Patron: Merchant starship captain
Required Skills: social, combat (?)
Required Equipment: None
Sendak is a world just beyond the edge of the Spinward Marches in Foreven sector. It is controlled by one of the Imperium’s submegacorporations, Universal Transamalgamated Incorporated, otherwise known as UTI. UTI raises a domesticated version of a native grazer for the benefit of its specialty foods and pharmaceutical divisions. Wild thing meat is prized by gourmets in this region of space, particularly by Vargr, and certain hormones which defy synthesis provide the basis for many lifesaving medications.
UTI’s operations on Sendak are dependent on several key technologies used in the local processing plants which are not supported by the local infrastructure. Looking ahead, the corporation foresaw a time in the near future when critical replacement parts would be needed. It placed an order with a supplier several jumps away. The order was recently filled and placed aboard a ship destined for Sendak. It is being shipped C.O.D. or credits on delivery, meaning that the crew dropping off the shipment will receive the payment directly and be responsible for returning it to the supplier. UTI has a sterling reputation when it comes to paying its obligations, reputation being crucial given the slow relative speed of interstellar travel, so the chance of anyone getting “stiffed” is miniscule. At least that’s the presumption going in.
When the characters land at the starport they find it nearly deserted, the local police won’t let anyone leave the property and a rising smoke cloud is visible coming from the city in the distance . . .
This scenario assumes that the characters are aboard a starship at the outset of the scenario. They may be its crew, embarked passengers or a combination of both. The ship’s captain asks the characters to head into town to collect the payment for the cargo. For the sake of future business dealings, negotiation and peaceful interaction is preferred over a more kinetic approach but the actual execution of the mission remains in the PCs’ hands.
There are several possible complications in this scenario. Roll 1D6 to determine which is the case here.
1. There have been rising tensions of late between UTI and its workers, who have been agitating for better pay and working conditions. For the most part the two sides have tried to amicably work things out but the inevitable fringe elements on both sides have managed to escalate the situation. The UTI rep holding the payment the characters’ seek is based in the capital city but is unreachable via the commnet and in any case would likely be unable to get to the ‘port due to travel restrictions. (This is according to the police maintaining the cordon). If anyone is to be paid it looks like the characters will need to get past the local enforcers and find the company rep while avoiding local entanglements. The situation in the city is chaotic but for the most part non-violent.
2. Same as the first option except that tensions are much higher. Law and order, on both sides is beginning to break down. This leads to an increased chance of violence but there are also still a lot of innocent people trying to go about their lives as best as they can.
3. Same as the second option except that the situation has degenerated to sporadic street fighting between corporate police and workers using captured or improvised weapons.
4. Same as the third option but the characters encounter a group of workers requesting help in getting one or more important individuals off-planet. They may be emissaries being dispatched to curry off world support, perhaps in the form of funding, weapons or public opinion, or charismatic members of the workers’ leadership looking to continue the revolution from exile. In this case the characters are potentially faced with having to drag their charges along with them as they try to execute their primary mission.
5. Same as the third option but the characters will be subjects of a kidnapping attempt so that they can be used as bargaining chips by the workers or targeted for arrest by UTI on suspicion of being mercenaries hired to organize and train the workers. Or both.
6. Same as Option Three but in this case the characters are contacted by a representative of UTI who wishes to employ them to carry a message to the worker leaders surreptitiously so that a cessation of hostilities can be negotiated. The rep may be acting without the knowledge or permission of his superiors because he sees a window of opportunity for a peaceful settlement. Alternatively, he may seek to use the characters to ferret out the location of the leaders so that they can be captured or killed. (In that case he’ll likely use the idea of settlement talks as a cover for his true intentions). The rep will provide the name of a contact to get the process started and can be convinced to pay extra for this service.