Amber Zone: Night of Terrors

Setting:

  • Any starport tavern with a Scout Base.
  • An unsettled swampy backwater world with a breathable atmosphere about a jump or two away.

Players’ Information:

The PCs are approached by a Mid-level ranking Scout. She is on active duty from the IISS (Imperial Interstellar Scout Service) Survey Branch – yes, the Scouts. She is looking for a group to help solve a mystery. You see, the IISS sent a sub-contractor Pathfinder team to a remote, swampy world to perform dirtside surveys. These people were to build a rudimentary starport landing area to prepare for additional teams to follow and expand the facilities into a boa fide new colony. Initial orbital surveys showed a vibrant native eco-system in place; therefore, some dirtside experiments on interactions between imported flora and fauna and native life needed to be done.

All was going well for the first few months. The starport area had been finished and the team was turning their efforts into importing herd animals that thrive in a swamp-like environment. The reports from the surface spoke about frequent electrical storms with robust lightning which they were trying to harvest with lightning arrestors that shunt the electricity into storage batteries. The Geostationary Satellite System was up and fully operational, but the system was out intermittently due to the higher base Gauss level of this planet. The initial hypothesis of the silence is the colonist/contractors died from some form of incompatible viral or bacterial infection that kills all non-native life.

As stated about a month ago, all communications stopped. No distress call was made and IISS flyovers report no signs of life. The IISS is trying to keep the news of this event off the TAS Newsline so speed and discretion are exceptionally important. The offer for help cannot be in the atypical contract format. With that in mind the Scout is willing to upgrade the PC’s gear with top-level vacc suits, ship sensors or anything short of an armored vehicle that will get them to take this contract. Additionally, the PCs will be allowed to visit the base armory to “refresh and replenish” their own weaponry. (Slug-throwers and a few grenades at the most – NO energy weapons).

Additionally, the Scout will accompany the PCs for several reasons. The first reason is she is skilled in microbiology. The second reason is the IISS has placed a warning beacon in orbit to interdict any unauthorized entry. She has the correct passcode to access the planet. The third reason is her spouse was one of those unlucky pathfinders that disappeared. If he left a logbook behind, she would be able to access it. The Scout will also be transporting the PCs on an IISS-owned Type-L Standard Lab Ship, complete with an IISS team of eight to crew the vessel and also with a second Pathfinder team of eight members who all are trying to solve this mystery. These eight members are a mix of scientists, medics, and communications technicians.

Continue reading

AMBER ZONE: Research Double-Cross

Players’ Information:

A backwater world with a breathable atmosphere and a population of several million is dealing with a decades-long civil war.  Due to the remoteness of the settlements, much of the conflict has been marked by sharp raids with few set battles.  One cobbled together militia group has managed to capture a corporate research facility on a remote island.  They have contacted the corporate leadership in the hopes of obtaining a decent ransom.

The corporation has decided to meet the demands of the militia and they are sending hard currency, medicines and food in exchange for the researchers and their data.  A 200-ton free trader, the SS Damocles, was dispatched and quietly intercepted by the opposing side just as it exited hyperspace.  The PCs are being hired to pilot the free trader to the research station, using the codes and protocols provided to them by the captured original crew.  The military of the backwater world all have a distinct look and accent, so off-worlders are essential.

With the cargo removed from the trader the PCs are masquerading as the corporate crew now in isolation.  They will be joined on their journey by a reinforced platoon of (28) troops.  (There will be a O1 in command, an E9 and an E5 in the command section; additionally, 5 squads of 5 troopers comprising of an E4 and four E1’s make up the rest of the raiding party).  These should be equipped as regular soldiers according to the Tech Level of that warring planet.

The PCs will pilot to the regular docking pad of the facility and simply stay out of the way.  The O1 in command has orders to minimize damage to the facility and after the threat has been neutralized gather the researchers and their data for extraction back to the main military base where the mission started.

Continue reading

AMBER ZONE: Saving Fluffy

Players’ Information:

The PCs are heading outbound from their starport when they are contacted by the disabled lab ship SS HAWKING. The head scientist by the name of Ammat Hassad who on board requests the PCs help him retrieve some important flora and fauna in a nearby backwater system before they have to evacuate their temporary laboratory/outpost on the planet’s surface. His university-funded outpost is located on an isolated island in the tropical zone and the cyclones common in that area would imperil his fellow researchers and their research work alike. His lab ship’s Hyperdrive Motivator is broken and a replacement part is still weeks away. He needs transport to this destination, they need to retrieve the six scientists and their samples and leave long before the replacement part arrives. He will pay for the fuel, the cargo space (Cr. 3000/ton) and passage for him to the outpost, and for the seven of them to return. For every successful sample brought back to his lab, the PCs will also receive a bonus of Cr. 100/animal and Cr. 50/plant.

Sex

Fluffy – Image from Wikimedia – No known copyright restrictions

Continue reading

AMBER ZONE: Send in the Clones

Players’ Information:

The PC’s are approached by a well-dressed gentlemen aged in his mid-50’s. He introduces himself as Armand Morgan, majordomo and confidant to his lordship, Frederik, the Marquis de Bonneville – well sort of. You see the actual Marquis was killed in a re-entry burnout on his personal small craft as he was returning to his estate a few years ago. Armand was aware that the Marquis had purchased a life insurance policy ten years ago where, in the case of an accidental death, his salvaged DNA would be reanimated. If there was no DNA to salvage (as it was in this case), an additional DNA sample was taken, placed in cold storage and would be available as a Plan “B”. Welcome to Plan B.

The Marquis had become suspicious in his later years that someone was trying to kill him. He had a wafer chip inserted in the back of his cranium and he would download his memories each and every night on to alternating chips. He also had a decent amount of money secretly stored away that only Armand would know about and be able to access. Always his faithful servant, Armand grabbed the memchip from the day before to his death to be secretly appropriated for later use. Armand was fired within a year of his lordship’s death by the Marquis’ wife, Julia. Since her husband’s death, she has laid claim to her late husband’s lands and wealth, in order to continue to raise her two sons and daughter. According to Armand, all three children have been placed with other family members, or have been sent to boarding school. Julia has taken on a young lover by the name of Leopold and has been living the high life after she did her obligatory year of mourning.

Armand is convinced that Julia did something to the ship to have it lose control. He needs help to get his lordship his lands back and help find out what actually happened to the Marquis those three years ago. He has contacts back on their homeworld who are willing to reopen the crash investigation and he has retained a trusted lawyer to help him regain his lordship’s property as its rightful owner. Armand will offer the PC’s Cr. 5,000 per PC per month (over twice the normal rate) as bodyguards to the Marquis. He will pay for all fuel and goods consumed along with an additional Cr. 250,000 if their mission to restore the Marquis is achieved.

The Clone

The Marquis – Image from Wikimedia – Public Domain

Continue reading

AMBER ZONE: Peril of the Lord Brisbane

Player’s Information:

The PC’s are heading outbound from their starport towards their mission when they receive a distress call from the passenger liner Lord Brisbane. The ship’s registry lists this vessel as a Type “OO” Bastien-class Passenger liner with a crew of 16 and a passenger manifest of 28. When the PC’s ship gets a little closer the standard “Signal GK” is issued (like an old-type SOS).

The message says: “SIGNAL GK… SIGNAL GK…. This is the SS LORD BRISBANE… We have been holed in the engine room and have lost power… We are drifting towards a planetoid – aft first… We have lost our engineering crew… Gravity and Life Support is failing… Requesting immediate assistance…. We have 43 souls aboard needing immediate evacuation… SIGNAL GK… SIGNAL GK… (repeats)”

As the PC’s ship gets closer (about 30 minutes out) it is apparent the ship was struck by a cluster of micro-meteors. The ship is drifting backwards towards the nearby planetary body (a size-1 to 2 airless planet). The ship is expected to crash in about three hours and no other ship of any kind will be able to assist in time. Some passengers have been able to make it to the life pods and they are drifting along with the ship towards the planet. These life pods should be able to make a successful soft landing safely away from the crash site if things go horribly wrong. However there are crew and passengers still stuck on board. What will the PC’s do?

Lord Brisbane

A Low-Tech Lord Brisbane – Image from Wikimedia – Public Domain

Continue reading