Here we have another player log submission for the Star Wars game. As always, such submissions are worth bonus experience points. – in this case, of course, for Kira Keldav.
We returned to the planet of Archegeph after retrieving the ancient Sith Codes from the Galactic Net (the galactic archives are really quite impressive). Once again the trip went smoothly, although I found myself periodically checking the fire extinguishers more often than was probably needed. Force of habit I am afraid.
As we dropped out of hyperspace around Archegeph, we saw there were additional visitors to the small back-water world. Not surprising really, we knew the Bounty Hunters and Sith were after us and the Jedi were likely going to be sending a team after us shortly. That coupled with the fact that this ship doesn’t have the fastest hyperdrive in the galaxy pretty much dictated that we wouldn’t get here first.
It looked like two ships had arrived while we were gone. One was a small and battered ship of some sort, too small to be ferrying cargo in my opinion though. The other was a freighter busily loading crates into the hold. Either one could be carrying hostiles. Around that time the Planetary Port Control hailed us, identified us as the “Light Freighter Arkyn”. They wished to direct us to our “usual” landing pad and informed us that a warehouse was ready.
Well, we knew the locals were having issues with their port control system when we last arrived, I suppose it was vaguely possible the system was giving them a false identification. On the other hand, I don’t like to think of myself as a complete idiot. They were deliberately trying to get us to land at a specific location and very likely knew who we were. The question had to be, what was their motive? Without more information, it was hard to choose a good course of action.
Debate further sprung up over the suggestion that we bypass Port Control and land directly at the underwater Sith base. I was against the plan, on the grounds that we didn’t know who was down there on the surface waiting for us; did we really want to lead them to a facility full of deadly bio-weapons? Nor did I relish the idea of being trapped in that base with Sith on the outside and hideous bio-weapons on the inside. Lazlo somehow wanted to construe this as “safe”. I chose to ignore him.
In my mind we had three real options. First was to play along and land at the port specified. Second was to ignore Port Control and land somewhere outside of town. Third was to flee the planet and head somewhere else. I disliked three because of the thought that anyone trying to retrace our steps was going to find that blasted Sith base. The Jedi would assume we had looted it and now had bio weapons to use, and the Sith would loot the place for themselves. Damn, it looked like the only solution was to distract whoever was down there with ourselves as bait.
Question got to be whether to land at the port or to land in some distant field and let whoever it was come to us. Lazlo piped up with some more nonsense on whether us knowing it was likely a trap would change if we would land or not. Since it did not, in his opinion, the only option was to just go ahead and land. Sadly the subtlety of the situation wasn’t nearly so simple. We need to land, but the choice of location could give us a considerable advantage if done right.
Recognizing that we could be up here for days debating the pros and cons of the two options, I asked Ben to look into the future and figure the probability of an ambush. At first it took some time clarifying what I wanted to know, but eventually he assented to sensed into the future. His response came back as “Unwilling allies can be found, but great danger also awaits”.
Hmm, while still vague, I can make informed guesses on the matter. I am willing to wager the local government are the “unwilling allies” in this and the new arrivals are the “great danger” too. I am also willing to bet that the local government is either being held hostage, or doesn’t want to see a massive firefight on their doorstep. That simplified matters immensely. If the government is being held hostage to force them into aiding our pursuers, then landing and performing a rescue could go over well. We might even receive aid from some of the local security forces in that case. Now if the government is trying to avoid a firefight, that also helps us, as we can land, take stock of the situation, and get the locals to help us in minimizing the damage done.
Given both of those scenarios, the best choice comes out to landing at the port and being prepared for an ambush as we land. The group quickly assented to the plan and Handell brought us in. The landing itself went smoothly, which surprised me, I expected missiles to be fired at us as we made our approach.
Once on the ground, a quick check on the monitors revealed a nervous little man with a datapad standing outside waiting for us. Alright, hostage theory has gained credence, and I am willing to bet this poor fellow is supposed to lure us away from the ship so that hidden snipers can begin to fire at us. Not being particularly durable, I was not keen to volunteer myself as a target. Much debate promptly ensued as to who would go out and be the bait to trigger the obvious trap.
Garyan eventually volunteered to do it as he loaded up with every weapon he owned and promptly stomped off to meet the nervous fellow. It was quickly obvious that Garyan was frightening the poor fellow, which only became worse as Garyan insisted on waving weapons, asking difficult questions, and acting in a generally threatening matter. Ben and Alys quickly went out to “assist” in the impromptu interrogation and the poor bastard eventually fainted. And Mrs. Beasley calls me a thug.
After attempting to make an impression of my skull into the bulkhead and managing to only give myself a headache, I too disembarked the ship. Ben and Khadim were discussing giving medical treatment to the poor port authority. When Khadim asked about “fixing” him, Ben took offense to my assertion that “fixing” sapients and fixing machines are very different things. They proceeded to drag off the fellow to put into our medical bay.
Meanwhile, Alys was looking at the datapad he had dropped when he fainted. Looking for more information, I asked if I could see it and Alys handed it over to me. It looked like whoever had arrived had informed the locals about our supposed “crimes” and declared us to be deranged Sith terrorists at about the same time the locals figured out what that collapsium reactor was. Ah well, that clears things up immensely. The hostage theory is correct, only the locals think we are holding them hostage with a planet killer weapon as opposed to our pursuers holding them.
This really needed to be cleared up quickly if the situation was to be salvaged at all. I was able to find the number of the official that sent the memo to the port authority guy at the top of the memo. I placed a quick call to his office in hopes of straightening this out. A secretary answered the line and wanted to know who I was. When I answered as the person in charge of the ship that just recently docked, she proceeded to scream in terror and the line went dead. OK that – and the background babble from the others – could have easily been misinterpreted, but still. Damn it, I am really getting tired of this nonsense.
Meanwhile, our new guest was in the medical bay receiving tranquilizers and was waking up. When Garyan wanted to interrogate him further, we shoved Garyan out of the medical bay and tried to calm him down using a combination of tranquilizers and the Force. 10CH also proved himself to be a very smooth talker for a droid. Finally the guy quieted down enough to answer a few basic questions. Looked like the locals were of the opinion we would destroy the world if threatened and were willing to give us whatever we wanted if we would just go away. It also looked like the locals were of the opinion that Alys was suffering “Ewok syndrome”, and was being manipulated by us as a potential hostage. Reports were also about that we had “kidnapped” the two kids and that I had corrupted Telera to the Dark Side, lovely.
Alright, looks like I will have to head to the government office to meet with Governor Menril personally. Lacking any means of ground transit, and not relishing the idea of flying the ship next to a government building, it was decided that taking the public transit was probably for the best. And while a “Sith” traveling on a bus is probably very hard to take seriously, it would be best if I didn’t attract that much attention heading there. Thus far, my wardrobe consists almost entirely of Sith robes.
Ben offered to lend me a set of his mechanics clothing, it fit reasonably well, and was unlikely to arouse too much suspicion. Ben then proceeded to get dressed in one of the spare sets of bounty hunter armor lying in storage. Garyan showed up dressed in one of my Sith outfits. I must have stood there dumbfounded for several minutes. I mean here we are trying to hide our identities from people looking for us and Garyan proceeds to do the most to draw attention to himself in the most blatant fashion possible. After Alys pointed out how silly his idea was, Garyan stomped off to change back into more suitable apparel.
I got on the hoverbus and headed for the government building. I still managed to draw stares from the other passengers gawking at my pale skin and white hair, a rarity it seems on this largely tropical world with everyone sporting a good tan. This, at least was a level of attention I was used to, having grown up with it all my life.
I would have found the area quite pleasant if not for the amount of sunlight. It is not just the fact that I sunburn practically instantly, my eyes just can’t quite handle as much intense light as normal ones. At least the doctors back home were able to correct the other vision problems that frequently go along with albinism. Right, next chance I get, I am buying the most potent sunscreen available, some sunglasses, and a large hat. At least this mechanic clothing covers most of my skin.
Unbeknowst to me at the time, but back at the ship, Lazlo spotted a speeder drive behind a nearby warehouse and not appear again. He proceeded to investigate, finding a pair of Kredath berzerkers unloading a large pile of weapons. A brief discussion ensued between Lazlo and the Kredath over what they were doing. The Kredath, having more bragging rights about weapons than brains, proceeded to spill the plan of attack. Lazlo informed the rest of the party about the incoming attack and Garyan proceeded to unload all of his concussion missiles at Lazlo’s location. While this neatly caught the Kredath by surprise, destroyed their hovercar, and eliminated the warehouse they were using as cover, Lazlo was not especially pleased at having been shot at with missiles.
A large fire fight broke out between the two Kredath, Lazlo, Garyan, our ship and their ship. Handell was at the controls prepping for liftoff, while Alys and Ben took gunnery positions. What followed I have not been able to reconstruct entirely, but there was plenty of errant fire causing a great amount of destruction across the port, many shots fired at enemies and allies alike, and a minor ship duel between our ship and De’arc’s new ship. Handell managed to end the ship duel within moments by landing a missile shot directly into the engine room of the enemy ship, turning De’arc’s new investment into a pile of scrap.
The Kredath were pacified after a great deal of effort on everyone’s part. The anti-personnel weapons on the ship proved to be a boon there I am told. Annoyingly tough creatures, if stupid in my opinion. De’arc left his ship and was apparently ticked enough at having lost a second ship to us that he proceeded to open fire at our ship using a hand blaster. Not that this would have done anything against the repaired shields, but it was a sure sign of how much he was beginning to hate us. Lazlo ran across the landing area and tackled De’arc as he was busily shooting at the ship. That video recording of De’arc being tackled by a diminuitive cat person is going on the galactic net the next time we are in Core Space and I am keeping a copy for myself, along with the one of the missile hit on his second ship.
The party then proceeded to lick their wounds, loot the downed ship, and take De’arc and the Kredath into custody. De’arc is proving to be an excellent source of supplies, whether willingly or not. Meanwhile, the bus I was riding had arrived at the government office.
The place was in chaos, it looked like the sudden departure of the secretary had everything in chaos – not that the government for an island of 20,000 was really that elaborate to start with. The man behind the desk at the moment looked to be lost at the unfamiliarity of the task before him. I felt sorry for the guy, especially since I put him there in a way. The blasted secretary could have at least listened to me for a few moments before fleeing to spend her supposedly last moments with her children. I briefly considered the idea of sending her a note to at least listen next time after this is all over.
Regardless, I walked up to the guy behind the desk and asked if I could meet Governor Menril. When asked my business, I stated that I was in charge of the ship that just recently docked at port and was hoping to clear up a minor misunderstanding with the government. While it looked like the guy didn’t quite get it, at least he didn’t run off screaming. He asked me to wait and went to see if he could the Governor away from some “urgent” matter for a few minutes. I didn’t feel the need to volunteer the fact that I was probably that urgent matter he was referring to. So I took a seat in the lobby and waited patiently.
Within moments Governor Menril was before me apologizing for the wait. Interestingly enough, my Force senses indicated that Menril’s liver was not in the greatest of shape. Probably been sampling the local cuisine a little too often I guess. Much discussion followed where I tried to plead we were not Sith terrorists, that the bounty hunters were spreading seriously twisted renditions of the truth, and that while we had a weapon of mass destruction, we had disarmed the detonation circuit. At which point the list of bounties on our heads was brought up. I asked for a copy, which he readily supplied. I began to read the list and swore to myself.
It looked like the bounty from the Sith on Force Sensitives was still out there, not much I can do about that. Of course the locals can’t seriously hold that one against me either. It also looked like the Sith had put out a bounty on me specifically, with notes of payment for anyone connected to me. Just great, this is going to make life difficult. On the other hand, if the Sith want to have me captured, then it is kinda hard to say I am working for them. Hopefully the locals will believe that this shows I am not an ally of the Sith.
Looks like the Jedi had very recently put out a bounty on me and the crew. Looked to be about the collapsium device and the Sith Archives we downloaded. Also looked like the Jedi wanted to talk to us more than capture us. On the other hand, it noted a team was on the way. Well, best I can do right now is to reassure Menril that I was quite willing to wait and meet with the Jedi.
The Republic also had one out on us. Looks like over that matter with Lesin. They were highly concerned over the fact that we managed to improvise “nuclear” weapons in the middle of an occupation, been at the scene of an assault on a Jedi Temple, and are suspected of kidnapping Telera and the two kids. Telera was to be presumed corrupted and no longer trustworthy. Well, can’t say that I blame them either, although they need to realize creating explosions of that power are far easier to rig up than even I realized a year ago. Can’t do much about that one from here.
The last one brought a smile to my face though. De’arc had apparently put on out on us since we stole his ship. We shall see if anyone takes him up on it though. Way I see it, it’s fair game especially considering the fact he attempted to kidnap us.
A quick call back to the ship to inform the others did not go as expected. Handell answered the line and when I explained what was going on, his reply that I was a “bad person” was of no help at all. Never mind the fact he was with me during the bulk of those events. Telera wasn’t much help either in suggestions as all she had to say was that the view was understandable considering the circumstances. At times it feels like I am the only one doing the thinking around here. Back home, if I was the one doing the thinking, things were going to hell in a handbasket. Looking at our present circumstances again, not much has really changed.
As I was finishing trying to explain the circumstances (loosely) behind each of the bounties to Governor Menril, I suddenly became aware of how quiet the whole building had become. Menril noticed my change in disposition quickly and asked what was wrong. I informed him that it had suddenly gotten quiet and that probably meant that an attack from the bounty hunters was imminent. Menril began panicking and so I shoved him under the desk. It should provide him at least some cover from the crossfire. I went to open the door, glad I had brought my shield and lightsaber.
How had they known though? Oh, they’d probably tapped into the local communications network. Considering the places lack of technical development you could probably do that with a can and a length of string. I should have expected it.
My initial plan was to skulk about and try to pick them off one at a time while throwing the civilians behind cover. Although the moment I sensed the presence of someone behind the door, I knew that plan was shot. Oh well, best to open line of sight on my own terms while it favored me. Upon opening the door I found myself in front of a Kredath berserker about to lay a pair of explosives on the door. With his hands otherwise occupied, I took the opportunity to knee him in the groin. The kick probably did more damage to my shin than to him, although it did manage to stun him if for a moment.
Seeing that there was a second Kredath behind this one pulling his own blaster made my heart sink. My odds of fighting one off weren’t especially bad, but two at once was going to be near impossible. I had to move quickly to at least get some kind of advantage. I pushed the shaped-charge contact explosive the one was carrying into his chest. The resulting explosion blew him back into the other one. They both appeared to only be mildly stunned at the blast and impact. Damn, the things were tougher than I thought. Retreating to the doorway to limit access to the room and keep them from coming at me at the same time seemed prudent.
I blocked the doorway, pulled out my shield and lightsaber and prepared for the attack. It came quickly enough when the second Kredath unleashed a flurry of blaster bolts at me. Either I tapped into the Force harder than I realized or the Force helped me more than I asked, because I managed to deflect all the shots with a great deal more finesse than I realized I had. Now if only I can learn how to reflect them back at the shooter, this could work well.
At that point the first one recovered, muttered something about annoying Sith in their language and pulled out what could only be a flamethrower. Not able to block that, I cursed loudly and tapped into the Force to enhance my speed. I threw my shield over my back for some protection, grabbed the Governor and jumped out the window. As we lept to the street, I could feel the blast of fire strike me in the back. While the shield afforded some protection, I knew my clothing was on fire.
We hit the ground, I dropped the Governor right there as he wasn’t a target, just in the line of fire. While I tried to put the fire on my clothes out, I saw the local security forces begin to arrive. Thinking quickly, I pointed to the now burning building and informed them that the bounty hunters had just assaulted the place and were shooting people indiscriminately. The idiocy of the Kredath favored me at this point when one of them lopped a grenade shell at the security team and I, lightly injuring us all.
Between the grenade shrapnel and the burns I had received, I wasn’t in too good of shape, but now the security forces were allies of necessity in this fight. It took a great deal of effort for us to subdue the Kredath, the security forces provided a great deal of cover fire for me as we brought them down. Once the battle was over, the Governor pretty much corroborated my story on the battle saying it was indeed an unprovoked attack. I tried the warn the rest of the party about the attack only to find they had won their battle already.
The locals didn’t seem very pleased about the current circumstances. Neither was I really, but we didn’t have much choice in the matter. I suggested the locals arrest the bounty hunters on attempted kidnaping, attacking a government office, and assault. They agreed to that and said they were going to send a notice of protest to the Bounty Hunter’s Guild. I really wanted to leave De’arc unconscious on the landing pad wearing only his underwear and posting a video of it on the galactic net, but gave into handing him to the local authorities.
I am really going to have to cobble together a submission to the holo series “When Bounty Hunters Attack”, the videos of him losing his first ship, then his second ship, and finally getting savagely mauled by a cat person has got to be worthy of a mention.
Let’s see, of the stuff we have managed to loot from this set of encounters, I am going to be taking some of the throwing knives, a blaster, one of the flamethrowers, and a suit of that armored clothing. It would probably be worthwhile to get a large piece of white cloth, cut a hole in it to pass my head through, and wear that over the armor. That at least should help with the cries of “Sith” people seem so fond of.
It looks like the Jedi and Sith will be here in a few days. Lazlo wants to retreat back to the Sith base and fight from there. He also seems intent on opening the room full of “Experimental Force Weapons”. I don’t know but to me, a Sith bio weapons researcher is not likely to have the same ideas of what constitutes a Force weapon as we do. I can easily imagine there being a Force-Sensitive Rankor down there in stasis waiting to be loosed. I do not want that or something else potentially behind us when the Sith attack. Quite a bit of the party ends up agreeing with the idea about retreating to the base.
I have concerns, plus there are the Jedi currently on their way as well. Someone is going to have to meet them and explain. Very well the group is going to split into two. Ben, Handell, Lazlo, Telera, Alys, and the kids will head down to the base. Khadim, 10CH, and I are going to stay on the surface and meet with the Jedi and either destroy the incoming Sith, or distract them from the rest of the group.
At the underwater Sith base, Ben was busily working on trying to find the appropriate set of codes to gain access to the systems. He had decided to use the warship’s computer as an isolated testbed. First code he tried ended up identifying him as “Lord Varhesh” and the computer asking for targeting coordinates. He designated one of the jelly fish breeding grounds as a population center for targeting. At which point the computer proved itself to not be as isolated as thought when it launched eight torpedoes at the jellyfish.
Ben quickly tried to abort the attack which brought the torpedoes swinging back to the ship again. The computer managed to dock seven of the eight torpedoes, which resulted in the eighth striking the ship, causing explosions and even more damage to the ancient vessel. Ben then carefully disconnected everything else from the computer before continuing again. Currently he is trapped in the ship with a limited air supply and the others trying to free him.
Alys was busy analyzing the weaponry of the underwater droids and trying to develop counters. Given the fact that the droids used lasers in the blue-green part of the spectrum, she determined that clothing of the same color would provide some protection. Last I heard, she was busily working on getting some made for the others. Lazlo and Handell were looking into what it would take to get some of the fighters operational again.
Handell and Lazlo also have come to the conclusion that we are all insane and suicidal. While I can’t speak for the others, I can say this, I seriously doubt I am insane, and there is a distinction between suicidal and desperate. Although they may not realize this, dealing with someone who is desperate is far more dangerous than dealing with someone suicidal.
In the meantime, I am still on the surface. Hopefully the Jedi will be willing to talk and listen to our side of the story, and the Sith will prove to have more confidence than sense. The battle site at the port should make for a good ambush site if we can lure them there. Worst case, if the Sith come with too many forces for us to overcome, then we may need to flee the planet and leave the others behind. Plus there is also the fact that the Sith bounty on my head also asked for anyone associated with me. I fear I may have to head to Alderaan and fast.