Galaxy in Peril

Perilous Destiny - Prologue
It is a typical gray cast day. I am tending the fields with my younger brother and my father. Out where we live we do not see many people. We are far enough away from the spaceport, that we do not even see ships fly overhead.

When I look over at my brother his eyes are as wide as saucers. I look up in the direction that he is, and see an Imperial shuttle descending from space towards our farm. My father looks up. He does his best to keep the fear out of his voice, but you can see it in his eyes. He says to us “Hurry go get your mother and run to the lake, if you hide in the cave on the northern shore they won’t be able to find you.” My brother sets out immediately for the farm house. “Dad? What about you?” My dad looks over at me with sadness in his eyes and says “I wish we would have had more time, I should have taught you, what little I knew about the force, your mother and I always suspected you had the gift. Now go, I’m just going to talk to them and see what they want. GO!”

I set off in a sprint. My mother and brother are already running out of the house. We cut through the woods trying to avoid any obvious trails. It had been raining a lot of late, and footprints would definitely stand out on the muddy trail. We get to the lake and immediately break for the cave. Once inside we get as far back from the entrance as we can. My brother panting looks at our mom, and stands guard by the entrance. My mom tries to smile bravely. I rack my brain for reasons why the Empire would want anything to do with us. “Mom? What do they want?” I ask. Twenty three years old and I sound like a five year old, I don’t know why the sight of the shuttle filled me with fear, but even now I’m shaking.

My mother sighs and looks at from my brother to me. “You were only three when we went into hiding, your brother was just born and your father was a Captain in the Grand Army of the Republic. Something happened to Senator Palpatine, the Republic and all the good it stood for got twisted along the way. And when we heard about the purge, about your cousin who was a trainee at the Jedi Temple we knew we had to get away.” My head was spinning in twenty years my parents had never mentioned anything about the clone wars or the Jedi. “Wait, are you saying we are related to Jedi?”

Just then I hear footsteps outside the cave. A female voice drifts in, it sounds cold, with restrained anger underneath. “Yes that is exactly what your mother is telling you. Come out with your hands up and I won’t have to kill your entire family.” My mother and I push ourselves to our feet. As we work our way to the mouth of the cave the voice continues. “Lord Vader has been rather thorough, first we had to track down all of the immediate family members, once they were located, we then branched out to extended family. As you can see, that has taken quite some time. If we had known, that we would have a use for you force sensitive whelps, we would have been a little less zealous early on.”

As I get to the entrance of the cave, all of the fear I am feeling suddenly becomes justified. My father is on his knees between two white armored guards, their blasters aimed at him, ignoring us completely.

The woman’s voice, belongs to a much more distinctive figure. She is wearing a black cloak with the hood pulled up, despite the hood, tangles of red curls can be seen inside. Piercing green eyes stare out at me. The level of fear I am feeling rises another level. She smiles at me and says “Good, you should be afraid.” She gestures at me. “This one has it, conscript the other men and kill the woman.” Two guards, from off to the side, step toward us, one raises his blaster rifle and fires, a hole in my mothers chest appears before my eyes, she collapses to the ground in a heap. “Nooooooo!” I scream out. I charge the guard, twenty years growing up on a farm hadn’t exactly left me soft, I plow into him, knocking him off his feet. His rifle flies a couple paces away from us. I lunge for it. Before my hand can grasp the grip it quickly floats out of my reach. I stare after it in shock. following its trajectory it lands at the cloaked woman’s feet. She smiles at me and says “Hang on to the hatred you’re feeling right now. It may keep you alive in the years to come.” With that she turns and heads back down the trail. The guards proceed to start beating me. I can hear my brother screaming my name as he and my father are hauled after the woman.

“Gaz! Gaz wake up.” I bolt upright in my cot. Ceros is standing over me shaking me. My cellmate is a Zabrak, an alien race known for the many short horns protruding from the forehead and head. It gives them a distinctive devil like look, especially in the dark. I move to a sitting position on the cot and say “The only thing worse than these nightmares, is waking up to your face Ceros.” He grunts and climbs back in his cot, I hear a sleepy response “Don’t make me come back over there and head butt you.”

The dreams are so vivid, I was back on Agamar on the family farm. I wonder about where my dad and brother are. I hope they are doing better than me.

I stand up, why I had to dream that every night I do not know. Maybe they put something in the water. They keep telling us, highly emotional situations are the easiest way to spark force powers. Which is their excuse to torture us each day, in my opinion.

The challenges, as they like to call them, are each centered around drawing out certain force abilities. Yesterday’s was particularly awful, Myself and three other inmates were strapped to chairs. There were wires attached to us in various painful places all over our bodies. Every minute volts of electricity would shoot through us. Each time that happened an observer in the room would yell out over our screams, “All you have to do to make it stop is flip this switch.” The switches in question were ten feet away, we each had our own directly across from us. Easy enough except we were all strapped to our chairs. Three hours later we had to be carried back to our cells.

Their methods are severe but they get results. Since I’ve been here, five have graduated leaving just four of us. It has been maybe two months since I was brought here, it is hard to tell with the different moons, and the days and nights seem shorter. They tell us they always get results, and it is just a matter of finding which ability we are most attuned with. The tests are not always physical torture. The one I hate the most, they sit you down in a chair in a small observation room. You are the one doing the observing. On the other side of the glass are three aliens, the races vary from each session. They tell us they want us to pick out which one is in mortal danger. The reason they are in mortal danger, they tell us, is that they will kill one at the end of the session unless we pick correctly. To further encourage the emotional bond they make us eat our meals, and spend what little recreation time that we get, with them.

I have not heard of any one graduating with that power.

Sometimes the powers manifest outside the tests. One day we were eating lunch and a Rodian girl got into an argument with another Rodian. They were trying to stab each other with their sporks. When the guards came in, she turned looked at them and screamed “Why don’t you just kill yourselves? Don’t you see what you’re doing to us?” To all of our surprise the guards actually raised their blasters to their temples. Then gas filled the cafeteria, when I woke up I was back in my cell. I never did see that Rodian girl again. Once you’ve manifested a power you graduate to stage 3 where I’m told the real training begins.

I decided to try and get some sleep to finish out what was left of the night. The tests were painful enough without being sleep deprived as well.

I woke to Ceros once again shaking me, this time it was just from exhaustion and not dreams that he couldn’t easily wake me. He smiled “We drew the obstacle course today.” Out of all the tests the obstacle course was the least demented. The obstacles were supposed to stretch our physical abilities to the extreme. Jumps no human could ever make, dodging falling objects, racing over hot vents and more. All while being chased by Kath hounds. The person that came in last, had to do another test that day as well, which was all the motivation we needed to push ourselves as hard as we could. Ceros had never gotten last. A good enough reason to smile in these times as any I suppose.

“Well let’s get to it then, don’t want to keep the hounds waiting” I say, returning the smile. We head to the mess hall, the food is surprisingly good here. I heard one of the guards say that we eat better than he does. Looking around the mess hall, I see the the other two inmates, Mathias and Tayvinn.

As we sit down with our food I notice Mathias giving us a cold stare. The last time we had done the obstacle course Ceros had pushed him into a pit of snakes. He had come in last, they didn’t even let him go to the med bay before being hauled off to the next test.

Something about that look feels off. It is more than just hatred. Maybe determination, resolve, like he is mentally preparing for… oh hell. You wouldn’t think of the spork as a deadly weapon but it can do some damage in the right hands. Mathias stands up from his table, picks up his tray and starts heading towards us, the trash was behind us, so he could be just throwing away his garbage. I tense, kick Ceros under the table and make a jerking motion with my head towards Mathias. Ceros also tenses, but Mathias keeps walking by. We both visibly relax, then to my horror Mathis lets drops his tray to the ground, spins around and stabs Ceros in the neck. Blood starts gushing everywhere.

I leap from my chair pushing Mathias away. I start trying to stop the blood flow, putting my my hands over the wound on Ceros’s neck. Two guards come running up and haul me off him. I panick and grab their arms, they let out a squeal of pain like I have never heard. They let go of me I turn to look at one and he is wilting before my eyes. Like someone was sucking all the liquids out of his body. I let go, and they both collapse to the floor. I run back to Ceros, I and try and stem the blood flow. There is nothing else I can do except hope the medics show up in time. Then something peculiar happens. I can sense the damage, I can feel the details of the wound all the way down to the bone. In my mind I envision that damage fixing itself. I can feel the skin start mending together, and the blood flow slows underneath my hands. When it stops completely, I remove my hands to find the wound is completely closed up.

I check to make sure Ceros is still breathing and then look around. The others in the room are looking on in wonder. I myself am surprised we haven’t been gassed yet.

Commander Biswall walks into the room. If there ever was a guy that thrived on the pain of others it was him. He smiles at me, that smile makes my skin crawl, “Congratulations Gaz, I was starting to run out of ideas for how to get your powers to manifest. We will have to add torture of friends to the list of things to try.”

“Commander Cadwell will be happy to see you, we will be sending you out to him in the morning. In the meantime we have a nice cozy solitary confinement cell with your name on it. This way.” He points at the doorway he had come in, I glance down at Ceros one last time and follow along after them.

As we walk Biswall carries on a casual conversation “Commander Cadwell will be so pleased, your particular powerset is very rare, most of the specimens have been manifesting physical attributes or mind tricks, very few with your gifts at this stage.” I grimace “We are not specimens, you can’t treat us like lab animals.” He just laughs at me “You are, and we do. But don’t worry you are graduating from lab animal to prized pet. Your training will be hard but you will be very well taken care of.”

We get to my new cell, I say, “You guys could use an interior decorator. The accommodations are a bit sparse don’t you think?” He just smiles at me and says “We find that after discovering your force abilities a night of silent meditation, free from distractions is always best.

I step into my cell and the door slides shut behind me. A six by six cell with no furnishings not even a cot. Solid metal walls, floor and ceiling. I don’t even see any poorly hidden observation cameras, just the window in the door.

Sitting down against the wall everything comes back to me in a rush. I can use the force. Not only that I can apparently heal people. I shudder and try not to think about what else I can do with the force. Images of the withered husks lying on the floor keep flashing through my mind. Ceros, man there was so much blood, I look down and realize I’m still covered in it. I sit there for I don’t know how long, a few hours at least, just contemplating all the horrors I’ve had to endure, that we have all had to endure, over these past few months. It was enough to break a man completely. But Biswall told us they have gone through enough specimens at this point to know exactly how much someone can endure before being broken to the point they are no longer useful.

As I am sitting there thinking, the lights flicker, and I hear a distant muffled bang like someone slamming a door, except there are no doors to slam here and the walls are too thick to hear something like that anyways.

I stand up, curious. Trying to peek through the observation glass, in my door, I see some stormtroopers run by. Good, maybe someone elses powers kicked in and they are getting a little revenge.

More noises in the distance and even more stormtroopers run by. I didn’t even realize there were that many stormtroopers at this facility. Just then several bolts of blaster fire shoot past my vision. I jump back, surprised. Maybe standing at a window is not the best option during a firefight. I sit back down in the corner of my cell, and start hoping for the best. But hey, if I get shot, at least I can heal myself, I hope. I giggle to myself a bit, a little humor in a scary situation is supposed to keep the fear away, that’s what my mother always said.

The noises outside my cell stop. I get up again and take a peek out the window, and jump backwards as I come face to face with a Wookie peering in from the other side.

The door slides open, the Wookie steps aside and a man in combat gear steps in. “We’re with the rebel alliance. Come with us if you want some revenge for what they put you through” he says.

Then he turns and runs down the hall, checking the other cells as he goes. Revenge is not really the first thing on my mind, but I am definitely not going to hang around to find out what stage 3 entailed. I set off in a run after him. The entire base is in chaos. Pockets of stormtroopers and apparently rebels locked in a shootout. We make our way back to the cafeteria, there is a giant hole in the wall to the outside. My escort runs outside, I follow and he points to a ship and yells for me to get aboard, and then runs back into the facility.

I run aboard the ship. As I enter the ship I see Ceros being tended to. “You look like hell man.” I say to him as I try and catch my breath. He looks up and smiles weakly at me. “There is no way I’m going down to a spork. Thanks for the save.” Ceros says to me. I smile and reply “Hey those are sharp I cut my tongue on one of those last week.” When he looks away I shake my head in an exaggerated no for anyone looking on.

There are a handful of other rescues. Tayvinn and Mathias, both specimen’s like myself. There are also a handful of the test subjects on board, the ones they tortured to provoke our gifts. As far as I knew none of the others had sparked a power yet, but sometimes people were able to hide it for a bit before being discovered.

I find a place to sit down, nod to my fellow inmates, well ex-inmates, and begin to wonder what comes next. Several men and women, in combat armor, board the ship most walking on their own, a few being helped by comrades. The man, who busted me out, yells towards the front of the ship “Let’s go! We got what we came for and the explosives are wired.”

The exit ramp closes and I feel the ship shake as we rise off the ground. He stops in front of the group of us and says “My name is Sergeant Dayvis. This operation’s goals were to rescue you and shut down their facility, Project Overlord is moving along too fast for the Rebellion’s liking. You will all be debriefed, the more we can find out about the Project the better we can combat it. After that you have two choices, you can sign on with the Rebellion and get a little payback, or we can drop you off on some backwater and you can spend the rest of your life hoping they don’t find you. I’ll leave you to think about it” With that he heads towards the cockpit.

Ceros looks at me and says “We’re getting revenge right? No way I’m just going to go hide after what they did to us.”

I reply “I don’t know about revenge, it seems like the Rebels took care of everyone directly involved, but at the very least we need to make sure this isn’t happening to anyone else.” I lean my head back against the ship and close my eyes, images of the redhead come to the surface. Revenge may be in the cards after all.

Four months of training go by. They say they want us to be a Special Operations Unit, get in, do some damage, get out. Everyone is getting trained in a specific area. Myself I’m taking the reins as squad leader and medic. Mathias is our sabotage expert, I keep asking him if that means he’s going to be blowing stuff up but I just get a cold stare in response. I think our time in captivity broke something in him. Tayvinn fills our support role, and Ceros rounds out the crew as our muscle, they call him internal security, but I’m pretty sure that just means he’s going to break the face of anyone that even looks at us funny.

Tayvinn comes running up to Mathias and I, out of breath and says “Gaz! Did you hear? They are sending us to Hoth for our final training. They said Commander Skywalker is going to be there, can you believe we’re going to meet someone trained by a real Jedi?”

Tayvinn has become even more enthusiastic about all things Jedi in the past few months. He has even gotten me excited about the idea of becoming one, I have to admit. Mathias grunts and replies “Spending a one way trip with someone doesn’t count as training. But it will be interesting to meet someone else who is force sensitive. Wait did you say Hoth? Isn’t that the planet of ice?”

Tayvinn grimaces “Uh yeah.” Then his eyes light up again. “Oh yeah, they also mentioned that they are going to have the heroes of the ISS Emperical mission head out so we can meet them.” I show obvious surprise on my face and say “I thought those guys were a bunch of smugglers that didn’t want anything to do with the Rebellion? They travel with an assassin droid for goodness sake.”

Tayvinn frowns at that “Well it’d still be good to thank them, we would not be here if it wasn’t for them. I’m going to go tell Ceros.” He runs off with a big smile on his face. It will be nice to be doing something other than training. Even if it’s traveling to do more training. I just hope the trials ahead won’t crush Tayvinn’s spirit, I hope being a Jedi is everything he hopes and thinks it will be.

I nod to Mathias and head back to my quarters and start packing. Not that there is much to pack, everything I own, I was given by the Rebellion. Standard issue, light blaster pistol, specialist’s cloak, general purpose scanner and an extensive medical kit. I hope they have gear for the cold on Hoth. Having finished packing I head off to find the others, to see where Destiny leads us.

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Smuggler's Peril: Epilogue

Teeku, sitting in the co-pilot seat, presses the incoming message button on the communicator. Looking over at Dais in the pilot seat “It’s our ol’ buddy Ral Tosh.” Dais nods “Well let’s not keep the man waiting.” Teeku brings up the holo of Ral “You do some good work Ral, I might need to spend some time taking notes from your hackers.” Ral smiles back “That could be arranged. I trust you’ve had a peaceful six months?” Dais laughs “Sure if you count three bounty hunters and two Imperial boarding parties. But compared to the previous six months it’s been quite the vacation.” Ral laughs at that “Good, were you able to get your droid back together? I’ve got some people that would like to meet the heroes of the Empirical. That drive you sent our way achieved a lot of good.”

Teeku says “Yeah I got IG-Z back on his feet, even packed in a few upgrades while i was in there.” Vet peeks his head in the cockpit “Heroes you say? Is that what they call people with their backs to the wall with no choices but to go forward?” Ral shakes his head “I know at least four people that owe you their lives, and they’d like to meet you, and thank you personally. Oh and we have some leads on Project Overlord if you’re still interested.”

Teeku perks up at that “Tell us when and where, we’ll be there.” Ral nods “That’s what I was hoping you’d say. There’s a rebel outpost on Hoth, they’ll be waiting there for you. Oh and you might want to dress warm.”

Upon arriving at Hoth, all they could see was a frozen, white, barren landscape. “Are you sure there’s someone here, I’m not getting any readings.” Teeku asks Dais. “Just head to the coordinates I don’t think Ral has the kind of sense of humor to send us to the middle of no where as a prank.” Dais replies.

Just then a voice crackled over the comm. “Identify yourselves.” Dais smiled “See I told you it was all good. This is Captain Dais of the Wompa Stompa.” Teeku looked over at him “I thought you were kidding about changing the name of the ship.”

“Confirmed Wompa Stompa you are cleared for landing, head to the coordinates I’m sending you, the bay doors will be open.”

After a smooth landing, Dais and crew head down the landing ramp. They are met by a long faced man with gray in his temples. “My name is General Carlist Rieekan I am in charge of this facility. Your reputation precedes you, we are looking forward to seeing what other blows you can deliver to the Empire.”

Dais responds “Uh I’m not sure what you were told, this is just a social visit, we were told, there were some leads on Project Overlord.”

Carlist sighs “Why do so many resist their destiny. Fine, this way, there are some people who would like to meet you. The information you were able to retrieve from the ISS Empirical allowed us to conduct several raids against bases related to Project Overlord. One of those raids allowed us to free four prisoners who were in Level 2 of the program.”

Teeku perked up at that “Was one of them a Rodian?” Carlist shakes his head “I’m afraid not, but they did mention there was a Rodian stationed at their prison. Unfortunately she had been moved to their Level 3 facility before we got there. Speaking of your cousin, it was us who impersonated your Uncle and sent you into the base to find Beeko. After your run ins with the Red Wolves we knew you were up against the Empire even if you didn’t at that point. We decided to see which way you would fall if given a bit of a push. We were not disappointed.”

Rounding a corner they headed down a narrow ice covered corridor into a large meeting room. No tables or chairs just some crates arranged around a heater. There were four men sitting talking quietly among themselves. As Carlist enters the room they all spring to attention and salute. “At ease men. These are our honored guests. Dais, Teeku, Vet and IG-Z.” Pointing to each in turn as he said their name. “Gentleman these are the survivors of a Level 2 internment camp, that we were able to rescue, due to the intelligence you secured on the ISS Empirical.”

One of the group gets up and starts shaking hands “Hey guys, you can call me Gaz, that was a hell of a job you pulled, we’ve all read the briefing. Takes some Rancor sized balls to pretend to be bounty hunters for the Emperor.” Two of the others get up and introduce themselves. One stays seated. Dais gestures “What’s his deal.” Gaz frowns “That’s Tayvinn ever since our force powers sparked he’s been trying to hold to the Jedi ideals, he grew up listening to the stories of the Jedi Order as a kid. Your file didn’t exactly read like the hero stories he grew up with, he’s a bit conflicted about owing his life to a less than savory sort. Don’t worry he’ll come around.” Dais laughs “Less than savory that’s probably the nicest thing someone has said about us in a while.”

The conversations continue for a while. Carlist excuses himself, mentioning there will be a briefing in two hours, about Project Overlord and possible roles Dais and crew can play for the Rebellion, “Those roles will not be without danger you understand, the Empire grows more ruthless each month it seems.”

Dais’s eyes gleam at the mention of danger and a smile spreads across his face. “We’ll be there.”

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Episode 14 - All Good Things

Teeku crawls out of the air duct looks over to Dais “He’s definitely been through the vents, the security measures have been disabled.” Corporal Malic looks incredibly worried, “Those are our secure research facilities, if Lord Vader finds out this happened we’ll all be thrown in the stockade” Malic visibly pales, “or worse.”

Dais smiles “Well it’s a good thing discretion is in our contract. We have reason to believe this individual will not go down without a fight. Our contract also dictates we are not to be held liable for any collateral damage that ensues. Do you see any problems with that?”

Malic looks up as if he was lost in thought “What? Oh yes, fine just make this problem go away.”

Malic leads the way down to level 2 where the droid factory is. Vet points to a vent, “Where does that lead? Can I get access to the research facility from there?” Malic pulls out his data pad and brings up some blue prints, “Yes that would work, let me call security to lower the internal laser mesh.”

Teeku looks from Vet to the vent and back to Vet “Are you sure your head will fit through that?” One of Vet’s eyestalks looks over at Teeku and glares. Teeku takes a step back and whispers to Dais “Whoa did you know he could do that?” Dais just smirks.

A few minutes go by and Vet is given the all clear, he climbs up to the vent and gets into position to observe the research lab. Vets rifle is strapped to his back as he crawls on his elbows through the vent. Not realizing how far the rifle extended over his head the barrel knocks the vent cover off and it goes crashing to the ground.

With a grimace Vet pulls his rifle off his back, “so much for stealth” he mumbles. Quickly looking around the research lab, Vet notices that the entrance has been wired with explosives, and he sees a light on in the office on the far end of the lab. Vet identifies Vasto sitting at a computer terminal. The rest of the lab is filled with large crates, and various workstations with parts of droids strewn about them.

Vet sees Vasto rush to the window and look out, scanning the area and seeing nothing he rushes back to the terminal and continues typing. Vet lines up a shot and fires. Vasto is hit square in the back he’s thrown forward into the terminal and then collapses out of sight.

Vet reports back over his comm “I hit him, the entry is wired with explosives so stand back when you open them.”

Vet hears Vasto yell out “You should’ve taken a better shot, that’s the only one you’re going to get.” Red warning lights start flashing in the lab, and Vet sees that some of the crates start to open.

Dais pulls out his blaster, “Everyone stand back.” He aims and fires at the control panel for the door. A large explosion blasts the doors off their tracks and they stand askew half opened.
IG-Z, Dais and Teeku all run in under the cover of the smoke from the explosion. Out of the crates step two massive looking storm troopers covered in black armor. They stand seven feet tall and look like they could bench press a Gamorrean. Worse yet the ordinance at their disposal did not look like it was designed to combat infantry.

One steps in front of IG-Z and fires, the hail of lasers all go wide. The other takes aim at the vent up toward the ceiling that Vet is in, and launches a missile it streaks across the lab hitting off to the left. Dais yells out “Their targeting computers must not be calibrated yet, take them down before they make those corrections.” Vet takes aim at the Dark Trooper that shot at him and fires, a red laser lance goes right through the Dark Troopers head dropping it to the ground.

The other Dark Trooper raises it’s arm at IG-Z’s chest, and let’s loose a missile. The resulting explosion scatters pieces of IG-Z across the floor. What is left collapses to the floor in a heap, the lights going out of his eyes.

Dais pulls out both blasters, and roars a challenge, charging the Dark Trooper both blasters firing. It collapses to the ground just as Dais gets to it, Dais winds back and gives a swift kick to the head just for good measure. Limping over to Teeku they both look down at IG-Z, “Think you can fix him?” Teeku laughs “Of course I can fix him, it’s whether we can afford the parts, that is the question.” Dais smiles “Let’s get this over with then.” Bursting into the office, they find Vasto slumped against the wall sitting on the ground. Vasto looks up at them, “You still don’t know what you’re up against.” Teeku pulls out his blaster and sets it to stun, says “Good thing you’ll be telling us soon enough.” and pulls the trigger.

Quickly scanning the office Teeku finds the drive Vasto was downloading everything to. Hiding the drive in his bag, Teeku reaches down to help Dais carry Vasto out of the office.

They exit the research lab to find a worried looking Corporal Malic and at least 4 squads of Storm Troopers according to Dais’ quick estimation.

Malic looks at Vasto “All set then, will we be seeing you on your way? I trust the Emperor will hear of our cooperation and quick compliance?”

Dais grunts “Yes we will be giving the Emperor a full report, can you have someone gather up the pieces of our droid and have him loaded on our ship?” Malic waves his hand to a squad, they immediately set forward into the research lab and start gathering pieces of IG-Z.

Once on the ship, Teeku scans it for any tracking devices or more nefarious objects deposited while they were occupied. Finding nothing, they secure Vasto and wait for IG-Z to be loaded aboard and set a course of multiple jumps, with the final jump being where Ral Tosh was waiting.

Upon arriving at the mining outpost, they find Ral Tosh waiting at the surface. “You guys never cease to amaze me.” Taking custody of Vasto, Ral gives him a cold look “We’ll be having many long conversations soon my friend don’t you worry.” Looking back at Dais “I’ll begin work on getting your names cleared. It’ll take some time even once the bounties are wiped it can sometimes take months for that information to trickle out to all the bounty hunters that heard about the bounty in the first place. I would lay low as best you can for six months.”

Dais grunts “Fine we’re going to have to run some small jobs in the meantime anyways to get the money for parts for IG-Z. He took a hell of a beating in there. If the Empire ever gets those Dark Troopers to the point they are ready for mass production, the Rebellion will be snuffed out over night.”

Ral Tosh gives Dais a considering look “It’s funny you should mention the Rebellion. I’m actually a part of it, I’m able to use Grigg’s resources for relaying information to the Rebellion that they would not have access to under normal circumstances. You guys don’t seem to have much love for the Empire, after I get your names cleared what do you say to joining our cause?”

Dais laughs “You’re with the Rebellion? Next your going to tell me Grigg is a Jedi. Why is it no one is who they seem. Look us up in six months and we’ll see where things stand. In the meantime we’re going to rest up and see what not being shot at every day is like.”

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Episode 13 - Down the Rabbit Hole

Lt. Fren leads Dais away from the ship. But to Dais’ surprise he does not lead him in the direction of the security station, he instead points to what looks like an abandoned warehouse. “Sorry for the cloak and dagger bit, there are a lot of eyes on this station and not all of them have our best interests at heart. In light of your previous stay, at the station, I thought you should see this.” Lt. Fren pulls out a data-pad “This recording was recovered from the data banks of an Imperial shuttle floating in the Outer Rim.” Dais watches the scene unfold, Angar speaking defiance to his captors, Vasto Varik setting him free, and the Red Wolves bodies being dumped on the ship. “Shouldn’t Varik have known about the security footage?” Lt. Fren shakes his head “The Imperials constantly change the location of the cameras and method of storage on their prisoner transports, the only real way to get rid of it is to blow the whole ship up, and even then, you have to hope there weren’t any relay stations close enough to capture the feed. That’s not common knowledge, I’m sure he purged the dummy system. The bounty you’ve accrued on your heads is the real deal by the way. I’m not sure what you did but there are a lot of factions on this station that won’t care, so if I were you’d I’d be moving along soon as possible.” Dais grunts “Thanks for the tip, I better round up my crew and get us on our way then.”

Dais gets back to the ship, and after several tries, to reach the others in his crew, he gives up and brings Ral Tosh on the Holo-Comm. Ral Tosh appears, a look of intrigue passes over his features, and then he puts on a false air of confidence for those around him on his end of the holo. “Karl Jarik it’s good to hear from you again, did you get the vid I sent you from our mutual Fren?” Dais sits there slightly confused, treading careful not knowing what will tip off who, “Yes it was received.” “You should take the job.” Ral Tosh says and then disconnects. Dais sits there, now really confused, wondering what to do next. Not even ten seconds later his comm buzzes, “It’s about time they called in.” But again to Dais’ surprise it’s Lt. Fren on the other line. “You can find those goods at this section of the spaceport”, some coordinates appear on Dais’ data-pad. “On level 1 there is a whiskey shop next to a florist.” Lt. Fren then disconnects. Dais quickly writes down the message, feeling that while it doesn’t make any sense it must be important.

A couple hours pass and Dais’ comm finally buzzes “Where the hell have you guys been?” Vet responds over the comm “Just making some new friends, we were swinging by to pick you up at the station, they done with you?” “Yeah I was done hours ago, get back to the ship, I think I know where we need to be heading.”

Once aboard the ship, Vet, Teeku and IG-Z take a look at the coordinates and the information given by Lt. Fren. Teeku speaks first “Those are star coordinates, let me go punch them in the navigation computer and see where they show.” A couple minutes later Teeku returns “It’s weird, those coordinates aren’t in the computer. I can’t guarantee we’ll come out where we’re supposed to when the computer doesn’t have them in the system.”

“I’m not sure we have a choice, after your run in, I don’t think it’s a good idea to stay here. What’s the worse that can happen.”

A few hours of hyperspace travel later, the worst is about to happen. Coming out of hyperspace the party finds themselves before a hulking Imperial Vessel. Over the comm an impatient voice says “This is the ISS Empirical. This is a restricted area, identify yourselves.” Dais “Uh hi there, good afternoon, how are you doing today? Our uh navigator fat fingered the controls we didn’t mean to stop here, we’ll be going now, have a good day, thank you.” There is a A moments pause and then a curt response “Ship’s name and registration.” “Ha well you see we haven’t been having a good day, we encountered some pirates and they shot out our transponder, the ship is called Wompa Stompa.” An agonizing minute goes by and finally “Very well, we will be sending out a squad of TIE Fighters to escort you out of the area to make your jump.”

“Well that could have went smoother, where are we Teeku?” Dais asks with a sigh of relief. “According to the computer we’re in the Dominus Sector, and more specifically the Dominus System. We’re not far from where we need to be, I can make the adjustments and we’ll come out on target.”

After another jump the view outside the cockpit is consumed with a massive moon. “There are no signs of life on the moon, but according to the scanners there is an old abandoned mining outpost down there.” Teeku says looking up from the scanning equipment. “There is a breathable atmosphere we should be fine to head down. Looks like in the center of the facility is where most of the commerce took place” Dais nods, “Take us down then, we’ll see what there is to see.”

Upon landing and looking around it quickly becomes apparent no one has been at this station for a long time. All of the equipment is covered in a thick layer of dust, and the insides of the buildings are no different. In the central building there is a staircase leading down. Vet notices a lone set of foot prints heading into the lower levels.

“I hope this is who we’re here for, this place gives me the creeps, and I don’t like hanging out in the same system as an Imperial Cruiser, when we have a bounty on our heads.” Dais says as he heads down the stairs.

The first level is what appears to have been a flea market of sorts. There are a lot of stands lining the streets and stores interspersed between. Vet points down the street, “Hey you see that stand down the street? Looks like they sold flowers, and if I’m not mistaken the store next to it sells Corellian Whiskey. That can’t be coincidence.”

Teeku points as well, “The tracks lead that same direction. That definitely seems to be our destination.” Everyone takes a firmer grip on their weapons as they proceed forward. As they enter the shop, they find Ral Tosh standing there waiting for them. He holds up a bottle “Care for a drink, I think the owner forget where he hid this one when he packed up.” Dais takes a swig, “So I hear you can fix things.” Tosh grins “Oh you did, did you? Well it may be that I can, but I’ve got a job for you first, we found the mole in our organization, I’m embarrassed to say it was Vasto Varik, my right hand man. Apparently he’s been feeding the Red Wolves information, while also working for Angar to try and frame Grigg. It seems the only one he wasn’t actually working for was me.”

Dais jumps in “That’s all…” Dais pauses rethinking his well and good comment, “…pretty horrible but that doesn’t explain why everyone is trying to kill us.” Ral Tosh looks at Dais like he’s been spending too much time in deep space. “Sure it does, it all started with the crate. The crate contained a droid, this droid happened to be Empire property. They wanted it back real bad but they don’t have any pull in Hutt territory nor the Wheel, so they contracted a local small time band called the Red Wolves, your first encounters I’m sure you noticed were comprised of various alien races and weren’t exactly coordinated. The Empire quickly started swelling the ranks with their own operatives. I’m not even convinced any of the original Red Wolves are left. Anyways Vasto caught wind of this and decided to make some money on the side, tipping the Red Wolves off to where you would be with the crate. At some point Angar must have figured out what was happening and bought Vasto’s loyalty. So now Grigg is worried about the Empire finding out about his involvement with the droid, he just wants this whole thing to go away. Which is where you come in. Vasto is on the Empirical, we believe that’s the location of the Dark Trooper project, the Empire is looking to replace their Storm Troopers with cybernetically modified clones. They’ll be more droid than human. That’s one of Darth Vader’s personal research vessels. Tread carefully in there.”

Dais gives Ral an incredulous look, “You want us to go in there? We’re wanted by the Empire, you must be crazy.” Ral Tosh gives a knowing smile, “The way I hear it there’s no bigger rush than walking into a room where everyone wants you dead, knowing one slip of your deception will be your doom.” Dais gets a starry eyed look and breaks into a cold sweat, Vet and Teeku look at each other knowing their fate is sealed.

Teeku sighs, “Well if you can get us some Imperial Bounty Hunting Commissions I think we can make that work. We’ll have to trade ships they’ve already seen ours.” “I can do that, my ship is called the Goose Egg.” Ral says, Your papers will state you were hired by the Emperor to flush out a mole that’s leaking information off the vessel. It’ll be a tough sell but I think it’s your best bet. Oh and I want Vasto alive, I want to ask him a few questions before I teach him the cost of betrayal."

A few hours later the paperwork is in order and the party once again finds themselves in front of the ISS Empirical. The exchange of information is made and Dais lands the ship in one of the many hangar bays. A greeting party consisting of a pair officers and a detachment of stormtroopers is waiting. As Dais and crew get off the ship the officer steps forward “I cannot believe the Emperor has sent a group of bounty hunters of all things to this ship.” Giving Teeku and Vet a look of disgust. “These allegations of a security leak are preposterous I report to Lord Vader himself. My aid Corporal Malic will show you to your quarters and assist your investigation for as long as this charade most go on.”

WIth that the officer turns and leaves, a nervous looking officer that Dais presumes is Corporal Malic steps forward, “If you’ll follow me I’ll show you to your quarters.” Teeku laughs “We’re not on vacation, take us to your computer terminals, I want to see the logs of all incoming ships from the past month.”

Corporal Malic leads them to a bay of terminals, the Imperials manning the stations look surprised to see Teeku and Vet, and outright shy away from IG-Z. Within a few minutes it is determined the only new personnel on the ship in the past month were three technicians and two researchers. The two researchers had pictures attached to their profiles and were immediately dismissed.

“Corporal Malic we’d like to interrogate these three technicians, can you escort them to us and provide us a space for questioning.” Malic nods once and speaks into the comm in his collar. “This way.” With a sharp turn he leaves the room.

The first technician that is brought in is a woman, after some quick questions for appearances she is dismissed. The second technician brought in is a portly man named Tak. The same questions are asked and he is dismissed as well.

After a long delay Corporal Malic shows up “I’m sorry to say that we cannot currently locate Mr. Vantik.” Dais looks grim “Doesn’t that concern you a bit? Can you show us his quarters, and where he’s been working these past few days.” The quarters were empty with no personal effects. One of his bunk mates mentioned that he left for his shift early.

“Mr. Vantik was working on the air ducts on Level B, there’s extensive security between the different levels even in the air ducts I do not believe he could have gotten to our research labs on Level C.”

Arriving at the air duct Teeku instantly recognizes the duct entrance is askew. Crawling in Teeku manages to track which direction Vasto went through the vents. He stops when he gets to a disabled laser mesh between Levels B and C. So much for extensive security Teeku thinks to himself. Teeku then heads back to the entrance of the air ducts to reports his findings.

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Episode 12 - Elementary My Dear Teeku

Landing once more on The Wheel, the party finds a welcome committee headed by none other than Lt. Fren. Dais, being wanted for questioning about his possible involvement with Angar Dalsmith is whisked away.

IG-Z, Teeku and Vet stare at each other for awhile trying to think of where they should go that wouldn’t attract attention from anyone looking to score a quick bounty. “Maybe I should start with my Uncle.” Teeku says heading to the Mynoc Buffet’s comm station.

“Uncle Reeko, when is the last time you’ve seen Nineo?” Teeku doesn’t even give his Uncle time to say hello, immediately jumping to the topic at hand. After a few minutes of arguing Teeku starts to calm down, realizing his Uncle did not send the transmission and had not seen Beeko in months. Before disconnecting Uncle Reeko gives Teeku one final message, “What Beeko did has disgraced the clan’s honor, you must redeem the family name Teeku, you MUST find Nineo.” With a guarantee that he would, Teeku disconnects.

“Well if he didn’t send it, maybe I can trace the origination of the message and determine who sent it.” Teeku says hopefully pulling out his data-pad. After a few minutes, Teeku manages to learn that the message was sent from the Wheel, but is unable to determine where on the Wheel, or whom it may have come from.

“Well there was only one person on this station that knew where we were heading, I say we go pay him a visit.” Teeku says while tucking his data-pad away.

Upon arriving at Captain Shorwarr’s Exotic Safaris and Expeditions Teeku immediately cuts off the protocol droid who was beginning his rather lengthy introduction to the store. Captain Shorwarr seems rather suprised to see them and looks a bit worried as well.

Laying two pelts on the table Teeku reminds Shorwarr of the job they were sent to do and collects the bounty before launching into a tirade about being setup. After a particularly long stretch of Teeku yelling and threatening to burn down the station around them Shorwarr admits there was someone who came in after them inquiring about the job.

Since he didn’t leave a name, Teeku gets Shorwarr to pull up the security footage. Teeku instantly recognizes the man “Durian Quix, and you guys wonder why I don’t leave anyone behind that hasn’t been reduced to charcoal.”

“Shall we go see if Durian is around? I’ve got a few questions for him.” Teeku asks the others.

Posting up outside of Red’s Lair the group settles in keeping an eye out for Durian. A few hours pass by with no sign of him. “These guys are all militarily trained, and I haven’t seen one non-human come through those doors all day. If I didn’t know better I’d say the Red Wolves are an undercover Imperial unit.” Vet mentions to no one in particular.

“Let’s head back to Shorwarr’s and see if Durian took a job he doesn’t seem to be here and I’m not sticking my head in that bar to find out if he is.” Teeku says.

Captain Shorwarr groans as the party enter into the shop again. After another extended conversation Shorwarr confirms that Durian took a job from him that would’ve taken him off the station.

WIth a satisfied grin Teeku steps into the street with Vet and IG-Z following right behind. Vet puts a hand on Teeku’s shoulder “We’ve got trouble, a squad of four on each end of the street. How do you want to handle this?” Teeku laughs “Same way we always do.” Teeku then sets off in a run pulling out his flamethrower, before the ambushers even know what is going on, Teeku has set two of them on fire. IG-Z charges after him, ax spinning in vicious strokes. Two more fall to the ax. A fire fight ensues behind them, with a single shot at each man Vet ends the confrontation quickly. The last attacker tries to run away, running down a side street, IG-Z doesn’t even let him get halfway down the street, charging behind him quickly gaining ground, IG-Z then leaps in the air in a spin bringing the flat of the ax down on top of his head knocking him to the ground.

Dragging him into an alley a brief and brutal interrogation occurs, nothing is learned other than he has more friends coming and they were licensed bounty hunters, not Red Wolves. Walking out of the alley Vet and IG-Z here the ignition of Teeku’s flamethrower, and then the screams begin.

The three make way to the security station to see if Dais has been freed up from his civil duty.

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Episode 11 - This Droid Won't Haggle

Digging through the crate “retrieved” from the Governor’s mansion, Teeku was learning a great deal of secrets. The crate belonged to a man named General Rom Mohc, who after an hours worth of confusion, Teeku came to understand, that he was the Governor. The crate was filled with his personal files and data pads. Many of the data pads contained notes about Project Overlord. This project had three main phases. First was the identification of force sensitive subjects. Then once identified they would move on to the second stage which was intensive training, to find just how strong the subjects were. Those that proved strong enough went into further training to become elite agents that served the Emperor himself.

General Mohc was apparently rather successful at this project and had recently been allowed to move onto a pet project, that he had been working on for years. The project had come to the Emperor’s attention after the successes Mohc had with Project Overlord, and the Emperor gave the approval personally. Teeku shuddered after watching the holo-recording of the Emperor. He couldn’t help but feel that the Emperor was looking at him and knew what he was doing.

There was mention of a security breach in the notes. One of the General’s personal droids had gone missing. After searching for two days it had been presumed stolen. It contained a large archive of data about the Dark Trooper project as well as Project Overlord, including base locations. Fortunately for the Governor the droid was useless without the access codes, they were needed to decrypt the files. Unfortunately for the General those access codes were in the crate at Teeku’s feet.

Teeku leaned back, resting his weary eyes. He had been reading through the files for hours. The access codes must be what we were sent after. But whoever sent us knew about my cousin. “Did they get my Uncle to go along with it. Was it even my Uncle that sent the message? And none of this gets me any closer to retrieving Beeko’s daughter. We need to find that droid.” Teeku threw the latest data pad back in the crate in frustration.

Getting up Teeku stretches his back and then heads towards the cockpit. “Hey Dais there was nothing else useful in that crate. Just more talk of the two projects the General was working on. The key is to find that droid, that’s what’s going to tell us where phase two is being conducted.” Dais shakes his head “I’m sorry about your cousin Teeku, I really am. But if everything you’ve read is true, there is no way we’re going to be able to break her out of an Imperial facility that contains force sensitive trainees, most of whom are are probably already brainwashed. What we need to do is find out who sent us after those codes and make enough credit from that, that we can go into hiding in luxury.” Teeku storms out of the cockpit without a word, practically knocking Vet over who was moving to the cockpit himself.

Vet starts to get angry but one look at Teeku makes him think better of it and let’s it go. Getting to the cockpit he looks at Dais “The cousin again?” Dais just nods. "We’ll be arriving in the Dernatine system soon. Boonta has an orbital scrapyard that we can lay low in. I know someone there that should be interested in our hard earned wares.

Upon arriving at Boonta Vet couldn’t believe his eyes. “Are you sure there is a planet underneath that mess? I’ve never seen that many ships in one place, let alone gutted hulks like the ones out there.” Dais laughed “Without a doubt this is one of the greatest ship graveyards I’ve ever laid eyes on. And a perfect place for hiding, and staying out of the Empire’s way.” Landing in a still working docking bay of a Mon Calamari Cruiser, the crew gets out and heads deeper into the vessel. Vet continues to look amazed “They’ve taken a broken down star ship and turned it into a space station? A space station that would put the Bilbousa Bazaar on Nal Hutta to shame. Are you sure the Empire doesn’t know about this place?”

Dais grins “Best kept secret in the galaxy, we should even be able to sell Imperial goods here. Ah here we are.” Dais points ahead to a shop with a operating table in the middle and all manner of limbs and prosthetics hanging on the walls all over the shop. A small droid collapsed to a resting position sits in the corner, it’s head shaped like an upside down bowl, with one giant lens on the front for an eye. The lens flashes to life as Dais enters the shop. Bouncing up out of a crouched position the droid leaps forward on gangly limbs. “Dais, ha ha, it’s been so long. I’m so glad to see you, come in come in. Are you in the market for some new limbs?” The droid makes a point to look Dais up and down. “Yes yes that must be it, you’re looking a bit raggedy, you could definitely use some metallic upgrades, what do you say? Hop on up on the table I’ll have you upgraded in no time flat. I’m always looking to do some enhancements and you my friend are long over due.”

Dais raises both his hands to ward off the bubbling enthusiasm. “Hold on now HAL these limbs are still doing just fine, thanks to the bacta tank on our ship anyways. No my friend it is you who are going to be getting some new limbs today. Check out these beautiful specimens, you’ve seen nothing like them I guarantee it.” Dais makes a big show of laying the cybernetic implants from the medical bay out on the operating table, which just happens to be the only clear space in the shop. HAL and Dais go on for awhile with some enthusiastic haggling over the items but finally come to an agreement.

At that moment IG-Z and Teeku enter the shop with several backpacks full of supplies. IG-Z looks at HAL, “Do you do weapon upgrades?” HAL leaps up in excitement “Do I ever! I’m really really good at upgrading weapons if I do say so myself.” IG-Z looks around the shop, no evidence of weapons, weapon upgrades, or even the tools needed are visible. Handing his Ax over to Teeku he simply says “You do it.”

HAL head dips, clearly crestfallen at the missed opportunity but then perks up immediately. “I can not wait to tell all my friends that I’ve seen you guys. You must be rich after killing all those stormtroopers. You are all over the holo-net. The Empire has put a 50,000 credit bounty out for you guys. I can’t believe I’ve met someone so famous, my friends aren’t going to believe me, mind if I take your pictures?” IG-Z reaches for his ax but Teeku slaps his hand away. Dais starts laughing hysterically “50,000 did you giggle hear that giggle we’re so dead.”

HAL looks over at Dais “Oh are you worried about the bounty? I wouldn’t worry about that I’ve got a friend who is real good at these sorts of things, he’s an expert at making Imperial Bounties go away. Let’s see if I can pull him up. Last I heard he was working for a Hutt.” Dais stops laughing and looks over at Vet, “It couldn’t be.” HAL pulls up a picture of Ral Tosh on his overhead monitor, “Good ol’ Ral, we go way back, heck I’d say we go back further than me and you Dais. He’s been a good customer over the years I’ll tell you what.”

Dais looks over at Teeku, “You about done with IG-Z’s ax, I think it’s time we be going.” Teeku puts down his tools, “Yep that should do the trick.” Gathering up their supplies Dais and HAL say their good byes, Dais admonishing HAL not to say anything, HAL promising not to, accept to only his very good friends. IG-Z reaches for his ax again but Dais pushes him out the door. The party starts running for the ship, IG-Z looks over at a winded Dais “Perhaps you should have taken HAL up on his offer of mechanical legs that Vet told me about, as often as we are running to our ship they would do you some good I think.”

Entering the hangar the party immediately notices a couple of individuals in armor and carrying blasters standing over by the ship. IG-Z steps forward ax raised and bellows “Step away from the vehicle.” As they start to back away from the ship one of them reaches to his comm and says “Sir they’re here. They’re getting aboard the ship.” A short pause as someone from the other end is talking and then “Yes sir, that is the droid we’re looking for.”

Then the two make a break for an exit at the opposite end of the hangar. Dais puts a hand on Vet’s raised rifle, “No let them go, let’s get out of here before more show up.”

Hopping on the ship they exit the hangar and find themselves being followed by a pair of Z-95 Headhunters. Dais slams the ship into motion, getting thrown back in his seat as the ship leaps to it’s fastest speed. The Z-95’s easily keep up, being more nimble faster ships. “It’s going to take a few minutes to get through this scrapyard, Teeku set course for the Wheel, Vet and IG-Z get on the guns, try and keep them off of us.”

As they make their way to the guns, they’re both thrown off their feet as Mynoc’s Buffet is rocked by a concussion missile. “Teeku see if you can get the shields boosted, I’m not sure we can take many more of those.” Teeku heads back to the shield generator and starts working on them. Next thing Dais knows he is slammed forward as the ship lurches to a halt, from the direction of the shield generator he hears “Sorry, my bad.” And then a whoop from one of the gun turrets as Vet scores a hit sending one of the ships careening into one of the graveyard hulks. The other ship having blown by them, makes a long loop to circle back around. “One more minute and we’ll be clear of the scrapyard.” Vet and IG-Z continue shooting at the ship as it circles around, Vet scoring another hit, blasting off a piece of his wing and sending him spinning out of control. Before they could see the outcome, the familiar pattern of hyperspace appears before their eyes.

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Episode 10 - Aren't you a little short for a storm trooper?

Leaving the warehouse and falling in line with the squad of storm troopers that he found himself assigned to, Dais can’t help but wonder how IG-Z swings this Ax around so easily, it’s only been a couple minutes and his back is already starting to get sore.

Dais hopes that Vet and Teeku don’t do anything rash as the squad, IG-Z and he march up the ramp towards the exit of the cavern. One of the squads, with the mounted light repeating blaster rifle, are posted at the top of the ramp. Man I do not want to get shot by one of those. Dais thinks to himself. Please let them keep buying this until we get outside. As they crest the top of the ramp Dais glances over at IG-Z and sees his eyes flash red and feels like time lurches into slow motion. There is a tug at his back, and as he turns around, Dais sees the ax in IG-Z’s hands and sees that IG-Z is already five feet away the ax spinning as he lunges towards the two squad members posted on the mounted gun. The storm troopers do not even have time to react as IG-Z brings his ax around in a vicious swipe decapitating both. At that moment the world snaps back into normal speed, the squad in front of Dais turn around to see what the commotion is and find Dais standing their with his twin blasters already drawn. As they turn their weapons on Dais, he opens fire, raining a hail of blaster bolts upon them. Two fall instantly and a third stumbles, the blaster bolt burning a hole through his armor.

From behind them Dais and IG-Z hear the AT-ST start to maneuver out of the warehouse. They can also hear the sergeant yelling to his men. Vet manages to get the AT-ST out of the warehouse he turns it towards the governor’s house and sees the second squad of storm troopers with a mounted turret on top of the house. “Uh feel free to blast them whenever Teeku.” Teeku continues fiddling with random switches in the cockpit “This isn’t like the guns in our ship, all these switches are wired backwards for this experimental gun. This should do it.” Flipping a couple switches and pressing a big red button Teeku finds himself momentary blinded as a bolt of lightning arcs out from the gun rather than the familiar laser. The lightning blasts into the position of the storm troopers frying them in their armor. They crumble to the ground still twitching sporadically. The sergeant takes one look at the AT-ST and runs into the governor’s house. “Oh man, you have to let me burn that place to the ground.” Teeku says as he starts to climb out of the cockpit. “Don’t you dare, Dais will be livid if you destroy that crate we were supposed to grab. Not that we’ll be able to turn it in, but maybe we can blackmail someone with it.”

The two remaining storm troopers at the top of the ramp turn to flee. IG-Z runs them down, and finishes them with brutal efficiency. Dais turns around and runs back to where Teeku and Vet were fighting. As he gets to the AT-ST he notices no one is in it, and sees Vet and Teeku run into the governor’s house.

The house is dark, Vet hears furniture being stacked up in the room off the main entrance hallway presumably as a makeshift barrier. Vet gestures to Teeku indicating the sergeant is in the next room. Then a look of horror comes over his face as he sees a small spherical object bounce off the door frame and land at their feet. Vet takes one step away and then finds himself slammed against the wall all the wind knocked out of him, bleeding from several shrapnel wounds. They never even had a chance to react to the grenade. Vet gets to his feet, sees Teeku in equally bad shape pull himself up the stairs to the second floor. Grabbing his rifle Vet stumbles to the doorway of the room the sergeant is hiding in. As he steps around the corner, rifle raised, he sees the sergeant, who also has his rifle pointed towards the archway. They fire at almost the same time both striking home. Vet smiles as he seems the rifle drop from the limp hand of the sergeant, before himself collapsing to the ground, bleeding out from his many wounds.

Dais steps into the house, seeing the sergeant and Vet both lying on the ground, calls for IG-Z to drag Vet out of the house. Teeku comes down the stairs and informs everyone he had found the crate. Seeing Vet being dragged out of the house, he pulls out his medic kit and gets to work patching him up best he can. “I guess it’s a good think we sprung for that Bacta tank on the ship. We need to get out of here, he needs more than my patchwork will do for him.” Dais nods in agreement “I’m worried about the Imperials sending back up, I don’t think we can wait around.” After some serious efforts on Teeku’s part Vet regains consciousness. “Can you walk? We need to get to the ship. The speeder’s are right outside.” Vet grimaces but gets to his feet. Dais motions towards the house “IG-Z grab that crate and let’s get out of here.”

Upon exiting the outpost, the party finds that the speeder bikes have been destroyed, they are lying on their sides a smoldering mess. Dais shakes his head in frustration “Guess we’re not getting our security deposit back. What do you guys think, do we hole up here and wait for Vet to get better, or do we try and make it back to our ship?” IG-Z responds “In his current state Vet will need two weeks to recover in any observable manner, with what resources we have available at this outpost. In addition the Empire will send more troops if they do not hear back in the next eight hours, Imperial field op code 3405-2153…” Dais cuts him off “Fine we walk, assuming you think you can Vet.” Vet takes his rifle puts a plug in the end and sticks it under his arm as a crutch and starts walking back towards the ship without a word. The party falls in behind.

As dusk starts to fall a short discussion is had, and the consensus is the jungle will probably attack whether walking or camping so progress might as well be made. Surprisingly the landing pad comes into sight after several hours of walking with no incidents. The party sneaks up as close as they can and see an Imperial Shuttle with it’s exit ramp down. What appear to be two pilots can be seen taking a smoke break, with another storm trooper sergeant appearing to be standing watch.

The pilots conversation can barely be overheard over the noise of the jungle. “I heard the governor moved on to a new project called Dark Trooper after he left the planet. It was a promotion of sorts.” The other pilot can be seen shaking his head. “Dark Trooper is a phantom project, speaking of phantoms, I heard someone went to great lengths to forge the documents that got those smugglers on planet ahead of us. When the Admiral found out that we let someone on planet to retrieve the Governor’s things he went white, whether with fear or rage no one was sure, but we were in space heading planet-side within ten minutes of him finding out.”

Dropping their cigarettes to the ground they turn to board the ship, at that moment a blaster bolt comes out of the darkness and strikes the storm trooper sergeant in the head. They turn in the direction of the jungle pulling out their blasters, and see glowing red eyes and a gleaming ax spinning in the air barreling down on them. IG-Z bellows out “Drop your weapons.” They immediately comply and raise their hands in surrender. Ten minutes later Dais has them tied up in their ship. They volunteered the codes necessary to pass through the blockade. And they let Dais know they had just reported in twenty minutes ago and were not due to report in for another two hours.

Dais closes the Imperial shuttle door and heads into Mynoc’s Buffet. “I’m thinking we find some place to lay low for a bit, I hear there is a pirate’s way station not too far from here, they’ve got no love for the Empire, I know that much.” Dais says as he hops into the pilot’s chair. With the use of the codes Dias manages to get into hyperspace without incident. IG-Z settles into a charging bay. Teeku gets Vet into the Bacta tank and then heads to his quarters with the governor’s crate in hand. “Let’s see what secret’s we’ve been hiding, shall we.”

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Episode 9 - Ground Tested

Hundreds of feet below the surface of the planet Cholganna the party rests up in the secret labs of Imperial Outpost 37 where they just learned about the existence of Project Overlord a program designed to find and possibly train force sensitive beings.

Dais gets to his feet after resting his wounds for a bit. “It would be a shame not to go check out the Ground Combat Testing area since we are already down here.” Teeku just gives a shrug still in shock over finding out about Beeko’s daughter. The party slowly get to their feet and make their way to the ground combat entrace.

Upon entering the doorway they see a huge cavern open up before them. It is over a mile long, the surprising thing is it looks like the middle of the day, as artificial daylight is being generated from massive lamps far up in the ceiling. Dais shields his eyes waiting for them to adjust to the brightness and then notices a lot of work has gone into making this a viable testing area. There is a small copse of trees to the left about half a mile away. There’s a road that leads down the middle of the grounds that passes between two large hills. At the end of the road are a number of buildings. Teeku finds out after a bit of digging in the computer system, that is where the experimental weapons are likely to be stored.

There are a couple storage lockers on the end by the entrance. Teeku spends some time trying to break into them. He succeeds on one that contains some imperial blaster rifles. Dais starts to get impatient “Come on Teeku let’s get to the good stuff, no one buys imperial blasters anyways.” With that said he starts down the road to the buildings at the end. The party passes a couple signs that indicate mine fields are ahead. Subconsciously everyone takes a few steps closer to the middle of the road.

Vet breaks the silence that was hanging over the party as they continue their walk to the buildings. “The Empire isn’t particularly forgiving. There is no way we’re getting out of this without a bounty on our heads, and I would know about Imperial bounties. That’s assuming we can get past the Imperial blockade, or worse yet the company of storm troopers that are probably going to be waiting for us at the top of the elevator.” As if on cue Teeku’s data-pad starts beeping. Looking down Teeku let’s out a grunt. “Looks like we’re about to find out just how angry the empire is. The life force detector I tapped into earlier is showing some significant movements up above. And they’re marching two by two.”

The party breaks into a run towards the buildings. Dais, IG-Z and Vet start looking for anything that will be useful. Teeku starts hacking into the security system. “I’ve got eyes in the elevator. They’ve activated it, it’s heading back to the surface.” Vet grabs a crate of frag grenades and some wire and starts running back towards the hills. Quickly setting up some makeshift tripwires. "We’ve got two squads of storm troopers coming down the elevator now. “Looks like some of them have some pretty long range rifles.” Teeku yells out. Dais scans the area, “Let’s make for the trees, Teeku see if you can get the door locked and the lights shut off.”

Several minutes of anticipation go by as the party sits in the dark, among the sparse set of trees. At the far end of the training area the entrance is lit up as the door slides open. One squad of storm troopers scan the area and then start down the road. Two groups of two split off to the right and left of the entrance, keeping a watchful eye. They do not appear to be inhibited by the dark.

The party tenses as the squad heading down the road disappear between the hills, only Vet with his perch in one of the trees is able to keep them in sight. A blinding explosion appears from between the hills, the deafening sound ricochets off the sides and ceiling of the cavern. Vet takes aim at the remaining standing member of the squad and squeezes the trigger, seeing the shot hit home he quickly turns his attention to the squads back towards the entrance. He lines up the shot and takes one of the them through the chest as the trooper starts to head for cover.

The remaining three start opening fire, shooting at IG-Z and Teeku, glowing red eye balls and the blue aura of a data-pad, shine like beacons in the dark, screaming out shoot here first. None of the shots connect and Dais, Teeku and IG-Z retreat back towards the buildings and the back of the training facility.

Meanwhile Vet lines up a shot at the remaining member of the squad to the right and squeezes the trigger, taking the trooper off of his feet. The remaining two troopers break for the entrance. Teeku seals the exit from his data-pad. The troopers start typing on the access pad. Vet climbs down from his perch and start to close the distance. The door slides open and the troopers run through making for the elevator. Vet gets down on a knee to steady himself and takes a deep breath steadying his aim. Dais yells out “They’re getting away shoot them.” Still Vet holds waiting, exhaling slowly, and as the last of his breath is out he pulls the trigger, a red bolt rips across the training grounds hitting the trailing storm trooper in the back, and passing through him the bolt catches the remaining trooper in the helmet. They both collapse in a heap.

Dais bursts out of his hiding spot “Nice shot Vet! Teeku get the lights on so we can get out of here.” Teeku fiddles with the datapad. “The Imperials have locked me out, I can’t even see what’s above now.” Dais heads up the road, “Well let’s see if we can cobble together one of these storm trooper outfits for me to wear. We can say IG-Z was one of the experiments down here. As for you guys…” Dais holds up a storm trooper helmet next to Vet’s head “yeah we’re going to have to find something else. Go check out the vehicle bay while I get this armor on.”

As Dais and IG-Z come out of the ground combat area, they find Vet and Teeku with huge grins on their faces, they’re sitting on the elevator perched on top of an AT-ST. Vet says “Took a bit to figure out the controls but we got it now. It’s missing a few guns but I think it’ll do the trick.” Dais smiles “Very nice, wish we could get that on our ship. Let’s get some crates piled up just in case this goes sideways, that way we’ll have something to hide behind when the blaster fire starts.”

A few minutes later the elevator starts to ascend, with Vet and Teeku inside the AT-ST, IG-Z and Dais on the elevator, Dais practicing his story all the way up “There were intruders, they were trying to steal this AT-ST but we managed to kill them and secure it and this droid. We lost everyone but the three of us.” I can do this Dais thinks to himself repeating the story like a mantra. As the elevator gets to the top Dais is greeted by a storm trooper sergeant with a squad standing behind him guns aimed at the elevator. Dais glances around and sees some light repeating blaster rifles setup around the perimeter. Vet whispers to Teeku “Damn, we’re in a tight spot.”

The sergeant looks up at the AT-ST then back to Dais “Report trooper.” The mantra slips between Dais fingers, trying to hold to the story on he bursts out “They’re all dead, I killed all the intruders but they killed everyone else.” Teeku and Vet look at each other incredulously, “that wasn’t the plan what is he doing.” Dais continues on “They ambushed us they were using this AT-ST took half of us out before we even knew the thing was operational.” The sergeant looks skeptical “And how did you manage to get them out of it.” Dais feels a glimmer of hope at the fact he hasn’t been shot dead where he stands, yet. “We retreated to an area the AT-ST couldn’t access and took them out as they tried to enter. They didn’t have any sort of tactical training, nothing like what the Empire provides.” Teeku rolls his eyes whispering to Vet “Laying it on a little thick isn’t he?” The sergeant nods apparently accepting the story “What’s with the droid?” Dais gains more confidence as it becomes clear the sergeant is buying the story. “The droid was part of the research being done down here, I assumed we shouldn’t leave it behind for any other thieves that come along.” The sergeant nods again. “Good work, join up with squad one and take the droid to the ship for a memory download and then wipe it. The rest of us will finish securing the area. Oh and disarm that droid, you never know when one of those things is going to snap.” Dais takes IG-Z’s ax and straps it to his back. Vet and Teeku look at each other, “Well now what?” Vet asks, Teeku just smiles “Now we wait for that sweet sound of blaster fire, shouldn’t be long I imagine.”

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Episode 8 - FOR SCIENCE

As the party patches up their wounds in the warehouse a debate breaks about about why Teeku’s cousin would be on an Imperial research team. IG-Z mentions “There are no recorded scenarios in which the Empire works alongside an alien species, I do not believe they would start now.” Teeku pauses in his hacking of the elevator with a concerned look. “Rodians are from a jungle planet I’m sure they just wanted his expertise on the jungle.” The group looks at each other skeptically but say nothing.

A few minutes later Teeku finishes with the elevator and a computer voice comes over the intercom “Biological Containment Protocols have been disabled.” IG-Z says “Are you sure we want to do this? Biological contaminants will not harm me but the three of you have no such protection” Teeku steps into the elevator “It’s my family, I can’t just leave him.” With that the rest of the party get in the elevator and Teeku starts the descent.

Several hundred feet below the surface, the elevator opens up into a central cavern with tunnels branching in four directions. There are signs present that indicate the different areas. General Quarters, Vehicle Research, Ground Weapon Research, Medical Research.

In the central cavern there is an AT-AT and an AT-ST in various states of repair and modification, neither in a remotely operational state. There are no signs of life anywhere.

Teeku looks in each of the directions considering, and then heads towards the medical wing. The door to the medical wing opens into a large warehouse, with offices on the right and what appears to be a research laboratory on the left. The research laboratory is sealed behind airtight glass with an airlock sealing off the entrance. In the back of the lab is a second airlock presumably leading further back into the lab.

Teeku enters into one of the offices and starts poking through the computer files. “There has to be some information about my cousin Beeko.” He says to no one in particular. He finds a set of files tagged with Beeko’s name, the heading of the file is Subject 47. As Dais looks for anything useful in the offices or warehouse he notices that whoever was here left in a hurry, things are knocked over, drinks are still half full, although looks like science projects in their own right. The facility has been in quarantine for over two months.

Beeko’s file shows that he arrived five months ago, jumping to the end of the file there are security recordings with Beeko’s name attached to it. Teeku fires them up and gasps in horror. On the screen there is what seems to have once been a Rodian. A large hulking twisted form is displayed on the screen. The muscle mass clearly too large for the frame, the skin is split in several places and the abomination on the screen looks devoid of all reason and appears to be filled with a mindless rage. The last of the footage shows what now can only be considered a creature bursting through one of the lab area’s glass walls. It grabs hold of one of the lab technicians and rips his arms off. As the body drops to the ground an explosion can be heard from behind the creature and the security footage is reduced to static.

Teeku leans back heavily in his chair clearly disturbed by what he just witnessed. “We are burning this place to the ground.” In the back of the lab, a red warning light starts to flash, as the airlock starts to decompress. Dais yells over to Teeku “Quick seal that door, we do not want to meet one of those things.” Teeku starts to hack into the system, finding a series of life scans for the different levels of the facility. This includes some maps of the facility. The life scans show that there are 5 life forms in the second lab and another 7 in a third lab further back. On the surface level there are two clusters of life forms which Teeku presumes are the Nexu.

Before Teeku could get back to sealing off the door a man in a white lab coat bursts through closing the door behind him. Seeing the party through the glass he runs forward. “Thank the Emperor, the cleanup crew has arrived, quick let me out!” Dais makes no move towards the door “What happened down here?” The lab tech takes a closer look at Dais and the others “Are you the cleanup crew?” Shaking his head “It doesn’t matter, let me out I don’t know if they’re following me.”

Teeku steps forward and presses the decompression button for the first airlock. As soon as the tech steps out of the room Teeku grabs him and slams him up to the wall. “You see anyone that looks like me in there?” The tech gets a panicked look on his face “They were all volunteers.” Dais tries to pull Teeku off “Wait Teeku we need to know what was going on down here.” Looking at the tech “What was going on down here?” The tech still looking worried says “We were creating super soldiers, the research was to make them stronger, faster, more obedient that sort of thing.”

Dais looks at the air lock “Why the quarantine, what did it mean by biological containment protocols, why the air lock?” The tech shakes his head “Agent 477 is still active, there was an explosion in lab 3 that released it. I don’t know what it does I was just an assistant on the strength research protocols, cybernetic implants and that sort of thing, the biochemists were in charge of the agents.” A look of rage passes over Teeku, he slams the tech back against the wall and steps away. Then before anyone could react he levels his flamethrower at the tech, and lets out a gout of flame that consumes him. Vet tackles Teeku but it’s too late. “What were you thinking, we needed information.” Teeku pushes Vet off “He did this to my cousin you heard him, he deserved to die.”

Teeku heads back to the office and starts downloading the information he can find on Beeko and Agent 477. “Give me a few and we can go back to the surface and grab those fuel tanks, we’ll light those labs up good, there will be nothing left.”

Dais gets a look across his face that Vet knows all too well. “Forget it Dais, you saw the security footage, there’s no way we can handle those things.” Dais gives Vet a knowing grin “We can sneak by them, think of how much money those implants will be worth. Come on IG-Z maybe there will be something we can plug into you even. Teeku, try and cut the life support in the labs.” Teeku shakes his head “No dice, the system already locked me out of that area after trying to seal the doors.” Dais doesn’t look the least bit deterred. “Come on guys this will set us up for the good life. We can do this, sneak in grab the stuff, sneak out no problems.” Teeku pipes in “Well there’s one problem, the labs are dark, the emergency lights barely light up the walls.” IG-Z walks over to a emergency supplies cabinet and grabs some glow rods, “Problem solved lets get this over with.”

The party moves up to the entrance of lab 2 and IG-Z starts pitching in glow rods. Dais scans the barely lit walls, it looks like the implants are in the back corner to the left. Those shelving units in the middle have highly flammable written all over the containers, so try not to light us all on fire Teeku." Dais and IG-Z start working there way to the corner, Teeku and Vet guard the way back out. Towards the middle of the lab, a series of low growls are emitted that sound more bestial than human. IG-Z picks up a glow rod and throws it towards the middle of the lab. It lands amidst a group of hulking mutants of various races, all exhibiting the grotesque muscle mass that Beeko had displayed in the security footage.

With a loud roar they start to charge at IG-Z and the others. Dais and Teeku start opening fire landing several shots, IG-Z brings his ax down in an over-arching slash dropping the first mutant that gets to him. The mutant collapses into the shelving unit sending it toppling over chemicals spilling everywhere, including over IG-Z and the charging mutants. The next mutant crashes into IG-Z knocking him off balance, the one after that grabs him and slams him into the ground. A third mutant lunges towards Dais grabbing a hold of him and slamming him into the wall, Dais finds himself on the ground. The last of the group raises two hulking fists over it’s head bringing them crashing down on Teeku’s head collapsing him to the ground.

Dais let’s out a hoarse yell “Vet grab the cybernetics, let’s make this worth it at least.” Vet dashes to the corner, scooping as many as he can into his backpack and then turns and runs for the door. Dais shoots at an alarm, setting off a piercing wail that the beasts cringe back from. Teeku then gets up and sprays flame over the chemicals all over the middle of the room. The two standing over IG-Z ignite in pillars of flame, they turn and run towards lab 3. IG-Z also goes up in flame. IG-Z gets up and moves towards the remaining two mutants.

One swings at IG-Z but misses perhaps due to the alarm, or inwardly afraid of touching the burning droid. The other rounds on Teeku and with a massive kick launches Teeku towards the door, he crashes into the wall and hits the floor, no longer moving. Vet grabs Teeku and drags him out of the lab. Dais and IG-Z follow, sealing the door behind them. The party continue to scramble out of the medical wing. As the exit into the main cavern a large explosion can be heard from behind and the tunnel to the medical wing collapses.

IG-Z turns towards Dais “This makes us even for getting you shot during the Angar incident.” Vet applies a stim pack on Teeku, medical and repair kits are pulled out and wounds are licked as best they can be.

As Teeku sits there recovering, his head resting against the cavern wall he reminisces about Beeko.

“Beeko…

Why, Beeko? What drove you to the imperial medical facilities for artificial bio-mechanical and cybernetic implants? Were you not satisfied with your Rodian blood? The blood of your family wasn’t enough for you? The blood of our ancestors wasn’t enough for you? How pathetic.

WE survived the great hunts together while the other clans gazed on from the sidelines. WE left every other clan ashamed, embarrassed and in utter disbelief after showcasing our ferocity, hunting prowess and natural instincts on the hunting grounds. Not a single one of our brethren could keep up. No….they were nothing.

Standing here, surrounded by my crew yet completely alone, I can’t help but feel like WE just became ME. I had no choice….

Torture – That is what it felt like watching this surveillance holo of your transformation from one of the strongest, keenest and most fierce Rodian hunters in the entire galaxy to an empty hulking beast. I watched the fire in your eyes dim and then burst into nothing but rage as that imperial garbage you so desperately desired pulsed through your veins. You just couldn’t stand by and let me become the head of the clan after sharing the spotlight for all of those years. You had to be the best. You had to be the strongest.

Why? WE could have had it all. Now it will be me crowned inta’s’rin’na of the Tetsu clan. It was bound to happen this way one way or another, and I truly regret how it had to come to be.

Goodbye, Beeko. We shall be reunited in the darkness.“

Teeku pulls out his datapad, scanning through Beeko’s file once more.

Subject 47’s cooperation has been exemplary. Most likely due to the fact his daughter has been taken. The daughter exhibits strong force sensitivity, the father has no such ability. Subject 47 will continue on to genetic testing as there is no further use for him. The daughter will be sent on for Stage 2.

Additional reading keeps bringing up references to Project Overlord. This facility appears to have been operating as Stage 1 which was subject screening.

Teeku lifts his head, “It’s not over. I will find her.”

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Episode 7 - Meetin' the Locals

“Explain to me why we are willingly landing on a Star Destroyer?” Teeku asks Dais for the third time in the past hour. “I’ve told you multiple times now, it’s part of the quarantine procedures. We get scanned going in, we get scanned going out, plain and simple nothing to worry about.”

As the Mynoc’s Buffet settles in the landing bay, an Imperial Officer, and a scanning crew are waiting to meet them. “I am Lt. Mentzer, if you will follow me to the briefing room we’ll get you back on your way.”

The group heads into the briefing room, Silas Mentzer makes a show of reviewing their clearance codes. “I see you have been contracted to clear Outpost 37 of the Nexu infestation. And to secure a crate from the Governor’s residence. Are you aware of what is in the crate?” Dais and Vet look at each other and shrug “We were not told of the contents.” Mentzer continues on “Just as well the crate is sealed, therefore as long as its seal is intact when you return there will be no issues.” Dais sighs inwardly thinking to himself if I had known it was a sealed crate job I’d never have let Teeku talk me into it.

“It looks like everything is in order, good luck on the planet, do not forget to check back in once you leave. Teeku this message was left for you someone knew you were coming apparently.” Mentzer slides a datapad over to Teeku.

Upon reading it Teeku finds that it is a message from his Uncle, his cousin was part of the research team and has gone missing since the Nexu moved into the settlement. Teeku glances up from the datapad “What kind of research did you say was going on down there?” Lt. Mentzer raises an eyebrow “I didn’t, and regardless it’s classified.” Mentzer looks around making sure the guards in the room aren’t paying too close of attention. “I can tell you that you’ll want to avoid the lower levels of the outpost, there’s no sign that the Nexu breached the ”/wikis/imperial-research-base-r-17" class=“wiki-page-link”> research facility, and even if they did…" Mentzer lowers his voice to a whisper “…you do not want to go down there.”

As soon as the party was alone back on the ship Teeku bursts out “We are SO going down there, my cousin seems to have gotten himself into some trouble with the Nexu, he was part of the research team according to my Uncle. And I don’t want to hear any cat and mouse jokes Dais.”

Dais looks disappointed but then perks up at the remembrance of the cargo-hold of medical supplies. “Fine fine, how about you scan us up a settlement to sell those medical supplies to, we aren’t going to find a better opportunity, imperial quarantine in place, dangerous jungle planet this is a smuggler’s dream.” IG-Z looks at Dais “Our vessel was scanned from top to bottom by the Empire, we are not smuggling anything.” Vet laughs “Way to suck the fun out of everything IG-Z.” Teeku cuts them off “I’ve found a settlement it’s actually really close to the landing pad, looks like there’s even a road there, and given what I’ve been seeing with these scans that’s a rarity.”

Once settled on the landing pad the party sets out towards the settlement. Instantly unnerved by the wild sounds and dense jungle surrounding them, the party pulls out there weapons as they walk down the road. Teeku stops in the middle of the path “Do you guys hear something? I think it’s a speeder bike.” All of a sudden from out of the jungle a large swarm of insects each the size of a fist burst out and head towards Vet. Everyone starts opening fire at once, a few getting picked off and then IG-Z steps forward and squashes half of them with the flat of his ax. Teeku then steps forward “Let’s see how this thing works”, flipping a switch a large swath of flame belches from the end of his flame thrower cooking the remaining insects. Dais and Vet grimace as Teeku starts to pick through the cooked bugs and begins eating them.

The rest of the trip is made without incident. Upon arriving at the village it’s clear that it’s a bit rudimentary, one building of note stands out and the party heads towards that. As they enter they see that it’s the town general store, saloon and meeting hall all rolled into one.

An older gentleman from behind the store counter looks over at Dais and the others “Welcome to the retreat. Don’t get many visitors around these parts.” Dais turns on his charm “A dangerous world like this you must be in need of medical supplies, and we just happen to have a whole shipments worth back at our ship, would you be interested?” After several minutes of haggling Dais comes out ahead with a healthy profit margin, as the group was leaving the saloon, Dais mentions “I even got him to let us rent a couple speeders for while we’re here.”

Some of the locals head back to the ship with the party and take possession of the medical supplies. The party decides to sleep on the ship for the night and head out in the morning. “Did that saloon guy mention why the Nexu are upset?” Vet asks Dais as they were getting ready to head out in the morning. Dais nods “It seems the Imperials built their outpost right on top the Nexu nesting grounds.”

A couple hours of travel on the speeders finds the party at the mouth of a cave network. As they move deeper into the caves they come out on a ledge that opens out into a large cavern, with a path that leads down into the main portion of the outpost. There are a number of buildings, including a large warehouse in the middle of the outpost, and what is most likely the Governor’s residence at the far end. “Let’s find the generator and get this place lit up. Teeku do you see any likely buildings that would house the generator?” Dais asks. Teeku scans the area “It’s either this one down to our left or the one at the other end past the warehouse.”

Inspecting the closer building the party finds it contains the fuel for the generator. IG-Z picks up two of the containers and follows the group to the next building. “Ah here we go just give me a few minutes and I’ll have this place lit up like a life day tree.” Teeku says. Dais, Vet, and IG-Z set guard outside the maintenance shed. After a few minutes the generator hums to life and lights start kicking on from all around the perimeter of the outpost lighting up the interior. Including two Nexu perched on top of buildings adjacent to the maintenance shed. The lights kicking on startle the Nexu and they pounce from the rooftops at IG-Z but both come up short.

Teeku steps out of the maintenance shed, flame thrower roaring to life and scorches one of the Nexu. Vet lowers his rifle and puts it out of its misery. IG-Z steps forward and hamstrings the other one with a viscious slash to the leg. The Nexu lunges at IG-Z chomping down on his leg, knocking him over and starts to drag him off. Teeku then steps forward and lights it on fire. It immediately let’s go of IG-Z and starts to run but collapses a few feet away. The party drags the corpses into the warehouse and scan for other nearby Nexu. Inside the warehouse they see an elevator shaft that would appear to go down to the lower labs. Dais gives Teeku a knowing look “We should at least clear the top before heading down below.” Teeku just smiles “We’ll see.”

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