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Beginner Game In Story-ish Format


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#1 unkle_caveman

unkle_caveman

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 06:50 AM

My group recently finished the beginner story for the Edge of the Empire RPG. It was modified to some degree to fit our characters and their personal stories, but to what degree I do not know. In any case, I got bored and decided to write the whole thing out in story format. I do not know if this is the place to post it or not, but I am going to go ahead anyway. Its rough draft quality but I found it pretty enjoyable to write.

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Valen Kar leaned heavily on the bar. The smell of stale alcohol permeated the air in the dingy little cantina. He found it fitting. It was a tiny dirty nothing of a cantina in a tiny dirty nothing of a city. Mos Shuuta was no place anyone would ever brag about being. It was a filth hole, even by the low standards set by other cities on the desert planet of Tatooine. The drink in Valen’s hand was already warm when he got it and he thought he could smell the dark liquid inside getting older by the second. He even contemplated asking the Devorian tending the bar for a new glass, but decided against it. Credits were hard enough to come by in Mos Shuuta. If he ever wanted to get out of the city, with its dirty brown buildings and dirty brown everything else, he would need to save every single credit. 

Still, it was better in here than out in the streets. Recent chaos had seen many unwelcome visitors in the shining metropolis of Mos Shuuta. Imperial patrols had been spotted all over Tatooine of late and their presence, or the mention of it, was doing damage to local business. Whatever the imperials were looking for they were out in force and pursuing it with determination. The man drinking with Valen laughed nervously at a joke he had been telling Valen. It was the kind of laugh that told Valen the joke-teller was not sure if it was funny or not and was waiting for some response. Valen cracked a dry smile and raised his glass. 

Valen’s drinking partner was a man he knew only as Glitch. Glitch was apparently a slicer of some skill and had absolutely no issues sharing that information over a few drinks. He was slightly taller than Valen but he had a softer quality though they were not so physically different. Both men were around average height and build, with Valen being the broader of the two. Valen was rough. Years of working as an imperial scout had weathered the man inside and out. Glitch was a city-dweller and it showed. He seemed out of place on this low-tech planet with its brutal ways. Glitch was a sophisticated criminal, or so he said. He laughed aloud at the acknowledgement of his joke and took a deep gulp of the horrific liquor filling his glass. Glitch could not imagine which was worse, drinking in Mos Shuuta or being sober in it. 

The two had been the cantina’s only patrons for the majority of the day. Apart from the devilish bartender and a lone twi’lek dancing girl they were the cantina’s only living inhabitants. The dancer swayed, mostly ignored, on a stage at the rear of the tavern. Cheaply recorded music poured from somewhere behind her to become faint and then die half-way across the cantina. The tables that scattered the floor were covered in a visible film as if they had not been treated to a clean rag in quite some time. Shadowy alcoves lined most of the walls and Valen could only imagine the clandestine dealings that had, and would, occur in those dimly lit booths. He had heard it said somewhere, “Scum and villainy.” The scum was certainly here. In one corner, propped against a wall, a lone droid rested. It was connected to a charge port and was currently powered down. The droid struck the experienced scout’s eyes as out of place. The droid was far too clean to be here. It was curled in a fetal position with its arms wrapped around its legs. A single number adorned its armored pauldron, a crudely painted number eight. The crimson marking on its shoulder glared in stark contrast with its cream colored chassis. Glitch was also eyeing the droid. A mischievous intent gleamed in his eyes. Suddenly the cantina erupted into chaos

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A lone gizka peeked its head out of a burrow beneath the trader’s hut. The bright sun stung its overly sensitive eyes even in the relative shade of the alley. The reclusive creature would normally hide until evening but the smell of a feast so close to its den had drawn it out. Life was hard for everything on Tatooine and the gizka was no exception. Its nose probed ahead of it already sensing the scraps of food that remained in the trash pile mere meters away from the creature’s den. It squawked excitedly as it rushed toward the unguarded refuse. Its small mouth opened to take the first delicious bite when a boot landed hard beside it. A human raced past the diminutive creature, nearly stepping on it. It was lucky to be alive, or so it would tell itself if it were capable of such thought. The creature shrieked in terror and began to scurry back toward its den. Two steps later an even larger foot covered in thick hair struck the tiny creature in the flank sending it hurtling into the air to crash against the side of a building. Life was hard on Tatooine. 

Cash Kraken sprinted down the narrow alley, his legs stretching out before him in a frantic stride. A long coat lined with armored plates billowed behind him as he vaulted over what occurred to him as dramatically placed debris. A blaster pistol banged against his hip within its holster as he ran. He struggled to control his breathing. It was not the first time he had been forced to flee through a dismal trash-filled alley and he hoped it would not be the last. Behind him came the towering figure of Tojjevvuk. The grace of the wookiee always amazed Cash. With his long legs and natural endurance he could have easily outpaced the human. He was trailing by his own design, and for that Cash was incredibly grateful. The wookiee’s fur was blown back by the sheer speed of the dash and Cash had to keep from chuckling at the giant hunter’s appearance. A loud grunt behind them snapped any thought of levity from the Cash’s mind as a huge shape trailed them into the alley.

Things had been going so smoothly the day before. Toj and Cash were working to pay off their debt and Sinsau had seemed to warm up to the pair. Cash had even fostered hope that Sinasu the Hutt would order his personal pet bounty hunter, Trex, to stop accompanying the pair everywhere. The trandoshan was a violent thug and little else. His presence always made Toj uneasy and Cash knew it would not be long before the two tried to kill one another. Then their latest assignment came. An accountant had been making a profit of his own by skimming credits from Sinasu’s business dealings. This, of course, did not sit well with the hutt. Cash, Tojjevvuk, and their babysitter Trex were sent to collect the accountant. There was some quip about accountability that Cash had to stifle at the time. 

The trio tracked the accountant to his safe house and things went poorly from there. They cornered the man when imperial storm troopers arrived on the scene. A firefight broke out almost immediately, started by the violently inclined Trex. The trandoshan was not really interested in bringing the accountant back and was happy with bringing a head back to his master. What caused the explosion was a mystery to both Cash and Toj, but it claimed the life of the accountant as well as numerous storm troopers. It then dawned on the group that the accountant had been working for the imperials the entire time. They were now guilty of murdering an imperial official. While the hutts and imperials were not necessarily allies, they went to great lengths in order to avoid upsetting one another. A blunder like this could see Sinasu’s territory collapse. 
When the group returned to Sinasu’s palatial mansion Trex went to report alone, ordering Cash and Toj to remain in the waiting room. Cash did his best to reassure his friend that things were going to be fine, but the wookiee had an uneasy feeling. Tojjevvuk paced relentlessly back and forth across the waiting room, his antiquated bowcaster clutched tightly in his massive paws. The wookiee growled faintly and it was apparent to Cash that he was preparing himself for battle. Toj’s uneasiness was infectious and soon Cash found himself preparing for a fight. The safety strap on his holster was unclasped and his fingers trailed lightly over the handle of his blaster pistol. When a woman burst into the room at a full dash it took a great amount of restraint from the pair to avoid drawing and firing on her. 

Cash recognized her instants after her abrupt appearance. Her name was Nara Daklan, and she worked as a spy for the Empire. She looked different than their last meeting. Her clean and well tailored officer’s uniform had been traded for the outfit of a palace dancing girl. Layered veils surrounded her barely concealed frame leaving the mostly exposed skin beneath distorted in a multicolored haze. Her hair was no longer short and cropped. Long blonde braids crisscrossed down her back to her waist and around her ears to rest in front of her bare shoulders. Her makeup, while once conservative and professional, was now seductive. Heavy attention was drawn to her icy eyes and full lips. With all the haste Cash could imagine a human being could muster she made her way into the waiting room and came to a halt no more than a foot away from him. Despite her dash into the room she was in complete control of her breathing and did not pause a second in giving warning to the pair.

“You have to get out of here, now!” she whispered forcefully.

“We were beginning to get that same feeling.” Cash’s reply was accompanied by a wolfish grin, still looking her over. “Doesn’t suit you, but I like it.”

An indignant glare that portrayed the severity of her statement was the only response he would get for his trouble. The look of worry remained etched on her face. She raised her hand and passed Cash a small rolled scrap of paper. His grin never faded as he took the note from her hand.

“Trex blamed the entire thing on you. Sinasu is furious. He is summoning his guards right now to come in here and capture you both. I do not know if he plans to kill you before he turns you over to the Empire or if he will just let them do it. In either case, I do not think you want to be present when the guards arrive. These are the new launch codes for the Krayt Fang’s piloting system. Take them, take the ship, and get out of here.”

The pair needed no more incentive than that. Turning quickly they made their way to the exit. The pair of gamorreans at the door proved to be little more than a speed bump for the already enraged wookiee. Tojjevvuk, already feeling his honor slighted by the trandoshan and the hutt, knocked the first guard flat and used the other as a battering ram to open the mansion’s doors before the guards were aware they were in a fight. With a violent growl the wookiee stalked passed the downed guards. Cash gave a glance back to the spy turned dancing girl and gave the faintest salute before following his only friend through the freshly wrecked doors. Her last words lingered in his head. They had the weight of a eulogy behind them.

“You owe me, Kraken.”

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Valen’s reaction was slight at best when a pair of travelers burst into the cantina at full speed. The duo was led by a human wearing a long coat. The man had dark hair and pale eyes. Close behind the human lumbered a towering fur covered silhouette, obscured by the blazing sun that the pair’s entrance allowed into the cantina. While still large, the wookiee was not big for his race. Based on its dark colored fur, Valen was relatively certain the wookiee was young. It had to have just recently reached adulthood. They slowed immediately upon entering, and descended the few steps down into the cantina in a casual manner. It was a practiced casualness that belied their hurried intent which Valen could immediately detect. 

The man and wookiee alike gave the cantina an assessing glance, taking in each patron and feature for evaluation. The man whispered something to the wookiee that Valen could not hear and walked in a direct path for the dancing twi’lek on the stage. A few hushed words were exchanged between the two after which the dancer laughed and motioned to the door behind the stage and began to lead the man away. He raised a hand and beckoned the wookiee to join him and offered a cocky grin to the cantina’s obviously interested patrons. He then followed her behind the stage.

The wookiee nodded his acknowledgement to the man and lumbered over to the inert droid resting against the wall. Pawed hands reached for the cable connecting the droid and plucked the cable from the wall. The droid immediately uncoiled from its fetal position shooting upright to stand beside the wookiee. Its clamp like mechanical hands clutched a blaster rifle tightly. 

“Don’t touch my cables! I’m up and functional. The time has come to crush our enemies in the name of freedom! Tell me you need me to vaporize some organics. I am standing by and awaiting orders.” The litany shot immediately out of the droid’s vocalization unit. The droid’s voice was modulated heavily, to the point where it sounded like the voice of a gruff human male. 

The wookies paw banged down hard atop the droid’s head causing it to vibrate audibly throughout the cantina. Shaking its head, the wookiee turned and motioned for the droid to follow with a growl. A single step brought the wookiee onto the stage and a few paces carried him into the back room to join his companion. The droid shot its head around in a circle. If it had eyes Valen would have been sure that it was glaring at each patron in turn. It then moved with quick clanking motions to follow the man and the wookiee to the room behind the stage.

“Sick humans. Watching a droid sleep. Better not have touched me.”

No more than a breath after the droid’s departure six gamorreans thundered into the cantina. They were squealing amongst themselves in their strange language while their beady eyes surveyed the cantina and those inside it with bared hostility. Each green skinned pig-like creature stood just under two meters and the smallest of the bunch had to weigh at least 100 kilograms. Clutched in each creature’s fleshy fist was a truncheon that crackled with electricity. Their heavy steps shook the stairs leading down from the entrance as, like some terrible herd, they flooded into the cantina. 

Valen did not flinch from their scrutiny as they began to investigate the building. He had dealt with gamorreans before and found them to be useless when they were not hitting something. He resumed his relaxed pose and leaned against the bar once more. He turned back to Glitch, who was now turning pale with barely contained terror, and shook his head. It was obvious that the slicer was nervous that the gamorreans were here to collect him. In Mos Shuuuta, and on most of Tatooine, gamorrean thugs were synonymous with Hutt enforcers. He had assumed things were not going well for the group hiding behind the stage, but it was until now that Valen began to get a clear picture of just how bad they were. 

After what seemed like an eternity of snorting and squealing, the gamorreans reached what Valen could only consider a consensus that their quarry was not here. As one the bulbous pack of thugs began to make their way toward the cantina’s exit. One paused briefly while it eyed Valen suspiciously. It took a heavy step in his direction before another one of the creatures put its hand on the moving gamorreans shoulder and spun it around violently. Snorting and squealing once more filled the cantina before the investigative beast was convinced that it was time to leave. As the pack was just about to ascend the stairs and leave the building the blinding streak of blaster fire ripped from somewhere behind the stage and struck one of the gamorreans in the back and sending it flopping to the ground dead.

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Behind the curtains of the stage, Cash gave the small and dimly lit room a cursory glance. The room was thick with the haze of incense and Cash had to narrow his eyes in an attempt to penetrate it. Crates of aging liquor lined the far wall. The rest of the room was set up to be the dancer’s dressing room. There was a small cabinet filled with various outfits next to a table with a lighted mirror for the application of makeup. The room smelled of incense, makeup, and body oils. All were scents that Cash was relatively familiar with. 

The twi’lek dancer turned to face him. Worry was clear on her face. Cash had always been more than adept at reading people and he knew that she was wondering how much trouble she would be in if she were caught hiding him. He couldn’t bring himself to give her a truthful answer. She ran her fingers nervously over the leather straps holding her lekku to the side of her head giving the tentacle like protrusions the appearance of hair. Her lips parted to speak but before she could get a word out Toj and 8 entered the room quietly closing the door behind them. Tojjevvuk gave a nervous growl shaking his head in Cash’s direction. The wookie glanced out the small viewing window in the door and growled faintly to Cash. 

“There are six of them? I don’t know how long we can hide out here, Toj.” Cash said. “Gamorreans are easy enough to fool, but sooner or later it will be Trex hunting us down.”

Toj howled slightly louder than Cash would have thought prudent. The one problem with working with a wookiee was that they were so damned impulsive.

“I know you aren’t scared of him.” Cash replied. “I’m not either.” He lied.

“I’ll turn that fluid filled sack into a pair of boots!” 8 vocalized. His voice sounded like liquor pouring over gravel.

OI8U, or 8 as Cash called him, was a recent addition to the team. A job took the group to an ancient droid factory that had once been an important resource in the Clone Wars. They found the powered down droid curled into a ball near a computer. It appeared the droid had upgraded itself shortly before running out of power. By his design, Cash was certain he was a battle droid much like countless others manufactured during the clone wars by the Trade Federation. Heavy modifications marked this unit as different from its peers. When the Trade Federation droids were decommissioned, 8 found a way to escape destruction and was in the process of making itself the most superior droid the galaxy would ever see until he ran out of power. Despite the protests of Toj, who did not want to perform maintenance on a droid, Cash decided to adopt the wayward battle droid. It wasn’t until 8 was fully powered that Cash realized the droid had many severe personality flaws matched by faulty programming.

“Later, 8. I am sure you will get your chance one day soon. For now we need to focus on getting out of here. I managed to steal the launch codes for the Fang. We just need to get to the ship and we’re home free.”

Toj shook his head from side to side and let a somewhat mournful groan escape his mouth, now more careful in keeping the volume of his voice in check.

“You picked a fantastic time to upgrade the hyperdrive motivator. That’s just wonderful.”
Toj howled a little louder.

I know it needed to be done. I am not saying that upgrading the ship is a bad thing. I am just commenting on the timing of your little fix-it project.”

Toj growled, waving his arms in the air expressively.

“No, I’m not saying this is your fault.”

Tojjevvuk folded his massive arms across his chest and groaned.

“My fault!? You can’t be serious. Look, we just need to get a new hyperdrive motivator. I am sure Trex would have ordered a new one by now. Let’s just go over to the junk dealer and pick a new one up.”

“And shoot the human merchant in his smug face!” 8 chimed in.

Cash rolled his eyes and glanced out the window to observe the group of gamorrean pursuers arguing amongst themselves. It appeared as though they had eluded their hunters and would soon be able to get out of here and with a little luck they would be able to get off world. The wide creatures filled the entry way with their mass and what Cash considered to be a brilliant idea came to mind. Wookies and malfunctioning droids weren’t the only impulsive ones in this room. Cash drew his blaster pistol in a fluid motion.

"You know they are going to be all over the place once we get out of here. It’ll make it difficult to get the part and then get to the ship if we have to stop every ten minutes to hide from them. It would be easy enough for us to ambush them right now.” 

Toj shook his head but readied his crossbow anyway. He knew better than to try to dissuade Cash from his current course of action. 8 let out an excited noise and readied his rifle. The dancer moved close to Cash. The look of fear that was once on her face gave way to excitement. Her fingers rested on his shoulder turning him to face her.

“I hate those gamorreans.” She whispered.

“Then watch this.” He replied as he threw the door open and dashed onto the stage firing his blaster indiscriminately into the pack of thugs crowded tightly in the entrance of the cantina. 

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Valen took cover immediately, the trained reflexes of a soldier taking over the conscious part of his brain. His rifle slid free from the tight strap on his back to rest cradled in his arms. The butt pressed into the crook of his shoulder and he took up a relaxed firing position. His body crouched low behind on of the tables littering the cantina floor. He could see the intent of the ambushers rushing across the stage. It was a simple strategy, but an effective one.

Glitch had a similar reaction, but his was panic induced and accompanied by a terrified shriek. He planted a single hand on the bar and leapt over it to land crouched on the other side. The bartender glanced at him with an unnerving smile on his demonic features. As if Glitch was not panicked enough, he had to be trapped with a devorian. Cursing his luck he peeked around the bar peering into the cantina as the battle unfolded.

Cash was the first across the stage, his pistol firing streaking blaster bolts that singed through the air and found their mark in the back of the gamorrean at the rear of the pack. The creature screamed in its porcine language. The sound was excruciating to all who heard it. Luckily enough for everyone, except the gamorrean, it was short lived as the creature dropped to the ground dead.

Tojjevvuk was not far behind. A howl of battle ripped from his lungs shaking the glasses that remained on the bar. His traditional wookiee bowcaster let loose a blazingly energized arrow that struck another gamorrean in the chest. The force of the shot forcing the pig-like brute back nearly four yards where it crashed against the wall and slid slowly down. The truncheon in the gamorrean’s hand rattled across the floor as it breathed its last gasping breaths.

8 clanked heavily across the stage firing his rifle without aiming. Shot after shot ripped through the cantina shattering glasses and scoring the walls where they hit. Many of his shots found their intended targets causing terror and aguish amongst the ambushed gamorreans. Planting a foot at the end of the stage the droid leveled his blaster rifle and shot one of the adversaries in the throat. Fat hands clutched at the burned and torn flesh of the creature’s neck before it crashed like a falling tree to the cantina floor.

To the gamorrean’s credit, they did not falter and they did not flee. After the initial shock of the ambush the tusked monstrosities rallied and began a full charge for the stage. They spread out in their rush, reducing the ease with which they were being shot. Each creature lowered its head and held its club high in the air. Murder gleamed in their beady black eyes as they waded through the blaster fire making their way to the stage. 

The first gamorrean to make it across the killing floor caught up to Tojjevvuk, who had taken a forward position. It lashed out with the energized club in an overhand blow with the entirety of the thug’s considerable weight behind it. Toj pivoted backward but could not avoid the swing entirely. The crackling weapon struck the wookiee in the shoulder and he howled in pain. Tojjevvuk felt his shoulder crack from the force of the blow, but the electricity coursing through his body was far worse. His vision began to blur, but he was not losing consciousness. A red hue overtook the wookiee’s sight and he howled in rage, dropping his bowcaster to the ground.

Somewhere on the cantina floor another gamorrean fell, shot down by one of the trio. It didn’t register to the enraged wookiee. Toj lunged forward, his long arms wrapping around the gamorrean and lifting it into the air. The squealing creature beat its fists against the wookiee in an attempt to extricate itself from the grapple to no avail. Toj howled again and with a twist slammed the struggling gamorrean into one of the cantina tables. With a crack like thunder the table gave way beneath the considerable bulk of the thug and the strength of the enraged wookiee. The gamorrean hit the floor hard, the air blasted from its lungs. It flailed flabby arms impotently at its attacker. Toj loomed over his fallen foe and snarled down at the fallen gamorrean.

Before the wookiee could strike the last standing enforcer lunged forward smashing its club into the Toj and following by crashing its body into that of the wookiee. The impact of the strike was audible. Off balance Toj could do little to defend himself against the heavy truncheon with its electric field. The gamorrean pressed in raising its club for another attack.

Cash lined up his pistol with the gamorrean in order to assist his friend, but was unable to get a clear shot. Rushing forward he took the only option he saw available and leaped from the stage. The handle of his pistol crashed down on the face of Toj’s attacker with a sharp crack. The creature’s strange blood dripped from its snout but it seemed unaffected by the attack. It lumbered forward raising its club once more, but this time its focus was on Cash. It let out a grunt and prepared to strike. 

An eruption of crimson light burst from across the cantina heralding the blast that found the striking gamorrean in the back. The creature twisted from the shot and toppled to the floor writhing in agony. Its breath was labored and fear filled its beady black eyes. It expired shortly after. Valen raised his rifle from his shoulder, smoke drifting from the barrel, and nodded in the direction of the others.

Cash stepped down from the stage looking over the carnage so recently wrought upon the cantina. A whistle of astonishment left his lips. His eyes came to rest on the struggling gamorrean on the floor who Toj had so delicately thrown through a table.

“Sorry, pal. You were dealt a bad hand this time.” He said solemnly.

Cash twisted his hand and lowered his pistol firing three shots, point blank, into the chest of the thug Toj had smashed through the table. It squealed in pain from the first shot but was silenced by the second. It was already dead when the third blast tore into its body. Smoke rose from the charred remains of its chest and its green hued blood spattered the floor.

“A really bad hand…”

Toj roared, his rage not yet subsided.

“We can count that one as yours…” Cash backed away from the wookiee raising his hands passively.

A few deep breaths later and Toj found his control. His lengthy frame visibly relaxed. Muscles which were once taught and visible hid once more behind the wookiee’s thick dark fur. He bent down and retrieved his bowcaster. After his weapon was secured Toj began to stretch out his wounded shoulder, growling softly against the pain. 

The devorian behind the bar rose from the safety of cover to survey the carnage that had unfolded in his establishment. A grin came to his fanged mouth and his clawed hands began to slowly clap together. The applause grew faster and was accompanied by a somewhat sinister chuckle. Cash bowed deeply before walking over to Valen.

“Thanks for the help, friend.” Cash said. “But you may want to get out of here now. You don’t want to be mixed up in all of this.” He added.

“If I had let them kill you I wouldn’t be able to ask you for a ride off of this dust ball.” Valen shrugged his shoulders. “You are leaving soon, I would imagine. Otherwise there would be no point in killing Sinasu’s enforcers. Call the assistance part of my payment for transport.”

Cash laughed. “You really think that is all it will take to get us to take you with us? We don’t know you.”

“You know that I’m a good shot.” Valen replied in a matter-of-fact manner. “You also know that those weren’t all of Sinasu’s thugs. There will be more.”

“Fair enough, you help us and we’ll get you off-world. The name’s Kraken. This is Toj.” Cash said while motioning to Tojjevvuk. “The foul-mouthed droid is 8. Don’t look directly at him. He’s funny about things like that.”

From across the cantina 8 mumbled “Better not try to water my plants...”

Valen offered a calloused hand, which Cash shook. “Valen Kar. We should probably get moving. It won’t be long before someone figures out that these dead fellows have been in here for far too long.”

“A few quick errands and we’re on our way. First we need to do some shopping.” Cash chuckled.

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Edited by unkle_caveman, 17 October 2013 - 06:51 AM.


#2 unkle_caveman

unkle_caveman

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 06:52 AM

The trip through the dusty streets of Mos shudda was quick enough and if anyone were out looking for the group they were not doing a very good job. They took a few turns through alleys while staying close to buildings and any other visual obstructions and were soon standing in front of the Mos Shuuta junk dealer. A short wall surrounded the back of the shop and piles of scrap parts could be seen peeking out over it. Faded signs showcasing various deals were painted onto the walls of the ruddy metal building. On other worlds there would be legitimate businesses selling new parts and offering to install them for a small fee. On Tatooine scrap was the best option. 

The inside of the shop was almost dustier than the outside. A dirty old man rested on a stool behind the counter. His eyes peered at the group as they entered from beneath bushy gray brows. A dirty R5 astromech beeped as the customers entered the shop. The droid’s effort was rewarded by a swat from the man’s cane, banging off of the droids body. 

“I can see ‘em, ya pile of junk. Git in back and get ready to fetch what they need. I swear I’m gonna take you apart and sell you for scrap on of these days.”

The droid let out a mournful blip and hurried through the canvas curtains separating the shop from the scrap yard behind it. 

“Good day, sir.” Cash gave a nod of greeting as he stepped forward. He leaned resting his elbows on the counter and surveyed the shop.

“We are looking for a hyperdrive motivator for our yt-1300. I heard this was the place to get one at a reasonable price.” Cash knew very well that this was the only place to buy a part for anything within one hundred miles.

“We got one of them.” The shop owner spoke lazily as if the very prospect of business bored him. “But we’re holding it for someone. Try back in a couple of months. I should have some new scrap by then.”

There weren’t currently any other yt-1300s in the docks that Cash was aware of. He glanced back to Toj who gave a shrug of his massive shoulders. Cash’s gloved fingers drummed idly on the counter. He winked to the rest of the group, who were browsing various goods, before turning back to the junk dealer.

“Yeah, you’re holding it for us. A trandoshan named Trex ordered it. We’re just stopping in to pick it up for him. We all work together.” It was only a partial lie.

The junk dealer gave Cash a scrutinizing glance. “The balance is one thousand credits.” Whether he believed Cash or simply did not care would remain one of the galaxy’s not-so-great mysteries.

To this point the savings Cash and Toj had accumulated amounted to 100 credits, bad luck, and a large pile of debt. One thousand credits was way out of their budget. Trex probably intended to threaten the shop owner to reduce the price. After all it would take a brave and suicidal man to seek recompense from Sinasu. Cash folded his hands together and stared directly into the eyes of the junk dealer.

“You do know who we work for, don’t you?” Cash mustered up his most sinister tone of voice. “Are you aware how much one day of our ship being grounded will cost our employer? I consider myself fairly brave. I travel with a heavily armed wookiee. I’m being honest when I say that you could not pay me enough to be the cause of that loss.”

Toj roared to add emphasis to the point.

“You’ve got that right, Toj.” Cash turned away from the counter the serious façade on his face cracked immediately into a mischievous grin. When he turned back to the scrap dealer the look returned with grave intensity. “I suppose he can just wait for Trex to get here and see how that plays out.”

The color faded from the older man’s face and his eyes took on a desperate quality. His fingers stretched out in a pleading manner as words barely tempered by anger poured out of his lips.

“I can give it to you for four hundred. That’s as low as I can go. It’s not like your boss ain’t gonna take most of it anyway. Any less than that and I’m not gonna have anything to pay him with.”

Four hundred was still outside of reality for Cash, but he knew pressing the shop keeper would only make the situation worse. He looked over his shoulder and gave a nod to Toj. His hand dropped below the counter out of the dealer’s sight and gave a strange signal to the wookiee. Toj howled and made an overdramatic exit, waving his arms and roaring as he left the junk shop.

“What was that about?” The shop keeper asked.

“He’s going to go fetch either the money or Trex. Whichever he finds first, I suppose.” Cash shook his head solemnly. “I’ll try and talk to him on your behalf when he gets here.”

---------------------------------

Toj had worked with the smuggler for a couple of years at this point and while there were no prearranged signals between the two, the wookiee was used to the way his business partner operated. It was obvious to Tojjevvuk that theft was necessary at this junction. Flailing his arms and howling, Toj made his way out into the streets of Mos Shuuta once more. 

He fell silent as he passed out of view from the front of the shop and darted around the side of the shop. Keeping his head low Toj stalked toward the fence surrounding the back of the scrap yard. His long arms easily reached over the wall and he pulled himself over without straining himself the slightest bit. He landed with a thud on the opposite side of the wall.

Toj scanned the scrap yard. Piles of junk parts that had yet to be sorted and labeled cluttered the area. In the front, nearer to the shop, there were long metal shelves lined with various parts. Each was labeled and priced. Toj shook his head and whined quietly. It would take a long time to sort through all of these and while Cash was adept at making a scene of himself and distracting people, it would still take too long. It could be hours before Toj could find exactly what they were looking for. A shrill beeping noise drew the wookiee from his contemplation. Toj shot his gaze up, leveling his bowcaster on the source of the noise. It was the R5 unit from inside the shop. It wheeled toward Toj beeping as it drew closer.

Toj lowered his bowcaster and growled faintly to the droid.

It blipped excitedly in response. The whirring and chirping continued for a few moments. 

Toj growled inquisitively, his head tilting to the side.

The droid beeped mournfully.

Toj shook his head and groaned resting his massive paw atop the droid.

An excited chirp left the droids sound emitter. It wheeled about in a circle around the wookiee beeping happily.

Toj nodded and patted R5 on its head. He then rose to his full height and waved toward the shelves with the various parts on them. R5 chirped once more and whirred away with all the speed its motivator could muster. The wookiee managed what appeared to be a smile.

---------------------------------

When the droid rushed into the shop through the thick curtains Cash caught a glance of Toj in the scrap yard out back. With the skill of a practiced nuisance he adjusted his volume and added body language to the story he was telling the shop keeper. His body contorted into a strange position and he threw his head backward for emphasis. The R5 unit extended its manipulator arm and grabbed a part from the shelf before scurrying out of the shop once more. Cash relaxed his body and breathed a long sigh.

“That pretty much sums it up.” He added.

The look on the shop keeper’s face was one of confusion and irritation. His hands balled into fists and one beat down on the counter causing dust to scatter into the air. His breathing was barely controlled and he glared at Cash with hostility.

“Look, I don’t care none about rodian women. Is your boss gonna be here soon? I ain’t got all day.” The junk dealer expressed furiously while shaking with anger at the intrusion upon his time.

“Well if that is going to be your attitude I will just have to come back some other time.” Cash shrugged his shoulders and glanced to Valen. He was a bit upset that the explorer didn’t seem to find any of this funny. 

“Make sure that when Trex stops by you tell him I was here. I don’t want any of this on my head.”
With a flamboyant wave of his arms he spun on his heel and made his way out of the junk shop. 8 raised his rifle threateningly at the shop keeper but lowered it after a second and simply made a rude gesture. Then, with much clanking, he thundered after Cash. Valen shook his head and turned to follow in silence. His rifle rested with practiced ease upon his shoulder. Valen appeared very much the soldier as he followed Cash out of the shop and into the streets. The group saw Toj just down the street. In the wookiee’s paws was the hyperdrive motivator. A beat up R5 droid scurried around him excitedly.

---------------------------------

Tojjevvuk could see the dock ahead rising out of the dusty landscape. R5 whirred alongside him, beeping happily. The massive double blast doors were open and the faded rust colored hull of the Krayt Fang was easily discernible. The hyperdrive part seemed too light for Toj to be of such importance. How could something so small be so important to their freedom? Drawn from his contemplation by a warning bleep from R5, who had detected security droids in the vicinity, Toj peered into the relative darkness of the hangar. Four security droids, each baring Sinasu’s personal mark, patrolled the dock. They had taken up positions around the Krayt Fang. While the presence of security was nothing new, this was double the usual number of guards for the hangar. 

Toj had a simple job to do. He had to get on board the Krayt Fang and install the hyperdrive motivator so the starship would be ready to leave this planet by the time the others returned from clearing the ship to take off at port control. This added security gave the already nervous wookiee pause. His shoulder ached from the earlier battle, and he was certain he would need some minor medical treatment before the day was out. Fighting a quartet of heavily armed security droids did not seem a prudent course of action to Tojjevvuk at this time. He dropped the replacement motivator into the satchel at his waist and held his bowcaster in both paws as he approached the two sentry droids standing guard outside the hangar. The droids each raised a single hand in unison. 

“What is your business in the hangar?” Its inhuman voice demanded an answer.

Toj saw no point in lying about anything he did not have to. One paw left its grip on the bowcaster to pat the satchel at his side. He roared motioning to the ship with his bowcaster.

“Proceed with your repairs, citizen.” The droid said as both lowered their hands.

Walking past the sentries and through the blast doors, Tojjevvuk noticed that the security clamps which would keep the ship grounded were undone. It seemed as if the plan were going smoothly. It was a little too smooth for the naturally suspicious wookiee. His heavy footsteps seemed to echo louder than ever before as he walked across the metallic floor drawing ever closer to the Krayt Fang and freedom. 

Toj approached the Fang and raised an arm to press the entrance keys to extend the ramp. Pistons hissed and the ramp began to lower, the blast doors sliding open and granting entrance to this starship. The clatter of metal feet on the metal floor drew the wookiee’s attention. Two of the security droids were rushing in his direction, pistols drawn. He spotted the other two droids operating the security console. Warning claxons erupted and flashing lights flared overhead. Toj spun to face the rushing droids. His bowcaster rose up and he took aim on them. His body suddenly convulsed violently and pain flooded his senses. Toj howled in anguish. His vision blurred while his lower back burned with intense agony. Tojjevvuk collapsed at the edge of the ramp. His bowcaster clattered across the hangar floor, meters out of reach. 

He rolled on the ground, adjusting his body to face the now extended ramp of the Krayt Fang. A tall reptilian figure descended the ramp. It had a large blaster pistol in its hand, still hot from the shot that had taken Toj down. Trex moved with the patience of a predator who knew that its prey could no longer fight back. The pistol lowered as he stalked down the ramp to loom over the wookiee. The claws on Trex’s free hand flexed excitedly over the kill which was to come. He laughed mockingly.

“I’ve always wanted to turn that pelt in for the bounty. Sinasu has finally allowed me to hunt you, wookiee.” Trex’s voice was a hissing gurgle that seemed to come from somewhere deep in his chest. 

---------------------------------

Spaceport control was contained in a squat metal building at the center of Mos Shuuta which glinted in the sunlight. It stood out significantly amidst the drab brown and rust hues of the rest of the city. The cooling units atop the building were working heavily to provide a semblance of comfort to the Imperial officers within. Their motors whirred adding to the cacophony of sounds that comprised the noise of a city. A single blast door marked entrance was placed in the front of the building. The keypad beside the door glowed faintly despite the glaring sun. Two droids stood on opposite sides of the door, their blasters held ready. Sensor units in the sentries’ heads scanned the approaching group suspiciously.

Valen’s eyes swept over the building. He pulled his hood higher to conceal his face. He had hoped for something resembling a plan to manifest over the short walk here. It was becoming apparent to him that plans were not really Cash’s style. They could easily shoot their way in and out, he knew that much, but that course of action seemed to reckless even for the smuggler. He turned about to face Cash, his shoulders rose slightly in a shrug.

“So, what now?” He asked, hoping there would be a better answer than blasting in.

Cash smiled warmly. He matched Valen’s shrug with one of his own. His eyes glanced around, looking for some answer to make itself apparent. Nothing stood out. It wasn’t like they had an experienced slicer with them. Then again it was probably unfair to label people as slicers anyway. 

“I suppose we just ask them to let us in. Then we ask them to let us take off.” Cash’s hand curled into a ball extending his index finger and raising his thumb in pantomime of a pistol. “Either that or you know…” He raised the mock pistol and pointed it at the building “Boom.”

“I like the second one. Let’s do that one.” 8 commented, fidgeting anxiously with his rifle. 

“After you, then.” Valen swept one arm out wide motioning for Cash to lead the way. His face cracked into a dry grin when 8 passed by. “You will probably get your wish.” He whispered to the droid.

---------------------------------

A grin split Trex’s reptilian face revealing razor sharp teeth as he watched Tojjevvuk struggle on the ground. His square and scaled feet padded softly against the steel floor as he closed in on his prey. His tapped his wrist comm ordering the security droids to stand down. This was his kill and he would not have it spoiled by a machine. His heavy pistol rose once more to rest aimed at Tojjevvuk again.

“Not dead yet, wookiee?” He hissed as he sneered down at Tojjevvuk. “Look on the bright side. You are making me spend more ammo than I wanted to.”

Trex brought his aim to line up with Toj’s chest. A wet sounding laugh issued from his massive chest and echoed through the hangar. A sudden bump jarred the trandoshan’s aim as he pulled the trigger. The blasts scored the hangar floor a foot away from Toj. R5 beeped angrily, bouncing back from the force of his charge. The droid’s motivator whirred as it spun about to face the trandoshan once more and R5 raced at Trex attempting to ram him again. 

The droid’s charge was met with the clawed foot of the bounty hunter. With a wail of despair, the diminutive astromech skidded across the hangar floor. Trex fired his pistol into the fallen droid as it writhed helplessly on the ground. The shots blasted chunks out of the droid’s hull sending hot shrapnel and sizzling circuitry across the floor. One shot hit a hydraulic line causing fluid to spill out onto the hangar deck, pooling around R5’s, now unmoving, body. The wail of the droid died down to a faint static filled groan which was in turn silenced as the trandoshan kicked R5 sending the droid skidding across the floor. 

Trex was a natural hunter and killer. His senses were as keen as those of any predator. Perhaps it was this natural awareness that caused the trandoshan to be aware of the danger approaching. Perhaps it was the massive shadow cast by the spinning warning lights overhead. No matter the cause, he turned in time to bring his pistol up as, the now standing, Tojjevvuk crashed into him. The wookiee’s pawed hand met with the scaly fist of Trex sending the pistol hurtling from the trandoshan’s grasp and sending it spinning across the floor. Toj did not roar and he did not growl. The wookiee did not emit a single sound as me moved silently after the reeling Trex. He had never seemed so large to the trandoshan before this moment. Silent rage seethed in Tojjevvuk’s eyes. 

---------------------------------

The smoking bodies of the destroyed security droids sizzled in protest to their destruction letting a faint smoke filter into the air of the port control building. Control stations buzzed and blipped. Many were damaged heavily by blaster fire. Overseer Brynn looked with shock around the room. Her hands were held slightly above her head and she was still trying to catch her breath. She eyed the two men and the droid who had so brazenly attacked an Imperial facility with disbelief. The two control technicians assigned to the post stood beside her, nursing minor injuries accumulated during the brief fight. Those damned security droids had let them inside with no clearance check whatsoever. Weeks ago she had put a request in for a squad of stormtroopers to guard the Empire’s holdings in Mos Shuuta. She was reprimanded for her audacity. Despite the denial of her request she was relatively certain this would get blamed on her as well. Luckily there were not many worlds worse than Tatooine that she could get transferred to. Her cold eyes settled on the man pointing a pistol directly at her.

Valen had already taken up a position outside the building after dragging the broken security droids inside in order to get them off the street. It would be easy to see any approaching threat from this post. He folded his arms across his chest and leaned against the warm metal wall. The wrap he wore around his head and face to ward off the sun and sand of Tatooine left only a slit for his eyes revealed. He had seen many worlds during his tour of duty as an Imperial scout. If these reckless youths could get him off world he would be thankful for it. He longed to see more of the galaxy and with a group like this there would be no orders or missions to limit his exploration. Then again, he mused, they would probably get him killed before they got away from Mos Shuuta. 

Cash Kraken held his pistol lazily in her direction. She was too smart to rush him, and he knew it. As for the technicians beside her, the fight had been taken out of them by Valen. The man’s restraint in dealing with the technicians surprised Cash more than a little. He knew Valen would be good to work with until he grew tired of Cash’s lack of formal planning. He motioned toward the two bruised technicians.

“8, would you be so kind as to escort these two gentlemen to the maintenance closet. Don’t shoot them unless they shoot at you first.”

“They do not have weapons. How can they possibly shoot at me?” The droid replied.

“I know that. So don’t shoot them.” Cash laughed.


“May I give them weapons? Then I might have to shoot them.” 8 asked pleadingly.

“Just put them in the damn closet already. We’re short on time here.” Cash’s tone left little room for negotiation. 

Grumbling, 8 led the captives away doing his best to incite an escape attempt. The hard clanking of his feet disappeared down the corridor moments later. Cash turned his attention to his only remaining prisoner.

“Well, the kids are in bed. Finally we can get a few minutes to ourselves.” He lowered his pistol to pose less a threat, but it remained ready and in his hand.

“You are all very foolish. We will catch up with you sooner or later.” Brynn spat the words with disgust.

“For my sake I do hope YOU catch up with me sooner. I have a weakness for authoritative women in uniforms. I know the first date was rough but trust me, the second one will be much better. Expect the same level of property damage, though.” Cash seemed unconcerned with the consequences of his actions for the moment. If they did not get off this planet they would be dead within a few hours anyway.

“Be as droll as you like. You are now an enemy of the Empire. Life as you knew it is over with.” She said coldly.

“That’s what I’m hoping. You could help me with that. I need my ship cleared to take off. Maybe you could use some of that alluring authority to help me out a little? I would be grateful.” Cash moved the pistol in his hand to emphasize his point. “We are at the west dock. Only ship there, too. It should be real easy for you.”

Overseer Brynn rolled her eyes back. Slowly she moved toward one of the remaining control stations lowering her hands as passively as possible. Quickly she entered her authorization and cleared the Krayt Fang for take-off. She knew that it was in her best interest to get these fools out of her office quickly. The faster she got them out the door the sooner she could send someone to track them down and drag them back in binders. They weren’t going to kill her; of that much she was sure. A buzz on the console was accompanied by a blinking light. Imperial landing codes flashed across the screen and a stoic voice mixed with static rose out of the intercom. Brynn’s eyes rotated to Cash who had once more raised the pistol in his hand in direct threat.

“Imperial port control come in, this is Imperial Shuttle Lambda-11238 requesting authorization for landing.”

“Find out what they are here for.” Cash demanded.

“Or you’ll shoot me? I do not think you will.” She turned to face him with a smug grin on her lips. 

“No. You’re right. I probably won’t shoot you.” Cash lowered his head as if defeated. “But he will and I’ll feel real bad about it.” He lifted his head once more, the traces of a smile forming on his face.

8 pressed the barrel of his rifle into Brynn’s back between her shoulder blades. The technicians had been locked in the maintenance closet and the control panel had been blasted to oblivion. That would surely buy them some time. 8 was quite proud of himself.

“Now” Cash continued. “Find out why they want to land or my friend here will end you.”

Brynn released an indignant sight and pressed the comm button on the console before her. All her earlier bluster faded with the reappearance of the battle droid.

“Shuttle Lambda what is your purpose in Mos Shuuta. I received no notice of your arrival.” Brynn’s cold demeanor was apparent even through a comm link.

“We have been diverted from Mos Eisley to find the group responsible for attacking an Imperial base and killing one of our agents. Again, requesting authorization to land at the east dock.” Came the static filled reply.

Brynn looked over her shoulder at Cash who shrugged his shoulders and whistled in mock innocence. 

“To be fair, we didn’t know he was one of yours. Hell, we didn’t even really kill him. The explosion did that. None of that matters right now. Are we cleared to take off?”

“Yes. Now get out of here. They will land with or without my authorization and any more stalling will bring them here first.” Brynn glared at Cash wishing she were armed.

“Just stun.” Cash looked past Brynn speaking to 8.

8 flipped a switch on his rifle and fired point blank into Brynn’s back. The stun shot hit her full force causing her to drop unceremoniously to the floor. 8 stepped over her walking toward the exit. He knew a request to shoot again would probably be denied. Valen raced into the small building looking around frantically. 

“We have a problem. Warning sirens are going off at the dock. Your friend may be in trouble.” Valen left the building immediately after delivering his warning. 

Through the window Cash saw a shuttle swoop low on its way toward the east dock. It was covered in Imperial markings. Time was running out and if Valen were correct Toj would need them right now. Holstering his pistol he ran toward the exit giving one last glance to Overseer Brynn.

“You were right. I feel downright terrible about all this.”

---------------------------------

Tojjevvuk matched the pace of the retreating bounty hunter, Trex. Closing in the wookiee’s paw lashed out in a violent and wide punch catching the trandoshan in the side of his chest halfway between his armpit and waist. Trex hissed in pain as he felt his ribs bend beneath the force of the blow. At least one of them broke against the force of the assault. His body reeled backward and Trex struggled to keep his feet under him. Snarling, Trex lashed out with his claws tearing trenches into the flesh of the attacking wookiee. Hot blood spilled onto the cold metal floor.

Tojjevvuk continued to press, undaunted by the lacerations marring his flesh and the blood that now stained his fur. Lengthy arms reached out and grabbed a hold of his enemy. Tojjevvuk twisted at his hips once the hold was in place and flung Trex’s feet out from under him, tossing him violently across the hangar. Trex landed with a thud and struggled to get to his feet.

As the trandoshan planted his hands in an attempt to get off the floor he was met in the face by the heavy foot of Tojjevvuk in a vicious kick. His head snapped to the side sending blood and spittle flying from his mouth. A few of Trex’s razor sharp teeth cracked. He reached up desperately grabbing a hold of the offending leg and sank his claws into Toj’s calf. Pulling violently he bit deep into the wookiee’s leg. Tojjevvuk howled in pain. Twisting from the ground, Trex rolled. Keeping his claws and teeth dug in as deeply as possible into Tojjevvuk’s flesh he pulled Toj from his feet causing the massive wookiee to crash to the ground beside himself. Rising to his feet Trex stumbled toward his fallen blaster pistol which rested near the boarding ramp of the Krayt Fang. Toj rose almost as quickly and limped after him. 

Stumbling to his right Trex grabbed one of the supply crates that the security droids had been loading into the starship before Toj’s appearance. Spinning he used the crate as a giant club smashing it into Tojjevuuk. Toj managed to get his arms up in time to absorb most of the force, but enough was left to send him crashing to the floor once more. 

Toj’s vision blurred and the world seemed to spin. Blood poured freely from his injuries and despite his rage, his strength was waning fast. He was vaguely aware that Trex was using his wrist comm, most likely to activate the security droids. Struggling against the loss of blood and his own rage, Toj saw his bowcaster lying nearby. Weakly, he reached for it.

Trex tapped furiously at his wrist comm. Instantly, in an explosion of pain and blaster fire, his arm was not there. The shot caught him in the elbow, its heat cauterizing the wound and sending his forearm flopping lifelessly to the floor. He stared at the burned stump in disbelief before collapsing onto the ramp of the Krayt Fang. 

8 stared down his sights and watched the trandoshan fall with sadistic glee. Cash and Valen were dashing across the hangar floor in a direct line for the fallen wookiee. He lowered the rifle offering a salute to the crawling Tojjevuuk.

“I told you I would make boots out of you. Scum.” 8 shouted joyously.

In his revelry 8 failed to notice Trex raise his remaining arm. Gripped in his bloody talons was the heavy blaster he had sought to retrieve. Without hesitation, the trandoshan opened fire blasting the droid with two consecutive shots which were spaced centimeters apart. 8 was not as fragile as R5 had been and the blasts scored his armor deeply and sent him stumbling back, thick black smoke billowed out from blasted holes in his plated hull. 

Toj found his crossbow and rolled onto his back taking aim at Trex. The cumbersome weapon kicked into his already wounded shoulder causing a groan of pain when he squeezed the trigger. The energized bolt shot through the air, hitting Trex just above his arm pit in the shoulder. A gurgling screech erupted from the trandoshan as the bolt tore through armor, flesh, muscle, and bone separating the arm from his body at the shoulder. In an amazing feat of stamina Trex did not lose consciousness. Lying on his back on the ramp he resigned himself to a noble death.

Cash and Valen both reached down and helped Tojjevvuk to his feet. The wookiee leaned heavily on the two men and they started toward the starship. After a moment Toj shook them off taking an unsteady step on his own. His earlier rage had all but bled out of him and he felt some clarity. Stabilizing himself, Tojjevvuk walked over to the fallen R5 droid and lifted it into his arms, carrying it like a child onto the Krayt Fang. 

Cash stopped on the ramp staring down at the armless trandoshan, Trex. The bounty hunter looked up at him expectant of the death that he knew was coming. To his surprise and dismay Cash did not draw his pistol. Cash wedged his toe beneath the heavy body of the trandoshan and with a light kick rolled him down the ramp onto the hangar floor. Reaching down Cash picked up Trex’s pistol. It was heavy in his hands but he had seen its power firsthand and could already think of how useful it would be.

“Trex, I believe our business arrangement has ended. Get off of our ship.” Cash said flatly before turning and ascending the ramp. 

8, however, was of a different opinion. Pacing across the floor he readied his blaster. Boots were the plan and he would see it done. His somewhat limited attention was diverted as Valen raced up the ramp, blaster fire chasing him the entire way. Turning, 8 saw a transport speeder outside the hangars blast doors. Imperial Stormtroopers were already firing at the fleeing group. Lamenting the forced mercy, 8 clanked aboard the Krayt Fang raising the ramp once he was aboard. 

Cash raced to the cockpit, strapping himself into the pilot’s chair. Entering the ignition sequence he eased the Krayt Fang into the air. 8 led Valen to one of the turrets and then went to his own post at the opposite turret. Hyperdrive motivator in hand, Tojjevvuk limped across the ship to install the replacement part. The Krayt Fang shot into the sky, leaving the Imperials and Mos Shuuta behind.

---------------------------------

The Krayt Fang sliced through the air. Her flight was almost natural as she moved smoothly through the clouds and into the atmosphere. Her hull shook as she pierced the atmosphere. Smoothly she adjusted to the pressure of space gliding silently. Her hyperdrive was not currently functional but she could detect the repair was underway. Her sensors beeped in alarm. Four other ships were rapidly approaching her. Tie fighters, the standard weapon of the Empire’s Navy were gaining swiftly in an attack formation. No hail was sent and the fighters opened fire.

She rolled in her flight switching her deflector shields to her stern and only one of the shots made contact with her hull. The energy ripped into her armor and scored her hull deeply. Warning lights and klaxons made her pain audible. She shook violently from the impact. Her turrets answered the threat. Blaster cannons sent bolts streaking through space. The lead fighter was hit directly in its cockpit and exploded promptly. Turning she reversed direction and increased speed heading directly toward the middle of the fighter’s formation. Her deflector shield rolled across her hull to stretch out in front of her defensively.

The Tie fighters were no novices. Their course adjusted and they flowed around her like a swarm avoiding her cannons and raking her with shots as they passed. Her frame was horrifically damaged in the assault and her damage sensors screamed in agony. Her sleek body curled around taking the damage in stride in order to gain an advantageous position. Closing in, her cannons fired at close range ripping two of the fighters apart and scattering debris in her wake. 

The final fighter did not retreat. Spiraling, he whirled about blasting away at her hull. Chunks of armor dislodged from her armor to float lazily through space. Smoke filled her corridors and the Krayt Fang groaned in pain, her body severely damaged. Through the damage and pain, she showed her grit lining up both turrets with the passing Tie fighter and obliterated it. Curling past the wreckage she limped off into space, very nearly a wreck herself. Her sensors detected another squadron of fighters approaching but they were too far out. Her hyperdrive was installed and online. She would be long gone before a new wave of enemies could catch her.
---------------------------------

The hyperdrive motivator installed, Tojjevvuk collapsed into his hammock set up in the engineering room. His body relaxed and he let himself rest for the first time in what seemed like years. His head leaned back against his pillow and he breathed a sigh of relief accompanied by a content groan.

Cash patted the Fang on her interior paneling. He knew that she would much rather run than fight but was proud of her nonetheless. Repair costs would be horrendous, but it was a price he would be happy to pay. First he would have to change her name. While Krayt Fang may have appealed to the draconic Trex, it did not suit the ship. She needed something sleeker. She deserved something better. He swiveled in the pilot’s chair tapping the intercom with gloved fingers.

“Hyperdrive is functional and all hostiles are out of range to catch us. Now, comes the big question. Where do we want to go?”

It felt good to say those words. There were many things they had to do. The ship had to be repaired. Toj had to receive some medical attention. There was nowhere they had to go. They could go wherever they liked. It was a new and refreshing feeling and Cash leaned back in his chair to fully enjoy the comfort found in that thought. His hands folded behind his head while he looked out into the vastness of space. It seemed so open and inviting. 

Toj howled over the intercom before collapsing into a deep slumber.

“Yeah, that sounds like a great idea.” Cash replied over the intercom. 

For the first time in months, Valen Kar laughed. He unbuckled himself from the gunner’s seat and descended the ladder to the Fang’s central corridor. For the time being he could explore the ship. That was good enough for now. 



#3 schoon

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:34 PM

Thanks for the story - it's clear you've put significant effort into this!

#4 HanShot1st

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:37 AM

That was awesome! At first I wasn't going to finish reading the whole thing but it was so engaging. And I really like the character of 8... there's a bit of a HK-47 feel to him ("Die meatbags!"): funny in a dark, scary way.

 

 

I really wanted to run Escape from Mos Shutta for my group, but I didn't want to get the Beginner's Game (it was ran for me at my local game shop). This really inspired me :)


Edited by HanShot1st, 15 November 2013 - 11:39 AM.


#5 unkle_caveman

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 10:43 PM

Thank you. 8 and his player provide a constant point of frustration for the rest of us. At least we stopped him from saying "roger-roger" all the damn time. Again, thanks for reading. It means a lot.






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