Safe in a freighter on Ganath
Upon take off, we discover a half synthetic woman in the ship. She is ‘the voice’ from the installation. Her name is Mako. She admits testing us by leading us through the warehouse containing experimental bio-warefare creatures.
We learn that Mako joined with Rossi some time ago to make easy credits. But here, the technology she was planning to exploit did not pay off since the world is so backwater but other work has. She hacks for Rossi. Her greatest feat has been to slice the planet’s satellites so Rossi and his men could lift off and leave orbit secretly when they pleased.
Since, she has learned the Rossi became involved with an offworld scientist who has manipulated creatures into nightmarish weapons. These creatures Rossi unimaginatively calls Xeno’s, inject eggs into living hosts that then cruelly gestate over 24 hours, ultimately killing the victim. There is no cure but removal and that takes serious surgery with no guarentees. Mako tells of a vid showing the whole process tested on real people. Over time, Mako determined that the strictly carnivorous creatures require constant feeding and if deprived they turn on themselves, killing each other to the last creature.
We race for the population center to find a surgical facility to remove the parasite from Winter. Not willing to bet on the 24 hour window, Poncho flys around ship between the cockpit and engineering to push the ship’s performance beyond it’s designed specifications. This works and the ship arrives a lot faster! Three hours instead of five.
After an un-subtle landing on the first straight road we see, we lower the ramp and carry Winter to the closest facility. Citizens protest our parking choice and Poncho moves it just out of the city.
At the surgical office, I talk our way past the administrative agent and we find a middle aged doctor who identifies himself as a surgeon. Mo-Fo pulls a data pad and shows him live data while explaining Winters dire situation. He shows how the larva is near the heart and time is precious.
We move to the operating room where Winter is dripped into unconsciousness soon after. Thirty minutes later and major incisions the vitals monitor starts whistling with danger. Mo-Fo assists to stabilize Winter. Then another thirty minutes pass when they finally manage to remove forcibly the wriggling larva shaped killer. The doctor places it in a metal platter whereupon Mo-fo immediately smashes the thing with his hammer.
All told, it is about two more hours until her vitals finally satisfactorily stabilize. Two hours after that she wakes, to our collective relief.
In route to the hotel Pand spots what we think is the same Kuzbaz we had seen before shadowing us. Myself and Poncho try to find him as he moved into dark ally’s but to no avail.
The next morning we head straight to the palace. Guards are off-putting asking if we have an appointment. I tell him the Empatojayos Brand and I are friends and he will want to talk to me. He looks doubtful but takes my name. We enter shortly after his return.
In the very long and large throne hall we walk to the base of the stairs up to his throne. He floats there, have a man if that. Round with a high metal collar and short tool tipped arms. I open with a formal greeting and introduce Mako whome we rescued. Winter then begins telling of the egg injecting bio-weapon creatures. Mo-Fo continues, expanding on the details. Someone mentions Mako’s work with satellites and the emperor waists no time in asking if she is responsible for masking ship signatures for escape, she admits it. We offer our help in finding and destroying the bioenginerering facility in exchange for our freedom later. Brand agrees.
The magistrate is summoned and is told to lead us to the Satellite control center to help us locate any annomolies that could lead us to the hidden facility. The magistrate questions the emperor in this but he insists, even referring to us as his friends. The magistrate obeys begrudgingly. I tell him quietly on the way that the emperor made a wise decision trusting us. He compared us to many who had said similar before. Pand overheard and energetically added her take to the conversation which took a slightly more argumentive turn.
We arrive at the control room where we are surprisingly introduced as honored guests by the magistrate. The ‘computer’ equipment looks very old and possibly of imperial origin. Mako is surprised at the simplicity and says it should be fairly easy to manipulate. Poncho, Mo-Fo and her begin their work studying the systems. After a bit they pull coordinates from the machines. Then Mako fixes the satellites to be ale to detect Rossi’s ships again.
We then return to Emperor to explain our accomplishments and to encourage him to have every ship leaving the planet thoroughly inspected. He agrees and is pleased our accomplishments and our plans and gives our ship back as reward and as a show of trust in exchange for our help in ending the Xeno threat.
The emperor dismisses our party but for me. He asks sincerely if my comrades can truly be trusted to keep their word in this task. I tell him I relate to his inclination towards isolationism and affirm that my friends have each had the opportunity to betray me personally and have not and in fact have each risked their lives for each other a few times over the months I have known them. I ask about the Kubaz tail and he say he does not employ aliens. I leave and ask the Magistrate if he has a Kubaz spy, he does not but says they will begin hunting immediately any and all Kubaz and will imprison any they find. I encourage they question first.
Back on the Silver Bucket, Mo-fo disables all consoles but for the cock-pit as insurance against Mako’s possible slicing on our ship. Mo-Fo also explains to us that she is the one he had heard of back at the wheel and that she is the one person most likely capable of locating the empire’s hidden files inside his deepest darkest circuits.
Poncho enters the navigational coordinates and we take off.
The next morning Pand gives Mako a weapon as we exit the ship after landing. Poncho mounts his scooter. Mo-Fo and Winter take my speeder bike. Myself and Pand go on foot.
After some time in this temperate landscape Pand notes a humming sound none of the rest of us can hear. Under some brush she uncovers a large Holo-Projector clearly linked with others likely with kilometers of each other.
The projectors hide a base beneath an image of landscape over a valley. We trek beneath the ceiling of the holo-projected image. After some travel, we spot six or so higher tech buildings and a long row of tents and a an AT-ST, as stationary AT-AT in a lake and a YT-2400. We stop and begin to plan our next move.