Star Wars: Uncertain Times, Desperate Measures

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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Chapter 31: Life in the Hyperlanes

Leaving Ilum and the CEDF cruiser behind, the protagonists left into Hyperspace, heading towards the Core Worlds and Naboo.

Electing to take the fastest way possible, Hexx followed the Hydian Way to Brentaal, intending to head further down to Corellia. Unfortunately, they ran into a snag.

Pulled out of Hyperspace abruptly, Hexx found himself in the middle of the Brentaal system, with his sensors showing him in the middle of a gravity well. Setting a course to escape the well, the ship was rocked by repeat ionic barrages from unknown sources.

Investigating the sources closely, Bando and Jinx donned their clone suits and traversed open space to find the source. They discovered they were exceptionally small micromines using an ionic pulse barrage developed by Separatists during the Clone Wars. Bando was able to put the mine in a temporary lock out/reset cycle, but Hexx noticed another complication: an approaching squad of Xwings.

Recalling Bando and Jinx, Hexx piloted the ship out of the minefield, with a few close calls. Quickly piloting a jump, Bando convinced Hexx to head to xenophobic Arkania to shake the Xwings.

Upon arriving at the Arkanidan system, Bando contacted the spaceport and arranged a discreet landing. As they approached the system, with a scavenged and failing life support and engine systems and nonfunctioning shields and weapons, the Xwings appeared in hot pursuit..only to be met by a scrambled wing of Arkanian starfighters.

With the Xwings in retreat, they landed in Arkania to make some much needed repairs.

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Chapter 30: Breaking the Storm

As Hexx prepared to launch in his starfighter into space to hail the Republic cruiser, the rest of the base prepared to launch an expedition to the Jedi Temple.

With the starfighter prepared, Hexx launched into orbit, dodging high altitude winds and debris, he managed to break atmosphere and attempted to send his message. Unfortunately for him, the upper atmosphere was heavily ionized with a multitude of lightning strikes throughout its upper reaches. He was hit with a heavy amount of ionization, causing his starfighter to shut down and fall into the atmosphere unpowered. He managed to steer the ship towards the eye of the storm, and got halfway to the planet before passing out from the inertial dampeners being offline.

He awoke in his ship, parked in a cave system on an unstable ice shelf…which quickly gave way. As he jumped to safety, the starfighter plummeted 100 feet down into a underground hot spring reservoir. Climbing down to safety, he investigated the spring and rested from his exertions – he was a pilot, not a stormtrooper.

Meanwhile, Bando piloted the LAAT with the rest of the party to the Jedi Temple. Upon arriving, they made their way to the hot spring, electing to take a more scenic route down the corridors. Eventually, they met up with Hexx, who took a longer route through the underground river and climbed up a break in the wall.

They stormed the temple, with Bando leading the way as he was familiar with the layout of the Jedi temples. They breached the second floor where the Jedi kept their council chambers and archives, and were greeted by a very unpleasant sign.

A veritable horde of unnatural creatures turned their attention from 3 Magnaguard droids blocking a door into a temple room and assaulted the party. The creatures exuded a palatable dark side presence, with their attacked leeching the Force from the characters. Ridu left to investigate a side room, and held off a few of the creatures while the rest of the party blasted away.

With a howl, the beasts converged on Hexx and Jinx, biting and clawing at them through their armor. In desperation, Jinx called on the Force to assist him, with the added affect of stunning all the creatures nearby as their senses were overwhelmed. Taking advantage of the situation, the party made a tactical withdrawal to the sealed door, which soon opened.

Kantor approached the party from the sealed door, ordering everyone to the side. Once everyone left the blast radius, he called upon the Force to collapse the already weakened floor, dropped the creatures to their death. They quickly realized that was a mixed blessing, as a very large creatures – big as a rancor with the armor of a krayt dragon – arose from the rubble.

Kantor again ushered everyone into the door behind him as he kept the creature stunned. Once everyone was in the room, he shut the doors behind them to engage the creature. Once in the room, they took stock of the room. Bando was preoccupied by the sound of the lightsaber battle outside – it sounded like far more than 1 Jedi was involved – and did not notice Jinx and Hexx approaching a small group of children huddling in the corner.

One child, larger than the rest, confronted them about their presence, with the added threat of a lightsaber in his right hand. Persuading the child they meant them no harm, the children explained that they spent most of their lives on Ilum in the temple – it was all they knew. They also let Hexx know that “Mother” was below in the area beyond the temple. Jinx and Bando began exploring the room, picking up various cube shaped devices.

Hexx left the room to go speak with Mother, and quickly realized that the back area was an underground reservoir. A human female was meditating near a raised platform, and as he approached he sensed a serene calm, a center in the storm. The human female explained that he was in a Jedi Temple – one of the few left, and not long for this world – and item he was approaching was a lightsaber forge.

As Hexx approached Mother, Ridu and Kantor opened the temple doors looking the worse for wear. Upon giving orders to pack up the holocrons, Ridu and Kantor both left to explore the 2 sides rooms, returning with a few items from each room and heading down to the sub-levels. Bando explored the rooms, noticing Ridu’s room had 3 dead and decomposing humans in it dressed in robes, and Kantor’s room has an unmarked tomb containing the body of a deceased clone.

Once the group met back up, they made their way back to the LAAT to head back to the Imperial Garrison. Once there, they bided their time until the storms cleared enough for a communication to go through. In that time, Hexx observed Mother move the boulders of the collapsed hall, exposing the area as a former mess hall converted into a mausoleum for the deceased clones. Adding the deceased clone Captain’s name to the wall of honor, they both left the room, with Mother sealing it up behind her. Jinx observed Ridu and Mother, who he knew as Ridu’s sister Jyren – argue about how to proceed with the younglings: Ridu wanting them to go deeper into the Unknown Regions, while Jyren wanted to come out of hiding and head coreworld to heal the galaxy and rescue the other “children”.

After a lengthy debate, it was settled that the Jedi would travel with the party, using the salon pod as a converted Jedi training area, with Kantor agreeing to travel with the party until they reached Alwyn. Hexx told Ridu that he was not going to take orders from an Imperial captain but would listen to the Jedi, causing Ridu to activate his lightsaber and let the crew in on his secret. He undid the mind tricks employed on Bando and Jinx, recovering their memories of his Force use and lightsaber skills and revealing himself as a Jedi. He then informed the crew of a rendevous where they could resupply before heading towards Alwyn’s location.

Upon arriving at Ridu’s coordinates, they were met by an Imperial Star Destroyer, the Courageous, who tractored them into the hold. Ridu and his 2 stormtroopers left for a debriefing, with the crew finally seeing them sans helmet as a blue skinned, black haired alien species. As the crew explored their ship, they realized that while Imperial, there was a large non-human presence on the ship, with most of the command crew being members of the blue skinned alien species.

Upon arriving in the officers’ mess for a meal, the crew discovered that Ridu’s rank in the new structure was apparently subordinate to the female alien stormtrooper. The final surprise of the evening arrived shortly after: the captain of the Courageous was Nolan Kincaid, their original commander of their Victory Star Destroyer. Explaining that he took the opportunity of Endor to go to ground, he escaped the ship and fled to the Unknown Regions, meeting up with a mysterious “Admiral” and joining his coalition. They made idle chatter about Nolan’s brother Alwyn and his son Tolwyn, but dinner was cut short by other events unfolding elsewhere.

As they were departing the following morning, they found their ship refueled, repaired, and upgraded with Ridu’s promised proton torpedo launcher. The Jedi retreated to the salon pod, and the crew took up their positions.

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Chapter 29: The Storm Rages On

As the protagonists set forth repairing the base, they ran into a series of unfortunate events and made a few key discoveries.

Bando managed to eventually, with some assistance, get the generators dethawing…but ran into another issue of displaced water and where to store it, eventually settling on flooding the hanger and trying to drain it before it flash froze with limited success. End result: Power to the base with an unusable main Hangar. Bando also discovered that Jasmine and Morag sent the Probot droid down to relay information: the atmosphere was too hostile to land their ship, communications were not going through, and they were unable to determine if they were even alive. Worst of all, they discovered that Morag and Jasmine were going to depart the system in 30 days if they did not hear from anyone to refuel and resupply.

Jinx and Hexx went to repair a sensor relay dish that was damaged on the top of the plateau. With the sensors online, Ridu was able to get a partial scan of the planet and the storm…enough to know the upper atmosphere was more intense than ground level, the storm was increasing in size, and there was more atmospheric anomolies than he could catalog with the limited resources.

While they were fixing the comm relay, Hexx convinced Ridu and the stormtroopers to switch gears from clearing out a rubble-strewn passageway to going through a solid metal blastdoor blocking another path. When they arrived back in the base, battered and tired but ultimately successful, Hexx discovered that they were able to bore a hole through the metal in the hour they were gone. Exploring the new section, he uncovered a sight for sore eyes: 2 battered and busted ships, one a small dagger-looking ship, and another familiar LAAT gunship modified for limited low orbit flying.

With both ships in need of repairs, Hexx elected to work on the small starfighter to hopefully break atmosphere and rendevous with the ship. With time running out, they pored efforts into repairing the ship and hope to get a message out to the ship.

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Chapter 28: The long cold night

The party landed on Ilum to a pristine yet empty base, devoid of any signs of life and on minimal power.

After exploring the base and discovering an unpowered communications room, the party split: Jinx, Ridu, Seely and a R2 droid were to stay in the computer room, while Hexx, Bando, and the stormtroopers investigated the power reactors and tried to reestablish power.

While Bando and Hexx were in the sublevels, Jinx got notified by Jasmine of a situation in the hangar bay. When Ridu and Jinx arrived, they saw that the cargo droids had unloaded the containers from the ship, but that the containment field for the bay was failing as it was being pelted by a high velocity objects of ice, crystal, and rock. Jasmine voiced concern that the ship would be damaged and trapped once the field failed completely, and Jinx gave the order for her and Morag to take the ship into orbit.

Jinx, Ridu and Seely then proceeded to transport the containers to the main base. They managed to get all the containers into the base, with Seely also acquiring a large rock of crystal. They then went back to the communications center, and once power was restored managed to copy all available logs on the system to the R2 unit after about an hour. While some data was corrupted, they did learn the fate of the base: left behind as a garrison after Order 66, the clones were cut off and forgotten. As the years went by, the garrison started dwindling from attrition and clone-induced aging. The last clone, the Captain CX-14789, left a final log detailing taking all remaining supplies and going into the wilderness to forage for food, or die like a Clone.

Meanwhile in the power sublevel, they discovered that the reactors were not online due to being frozen in ice and being rendered unoperational. Using blaster power cells to cut a way to the generator panel of the reactor with the least amount of ice, Bando was able to power up the computers. Once they copied the data, he sent Hexx up to get a power cable to help rig a connection to the remaining generators while he turned on life support.

Hexx, upon discovering the ship had left, was furious with Jinx for stranding them on Ilum. Jinx stood his ground and stood by his decision. Hexx departed below with the cable while Jinx and Ridu went about getting the base prepped for occupation.

Below, Bando discovered his suit was running out of air. While Ilum was breathable, the temperature was excessively cold. WIth options limited, one of the stormtroopers switched helmets with Bando. Bando discovered that the stormtroopers were not droids – one of them was even female – and that their helmets were of an advanced tech, with greatly improved readouts. Once life support was reestablished, he switched helmets back with the stormtrooper and awaited Hexx’s arrival.

Hexx arrived with the power cable, and Bando got to work fixing the generators. He determined that they were set up in a circuit, and that generator 5 was malfunctioning, causing 6 to also malfunction. He got the 4 ones remaining up and running, and restored emergency power, base defenses, and life support with the power that he had available.

As the party settled in, they prepared for their next course of action and pondered what was going on: some individuals did not seem to be affected by the cold, Seely was able to move large cargo holds with relative ease, and most of them – with the exception of Bando – had a feeling of marked unease.

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