First Do No Harm

Valuable Consortium cargo is missing, presumed purloined. An officer finds himself in a tenuous position unless somebody can help him reclaim the goods that have seemingly been snatched from under his very nose.

Level: 5
Start: Mazhar, Security, Sol Jump Gate

Introduction

A large man dressed in the uniform of a Consortium officer appears to be having a conversation with someone on his CORETECHS. His eyes are glazed over as he stares at the interface only he can see. Tiny rivulets of sweat meander down his forehead like nervous, Lilliputian waterfalls that he ineffectually tries to wipe away as he stammers replies to the unseen caller.

Mazhar: N..no sir, of course. I do understand the consequences of course. Yes. The delivery will absolutely be on time, as scheduled. Yes sir. Scrotum in an industrial shredder…Understood sir!

He retorts the last phrase in a slightly squeakier tone, belying the suggested pain inherent in the apparent threat. Finally, his call seems to come to an end. Leaning against the nearest surface, he runs a ragged and shaking hand over his eyes before swearing loudly and punching the wall. After a moment he looks up and his eyes meet yours. He boggles at you for a moment in surprise before hastily stammering an apology.

Mazhar: Stars! My apologies citizen, I was not aware anybody was there. I regret you bore witness to my breakdown in…erm…demeanor.

You have accepted the "First do no Harm" mission.

Find out what troubles Mazhar

  • "Is something wrong?"

Me: Is something wrong?

The man, whom your CORETECHS identifies as Staff Sergeant Mazhar, suddenly subjects you to a long and scrutinizing look. You get the impression he may even be scanning you with his CORETECHS. After a moment, he nods, seemingly satisfied with something. He beckons you inside his office and, after taking a quick look outside, shuts the door behind you.

The security office is quite Spartan in both ambiance and decor, one small medal of exemplary duty in the face of tedium being the only conceit to any sort of personal touch. Several holo-screens display both views from around the station as well as a steady stream of information. Mazhar gives his top a tug to straighten it, presumably in an effort to regain some semblance of authority, and sits behind a chrome colored desk. He pinches the bridge of his nose and takes a deep breath to collect himself before finally answering your question.

Mazhar: I am, to say the least, in rather a pickle. I would not normally bring a civilian in for something like this but…well desperate times I suppose. The situation is thus, some very valuable cargo has been stolen, and it has been stolen on my watch. If I report it, I will likely face a court-martial for negligence of duty as well as the possibility of some more immediate retribution as you, erm, no doubt overheard. I need this taken care of discreetly and quickly. And I need it done off the official channels.

The staff sergeant gives you a pointed look, fingers steepled in front of him as he awaits your response. You note a feeling of barely contained anticipation and, no doubt, desperation both in his body language as well as the faint body odor that gently wafts off the Staff Sergeant and towards your direction.

  • "And if I help you?"
  • "Do you always place your trust so blindly in strangers?"

Trust strangers:

Me: Do you always place your trust so blindly in strangers?

He spreads his hands and gives a slow shrug.

Mazhar: As I said, at this point I am desperate. Should you turn me in, the result would be the same as me having not told you and eventually getting found out. Besides, you do not seem to have any prior convictions and nor are you affiliated with the Consortium in any official capacity. You are, in a very fundamental sense, an opportunity at my door. Right place, right time and all that.

  • "And if I help you?"

Me: And if I help you?

Mazhar: I am fully authorized to pay out a certain stipend to individuals who go out of their way to aid in Consortium business. This, of course, would be your reward. This, of course, would also be filed under the category, 'general assistance.'

There is a slight trill at the door as someone requests entry. Mazhar holds up one finger as he presses a button on his desk to allow entry. A red headed female SEC officer holding an electronic slate enters and presents it to Mazhar, presumably for signing. He glances over it and then manipulates the translucent screen before handing it back.

Mazhar: Excuse me, routine shipping manifests, item requisitions and so forth. Ehem, that is all Ensign, carry on, thank you. Hurry along now please, I am…conducting an official interview.

Mazhar hands the slate back to the woman. She looks from him to you and smirks slightly before saluting and walking out. The staff sergeant waits for her to step outside before speaking to you again.

Mazhar: So then, are my terms agreeable?

  • "Hey, I offered in the first place."
  • They are. So what am I looking for?"

They are:

Mazhar: Several crates, metallic. They will bear the markings of the Consortium. I will send you the serial numbers. I cannot imagine the thief has either the time nor the means to open the crates here. Nor do I imagine they will be able to easily smuggle them off the station, being marked as they are. This was, in essence, a crime of opportunity as well as idiocy. So you do have some certain leeway. My main concern is that they are returned quickly and quietly.

As he speaks, Sergeant Mazhar gestures in the air in front of him, apparently manipulating the interface in his CORETECHS. Moments later you receive a notification of a message containing an image of the crates he mentioned as well as several serial numbers..

Search Sol Jump Gate station for clues about the stolen crates.

Next area: Port, Interstellar Shuttles, or Sick Bay

Sick Bay

  • Canvas the area for leads.

Asking around, you discover that a Consortium Courier was seen carrying what looked like a very inebriated individual to the sick bay. This in itself does not seem that strange except for the fact that the individual in question appears to be a security officer themselves.

On a hunch, you dig a little deeper, convincing one of the medics on their break to reveal that they found it odd that the officer who 'deposited' this individual did not leave their name and the fact that the currently comatose individual was an officer only came out after the initial medical scans. Furthermore, this officer was actually brought in without a uniform, just their underwear (a fact that the medics all found uproariously amusing and planned to tease the man about once he awoke).

One of the doctors, hearing your conversation, also adds that they found that this guard had ingested a high dose of tranquilizers mixed in with their alcohol. It was, of course, not unheard of for people to experiment with all sorts of synthetic substances, so the medics did not really think more on it at the time.

It seems like there is definitely something fishy going on here, but further clues will be needed to figure the story out.

New goals: Continue investigating Sol Jump Gate.

Port

  • Search for clues around the port.

Shoved behind a pile of ship cleaning apparatus, you locate a number of items. A close inspection reveals that they bear the logo of the Consortium. Wondering if this is the missing merchandise, you call Mazhar on your CORETCHS to deliver the news.

Mazhar: You've found something! But they're not in crates? That's completely odd, why would they be uncrated. Then again, I suppose it would be easier to smuggle them off the station without the official containers. Maybe they've yet to stash them and you stumbled upon the stuff before they've had a chance to repackage! Scan some of the barcodes and send them my way. Let's see what we have here.

You inspect some of the items and scan them via the interface in your CORETECHS. The hustle and bustle of the port continues on around you as you work, with only a few passers by occasionally glancing in your direction in curiosity. Once done, you upload the images to the call with Mazhar. After a moment of silence, he responds with no small amount of incredulity in his voice.

*Mazhar**: But..but these are not the missing items! They are our items indeed but…Catastrophe's balls! I signed off on these this very morning! You were even there! What in the deepest vacuum is going on here! Please Ser, continue your search! My gratitude will be immeasurable.

New goals: Continue your investigation around Sol Jump Gate.

Interstellar Shuttles

  • Investigate the Interstellar Shuttles area.

You locate a group of personnel that seem to be arguing. More interestingly however, is that they stand next to a number of monitors that seem to provide views of various areas of the station. The two men, each of which is dressed in the different colors of the Consortium and the Gaul Protectorate, respectively, are engaged in a heated debate whilst a diminutive android, bearing the colors of Benevolent Dynamics, appears to be trying her best to mediate the situation. All three are quite engaged in the discussion and none are paying any attention to the bank of monitors.

Moving past the two men and a little android, you approach the monitors looking for all the world like you are meant to be doing what you're doing. Your breath catches momentarily when the android turns to watch you thoughtfully, but just then the argument between the two men crescendos and her attention is once again diverted.

Breathing a sigh of relief, you begin searching the footage on the data-banks for anything interesting. Long moments pass as you peruse the goings on of the station when suddenly, about 9 Segments ago, something catches your eye. What appears to be a very inebriated station security officer is being led into the local inn, supported by a female. Either by luck or design, the female's face is always obscured by her hair or the drunk man's head on her shoulder.

This feels like a solid clue, you're not sure how it fits into the puzzle quite yet, but further investigation may yield results!

New goals: Continue your investigation around Sol Jump Gate.

Next area: Docks

  • Search the Docks.

As you walk through the Docks, inspecting crews and cargoes as they ferry to and from their ships, you notice one particular face that seems quite familiar.

Fiery locks of curly red hair frame an attractive face that you have seen several times throughout your investigation. Not only do you recall this captain from the surveillance footage of someone carrying an inebriated guard but she is actually the Security Officer who came into the room with Mazhar while you talked in the beginning! She no longer seems to be dressed as a Consortium officer.

The suspiciously familiar captain is currently overseeing the loading of various crates onto her nearby ship. The crates are stamped with the Consortium logo. As you observe the situation, she looks up and flashes you a grin.

Look at Jelena Stellarvic

Next NPC: Jelena Stellarvic, Docks, Sol Jump Gate

  • "You stole the supplies, didn't you?"

Me: You stole the supplies, didn't you?

The captain eyes you up and down with a cheeky grin. She doesn't seem particularly shocked or even anxious, though you notice at least one delicately manicured and be-ringed hand never strays far from her weapon.

Jelena Stellarvic: Let's get one thing straight right off the bats yes? This be no one of those long, draw out, conversations where we exchange witty repartee until the guards arrive to foil my dastardly plans.

Watching you carefully, she directs some of her crew to begin loading a last cluster of cluster of crates on board.

Jelena Stellarvic: So, you've finally caught up. But we're leaving. This is not mere contraband I'm…'regulating' here. This is medicine, badly needed medicine. See, Freebooters have our freedom, but apparently we don't have rights. Most of the major corporations have been instructed not to sell to us. But that's fine, we know how to get what's due! There's plenty sick where I'm going, and they won't have to pay a credit for this stuff.

  • "C'mon, you know I can't let you leave."
  • "I suppose I could have gotten here too late…"

Can't let you leave:

Me: C'mon, you know I can't let you leave though.

The Captain's grin widens and she gets a dangerous glint in her eye. Her crew stop what they're doing and look around nervously as the air suddenly feels electric with tension. Her hand, glittering with several metallic rings, suddenly seems to hover quite close to her weapon, her manicured fingers twitching almost playfully.

Jelena Stellarvic: Well now Moonplum, it looks like you suddenly grew a pair of asteroids in the pantaloons area. That's great for you, really is. Thing is though, people are counting on this shipment. And hey, it's all legit right? Mazhar signed off on it himself!

She gives you a moment to reply, them just as you open your mouth, she whips up her blaster and fires a volley in your direction, forcing you to dive for cover behind the remaining crates. When the smoke clears, the ramp on her ship has already closed and the engines are powering up.

You're forced to move a safe distance in order to avoid incineration and thus don't have much of a chance to call security. When you finally do get through to Mazhar, her ship is long gone. He listens in silence as you tell him what happened and then mumbles something about a finders fee for the crates you retrieved and compensation for your troubles before abruptly ending the conversation. You imagine he will have some hefty damage control to put into action if he wants to keep his job.

Moments later, a small courier drone hovers into view, depositing a bag of credits into your hands. Say what you will about station security, they are nothing if not prompt!

You have received 150.00 credits.

You have completed the "First do no Harm" mission.

Too late:

Me: I suppose I could have gotten here too late…

Jelena's grin widens and her large, alluring eyes glow with gratitude. She pushes back her fiery locks with fingers manicured the same orange color and flashes you a thankful smile.

Jelena Stellarvic: See I knew I liked you! Would have felt just terrible having to shoot you…

She sends you a wink as the last of the crates are loaded onto her sleek looking ship. She backs up onto the loading ramp as it starts to rise. As an afterthought she turns to shout something in your direction.

Jelena Stellarvic: Oh! There was a bag of credits in one of these crates…reckon somebody must have been planning something nefarious! Tell you what, let's call it a commission.

She grins and tosses you a bag of credits. The ramp closes and you step away as her ship powers up and leaves, heading towards the jump gate. You know she'll be fine as she has the clearance she procured from Mazhar at the very beginning. Somehow, you imagine he will be less than enthused, might be best to give him a wide birth for awhile.

You have received 275.00 credits.

You have completed the "First do no Harm" mission.

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