Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in Freelance Traveller’s June 2011 issue.
On the starport concourse, the PCs are approached by a common sight in the region, Captain Howard Antege of the Howard’s Star, a knockabout Free Trader. Known for his usually harmless schemes to make a little extra money, his reputation for success is mixed, but occasionally quite lucrative. As it turns out, he want the PCs assistance in “acquiring” a piece of artwork, an abstract work by a known eccentric who names his works serially. The artist, Anderabin Flitho, has produced hundreds of one-off works which typically fetch a decent price in certain circles. The piece that is the target of Captain Antege’s scheme is “Flitho 314”, currently, he says, hanging on display at a nightclub in startown called “Guages” that caters to the liner and big freighter crews that stop in this system. Captain Antege is willing to pay the PCs to assist in stealing the work of art, as he says it was “misplaced” by the shippers on its way to a buyer, and turned up here. The startown authorities, such as they are, are unwilling to help, so the Captain is turning to clandestine aid to return the work to its rightful owner.
Possible directions to take this scenario:
- The job is as described, though the nightclub owner paid a great deal to the original thief to acquire Flitho 314, and have some out-system security systems in place to prevent its removal.
- As above, but Captain Antege has been paid by the owners of Guages to test the system, not actually steal the artwork.
- As #1, but the nightclub will break out into a huge barroom brawl shortly after the PCs arrive, bringing Startown Cops in from all directions.
- The owners of Guages are the legitimate owners of Flitho 314. The Captain’s contact was the #2 bidder who is more than a little unhappy about losing.
- When the PCs arrive ready for theft (regardless of preparatory visits), they will find Flitho 314 already gone; Captain Antege will also be nowhere to be found. Fading into startown and forgetting about it all seems like a good idea.
- As #5, but an anonymous tip will implicate the PCs. Fast talking will be required if they ever want to stop in this port again.