ContextThe crew of the CAMEROON extracted two bait hunters and three baits from the clasp of engineered raptors. Anika spent a while on the operating table to rescue her left lung and arm. The crew is in jumpspace, heading back to Terra, and pondering how to capitalize on the knowledge of a raptor farm on Prometheus.
The farm was located deep into the hinterland, and allegedly ran by the local kingpin of Brethrow. There, wealthy hunter purchased convicts to act as bait to a roving pack of raptors. The goal of such hunt: save the baits (which is apparently very likely to fail).
LocationTerra is the old familiar world for the reader, except that the year is 2170 and the planet is recovering from a massive orbital bombing where 12 cities were damaged with nuclear warheads. True to themselves, terrans are survivors and the planet is back on the economic rebound: a haven for free traders and mega-freighters alike.
Location: 100D Orbital space, Terra, Terra system
Terran timestamp: May 9-10th, 2170 AD
The staff room was alive with debate over the raptor questions. While Anika was recovering from her near-death encounter with the raptors, Aeryn busied herself with the research of all things dinosaurs. She advocated taking over production and exploit the raptors to the fullest. Most of the crew objected as it didn't jive with the license held over the CAMEROON for the next 16 months. Many also refused to engage in criminal activities are they were recently out of prison, or proudly never sent there in the first place.
Marion, recently a bait hunter turned bait, was interrogated from the recovery table in the infirmary. He did not know how his brother-in-law had made contact with the game master. All that he knew was that they had purchased a very expensive water purification system and donated it to an NGO called "Rising Sun Mission".
The CAMEROON was now close enough to synchronize with the live terran internet. Aeryn bypassed the usual MMA news and instead researched the NGO. She discovered that it was based in Tuskuba: a suburb of Tokyo. Probably not coincidentally, located in the same city as the Inagaki group from which there was a track record of raptor engineering publications.
Given that raptor products such as meat, skins and bones were legal but controlled, germ lines restricted and live animals banned, the crew decided to keep it straight and investigate the ability to import legal products into bigger markets such as Terra and Nusku. A list of five star restaurants along the Pacific Rim was brought up as a starting point.
|Organic, dubiously fed, Promethean raptor coming to a supermarket near you.|
Location: Highport GAIA, Terran low-orbit, Terra system
Terran timestamp: May 13th, 2170 AD
While the CAMEROON waited in queue for a berth, then contracted the freight handlers to empty its hold, Jane busied at building a 4-week forecast for raptor products. She discovered a high demand, and virtually no supply as there is no commercial production anywhere near Terra and Nusku. The only live raptors are in small research facilities and unable to provide a commercial output. Potential buyers are lined up, all that is needed is a supplier. The good news is that THEY have an inside lane to an illegal one a single jump away.
Further research into the NGO returned an interesting picture. It turns out that the "Rising Sun Mission" has provided an inordinate number of water purification systems to the community of Brethrow, Prometheus. Aeryn counted about 5 such donations in the last 12 months. Jane, Anika and Aeryn decided to find more out about the NGO just by showing up to its headquarter in Tsukuba.
While the CAMEROON was performing an inclination correction, Diane spotted a highly valuable freight job for the 25th. She checked the terms: it was a highly restricted cargo shipped from a weapon manufacturer's facility and to be delivered to a construction site orbiting Prometheus IV, a frontier gas giant. As deputy for the UWO, they automatically qualified for the background check. The other terms was the presence of a security detail, no passengers, a ship sweep and secrecy. The competition for the job was fierce, but the crew got the gig for 626KCr. They planned for a full hold for the 25th.
Location: Tokyo Regional downport, Terra system
Terran timestamp: May 14th, 2170 AD
According to Japanese laws, foreign starships are forbidden to enter atmospheric airspace unless on an authorized vector to the Tokyo Regional Downport (TRD). The crew landed and got hit by the predictable culture shock. Diane decided to go shopping for the next awesome thing while Jane, Aeryn and Anika bought bullet train tickets to Tsukuba.
The Rising Sun Mission HQ was no more than a hole in a wall in downtown Tsukuba. Its neighbours were importers and rental space for transient business. The receptionist was named Miho. She promptly instructed the three women to go away when they asked to talk to the NGO's director. She specified that there was no charitable donation heading for Prometheus, and that the NGO itself wasn't contracting freight directly in the first place: it relied on the logistics of benefactors. Jane dropped a 100Cr, and Miho revealed that the director's name was Mr. Toyo, and that he operated from a restaurant a few block away from this location. Aeryn found out that this restaurant was on her list of place where raptor meat had been eaten in the past.
They set out to talk to Toyo, in hope that this would lead to the administrative head of the raptor farm on Prometheus, and thus define the other end of the sale's pipeline.
Toyo and Miho, as well as the gun dealer contact are added to the Character Cast page.
Tom Anders: Retired Marine, gruff, good hearted. Now get off his cargo hold. Diane Ayetou: born rich and far less qualified than given credit for. Gets an A for A-fort.
- Jane Calhoun: Business-like business end of things. Reluctant pilot, appreciate spirits and solitude.
- Anika Kaprescu: Recluse. Did some time, killjoy. The ship’s cat.
- Aeryn Lorien: Stumbling steward, athlete and nurse. Gets the ribbon for caring the most.
- Molly Pepper: Engineer and ship’s puppy. Her giggles are wasted on the crew.