10 March 2518
Since Persephone is a border planet bustling with commerce, the crew initially wasn’t too concerned about finding a cargo. Li Ming on the other hand was uncharacteristically subdued about finding the “hot table” that was her usual quest on making planetfall. Chan Juan tapped into her network of friends to try and find a cargo, but for some reason, the busy port at the Eavesdown Dock just didn’t have anything for them.
The second day on Persephone found everyone but Willis and Li Ming out beating the bushes for a job. Offering up a favor in desperation, Chan Juan finally got word of a cargo, the downside was it wouldn’t be available for four days.
On the other side of town, Sylvester, Cindy, and Xavier were trying to use their own talents to locate a cargo, when a particularly large drunk decided to make a comment on Cindy’s looks. Sylvester to exception to this comment and despite both women trying to play the statement off, the drunk took a swing at Sylvester. The small pilot was lightning quick and outclassed the drunk completely. Striking faster than the drunk could hope to match, Sylvester took the larger man apart and knocked him out without even sustaining a punch in return.
On the ship, Willis used his consummate skill to keep the ‘Ghost operational and squeezed out the maximum utility from the minimum amount of parts.*
As Willis worked, Li Ming thought she heard something and quickly armed herself. Creeping quietly through the ship, Li Ming heard a clunk and a soft curse as an obvious intruder stumbled over something while coming up the stairs from the cargo hold.**
Moving to where she could observe the stairs, Li Ming spotted three intruders. Melting into the shadows she dropped prone and waited in ambush. As the three men turned the corner at the top of the stairs, they spotted the prone gambler. Li Ming opened fire on the surprised group, but her pistol chose that horrific moment to jam. Forced to improvise, she rolled to her feet and ran for her shuttle. The intruders had recovered enough at this point to draw their weapons and open fire. Li Ming dodged wildly, taking a graze to her shoulder as she dived into the shuttle. Meanwhile, in the engine room, Willis could not miss the sound of gunfire and raced forward to arm himself.
The first gunman to enter the shuttle ran right into a full choke shotgun load that blew him off his feet and both out of the shuttle and out of the fight. The second intruder checked his advance, while the third tried to clear his pistol, which had also jammed.
Willis reached his cabin and armed himself as Li Ming prepared a surprise for her assailants. The two thugs tried to distract Li Ming with a feint, but she surprised them instead with a flashbang. One intruder was knocked out by the blast, while the second was stunned enough for Li Ming to be able to disarm him before he could recover.
Willis on hearing the explosion changed directions for the bridge and sent out a frantic call for help to the other crew informing them of the ongoing attack, he then ran back to assist Li Ming. He arrived expecting the worst; instead he found the gambling covering the still groggy and chagrinned hired gun with her shotgun. The rest of the crew entered the ship in full skirmish line, only to find that the situation was under control, this time, Li Ming had a lot of explaining to do.
It turned out that three years ago, the ‘Ghost’s resident gambler had a severe disagreement with a local casino owner named Darius Nightblade, a disagreement that Li Ming only just barely survived. The goons that had boarded the ship were obviously sent to bring her back to finish their unfinished business. Knowing that Nightblade would never give up as long as he knew she was on planet, Li Ming offered to depart immediately and take the next available transport. Not willing to have the crew off Nightblade’s thugs for four days while they waited for the cargo to be ready. Chan Juan wouldn’t hear of it, but before the two could argue, Willis came up with a suitable compromise Li Ming would depart immediately, but aboard her shuttle. She would hide on the outer edge of the system until the rest of the crew could rendezvous with her once the cargo was loaded. Everyone agreed to this plan and Li Ming lifted as soon as her shuttle was prepped. As a precaution, the captain ordered the ship sealed and a watch set on the bridge.
The next day when Chan Juan and William went to negotiate the shipping contract, they made two discoveries. First, vandals had spray painted graffiti all over the ship. The damage was only a nuisance, but was obviously foreshadowing of things to come if they didn’t get of world soon. The second discovery was far more serious, it seems that overnight the crew of the Lattimer’s Ghost was no longer welcome on Persephone.
The shipper with the cargo Chan discovered yesterday, did meet with her and her first mate, but he was so obviously didn’t want to negotiate with them, that within minutes of sitting down, he found an excuse to withdraw the offer to ship the cargo.
Knowing what the answer would be, Chan made several attempts to see if another job would be possible, but every one of her contacts all but shunned her. The final straw came when, while walking back to the ship, three local tough guys tried to shake them down. Fortunately, William was able to be more intimidating than they were and the two of them returned to the ship safely.
Since it was obvious that doing business on Persephone was not possible, the captain gave the word for the ship to lift. They met up with Li Ming and headed for Verbena to see if Nightblade’s sphere of influence would impact with their semi-regular contract with Patrick Hong and APS Stellar.