This adventure was originally posted to Freelance Traveller’s pre-magazine web site in October 2004, and reprinted in the May 2013 issue.
Assignment for TAS Journalist characters:
Beginning three years ago, an Amber Zone was declared for a popular tourist world on a busy section of the Spinward Main. The tourism business fell off quickly and visits over the following year totaled about one-third of what had been record numbers in the previous year. Fighting street-to-street in several of her major cities and sporadic attacks in major population and tourist centers intensified the next year and tourism declined slightly.
However, a strange phenomena started in the third year. Although fighting continued and tensions were very high, new tour agencies began to find ways of meeting pent-up demand for tours, especially to the ancient ruins and holy sites on the world. Tourism has increased in the past year and is projected to return to about 80-85% of pre-Amber volume. TAS is bewildered at the lack of effect that their Amber rating is having and has assigned the character(s) to do a hard-hitting, investigative piece for next quarter's Domain Tourism Review publication.
Possible outcomes and story cores:
- You find that the fighting, though continuing, has subsided to the point that tour agencies are able to easily avoid danger.
- You learn that pent-up demand has allowed tour agencies to raise prices to the point that they can afford their own discrete security measures through a network of forward observers and informants.
- You find that both sides in the battle have capitulated to the large, tourism-reliant business by agreeing not to carry on open hostilities in certain areas.
- Both sides in the fighting have been financially crippled by the loss of tourist credits that they are each actively promoting tourism through off-world advertising campaigns.
- All appears as in #1 above, but only one agency, Amber Tours Ltd., seems to be successful at providing safe travel. This agency is secretly importing banned arms to buy their safety.
- As #5 above, but instead of supplying arms to just one side, this agency is selling arms to both sides and working to keep the war going. Most of the tourism on world goes through this one agency, and those that don't often meet with serious trouble. Amber Tours Ltd. has a large mercenary force that protects their own tours, foments hostilities between factions, and carries out intimidating attacks against rival tour agencies.