Tag Archives: RPG

A Touching Reunion

Datalog Entry: Bymm.per.log/22299-SUS2

Encrypted: GER4-0POR/47:01+1

In order to deliver the stolen prototype hyperdrive without exposing ourselves to unnecessary danger and betrayal, we exit out of hyperspace a short distance away from the rendezvous coordinates so we can get a look at who is waiting for us. Turns out, we’re meeting a lone capital ship, a Nebulon B, I think it is. Since things seem to be on the up-and-up, we move closer and hail them.

Upon docking, we find surprise waiting for us. From the uniforms and demeanor, these people are those upstart “rebel” terrorists. Wonderful, now we’re committing treason.

It’s far too late for us to back out of the deal now, and these troublemakers would hardly let us go even if we did – so I’ve got no choice to proceed with the transaction despite my misgivings about them. Even worse? While waiting in a lounge for our money, I spot another Salina in the corridor – what the hell are they doing with another me?

Turns out, they’re using a series of “Salinas” as cover for various missions where a renegade high roller core worlder would help them out with their nefarious schemes. I wasn’t the only princess on the playing field. So – there was the me that was assassinated very publicly, the me that just pulled this heist, the me that’s heading into the core worlds for whatever the Rebels needed done – and then of course Real Me running around and getting into trouble.

I’m not sure I like this development.

However, the terrorists are true to their word – they pay us and let us go without any sort of trouble, Since I’m nosey when it comes to where my reputation is concerned, I have Del do her best to plot their jump into Hyperspace. It’ll do us no good if they change course, but information is power, so I’ll welcome any I can get.. Besides, I can inform my contact at the Imperial Security Bureau as soon as we hit the next port of call and tell them all about what I know and perhaps turn this unfortunate transaction around.

The next planet over – I didn’t even bother checking the name on the astrogation charts – I drop my communiqué to the ISB along with my usual batch of messages. While I might have been an inadvertent traitor to the state, I’ll make amends as quickly as I could.

While I’m away, Del discovers something interesting about the long lost Star of Usk – apparently it has some kind of message imbedded in it! In that someone would have surely noticed it over the centuries that the Star has been in my family’s possession, it must have been a recent addition.

Come to think of it, fifteen years ago was about the time that Uncle Shaqiri also went missing – he was always a (relatively speaking) trouble maker and boat rocker, so him falling off the map was not entirely unexpected. What if he stole the Star, imprinted a message and then hid it away here? But . . . why?

The problem is that it’s an isomorphic data crystal – keyed to a one specific reader. Del might be able to eventually reverse engineer one, but we’re talking years and years of work – obviously not an option. After brainstorming, we decide to head coreworld to Corellia and see if my cousin Tallia has any insight, being that uncle Shaqiri was from her side of the family tree.

Understandingly, Tallia has been out of the loop with her family- her best guess is that Shaqiri’s son is now running his holding, with an estate on Imperial Center. Oh, good.

Eight months ago, I would have been able to walk into Uncle Shaqiri’s estate and find the reader for myself without any of the staff batting an eye (beyond the normal pleasantries that a visitor of my stature would generate) – but now? I’d never make out off the compound again. We need someone who won’t generate suspicion who would be permitted to wander the estate unhindered (which of course leaves Tallia right out). My best option is asking my old handler / bodyguard Manaar Foz – provided or course that Fozzy is still talking to me after I slipped away from the family, that is.

While Del isn’t able to get too deep into the family network, hacking the com-tree to find Fozzy’s current location was pretty easy. She’s still with the family, but she’s been exiled to the family estate on Avendell – presumably punishment for allowing me to slip away. Fortunately it’s a pretty close hop, not too far out of the way, and it’s a fairly quiet planet with not much of an imperial presence, so if she does turn me over, the odds of us slipping away again should be high.

One holo call later – and no, she doesn’t throw me under the speeder. She does solidly punch me for leaving her twisting in the wind like that, but she follows up with a rib-crushing hug. She would have been dismissed, but mother intervened on her behalf – so father moved her to the back forty of the family’s holdings, or at least until his anger subsides some. Otherwise, it’s a pretty joyful reunion – my friends are my friends and all, but Fozzy, she was far more a mother than mother ever was to me. Of everything I had to leave behind, leaving Fozzy hurt the most.

I just didn’t realize it until I got her back.

We show her the Star of Usk and what Del found – yes, she’s seen what might be a companion piece to the Star at the Nephew’s estate. She even thinks she knows where it is, and she’s fairly sure she can get to it. We just have to get her to Imperial Center . . .


Playing Princess for the Dean

Datalog Entry: Bymm.DEL.log/867-309-RUS1
Encrypted: IRN1-2ASU/45:17+5

While we’re putting the finishing touches on the ship, and settling accounts with the monks for our long stay on Tal Dor Station, I am approached by a gentleman with a business proposition. He cant help notice my striking resemblance to the Princess Salina and said his client needed a Salina look-alike for a very specific job.

How. . .fascinating.

Intrigued, I agree to meet with Popo the Hutt. Popo is very unusual for a hutt, he speaks in basic, is generally cordial and personable and just about as much not a hutt as you can get. His business offer – he needs “Princess Salina” to go to Central University on Dorian and act as a potential backer for a agricultural project. I’m to throw around some money, look over their project, ask some questions, and act as a spoiled patron with more credits than sense – all the while casing the facility for a prototype hyperdrive that he wants us to steal.

So, steal the prototype, steal the plans, erase the plans so they cant reconstruct the prototype easily. Sounds like a snap! So one quick paint job to spruce up the Runaway and make her look like the pleasure yacht she should be and we’re off back to Dorian.

Upon landing, I set about acting as the Queen Bee – which apparently the last 6 months on the rim has dulled that skill. I was awkward and forced and not at all my usual elegant self. How terribly embarrassing. However the is still impressed by my manor and their representative promptly takes us to the hotel suite to get settled – before I insist that we go out on the town, of course.

Generally I fritter the night away acting like a caricature of myself. Find a good looking man, suck his face all night long, dance, drink and act as if my associates are just subservient minions – which is actually surprisingly hard to do now. Oh how much we change.

The next morning, I awake at the early hour of noon, enjoy a lavish and expensive breakfast and summon the dean for my official tour of Central University’s science facility. Mind you, I don’t pay too much attention to the layout or the security arrangements myself. I’m concentrating on leaving that up to my entourage while I act as vapid, demanding and distracting as I can.

Later in the day, we retire to our suite to compare notes and begin compiling first draft plan of attack. Del thinks she can crack the security on the computers, Mahitha and Shadya got a good look at the layout of the facility – perhaps coming over from a nearby building instead of working our way up from the ground floor. Then it’s just a matter of timing, getting an idea where the schedule was weakest. Time to request a middle of the night tour.

At a completely unreasonable hour, I call the Dean as we’re approaching the front door of the science building, insisting that I have questions and want to look at the Buzzword Buzzword Ratios again. I manage to bluff and bully past security and all the way up to the actual lab containing the prototype before the dean and the security guards catch up to our party. Not a bad response time – it should give us enough of a window to work with.

The next day is full of more of the same – looking bored at technicians running down details of their lives work and then a lavish dinner before we set to work. Late into the evening, we run a zip line from the next building over to the roof of the science building. Opening the lock on the roof access door was simple – this was not an avenue of attack they thought needed covering, apparently.

At the guard station, however, my efforts to bluff the security – well, I fail utterly. We do manage to subdue her, but not before she trips the alarm. And now the clock is running. I cover the turbolifts while Del works her magic on the mainframes while Mahitha and Shadya secure the engine – shockingly smaller than I thought.

As far as the escape goes, it’s Amateur Night again – the back stairs work, but we run headlong into police and campus security, the rip roaring chase is full of wrong turns missed directions, and otherwise bad decisions – but fortunately we get away without actually killing anyone. We get back to the ship and lift off just as the spaceport is locked down.

Close, but we got away – well, I wouldn’t say clean. But we got away with the goods. Now, the delivery. . . .

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. . . .

Just A Simple Misunderstanding

Datalog Entry: Bymm.per.log.EXE/3422-34

Encrypted: BRA0-0MEX; 33:01

Two days of luxury and opulence deposits us in orbit above Tatooine. Just as a gesture of good will towards us, Mrs Jakkar has made some arrangements on our behalf with a contact on the planet, that they have some work for us – completely off the clock, mind you. She says to meet her contact at Terrant’s Cantina in South Mos Eisley by second sundown tomorrow.

All in all, it’s not a bad wait days – yes the heat is oppressive, but the food isn’t bad and the cover band is pretty good. Occasionally we get creeps trying to strike up conversations, but Mahitha is good at deflecting their desires. However as the day rolls on, and the second day rolls on, it seems that we’ve either missed the contact or have been stood up.

Just as we were about to give up and move on, an older, balding slightly harried looking human slides into the booth next to Shadya and identifies himself as Sar Huurlek. “Sorry I’m late – I ran into some trouble along the way.” he began, “Only to be expected in our line of work, I guess. Anyway, don’t worry. The matter is all in hand and everything is all taken care of. You’re the ones in docking bay eight, right?”

It appears that our contact did indeed arrive.

Of course it becomes quickly apparent that this was NOT the contact. Every time we ask for details or about the offer, he assumes we’re being coy. When he mentions The Package, we try explain we’re in the dark – until finally it comes down to simply being blunt with him. And that’s when Huurlek figures out the problem, he has the wrong people. “But I’ve already sent the container to your ship! I’ve got to stop it or I’m a dead man!” he shouts – and every head in the cantina turns towards us.

Mahitha grabbing his arm, we hassle back to the hanger – just in time to run headlong into a gang of tough men coming up from the bay. We get into a desperate firefight on the stairwell, seconds before there’s an explosion downstairs. Rushing down, we find the hatch to the Runaway blown clean off – again. Making matters worse, they didn’t need to – The Package was just off to one side, sitting on some crates. Yes, if the henchmen had a lick of intelligence about them, they would have noticed their desired object out in the open and they wouldn’t have had to damage my ship!

Shadya and Mahitha get into a fight as more goons come down the back stairs while Delany grabs the package and I scramble up into the ship to start the warm up procedure. As a third set of reinforcements come down the stairs, it becomes clear that we need to leave. Now.

Me and Shadya quickly switch places. While I’m getting much better at flying, if we need quick reactions, I’m better serving in the support capacity. Good call too, since moments after liftoff, we’re beset by several Z-95 Headhunters. They close quickly and start to overwhelm us in short order (although less so, when I remember to turn the shields on) until Shadya runs us headlong into an oncoming sandstorm. She comes to an abrupt stop, drops to the deck and shuts everything down, letting the fighters (who were probably more concerned at staying aloft than hunting us at that point) sail past.

With the sandstorm raging above, we decide to lay low and wait until the coast was clear. In the meantime, Del carefully examines the package in an effort to find out why everyone is so determined to get the item. Opening the crate, it appears to be some kind of cylinder of, with a screw top of some sorts. Fortunately being that she handles sensitive an volatile chemicals all the time, Del has an isolation system that she can rig up, allowing her to open the container and find out what is inside.

Musk. Some kind of musk, or so her chemical analysis says – Krivvit musk, worth about 10,000 credits to the right people. I seem to recall Krivvit musk being used in certain core world circles as a perfume to certain species that favored strange and unusual scents beyond the range of human senses. That doesn’t answer why is it here and why are so many people trying to kill us for it?

Running under a Black Sun

Datalog Entry: Bymm.per.log/3418-22-X/X

Encrypted: SMS/17-EPK/MMS

Arriving at Atikan as quickly as we could was a stupid idea. We’re three days ahead of our meeting with Marru Jakkar, and Shadya refuses to leave the ship. She fears running into Kava’s men and doesn’t want to face that particular demon at this time. Of course the others refuse to let me out of their sight – and so there we sit, on the tarmac, for three more days.

Come the appointed time, we finally make our way to docking bay 18. The massive bay doors rumble open, to reveal a well kept interior with a very nice freighter off to one side. There were a number colorful awnings over several tables covered in platters of food and assorted light refreshments – Carni chips, Kamtro grassticks, glazed firebuds, tekka nuts and the like, while a server droid worked diligently to feed the dozen or so spacers already assembled.

They other spacers were a wide range of characters, some obviously not comfortable with crowds and finger foods, some eager to eat their first real, non-paste food in weeks. There was a lone zeltron female, a wookiee, a couple of humans, a rodian and a t’wlek. Some of them were happy to chat while we wait the entrance of our host, some were not talkative at all – but as far as finding out the purposes of our gathering, none of the conversation got much past “I know nothing beyond what the invitation told me”.

After a little bit of light dining and some polite conversation, our host arrived – Marru Jakkar appeared at the top of her freighter’s ramp wearing a dark brown vest over a close fitting jumpsuit of black leather, a blaster hung loosely at her hip.

“Good afternoon,” she began, “I trust that the refreshments meet your approval. Now that you’ve enjoyed my hospitality, we can get down to business. I need some rather important merchandise moved through this sector, and I’ve contacted each of you to make sure that at least some of it reaches it’s destination. You will be paid 5,000 credits for the run with an additional 5,000 if you are the first ship to arrive.

“A cargo pod will be loaded on your ships at a yet undisclosed location. From that location, you will travel the Wildstar trade route and rendezvous with the luxury liner Star of Empire, and deliver the pod. To be fair in this, each of your datapads has a file called “envelope”. It indicates your first location – don’t bother looking it up now, the file is coded to work through your nav computers.

She then welcomed us to enjoy more of her hospitality while she circulated amongst each of the captains to answer any further questions personally.

It was a very straight forward offer. The cargo was simple technology, nothing illegal – although a certain level of discretion in any Imperial dealings is required. But as much as this was a cargo run, this was also a test. Her organization is interested in only the best and most loyal crews, and this was a process of vetting out the less worthy crews.

While Mrs Jakkar made the rounds, the Zeltron – Captain Asha Odekar – approached us with an offer. “I’m the only crew member aboard my ship. While she’s a speedy vessel, flying solo leaves me at a disadvantage. I propose we team up, share whatever information as we can and if either of us win, we split the winnings.”

I pride myself on being a good judge of character, and I judge Captain Odekar to be on the up and up. So while Asha and I come to more precise terms, Mahitha chats up Captain Zimos, one of the other lone pilots in the gathering. Apparently – I’m not sure of the details – they engaged in a battle of spicy food and poor Zemos was unable to endure the heat. Thus Mahitha dubbed him Mister Spicy forever more.

And then, with a snap of Mrs Jakkar’s fingers, the race is on!

The first leg takes us to something called The Beacon, a navigational nightmare, a pulsar that causes all manner of hyperspace and realspace interference, makes finding the beacon difficult and otherwise is the possibly the toughest part of the race. We did well to team up with Captain Odekar, since she had arrived at the beacon well ahead of anyone else in the pack and was able to transmit the next coordinates to us giving us a very strong lead.

As Del is preparing the navigation computer for the jump, I spot the ship just ahead of us – a Captain Kraton Hawkes, if I recall from our meeting correctly – trying to get a missile lock on the communication transponder. While that would remove a great deal of the competition from the race, that’s not fair. Mahitha puts a couple of shots across his bow, giving him cause for him to reconsider his life choices. Before he can respond, we’re away into hyperspace.

We arrive back at Tal’Dor Space Station, just behind the lead ship – Captain Kalend Thora, the twi’lek, if I recall correctly – taunts us for being so slow, despite us being right behind her. Once our landing gear is down, it takes half an hour to find our contact (following, of course the proscribed sign/countersign guidelines to the letter – apparently another test) and load the cargo pod before we can hit vacuum again.

As we were about to reach the hyperspace limit, Del happens on a fleeting narrow band transmission – something that would only happen one in a thousand times – a transmission from Captain Hawkes – “All right, listen up boys. This is your prodigal son and I’ve got a sweet cargo load. I’ve popper ‘er open and it looks pretty tasty. There’s gonna be five more fat, happy loads just waiting the following coordinates plus a big juicy luxury liner. Sharpen your teeth boys, the pickin’s are gonna be good!”

Wonderful, there’s a trap at our destination, and every racer is about to land squarely in it with both feet. Thinking quickly, Del comms Captain Hawkes “Sorry, apparently you had your transmitter set to narrow band. Here, let me help you!” she says, rebroadcasting her message as widely and loudly as she could. Then, we’re away into Hyperspace.

Arriving to rendezvous with the Star of Empire, we are greeted by the Imperial Guardian cruiser Reprise and eight TIE fighters on patrol. After a moment, they hail us, telling us to proceed on vector 117.3 – and Del tells the radio operator exactly what is coming, that a pirate gang fleet was in route, so when the pirates arrive moments later, the Empire was waiting for them.

The pirate fleet consisted of a well worn corellian corvette, two YT-1300 and a handful of Z-95 star fighters – which normally would have been enough to perform such a lightning strike and quick capture the various cargoes. However thanks to the readiness of the Empire, the pirates were wiped out to a man.

Unfortunately due to the delay warning the Empire and dealing with the pirates, we were the second to land on Star of Empire. Thanks to Mahitha’s readiness and planning, we were the first to unload the cargo. So while we technically lost, we were the winners by handing over the pod before anyone else. That’s probably not how it was suppose to work, but Mrs Jakkar was so impressed by the moxie and bravado, she awarded us the win. She graciously allowed us to spend the remainder of the day in the lounge, with our food and drinks on her tab.

In the lounge, one of the other freighter captains – a Givin – approaches Shadya with an offer to buy out our cargo for ten thousand credits. Either this is the stupidest captain in the organization or this is another test – although one would hope that our employer would have enough subtlety to not be this blatant. Needless to say Shadya says she’ll think about it and promptly informs Mrs Jakkar of his stupid treachery.

In addition to winning the contract with Mrs Jakkar’s organization, she invites us to enjoy two days on the liner while we journey to Tatooine. We sample luxury that easily rivals the best the core world has to offer. I know that I’ve left that life behind (at least for now), but I can still take pleasure in opulence when I can.

In which we settle old accounts. . . .

Datalog Entry: Bymm.per.log/3318-1-B

Encrypted: SHARPE-2,2; RECALL/12; REPT

After a journey full of ever so faint pops and pings from hull stresses and microleaks, we finally we drop out of hyperspace and limp into the Kwenn system, a myriad of red and yellow warning lights across the board and the cockpit sealed from the rest of the ship – in case our patch on the canopy gives way. Oh, and it seems that we neglected to turn off the emergency beacon that I activated when the ship was first taken, so moments after arriving, the Imperial Star Destroyer Firestorm picks us up in her tractor beam.

Actually for that small act we were quite grateful – the Runaway was doing poorly and was in need of some tender handling anyway. Of course when the Imperials show up with full quarantine gear and hazmat suits, I’m a little confused. Apparently in my rush to flip on a warning beacon, I’d activated the virulent disease beacon, flagging us as having something called Rikter’s Disease.

Fortunately it was a fairly simple matter to clear up, that we in fact do not have Rikter’s became quickly evident to the imperial medics. That that was left to do was deal with the fine for violating spaceship safety regulations before dropping us off within tractor bean range of the Kwenn station.

Once aboard, Delany sets about assessing what needs doing to the ship, how to repair her properly. Meanwhile, the rest of us set off to locate where this hunting party had their ship docked. Apparently the plan was, after besting us, to return to Kwenn and recover their vessel. His ship was tucked away in deep storage and awaiting his return – and his astromech had all the access codes and security keys, so gaining access to his ship was simplicity,

Seeing that this hunting expedition still had an outstanding debt for the charter, it’s only fair that we strip his ship of anything of value to make up the other half of the agreed payment. While father equipped the Runaway with the best, there was still room for improvement in places – some nice art, good wines, some luxury textiles – all of which we find on this rather nice ship. Oh, and of course, credits to make this last two weeks of hell worth our while.

We also find holos of previous hunts, this hunter and his friends posing with assorted trophies and so on. In short, full documentation on his (rather long) history of murdering people for sport. Mind you, it does no good to bring him to justice, being that he’s dead and all – but still, I wont tolerate this kind of behavior. Killing him and escaping? Easy. Ruining his family and his name? Now that’s much more my style.

After making some annotations, I dispatch an assortment of discrete packages to old associates and people who owed me favors, outlining the full details on what this fellow has been up to. Then I send out another round of similar packages to his competing businesses and NewsFax networks. Of course I’m sure to include an equal amount of original material (so that the authenticity of the recordings can be verified) and duplicate material in each package so that there can be no doubt as to what he was up to.

With the ship nearly ready to go and the damming evidence sent to my very best resources, we were pondering what to do next – when the matter was solved by a courier, delivering a package. Inside was a data pad from Black Sun and Marru Jakkar. Inside, is a simple data plaque with a message. “Per our previous conversation, I do believe that resourceful operatives such as ourselves do indeed have a place in my organization. Please join me to discuss a potential business opportunity in four days’ time at my private docking bay in South Canton on Atikan. I’ll be in docking bay 18 – come around midday.”

Shadya, of course, was less than thrilled to be returning to Atikan and potentially running into Jenx Kava or his men – but the offer of a job was too good to pass up. So with some persuasion, we raise ship and head back to her old stomping grounds. I’m sure that she’s just being paranoid and that nothing too untoward will come of this. . . .

The Most Dangerous Game

Datalog Entry: Bymm.per.log/62278-66

Encrypted: THETA5; RECALL4-4/12; RECV

After a mostly unproductive trip home, a run-in with a hutt and several dead-ends, it’s time to get serious about this. Instead of simply gallivanting about the galaxy, it’s time to settle down and making some money. So while we’re at Qwenn Space Station for fueling, I set out to try and track down some cargo heading back towards the Danagon sector, perhaps something towards Atikan.

No cargo, but I did find some a Big Game Hunter from an impressive core-world family looking to do some big game hunting on Kirisu. I’ve never heard of Kirisu, but I gather that it’s a rather rugged and primitive planet that’s more or less on the way back to Danagon. All we have to do is deliver him and his hunter companions, wait around a handful of days while they hunt and then ferry them away.

Since it’s a easy run, I used the opportunity to continue my lessons from Shadya and work on my flying. I’m still working on improving my skill, and I am getting better, but I have a long way to go. So a simple landing on Kirisu, that’s easy. No, the incident is when the Big Game Hunters attack everyone in the back of the ship – well, everyone but me, since I was still following the shut down procedure in the cockpit.

Upon hearing the gunfire from the back, realizing that I am greatly outnumbered, I do the only thing I can – lift off and hope that I can keep everyone off balance long enough to come up with a plan. Mind you, I’m not very good at piloting, so I’m not bluffing as I call over the intercom “Gentlemen, we are currently going far faster than my skill set allows” as we plow through trees and jungle.

Eventually conditions overcome my skill level, and I plow the Runaway nose first into a swamp. I blow the emergency bolts on the canopy, shoot the navigation computer several times and flee across the swamp. I almost make it when I was dropped by a lucky, long range shot.

After an unknown amount of time, we awake – stripped of guns, comlinks, medpacks or really any useful equipment. We did have a datapad with a message from the leader of the hunters. Apparently we were the hunted and not just the transportation to the planet. So much for easy money.

For lack of a better idea, we strike out in a random direction, trudging through the jungle and spending the night in a tree. Needless to say, everyone was pretty down. Next morning, was more of the same – until I decide to use my most potent weapon. I may not be good with a gun or can fly with the best of them – but I am good with words. The defeatist attitude was turned around with a genuine, not schmaltzy pep-talk.

And then we get into a fight with the first of the hunters – five weequay warriors try and catch us in an ambush. It would have nearly worked until they themselves were attacked by a large, four armed creature with heavy clubs for hands. This “Whompa” pounded the other group into the ground while we quickly and quietly snuck up a tree to safety.

That’s half of the hunters down. We might come out of this okay. Just the leader, his Whipid sidekick, a brother and sister duo and a laconic gun slinger to deal with.

Speaking of the leader, it wasn’t long before we accidentally stumbled upon him. The skies opened up with a torrential downpour, masking our approach – I found myself nearly nose to nose with him, in fact. I only wish I could communicate with my fellow team members – but I decide on a dangerous gamble. While I hate the idea of murdering someone in cold blood, if I could take out the leader right here and now, we could end this. He doesn’t know I’m here, I’ve got a nice clean shot. I take the shot –

– and it ricochets right off his armor. Yeah, that was a good idea.

His Whipid cohort hits me square in the shoulder with his vibroaxe. His friend, caught off guard by the sudden attack falls down the other side of the slippery mud slope we were standing on. The battle was intense and short – we were lucky enough to overcome the Whipid, but lost sight of The Leader. Which means another night in the wilderness – this time hidden behind a waterfall in a small alcove. Hard, rocky, wet, loud, uncomfortable – and my shoulder wound is looking worse for wear. This time, my cheerful words have their work cut out for them.

It’s another several days before we encounter anyone else. We’re getting further up the closest mountain (although calling it a full blown mountain is being extremely generous), and my shoulder’s looking pretty – well, I try not and look at it too closely. Its early the . . third, fourth – I’ve lost track – morning when we encounter our next set of hunters: the twins.

I’m not much help, but the others manage to overpower the male, causing his sister to become unfocused and distracted. I’m not a combatant, but even I realize that losing control like that is a recipe for disaster. Once she realizes that the tide has turned against her, she retreats over a ridge to a waiting speeder – only to get gunned down just as she reaches it. Under better circumstances, I’d be more forgiving – but now? Not so much.

Del fiddles about under the hood, crossing wires to cause an explosion when the speeder is activated – a long shot to be sure, but anything we can do to even the odds, we’ll take.

Further up the mountainside, we almost run afoul of another of those Whompa creatures. Fortunately we heard it coming early enough to hide ourselves – they’re not very subtle beasts. Unfortunately, the hunter with the very nice sniper rifle had been following us for quite some time. She didn’t snipe us, but she did shoot the monster, angering it and sending it rampaging after us.

Shadya opened up at range, Mahitha was able to take the beast on with an improvised club while me and Del took to the trees. Fortunately there were very large, thick trees for climbing just out of the Whompa’s reach. We manage to deal with the monster, but the sniper eluded us. But by this point, it’s pretty clear which direction we were going, so we expect to see her again on the road.

Later that night, it’s a dark, moonless night – and someone spots a light further up the mountain. It has to be a trap, there’s no way that these professionals would make an amateur mistake like that – that’s more something I would do than a hardened killer would do, But the light remains steady, burning brightly in the night. So – investigate? Move on? Remain hidden? I vote for hiding, but everyone else was more keen on investigating the light – and since there was no way I was remaining behind all alone, up the mountain we go.

Reaching the ridge line, the light is a spotlight on a landing pad of some sort, cut into the side of the cliff. Off to one side is a large cargo crate and a sizable metal door leads into the mountain – not at all what we were expecting. What we are expecting is that if we were trying to snipe prey, the overhang above the pad would be an ideal location to do so. Shadya and Mahitha head flank the overhang while Del and I remain below.

It was a near thing – she was very, very good. Del and I had very little to do, the wrong angle to fire on her. Mahitha and Shadya overcame her by rushing her position – a sniper weapon does you very little when your target is point blank range. It ended very badly for her.

The large metal door was surprisingly unlocked. The crate on the pad was – well, garbage. Biological waste and dinner scrapings – lovely. The door lead to a long stone corridor leading down into the mountain, well out of sight. At the bottom? A vast cavern of ruins, a small team of professors and scholars huddled about a computer terminal discussing an artifact of some sort.

If this is a trap, it’s an exceptionally clever one. – and one that’s taking it’s time to spring. Long enough for Del to properly clean and attend my throbbing shoulder, for us to get some proper rest in the most luxurious cot I have ever slept in. The next morning (or at least the next time I regain conciseness), the kind professors fed us and show us a shortcut to the other side of the mountain.

Yeah, probably not a trap.

However The Runaway sitting in a clearing at the foot of the mountain, all alone and seemingly unguarded almost certainly is. Mahitha, ever the paragon of caution, insists that we find a bolt hole somewhere and wait until he makes a move. And so the waiting game begins.

Well, at least for an hour or so. Look, I’m not designed for crouching in a bush for the better part of a day. It’s been a very long week, I feel like a wreck, my shoulder still hurts and nothing has happened for the better part of – two hours? I have no idea how long we waited there. But enough was enough. At least with him shooting at us, we’ll wrap this up one way or another.

The funny thing – The Hunter drops Mahitha in one go. Not me, not Del – no, the person who wanted to continue to wait some more. Before he can find his range on me, I quickly drag her under cover of the ship. While I try and draw the Hunter’s fire, Del attends to our unconscious body guard and Shadya creeps around behind the perch in the tree, catching him off guard. To my amazement, the teamwork works. I miss him wildly, but it allows Shadya to catch him flat footed, The hunter falls from his perch face first into the mud from 40 feet up – and we’re safe again.

Well, aside from being on a wrecked ship with no navigation computer, a massive set of wounds and some serious stress. Other than that, perfectly fine.

First things first. We get to wander the surrounding forest, finding the important bits of our drive systems getting The Runaway in shape enough that we can limp to the landing pad half way up the mountain for more complete repairs. I did quite a number on the ship in my efforts to get away, so there’s no end of Delany cursing at me. The bright side, But they did have a astromech in their bag of tricks, bypassing our lack of navigation computer.

Well, I guess that’s one good thing that happened this trip. Free droid!

Next stop, Kwenn space station!