This article originally appeared in the July 2011 issue of the magazine.
This assumes the characters have their own spaceship: When visiting a planet, the local authorities approach the characters and ask for a small favor: there is a team of diplomats from this world who have to be transported to one of the neighbouring star-systems for some urgent crisis management. And they need to be there by yesterday. An quick start is necessary and within hours the characters should be on the way out of system, even though the jump will, of course, take at least a week. But the characters are getting paid handsomely for this little transport.
Possible directions for the adventure:
- The diplomatic team is really just a diplomatic team which is sent to one of the neighbouring systems to take care of some minor fracas with sensitive trade goods. Everybody’s happy and the characters get invited for a drink afterwards. It might even seem the only reason to get there at all was to have a few nice parties with the colleagues from the next system.
- As 1. but it is a rather major fracas: the sensitive trade goods were biological/nuclear exports that spilled and created a small scale catastrophe in the other star system. A lot of damage management is needed, promises of support and reparations have to be made.
- As 2. but the major fracas in the meantime developed into something barely short of a war. Only imperial policy keeps the planet from launching their own fleet against its neighbour. The characters and their passengers are highly unwelcome.
- As 3. but the other system, Imperial policy be damned, already sent a small attack fleet to system A as a response to what the news feeds now call a “terrorist attack” on the natural biosphere of the planet.
- The diplomats are not the most usual of diplomats, highly specialized they nevertheless are a bit unusual, maybe some aquatic tentacled beings (Githiaskio) or a small school of dolphins in their tanks...
- ... or a whole uplifted whale! With a bad sense of humour too: he finds wet bipeds hilarious! And the that diplomatic business? Ah, that's just killing him.