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A September of Short Adventures
An adventure for Classic Traveller Little Black Books set on and around the Pandora Research Station in the Elysium system. (Return to the Traveller Adventure Cover Page.)
Dr. Laura Falken produced the planet-killer on the data crystal. But is she in charge of the Black Market or does the Black Market call the shots?
After bluffing and blustering their way onto the station in Approaching Pandora, the characters get a chance to confront Dr. Laura Falken, Facility Administrator of Pandora. They can and should use anything from the Dossier on the Pandora Research Facility to guide their questions. Definitely raise their suspicions that a large operation will be hard for one person to run successfully if they don't think of it on their own.
Dr. Laura Falken (UPP 85ACC8 Admin 1, Bureaucracy 2, Medical 3, Training 2) has reached middle age and is in the process of sweeping past it with vigor and grace. She's become more businesslike than academic, but she'll rise to the challenge of intellectual debate if engaged on matters of xenobiology or almost any other scientific topic. She looks tired and stressed which she will explain away as the rigors of running a research facility, but she really wants to leave the Black Market behind and get back to doing her life's work: research.
Dr. Falken will have at least two security guards with her when meeting the characters in one of the conference rooms on Pandora. If the characters talk to her about her published work and ask her to consult on some of their own research, she'll dismiss the guards and start talking more freely after she disengages the surveillance systems in the conference room. If the characters lead with a mention of the data crystal or any reference to the Black Market, one of the guards will stiffen up and put the rest of the security staff on alert after Dr. Falken dismisses the guards. The Patrol Cruiser around Stygia will start heading for Pandora minutes after the alert goes out, claiming unscheduled training maneuvers if asked.
Once the guards have left the room, Dr. Falken will ask why the characters are actually on Pandora. If they level with her, she will admit to creating the planet killer on the data crystal but say her life and the life of everyone on Pandora is being threatened to ensure her continued compliance. She realized she's in way to deep to disentangle herself from the Black Market, and there's no authority she can easily appeal to if she wanted to blow the whistle. Communications runs all messaging services, so her messages to the director of research never seem to get through.
If the characters give her hope that she may survive an escape attempt, she'll tell them that she has a backup copy of everything Pandora has created for the black market, complete with security footage, encrypted messages (including one from Admiral Greenberg and several others implicating him as the person in charge), evidence of payoffs, and the research itself. She'll want protection until they can get that information into clean enough hands to shut down the Black Market operations on Pandora and potentially other MediShield research stations as well.
Dr. Falken will make a great crew medic and can deal with portside bureaucracy, though the shipboard lifestyle will start to wear thin in a few months. She'll probably need to be out of action for the next few years testifying in various trials, providing she survives long enough to bring her evidence to light. Her list of Black Market research and the people who bought it could keep the characters busy for years tracking leads and making sure it's never used in anger.
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