The Kidnapping of Major L. Fure’du
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2020 issue.
Synopsis: An Imperial Army office must get to her home to save it.
Initial Setting: Pre-Stellar/Industrial-tech world, Low-mid population, Agricultural world, Scout base present.
While having a meal and drink at a local midrange night club the PC’s overhear a mid 20’s to early 30’s woman, dark hair, nice upper class clothing, talking on the “new” cell phone network, and not being too careful about it. While this is a TL 7 world, and rather out on the far end of things, travellers from higher TL level worlds have been investing on-world and a new cell phone system has come on line. At the moment it barely covers the downport, but if the wind is blowing the right direction you can get a signal. If any of the PCs are Imperial military academy grads, they might notice the Imperial Army academy ring on her hand, and the first thought might be “aren’t they teaching anything about Comm sec anymore?” Having dealt with the port schedulers’ office before you know the two local… gentlemen… in the office are really over their heads trying to run the place. After confirming she has the schedulers’ office, twice, and identifying herself a couple of times, her end of the conversation is, “What do you mean? But you said I was booked…Hello, hello…?”. Then, after she slams the phone down on the table; you can see her shoulders slump as she puts her head down into her hands. It will take a minute to realize that she is quietly crying behind her hair and hands. Before anyone can make up their mind what to do, she straightens her shoulders, wipes her face with her hands, stands, digs in to a belt purse and tosses some coins on the table, with fists clenched so tight that her hands are white she walks passed you muttering something that can be just made out as “Damn Tukera!”
Any PC that has been in the Intelligence field or a special agent of some type can recognize the small knowing smile that the gentleman sitting with his back to the woman is wearing just before it is covered by the drink he brings to his mouth. Finishing off the drink he waves at the barkeep, stands and gives the room a quick once over and also throws a few Coins on the table and walks out following the woman.
Some careful investigation will reveal that the woman is Major Lisa Fure’du of the Imperial Army. She is on a six-month leave, trying to get home to her family’s winery and hunting lodge to find out if it is still there and worth rebuilding. She has two months to re-establish ownership of the property or it goes on the auction block. There are indications of long-term hostility between the family and Tukera, stemming from a family refusal to sell the property to a Tukera subsidiary.
The Tukera VP of the county has found out that the winery and lodge is close to being on the auction block, and has decided to make a play for it.
Major Fure’du has run into all sorts of delays and problems just trying to get home.
Her six-month leave has been one headache after another. Figuring 2 weeks to her homeworld, another week or so getting to the property, a week checking the place out and another getting back to the downport, 2 weeks back and a couple of days doing the paperwork, lining up financing if she wants to keep it (she does) to pay the back taxes, she will be coming in just under the wire, so any delay could be fatal to her family dreams. A little research will find that the winery was very well known some years back and had won sector and Imperial wide awards, even a few from Terra. A few tons of these wines especially if they are a couple of hundred years old would be worth millions. The local Tukera VP realizes this, and would rather the property (and the potential windfall) fall into Tukera’s hands, so he has assigned an agent to impede Lisa as much as possible, so that the property will go to auction, where he expects Tukera to be able to easily outbid any other prospects and buy the winery out from under her.
This is Den Veldt’s retirement assignment and while he normally feels that leaving bodies laying around is just untidy and adds complications he will put someone in a shallow grave without hesitation if necessary.
I originally wrote this adventure in TNE timeline after the civil war in the new 4th Imperium, in the county of Ukse, Dagudashaag sector. In MTU Oberlines and Tukera have just opened small (like 3-4 people small offices and warehouses on Ukse). (Trade war, anyone?) Taxes must be paid on Ukse. PCs need access to a J2 ship, ATV, and personal firearms. This is a beat-the-clock adventure; the PCs are really only suppose to sleep while they are in jump space. Looking over my notes 150 Tons of wine is worth over MCr8.
I like having pictures of my NPC’s to show the players; Major Fure’du is Demi Moore from G.I. Jane, and Den Veldt is Burt Reynolds from when he appeared in Burn Notice.