The Benedict Advance
This article originally appeared in the September 2014 issue.
Synopsis: the adventurers must race the clock to
find a friend’s missing fiancée.
Setting: Any Imperial world.
Equipment Required: none.
Xando Clane is one of the group’s staunchest friends. A large, likeable fellow whose mercenary company helped the group out of a tight spot some years prior, he has kept in touch with them, marveling at their adventures. Even after he left the mercenaries, he extended hospitality to them whenever they were in port.
On this occasion, Xando lets them know that over the past two years, he had been in correspondence with a young woman the next system over. Recently, he asked her to marry him and—to his unbridled joy—she accepted! Now he is making plans to wrap up his affairs and move to her world. He wants to hire the PCs—agents he trusts—to go ahead of him and act as his representatives in purchasing a home, preparing the wedding venue, and taking care of any legal matters that don’t require his direct involvement, in addition to delivering several messages and family heirlooms into her safekeeping.
When the PCs arrive on the fiancee’s planet, however, they cannot find her. Her comm goes unanswered; her house is empty (and looks to have been so for several days); and none of her friends and neighbors have seen her. The police are willing to take their report, but they are overworked and cannot promise quick action on the case.
And quick action is what the group needs. To say that Xando will be displeased by the turn of events is a vast understatement. And for all his likeability, he tends to overreact to problems. During his time with the mercs, there were several instances of his using heavy artillery on targets when a small, mobile fire team would have served. Once he finds that his fiancée is missing, he will turn the planet upside down to find her. If it turns out she met with foul play, he will call in some of his favors, the merc company will show up, and the situation will only end in screaming and bodies.
The PCs are in a position to investigate the situation and perhaps save lives. Xando will be insystem in a week; they have that long to locate the fiancée and return her safely home.
What happened to the girl is entirely up to the referee, and will determine the course of the adventure:
- She got cold feet and bolted to her mother’s in a neighboring province. The team must travel there and try to convince the bride-to-be to go through with the wedding, or at least inform Xando of her decision herself.
- She decided to have one last big blowout with her friends before settling down with her intended. She is part of a group who has headed for a nearby resort to whoop it up. Of course, the PCs may have a wild, drunken bachelorette on their hands.
- As 2, except the girl and her entourage were taken as hostages when terrorists decided to attack the resort. The adventurers must go in and rescue her.
- As 3, except the girl is the intended target. The kidnappers plan to ransom her for a sizeable sum.
- As 3, except the kidnapper is a jealous ex-lover, who has decided on this rather foolish course of action to try and get her to “come to her senses” and return to him.
- As 3, except the kidnapper is a rival former mercenary, who blames Xando for a mission going wrong, and is now pursuing an insane revenge plot. The rival should be more than a match tactically and physically for the PCs.
The referee should determine the flow of subsequent events.