This article was originally posted to the pre-magazine Freelance Traveller website in 1999 and reprinted in the May/June 2016 issue.
Kylor Dukagen 458CE9 Age 50 Cr150000
6 terms Scientist
Human Male, homeworld Regina
Admin-2, Computer-2, Grav-1, Vacc Suit-1
Imperial Science Union Member, Pocket Computer
From the TAS News Service, Rhylanor, 011-1105
Doctor Kylor Dukagen of the Rhylanor Institute of Socio-History has announced a leave of absence from the Institute in the wake of his ground-breaking, popular release of Unicorn Rising: A Frontier Comes of Age in the Second Millenium. This scholarly work has made Dr Dukagen well-known in intellectual circles throughout the Domain of Deneb, but this new popular release, edited and annotated with the general public in mind, has made his name familiar from Corridor to the Zhodani border.
According to a spokesperson of the Institute, Dr Dukagen will be using his leave of absence to undertake a lecture tour of all the subsector capitols and other selected worlds within the Spinward Marches. The doctor hopes, sources said, to take advantage of these personal appearances to “further develop my work against the broad mosaic of cultures and peoples that make up our domain of the Imperium”.
Rumor has it that the Sector Duke at Regina was particularly taken by the ideas presented in the work, and intends to invite Dr Dukagen to stay at length at the sector capitol, perhaps with an offer of an advisory position. The book’s signature phrase of unity, “all of us together behind the claw”, has already been heard in communiques and government addresses on both Rhylanor and Regina.
Dr Dukagen’s exact itinerary has not been made public at this time.
Dr Kylor Dukagen is a tall, dark-haired man, his hair slowly turning salt and pepper with advancing age. He is usually more adept with computer records and libraries than he is with people, but is slowly growing into his newfound popularity. He is currently travelling between major worlds of the Spinward Marches on a combination lecture tour and sociological research trip.
Dr Dukagen has never been in a life-or-death situation. While not especially cowardly, his first response to such a situation would almost certainly be either flight or freezing with panic. His approach to any non-violent conflict situation is to talk things out in a reasonable fashion, based on his world-view that people can always find common ground.
The good doctor is an avid collector of space exploration memorabilia, and loves to spend time on starliners buying drinks for talkative members and ex-members of the IISS. Note that he is smart enough to recognize most tall tales when he hears them, but may continue buying drinks if the teller is entertaining enough.
- Dr Kylor Dukagen is a cousin of noted journalist Enli Iddukagan (see Journal of the Traveller’s Aid Society #22). This somewhat questionable reporter may try to attach himself to his cousin’s group, so as to try and gain advantage of Dr Dukagen’s newfound fame. Enli will attempt to gain access to information and areas not open to the public, with the players (and the Doctor) caught in the middle.
- Dr Dukagen is carrying with him a piece from his space exploration memorabilia collection, an old scout’s logbook. He intends to present it to a correspondent of his, a curator of a museum along his route. Unknown to Dr Dukagen, the logbook contains jump coordinates for a derelict starship of unusual design. An assistant of the curator has determined the information exists from a scanned copy of the log, but needs the original…and wants to get it before the curator gets it into the well-secured museum.
- As #2, but the information leads to a series of Imperial deep-space refuelling sites—the exposure of which would prove damaging to the Imperium, both diplomatically and militarily. The assistant curator is a spy for a foreign power.
- Dr. Dukagen’s message of unity has been irritating to a radical group on a planet along his route. A small group of dissidents will attempt to harass him upon his arrival, and will look for ways to delay, embarrass, and even blackmail him to interfere with his personal appearances.
- As #4, but the dissidents will attempt to kidnap him, offering his safe return in exchange for his reading a prepared statement to the media—which he will refuse to do. It will not even occur to him to later recant the statement, or that people will ignore it as being given under duress.
- As #5, but the dissidents will attempt to publicly assassinate Dr Dukagen for anti-imperial purposes.
In all cases, the players could be friends, travelling companions or simply people he bought drinks for in a starport or shipboard tavern.