight their way to the rooftop?