Convoy

 

 

After locating a legal cargo on Bellerophon either via their patron, or contacts made at the Grand Ball, the crew is preparing to depart. The cargo has a delivery date in ten days or they face penalties. The captain gets a message that she has to report to an auditorium at the spaceport. The message is an Alliance summons to all ship captains in port. The message is direct, due to an upswing in “pirate activities” on the Rim all freighters are ordered to travel in convoy with an Alliance escort to protect them. The office announces that the Alliance has issued an immediate land lock on all ships to prevent any ship from leaving. The officer makes it clear that there will be no debate or questioning of the order. When the captain returns to the ship, a wave with the details of the new restrictions is waiting for her. The next convoy departure date is in three days regardless of cargo or shipping arrangements made prior to the new rules. This won’t make them late as it stands, but it eliminates all the flexibility in their schedule, any additional problems or delays and they will be late.

 

Stuck on the planet, the crew can find things to entertain themselves, but they have been on planet for over a week now and all are antsy to leave. The GM can add any small side adventures or simply rule “Three days pass…”

 

On the departure date, the convoy will consist of ten ships with one gunboat and two SREV as escorts take the ships on a very rigidly scheduled course. Speed is limited to the speed of the slowest ship in the convoy, which in this case is speed 3. This final restriction means the cargo will be a day late. Raging at the convoy commander is a lost cause, orders are orders. All ships must travel in convoy and convoy speed is 3. If the captain doesn’t like it, his merchant’s license can always be revoked to let him think about the new regulations.

 

The convoy plods along on its preset course, but at least everything is uneventful through the first destination planet on the Rim. There four of the ships peel off and three join for the next leg.  Again the GM is free to add role playing opportunities and minor side encounters to flesh out the trip as desired by players and the GM.

 

Two-thirds of way to the crew’s destination, the convoy is hit by Neo-Browncoats in force. The Alliance gunboat on point is hit and disabled by a command detonated mine as two refurbished SREVs and two mid-bulk freighters with jury-rigged missile launchers, race in to attack. The escort is quickly overwhelmed forcing the convoy to scatter.

 

The Neo-Browncoats shoot to disable if a ship fails to heave to. In order to escape, the first obstacle the crew will have to avoid is one of the other ships in the convoy. This other ship is running in blind panic and lumbers directly in the PC’s path. A Hard AGL + piloting roll is required to avoid collision and D8 damage. Evading the Neo-Browncoats will be much more difficult. If the PCs have decoys or jammers, this would be a good time to use them. Fortunately due to being on the distant side of the attack, the PCs start with a lead being at long range to begin with. However, if they failed to avoid the collision they will be at medium range.

 

The only open course to escape will take them away from their intended destination and further out on the Rim. Three successful Formidable AGL + piloting rolls will avoid Neo-Browncoat fire and escape. (If at medium range pilot will have to make five rolls with the first two being one step harder).

 

The crew should be able to escape the attack, but even near misses will rattle loose several systems forcing the Mechanic to make a Hard INT + Mechanical Repair rolls. In addition for each missile attack, every character not strapped into a seat will have to make Hard AGL + Athletics rolls to avoid injury with a failure resulting in D4W damage from being thrown around and from flying debris while a botch will result D8W damage.

 

On breaking contact, the mechanic will report that the explosions have damaged the Pulse drive, the ship can do a Hard Burn, but the engine will take heavy damage that will require full shut down to repair. Since the only other option is the certain capture and probably loss of their ship, the damage is the lesser of two evils. The ship makes its Hard Burn, but the crew knows it will only be for ten hours and there aren’t any planets within that radius. A Hard INT + Computer operations roll will find a partially terraformed moon that the ship will reach. With no other options, the PCs make the Hard Burn. Unknown to the crew, while the ship was delayed in departing Bellerophon, Neo-Browncoat sympathizers planted the tracker while the ship was land locked.