This adventure is coined at Vargr, but an all human party will do fine. The game can be played almost any time in the Traveller history. The players are put into a situation their very survival depends on finding a solution to a genetically modified virus set out in the population.
Location: Any world under Vargr control, by occupation. Somewhere in Vland or Corridor might be best in the Rebellion era. In a TNE setting it would be better to place it in DoD.
Port: C+; Size: Med+; Atm: 4 – 8 (Untainted); Hyd: Any; Pop: 7+; Gov: Any; Law: Any; Tech: 12+
Equipment: Starship and weapons.
Skills: Combat and starship skills.
As the PC’s are about to leave the world, they are not given clearance to lift off. The reason becomes soon clear. The Vargr that occupies the world, has put it under quarantine. No one is given permission to take off or land. Above the starport is a cruiser hovering to prevent anyone to take off.
Any explanation is not given why the world has been put under quarantine. But the rumors start to fly. Both on the street and in the media.
Here is some rumors to feed the players, over several days:
1, The government is preventing anyone to take off and land to conceal the fact that a new thrust into the Imperium is being prepared. (False)
2, The purpose of the quarantine is to hold the human population as hostages. The Imperium will not be able to take this world back easily without preventing a holocaust. (False)
3, Infiltrators has been spotted among the population. The quarantine is to prevent them to report back to the Imperial Navy. (Partial true.)
4, A human spy was arrested a few weeks ago. In the arrest he broke a small bottle with some clear liquid, while shouting “DIE scum dogs, die, die”. The spy seemed hysterical. (True, see below for more.)
5, The city hospital has sealed off a wing. No one is allowed to enter without permission. (True.)
6, The activity at the navy section of the starport is heightened. Despite the quarantine. The quarantine must then be a sham, and the humans held as hostage. (True, but for some other reason than stated. The government expects that some sort of fleet will enter to check on things, and the government will make certain that it can prevent a fleet to approach.)
7, Private owned starships has been taken away from the port, to places unknown. The Vargr are surely refitting them for their own use. (True)
The real reason for the quarantine is that a highly advanced virus is free among the Vargr population. Some renegade genetic researchers has hidden away in a remote asteroid to fabricate this virus, called Wolfsbane. A lab assistant was apprehended on the street when he jay walked. Misunderstanding the situation the lab assistant panicked, and broke open his bottle of test virus. He later broke in interrogation. The constables that arrested the man was put in quarantine, but too late. Other Vargr was becoming sick over the days.
Vargr Scientists has been unable to do something with the Wolfsbane, but they have come upon one important fact. The Virus does also affect humans, but in a different way. They will start to act drunken. The Virus in itself isn’t lethal to Humans, but the lack of hand-eye coordination and unsteady walking might kill several humans. However humans is not easily infected by the Virus. How the virus infects is unclear, but it appears to spread in the same way as common cold. The virus kills a vargr after a few days, but the virus use about 15 days to incubate. The scientists have managed to make a drug that slows the virus down, but does not kill it. Either way, if they managed to make one, they would still be faced by the treat of the final version of the virus.
To prevent infection:
Roll once per day, increase difficulty for Vargr.
When the PC’s has been beating around the bush for several days to find some answer, let one of them get sick. At this point the PC’s will also get the first chance to know the full truth. The PC will get drugs to keep the disease in check.
As the players do own a starship, they are requested (read ordered) to give away their starship to system defence. The PC’s will also be offered to stay as crew. To ensure that they can’t escape from the system, and to not spreading the disease, the jumpdrive is dismantled. The ill PC will also be permitted to join his fellow shipmates. While in space the PC’s are not allowed to enter other ships, or other spaceports in the system. They will either have to refuel in the gas giant or at the naval base.
The PC’s are ordered to patrol the outer system for illegal activity. The intelligence believes that the research base is somewhere among the asteroids, when the lab assistant was traced back to an in-system shuttle flight. The lab assistant could not tell where the base was when he never has been there.
After some weeks of patrolling, the PC’s detect activity at a remote asteroid. After the schedules and available information, there should not be anyone out here. When the source of the activity is checked more closely it is clearly illegal, after the standing rules.
They have indeed found the secret base. But at this point there is complications. Firstly, when the base is raised on the radio no coherent answer is given, just a lot of gibberish. The poor fact is that the scientist has been infected with the new strain of the virus by accident which left them somewhat mentally retarded. Not only that, they have also become violent. They do not act rationally and they are no longer able to put two words together to form a sentence. The scientists will attack the PC’s on sight with whatever weapons they got.
The PC’s should have no difficulty to enter the base. The real difficulty is to prevent that the scientist damage valuable equipment that will hold important information how to make an antidote. The PC’s will be ordered to size control of the base, killing few as possible. Backup will be there soon as possible.
How you wrap this up is up to you. If the PC’s are successful at taking the base without too much loss of equipment, the scientist dirtside will be able to fabricate an antidote within a months time. The base personnel may or may not be healed. Either way they will be executed anyway. Mass production of the antidote will commence after a few months.