This adventure goes with the article on Secret Police (and was part of the original blog article mentioned there), and was reprinted in the November/December 2016 issue.
Required: a starship and vehicle.
Espionage experience1 a plus.
The government of Mavramorn (Holtzmann’s Corridor 0605, C-34374A-A, population 50 million) has been trending towards authoritarianism for some time now. A local noble, Tomas Childress, the Marquis of Harkan Ridge has been the most vocal opponent of this power shift. He’s heard rumors that the new secret police force is planning to move against him. He sees this move as an attempt to silence him and threaten the still unorganized popular resistance. The Marquis has his agents contact the PCs, and bring them to his estate to meet with him. Once he assures himself that they are not working for the government, he asks the PCs to escort his wife and children to the starport and then to Stavanger. With his family safe, he will organize a loyal opposition to resist the encroachment on the traditional rights and freedoms of the people.
The author’s blog contains more information about the campaign area that this adventure was originally written to take place in. See http://ancientfarfuture.blogspot.com/2015/04/planets-of-corridor-stavanger-and-its.html. For the purposes of this adventure, the players need only know that Stavanger is J1 from Mavramorn.
The Mavramorni government has not instituted a general crackdown on dissent yet, but it is heading in that direction. But for the Marquis the situation is worse than he realizes. While the interview is still going on, estate security alerts the Marquis that some unmarked vehicles have entered the grounds. The newcomers are led by Senior Police Officer Tupolek (866A77, Age 42, Leader-1, Tactics-1, Pistol-1, Bribery-1) He claims to have government authority as Planetary Security Section Nine (PSS9) and that he has arrest warrants for the Marquis and his family. Tupolek is a bald little man dressed in gray, with a mirthless smile and a cold-fish personality.
The PCs meet the Marchioness and her three children. With little time, they must gather up the fugitives’ belongings (the Marchioness will have way too much luggage – 1 displacement ton’s worth) and get them to a vehicle. The PCs’ first challenge is to get past PSS9 to escape. From there they have a journey of at least several hundred kilometers to the starport. Tupolek will notify the normal police forces to assist in capturing the PCs, and PSS9 will monitor the WorldComNet to pick up chatter about them.
The Marquis’ Family
Marchioness Luisa Childress 67778D Age 38
Eldest Son Tomas IV 7979AC Age 22
Vehicle-1 Unarmed Cbt-1
Daughter Leslie Childress 6668AC Age 18
Younger Son Benedict 56677C Age 14
During the trip, the PCs will encounter two checkpoints (either vehicle or pedestrian) where normal police are checking IDs. To proceed they must either negotiate the checkpoint without discovery or get around it without creating suspicion of their actions. Police are equipped with vehicles, comms, Mesh armor and pistols. If the police should apprehend the fugitives and/or the PCs, PSS9 will arrive and take them away to a secret detention site. This site will be in a remote area, but will be lightly guarded. PSS9 is counting on secrecy to prevent breakout attempts.
If left alone for long, the daughter will use her personal comm unit to contact a friend. PSS9 have anticipated this and are scanning for her comm ID. She will divulge information about the group’s plan or location.
Along the way the PCs may find allies. Workers in a factory, or at a bar or along the road may recognize the Marchioness and express their loyalty to the Marquis. They will offer any assistance they can give, as if the Marchioness got a modified reaction throw of 12.
Once the group makes it to the starport, they will have to sneak the fugitives past another checkpoint to get them aboard. As they lift out, a PSS9 ship will lift and pursue them. It is a modified Type-A, with the jump drive removed, an improved M-drive and two triple turrets. It will pursue all the way to the jump limit. Once the PCs make the transition to jump-space, they’re safe.
Note 1: See http://ancientfarfuture.blogspot.com/2015/02/casual-encounter-michael-westen.html