We Have Company
The PCs decide it’s time to be moving, and continue their way to the gift shop. They find a line at the Gift Shop, since they were bogged down by the commotion. A portly man at the front looks around at all the products, and innocently says he’s looking for something special for his little girl. The employee winks at him with an obvious face of recognition. She reaches down under the counter and gives him a plush planet Fornax toy. This man takes is as the woman winks again. He pays her 20 credits, gets 5 credit back, and with a stern look on his face says, “I’m married.”
Jash notices this little interchange and walks up to the man. “You’d better give that to me, or these stormtroopers are going to make an ugly scene,” Jash says, looking as intimidating as possible. The man doesn’t seem to argue, and hands over the plush toy, as well as the 5 credits still in his hand. Scared, he makes his way out of the gift shop and down the hall thinking, “This is turning out to be one lousy vacation.”
Scared tourists are running towards the docking platforms in efforts to escape the chaos. Down the hallway, at a long distance away, groups of Stormtroopers are seen collecting everyone together for inspection. Any resistance to the Stormtroopers is met with deadly force. Kinnon is seen stuffing something into his pocket, while Sodium stands nearby, looking for the others.
During the chaos in the hallways, the droid that was picked up in the junk pile activates and stands up. Apparently, he programmed a timer to activate after a certain number of hours. He looks around is becomes a little confused, as this does not look like the junkyard he hid himself in. Needing more information, he plugs himself into the nearby computer terminal, looking for some answers.
He finds that this ship belongs to a Morry Trik, and is called the Centennial Mynock. Logs of shipments, deliveries and pick-ups are listed, with the last entry for Freelon, Ord Mantell. The droid, known as VOM-IX, continues to scan the area and finds 4 Star Destroyers outside this space station, with hordes of TIEs corralling fleeing starships. VOM-IX begins to feel a little paranoid and nervous.
Meanwhile, the rest of the group have made there way over to the docking entrance doors, when Oran is caught by a random blaster bolt in the leg, and falls down, unable to get back up. The Stormtroopers for some reason seem to start focusing on the group, and command the PCs to halt. Jash seeing his friend fall to the ground, contacts him over his com. “Are you ok Oran?!” Oran insists that they need to get the item and go! He will be fine, he insists. “It’s only a flesh wound.”
As the PCs approach the doorway to the docking bay, 3 more groups of Troopers appear down the other direction of the hallway ready to engage. They access the docking bay with their temp passcode, and once inside, they can close the doors behind them. They are locked to anyone out in the hallway trying to get in. They turn to look at the ship, and Dradar notices lights on inside that he doesn’t remember being on when they left. He draws his blaster, and heads up the ramp first. There, he notices the droid they found in the junkyard, activated and plugged into the ship. Dradar says “What are you doing? And how did you…” VOM-IX interrupts and asks, “Can we depart this station?”
He begins to give a full description of the scene outside, and everybody agrees that they will figure this all out after they’ve avoided any imperial entanglements. Dradar jumps into the piloting chair, with Jash close behind him. As they try to pull out, a warning light comes on. “Tractor beam still engaged,” says a polite voice. Jash yells back to the droid and says, “Uh, hey. Think you can deactivate this tractor…” VOM-IX responds that he is working on it.
After a few short seconds, the warning light flickers off and the crew of the Wander’s Fortune is now able to makes it’s way out of the docking bay. VOM-IX yells back, “The tractor beam is now deactivated. I’ve also cloaked our ship readout to look like an Imperial Lambda Class shuttle, to hopefully aid our departure.” Jash and Dradar nod their heads in acceptance and think, “Nice.”
Oh, Look. TIES.
Once the PCs have left the dock, they now see the full scale of the Imperial presence. Just as the droid mentioned, not only are there the 2 Star Destroyers they saw jump into the system, but there are 2 more that surround the docking bays, each with TIEs flying around and escorting ships back to a docking bay.
A message from Oran cuts in. “What took you so long?! I just saw you blast out of here! Anyways, good luck. J-3PO should be getting you the coordinates soon. Just remember…” A slight pause is detected as footprints are heard approaching Oran, still lying on the ground. No longer talking directly to you, Oran laughs at the mysterious figure, “You’re too late. It’s already gone. And there’s nothing you can do about it.” A deep voice calmly responds, “Oh. Is that so?” A muffled sound is heard, and the communicator goes static.
Suddenly, one of the TIEs comes over the intercom. “This is TIE 882-1. Return to the docking bay for inspection. Your compliance is mandatory, and I have been given authority to use force, if necessary. Return to the docking bay now.” It fires a blast that hits just in front of your ship to let you know he’s serious. Jash response back with a story about the tractor beam still locked on, and they can’t seem to turn or do anything. The TIE pilot is aggravated enough that he’s herding ships all day, dismisses the ship and says he’ll check back later. He leaves to handle other ships.
J-3PO then comes over the comm. “My apologies, sir. We seem to be having a slight problem here on the space station, and data transmissions are currently being jammed. However, I have been able to secure this line, and will send the coordinates to you in a few moments with the same level of security.” Blaster bolts are heard off in the distance. Jash just tells him to hurry.
As the group are talking with J-3PO, 4 other TIEs move in from behind and start tailing the freighter. Dradar continues to fly straight, as to continue with the deception of not being able to steer. VOM-IX, with some suggestions from the crew, decides to try to hack into the TIEs system to shut one down. Although he isn’t able to break through the security on the fighters, they don’t notice the attempted hack and continue on course. The lead one moves up closer and begins, “This is TIE 998-b. Turn your…”
J-3PO breaks in again. “I’m terribly sorry for the wait sir. Have you had any problems avoiding the Imperials?”
“No, of course not. Just send us the data!!”
“Well, goodness! I’m sending over the coordinates as I speak. Good luck! Now to find Sir Oran…” The com trails off into silence.
Jash yells back to the droid, once again. “Hey, can you…”
“Processing astrogation coordinates. Hyperdrives activated.” The ship and all it’s crew blast off into hyperspace, without a moment to spare.
Take a moment to relax
Now safely in hyperspace, the crew get together and try to figure out who or what this droid is. Although, Kiinon and Sodium have seemed to excuse themselves, and are in a heated discussion in the other corridor. “Where is my payment,” and “The credits are being processed!” seem to be the gist of the discussion.
VOM-IX gives vague details about his history but mentions he works for himself. Jash recognizes his skills as a handy mechanic and helpful computers technician, and offers him a place with the crew. Kiinon then walks by and says, “Why is he here? He’s probably wanted for something…” and continues into the other room. VOM-IX take the opportunity, glaring at Kiinon, to mention ship details, and questions why this ship is registered to a Morry Trik. Yet no one here goes by that name. Kiinon closes the door just a little.
The crew decides to have the droid wipe the ship manifests, rename it the Wander’s Fortune, and add some fake details, just incase. During the ship data overhaul, VOM-IX notices that the Outboard power adaptors are needing replaced soon, the Thrust vector magnets are looking worn, the Hydraulic tanks are low in fluid and the Canopy fasteners look loose. But most importantly, he sees that the fuel cells are almost empty, and should just barely get them to Rago. A replacement will need to be found somewhere on the planet.
Attentions turn to the fuzzy, plush toy that Oran seemed so concerned about. The PCs place it on the engineering scanning table, and find a rectangular device in the center of it. After a few incisions, they extract what looks to be a data card of some type. Kiinon offers to care for it, but Jash insists that he will take care of it and puts it in his pocket.
One lasts minute scan of the crates and boxes in the ship finds nothing of importance, and the crew rests a bit during the 3 day journey. Dradar makes sure that Kiinon is not allowed into the cockpit, and draws a line that he is not able to cross.
Mystery at Rago
As the thin, blue lines of hyperspace drop to individual dots in space, the PCs find themselves arriving at the planet Rago. The system is a fairly uncharted place, full of moderate climate zones with lush vegetation belts due to the frequent rainfall. The coordinates from J-3PO are entered, and the crew begin their landing sequence. You come out of the clouds into a heavy downpour. Directly ahead is a protruding rock formation matching the coordinates, with a settlement of some kind and a landing pad next to a large river.
Dradar pilots the ship in a masterful way, even through the turbulent storm. The landing pad is attached to the building facility on a rare rock formation in the area. Any attempt to walk off this rock formation, or the walkways around the facility, will be quite unfortunate, since the rock formation is surrounded by swampy grassland.
After landing, a warning alert comes on telling them that the fuel cells are empty. The PCs will not be able to blast off for more than a minutes without running out of power to the ion drives, and they will need to find more fuel cells here on Rago.
The rain stops as they leave the ship, but has collected in shallow pools on the walkway. The area is eerily silent, except for the dripping of water. In front is a large, 2 story facility that looks to be in shambles. Broken windows, fallen boxes and a torn roof are easily visible. A tall swampy grass surrounds the rock formation it was built on. There are no lights on anywhere at the facility or on the landing pad, and no sign of anyone, except for a shadowy movement just beyond the furthest compound. A sign hangs on a post nearby that reads “Rago Eco-Research 2.” This seems to be the right coordinates that J-3PO gave, but it sure doesn’t look inviting.
Hello? Anybody there?
The group walks over to the facility, passing the speeder shed. Scratch marks and other scuff marks are visible everywhere, possibly from some sort of confrontation. It looks like there are even traces of what looks like blood in a few covered places. The smell of fresh rain is present in the air, along with a musty scent. Low rumbling of thunder from the overcast skies continue as they walk around.
Looking inside the shed, they noticed a couple speeders could fit in there to be used on the open swamp grass plain, but none are present. No fuel cells can be found out here to replace the damaged one in the ship. The PCs notice a ramp into the river for a boat, but no boat is seen. There is damage against the side of the shed, most likely from a speeder hitting it from a hasty getaway. The walls seems to be durable, but not permanent. Security cameras are on the outside of the shed and main building, but don’t seem to be on.
The group continues into the facility. They find a lab, cafeteria, living quarters and a communications center that has been badly damaged. Near the back of the building they find some offices, as well as a back door with stairs that go down to a lighted path that leads off into the distance. The group decided to open up the office, although Jash fails to pick the lock. VOMIX steps in with his fusion cutter and makes quick work of the door lock.
Inside they find a fairly average office space, but has a safe in the corner that looks inviting. VOMIX, once again, makes quick work of the safe door, using great care as not to set anything behind the door on fire. His skills pay off, and the door is opened. Inside, the PCs find a box with starship order manifests for X-Wings, A-Wings, B-Wings and Y-Wings. They all think this is quite odd to find in a place like this.
I Think I’ll Go For A Walk
After more searching, the group decides that the facility is abandoned, and they will have to make their way on foot to a second research facility that, hopefully, isn’t too far away. They do find some environmental suits to help deal with the rough environment they are sure to face. Sodium and Kiinon decide to stay behind, and they still haven’t seemed to work out their differences.
Stinging insects and undesirable smells permeate through the swamps as the group heads out to find some sign of help. The path from the back of the facility starts to fade into the swamp, as the beacon rods are spread out every few kilometers ahead. They walk all the way into the night, but luckily find a place to camp. It rains the entire night.
In the morning, a low hanging fog has covered the land. If it weren’t for the lighted poles that guide them along the path, they would have no idea where to go. They continue they trek, and come across some strange floating mushroom type plants that create a long pathway. Hoping to get out of the water a bit, the group try to hop onto them. Dredar seems to be the only one that is able to jump onto one, and VOMIX and Jash have no other choice but to continue in the marsh.
As the fog begins to lift mid morning, the PCs begin to hear voices, and start to see what looks to be the other facility. They have made it!
Rago Research 1
Upon arriving at the other research facility, groups of twi’leks, humans and duros come to the PCs aid, and help lift them up to the durosteal walkways. They had been watching them come through the morning mists hanging low to the ground. Some look at the group with amazement, while others are apprehensive to welcome complete strangers without know a bit more. The PCs are looking exhausted, smelling horrible and feel worse. But they are just relieved to be on dry, solid ground again! They wonder if the contact could be here, and if they have any spare fuel cells. Some ask the PCs “Why you are here? Did you walk the entire way? How did you make the trek on foot? Did you get our beacon signal? Are you here to help us? Who are you?”
The PCs keep to them selves a bit, not answering outright any of the questions that are posed to them. They do speak of Inun’emeh, but nothing of a delivery of any sort. One human with an unfortunate scar across the left side of his face, begins to stare at them very intently. He moves forward and invites them to follow him into the facility to dry off and recoup. As he moves away from the group with the PCs he leans close and ask them “Do you have the item?”
The PCs only respond with mentioning they are in need of fuel cells and don’t know what he means. By this time, they notice a couple other security officers following them. They aren’t sure about this guy, and decide to keep an extra eye on him.
Once in the facility, a group gathers around them, fixes them a meal and presents them with some dry blankets. One person, a female twi’lek introduces herself as Inun’emeh. Some of the people introduce themselves as Utri, a duros field agent, Cadan, a human speeder pilot and Ra’seca a twi’lek data analyst. All are still amazed that the PCs survived the other research facility and the trek on foot.
Once enough recovered, the group ask if they are able to speak with Inun’emeh in private. She complies and moves everyone out of the room. The PCs mention to they are in need of fuel cells and also have a delivery, and eventually show her the data card. A look of relief comes over her and she asks to see it. She pulls out a data pad, and inserts the card to view the contents. She then shows relief and a sense of urgency in her voice. The PCs can tell what they just gave her was important.
Inun’emeh offers them payment for the card delivery with funds back at the other facility, but seems hesitant for some reason. She knows whatever she shares next might add additional accountability to the group. She discloses that she is a member of the rebel alliance, and has another job they can do that will earn them more than this job. She offers rest for the night at this facility, and they can head back in the morning to secure the item for delivery.
The PCs accept the offer, and look forward to a little rest.