Reports from the remote fringes of the Apocalypse Rim indicate the sudden appearance of a long-lost scientific research space station – the ISS Copernicus. The Copernicus orbited a star thousands of light years distant from the Apocalypse Rim, along the receding borders of the Old Empire. Little is known of the station’s scientific operations, but one day it suddenly broadcast an Omega code and then just vanished.
Scavengers have been quick to board and explore the Copernicus. Reports indicate a trove of valuable salvage, much of which could not have possibly originated on the station. There are clear indications that the station has been hopping around the universe, possibly even to other dimensions or planes of existence.
A few scavengers even claim the internal layout of the station is, well, impossible. Some levels are bigger on the inside, if that can be believed. Apparently, other levels have been physically altered somehow, with at least one wild-eye account of a level comprised of a living, biological hull.
Some salvage teams have also reported the existence of survivors, most of them hostile. Most are impossibly native to the station; it appears that in its haphazard journey across creation, the Copernicus has picked up a few stragglers and stowaways.
These “survivors” are the primary factor behind the extraordinarily high death rates on the station. It is by now well known that casualty rates aboard the Copernicus are 250% higher than standard salvage operations. Despite the danger, the rumors of the vast treasure hoard stowed aboard the station continue attract adventurers from all across the Rim.
Recognizing a business opportunity when they see one, the Rim Syndicate towed an old space barge to close proximity with the decrepit station. They’ve converted the barge into a base of operations, providing vital logistics for salvage teams, and taking first crack at the alien treasures they recover. The Syndicate has christened the barge Opportunity.