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Author Topic: Salvage Rights (Sci-Fi, m for f)  (Read 701 times)

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Offline IrishWolfTopic starter

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Salvage Rights (Sci-Fi, m for f)
« on: November 17, 2018, 07:13:23 pm »

Salvagers are one step above pirates, according to most spacers and the line between them is blurred. They pick over abandoned space stations, derelict ships and asteroid colonies, stripped out everything from older tech, to supplies to the very metal such things are made from. Their ships look like ghoulish frankenstein creations, like they were hobbled together from old wrecks.Their biggest paydays come, when they stumble across a ship, which had an accident and a full cargo hold. Vultures pecking at the dead.

By the law is one their side and whatever salvagers find, in lonely star systems, belongs to him. Now of course, they do have to find buyers for any cargoes they save, which can be difficult and take a long time to get rid of, all the while taking up space in their hulls. As such, many, if not most, shipping companies pay finder’s fees, if a salvager can bring them a missing cargo. However, there are shipments, no one wants to take responsibility for.

When the salvage ship Jackal comes across a derelict ship, in decent shape, with some emergency power but no distress beacon, such a cargo is found.

From what the captain can figure out, the cargo ship suffered powercore fluctuation and the resulting surges fried the jump drives, gravity field, the comms and most of the other systems on the ship, leaving a malfunctioning emergency power generator to run life support. It was very plain the crew bugged out in the lifeboat and left the cargo behind. A callous but necessary choice. Lifeboats are rarely designed to hand more then the crew of a ship and even one more person in one, could kill everyone relying on it to get them to safety.

But that left the cargo behind and the ship wasn’t carrying anything like bulk metals or medicines or machines. It was carrying slaves, the poor devils left locked in overcrowded cells. They died by the scores, either asphyxiating or freezing to death, when the life support cut out for a few hours or slowly starving to death. The ship might as well be a tomb, save for the small handful of survivors, just barely clinging on to life, when they are found by the Jackal.

But the cargo is why no one would claim it. Slavery is a tricky thing. Some star systems, species or cultures allow it, other aggressively denounce it. There have been scores of nasty diplomatic and military arguments over the course of time regarding slavery. These have resulted in several treaties which allow personal slaves to remain property in free regions but outlaw the transport of bulk slave shipments through their territory for sale in another region. The Terran Confederation, which claims the star system, is a free state. Anyone admitting to owning the ship and it’s cargo, is in for major legal troubles.

Of course that means, the salvager can claim the cargo as his personal property, while looting the derelict of it’s fuel cells, stores of food and anything he can carry off.

If your interesting in plotting this out some more, feel free to send me a PM