Here we have one of the player’s perspectives on the fourth Star Wars session. We’ve already had the basic notes, but it’s always nice to see the players making a contribution – and the differences in prospective can be rather revealing. It’s best to try to keep those to a minimum though: when the players are effectively playing similar-but-different games it tends to lead to a great deal of awkwardness.
Besides, the character perspectives are always more fun than the dry details.
Recordings from the Holocron of Kira Keldav: Session 4
We had decided to split the group. Khadim, 10CH, and I would remain on the surface and meet or distract the coming Jedi and Sith. Telera, Handell, Lazlo, Alys, Garyan, Ben, and the two kids returned to the underwater Sith base to try and gain control of the facility. Ben’s attempts to to try and test out the codes we had gathered on the Sith battleship’s computer backfired quite literally when he shot at himself with the ship torpedoes. Ben had now found himself more or less trapped with a limited air supply and no way to contact the Nightraptor.
Back on the Nightraptor, Lazlo and Handell were trying to decide why Ben felt the need to torpedo himself. They concluded that no Sith Lord could possibly be that self destructive, but even then, should they rescue him? As the debate onboard the Nightraptor ensued, it was decided that Telera and Alys would attempt to swim over to the battleship and mount a rescue effort. The kids would be left with Garyan and would try to get him to tell them about old war stories. At the time this sounded a lot safer than letting him find ways to keep himself occupied.
Handell had pulled the Nightraptor away from the battleship when the torpedoes were fired. Those torpedoes were big enough to cause quite a bit of destruction and it took some careful maneuvering on his part to bring the Nightraptor close again with all the muck stirred up by the blasts.
Ben decided that if he was to have any chance of surviving the next twelve hours, he had to rescue himself. He called up the map layout of the ship, and found that one corridor had been clogged with wreckage and the other was filled with mud. He figured it unlikely that he was going to be able to dig his way out. At which point Ben figured out that if the ship was able to recall the torpedoes, then the ship should also be able to send a call for help. He busily got the transmitter working again after he had disconnected it.
At this point, Alys and Telera were about halfway towards the battleship when everyone realized that the series of explosions had drawn the jellyfish to the site. The amount of poison they had was not going to be sufficient for that many jellyfish. Lazlo proceeded to use the ship’s blasters to provide covering fire, while Handell tried to start up the ship slowly to prevent dissipating the poison too quickly. Alys and Telera took refuge in a crumbled warehouse, using the partial walls and roof to restrict angles of approach.
Alys suggested that Telera use the Force to help keep the poison from dissipating, much to Telera’s shock. To Telera’s credit, I must admit there seemed to be something vaguely wrong with the notion of holding a cloud of poison around yourself. They were barely able to hold out long enough for Handell to bring the Nightraptor close enough for an escape as the jellyfish collapsed what was left of the roof. Lazlo provided heavy cover fire using the ship’s blasters again.
Ben was going over what was left of the battleship’s weapons that could be controlled. Looked like he had an ion cannon (little good that was going to do him underwater), some torpedoes left, the anti-boarding system (electrifying the hull underwater wasn’t a good idea), and the ship purging system. Realizing the ship purging system would release toxins designed to kill water breathers, it might help keep the Jellyfish off of him. So Ben started the purge system.
Now Ben tried to contact me using the battleship’s communication system. Here is where I learned of the events I just described, and found myself with a serious headache. I wasn’t sure what Ben was expecting me to do, considering I was a great distance away with no diving equipment and no boat to come save his rear. It also irked me to no end that now there were broadcasts going out from “The Shard of Devastation” to me. This wasn’t going to look good no matter what I tried. Little did I know, but the Jedi were already in orbit picking this up – plus bits about “inventorying weapons stocks” – from an ancient Sith battleship.
The Shard of Devastation was now requesting instructions since the crew had “just been purged”. Ben told it to go stealth mode and bring everything to standby while he tried to make his way back to the Nightraptor. As he tried to dig through the mud, he failed to notice something digging in and was caught in a jellyfish tentacle. Promptly paralyzed, Ben was screwed in my opinion. Luckily the toxins from the purge system were having an effect, causing the jellyfish to retract it’s tentacle and him outside the ship. I heard much ineffectual groaning in the microphone and I was wondering what the hell was going on.
Ben’s efforts to commune with the jellyfish and get it to not eat him were largely ineffectual. My experience has been that sort of thing only really works well with vertebrates or other complex organisms, and even then things are iffy when they are hungry and you are food. Telera and Alys, now that they were back aboard the ship, spotted Ben easily. Telera heroically managed to pull Ben away from the jellyfish using the Force. Alys provided more covering fire and Lazlo pulled Ben into the ship most athletically I am told.
The kids were having a difficult time keeping Garyan away from the guns. He kept rambling on about the value of guns, blades, explosives and immediate violence, which I am sure is doing wonders for their upbringing. I am really going to have to do something about that, I am sure Telera would agree. At least they seemed to think he was crazy instead of getting hyped up with his notions.
Back on the surface, I was about as prepared for the Jedi as I was going to be. I had my (makeshift) Jedi robes, a large hat to block the sunlight, a beach chair to lounge on, a big umbrella to sit under, an alcoholic tropical beverage with tiny umbrella, and had set myself up in the spaceport landing terminal just to make a point. Khadim and 10CH had hidden themselves in one of the warehouses to provide support should things turn sour. They could impersonate miscellaneous electronic equipment real well apparently.
The Jedi came down in an over blaze of glory as they dropped multiple combat shuttles loaded with Republic soldiers all over the place. They busily tried to gain control of all the weapons and hostile ships in the area, which was a real easy feat considering there weren’t any. I watched with considerable amusement on the whole affair until the soldiers began leveling all sorts of weapons at me.
I protested mightily at being disarmed, and turned their accusations of being a Sith back on them. After all, I hadn’t come to this planet with a small army, belligerently taking control by force, and taking people into custody just because they happened to be sitting there. The female Republic soldier that tried to handcuff me did not appreciate my comment that I was not into that “kinky” stuff and slapped me. It felt like high school all over again. At least I wasn’t handcuffed though, she seemed so annoyed that she forgot.
The Nightraptor was now busily fending off jellyfish, but was able to escape readily now that everyone was aboard.
As the soldiers loaded me into one of the dropships to head back into orbit, Khadim grabbed onto the outside of one of the dropships, dragging along a protesting 10CH. 10CH was definitely of the opinion that this was crazy, but Khadim is much bigger and stronger than 10CH was. Khadim even ripped off another missile launching pod to replace the one he lost some time ago.
The soldiers ignored the damage to the dropship for the time being, believing getting a senior Jedi to interrogate me was more important. A trio of older Jedi in their forties or fifties I would guess arrived and began one of the most asinine interrogations I have ever seen. They acknowledged I did not feel like a Sith, although one of them figured I might have learned how to hide it. My protests that I have been doing this for only a little over eight months seemed to sway two of them. Although again that same one protested that I might be an ancient Sith Master that has learned to transfer my essence into my student and of course I would deny that.
This led to the argument on whether or not me claiming to not be an elder Sith in possession of a young body was evidence that in fact I was. I called idiocy on this with the quip “Only secret ops would deny being secret ops”. The other two were inclined to agree with me on that. I further explained that we had destroyed the bio weapons we had found, had disarmed the collapsium reactor, and were wanting to dispose of the collapsium portion of it. I also explained, that if I was a Sith, I certainly wouldn’t have been sitting on a beach chair waiting for the Jedi to arrest me either!
10CH quietly informed me over the commlink that he and Khadim had managed to sneak onboard. Well good, that at least gave me an ace up my sleeve should things turn sour.
The argument was getting nowhere fast, although they seemed at least willing to believe that I might not be a Sith. The circumstances over the last eight months were just not in my favor. I was especially annoyed with the blank looks I got when I explained how to create an explosion using electricity and water. I finally got recognition when I compared it to a fuel cell. Score one for the high school and some college education. I am real glad I wasn’t raised in a Jedi Temple.
Suddenly Khadim and 10CH arrived, 10CH had been knockout darting all the people on the way, and Khadim was still tugging along that missile pod. This led to an interesting standoff with dozens of Republic troops and Jedi training weapons on us and Khadim wielding a missile pod capable of blowing a hole in the ship. The Sith chose exactly that moment to arrive. The Shard of Devastation was (surprisingly enough) the first to notice, as the Jedi and Republic forces were busy with me. I announced that since negotiations had come to a halt, and the newly arrived Sith were an obvious danger to us all, that we call a truce for the duration of hostilities.
Quick assent was had all around.
Ben made one hell of a precognitive effort and directed the Shard of Devastation to where we were going to need it. Even if we did not know what we were going to need it for. Alys covered it in jellyfish and seaweed to help disguise it. They came up with the idea that maybe they could ram the Shard of Devastation into one of the Sith ships. It had limited drive capability, but wouldn’t need much if they could figure out how to lure a Sith ship close enough.
The Jedi and Republic soldiers went to battlestations to prepare for the coming attack. We had nowhere to go, so I went to the bridge to see how the odds were after retrieving my lightsaber. Looked like we had a heavy cruiser, two light carriers, numerous shuttles and fighters. The Sith had some scout craft, two light cruisers, and a heavy warship. The locals were deploying half a dozen fighters and offers of alcohol.
In my opinion, the Jedi could probably stall for some time, but the Sith were going to win unless something drastic happened soon. Blast, this was going to be the third time I would be on a sinking warship in the last eight months! never mind the fact that it was the first time that really caused this whole mess! Damn it, not again, I swear it will not happen again!
Ben was busily trying to get the sensors on the Shard of Devastation working properly, and found he had to go outside to finish making adjustments. Alys and Lazlo provided covering fire and Ben was not eaten.
For all my swearing not to let this ship lose the battle, I could not find a way to make the situation on the map improve. I was about to curse my fate when Ben and Handell asked if I knew of a way to lure the Sith down to the surface so they could ram the Shard of Devastation into it. I immediately knew what I had to do. There was only one piece of bait the Sith would take and only the Sith would be stupidly arrogant enough to fall for it.
I asked the pilot of the cruiser we were on to take the ship down near the surface at the coordinates I provided. The pilot objected, saying I was outside the chain of command. Khadim wanted to know what the chain of command was. Admittedly, I went off on a tear then, lamenting that it was big idiots making decisions for little idiots under them, who in turn made more stupid decisions for the poor bastards that had to suffer the consequences. I could tell the commanding officer was seriously annoyed with me at that when Khadim misinterpreted my ranting.
He recalled that the bounty hunters at the guild had referred to him as “the biggest idiot they had ever seen” back when they had asked him to take off the helmet. Khadim promptly declared himself in command. When asked on what authority, Khadim pointed the missile pod at them silencing dissent.
The pilot began to take us down near the surface and was complaining mightily about how stupid this whole affair was as we would be an easy target. He did not seem the least reassured when I told him to be patient and trust me. Soon we were skimming the ocean surface with massive ship to ship fire going off all around us. The Sith followed us as I knew they would. They were so confident in their victory that it never occurred to them to wonder why the enemy was putting themselves into an even worse situation. Their arrogance cost them the advantage.
Garyan “fired” the Shard of Devastation into the path of the Winter Victory almost perfectly. I am afraid to ask where he had been practicing that sort of tactic. As the two ships collided at about the speed of sound, there was a horrific explosion that could be seen for hundreds of miles as all the stored weapons on both vessels detonated. Handell managed to get the Nightraptor through the underwater shockwaves with minimal damage, and the Republic pilot managed to maintain control through it all – although the fact that he was barely subsonic himself doubtless helped.
With the heavy Sith warship destroyed, the battle turned in favor of the Jedi. The Sith retreated shortly thereafter. The Jedi came to the bridge and demanded to know what happened. I gestured to the logs and let them see for themselves. The scene of a giant jellyfish draped in seaweed leaping out of the water into the path of the Sith was rather ridiculous looking I must admit. At first the one Jedi who’d come up with the “Ancient Sith Master” theory insisted that I had somehow had tampered with the logs in the short time it took them to come to the bridge. As it became apparent that that was nonsense, speculation ran rampant on how exactly I managed to arrange this.
I got vague and mentioned I had the services of a precognitive to thank for helping to set it all up. The Jedi didn’t seem to entirely buy it, hypothesizing that I might have the legendary power of probability control instead. I made a copy of the logs to post on the galactic net the next time I was able to connect. I intend to utterly humiliate the Sith and bounty hunters chasing me. It’s about the only way I have to strike back at them in any form.
The Jedi decided I wasn’t a Sith, and that maybe the elder Jedi weren’t as senile as even I had thought. The Jedi decided to respect the elders’ orders to leave us be and let Telera stay as a liason and guide. It seemed to bug them to no end the idea that they shouldn’t interfere. They cancelled the Jedi bounty on my head which made me happier. I couldn’t keep the smug look off my face as the Jedi grudgingly admitted I gave them a victory.
They did inform me that my future was cloudy. While a precognitive in my presence would go a long way towards explaining that, they also said my future was especially clouded. The Jedi decided to speak of these events to as few people as possible then departed.
Dropped back off at the surface, I awaited the Nightraptor to pick Khadim, 10CH and I. The locals were most upset over being “abandoned” by the Jedi and that we managed to cause that explosion that sunk the enemy ship. I tried to appease them, first by showing the stupid collapsium reactor had been disarmed and by telling them that we had been busily destroying bio weapons in the ruins. Plus we no longer had any Sith battleships to ram into anyone. That seemed to relieve them a bit, they were pleased that we were destroying the weapons, but were worried that we had found them in the first place. Oh well, can’t win them all. At least I think the locals believe we are not monsters.
I got a shard of the “Shard of Devastation” to put in my room for the irony of it. Alys and Ben bought better protective swimwear to use against the jellyfish. Ben had gotten pretty paranoid about the things. I can’t really blame him. I bought more sunscreen and some drinks for the trip. That drink I had on the landing terminal was very good and now that the cooler on the ship was working, I felt the need to stock up. The girl behind the counter was cute, but was wary of the whole “Sith” thing I still seem to have going. At least she didn’t run off to the mountains screaming. Damn it, I am going to have to ask Telera for advice on not looking like a Sith.
Cooler now fully stocked, we departed back to the Sith base. We were able to gain entry easily enough as the rest of the group had managed that earlier. We tried another one of the Sith codes we had purchased again with me relying on years of watching bad holos to guide my acting as a Sith. This time the code identified me as “Insert Sithy name here” who was apparently an inspector of some sort. I asked the computer for a full inventory of what was down here. After the list was read off to me, I then proceeded to ask what would happen if I found the weapons to be unsatisfactory.
That led to the computer informing me that the weapons would be destroyed, along with the staff being executed for poor performance. Seeing how the staff was already likely long dead, I couldn’t see any harm in that. Although I had the nagging feeling this was going to haunt me somehow. With the dead staff thoroughly executed for the lack of progress over the last four millenia, I proceeded to declare the rest of the group replacement staff under me.
I still didn’t have full rights to the place, but at least I could wander around without hindrance. The group distracted themselves getting the facilities to make new stuff for them as they broke the old equipment. Well, I suppose they have to amuse themselves somehow. I really need to get full rights so I can remove the blasted bioweapons and chuck them into the sun for safe disposal. Best to at least finish looking around for more surprises first.
While they played with their new toys, I perused the inventory again. Wait, experimental devices that granted specific Force abilities? Also devices that enhanced existing Force ability and other stuff. As far as I knew, that was blatantly impossible. To manipulate the Force, one had to be alive. This was why there were no Force sensitive droids after all. Something was wrong here, and it made my hair stand on end. Either what we had was an entire armory full of unholy artifacts of the Dark Side, or some assumption that has held for twenty one millenia was wrong. If this worked, there had to be some reason why it hadn’t caught on.
As much as I wanted to investigate that, we really needed to clean out the base and gain full control of the facility. We continued to explore the place and take an inventory of our own. As we swam down one of the corridors, Alys and I spotted something unusual on one of the walls behind us. I noticed a small difference in the color of the wall and Alys noticed the same spot reflected a glint of light suddenly. Instincts set in as I pulled out my shield and lightsaber. The others crowded behind me and Garyan swam forward looking for a fight.
I asked the computer is there were any escapees around this area and was informed that there had been a total of four escapes from confinement since the base was abandoned. Two had apparently died from lack of food. One was elsewhere in the base, and one was here. Or at least part of it was here. According to the records and 10CH’s scans, a crystalline silicon based life form able to restructure itself on the fly. I seriously thought such things were legend. Lovely.
It also apparently ate energy and could eat rocks. Vulnerable to kinetic weapons though. Well, I did have those throwing knives I had acquired. A telekinetic push with the Force should be enough to break the creature too. Garyan beat me to it though as he drew out a concussion missile launcher and took aim. The rest of us barely had time to swim further away before the crystal and Garyan attacked each other. Garyan was pelted with shrapnel and crystal spines while the crystal itself exploded in a hail of shards everywhere.
I couldn’t begin to block all the pieces, although I did manage to get the fastest and largest ones. We all took several hits as we were pelted by debris. Ben was knocked unconscious again, and Garyan had taken heavy damage. Garyan also seemed insufferably pleased with himself. The computer was asking if we needed medical attention. I confirmed we did and got us back to the ship’s medical bay for healing. Looked like – while there were more of that species around the base – that was the largest specimen by far.
Another query to the computer told me the other species on the loose was something that ate electrical energy hiding in the computer room we needed control of. Lovely thing about this one was that it could project stored energy into various energy weapons or shields. It could even mimic lightsabers.
Wait! I remember Nathan telling me something about that. Something along the lines that one of the major hindrances to modern technology was the static nature of the crystals used in everything. That was the reason shield systems and other things couldn’t change shape readily like in the Holos. Alright so this stuff is alive, but it is doing something considered otherwise impossible. I may have to ask Ben his thoughts.
Meanwhile I was of the opinion to find the easy way to kill these things. If we cut electrical power, how long would it take for these things to starve? Over a week apparently. Not sure I have that long to wait. On the other hand, cutting power before we killed everything in stasis is probably not a smart idea. Damn, looks like we are going to have to do this the hard way. Why can’t doing things the proper way be easy?
Well one thing is for certain. I, at least, don’t have to explain to a Sith Lord why my commander and his heavy warship got eaten by a giant jellyfish while trying to capture one measly rogue apprentice. I would have liked to have seen the look on his face though.