Family Matters.


Trygaer wants to "talk about things" with Mikie, and as Theresa is out with her father, and Mikie doesn't think he'll be able to sleep any way, he agrees. Trygaer evidently envies Mikie's "freedom", as he was never allowed to decide for himself what he wanted to do. He wants to know about Mikie's life, and he's always wanted a brother.

So, the night ends with Nicolai ticked off, Blaelok concerned, the Arkadians down one house and a lot of personelle, Joe Lee safely home, and Mikie pretty messed up emotionally over this whole mess.

To be continued...?



After spending the night with his brother, Mikie goes to work at D.S. Blaelok has called Nicolai, informed him that Mikie is working at D.S., and that he should be working the current shift. Nicolai goes to D.S., sits at a table near the bar, and glowers at Mikie. Rick Walker comes in, orders a drink, says hello to Mikie, then goes over to Nicolai's table to say hi.

Nicolai tells Rick, when Rick enquires what's up, that he should never turn his back on Mikie, as he will "turn on him". Rick isn't sure he wants to know what's up. The server, Trixie, warns Mikie that Nicolai is glaring at him, and she's concerned that because he's so much bigger, Mikie could get hurt.

A very attractive Darian female, seated at the bar with a big bald guy, is flirting with Rick. Fortunately, her companion has not yet noticed. Rick smiles, mouths "later".

Then Mikie's brother, Andrew (his middle name), comes in. Nicolai squishes his tea glass, which spills tea everywhere, but then pops back into shape. Andrew sits at the bar, and orders a champagne cocktail. Ghaer comes in, looks, goes over to Mikie. The big bald guy goes to the men's room, and the Darian female goes over to flirt seriously with Rick ("You're very tall - are you proportional?"), leaves him a card, and goes back to the bar.

Nicolai goes to the bar, Mikie tries to let him know what is really going on. Then the big guy gets into it with the female, and slaps her. All of a sudden, the focus shifts to the large jerk. Ghaer goes to help the girl, whose name is Carissa, and Rick, Nicolai, and Mikie try to keep the big guy and his newly arrived big friends from making more of a mess. Rick gets in the guy's face, and Mikie tells him to leave or he'll be removed. The friends convince him that it's not worth the trouble, and that they have a meeting to get to, so they leave, after threatening Mikie.

Carissa, as it turns out, has been "sold" to the Dragons in payment of her guardian's gambling debts. She appreciates the offers of help, but does not want to get anyone into trouble, so she leaves to catch up. She did say they were staying in the Ambassador.

Andrew and Nicolai speak, and Andrew just openly tells him he's a biogeneticist, and has been working with bioweapons and APs. Oh, lovely. Could we be less naive about things???

Blaelok comes in, to speak with Nicolai about a job, and Nicolai immediately introduces Andrew, who Blaelok finds "interesting". This time, Andrew hesitates when Blaelok asks what he does for a living, and then tells him he's a scientist, a biologist - boring stuff. And he goes off on an explanation of some of the actual, incredibly boring parts of the work, as Mikie warned him as Blaelok entered. But then Blaelok steps outside with Nicolai, to explain that he is going to have to deal with some unpleasant people (the Dragons??), so he'll need a big gun. Naturally, this makes him think about Nicolai, who agrees to do the job, tells Blaelok what Andrew really does (as Mikie figured he would), and then goes back in.

The discussion turns to Carissa, and the trouble she's in, and Nicolai doesn't know what business it is of his, as he's not being paid. So Irving offers to pay him, as no one should be allowed to hurt some one like that. Nicolai agrees to take Irving's payment of a couple of hundred credits (that's all he has), and even allows Irving to keep the offered fire stone - Irving's good luck piece, worth about $100,000 credits. Irving does discover that Nicolai is houseless, and offers to get a group together to build him a new (bomb-resistant) house; lucky for Nicolai, Ghaer reminded Irving that Nicolai was "two Pykhans tall".

Mikie has to stay late to cover for his replacement, who's going to be late, again. Ghaer and Nicolai go shake a weasel, to get information about the Dragons. Turns out they've cruised into town, thrown their weight around, and have had to pay off some cops to cover up the beating of some working girls, and that kind of thing. They are used to being the top dogs, and the Wuzzelli is more than willing to help Ghaer, if it means something bad will happen to the big guys. Turns out they are looking for the kind of expertise that Andrew has, and Ghaer calls Mikie to warn him about this; Andrew will be staying with Mikie until he gets off shift. Mikie also calls Theresa before she shows up, to let her know he'll be late, and to arrange to meet her for dinner at the Ambassador, as he needs to tell her about his brother before she just runs into him.

Rick and Nicolai observe the Dragons' party at the Ambassador, out on the balcony, until one of them spots them, and they go inside. They are waiting in the lobby when Theresa arrives, looking very nice. They speak with Theresa, and then leave when they see Mikie arrive (after getting armour for Andrew). Andrew is left off to one side, until Mikie can speak with Theresa. Nicolai and Rick send a message to the Dragons, inquiring about the possiblity of purchasing Carissa.

Mikie tells Theresa about discovering he had a brother, etc., and that yes, he was here. Theresa is definitely surprised to see just how much Mikie and Andrew are alike, and Andrew is quite impressed with Theresa (yes, she's a looker, especially tonight). Andrew and Theresa have a lovely time at dinner, chatting and enjoying the wine. Theresa is, however, making sure Mikie does not feel neglected, especially below the table...

Nicolai is heading downport, as he wants to get the bad guys off the Up Port before all hell breaks loose. Rick gets called by his ship (AI), because Carissa is outside the ship, in very bad shape. Rick heads there, and finds her curled up outside, beaten the hell up. He takes her inside, has his ship download the Darian medical files it needs, and then puts her in the auto-doc. Then Rick calls Mikie.

By this time, Andrew and Theresa are three sheeps to the wind, and having a lovely time. Ghaer runs into Mikie, and suggests that Andrew not be left in his hotel room, as he is registered under his own name - good thought. Andrew is left at Ghaer's apartment, safely tucked in, with a note that he's to stay. Mikie takes Theresa home, spends some time getting her relaxed, then leaves her tucked in.

On the way to Rick's ship, Mikie calls Blaelok to clarify that Andrew is covered under their agreement that Mikie's family (this was for Theresa primarily) is off limits. Blaelok agrees. Also, Mikie asks if the Dragons are necessary for Blaelok's business - no. But if Mikie finds anything that may interest Blaelok...

Rick gets a call from one of the large out of towners, asking if he got the package. Seems they were all done with her, and were going to get themselves a new girl, maybe a "nursie", and he should tell his friend. Oh-oh. Nicolai's girlfriend, Christie, is a nurse, and she has not shown up for her shift when Mikie calls the hospital. Ghaer calls Nicolai, tells him what's up, and they all meet at Christie's apartment. The door has been forced, and the place is dark. Christie is gagged, handcuffed, and naked in the bathroom. She has had meat cutting marks penned onto her body, but otherwise appears to have not been harmed physically. Mentally, she is in bad shape; she does recognize and cling to Nicolai. She's cleaned up and taken to Regina Trauma.

Nicolai is out for blood. Mikie figures that the goons would have gone somewhere to "celebrate", so they check the nearest bar, and sure enough, they've been there. They are tracked to a bordello, where two of the three are busy. The third has a taste for young boys, so he's tracked to a different location, where Nicolai kills him in an exchange of gunfire. Mikie searches the body, and finds a PDA and a phone number on a card, which he takes. The other two are lured out of the bordello (Mikie made sure nothing happened inside the "house"), taken down, but left alive to interrogate. One of them is brought back to consciousness, but is hardened against interrogation. The other is semi-conscious, and Mikie is able to get a memory of meeting an important man in an apartment on level 2, green level, in #267. Nicolai makes sure neither one bothers anyone ever again.

The group heads back to Rick's ship, get Sid (the AI) to pull the info off the PDA (mostly sex-related, but an appointment with the boss for 11:00 a.m. the next morning), and then crash. Next morning, Rick stays with Carissa, while Ghaer and Mikie go with Nicolai to check on Christie, who's sleeping. Blaelok is in the hospital, watching her room, and he tells Nicolai that he has found an alternate source for whatever the heck he was getting from the Dragons, and they have been an embarassment. Also, it might be bad if they were to make a visit to the big grey building with no windows. He confirms the apartment number that Mikie got, and added the one next to it.

Meanwhile, back at Rick's ship, he wakes Carissa, and plays her the part of the message about her being his now. She is very subservient, and Rick has to tell her to not call him "master", and that he really wants her to study and learn things. Now Rick has a 20 year old Darian for a pet. How nice for him.

Turns out the bad guys have already moved out, but their private ship has not yet left. Carissa tells Rick that she doesn't think they would leave until they picked up the cargo they had stored on Up Port. She describes the location, and it's just a few hundred yards from the Cadaver - easy to find. Off they go.

Mikie is able to get inside the warehouse, in the upper area, where he can spot for the others outside. The bad guys are mostly inside, arguing because the keys aren't working. Turns out some one has put glue in the locks. Kids? Ghaer and Rick are to distract the two outside guys (by trying to shoot them), while Nicolai triggers and dashes inside. He fires off his surf gun into the group of seven men, and manages to take out all the bodyguards, leaving only the head older guy, and his younger assistant (or whatever). The younger one pulls two vibra blades, and goes after Nicolai, but he doesn't last long. Nicolai is shot by the older guy, who has a hideout in his sleeve. When there's no way out, the old guy self determines.

While he is up in the rafters, Mikie sees a figure in black quietly moving the bundles from the Dragons' storage box to the adjacent one, and putting them into the trunk of a car, which she then leaves in, after pulling off her head covering...Claire? The car tears off, goes a couple of blocks, where Blaelok meets the vehicle, takes one of the bundles out and leaves it on the road (for the group to get, apparently), and then gets into the car. Rick picks it up.

En route back to Rick's ship, by a separate route than the others, Mikie is picked up by one of Black's people, who wants to know where "it" is. "It" being the stuff in the bundles. Mikie explains that he got involved because of Nicolai, so it was personal reasons, and he neither knew, no cared what the Dragons were up to. He is searched, so they get the PDA he retrieved from the dead old guy, but then Black (on the phone with the guy in the car) tells him to let Mikie go, although he obviously doesn't want to.

Turns out the bundle is money - Imperial credits, which the group splits up, but Mikie does not want to know what was in the bundle, and does not want to take any money for this as it was personal. What he really wants is sleep, and a few calm days with no surprises.

Rick is now the proud owner (this may take some explaining, especially to Karlen) of Carissa. Rick tells her that if she wants to please him, she should study and "better herself". It remains to be seen what becomes of this relationship.

Nicolai is going to spend time with Christie on Up Port, and try to help her recover. Also, he has to wait for Irving's Pykhan friends to finish building his new home.