On the Edge of the Empire

Session 008
Upon the dunes of deceit ...
Raymus Ardellian has been shot, and no one knows the identity of the culprit. What’s worse is the Captain has lost consciousness and isn’t responding to stims. The crew of the Solace is in dire need of a medical expert!

Without a reliable medical facility on board or nearby, the crew hastily applies a stim and medpack to the Captain’s wound. Senton and Dall discuss options for locating a doctor, including a coincidental bounty for one Dr T LAgrange issued from Teemo. Reaching an agreement on a probable location on The Wheel, they set a course and park in one of the free short-term public loading zones.

They plan to utilize the bounty for the doctor and fast-track back to Tatooine, grabbing some quick cash and using the facilities there to improve the captain’s condition. Gavin prepares the engines for full burn and overcharging the hyperdrive, the intention of reaching Tatooine in a fraction of the expected time.

Shortly after stepping onto the tarmac, Senton smells the whiff of medical supplies in the air. He signals to Dall and points at a stack of cargo crates. The Bothan rounds the corner to greet the hiding individual, who promptly invites himself on board their ship and allows himself to be taken into their custody.

As the Solace shakily lifts to depart, an entourage of Imperials enter the hangar. A striking male garbed in gray and off-white robes leads the charge, scanning the hangar, then looking directly to the ship, his eyes seemingly piercing its hull in search of his prey. Dall points out the cockpit window and mutters a name, “Szhi’xok.”

Gavin announces for the crew to buckle in for the jump, and punches the drive into hard burn, the thrusters spewing from the ion engines like a spray of fireflies.

Amid flight, the doctor of a bounty stabilizes the wounded captain and extracting a physical slug from the wound, bullet dripping with non-coagulated blood mixed with an oozy substance … poison. He reports that Raymus has been shot by a slugthrower, and inside the bullet was a capsule filled with a lethal poison. The poison is from Tatooine, specifically one of the venomous drake sub-Krayt species. If placed into stasis or an induced coma, the can be stabilized for up to a week; however, he is likely to die without proper medical facilities and an anti-toxin made from the venom.

“Then it’s a good thing we found you,” Senton states, “and are on our way to Tatooine.”

Dall inquires why Szhi’xok was after LAgrange, and the doctor deflects with ignorance and a retort, “He probably didn’t like my bill.”

In shorter time than expected, they arrive at Tatooine. Returning to normal space, the system hiccups again, the hyperdirve regulator burning out with a loud whine and acrid odor. “We still have thrusters!” the engineer calls from the cockpit, and he proceeds with a turbulent landing. Once in range, the Solace receives a hail from Teemo’s palace, ordering to land on the private pad at the rear of the structure. He confirms and demands a repulsorsled for the captain, “he’s been shot!”

Once the gangplank is lowered, Ardellian is transferred to a gurney and floated into the palace, LAgrange monitoring his vitals the entire way. Senton silently escorts his bounty. Dall, knowing he is a stranger, follows swiftly in order to gain access with the others. Gavin remains with the freighter to assess full damages and attempt to fix the problem before the captain regains consciousness.

They are escorted by the guard into the into the bowels of the palace, where they are confronted by Teemo the Hutt in a private gathering chamber. There Senton reports delivery of the bounty: Dr LAgrange, who flashes a surprised expression, otherwise maintaining his composure. The Cathar bares his fangs in a sardonic smirk.

An aide beckons the doctor to follow, and when the others proceed along with, they are halted. Dall attempts to convince them he is the nurse, to no avail. All but the doctor are allowed to roam the public sections of the palace until further notice. LAgrange is confined to Teemo’s private chambers, which he learns has been converted into a medical bay.

The doctor soon learns that Teemo is on life support and is dying. Meanwhile, the Bothan and Cathar soon learn there is a Teemo hosting the public hall. Through discrete communications, they confer their findings and develop a plan.

LAgrange reports that Teemo was recently poisoned, as has the Captain; however, this may merely be a coincidence, as the poisons are not the same. He states both of them can be cured with the right antitoxins, one of which must be acquired from a venomous sub-krayt species native to Tatooine’s deserts. They agree to go out together, and some additional fodder … er … help … will make the effort more successful.

While surveying for willing candidates, Dall and Senton field the general temperament among staff and visitors for and against Teemo. They steer clear of the Imperial presence as best as possible. Promises of a hidden cache and attaining fortune prompt several of Teemo’s staff to accept.

All during the surveying and recruiting, Senton’s attention is drawn to an armored figure standing near Teemo’s dais. Something … very familiar … anger rising from the depths of his being. The Cathar debates approaching the individual, uncertain what his instincts are telling him, and ultimately he decides to face this challenge.

Talking isn’t his strong suit, so he convinces Dall to go along with a plan to attempt to hire the individual. Dall slices into the palace visitor records, noting the individual is a bounty hunter named Zellroth Krayton, known for completing slave-related acquisition contracts.

Dall takes this opportunity to compile the acquired data for Teemo loyalists and those willing to lend assistance in the event of a coup d’état.

The duo approach the bounty hunter, initially presenting a hiring questionnaire. A synthbox relays answers to the inquiry. Then, when prompted by Zall to prove worth of credits and the specifics of the job they wish fulfilled, their hesitation, the bounty hunter becomes suspicious, hands over a code card for further contact, and promptly departs.

Before they have a chance to follow, the doctor chimes in that he is ready for the venture to collect the venom. The six volunteers gather outside with a pair of small cargo speeders. Their eagerness to collect hidden treasure is obvious. Dall pretends to examine his datapad, as if reading a map, and he provides the necessary coordinates for a cave along the northwestern ridge.

Upon arrival at the cave, LAgrange presents a warning of possible threats known to this region of the Western Dune Sea. Then more quietly he informs Dall and Senton of the real danger.

“Extracting the venom from a live specimen is dangerous, with a high chance of being bitten and injected by the venom. After dying, the venom becomes more potent for a short period of time, concentrating as water evaporates from the body and weakening the lining of the venom sac; when the lining fails, the venom seeps through the body to dissolve the flesh.”

Several of the lesser drakes are lured out from the cave. The six treasure-mongers aid in killing the beasts, and in the process all of them are killed. The doctor carefully harvests the needed venom. Then the remaining trio depart with both speeders, leaving the cooked carcasses to be melted or fed upon by scavengers.

Upon return, LAgrange immediately begins processing the anti-toxin. He knows the feat will take several days. The doctor prepares for Ardellian’s cure, and a kill shot for the Hutt. Discouraged by the Imperial presence and preferring his presence remains unknown to them, the doctor prepares for a discrete exit.

Gavin checks in with the unfortunate news that a hyperdrive regulator is not present in Teemo’s workshop or at any of the local venues. He sets off for another Mos settlement in hopes of better luck. Before departing, the engineer checks on a custom diagnostic of the Solace to determine the reason why the ship hiccups every re-entry to normal space from hyperspace; the result indicates a conflict with the IF transponder. With the log duplicated to his personal datapad, he intends to work out the issue along with the other repairs.

Beneath Reb’s Well shantytown cantina, the Rebel cell has barely managed to elude detection by the combined forces of the Hutt goons Imperial regiment stationed in Mos Shuuta. Dall manages to avoid detection and report in with his constituents, informing them that Teemo the Hutt will soon relinquish his hold upon the mesa settlement, and now is the time to strike! He promises to send a signal when they should claim the palace.

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Session 007
At the end of the line ...

INCOMING TRANSMISSION

To the crew of the space freighter Solace,

Congratulations.

Your accomplishment with the collection task was acceptable. Considering the circumstances, your crew exhibited ingenuity and resourcefulness, if somewhat unorthodox in execution. Compensation — material and financial — should amply accommodate your part of the arrangement.

Word on the holo is your ship provided assistance to impose a significant setback to an oppressive galactic presence. Undoubtedly you will soon have many more friends … and more than a few enemies. You stand at the precipice of exciting times!

The galaxy is always in motion!

With non-Imperial concerns on their agendas, the present crew of the Solace on Yavin discuss their next plan. The Gand and Wookiee state their thanks to the crew for accepting them; however, their path follows a different direction. For the Gand, to undergo training to become a full Jedi Bendu. For the Wookiee, to fulfill a promise to the Jedi Bendu. The crew wish them well.

Several Rebel operatives approach the crew to express further gratitude for their aid in the fight against the Empire. They acknowledge the right of the freelancers to follow their own path and request for one of their own to join the crew, a Bothan named Dall Oktra’lon, who will be a contact with the Rebel Alliance should they ever have need to call upon the Solace. The crew accepts the request.

Without word from their shipmates taking the frigate to Teemo, an incoming opportunity from Fa-Ron Rysh directs the crew …

Money is Power

A potential financial investment or hostile takeover opportunity awaits, be it through “legitimate” financial gain or by creating a power vacuum. The sector of interest, Orzon with governing planet Obsida, is located in the Outer Rim on the edge of the Galactic Disc, just off the end of the Perlemian Trade Route. Agents from the sector have investment opportunities that will benefit planets and stations along the major hyperspace lane, even into the Core worlds. Acquisition of the monetary resources may yield an investment partnership for the crew. The crew of the Solace is tasked with negotiating the merger … or eliminating the opposition.

The crew attends the introductory meeting for the current stage of discussions. Arbiter Lua Mavdei facilitates the gathering and translates for Orzon Conglomerate representative Shaadee. Other representatives in attendance include:

  • Administrator Jea Sartuuf from the Czerka Corporation
  • Cjeedo representing the Hutt Cartels, facilitating for Adjilisic Botooda
  • GataK of the Gree
  • Diplomat-by-droid-proxy Arkon Jex

After reviewing the intentions from Orzon, each group is advised to draft a proposal for distribution of exports and delivery of imports. Further clauses are advised for degree of partnership with the local government and workforces.

Raymus, Gavin, Senton and Dall research the groups vying for the contract. Gavin discovers the use of one of the credit chips acquired from the Corellian sector pirates: access to a sub-account connected to the Batooda Hutt representation; this access aids to glean basic intel into the backgrounds of the crew. In the process, the Klatooinian discovers two bounties are set: one for the Captain and one for Gavin. The esteemed engineer slices the bounty on his own head and corrupts the file. Senton, in the meantime, receives notice of the captain’s bounty and one set for the Gree representative; the bounty hunter accepts the Gree disabling contract.

Raymus attempts to frame the Hutt cartel, by setting a bomb on his own suite; however, in the process he bumps into a thug working for the Hutt trying to actually set a bomb. Dall enters the scene. Together all three play off what happened and make their way to have an awkward drink.

Gavin slices the stream for the diplomat droid, learning an Imperial with Moff aspirations is orchestrating from behind the scenes. The engineer makes an encrypted call and acquires additional information. Preparations are made to out the agent at the next meeting.

Senton takes care of disabling GataK’s translator, and then for good measure tricks the representative into believing they are both under attack. The Cathar then hides the Gree in a safe location, advising to be alert the one aiming for the kill. The bounty hunter is satisfied that the Gree representative is out of the way for the meeting. He turns in the hit to the Hutt cartel; however, the representative seems unsure of the bounty itself, though agrees to pay out if the situation turns in his favor.

En route to his return to the Solace, Senton and Raymus receive an emergency transmission from Gavin: bounty hunters have arrived at the ship demanding to turn over the captain. The present crew was able to defer two of the trio to check out the cantina, leaving one sporting a rocket launcher in the hangar bay to watch and wait.

The crew arranges for a delivery of goods, with the Cathar guarding the delivery. The waiting bounty hunter begins to open the crate for inspection. Raymus bursts out, blasting his adversary full in the face! Idents on the body reveal the Hutt representative party. The crew makes their plan for the upcoming meeting.

Just prior to the final negotiations and outside of the entry, Senton presents Captain Raymus to the Rodian representative, stating he is the only competent bounty hunter on the planet as all other attempts failed to collect the smuggler. The Cathar exhibits his own honor by presenting his compatriot in a manner of respect instead of exploitation. The ambassador counters and refuses to pay for the bounty, noting the captain was not to participate in the final negotiations for payment to be delivered for the bounty. Senton points out plainly that he has upheld his part of the contract: presenting the smuggler, in this case alive, to the party responsible for administering the bounty, and if payment is not delivered, a black mark will be placed upon the hiring party for reneging the deal. The ambassador attempts to place responsibility on his assistant, claimed she was the party truly responsible for placing the bounty.

Raymus raises his blaster and ends the conversation. The Rodian falls over dead. “Now cancel the bounty, work for my contingency for Teemo, or release your hold on life. Shiny?”

The assistant quickly alters her allegiance to Teemo’s representation, and together the group enters the final negotiations.

The Gree representative remains absent. A surprise to all, the diplomat droid is replaced when Arkon Jex personally attends. The remaining contingencies present their final offers. After Arkon Jex states his plan, the datapads for each representative begin to read his agenda and reveal his ambitious Imperial affiliation. The Imperial rounds on Gavin, attempting to out him as a slanderer, then opens his comms to facilitate the plan.

Raymus ends the issue with a sure-fire retort, and Arkon Jex falls over lifeless. “Now let’s all continue civilized like.”

Dall sweeps up the dropped comms, states signal interference, and commands to withdrawal, that the plan has changed: this Sector is not as lucrative as previously believed.

Leaving the Czerka representative, Teemo contingency, and Orzon Conglomerate, Arbiter Lua Mavdei facilitates the remainder of the negotiations. Czerka agrees to provide scientific assistance and some arms manufacturing in-sector. The Teemo contingency will provide personnel to coordinate export and import services in-Sector, while facilitating trade centers along the entire stretch of the Perlemian Trade Route, with profits directed appropriately.

With all remaining parties satisfied with the arrangements, the Orzon Sector is promised prosperity the likes of which not previously experienced.

The recently acquired administrative assistant for the Teemo contingency is tasked by the crew to remain in the Orzon Sector and ensure the plan proceeds smoothly. They warn her that they will be keeping a close eye on the project via the representatives sent in from the Fa-Ron Rysh delegation.

Pit Stop

Returning to The Wheel, the Solace stops at a minor waystation for fuel. Gavin tinkers with the armor scale from the Black Sun ship, attempting to learn its secrets. Senton sends another hail to the Long Arm frigate. Only static returns. Where could they be?

Captain Raymus stumbles up the gangway, breathing shallowly and with his hand clutched tightly to his chest. He falls over onto the deck a moment after a raspy command, “Get us … outta … here!”

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An interesting day
Gavin's thoughts

So today was an interesting day. First I had to clean up the mess the Gand made. While we were flying I got to mess around with some ion mines. Those were interesting having to rig them up to a detonator. Once we finished with all that boring negotiating came the fun stuff of upgrading everyone’s equipment. That was such a blast.

On our way back to Yavin we got pulled out of orbit by the Empire’s battle station — the Death Star — and into my first real space battle. It wasn’t as scary as I imagined, in fact it was quite fun. Boosting the shields was an interesting challenge. But what was the most fun was hacking into a ships computers and temporarily disabling it’s weapons and shields.

With the help of our ship, that farmboy Luke in one of the X-wings we were protecting was able to shoot a set of proton torpedoes into the heart of the battle station. Boy was that a pretty explosion.

Then came an annoying award ceremony, but there was some real good food there. I guess that’s it for today.

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Session 006
Show us the money, and look at the size of that thing ...

Afterwards, the crew of the Solace and temporary owners of the Long Arm tow the freighter train out of the space throughway to a less obvious location to assess their situation.

Long Arm Condition

  • Note: Armed with 2 turbolasers (1 forward, 1 aft), 4 ion lasers (forward), torpedo tubes are equipped with ion mine deployment (9 torpedos on board)
  • Bridge requires an exterior patch vs vacuum (half day stripping hull plating from a viable source and patching)
  • Engines require stability for hyperspace use (1 day to route power to usable ion engines)
  • Contents include 2 weeks of food rations (in crates) and the rest are spoiled, 4 ion rifles, 6 ion pistols, 1 crate of grenades (20 ion), droid parts from 10 different models (all incomplete), 10 medkits, 2 crates of stims (20 each), 4 crates of spice

Freighter Train Condition

  • Forward crew pod (half day to patch the cockpit breach)
  • 3 Class J cargo containers intact
  • 1 Class J cargo container blown through (damaging most of the “cargo”)
  • Engine pod destroyed
  • Contents of each pod include 4 cryo-tubes, each containing 1 numerically identified clone

Captain Raymus Ardellian – "So, my suggestion sending a signal to the person that hired us asking where he wants the “cargo” delivered. After that, move the ‘cargo’ onto the pirate vessel, leave the cargo freighter and the spy ships behind, tow the pirate ship towards Yavin until we can get the cockpit breach fixed using materials found on the pirate ship and salvaging off the cargo freighter. Gavin’s got some work to do. Once we have them travel worthy, we can then deliver the cargo and get paid, then decide on if we’re keeping two ships or salvaging items off one to move onto the other and selling one for credits… perhaps to Teemo. After, we can return to Yavin and look for work, perhaps see if there is anything on the holo for work in other systems. At some point I believe some of us need to settle up with Teemo on some debt too."

Demetrius Qal-aca and Rutak Basnan agree to deliver the Long Arm to and check in with Teemo. Their intention are to barter some of the trade-in value directed towards paying off the Captain’s debt.

INCOMING TRANSMISSION:

If you are viewing this message, then that means you have completed your task. Well done. I look forward to our next meeting, and delivery of the precious cargo. Please coordinate with my attache to schedule a mutually convenient rendezvous at … THE WHEEL.

Gavin, Raymus Ardellian, Senton, Wen Digo and the Gand deliver the towed Class J freighter pods to the station and rent a buoy. In preparation of a doublecross, the crew assemble three of the ion mines linked to a remote switch and set for detonation within each of the surviving cargo pods. Then they met with the indicated contact. They receive instructions to park the Solace in a hangar bay near a small club, On the Rim. The Wookiee agrees to stay on board and guard the ship.

Berr D’nao, a Twi’lek information broker, and M-3D, a medical droid, receive the party and request to inspect the cargo. An intense discussion ensues regarding payment and terms of the job. In the end, the crew allows the medical droid to complete the inspection, using sensors only.

Final payment is calculated, renegotiated, and programmed using Berr D’nao’s datapad, by inserting each credit chip and processing the payment. Payment is disseminated via six (6) credit chips, one for each crewmate.

Ber D’nao – Any bank will honor these credit chips, yes. Should you need, hmmm, other financial institutions, The Wheel is advised, yes.

The Solace crew hand over the ion detonation switch and depart for Yavin to deliver the medical supplies and weapons.

Captain’s Log:
The space freight train job

After delivering the clones …

The crew of the Solace sets course for return to Yavin.

The ship is forced out of hyperspace by a gravitational shadow … re-entering normal space to see snub fighters attacking … THE DEATH STAR!

As the system syncs with the local system data, an Imperial TIE fighter careens toward the ship on a seemingly unavoidable intercept course! The proximity sensor flashes alarmingly on the dash, threat of the forthcoming collision! Raymus engages in some fancy flying, barely escaping certain doom. A tearing of metal is heard and the freighter shudders as the TIE scrapes an external cargo pod and then somersaults into a collision with another fighter. Three more TIEs sweep in upon the recently arrived freighter, though they quickly meet with defeat.

Red Two – “Good shot Red Five!”
_Red Five – “Thanks, Biggs … Hey Raymus, you guys made it! I knew you couldn’t stay away!”

Estimating the velocity and trajectory of the super weapon, the crew agrees there is insufficient time to make it to the planet and help any escape plan. The line must be drawn here! For glory or death!

Then 5 minutes…

Then in firing position …

Raymus – “You’re all clear, kid. Now blow this thing, and we can all go home!”

Obiwan – “Luke, the Force is with you.”

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Fame, Fortune, Adventure - Part II
What to do in deep space when you're on the run

After a sit-down with the crew it appears we’re going to contact our benefactor and find out where he wants this “cargo” delivered. I still don’t trust him and with the Black Sun markings on those surveillance ships I’m not too keen on going against Teemo, so I think we need to make sure he gets a taste of the action here.

We’re going to have to do repairs to get either vessel moving, but I’m going to have Gavin focus on repairs to the frigate we captured. While he works on that I’ll work with others to transfer the cargo from the freight cars to the frigate. We’ll use what we can scavenge off the cargo freighter and the freight cars to patch up the frigate so we can get her able to travel to a port.

Once we deliver these goods we’ll pay a visit to Teemo to give him his cut and then head back out for more work. I think the Gand and the Wookie want to go back to Yavin where the old man and the Princess are. I’m not totally against that idea as I’m sure she digs me… but then again, all women do. I think it’s the hat.

First things first, we need to get these ships moving. I’m also hoping that Gavin can get some information on the armor plating that Wen Digo got a piece of. A shame we couldn’t have gotten more information before they left.

We need to be careful with our benefactor… I’ve got a bad feeling about this.

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Session 005
Space freighter train job

Previously …

“Captain Ramus Ardellian,” the eccentric noble greets upon his approach, “I have heard many great things about your services. There is some cargo I request to hire you and your crew to acquire for a client.”

The two speak in hushed tones about the job and payment, ultimately reaching an agreement on the fee for services rendered. The noble then presents Raymus with an encoded communication device. Afterwards, Ardellian convenes with several of the crew to discuss their next job.

Along the Perlemian Trade Route will be a low-profile frieghter train with some precious cargo. Collect the cargo and make contact for delivery. A simple and straightforward task.

Raymus – “It took some doing, but I convinced him to pay each of you 2k, while I get 5k since I’m supplying the ship and still have to pay off Teemo. On top of that, we’ll get 5k towards the ship fund for repairs and maintenance.”

After aiding the escape of several prominent Organa nobles and Jedi Bendu from Alderaan …

The Space Freight Train Job

Approaching the coordinates, forward sensors detect a slow-moving vessel, notably larger in size than the Solace and better armed. The Interceptor-class frigate seems to pay the ship no mind as it passes. At first, they let it go on its way, but then …

Raymus – “Target the engines and then the bridge … space em! They may have already hit the freighter train.”

In a surprise move, the Solace attacks the frigate and takes control, sending a small team through the breach in the bridge. The team shuts off life support and then opens the vents and ports to space. The apparent pirate vessel has not already hit the train, though intel sliced from the bridge indicate an intention to complete the same job as they. With the longer ranged sensors aboard the frigate, Long Arm read the IFF transponder, the new owners detect the approaching real target.

Using the damaged frigate as a decoy, with the Solace hiding within the shadow of the Long Arm and directing the new bridge crew to play limping, once the bait is taken and the freighter is in range, the rear laser cannon opens fire upon the freighter train’s bridge. Once completed, Ardellian swings the YT around to lightly tap some blaster fire to puncture the last cargo pod just before the engine pod, intending to expose the guards within to the vacuum of space. Unfortunately, the bolts tear through the pod, destroying some of the cargo within. A quick flyby reveals four now-leaking cryo-containment capsules and three dead lightly armed security guards.

Just then, Wen Digo and the Gand notice an unusual absence of starlight alongside the freighter train. Watching the area, the darkness seems to … follow … the inertial movement of the caravan. The Wookiee is unable to lock onto any target and instead fires manually at the abyss with the forward ion cannons. Electrifying energy impacts a solid object, then spreading across an oblique surface. The strange pair of ships continue to defy normal sensors.

Demetrius squints, recognizes a slight symbol revealed by the angle of the light … The BLACK SUN

Raymus attempts to record scans of the strange ships, while sending a party to clear out the freighter train. The engine pod detaches from the train to escape. Using the frigate’s tractor beam, Demetrius attempts to prevent the hasty exit. Instead the engines hum, overload, and explode, incinerating the entire pod in an instant!

Inside the four Class J cargo containers are each four cryo-tubes, each containing 1 numerically identified clone. With the one cargo pod in tatters and contents compromised, four of the clones lose whatever so-called life once existed.

Wen Digo and the Gand take a spacewalk to one of the strange vessels to investigate. Upon landing, the surface reacts reversing the magnetic polarity, ejecting the duo with their own mag boots. Through resourcefulness, the Wookiee manages to return to the surface and grasp one of the armor scales from the ship and then uses the ejecting reaction to escape from it with the scale still in his grip.

The two vessels depart soon thereafter, leaving the party to wonder why they were really there …

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Fame, Fortune, Adventure
I'll take what I can get.

Dancin’ ain’t for me, but a gathering is always a good way to get information on people and find potential opportunities. We got the Princess and her entourage of the old man and the kid to Alderaan and we were all invited to at the end of the week.

Part way through the festivities a fancy dresser came up and offered an opportunity to me. I was able to negotiate what seemed a good deal at the time for the ship and crew, but now I’m wondering if it was indeed a setup job.

Not long after that a Star Destroyer came into orbit around Alderaan and began shooting an Ion Canon into the shield array so they could enter the planetary atmosphere with an Imperial shuttle. The good news is that it wasn’t just a bunch of rag tag Stormtroopers out for a night of frolicking and fornication… no, it was a very special guest, the Emperor’s enforcer himself, Darth Vader.

Knowing my part in this play was coming to a close I sent Demetrius to the Solace to get her warmed up, then passed word around to round up our passengers and get them to the ship so we could help them get to safety. Thinking back, I don’t know why I even bothered, but for some reason it seemed to be the right thing to do at the time. Demetrius, Gavin, Senton and I hastily picked up the beepy droid with the plans for the Emperor’s new space station and rendezvoused with the Princess, Obi Wan, Luke, the Gand and Wen Digo, who seems to have gotten the worst from Darth Vader. We destroyed the ground shuttle and rescued Lea’s family whilst Wen Digo and the Gand rescued the others. It is there that they faced off against Vader. Ballsy. I’ll give them that.

We got everyone on board and I high tailed it out of there and punched into Hyper-space and made our way to Yavin to drop our passengers off for safety. We checked in for a little R&R plus some repairs to the ship – nothing new there. A few days later we decided to get back in the black and track down the convoy we were hired to divert. Jumping into hyperspace in front of them with a plan to play opossum we ran into a frigate ahead of the convoy. They appeared to be a scout ship for the convoy but Demetrius noticed something off about them. As we looked closer it seemed to be that they very much resembled the pirates we defeated.

Using surprise we pounced on their ship disabling the engines and then blasting the bridge before they could react. Wen Digo and the Gand doctor hitched a ride on the F-Ler to their cockpit and spaced the remaining crew. Cruel and brutal, but that’s the pirate way. It’s a good thing neither of them believe in that Force crap.

Once we “liberated” the frigate we used it as a crybaby, attaching ourselves to the underbelly of her and laid in wait for the convoy. Once it arrived we moved to attack and disabled the engines on the train, but Demetrius once again noticed something off… two anomalies on either side of the train.

We had Wen and the Gand doctor fire the ion cannons from the captured frigate to expose two very odd ships riding parallel with the train. They had an unusual armor on them that was prohibiting blasters from penetrating. In fact, at one point Wen and the doctor who were space walking to the ship got projected off the ship and began floating in space. I was able to catch them with the F-Ler before they got too far out. Blasting one of the containers on the train Wen and the doctor were able to go in and subdue the guards on board. Something about a Wookie waving what used to be a co-worker’s limb a few seconds earlier around like a club sure takes the fight out of them.

Now that we’ve secured the train I think it’s ‘bout time we had a bit more discussion among the crew to decide what we’re going to do next.

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Session 004
A royal welcome ...

Princess Leia utilizes the comms to acquire access through her home planet’s defense shield. During the wait, the Solace syncs slowly with the local HoloNet system, glitching again. Ardellian swears to have that properly diagnosed and mutters to his co-pilot about not recommending that Corellian shadowport for electrical work.

Her father, Bail Organa welcomes their arrival with a small and trusted entourage. With the delivery of R2-D2, which houses the plans to the Imperial battle station, techs escort the droids to where another operative, Biggs Darklighter, awaits with a code cylinder.

Bail Organa tasks one of his finance advisors to dispense payment from the Organa coffers for the charter (in the amount equivalent to 17,000, distributed in variable currencies).

The crew of the Solace is presented with the opportunity to choose between formally joining the Rebel Alliance or following a freelance association. The Gand eagerly expresses desire to join, with Wen Digo strongly in favor. The crew as a whole, however, decides to remain freelance.

The arrival of Jedi Master and General Obiwan Kenobi presents more than just a morale boost as the two friends are reunited for the first time in over a decade. In secret, Alderaan has continued a Praxeum but without a formal Master. Bail beseeches Obiwan to join the cause and formally train the awaiting potentials. Zaahban, Luke Skywalker, and Wen Digo urge him to take on the mantle once more. The Jedi Master is uncertain, recalling the fall of his former pupil, Darth Vader. He requires some time to consider the request, first communing with Will of the Force. In the meantime, he and several others partake in a tour of the Praxeum.

The following day …

The Organa Noble House hosts a grand gala to celebrate the beginning of a new age. Officially the social gathering marks a new chapter in investments for the noble house, and unofficially welcoming the Princess for her successful mission to Tatooine, returning with General and Jedi Master Obiwan Kenobi.

During the festivities, Raymus Ardellian meets a noble introducing himself as Fa Ron Rysh. The gala coordinator presents an opportunity to the freighter captain, and they negotiate a fee for services rendered. Afterwards, Raymus informs his crew of their next job.

The Imperial Star Destroyer Devastator arrives at Alderaan during the celebration. Darth Vader, with a small retinue including Lt. Hadrik, shuttles down to the planet and demands an audience with the Organa household. Imposing upon the household, Vader reports the crash of the Tantive IV on Tatooine and preceding activity of the vessel. Furthermore, he delivers the decree made by the Emperor dissolving the Imperial Senate. Then he declares the arrest the Organa household.

Vader – I traced the transmission of the plans to the Princess. You are all part of the Rebel Alliance and traitors! Take them away!

Meanwhile, Obiwan and the princess slip out of sight to make plans for escape. The crew of the Solace assist and splits up to aid extraction of the Princess and the Jedi.

Vader – I sense something, a presence I’ve not felt since …

The Dark Lord departs, leaving Lt Hadrik to round up the Organa family and take them to his ship.

Extraction of the secret Jedi Praxeum is under way when Darth Vader arrives with his 501st Sabertroopers, a remnant of the Jedi who joined the Sith to purge the Jedi Bendu when the Galactic Empire rose to power. Wen Digo persuades Obiwan from needlessly sacrificing himself to ensure the others escape; however, in the process, Vader throws his crimson saber and severs one of the Wookiee’s arms. Luke grabs the controls of the shuttle and engages the engines!

Outside, the Solace disables Vader’s parked shuttle, and the crew extracts the arrested Organa Nobles on board. Then escorting the Bendu shuttle, the two ships angle a route away from the Star Destroyer in orbit, narrowly evading a second arriving Star Destroyer. They set course … for Yavin!

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Distractions
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Hunt

Repairs, repairs, repairs. The Solace seems to have a hull integrity issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible, or at least before trying anything more than suborbital flight. Oh, how ironic. I’m stuck on this rock trying to keep the attention level low and in order to get the parts and credits to fix the ship I have to go out on exploits that could expose me. I can’t risk him finding out I’m here.

We just completed a raid on a pirate ship where as the prey we ended up being the bait. After nearly being spaced the ship we had borrowed was crippled and we had to board the attacking ship. Killing some of their crew and capturing a droid we took control, retrieved some valuable intel and gathered a few “resources” for ourselves.

This little rag-tag group is starting to show signs of working together like a finely tuned squad of Stormtroopers… but just showing signs. They still have a long way to go before becoming mindless drones following orders blindly.

I’ve got to remain careful, not revealing myself before I find him. Perhaps I should get off this rock before too much longer just to be safe. I will come back and find him at a later time.

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Session 003
Bait and hook ...

The Solace receives a relayed message from Rutak, who states he has been delayed and will rendezvous with them later. He’ll handle the negotiations here on Corellia. He will bring them their next assignment.

With this blessing in disguise, the crew agrees to have the repairs completed on the Solace to waylay any further structural vulnerabilities. Despite the plethora of construction slips and shipyards, a more discreet location is sought, and in due course a shadowport is located. Ardellian relays the repair needs to the technicians and discuss base cost with the Duros foreman.

We can have ‘er shipshape by day’s end for a mere 1,000. We’ll accept a trade of services.

While the Captain discusses the finer details, the rest of the crew inquires about other lucrative credit ventures.

In total they compile the following list of opportunities:

  • Corellian Shuffle – supply drop challenge not for the weary
  • Pillaging Pirates – harassing the local traffic and supply lines
  • Sabacc Tournament – it’s all in the cards
  • Selonian Shift – derailing a devious local crime syndicate
  • Taming the Dragon – a swoop race of epic proportions

The group weighs the options and agree to present themselves as an appetizing target to some local pirates. The party is granted use of a stripped-down freighter, essentially mobile cargo pod, to aid the deception. The Galactic Senator and her entourage agree to remain at the shadowport and oversee the repairs.

While the faux cargo ship is prepared, the group analyzes the regional data to determine the best location to encounter the pirates. The coordinates decided upon yield an object detected near one of the introductory zones of the Corellian Trade Spine hyperspace lane, with further sensor readings assessing the object to be a rogue asteroid. Such an object would force a ship out of hyperspace. Once all is set, the Demetrius and Gavin astrogate and set a course to be forced out of hyperspace, without impacting the asteroid.

As arranged, the freighter drops out of hyperspace near the asteroid, with Ardellian making an exaggerated evasive maneuver to avoid the obstacle. Moments later an ion blast hits the ship, and an unidentified vessel looms large. The freighter receives an incoming message, ordering the crew to stand down and prepare to be boarded. The ship shakes as the ships touch, and a docking corridor is attached to the cargo personnel hatch.

Wen Digo takes up position by the cargo door. Senton and the Gand pair up at the foremost palette of crates, while Ardellian and Demetrius hunker down behind the rear stack of crates. Gavin nestles into a spot at the rear of the cargo bay, his rifle at the ready.

The pirates burn through the blast door and receive quite the surprise from a crew prepared to fight instead of surrender. In response, the pirate ship fires upon the freighter bridge, incurring a vacuum within the ship. The pirates are prepared with space masks and magboots, holding firm in their position, while the freighter crew are beset by disadvantage.

Despite the odds, the ragtag band kills most of the pirates, before the captain and bridge crew retreats back to their own vessel. Sealing the loading door behind them and activating their loader droid for defensive protocols, the pirates separate the ships, hoping to escape without further losses. The faux supply ship launches a grappler at the pirate ship for a precarious tow.

The Gand withdraws his inherited lightsaber, and drives the orange blade into the pirates blast door, intending to cut a hole and allow easy access for his companions. Despite his persistence, his efforts are for naught, for the cargo door remains too thick to breach. Several others gear up in magboots and space masks that fit, while Wen Digo makes do with just a rebreather and grabbing a pair of boots in his paws, strong-arming his own space walk. Gavin hacks the exterior access panel, and they gain entry to the depressurization port.

The cargo loader looms large in its defensive protocol on the other side, and gas soon fills the chamber. Gavin quickly re-opens the external port to suck out the gas, and closes the door again once cleared. Several well-placed ion blasts incapacitate the droid, and the technician promises to reprogram it later to belong to their own crew.

They quickly weave their way to the bridge, drop the co-pilot and gunner, and give the captain two options: live and tell all he knows … or die. The pirate mentally crumples and reveals that he’s working for someone else, someone with more power and influence than they could imagine. He then begs for them to spare his life. After a shared devious expression with each other, they blast the captain on stun settings. They lock the pirate in a crate and secure the tow on the faux supply ship. With both ships under their command, the group returns to the shadowport.

Ardellian mediates the delivery of the pirate captain and pirate ship, and in return, his crew is allowed to keep whatever supply and loose equipment can fit on the Solace within the interior cargo holds. While the repairs are completed, Raymus and his crew select cargo, medical supplies, some weapons, the loader droid, and equipment enough to build a decent technician’s work station. Then the crew goes to balance-check the credsticks that they removed from the pirates.

After all is said and done, and the supplies are loaded, the techs at the shadowport openly invite the crew to return and help out further in the future. The crew of the Solace and its passengers set in and depart for their next destination. They set right to work assembling the work table to busy themselves for the several hour flight to …

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