Edge of the Empire: Tyche & Nemesis

INTERLUDE: The Calling of a Rebel

As Renaldo cannon-balled into the pool the water surged and raged droplets sprung into the air, catching the sunlight. The herglic, much more graceful in liquid environments, sliced through the water and grabbed a water polo ball and began bouncing it towards the group of humans splashing nearby.

Arranged around the pool yard were Captain Zed, the crew of the Tyche and Cha’d and his rich friends, loitering and relaxing at his Tierfon estate. Since returning the heir of the Sonnel Shipyards- and the ensuing blockade and declaration of martial law in the Urche system, Zed and his crew had decided to stay at the Sonnel estate as “security” for Cha’d.

Seated under a shaded parasol some distance from the pool, Gavyn sat by a small juice bar watching a Holonet report on a holodisplay. A human reporter, wearing the dreary grey tunic of the Imperial News Network, read impassionately:
“The military commander of the Urche blockade, Commodore Kresk, insists that the blockade was prompted by an increase in piracy and insurgent activity within the sector. The announcement said martial law had been invoked ‘to restore peace and order for people from all sides’ and added that ‘the public do not need to panic but can still live their lives as normal’. Several members of the Imperial Senate have already made requests of His Excellency to allow the passage of humanitarian mercy missions to aide the residents of the beleaguered world.”

The report concluded, heard only by Gavyn and the man seated at the juice bar. Darby, the rebel contact and Head of Operations at Sonnel, silently tugged at the cuff of his tailored suit.
Seating silently at the bar, Gavyn downed the rest of his drink, a burning coal of hatred burning in the depth of his chest. He kept it focused on the Empire and how it was strangling the life out of an already dying system, causing pain to a planet of people who were already on the arse-end of the galaxy.

Darby spoke. “There’s been no communications or traffic from Urche for a month. We’ve currently got Captain Evans gearing up for an insertion mission to gather intel on the conditions on the ground.”

Gavyn, deep in thought. drummed the fingers of his left hand on the bar, looking at but also through the black gloved prosthetic. The mechanical arm given to him by Evans and the rebels while they were running for their lives; rebels who, despite misgivings about the Tyche pirates, rescued them from the Imperial blockade. A band of rebels who were risking their lives to fight the corruption of the Empire and entities like Consolidate Resource Holdings and the Vakat Cartel.

Oblivious to the splashing of Renaldo and squeaking of Sus’hi, desperately trying to keep his fur dry, Gavyn pulled out his datapad and keyed up an astrogation map. Selecting a chart of the Expansion Sector from his Hyperspace Navigators’ Guild astrobanks, he keyed in some annotations and coordinates before ejecting the data crystal and handing it to the rebel agent.
“Here. This is an outline of some old decommissioned hyperspace routes around Urche— off the grids. Disused material caches. Gaps around gravity wells that the larger capitals ships and corvettes avoid and some such.”

Darby held the crystal in one hand, running a finger along its edge as he looked intently at the mechanic. “Why are you doing this?”

Gavyn looked over at Captain Zed splashing around the water, then down at his prosthetic left hand which he balled into a fist. “Sometimes folk don’t have a choice to just sit by and watch any longer.”

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Season 4, Episode 2 – THE GAUNTLET!
“Such a nice young man....”
  • EE’FOEA DE’MILLE sits at a card table in a smoky room.
    • The only other SABAAC player left is a BOTHAN, NITHA POCAARN.
    • It’s the final hand of the game, and EE’FOEA risks losing 100 credits. If EE’FOEA wins the hand, however, they stand to make over 500 credits.
  • EE’FOEA looks at their hand – not the worst cards, but close.
    • The ARKANIAN leans back and fixes NITHA with a stare.
    • With a sigh, the BOTHAN folds.
    • EE’FOEA grins and reveals their cards –NITHKA buries his face in his hands.

*Just as EE’FOEA has finished pocketing their winnings, there is the sounds of blaster fire, and an enormous crash.

  • An enormous HERGLIC crashes through the ceiling, followed by a HUMAN, a NAUTOLAN and a bright pink EWOK!

Previously…..

  • ZED is standing in the doorway of IKUKO TOGURI’s , flanked by the rest of the crew.
    • The HUMAN male who answered the intercom is groaning underneath the door.
    • IKUKO and CHA’D are sitting on a couch.
    • They are flanked by a number of armed soldiers, and a familiar HUMAN male with a scar over his eye.
      • “Not these scragging NERF herders again!”
  • The REBEL SOLDIERS point their weapons at the crew.
    • ZED raises his arms in a placatory gesture.
    • “We’re just here to collect our friend CHA’D – “ (who the crew notice appears to have been crying) “ – Seeing as there happens to be an IMPERIAL patrol outside, maybe we can resolve this peacefully.”
  • The HUMAN male motions to the window and a REBEL SOLDIER walks over to the window.
    • The SOLDIER deactivates the privacy screen, revealing an IMPERIAL AT-ST!
  • The giant walker opens fire with its chin-mounted blasters, shredding the poor SOLDIER and filling the apartment with blaster fire and smoke!
  • Out in the hallway, the turbolift doors open, revealing a squad of STORMTROOPERS.
    • Thinking quickly, SU’SHI fires his netgun, trapping the STORMTROOPERS inside as ZED throws a grenade into the lift.
    • The door closes on the panicking STORMTROOPERS, before the grenade detonates with a dull ”whump”.
  • As another STORMTROOPER squad rushes up the stairs, the crew follow CHA’D and the surviving REBELS up a ladder hidden in a closet to the roof of the building.
    • They see IKUKO push CHA’D off the roof, before jumping after him.
    • They run to the edge and see that IKUKO and CHA’D have slid down an angled roof to the roof of the building next door.
  • RENALDO leaps off the roof as the AT-ST opens fire, striking the HERGLIC in the shoulder.
    • The rest of the crew follow, sliding down the sloped roof as blaster bolts explodes all around them.
  • The roof collapses under RENALDO and he falls through the ceiling of NITHA’s living room, crushing the card table.
    • SU’SHI and GAVYN fall through after him, their fall broken by the HERGLIC’s body.
    • ZED lands on NITHA, knocking the poor BOTHAN unconscious.
  • ZED apologises to EE’FOEA for the intrusion – just a slight misunderstanding with the IMPERIALS.
    • At the mention of “IMPERIALS”, EE’FOEA bolts for the door.
    • The crew look at each other, and move to follow the gambler out the door and down the stairs.
    • Before they leave, IKUKO sticks her head through the hole in the roof:
      • “Get to the rendezvous point at East 2377 by North 34473.”
      • IKUKO then flees, as blaster bolts fly about her head
  • EE’FOEA knows that in buildings like this one, there is often access to the underground utility tunnels.
    • Upon reaching the ground floor, the ARKANIAN loops back around and starts trying to open the door under the stairs
  • GAVYN is next down the stairs.
    • Not seeing EE’FOEA in the hall, GAVYN stops dead.
    • ZED, barrelling down the stairs, is forced to leap over GAVYN.
    • The NAUTOLAN arcs through the air and somersaults to his feet at the door, blaster pistol drawn and pointed between the eyes of the elderly CHADRA-FAN woman who had just entered, carrying her groceries.
  • This being URCE, the CHADRA-FAN immediately drops her shopping and draws a sawn off blaster rifle.
    • ZED immediately apologises, and offers to help carry her bags.
    • The squad of STORMTROOPERS across the street just see a polite young man helping his elderly neighbour carry her heavy bags.
  • As ZED walks up the stairs to the old woman’s apartment (eliciting strange looks from the rest of the crew), EE’FOEA kicks the looked basement door open, falling over in the process.
    • Hearing this, GAVYN turns around and spots the ARKANIAN.
    • GAVYN helps EE’FOEA to their feet, and GAVYN, RENALDO, SU’SHI and EEFOEA head into the basement.
  • ZED helps the CHADRA-FAN to her apartment.
    • She gives him a beer as a token of her appreciation.
    • As ZED turns to leave, she pinches his arse and shuts her door.
  • ZED enters the basement, propping the door back up in its frame.
    • The crew open a hatch in the floor, and drop down into the maze of utility tunnels that run beneath URCE’s streets.
  • Near the entrance to the tunnels, GAVYN finds a maintenance panel.
    • Opening it, he finds a ATMOSPHERE SENSOR and a datapad containing a maintenance log.
    • Reading the datapad, GAVYN deduces that a maintenance crew comes down roughly every 6 months, stays down in the tunnels for couple of days, then returns to the surface.
    • The last three entries indicate that:
      • Two weeks ago, MAINTENANCE CREW 37 entered the tunnels, and have yet to sign out.
      • One week ago, MAINTENANCE CREW 38 entered the tunnels, and signed out two days later.
      • Three days ago, MAINTENANCE CREW 39 entered the tunnels, and have yet to sign out.
  • Compared to 5-dimensional astrogation, GAVYN finds it rather easy to figure out the route to the rendezvous with the REBELS
    • The service tunnels run under the streets of URCE, following the same grid pattern.
    • The rendezvous is at the intersection of 2377 WEST streets and 34473 NORTH streets.
    • The crew are under 2381 WEST street, between 34471 NORTH and 34470 NORTH.
  • The crew need to travel 2.5 blocks NORTH, and 4 blocks EAST, a not inconsiderable distance.
    • The crew set off.
  • After a short while, the crew approach a hole in the side of the tunnel.
    • The ATMOSPHERE SENSOR in GAVYN’s hand starts to sound an alarm, indicating rising levels of AMMONIA and other gases dangerous to most oxygen breathing lifeforms.
    • Through the force, EE’FOEA senses the presence a single life form in the hole.
    • As the crew edge past the tunnel, eyes stinging from the gases in the air, they see that a translucent plastic sheet across the hole.
    • Behind the sheet, a thick mist roils and twists.
  • Moving along the tunnel, the crew start to notice gang signs in blue pigment on the walls.
    • GAVYN notices that the signs are in a WEEQUAY script.
  • The crew reach a plastic curtain across the tunnel.
    • Peaking through the curtain, the crew see a large number of WEEQUAY guarding an intersection.
      • In the centre of the intersection, there is a barricade with a mounted heavy repeating blaster.
  • Noticing the crew, the WEEQUAYS draw their weapons and power up the mounted blaster.
    • The WEEQUAYS seem rather unconcerned, and tell the crew to turn around.
    • ZED attempts to brazen their way through, telling them that they are working for SITHKA.
    • The GANG LEADER laughs, and says they all work for SITHKA.
    • The GANG LEADER motions for ZED to join him behind the barricade.
  • Using a holographic communicator, the GANG LEADER calls the FOUNDRY.
    • The TWI’LEK waitress from the night before answers, and the GANG LEADER asks for SITHKA.
    • SITHKA appears and asks ZED what the hell they are doing in that sector.
    • ZED states they are following up on a lead on who in IMPERIAL CUSTOMS is leaking information about CARTEL shipments to the PIRATES.
    • SITHKA is furious:
      • “You were told not to move on that!!! Please tell me this IMPERIAL RAID is nothing to do with you?”
    • ZED explains that the crew were just in the wrong place at the wrong time (not technically a lie).
    • SITHKA seems to accept this explanation.
    • He tells the GANG LEADER that the crew should be allowed to move on, but that they are not, under any circumstances, travel SOUTH EAST of their current location.
    • ZED agrees, and the crew head NORTH from the intersection.
  • After heading NORTH for a little while, the crew cross an intersection.
    • In the middle of the intersection, the crew glance down the WESTERN tunnel, and start when they see an IMPERIAL PATROL at SHORT range.
    • The IMPERIALS are looking away and the crew attempt to slip across the intersection unnoticed.
    • ZED, EE’FOEA, and RENALDO scamper across the intersection unnoticed, but GAVYN and SU’SHI are caught flatfooted.
  • “Halt, or we will open fire!” orders the STORMTROOPER SERGEANT
    • SU’SHI dives for the SOUTHERN entrance to the intersection.
    • The STORMTROOPERS open fire, rushing towards the intersection
    • GAVYN is caught in the open and seriously injured, before limping to join SU’SHI.
    • The STORMTROOPERS advance out into the intersection, and are gunned down by the rest of the CREW.
    • Seeing his squad cut down, the STORMTROOPER throws a FRAG GRENADE into the INTERSECTION, and retreats, comms’ing for back up.
    • GAVYN and SU’SHI are knocked unconscious by the explosion, seriously injured.
    • As EE’FOEA jabs SU’SHI with a STIMPACK to revive the EWOK, RENALDO shoots and seriously injures the STORMTROOPER SERGEANT.
    • In a display of daring swordsmanship, ZED launches himself past the HERGLIC and stabs the SERGEANT in the throat.
      • RENALDO is too overcome with rage to notice ZED’s heroics, and the rest of the crew aren’t looking.
    • As RENALDO, blinded by rage, punches the STORMTROOPER’s corpse, crushing the helmet and the skull underneath it, SU’SHI stabilises GAVYN and brings him around.
  • Seeing that SU’SHI has recovered, RENALDO ceases his attempts to reduce the SERGEANT’S head to the consistency of raspberry jam.
    • He takes the STORMTROOPER’s heavy blaster rifle.
  • Hearing the sounds of pursuit, the crew run for the rendezvous point.
  • After a while, they pause to catch their breath in an intersection.
    • ZED climbs a ladder to a manhole in the streets above.
    • As he climbs, he hears a repetitive thunking noise and the ladder vibrates.
    • He inches the manhole cover up, but before he can peek out, the cover slams down as if stepped on by a giant.
  • The exit blocked, and hearing blaster fire from the SOUTH, the crew run EAST towards the rendezvous point.
  • They reach a cave in, however, start to squeeze through a gap in the rubble at the sounds of STORMTROOPERS behind them.
    • The gap turns and switches back on itself multiple times, though the general direction is DOWN and SOUTH.
    • The gap widens, and the crew come out into a more open space.
      • As he squeezes out, RENALDO brings the roof down behind the crew, collapsing the route through the rubble.
    • Even GAVYN is now lost, but correctly surmises that they have entered the UNDERGROUND – old buildings, utility tunnels, and what were streets and sidewalk from the early days of the Expansion Region, that were since covered by the streets and factories on the surface.
  • The crew move through the UNDERGROUND.
    • Unlike the well maintained (by UNDERGROUND standards) tunnels above, the UNDERGROUND is completely ruined – the crew is forced to squeeze through narrow gaps, wade through chest deep water or double back in the pitch dark, illuminated only by a handful of glowrods.
    • There are still signs of life however, with the crew noticing markings sprayed on the walls at certain points.
      • The crew realises that the markings are maintenance markings – “GAS LINE HERE” etc.
  • Eventually, as the crew wade out of a tunnel full of hip deep black water (mid thigh on RENALDO and constantly going up SU’SHI’s nose), they come across what appears to be a camp.
    • Exploring the camp, GAVYN comes across a data pad, and a large CUTTING TORCH
    • It is a log of MAINTENANCE CREW 37 efforts to identify who or what is draining significant amounts of power from SPACEPORT 3’s municipal grid.
      • The content of the log is purely technical, noting various maintenance issues.
  • RENALDO brushes against the wall behind the campsite.
    • The crew notice that the wall and his shoulder have started to fluoresce where they touched.
    • Examining it closely, the wall (and RENALDO) is covered with fine fibres that fluoresce when touched.
    • After so long in the gloom of the tunnels, ZED and GAVYN are quite taken with this and start to finger paint on the walls.
    • EE’FOEA stares at the wall for a while, sure that they have heard of this phenomena.
    • As the ARKANIAN becomes aware of three life forces at the edge of their awareness, the credstick drops.
      • These webs are made by VOID SPIDERS, the giant spiders native to KESSEL.
      • These webs are processed to make the spice GLITTERSTIM.
      • The SPIDERS are drawn to the glowing webs when prey brush up against them and cause them to fluoresce.
    • EE’FOEA quickly conveys this to the crew, and suggests that they aren’t alone.
  • ZED looks up and sees an enormous VOID SPIDER clinging to the wall above him, readying itself to pounce.
    • ZED shoots and misses, however, his shoot alerts the crew to the beast and a barrage of blaster fire tears it apart.
    • A second spider leaps from the darkness, landing on RENALDO and knocking him down.
    • The spider looms over the HERGLIC, slashing at him with its spiked forelimbs.
    • SU’SHI shoots the SPIDER with his net gun, and it falls off RENALDO, its limbs TANGLED in the net.
    • EE’FOA reaches into the mind of the third SPIDER, convincing it that the TANGLED SPIDER is in fact prey.
  • As the two behemoths battle, the crew slip away through a shadowed doorway, and enter a vast, dark space.
    • They come across six large cocoons.
    • EE’FOA detects a single living presence in one of the cocoons.
    • The crew cut it down and tear away the (non-glowing) webbing.
    • There is a HUMAN MALE inside the cocoon. He appears to be struggling to breathe.
    • SU’SHI tries to stabilise him, and gestures to ZED to clear the man’s airway.
    • As ZED opens the man’s mouth, he sees a VOID SPIDER the size of his fist start to climb out of the MAN’s throat.
  • Cursing, ZED draws his duelling pistol, shoves it into the VICTIM’s mouth and pulls the trigger.
    • The report echoes around the chamber as thousands of eyes are lit up by the muzzle flash.
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[FOUND]: Doctor's Notes

[UPGRADED TRANSLATION PROCESSING…]
[CONTEXTUAL STRINGS ADDED]
[SUCCESS]

My experiments proved successful, yet it is not enough. My people are a small frivolous race. Yes, I managed to take their frivolity away from them with my greatest feat thus far, my airborne biopoison. But, it just isn’t enough. Thought – Move on to the other tribes on this ridiculous moon? I suspect it would only prove a waste of time and resources.

Not enough, just not enough. I need more. I need bigger.

Maybe it is time to focus on the contraption I found 3 Singles [ABOUT 300 12CM INCREMENTS OR 36 METRES] away from here… Yes. A good start.

I have heard of large thin creatures mounting these metal beasts and moving at incredible speed. Once I wake the beast I will confirm these stories and find these creatures beyond the horizons. They will do just fine for the next phase. Enough it may not be for now – but it is a start. Yes.

[ENCRYPTED PASSAGE PROCESSING…]

Su’shi took your life energy, not that it was worth much. Your families, yes also your un-grown ones. Su’shi took your precious skins…so soft, my friends, forever with him now. Yes. With him, now you can never leave, and never laugh. Laughing at Su’shi. He showed you all, yes he did. Now Su’shi will take care of you and share you. Friends.

Little Brother, Mother, Father. You he will keep closest, Su’shi promises. Twin sister… Su’shi will find you and keep you close to him too. He will find a way, he will come.

[END PROGRAMHAVE A NICE DAY!]

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Experiment Log 1
Effect Biopoison on Liveness

[TRANSLATION PROCESSING…]

Date: 3L-16R-516C [COMPUTING FORMAT DEFINITION L-R-C…] [L = LIGHT, R = ROTATION, C = CYCLE]
Time: 2550 [TIME VALUE UNKNOWN]

Subject: Male
Age: 2C

[TRANSLATION PROCESSING…]
[ERROR 203: PARTIAL TRANSLATION OCCURREDVARIOUS SYMBOL STRINGS UNKNOWN]

Green root tip from long field wasteland, squeezed tight within container. Mixed with golden berry broth, 2’0 fire [100 DEGREES CELCIUS], time 50 [?]. Opening made in subject, location multiple. Broth streamed into subject.

Observe much screaming, pain preferable outcome. Success. Small body need only low dose. Time 640 [?] subject life energy nul. Too long, nul must come shorter in time. Failure.

Future experiment, need more subjects and test larger. Younger brother turned out too weak for comprehensive test.

.S

[TRANSLATION END]
[TRANSLATION PROGRAM ANALYSING LANGUAGE…] [ANALYSIS COMPLETE]
[FUTURE TRANSLATIONS WITH PROCESSED SYMBOLS WILL NOW BE MORE EFFICIENTHAVE A NICE DAY!]

[END PROGRAM]

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FLASHBACK: GAVYN FRE'WAY- The rivalries of an Astrogator pilot

The rivalries of an Astrogator pilot

Large bubbles rose through the office water cooler, the air pockets shifting and moulding in a pirouette of shapes as it rose to the surface of the viscous, heavily-filtrated, mineralised water. Gavyn drummed his fingers incessantly on the cooler as he watched the bubbles glob and plop to the surface, waiting for the small flimsey cup to fill with what passed for water in the Expansion Region.

He scoffed the water in one mouthful and immediately began filling the cup again, looking around the cold grey offices of the Hyperspace Navigators’ Guild. It was a typical day, all a buzz with frantic activity from astrocartographers, analysts, computer maintenance techs and scoutship pilots; all looking for that undiscovered lush-green habitable planet, an untapped asteroid, some ravaged mining world with a new vein of resources to offer, a new hyperspace route to open up up for traffic and importation from the thriving Rim worlds.
Something to breath life into the dying Expansion Region.
Gavyn’s head shook as he thought of the wasted trip that he’d just returned from— three week turn around flight by himself; a total of 45 prospect scans across three whole sectors— nothing. Now he was in that data-crunch period: endless review of the astrogation data from his Sleuth scoutship.
“How did the flight go, Fre’way?”

The voice drew Gavyn’s attention to the being approaching him at the watercooler. Liska Vulk’cra, a female bothan who’d served with the HNG about a standard year longer than Gavyn, had about 40 scoutfights under her belt and- like him- barely any fruitful astrogation charts to show for it.
“Same as the last, Liska, same as the last,” he replied as he shuffled across, letting the bothan fill her own cup. “Some days, I really get think’n ‘bout the point here. I figured we’d be opening new routes to connect the galaxy, make the Empire more connected and stable; but here we are scrounging and picking through bones every day.”
Liska sipped quietly, nodding slowly and thoughtfully. “That does seem to have become the focus of the HNG. If I could transfer to the rim worlds I would, but,” she looked around the office cubicles then pointedly at Gavyn. “Word is that the Empire is combining the astrogation clans.”
Gavyn frowned. “You mean they’re nationalising us as well?”
She nodded. “Yes, and when that happens there may not be a place here for being like me.” With a flash of her sharp teeth she gave Gavyn a sardonic smile. “Do not worry about yourself, Gavyn, you come from an influential clan— and you’re human.”

There was an uproar of cheers and noise from the far side of the office, drawing their attention. “Not that influential.” Gavyn responded in a distracted tone. “What’s all the fuss ’bout?”
Liska looked at him. “Oh yes, you would not have heard: Cado Cenvax.”
A groan escaped Gavyn’s throat. “That smug Bac-bag. What’s he turned to gold now?”
She hesitated. “He logged a mineral-rich asteroid belt on his last prospect. There has been a lot of elation because the Guild is going to negotiate the rights to the Imperial Navy— Cado stands to earn more honour for himself and his clan.”
Gavyn’s free hand gripped the rounded edge of cooler. “Kriffing nerfherder. Every time, how does he do it?”
Liska waited quietly, then added hopefully. “Well, there is talk that he is using this as an opportunity to transfer into the Academy, he has always had ambitions of being an officer. So at least you will not have to see him again.”

Gavyn watched from across the room as Cado, the posterboy from Caer Planeta, was adorned by his fellow Guild members, a self-satisfied smile on his face.
Watching him, Gavyn knew that he was going to have to do better.
He’d have to log more flights. He’d have to find that winning route, that untapped asteroid or uncatalogued planet. He’d have to pour over his latest cartography charts. Surely there was something he missed, he just needed to find a way to work harder, longer hours. Then he could rub it in Cado’s face.

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Season 4, Episode 1 -THE HANGOVER
"I'm sorry the biology got in the way of the chemistry."
  • RENALDO wakes up, in the communal area of the Tyche.
    • He has a headache, a loose tooth and a full bladder.
    • He stumbles into the refresher, disregarding the detritus around him.
    • He settles down on the refresher to relieve himself, but almost immediately jumps up, a stabbing pain in his left buttock.
  • The rest of the crew are woken up as the HERGLIC runs out of the refresher, sans trousers and with a small DIANOGA biting into his left buttock.
    • RENALDO tears the cephalopod from his posterior and throws into the galley’s sink, where it promptly squeezes through the plughole and down the drain.
  • The crew look around and survey the damage.
    • As well as the circular wound on his left arsecheek, RENALDO has a black eye, a wobbly tooth and dried blood around his blow hole. His knuckles are swollen and bruised, and there is a large cut on his forearm.
    • GAVYN’s lips are blue, as if he’s been back on the Booster Blue.
    • SU’SHI’s fur has been dyed bright pink.
    • CAPTAIN ZED’s throat is incredibly sore. He coughs up a little bit of blood.
    • There are two young human males in the lounge – one is passed out on the floor, and the other is taped to the ceiling.
  • The last thing the crew remembers is leaving the ZYGERRIAN’s office at the foundry wearing VIP wristbands.
    • They met three young human males from BACCARANA:
      • TUC’A, who is currently taped to the ceiling;
      • CHE’T, who is curled up on the floor;
      • and CHA’D, who is nowhere to be found.
    • TUC’A and CHE’T saw RENALDO and ZED get arrested on BACCARANA.
    • The three dudebros were really impressed with the badass pirate crew.
  • TUC’A doesn’t stir as his communicator beeps – GAVYN and RENALDO cut him down and answer the call.
    • A hologram of an attractive 30 something human woman appears.
      • She appears distressed.
    • She asks after TUC’A – GAVYN advises that the young human is “indisposed.”
    • She asks after her son, CHA’D – she has being trying to reach him for hours, she needs to talk to him about his father.
    • GAVYN advises TAM’I that they don’t know where CHA’D is, but will track him down.
    • TAM’I ends the call.
  • TUC’A is now conscious, though barely.
    • The crew ask him where CHA’D is, and advise that his mother is looking for him.
    • TUC’A does not recall where CHA’D is, but urges the crew to find him.
      • CHA’D’s parents are loaded and there surely would be a reward.
  • GAVYN used to TUC’A’s communicator to call CHA’D.
    • The call is unable to connect.
    • GAVYN recognises that it is not regular interference, but instead military grade jamming.
  • The crew leave the Tyche, leaving JIAOHUA to nurse the hungover dudebros.
    • As they pass through the cargo hold, GAVYN notices a duffel bag stuffed up on a high shelf.
    • He pulls down the high quality, branded duffel, and opens it.
    • It is full of low denomination cred-chips. Counting them out would take hours, but it is at least 5000 credits.
    • Unable to recall where the money came from, the crew give it to JIAOHUA and he hides it in his room.
  • The crew set off to find CHA’D.
    • Leaving the landing bay, they notice that a spaceship has set down in a vacant lot opposite the landing bay.
    • There is a large neon sign on the side of the ship – “UNCLE BO’S SEAFOOD SHACK”
    • A hatch on the side of the ship is open, and through it they can see large tanks of live seafood, and a QUARREN selling the seafood to passersby.
  • The QUARREN waves at the crew and asks how they are feeling this morning.
    • He offers to make them spicy fish egg kebabs.
      • GAVYN manages to hold the contents of his stomach down, but only just.
      • RENALDO and SU’SHI are not so lucky.
      • ZED takes two. He fails to notice that the fish eggs are not COLO CLAW FISH caviar as advertised, but instead still live DIANOGA eggs.
    • The Quarren tells the crew that they came by the seafood shack at three in the morning, considerably intoxicated.
      • The crew and the two humans they were with had spicy fish egg kebabs.
      • The crew payed for the kebabs out of a large duffel bag full of credsticks.
      • SU’SHI’s fur was already bright pink.
    • The crew head to the FOUNDRY, ZED munching on his second kebab.
  • The FOUNDRY is closed, but the crew slip in through the kitchen which is taking deliveries.
    • They find SITHKA stacking tables, picking up the heavy furniture with ease.
    • When SITHKA sees the crew, he roars and bellows.
      • ZED cowers in fear. The rest of the crew know this is how BARABEL’S laugh
      • “Fooling around in the dye works were you?” the CARTEL enforcer asks the pink EWOK.
    • The crew explains that they cannot recall last night.
    • SITHKA fills them in with what happened.

FLASHBACK: THE ANOOBA PACK

  • The crew exited the ZYGERRIAN’s office, and started drinking with CHE’T, TUC’A and CHA’D.
    • The crew take advantage of their VIP wristbands, getting bottle service and running the poor TWI’LEK waitress off her feet.
    • The three dudebros are in awe of this badass pirate crew.
    • After many hours of carousing, CHA’D suggests that they go out and see the real URCE.
      • A man at the bar mentioned that there was a title fight at a local bar called the RANCOR PIT.
    • The crew order one last round of shots.
      • “To the ANOOBA pack! AWOOOOO!”
      • ZED notices that his shot tastes a little off, and there’s a slight residue in the bottom of the glass.
      • Looking into the crowd, he catches a fleeting glimpse of the waitress who delivered the drinks – it isn’t the TWI’LEK who was waiting on them, but she does seem familiar.

THE MORNING AFTER

  • Taking their leave of SITHKA, the crew decide to head to the RANCOR PIT.
  • On the way, they stop at general store to by some bottled water.
    • While the crew is roaming the aisles, an attractive ZABRAK woman in spacer garb approaches GAVYN.
      • “Hi GAVYN, it’s me, TOXI…from the KESSEL RUM?”
      • TOXI explains that she’s very sorry about what happened last night.
      • She seems more surprised than hurt that GAVYN is unable to recall her.
      • GAVYN asks after CHA’D – TOXI advises that she saw CHA’D at the KESSEL RUM.
      • ZED was shouting the whole bar drinks, paying from a duffel bag.
      • SU’SHI was bright pink.
    • TOXI excuses herself, saying she has to get running to pick up a cargo on time.
    • As she leaves, she kisses GAVYN on the cheek.
      • “I’m sorry that the biology got in the way of the chemistry.”
      • GAVYN’s cheek tingles slightly where it was kissed.

FLASHBACK: THE KESSEL RUM

  • The crew and the three dudebros stop off for a nightcap at a spacer bar near the landing pads called THE KESSEL RUM.
    • ZED starts shouting the bar drinks, paying from the duffel bag full of cash.
    • SU’SHI’s pink fur attracts a lot of attention.
    • RENALDO is icing his knuckles.
  • While GAVYN is at the bar, an attractive ZABRAK female in spacers garb comments on his HYPERSPACE NAVIGATORS GUILD jacket.
    • A conversation sparks up:
      • The ZABRAK’s name is TOXI, and she is a “courier” with her own small, fast ship.
      • They compete with tall tales of remote systems and narrow escapes – GAVYN impresses with a frankly improbable tale involving a supernova, the rings of a gas giant and MYNOCK induced power failure.
  • GAVYN and TOXI kiss, hesitantly at first and then with increasing passion.
    • They eventually come up for air.
      • GAVYN’s lips are burning and he’s short of breath.
      • No, seriously, his lips feeling like they on fire, are rapidly turning bright blue, and his throat is closing up.
      • TOXI is mortified – “This has never happened before.”
  • SU’SHI performs an emergency tracheotomy, and stabilises GAVYN.
    • TOXI is very apologetic – apparently a tiny percentage of HUMANs have an allergic reaction to compounds in ZABRAK saliva.

THE MORNING AFTER

  • GAVYN is staring at the bottle of water in his hand.
    • He absently scratches at the base of his throat, peeling off the small patch of synthskin that was covering the healing tracheotomy scar.
  • The rest of the crew give GAVYN a hard time about his lack of luck with the ladies, as they head towards the RANCOR PIT.
  • As they approach the fighting pit, the see the UNDERTAKER and his GAMORREAN GRAVEDIGGERS outside the abandoned building opposite the RANCOR PIT.
    • A faded sign on the abandoned building reads “CONSOLIDATED PIGMENT SOLUTIONS”
    • The UNDERTAKER are loading some corpses into the back of a hearse.
    • The crew approaches the PAU’AN and asks him what’s going on – he explains that there was a fairly serious firefight in the building early in the morning – six dead.
    • The UNDERTAKER looks at SU’SHI – “You didn’t have anything to do with this do you?”
    • GAVYN explains that they honestly don’t know.
    • The UNDERTAKER sighs, and says he will hide any evidence that he finds that might implicate them.
    • The hearse pulls away.
  • The crew cross the street to the RANCOR PIT.
    • The door is closed and there is no sign of life.
    • The crew go around the back.
    • GAVYN attempts to pick the lock on the backdoor.
      • He fails to open the door, but disables the alarm.
      • RENALDO kicks the door in.
  • Sending SU’SHI ahead to scout, the crew explore the dark and deserted bar.
    • They enter the main room – a coliseum like space with concentric rings of seats descending to a fighting pit.
    • Behind the top row of seats is a bar – a stuffed trophy of young RANCOR, about 2.5 meters tall, hangs above the bar.

FLASHBACK: THE BUTCHER OF THE BUTCHER OF PLATOOINE NINE

  • The crew and the dudebros enter the RANCOR PIT.
    • SU’SHI isn’t pink, all three dudebros are present, and there are no mysterious duffels full of cash.
    • The place is heaving with people.
    • It is a much rougher crowd than the FOUNDRY – lots of blades and all the blasters have their power packs.
  • The crew approach the bar, and order drinks from a RODIAN.
    • As he pours the beers, another bartender whispers in the RODIANs ear, who promptly starts cursing.
    • As the crew take a swig, a HUMAN male at the other end of the bar exclaims: “Hey, that’s RENALDO! That’s the HERGLIC who killed the BUTCHER OF PLATOOINE NINE!”
    • Hearing this, the RODIAN propositions RENALDO
      • The challenger for tonight’s title fight has just OD’d in his dressing room.
      • If RENALDO is willing to step into the ring against the RANCOR PITS reigning champion, a LUTRILLIAN.
        • He will get paid a 1000 credit appearance fee, a further 1000 credits if he lasts to the third round, and 3000 credits if he wins
    • RENALDO agrees, and the RODIAN goes off to announce the new title fight.
  • At the news that the BUTCHER OF THE BUTCHER OF PLATOOINE NINE would be stepping into the ring tonight, the betting goes wild – the odds on the reigning champion have blown out 10 to 1.
    • CHA’D proposes to bet 2000 of his own credits (plus whatever the crew throws in)against RENALDO.
    • RENALDO throws the fight in the third round.
    • CHA’D will collect his winnings (at least 20,000 credits) and then meet the crew in the abandoned building across the road.
    • They will then split the winnings 50/50 (for a return of at least 10,000 credits).
    • The crew agree, and ZED adds an extra 500 credits to CHA’D’s stake.
  • CHA’D slips off to place the bet, and the crew wait for the fight to start.
  • “Let’s get ready to RUMBLEEEE!”
    • The fight is closely fought, with both the combatants getting in solid hits.
    • SU’SHI, acting as RENALDO’s fight doctor, slips him an unidentifiable substance that invigorates RENALDO, and gives him a slight advantage.
    • In the third round, RENALDO traps the LUTRILLIAN’s arm, but deliberately leave his side open and lets the LUTRILLIAN deliver some crushing body blows.
    • He manages to “sell” the fall, and the fight is called in the champion’s favour.
  • The crew slip out as soon as they are able.

THE MORNING AFTER

  • The crew leave the RANCOR PIT, and cross the street to the DYE WORKS.
    • As he look up at the looming structure, SU’SHI is struck by vertigo and feeling of falling..
    • The crew enter the building.
    • The DYE WORKS is a large, open space.
    • The crew walk out onto a cross shaped gantry that spans over vats, some still half full of dye.
    • The WESTERN half of roof has collapsed.
    • There are signs of a firefight everywhere.
    • Of particular interest is a very large scorch mark from a high powered blaster weapon on the floor of the EASTERN gantry.

FLASHBACK: SU’SHI MUST DYE!

  • The crew are waiting for CHA’D at the NORTHERN end of the gantry, opposite the SOUTH facing entrance.
    • CHA’D enters through the doors carrying a large duffle bag, and walks towards the middle of the room, cheering and whooping.
    • When he reaches the intersection of the two gantries in the middle of the DYE WORKS, the door bursts open again, and the RODIAN proprietor of the RANCOR PIT enters, flanked by 4 KLATOONIANS.
  • Upon seeing CHA’D meeting with the crew, the RODIAN curses – “I knew it! The BUTCHER OF THE BUTCHER OF PLATOOINE NINE doesn’t go down that easy!”
    • The RODIAN and his thugs open fire.
      • CHE’T and TUC’A hide behind the crew.
      • With a yelp, CHA’D dives behind some crates on the EASTERN gantry.
  • As the blaster bolts fly, the LUTRILLIAN pit fighter bursts through a door on the EASTERN gantry, behind CHA’D.
    • Before the LUTRILLIAN re-arranges CHA’D’s features, a stray blaster bolt strikes the thug and kills him
      • None of the crew notice that this blaster bolt came through the hole in the WESTERN roof of the building, and was significantly more powerful than that from a regular blaster pistol.
  • RENALDO, ZED and GAVYN exchange fire with the RODIAN and his thugs, as SU’SHI climbs under the gantry and monkey-bars along the underside.
    • The RODIAN is blown away as SU’SHI clambers back up onto the gantry.
    • The EWOK pulls his net gun from his backpack, and fires it at the four remaining thugs.
    • The KLATOONIANs get tangled up in the net and stumble over the edge of the gantry.
    • However, SU’SHI forgets to disengage the tow cable from the net, and is dragged over the edge after them!
  • The KLATOONIANs and SU’SHI land in a dye vat still half full of pink dye.
    • After a tense few seconds, SU’SHI surfaces, fur dyed bright pink.
    • The KLATOONIANs fail to surface.

THE MORNING AFTER

  • The crew leave the DYE WORKS, and head to the KESSEL RUM.
    • Once they arrive, the crew order some lunch and ask the bartender what happened the night before.
      • The bartender has a good laugh over GAVYN’s ill-fated liaison with TOXI – he remarks the swelling has gone done.
      • After GAVYN was stabilised, the crew left in search of “street meat”, CHE’T and TUC’A in tow.
      • CHA’D left shortly afterwards, with a regular – IKUKO TOGURI.
      • When pressed, the bartender reveals that the IKUKO is a regular at the bar.
      • She works as a secretary in Imperial Customs and once got TOXI’s ship out of impound.
  • GAVYN comm.’s JIAOHUA back on the TYCHE, and ask him to look into IKUKO’s employee file.
    • A short time later, the ARCONA calls back, and advises that IKUKO had her last shift last night, and is now scheduled for 3 days off.
    • He provides IKUKO’s home address – apartment 302 in an apartment complex in the “nice” end of town.
  • The crew finish their meals and head to IKUKO’s apartment.
    • The neighbourhood changes – cleaner, with nicer shops and no abandoned buildings.
    • As they near the apartment, they pass a squad of stormtroopers at the end of the block.
  • IKUKO’s apartment is on the top floor of a three story structure.
    • They ascend the elevator, and ZED presses the intercom.
    • A HUMAN male answers.
    • ZED states they are friends of IKUKO and are looking for her.
    • The HUMAN male says that IKUKO is out and that they should come back in a little while.
    • ZED shrugs and moves as if to leave, before kicking the door down.
  • ZED is standing in the doorway, flanked by the rest of the crew.
    • The HUMAN male who answered the intercom is groaning underneath the door.
    • IKUKO and CHA’D are sitting on a couch.
    • They are flanked by a number of armed soldiers, and a familiar HUMAN male with a scar over his eye.
  • “Not these scragging NERF herders again!”

FLASHBACK: STREET MEAT!

META: I’ve decided that the crew DIDN’T remember their late night kebab, and where the DIANOGA in the refresher came from.

Think of this as ominous foreshadowing.

  • The crew, CHE’T and TUC’A leave the KESSEL RUM and go looking for street meat!
    • They find UNCLE BO’s SEAFOOD SHACK.
    • The crew get spicy fish egg kebabs.
    • ZED pays from the duffel bag.
      • A handful of toughs start eyeing the bag of credits, but RENALDO gives them the eye and they back off.
    • ZED fails to notice that his kebab contains a DIANOGA egg that is just about to hatch.
  • The crew go back to the TYCHE, tape TUC’A to the ceiling after he passes out first, and then fall asleep themselves.
    • An hour or so later, ZED wakes up and stumbles to the refresher.
    • He heaves and retches as the newly hatched DIANOGA climbs up his throat, before vomiting it into the refresher.
    • ZED then stumbles back to the common area and falls asleep.
View
FLASHBACK: GAVYN FREE'WAY- the life of a disgraced mechanic

FLASHBACK: GAVYN FREE’WAY

With one last stubborn groan, the metal shielding plate popped off the casing of the ion fission thrust engine, exposing its complex inner workings to Gavyn. Taking off one thick industrial glove to swat at the accumulated sweat on his forehead with a greasy hand, he looked over the components of the engine.
Gotta hand it to Incom, he thought to himself. Keeping the old Z-95s simple pushed a lot of sales, and it keeps them flying long after their due date. There’s got to be a half-dozen rewiring and retrofit jobs in this old fossil all ready.
Realising that the job was going to be more complex and lengthy than he’d initially quoted, Gavyn stared down at the thruster engine, thoughtfully taping a finger on his faded-blue lips. He drowned out all of the noise and activity of the starship workshop around him, filled with mechanics of various species all working on vehicles of various makes and models. After a moment Gavyn reached into the engine cowling and disconnected the fission regulator with a hydrospanner, retrieved the regulator and took it to a nearby stool and benchtop. He propped himself on the stool and got to work replacing and soldering new circuits onto the regulator’s circuit board, using the bench light and the orange sun-lit glow from the window to illuminate his work.

Nine months.

That was how long it had been since he’d flown a ship. Since he’d been caught high on booster blue. Since he’d been publically reprimanded, fired and disavowed from the HNG. Since he’d lost his piloting license and been blacklisted by the Board of Ships and Services, courtesy of the HNG.

Nine months that he’d been trying to get clean.

It had taken him six months of hunting, begging and grovelling for work as a mechanic—the only skill and talent that he had outside of piloting and astrogation. He’d had to use all of his savings to charter flights across the Expansion Region looking for a workshop that wouldn’t slam the door in his face— and when the funds ran dry he’d found himself on Urce of all places.
Fortunately, despite him being high on a solvent kaliediscope, he’d gotten work in Kylesh’s workshop, a gruff old xexto in Spaceport 3 who liked to gamble and desperately needed an extra hire. That chance had turned Gavyn’s life around. He still partook of the solvent; but he relied on it a little less every week. It was getting easier.
Gavyn paused in his soldering and looked out the window, watching the way the chocked orange sunlight feebly struggled through the skeletal remains of the nearby skyscrapers. Of all the places, he thought bitterly. I just gotta hold in here a little longer. Get some money, get some bigger contacts and get the kriff off this husk of a world.

In the distance, approaching from beyond the skyscraper, the glint of sunlight on metal caught his eye. Gavyn kept his eye on the growing form, which resolved itself into a small light courier transport. He recognised the make immediately.
HWK-290, he mused, picking up the catalyser off the bench. A good little bird, that Captain’s lucky… Wait.
He took another look at the transport, noting the larger overall proportions and cargo hold on the ship. Gavyn whistled once he had reassessed the ship’s obscure and barely-known profile. Well well, a HWK-1000. Someone’s a lucky fella.
Finishing his work with the catalyser, Gavyn spun off the seat and returned to the thruster cowling and brought life back to the old ship again.

View
FLASHBACK: CAPTAIN ZED
A Pirates life for me

A crisp wind on feathered wings
The cool churn of the weathered sea
A new prize each day brings
As we glide, we fly, we’re free
It’s a pirates life for me

The high-speed ‘Nautilus Class’ Catamaran glides swiftly along the undisturbed waters of the great ocean of Glee Anselm. At the helm, barking orders to the frenzied crew, and attempting to stand proudly is a green-brown skinned, wide smiled, Nautolan – Captain of the Pirate Vessel – Shai Anselm. As the shine from the closest sun rises to its brightest and highest point a dark shape can be seen on the horizon. The already considerably wide smile of the proud captain grows larger as his large, dark eyes spot a new prize.

“Lower the topsail, charge the cannons, spotters to their posts!” the Captain barks to his crew.
“We’ve got a freighter up ahead and its full of stuff that doesn’t belong to em. Let’s help them return it to their rightful owners aye!?”

AYE!” replies the crew as they heed the captains orders and rush off to their duties.
The sleek catamaran blasts forward, barely skimming the surface of the water, mimicking a predator pouncing on its prey.

-

Sensor Operator Jayse Alsee was resting back in an adjustable, leather armchair waiting for the scheduled scanning protocol to be completed and come back negative, as usual, when suddenly an alarm sounded and flash of red appeared on the screen.

Peering down quizzically at his control panel the operator pressed a collection of buttons to display the alert. A large and fast moving vessel had appeared without warning a short distance from them, it was displaying no serial codes and moving too quickly to be a cargo or imperial ship.

“Captain we’ve got a fast approaching vessel on our port-side, she’s moving too quick to be one of ours sir!” the operator punches through on his commlink.
“Copy that Jayse, pass scan to main monitors and switch to caution stations.” was heard through the commlink, with slight crackling.

On the top deck, the freighter captain, took her first looks at the scanned image, being transferred to her in real-time. A small swift moving blip was shown on a direct course with her vessel.

“Contact, single target, port-side, two clicks captain, she’ll be on us in less than 60 seconds at that speed.” A voice beside the captain bellowed.
“It’s the Shai Anselm captain, I know the hull, request immediate evasive action.”

SHIELDS UP, GUNNERS TO THEIR STATIONS…..engine-room give us full…..” the captain began to shout before she was interrupted by an explosive jolt and flash of light.

-

Lights-out.

A soft red glow from the emergency powered safety lights and swift yellow flashes is all that can be seen. Dazed and confused, the captain slowly raised herself from the ground of the cockpit. She could see the dark outlines of her, still unconscious, crew strewn across the floor. A noise from behind her caught her attention and she swiftly turned around to catch eyes with…. the wide smiled, proudly standing Nautolan Zed – Captain of the Shai Anselm….

To be Continued…

View
Season 3, Episode 3 - THE END OF THE ROAD
Telling the lies is easy. Keeping the stories straight is the tricky bit.
  • The crew land on Baccarana and are greeted by Lt. Babcox, a friendly and helpful customs agent. Babcox explains that:
    • the crews encounter with the pirates is shocking – Baccarana is a nice, safe system.
    • the crew should lodge a crime report with the local Imperial office.
    • the crew will need to register their weapons (all blasters, and all blades over 6 inches) with the local security forces.
  • The Sicari are granted visas and leave.
    • They express their gratitude to the crew.
    • Gavyn apologises for the incident with the pirates.
      • The Sicari are puzzled as Gavyn told them they had made a scheduled drop.
      • Gavyn tries to cover by saying that it was a scheduled drop… to pirates.
      • The Sicari seem sceptical and take their leave.
  • The crew elect to split up:
    • Gavyn and Su’shi will go to the local security offices and lodge a crime report.
    • Zed and Renaldo will go to a local cafe recommended by Babcox, Strauss, to get the lay of the land and make some criminal contacts.
  • Gavyn and Su’shi catch a tram to the security.
    • Su’shi gets a lot of strange looks from the well-heeled human passengers.
    • A wealthy human woman is carrying her pet Tooke in a handbag.
    • The Tooke objects to the Ewok and starts to chitter aggressively at Su’shi.
    • Su’shi responds by throwing a bolt at the Tooke.
    • Irate, the human woman asks Gavyn to control his pet.
    • When Gavyn explains that Su’shi is, in fact, sentient, the woman is mortified at the faux pas and apologises profusely.
    • Su’shi and Gavyn move away from the woman to the front of the carriage.
  • At the front of the carriage is a vid screen showing a business news report:
    • The news anchor relates how Consolidated Resource Holdings takeover bid of Sonnel Shipyards was rejected by the patriarch of the Sonnel family.
    • The vid screen displays a stock photo of a patrician Human male who looks to be in his 50s, Consolidated Resource Holdings CEO Kilaun Hard.
  • Gavyn is familiar with Consolidated Resource Holdings and with Sonnel Shipyards:
    • Consolidated Resource Holdings was founded at the height of the Expansion Region boom several hundred years ago, as the Duros owned Pli-Nar Mining Cooperative.
      • Thirty years ago, the company was on the verge bankruptcy, brought low by the economic collapse of the Expansion region.
      • Kilaun Hard was appointed as CEO and brought in an injection of capital.
      • The company was renamed Consolidated Resource Holdings and a period of aggressive expansion and acquisition began.
      • The company is now the largest mega-corp in the Expansion Region, owning hundreds of subsidiaries.
    • Sonnel Shipyards is a successful mid-sized shipbuilding business, owned by the Sonnel Family.
      • They produce Koensyr Manufacturing ships and parts under license in the Teirfon system.
  • After arriving at the security offices, Gavyn and Su’shi are directed to the Imperial office.
    • After waiting an hour, Gavyn and Su’shi lodge a report with the local Imperial authorities.
    • The bureaucrat is surprised that pirates struck in the Baccarana session.
    • Gavyn and Su’shi stick to the story:
      • the Tyche were carrying passengers, no cargo.
      • the pirates ambushed them near the rings of Dounov.
      • before the pirates could force their way inside, they were scared off by Commodore Kresk and the Invigilator.
  • After they lodge the report, Gavyn and Su’shi decide that, seeing as they are already running late to meet the others, they may as well apply for a weapons license.
    • Weapons licences’ are handled by local corporate security forces.
    • Gavyn and Su’shi are advised to register their weapons with Consolidated Security Forces, as they also provide security for Consolidated Logistic Solutions’ space docks.
    • After waiting for another hour in CSF reception, Gavyn an Su’shi register their weapons.
      • Su’shi successfully recalls his blaster pistol’s serial number and gets a blade license, however there is no legal category for net guns and so he is unable to get a license for his net gun.
      • Gavyn gets a blade license but is unable to remember his blaster’s serial number. The serial number he does provide, however, matches ANOTHER blaster of the same make and model, that had yet to be registered.
      • Gavyn receives a blaster licence, unaware that it is for a different weapon.

Meanwhile….

  • Zed and Renaldo go down an alley and sit in a well lit, sophisticated cafe.
    • Zed tries to be sophisticated and order an Espresso martini….. on gin.
      • The waiter droid gently suggests vodka instead (because an Espresso martini on gin would be disgusting).
    • Renaldo orders an affogato.
  • As the waiter droid makes their drink, Renaldo tries to spark up a conversation with a couple sitting nearby, but accidently knocks the woman’s drink all over her.
    • The woman’s partner begins to act aggressively, but backs off when he sees the size of Renaldo. There is much flustered cleaning with napkins and profuse apologies.
    • Lots of eyes are drawn to the only non-humans in the cafe.
  • Over the next hour, Renaldo and Zed drop some eaves:
    • A pair of business people are discussing how “Old Man Sonnel” told someone named “Hard” to insert his head into a Bantha in an anatomically improbable manner.
    • A pair of young human males are discussing how Cha’d brought some really good spice at the party last night – this appears to be the extent of criminal underworld in this “hive of scum and villainy.”
  • An hour has past and the rest of the crew hasn’t arrived.
    • Renaldo and Zed step out of the cafe.
    • They are stopped by a human male in a purple uniform with a CSF, backed up by four very large security droids in matching purple livery.
    • The security officer asks if they are Captain Zed Syyrhak and Renaldo, which they confirm.
    • As the cafe patrons look on, Captain Zed and Renaldo are arrested on charges of “theft, fraud, and failure to fulfil a legally binding contract.”
    • Zed and Renaldo are bundled into a paddy wagon and transferred to the security offices.
  • Zed and Renaldo are the hardest crims in the CSF holding cell.
    • They are each given one hologram.
      • Renaldo calls family friend Zaphod Beeblebrox, the lawyer who defended him on the charges of murdering the Butcher of Platooine Nine.
        • The two headed lawyer arranges for a lawyer droid to be dispatched.
      • Zed calls Commodore Kresk and explains that:
        • Zed lied and said no cargo was stolen by the pirates, a lie reflected in Kresk’s report.
        • Because of this lie, Consolidated Logistic Solutions believe that the crew STOLE the “low grade recycled copper.”
        • The crew have been charged with violating Baccaranan corporate law.
        • Kresk, an honourable man, is disgusted by Zed’s perfidy, yet is duty bound to amend his report.
  • The lawyer droid arrives. It is appears to be in need of maintenance.
    • It explains that Baccarana is run by mega corporations like Consolidated Resource Holdings and the only law is contract law.
    • The crew will have an arraignment hearing that afternoon, were they will enter a plea.
    • The lawyer droid advises that, as there is no sign of Kresk’s amended report, the case is damning:
      • The crew were contracted by Consolidated Asset Reclamation to deliver 3 crates of Low Grade Recycled Copper to the Consolidated Logistic Solutions spacedock above Baccarana.
      • They did not go to the spacedock, they did not contact Consolidated Logistic Solutions, they did not report the theft of the cargo, and when they landed at Caer Planeta, they did not declare any cargo.
      • Ipso facto, they are in breach of contract and run the risk of serious jail time.
    • The lawyer advises that they please guilty – they will “only” lose the Tyche and be sentenced to 5 years hard labour.
  • Zed and Renaldo are arraigned.
    • A lawyer droid in red livery from Consolidated Jurisprudence Services is prosecuting the case.
  • The crew jump to the rendezvous with Zheng Shi’s pirates – a point in deep space light years from any system.
    • They arrive about half a day early, and wait for the pirates.
  • All of a sudden, a fleet drops out of hyperspace – two silhouette 5 contacts, one silhouette 4 contact, and five silhouette 3 contacts.
    • A scan reveals one of the silhouette 5 contacts is the Vengeance and the silhouette 4 contact is the El Jefe.
    • Five garishly painted Z-95 Headhunters buzz the Tyche.
  • The Tyche enters the docking bay of the Vengeance.
    • It lands at the front of the bay, next to the boarding shuttle.
    • The Headhunters follow the Tyche in and land at the rear of the bay, near 6 TIE-Wing Uglies.
  • Zheng Shi enters the bay, flanked by a crew of pirates (most of whom are Arcona). Zheng Shi cuts an imposing figure, wearing a long black and red robe.
  • The Sullastan, Vinal, climbs out of the lead Headhunter and starts across the bay, flanked by the other Headhunter pilots (all Sullustans).
  • The crew descend the Tyche’s boarding ramp.
  • Zheng Shi appears pleasantly surprised at their presence.
    • Jiǎohuá explains that the crew don’t seem to be in league with the cartel, but instead were just sub-contractors.
    • Zed attempts to sell the crew as possible allies in Zheng Shi’s vendetta against the Vakat.
    • Vinal interjects, stating that the crew are untrustworthy and that he demands vengeance for his death of his brother.
  • Su’shi, for reasons that only make sense to a psychotic mass murdering Ewok, decides Vinal could do with a hug.
    • He moves towards the furious Sullustan.
    • Interpreting this as aggression, Vinal goes for his blaster.
    • Zed draws his pistol and points it at Vinal’s head before the pilot’s blaster clears its holster.
    • Zed politely requests that Vinal not force him to redecorate the hanger bay with Sullustan brains.
    • Vinal backs down, glowering.
  • Zheng Shi appears to accept that the crew aren’t slave traders.
    • Zed proposes that the crew continue working with the Cartel, and feed information back to Zheng Shi.
    • Zheng Shi agrees, though insists that Jiǎohuá stay with the crew to keep an eye on them.
  • The fleet jumps to drop the Tyche off at the edge of the Urce system.
    • Over the day long trip, the crew mingle with the pirates and learn the following things:
      • The core of the fleet is the Vengeance and it’s mostly Arcona crew.
      • Zheng Shi and the other Arcona were all slaves of the Cartel, working in the Cartel’s hidden glitterstim mine.
      • One day, about half the slaves were loaded aboard the Marauder corvette that would become the Vengeance.
      • Zheng Shi led a slave rebellion and took the ship.
      • Zheng Shi has not been able to locate the glitterstim mine and the remaining Arcona slaves.
      • The Vengeance and the El Jefe are crewed by the liberated slaves
      • Zheng Shi has formed alliances with the crew of a converted BFF-1 Bulk Freighter, the CLS-FYOU, and Vinal’s pilots.
      • Vinal’s fighter is a Heavy-95, not a stock Headhunter.
  • The Tyche leaves the Vengeance and lands at Spaceport 3.
    • Zed mouths off to Lt. Bisbcox.
    • He gets knocked down by a stormtrooper.
  • The crew go the Foundry.
    • Seeing them, Sithka leads them past the line and through the kitchen. The crew don’t need to surrender their weapons.
    • The crew walk along the mezzanine and into the an office.
      • They pass three young human males. Zed and Renaldo recognise two of them as the café patrons they overheard talking about Cha’d and his awesome spice.
      • “Holy crap, Cha’d, those are the two ali…two guys who were arrested at Strauss. They must be serious players, to beat a fraud rap. So badass…, look at his sword.”
    • A 30 something Zyggerian is seated behind a desk. Su’shi recognises him as the Zygerrian he saw meeting the Duros.
  • The Zygerian explains that there is a weekly shipment of 8 crates of Glitterstim that leaves Urce on a Consolidated Logistic Solutions freighter.
    • Imperial customs is notified of the shipments in advance, and bribed to let them through.
    • Over the last couple of months, shipments have been hit by pirates, who know exactly which crates to steal.
    • This week’s shipment was split – half the shipment went out on the freighter, and the other half went out on the Tyche.
      • The Imperials were notified of the shipment on the Tyche, but no one in the Cartel except for Sithka knew about the crew’s involvement.
      • The Imperials were NOT notified of the shipment on the CLS freighter.
    • The pirates attacked the Tyche, yet the CLS freighter arrived on Baccarana unmolested.
    • Therefore, the leak is in Imperial customs.
    • The crew deliver the holodisk that was given to them by F3N1X.
  • The Zygerian gives the crew VIP wristbands and tells them to stay in touch.
  • The crew leave the office and set out to get rickety-rickety-rekt on the Cartel’s dime.
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FLASHBACK: GAVYN FRE'WAY: The tedium of an astrogator pilot

As Gavyn pushed back the hyperdrive levers he watched the mottled hyperspace tunnel outside the cockpit flash with starlines then fade into the star-flecked blackness of realspace. The navicomputer gave a single positive chirp indicating that he had successfully arrived.

Wherever here was, exactly.

Looking out the panoramic transparisteel canopy of the A-24 Sleuth-class scout ship, Gavyn could just make out a thin belt of asteroids and interstellar debris- the only noteworthy prospects in this pitiful unnamed system that the Hyperspace Navigators Guild had sent him all the way out to scan and catalogue. He felt the familiar companion of boredom begin to cast a fog over his mind as he keyed the _Sleuth_’s full sensor suite to begin actively scanning the surroundings.
Well, it only took an entire week for me to jump out to the arse-end of the Expansion Region, he thought drearily. Here’s hopin’ that prospect Number 37 fares better than all the others.

Leaving the ship to power up its array of optical, full-spectrum and electronic transceivers, Gavyn headed aft to the _Sleuth_’s small cramped galley and dialled the processor for a bland protein meal and waited, idly drumming his fingers on the stained lino benchtop.
Six years working for HNG had not only rewarded him with his own ship captains’ licence, but also a corporate ship he could call his own. How proud and enthusiastic he’d felt then. But none of his trainers or co-workers had prepared him for the tedium of long-range scouting; the endless cataloguing and updating of astrogation charts; the fruitless searches for resources across an entire sector that had been meticulously strip mined thousands of years before to the rise of the Empire. The juxtaposition was enough to drive him mad some days: Here he was with the chance to explore the cosmos, yet for the last 37 tours all he ever saw was desolation and ruin, the skeletons of solar systems left rotting- asteroids and planetoids stripped bare, mines played out, atmospheres chocked heavy with run off and pollution. Like trying to strangle the last gasps of air out of corpse he coldly thought as he accepted the prepared meal from the processor.

Still, he supposed that a week in space by himself beat a day back in the office on Urce; if nothing else it gave him plenty of time to read or tinker with small projects.

After a couple of silent minutes eating, a beeping that echoed from the cockpit interrupted his lacklustre meal. Moving to the pilot’s seat, Gavyn keyed for the analysed report from the ship’s sensors. Come on, gimme something. Silicon. Gold. Agrocite. Hell, mynocks would do.

Negative contacts.

He slung back into the back of the chair, dejected, but not at all surprised. Pinching the bridge of his nose, Gavyn reached over and keyed the navigation computer to plot a flight path to the system’s outer edges, where he might discover some exoplanets or trojans asteroids not on the charts. It’d only add two more days to his trip.
Opening his in-flight log, Gavyn added the following addendum to his logs:
“Prospect 37 negative. Beginning prospect cycle 38.”

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