Few of Days and Full of Trouble

Episode XIV: In the Jailhouse Now

Se27E.jpgWhile waiting for the police to come arrest him, Jasper takes a shower, then finds himself more whiskey to swig. Dressed in only a bathrobe and slippers, he calls an old consultant of his, who is an ex-cop, as well as his old friend Sheriff Bass Reed, to ask for help with his terrible situation. After having no luck reaching his old consultant friend, he is relieved when Sheriff Bass Reed, replies to his wave. Jasper informs the sheriff of his dire situation, but Sheriff Reed explains that he can’t get there in time to stop him from being arrested. However, he should be able to arrive on Pelorum by the time Jasper is incarcerated in a holding cell by the arresting officers.
The police officers finally show up, and Jasper tells them he needs to get dressed. Detective Yang stands guard at Jasper’s bedroom door while he’s dressing. Once he is ready, they escort him from the vacation mansion to the local police station.
Meanwhile, back on the Jia Li, Lucy has found footage from the cameras at the resort showing Jasper entering Dr.Mitchell’s vacation mansion, but she’s unable to find any footage of him leaving. There’s a gap of time consisting of about 20 to 30 minutes, then a bit of black 15 minutes long, where nothing can be seen in the camera. It seems like the tape has been tampered with. Bix asks if they can try getting into the doctor’s vacation house, he’s done some fucking B and E’s, so he thinks he can figure out how the real murderer entered the house and they may be able to find the missing murder weapon as well. Lucy insists it’s too risky to break into the house, but Bix explains that if he does it at night there probably won’t be any guards or police to dodge. Lucy digs around on the Cortex looking for anything that may help, including hacking into the police files on the murder. She finds out that Dr.Mitchell was bludgeoned to death and that the body was cold for at least 3 hours before being found by a maid. Lucy finally agrees with Bix- the only way to find out anything more is by breaking into the mansion.
Bix and Milan begin gathering stuff for the break in- dark clothing, flashlights, a crowbar, lockpicks, as well as gloves from their infirmary. They go into town where Bix manages to find a black market vendor from whom he purchases two balaclava masks and a long length of rope. When the vendor asks what they need the stuff for, Bix answers, “Kinky sex, what the fuck d’ya think?” Milan seems embarrassed by his remark and the vendor looks taken aback. The vendor attempts to sell them some high tech face spray that will block facial recognition on a camera for the astronomical cost of 10,000 credits per bottle. Bix refuses to buy the spray, saying, “That ain’t fucking sexy.”
Around 3 am, Bix, Milan and Lucy show up at the mansion with their gear in tow. Using her rolltop, Lucy works on figuring out how to shut down the security cameras, but she can only get one of them to shut down for a period of three minutes. Bix and Milan scuttle across the lawn, expertly dodging the lawn camera, they come to a halt at one of the lower story windows. Bix pops the window open with his crowbar. As Milan shoves the window up, the lawn camera sweeps back the other direction. Lucy tries darting across the lawn to join them, but hesitates at the wrong moment and doesn’t succeed, instead she’s forced to dodge in order to escape the camera’s notice.
Milan and Bix climb in the window, while Lucy checks on her rolltop to find a camera inside the house that is aimed directly at the two men. Using her comm link, she warns them and they drop to the floor. Luckily the camera only catches Milan, but he’s wearing his balaclava, making him virtually unrecognizable. Bix army-crawls his way to the door with Milan closely following and copying his movements. They manage to open the first door and sneak through with no further problems. Bix almost disappears completely while going through the second door and past the second camera.
While his crew members are committing “fucking B & E’s” for his sake, Jasper is being thrown in a cell at the police station. All his clothes are exchanged for a shabby prison uniform. He expresses worry about getting his old clothing back, but is given no hope from the police. The holding cell they’ve tossed him into is occupied by a scrawny, wild eyed man who’s sitting in the corner, looking strangely twitchy. The scrawny man tries talking to Jasper, but is told to shut up by the police. As soon as the police leave them alone, the scrawny man starts jabbering away, asking,”What’d you do to get thrown in jail?” They chat, Jasper telling the man his tragic story about being wrongly framed for the murder of his boss, and the man reciprocating with a tale of his own woes. Soon a police officer comes in and tells the scrawny man, calling him Colby, that he’s going to be transferred to a penitentiary on the Halo. Colby says it doesn’t sound very pleasant. The police officer swaggers away, leaving them to keep talking.
Meanwhile, Lucy notifies the men of a camera she’s spotted that’s partially hidden over the main office door, but somehow they both manage to dodge it undetected. They sneak inside Dr.Mitchell’s office, where they find the crime scene chalked out and surrounded by emergency tape. Bix checks the windows, but finds them all closed, the windowsills covered in a thick layer of dust. Obviously the murderer didn’t enter by the windows. While checking out the fireplace, he can’t help noticing that it’s strangely clean. After peeking up the chimney, he realizes even the inside of it is completely free of soot. Milan peers up the chimney, using his flashlight he spots something stuck to the interior, he yanks it down only to discover it’s a baseball bat with flecks of blood stuck to it. Milan shows Bix the bat he’s found and Bix tells him to toss it out the nearest window, being careful not to disturb the dust on the windowsill. From outside the mansion, Lucy sees a baseball bat crash to the ground, but she doesn’t touch it or go near it, since it’s obvious they’ve found the murder weapon. They decide to lower Dr.Mitchell’s laptop down to the ground, using the rope.Then they crawl back the way they came, Bix is invisible again with Milan close on his heels. Just as the lawn camera scans the other side of the compound, Lucy races up to the house and grabs the laptop, stuffing it into her bag, then uses her rolltop to turn off the lawn camera for three minutes. As soon as it’s off, she signals for the men to leap out the first floor window they had entered the mansion by. Once everyone has exited the mansion, they race across the retreat grounds, not stopping for anything until they’re safely back at the Jia Li.
Meanwhile, at the station a police officer approaches the holding cell to inform Jasper that he’s being moved to the same penitentiary Colby is being taken to.
Baffled, Jasper asks,”What?! Aren’t you going to at least interrogate me?”
The police officer,chuckles evilly, saying,“Let’s put it this way, your friends are paid up with the right people and you’re fucked.”
Jasper asks if they’re going to deny him his rights this entire time and the officer nods, grinning,“You bet I am. You’re leaving in 5 minutes.” Jasper looks extremely annoyed, but Colby begins arguing, saying,“Don’t you know who I am?”
The officer appears woefully unimpressed and says,“Nope,course not.”
“But I’m a famous actor! My real name is Finnegan Bentley!”shouts Colby. The guard shakes his head, saying he’s never heard of Finnegan Bentley. After some more arguing and frustration, it becomes glaringly apparent that neither the officer nor Jasper has heard of anything he’s performed in, proving his ruse to be completely useless. as they’re being escorted to the prisoner transport ship, Jasper asks the officer, ”How much money did you get paid for this?" receiving only a hard smack in the head for his question.They’re both forced aboard the prison ship, the Cerberus, where they’re thrown into a tiny cell together, and told to abandon all hope, since they’re prison bound now.
The others hurry back to the Jia Li with Dr.Mitchell’s laptop, to find a wave waiting for them from Sheriff Bass Reed, Jasper’s friend who is trying to help them. The wave details that he’s on route to Pelorum, where he plans to vouch for Jasper’s character, but first he needs to know what Jasper’s jail time status is and if they’ve hired a lawyer yet.
Lucy quickly hacks her way into the law enforcement’s database, where she discovers transfer records have been recently filled out for Jasper Marmaduke, stating that he’s going to be taken to Downwater Prison, which is situated near Reaver space on the Halo. She informs her fellow crew members and Bix insists they tell the Sheriff immediately, Lucy gives him an exhausted look, so he quickly changes his tone,saying,“Just send a fucking wave and I can tell him everything.”
Grumbling to herself, Lucy complies, but is growing increasingly more frustrated at their predicament. Sheriff Reed pops up on her viewscreen in answer to the wave. Bix informs him of everything they’ve learned concerning Jasper’s current status. Sheriff Reed explains that if Jasper is already being transferred, then the police have been well bribed and, most likely, he won’t even be given a trial.
Lucy starts freaking out- they don’t know anything about the prison transport ship, how many guards are on board or even what the Cerberus defense systems are, and how the hell can they save Jasper at the rate that their plans keep going pear shaped. Bix puts a hand on her shoulder rather awkwardly trying to calm her down. She asks the Sheriff, ”How far away from us are you?” and he answers that he’s still about 6 hours flight away. He wants to know if they’d rather break Jasper out of Downwater prison or rescue him by raiding the prison transport ship. They decide after a frantic discussion, to try for the ship first and if that rescue attempt fails, to meet up with Sheriff Reed and stage a prison raid. While they’re still in the midst of formulating a plan, Milan triggers the Jia Li into a hard burn so they can catch up with the prison ship. He winds up setting their ship directly in the Cerberus’s path. He tells his crewmates, over the intercom, that the Cerberus should reach them in about 30 minutes, so they’d better get to work.
Meanwhile, on the Cerberus, Jasper and Finnegan are sitting miserably in their cramped cell. Jasper says that this is not turning out very well for either of them. He notices two sentry robots patrolling the halls. Jasper calls a guard over, explaining that he was denied the wave he’d asked for while he was back on Pelorum, but the guard snaps back,“What’s that to me?”
“Well,” Jasper goes on,“they were illegally blocking me from sending a wave.” “SO,” grumbles the guard,“What’s that to ME?” “Nothing, nothing, never mind,”says Jasper leaving the completely useless guard to go back to Colby. They start chatting about where they had been heading before they’d been arrested. Colby says,“I’ll go anywhere except Osiris. Where were you before?” Jasper begins talking about his old crew and how much fun they’d been having at his company retreat until he was suddenly framed by his two most bitter rivals and his weekend was ruined, along with his life. He says he was going to ask the guard for cards, but it doesn’t seem worth it now.
Lucy manages to hack into the Cerberus’s database, using the Cortex. There she finds detailed schematics on it’s defenses, as well as discovering there are 16 prisoners, four guards, and two sentry robots on board. The ship is very well armed, so they can’t just open fire, even though Bix thinks he should go after it in the shuttle with the Shinigami guns. Fortunately Lucy is able to talk him out of such a stupid plan. Lucy’s suggestion to pretend to be a ship in distress seems their best bet. Bix asks how they can fuck up the Jia Li without hurting it beyond repair. Lucy suggests removing the catalyzer and hiding it, while Milan says he can leak some fuel from the ship’s tanks, to make the Jia Li appear to be hopelessly incapacitated. They decide to use both tactics, just in case one technical difficulty isn’t enough to convince the Cerberus of their dire need for help.
On the prison ship Jasper and Finnegan are being served horrible prison food that looks like green slime. Finnegan asks for real food, but the guard replies,“You get goddamn algae and protein and that’s IT!”
“Suddenly, I’m not feeling so good,” mutters Jasper, but the guard yells,”I don’t give a shit how you feel.”
Finnegan asks if he can have Jasper’s food, but then takes a bite of his own and immediately vomits it back up. It tastes like 3 week old saag, complete with mold and slime. Another guard starts walking past, so Jasper calls him over, spinning a long sob story about his old, decrepit mother who is stuck alone at home and because he is her only designated caretaker, she’s probably losing her mind with worry over his sudden disappearance.
The guard asks him how they can get in touch with his mother. Jasper answers that she lives on Pelorum at Club Lush and her name is Matilda Marmaduke. The guard says that he’ll patch through a wave for Jasper’s mother and asks for him to dictate the message for her.
“Sure!” gasps Jasper, delighted to finally be making some progress,” Please tell her: ‘Jasper Marmaduke has been arrested with four friends and is being taken to Downwater prison. And he wants Alfred to take care of you.’ Please let me know if you hear anything back, if I am ever out of here, I am in your debt."
The guard grunts,“Lucky I’m in a good mood,” then leaves to send the wave.
Cascada Pearl receives a very strange wave from the Cerberus and immediately sends a wave to Milan, since she’s fairly certain there was a Jasper Marmaduke in his group of ‘trouble making’ friends.
Milan thanks her for the message, tells her that he’ll call her as soon as he possibly can, but explains that he’s a bit busy right now. He can’t tell her anything else, except that he’s in the middle of fixing a mess.
Lucy removes the catalyzer, while Milan makes some fuel leak out of the ship’s tanks. After a short time of hanging out in space, waiting, they are suddenly sent a wave from the Cerberus prison transport ship, demanding to know what’s wrong with their ship and ordering them to identify themselves immediately.
Lucy answers,”Yes, we’re the Garbanzo, I’m Shana White, the ship’s engineer. Our catalyzer blew and our ship is leaking fuel. Please, can you help us?” The commanding officer on the Cerberus insists on speaking to her captain, so she directs him to Simon Smith/AKA Bix. The guard asks him to identify himself, so Bix does, rolling his eyes at all the unnecessary protocol, he reiterates that he’s Simon Smith, Captain of the Garbanzo. Bix then asks the officer on the Cerberus to identify himself. The officer does, stating, in no uncertain terms that his orders are to not interfere with any other ships until his mission is finished.
Bix shrugs,”It’s okay, we’ll just die out here." The officer seems rather alarmed at Bix’s words,”What’s your current mission?” he asks.
Bix replies that they’re trying to get an extremely sick crew member to a doctor, referring to Milan’s little brother, who is still in a coma and lying in their infirmary, but their catalyzer blew up and now they’re stranded with no doctor for the kid. The officer has a change of heart, suddenly agreeing to sell them a catalyzer, although he insists on charging them 300 credits for it. Furthermore, only one Garbanzo crew member will be allowed to board the Cerberus and retrieve the catalyzer, but that person must be unarmed.
In moments the Cerberus is docking alongside the Jia Li. Bix decides to be the one crew member to board. He, Lucy and Alfred, their robot, hurry to the docking bay where the Cerberus is now situated. On the Cerberus side of the docking entrance stand two guards, one of them unarmed and holding a catalyzer, the other armed with a gun. Next to them stands a sentry bot, it’s guns fully trained on the entrance.
When Bix steps into their area, he’s instantly ordered to stand still so they can pat him down. Fortunately, he’s completely unarmed, though feeling rather vulnerable and wishing he, Milan and Lucy had worked out their plan a bit more. Alfred the robot stands in the door behind him, for moral support, while Lucy perches on a stray crate, busying herself on her rolltop.
Bix takes the catalyzer from the unarmed guard, proclaiming loudly that they’re saving them and starts babbling on and on about how grateful they are.
Suddenly, he drops the catalyzer, stumbling forward, he tries to grab it, but trips and the catalyzer skids away from him again.”Shit,”he mumbles,”we ran outta food too, haven’t eaten in a couple days.” The guards exchange exasperated looks, wondering how a dipshit like this ever became a captain. The unarmed guard puts his face in his hands, unable to watch Bix’s clumsy debacle any longer.
Bix staggers behind the armed guard, grabs the catalyzer, his hands no longer shaking in the slightest, he slams it violently into the armed guard’s head, knocking him out immediately. Leaping up, the catalyzer still clenched in his hand, Bix smashes the unarmed guard in the back of the head. Both guards crash to the floor, unconscious. The sentry bot turns only to be crushed by Bix walloping it with the catalyzer.
While Bix is attacking the guards, Lucy successfully hacks the Cerberus’s database, springing every prison cell door on the ship wide open all at once. At first the prisoners are stunned by their newly found freedom, but they quickly come to their senses and begin rioting.
Jasper grabs his bowl of foul prison food and bursts from his cell, racing down the corridor that’s quickly filling with prisoners. He runs up to the robot Bix has just smashed up and slams his bowl of saag in it’s face. Some of the horrendous slimy food splatters Bix, but he’s too busy relieving the unconscious armed guard of his gun to notice.
“Thanks for saving me!" shouts Jasper, a huge smile of relief plastered on his face.
“Get on the fucking ship!” roars Bix, shouldering the guard’s gun. Jasper leaps through the docking bay door, just as Finnegan comes running up.“Take me with you!” he begs, frantically. “Sure, come on!” yells Jasper, “The great thing about this ship is there’s no captain, so nobody cares if you come on board!” Finnegan hurries through the door, closely followed by Bix, who is lugging both the armed guard’s gun and the catalyzer.
Lucy undocks the Jia Li from the prison transport ship and Bix tosses the catalyzer to Lucy, yelling,“C’mon, put this thing in, let’s get the fuck outta here!”
Milan readies the ship to trigger it into a hard burn and the second Lucy manages to install the catalyzer, he breaks into hard burn, shooting away from the Cerberus.
Once they’re safely away, they gather in the kitchen to talk things over. Bix insists that they need to quit fucking around and have a vote to appoint a ship’s captain. True to form, Jasper casts a vote for himself, while Bix votes for Lucy. However, both Lucy and Milan vote for Bix, so he accepts the new position despite being completely clueless about a captain’s duties.



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