The Three Hills Job

An example Job for Firefly + Dogs in the Vineyard

The Three Hills Job

This job is taken from a Forge Thread where I took somebody else's idea and modified it to fit into my structure. But it's another illustration of how to use my Job Creation rules, and hopefully of interest.

What's Wrong: 

The small moon of Three Hills is covered by several small farmsteads all growing soybean crops for themselves and export. The tough soil requires a large amount of nutrients, biomass & fertilizer to be brought in from off-world, and to simplify operations, a Farming Collective has been formed so individuals can buy and sell in bulk to increase profit margins. Stapleton, a wealthy landowner, was elected to administer the trade and distribution on behalf of the collective.

Wealth: Given this power and responsibility, Stapleton saw an opportunity to make a bit more profit, and unfairly diverts some of the fertilizer away from the smaller farmsteads and towards his own land.

Injustice: Because Stapleton is holding back nutrients from the smaller farmers (like the adjacent Xue & Tolliver farmsteads), they are failing to grow enough crops, and are on the brink of financial ruin & starvation.

Problems: Sensing a further opportunity, Stapleton offers to buy the failing farmland at a knock-down price, allowing the farmers to continue working the land as employees of his -- paid a basic wage. Xue rejects the offer, and Tolliver accepts for the good of his family. Soon afterward, Tolliver's farm receives a large shipment of biomass that "just suddenly arrived on-planet". 

Complication: Knowing that something fishy is going on, Xue's daughter, Hazel, leads a raid on Tolliver's stores, trying to steal some nutrients for themselves. Unfortunately, during the attack, the barn, and all the nutrients stored inside it are destroyed in a fire. 

Recrimination: Hazel decides that "the sell-outs had it coming anyway", and convinces her family that the Tollivers are as bad as Stapleton, and at least now, everybody is even.  

Followers: Tolliver doesn't see it that way of course -- they start sabotaging Xue's remaining stocks and equipment. This quickly escalates into more-or-less total guerilla warfare between the two families, and the unrest starts to spread to other farms in the area. Xue starts to get crushed, so Hazel flirts with the addled old war veteran on the Young farm, and gets him on their side by getting him to thinking that he is fighting for Independence vs. the Alliance once again. Not a lot of farming is happening anywhere, and Stapleton doesn't have enough manpower to try and keep things under control. 

Alerting the Alliance: Stapleton sees things getting out of hand, and asks for Alliance assistance to quell the civil unrest so everybody can get back to work. They are only too happy to respond and return "order". He offers them a cut of his profits if they help him. 

Alliance Involvement: Alliance Marshall Chang, along with a squad of troopers under his command, land on the moon. They ask Stapleton to get in contact with all the farms involved. As Stapleton is an old man, and they are ignoring his Waves in any case, he sends his son by horseback. 

Hate & Murder: On the way to the farms, Solomon Young spots Stapleton's son riding through his land. He sees an excellent way of punishing Stapleton for being greedy, and being an ex-Browncoat sniper, he has the means to do it. The poor kid never had a chance.

The Job

The Crew has been hired to deliver several tons of nutrients to Stapleton, and also to distribute to the soy farmers. When they land, it's obvious that something is up -- Stapleton is overwhelmed with grief, there are reports of violence between the farmers and an Alliance Marshall is on-planet.

What do people want from the Crew?

Jonah Stapleton, an old man, wants the crew to deliver the nutrients to his silos, and to not distribute anything to anyone! He wants to find out who murdered his son, and he wants those people punished! And finally, he wants things back to profitable normality, which is why he called in the Alliance in the first place. If he can get away without having to pay a cut of his take to the Alliance, all the better too. 

Nathaniel Xue is a fiercely independent soy farmer. He wants the crew to give him some of the nutrients for free (it is only what he is due, and if they don't he & his family will be destitute or dead from starvation within the month anyway) and return things to how they were: Stapleton should be stripped of the administration of the Collective and he & Tolliver must return all of the 'stolen' land and nutrients.

Hazel Xue is Nathaniel's daughter, and she is desperate to have the crew to take her off-world, where she can run from the Alliance, Stapleton and what she made Young do.

Daniel Tolliver wants the crew to put a stop to Xue & Young. He is also angling for a preferential cut of the nutrients that they are delivering, to compensate for the stocks destroyed in the fire. And being an Alliance sympathizer, doesn't want them to arrest him or his family for the sabotage and violence against Xue.

Alliance Marshall Chang just wants this problem dealt with as quickly as possible, so he can get him and his men off this backwater moon and onto more glorious matters. He wants the crew to deliver the cargo quickly and quietly and then get out of his hair. If the crew show an interest in resolving this mess instead, Chang would have no problem in letting them do it, as long as the Alliance get their cut.

Solomon Young is an ex-Browncoat who tried to settle down as a farmer after suffering Post-Traumatic Stress during the War. Hazel has him a bit confused about what's going on, but doesn't regret killing the boy, as "he was an Alliance sympathizer". He wants the crew to help him carry on the War; or if the facts are made clear to him, let him go back to farming in peace.

Blood Relations

  • One of the crew knows Jonah Stapleton, a wealthy landowner on the moon, from past (good) dealings.
  • Nathaniel Xue once help rescue/protect/hide a crewmember from the Alliance during the War.
  • Somebody on the crew once served with Solomon Young, now a farmer, during the War.


What does the Alliance want the Crew to do? 

The Alliance want the crew to deliver the supplies to Stapleton & Tolliver, get paid, and let the Marshall do his job.

What Would Happen if the Crew Never Came? 

The Marshall would come in and "contain" the "rebels" (Xue & Young). Young would get in a firefight with the Marshall's troops, and would get killed. The Xue family would be arrested, held for a short while and then left to starve as Stapleton would be granted ownership over the land by Alliance mandate. Tolliver would eke out the rest of his life in economic slavery and even Stapleton would have to give the majority ownership over all the farmland on the moon to the Alliance.