This adventure was originally posted to the pre-magazine Freelance Traveller website in 2004, and reprinted in the September/October 2020 issue.
On one world, the characters pick up a cargo to be delivered to a neighboring world. The cargo manifest states that it is printed matter (a collection of popular magazines in mint condition, according to the cargo manifest), and that it will be picked up by a recipient specifically requesting the package in question (using a long ID number). The identity of the recipient is not disclosed. Payment is 25% now, 75% when the delivery is completed.
Possible directions for this adventure to go:
- All is as it seems. A gentleman in his 60s approaches the landing pad together with a few bodyguards a few hours after the PCs touch down. If asked about his identity, he calmly explains that he is a local celebrity, and that his collection interests are best kept from the local press. He gives the PCs a small but still significant bonus for handling the affair with discretion. (The magazines are a few years worth of “Female sophonts with guns” or some other somewhat embarrassing publication).
- As above, except the man refuses to explain the contents. If the PCs have examined the cargo and are rude enough to ask about it, he becomes enraged.
- As above, except the person that arrives to pick up the package is a nervous young man. He pays the characters quickly, loads the box onto a cart and hurries away. While the cargo does indeed contain several issues of “Female sophonts with guns”, it is only there to cover other paperwork, including lots of anarchistic propaganda and other similar, illegal material.
- As above, except the man was followed to the starport by the local authorities. Just after the pickup, they arrest both him and the player characters. The characters can probably get out of trouble if they point out that the seal on the cargo container is intact, and that they only knew what was in the cargo manifest. If they opened the crates during jump, they are in a bit more trouble, but they will probably still be able to talk their way out of it.
- As above, except the box does indeed contain nothing more than “Female sophonts with guns”. However, that magazine is banned on this world, due to some kind of inappropriate content offense in an issue a few years back (portraying Aslan in a positive light, undeclared nudity, selling illegal weapons by mail order, or something like that).
- As above, except the box also contains some of those illegal weapons in inconspicuous brown packages. If the PCs have broken the seal on the cargo box during jump, they will be charged with arms smuggling, a very serious offense. If not, they will only spend a few nights in a local prison (bare concrete walls, metal bench, that kind of thing) before being released.