Barron Travis awakens in a coffin-like sleeping chamber with a computer like alarm informing him that this is his’ wake-up call. He checks the news for a price and then decided to leave and catch his connection on the Laxiline Empress. While else where you see a fleet footed Kelvin dodging gun fire while three men give chase after him. But wait there is more…a casual conversation between Ken and his’ friend is interrupted by the gun fire of Jiro as Kelvin rounds a corner and heads straight for the gangplank of the Laxiline Empress. On the gangplank Simon a knight awaits his’ turn with checking in and argues with the steward of which items are allowed for a noble at which time Travis joins in the conversation and assist Simon. Franticly Kelvin makes it past Ken and onto the laxiline Empress, while the three men stop and break off the chase. Only Jiro calmly makes his way past Ken and his friend to the laxiline Empress. Onboard the ship we see Victor relaxing on a bed eating a complementary fruit basket thinking how nice it was to send himself on a vacation, he really needed this. While on the promenade a well dressed man sees Jiro looking for clothing and a young woman catches his’ eye. While not dressed flashy or even flattering he takes notice then dismisses Jinix, and even though she notices Keziah watching her she thinks he doesn’t know anything so just walk away and keep calm no one needs to die today.
The ship leaves with many people onboard and while some say goodbye to loved ones or start the partying you see Jinix at a bar having a drink, when the noble baron Travis arrives and buys her a drink. She accepts as is customary but tries to avert his attention to other things and breaths better but not easier when Simon another noble joins him, she cannot seem to get away from their likes. Then Kelvin takes the seat next to her and tries to start a conversation to be interrupted when a generous patron buys drinks for the bar. Free drinks are always good so when Kelvin turns to thank the kind sir he is taken back to see Jiro the man who was following him. Others (Victor, Ken, & Keziah) slip into the bar and find places to people watch or enjoy a good meal. Soon a Vargr enters the room accompanied by a droid and offers to pay everyone’s bar & food bill for the night, then has a waitress provide invites to the eight asking for them to hear about a business proposal aka a job at 10 pm then walks out. While the others eat and drink Jinix follows him out of the bar and questions him. You don’t know anyone so why us? He informs he knows more than she thinks and provides enough information on her situation for her to ask is this blackmail? He assures her if it was she wouldn’t be here and then he feels she and the others could help him with a problem. Once they talk she informed him that she will think it other and they can talk at 10pm. She then leaves to check out this Mr. Volsate – Vargr, part of the merchant guild, CEO of the Tukeraline which owns the Laxiline Empress.
When 10pm comes all eight meet in the penthouse of the ship. Mr. Volsate and his’ droid then provide everyone with an opportunity to make money running mail and other deliveries for him and when the contracts are handed out so are files with personal information for each person to know he picked them for a reason. It is asked if this is being shared and he answers no. Others ask must they sign the contract he again says no and they can even have a lawyer review it first. Jinix, Ken, Keziah and Kelvin sign in order while the others want time to review and think. Mr. Volsate informs all they have been upgraded to the penthouse and each has a suite to choose from – they can move their items or have a purser do it for them. Jinix talks to each person (other than the nobles after all they are acting like snobby nobles) to find out what they are and what they can do. She finds out Ken is former military and an engineer, Victor a computer hacker, Jiro a man who will not answer questions and lies about who he sees as a friend, Travis is a would be friend of Jiro like a dog and a cat locked in a small room wonder which will bite first, Keziah is a doctor who likes to people watch, better keep him close or far away from her – she not sure which yet.
People break off into room for the night and Victor has fun at Simon’s expense and changes his room. When he returns at 12 midnight he is angered by the fact he no longer has a room the employees try to let him know he was upgraded to a penthouse but he is still angered by the action. So after awhile Mr. Volsate comes to resolve the issue and offers a full refund for passage on the ship, a new room of similar quality as the one lost, all food and drink paid for and his sincere apology. But Simon wants more and talks about how Mr. Volsate shows no honor and does not want the penthouse suite as he doesn’t want to get fleas from him. Mr. Volsate now angered demeands a duel and ask first blood or to the death? While readying himself for the duel by removing his robes Simon hits him before he is ready or armed. After a few blows Simon demands for Mr. Volsate to go to his knees. Mr. Volsate asks if Simon wants to call this a draw of which he does at that time and the droid’s weapons power down.
Nothing note worthy happens the rest of the trip and when they dock Mr. Volsate give the group information on the ship and each makes way to different destinations. Simon, Travis, Victor and Kelvin go to a bar of which they get separated and Simon is kidnapped and awakes in a hospital while Travis and Kelvin have dinner with some local nobles and Victor see Simon’s kidnapping and heads toward the new ship. Ken and Jiro left the liner to inspect the ship for the job. With like mind Jinix and Keziah take her gravity vessel to also inspect the ship and get to know each other a bit better. When they arrive they help Ken and Jiro open the ship. All parties think it will take weeks if not months to get the ship space travel worthy. Keziah wonders what happened and why provide a deathtrap of a ship. While Ken and Jinix inspect the inside and help the winged vermin leave their home while Keziah contacts Mr. Volsate regarding the condition of the ship and how are they supposed to do the job with a vessel in this condition.