“I don’t CARE if we’re 30 seconds to impact! I’M GETTING MY STUFF!”
People in the Quarter are rather more possessive of their property than in the rest of the Imperium, and more inclined to turn to extreme violence when some alien off-worlder tries to separate them from what is rightfully theirs.
YES, they know that it’ a life or death matter.
NO, they do not care.
In this sector, it is widely known that certain things are a good deal more important than your life: the needs of the Tribe first and foremost, but also the refusal to be bullied or pushed around, the need to protect your pride and reputation and property, the punishment of any humiliation, etc.
Showing weakness in this matter is an invitation to contempt from the other tribes; endless harassment, theft, and murder; even the slavery and death of the entire tribe: everything you hold dear, and everything you love.
And that ain’t going to happen, if the locals have anything to say about it.
Naturally then, bleatings about rules and safety regulations by some corporate drone/outsider/infidel/alien will be widely ignored at best, and get a sharp knife between the ribs at worst.
Passengers with Pistols
The fact that Starport Security claims that the passengers are unarmed is different than the passengers actually being unarmed. (See: bribes, personal relationships, kinship ties.)
In the Empty Quarter, quite a number of the starship captains and small-scale liners only accept fellow tribesmen as passengers: “human only”; “Muslims only”; “Vilani-culture only”, “Vargr-pack only”, etc. People you can trust can, of course, be trusted to carry their own weapons onboard. This means extra hands when it comes to repelling boarders.
(Or, in the case of the Vargr shippers, paying a fine to Vargr pirates instead of having crew, passengers and cargo stolen. Some of the more entrepreneurial Vargr corporations from Ikon are experimenting with “prepaid shipping licenses” within Imperial space: initial results are quite good, and there are rumours that a pilot program may even be rolled out to humans – for an additional fee, naturally)
On the other hand, letting the Faithful board Infidel starships can have explosive repercussions.
Or having humans board alien ships.
Or having the Vargr
board human ships board or hijack any vulnerable Target of Opportunity, regardless of race or species.
“Well, someone has to thin the flock. Any predator can tell you that Nature needs to get rid of the weaklings and clear out the bad blood, in the savannah, the forest, or the cold of space,” said the smiling, toothy Vargr. “And since the Imperial Navy is busy elsewhere, certain old scores can also get settled at the same time!”
<Flicks his tail at the PCs.>
(The Bwap shippers implicitly trust the rules: but they are not idiots. Their aggressive nitpicking about compliance tends to weed out the hostile Solomani, while letting the Bwap and the obey-the-bureaucracy Vilani allies come on board.
“Of course we never discriminate! All the records show that we uphold every last subsection of Imperial Law, to the letter! It isn’t our fault that only we Bwap and the Vilani meet the requirements demanded by the Emperor…”)
Yes, people here definitely have a fondness for money, and since they are quite lean and hungry (sometimes literally!), there is always the temptation to let the money blind you to the dangers of untrustworthy strangers.
But the wise always know, Tribe Comes First.
How are the PCs supposed to make a credit of profit here?
Don’t look at me for the answer: the Six Subsectors are designed to be something along the lines of a worst-case scenario for PC merchants, used to fair dealings as a rule, and above-board competition that is all about the Credits, and not about the Tribe.
You’d be surprised how many outsider were left dead in the street, with a money card or a fistful of high-denomination bills left in their fist. As if that would protect them in this sector…