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Story 29

Checkhov’s Egg

You give a curt nod to the comm officer as you receive an incoming hail from the Space Zoo. On the screen, a distinguished looking older man with a white beard and hair appears. “Greetings, Captain. I am offering a job that pays 6,000 credits for retrieving an egg and delivering it to me. The only catch is that you must sneak through a planetary shield.”

After a brief moment of consideration, you reply, “I’m intrigued. Can you provide more details?”

The old man nods and continues, “Planet 0 is nearly untouched by modern technology, save for a data beacon and shield generator. It is teeming with unique flora and fauna that may never be discovered due to their ban on xenobiologists and botanists. However, as someone who has been monitoring the planet’s data beacon, I have noticed a large and fascinating creature laying an egg right next to it. If you can retrieve this egg and bring it to me, I will compensate you generously. And if we successfully hatch the egg, your name will go down in history as the first person to bring back a zoological specimen from Planet 0.”

If you accept the job, read/ listen to Story 76 when you get to the mission point on Planet 0.

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Story 27

Bring me a dragon

Several spacers receive a video transmission from the Kiln, showing a large bald man with no neck, dressed in a tailored white suit.

“A new and hostile inhabitant of the Drift System has appeared in the Rivening. Scientists have tried to give it some foolish name calling it an astral volucrum reptilium, but what I see is the fuel of nightmares and mythology. I see a dragon. For the safety of the Drift System, I am offering 10,000 credits for someone to kill and haul the carcass of this creature to the Kiln where I may employ others to study this creature. If you choose to work in groups, I will leave it to you to determine how to share this haul.”

The Dragon’s spawn point is on Rivening between the Quarry and the Excavation spaces. The dragon can take 50 damage, fly 12 spaces, has a resilient hide that can absorb [d12] damage from an attack, and and use a plasma breath that can attack twice each round causing [d12] damage at a range of 1-8 spaces provided it has line of sight. If the dragon is attacked it will retaliate on its turn provided you are within range, otherwise it will return to its position on Rivening. If it finishes its turn on Rivening it will heal [d12] per round. Once it is killed, you may haul it to the Kiln. When towing the carcass, cut movement in half rounded down, and the carcass is in an adjacent space to your ship.