Flight of Orphans

Required Skills: None
Required Equipment: Starship
No. of Players: 2-6

Players’ Information:
While between jobs on a world still recovering from a devastating global conflict, the group is approached by a representative of Flight of Orphans, a charitable organization dedicated to placing some of the thousands of war orphans with loving foster families offworld. The association wants to charter the PCs’ ship to transport a group of orphaned babies one jump away to waiting families. There is little money involved (ship captains usually just accept the price of fuel and some life support reimbursement), but as the charity is highly respected, the PR rewards are great.

The cargo
The cargo : Picture from wikimedia. Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-12915. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license.

Referee’s Information:
The passengers consist of 4D babies, their necessary provisions and supplies (taking up about a ton of cargo space), and one nurse for every four children. The PCs may partition off part of the cargo bay to act as a nursery at minimal cost and effort.

1. All is as represented. The nurses are good at their jobs, and the babies are mild-mannered for the most part. No help will be needed from the PCs.

2. Whether it’s some subtle discomfort upon the transition to jumpspace, something in the baby formula, or just plain unluckiness, the babies are especially fussy and colicky throughout most of the flight. The overburdened nurses ask the team to help care for the children. Sleep will be a luxury as the kids’ cries echo throughout the ship.

3. Unknown to the group, one of the nurses is in on a plot to get the young son of the world’s ruler offworld before his father’s enemies can make good on several threats to the child’s life. She is actually a trained bodyguard, and carries not only false identity papers for the lad (identifying him as an ordinary citizen he has been switched with) but also important state documents intended for remote government agents. She will let this fact slip or be recognized by someone who frequents the world on a throw of 9+, once a day.

4. As 3, but the nurse is joined by several representatives of the government who insist on “monitoring” the boy throughout the flight to preserve their own political interests. They will be a constant presence, watching closely as the boy is fed and clothed, insist on analyzing his milk before he drinks it, ask the PCs all kinds of intrusive and annoying questions, getting in the way of caring for the other children, and otherwise making a titanic nuisance of themselves. Any mistreatment of the representatives will reach the ears of the planetary ruler.

5. As 3, but the nurse is actually an agent of the father’s enemies, with orders to kidnap the boy as soon as soon as possible after landing and deliver him to enemy agents. If she is found out beforehand, she will first try to lie about her role, then resort to killing witnesses.

6. As 5, but the nurse will instead try to kill the child and make it look like an accident or a disease was responsible. She will try to kill the PCs if she is exposed beforehand or once she completes her evil mission.

The referee must determine the flow of subsequent events.

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