District 268 Back Roads Jaunt
Various bits of “library data”
Damage (card game)
Damage is a card game enhanced with psychological and emotional pressure by direct mind-to-mind contact, where the “tokens” of play are actual living beings who are killed when a player loses a round. The game is illegal and only played in places where the normal order is breaking down, usually due to an impending disaster. (apologies to Iain M. Banks)
“Mico-nera: a priceless medical salve created by Darrian doctors and engineers thousands of years ago. It’s made of nano-robotic and macro-molecular goo. The last factories that made it were glassified with nova weapons by a no-account warlord a long time ago. The last person to crudely replicate the stuff has been dead for over five hundred years. Only fifteen ounces are known to exist and here’s three of it. Some ruling myrmidon on Enos had it in his restaurant. He thought it was some kind of rare and delectable meat sauce.”
Many worlds are off the well traveled space lanes and offer little incentive to visit and fewer chances to leave. Sometimes travellers find themselves stranded in such places, waiting in vain for a way off. That is, if they are even able to earn the extra money to do so and keep from starving too.
The Universal Brotherhood is a quasi-religious group that assists stranded travellers as best as they can with (usually) meager means from donations. They are occasionally found throughout known space at such dead-end places.
They also acquire resources from the voluntary gifts of travellers they’ve assisted in the past who go on to become successful. They are thought to be influential in various places all around Known Space and have an extensive people network of communication. (apologies to E. C. Tubb)