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Dark Future - Black Market

Dark Future - Black Market

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Published by jadrax
A Dark Future scenario for Atomic Highway
A Dark Future scenario for Atomic Highway

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Published by: jadrax on Aug 02, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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black Market
Black Market is a long non-campaign scenario set in Illinois, for starting PCs. It assumes that the PCs are Sanctioned Operatives, and have some mode of enclosed transport. As some encounters in Black Market deal with racism and slavery as core themes, the group should take care not to make any players feel uncomfortable or offended while running this scenario. Since the great droughts of ’75, the primary import of the United States has been water, transported from Canada by great corporation convoys that traverse the Interstates under heavy armed guard to fight of the constant danger of raiders. To undercut corporation prices, some entrepreneurs operate as bootleggers, shipping water across the Canadian border and selling it directly on the black market. To avoid the marauders and cykegangers who would steal their precious cargo, these bootleggers avoid the Highways and Interstates, instead transporting the water directly over the massive salt flats that connect Chicago directly to Canada. One such group of bootleggers have been operating for the last five years, running water from the Pukaskwa Pumping-station to Chicago. They are made up of just three members: Marquis, Carlos and Shanice. While Marquis and Carlos founded the operation, Shanice is the brains behind it, organising both the routes taken and dealing with their contacts at either end. Also, unknown to the other bootleggers, she is a Corporate agent, using the organisation to acquire information on Pukaskwa links with the Mob for her father, the Chicago manager of Valladyne Technologies. However, she now not reported in for a week on her recent trip, persuading her father it is time to extract her, a task he has delegated to Mark Graaffman, who oversaw Shanice’s reports. This is where the PCs come in. shotguns. The office is a typical corporate affair, with black plastileather chairs and brushed aluminium panelling. A picture of Pope Georgu (Nelson Mandela) rests prominently on one wall. Graaffman’s bodyguard, a hulking African-American named Urlo, stands behind him but does not contribute to the conversation. Graaffman explains that he wants the PCs to located and recover Shanice, an employee of the corporation, she should come along willingly when presented with identification, but if for some reason she does not, the PCs are withdraw and payment will be provided when they explain her circumstances. If they agree, Graaffman offers $5,000 up front, with a further $10,000 upon delivery. Graaffman will also provide them with a tracer, which can give them the exact location of Shanice is in – it currently shows her location to be the middle of the Great Michigan Salt Flat.

A bit of recent history

Optional Encounters
Salt storms are a constant threat while driving over the Great Salt Flats, terrifying whirls of caustic salt that can last for hours. Driving through a Salt Storm reduces visibility to a few feet, making all manoeuvre tests Arduous (3). Living creatures exposed to the storm suffer even worse, even standing upright in the cutting winds require an Extreme (2) Muscle/Athletics roll, while moving is Tremendous (4). The salt storm also creates a large amount of electro-magnetic interference, preventing Laser weapons, Satellite Uplinks and even CB Radios working for the storms duration. For each full Hour that a Vehicle spends in a salt storm, it suffers D6 Lethal Damage that ignores any armour. Living creatures exposed suffer a combination of exhaustion, dehydration and scratching, if properly wrapped up they are reduced to half health, if they are not see the rules for exposure on page 75. Navigating around or simply waiting out an active storm is possible, but can add hours to a journey.

Salt Storm


The PCs are contact is Mark Graaffman, a Caucasian middle manger working in the Chicago Valladyne Technologies PolicedZone. Valladyne Technologies is one of the smaller corporations, involved in the recreation, leisure and food industries. The meeting is in Graaffman’s office, located in a polished ferrocrete skyscraper typical of the PolicedZone skyline. Armoured corporation police (Sentinel, page 104) patrol the whole complex, armed with Felwell Enforcer pump-action

Salt Corsairs

While travelling through the salt flats attracts fewer raiders than traversing the open roads, a few desperate outlaws do specialise in raiding the Bootleggers who pass through here. These renegades (Raiders, page 103) normally patrol common routes across the Salt Flats in

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Atomic Highway - Black Market
groups of half a dozen, but will only attack travellers they suspect to be carrying water. To survive the toxic Salt Flats in their exposed vehicles, salt corsairs wear several layers of clothing, with gas masks or goggles. Assume the leader of any group of Salt Corsairs has at least a $3,000 bounty outstanding, payable by a random Corporation. The Great Salt Flats of America where once known as the Great Lakes, before they evaporated in to lifeless plains of salt studded with the occasional polluted oasis. Travelling over the salt flats is possible without Off-Road capable vehicles; the salt has been compacted down to a concrete-like consistency and the only obstacles are the occasional rusting ship carcasses jutting up from the plain. There are dangers however; pesticides and fertilizers lace the salt, which is highly toxic and corrosive. As the PCs close in on the source of the tracking beacon, they discover it is inside of the rusting prow of a ship, which juts out of the salt flat like a man-made mountain. As they draw closer, they see that sheets of corrugated iron and plastic have been riveted to this hull, in an attempt to keep out the worst excesses of the salt. There are no signs of life as the PCs get closer, and they can see that the main entrance is under a green Plastitarp hanging over the eastern wall. Several sets of tyre tracks lead from the southeast, as if two or three trucks recently parked near the hulk, before setting of back the way they came. If the PCs A member of the KKK or other affiliated group. HoodHeads are racist killerscum who campaign relentlessly to keep America ‘white’. Muscle 2 Understanding 2 Tenacity 3 Appeal 2 Nimbleness 2 Toughness 2 Senses 1 Skills: Athletics 1, Brawl 1 / Intimidate 2 or Persuade 2 (the other at 1) / Lore 1, Melee 1, Notice 2, Shoot 2, plus choose 1 from Pilot 2, Boat 2, Heal 2, Stealth 2, Ride 2, Tech 2 Attacks: As Weapon / Armour: 2 / Health: 14 Armour: Light (Roughly padded garments) Weapons: Double Barrel Shotgun or Medium Rifle, Medium Bludgeon, Knife Gear: KKK Uniform, copy of the Kloran, Racist Tattoos and roll once on any one of the Scavenging tables

Bootlegger Cargo Van
This van has been stripped down as much as possible, so it can carry more water. Muscle 4 Nimbleness 2 Toughness 2 Speed 1 Passengers: Driver+2 Armour: 8 Weapons: Light Machine Gun (pivot, external roof, rear shield) Customisations: Half-Ton Winch and Cable (rear) Health: 90 Total Cost: 14 venture past the Plastitarp, behind it is artificial cave, in this rests a Cargo Van besides a small campsite. The week-old corpse of a Hispanic ganger (Carlos) lies against one of the walls, his body riddled with sub machinegun fire. Their tracer will lead them to a glowing red beacon, which lies discarded on the floor, clearly cut from out of Shanice’s body. Apart from this, there is various assorted junk here and it can be treated as a Scavenging Location (Automotive, Foodstuffs, Tools/Industrial Supplies). Note that while the van contains multiple drums for storing water, all are empty.

Customized Van

Act One


Optional Encounter
The men who assaulted the bootleggers have not forgotten that they left the beacon within the cave, and are hoping it attracts another group of victims. To this end, two of them (HoodHeads, see Sidebar) have dug into a bunker hidden in the salt, from which they will ambush the PCs when they immerge from the cave. Their plan is simple. Any women and African-Americans present they will attempt to capture, beating them unconsciousness with nightsticks if necessary. Anyone else, they plan to kill with Rifle fire. They are not expecting real resistance, as the Bootleggers they have come across so far have been lightly armed – so being outnumbered by heavily armed Sanctioned Operatives should come as quite a surprise to them. If defeated the PCs can easily recognise the two men as members of the White Lions, as their uniforms have large badges proclaiming their allegiance. If captured, they will reluctantly answer questions between spouting racist propaganda, but know little beyond the fact that the other two Bootleggers where taken to the White Lion camp to the southeast.


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Affiliated to the KKK, the White Lions are a Gangcult specialising in snatching African-Americans and forcing them into Indentured Servitude. While based in the Segregation States of Kentucky and Missouri, they illegally snatch most of their victims from the urbanised NoGo regions around Chicago and Detroit. The White Lions dress is typical HoodHead uniforms, with large shoulder badges advertising their allegiance. The truck tracks leading from the Bootlegger Camp lead to the southeast, where a group of White Lions have hidden the camp from which they process prisoners snatched from the NoGo areas surrounding the Michigan Salt Flat. The White Lions dispatched their last shipment of slaves two days ago, so currently only five White Lions remain in the Salt Flat, and two of those are not currently present at the base (See the Ambush Encounter, above). Being in the middle of no-where, the last thing these slavers expect is an assault. They are lounging around, listening to Christian Heavy Metal Music-chips on their chip-players, and generally unaware of their predicament. If the PCs capture any of them alive, they will confess that the ‘coloureds’ they took have been shipped to a plantation at Scuffletown, Kentucky. An old-fashioned ledger also contains this information, also recording descriptions of those taken (this includes a male and female bootlegger, taken around a week ago). None of the White Lions has a current Bounty on them, although there is enough evidence for the Government to authorise a $1,000 bounty if the PCs take it to the Chicago, Milwaukee or Detroit authorities. While Slavery is illegal, the United States maintains a system of Indentured Servitude, where criminals and volunteers forgo certain constitutional freedoms. This practice is far more common in the fifteen Segregated States than elsewhere. Not all Indentured Servants are African-American, but they are by far the most common grouping. Kentucky is one of the few states that receives a reasonable amount of rainfall, and isolated farms are commonplace, often specialising in cash crops such as tobacco. The White Lion plantation is located at Scuffletown on the banks of the marshy Ohio River, which serves as Kentucky’s northern boarder. The White Lions chose the location for its isolation, and none of the roads going anywhere near it are more than poorly maintained patches of tarmac. The plantation itself consists of a small ‘manor house’ and several sheds, enclosed within a corrugated iron fence with a single

The White Lions

Act Two

watchtower rising from the centre of the compound. Aside from the foreman (Sentinel, page 104), there are ten guards here (HoodHeads, see Sidebar), of which four will be patrolling, three sleeping and the other three relaxing in the manor’s poolroom and bar. The patrolling cultists will carry their double-barrelled Shotguns, while the watchtower mounts a Light Machinegun on a pivot mount. Around a dozen Indentured Servants are houses here, sleeping in the sheds and toiling in the fields. All are African-American males and one is Marquis. The White Lions keep these slaves in check by welding Explosive Collars around their necks. These detonate automatically if they stray for more than a mile, although the Foreman can also trigger them manually. Asking the White Lions to return Shanice nicely is futile and PCs trying this will be assaulted, as the White Lions do not want word of this plantation getting out. Assaulting the plantation is the best tactic here, and assuming the PCs capture the Foreman’s office, they find enough paperwork to authorise a $10,000 bounty if they file the paperwork in a state free of segregation. If they are unwise enough to file the Bounty is a Segregated State, it drops to $3,000 instead. Growing up in the most notorious of America’s NoGo regions was hard, and Marquis quickly resolved to get out by any means possible. When he met Carlos, that became possible, and the two investing in a truck and started shipping water to the people. If the PCs rescue Marquis from the Scuffletown plantation, he will be eager to help rescue Shanice, although he accepts that his skin colour will make difficulties if the plan involves conning HoodHead guards. Rearing: Bartertowner (Chicago Cabrini–Green NoGo) Pursuit: Road Warrior Muscle 3 Understanding 2 Tenacity 2 Appeal 2 Nimbleness 2 Toughness 3 Senses 2 Skills: Athletics 3, Brawl 3, Drive 3, Lore 1, Melee 3, Notice 3, Persuade 2, Shoot 3, Stealth 2, Survive 2, Tech 3 Attacks: As Weapon / Armour: 2 / Health: 16 Armour: Light (Metal reinforced jacket) Weapons: Medium Handgun, Knife Gear: Small metal toolbox, essential mechanic’s tools


Indentured Servitude

Act Three

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Unfortunately, Shanice is not present at the plantation, as the White Lion leader, Dustin Royce Oakes took a liking to her and had her shipped to the Renaissance Club in the Chicago Downtown PolicedZone. The PCs can obtain this information from the Foreman or Marquis, assuming one of them survived. Otherwise, it is present in the documents contained within the Foreman’s office. Aside from this information, the papers also show that the White Lions have links with the Confederate Air Force Gangcult, as well as the some Sanctioned Operative Agencies, such as the Good Old Boys. Under the terms of the 1963 ‘Separate but Equal’ Bill, sixteen States where officially deemed Segregated. These where the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. In Segregated States, all eateries, schools, medi-centres and other public buildings must be designated for use by either ‘Whites’ or ‘Non-Whites’, and barred to the other group. This segregation is not absolute however, as many Corporations have an exemption from US Law inside their PolicedZones, and it is the Corporations that now run the vast majority of schools, medi-centres and other public buildings. Groups of Klansmen and other HoodHeads occasionally violently protest against mixed Corporation facilities, but are careful to restrict these protests to NoGo areas away from Corporation Police.

The Segregated States

C.A.F. Spidercopter

Cost: $105,000 Named for their eight-bladed rotor design, the BoeCore Spidercopter series are lightweight jetcopters, with high visibility provided by Durium-laced Plexibubble cockpits. Corporative Executives use Spidercopters as playthings, although some have found their way into the hands of Sanctioned Operatives and even renegades via the grey market. Muscle 2 Nimbleness 3 Toughness 2 Speed 5 Passengers: Driver+6 Armour: 11 Weapons: Combat Laser (fixed, forward), Flamethrower (fixed, forward) Customisations: CB Radio, Half-Ton Winch and Cable (rear) Health: 60 Total Cost: 22 Damage: 16L Max Range: Long Cap: Rld: Hands: 2 Burst: Cost: $14,000 Requirements: Muscle 2 Vehicle Points: 2

Optional Encounter
Occasionally, members of the Confederate Air Force Gangcult (HoodHeads, see Sidebar) visit the plantation, either to deliver slaves or share information with the White Lions. This one has arrived just as the PCs are fleeing the compound and has decided to have a little fun. The CAF specialise in using Spidercopters rather than motorcycles and automobiles, which often gives them an overwhelming sense of superiority when fighting ground vehicles. The PCs should now know that Shanice is being held by the leader of the White Lions, Dustin Royce Oakes, at the Renaissance Club in the Chicago Downtown PolicedZone, and may be wondering how to proceed. If they have rescued Marquis is will argue that they should rescue her, pointing out that she has been illegally sold into slavery, and that as Sanctioned Operatives, they are the law. If they contact Mark Graaffman, he will also urge the PCs to mount a rescue. See the Conclusion if they refuse. However, just waltzing into the Chicago Downtown PolicedZone and attempting to lay down the law is not viable however, the Chicago Operations Policecorp are not going to cooperate with the PCs mounting a raid, and if asked to intervene themselves will start a very cautious investigation, not wishing to annoy the Mr Royce Oakes. The PCs attempting a raid by stealth is by far the better option. Hitting the Streets: PCs asking around Chicago (with an Appeal/Criminal or Persuade or even Intimidate roll) will discover that Dustin Royce Oakes is hosting some sort of small party at the Renaissance Club tonight,

Confederate Air Force

Act Four

Combat Laser

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with many people invited who are less than reputable. They will also discover that many of these are going to be arriving via the Michigan Avenue Underground (See Optional Encounter). Entering the PolicedZone: If the players decide not to use the Michigan Avenue Underground, or are unaware of it, they will have to enter the PolicedZone via the filter. As Sanctioned Operatives, the PCs can simply drive into the Chicago Downtown PolicedZone, assuming that they are subject to no outstanding bounties. Of course, they will have to remove all unlicensed weapons from their vehicles. Personal weapons also need a licence, although with an Appeal/Convince roll the PCs can persuade the COPs to accept an on the spot temporary licence fee of $500 per weapon. Smuggling weapons is not advisable, requiring an Arduous (3) Senses/Stealth or Appeal/Slight roll: failure will result in the guards taking extreme measures. Note that the Filter Guards only check vehicles heading into the PolicedZones, PCs are free to drive out with whatever weapons and other illegal goods they have. Once inside the subterranean streets, the players can only proceed at a crawl due to the lack of light and multiple obstacles on the road. Streetwalkers and black marketers approach them offering various illegal goods. If the PCs attempt to buy information, the desperate wretches (Trogs, page 106) here are pathetically helpful. A single cigarette (‘it will cure my cancer mister’) or dose of SmackSynth will cause any of the inhabitants to tell them everything they know, including that the Renaissance Club has an entrance directly into the MAU. The Renaissance Club is located in what was once a riverside apartment, back when Chicago had real rivers. The building is now a fortified apartment building by the northern wall of the Loop, containing a mixture of apartments and commercial properties. The Renaissance Club is on the top floor, adjoining Dustin Royce Oakes penthouse. The American Socialist White Peoples’ Party (Sentinels, page 104), a militaristic Gangcult who wear German style desert uniforms, provides security for the night. They have been provided with Pistol Licences, but will avoid starting a shoot out, as Dustin Royce Oakes does not want the COPs to turn up. Shanice is the slave of Dustin Royce Oakes’s wife, Marline and is located alone in the Royce Oakes penthouse while her owners party next door. Of course, the PCs will not know this without some investigation. Access to the building is via a lobby, or via the secret entrance to the MAU. The foyer has four guards in it, while the secret entrance only has one. Once the players get to the Renaissance Club, there are a number of strategies they may attempt: Sneaking: Sneaking through the building is possible, as it has very little in the way of security. Getting past the four guards in the foyer will require some form of distraction, weather going in or out. While the single guard on the secret entrance can just be bypassed while he is looking the wrong way or away from his post. Inside, there are just a couple of guards wandering the corridors, which can be evaded with care. It is entirely possible to sneak in, search the building for Shanice and then sneak her out. Impersonation: Getting onto the Renaissance Club building itself would normally tricky, but tonight various people have been invited to Dustin Royce Oakes’s party, many of whom do not look like typical corporate wageslaves. As long as they do not do anything to preposterous (such as obviously failing to be white), security will just wave them past – tonight is strictly a no-ID occasion. Once inside the PCs will have the run of the building and if any of the security come across them (a couple of security are patrolling

Act Five

Optional Encounter

The Chicago Michigan Avenue Underground (MAU) is perhaps the most unusual NoGo in the city, consisting of a series of a series of sub streets designed to ease congestion. Running under the Government Downtown PolicedZone (the Loop), it crosses directly over the toxic swamp that once was the Chicago River, before emerging into the Gold Coast PolicedZone, home to the Magnificent Mile Sinplex and the famous art deco Playboy Hotel. Built in the 1920s, the MAU is a twilight world abandoned by the authorities, although a market of sorts has developed here, drawn by the perpetual shadows and flow of traffic moving between the Loop and North side. While the MAU is not a PolicedZone itself, all of its major entrances fall inside PolicedZone limits, apart from one inside the Northwestern Filter, located on Highway 41. PCs with Criminal skill will know that this makes the MAU an express route for smuggling into the city. If the PCs choose to access the Loop via the MAU, then the security at the Northwestern Filter Zone makes only the briefest of checks on their vehicles. If they take their weapons off, the guards will warn them that the MAU can be dangerous, if they leave them on the guards will point out that they will not be able to proceed into the Downtown or Gold Coast PolicedZones without licences. While the guards are well aware that most people heading down the MAU are smugglers, the Mob gives them sufficient kickbacks to ignore that information and they are not going to rock the boat by asking too many questions.

The Michigan Avenue Underground

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Atomic Highway - Black Market
the corridors) they will assume the PCs are lost on the way to the party. Once she is located, getting Shanice past the guards is trickier, but is possible if they convince the Guards that she is the player’s indentured servant, with an Appeal/Convince roll. Assault: The last resort, which may also be triggered if the more subtle attempts fail, is to go in all guns blazing, grab Shanice and make a run for it before the COPs respond. From the first shot that is fired, the PCs have around ten minutes before the COPs flood the building with Tear Gas and ask questions later. Dustin Royce Oakes and four guards will barricade themselves within his penthouse, along with Shanice. Evading the guards and COPs to get her out of the building will be tricky, although if the PCs are captured or surrender to the COPs then Mark Graaffman’s legal team will get all charges dropped after three days – if Shanice was successfully delivered into the COPs custody as well. Normally a capable Corporate Operative, Shanice has fallen on hard times. Her objectives are to get home to the Valladyne Technologies, keep her cover intact and get the other slaves rescued, strictly in that order. Shanice is somewhat of a social chameleon, happy to play whatever role is required of her. She will try to avoid talking to Marquis, especially if she feels there is a chance she may be exposed as a spy. Rearing: Remnant (Chicago Valladyne Technologies PolicedZone) Pursuit: Skulk (Corporate Spy) Muscle 2 Understanding 3 Tenacity 3 Appeal 3 Nimbleness 2 Toughness 2 Senses 2 Skills: Athletics 2, Brawl 2, Criminal 3, Drive 2, Lore 3, Melee 1, Notice 2, Persuade 3, Shoot 2, Slight 2, Stealth 3, Tech 2 Attacks: As Weapon / Armour: 0 / Health: 14 Armour: None currently Weapons: None currently Gear: None currently


The Apartment

This is a six room affaire, and the main entrance in (located own the hall from the Renaissance Club. The front door is locked, as is the door to Shanice’s cell, a small bedroom in which she is chained to the bed via the neck. Once freed, Shanice will request that the PCs rescue the other pleasure slaves who are located at the party next door. Unless the PCs come up with a very clever plan, this will almost certainly require starting a fight. There are four of the Guards next door along with twenty or so assorted HoodHeads. There are four pleasure slaves in total, for each one rescued Shanice will reward the PCs with $1,000. If the PCs successfully deliver Shanice to Mark Graaffman, he proclaims he is very happy with their work, and pays them not only the $10,000 but also a bonus of $5,000 for their trouble. If they delivered Shanice to the COPs he will get them released and provide them with their pay but not the bonus. If the PCs return without Shanice, but with knowledge of where she is, Graaffman will pay them $5,000 for that information, apologising that the task was more complicated than he knew. Additionally, if the rescue was successful, then Valladyne Technologies will be well disposed to them, and it is conceivable the PCs may be able to ask Mark Graaffman for minor favours which he can sneak past the Board of Directors. If the PCs rescued Marquis, he will be at a lose end, with one partner dead and the other returning to her life in the corporation. If the PCs need a driver, mechanic or just additional muscle, he will be happy for the work.


Written by Alexander J Bateman Atomic Highway by Colin Chapman Dark Future by Richard Halliwell and Mark Gascoigne Based on ideas by Jack Yeovil Playtested by James Day, Sarah McClennan, Dave Perry and Ian Wilson ‘Atomic Highway’ Copyright Radioactive Ape Designs. ‘Dark Future’ Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2011, variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world. Atomic Highway and Dark Future used without permission. No challenge to their status intended. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.


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