Galaxy In Flames

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

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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:

warehouse66.jpg

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….

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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…is..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.

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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.

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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 !

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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…..

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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
Breakfast.
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.

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Meanwhile....

“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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Playing Chicken

We sat around discussing Dolan’s offer and we all agreed that he’s not one to be trusted. The plans got talked over in circles several times over. I was hurting pretty bad from the battle so I decided it was time for me to get some sleep. Making plans isn’t my job anyway. My job is, well with this bunch, shooting things, so my opinions were not needed.

Eventually it was decided (and agreed upon) that Dolan would take 30 of the villagers with him for a sum of money, receiving half now and the other half upon delivery to The Wheel. We would take Cratala and Harsol with us so the Imperials who were after Cratala wouldn’t have a reason to bother Dolan’s ship with the villagers. While we waited for morning, M0F0 spent his time breaking down speeder bike parts into easier to manage packages so we could take them with us when we leave, hoping he could put together one speeder bike out of them.

Daybreak arrived with the sound of gunfire from Dolan’s ship cutting down the canopy of the nearby trees, followed by the sound of trees cracking under the weight of his large ship. Dolan was paid and the villagers boarded. There was some question about the payment. Rather than credits, Harsol presented Dolan with a bluish metal bar which was apparently made out of some kind of rare metal used in technology and thus quite valuable. L’hrequ made sure the facilities in the ship were okay for the passengers. It was cramped, but clean and safe, not the inhuman cages I suspected might be waiting for them. Who knows what kind of bounty hunter Dolan might be.

Dolan had a Togo with him. I was surprised at this as my kind are rarely seen outside our planet except in Mandalorian territory. This one was named Ganda, a very handsome male with blonde dreads and fur. First thing out of his mouth he was insulting me to L’hrequ about how a female Togo should be home having offspring. I reminded him that Togo’s are a MATRIARCHAL race. Being Togo he knows that the males hunt because they can’t do much else, and the females run the cities and the technology of the planet because we can THINK. Stupid males. I flicked my tail and turned my back on him. This is of course a feline version of a slap, showing my uncaring back to someone and a flick of the tail followed by the pretense of ignoring the person as though they do not exist.

Dolan’s ship, The Tempest takes off and our party makes our way to our own ship along with eight of the villagers which include among them Lupo, our guide as well as Harsol and Cratala. L’hrequ and the villagers cut quick growing vegetation out of our landing gear and we take off from the planet. We find there are no other ships in orbit and we have an uneventful trip back to The Wheel.

We expect to have trouble docking considering how we left but we find no trouble other than the fact that we have a stupid name for our ship. Wooden Chicken? Really? What kind of name is Wooden Chicken? Why not Fast Panda, or Asteroid Skipper or Cloud Dancer? Wooden Chicken? How about The Halo? The Helios? Star Opal? The Kraken? But no, we give this ship the name Wooden Chicken? I’m surprised they allowed us to even dock with such a name. It is embarrassing.

Shira is no longer on The Wheel. I wonder if she went to join her brother Remo. He make contact with Dolan and tell him we will be there soon. Before meeting him though, L’hrequ reminds us that we should find out the actual value of those rare metal bars so we go to a bank and discover that the bar Harsol gave to Dolan is worth not only the half he promised up front but actually pays for the entire contract. We wonder if Dolan will honor this. I naturally have to dislike Dolan since he wants to take in a bounty on my friend, Little Pax so I suppose I am prejudice against him.

We head to where Dolan’s ship is docked. He is not only reasonable about the value of the bar of metal that was given to him, he actually gives us credits for what he was overpaid! This bounty hunter follows the code! I have a new respect for him. I twitch an ear at Ganda and give him a nod. Dolan invites us to celebrate and drink with them later and I leave the encounter actually looking forward to this.

We escort the thirty villagers out of the docking bay and get them settled into a suite where Pax does girly things with them as they discuss where the villagers will go from here.

I leave them to do some shopping. I borrow 400 credits from Pax so I will have enough money to buy armored clothing and I sell my heavy clothing. I also buy a good supply of rhyschate and I buy a couple more stim packs and a couple of binders for future jobs, having lost the two I had on that horrible jungle planet.

I hear something in my comlink about dock fees but I ignore the chatter. Mostly the chatter is screaming by Brak. He’s such a nervous creature, always worried about something so I pay little attention to it.

I return to Pax and the villagers that don’t have home worlds and folk to go home to still seem anxious about where to go from here so I suggested Corellia and they seemed to like that idea. I was really starting to enjoy this pause in our adventures, feeling relaxed and finally able to catch our breaths when I hear Brak chattering up the comlink again.

Brak is almost incoherent about some need for us to return to the ship. I sigh and call Dolan to give my apology that we will not be able to come to the party and how much I really wished I could have joined them. I think he is an honorable bounty hunter and he and his people sounded like they were having so much fun! I also put a bug in his ear to watch out for any information on Rozzi and that I would pay for any information he finds. I tell him I am looking to capture Rozzi dead or alive but preferably dead. I do not go into details of why, that is a personal story that is not meant for casual comlink calls.

I arrive back at the ship with Pax, Harsol and Cratala. M0F0 has reprogrammed the spider droid and named it Toto. It’s adorable. Larry has had his hair trimmed and I think his nails look shiny. Brak is up in arms about some hooded figure (could it be the one that was following us earlier?) that came to him and warned him that imperials are looking for either Larry or maybe Brak himself, I cannot make sense between the two of them when they are talking so loudly and rapidly.

So while there is more talking I decide to just look everyone up on the holonet at the Bounty Board…

M0F0 is listed with “please contact for amount.”

Brak is listed for 20,000 credits
Winter Pax is listed for 100,000 credits
L’hrequ is not listed, however there is a standing bounty on all Jedi’s.

I am a bounty hunter traveling on a ship of bounties. And I only have 30 credits on my chit. That’s fucked up.

Docking fines and fees are discussed and I know I have nothing to contribute. L’hrequ gives an expectant look to Harsol who pays the fines. I try to give a “force sensitive” high-five to Larry but since I’m not force sensitive as far as I know, I expect he didn’t get the kudo.

Our trip to meet up with Remo was uneventful until we came out of hyperspeed. What…the…hell? Remo wanted us to find Cratala who is hunted by Imperials and then has us bring her to a planet that is surrounded by Imperials including no less than five imperial star destroyers?!?!? We are hailed by authorities who want dumping permits or something and I head straight away to the dorsal turret. Apparently they didn’t like the dusty permit L’hrequ found buried in the ship’s computer records and the authorities send four tie-fighters after us.

Shots are fired at us. I fire back. Before another shot is fired, Brak expertly banks The Wooden Chicken hard into the clouds of this shit-hole planet called Raxis Prime.

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The Alamo

So let me get one thing straight right outta the chute, i ain’t no fighter, don’t get me wrong I can slip on a pair o brass knuckles without nobody noticing and bust somebodies chicklets out if I need to, but this here was a full on tussle !

That durned diplomat droid came back and asked us to surreneder the village, we send him packin straightaway! Might have even been a few warning shots sent his way to get rid of the hitch in his giddeyup.

We all went up into the watchtowers to get idea of what were looking at, Storm troopers were spotted all around the camp fixin to bust in and take us or kill us all, they was wearing painted armour and they had a couple of droids with’em too and these were not for negotiating they was for killin. Most of these folks were fixin to give up the goose, they was all sad and beaten yet the fight had not yet begun, how the hell did these folks make it so long? Winter starting talkin to these folks tryin to get the spirit back, she gave a right good speech even gave me a bit of a chill, somehow she gott’em to fight at least!

Th e troopers starting lobbing grenades over the walls, others was focused on busting down them doors , i realized I was a sitting duck up in that watch tower so skeedaddled back down the ladder and to my right they just breeched a small hole in door, I seen a couple of villagers just staring at the hole like some blubberin kids that just had their favorite toy taken away, I preceed to run right to the hole and put my blaster thru it and lit up a few of these folks, then I backed off and told these folks you see anything move you blast the hell out of it. Our door held out for quite some time.

In all the fuss I kinda lost track of where the rest of the crew were at, the leruck or laribee or larry lou the Jedi went to the far door along with Kat, not long after the original ruckus started I hear Winter telling Cortal to release the Nexu, hmmmm I had mixed feelings about this as them damn varmits have a mind of their own and they may just decide to eat us instead. Not quite sure what happened but M0f0 was in a bad way and he kinda slinked back to get himself fixed up and just like I figured one of them cats was gonna get us, luckily it walked right past me and Winter but Mo was not so lucky, somehow he managed to get up on a rooftop, by the time i gets to the next breached door them Nexu has pretty much finished off what was left on our side of the village.

Now over on the other side things get weird, or the tall tales get taller, not sure which as I dint see nothing with my own eyes, now kat and leruck was protecting the 3rd door, Im hearin stories about leruck lifting up pieces of trees and throwing them at storm troopers, I also here he was taking blasters out of peoples hands, as I said i can’t vouch for any of these stories but that boy is special, I knew it the minute I seen him many moons ago and the kat of course is chopping them down as fast as anybody I ever seen. That one is right dangerous and I best keep on her good side if ya know what I mean. We all seemed to be doing good, the villagers fought pretty good after winter kinda put a fancy boot up there asses, Mo got himself patched up.

having finally put these clowns on the run, we gathered ourselfs and dusted each other off, gathered up some armour and got some heavy blasters too. Mo has this crazy idea of reprogramming one of them little spider thangs and making it show us the way to the ship these smelly troopers came from, the craziest part is it worked ! The only problem is that durn thing takes the the straightest path possible, aint all of us got 8 legs and don’t need to breath, after a bit I hear some engines purring a sweet sweet song, except I knew what that meant even though we could not see a damn thing i knew they had cut and run, as we get to the clearing we see that ship flying off into the dark of space. We will see each other again good buddy, I promise out that and when we do you are in for the whoopin of your life.

We hang our heads and head back to the village, figuring out who is stayin, who is going, where we taking them, where to meet the rest when we get back? These durn fools wanted to stay back at the village, we all slapped some sense back into em and into hiding they will go, and we will meet them again in about 5 days if the good lord keeps us and them alive, time will tell, I sure could use a beer or some of Kats fancy cake…..uh oh

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Danger Will Robinson, my arms are flailing !
Rumor's of the Empire's demise may have been vastly exagerated

After the encounter with the Probe Droid and failing to recover anything of value in its wreckage (I don’t know why I know so much about its design, but I was pretty sure we won’t be able to recover anything from its self-destroyed data banks), we gather the two young lovebirds and force them to come back with us. On the way back we agree not to alarm the survivors by omitting to mention the Imperial origin of the droid.

On arrival we explain Harsol that someone (most likely Dolan, aka “Dirtbag” the bounty hunter who’s been after Winter for a while now) sent this probe droid but stay elusive about its origin. We then decide to head back to bed, wondering what the next day will bring. I open the field medkit and proceed to heal the group with Brak’s assistance, succeeding in removing most of the critical wounds they had suffered. I am still worried about L’hrequ Paku Geil’s head injury, as I am not sure our antibiotics are fully efficient in this jungle… I also patch a couple holes in my own frame, but my diagnostics are still not great. It would not take more than a couple serious hits to shut me down for good… As usual I keep watch over my organics while tinkering with the hardware.

In the morning, we are awakened by a commotion in the camp. The tower watchmen are calling for Captain Harsol. We get up, and arrive quickly at the source of the agitation (except Winter who needs to put her face on before appearing in public). The sentinels have spotted a C3 type protocol droid, all painted in white, approaching our perimeter. He soon introduces himself as C4-N1 and sounds as uptight as all the other protocol droids I’ve ever met. He has a message for Harsol, and starts a Holo communication upon seeing the captain. A man in Imperial officer garb can be seen in the bluish hue of the projection. He introduces himself as Supervisor Leers Osman, member of the ISB (Imperial Surveillance Bureau, aka Imperial secret services). He claims the Empire is still here and wants to recover the crew of the derelict ship, especially Captain Harsol and Cortala, as well as the precious cargo it was transporting. Harsol is infuriated and at first refuses, but L’hrequ and Winter calm him down and he manages to stall by offering to give his response at dusk. Supervisor Osman accepts the terms and the droid leaves into the jungle. Strangely, when I participated in the conversation, Osman recognized that I was a M0 series droid, and seemed to hint that the Empire was familiar (or may the originator) of that design. I have not memory of that, but this may explain why I know so much about their technology. This is a disturbing thought, what was my involvement with the Empire: a technician, an engineer, a war bot? I’m pretty sure I wasn’t a protocol or negotiator droid, that’s for sure…

Pand and Winter tail C4-N1 to figure out where our Imperial intruders could be located. The droid is more perceptive than it looks and detects his tail. Pand’ and Winter talk with him, but he refuses to reveal important information about Osman and the alleged Imperial troops he commands.

Meanwhile, the survivors and our group gather in the great hall to discuss the current situation. The villagers are freaking out again. You’d think that thirty years of survival in a harsh planet would have hardened these people, but they squeal and moan like senators… Harsol and his peeps are decided to fight to the bitter end, others insist on us taking them off the planet while we can. The crowd’s morale is down by the end of the town meeting, and L’hrequ tries to comfort some of them on their out, like a preacher with his flock. He actually seems to succeed, especially when he demonstrates the Force by levitating a stone above his hand. Children and adults alike are quite amazed. With the crowd dispersed, Harsol comes back, armed to the teeth. We talk for what seems like an eternity (but my quartz confirms it was only 28.32324355666 minutes) and agree on the following plan:

  • Brak will take one of the survivors with him and head to our ship to scan our opposition (we still don’t know what Osman will attack us with) and provide cover from the sky.
  • The rest of the group will go scout the area around the camp to look for enemies and estimate their strength. With a bit of luck, we may even be able to capture one of them to interrogate them).

As we get ready to go, I suddenly feel strange. My arms are twitching, commands are being issued from outside of my control: WTF, I am being hacked!! I involuntarily take a swing at L’hrequ, but his Jedi reflexes allow him to duck the blow. My arms are flailing in all directions and I warn my companions to shut me down. Worse, I have an ugly impulse to draw my shooter and use it against my friends. They first try to tackle me to the ground and stun me, but my heavy armor is blocking their attempts, so they decide to instead get some distance and shoot me with their blaster on stun mode. I draw my own gun and take a shot at Pand’ but miss, and manage to squeeze my gun so hard that its gas cartridge gets ejected, buying my friends a few seconds. They quickly manage to stun me and I shutdown.

The following events were later on related by Winter and L’hrequ: screams can be heard from somewhere in the camp. Pand’ and Brak head over to the source and find an unconscious villager in the middle of a street. They can’t figure what caused this until they see something small scurrying along a wall at the edge of their vision. They finally discover that it is a small mechanical spider, hidden by a distortion field making it almost invisible. It attacks Pand’ with a sort of stinger projecting a blue electric arc. This is only a small sting for our giant cat who then blasts the thing to smithereens. They find a second spider droid/drone and manage to disable it with their blasters switched to stun.

Meanwhile, Winter manages to open my shell and remove my remote connection module, disabling my radio abilities, but also preventing outside sources from taking control of me. I am then tied up with cables then switched back on. I feel like myself again and my ill-tempered an unapologetic demeanor reassure my colleagues that I am myself again…. They until me. My circuits are however still weakened by the blaster shots, and I feel it would not take much to take me offline again. How was Osman’s men able to take control of me? Are his slicers that skilled or did it have some kind of override code to bypass my security?

When Pand’ and Brak update us about the spider droids, I once again seem to know a lot more about them then I probably should: they are used as spies or recon droids, which means that Osman and his troops most likely know a lot about our defenses and plans, and confirms that he has no intent on proceeding peacefully. We need to get ready for an imminent battle! We scratch our previous plans and look for other spider droids. We find and disable six total. I inspect one of them to see if I could reprogram them for our own purposes, but it would take too long and I decide against it. Harsol informs us that all the women and children are safe in the caves located under the cliff’s overhang.

Dolan picks this moment of tension before the battle to call Winter and offer to take us off the planet again. She refuses again, as politely as she can.
Suddenly the battle begins, we hear the sounds of two approaching speeder bikes. They pass over the village at full speed without stopping. Harsol freaks out and shoots at them, wasting precious ammunition. On their second pass, the strafe the buildings and cause panic among the defenders. We all climb on the tower to better attack them as they pass by. Because of their range and speed, I have to use the Trandoshan mercenary’s blaster rifle on lethal mode, against my vow not to destroy any organic life.

Here are the highlights of the battle against the speeder-bike imperials:

  • The speeder bikes shoot the towers where L’hrequ and Pand’ are taking cover. A friendly battle droid explodes into pieces and the meager covers are blown to smithereens.
  • Cortala freaks out: she runs to the Nexu cages inside the camp and is about to release the feral beasts. Winter sees her and uses her best leadership skills to calm the scientist down and prevent her from unleashing the hungry beasts inside the camp.
  • L’hrequ pulls a stunt his Jedi master would have been proud of: as the other bike drives by his tower, he ties a synth-rope to a railing and lassoes the nose of the speeder. A few seconds later, the rope goes taut and the pilot loses control of his high-speed vehicle than crashes into the camp’s log fence.
  • We shoot one of the Imperial bikes several times and finally I hit one of their fuel tanks. The bike explodes, killing its pilot instantly. This is too much for me, the stress of having killed a human shorts my motivator, and I shut down instead of savoring this short-term victory.

For a few seconds, the defenders savor their victory, but suddenly one of the villagers shouts to look outside the fence. My comrades turn around and see that several squads of camouflage-clad Stormtroopers and two probe droids are approaching our camp through the tall grass. The battle only begins, and I am already out of it…

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