Happy Frigg and Freya’s Day:
Jeremiah pulled his overcoat tight as he stepped out into the street, the door sliding closed automatically behind him. Strouden’s thin atmosphere made the planet cold so his boots, pants, shirt, and hat were all made to keep him warm. He made sure as a matter of routine that his filter mask was on and tight so the industrial pollutants of the planet’s atmosphere didn’t choke him. Of course with the planet starting to have overpopulation problems because of its size, one less mouth to feed so the government, which as basically an over-bloated bureaucracy, would probably not mourned his loss that much.
He was a well built young man with muscles, probably helped along by the planets 1.1 G gravity, but he also possessed an intelligent mind. It was his mind right now that was troubling him the most as he wrestled with his thoughts. He had just had a conversation with the orphanage head that reminded him in a week he would reach the age of majority and effectively be on his own. The orphanage had been his home for sixteen years since both his parents were killed in an industrial accident. Strouden’s government had been his guardian ever since.
It wasn’t all bad. Standard education was provided for him for free, but teachers were only interested in getting the students their basic knowledge which amounted to how to handle computers in the most basic of senses and drive gravitic vehicles which on the industrial planet was a must-know skill. He had three meals a day, a place to sleep and a small stipend to spend. Out on the streets, some of the kids with parents didn’t have it that good.
There was however some downsides. The heads were constantly changing as this orphanage being in the more poor and rough part of the industrial part of town, was not a desirable place for a bureaucrat looking at upward mobility. The same was true for the teachers who would change out every year. This lack of consistency left a hole for a lot of them as far as strong male or female figures in their life.
Life was regimented during work hours which were six days a week and for 10 hours. The other times there were rules that prevented fraternization between boys and girls while inside the orphanage, but outside that, government bureaucracy didn’t care what you did on your own time as long as you showed up when the time was appointed to work. Training for the future. As he got older more freedom was given during these off-hours as long as curfew was observed. From the time he hit his teens, he had freedom of movement as long as he showed up the next morning for classes.
Of course, this meant the vices of life were available to him fairly early. Girls and sex were there and he had partaken often of their pleasures. It was one of those things all the orphans did to alleviate the monotony and perhaps get some sense of human closeness however fleeting. From the moment they hit puberty, the government-mandated birth control prevented pregnancy and disease for the most part. Alcohol and drugs he avoided. But he did like to gamble, although he had the restraint to not blow everything. Officially, these vices were not allowed to underage teenagers, but unofficially, as far as he could tell, those rules were never enforced.
The criminal element was strong in this part of town and the temptations therein were high for a young teenage boy. But Jeremiah was a watcher and waiter and often avoided the pitfalls. He spent some time with his friend Jake who became his gym partner and somehow had found a handgun that they both practiced within the sewers. He could at least shoot straight but was no expert. Jake said in this world one better learn to defend himself. Jeremiah could not argue based on what he had seen in his homeworld.
Jeremiah soon became part of the ‘war ball league’ which was run by the underground criminal element of the planet. It basically was a game where you tried to get an oval ball across a line at one end of a field or the other. Jeremiah was a good blocker and tackler for his team and soon he had a sort of street cred that caused a lot of the people to treat him with respect. They even paid him a little money. But that was coming to an end very soon, so Jeremiah was weighing his future options. He may be an orphan but he did have some.
The first was right in front of him every game, join the planet’s criminal element and become one of them. The orphanages became some of the best recruitment tools of thieves, cutthroats, bosses, prostitutes, drug dealers, etc. in the city. He was strong and of a social standing low enough, he might not be missed if he fell off the grid. He even had some street cred already. One thing Jeremiah noted, however, is he saw very few old criminals.
The other option planetside is one every orphanage resident was offered which was to be a member of the planet’s bureaucratic class. Becoming a drone in an office was not appealing to him. He had to admit, there was a wanderlust to him. Something inside was pulling him off-world to the stars, but how would someone like him find his way onto a starship?
The Imperial Navy? He knew that Social Standing meant a lot there as well as education. Probably not. Better would be the Imperial Marines but he to admit to himself, despite his war ball prowess, he was not a naturally violent person. It was for this reason he quickly dismissed the Marines, Army and planetside forces. He valued freedom when he could get it and moving from one form of regimented life to another did not appeal to him at all. The Scout Service might have appealed but there was not Base on the planet to sign up and he had no money to travel to another planet to do so.
He stopped walking for a minute and looked around him. The grey cold atmosphere of the planets industrial heart all around him. The metal and other manufactured materials adding to the gloom. The light of advertising and the building were even cold and harsh to him. But there was one place that was not like this at all. The trade hub around the starport. All the bright corporate logos and the flamboyant free traders were there engaged in trading, buying and selling. He loved going there, the atmosphere was intoxicating.
Suddenly an idea struck him and he headed off in the direction of the trade hub with a plan rolling in his head. If he could just convince one of the traders to take him on as a hand, he might be able to get off this miserable planet and see the stars he longed for.
Welcome to Space Tramp, a work of Megatraveller fan fiction. Basically, I am taking an advanced character creation process and developing it into a fully fleshed-out story background. In each part, I will end with the notes for that year. What I rolled and any modifiers I added or changed because of the roleplay of the character will be noted. This is the first part so it will probably be a little longer but if you bear with me, then it each part after this will make more sense.
Name: Jeremiah Kilwood Sex: Male Universal Personality Profile (UPP): A67A74 Age:18
Explanation: Jeremiah is an 18-year-old human male. In order of his UPP – Strength:10, Dexterity: 6, Endurance: 7, Intelligence: 10, Education: 7, and Social Standing: 4. He is stronger than most people and more intelligent with scores of 10 in both which in Megatraveller are represented as ‘A’s. He has average endurance and slightly less than average dexterity. Physically he is a strong guy but otherwise unremarkable. His education level is average coupled with his high intelligence gives him the ability to learn 17 skill levels at present. His social standing, however, is low.
Homeworld: Strouden / Lunion Subsector/ Spinward Marches
Universal World Profile: A745988-D N Hi In
Jeremiah’s Homeworld is Strouden which is found in the Lunion Subsector fo the Spinward Marches sector. If you have the map is it hex: 2327. Doing the UWP in order. Starport A which means the world not only services starships but builds them. Size 7 is slightly smaller than Earth. The atmosphere is 4 which means thin and tainted by industrial pollutants. Hydrographics is 5 which means the world is half covered by water. The population is 9 which puts it in the billions of people. The government is 8 – Civil Service Bureaucracy. People are employed by the government based on their expertise and skills. Law level is 8 which is high law which means no weapons allowed except small blades that have to be concealed. Technology Level is D or “13” which high is but pretty standard for the main worlds of the Imperium. The N indicates Strouden is an Imperium Naval Base. No scout base is however present other than the x-boat station for the couriers. ‘Hi’ indicates a classification for a trade of a High Population world. ‘In” indicates industrial which indicates that trade classification. Given both of these, Strouden is a good trade world both in that it is both a good supplier and market for goods.
Skills: Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Handgun- 0
Three default skills based on his homeworld’s characteristics – no disadvantage or advantage here and no skill levels actually taken.
In Megatraveller shorthand form:
UPP: A67A74 Age: 18 Homeworld: Strouden UWP: A-745988-D N Hi In
Skills: Grav Vehicle – 0, Computer – 0, Handgun – 0
The next part will have Jeremiah trying to join the Merchant Service and his first year therein.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.