Galaxy In Flames

So close...

Always one step behind Rossi … If only they had asked me, my predictive algorithm has predicted all this to 0.001% precision so far. Nah, who cares what the crazy droid thinks…

We take off with the Silver Bucket . We reach Ganath City without trouble in spite of the damage to the ship that occurred during Mako ‘s and Asher ’s kidnapping. There, we are “welcome” by the Magistrate and a platoon of steam soldiers. Poncho lands us without trouble. We need to repair the Bucket quickly, before *Mako*’s radio signal is lost. I assess the damage, it will take me and Poncho about eight hours to fix it if we have the materials. The Magistrate arranges a supply of raw materials to that effect.

Poncho and I stay in the ship to work on it, while the others exit the ship to talk to the Magistrate . First we have to find a way to dispose of the bioweapon. The Magistrate looks like he’s in a bad mood. He’s asking where the monstrous creatures are, as he is worried they are a danger to his planet. He offers to take the crate and incinerate it. Several steam-warriors help carry the crate to the incinerator. My friends go with them to witness the destruction. For safety, L’hrequ sets a code on the crate. They haul the box through several hallways, many stairs, and end up their city trek in a refuse disposal facility. They dispose of the content in an impressive furnace, nothing escapes. My friends sigh in relief (I would if I could). Question is, was this the only crate or not?

Since Poncho and I are busy with the Bucket, I contact the others to ask them to resupply us with stim packs, emergency repair patches, frag grenades and a thermal detonator. They head to the foreign quarter to find this stuff. They first stop is by the local healer, a “doctor” with unorthodox methods and high prices. I can’t believe they would rather use a quack rather than my services… L’hrequ has to stay still for several hours while the poultice dries. They are also able to buy a few stim packs from the healer. The others keep looking for the rest of the gear: they find a few frag grenades, but no thermal detonator. Finally, they find several emergency repair patches for me. They then circle back to the healer to pick L’hrequ up. He is now fully healed, but 500 credits lighter as well: charlatan! They head back to the ship. I finish fixing the ship while the other sleep and recover from last battle’s stress.

Once everyone wakes up, I perform surgery on Poncho to remove his lingering wounds, and I repair myself. We are now ready to go. We take off gracefully and escape the planet’s atmosphere in a few minutes. L’hrequ and I work on following the radio signal, and zero in on the direction almost instantly thanks to beautiful our brains (all three of them) and arithmetic coprocessors. I plot the astrogation course, and we punch it! The FTL trip should take 48 hours, we just rest during that time and get ready. A few minutes before our ETA, the Silver Bucket is brutally forced out of Hyperspace! Some of us are thrown across their room when the ship lurches from ludicrous speed to nothing. I remain unphased by the event, secured to the floor by my magboots. Several other team members have a few bumps and scratches; I hear Pand’Ora hiss over the PA system.

We run to the cockpit: several imperial ships were waiting for us in ambush: a carrier with hundreds of Tie Fighters, a Star Destroyer prototype called an Interdictor (the ship can generate a planetary shadow, which caused us to exit hyperspace), as well as two raiders. Worse yet, our FTL drive is offline! Other than that, our ship is fine… L’hrequ runs to the ship computer. Poncho runs to the cockpit to take control, Winter goes for the firing solution console. I run to the other ventral, Pand’Ora is already in the dorsal turret. We are hailed, the Galactic Empire summons us to surrender and be boarded. we see that the carrier launches six Tie-Fighters.

We decide to run! The Silver Bucket turns 180 degrees and speeds up as much as possible. We suddenly feel the effect of a very powerful tractor beam pulling us toward the capital ships, hindering our escape! Poncho nevertheless tries to speed up, L’hrequ tries to boost our aft shields. I try boosting the ship’s sublight engines but fails short. Winter tries to trace the source of the radio signal within the Imperial fleet but fails to pinpoint it. *Poncho*’s efforts to speed up are countered by the tractor beam. The Tie-Fighters get into close range and shoot us. We take a couple hits. Winter motivates the gunners with her leadership skills. I hit a Fighter and blow it to smithereens! Pand’Ora follows suit and destroys another fighter! The Fighters make another pass, swirling around us and hitting us twice more! Another three fighters are launched by the carrier behind us! I destroy a third T-Fighters as it flies by the Bucket. Poncho executes evasive maneuvers to escape the Fighters. The upgrades we performed on the Silver Bucket while we stayed on the ISO-1 are finally paying off!

Suddenly, as it seems we are unable to lose our tail, a ship of unknown origin jumps out of Hyperspace, right in front us! A familiar voice sounds over the speakers: It’s Empatojayos Brand ‘s flagship (a well-kept secret from his steam age people I’m sure). Brand orders the Imperial ships to leave. The imperials scorn him, explaining they do not recognize his authority, and that he is too outnumbered to be in a position to give any order. Empatojayos Brand says: “Alone, I think not,” and a full fleet of ships appear out of nowhere beside and behind his ship. Another voice over the comm: Admiral Waroon Dak, of the Correlian Alliance tells the Imperials to go F.. themselves (at least, that’s the gest of it). Next, Remo and his massive ISO-1 appear. Last, it’s our old friend Brak who appears out of FTL in a tiny ship. The Imperial Tie Fighters turn around, tail between their legs! A massive space battle ensues! X-Fighters and A-Wings launch from the largest ally ship and join the fray. Admiral Dak barks orders over the radio, dispatching orders to the various ships. More Tie Fighters launch, this is about to be a huge battle!

I climb on the ship’s outer hull to weld several plates. My ship is in shambles, it’s now holding together with only duct tape and self-loathing. L’hrequ works on the computer system to pinpoint the source of the radio signal. Of course, it comes from the Interdictor , and Poncho flys the Bucket evasively (and casually) toward the capital ship so that we can board it. Our small size is an advantage when so many capital ships are duking it out. Pand’Ora shoots X-Fighter out of space as we fly toward the Interdictor . L’hrequ tries to lower the Interdictor ‘s shield to ease our entrance. Ships are flying in all directions around us, but we notice the Tie-Fighters are somehow avoiding us! We keep shooting Tie-Fighters on our way. We finally reach the Interdictor ’s landing bay. Poncho flies expertly through the docking force field and lands between several containers. I try to locate Rossi ’s ship but can’t find it.

I open the Bucket’s ramp, we exit the ship together. We notice that there are a lot of storage containers in this bay, but no ship. A single protocol droid approaches us from a hundred yard, waiving a white surrender flag! Poncho goes to meet him, claiming that “he is already dead.”
The droid named C4-P3 explains we have two choices:

- Door 1: Rossi , ready to take off on his ship with his bioweapon.
- Door 2: Asher/Mako’s prison. They will be executed soon if we don’t intervene.

Our Jedi explains he has to go through yet another door. When we jumped out of Hyperspace, he felt a presence that needs to be delt with…

We have no choice but to split the group:

- Pand’ and Poncho choose door 1 and head along a corridor heading toward more landing bays. All the doors they pass by are disabled, there is only one way to go. They reach a large bulkhead, which opens when they press the button. It opens on another hangar bay, hosting a familiar freighter: Rossi’s YT-2300. Six Rodians are loading containers, and Rossi is overseeing the preparations for takeoff. Pand’ also sees movement in the cockpit. She sneaks closer, while Poncho powers his scooter. The Rodians are oblivious to the predator’s approach, but Rossi smells Pand’Ora s scent and get ready to act. Without missing a beat, Pand’ shoots her husband and hits him viciously. He tumbles out of sight behind a container. Poncho zips between the crates on his scooter and flies into the ship! There, he flies by a Rodian and reaches the cockpit. He opens its door: two Rodians are preparing for takeoff.

Outside, the Rodians take arms and start shooting. They hit Pand’ twice. She returns fire and cuts a Rodian in half. Inside the ship, Poncho tries to bluff the Rodians, pretending to be the relief pilot. One of them believes him, the other calls his bluff and tries to shoot the Toydarian. Poncho tries to convience the older Rodian first, but then takes his plasma cutter out and sabotages the cockpit’s main console beyond repair.

Outside, several Rodians keep shooting. Poncho escapes from the cockpit and the ship on his scooter. Pand heals herself with a Stim Patch then kills another Rodian. Suddenly, she spots that a Rodian is being ambushed and killed by Rossi himself! Pand’ vaporizes yet another Rodian with her heavy blaster. The last Rodian left shoots her and grazes her, before being pulled by very muscular arms behind a crate, out of sight. More Rodian screaming can then be heard, then nothing. Pand’ closes in on the Rodian’s last position, carefully. A dead Rodian, gored by claws, lays dead near Rossi , who is also heavily wounded and breaths with difficulty. He grins. Pand considers the situation for a few seconds. Her revenge is finally at end, she can restore her honor, but Rossi obviously still cares for her. He says: “quickly go, destroy the weapon. Send it into the nearest sun.”

- Door 2: Winter and I head along a long corridor with disabled doors. There are a few twists and turns, then we reach a bulkhead. It opens on a long room, with two cages holding Mako and Winter ‘s brother at the very end. They are strapped and gagged inside their cells. It’s very quiet, too quiet… Winter scans the room for a trap. She spots several holes on the ceiling, six of them. I do not see anything and start running into the room. I reach one of the cages. I cannot find any trap so I try unlocking the cage. It’s too hard, so I pull my thermal cutter out and try cutting the bars. Winter joins me. The bulkhead shuts behind her. The floor lurches violently. We hear the voice of “Dirtbag Nolan” who gloats about having trapped Winter again…

- L’hrequ moves alone along a corridor and reaches a room without visible floor, ceiling or walls. Space is visible all around, it’s an observation room. The space battle rages outside. A bulky cloaked figure is watching the battle. Boring pompous Sith speech follows… the cloaked figure turns around: it is the infamous General Grevious ! He holds two lightsabers, one of them belongs to Slivok, L’hrequ ’s former master! Somehow, the evil cyborg was brought back to life after meeting his demise with Obi-Wan Kenobi… As Grevious approcaches, L’hrequ feels that now Grevious is much more than he used to be: he is filled with the energy of the Dark Side of the Force…

END CREDITS

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Poncho's Logs 1.6
Mission: Survive a Base Assault

…Initializing …

Password: * * * * *

…Processing…

… Scanning Fingerprint…

… Identity Confirmed…

Welcome Poncho :)

Creating New File: The “Secret” “Secret” Base…

→ Report: Day 8 | ~1200 Hours – ?

Bantha Poodoo, I feel like I ate ten bricks and my wings were clipped. Ugh, I’m pretty sure I’m dead. Ooph, yup, definitely dead. Worst part is, it must be true what they say, Ganath is Toydarian hell…and I woke up here. Mo tells me I’m fine, clearly he is just trying to assuage my doomed soul. Not sure how helpful this is gonna be for your “research,” but here it is.

So I thought Mako was going to go with us, but it was deemed the wrong move by everyone else, and she didn’t really want to go anyways, so she went back to the Silver Bucket to hang out with Asher. Wish I did too, to be completely honest, at least I could have done something from there. Anyways, so we venture past the holographic field and see the base spread out before us to the North-West, and for a super secret base, this one was quite tame. The whole thing seem like it was ready to be ditched quickly, well except the large holoprojectors. Looking about, we couldn’t get a good read of the base’s numbers, but there were definitely some people wandering around. Though I seem to recall Mako telling us that only a “few” trusted individuals were allowed to occupy this base, so there probably aren’t many (that was a mistake). Place at one end of the base was a large glowing generator-like device that was visited pretty frequently. Seems odd that they would use a shoddy generator for such a “secret base.” Wonder why they keep checking it? However, it is the only one that is easily seen (unless they had smaller ones in their makeshift buildings), so it could be a good target to knock out…I guess. I’m not much of a tactician…or warrior…or…well anything useful for attacking a base.

Everyone else tries to decide on a plan of action, I mostly sit there in a slight panic, overwhelmed with the idea that I’m now expected to help conquer a base, not really in my chauffeuring manual. Winter brought up that we could do things the old fashioned way, sneak in and try to minimize the threat before it pours upon us, but Mo suggested that we should watch the base and monitor its movements before taking action. So we sat an watched for a good hour, I’ll include my footage from my Scooter Cam, but its pretty boring. Most guard movements happen in pairs, but every once in a while a loner would move about. The majority of the movement seemed to be going from place to place, and a lot of examining the generator thing. All seemed to be wearing that Mandolorian armor, or whatever it’s called and are significantly armed. The large AT-AT at the Northern end of the base seemed to garner a lot of activity, with what appears to be a ladder of some sort being lowered for a guard to climb up or down with a large box. However, once the man makes his delivery and leaves, the rope ladder is raised up again. No one else can be seen leaving the AT-AT. At one point during our hour of vigilance, quite the character comes out of one of the buildings and addresses squads of his Mandolorian guards. Using quite the animation this figure points around the base at the AT-AT and at the Generator-thingy, and even makes threatening gestures of some-kind, I’m told he was using a claw? No idea how they see that well, but it seems that was Rossi being demanding and grumpy before he re-entered his make-shift housing structure.

L’hrequ asked if we could place some charges on the generator-like object, but apparently we didn’t have the explosives for it, I for some reason thought Mo had some, don’t know why. Larry, then moved on and asked if we could possibly disable the AT-AT. We discuss options, I knew I could climb it, and perhaps get in with my fusion cutter, but I’m useless if guards find me, so if anyone was on-board, I’d be sunk. No one really jumped on that idea, of which I’m pretty grateful, I was positive that I’d run into trouble, of course its not like I was able to avoid it later either. L’hrequ then focused on perhaps just taking out one of its legs, in fact, he even seemed to calculate (or at least present it as if he had calculated) which leg was key to toppling the AT-AT (and thus, if removed, would topple the whole thing). But, while we had a fusion cutter and a lasersword, the group didn’t seem too convinced that that was the correct course of action either. Guess everyone was a bit nervous like me.

Things didn’t seemed to be progressing too quickly, but Winter came up with the idea to utilize the comm built into her Mandalorian armor she had taken earlier to connect with the camp’s comm channel. And, with Mo’s help, they were able to find it and observe. We, or she so to speak, listened for twenty more minutes, but it was mostly filled with people using codenames and doing check-ins. So, nothing too special, until she picked up a transmission that went something like, “This is repair team Alpha Red, we need two pressure Couplers at the AT-AT stat!” And a following message, “We’ll have them there shortly.” before once again going silent. The group seemed confident that they could intercept the delivery, with the help of Winter’s armored disguise, and use it as a means to sneaking onto the AT-AT. However, Winter wasn’t done with the Comm just yet and with Mo’s handy computer work, she seemed to open comms with some guards scattered about the base and spread some demeaning doubts about Rossi’s leadership. Based on her reaction, it sounded like it worked, not sure what it would do, but it couldn’t hurt I suppose,

After Winter had spread some Bad Press through the camp, we all progressed along the canyon to reach the North-Eastern side of the camp. I took my scooter, so it was smooth sailing for me, but the others headed out on foot, hiding their speeder before following. There wasn’t too much to this section of the base, just some boulders from the canyon, the Turret on its scaffolding, and the AT-AT loomed before us. With confidence, Winter snuck towards the AT-AT and Pand’Ora followed briefly after her, with L’hrequ, Mo, and I taking the rear. It seemed to be going well, until the turret spun quickly to face Winter’s direction, we all held our breath, but shortly after, it went back to its usual surveying. With a sigh of relief, Winter moved forward, just in time to meet up with a guard that seemed to be moving towards the AT-AT. The man didn’t seemed fazed by Winter’s existence, and she approached as Pand’Ora snuck ever closer unnoticed. Winter asked if the box held the Pressure Couplers, and how many there were. When told there were only two, Winter explained that they now needed three as Rossi is being almost crazy about it. Seemingly convinced, the guard was flabbergasted at the demand, and even mentioned that he didn’t think there was a third Pressure Coupler in the base! Winter easily twisted it, and told him that he should go try to find it immediately while she finished the delivery on these first two. The guard, convinced, mentioned that he told everyone that this AT-AT wasn’t worth it, before handing Winter the heavy box of couplers and heading back into one of the nearby structures. Couplers in hand, Winter called up to those in the AT-AT and they lowered the rope ladder down for her. They seemed shocked that she wasn’t he one that they had called for to make the delivery, but Winter was able to assuage their worries by telling them that she had sent him ahead to find a third in case these parts turn out to be faulty. The seemed more than convinced, in fact they were more dissapointed that they missed their chance to ask the guard to bring an extra hydrospanner with him. Winter seemed to struggle with climbing the ladder and carrying the box as she progressed up the ladder at a slow pace. It bought time for Pand’Ora and L’hrequ to creep closer (with Mo and I staying behind, Mo surveying the scene and myself mostly trying not the be the liability I knew I’d be). Winter’s slow climbing did irk the guard inside (And probably the other guard too as Winter saw the shadow of at least one other inside [Glad I wasn’t sent in then, dodged a bullet there]) and he yelled at Winter to speed it up! When Winter inquired what the hurry was about, the guard “reminded” her of the speech that Rossi had given earlier where he told everyone they’d need to move faster or be punished. Winter didn’t move faster…well as far as I could tell. However, L’hrequ spun around and started up the ladder as well. The guard at the top seemed blissfully unaware of his presence on the ladder…must be one of those Jedi Mind-Tricks my mother used to tell me about. Of course we Toydarian’s are much to smart to fall for such nonsense, but the guard seemed totally taken by L’hrequ’s hand wave, or mental nod, or whatever Jedi’s do to make people act dumb.

Once Winter reached the top, the guard finally helped her out, first by taking the box and making sure its contents were actually pressure couplers. Then, once the box was approved, reaching down and lifting Winter up into the AT-AT. With this assistance, Winter entered what I’m described as a crew compartment of sorts with chairs dor around twenty-ish people, plenty of weapon racks, and other such army things. However, this room currently was mostly empty besides Winter and the other two guards. One side of this Crew’s compartment was a doorway that, presumably, lead towards the cockpit of the vehicle, and the other side probably to engineering or something. As one guard continued riffling through the box of couplers, the main one belittled Winter on her slow ascent, mentioning that Rossi wants the AT-AT operational as soon as possible. Winter questioned if getting the AT-AT ready quickly was even a possibility, and was told that it was and Rossi wanted it done Yesterday! The guard also told Winter that they needed the AT-AT ready to go before they drop off the you-know-whats (presumably the aptly named Xenos).

Once the box sorting guard finishes his spelunking, he carries the box over to the door opposite of the cockpit and opens it up revealing two more guards, minus helmets, that seemed to be sweating from the heat of the engine (so I suppose the whole thing was on?). Transferring over one part, the men inside begin the work of installing the coupler with the rest of the system as the box guard fetched the second one and brought it over as well. At this time, L’hrequ climbs into the AT-AT silently, the main guard seemingly ignoring L’hrequ’s existence, and the box guard not even noticing as he had his back turned to the porthole. L’hrequ tapped on the box guard shoulder and was told to wait just a moment, to which L’hrequ agreed. The box guard, having handed over the second part turned around to face L’hrequ, who said hello there as he drew is lasersword. Guess things were about to get messy….not what I wanted at all. Now, I’m mostly running on what I’ve been told and a few things from my SugarScoot Camera…so some of this may be…incorrect? Doing my best:

So L’hrequ starts things off with a pleasant hello there, but then uses his magic powers to toss a the box guard into the room with the two sweaty guards, in fact he slams the man into one of the sweaty guards and they both hits their heads! Then, L’hrequ closes the engineering door on them. The main guard, finally decided to notice L’hrequ hits the jedi with a nasty blast from his blaster and it hits viciously, giving L’hrequ a fearsome wound. Pand’Ora, hearing the excitement begins her ascent up the ladder as Winter calls out that there is an intruder in the AT-AT and that they should send back-up as she aims and shoots at the main guard! She lands a good blow, but her nerves seemed to get to her a little bit as things were seemingly going smoothly so far. Hoping to do something useful, and not entirely sure what to do, I debated flying to the ship to maybe hijack it, but assuming that there would be guards within I decided to merely take out the nearest turret. With my SugarScoot’s help I was able to get below it where it couldn’t hit me and begin cutting down its scaffolding in an attempt to make it all fall down. Unfortunately for L’hrequ, the door to the engineering bay wasn’t locked, just closed and the engineers opened it and lands a energy blast into L’hrequ’s shoulder. Mo stayed ever focused and took aim towards the buildings, expecting reinforcements to come running.

L’hrequ closed the door on the Engineers and the box guard again, only this time uses his lasersword to destroy the door’s console leaving it sealed. L’hrequ then told us all on our comms that we could head into the AT-AT now, as the battle had begun. The main guard angry at Winter’s supposed betrayal attempted to blast her with his rifle, but missed and sparks from the attack sprayed into his armor’s visor. Leaving him shocked to see Pand’Ora, having just climbed in, clawing at him from where the sparks once were. Pand’Ora lands a sharp blow and pushes the Guard into a better position for Winter to take a shot, but Winter’s attack was a bit short out of fear of hitting Pand’Ora instead. I managed to take out a second leg and push the turret down before moving behind the boulder that was near Mo. The Engineers in the AT-AT realized they couldn’t open the door and in a few moments Pand’Ora, L’hrequ, and Winter saw sparks begin to spray from the now sealed engineering door as it appeared the engineers were attempting to cut through the door. Mo moved next to me behind my hiding boulder, laid on the ground and continued to take aim.

L’hrequ draws and stabs a stimpack into himself, having taken several nasty attacks. The Bacta instantly begins easing his wounds. With a wave of relief, L’hrequ swung his lightsaber at the main guard. At this point five guards began to funnel out of the make-shift buildings and marching towards the AT-AT to stop the intruders. At Mo’s spurring I bypassed by own worries and headed towards the generator hoping that most of the guards were already heading to the AT-AT. However, it seems Mako was undercutting the number of people that would be in this base, as not only were guards swarming the AT-AT, but there were even more just standing guard over the generator. With no explosives to drop, I had to come up with a plan fast, and well….not my strongest suit. I flew past the base on my scooter to the turret at the Southwest part of the base and started to take it down, figuring that it would take them time to get to me. Mo’s massive rifle knocks out one of the guards heading for the AT-AT with one blast. The engineers continue trying to cut their way out of the door. Pand’Ora tries to open the door that would lead into the AT-AT’s cockpit, but it seems to be locked, so with some time to breathe before the troops arrive at the AT-AT and the door getting open, Pand’Ora picks up the carbine from the Main guard and his frag grenades. Winter checked in to make sure everyone was doing ok.

L’hrequ moved over to the locked door in the AT-AT and began to cut through it, demanding that those behind the door drop their weapons and surrender. Two guards cut off from their path to the AT-AT and headed towards Mo, both blasting their rifles at him along their way. One of them missed, but the second hit slamming Mo a bit deeper into the dirt. Mo took a reprisal shot at the guard that hit him and sent a message of confidence to his allies, particularly to Pand’Ora reflecting on these guard’s inferior blaster work. At this time, three more guards exit the building nearest to me and all begin shooting at me, one missed, but it didn’t take anymore than the other two to send me spiraling towards the ground and darkness. From what I could see from the camera on the scooter, I hit my head quite horribly too. That explains this lump on my head. Pand’Ora took aim at the engineering bay door, awaiting the engineers to break free. Winter attempted to use the comms to confuse the troops and mislead them to send guards against non-existent group coming from the Southwest.

Pand’Ora, seeing the engineers taking their good sweet time getting out of their make-shift prison, switched goals and began blasting at the guards at the foot of the AT-AT that were trying to climb up the rope ladder. With a single shot, Pand’Ora easily took out one of the guards with a critical blow. The other guard that was trying to chase Mo shot at him again, but despite channeling his own inner Mo, in laying on the ground, he still missed. At the same time another guard climbed into the AT-AT and prepared for combat against Pand’Ora. Winter took aim at this new target and landed a vicious blow that sent the guard’s gun plummeting down the porthole to the ground below. I received mixed answers as to that particular event. L’hrequ said that he was the cause of the weapon falling down, but Pand’Ora and Winter are confident that it was Winter’s excellent aim. I guess you decide, my head hurts too much to worry about it. Mo easily stunned the guard that was attacking him, before standing and heading Southwards to come and rescue me. L’hrequ finished cutting through the door latch, and opened it. Inside was yet another smaller door leading to the actual cockpit as well as a crate that was strapped down off to the side. L’hrequ told everyone that he found the bugs.

Winter takes another shot at the guard that she just disarmed earlier and lands another vicious blow and giving the guard a horrific injury to his his arms. The guard, in response drops a grenade at Pand’Ora’s feet and tries to dive out the hole to catch the rope ladder. However, his horrific injury leaves him too weak to catch himself and he plummets to his death as the bomb goes up, engulfing Pand’Ora and Winter in its flames. Mo continues his trek towards me, and stops when he sees me being dragged away towards the generator. And they were doing by my wings too, what monsters. All the while insulting the catch….as if three against one and I’m not even a warrior. It is insulting, but to them. My poor tummy… Another guard goes to the base of the AT-AT, which was easily seen as a mistake as Pand’Ora aims her gun downwards and with one shot takes him out. L’hrequ begins cutting into the bulkhead to the cockpit as the Engineers finally cut through their door problem, one of them even taking a shot, but misses as he fires too early.

L’hrequ then cuts through the bulkhead and kicks open the door. Inside were two more mandolorian guards waiting, so L’hrequ slid to the side of the door for cover. The guards try to blast L’hrequ, but they seem overly cautious in their shooting to avoid hitting the crate that was near L’hrequ’s position and so miss. Pand’Ora hurls the grenade she pilfered from the first guard’s belt into the group of Engineers and the explosion took out two of them, leaving only one standing. Winter tried to take out the last engineer, but the smoke caused her to miss her mark. Mo told me he used three grenades and jury-rigged them onto a droid of his named To-To and set it up so the droid could pull the pins. Then Mo sent To-To off to climb the generator-like thing and pull them to arm the frags. The gaurds seemed oblivious to this, instead kept talking about taking me out, comparing it to killing a kid, these guys really are dirt. However, soon the seen was filled with fire as To-To’s exploded amongst the three frags, setting off a chain reaction that caused the Generator to overheat and explode as well, engulfing the entire area in flames. Shrapnel and heat overtook the guards carrying me, as well as me too. Clearly, I am dead…I have it on camera….son of a Kath Hound….I should be dead. And….I thought we didn’t have explosives??? Argh, my head…

The explosion apparently caught the attention of the guards now piloting the AT-ST as it wandered over to the wreckage and began scanning for survivors as well as the one who caused it. Another guard had chased Mo all the way over, and took a shot at him, but missed due to the massive explosion being a pretty great distraction. Pand’Ora dashed over to L’hrequ’s side and blasted one of the pilots in the AT-AT and left him with quite a chip in the shoulder, but he somehow still stood. The Engineer took made an attack at Winter, but encouraged his allies over the comms, telling that they were succeeding at their distraction mission as Rossi was escaping easily thanks to their good works. L’hrequ entered the cockpit and attacked the one that Pand’Ora had left reeling and finished him off. At the same time threatens the other guard and demands his surrender. The guard dropped his weapon. Winter sees another guard trying to climb into the AT-AT, and fires at him, hitting, before closing the hatch to prevent his entry. At this time, the group hears the whine of a large vehicle powering up and the YT-2600 began to take off.

Mo maneuvered behind another boulder to hide from the coming AT-ST and takes a guard at his stalker guard, missed, but was able to catch his breathe with the boulder providing cover for him. The Engineer told Winter that she could surrender, but chose not to shoot and instead await her answer. The stalker guard on Mo took another shot and landed a nasty hit that slowed Mo down. Winter told the engineer that he sucked at surrendering, took aim, and fired knocking the guard to the guard and to death. The guy in the cockpit surrendered to L’hrequ and Pand’Ora and L’hrequ asked him questions about the AT-AT’s uses. At first the guard was hesitant to answer, but at L’hrequ’s threats the guard balked and told him that the AT-AT could run, but not fast. L’hrequ told him make it so, and the guard did as he was commanded. Pand’Ora got into the co-pilot’s seat, kicking L’hrequ out of it, and began to warm up the weapon systems.

L’hrequ keep a close eye and lasersword on the guard to ensure that he was following order, but found the guard’s helmet hard to read so instead watched for attempts at foul play. L’hrequ then asked what the engineers were working on in that back and is told by the guard that they were trying to get the engines to 100% capacity, but regardless of their work being thwarted, the AT-AT could move and began to do so. L’hrequ made a call over the Intercomm and said “This is the AT-AT, please be careful.”
The party discovers that the guard now piloting the AT-AT’s name is Tobias, and he moves the AT-AT into position to blast the AT-ST, which Pand’Ora took advantage of. Using the AT-AT’s guns, Pand’Ora landed a nasty blow into the AT-ST, but it didn’t completely topple over just yet, but was knocked about. Winter immediately took to the captain roll and began directing Fire, inspiring Pand’Ora to even greater feats with the guns. Mo blasted down the stalker guard and pulled out his patching gun to apply an Emergency Repair Patch.

Pand took aim and with a second series of lasers managed to blow up the AT-ST, effectively ending the conflict since the YT-2600 already left the scene. Mo dashed over to my now deflated body and began what appeared to be intensive surgery with his medical pack as well as two stimpacks. And with that jolt of bacta I took a deep gasp for air….or food….maybe both before realizing that I was still on Toydarian hell with singed clothes (luckily they are built for resisting fires), a hungry tummy, vicious headache, and a bunch of scattered about dead and burning men. What a nightmare. I was thankful to Mo’s rescuing of me, but death almost seems better at this point. Catching my breath I helped him gather up the pieces to his little To-To.

L’hrequ commands Tobias to stop the AT-AT and demands the rest of the surviving guards to climb off of the AT-AT and surrender as Mo told them to drop their weapons. Pand’Ora went around collecting the scattered weapons from their owners, who continued to cooperate in their defeat. At this point I addressed my throbbing head while retrieving my SugarScoot which, thankfully, was left in perfect condition. The other, however, proceeded to interrogate the guards. Mo asked where Rossi ran off to, and the guards could only tell him that Rossi was supposed to deliver the weapon, which he didn’t take with him. So the guards could only assume that Rossi went to meet up with his master. Pand’Ora asked who this master was, but the guards told them that they didn’t know as Rossi only ever met the man alone as he didn’t trust the mercenaries. L’hrequ asked why the mandalorians chose to follow Rossi, and they told him that the money was worth it alone, but honor came with the job as well. L’hrequ followed up by asking if their were anymore bases on Ganath and was told that there were only two, and we had already found the other one. Pand’Ora asked if Rossi left the planet, and the guards presumed that he would have.

With the other’s questions satisfied, we…well they began to plan the next course of action. They decided to call the Magistrate to get in contact with the Magistrate who wasn’t happy to hear from us, but was surprised that we found the “secret base.” L’hrequ filled him in on the occurrences oat the base, and was told that troops could arrive that base in around four hours (some military response). L’hrequ told him that the threat had been neutralized and that we had the bio-weapon contained in a box. Mo, during the call, began heading back to the Silver Bucket to check in on Asher and Mako. I just sat on my scooter trying to recover, it was hard because laughing hurt. Rossi left the planet even with Gananth’s satellite system operational. And they thought they could keep us on this planet. Laughable. The magistrate told us that he was prepared to execute the prisoners and wanted to incinerate the bio-weapon’s in the box. L’hrequ told him that executing the prisoners wasn’t the best course of action, but the magistrate merely said that they could discuss it with Brand when we brought the box back. L’hrequ told him, however, that he would keep the box in an undisclosed location.

L’hrequ then asked what we would do with the AT-AT, and they decided that it would be best to disable it permanently since it couldn’t be reasonably taken with us. At this point L’hrequ tells the magistrate to use the satellites to track where Rossi went as we began to head towards the Silver Bucket.

Mo, however, had arrived already and was realizing that something was horribly wrong. The ramp to the ship was decorated with burn marks around the door and some-kind of device was used to cut the hatch of the ship off, leaving it unable to leave the atmosphere. It would be easy to fix, but we needed more tools to do so. Mo calls out to Asher and Mako, but there is no response. Mo contacts us and we rush to meet up with him, and head into the Silver Bucket together. The Silver Bucket’s interior looked like a battle-zone with scorch marks all over the place, ruining several of Winter’s beautification pieces. Looking around, nobody was on board. Inside the cockpit, however, Pand’Ora noticed a computer chip of some sort that wasn’t there before. It was a holographic projector of some kind, and we all gather to watch it. However, the projector seemed to be incomplete and we only received the audio which was of Mako’s voice. It explains that the ship was being surrounded by Mandalorians and that Asher and her didn’t have much more time. Mako tried to get help or get the ship going, but the consoles were all shut-down and inaccessible without hacking of which she didn’t have enough time to do. So instead, Mako said her and Asher locked themselves in the Cockpit to gain just enough time to leave this message to either wish us luck, if they had died, or to provide us with a way of tracking them. Along with the message was a frequency that could, if we acted quickly, track Mako and those that kidnapped her and Asher (who is captured again). We had no time to lose…which was unfortunate, as I’m not in the best shape. I start up the ship, and we speed off towards Ganath for repairs the Silver Bucket’s hatch before hunting down Rossi, as clearly the Ganathians can’t do anything they promise.

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Poncho's Logs 1.5
Mission: Find Rossi's Secret Base

…Initializing …

Password: * * * * *

…Processing…

… Scanning Fingerprint…

… Identity Confirmed…

Welcome Poncho :)

Creating New File: The Infestation…

→ Report: Day 6 – 8 | 1600 – ~700 Hours

So, we are now flying low in this shoddy, reconstituted freighter. We have no weapons to defend ourselves, and while the ship seems to be flying well enough, I doubted it would last in a fire-fight. Our only hope would be to do our best to get to a city fast…and I only knew where one was, and Rossi knows that one too. Hopefully, we can dodge scanners until that point. But, if Rossi really wanted to give chase, I have no doubt we’d be caught.

To make matters worse, VIS was on board with us. As she crawled out of the utility space in the cockpit to give Mo the password for the ships controls. Turns out VIS was some human woman with some augmentative cybernetics installed. Getting something drilled into your head must hurt. I wasn’t happy to see her, not only did she just yank us around and pretending that she was important. Compliment us all she wants, VIS still put Winter in a terrible predicament that we could have easily avoided.

Mo was much more welcoming than I, as I pretty much just ignored her existence. Much more important things, like getting this ship to get where it needs to go quickly! Mo asked for VIS’s name, which is apparently Mako. Mo thanked her for her help, but criticized her for putting Winter in such a predicament. Mako apologized and said she had to make sure that we could handle it. I scoffed at her, she didn’t have to do anything. Mako insisted it was necessary to see if we could escape, which I of course mentioned we already did. Mako seemed to believe that escaping the cells wasn’t at all a big deal and somehow being besieged by beasts in the basement was necessary to see if we could escape the base. We would have gotten out twice as fast without her help. In fact, according to her, she wouldn’t’ have even come with us if we didn’t “prove” ourselves, we could have dodged two bullets. I grumbled to myself as I opened this choppy ship’s panel and began adjusting the wiring in hopes of speeding this garbage heap up.

Mo continued to talk with the unwelcome guest, asking what Mako’s role in Rossi’s gang was. Mako seemed rather willing to divulge, not that I was listening. Something about Mako working to make money and get access to some tech that no one else had and Rossi speaking a good game (as if I believe that). Apparently, the job was easy enough (though the promised tech being Ganathian was a let down as it was so archaic no one is or would want to use it) and the pay was good. First, Mako was instructed to disable the satellites that scan for ships leaving the planet. Through a program of her own design, she made them undergo a continuous detection loop, meaning they just kept taking endless empty scans that they would send back to Ganath city and make them think everything was working fine. Honestly though, just making them send nothing would have done just as well, these people don’t have the tech to repair them quickly.

Anyways, Mako apparently began snooping around her boss’s own resources and discovered things that would probably get her fired, or worse. Rossi is working with some big honcho that has big plans (we all knew that, discovering it like mere seconds in, but what a great find). However, the real news was that this “Bigger Boss” had plans to use some sort of engineered bioweapon to attack planets with (the same creature that implanted its child in Winter). The weapon is designed to inject these eggs that gestate very quickly, and the hatching kills the host and then several new creature burrow back out of the host and then grow quickly into monsters that continue the baby booming. Mako said she watched a video of these creatures being unleashed on a group of humans somewhere destroying them all. Rossi and his gang then hunted them down. I guess the monsters are like a amalgam of a bunch of different creatures and designed to be tougher than any normal beast. However, Mako seemed very excited about discovering what she called a “weak-spot”. Mako told us that the monster’s (ingeniously named Xeno’s by Rossi) quick growth also gave it a hyper metabolism and the need to eat almost all the time (As If it could eat as much as me), without an immediate source of food they began to quickly starve to death (sometimes taking only hours or a few days). Apparently, they will even eat their own kind (what organized soldiers). The theory is that the monsters will be dropped onto a planet eat and breed their way through the populace of the planet until very little is left and die themselves. Then, the planet would be ripe for the occupation of…someone else. I’m not a very smart Toydarian, but that sounds…pointless? Aren’t resources one of the many reasons for a planet? Take those away and why would you want it. Pand mentioned buildings and the like would still be up, but I doubt that would be the case, I’m sure someone somewhere would make some call involving collateral damage of some sort. But, I wasn’t really listening, the engine needed some work.

Mako then said that Rossi had a “super secret” base that only a few trusted individuals would occupy. And, according to Mako, that is probably where Rossi went with that last base compromised. Lucky for us (ya..y….) Mako had a plan to find this base, we just had to get her access to the master controls of the satellite system in Ganath city. Mako said she had to access all the satellites at one time, and since the satellites are so old and crummy she couldn’t do it from any console. Then she started telling us how she can’t use blasters and the like. So…what does she bring to this?

Mo investigated what they were called (and Mako informed us that Rossi called them Xeno’s). However, Mako had no idea what Rossi’s goals were and assumed they may be at the “super secret” base. Mako also said that something on this planet (Ganath), a plant or something, was important to the creation of the creatures. Apparently, the radiation has weird effects on the flora and fauna on this place, and Mako did hear Rossi say that this place was special (that’s one word for it). Mo asked if Rossi and “Bigger Boss” planned on using these “Xeno’s” on Ganath as a test run to hide the evidence , and Mako said she didn’t know, but that it was possible. Apparently, the guy that Rossi works with plans on setting an example, and perhaps this planet could be it (yeah, destroy a planet most people think doesn’t exist, what an example). Mako then offered her help saying she owed us (since we got her out of the base, yay), and perhaps we could get to the “super secret” base and make Rossi talk. Mako was pretty negative about Winter’s chances, but I just informed her that should Winter die, the monster could eat her (Mako) and then we’d take care of it, since it was Mako’s fault we were in this position.

We decide that our best chance of saving Winter is biting the bullet and heading back to Ganath city, Rossi will know, but Winter is more important. I’ll run anyone over should they try to stop us. Fortunately, I was able to kick this rusty old ship into high gear and get us moving much faster than could be expected. Guess I finally did my job in this group, its too bad its for such terrible circumstances. With my boost in speed it only takes us three hours instead of six until we see the outskirts of the city. It would have been a pretty ride had I not been so worried about Winter, part of me felt Mo should just do his best to get that thing out, but everyone seemed so sure that a surgeon was needed. The planet below was clear of cities and instead large rivers, vast forests, and open plains.

With the city looming before us [in the late afternoon] (we approached from the South just as we left it), I stayed low, to avoid Ganathian patrols, flying through the city and then landing as close to the “Doctor’s Office” as I could (per our group’s plan). The populace seemed excited at the ship coming unexpectedly, and many gathered. Pand’Ora kept the grubby hands away as Mo, L’hrequ, and Asher carried Winter into the medical center (Mako followed, hopefully overwhelmed with guilt). With the payload delivered, and Pand’Ora keeping the hordes off, we wished Winter and the others the best and took the ship out of the city and landed it in the out-laying land roughly a twenty minute hike from the out-skirts of the city. We landed in a slight canyon near a pleasant lake that Pand’Ora mentioned would be a good hiding place, quite picturesque if I wasn’t envisioning a slimy alien popping out of Winter’s belly and eating everyone. Pand’Ora seemed equally worried, pacing around and flicking her tail. Eventually, we decided it was in our best interest to calm down and try to relax. With her help we built fishing poles and sat at the riverside talking. It was nice to have company to help with my worries, and I was curious if the fish here were edible. I also learned some things about Pand’Ora too. Apparently, she knows over 150 ways to kill Rossi utilizing just a stick. Fascinating, well…as long as I’m not at the end of that stick.

It was two hours until we heard back from everyone else….we waited with baited breathe for the results. Winter had endured through the surgery and the monster baby was smashed. However, Winter still needed two more hours of rest in the hospital to recover. We were also told that we had only barely made it in time. Apparently, the egg had burrowed faster than it was supposed to and had just reached Winter’s heart when surgery was started. Close call, guess it was a good thing that ship managed to go faster. Also, the bug that was inside Winter apparently was still alive when it was extracted… gross. Winter’s operation costed 1,250 credits (some of which was cheaper since Mo helped in the operation). Pand’Ora and I waited with the ship for and hour and forty minutes and then decided to leave the ship in its hiding place and hoof it back to the city. I told Pand’Ora I was never worried, I merely was chewing my nails because I was hungry (oh and the fish were edible…wait…).

We manage to reconvene with the rest of the group as night fell upon the city. Winter was sitting in a repulsor-chair being pushed by Asher…I was tempted to give her a big hug, but I imagined after her surgery that may not be the best idea. It seemed that the party wanted to stay in the city for the night. I recalled the fancy hotel deeper in the Foreign Quarter and so we headed that way (we couldn’t’ reasonably stay at the Stranded Cantina given our current Rossi escapade). Speaking of Rossi, as we were walking through town Pand’Ora again pointed out that spying Kubaz (or at least one that looked like it). L’hrequ seemed determined to catch him so I followed his example, the others, however, deemed it a lost cause and proceeded to the hotel. L’hrequ and I, now there is a weird strain of words, dashed for the Kubaz that lead us to another alley, this one breaking into a T. With the Kubaz nowhere in sight, L’hrequ went down the path leading to our right and I went down the left path. However, neither of us discovered our target. Guess Rossi (or at least his gang) knows we are here.

The hotel charged us five credits for the night, and I was more than willing to pay an additional five credits for night-long food service. Yummy! We all kind of split into our own rooms, guess despite this groups adventuring together they weren’t too interested in sharing a room. L’hrequ asked if he could share mine, and I barely could hold back my laughter, why would he want to share with me besides save his own money. However, it continued to be weird, he started asking me about my food and even ate some of the worms too. Most don’t like worms…and I don’t think L’hrequ really did. But it felt like he was…trying to be nice to me. Weird. Besides that strangeness, the night was uneventful. Guess Rossi’s gang didn’t feel an urge to stop us, or they knew they couldn’t. I’ll take either. I tipped the room server ten credits (twice the cost of the service) for doing a bang-up job constantly bringing food to my room before I regrouped with everyone else.

The next plan of action was to get another meeting with my favorite person, Emperor Brand. Mako decided to join us, makes sense since she was the one that said she needed access to the satellite hub. Mako even asked if we were going to go see a leader, surprised after all her hacking she didn’t come across at least one of Brand the Just’s titles. We dropped off the repulsor-chair back at the medical facility and left for the castle. Getting to the castle…palace….temple wasn’t difficult, hard to miss Brands HUGE ego, I mean infrastructure. When we arrived, the Ganathian guards tried to tell us that we couldn’t see Brand. L’hrequ was not going to have any of that and with that condescending voice he does so well, L’hrequ Paku Geil introduced himself in the full and told them that Brand was going to want to see him. The guard scoffed, and Pand’Ora threatened that Brand would be upset should we not see him. Confident we would be rebuffed, the guard went into the castle as we waited. Soon, he returned with an annoyed look on his face and we soon (ten minutes…rather long time) found ourselves with Brand’s permission for an audience as we are guided in. Mako grew steadily more excited as we proceeded, even asking if we were truly “friends” with Brand. L’hrequ said that he may have over-played his cards when mentioning to the guard of their friendship. Brand sure isn’t my friend. L’hrequ says that the two of them have a connection. They do like to talk privately.

We wander through the maze of a building until we get back to that over-sized throne room of Brand’s Conceit. And, once again, we trek our way across the room to Brand who is floating over the stairs. Probably just lives there. L’hrequ bows and introduces himself…again. I do no such thing. Brand then has the audacity to say that we had been finding the Foreign Quarters to our liking. L’hrequ and Winter said it was alright, but Mo I think sneezed something like Nerf Pudu or something. I sarcastically said if only there was somewhere else we had beds on this planet, i.e. our ship, but Brand didn’t’ want to talk to me. Can’t blame him, the feeling is mutual. Brand mentioned Mako’s existence and L’hrequ introduced her. Finally, Brand asked what brought us back to his “hallowed” (haha) halls. Winter told Brand that we had information on plenty of traffic going back and forth from the planet and then introduced her brother. Winter proceeded to explain the situation as we knew it, but also mentioned that while “we” want to help the planet, we would also like to get off this planet afterwards. Mo then brought up Rossi’s and “Big Boss’s” plan to use the monsters to destroy populations, and could perhaps be used on this planet. Brand asked how we know of this, and if we had seen it, and Mo explained Winter’s personal experience with the monster and its larva. Additionally, Mo and Winter discussed how voracious the creatures are (Mo saying they could eat through the population of the planet in a few days, and Winter said a city in a few hours). To add to the description, Mo said that they were also hard to kill, taking our whole crew to take one down and we were all heavily armed (well, I wasn’t but…).

Brand takes a few moments to think, before asking if there is more than one of these creatures. HAHA, like no we killed the only one that’s why were telling you this. Mo was polite and said that while we were unsure, some may have already left the planet and that Rossi had another “secret” base on the planet. However, Mo had to inform Brand that the satellites had been altered to hide Rossi from Brand and the Ganathian’s eyes. As if these people deserve their Xenophobic imprisoning devices. Winter brought up that we heard that there was something special about Ganath, a plant or something, that allows them to engineer these Xeno creatures. (Kind of noticing the irony in that a planet super Xenophobic is being used to create a deadly monster that is an amalgam of alien [to this planet] species]. Mo told Brand that Rossi is working under the “Bigger Boss” and that the two were planning to take these Xenos to different planets to basically take them over. Brand wondered if these creature had already been unleashed (you’d think his Forceyness could sense his populations of Ganathians being eaten). Mo said we do not know at that we “barely” escaped out of Rossi’s base. Mo did mention that we know how to get back to the old base, and that it may be a good idea to raid that place to perhaps find information as to where the rest of the creatures have been taken too. Brand said that if we send him the coordinates he would send a team there immediately. Not to be mean, but will the Ganathian’s even know how some…most of that tech works. Eh, whatever floats this man’s hoverlift. Winter offered our continual help since they had a score to settle with Rossi, and Pand’Ora brought up the threat looming in the second base. I chimed in that Mako wants to use Brand’s satellites to discover this “secret base’s” location. Brand seemed confused why the new person would suggest such a thing, what satellites finds something besides people seeking to leave this hell-hole. Who would have guessed? Mako stepped forward and said that she could use the satellite set and, in using them all together, she could locate the base, and that she is very confident in her ability to do so. Mako seemed a bit twitterpated to be talking to “royalty” it was kind of funny. Brand gave her the “Judgmental Eye” before telling her that she was the one that messed with his satellites in the first place. Mako looked uncomfortable and said that indeed it was her. Mako says that she was blinded by greed and realized her mistake when she found out what Rossi’s plan was. However, she said she wanted to make it up to him by helping them find the base. Brand continued being a super doosh and questioned her as to how he would know she wouldn’t just do the opposite and instead use the equipment in his facility against them (the Ganathians). Mo said that he would watch her, but I just pointed out that, at the moment, the satellites weren’t doing anything to help the Ganathian’s anyway [not that they ever did] and so what could Mako really do to make things worse than that. Mo said that she went to great lengths to escape the base as proof she was trustworthy (yeah, she sat around and made us dance what a partner. Didn’t even give us proper directions). Brand looked at Mo intently and then said if L’hrequ’s friend Mo would keep an eye on her then he would allow it (Can’t even say Mo’s name, great guy). Brand continued by saying that if Mako even shows hints of betrayal we needed to let him know. Mo agreed to those terms. Mako looked like she felt really regretful.

With that, Brand told us that he was going to send a squadron to attack the base with the coordinates that we had given him, and that he was going to have the Magistrate lead us to the satellite control room. Winter pushed that after we help Brand with this that he would let us leave the planet with our ship and Brand’s blessing (As if he could stop me). Brand said that this act will prove to him that we are “allies” to his people and he would allow us to leave. Winter said that she knows it’s a very rare gift and accepted it (Brand saying that indeed it was, since they are all xenophobic and all). L’hrequ told Brand that it was a wise decision, and Brand said that it seems the best course unless shown otherwise.

The Magistrate soon wandered up to us (without being summoned) and Brand told him to take “his friends” to the control room to access the satellites. The magistrate seemed shocked at the idea and sought reiteration. Brand told him that we were to use the satellites to find a dangerous base on the planet. The Magistrate still pressed and said that no foreigners ever get to go to the control room, but Brand was unrelenting and the Magistrate eventually gave in, and started to lead us onward. L’hrequ tried to calm the Magistrate down by telling him it was for the best, and that we only want to save them. The Magistrate said that a lot of foreigners promise such things, so what made us different. L’hrequ told him the main difference was that they were making promises while he was merely stating a fact. Pand’Ora added in that we had stopped a deadly beast from gobbling up the Ganathians, but when asked for proof, Pand’Ora said we didn’t have to prove anything to him. The Magistrate said that that was true, and we only had to prove ourselves to Emperor Brand who seems to have taken a liken to our word. A mistake, perhaps, the Magistrate added. Pand’Ora told him that she was sure to tell the Emperor of what the Magistrate said. I was growing kind of fond of the narrow-minded Xenophobe that is the Magistrate. Anyone that gives the Emperor sass can’t be all bad. I even added that I wouldn’t trust us either, a statement the Magistrate jumped on. We were going to be the best of friends.

We followed the Magistrate as he lead us through the long maze-like hallways and eventually to a spiraling staircase. At the top of the stairs, in front of the door, the Magistrate told us that we needed to remember that what we see in here is all secret. And we were not to share this information with anybody or it would betray the Emperor’s trust in us, and that would be a very bad thing. So, what I am about to describe to you, you can’t “tell” anyone, OK? (Not that anyone would want this information). Winter and Mo told him that they wouldn’t tell, Winter saying they had no interest in losing Brand’s trust and Mo promising not to tell anyone about their primitive technology.

With that, the door to he “Secret” control room was opened. It was quite a large room, hosting a large matter of antique looking machines. They had thousands of knobs, buttons, and flashing lights on them. Some even had this like…tape-like substance rolling between them. They were loud and whirring and took several operators to manage, as they stretched from wall-wall. The satellites themselves sent their images to…a radar screen of sorts with merely blipping lights as indicators of things going on. The dozen of Ganathians were jotting notes on clipboards as they roamed about. That was, until we entered and all action halted. The “engineers” all seemed shocked as we entered. The Magistrate introduced us as honored guests of the Emperor and that we were to receive their assistance in the “experiment” we were going to conduct. The workers stepped aside and Mako approached the machines, she seemed shocked and a bit lost at the ancient tech, swearing under her breathe, until finally she seemed to see something she at least basically understood and began working on it. Mo and I also stepped in and started working on another machine to help Mako decipher the ancient tech code. Mo reminded him of equipment from his early years, some of it appearing Imperial. Mako was surprised that the simplicity of this system actually worked, but the system was set up so one console controlled one satellite, with no interlinking. The ganathian operator said that was in case one of the consoles broke, and something about redundant systems. Mako kind of brushed off the uneducated statement. Mako asked if any of us had any mechanical training, which was just Mo and I (not that I was specialized, but this looked like working in the factory). And she directed us to separate panels and gave us instructions on what to do. We seemed to do alright, fiddling around with the instruments. Appears that there is a blanket of satellites that surrounds the planet from pole to pole. Mako told us that we had to move the satellites to Triangulate on a type of radiation that she knew Rossi’s machines gave off and that we could pick up on. Guiding us along, the three of us begin moving the satellites and after about ten minutes of work, Mako exclaims that she got something! Mako gives us coordinates of a faint detection of the radiation we were looking for. It was a different location that the first base, and figured that this was the location we were looking for. Finally! Though strangely, Mo went up and whispered something to Mako and she said that she had to do one more search and winked at him. Weird. Mako fiddled around with the machines for another five minutes after which she said she confirmed those coordinates and winked again. What were those two up to? Still, after about a half an hour In this top secret location, we could finally leave. Mako said that she was confident in the location, unless the Ganathian’s had something going on, so I asked, but none of them even reacted. Jokes on them if we find it then (for even more pathetic tech). The Magistrate once again reminded us that we couldn’t share information on this place, and we all kind of laughed. Winter even said that this room had nothing to write home about. The Magistrate didn’t believe it, saying that this room was everything. Mo told him it was a beauty, and the Magistrate was proud of it.

We once again were escorted away as always, and the Magistrate asked us what we will do next. And we told him that we were going to go to the coordinates that we found, but first they wanted to talk to Brand to fill him in on our plan. Along the way, Mako and Pand’Ora talked about Pand’Ora’s relationship with Rossi and the soon to be widowing. Mako was shocked since Rossi seemed to be super into Pand’Ora. When we get back to Brand, he asks what we learned and Mo tells him that we found the coordinates to the second base and that he reversed the program on the satellites so they can once again pick up ships coming or going (WHY?!). Mo said it was to help in case Rossi tries to flee or the creatures are attempted to be brought off planet. Brand appreciated it, so you know it was a bad idea. Unless we plan on shutting it down again… so many people would like to get off this hellhole, including me! Ugh. When asked about his air capability, Brand mentioned that they had plenty of the strange ships that found us arriving to Ganath, and that there may be more “secret” ships that his is not at liberty to discuss, which made the Magistrate give Brand a intense glare. I also assume they have a large number of ships that they stole from the others stuck on this planet. Mo suggested that the Ganathians shoot down any ships that try to escape Ganath as any of them could contain this “bio-weapon.” Sucks if an innocent had finally got his plan in motion to escape. Brand said that he would dedicate a flight of fighters to the area as soon as possible. Brand asked if were planning on going to the new base, which we were of course doing. However, Brand asked if we could do him a favor and try to obtain information from the base instead of destroying it. Brand wanted to know the location of all the beasts, as he worried if even one escaped it could be disastrous. Mo said that he would do the Emperor’s bidding. Brand said he could just raid the base and destroy it, but said that information is much more important and we should try to take a prisoner. L’hrequ said that we had seen the horrors these creatures cause and we would do so. Brand, as a way of thanking us for doing something we hadn’t even done yet offered us back our own ship as a reward. What a nice jerk, giving us back what is actually ours. The Magistrate didn’t look too pleased. I inquired to the Magistrate about the secret ships, as they could also prove useful, but all I got was a glare from him and I was nothing but kind to him. The others didn’t seem at all interested and just pushed us on-wards. The Magistrate sadly lead us away to our ship, and I told him that he should come with us to watch over us if he was worried. No response. L’hrequ, however, was once again asked to stay behind to talk “in secret.” This planet seems full of them.

So we once again waited for L’hrequ and Brand to finish their chat. In the meantime, I decided I would befriend the Magistrate and the others. They are really great listeners, too bad they always have such scowl. Winter asked if the Magistrate lives within the castle, and we found out he did. The guards didn’t seem to know anything about secret ships. Everyone seemed to think I was trying to egg on the Magistrate (egg, like their heads), but I was honestly being nice. When L’hrequ eventually returned, he told the Magistrate that Brand had given us permission to contact him (the magistrate) at any time and the Magistrate had to hand over his frequency. L’hrequ also asked the Magistrate if they had spies in the courts service, to which he was told their were, and with that answer L’hrequ told them that they should keep their eyes on the Kubaz in the Foreign Quarters as they are hard to tail and have been watching the group. The Magistrate seemed to take this more than a warning and planned on ordering the Kubaz’s capture and questioning.

After that, the Magistrate lead us to our ship, which was only being guarded by four measly guards. We totally could have easily got out of here. The guards see the Magistrate and stand attention as they all let us board. I asked the Magistrate to come with us, but he seemed like he didn’t want to impede, how polite (well seemed more like he wanted to chuck something off the edge of the platform). When Mako boards she gets all excited with the ship, saying that it looked mighty fine (she didn’t know a yt-1300 could be so nice) and Winter and her began walking off talking about color coordination, Feng Shui, and other stuff as they toured the ship. Asher thought the ship was a junk since Winter’s room at home was larger than the ship itself. With everyone aboard and Mako distracted, Mo went around disabling all other terminals besides the ones in the cockpit before joining me in the cockpit, we take off and head for the coordinates. We also learn that Mako is the hacker that Mo needs to help him with whatever senstitive data lies within Mo’s memoryThe journey is mostly clear, mostly valley and hills with little to no trees across the ground. When we fly over a canyon where the coordinates were located, there was no base visible. Mo figured that the base could be underground so we landed the ship in a clearing about half a kilometer from the coordinates. It was about six in the morning as we disembarked.

I take my scooter and Load-lifting gear (to help me carry it if necessary), and fly out. A bit late, as it would have been amazingly helpful earlier, which is really the main reason I am taking it now. The speeder in the hangar bay is also taken off and utilized by Winter and Mo. Mako wanted to stay behind, but at the group’s insistence, she caves, but requests that she is protected as she isn’t skilled at marksmanship. Pand’Ora hands Mako her Carbine, seeing that Mako only was armed with a Vibroknife, and even took time to train her in its use. Ashe was told to stay behind and guard the ship, which he doesn’t want to do, but eventually does so when told.

And so we all scatter to search for the base. Though most of us don’t find anything, except Pand’Ora who hears a strange humming sound in the distance. Following Pand’Ora’s directions we all discover a generator of sorts hiding behind a large bush that was beeping and blooping and had a strange light coming from it. It wasn’t Ganathain tech, given it actually looks advanced, and L’hrequ tells us that he believes it’s a holoprojector of sorts. L’hrequ also told us that he believes that this is merely one projector of an entire set being used. As Winter and Mo flew over to us, they said at one point along their path they saw a brief glance of a city that quickly faded, explaining that this group of projectors is probably what is hiding it. Mo felt that we shouldn’t disable it, as it could warn those in the base that we had arrived. Winter and Mo then flew off again to find that same point, parked their speeder and walked to where the scene changed for them. Peeking in, they saw a set of six buildings all seeming high-tech and modern along with several rows of canvas tents. Additionally, the “secret base” seemed to have a At-ST walker, An old and weathered AT-AT walker (that was brown and growing weeds), as well as a Yt-2300 that could be someone named Yav’s ship. Seems we found our base.

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A Bug in Winter
Hidden Valley Ranch

Safe in a freighter on Ganath

Upon take off, we discover a half synthetic woman in the ship. She is ‘the voice’ from the installation. Her name is Mako. She admits testing us by leading us through the warehouse containing experimental bio-warefare creatures.

We learn that Mako joined with Rossi some time ago to make easy credits. But here, the technology she was planning to exploit did not pay off since the world is so backwater but other work has. She hacks for Rossi. Her greatest feat has been to slice the planet’s satellites so Rossi and his men could lift off and leave orbit secretly when they pleased.

Since, she has learned the Rossi became involved with an offworld scientist who has manipulated creatures into nightmarish weapons. These creatures Rossi unimaginatively calls Xeno’s, inject eggs into living hosts that then cruelly gestate over 24 hours, ultimately killing the victim. There is no cure but removal and that takes serious surgery with no guarentees. Mako tells of a vid showing the whole process tested on real people. Over time, Mako determined that the strictly carnivorous creatures require constant feeding and if deprived they turn on themselves, killing each other to the last creature.

We race for the population center to find a surgical facility to remove the parasite from Winter. Not willing to bet on the 24 hour window, Poncho flys around ship between the cockpit and engineering to push the ship’s performance beyond it’s designed specifications. This works and the ship arrives a lot faster! Three hours instead of five.

After an un-subtle landing on the first straight road we see, we lower the ramp and carry Winter to the closest facility. Citizens protest our parking choice and Poncho moves it just out of the city.

At the surgical office, I talk our way past the administrative agent and we find a middle aged doctor who identifies himself as a surgeon. Mo-Fo pulls a data pad and shows him live data while explaining Winters dire situation. He shows how the larva is near the heart and time is precious.

We move to the operating room where Winter is dripped into unconsciousness soon after. Thirty minutes later and major incisions the vitals monitor starts whistling with danger. Mo-Fo assists to stabilize Winter. Then another thirty minutes pass when they finally manage to remove forcibly the wriggling larva shaped killer. The doctor places it in a metal platter whereupon Mo-fo immediately smashes the thing with his hammer.

All told, it is about two more hours until her vitals finally satisfactorily stabilize. Two hours after that she wakes, to our collective relief.

In route to the hotel Pand spots what we think is the same Kuzbaz we had seen before shadowing us. Myself and Poncho try to find him as he moved into dark ally’s but to no avail.

The next morning we head straight to the palace. Guards are off-putting asking if we have an appointment. I tell him the Empatojayos Brand and I are friends and he will want to talk to me. He looks doubtful but takes my name. We enter shortly after his return.

In the very long and large throne hall we walk to the base of the stairs up to his throne. He floats there, have a man if that. Round with a high metal collar and short tool tipped arms. I open with a formal greeting and introduce Mako whome we rescued. Winter then begins telling of the egg injecting bio-weapon creatures. Mo-Fo continues, expanding on the details. Someone mentions Mako’s work with satellites and the emperor waists no time in asking if she is responsible for masking ship signatures for escape, she admits it. We offer our help in finding and destroying the bioenginerering facility in exchange for our freedom later. Brand agrees.

The magistrate is summoned and is told to lead us to the Satellite control center to help us locate any annomolies that could lead us to the hidden facility. The magistrate questions the emperor in this but he insists, even referring to us as his friends. The magistrate obeys begrudgingly. I tell him quietly on the way that the emperor made a wise decision trusting us. He compared us to many who had said similar before. Pand overheard and energetically added her take to the conversation which took a slightly more argumentive turn.

We arrive at the control room where we are surprisingly introduced as honored guests by the magistrate. The ‘computer’ equipment looks very old and possibly of imperial origin. Mako is surprised at the simplicity and says it should be fairly easy to manipulate. Poncho, Mo-Fo and her begin their work studying the systems. After a bit they pull coordinates from the machines. Then Mako fixes the satellites to be ale to detect Rossi’s ships again.

We then return to Emperor to explain our accomplishments and to encourage him to have every ship leaving the planet thoroughly inspected. He agrees and is pleased our accomplishments and our plans and gives our ship back as reward and as a show of trust in exchange for our help in ending the Xeno threat.

The emperor dismisses our party but for me. He asks sincerely if my comrades can truly be trusted to keep their word in this task. I tell him I relate to his inclination towards isolationism and affirm that my friends have each had the opportunity to betray me personally and have not and in fact have each risked their lives for each other a few times over the months I have known them. I ask about the Kubaz tail and he say he does not employ aliens. I leave and ask the Magistrate if he has a Kubaz spy, he does not but says they will begin hunting immediately any and all Kubaz and will imprison any they find. I encourage they question first.

Back on the Silver Bucket, Mo-fo disables all consoles but for the cock-pit as insurance against Mako’s possible slicing on our ship. Mo-Fo also explains to us that she is the one he had heard of back at the wheel and that she is the one person most likely capable of locating the empire’s hidden files inside his deepest darkest circuits.

Poncho enters the navigational coordinates and we take off.

The next morning Pand gives Mako a weapon as we exit the ship after landing. Poncho mounts his scooter. Mo-Fo and Winter take my speeder bike. Myself and Pand go on foot.
After some time in this temperate landscape Pand notes a humming sound none of the rest of us can hear. Under some brush she uncovers a large Holo-Projector clearly linked with others likely with kilometers of each other.

The projectors hide a base beneath an image of landscape over a valley. We trek beneath the ceiling of the holo-projected image. After some travel, we spot six or so higher tech buildings and a long row of tents and a an AT-ST, as stationary AT-AT in a lake and a YT-2400. We stop and begin to plan our next move.

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Poncho's Logs 1.4
Mission: Rescue Asher from Hell Part III

…Initializing …

Password: * * * * *

…Processing…

… Scanning Fingerprint…

… Identity Confirmed…

Welcome Poncho :)

Creating New File: The Escape…

→ Report: Day 6 | 1400 – 1600 Hours

Wow, OK, so a lot happened since my last break from these logs. And, unfortunately, I couldn’t record some of them, so I’ll do my best to bring you up to snuff on what happened.

So, we get off that ship right, and Deekin begins leading everyone through a hangar bay that is located someplace above a forest canopy. Looking out the force-field you could see only sky above, and tree tops below. I was curious whether we were in a base or a ship, but we didn’t have too much time to examine our surroundings as Deekin dragged us ever forward. Now, I’m sure you already saw this coming…in fact I’m sure we all did. But it was a trap, as we were greeted by Rossi and around forty other individuals, the others all dressed in strange armor adorned with like a nerf skull or something (I think they’re called Mandalorians?). Anyways, Rossi was seemingly pretty confident, mentioning Winter and Mo’s bounties and how much money they would bring him. Rossi even said some woman was just giddy with excitement when she found out I was a prisoner, and how she was going to pay Rossi for me. It didn’t make too much sense to me, if it was Viper, my debt to her was, as you know, taken care of already. And, as far as I know I am of no value to her now…but then again that woman was crazy so I wouldn’t put much past her.

Strangely enough, Rossi seemed to believe that L’hrequ was worth less than I even was, and was going to take L’hrequ to meet his (Rossi’s) boss/partner, though would also be the first to die should anyone try to resist. This proved a couple of things for me, one being Rossi is an idiot, setting all this “masterful” plan to not even know his targets? L’hrequ even used a lasersword against Rossi’s crew during Rossi’s ambush (and I don’t even know what else L’hrequ has done when I haven’t been around). Though, besides Rossi’s seemingly naivety, it also told us that no one in the gang had spoken of L’hrequ’s Jedi-talents during the trials. I don’t know what that says about Rossi’s crew, or if it truly affects my feelings towards Deekin, but it does seem odd.

Anyways, after Rossi’s long winded speech he had us all searched and our gear taken. Though his guards weren’t too thorough, missing my knife (though I really wished they didn’t find Nancy instead, not even sure what to do with the knife). I wasn’t too sure what the others got away with, well except L’hrequ who was trying to play off his lasersword as a empty pistol-hilt. I’m not sure exactly why the Mandolorian believed him on that, seems pretty clear to be anything but a pistol-hilt, a glow-rod would have been a more convincing lie. Still, these block-headed Mandalorians were buying the hilt thing, but not buying that L’hrequ would just carry around an empty hilt without a pistol to fill it, despite L’hrequ’s attempt to tell them he lost it in a battle. Finding L’hrequ suspicious they began to take him away for a more thorough check for the missing blaster. I found myself strangely concerned, probably due to me being contracted to help the group more than anything, so I decided to pipe in. I told Rossi and everyone I knew what happened to the blaster and then further explained how I stole it from L’hrequ and sold it behind his back for some additional credits. At first, Rossi laughed still pressing the inquiry as to why the hilt would be kept, it wasn’t looking like it was going to work. However, I told them that he kept it as a way to torment me (which, to be fair, is something I feel L’hrequ would totally do). At first, it didn’t look like it was going to work, but then Rossi caved and told the guards to lock L’hrequ with the rest of us, but to keep us separated. L’hrequ owes me big time.

The guards began marching us all out of the room, but they were halted one more time when Rossi told them to leave Pand’Ora behind. I told her she had the situation under control as the rest of us were pushed out towards wherever our cells were. I’m not sure if she heard me, though I hoped that she was feeling confident. Rossi stood no chance!

I don’t know where Pand’Ora was taken, but the rest of us were taken down a series of hallways (first turning right, walking a bit, and then turning left) until we reached our destination. Past this door was a cell block composed of around ten cells. L’hrequ was tossed in the first cell closest to the door, then Winter in the next, Mo third, and I was put in the forth. The rooms were rather small, and only contained a small cot and a bucket. Not a lot to work with. As we settled in, Winter called out something that sounded like Fresh Meat, is that something you do when you become prisoners? Do you get meat….gosh I am hungry. However, a voice did call back, asking if it was Winter. Turns out, some good news, Asher was here…well in prison with us, but present none the less.

They had a good long discussion about how Winter came to rescue Asher, but Asher saying no one would be here if Winter hadn’t ran away from home. Different families I guess, I left my home and was merely disowned and treated as if I never existed, but I guess at least Winter’s family cares. Though apparently her mother is sick and receiving medical care. That doesn’t sound good. Hopefully, Winter’s mom will be ok, though her ailment seems to be either Winter running away or Dad being overly restricting.

Well, you probably don’t need hear all about that, so I will mostly mention what information we learned from Asher. I guess Rossi feels he is doing the right thing, even if it has costs,and that he still cares about Pand’Ora and feeling poorly that she is on the outs with him. Additionally, Rossi is apparently working with a partner, or at least thinks he is a partner. Asher suspects that Rossi is a lot smaller in this “partner’s” plan than a second to it. I guess, from what Asher told us, they are working on some sort of dreadnought/super-weapon thing. Sounds like a pretty big deal.

Still, in order to do anything about it, we had to get out of here and find Pand’Ora. Problem was, I didn’t really hear anyone doing anything about our predicament. Frustrated at not having some spectacular solution to the problem, in fact…I’m not sure if I ever do, I just channeled a little bit of my father and decided to agitate the guards to hopefully try to pick a fight with me. Winter even chimed in with some of her own! One of the guards seemed to be unaffected by my insults and challenges, but the other guard (apparently called 23) was goaded…but not exactly the way I wanted him to be. A wimpy weasel, this 23, decided to just blast me with his Carbine set to stun. I took it and keep insulting him, hoping that he open the door…but this 23 just shot me two more times. I can take a lot, but I was defiantly a bit fuzzy after that third and had to sit down and catch my breath. Seeing me down, this pathetic slime-ball (and that is rather mean to slime which can sometimes be quite tasty), decided that he wanted to teach me even more of a lesson and began to unlock my cage. However, at that moment the cell blocks door opened up and Pand’Ora was pushed into the prison. At least, I think it was her, I was still a bit zonked, but it certainly sounded like her. Especially once the scuffled began. I heard some clashing and some blaster fire, I think I saw something that looked like Pand’Ora dash past my cell (and I heard one guard mention some strange door problem?). I think I heard Winter asking if I was ok, and something about needing to be on my side or I’ll suffocate. Never heard that, but wasn’t going to fight it. Trying to catch my bearing, and see if I could help, I gave a slight push to the door to see if somehow derpy 23 accidentally left it unlocked…and it seemed that he did. I quickly closed it again, but as I prepared to dash out…Pand’Ora had surrendered the carbine she had commandeered and was escort into the cell next to mine. From the brief glance of her I got through the barred window (luckily she is so tall), I noticed a seed of disappointment? Rage? Oh dear, I hope she wasn’t mad at me… The multitude of guards that had brought Pand’Ora with them began to leave again, and they took dumb-dumb Mcgee with them (i.e. 23), but unfortunately left another guard to replace him. Once again, we were left in our cages with two guards. Asher called out to see if Winter was ok, and she told him we all were and it was just a little chaos. Just part of our exciting lives. Asher seemed unconvinced, but the guards silenced us, telling us that there would be no more talking. Mo asked if singing was OK (didn’t know Mo was a singer), but the guards didn’t seem enthused (and even asked each other if a memory wipe would be fine, but reiterated to themselves that it was not). Asher got antsy, when he was told that the bounty hunters were coming for us.

Fortunately, life on the race-course has made me somewhat enduring to stresses, and I was able to recover my breathe, at least a bit. Their was still this annoying buzz in my ear…and I think I was flying a bit sideways, but nothing unbearable…racing taught me how to deal with that too. I waited for the activity of the room to die down and to see if anyone else was going to try anything. I couldn’t tell everyone what I was planning, so with no activity I just had to go and hope for the best. My plan was simple, throw open the door to dash over to the door to the block. Hopefully it would automatically open, and I would lock it shut behind me. I could dash through the complex, creating a distraction, allowing the others to handle the two guards. With my plan in motion, I kicked through the door to the other door, except it didn’t open. Seems things were already derailing. I apologized to the guards, saying this wasn’t my original plan as I jammed my Molecular Stiletto into the door controls to keep it, hopefully closed. L’hrequ uses his Jedi stuff to pull one of the Guard’s Carbine right through his cell’s window! I throw a punch at one of the guards, but his armor was rather hard so I don’t think I did anything. In retaliation, the man moved away and tried to blast me with his carbine. Though he seemed a bit caught off-guard so he wasn’t even close. From her cell, I saw Winter showing me a gun of some-kind, but I really have no aiming skills so I waved at her to keep it, and she took a shot through the bars. Her bullet crashing into the other Guard’s carbine and knocking it to the ground. Mo…or something else…was sticking his arm through the window and trying to hack open the keypad utilizing the sounds from my keypad being activated. However, without being able to see it at the same time, and the strange angle of his hands, Mo was having a bit of trouble. The one guard who lost his gun to L’hrequ wanders over to L’hrequ’s cell and demands the gun back, pointing his blaster pistol into the slot, but even stranger was L’hrequ gave the carbine back! Why, L’hrequ why?! The other guard tried to grapple me, but I was stronger than he was expecting…or I’m flying awkwardly due to the stun blasts I suffered. Still, I managed to get out of his grasp and dash over to Pand’Ora’s cell, feeling bad that I wasn’t able to assist her earlier, I figured this was my time to make up for it. Problem was, I don’t really know computers all that well…so I kind started hitting buttons… well more like slamming the console, it sparked something vicious and I felt a nasty shock…but the cell opened. That was a miracle, but I was barely flying again..and I think I saw little birdies….need to catch my breath…

L’hrequ apparently did something to the carbine as the guard laughed and tried to blast L’hrequ with it (who had taken the guard’s blaster pistol from him), but the carbine didn’t do anything. A fact that frustrated the guard trying to use it. Winter takes another shot at the guard that tried to grapple me, the bullet blasting through his armor, and she told them that they are the ones who are trapped. Almost on que, Pand’Ora, her cage opened, dashed out claws bared against the guard that tried to grapple me, and began to make mincemeat out of him. At this time, the other guard was still arguing with L’hrequ over losing his blaster (I’m unsure if the guard was missing what was happening behind him, or if it was some sort of jedi trick. Ten again, L’hrequ can be pretty annoying…maybe he figured being mean to L’hrequ was the best use of his time). However, it seems L’hrequ was getting pretty bored with his game, and skewered his laser-sword through the cell’s lock as well as the guard’s chest who collapsed on the ground. L’hrequ used his laser-sword to cut open the rest of the cells, though he seemed hesitant to release Asher for some reason. In fact, L’hrequ even spoke down to the boy, telling him that he needed to be more useful if he was to be set free. Fortunately, L’hrequ did eventually let Asher out so we could continue. We looted the guard’s stuff, Winter and Asher donning their nerf-skull armor (Pand’Ora assisting Asher), and we all split up the guns. Pand and Mo took carbines, while Winter and I were handed blasters pistols. Asher, donning the armor with L’hrequ help, grew excited as the plan underwent as if the armor gave him new found confidence. We had escaped!

Well, not fully, but if we’ve escaped our cells what could really keep us here. I apologized to Pand’Ora for not assisting her when she started a battle, as I was a bit zonked out, and she told me she forgave me. However, L’hrequ had some kind of storm coming. Mo pulled my Stiletto out of the door and the two of us begin our attempt to unlock it. However, as we were doing so, a female voice spoke to us through the speakers somewhere in the room. It said, “Ah, so you guys are the trouble-makers that Rossi has been telling everybody about. Finally, some fun! Don’t take any of this personally though, but you guys defiantly got it coming. You guys just had to go and be nosy. But you know, if you want… I’ll help you with that door.” Ugh, just what we needed, more people pulling our strings. I was against the idea immediately, we didn’t need help to get out of this place! But, Mo agreed almost immediately. It worked so well last time we went through someone instead of ourselves, hello Deekin. Winter introduced herself politely and asked whom we were speaking to, but the voice merely told her that she knew who we all were, and that see had looked at all of our dossiers and how we were a very interesting group. Honestly, how does everyone know me? Am I that important because I’m the group’s taxi? She continued by telling us that we had to admit that we had this coming…though I still wasn’t sure what I did either. Winter told the voice that our lives are never dull, and the voice agreed and offered the door again, and like clockwork Mo agreed….again. Asher was kind of freaking out the whole time. L’hrequ pressed the who are you question, and he was told that we could call the voice “the voice in the sky” for now. What a mouthful. I think I’ll call her VIS for now. Mo grew impatient and asked for the code, but I asked the group if they honestly wanted to be beholden to someone again, and even Winter said sure. And that Winter expected to get out of here with the help of someone. This group really lacks confidence, we just pulled off an amazing stunt and they still think we need help? L’hrequ asked if we would ever meet VIS, and she told us she doubted we would last that long. Winter called out Challenge Accepted to that, and three seconds later the door opened. Ugh. Everyone prepared themselves for battle, and I noticed that Asher was unequipped so I offered him the blaster pistol I was given. Ashe said he would prefer one of the rifles, and tried to get me to get the others to give him theirs. Pand’Ora immediately told him that it was never going to happen, and so Asher accepted the blaster pistol. Strangely, after accepting it Asher got kinda clingy, asking for my name even though I gave it to him last time, and then asking how I knew his sister. Asher also asked me to record everything that Winter has done since I met her and to give it to him as she was going to be in so much trouble. Strangely, I do have most things recorded, but I wasn’t going to give it to him to use against Winter. Strangely, no one else seemed to react to such a strange request and we proceeded onward.

Mo opened the door and Pand’Ora slid her head out to take a look around. It seems the hallway was empty of any guards…wow seems we really needed help. Winter leads the way with Asher in the tail to ensure that it looks like we are being escorted by some guards and we progress down the hall. Eventually we get to the first fork in the road. If I recalled correctly from earlier, the path to the right should lead us to the hangar where we first came to this complex. However, before being able to iterate on this, VIS chimed in telling us that the path to the right would take us to our equipment, but the path to the left would take us to the landing bay (huh? I suppose their could be another bay). The group all wanted their stuff back, and still trusted VIS, so we all wandered down the path tot he right. This path eventually took us to another T with a path to the right and left again. If I correctly followed the way we were taken to the cells, left here would take us towards the hangar where we came in so the party went to the right again. This path lead to a door, and within was a room with a large array of lockers and lock-boxes as well as two soldiers, one sitting at a desk working on some paperwork while the other was speaking to him. Winter entered first and tried to play it off cool by asking for a logbook of the equipment, but the guards didn’t know about a logbook so Winter sort of gave up on the ruse and drew her weapon (guess the disguise thing wasn’t going to help us much). The fight wasn’t too difficult for this group even without their natural equipment. Winter did suffer a blast from one of the guards (before he called out that the prisoners were escaping), but that was the extent of our wounds. Mo, surprisingly, blasted one of the guards with a heated beam instead of a stun beam like normal and seemed a bit taken aback by it. I didn’t do really anything, but I’m not getting paid to hurt people.

Fortunately, the lockers (once we unlocked them) contained all of our stuff. Even more in our favor was the fact that we were able to don it all without anyone else bothering us. Wasn’t missing this heavy backpack too much, and it was really unfortunate that I didn’t have my SugarScoot (thanks, Brand), or getting out of here would be so much easier. Still, once we got all our stuff together we headed out again, as we finish up this VIS person congratulated us and said that we did a good job. However, she also told us that we had “friends” coming, before saying “just kidding, I took care of the emergency signal” she really needs to work on her sarcasm. And regardless, that signal was about the most useless thing I’ve heard, didn’t even give away our location. These guards would probably all run back to the cells first, knowing them. We arrived back at the second T (which my memory tells me a right here would lead us to the hangar bay) and we were about to go that way when VIS talks through the comms again and tells us to stop, that a large group was coming we should go back the other way.
VIS says that they must have been warned by someone else. Of course, the group believes her (though Winter was suspicious), except me. A second ago no one was coming, and know some other signal got through to this other group? Who else knows we escape that isn’t knocked out or dead, why, I know, her! That is, of course, if this ambush was even happening. So we know head away from our destination, back to the T path that can lead to our cells and go the other way, that she originally told us would lead to the landing bay, but clearly doesn’t. Around the bend, we notice two human technicians (not wearing any armor) working on some sort of repairs or something on a panel that was sparking. Though I’m not sure this was their primary job, as a mop was leaning on the wall near them. Winter played up her role as a guard, asking what happened (the two men didn’t know) and then demanded if they were authorized (to which they were, and Winter was making them really nervous, I guess they were hired about three months ago). Still, the two men didn’t even try to hinder our progress and stood out of the way. Feeling for them, and quite frankly wanting to peel away from VIS’s plans, went over to try and help them diagnose their problem. Unfortunately, the group was pretty insistent that I come along and I wasn’t able to get a good look at it. VIS chimed in after we had progressed a way, saying she was surprised we didn’t take them out (wow, she sounds sooo nice) and then told us to take the elevator down two levels. And urged us on. Annoying, and what better place to trap us. Pand’Ora asked why we didn’t just head back now, seeing as it has been plenty of time for that squad of guards to be out of the way. However, VIS said that she wanted to lead us on a path that avoid the guards, and asked if Pand’Ora preferred to fight them instead, to which Pand’Ora said she would prefer to avoid them. VIS even said that she (Pand’Ora) wasn’t looking too good. Rude. Asher was hesitant now, but didn’t really put up much of a fight. I examined the elevator to see if it was going to trap us someplace, but I don’t know elevators all that well so it looked fine. Mo also looked, but he determined that it was sound. I still didn’t trust it. Well, we all board and prepare to go two levels down. As we are going down, the elevator, guess what, stops. VIS then says “Oops, looks like it broke, you’re going to have to find another way down. What will you do?” Who saw this coming, and we know from at least Mo’s observations that this wasn’t the elevator breaking down, so VIS must have stopped it. Glad she has our back, so glad. I immediately begin to fly up to the emergency hatch to get out, and Winter calls VIS out for the dirty trick, but she was almost laughing. VIS said she wasn’t perfect (I accidentally stop elevators all the time), but then said we could use the console to try to get it moving again or go out the emergency hatch. Mo works with L’hrequ to mess with the console, and manage to get the elevator going again, so I close that hatch and just wait for the ride. VIS said it was impressive work (though Mo said it was easy) and told Mo he did a good job. L’hrequ did help, but VIS seems to not care about that too much.

At the end of the ride, the doors opened up into a dark set of hallways. Pand’Ora said that was good, mentioning that it would have less traffic. I couldn’t understand why there would be a part of the base so unused unless it was put here for us to just sneak through. Now, I know what you’re thinking, maybe VIS did it for us. Sure, just like the elevator. And I think an entire floor low on power would be a big signal flag. Nah, I didn’t think anyone is after us. Anyways, those with them prepared their scanner goggles or whatever to help guide us as VIS told us that we would head straight down the hall, third door on left down where, inside, we would move through a warehouse and on the other side would be another elevator we would take back up. And once we were up, we’d be right near the hangar bay (like we were, I don’t know several minutes ago). VIS also told us to hurry as a group was coming down here to look for us. (Sure they were, the technicians didn’t even think something was up but these magic guards sure are on the hunt). Pand’Ora said the plan was good, but Winter brought up that the route was rather convoluted. VIS said it was to get around the bulk of the “other” bad guys (other, hmm that would mean…). Pand’Ora said it made sense, and that was the end of that.

We arrived at this door, and Winter listened to it, but heard nothing. It opened to a better lit large warehouse building filled with boxes, crates, and other mixing stacked on each other and scattered about. To our left and right were two large doors that were closed, and our destination door was where we were going. Winter asked what was in the crate and VIS said it was junk for Rossi. Seemed awfully generic, especially when the crates are all labeled with codes. Still, we journeyed on, and about the time we arrive at the center of this warehouse, we heard the loud screech of metal as the two large doors on our left and right began to open up. Strange growls and hisses could be heard echoing from the other side of those doors as VIS chimed in with “Oh another obstacle, whatever are you going to do?” Winter, Pand, and Asher began to climb the crates, and I attempted to help Winter up one. Mo and L’hrequ took defensive postures with their weapons out and backs to a crate. And soon, out of the darkness, a large Reek came out of the door to our left while a strange, large, chitinous bug/mantis monster came out of the other. Winter called VIS a sadistic…something I’m not sure what it meant so I will say it probably was similar to being called a son of a Kath Hound.

Mo opened up the combat by pulling out that ramshackle thermal detonator that apparently was still in his stuff. The explosive landed on the Reek and an intense heat immediately filled the room, as our motions almost seemed to be slowed in the light that consumed the creature. The Reel was still standing, but the smell of burnt flesh and scales wasn’t pleasant. Still the creature charged towards us, only to be blasted by Pand’Ora’s massive rifle and then struck by L’hrequ’s laser-sword to its legs, sending it crashing to the ground, moving no more. The Mantis creature then dashed towards us, its claw-like appendages easily allowing it to scale up the boxes to Winter. It swung its mighty claw at Winter and the blow was vicious knocking Winter back as her foot got lodged into a crack between crates, falling backwards. This granted the opportunity to the mantis creature to swing another vicious blow into her again. Winter wasn’t looking too good, and this beast seemed hungry for her (though in its hunger its claw pierced a crate and it screamed in pain at hitting whatever was in it). In reaction Winter tried to blast it, but the creature seemed unfazed by her attack. Asher shot his blaster to try to protect his sister, but the blast wasn’t strong enough to even pierce the creature’s chitinous hide. I flew up and tried to distract it by just hitting it, but It was all eyes for Winter.

Pand’Ora blasts the creature with her powerful rifle, and hits with such force that the creature falls off the crates and on its back. Mo follows up the attack, but the creature now had cover from the crates as it fell and the attack hit one of them instead. L’hrequ used his Jedi tricks to pick up one of the crates and slam it down on the collapsed creature and it hissed with pain. However, the creature was strong still, and was able to push off that crate and climb back up to Winter where it opened its mouth and its tongue shot out (a tongue tipped with a sharp needle-like barb) that slammed into Winter’s chest. Winter couldn’t take the blow, and as she collapsed to her wounds a strange bulge went down the tongue and into Winter’s chest and then the tongue withdrew. I was in a panic at what it did to Winter and searched through my Data Goggles for any information on this…thing! According to the data file installed in my goggles, it appeared to have put an egg, young, or something into her to impregnate her. EW! I let everyone know as Asher made another attack, not doing much damage but it did push the creature into an easier to land position.

Pand’Ora was enraged and blasted the creature right in its eyes, which began to bleed ferociously as it clawed at them. Seems the creature was permanently blinded from Pand’Ora’s attack! Mo answered Pan’s vicious blow with another of his own and it burned into the creature’s chassis. It hissed, but couldn’t take anymore and collapsed off the crates and silence filled the room. Mo and I dashed up to assist Winter with whatever that thing did or impregnated her with. As we examined her insides with my hand scanner, we discovered a marble-like creature that seemed to be burrowing its way to Winter’s heart. Mo determined that Winter probably would have only twenty-four hours to before it reached her heart and killed her unless she received medical attention. Worse yet, Mo also noted that without elaborate surgical tools and facilities, Winter’s life would be put at even more risk if we tried to get it out with what we have. Mo then administered a stimpack to help wake Winter up and then began to treat her wounds with his medical kit. Winter said she could feel it burrowing inside her. Now we were really in a hurry (and VIS was mysteriously silent on this matter, what a nice lady). So we dashed off to the door at the end of the warehouse and to the cargo elevator. Once we were inside, VIS finally spoke again. VIS, again, told us to hurry and get to the landing bay as Rossi was after us now with all of his friends. However, as our way of “thanking” VIS for “assisting” us we had to take her with us. Great, already haven’t had enough of her. Of course, the group was unaffected with this offer and agreed to it. VIS said the only reason she tested us was to make sure she could trust us to help her escape (yeah, right.) This time, the elevator seems to work just fine as VIS gives us our new directions. We head into this new hallway and follow the directions we were given that lead to a final door.

Opening the door, we were greeted by the exterior of the base. A rocky and grassy cliff edge was ahead, but there was a slender path that lead across the side of the base. The drop from the cliff was straight down into a canopy of trees and was roughly about a hundred foot drop. With little other way to go, we begin the trek across the path. The group ties themselves together with L’hrequ’s syntherope, except for me as I didn’t really fear falling or heights. Pand’Ora and I lead the way, and when we get across the bend in the ledge, we see the landing pad ahead roughly forty-feet away. Seems the force-field was still up. I went ahead as the ledge eventually became a jump and I could get across easily. However, when I got roughly fifteen feet from the force-field, it collapsed…weird. Pand’Ora thanked VIS for this, but I was still my suspicious self. Behind us, Winter slipped and fell of the path (that creature’s injection seems to be effecting her) barely being caught by her brother Asher. With L’hrequ’s help (who seemed a bit hesitant to assist for some reason) Asher was able to pull Winter back up. Despite the scare, we all managed to sneak into landing pad. The ship we arrived in was still parked within, and we crouched behind it to plan our next move. Mo sent this little spider droid thing, (when did he get that?) ahead and was able to use his datapad to see what the droid saw. It appeared that the ship was open, but there were three guards standing up near the door leading into the base. Strange these guards didn’t react to the force-field falling. Mo decided to creep ahead, but was spotted by the guards. However, the guards seem to believe that Mo is a maintenance droid and call him over (If Rossi and all his friends were after us, wouldn’t these guards know that we had escaped and know what Mo looks like? Absolute nonsense). Mo obliged, but only move up close enough to hurl a grenade at the grouping of guards. That alerted them and they prepared their singed weapons. Pand’Ora was able to quickly dash ahead, make a shot (missing), and then board the ship immediately. Winter followed suit immediately after. Mo takes a barrage of attacks from the guards, one of them missing, but the other two landing nasty blows. L’hrequ, who “hates” blasters uses his to hit one of the guards and then board the ship like the others. I moved to the ships entrance and blasted with a stun beam from Nancy, missing (but that didn’t really suprise me) and I waited for Mo to get aboard. Asher followed the example of the others, taking a shot as he dashed aboard the ship. Mo draws his rifle and blasts one of the guards with a stun beam before dashing aboard the ship (his spider-droid thing following him) and I behind him. As we board, I see at the corner of my eye the door the guards were standing before opens and more guards begin funneling in. Strange timing.

Mo slams the button on the wall to close the loading ramp and the two of us dash into the cockpit. However, the controls are locked so Mo beings to hack into the system. The blasters outside seemed to have him a bit rattled, or the nasty blasts he received before boarding, and Mo’s first attempt failed. Though, before we could try again we heard VIS’s voice extremely close to us instead of over a comm, and she says that she could give us the code. Once again, Mo accepts and VIS tells him the password. Mo types it in and it appears to work as the controls unlock. We take off, and I focus on the trip we had taken to get here. Recalling the motions I felt I had a good idea of where we needed to go to get back to the Foreign Quarter of that Ganathian city. I launch us out of the hangar bay quickly and we proceed onwards, though that brought up an even bigger question….do we want to go back to the Foreign Quarter? We know Rossi has a whole gang there, and they would probably find it mighty suspicious that we return without Deekin (or anyone else for that matter, like this ship’s original pilots). Though we needed to get Winter to a surgical bay immediately. Do Ganathian’s even have that!!! I was sure hoping we could pull this one off. Though I was sure that VIS being aboard was going to complicated everything.

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Cat-itude

With my friends being marched off to the cells and I being marched away to talk to Rossi, I had no idea what would befall our fate in the next 12 hours. I certainly didn’t expect the lack of support I would get while risking my life. But let me elaborate what really went down from my point of view, and remember, I’m pretty damn tall. I get a good overall view of what’s going down in my humble opinion.

In Rossi’s quarters, he tried and of course failed at trying to convince me that his actions were motivated by selfless reasons. Do I still love him? We had a childhood together that grew into love as we matured. Of course I still do. But can I forgive his actions? No. Not ever. Forgiveness is a hard thing for a Togo.

Rossi was instrumental in the capture of an entire village of Togorians including our Elder’s daughter and he sold them all into slavery to fund his scheme that he believes will save our planet.

He argues that we need to bring our planet into the present with technology and weaponry, to make ourselves respected and not laughed at for our “backward” ways. This not only does not convince me, it makes me sickened that my own husband would be so ashamed of our people’s culture and traditions.

I believe he still had hopes to turn my mind around even as he ordered me taken to the cells, that is, until I dove for the gun I noticed across the room. I fired off the pistol…click click… nothing. I threw it at his smug face and was rewarded with the sound of the metal making contact at least on his arm.

Below in the cells, Poncho was harassing one of the guards, all Mandolorians. There were two I believe. They march me in and I realize this may be my one chance to create enough chaos to set my friends and me free so I make use of the choke-point made by the doorway and make a grab for the gun. I have it! I am shot. But still, I have a weapons and I shoot back!

Our “Jedi” uses his force powers to hold the door to the jails closed, something about not wanting to use guns. Apparently Jedi are pacifists. I am shot a total of three times and still no help from anyone who might have been able to smuggle weapons in with them, you know, like perhaps a lightsaber? A pistol? A grenade? But nooooooo. I am shot three times for nothing so I give up and go into my cell with my head down. So disappointed in my comrades. The disappointment. I am awash with it.

A few moments later, our new pilot flitters out of his cell. He has escaped somehow! I have a moment of hope, just a moment, but then I just shake my head and walk away from the door expecting nothing is going to raise the courage of my comrades into action, right? If my taking three shots to my person isn’t enough to raise up their courage what is?

L’hrequ uses his force powers and pulls a gun from a guard’s hand. Wait, WHAT? He couldn’t have done that when I was getting SHOT! I got shot trying to create chaos to save our group and he could have pulled one of the guns from the guards?!?

Now I am more than disappointed in our pacifist Jedi. I start to reconsider that bounty. From this moment on, L’hrequ will only be Larry to me. He let me get shot when he could have pulled that gun.

I will…never…ever…forget…

He makes the weapon useless and gives it back to the guard. Winter shoots through her bars with a pistol but misses. Wait..she has a weapon too? She didn’t shoot when I was getting shot? So much disappoint.

Larry pulls the gun from the second guard! I am now insulted twice. Still I am not cheered by this, I am so full of disappointment in the one I thought was my friend. I flick my tail.

Poncho flitters to my door and hacks the lock. Ahhh, my new, TRUE friend has freed me. I POUNCE on a guard, leaping onto him with my claws extended. By the second swipe of my claws, the guard is dead.

Larry finally finds his gonads and ignites his lightsaber, using his weapon…as a cutting torch to kill a guard and get everyone out of their cells.

It is decided that Winter and her brother as the only humans will fit nicely into the Mandolorian armor in case we are questioned in our escape.

We are about to leave the jail when we hear a female voice over the intercom speaker, asking if we Troublemakers would like some help getting the main jail door open. Of course we say yes, despite our suspicions that this may be a trap.

The door is opened, the hallway is clear. We go down to the hall and have to make a choice, left or right. The female voice tells us that to the right is our gear, to the left is the landing bay. We choose the right. At the end of the hall we have the choice of again, left or right.

Opening the door we see two men behind a desk, one dressed as an officer, both casual in their stance. I blast one with the carbine rifle I had taken from our jailers (you remember, the one that Larry could have pulled from the jailers hands to shoot and defend me with earlier when I was getting shot, right?)

I flick my tail.

The officer flies backwards in his chair with the force of my blast. MoFo blasts the other one, then after realizing it is set on kill, his programming to not hurt sentients forces him to reset the weapon to stun. I hadn’t thought about that particular issue with MoFo before and for an instant wonder if we can adjust his program a bit more like the HK-47 Assassin models. That instant is gone as we are busy gearing ourselves up and moving on again with our escape.

Larry has done his part and the other guard is down but still he is un-forgiven by me. I turn my back to him. I flick my tail.

We head back down the way we had come, now in the direction of the landing bay. The female voice warns us that many warriors are coming from that direction so we head back down the hall and instead of going right to the room where our gear was in, we go left and enter an elevator. It stops before making it’s destination. Was it MoFo who hacked it panel and got it running again?

Two floors down, the elevator opens up to darkened hallways. MoFo and I put on our goggles to better see. We pass several doors until we find the one the “Voice” leads us to and find it opens up into a warehouse which is a tad better lit than the hallways.

Halfway through the warehouse the trap is sprung. Heavy metal doors open to the left and right of us. I climb atop a crate as does Pax and her brother. MoFo runs towards the big bulky creature that has come through one of the doors and from inside his chassis he pulls a grenade and lobs it at the beast, injuring it a great deal!

To support my friend who runs into danger (after giving Larry a dirty look and flicking my tail in contempt) I USE MY WEAPON and shoot the beast that MoFo is attacking. Larry decides this is a worthy enough fight to break out his gonads and finishes off the bulky beast.

The second creature, agile and spindly with six deadly razor sharp appendages attacks Winter Pax! The others seem surprised that Asher does well with the weapon he is using in defense of his sister though I expect it is out of jealousy because Asher is so pretty.

As we all turn our attention to saving Pax, we are horrified when the creature uses it’s proboscis to insert something into Winter Pax’s body! Gaawwwwdddd NO!

We bring the monster down and MoFo does a quick bit of triage. I catch Larry’s eye and turn my back to him again with a flick of my tail. MoFo determines that he cannot remove the thing now without the equipment needed to do so safely, and that the object is worming it’s way towards her heart. We have 24 hours to remove it or Winter Pax will die!

The Voice directs us to another elevator and we move from there to the final door. We are outside, on a narrow rocky path on the ledge of a cliff overlooking a great forest much like Togoria. We decide to tie off with each other in case one of us slips. I lead the way ahead and make it to a safe spot. The others follow but not before Pax slips. Asher pulls at his rope to save her and calls for assistance in pulling her back up which is done easily enough.

Now we are faced with a force-field., which magically drops as we near it. Ahhh, our Voice I expect. We had made a deal with her, that she would continue to help us if we promise to take her with us, a deal easy enough to make and she did not fail us (I turn my back on Larry again and flick my tail.)

With the force-field down, MoFo sends in his little spider in to scope out what foes may be between us and our entrance into the ship on the field, the same ship that brought us here. There are two guards.

MoFo bravely runs to the guards and tosses a grenade at them. I shoot, miss, and run into the ship. Pax shoots, hits, and runs into the ship. Asher and Mofo shoot, Larry shoots (now he is okay with guns, I bite back a hiss and flick my tail) and we all are now in the ship and hit the controls to close the ramp.

Quickly MoFo launches to the cockpit and makes to start up the systems. Password….password…..Mofo tries to hack the system and fails.

The Voice, no longer disembodied and speaking to us from an intercom, speaks up with a drawl. “I can help you with that.”

MoFo punches in the password, fires up the ship, and we are off!!!!

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Poncho's Logs 1.3 (and the Un-logged script)
Mission: Rescue Asher From Hell Part II

…Initializing …

Password: * * * * *

…Processing…

… Scanning Fingerprint…

… Identity Confirmed…

Welcome Poncho :)

Creating New Folder: The Mission…

→ Report: Day 5- [Enter Date Here] | 1400 -[Enter Time Here]

I feel I should start this off by noticing the stress of the decision to undergo the initiation trials or somehow find another way was getting to us all. Pand’Ora seemed especially bothered by the whole situation, I’m assuming being this close to Rossi, but still stuck playing his way wasn’t to her liking. Though, to be fair it wasn’t to my liking either. We all reconvened again to discuss what we had discovered as well as where to go next.

Discussion began over discussing whether or not to get Brand more involved in our investigations. L’hrequ felt that we shouldn’t return so soon after being sent out or else it make us look like fools. I wasn’t sure what time had to do with the information we were able to obtain (since that is apparently what the Truthseeker wanted us to do), but L’hrequ seemed assured we didn’t have it yet. Winter agreed, but felt that Brand would have to be alerted eventually, if we ever planned to get off this planet with the Silver Bucket. Not that I wanted to see that sour face again, but I did feel that informing Brand of Deekin’s scouting would at least make it appear we were working with him. And, worse come to worse, if we had to do some nasty tasks to get into this gang, we could, perhaps, have some kind of royal permission to do the deeds unheeded. Not that there is much law, but most people here don’t like the Ganathians, I suspected that targets for loyalty missions may, somehow, negatively impact the people of this planet. Mo said that we should give him the fungus treatment, leave Brand in the dark and feed him…well I’m sure you can fill in the blank there. Though I could really go for some home-grown fungus right now.

Still, the talk of Brand, I feel, was just a way to buy us time from the real decision, should we undergo the initiation. Winter opened it up, in the most shocking of ways! Winter presented her plan as she saw it. Step 1: We undergo the initiation, Step 2: We get to Rossi, Step 3: Winter would torture Rossi, make him suffer, and then Pand’Ora would kill him. Pand’Ora was enthusiastic with that plan, but, I’ve got to be honest I was shocked. I tried to pull away from such plans, by bringing up that going through Deekin was going to be handing all the cards to Rossi, we would have no room to maneuver. Winter started saying something about not liking something, but her train of thought seemed to fade. I suggested we could try to get back to our ship, its sensors could help us sweep the area for any strange activity, possibly pinpointing Rossi’s gang’s works. Though the possibility of that seemed unlikely, and no one really jumped on it, which, unfortunately, kind of took my experience out of the situation.

When presenting the plans, Winter suggested that we could investigate possibly two things, one being a way to get to Rossi without going through this test at all or to just get more information on what this test would be like. L’hrequ was assertive that we had already investigated what the expectations of the test, either you die or you are never seen again! Pand’Ora also presented that those were the reasons why no one else would know what there is to expect. L’hrequ continued, of course, to get to the morbid details of how we would die from the initiation, being burned or diced into pieces, but regardless, stating again, that we would be dead (in this scenario) either way. I interrupted mentioning that while no one is ever seen again (well, unless they died) we do know at least the last place they are seen and that is in the Cantina. So wherever Rossi is, the Cantina must lead there somehow. L’hrequ did say that was a true point, and said that we did have the option to sneak into the tavern at night and looking for the way down. Winter liked the plan formulating, but questioned how we would get to back of the tavern to look around. I mentioned that the Kubaz probably knew how to get all around the city, seeing as he was able to disappear in the alleyway, perhaps he would know a way. L’hrequ, looking at our best guess of time on this planet, suggested that we were a bit hurried. I piped in that we are not really in a hurry, as we are stuck here either way, and L’hrequ said that was what he meant to say. So then, L’hrequ suggested that perhaps we should wait until nightfall and see what changes. Though, since this tavern also served as an inn, the place probably isn’t going to close. Winter also brought up that we got rather little information from the populace, L’hrequ believes it could be because the populace is fearful. So we had opportunities around us.

L’hrequ decided to hang around the tavern to “listen” to what goes on within. Pand’Ora mentioned she would stay as well, helping keep an eye on things (and seemingly itching for a brawl). Winter, however, decided that she would rather enjoy going shopping, though seemed to have low expectations on what she would find. Though with her primary goal being information gathering, Winter figured it could still be a profitable venture. Mo pulled out a weird remote thing and that seemed to preoccupy most of his time. From what I gather, he has some kind of remote control droid of some sort he was utilizing as a camera that he set up in the back of the Stranded Cantina. I had wanted to investigate the alleyway where the Kubaz had disappeared, and the surrounding area, but Winter was to valuable at this time (well, she was the one most at risk) so I decided to go with her instead. Besides, since I don’t seem to have any other applicable skills for this group, I could at least help with lowering some prices. Pand’Ora seemed nervous about Winter leaving, but Winter told her that I was with her and it was going to be OK. While Winter’s confidence in me is pleasant, the look Pand’Ora gave me when she asked if I could protect Winter was spine-tingling. I doubted anything was going to happen, so I told Pand’Ora I could, though I really was hoping nothing would happen now. Not just for keeping Winter and I safe, but also I didn’t want to fail and see what Pand’Ora would do should something happen to Winter.

So Winter and I perused the many shops scattered around the Foreign Quarter of the city, and it would appear Winter’s expectations on finding fashionable wears was on point. Most everything being offered was ten or more years dated. The shops were all very welcoming, at the very least, I suppose you have to make the most of being stuck on this backwater planet. In addition to clothing shops, we came across another cantina (only this one appeared focused on more “wealthy” clientele) and a junk dealer selling all sorts of things, included some ship parts. Winter, uninspired from the clothing options, seemed more focused on the people, gauging social status as well as inquiring about, perhaps, a black market working within the Foreign Quarter. Not that I wanted to flaunt my past, but I did offer to help her utilizing what I’ve learned form being in a gang before, which seemed to help at least a little (which makes sense, I wasn’t too deep into the structure of Viper’s gang). In the end, Winter decided to approach two of the, well what appeared to be, prostitutes to see if they had any more knowledge on the seedy underbelly of this place. One of them was a Human who refused to speak to us, for some reason, but the Twi’lek woman seemed to be a bit steamed about something and was more than willing to have someone to talk to. She told us that the underworld does exist and all its machinations are lead out of the Stranded Cantina. And everyone within, as far as this Twi’lek is concerned, are scoundrels and we could tell that she hates not getting paid for her “services.” Then things began to get a bit shocking, Winter asked how much the Twi’lek charges for a standard “trick” (is that what those are called?). The Twi’lek looked Winter up and down, and said, for her, it would be about 50 credits. To which, Winter then pulled out a credit stick worth 100 credits and handed it over. I’m pretty sure my face turned a bright red, and my jaw dropped. Was Winter really doing this?

In the end, Winter was mostly using the money to help assuage more information from the Twi’lek. Winter discovered that there aren’t any allegiances to a pimp or organization. The Twi’lek told Winter that the few working girls serving on Ganath are not organized in that sense. However, the Twi’lek did say that they do give discounts to certain people. The discounts be qualified as the right thing to do. When Winter inquired about the similarities between those that receive the discounts, she was told that they were all ruffians and all work out of the Stranded Cantina, “all scruffy looking nerf-herders” in her words. The twi’lek also highlighted her irritation when the discount becomes “free”and how she needed to speak to Markus about that. Additionally, the twi’lek told us that Deekin promised her he would investigate the “free rides” and she said that she trusts him (seems Deekin has some footing here as well). Winter agreed that not paying for the services was disrespectful. At this point, the human that was with the twi’lek told the twi’lek “Birdie you’ve said enough. We’re going to get in trouble,” and I really didn’t want them to receive any backlash for Birdie’s assistance. However, Birdie was confident that she wouldn’t get in trouble, and didn’t even care. Winter mentioned that she appreciated Birdie’s sass. Birdie did ask Winter if she was planning on entering the her career field, to which Winter declined. Winter instead stated that she, too, was having trouble with those within the Cantina, and asked if it was being run by anyone. To which Birdie said its that Bothan guy, Deekin, “he may not look like it, but he runs the place! No matter what anyone else says, he really is the final word in this place. He tries to play it straight and narrow, most of the time. But, he has desires just like any other man.” Winter asked if there had been any other group that had tried to shift the balance of power within the city, to which Birdie said no. However, Birdie did inform us that there was a group of spacers that came in about a year ago, but she thinks they are still in the Cantina. Birdie believed that she still sees them sometimes, particularly a Kalleran, she didn’t remember his name, but said that he stands out because he is quiet and moody (which she apparently finds sexy). Though, Birdie did say that this Kalleran is very kind, the few times she had spoken to him the Kalleran had been very polite. This Kalleran was part of those spacers that came in about a year ago, and they disappeared for a day or two, but then they came back and just stay in the Cantina as part of Deekin’s group, Birdie guessed. Birdie wasn’t too sure what the group does, besides hanging out and being lazy (accented by an epic eyeroll). Birdie continued saying that they are just like men and don’t work at all, but looked at me and said no offense. Though, I told her that my own father would agree to my “laziness” as well and Birdie said that my father sounded like a smart man (depends on your point of view I guess). Birdie hoped that my father was not trapped on this rock as well, to which I could assuage her by telling her my father wouldn’t be caught dead here…well unless there was money to be made. Winter mentioned that it is probably better than we thought, but I think that being trapped “is” a hell in itself. Winter did bring up the point that some people never leave their planets and don’t feel trapped, but the choice is what is important. After all, I left Toydaria, which is probably the best planet in the galaxy.

I asked Birdie about the Kubaz, to which she told us that there were a few of them. They seem to just watch on the street, creepy like, and sometimes get together and speak in their “wabble wabble” language. I asked if they ever congregated or hung out in a particular place, Birdie said that had seen one leave the Cantina before, but otherwise they just watch. At this point, Winter introduces herself much more formally, and asks for Birdie’s name as well. To which we are told that Birdie’s name is actually Lucinda. Winter, then asked Lucinda about Rossi (without using his name) mentioning that we know someone supposed to be high up in the boss ranks, but he is never here in the Foreign Quarter. Winter mentioned the person we are looking for was a Togorian, which Lucinda knew about, and that we wanted to meet him, but apparently there is a big initiation procedure we have to go through to do so. Winter asked Lucinda if she had heard anything about that. Lucinda answered, strangely, that she didn’t know any fellow named Rossi (even saying “is that what you said his name was,” but we never mentioned his name), but that she had heard of some sort of initiation thing/boys club were people can go in to try to join Deekin’s group. Lucinda always assumed it was some sort of drinking contest or something. Winter mentioned, fishing for an answer to the contrary, that we had hoped to see Rossi without undergoing such festivities, but that it was appearing that we had little choice. Lucinda told us that had Rossi, being a Togorian, had ever been in the Foreign Quarter she would remember him, but up to this point she has never seen him. Winter told Lucinda that we had brought a Togorian with us, which seemed to get Lucinda excited (at least until Lucinda discovered the Togorian was a she), and that she is an impressive creature (strange way to describe someone, but…). Lucinda seemed worried that this Togorian would want to enter the business, but was glad to hear that she was not going to (or at least it was unlikely since the Togorian was married. Lucinda congratulated her, but I mentioned that the marriage probably wasn’t going to last long as it was a somewhat toxic relationship. After all that, Winter thanked Lucinda for her candidness. Lucinda told us we were welcome, but asked if we were sure that was all we wanted for the 100 credits Winter had given her, to which Winter told her that it was. This made Lucinda smile, and she thanked Winter for being so kind. I wished Lucinda luck in her endeavors, and she thanked me and told me I was cute with my little wings. I blushed, though I doubted I was her type. Winter said we don’t really know what Twi’leks want since they seem to be all over….um never mind, I think I’ll leave this part out. Though it was a somewhat nice complement, I suppose. I blushed again. As we left, Lucinda wished us a nice day (to which we wished her the same) before sashaying back to her position.

I don’t know what happened for L’hrequ, Mo, and Pand’Ora at the Stranded Cantina, but they were all sitting together when Winter and I returned. Apparently, L’hrequ is quite the people watcher (sorta weird pastime) and figured out a bunch of information on the barkeeps, like their names being Jondar (the human barkeep) and Kwilcan (the Weequay), all by just watching them. I believe I even caught him practicing their voices. Strange. L’hrequ really wanted to wait until around Midnight to instigate his plan, so everyone decided to just hang out until then. I found myself getting to agitated from waiting, so I told everyone I was going out and went on a hunt for the Kubaz. Pand’Ora was real sweet and brought me food buckets here and there which I really appreciated. Though, I had little luck finding any of my marks, though I did talk to some nice people.

While I was gone, around 2000 hours Deekin returned to the bar and approached the group. I don’t have all the details, but they apparently had quite a talk. Deekin was fishing for them to undergo the initiation, and tried to lead the conversation in that direction. Winter told him that the group was trying to get a feel for the place, but Deekin said that they should have gotten plenty. Not much to sell, as there are not much of them (outsiders to Ganath). And, if it wasn’t for Emperor Brand, the Ganathians would probably had killed all the outsiders. Mo I hear asked if Brand was seen much, but Deekin said only when he first arrived. They discussed the armor of Brand and legends of him being a comet. Mo asked why Rossi uses this Cantina, and Deekin said that they are all people-people and good at recruiting good members. I guess L’hrequ grabbed Deekin as he was about to leave to investigate what happens if we made the cut, but other than “meeting Rossi” he didn’t get anymore information. Apparently Rossi would have some kind of work for us based on our skill set and Rossi’s needs. When Winter and L’hrequ asked where Rossi takes the gang members he uses, Deekin said he didn’t know, but that Rossi could be up to no good anywhere (given the Ganathian’s low level of technology). L’hrequ mentioned something about Deekin being “good” at not knowing things, and Deekin said he doesn’t want to make himself too important. Though, when L’hrequ did ask if Deekin ever leaves the planet, Deekin said no, but if Rossi is leaving he is either really sneaky (as there are satellites or something looking for ships trying to leave), or (whispering) Rossi has someone on the inside. Regarldess, Deekin somehow managed to convince the group to undergo the tests, as I got a call on my comm asking me if I wanted to join them. I really didn’t want to, I felt uncomfortable going through Rossi’s group. However, I was assigned to help this group, so I had little choice. Winter did say that she would never leave me behind, which was sweet, even if it involved joining another gang.

So I returned as L’hrequ approached Deekin and told him that we were ready for the initiation (though I was sure I’d have nothing really to contribute….per usual). Deekin then rose, pulling out a long knife and began to bang on his glass really loud. Calling everyone to attention, saying that there were new contestants which made everyone in the Cantina cheer and get excited. The Initiation is a set of tests, of which there are four. The first was to take place outside, in case anything goes wrong, and we were lead through a series of doors and hallways. As we walked, Winter applied her darkest shade of lipstick and a crowd began to follow us behind murmuring about the upcoming test. Going through the hallway, it eventually emptied out to the back alley where the crowd dispersed to the left and right sides of the wall, not going into the center of the alley. Deekin, like the crowd, seemed particularly happy and excited and the crowd even began to make bets. I’m pretty sure someone was betting I would get smooched by the end of the first round. Though, soon the crowd went quiet as Deekin introduced the first test, the Test of Sight. Apparently, it was the easiest test, and Deekin asked for a volunteer from our group mentioning it should be someone gifted with a rifle. I shook my head, but the rest of the group all turned to Pand’Ora who seemed eager to play. Deekin said he wasn’t surprised, but then called her Lady Kitten, seemed inappropriate to me. At the same time, the crowd called for a man named Beedo and told him to head down the alley and hold up the bottle of swill he was drinking. This Beedo fellow seemed like a drunkard, who willing lifted the target, as Deekin informed us that the goal was to shoot the bottle out of Beedo’s hand (the distance was about fifty meters and down the dark alley). Pand’Ora took her time, as we waited. However, as she took the shot, I saw Deekin elbow into her shooting arm pushing the blast just enough to make Pand’Ora accidentally hit Beedo’s hand instead, blasting some of the drunkards fingers off (two) and the bottle falls from his hand and lands on the ground unbroken. Pand’Ora immediately turned and punched Deekin in the face. The crowd found it exciting, as Deekin grabbed his face and cried out that it was an accident (As if) and that Pand’Ora would get a second shot. When Pand’Ora threaten him, Deekin said that he would stand far away (out of punch range). In the meantime, Mo dashed down the alley towards Beedo and when he arrived Mo began gathering the lost fingers and operating on Beedo to help remedy the man’s wounds. Mo’s kindness surprising me yet again. As far as I could tell from seeing Beedo later, the lost fingers were all patched back up and would eventually heal, good job Mo!

L’hrequ moved himself between Deekin and Pand’Ora asking what happened, when Pand’Ora explained it, L’hrequ turned to question Deekin if it was true. However, Pand’Ora asked if L’hrequ could honestly believe that she would miss that shot, mentioning how many people he had seen her kill with that shot, to which L’hrequ did mention that it did take Pand’Ora forever to take the shot before continue questioning Deekin. Deekin continued to say it was an accident, to which I constantly mentioned it wasn’t, but L’hrequ told Deekin that we should call that shot good (particularly with the tampering), but Deekin said the only other option was to withdraw. L’hrequ asked if the games would continue like this, cheating, but Deekin said it would only be cheating if he said we had failed. That answer didn’t appease L’hrequ, mentioning Beedo’s lost fingers, but Deekin merely brushed it off (a point that made L’hrequ threaten to take Deekin’s fingers if he did such an act again). Deekin called for Beedo to set it up again (and calling us complainers), but Beedo’s courage was waning. Fortunately for Beedo, however, Mo stepped up and placed the bottle on top of his head, sending the crowd into coos of oohs and ahs! L’hrequ said something about it being a good deal as losing a droid isn’t like losing a life, which I chastised him for. That was Mo up there! Then L’hrequ called me Nacho….what? Sancho now Nacho, does L’hrequ even know my name? Or was he insulting my eating habits…though speaking of eating nachos would have been really good at the time. Anyways, L’hrequ then asked Winter and I to surround Pand’Ora to keep any more accidents from happening. L’hrequ even pulled out his pistol and held it to his chest (to which raised some eyebrows) and Deekin told L’hrequ to put it away, looking pretty distraught. L’hrequ stood unflinching mentioning that were he comes from there is no cheating. As Deekin stood agape, calling L’hrequ a tough one, Winter said that L’hrequ was the nicest one among us. A point I had to deny, was I missing something? Still, Pand’Ora set up her shot again. With no hesitation, even with Mo as the bottle bearer, Pand’Ora blasted the bottle off of Mo’s head without leaving a drop on him. Mo pretended to drop, but the stood up (messing with the crowd). With the trial completed the crowd seemed excited for our victory. Deekin congratulated the Pand’Ora, asking if we could all shoot that good. Of course L’hrequ didn’t even leave him to his imagination and said no. Mo returned to us as the crowd rushed up to congratulate us…however, this seemed to just be an introduction for the second Trial.

Deekin once again said that the shot was amazing, and even congratulated the first one in which would have been a success if it were not for his “accident.” Mo’s standing in even made Deekin extra congratulatory, and Mo was even approached and slapped on the back (a particularly enjoyable one) and it was followed by a annoying beeping sound, making the crowd and Deekin begin to back away in a hurry. As Deekin backed away, he introduced the second test, the Test of Discipline, giving us thirty seconds or therefore to disarm the thermal detonator stuck on Mo’s back to rescue our friend. Winter immediately took charge, directing her companions as to what to do. Mo twisted his arm and head around and used his mechanical knowledge to open up the detonator’s chassis, providing access to the computer system that L’hrequ utilized to disarm the bomb, with Pand’Ora’s watchful eye to help guide their hands and prevent an early travesty. I didn’t really do much, Winter told me to help everyone to stay calm. I’m not sure my voice warrants much calm, but it was nice of her to pretend I was helping. I’m pretty sure they’ve even been in worse situations (even I survived a terrible swoop crash) so I doubted they were in a panic. Though I was glad for Pand’Ora’s eyes helping L’hrequ his hands didn’t seem particularly apt at working the computer. Still together, they managed to diffuse the the thermal detonator just in time, I think the timer stopped on the last second. As the crowd went wild, Mo stuffed the detonator into one of his compartments. Mo’s legs also jerked a bit, apparently the detonator somehow was preventing Mo’s legs from falling. However, not everyone was excited with our victory, since some of them seemed to have lost some credits on bets.

Seeing our victory, Deekin congratulated us again, saying we are doing at least as well as the last group that did it (I mean we had to since you need to pass to succeed, so a wasted statement), and then introduced us to them. The first introduction was to a Geonosian named Urdle, who seems to have appeared just for this event. The second was the Kalleran that Lucinda mentioned, his name being Ku Taow (not really sure how it’s spelled) and he came out of the crowd and gave us a bow. The next one introduced was R7 who appeared to be an astromech droid with blue coloration. Lastly, Orto was introduced as the final member of the last group to succeed. With the seemingly random introductions finished Deekin said that it was time for the third test, the Test of Strength, telling us we were going to love this one and then Deekin went to hit Winter. I, however, saw it coming and called out a warning allowing Pand’Ora to claw Deekin for his audacity to try and attack winter. Orto took advantage of Pand’Ora’s distraction and tried to hit her, but Pand’Ora didn’t even seem to react from the blow. Ku Taow slid up to L’hrequ and with some fancy movements crashed a blow into L’hrequ who was managing to block several blows, but not all of them. Urdle flew at me and punched me in the stomach, and it merely tickled. My suit was built for crashing in races, he’d need a lot more force for me to feel it. R7 pulled out a bunch of bladed appendages, but Deekin shouted at the droid telling him that it had to be non-lethal (even mentioning the droid had been told that before). R7 made some depressed sounded beeps, but swapped out the blades for some blunted metal rods that it spun at Mo who merely used his hands to hold him at bay. Deekin recovered form Pand’Ora’s blow and continued his punch against winter, landing a blow to her chest. L’hrequ didn’t seem to hold the spirit for brawls, and as he stepped away from Ku Taow’s fists, began moving his arms towards a nearby dumpster which seemed to react to his movements. With another wave of his arms, the dumpster was sent soaring through the air and crashed into Ku Taow who was smashed under its weight, but the Kalleran managed to regain his footing. Mo also didn’t vouch for fisticuffs, pulling out a wrench instead and smashing it against R-7. Winter made a return attack against Deekin, striking out with a surprising amount of ferocity directed at Deekin’s crown jewels, making Deekin jump back quickly and putting him in a bad position. I wasn’t worried about the Geonosian, despite his grumpy face I figured he didn’t have the power to affect me. Still, it seemed we were all dealing with our primary aggressor, so I punched Urdle back. Main difference was, Urdle actually felt something.

L’hrequ crashed a trash can into poor Ku Taow again (Really L’hrequ, cheating? I thought your planet didn’t have cheaters) who clearly wasn’t expecting such barrages as he took another large blow. Deekin slammed Winter again, and Orto managed to land another large fist into Pand, this time however she seemed to be a bit rattled by it. Urdle punched me again, flying down at me from above…and I think I felt the wind from his flying by more than a fist. R7’s little fists spun into Mo, the metal on metal giving off a hideous screeching sound. Ku Taow remains strong, despite the large objects crashing into him from the Jedi’s trickery, and struck a blow against L’hrequ again. Pand’Ora changed her target from Deekin to Orto, striking the large Ortolan with her claws. Mo, undeterred by R-7’s chipping fists and continued battering the little droid with the wrench. Deekin plays with Winter, daring her to make her best shot as if she was going to miss. Winter showed him up however, landing a vicious blow to Deekin’s lower extremities (to say the least), a blow that showed. I swung at Urdle, and though I missed I was able to bring myself into a much more defensible position, not that I needed it.

Poor Ku Taow once again found himself meeting the base of the dumpster again as L’hrequ seemed to enjoy hearing the painful crashing sound as his trashy weapon hit. Only this time, it didn’t appear as if Ku Taow had the strength to stand as he and the dumpster crashed into a wall with a nasty crashing sound. Orto landed another blow on Pand’Ora who answered back again with her vicious claws. Urdle pushed towards me, and while he missed I did bump against Mo which knocks my friend off-balance enough for R-7 to take advantage of, smashing his metal fist things into Mo again, which in turn pushed him into Winter. Deekin took advantage of Winter’s loss of balance and landed another hit on her. I land a vicious blow to Urdle’s face, knocking him so senseless the bug couldn’t even fly straight, a fact that brought a hearty laugh out of me. Mo managed to recover his footing and smashed R-7 with his wrench again and Winter landed another ferocious blow against Deekin.

L’hrequ, no longer having his test dummy, he turns his dumpster towards Deekin which crashes into the bothan and sends him reeling, and it doesn’t appear Deekin had much left. Deekin tries to recover and bash Winter, but the dumpster blow makes Deekin a wobbly and Winter easily steps out of the way. Orto attmepts to crash his fist into Pand’Ora, but, even despite her wounds, is too nimble for the large fist inspired as the enemies begin falling. Urdle tries to hit me, but he was still addled by my last blow and was unable to even tap me. R7 spun into Mo, but his metal fists didn’t seem to be able to even chip Mo’s armor. Winter swung at Deekin, but a fortunate wobble actually assisted Deekin in avoiding the blow. Pand sunk her claws into Orto again causing him to roar in pain. I managed to land a flying uppercut to the jaw of Urdle, sending him crashing to the ground, out for the count. Mo landed another clanging blow with his wrench on R-7.

With no foe left for me, and Winter looking likes she was in a bad state, I dash over to Deekin and land a blow to his chest crashing the wind from his lungs and knocks him out. R-7 crashed into Mo chipping off some paint and Orto’s fist landed on Pand’Ora, but she rolled with the blow and seemed unharmed. Pand’Ora returned the blow to Orto, clawing his face with such force the Ortolan became disoriented. Mo decided that this wrench battle was taking too long, dropped his wrench, drew out his massive blaster rifle and blasted R-7 who sparked and squealed from the force and shut off. Winter swung into Orto, but his thick hide didn’t give to her attack. Which was rather unfortunate for Orto, as L’hrequ was still hurling his trash around, and Orto was hit by the dumpster and crashed to the floor. Come to think of it, we were all very lucky not to be hit by the dumpster too. Still, the battle was won as we stood among our now fallen foes. Winterand L’hrequ looked pretty shaken though, and Mo was rather hard to read. I felt fine, but, to be fair, I had to deal with the wimp. Winter really impressed me, however, as her and I were the only two in the group to fight fair. L’hrequ’s actions didn’t suprise me, Jedi… Mo began assisting Winter and L’hrequ in their recovery as the crowd went absolutely bonkers including throwing things in the air and even some gunshots. Deekin, Ku Taow, Orto, R7, and Urdle recovered, and Deekin (considering the circumstances) was seemingly pretty jovial as he clean himself up. In fact, most of them seemed to be in a good mood besides Urdle (who was super grumpy, strange since he was probably the weakest link) and R7 who said that it wasn’t even trying and if it had, Mo would have gone down. Deekin helped pick up Ku Taow from the rubble and the man gave us a bow. Seems we somehow earned respect from this. Winter apologized for her low blows, insisting that she was aiming for the knee caps, not that Deekin believed her. And then there was some discussion of low-hanging fruit and things being apple sized. Deekin then asked if we were ready for our final test, not that we had a choice, and led us back into the Cantina.

Giving us all a seat at one of the booths, Deekin introduced us to the final test, the Test of Endurance, as he licked his lip from some of the blood that was caked there. Deekin said it is probably the most difficult, and even asked Ku Taow to confirm, but the Kalleran just rolled his eyes and shook his head. Apparently it was going to be a drinking contest (why is it never an eating contest), even the droid was allowed to compete since they had some kind of special drinks for him, and it would be all of us against one of them. And with that, the crowd began to chant the name “Meeker” and along the wall a small hatch opened. From it a small creature (about four feet tall) with large eyes and ears came out of it. In fact, he was rather cute and animated. This Meeker as he arrived at the table pointed at us…not sure why was it supposed to be scary? If it was, the crowd bringing over a booster chair certainly took even more of an edge off of it. With Meeker seated, the waitresses brought over drinks for each of us (the one that appeared different went to Mo) and all had something smoking on the top as they put them all in front of us. Deekin told us that even if we fail, we go out feeling good (maybe if it was food). L’hrequ mentioned something about being liquid intolerant, but was told his only option was to drop from this competition to which he did not.

The goal of this test was to drink the entire glass of…this liquid. If anyone one of us was left standing when Meeker passes out, the whole group would win. I asked what was with the drink if only one would eventually take us out, but I guess I misinterpreted the rules as we were going to be served drink after drink. Though we were told that if anyone has any weakness to urine we’d be at a disadvantage (I’d hate to be involved in making this stuff). Deekin also insisted that there would be no cheating in this contest, as his eyes looked and Pand’Ora (though I’d look at L’hrequ), but Pand’Ora told him he would know about cheating. Right when we were going to begin, Winter called us to a halt, asking to use the bathroom before we began. Deekin was hesitant, but Winter managed to convince him to let her go (no one else, just the lady since he was a gentleman).0 Even more weird was Deekin following after her…I was creeped out and kept my ears open in case Deekin tried to do anything. Apparently, Deekin was just ensuring she really had to pee. Winter doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would cheat, kind of reminds me of Nancy that way. Anyway, when Winter returned (applying her lipstick along the way) the contest began. The drink wasn’t the best thing I’ve had, but it didn’t seem bad. Pand’Ora was the first finished, with Meeker matching her speed. I don’t know what was in Mo’s drink, but he sparked and then crashed onto the table. L’hrequ worried that Mo was hurt in some way, but Deekin said he would be fine as he declared one man being down. Winter finished her drink last, she was taking her time and even licked the extra off her lips… was she enjoying this beverage that much?

Round 2 came around and the drinks were delivered again, this time the crowd found it OK to catcall the waitress, how rude. Still we all got our drinks, except Mo, and we all took our drinks. L’hrequ seemed confident, but then his head crashed onto the table. Pand’Ora looked like the drink was gonna get to her, but she managed to recoup and get back together. Meeker seemed to be having a good time, and Winter still seemed to be fine as well. I was detecting hints of mold….it would probably taste better not in a drink.

Round 3 came around and we all got another glass. Pand’Ora, still wavering from her last ordeal with the beverage couldn’t handle the third and went down. Meeker seemed to be doing just fine as was Winter. I was getting rather hungry…I could go for some fungus bread right now….yum fungus…. Deekin was really rude to Pand’Ora as she was unconscious yelling at her about not being so big now or something, honestly….Deekin is a jerk. I yelled at him for it as the next set of drinks arrived.

Round 4 arrived and I got to be honest I could really go for something to eat instead, my tummy was so rumbling something fierce. We all took our shots and things weren’t looking good…like they were all fuzzy. I saw Meeker’s face land into the table…so that was good. But, my own vision started to fade. Last thing I saw was Winter, with perfect poise applying yet another application of lipstick to her lips. She must really be worried about looking good to this crowd, and she certainly could hold her…whatever this is. Winter did well.

I don’t remember too much after that, I was just really hungry. I really hoped that I ate something. Although I really do feel bad I was so out of it. I’m sure we could have gotten some kind of investigating done after our contest completion.

I awoke in the Stranded Cantina, as did all the others and Deekin was already prepared to take us all to “meet Rossi.” Meeker was still laying in his high chair and we were told not to wake him (apparently he is a grumpy riser). It seems it would be our last chance to get out of this, but the others seemed set on this path. Looks like we were going to bid the Foreign Quarter good-bye and follow Deekin wherever that was. We were lead through the back, this time, through the kitchen just like members of the gang. Deeking seemed somewhat more comfortable around us (I always feel comfortable around people who have proven they can and are probably willing to knock my socks off). Exiting the Cantina and entering the alley we walk for another ten to fifteen minutes before the buildings begin to get more sparse as we get to what seems like the edge of town. We are lead to this building that appears to be some sort of garage or motor-pool. Parts of delabidated bits of skiffs, bikes, trikes, hovercrafts, even a landspeeder or two. Some seemed to be in working condition, while others were clearly beyond repair. Entering this building, the employees seemed to have little to no cares in the world, working on their projects and not even paying attention to us as we entered. Deekin took us towards the front desk, where he and the attendant behind the desk gave each other slanted nods before we continued to the back door to the back. Out back, there were more vehicles as well as a large shuttle-craft. It appears to be a large freighter converted into a shuttle-craft vehicle for transport. The loading ramp was converted into an entrance, and it was opened wide for us at the moment. With the converted freighter in sight, Deekin turned to us to ensure we were ready to go, as we wouldn’t have another chance to come back at least for awhile (though, since I’m sure this is a trap, he means it to be awhile). L’hrequ asked if we would be leaving the planet, but Deekin said no. This converted freighter is the fastest ship they have since the Ganathian’s won’t let anyone have anything that can leave the atmosphere (they can have this, but I can’t have my SugarScoot?!). Deekin did say there would be food and drink on the way, at least, including a keg of that swill from last night. Apparently, he brought a keg. Mo said it was thoughtful of him, but I’m sure that was meant in a sarcastic way. Winter whispered to me her suspicions of Deekin, of which I of course agreed, and together we hoped to get a good read of Deekin, but he seemed genuine. Well, that at least speaks for the food and the pleasant thought of us falling into the trap. Regardless, we all loaded up into the freighter where the cargo hold was to be our seating area. Three people were already here, they seemed to recognize us from the Cantina, frankly I had no idea who they were…though I also spent the least amount of time in that place. Stupid Cantina.

Deekin was the last to board, and when he did he hit a button to close the hangar door which seemed to signal the pilot that it was time to go. Deekin kindly offered us our choice of seats in this delightful hangar bay that could fit about thirty, but I didn’t want to sit down. There were no windows, of course what trap would leave us windows, so nothing was really comfortable for L’hrequ. Pand’Ora sat down in a comfortable seat to stretch her leg and began to…clean herself? The ship jerked and began to take off, and I searched for a data link to attach my datapad to, but there wasn’t even a port to track cargo. Additionally, my data goggles couldn’t even link to the signals from the freighter itself. Frustrating! I went to go to the cockpit, but that too was locked from us. The urge to cut it down with my fusion cutter grew with each passing second. The ship was running smoothly, its engine sounded good and everything, so it seemed unlikely the ship was incapable of producing a signal. With the last straw I decided to ask Deekin who gave the classic, we can’t tell you “yet” until Rossi gives us permission. Deekin refused to supply any useful information as it wasn’t allowed. Nonsense….total trap. I began focusing on the vibrations, engine sounds, and the like to get a read on turns and the like but the rest of the group was rather distracting. Mo continuously told me to stop worrying about it, and L’hrequ seemed to agree. At least I was trying to something, I had to find something to help, somehow prevent this trap. Winter asked how long the trip was going to take, and Deekin said that it would take around six hours. And Deekin said mentioned that the ship was heading South for about 8,000 kilometers. Deekin and L’hrequ had some kind of discussion about L’hrequ being a Jedi, and that Deekin thought they were plagues on the galaxy or something. L’hrequ tried to say the Jedi were once guardians of the peace, but Deekin called him out on that pointing out the carnage created by the dumpsters. Though Deekin did say that L’hrequ should keep his Jedi things under the radar, and said something about saying too much. Additionally, at the mention of “tricks” Pand’Ora and Deekin got into an argument on the not so accidental elbowing.

After around six hours of coming up with no way to help us out of this situation, I felt the freighter shift and lower its landing gear…seems we had arrived. L’hrequ even made a snide question if I knew where we were at. Cute, why did I even get sent with this group…this isn’t racing…its not even driving or flying. Anyways, Deekin rose, stretched, and walked over to open the ramp. The oher people joined him quickly, as they all headed down the ramp. The rest of the group quickly followed, except Winter who freshened up first, and I am leaving last… I checked my datapad (since I’m on it anyways), and I had a connection again, but couldn’t get a clue where we were, but at least connections exist (so there was a blocker). Still, I have to go now, I’ll continue this report once the trap triggers…if I’m still alive…

[Saving Log]
-———————
Poncho flew out of the freighter and into the large hangar bay to meet up with the rest of the group. Looking around, it seems that the path into the hangar was seperated from the rest of the world with a large shimmering force-field. The field’s blue glow preventing any hope of an easy escape. Of course, Poncho thought, couldn’t even steal this ship thanks to that. Behind the blue viel was the view of the sky, and below seemed to be jungle-like trees. Poncho seemed unsure if “jungle-like” is an appropriate description in basic, but couldn’t think of a better description. This base seems to be in the air somehow. Poncho tried to think of the ways, perhaps it is built on a mountain or in a tree. Or maybe, Poncho thought, it is one of those large Balloon like ships and not a base at all. Still, it would be hard to tell from here, and the group was already heading towards the Massive Hangar door at the end of the, well, hangar. The large, metal doors began to open with a loud creak and growl as it proceeded to rise out of the way. When it did so, the group was greeted by the points of forty blaster rifles pointing right at them. The rifle’s bearers all seemed to be humanoid, clothed in metallic plates and thick cloth. Their heads masked by helmets fitted with black visors, and, despite all the armors being different in color or design, they all had the same horned skull. Six of these unwelcoming hosts were on the same level as the entrance, while the others were standing along a balcony that stretched all across the airy, large, metal room.

With this great introduction, Deekin and the group all stopped. And soon, stepping through the crowd at the top of the balcony was a tall, dark Togorion fellow, Rossi, who stopped among the warrior people with a big smile on his face. Deekin turned around to face Pand’Ora and the rest of her allies and says with a smile, “This is the part where you guys give up.”

Poncho chimed in, “That’s what my dad told me too!” However, much like most things the toydarian does, it goes mostly unnoticed as Deekin continues, “It’s nothing personal, but, when you told me who you were I knew then that the boss would want to know you as well and he was sure happy to hear that you had arrived. Deekin then turned to the other vistitors, those that did not travel with Winter on her quest to rescue her brother Asher, and said, “You guys go, get out of the way, you don’t want to be in the way of this” while making pushing motions with his hands and guiding them away from the primary guests. The other visitors were petrified with fear.

Rossi waved at the group, from his safe haven about fifty feet away. Mo whispered to Pand’Ora that they could, perhaps, kill Rossi before anything happened, but no one made any such attempts. Rossi then spoke, “Thank you for accepting my invitation and for bringing me so many things that I wanted. Winter Pax, it is a pleasure to finally meet you. You’ll likely be happy to know that your father recently raised the bounty on your head. You’ll be meeting an acquaintance of mine who will be taking you back to Coruscant. I believe you know him already, Dolan? He’ll be here soon.”

“Well this is all depends on the status of my brother!” Winter retorded.

Rossi gave a mighty “oh” and continued, “We’ll get to him. He’s here, he’s safe.”

Winter continued, “I do enjoy being the center of attention, but my cooperation depends entirely on how my brother sounds.”

“Oh, you’ll be meeting soon. I promise he is in very good condition.” Rossi answered, giving the group a short pause before turning his attention to M0-F0, “And you M-0-F-0, I know certain people who are looking forward to meeting you as well and making excellent use of all that valuable data you’ve got hidden away inside you.”

“It’ll be disappointing” M0-F0 chimed.

“Like Pax,” Rossi continued, undeterred, “you will also bring me a lot of credits that I can use. What they find inside you, their disappointment, is none of my concern. I’ll just have the money.” After another pause, Rossi turned his cat-like eyes to Poncho who was confident, or seemingly so, that there really was no reason for him (Poncho) to be kept here. However, Rossi said, “I have an old, old friend of mine, who happens to be one of yours as well, who is quite eager to meet you again. She was giddy with excitement when I told her about you. I can hear the credits now!”

Poncho almost laughed, “Except I’m not wanted by her!” Clearly Rossi had no clue who really own Poncho now. And, thinking about it, Poncho wondered how Rossi could have even spoken to her about him. Rossi, as far as Poncho could tell, didn’t even know him. And even if Rossi did learn about Poncho somehow…it seems unlikely a message could be relayed before this point. Poncho grew more confused than concerned.

“Oh she is eager to see you, at least she was when I spoke with her.” Rossi continued, as he turned his gaze towards L’hrequ, “And, of course, there is you.” L’hrequ looked behind him at the mention of this you as if Rossi was speaking to someone else. Rossi spoke, “I have been asked to bring you to my partner for you are the least value to me, personally, which means you will be the first to die should you decide not to cooperate.” Poncho’s jaw dropped that the Jedi would somehow be worth less than him. Rossi knows about “her” and not the large bounty for Jedi, Poncho thought, strange. Though, perhaps Rossi’s partner has plans bigger than the bounty for L’hrequ’s tricks.

Rossi then turned his head to one of the guards and gave them a nod, “Disarm them, and if they resist make them.” And the six guard on the primary level began to approach each member in Poncho’s group. L’hrequ was checked first, and they gave him a good pat down, finding and taking away L’hrequ’s blaster pistol. However, when they came across his lightsaber, for some reason they treated it as if it was an empty blaster holster. Poncho was unsure how they could confuse it (as he could see the lightsaber ,must have been some kind of Jedi mind-trick or something. However, this didn’t work to grandly as the guard rose his voice and asked, “Where’s the other pistol?”

L’hrequ answered, “It was destroyed in a fight,” but the guards seemed unconvinced.

The guard spoke to someone over his comm, “This one is sort of fishy…” and then began to escort L’hrequ away form the rest of the group.

Winter was next to be searched, and the guards discovered a heavy blaster pistol and a vibroknife, which she surrendered willingly. Still, the guard continued his search, his hand beginning to creep up towards her breast, but Winter’s stern look made the guard back-off.

M0-F0 was next in line, and he handed over his large stun rifle, his blaster pistol, and his combat knife. However, M0-Fo tried to conceal the thermal detonator that he had hidden on his person from the trials earlier, and hoped the guard wouldn’t find it. However, the Guard saw a loose wire that he followed to where M0-F0 was hiding it. M0-F0 opened the container and the thermal detonator activated, everyone in the room got tense, including Rossi, but M0-F0 turned the detonator off and tossed it over to Rossi. The detonator didn’t go off prematurely, and M0-F0’s search was done.

Poncho was next, and the toydarian squirmed a bit as the guard took away his backpack and gear. Soon the guard’s hands began gsliding all across Poncho, somehow finding Nancy, Poncho’s blaster, tucked away in her hidden holster. “Nice try little guy,” the guard said, but Poncho played it off as just being his holster. The search continued, but the guard was unable to find Poncho’s thin molecular stiletto hidden under the thick padding of his crash suit. The guards then began to go through Poncho’s stuff, wondering why the Toydarian would have some of the stuff he did.

Pand’Ora was next, handing over her heavy blaster and her Ion blaster with attached net gun. The guards patted Pand’Ora down for more weapons and discovered her blaster pistol hidden among her fur and clothes.

L’hrequ was being led away, and as the guard and him neared the rest of the guards, more joined the march and followed. The rest of the guards, content with their examinations of the others, back away slowly until they were at a safe distance from the prisoners before joining the rest of their guardsmen. At this time, Rossi spoke again, his eyes focused on Pand’Ora, “It seems you and I are long overdue for a heart-to-heart talk. Dinner, perhaps? I have some fresh Llama in my freezer. I remember you loved it.”

Mo interrupted, “Sure, I’ll have dinner.” Which reminded Poncho about how hungry he was. So, Poncho, too chimed in that he’d have dinner as well.

Pand’Ora, however, asked, “Where’s her (pointing at Winter) brother at?”

Rossi answered, “She’s going to be seeing her brother really soon. She is going to the same place he is. I promise you that you will find out what his fate is. And you will learn that he is in perfectly good health.” Rossi turned towards the others, “Guards, you can take them to the holding cells. Your cone-headed friend is going to receive a thorough personal search.” Rossi smiled as he watch L’hrequ being taken away.

Poncho chimed up, nervously, “I could probably explain his blaster.”

“Oh?” Rossi exclaimed, “Please do.”

Poncho continued, “I stole it from him and sold it for credits.” Poncho looked down to hopefully show shame.

Rossi could barely hold back his laughter, “Then why does he still wearing the holster?” Rossi was sure this was just another waste of his time.

Poncho had an answer, “Because he thinks it torments me!” Poncho growled.

Rossi, at first, laughed, but then he saw the hearfealt rage in Poncho’s face and then let out a sigh and said “Hold! Take him (pointing at L’hrequ) to the cell along with his friends. But, keep them separated.” Upon Rossi’s orders, the guards grabbed the group and began leading them over to a door located near to L’hrequ’s current location. However, as they started to leave, Rossi continued, “Except, for her.” And a guard placed a hand before Pand’Ora preventing her from leaving as the rest of the group was lead away, but not before Poncho could yell, “You’re good Pand! You got this!” As if that simple cheer could make all the difference.

The four others were taken down a large hallway. It was well lit and modern, appearing like those on the Wheel or a nice ship. The group is lead by four guards down the path and then turning right, traveling further, then turning left, traveling further, and then through a door that lead to a holding block. Which, really, was just another glorified hallway with one side being lined with at least 10 thick metal doors each with a small barred porthole (itself having 1-foot by 1-foot dimensions) that looked across the “prison block” to the metal wall on the other side. L’hrequ was placed in the cell closest to the door leading out of the block, in the next cell was placed Winter, the next M0-F0, and lastly Poncho in the next cell down. In each 10 foot by 10 foot cell were small cots and a singular metal bucket. Two guards remained behind to guard the block. Winter mentioned that she was offended that there were only two guards for the four of them, but the guard told her it only takes one to call for others.

Winter called out, “Fresh meat!” hoping to discover if anyone else shared this holding block with her and the group.

After a few seconds, another voice yelled back “Winter?” It was a male voice.

Winter spoke back to the voice, “Oh, Asher!”

“Winter!” Asher yelled back, “What the hell are you doing here!”

“This is going to be awesome, and you’re going to love it,” Winter said.

“Love what? What are you doing! You’re not supposed to be here!” Ashur answered.

“Don’t worry, baby brother, we got this!” Winter tried to calm her hysterical brother down.

“It’s all going according to plan! They won’t know what hit them” M0-F0 added.

“I don’t even know how I even got here, really.” Poncho contributed.

Meanwhile, Pand’Ora and Rossi were alone….well besides the four guards standing over each of their shoulders. Rossi walked over to stand right in front of Pand’Ora and said, “Are you still mad at me?”

Pand’Ora ignored his comment, demanding instead, “Where’s the Elder’s daughter?!”

“Who?” Rossi Feigned,

Pand’Ora pressed the question, “The Elder’s daughter, that’s how I knew what business you were really into!”

“She is safe, she is living a good life now,” Rossi decided to answer, “You do not need to worry about her. She was a small sacrifice to make.”

“You sold her into slavery,” Pand’Ora said, her voice filled with sorrow rising into anger, “You sold an entire village into slavery!”

“It is a small sacrifice for what we will gain. I have told you this. You do not seem to understand,” Rossi was continued.

“You sacrifice our own people!” Pand’Ora interrupted.

“A small number of them to save the greater good! The greater number of us!”

“Not listening,” Pand’Ora said, cutting off Rossi again.

“You have to believe me when I tell you this,” Rossi began again, “I would not have done it if the end goal was not to our advantage. You’ve got to think of the whole planet, not just a group of small people. Twelve….Fifteen….Twenty people!”

“You’re telling me that you enslaved a village to save a planet?” Pand’Ora scoffed.

“Yes! That is exactly what I did!” Rossi replied

“And you kidnapped Winter’s brother?” Pand’Ora pushed, “Why?”

“That was to lure Winter into my grasp!” Rossi answered/

“Why?” Pand’Ora repeated.

“She is worth a lot of money. I need money.” Rossi answered.

“So, you’re going to sell my friend?” Pand’Ora pressed.

“No,” Rossi laughed, “I’m giving your friend back to her parents! I am not selling her into slavery! I am not killing her!”

“You sold the Elder’s Daughter into slavery!” Pand’Ora pointed out.

“She is not the Elder’s daughter. She is a valuable person back on Coruscant. Not only did I know that her brother would lead her here, but also, her brother will ensure her father’s cooperation in other matters that are important to our plan.” Rossi rebutted.

“And what is this plan?” Pand’Ora asked.

“It is very complex and complicated. I will tell you this, there are many wheels in motion, not just our own, and her father’s influence is very important to the people I work with.”

“I have no reason to believe anything you say, unless you show me those wheels.” Pand’Ora stated.

“Then I will show you. Come with me!” Rossi said, as he began to lead Pand’Ora and the four guards someplace in the base.

Meanwhile in the cells:

“I can’t believe you are here! You should be hiding, or running, or whatever it is that you’ve been doing these past years! What are you doing here!” Asher asked his sister.

“I came here to get you, it is unacceptable that Rossi has you in a cell.” Winter answered.

“Unacceptable?” Asher inquired.

“Yes!” Was Winter’s answer.

“What’s unacceptable was when you ran away from home and didn’t come back when Mom and Dad told you too! Do you realize that your mother is in the hospital now!” Asher continued, cutting off several of Winter’s attempts to retort, “She had a mental breakdown after you left. You wouldn’t return our calls…”

“I’m pretty sure that Dad was the one that gave her a mental breakdown!” Winter cut in.

“You can’t blame Dad for everything! You’ve always done that. You can’t blame him for this! He cares about you, and so does Mother. That’s why they wanted you to come home!” Asher berated.

“Dad thinks I’m a liability to his career. That’s why he wants to hide me away.” Winter retorted.

Asher gave out a mighty sigh, “He didn’t want to hide you away he had….ambitious plans for you. But he still loves you, he’s still your father.”

“I think the loves me as much as someone like him is capable of.” Winter said.

Asher sighed again, “You underestimate your own father, he cares about you I could see it! Ever since you left, how hard he has worked to look for you. He has spent way more money than he has spent on this bounty to capture you just trying to locate you to make sure you are safe.”

“See,” Winter chimed it, “Even that right there sounds suspicious. If he really cared about me, he wouldn’t have a bounty on me. If he loved me, he’d give me some measure of freedom. He doesn’t.”

“Ah,” Ashur cut in, “you had a lot of freedom. More freedom than some people had. Its just, I can’t believe you got yourself in this mess. And like an idiot I come looking for you. I’m not profession at this sort of….thing! Promptly got myself captured here and this crazed tiger man captures me and swears all kind of crazy things are going to happen to both of us if I didn’t cooperate. What else was I to do?”

“Well, I’m glad you didn’t get yourself hurt.” Winter mentioned.

“Yeah! No thanks to you! If you would have just come home I wouldn’t of had to do this.” Asher spouted.

“Well its sweet, you came after me. I’ve been very concerned ever since I found that you’re captured” Winter continued.

“Well I was very concerned about you too! So is Mom and Dad!” Asher stated.

“You can tell them I’m doing just fine.” Winter retorted.

“You can tell them that yourself when we get out of this mess. You’re coming home with me… if we get out of this mess.” Asher mentioned.

“I don’t know if we are coming home.” Winter pointed out.

“From the looks of it, it doesn’t look like we are going anywhere.” Ashur expounded. “Do you know anything about this big cat guy? He was saying something about your friend or something, he was trying to lure here.”

“Yeah, I have a togorian friend who is his wife.” Winter answered.

“Well that’s kind of creepy,” Asher said.

“It is,” Winter continued, “Its not creepy that they’re togorian, but she, they, are defiantly at odds. Rossi is a very bad person. He takes what he wants and doesn’t care the costs to other people no matter how many people or how steep the costs.”

“I’ve overheard a lot of his conversations, and I think I agree with you.” Asher added, “I mean, he seems to think he is doing the right thing, but he is going about it in a really weird way.”

“The biggest tyrants feel like they’re the biggest dreamers.” Winter explained.

“I’ve heard him talk about his wife a lot.” Asher brought up.

“What did he say about Pand? I’m interested to hear what he had to say.” Winter inquired.

“He sounded really regretful that it came to whatever tore them apart. He wouldn’t answer my questions and so I just overheard bits and pieces, but he seemed genuinely upset that she was on the outs with him and that he would make it right somehow.” Asher answered, “He said he had something planned, and he talks about this partner that he is working with, but, from the way I hear it, it sounds more like he is not really a partner. Sounds more like he’s a lot smaller than that. He thinks he is a partner, but he is not really. That’s the impression I get. But, like I said, I’m not really good at this stuff. Spy thing…whatever it is that you keep doing hiding from Dad.”

“I’m just trying to maintain my freedom,” Winter extrapolated.

“You’re free back home too, Dad did not keep you in a cell.” Asher dissected.

“No. I’m afraid he’s going to try and lock me away in some kind of covent, or rehabilitation, asylum…where I would not be free. It may be someplace posh, but…” Winter deflected.

“He wouldn’t do that!” Asher interrupted! “He’d threaten it just to try to keep you in line. He would never do that. He loves you as much as the rest of us do, he would never do something like that. He might try to push you into an arranged marriage, but that’s about it. And you know, that would actually be good for you!”

“That’s actually not really nice,” Poncho interrupted, finding the idea quite rude…but very much like his family.

“Hey, who was that?!” Asher demanded.

“That’s just a different kind of prison.” Winter pointed at Asher’s previous statement.

“Who’s that, No!Who’s that voice!” Asher reiterated.

“It’s more of my associates,” Winter answered.

“Hey you, associate boy, stay out of it!” Asher ordered.

“Don’t take that from him,” L’hrequ chimed in.

Asher sighed again, “I can’t believe this….now what are we going to do?”

“Don’t worry…” Winter started.

“We got this!” Poncho cut her off.

“He said something about a bounty hunter coming to get you,” Asher inquired.

“Yeah…he’s a bounty hunter I have encountered a couple times before.” Winter answered.

“How didn’t you get captured? How do you keep avoiding these people?” Asher asked.

“My friends,” Winter explained, a point of which made Poncho blush (and even release an aww sound)…even though he knew he had nothing to do with the events mentioned.

“Who is that,” Asher demanded in response to Poncho aww’ing.

“I had no play in that, don’t worry,” Poncho replied, “I just recently joined the group.”

“I have…I have good friends,” Winter continued.

“So you came here with this Togorian woman and this other person? It doesn’t sound much like a Togorian to me though.” Asher expounded.

“Yes, there are a few of us. Toydarian…” Winter began.

“Who else did you come with?” Asher pressed.

“I also have a cerean…” Winter began to list.

“I am Poncho!” Poncho introduced himself.

“And a droid.” Winter finished.

“Sis, sis, sis, you probably got us in real trouble this time.” Asher lamented.

“No don’t worry yet. We’ve got this. Just stay frosty, when we move our plan into action we may need to move quickly.” Winter encouraged, but this caught the attention of the guards who looked towards Winter’s Cell. Winter merely shot them back a confident smile.

“They’re pretty scared!” Poncho iterated, looking down towards the guards from his porthole.

“Everyone that is working for this Rossi will be dead shortly,” M0-F0 added.

“Who’s that?” Asher asked.

“Your going to kill everyone?” Winter questioned.

“Of course! They are guilty by association. Obviously! They’ll be gone.” M0-F0 stated.

“Who is that guy?!” Asher begged, “He sounds like a bad-ass!”

“He is actually,” Winter answered, “I think you would find him very entertaining,”

“Is that the droid?” Asher guessed.

“Yes. He’s more than a droid! Winter corrected.

“Yeah, you said you had a droid.” Asher reiterated. “How many others did you bring? Did you at least bring a big group? Dozens?”

“Not here with us right now.” Winter replied.

“I think these guys are up to no good.” Asher pointed out. “Something big!”

“Well, yeah. This Rossi person, he’s a slaver, a kidnapper, and…other crimes! And he has delusions of grandeur.” Winter listed.

“Well, not only that,” Asher continued, “but this guy he is working with, that I mentioned earlier…”

“His partner?” Winter filled in.

“Yes, he’s up to some sort of big plan. All I remember hearing was something about a dreadnought.” Asher expounded.

“Dreadnought?” Winter inquired.

“Some sort of super weapon,” Asher answered, “I don’t know anything else, but they are up to no good and if it involves you then we need to get you away from here… and your friends too. I guess they can come.”

“I don’t think we will be here too terribly wrong,” Winter corrected.

“Just…don’t do anything else to rile up the situation, I’ll get us out.” Asher pronounced.

“You think so?” Winter prodded.

“Yeah!” Asher exclaimed, “I’ve got a plan!”

“OK.” Winter said.

“Well, I’ll come up with one!” Asher reiterated.

“I feel better already,” M0-F0 added.

Meanwhile, Pand’Ora was escorted away through several hallways to another door that opened into a large, set of quarters that look rather posh. They are expansive and roomy, and covered in the scent of Rossi. Despite its size, the decorations are rather spartan with very few knick-knacks or pieces of furniture. But enough furniture is there Pand’Ora to easily catch the scent of Rossi. Upon their arrival, Rossi tells the guards, “Leave us!” The guards looked confused at the order and at first hesistate, but they do eventually leave to wait outside the door, leaving just Pand’Ora and Rossi in the room. “So,” Rossi turned to face his wife, “are you going to tell my why you are really mad at me? I cannot believe, for a second you are mad at me for what I’ve told you.”

“I can’t believe that you don’t understand why I am mad at you!” Pand’Ora retorted.

“I understand, but….” Rossi started.

“I cannot even go home until I kill you!” Pand’Ora continued.

“Kill me? Why?” Rossi stammered.

“Because you took and entire village, put them into slavery including the Elder’s daughter! I found her necklace with your stuff!” Pand’Ora pressed.

“Come here and look at this,” Rossi deflected as he walked over to his console and desk and pulled up an image on the screen of what appear to be several warships. “This is power! And this is what has been promised to me for aiding my partner. With that! Togoria will become a power to be reckoned with. Not some backwater world to be trampled upon. We are going to join all the civilized worlds as their equals, not as some primitive world that should be laughed at all the time.”

“So you sold our people into slavery for this?” Pand’Ora cringed.

“Yes!” Rossi exclaimed, “I’m going to make our entire planet. Not just our tribe, not just our region, not even just our continent, but the entire planet! Worthy of fear…”

“The entire planet does not want your help,” Pand’Ora interjected.

“They will! They’ll see the wisdom in my efforts. And you will see it too. Are you seeing it yet?” Rossi asked, hoping.

“No.” Pand’Ora stated.

End Scene.

View
From one prison to another...
...and yet another

Planning is not easy when your opponent has all the power. Well, not all of it. We debated, should we agree to the test? Yes, probably, but L’hrequ and M0-F0 said there was no rush, so we may as well do more exploring.

Pand and L’hrequ stayed in the bar, watching the patrons and observing the staff as they moved in and out from the back kitchen. M0-F0 steered Toto out the back door of the cantina to take pictures of each passerby. I decided to go shopping and Poncho came along as my bodyguard.

My Stars, this place is depressing. Clothes and shoes are at least 10 years out of fashion. Many goods can’t be found at any price. Beggars in the streets. I decided to find out what the crime economy was and see how much of it was connected to Rossi.

A sex worker named Lucinda gave me some idea of how things are run in the foreign sector. There’s no major organized crime here. What little there is centers around Deekan and his cantina. His gang doesn’t charge protection money or “rent,” but they do use the sex workers and don’t always pay for the service.

There doesn’t seem much going on in this penitentiary, so Poncho and I returned to the cantina to meet up with the others. I guess Toto didn’t find anything of interest, so M0-F0 considered sending him into the sewers to explore the literal underworld or a way out. We sat and waited in the sad pub (no music) for a few more hours.

Eventually we agreed to the humiliating trial. Deekan made a big show of it, announcing the contest to the patrons at the bar. They cheered as if gladiatorial games were about to begin.

Deekan led us to the back of the cantina and outside to an alleyway. Here was where the first of four tests took place. “A test of sights,” Deekan says. "Who is your best marksman?’ We all looked to Pand.

A pathetic human was sent to run out a few hundred meters. He held up a half empty bottle of booze. Pand took aim. There was a spray of blood as the hapless human’s fingers flew off. Then Pand turned and punched Deekan. “That son of a [slith] pushed my arm.” He claimed it was accidental, but I doubt a single person believed him. Pand certainly didn’t.

M0-F0 ran down to the eight-fingered human and within minutes reattached them and splinted his hand. Then with great theater, he picked up the bottle and put it on his head. The crowd went wild. The rest of us stood around Pand so that no one would “accidently” nudge her arm. She lifted her rifle confidently and shot the bottle cleanly off M0-F0’s head. Cheers came from the crowd as bet money passed from losers to winners.

The next test started by surprise. Someone slapped an object on to M0-F0’s back. It started beeping and the crowd backed far away. “Piece of cake,” I said, and the team sprang into action. Just to make things extra dramatic, we waited until the last second to disarm the thermal detonator. I think the throng was disappointed. Except maybe the winners of the bet.

We barely had a minute to catch our breaths. Out of nowhere, Deekan hauled off and punched me. Pand’Ora, my hero, hit him straight back. That’s how we learned the third test involved a gang fight. All hell broke loose. A buzzing Geonosian picked a fight with Poncho. Pand was attacked by Deekan’s bodyguard, the huge Ortolan. L’hrequ fought an amphibious humanoid of a race I did not recognize. M0-F0 used his biggest wrench to whack an R7 unit.

L’hrequ used telekinesis to lift a large rubbish bin and slammed it into his opponent. The audience oohed and aahed and whispered as L’hrequ wielded the dumpster using the Force. I did my best to kick Deekan in the ‘nads. Every once in a while I could hear a clang from the wrench hitting that little R7. After L’hrequ put down his guy, he landed the coup de grace on Deekan. Poncho finished his nasty bug. Maybe M0-F0 started to get bored. He finished the droid with his blaster. We let Pand have the biggest guy, and he was last to go down.

For the fourth test, we returned to the cantina. The crowd started chanting, “Meeker! Meeker! Meeker!..” This hairless Drall came out and sat at our table. It was a drinking contest. I told Deekan it wouldn’t be fair for me to start the contest with a full bladder, so I excused myself to the restroom. While tinkling, I went through the vials of my antidote set and found the “Spring Break/Mardi Gras” anti-toxin.

I returned to the table and the contest began. After one drink, M0-F0 suffered the blue screen of death. L’hrequ and Pand went down soon after. Poncho and Meeker were still upright while I stayed fresh as a daisy. After about four rounds, I was the last man standing. I had bought that antidote set for the poisonous plants and animals I expected to find on Cholganna. I never imagined it would come in useful for a drinking endurance competition.

Deekan was genial and congratulated our success for the trials. He said he would take us to see Rossi in the morning. Poncho had another meal, and then we all went off to our rooms to sleep.

In the morning, we meet Deekan at the bar. He led us through the back of the kitchen, into the alley and down several back streets. After about 20 minutes of walking, he led us to a large garage. It held several vehicles in various states of repair. There was a shuttle of a sort. I believe it was a small freighter modified for passenger transport. We went aboard without fuss.

Once we were in flight, Poncho kept trying to figure out where we were. No windows. He tried to access the wireless network, but signals were strangely absent. A jammer?

The entire trip took six hours. That’s just ridiculous. Poncho asked the fight crew about our path and destination, but no one was willing to give him any info. They said, maybe after Rossi gives approval for including us in the details.

We landed in a massive hangar. At one end is a force field. Beyond was blue sky with a canopy of forest below us. As we departed the craft, about 40 Mandalorians pointed their weapons at us. Deekan said, “This is the part where you give up.”

The ruffians forced us to give up our weapons. Despite the pat downs, I managed to hold onto my disposable blaster. I can’t quite read our Toydarian pilot yet, but I think Poncho managed to stow away something as well.

L’hrequ tried to mask his light saber as an empty holster. The grunt didn’t see through the illusion, but the empty holster was a red flag. L’hrequ was pulled away from the rest of us for a… uh… more comprehensive search. As they walked away, Poncho “confessed” he stole the blaster and sold it. When asked why L’hrequ would still wear the holster, Poncho said, “He wears the holster because he thinks it torments me.” This guy should go into public relations or advertising.

Rossi greeted us all. Pand had previously told me what a miscreant he was. After his arrogant reception, my opinion of him turned from intellectual dislike to a more visceral hate. I must remember to use self-control and not kill him myself.

With an annoying cocksure attitude, he addressed us individually. Seems like each of us is valuable to someone. As for me, it’s Dirtbag and Daddy who want to see me again. I asked where my brother was, and he assured me we’d be reunited soon.

Rossi escorted Pand away for a more private audience. The rest of us were marched to prison cells. Sad little cells with a cot and a bucket. I couldn’t tell if the other cells were occupied. Then I yelled, “Fresh meat.” A moment later I heard a familiar voice. “Winter?”

It was my baby brother. We couldn’t see him, but I could tell from his voice he was a few cells down from ours. He chided me for running away and hiding, saying Mom’s worried sick and Dad loves me. He’s so naïve. I reassured him that our current situation was temporary and that my friends and I would take care of things.

Asher said he had overheard Rossi talking. He’s in a partnership with someone. The way Asher made it sound, it’s not a balanced partnership or he’s being played, although Rossi does not seem to realize it. I hope he lives long enough to realize he’s not the top cat he thinks he is. What’s this business with the dreadnaught? A battleship?

More importantly, is Rossi unknowingly being used? That might be something we could exploit, something we could use to get all of us out of here. Lucky for us, there are only two guards in the jail here, and they’re not the brightest stars in the sky. There’s also Brand the Bombastic, if we could find a way to contact him. I know he would like to shut down Rossi’s operation here. Asher’s been here a while. We need to find out what else he knows. And where the druk is Toto?

View
Poncho's Logs 1.2
Mission: Rescue Asher from Hell

…Initializing …

Password: * * * * *

…Processing…

… Scanning Fingerprint…

… Identity Confirmed…

Welcome Poncho :)

Creating New Folder: Ganath

→ Report: Day 1-5 | 2000 – 1400 Hours

As Mo was treating my burn wounds, the Jedi erm…L’hrequ decided that he wanted to speak to the wounded attacker that was trying to slink away (the one Pand’Ora let go earlier). I’m not entirely sure how the questioning underwent, but Mo was eventually called over to assist with the wounds, so hopefully it wasn’t too…painful? Seems the group were hired guns, only recently being employed by Rossi for this task. Unfortunately, the man didn’t know too much about where Rossi was going, only that they were to join him and his bigger group there. Besides the easy credits provided by doing this job, they were promised additional benefits for joining Rossi’s crew wherever they would go (apparently it was supposed to be nice). Strangely, when we asked him about where the ship was located, the only thing the mercenary could recall was that it was a really fast ship.

Eventually we all gathered to decide the man’s fate (and those unconscious in the warehouse). No one seemed as concerned as I was about all the evidence pointing towards L’hrequ being a Jedi. As the man’s knowledge of L’hrequ’s Lasersword didn’t seem to even shake the party’s will to let the man live. Though the circumstances made them vote against L’hrequ’s plan to hand the mercenary over to the authorities. Instead, the man (and his compatriots that still lived) were allowed to just stay out of the way until we left. I tried, again, to convince them that we should maybe remove evidence of the presence of a Jedi, (to which L’hrequ tried to pretend otherwise) but they instead took it as a good sign that it was time to get off the Wheel. As if we would ever want to return, what was I thinking. Jedi’s are always trouble, at least that’s what my father used to say.

Though leaving the Wheel will only work if we can figure out where we are going. I recall hearing of it, but the name I was more used to was Donmaku. My parent’s loved this story, as (if I recall correctly) if you were a bad Toydarian you would go to Donmaku, a virtual hell. Doesn’t exactly sound like a place I should visit (though it may bring a quiet chuckle to the folks). Luckily, I guess, the other recall more that it is a theoretical planet. They heard stories about its believed existence, and its, perhaps, brilliant treasure. However, while the stories are many that doesn’t necessarily prove its existence. Winter decided to phone our friend, [Redacted], and share the events at the warehouse as well as ask him/her/it about Ganath. [Redacted] heard similar stories to L’hrequ and Mo, but held no more information at this time. However, [Redacted] did say that he/she/it would go through his/her/its resources and see what he/she/it could dredge up, and let us know when he/she/it did. Winter thanked him/her/it, as well as offered to pay [Redacted] for the floor-plan of the warehouse he/she/it had provided us with earlier (an offer he/she/it kindly turned down, glad to hear that it was in some way helpful).

[ Redacted ]‘s generosity with the map inspired a sudden bout of suspicion from Mo. The droid is curious as to why [Redacted] continuously helps the group for marginally, if any, form of repayment. The others, however, didn’t share such suspicions. L’hrequ believes that [Redacted] sees that he/she/it can prosper off of the group’s success, while Winter feels that being nice is his/her/its business and mentioned that they have payed [Redacted] for information in that past. She believes that [Redacted] merely seeks to sell the group bigger and better information. However, she did say being a little suspicious can be healthy, and the group will keep Mo’s words in mind.

Once we got back to the Silver Bucket we decided to prepare for the journey. Several members went to go restock on medical supplies. Winter debated contacting her parents, but was worried that they would only use that information against her. I brought up the possibility of paying someone to contact them, but she didn’t really like that idea either. Mo convinced Winter that telling her parents may only make them worry more. Two kids kidnapped is worrying, and could make them feel the need to pay a ransom.

After buying some more stimpacks, L’hrequ decided that the next best thing to do was to head to bed. In the meantime, the rest of us went to sell the mercenaries weapons to get some value out of the damage they caused. We decided to hang on to some of the large droid’s parts, four frag grenades, and we kept the ion blasters (with attached Bola carbines) as well. I did notice that the group didn’t seem to excited about negotiating for a better price, I could feel my father shutter all the way from Toydaria. Fortunately, my offering managed to inspire Winter as well and we decided to venture for a good deal, eventually arriving at Farlander’s Outfitting and Supplies. The buyer was a young blonde boy (especially young for running a shop) named Nolls. Perhaps more intimidating was the boy’s Battle Droid that seemed to protect him (As it prepared for combat when we displayed the weapons for sale). Still, with Winter taking the lead (having a history with the young lad), we managed to secure a ten percent increase over the base offer (allowing us to split 704 credits to each of us). Nolls seemed a little sad that we went before telling him some stories, but Winter assured him that we would be back with more business. Nolls also offered his droid to play with Mo in a game of chess. I congratulated the boy on owning his own business at such a young age (if this was me, perhaps my family would actually be proud of me), and the boy seemed rather proud of it. Mo investigated where the boy received the bodyguard droid, to which Nolls told him that his father received it as a retirement gift when he left his military unit. Pand’Ora asked if the business was once Nolls’s father’s, to which Nolls told her it was (and the one originally worked as an assistant to him). With that we all said our farewells.

With that, we all headed back to the Silver Bucket to decide what to do next. Mo decided to work on a broken down Speeder Bike that resided within the Bucket’s hangar bay. Most everyone else seemed ready to head to bed, which meant that my services (still not sure what I’ve really brought so far) would no longer be needed for a period of time. So, with my new-found freedom, I wanted to investigate the racing scene within the Wheel’s arena. Unfortunately, their were no active races to watch, the next race arriving in two days, but I figured I could at least find some rarer Podracing parts or a fellow racer to share stories and ask about advice for the Wheel races. I figured I’d be on my own, but Winter seemed a bit worried about me, telling me I shouldn’t go off alone. I may have blushed a bit. Company would defiantly be welcome, especially since Winter probably knows the Wheel better than I (having only arrived the other day). Winter even prepared to go with a completely different outfit, you could barely recognize her. Pand’Ora seemed a bit hesitant to let Winter go (and not go herself), telling Winter to be careful. A gesture that Winter thanked her for, as she told Pand’Ora that she would call should anything happen.

Investigating for a good podracing parts, we did discover that one of the best shops resides on level 13. I recalled that it was the level that the groups old pilot mentioned we shouldn’t visit, but I wasn’t really to worried about it. However, Winter seemed more concerned than I saying that Brak had received a large crate that needed care in its transport. I suppose it must be really good stuff, as Winter recommended avoiding levels 12 and 14 as well. The late night inhibited most attempts to find a good shop, as most places were already closed. However, with Winter’s help we did get a lead on one of the premier racers on the Wheel. His name was Teeto, who displayed his success through the ladies that flocked to his arms. Being a Gand, I wondered who the ladies were, but I, perhaps, would find out eventually. We were recommended to visit in the morning to see him.

So, I didn’t exactly discover anything interesting, but Winter had some questions to answer too. I attempted to help her find any information or leads on her brother (like if her parents know and are looking, or recent sightings). Winter was a bit surprised that I don’t know very much about computers, claiming that I seemed rather smart. A nice compliment, but I unfortunately had to let her down. Though, I did do some pretty deep digging on the holo-net [well, at least for my abilities], but the only information I could find was two weeks old, and it was of Asher winning a para-sailing competition back on Coruscant. So, not a very helpful lead. Though, thinking about it now…isn’t Coruscant a core world? Could Rossi have Asher and be in the Outer Rim….is that where we are….gosh I really wish I knew my planetary travel now. Maybe I’ll ask Mo…

The next order of business that Winter wanted to investigate was the local Wheel news to see if anything had come of Brak’s delivery. And, it seems, that it has had quite the impact as the news channel was flooded with emergency information on an explosion occurring on Level 13. A hotel appeared to be the target of the bombing. Rubble, dust, smoke (and what appeared to be a gas) filled the screen though perhaps more interesting was the silhouette of what appeared to be Imperial Stormtroopers sneaking through the smoke. Or at least people wearing extremely similar white and black outfits. What were they doing there? I was shocked at all the civilian casualties being shown and counted up….Brak isn’t looking like to nice of a fellow. And if this was due to the presence of the stormtroopers, it certainly missed its mark. The other issue is Stormtroopers are going to be trouble if they know L’hrequ is a Jedi (especially after the incident in the warehouse). When I brought it up to Winter, she told me I should stop using the Jedi word, and I agreed it is a dirty word as where Jedi go trouble always follows. Winter seemed a bit disappointed in me, even after I told her I get it from my father.

Curiosity seemed to have a hold of us, however, as we all seemed to want to investigate the scene. Perhaps we could help the survivors, and there is that great podracing supply depot down there. Winter contacted and invited the others to join us and we all met up at the lift. As the doors opened on level 13, it was easy to see that we had arrived on our intended floor. Chaos surrounded us as wounded innocents were being attended to around us. Some medics ran onto the lift as we left carrying a stretcher with someone who was moaning in pain. Things were bad. L’hrequ’s eyes browsed through the injured, seeking those in desperate need for aid. Fortunately, none of the people we passed appeared to be in danger as those with bad wounds were already being attended too and the others seemed stable (at the very least). The scene sort of reminded me of the attack on Nancy and I’s old home…no one should suffer like this.

Soon we arrived at the scene of the carnage. Security droids (lead by a human officer) had formed a perimeter around the area, keeping civilians from entering the area. Some reporters were a little past the line, but it appeared as even they didn’t dare get to close to the remnants of the hotel. Within the rubble, medical personal appeared to be sifting through the rubble looking for survivors or those in need of medical attention. It wasn’t looking good. I asked if we were planning on trying to get through to investigate, and Winter confirmed my question saying that we were only here out of curiosity, even asking me if I was curious myself. I was a bit…scared to tell you the truth, but I had a feeling delving deeper was going to happen. In fact, after taking a look around, L’hrequ asked me to distract a droid in particular. It was pretty random, and so I asked exactly what kind of distraction and he seemed to get upset asking me if he had to come up with everything. Jedi I tell you…sensing his desire to get in, I figured I’d try to talk the droid into letting us in. Unfortunately, the droid was set on getting security information instead of additional medical assistance. I tried to flub up some info, but the droid seemed dead set on receiving a ID card of some kind. Rather irritating, especially in an emergency like this! They could use any help, and I know Mo is a fantastic doctor! However, the droid kept saying “Identification please. Identification please….!” Arghhh. Though it seems that I was still providing the distraction that L’hrequ wanted as he proceeded to just walk past his droid, why did he get the off-duty droid? Though L’hrequ seemed…rushed? Worried? Angry? Not sure…though that could just be his face as it is usually the one he gives to me for anything. Still, L’hrequ seemed to walk by with very little issue. Pand’ora followed suit. Seems Winter was talking to the Officer on duty that seemed in control of the scene, in fact she almost sprung on him as soon as L’hrequ started his walk. Another distraction? Then again, I now wondered why I didn’t also attempt to go through the human working the scene.

L’hrequ and Pand’Ora, having passed the apparently ineffective perimeter, began to tell us details of the hotel’s crumbling remnant. Apparently it was a grisly scene, with new erm…body-inspired décor to say the least. Still, it appeared almost everything important was destroyed in the blast. With the center of the blast being focused in the hotel lobby, it didn’t give too many details of an intended target. Just when they were about to give up, Pand’Ora mentioned seeing something move in another room. Winter, Mo, and I waited with baited breath (or…processors in Mo’s case) as we assumed they approached the person! Instead, we discover that it wasn’t a person after all, but a loose lamp fixture swaying back and forth, barely hanging on to its cord. However, the room they had entered was, as we were told, was some kind of office and it had pieces that seemed to still be intact, such as some furniture. Though, most interestingly L’hrequ discovered a datapad under the desk that had fallen over. It apparently was in working condition, but requested a password to access it. L’hrequ seemed prepared to attempt to hack the password, but Pand’Ora and Mo insisted that he brings it for Mo to explore instead. L’hrequ seemed hurt from the lack of faith in him, but still complied (though he made a joke about leaving the datapad behind.

Taking the datapad back to the ship, Mo attached it to his own computing devices and began his work at figuring out the datapad’s password. Being Imperial, it probably was something like 1,2,3,4,5. No matter what the password, Mo managed to get through the encryption and access its information. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your point of view, the datapad was Imperial. Apparently, not only was it an Imperial device, but it also carried a day planner or log of an Security Bureau Specialist. Within this log was information on important Imperial Officers who have arrived and left, what room they were staying in. According to the log, twelve Imperial Officers were residing within the hotel on this day! In fact one listed only as “616” was confirmed to have a entire platoon of stormtroopers in his service (must be planning something big with those) [According to Mo, a platoon is a grouping of forty soldiers]. The mission of these Officer visits were to observe and stay hidden. A query that made me ask who they were watching, a question L’hrequ also had. When Mo investigated those being watched, almost everyone in this group was mentioned (only I seemed to be missing, though I only did arrive yesterday). Winter and Mo’s also had bounties listed with their names (as did this Brak fellow). Additionally, some man named Remo and our friend [Redacted] as people to watch. Rossi’s name was mysteriously missing. The group decided that [Redacted] would be a good recipient of the computer as thanks for all he/she/it has done (as well any additional information to be had in the future). L’hrequ even mentioned that [Redacted] could probably get more use out of this information (or his/her/its contacts). The whole group seemed good with it. At this point though, it was rather late (Or I suppose early at this point) so we decided to head to bed (except Mo who went back into the hangar to work on the speeder bike).

The next morning, we discovered that the final death count was sixty-eight people. A most unfortunate situation. L’hrequ was convinced that Pand’Ora’s discovery of the datapad was thanks to “The Force.” I laughed, as he was the Jedi, not Pand’Ora, L’hrequ tried to recover by adding that the Force surrounds all of us. Sure helped all sixty-eight of those people back at the hotel, but sure we got a computer. Thanks, Force. Additionally, we had received a message from [Redacted], it told us that he/she/it had some information for us and, should we choose to meet him/her/it, [Redacted] would be within [Redacted] all day today.

With nothing else to go off of, It was an easy decision to go meet with [Redacted]. Winter took five minutes to make herself even more beautiful before we left. As we arrived at [Redacted], the [redacted] was rather quiet. We were led to [Redacted]’s private room by the large being named [redacted] who left us to our business upon our entry. [Redacted] politely invited us to sit down and (thankfully) order ourselves some food. Oh, I was so hungry!

As we ate, [Redacted] had good news and bad news for us. The bad news was that the hacker that Mo had asked [Redacted] to locate was being awfully slippery and difficult to track. [Redacted] assured us that he had his/her/its best people investigating the hacker, but it would merely take more time. Mo seemed fine with it, I’m assuming he was glad he was having some assistance in locating this hacker. The good news, however, was that, according to [Redacted]‘s network, the planet Ganath wasn’t as much of a legends as the stories would lead one to believe. From what [Redacted] has been told, Ganath resides within a massive radiation cloud, the exact makeup of the planet is unknown, mostly rumor and speculation. Some believe that the planet is a massive wasteland unable to harbor life of any kind (and [Redacted] recommended we bring environmental suits just in case) [I kind of doubted the need, why would a irradiated wasteland be a good place for bounty exchanges. To much risk to all parties.]. However, the other stories [Redacted] had heard was that Ganath was a paradise inhabited by very Xenophobic people. The other bad news was that while [Redacted] had some coordinates for Ganath, but they seemed to place the location in Hutt Space would could mean encounters with pirates, cartels, or worse. Of course, I didn’t see too much issue there, as Hutt Space also includes the best planet in the cosmos, Toydaria. That and I’ve lived in Hutt space my whole life (of course that incident with the gang was kind of sour…and there are a few grumpy folks), but mostly people trying to get by. So not that bad. The coordinates were old, but, as [Redacted] pointed out, our best lead at the moment.

Upon receiving the coordinates, Mo brought up the gift that we had planned. [Redacted] had heard about the disaster on Level 13, and when Mo mentioned that something was received from the wreckage intrigued even the intelligent [Redacted], especially seeing it was a Imperial Datapad. [Redacted] was curious how deep Mo had plundered the depths of the machine, to which Mo answered honestly telling [Redacted] everything. [Redacted] wasn’t surprised at the idea that Imperials were still lingering on the Wheel after the events that happened a year and a half ago (something involving a band of rebels and the death of the Director) and figures some of them may have stayed behind. L’hrequ asked [Redacted] about the coded Imperial Officer (Officer 616) and if that number meant anything to him. After a brief pause of thought [Redacted] said that he/she/it didn’t recognize it, but even through my feeding frenzy (And Mo’s occasional donation) I could tell he/she/it wasn’t telling the truth (though I have always been good about sensing out lies). [Redacted], then answered back wondering how deep we ventured into everyone’s personal records, and Winter brought up they only looked into their own records (And that I was missing from its pages). Winter assured [Redacted] that we had not perused [Redacted]’s own record. Though [Redacted] seemed undisturbed, was just looking to find out if we found any interesting information.

The conversation then transitioned into something about the Wheel’s government. [Redacted] informing us that the reason a new Director hasn’t been elected was that the council (which currently runs it) is hesitant to vote in a new leader as they may prefer this more council-based form of government, seeing it as a bit more fair and hopefully to avoid the risks demonstrated in the Empire’s government. L’hrequ went on something about Cerea’s government being great or something. They had a council or whatever and it’s fair.

Winter brought up that the attack on level 13 was probably a targeted attack, and asked if [Redacted] knew, perhaps, who the attack was targeting. [Redacted] said that if the hotel was as filled with Imperials as this evidence believed, then an attack on it would be plausible. However, with the explosive going off within the lobby, he/she/it is unsure if the attack was targeting someone in particular. [Redacted] said that you’d expect the explosives to be a more select area instead of a large gathering area if it was intended for that one person, but that was, in [Redacted]’s words, is own speculation.

With this information, the group seemed content with the information they had been given (a pity as I could have used another helping after that bit about Cerea). With us all preparing to leave, [Redacted] once again thanked us for the gift, and said that he/she/it would be sure to send us each additional credits as it truly was a great gift. Winter was glad that [Redacted] appreciated it, and L’hrequ had to add that if [Redacted]‘s companions found anything useful to pass that info along to us. With that, [Redacted] transmitted us the coordinates and bid us farewell.
As everyone left, I lagged behind until they all left. Pretending I had a little bit more on my plate I had to finish. Really, I wanted to ask what [Redacted] really knew on 616, and why it seemed to bother him so. Of course, I’m not really in a position to ask questions of my friend, but he/she/it did tell me that he/she/it was unsure what he/she/it knew, but that he/she/it was going to investigate it further. [Redacted] did promise to tell me what he/she/it finds, and I found that good enough though I did warn him/her/it that I felt that 616 is probably still alive (if his troopers were) and I wanted my friend to be careful. I felt bad I already asked….especially given our current relationship, I was sorta afraid I already rocked the boat too much. [Redacted] didn’t seem too fazed at the question as I left though. Still, couldn’t help but feel that this may be something bad… Hopefully that Imperial Datapad can help get [Redacted] the upper-hand…assuming it was ever lowered. [Redacted] also investigated how I was being treated, and was glad to learn that I was doing alright.

Pand’Ora had intentions to buy something called an Omniscan that she wanted to add to her armor. Apparently, it would assist her in noticing those that sought to stay hidden from her mighty gaze. Additionally, she was searching for an Advanced Optics Suite (which would help her be prepared for ambushes). Sounds useful. On top of that, the party wanted everyone to purchase a Space Suit and breath masks in case Ganath’s atmosphere was unfriendly. By the time I had regroup with them, they had already completed their shopping trip. I do hope they negotiated for a better price (I was able to help Pand’Ora get a great discount on her gear), though I wasn’t sure they really did that (since it took my encouragement to get them to negotiate for a better price on the blasters we got from the ambush in the warehouse). Lagging behind, I had to go purchase my spacesuit (though I felt it was mostly unnecessary). I was more than willing to get a lower price on the suit I didn’t want (the shopkeeper wasn’t too thrilled at my prodding). I was never too into negotiating, but I guess a piece of my disapproving father still haunts me. But, hey at least I may bring something to this group, plus my credit stick is looking mighty full (well, If you ignore the debt of course). Soon I should be able to at least get a few Podracer pieces to begin building my ship. Maybe Mo could even help me!

Unfortunately, it didn’t seem I would have time to talk to Teeto as with the shopping done the others were itching to get going. I couldn’t say I blame them, since Winter’s brother was in need of rescuing (though I may think once or twice about my brothers, though I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t craft a deal letting them go and get paid for the ordeal without any outside help). I was shown the Pilot’s seat by Mo and L’hrequ (who is calling me Sancho…I’m not sure what that means at the moment). Luckily, Mo was more than willing to plug in the coordinates and find a path through hyperspace (is that what it called, finding a path?) And afterwards, Mo entered the co-pilot’s seat and assisted me flying through the Wheel’s traffic and out into hyperspace! From Mo’s calculations, it would be a three days until we arrived, now what to do. I was shown my quarters, though I’m not convinced it’s actually a room. It looks more like a closet, was this a short joke? Still, I guess I had to deal with it, maybe I’ll just sleep in the pilot’s chair. L’hrequ also got a new hairstyle thanks to Pand’Ora as his ponytail was now entirely braided. Pand’Ora seems quite skilled at decorating hair, and L’hrequ was awfully proud of his new look. In fact, he constantly swayed it around…it was kind of strange. Though I don’t really have hair, so maybe that is what you do when you have hair? I don’t recall Winter doing that though… I eventually decided to assist Mo on his speeder project, I could use the practice.

After an uneventful three days in hyperspace, we finally able to jump out of its bluish embrace. As we exited, we are greeted by a large reddish-purple planet that, at first glance, appeared to be barren. It’s entire surface was surrounded with a shimmering reddish glow. Additionally, it seemed to be devoid of any moons. Mo begins to scan the area, but he was unable to detect any orbiting ships or satellites. As for the surface, our scanners were unable to pierce through the thick radiation field. In fact, the sensors couldn’t even detect the planet. If I had to guess, that’s a good clue that we have arrived at our destination, though I really hoped it wasn’t as bad as it looked. Being surrounded by a cloud of radiation didn’t make me too optimistic though. It wasn’t long after we had arrived that we soon picked up some activity. About a minute of us slowly approaching the planet we detect four small crafts suddenly appear on our sensors. As these “ships” approached, they were like nothing I had seen before (which for me isn’t all that impressive as far as spaceships are concerned). The ships were about the size of fighters, but it had these strange wing things in the front and on the wings. It also had what appeared to be a steam motor or something, but still sported Ion engines. Strange. I awaited the others commands on what our response would be, my fingers itching on the thruster. It seemed they would prepare for battle, as they began to charge the shields and dashing for the gunnery stations. Winter seemed to be organizing the whole thing, like a captain would. Mo stayed in the co-pilot’s seat ready for the possible engagement. However, it appeared we may have had a problem beyond the opposing pilots, for as we prepared the ship for combat, we got warnings that the radiation level outside our ship was reaching dangerous levels. Whether it was building up as we floated around or increasing as we got closer to Ganath was uncertain, and I was positive we’d have to be certain soon or be in real trouble.

The ships, as they got closer, appeared to be single piloted vessels with some vicious looking weaponry. As we prepared for the worst, we were hailed over our system. The voice commanded “Attention unknown spaceship, you are trespassing on Ganath Space” (Lol, I’d love to hear them tell that to the Hutts, since they are in Hutt Space), “you will go to these coordinates and follow orders.” Mo was feeling feisty, at least I thought, as he asked under whose authority we were being commanded. The voice seemed aghast and replied, “The emperor!” Well, if he meant Palpatine, he certainly was full of radiation in the head. Mo proceeded to ask for a name and, after a brief pause [assuming his shock from earlier was still in effect] he answered with the name Emperor Empatojayos Brand. Unsure of the name or even really the place, the party decided to comply. Apparently Mo had asked who the Emperor was to fish out if it was Rossi or not (and with knowledge it wasn’t agreed to comply). It was good thinking on Mo’s part, I never thought Rossi could be Emperor, as the things Pand’Ora tells me make Rossi look to pathetic to rule a planet. We tell them we shall comply and their response was transmitted…sort of. While the coordinates were sent electronically it was in such an archaic form it took our computers awhile to translate their morse code into something actually usable. How do these people even survive in this radiation with this tech?

Though the time it took the message to send gave L’hrequ plenty of time to call a team meeting within the cockpit of the ship (he called it the bridge). The others exited from their turrets and started along their way as Mo recommended that we all put on our spacesuits due to the radiation. As we gathered within the cockpit, Pand’Ora and Mo managed to catch a glimpse of the Ganathian pilots. Mo saw what appeared to be a humanoid wearing some kind of roundish helmet, but Pand’Ora with her cat-like eyes pointed out that they didn’t appear to be helmets, but rather their egg-shaped heads. The Gantathian ships then flew to surround our ship in order to better control our journey towards the planet and the coordinates. When we had all squeezed into the tight cockpit (luckily I got to stay in my comfy seat), L’hrequ leaned forward and told us, in almost a whisper, that Empatojayos Brand was killed ten years ago. Apparently, Brand was a Jedi Knight known for his adherence to law and order. Apparently a very great jedi until he was slain by Darth Vader, at least as it was believed among his people. Something clearly was up, with two mismatched stories. I suggested that perhaps the story was a ruse and Brand was using the planet to hide. After all, it was a secret planet and L’hrequ had lived in hiding as well. Surely this “great Jedi” could as well? Mo asked if Brand was also a Cerean, but L’hrequ said that Brand was believed to be a human. Mo brought up the great point that if it was the real Brand, that perhaps the “Great Jedi” could train L’hrequ. However, L’hrequ took this as a negative thing, asking if Mo thought he sucked. Mo tried to explain himself better, but L’hrequ kept it on a negative note. To try to cheer him up, I pointed out that at least L’hrequ survived where as all the others, and even potentially this Brand fellow, had not. That takes some amount of skill (and makes one the best out of lack of competition).

However, as the conversation continued, L’hrequ mentioned something about Brand being turned. I suppose he meant brainwashed or something, but the stories I heard of Vader didn’t make him sound like a man who wouldn’t just kill him. In the end though, I think we all believed that Brand was more than likely hiding out, perhaps after faking his death or merely declared dead for being missing for so long. Though, going to be real, unless it was Rossi pretending to be this Brand fellow (doubtful if Brand was human) then I really didn’t think it mattered. No matter who it was, we’d have to deal with them as it seems we were going right into their hands.

The ladies of the ship were pretty disappointed in L’hrequ’s decision to gather the group in the cockpit instead of just using the comm system as they left to more comfortable chambers. I held back a chuckle as L’hrequ seemed to find such a question nonsensical. It appeared to be a good time to call off the meeting, as we were now entering the large radiation cloud around the planet. Our sensors and alarms began to blaze, with continuously rising radiation levels exceeding safe levels as vision began to fade. Were the Ganathians planning on cooking us?! About a minute into the cloud, and just when it seemed that the radiation was going to destroy the ship, the cloud began to clear and quickly the radiation sensors dropped to zero radiation immediately. Ahead of us was now a beautiful blue-green planet as we approached a city that seemed very different than those I’ve seen (again, not much competition with only Toydor and Nar Shadda [I think the planet also counts as one big city]). Smoke seemed to cover the city, but upon closer inspection it seemed it was actually steam that the whole city seemed built around. Rivers flowed through strange buildings and falling through large wheels, and ships that with balloons and…uh cloth wings (I guess its the best way to describe it) Seemed to fill the city’s sky. The Ganathian pilots flew us towards a landing pad before veering off to their own destinations. The pad itself, was not very welcoming as it appeared over twenty individuals awaited us to land. I attempted to avoid all the silly people occupying the landing pad, and did so, but we still had a bumpy landing. L’hrequ had to be sure to comment that Brak would have landed much better, but it was easy to silence the Jedi by reminding him his friend played a big part if the death of Sixty-eight innocents on the Wheel. I also offered to stay behind to repair the mediocre amount of damage, a win for me as I wasn’t to interested in meeting another Jedi. However, the others insisted that we all go, shouldn’t the pilot stay with the ship?

After a brief pause for the others to get out of their spacesuits (Winter also took time to make herself beautiful, we exited the ship. Outside we were greeted by a bunch of humanoids with egg-shaped helmets on, all wearing metallic armor with steam coming out of its backpack. Guess they were powered for some reason or another. And they were armed with some sort of weird gun. As if that wasn’t a warm enough of a welcome (seriously, they need this many warriors for people complying) we were approached by another humanoid whose head was really shaped like an egg (though not as pointed or big as L’hrequ’s) only he was wearing robes and had a lovely disapproving frown. Defiantly an improvement, ugh. In his hands were what appeared to be some kind of paper and quill, and as he approached us he looked at us with his beady eyes and asked us who we were and what we were doing here. Mo introduced himself as Emperor Mo-Fo and us as his subjects, though Winter apologized and told them that Mo’s humor chip was malfunctioning. These people probably couldn’t even comprehend a droid. Winter then proceeded to introduce us all and explain that we were here to rescue her brother Asher from Rossi. A fact that made the egg-head smirk, either he knew something or knew we weren’t going to be able to do it.

With introductions finished, the robed-man told us that we would have to meet the Emperor who is known to be just and sometimes merciful, clearly this man wanted the mercy part to be ignored for us. So polite. As we progressed, Winter seemed to be watching the Ganathians closely, altering her step and posture to better match. Now that is being polite, not that these pointing and sneering Ganathian’s deserve it.

The building we were lead into basically was a large bunch of hallways with some carpeting, I guess they even build their buildings to allow them the maximum capabilities to be condescending as each little doorway along the hall had some Ganathian looking aghast at us. They should probably look in a mirror, as they look like some kind of instectoid laid eggs in their head, I wonder if that was true…perhaps they have head-infesting bugs on this planet. Ew. Strangely, I saw no other species besides these Ganathians here. Maybe they eat outsiders? After a terribly long flight, we eventually approached a large set of closed double-doors that had two guards holding some-kind of archaic axe-spear thing in front of it. The guards stood aside and opened the door as we approached so we could enter. Upon entry, we got to listen to some terribly confused Ganathian announce the arrival of Empatojayos Brand. I will record what he said (for your sake rather than mine as I found it more annoying than anything). “All Hail Empatojayos Brand, Emperor of Ganath! Brand the Just! Brand the Kindly! Brand the Merciful! The Truthbringer! The Skykiller! The Beacon of the New Era!” Though they did seem to miss The Conceded, surely it fit into that list of names, like really even the Ganathians call Brand only sometimes merciful. Still, lucky for us, as the last title was announced, silence filled the oversize room, well besides my companions footsteps. The space was like a entire building itself. With giant windows overlooking the city at the far end past the throne that presided at the top of a small (in comparison to the large room) set of stairs. Floating at the top of those stairs was, I assume Empatojayos Brand. The man was clearly held together by cybernetics, and was missing his legs, instead he was using what I assume were repulser lifts. If he had his legs, he would probably had been about six feet tall. The man’s hands were missing, replaced by cybernetic ones, and his face (while human and not Ganathian) was mostly covered in metallic plating, only his eyes and nose peeking at us. Not the “Great Jedi Knight” I was expecting.

As we got close, the Ganathian that was leading us, Winter told me he was called the Magistrate, demanded that we kneel and show our respect (not that respect would be what was shown, but I digress). Winter began to kneel so I decided to follow her example. I didn’t want to rock the boat too much just yet. This is when the mighty Jedi, who waited for us to kneel first, began to speak. He greeted us and “apologized” for our rude welcome which was because “they don’t get many guests here” (I wonder why). Then he proceeded to ask what brought us to this “fair” planet (didn’t we already answer this). Poor Winter had to, once again, answer the question. Telling Brand that her brother had been kidnapped and was being held for ransom, and that she was told that he was here. Brand asked who would have brought her brother here, and Winter told him it was a Togarian bounty hunter known for kidnapping and slaving. When Winter mentioned Togarians, Brand’s eyes lifted to gaze at Pand’Ora, I guess, at the very least, who knew what one was (guess he knows something). Winter continued saying Rossi’s name and that he had told us to find him here. Winter then continued telling Brand that it Ganath is a large planet and that we don’t know exactly where to find him. She then asked that if Brand could assist us in finding her brother, and added that he was a sweet and innocent young man, then Brand would have Winter’s eternal gratitude. Brand seemed to be weighing Winter’s words as she spoke, as if debating if they were true or not. Winter also added that she wasn’t sure why Rossi chose Ganath as the point of the exchange.

Brand followed up her request asking who the rest of us were, again already asked and written down by the magistrate, and Winter told him that we were here friends (aw :3) and that together we are a team. But Brand continued his scrutiny, almost as if trying to decide to kill us, narrowing it down to who else came with us? Winter answered no one else. was anyone left on our ship? Again, Winter answered no), was anyone left in space? Winter answered I don’t think so, but they sent people to get us, so they should know anyways. Did you tell anyone else where you were going? Winter told him that we got coordinates from someone, so that person could probably guess where we went. Who did you get these coordinates from (Really, how paranoid is this guy, like he could know this person anyways)? Winter told him that we got the coordinates from an information broker (which seemed to worry the “Skykiller”) on the Wheel, a space station. All this tough info really made The Beacon of the New Era think for a good thirty seconds or so and then, as if awakening from a trance, told us to rise and apologized again saying he normally didn’t stand on formality (stand, as if), but his subjects insist upon it (oh, so its their fault?). We, including the magistrate rose, and went right on back to flying, had to get that crink out of my back from that pointless kneeling. Winter however held herself to amazingly high standards and appeared as if she hadn’t even been kneeling. Seriously, this planet could learn from her. Then, the Truthbringer gave each of us a narrow gaze as if he was scanning us. Brand’s gaze paused on L’hrequ for a longer period of time than us, before turning his gaze back to Winter to ask another stupid question, you are here to retrieve your brother and then what? Winter told him that we would have some business to finish with Rossi and then we would leave. The statement made Brand raise and eyebrow as he finally got to the crux of the issue, telling us that he was “afraid” that it would not be possible. Telling us that now that we had found Ganath and its rude inhabitants we could not leave. Brand the “Kindly” continued to tell us that it was too much of a risk to let us go knowing this lame planet exists, and should we go back to our normal lives and knowledge of this place’s existance got out who knows what sort of Chaos it would cause. Mo asked what was at stake, addressing Brand as Emperor. Brand continued with a lame excuse that these people, the Ganathians, are extremely Xenophobic and are afraid of the outside world (what they can’t even go outside?). The Truthbringer believes that their civilization would collapse if they were suddenly overrun by alien lifeforms. Brand mentioned that they have occasionally had visitors, but that they too were never allowed to leave. How have the Ganathian’s survived all these visitors! Brand even continued that the “Visitors” (correct word of course is prisoners) continue to live here “peacefully” allowed to pursue their “happy” lives. Luckily, Brand addressed his improper word use, saying they are not prisoners in a sense they can not move about the planet freely, they just can’t leave the planet. How wonderful, certainly not prisoners. Their have been only a handful, Brand continued, and told us we couldn’t imagine the turmoil it has caused his excessively rude people. Luckily, Brand the Just (the HUMAN) is in charge of protecting them (the Ganathians that hate non-ganathians because they’ll somehow destroy their civilization) [Yes, something is wrong here]. Brand seemed determined to protect these Ganathians from harming each other (yeah, probably common here) and from letting the planet get despoiled like so many other planets by the Empire and other nefarious foes (like has he even met an Ithorian?). Lucky for us, Brand had just the thing to make us feel all warm and bubbly inside! Brand the Just had a place where we could visit (I thought we could roam the planet?) where we could be with others of our kind (seems to forget himself in that little category). And, goodness, it has Cereans, plenty of droids, and even Toydarians! As a history buff (well, compared to this guys xenology) I just had to mention that according to my people the Toydarian’s residing here (and probably everyone else) is in Hell. This made Brand the Kindly to laugh and mention that he knew that old story and that perhaps, from a distance (though getting close seems to confirm it more than the radiation cloud), it may look like Hell, but it really isn’t so bad on Ganath after all. I mention being trapped is a kind of Hell, which seems to disturb him that I would feel such a way, though luckily Winter interjected before I really let into this Brand.

Winter told Brand that she could understand the way that Brand felt knowing what the Empire had done to other planets, even when they had no intention of affecting those on the planet, they still did a tremendous amount of damage. Mo asked if their was anything here that the Empire would even want, to which made Brand go quiet for a moment, before answering somberly with a yes (well, that’s a surprise, maybe something useful is on this planet?) but he could not say anymore, because he had given an oath not to share certain secrets with outsiders. Winter, somehow maintaining her cool in the pretty poor offer given to us, decides to fish for a bright side asking if, even if her and Asher couldn’t leave the planet, Brand could still help, at least, to rescue Asher from Rossi and bring brother and sister together. Brand pondered for a moment and then brought up that he also has a stake in this, not just Asher and Winter. The Truthbringer wonders why Rossi chose this place to meet Winter, which worries him because if he doesn’t know who they are or what they are doing here, they could be a danger to “his” people (even though he has been clear up to this point that knowing this planet exists is an apocalyptic weapon to “his” people). Brand had to believe that his person (Rossi) had to be in the Foreign quarter (As if not knowing someone exists means they go to the prison anyway). Because they usually intercept all incoming traffic, guiding them or destroying them (nice folks) down to the planet and take them to the part of the city where they’ll be “safe” to live out their lives. Mo brought up the fact that it is possible that Rossi had managed to escape Brand’s vigilance (which is probably easy with his low-tech). Which Brand agreed is possible which disturbs him the most as someone could be here that has already escaped (you only call someone who leaves an escapee if they are prisoners) and is dragging other back here is dangerous. So with the threat of comers and goers on this planet, Brand was willing to “help” us anyway he could. His first order of business, sending us to outsider prison! Because since we are aliens (again, look in a mirror buddy) we may be able to discover something that “his people” could not (why not go yourself?). Apparently the prisoners don’t like the rude Ganathians coming and bossing them around, strange. Winter called out The Truthseekers hypocrisy (you go girl!) by mentioning how the Ganathians seem to accept Brand despite Brand also being an alien. Brand said that his arrival was some kind of Prophesy that he didn’t resist (suprise, suprise), but didn’t try to play on them either. Brand said he merely offered his “help”, and while it took some time to earn the trust of the Ganathians, but when Brand did they soon saw “wisdom” in the words he had to offer. Eventually, these xenophobic Ganathians appointed the Human to be their leader. Brand then started going on about how it is a thankless job sometimes and how he sometimes wished he didn’t “have” to do it, but having an outside voice to guide the Ganathians [that he mentioned he has done the past ten years] has been very beneficial to them. They have seen the rewards of having Brand as a leader, brand continued to talk about himself, saying he is very fair (one lie) and just (ooh another), and a lot of the technological advancements we see in the city came from Brand providing the Ganathians with certain information they could use to enhance their rather primitive devices. Seems Outside stuff is helping them, sound good to lock it away. Brand, still talking, said that the Ganathian scientists continue to expand and explore and create new advances (well, seem more like old advances) all the time.

Brand told us that he is now very worried, because if others know about this place, and are not grounded to this planet, It is very alarming to him who else they would tell about Ganath. The Beacon of the New Era then told us, again, to go to the foreign quarter and see what we could find out. Not only that, but he wants us to infiltrate them in whatever way we could (like, does he even care if people die?) and told us we obviously would fit in. We were to see what we could learn and report back to Brand, suggesting that we could perhaps help each other (well, help him really). I had a bit of trouble holding my tongue here, and brought up the fact that should we discover how Rossi and his gang were escaping and re-entering the planet under the Skykiller’s nose, what would stop us from also using this method to leave without telling him. And the mighty Truthseeker told me, that he would just have to trust us, because being a slave sounds great. Mo whispered to me that it wasn’t a good idea to reveal your plans, but I didn’t see how Brand could really stop us, and wanted to perhaps negotiate a better deal since this arrangement gave us the power. Brand, as if in response said that our ship would be impounded and would not be trespassed upon, giving us his word (as if) that no one would touch it. Brand promised the ship would not be harmed, we just would be unable to access it. Mo thanked him afterwards (I am unsure if it was sarcasm, as we basically had our ship stolen). Brand then told us to quickly see what we can find out, come back to the castle and talk to the magistrate, who will take us back to talk to him [Brand] if he is available (what else does he do?). As we all get ready to depart, I was ready before we got here, Brand spoke one more time asking the Cerean, L’hrequ, to stay behind. L’hrequ nodded and began waiting as Winter gave a curtsy before spinning around and leaving with us close behind. Even the Magistrate and his guards accompanied us, leaving L’hrequ alone with the Skykiller. I was sure that this only meant trouble, as my father always told me that when Jedi get together, trouble always follows (which is weird, we never really met any Jedi that I know of).

3:56:24We waited outside of the throne room for ten minutes as L’hrequ and Empatojayos Brand were talking about something. When L’hrequ returned, it wasn’t really something he discussed with us. I guess L’hrequ doesn’t mind keeping the secrecy of the meeting to himself, which is honorable, but a bit disappointing. Doesn’t exactly help ease much tension. Still, it was good to see he was unharmed, for the sake of my job, of course. With the group back together, the magistrate began to lead us to the gates to the city and point us towards the Foreign Quarter where we could find someplace to rest amongst our own kind. Pand’Ora asked what the currency of the planet was, and if Imperial Credits, would be useful. Winter backed up the notion, the answer was that the Foreign Quarter employees credits, but the Ganathians use a currency known as Dookits, described as small gold coins. The magistrate condescendingly doubted us having any Dookits, mentioning that among his kind we would be poor and destitute. I kindly asked if I could at least retrieve my SugarScoot from the ship, but was denied. No one was going to be allowed back to our ship, the others kind of thought it was weird . After being rudely addressed by the magistrate to his satisfaction, we had to follow him through a maze of long twisting hallways and down a large flight of stairs that eventually opened up to the city below. Large groupings of Ganathians were wondering about their business in the city, but whenever we pass the Ganathians seem to stop and stare. The magistrate recommended that we don’t tarry around his people for long for if they call the guard, or think we’re up to no good, then it could cause an “Incident” and we wouldn’t want that. The magistrate gives us easy to follow instructions to the Foreign Quarter, telling us that it would still take about fifteen minutes to get there. I mention we could get out of his people’s way faster with my Scooter, but he doesn’t even react. Mo set right out, and the others followed suit as the Magistrate sat watching us leave and scribbling on his little tablet.

We clearly weren’t in too much of a rush to get to our new prison, and Winter took her time to take in all of her surroundings. Examining the thick steam being released from all the building, the strange ships, and the people who merely stair at us like we are mad-men. Winter was very pleasant, but the Ganathians only looked scared, insulted, or angry. And I thought a smile was a universally good sign. Soon, we came to a vastly different piece of the city. Almost like their was an invisible barrier separating the segments of the city, it goes from the old-fashioned tech to more what we’d expect on any normal planet (no offense to the planets less civilized, this one is just the worst). It was equally bustling with businesses, but it was all run by species not from this planet. As we entered, Pand’Ora noticed a singular individual that seemed to take a large interest in our group, a Kubaz. As soon as the Kubaz noticed he was notice, Pand’Ora dashed off after him! Trying to react, we all dashed after her towards the ally that the Kubaz had fled to. Pand’Ora turned into the alley, just a long path with no door or windows that lead to a dead end. The Kubaz was no where to be seen. Pand’Ora expected that perhaps some sort of invisibility might have been used, and used her goggles to try to scan the area for other signatures (like heat). The walls, however, were low enough that could be climbed, but Winter believe that it may be a hidden door of somekind. We all began to search around, but no one could turn up anything. If a door was hidden here, it was going to stay that way for now. L’hrequ asked if Rossi was the one we were chasing after, but Pand’Ora was still focused on catching her prey, and began to try climbing the wall utilizing her claws. Unfortunatly, the plaster was too thick for her claws to help much, and it was too smooth for her to get over the top. Seeing that the chase was over, L’hrequ asked again if it was Rossi. Pand’ora said no, and described the Kubaz in his black cloak to the party, and Winter and her surmised that Rossi probably was going to know that we had arrived.

With nothing else to do in the alley (and it being roughly noon), we all headed back to the street and back to figuring out what direction we should go first. Being new blood to the Foreign Quarter did make us interesting for the current residents, and we soon found ourselves with the attention of a young rodian woman. She stayed at a distance, her eyes only for L’hrequ who began walking towards her. Embarrassed, it appeared like the young rodian would try to flee, but she froze in a panic as L’hrequ told her to wait. The young rodian apologized for staring, and L’hrequ said it was alright wondering if he had, perhaps, reminded her of someone. The young rodian said no, but that it was because it had been such a long time since she had seen a Cerean, presuming that we must be new here because of that fact. L’hrequ asked if she, too was new, to which the young rodian said no, and when asked for how long she guessed it was probably been about 5 years. L’hrequ was curious if the yound rodian was happy here, and (shockingly) she said she is happier than she was. Apparently, she used to spend a lot of time in space with her family, but she likes being on planet for a change, telling us that Ganath isn’t bad. The young rodian described it as “pretty”, “rains now and then.” L’hrequ asked how old the young rodian was and she said that she was 14, and for some reason included that she was old enough to be wed. L’hrequ then assumed that the young rodian had arrived to the planet before maturity, but the young rodian said that wasn’t correct as her species matures quickly. L’hrequ pondered if she missed her family, and the young rodian told us that her mother was here and her father passed away not long ago. L’hrequ deduced that she didn’t like space, and the young rodian agreed, believing that living in space is no way to live. The young rodian prefers the sun and the stars, when you can see them. When asked if the young rodian found the Emperor fair, she said that the Emperor was and that she understood why they were all stuck on the planet. The Emperor, the young rodian continued, could have had them all killed and the locals would probably like it, she noticed that the Ganathians don’t tend to like outsiders and brought up that the Emperor was an outsider once, she had heard the story. However, the young rodian doubted that the Emperor being a Jedi (when L’hrequ brought up that he had heard such stories). The young rodian believed that the stories of the Emperor’s magical tricks (like moving things with his eyes) were produced to just make the Emperor sound more scary. At this time, the young rodian asked who the rest of us were and L’hrequ merely told her that we are his companions. The young rodian asked if we had all just arrived here, but L’hrequ told her that it was merely an assumption in a city so large. The young rodian, however, was determined to make her point. Mentioning that while there were several humans and droids here, she had only seen a few Toydarians (mentioning that they were usually rude, but smelled nice) [I can’t blame Toydarians for being rude here, it seems to be the native etiquette of choice], she believe she may have seen her kind (pointing at Pand’Ora) before [but her mother told her it was a wookiee]. L’hrequ laughed and wondered if the other one she saw was another color, to which the young rodian seemed positive that the other one she saw was brown (which, unfortunately didn’t match Rossi who is black-furred).

However, catching on that we seemed to be looking for someone in particular, the young rodian did mention that their may be someone who could help us. Pointing at a tavern, the young rodian mentioned that it was a building filled with a rough sort of people (and her mother doesn’t want her to go there), but inside was usually a Bothan named Deekan who is said to know everything. L’hrequ thanked her for the good information, kindess and candor, and Winter seemed to be riffling through her stuff as if she wanted to reward her with something. The young rodian said that her assistance was no problem, and that she like meeting new people, especially nice ones. L’hrequ mentioned that perhaps we would see her around, and the young rodian said that she hoped to see us around and remarked that L’hrequ is very handsome (huh?). L’hrequ told her that it was very nice of her to say that, and then the young rodian said she really liked his braid and asked to touch it. L’hrequ let her do so, I was flabbergasted, as the young rodian started petting and playing with L’hrequ’s hair. After a strange silence watching this happen, the young rodian then asked if L’hrequ had a mate! I congratulated L’hrequ, calling him Larry, and gave him a friendly elbow to the side. L’hrequ told her that he did not, which made the young rodian quickly ask if he would like one (looking very serious). L’hrequ tried to angle his way out of this, asking if the young rodian was asking because she saw another Cerean on Ganath. Unfortunately for L’hrequ, it was not for that reason. Instead, the young rodian said she was asking because she felt L’hrequ is handsome and seems like a nice gentleman, and since he didn’t have a mate he should have one. L’hrequ was pleasant telling the young rodian that it was very kind and sweet of her, but that he was not seeking a mate at this time, adding that on his planet marriage is usually set up by their parents (well, L’hrequ said the ones who gave you life). The young rodian, a bit disappointed, apologized that his parents got to choose for him and that she meant no offense with her offer. L’hrequ said he took none, and that she was very kind (which was different from other he had met). Forlorn, the young rodian mentioned that she would then keep looking.

Finally, L’hrequ asked for the young rodian’s name and we were told that it was Ophallia. L’hrequ said that it was nice to meet her, and Ophallia said it was nice to meet him and his friends mentioning that we were very quiet. I laughed, and said I didn’t want to get in the way of a proposal. At this, Ophallia wished us a good day and added, to L’hrequ, if he changed his mind he could find her at her home (As she pointed it out in the distance. L’hrequ then said that they could always be friends without it leading to a binding courtship, which caused Ophallia interjected that it could before bidding our farewells and walking off.

L’hrequ seemed a seemed a bit shaken from the offer, but luckily Winter was there with positive news, mentioning that if we got stuck here forever and there were no female Cereans L’hrequ had an option. This comment made L’hrequ shoot Winter a look that could only be described as one you’d give a person who just stuck a frog in their mouth (a very confused look). Still, we had a mission to undergo, and we began heading toward the cantina that Ophallia had described to us. As we walked along the path, Mo said that he would like one of L’hrequ’s future tadpoles.

Eventually we arrived at the Stranded Cantina (As the sign on its walls told us). There was no doorman on duty, at least not at this time. Despite it being only about 1 or 2 in the afternoon, it seemed awfully dark within the Cantina’s walls. Surprisingly, the cantina seemed rather busy as well. The building itself was quite large with various tables and a stage. The current band was lead by a Twi’lek female performing a sad slow song in her native language, which made the song sound even more haunting. Most of the serving girls were also Twi’leks, as they walked around the dining area serving the wide menagerie of species that occupied it. Behind the bar, there was a strange aquarium-like construction with a female of as species I didn’t recognize, with a humanoid upper-body, a tentacled head, and the lower-body of an eel. The inhabitants and barkeep turned to us to as we entered, the barkeep a Puuan who was eyeing us expectantly. After taking their gazes, they soon all went back to their drinks and business. At the bar was a Bothan stirring a bluish looking drink with a seemingly perpetual scowl, and sitting to his left was a very big and heavy Ortolan, odd that this one was easily the size of Pand’Ora (I’ve only seen a few with the hutts, but they were usually about my size). This ortolan was sitting close to the Bothan, and it seemed the two were present at the bar together), only the ortolan appeared rather bored as he merely leaned on the bar’s counter.

L’hrequ pulled the group aside and said that it would probably not be wise to approach the two as a group (saying that we would be intimidating approaching as one unit, and that it would make us obvious). Winter wasn’t sure on that (and Pand’Ora already mentioned that we were already obvious), but they decided to take L’hrequ’s advice. Winter decided to take Pand’Ora and Mo with her as L’hrequ and I would get us all a table. I thought about offering my assistance, but my stomach needed some assistance of its own, so I told them that I would begin to order the food. For some reason they all laughed at that. We split up, and I am a little bit unsure exactly how their conversation went down. But from what I’ve been told Winter introduced herself and her companions (Pand’Ora and Mo). Afterwards, she mentioned that she was looking for a male Togorian which apparently Deekan took as Winter looking for a particular kind of “companion” (how desperate are the people of Ganath?). Winter ignored the implications and said she was looking for a Togorian in particular, and when asked who the lucky man was, Winter told him it was Rossi. Deekan then tried to tell him that he didn’t know who Rossi was, but that looking for him would be easier for the right price, but the others saw through his lie and figured he did know. Winter assured him that Rossi was here, and was actually expecting them. Deekan said that it was strange since he could swear they had the smell of newcomer on them so how would Rossi know they were coming? Winter then told him that Rossi had invited them to come, to which Deekan said that they must be pretty important. Winter began to call out Deekan’s lie, saying that she believe that he was probably pretty important and already knew who Rossi was. Deekan tried to played her off, but Winter mentioned that his name was the first she received on the planet. Winter said he was too modest. When Deekan asked why they were looking for Rossi, and Winter told him that Rossi had taken her brother and she was going to get him back. Deekan asked if Winter’s brother was in a gang, to which she told him no and that he was just her innocent brother. Deekan doubted anyone’s innocence.

After some banter about litter size or something, Deekan admitted that seeing Rossi was not going to be easy. As first off, only people who were in his gang could see him. Second off, to join the gang one had to undergo an initiation. Third off, the initiation wasn’t going to be easy. But, if they were willing to do this initiation, and pass, then “maybe” if Deekan was in a good mood he would take them to Rossi. Pand’Ora then tried to pressure Deekan, asking for a free pass since she was Rossi’s wife. Deekan, however, held his resolve (despite his widening eyes), and brought up the fact that if Pand’Ora were truly his mate, then Rossi had gone to great lengths to avoid her. Pand’Ora reminded him that she, too, was invited here, but still Deekan held his ground saying that it sounded like something out of some old novel. When Deekan asked why Pand’Ora was invited, she said that it was to get Winter’s brother, and Deekan doubted it and wouldn’t lead them to Rossi without doing the initiation. Then Pand’Ora told Deekan that she would be sure to tell Rossi of how rude and Ineffective Deekan was, and Mo added something about Rossi perhaps letting Deekan become his witch or something (not sure it was hard to hear). Deekan told them that he was just doing his job, and brought his rarely talking companion (the Ortolan) named Orto who didn’t talk much [probably to try to threaten them]. Winter then, with even Pand’Ora’s request being denied, decided to ask about the hierarchy of the gang (saying it was so she could give everyone in the group their appropriate respect [what a nice woman]), to which she was told that Rossi is the bossy and there was nothing else to it. Everyone else is second fiddle or lower. Then Deekan went on a rant about how he only does one job (and isn’t a messenger or receptionist) and does it well. I only let new people in the gang who pass the test. If you pass, you can enter, if not you either die or are rejected. Winter said she didn’t exactly want to join the gang, and Deekan wished her luck in finding another way or in Rossi coming to find them. Deekan said that Rossi is a big man with big plans, apparently he talks to the big guy all the time and gets big plans (BIG PLANS) all the time. When Winter asked who the Big man was, Deekan said he didn’t know and had never seen him. So Deekan said it was up to them, but seemed confident that his way was the only way.

At this impasse, Winter decided to instead ask if Deekan knew of a way to get off the planet. Deekan said you don’t leave Ganath unless you are with Rossi, and no one is supposed to know that. Winter assured him that Deekan’s secret was safe with her. And with that, they bid their farewells and Winter said that she would be speaking to him soon. With a wave good-bye to Orto, they rejoined us at our booth. They were greeted to a lot of food, unfortunately no slime-mold, and informed me of what I have detailed above. L’hrequ said that while we would not kill innocents, anything shy of that could be fair game (if necessary). Winter sort of hinted that it could lead to them killing everyone in Rossi’s gang. L’hrequ said that the trial sounds difficult, but as long as they weren’t harming innocents we could do them. Mo seemed assured it was probably the only way. Winter, however, wanted to explore around the Foreign Quarter first to see if anyone has seen her brother, and she provided us with a picture as well to assist in it. L’hrequ was worried that perhaps Deekan would leave without telling him that we are interested. Eyeing Deekan and Orto, they seemed to stick around the same spot. Every once in awhile someone would come up and whipser something to them, but otherwise they stayed put. Orto did seemed to be keeping his eyes on us, however, as he would often gaze our way for large stints of time before turning away. Winter, however, said she didn’t like the power balance here and accepting the deal would give Rossi all of the power. L’hrequ and Mo believe that they Rossi was going to have it anyways so it wasn’t something to worry about. I agreed with Winter, however, and pointed out that we were stuck in this miserable town anyways so we might as well look around, no one was going to go anywhere. Winter and I listed off some possible options (people to bribe for information on the initiation, gang members to discover, the town itself, and perhaps even The Truthseeker himself].

When I brought up Emperor Brand, Winter said that her plan with him was to tell him that Rossi was getting on and off the planet, and perhaps even how. And, in giving the Emperor this important information, then Brand would just let us go on our way (as if). L’hrequ also believed that Winter’s plan may be a bit optimistic, saying that the only way off or on was through Rossi. I told them that if, for some reason we did want to tell Brand how Rossi did it, we did discover how it is done we could use it and send a message to Brand after our escape. L’hrequ also brought up that from his private “negotiations,” as he called them, with Brand, Brand told him that he would think about L’hrequ advice to let us go, but L’hrequ was not convinced. L’hrequ believe that surely Brand had thought of such things before and had still not changed his mind. L’hrequ even said that he did not ask to leave. Winter said so too, but was hoping that Brand would reward them with freedom afterwards. And Mo brought up a good point that we would need out ship. Winter added that we could escape with Rossi, but to get the Bucket, we would have to go through the Emperor. So we decided to split up and look for clues on Asher. Mo went to go talk with the droids having seen a droid community within the foreign quarter (and droids here feel equal to all the other prisoners on the planet). L’hrequ went to Ophallia, asking her if she had seen Asher. Winter went to a local beauty salon, and Pand’Ora joined her. I didn’t really have a clue, but figured the natives may be a good source of information, but none of them seemed to linger near the gates to the Foreign Quarter (are none of them curious?) so I just went around town talking to people and showing Asher’s picture. None of us had too much luck with our investigations, while it felt like a good venture, it seems like no one has seen her brother within the quarter. Mo, however, wasn’t asking about Asher. Instead, he was searching for information on how to get to Rossi without going through his gang (if there was even a way). Interfacing with a silver C-series protocol droid labeled C-221, he learns that while Rossi is known to most underworld zones, Rossi hasn’t actually ever been seen in the Foreign Quarter. C-221 believes that Rossi operates someplace else on the planet, getting gang members from the desperate newcomers seeking a way off the planet. These newcomers all go to Deekan in the Stranded Cantina, where, if they pass, they are never seen again. However, if the newcomers fail the initiation their bodies are found horribly burned and occasionally missing limbs (and always dead). Apparently, those who enter the Stranded Cantina to undergo the initiation never exit the cantina. The droids also mentioned that Rossi, himself, had a boss (confirming the big boss Deekan spoke about). Mo asked if their was a local security force for the district, and was told that their wasn’t. Rather, there is an unspoken rule to not rock the boat. L’hrequ also investigated the Kubaz that Pand’Ora had spied spying on us earlier. Seems that his informer didn’t know who the Kubaz was. In fact, all that was know was that the Kubaz watches and then reports to someone inside the cantina.

Seems we still are being pushed to join the gang, but I’ve had my fill with gang work in the past. We do have the Kubaz’s ally as one potential lead, and a whole bunch of town to explore. I can’t imagine Rossi works too far away, as it would be much to difficult to gather new members…unless the new blood report to someone else. Still, I’d prefer to avoid doing Rossi’s dirty work for him. I’ll keep you informed how this plays out.

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The hunt is on...

After the battle and a round of first aid to my squishy friends, L’hrequ looks for the first thug he had taken down with his new light weapon. Sure enough, the poor sod was still crawling away from the scene, a few yards only from the warehouse. He tells me on the comm. that the man is quite hurt. I join them and start healing the critically wounded man. L’hrequ asks more information about Rossi’Ora , the Togorian who hired them. According to the thug, it was supposed to be easy, they didn’t expect to meet such resistance. The human mercenary also explains that he and his crew were hired by the Togo especially for this job, that they were supposed to then go to his place on Ganath and work for him (he supposedly have a fast ship). We let him go. We loot the group the leave.

We research the planet Ganath. It is actual a theoretical/mythical planet. Theories abound around this place. Soncho recognizes it from stories when it was a child: Gamaku , the Toydarian version of hell… However we know nothing about its exact location.

Winter calls our informant Waroon Dak. She explains Rossi was never on the Wheel, and neither was her brother. She explains we are looking for planet Ganath. According to him, there are plenty of stories about it, with treasures and good fortune to whom would find them. Waroon Dak doesn’t know where it is either, but he explains he’ll contact his people to get more info and get back to us (the usual).

We resell a bunch of weapons taken from the defeated mercenaries, at the same kid’s store we’ve been before, the one with the killer battle droid (I trust her). He’s a nice young man, a bit naïve to survive in such a place. Good thing his father left the droid as his bodyguard, I doubt anyone will mess with him as long as she’s with him (yes, I know it’s a she. Don’t ask). We collect 704 credits for our hard work, then head back to the Bucket. The others rest while I work on the Speeder bike with Toto.

Soncho and Winter Pax (under a disguise) leave to do some shopping together. I tell Toto to follow them and report in case of trouble, which puts Pand’Ora ‘s pack instinct at ease. They look for Pod Racing information, it seems it’s a thing here. They are told that Cheeto (a famous racer I guess) is sleeping at this time, and that they should come back next morning. Winter looks for more information about her brother Asher , with Soncho ’s help.

Around 1 am, the Wheel’s local news report an explosion on level 13. The explosion was centered on a hotel, which is mostly destroyed. Now we know what Brak meant… A smoky/hazy footage shows two stormtroopers moving through the area right after the blast, then closing a door behind them. There are a lot of civilian casualties, it is terrible. We regroup at the site and are stopped by the Wheelsec droids from approaching. I’d like to help the victims with my Medic subroutines, but the Wheel’s EMT teams are already on it and we can’t pass the security cordon.

Winter approaches one of the local security officers. We learn that some children were among the casualties, as well as some personnel in grey or white armor (Imperial?). The security detail does not believe there were stormtroopers. L’hrequ asks Soncho to perform a diversion while he uses his “powers” to sneak by the security droids. Soncho distracts one of them by pretending to be a medic, part of the relief effort, and starts searching for credentials through his numerous pockets when asked… Meanwhile, L’hrequ and Pand sneak inside the building (I’m amazed that someone that big can go undetected so easily. She is related to cats indeed). The inside of the building is in ruins, the explosion must have been quite powerful… There are body parts everywhere also… L’hrequ uses his thermograph goggles to look for the explosion epicenter: it’s definitely the lobby. They cannot find any stormtroopers corpses. They explore the place, but there isn’t much left to see or use. They think they see movement in the room behind the counter. They sneak toward the location; but the movement turns out to be light fixture hanging and rocking from the ceiling. It’s however an office with an undamaged. L’hrequ turns the computer on, but it’s password protected. I recommend via the radio to shut it down and bring it to me. They exit the hotel through a back alley.

We meet them back at the ship. I start hacking the computer with brute force decryption. The inferior mind of the device is no match for my mad subroutinz! The device’s security is quite good, but I crack it like a nut, and it is an Imperial computer indeed. The system lists all the imperial operatives that were or are staying in this hotel. This place is a spy nest: there are at least 12 of them at the moment (some of them are probably dead by now). One of them, codename 616, camed accompanied by a full platoon of forty Stormtroopers!

L’hrequ learns through the Holonet that there is no current direction of the Wheel since the last director died. Is the Empire controlling this place from behind the scene? According to the stolen computer, the mission is an observation one only. There is a list of people they were keeping an eye on, and we’re all on it (except Soncho ). They know we have bounty on our heads. We also find Waroon Dak and Remo on their watch list. We decide to give the computer to the former. The organics head back to bed to rest.

In the morning the final death count is at 68 people. We have a message from Dak to go see him. Winter puts her face on. We all go to the mostly empty bar (it’s quite early). We are escorted to Dak’s private booth, and meet him while he is having breakfast. He has good and bad news:

- The hacker I’m looking for is quite evasive. They need more time to find a lead.
- About Ganath, the planet we are looking for: it does exist, but according to some it us hidden by a massive radiation cloud. If that’s true, environmental suits will be needed by all of us for protection against that hazard. Other rumors claim that it’s a paradise inhabited by a xenophobic people. It is also inside of Hut space, which makes it hazardous to reach. Dak also has rough coordinates, so we can head over there.

We give the laptop to Waroon Dak and provide information we learned. He is very happy about this. Waroon Dak knew there were rumors about the Imperial presence on the Wheel but had no proof. Here it is, on a plater. Dak thinks the bomb’s objective was to bring attention to the Empire’s presence rather than eliminating them. Otherwise, why bomb the hotel’s lobby?

We shop before leaving for Ganath . We buy space suits and breathers for everyone. We are ready to go at 9am. I prepare the astrogation route without a hitch, then Soncho takes the ship out with ease through a very busy traffic. We fly in Hyperspace for 3 days.

As we get off FTL, we find a red planet, surrounded by a strange Aurora Borealis effects. The sensors do not even detect the planet, and we notice that it has no moon. We however detect four small ships with a curious design, approaching us. They seem armed. We turn the shields on. There is a lethal level of radiation surrounding the ship also, as we approach. I call everyone to battle station. Pand’ and L’hrequ head for the turrets, Winter for the firing solutions console. We are hailed, asked to be escorted down to the planet, in the name of Emperor Ematogayos Brand ! We decide to comply; they surround us with great agility. They send landing coordinates to us, with a very old fashioned protocol. It takes the Bucket 15 minutes to get to the coordinates, under escort. As we approach, L’hrequ explains that this emperor’s name is known to him. If he is the same person, Brand was a Jedi Knight, supposedly slain 10 years ago by Darth Vader.

The cloud gets thicker, until we even lose sight of our escort. As we get lower, radiation level is spiking and the ship shakes because of turbulences. However, after 60 seconds of descent, we see a blue ocean, a luscious continent and a huge city!? The radiation level drops to nothing instantly!! The planet looks like it’s out of a steampunk Holostory. Our escort ships are now using propellers to stay in the air. We finally see a landing pad. There is a lot of steam in the air, lowering visibility dramatically. Two dozen people are waiting for us on the pad. Blimps and flying sailboats powered by props or jet engines are flying around us. The technology around us is very primitive but quite functional.

We remove our unnecessary space suits, and exit the ship. We are approached by guards wearing “steam backpacks and face masks.” There are a lot of them: 40 or so. An alien with a large head, small beady eyes and angular features, approaches us and talks. He writes down on his paper pad with a feather quill as we give our names. Winter explains why we’re here. It seems the man is a Magistrate or importance (mostly of the –self kind I believe). He tells us we are going to meet the Emperor “who is fair, and sometimes merciful.”

We are escorted by many guard to the Emperor’s palace. The place is massive and impressive. Someone or something is hovering above the stairs leading to the throne. The room seems like it was built by or for giants. We follow the magistrate toward the floating shape, which turns out to be Brand himself: the emperor has no legs nor hands and floats above the floor. Cybernetic devices end his amputated limbs. From his face, he is human… Were he complete, he’d be six foot tall. As we reach the stairs, the Magistrate tells us to kneel. We do, then the magistrate, but not the guards. The Emperor apologizes for our poor reception; they do not receive many guests.

We explain Winter Pax ‘s brother’s story, with Rossi being the source of our woes. The Emperor seems to react when the Togorian is mentioned. He thinks hard for a while, then tells us to rise. He asks what we intend to do when we find our brother, then tells us we can’t be allowed to leave the planet no matter what, lest we bring back more people. The Emperor explains that the locals as xenophobic and an influx of outsider would turn their society into chaos. We are therefore trapped here… The Emperor has sworn to defend this planet and will not let us leave. He is disturbed that Rossi could get in and out without him knowing, and he wonders why the Togorian chose this planet for his actions.

The Emperor recommends that we go to the foreign quarter to look for Rossi. As we get ready to depart, the Emperor wants L’hrequ to stay a bit longer and talk with him in private. We leave the two of them to talk.

After an insane amount of time (enough for me to complete 3925 Sudokus), L’hrequ joins us and the Magistrate escorts us to the gate leading to the foreign quarter. He explains that his people use Gold Ducats for currency, but credit is used in the Foreign Quarter. After a fifteen minutes’ walk through a very primitive city populated by autochthones we reach the foreign quarter. A change in scenery indicates we have arrived: no more locals, but a wide mix of alien species. The place looks like a Mos Eisli market. Pand’ notices that a Kubaz wearing a cloak seems very interested in us. She bolts to follow him as he turns around and runs away. We follow her. She ends up in a dead end and he alien is nowhere to be found. It is noon-ish, we decide to look for a place to look for information. We get the information from a young female Rhodian named Ophalia who looks at L’hrequ intently. She has been here for a long time, 5 years indeed. She is happier here than she ever was before, spending her former life in the confines of a ship. She informs us that there is a cantina with rough people where we could find the intel we are looking for. There, a Bofin called Deaken knows everyone in the Quarter and may be able to help us. Ophalia then hits pretty obviously on L’hrequ, who politely declines the offer.

We get to the place, called the Stranded Cantina. There is no doorman, so we just get straight in. It’s dark inside, and quite packed with customers. A band plays a slow, sad song. The bar has a large aquarium, in which a female amphibian alien is swimming. We locate Deaken , sitting at the bar and drinking a blue cocktail. A large Ortolan bodyguard sits next to the Boffin, a rifle slung over his shoulder. Pand’ , Winter Pax and I approach the Boffin, the others pretending to be on their own, and ordering food from a booth. Winter Pax explans she is looking for a Togorian. Deaken is quite sleazy and thinks she is looking for some kind of furry prostitute (I heard this is a thing among class A pervert organics). When we mention Rossi ‘s name, Deaken claims he hasn’t heard from him (or pretends so). After we call bullshit, Deaken explains that to meet Rossi, one has to join his gang, which means taking a very tough potentially deadly initiation. If we pass, he’ll take us to Rossi. To save time, Pand’ drops the A-Bomb, explaining she’s the Togorian’s wife and that Rossi would want to see her. We learn that Rossi ’s the kingpin, and Deaken the recruiter for the gang. He won’t make any exception for anyone, the initiation trials are the only way to get to our objective.

We gather to discuss options. Winter Pax wants to check around to learn if Asher was seen in the Foreign Quarter at all (I seriously doubt it). No one has seen the brother at all. I inquire with the local droids, who have their own Union here, as they consider themselves the equals of organics here. Not bad… I talk to a silver protocol droid who explains that Rossi is the kingpin here. People who are desperate to leave the planet end up talking to Deaken . If they take the initiation to join the nameless gang led by Rossi, they then disappear: either they join the gang and no one ever sees them again, or they die during the initiation. It seems that Rossi’ answers to someone else: Deaken referred to him as the big guy… The Foreign Quarter has about 300 people living in it. The city has more than 100,000 total. The corpses found have typically been terribly burnt, with often missing body parts.

It seems that this Initiation would be the only way to get to our quarry. Winter is not thrilled by the idea to be forced to do that, but it seems that Rossi ‘s gang has all the cards. I think the only alternate would be to put together a surveillance of the Cantina and try to follow the bread crumb trail to the Togorian. This would be very difficult as well, because we are new here, but we are resourceful.

Once again we are so close, and yet so far from our objective. I turn down my frustration by 20% and move on to planning our next step.

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