Patron: Bureaucrat, Criminal
Required skills: starship operations
Required equipment: none
Beginning location: Foreven Sector, Xenough Subsector, Nesturgi
[0508 C699687-9 Ni Av G]
The good news is, your group survived a misjump and seventeen days in jumpspace without casualties. The bad news is, you are over a sector away from home, stranded at the highport orbiting Nesturgi (C699687-9). Your ship suffered severe damage to its jump drive. It will take several weeks at a minimum to arrange letters of credit, purchase parts and have necessary repairs performed.
The owner of your subsidized merchant is present at the highport. He has graciously advanced the players enough salary so that ordinary expenses are covered. What you have to deal with now is boredom, due to this highport’s primitive facilities and being unable to go planetside.
While discussing their options, the players are approached by a woman wearing what appears to be a sports jacket made in the ancient ‘letterman’ style, with a stylized image of a scorpion on the upper left side and back. She introduces herself as Margaret Franklin, general manager of a powerball (arena football) team known as the Rheingold Stingers. She expresses an urgent desire to hire the group as starship crew so her team can travel the Avalar Consulate on a scheduled visitor’s tour. She is ready to pay double standard wages, and will pay triple if pushed.
In an economy where human skilled labor is available at premium prices, there is always intense competition for obtaining qualified ship crew members. One of the players (the one with the highest intelligence) notices that there are an unusually high number of ‘STARSHIP CREW WANTED’ postings in the public database. If Franklin cannot fulfill her performance contract, there will be serious financial consequences.
1. All is as it seems. Franklin’s crew, along with a multitude of other people, are under quarantine on planet due to an outbreak of Denebian Spotted Fever. Her crew will be medically cleared and released in four weeks.
2. As 1, except that the planetary government has discovered that the virus is not the expected one, which causes flu-type symptoms, but a gene-spliced version that was released from a secret laboratory with ultimate funding by the Kamrati League. This new virus has a longer incubation period, during which time the victims are highly infectious, and has long-term debilitating effects. Public knowledge of a serious pandemic would devastate Nesturgi’s trading status and has the potential to destabilize the entire subsector.
3. As 1, but Franklin’s starship is in extremely poor condition. Jump and maneuver drives are up to maintenance standard, but there will be a rash of minor failures in other ship systems. The players will be extremely busy repairing items like the air circulation system, which produces smells of rotting garbage on a regular basis, a multitude of power plant spikes causing random system resets, and sliding doors which refuse to open or close fully, sometimes not moving at all.
4. Franklin is extremely anxious to depart immediately, chafing and fuming at any delay. She did not reveal to the players that she refused to ‘take a dive’ and lose to the local team, which cost a local underworld mob boss a lot of money. Hired thugs severely beat the former crew, and anyone else who hires on can expect the same treatment or worse.
5. Franklin is a local liaison with the Yo-Kuska pirate clan, and is helping to transfer their recently hijacked starship out of the Consulate. After four jumps, she will consider herself to be safely beyond known pursuit and will strand the players on a random world without payment or transportation. Additionally, a ship carrying an elite bank repossession team is on their trail, and will catch them in 1d6 jumps. Any players aboard when the repossession team assaults the ship will be treated as pirates and dealt with harshly.
6. None of the people aboard ship are athletes or support crew. They are an independent gang which spent four months planning an executing a bold robbery of the United Banking Guild’s sector deposit and transfer depot. With a detailed prepared cover story and documentation representing the group as a touring all-star exhibition team, they planned a quiet escape. Unfortunately, an encounter with random thugs caused them to lose their crew. Desperate for replacements, they are seeking anyone with spacehand credentials. The players will be hired on, but only long enough to provide orientation to the support crew so they can be emergency system watchstanders. After three jumps, the players will be killed and their bodies jettisoned into jumpspace.