Required skills: None
Required equipment: Starship capable of Jump-1
Locations: Urnian Subsector, Urnian (2833) & Pylkah (2834)
While the characters are on Urnian (B9779AC-A) they are contacted by Filana Belsaris, an independent entrepreneur who primarily brokers interstellar shipping contracts for small, independent commercial starships. If the characters have been engaging in such business in the subsector for a while, they will know she has a good business reputation. She is a plain woman at the cusp of middle age who dresses in relaxed business attire. She asks the characters meet with her at her warehouse office.
“I’m originally from Pylkah (E463977-9),” she says over a round of refreshments in her comfortably cozy office. “About thirty years ago, my father was leading a popular uprising against the dictator of the nation of Bundor. Unfortunately, the uprising became a civil war, which the dictator’s forces eventually won after nearly ten standard years of fighting.
“My father was captured, tortured, put on display in a show trial and executed. People loyal to my father managed to smuggle my mother and I out of the country through the mountainous border with Pyllos. From there, we managed to find passage from the starport to here and start new lives.
“My mother passed away last year. Her dying wish was to be buried with my father. Since then, I have been trying to get permission to inter my mother’s cremains with my father’s on Pylkah, but I’ve been stonewalled with every attempt.”
She takes a moment to get a handle on her emotions before continuing. “On Pylkah, it is a deep-seated tradition in our religion to fulfill the dying wishes of family members within the passing of a number of days. The government of Bundor knows this. It is probably one more attempt to discredit my family’s name.”
Filana pulls out a small pouch of precious gemstones. “This is worth about eighty thousand credits. It is what’s left of my mother’s jewelry collection. I offer it in payment if you can transport my mother’s ashes to my father’s grave in the Bundor capital city on Pylkah before I run out of time.”
The referee should take some time to get familiar with the information on Pylkah presented on The Zhodani Base website.
If the characters wish to check up on Filana’s story, they will find she has been accurate in her description of events. They will also get the Bundor version of events – most notably the fact that the resistance had engaged in a series of terrorist bombings of government facilities and the people who supported it.
If the characters need a cover for their being on Pylkah, Filana can provide a cargo shipment contract to them from another exporter on Urnian. Her operation’s name might cause the Bundor authorities to look a little too closely at the characters’ activities.
The burial urn is a spun metal flask that has been sealed with a number of intricate symbols. Research will indicate that breaking these seals would amount to desecration of a corpse under Pylkah laws – a felony offense that carries a mandatory sentence of ten years in prison.
1. Filana is completely honest. All is as presented. The characters will be allowed to land at the main airport of Bundor to off-load their cargo, but they’ll have to smuggle the burial urn past local security and make their way through the city with it. The referee should create several encounters with the locals, plus generate local law enforcers (to TL 9 standards).
2. The authorities suspect something. The situation is similar to #1 above, except that Bundor’s government agents are on heightened awareness for the burial urn, due to Filana’s efforts over the past year and the upcoming deadline. Consider the capital of Bundor to be at Law Level 9 instead of 7.
3. The authorities are on high alert. Similar to #2 above, except that Filana has managed to contact former members of the uprising about the situation. They have staged a series of acts of protests that have put the local authorities on alert. Consider the capital of Bundor to be at Law Level B instead of 7. Also, there will be armed guards at the grave of Filana’s father as well.
4. Filana is being dishonest. Filana is attempting to smuggle computer hacking software and cybernetic virus programs to the uprising’s underground members, using her mother’s urn and ashes as a cover story. Members of the underground will attempt to either steal the urn from the characters (attempting to kill them in the process). The referee should generate the attackers as needed.
5. Filana is a Zhodani agent. The Zhodani have been supporting the uprising’s underground in Bundor as a way to monitor Imperial efforts in the neighboring country of Pyllos. The burial urn contains data chips imprinted with information Filana has obtained on Imperial agents active in Pyllos. The characters will be attacked by a group of Zhodani agents when they attempt to deliver the urn to the gravesite (who will attempt to kill them in the process). The referee should generate the attackers as needed.
6. Filana is a double agent. Similar to #5 above, except that Filana is actually working for the Imperium. The burial urn contains data chips with false information as well as a powered biological agent tailored to infect and kill the Zhodani agents who will attempt to intercept it (and attempt to kill the characters in the process).