A Politically Correct Rescue (Part the Second)
The restless natives, several hundred of them, show up with torches and clubs, etc. to set fire to
the ship. Is it me, or is it getting hot in here...
The ship's crew is not terribly well equipped to deal with hostile natives, or burning ships, or
plague. Or anything much more than a hostile tea luncheon. Ethan tries to help out, especially
once the Captain is injured and the First Officer went into his room and shot himself (well that
was helpful, thank you). So a plan is hatched to get the remaining crew and the passengers
safely out of the ship. Haste is called for, especially after the air conditioners shut down, and the
cargo manifest shows that the ship is carrying 50 tons of explosives (and one Denzetti rally car).
Ethan helps the engineer with the hydrogen fire in engineering, Mikie and Natasha round up the
other six passengers to move them to the air raft (along with EEPLs balls), so a getaway can be
effected (in theory). Naturally, it's not that easy, due to the fact that the missing Purser has
evidently taken the air raft and left, leaving the front cargo bay open, allowing the fire to encroach
into the ship. (If we ever find that guy, he's a dead man.) They head for the aft cargo bay,
dashing through the galley (grabbing a few things on the way), but an explosion drops part of
the ship's galley equipment on the group behind Mikie, so only he and Natasha get to the cargo
bay. The Denzetti is uncovered, and once Ethan, the doctor (Paul Geffer), and the engineer (Rex)
catch up, it's a mad dash out the door, over the fire, and away from the horde. And as far away
from the exploding ship as possible.
Since their vac suits only have so much air, it's decided to just take the chance and save them
along with an hour of air per suit, for emergencies. If the plague or whatever is airborne, the
group's screwed anyway, so what the hell. Rex drives into the night, getting the group up into the
mountains, then falls over exhausted. The only sign of civilization is a big orange glow that
looks remarkably like a fair-sized city on fire. This does not bode well. Maybe the plague made
everyone go weird, or maybe everyone just sort of went off after things started going badly.
Morning comes, no one is killed, eaten, or disappears overnight. After a trout breakfast, he group
heads out toward the remains of the burning (now smoking) city in the distance. The city is
under siege, sort of a bunch of sieges of separate buildings. One building is the most intact - a
large, ugly white, 1950's building. The plan is for Natasha and Mikie to get into the building ,
while the others draw away as many of the mob as possible. Then the group decides to just wait
until dark, and try to keep the group together, with Natasha and Mikie working to find a way in.
Natasha and Mikie get in, and get the others in too. Unfortunately, the geeks are fairly efficient,
and the group is captured, disinfected, and placed into quarantine for four days. Natasha and
Ethan do not like enclosed spaces, and neither does Mikie, although he's not a pacer. And then
there's Natasha's "needs". The lights do go out for about eight hours a day, so... Ethan and Rex
especially are not thrilled, especially since Natasha is very vocal.
Dr. Bikely, the head of the physics department, comes in when the incubation period is over. The
illness affects the brain, and is a vary virulent variant of small pox. After the disease wiped out
75% of the population was wiped out, a lot of the remaining students sort of snapped, and many
joined the locals. The locals never really liked the university types, and when a rumor got
started that the disease was something that was created in the lab, it got worse. Paul goes off with
the doctor to help in the lab. The others meet Charlene, the bouncy red head who's in charge of
security; Natasha hates her on sight, naturally. Ethan checks out the firearms they've been
making in house, and everyone gets their stuff back.
Charlene gives the group a tour of the building. Ethan can help Charlene, Rex can work with
the mech-geeks, and Mikie gets to try to make the kitchen fare less boring. Fortunately there's a
little blonde vegan who's growing herbs, so that's something. Ethan goes off with Charlene, to do
military-esque stuff, including sneaking down to get a look at the "wire-heads'" robots. Mikie
needs to work around lunch lady Mildred, who doesn't want to relinquish the kitchen. Charlene
ends up on the roof with Ethan, describing the fact that she has not been able to "mess with her
troops". Comfort and aid are given. (Now Ethan can stop complaining about Natasha and
A temporary "fix" for Mildred is found, to prevent anyone from killing her. She's out of
circulation, in the little room, for several days. Mikie just couldn't bring himself to eat that badly
after all the other annoyances of late. Maybe later they can arrange for Mildred to defect. Plans
are afoot for a little trip into enemy territory to make life more difficult for the bad guys. The
other side is supposed to be having a little celebration, with speeches, music, etc., so Charlene's
plan is to disrupt it , and Ethan and Mikie are hoping that maybe one of the musicians will be the
person they are after. They hope.
To be continued...