When The Pigeons Come Home
Ship docks at a Skyplex for maintenance. While off ship, PC with a "Chip on Shoulder" Complication responds to being slighted. Resulting brawl results in one of the toughs dying from a stab wound. PC is immediately arrested by skyplex security. Independent investigation quickly discovers instigators are well known troublemakers, more importantly well known troublemakers with lots of enemies. PCs have to sneak into morgue and med scanner shows though died of poisoning. The stab wound, while serious, was not fatal. Obvious conclusion is skyplex police are compromised and trying to frame PC. Simple back tracking finds waitress that poisoned tough guy for abusing her sister. However, since police are pinning murder on character, PCs must hire barrister to present bootleg copies of the med scans to free the innocent pilot. This is enough to break the frame up, but PCs have to pay the barrister’s fee.
Brawl consists of PCs, two troublemakers, and extra NPCs to equal PCs. At one point, right as tough pulls a knife, mass of brawl knocks PC with the chip onto tough and is then broken up. When the pile is unstacked, PC is lying on top of body of one of the instigators. PC’s fingerprints are on the knife, so the evidence for manslaughter is very strong. character is immediately arrested and taken to the Skyplex detention facility. Fighting police is a very bad idea. Alarms will sound, reinforcements will arrive, and anyone resisting will be subdued and also arrested. If PCs try smother them with heavily armed and armored troops until they are dead or captured.
While Marsh is being booked, an INT + Influence Average roll will quickly discover the police believe they have an open and shut case. No official investigation will take place. Trial will begin tomorrow. The body of the man who helped initiate the fight is held in a station doctor’s office as the Skyplex does not have an official morgue. PCs will have to hack the Skyplex’s computer to locate where body is kept requiring an INT + Hacking Heroic roll.
Entering the doctor’s office is a Hard AGL + Covert to reach unseen. Entering office will require electronic lock picks, an optical bomb, and a Heroic INT + Electronics roll. Once inside, finding the body is just a matter of an Easy INT + Perception roll. A medical scanner and an Average INT + medical skill roll will immediately detect stab wound was serious but not fatal. Man died of poisoning. The poison was ingested less than 30 minutes before death. Resetting everything in the office to prevent detection are the same tasks as above, but one level easier. As this evidence was gathered illegally, but was illegally suppressed presents a problem on how to introduce into the case without getting arrested. An INT + Knowledge roll will figure out that a barrister will be required to represent PC. Consulting the Cortex will find several of them on the Skyplex. As soon as the PCs talk to them, one by one, each turns down the case. Of the five available, three reject case immediately, one wants an exorbitant fee, on the order of €5000, and the fifth one, is a crusty old Matlock-like man. He wheezes, coughs, and rants about how the “Plexies are corrupt and need to be put in their place.” When brought back to the topic, he agrees to take the cast just to embarrass the Plexies.
The investigation into the poisoning shows the two known troublemakers had lots of enemies. Avoiding trouble while cruising the seedier portions of the Skyplex requires a Hard INT + Covert or Streetwise roll. A fail results in a confrontation with other lowlifes. They are intimidating but if PCs win an opposed INT + Intimidation roll, the toughs back down, if this roll fails they will brawl to rob the PCs. Basic information gathered is instigators were so unpopular that the only surprise that it took so long before one ended up dead and that it’s a shame both of them aren’t worm food. .
The trial starts and clearly is meant to be a railroading. PCs continue to investigate based on the time when poison had to be ingested to narrow field of possible suspects. Going to the bar to question the bartender and three waitresses finds all have had run-ins with the toughs. An INT + Social skill Formidable finds most recent run in was a waitress’ sister was smacked around by the deceased. When the woman is confronted she draws a derringer frantic to avoid capture. PCs have several options to stop the terrified woman. Social skill Heroic can talk her into surrendering, or a Covert roll Formidable and a Hard AGL+ Athletics can grab weapon. Shooting her is an option, but if PCs are this blunt, the GM should penalize shooter five Plot Points. Once woman is captured, returning to the courtroom allows barrister, who has been stalling, to challenge the court with autopsy and the actual perpetrator; Character’s case is dismissed. PCs are free to go, but the barrister’s fee is €2000, this should wipe out last of PCs cash. If PCs have less money, adjust accordingly, but minimum fee is €500 in cash or in goods.