Here we have a mostly in-character log for session six of the Star Wars game; I’ve edited a bit and inserted some notes on what the other characters were doing, so it can also serve as a general session log.
The relocation of the base was going smoothly if not quickly. They make this sort of thing seem so fast in the holos. I guess that is another bit of fiction too. Oh well, I can cope. There is still plenty of time to get back to Alderaan for the Festival of Masks.
Currently I am on my way to the Governor’s office to confirm the destruction of all the bio weapons we had found. Once again I was riding the hoverbus as there was no other means to get there. At least with our resources. Annoyingly, the locals were still sitting at the opposite end of the bus from me. You would think they would catch on to the idea I am probably not a Sith, but it seems the rumor mill is big on conspiracy and small on common sense. Am I ever going to be rid of this stigma? The rumors that I corrupted the entire Jedi fleet within hours – and made a major Sith Lord flee in terror of my presence – are amusing to say the least.
At least the government seems to think I am not a Sith, probably anyway. The biggest thing in my favor is that the Jedi took the time to drop 10-CH, Khadim-17, and I back down on the planet instead of hauling me back to the Republic. Plus there is the fact that the government’s operatives have confirmed we are destroying the bio weapons we come across. They don’t like the fact I am keeping the records and genetic samples, but I am not really in a overly generous mood at the moment. There are some things I just have to do for me, regardless of what others may think – and destroying the records would be incredibly stupid when at least one of the species is already on the loose!
One of the other passengers on the hoverbus walked up to me and asked if he could sit across from me. I had nothing against the idea and told him to do as he wished. After he sat down he began to ask if we had our own ship as the stories told. I figured he was wanting to get offworld and looking for a ride. His story pretty much confirmed that much. Apparently he had annoyed ones of the Hutts over a large unpaid gambling debt. I’ve seen worse sins and I am not about to hold the fact that people are after him against him.
Turns out our new friend, named Jarik Alder, is a doctor. Well we could use a doctor, especially with the way Ben is continually getting himself badly injured. An agreement was quickly reached – medical services in exchange for transport. Alys gave him some credits to go stock our med bay with needed supplies since he knew what to get. I get the sneaking suspicion that he detoured on the way, but it does look like he acquired the requisite supplies in the end so I wasn’t going to make a point of it. There are days I think Alys is a bit too trusting of people she just met.
Jarik had, in fact, carefully considered who to approach; of the four who were out and about while everyone else healed, the rumors said that Lazlo was either a servant or some sort of super-soldier bioweapon (although at least he’d given up on the idea that the Jedi robes gave them their power, and had given them all back), that Alys had been kidnaped and brainwashed (she’d even gotten a message from her family on Coruscant, informing her that they were sending assistance and making a none-too-subtle attempt to see if she had been kidnapped), and that Khadim was some sort of damaged war-robot (or why would he be studying all that basic data?), and that Kira was on the planet to salvage a lost Sith Fleet and attack the Republic from an unexpected flank. It was sad when approaching the supposed Sith Lord was the sanest and most practical option.
The government was actually pretty sure that Kira and company were neither Sith nor in the service of the Sith – but they were pretty obviously trouble magnets, and they didn’t need that either.
With the equipment from the base more or less relocated, and the six ancient Sith Hierarchy guards and technicians (still under the impression that Shipwreck was the “Darth Revan” that THEY remembered) working hard on getting things set up, our next set of priorities were going to be getting the needed funds, personnel, and time to get it operational. Especially if we wanted to install a hyperdrive and make it able to enter gas giants.
Well first off we were going to need funds, everyone agreed to that much. Money didn’t solve everything, but having a lot of it to throw around did solve quite a few things. Luckily I had an idea to get us money and get me to Alderaan with no one being the wiser on my ulterior motives.
I informed everyone that there was a Festival coming up on Alderaan and that exotic beverages were going to sell for a premium during the event. Since we were on a planet loaded with all sorts of exotic alcoholic beverages, it would be a simple matter to stock up, go to Alderaan, and sell for a tidy profit. Ah the wonders of having our own freighter at our disposal. Everyone agreed that it was a good plan and set off to stock up on goods to sell – with the biostasis systems to keep the fruit fresh.
Ben was hard at work tinkering with some of the spare units – some idea he had about “biostasis belts” to keep the injured stable while they were being taken to treatment (not a bad idea for him, considering how much he got hurt), Handell and Shipwreck were trying to drink each other under the table, and most of the rest were out shopping – so I had a little time.
I needed to do something to disguise myself. Hair dye was readily available at the store, but the blank looks I got in asking for a spray-on tan did not encourage me. I was annoyed at the exclamations that I should just use some sunscreen and lay out in the sun for a while. Apparently it never entered their minds to notice that despite my being on this world for however many weeks now, that I was as pale as ever. Explaining the fact I cannot tan got a flicker of recognition at least, and they told me to go to the body shop for a modification.
Back home, such modifications took forever to take effect and had less than stellar results most of the time. Plus when you added how much the procedure cost, it was cheaper and easier to get the spray-on tans. I always hated those things when I was young and had been avoiding them once I became an adult. Oh well, best to see what the local offerings were. The body shop offered several different melanin treatments of various qualities for a lot less money than I was expecting. They were off by two orders of magnitude from what I recall back on Alderaan. I figured I would make the best of the situation and ordered one treatment of highest quality hoping it would have a noticeable effect in the coming weeks.
I was seriously not prepared for what I saw in the mirror the next morning. My skin had gone as black as my hair was white. Not what I was expecting at all. Ok, the local melanin treatments were a lot better than anything I have ever seen before. On the other hand, I have gone from albinism to melanism overnight. I look like some fantasy character or one of those humans from a desert world. I quickly confirmed that this was going to last months before all the melanin broke down. Whatever enzymes the locals are harvesting from the jellyfish, they sure are effective at what they do. No wonder the damned things can eat through starship hull material.
Well at least this would make it much harder for the people of Crevasse City to recognize me. I look like I am from Tantooine, not Alderaan. Alys asked me what had happened to me. My reply about being caught in a chocolate factory explosion was probably a bit more sarcastic than necessary, but I was in a bit of a foul mood over this. I made a second trip back to the body shop and specifically order several more injections that would bring my skin tone closer to my brother’s whenever this batch finally wore off.
Meanwhile, the others had stocked the Nightraptor full of alcohol and fruit. Shipwreck seemed to take to the idea with a great deal of enthusiasm, although most of the group bought wares to sell. Luckily enough, none of them had the awareness to notice that despite it being my idea, I had not bought anything to sell. Now Alys did get a bit suspicious when I gave Shipwreck pointers on what types of drinks to buy for maximum profit, but I did my best to deflect things. The less the party knows the better. It will help them get in the good graces of the Republic if they can claim ignorance to my plans should they go wrong.
I loaded my lightsaber onto the Nightraptor and joined Alys aboard her ship. Hopefully the Nightraptor and I would meet again, but the best way to get through security checks would be to be as far from my lightsaber as possible.
During liftoff Shipwreck noticed some sort of coded message being sent out ahead of us. Apparently the man is really talented at handling sensor systems… Well it was either the locals informing the Republic, or spies informing the Sith. There was no easy way to tell without going back and doing a systematic search of the planet. We didn’t have time for that. I did ask Ben if returning or continuing forward was most likely to give us the most trouble. Ben’s precognition suggested staying was going to lead to more trouble. So we all agreed to continue on to Alderaan. I am told Handell’s course layout was very efficient, not that I could tell anything looking at it.
The journey was quiet. While it was a bit crowded on Alys’s ship, it was a far sight quieter than the Nightraptor was getting to be. Plus it gave Alys and I time to work on my story of being an Outer Rim body guard named Khan Sidaris she picked up after recent incidents on Archegyph. We spent time practicing before we finally dropped out of hyperspace in orbit around Alderaan.
I would say it looked like the Republic was expecting me, but I highly doubt that I warrant a full carrier battle group. For around Alderaan was a carrier battle group. It seemed that there had been some “reliable intelligence” indicating that the Sith would be making another strike on the place. What was it with Sith and Alderaan? Was there an exclusive Sith club that you couldn’t join unless you’d attacked the place? Regardless, that didn’t bode well at all. We were immediately challenged – and found that there was a hold on the Dusk Griffin and Alys; she’d been reported as probably having been kidnaped and brainwashed. We got scooped up with five dozen other ships that either had something wrong with their paperwork, a legal hold, or had said something wrong to the communications people, and promptly gotten taken aboard and given a quick scan-search.
After we had disembarked, a Republic officer came aboard and asked for identification and travel plans. He had a lot of questions for Alys regarding her supposed kidnaping on Archegyph, and who I was. Alys glossed over a lot of details, and the fact I was claiming to be from the Outer Rim helped explain why I didn’t have any valid ID. Fortunately, there really wasn’t anything wrong – and my new description was so blatantly wrong for Kira that my new identity actually made it by – mostly due to them focusing on Alys and the fact that there was nothing aboard that shouldn’t be, but still good enough.
Then we were shoved into a long line for customs. It definitely looked like traffic around the planet had ground to a virtual halt with the fleet here. Half the rumors floating through the line were about the possibility of another Sith assault on Alderaan in the near future. Possibly being led by Sith Lord Kira Keldav no less. It seems that my reputation has gone wandering off adventuring without me. I guess it was a good thing I came in disguise given the amount of security right now.
Eventually we were allowed to continue our landing on Alderaan. We found out that the Nightraptor had been delayed due to a combination of Handell’s drunkeness and Lazlo’s apparent potential to be a hideous Sith bio weapon or evidence of a major crime against Republic law. I am not sure I buy the whole super soldier bio weapon idea; the idea of someone with more equipment than sense trying to create some sort of super pet for some rich idiot seems to fit better.
All that was true enough, if a bit understated. Responding to a request for identification with the phrase “We’re the… we’re the… The something Dark it was. Yes. The dark thing with claws. Something like that! Me? Drunk? I’m not as think as you drunk I am!
The military wasn’t interested in minor legal violations, like starship operation under the influence – but they had figured that, as crowded as things were at the moment, Handell was a navigational hazard.
Of course, once they’d identified the ship and glanced at the reports from Archegeph, some pre-docking inspection (to confirm that the reactor could no longer be detonated) and debriefing of the crew was only to be expected. Even having a Jedi along couldn’t just get them past all of that – although the Republic didn’t care that they’d stolen the Nightraptor from a bounty hunter; he’d been engaged in kidnaping at the time, since the bounty he’d been after was illegal under republic law; if he’d lost his ship to his targets, that was his own tough luck.
The cargo of booze and fruit wasn’t especially threatening, 10-CH managed to evade inspection thanks to his cloaking systems, and they explained Khadim taking as a practical joke – after all, no one was actually in the armor.
Lazlo, for good or ill, hadn’t been good at concealing the fact that he thought that he’d been created from scratch in a lab as property – either a gross violation of the Republic Charter or (perhaps) a super-soldier project given his enhancements. That led to quite a lot of psychological testing and interrogation and the institution of a tracking-and-monitoring program when it was determined that Lazlo really didn’t seem to know anything useful.
Handell – even as drunk as he was – had tested as extremely competent, so the story of his being from a subrace that needed alcohol to function was reluctantly accepted, although they advised him to have it medically documented to avoid future difficulties.
They’d all confirmed the “Jellyfish” story too, but no amount of “eyewitness testimony” was going to get that one to full acceptance.
Handell’s drunken piloting was very impressive apparently. The story that he might actually need alcohol to function was becoming increasingly plausible by the day given what I have seen. It also appeared that the military couldn’t disprove the idea either. Eventually the Republic finished their testing of Lazlo and Handell and released them both, but not before lecturing the others on the idea of documenting Handell’s “problem” and getting them to promise to watch Lazlo for odd behavior.
By the time the Nightraptor hit the surface at the port city of Aldera, I had already gotten a good overview of the local news since I was last here. Looked like the Zindal fields were finally safe enough to no longer be radiation hazards. Apparently growing genetically-modified grass designed to leech the radioactives out of the ground for easy removal was the origin of grasspainting. Can’t say I really knew that, not that I ever really cared for the whole business anyway. Only on Alderaan would they make nuclear waste cleanup an artform.
I think Alys could pick up on some of my irritation when I explained some of the basics involved in “modern” grasspainting. On the other hand, the cleanup of the Zindal fields meant that the cleanup of Alderaan is finally complete. I hope that is a good omen for the future. The festival celebrating this event might be worth going to if I could swing it.
A new museum was being dedicated for the visual arts. I could just see my family trying to get some works listed in there. Father always took his art seriously and Nichel was following in his footsteps.
A touring theatre group called the Chardian-Bokor Theater Company was also on world doing pre-Republic plays. I seem to recall Handell mentioning them and something about riots on several worlds. I seriously suspect he was exaggerating, but the coincidence level that they happen to be here of all places does not bode well.
There was also more confirmation of the rumors that an attack on Alderaan was expected in the near future. Given the fleet in orbit, I would say the odds of a full scale assault were unlikely. If it were me, a small strike team would work better if there was some objective to be had. There just isn’t any way for the Sith fleet to take one of the Core Worlds without breaking the Republic fleet first. The supply lines are just too short and the fleet is too large to launch a sneak attack fast enough to conquer a world before help arrives.
Next up was more stories and rumormongering regarding supposed Sith infiltration of Alderaan. They even had interviews with all sorts of people willing to claim harassment by Sith. I about spilled my drink when Mrs Beasley came on and started talking about me being a full Sith now out to poison her cats. Of course, I shouldn’t have been so surprised at the accusation from that crazy old bat, but her timing was once again impeccable. She always could be counted on to produce the most damning nonsense whenever authorities were looking for me.
Alys had watched the interview as well and was obviously convinced I was hiding something from her. The story that I had visited this place before was getting me far anymore either. Looks like the cat will be out of the bag before long.
With the Nightraptor on the ground we began to disembark in earnest. It took some work getting my lightsaber through customs, and I was surprised few of the others tried to smuggle weapons; they just accepted having their light personal sidearms locked down into stun settings and leaving anything heavier onboard… Apparently they take the whole idea of Alderaan being a peaceful world seriously. They would have been right most any other time, but some factors were different now. Me being one of them.
The group sold their alcohol and produce for a tidy profit like I promised. We all began to shop for masks and costumes for the festival.
Alys rejected an elaborate Sea Dragon mask and Phoenix costume, and settled for a Crystal Drake. Handell dressed up as a legendary merchant named Captian Vaenderi who’d been reputed to have a hoard and tastes more extravagant than most Sith emperors; he’d built a fabulously luxurious private ship, stocked it for decades, crewed it entirely with good-looking young women, and had never returned. Lazlo dressed as one of the species of animals supposedly driven extinct by his gluttony (they’d apparently been the primary ingredients in some exotic delicacies). Ben picked a Moon Moth for reasons I do not think will be clear for some time. Shipwreck pulled out his old military uniform and was being a proverbial stick in the mud as far as Alderaan society was concerned. Jarik went with the currently very unpopular classic Sith Overlord costume with toy lightsaber. Telera went with the lighted fright wig and putty nose. I went for the legendary Jedi warrior costume if only because it made carrying a lightsaber easier to explain.
Alys went off to do some recruiting for our new base. Ben went parts hunting (fusion cutters and life support systems for their new base, massive power plants and repulsorlifts, hyperdrive units for bulk freighters). Shipwreck went into tourist mode. Jarik went gambling and trying to stay out of trouble. Handell went to find more alcohol and spice and “culture”, and to look up his old actor-friends, and to find a few speciality parts of some sort, while Lazlo tried to keep him out of trouble. Meanwhile I went hunting for my family and friends.
The festival quickly began and streets became crowded with people. Republic soldiers patrolled the streets in large formations. The police also appeared to be out in force tonight as well. This is going to make life interesting to say the least.
It quickly became apparent that Sabrina, Nichel, Nathan, Dorothy, and Barcos were not running around together this year. Well drat, that made life a lot harder for me then. The Dark Side flickers I (and some of the other force sensitives) were picking up were not helping matters either. The Sith were clearly on the hunt and I thought I knew the targets. I had hoped I could find them first, but with them split up like this, the odds weren’t good about finding them all before the Sith did.
The theatre company was doing a play on the rise of the Sith prior to the Republic. This one was “The Infiltration of Naphim”, all about the Sith infiltrating and taking over some peaceful world and how clueless everyone was to the danger. Lots of generic information on how to recognize the signs of someone being a Sith was prominently displayed. What bits of it I caught were rather generic from my perspective. What bothered me more was the timing of it all. Plus there was the question: why do the Sith target Alderaan so much throughout history? Even in the movies they are either destroying the planet or busily trying to conquer it. Almost like fate conspires against the world or something. It is something I have yet to understand.
Jarik was getting into trouble with his gambling and needed to be rescued by Shipwreck. Telera was watching the play with Handell (who was womanizing) and Lazlo (who was being througly flustered by a young woman who thought he was cute), and the crowd – and was getting concerned over the potential for a riot. Jarik was helping the medics around town and noticed a large amount of serious injuries occurring – all unarmed-combat stuff, but there were a lot of people out there with serious training BESIDES the troops. When he attempted to inform the police, he got brushed off and dismissed summarily. When Jarik brought it to my attention I told him it was likely signs that the police had been infiltrated and told him to move accordingly.
Meanwhile I had found Barcos. He was in his parent’s restaurant being asked questions by what could only be a bounty hunter. Barcos was definitely a little drunk from what I saw too. I tried to interpose myself between Barcos and the bounty hunter and be annoying enough that hopefully the guy would leave. Luckily the bounty hunter hadn’t recognized me yet, nor did Barcos.
Khadim had been monitoring the frequencies back in the ship. Found a lot of radio traffic going around. Most of it Republic traffic, but there were old Republic codes from 200 years ago in use too. Those were probably bounty hunters then; those codes were old enough so that they were still semi-classified and expensive to get, but were new enough to still be usable. Plus a third set of signals that couldn’t be read at all. Those were most likely Sith. The bounty hunter channels had listed that one associate of mine had already been picked up and delivered: Dorothy Glithe.
It looked like they got her using the tracer her parents have on her. Considering the lack of news about kidnapping, she had to still be on the planet. That meant whoever they delivered her to was still on Alderaan as well. I am going to have to move FAST if I am going to have any hope of rescuing everyone. At least Lazlo was getting Handell back to the ship now in case we needed the support. I really don’t like the idea of it coming down to a dog fight with one of my friends hostage.
From where I was, it was becoming clear that Barcos was drugged. I did what I could to help him while becoming more belligerent with the bounty hunter. The idiot was either too stupid to realize I was “patrolling my turf” or arrogant enough to think he could ignore me. Realization dawned on him on who I was when I offered to take the dispute outside to the authorities and he fired a dart at me – which I dodged a bit too readily.
Well damn, another thing gone wrong tonight.
He pulled out a weapon, several cops I didn’t recognize showed up (probably more bounty hunters), Officer Larson showed up and recognized me immediately (sigh of course), and I pulled out my lightsaber. I do not know who cried Sith at that point, and I really don’t think I care who did.
Outside the riot Telera feared started in earnest and I found myself between a lot of bounty hunters and one of my friends. Meanwhile another friend was being held captive somewhere. Plus I still have no clue where the rest are.
Actually, Ben had triggered off the riot to provide a diversion. Lazlo was trying to get Handell and the young woman he was towing along away from the riot and the Sith while Handell called the Nightraptor to him. Jarik was still assisting the medics, Shipwreck was frequency-scanning and getting ready for a fight, and Alys was looking for a better weapon.
Damn it, this isn’t good. I can’t move fast enough to head them all off. The rest of the group doesn’t know my friends and family enough to pick them out of a crowd either. If I am going to ensure the Sith don’t escape with anyone, then I am going to have to bring the planet into full lockdown then – and I only one way to pull that off; I am going to have to inform the Republic that I am down here, started a riot, am attempting to kidnap colleagues, and then that I hope to escape offworld. Hopefully the Republic can blockade the planet quickly enough to prevent any of the Sith and bounty hunters from escaping.
Force, I know I don’t behave as I should. I have never been much of a model Jedi or citizen either. Please let me save everyone just this once. I am willing to sacrifice my freedom and my ability to go home again if I have to. I just don’t want to see the others get hurt because of me.