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A September of Short Adventures
An adventure for Classic Traveller Little Black Books set on Elysium, a TL 8 agrarian world in the bustling Cronus Downport Market.
A pickpocketing urchin steals something of value and leaves an encrypted data crystal behind. The chase is on through narrow aisles choked with merchants and craftsmen.
Elysium produces the best textiles and finest food in the subsector, not to mention the fantastic beer, wine and distilled spirits. Planetside companies usually pay top dollar for industrial machines and parts for those machines, while residents and workers at the Class A Navy Base have an appetite for luxury goods. Elysium has a zero-tolerance policy about firearms - visitors are encouraged to leave them on board or check them into a locker at the Downport Customs Office, since public beheading is still the official punishment for carrying a firearm.
The characters could be visiting the capital city of Cronus and its Downport Market for a variety of reasons, but trading cargo is by far the most common reason. Trade flows thick and furious here, and many craftsmen also set up shop in the vast market area. The narrow aisles and cloth dividers between stalls make it a perfect warren for enterprising pickpockets. Members of the Elysium Guard patrol the area, but they have little hope of covering the entire marketplace, so chase scenes happen almost every day.
Alexis Vesper (UPP 497923 Mechanical-1) lives with her parents who own a small cotton farm and large textile factory outside of Athens, a city 2 hours' ride from Cronus. She's 13 standard years old with a head for fixing the machines his parents use, and she enjoys sleight of hand, including pickpocketing. She's stolen something of value from the characters or one of their trading partners in the marketplace and starts running through the stalls. The characters should be motivated to chase her, so stealing a favorite Blade or a banker's card allowing access to the character's wealth should do the trick.
This should be a skills-based chase as Alexis will surrender if faced with force. Streetwise characters can more easily track her through the crowded market as she runs from stall to stall and makes random turns. Forward Observers can climb a ladder and track her from above, radioing her movements to the rest of the party. Characters with Tactics can make educated guesses about where she's heading and cut her off. For combat characters, a show of force using Brawling or Blade Combat will intimidate Alexis.
Have the characters roll their skills; they need 8+ on each roll to start taking control of the chase. Rolling 3 successes will allow the characters to corner Alexis and capture her. Alternately, you could use the Morale rules. Every time the characters try something, roll 7+ for Alexis to continue running, but impose a cumulative -1 DM on Alexis's morale roll for every successful skill roll the characters make.
Alexis will return whatever she has stolen when she's caught. It's secondary to her main goal, but she's an adrenaline junkie and couldn't resist. If the characters make sure that nothing else has been taken, they will find a data crystal either stuffed in a character's pocket or hidden near the point of the theft. When questioned, Alexis will talk about how thugs broke some machines in her parents' factory and how they told her that planting the data crystal on some offworlders would make the attacks stop.
To be continued...