Preview: Denizens of the Plex, the Smuggler

This is the 23rd installment in a series of previews designed to introduce newcomers to Chronoplex. In this, the eighth in a series about typical characters found in the Plex, we uncover a rather shifty character.

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The Smuggler

Description: In an effort to protect linear time from anachronistic pollution, the Temporal Preservation Act places limits on a variety of goods imported from linear time. Some items are banned altogether. However, these limits do not really prevent the targeted goods from being exchanged, they simply change the nature of the demand. For those with the proper contacts and a willingness to circumvent authority, a smuggler can be contracted to transport anything from anywhere and from any time.

Most smugglers work independently or, for larger or more complex jobs, with a small group of close associates. They do not trust others easily and are always on the lookout for an ambush. This paranoia is not without merit. Smugglers are one of the main targets of the TPA and sting operations designed to snare them are all too common. In addition, some associates are just greedy and weak-willed enough to betray their comrades for a larger share of the haul. Smugglers who place their trust in others tend to experience a rather short, brutal end to their careers.

To mitigate the risks inherent in the trade, a number of smugglers turn to the Shadow Post for a measure of security. While the Shadow Post isn’t an ‘official’ organization by any means, its associates recognize and respect strength in numbers. The system is simple: smugglers accept contract jobs on behalf of the Shadow Post and in return the smuggler receives a percentage of the job and enjoys the protection of the Shadow Post (with the understanding that the smuggler will do the same for other Shadow Post contractors when needed). Those who harass Shadow Post couriers have a bad habit of vanishing, so most authorities and would-be turncoats steer clear of them.

Relationships: Smugglers’ propensity for mistrust makes them difficult to get to know, but their need to find new jobs assures that they do not become complete introverts. Jobs are of paramount importance. Smugglers spend a good deal of time drumming up new business, and the necessity to fill basic needs requires smugglers to have a certain level of moral flexibility in the jobs they accept.

Spanning: Smugglers will span to any God-forsaken corner of the Plex if it means they’ll be able to, say, eat for the next month, so all it usually takes to get them to span is to offer some compensation. Most smugglers travel light so that they can leave for a job at a moments notice. Of course this also helps them to slip away quickly if things get too hot.

Talent Focus: Smugglers benefit most from a primary focus on on will and savvy with a secondary emphasis on awareness and agility. They have to be tough, quick-witted, and able to spot trouble before it happens, but they also need to be able to run if all else fails.

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Thanks for following my progress on Chronoplex. Check back in two weeks when we check out the adrenaline junkie of the Plex: The Thrill Seeker

**EDIT**

8/12/2010 – Decided to go back and do some clean up work on this entry. Not a huge change, but I feel better about it now.

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