Shaun grows increasingly more paranoid and agitated as they pass through the Gateway and sync from Blackwatch to Nexus Gate.
A messenger is waiting for Angel’s ship as they head toward the lower docking rings at Nexus. After some hesitation on the part of Shaun and Otto, the message is delivered. Seemingly a gift from RIFU, it contains a message of thanks alongside an informal request that they visit their regional offices in the central hub. RIFU would like to collect some simple biosamples from them PCs to see what they can learn from people who’ve been exposed superficially to the bioplague in Calvert City. Furthermore, for their assistance in transporting their employees, RIFU pays them 1000cr apiece in Interzone credits.
Tigh gets some orders transferred to his datapad, which he immediately prints to a hard copy and hands to Otto—seemingly the calmest person present. The paper is an exerpt from Tigh’s own field report about the Infected down in Calvery City, detailing his observations and recommendations. Added as an addendum are his orders in response to the report.
Shaun freaks out over the report – its intentionally incomplete nature only feeding into his paranoia as he insists he is being denied information. Tigh replies that the remaining information isn’t relevant and does not pertain to the Infection at all. He also adds that he is concerned over Shaun’s behavior and certain symptoms of possible drug overdose that he’s noticed – in the process letting it slide that that he was trained as a Medical Doctor before becoming a field operative for RIFU. He strongly encourages them to provide biosamples and at least hear out what the local Corp Executive has to say.
Otto and Shaun want nothing to with it – ultimately resulting in Reeva and Gabriel taking their own shares while Angel quietly pilots the ship, and Shaun and Otto space the package containing the cred chips. Reeva makes a mental note to come back out with a salvage ship later on…
Angel docks the ship as the bickering continues, comments that she’s hitting a local pilot’s bar called “Tweak’s Wreck”, and walks off ship. Otto and Shaun head for the same bar, while Reeva and Gabriel – as well as Tigh and Charlie – make their way to the RIFU offices in the central hub.
Tweak’s Wreck is large circular room. Along the wall to the right of the door way is a bar extending about a quarter of the way around the circle, some stools, and a bartender. Beyond that are some restrooms. Along the wall to the left of the door is a long countertop with chairs – at each station is an auto-bartender for standard drink and food assortments, as well as news feeds, entertainment, and gambling. The counter extends all the way to the far side of the chamber, where it terminates at a protruding round stage upon which three women are dancing.
Angel sits at the bar to the right, surrounded by a number of wee Zergs whom she seems to know. Otto and Shaun see a drifter milling around from table to table, fiching drinks where he can, before settling himself down at a counter station at the room’s far left side.
Otto orders some food while Shaun plays around with the console. The Big Guy notices Angel trying to get his attention, gets up and approaches her. When Shaun moves to follow, Angel indicates that he need not bother coming over. Otto tells Shaun to sit down, and – alone – goes over to speak with Angel.
Angel, too, expresses concern over Shaun. But it is his attitude she’s worried about, commenting that if he keeps going on like he has, he will become a liability for Otto.
Otto walks back, grabs Shaun, and pulls him into the bathroom. The drifter wastes no time in grabbing Otto’s food and drink while the pair step away. In the bathroom, Otto and Shaun have a “discussion”. They walk ot of the bathroom with Shaun agreeing to see a Doctor.
The drifter wanders by, and hearing what is said, starts commenting that he’s a trained medical professional – and could easily save them a lot of money. Otto shoves them all back into the bathroom, and demands Shaun whip out his… Drugs. Oddly enough, the drifter seems fairly competent, and mirrors much of what Tigh said about possible overdose.
Otto disapproves of the drugs Shaun is taking, while Shaun tries to explain that what he is taking is real medication to help with a condition he has. Otto continues to voice his disapproval and in his paranoid spot, Shaun decides to try to level with Otto about why he takes the pills.
Shaun tries in vain to explain that he has strange visions and they cause him great paranoia, as they are usually about someone who is following him. Nobody else sees what Shaun sees because he is slightly precognitive. Otto listens to about two words of what Shaun has to say and hears even less. He sternly tells Shaun that he is a liability as long as he’s high and that he had better pull it together and walks away.
Shaun not wanting to be in the way or cause trouble, sinks into the shadows and goes away, not before getting some advice from the drifter, “the medication your taking should be vaporized, by taking it orally, you’re overdosing”. Shaun makes a mental note that he needs to freebase his meds instead of swallowing them whole.
Meanwhile Reeva and Gabriel have gone to their meeting with RIFU, where they seek to meet Cornelius Hatch, the regional head for RIFU on Nexus Gate. Reeva tries to put the moves on the receptionist by dropping that he is there to see Doctor Jay, the scientists in charge of the objective RIFU has regarding this bioplague. Tigh laughs at Reeva’s weak attempt and notes that part of the receptionist’s job is to make people feel “welcome”, and he doesn’t have to try so hard. Reeva and Gabriel meet Cornelius, who is dressed extremely casual, as if he were on a beach on some sunny island. He is overly friendly and familiar and makes cheesy jokes and double entendres regarding the medical tests they are about to subject themselves to.
Both Reeva and Gabriel are happy to allow RIFU doctors to take bio samples and blood, preform full body scans and tests. In short order, Gabriel and Reeva earn another 500cr and Reeva is awestruck by the sugar cookie and juice he is given in trade for his blood.
Gabriel is yet again informed that he is a biological bomb, that when exposed to this bioplague he could very well explode. The other thing he is informed of is that he is a Harcourt make Soldat. Again, Gabriel seems totally uninterested and nonplussed by it all. Both he and Reeva head out to Tweaks Wreck for drinks.
At Tweaks Wreck Otto is quietly having a drink with Angel, and Reeva throws down a 1000cr cred chip claiming that he’s buying drinks for everyone, and quickly gets himself staggeringly drunk. Gabriel takes advantage of the free drinks and sets himself up as body guard to Reeva. The shady stranger who diagnosed Shaun slides up and gets himself a few free drinks. Reeva barely recognizes the guy and then it clicks. They know one another. This guy is Pilgrim, a daredevil pilot who has spent some time with the Sky Forger pirate clan that Reeva is from. They have done a few jobs together, usually hijacking ships.
Reeva makes an ass of himself, pawing at the “dancing girls” and being repeatedly reminded that he is not to touch. The evening has worn on and Reeva has worn his welcome and needs a place to sleep off his drunk.
In the meantime, Shaun has faded away to the planet surface in Xiu Xi City. He has rented a small room and is already making plans to hitch a ride on a cargo ship that has dumped it’s cargo and is heading back towards Rakhan Prime. The captain of the ship wants to meet Shaun face to face because he is requesting to book passage away from any other potential passengers and wishes to remain very discreet.
Shaun goes to make his meeting and drops a message to Otto that he is getting his head straight, and will find his own way back to Rakhan Prime, so as not to be a liability.
The meeting goes honestly. The crew are Greyjackets, they don’t hide the fact. Shaun states that he is protecting his case (containing Sentinel) and wants no questions asked about him or his case. He is told that he will have to give up all weapons when he boards, he will be allowed to board early, and will be segregated. In turn, he will pay double, and half will be paid right now up-front. Shaun agrees and leaves, beginning to connect to the local SysNet to see what is going on with his companions, by scanning the security feeds.
Reeva had left Teaks Wreck in search of a place to sleep, Pilgrim has followed, trying to convince a drunken Reeva to hire him on his team, or at least help him hijack a ship, since he just recently crashed the ship his former employer had let him pilot. Pilgrim gives up and goes to his room when Reeva accuses him of trying to follow him home for something more than friendly.
Otto, noting that Reeva is very vulnerable, followed him out the door. Gabriel noticing that Reeva may be in trouble, also follows.
Reeva has found a place to rest, when he stumbles upon a diner and gets himself a coffee and falls asleep in the booth. Otto loses interest, seeing Reeva is no longer vulnerable and heads back to Tewaks Wreck. Otto hooks up with Angel and heads back to her ship for some naked twister.
Some time passes. Pilgrim is broke, hanging out in his room, thinking of a way to get off this station, Shaun is creeping his way through the security feeds, Otto and Angel have since stopped playing naked twister and moved on to something more adult, like strip scrabble and Reeva is jerked awake.
It’s Gabriel, “Fuckin’ get running kid, we’re in trouble!” Gabriel had shot four men trying to steal Reeva’s wallet and security may very well be on their heels.