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…