Sunday, January 24, 2016

Star Wars Shards of the Empire Season 01 Episode 02 Recon in Farce

Sand Panther Squadron had been sent on a mission to Nod Kartha a planet in the Karthakk system near Lok to search for one of Nym's operatives.  Morago was a Kubaz member of the Lok Revenants who was spying on Storm Lord activity on Nod Kartha.  As near as Nym could tell he had made it to the planet but they had not heard from him since.  Nym was not sure if he had been captured by the Storm Lords or the Local Neimodians who were no friends to Nym or his followers.

First they would have to get past the Spine and the Storm Lord patrols.  "Eyeballs dead ahead!" shouted the Zabrak Sune' Arkel over her comm.  "I see em!" replied one of the Revenant Y-Wing pilots.  "Darin let's get these two on the right!" Jenny Kule.  Two X-Wings and a Y-Wing banked towards their targets scoring a few hits.  "Hey I'm gonna need some help over here!" Sune' said excitedly.

"Got em!  Two down!" excalined Darin-Une.  "Yeah but their chewing us up over hear.  Shields out!" yelled Sune'.

 "Interceptor down!  We're comming to help." replied Jenny.  The Sand Panthers swung around to help their friend.

 "Hey I got one!" shouted one of the Revenants.  "We might just pull our backsides out of this yet" Sune' said.

 "Got the last TIE!  Take out that Squint before he gets away." Sune' said as her X-Wing rolled through the debris of the TIE fighter she had just vaporized.

 Darin lined her ship up on the final TIE Interceptor and opened fire.  In a flash the small craft vanished.  "He's down.  Let's get clear of the Spine and make our jump." she said.

The three Sand Panther pilots and two Revenants landed a few kilometers south of Gunray station on Nod Kartha.  The planet was a cold and desolate wasteland but there was so little moisture that nothing more than a heavy frost covered most of the ground.  "Separatist used to make Trihexalon weapons on this rock.  Cold kept the stuff stable." one of the Revenants said.  "Sounds like a great place to live." growled Sune'.  

Gunray station was a large town consisting mostly of prefabricated structures in fairly bad repair.  As the three pilots made their way through the outskirts they noticed that the town itself was fairly sparsely populated and in fact they had not seen any Neimodians at all.  

They got directions to the local cantina.  The place was named Rizzno's and it was owned by a Rodian.  Darin went up to the bar.  "Hey I thought that this was suppose to be a Neimodian town.  Where are they?" she ask.  The Rodian bartender looked around nervously "They moved on.  Yeah some time ago.  None of them left around here.".  He was obviously hiding something but Darin didn't know what.  

Sune' went up to the bar next and ask if the bartender knew Morago a Kubaz.  "Yeah there has been a Kubaz in here lately.  Comes in about this time most days. 

Sune' set back down with here drinks and watched the door.  After a while a Kubaz came in and set down at a table along.  The three Sand Panthers approached his table.  "Well, well you all don't look like the locals." the Kubaz said through a robotic sounding translator.  "We aren't.  You wouldn't happen to know a Morago would you?" Sune' asked.  The Kubaz leaned in and said "I hope Nym sent you.  I'm Morago.  I've got some intel for Nym but I need to get it out of my safe house.".  "Lead the way." Jenny said.

They made their way across the street to Morago's safe house.  "Hold on here.  I'll get my stuff and we can get back to Lok." the Kubaz said then went inside the small structure.

 Darin heard a group moving up behind them.  Turning she saw a group of four Stormtroopers.  "We've got company!" she shouted.

After a brief blaster exchange all four troopers lay on the ground.  "Crap they got me." Jenny said.  Just then the Kubaz ran out a side door of his safe house and headed across the street.  "Stun that bastard!" Sune' yelled.  The three pilots shot the Kubaz with stun bolts and he fell to the ground.  

After patching Jenny up Darin used some smelling salts from her pack to wake the Kubaz.  "So Morago you planned to double cross Nym" Sune' said as she held her blaster out at the Kubaz.  "I'm not really Morago.  The Storm Lords hired me to impersonate him in order to catch any Revenants who came looking for him.  My name is Velis.  If you promise not to kill me I will show you where the Storm Lords are holding Morago." the Kubaz said.  "Well Velis" Jenny said "We best get moving".

The Sand Panters and their Kubaz captive traveled to the warehouse sector of town.  There were eight Stormtroopers guarding a large warehouse.  Velis pointed at the structure.  "Morago is in there and I can tell you there will be more troopers in there guarding them.  Now if you let me go I promise I won't be any more trouble".  "Get moving then before I decide to kill you." growled Sune'.  The Kubaz ran off.

After searching around the three pilots found a large barrel full of fuel.  "Let's set this up behind this warehouse and set a thermal detonator to blow it.  When the troopers come to investigate we can attack the warehouse." Sune' said.  "Sounds risky but I don't have another plan" said Jenny. 

The Sand Panthers set the detonator then moved across the street to another warehouse. 

The entire warehouse exploded in a ball of fire.  The shock wave knocked the three pilots off their feet.  The Stormtroopers ran towards the inferno but stopped in the middle of the street gawking at the flames.  

 "Quick let's move out!" Darin said and she and Jenny ran towards the warehouse that Velis had pointed out.  A Stormtroopers came out a side door and Darin shot him.

Sune' sat on the ground shaking her head.  It took her a moment to get to her feet.  She then moved back towards the street and fired at one of the gawking troopers killing him.    

Jenny and Darin took out another pair of troopers who came out the door.  The troopers who were watching the fire seemed confused for a few moments then they realized they were under attack.  The split into two ground.  One group headed back to their warehouse while the other moved towards Sune's position.

Sune' dropped another detonator and ran away from the advancing troopers.  One trooper rounded the corner of the building and shot her knocking her out.  The detonator exploded killing the trooper and his comrades.

Darin and Jenny engaged the other group in a fierce fire fight.  They had good cover from a piece of heavy industrial equipment they were hiding under.  Eventually they managed to kill all the troopers.

Darin ran back towards Sune' and pulled her medpack out.  Jenny went into the warehouse and found a Kubaz tied up.  "Hey are you with Nym?  I'm Morago." the Kubaz said through a very chipper sounding translator.  "Yeah he sent us to find you" Jenny replied.

Darin managed to patch Sune' up.  "We had best get our butts out of here." Sune' said.  "Yeah let's get someplace safer." Darin replied.  Morago and the pilots made their way to the edge of town.  "Alright I need to get to my Z-95.  Don't worry she's got a hyperdrive so we can make an in system jump back to the Spine." Morago said.  "Sounds good.  See you in space." Jenny replied.

 After making an in system jump the Sand Panthers and pirates made their way towards the.  "Looks like we got problems already.  These Imp bastards just won't give up!" Sune' said.  "Six Eyeballs, two Squints, and a Decimator!  Who did you guys kill?" asked Morago.  "Oh just a couple Storm Lord patrols." replied Jenny.

A pair of Z-95s bearing Revenant markings came up on their position.  "Nym thought you could use some help" said one of the Z-95 pilots.  "We certainly do.  This is going to be a tough fight!" Jenny answered.

The ships engaged at high speed firing at each other.  Several scored hits in the first pass but kills were scored.  "I always end up by myself!" Sune' growled.  "Stop doing that then." Jenny answered.

 The Decimator turned into the fight it's turret spraying out deadly green fire.  One of the Z-95s exploded.  "We lost one already!  We've got to fight they are too fast!" Morago yelled.

Darin, Jenny, and two of the pirates concentrated their fire on the Decimator and the larger ship exploded in a flash.  "Yeah he's down!" cried Jenny.  "Good, now get over here and get these Squints off me.  My shields are down already." Sune' yelled.

Another TIE exploded.  "Don't worry Sune' we're on our way" Jenny said.  Just then Sune's X-Wing exploded.

 "Sune'! Sune' are you there!" Jenny shouted into her comm.  She hit her thrusters charging straight at a TIE firing as she flew.  The small craft exploded but she over shot directly into the path of the oncoming interceptors.  The two fighters riddled Jenny's X-wing with laser fire and her ship spun out of control before exploding.

Darin took down another TIE and another was taken down by the Revenants but the TIEs took out a Pirate Y-Wing.  "Sith!  Did anyone see if they ejected?" Darin yelled over her comm.  "It's too hot.  We've got to get out of here!" was Morago's only answer.  

Darin-Une banked her craft away from the battle.  As she did she check her scanners.  Two familiar emergency transponders were blinking on her screen.  There was at least a chance her friends had survived.  

"I'm sorry about your friends but I want to thank you for bringing Morago home.  Jenkins if analyzing some vital data he brought back.  The Storm Lords have rounded up the Neimodians and they have them working as slave labor trying to produce Trihexalon weapons.  We're doing everything we can to find out what happened to your squadron mates.  Rest assured that we will let you know if we find anything."  Nym said.   Darin nodded and walked back to her quarters.  

Sune' and Jenny awoke to find themselves tied to a pair of chairs aboard some kind of ship or space station.  "Welcome to Blood Razor Outpost.  I'm Jorund Saleem a captain of the Blood Razors. I sure hope for your sake your worth more to me alive than dead." a tall human man with braided hair stood and crossed his arms smiling at his two captives.  

Notes:  Well that was another rough one.  The players planning to rescue Morago was a little too rushed.  They planted their explosives way too close to the guarded warehouse.  While it cause the distraction they intended most of the troops were able to recover and get right back into the fight before they could rescue the Kubaz.  The final space battle in the Spine went pretty poorly as well.  I think the opposing force was just a bit too strong but they also split up a bit too much.  At first they tried to just punch straight through but TIEs are too fast for that so they lost a whole round of fighting trying to run too early and they also took too much damage doing that.  Fortunately the two players who got shot down managed to eject.  

Monday, January 18, 2016

Star Wars Shards of the Empire Season 01 Episode 01 Friends in Lok Places

Four X-Wing starfighters dropped out of hyperspace in the Naboo system.  "Captain Kyn said that we should meet up with Nym's contact Kole on Rori.  Keep an eye out for trouble" Jenny Kule said as she opened the s-foils on her craft.  "I doubt those 'Storm Lords' would dare try anything in this system. I hear most of the renegade Imps are operating in the Outer Rim." said Darin-Une with some doubt in her voice.  "Who's gonna stop em?  The New Republic ain't got their poodoo together yet and the Imps pulled out of this system after Jakku.  Anyway it's weird still fighting Imps, still flying X-Wings, even though the war is suppose to be over." replied Dack Cuthus a former Alliance pilot from Mynock squadron.  "Well we aren't in the Alliance anymore.  Still can't figure out this 'Sand Panther' squadron set up.  Rogan Dexter seems to have an awful lot of funds and good equipment for a Corellian smuggler.  I'm not sure if I trust him yet but I need the creds.  Besides the New Republic had me flying transports after Jakku and I much prefer the T-65." Sune' Arkel sighed as she ran through a system check of her craft.  "Tell me about it!" Dack said "We've got a contract from the Royal House of Naboo to run escort mission for a band of Pirates from Lok?  The galaxy is upside down.".

Outside of Narmel the members of Sand Panther Squadron meet Kole from the Lok Revenants at a small outpost that was once operated by the Rebel Alliance.  "Hello there!  My name is Kole" the small Chadra-Fan said.  "You must be Rogan Dexter's crew.".  "That's us.  Sand Panther Squadron." Dack replied.

"We're trying to get underway here but I've got a problem.  I was expecting a shipment of thermal detonators but I just found out that the transport they were on had to make an emergency landing a few kilometers from here.  I'm short handed so I was hoping you folks could go pick it up." Kole gestured over towards a large flat bed hover skiff.  "Sure thing! just tell us where to go" replied Jenny.  "I've got the coordinates on this datapad.  Leeta is the pilot.  I've been having some trouble reaching her on her comm but that's no surprise.  She's a good smuggler but her ship is not usually in the best of shape." Kole answered.

 "Should be straight up ahead.  I still can't reach this Leeta." Dack said as he slowed the hover skiff.  "Storm troopers what the?" yelled Darin.  A small yellow craft sat against a hill.  It looked like it had crash landed but was not badly damaged.  A squad of Imperial storm troopers in dirty white armor were standing around the craft.  Among them an officer in a disheveled uniform.

 The troopers raised their blaster carbines and started shooting.  Jenny and Sune' jumped from the back of the skiff and moved closer to the yellow craft as they fired at the troopers dropping two of them.  Dack and Darin hopped out of the cab and shot the others.  The officer ducked around the back of the craft but as soon as the four pilots came around the corner he dropped his pistol and put his hands in the air.  A badly beaten woman lay on the ground behind the small shuttle.  Jenny pointed at the woman "Can anyone help her?".  "Yeah I've got medical training." replied Darin as she knelt next to the woman and pulled a small med pack out of her bag.

"What the Hell are Imps doing here?" Dack asked the officer while brandishing his pistol at him.  "Well I'm not sure you could call us Imperials anymore but we were here looking for a bunch of Pirates from Lok.  The Storm Lords heard that they were trying to gather supplies here on Rori." the officer replied as he rubbed the stubble on his chin.  "You're one of these Storm Lords then?" Sune' ask.  The officer rolled his eyes "Yes obviously and I suppose you are with the pirates?".  "How did you come to be a part of the Storm Lords?" asked Jenny.  "Well I was stationed on Lok at an Imperial base there.  After Jakku our transports never returned to pick us up and all we had as far as space craft were a few TIE fighters.  Nym's Lok Revenants were trying to wipe us out.  Then Storm Squadron showed up and helped us beat the pirates back.  We started gathering other former Imperials from the nearby sectors and we re-formed as The Storm Lords." the officer replied.  "Why not turn yourselves in?  The New Republic has gone pretty easy on former Imperials troops." ask Jenny.  "Well we had ships and arms and nothing better to do.  I guess you could say we saw an opportunity in that." the officer chuckled.  "So your pirates too then eh?" said Dack.  "Indeed." answered the officer.  "Tie him up.  We'll see if Kole wants to take him back to Lok." Jenny said.  "With pleasure." Dack replied doing a mocking salute.

  "Who are you people?" the young woman sat up and looked around.  "Kole sent us.  You must be Leeta." replied Jenny.  The Woman nodded.  "Alright I've got the goods in my ship but I had to set down out here.  Somethings wrong with my ship.  I was trying to figure it out when these guys attacked me.  Can any of you help me fix it.  I'm not much of a mechanic?" Leeta said.  "Sure I'll check it out." replied Sune'.  "You can tell Kole he can take ten percent off my fee since I didn't quite deliver the shipment."  Leeta rubbed a goose egg on her forehead.  "Ship should fly now.  You're fuel filter was clogged." Dack laughed.  "You know you really should get this thing serviced so it doesn't get you killed next time." Sune's scolded.  "You sound like my father." replied Leeta.  "Must be a smart man." Sune's said folding her arms across her chest.  "Okay I'll have it checked out at Narmel.  Take care."  Leeta waved and climbed back into her ship.

The Revenants and the Sand Panthers finished loading their cargo then took off from Rori.  "Head for the nearest hyperspace beacon.  We need to get out of this system as soon as possible." Kole said over the comms.  "Too late boss we've got incoming!" one of the freighter captains replies.  "Two TIE advanced and a Firespray! coming in hot!" Sune' said.  "They must not have been expecting the escort.  Lock S-foils Sand Panthers!" Jenny commanded.

 The Imperial fighters made an aggressive assault on the convoy.  The Firespray fired on Kole's YT-1300 missing.  The lead TIE advanced hit Jenny Kune's X-wing. "It's okay.  Shields are damaged but nothing serious." Jenny said.

 Three of the pirate freighters opened up on the Firespray and the heavy fighter exploded in a bright flash. "Got him!" shouted Kole.

 Jenny Kule and Darin-Une opened fire on the TIE advanced that had shot Kule's ship taking it out easily.  The small ship spun erratically through space then exploded.  "Good shooting Sand Panthers!" Kole exclaimed "Looks like you were worth the creds the Queen paid for you."

"Looks like the last one is bugging out.  Should we pursue?" ask Dack.  "No let's re-group and get to that nav beacon.  These guys might have friends in the system." replied Jenny.  "Eye, eye, skipper." Darin replied.

The convoy came out of hyperspace in the Lok system.  "Alright let's make for these coordinates.  The Storm Lords can't get their corvettes into the denser parts of the Spine.  The asteroids are too thick there."  Kole sent the coordinates to the other ships in the convoy.  "This won't be easy though.  They are bound to have TIE patrols in those areas.  Be ready Sand Panthers." Jenny said.    

 As the convoy made its way through the Spine of Lok the saw several TIE fighters headed their way.  "Look sharp Sand Panthers.  We've got a half a dozen TIEs dead ahead." Jenny said as she armed her weapons.

 The TIEs made a rush for the YT-1300 scoring several hits against the freighter.  "My shields are already at half power.  These guys aren't messing around!" Kole said.  One of the TIE interceptors exploded in a fireball.  "Got him!" shouted Sune'.

 Another TIE exploded as they swarmed around the Correlian freighter but they continued to hammer Kole's ship.  "There all over me!  I don't know how much longer I can keep it together.  Shields are down and the hull is at fifty percent!" Kole exclaimed.

"Scratch two!" Sune' shouted as another Interceptor went up in a flash.  "And three!" Jenny said as another TIE exploded. Kole hit another TIE with his laser cannons and the small craft broke apart spinning through space. Then other two TIE's swooped in pouring fire into the YT-1300.  The freighter tumbled through space then exploded.  "BOSS!" one of the pirates shouted into the comms.  "Anyone see an escape pod?  Check your visual scanners." Jenny commanded.  "Wow that was too close." came a high pitched voice over the coms.  "I don't suppose one you could pick us up.  Just barely managed to get to an escape pod."

The Sand Panthers walked into the palace at Nym's stronghold with Kole.  "We made it Nym!  Well mostly.  I lost the YT but the rest of the convoy got through.  If it wasn't for these mercs we would have been Bantha Poodoo." Kole gestured at the Sand Panther pilots.  "Welcome to Lok friends." Nym stood up and spread his arms.  "I'm grateful that you made it past the blockade.  We were in dire need of the supplies that you helped us secure.  Kole will see you to our guest accommodations.  In the morning I would like to meet with you to discuss our situation.".  "Thank you Lord Nym" Jenny said bowing "Sand Panther squadron is happy to be of service.".

Kole took the Sand Panthers to the guest rooms at Nym's palace.  They were comfortable rooms richly decorated with artworks and furniture from dozens of cultures.  "Well this beats an Alliance barracks!" said Dack.  "Make yourselves comfortable folks.  I'll see you in the morning." Kole bowed then turned and walked away.    

Notes:  Well this is the first actual episode of my "Star Wars Shards of the Empire" campaign.  I was originally going to set the first story arc on Dantooine but after doing some research I switched to Lok.  There is a large Imperial base on Lok and Storm Squadron from Tatoonine frequently conducted anti-piracy raids against the pirates in the Lok system.  It seemed a good match up for my first story arch providing a lot of opportunity for both space and ground action.   

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Hover Truck

So I ask my wife if she could scratch build me a simple little hover truck or skiff for our Star Wars campaign and this is what she came up with which is far more than what I was expecting.  She painted this one too.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

KP-767 Dewback Spice Freighter

I scratch built some freighters from some a couple of Old Spice deodorant bottles and random plastic bits for my Star Wars Shards of the Empire game.  These are in X-wing scale and they are a bit larger than the YT-1300 model from that game so they are large ships.  I'm using the Hound's Tooth stats but I'm giving the ship a 360 degree firing arc with it's primary weapon and a single missile slot.  I'm not worried about points because these are not going to be used outside my campaign.  the one on the left is slightly larger so it's a slightly heavier variant.  

They turned out a little plain and I would like to have plated them up a bit more but I only had a couple evenings to get them put together and painted so I'm happy with them.    

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Star Wars Shards of the Empire Season 01 Episode 00.2 Lonesome Mynock

The remaining members of Mynock Squadron sit at an old spacer bar on Sullust called "The Tramp Freighter".  Tomorrow is their last mission together, their squadron is being disbanded and the members discharged from the New Republic starfighter corps due to cutbacks being made after the New Republic signed the Galactic Concordance.  This should be a time for celebration but they are not celebrating.  Three days ago their commander Kole Wuxxor and another Mynock pilot the Rodian Crada Vork were lost while scouting the borders of Hutt Space near a planet called Ord Lonesome. They received a distress message from their squadron mates that they were trying to land their damaged X-wings on the planet.   

"Damn it we can't leave this up to the New Republic.  I don't believe in their rescue mission" Tash Raden says then takes another sip of her Corellian brandy.  "Yeah I think we should go get them ourselves!" Dack Cuthus says crossing his arms.  Jen Kule sets her ale down "You know Ackbar is urging caution.  He's afraid of being too aggressive so close to Hutt space" she takes another drink "You're right it's up to us to rescue the Captain and Crada".  "Well First Lieutenant I say we drop off those supplies at Void Station then make a jump to Ord Lonesome before the fleet can figure out what's going on.  By the time they send someone after us we'll be on the planet" Dack takes another drink and looks back and forth at his companions.  They all nod to each other.  "It's settled then." Tash finishes the rest of her brandy in one gulp setting the empty glass down hard on the bar.  

Mynock squadron arrives at Void Station.  Dack and Jen pilot their X-wings while Tash flies her HWK-290 "Blood Talon" full of supplies and parts for the station.  Lowbacca, Tash's copilot and gunner, man's the Talon's turret.

Void Station was once a pleasure palace owned by a Bothan information broker who was killed after trying to double cross Darth Vader.  The Bothan government is bringing it back online to help them keep an eye on the Hutts who have been making aggressive moves into their territory.

A Bothan voice comes over the comm "Mynock squadron this is Void Station.  Be careful on your approach.  We've had Hutt Raiders in system".  "Roger that Void Station" replies Jen Kule.  Almost on cue three fighters emerge from a cluster of small asteroids.  "Incoming! Two Y-wings and one Kihraxz." Tash exclaims.  "Buckle up Hemmy!" Dack shouts to his Astromech.

 One of the Hutt Y-wings scores a hit on Jen Kule's X-wing taking down her shields but then Jen and Tash focus fire on the raider and it explodes in a brief fireball.  Dack fires on the Kihraxz scoring a hit.  The other Y-wing hits Jen again doing significant damage.  

 "Get those supplies to the station Tash!" Jen commands.  The HWK-290 breaks off and makes a run for the Bothan station.  Dack finishes off the Kihraxz.  The remaining Y-wing takes a shot at Dack damaging his shielding but then moves off at full speed away from the furball.  Jen throttles her X-wing after the thug firing as he flees.  "Let him go Mynock 10.  He ain't comin back" Dack says.

"Thank you Mynocks!  Those thugs have been giving us problems for days." the Bothan at the station says.  Mynock squadron lands at the station delivering the supplies.  The Bothan techs patch up Jen Kule's X-wing in a few hours and the squadron takes off again.

They arrive at the Ord Lonesome system after several hours in hyperspace.  "Hey Jen something is jamming our communications" Tash says.  "I'm also picking up a settlement on the surface.  It's shielded and I'm also detecting some kind of tracking system.  Probably a weapons system." she continues.  "We better be careful.  There is a canyon about 20 kilometers south of that settlement.  Let's land there just to be safe" Jen Kule says.  "Eye, eye Mynock 10" Dack replies.

The three ships land in the Canyon and the pilots gather their survival supplies before heading out.  "Lowbacca will stay with the Talon.  You guys should leave your R2s with your X-wings in case we need a quick extraction.  I'm gonna take Pinky." Tash pats her yellow and white astromech.  "Sounds like a plan.  Lowie you good with that?" ask Jen.  "ARRRGHUU!" the Wookie gunner replies in agreement.

 The trek across the desert is difficult but their pilot survival training serves them well.  There is not a lot of life on Ord Lonesome.  Some lichen and scrub dot the landscape and a few small lizards dash about between the rocks.  They stop to take a drink from their canteens when suddenly R2-P3 beeps a warning.  "What's up Pinky?" ask Tash.  "Look out!" shouts Dack.  A large, furry, hound like creature charges the party.  The pilots fire their blasters at the creature as it closes in on them but it dodges their shots.  The beast leaps at Dack snapping at his throat.  Dack steps aside and dispatches the hound with a single shot behind it's ear. "Well I guess there is something on this planet more than a bunch of lizards" Dack says breathing heavy from the excitement.

 After several hours travel by foot the three pilots approach the settlement.  A sign outside the town reads "Fort Lonesome".  "Not too creative with their names here." says Jen.  After entering the town they see an old man working on some kind of beat up speeder.  "Hey can you point us to the local watering hole buddy?" Tash ask.  "Why sure folks" says the old man "just head down this street towards the fort.  the 'Lonely Spacer' is just across from the fort.  Can't miss it.  More tables on the outside than inside.  Should be pretty busy this time a day."  "Everything lonely or lonesome around here eh?" Jen ask.  "Well it's kinda fittin ain't it?" the old man shrugs "You folks have a nice day and watch out for Zorrax's enforcers".  The old man waves as they walk away.  "Who do you suppose this Zorrax is?" ask Tash.  "No idea" says Dack.

About half way to the cantina a group of thugs wearing some kind of Hutt clan symbol approach the three pilots.  "You there.  Your new around here.  The mighty Lord Zorrax the Hutt demands tribute from all off worlders.  That will be fifty credits if you don't want any trouble."  a Rodian thug says.  "That so?" replies Tash "You don't look like a tax collector." her hand settles on her blaster pistol grip.  "Let's just pay them.  We don't want any trouble." says Jen.  "Oh fine, you guys owe me." says Tash as she tosses the Rodian a cred stick. "I was kinda in the mood for trouble" Dack whispers under his breath.  "That's better.  You may now enjoy the comforts of Fort Lonesome." the Rodian thug spreads his arms indicating the surrounding town of broken down adobe structures.  The thugs laugh to each other as they walk away.  "Lovely folks in these parts." Dack says.  "That's the way it is out here in the Outer Rim." replies Tash.

 They press on to the cantina.  It's a small adobe building not much larger than the surrounding houses.  Several tables sit outside the structure just as the old man described.  "Oo oo Ootini!" a pack of Jawa surround R2-P3.  "Hey back off that's my droid!" Tash shouts pulling her blaster from her holster "A little far from Tatooine?" she say pointing her blaster at one of the scavengers.  Putting his arms in the air the Jawa excitedly says something unintelligible to his companions and they all scurry away around the corner.

As they enter the cantina an old human woman leaning against the bar says "Welcome to the Lonely Spacer what can we get you?" she takes a drag off her cigarette.  An old and odd looking droid serves their drinks and the three begin to mingle with the crowd trying to gather information about their missing companions.  After a while Tash motions to the others to go outside.  The three find an empty table and sit down.  Tash leans in speaking low "That Duro in there gave me some good intel." she looks around before continuing.  "This Zorrax the Hutt has only recently taken over the town.  He's got his headquarters at the fort." again Tash scans the areas before speaking.  "According to the Duro, Zorrax has our friends but he also told me he's got some kind of renegade Imperial allies calling themselves 'The Dark Shadows'".  "We should try and talk to the Hutt." says Jen "Perhaps we can pay a ransom or do some kind of job for him and get our comrades back".  "Let's go look for that Rodian.  Maybe he can get us in to see his boss" replies Dack.

 They come across the Hutt enforcers in the midst of a conversation about pod racing.  The thugs are so wrapped up in their discussion they don't notice the humans approach.  "Zorrax told me himself that he's going to set up a new stadium here on Ord Lonesome.  Now that the Imperials are gone lots of people are talking about starting the circuit up again." the Rodian says to his friends.  They nod in agreement.  "Hey there we need to talk to your boss." says Tash.  The Rodian spins around "You three again?" he says coldly.  "If you want to talk to Lord Zorrax it's gonna cost you....  200 credits each for an introduction." the Rodian continues.  "That's a bit steep!" Dack growl drawing his blaster.  "Now, now friend it's a small price to pay for an audience with a Hutt!" the Rodian says putting his hands up and backing off a few steps.  "How bout we just shoot you then and take your jobs?" says Tash.  "Wait, no!" Jen yells looking back and forth between her companions in shock.    

 The thugs reach for their blasters as Dack drops the Rodian leader with a shot to his chest.  Blaster fire fills the small street.  Tash ducks behind the corner of a building for cover.  Jen snaps out of her shock and joins in the fire fight.  Thugs drop one by one but Dack takes a shot to the shoulder.  In a few moments all five thugs lie on their ground.  "Poodo, one of the bastards got me." Dack says digging the med kit out of his survival pack.  Pulling on one of the thug's jackets  Tash points to the clan patch "Let's go see this Hutt about getting a new job."  Jen shakes her head but grabs a jacket and follows the others towards the fort.

Walking up to the fort there are a few thugs milling about but no one seem to pay them much attention.  Stepping into the largest structure they see a Hutt napping on a small dais surrounded by thugs.  Behind him is a Nexu with a Klatooinian handler.  Sitting to the Hutt's right is a Quarren.  The Quarren stands and says "Mighty Zorrax we have unannounced guests."    The Hutt shakes his head and opens his eyes looking straight at the three pilots.  At first Zorrax looks surprised but then he scowls "Who the hell are you and why are you wearing my colors?". Tash steps forward spreading her hands with her palms out but the Hutt cuts her off with a wave.  "I have few humans in my service and you are not them.  How dare you wear the crest of the Desilijic clan in my presence!  Explain yourselves!" Zorrax booms now clearly enraged. Tash stammers "M, ,mmm, mighty Zorrax we intended no insult.  Clearly you have many unworthy enforcers in your organizations. You need more talented people protecting you.  Allow myself and my companions to serve you we are..". "Silence fools!  You think you can murder my loyal subjects and get away with it!" the Hutt yells.  The Klatooine moved up next to the Hutt, loosening the leash on the Nexu. The creature pulls forward towards the three pilots.  The rest of the thugs raise their weapons.  Raising his arm the Hutt seems to regain his composure.  "I will not abide such insults" he says "Kill them!" the Hutt points at the three pilots.

The interior of the fort erupts in blaster fire.  The Nexu's handler lets go of the creature's leash and it leaps forward towards the New Republic pilots.  Drawing their blasters the three run shooting as they flee.  Jen drops the Nexu with a single shot between the monster's eyes.  "ARRRRGH!  Kill them!  Kill them all!" Zorrax howls in rage.    

 Ducking out the back unnoticed R2-P3 moves away as fast as his propulsion motors will allow him.  The droids audio receptors pick up the commotion inside the fort.  Scanning the surrounds for a safe place to hide he emits a low whistle through his binary vocabulator trying to calculate the reasoning behind his organic companions errors.  

 Tash, Dack, and Jen make it out of the building.  Jen drops the Klatooinian in the door way.  Tash shaps off a shot and knocks a Aqualish from a walkway above them.   "Quick get to that small bunker, we can take over that launcher!" Tash shouts.

 The three Mynocks run towards the small bunker with the Hutt thugs in close pursuit.  Falling behind them Pinky chirps at them in binary.  Suddenly two blaster bolts strike the droid stopping it in it's tracks.  Smoke pores from the droids housing and the doid shuts down with a low whine.  "Pinky!" Tash shouts but she keeps running.

Tash is the first to reach the bunker.  She runs inside firing behind her as she flees not realizing that there are four other Hutt enforcers inside.  "Poodo!" she shouts raising her blaster she tries to shoot at a Gran in front of her.  With a pop her power pack shorts out.  Tossing the useless weapon aside she steps forward and punches the thug in it's middle eye-stalk.

 A frantic battle ensues inside the the small bunker.  Jen shoots a thug then scrambles up the small ladder to the roof of the structure.  Even in close quarters both the thugs and pilots miss several shots trying as much to avoid getting killed as anything.  Dack drops a thug as Tash knocks the Gran out with another punch but then Dack takes a shot to the guts and goes down hard.

 Thugs converge on the small bunker from all over the fort.  Through a hail of blaster fire Jen scrambles across the roof of the bunker and hops into the crew served concussion missle launcher.

 Jamming the launchers joystick to the left Jen targets the other launcher and fires.  In a massive explosion the other launcher goes up in flames.  She then targets the main structure of fort and fires again.  Chunks of ferrocrete fly in all directions sending the the thugs outside scattering.  A few thugs are hit by the flying debris and killed or knocked out.

From inside the smoking fort everyone can hear Zorrax yell "Stand down!  Stand down! Bring their leader to me!".  Tash looks around.  Surrounded she put her hands up and says "Try anything funny and my friend will bring that fort down on top of your boss.".  A Rodian thug grabs Tash by the arm and leads her out of the smaller bunker.

Tosh looks up and sees the Blood Talon and the two X-wings flying towards the fort.  She looks down at her smoking droid and realizes that it must have contacted her copilot before it was destroyed.  She tries to pause for a moment as she looks at her loyal astromech but the Rodian thug drags her on.

"Well, well, it seems you scum are more trouble than I took you for." grumbles Zorrax.  "Tell me why you are really here?".  "We're just out of work pilots looking for a new job.  That Hawk 290 outside is my ship and the two X-wings with it belong to my companions.  "X-wings and a Hawk 290..." the Hutt contemplates "You still take me for a fool.  You are with the New Republic.  You are here for your pilots" Zorrax crosses his arms.  "Yes we are and we have you at a serious disadvantage." replies Tash.  "So you do.  Fetch the prisoners." commands the Hutt.

Captain Kole and Crada Vork are brought into the fort.  "Release them." Zorrax.  A Gammorian cuts their rope bindings.  "Well this is an interesting rescue operation you have going here Lieutenant Raden." Captain Wuxxor says turning to Tash.  "Yes sir, you could say that." replies Tash.  "The New Republic will pay for heavily when my clan hears about this!" Zorrax says angrily.  Pointing at Tash the Hutt continues, "And you and your friends will have a bounty on your head so large you won't be able to go anywhere in the Outer Rim without being killed.".

Without another word Tash turns and leaves with the other two Mynock pilots following.  Outside she sees that Lowbacca is already towing Pinky up into the Talon with a magnetic grapple.  The Wookie lowers a chain ladder and a harness that they use to recover the others.

Before exiting the launcher Jen fires her blaster into the controls.  She's the last one aboard the Talon.  As they head back towards their rendezvous point Jen says "That's the last time I ever want to try and negotiate with a Hutt".

Back at their canyon landing site Crada Vork secures Dack into a bunk on the Blood Talon and begins to tend to his wounds.  "I suggest we get out of here as soon as we can.  I'm taking Mynock 11's X-wing." Captain Wuxxor explains.  "Yes sir!" the others reply in unison.

The three ships take off.  "Well have to get to the nav beacon before we can jump out of the system.  Let's head to Void Station first.  Dack will need their help." Kole commands.  "Roger that Mynock 1" replies Jen.  "Sir I'm picking up TIE fighters approaching from the nav beacon!" Tash shouts over the com.

"Attention Rebel scum this is the 'Mauler' of The Dark Shadows.  Surrender now or be destroyed!" comes a voice over their comms.

the TIEs swarm in heading straight for the HWK-290.  Jen and Kole split off heading for some cover.  "Flank them!" commands the Captain.  The lead TIE opens up on the transport scoring a direct hit.  "Shields out!" shouts Tash "You guys better hurry or I'm space dust!".

The TIEs swarm around the Talon scoring several more hits.  Lowbacca fires back at one of the hostiles doing some damage to the small craft.

 The X-wings turn back into the fight.  Captain Kole takes out the lead TIE in a hale of laser cannon fire.  "Good shot Captain!" Jen shouts.  Panicking the TIE pilots turn to engage the X-wings.

Jen lines up another Imperial fighter and shoots damaging the enemy fighter.  Captain Kole knocks out another TIE "Scratch two!" he shouts.

As the Talon reaches the Nav Beacon the two remaining TIE's turn to pursue with the Mynock X-wing hot on their tails.  Before the former Imperials can fire the Mynocks destroy them.  "That was way too close!" Tash exclaims as she engages the HWK-290's hyperdrive.

Mynock Squadron drops out of hyperspace in the Void station system.  Ahead of them they see a small New Republic fleet orbiting the asteroid base.  Their comms crackle to life.  "Mynock Squadron proceed to Void station and land.  Do not attempt to flee.  That would be most unfortunate.".  "Don't worry I can assure you we will comply" replies Captain Wuxxor.

After landing the Members of Mynock squadron are escorted to a large conference room.  Sitting at the table is Admiral Ackbar and several New Republic officers.  Ackbar stands and walks towards Captain Wuxxor shaking his hand.  He then turns to Crada Vork shaking the Rodian's hand as well.  "I'm so glad to see the two of you alive.  Welcome home." Ackbar says.  "Thank you Admiral." Wuxxor replies.  "As for the rest of you" the Admiral turns towards, Dack, Jen, and Tash.  "I should have you thrown in the brig and put up on charges but seeing as you are at the end of your service with us the New Republic has decided to give you an honorable discharge.  We will however be taking your last months pay to help us cover the cost of your little adventure.  It will cost us a small fortune to repair our relationship with the Desilijic clan.  They are still none to friendly towards us after that incident on Tatooine."  he pauses "Good luck with your new life and may the force be with you.".  The members of Mynock squadron snap to attention and salute "Yes sir!" they reply in unison.  The Admiral returns their salute then exits the room.

Later the former members of Mynock squadron sit in the stations bar quietly nursing their drinks discussing what their plans are.  A female Bothan waitress approaches them.  "Out of work eh?" the Bothan remarks.  Jen smiles and nods at the waitress.  "Hey it could have been worse right?" the Bothan continues.  "Listen I've got a friend on Corellia named Rogan Dexter.  He's looking for good X-wing pilots for a private security squadron he is forming.  I saw the way you handled those Hutt raiders a couple days ago.  I'll put in a good word for you." the Bothan says.  Crada Vork hands the waitress a cred stick.  "Thanks doll, we'll look into it." the Rodian says.  "Take care!" the waitress replies as she walks away.  Crada turns back to his companions.  "Well what do you think?" Crada ask  "The merc life is better than nothing."

The Blood Talon departs Void Stations bearing a fresh coat of red paint with off white markings.  Once clear of the station Tash reaches for the hyperdrive controls.  "Next stop Corellia!" she says as she engages the drive.

Notes:  Well that adventure was an exercise in going off the plan.  I was completely taken aback when the players decided to try and strong arm their way into Zorrax the Hutts organization.  It wasn't helped by the fact that none of their characters had any kind of negotiating skills and then they completely fumbled their attempts at diplomacy.  Despite all that I didn't have to fudge many of my roles even if I did have to be a little unrealistically forgiving in resolving the problems that ensued from the frantic combat at Fort Lonesome.  

Sometimes those kinds of completely botched up games can be the most fun to play.  It was certainly one of the more exciting sessions I have run so far and it was a lot of fun for me getting to play the part of an angry and enraged Hutt.  Everyone seemed to have a good time.