We sit down to play Battlestations, a space combat RPG, last night. I’ve had it for a while but this is the first time we’ve tried it out. We plan to spend the evening blasting ships and taking names.
I tell the players they’re fresh-faced cadets, straight out of the Union academy. They’re eager to take their new scout-patrolship, the plucky UNV Hornet, out for a spin and prove themselves.
Happily they won’t have long to wait. Scuttlebutt is that there’s been a rash of attacks by Cluster forces in the neutral zone. The zone is a buffer established between the Union and the Cluster to keep the peace. The treaty forbids installations, development or settlements of any kind in the zone, even though both sides want the resource-rich systems for themselves. It’s always been an uneasy truce.
The Hornet gets orders to move out. Their fledgling mission is to escort a science ship into the zone so it can plant listening posts to monitor Cluster activity.
“So basically what we’re doing is totally in violation of the treaty.”
These kids learn fast.