Ship slowly limps back to Border planet. Between the hard use to escape in “A Mission of Mercy” and the overload during “To the Ends of the ‘Verse,” the ship is in dire, dire need of extensive service. Damage is now extensive enough to be very expensive and will severely, if not completely, deplete crew’s cash reserves. Not having any choice as the ship is not legally space worthy the ship is dry docked for the repairs.
While stuck on planet an old Browncoat buddy of an ex-Browncoat PC offers to help. He can’t do anything about the repairs or the costs, but he does have cargo, not a large one, but something that pays to help out. While making this offer, buddy uses opportunity to further plant seeds in PC’s head to join Neo-Browncoats.
During the five days it will take for the yard to repair the ship, the PCs will have to find a place to stay and something to do. Finding a place to stay is easy in the busy Border world port with a single room with three meals costing only three credits a night
While commiserating in a local bar, a stocky woman with an eye patch and thick cockney accent asks if she might join the group for “‘alf a mo mate?” Her name is Eliza Flennel and like herself, she can see that the PCs are “Down in their luck.” She just happens to be in sore need of a few “chums” to change the current state of affairs.
Eliza’s plan is simple, but very much small time. She has discovered that a local delivery truck arrives every morning at 0600 the truck unloads bulk dry goods at the local market. This takes 90 minutes then the truck heads to the local bank to be first in line to make a daily deposit. Despite knowing he is supposed to vary his schedule, the driver is extremely complacent and has fallen into the patter Eliza has detected. It will only take a minor distraction to allow someone to pick the lock of the truck and get away with the strong box under the front seat. They won’t get the big deposit from the market, but she figures the score will be right about a “‘undred quid.” She’ll split the take 60/40.
The deal is exactly what it seems, a small time hood looking to make some money. The truck driver and loaders can be distracted by a wild variety of means from a simple scream for help by a female character, to someone running buy and grabbing some of the merchandise, to a staged brawl. Any distraction only has to succeed in a Hard INT + Influence or Performance to buy five rounds of freedom of movement for the person actually breaking into the cab of the truck. The lock is a simple one and will only take a Hard AGL + Lockpicking roll to open. Each roll however, uses two rounds. The strong box isn’t well hidden and is a simple snatch and grab to take, but it is awkward and will take an Average STR + Athletics to successfully remove from the truck in one round. As long as the PC with the box doesn’t take more than two rounds to reach cover, then the truck driver will not notice the box is gone until he goes to add the market’s deposit to the box, thus the earlier in the loading process the theft is made, the longer it will be before the theft is discovered. The strong box is just that and will take a Formidable AGL + Lockpicking to unlock, or it will require a fusion cutter or Scrapper’s gel to open. Inside the box is a better than expected 127 Credits and 58 Platinum.
Given the players likely paranoia, they will probably be unwilling to trust Eliza or take part in what is in truth, a small time gig. The GM is welcome to add any other small non-violent jobs or encounters to fill in the time while the ship is being repaired.
After ship is repaired, the crew takes up PC’s pal on the cargo run. It’s not much, but it will give them some coin, which will be better than the nothing they will have after the repairs are paid. The cargo run is a simple and safe run to work the engines up and there are no encounters.
In order to simulate the engine testing have the pilot and mechanic each make three Average INT + (Main skill) rolls to get the ship fully tested after a trip of four days.
On the delivery end, they are met by half a dozen men openly displaying Neo-Browncoat colors. The men are clearly their contact and the crew discovers they have been duped into running supplies for ‘cause.’ Since they are the legitimate owners of the cargo, the crew doesn’t have any choice, but to see to the offloading and leave as quickly as possible.
Before the cargo is more than three-quarters unloaded, an Alliance raid hits the drop off site. The Neo-Browncoats put a fearsome resistance and heavy fighting ensues. The crew is somewhat scattered during the unloading process and those off the ship have to battle their way to the ship. There are at least twice the number of troops as PCs between them and escape. Once everyone is aboard, they find a localized Alliance blockade covering the planet. During this fight, the ex-Browncoat will take a moderate wound, possibly a head wound. This is plot directed and if they escape gunfire, then they are hit by falling cargo or is injured in a fall.
Escaping will require four (23 level) AGL + Piloting + Ship’s AGL rolls to evade the Alliance fire. Alternately, escape can be with four opposed sensor rolls and two Hard AGL + Piloting + Ship’s AGL rolls to evade at low altitude out of the limited area of the blockade. It will take a Hard INT + Knowledge to realize they will need to do something to keep from being IDed as members of the Rebellion. One PC will have to take on the role of ECW operator and will have to make opposed roles with the Alliance EW officers trying to ID the ship. The Alliance ship has an ALE of D8 and the operator is INT D6 and Skill D8. The ECM/ECCM duel will be a series of three opposed rolls. If the PC wins all three times, the Alliance know a ship escaped, but that is about it. If PC wins two of three, the Alliance knows a Firefly-class ship escaped. If PC loses all three attempts, the Feds got a full read on the ship and they are flagged as suspected Rebels.
The Alliance force doesn’t have enough ships to pursue, but the next time the ship is spotted by any Alliance ships, or when they touch down in any Border or Core world, they will be Land-Locked and will have to face some VERY heavy questioning regarding their actions.