Of Dust and Oil
Following the attempted abduction of SINASU THE HUTT, Imperial officials have left the Qi’Ibre system so tempers may subside between the warring criminal factions.
ZAX WETTEGA, Captain of the Star Wanderer, has been rewarded with freedom from indentured service by TRESKA THE HUTT in thanks for his involvement in her Lieutenant’s rescue. Celebrations are short lived when Zax is forced by the Hutt into purchasing his beloved ship, placing him once more into her debt.
Meanwhile, several independent traders, employed to help resupply the clandestine operations of the GALACTIC EMPIRE, have disappeared, and Imperial Intelligence is eager to find out why....
TRIGGERED OBLIGATION: None
DESTINY POOL: Light 5 / Dark 1
The deepness of space. The camera pans down to a blue green planet with numerous ships coming and going from the planet including luxury liners, transports, freighters and fighter size craft. This is the planet of Dominus, the Sector Capital of the Dominus Sector. Suddenly a dull thunder crosses overhead, as a Victory Class Star Destroyer comes into frame.
CUT TO: Interior (Bridge)
As Imperial technicians move about the bridge of the ship, an Imperial Moff dressed in a formal white uniform stands surveying the planet, sipping on a cup of what appears to be a herbal tea, a service droid holding a tray with a steaming pot. Another officer approaches the Moff, a portly man in his 50s, dressed in the Command Uniform bearing the insignia of a General.
|General Kord:||Moff Vorpain, we have received word from Base Kresh-6 that another shipment has failed to arrive at the facility. That is the third in so many weeks sir. I would suggest that we…|
|Moff Vorpain:||No need General. We cannot risk the general populace knowing what we have planned. Sending in our own troops to obtain the shipment is fraught with danger, especially if some of those independent miners spot one of our ships. No. The people of Dominus Sector must see us as the peacekeepers of order, not as brutes or bullies, flying into systems as we see fit. No, involving the riff-raff of the galaxy is a far better option to suit our needs. After all, letting them get their hands dirty means less mess, and provides us with plausible deny-ability. Wouldn’t you agree General?|
|General Kord:||Sir, I feel that…|
|Moff Vorpain:||No General. I didn’t think you would. These sorts of matters are not handed with brute strength like how you handled matters at Katalda III during the Clone Wars. No General, these matters are delicate, and require careful planning and precision. It is a good thing that these decisions are not yours to make then, otherwise where would we be?||General Kord:||But…||Moff Vorpain:||Oh, and General, tell General Mohc not to be concerned with the shipment delay. Good things come to those who wait.|
|General Kord:||Very well…sir.|
A stern look passes the General’s face, as he turns and walks towards the communication station.
CUT TO: Planet Qi’Ibire – Treska’s Base (Exterior)
- The crew discuss the sharing of any profits of their new venture, now that Zax has taken on the debt for the purchase of the ship.
- It is agreed that after all expenses for the ship are paid, each crew member will get an even share of the profits, with the ship being the equivalent of one crew member. This money cannot be borrowed against and is to be used for upgrades and the like.
- With this out of the way, Zax and KYN-11TE go and speak with Josco, Zax’s smuggler friend in order to see what deals, shady or otherwise, that might be available. Unfortunately, Josco does not know of any, but suggests speaking with one of his contacts. Josco also informs Zax that fter everything that has been going on, that the group have worn out their welcome. Zax then provides the information he found to Arcz.
- Arcz manages to track down the contact Josco suggested, and uncovers two jobs that are available. One of the jobs is running freight from Solay to Ruac, which he decides might be a little too hot given that it’s probably the crew’s fault the planet is currently in lock-down. The other is a well paying job, taking a shipment of eldissium ore from the mining planet of Isleis, and taking it to an unknown location which will be made apparent on arrival. Arcz sees the risks in this type of job, but is mesmerized by the amount of credits on offer – 15,000cr. He immediately returns to the ship to inform the crew.
- El-Isara attends the palace and tracks down Cadence. She apologises for her anger and attitude towards Cadence, and explains that she was obviously upset due to the loss of her mentor and friend Nexus moments before. Cadence explains to El-Isara the important of not giving into attachment, but again offers to train her when she requires it. El-Isara agrees, and the two talk for a while about her experiences thus far.
- Meanwhile, whilst waiting for El-Isara to return, the rest of the crew start working out what they want to do after the finishing the job to Isleis. They decided that they want to somehow obtain an old Consular-Class Cruiser to enhance their “business” model in order to take on, and steal, a Victory Class Star Destroyer. L’zadarma used her family connections, and the sale of all of the Imperial stormtrooper rifles that had obtained, and learned that one was impounded nearby in the Dominus system.
- The crew remain on Qi’Ibre for a few more days to strip the Imperial Shuttle that was stored on one of the outer moons of the system. The crew uses the shuttle’s hyperdrive to modify the drive on the Star Wanderer, and sell the remaining parts to a illegal parts dealer for a substantial amount.
- The crew then destroy the remaining parts of the shuttle’s hull, and after failing to locate a suitable cargo to sell to miners on Isleis, head off to their first legitimate paying job.
- During the trip, L’zadarma and Zax conduct some research into Isleis. They learn that Isleis is a planet that is ravaged by an unexpected war between miners and an alien race that was uncovered, living under the surface of the planet. They learn that the supposed silicon life-form lived under the planet crust. They also learn that several smugglers warn from going to the world, and that the most recent job of offer going to the planet is the one they are on. They also find that two other smugglers have taken the jobs, and both haven’t been seen since.
CUT TO: Planet Isleis – Atmosphere
- The ship entered the atmosphere and is immediately buffeted by the ionization storms and high winds. Knowing that their were believed to be hostile lifeforms on the planet, Arcz took the bottom guns, whilst KYN-11TE too the top guns. El-Isara and L’zadarma remained in the cockpit along with their pilot, Zax.
- As they descended, El-Isara spotted something in the clouds which sent a shiver down her spine, whilst KYN-11TE who also caught sight of them, was momentarily blinded by a flash of lightning. Suddenly two winged creature looking more like locusts than vessels were spotted, with one almost being on top of the ship. KYN-11TE spotted the second coming in from further away.
- Zax took evasive action, but could not shake the creatures off their tails. As they cleared a pocket of clouds, they saw what pursued them, what looked like some type of hybrid spider humanoid rode atop the creatures. Each were carrying an almost biological lance type apparatus with an antenna rising above into the air. One of the creatures let out a scream, whilst flicking the antenna. This caused one of the lightning bolts to latch onto the antenna, down into the weapon, and with a sicken bolt, blasted onto the ship.
- Zax thought of the credit it would cost to repair the ship, but as he prepared the ship to take a blast to the hull, he was unpleasantly surprised when L’zadarma informed him that the ship had taken significant ionization damage, and the ship replied with a strained groan.
- KYN-11TE blasted the fist of the creatures from the sky, and it exploded in a thick black/green goo.
- Arcz fired his weapon, as Zax forced the ship into a spin. The shot glanced the creature, but it soon recovered and continued to chase the ship.
- El-Isara, reached out with the Force, thinking that she could somehow manipulate the creature to leave her and her companions alone. Her mind touched the alien creature, revealing to her that the creature was part of a hive mind, full of hatred, and that this creature was not only not of this world, but not of real space. The creature screamed and banked away from the ship. El-Isara slumped in her chair as she lost sight of the creature. She had been told once before of beings who were able to exists in other dimensions, and that the Force was present across each – particularly hyperspace – but where this thing was from puzzled and worried her. It was definitely worth further study.
- Zax continued on the trajectory to the mining base and soon after arrive at the destination.
CUT TO: Planet Isleis – Base Station 427 (Exterior)
- The crew arrive at the processing facility and find it nestles at the end of a canyon between two large rugged mountains. Several smoke stacks rise up next to the facility, and four landing pads adorn the top of the facility. Four turbolaser batteries point down the canyon, but after initially being surprised by the cannons, they realise that they are powered down and inactive.
- The crew circle the facility whilst L’zadarma scans the facility for signs of life. L’zadarma finds no signs of activity other than a single source contained on the first level, whilst sporadic readings appear on one of the lower levels. Zax meanwhile spots what appears to be a crashed ship scattered across the surface of one of the landing pads. None of the crew are able to determine what caused the crash based on what they could see at a distance.
- Zax reluctantly lands the ship on a pad closest to the canyon exit, and the other prepare to disembark.
- Suddenly, clamps latch onto the landing struts of the Star Wanderer, and the entire ship begins lowering into the base via a huge platform. As the ship clears the hatchway, blast doors cover the only exit for the ship, and the platform lowering the ship grinds to a halt in what appears to be a docking bay.
CUT TO: Planet Isleis – Base Station 427 (Interior – Docking Bay 3)
- Two large blast doors stand closed across the bay, whilst two loader droids remain motionless nearby to a cargohold full of crates marked with Imperial insignia and the sign for eldissium ore.
- The crew exited the ship in order to explore the hanger bay. Arcz kept watch whilst KYN-11T and Zax examined the cargo, and L’zadarma and El-Isara examined the control panel to open the cargo bay door.
- The cargo was confirmed to be the eldissium and also contained a datapad with an extensive manifest. The datapad indicated that the shipment would need to be taken to the Dominus system. Upon arrival, the crew would transmit a signal on a specific frequency and await further instructions.
- L’zadarma examined the control panel and found that the system had been locked. She attempted to run a bypass, but found that the encryption module was greater than anything she had ever encountered, specifically the code behind it. El-Isara meanwhile reached out with the force and could sense a living being somewhere close by who was best described as frightened. She touched the door and reached out, with no more answers than when she started. She needed to get beyond the wall. She also noticed that the cargo bay was being monitored by security cameras. Subsequently, El-Isara attempted to communicate with their hosts, but to no avail.
- KYN-11T also examined the cargo droids, but was unable to get any of them to activate. KYN-11T then called for assistance from L’zadarma.
- Failing to open the door, L’zadarma went to assist KYN-11T with the droids. She too had the same problem with the activation, and even after pulling open the droid’s control panel, still could not get the droid to operate primarily for the same reason as the door – the code was being re-written as she was decrypting it. L’zadarma decided to replace the entire control module, and went aboard the ship to find a temporary solution.
- Arcz and KYN-11T took a position near the door to monitor the situation in case guests arrived to greet them.
- L’zadarma affixed the new control module and the droid began to operate successfully. L’zadarma then ordered the droid to begin loading the cargo into the ship, and both L’zadarma and Zax monitored that process.
- After a few minutes, the cargo bays opened to reveal a squad of antiquated Battle Droids. The droids leveled their blasters at the crew, just as KYN-11T opened fire wiping out all but a few, which allowed Arcz to eliminate the rest.
- With the door now open, Arcz moved to scout the corridor, and KYN-11T moved across to the door on the other side of the corridor.
- El-Isara could sense the fear stronger now, and moved across the corridor, following the emotion she could sense. She activated the door which revealed another hanger bay.
CUT TO: Planet Isleis – Base Station 427 (Interior – Docking Bay 2)
- The bay contained a beaten up Gallofree Yards Inc GR-45 medium transport. Several droid bodies that had been blasted apart and the remains of a charred humanoid body littered the cargo bay. El-Isara could feel the emotion even stronger now, coming from a series of crates near the door. El-Isara spoke calmly to whomever it was that was hiding, and a moment later, a man in his early 30s with blazing red hair and a horse-shoe mustache, popped out of a crate with a heavy blaster pointed in the direction of the crew.
- The man explained that he had arrived a few days earlier and that he and his crew were set upon by Battle Droids moments after arriving. Several of his crew were killed, and his friend and co-pilot, a Sullustan named Kinn Moot, was taken away. He claimed that he had hidden himself away to prevent being captured, but had not gathered the courage to leave the crate, in case he met the same fate as his crew.
- El-Isara assisted the smuggler, whilst KYN-11T relayed what they had found to Zax. Nervous of this newcomer, Zax ordered KYN-11T to keep an eye out for any trouble, and to not lose sight of the smuggler.
- The crew then left the confines of the hanger bay after the smuggler, who identified himself as Jock McCracken, grabbed some necessary supplies from his ship, the Nimble Pixie.
- Whilst this is going on, L’zadarma takes a look at one of the blasted apart battle droids left behind in the corridor. L’zadarma find that they are B0 Battle Droids, used by the Trade Federation prior to the Clone Wars. She informs Zax that there would have to be a central control unit somewhere in the facility controlling them. She further establishes that the droid frequency is also linked to the same computer program that works faster than she can slice the system.
CUT TO: Planet Isleis – Base Station 427 (Interior – Corridor)
- The crew wait for the cargo to be hauled onto the ship, before proceeding further.
- In the meantime, Arcz, El-Isara, L’zadarma, KYN-11T and their new companion Jock McCracken, make their way down the corridor towards another blast door.
- L’zadarma attempts to hack the door, but finds that she is unable to slice the system. Instead, she notices several ventilation shafts that may be able to assist in getting past the door.
- KYN-11T releases his probe-bot down the corridors to find a further passage.
- The probe identifies a larger number of Battle Droids assembling on the other side of the door, and a series of workshops. Inside the workshop, the probe provides images of two bodies, one of which appears to be oldest, its body dissected in some type of sick experiment. The other, is a Sullustan, and appears to have been operated on, with the side of its face replaced with cybernetics.
TO BE CONTINUED…