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Well, that could have gone better

Datalog Entry: Bymm.per.log/22281-RUS1

Encrypted: LEVEL7; TRANS22/33; DEL

I’ve made a decision – it’s time to get serious about this. We’ve been operating at a loss for a while, with the loss of cargo and people shooting at us and constant damage to the ship. Its the death of a thousand cuts – everything we’ve done as of late has gone disastrously (yet entertainingly) wrong. Time to cultivate our contacts for a while and turn our luck around. First up, we should head to back to Geonosis and see if we can get a cargo of weapons or technology from Duke Piddock.

The Duke, being a busy gentlemen, doesn’t have time to talk to us, but his lieutenant is more than happy to hold an audience with us. He gladly lets us have several crates of munitions and weapons for a very reasonable price. He also gives us a prototype blaster rifle that his company is working on to demonstrate to our clients, with an option to buy more if they like what they see.

Next stop – Ryloth and New Meen. It’s been several months now, so Nyn Kalbo and her associates should have the mining operations up and running – and with all that valuable spice, they will need weapons to help defend it. This should be a perfect made match – client and product and us ready to sell it to them.

Although our visit was unexpected, Nyn is thrilled to see us, as the mines are just now all coming on line and her people look to finally be turning a profit. While she likes the guns, Nyn takes a shine to the heavier weapon and grenade launcher. She is willing to take what we have and buy several more heavy weapons and some ordinance for the launchers – provided that we include some training with the weapons. Mahitha agrees, handling weapons without proper training is irresponsible – and between her and Shadya, they should be able to help the twi’leks attain sufficient proficiency.

So – back to Geonosis. Before we depart, I drop a quick message to the Duke’s man telling him of our imminent arrival and to prepare another shipment of heavy weapons. The shipment is loaded without issue, and while this second batch goes a long way to cleaning us out of credits, the spice we’ll get in trade from New Meen will more than make up for our troubles.

Well, that is until every single one of use misses every warning sign on our final approach back to Ryloth. The scanners were crystal clean, the communications groundside seemed smooth, no unusual landmarks or personnel around the landing field. However, the squad of stormtroopers who meet us at the bottom of the ramp, with our very illegal ordnance at the top and in plain view, is a very solid sign that something is terribly, terribly wrong.

Mahitha shoves the four imperials as hard as she can out the hatch, slamming it closed as soon as they’re clear and shouting for us to lift off. While initially I might have been able to smooth talk our way out of trouble, the TIE fighters now in route for us probably are not in a mood to listen anymore. The deal gone irreparably wrong, we climb for space – and get torn apart by the fire from the TIE fighters.

Oh wait. We have shields. I probably should turn those on.

Further compounding the problem, once we do hit the hyperlimit, Del has problems calculating the jump to hyperspace. Constant power fluctuations to the navigation computer make working extremely difficult. But hey, no pressure – the incoming star destroyer is still pretty far off. Plenty of time.

We jump just as the Imperial warship comes into firing range, limping back to Tal Dor station. Unfortunately we’ve got a cargo full of illegal guns and no operating capital to speak of.

Since I have not been idle these last several months, I know some people who know some people where I can unload our cargo at slightly above cost. It’s not a great profit, but at least we don’t completely lose our bankroll. Sadly all that newly raised capital goes straight back into repairing the ship. After all told, we lost money on this operation.

Not, as I was hoping, a turning around of our luck.

So, three or four days of waiting around while Del returns to ship to fighting form again. Mahitha spends her time discussing philosophy with one of the monks running the station. Shadya samples the local night life and I help Del with the repairs. That’s when we find the long lost Star of Usk – a old family relic that went missing fifteen years ago.

Wait – what was it doing hidden in my engine room all this time?

Tempting though it may be to sell this artifact, solving all our financial difficulties in one go, I should return this important family heirloom as soon as I can. Of course the question of how to do so should be interesting, considering just how wrong my last visit home was. I will need to think on this for a while. . . .