Galaxy In Flames

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?

Poncho's Logs 1.2
Mission: Rescue Asher from Hell

…Initializing …

Password: * * * * *


… 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.

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.

Poncho's Logs 1.1
Mission: Rescue Asher on the Wheel

…Initializing …

Password: * * * * *


… Scanning Fingerprint…

… Identity Confirmed…

Welcome Poncho :)

Creating New Folder: The Mission…

→ Report: Day 1 | 1800 – 2000 Hours

Writing reports sounds easier than one thinks, at least until you realize that you only have three fingers. Lucky, Nancy taught me how to write basic so I can at least accommodate.

Right, the mission. Well, my new friend Mr. Dak wants me to help out a group of people. Says they are his friends too, and need a pilot. I’ve done taxi in the past, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble. So long as they just need transport. Given I’ve only ever left Toydaria, I don’t really know hyperspace that well.. that is what it’s called yes. I’d assume Mr. Dak informed them of such…though maybe I should tell them?

The group looked like something out of Nar Shadda, a mattering of different aliens and even a robot. I flew over to introduce myself, and the human took the first shake. Her name was Winter Pax, and she had lovely white hair, but didn’t seem at an age for such. Her handshake was strong, sign of a negotiator, and her sapphire eyes had a certain intensity to them. Fortunately, she seems quite pleasant.

Another was not a alien I recognized, I was told she is Togorian. Giant seems right, or giant kitty. Pandora (I’m told its Pand’Ora) was easily two of me, and I’m a big toydarian. Her golden fur was rather soft despite her fierce build. Though she seemed a bit distracted by something most of the time, her green eye bobbing back and forth. I wonder what is was?

The robot was model M0-F0, I think I’ll call it Mo. I’m no expert on droids, but I don’t think I’ve seen a model like its, almost was a walking fortress. Though, it seemed to like clothes and it had a cute hat on. Mo would probably bother my father, very direct, but that can work with me.

The last man was La-wreck, LA-rook, well I’m told its spelled L’Hreque. He seemed almost human, but had an almost conical forehead. Probably has a hard time finding a hat like Mo’s that could stay on. The cone was decorated by a ponytail of grey hair, though I’, sure he had more hair in his goatee. His blue eyes appeared as if he was gauging me all the time. Still seems nice, but doesn’t like to shake hands.

Perhaps the most intimidating thing was the weaponry that Mo and Pand’Ora had. Mighty blasters that could probably melt through a door. I do hope they don’t need to be used that often, they do seem pretty shiny. I’m not all that good in a blaster show, I’ve got Nancy (I feel I should note its not my friend by the firearm I named after her), but I mostly use here to pretend I know how to use it….not really for shooting. Maybe they do the same?

Apparently, it was as I was told. Originally they were traveling with someone named Brak, but that person had to follow a lead to a ship or something. Must’ve been important, and I know all about chasing after a dream. Hopefully though that fellow doesn’t end up under the thumb of a crime lord though. Mr. Dak had a letter from this Brak, and handed it to them. It was some rather heartfelt good-byes and a warning to avoid level 13.

The group had come to ask Mr. Dak for some information on someone named Rossi and a meeting they had with him. I don’t think they liked Rossi much, Pand’Ora seemed to growl at the mention of Rossi, and Winter seemed mighty worried. Unfortunately, while Mr. Dak could get the info, the timing would make things rather expensive. However, Mr. Dak did introduce me to the group as a pilot. It’s defiantly intimidating to replace another pilot, especially for space travel. Their ship is a YT-1300 named Silver Bucket, good to see I’m not the only one that names vehicles cute names. I’ve got my little SugarScoot scooter in my room. Mo showed me some of the specs on his datapad and I hope I looked excited, I don’t really know my spaceships, but this one looked good. I think. Apparently, she (the ship) is very resourceful!
Mo was seeking a hacker to help him with something too, and asked Mr. Dak to help him find this person. Mr. Dak agreed and Mo offered the usual finders fee (I’d comment on it, but I don’t know what it is [and no negotiations either]).

The meeting that the party had with Rossi was going to happen soon on level 20, warehouse 66 on the wheel. Apparently, it was to be the area where a negotiation was to be hosted. The deal, Winter in exchange for her brother, Asher. They seemed to have a good relationship According to Pand’Ora, her husband [Rossi] (of whom she seeks to kill) was a low-life on her planet. Rossi seems to be a slaver of some kind, selling whole villages of his fellows as slaves. I wonder if he does deals with the Hutts? Still, Rossi doesn’t sound like a nice person at all.

Mr. Dak was able to pull up a schematic of the warehouse for us, apparently it had no owner information (what trader wouldn’t claim his storage?). It seemed to be pretty standard, as far warehouses go. Lots of boxes of this or that. Their were multiple entrances, one on each side (and two on the main side if you count the loading door). And a few ventilation ducts on the farther end about my size. In fact…I can just place it here:


After we finished discussing the plans of the warehouse, the conversation became more merry and eating was to be done. L’hrequ (I really should shorten it to Larry) seemed a bit astonished at my appetite. I could see him eyeing me as I gulped my food. I’m more shocked at his appetite, does his species survive off of drinks alone? Works for me though, more food on our travels! Mo asked how Mr. Dak and I met, and Mr. Dak explained that he was always on the look for good pilots, and saw my work which led him to picking me up. It was a mutually benefital agreement, as I wanted off my planet (didn’t tell them it was Nar Shaddaa). However, he also explained it was my first job and asked I be treated well. A very basic explanation, but it would do. Nice of him to ask them to look after me though, how dangerous was this going to be? I was warned that Mo may be a bit abrasive, but I have yet to really see that.

At about 7 PM, we had all finished eating (well, most of us I could have used another helping of fish). We started discussing the plan for dealing with Rossi. L’hrequ seemed a bit unsure about killing Rossi (preferring he be brought to justice). Pand’Ora was alright with that, telling L’hrequ that she would kill him (I suppose leaving the guilt off of L’hrequ). Winter, while mentioning she would normally agree, said that Rossi crossed a line taking her brother and was ok with Rossi’s death. However, Winter did note that her main priority was rescuing her brother. Seems, it was going to be pretty dangerous.

The set up so far was that Winter and Mo would enter for the meeting, but Winter was hoping the rest of her friends would follow in somehow like hidden in a crate or something. There weren’t any balconies or upper levels, which prevented coming from above, or at least hiding there. Winter asked me if I would assist, granting that this mission was a bit out of the “pilot” range. I didn’t mind helping (in fact, I’m sure I had to), but I didn’t want them to think of some some gunslinger. Nancy is accurate, but I’m not. Winter told me she appreciated help of any kind, but L’hrequ commented that at the very least I would be another target….gulp, and I thought I was supposed to be worried about Mo. When Winter asked about my skills, I let her know about my determination, negotiation skills (no where near my father however), and my luck [which does seem to be on my side most of the time…well besides that crash]. L’hrequ began to describe Toydarian facts…I felt awkward.

Winter brought up the idea of entering in a crate, and something about L’hrequ appearing invisible to them (that seems weird, stealth suit?). However, L’hrequ didn’t seem to confident that would work for a long time. He offered to enter with them, but then scamper off to a hiding place. Winter liked the idea of sending them inside the warehouse as a crate (a particularly large crate) and Mo added that they could plan on sending the crate ahead of time so they were both in position. L’hrequ was not too keen on the tight conditions, but eventually agreed. Mo was able to get into the computer and then change the shipping manifest to make the party’s crate replace another delivery. I offered to use the ventilation system to get in, as my skills in detecting lies could make me seeing Rossi a boon.

With a plan in motion, we all went to their docking bay to construct the crate. Pand’ora was excited to get in the box, and was more than willing to hold onto Mo’s rifle for him (it was the size of me). Additionally, Mo removed his clothes and hat to appear more droid-y, and packed a blaster into his medical backpack (I didn’t know he was a doctor). Winter prepared her blaster as well (And said she had a 22 Defender hidden away on her). I got to see the Silver Bucket as well, looked like a good enough ship. As we were setting up the crate, we discussed me sneaking into the vents and using my comm to tell them what the scene looked like. Agreeing, and setting up our contact information, I scampered off to find my entrance.

Wandering across the Wheel (which takes forever without my SugarScoot) I managed to find the little ally-like path to the vent access. People were walking by constantly, and I wasn’t sure what the laws on such things are like here, so I tried to get in quietly. Being quiet was fine, but getting the grate open quietly was a problem for me. Eventually, I did get the grate open (without dropping it or anyone noticing), tied my syntherope on the bars and flew in, pulling the grate back into place behind me before taking my rope back and starting my crawl.

It was a tight fit, with my belly being so round…I should have skipped that second helping of fish. Though, of course, thinking about fish made me hungry again. With a little effort I managed to pull myself to the top of the vent, where I could see into the warehouse. Looking around, it appeared I arrived early. Which is good. Currently, about ten warehouse workers (at least I guess that is what they were) setting things up. I even saw the crate containing L’hrequ and Pand’ora enter and be put to one side. Soon, the employees slowly shuffled out of the room and things fell quiet for awhile. That was until I heard the door below me open and some people shuffled in. I didn’t see the giant cat-man as I was expecting, but rather a group of four humans and even two jawas (I believe that’s what they are called anyways, Hutts used to talk about them). The group mostly spread among the crates in the warehouse in an attempt to spring a surprise on Winter and Mo (I was guessing anyways), except for two of them who brought a certain crate off of a pile and put in in the center of the room where they waited. Thinking ahead, I used my datapad to snap footage to send the others so they knew about the trap ahead of time.

Soon, Winter and Mo entered the room (still no Rossi, however,) and approached the two men that stood next to the crate. The men behind the crate implied that Asher was trapped inside the crate that the two men had, when Winter asked where he was. Additionally, they were told to wait for Rossi. So we waited more…and more… and to be fair I was in that vent for over an hour now and my stomach was starting to rumble something awful. So I began to snack on some of my rations. Luckily their gooey texture didn’t make too much noise.

Eventually, one of the humans got a call and began talking to someone. The man said that they were here (assuming Mo and Winter) and then the man got a crooked smile on his face. Seeing a twinge in his arm, I noticed he was going to go for his gun and called out a warning as the firefight began! It was hectic, and I’m not really sure all that went on, I’m no soldier. Jawa’s hopped out of their hiding places and shot nets or something out of their rifles that tied up Winter, but Mo was able to avoid them. Soon, our crate burst open and Mo’s rifle flew out and into the droid’s arms he proceeded to begin blasting the enemy down. The energy seemed intense, but only seemed to knock out their targets. Pand’Ora joined in with the blasting, but her heated beams showed no mercy as she shot to kill. Even more suprising, and extremely notable, was L’hrequ who flipped out of the crate and then drew a lightsaber out of its hiding place! Go invisible?! Lightsaber?! L’hrequ is a jedi!? That explained a bit, but I had to withhold my judgment (King Katuunko rest in piece as my father would say), and try to help him out.

If a Jedi was caught among us it would be bad news, so I attempted to access the cameras to cut out the footage or at least deactivate them, but…I didn’t really have a clue how to do it so I suppose I just wasted time, as the heated battled continued on the floor. Winter, trapped in some kind of electronic net blasted the man that was trying to drag her away, but was still entrapped! Seeing Winter in danger, Mo blasted the one dragging her as L’hrequ handled the men in the back with his blue-bladed lightsaber. Pand’ora blasts another one of the humans across the room with her rifle, and I just hear a mighty crash.

The jawas, sneaking around, grabbed Winter again and began dragging her to the rear-door of the warehouse. I knew I couldn’t risk shooting at them (for fear of hitting Winter with my poor training) I instead flapped out of my hiding spot and hovered to block their escape. Pulling out my Fusion Cutter, and utilizing my factory training, I melted the door closed to prevent any chance of them taking Winter to their boss. However, it seemed like it was all in vain as Winter cried out to her brother, as her mouth began frothing as she withed in agony until she was still. It was all so sudden and I hadn’t been paying enough attention, I was positive this was the end of her. I really botched this job up, and I barely been assigned to it. I heard Pand’Ora cry out and soon after another foe fell. With only one Jawa remaining it fled off into the warehouse, and Mo and I were unable to track it. Still, we moved our attention to the more pressing matter of Winter, who, upon Mo’s medical check-up, was apparently fine. I gave a sigh of relief as the Pand’Ora’s blaster blasted away the last of the foes in the room.

Able to finally catch our breath a little, I helped Mo untangle Winter from her entangling mess safely, apparently if you try to break the cords normally, they electrocute the person inside. A fact we learned as L’hrequ tried to cut himself out of his entanglements (he was entrapped by the Jawas at some point) and experienced the sharp jolt. Still, they were nothing for the Jedi who eventually cut his way out. I attempted to bring the Jedi matter up, but the life-cradling crate that supposedly held Asher was still lying in wait. I doubted his presence within, as why would Rossi leave behind the object that helps him goad Winter and not be there himself? Still, the Jedi didn’t seem as worried and he threw open the crate after Mo didn’t notice any irregularities about the container.

The container was a trap, however, and I could hear the clinging of metal and the snapping of machine work as an alarm began to ring out. Mo slammed down and sat upon the crate, but it was of little use. The lid blew off, sending Mo on a crash course towards the floor. From the crate, rose some kind of battle-droid. It was round, you could almost say hunched, and had some nasty looking blasters for hands. To make matters worse, it seemed to have a deflector shield as well as being larger than a human in size. The Jedi didn’t seem to thrilled to see it as it began blasting at him. Pand’Ora began firing upon the droid (landing a nasty shot into its head-like apparatus), and I, not thinking, dash up with my fusion cutter and did my best to melt apart pieces of the droid as if it was a factory piece. Unfortunately, the enemy seemed to prepare for such events as we did and two trandoshans popped out of crates one blasting a heated beam into my shoulder as I yelped in pain. The other taking a shot at the Jedi, who was currently was occupied blocking blaster bolts from the battle-droid, so he could only block some of the trandoshan’s laser blasts. The others hit home and the Jedi was looking rather hurt and went for cover.

Winter, still in her fake death, was grabbed by the Jawa that got away and was beginning to be dragged away again! However, this time Winter wasn’t going to take it lying down and I heard a laser blast from where she was dragged to.

As for myself, now worried about the trandoshans and the droid I attempted to become even safer, cutting a hole in the hull of the droid I clambered unto its chassis (hoping it couldn’t shoot me there), and hoped that if the trandoshans shot at me they’d hit the big droid instead. My worries were cut short though as the others were able to easily dispatch the trandoshans as I continued to slowly burn away at the droids neck-like piece until it was cut clean through and the droid collapsed. All invigorated, I made a joke about how it had a head problem which seemed to make at least Pand’Ora laugh, though it could have just been relief. I knew I was relieved, even with the nasty burn that decorated my race-suit. It does seem Mo is a doctor too, as he fixed everyone up, including myself. I was rather grateful we had all made it through decently enough, though it was a pity we hadn’t rescued Asher.

Though, we did get a clue as to where Asher may be. Inside the remnants of the crate was a holodisk that had a message mostly directed to Pand’Ora. Seems Rossi was her husband and liked calling her “cat-nip” (note Pand’Ora doesn’t seem to like that). Rossi told Pand’Ora that he wanted to meet her on Ganath and tried to convince her that what he was doing was for the good of their people. Pand’Ora seemed unconvinced, or at least convinced even more so to kill the guy. And, he still had Asher, so I’m sure, even had Pand’Ora not wanted to kill him, we’d still head that direction regardless. However, before we leave, we have some Jedi cleaning up to do to ensure we aren’t in even more trouble.

Thanks, Jedi….

Dance at the Warehouse

L’hrequ had invited us to his room just before we left Remo’s flagship to show us he’d made a lightsaber with the kyber crystal given to him from his old master via Remo. It’s a beautiful weapon, curved handle and a blade of blue energy. I suspected he was a jedi student previously but this actually confirms it. It doesn’t change anything. I won’t turn in bounties on my friends. Hell, I’m not much of a bounty hunter anyway. There’s only one bounty I really want to claim, and he’s waiting for us on The Wheel.

Pax had contacted Waroon to meet again with him before our meeting with Rossi. Stars, I hate even saying his name. At 1800 hours we went to Mila’s Comet where we were ushered into a back room by Ceeloe. Waroon Dak is there with a flutterbug who was introduced to us as a Toydarian named Poncho. I must say, he smells rather nice, but somehow I can’t concentrate well around him, the buzz of his wings are distracting. Other than that, I really like him and he has piloting skills which are fortuitous since we are suddenly without one, a pilot that is.

Waroon gave us a letter from Brak. He’d made that delivery here on the Wheel and right after got news from Remo that Brak’s father’s ship, the Arcturus had been found and Brak had to act on it immediately as it could be his only chance to recover the ship. It will be sad to continue on without him, but the galaxy stops for no one and we have to save Pax’s brother.

The message we got from Risso said to meet on Level 20 in Warehouse 66. Waroon shows us a layout of the place and we make plans to send L’hrequ and I ahead on a cargo crate to be delivered to the warehouse. Poncho makes his way to just outside the warehouse via an air duct where he can easily see the place. He uses his data pad as a camera so we can see what he sees. This is extremely useful.

From the vent Poncho sees 10 workers unloading boxes and sees our crate come in. When the meeting time arrives, there are now only four humans and 2 jawas, and neither Pax’s brother Asher or my estranged husband, Rossi are present. This is like him, Rossi is always late, wanting a dramatic entrance.

Winter Pax and MoFo enter and are searched. I quietly pat MoFo’s shiny new sniper rifle that sits in my lap. Time continues to tick away and finally one of the humans makes a call. Suddenly one of the jawa’s shoot a net at Pax and she’s down on the ground! I explode the lid from the crate and toss the sniper rifle to MoFo! L’hrequ leaps out, bringing one of the humans to his knees with one fell swoop!

More shots are exchanged and in two quick perfect shots another human goes down and I take the first death of the enemy. Okay, well, I’m the only one using deadly force. The others have their weapons on stun. Suddenly someone is trying to drag Pax off and MoFo shoots him and knocks him down too. L’hrequ leaps with the grace of a nexu to land onto the crate we expect holds Asher and his lightsaber greatly wounds his foe.

Poomp! Poomp! Two jawa nets are fired and wrap around our Jedi and he topples over as he struggles against them. Pax shouts something to her brother about how she loves him or something and then she starts twitching and drooling green foam. Of course I freak out! NOOOO, NOT LITTLE PAX!!

My mind goes into a rage as the others finish off our foes and I chase down the last one crawling out the door who holds a grenade. I growl at him, “Tell my husband I am coming for him!” and I slam the door so he can continue crawling away with my message.

We take a breath, MoFo unwrapping Pax to find she has been playing dead-womp-rat. Larry, er, I mean L’hrequ checks on the box that we suspect has Asher within. Screaming alarms blare at us as a Destroyer Mach II unfurls before us and two more crates explode open bearing a trandoshan each.

Our Jedi is fiercely struggling with his lightsaber while tangled in the nets , our flutterbug is… attacking a huge war machine droid with a tiny welding torch thing. More shots are fired, the gunplay is deafening and wild. The Jedi continues to struggle, MoFo and I continue to blast away shots, and the flutterbug is…is…riding the back of the huge war machine as it swings around blasting at us. Am I going mad? Why am I on the verge of laughing? What?!? Poncho has felled the great war machine?!? With a torch?!?

Poncho exclaims in his gruff, gravelly voice, “I took care of its head problem. It had one.” I laugh heartily. I really like this guy! He didn’t have to risk his neck to help us, but he did, and he finished off that giant war machine with style!

We look into the box that the Destroyer was in and there’s a holo-stick inside. MoFo turns it on and we see a holo recording of Rossi. He calls me Catnip, the fucker. He tells me he is doing things for the good of our people. He kidnapped an entire village on Togoria, a village of our people and sold them into slavery, to save our planet?!? The fucker.

He wants me to meet him on Ganath. I will meet him. I will kill him. I will freeze his balls in carbonite and I will mount them on the ventral cannon of the Silver Bucket where they can clang for the rest of eternity as we travel through the galaxy. Then I will take his severed head back to The Elder and correct this dishonor he has cursed my family name with.

Soon, Rossi. Soon.

Recess is over

Disclaimer: As I write this, I’m a bit buzzed from ryshcate, so keep that in mind if this doesn’t make sense. Pand is trying to kick the habit, so she shared the ryschate she had left.

The accommodations aboard ISO-1 were humble, but I was able to relax all the same. The first week I went to visit Pand at the infirmary. She went under the knife to get skin armor installed by Cratala. Nice work. I doubt there will be any scars, but she had some fur shaved here and there, and it will be weeks before it grows back fully.

Brak suggested some improvements for Silver Bucket, so we all chipped in to improve the shields, create an inconspicuous storage space, and upgrade our targeting system. Remo fixed the other big gun on Silver bucket. Maybe it was the painkillers, but when Pand learned about our new and improved firepower, she purred with joy.

L’hrequ and Brak have had some secret between them since we left Raxus Prime. I think this is related some business Brak has with that disagreeable Ugnaught, Leebo. I guess they have a side job going on, but they’re not sharing any details.

L’hrequ also had some private business with Remo. A long time ago Remo received an item he was supposed to pass on to L’hrequ. It doesn’t make sense to me, but then I don’t understand all that Force woo woo stuff.

M0-F0 kept busy working on several modifications, most of them on himself. He looks like an entirely different droid. If it weren’t for the sarcasm and cowboy hat, I would not have recognized him.

Even with all the changes, someone else recognized M0-F0. He is a technician on ISO-1 named Parnell Dar. Apparently, he was part of the Imperial crew that created M0-F0. They were on the 1st Death Star together. Parnell and a few others ignored Gran Moff Tarkin’s order and managed to escape the Death Star before it exploded. Parnell was gushing all over M0-F0 like he was some kind of deity.

Parnell warned us that M0-F0 might have construction blueprints for the Planet Killer weapon in his memory. After taking several precautions, M0-F0 let him probe his memory banks, and indeed this deadly information is intact. Worse still, he could not delete the data. He did mention there is someone who might be able to erase the data, a woman named Mako Braden. She was the best slicer Parnell had ever heard of. He wasn’t sure where to find her, but he suggest starting the search at the Wheel.

Remo has many ears and eyes working for him in this part of the galaxy. He had found a ship that Brak was looking for, the Arcturus. It is still in the hands of someone named Orrick, who leads the Black Veil, a group of bounty hunters that pride themselves on hunting Jedi. Why is Brak interested, I wonder? I guess he has some history with Orrick. Is it related to the Jedi, or is it something else? Is L’hrequ involved? Arcturus was last seen at Saleucami, a planet controlled by the Hutts. I feel bad saying this, but I’ve never heard of a Hutt that wasn’t a crime lord.

During our three weeks on ISO-1, I spent a lot of time surfing the HoloNet. It seems both Yav Yivar and the Empire have taken notice of our recent actions. I’m grateful for Remo’s hospitality, a safe-house to stay at while the heat is on. Remo and his employees are treating us like royalty. Their high esteem comes from our success on Cholganna and Raxus Prime.

The day we were ready to leave, Shira came knocking at my door at an ungodly early hour. She found a transmission sent from the Wheel. It was a picture of Asher Pax, my baby brother. Well, not a baby now, but that’s how I see him. He has been kidnapped and is being held at the Wheel. An electronically distorted voice addressed me. “You have something we want. We have something you want.” I had five days to get to the wheel to trade myself for my brother.

M0-F0 and IT-3PO took a stab at reconstructing the original voice. It still sounded garbled to me, but I watch as Pand’s eyes went wide. She recognized the voice as Rossi, her husband. Husband?! She also said that kidnapping was the type of thing Rossi might do to make money.

Lucky for me and my brother, Pand had already previously pledged to kill Rossi. His working as a slaver and other crimes brought dishonor to the family, which would be restored when Pand killed him. She cannot return home until Rossi is dead. Normally I don’t like killing people if we could have them arrested, but in this case, I will be happy to see this Togo die. This might create problems for us if we kill him on Wheel. This is a great hub, and I don’t want to lose it.

After a farewell party on ISO-1, we depart for the Wheel. Three days of travel, no problems. When asking for permission to dock, there was a long pause, but they let us board.

Our first stop, we went to Mila’s Comet for a drink. Waroon Dak was at the same table we saw him at last time, with the same two Twileks pawing over him. He played it cool, so I talked to him like he already knew the situation with my brother. I told him I would gladly pay him for any info that helped me get my brother back. He said he would see what he could find out, and I should call him in the morning.

We weren’t on the Wheel long before I received a call. Rossi told me where to meet him. He told me to come alone, but I convinced him to let me bring “my” droid. I told him my droid has pacifist programming, which is technically true. Or least it was before M0-F0 did all those modifications. Now, who knows?

The meet time is 9 pm. We have some planning to do.

Out of the port and into the flying pan
I believe I can flyyyyyyy !!!!

There are bodies everywhere, we can hear blaster shots in the distance. Most of the invaders are dead or have retreated. Remo and his three Wookie bodyguards are coordinating things in the open. Some of us are pretty beat up and need medical attention.
Brak assesses the damage on the Silver Bucket: it won’t prevent the ship from flying, but its maneuvers are limited until we fix it.

We learn that Yav is a longtime rival of Remo, and that he too was looking for the distress pod that Remo had recovered. Obviously the Rodian can hold a grudge… Cratala and Harsol join us. Remo offers to go find a quieter and safer place to discuss. An injured man runs toward us, mentions that the Imperials guarding the planet have been alerted. Tie Fighters and a shuttle are incoming!

Remo takes us to the corvette he uses as his headquarters: the Blockade Bandit. We go up a turbolift and walk through narrrow barracks, then reach his command center. There, Remo explains he and his people need to evacuate the place before the Imperials arrive. The corvette is actually able to fly! Three of its eleven FTL drives are working at the moment, and the ship has been slowly restored over the last few years, in case an evacuation like this one was needed. That is the only way for Remo’s folks to escape, and they need our help:

- some heavy debris preventing takeoff need to be removed.
- escape charges to free the ship have been setup and need to be checked.
- Several airlocks need to be fixed for the ship to be properly sealed.
- two more FTL engines have to be fixed.

We introduce Cratala and Harsol to Remo, who is very happy to meet them (they are however more reserved). Brak and L’hrequ are going to the ship’s med bay to get repaired first. Cratala is going to help in the medical bay. Pand is going to help with the heavy lifting. Winter negotiates a bonus of 7500 credits for the group for the extra help we’ll be providing, then agrees to help with the explosives charges herself.

Pand has to remove heavy debris preventing the ship from moving. Two humans are already working on that task, but failing (puny humans). Pand growls them to move aside then tries lifting debris. They are a lot heavier than expected. It takes her a while to accomplish the colossal task, but she manages to do it inch by inch.
Brak and L’hrequ go to the med bay. Brak is in terrible shape, which allows them to move to the front of the line. The Doc. tries to heal L’hrequ’s concussion and succeeds.

I fix engine #4 in only 5 minutes with the help of Toto: one more to go. The local techs already working on the task are astounded by my technical acumen: not bad for a droid!

Winter climbs along the side of the ship like a proud ape, to the top of the debris hip covering the corvette, from which she can see the faint blinking of demolition charges. One of them has fallen off its original location, and is directly lying on the hull of the ship! Winter almost falls off while trying to recover the charge, rips her coat (the mouth of that one in the Commlink!), but manages to place the charge to its designed location.

Meanwhile, Pand manages to move the rest of the debris that has fallen during the battle.

Healed, Brak leaves the med bay, starts climbing on the corvette and reaches a turret (medium twin turbo laser), which needs to be realigned.

I start working on another reactor, but it’s a lot more damaged and takes longer. Brak reaches the top of the ship, meets Winter on her way down the ship. Remo recommends Winter to go check the Silver Bucket, as we’ll be needing the ship for evacuating as well. Pand joins her for the preflight check.

L’hrequ helps fixing a broken airlock with nothing but vacuum tape! He joins two technicians and offers to help. Brak tries to maneuver the turret to realign it. He succeeds in only 5 minutes! He then goes for the Corvette’s cockpit to pilot it. He volunteers Pand to man (cat?) one of the Warship’s turrets. Winter checks in with Harsol, offering him to evacuate on board the Silver Bucket. Pand starts the Bucket’s engine successfully and leaves the ship to go to the corvette.
I finish fixing a fifth engine, then pack up my gear, grab Toto under my arm, then run out of the Corvette to the mechanics’ dismay. I run double-time to the Silver Bucket.

Brak tries to start the Blockade Bandit. The startup sequence is very different from our ship’s; he has never commandeered such a large ship but manages to power the beast up. He can feel a rumble going through the ship.

I reach the Bucket, Winter is waiting for me and Harsol. We get on the ship and close the ramp, just in time: the Imperial shuttle lands rights as we take off !

Remo orders the charges’ detonation. We hear multiple pops, debris fly off the corvette as directed explosions free it from tons of scrap metal. It rains shrapnel all over the base. The Bandit is free to take off. Pand reaches one of the turrets, the one that Brak fixed. It works flawlessly.

L’hrequ gets to the ship’s consoles and calls Brak to check if there is a sensor operator (there isn’t) then goes to the engine room to try and fix another FTL drive, but fails for now. Brak freaks out and starts yelling orders at his crew to speed up takeoff!

I take the Bucket out of the building very smoothly, then fly low among the garbage hips to keep a low profile. As I was taking off, I saw two dozen stormtroopers exiting the shuttle. They shoot at us with their rifles, to no effect.

The Corvette takes off as well, making a mess of debris as it clears the ground. The sensor guy detects several blips in space! Many little dots and two large ones are closing on us. We need to get the drek out of here! What the hell: two Imperial Raiders and a full squadron of Tie-Fighters. The fight for our freedom begins…

I start evasive maneuvers and jam communications for the two Raiders and one Fighter. The Bandit’s turrets (except Pand’s) shoot at the Fighters and cause some damage but mostly miss (they are manned by mostly untrained people). The Tie-Fighters close in and shoot the corvette in the flank. Winter is working on fire solutions and is unable to figure one out (maybe the Fighters are too fast).

I spin and dodge one of the fighter’s shots but the Bucket is hit hard by another one. Our ship is already in bad shape from previous fights, I agree with Bark that the Corvette will try and take most of the damage from now on so we can reach the FTL point and get out of here.

One of the two Raiders is in firing range and hits the Bandit hard with its front turbo gun, then fires a missile. An incoming alert rings in the corvette bridge. L’hrequ tries to spoof the missile and partially succeeds. Pand shoots with her big laser guns and hits the Raider hard. Two of the Tie-Fighters are hit by another turret and explode.

The Bucket is attacked by the Tie-Fighters, who miss. The Raider shoots a missile at us, which I spoof skillfully (what did you expect, hoomanz?). The three Tie Fighters are puzzled by my whimsical flight style and miss the Bucket. This time, Winter gets a good firing solution on the Fighters and Harsol transforms the mark by destroying one of them.

Brak starts spinning the Bandit in a crazy trajectory, placing the corvette in the Raider’s blind spot! I’m glad I can see that from the outside, this is brilliant flying! Meanwhile the first missile hits the Bandit and destroys one of its gun ports, killing its gunner. The other raider attacks the Bucket and barely misses. Pand and her team destroy one of the Fighters tailing us! Winter fails her firing solution again, but Harsol still manages to shoot the last Tie-Fighter left. The missile aimed at us, disoriented by my conflicting information, flies wide!! One minute to go before jumping (2 for the corvette).

One of the raiders attacks the Bandit and launches another missile. Pand’s turret crews attack the last Tie-Fighter and destroy it. Only two raiders left!

The other Raider hits the bucket incredibly hard and launches a missile. I spoof it so hard, it does not even know who the enemy is anymore… Winter fails her solution AGAIN (good thing she’s pretty, we’ll keep her) and Harsol hits the missile in flight and destroys it (an incredible feat, missiles are tiny and fly with ludicrous celerity).

Countdown is over, I punch the FTL and we’re out! The corvette still has to fend with both Raiders, but one of them is unable to attack because of Brak’s stupendous’ flying. The other Raider hits the Bandit with a concussion missile, punching a huge breach in its side. The alarm rings, meaning some compartments are compromised. Pand leaves her seat and goes out to try and fix the hull. She succeeds and the corvette is sealed again. Still, crew members are evacuating irradiated and burnt people from the damaged compartments. Suddenly, L’hrequ feels a surge in his mind, that can only be a disturbance in the force. He sees two yellow inhuman eyes on a reptilian face staring at him, and hears “I seeeee Yooouuuu” then blacks out. The Bandit jumps into Hyperspace.

When the Bucket goes out of hyperspace, we are not where we are supposed to be! In my haste, one of my coprocessors burnt out, inducing a significant astrogation error. Argh, Brak will never stop making fun of me now… The Bandit arrives where he’s supposed to however, and the crew sees a large ship or station: the ISO1, Remo’s new base of operation. We have to correct the navigation, jump again and eventually join with the Bandit and the ISO1.

We all get on board, and I land the Bucket inside one of the ISO1’s landing bays. We disembark. Remo asks to meet us in his conference room. IT3-PO is there too, much happier to see me than me him.

Remo is thrilled. Remo pays us 11,500 credits each and promises to help us with our obligations , then gives us the deed for the Silver Bucket! He also offers to fuel and repair our ship for free. What a guy !

Never trust a junkie

So by afternoon we had decided to try are luck again fishin’ fer junk. We just got payed a nice chunk o change, m0 went right out and got him something fancy installed on his blaster not sure what it does but I am sure it will save our hides at some point. So we head back out into the godforsaken wasteland of this wonderful crapheap of a planet lookin fer more junk. We cruise along for a spell and we come across powerline splice converter of some sort, I take the wheel and bring her down and Cat, m0 and Lehreq drop down onto a garbage heap to bring her up, this one here was about a 15 footer so we gotta be careful cinching her down.

So we is thinkin we done good and somehow Winter spots something else, they call it a phase transformer or something like that, so the 3 drop back down and give her a go, this one is attached to some big motor or something like that, the attached part was the problem m0 tries man handlin or droid handlin it but she wouldn’t budge, eventually he finds a torch or something that just cuts the blasted thing off….hey moneys money right?

So we is heading back and Winter spots a bunch of smelly jawas flappin their arms and talking nonsense while they is fishin out some old droid. Sensing an opportunity we head that way to see steal a bit from the thieves themselves. I figure the best place fer me is on the skiff, now I love just about everybody but Jawas aint everybody, they are little creeps that steal and lie. I aint got no place in my heart for them so I figure it’s better to just stay on board and let them work out a deal. You should have seen their creepy little eyes flicker when they saw m0f0, almost like they were in love or something…..that right there aint healthy you know, but in their lust I believe our crew might have got the better of them, somehow we got 4 servos out of them, that’s a right nice profit if you ask me.

Now about this time we sold our junk, collected our money and were heading back towards the hotel to relax a bit, m0f0 decides he is gonna go take another bath, he is a weird one, maybe if he sticks around and I get my ship back we will make up some sorta bath for him Winter decides to follow concerned about the jawa lust for the droid. I am of the thinkin a bath around these parts makes you stand out like a sore thumb. So wes walkin and a Niemodian bumps up against me and the next thing you know I got a note in my hand saying meet me behind the corvette, not sure what kinda pickle I was getting into I ask Pand to watch my back. Lehreq had left to go check on Cortana. So I meet this feller and he tells me I need to do a job, Once I figure out what kinda job it is my blood runs cold, I don’t like these folks much but I figure what I am doing can only help the cause. Its part of the job, pick up a “special box” hide her on the ship and drop her off someplace else, milk run easy stuff, however this aint milk and this is gonna cause a stir back at the wheel.

Ensured that all is well We head to the cantina to relax a bit, we chit chat with the regulars a bit and Lehreq gets baited into a dice game, I think he is expecting a fair game but there is no honor among thieves. Pand and I kinda keep a close eye just to make sure Lehreq does not get swindled out of his servo money. So there is a human, a Wookie and a solastad at the table. Ima watchin them dice and kinda focusing on that Solostad, something aint right about this, having played a few games of dice I get a feel for how they roll and these aint right, I walk over to Pand and tell her he switched out them dice, sure enough the Solostad goes on a run and starts taking everyone’s money, the Wookie is getting HOT, Pand forces the issue and calls him out on his cheatin, after a bit of heated back and forth Ima watchin to see where he was gonna unload his dice, shore enough he raises his hands and I catch a dice flying across the bar, slicker then jawa turds that one is. I go fetch it and the jig is up. The Wookie wants to tear him apart but Lehreq calms him down enough to keep the peace. The Bartender gives us free drinks for the night…..all is well or so we thought.|

Now about that time Nortah arrives to tell us the Jawas have come…..yippee! Well apparently they bring some travelling junk show with them to this area of the planet a few times a month and it’s a big whoopteeee do. So we make our way towards these caves, actually the bucket is parked there so I figure what the heck they can look thru the junk and I can check on our big pile o junk. The group goes to check on the crap fer sale and I head to the ship, shore enough when I get there I see two of the little rats fiddling with the door of the bucket, I pull my blaster and tell them to get their hands of my door you dirty apes! Turns out these little apes were in fact Rodians it was a trap! That’s about the time all hell broke loose. Lehreq charges fearlessly, m0f0 opens up and shows what that modification to his blaster was all about, Pand opens up on a bunch, I get the ramp down to the ship thinking we may need to get out of here right quick. I grab my precious cargo and stow that away and head back down to help out ma friends. Thinking this trap was more sinister then what’s immediately in front of us Winter cuts to go check on Harsol and Cortana, m0 wisely follows Winter just in case. These Rodians had some grenades withem and gets one right up the exhaust port of the bucket……we could have problems…..big problems.

Winter heads towards the hotel, comes across a man with some sorta detonator device, apparently she clips him then m0 finishes the deal, the detonator is secure. Then they move to the hotel to secure Harsol and Cortana. Lehreq stays near the ship and moves over to the other cave to make sure its secure, I hear some ruckus and figure I better go help, I turn the corner and see Lehreq playing games with the Rodians blaster makin it float in the air, as brilliant as that boy is sometimes he tries to be too cute about thangs, so whilst lehreq is making blasters float I take one to the face and float myself for a second before the hard ground finds me, whooo doggie that was just about then end for me. I recover enough to help lehreq finish off the last of these rodians, With the last of our immediate troubles solved for the minute, we gotta regroup and figure out what they hell we are gonna do now…..

Raxus Prime
What a Piece of Junk!

Star Wars 4/2/2017

Radius Prime
Tried to communicate for friendly landing planet side.
Four TIE Fighters deploy (VC)
Pand let loose, L’hrequ increases rear shields as Brak flies by

Each at stations:
-Brak – Pilot
-M0-F0 – Co-Pilot
-Pand – Turret
-Winter – Weapons Support
-L’hrequ – Shields/Power
Exchange fire – no hits

Plunge through multicolored clouds
Junk pulse, Canyons of junk and lakes of sludge
Huge processing plants
Haze in the air, leaking chemicals, landfill
See signs of life
Wall of Junk forces direction change
Brak goes left, near miss
Thinner canyon of junk
Pand hits TIE fighter, smoking
It misses us and makes turn as well
M0-F0 detects objects in Fog and helps ship avoid
Continue through canyon, straight – not defensive
One TIE hits, 3 after three soak
Turn corner into Jawa effort fraught with cables strewn across path
Brak has not time to avoid and the ship takes on a number of span cables which creates a setback which Brak ignores.
Pand’s next shot knocks another TIE off course
Cannot get shields boosted
Brak tries to evade but the canyon is too tight
Brak tries another trick but too tight
TIE avoids crash, shoots, misses
Second TIE Shoots but has to avoid other tie, misses
Brak banks left and has to fly through sludge falls, 2 system strain, would rattle a lesser pilot.
L’hrequ fails to boost shields
M0-F0 fails assist
Pand fires, misses
Brak evades but suffers stress
TIE maintains flight path, shoots and misses
Second TIE shoots and hits, 2 damage
Ship plummets at high speed to manage low archway
Makes the maneuver! (Traded in chip to make second attempt)
Archway then collapses at our passage taking out one TIE
Pand shoots at remaining TIE, blasting it to bits!
M0-F0 inputs coordinates to our destination and notes 30 min out at current speed
Brak decelerates but stays in canyons to avoid detection, 60 min out
Come upon a 1K long lake with garbage strewn shores
Note 3 small junk-made caverns along lake ridges, look like landing areas
Rodian signals from one landing, Brak heads to land
Winter offers Cartala outfit to avoid Imperial detection
Winter and Pand head down ramp to talk with Rodian
Informs us Remo is away on planet finding new tech for the next 48 hours
We are dubious, M0-F0 radios to ask about Sister
Rodian (Norta) informs she is with him
Brak and M0-F0 join, senses, nothing to note with Rodian
Both complain about entry to the planet and that our landing permit was to old and caused an attack on us.
Norta thinks pilot bad and our decisions poor.
Norta invites us to stay in his area, off ship
Winter fills in details with Cortana and Harlow
Lock up ship and all follow Norta further in
Then out of tunnel in open but cluttered are
Notes the ‘Crushed Carrier’ old passenger ship, used as hotel
Note that is is around noon
See on particular ship with man sitting reading on top with make-shift umbrella
Then to another ruined ship, Correllian Corvette: lots of mechanical and technical shops that cost to utilize. Ran and habituated by Remo.
Notes skiff’s are available for help we may provide.

Looking for:
2 Meter Sensor Disc
Power line Splicer Converter
Labor Droid Servos
Multi-Phase Transformer

Learn Imperials used to have bases on planet, but the planets core ruptured and caused the imperials to stay just out of Atmosphere.
Head to Cantina full of many species
Gambling, Music, Dancing, Festive
L’hrequ purchase import
Winter buys drink for her and Pand
Brak orders local on Tap, tastes bad
M0-F0 seeks other droids, finds out can take oil bath at the Corvette, and then heads there
Speak with Cantina owner- Tuvor, tell us he would purchase food goods should we return. Tells us they deal in Tech. Mentions Remy’s business ISO-tech.
Winter asks about guides of whom Tuvor recommends Jawa’s.
L’hrequ mentions crashed TIE’s, Winter whispers in my ear to stop mentioning TIE fighters with a course expletive.
Norta shows up with keys to rooms for each of us, second floor.
Call M0-F0 warn about Jawa’s interest in lone droids
Winter checks to notice if we are being watched.
Pand and Brak looking for potential Bounty Hunters
Pand notices a one-leku Twilek male that she recalls from bounty lists, slaver
Pand cases the place for exits then leaves to watch outside.
Others head up to rooms. I watch the Twilek for an hour.
Then we head to our rooms as well.
Rooms are state rooms from the Yacht that had been. Now spartan. No windows.
Pick up M0-F0
Grab others head to see Norta to ask about scavenging jobs.
Note corvette name, "The Blockade Bandit’ to meet Norta.
Meet Norta in ISO-Tech office in the Bandit with Norta there on Computer
Gives list of wants, and shows us the skiff
Head back past ship holds, in tunnel and out to an open areas with net above and big window at end. In room, 3 skiffs with some being worked on. Show us Skiff that we will use. M0-F0 starts and checks out.
Back to rooms for night. Heal overnight
Skiff. M0-F0 makes poor attempt to navigate out of bay, hits support and sends him overboard. He gets pretty banged up. Brak then lowers the Skiff but too low and crushes M0-F0 a bit.
M0-F0 suspects sabotage but no proof is found
Head out. Half hour or so we think we spot a sensor dish in the lake.
We head out to it over the Lake. The vapors are toxic smelling even through respirators.
Gather cables and attach crowbars to ends and attempt to catch on dish to pull up.
Pand fails with no consequence twice.
Pand’s third attempt hooks it.
We all attempt to pull up each cable and pull it loose.
We then attach to rails and navigate back to shore.
At shore we pull the dish up and attach to side of Skiff.
Return to bay. Mechanics frown at damage to skiff.
Call Narto to meet us who does shortly and then says we’ll get our credits.
His people remove the dish and fix up the skiff.
We check on Harsol and Cortana.
And stand by to head out.


“Sir. We’re in position.”

The pilot spoke with confidence, his hands moving over various control surfaces to ensure that the ship was exactly where the commander had ordered it to be – gently settled on the surface of one of the largest asteroids in the field. It had taken great skill to manage it, but the pilot was well-trained.

“Power down all secondary systems and activate cloak,” the commander replied curtly.

“Yes, sir,” the pilot responded quickly, his hands moving over the control panel with practiced ease and efficiency.

The ship suddenly felt… more empty, now, since half of his men had not returned from their mission. It had all gone terribly wrong in a hurry, which amazed and frustrated the commander at the same time. The survivors had lived for more than thirty years on the primitive planet, had little in the way of defenses, had depleted most of their stores of blaster-gas, and only had a few remaining functioning droids compared to the thousands they had been carrying three decades ago. The populace should have been too old to fight, or too untrained…

But they had received aid in the form of five mercenaries, and that had obviously turned the tide. Even as Ossnan watched the events unfold – from a safe distance aboard the Deep Dark, he could see that without those five meddlers fighting on the side of the survivors, the mission would have likely been a success.

Instead, Ossnan had lost half of his men, including two speeders, six scout droids, and two Probots. These were all valuable resources, especially in a time when the Empire could use all the resources it could muster.

But the worst part was what Ossnan knew he must do next. Looking at the black metallic chronometer on his wrist for the fifth time in the past ten minutes, he knew it was time to report in, despite his best efforts to mentally will the chronometer to stop or go in reverse. He could not avoid it any longer. If he was late reporting in, there would likely be steep consequences. Very steep.

Calming himself, Ossnan moved to the command console and took a deep breath. He always hated these reports, and he had the distinct feeling that his superior could sense it. The General was… unnerving to him, and Ossnan always tried to keep communications short and to the point. But this call would be different….

This call required him to report his first failure.

Reaching toward the command panel, Ossnan pressed the correct sequence of buttons, and the holo-display came to life. Moments later, a blue-hued holo-image flickered and then came into focus – and there the General stood, still ominous even though his image was only as tall as Ossnan’s forearm was long.

“Sir, Supervisor Liers Ossnan, reporting,” he said, snapping to attention like any good Imperial soldier would when addressing their commanding officer.

“At ease, Supervisor… though I sense that you feel anything but at ease…,” the General’s voice responded. Merely the sound of it, like some sort of alien metallic rasp, always haunted Ossnan, as if the voice itself could do him harm just by listening to it.

“Sir, the survivors of the Sa Nalaor have successfully repelled our attempt to capture the two fugitives Cratala and Harsol. We’ve retreated into the nebula and await further orders,” he said, simple and to the point. He spoke quickly, knowing that if he didn’t, his words might have faltered, and showing weakness of any kind was not part of Ossnan’s personality.

“Failed? You mean a handful of castaways were able to thwart your plan, Supervisor?”

Ossnan felt his temper flare, sensing the General’s subtle but pointed laying of blame directly on his shoulders.

“Sir, I had only a single lance of lightly-armed scout troopers, ill-equipped for the task at hand. If I could have access to but one assault platoon, or even just half a dozen commandos, I could easily seize your prizes,” he retorted, his voice rising slightly.

“You are irritated that you do not have the ‘proper resources’ at hand, Supervisor? Remind me to feel pity for you another time. I need not remind you that there is a war going on, Supervisor, and we do not have the luxury of expecting whatever resources we wish,” the image responded, voice laced with disdain.

“Sir, the survivors also had the help of mercenaries – the ones from The Wheel that I reported previously. Their presence turned the tide.”

The image was silent for a moment before speaking again. “The Togorian, the Gotal, the Cerean, the Droid, and the Human you told me about before… interesting… and an interesting excuse, Supervisor,” the cloaked figure replied.

“If I could acquire reinforcements, I will capture the two fugitives and bring those mercenaries to you in chains, if-…”

“No,” the holo-image curtly interrupted. “You will do nothing of the sort. What is your current status?”

Ossnan cleared his throat faintly before responding. “Half of our platoon perished on Cholganna, though we inflicted significant losses on the survivors. I instructed the troops and droids to avoid firing at the two fugitives. We are currently hidden in the asteroid field inside the nebula surrounding Cholganna, cloaked and on the lowest power settings. Our enhanced sensors have been calibrated to the nebula’s frequencies, allowing us far longer sensor ranges than any other ship in the sector.”

“What of the other… parties… you reported to me earlier?” the holo-image inquired.

“The ship belonging to the Rodian Yivar clan has fled the system. To my understanding, most of their crew were eliminated, so they departed. I believe they are returning to The Wheel to find reinforcements, then will return to Cholganna to explore the wreckage of the Sa Nalaor. The other ship, the Tempest, captained by the human bounty-hunter Dolan, has descended toward the planet’s surface.”

“Ah, apparently to finish the job that you could not, no doubt,” the General interrupted sardonically.

Ossnan clenched his teeth for a moment before continuing. “It is believed he is here to collect a bounty on the head of one of the mercenaries. To my knowledge, he has no interest in the Sa Nalaor itself, nor the passengers that were a part of its crew.”

The hooded figure in the holo-image nodded slowly. “You will remain at a safe distance, simply observing until instructed otherwise, Supervisor,” the voice commanded. “I want to know what they are up to, and how these five mercenaries are involved. If the bounty-hunter removes one or more of them, so much the better. Let him waste his resources doing your work for you,” he said.

Ossnan clearly caught the inference, and straightened. “Sir, if the opportunity presents itself-…”

“No, Supervisor. You will remain at a safe distance, doing what you were trained to do: observe. Report. Spy. It is obvious now that your unit is not up to the task of direct confrontation – or perhaps it’s simply your skill that is lacking.”

Ossnan grit his teeth again to force himself to relax, and eventually nodded. “As you wish, Sir.”

The figure in the image turned its hooded head slightly. “Good… but I sense you have… questions. Speak.”

Ossnan took another breath, momentarily contemplating saying anything else at all, but his own curiosity was weighing heavily upon him. “I am curious about the current state of affairs in the Empire, sir. How are we faring? Are we regaining ground? Has a successor been chosen yet?” After that last question, the holo-image raised a hand, immediately causing Ossnan to go silent.

“Recovery efforts are going well enough. We are regrouping in several key locations, and have retaken several planets in the Vivenda sector. As for a successor… several interested parties have stepped forward, but few have any real claim to the throne. My own claim is proceeding… as planned,” he said, with a subtle hint of confidence.

“That is good news indeed, Sir,” Ossnan responded, trying to appear and sound chipper.

“I am so glad that you approve, Supervisor,” the image responded, its voice a mix of amusement and loathing. Ossnan sensed it immediately, and stood at attention.

“That will be all….,” the voice rasped… and then the holo-image flickered and faded away.

Ossnan clenched his fists, taking a few deep breaths before turning to face the pilot.

“Shut us down. Go silent, except for the sensors. Alert me the moment any ship departs or arrives at the planet,” he instructed, then turned to swiftly depart the bridge.

“Aye, Sir,” the pilot responded.


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