Edge of the Empire - Forged by Fate

SEASON 2 Episode 2 (Part 1)
Trouble Brewing – Part 1: Flexible Business Models

DESTINY POOL: Light 2 / Dark 4


SCENE: Interior of YT-1300 freighter – Krayt Fang

A curved hallway, adorned with a variety of dingy leather-covered pads and various access terminals. The camera proceeds towards the cockpit at eye-level. The hypnotic pulse of hyperspace starlines can be seen through the canopy.

A carbon-scored astromech droid busies itself with preparations for a drop back into realspace, its data-link spinning back and forth in the ships access port. A Devaronian reaches up above his head,
flips a few switches and presses a button.

CUT TO: Deep space.

The camera pans to the left, a gray-brown arid planet comes into view. Planet Formos.




After four days in hyperspace Jel no longer need to use his nick-names for the freighter’s crew. They seemed to be brought together by whatever they were running from more than what they were running towards. Dropping out of their jump into orbit around the remote waystation on Formos, Jel suddenly remembered that he had changed the coordinates on their jump. Thankfully, no one seemed to notice.

After taking care of their docking fees with skimmed credits from the docking bay next door, Jel offered to help DA-11K with repairs. They agreed to use Jel’s escape pod as scrap to reinforce the freighter while scavenging some choice electronics for Jel’s new project. He couldn’t wait to put together a new slicer deck. Reaching a stopping point for the day, the pair headed towards the local cantina to rejoin the rest of the crew.

will continue if not picked up by a party member
Bad Day For Blue Flight

Vir adjusted his oxygen mask with both hands. Just a little too snug, he’d need to get it refitted after the mission. Better now. Leaning back, he nestled into the seat of his Tie fighter’s cockpit and tightened his restraints. With the flip of a few switches, systems began to come online. Ion engines hummed, and his targeting computer flashed as it calibrated itself. Diagnostics were green and clean. The ship was ready.

A female voice sounded his ears. “Blue Flight, prepare for launch. Target is a YT model freighter. Disable or destroy to prevent it from escape. Stand by for clamp release.” Ah, Ensign Dasine was on shift. Shift change was in about an hour, so… yes, maybe he’d be able to catch her for dinner. Maybe invite her back to his quarters for a drink if that went well. For that to work out, they’d have to deal with these fugitives quickly.

Below Vir, the star destroyer’s launch bay gaped open, thousands of stars visible in the pitch black. Figures scuttled aside as the launch crew technicians took their stations. They disconnected hoses and power cables, leaving the ship attached only to the large durasteel pincer. “Docking clamps releasing. Good hunting, Blue Flight.”

Three successive thuds vibrated through his clamp as his wingmen were released. They filed neatly out of the bay as he watched, then he felt the stronger shake of his clamp disengaging. Vir’s stomach lurched as the fighter drifted free, and he quickly advanced the throttles. Pressed back into his seat, he grinned slightly as he shot through the docking bay and into the void.

Gray and black hexagonal panels were visible in his peripheral vision as he formed up on his element leader. As he neared position, Blue Three growled in his ear. “Tighten it up, Blue Four. It may just be a junked out freighter, but let’s not get sloppy.” A frown crossed Vir’s face as he eased his ship a bit closer to Blue Three. His element leader was a veteran of the battle of Yavin. He was skilled, aggressive, and completely intolerant of anything less than perfection from Vir. And therefore a bastard, more or less. There, just the right distance. Vir’s targeting computer bleeped as it acquired a contact.

The readout showed as a Correllian YT-series freighter. The computer refused to display the exact model. Probably because the thing was cobbled together from scrap and aftermarket upgrades, like most other YT freighters. Looked like a 1300, but he could tell why the computer was confused. It had an escape pod attached to its docking port – that had to be throwing off the balance of the ship. Nothing to worry about then. No chance this pile of garbage could evade four of the Empire’s finest pilots.

Blue Leader gave a warning to the fleeing ship with a wide-spectrum broadcast. “Correllian freighter, deactivate your shields, shut down your drive and prepare to be boarded. Fail to comply and we will respond with force.” No response on the radio. Instead, the answer came in the form of a brightened drive flare as the freighter began to accelerate. The solar panels of Blue Three began to creep forward in the window as it kept pace with the freighter. Vir’s ion engines began to shriek as he advanced the throttles to keep up with the formation. “Correllian freighter, you have failed to comply. Bad choice. Prepare for consequences.”

Blue Leader’s voice sounded over the intercom now. “Okay, Blue Flight. Looks like we’ll be getting a little live-fire practice today. Rookies, stick with your leaders and keep your eyes open. That thing probably has a popgun or two, so keep your attack vectors varied. You’re clear to fire at will.”

The freighter chose that time to open up with a popgun. Although maybe “popgun” wasn’t really accurate. Laser cannon bolts flashed by Vir’s solar panels, lighting his cockpit with orange flashes. Green bolts hammered their way across the freighter’s rear body in reply – some very accurate shooting from Blue Leader. “Let’s light them up, Blue Flight!” The freighter began to weave from side to side to throw off their aim, and Vir struggled to stay in position as Blue Three compensated.

There was a flash of light and puff of gas on the bottom of the freighter as it ejected a dark mass. It began to spread out and blur, expanding into a cloud of vapor as it drifted behind. There was a hissing, spattering sound as partially crystallized brown fluid began to cover Vir’s canopy glass. What the hell was that crap? Shit, he couldn’t see! But there was no way to get it off. And now he could smell something familiar percolating through the oxygen system. Something that reminded him of the farm back home. Was that… manure? No, couldn’t be. He’d have the maintenance goons to look at the system back in the hangar.

Shaking off the distraction, Vir dodged as the freighter opened fire with its dorsal turret now. Perhaps this wasn’t going to be as easy as he thought. No way to approach outside of a weapons arc – speed and agility were the solutions. Throwing his fighter in to a loose roll, Vir punched his throttles to the stops. He grunted in strain as he fought the centrifugal forces of his gyrating craft. Orange cannon bolts passed by close, even closer, but not connecting.

Almost there… and suddenly his cockpit was lit with a flash. What the hell was that? A quick glance showed green indicators. He didn’t hear anything abnormal over the screech of his engines. He hadn’t heard the thud of a laser hit. No hiss of leaking air, no crackling of a fire. He glanced to the left where his wingman should be. Blue Three was gone! Just an expanding cloud of wreckage and flames drifting where his element leader had been. Lieutenant Rand was a bastard, but he was a damned good pilot. Used to be, at least. Shit! This day was going downhill fast.

A cold rage settled over Vir. Time for some payback. Despite the freighter’s weaving flight path, it was easy to line up the targeting computer for a high-deflection shot. Nice, fat, juicy target. Mashing his triggers, Vir sent a stream of green laser bolts hammering across the side of the ship. Sparks and flame shot out of a damaged panel, and the freighter began to corkscrew wildly as it fled.

Hurtling towards the freighter, Vir pulled away at the last second to avoid smashing into it as it banked into another random spin. He could see blue trim on the white hull, and a faded and scuffed but recognizable set of fangs painted on the upper decking as he screamed past. As it disappeared behind him, Vir reefed the fighter into a tight turn and began to line up for another pass. As he did, a flash to his right indicated another wingman had gone up in a fireball. Those “popguns” were hellishly accurate for a scumbag freighter crew. Who were these people?

A stream of orange bolts traced a path towards Vir again. Jerking left, then right on the controls he evaded almost all of them. But only almost. There was a shrieking hiss and a crackle of frying circuits as his cockpit depressurized. Flames flew across his panel, and Vir scrambled wildly for an extinguisher as he lost control of the craft. Just under his seat… there. Yanking it out and squeezing the trigger, he sprayed foam onto his now useless targeting computer. Most of his panel was black, except what was flashing yellow and red. But the engines were still humming. Time to get back into it.

Scanning the starfield around him, Vir saw streams of orange and green cannon bolts flicking back and forth to his side. He pointed the fighter that way, jammed the throttles against the stops and raced to rejoin his last wingman. Bolts continued to race between the two ships. He could pick out the white and gray specks as they neared. The freighter was wallowing from side to side, and what had to be Blue Leader expertly spun in a series of tight arcs to evade its fire. Almost there.

As Vir began to enter what he though was the edge of his cannon range, one more fireball signalled the end of Blue Leader. One of the solar panels was blown cleanly away from the wrecked fighter, and it spun towards Vir’s craft. Eyes wide, Vir pulled on the controls to evade, but it was too late. The panel came into contact with one of his own, spinning him helplessly out of control. His cockpit darkenend, and the ion engines sputtered and moaned as they died.

Sickened at the utter failure of his mission and the loss of his squadron mates, Vir clawed at the exit hatch above him. Throwing it open and bracing himself to fight against the spin, he unbuckled himself from his harness. Planting his feet on his shattered control panel, Vir pushed with both legs and shot through the hatch, narrowly missing one of the flailing solar panels. He felt around his suit’s chestplate and found the activation button for his suit’s auxiliary thrust system. Several puffs of air shot out as it began to slow his tumble.

Moments later, Vir curled into a fetal position as he drifted. The freighter was dwindling in size as it sped away. He flinched as four gray and black Ties screamed by him at top speed. Looks like they had to launch Green Flight to clean up the mess that Vir and his wingmen had left. At least the rest of his squadron would be able to get the… no, they wouldn’t. A flash, and the freighter had jumped into hyperspace.

No way in hell his squadron commander would believe his combat report. It would be pathetic. He’d be the laughing stock of the entire squadron. The whole damned ship… What the hell had happened?

WIll start working on arrival at Formosa. Unlike the WFRP where I focused on Max most of the time, I’ll try and break it up more. Here are the notes for now:

Star destroyer – bright wedge – drops out of hyperspace…
Escape pod jettisons from it
Destroyer immediately jumps back into hyperspace
Signal coming from the escape pod, encoded
Jel, in the pod, attempts to slice the transponder code and change the message
Dalek attempts to decode in the freighter’s cockpit
Jel manages to alter the message before Dalek finishes decoding it
Message used to read: “captured criminal – transfer to imperial custody”
Dalek – “appears the escape pod has a meat bag on board”
Message now in the open reads: “I see you have some company that I’d also like to avoid…”
Jel and Zuul/Dalek manage to dock before the Tie fighters make it into attack range
Door opens to the escape pod…
“Hey there, I’m Jel Mud, I’m a lucky pilot and slicer… where do you need me?”
Runs up front to the pilot compartment.
Kee-lah is in the engineering compartment holding the matter reactor… no clue what to do.
Jel pops in and says “I know exactly what that is, let me help!” Grabs it, starts installing.
Installation goes quickly – five rounds before it’s calibrated and ready for hyperspace
Vekrax opens fire from the ventral laser cannon on the Tie fighters
Manages to wing one of them, knocking it back a short distance while it recovers
Dalek attempts to boost and increase a range band – gets to long range
Zuul finds the solid waste ejection switch – releases particulate matter
Two of the Ties plunge through the crystallized spray, and are coated with brown material
Kee-lah jumps up into the dorsal turret and takes a few shots but misses
Tie ace closes through the fecal spray, manages to stitch a long burst across the rear of the ship
Tie novice approaches but misses due to cloudy windscreen
Next tie novice also thrown by avoiding the cloud, unable to position for attack
Tie ace unloads at the freighter and hammers it so hard a panel flies off, takes out the other ace Tie
Jel repairs a shorting conduit in the engineering bay – patched up multiple hull points
Dalek attempts to reroute power to rear shields… and blows out a circuit.
Everyone’s ears pop as oxygen begins to vent – hull breach!
Vekrax pops one of the Ace Ties with a burst from the ventral turret
Kee-lah flails around with the dorsal turret, no hits
Zuul takes control now that Dalek’s abandoned it, throws the ship into evasive maneuvers
Both Tie novices are stunned by the destruction of their element leaders, fall back, then regroup
Jel slaps a quick-patch on the hull breach, locks down a gas leak as well
Vecrax scares a Tie into jinking with a burst from his turret
While it’s distracted, Kee-lah annihilates it with an incredibly accurate burst
Other tie dodges the debris
Zuul gains the advantage and continues to jink, reminds Dalek that someone needs to start astrogating
Jel slices the Tie’s flight computer… and crushes it.
Tie spins out of control, crackling from the control panel as a circuit pops, pilot beating at flames.
Star Destroyer at extreme range, closing to turbolaser envelope. Launches four more Tie fighters!
All four fighters close to medium range on the Fang.
Dalek starts astrogating, Jel jumps in and starts to assist.
Dalek unable to compute, but lines up data for Jel.
Jel manages a good route computation to Formos – near Hutt space, not heavily Imperial
Zuul boosts to long range… and punches hyperspace!

Takes four days to reach Formos, good astrogation from Jel (normal is 5-7)
Sparsely populated desert planet, dispersed mining operations, small garrison of stormtroopers.
Trandoshan’s cabin is fairly filthy, matted wampa skin rug, trash strewn around.
Cargo hold contains cages with manacles and shackles for slaves.
Trandoshan hunting weapons stored there as well – large slug thrower rifle, knives spears.
Heavy blaster pistol in his quarters next to the bed, trandoshan clothing, food and water for him for a week.
Single small spaceport, minimal facilities (refueling, basic repairs).
Large open duracreet landing pad with a handful of docking bays for protected storage.
Drop the ship’s ramp, trandoshan arm rolls down to the duracreet pad.
Spaceport has several species walking around, no waterdwellers, but plenty of water sellers.
Local spaceport official walks up to the ship – “welcome to Formos, here’s our standard docking fees (35/day)”

Dalek aggressively barter, manages to piss of the official… “Yeah… like I said, 35 a day.”
Zuul – “Not much business around here, and looks like you’re trying to scare it away. 20 is better.”
“Yep. 35 a day.”
While they’re haggling, Jel wanders over to a payment kiosk, slices an extra payment and applies it to today.
As Dalek charges his blaster pistol, he says “Ok, looks like you’re good. Any services you need?”
Vekrax asks about food – says there’s a cantina down the road a ways, jerks thumb over his shoulder.
Dalek stays behind to attempt repairs on the ship, strips down escape pod for spare parts.
Pass a few warehouses, moisture evaporators, open shops.
Elderly human woman on a busier thorofare carrying a water jug on back, tray with bottles of water.
Mama Noba, Cheapest Water on Formos! Couple of credits for a jar of water.
Vekrax asks where she gets it – has a really efficient moisture evaporator.
Vekrax tries to charm her into revealing the location, she gives him a free jar of water… but not location.
Water jar is really refreshing, the heat is really parching.
Young street urchin passes by Vekrax, Kee-lah and Zuul notice him brush Vekrax’s robe as he passes.
Kee-lah; check your goods, Vekrax. His training lightsaber is missing!
Vekrax turns, and barges into Kee-lah
Kid rushes into the crowd… Vekrax/Kee-lah/Zuul pursue
Manages to gain a little distance while dodging through crowded street, pulls to long range (Zuul), extreme others
Zuul gains to within a few feet… and sends a stun bolt right into the small of his back
Kid tumbles, skids a few feet, and the blaster drops from his hand.
Dalek and Jel hear a few shouts, see the crowd part, a stun blast, and a kid tumbles and slides to Dalek’s feet.
Jel… “Hey, Bill, you still working for Mama Noba? Where’s your mother at?”
Dalek starts rifling through the kid’s pockets. Zuul/Jel drag him down the street back to his mom.
Jel’s come into contact with them before, is familiar with their racket.
Vekrax wonders aloud if there’s a slave market in town… and nobody is impressed. Way overkill!
Vekrax proceeds to extort her, demands her on-hand stock of water to pass on turning her kid in to impies.
Coerces her to give him a small cut of her profits… and no more theft.

Dark, narrow alley way. Loud rattle, buzzing noise. Stops. Low, monotonous voice.
“Hello, help, I need your help” Coming from a trash compactor in the alley.
Dalek heads over, gang investigates the large trash compactor.
Upper half of a protocol droid, one hand missing.
Dalek – “What happened to you”
Glad you found me… please help… took my friend… please save R4-W9.
Astromech droid, has been kidnapped. "Were on our way to cantina, set upon by band of thugs.:
“Tore me apart and dragged him away. Too late for me, save my friend”
Jel…. maybe take him apart and add to my slicer rig?
Dalek “Have you no respect for his suffering…”
Droid continues to speak for another minute about the attack as his lights fade.

Old master had manumitted both droids (J9-B8 and R4-W9) toured the outer rim.
R4 was able to perform excellent navigation analyses of the Kessel Run, probably why the droidnapping.
Jel attempts to download visual records of the event before the droid’s power fades entirely.
Complete success, manages to download full memory scan to his slicer kit…. even part of personality.
Few thugs – couple of humans, a weequay, a few more shadowy figures.
Beat the crap out of J9, left for dead, restrained R4 and ran off with him.
R4 was prized amongst the smugglers. Attack was about 20 hours ago or more.
Name comes up – Bandin Doba, muscling in on smuggling operations along the Kessel Run. Local mob boss.
Extortion, protection rackets, smuggling, etc. Operate out of a local warehouse.

Rejinx cantina – only one at the spaceport – well known. Fairly busy.
Change in the atmosphere – moisture vapor, good air conditioning.
Bar is well appointed, and briskly busy without being completely crowded. Droid detector is turned off.
Flickerhing holoscreen – adult malel aqualish with an Imperial bounty on his head.
Office of Mora Duul offering 10,000 credits bounty – contraband/black marketeering/extortion/etc.
Two levels to cantina – bar on ground floor, balcony on second floor with private booths.
Raised stage on one side of the room with one musician. Kuh horn player, scoobulonian.
Devaronians, duros, droids, humans around the place.
Pair of courting twi’leks in one corner. Toydarian near the bar talking with red-hooded cloaked figure.

Vekrax talks to bartender – how’s business? Pretty good, seeing as we’re the only show in town…
Patrons don’t really come in here for water… mostly business. Five credits for water though.
What about that aqualish?
We get a few of his thugs in here every once in a while.
Zuul brings up the aqualish to a pair of devaronians
Kinda looks around… you people ought to know your way around before assuming
Grab a drink, and relax, don’t worry so much.
Not involved, but know more than they’re letting on. Look a little nervous until start to move away.
Find another place in the cantina, then they make their way over. Join Zuul in a dark booth near the back.

Dalek goes to talk to bartender. Vekrax heads back to check on the water status with Mama Nuba whoever.

Zuul talks with devaronians. One sits and other stands to keep watch.
Snoo is an information broker. Happy to sell information. Can do a favor and help with credits.
Zuul will trade some info on the gang’s doings – Snoo will settle for 20.
Info: Formos is a great place to do business – contraband and bounty hunting.
Smugglers have to earn some respect and trust first before getting contracts.
Zuul lets some info go about the droid getting abducted, new info. Sounds like Bandin Doba’s style.
Bounty for Doba isn’t the only one Batba Basaadi Bajori offer 5,000 (Hutt), other bounty hunters interested.
Hut wishes to make an example, so only offers full reward if delivered alive.
Doba is head of an organized smuggling ring, loose franchise basis, mutually supporting cells.
Heads the cell at the top and collects from lower cells, and supports them with jobs and info.
4-10 smugglers per cell. Few serious attempts so far. Rodian bounty hunter appeared…
But disappeared shortly after.
“Thanks for your time… we’ll be off. Jel, ready to head out?”

Right after we walk in, a new group enters – elegant Rodian girl, heads directly to the bar, orders meal/drink.
Notice some heads turning, some ogling going on. Loose blouse, green satin, polished brass. Seems unarmed.
Just after she enters, three smugglers enter. Two human males and a weequay male.
Swaggering arrogance… hush falls over the cantina. Few bum notes from the kuh-horn player.
The three approach the bar and order some stiff drinks. One of the younger humans with oddly shaved head.
Almost instantly taken with Zucata (female rodian). He slides over to her, leering… making her uncomfortable.
Vekrax walks up and attempts to charm her, draw her attention away from super cocky aggressive jerk human.
She’s a little startled by his approach – he says “if he’s bothering you, let me know.”
She gives a little frown… yes a little bothered, appreciates the interference.
Vekrax – “join me in a booth?” As soon as he tries to put an arm around her….
“Hey, back off, we was just getting to know each other. If you know what’s good for you…”
Vekrax: “You can never step into the same river once…”
Thug is puzzled, throws back an insult, ready to trade insults.
Thug tries to escalate situation, shoves Vekrax. Rodian backs away, goes to booth with Zuul/Jel.
Thugs companions look on amused. All are armed with blasters…
Vekrax calmly asks him where his boss is… he pushes Vekrax again… “Your actions are sands in the wind”
Thugs get pissed that he’s so calm… tell the angry dude to quit making a show over nothing, embarrassed.
Jel proceeds to hack their comlinks while Vekrax has them completely distracted.
Also managed to skim 50 credits from their accounts and puts it on fake identity.
Zucata steps out of the booth.
“Thanks for dealing with them. If there’s a way to help, let me know. Don’t have many credits…”
She’s verifying an updated atlas of the galaxy, takes her to all sorts of backwater worlds.
Supposed to help rodian bounty hunters get around and track bounties.
Bored and frustrated with the predicament, doesn’t like to talk about work.
Knows a little bit about the rodian who disappeared from the city.
Godan Nataka, somewhat reckless, clanspeople on rodia concerned that he’s missing.
Thinks he might have gone after Bandin Doba – may have engaged in “padding” (waiting for price to increase)
Padding is generally looked upon poorly, not acceptable. Other situation is he may be dead.
Seems to know more about him than just coming from the same planet… because it’s her brother!
Looks pleadingly at the gang – got enough money to get by, but could use help to find him…
She’s heard of the missing droid. Hoping to track him down.
Would like to offer the droid or its owner 2000 credits from her organization for its info.
The toydarian at the bar has slowly hovered closer to the conversation, eavesdropping for a while.

Vekrax force pushes the toydarian… and brings him along with Vekrax to a booth.
Toydariand gets a goofy confused grin and decides to exit the cantina.
Jel tries to track him quietly. Follows him down a side street…
And knock over a garbage can! Toydarian notices Jel and Kee-lah following.
But not Zuul. Zuul is a sneaky bastard, and nobody can see him. Vekrax too.
Toy turns again and goes down a side alley. Vek and Zuul come around the corner… and he’s waiting.
Says he knows we’re trying to rob him, going to call the authorities.
Jel and Kee-lah loop around and cut off his exit from the alleyway.
Zuul confronts him and he denies that he’s collecting info… floats up into doorway, enters, closes.
Looks like he’s called it a day, staying in his residence.

Jel goes back to Mama Gooba and tells Bill he needs to keep an eye on the toydarian’s house, earn his keep.
Tells him to let the rodian know if the toydarian moves from his house.
Vekrax checks on Mama to make sure she’s brewing up some high-octane hooch.
Half hour later at the ship, rodian comms the gang to let us know the toydarian has left, away from square.
Gang hurries back to the alley way. Bill is standing in the entrance, keeping an eye on the toydarian.
Bill stands watch while the toydarian is gone, Jel tries to break in but can’t
Toydarian enters a warehouse a few blocks down – Bill can see from roof of apartment block
Gang follows, attempts to get close to the building without making nose, but feel to exposed to get close
Just close enough a human thug (from the bar)
“I wanna pay them back for Spear anyhow. Any way to pay back the man?”
“Couldn’t be sure, but seems they’re mixed in with things. They’re new, said something about missing droid.”
“Getting pretty cosy with the rodian girl, if you know what I mean.
“Here… token of appreciateion”
Toydarian… “What was that?” Lemme check. “Spear, check it out!”
Door opens, and Spear’s head pokes out (shaved patterns in hair). And sees Zuul standing right in front of him.
Zuul reaches in, grabs Spear by the shirt, and yanks him out of the building… door slams closed.
Drags the surprised Spear several feet away from the doorway into the rest of the party.
Kee-lah uses mind powers on him to calm him down.
“Hey guys… really cool to see you again. Sorry I was so angry earlier. Hope you’re doing well…”
“Well, see you guys later. Have a nice day.” And he walks back into the warehouse.
“What the hell was that?” “Nothing. Just some cool friends. Let’s go get some beer and chill.”

“You gotten anything out of that droid yet?” “No, working on it, boss.”
Vekrax pounds on door. Spear opens… “Hey guys! You’re not supposed to be here, I think.”
Vekrax pushes past Spear and enters the warehouse.
Two men at a table bullshitting. One sitting on a box cleaning a blaster rifle in the back.
Weequay reclinding and drinking. One dude working on an astromech droid, panels popped and circuits exposed.
Weequay (Daro) jumps up, strides toward Verax “Hey, what the hell you doing in here!” – Intimidating Vekrax (no)
Vekrax not impressed, hangs tight. Coerces Daro – “You need to give us that droid right now. Or consequences.”
Daro pauses, flummoxed.
Zuul pushes past Spear as well.
“You guys are screwing up by the numbers. You got a lot of pissed off Hutts looking for you right now.
You need to hand over the droid, or heads or going to roll and bounties are going to be collected.”
Dudes at table lay down cards. One puts hand on holster, confused. Weequay is nonplussed.
Kee-lah uses mind powers, blasts a wave of confusion and fear, hits the whole group. See worry on faces.
Daro appears very stressed. Says “Yeah… we don’t need this kind of heat. Spear, let them have the droid.”
R4-W9 is dented, covered in oil and carbon stains. Multiple panel popped, wired to a computer.
Screen reads “Configuration complete – coordinates compatible.”

Jel moves to the droid, accesses the computer and copies the map, wipes their copy.
Dude in the back with the rifle has it reassembled, walks toward the front.
“Boss, you sure you want to do this? We’ve been after it for a while.”
Vekrax attempts to pull the rifle out of the guy’s hand.
Guy is mildly freaked – looks at his boss, other gang members, very on edge.
Zuul smooths tension – “I know it’s hard to stay on the good side of the Hutts, so believe me, this is
the thing that’s going to keep you from getting crushed. I’ve been there. This is a favor to all of us.”
Everyone seems to be relatively resigned.
Jel pops off the restraining bolt from the R4 droid, who seems releived. Keeps restraining bolt.
Beeps in machine language, wants to know what happened to J8.
Jel – He didn’t make it, but we backed him up, so we can rebuild him.
Droid is overjoyed, beeps excitedly and pops up on its wheels, follows Jel towards entrance.
Zuul, just before leaving: “You did take care of the rodian, right? No loose ends?”
“Rodian? The one that was here last week? No idea. What the hell… what’s the deal with him?”
“Not your problem, as long as you stay holed up here for a while.”
“Now we have a damn rodian to worry about? We need to call Doba.”

Until next week…

SEASON 1 Episode 1 (Part 3)
Escape From Mos Shuuta – Part 3: A Traveler Finds a Crew

DESTINY POOL: Light 2 / Dark 4


SCENE: Starfield

The deepness of space. The camera pans down to a rusty brown planet lit from two sides by the system’s suns. This is the planet Tatooine, an isolated desert planet in the Outer Rim. From a pinpoint, a YT-1300 Freighter grows larger in center frame as it climbs from the planet’s surface…its glowing blue-white thrusters form a halo around its tiny silhouette. Accelerating, It fills the frame as it breaks atmosphere and enters orbit. The camera quickly pans to follow the ship as it screams by.

The camera zooms out until the freighter is barely visible. A lens flare arcs across the scene as the larger of the two suns slides into the edge of the frame. Suddenly a Victory class Imperial Star Destroyer drops out of hyperspace, and begins a ponderous turn, unleashing a squadron of four TIE Fighters from its belly.

CUT TO: Black




As Jel came to, he probed his forehead for damage. Feeling only a dull throbbing pain and then realizing with a start! No manacles! His red eyes shot open as he gathered his wits. He was on the escape pod hurtling towards a planet. This planet had two suns. It must be Tatooine. Teemo the Hutt has been after him to do some “technical consulting” for a while now. As the pod rotated skyward a new threat loomed.

An Imperial Star Destroyer shining white in the light of two suns. Four TIE fighters were headed his way.
Turning his attention to the console he saw there was a single other ship close enough to hail. Pulling up the communications displays showed an encrypted homing beacon set to override all other functions. Cute, but no match for a professional slicer. Jel’s slender fingers flew across the holopad and had full control of the pod in no time. Oh and look at that, Lucy left her bug-out bag behind according to the pod’s manifest. Good ‘ol Lucy.

Hailing the nearby vessel established a link immediately. They must have been trying to raise him as well! “Hello! Jel Mud’s pilot to door service!” he cracked.

“SHszzz zz JUST ShoOT IT?”

“NO! Don’t shoot! I’m good with ships and those TIE fighters are coming right OUR way! You aren’t moving but I can help us get out of here!”

Without reply the old freighter maneuvered to dock. Whatever ham-fisted layman was at the sticks nearly fracked the first shot, but Jel’s practiced hands corrected trajectories and the docking clamps snapped tight. As the airlocks hissed open the freighter’s pilot crackled across the still open channel.



Nobody was at the airlock to greet Jel so he headed straight to the cockpit. He met a Zabrak on the way.
“Where do you need me?” Jel asked.
“The wisest star inquires not about the droid.” his new companion replied sagely.

“Oooooook, the bridge it is.”

Entering the cockpit, Jel could see a Devaronian at the co-pilots controls and a glossy-black Astromech droid was jacked into the control ports. Jel knelt to the droid.

“I am a lucky pilot and good with computers, where do you need me?”


A glance out of the cockpit showed the TIE fighters closing fast. No time to lose. Engineering was to the rear. No sign of the Zabrak on the return trip.

A Mirialan was the only crew in engineering. She was holding the HMI gingerly. Just holding it. Not installing it. “Look, here, put it here” he gestured. No reaction. Taking it from her slowly he brought the HMI online and closed the casings. As it spooled up all hell broke loose.

Lights dimmed and the ship lurched forward, turbolaser turrets began firing, and the old freighter began taking Imperial fire all at once. The first salvo raked the rear of the freighter. Jel leapt to damage control. From the shouts and exclamations of the crew it sounded like they were getting the better part of the exchange. They were not.

As the second Imperial salvo impacted Jel could feel it through the bulkhead. Suddenly craving a spacesuit to preserve his oxygen intake, Jel turned to the door. A massive secondary explosion erupted, opening a hull breach in the hallway in front of him. Blast doors slammed shut and emergency life support klaxons flashed, sealing the engineering compartment. Turning back on the room in a panic a single terminal drew his eye. Overriding the damage control system Jel took manual control.

Close the port side solar panels to seal off the secondary breach. The hull breach sealed! Reroute life control to re-pressurize the main cabins. Why are the refresher evacuation controls full screen? Get them out of here! Enable dorsal atmosphere collectors to… another impact rocks engineering from… directly above? Never mind, whatever that blast was took the collectors with it.

Slaving his datapad to the co-pilots controls Jel brought up a sensor display of the three TIE fighters as they close in again and notices hailing frequency icons on all three! Worming into their communication systems was surprisingly easy. Once he was inside it was child’s play to disrupt their targeting and flight controls. As their transponders winked out any joy was short lived. More signals popped on screen from the Star Destroyers launch bays.

A navigation program was launched by the freighter’s pilot and began plotting hyperspace coordinates for somewhere in Imperial space. As soon as the window was closed on the pilot’s interface Jel dove in and nudged the coordinates a bit. A little bit out, a little bit down, and a tiny bit towards the most remote spaceport he had even been too.

Pulling up a view screen of the aft of the freighter he watched the next flight of TIE fighters approach and prayed to the stars that the HMI would spool up in time.

The TIE fighters froze on the view screen, then quickly faded aft. They were replaced by rays of starlight all around. Jel could see the momentum this time just as well as he could feel it.

SEASON 1 Episode 1 (Interlude - Jel Mud)
Escape From Mos Shuuta – Interlude: Enter Stage Left


SCENE: Black

No visual. Camera view is obscured by a thick, black cloth. Sounds of cloth brushing against a smooth, artificial surface. Breathing. The low hum of a class 2 hyperdrive and life-support systems. Everything sounds close. Confined.




As the ship dropped out of hyperspace he could feel the light of the stars fade. After all of these generations his people, the Duros, could still feel the pull towards… towards…


Of course he could not see the light fade back into pinpoints on the horizon, the rough black sack over his head prevented that. Just as the gene-coded manacles he wore prevented most everything else. He sat alone in his cell. A locked compartment to be more specific, and if he guessed correctly, on the port side of the ship. And this was what kept him in such high hopes.

Above all other things, Jel was a Traveler. Above all other things, Traveler’s know their ships. And this compartment, on this ship, was on the port side. The port side was opposite the starboard side, and the starboard side housed the escape pod. The escape pod that he had sliced through the refreshers maintenance interface the last time he had been allowed to relieve himself. Allowed by the captor he had affectionately nick-named Lucy. It would be a shame to see her get ven…

The compartment door slammed open, jarring Jel out of his revenge fantasy. Lucy entered swinging her armored fist. Jel’s master plan had not prepared for immediate violence, quite the oversight on his part.

SEASON 1 Episode 1 (Part 2)
Escape From Mos Shuuta – Part 2: Procuring a Ship

DESTINY POOL: Light 3 / Dark 4


SCENE: Desert landsape

A static shot of a rocky desert vista. The small, yet bustling starport city of Mos Shuuta sits atop a steep butte surrounded by an ocean of sand in the distance. A Lambda class Imperial shuttle arcs across the suns-lit sky, descends towards an unseen landing bay, and disappears from view.

Vekrax ducked through the cantina’s doorway and into the heat of the Tattoine afternoon. Tightening his grip on his lightsaber’s handle, he squinted his eyes against the harsh light of the twin suns and scanned for trouble. None of the creatures on the street seemed to be aware of the commotion inside the cantina. A few jawas were gathered around a battle-worn, cylindrical R1 droid while they argued with each other. A pair of passing humans with blaster rifles slung over their shoulders wrinkled their noses at the stench from the animal stalls across the street.

But nothing looked out of the ordinary. Vekrax shrugged his shoulders and settled his saber in its sheath while the rest of his companions joined him on the street and took stock of themselves. His side still stung from a shallow slash dealt by a gamorrean thug’s axe, but he focused his awareness and brought his senses into balance. The pain faded deep into the background as he pushed it away. He would have to keep his mind focused more effectively in combat next time. True attentiveness to the force would allow him to avoid blows, instead of receiving or recovering from them.

Kee-Lah pushed Dalek’s scorched body into the street on its wheeled legs. The droid’s blaster still protruded from an open panel and hung loosely. She had a few problems of her own, with a set of fresh bruises discoloring the green skin on her cheek and a noticeable limp. Zuul had no visible injuries as he carefully adjusted his armored coat and situated his pistols firmly in their holsters.

Dalek blasted a series of binary bleeps as it rebooted. After a few seconds, its servo arm retracted with the blaster pistol and reappeared with a repair kit. Kee-Lah began to push the droid down the street as it worked on itself, and both Zuul and Vekrax kept their eye out for further trouble. They turned a corner onto the main thoroughfare and decided to look for the junk trader the bartender had told them to contact.

Passing a handful of shops and vendors, they came across a large stone building flanked by a fenced junkyard. Heaps of starship and speeder parts crowded the fence perimeter, with several towering piles scattered in the center. Vekrax entered the shop into the darker but scarcely cooler interior. As he entered, he could hear the gruff voice of a toydarian as it berated an old R5 droid. “I told you to get the spanner, not the torch! I want to fix the actuator, not melt it down. Go and get the spanner now, you stupid scrap pile!” Dalek emitted a low, threatening tone as he finished his repairs and flung his last, expended repair kit into the dirt outside the doorway.

The R5 droid passed Vekrax as it hurried to comply, and wandered down a row of shelves littered with starship components and tools. Dalek darted down an aisle and began to scan for useful components as Zuul and Kee-Lah filed in. The toydarian was behind a counter, hunched over and intently rummaging in a drawer for a few moments until Vekrax cleared his throat. Looking up, the toydarian squinted his rheumatic eyes and frowned. “Idiot droid, I told you to let me know when we have customers! What can I help you people with? I got about everything you could want, for the right price.”

Kee-Lah said “How’s business, Wantah? You ever get those parts Teemo wanted?” Wantah looked confused for a moment. “Parts? Which parts? You almost cleaned me out last week getting that wreck of a desert barge running again.” Kee-Lah rolled her eyes. “I need a hyperdrive reactor igniter. I thought you got the message. Teemo’s got a pilot that owes him a lot of money but the pilot’s ship has a bad igniter and can’t make deliveries until it gets one. No igniter, no debt payments. No debt payments, angry Hutt mobster. I try to avoid angry Hutt mobsters. So… what you got?”

“Eh… I got one of those, but it’s already spoken for, a Captain Trex,” he said. “Trandoshan, nasty guy but he has credits. He offered six hundred for it. Not a deal I’m interested to go back on, I’m sure you understand. Even for Teemo.”

“Well then, we also need some droid repair kits,” Kee-Lah said. “Those will tide us over until Teemo comes for your head. How about that?”

“Very funny, lady,” Wantah replied. “Fifty for each repair kit. I told you, that igniter goes to Trex. Teemo knows about Trex, I’m sure he will understand. Hey! What the hell is your droid doing?”

Wantah reached below the counter, dragged out a blaster pistol, and leveled it at Dalek as the droid wheeled toward the door. Stopping, Dalek beeped in confusion. His actuator arm was extended, and from it dangled a satchel with several starship tools sticking out the top. Dalek dropped them with a clatter. “Your damned droid crazy, steal parts from me, eh,” Wantah yelled.

“The droid is confused,” Zuul replied. “Look at it, its got a few wires loose. Been in some action lately. I told you to LOOK for some tools, not TAKE them, Dalek. Put the damn things on the counter so we can pay for them.” Zuul shook his head. “He’s an old droid, not sure why we keep him around. Guess we’re just sentimental. I’m sure you understand.”

Wantah appeared to relax a little, lowering the blaster pistol. “I guess maybe I do. But you pay for those tools.” Dalek approached the counter and fished a credit stick out of a panel. “Hey,” Zuul said, “that’s where the damned thing went. You need to quit going klepto on us. We’ll have to reboot you later. Maybe a few times.”

Wantah shook his head and ran the credit stick past a scanner. “Alright, the tools are yours now. Anything else?”

“Yeah,” Zuul said. “You can sell us that igniter. Teemo’s a pretty big deal around here, I get that. But as far as the Syndicate is concerned, he’s a very small fish in a very small pond. That ship needs to fly, or a lot of Hutts are going to be pissed at Teemo, and Teemo’s going to be pissed at the people that made the Syndicate pissed at him. You don’t want to be that guy do you? Kee-Lah, please tell me you didn’t take me to see someone that dense.”

Wantah’s face sunk steadily as he considered the implications. As bad as single Hutts were, when cooperating in large numbers they were terrifying. Especially when they thought you were standing between them and their credits. “I… I don’t want trouble with Hutts. Any Hutts. Maybe… maybe I do sell you the part after all. Trex can find it somewhere else. Somewhere with less Hutts. I’ll leave it to you to give him the bad news. His ship is in docking bay Aurek.” Wantah shook his head and scowled. “Sometimes business with you isn’t worth the cost, Kee-Lah. Five hundred credits, to keep Teemo happy. Then go ahead and get that igniter and your Hutt business out of here.”

“If one is to avoid the lightning strike, one must first strike the lightning,” Vekrax said. He had an intense expression and narrowed eyes, but Zuul couldn’t tell if he was using the force or just being strange.

“That sounds like some kind of jedi saying,” Wantah said, scowling. “You trying to do a mind trick on me? Save the effort, doesn’t work on us anyways. Still five hundred credits.” He tapped the counter with his knuckles and motioned for payment.

With a confused look and shrug, Kee-Lah slapped a credit stick on the counter. Zuul gathered the tools and igniter and prepared to leave. Vekrax left Wantah with one last nugget of wisdom. “You can only step in the same river once.” Wantah threw an annoyed glance at them as they ventured back into the sunlight.

“On to the docking bay, or to the control building,” Zuul asked. “Control building,” Kee-Lah responded, “easier to make sure the ship’s docking clamp is released before we try to take it. Also want to put off dealing with Trex. He’s a big drinker – with any luck he’s already halfway to the bottom of a bottle, maybe even be out of it by the time we get there.”

The spaceport control building was on the north end of town, on the edge of the mesa. Its large transparisteel windows looked away from town over the open desert. On the town side was a large external stairway leading up to the main entrance. And it was guarded by two humanoid security droids on either side. They were fairly old and obsolete units, but effective enough.

Vekrax simply ignored them, and attempted to walk up the steps to the entrance. About halfway up the droids came to attention and lifted blaster carbines to the ready position. “This building is restricted to unauthorized personnel. Identify yourself and state clearance code.” Dalek answered with a string of binary whistles and beeps. “Understood. Access for control terminal maintenance is approved. Proceed.” With a surprised look, Kee-Lah and Zuul followed Vekrax while Dalek trailed behind. The guards returned to their relaxed postures and turned away from the door. Vekrax left the droids with another of his musings. “Before you can move mountains, you must first move yourself.”

A human secretary sat behind a kiosk in the foyer. Vekrax simply ignored her as he walked past and down a short hall into the main control room. The rest of the gang followed along as the secretary merely lifted an eyebrow and let them pass without a challenge.

Two rows of consoles were manned by technicians, and in betwen them was a female human with a a comms headset. “Docking bay Besh is secure. Locking clamps engaged. Welcome to Mos Shuuta,” she said into her microphone. Looking up, she saw Vekrax striding confidently up to her.

“Greetings,” he said. “The Fang is ready to depart docking bay Aurek. Would you please release the clamps?”

“Who are you? The captain of that ship is a trandoshan. Are you a new hire?”

“One does not seek duty – the duty seeks the seeker. The Krayt Fang will depart upon my arrival to the ship.”

“Yeah… that guy always hires the most bizarre crew. Good luck sticking around with that ship. He goes through crew members pretty quickly. Anyhow, we’ll get the clamps released.” With that, she nodded to the technician nearest her and he began an unlocking sequence.

Meanwhile, Dalek was quietly accessing a computer terminal in the corner of the room, undetected by the control technicians. Scanning the ship registry, he quickly located the Krayt Fang and sliced its entry. Owner was now indicated as a droid, a highly modified R2 unit named DA-11K. Unplugging his access probe, he rolled towards the exit to follow as the rest of his meatbag acquaintances left the facility.

As they made their way east toward docking bay Aurek, the party passed throught the town central plaza. In the middle of the open area was a large water tank, containing enough liquid to keep the city running for several days. Underneath the legs of the tower were several valves and pipes sending water throughout the town. Around the perimeter of the plaza were several shops, tents, and peddler’s kiosks. Many of them were surrounded by patrons, as the two suns sunk towards the horizon and the heat began to subside.

And near the water tower was a squad of stormtroopers, their white armor covered with Tattoine’s dust. Blaster carbines and rifles were slung over a few of their shoulders, and one of them wore a sergeant’s orange pauldron on his shoulder. And his hand was raised, pointing directly at Vekrax.

“You people. Don’t move. You’re wanted for questioning,” the sergeant announced. His voice was slightly distorted by his helmet’s transmitter, but the authority and threat were clear.

Vekrax walked towards the sergeant with a blank expression on his face. The rest of the troopers held their weapons at the ready position, and a couple shifted their stance to prepare for trouble.

“He who would gain the submission of others must submit to himself,” Vekrax said solemnly.

“Uh. Yeah. You’re under arrest. Stay right there,” the sergeant answered. He reached to his belt and detached a set of detaining bracelets, while advancing toward Vekrax. As the sergeant attempted to latch them onto Vekrax’s wrists, Vekrax slapped them to the side and spun away from the sergeant.

“Alright, enough this. Take them in,” the sergeant said. His five minions began to advance with weapons raised, and he pulled a blaster pistol from his utility belt. Kee-Lah’s face showed deep concentration and she stared intently at the sergeant. Her lips mouthed a series of words repeatedly, “It’s not them we want… It’s not them we want…” The sergeant shook his head and attempted to reach again for Vekrax.

Zuul faded behind a fruit stand, unholstered his dueling pistol, and put a trooper’s head in the crosshairs. Thumbing the stun switch, he squeezed the trigger slowly. And proceeded to send a blaster bolt directly through the trooper’s helmet and into the helmet of the trooper behind him. Wide-eyed, he looked at his blaster and realized that it had already been on the stun setting. He’d accidentally deactivated it instead, and was immediately made to regret it.

The remaining troopers were only caught for a fraction of a second, then began to return fire furiously at Zuul. Fruit exploded in clouds of sticky fluid. Shards of the stall and shreds of awning flew in all directions as Zuul’s cover was pulverized by automatic blaster rifle bolts. Zuul reeled backwards as he took two sizzling bolts to his chest. Only thanks to the armored lining of his jacket was he left standing, a new pair of scorch marks visible on the material.

CUT TO: Narrow Mos Shuuta alleyway.

SEASON 1 Episode 1 (Part 1)
Escape From Mos Shuuta – Part 1: Cantina Crashers

DESTINY POOL: Light 4 / Dark 3


SCENE: Desert landsape

A static shot of a rocky desert vista. The small, yet bustling starport city of Mos Shuuta sits atop a steep butte surrounded by an ocean of sand in the distance. A YT-1300 freighter descends, slowly rotating in a controlled flat spin towards an unseen landing bay, and disappears from view.

CUT TO: Narrow Mos Shuuta alleyway.

Zuul turned the corner of the alley at a full run, skidding on the dusty ground briefly before regaining his balance. Glancing backwards, he saw a flash of Kee-lah’s green skin and the horned silhouette of Vekrax’s skull against the light at the alley’s entrance. Behind them, a series of beeps and whistles echoed off the walls as D-11K’s wheeled legs brought up the rear. Something about “stupid green meat sacks,” although it could just as likely have been about a hyperdrive malfunction; Zuul was still learning the astromech droid’s dialect. No sign of their fifth companion. Had Teemo’s goons gotten him? No time to worry now.

Zuul had popped out of the alley onto a small side street. He quickly gazed up and down the dirt road for a place his party could lose themselves in the crowd. But there was no crowd here, only a few creatures proceeding about their day’s business. A toydarian hovering in a doorway with wings flapping as it cleaned carbon deposits off a battered R4 droid. A pair of jawas babbled excitedly while they chased a mouse droid into another alley. So places to hide then. A few liquid storage tanks, scattered piles of boxes and discarded trash rested against the stone buildings. Perhaps a business they could enter? Zuul could see an open-bay droid repair shop and a handful of vendors selling cheap food, clothing and trinkets under awnings. Across the road were high walls which partially muted the grunts, hisses and stench of the dewbacks behind them. And then Zuul saw salvation. Only a few doors down was the entrance to the town’s cantina, and it would give them a chance to hide from Teemo’s gamorrean enforcers. He waved to his following companions and hurried towards it.

Slowing to a walk and taking a few deep breaths to appear calm, Zuul pushed the door open and ducked through the entrance. A cool breeze wafted over him as the overhead fan struggled to keep up with the fierce heat of the midday suns. Peering through the dimly lit interior, Zuul was jostled by his acquaintances entering behind him. The cantina was moderately filled due to the lunch crowd. Several various creatures crowded the bar to his left and clamored for the attention of the devaronian bartender, and most of the tables in the middle of the large single-room establishment were occupied. An unused stage was placed at the far end of the room. A row of booths filled the right wall, a few of which were empty. No exits other than the front entrance… but behind the bar was the slightly cracked door of the supply closet. Good enough.

Zuul smoothly sidled up to the bar and caught the eye of the bartender; not too difficult, as he himself was a devaronian. Small galaxy. Leaning forward to speak in a low voice, he slipped a fifty-credit chit across the bar. “For the next ten minutes I’m your janitor, and I’ll be stocking the supply closet behind the bar.” The bartender’s raised eyebrows turned into an amused grin, and he jerked his head toward the closet door as he made the credits disappear. “Looks like you’re hired.” Zuul squeezed through the serving entrance, and quickly hid himself in the darkness between the supplies with the door cracked open behind him.

As he peered through the door’s opening, Zuul watched Vekrax duck into a booth already occupied by another zabrak, while Kee-lah hurried toward the stage at the back of the room as she removed her jacket. Smoothing her hair, Kee-lah disappeared behind the stage with a grin on her face. Vekrax slapped the shoulder of the other confused zabrak and waved a twi’lek serving girl over to them. While Vekrax continued to talk at his new companion, the domed top of D-11K’s head disappeared underneath the bar counter. Zuul could hear a couple of stools being pushed aside the droid hid itself in the shadows.

No sooner had the droid disappeared than the cantina door burst open. Sure enough, they’d failed to elude Teemo’s thugs. Four silhouettes were backlit by the suns as the door closed, and they began to disperse into the cantina. They might not be too smart, but what they lacked in brains these gamorreans made up for with brawn, persistence, and stink. Heads turned and tracked them as the scoured the establishment; Zuul and his friends probably weren’t the only people that wanted to avoid attention in Mos Shuuta. Zuul pulled his modified dueling blaster from its holster and poked the barrel through the thin opening in the door, just in case.

Two of the enforcers walked along the bar, pushing patrons aside as they looked for Zuul’s associates. Another hurried deeper into the building to look amongst the tables while a fourth made its way along the row of booths on the far side of the cantina. Lights at the back of the cantina snapped on as Kee-lah emerged, dressed in a sheer robe. She began to dance liquidly on the stage as blue and red lights played across her skin. Glancing at the bartender, Zuul could see the confusion on his face as the show started. Slowly, the confusion turned into appreciation at the amount of skin being bared on his stage.

The gamorreans continued to hunt. Zuul breathed a sigh of relief when he saw the pair near the bar pass D-11K’s hiding spot… only to hear the scraping of stools and a few gasps from nearby patrons. D-11K’s head appeared above the bar, and then the rest of his body as he steadily rose towards the ceiling with no form of suspension in sight. The two nearby gamorreans shouted, pulled large metal clubs from their belts, and began to swing mightily at the suspended droid.

Zuul cracked the door open a bit further and peered through the opening. Sure enough, Vekrax was sitting in a booth with eyes squinted as he began to move his outstretched hand. In response, the droid began to spin in midair. D-11K whistled a few furious notes. Zuul didn’t know the entire library of droid curse words, but he was sure a few were mixed in there. A panel on the droid’s cylindrical body sprang open and a blaster pistol snapped out. D-11K spewed a series of poorly aimed blaster bolts around the cantina as the droid made his displeasure known. The top of a stool exploded, and new scorch marks were added to old ones on the walls and ceiling. Patrons began to scream as they began to duck for cover or run for the cantina’s exit. The gamorreans were fixated on their prey, and continued to take two-handed swings at the droid.

An Ithorian took the backswing of a club in the chest as he attempted to navigate the gamorreans’ gauntlet and fell to his back, grunting out an anguished sound from the mouths on the sides of its neck while its eyes rolled in pain. A trio of one-eyed abyssans rushed by with their instruments cradled protectively, and a wookiie flipped a table, roaring as he exited the cantina. A few bothans in a booth simply laughed pointed as they continued to drink. Zuul saw the bartender shake his head as he ducked behind the bar. There appeared to be a better than fair chance that fifty credits weren’t worth this amount of trouble.

One of the gamorrean’s clubs finally connected and sent D-11K hurtling across the room and into the wall with a loud metallic clang. Vekrax was startled as his control was broken, but he quickly recovered and slid out of his booth to his feet, charging across the room through the now empty tables. The gamorrean that had sent the droid flying shouted in triumph and ran to the prone figure to finish it off. Blasting a series of bleeps, D-11K popped to its feet and sent a blaster bolt into the gamorrean’s belly. Clutching at his middle and bellowing in pain, the gamorrean continued its charge and barreled into the droid shoulder first. Smashed between the bulk of the gamorrean and the wall, D-11K gave a plaintive wail and its lights flickered, then dimmed. The gamorrean snorted in triumph and turned to where Vekrax was engaged with its compatriot.

Realizing he’d waited too long to reveal himself, Zuul adjusted tighly sqeezed his blaster’s custom grip and ducked out of the doorway. Waiting a split second for a fleeing rodian to move out of his way, he lined up his sights on the gamorrean. A careful shot to the side of the head dropped it before it had taken a full step towards Vekrax. Before he could line up a shot on Vekrax’s opponent, a loud crash drew Zuul’s eyes to the rear of the cantina. Two backlit silhouettes struggled on the stage as Kee-lah viciously fought with a gamorrean. Kee-lah tossed her see-through robe at him, succeeding in wrapping it around his arm but little else. She grunted as he retaliated with a swift club strike to her bare midriff, then raised her arms to fend off further attacks as she backpedalled.

Zuul attempted to get a shot at the gamorrean attempting to strike Vekrax, but he was afraid of striking Vekrax in the process. Giving up on the futile attempt, he drew his vibroknife and thumbed the power switch. A hum indicated it was functional and ready to start carving. As Zuul hopped over the bar to engage, the gamorrean yelped in surprise as its club was ripped out of his hand and flung across the room. Vekrax’s grin gave away that he’d used the force. Angered, the gamorrean rushed Vakrex. Vakrex responded by unsheathing an ornate metal sword and flourishing it, whipping it around in a series of arcs quickly enough to make it whistle. Accepting a few slices to the chest and arms that sent spatters of green blood flying, the gamorrean bulled through Vakrex’s guard to land a fist in his gut, followed by an uppercut that sent him reeling.

Zuul lowered his shoulder and charged, striking the gamorrean in the middle of the back. And it was like trying to shoulder through a brick wall. Zuul took a few hurried swipes as the gamorrean turned towards him and only succeeded in severing a few shreds of leather armor as the blade hummed. In response he’d left himself open, and received a swift forearm to the side of his head for it. The gamorrean suddenly stiffened as the tip of Vekrax’s metal blade suddenly protruded through its shoulder, and Zuul quickly seized the opportunity to plunge his knife into its chest. With the harsh buzz of blade vibrating on bone and an agonized squeal, the gamorrean dropped to the ground.

Vekrax and Zuul quickly abandoned the enforcer’s corpse and attempted to join Kee-lah. She’d received the worst end of the exchange of blows, and blood trickled from multiple gashes on her torso and arms. Running to within easy blaster range, Zuul slapped a fresh charge into his pistol, took a deep breath and steadied his aim. The bolt struck the back of the gamorrean’s head and left a smoking hole. The creature keeled forwards, nearly taking Kee-lah with it to the ground as it toppled. Heavy breathing was now the only sound breaking the silence of the nearly abandoned cantina.

The bartender, now on his feet, began to clap slowly. “Nicely done, people. Nicely done.” Shaking his head at the damage, he continued to speak while Zuul, Kee-lah and Vekrax regained their composure and began to set D-11K upright. “Looks like you’ve got a problem. Above and beyond destroying my property and disturbing my customers, I judge being chased by Teemo’s enforcers means you’ll be wanting out of the city, and probably off the planet as well. Just so happens that there’s a ship sitting in docking bay Besh. It already belongs to a Captain Trex, and he’ll probably resent losing his ship, but nobody in the city likes him much, even Teemo, so I wouldn’t worry about that. The ship’s docked for repairs, so you’ll also want to find a hyperdrive matter reactor before you try to go anywhere with it. You can find one in the junkyard if you’ve got the credits.”

The bartender folded his arms and glared. “Now… any enemy of Teemo is a friend of mine, but seeing as I don’t need any more of his gamorreans in my cantina, I invite you to leave. Now.” The deveronian smiled with bared teeth, and let it devolve into a frown as he raised his arm and pointed at the door. Vekrax tilted D-11K onto its wheeled legs, and began to push it towards the door. Kee-lah wiped green blood off of her shoulder and put her leather jacket on. Checking to make sure his vibroknife’s power was switched off, Zuul slid it back into its belt sheath and turned towards the exit.

Pushing open the door, Zuul and his companions ventured out into midday sunlight and baking heat of Mos Shuuta to find a way off of Tatooine. They just needed to repair their droid, track down a working hyperdrive component, and steal a ship from its Hutt-employed owner out of an Imperial docking bay. No sweat.


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