Free to travel however, did not give the crew of the Ghost any plan to break out of their current situation. Staying on the Rim gave Chan two choices: Lilac or Triumph. Knowing the backward nature of Triumph, Chan chose Lilac as, at least some of the farmers were prosperous or desperate enough to be willing to deal with them despite Blue Sun’s influence. After a four day trip the ship set down on Lilac. Again splitting into three teams to maximize coverage of the limited landing field to look for work, Chan and Willis, William and Cindy, plus Li Ming and Xavier fanned out as teams rather than the usual pairings to put a different spin and possibly just plain luck into the search. William and Cindy made the circulation of the local bars and both not only found out about the Blue Sun influence, they found that it was the Highleaf Cartel that was the source. Xavier also discovered this same information. All three teams learned of a woman known only as “Madam Black”. Thing is she had two associates, but both were lost trying to reach Beaumonde which is on the other side of Reaver space. This woman has been stuck for three weeks and is offering a staggering two thousand credits for immediate transport to Beaumonde. Again unable to find any other work, Chan and William contact Madam Black not finding anything alarmingly out of place, Chan agrees as the money is just too good. When the mysterious woman arrives at the ship, she was carrying only a travel case and a second high security case handcuffed to her wrist. After making certain the ship was fully fueled and maintained, the ship departed two days later. The first two days of the trip were completely uneventful. On the third day, Marsh detected a Reaver ship at medium range. The respective courses were such that a hard burn would prevent an intercept. Chan instantly agreed and the Lattimer’s Ghost leapt to her highest speed easily avoiding the Reavers. Day four was without incident. On day five Marsh detected another ship on an almost convergent course, even a hard burn would not avoid this ship. The terror of Reavers forced the entire crew to arm and armor themselves as Marsh did all he could to evade the Reavers as long as possible, knowing escape was impossible. However, Xavier thought up a brilliant idea, Marsh would allow the Reavers to close, and then Willis would vent the ship’s water supply to create a ice wall and cripple their pursuers. Willis frantically reconfigured the ship’s pumps to handle the load and waited for William’s signal from the bridge. Marsh played his part perfectly until the Reavers were in place and as soon as the sensors indicated the ship was in place, William gave the signal and Willis hit the switch that dumped 95% of the Ghost’s water supply. The Reavers were caught completely by surprise and their ship was crippled by the sudden kinetic attack. The crew was still rejoicing when they felt the thump and heard the clank. William checked the sensors and saw that a Reaver shuttle that had managed to attach itself to the upper airlock! In the confusion, William did not see the Reavers launch a shuttle and the smaller ship was nimble enough to dodge the ice trap. Marsh rolled the ship violently and managed to dislodge the shuttle and get aback on course for Beaumonde. The rest of the crew rushed to defend the airlock and prepared for a desperate fight. As the mid-ships airlock opened Chan fired her shotgun twice wounding two Reavers. Xavier who was closest to the airlock had time to aim and hit one of the two that Chan hit. Willis fired but failed to hit as the Reavers boiled out of the confines of the airlock. Li Ming hit one of the two wounded Reavers again and checking its forward movement. Four Reavers closed with three heading toward engineering blocked by Willis, Xavier and Cindy, while the fourth charged Li Ming. Cindy wounded all three charging her with an autofire burst, while William wounded the one charging Li Ming. Xavier fired and hit one of the two Reavers that closed on her and Willis. Li Ming hit the Reaver closet to her twice, while Chan grazed the one attacking Li Ming. Cindy pitched a grenade into the airlock with one hand and made an autofire sweep with her other. Her attack was enough to give even a Reaver pause as the grenade in the confines of the airlock decimated the bulk of the Reavers. Only one of the Reavers could respond and it attacked Madam Black. She had survived the attack that killed her partner on the second attempt to reach Beaumonde and had fumbled to get her case open. As her hand came up, it carried a laser pistol! The Reaver attacked with its pistol and axe. Madam Black managed to dodge the pistol shot but the axe cleaved through Black’s hand and the laser slicking both in two. The simultaneous shot from the laser drilled a hole through the Reaver. Both had time to stare in shock, and then the laser exploded, killing them both. The Reaver attacking Li Ming missed with both pistol and knife, giving William a clear head shot that killed the creature. Xavier finished off the Reaver attacking Willis before it could strike with its axe. Chan finished off one of the wounded Reavers as it staggered out of the airlock, while Li Ming picked off two more. William killed two more crippled Reavers. Despite their wounds and the turning of the tide, the Reavers pressed home their attacks slightly wounding Xavier and Li Ming. Cindy fired another autofire attack that killed the two Reavers pressing Xavier and Willis, leaving only one Reaver. Willis carefully aimed and his head shot killed the last of the attackers. The Reavers were spaced, but the damage was done, Madam Black and her prize where gone. The crew pressed on arriving as planned on Beaumonde. En route, Xavier had found enough marker tags on the case that held the laser and a careful examination of Black’s fake ID to prove she worked for Iskellian. Chan and William went through the motions of contacting the High Tech Arms Company, but despite Chan’s best efforts, the corporation flatly stated any business of this woman was between her and the crew not Iskellian and even if this woman did work for Iskellian, which they refused to accept she did, the crew failed in their task and thus any contract would be void. Once again the crew was not going to get paid. Knowing this was going to happen did soften the blow, but only slightly. Regardless, it was time to make a decision, to do something about their situation. Either they would find a way to get Blue Sun off their backs, or they would resort to taking other than legitimate work to make coin. Knowing what the potential cost and risks might be Chan offered each member of the crew a chance to back out and vote their mind. In the end it was five to two to go after Blue Sun with Marsh and Xavier choosing the criminal option to solve their problem. However, when given the chance to leave when the vote went against them, both Marsh and Xavier rejected leaving hands down. They would prefer a different course of action, but they would not leave the ship and crew in a bind. Now that they had a plan, they just needed to make it happen and Beaumonde was an excellent place to make the necessary contacts to make that plan succeed.