Senton receives a recommendation sent directly to him via the Bounty Board:
|Three targets, Starstriker, Flameseeker, and Shepherd, are wanted dead or alive. They have warrants from several systems for acts arson, demolition, larceny, and murder. They are fugitives from The Sanctuary, and should be considered hostile and very dangerous. Your tracking skills have been recommended in high esteem.|
The locations of their acts range far and wide, seemingly without connection to each other or without a pattern. They are highly volatile when accomplished. Chaos through and through. Most of their acts have been in the Outer Rim, though a handful delve into the even the Expansion Rim.
Approximately a year ago the three broke out during at riot from the Mid Rim penal colony called The Sanctuary, located in a region of space formerly controlled by the Hutts. The title misinforms the local populace from the truth about the “wildlife sanctuary”. The penal colony is a series of islands located in an area of treacherous waters filled with dangerous marine life and the cliffs inhabited by aviaryphibians.
A YV-929 Light Freighter identified as the Mudder’s Milk was recently reported as stolen from a docking bay on Tatooine. sightings following a known spicer trade route along the Outer Rim.
The crew pools and analyzes the gathered intel. Together, they are able to plot a general flight path and extrapolate the expected next stops. Raymus sets a course just past the planet Gamorr, where they intend to set a trap.
They set up and wait for their target, with Sa’fran in the dorsal laser turret and Senton in the ventral ion turret. The ship exits hyperspace near where they were expected. With a little maneuvering, Raymus lines up the ship. Sa’fran blasts the engines, and Senton’s ion blast strikes true, the collective effort disabling the Mudder’s Milk.
However, before the Solace can lock on to board, an Imperial Customs Frigate identified as the Kath Hound arrives on the scene. Customs Officer Baj’dar commands the Solace to stand down and withdraw. Raymus recoils at the voice and name of the commanding officer. Thankfully before he responds, Dall interjects with an overriding Imperial identification, Basil “Thunderfist” Castillian and supporting Imperial code, denying the Customs claim instead as interfering with an on-going investigation.
Bajder presents a counter-proposal to simultaneously board the freighter, and discuss the matter in-person. Agreeing to the terms, each vessel locks onto the docking ports, Solace to larboard and Kath Hound to starboard. Boarding parties prepare and then make their moves.
Dall slices the docking portal, and as Senton starts towards the interior, he smells the three occupants and explosives. The Cathar raises his heavy blaster and fires a volley towards the barricade providing cover for the central lounge. As the Imperials begin blasting open the portal entry across the way, the trio activate explosives and slam the emergency airlock shut. a few stormtroopers are thrown around like rag dolls and torn to pieces within the trapped corridor. The remainder push through and quickly bind the targets. Meanwhile, Raymus detaches the F-LER from the Solace to patrol the assembled ships, prepared to fire upon any opposition if necessary.
Bajder challenges for jurisdiction, stating that if the Castillian is unable to meet him face-to-face within a minute, he will kill the trio and be done with them once and for all. Ji’Ar charges to the door, works his fingers into a seam and pushes the door open with great Force. Then he tosses the Imperial uniformed Bothan into the ship. Dall athletically rolls and stands to his feet, almost as though he planned it that way. Ji’Ar and Senton, fully covered in armor, stride up behind as intimidating support.
Despite the claimed CorSec agent meeting the challenge, the Human Imperial Customs Officer denounces the rival legitimacy on the account of being a Bothan. Baj’der sentences the trio to execution, ordering the surviving six stormtroopers to raise their blasters and prepare to fire. Thunderfist interrupts by providing overriding authorization, stating Customs Officer Baj’der has overstepped his rank and privilege, and placing him under arrest. The stormtroopers comply with the override, aiming their blasters instead at the Customs Officer. Senton binds the officer and escorts him aboard the Solace to the passenger quarters, sedated, and further bound.
Basil Castillian dismisses the stormtroopers to the Imperial Customs Frigate, allowing them to collect their fallen comrades, and return to their own jurisdiction. Ji’Ar seals the airlock behind them. Moments later, the Imperials detach and withdraw from the system.
With the Customs Frigate departed, Raymus comes face-to-face with Baj’der, the trio and their collective past. Raymus Ardellian introduces Shepherd as Jhayn Booq, Starstriker as Erlii Lyons, and Flameseeker as Wal Zo-yee.
Raymus states his belief that they were killed out in the field when the Empire assisted the government and bombed the valley. The trio in turn relay belief in Ardellian’s death.
They recount serving together during the civil war on Seren, combating against the oppressive government in the box canyon known as Solace Valley. They regale stories from their stationing at Independence Training Yard VII, colloquially known there as Seren ITY 7.
Senton interrupts the reunion by attesting to following through with the bounty on their heads; they are still known criminals. The trio first interjects, attesting that after crawling out from the hell that was the ruined valley, they struck at the Galactic Empire and its allies ever since. In their own way, the war never ended, and anyone against the Empire is deemed a criminal. They then present a counter-offer of more-than-comparable riches reaped from a lost treasure they’re tracking down.
The survivors from Seren ITY VII decide they must first deal with the traitor, Baj’der. They agree to place him back aboard the Mudder’s Milk unbound but still sedated, then blast a hole in the hull to present the appearance of a pirate attack. Ardellian and Dall work up a distress call and recovery report implicating Lun Umbra as the offenders.
They tow the vessel to the next system and selling the hulk for scrap. Ardellian negotiates for 75kcr, then divides the shares by seven, though presenting the trio with a collective one share. 10,500 is allocated for each share, and the Solace share of 12kcr.
Onward to the Treasure Hunt!
|Along the way, Dall learns the trio has a cred chip much like the one the crew of the Solace acquired from pirates in the Corellian Sector. Reviewing the contents, he pieces together that the two chips are halves of the same set of clues. Plugging in both chips to his datapad, a more comprehensive trail forms, leading to …|
Galactic Coordinates: S13/14 (pan handle in Hutt Space)
Mountainous with silty and clay mudflats
Major production settlement: Tancon
Raymus agrees to the jaunt, though his behavior becomes more on edge and cagey. Adding to this, he covers himself nearly completely, similar to when the crew visited the Corellian Sector. When confronted, he responds with a summarized account of his previous visit more than a year ago.
|“I had a load of cargo I had to get off world before the Imperials showed up. I made a quick hop, accidentally losing my cargo, and narrowly escaped.”|
Dall cross-references the account to a rise in exports from the planet. Perhaps it was merely coincidence, but a sudden development of crops previously non-native to the world thrived. As a result, the vegetation became a cash crop that exported very well for high prices. Raymus claims ignorance of the plants as not a product he would have been trying to smuggle.
Shortly after setting down at the docking port, the crew and trio exit onto a plaza. All of the visual cues direct the visitors to a statue surrounded by a well-kept garden. Everyone except Ardellian stops and stares, and with the scoundrel looking around nervously at passersby.
The Hero of Tancon
“Ray, why is your visage looking down at us like we owe it somethin’?” Zo-yee directs at Ardellian, with more than a suspicious expression on her face.
“I don’t know, Wal.” Raymus directs his attention at the statue. “But let’s get inside before someone looks at us funny.”
Even more than earlier, Ardellian peers around nervously and attempts to keep his identity unknown. Senton guides the way to a suitable watering hole, the Cathar utilizing his keen sense of smell, yet grimacing with the need to wade through such an odorous environment. They navigate the winding sun-baked clay streets until they reach a suitable option, and together they duck into the cool interior.
The group selects a shadowy corner to review their next course of action. ji’Ar takes drink orders and excuses himself to collect them from the barkeep. He soon returns with a tray of fired clay mugs, each filled with turbid and heady liquid.
Before they can discuss anything further, one of the locals calls for attention for a song that needs no introduction. The bard strums a few chords on his quintolium as the opener. The crowd within the establishment immediately erupts into a roar and applause, then quickly settles.
The man they call RAY!
He robbed from the rich and he gave to the poor.
Stood up to the IMPs and gave ‘em what for.
Our love for him now, ain’t hard to explain,
The hero of Tancon, the man they call RAY!
The ballad continues with another musician starting up on a Piqfidolin. Then the crowd joins in singing along, their enthusiasm rising with each verse. At the corner table, everyone turns to the crudely disguised scoundrel, watching his expression change and contort with each passing line of the folk tale. By the end, none of them are certain what to make of the incident, even Raymus feeling more confusion and anxiety, yet strangely elation.
Ji’Ar and Senton both feel anxious, as though something very bad may happen. Instead of exploiting this turn of events, the group agrees to exit quietly. They lock down the Solace at the docking bay, taking only the F-LER out for a survey of the landscape.
They register the flight as a three-hour sightseeing tour and receive the necessary pass without incident. Following their leads in search of the treasure, Dall plugs in both cred chips into the nav-comp to provide additional guidance. Ji’Ar and Senton look out over the landscape, with the former gladiator feeling more and more a sense of deja vu. Both, however, continue to feel more and more uneasy as they approach the Bothan’s extrapolation for the coordinates.
Over a rise of dusty hills, a jagged mountain range looms into view. Dall calls out to make an adjustment to the course; simultaneously Ji’Ar and Senton point to an erosion formation. Dall jokes about the Force, resulting in a series of awkward expressions.
Raymus sets down the F-LER at the base of the formation. Everyone suits up for the initial survey, taking only what they need. Senton collects his heavy blaster canon anyway, stating he always prepares for hostile encounters. Sa’fran assures the team that she can carry the portable medical suite, and proceeds at the rear.
|While exploring the rocky ground, Ji’Ar locates a strange pointed rock sticking up from a lower portion of the alluvial fan. Near the point is a shallow impression that, from the casting of the light and fall of shadows across its surface, seems to be more than mere imperfections in the rock. He clears away the inhospitable soil to reveal more defined etching. With a little Force, he reveals an obelisk.|
“The temple must be nearby!”
Senton allows his tracking instincts to take over, his mind wandering to some of the glyphs depicted on the cred-chips. Before long he finds an opening at the peak of the alluvial fan.
|For a few moments he notices a cool breeze emanate from the narrow cave entrance, then a low vibration before the ground gives out from under him!|
Senton falls into the darkness, and slowly his eyes adjust, a thin ray of sunlight eeking into the chamber from the crack above. He looks around to see a series of statues against an engraved temple façade. Densely packed soil and rock surround what appears to be a courtyard, and there seems to be no entry into the rock. Perhaps this is all that remains of the structure.
Raymus carefully relocates the F-LER closer to the opening, while the others unfurl a synthrope in to the recess. Dall drops a glowrod into the darkness. They secure one end to the vehicle and then descend one by one. Ji’Ar climbs part way, then feels a surge of adrenaline. He releases the rope and jumps the rest of the way, exerting his will to soften his landing.
Sa’fran checks Senton’s wounds from his unexpected entry into the chamber, and she determines only minor abrasions and superficial injuries. She catches the Cathar when he wobbles for a moment, a wave of nausea suddenly overwhelming him. By the completion of her treatment, Senton feels rejuvenated, like a million credits.
While the trio and the majority of the crew look around for easy-to-grab valuables, Ji’Ar explores his sensation of deja vu with the location. He clears sand and dirt away from certain places, revealing carvings of symbols, and then he traces them with his fingers. He cannot shake the feeling that he has been here before, despite no solid memory of the place. he decides to give the chamber a solid examination from against the wall of a nondescript, yet seemingly focal point between two pillar-like statues. The wall begins to shift inward, opening to a deeper cavern.
Everyone feels an immense sense of dread emanating from the new discovery, accompanied by low growling …
Everyone except the trio quickly climbs the synthrope to return to the surface. Despite the urging from the others, Starstriker, Flameseeker, and Shepherd are adamant to remain and claim the treasure. As they pull themselves out, Senton senses something, and out of the corner of his eye, something moves in the shadows. Before anyone has an opportunity to react further, Ji’Ar stands up suddenly, looking past the F-LER and warning of Imperials approaching.
An Imperial speeder pulls up to the far side of the cargo hauler, and a female figure exits with a flourish. She assesses the scene. When Dall sets into position, straying upon the uneven ground to fire his blaster, she reaches towards him, and the Bothan begins gasping for air and clutching at his throat.
Ji’Ar notices a weapon hanging from her flank, and he reaches out to pull to his own hand what he believes to be a lightsaber. The action distracts her from the distanced grip long enough for Dall to roll and take cover behind the F-LER; however, she reacts with an astonishing leap on top of source of cover. With her readjusting, Raymus takes a shot, which she deftly deflects by drawing and igniting the lightsaber; the shot and her crimson saber tear into one of the thrusters, ejecting enough exhaust in her own direction to knock her off and roll a few meters down the alluvial fan.
The sound of a gargle and groan echos up out of the cavern as Erlii is mauled from an unidentified creature.
The others gather around the F-LER and open fire upon the hostile stranger. With acrobatic flair she avoids some of the blaster fire, with the rest causing superficial damage. Senton switches his ammo source setting to deliver a lobbing deluge of explosive rounds.
An excruciating scream emanates from the cavern below as another creature rips and tears Zo-yee apart, a satisfied howl following soon thereafter.
After bouncing several times, the stranger pulls her bloodied body to her full height, swinging her arms up with the movement. The cargo hauler lifts from its resting position, soaring through the air at the group. Ji’Ar rolls ahead of the crew, sets his feet firmly into the soil, and raises his arms to catch the improvised projectile. The hull barely touches the palm of the brute’s hands before hurtling back at the aggressor.
Her eyes widen with surprise. The hulk lands hard, pinning her to the ground, with loosened soil filling into the depression around her. Senton nearly doubles over from a massive migraine, as though the air pressure around him suddenly increased. Sa’fran suddenly becomes ill, nearly retching where she stands.
A final shriek and wail rise out of the cavern as the creatures catch up to and feast upon Booq’s reptilian hide.
Raymus rushes over to the F’LER to check its damage. Ji’Ar and Dall check on the body of their attacker. Senton and Sa’fran remain where they are to recover from whatever affected them both.
From the weight of the ship and force of impact, both the lightsaber weapon and their opponent are crushed. Some life remains in her, and she weakly opens her eyes as Ji’Ar kneels down. Their eyes lock, and for a moment their breath stops, the breeze pauses.
“Jace?” her voice cracks.
Past him, she watches the Bothan quickly drawing a holdout blaster and then firing without remorse. Her living material rips apart with ease and speed, breaking down to the molecular level, leaving behind only a smoking pile of ash.
“What the hell was that?!” Raymus runs around after the sound of the blaster settles. He observes Dall holstering a weapon as the former gladiator incredulously looks at the Bothan. “The last time I heard that sound, we were getting shot at in the office on Nemoidia.”
The Bothan casually responds by indicating only the guard was shot, though he was aiming for the official.
After stopping the pressure in his skull, Senton rallies the others to recover the bodies of the treasure hunters, his bounties. Through careful and strategic attacks, they manage to eliminate enough of the creatures in the temple structure to allow some exploration. The crew hoists up the dead and accomplish a small degree of artifact collecting.
They load the items into the righted F-LER, then pile into the stranger’s Imperial speeder. Ji’Ar concentrates on holding the cargo loader aloft, while Raymus carefully maneuvers them sufficiently back to the outskirts of Tancon.
There they inventory the haul and place the bounties on ice while they arrange for repairs.
- clone war era datapad
- holocron (bonus on content)
- clone war artifacts (Jedi exiles)
- some bladed weapons (bonus: one Sith sword)
- robe tatters and some armor
- 3 small statues
Dall attempts to access the datadrive from the datapad; however, he is unable to extract the hard drive, though he does diagnose the need for a battery. He scours the mechanics bay from when Gavin resided on the Solace and manages to locate a suitable battery. He reviews the content in private after fiddling with the access sequence.
Ji’Ar takes interest in the gladiator-like blade from the haul, some of the armor that fits, and the polyhedron object. Senton hangs around while the former gladiator sets down at the dejerik table to attempt to figure out the object.
Raymus and Sa’fran seek out a mechanic …
While attempting to arrange for repair of the F-LER from a Besalisk named Dexon Tressex, word of Ray’s return spreads throughout Tancon. The turn of events proves to positively affect the repairs; however, undesired scrutiny and an altercation occur from the Imperial presence in the town … and just in time for Empire Day or as some others prefer … Remembrance Day!
Senton, along with the crew of the Solace and their guest, deliver the corpses of the bounties, which are suitable enough to confirm identities and reap full reward.
Utilizing CREDITORs connections, the crew identify and locate a suitable buyer for the artifacts they are willing to part with.