Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Piracy Is a Means, Not an End

Nowub: I don’t understand this … you’ve said I have wronged you and you are treating me to dinner. We are eating … Terrans?

Korsa: Throgg’s Neck no man! We are eating Terran cuisine. Have you never had Terran food?

Nowub: Like the cheese and the macaroni?

Korsa: Throgg no! This is bulgogi. 

Nowub: I don’t give a chinch pelt what it is. Are you killing me or letting me go?

Korsa: I’m letting you go … with all your body parts and a warning. The mining operation on Testos you robbed is under my protection. I would like you to leave operations under my protection alone. The easiest way to achieve that is for you to leave the sector.

Nowub: Leave the … I don’t take orders from you.

Korsa: You never know what you can do until your life is on the line. Ah, Thalne-rassa, escort the captain to his ship under adequate guard of course. On the way scan his mind and ascertain whether he will leave the sector or not. Let the gunnery section know his decision. 

Thalne-rassa: Come along Captain Nowub. Let me say I can read your thoughts. I will know you intend to attack before you do. The beanpole race has a reputation for being useless in combat which is surely deserved in my case. But I will use this neural whip to reduce you to a ball of screaming neurons to avoid any possible injury to myself. Ah … I can feel your acquiescence. Let’s go.

Korsa: S-s-s-s-s-s-s-s. Come in Domo, bring Bizgit with you.

Bizgit: Hurrruh. Hurrr.

Nowub: Biz … meep! I am ready to depart salle-Korsa. Please take me away Ms. Thalne-rassa!

Korsa: Bizgit … that meal was superb. The bulgogi was perfect as was the choice of potables.

Bizgit: Harrakh! Pardon salle-Captain. I left my breather mask in the galley and have a tickle in my throat. I am honored and fortunate to be appreciated. But you barely touched all that I made.

Korsa: That’s because I’m not three meters of muscle, bones, and claws like you.

Bizgit: No one can be all things salle-Captain. If you will excuse me I have Throggsday supper to get together for tomorrow.

Korsa: Dismissed. Domo stay. Have some dinner with me for a bit.

Domo: Salle-Captain? Am I in trouble? That ruckus with the cat-girl?

Korsa: No. That witch could drive an elder god to drink. We were fortunate to hand her off to that merchant trader. Let Tesla-Captain deal with her.

Domo: Yes salle-Captain. What can I do for you?

Korsa: Domo, do you think I have any purpose?

Domo: … 

Korsa: Speak freely … as a friend.

Domo: You pulled me off a transport to a Fleet prison planet and gave me a bunk and a share on this ship as your exec. That is enough purpose for me.

Korsa: You’re welcome. But my question stands. Other than you do think I have any purpose in the galaxy?

Domo: Just the galaxy, salle-Captain?

Korsa: Galaxy, local group, frigging Universe! Stop stalling.

Domo: You … make use of no fewer than sixteen mercantile and starflight facilities in this sector to keep us in repair, entertain our crew, supply us and launder our stolen goods and credits. You are a stronger economic force here than a Fleet base would be. You keep out slavers, black tar dealers and other pirates allowing these worlds to attract far more colonists than would normally be the case. That’s a lot sir.

Korsa: Maybe I should stop pirating and start fencing swag?

Domo: I could not see you doing that sir, with all due respect.

Korsa: I guess not.

Domo: I’m sorry salle-Captain but … what more exactly do you want?

Korsa: Nothing I’m going to get anytime soon. eat your bulgogi.

You say you’re going to steer clear of pirates? Hah! That’s assuming piracy is practiced in your game setting of course. here are some hooks to get you noticed by the flyers of the black flag.

2- Your ship needs a part to fly and make a deadline but a local pirate ship is the same model and in the same fix. Who gets the part? Who leaves the system with it?
Complication: the pirates don't need the part. It is earmarked for one of their targets and the pirates outfitted it with a locator beacon.

Complication: the Navy outfitted the part with a locator beacon expecting the pirates to take it.

3- The local factor selling you cargo is an informant for a pirate cartel and takes an interest in an item you are hauling or looking to trade.
Complication: the factor chafes under the blackmail of the pirates and has placed a bomb in the shipment he acquired for you.

Complication: the Navy has the factor under surveillance and wants you to wear a wire to entrap him.

4- A starport worker performing routine maintenance and refueling sabotages your ship to make it easier to track or intercept by the pirates who bribe him.
Complication: the starport worker is a reprogrammed 'bot or android that is very hard to single out. 

5- A cargo shipment on the group’s ship is hot, part of a looted ship’s cargo.
Complication: the cargo contains an AI (like a robot) that really wants to find its true owner despite reprogramming.

6- A passenger is a spy or saboteur working for a pirate ship.
Complication: the spy is a double agent for the Navy.

Complication: the spy is a servant of a noble and under his protection.

7- A passenger is an undercover Navy spy tailing a pirate onboard.
Complication: the Navy agent couldn't get a ticket and is a stowaway.

8- A passenger is a target for abduction by pirates.
Complication: The passenger is a stowaway fleeing the pirates.

9- A mining operation or refueling station is a front for pirate activity that the group stumbles onto.
Complication: the administrator in charge of the legal end of the operation has no idea they are crooked.

10- A planet the group is exploring is being used as a safe haven by pirates.
Complication: there's a small colony of people who make a living trading with the pirates but who seem legitimate.

11- A passenger is a pirate leader traveling incognito.
Complication: the pirate leader is trying to go legitimate and turn information over to the Navy.

12- Your ship is mistaken for a pirate ship. Hilarity ensues.
Complication: You are mistaken for the pirate ship by actual pirates who are very put out to learn their mistake.