I stayed with Cratala while the others chased after Yav. We rested while she recovered from her ordeal. She wasn’t injured, but she was quite shaken from being Yav’s captive and then nearly drowning. I assured her everything was fine and that we’d be back at the camp soon. She revealed that Harsol fancied her. Now that is a powerful tidbit of information!
After several minutes, the rest of the group returned empty handed. They managed to track Yav to their ship, but he managed to launch just as the gang caught up with him. Yav and his remaining toadies fired on them before flying off.
We told Cratala that we feared prosecution and death if Harsol did not want us to leave freely. The men (is M0-F0 male?) acted like they were doing Cratala a favor by not abducting her themselves. Oh dear. I wanted to work with Harsol towards a mutually beneficial outcome. Brak and Pand agreed. She reassured us that Harsol would treat us quite favorably since we rescued her. So back to camp we went.
When we met up, Harsol was quite happy to see Cratala. He stopped short of lifting her off the ground with a bear hug, but I suspect that is what he wanted to do. So why didn’t he? Was it because he did not want to do that publicly, or because Cratala would not appreciate it?
Harsol invited us to dinner, which of course we accepted. He told us we were free to come and go. We asked about the other survivors who might feel threatened by our departure. He replied that he would suppress the most radical, plus we considerably outgunned any rebels. “They would be fools to challenge you.”
After dinner, Cratala took us on a tour. She led us to a garage that included a mountain of scrap salvaged from the Sa Nalaor. She introduces us to the local engineer. We also meet some of her “pets” with some of them sporting technological augments.
We then went to the only decent place on the planet. The building was very neat and organized and the nicest structure in the village. It was Cratala’s lab. Why is it the nicest place, I wonder? I’m sure the reason is significant and something we can use in our favor.
Her droid, FX-07, appeared fully operational. It also has a complete record of her research for the last 30 years. This is what Remo really sent is for, is it not? The medical center was decent, but not as nice as Cratala’s lab. We did receive some medical treatment, which was minimally effective and horribly smelly.
Next, the generator in a room behind her lab. Imagine our surprise when a rybet jumps out in front of us, like a chicken protecting her eggs. Cratala told Feno Gamoc that we were friendlies. Turns out he was having trouble with the generator, and he eventually accepts help from M0-F0. In a short amount of time, M0-F0 had the generator tuned and purring like a nexu.
No surprise, Pand paid a visit to the local who runs the “whiskey” distiller. She seemed to relax just knowing he was there. We visited several forgettable buildings. The last one, however held a small surprise. It was a shuttle. Cratala told us it was not operational.
We spent another night, which was both uneventful and uncomfortable. At breakfast we talked to Harsol and asked how many residents wished to leave. He told us it was dozens. This is far more than what we can take with us.
We left early to return to the ship. Another ride on a revo. We took a detour to check on the previous day’s battle site. Not much left of the rodians and trandoshan. Just greasy, bloody stains on the jungle floor.
We finally reached our ship. L’hrequ cut away vines while Pand and I kept watch. Brak does a pre-flight check, making sure our eventual departure would go smoothly. M0-F0 gets a data recording device, a generator, and whatever else we can spare. The residents here lift such a wretched lifestyle that anything would be appreciated. My personal sacrifice was six bottles of designer nail polish.
The return trip to the camp went without incident. We are treated like heroes and the atmosphere is celebratory. M0-F0 and Cratala went to the lab to download her research. The rest of us went to bed. We took turns for watch.
In the middle of the night, someone came to our room and said Harsol wanted us to come. There was something outside the walls and he wanted us to check it out. This sounded suspicious to us. Was this a trap? After much debate, we agree to check it out.
Harsol was standing on a tower looking into the blackness of the nighttime jungle. He said something was moving outside the village wall. We asked if any of the residents were outside, and he said no.
We left the fort and Pand stealthed ahead of us with her night vision goggles. We kept in shortwave contact with Harsol, who informed us there were two teenagers who had snuck out of the village. Pand was ready to shoot anything that moved, and she was irritated to have this new limitation.
We all looked and listened as best we could as we crept through the jungle. Something shiny flashed in the darkness. Then a weird electronic chittering. Then BOOM! Pand shot an imperial probe droid. We took it out quickly, but was it quick enough? It had been transmitting when we destroyed it. Probably to a ship in orbit. Yav’s ship, we guessed.
Then we received a shortwave comm. It was Dirtbag Dolan. How could he have possibly found me here? I guess Cholganna is a secret no longer. I’m tempted to tell him to come and get me. I’ll be waiting for him at the nexu cages.