Greetings from the Edge of the Empire

From: Saleena Bymm

To: Vexia Bymm

Confirmed: SEND; TRANS59/64; RECV

Context: 6E6; AMAN; IMMD; RPT

My dearest sister Vexa –

I’m sorry that I had to sneak out off the estate and leave home so abruptly, but I had a very small window before Viscount na-Mervrain arrived. After my arranged wedding I would have never been able to slip away from the palace. And please apologize for me to father for borrowing his ship – but I knew that security around his personal hanger would be lighter than the family landing field. Oh, but you would have loved it – the Ambrian Dawn flies like a dream. It’s almost criminal that father never flew it himself. A vintage YT-1300 like this demands to stretch her legs.

Slipping through the Apess Rosha planetary security network was child-play – being the First Princess of the Eternal Dynastic Union has its privileges, after all. Next stop? The outer rim, a planet I picked off the star charts at random, a fascinating sounding planet in the Danagon sector called Atikan. All the travel logs say that it’s a scenic planet with all the excitement of the edge of space and the luxury of the civilized worlds – it sounds as good a jumping off point to my adventures in the wild fringes of space as any.

Plus it’s unlikely that father or na-Mervrain will look in a region as rural as the Danagon sector. I should be left alone long enough to figure out how to deal with this arranged marriage.

It’s a long four days from the core to the rim plenty of time to get familiar with the ship. Mind you, I’m still very green at all of this – but I’m smart, I should figure everything out quickly. Like – for example – how the travel logs were completely wrong about Atikan – instead of a pleasant world that sounded pretty much in line with home, the reality – well, not so much. The skies were very polluted, the luster had long left the buildings, and the crime pretty significant.

And worse – I scratched the Ambrian Dawn when landing! Father, if he wasn’t already furious – would be more so. The damage wasn’t too bad, and I should be able to have someone repair that easily. But it is very embarrassing my first time out. Anyway, the details can wait – time to explore the spaceport.

Although you’ll never guess who I ran into Delainy, from the academy! I know – imagine the odds. A planet on the outer rim, picked out of the blue thousand of light years from home, and I run into someone I knew! I don’t think you ever met her, she was never in the same social circles as our family, but I did attend several classes with her – I only met her in passing, really. Del was as shocked to see me as I was to see her – and more than a little apprehensive. It would seem that she had fallen into a bit of trouble with the Empire since the last time I had seen her and she was instantly suspicious of running into a princess from her home-world in this remote sector.

It doesn’t take me too long to smooth things over with her, that I’m in fact not here to turn her in, despite having an uncle in the Imperial Security Bureau, that I’m just as much looking to go un-noticed as she is. Of course as we were on our way somewhere discrete to talk over old times, the holomap of the spaceport took us right through a very bad part of town. It wasn’t long before six ruffians cornered us in a side passage and were looking to do violence on us. Fortunately we were saved by a good Samaritan with a sword, who proceeded to remove one of the mendicant’s heads!

Did I mention that this planet is crazy?

This newcomer – Mahitha Kiltearn, she called herself – was a tall, wiry female human, not much older than I – but she carried herself with a manner more befitting this rough part of town. Seeing two reasonably helpless women all alone, Mahitha takes it upon herself to escort us back to my hanger bay. However upon reaching hanger 883 – my ship is missing! Someone stole the Ambrian Dawn! Even worse, I cant very well report it as stolen, since it was – well, it would have sent up all sorts of unwanted flags in the local networks for father to easily follow.

I was able to sweet-talk my way into spaceport control to see if they had a direction we could follow, be it straight up, nearby or what have you. Following the sensor logs, the ship is at least 600 miles to the west, in possibly one of the nicer, smaller townships. It’s a start. but we need more information, we need the lay of the land – so we get to venture back into the more colorful parts of town to talk to more colorful denizens for help. At the HorseCrab (an exceptionally – ahem, colorful – dive), named Shadya Quinn who is more than happy to hook me up with a information broker – for the price of a ride off planet.

Shadya’s Bothan contact is reasonably cordial and forthcoming – until I mention that I’m looking for a vintage YT-1300 that was recently stolen and the general heading the ship was last seen on. He very curtly tells us that the information we require will take a while to gather, so he tells us to come back after a bit. I guess that means it’s time to lunch at a – well, what I gather to be a chain of local diners – called Syambo’s. Mahitha and Shadya go on and on about the quality of the establishment and excellence of the food, how they have real cream and so on. Well, I guess whatever makes you happy – but it’s quite a comedown from my usual fare.

Returning to Shadya’s Bothan broker, he does have information – the ship was stolen at the instruction of Lady Treella, an old associate of fathers who was very keen on currying favor by returning me home. Worse, the Bothan had sinister intent by capturing us and turning us over to Treella for a substantial reward. My counter-proposal was abruptly cut off when the blasters came out and I found myself in the middle of a firefight! Ms Quinn blew a hole in the wall, someone yelled get the Bothan (just on the other side) and inexplicably, I dove through the opening to apprehend him and end this quickly.

So, we have a target, but now we need a plan. We have to get into House Treella’s compound and steal my ship back – hopefully without too much blaster fire. Del comes up with the tactic of perhaps cutting the main power to Lady Treella’s compound and using the confusion as cover while we make for the ship. It sounds like a viable plan, since Del is very good with computer systems.

However while Del and Shadya were out finding a computer system she could hack from I’m hit by a stun bolt through the window – a shooter on the other roof, under the Bothan’s employ. The Bothan takes this opportunity to go for a weapon and try and to gun me down. We exchange bolts and I . . . I think I killed that Bothan.

That was – I’ve never done that before. Yes, I can justify that with he was trying to get me, but I – okay, compartmentalize and deal with this flood of emotions later. If my upbringing has taught me anything, I should be good at doing that!

In need of transportation, we – ahem, borrowing the late Bothan’s landspeeder and start the long drive to Lady Treella’s home. Along the way, Del and I try and hash out Del’s problems – quietly, in the back. While Shadya and Mahitha seem to be nice enough people, it’s still probably bad form to air any of our dirty laundry in front of them. While I wont deny that they’re both competent in their assorted fields, they’re still complete strangers.

As we reach the nicer township, the air becomes cleaner, the houses nicer – and we start attracting attention. A officer of the law pulls us over, presumably for being in teh wrong section of town. While Shadya and Mahitha look rough, I am able to smooth things over for the concerned officer, waylaying any fears that the pair are up to no good, or that they’ve kidnapped me. He waves us on, with a warning to watch those two, that they’re obviously disreputable.

We arrive at Lady Treella’s compound without further incident – a relatively modest affair with a three story mansion, several out buildings (one we can identify as the hanger) and a low wall surrounding it all. It’s just a matter now waiting until the power goes out – we should have a few moments to move before the back up generators come online.

The sun sets and right on cue, the mansion is plunged into darkness, and we start our trek across the courtyard. We’re well over half way to the target when we hear a low rumble in the distance. A ship full of mercenaries arrive a moment later, and assuming they’ve beaten us to the estate, deploy to their stations on the wall. Finally, a lucky break.

From there, it was pretty simple to sneak past the Stormtroopers that are watching over Lady Treella – and I tell you, it feels wrong to shirk the law like that. The security inside the hanger was nearly non-existent, so getting on the ship was easy. Yes we attracted all sorts of attention and Shadya started the lift off sequence, but by that point there was nothing they could have done. The mercenaries tried to scramble to their ship, but with the element of surprise on our side – it’s hyperspace ahoy!

It’s a very odd group that I’ve fallen in with – they all seem very skilled at their own specialties, and I do need a pilot – and it does seem that despite reading the stories and watching the videos of the wild edge of space, I’m woefully unprepared for life in the outer rim – I offer to sign the three on as crew. Imagine me, space captain with my very own crew on my very first adventure! Mind you, it didn’t exactly unfold as I imagined it, but it was very exciting regardless!

I cant wait to see what happens next! Be in touch soon!

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