Star Wars: Uncertain Times, Desperate Measures

Chapter 72: The Long Night Falls
Series Finale: Part 1

As the protagonists arrived at Muunilist, Bando immediately found the ship stuck in a tractor beam from a Venator Star Destroyer. As they were pulled into the docking bay, he saw over 50 ships in orbit around Muunilist, and not a single one was Imperial.

As Jinx and Hexx were taken to the medical bay, they met Lt. Selanne. The Dark Trooper disarmed them of their weapons – including their lightsabers – and added insult to injury to both Jinx and Hexx as he used the Force to extract their Adegan crystals and gave them back the non-functioning hilts.

As they were in bacta, Bando suffered a more immediate and disturbing invasion – the cyborg technician from the Empyrean Way Consortium arrived with some lizard-like creature and proceeded to copy all of his memories from his time in Bastion until the present day…and fitted him with a restraining bolt.

As all 3 of them found themselves reconvening in the security of the brig, Bando’s attention was drawn to the rather inept ORC trooper vehemently insulting the technology of the Venator. As Bando defended the ship, an astromech droid fixed the console the young trooper couldn’t figure out. As the droid left, it locked its gaze with Bando. Bando started into the astromech and knew instinctively it was a CZ series droid. His suspicious were confirmed, as the emitters in the cells began to overload as soon as the droid left.

Seeing the cells overloading, Jinx used the Force heavily to crush the emitters on Bando’s cell, allowing him to charge through the fluctuating cell door and head to the console. Hexx tried to mimic Jinx, and to his surprise saw the emitters get damaged. As Jinx switched his attention to Hexx’s cell and freed him, Bando realized he was locked out of the system. As Hexx attempted to help him, they both realized the emitters were going to explode, and ducked out the room. Jinx tried to use the Force to shield himself, only to see the emitters fail…and a translucent, blue-tinged Kantor standing outside his cell instructing him in no uncertain terms to leave. Not needing encouragement, he joined Hexx and Bando outside as the room imploded.

Hearing guards coming, each protagonist hid in a different room in the corridor. The room Bando was in contained childrens’ clothes and toys from Alderaan and Naboo, along with a terminal he was able to access and confirm that the ship was suffering from sabotage. He immediately looked for a sliced bit of code, only to find that it was not electronic sabotage, but physical sabotage: the CZ droids were crippling Alwyn’s fleet. Jinx found himself in a room with Alderaanian and Naboo artifacts and historical records, along with some sort of genetic container. He settled in to read one of the tomes he uncovered, when Hexx burst into his room, mumbling something about Kantor telling him that Jinx should stop using the Force so much, and physically pulled him into Bando’s room.

As the brothers barged into his room, Bando saw the image of Kantor standing at the viewport, unthreatening but giving dire pronouncements of an impeding battle both great and terrible. Staring out the viewports, the protagonists realized that the sabotage was deep: starfighters drifted without power, capital ship engines were malfunctioning, and sensors and comms were down.

After a debate between confronting Alwyn directly or trying to extract Tolwyn, Jinx decided for the direct approach, walking towards the approaching soldiers and intending to surrender. Hexx and Bando made their way to the shuttle bay to steal a ship, when they found a battered Jinx behind them. Inquiring to his change of heart, he explained how Alwyn’s soldiers were shooting to kill, and a B1 Battledroid saved him before causing a hull rupture.

Finding a ship – a small cargo ship with no shields, hyperdrive, or weapons – they made their way to Muunilist. As Jinx was piloting the ship and Bando resided in the vacuum of the cargo pod, Jinx contacted Captain Aban on a closed channel. As she accused him of sabotage, Jinx explained that it wasn’t them but the CZ droids sabotaging the ship. Explaining they needed to get rid of the droids ASAP and that they needed to talk to Tolwyn and Alwyn, Aban granted him clearance to land in the primary starport and arranged an audience with Alwyn.

Furious with Jinx but taking his advice – along with Bando offering the information that his memories were copied and Alwyn knows everything – they were escorted to makeshift brig by a HK droid. In the brig were Undermoff Antilles and her attache Tamren Feign, Admiral Betl Oxtroe and her ward Edderlarth, and Tolwyn. As the Undermoff needled Jinx, Hexx and Bando spoke with Tolwyn, who was incarcerated and due to be tried for High Treason due to an unsuccessful coup against his uncle. Informing the protagonists that Tolwyn was naming them as his co-conspirators due to Jinx getting him shot years ago, they realized their meeting with Alwyn was going to be soon…and potentially deadly.

The meeting started on the wrong foot, with an irate Alwyn focused on the backstabbing, deal breaking, and pains in his ass the protagonist were over the course of the years of their relationship. Calming him down with mentioning the approach of Kantor and the need for allies, Alwyn offered an olive branch: he wanted the rogue Jedi led by Ridu and Jyren to be brought into his fold, and he wanted Hexx’s clone and his fleet – the ships, the mandalorians, everything – added to his army. Arguing that they could only bring them to the table but not make their decision, Alwyn expressed confidence that they could be convincing.

As they made their holocalls, Wyndaam’s fleet at Ilum agreed to meet with Alwyn based on the protagonists informing them that Kantor’s fleet was coming and their was strength in numbers. The call to the Jedi was more ominous, as it was apparent the Jedi were under a vicious attack and needed help. Jinx demanded assistance from Alwyn to help the Jedi, with Hexx noticing more Tolwyn’s changed expression. Alwyn uncharacteristically agreed to provide a ship, giving them 1 hour to find gear and provisions and whatever aid they could scavenge from the planet. He also gave them back their adegan crystals….crushed into powder as retribution for their insubordination.

Taking a speeder to the ruins of the city, the protagonists noticed the planet was bombed heavily. They soon split up as Jinx jumped out of the speeder to try and help a group of Muuns that were frantically trying to extract something from rubble while Hexx and Bando made their way to one of the Banking Clan’s outposts in the city.

Jinx managed to rescue quite a few of the trapped Muun civilians, much to chagrin of his HK “bodyguard”, and made his way to the Banking Clan outpost. At the outpost, Bando and Hexx ransacked the place, with Hexx torturing a revived Muun and driving him to suicide rather than cooperation. Eventually, they sacked the manager’s office for the petty cash available – 2 5,000 credit gem shards and 15 1,000 credit credsticks – and left in their speeder.

On the way to the Banking Clan outpost, Jinx went out of his way to explore an abandoned med clinic – obtaining 5 medpacks – and an suspiciously neutral building, finding it to be an ISB safehouse and looting an ISB outfit, 4 blast vests, 3 pistols, and 1 rife. Making his way back to the banking office, he saw the speeder leave – and the missile turret that activated, launching onto the speeder.

As he could only look on, Bando altered course to pick him up…and got struck by a missile. Bando and the HK droids flew out of the speeder from 70 stories up, leaving Hexx to crashland the speeder. As Bando crushed into a fountain, he greeted Jinx stating he just lost some armor…and Jinx was left to see Bando take a missile directly to the exposed torso.

As missiles were raining down on Bando and the HK droids, Hexx managed to land on the roof of a nearby building, barely hanging on for his life but managing to get into the building. Jinx dragged Bando’s torso into the building, away from the misstiles. Meeting up with Hexx, Jinx discovered that Hexx was wearing replica clonetrooper armor he looted from the museum. Finding hope that they had other relics, they discovered a mostly intact but unarmed LAAT gunship. With Hexx scavenging the fuel from the speeder and Jinx hooking up Bando to the LAAT, Jinx explored the museum and found a rather inaccurate but functional “Jedi Robe” that he brought back to the LAAT. After rebuffing Hexx’s demand for the robe, Jinx settled in the LAAT. Hexx brought the gunship to life, but realized a horrible drawback: the initial power was drawn from Bando’s chassis and its emergency reserve, shortening the battery life of his memory core from 3 hours to 45 minutes.

With no time to spare, Hexx piloted the LAAT gunship into the spaceport. Bando was immediately taken away by Alwyn’s repair crew, while Jinx and Hexx prepped the ship – a skipray blastboat – for departure.

They were both shocked when Bando returned. Expecting him in a new droid body – perhaps a protocol droid – they did not suspect to see Bando back into his organic Arkanian body. Brushing off their concerns, they leapt into hyperspace to Dantooine to rescue the Jedi.

Their rescue attempt went off the rails quickly – an Acclimator cruiser was in the system, and the Jedi’s starship was trapped on Dantooine and surrounded by a contingent of Kantor’s clones. Electing a direct approach, they strafed 2 of the LAAT and E-Web emplacements, grounding 2 of the LAATs and eliminating one E-Web. As they swung around for a second approach, Bando warned off Hexx. Heading Bando’s warning, Hexx narrowing avoided the Consular vessel’s diplomatic pod jettisoning out into the fields of Dantooine…and the explosion from the downed vessel.

Improvising a mag-lock to the pod, the protagonists were ready to dump the pod and save the Jedi when Ridu informed them that they needed to transfer the archives over…and that they had a Jedi relic on the pod that they wanted to save. Hexx dismissed the idea until Jinx investigated…and discovered a lightsaber forge.

Determined to save the forge, Hexx outpiloted his clones – just barely – and escaped into Hyperspace. As they were back in route to Muunilist, Jinx was visited by Kantor yet again to discuss the coming battle. When Jinx started bemoaning the loss of his lightsaber, Kantor asked what he was willing to give up to get one. With his response of “anything”, the skipray abruptly exited hyperspace next to a derelict cruiser, with its weapons, shields, and navigation systems blown out.

Investigating the cruiser, they discovered that it was an ancient Sith Harrower Dreadnought. As Jinx explored the bridge – learning of a Empire Reborn and the ships’s battle in a 3 way struggle, Hexx uncovered the engine room. Powering on the auxiliary reactor, Bando and the Jedi on the ship saw the outside hull shimmer. All individuals felt a scream of agony and pain echo through the Force. Shutting down the reactor, Hexx made his way back to the blastboat, looting 2 suits of Sith Trooper armor and a broken astromech droid.

As Bando and Hexx attempted to reboot the systems using the droid, Jinx made his way to the engine room, following a certain feeling. He eventually discovered a hidden room deep in the ship. Using the Force to attempt to access some of the panels, he triggered mass waves of Dark Side Force energy rippling throughout the area. The pain was immediate, and the repercussions clear: a beacon was just sent out through the Force to anyone listening.

As Jinx grew despondent, Kantor reappeared. Extolling him on, Jinx uncovered that part of the system – a cloaking system developed millenia ago – used Adegan crystals….and was charging them with the Dark Side of the Force, corrupting the crystals into Sith crystals. Realizing not all was lost, Jinx discovered 3 uncorrupted crystals – one yellow, one orange, and one purple – and made his way back to the ship.

At the ship, Bando and Hexx had just finished hooking up the droid to the ship when Jinx returned with the crystals. Much to Bando’s annoyance, Jinx insisted that they destroy the ship to prevent Kantor’s fleet from gaining the technology. After deliberating – and discussing the shared images of Kantor that they couldn’t explain – Bando decided to destroy the ship himself while Jinx and Hexx got a few more spare parts and made one more stop on the ship.

As Bando attempted to destroy the ship, he was plagued by manifestations of the Sith ghost he fought on Ilum. As the “hallucination” taunted him, Bando found himself wracked with mental anguish and doubts – organic for the first time in years, he had to face the fact that the Force may not be entirely rubbish…and he may be able to manipulate it. Shrugging off the taunts, he set the ship to destruct and made his way back to the ship.

Jinx and Hexx, before fixing the ship, left to explore the battle between a Jedi and a Sith on near the ship’s sanctum. Finding a humble Jedi robe and lightsaber along with a menacing Sith robe and ornate lightsaber, they made their way back to the ship to prepare it for launch. They were soon greeted by Bando flying down the corridor with great speed only to abruptly stop and get flung into the shuttle bay.

Reconnecting the pod, Hexx saw the Acclimator drop out of hyperspace. Throwing caution to the wind, he immediately jumped into hyperspace as the Harrower counted down the last seconds of it’s overload.

Safely in hyperspace, the protagonists thought they were safe until they felt a mass disturbance in the Force as the Dark Side energies of the Harrower’s cloak erupted out. Feeling the waves of Dark Side energy hit them, Jinx and Hexx were treated to an additional feeling: as the Acclimator had over 15,000 clones each of Jinx and Hexx, they felt each of their deaths and the agony that came through the Force.

As Bando steadied them, they sat back and ruminated on a rather successful mission – a true rarity – and the upcoming discussion with Alwyn on what happened to their ship yet again….

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