Star Wars: Pandora's Legacy

Episode One
Reunions

Space station swg

On the Alderaanian colony moon of Wayward, Spang Kuat realizes his parents have vanished without warning. Using his father’s subspace computer terminal, Spang contacts his sister, Ryla, who he hadn’t seen in nearly five years. Now living under the false name Quellas, Ryla is a member of a the crew of the Ciroq, a smuggling vessel Captained by Devaronian scoundrel, Vilash Maxus. While Spang informed his sister of their parent’s disappearance, Captain Maxus agrees to take Ryla back home. When they investigate their parent’s home, they find a mysterious datapad with a note for Spang. It doesn’t take too long to discover that their parents left for Waypoint Space Station. Captain Maxus volunteers to take the siblings that far before his business forces him to resume his former course.

On the Hutt Syndicate Moon of Hod-Radaan, known more commonly as the Hive, the Wookie slicer Rhysh similarly realizes his mother is missing, taking easily barterable valuables, clothing, and her treasured Bowcaster. Rhysh contacts Varssk Attrador, the Trandoshan son of his mother’s old school friend, Lanklaa. Varssk’s parents are likewise missing under identical circumstances. It takes Rhysh little time to slice into the Hive’s porous spaceport databases and track down their parent’s destination: Waypoint. The pair arrange for transport in a spice freighter.

On brutal Tatooine, Marcus Aranar finds his parent’s compound empty. Tracking them to the spaceport settlement of Mos Espa, the young survivalist meets Shala’sinya at a Cantina, and the pair quickly discovers that their parents departed the planet together. Sinya extorts their parent’s flight-plan from a corrupt Imperial bureaucrat at blaster-point. Her allies in the anti-slavery movement are willing tot ake her as far as that destination: Waypoint.

When the six gather they instantly recognize one another from their meeting seven years earlier on the very same Space Station: as children they traveled with their with their parents, most of whom knew one another on Alderaan. While the elders closeted themselves away to discuss whether or not to join the infant Rebellion, the children were left to their own devices. They quickly started eavesdropping on their parents, but were distracted by a young Togruta who was crying because of a lost pet.

Cute hampster 300x239

The six immediately set off to find the lost Grumley, and after some minor misadventures in the ventilation ducts caught sight of it. Varssk spotted the small furry rodent’s exit point, and the children followed, cornering it in a small cramped storage room. Suddenly four electrified gates dropped down, trapping them, and the Grumley revealed itself to be a sapient (if unpleasant) creature: a slaver with a crew of thugs. Furthermore, he revealed that the children were trapped on his ship which would soon be off.

Working together under Rhysh’s direction, the six managed to short out the cage and unhinge the door. They rapidly snuck into the cockpit, where Ryla took the helm while Rhysh attempted to break the com jammer that was preventing them from contacting their parents. When it became clear they couldn’t exit the ship without running into the arms of a mob of slavers, Ryla decided to take the ship out of the hanger. Varssk deactivated the com jammer, but started a fire in the process. Spang and Sinya worked desperately to contain the fire (at the cost of Sinya’s modesty). Marcus contacted his father, but they were soon out of com range.

The ship spiraled at a breakneck pace to the barren planet below, and the one remaining slaver attempted to gain entry into the cockpit. Varssk took a knife Marcus had found and gutted the slaver the moment the door opened. Spang quickly acted to save the detestable slaver’s life, while the ship continued to rocket toward its doom. Sinya located another small group of children in a cage, and acting quickly, Marcus used the felled slaver’s blaster to pinpoint a power conduit while the vessel rocked around them. Ryla managed to bring the ship into a safe landing while Sinya comforted the children. With their cage no longer electrified the jolting landing did them no extra harm. Rhysh quickly activated a beacon so their parents could find them.

Once the vessel was on the ground, a new threat emerged in the shape of the Grumley landing on a smaller attack vessel. But before he and his goons could breach the crashed ship, the children’s parents arrived on Sinya’s father’s smuggling vessel. Shala’firith heralded his arrival by destroying the second slaver vessel. Then the parents confronted the slavers and before the Grumley could complete his threat, opened fire.

The slavers were wiped out, save for the one that had been stabbed. The elders took their children back to the space station, turned their prisoner over to the station authorities, and learned that the Grumley and his gang had been kidnapping children across the sector using the same trick to lure children into their ship’s hold, and then vanish.

The parents departed, the episode having convinced them that keeping their children safe was a more pressing duty than opposing the Empire. But they kept in touch, as did some of the children. And thus, seven years later, on the very same space station, they came together again, following their parents once more.

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Episode Two
Revelations

Space station swgThe six adventurers have reached Waypoint station in three groups, each following the trail their parents left behind. Rhysh and Varssk discover that the suits rented by their parents years ago are rented out again. The rooms are registered to the name Mardossk, which Varssk recognizes as a name his father has used in illicit dealings.

There the pair meet Professor Ph’ton, who seems wary at first but greets Rhysh with great enthusiasm, having been a friend and colleague of Professor Wirrun. The three retire down to the cantina where they meet with Spang and Ryla, and are joined by Marcus and Sinya.

Ph tonThe gifted natural mathematician has been working on the Pandora Equation. This is an algorithm that tracks the path and timing of the Pandora Fleet’s auto-hyperspace jumps. The fleet’s navigation ship determines each jump after entering real space and conducting a three hour deep-scan of local space and surrounding star patterns. The computer systems then interpret the data, extrapolate galactic drift, and set a new Astrogation Course. It calculates a new jump based on prevailing conditions using a slow (x15) Hyperdrive. If the course is interrupted, the Fleet drops out of Hyperspace, conducts the same operation, and jumps again.

The only way to anticipate the jumps is to know the criteria by which courses are set (the Navicomputer Protocals), and to have an impossibly accurate read of twenty years worth of Astrogation data. If an actual sighting of the Fleet happens, an extremely accurate focused read of local space (Sensors with [Extreme] range) out to three light-hours can be conducted, and fed into an identical computer/program/process to produce the anticipated jump.

Due the myriad untraceable variables a vast tree of possible jumps can be calculated, and then measured against negative sightings, thus limiting the likely options. When compared with a timeline of actual possible sightings, the branching potential-jumps can be narrowed even further.

The Professor indicates that the Rebel plan was to use to the Pandora Equation to narrow the search through elimination, a process that could take months, even years. The “Last Generation” (a codename their parents seem to be using) decided to circumvent this process somehow. The Professor didn’t know the details, but it involved some secret known to Danae, and required them to leave behind their transport, the Second Chance.

Since they haven’t returned, Ph’ton assumes they were successful, went on to the Fleet, and will contact him anon. He tells the adventurers that he is to take the Equation to the Rebel Alliance so they can arrange the acquisition. But first he needs to replicate the precise instrumentation and computer system used on board the Pandora Flagship, so that the courses can be accurately predicted.

Before he can expound further, several squads of Stormtroopers burst into the cantina, apparently after the Professor. Sinya attempts to reason with the soldiers, but it is swiftly discovered that her actions on Tatooine didn’t go unnoticed, and she is wanted as well. A running firefight results, with Rhysh grabbing the frail professor and making for Hanger 89, where the Second Chance is docked. the rest of the group covers his retreat, blasting several of the stormtroopers. Rhysh, Varssk, and Marcus are all grievously wounded in the firefight, and the Professor and his Wookie protector are hit by a frag grenade. While Rhysh’s wookie physique helps him withstand the damage, Ph’ton is mortally wounded.

Second chance 2The group make it into the hanger, and into the ship, where the ship’s computer demands they identify themselves. They do, stating their names and the names of their parents, which is apparently sufficient. The ship gets underway, and escapes the station and the Imperial Dreadnaught waiting above.

In the aftermath the crew gather together in the ship’s common area, and learns of their destination: the fifth moon of Ryloth. The computer also identifies the datapad left for Spang by his mother. The young doctor unlocks the pad, and its message is revealed through the ship’s holo-terminal.

When the image loads, it shows a recent vid of Danae, with her husband Raith standing supportively behind her. Both look uncomfortable, as though they are about to discuss something very unpleasant.

Danae speaks first.

“Spang, if you’re watching this, you unlocked the data pad. You can’t know how long we agonized over deciding to keep this from you, but in the end we had to do what would keep you and your sister safe.” She takes a deep breath, her face clouding over. “This is so hard. We love you so much. We both love you so much. But you need to know in order to protect yourself when we are gone.”

Danae takes a deep breath. Raith takes her hand and squeezes it. He nods to her once, urging her on.

“Your name isn’t Spang Kuat. You were born Bail Antilles the Second. Your grandfather was Bail Antilles, the son of the last Antilles Viceroy before the Throne passed to the House of Organa. Your aunt Breha married Bail Organa and became Queen. And your father was Raymus Antilles, as brave and loyal a son as Alderaan ever produced. He helped smuggle me off of Alderaan when the Empire came, and we fell in love. But duty called him back to Alderaan, and he knew I couldn’t come with him. We parted ways, but not before he secretly recognized you as his heir.”

“That first year was difficult,” she says, her bleak expression belying the understatement. “I was lost, and alone. That’s when I met Raith. He took us in, raised you as his own. We were married, and had Ryla. I never told you because I feared what you would do. What if you wanted to meet Raymus? What if you returned to Alderaan? You weren’t ready for the dangers waiting there.”

Danae“So we kept it from you.” She begins to cry. “I’m so sorry, Spang.”

Raith pulls her into a tight hug, and turns to look into the camera. “Spang… you’re my son. Your mother and I raised you from a baby, and I love both you and your sister with all my heart. But it’s time you heard this. I know the perils of a powerful name. You’ve been cursed with two.”

He sighs audibly while Danae wipes at her eyes. “I knew Raymus. He was a good man. I see a lot of you in him, most mostly I see your mother.” His smile turns fond, paternal, before the seriousness of the matter sobers him again. “Raymus died on a mission a few days before Alderaan was destroyed. House Organa and House Antilles died with Alderaan. The only two scions of those houses survived: your cousin, Princess Leia Organa, and you. And while I won’t get into the maze of Alderaanian monarchal precedence, suffice it to say that you are first in line for the throne, and Leia is your heir.”

“You’re a Prince, Spang,” he says softly. Two emotions are clearly at war in his voice. The first is the pride a father feels at having his son raised high. The second is the weary dread of a man who knows what burdens that title will bring.

“The data pad you’re holding is my own design. It holds Raymus’ original documentation, as well as added affidavits. It, and a genetic scan are sufficient to establish your claim and identity. Keep it secret until you’re ready to use it. I doubt the Empire will be happy to know that a Prince of Alderaan survived.”

“Stay safe,” interrupts Danae, having recovered. “We’re going to secure your legacy, so you and your sister can raise your future children without fear of the Empire. But it’s dangerous, and there’s a chance we won’t come back. If we return, we’ll need your help. I’m sorry it took me so long to tell you the truth, Spang,” she says, tearing up again. “But you’re the last of the Antilles. If we want Alderaan to be reborn, it’ll need you.”

“Take care, son,” says Raith, nodding to his wife that they need to hurry. “Look after Ryla. I couldn’t send her a message for fear that it’d be intercepted. Let her know what’s going on, and tell her that we love you both.”

“Good by, Spang,” says Danae. And then, only barely moving her lips: “Hail Prince Bail Antilles, Second of that name.”

The recording ends.

The data-pad is filled with extensive legal documentation, including family histories, genealogies, and a testimonial given by Raymus naming Spang as his son and heir co-signed by his father, Prince Bail Antilles the First. The device has been ridiculously hardened against all manner of catastrophy. Raith clearly designed it with a mind to protecting the information from any accidental or purposeful attempt to wipe it.

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Episode Three
Sins of the Father

E orbit 02En route to Ryloth V, the newly forged crew explored the ship they’d inherited from their parents, discovering numerous peculiarities. Rhysh managed to increase his access to the ship computer’s droid brain, which introduced itself to him as Gatekeeper. It became clear through discussion with Gatekeeper’s holographic avatar that it held a great deal of data they could not yet access. It did provide them some information on their next contact: a colleague of Professor Ph’ton’s named Vul Foahl.

Meanwhile the Second Chance arrived at Ryloth V, the smallest and farthest moon from the Twi’lek home world. Foahl’s operation turned out to be an abandoned Spice Refinery that had been re-purposed to provide illegal star-ship modifications. After a typical Givin exchange of equations, the shop was cleared to land in a mechanics bay. The crew made the acquaintance of Foahl, and provided the sad news of Ph’ton’s death.

Vul foahlFortunately the late Professor had already arranged payment for most of the modifications necessary to pursue the Pandora Fleet. In honor of the Bith’s memory, Foahl volunteered to make a gift of the rest. The crew split up so they could make arrangements for a memorial service, while Marcus and Ryla stayed in the canteen. Marcus caught sight of his father, Forsev, skulking in the corner. The latter, upon noticing his observer, wandered down one of the many abandoned corridor in the old facility.

When Marcus pursued, he was ambushed. This was not entirely unexpected, given Forsev’s proclivities, but what did come as a surprise was the fact that the man Marcus followed was not, in fact, his father, despite being almost identical in appearance, mannerism, and body language. Instead, it was the infamous bounty hunter, Boba Fett. Fett interrogated Marcus at blaster-point, and referred to the young man’s father as “Alpha-047”. He made no effort to explain the mystery, instead making a slow, careful retreat.

Boba fettOver the next day the Second Chance had both hardware and software upgrades so that it could conduct the necessary deep space scans. The crew had their memorial service for Professor Ph’ton, atomizing his remains in the Bith fashion. Towards the end there was a sudden commotion heralding the arrival of Tyber Zann, a crime lord recently escaped from Kessel. It soon became clear that the entire operation on Ryloth V was part of the infamous Zann Consortium.

Tyber zannBoba Fett reappeared, and presented Zann with a bounty: a Gran who had apparently sold out the crime lord to rival Hutts. The two retired to the canteen, only to be subsequently followed by Spang and Varssk. Fett seemed to be aware of Spang’s interest, and vanished to deliver a pointed message to the rest of the crew.

Without any other misadventures the Second Chance dusted off, and tested the new scanning equipment. After a brief discussion the crew decided to take the Pandora Equation to the Rebel Alliance as the late professor intended. After querying Gatekeeper, they set course for Hoth.

They were jolted out of Hyperspace several minutes early into the middle of the Imperial Fleet, its invasion of the Rebel stronghold already underway. The Battle of Hoth had begun.




Imperial fleet

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Episode Four
Empire Ascendant

Immobilizer interdictor cruiserHaving set a course for the secret rebel base at Hoth, the Second Chance was brutally yanked into real-space several minutes early, and within the midst of an Imperial invasion fleet. Without any warning they were surrounded by swarms of TIE-Fighters, and hemmed in on all sides by massive Star Destroyers. An Imperial Interdictor Cruiser was preventing them (and the Rebel forces of Hoth) from entering hyperspace to escape.

Without any other options the crew strapped into their battle stations and engaged the Cruiser, desperately hammering at it with concussion missiles while avoiding it’s own defensive quad-laser cannon batteries and fighting off the attention of incoming Imperial starfighters.

Ryla took the helm with her brother Spang acting as co-pilot. Marcus and Sinya manned the ship’s laser cannons, while Rhysh and Varssk did their best to allay the damage done by incoming fire.

398227 tie fighter squardron5At one point Sinya noticed a flaw in the Cruiser’s overlapping shield matrix, providing a perfect firing window for the Second Chance’s quad concussion missile launcher. The old gunship lived up to it’s original design and purpose as it hammered at the Cruiser again and again, fighting off TIE’s and destroying the nearby gun emplacements.

They were aided by the appearance of the Rebel X-Wing Rogue Squadron, led by Wedge Antilles. Thinking quickly, Rhysh used an old Rebel cypher to send a coded message to the fighters, stating their purpose in fulfilling Ph’ton’s mission. The X-Wing’s joined their effort, and under their combined and withering firepower the Cruiser lost it’s gravity well generators, and was forced to focus entirely on defense.

Xwing hero home swWasting no time, Commander Antilles beamed coordinates to the Rebel rendezvous to the Second Chance, and everyone escaped into Hyperspace. While in transit, Rhysh had a strange encounter where he overheard half of an apparent conversation between the Gatekeeper and Lylek, Sinya’s feline pet. The ship’s computer refused to offer any information (or even confirmation that a conversation took place), and attempts to elicit a response from the spukami failed. In waking across a control panel it brought up an astrogation map showing the apparent alternate destination of Danae Kuat, but showed no further interest in the proceedings.

When they emerged they were surrounded by the utter blackness of deep-space, with the galactic plane spread out below them, and the Rebel fleet within sensor range. They were broad on board a rebel frigate, and greeted warmly by Commander Antilles in the docking bay. He promptly took the crew to be interviewed by General Rieekan, the supreme commander at Hoth’s now-destroyed Echo Base.

The General was deeply grieved to hear of Ph’ton’s death, and acknowledged that he, personally, was the professor’s Rebel contact. With Hoth a total loss and the Rebel forces having suffered so thorough a defeat, however, he did not have the manpower or equipment to pursue the Pandora Fleet. None the less, he offered the astrogation data necessary to complete the equation, and further hinted that he could make good use of a team with the skills displayed by the Second Chance’s crew.

After a brief discussion amongst themselves, they determined to follow their lead on Danae, and the place where she supposedly though she could discover the fleet’s next appearance. First, however, the General generously offered to have their ship repaired and rearmed, and Commander Antilles returned to show them to the ship’s mess-hall for a long-overdue meal.

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Episode Five
Destiny

E orbitThe crew of the Second Chance found themselves amidst friends on the Rebel Fleet, and enjoyed a productive month of rest and repair after their recent skirmishes. In their own ways they continued to make friends amongst the Alliance personnel, and were generally well regarded by the galactic freedom fighters.

Some of the newly formed relationships were more complex than others.

After some intense discussion, the crew decided that they should take General Rieekan into their confidence in regards to Spang’s true heritage. Given that the princess was overdue, but had not been captured or killed (that they knew) they decided that waiting too long might seem opportunistic. And should the Princess not return, not revealing the truth at all would rob the Alliance of the morale value of having an heir to Alderaan in their ranks.

The Alderaanian General was skeptical at first, but when Spang handed him the datapad he was struck silent by all that was revealed inside. He requested some time to review Alderaanian succession law, but admitted that so far as he could tell, the documents were valid, legal, and proved that Spang was the Prince and heir to the throne. More problematically, they also proved that Princess Leia was an adopted pretender. Rieekan agreed with the need for secrecy, for the time being.

In his quest to learn more about his father, Marcus revealed his genetic heritage to General Rieekan, along with the story of the encounter with Boba Fett. While Rieekan has many anecdotes to share on the Clone and the Clone wars, he was frankly skeptical that any of the original Clones could have survived given the advanced nature of their aging process. None the less, he directed them to the Chief Medical Officer, a Mon Cal named Jesec. The Doctor was more informed, having made a study of Clone physiology in the course of his medical career.

Colonel scalperIn fact, he volunteered that a man with identical genetic markers to Forsev was serving in the Rebel military, and had only just rejoined the fleet after a successful commando mission.

With the help of Commander Antilles, the crew was able to identify and meet the mysterious Colonel Scalper, who looked like a harder and more scarred version of Forsev. The Colonel was surrounded by his commandos (Scalper’s Raiders), and the group seemed intent on maintaining a distance from the rest of the crew. Wedge volunteered that they never socialized, and were viewed with no small amount of fear by the common fighting men.

Marcus approached Scalper and managed to get a few answers from him, though he didn’t pursue the subject aggressively. They parted on what was (for Scalper) quite friendly terms.

Meanwhile Rhysh made fast friends with the grizzled old Wookie Chef, Shhirrak. At exactly the same time Varssk drew the chef’s animosity, while Sinya put considerable effort into easing any tensions between them, and getting Shhirrak to share some of his story. The Twi’lek learned of the chef’s daughter’s capture by slavers, and vowed to pass on the information to her contacts (which she did, though they were pointedly less interested in freeing a Wookie slave at the expense of any Twi’lek mission).

250px herglicLastly, Varssk made a point of providing a gift to the wookie cook. He trading back-breaking labor to Oolaf, a Herglic maintenance worker, in exchange for a large piece of tusk ivory, which he then presented to Shhirrak as a peace-offering. The wookie accepted it, and the feud (such as it was) ended.

Towards the end of their wait for the repairs to be completed on the Second Chance, there was a tumult throughout the fleet. The Millennium Falcon had finally returned, bringing with it Princess Leia. They did not visit the flagship cruiser, docking instead at a medical frigate due to grievous wounds suffered by Commander Luke Skywalker on Bespin. With little time to prepare, the crew requested that Rieekan bring them along while he debriefed the Princess, and he agreed.

The meeting was blunt, direct, and traumatic. With little to no preamble, Spang gave Leia the datapad that proved his claim by invalidating hers. Shocked beyond words, the Princess vanished to a private suite to compose herself, but quickly requested that Spang join her. They spoke at length, the discredited Princess showing the royal poise with which she’d been trained. As much as the revelation of her adoption was a shock to her, the notion that any member of her family (even an adopted family) had survived was joy enough to bring her nearly to tears. In the end they agreed to let the matter lie, and save Spang’s revelation for a later date. Oddly, Leia didn’t seem too put out at surrendering her theoretical throne. Her first concern was the Alliance, and making sure nothing distracted it from its just purpose.

Lando calrissian   swgtcgMeanwhile the rest of the crew made awkward conversation with Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca, and learned that the owner of the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo, had been captured by Boba Fett on the orders of Jabba the Hutt. Clearly there were details being left out, but it was clear that the pair were dedicated to rescuing their friend.

Chewbacca swgtcgAt the end of the meeting the crew decided to keep to their previous plan: to follow up on the trail left by Danae Kuat to a small unchartered world far from the hyperspace lanes. They made the journey, and almost immediately discovered a planet teaming with life, but with no hint of technological advancement at all. In fact the world was so pristine that the recent ion trail from a ship’s sublight drives were visible to the ship’s sensors, and allowed them to determine what they assumed was their parent’s landing zone. The dense vegetation forced them to land several days away, and load up their speeder for an overland trek. Traveling through the primordial swamps and jungles, they finally came across a humble dwelling, and met a small wizened creature who claimed to be a figure out of legend: Jedi Master Yoda.

Before the light of his small hearth fire, Yoda answered their questions, both spoken and unspoken. He told them of their parent’s true heritage as Jedi students, of their own potential in the Force, and most pointedly, revealed the links of betrayal and treachery between the crew’s families. Lastly, Yoda gave them the information they sought, surrounded by dire warnings: the coordinates of the Pandora Fleet’s next hyperspace jump.

Gatekeeper sunriderGatekeeper qel dromaReeling from these revelations, the crew hastily retreated back to their ship, and took counsel with Gatekeeper, the mysterious droid brain at the center of their ship’s computer. Gatekeeper took it upon itself to reveal even more, splitting into two images: one a righteous female Jedi named Master Sunrider, and the other an as-yet unknown Sith male. While not all of the crew’s questions were answered, Master Sunrider admitted that the ship’s computer did not have a droid brain as its core, but rather a Jedi Holocron from the Alderaan Praxeum. This particular Holocron had been designed to contain a Sith Holocron, and the Gatekeeper program was just that: a prison for the secrets hidden within.

The crew knew they had over a month before the next appearance of the Pandora Fleet, and determined that their time would best be spent unlimbering themselves of the debts and obligations they’d inherited from their parents. In the mean time they would practice the calming meditative techniques that would prevent their latent force abilities from causing undue harm to one another.

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Episode Six
Legacy of Lies

250px sullust negasHaving settled on a destination to make contact with their various points of obligation, the crew set out on the Second Chance for the industrial world of Sullust. Places at a crossroads between three hyperspace lanes, and set along the most civilized slice of the Outer Rim, it represented the best environment in which a ship might pass unnoticed while still having access to advanced communications and vast orbital facilities.

Upon arrival the ship was routed to Docking Station Five, a commercial port for public use. The interior was lit with glowing signs offering every commodity and service imaginable, and the vast central rotunda had both public and private communication terminals for hire.

KrrrskRhysh, Sinya, and Varssk immediately took advantage of this fact to check in with their associates. The Wookie slicer made sure to tinker with the terminal to make certain that their call would be free and private, and then checked in with Krrrsk, his Verpine fellow-slicer and employee of Saddo the Hutt. Krrrsk was very happy to hear from his young friend, but informed Rhysh that Saddo was not on Hive at the moment, and was instead enjoying a cruise.

TooluulRhysh then vacated the booth for Sinya’s use, and jury-rigged a second one for Varrsk, who called his contact amongst Pluuvo’s people, Tooluul. It turned out that Pluuvo did have some business on Sullest Station 5; a merchant who owed him money, and had been slack in paying. Varrsk and Marcus set out to find the merchant’s shop and shake him down. When they did, they were surprised to find both Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca there. It seemed that while waiting for the Millenium falcon to have a much-needed overhaul, the pair had decided to move forward with their plans to rescue their friend, Han Solo, from the infamous crime lord, Jabba the Hutt.

Lando calrissian   swgtcgThe merchant apparently had connections in the Black Sun criminal empire, and Lando was attempting to turn those connections to his advantage. His recent misfortunes in Bespin, however, had reduced his credibility as a viable investment. The group quickly came to an agreement to help Lando and Chewie while accomplishing their own goal. The merchant was intimidated into paying, but needed Lando to help fund the effort. Lando, in turn, got the meeting he wanted with a Black Sun Vigo.

Meanwhile Spang, Ryla, and Rhysh went to the local medical facilities, where Spang attempted to talk his way into a short-term job. Unfortunately for him, the resident surgeon noted all the signs of addiction on the young man and immediately ordered (with the help of Spang’s sister) that he be put through detox. Ten unpleasant hours later, and a worn-out Spang was taken back to the ship, where the crew had some hard-love to share regarding his habits.

OossikEventually it was time for the meeting with the Vigo. The crew opted to accompany Lando and Chewie in case it proved to be a trap. There were met by a large, dangerous-looking Trandoshan named Oossik. He proceeded to belittle and insult the party, while at the same time digging for more information as to their motivations. It became clear that he didn’t consider them a threat, and took malicious pleasure in provoking them. In the end, however, he agreed to give Lando a chance, and provided him a task to perform. If he and his companions pulled it off, Lando could expect to have Black Sun backing in the future.

Shala shiriThe crew also realized that they hadn’t seen Sinya since their arrival. Rhysh immediately looked into the station’s arrest logs, and found nothing directly pertaining to her. He did, however, find a reference to an escaped Twi’lek slave who had been recaptured. Meanwhile Marcus spotted Sinya in the Rotunda, sitting with a male Twi’lek. When approached it was clear she didn’t recognize him. The truth soon came out, to the horror of all involved: this was Sinya’s long-lost cousin Shiri. The two were nearly identical, and when Shiri had escaped from a luxurious slaving vessel earlier in the day, the slavers had recaptured Sinya by error.

At this same moment the Vigo’s task was transmitted to the ship: they were to intercept and infiltrate the luxurious slaving vessel Celestial Dream, and then wait for further instructions. It was, predictably, the same ship that now held Sinya captive.

Shiv telThe Celestial Dream had been in operation for several decades under the ownership of a powerful Hutt Cartel boss named Vortha. It styled itself as a luxury cruise liner that offered the finest selection in leisure and entertainment slaves. Shiri and her friend Odal were able to fill in some gaps, and provide the ship’s course and a loose plan; they could intercept the Celestial Dream, and then gain entry by pretending to be slavers selling merchandise. Lando Calrissian’s name carried enough weight in underworld circles to pull off the deception, and Varssk could pose as his slaver client. The wookies and Marcus could be bodyguards, while Spang could be a doctor in Lando’s hire to inspect his purchases. This left only Ryla, who would have to pose as a slave to be sold: a captured space pirate.

The group managed to get on board the Celestial Dream using this plan, and then they were taken to a guest suite. The Master of Merchandise, an unnerving Twi’lek named Shiv’tel, arrived to take Ryla away for inspection and storage amongst the general slave population. Varssk and Marcus accompanied them, and got a glimpse of the facilities while playing up their roles.

ShirrassaRhysh busied himself turning one of the small vaccum droids into a spy, but paused when a string of slaves were offered to the suite for “dalliance”. He selected the only Wookie present: a short-haired specimen named Shirrassa, whom he took into his confidences.

SaddoAfter established themselves, a new message arrived from Black Sun, detailing the second part of their mission. The message indicated that the ship would come under some form of attack, and that when this happened Lando and his team were to make every effort to preserve the life of one of the passengers in the cross-fire: Saddo the Hutt.

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Episode Seven
Into the Fire

VorthaThe Celestial Dream is the height of Outer Rim opulence and luxury. The infamous pleasure slaver’s annual auction cruise is the benchmark by which Hutts, crime lords, and sin brokers measure their own merchandise. To even be able to bid on a slave on the Celestial dream a prospective buyer needs to place a small fortune in escrow, and possess a name that resonates within the criminal underworld.

Luckily for the crew of the Second Chance, Lando Calirssian possessed both. While the silver-tongued gambler rubbed elbows with high-end scum under Chewbacca’s watchful gaze, the rest of the crew busied themselves mapping the ship’s corridors, schedules, and security parameters. With the aid of Rhysh’s converted janitorial drone, and the information gleaned from the rest of the crew’s covert observations, they located both Sinya and Ryla.

Moff tarnWhile so engaged they were paid a visit by Moff Tarn, the Imperial official in charge of regulating the slave trade. He made it clear that his priority within the human-centric Empire lay in making certain that any humans who are bought and sold are done so in a manner that doesn’t undermine the superiority of the species.

With Shala-shiri’s enthusiastic aid, Rhysh tinkered further with the ship’s computer networks, though every time he penetrated a sensitive file system he began to see glitches reminiscent of a virus. He quickly backed out of the systems to preserve his identity, but not before absconding with ten thousand credits of slaver money. Worried that the glitches might represent some other entity’s attempt to circumvent the defenses, he programmed his janitorial drone to alert him if the Celestial Dream’s defenses were subverted.

Kil tek tet colicoidZook huiLater that evening the crew attended an introductory dinner where the top shelf “merchandise” was paraded in front of a luxurious banquet before the second-tier slaves went up for auction. Joining them at their table were Moff Tarn as well as a cannibalistic Collicoid and a Rodian hunter. The Rodian, Zook Hui, clearly recognized Ryla when she was paraded in front of the passengers in a ridiculous pirate outfit.

Using illicit funds, Rhysh made certain to make good on his and Chewbacca’s promise to free Shirrassa, the Wookie slave. To maintain appearances they bought two others, a Twi’lek and a Rodian, and sent all three to their ship for safe-keeping.

Ahsoka slaveCommission  slave girl rowr by daggerpointThe following evening was the main auction, and the crew were reunited, after a fashion. Shala’sinya sat to the right of the vast Hutt crime lord, Vortha, chained by her collar to his vast throne-like couch. Ryla waited in line to be sold amongst a captured noble and a stolen princess. Saddo the Hutt worked the crowd amongst the other buyers. The bidding quickly ran past the crew’s available funds (even the pilfered credits). Disdaining other purchases, Zook Hui saved all his money for Ryla, and when the “captured space piratess” finally came up for sale, he silenced the room by opening with twenty thousand credits. Before the sale could be completed all eyes turned to a small janitorial drone that was acting very peculiarly.

At that moment the alarms started going off, and the cruiser’s escort fighters began dropping from the sky while its own formidable defenses lost power and deactivated. The attack had come.

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Episode Eight
Deliverence

Zook huiJust as Zook Hui bit an astonishing twenty-thousand credits for Ryla Quellas, the ship’s systems went haywire. Attack ships bombarded the massive cruiser, while its own considerable defenses failed and lost power. Escort craft were shot from the sky, and explosions rocked the main hangar bay. Before anyone could do more than gasp in reaction, a droid-like voice spoke over the primary address system.

“Ahoy, Celestial Dream. Your defensive systems are now fully under my control. Our gunboats have you surrounded, and our boarding teams have secured your hanger. We’ve come for your credits and your merchandise, not your lives. Lay down your arms, and you will end this night only a fraction poorer than you started. Resist us and you’ll lose everything. Observe.”

A glancing blasterbolt from one of the gunships shattered the massive transparasteel canopy in the ballroom, causing a sudden decompression. It stopped almost an instant later as magnetic fields activated. “The magnetic shield relays are under our control. We are all that stands between you and the vaccum of space.”

Vortha“To the illustrious Vortha the Hutt,” the voice continued mechanically, “your reign as king of the slavers is over. Nothing personal; we’ve never even met. But we know better than to leave a Hutt alive to nurture its vengeance.”

Vortha’s huge repulsor-lift couch lifted of its own accord, and slowly began trundling towards the magnetic shielding. Chained to the couch by her shock collar, a terrified Sinya realized that the couch would go right through the atmospheric shielding, and condemn both she and the Hutt to a horrible death.

Vortha bellowed for his guards to save him, and the droid guards emerged from the skybox, then froze, re-oriented, and poined their blaster-rifles at Vortha and the crowd. “All your defensive systems are ours, Vortha. Right down to the smallest droid.”

Moff tarnAll across the ballroom weapons were drawn, and guards materialized around important persons. Moff Tarn immediately blamed Ryla for the arrival of the apparent pirates, and his Imperial Security trained blasters on her. Zook Hui pointed his weapon at Tarn, claiming that he’d purchased Ryla fair and square. The Collicoid, Kil’tek’tet summons his droidekas, announcing that he could survive quite comfortably in a vacuum, and no one would deprive him of the flesh he purchased in Lady Ashla.

The sound of blaster-fire from other parts of the ship became audible. Thugs poured into the ballroom on one side, while an apparent slave insurrection arrived on the other. The stand-off was brief but tense before blaster-bolts began filling the room.

Kil tek tet colicoidMarcus took a shot at Sinya’s chain, but missed, instead hitting and disabling the Hutt’s repulsor couch. It tipped as it fell, spilling the flailing Hutt past the magnetic shield, where he floated, slowly suffocating. The couch tipped over, forming a bulwark under which Sinya crouched. The Twi’lek kept up steady fire on the Hutt’s droids, but not without getting grievously wounded herself.

Varssk managed to scare off the Bothan Master of Ceremony, who quickly joined Sinya under the couch, offered his blaster, and unlocked her binders, all for the promise of safety. Rhysh charge towards Saddo, proclaiming his allegiance to the Hutt and waving an unfamiliar blaster in the air. Ryla, drawing upon her newfound connection to the force, plucked the blaster from Rhysh’s hands, and dragged the Cathari Princess Myhr off the stage into cover.

Ahsoka slaveWhile Chewbacca dismantled some thugs and Lando took custody of the Princess, Varssk engaged Zook Hui, only to find the Rodian hunter ready for him. Zook swept the Trandoshan’s legs out from under him with a force pike, and was about to strike again when his arm was suddenly vaporized by Ryla’s blaster. Bleeding profusely, and knowing that the Trandoshan would soon recover his footing, Zook activated a thermal detonator in an effort to take some of the attackers with him, deeply wounding Varssk.

Marcus continued to take shots from across the room, while Spang administered to their wounds from the invading thugs. The slave revolt found itself caught in a cross-fire between the droidekas and the Imperial security, and were swiftly being cut down.

Commission  slave girl rowr by daggerpointClimbing with Wookie swiftness, Rhysh scrambled into the Hutt skybox and found a computer terminal. Working swiftly, he began attempting to countermand the viral slicing that had hijacked the ship’s systems. He managed to take control of Vortha’s droids, and turned them from Sinya and the Bothan back upon the thugs, creating a field of cover for his friends. Meanwhile Marcus was suddenly shot point-blank from behind by Odal, who then turned his blaster on Spang. Marcus tried to return fire, but was hampered by the size of his rifle in close quarters, and slipped on his own blood.

Realizing that Shiri was somehow the source of all the slicing, Spang injected her with the serum he’d prepared for her cousin. Meant to create the illusion of clinical death, it worked perfectly. Shiri crumbled, her eyes glassy and open, and her direct control of the ship’s systems vanished. Rhysh took the opportunity to reactivate the ship’s outer defenses, and assign neutral status to any craft not currently assaulting the cruiser.

Sugi swi125Varssk and Chewbacca charged the droidekas, trying to save the Togruta noble from her culinary fate. After a grueling fight, they succeeded, killing the insectoid Collicoid and freeing the slave.

Ryla turned her fire on Odal, as did Lando. Shot through the knee, the Twi’lek gunman went down, and was swiftly put down. Dragging the limp body of Shiri behind them, the group staggered towards the far door, rousing a fallen Varssk, and moving towards their ship. The Second Chance escaped the Celestial Dream, and quickly flickered into hyperspace. Under Saddo’s orders they set course for Hive, while Spang set up a make-shift trauma center in the ship’s main hold.

Jnar freyChewbacca, Lando Calrissian, Princess Myhr, Lady Ashla, Jnar’frey, Shala’shiri, Saddo the Hutt, Shirrassa, a female Rodian and a female Twi’lek all piled into the ship along with the six crew-members, and set off for the Syndicate Moon.

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Episode Nine
Crossroads

Second chanceAboard the Second Chance, the overly crowded hold had been transformed into a small chanty-town holding over a dozen travelers. But the most dangerous guest had yet to wake up in the small infirmary. By the time Shala’shiri began to stir the ship was already well on its way to the Hive.

Her first act of consciousness was to lure Spang within reach, and threaten him with maiming if she wasn’t turned loose. Before she could go much further her own cousin stunned both she and the young doctor.

Her second act of consciousness was to realize that she had been restrained to her bed, and her cybernetic implant had somehow been prevented from uplinking with any ship’s systems. She was greeted by both Spang and Varssk, who had a very thorough talk with her regarding her options. In return for being set free, and given an introduction to servants of Pluuvo Two-for-One, Shiri promised to cease any attempt to aggress upon the ship or its crew, and forsake her burning vengeance towards her cousin, at least in the immediate future.

Shala shiriShala’sinya asked Varssk to allow her to speak to her cousin, and he stepped outside, leaving the two Twi’leks alone with Spang. While Sinya attempted to reason with Shiri, Shiri’s hatred, honed by years of abuse and cruelty rise to the forefront. She taunted, insulted and provoked Sinya, turning aside every effort to appeal to their childhood friendship. Sinya, incensed, pulled her blaster on Shiri, but the latter pressed her temple against the emitter, and dared Sinya to pull the trigger.

To Shiri’s surprise and Spang’s horror, she did. Shiri died instantly, the point-blank shot scattering her blood and brains in a smoking spray across the room. In a near fugue state, Sinya exited the infirmary, dropped her blaster in the short corridor, and locked herself away in her room. The rest of the crew scrambled to respond to the loud report of blaster fire, and slowly piece together what happened, while concealing it from their guests.

TooluulIn the meantime Jnar’frey the Bothan was questioned about his Rebel contacts, and it was revealed that he was, in fact, a spy in the employ of the Rebellion. Lady Ashla the Togruta was revealed to be Force Sensitive, though she herself seemed ignorant of the fact.

The crew arrived on the Hive, and Saddo happily returned to his estate, joined by Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian. Varssk reunited with his gang, the Volunteers, and managed to send a message to Tooluul. He learned that his fellows were planning an improbable assault on the estate of Gormon the Hutt, which Tooluul expressly vetoed unless Varrsk can find a way to make it ten times less ridiculous. The Trandoshan was given a month to work it out before his meeting with Pluuvo on Deveron.

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Episode Ten
The Trojan Hutt

Having evaluated the Vonunteer’s plan to assault Gorman the Hutt’s compound, Varssk couldn’t help but catch their infectious enthusiasm. He was forced to acknowledge the realities of the matter, however, and pleaded with his gangmates to give him a few days to come up with a plan that still allowed the use of the giant Hutt statue without forcing Pluuvo to withdraw his support.

In order to better understand their foe, Spang, Ryla, Sinya, and Marcus decided to go out on an information-gathering mission. Settling on a disreputable looking cantina, Spang tried to trade controlled substances for information on why so many poor beings were going missing near Gorman the Hutt’s compound.

Ryla and Sinya played heavies, while Marcus blended into the crowd as backup. After a few misfires Spang was able to get some useful information out of a trio of junkies, including the fact that Gorman the Hutt was running an illegal organ harvesting operation. Appropriately horrified, the team withdrew ro share the information with their fellows, but not before attracting some extra unwanted attention.

A trio of muggers attempted to waylay them, since they clearly had drugs and money, but the heroes were ready for them. Despite being ambushed, they swiftly overpowered their attackers while Marcus flanked them from behind. While Spang, Sinya, and Ryla continued on their way, marcus attempted to extract some information from the lone survivor, but was himself caught flatfooted by a cold-eyed professional killer who clearly worked for Gorman the Hutt.

The professional let Marcus go, but told him to warn his friends to stop digging into his employer’s business. He then promised he would deal with the cleanup from the altercation, a statement filled with ominous overtones. Indeed, when their Bothan companion Jnar’frey went out to reconnoiter the next day he reported that both the junkies who had shared information and the attackers from the previous night were no where to be found. Word on the street was that they’d become “donors”, a particularly chilling thought. The Cantina was closed as well.

Knowing now what they faced, Varssk felt more comfortable in taking the information to Pluuvo, trusting that the crime lord’s aversion to slavery might extend to something as vile as harvesting organs from helpless victims. He contacted Tooluul, and the two spoke at length. It became clear that while Pluuvo certainly detested such business practices, he was too rpactical to go to war over them. However, his forays into Hutt Space had led him to consider a more permanent arrangement. Knowing that Saddo the Hutt had recently inherrited a veritable fortune from his late uncle, Vortha the Hutt, Tooluul reasoned that Saddo might be willing to engage in a partnership where the hutt aided Pluuvo’s expansion into Hutt Space while Pluuvo used his vast infrastructure to help Saddo direct his new resources.

So long as Saddo was open to the idea, it had a chance of working, and a joint enterprise to seal the deal wouldn’t be out of the question. Rhysh volunteered to float the idea past Saddo’s chief bookkeeper, his old friend and mentor Krrrsk. Before too much time had passed, the crew found themselves standing before Saddo himself while Tooluul appeared in person to carefully outlined the partnership being offered.

To test the alliance, Pluuvo would aid in the hostile takeover of Saddo’s neighbor’s territory, and the joint effort would be spearheaded by a mixed team of agents trusted by both factions: the crew of the Second Chance.

Their plan in place, they used Tooluul’s resources to complete the Trojan Hutt, and pilot it to Gorman’s vast walled compound. Jnar’frey played the part of delivery-man, with Princess Myhr’s support, and they were able to convince the guards to allow the massive sculpture past the gates.

All that remained was to wait for the perfect moment to strike.

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