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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.