The Midnight Moon arrives at the Green Table, a casino/freeport on the edge of the Alliance, run by a cantankerous old hypochondriac named Luckless O'Banion. He's an old friend of Jorge and Julius. The station is horribly overcrowded at the moment, because of a recent fuel heist. The characters strike a bargain with Luckless - they take a load of troublesome layabouts off his station, and he'll have his techs fit the ship with a new transponder.
While gambling, Jorge meets a pair of Alliance businessmen/carpetbaggers, Westinghouse and Calo, who are heading out to the Rim, and he arranges for them to take passage on board the ship.
While barhopping, Quaid arranges for a poor settler family to take passage out to Yan Yin. He also picks up a pretty pickpocket named Jean Cooper, who is travelling with a man who claims to be (but is patently not) her brother.
The next morning, Luckless' passengers arrive at the newly renamed Midnight Moon. There's a pair of Shepherds, a trio of drunken miners, and four Browncoat ex-prisoners of war. Added to all that is the large Ruan family, Jean Cooper and her 'brother', the two business men, their bodyguard Kord and their assistant Elara. It's a crowded ship, and the characters take precautions against trouble. Quaid and Jorge deal with the passengers; Julius locks himself in the cockpit, and Annata wanders around the ship snapping at people and keeping her pistols ready.
There are a few minor problems - a poker game causes friction between the Browncoats and the carpetbaggers, Jean's brother is increasingly hostile and sullen towards Quaid, Jean herself vanishes, Granny Ruan is a mean drunk, and one of the Shepherds insists on holding a service for the entire crew - but it's all going well. Then Julius gets a transmission from Luckless. Someone robbed a safe in the Green Table, and the Midnight Moon was the only ship to leave the casino in the last three days. Luckless is tearing his station apart, and he expects the PCs to do the same to their ship.
The carpetbaggers have mysterious documents that they don't want anyone else to see, the settlers brought a whole mess of luggage along... and when searching the Browncoats' gear, one of them beckons Annata aside. He flashes her an Alliance marshal's badge...