As they enter the Georgia system, Reg uses his know-how with the ship’s systems to lock in on the signal, coming in loud and clear from Hera.
On the way to pick up the shipment, though, they receive a distress signal from the Three Hills system. They decide to let it be for now.
As they break into the atmosphere, Annie gets the Duchess on a trajectory that avoids local surface sensors and radar, but not the notice of some local settlement. Reg finds a canyon to hide the ship after some locals spot them.
Things don’t go so well when Hugo tries to get the shuttle fired up. In fact, he blows the engines on the main shuttle, rendering it inoperable until Kendra can have a few hours to dig in and set things right. The other shuttle isn’t really suited for rough terrain, but they manage to get it up and out of the canyon and over to the beacon site.
When they arrive, they find the wreck of the transport, its engines and wings having broken off as it crashed. Kendra’s still upset about the main shuttle’s state and for a spell, the rest of the crew stands there toe-tappin’ while she tries to get her knowledge about transport ships in place. Eventually she manages to get the cargo bay door open and, after an atmospheric blowout from the inside of the ship (something odd happened to the life support as best as Kendra can figure – like a sudden spike in air pressure), Hugo and Reg make it into the ship while Kendra and Annie wait for the locals to arrive outside.
The crates of foodstuffs are right there in the cargo bay, pristine and untouched with Blue Sun logos and “Rations” on the side in Chinese, despite the odd state of the ship. Reg pops one of the crates open and finds, as he expects, what appears to be packs of standard rations… except as he lifts one of the packs to inspect it, it finds wrapped bank notes for the Kalidasa system in each crate – about 4K per crate as far as he can tell. Pocketing about a hundred credits between them, the pair start loading the crates into the shuttle and manage to get half of them in there before a patrol vehicle (locals, not the law) pulls up and orders everyone out and unarmed.
Annie turns on the charm and convinces them that the ship was actually hers – that Reg and she are the only survivors left and that Hugo and Kendra came to help her get things back out for delivery. Yet again, Annie’s assets pay off and the opposing crew actually offer to help load the remaining crates onboard the shuttle (one of them making comments about how it’s a piece of shit and that they should have the stablizers looked into, much to the chagrin of Kendra) before waving good-bye and heading out.
Making it back to the Duchess with a mostly-intact shuttle, the crew leaves Hera to decide their next step.
- Bobby Orvis originally gave them the job to find and deliver these goods to Isabelle, a moon off Zeus in the Kalidasa system.
- There’s the matter of that distress signal near Three Hills