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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