Voyage of the Nimbus – Session 2
Posted by blaster219
The Tribulations of Scabby Jack, Part 2
The crew rushed aboard The Nimbus as fast as possible; the enemy airship’s propellers beginning to rev up as it advanced. Constantine was in a bad way, in no position to give orders. As soon as they were on deck, Zeke took temporary command, yelling out “Goggles down, cannons up!” He sent Jamie (still carrying William over her shoulder) down to the gun deck and put Xanatos on the lightning cannon. Constantine, who at this point was seriously considering getting some fencing lessons, he sent below decks in Jonathan’s tender care. Zeke tries to spy the airship’s flag in order to determine its affiliation or intent but the ship is flying no colours, almost as if its trying to mask its identity. However, it appears the enemy crew has been a little careless as the ship’s name is clearly visible, The Revenge. The name unfortunately means nothing to anyone.
Casting off from the pylon, the crew decide to run, seeing no profit in engaging the enemy airship. The chase was a close thing, the enemy airship managing to get a number of shots off with its bow chaser long cannons. Working together, the crew managed to get away from the chasing airship; Xanatos tweaking the engines, Jamie goading the crew, and Constantine promising to buy everyone a drink if they got away.
With the enemy airship lost in the clouds and that Captain patched up, it was time to get some answers. Namely why no one had told them that the “boy” they had come to rescue was in fact an automaton. Williams explained that Jack Cutter was “a crazy old man” who was “mad with grief.” After the death of his wife and infant son, Jack travelled to Desolation City and used his contacts to “acquire” a doll-type automaton that resembled a young boy. The reason why Jack didn’t mention that Williams was an automaton was that he’d long begun to believe that William really was his son.
Now that was settled, the Nimbus set course for Port Helena. However, William wasn’t done, he had a bombshell of his own. He was tired of pretending to be a little boy for crazy old men and aging spinsters and he wanted the crew of the Nimbus to take him with them. Constantine was very resistant to the idea, something about not getting paid if they didn’t take William back to Port Helena. Xanatos suggests that William allow them to take him back to Jack and then make use of the man’s delusion to rob him, giving the crew the proceeds as payment for taking him away. Some of the crew’s comments seemed to offend William and he introduced them to a new word, fleshists; people who are prejudiced against automatons.
Jamie, reveals that she has been obsessing over the weapons that Scabby Jack’s guards were armed with, needle rifles. Xanatos suggests taking a couple as part of the payment for “kidnapping” William. Zeke seems hesitant about crossing Scabby Jack. Somehow, during the discussion, the subject of first mate comes up during which Constantine accuses Zeke of being mean to him. Zeke counters by pointed out that he’s mean to everyone but Jonathan. William, in a misguided and poorly executed attempt, tries to get Jonathan’s support as a fellow automaton but the response he gets is vague and non-committal.
Eventually, the Nimbus pulls into Port Helena and William is escorted back to his overjoyed “father.” Flush with helios, they head back into town. Whether or not they plan to stick around and honour their deal with William is still up for debate. But for now, rum and food and good times beckon.
Using their newfound wealth, Constantine and the rest of the “officers” decide to spend the evening at something a little more upmarket than the tavern they spent their last night in. Spirits flow freely and during the evening Xanatos, who has proudly declared on a number of occasions that he can “drink like a fish,” proceeds to get profoundly drunk. He’ll wake up the following morning with a black eye (the working one) with no memory of what he did to deserve it. Jonathan objects strongly to alcohol; but whether that’s due to being an automaton or a doctor is unclear. Constantine proceeds to flirt with every girl in the tavern, which leads to Zeke, and Jonathan discussing who has to make sure the captain doesn’t get into trouble. Eventually the evening ends up with Constantine retiring with a partner for the night, Xanatos bruised and unconsciousness on the floor, and Jamie and Zeke discussing the gunnery sergeants plan’s for extra guns on the Nimbus. Jamie’s plans are … radical to say the least. Involving major structural design changes to the Nimbus’s hull.
Morning arrives. Xanatos wakes up to discover his black eye (along with his hangover). Its hinted over breakfast by the amused looks from everyone but Jamie that Xanatos may have earned his black eye by hitting on Jamie.
After breakfast, Zeke heads out to pick up any mail (a couple of personal letters to the crew and a bill addressed to the captain) and send a letter to his wife. Whilst out and about, he sees a ship moored at a dock on the opposite wall of the crater. There’s something familiar about it and as he gets closer he notices the distinctive bow and tail chaser long cannons and the name painted on the side. He hurries back to the tavern to inform the rest of the crew.
Zeke and Jamie decide to head the portmaster to see if they can determine the registry or owner of The Revenge but the portmaster refuses to divulge the information and they are unwilling to force the issue. Meanwhile, Constantine has put on his best dress and sought out a tavern that the crew of The Revenge are known to frequent. He tracks them to a tavern owned by Cutter Merchant Services, the trading company owned Scabby Jack. Inside, he finds several members of the Revenge’s crew clustered around a table at the back. They’re all wearing a uniform with a company logo stencilled on the back, Cutter Merchant Services. He’s about to try and get close to wheedle some information out of them when he notices one of them has a bandaged ear. It’s the man that was holding a knife to William’s neck on the barge. Not wanting to risk being recognised, he quietly slips out.
It’s clear to everyone know that the kidnapping may have been an inside job. Constantine, Jamie and Zeke decide to head up to Cutter’s mansion to warn him. After finally convincing the guard to let them in, their attempts to warn Jack are frustrated when instead of meeting with Jack, they are met by a middle-aged woman who introduces herself as Laura Laska, Jack Cutter’s business partner. They say that they have important business to discuss with Jack. She responds by saying that Jack is indisposed, spending quality time with his son. As business partner, she is perfectly capable of dealing with any company business matters. Constantine is most insistent, saying their business is of a personal nature. However, Laura is stubborn. Jack left specific instructions not to be disturbed. She is certainly willing to pass on a message though. Highly suspicious of her, Constantine just tells her to tell Jack to get in touch with the Nimbus as soon as possible.
Regrouping back on the ship, everyone meets up in the sickbay. Constantine takes the opportunity to announce the results of an (offscreen) election for first mate. Zeke appears to have won the popular vote but is disqualified. Something about Zeke borrowing money from the captain to buy something without telling him first. After a bit of back and forth where its revealed that the captain borrowed the last of Zeke’s cash a while back to buy an armoured corset, Jamie is chosen as First Mate.
They decide to return to the tavern. As they make their way through town, they are encircled by a band of men armed with cutlasses. Without any preamble, the leap in to attack. Constantine fares better this time around, spending most of the fight dodging and fighting as soon as they get into melee combat. Jonathan tries Queensbury rules but soon resorts to street brawling. Xanatos exchanges blows with another couple. Jamie’s luck however runs out as one of the attackers seriously injuries her. Seeing this, Zeke surges through the brawl, hacking and slashing at the enemy. As soon as all the attackers were disabled, the crew dragged Jamie off the street to the tavern. Leaving the bodies for the Watch to find.
Next time, The Tribulations of Scabby Jack, Part 3