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Cat and Mouse

This adventure was originally posted to the pre-magazine Freelance Traveller website in 2006, and reprinted in the May/June 2018 issue.

The following strictly unofficial documents fall into the PCs’ hands:


I had to pull a few favors to get this for you; I hope it helps.

Good job on quashing the story about the theft of the Gallipoli; that’s a nightmare waiting to happen… Actually this is the worst case of piracy I’ve ever seen: at a stroke, this guy managed to steal a fully loaded Marine assault transport.

There were only an ENS and a couple of ratings, and a Corporal and two Pvts aboard—everyone else was ashore; Reesbäker’s team boarded via an access hatch behind the bridge (remember that he lived on one of those things for almost ten years?), using a Mercy-class rescue boat to board her. Incredible: 230 suits of Assault B-Dress, 6 Sunbeam sleds and 2 Intrepids, complete with full kits of spares and reloads, planetary bombardment missiles—gone in under five minutes.

But here’s the interesting part: he didn’t kill the skeleton crew—he marooned them on a rock in Trin’s outer system…complete with cargo containers carrying the crew’s personal effects, and an emergency locator beacon. Apparently, once he outran Trin’s picket boats and Jumped, he micro’d into the Oort cloud, refueled and headed out… There’s been no sign of him since. Weird.

I’m including a summation of his file below. The public want doesn’t include his decorations. I understand that D is frothing at the mouth over this—you know he killed one of her “pet nobles”, right? Shot the broad in the face, in public, with no challenge; very nasty dude. I don’t know N’s mind on him… it’s kind of creepy: he just takes the report, says “Thank you”, and you’re dismissed.

Something in this sounds like he might still be working for N, but I’m just not sure.

One more point: Reesbäker may have become involved in one of those “Droyne” cults that have been gaining strength of late. I personally think it’s unlikely, but there are certain aspects that would appeal to him, per his psych profile.

Sorry I can’t be of more help.

Your Chum,


*****FILE: REESBÄKER, Mäarten*****

Known Aliases: Lev Dahlgren, James Martin, Angus McTiernan, “Far-Reaching Thunderer”


Date of Birth: 148-1180 Hair: Brown
Place of Birth: Vincennes/Deneb Eyes: Green
Height: 172cm Gender: Male
Weight: 100kg Race: Human

Occupation: Mercenary

Scars and Marks: Surgical and shrapnel scars on Right Arm and Right Side of Torso

Remarks: Former Master Sergeant, Imperial Marines; five (5) campaign ribbons, Combat Action Ribbon, five (5) MCG's, six (6) Wound Stripes; starship pilot/navigation ratings from unk. extra-Imperial source; last seen departing Trin/Trin's Veil/SM; considered armed and extremely dangerous.


Full crime list:

Murder of an Imperial Noble, Theft of an Imperial Warship, Unlawful Marooning, Repeated violation of Imperial interdiction protocols, smuggling of dangerous cargos to developing/emerging cultures, murder, assault, espionage, theft, embezzlement, robbery, breaking & entering; suspicion of commission of terrorist actions.

Possible directions to take this seed

  1. Reesbäker is a former Imperial Naval Intelligence agent gone rogue; he hi-jacked the Gallipoli to sell it outside the Imperium, most likely to a foreign government.
  2. As 1, but the most likely buyer is pirates.
  3. Reesbäker is still working for Imperial Naval Intelligence; the details are known only at the highest levels of Sector Intelligence.
  4. Reesbäker is working directly for Archduke Norris; only Norris and certain members of his personal staff know the details of Reesbäker’s mission(s).
  5. As 4, but Reesbäker appears to have gone rogue.
  6. Reesbäker is a former Imperial Naval Intelligence agent gone rogue; he hi-jacked the Gallipoli with the intention of setting himself up as a ‘king’ on a low-tech planet beyond the Imperial frontier.

Subsequent events are should be determined by the referee.