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Trinity RPG - Echo Station

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Echo Station - a story for Trinity, contributed by Micael B. Lee.

Summary:

This adventure is designed for 3-5 players, playing Trinity field operatives recently assigned to the Luna field office. Even in an organization as wealthy and influential as the Trinity, her off-planet outposts must often make do with limited resources and personnel, and the office at Olympus is no exception.

TRITON ARCHIVE

Source: Luna Business Weekly, June 15, 2118

Interplanetary Ores Goes for the Gold

-Fledgling Mining Company Gambles for Big Payoff

In a surprise press announcement early yesterday, officials from Interplanetary Ores reported that they have presented orbital shipbuilder GenDyne with a 40 million-yuan purchase order for three of the newly-designed Crucible-class asteroid mining ships.

These advanced vessels, touted as the "future of deep-space mining", represents a substantial expenditure of capital for a company that has yet to stake a single claim in the Ceres Belt. Interstellar Ores' spokesperson, Jan Beylich, described the expensive purchases as part of "an aggressive strategy to maximize resources with the most modern and efficient equipment available." "With the purchase of these ships, Interplanetary Ores will be able to refine and process a wide spectrum of valuable metals simultaneously, with a fraction of the overhead and none of the safety concerns that our more conventional competitors share," Beylich stated. "Sure, it seems like a lot of money to spend for a company that has yet to begin operations, but we expect the ships to pay for themselves in the first year. No one in the business world has risen to the top without taking risks, and Interplanetary Ores has no intention of settling for second-best." Officials with GenDyne expect the first of the Crucible units to come online in early 2119. Beylich stated that "the money used to purchase the ships was provided by private investors, who at this time wish to remain anonymous."

TRITON ARCHIVE

source: Vive le Legion!, October 2119

Beware of the Rockdogs!

Legionnaire Isabelle Longchamps wears a patch on her arm bearing a fiery-eyed canine lunging from a steel-gray asteroid. 12th Pursuit Squadron reads the red letters stitched across its top. The squadron's motto underlines the leaping beast: Bite Deep, Bark Later. "Belters have been calling us 'rockdogs' ever since we got here," Longchamps says with a wolfish smile of her own. "We figured we might as well make it official." Since its first operational deployment to Forward Firebase 30 in 2115, the 12th Squadron has taken the Belters' slang to heart, prowling their patch of the Ceres Belt with stealth, vigilance, and aggressiveness. When a pirate or smuggler crosses their path, the Rockdogs sink in their teeth and don't let go. "We catch more bad guys because we don't sit on our asses waiting for a distress call," Longchamps says with typical Legion frankness. "We get out there and prowl around, looking for trouble. If we find a ship running with no flight plan- or God help 'em, no IFF- we shake 'em down, right then and there." The Rockdogs' aggressiveness and gung-ho attitude has reaped an impressive amount of successes: the capture and destruction of 15 pirate ships (including the Black Diamond, one of the most successful ships of recent years) and the confiscation of two thousand tons of contraband cargo! No other operational unit in the Seventh Legion can boast as much. "There's just no way we could do business if it wasn't for the 12th Squadron," William Caldwell, regional manager for Interplanetary Ores, asserts. "I can think of at least three occasions since I have been here that they have saved our personnel and equipment from potential pirate attacks. The Belt is a long way from civilization. I mean, anything goes out here. You can't be too aggressive." Other individuals have disagreed with Caldwell's assertion, however. Several Earth-based shipping companies have made complaints to Legion headquarters in the past, citing unnecessary use of force and harassment by the 12th Squadron. In every case, the complaints have been withdrawn after careful review, but each incident adds to the squadron's territorial reputation. Legionnaire Longchamps has no problem with having a reputation for aggressiveness, or being overzealous. "Why the hell not? If you're legitimate, then we've got no problem with you. If a bad guy hears about us and thinks twice about stepping in our part of space, then we're doing our job right, yeh?"

SEVENTH LEGION MESSAGE ARCHIVES-CERES THEATER

Archive Group: G12452532 (Access Restricted)

From: William Caldwell, regional manager, Interplanetary Ores

To: Colonel Piet Haas, 5th Pursuit Wing

Date: January 9, 2120

Encryption: DSE

Subject: Officer Recommendation

Major:

At this time please allow me to express the admiration and respect that my company has for the efforts of the Seventh Legion, specifically the 12th Pursuit Squadron, in maintaining order and safety for our employees in the Ceres Belt. Since we have begun operations last year, your Legionnaires have saved the lives of countless individuals and prevented the loss of millions of yuan in expensive equipment. The hard work and courage of the 12th Squadron has contributed directly to the success of our young company, and we have not failed to go on record to laud their accomplishments. It has come to our attention that the 12th Squadron's current commander, Major Heinrich Dormann, has accepted a promotion and a staff posting on Earth, creating a need for a new squadron commander. For what it is worth, we would like to offer our unreserved recommendation for one of the squadron's most highly-decorated pilots, Captain Isabelle Longchamps. Her professionalism and positive attitude are a credit to her unit, and we believe her record of victories against pirate ships speaks for itself. From our close association with Captain Longchamps, we feel that she would be invaluable to promoting further commercial expansion of this part of the Belt, and would reflect very favorably on the Legion as a whole. Once again, you have our heartfelt thanks for the Legion's tireless efforts. If our company may be of assistance to your forces in the upcoming expansion of asteroidal habitats, we would be pleased to lend our abilities as a gesture of gratitude.

Yours truly,

William Caldwell

>>>>>>>>> --------------------------------------------------------------------- >>>>>>>>>

Rules Section

This adventure is designed for 3-5 players, playing Trinity field operatives recently assigned to the Luna field office. Even in an organization as wealthy and influential as the Trinity, her off-planet outposts must often make do with limited resources and personnel, and the office at Olympus is no exception. The station chief must carefully allocate the teams at her disposal to handle each situation as it arises, and frequently rookie teams are sent to handle routine or straightforward jobs that would free up more experienced agents.

Theme:

The theme of Echo Station is one of conspiracy. Nothing is quite what it seems. Even the most banal events can mask vast, secret plans.

Mood:

This adventure is best played for spookiness and paranoia. Think X-Files. Just when the players think they know what's going on, they turn a corner and find out that things are bigger and scarier than they imagined.

The Briefing

The characters completed training barely two weeks ago, traveling to Luna to begin their first assignment as Trinity field agents. For those who have never strayed out of Earth's gravity, the transition is as unsettling as it is awesome. The mood inside the Trinity field office is professional and hectic, as the station chief and her staff face juggle their limited number of agents between a flurry of assignments. For the first few days, the characters are put to work processing paperwork and getting a feel for how things are run out of the office, watching teams come and go with mounting eagerness and envy. Then, one afternoon, the station chief tells them it's time to earn their keep. They are to report to the briefing room for their first field assignment. The briefing room is a small, windowless chamber in the building's lower levels, containing a long meeting table, chairs, and a sidebar set with a coffee maker. Laura Brenner, the Luna station chief, awaits the team, sitting in a high-backed chair at the head of the table. Her manner is brusque, even slightly impatient, and she launches into the briefing as soon as the characters find their seats. "Okay, people, I'll say right from the start that this looks like a wild goose chase, but at least it will give you a chance to get out in the field and start learning how to work as a team. Yesterday, at 0900GMT, a merchant ship awaiting clearance to dock at Forward Firebase 30 picked up a weak transmission on the interplanetary distress frequency coming from within the Belt. The signal lasted for less than five seconds, and was badly distorted by interference. As far as the ship's comm officer could tell, the signal carried no understandable message, and it did not repeat." Brenner leans forward and touches a series of buttons recessed into the surface of the tabletop. "Things might have gone no further than that, but the captain of the merchant ship has a financial arrangement with Triton Division to share any unusual information he runs across while out in the Belt. When he made port at Luna this morning he handed over a recording of the signal, and we were able to clean it up somewhat with our equipment. This is what we found." A muted, surf-like sound echoes through the room, punctuated by momentary squeals of static. Suddenly, the characters hear a ragged, atonal buzzing, then, quite clearly, a man's frenzied scream. The shrieking lasts for a full five seconds, then the transmission ends. If the characters ask Brenner about the buzzing sound, she will say that the comm techs believe it is some form of high-energy interference. Characters may use Electronics (+1 difficulty) or alternately, Perception (+2 difficulty) to analyze what they heard. If successful, the characters feel that the noise isn't random interference -possibly some sort of local jamming. If the players get extra successes on their rolls, the Storyteller can add that not even that explanation sounds quite right, though. "Now, Absolute 30 has better signal processing equipment than we do," Brenner continues, "and if a merchant ship alongside the base heard the transmission, you can be damn sure the base did, too. But the firebase sent no word of a distress signal to the proper authorities, as required, nor did the base dispatch any patrols or even heighten their alert status, which is very unusual. Given the reputation of the squadron based there, it's very, very unusual. Maybe the squadron commander had her reasons for discounting the signal…or maybe something odd is going on. We're sending you to Absolute 30 to find out. "Your assignment is to investigate this signal to the best of your ability, and determine why the Legion unit chose not to report it. How you handle this investigation is entirely up to you, but I want it kept low-key if at all possible. If someone gets wind that a Proteus team is investigating a Legion unit, it will get back to Earth sooner or later, and there is enough paranoia going around about the Orders without us adding any more. The fact that you are all new agents will give you a good amount of anonymity, as long as you don't draw attention to yourself. You will be catching a ride out to the firebase on a merchant ship making a scheduled resupply run. The ship leaves in two hours. Get out there, gather all the information you can, and get back. Start packing." Not that the characters will be able to take much with them to Absolute 30. Merchant ships frequently take on more passengers than they have living quarters to make some extra yuan on short hops, and the team is limited to carrying no more gear than they can fit in a small backpack. (Twinks who seek to get around this limitation by stating that they will wear their Chameleon BioVARG for the whole trip will be spaced out the first convenient airlock.) Characters who have no appreciable equipment will be issued a pistol of their choice (excepting plasma pistols!). In addition, the team leader will be given three dots' worth of yuan for "operational expenses" (read: bribes, hush money, whatever). Any use of this money must be accounted for carefully, and the team leader will be assured that she will be held responsible for every expenditure. If the characters take the wise precaution to do a little research before leaving for the firebase, have the players make Investigation rolls. Each character has enough time to check into one area of research before time to depart, so if the team has a number of things they want to look into, they will need to split up the areas of inquiry amongst themselves.

Forward Firebase 30:

If the characters wish to research info about the firebase, they learn that it became operational in March of 2115 as part of a network of early-warning and advance Legion bases running the circumference of the Ceres Belt. The base provides patrols and search-and-rescue forces for its section of the Belt, and is home to the 12th Pursuit Squadron, a unit of the Seventh Legion. The base itself is set in a hollowed-out asteroid, which is also home to the field offices of Interplanetary Ores, a small mining company that works exclusively in the area. The asteroid also maintains a fairly sizeable transient population, consisting mainly of prospectors and independent Belters looking to strike it big out among "the rocks".

12th Pursuit Squadron (Rockdogs):

Characters researching the squadron are at a +1 difficulty due the Legion's clannishness. Former Legionnaires can ignore the difficulty modifier. If the characters are successful, the Storyteller can share the "Beware of Rockdogs!" piece in the Setting section. The Rockdogs are a highly motivated, highly aggressive squadron with an enviable record of successes against pirates in their sector. The current commander is Captain Isabelle Longchamps, a French refugee with FSA citizenship. No less than eight companies have filed complaints with Legion headquarters regarding the 12th Squadron, all citing the use of unnecessary force and even harassment against ships operating in their sector. In each case the complaints were settled with a minimum of official notice, (presumably involving a lot of yuan), and no official action has ever been taken against the unit or its officers. The many complaints have served to make the squadron even more tightly-knit and distrustful of outsiders than the typical Legion outfit. Captain Isabelle Longchamps: The Legion guards personal information on their troops very closely, to prevent the possibility of Aberrant reprisals against the families of Legion personnel. Characters researching Longchamps do so at a +3 difficulty; former Legionnaires have a slightly easier time of it, suffering a +2 difficulty. Longchamps is a highly-decorated officer, having joined the Seventh Legion in 2114 and earning numerous commendations for bravery and coolness under fire. She has been with the 12th Squadron since its first posting to Absolute 30, and rose to command the unit after the previous CO was promoted to a position on Earth. Included in her file is a copy of an email recommending her for the post from the manager of Interplanetary Ores. (The Storyteller can share the email message in the Setting section.) There is no information in Longchamps' file regarding her life before joining the Legion. This is not too surprising; recruits are excepted into the Legion with no questions asked.

Interplanetary Ores:

Information on this small company is very sparse: characters face a +1 difficulty on their attempts. If the characters are successful, the Storyteller can share the "Interplanetary Ores Goes for the Gold" piece in the Setting section. Other than that first, ambitious press announcement, IO has pretty much faded from public view. Being a privately-held company, it does not publish annual financial reports, and it does not have a presence on the OpNet. If a researching character gets an extra success on their roll, they learn that IO received the third and final Crucible-class mining ship in late 2119, after which time it closed its small Luna office and shifted operations to its regional office at Absolute 30. If the character(s) get two extra successes on their roll, they learn that there is no mention anywhere of a home office for IO, nor is there any reference to the identity or identities of its officers or investors.

This concludes the introductory section of the adventure.

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