Those Pesky Kids

Patron: Belter

Ellie Hurley is head of the Hurley Family Mining Company (HFMC). The HFMC owns a string of asteroids in the asteroid belt.

Ellie and Jake started the mining company 40 years ago eventually bringing the entire family to help (24 in all now). Ellie is looking for a ship to transport her family off the asteroid belt (might take a few trips). Ellie talks about the ghosts haunting her family’s mining facility.

Rumor has it that the asteroid belt was once home to ruthless pirates and that a merchant’s freetrader was destroyed somewhere near the HFMC’s mine site.

The Belt
The Belt – image from wikimedia
Public Domain – NASA

Referee’s Information:
Ellie can be met in several ways…

  1. She piloted the one-man ore hauler to the local trading post.
  2. Starport is discussing Ellie looking for transport but worried that the real issue is pirates.
  3. PCs get a distress signal and track Ellie to the HFMC facility.

Ellie’s son is obviously frightened but pushes the PCs to investigate.

At the end if any culprits are caught the obligatory “And we would have gotten away with it, if not for those pesky kids!”

1. Ellie and Jake loves their family but after 40 years of mining, they want to retire. Problem is that mining is the only life the family has ever known and the rest of the family is depending on HFMC for their livelihood. Any discussions in the past about selling their claim has met disagreement.

The HFMC does well but does not make enough to buy Ellie and Jake out of their shares, thus they don’t have much of a retirement fund to travel. They know that a rival mining company, Drake’s Mining is willing to pay a generous price to buy HFMC’s facilities and mining rights.

While Ellie is trying to find transport, Jake has reconfigured the security cameras to project the ghostly images. He has also programmed the environmental controls to create random, localized cold spots where people might see the ghostly apparitions. Using the micro gravity system, Jake can make things appear to float. Communication systems can be used to make noises to scare (or lead) PCs and NPC. The door controls can be used to separate the party if wanted.

Ellie and Jake are good people who feel trapped by their family and circumstance. They will never do anything to harm anyone

PCs can solve this mystery by gaining clues with skills like Computer, Investigate…etc.

2. Drake Mining has been trying to get their hands on the HFMC claim for years. They have discovered a rare mineral runs through the asteroid belt and indications point to a rich deposit in the HFMC zone of control.

Ronald Drake will do anything to get his hands on this claim. He and crew decided to “haunt” the Hurley family out of their family business. They have considered just killing the Hurleys but are concerned that will raise too many questions. They are willing to resort to violence.

Ronald Drake visits the Hurley’s facility often to try to convince them to sell, and seems scared of the “Hauntings.” Ronald is in love with Janine Hurley.

The haunting is carried out in a similar fashion to “1” except the team uses drones and their own devices.

Violence can be avoided by confronting Ronald with evidence of his involvement. Alternately, Janine Hurley can appeal to his romantic side. Ronald might call off the attack if Janine is injured/killed or he may get psychotic.

3. A gas pocket mercuric oxide from inside the asteroid has been breached and the gas is being pumped throughout the facility and environmental suits. Janine had been watching a ghost movie and she started “seeing” ghosts. When she told the rest of the family, Jason told the story about the pirates destroying the freetrader and then others started “seeing” ghosts too. No one can agree exactly on what the ghosts look like but the more they discuss the sightings are becoming similar.

If the PCs spend two+ hours they will “see” ghosts. This is a great time to RP ghosts in the PCs back story.

Gas can be detected by scientific means but is not obvious. Detailed medical tests might detect it in the system.

4. The minors are actually seeing an alternate universe. In this other universe there is a space station in this area that has had a ship explode in close proximity. The electromagnetic waves are causing the two universes to cross. This is a temporary phenomenon and will subside in a few weeks.

PC will notice the stations crew going about their normal work. The uniforms from the alternate universe is nothing the PCs have ever seen. PCs can detect these EM waves and note that they are lessening. It may be possible to jury-rig a communication signal to communicate between the universes. There can be some interesting discussions here with skilled makers possibly learning a new prototype for equipment.

5. The HFMC are really seeing ghosts. The freetrader “Bradley’s Hope” has been drifting in the asteroid field for 50 years with all hands lost. The “Hope’s” crew jury-rigged a bomb to drop from the cargo bay to deter the pirates that were chasing them. The bomb scared off the pirates but also damaged the Hope’s engines and life support systems.

The crew of the Hope will rest easy if their ship is found and their story is known. This would be a great way for the Referee to upgrade the PCs ship or to give them a large windfall of money from the cargo. Money should be divided with the HFMC in some fashion.

6. The HFMC has unknowingly found a new life form! The new asteroid the family has been mining was the home of an energy sophont that lives deep inside rock. They feed off iron and have been munching happily in the asteroid belt for a long time. At the Referee’s discretion, the sophonts can be sentient or simply animals working on instincts.

One thought on “Those Pesky Kids”

Leave your reply