As the protagonists arrived at Hapes, they were escorted to their chambers. As they observed Hapes along the way, they quickly noticed how opulent…and archaic…it seemed.
Arriving at their chambers, they were given strict instructions not to leave the room. Left alone for hours, Fiar and Bando explored the hallways, spying on the locked doors and learning some odd bits of information. Many hours later, the Hapan delegation, along with Tamren, Betl, Camille, and Morag, came back to the chambers. Informing Jinx that he was invited to the party – earning a smile from Camille – and letting the others know they failed the first simple test for males: following instructions properly.
Escorting Jinx to his new room – spacious, with glass ceilings that served as telescopic amplifiers – the Hapans left him to his own devices. As he prepared for a party as he contemplated what was going on and was perturbed at something being…off. Fiar and Bando had far less prep time for the party, but were escorted by Belt and Morag respectively.
The party did not go according to any plan the protagonists were aware of. Jinx had to try to pry Camille from the shadows, as she was blatantly uncomfortable in the nest of social vipers, and missed seeing Fiar and Betl head to a back room.
Betl and Fiar left to go to a backroom during the party, where Betl introduced him a young woman known as Edderlath, a few unknown Hapan women, and a robed figure that introduced himself as Ridu Syrus. As Betl, Ridu, and the Pentastar Alignment’s High Inquisitor (via Holocall) discussed his future, Fiar made small talk with Edderlath, finding her a kindred soul: both of them had no idea what was going on, but for some reason both were highly important to someone’s else machinations. As the discussions concluded, Betl informed Fiar that he would be leaving with Ridu: Ridu and the other erstwhile Jedi would be better equipped to shield him from Kantor, and his gifts would be helpful in a quest they are undertaking into the Deep Core. As Fiar departed with Ridu, excited to learn more about his gifts and explore the galaxy without being chased by a bloodthirsty mirror of himself, Betl went back to the party to round up the crew.
Meanwhile, Bando was shadowing Morag, who was acting uncharacteristically brazen. Drinking mulitple drinks, being purposefully rude, and even starting a fist fight, Morag acted exceptionally out of character and was a center of attention until being directed to leave by Betl.
As everyone left the party in an uproar, Jinx and Bando noticed an individual stalking through the crowd, wearing a dark hooded cloak and moving with deadly grace towards the exit. Unable to see her face, they caught a glimpse of 2 cylindrical objects belted to her waist before she disappeared from sight.
Betl led the group to a meeting room in a deserted part of the castle, where she informed them that the next stage of the plan would commence. As they entered, Jinx and Bando took in the sight in the room: Tamren, Pentag, and an unconscious man was bundled up on the couch. As Bando rudely woke up the man, Jinx was surprised to see Hexx roll off the couch…and reacted by punching him.
As things calmed down – Jinx was not amused to see Bando somewhat expect Hexx to be alive – Betl explained phase 2 of complying with the Grand Moff’s request: Betl, Morag, and the crew of the Black Knight would leave the system shortly through the primary exit, Ridu Syrus and the Radiant VII would leave through the secondary exit, and Hexx would pilot Bando, Jinx, Edderlath, and B1-EX through the nebula undetected, meeting back up before heading to Coruscant.
Jinx quickly brought up what he thought was a flaw in the plan: everyone on Hapes would see that the crews split up. With that, both Pentag and Tamren revealed that they were not human, shapeshifting into copies of Fiar and Jinx. Bando quickly put together that they were Clawdites, which they did not argue against, and asked Betl where they got a copy of a Magnaguard droid. Betl did not answer, but did state that they would be taken to a secure hangar to await further instructions, and that they were not to leave the hangar.
Bando, Jinx, Hexx, Edderlath, and B1-Ex were taken in disguise to an unused hangar bay in the castle, where they discovered multiple crates and ship parts. Edderlath informed them that they needed to quickly put together a ship that was smuggled into Hapes on the Radiant VII – an old U-Wing transport that Betl pointed them to – and they needed to leave Hapes sooner rather than later…eventually, they would be spotted, and Hapans had a fondness for assassination as a matter of politics. With that, Hexx and Jinx quickly went to work on the U-Wing, bickering the entire time, while Bando and B1-Ex posted guard.