“A Thousand Stars and No Home” combines two genres: the ideological drama about the refugees’ hopes and destinies, with all the uncertainty and danger they have to endure during the escape, and space opera, the most colourful corner of science fiction.
The refugees, of which you are to play one, have staked everything on getting to a better place using a dangerous and illegal route. They try to escape through space, bleak and inimical, where they are totally dependent on the human traffickers and their spaceships. The refugees are trying to reach a lawless mining station, KaorMC-14, which offers a chance to travel further onto safe planets, if they have enough money left by then.
The refugees are not just refugees of course; they come from different planets and societies, they have different reasons for fleeing, and they have different personalities. I have invented some cultures and backgrounds, sometimes with inspiration from science fiction classics, but I have also borrowed directly from favourite works of science fiction.
Most refugees have certain problems. They may have a tarnished past, be too poor, belong to a hated minority, have a high risk of being infected with dangerous biological weapons (such as the dreaded virus blue tongue), or have obtained their money in a very illegal way. So it’s not so easy for them to simply escape to the Culture’s sphere of influence.
These ships are manned by unscrupulous people who only think of gaining maximum profit and not much of the refugees’ wellbeing. . In order to not be stopped by any other border patrols than the corrupt border guards at Sacki the smuggler ship must take dangerous routes through unsafe wormholes that no one else would use. It does not always go well.
The refugees have to pay the smugglers, they must bring their own water and provisions for about a day, and they must have money to bribe the Sacki border patrol. All that, and they still need to have money left to pay for lodging, oxygen, food, and drink on KaorMC-14, and money for the onward journey to their final destination.
Traffickers want as little trouble with the authorities as possible, so they have no incentive to smuggle really problematic refugees. They won’t ask too many questions, but if they find out that there is a controversial person on board, their main focus is to get them handed over to someone who is willing to pay for them. There are several different groups of mercenaries and bounty hunters throughout the galaxy. They like to call themselves official sounding names such as The Space Gendarmerie, The Pan-Galactic Security Force, Universal Police Office, The United Security Organisation and so on.
There have been instances where desperate refugees have tried to take over a ship, but it has never ended well. Traffickers are themselves so desperate and unscrupulous that they have no problem imagining what the refugees can come up with. It is standard procedure to have someone standing with their hand on the airlock button, when any crew are in with the refugees.
However, the crew couldn’t care less what the refugees do to each other. They have received their payment for the journey, so it is possible to get away with murder, beatings and theft amongst the refugees is commonplace. Many crews consider it excellent entertainment and also rob the refugees as they please, if they see something they want. Or someone …