The players stuck are on a balkanized world awaiting repatriation at the poor-quality starport after their contract is fulfilled in yet another of the planet’s wars between two rival factions. While imbibing the swill that passes for whiskey at the starport’s only bar, a party member spots an old friend, and sometimes rival, named Kellan. Years of merc work have left Kellan a shaking shell of the young Marine Officer of 20 years ago. A disastrous mission during this ticket saw Kellan busted to Private for dereliction of duty. Furthermore, Kellan has been severely wounded in both legs. He should survive, but his days of run-and-gun are clearly over. He calls one of the party closer (the one he knows the best), and the two converse in hushed tones in a corner alcove of the dark and stinking bar.
Kellan has stored the coordinates of a hidden Aurum module, an advanced sensor pod which his unit was using during the conflict. As it would happen, Kellan relates sullenly, he was the only survivor when his unit was overrun. Kellan planned on returning and recovering the pod, but had not planned on being injured. He is willing to share the coordinates with the group if they recover the pod. Oh, and by the way, the pod is nearly 1000 km behind enemy lines, and the fighting continues. Kellan’s offer is as follows: he will exchange the coordinates of the sensor pod for one-quarter of the total shares of profit once the group assembles, recovers the pod, and the pod is sold. He requests to hang on to the group’s repatriation bonds to insure he is not cut out of the deal.
Kellan has hidden two Air/Rafts about 1 km from the starport, and will even provide his personal “Merc Roladex” should the players feel they need to beef up their party.