Traveller Adventure: Zoe's Rat-Faced Man

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A September of Short Adventures
Zoe's Rat-Faced Man

An adventure for Classic Traveller Little Black Books set in and around the MediShield office in Cronos on Elysium a TL8 agrarian world.

A little surveillance work pays off as the characters discover who blackmailed Zoe Pulchra into moving the data crystal off-world.

If the characters want to do some research based on Zoe's inability to talk about her situation in About A Guardsman, they can wire her up with a camera and microphone to monitor what happens during her day at the office. If the characters don't have Communication skills, Marcus can call in a favor and have a fellow Elysium Guardsman provide the equipment and expertise.

Classic Traveller: Books 0-8
Stakeouts can drag on. The trick is to cut to the exciting part. Zoe will head to work as usual, and at some point during the day she'll get a visit from the rat-faced man. Zoe works in the MediShield office in Cronos, near the Downport. It's an urban environment, but the parking lot is behind the building so it provides a little privacy for any extraction activities the party may wish to engage in. The characters may want to rent or buy a van for surveillance purposes.

Zoe's rat-faced man is a mid-level independent operative for MediShield. Dmitri Valentin (UPP 6B88A6 Admin-2, Body Pistol-2, Brawling-1, Bribery-1, Computer-2, Medical-1). He will eventually drop by Zoe's desk and ask about how the crystal job is progressing. He checked the crystal's location earlier and he'll ask questions if the characters carried it back to her house. If they left it on their ship, they'll stay under his radar. Dmitri is confident, but a little paranoid, especially given the plan he's running.

Zoe will keep her composure, but be very stressed about the whole situation. Dmitri has a special diplomatic permit that allows him to carry a gun at all times, and he won't be afraid to use it to threaten her.

If the characters act quickly, they can confront Dmitri. If approached about the data crystal, he'll immediately fight back with his Body Pistol, so the best bet is a preemptive attempt to capture him. Once the characters capture the rat-faced man they can question him to find out The Rat-Faced Plan. The best plan would be to catch him as he's leaving the building. If he knows the data crystal visited Zoe's apartment that she shares with Marcus, he'll have a driver (UPP 988544 Baseball Bat-1, Brawling-1) with him that also needs to be neutralized.

Further Hooks
Marcus can supply a couple of thrown Tangler Grenades to help. To throw a grenade, throw 18+, DM +Dexterity. On a hit, the target is immobilized for 5 minutes or until released. Immobilized characters can attempt to break out by throwing 22+, DM +Strength. Don't bother trying unless your Strength is A or higher.

Note: Yes, Tangler Grenades are an import from Star Frontiers, but a device that explodes into sticky strands to immobilize a target without serious injury works in my book. And the strands break down in an oxygen atmosphere after 5 minutes, so no unsightly stains remain on your target's clothing. The U.S. Military has had similar technology for years, so I feel justified in having them on a TL8 world with a ban on firearms.

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