Few of Days and Full of Trouble

Episode XVII


Despite the excitement of the night before, Bix, Lucy and Milan get up early, while Jasper and Finn sleep in, trying to recover from their hangovers. Feeling at fault for exposing the Jia Li to the computer virus, Program 741, which had nearly destroyed them all, Bix takes a shower, indulging in a lonely grieving session where nobody can hear him. Upon waking, Milan immediately rushes to the infirmary to check on his brother. Although Angelo is alive and breathing peacefully, he remains in a coma.
Lucy brews a pot of coffee in the kitchen, accidentally waking Jasper from where he’s slumbering on a kitchen chair. He helps himself to coffee while looking much the worse for wear. “Why is everyone awake?” groans Jasper.
“We’re meeting with Dr. Clay about Milan’s brother this morning,”replies Lucy. “Awww, shit,”says Jasper,”Where..which..what planet are we on?”
“We’re on Dora,”she answers,”Do you even remember last night? The whole attack with the virus and everything?”
Jasper shakes his head, mystified he missed so much. He asks Lucy if she can help him with his abysmal computer knowledge and wants to know if she has a fake ID for navigating the Cortex. She admits to having a fake ID.
“I’ll pay you well, if you can make me a fake ID that registers me as a doctor,”says Jasper. “Like a general practitioner?”Lucy asks.
“Can you make me a brain surgeon?” Warily, Lucy replies"I can, but only if you promise never to work on anyone’s brain." Agreeing to the terms, he pays her 300 credits for the ID. With a sigh of reservation, Lucy sets to work on her rolltop making the fake ID, while Jasper contemplates a new name to go with his new ‘profession’.
Finn wakes up, comes into the kitchen and digs a carton of eggs from the depths of the cooler. Leaving the infirmary, Milan stops by the kitchen for coffee, where he’s immediately pissed off to discover Finn trying to juggle a dozen of his precious cooking eggs. Finn’s juggling attempt fails miserably and everybody in the kitchen finally notices him, angrily protesting the horrible slimy mess he’s caused. “I’ll clean it up!”he yells, and snatching up a rag, begins to wipe it up.
Bix finally emerges from the shower to grab a cup of coffee, while eyeing the mess of shattered eggshells and goo all over the floor. “I swear I’ll get it all cleaned up,”Finn tells him, Bix rolls his eyes in reply. Milan and Bix discuss taking Angelo to Dr.Clay. Deciding to meet Dr.Clay first, they leave Angelo on the ship. Since they don’t have access to a gurney, it seems the best course of action. Perhaps Dr.Clay will have a gurney they can borrow for transporting the coma patient to her office. Jasper finally decides his new name will be Doctor Obadiah Bumpus, brain surgeon. After they’ve downed their coffee, Bix stands up, announcing that he and Milan are going to meet Dr.Clay. “Who the fuck else is coming?”he shouts above the hubbub. Finn speaks up from the floor where he’s still frantically scrubbing,”I’ll just stay here and finish cleaning my mess.” “You could turn on ALFRD,” suggests Bix. “You..kinda gave him a beating, “sighs Finn.
“Oh, is ALFRD damaged?”Jasper asks, concerned.
“He had an accident last night.”Lucy informs him,”while you were passed out, he got infected by the virus and..”
“Bix smashed his head in!”Finn pipes up.“It was going for Lucy!”Bix argues.
“I’ll pay to get him fixed,”Jasper volunteers,”Who else is going to feed my horse but ALFRD?!” Lucy takes him up on his generous offer. The crew parts ways, Bix and Milan leaving for Dr.Clay’s office, as Lucy and Jasper load ALFRD into the hover wagon to take him to the machine shop in town.
Bix and Milan find the doctor’s office, a small blue house on the edge of town. Milan knocks and the door is opened by a petite white haired woman. She asks,”How can I help you?” Bix answers,”Yeah, we were sent by a friend of yours: Luopan.”
Her face lights up, recognizing the name and she gestures for them to enter. Following her inside, they all sit down together at her desk. “Now, which one of you is the brother of the patient?”she asks. Milan introduces himself. “Can you walk me through what exactly happened to him?”
“We have no idea,”Milan replies,”We found him on a ship, already in a coma, so we saved him and brought him aboard, but he hasn’t shown any response to anything.” “It was a rescue mission,”Bix blurts out.
Dr.Clay looks thoughtful, asking,”Do you know what they were doing to him?”
“Fucking with his head,”says Bix, helpfully. Milan looks doubtful if that’s the sort of answer Dr.Clay is looking for.
“Was Blue Sun involved?”she asks. “Yes,”both Milan and Bix answer in unison. “Honestly, it’s hard for me to determine the problem unless I see him,“she says.
“Why don’t you come back to the ship with us.”suggests Milan. “Got a gurney we can use to move him?”Bix interrupts her,”or I can throw him over my shoulder.”
“I wouldn’t advise that,”she says hurriedly. They grab a gurney from her office and lead her back to their ship.
Milan and Bix show Dr.Clay to the infirmary where she uses multiple instruments from her doctor’s bag to check Angelo’s condition. Once she has thoroughly looked him over, she asks,”Has he shown any sign of brain activity or motor control at all?”
“He moved his hand a couple times,”Milan replies.
“That’s a good sign,” explains Dr.Clay,”He may be trying to break free from the coma. I’ll have to study his brain activity to see how it’s been damaged. Whenever you guys are ready, let’s get him back to my clinic.” Bix and Milan transfer Angelo to the gurney, and carrying him between them, they return to Dr.Clay’s clinic. Once there, they place Angelo on her exam table, where she puts electrodes on his forehead, along with a small electronic apparatus that she hooks up to some wires. A monitor screen lights up on the wall, showing the outline of his brain. “It’ll take me a few hours to examine his brain activity. I’ll send you a wave when I have more information.” Bix and Milan leave Dr.Clay’s office, heading back towards their ship.
Meanwhile, Jasper and Lucy drive ALFRD in the hover wagon to the machine shop. Jasper knocks and a big, burly man wearing a leather apron streaked with grease and oil, yanks the door open. “Yeah?”he asks.“Hello there, my good man,”answers Jasper,”we’ve heard you repair robots.”
“Yeah. Whaddya need?”
“Well,”Jasper replies,”Some unscrupulous man beat our robot’s head with a bat, I’m told.” “It was a bar, a metal bar,” Lucy corrects him. The mechanic looks disturbed,”So, is there long term damage to the machine. Ya’ tried firing it up?”
Jasper and Lucy exchange glances,”Ummm, no,”they answer.
“My standard fee applies no matter what I’m doing,”the mechanic explains,”300 credits a day.” “What!? That’s enough to get a fake doctor’s ID!I mean, let’s turn it on first.” Jasper switches ALFRD on. The robot’s head is severely dented in and smashed up, tilted on it’s side. ALFRD powers up, but twitches frequently as he asks in a squeaky robotic voice,”How cAn I HALP u…U. Ho…how..c..c..cc.a” his voice cuts off and he begins beeping rapidly.
“Yeah, we better get him fixed.”says Jasper. They leave ALFRD after paying the mechanic in advance. “I think I only paid 500 credits for him in the first place,” Lucy mutters as they climb back into the hover wagon. “Maybe we should have him equipped with guns,”suggests Jasper. “NO,” Lucy snaps,”No guns!” She explains how the turret gun Bix bought on Beylix had activated the virus on the Jia Li. Jasper instantly agrees; more guns are a bad idea. They leave in the hover wagon to find the others.
While the crew is out, Finn finishes cleaning up his egg disaster. Retiring to his bunk, he notices an incoming wave addressed to him from his contact, Simon Mohinder. Simon asks him how things are going. “Good,” Finn replies. “Do you have any information for me?” Simon asks. “No,”answers Finn. “What have you been doing with your time on board?” Finn mutters something about drinking with Jasper. “Are you drinking now?”Simon sounds annoyed. “No, I’m sober.” “I need some information on them. Now!” “Okay,fine,”Finn complies,”my buddy Jasper’s an alcoholic. Milan has a vegetable brother on the ship. Bix has anger issues. There’s a robot too, but Bix beat it up last night..and I don’t really know anything about Lucy, she seems cool. They’re all nice, but only Jasper talks to me.” “Can you convince them to visit a core planet?” Simon asks, agitated. “No, these guys seem like they’re against the core planets. Don’t think I can help you there.” “You’ve GOTTA give me something!”snaps Simon, frustrated beyond anything,”I’m breaking my neck to keep that P.I. off you! Are you keeping info from me?” “Listen, they don’t talk to me much. I’m not really welcome aboard the ship yet.” “Fine,”sighs Simon,”but a week from now, I’m gonna want more. Find out anything you can," He exits the conversation abruptly.
Lucy and Jasper run into Bix and Milan as they’re leaving Dr.Clay’s office. “I think ALFRD’s going to be alright”Jasper informs them,”How is your brother?” “She’s checking him out,”Milan replies,”All we can do is wait.”
“Normally I’d say let’s go get a drink, but I’m not quite feeling up to drinking,“Jasper admits,”I’m a bit hungover.” The others exchange knowing looks. Since nobody wants to stay in town, they return to the ship.
On the Jia Li, Jasper finds Finn moping in his bunk. They chat about Jasper’s newest business scheme. After Jasper leaves to make a presentation about a new product he’s working on, Finn turns on the Cortex news; there’s a brief announcement about the crew of a Terrapin class ship harboring a fugitive by the name of Jasper Marmaduke. Authorities are unable to track down the ship.
Milan makes a beeline for the cockpit where he discovers Brad the cat waiting patiently for him. He feeds the cat, then sits in his pilot’s seat, petting Brad while worrying about Angelo.
Bix examines the new turret gun. Thinking he’d better make sure it’s free of the virus before using it, he stops by engineering to explain his worries to Lucy. She assures him the virus was purged, so he can quit freaking out about it. “Can you change my name on our ship’s papers?” Bix asks. “Who do you want to be?” “Jon Lee Chen” Lucy begins changing the crew list in the Jia Li’s registration. Bix is careful to thank her as she shoos him from engineering. On a whim, she asks Milan over the intercom if he needs an alias also. Milan decides on James Morrison. Thinking it wise to err on the side of caution, she also sets up a fake identity for herself with the name Capri Duncan. By the time she’s done changing all the names, she and Milan each receive messages over the Cortex.
Lucy’s is from the mechanic working on ALFRD. He says he’ll need a little more time to fix the dents in the robot’s head, but he’s repaired all the broken interior cables. The 300 credits they already gave him should cover all the labor and parts used.
The call to Milan is from Dr.Clay. Milan and Bix hurry back to her office to hear the diagnosis in person.
“Alright, here’s the situation: They’ve done sub cranial work on his brain, basically their goal was to make him more sensitive to psychic phenomenon. It had mixed results,but the problem is, although there may be a way to get him out of the coma, I don’t know if he’ll be exactly the same as you remember him. Not only that but in order to get him out of the coma I need a specific medicine from a particular flower. It’s an incredibly rare plant called an Indian paintbrush. And there’s only one person, whom I know of, with a collection of this plant- King Yama.”
“Oh,fuck that guy!” gasps Milan.
“So, here are my suggestions: you could buy it from him, but it’s exceptionally expensive” “How expensive?” Milan interrupts. “A million and a half credits. Or you could come to an arrangement with him, I don’t think he’ll part with it without at least that much in trade. Or..and this is the worst case..you can take it from him.”
“That seems like a bad idea,” Milan remarks. “Well, maybe something will work. I can keep your brother safe here, he should be fine. So, let me know, and in the meantime, I’ll keep him stabilized.” Milan thanks her, then he and Bix return to the ship.
Once they’re back, the crew gathers in the common area. Milan explains everything he’s learned from Dr.Clay. Lucy immediately researches everything she can on King Yama. He is the head of the Tongs, known for his exceptional horticulturist skills and his passion for collecting ancient artifacts from Earth that Was. There seems to be a friendly, ongoing competition between King Yama and Durran Haymer as they try to outdo each other’s collections. “Well, fuck it, Haymer ain’t home,”Bix suggests, grinning,” let’s raid his place.” The others agree, raiding Haymer’s estate seems the most reasonable course of action.
Lucy finds the address of Durran Haymer’s floating island estate located on Bellerophon. Milan sets the course, quickly taking off from Dora in the direction of Bellerophon. In a few hours, they land in New Madrid on Bellerophon, which has the nearest dock serving the floating islands of the area. They discuss different methods of getting in, finally settling on Lucy’s idea of posing as maintenance/cleaners in the hopes that such disguises will grant them more freedom of movement for their thievery. Bix and Jasper already have coveralls from their Academy Prime kitchen workers disguises. Milan purchases three more pairs of coveralls, a toolbox, two extra large duffel bags and a couple of baseball hats from the local supply shop/laundromat. Lucy discovers they’ll need security badges to finish off their cleaning company uniforms, along with authentication codes to be admitted onto the premises. While Milan and Jasper are paying for everything, Lucy pulls Bix aside whispering that she needs him to steal a security badge. She’s careful to explain,”Use the five finger discount, NOT the fist discount. Nobody needs to get hurt”
“Okay, Fine,” he mutters, baffled why she’d think him violent. They each swipe one security badge apiece off a couple of workers who are using the laundromat in the store. Laden down with their new purchases, they return to the Jia Li. Both duffel bags are rolled up tightly and stuffed in Jasper’s toolbox. Jasper places a machete, a new bottle of whiskey, and cleaning rags on top of the bags. Since they are required to pass through body scanners at every entrance into the estate, they cannot enter armed and must stow their guns in the shuttle. Using the two stolen security passes, Lucy makes two more duplicates, then manages to procure authentication codes by hacking the island’s database. While in the database, she double checks the security of Haymer’s island to find cameras liberally sprinkled through every room, as well as security guards regularly patrolling the perimeter. Lucy decides to stay on the shuttle so she can work, in relative safety, on her rolltop, while the rest of the crew ventures inside. As soon as they’ve prepared their gear and are dressed in worker’s coveralls and baseball hats, they head out to Haymer’s island in their shuttle.
Upon arrival, Lucy gives her authentication codes to the guard, who promptly grants Milan clearance to dock the shuttle. On the docking bay, everyone except Lucy exits the shuttle. One of the two security guards on duty barks out,”What’s your business here?” “Weeding, maintenance, cleaning…shit like that,”Bix replies. Their security passes are scanned in successfully by the guard, who then ushers them through the entrance onto the island. Proceeding through the garden, their security passes are scanned a second time at the front door of the mansion, before they’re finally admitted within.
Once inside, Jasper takes his toolbox with him through the back rooms of the mansion, on the prowl for Durran Haymer’s important documents, ID’s, files and such. Of course, he can’t find any personal items on the first level of the mansion, which is like a museum showing off Haymer’s artifact collection, so he dusts his way up to the second floor. There he finds 6 more rooms to search. Trying every door on his way, only one proves to be unlocked. Entering, Jasper finds a 1959 cherry red Chevy Bel Air, in mint condition, parked in the middle of the room. An antique gas pump sits next to the car. Neon signs line the walls, along with a jukebox, chrome bar stools and a Twister mat framed on the wall. “I found the tacky room,”he tells Lucy over his comm link.
Down on the main floor, Bix enters the first room to his right, in which he’s pleased to find a vase from the Ming dynasty of Earth That Was displayed on a pedestal. Another pedestal holds the original manuscript of Bruce Lee’s Tao of Jeet Kune Do. Upon the third pedestal sits a mysterious document he’s unable to identify. Out of the many paintings on the walls, none are familiar to him. Noticing that each artifact rests upon a security mesh covering each pedestal’s top, he pretends to dust the pedestals, while more closely examining their security features.
Aboard the shuttle, Lucy is busy hacking into the mansion’s cameras using her rolltop, when Bix reports back to her with his comm link. Informing her about the security mesh, he asks if she can turn off the sensors in the mesh, for at least a minute, so they can snatch up the artifacts without triggering alarms and guards. Lucy throws everything she has into hacking the sensors through the estate’s database. “I’ll go for the Ming vase and the Bruce Lee manuscript,”Bix informs her. “Who’s Bruce Lee?”asks Lucy. “WHAT?!?”Bix squawks, stunned that she doesn’t know of the Earth That Was legendary historic master Bruce Lee.
Up on the second floor, Jasper emerges from the tacky room to find a security guard rounding a corner of the hall. “Excuse me,”he calls out,”I need to clean these rooms, but they’re all locked.” “Those rooms are off limits,” snaps the guard. “But I was told to clean them,”Jasper insists. The guard won’t listen to him, saying,”Don’t worry about them, if the doors are locked, they’re off limits. The rules are clear. Any room that’s locked is not to be opened.” Jasper tries to argue, but the guard simply refuses him again, then marches away.
Meanwhile, Milan finds Bix carefully wiping down the pedestals in the first room. Checking out the mysterious document on the third pedestal, Milan is disappointed to discover it’s the original human rights charter for when the Alliance was in it’s early formative years. Declaring the document to be junk, he advises Bix to snatch the Ming vase and Bruce Lee manuscript instead. Bix is relieved that Milan is knowledgeable about Bruce Lee. While still pretending to wipe dust from the pedestals, Bix examines the mesh more closely. It is full of laser sensors that will trigger the doors and windows to slam shut if any of the artifacts are even slightly disturbed.
In an adjacent room, Finn finds an antique typewriter from 1867 on one pedestal. Upon another pedestal squats a large black and white television circa 1980, but he can’t identify any of the other artifacts in the room.
Jasper manages to get another door open, behind which he finds the first AI ever to be invented, a robot the size of a small child. He immediately tells Lucy what he’s found, saying it’s portable and might be worth stealing, unlike the big plastic lime green thing labeled iMac,also in the room, which looks both heavy and worthless. On a sudden whim, he jogs back to the tacky room to search for the car keys. Although they aren’t in the car, Jasper spots a key rack on the wall with four keys on it. Snatching them up he sticks the car key into the Chevy’s ignition, then runs back to the hallway to try the remaining keys on the rest of the locked doors.
Milan ventures into the room where Finn is pretending to clean. Besides the television and typewriter, he finds a glass column display case encasing the suit Abraham Lincoln was wearing when he was shot at the Ford Theatre. Within a large glass coffin occupying the far wall of the room, resides the preserved corpse of Mao Tse-tung above which is hung a small sized Andy Warhol painting. The rest of the paintings are too enormous to take, so Finn decides to snatch the Warhol once Lucy manages to disarm the sensors. Since Milan doesn’t think anything else in the room is worth taking, he goes back to Bix’s room to see if any of it’s paintings are more portable. One of the pictures is a mint condition Avengers poster from 2012. The other three artifacts in the room consist of two Vincent Van Gogh paintings:Starry Night and Sunflowers, as well as a huge garishly painted chunk of cement which is labeled: the Berlin Wall. After a quick chat with Lucy, Milan decides to grab the Avengers poster and the painting of Sunflowers by Van Gogh.
Meanwhile, upstairs Jasper manages to unlock one of the rooms, where he finds a lavish office. Searching for any sort of ID, he goes through the desk discovering Durran Haymer’s passport, along with an encrypted hard drive and various important looking documents hidden within. He stuffs it all into his toolbox, then leaves the office, careful to lock the door behind him. The next door he unlocks opens onto the master bedroom, holding a palatial bed above which looms a huge painting of a ginger haired woman. Realizing there’s nothing interesting in the bedroom, he moves on to the next door. The third key unlocks it, and within this last room he finds an ancient telephone from 1951 in a display case and a Mark III Lassiter laser pistol sitting upon a pedestal. Now that he’s finally found something worth stealing, he tells Lucy what he’s found, then closes himself in the room, where he begins meticulously dusting the pedestal holding the Lassiter.
Throughout the time that the men are exploring and pretending to clean, Lucy is hard at work hacking the database while using the security cameras to follow their movements. At long last she manages to shut down the sensors, but only for a period of 30 seconds. She alerts the men over their comm links to make sure they’re ready.
As soon as the power drops from the security mesh, they all spring into action. Finn yanks the Warhol painting from the wall, just as Milan whisks both the Avengers poster and the Sunflowers painting down. Bix snatches the Ming vase and the manuscript, clutching them to his chest.
Upstairs, Jasper grabs the Lassiter, quickly shoving it into his toolbox. Carrying the toolbox, he races from the room, not slowing down until he’s back in the tacky room, where he drops it on the floor and picks up the heavy bulk of the thing labeled an iMac. He struggles over to the Chevy with it, quickly switching on the car, then drops the iMac into the Chevy right on top of the car’s gas pedal.
The car leaps forward with a roar and goes crashing straight through the second floor windows. Plowing down through the garden, leaving smashed hedges and ornaments in a horrific path of destruction all the way to the edge of the island. Security guards come running just in time to see the car hurtle right off the island, plummeting to the ground miles below. Lucy screams at them to run while the guards are distracted. Jasper snatches up his toolbox and runs downstairs. Bix, Milan and Finn are already out the front door, racing to the shuttle, their arms full of plunder. As Jasper emerges from the mansion, the guards turn away from the destruction wreaked by the Chevy only to spot the ‘cleaning crew’ running for their shuttle while clutching priceless artifacts from the estate. The guards immediately engage in a hot pursuit, but it’s too late. The Jia Li crew escapes, reaching the shuttle just in the nick of time.
Anticipating a chase, Lucy starts up the shuttle, as the men leap on board. Vaulting into the pilot’s seat, Milan swiftly undocks the shuttle, just as the unmistakable sound of another ship starting it’s engines reaches their ears. Unable to trigger a hard burn in a tiny shuttle, Milan darts the craft back and forth across the sky cleverly dodging the multiple missiles flying at him from the guard’s ship.
Firing up the shuttle’s Shinigami guns, Bix sends a barrage of bullets into their pursuers. His shots rip through one of the cannons on the guard’s ship, destroying it and slowing it down considerably, but it’s second gun continues firing even as they dock their shuttle to the Jia Li. Milan barely succeeds in getting the Jia Li’s engines going as shots fly all around. Bix runs for the turret gun while Milan takes off from Bellerophon, Durran Haymer’s guard ship catching up with them, despite the damage it’s sustained. Darting wildly around to escape the shots, Milan is finally able to get far enough from the planet to trigger the Jia Li into a hard burn. The blowback from the Jia Li’s hard burn sends the guard ship spinning out of control.



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