The Adventurer Stowaway
The Smuggler Drax Corlu
The Fulsome Sow drops out of warp at the edge of the Dresh system. Drax Corlu consults the charts for the Dresh system in the Sow's navigation portfolio; he finds a colorful page torn from a children's book. The ship spends several days manuevering to use it's magnetic scoop to collect hydrogen from the atmosphere of a gas giant and makes way to the orange desert world of Dresh.
Dresh is a massive planet consisting of the lighter rocky elements; although it has twice the circumference of Terra it has the same gravity. It rotates at twice the speed of Terra resulting in days that are roughly Terran-standard in length.
Inversely Dresh is orbited by an ultra-dense moonlet at an extremely low altitude, thusly orbiting at an extremely rapid rate that is also rotating opposite to the rotation of the planet.
The result of these extreme orbital and tidal forces on the light-element desert world of Dresh is that there is an equatorial band of extremely light and fine sand and micro-dust that has virtually semi-liquid properties, functioning as a massive straight-running river-sea of sand circumnavigating the planet. This is visible from orbit as a pale orange, featurless blur bisecting the globe.
The Sow is hailed from an unspecified source seeking mercenaries; when the party informs the speaker that they are merchants the comm line is dropped.
The Sow lands at the rocket field of Iubbu the Slug's Palace; the domain of a Slug-Person Crime Lord. They investigate Iubbu's court, where various factions of the planet meet to sip stale beer and water and attempt negociation. In front of a stained red velvet curtain, smoking a hookah upon a pile of greasy huge cushions is a small-bus sized gray slimy Slug with man-like arms, Iubbu.
At one table, in contrast to the harshly puritan garb of the majority, are several sun-bleached long-haired and beared men in brightly dyed stillsuits and robes, Sand Surfers. At another table several workmen in blood stained work clothes bearing pole-glaives and skinning hooks are glaring at the Sand Surfers. The party inroduces themselves to the Sand Surfers, who are brimming with brotherly love and righteous spirit and are seeking principled mercenaries to plie their trade in the defense of the innocent.
The party excuse themselves pleading a lack of qualification and return to their table. They see Iubbu confering with a pop-eyed hairless pale man in a purple robe who scurries over and informs the party that Iubbu is seeking someone to discretely return some lost property.
A pleasure automation of his escaped in the morning and fled into to rocky hills northeast of the port; the party would be provided with a high speed flit car, and upon the safe return of the unharmed pleasure automation they would recieve a reward of 2,000 Terces. The party agrees, picks up the flit car, and skims into the hills.
Several hours are spend skimming aroung and over the rocky hills before a fleeing pale pink figure is seen in a valley below; the Adventurer, who was a chauffer for Amazon-Matriarchs upon his homeworld, skims the flit cars down into the valley where they can see its pink, woman-like body with flexible silver fittings. The Smuggler repeatedly attempts ESP contact to ensure that it is a robot and not a living being and than the Adventurer attempts to turn and stop the vehicle in front of the fleeing robot.
The high-speed flit cars strikes a rock with its undercarriage while the vehicle is rapidly turning and braking and the flit car loses control, spinning and tumbling over the rocky ground, sending its passengers flying, and shattering the front-end bubble canopy.
Fortunately the party only has minor bumps and scrapes and quickly get to their feet. They see the robot running away and the adventurer runs after it,bringing it down with a tangle grenade. The robot, entangled in restraint bands, is babbling about how cruel Iubbu implants robots with pain circuits and tear ducts and tortures them for his amusement and for sale to "The Weepers"; the Adventurer has some experience with robot technology and immediately turns it off.
At this point a pattering is heard, rapidly getting louder to thunderous proportions, and a herd of one or two hundred cow-sized brown, long-necked, three-eyed, honking animals with moose-like snouts and six flea-like legs come scampering and bounding over the rise of the hill above them, with their dented flit car between the animals and the party.
The Smuggler Drax Corlu attempts to use his yogic flight abilities while The Adventurer-Stowaway and the Scientist-Nephew drop the robot and begin madly dashing across the rock-strew valley.
Panting, they glance over their shoulders to see scores of bounding, hooting borwn forms sweep across the flit-car, elicting loud banging sounds, sweep across the prone robot, and sweep across the attempting-to-fly Smuggler who dissapears into the furry mass.
The Acientist-Nephew throws a nerve gas grenade into thebounding mass while the Adventurer-Stowaway fires blasts into the mass from his energy weapon; the herd panics and begins bounding in away from the party and the valley.
The smashed scattered remnants of the flit-car and pleasure robot are revealed; the Smuggler is mildly trampled but intact. The Adventurer-Stowaway gathers up the contragravity core of the flit-car, the face of the pleasure robot, and the head of one of the slaughtered beasts, and the party begins tramping back to the space port.
Twelve hours later, exhausted, they stramp down the ramp to Iubbu's subterranean court; fortunately he is not present and they are greeted by his purple-robed major domo, who is horrified to hear of and see evidence of the destruction of both the flit-car and the pleasure robot. Fortunately he believes their tale and informs the party that the "Hill Hoppers" are a hated pest on Dresh for their destructive bounding rampages.
The party than inquires about compensation for their efforts; the major domo simultaniously blanches and flushes and than whilst trembling with indignation informs the party how lucky they are that he is sympathetic to their misfortune with the Hill Hoppers and willing to diplomatically intercede on their behalf, as otherwise things would not bode well at all for the party:
"One time there was a smuggler that Iubbu comissioned to deliver a cargo; at no fault of his own, the smuggler was intercepted by a patrol and had to jettisson the Iubbu's cargo. The smuggler attempted to repay Iubbu, but could not keep up with the interest he was accruing; Iubbu hired bounty hunters to capture him and..."
At this point the Major Domo is striding towards the stained red curtains behind Iubbu dais of greasy cushions, and whips one aside revealing the white, porcelain-like perfect life-sized likeness of a screaming handsome space pilot with roguish aspect, arms upheld in horror.
"...had him marmelized and kept here to serve as both a trophy and a warning!"
Shaken, the party agrees that their inconvenience was inconsequential and returns to The Sow.