Shadows In The Black

Agents of Wanton Destruction
Have Bomb, Will Travel.

With the debris from their escape from the Axiom still scattering around them, the crew of the Shrike plotted a course to Myomar. Once they jumped to hyperspace and were well on their way, Koba brought them up to speed on the plan. They were going to plant the bomb in the Imperial Naval Academy…

On the whole, the group had no initial problems with the plan and immediately started plotting out how to get past customs and what they would do once they hit planetside. Koba gave them some pointers and advised that they’d have a contact in Myomar City once they landed.

As the ship neared Myomar, Jarek and the others were stashing anything and everything that could possibly be considered contraband into the smuggling compartments. Del’nor finally had enough and voiced his dissent of the plan. He had problems not only with blowing up a school full of students, but that he seemed to be the only one who’d realized that up until this point, they weren’t getting paid for any of it. After the others realized this, they sided with Del’nor (though still had no moral problems with the job itself).

Koba and Jal dickered back and forth on numbers, and ultimately came up with an adequate amount of $25,000 once they reached Myomar with a $10,000 bonus if they got Koba out alive afterwards. It was less than the group had hoped for, but enough to keep them from spacing Koba then and there. Del’nor still had moral qualms about the job, but the glares of the other crew silenced him for the time being.

While the The Shrike prepared to drop out of hyperspace, Koba once again disappeared into her quarters and pulled one of her quick changes. When she returned to the common area, she was now a male captain in the Imperial Navy. No one other than Jal really seemed to notice or care beyond wondering where she’d stored the uniform.

They dropped out of hyperspace and quickly joined one of the various inbound lanes of traffic heading planetside. While waiting their turn, they were selected by one of the many Imperial Customs Frigates patrolling the planet for a random boarding inspection. They suppressed a moment of panic and welcomed the inspector on board.

After handing over their B.O.S.S. Pad for inspection, they waited patiently for the Inspector. She immediately noticed some discrepancies with the data provided and asked to speak to the captain, Grib.

Jal advised the official that Grib had sadly passed away several months back and had transferred ownership to them. Del’nor swore, repeatedly, that they’d filed the proper paperwork. The inspector disagreed. She did a little digging and determined that while the paperwork had been filed, the $1,000 credit processing fee had not. She let Jal know that if he was willing to pay the processing fee, she could correct the error.

Jal paid and the customs party departed, giving them a location to dock with reasonable moorage fees. They headed planetside towards the dock and were not entirely certain if they’d just paid a legitimate fee or if they’d been fleeced by an Imperial official. They landed and sorted out the refueling and moorage with a small bothan gentleman who then locked the ship to the dock and handed Jal one half of a two part key. Jal once again tallied the costs and was somewhat unimpressed that no one else volunteered any extra credits to help.

Once the ship was secure, Koba led them to a set of apartments at the edge of the city, close to the monorail that serviced the academy. He knocked on one of the dormitory apartments and was greeted by two “cadets” who let them in. Koba transferred the $25,000 to Jal in good faith and they started to plan… until there was a knock at the door.

One of the cadets answered and a man pushed his way into the apartment easily. Ignoring the weapons pointed at him, he identified himself as Jaran Drathul, a friend of Cregan. Koba recognized the name and after a quick call to confirm, verified him. The newcomer offered his services as former student of the academy to help them get in and to their goal. Just stating that Cregan asked for a favour that coincided with the original mission.

They got down to business and started to formulate a plan to get into the school. They weighed a lot of options and ultimately decided to go in as maintenance workers. They still hadn’t decided whether to replace an existing crew or contrive an emergency requiring their special services. Hedging their bets against both ideas, Del’nor started to forge an adequate work order that would get them into maintenance while the rest headed to Kaliban’s to see if they could meet an appropriate group of maintenance workers in their off time.

They got to Kaliban’s at the tail end of the dinner rush and whether by luck (or destiny), managed to find a maintenance crew from the academy relaxing after their shift. Jal made a beeline to the bar along with Jaran, while the rest took a booth nearby the crew. A small child poked his head over the booth and attempted to converse with “the strange aliens” until his parents, embarassed at his questions, pulled him back to his dinner.

Jal purchased several bottles of whiskey and attempted to sample each of them in an effort to hide the tremors in his hands he’d been suffering from ever since the Axiom. Jaran, ordered a round of drinks for the maintenance crew and arrogantly told Jal to pay, who did, very begrudgingly.

Jaran took the drinks to the table and started up a conversation with the workers. They were initially suspicious of Jaran’s intentions but he managed to convince them he was genuine and they started to open up to him. Loor took the opportunity to insert himself into the conversation and awkwardly tried talking shop about different types of reactors. The maintenance crew, Lar, Rey, Kurl, and Omo, felt Loor was insane when he started talking about running a building reactor in a starship. Especially as the model he discussed was known for its excessive methane discharge.

Somewhat deterred, Loor headed back to the table with the others but was intercepted by the barkeep who politely asked Loor to leave and advised him that based on his previous actions in the Kaliban’s on Karsten’s World, Loor was no longer welcome in any of their establishments. Grumbling, Loor left and met up with Nik and Antares who were lurking as inconspicuously as they could in an alleyway nearby. Loor asked them why they were outside and they glared at him, telling him he’d sent them outside to wait for the workers. He nodded sagely, as if this was his plan all along.

Meanwhile inside, Jaran bought another round and convinced the workers, who were getting suspicious of the constant attention, to stay awhile longer. Jal, took the opportunity to mix up a chemical concoction to make the workers woozy and slipped it into Jaran’s second round.

The night dragged on and the workers, felt the effects of Jal’s drug fairly quickly. Jaran continued to glean tidbits of information from them. Eventually the combination of drugs and alcohol wore them out and they begged off another round and left, if somewhat unsteadily. Jarek, Jal, Jaran and Koba waited an appropriate time and followed while Nik, Antares and Loor kept tabs on them.

The workers stumbled home and Nik, Loor and Antares prowled after. Once they’d managed to get a good distance from the bar they pounced on the workers and easily (though somewhat publically) subdued them and stole their uniforms. Jal and the rest caught up and they debated the merits of killing them or ensuring they’d be out of commission for an extended period. Eventually, they dosed them with more of Jal’s concoction with the hopes that they’d sleep for at least long enough to pull off the job.

They headed back to the apartment and brought Del’nor up to speed. The plan was to pose as the replacements for the crew they had just rolled. Jal wanted to rent a delivery van, but then realized it was well past midnight and it would have to wait until morning. As they solidified their plans – and argued who would wear the uniforms and who would hide in the box, Jaran came clean as to his reasons for being there. His friend, Cregan, wanted Jaran to get his cousin out of the blast radius. Jaran was willing to help them get into the academy and point them towards the reactor but would have to focus on Cregan’s cousin first.

While the group took the information in stride and started to incorporate it into their plan, Loor hung back. Something was nagging at him from earlier. Something about the reactor the maintenance crew had said they were using. He puzzled over it for some time before finally getting a really bad feeling. He ran some preliminary numbers in his head and suddenly it dawned on him. Combining baradium to that type of reactor would be bad. Very bad. By his estimation, the baradium itself would easily decimate the academy, but coupled with the reactor, the primary blast zone would reach well into the city. The death toll would be catastrophic!

Loor interrupted the planning session frantically and confronted Koba with this information. All plans stopped as the crew realized what exactly they’d signed on for. Killing several thousand Imperials was one thing, but devastating a city filled with innocents was well beyond their moral limits. Koba argued vehemently that they weren’t innocents. They were supporting the Imperial military complex just by being there. Besides, they needed that large of a blast to ensure they killed the Moff visiting the school. The others did not agree and tensions rose dramatically.

Loor was livid and without hesitation and before anyone could stop him, he ripped open the bomb casing and disarmed it, stating that now it couldn’t be used unless he wanted it to be. The room got deathly silent as they all realized what he’d done and how close they’d all just come to being vaporized. Koba’s demeanour did not warm at all. In fact it got much colder. In a tone that was glacial at best, she informed the group that their contract was terminated and their services were no longer needed. She would finish the job on her own.

There was a long silence as the group processed. The group was ultimately split between those who objected to destruction on this scale and those who were more morally flexible but just felt they weren’t getting paid enough. They bargained with Koba and it came out that while she wasn’t okay with the plan either, she had her orders. They eventually came to an accord where they’d blow the school and rather than let the city be decimated, they were confident they could redirect the blast upwards into the atmosphere.

With the conflict over, the group got some rest and then headed out the next morning to rent the van. Jal again paid out of pocket and was somewhat peeved about it. The others, argued that since he was the captain, he was the one who had to pay. Jal shelved the argument for another day and they all piled into the van and headed out to the school. Nik would accompany Jaran in the search for the cousin, while Koba would be an Imperial busybody there to inspect repairs and Jarek was the student liaison tasked to show him around. Del’nor and Antares hid in the box while Jal and Loor were the maintenance workers sent to install parts for an upcoming reactor refit. After getting past the gate guard. Nik and Jaran split off and the rest met with Charlie, the head of the maintenance department who had numerous questions about why they were there. After they spun a tale of parts being delivered early and a nudge from Koba’s uniform, he let them through and directed them down into the depths of the school. They passed another crew on the way out, but once in the reactor room itself, they were blissfully alone. On the downside, the reactor was so loud that no one could hear anything. Antares, Jal and Jarek set up watch on the entries to ensure they wouldn’t have company while Loor rearmed the bomb and Del’nor, being the smallest, attempted to mount it inside a small vent under Loor’s direction.

Meanwhile, in the dormitories, Jaran and Nik had little trouble locating Cregan’s cousin, but found that he wasn’t home. After questioning one of his floor mates, they left a message on his door in case they missed him and headed down to try their luck at one of the classrooms. They managed to catch him at the start of class and Jaran tried his best to convince the kid to leave while Nik loomed quietly behind. The kid was having nothing of it and told Jaran where to go and headed in to class, but not before Nik managed to subdue him quietly.

After checking to ensure no one had seen them, they headed back to the van to meet up with the others. The others however were not there, having being held up once again by Charlie and his incessant questioning. He begrudgingly let them go but Jal got the feeling that he trusted them even less the second time around.

With the bomb set and Cregan’s cousin asleep in the back of the van, the crew headed back to Myomar city. Loor handed Koba the remote detonator he’d rigged up and wished him luck. They then headed back to the Shrike with plans to rendezvous with Cregan on Ord Mantell. After speaking briefly with the bothan dockmaster, they broke atmo and in their eagerness to get the hell away from there, kept punching in the incorrect coordinates into the hyperdrive computer. Eventually they remembered to carry the one, and went to lightspeed.

The trip was uneventful and once they reached Ord Mantell, Jaran contacted Cregan and they were directed to land on a small remote island. They delivered the kid, who after being sedated for most of the journey was surly and displeased to see Cregan. Jaran questioned Cregan’s decision to blow the city and was dismayed by the fanatical fervour his friend preached. Jaran told him he’d changed and the two former friends realized their paths would not likely cross again.

Back in space, they were hailed by an absolutely livid Koba, who said the bomb had NOT detonated and they needed to get back there immediately to fix this. Once again the group argued about going back or cutting and running. Jarek said he was going back, because of his family commitments. The others were torn. Del’nor wanted to know why the bomb hadn’t gone off. The puzzle of not knowing meant he wanted to find out. Loor felt he had a contractual obligation. “Job isn’t done” was all he’d say. Antares and Nik felt that going back was a trap and Jal and Jaran didn’t disagree. Ultimately they headed back to finish the job.

When they entered the system, they nervously joined the planet bound traffic and made up a number of elaborate excuses for being back so soon for when they were inspected. However, they didn’t need them as customs didn’t select them and they landed without issue. They contacted Koba and were told that the dormitory safehouse was a bust and she asked that they meet her at an abandoned manufacturing mill in the northern part of the city. The group felt Koba was trying to lure them into a trap and went to the meeting very cautiously.

When they arrived Antares used his rocket boots and jumped up onto the roof to scout the terrain while Nik snuck in through the partially open door. The building looked abandoned and Antares couldn’t see anything through the skylight, though the scope of his gun said their was a heat signature in the office on the second floor. The crew cautiously entered and headed to the office, still expecting a fight. Koba came out to meet them and looked more frazzled than they’d seen her. She showed them the detonator and clicked the button multiple times with no effect. She wanted to know what the hell had gone wrong. The group was at a loss.

They reluctantly agreed to head back to the school to figure out what went wrong, fix the bomb if possible, and possibly set the reactor to overload if not. Being late at night, they were limited in their options for transportation, and ultimately took the last monorail out of town. The few drunk students making their way back to the dorms and the late night cleaning staff heading to work were their only companions and they made little fuss over the motley crew of heavily armed non-humans (mostly) sharing the train car with them.

They got to the school and quickly overpowered the guard at the service gate. They made their way through the empty hallways and into the school’s basement with little trouble. The reactor room was just as loud as it had been before, making any communication beyond dumbshow impossible. Antares boosted up to one of the higher service gantries while the others again watched the doors. Del’nor climbed back into the vent where he’d placed the bomb only to find it… missing. He tried to explain it to Loor, but the noise confounded any meaningful communication. Instead he immediately went to work on setting the reactor to overload, which by Del’nor’s estimation would easily take out the Academy.

As soon as he was done, he started running back out the way he came, frantically waving his arms for the rest to follow. They booked it back up the stairwell into the main atrium and straight into the squads of stormtroopers that were waiting for them. It was a trap!

A firefight broke out and while Antares jumped up to a higher perch, Nik charged headlong into the fray with his vibro-knives humming viciously. The rest dove for cover and they heard the troopers trying to evacuate someone of importance. They suspected it was the Moff, but were occupied with staying alive and never caught sight of him to confirm. Del’nor and Koba ducked back into the stairwell and covered the stairs in case they got flanked. Nik soon regretted his charge as the troopers blasted him with all they had. He managed to stay standing after the first salvo, but the second dropped him easily and he started bleeding out. Jal broke cover to save his friend while the rest of them drew fire. The fight lasted awhile but the group eventually managed to take out the troopers through a combination of firepower, audacity and sheer luck. They realized though that they didn’t have an exit strategy in place and as reinforcements arrived, they started to worry, especially as ammo started getting low.

Jaran told them to follow him and started running back down the hall, deeper into the school. Jarek said he’d cover them and randomly grabbed a grenade from Loor’s belt. They made a break for it as more reinforcements arrived and in the confusion they lost sight of Koba. Jarek raised his hands to surrender, and once the troopers drew near, pulled the pin on the grenade, sacrificing himself and blowing them to pieces along with most of the atrium.

The shockwave of the detonation shook the school and the others didn’t have time to look back or even mourn as they started dodging debris and pieces of collapsing building. Del’nor worried that the grenade might have prematurely triggered the reactor explosion and screamed at them to RUN! Jaran led them deeper into the school towards the training flight deck where the tie fighters were kept. They hastily fired up 4 of them and climbed into the cockpits. Not being familiar with the ships, almost everyone except Jaran had some initial difficulty taking off but eventually 4 tie fighters shot out from the hangar and into the night.

Their sensors picked up other incoming fighters. They prepared to fight but quickly realized that these were trainer ships with no viable weapon systems on them. The 4 tie fighters banked hard and made a break for it, just as the incoming fighters came into range and opened fire…

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Cruising Along
New Adventures in Betrayal & Mistrust

The Shrike made a hasty exit to hyperspace; leaving The Wheel behind and heading coreward with the promise of another big payout.

Del’nor could be heard complaining from engineering that the new drive attachment wasn’t fully installed and they shouldn’t be going to space without another week’s worth of testing. The others ignored him as per usual and drew straws as to who was going into the duct work to “feed the cat”. Nik ultimately drew the short straw and went off exploring.

While Nik explored and Del’nor grumbled, Jarek checked his heading and noticed the light on the subspace transceiver was flashing, indicating there was a message waiting. He was certain it hadn’t been flashing before they jumped to hyperspace.

The message was from A’sha warning that Sonova had betrayed them to Dusan and the package they were carrying was trapped. She offered a safe drop off point with a Koba Yashimaru near Ord Mantell.

While, Jarek deciphered the message, Del’nor was still interpreting the readings coming from the drive and not liking how the numbers kept coming up. After a fair bit of arguing with himself and cursing the lack of proper tools and equipment, he determined that while the drive booster was nominally working, the hasty install had created a power oscillation that was making the booster’s effectiveness deviate wildly and the unaccounted for power surges and drops were ensuring that there was a drift in the astrogation calculations they’d made. Simply put, they were off course.

Nik eventually came upon the desiccated corpse of the panther from the uncharted planet back in The Roil. Apparently it had survived for some time on a diet of bacta and whiskey but it eventually succumbed to the wounds it sustained.

Del’nor told Jarek to drop out of hyperspace and informed them of their drive issues. Loor and Del’nor started to recalculate a course to Corellia but Jarek stopped them and informed everyone of the message from his “cousin”.

Immediately paranoid, they scanned the surrounding space just in case the Imperials or Dusan had crept up on them unaware and this was a trap. Seeing nothing, they then started wondering about the package itself. After some cautious examination and worry about it being trapped, Del’nor relented in his examination and let Loor’s professional expertise take over.

Loor, who only had a casual acquaintance with caution at the best of times, went ahead and opened the package before anyone could stop him. While the others cringed and ducked for cover, Loor stood in front of the package with a look of beatific wonder plastered across his face. Inside was a bomb… a big baradium bomb. Or as Loor described it, a magnificent piece of artwork created by a meticulous grand master.

Loor was in absolute awe of it’s perfection and very protective of it. He denied anyone from looking at it or even touching it and proceeded to lock it in an airlock with a reverent respect bordering on fear.

The rest of the group debated keeping the bomb. Some were in favour just spacing it and cutting their losses. Others were interested in selling it off for at least what they paid for it. or taking it apart and repurposing it. Jarek offered a solution. He suggested they actually deliver the package to the Koba Yashimaru as his cousin advised. After some reluctance, they all agreed and set a course for Ord Mantell to find the Axiom Starliner named Koba Yashimaru.

Even with the new quirks to their engine, the trip was uneventful and they arrived in system to find the ship. After some basic holonet searching, Antares and Del’nor discovered that there was a luxury starcruiser named Axiom that called Ord Mantell port and sailed between several pleasure planets within the region. They slowly came to the realization that Koba Yashimaru might be the name of their contact rather than the ship itself.

They tracked the ship’s location and headed to intercept before it jumped to hyperspace. Jal hailed and attempted to bluff their way on board with a ruse about needing to contact a passenger about their recently deceased relative. Seemingly unconvinced by the ruse, they still allowed the Shrike to dock to better sort out the problem.

Once on board, they were met by a Lieutenant Danforth who listened to their story and after a quick search, advised them that there was no Koba Yashimaru on the passenger manifest. Jal thanked Danforth and apologised for the error. As they were about to leave, the alarms warning a hyperspace jump was imminent went off and Danforth suggested that they come on board until this was sorted out.

The group was initially hesitant as they’d planned to stay on their ship but Danforth informed them that this hangar would be unshielded and exposed to vacuum during the jump and they’d be trapped on board their ship until they dropped out again in 3-5 days.

The crew agreed and Danforth told them in no uncertain terms that no heavy weaponry beyond a pistol would be tolerated on board or they would be spaced. Loor was hesitant to leave his girls behind and had to be forcibly reminded to abide by the rules. Danforth became increasingly impatient and eventually the majority of the heavier weapons were deposited in the Shrike. They were then taken to a pair of cramped crew cabins and advised that while they were free to move about the ship and enjoy the amenities, they were under strict orders not to disturb the other guests or the captain or they’d be spaced. They were free to depart in 3 days when they next dropped out of hyperspace.

Immediately after Danforth left, Jal searched in vain for a complimentary minibar before realizing this was a crew cabin. Del’nor grabbed the room’s data console and attempted to subvert it’s programming. After hacking into the ship’s internal records, they performed their own search and came up with similar results to Danforth’s.

After exhausting their leads, Jarek reached out to his cousin and was given “help”. Koba was apparently a pantoran and not travelling under his real name. Armed with this new information, Del’nor started searching for passengers fitting the description.

Jal and Loor decided on a more physical approach to searching and went looking for a purser or information booth. After finding one on the main concourse, Loor told Jal to wait and walked up to the desk. He placed one of his grenades on the desk and told them that this had belonged to Koba and they should return it to them.

He then went back to stand by Jal and said to watch and learn.

They both watched as the purser at the information booth, called someone over the comms and shortly thereafter a couple of security personnel came and took the grenade away.

Loor paused and went “Oh. I hadn’t thought of that.” while Jal stood bewildered that Loor had snuck a grenade on board. They both ducked away before the purser identified them.

Loor headed back to the cabin, sulking over the loss of “Sue” and Jal attempted to find another purser who was more amenable. Jarek came as well as it was getting close to dinner time. Finding one near the dining lounge, Jal turned on his natural charm and managed to get a list of names. Del’nor started to cross reference them and accessed surveillance feeds for the specific cabins.

While Jal drank to his success, Jarek sat and scanned the room. Watching for blue-skinned pantorans. While he was watching the room, a small blue skinned elfin girl in an oversized trenchcoat sat down beside him and started to chat him up.

Midway through her airheaded socialite banter, she switched gears completely and wanted to know why Jarek and his friends were looking for her. Jarek said he had a package from A’sha. …

There was a brief pause while the girl took in this information and then advised them to stop looking for her. They were setting off all sorts of alarms with the crew. She asked if they had a way off the ship. When Jarek hesitated she asked if he even knew what the ship was. When he said he didn’t, she informed him that it was in fact a Prison Ship posing as a cruise liner. It was a way for the Empire to keep the rich dissidents entertained and ineffectual. She muttered something about bread and circuses that went over Jarek’s head.

She told Jarek that whatever they were planning, to make sure she had an hour’s notice. She then slipped back into her airheaded socialite persona and wandered back to her friends, blending into the crowd.

Jarek Let everyone know via the comms what had occurred and headed back to the room. Del’nor checked the cameras and caught a look at their target before she blended into the crowd.

Everyone met back in the room and they were discussing what their next plan would be when there was a knock on the door. Jal opened it and was met by a man in an officer’s uniform who introduced himself as Mr Steed and asked to come in. Del’nor quickly flipped the computer screen to something unassuming and everyone attempted to “act casual”.

Mr Steed entered and nodded politely to everyone before advising them just as politely that misplacing ordinance at guest services was not something that was appreciated. Mr Steed also advised Jal to keep his trained monkey from playing with the computers. He then told them that any further disruption would result in Lt. Danforth’s threat becoming a reality. With that he politely let himself out and left the group to wonder how they were going to get out of this mess.

Del’nor checked his computer screen only to find he’d been locked out. Loor was ecstatic at finding “Sue” again. The others questioned Jarek as to how they were going to contact Koba again. He realized in hindsight he should have thought about that but he was confident that she’d manage to find them when the time came though. Not able to disagree, they all settled down into planning an escape. They started checked on the hangar to see if it was open to space and figuring out some sort of plan/distraction to exit the ship.

Eventually they came up with a plan to set off an explosive decompression from within the hangar and just ride the blast into space… while in hyperspace. It may not have been the safest plan, but it was a plan. Del’nor and Loor calculated that by the time the Axiom dropped out of hyperspace to follow, they’d be far enough ahead to essentially be “lost in space”.

They were ready to make their exit… with just one problem. They had no way to contact Koba. Del’nor hacked into another terminal away from their room and started running a visual search for the girl in the picture. Not finding anything, the rest of the group went into action under the pretense of exploring the ship. While in the casino, Loor got distracted and started playing Sabaac. While they were searching, they were approached discreetly by their friend and she was furious that by searching for her image, they’d given the Ship’s crew a visual on her and she was on the run. She hastily told them she’d have no further contact with them and to speak to a Twi’lek named Sa’deen in the nocturnal pool in two hours.

Jal, Nik and Jarek made their way to the nocturnal pool and while in the elevator, ran into some people in long flowing robes who seemed to be searching for some one or some thing. Whatever it was, they sounded like they were getting frustrated.

Exiting to the level of the pool, They found it dimly lit, smelling mildly of sulphur and sparsely populated. After a quick search, the only twi’lek in the room was lounging in a robe in front of the deepest portion of the pool.

Casually approaching, he put them at ease and asked what they wanted with his boss. Jal brought him up to speed with the plan and advised that they’d be ready to go in about an hour. Sa’deen nodded and asked if they had room for one more. He hinted at being able to pay his way (once he was free that was). Never ones to say no to credits, Jal said sure, as long as he and Koba were at the ship when it was time to leave. As they were leaving, they mentioned the overheard conversation with the robed ones. Sa’deen grinned wickedly and said that he was surprised they hadn’t found it yet, probably hadn’t looked on top of the turbolifts yet.

Idle curiousity got the better of Nik and when they returned to the turbolift, he climbed on top at Jal’s prompting. Once up top, he discovered an ornate sword with a series of cryptic letters engraved on the blade.

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Once he got down, it was time to go. They dragged Loor away from his sabaac game, which he wasn’t sure if he’d won or not. Jarek and Del’nor made for the control room to find an access terminal. Loor and the others headed for the door to wait for the signal.

After successfully sneaking into the control room and neutralizing the techs working there, Jarek signaled to Del’nor who started programming their plans into the computer. They attempted to “warn” the bridge that the readings weren’t right but were unsuccessful at convincing them. “Ensign Stevens” got put on report for incompetency thanks to Del’nor.

Once the minutes ticked down to the appointed time, Loor did what he does best, and managed to blow open the door without blowing a massive hole in the ship. Inside of the hangar, were a squadron of stormtroopers who immediately started firing at the group as they made their way to the ship.

Antares took a bead on the sergeant and was surprised and mildly impressed that he was still standing after the first shot. Loor raced to the ship, eager to try out his new toy only to find the ship locked. Jal stayed near the entrance with Antares as Nik charged headfirst into the troopers and engaged the sergeant as well. With the fight breaking out down below, Jarek and Del’nor gave one last warning to the bridge and then hurried to the docking bay.

Loor managed to open the ship’s door with Nik’ s help , grab his gun and fire it. Unfortunately in his haste and due to his unfamiliarity with it, the first grenade he fired was a dud and didn’t explode. It did however dent one of the trooper’s helmets significantly enough to obscure his vision making him fire wildly.

Antares took some hits but Jal managed to patch up the major bleeds. Loor suffered a couple of hits as well. Nik sliced his way through the sergeant and made his way back to the ship. Antares and Jal also headed for the ship after clearing out the troopers.

Jarek and Del’nor raced into the hangar just in time. Behind them another two squadrons of Stormtroopers came to subdue the mutineers, setting up E-web cannons in the entry.

While Jarek and Del’nor strapped in, Nik climbed into the ventral gunnery station and opened up on the troopers, blasting them into bits. They waited for the smoke to clear and when it did the Troopers and the door behind them was gone.

The clocked kept ticking down, and still no sign of Koba or Sa’deen. When they were about to give up hope and close the door, The twi’lek came running into the hangar with another group of Stormtroopers on his tail. He dove on board just in time.

There was no time to wait for Koba as Del’nor’s program activated and they were forced to seal the ship and prepare for “take off”. There was a massive overload in the hangar controls. The subsequent explosion blew a massive hole in the side of the Starliner and killed power to the force field surrounding the bay. As it flickered off, Jarek punched it and launched the Shrike into space.

There was a hideous screeching noise as the ship’s inertial dampeners screamed in protest as the Shrike shifted from lightspeed to realspace in a heartbeat.

As the crew gathered themselves and lamented about not getting Koba out, Sa’deen peeled off his lekku leaving bloody stumps on the cargo bay floor. In seconds, Sa’deen became Koba and the small woman turned to the somewhat stunned crew and said. “Right boys. Let’s get me to Myomar.”

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Out of The Frying Pan...
...and Into The Fire

The gantries and giant computer towers crashed down into the icy cavern behind them, and the party dove into the unknown passageway and hoped for safety.

Jarek landed badly and collapsed from the strain. Jal tried to revive him as the group gathered their wits and assessed the situation.

As Jarek came around, the party realized that Del’nor had somehow gotten lost. In the confusion he seemed to have wandered off. They tried to hail him over the comms but were met with the voice of Loor, who had finally woken up from his Bacta Tank nap and wanted to know where they were and what was going on.

Despite the commlink not being secure, they filled him in with the details of where they were and what they were planning on stealing (and from whom), then told him to bring the ship around to secure their exit.

Loor took off and started circling the base looking for a hangar to land in, keeping low enough to avoid detection occasionally trying to scan for Del’nor’s comm signal.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party checked in every available janitorial closet, living space and guard post they found along the corridor until they eventually gave up, hoped for the best and tried to find a way back to the surface themselves. With the computer towers no longer functioning, the base’s environmental controls were shutting down and the temperature was dropping rapidly. If they didn’t get out of there soon, they would freeze to death before the stormtroopers found them.

After some time exploring various corridors and service rooms, they eventually came to another set of hanging walkways that led back to the turbolifts. Guarding the lifts were a large group of stormtroopers and what looked like some technicians that were trying to assess the damage to the server towers.

Opting for stealth, the party tried to sneak towards the elevators and avoid a fight and at first they seemed successful. Unfortunately Jal stumbled as they got closer and drew the troopers’ attentions. They were initially mistaken for a group of firefighters but the confusion didn’t last long and a firefight broke out.

Antares sniped at a few of them while Jarek laid down some covering fire. Jal took some shots as did Nik, who also moved up towards the lifts. With a precision born from teamwork, they each whittled the enemy down so that when the troopers returned fire, they were less than effective. They made short work of the stormtroopers, and rather than leave the technicians alive to call reinforcements, Nik, calmly slaughtered them as they surrendered.

They called the lift, and expecting more troopers, prepared for a fight. It never came and they were able to board the lift with ease. As they were about half way up, the lift shut down on them. Antares volunteered to climb up as he was the smallest. While on top of the lift looking for a ladder, he saw that there was a data console control panel with a flashing red light on top of the lift. Jal was nominated smartest Falleen in the room and was immediately drafted into attempting to fix the broken lift.

Giving it his best shot, he determined that the lift was in fact stopped, and it probably wouldn’t be going anywhere any time soon. The red light stopped flashing and became a solid glow that illuminated the ladder in an almost prophetic fashion.

With much grumbling, the party hauled themselves out of the elevator and started the long climb up the remaining fifteen levels. After a grueling 40+ minutes of climbing they eventually came out on the same level where they’d started. The halls were eerily silent. as they made their way back to the side door where they’d came in.

Jarek unsuccessfully attempted to catch Loor’s attention as he circled above. Before having to resort to more violent methods of getting Loor’s attention, he noticed them on his own and came in for a landing ignoring the fact that there wasn’t a big enough space for the ship to land. He gracefully hovered above the ice and lowered the loading ramp.

The whole team struggled to get on board but after numerous attempts, they managed it. Before Loor could head to space, he was reminded about Del’nor and hovered a little longer while the team waited impatiently and scanned the exits looking for their friend.

As they were waiting, Del’nor’s voice was heard on the comms asking why they hadn’t broken atmo yet. Baffled at how Del’nor had beat them to the ship, but relieved that they could now leave, they headed for space and came within kissing distance of one of the star destroyers they’d seen when they entered in system.

Loor worked his magic and plotted a course straight towards the blockade.before the star destroyer could lock on or open fire. The stars blurred as they jumped to Hyperspace. They were free…

… but only briefly, as the the gravity well projector of an interdictor class star destroyer, the Praetor, pulled them back into realspace and hailed them at the edge of the Gordian Reach. Jal tried charming them and bluffing their way past using what they hoped were the right codes from the stolen data but either his pheromones didn’t work well over the comms or the codes were bogus. Either way the interdictor insisted they dock for inspection.

Fearing incarceration (or worse), the crew punched it as the interdictor launched fighters. Jarek was confident he could outfly them and Loor calculated a rough distance to the edge of the destroyer’s gravity field. The chase was on.

As the fighters closed, Nik and Antares manned the guns and prepared for a fight. Jal, not sharing Jarek’s confidence, injected him with an agility booster and when Loor laughed at this, Jal turned around and dosed him as well.

With both pilot and co-pilot doped up, They easily outflew and stayed well ahead of the tie fighters swarming behind them. They took advantage of a bit of floating debris (likely one of the interdictor’s previous customers), and made a break for it.

They cleared the gravity well and Loor realized he still had to make the hyperspace calculations to get them out of there. Relying mostly on blind luck and his racial gifts , he scrambled to make the the calculations and was successful. They made the jump and headed for The Wheel to meet up with Prospero.

After a (relatively) short, and uneventful trip, the Shrike dropped out of hyperspace at the Wheel. After being cooped up in the ship together for a month and a half, the group was desperate to get out. Jal desperately needed a drink so he, Nik and Jarek headed to meet up with Prospero while the others started perusing the various online shopping catalogs of the establishments on The Wheel and counting their credits.

After meeting up with Prospero and having a quick drink, he advised that they were being watched. Suggesting they meet up later, he told them to come by his place in a few hours once he lost his tail. Jal, suggested that they meet on their ship instead and promised to take care of the tail. Acting as a drunken fool, he successfully stalled the Defel tail long enough for Prospero to slip away.

Once they were back on the ship, they brought the others up to speed and waited for Prospero to arrive. They didn’t have long to wait. He showed up and they got down to business. He reviewed the data, lamented that it was now almost two months out of date, but was impressed that it (and they) had survived. They dickered over the price, and after coming to an adequate agreement, Prospero gave them the name of his contact on The Wheel: one Sonova Bith.

Sonova proved to be a Devaronian of few words but of many resources. He was able to get the party some key items they’d been hoping for; he allowed them the use of his drydock to help install Del’nor’s gizmo. He also offered them a delivery contract on Corellia with a 40,000 credit payout which they jumped at.

Before the week was up though, Jarek got a call from “his cousin” advising him that their old friend Dusan had heard where they were and had sent a bounty hunter after them.

Deciding to get a head start on the delivery mission to Corellia, they finished up their restocking and refuelling and took to space as fast as possible. Del’nor griped that the drive wasn’t ready yet but the others ignored him and jumped to hyperspace anyways…

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Imperial Entanglements...
Do you Know The Way To Far Indosa?

While enjoying the spoils of their recent exploits into the nebula, the crew became somewhat complacent and their past caught up with them. They received a last minute warning from Prospero that Dusan had finally found them and they needed to get out of the Reach… quick.

Without having a chance to complete the upgrades to their ship, they took to space not a moment too soon. Once they’d left Korphir, Prospero gave them some advice as to how to escape not just from Dusan, but from the Imperials as well,

The crew decided that Prospero’s vague promise of payment, was a damn sight better than hanging from one of Dusan’s meathooks or spending hard time in an Imperial prison.

The job was simple. Head to icy Far Indosa. Infiltrate the Imperial base there. Get the Imperial blockade codes. Get out undetected. Run the blockade and meet up with Prospero on The Wheel.

While the crew were discussing their options and formulating 12% of a plan, the proximity alert sounded and they watched as two unmarked Gozanti cruisers dropped out of hyperspace and closed in on them. Del’nor methodically plotted a jump to Far Indosa and wished that Loor was there to help him get creative with the numbers instead of spending his time swimming in bacta.

The Cruisers paced the smaller Shrike but could not overtake them. Four small snubfighters launched from one of the cruisers in an effort to slow them and closed rapidly. Antares and Nik headed for the guns. After focusing himself, Antares pulled the trigger and blasted one of the fighters at a range that bordered on the impossible. The ship wasn’t destroyed but it did enough damage that it stopped pursuit and headed back to the Gozanti.

As the snubfighters got closer, Antares got more confident and blasted another one with similar results. Sending it back to the cruiser. Nik, being a competitive soul, didn’t want to be left out and started shooting as well. Between the two of them, they made short work of the fighters and gave Del’nor enough time to plot a course.

With the astrogation computations competed, Jarek punched the hyperdrive but instead of a blurring starfield, he killed the power accidentally. As the Gozanti closed, he and Del’nor argued about fixing it. At the last minute he remembered some of the systems were installed backwards and the Shrike jumped to Hyperspace just in time.

After a long and uneventful trip, They finally dropped out of hyperspace in the Far Indosa system. At the edge of the system, they saw a convoy of 3 star destroyers patrolling and they immediately began to doubt their confidence and ability to pull this job off in one piece.

Keeping their distance and flying as casually as they could, they used the system’s star and planet’s orbit to hide their approach from the destroyers, eventually coming in to land undetected a short distance away from the main facility.

After finding a discarded crate of cold weather gear tucked into the back of one of the smuggling compartments, they headed out to survey the base. After a few false starts and numb extremities, they made it to the base. While Antares and Jarek stealthily approached the entrance, Del’nor, Jal and Nik tripped on an unseen ice lump and were discovered by the base’s security forces. A quick firefight broke out and the crew dispatched the stormtroopers with relative ease and gained access to the base.

Once inside the party decided against splitting up and after picking a random direction ended up in a communications office staffed by several imperial naval personnel. Forgoing stealth or subterfuge, they charged in guns blazing and took out several officers before one sounded an alarm.

Dispatching the officers took time, but luck was on their side as several well placed shots crippled and disfigured their enemies. On top of that, a well placed blaster shot from Jarek managed to take out the base alarm. Unfortunately, it also drained his gun’s power cell at the same time.

While Jarek switched weapons, Antares and Nik made short work of the remaining officers until only one remained. He surrendered and Jarek quickly assured him that no harm would come to him as long as he cooperated. They questioned him on where the fleet record were kept and he advised they would be in the deep storage vaults on level 37. Del’nor grabbed a map and confirmed that there was in fact a level 37 and the officer was probably telling the truth.

With a map in hand, the party descended without difficulty to level 37. A series of gantries and walkways overhanging deep crevasses and icy rivers greeted them. Following Del’nor’s map, they came across a huge vault with 9 vast computer tower arrays running from floor to ceiling. As they watched several of the towers rotated as various bits of data were accessed by a reader 20 feet above their heads. The gantries attached to each tower rotated as the tower did creating a broken and incomplete pathway that was constantly changing.

Trying to make sense of the towers and their purpose, Del’nor managed to identify where the files on the Imperial fleet were kept. After figuring out a rudimentary way of rotating the towers, they slowly moved towards their goal

After a few lucky maneuvers, they reached the console for fleet command and Del’Nor started to download the data. Unfortunately he triggered some sort of alarm in the process and three squadrons of Stormtroopers showed up with guns blazing.

After realizing they were sitting ducks for the long rifles of the troopers, Jarek and Nik made a break for the nearest group while Antares returned fire. The fight lasted a fairly long time, made more difficult by the constantly rotating gantries. During the fight several stray shots damaged the towers and the whole thing threatened to collapse in on them.

Thankfully Del’nor managed to finish the download before that and as the towers collapsed one by one into the ice below, the group made a break into an unknown corridor and collapsed…

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A Brief Respite
Time to heal up.

“Run!” screamed Jarek as he and Rhee charged out of the wrecked ship with the Droideka carrying the limp form of Nik.

The ground shook around them as they avoided Loor’s makeshift bomb on the grav sled field and jumped onto the ship just in time. The lava tube underneath the wreck collapsed and the whole complex disappeared into the lava.

They tossed Nik into the bacta tank as they broke atmo and Jarek brought them up to speed on their adventures trying to escape the ship. They had ran into some of the pirates on the way out and a few poorly aimed grenades had taken out a support structure which collapsed onto Nik. They’d used the droideka to dig him out and then had to find their way out again.

Once in space, they quickly debated chasing after Rickard and his boss or making the trek back through the nebula. After a short discussion they decided to head back and get paid.

The trip back was rougher than going in due to a miscalculation in the hyperspace coordinates and the ship barely held together. Eventually they returned to realspace and made their way to their rendezvous with Prospero.

While Prospero wasn’t pleased with the delay in getting the information back to him , he placed the blame more on Rhee and paid out for their efforts. Less than the group hoped for but enough to keep flying.

Once they had settled with Prospero, it was time to deal with the reason they were delayed: Rhee’s krayt dragon pearl.

Not trusting the squirrelly little chadra fan, Jal and Antares went with him to the meeting in an old mechanics shop in a less than savoury neighbourhood.

Rhee’s fixer bought the pearl at a heavily discounted price and he paid the group their cut. Again it was less than promised but more than they’d expected.

The group also used the fixer to move a lot of their accumulated gear and had plans to sell of the Droideka as well in exchange for some time with the fixer’s drydock.

While Jal and Antares were negotiating, the rest busied themselves around the port. Del’nor buried his head in his “project”; Jarek went shopping; Loor attempted unsuccessfully to increase his “family”; Nik continued to take up space in the bacta tank. There were occasional growls heard throughout the ship but no one saw the panther.

Overall it was a fairly lucrative run and was the first time in a long time the crew hadn’t been scrounging for scraps. They had money In their wallets and a relatively safe place to recuperate. They relaxed and became somewhat complacent

Jal transported the droideka back to the mechanics shop to prove to the fixer that they had one, but when he got there the building was engulfed in flames. The fire was too intense to check for survivors but the fixer, Rhee and his protocol droid D3 were all presumed to be inside. Hoping to not draw attention to himself, Jal quickly turned tail and headed back to the ship to let the others know.

As he was climbing on board, they got a message from Prospero saying that they’d been made and Dusan and his men were enroute to intercept them. They needed to get off planet fast.

Prospero said that he had a plan and would contact them once they got away.

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Just One More...
Greed vs. Survival

The door closed behind Del’Nor but he was oblivious to it. His eyes were focused on the parts in front of him. He was so lost in the potential of the parts that he didn’t make any noise and wasn’t noticed by the pirates on the gantryway above.

On the other side of the door, Loor, Antares and Jal made fast plans to rescue the drall from the pirates, despite being fairly injured themselves. When they tried to contact him over their comms, he denied seeing any pirates but was emphatic that they come and help him with the parts as he was certain it was a hyperdrive motivator of some sort.

Unconvinced that the pirates weren’t there, they tried opening the door only to find it had auto locked again. Deciding that it was time to leave, Antares and Jal modified the plan to stun Del’nor and escape. Jal lied to Del’nor and told him that the grav-sled was there already and being so eager to get the parts onto the shrike he believed him.

Loor opened the door but Del’nor was wily and managed to close the door before Antares could get a shot off. They went back and forth like this a number of times almost comically before Antares managed to shoot him and knocked out the stubborn drall.

Once he was out, they searched to see if the pirates, and Antares’, nemesis was still there but it looked like they had left through another bulkhead door while Del’Nor was distracted.

As they had no idea what the engineering marvel Del’Nor had been ranting about looked like, they reluctantly woke him up.

They instantly regretted their decision when he threatened to kill them all in their sleep if they didn’t help him take his precious parts back to the ship. Jal was uncertain if the little drall had been affected by some strain of rabies and wanted to run some tests but Del’nor shook him off. In an effort to appease the old scientist, they found a grav-sled and loaded the parts onto it. Antares was certain that it was junk and muttered under his breath about wasting time.

Once the scrap was loaded, Del’nor did a sweep of the room to see if they’d missed anything and found a couple of heavy ship lasers. They argued for a bit about what had more immediate value and ultimately decided to make two trips. They had tried to recall Jarek, Nik and the Droideka but discovered that they were lost in the bowels of the ship with Rhee and the protocol droid D3.

They first took Del’nor’s prize and then headed back for the lasers. The trip back to the ship was slow and so quiet it bred an overcautious paranoia in the group that was only diffused by the almost comedic comm chatter from Jarek and Nik as they tried to manoeuvre the droid through some tight spaces and back to the surface.

Eventually they reached the surface and began crossing the long stretch of hardened magma between the crash and their ship. Their heightened awareness paid off and they caught a glimpse of movement on the ridgeline. It seems they’d found where the pirates had disappeared to.

A firefight broke out and the pirates demanded that they surrender the Shrike. To emphasise their point, Rickard Anzac planted a well aimed shot at Antares’ feet.

The fight was brutal. Jal made a break for the ship while Del’nor, Loor and Antares used the grav sled as cover and inched towards the ship. Antares returned fire and was pretty sure he took out Rickard when the sniping stopped suddenly.

Loor rigged a surprise to the grav sled as a last resort and Del’Nor slowly pushed it towards the ship.

The panthers were released and came racing down the slope towards Jal along with their handler who was brandishing a wicked axe.

Jal made it to the ship and got it open but wasn’t able to get inside before the cats were upon him. As soon as the ship was open Loor abandoned the sled and raced past Jal into the ship, giving Del’nor the briefest of warnings “If you leave, don’t come back for it”.

Antares also abandoned the sled and used the recoil from his last shot to propel him into the safety of the ship. The cats pounced. One leapt heroically over Jal and into the cargo hold and the other gave Jal a nasty slice.

Loor, in his infinite wisdom, pulled out a plasma grenade and dropped it at the cat inside. He grabbed Antares and made for a hasty exit back outside but was ill prepared when the cat swatted the grenade back towards him. He shielded Antares from the blast using his own body and they both tumbled back outside.

Antares got up and took a shot at the axe wielding pirate before he closed the gap. Del’Nor finally abandoned the grav sled and took a shot at… something. Loor slammed the door shut trapping the one cat inside as Jal dispatched the other one.

The axe wielding pirate was overcome with rage as his pet went down and swung with all his might at Antares. Antares went down hard and Jal scrambled to patch him up while Loor dispatched the pirate.

With his crew gone, the pirate captain sounded a retreat and disappeared over the ridge line, the party too hurt or tired to care.

As they sat there wondering how they were going to deal with the cat still trapped in their ship, they felt a series of explosions deep underground and the ground began to shake dangerously. Turning towards the wreck, the survivors saw Nik, Jarek and Rhee covered in black dust and running towards the ship, followed by D3 and the Droideka stumbling behind.

RUN!!!” They screamed…

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Easy Money He Said...
Just a quick side trip he said...

After narrowly escaping the Imperial cordon on Atorra, the crew of the Shrike plot the hyperspace jump to Feena so they can deliver the information Rhee K’ahr has to Prospero and get some long overdue cash. Before jumping however, Rhee offers them a proposition. He found an uncharted planet out in the Roil and needs some help getting back to the temple he discovered there.

He promises riches beyond their current hand to mouth situation and after some debate, they take him up on his offer, figuring that they’re ahead of schedule and can still get to Prospero on time and if they’re lucky, get paid twice. Before they head into danger, they bargain with Rhee and come to an agreement of roughly 70/30 split which amounted to 36,000 credits. That combined with the 15K from Prospero and for once, they might be ahead of the game… but first they had to get there.

Rhee eagerly supplied them with coordinates but their navicomp kept rejecting them with warnings of multiple mass shadows along the direct route. Rhee assured them that he documented the right coordinates and offered a couple of solutions. He first suggested that they fly the route manually which Jarekl felt was far beyond his ability as a pilot. The other option was to disable the safety override on the navicomp and trust Rhee’s coordinates were correct.

Del’nor figured he could override the navicomp with ease, but was surprised at the layers of complexity that were on the system. As someone pointed out, the safeties are there to prevent us from running into a planet, not something you’re supposed to have on a toggle switch. Eventually he managed to crack the system, but he had a nagging sensation that something else was off… he just couldn’t put his finger on it.

With the safeties disabled and the coordinates entered, they jumped to hyperspace and spent a very rough ride into the Nebula known as The Roil.

After a day or so, they came out, somewhat worse for wear, in an uncharted system. The star was a red giant. Blazing hot and angrily throwing out solar ejecta. In the outer system was a gas giant surrounded by a debris field of rocks and ice. Closer in towards the star lay their destination. A small rocky world covered in lava floes and volcanic activity. The coordinates lay somewhere in the southern hemisphere.

Scanning as they closed on the planet, they picked up another ship parked outside the temple and opted for an out of the way landing spot and an arduous overland trek to the temple

With Nik, in the lead they crested the ridge above the temple site to a hive of activity. The pirates Rhee had warned them about were loading a freighter with heavy, unmarked crates.

Ignoring the crates, they opted to steal the pirate’s ship instead. Nik attempted to sneak through the pirates while Antares set up on the ridge with his rifle on overwatch.

Nik was halfway through the crowd when a wrong turn brought him face to face with a pirate. He dispatched him quickly but all pretense of stealth was up and a firefight broke out. The freighter took a few shots and then took off but not before Del’nor noticed a defect in its plasma manifold. The freighter disappeared over the ridge trailing smoke, it’s fate ultimately unknown.

The fight took time to finish with each side managing a few good hits but ultimately they were victorious.

After examining the bodies and grabbing what usable loot they could, Jarek hiked back to the ship and brought it back to the temple entrance for convenience.

A quick investigation of the temple entryway revealed a hallway or old lava tube running to the left and right and by the tracks it showed the pirates had been down the right hallway most recently. Rhee insisted that he hadn’t been that way before and insisted the treasure was down the other path.

Once inside, the heat and oxygen levels returned to bearable levels but were replaced by an inky blackness. Rhee commented that it wasn’t this dark last time and tried to hurry off to their destination but the party were more cautious. They started to examine the first few rooms and discovered small individual living quarters and in the dim lighting, realized this wasn’t a temple after all, but a long abandoned starship that must have crash landed.

Del’nor postulated that it was at least 500 years old, possibly older. He didn’t think it was military but had been wrong before. He was honestly surprised it had survived as long as it had under the circumstances.

As they explored deeper, Jal wondered aloud why Rhee hadn’t realized this was a ship sooner and they all started to doubt their employer’s veracity about the whole operation, especially once Rhee admitted that he hadn’t been on their current route before. He said that the darkness had gotten him turned around but the seeds of disbelief were sown.

They next entered what they assumed was a storage area for the series of cabins behind them. The room was strewn with debris of luggage and in the dark they heard ominous growling echoing through the darkness.

Spooked but resolute, they delved deeper into the ship and eventually came to an open area that was once a common area or mess hall. Now it was the scene of a shootout. They discovered the bodies of a number of pirates killed recently by blaster fire along with the corpse of a 4 legged mammal that Del’nor identified as an Asharl panther.

Further in they heard more ominous growling without a source and the sounds of nearby movement. Entering the next room, they were confronted by a pair of glowing green eyes that materialised as a very ill-used protocol droid.

The droid, originally was orange and white but years of ill use and ash had coated him a filthy grey. He identified himself as Dee Three Kay Zero One and advised them that this was in fact a starship called the Revenant and he was the personal assistant of the captain named Mawdryn. The droid advised that the ship had crashed years ago after a hyperjump gone wrong while fleeing a battle.

Jal and the rest immediately mistrusted the droid and peppered him with questions about the ship, it’s layout and the pirates. The answers Dee Three gave were detailed but still didn’t seem to satisfy the group. He willingly promised to lead them to both the power relay and the captain’s quarters in exchange for taking him with them when they left.

They first headed to an working console and deftly restored power to the ship. The dim light of restored power felt like blazing sun after so long in the dark. After adjusting to the lighting change they headed to the captain’s quarters.

The door was jammed and only a small opening was available to slip through. Rhee slipped through with ease and Antares followed while the others attempted to open the door manually. Inside was the once opulent personal quarters of someone important. The room was still in darkness except for a soft blue glow coming from a podium with an active anti-gravity field. Inside the field sat a huge pearl almost 30 inches in diameter.

The others managed to get the door open and Rhee handed the pearl to Nik for safekeeping though Jal doubted its veracity. The group took a few moments to debate their options: Rhee, Antares and Nik were all for heading back to the ship as he got what he came for but Jarek and Del’nor were interested in what the pirates were doing down in engineering.

Deciding ultimately to investigate engineering, they set off down the corridors. As they came to a crossroads two ancient security droids rolled around the corner and took a bead on the party.

Loor charged forward shouting “These are worth money boys. Take them alive!” as he pulled out his ion grenades. The party started shooting and managed to get a few good hits in before the droids got their shields up. Then the fight got ugly. The droids viciously tore through the party much like they did the pirates back in the mess hall. Loor was undaunted and eventually they did enough damage to take the droids offline.

One droid was beyond salvaging and they managed to subdue the other. Jarek remembered he had a restraining bolt (though he couldn’t remember why). Del’nor installed it and they heard more pirates coming down the corridor to investigate the noise.

Before they had time to recover another firefight broke out. Even with their wounds the party outclassed the pirates and the fight was soon over.

Whether it was the last grenade the pirates tossed or just the age of the ship and it’s location finally coming to bear, tremors started to shake the ship. The group was adamant about keeping their new pet droid and Jarek set off to take it back to the Shrike while the others made their way to engineering.

The door was locked when they got there but Del’nor made short work of it and the door opened.

Two things happened simultaneously:

Del’nor was immediately drawn to a disparate pile of parts and schema sitting on a work bench opposite. His eyes couldn’t believe his luck at finding these… things. Nothing else mattered. “We need these. I need these” he said softly, oblivious to whether the others even heard him or not. He took an involuntarily step forward.

The others opened the doors and their eyes were not drawn to the miscellaneous pile of junk in the corner but instead to the vastness of the room and on an upper platform where three men stood with their backs to the party. The men turned as one at the noise of the door. At the feet of one of the men sat two animals extremely similar to the corpse in the mess hall. They let out a now familiar growl.

Acting on an instinct born of self preservation, Loor pushed the button before anyone else could react and the door slammed shut again. As it closed, Antares briefly locked eyes with one of the men and a spark of recognition lit a fire inside him. A fire born of revenge. He swore that was that bastard Rickard Anzac!

The door closed and it was only as it locked back into place that they realised that Del’nor was still on the other side…

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Find A Job. Keep Flying
Milk Run!

The crew of the Shrike stopped on Feena briefly to resupply after being on the run from Dusan and his men for 2 weeks. While restocking their supplies, Jarek caught wind of someone following them. Jarek was certain the leader was familiar but couldn’t place from where. He called in the rest of the group who curtailed their shopping sprees…. eventually and joined up.
Using a combination of stealth and intimidation, they avoided a major confrontation and decided to head off world to avoid further confrontation.

They headed for Korphir with the intent to find Prospero and see if he had work for them. Following the directions A’sha had provided, they landed uneventfully and located the nautolan in his offices. Jarek was initially concerned as this “Prospero” was not the same one he’d met on Pygorix. Prospero dismissed his concerns and advised them that while he was obliged to help them due to favours he owed to A’sha, he didn’t trust them to do the jobs he had at the level his reputation required.

Prospero offered them a simple job of returning with a missing courier. A “blue milk run” if you will. He had an courier that was overdue to return with important information on Imperial troop movements. The last contact had been from the agriworld of Atorra. They were offered 10,000 credits with a bonus of 2,000 more if they could get the courier back quickly.

Hoping to make the trip under the deadline, Del’nor and Loor calculated a risky astrogation route that cut the time in half. The trip was extremely rough on both the ship and the crew, but they made it with only minor scrapes and bruises.

Once they landed on Atorra, they immediately noticed a strong Imperial presence. Extremely strong for a backwater agriworld, even taking the recent events on Yavin into account. They hacked into a terminal and confirmed that their quarry had passed through customs several weeks ago, but there was no record of him leaving. Nik reached out to some former contacts in the underworld and came up lucky. He grabbed an address in a suburban apartment complex where the courier was hiding.

The party headed to the address only to be stopped short by an Imperial roadblock. The Stormtroopers had received a similar tip off and were in the process of searching the building. Racing against time, they raced up the stairwell to the twelfth floor and started searching the the apartments ahead of the Imperials. Loor headed up to the thirteenth floor with a plan to hold the elevator and give the others more time to search. After numerous failed attempts and awkward social interactions they eventually located the right apartment and hastily name dropped Prospero’s name in the hopes of convincing the courier’s compatriots that they weren’t working with the Imperials. A purple skinned twi’lek female eventually confided in them that the courier had already escaped into the duct work of the building and told them to piss off.

At that moment the elevator dinged. Time had run out.

Del’nor managed to unlock the door across the hall and they rushed in with seconds to spare. The sole resident, a young male human, was stunned by their presence and the guns in his face. They attempted to coach him into going along with a plausible story about why they were visiting with him but the combination of his drug induced haze and his fear resulted in a fairly monosyllabic vocabulary. Before they could do much else, the Stormtroopers opened the door and demanded to see their documents.

They were questioned as to why they were there, and the crew managed to deflect the stormtrooper’s line of questioning enough with a story that they were here to help their cousin get better. The trooper wasn’t convinced and started questioning the apartment’s owner. The strain of the situation finally permeated his drug addled brain and he cracked like an egg after the simplest of questions. He blurted out that the person the stormtroopers was looking for was across the hall.

The stormtroopers reacted immediately and started clearing the floor, taking everyone downstairs for processing. The troopers were irritated by the bottleneck that the single elevator was causing and overrode the other elevator, unknowningly summoning Loor from the floor above. Jarek took advantage of the momentary distraction and started a firefight by pushing one of the civilians into one of the troopers.

A long, messy firefight broke out with numerous civilian casualties and just as many misses due to the confined space. Eventually they overcame the stormtroopers without alerting the rest outside of the building. While Jal patched himself and Nik up, the rest of the crew managed to find the ductway escape route and made to follow after Rhee and the missing twi’lek.

After landing in a pile of refuse, the party waded through the muck and sewers following an ephemeral trail that Nik had picked up. In time they came back to daylight in an open market and were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the wily twi’lek and her chadra fan companion as they wove through the crowds. They Nik and Jarek stealthily closed on their quarry while the others held back and blended with the crowd. As Nik and Jarek got closer, they saw the courier get ambushed by a squad of stormtroopers. The twi’lek went down along with a couple of the troopers and they witnessed the courier raise his hands in surrender.

Not willing to give up on losing their meal ticket so readily, Nik and Jarek closed with the troopers. Jarek took one down with precision and Nik, in a dazzling feat of agility, leapt at the troopers and stabbed two of them simultaneously in the neck with his vibroblades, dropping them easily. While Jarek lined up another shot, Nik easily finished off the final trooper.

The party quickly checked the bodies but Rhee interrupted and advised that they needed to get out of there now! The crew quickly agreed and made their way to the Shrike without incident.

They broke atmo and started making plans to head for the rendezvous point when Rhee presented them with a dilemma. He was willing to give them all the info in his head and they could head to meet up with Prospero as long as they dropped him off along the way. Or, if they were interested, they could tag along with him and help him raid an ancient temple full of loot worth 5 times what they’d get for the delivery to Prospero. After dickering over the price, they eventually agreed to an amiable split.

As they prepared to enter in the new coordinates into the navicomp, Antares woke up from his hibernation and wondered what he’d missed…

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The Train Job
Murder on the Pygorix Express

The airspeeder crested the rise to see the train stopped and what looked like a dustcloud far to the south moving to intercept. Loor landed on the train’s first car and after some technical difficulties they opened the service hatch and descended. Zazi stayed with the airspeeder to watch the progress of the dust cloud and Mec, Antares and Loor proceeded through the train looking for Dusan’s loot.

The first car was full of nondescript crates and storage and the party decided they would return and search through them once they cleared the train. The next car was filled with guards, who were on alert to a bomb threat (and recent explosion) and thry opened fire as soon as the door opened. Mec took a critical hit to his 3rd eyestalk and was dazed throughout the fight but eventually Antares and Loor proceeded to dispatch the guards.

After clearing the car they moved to the last one where they discovered an 8×4×4 black monolithic slab with a display readout. The found a repulsorsled and Loor maneuvered the airspeeder to the rear car to load it up.

Antares, fearing the stunned guards would be able to identify them, put them down without hesitation. Mec, still in pain from his eye, made no move to stop him and moved to help the others load the monolith into their ship. The dust cloud was near enough that they realised that they had company and made a break for it.

The monolith was heavy and it taxed the little airspeeders engines to the limit. Our train robbers contacted the rest if the group in the ship and requested a very prompt pick up.

Jarek and the rest headed to meet up with their friends as fast as the shrike could carry them. Meanwhile, Loor was taking heavy fire and the airspeeder was going down. The ship took one hit too many and went down hard as the shrike blazed in overhead.

Crawling from the wreckage they salvaged what they could and loaded the monolith into their ship. The pursuers kept firing but the Strikes shields held. Unfortunately a stray shot hit near the party and Mec was vaporized instantly. Zazi also disappeared in the chaos and is presumed dead.

Without a chance to mourn their friends, they attempted to break atmo and leg it as fast as they could. However they were tagged by planetary defense and bluffed their way into landing at a small starport nearby.

Desperate to escape from under the hard eye of the customs officials, they made a call to Dusan’s man who agreed to get them through customs for a price. While they distracted customs and the resulting fire brigade, they also reached out to A’sha who provided them with some much needed clean IDs. She also provided a warning that Dusan was going to probably kill then after getting what he wanted.

Taking the warning to heart, the group set a charge on the docking clamp and made an explosive getaway.

A short microjump to the edge if the system gave them the breathing space to investigate the monolith. After some fiddling it opened to reveal a human male in cryo stasis and 12 ampules of an unknown liquid.

The newcomer introduced himself as Nik Devlin, a man on the run from Dusan. Stating ignorance at the ampules, Nik just wanted to get away from Dusan.

Dusan’s majordomo conveniently chose that moment to hail them and demand their cargo. Leaving two ampules in the monolith, they jettisoned it and fled to hyperspace before Dusan’s ship arrived.

While in hyperspace the group took the time to experiment on the liquid and determined it was a drug of some sort. Highly addictive and psychoactive. They made plans to head deeper into the Gordian Reach, remembering A’sha had provided them with a contact who could get them work. Running low on supplies and fearing Dusan was still on their tail they stopped in Feena to resupply…

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Pop Quiz Hotshot...
There's a bomb on a train... maybe

The stars shifted into hyperspatial blurs and the recently incarcerated crew set about assessing their situation, their new crewmates and the forthcoming opportunities.

Del’nor, maddenned by an off pitch UHF whine in the drive core that only he could hear, set about making the ship spaceworthy. Jarek, citing some ancient Mandalorian tradition, rechristened the ship The Shrike.
The others searched the ship and discovered that the previous owner was Loor’s recent cellmate, Grib. They discovered that Grib had a family somewhere and surmised that the enterprising Rodian was a smuggler. He had retrofitted the ship with hidden cargo space at the expense of structural hull integrity. Inside the cargo hold the group discovered a cache of restricted blasters which confirmed their suspicions.

Doing some quick calculations, the group were impressed by their new potential windfall however they were divided on how to spend and split the cash. Some wanted to repair the laundry list of damages the ship had sustained. Others wanted to keep a large share for themselves and just set enough aside to keep the ship flying.

The other passenger, A’sha, offered to buy the guns at a criminally low price as a favour for letting her hitch a ride back into the world. While the group debated the merits of the lowball offer, A’sha also gave them the name of a contact named Prospero who might be able to find work for them.

The decision was made to take A’sha up on her offer just after the ship dropped out of hyperspace into the Pygorix system as they ran straight into an Imperial customs blockade. The captain of the lead corvette hailed them, recognising their ship’s transponder. After a fumbled attempt at bluffing their way past, the captain accepted a bribe and let them slip by and they landed on planet at the coordinates A’sha provided.

The group grumbled as they collected their wealth, feeling as though they’d been taken advantage of and parted ways with A’sha. They hit the markets to find some new gear (and upgrades for the ship). After a few hours they realised that they had picked up a group of men tailing them. After ensuring everyone was aware and safe they confronted the tail only to discover that they were invited to meet with a local businessman.

Their pleasant surprise turned to dread once they discovered that the businessman was Dragos Dusan. A man with a distinctively ruthless and dangerous reputation. Someone A’sha had warned them about and as far as they could tell, Grib’s employer.

The meeting with Dusan was tense, with him requesting that the return his property. Initially they believed he wanted their ship but came to realise that it was the guns he wanted. When the group confessed to no longer having them, Dusan simply thanked them for their honesty and advised that they were working for him now to pay off the debt.

He dismissed them into the care of his majordomo who provided them with the details of the heist - steal a sealed container from a moving train and return it to Dusan unopened and not only would the debt be paid but there would be a significant amount of cash waiting for their services and the promise of further work if they were so inclined.

The majordomo’s information led them to a meeting with a contact who had information on the train’s route and schedule. The crew arrived too late to the meeting and they witnessed their contact get shot. Half the group gave chase to the assailant, while Antares lined up a shot and took the killer down at an impressive distance, earning his companions respect.

They retrieved the data and after updating the majordomo of events, secured transportation and started after the train. They ran into some competition which was again easily dispatched by the diminutive Aleena.

While the speeder raced to intercept the train, the doctor, hoping to slow down the train to make it easier for the others to intercept, called in a bomb threat on the train….

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