On the Edge of the Empire

OUR HEROES returned to the den of TEEMO the HUTT, only to instigate a coup d’etat! The EMPIRE troopers were driven from MOS SHUUTA by the REBEL ALLIANCE, freeing the settlement from tyranny! Some of the crew of the Solace are missing, some have chosen alternative paths, and others have chosen to remain aboard. Now with a safe harbor on TATOOINE, new adventures await!

With Teemo the Hutt dead, the gangster’s accounts have been deferred to the banking clans and the CREDITORS have assigned an agent to handle acquisition of his debts, including sub-accounts pertaining to Raymus Ardellian and Jekk De’li. News of Teemo’s death has spread throughout the Hutt territories and criminal underworld.

A busted and broken one-man starship lands roughly upon the grounds in front of what used to be Teemo’s Palace, forcing several groups to scatter quickly or else be crushed. A Bothan wearily crawls out from the cockpit and rolls down to the ground in a heap. He is brought into the palace, where the Rebels tend to his wounds, during which he mutters a few names. A scout runs off to find at least one of them.

Shortly thereafter, Captain Raymus Ardellian and Senton arrive, and they quickly begin interrogating Rutak where he has been and what happened to the frigate. The Bothan recounts an ambush of some sort, being stranded on a planet and forces to fight for survival. He and Demetrius were separated, and when he found an opportunity to escape, he took it without remorse. He reluctantly accept his tale, though retain more than a little skepticism.

A CREDITOR agent contacts several parties enveloped in the debt that belonged to Teemo the Hutt, defining terms and conditions of their accounts. Considering the nature of his debt to the Hutt, the agent provides Captain Ardellian … and his crew … an opportunity: the Solace was property of Teemo the Hutt, loaned to the Human for completion of tasks, and percentages of the profit were directed towards paying off the initial cost of the ship; however, the contract detailed a series of further sponsorship that would keep the captain in service by the gangster. The agent proposes full transference of vessel ownership to Raymus Ardellian, with the caveat of paying down the remaining balance by assisting in the collection of Teemo’s debts. The agent makes it clear that failure to collect will result in debt transference to the crew, with associated consequences.

The agent provides three collection tasks specifically associated with Teemo’s former accounts. Order of collection is not specified; however, certain opportunities are available that may ease the collection process. Ardellian states he and his crew will review the collections and determine their course of action.

Hotel & Casino shares COLLECTION DEGREE: High
LOCATION: Cato Nemoidia
OPPORTUNITY: Date/Time dependent gala invitation
Starship reposession COLLECTION DEGREE: Moderate
LOCATION: Variable
OPPORTUNITY: Access keycards
Ore pickup COLLECTION DEGREE: Low
LOCATION: Mining Station in the Outer Rim
OPPORTUNITY: Investment

After reviewing the collection options, Senton offers an additional task for the docket. Apparently Teemo summoned the bounty hunter Zellroth Krayton for the express purpose of collecting a Mandalorian named Jahnuus Koran, who was last known to be on the inhospitable junk planet Raxus Prime. Turning in the bounty could reward up to 75k credits. He admits he has a personal agenda by following this lead, for the possibility that it will help him locate his mate.

An intense debate ensues, during which the realization occurs that investments from the Orzon Sector deal may be diverted from their pockets to the CREDITORS instead. The crew agrees to head to Raxus Prime for what may amount to a fool’s errand. First, however, they intend to stop in at the end of the line on the Perlemian Trade Route.

Sending a message ahead, the crew of the Solace receives an immediate response from attaché Parna-chia, whom they left behind to manage the accounts. They meet with her directly upon arrival at Obsida. She informs the crew she has not completed the procedure for the investments due to the death of Teemo the Hutt, in whose name the contract is associated. The only way she can correct the discrepancy is by assigning all of the rights from Teemo instead to the secondary backer, Fa-Ron Rysh, a task which must be completed in-person.

Furthermore, Batooda the Hutt has taken an interest in the Orzon accord. The rival gangster is not pleased, since the crew of the Solace, seemingly under the auspices of Teemo the Hutt, was responsible for not only eliminating his agent from the negotiations, but also to wheedle the attaché’s employment from him. On a professional level, her career may soon be ruined. On a personal level, she fears for her life.

Attache requests ensured security before finalizing the paperwork. She demands to temporarily join the crew until the matter is resolved. She adds, half commentary and half request, further security will be appreciated. Raymus states he’ll make some calls.

Without further delay, they proceed to Raxus Prime …
Upon arrival at the junk refinery planet, the security waystation in orbit processes the visiting craft and crew. They state their intention as scrounging for spare parts for the freighter. The check-in includes confirming the crew possesses sufficient protective gear against the noxious environs. After a quick scan, directions are sent for a particular area of the planet, where the crew is likely to locate complimentary components. Ardellian sets the Solace down at a factory settlement identified as Krae-Z-J.

Han Solo, Sa’fran, and Parna-chia are tasked with guarding the ship and contacting Fa-ron Rysh to coordinate a meeting to sign the investment documents.

The crew dons their hazard gear and split up to gather information from the locals. The majority come up with scant rumors and warnings. The Jawa, however, discovers more than he could have bargained for; an old tale from Tatooine that was passed down through the ages told of a tribe, the Meeknu clan, that disappeared from Tatooine during the Clone Wars. Their descendants remain alive, and for the most part well, here on the junk planet.

One of their number, Joh-Joh shares further insightful information, through implying meaning instead of directly answering. Several members of the tribe are missing, presumably lost to the hazards in the Wastes, an outright dangerous place to venture for any reason. Aside from the noxious atmosphere, the Wastes are known to to be inhabited by Junkers, rogue droids, and … shadows … that hunt anything that manages to survive and wander too close. No one has returned to confirm or deny any of the stories.

The crew believes that information to be sufficient, believing these shadows are the Mandalorians Senton referred to, and if he’s right, the most dangerous place on the planet is where they would feel most at home.

Considering the dangers, flying the Solace into the Wastes is unwise; however, taking just the F-Ler module may be possible. Everyone crams into the cargo loader, straps in as best they can, and brace themselves as Raymus takes the controls. Black Jack provides the guidance to the Wastes. Soon, rogue droids fire upon the craft; however, the majority of the shots are avoided by some fancy flying. Several of the hostile droids explode apart, though not by the F-Ler.

The ruined hull of a capital ship soon looms into view within a debris crater, a veritable bastion within the turmoil. Raymus calls out for everyone to brace themselves for “impact”, and he proceeds to make the vessel seem to crash, even landing the F-Ler upside down inside the crater.

The Cathar and ex-gladiator leap out first, scanning the area for immediate hostiles. The Bothan and Jawa seek cover, soon locating a hole in a bulkhead. The Captain locks their transportation and then follows as everyone files in through the bulkhead. Senton nods in agreement to continue in that direction, and the two flank everyone until they are inside.

While the others examine the dark corridor, Black Jack locates a loose ventilation grate and slips inside. Even separated, they equally identify a loose panel and junction corridor beyond. Before the Jawa calls out through the grating, however, Senton rests a hand upon Ji’Ar’s shoulder and states his observation of a trap. Then he signals to proceed down another corridor.

Jekk crawls through the ventilation system, catching the scent of something … familiar … something like kin. Chittering sounds begin to echo through the confined tube. He pops out to join two Jawa singing while they work on an open console, wires pulled out at all angles around them.

Dink dink lost Meeknu dink! Not lost. Like it here. Not going back. Have cause!

While the Jawa chitter amongst themselves, the rest of the group encounters a pair of patrolmen. Ji’Ar approaches them as a warrior. Following up, the Bothan presents their case and believes he has adequately convinced them they are here legitimately for business with their leader, Jahnuus Koran. They are provided directions to reach the mess hall, where they can meet their leader.

Black Jack thanks his fellow Jawas for their assistance, and returns to the ventilation system, navigating his way into the depths, while the others proceed through the corridors. The deeper in they proceed, the more assembled and active the structure seems. They pass a point where a connecting corridor utilizes a port entry.

Scouting ahead, the engineer observes the welcoming party arranged in the mess hall more like an ambush. Two tripod-mounted cannons are set up behind barricades of crates. Reinforced hull-plate tables are turned on their sides in defensive positions, with various cobbled-armored warriors poised to blast anyone who enters. Clearly these are veteran warriors with a highly strategic mindset … or are at lead lead by one with those qualities.

Dall and Rutak concoct a plan for negotiation, tear off a swath of light-colored material, and append to the end of a pipe they picked up along the way. Then they wave the makeshift flag into the mess hall, attempting to waylay any initial hostility. Allowed to proceed without threat of imminent death, the Bothans state whom they represent and ply their case for recruitment.

Dall – “We represent the Syndicate and want to hire you!”

Rutak – “We represent the Rebel Alliance and wish for you to join our cause!”

They continue with lengthy reasons to support their individual causes. To bring the Mandalorians out of exile, instead serving to better the galaxy. To right the injustices in the galaxy brought upon by the Galactic Empire. To seek vengeance upon the Empire for being left to die on this junk planet.

Then Senton steps forward, boldly stating his purpose …

“I am the bounty hunter Senton Blacktear. There is a bounty for the return of your leader, Jahnuus Koran. I appeal to his sense of honor.”

The scene remains quiet for a long moment after one of the the warriors holds up a closed fist. A signal is heard from his helmets, and a gruff voice emanates from a speaker, “Send in the bounty hunter. I will speak with him personally.”

Jekk De’li maneuvers through the vent to a back chamber serving at the Mandalorian’s office. The Jawa sets up his rifle to blast anyone if Senton is threatened. His sight targets the biggest, baddest one in there first.

“You’ve got guts coming in here with a statement like that. I like your spirit, kit. But why shouldn’t I just shoot you here and be done with this matter?”

Appealing to the myth of Mandalorian Honor, Senton continues. He briefly recounts his tale of how he became a bounty hunter and is searching for his mate. Then he states the bounty hunter who was intended to receive the job, Zellroth Krayton, whom the Cathar believes took his mate. He also regales a rumor that the bounty hunter was once a member of Koran’s squad many years ago but betrayed them. Concluding, the offer to join the Rebel Alliance stands, supporting a just and noble cause; he is willing to accept the bounty payment as a finders and recruitment fee.

The Mandalorian briefly contemplates the matter and turns to his second.

“Stripes, let’s show him who we are.”

“Asa … " Senton breathes.

He allows the Cathars a few moments to catch up while reviewing status for departure. The other Mandalorians are signaled to collect the F-Ler. The crew of the Solace receives an escort to a viewport, where they watch as the rubble and debris fall away with a tumultuous … rise out from the junk pile … in a functional ship.

A message is sent to Han Solo to lift off and rendezvous in orbit. Jekk intercedes, stating a need to return to the factory and check in with the Meeknu clan. Raymus agrees to take him back, advising for the others to proceed with the plan. Dall tags along to check in at the settlement, as well.

Jekk locates Joh-Joh and tells him the missing Meeknu were not dead; however, they chose a new life. He passes on the invitation to join them. Tempting as it is, the junk tech declines, stating he’s at home with his own. He announces he will happily tell the tale of their nomad brothers. Not lost; have cause!

Upon return, Parna-chia and Sa’fran report a communication from Fa-ron Rysh arrived, stating he will meet the crew on the base station in orbit of Obsida. There he will sign the appropriate forms and ensure the investment proceeds as intended. In return, he will present a private favor he wishes to be completed.

The Mandalorian junk cruiser Blood Oath ferries the Solace to the edge of the galactic disc, delivering its charge to the Orzon Sector. As promised, the displaced Alderaanian businessman applies his signage and overrides the current contract, thereby making himself, Fa-ron Rysh, the credited party for transactions through the Orzon Accord; he accepts the clause stating failure to comply with the terms will result in financial repercussions, requiring monetary compensation for associated losses. A few addenda are applied to compensate for the nature and current status of the Solace crew complement. The contract is deemed complete and investments processing. Approved by the CREDITORS, their debts decrease by 2%.

Rysh presents the private favor he wishes for the crew to complete. Through the holonet, he has learned the captain and crew have received a job to repossess some of Teemo’s loaned starships. On one of them, the Hutt yacht Lox’s Legend, he stashed a crate in a hidden compartment and neglected to remove it when the party concluded. Even though a month has passed, he believes the contents remain undiscovered. Return of the crate will be greatly appreciated and amply rewarded.

Just before they depart, Fa-ron entrusts a small package to Captain Raymus, with explicit instructions only to open it in his personal quarters, alone, and while in hyperspace.

Dall attempts to contact the Rebels on Yavin; however, he receives a warning message instead:

“If you are receiving this message, do not return to Yavin. The Empire is upon us, and we must evacuate the planet. May the Force be with us.”

The Bothan locates an encrypted message within the message, which provides clues to locating the Rebels. He provides the necessary instructions to locate the closest Rebel cell.

Jekk De’li spends travel time with the nomad Jawa on board the Korandalorian vessel. After some deep contemplation, Black Jack informs the crew of the Solace that he has decided to go with them to help liberate other enslaved Jawa around the galaxy. The crew wish him well on his mission … hoping the curse of ship engineer does not continue longer.

Convening with a small fleet, the Korandalorians merge with them, and Janus allows Asa some time with her mate and will send a message when he needs her.

After the fleet jumps to hyperspace, the crew of the Solace review their next job for the CREDITORS

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