"You asked for heroes. You didn't say anything about sanity. "-- ?
Day whatever*, 1123.
[*time is immeasurable here in a conventional sense, so why give yourself a brain cramp?]
The party meets Sergeant Udi and Captain Chenouard, the heads of Ming-Na's troops. Hunter and the others need all the intel the locals can give them about the Jammers, their weapons, and their ability to appear and disappear [gate?]. Chenouard: "We keep tracking them down, but they keep using the gate and bampfing in and out. But they have to be careful where they go and for how long. SolSec hunts them, big time." Hunter: "We are still in the Marches, right?" Chenouard: "No, we're in the Netherworld." Hunter: "Never mind. What do they use to do this disappearing act?" Cena: "Is it something portable? Something that they can carry with them?" Chenouard: "We're not sure exactly what it is, but it's some type of machine, and yes, it's at least somewhat portable." Ghaer: "Has anybody seen this machine?" Udi: "No. It might be an artifact, or some sort of TL 19 tech, or something else." Hunter: "Right. Cena, check with our armourer, & see if we can get a LAG (light assault gun) or something."
Yes, they can get a light assault gun. It weighs aobut 35 lbs, with the tripod, so it's very heavy. Hunter looks at the LAG, and gets all sarcastic. Hunter: "Thank you Ling Standard. I thought they made better stuff." It's two man-loads, but its doable. Hunter was hoping for something lighter. Like in Light Assault Gun. Hunter: "I'm thinking, if we find them in, we blow up the device." Udi: "The mission will be considered a success if you drive them through the gate. If you can capture the machin making the gate, that would mean a major bonus! Ming-Na would love to get her hands on it. Another goal, although it's not considered possible, would be to capture the Battlechimp Potempkin." Yeah, right.
Hunter: "Ghaer, you're gonna love this, but it's going to be you and me on the LAG." Ghaer is thrilled. Bob: Can we get another SMG?" Not a problem. Cena flippantly asks for a fruit bazooka [flying monkeys, Battlechimps - hey, it was a joke!] when a real one wasn't available, and the weapons tech comes out and asked for specs. Hunter and Robert give Cena a real bad time over this, suggesting frozen bananas, when not making the 'head injury' gestures behind her. The 'weapon' is actually made, a few hours later. Good grief. Hunter doesn't want to be anywhere near it when it's fired.
Sgt. Udi: "The latest raid was flying monkeys and one of the two leaders, but we don't know if it was Furious George or Battlechimp Potempkin. The problem is they don't always travel in normal space - the only warning we got was when the explosions started. They bampfed in and closed the gate right after them, but we don't know why they did that." Ghaer: "possibly because there was something bad on the other side." Cena: "I have a couple of questions about this gate." Ghaer: "So do I." Hunter: "Capturing the gate would be nice, but let's not forget that the main thing is to take care of the Jammers. We don't risk our people for the gate. I might give you guys a bad time, but I'd like to bring you all back." Hunter does have a rep for bringing his men back alive.
Hunter, Ghaer, & Cena will make the mason jar/grenade bombs, since they all have demo & grenadier. The tops are screwed on before they are given to the air force - Bob & Ariana in the air raft. They do get two grav belts for the flight crew in case they have to bail. After the machine guns are attached, Bob will take the air raft out to see how it handles. Ariana will be trained to handle clearing misfeeds, etc. for the guns and a safety belt will be rigged for her (one that can be detached, in case she needs to bail - Hunter's climbing harness will be used).
Cena: "I still have question about the gate. If no one minds... You said it's a gate, a machine, right? So it's portable, and small?" Udi: "Yes. We know it has to be portable." Hunter: "But you don't know what it looks like." Udi: "We have to guess, but we know they can move it quickly." Hunter: "For all we know Furious George has some kind of decoder ring that he twists." Could be.
Bob takes the air raft up, and it's not bad - fairly manueverable. If he tries to steer it like a fighter, it starts to steer like a cow. Good thing he's been flying civilian craft with governors on them. FLIR is attached to the air raft as well, and Ghaer goes out with Bob to do some recon, along with Sgt. Warvia. Warvia: "If the air raft goes down, they'll need someone to get their buts back here in one piece." His babysitter assignment is approved.
Chenouard suggests that Hunter's group be used as an ambush, and Ming-Na's people used to drive the Jammers towards the chosen spot. The Silent Forest (well, sort of a rain forest/jungle, really) effectively dampens radio as well, at least partially, so it's decided to use colored smoke and flares as signals - good guys use purple smoke, red means "bomb this area". While the air raft goes out, Hunter and Cena will stay and get acquainted with the local troops. Ming-Na's people have pretty much standardized weapons, with some personal ones, like a grease gun that one of the men carries, along with more than 20 magazines.
The air raft goes out, using the FLIR [Forward Looking Infrared Radar] to see throught the triple canopy. It reveals many heat prints from small animals, but that's about it. Towards the center, are dark shapes that are colder than the surrounding area. Buildings. One or two of the buildings have heat leaks, probably from open doorways. Ghaer marks those sites. The tactical feed to combat armor does work, showing Ghaer a grid with heat signatures; they didn't want to risk sending the signal all the way back to base. They head back, staying to the clouds. The mason jar rack is going to need spacers between the jars in order for it to work - cardboard and duct tape should do it. It would be bad for those glass jars to bang together and break while they are still in the raft.
Udi: "We've never had air cover here before, in the Netherworld." They've never had an air raft here before, so Udi doesn't think the Jammers will expect it. Udi: "But the longer we have it, the more likely it is they'll find out." Hunter: "Which is why we're only taking 24 hours before we attack them; which means we don't have time to integrate the units. That's why you'll be the hammer, we'll be the anvil." Hunter has been going on about "Pochimpkin" and other derogatory comments, but he really does understand that the enemy is a threat. Intel trading goes on. The leaders of the Jammers do understand tactics, and try to use it, but once the shit hits the fan, then it's pretty much like kicking over an ant hill, and the Jammers are likely to do something off the wall - like human wave attacks, or charging superior forces, or running like hell. And they love explosives.
There are some thoughts of using napalm, which is okay in small doses, but a 55 gallon drum dropped into the forest is right out. This is an "enclosed" space, and if the party burns down Ming-Na's estate, she'll be stone cold pissed. A jerry-rigged daisy-cutter is also discussed, and that can be done, but it would seriously limit the air raft's ability to carry troops and their equipment, so that idea is discarded. Five of the grenade/Mason jar bombs are dismantled to free up 5 grenades for the party, and the last two bombs have gasoline added so that when those go up the party will know the air raft is out of bombs. Some of the Jammers may have what they call "clacker guns", because of the sound they make. It looks kind of like a Mosberg 500A pump shotgun, with a pistol grip, but it's an energy weapon. The sound is caused by the action being cycled, which is louder than a shotgun action; the longer the trigger is pulled, the more powerful the energy blast. So either shoot them fast or run. If they sound goes on for 20 seconds or more, then just get the hell out of the area, because it's likely to blow up regardless of what you, or the person who is holding it, try to do.
The plan is to take the Ling Standard people out to a pre-arranged position in the Silent Forest and drop them off. The air raft will then come back for Hunter's party, which will go around to the other side. Capt. Chenouard is a bit concerned for the safety of his men, and wants to make sure the air raft doesn't fire on his men. After all, they know what to expect from the Jammers, they don't know about the guy with the air raft and the .30 cal machine guns.
Hunter: "What we have in the air raft is mobile massive destruction. We're going to fix their position between us, and then you go in after them. I'm going to be looking for the box, or machine or whatever. <to Ghaer and Cena> You're job is to look for the gate, and prevent them from organizing while Bob cuts them up." Bob<to Chenouard>: "If you pop red smoke, make sure you're not in the area, that's what you use to designate the bad guys' position." Ghaer: "We need two machetes to attach to the gravbelts, just in case they go down in the canopy and get hung up." Even though it is the Silent Forest, everyone will make sure they don't rattle before leaving.
Cena goes off on her own to sight in the Banana Bazooka. And it works. Really well. Hot damn. The more mundane tasks of arranging fallback points, signals, etc. which takes up most of the time left, besides sleeping. Bob: "We're the reactionary force, right?" Hunter: "We're the anvil." Bob: "And if they don't run?" Hunter: "Then we still take them on. Believe me, if you do your job, it'll go fine. Trust me."
Day whatever +1, 1123.
Hunter would prefer to go in at 3:00 a.m., when the apes are sleeping, but the intel isn't good enough to be sure where they'll be asleep. They do have some records of heat prints from a few days ago, which doesn't place the heat prints near the buildings. They're scattered all over the forest. There is one path that seems to be the main trail into the center where the big building is located. The plan is to go in parallelling the trail. Ling troops from the South, then driving the Jammers North towards the party. Bob: "What time do we go in?" Hunter: "Well, beaters don't do us any good unless the apes are up, so say, 5:00 AM." The Ling troops leave early, geting into position by foot and ground vehicles, so that the air raft doesn't have to make the number of trips it would take to ferry 54 people out to the Silent Forest.
Time to go. The signal that the enemy has been engaged is yellow smoke or white star cluster flare. Or the radio call, whichever works. Off to the Silent Forest, and with a proper 50 pt. med kit this time! Cena's happy.
Hunter's party goes in from the North, quietly, at about 600'. The heatprints are too disperse from this height, but there are no early rising flying monkeys to deal with. Udi: "I'm entering the Silent Forest." Hunter: "Once you enter, key your mike a couple of times, just to see if it transmits. We're on site, good luck." The heatprints of the Ling people are spotted and marked. Watching, waiting, and listening.
Hunter's party monitoring the radio hears: "There's slime on everything!" Followed by a string of profanities. This is not on the command channel. It doesn't sound like fun down there, and not all the transmissions are coming through, but it's something.
About a half hour later - gunfire. Hunter: "Get down low, 200 feet." That brings the air raft down to the treetop level. Hunter: "You'll have to get under the canopy - go NOE (Nape of the Earth), but not too fast." The clearing up ahead is the best way in, and when they get there, the identity of the big square thing in the center of the forest is revealed to be a large, Mayan-style pyramid with a huge statue of a big monkey crossed with an insect on top. Hunter figures this is a great place to use as a fallback or sniper point.
At 50' off the ground, Bob has to put on the brakes, or hit the rope ladders and bridges. There is a veritable maze of bridges, platforms and treehouses at the 50 foot level. He goes up a bit to get through. They're taking fire from some platforms, and in turn the air raft uses them as target practice. Splinters fly, and small fires are starting from the tracers. Now one of the flying monkeys is in pursuit! Ghaer: "Pull!" Hunter: "Flat and level, and slow down." Ghaer's shotgun blast only slightly wings the monkey, who's rather upset now. Cena decides to try out the banana bazooka, just for kicks - after all, it is a flying monkey. A yellow streak goes out and hits the rotor blades, sliced bananas fly through the air, there's a purple flash, a scream from the monkey, and it's sucked into a black distortion in space and disappears. There's a brief pause as this sinks in. Cena: "Whoa."
Then Hunter's party, with the exception of Bob and Ariana, disembark onto one of the hanging walkways, and into the trees as Ariana shoots at anything that moves and is monkey-like. Hunter radios the other unit that "we are in position and on our way. Signal your position with smoke." Hunter, Ghaer, Cena, and Warvia move in among the bridges and ropes, taking their shots, while Bob goes off in pursuit of his targets. Bob is trying to find cover to hover behind, so he can dart out and shoot. He spots a second flying monkey, and fires on it as the monkey turns his way, a surprised look on its face, briefly. The monkey is hit, and starts to lose altitude, and the monkey's return fire goes really wide.
Hunter:"I'm going to play a hunch. Take Cena and go back towards that big monkey tower. Warvia and I can take care of this end, but I want that checked out." Ghaer and Cena head back toward the pyramid.
Meanwhile, Ariana drops a bomb, which misses the flying monkey, and goes down through the second canopy. Wonder what's down there? Over the commo - Hunter: "Air cover, pull back towards the primary rendezvous site."
Cena and Ghaer move back towards the pyramid. A flash of light goes right past Ghaer's head. He's feeling a bit more mortal now, or at least it has his attention. Ghaer does a quick turn toward the direction the fire came from, shooting the Jammer right in the pump (heart). That'll teach him. Onward.
Hunter and Warvia spot some people in the trees. Punk hairdos, blue hair, shaved heads, and a variety of clothing. Some of them are just naked and blue, with spiky hair. Hunter: "Okay, they're fruitcakes. Okay Sarge, you take the 50 on the right, I'll take the 50 on the right." Hunter sees Warvia threading the bridges behind them with detcord, so Hunter covers him, stirring up the anthill some more, looking for a big gun. Hunter spots a man with one of those clacker guns, so he decides to take him out right quick, before that catches on. Hunter fires the LAG, hitting the Jammer in the lower torso. Gut-shot with a light assault gun. Explosive eviseration! Eww! He drops the clacker, which blows up down below. Screaming is heard from below when it goes off, at ground level.
Hunter drops the LAG onto the bridge, pulls up his assault rifle, and fires on the platform with the spiky haired people on it. He does get shot in the left hand in the process, which is not good. Warvia suggest he fall back, which he does, after firing off a burst, dropping the rifle(it's on a sling), and hoisting the LAG onto his shoulders as Warvia covers. Yes, Hunter's light load is enough to give other people hernias- but it's the next morning that he frequently realizes that he's not as young as he used to be.
Robert advances into the battle, unable to identify the good guys from the bad guys using the FLIR. He goes in past the Ling Standard troops, leaving him with just bad guys to fire at on the ground. He'll provide support as the line advances and encounters resistance.
Ghaer and Cena go pelting off towards the pyramid. Cena is hit in the right knee, but not incapacitated. Ghaer spots one of the human Jammers on the bridge, and returns the favor. The man isn't hit, but he does jump off the bridge, going down towards the canopy. Ghaer and Cena check out the area, then continue towards the pyramid. Radio traffic from below indicates the Ling troops have encountered mines, so they're heading off the path; no one was injured by the mines as they spotted them before setting any off.
Up ahead, on the same level, Cena catches a glimpse of something moving out away from the shelter, into the trees. She calls it, and she and Ghaer take shots. Yes, Cena is still using the banana bazooka. The banana does hit the monkey. There's bright purple flash, a sucking sound, and the monkey, half of the tree, and the treehouse disappear with a loud POP! This unfortunately sends a rippling wave in the air towards Cena and Ghaer, taking out the support for the bridge that they are personally standing on. Cena goes down hard, in a way reminiscent of an incident in training when her chute didn't open all the way. Ouch. Ghaer lands fine.
Hunter and Warvia take off, Warvia laying detcord behind them as he fires. Warvia stops, caps into the detcord, falls back further and fires it. They take out the bridge, and a bunch of pursuers with it. They continue to run, past the upside down monkey head which is poking through the canopy overhead, apparently watching them. The upside down monkey head??? No time to draw his pistol, so Hunter keeps on running.
Up between the second and third canopy, Robert and Ariana are up above the bridges and treehouses. They can go faster up here, but there's still a big risk of slamming into a tree. Bob the pilot does increase the speed slightly. But they're not taking a lot of fire up here though.
Ghaer spots the "jumping" shooter who had gone off the bridge earlier, on a bungee cord. Ghaer misses him, but the Jammer isn't able to hit anything either. He's certainly an evading target on that cord. Ghaer swaps for a full magazine, and goes after Cena.
Bob spots some targets he can identify as Jammers, so he heads down and fires on the jammers Warvia's detcord dumped onto the ground. If they fall didn't do them in, the machinegun fire does. It's all slimy and stuff down here, so the air raft heads up again.
Ghaer has discovered the slimy stuff. Ewww. Even in combat armor, he's sure it's going to get into his fur. He finds Cena wrapped up in vines, and helps her out. Ghaer: "Let's get out of here - this is reminding me of something unpleasant." As they start to move, he sees the bungee Jammer, and a path off to one side. He sees four humans off the edge of the path, in a cluster. Ghaer passes the info on to Cena, brings up his weapon, checking it, then fires a burst at the group. He takes out one of them, leaving a very attractive male (dressed in a GQ fashion), a female, and a medium-sized man. Cena, still with the banana bazooka in hand, takes a shot.
There's another flash, and all that's left is a crater. Cena is then attacked by the vines around her, which she manages to avoid (good thing she played rugby in the Marines). Ghaer lobs a grenade, which discourages the vines, and splatters slime all over him. He and Cena head up, off of the ground level. Cena: "Does 'frozen banana' mean something else here?!?" Like 'small, banana-shaped nuke, perhaps?"
Right after Hunter runs past the upside-down monkey head, Warvia is snatched up by long metallic arms and furred hands. Hunter takes the magazine out of the LAG and leaves the weapon behind him as he heads after Warvia. He manages to get a shot at something with a colder signature than Warvia, then continues, looking for another shot. He has to jog off to one side to get around a missing section of bridge. Hunter: "Bob, what's your status?" Bob: "5 by 5. On your six." Hunter: "Get over here. Something's grabbed Warvia and taken off with him." As Bob starts to head that way, Ariana tells him he has "three monkeys behind us". Robert spins the air raft and takes down one of the flying monkeys, but he's gutshot himself.
Hunter <yelling up>: "That's right, you better run monkey! Cause if I catch you, you yellow ape, I'm going to lock you back up in a cage where you belong!" Robert drops below the flying monkeys, through the canopy, then turns around, waiting for the monkey to either drop into the hole, or fly over it.
Ghaer is the first one up the ladder to the second level, weapon re-holstered. Cena covers as best she can, but the canopy is in the way. As Ghaer nears the top pf the ladder into the second canopy, he's grabbed by a gorilla on a huge platform and picked up. Ghaer can see a treehouse that makes the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse look like an unimaginative dump. Ghaer: "Thank you! My compliments on your home. Tell me, are you the designer?" The gorilla (to all appearances a real, non-cyber-gorilla) puts an arm around Ghaer, and starts showing him around.
Hunter<still yelling into the trees>: "You're not even a monkey! You're a fucking lemur! A tree rat! If you had any balls you'd come back down here and face me, man to monkey! What? Are you running home to mommy? Time for a diaper change?" A monkey with a large robotic body, drops out of the tree, across from Hunter, who fires. He hits the monkey in the armored robot/cyborg center of mass. The monkey then aims a handgun at Hunter. The gun has a cable attached to it, but there is no clacking sound. The monkey pulls the trigger on the full auto pistol, shooting Hunter in the shin. Hunter: "You fucking monkey! I'm going to shave your ass!''
Near by, a flying monkey pops down right in front of Robert's air raft. It manages to get between the machine guns, where he can't be shot, so Robert just flies the air raft into the monkey. SPLAT! Followed by a thump as the monkey hits the ground. Ariana then shoots the body. One of the guns is out of whack after the impact , but oh well.
Cena comes up to the gorilla level, as the gorilla is motioning to a sand table, and hands Ghaer a stick. The gorilla hunkers down, waiting for Ghaer. Ghaer also hunkers down, and draws a square surrounded by jungle, then the planet, and the moon. The gorilla then draws the international 'no' symbol over the pyramid. Ghaer then looks at Cena and says "Well, I'd better be off, or the little woman will get on my case. Women." The gorilla smiles and shrugs.
Hunter has had enough, so he aims for the cyber-monkey's head, and shoots it in the mouth. The monkey looks at Hunter and spits something onto the catwalk. Hunter: "Oh-oh." The monkey reaches into a pouch, takes out a banana, throws it down on the catwalk, and then jumps into the black hole and disappears with a snap. Hunter: "Shit." He calls for the air raft, since he can't get up to where Warvia is up in the trees. The air raft shows up, and Ariana helps Hunter as he dives in. Robert: "Where to?" Hunter: "Up there. And watch out for the bananas." Okay... Up they go, and Warvia is spotted in the crook of a tree. He is apparently unconscious, so they get as close as possible below him, and Hunter borrows Ariana's safety line as he goes up after the Sergeant. Warvia is still breathing, and Hunter is able to get him into the air raft. Robert: "Hunter, can you come up front?" Hunter: "I'm busy." He medics Warvia. Hunter: "Come on, you lazy ass Marine! You're not hurt." Warvia gradually wakes up; a bit worse for wear, but not seriously injured. Hunter: "I just saw a monkey throw down a banana and jump through it." Warvia: "Hey, I was the one who was unconscious." Hunter: "I'm not the one who ran off with the first female monkey I saw. You two have a good time?" Warvia: "No, it takes me longer than 30 seconds." When Hunter finally goes up front, he sees that Robert is sitting in a pool of blood. Ah. Robert didn't want Ariana to know he was hit, but he can't fly in this shape. Hunter has Ariana take over while he medics Bob. The LS guys radio that "they're on the move [referring to the jammers who have broken and are fleeing now]", so Hunter has Ariana head over to Ghaer and Cena.
Ghaer has medicked Cena, which helps tremendously, and they catch a ride on the air raft, by the ropes Hunter has slung under it. At Hunter's order, they all head for the big pyramid, and set down on the top level. Hunter: "We need to find bananas. That's the key. There have to be some bananas around here." Ghaer: "Why do we need bananas?" Hunter: "That's what they use to disappear." Ghaer: "Bananas?" Hunter: "Yeah. So there have to some around here." Cena, having already removed the partially spent frozen banana magazine and replaced it with a full one, hands Hunter a banana. He throws it down onto the pyramid, not really expecting anything to happen. Something happens.
There's a loud thunderclap, and a bright white light. Hunter, Ghaer, Cena, Robert, Ariana, and Warvia ALL have the feeling of falling. When the light dims to where they can see, it's hot, and sandy. Hunter: "Shit." Robert: "Where the hell are we?" Ghaer: "Back in Hell?" Suddenly everyone is glad to have armor on, due to the falling sand (this is what happens when you drop a large pyramid in the desert). Hunter: "Shit, we're back in hell. Cena, give me another banana." Cena: "Hunter!!" He still has 6 bananas left in the magazine. Looking around, it appears that they're back on the planet (0808). There are drag marks, about the size of an air raft. Hunter: "Cena, you throw a banana this time." Cena stares at him. Hunter: "We were in the middle of a firefight." They all get into the air raft to check it out, and follow the drag marks. Hunter: "Keep a banana handy." Ghaer can see an octarine glow, and tells Hunter he has "a bad feeling"; he doesn't say they're going through a gate, but they do, and end up back in Purgatory, near the Golden Pagoda (Ming-Na's estate). Ghaer radios the castle and asks them to "tell Ming-Na that the temple is now on the planet, so if she wants to take it over or destroy it..." The Ling troops are on the return trip from the Silent Forest, with wounded. Cena will stay at the castle to get ready to receive wounded while Hunter and Ghaer get some of the wounded troops in the air raft and come back quickly.
Hunter, on his return, tracks down Ming-Na. Hunter: "You were interested in the technology that made them disappear." He hands her a banana. Ming-Na: "And how does this work?" Hunter: "They threw it down by their feet, there was a purple flash, and they jumped through it." Ming-Na: "Ah, the gate must have been keyed to bananas; I wondered what they were using to trigger it. Of course, with their temple on the planet, these probably won't work. Besides, you've moved a significant part of their feng shui site, rendering it useless. They won't be much of a problem, for now."
Everyone gets medicked, cleaned up, fed, etc. After resting, Ming-Na comes to speak with the group. Ming-Na: "Shall we go?" There is some discussion as to exactly where they want to go - Regina, or the nearby planet. Ariana and Robert want to recover their ship. They could either go back the way they came from, and try to jump in and take the ship, or go back to the planet surface, which seems the easiest.
Before Ming-Na goes back with the group to Regina, there is something that needs to be done. Since Ariana has decided that she has nothing to lose, she's going to be bonded to the feng shui site. This means a ceremony, following which she needs to remain in Purgatory (the Netherworld) for one week (local time), to 'defend it'. After that time, she'll be linked to the site, and will know if something goes wrong. What with the sudden relocation of the pyramid, Ming-Na is pretty sure the time passage has been altered, but which way she doesn't know. Ariana doesn't care if a week here means a year in the 'real' world - it's not like she's going anywhere with her life on her own. Then they can bampf onto the planet and call for help - Cena gives Bob the call button for the Navy.
Ming-Na gives the written instructions on the ceremony to Ariana and Robert, who of course is staying with her. He'll also go through the ceremony. Ming-Na takes the party back to the tea house, takes a black baton out of her pocket (Ghaer noticies she's using a Therian control baton), slides some rings on it, and the runes lights up around the arch. Ming-Na: "After you." Cena goes through first, with Hunter right behind her, groping her rump (hey, the op's over!). Ghaer has decided to stay to make sure Ariana and Bob get through the week all right. And maybe become more Vargr-like. Or at least more rested.
Cena, Hunter, and Ming-Na go through the gate and end up in either a starport, or a really flipping huge ship. A small cleaning robot is bumping into Hunter's foot, so he moves. They find the central corridor, and are, in fact on Level 8 of Regina, and only eight days have passed since they left Regina. This is the worst of both worlds - trapped on a ship for weeks, and now no one will understand how hard the trip really was. Not that Cena or Hunter will be talking a lot about this one...
They make a side trip to a bank to cash Ming-Na's cheque, so Hunter can distribute money into people's accounts. Ka-ching! Very hard earned cash. Hunter: "Oh, Madame Ling? That Pikchron you promised me? Could you make it a woman's model?" Ming-Na: "Yes, of course." (Hunter wants to give it to Angela, and gives Ming-Na the delivery address.) Hunter: "Should we just show up and knock on Corina's door?" Cena: "I can go along with that." It's 10:30 in the morning, and Cena remembers that Corina is notorious for being at her Foundation every morning, so they go there, making quite an impression when they show up. Hunter: "We give you fast results. <whispered to Cena> Maybe she'll remember that next time she wants an op." Cena: "Yeah. Maybe she'll call someone else." Hunter: "That's a thought." Cena: "God. I need a vacation." Corina is surprised to see the party back so soon, but it's hard to argue with success.
Hunter returns home, and asks Angela to "arrange for a companion for Cena." Angela: "What for?" Hunter: "Well, she's kind of stressed out after the op and all." Angela: "I don't think she needs you to find a man for her. I doubt she's ever had to pay for it." Hunter: "Well, I don't know....Wait a minute! Is there some underlying message here?" Angela: "What? I don't sleep with you for money." Hunter: "Well, not any more... Never mind. I'm sorry I got back so soon, I hope I didn't screw up your plans." Angela: "No, that's all right. I'm glad to have you back."
Cena decides to take a vacation. On Cogri. They should know how to celebrate Holiday on Cogri. With no damn monkeys, either.
After the two week period passes, Ariana, Bob, and Ghaer return to the planet and push the recall button. The Navy sends down a boat to pick them up, and they learn that nine days have passed since they landed on 0808. This alternate trouser leg of time stuff is really confusing.
Ghaer, Bob, and Ariana return to Regina. With Steve. And his bunnies. Safe and sound, at last.