Edge of Catastrophe

Patron: any
Required Skills: none
Required Equipment: starship

Players’ Information:
The group is asked to deliver some cargo by a person called “Alan/Alana” (it can be either a man or woman) who represents a small consortium called the Long Haulers. They typically bring in cargo from the Imperium and attempt to distribute it throughout the Foreven. The group is in the Inpota system of the Reidain Subsector. The increased tech level for the independent and neutral system of Reidain and the systems that Reidain controls allows for a broader range of cargo to be delivered and Alan sees a possible avenue for profit and is looking into the types of cargo that would be most valuable and cargo haulers, such as the group, that would be able to make said deliveries. They pay well and Alan has treated the group well. They start their J-2 run from Inpota on their way to Reidain.

Biohazard
Biohazard : Image from wikimedia. Public domain.

Referee’s Information:
On their way to Reidain the group receives a mayday call originated in subsector hex 0604 right between Inpota and Reidain. The group comes upon a Darrian warship ship called the Invincible firing upon an Avalar cargo ship called the Dependable. The Avalar ship is clearly under matched and it is they who have sent out the distress signal.

When they come upon the scene the group is still receiving the pleas of help from the Dependable. The Darrian ship has an Admiral called Castellar’s. He declares to the group that this is a legal action against an enemy of the state and to stay out of the interchange. He continues on that even though they were told to heave to for boarding the cargo ship decided to fire upon them.

The Darrian ship is closing for boarding upon Dependable. Castellar’s calls the Dependable asking once again to give up the information concerning the plague they are carrying to Reidain. They won’t let them destroy the tenuous peace in this subsector. As they close the Dependable explodes destroying the cargo hauler and severely damaging the Invincible.

Castellar’s calls the group and asks them for their help. They were able to wirelessly download some valuable information from the cargo haulers computer before they exploded. He wants to get to Reidain with this information as soon as possible. His ship has been severely damaged and he doesn’t want to wait for repairs to be completed. Would they help?

1. All is as represented, correctly. Castellar’s has stumbled upon an Avalar plot to sway Reidain to ally them with Avalar by saying the Darrians want to cause a plague on Reidain and providing false “information” that is was the Avalars. This is of course a pre-emptive move by Avalar to strike against Darrian systems. There is no plague.

2. As 1, but there really is a plague. People from the Dependable escaped and Castellar’s has picked up the survivors who are also plague carriers. It could be Avalars or the Darrians who are doing it. Referees choice.

3. Castellar’s is insane and he has split into two personalities. He has spent his whole career as a protector of the Darrian people. His hatred of Avalar and all things Avalar has put him over the edge of sanity. Even though this is a high tension subsector there is a Darrian movement to have peace with Avalar and even trade with them. This has put him over the edge. One personality is totally amoral and intends on spreading a plague to the Reidain system and then blaming Avalar. He even has created proof. His other personality has “found” intelligence about the plague and Avalars involvement and he will do anything to protect his people. The Dependable never fired upon his ship; the Admiral merely thought they did.

4. There is no plague. Castellar’s is being setup as the bad guy. He has recently retired and a well-known hater of all things Avalar. He has “stumbled” upon some intelligence about a plague and the Avalars and he will do everything in his power to see it stopped, including destroying innocent cargo ships that have nothing to do with any plot. There is no plague though. Again, it could have been started by Avalars or the Darrians. Referees choice.

5. As 4, except people on the Dependable have been deliberately infected in the hope that at least one survivor will be rescued by Castellar’s thereby infecting his crew and then the group as well delivering the plague right to the doorstep of Reidain.

6. “Alan” is not who he claims to be. He is a cleaner for the megacorp conglomeration called the Corporate Expanse. They are a ruthless group who board members are composed of notorious and evil megacorporations. They have been using subsector hex 0406 to experiment with new and radical ideas on encrypting their communication traffic so they can continue to conduct business without people being aware that they are even here. There is a problem and now the ship is a liability. He has orders to destroy the ship by any means as long as nothing gets back to the Corporate Expanse. He has planted false intelligence information so that Castellar’s will destroy the Dependable, saving the day. The data he downloaded has a time delay worm virus that will destroy itself and any information related to it in the computer it resides. Castellar’s will be vilified as someone who try to concoct a ludicrous story about plague and then “save” everyone so he could return and become a hero to his people. Elections are soon and he would be able to run and the supposedly the people will elect him with little opposition. Alan is making sure his plan is running smooth and will disappear when done leaving the group wondering about future Long Hauler contracts.

In all cases the referee should determine the flow of subsequent events.

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