Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav – Session Two

   Here we have one character’s view of the events of the second Star Wars session with only one small edit.

   After coming to the surface at the end of the second day, we took stock of the situation.  I wanted to go ashore to see what I could do to speed along ship repairs, but offered the rest of the group that they could continue to explore the ruins if they so chose.  I was getting concerned that our pursuers may be soon upon us, and the lack of a ship to make a hasty retreat in was ominous.  Once again the group surprised me and elected to work on getting the ship space-worthy again.

   Ben took a survey of the hull and systems again looking for any surprises or things we might have overlooked.  While he had concerns about the how well the seams on the turrents would hold up to water, that should be easy to fix.  The impellor also was going to need work before the ship would be able to surface, sadly Ben neglected to mention this.

   Now it was time to sell our salvage and get some credits in our pockets.  The power broadcast unit was a monster.  The self-destruct option apparently rated in the 150 megaton range as far as the direct blast went – but most of the mass-energy of nine tons of collapsium shielding would go up in a burst of penetrating hard radiation, enough to kill pretty much every living thing within a couple of thousand kilometers.  I have to give credit to the nuts making the bio weapons.  Very little would have survived that kind of blast.  Ben took considerable time dismantling the self destruct circuit so there was no possibility of an accidental detonation.  I will admit, those several hours were some of the most nerve wracking in my life, and I was just watching.

   Ben finally managed to get the self-destruct disarmed.  Discussion then turned towards what to do with the thing.  The proposal to install a dummy self-destruct button wired to a camera and a transmitter which would send the ID of whoever pushed it to us was made by Ben.  I felt this was a circuititous method of finding out that someone wanted to kill us, besides if someone was that suicidal in trying to kill us, he probably wouldn’t get that far instead choosing to attack us directly in a suicidal attack.  The decision was eventually made to keep it as a backup power supply.  If that thing stopped working, we were going to have more issues than just lack of electrical power.

   We can probably find somewhere on or in the ship to mount the thing.  The power broadcast circuit could be a nice convienence item to have.  I could see reworking our stuff to charge off the system when idle on the ship.  Could help save us from forgetting to charge the power cells in all our stuff.

   Wonder how hard it would be to modify the lightsaber to charge from the broadcast system?  May be worthwhile to look into that.  Trouble is, I am not that good at the technical stuff, which is going to haunt me when it comes to my lightsaber I know it.  Telera apparently only knows how to construct or repair a lightsaber on a theoretical level.  I know the practical portions, having been through it myself, but my Master was assisting during the entire process.  I am really going to have to sit down with the manuals and Telera and see if the two of us can figure this out.

   In the meantime though, changing out the casing of the hilt and making other seemingly cosmetic changes is working out well.  My ability to get into tune with the lightsaber is getting better because of it I think.  I do know the dark gold casing with electrum trim is definitely resonating better than the black and white titanium casing I’ve been using.

   Let’s see, stuff we have for sale: 120 biostasis units, some chemicals, and extra spare parts (limited edition gold plated!).  Ben and Lazlo ran negotiations and haggling, I stood back and passively sensed for the merchants trying to cheat us.  I suppose I could have tried to “persuade” the fellow to give a higher price, but I wasn’t really comfortable with doing anything that might annoy the locals.  “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for” only works well in the holos or when trying to pass a checkpoint quickly, not when you expect to still be here awhile.

   We were able to sell 30 of the biostasis units before we flooded the local market getting 6,000 credits out of the deal.  Apparently not every kitchen needs a biostasis box around here.  Oh well, we were going to keep some for emergencies anyway, and we might be able to sell the rest elsewhere too.  We should have plenty of storage space once the ship is repaired.

   Speaking of which, Lazlo wanted to know what to do with the 16 containment cells the ship is equipped with.  When he asked Handell, Handell started spinning this yarn about the Dark Sith Lord (me apparently) trying to capture the secret heads to the 16 secret Jedi Orders.  I swear that was the plot to some holo or other I had watched when I was little, but for the life of me I couldn’t remember which one.  Now I have the urge to find out and watch it again, damn.

   Lazlo grew tired of Handell’s yarns and came to ask me my thoughts on the cells.  Well, our crew is much larger than De’arc’s and we were not as likely to be collecting prisoners.  What prisoners we were even remotely likely to take were probably going to be Sith, and I personally showed those cells weren’t going to hold a Sith.  Alright, let’s leave two of the containment cells for the moment and change the rest back to staterooms.  That still wasn’t going to be enough rooms for everyone to have a personal space, but that is substantially better than the present condition.  Some of us can bunk together if need be.  I had bunked with my little brother for years and survived.

   I asked Lazlo why he insisted he belonged to Handell.  “Because” he said and left it at that.  If it weren’t for the fact I gave that same answer to my parents numerous times over my rebelliousness, I would have pushed further.  Maybe it is best that if I can’t explain why I rebell, that I not ask Lazlo why he submits.  Besides I was currently occupying myself trying to teach Khadim elementary sociology.  The material I was able to procure was suitable for a sapient of age six, so it seemed like a good starting point.  Progress was slow, if only because a fragmentary consciousness of a planetary energy being had no concept of group interactions.  I hate to think how the other Khadim may be faring in the middle of this war.

   We proceeded to slap some of the jellyfish poison all over the ship and took it to the underwater ruins.  Only to find that with the bad impellor, we could not ascent.  Ben looked sheepish for a bit because of that.  Alright, time to salvage some more parts from the military ship still sitting down here.  We managed to find the parts we needed easily enough and got the system back online, no harm done.

   Finished completing repairs on the rest of the ship over the course of several days.  We managed to restore almost full functionality when we were done.  Ben gave his general approval over the state of repairs.  He expressed some disappointment we were using largely old parts, but they were functional and got the job down.  Plus I coulnd’t argue with the price.  Gotta love the fact that wreckage from an alien species dating back 4,000 years ago is still compatible with current systems.  I couldn’t imagine trying to keep galactic civilization running otherwise.

   We took the ship on a shakedown cruise around the planet.  All systems checked out and Handell, 10CH, and Ben all looked pleased.  I was glad I had a way off world should the need suddenly arise.  Jokes ensued about evading the Sith by taking a sublight course to another star system, by the time we arrived, any pursuit would have died long ago.  Plus, we would not have aged more than a few months given the relativistic temporal distortions.  About the only Sith that wouldn’t be avoided doing such a move would be Darth Terminus, Lord of Final Destinations.  Another good holo I must say.

   We went back planetside and continued exploring the ruins some more, having parked outside the ruins in the remains of the spaceport.  At the doorway into the underground complex, we were met by yet another glowing keypad panel.  Blue apparently signified OK, green was caution, and yellow was extreme danger.  Ben set himself to work after taking several precautions.  He tied himself down with a harness, told us to back away and began to work on breaking the code.  As best as I could tell it took him three tries to nail down all the digits in the code before he was able to break it.  Which was apparently a good thing as the safety and security systems would have gone off on a third failure I am told.  Most impressive indeed, my precognition is nowhere near that good by any means.

   We waited till the mud cleared before entering.  The hallway was lit with a dim blue light coming from a few lamps mounted on the walls.  Even then, I could still make out hints of color amidst all the blue, but white light was going to be needed for more definition even for me.  The tunnel itself was 10 meters across. It didn’t appear that any algae had grown over the place.  That said the place was very sterile or that the maintenance droids were still keeping the place clean.

   A nearby security console was displaying a diagram of some sort.  Look to be a map of the facility.  We sent in a droid to scout ahead of us.  Meanwhile the rest of us took our time trying to guess what we could given the map.  The holding pens look fairly obvious from the start.  Lazlo had his own rather odd guess for the room I determined to be the Colliseum Sith are so fond of.  I also figured another room was a likely candidate for a lab given what I knew of Sith tendencies.

   At this point, unbeknowst to me, Lazlo and Handell began discussing Ben’s motivations.  Apparently they were forming the opinion that Ben might be a Sith Bounty Hunter out to capture me.  Then ensued a discussion between the two of them on how subtle an approach this would be towards capturing someone.  While the idea has occurred to me, I prefer to avoid the endless what-ifs and go with the explanation that best fits the evidence.  Does that mean I trust him already?  No, I think it foolish to trust someone this soon, but maybe given time and things keep going as they are, I will.

   Lazlo starting scouting around what apparently is the Decontamination Chamber and storage for biohazard gear.  He wanted to loot them, I am of the mood to scout around a bit more and pick and choose the best stuff.  What I guessed to be a Colliseum turned out to be a mixture of a combat arena and a large animal testing chamber.  It even included an adjustable environment.  That would make the place a good retreat location should something goes wrong.

   We found several places that turned out to be blast doors.  I worry if they are to keep explosions out or to keep something inside.  We also found the monitoring room and used that to get a list of locations and what they are.  It was at this point we found out how extensive the maintenance facilities were at this base.  Looks like there is an entire assembly line of droids repairing machinery and manufacturing more droids as the old ones fail.  Oh, now this would be valuable to get control of.  We also determined the security droids were still active and likely to try to prevent theft.

   Drat, we are going to need to get Sith Credentials if we want to get more out of this place.  We asked the maintenance droids who was in charge.  Answer came back in a name that I simply cannot pronouce, I just don’t have the vocal arrangements needed.  But this guy was apparently a Sith of the Falusians, an aquatic species of course.  Well that neatly explained why the droids spoke the language.

   The suggestion came up that it may be possible to consult the Galactic Archives and see if the 4,000 year old codes had been declassified.  Seemed like a reasonable enough one to me, so I assented.  During the lift-off on the trip back to the Core Worlds, Ben was looking at power readings and scowling.  I briefly looked at them, couldn’t make heads or tails of them and asked what was wrong.  Ben pointed to the repulsorlift system and stated the power draw was notably higher than he would have expected as we left the surface.

   Handell started checking the ship’s mass, trying to determine if we have unintended baggage along for the ride and finds nothing.  Ben started tracing circuit wiring looking for a drain.  He was unable to find anything in the repulsorlift system that could be drawing the additional power.  Also he noted he did not see it during the shakedown run, although he admits he may have overlooked it last time.

   Eventually Ben did find a subspace transmitter in the shield systems.  He quickly determined that it was sending jump coordinates, identifier codes, and address codes to the Bounty Hunter’s guild.  Well that neatly explains how the Sith have been exceptionally able to track us this whole time.  Sith Sorcery wasn’t behind it at all.  That was a relief.

   We made the jump to hyperspace, and then Ben disconnected the transmitter.  Meanwhile we were able to get access to the Archives after paying an access fee.  That set us back 1000 credits, but I feel it worth the investment.  At which point we became aware that downloading Sith archives set off an alert to the Jedi.  Well damn it.  The Jedi can find out from the Bounty Hunters the location of the planet we were just at and any investigators they send are likely to assume we now possess hideous Sith bio weapons.  Never mind the Sith and Bounty Hunters are likely to be sending their own team after us shortly.

   Alright, I am tired of running.  This time we know they are coming and how they are tracking us.  I feel it is about time to turn the tables on this one.  The Sith have forgotten one of the most important lessons my Master taught me, “A carefully sprung trap can trap the trapper”.  These Sith think they would ambush me?  Then it is time to let them know they stalk an assassin trained in hunting Force users.

   Perhaps it would be a good idea to reactivate the transmitter, dump it into deep waters in the ocean along with a torpedo equipped with a proximity sensor to the detonator.  As the Sith try to go after the transmitter’s location, thinking they found the ship, the torpedo would detonate taking out our pursuers.  Although other options may be available, it would be prudent to consult the others first.

   I would rather try to talk to the Jedi and see if we can work out an understanding.  The problem gets to be how much do they know about us and me specifically?  The issue is further compounded when I think about how to determine whether any Force users that show up are Jedi or Sith.  Differentiating them in the heat of the moment is nigh impossible as best as I can tell.  Sure I can see differences in the Force pattern of Telera and my Master, but how much is that individual and how much of that is due to the Dark Side?  This will be hard.

   Time to ambush and trap the trappers.

Sir Arden Hardane

   Here we have the background for one of the early, playtest, Eclipse characters – in this case a young nobleman from a vaguely Arthurian world who possessed a modest (and quite acceptable) healing talent – and a legacy of far darker infernal powers that he struggled to keep hidden even as he was forced to use them.

   Sir Arden Hardane II, Keeper of the keys of Carnevon, Initiate of the Order Of Diancecht, Count Of Garloth.

   The dark gate opened in the corner of the room… The castle guards, wards, and defenses, had been easy enough to bypass; few such barriers extended into the realms of the dead. Among mortals, only the most powerful necromancers could walk those realms while yet living – but the unholy power inhabiting the slowly-cooling flesh of the sacrifice which had helped to call it forth was neither “mortal” nor, perhaps, truly “living”.

   The deaths would be untraceable… Even if, by some miracle, the killer could be located, they would find nothing but the rotting corpse of an unmourned thief and murderer, slain by a thrust to the heart.

   The Hellspawn’s burning eyes surveyed the room… There were several deaths to bring about – and several spirits to devour as the it had already devoured the sacrifice’s. Few things were as pleasurable as feeling a mortal’s essence writhe and die within the hellfire grasp of it’s psychic talons. The youngster first. His fresh, adolescent, spirit would help replenish the power it had expended to cross the realms of the dead – and he possessed enough magical potential that he might sense the deaths of the rest of his family if they died before him. The pact of summoning had called for no alarms…

   Arden grasped frantically for a dagger from the bedside table and tried to yell for help as the creatures hellfire touch fell upon him – but his blade was casually knocked to the floor while he choked on the burning, smothering, darkness which cloaked his assailant.

   The demon amused itself with Arden’s struggles for a moment – and then, in a spray of blood, casually rammed it’s hand through his abdomen to seize the pulsing organs in his chest cavity, The zone of silence was discarded – no longer necessary – as the demon opened the channel between them which would allow it to consume the dying boy’s spirit and life force.

   Arden’s eyes rolled back into his head as his lungs spasmed and filled with blood, his entire consciousness collapsing to a bright point under the pressure of ultimate agony – and then flared, as onrushing death brought his potential power into focus. Arden drew suddenly – instinctively – and with desperate strength, at the roiling, searing, core of infernal life force that had suddenly opened up to him – and the scream he was no longer able to voice burst from the flesh of the demon’s stolen throat, as Arden drank the Demon’s infernal life-essence to heal himself and replace his own lost vitality…

   When the servants and guards arrived they found Arden – blood-spattered, bruised, and in shock, but otherwise unhurt – collapsed next to the corpse of an armed assassin slain by a dagger-strike to the heart. With boy, corpse, and dagger all lying in a pool of fresh blood, the “investigation” didn’t get very elaborate…

   The house healer and magician dismissed the traces of dark magic as remnants of the portal which had let the would-be assassin in – but noted that Arden’s healing talents had erupted into operation. Evidently he’d taken a serious wound in the attack – and had healed himself in a traumatic eruption of power. He’d need some training – but it showed excellent potential.

   No wonder the would-be killer had been startled enough to leave himself open to a mortal blow