After lengthy litigation with a rival firm CorBeOn Corporation has won the mining rights to Cestus, an uninhabited world (X6640000) rich in mineral deposits that is largely unexplored. There is one final legal hurdle- under the Endangered Species act CorBeOn cannot strip mine the planet due to the presence of Plover’s horse, a small, pony-sized creature which is the sole fauna on the planet.
CorBeOn has assigned their researcher Dr. Algon Hess, PhD, to prove that these are mutations of Terran ponies, in which case they would not be protected, and much less expensive strip-mining methods can be used.
Players are hired to crew a CorBeOn owned ship to transport Hess, his assistant, a five-member mining survey team, and related equipment to Cestus and provide any necessary security (possibility that the rival firm will try to disrupt things). Time is of the essence, as CorBeOn wants to start mining before the rival firm can create a legal appeal. The mining team will need three weeks to collect samples, after which CorBeOn wishes the mission to return (contract requirement for players to get paid, with a weekly 10% penalty if delayed). CorBeOn will provide a vessel with atmospheric capability and some staterooms converted to well-equipped laboratory space (something along the lines of a type R merchant) for Hess and the mining team to work in. The ship will also have a pair of air rafts for transporting the mining survey equipment on planet to various survey sites and some portable temporary structures.
If any PCs have appropriate medical or science skills, they can function as Hess’ assistant. Also, they may be asked to accompany the survey team for assistance.
Normally CorBeOn would use their own crew. However, at the last minute they became ‘indisposed’. Players are offered 2x the normal rate along with a 100% bonus should they meet the required schedule.