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.