Star Wars: Uncertain Times, Desperate Measures

Chapter 41: Strangers or Friends

As the Wandering Hunter and it’s fighter escorts boarded the Endurance, Kantor gave the order for them to prepare to receive damaged ships and wounded individuals.

Hexx and Jinx headed to the hangar bay and assisted with repairing the fighter ships that came in – heavily damaged and low on munitions – and getting the wounded to medical for triage. Jinx noticed a Bacta Tank being unloaded from the Wandering Hunter to the medical bay. Following the Bacta tank, he discovered the female held in Bacta – he recognized her, but could not place her.

As Bando headed to the bridge, he met with Kantor and the command crew as a Victory class Star Destroyer appeared in system. Executing a hard and rather impressive turn, the Endurance leapt into hyperspace.

As they were cruising through Hyperspace, Sylaa and 3 members of the Wandering Hunter’s crew met with Kantor in closed door meetings. While in meeting, Bando took command of the exceptionally green crew running the Venator when they got pulled from hyperspace. Sliding into the role of a command officer, Bando got the ship battle ready and assessed the situation: they were pulled into the remnants of the space battle that the Wandering Hunter and it’s pilots fled: 4 destroyed Corellian Corvettes and a bulk frigate converted into a pocket carrier.

After things settled down, Sylvaa called Jinx and Hexx to a mess hall for a meeting. With Bando tagging along, they met with Sylvaa’s crew where they received an update of the happenings on Naboo.

According to Sylvaa, the Wandering Hunter and a few other ships were sent by Alwyn to cover an evacuation of the Alderaanian expatriates from Naboo – the planet’s civil war was taking a turn against them. After the Alderaanians were evacuated, Sylvaa left to pick up the leaders of the insurgency against Zsinj’s forces. She arrived to see the mountain base destroyed, with the commanders captured. She rescued one individual – Ryo Rey – and let them know that Captain Kole and Arix were captured and were being taking out of system on a Marauder-class corvette. She made her intentions clear: she was planning on rescuing Arix and Kole..even if Kantor did not approve and would not assist.

After the meeting, the protagonists resolved to buy time and convince Kantor to help, with Bando sabotaging the engines and Jinx attempting to discuss the situation with Kantor. Bando succeeded in buying them 2-3 hours, but Jinx was far less successful with Kantor.

As Jinx made his pitch to rescue their friends, Kantor responded that not only did possibly billions of lives and the financial security of Alwyn’s operations relied on them completing their mission – which outweighed a dozen or so friends and compatriots – but that Alwyn was paying them for their services and Kantor expected them to honor their committments. Jinx left Kantor on the bridge, deeply troubled by his argument.

Meanwhile, as Hexx involved Jasmine that her father was captured, Jasmine made immediate plans to leave and rescue him. Bando, and eventually Hexx, managed to subdue her, but not before she broke her hand in a few places and knocked out Hexx and Bando at least once a piece. Jinx arrived and took Jasmine to the medbay, while Bando left for the bridge and Hexx stayed with Morag.

On the bridge, Bando met with Kantor and inquired with their mission. Kantor involved them of the unseemly but necessary nature of their missions, and a side target of raiding an old structure on Coruscant heavily implied to be the old Jedi Temple. Appealing to Bando’s greed, he offered Bando a bonus if he could get the ship’s engine fixed within the hour, upon which Bando successfully undid his previous sabotage and cut the time frame to leave to 30 minutes.

Hexx and Morag bonded over some of Jinx’s Wyvern Reserve. Morag explained that she could not leave her friends behind to die, regardless of Alwyn’s money, and that she was leaving with Jasmine and the Wandering Hunter to rescue them. Hexx resolved to assist her, but needed to convince the others.

Leaving to visit his brother in the medbay, he saw Ryo’s bacta tank being transported back to the Wandering Hunter, and got an evil glare from Jasmine as she left. Taking Jinx to a private area, he pitched his position: rescuing friends was worth more to him than Alwyn’s money, he was unsettled at the prospect of being a paid assassin, and he was willing to risk a bounty to save them. Jinx responded with a shocking answer: he agreed with Kantor that the needs of billions of strangers and the delicate nature of Alwyn’s plan was more important than the lives of their former compatriots.

Reaching an impasse, Jinx left to speak with Bando and Kantor while Hexx left to prep the ship for departure. Arriving on the Endurance’s bridge, Kantor discussed the information with Bando and Jinx. Kantor explained that he gave the Wandering Hunter and any of their soldiers permission to leave before entering hyperspace, provided they were ready to go in 15 minutes. Jinx and Bando explained Hexx’s position, to which Kantor responded that his decision to proceed with his mission stood. If Hexx was to leave, he would forfeit his pay and possibly have a bounty placed on his head, depending on Alwyn’s decisions. Also, if he took the ship, it would be up to Bando and Jinx to purchase another one.

With a new deadline of 30 minutes, Jinx and Bando departed to try to convince Hexx to come along…or at the very least, not take the ship.

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Chapter 40: A Returned Frenemy

As the protagonists rescued Tolwyn, joined up with Alwyn, and took their ship on their shake down cruise, a previous associate of theirs was planning an escape of his own.

Having been pressed into service again, Trebor saw first hand the dark side of the Rebellion – ships were purposefully built without hyperdrives to keep pilots dependent on a home ship and discourage deserters, soldiers were treated as expendable with a high degree of acceptable loss, and any civilian doing business with the Empire or the Warlords was an enemy combatant.

As his fleet met to discuss battle strategy with other Rebellion fleets – which were not too enamored with his commander’s strategies – at the planet Ithor, Trebor went AWOL. Spending all his remaining credits, he secured passage to a derelict junkyard in the Ithorrian system not on the standard lists. Spending 10 days in the junkyard, he managed to repair an old Aethersprite fighter just enough to travel to the last known location of the only other people he knew he could somewhat trust – Christophsis.

Arriving at Christophsis, Trebor made contact with an old associate of the protagonists – Strahn. Strahn bankrolled Trebor’s flight to Alwyn’s station, with the condition that Trebor deliver a dataspike to the protagonists ship. Reluctantly agreeing to the deal with little intent to complete it, Trebor was shipped off to Alwyn’s station.

Arriving at the station and storing his Aethersprite, Trebor met back up with the protagonists as they were finishing installing a galley in their Vanguard. Coming clean with the deal he made with Strahn, Trebor gave the data spike to Hexx, who left to board a Venator class ship to utilize the spike. Meanwhile Bando and Jinx discussed Trebor’s ship, realizing it was far more valuable than he realized.

On board a Venator, Hexx played the data spike. Expecting to see a malicious hack, he was instead greeted by a message from Strahn. In the message, Strahn warned them to not take Alwyn at face value – his goals may not be entirely altruistic – and that the protagonists should be wary if Alwyn began mentioning “the long journey ahead”, as that referenced a particularly part of his plan that Strahn had large misgivings. He also dropped a comm frequency that could be used to contact him in case of emergency.

Returning from the Venator, Hexx delivered his news from Strahn to bickering crew mats, with Bando enraged and Jinx in awe of the history of the Aethersprite. As Bando examined it more closely, he realized that he was intimately familiar with it – he was the last technician to service the ship – and he was starkly reminded of his past service to the Jedi. As it was relayed, Jinx became enamored with the ship, offering 20, 40, or even 60 thousand credits to Trebor for the ship as in. As Trebor turned them down, wanting to keep his ship, Tolwyn contacted the crew to meet up and discuss the events of the evening.

As they met with Tolwyn, Jinx and Bando snuck off to meet with Kantor, inquiring about the Jedi ship and Jinx’s nascent Force use. Kantor gave blatantly false information to Bando to get him to leave, and gave circular words of wisdom to Jinx regarding his developing Force abilities. When they finally met with Tolwyn – who was tinkering with explosives – he informed them that in 3 hours, Alwyn’s war council would be meeting and they would have their pick of assignments. With time being precious and departures eminent, they were given time to prep the ship and prepare to leave.

Instead of preparing, the protagonists went to the bar and drank for 2 hours, with Bando getting drunk and picking a fight with Jinx before passing out and being carried back to his ship by HK Droids. Trebor, Jinx and Hexx then left to go to the meeting to choose an assignment before one was handed to them.

After listening to the plans by each of the 4 war council members, they were left with a choice to make. Alwyn had a plan to gather up Alderaanian citizens, DNA of native Flora and Fauna of Alderaan, and a cloning facility to restore them. Kantor was tasked with security detail and cleaning up the Outer Rim Confederacy splinter cells, eliminating, rescuing, or flipping assets to ensure Alwyn’s place was not compromised. Tolwyn and Aban had similar goals – Tolwyn was to help bloodily liberate Corellia for the Rebels to keep them distracted while Aban was to help the Empire break the Brentaal blockade and capture the shipyard.

After little deliberation, the protagonists elected to support Kantor’s goal. Marshalling their forces, they prepped to leave for Kantor’s Venator flagship – the Endurance – within the hour. When they arrived at the ship, they spoke to Ridu regarding their plans. Ridu voiced concerns about Kantor’s moral flexibility in regards to the Force, and asked that if the protagonists were in an area that Ridu and Jyren knew contained Jedi artifacts, that the protagonists obtain them for the Jedi and not let Kantor know.

With opportunities for a double cross available, the crew flew to the Venator, where they were unprepared for the site of a fully loaded Venator command ship prepare to depart. Bando was overwhelmed by the stimuli of the ship being so closely crewed according to Clone Wars standards that he flew into a rage. The results of the disturbance was Hexx spending a day in the brig and getting an admonishment from Kantor involving a Force Choke, Bando getting critically injured by another mechanic and spending 2 days in bacta, Trebor frying his ships electronics as he tried to repair them, and Jinx meeting up with other Force-sensitive individuals on board the ship.

As Hexx realized the scope of their mission – the quartermaster was able to replicate 16 types of Stormtrooper gear, 4 types of common Rebel gear, Outer Rim Confederacy gear, and Zsinj’s Raptor gear – the ship arrived at a stop over planet, where they saw another 50 starfighters joining up with Kantor’s ship and a familiar site off the bow: the Wandering Hunter.

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Chapter 39: A Ship is acquired, take 13

After arriving at the space station – located in the middle of a dead patch of space, with no stars or stable hyperdrive lanes – the protagonists disembarked at the space station and awaited further orders.

Discovering that they recognized the space station – it was the site of one of their first jobs for Alwyn, raiding an Imperial drydock for captured ships – they examined the space station in closer detail. The interior was overhauled for a more Alderaanian aesthetic – inefficient for space reasons, but far more welcoming – and the station was retrofitted with a larger power core, more defensive weapons, and a slow but functional hyperdrive.

While the station had a multitude of levels unused, 4 levels were made available to the standard crew: the top level (executive), mid tier (mercantile district), lower level (medical and barracks), and sub tier (brig and repair facilities).

As they explored the ship, Alwyn made good on his word and delivered to them a new starfighter – if it could barely be called that. Handling like a starfighter but packing a much harder punch, the Vanguard Heavy Gunship was similar to their first few Skipray blastboats – technically a starfighter, but vastly over gunned.

Taking the ship out for a shake down cruise, the protagonists familiarized themselves with the ship, how it handled, and the amenities they were missing. As they bided their time, wheels were set into motion by Alwyn and their missions were due to begin…

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Chapter 38: Distracting Preparations

After the contract was negotiated, the parties left to prepare for the journey. With the protagonists staying in the same room, things did not go as planned.

Jinx left to purchase new, incognito clothes and gear to travel as a mercenary for hire. As he was unwinding at a local diner, he was startled to see Re’na across the booth. Having followed Jinx during his excursions, she reintroduced herself to extort a free meal from him. As he was having a discussion with her, he quickly realized she was carrying all of her possessions in a rucksack bag and did not have a hotel room to sleep in. Feeding her and acquiring new clothes, Jinx paid for a hotel room for her out of his own private stash of credits. Retiring for the evening, he checked in and made sure the youngest of their crew was looked after.

As Hexx was dismissively treating Bando regarding their room situation, Bando retaliated in kind – Hexx’s room was sabotaged, his room overcharged, the temperature settings adjusted, and his laundry shrunk. The following morning, as Hexx arrived in a robe covering his 2 sizes too small clothes, Bando played the last trick up his sleeve: paying an exceptionally attractive young maid to openly flirt with Hexx, making his uncomfortably tight clothes even more painfully restrictive.

As the rest of the group met up, they were shuttled to the space port and boarded a Venator-class cruiser. With the contingent aboard, the ship jumped to hyperspace and parts unknown.

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Chapter 37: A Meeting of the Houses

As they landed in the spaceport on Christophsis, the protagonists and their compatriots left the stolen freighter in a no parking zone, expecting it to be towed and dismantled. Tolwyn left to meet up with Alwyn and prepare for the meeting, and gave the rest of the protagonists instructions on where to get their clothes tailored and the hotel booked for them by Alwyn.

Acquiring their new clothes – exceptionally well made finery in the fashion of Alderaan – the protagonists explored the city, taking in the sites and enjoying a well earned rest before the gathering in the evening. Getting into little trouble, the protagonists bided their time and arrived at the meeting with mainly questions and little expectations.

What greeted them was a rather foreign experience – they were taken to an underground lake in a crystal cavern, with marvelous and slightly eerie acoustics that echoed the sounds of an orchestra playing the operatic musics of ancient Alderaan.

As everyone listened to the music, Bando observed a clustering of individuals that he recognized, choosing to sit near a visibly armed Kantor. Jinx and Hexx kept to themselves, keeping an eye on Jasmine and Morag and Re’na as they dealt with multiple attempts at courting by the younger members in the audience.

As the music died down and the crowd started to thin, the mobile platforms used for seating began to converge and reorganize, ending with Alwyn’s contingent on the center stage. With a captive audience, Alwyn stunned them into silence with his next words.

Decrying the state of the galaxy, with violence in every corner and the Alderaanian culture on the verge of extinction, Alwyn called for the people of Alderaan to leave the settled regions of the galaxy – it was time to rebuild Alderaan in a quiet, untouched corner of the galaxy to give it time to heal and rebuild without threat of a Warlord or Empire or Rebellion trying to usurp, absorb, or eradicate them. He also announced the reformation of the High Council of Alderaan, with 12 noble families present to reconstitute the High Council and prepare the Alderaanian people for leaving the war-torn temporary homes and preparing to rebuild new ones.

After the meeting was concluded, Tolwyn invited Bando, Jinx, and Hexx to the following meeting of the High Council – as representative of House Cortess, he was allowed 3 individuals as part of his retinue. There, they bargained with Alwyn yet again, and once more agreed to a deal offered by Alwyn: in exchange of 25,000 credits a piece per month and a new heavily armed gunship, Bando, Jinx, and Hexx agreed to a 2 year contract in Alwyn’s exclusive service – they were going to help be the architects of the Alderaanian Exodus.

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Chapter 36: ...Does that thing even fly?

As they entered the hangar, they were greeted with a very, very unsettling site: a makeshift, cobbled together “custom” freighter.

Barely hanging together, with blatant construction lines showing the welded together hulls of various freighters of varying makes and models, the protagonists left Nar Shadaa and left to meet up with Alwyn on the planet of Christophsis. Limping through hyperspace with a x4 hyperdrive and with no supplies, they eventually stopped at a Hutt trading world to refresh and resupply.

Finding the natives low-tech and backwards, the protagonists waited until a Hutt trading fleet was due to arrive for a monthly bazaar/swap meet. Ingratiating themselves with the locals, the protagonists relaxed and enjoyed the local hospitality while planning strategies to maximize their meager resources. Their plans leapt into motion when the trading fleet arrived.

Spending their precious credits on purchasing food stuffs, the protagonists tried to wheel and deal with the various traders with little success. As they were discussing the situation with themselves, Hexx found himself approached by a hostile human trader. With a loud statement of Hexx swindling him, the trader punched Hexx, driving him to the ground and causing chaos to erupt in the markets.

As Bando extracated himself from the brawl, he saw Morag, Jasmine, and Tolwyn board one of the traders’ vessels. Smiling as he knew what they were up to, he stealthily made his way to the ship. As he met up with Morag, he saw Jasmine make eye contact with the pirate that initiated the brawl and saw them wave to each other.

Jinx and Hexx both managed to leave the melee without being noticed, and made their way to the freighter – Hexx made a quick stop at their old stolen ship to rig it to explode – and quickly joined up with them as Bando and Tolwyn hot wired the ship.

Taking off in their stolen freighter – with a much faster x2 hyperdrive – they made their way to Christophsis, 1 month later than anticipated but fashionably late. As they approached the planet, they were hailed by Alwyn’s left hand woman, Hana, who gave them instructions on where to land and where to be for the meeting – and instructions to dress their best.

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Chapter 35: Familiar Faces

As the crew traveled to Nar Shadaa, they ran into complications resulting from running their Imperial transponder on a New Republic-controlled planet and an assault from X wings as they were attempted to be boarded.

Extricating themselves from that situation but with a battered ship, they limped into Nar Shadaa to begin the search for Tolwyn. As they landed, the Jedi on board were visibly distressed, stating that being on the planet was clouding their vision and giving them recurring and debilitating headaches whenever they tried to call upon the Force. Without backup, Jinx, Hexx, and Bando left the ship to hunt down Tolwyn, with Morag and Jasmine attempting to use their contacts to find them.

After some minor exploration of Nar Shadaa – and realizing their somewhat desperate financial situations and ship’s status as not combat operational – they all reconvened as Jasmine stated she found Tolwyn’s location. After much deliberation, it was decided that Miriam and the Force wielders would take the Radiant VII and head out to meet Alwyn and give him a debriefing while the rest of the team – Morag, Jasmine, Re’Na the young Twi’lek, Bando, Jinx, and Hexx – would take some supplies and head off to rescue Tolwyn on the expectation that he would have a ship or they would steal one for a getaway.

As they all infiltrated the black site prison, they quickly discovered it was more of an ISB installation with a light guard. Blasting through the prison, they discovered some grisly information. The soldiers guarding the base, while dressed as stormtroopers, had easily noticed poorly maintained armor and weapons, the prisoners seemed to be subject to brutal and vicious torture for information unknown, and they finally came across Tolwyn.

As they were engaging in a firefight with the surviving guard – who retreated to a barricaded office room – they found Tolwyn’s “interrogator” bound and bloodied in the interrogation room, with Tolwyn striking Bando from the shadows before he realized who they were. Finding Tolwyn in grim but not downtrodden spirits, they began the withdrawal from the base; however, Tolwyn instructed Jasmine to use Thermal Detonators to slag the office room to prevent reinforcements and eliminate witnesses and proceeded to shoot the bloodied interrogator in the head with a borrowed pistol on the way out…much to Jinx’s chagrin.

As they left, they headed towards a small, unregistered starport that Tolwyn stated had a servicable spacecraft to leave the system – one of the guards stated that the captain kept a ship there for tinkering – and that they would meet up with Miriam and Alwyn after leaving Nar Shadaa. As they arrived at the spaceport, they made their way into the hanger to see what type of ship the captain of a black site Imperial prison would keep handy…

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Chapter 34: Uncomfortable Family Truths

After the initial tense meeting with Lira Hest was over, business was swiftly concluded: Miriam had contacted Lira on behalf of Alwyn to gather intel on Tolwyn, as the protagonists left him without much confidence. Lira gave her briefing to the table at large, and it wasn’t promising: Tolwyn was being held in a black site Imperial prison on the planet of Nar Shadaa. Also…Hexx and Jinx’s father had arrived on planet early.

As the party discussed that information, Lira also let slip to Hexx that she had details on Alwyn for sale for 50,000 credits if he was interested. As Hexx pondered the situation and left to ask his mother for money, the party began disbursing: Jinx went to a quiet corner to drink and process the information before heading back to the ship, Miriam left with Morag, and Hexx proceeded to get drunk and frisky with a bevy of beautiful women.

As the night passed in a blur, everyone woke up and had to deal with the repercussions. Jinx woke up to find Miriam had unpacked in his room and was apparently very unhappy with his behavior. Meanwhile, Hexx woke up in a plush room, surrounded by 5 naked women…including Jasmine. As Hexx was leaving, he ran into a disturbing site: a host of Imperial officers were slouched over in Lira’s establishment, along with women and men in various states of dress and sobriety. As he was looking around, he spotted his father stumbling out of a room and walking straight at him!

Hiding his face and walking quickly, Hexx looked into the room his father had just left…seeing a similar site with a host of naked women on the bed his father just left, including Lira lounging on the bed….and his mother Amelia walking back from the fresher. With that image burned into his brain, Hexx quickly left to go back to the ship.

The crew groggily prepared to leave, with the Jedi settling in with a host of purchased oddities in tow. After some emergency repairs – not entirely successful but good enough – the ship departed for Nar Shadaa, taking the long way around with a fateful pitstop on the Wookie Homeworld resulting in signficant ship damage from a porton torpedo as the New Republic attempted to board them.

They eventually arrived in Nar Shadaa – the planet looming large in their viewpoints, as their battered ship infiltrated Hutt space looking for a missing compatriot.

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Chapter 33: Mothers Dearest

As the protagonists limped away from Arkania, they plotted a hyperspace route to Kuat, skirting the major trade routes and hyper lanes, eventually coming to a place very familiar to Jhorin and Windham: Commenor.

Stopping over at Imperial-controlled Commenor to resupply – and eager to avoid their mutual father – Commandant Alaric Blackwood – and respective mothers, they attempted to keep under cover and leave ASAP. Things did not go as planned.

Both Windham and Jhorin were contacted by their respective mothers, and left to make a rendevous, leaving Bando at the ship to make more repairs and work on his droids in what he thought was relative peace..

Windham met with his mother Amelia at their family’s palatial penthouse apartment. Amelia was thrilled to meet her son, confident in that the bounties were just part of a military cover story and icily inquiring about the Unfortunate Mistake, aka Jinx. Hexx was nervous the entire time expecting an ISB trap, but instead was greeted by a mother seemingly fallen deep into neurosis – the apartment was spotless but unchanged in almost a decade, and everything in his room exactly how he left it. As he attempted to disengage from his mother’s increasingly drunken lines of questioning and invites to dinner at 7, he absconded with 4 sets of exceptionally expensive suits to sell for credits while she was busy finding the bottom of a Wyvern’s Reserve bottle.

Meanwhile, Jhorin was surprised to meet his mother Lira at a cafe, and proceeded to be thoroughly embarassed by his mother’s overtly sensual mode of conversation with strangers and brutal honesty in describing things and answering questions. Eventually Jhorin made way to depart, fleeing the scene of personal disgust without any answers he came for. His mother anticipated his escape attempt, and invited him and his friends over for dinner at 7:30, which Jhorin accepted.

Back at the ship, Jinx and Hexx discussed their respective family gatherings while Morag and Bando snuck into Hexx’s room and stole 3 of the suits to investigate their construction and worth. They discovered both Hexx’s dogged pursuit of the suits and also the energy-resistant properties of the biometrically encoded suits of high fashion.

Eventually Hexx and Jinx left for the dinner, taking a dressed up Morag and Jasmine as dates, and left Bando to his own on the ship. Bando’s peace and quiet was frequently disrupted by one of the Jedi younglings that kept following him around. Throwing him some droid parts to keep him busy, Bando’s curiousity was piqued as the youngling quickly reassembled the parts in a unique but functional design, seemingly able to intuit how to work technology through either innate aptitude or some method of using the Force. Bando quickly put him to work helping install HK protocols into the non-functional H0-B0 droid.

At dinner, Hexx and Jinx were led through a rather unkempt part of town and through a ramshackle building before entering the sublevels – the outside’s decrepit front hid a pit of wild debauchery, with scantily clad “hostesses”, gambling tables, and a high end dining establishment where the rich and powerful of Commenor came for illicit thrills.

Meeting up with Lira and her companions, they enjoyed a rather tense meal, with Hexx constantly on guard and Jinx getting caught up in the moment, making a move on a highly attractive and highly receptive young lady that his mother brought to the dinner. Suddenly, Hexx noticed the final seat at the table was occupied. Expecting to see his father, he as shocked as he saw Miriam Tharadon sitting at the end of the table, and smiled into his drink as she was glaring at Jhorin. Noticing his brother’s expression change, Jhorin annoyingly looked at the end of the table and saw Miriam, his face freezing like a nerf in the headlights.

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Chapter 32: Holding Too Tight

The protagonists stay on Arkania was marred with uncertainty from the moment they landed.

After Bando left to explore the city and arrange for replacement parts for the Radiant VII, but ran into unforeseen situations. With the regular Arkanian stores showing heavy markups and the black market hostile to Arkanians, Bando was unable to obtain parts to repair the ship. His day got worse when he received a comm call from a very unwelcome source: his mother.

Bando was directed to the Arkanian Judicial Commission building, and was escorted to the 382 floor of the 400 story building and met with his mother: Vice Commandant Maarta Straven. After some very intense and combative passive-aggressive discussion, Bando left with the knowledge that both Imperials and Bounty Hunters would be coming within 24 hours, but due to Judicial Commission bureacratic redtape that arrival would be delayed by 12 to 24 hours.

Bando quickly called the rest of the crew with the bad news, and discovered yet more bad news: Morag and Jasmine had left to go into town, Arkanians arrived to discuss some matters with the Jedi that left them perturbed, and Jinx and Hexx was locked into heated discussions. Leaving Hexx and Jinx with the tasks of prepping for immediate launch and securing parts, Bando left to go case the starport for ships to steal.

Hexx and Ridu left to go to the alien market for parts, where Ridu provoked a fight with a Gamorrean to secure a faster place in line and Jedi Mind Tricked the Rodian proprietor to get information on a supplier of parts. Meanwhile, Bando tripped a variety of alarms attempting to find a ship, slipping away in the chaos and pointing the Arkanian security forces at a random suspect. While leaving, Bando heard a struggle and shots being fired, eventually hearing about an altercation with a Twi’Lek family and noticing several Bounty Hunter ships .

Bando left to meet with the crew, but the bounty hunters beat them to the punch. Jinx and the Jedi fended off the bounty hunters, with Jyren violently defending the younglings with prejudice, angering Jinx at the perceived vengeful slaughter.

Once everyone met up, the protagonists formed a plan: head to a junkyard to scavenge parts while the rest of the crew starts stripping out any available parts for an emergency departure. Hexx and Kantor left and explored the shipyard, getting enough parts to repair the ship’s engines. Kantor called in Ridu and together they raised rubble to expose an ancient ship. With a new ship to repair, Jinx and Kantor left to talk to the black market contact again, where the situations started taking a sharp decline.

Kantor forcibly extracted the information for where to obtain parts to repair their ship from the reluctant Rodian, souring Jinx’s impression of Jedi. They then ran into a distraught elderly Twi’lek at the black market shop, begging for assistance from the other aliens to rescue his niece from a Judicial holding cell, stating she was being detained illegally. Meanwhile, Bando’s stalking of the spaceport bore fruit: he was there for the arrival of another series of Bounty Hunters and an even more unwelcome site: scores of Zsinj’s Raptors were arriving at the spaceport. At that time, Hexx and Jinx felt the ominous presence that manifested at Naboo arrive in system and begin to approach as Morag noted a Victory Star Destroyer came out of hyperspace.

With time running out, the group split up to perform as many actions as possible: Jinx, Hexx, Kantor, and the Magnaguard droid left to free the young Twi’lek, with Morag, Ridu and Jasmine heading to the scrapyard to acquire the remaining parts for spaceworthy flight and Bando staying behind to do final repairs with Jyren.

Morag and Jasmine managed to acquire the parts with Ridu’s help, but Hexx and Jinx ran into stiffer opposition at the Judicial holding cell. After sending the elderly Twi’Lek to a nearby area filled with Arkanians and aliens in a tense standoff to cause a distraction, they made their move on the holding cell. A quick rescue was thwarted, leading to a brutal fight in the building, with Kantor wielding his lightsabers with lethality. The young Twi’lek was rescued – badly injured and unconscious – and they made some unsettling discoveries: the Arkanians brutally murdered the Twi’leks and the Judicial Commission was falsifying records to cover up the incident, and that the riot control police of Arkania were stockpiling a nerve agent ineffective against Arkanians but debilitating to humans, which Bando hypothesized was a deterrent to Imperial occupation.

As they left the city to head back to the ships, they spotted riots beginning, with the Arkanian police responding to aliens with lethal force, including executing troublemakers like the elderly Twi’lek. As they left, they saw at first city shields and later planetary shields come online as the ships in orbit began bombarding Arkania.

At the ship, the crew was involved in a heated discussion about what ship to salvage to repair the other: a millenia old transport that handled like a starfighter, better in combat but with less space and amenities, or the Consular class ship. Hexx took the discovered transport up to view the space battle from high orbit. Struggling with his emotions after the argument with Jinx and frustrated at the nonfunctional sensors on the ship, Hexx called on the Dark Side to push his senses out to space to find out what he wanted. When he did that, he saw the ships in orbit from the void of space…and the void stared back.

With a malevolent presence invading his mind, Hexx was helpless as it probed his mind, gaining knowledge of Ilum, the ship, the Jedi travelers, the dealings with Alwyn, and the location of the Naboo base. As he felt his throat begin to constrict, he sent the ship into freefall, breaking free of the Force Choke and heading back to the rest of the protagonists.

He quickly shifted his position to repairing the consular ship by gutting the older ship, much to the surprise of Bando and Jinx. As they repaired the ship, he was confronted by Kantor, who exposed his knowledge of what happened during the flight and a stark demand to never let it happen again.

The protagonists quickly stripped and repaired the Consular’s engines and life support. Launching from Arkania, they quickly exploited a cycle of the planetary shields and the arrival of a New Republic fleet to flee the system, shaken and battered and wondering what the future would hold.

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