This is a narrative account of our gaming group’s playing of a Star Wars Edge of the Empire campaign. I do not claim to own the setting (including locations, races, and personalities) or non-player characters in this narrative, only the events and player characters. I’ve included links to the Star Wars Wiki, Wookieepedia, beside each character to give the readers an idea of each races’s appearance. The characters and their players are as follows: Strch Vapan, a Rodian Bounty Hunter- Chris (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Rodian), Blaja Dypén, an Ithorian Bounty Hunter- James (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Ithorian), LOM-8, a Droid Pilot- Bobby (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/LOM-series_protocol_droid), Lyr’as Will’an, a Duros Mechanic- Derek (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Duros), Je’Coch Roalban, a Human Doctor- Jerry, and our Referee- Ken. Written by James Blackburn III.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
The wayfarers have taken to the skies once more after infiltrating the Imperial port authority and clearing their ship for take off. The crew evaded a group of stormtroopers in the alleys who were apparently looking for them as well. Once clear of the immediate Imperial threat, they attempted to board their ship, only to be ambushed by a Trandoshan bounty hunter.
They overwhelmed the bounty hunter, Je’Coch delivering the killing blow. Lyr’as has frantically been trying to modify the hyperdrive modulator he found to fit their ship. Once in the air, LOM-8 decided to show Teemo what happens when you mess with it and it’s crew and circled the ship along side the gangster’s palace. After a dazzling pyrotechnics display courtesy of the ship’s blaster turrets, LOM-8 took to the stars, anxious to be able to hit hyperdrive and leave this desert planet behind them. The distant scream of TIE fighters closing in meant the scoundrels weren’t in the clear yet…
LOM-8 was still hard on the throttle when the ship’s sensors picked up four hostile craft approaching, TIE fighters by the look of them. This ship was quick, but it couldn’t go toe to toe with a starfighter in terms of shear speed. It got on the intercom and radioed, “We have incoming TIE fighters. Prepare to engage.”
Lyr’as was still in the engine bay, hard at work on the makeshift hyperdrive modulator he thought he could make fit their ship. Damnit, he thought, dad was right. He was a failure, and now him, and his crew are going to die, or worse, get captured by Teemo. He wracked his brain for a faster way to shorten the engagement rod. He looked at the plasma cutter on the counter. If he got the modulator too hot, it would destroy the coils. But if he managed to get it just hot enough to cut with the bolt cutters, he might just be able to get it where he needed it to go. The ship rocked as it was hit by one of the TIE fighters that had opened fire on them. “Do or die, do or die, do or die,” he muttered to himself like a matra.
Strch and Je’Coch opened fire on the TIE fighters once they came into range. Blaja shot at them, but only to route them into his companion’s targeting systems. He was determine not to take a life directly, even if his friends thought it silly. But when the first enemy shot burnt into the ship’s hull a mere meter or so from the Ithorian’s turret, something in Blaja changed. He was used to dangerous situations, he had been his whole life, but today was the closest he had come to death and maybe that’s what made the difference. Anger and fear wrested control from logic and reason. Blaja yelled in stereo, his turret flashing one shot after another. A blast clipped one of the TIE fighters, sending it spiraling out of control and crashing to the ground in a fiery explosion.
The other fighters broke formation and began to swarm the L Model, forcing LOM-8 to go into evasive maneuvering. The droid strained against the controls as he pushed the patchwork ship to its maximum limits. The entire structure shook under the intense handling. Blaster fire crisscrossed around the L Model. LOM-8 pointed the vessel toward the sky and punched it, forcing the TIE fighters to avoid its much larger ship. The little fighters wouldn’t be able to dance around it so easy while trying to leave atmo. The ship shook violently as it fought against the gravity of the planet. A sheen of white hot flames surrounded the crafts as they began to break the atmosphere, and true to theory, the fighters were forced to slow down.
The gunners used this as an opportunity to aim. They opened fire. Strch’s shot was a direct hit. The TIE fighter burst into flames and exploded, the wreckage of which his wingman just barely avoided. The deft pilot, however, had put his ship in a direct line of attack for Je’Coch, who’s shot turned the fighter into a plume of fire and scrap. The last TIE Fighter danced around their web of blaster fire.
Both ship’s broke atmosphere and were greeted by the icy stars. The remaining TIE fighter once again buzzed around the L Model like a fly, making it difficult to for anyone to get a good shot. LOM-8 tried to evade the TIE Fighter’s attacks the best he could, taking another shot to the starboard. “Lyr’as! We need that hyperdrive now,” it yelled into the intercom. The Duros was straining against the massive bolt cutters, struggling to bite through the glowing orange metal. The cutters were slowly biting through, but appeared to have fused to the rod from the heat. The rod was pinched enough though that just maybe…
Lyr’as grabbed the biggest sledge hammer he owned and brought it up over his head, ignoring the white hot pain that seared from blaster wound in his shoulder. With a triumphant yell he brought its weight down to bare on the rod, which snapped off and clattered to the floor. Lyr’as loosened the vice and grabbed the part. He crammed it into place, with the one end still glowing. It was either going to work, or kill them all. Lyr’as ran over to the intercom and yelled, “Hit it!” LOM8 bought up a course and engaged the hyperdrive. The L Model shuddered and the power flickered for a moment. Then the stars turned into white streaks and in a flash the TIE fighter was left alone in empty space.
The exhausted crew stumbled out of their stations and Je’Coch treated their wounds. While they sat around boasting of their skills and laughing at their luck, Lyr’as said, “Man, I always forget what an awesome shot Blaja is. Dropped that Gammorian like, ‘Whee, whee, whee!'” The Duros shook with feigned seizures and everyone laughed. Blaja, who had been speechless the whole time, slowly looked at everyone in the room, scanning each with his black, glassy eyes. Then he rose from his seat, and silently left the room. “Huh? Wonder what that’s about?” Lyr’as said, his head cocked to the side. After a few more jokes, the others tended to their equipment or tried to get some rest. The muffled sound of a slow, sad song could be heard drifting from Blaja’s room, sung in a language none of them understood. They couldn’t tell if the song was a recording, or Blaja himself. With an Ithorian, it was always hard to tell.
After a few hours the ship suddenly went dark, pulling the L Model out of hyperspace and leaving her stranded amongst the stars. LOM-8 scanned the computer screens after the ship had rebooted, which had come back online with a new Trandoshan operating system. The bounty hunter must have had the ship set to reboot with a system more familiar to him. LOM-8 ran a Trandoshan language interface and began to access the bounty hunter’s files and star maps. There were bounty notices on all of them, as well as a Twi’lek named B’ura B’an. There was also a request for Wookie pelts. Only three destinations had been programed within the navigation computer: Narshada, Ryloth, and Tatooine. LOM-8 wondered what other surprises the bounty hunter might have left behind.
Everyone else joined the droid in the cockpit. “Why did you take us out of hyperspace,” Lyr’as asked.
“I didn’t. The Trandoshan had reprogrammed the ship’s operating system. I can’t seem to override it and restore it back to normal.”
The Duros sighed and went back to his room for his data probe. When he returned, the two began working on cracking the security. The process was painstaking, with LOM-8 translating the responses and Lyr’as trying to react. Finally they were able to restore the computer back to normal. When it was back online, the display flashed red. There were two alerts. The hyperdrive modulator was acting up and the hull sensors detected an anomaly on the ship. Whatever it was, it seemed to be broadcasting a signal. Everyone looked at each other. “That’s not a tracking beacon, now is it?” Je’Coch said.
“Damnit, why can’t anything be simple!” Lyr’as yelled. “We have to get out there and get rid of that thing before they find us.” They rushed toward the cargo bay hatch and were greeted by the noxious stench of something rotting. They all groaned and gagged, searching for its source after they were able to keep from retching. They all agreed the smell was coming from a box in the back. LOM-8 said “I’ll open it”, as it saw no problem with the vile miasma.
Inside were the skinned hides of Wookies. It was hard to tell how long they had been in the box. LOM-8 pulled the biggest one out, a red hued one, “Wookie pelts. I saw an order for some of these in the Trandoshan’s files. I guess he was ready to collect.” The droid’s body language seemed to brighten. “We can still cash them in. The work’s already done for us.” His companions frowned with disgust. The droid looked at the pelt for a moment. “I know.” He draped the disgusting skin around his body, the gore making a slippery noise with his movements. “Ha ha. Look, I am an organic. Ha ha. I am just like one of you.” He was confused when the rest of his crew mates looked at him with revolt. Blaja actually vomited from both of his mouths.
“What’s wrong with you?” they shouted.
The droid let the pelt slide off of him. “I do not understand.”
The group all decided to jettison the body and the Wookie pelts into space. They searched around for a spacesuit for Lyr’as. LOM8 voluteered to go out there with him since it wouldn’t have to worry about the vacuum. Once everything had been secured, they opened the hatch and climbed up on top of the ship. Lyr’as watched the body of the bounty hunter and the box drift off into cold space. It was a stark reminder of what could happen to them if they weren’t careful. They checked their safety cables one last time before going out into the endless void.
The doctor and the bounty hunters decided to take a look around while the others were out on the hull. Indeed, several changes had been made, and it was evident that the “repairs” Teemo’s mechanics were making were in fact renovations. There was an empty weapons locker installed in a tucked away corner of the cargo bay, as well as several new shelves, nooks, and crannies. Most mysterious of all was the small room that had been built. At first they had thought it was just a large shipping crate, until they happened to notice the spots where it had been welded in place. The door was locked from the outside.
“What do you think is inside?”, Blaja asked.
“I don’t know. This guy did skin some Wookies recently,” Strch said. He looked at his companions. “It’s one thing to kill a man. Skinning him though.” He shuddered.
“I bet its just a room full of corpses, each neatly stacked on top of the other. They’re probably dismembered, surgically. He’s obviously good with a blade,” Je’Coch said.
“You know what I would do if I had a secret room with all my secrets in it? I’d rig a grenade on the other side of the door to explode out if it weren’t opened right,” Strch said.
Blaja stared at both his companions. “Really? That’s not the most reassuring thing you could say right now.” He aimed his carbine at the lock and fired. There was a red flash and a shower of sparks. The lock hung from the door. He shook it loose and swung the door open, bringing his blaster to bear. Light poured into the small room, revealing a series of cages, each big enough to hold an average humanoid. Inside one was the hunched body of an elderly Twi’lek male. He had dark green skin and one of the tips of his brain-tails had been crudely amputated. He looked weakly into the light and moaned, “Help me.”