The Corellian Company

STAR WARS
Star Wars Skype Campaign

Episode 3 + (pi/ e )

It is a dark time. The Galactic Empire rules the galaxy with an iron fist. Order 66 has destroyed the Jedi Order, and murdered almost all the Jedi in the galaxy.

But there is hope. Hope springs eternal from the common men and women who rise against oppression and injustice. Their motivations are varied along the spectrum of selfish and altruistic reasons, but their destinies are entangled.

On a normal day in the Empire, a commercial Nebulon-B frigate is on a routine passenger trip from Corellia to Coruscant, when trouble arises…

View
Episode III.I: The Empire Strikes Hijack (aka A Bad Day for Imperial Spacelines Customer Service Department)
Written by Nick

The adventure begins where only the best post-Old Republic, pre Battle of Yavin Star Wars adventures that take place on the Corellian Run begin: On a Nebulon B Escort Frigate. The ship is en route to Coruscant from Corellia.
Upon this ship are two unique groups. There is also a third group, The Empire, but they are considerably less unique and relevant (just don’t tell them that). Now, the first unique group does not know each other, and likely have never even met. The members of this group are: (Insert your character and very short description here) Skyron, a very young Jedi.
The second unique group knows each other well enough. ‘Well enough’ in this case meaning ‘Well enough to organize the hijacking of an Imperial vessel.’ “Now, that’s an odd way to describe a group’s familiarity with one another” you might think. And in most cases, you would be right, but in this case they are currently dispatching Air Marshals and making their way to the cockpit. As they do this, it is time for the first group to act.
Some of them valiantly sprung into action, some valiantly kept their heads down and tried not to draw attention to themselves.
Kel, Tharash, and Gweedo all started to fight back, causing a flight attendant to be taken hostage. But that worked out okay, because shortly after that happened the hijackers took over the cockpit, making everyone on board also a hostage.
Before the cockpit was stormed, the captain was able to make one last heroic effort, activating the hijacking defense protocols. The fact becomes apparant when, after carefully making their way to the turbolift in order to try and secure the cockpit, Marma and Skyron were greeted by “Welcome to the turbolift. Due to the hijacking in progress, we are unable to operate at this time. Have a nice day!” “Well…crap” they said, and went back to their seats, or seats that looked like their seats, which gave them most of the seats to choose from. ’
Then the announcement came “This is not your captain speaking. This ship is now under our control. Please remain seated and stay calm and quiet for the remainder of the trip. Do not attempt to climb any of the stairs or service ladders or you will be shot.”
Skyron, Marma, and Denjo peacefully planned a possible overthrow of one of the hijackers, and fires blazed upstairs as the battle that caused them died down with all of the hijackers on their floor either dead or moved to different floors to take position.
Then, suddenly, voices came on the loudspeaker “This is Imperial warship 3X279. Surrender or die!” The response came “Check the ships’ logs, there are Imperial nobles on board. You wouldn’t dare risk them!” The response from the empire came in the form of a blast from an ion cannon, disabling elecronics, including all pacemakers and a cybernetic heart of an elderly woman, killing her instantly.
After some time, the power came back online while the fire upstairs sitll raged. Skyron saw the smoke, saw a fire extinguisher, and knew this was finally his chance to do something! He leapt up and grabbed the extinguisher, and made a heroic dash for the ladder. He was completely unfazed when the ship shook from being rammed by the warship, he almost had even more momentum in fact. The same can not be said for the guard at the top of the ladder who went flying over the edge, and promptly stops Skyron’s mission by taking Skyron with him on his trip to the bottom of the ladder several floors down.
Marma then sprung into action herself after seeing a glimpse of Skyron falling past along with his unexpected skydiving partner. She looked over the edge to see the hijacker stab Skyron. She quickly rushes down the ladder and throws her vibrodagger, which hits its mark, sticking into the leg of the highjacker. Skyron felt pretty impressed by this incredible feat of accuracy, throwing a knife, into a melee, from a fairly large distance. How could she miss with anything if she hits with that? Taking advantage of this incredible feat of accuracy, Skyron disarms the hijacker of his blaster, hears Marma calling for it, tosses it up in the air, takes the knife out of the hijackers leg, and stabs him with it at a speed almost incomprehensible. Finally, things were looking up. After a few more knife exchanges between the two, Marma finally got the blaster and took aim, now only a few feet above the brawlers. She took a breath, aimed with a well trained hand, and fired. The blaster bolt shot right through Skyron’s shoulder and did not hit the hijacker. As the pain seared through Skyron, he knew his suspicions were correct, this would not be a good day. He could feel his consciousness fade in and out, so with one final blow, he took out the hijacker and blacked out for several seconds before a burst of adreneline revitalized and exhausted him.
As Skyron was climbing back up, the stormtroopers had taken over the ship. He slid the dagger back to Marma who was now hiding a floor up while he was taken into custody, and she hid it in a tube of toothpaste. The rest of the passengers were taken into custody and the ship was flown to Coruscant. Marma’s dagger was discovered, so she was taken for interrogation, along with Ginger Campbell, an aid to Bail Organa. The rest of the group was let go to wonder what to do next.

View
Imperial Customs
ISB asks for a favor.

By penmagician:

All of those gathered from the hijacked transport were not so eagerly awaiting interviews with the Imperial Customs/Port Authority. A young human who had participated in the resistance aboud the ship seemed to get an electronic communication from a mysterious source, and so he went about gathering up the others aboard ship who had fought against the terrorists as well. The young man quietly spoke to each of the individuals and gathered them all in the conference room. He’s a young human male and seems quietly competent.

Introducing himself as Cal (Kal?), he proposed a short ‘job’ that would get all those gathered in the room past customs and free into Coruscant with a minimum of fuss or hassle. Gweedo, a short (even for one of his kind)[I’m just giving you beef Brendan, feel free to correct me] Rodian with a generous amount of pique on his shoulder seemed to remember Cal instantly and was one of the first to agree. Tarash, another silent but potent young human, seemed somewhat indifferent to the situation but also agreed. Denjo seemed reluctant, older then most in the room but still a young human as well, he needed reassurances that Cal was able to speak for the Imperials. Another human male with some definitely Anti-Imperical angst, seemed inclined to dismiss the opportunity as well.

The conference was briefly interrupted as Imperial agents demanded an explanation of Assassin Droids found in a certain Rodian’s cargo. Gweedo denied knowledge and the Imperials skeptically believed him, and Cal asserted his influence that those in the room were needed on Imperial business. The Major in charge was at first dubious, but after checking credentials was forced to leave Cal’s group alone. Denjo and Skyron finally agreed to the plan, but asked that Cal’s protection would be extended to a young enigmatic woman named Marma who had fought at their side aboard the ship and had been detained for smuggling a weapon aboard ashore at Coruscant. A couple other individuals (Skyron? and Tarash?) asked for the release of a woman named Ginger who worked for Bail Organa.

Kal assured all this would be possible and he stepped outside the room ostenably to confer with someone in charge. He came back and gathered up his crew, moving to find the man for whom this mission was focused. They wound up with the Major who previously accosted Gweedo, and were able to secure a deal for release of Marma and Ginger. Cal privately mentioned to the group that their job was not only to shake down some smugglers but to implicate the Major and Lt Governor in this smuggler’s ring so the two men could be removed from office and more honest (snicker*) Imperials could be elevated to those positions. The major outlined the job as needing to shake-down some merchants who were refusing to pay the ‘proper’ amount of protection money to the Major and his agents.

*my comment, not Cal’s :)

That secured, the group took a cab to the merchants shop and decided on a plan of robbing the smugglers so that the Major could return the goods and solidify his position. The group quietly enters the store and are able to shut down three of the turbo lifts before anyone knows something is going on. Shoots are fired once the turbolifts are under control. A clerk begins calling for help but is heavily intimidated by Denjo. Gweedo and Tarash move down to the cargo rooms of the merchant, while Denjo, Cal and Skyron secure the shop floor. Tarash and Gweedo discover Ryl Spice on the cargo floor, but are blocked by stock room workers. Denjo has the clerk above count out credit chips into a couple of bags. Two security officers come down the stairs from the hq level above the merchandise floor and Cal, Denjo and Skyron stun them into insensibility. Below, Tarash potentially kills one stock attendant before turning his blaster to stun and being assualted by the fork lift. Gweedo keeps the third attendant distracted until Tarash stuns him down.

Tarash then returns to the spice to get it ready for transport while Gweedo starts up the stairs to rejoin the others. On the merchandise floor, a general order to withdraw is given from Skyron and Denjo as two security droids float down from the hq lvl. Cal, Denjo and Skyron take down one droid with several blasts. Denjo grabs the credits and is out the door. Cal blasts the second droid but is shoot down near the doorway—a combination of stun and lethal blasts knocking him out. Gweedo comes up behind the robot and stabs it good. Between them, Gweedo and Skyron are able to destroy the second droid. They retrieve Cal and return to the speeder cab, stopping only briefly on the cargo dock below to grab spice and Tarash. Tarash also has procured a vest the sales associate above recommended to him.

The group cools off and heals up at a hotel. Cal and Tarash leave the other recooperating party members to dodge back to customs and sneak into the communications array. They are able to locate the Major’s comm channel and play an audio-tracking device. Discovered upon exiting, Tarash acks lost. Cal comes to his rescue by bluffing official business from the Major. They return to the group and everyone gathers into the original cab after leaving the goods securely behind.

Cal meets with the Major and is able to secure the release of Marma and Ginger. The major is dubious at first but the party is able to convince him of their success. The major gives everyone in the party a medal for service to the Empire, and Marma and Ginger are released. Marma and Gweedo have their slave collars removed, and the party once again whole waits in the lobby upon Ginger’s arrival. She is brought before the group and stammers out a heartfelt thanks before collapsing into Cal’s arms.

View
"Gweedo's Job"

Hey all! It’s your favorite short Rodian, Gweedo! I have a bit of a proposal for you. Because of my delay with the Imperials I’m in a bit of a rush with my cargo. I’m in the market for someone to help me escort my cargo to its destination and I can pay every one of you 500Cr upon safe delivery. The destination is on Coruscant, in the underworld if you must know, but don’t worry it’s all perfectly safe. We’re going to the nightclub known as The Midnight Sun. All we need to do is escort two repulsor-lift crates to the club’s manager, Dax Neela. I’ve known Dax for years. He’s a straightforward businessman. We don’t even need to handle the crates ourselves. Dax has delivery men who will be taking care of transport. This should be perfectly safe, especially considering what we’ve been through today. Think of this as a night on the town.

The party who met aboard the hijacked transport and solidified in the Many Hands Heist pauses outside the Space Port Authority on Coruscant to lick their wounds and collect their thoughts. Denjo argues for some rest or clinical aid, as he and some of the other party members are injured or barely standing. They discuss options but seem short the time or credits to get any serious healing done. Gweedo speaks up with a proposal for some easy escort work that pays well and should be done quickly. Everyone considers their lack of funds and the strange frenetic pace of Coruscant quickly, so Gweedo is assualted with a cacophonus chorus of acceptance. He radios his contact and arranges for a cab service at a slight fee while the qroup examines their options for rest, medical aid, shopping and exploration.

As everyone is discussing things, Tarrash mentions needing to relax and heads off to a hotel Denjo looks up on a Datalink near the terminal. Everyone marks the location as a cheap but well-regarded hostel on craig’s list, and they decide to meet back with Tarrash at that location later. Seeing little hope of settling the debate on quick surgery, the group decides this mission offers little chance of a fight and opts to follow through with a timely delivery. Gweedo spends some time sweet talking a clerk into a discount on medpacs and Skyron shakes his head at the display as he walks out of the store with a brand new knife. Gweedo takes one too many liberties with the clerk and races out just ahead of the lazy security guards for the port mall, who decide the greasy little rodian isn’t worth the exercise ( :O thought you might get a kick out of that Nick and Brendan).

A Sullustrian cab driver shows up and asks for a “ma ma Mister Ghweeeeedo”. Seeing an opportunity to unleash a little racial spite in backlash of all he’s suffered so far, Gweedo responds, “Yes, that’s me. Hurry up and load the droids already. All of you don’t bother helping, that’s not what you’re being paid to do. That’s his job.” Denjo is unable to resist and begins helping the Sullustrian manage the repulsor lifts with the crates—despite barely being able to stand. The trip to the club is uneventful, and this time Denjo allow the driver to handle the crates alone, as he hurries to follow Gweedo and company into the club. They walk towards the back of the club before a trandoshan stops them. He points a wicked looking blaster rifle equipped with vibro-bayonet at Gweedo’s face as he snarls, “And just what’s your business, egg-face?”
“That’s between Zaxx and me, isn’t it?”
“You’ve better give me a better answer or your rat meat, greenie!”
“Look, get on your comlink and tell Zaxx Gweedo is here, and pray he doesn’t kill you for a fool for delaying me.”
The trondashon looks ready to fire for a minute but instead steps back and obviously begins communicating with someone over a comm. None of the company can follow along, for the club also cuts out normal comlinks. The trondashon slips back and puts his gun back into Gweedo’s face for a moment, “If it was up to me, I’d blow your egg-shaped face away. But Zaxx says to let you in, so you’re lucky. But only one other can come in.” Gweedo looks at his companions and their ragged state, eyes up Kal’s blaster pistol and is quick to usher Kal in with him. Skyron and Denjo remain in the club, watching over the still groggy and drugged Marma and Ginger.

Gweedo and Zaxx barely have time to haggle over the fee, Zaxx is just handing Gweedo the credits for the job as stormtroopers burst into the club and the music goes dead. The group is slightly eased when but a few moments later one of the troopers rings out: “We are here for Daxx. If you remain calm and present your identification, you will be allowed to leave.” Denjo and Skyron remain nervous, moving the girls into a darker spot in the corner and arranging themselves in cover as if really enjoying each other’s company. A dark presence once again reaches out, but this time Denjo is able to deflect it’s touch. Skyron turns a pale shade, however, as the presence sinks slightly into his brain and exudes a menacing ‘hello’. Gweedo asks Zaxx, “Do you happen to have a back door?” to which Zaxx’s “As a matter of fact, I do” edges out the corner of his mouth while he presses a button, summoning up the turbolift so he can lift up the floor panel and secure himself to a zip-line located there. Zaxx gives the trondashon a look to say ‘you know what to do’ but says aloud; “I’ll meet you at you know where.” Zaxx descends and the trondashon begins shooting. Gweedo calls over the newly open, “Ah, Cavalry, a little help here.” Denjo and Skyron whisper into their comlinks as they pretend intimacy with the women, “A little problem there, stormtroopers all over the place and one directly in our way. We’ll each have to go our own way.”
Stormtroopers allow most of the inhabitants to leave, Denjo/Skyron speak back and forth with Kal/Gweedo over comlink as those two dispatch the trandoshan(with help from Gweedo’s cargo—which turned out to be assassin droids). The group decides to split off between Gweedo/Kal and Skyron/Marma/Ginger/Denjo trying to get out of the building each on their own. Kal grabs the trandoshan’s illegal blaster rifle as he and Gweedo climb down the lift in pursuit of Zaxx. Denjo and Skryon take Marma and Ginger through the Imperial blockade, their papers are checked and they take a turbolift up. Both are becoming paranoid and find out that the building is closed off. Denjo tells Skyron, “Something bad is coming, we need to get out of here fast!” to which Skyron replies “You feel it, too?” They share a look, but decide not to debate the obvious in their present situation. Skryon calls a cab but the cab is not willing to break the blockade for small credit change, so Skyron drops the link in disgust. they head back to the lift to try escaping on foot.
Meanwhile Kal and Gweedo climb down the turbolift shaft on Zaxx’s escape zip-line. Zaxx spies the pair above, and gets out of the shaft via a hidden panel into the garage floor of the spire. shortly thereafter the turbolift is engaged and begins to plummet quickly, Kal and gweedo force open the turbolift doors and get out of the shaft with only seconds to spare. Finding themselves on a floor with mini-mall and cafe, they sit down to eat. A troupe of stormtroopers later gets out of the turbolift and begins checking vistas. Kal wisely hides the illegal blaster rifle beneath the booth.
Denjo and Skyron engage the lift for the ground floor, stopping once to allow on some zabrak junkies. The turbolist pauses at the Midnight Eclipse, Stormtroopers inspecting the passengers. Skyron is able to hide Ginger and himself behind the zabraks but Denjo is spotted. The stormtrooper growls, “What are you doing back here? I recognize you!” Denjo replies timidly, “Got off on the wrong floor, sir…” After looking like he might challenge the statement, the trooper gruffly acknowledges Denjo by saying, “Well then, one last trip and then this lift is being closed. Only stormtroopers allowed in the lifts until the blockade is lifted.” “Yes sir, thank you sir” as Denjo quickly pushes the button to resume the trek down.
Gweedo and Kal challenged in the cafe, papers are ok. Kal’s license for his pistol verified.
Denjo and Skyron land with Ginger, Marma and the junkies at the base floor. As the three zabraks shuffle off further into the building, the party notices the four stormtroopers guarding the building’s main exit. Denjo asks Skyron to hold back and wait for an opportunity, then he runs towards the troopers feigning fear and terrror. He sends one of the men off after the zabraks with the jedi mind trick—warning out loud that three heavily armed zabrak drug traffickers are rushing off into the building. The trooper directly affected bolts off after the zabraks, with two of his buddies who follow in close pursuit. Denjo urges the last stormtrooper to go help his friends but the soldier is more interested in setting up their camp. Seeing no other alternative, Denjo makes a desperate attempt to take out that last stormtrooper and is shot down in retaliatory fire. Skyron tries to feel if Denjo is till alive with the force, but finally sneaks past with Marma and Ginger when he encounters no living spirit within Denjo’s form—though the dark presence all around eats at his peripheral feelings. Despite a harrowing few seconds of sneaking past a stormtrooper with two drugged out accomplices, Skyron makes it to the spire across the way, where he pauses to collect his thoughts say goodbye to an erstwhile companion.
Gweedo enjoys his eggs. Kal is accosted by a stormtrooper who almost seems to suspect the hidden rifle. “What are you two doing here?!” he demands. “Enjoying my eggs, sir” replies Gweedo while Kal feigns irritation (less the anxiety of the moment and more the typical average joe ‘no-what-are-you-doing-here" type of attitude). Unable to see much to be angry at, the soldier demands Kal’s license upon spying his blaster pistol. Unable to find anything wrong with Gweedo or Kal’s papers, he saunters off. Kal looks relieved and Gweedo continues to enjoy his eggs.
Skyron calls the others for help as Gweedo and Kal board a taxi, and relays the unfortunate news that Denjo is dead as Gweedo picks them up. After some half-hearted debate over what to do, the consensus is to get to a hotel and sleep the night. Next morning Ginger requests they take her to the Senate, where they wait outside as she secretly researches this band of misfits who rescued her. She is gracious over being saved, and anxious to get to a friend she knows in the capital. She nearly invites the group into some compact, almost balancing some secret on the tip of her tongue before she decides against trusting them further. She offers to taxi them to a destination of their choice, and many voices debate their options. Ginger mentions Alderaan is lovely this time of year and Skryon is quick to say “Sounds Great!”. Skyron seems preoccupied and anxious to leave. “Tattooine is fun and exciting” offers Gweedo, and all aboard Ginger’s transport agree for the space port as their destination.

As they head over, Skyron again is assaulted by a dark presence, only now it comes from before him (quite possibly the space port ahead!). We leave our intrepid adventurers when their airspeeder is rocked by some unknown missile, and they begin a rapid plummet into the city’s depths as the speeder begins to burn from external or internal damage. Ginger frantically speaks over the comm “This is Ginger of the Alderaanian Senate Seat, my airspeeder is going down from an unknown complication and we need a tractor b—” but her words drift off when only comm static replies. to be continued…..

duh da duh, da da da da da da duh da duh…

View
Episode III.IV: Underworld Settlers of Cthon (aka Almost Nobody Expected the Imperial Inquisition)

When we left off, the group was in the middle of their surprise high-speed descending malfunctioning airspeeder tour. Which, of course, they were all excited about. Excited in the “Oh god, I don’t want to die!” kind of excited, but excited nonetheless. Three Swoop bikes accompanied them, following behind. Due to great piloting ability, they managed a successful crash into the underworld, through the wall of a building, impaling the pilot on the steering column, and scattering his toy dinosaurs everywhere.
As they exited the airspeeder, they were greeted by the three Swoop bikes in front of them. the mean on the lead bike speaks. “I am Imperial Inquisitor Phage.” “We will need to take all of you into custody in relation to our ongoing investigation into enemies of the empire, particularly Jedi.” “Good thing there are no Jedi here then.” Kel said. The Inquisitor reached out with the force, but Skyron was able to resist his detection so easily, either due to fear or determination, that even Anakin Skywalker would be stumped. “Well, I do seem to be having trouble detecting him.” Phage said. “Maybe it was that guy you killed.” Skyron responded, feeling guilty for feeling relieved at the death of the pilot for a second. “Someone died in the crash? I’ll have to investigate.” said Phage.
As he was dismounting his Swoop bike, a blaster bolt came from a distance and hit the back of the bike, causing it to lurch forward and to the right, smashing Phage into a wall with a sickening crunch. One of the guards starts to fire at the group, while the other collects Phage, who is still alive, though barely. The first guards shots hit the remains of the airspeeder, shooting shrapnel and harming the group, some of whom have already started working on opening a side door to escape. Phage is taken onto the other Swoop bike, which turns around, and Skyron has to resist a sudden wave of anger, knowing he has the power to end Phage. But he manages to suppress the feeling.
While this is happening, Kal and Tarash manage to get the door open, and the group makes their way through it. They enter an abandoned office, and come across another locked door. After two more floors of this they finally make it to a Turbolift, which of course also needs to be activated. Before they can do that, they are attacked by a group of Cthon. They defeat the Cthon, but the Cthon defeat Gweedo, who is patched up by Skyron to make him stable but still unconscious. They give the job of carrying the bleeding Rodian to his droid, who is physically unable to be grossed out by the Rodian blood.
They get the lift operational and Ginger states that in order to get off the planet it seems they’ll need some help from a group who specializes in that sort of thing. Should be easy, its only a two hour walk to a disgusting bar while avoiding the overworld because of attack ships, avoiding Stormtrooper perimiters on the ground, avoiding civilians who are alerted to the criminals through news updates, and while travelling with a disguised assassin droid carrying an unconscious Rodian. Also the fear of more Inquisitors adds a cherry to the top of the trip. Somehow, the group makes it to the bar with a close encounter to being recognized by a civilian, a fight with a pack of evil dogs, and being scared shitless by the sound of Swoop bikes. The bikes wound up being a Swoop gang, the first time ever that anyone has been relieved to see a Swoop gang.
Finally, they were at the bar, Hole in the Rat, where they ate lousy food, drank warm beer, and saw ugly waitresses. They got Gweedo back on his feet, and rested for the night. The next day they met the contact, Narok Lightbender, who told them they needed to get to the nearest Starport and he could get them off planet. He joined them, and they set off, for another travel through the underworld, which worked out so well last time, that nothing could possibly go wrong this time, right?
They traveled for awhile and came across a man, the same one who shot the Inquisitor’s Swoop bike. “Hey.” said the man. “Hey, thanks for the help with that Inquisitor.” Kal said. “Oh, that was you guys? Ya, no problem, I was just in the area, figured it was the least I could do. Name’s Law Keller.” “Well, is there anything we can do to repay you?” Kal asked. “Oh, sure, plenty. Food, credits, things like that.” Law responded. Kal pulled out two rations and handed them to Law. “Thanks.” Law said.
The party set off again rather undramatically. Finally, they arrived at their intended campsite to rest. But they would not get the chance, because as soon as they arrived, they hear the not very distant sound of many feet running toward them. The group decides to try and hide until whatever it is passes, but when a whole crowd of Cthon show up, they decide perhaps it’s better to just bolt, which they do.
After a few minutes of exhausting running for their lives, they make it to a sewer tunnel with a gate. Skyron stumbles and falls, and is slashed in the back as he scrambles to get behind the gate. Gweedo gets a mini welding tool from his toolkit and welds the gate shut in several places. After travelling back through the tunnel they were now stuck in, hoping it wasn’t worse, they came across a river of sewage, the only way out. Kal went in in his vacuum sealed flight suit to see if it was indeed a way out, and fortunately, or maybe unfortunately it was. The group takes a deep breath of the only fresh air they would be smelling in awhile, and jumps in, after Gweedo ‘convinced’ Ginger to get in with a push. They were on their way, or they would be, if Kal hadn’t fallen behind, and felt something on his foot.. sort of like a tentacle.. maybe a Dianoga?!

View
Episode III.V Need a Shower... badly.

Written by AgentSilentOne

1. River Ride
2. Tentacle Monster Battle
3. Rat Race
4. Processing
5. Nap Time

This episode starts off with the group floating down the sewers of Coruscant. Most of the team seemed to have adjusted to the shock of the filth. They realized that it was either swim through poo and have a chance of living, or die fighting the Cthon and then be eaten by Cthon. Give those choices, most would swim through poo.
Once the initial shock of being in the flowing mass had passed, everyone flowed down the sewer. Most of the group had little if no problems making the journey. The Rodian Gweedo, however, seemed to have trouble just staying above the water. Noticing this, Tarash called dibs on the droid if Gweedo did not make the journey. Unfortunately for Tarash, his calling dibs must have reminded Gweedo of his droid and that it was currently under him and could support him as he floated.
After some time, the group noticed that several large rats had started to follow them. The rats, being smaller and more agile than the group, were able to stay on the ledges and follow the group without issue. This forced the group to stay in the “water” longer than they hoped. Fortunately, they thought, there was an end in sight and that they would finally be able to escape the river of filth. As they approached their exit, three people were instantly drug under. The remaining group members, having seen this, try to get out and on the ledges as quickly as possible. Apparently, there was a Dianoga that had “planted” itself here to feed on the flowing garbage. Because of the amount of stuff flowing down, the Dianoga had gotten extremely large.
Of the three who were pulled under, two were able to escape the tentacles that had pulled them under. Tarash seemed to struggle the most. While he was cutting through the tentacle that had grabbed him, the Dianoga pulled him closer and bit him on the ankle. Tarash was halfway in the Dianoga’s mouth when he finally cut through the tentacle. With that he was able to escape and get to the surface. That’s about all he was able to do when he was pulled under once again. This time he had help cutting himself free. Once free this time, Tarash was able to get out of the filth and on the ledge. Everyone, except the droid, was no on the ledge and focusing on the rats and dodging the tentacles flailing about. One of the rats was knocked into the water by the flailing Dianoga. Apparently it didn’t like being carved up. It also didn’t like that Gweedo’s droid was under the water poking it with its knife and Narok was on top of it shooting it. Not long afterwards, the Dianoga keeled over and the team focused solely on the remaining rats, none of which were any problem.
After the battle, the team bandaged up and reorganized. A few of the members mentioned that they heard the faint squeaking of quite a few rats. This energized the group into finding the way out quickly. Tarash opened the door to a circular room that seemed to be gathering water from three other sewer mains. Tarash followed the ledge into the circular room and to the next sewer line. Here he unlocked the door entering it, but was cautioned by Narok that there were several large rats pacing. Upon hearing that, they both headed back to everyone else and discussed what to do. While the group was discussing, Tarash noticed a service door near the dead Dianoga. After fighting with his tools, Tarash was finally able to open the door, but what he saw made him close it instantly. He announced that this door is off limits. That meant that the only way to go was through the next sewer main with the other rats. Before the team could leave though, the rats in the next sewer noticed the team and attacked. They were easily dispatched by the droid and Narok. The group soldiered on.
After some time walking, the group came upon a service door which Tarash unlocked. Inside was an empty office/laboratory area. Gweedo noticed a computer in the corner and was able to log on. It came on without an issue which was amazing considering it hadn’t been touched in about 30 years. Skyron, Kal, and Narok began looking for any supplies. All that was found, however, was half a medpack. The medpack was handed over to Gweedo since he is the only one who seems to know how to use them. Tarash noticed that there was another door, and being eager to get out of the sewers, began to unlock it. While this was happening, Gweedo received a message on the computer he was using. It was from another office/laboratory like the one they currently were in. The others were confused as to why someone was using this office, but fortunately Gweedo was quickly able to direct the conversation away from why someone was here, but to what was going on. In the conversation, it asked how we managed to get by the “friendlies”. That term didn’t sit well with most of the team, and before anyone realized what they meant, Tarash opened the door and was met by shocked Coruscani Ogres.
These creatures resemble large apes and have extremely powerful claws. Due to their surprise, the group was able to incapacitate one of the Ogres. Skyron used, of all things, a sling, and with a little force backing him up, was able to obliterate one of the Ogre’s pelvic area. This caused the two other Ogres to clam and bargain with the group. If the group fixed the Ogre near death, then they would let them all pass. Gweedo was able to revive the Ogre while Narok and Kal guarded him. Somehow the Rodian stabilized the Ogre and everyone was able to leave.
The battle weary group found a way outside and for a moment, it seemed like everything was going to be fine, but of course, since the team was still on the floor of Coruscant, there were more obsticales to overcome. This time it was their old friends the Cthon. Four of them managed to assault the team, but no one was overly damaged. Since they hadn’t rested since before the crashing of their speeder, the team decided to rest overnight in one of the vacant buildings. Gweedo set his droid to guard the group while they all slept through the night. Unbeknowst to the team, Skyron was also guarding the team while meditating. About three hours into the night, there were sounds coming from one of the stairwells. As the two investigated the noise, it was discovered that three Cthon were coming their way using the stairwell. One of the Cthon was quickly dispatched, while the other two escaped.

The next morning, the group decided the best route to take to get to their destination, and as they headed down the road, they noticed about 20 blocks behind them a large amount of Cthon heading their way.

View
Episode III.VI Curiouser and Curiouser
Deep Into The Breach My Friends

Seven individuals and a droid angle out of a small, neglected building miles below the high spires of Coruscant line the planet-wide city-skyline. Skyron nervously fingered his vidrodagger sheathed in his belt. Narok’s gaze swept over the party several times as he glanced first one way then another. Marma bent her head at a sickeningly angle, appeared absorbed in some ruins upon the abandoned boulevard. Ginger looks at Marma and shakes her head, grimacing at the filthiness on Marma’s clothes in such a way as possibly to detract from her own. Tarash subconsciously runs his right hand down the length of his blaster pistol as if to gauge the weapon’s condition. Gweedo patted his assassin droid and considered, not for the first time, ordering it to carry him as if on a litter. Kal hung back, seeming to watch his companions as much as the dark and dusty streets ahead.
A noise builds in the background, the most groggy of the party’s members fully coming awake at the sound. Narok worried consult’s his armor’s positioning device, reasserting the correct direction to travel is north. “Let’s move out people, that’a way.” Most linger with their gazes behind, worried frowns accompanying minor steps that soon give wave to a total run. A horde of Cthon comes racing from the south, so many mindless feeding machines that they fill the wide street and occupy one’s gaze up and unto the horizon. The adventurous group grabs up their collective skirts and books it for the north.
Running down the main boulevard, the noise behind maintains pace. Ocassionally the seven individuals dart past corridors that branch off into the spire. Disturbingly often, the side streets are inhabiting by small tribes or families of idle Cthon. Most eye the size of the group and groan in frustrated hunger as they pass. Now and then a group from further down a offshoot will rush at the group and join the pursuing horde behind the party. Even Marma stops counting somewhere in the hundreds. At one point, some in the group spy a mass larger by a multiple then their own horde milling at a junction so far down a side street that the numbers are nearly impossible to make out. Luckily those uncountable Cthon seem intent on some unfortunate in their midst, allowing the party to focus on outrunning the three or four dozen currently trailing them.
Finally, the party spies a crack appears on the horizon ahead, running from the ceiling down into a fortified outpost guarded by three well-armed Stormtroopers. A short barrier provides them cover as they maintain a perimeter over the enclosure. The group races on, the troop commander readying his E-web repeating blaster and sounding out in amplified shouts, “Turn back, civilians. You approach a military restricted zone. Leave now or face deadly force.” “Oh, do we have to?” whines Gweedo almost simultaneously as Narok on suit navi-computer pinpoints the partially enclosed path as the best route towards their space port destination. Even as Gweedo and Narok start to fall behind the others and nearer to the mass of pursuing Cthon, Narok points at the crack and motions the group to keep running.
Marma catches his gesture and rings out with a solid “Oh, I am so hitting the crack.”
“Again I say, desist and return the way you came, this is a military zone and we will not grant you access!”
Shortly before the Stormtrooper’s enclave are two alcoves on opposites sides of the corridor. Tarash, Kal, and Ginger duck into the left, while Gweedo, Marma and the assassin droid hug the surface closest towards the stormtroopers. On both sides, blaster fire rings out at the approaching Cthon. Narok makes it half-way towards his charges, turn back and unloads a round of auto fire into the horde. He is rewarded by a string of E-web blaster fire slamming into the back of his helmet. Gulping down a second’s breath, he charges into the alcove beside Gweedo. The rodian enters a quick command on his datapad and the assassin bot rushes the barricade, stabbing wickedly at the commander. The group fires another round of blasts at the cthon, downing many but evaporating only a few drops of moisture in the unfolding flood. Narok rushes the storm troopers and slides in a defensive crouch beneath their fortifications. The assassin droid jumps the barrier and messily skewers one of the three troopers within. Between that brutal attack and the thousands of glinting Cthon fangs, the trooper leader makes a wise but hasty decision.
“Truce! Truce so long as you help us defeat these creatures!”
“Done!” shouts Gweedo in reply, pausing only long enough to alter his droids orders before he runs to the barrier himself. All the others run as well, some dodging Cthon claws and fangs to get there. Narok fires once from prone, incapacitating several cthon. Kal, Tarash, Ginger and Marma vault the barrier, then all save Ginger turn to unleash blaster bolts upon the nasties. Gweedo bends over to unlimber the fallen trooper’s rifle, then turns his trigger and attention to the cthon beyond. Skyron waits for the inevitable, and once the Cthon have reached the barrier he lashes out with his vibrodagger. The E-web blaster rings out every few seconds. Narok leaps atop the barrier, unloading more fire upon flaming cthon. His armor turns most of the claws swiping him, save one that bites deep into his side. Kal is weakened by several bites and claws as well, Skyron also being unable to avoid cthon ‘attention.’ Dozens of cthon lay dead with barely a reduction in their presence at the barrier. Soon over three dozen lie dead, the over forty and finally the mob breaks with most being shot down. Almost none are able to flee.
Like a broken record player the enclave commander again speaks up; “This is a military zone and you must all leave now, on pain of death if you stay.”
“Can’t we just pass through?” reasons Gweedo.
“You must go around.” the Stormtrooper commander demands, itchy hands on his E-Web repeating blaster.
Narok shakes his head and murmurs the word ‘days’ lightly over the comlink. He shrugs at Gweedo and his visored helm turns slightly towards the droid before seeming to settle on the Cthon corpses behind the barrior—expressions of danger in either unvoiced choice. At Gweedo’s command the droid attacks the commander, who responds with more burst fire into our adventurers. A small party of ten to twenty Cthon appear on the fortifications—stragglers or a smaller random group attracted by the noise. Short work is made of the commander, but Narok is forced into the crack to finish off the lone imperial making a break for within.
The Cthon are finished off, but not without serious wounds to the party. Narok and Tarash scrounge through the Imperials belongings, coming up with several medpacs, blaster rifles and pistols, 3 frag, 3 conscussive and 3 ion grenades. Gweedo patches everyone up, and also discovers a datapad with maps of the interior beyond the crack. Apparently a star destroyer called the Lusyanka, larger by far than any currently in deployment, rests upside down in the underworld slums of Coruscant. Gweedo asks once more if this is the best route forward. Narok rolls his eyes behind the faceplate of his helmet and explains again that any other route adds days of travel and an unknown amount of danger still. No one needs to mention the masses of Cthon they passed on horrific flight. Marma spends some time glancing at the scorch marks on the imperial’s smoking corpse in the crack. Just for a second, Narok’s skin prickles as he, himself, seems to become at least temporarily a facet of Marma’s odd pondering. Narok shudders at her intense study, more so as she begins a rapt examinations of Gweedo’s efficient stitching. “I wonder who all’s in there.” Narok isn’t the only one wondering if she’s talking about the crack, or Gweedo’s current patient.
Not waiting for a patrol to come check on this outpost, they take the datapad and its knowledge into the breach and make considerable headway north through the crack. In the dim hallways, there is no positive way to confirm yet that they approach a space ship. The reach a passage that continues forward, but also branches off to the left. Stormtroopers angry feet sound from behind and the group runs down the left passage.
Narok hugs the corner a second, twisting back into the hall long enough to throw a frag grenade and mutter “this ought to slow them down a bit.”
On they run, even as the passage twists reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, curving so that the ceiling becomes the floor and vice versa. Marma gasps in delighted wonder as vertigo cuts deep into the stomach of each party member in those half seconds before an artificial gravity and set their equilibriums right again. Gweedo reaches out to tug her arm slightly, preventing her from actually stopping to enjoy the moment. The hall opens up to a slightly slanted slope, which can only be the exterior of the very ship itself. Epic in scope, the party has no time to fully appreciate its size as the thud of armored feet sound out on the hallways most recently vacated. Tarash and troupe move up the slope to an exposed outer hatch, which he begins to hotwire. Narok runs past his companions mumbling “no time” and slides Tarash out of the way, manually forcing open the door and herding the others inside. Himself the last, Narok rushes in and manually sets the lock on the hatchway, earning the group a moment’s respite.
A short time traveling further within the ship leads them to a holding area—multiple cells with prisoners and stormtroopers galore lining the hall and above as the hall opens with a second level above. A single cell is open a couple dozen yards beyond the party, with two men sitting on a fold out bench near its entrance. Inside stands a strange man flanked by a stormtrooper and someone eerily reminiscent of Inquisitor Phage. this Dark jedi can be heard taunting the man before him, speaking of the power of rage, asking the mysterious jedi to strike him down and give in to his feelings. Skyron spies a curious cylinder at the man’s belt, and practically gasps the words “A Lightsaber!” with joy. He pulls on the force and the lightsaber detaches from the inquisitor’s belt to float towards Skyron’s reaching hand. There is no pause in the Inquisitor’s taunts “you know you cannot otherwise defeat me…” whilst his arm snakes out behind him and arrests the lightsaber’s flight.
Narok and the others burst into action, firing peremptorily on the stormtroopers. The group, nearly as one, gasps as the two men on the bench stand up. One is simply another stormtrooper that joins his fellows in firing upon the party in sweeping blaster bolts. Gweedo’s droid explodes in a shower of sparks—grim proof of the ferocity of the stormtrooper’s vicious firepower. The other standing up from the bench is their fallen companion, Denjo, and he is the reason of their momentary amazement. Denjo bears cruel, half-healed scars all over the visible patches of skin on his body. Marma traces her fingers through the air—as if touching Denjo’s scars—and wonders aloud “Darkness enters through such as these … but will not leave through the same … I wonder … what accompanies its departure …” A dark vest and leggings puts the group in the mind of the Inquisitors, and on Denjo’s belt rests a lightsaber nearly identical to the one floating in the air. With a satisfied gasp the cylinder plunges through the air into Skyron’s hands and activates into a red beam several feet long with an evil hum. The Inquisitor finally turns his back on his current victim, scanning the group down the hall intently before chuckling to himself.
“Ah, Denjo, your former friends. What an excellent time to prove your loyalty. Dispose of them, thank you.”
Denjo pauses, as if his actions were guided by some capricious thread of chance, and Ginger pales at the sudden grim cast to his features. She ducks behind Tarash, who holds the rear of the group and slowly but methodically works at an access terminal for the prison sector. Denjo closes his eyes for but a moment, then folds his arms across his chest. Suddenly Kal blasts out, but his aim strikes not at the Imperials as the bolt sizzles into the back of Narok’s head. The grizzled veteran turns round, mumbling louder then he intends “clumsy lout…second time today…I don’t have time” before blasting a group of stormtroopers to ash.
The Inquisitor leaves his ‘patient’ behind, striding forward to Skyron with single-minded purpose. The chaotic flux of force and assorted items around him hurts his troops as much as the Skyron and his friends. The inquisitor’s fist flies out, bursting open like so many jazz hands and just as effective. Skyron pushes back on the sudden eruption of the Force—pouring all his will into the return blast. The dark jedi tries to force through Skyron’s retaliation, but the young jedi’s determination is too great and the Inquisitor is slammed backwards and knocked to the ground. Denjo and several stormtroopers are caught up in that same blast of force and fold prone on the floor as well. All slowly get up, but not before Marma, Gweedom, and Narok are able to finish off several of the off-balanced troops.
Sneering, the Inquisitor hurls forth a jagged bolt of dark plasma, but Skyron again reaches deep within the force and to turn that energy back upon its originator. The inquisitor’s face is incredulous, this new threat is strong and his thoughts turn from playful motifs of torture and corruption to animalistic survival. Skyron becomes as hard-pressed as the rest of the group, his battling with the inquisitor leaving him open to repeated blasts from the troopers beyond and above. Meanwhile, the mysterious jedi from within the cell releases his choke hold to make a grab for his assailant’s blaster rifle. The blaster goes off, but the jedi turns the weapon so that burning holes appear on the wall and not decorate his clothing.
Gweedo calls out to Denjo, “We’re your friends! Help us! Help us help you!”
Denjo rebuts with “You abandoned me! You left me there to die!!!”
To which Gweedo can only reply, “That’s fair.”
Nonetheless Gweedo’s words do touch on hidden emotions within Denjo. His grip on Kal’s mind slackens, and his eyes glaze over as he peers into the future, seeking answers for his present dilemma. As the battle rages around him, he sees futures in which he is recognized as a force for good in the galaxy—fighting alongside his friends and helping to turn the dark side of the force from dominance in the galaxy. In other visions he is a tool, being used by darker forces against those he cherished—so lost he no longer recognizes friend from foe. In still more, he rises up to strike down his dark master and reach power untold—dark lightning licking his fingertips and the heat of stars blazing from out his eyes.
Skyron is laid low, brought down by a torrent of blaster fire he can only partially deflect. The dark Inquisitor is wounded, even near unto death. An evil glow surrounds Kal, and the inquisitor seems slightly heartier for it. Taking a deep breath the Inquisitor moves back by Denjo, apparently intent on getting out of the hall once more. Marma looks heavily put upon, continuously catching small details even as she haphazardly shoots back at the Imperial forces. Ginger and Tarash remain the furthest back, staying out of the area bursts. Tarash continues to hotwire the panel, and seems to be succeeding. Kal lays into the Stormtroopers with the area bursts on his blaster rifle—but their return fire has him close to down and out. Narok does fall, finally. His repeated blasts had disintegrated Stormtroopers left and right. Their answering blasts played merry havoc with his armor before dropping him to the floor. Gweedo rushes over, applying first aid to bring Narok back to consciousness. The mercenary grunts his thanks and decides to return fire with the Imperials, this time laying prone to minimize his being a target.
Gweedo ogles the broken refuse of his droid one last time, then moves to Skyron’s body and makes another plea to Denjo, “You have to help us, we’re your friends. We couldn’t save you before, but we mean to this time!”
Something stirs with these simple words, calling Denjo out of his revere. He grimaces in either indecision or pain—impossible to tell—and his lightsaber springs to life in an arc that catches the Inquisitor unawares. Livid with pain and rage, the dark jedi responds with a miasmic blob of dark force he hurtles into Denjo’s face—who cringes as the tainted force seeps into his body and corrupts his very being at its core.
Gritting his teeth, Denjo snarls in rage and strikes down his erstwhile master. Before he succumbs to that mortal strike, the dark jedi exclaims at Denjo, “Remember your station! I am your master, and you obey ME!” The Inquisitor crumples to the floor, while the mysterious Jedi from within the cell uses the force to grab the lightsaber from Skyron’s still hand. Denjo uneasily grabs at his chest, that tainted force from his ex-master settling into place as if coming home. Imperials remain above, still answering blaster fire with blaster fire as Gweedo revives Skyron.
The world seems to pause as everyone inhales a healthy dose of determination along with the reek of melted flesh and smoking durasteel fiber walls. Tarash exclaims in a loud satisfied grunt, and all the prison doors swing open. The prisoners within make short work of the remaining guards with the party’s aid. Just before everyone can clap themselves on the back the intercom becomes active;
“Intruders! This is Commander Ysanne Isaard! By breaking into this military installation and killing Imperial soldiers, you have committed treason against the Empire. This facility is now on lock down. No one can enter or leave. You have signed your death sentence! My only hope is that my soldiers manage to spare at least one of your lives, so I can interrogate and execute you myself. However, if one of you were to turn yourself in, particularly one with no Imperial blood on their hands, they can plead for a lesser sentence. Decide quickly, because ten thousand stormtroopers are headed to your location now, the port side of section QL-3, 28th floor.”

View
Walking on the Ceiling

Having just narrowly dispatched a few stormtroopers and Droid Dark Troopers, the party clambered into vehicles to make their egress from the ship that much faster. According to Kal’s map, and Denjo’s ‘feeling’ about going to the bridge, the group had roughly three and a half kilometers to travel the get to the right coordinates to make it up to the bridge level. Marma chose an AT-ST, with Denjo and Gweedo following her up the ladder below the walker to take his seat at the copilot’s station. The others piled into an AT-AT, boarding it via a walkway that was extended to the side of the metal beast. Tarash took the pilot’s controls, Narok took command of the primary cannons, and Trystan saddled into the secondary weapon system. Those in the AT-AT got the vehicle moving by finding the throttle and pushing it forward. The walkway groaned and twisted before eventually ripping and releasing the humpbacked quadruped monster. After reaching top speed, they did their best to learn how to actually operate it on the way, scanning through what must have been dozens of switches, dials, and lights for what they meant. Marma seemed right at home, though. Gently caressing her hand over the controls and the walls of the AT-ST, she affectionately christened it “Henry”. Powering it up, she gingerly made it step out nto the conveyor belt along the keel of the ship in the miles-long cargo hold. She had the opportunity to feel out the controls as she took half-steps and reversed, bouncing up and down in a giddy dance of happiness.
Denjo slumped against the back of the AT-ST cockpit. Letting his consciousness leave his body, he reached out to the Light, the Force, or whatever it was that is guiding him. Was this really the way we should go? It seemed so counterintuitive. The safest route is to go towards the bridge, towards the commander calling for his death? His dream had him travelling in a subway, after he had gotten to the head of the ship, and when he realized that he imagined he was the ship, he sneezed. How odd it is to be a 19 kilometer long rigid steel vessel, and then sneeze. Holding fast to his faith in the visions, he shakes himself out of the self-induced trance and clasps a hand on Gweedo and Marma’s opposite shoulders before him. Denjo said confidently “Let’s go that way.” doing his best to conceal a tremble in his voice. If he was wrong about this, then he was walking to his slaughter.

  • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Meanwhile, Commander Ysanne Isaard furiously and frenetically issued orders to a myriad of troop squads. She loomed over the holoprojector in the bridge, leaning on her stiff arm against the pedestal from fatigue. For hours she had been directing troops like a Chess (Bejarik?) player, trying to trap her foe and slay them all. “Aaaarrghh! Blast them!” she cursed bitterly, meaning the words in every way. “How is this possible? They are making us look like fools!” They are making ME look like a fool! It seemed like every time she marshalled soldiers to sweep one area, the prisoners would inexplicably and apparently move through those areas moments later. Or, she would trap them in a corridor, and they would cut their way down a level with lightsabers. Or, she would set up a choke point concentrating fire and preventing further progress, only to have it overrun by the frenzied mob of escapees. I know that I am a brilliant tactician. I have proven my ability. These oafs don’t seem to have the slightest bit of military training, stumbling their way through my prison. How can anyone be this lucky?

  • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The group began making good time towards their destination, moving at the pace of the slowest member, the AT-AT, which was still an impressive 60 km/h. Stormtroopers and Dark Trooper droids already stationed in the cavernous cargo hold had taken up cover positions behind crates and were firing at the rogue walkers. Their blaster rifles were ineffective against the thick armor of the walkers. Gweedo launched grenades into fortified positions, and Marma picked off the occasional stormtrooper who had shot at her precious new companion. Mostly, she tried to avoid or angle her armor against the rain of blaster fire. She kicked or stepped on the Dark trooper droids that tried to use their considerable strength and vibroblades to latch onto Henry’s legs. When the Dark troopers tried to cut into or climb the AT-AT’s legs, Marma deftly shot them off with her blaster cannons like a monkey picking off ticks. Meanwhile, Trystan was giddy with the power he held at his fingertips, constantly blasting away. He let slip the occasional low giggle after each success. To Narok, it was all business. He punched craters into the walls and populated positions, allowing himself only a tiny smirk of satisfaction. “Now, this is more powerful than anything I got to play with at the academy!” He breathed in, obliterated another cadre of troopers, and then exhaled, “Looks like I could still earn my heavy weapons marksman ribbon…”

Thus the two walkers continued forward on their long trek. Frag grenades were lobbed through the air, expertly timed by the stormtroopers to explode near the walker instead of bouncing off and blowing up on the ground. Occasionally, an exploding grenade near a lighter part of the armor or concentrated fire from a group of stormtroopers would make an apparent purchase into their thick hides. Sparks showered off of both vehicles, but no critical systems were disrupted. That was until two AT-STs ran out of their garage-stalls and charged the party. At the same time, the conveyor belt running the length of the ship was turned on, in the opposite direction that the party wanted to go. Aware of the new threat, but not realizing the danger they posed, Marma could not maneuver Henry to a more prepared orientation before a set of large red bolts of plasma burst on the corner of her craft. Dashing behind a support column, she and Gweedo took quick snap shots at the AT-ST enemies while simultaneously clearing out their area of ground troops. The AT-AT strode ahead unfazed, using the heavy cannons to destroy one before they could close in. The other was trying to advance past the AT-AT’s field of fire when Henry leapt out of hiding. The full salvo of weapons made short work of the other. The major threats eliminated, the AT-AT turned its massive siege guns toward the conveyor belt and pounded away at it. In under 30 seconds, they had ripped a hole in the chain and permanently exploded or fused the mechanisms and gears for the whole belt, which abruptly caused it to come to a stop. The escapees regrouped and continued onward.

The Stormtroopers were now less frequently seen in the cargo hold, but those that were there shouldered missile launchers against the errant vehicles. Even the Dark Troopers were ordered to pull pack, as their attacks had been mostly ineffectual thus far. Marma’s eyes darted left and right, taking note each second where the new rocket was coming from. Henry danced through the corridor: a lunge here so one smoking trail would miss between the spindly AT-ST legs, a sudden drop there as the cabin bobbed downward to avoid another. Two rockets struck grazing blows, but the damage was starting to become apparent in the cockpit as the field of lights started to flash more insistently. The AT-AT marched on, with fiery darts striking it every few seconds. The thick armor, even on the legs, allowed it to continue through constant rocking and exploding journey.

In less than a minute since their encounter with the twin AT-STs, a pair of TIE fighters could be seen screaming down the corridor over a mile away. Kal cursed as he looked upon the sensor screen to find that another pair was coming toward them at roughly the same distance from the opposite direction. He noted how well trained they were to have made their attack in such a synchronized fashion. Marma whiled Henry around and confirmed it. Bobbing and weaving between the AT-AT’s legs, she and Gweedo fired together at the faraway starfighters. Shots fired at this long range often missed. As they flew closer, Denjo clasped both Marma and Gweedo’s shoulders as he leaned over. Staring at the two TIE fighters, he reached out to the force and grabbed one, slamming it into the other. Their broad solar panels clanged together and bent inwards, but the craft did not go down. Shaken, but not stirred, they instead they continued their assault.

Thinking tactically, Narok reached over to Tarash’s pilot controls, and threw the throttle to stop, and even took a step backwards. “If they really are planning to converge on us, it must be on our expected position. This’ll throw them off.” He blasted at the starfighters again, but narrowly missed in between them. Trystan struck true, and added some explosive discouragement.

Narok’s decision could not have come at a better time. Just as bright green lances would have blasted apart Henry and his occupants, a massive AT-AT leg backpedaled right in front of the smaller AT-ST’s field of fire, shielding it from the fire. Lights flashed in the AT-AT cockpit as the leg took significant damage. Metal splayed open and inner hydraulics and wiring became exposed, but it remained functionally intact. Saved from the lethal attack, Marma, Gweedo, and Denjo took cover behind the stout leg and fired around it with blaster cannons. Henry ran circles around it, lurching in and out of cover. Soon Gweedo scored a hit that finished tearing off one side of a TIE, sending it into a short spiral before flipping end over end in a high speed tumble. The remaining fighter pulled up to avoid it, and dove again for a strafing run. Henry ran out from under the cover from the larger vehicle toward a support wall. Using one leg to bounce off of the column the AT-ST successfully avoided the line of fire and got underneath the flier. Pulling up again to avoid crashing into the back of the AT-AT, it was had again lost speed and was handily destroyed by their fire. Wreckage from it rained down upon the AT-AT, which had made short work of the two identical adversaries from the other direction with superior firepower.

Another threat defeated, Tarash set the servomotors to full throttle once again. As he did, malfunction lights and sirens blared in protest. Now there was a new problem; one of the rear legs was limping! Looking through diagnostic screens and skimming the descriptions of warning lights, he deduced that something was stopping the rear starboard leg (the one used to protect Henry) was not opening fully. Someone had to venture out into the hail of stormtrooper fire, under the belly of the beast, to remove impediment before the entire fortress could converge upon their position!

Narok called over to the others in the AT-ST. “You have a better vantage point than we do; look at our right rear leg knee join. Is there something blocking it?”

They all could see it clearly. Denjo called back “There is a piece of metal warped into part of the knee so it can’t open fully. Let me try something.”
Closing his eyes, he imagined the AT-AT and it’s broken leg, and tried to unbend the metal. It wasn’t working. It was difficult to pull on just the one part of the vehicle and not the whole thing. He opened his eyes and focused in on the foul bit, grinding his teeth as he tried to rip it away. The leg trembled with the Force, but the knee remained disabled. “Grraah! It won’t work!” Denjo growled. “We’ll need to try some other way.”

Marma and Gweedo though about how they could help, but their blaster cannons were too powerful for the job, and Henry lacked opposable thumbs and arms. Then Skyron got a crazy idea. “Denjo,” he called through the comm unit, “I will throw my lightsaber around it and hit the part to remove it. The trouble is that I’ll probably lose control of the blade shortly after because it will be so far away and won’t be able to call it back to me. That’s where you come in. Sound good?”
“Deal!” exclaimed Denjo, ready to try anything at this point. “I’ll retrieve your weapon.”
Attaching himself to the lower exit hatch with a line of liquid cable, Narok dropped down and swung as close as he could to the leg. He hurled the saber horizontally through the air, whirling perfectly to strike the far side of the knee joint and vaporize the metal blocking the path. Then, before the saber could skitter out of control, Denjo stretched his arm out of the eye-like viewport of the cockpit and called the red spinning blade to him, catching it and turning it off. Skyron quickly was pulled up on the newly-created rope by his comrades in the AT-AT.

In less than a minute, a familiar voice could be heard over the loudspeakers in the cargo line. “This is Commander Ysanne Isaard. The enemy is using a stolen AT-AT and AT-ST walker to make carnage in the cargo keel. All troops are to use all available force to stop the prisoners from escaping! Collateral damage to the facility is secondary to the death of those individuals. Make them pay for their trespass with their lives! Isaard out!”
No one wanted to believe that the stormtroopers were holding back, but they were about to find out just how wrong they were. They didn’t have to wait long to see new adversaries in the long hallway full of military equipment. Apparently some of the troopers had already been prepping and starting up vehicles in preparation for the the Commander’s authorization.

Seconds later, an AT-AT and TIE crawler tank left their gantries and began levying serious firepower toward the party. The tank had the body of a TIE fighter, but had a large turbolaser mounted along its hull. The party was unsure of what to attack first, initially dividing their fire. Kal provided direction, explaining that they should take down the high-powered tank first. The first time it was fired at a great distance, and the blast flew over the top of the rogue walkers. The second time it struck true, striking in the shoulder. The explosion rocked the teetering beast, sending glowing shrapnel flying both inside and outside the craft. Thankfully, all the weight devoted to the formidable cannon must have left little room for armor, because the tank did not get a third shot before it was destroyed due to a direct hit with the party’s heavy blaster cannons. The AT-AT was more durable, and did not go down easily. The commandeered walkers were both groaning and in some places on fire from the crippling damage they had taken so far from the constant flow of handheld rockets and Imperial vehicles. Marma and Gweedo saw an opportunity to even the odds when they spied a dormant AT-AT hanging from an electromagnet. If they could wait one more round, they could drop a nasty surprise on the unsuspecting attacker. They tried to draw the enemy’s fire by firing frequently and moving Henry in an erratic (but controlled, if only apparent to Marma) pattern to dodge incoming blaster bolts. When the time came to spring the trap, everyone tried to attack the steel cable, but they all missed until Gweedo took an extra moment to line up his aim and release the death from above. With a tremendous CLANG, the enemy AT-AT was laid low. With its weak armor exposed, it was shredded by the party’s concentrated fire.

With their respective cockpits glowing red from blaring warning lights, the team nervously wondered how much farther they would have to go before they made it to their destination. In large part the group was following Denjo’s lead, since he seemed to know where he was going. In such a harrowing situation, anyone with any direction generally gets followed. Ginger Campbell was surely in shock at what she was seeing. Some voiced their concerns: Kal pointed to his map of the facility and suggested an alternate route, and Trystan did not want Denjo leading anyone, concenred about his possession by the Sith spirit.

The group had almost arrived at their destination when they came upon a horde of AT-ST walkers. Most were still being prepared for battle and being climbed by their pilots. One was already out in the main conveyor hallway, and so it was immediately targeted by the team’s AT-AT. Marma took on the rows of AT-STs, and attempted to run and use her momentum with a well-placed kick to knock over the rows of walkers and make it hard for them to follow the party. Unfortunately, she missed with her kick and only narrowly kept Henry from tipping over in the attempt. The walker tipped and nearly toppled into another AT-ST, that had just been started up. The imperial pilot was able to keep his walker from falling, but the blow knocked him reeling and his first blast with the chin cannons went straight down into the floor. The two waltzed together there, in among the walker gantries, knocking each other in tense vehicular melee combat while exchanging point-blank cannon fire. Henry was pushed back into a support column and unleashed a torrential stream of plasma that blasted away most of the forward armor plating and systems. The top of the craft exploded open, sending shredded bits of metal everywhere and exposing the occupants to the outside. They would not survive another hit. Henry twisted to the right, hopped to the left, and avoided another attack, and another by the imperials. Finally they were able to get a clean strike once more and dispatch their opponent AT-ST, and once again charged the line of AT-STs, this time successfully knocking one into the other like a line of dominoes. They then caught up to the AT-AT, which had already taken down the other smaller foe, and pressed on.

At last, our travelers reached the proper turbolift section of the Lusyanka, one that would take them all the way to the bridge. It seemed suicidal, but Denjo seemed certain of a secret passageway there, one he saw in his dreams. The fact that their whole plan of survival was predicated on one man’s interpretation of his dreams did not help comfort them, but that he had a plan at all in their situation was something too wonderful to waste.

Henry was sprinted up to the location and at the same time the chassis was lowered so that it’s occupants could leave. This had the effect of a sliding dive across the metal floor with a grating SCCCREEEEEEECH!! Marma, Gweedo, and Denjo evacuated the AT-ST and the others lowered the belly of the AT-AT and leapt down.

Narok is the last to get out of the AT-AT. He has already passed on all the information to Ginger Campbell as far as the route to the Whiplash associated starport, near a clothing factory for upper society people. The factory, of course, is deep in the undercity ghetto, which is why it was accessible to them so far below the surface. As the party reaches the turbolift that will take the party to the bridge, near the captain/commander Isaard’s Quarters, another AT-AT and two turbolaser tanks mobilize against the party. In order to keep enemy fire away from the others scurrying into the turbolift, he stays behind an extra few precious seconds to make his AT-AT was the most threatening target. The AT-AT is swiftly put on an autopilot course, and Narok jumps down out of the vehicle. A swarm of rockets, heavy blaster cannons, cascade upon it, but it continues forward. Twin Century tanks leave their gantries a short distance away, and level their turbolaser barrels at the charging vehicle. The first blast hits just to the right of the head, exploding the central cavity wide open and tearing the left front leg away from the chassis. The colossal beast stumbles forward, and its missing leg causes it to list left and crash into the wall, sliding forward until it collapses. Seconds later another turbolaser blast strikes head on, exploding it into millions of pieces. A hail of stormtrooper rifle fire accosts the party as they leave, but they safely make it up the turbolift towards the Commander’s office.

A familiar and comforting whine began as the lift accelerated upwards. They needed to travel almost 300 floors upwards, but they had already begun to make good speed. Thankfully, they had already disabled the network with a miraculously placed trio of ion grenades, or their progress could have been tracked by surveillance cameras and AI, intercepted by turrets, and the turbolift halted remotely with a simple keystroke. They had just barely allowed themselves a sliver of hope and exitement when, at 80 floors from their destination, the lift came to an abrupt halt.

“Where are we?” said Narok.
Kal Auken checked his wrist computer. “Floor 82-E-6. Too far to run up the stairs, they’d catch us and kill us.”
“Maybe we should just turn ourselves is?” Ginger Campbell asked worriedly. “Maybe they’ll go easy on us.”
“That’s not real likely. We did break into a secret Imperial Prison-Ship. You can try, though, best of luck.” retorted Trystan Holocombe sarcastically. Then he made a sudden realization. “That’s only two floors past the Inquisitor’s wing! I am headed back down to get my lightsaber. You can come if you wish.”
Tarash had other plans. “I’ll stay here. I think they just unplugged the power for the turbolift. I can probably do some creative rewiring and get it moving again. I’ll hide against this wall, hopefully they see that it’s empty and come looking for you. Or, uh, not look any closer for me.”
“Seems like a good idea.” Trystan nodded. “We’ll be back soon.”

The group hustled down the stairs to level 84, where they saw a number of luxurious suites that were home to various inquisitors on the ship. The floor had a layer of carpeting, reflected lighting wall sconces, and other amenities. The air even smelled of a faint perfume. Trystan and Skyron made ready to start melting away at the door with their stolen red lightsabers, but Kal moved up to the computer and unlocked the electronic security before they could even make a hole in the Quadanium reinforced wooden door. The flaming thin veneer of real wood was extinguished when the door slid sideways into the wall.

Inside Inquisitor Pillak’s spacious suite, they found dim red lighting cast up from the floorboards near the long shag carpeting. Trystan, Kal, and Denjo entered the room first, and after a moment to take it all in, they nodded to each other and set about searching for anything that could help. Kal went straight to the Inquisitor’s Computer desk and started attempting to log in. While he was working on that, Denjo snatched up a curious dark crystalline pyramid from a corner shelf. Trystan found a storage chest full of the personal effects of those Pillak had interrogated and mercilessly murdered. Searching through it he found his old blue lightsaber, as well as some datacards full of his past. Marma went into his closet, and came out with several packs of detonite and det-cords.
Narok eyed them curiously. “What would a powerful Imperial Inquisitor need with Detonite? If he needed something blown up, couldn’t he just order a demo squad to do it?”
Denjo addressed the issue, stepping forward among the others. “I can answer that. When my ma-, er, Pillak, had gleaned all the information from a prisoner, or rather when he was done taking sick pleasure from them, he would sometimes…”
“Do what?” Ginger asked inquisively, but afraid to find out the answer.
Denjo continued gravely. “He would wrap their limbs in explosive cords, and make them do insane tasks. Or he would blow of their limbs one by one.”
“No! That’s horrible!” Ginger sobbed, leaning onto Skyron.
Trystan seemed unaffected. “We have what we need. We can’t stay long before they will find and stop us. Let’s get moving.”

The group agreed. Opening the door to exit Inquisitor Pillak’s office-suite, they were greeted by a squad of five stormtroopers who had taken up positions around the door, and a looming figure just about to open the door that already had. It was Inquisitor Sheng. He carried an aura of superiority about him, and a double lightsaber. Among the Inquisitors on the Lusyanka, he made sure that everyone knew that he was the best swordsman of them all. This allowed him to pompously stride about as an elite of the elite. Everyone hated him. And he responded in kind. In a reflex move, he pushed his hand out into the room, slamming everyone to the opposite walls with the Force. Ginger was standing in the middle, and she hit the wall the hardest, flying up higher on the wall than the others. Instantly she was killed, or at least knocked unconscious, but Narok was beneath her and was able to partly catch her (and partly bodily break her fall) to prevent further mangling of her delicate frame.

“Well, well, I recognize that face anywhere! What is a senior aide of House Organa doing in a fine, Imperial Prison like this? Ha ha ha! I’d suppose you are right where you belong!”
He chuckled to himself, twisting his fingers in the air towards her, grabbing her neck with the Force and dangling her through the air towards the exit.
“I should like to present you to Miss Isaard myself. Or better yet the Emperor. I probably don’t even need her alive, just her DNA and body would be enough to do significant political damage. Yes, that’d be deserving of a nice promo-”

His words were cut short by the ‘pew pew pew’ of automatic blaster fire. The bolts raked across the entryway. The first trio of blasts walked up from the sternum to the neck to the faceplate, and the stormtrooper was knocked off of his feet.

Narok was seen on one knee, heavy repeater leveled at the enemy at the gates. Ginger was her charge. He was hired to protect her. But more than that, he believed in what she stood for. For a noble house, which championed for justice and freedom when others threw away their sovereignty, and then their moral standards. If he had to do it all again, he would have taken the job without pay, even knowing all that would happen.

He was still firing, and another helmet hit the floor from explosive decapitation.

The moment felt somehow right, as though this moment of his life had been coming for some time. Narok’s heartbeat was louder than the whine of the machine blaster. Continuing the sweeping motion with his weapon, he exhaled plasma at the Sith who was pulling Ginger away.

Inquisitor Sheng was able to ignite his dual lightsaber just in time, spinning it to deflect most of the shots headed his way. A few slipped through, scorching his arms and chest. He gritted his teeth and hised through the pain, losing his concentration on Ginger and dropping her to the floor.

Narok allowed himself a congratulatory thought, having saved his charge from immediate destruction. He began to notice how successful his actions were, almost as though his adrenaline had forced time to slow down for him. The barrel of his gun continued its sweep across the stormtroopers. In his focus he could see the first hit to the chest cracked the armor. Another in almost the same place caused it to crumble. A third broke through the armor and burned flesh. Then another, and another, hitting the same location until a crimson spray of vaporized blood fanned out from both the front and the back of the clone’s torso.

Sheng took a step forward, pushing off the ground with such Force that he was sailing through the air towards him. His dark saber pointed forward, Sheng rumbled a low growl that rose into a battle yell “Grrrraaaaahh!” The glowing rod coursed with lightning, which leapt from the tip of the blade to Narok. The systems in his armor began to pop and fizzle with the Electromagnetic energy, and his muscles tried to spasm. Somehow, Narok was able to maintain control of his heavy blaster, as he dispatched another elite trooper with concentrated blaster fire to the neck.

Sheng bounded towards Narok with another step, winding up his swing. He now almost right in front of the Whiplash soldier, easily covering more than 2 meters with each step. The pain from the electricity swamed over Narok like tiny spiders crawling through his veins. It was almost too much for Narok to handle, but he felt beyond himself and detached from the experience. In fact, Narok could look past his own shoulder, watching as he hoisted his weapon with one hand to fire around Sheng, striking the last stormtrooper over and over in the faceplate. On the opposing wall, there were almost no scorchmarks from errant plasma bolts. Each did their job as best as could be hoped for considering the superior stormtrooper armor.

Unfortunately, the heroic effort to save the party would not last long. Sheng’s saber swiped through the air to kill Narok. Leaning back all the way, the blade carved through his armor, severed his repeater and his forearm, and bit a swath through his pectoral muscles, but it did not sever him in two as it seemed like it should have. His left hand had already left the heavy blaster rifle and drawn his DL-44. He drew the heavy blaster pistol up wards. He fired into Shengs gut, cratering his abdomen. A glimmer of hope edged out into Narok’s mind. The smooth motion continued, firing again into his chest. A bit of exploded rib could be seen jutting from the red zeyd cloth outfit of the Inquisitors. The hot muzzle of the gun finished its journey, nuzzling into Sheng’s neck as Narok began to pull the trigger…

But he could not finish the pull. Narok’s head was severed by the other end of Sheng’s dual lightsaber, and it rolled to Denjo’s feet before the rest of his body collapsed at Sheng’s. Two seconds had elapsed since Narok first started firing.

[Here is where I will diverge from what happened in the game a little, to illustrate the cinematic story as I imagined it. If you do not wish to partake in this, simply know that Skyron and Denjo stepped forward and with a combination of force powers and lightsaber attacks killed Sheng. They go up to Isaard’s office and fight two honor guard. They kill them quickly and break into her office, where Denjo inexplicably knows where the secret entrance is to her private subway. The party gets into the subway, and digs a hole into the roof below their secret Whiplash shadowport building. They make their way off the planet, and escape to Alderaan.]

Denjo had just risen to his feet. While he had not known Narok long, he was saddened deeply by his death. Narok seemed like an honorable man, one who knew what he was doing and where he was going even without the gift of visions for the future. He was agreeable, positive, even gregarious right until the end, while being a skilled soldier. There was much that Denjo could have learned from him.

And now he’s dead, and it’s all my fault.

Denjo was angry at Inquisitor Sheng for killing Narok, as well as being a pompous ass of a human being. He was angry at Ginger for being such a ditz in a fight, putting them all in danger, and yet being somehow so important to galactic politics. He was angry at the Empire for making his job as a flight attendant hard, for prosecuting those of his abilities, for killing off the Jedi Order that would have helped guide and protect him, and for building this blasted prison ship in the first place. He was angry at Skyron for cutting off his arm. He was angry at Trystan for trying to kill him. He was almost angry at Marma for saving his life. Because he was most angry with himself, for turning to the dark side even for a moment to save his own life, for allowing himself to be posessed by Pillak, and for being the reason for all of the suffering he saw. Eyes welling up with tears of rage, he lurched forward at Sheng with a guttural yell and all the Force he could muster. Every hot drop of hatred he focused into his clutched hands throwing the Inquisitor against the opposite wall. Sheng instantaneously plummeted into the steel, cratering it with his body. The other stormtroopers’ bodies behind him slammed against as well in a mangled heap. The dark side flowed through him, tunneling his vision and turning his fingernails into a corrupt dark shade. He was at the precipice now, and the power to snap Sheng like a twig was his to use, right in front of him. His eyes glowed yellow as the power of the Sith prepared to fill him. In a moment of clarity, Denjo saw himself about to succumb to the dark side, and he turned his head to the side in shame. Retreating back into the room, Denjo worked to clear his mind an focus on calming his emotions. Sheng used the moment of respite to climb out of his metallic bowl where the wall had been. Limping and dripping blood, he fled down the hallway towards the turbolift. With a few deft strokes, he slices a hole in the door big enough to leap through into the lift shaft.

The others were incredulous at the power of the Force they just witnessed, and even more confused at Denjo’s hanging his head in disappointment at it.

[This is where I am going to depart from what happened in game to add cinematic flair. It is more what I had envisioned earlier, and not what I had with distractions of trying to be quiet so as not to wake Amelia, and others. If you do not like this, then know that Sheng dashes back into the room, but is sliced in two by Skyron. The group goes to the top of the turbolift, and then makes short work of the occasional guards they meet. Then resume the story]

In either case, they did not decide to dally in that spot long. Tarash gathered up Ginger on his shoulders, with Gweedo assisting to ensure that she did not get further injured by the transport. Skyron and Trystan rose and shook the vertigo from their heads, and locked a stare on Denjo. Trystan took a step forward, hand reaching for his lightsaber. Skyron intercepted his hand with an open palm, sweeping the hand away.

Trystan glowered at Skyron. “The darkness in him is so thick I can taste it. He must be stopped now before he fully turns to the dark side!”

“But look, there is good in him. Can’t you see it?” replied Skyron with a pained look. “If you attack him now, you will be creating the Sith you wish to destroy. If one has no one to rely upon, then there is nothing keeping them from drawing on the dark side.”

Trystan swung his hand, launching Skyron’s arm away. “Know this. I vowed never to let another Sith escape my blade. I will not start now.” Regaining his posture, but not drawing his weapon, he strode out of the office. “If we allow this to continue as an ‘ally of convenience’, he will be the doom of us all.”

Skyron stared at the back of Trystan’s head for a few moments, then back at Denjo before following the others out of the room.

  • * *

The group hustles back down to their waiting turbolift. “Let’s get out of here!” said Gweedo.

“Already on it.” Tarash replied, who had already set down Ginger, and slid back into his spot next to the control panel. His hands worked quickly to cut and reattach wires to force the turbolift back towards its ascent. In seconds, the journey began again.

For precious moments, it seemed like their escape was within reach. Marma was standing in the middle of the turbolift, looking over Ginger to see how badly she had been hurt. Then her neck made a loud snap at the end of a cacophonous groan of bending steel, when the ceiling suddenly caved in and impacted her head. She crumpled to the ground, and Gweedo was immediately at work aligning her spine and using the medkit to support it from further damage. Now that the ceiling lights were all shattered and glass strewn about, only wall and console LEDs still glowed. Skyron and Trystan Ignited their lightsabers, adding illumination to the darkened lift car. They each sliced upwards through the now convex ceiling, making an X-opening. Denjo blasted upwards with the Force, and the top splayed open like a blooming flower.

Then they saw Sheng, who had momentarily been launched upwards by the Force blast, teetering on the edge of the car. Regaining his balance, he reached out with his hand towards the one most vulnerable to him, in full unobstructed view and with his attention turned to the open control panel. “I’ll be needing your SOUL!” Sheng growled, and Tarash dropped his tools. Clutching at his head and chest, he fell back onto the steel deck. Sheng’s wounds began to heal before their eyes, and with his free hand he smacked exposed leg and rib bone back into his body to accelerate the process. Skyron tossed his lightsaber underhand, guiding it with the Force in a curving path upwards to cut the hand that was sucking away Tarash’s life energy. Sheng stopped his attack to leap upwards into the shaft, sighing with laughter.

“I could not let you get away that easily! I am the greatest swordsman on this planet! You are fools if you think you could beat a Sith Knight like me so easily! Now you will die.”

Trystan and Skyron leapt out on top of the speeding Turbolift car to engage Inquisitor Sheng. Using the force to enhance their muscles, the three bounced and tumbled about the turbolift shaft, leaping ever upwards to keep pace with the turbolift car. Sheng’s red zayd cloth flowing robes flitted about the shaft, follwed by Trystans torn prison jumpsuit and Skyron’s street clothes. Denjo crouched in preparation to jump up out of the car and join the fray, but saw something familiar in the floor. It looked like a face of someone he knew. Someone he hated. And once again the Spirit of Inquisitor Pillak was upon him, wrestling with his spirit for control of his body. Denjo fell to the floor on his hands and knees, clutching his scalp with his hands.

“Get out of my head!” Denjo yelled, and with it the turbolift car erupted into flames as Pillak gained a momentary upper hand. Denjo used the part of his mind that was in his control to make the illusion less believable, but they were still unbearably hot.

Gweedo had just finished bracing Marma’s neck when the entire turbolift car abruptly came to a stop, throwing all its inhabitants a meter into the air before thumping back onto the ground. “Marma! Are you still alive? Tarash? What the frell happened?”

“They must have cut the line we were using and forced it to use the emergency brakes.” Tarash replied scrambling to his feet again. “I’m going to need to use a different cable to power the trip.” Looking through the wires, he then ejected the power pack from his rifle and wrapped wires around the cathode and anode. “Of course, power packs work too!”

“Uunnngh.” Marma breathed as her hand searched about the floor while righting herself. “Well, I can hear you, so I think I am alive. But you really can’t be sure. I might be a dead ghost like that guy over there.” Marma pointed with another hand to Denjo writhing on the ground with the spirit of Pillak. Gweedo held up a cautionary finger and tried to shush her, but to now avail. “I have an idea! I’ll shoot that mean guy up there, bouncing around oustide. That’ll prove whether I’m alive or not. And he needs to be shot, anyway.” Marma reached behind her and propped up a stormtrooper’s rifle with the stock against’ the floor. Bracing it as best she could, she began taking potsots at Sheng. One went wide, another he reflected at Trystan, who deflected it away. The next Sheng reflected back at Marma, and the blasts landed inches from her stationary head. Marma stopped a moment to glance out of the corner of her eye without turning her head at the smoldering patch of metal, which in turn was surrounded by the illusory flames engulfing the entire cabin. Then she continued firing.

Kal joined her, blasting away at Inquisitor Sheng with his stormtrooper rifle, saturating the area with fire. All three needed to deflect some of his shots to avoid being struck.

Trystan leapt above Sheng, and with a battle cry brought down his lightsaber with both hands. Sheng parried the assault, then twisted the blade to block Skyron’s spinning blade. While the blade was still returning, Sheng reflected one of Marma’s blaster bolts at Skyron, exploding the flesh in his arm. Catching the returning weapon with his opposite arm, Skyron bounded upwards to catch up with Sheng and Trystan and flank his opponent.

The turbolift lurched to a halt once again, throwing everyone inside to the ceiling and back to the ground. Marma’s neck made another loud snap.

“Uh oh. Now I might be dead.” Marma said, moving only her lips. She kept the rest of her body stationary as a statue.

Tarash got up with a slap. “Aaahck, what now?”

“Again?” Asked an infuriated Gweedo. “I thought you had this taken care of!”

“I did, they must have shorted out the power pack on their end.” replied Tarash. “Maybe I can use the comm ethernet line and build a simple amplifier with a power pack…”

“Do it, whatever it takes! Just don’t let that happen again!” Gweedo considered the fallen women. “Ginger here will be blissfuly unaware with her concussion, but marma’s vertebrae will not survive another trauma like that. And do it fast!”

With that, the illusionary flames went out, and instead the ceiling of the turbolift turned into a Rancor’s head, gnashing its huge teeth it the inhabitants. Denjo screamed “NOOO!” just as it bit inches away from Tarash’s head.

A new power pack already out and being dismantled, Tarash added sarcastically “Yeah, because I thought I’d just stay here forever. Maybe I’ll buy a condo.”

Sheng moved to capitalize on the new, easier opponent of Skyron. Dashing at him with a flurry of saber swipes, Sheng fell upon the upstart Jedi, grinning. Withe the last bits of his stamina, Skyron was barely able to parry and dodge away from a lethal strike. He retreated below the turbolift car, swinging on a metal girder. Right behind him was Sheng. A powerful slice came up toward Skyron in an uppercut, which he parried into the lift car above. As Sheng twisted his double lightsaber to bring the other end around Skyron’s parry and through his abdomen, he found Skyron’s half shattered arm raised grasping for his chest. Focusing on the pain in his arm, he reached into something primal no, hereditary and let his hatred for the Sith flow through his arm. It flowed into Inquisitor Sheng in the form of lightning, which stunned him in many ways. While Sheng was recovering bodily and mentally from the revelation, Trystan rounded the corner of the turbolift and sliced across Sheng’s back. Then again, with a strike from the other direction, Trystan decapitated Sheng with his lightsaber. Before the skull could fall down the shaft, he grabbed it and steadied it with the Force. Slicing twice more, he cut the skull in two and burned away the rest of the brain. Returning to the top of the turbolift car to finish his trophy, Trystan eyed Skyron suspiciously.

“Well done, young Jedi.” Trystan wiped a gruesome hand on his prisoner’s jumpsuit and held it out to congratulate. “Thank you for your assistance. The galaxy is now a better place without him in it.”

Glad that Trystan apparently did not see his use of the dark side, Skyron went along and shook his hand uncomfortably. “Thank you.”

With Sheng gone, Pillak decided to conserve his spirit energy for a more vulnerable opportunity. “I’ll be back for you, Denjo” said Denjo in a voice not entirely his. “Your soul will always be mine! Apprentaaaaa…” Pillak faded and was gone.

Tarash had the turbolift running again. “This time they shouldn’t be able to stop it.”

“And they’ll never expect us to go right up to Commander Isaard’s office.” said Denjo, rising to his feet.

“While that’s true, I just want to say how idiotic this plan is.” Kal added. “When we are captured and executed, wait for me to say ‘I told you so.’”

The door opened to two storm troopers guarding the doorway to the commander’s office. Denjo picked up one and slammed him into the other, which the two Jedi rushed up to them, lightsabers drawn.

“They probably heard that, you don’t have much time.” Kal said to Tarash.

Tarash had the door access panel open and was busily hotwiring it. “Thankfully, I won’t need much.”

The bridge was not far away down the corridor, and much shouting of orders could be heard from that direction. A squad of stormtroopers was double timing it down the hallway when Tarash got the door to open. Everyone hustled in and the door was shut before anyone came around the hallway.

“They’ll see those bodies out there.” said Trystan. “Now we are trapped. Your friend has lured us-”

“The door is sealed, Trystan.” said Tarash, brushing his hands off as a self congratulatory job well done. “They’ll need to break the door down to get in now.”

“I sure do hope you have a plan, Denjo.” Asked the statue Marma. “Do we just hide in here now?”

“Why are you silent, Denjo? Why are we here?” added Kal impatiently.

Denjo opened his eyes. “In my dream, we exited out of the eyes. We are in the head right now, but we need to get out through the eyes. On a train. This computer.. must have the answer.”

Kal went to work searching through the files on the computer, while the others searched about the Commander’s office. After just over a minute, he had found something. “Hmmm, THAT’S different. Let’s see what THIS does.” After a few more keystrokes, the wall next to Isaard’s large steel desk moved aside to reveal a secret tunnel.

“That is how we will leave here.” said Denjo. “Let’s go.”

The tunnel led to a private subway car, on what seemed to be an abandoned system. Nonetheless, they boarded the car and booted up its systems. They traveled for a few minutes towards the first destination, the Imperial Center Senate building, before Gweedo pointed out something. “We need to stop up here. Our pick up contact through Whiplash is right up ahead, a few stories up through the ground. We should get out and find a way up that way.”

Tarash reached into Kal’s pack and pulled out a few blocks of detonite from Inquisitor Pillak’s office. “No, looking at that holomap, I think we’ll need to make out own way.”

[I know that here, you guys decided to just carve your way up with lightsabers. But I like this way better than lightsabers giving you a burrow speed.]

After placing the charges, Tarash and Kal worked together to make a cascade of three seperate explosions that exploded their way to the surface of Coruscant. Making short work of the few scattered Cthon found roaming that part of the undercity, they hustled to the destination spire and activated a turbolift to take them to the top. Calling ahead with Narok’s commlink and datapad, they ship was already prepped and ready to go from the shadowport. The fugitives would be packed into a shipment of discounted high end clothing from that factory outlet. Several floors down were a myriad of loom machines and droids used to make such products.

“We apologize for the inconvenience.” said the short Dug alien, smiling. “But we need to knock you out now, to help avoid your capture. We’ll also need payment.” Gweedo handed the small alien the credit chits that Narok had already arranged. Then, the Dug was joined by two others who set about with stun sticks to keep the humans and rodian from showing up as life forms on sensors.

In the ship, Denjo was visited again by Inquisitor Pillak. He made the whole cargo hold seem like it was on fire, and that there was nothing its inhabitants could do to escape it. The illusion changed like a dream into spiders eating away at them. Or perhaps it was fire spiders? Just as the illusion was proven to be false by the comrades, Skyron, Denjo and Trystan could feel the probing of a familiar mind. Inquisitor Phage could feel them out there, fleeing the planet.

On Alderaan, Senator Bail Organa personally greeted you with his entourage. Medical professionals took Ginger Campbell away to be treated for her injuries, though there was little else that could be done beyond the expert care you had already provided.

Before being taken away, Ginger stopped to talk to Senator Organa. “Senator, these people saved my life so many times over the past month. I was interrogated by Imperial customs, even injected with Bavo 6, just because I was on a passenger liner that was hijacked. They rescued me from there and we used my Whiplash contacts to get safe passage back home. My contact was killed by an Imperial Inquisitor in a secret prison facility that we ‘stumbled into’. I owe them everything.”

“Well, then, you should be rewarded. For the safe return of an honorary member of House Organa, you shall have a reward of 100,000 credits, and you may stay here on Alderaan as long as you wish. We will see to it that you are taken care of as you have taken care of us. I look forward to getting to know you all further. From the bottom of my heart, you have my thanks.”

View
Episode III.VII

Where we pick up
Our adventurers came upon an imperial militarized zone, which was was not on
the maps (not that the maps were updated that often in the underworld). The three
stationed storm-troopers refused to let the players pass, were dispatched (along with
some wandering Cthon), and our heros made their way through the curious crack
behind the military barrier.

Once inside, they were able to determine they were in a hanger (having noticed the
massive starship) and that their route to continue toward the starport of choice lay on
the far side of the (did we mention massive?) room. Soon after, they were spotted by
a squad of storm-troopers, which led them to run into a tunnel that turned out to be an
entrance way into the massive starship.

Opening the door, they found themselves in a cell block where a Sith Inquisitor was
interrogating a young Jedi, whom the party came to know as Trystan. Also there were
the apparently-ever-present storm-troopers and … Denjo! (whom our adventurers had
believed to have died after an earlier run-in with the Sith). Shots were exchanged, and
the prison cells were opened with the help of Tarash.

(For the fun details, read the previous recap.) :)

So now. The freed prisoners rampage around, taking down the remaining 5-6 storm-
troopers, and amidst the masses of storm-trooper bodies we see Denjo standing,
lightsaber ignited, over his assumedly-former Sith master whom he has cut down. The
scars on his body and flickering looks of uncertainty remind the group that this is not
necessarily the same Denjo they left behind.

Foreboding words from the ship’s commander hang in the air, threatening thousands of
storm-troopers descending on the disrupted cell block.

Regrouping
Our adventurers take a moment to strengthen. Gweedo takes a breather and helps
Marma recover; Narok is revived and gets up.

Trystan, in his ripped tunic which reveals his own recent scarring, approaches the Sith
lord, making sure he’s “good and dead.”

Gweedo, standing safely behind Narok, calls out to Denjo: “Good to see you,
buddy!” “Don’t touch me.” “Right. No touching.” With a darkened look in his eye, Denjo
gazes at Gweedo, “Why should I trust you?” Gweedo starts into a positive account of
the present rescue, but Denjo interrupts: “You left me to die!” A short pause, then “Fair
enough!”

Meanwhile, Skyron circles among the storm-troopers, similarly making sure

everyone’s “good and dead.” Lee busies himself with getting armor.

Gweedo moves on to search the bodies … he pockets a medpack and stun
grenade. “Anybody want a blaster rifle?” Several “oh, me!”s come from the
disassembled mob. He looks back to his party, “Anyone of us?” Nope. He passes on the
rifle to an elated prisoner.

Narok gestures towards the figures standing over the Sith lord (Denjo and
Trystan). “Does anyone know either of these two?”

Gweedo is quick to indicate Denjo, “I technically owe him money.”

“Ah.”

Moving On and Collective Conscience
The potential life narrative is cut short as a voice speaks up: “Uh, guys … I didn’t
really like the broadcast (you know, the one about the thousands of storm-troopers
descending on us), and I don’t think we should stay in this room.”

Marma seems to have been distracted with something … in the light? She returns, “So
where now?”

Skyron still seems to be counting lightsabers, “Do you think they keep their weapons
close by?” Trystan catches his meaning, and his head tilts, as if calculating the details
around changing out the crystal in the Sith lightsaber he is now holding, and of which he
gives no sign of giving up.

“I simply need access tot he inquisitor’s office.”

By now Tarash has hacked into a computer and has a map that the party members
download. He continues work on opening a door out of the block.

Denjo starts drifting toward the closed door at the north, “Head through this door …
this might be a way off the ship.” There is still some suspicion on Denjo, seeing as
he appears to be under the influence of some darkness that goes through phases in
causing trouble. At the moment, his face conveys an earnest desire to get off the ship.

Marma looks Denjo over, and rises to head north. The party begins to drift as to follow
Denjo, their speed no doubt hampered by the foreboding awareness that it’s quite
possible Denjo is leading them into a trap. Gweedo’s voice is heard: “Probably because
I owe him money …”

As the group heads wanders, an impromptu ethics discussion slows their progress:
“What about the prisoners?”
“They can do what they want.”

“They’re not under my contract.”
“A small group is harder to find than a large group of prisoners.”
Trystan summarizes his position: “I have problems leaving laymen to the Sith.” Skyron
mediates the situation, “They can follow if they want.” “You don’t feel any compulsion
to impact their good?” “I’m not going to stay here while they wait.” Skyron leans back, “I
will announce we are going this way. They can follow if they want.” Nobody responds
as Narok closes the dialogue with a foreboding, “They may have a better chance if they
don’t come with us …”

Denjo reminds the group, “All I have is a feeling that there’s a way out this way.” Tarash
responds, “I’m going to double check his feeling with my map.” Heads peer at maps,
and not finding anything to direct them to the contrary, Trystan gives his reassuring: “I
say we cautiously follow him.” Skyron: “I agree. I just won’t be near him.” Skyron really
misses his lightsaber.

Narok steps behind Denjo, and Trystan stays close, keeping his eye on Denjo. Nobody
takes Marma’s spot next to Denjo.

Crossroads
Tarash opens the door on the northern side of the prison block, and the group rushes
forward. They make their way down winding corridors, and eventually reach a split in
the hall. Denjo stops short, undecided between left and right. He has his hands to his
head, as though trying to search through his brain from the outside. He continues his
unfruitful attempts to choose a way as the rest of the party shares the quandary.

Both ways look similar, even with a skim of the map. They identify some maintenance
shafts, and one pretty large one, down in the ship (many levels below them). It looks like
a number of threads lead into it …

Marma, in the middle of the intersection, has been listening to the sound of
stormtroopers down the two new paths, and can’t tell that one side has more than the
other. Narok voices the nervous anticipation, “Whoever’s checking the map, better
check it quick.”

They take a moment to analyze the maps. Trystan gives an “I’ll help …. nevermind.”
(“You’re holding it upside down!”) Narok’s mind wanders, “Can I jury rig a grenade as a
proximity mine? …. <tinkers> … nope.”

To the left, the map has more systems. To the right, more engines. The general thought
is: “more systems, more personnel. Go right.” Skyron starts, “If we make toward the
systems, we may be able to close doors …”

The stormtroopers are now unavoidable, equally distributed down both paths. They
turn their corners, see our adventurers, and brace their rifles to fire, some going prone.

Gweedo looks for a rock to hide behind.

Battle of the Crossroads I: Rough start
Weapons come out. Kal remembers his comlink, “I can try to listen to the chatter!” He
confirms that stormtroopers from all over are headed to the area. He makes sure he
stays on mute.

Skyron berates himself, “I could have searched my feelings! I’m a terrible Jedi …” He is
gently reminded that all such things come with learning.

Tarash draws his weapon and shoots into the standing figures on the right. Bounces off
their armor. Someone, somewhere, thinks “That’s not a good start to the mood.”

Denjo appears to have sufficient control of himself to move a bit to the right and go into
full defensive mode.

A feeling of impending hurt wafts over our heros as the Stormtroopers direct their
bursts of fire into toward these exposed in the intersection. Skyron encapsulates the
mood, “No lightsaber! agh! … Can’t … take … damage!”

First round of attack injures just about everyone, except Gweedo (who apparently
found an adequate “rock” to hide behind), and Marma (figures – one is tempted
to think she’s conversing with the blasts … did she just look at a scorch mark and
say “Gesundheit”???). A moment of silence sneaks in between rounds, where the group
can distinctly hear a relieved Rhodian’s voice: “Sweet!”

The next round of stormtrooper blasts has a similar impact on our heros. Skyron takes a
moment to be thankful for his cover. Yup, no need for healing here, thanks be.

Another barrage of attacks comes, spreading wounds. And yet another. Trystan
breathes in relief as the last round fails to damage him, but this momentary comfort is
quickly put in perspective as his two comrades, Denjo and Narok, fall amidst the haze in
the corridor.

Skyron, whose heart has never been far from any unattended lightsaber, moves to
Denjo and takes up the neglected weapon. His eyes move as if calculating the distance
required to launch an assault …

Marma dutifully fires into the crowd on the right before moving back to cover. Tarash
similarly executes a strategic relocation to the cover of the hallway.

Gweedo’s thoughts linger with Narok, who’s lying on the floor in front of him. Resolved
to save this life at least, he moves toward his comrade and concentrates on reviving him
enough to get him to his feet. A weakened Narok gains conscious, and with Gweedo’s
help begins a “don’t mind me” crawl towards the withdrawn party.

Tarash continues his strategic positioning further down the line as the Stormtroopers
methodically advance, giving ample time for their prone companions to relocate.

Battle of the crossroads II: Fresh Start
The sound of rushing feet from the corridor behind reveal a mob of partly shirtless,
newly released prisoners starting to catch up to the front line of escape.

Skyron readies a stun grenade as he anticipates the stormtroopers reaching the front
of the hallway. He mutters a mystical, “It’s just an object,” which Marma would most
assuredly have identified with were she not in the middle of attempting an attack, and
now running back to cover.

The Prisoners’ curiosity in the activity are now vocalized, “What’s going on up there?
Why are you coming back?” Few responses are given, the group appearing to hold to
the “seeing is believing” mindset.

Trystan also takes a step back, readying his action for when the stormtroopers appear.

Gweedo calls out to his companions, “I’d give a Stun grenade to one of you … if you
wanted it …,” but his own energies are focused on slowly pulling Narok with him to the
back.

Kal has now settled into a vacated space along the left wall. Enjoying the cover from the
troops to the left, he has let loose an autofire barrage on the approaching troopers to
the right. Apparently pleased with its results, he now repeats the flurry of blasts.

Tarash takes advantage of the cover to explore options, “There’s nothing else down this
hall? More exits?” Kal picks up his thoughts, “Any doors to scurry into? Yeah, there’s
one on the side.” A burdened Gweedo quickly encourages the developing plan, “We
probably want to get out of this hallway as fast as possible.” A disheartened voice
speaks, “The doors will be locked,” but Skyron reminds them, “We’ve got ways around
that.” As if to prove the words of Skyron true, Tarash begins applying his mechanical
skill toward a door on the right side of the hallway.

The stormtroopers appear at the intersection, and promptly meet the greened Skyron
has so patiently prepared for them. The leader (in red) receives a strong brunt of the
attack, and as the debris from the wide area attack start to settle, our heros confirm that
this squad at least, has now been rendered motionless with some grim implications.
(The grenade apparently loosed a beam which found an uncomfortable rest where one
trooper’s head should have been.)

Gweedo sees Denjo’s body amidst the debris, and feels that common human twang to
help another in need (you know, so you don’t feel bad for leaving the same person for

dead twice), but the second group of stormtroopers have now entered the intersection
from the left and now cover his body.

Trystan’s momentary disappointment in running out of targets is now redeemed as he
looses his attack and initiates the damage on this batch of troops. The stormtrooper
in front starts to drop his rifle and makes as if to remove his helmet. The other troops
return fire along the corridor, giving Kal and Skyron the benefits of their attention. Kal
manages to elude the blasts, while Skyron, lightsaber in hand, gives the impression of
embracing the attacks, using smooth controlled motions to deflect a few of the blasts
into the nearby corridor.

Marma feels the need to attempt a feeble encouragement to the Prisoners in light
of the new wave of troops, “Yay! … half-done! …” which leaves them more confused
than encouraged. (Yet again demonstrating where Perception and Wisdom are an
inadequate replacement for Charisma.)

Gweedo translates the momentum into a more assessable motivation: “The key to your
salvation is through those storm troopers!”

The prisoners charge.

Battle of the Crossroads III: Reinforcements!
The mob of prisoners are now in a furry, jumping up and down with shivs and bayonnets
on the Stormtroopers. The trooper trying to take his helmet off succeeds, only to have a
shiv thrust in his face. Trystan adjusts to select a new target …

A prisoner steps forward attempting to club a stormtrooper into the wall and pin him …
nope. Stormtrooper repels him, knocking him out on the ground below.

Gweedo refocuses his attention on aiding a limping Narok, giving sporadic
encouragement to the foray. Narok opts to not draw any attention to himself, and
continues his way toward the side door still being worked by Tarash.

Skyron makes a note to gather more grenades at his next opportunity as he eyes up the
stormtroopers. He targets one unmarred by obvious damage, and soon a red lightsaber
is moving through the prisoners to fight at their side. The prisoners now have another
cause for confusion, as shocked, appalled, and crazy looks greet him with, “What?” “A
red lightsaber running around and killing stormtroopers?” “I thought people with red
lightsabers are evil?”

Marma notes how heavily melee the battle has become, and takes a moment to smell
the tinny metal taste in the air. Canned, uncleansed air. Armored, misled troopers.
Enraged, unwashed masses. Their apparent avoidance of baths reminds her of her
own need to remove the pungent smells “which are no doubt heavily influencing my
observations … but perhaps all annoyances have their purposes.” Spittle flies through

the air as the miscreants shout their battle cries in their advance, and she detects blood
in the air as she passes Narok, in his pock-mocked armor, retracing his earlier path.

Kal returns fire at a nearby cluster of stormtroopers, enjoying the final round of autofire
in his clip. Kal damages a couple of them while Skyron slices his target in half. Trystan
moves down the corridor and ignites his lightsaber, joining the assault with injuries dealt
to a Sith-influenced trooper.

Meanwhile, back down the corridor, Gweedo has managed to pull a limping Narok to
the door Tarash has been working on. The door opens, and Tarash gives a cautious
look around before entering the (pleasantly empty) small berthing. Gweedo scans the
room, with its bunks, footlockers, and dressers, looking for a place to get into a little
surgery. He soon finds a bed that will fit the part, and Narok starts to prepare for some
serious incisions.

Tarash has determined that the door he’s opened is the only one in and out, and has
started to look through the footlockers with another goal in mind … “Any good stuff in
here?”

A stormtrooper catches Trystan with a vibrobayonnet, dropping him unconscious on top
of Denjo. (OOC – “Jedi puppy pile!” “I’m not dead yet!” “I feel, happy!”)

Another prisoner takes a hit, but manages to keep his feet. Skyron also manages to
prevent a similar end, deflecting a barrage enough to not take the full brunt of the
attack. (“If I didn’t reduce that attack, I would have died!”) The prisoner next to him is not
so fortunate as he catches the barrage, and dies in a burst of brains and blood. Another
prisoner similarly falls to a stormtrooper.

The prisoners reinitiate their attack. One tries to stab his target, but the stormtrooper
easily deflects the attempt. Another prisoner manages to jump on top of the
stormtrooper and tackle him to the floor.

Someone thinks, “Where’s Narok? Oh. Nevermind …”

Skyron can’t get to the remaining stormtroopers, but instead arcs his lightsaber over the
teaming mass of combat towards the stormtrooper who’s hoisting a gun to autofire. Kal
sends off a single shot which also catches the stormtrooper. The panicked stormtrooper
attempts to flee the assault.

Marma ducks into the bunk room where Gweedo is starting his process for battle
surgery. Tarash found socks! Marma decides to help the search.

One stormtrooper flips out of the grapple of a prisoner, and another successfully stabs,
but manages to not kill the prisoner by him. The prisoner tries to stab back, but the
blade is deflected off of the armor. A third prisoner gives an awkward shoot with a
blaster rifle to the fleeing trooper, which is enough to bring him down.

Two stormtroopers are left in combat, but they are soon dispatched by the remaining
fire.

What now?
Marma finds a couple power packs for ammo, and hands them off to Kal, since “this
auto-fire takes a lot of juice.”

Trystan is revived and helps bring Denjo to his feet. Denjo catches his breath, and
is mobile. Narok is still weakened, but is moving a little better. Skyron also takes the
chance to heal up a bit.

Our heros plus seven prisoners, now armed with blaster rifles and vibrobayonets, are
now gathered in the barracks.

They reassess their plan. “It’s been about … what … 3 hours? since we left?” “We were
about to go the right, weren’t we?”

Skyron contemplates the two paths and takes a moment to search the future, but it is
cloudy, with danger both ways.

Denjo starts to feel the walls closing in, and is suddenly impressed by the need to go …
down, and is strangely happy about that. “We go down through this. Please.” He points
at the floor, and the group grasps that he wants to cut a hole through the floor.

What might have been a lengthy debate is shortened by the sound of more
stormtroopers approaching along the corridors. Lightsabers come out, and the cutting,
surprisingly enough, goes pretty smoothly. That one spot happened to have not so
many layers to cut through … The travelers angle a ramp to bring them to the next layer
below. They see stormtroopers at the upper level running towards the breach but too far
away to make much of a difference.

As the adventurers descend, Denjo, Kal, Narok, and Trystan each see a blaster floating
in the air before them, pointed right between their eyes. It begins to float away … Skyron
takes a defensive stance, preparing to deflect any blasts. Trystan strikes at his blaster
with the lightsaber readied in his hand, and Denjo attempts to use the force to push
away the blaster.

Almost at the same moment, the blasters react. Narok is blasted in the face, Skyron
attempts to deflect, but just barely misses it and is hit. Trystan makes a successful strike
and the blaster in front of him explodes. Gweedo also takes damage from an attack.
Denjo, however, is successful in his push and his blaster runs down the corridor.

The debris settles, and the only blasters remaining are in hand. Marma’s face is curious,
but she doesn’t ask audible questions. Trystan seems to be making notes to himself on

the experience.

Darker Crossroads
The group advances along the lower level and soon reaches another intersection. No
stormtroopers in sight. Map gives clear direction, and the band is running down the
corridor.

The corridor seems to get darker and darker, as if the lights were intentionally dimming.
Marma tilts her head, breathes, and indicates the central path with a “Not that way.”
Remaining choices are left or right.

Skyron makes toward the right, and the party starts to follow. Denjo bends … to pet?
something? He says, “Follow as if your lives depend on it.” Denjo jumps to secure the
little black droid, and he sees it scurry back, bounce into the wall, and run off. Denjo
approaches the wall and mutters, “So this is the way … Where’s the door? IS there a
door? There should be cables … There’s no cables …”

Curious looks now meet the befuddled Denjo. “But I had a dream. This has to be the
right way.” Marma breaks into his muttering … “The right way to where?”

Denjo does not answer, but instead attempts to open the panelling. Attempts that are
deterred by the standard metal walls.

The other party members look around. The corridor isn’t that dark. There’s a few
hallways going off in other directions. Kal mutters, “Confounded magicians – we have a
map!” Narok glances at Kal, and nods his agreement.

The sound of stormtroopers grows, and Trystan readies his lightsaber. Denjo is
undeterred, and manages to pull a panel off the wall using the force. Skyron is relieved
that he had gone back to seal the hole in the floor, well, to melt it up a little bit. Gweedo
is simply glad he’s not a breath away from unconscious.

Denjo looks at the space revealed by the panel and sees many cables, which angers
him. He starts to tear at them with his hands. Trystan confronts him, “What did
they promise you when they were talking to you?” Denjo doesn’t seem to hear him,
preoccupied by the wires, “It’s not right …” “I know it’s not right, but what did they
promise you?” No response, just frantic searching in the wires. “I think Denjo’s got a
short circuit, guys.”

No one interrupts Denjo as he reaches ever further into the coiled mass, trying to find
something. Trystan is convinced, “I hope you know your friend is lost. They have him.”
Denjo’s voice is heard to wonder … “Now, what do I do with it? What do I know about
sending a surge through? Or could I strike it?” He brings his face back towards the
corridor. “You there. Stop talking. Slash this … right now.”

Trystan pauses long enough for Denjo to mutter “ … it’s all connected …” and Skyron
steps forward and slashes the area Denjo indicated.

The lights go down. Emergency lights flicker on. Air vents, heating/cooling systems, are
ripped open and water pipes burst, spraying water. Marma can’t help but think “Finally!
Shower!” Hot water, cold water, and “gray water” spray … “Well, maybe not that clean of
a shower. But a shower!” Her mind starts to wander … “We have not been clean people.
Now troopers! They are pretty, clean people.”

Denjo is looking through the wreckage … “Doesn’t seem quite enough … I can’t crawl
through that.” Trystan prompts him, “What is it buddy? What are we looking for?” Denjo
continues his mutterings, “It’s not how it’s supposed to look … the thing bumped into the
wall, pulled me into a reactor… go anyplace we want, open all the doors.”

Skyron looks at a map to see if what he’s saying makes sense. Gweedo looks over his
shoulders. Marma couldn’t see, but is hoping Skyron lifted an eyebrow. And she hopes
Gweedo’s eyes are opened wide. She’s distracted, however, by Denjo …

“We’ve got to follow this down.” Ripping the ductwork, he feels the air rushing past him.
Marma reaches over to smell the air. Definitely fresh air coming from there. Not outside
air … more like made air.

Denjo seems to straighten up a bit, “If I can’t BECOME a grenade, maybe I can throw
one down it!” He tries to tell if the object he’s thinking of is down the air duct …

Meanwhile, all Skyron and Gweedo can see on the map is maintenance around.
Nothing about any reactor. Anywhere.

Intercom static breaks through the air, “OK, I admit it. This is the best chase I’ve seen
in a long time, but I havn’t got all day! The longer it takes …” (blah, blah, blah) “… Turn
yourselves in!”

Skyron speaks up, “May I point out that we are trapped. In a Sith den. In the middle
of water.” He looks around, “As it is, we’ve only followed the path of the Sith.” Trystan
seems picks up the sentiment, gestures to one of the corridors, and says “We’ve
proposed this path. Let’s go forward.”

Marma lets the situation’s tension agitate her, “So let’s throw the grenades down and
move on. Everyone’s happy.” She takes two grenades from Narok, and gives them to
Denjo (who looks both amused and annoyed at the same time). The grenades bounce
innocently as they head toward the maintenance area. “There. Now we can go forward.”

The group starts down the corridor, but Denjo hangs back to follow the grenades’
progress. He hears bumps, and then the group notices that their computer connections
drop. There’s a satisfied yell from Denjo, and he even does a little capper.

“Oh no. We might have been following a bad dream.”

Denjo then scurries off in the direction he saw the droid roll off into. Gweedo looks back
at the map, and confirms that Denjo’s definitely heading in the opposite direction than
what he would think would be best. Narok chimes in, “That guy … is crazy.” Gweedo
adds his bit, “My kind of crazy. Plus, he forgot that I owed him money.”

Lesser of evils
“Hey, Denjo. Hey. We’re going north.” Trystan questions Denjo’s direction (following
multiple avenues of that implication), and Skyron adds in, “My only stake is to fight the
Sith. If this isn’t your fight, you shouldn’t follow him.” Narok looks where north takes
them … past an installation to a safehouse.

Gweedo points out, “Leaving Denjo to his fate could be bad. Think of the last time we
left him.” Skyron, “But to follow? He’s gone too far. He needs to be reborn. He’s fallen to
Semsar.” Marma is sure that must mean something. Tarash, “There’s a turbo lift to the
south. We could head there.”

Narok, “We should decide soon.”

Skyron will follow Denjo. Marma follows. Gweedo helps along Narok (who’s still
limping), who leans over to talk with Ginger. Kal mutters, “crazies … following ticket off
planet …” And the group is off toward the southern turbo lift.

Ahead of the group, Denjo reaches the door to the south, and despite his efforts he
is not sure which way the little repair droid went. “I definitely saw it scamper like a
cat.” He strengthens his own convictions that what he’s doing is right, and utters a
foreboding, “Mustn’t let them know.”

The party looks at the turbo-lift door, finds it is non-responsive, and starts looking for
ways to get it open. Skyron considers messing with the lock, but leave Tarash and Kal
instead to hotwire the thing by the flicker of the emergency lights.

The door opens, and they look inside to see a circular shaft going a long way up, and
a long way down. The lights are fully on the floor up, the floor down, and in the shaft.
Skyron consults his map, “The top of the ship will have the cityscape, with systems on
the edges, and on the inside is personnel. The core is maintenance and conveyance
systems. On the bottom, bottom to middle, is all maintenance. We’re sitting right above
the maintenance area. Above us is turbo-laser, and stuff like that.”

Denjo speaks, “So it looks like down.” And down they go. They carefully crawl down.
Gweedo, “How far are we going? To the maintenance area, right?” “27 floors to go.”
And on they go … As Skyron points out, “Fastest way out of here.”

Marma hears a tiny whine of metal as extra weight is added to turbo lift
above. “Somebody’s getting into the turbo lift.”

The group had gone down some 15 floors. They start looking for doors (locked!). Skyron
tries to cut the door open. Trystan assists. Marma starts packing herself into a corner,
out of the path of the lift.

Cables power up. Turbo starts to accelerate downward. Passes 5 floors.

Skyron and Trystan opened the bottom of the door and fall inwards and downwards.
Doors open. The lift is uncomfortably close as all members make their way through the
door. Narok is the last one in, pulled in by Ginger.

The Turbolift passes and stops 5 floors below.

Tarash reaches toward the lift button, “Should we call the turbo lift?” Gweedo reaches
out to stop him, “Wait!” Tarash is stopped, and Gweedo explains, “Let’s let whoever was
on it, get off. Let’s just take a breather here for the second.”

Trystan is in the middle of saying something, “I’m content with the battles ahead, but if
you’re not …”, but Denjo is searching, sensing other force users, and is struck with an
uncomfortable realization that he will soon lapse again, and he breaks in, “The people
down below are trying to fix what we did.” He almost wonders aloud, “What did we do?”
then continues “We need to move fast. We need to make a decision and go.”

Trystan prods him, “Any particular reason? Is your master coming?” “I struck him
down …” “Like a true sith.”

Surprise
Gweedo calls the lift. The doors open to reveal the space full of red spiders. They start
to swarm out … force users brighten their senses, and Marma lets out a curious, “They
don’t smell … like spiders.”

Trystan is suspicious of mind tricks, and does not believe the spiders are real. Kal thinks
they are a product of the crazy, and is actively disbelieving for all it’s worth. Trystan
steps back from the mass of apparent spiders and ignites his saber. In the meantime,
Lee is injured as spiders crawl over him biting him. Denjo also is being hurt.

Tarash backs away from them. (They’re fast for spiders, but not that fast.) But he sees
them surging over companions. Gweedo is swatting at the spiders. He tries to not
believe, but they are biting and stinging.

Marma reaches out, trying to touch one, but her hand goes through it. Her voice carries
disappointment, “I can’t get one …” Trystan sees her, and now completely disbelieves
the spiders. Kal, however, sees her catch one and pet it.

Narok screams and falls to the ground. Gweedo walks to Narok, slaps him in the face,
and pulls his head up, “Hey, they’re not real.” Narok starts to come to his senses.

Tarash is now taken by the spiders and Kal manages to thump him against the wall. “I’m
not trying to hurt you!” Trystan chips in, “Hey, there’s a spider on your shoulder!” Skyron
grabs him by the shirt, “It’s an allusion!”

It’s too late for Kal, though, and he falls unconscious, succumbed to the swarming
hordes.

Trystan scans the area for a more clear threat, trying to sense a dark force. He notices
that Denjo is glowing with the dark force and feels slimy and icky! Everyone notices as
he is clutching at his face and ears and hair.

Skyron speaks to the group, “The only person torturing you is him. This is a Sith illusion.
And he is a Sith.” He continues, “We haven’t been pursued for a reason. Reason is he
has killed his master and is …” Skyron trails off as he scans the force to back up that
he’s a sith. Definitely.

Trystan and Skyron sense a Sith elsewhere on the ship, wrecking havok in someone’s
memories. There’s another walking the corridors, trying to find them on the ship, but not
finding them. And then there’s Denjo. (OCC – “Down with the Sithness!” Kyle: “I’m just a
well trained boy scout, what are you talking about?”)

Matters at Hand
Everyone conscious has now moved beyond the spiders. Gweedo drags Kal toward the
turbo lift. Ginger and Narok head in the same direction.

Skyron confirms Trystan’s claim that Denjo is Sith. Gweedo persuasively
intercedes, “Listen. You are presenting a threat to us that we can’t afford, and I think
we need to leave you.” Marma is remembering the time she shot Skyron and looks
uncomfortable.

Skyron, “We should kill him.” Gweedo tries to ignore that last comment, and turns back
to Denjo. Denjo feels the taint from his master. Deep in the soul. Trying to dissolve his
spirit like acid. He mumbles, “Maybe it’s wrong to go with. I don’t know if I can fight.”
Marma appears to be doing arithmetic with base three?

Tarash encourages from a distance, “You were a good man once. You can let your soul
go.” Denjo responds, “You don’t understand. He’s not dead yet. He’s still inside me.”
Marma’s arithmetic involves circles.

Gweedo continues, “We need you to cover our escape.” Trystan interjects, “You

can’t let him go back to the Sith. They will finish what they started.” Gweedo sees his
point, “I agree with Trystan. I think he’s too far down.” Skyron, “I know of people being
redeemed before. He needs time to fight it off.” Gweedo, “I believe the group has a
better chance without him.” Marma’s answer is 7.

The group hears the sound of stormtroopers coming. Trystan sees in the metal wall
the clear face of Denjo’s master taunting him. He approaches Denjo, “You can finish
this now. I can see what you see. Please make the right choice.” Trystan offers him the
lightsaber. Skyron adds, “Choose a warrior’s death, Denjo.” Marma switches bases.

Denjo’s body briefly reacts as a foreign energy dives into his body. Denjo lets out an
unnerving laugh, and clasps the lightsaber.

Trystan, “oh, shit.”

Skyron promptly attacks the threatening weapon, and cuts off Denjo’s hand. Gweedo
lets out a “Yay! (Sorry, Denjo.)” and gets out of the way of the lightsaber. Marma is
carrying the remainder in her head, glancing between her equation and his severed
hand.

Trystan pulls the lightsaber into his hand, and steps toward Denjo for a clean strike for
death. He mutters something about getting canines, and Skyron lets out a “Little weird.”

The saber falls.

View
Episode III.IX: This Ain't Like Dusting Crops...

Captain’s Log
From the desk of:
Gweedo, Captain of The Hidden Hand

1st Entry:

The past few weeks on Alderaan have done us all a world of good. We’ve had time to rest and recover from our wounds. We’ve received the treatment of royalty for the safe return of Ginger Campbell. Bail Organa has even paid us a reward that made more than a few blush. Better than anything else though was the feeling of returning to a normal life. Even for a small time.
Denjo, with the help of Skyron and Trystan, seems to be almost back to his old self. His mind seems at peace. We’ve been told that the Sith spirit occupying his mind is no longer a threat to us. I can only hope that’s true. There has been more than one occasion where all would have been lost if it weren’t for him. Tarrash fabricated an amazing cybernetic hand to replace the one Denjo had to sacrifice on his journey back to us. I used my increasing medical skills to surgically install it. He adjusted to it very quickly, although I’ve caught him gazing at it quizzically a few times. I wonder if I can still call him Lefty…
One day in the commissary Denjo asks the group “What’s next?” After a few moments Tarrash breaks the silence. He tells us that his company has had numerous convoys raided by a pirate group led by an Aqualish named, Lok’rr’kar. He tells us that his livelihood is in jeopardy and wants to know if we could help him secure his future and take down this pirate. I know this pirate. He works almost exclusively for Jabba. I made a decision to try to help Tarrash without putting any of our lives in undo danger. It was a long shot. I got up from the table and told the group to give me a day. Without saying anything else I walked back to my room.
I sent a private communiqué to Jabba in appeal to him to stop the pirate attacks. The response was something I had not anticipated. Jabba told me that there was nothing I could do to convince him to put an end to the raids. On top of that I was no longer allowed back in the palace, I’d been cut loose. With a heavy heart I returned to the group.
Determined to help the group that has kept me alive during our time on Coruscant I returned to the commissary the next day with a new plan. We would stop the raids ourselves. Tarrash, Kal and I go to a ship dealer and put together the finest ship our money could buy, a GHTROC 720 Freighter. Our group has a mobile base of operations, The Hidden Hand! Tarrash and Kal put a suite of modifications onboard that should make our ship rival anything in the stars. When we face Lok’rr’kar he won’t be expecting this.
Our crew designations fall into place fairly easily. Marma will be our pilot. Somewhere in between the seemingly incoherent ramblings and the pet names for everything she comes across is one hell of a pilot. The AT-ST was all the proof anyone would need for that. Tarrash will be back in the engineering room making sure we stay in the sky. Kal will be our computer technician. Apparently he’s some sort of whiz when it comes to calculating hyperspace routes. Denjo and Skyron are going to man the added cannon emplacements when it comes time to use them. I’ll be taking charge as our ship’s captain, after all I paid for the damn thing.

-End of Entry

2nd Entry:

Our pursuit of Lok’rr’kar took us to Correllia, home of Correllian Depot, Tarrash’s employer. Tarrash, along with Marma, Denjo and Skyron, went to see the company CEO. From what they’ve told me he was hesitant to be of much help. He only even admitted that the attacks had happened after much grilling. He wasn’t willing to give information on the location or nature of the attacks. Marma and Denjo seem to think he might have been holding back. They didn’t press him though. After all we are here to help him, not to make another enemy.
With no usable information I’ve decided it’s time to try his fence on Tatooine, Iber Teang. We’re currently in hyperspace en route to my home planet. We’re going to make record time thanks to Kal. Hopefully Jabba won’t be gunning for us when we get there, because there won’t be any way to avoid his attention.

-End of Entry

3rd Entry:

When we landed on Tatooine I was uncertain what sort of welcome would await us there. Fortunately our presence didn’t seem to put anyone off. Otherwise our day might not have gone so smoothly. We made it to Ider’s safe house without a hitch. Inside we found Iber and his entourage lounging about the house, must have been a slow day. Iber only spoke to me in Huttese, he’s clever. It’s not common that outsiders speak the language but anyone who grows up on Tatooine learns it just as quickly as Common.
He didn’t seem to know about my exile from the palace, or he didn’t seem to let on that he did. In fact, he was as friendly as he ever has been. He told me that Lok’rr’kar had left just a few days earlier after dropping off the spoils from his latest raid. Iber even gave us a HoloNet to contact Lok’rr’kar with, he didn’t even seem interested in why we wanted to contact him. What he was interested in was selling us some of his newly procured stock. I bought parts from a clone wars era battle droid, a power loader and a GNK droid. The parts might be useful in case we need legitimate evidence against Lok’rr’kar. The power loader will prove useful when we have cargo to transport. The GNK was actually Marma’s doing, it seems to be her latest fascination, I think she’s calling it Stanley.

-End of Entry

4th Entry

Our pursuit of Lok’rr’kar is taking us back to Correllia. We’re currently in hyperspace. The hope is that Lok’rr’kar is making his way back to Correllia before his next raid. It’s a long shot, but it’s not the first one we’ve taken in order to track him down. Kal programmed a virus we can use to track his HoloNet address. We just need him to respond to the message I sent him and we can trace him to the system where he accessed his account. I promised information on Correllian Depot that would make his raiding easier. For now Correllia seems like as good a place as any to wait him out.
We’ve all seemed to fall into our roles very naturally. Kal obsesses over star charts. Tarrash has spent his free time fixing the dings and dents around the ship. He’s also gotten the power loader up and running. When she’s not manning the helm Marma can be found tinkering on Stanley in the cargo bay. Our resident mystics: Skyron, Denjo and Trystan take most of their free time in the crew’s quarters meditating. I don’t pretend to know what they’re doing. I think it has something to do with that strange cube they found in the Sith’s office on Coruscant.

-End of Entry

5th Entry

Lok’rr’kar responded to my message. Unfortunately he’s spoken to Jabba, he didn’t fall for my ruse. What he doesn’t know is that I know where he sent the message from. It turns out he was still on Tatooine. I guess Iber wasn’t being as forthcoming as it seemed. It doesn’t matter. A new plan is already in the works. We’re going back to Coruscant.

-End of Entry

6th Entry

We’ve talked our way into being the escort for a Correllian Depot convoy. We are currently en route in hyperspace with a group of freighters. Tarrash searched the company database for shipments with a destination near Tatooine. We arrived at Coruscant just in time to meet the convoy in space before the jump to hyperspace. The captain we spoke to seemed hesitant at first. With a little convincing he seemed to trust that we weren’t after him and that our intentions of putting an end to the pirate attacks were honest. They insisted on using their own jump coordinates. That’s fine, it puts them at ease. I’m sure the captains of these freighters are jumpy enough considering the risk they take every day.
In just a few hours we’ll be exiting hyperspace. The Hidden Hand is going to ambush the ambusher. Lok’rr’kar won’t be expecting this!

-End of Entry

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.