While on a world, the PCs see the same Terran crow following them during the day. It turns up on light poles, on nearby grav craft, passing robots, an up and down horse on a merry go round etc. When approached it flies off.
The crow is heavily modified high tech animal-robot. It is solar powered so has no concerns over power - the battery duration being three days if removed from a place where it can recharge. It does not seem to transmit a signal.
Possible directions to take this scenario:
- The crow is a prototype whose programming fritzed and it escaped. It takes a 'liking' to the PCs because its visual recognition software has mistaken one of them for a member of the robotics team that worked on it. If the crow is somehow caught it can be re-programmed to be useful for them.
- The crow is a spy for a deranged roboticist who believes the PCs have caused him a slight at some point in his life - or perhaps just recently. It is gathering intelligence on them. If the crow is somehow caught, tagged, and followed it will lead the PCs to its master's warehouse lab in a disused part of town. Cue robot guards and fun with guns. If the roboticist is killed his last words will be "oh no, not again".
- The crow is a spy for a bunch of bored technically savvy kids who modified the crow - they call themselves 'the mad tinkerers club'. They are just messing with the PCs because they're off-worlders. If the crow is somehow caught, tagged, and followed, the PCs will encounter the club HQ in a disused underground facility which has old junked Frankenstein robots acting as security guards ("crush, kill, destroy"), who are of absolutely no threat save they advance on the PC with their hooks flailing wildly.
- The crow belongs to Tatania, a clairvoyant who happens to be a latent psi with precog. She has had disturbing visions of the PCs and wants to know more about them. If the crow is somehow caught, tagged, and followed and Tatania is accosted she will point and scream in a throaty eastern European way then faint. When she comes round she will tell of her 'vision' (cue plot hook).
- The crow belongs to that world's secret police. They are testing the crow on off-worlders to see how it handles in the field. Naturally if the PCs commit any crimes while the crow is present - for example shooting at wildlife - they may be arrested.
- As 1., save that the crow belonged to a group of Armageddonists who seek to bring society down so it may be reborn anew. The crow was meant to be a guard for their bunker where they are preparing for the day but flew off when it glitched. If the PCs follow it, they may encounter the nutty crew who will immediately swarm out in lab-coats crying 'death to the polluters' whilst armed with portable Bunsen burners.