Courier

 

Unable to find any legitimate cargo again, an Average INT + Streetwise roll finds out about the crew being black balled, while a Hard roll discovers who this time: the Highleaf Cartel. On an Easy INT + Streetwise, the PCs find out about the woman looking to hire a ship. Desperate, the captain agrees to be hired by a passenger that only goes by “Madam Black.” She has an armored sealed courier case handcuffed to her wrist and wants to visit the planet Beaumonde. An Average Streetwise roll will discover that Reavers have pushed into the space between (departure point planet) and Beaumonde. Three other ships have tried to make the run; only one made it back to (departure point planet).

Madam Black is an agent of Iskellian and has the only remaining prototype of a laser pistol; this detail is unknown to anyone but the mysterious woman herself. The inventor was an employee of the company that went rogue after finding out his invention was about to be stolen without him getting any credit. He fled and set up a shop out on the rim. Iskellian took extreme exception to this defection and sent a team to bring the prototype back.

The inventor surprised the team by his resistance to being returned to the company’s employ and managed to kill two members of the five-member team before being killed himself. The inventor only managed to produce two of his break through weapons before the team arrived. Since all plans were destroyed by the inventor, the prototype can only be duplicated by reverse engineering. One weapon along with the team member carrying it disappeared with the first ship that attempted to return a prototype to the border world Beaumonde. On the second attempt, the Reavers carried off most of the agent, but the crew managed to return with the agent’s arm and the final prototype in their crippled ship.

Madam Black is the sole survivor of the recovery team and has the last prototype in her possession. Iskellian is unforgiving enough that they want the prototype back regardless of cost. The team’s ship was crippled beyond repair by the inventor’s laser and why the agent needs a ship. Word that Reavers have blocked the path to Beaumonde has made it impossible for Madam Black to hire a ship at any price. The PCs are of course desperate enough now that the €2000 Madam Black is offering is just too much money to ignore.

Trip will take eight days, with three bone chilling days being though Reaver territory. The first two days are without problem, the fourth day requires a Hard INT + Ship’s ALE roll to detect the distant Reaver ship in time to make a Hard INT + Pilot roll to alter course to avoid their ship. If either roll fails, an Easy INT + Pilot will figure that a Hard Burn will allow PCs to avoid the Reavers as well. Day five will require an Average INT + Ship’s ALE roll to detect a Reaver ship ahead on a nearly convergent course. Even a Hard Burn will not outrun this ship and the PCs will soon find themselves being pursued. A Hard INT + Knowledge roll will figure a means to vent most of the ship’s water supply into the Reaver’s path.

It will take a Hard INT + Mechanical Engineering roll to set up the ship’s pumps to vent enough water fast enough to create an ice barrier. It will take three Hard AGL + Pilot rolls to avoid the fire from the Reavers until they are close enough to be in range of the ice trap. The Reavers will be completely surprised by this maneuver and will suffer enough damage to cripple their ship.

Just as the PCs relax, they hear a loud clank and discover, a shuttle has attached itself to the upper airlock. A Formidable AGL + Pilot roll will dislodge the shuttle, but not before a dozen Reavers storm the ship. Trapped on the PC’s ship the only hope of the Reaver’s shuttle reattaching is for them to defeat the PCs and thus a furious battle ensues. Madam Black will manage to get the case open in time to kill enough Reavers to change the tide of battle before being hacked to ribbons, but unfortunately for Iskellian, the prototype laser is irreparably damaged by a Reaver axe and explodes. Once the PCs reach Beaumonde, attempts to contact Iskellian will result in the them disavowing any knowledge of a Madam Black or a missing laser. Once again, the PCs have come away empty handed after all of their efforts.