Dawn of Defiance

Almas Raiders

Captain Verana’s talk with Mharrula should go something similar to the following. The captain is a handsome young human starship commander of about 25-30 years of age. He is of slim build and of moderate height. He is light skinned with hazel, comforting eyes, dark brown hair, short and neatly trimmed. He served in the Republic Navy where rose quickly through the ranks while becoming a veteran of the Clone Wars. He is energetic but greatly composed, calm, cool and above all, confident.

“Mharrula, may I speak with you a moment concerning a matter of possible great importance to you?

I have some information concerning a fellow member of your Trianii race. It seems that we came across a heavily damaged starfighter drifting in space at a location not far from where you and your team exited the Unknown Regions of space approximately one week ahead of your re-entry. His ship was in such bad repair that I fear that had we not been there at that moment, he might have perished in the explosion that resulted from a reactor core breach. Luckily, we just managed to extract him from his vessel before his ship was blown apart.

He informed me that he was a renegade Trianii ranger who had recently suffered through a mutiny from his former lieutenant and was thus exiled, sent to his death on this side of the galaxy. He identified his rank as a Pyorn which fit the story he told us. He made mention of a lost daughter and that now that he has lost his command that he might make it his life’s focus to find her. I had not until present connected this ranger with you. I feel foolish standing here before you making this statement."

“He left me with this locator beacon in the event that we crossed paths.” He hands the cylindrical device which appears as a black code cylinder to Mharrula. “This locator is designed to emit a timed red flash of light if the transmitter device is within 1km radius. It is also programmed to alert the transmitter of its presence.”

“He did not file a flight plan with us before he left though we did offer him a starship, a Y-wing from the days of the Clone Wars, to aid in his finding you. I wish you and he well and may the Force be with the both of you as you make your way back to each other. He made mention that he believes that you once fell in among pirates. Can you elaborate more on this for my own self-interest?”

After the brief discussion, the heroes received a new mission from Jedi Master Denia. Search for the Jedi Holocron at the Almas Academy on the planet Almas.

While in space surrounding the planet, the heroes got into a deadly space battle with Captain ReddJak Sparrow which resulting in the loss of their star ship, The Chainbreaker.

While on the surface, Trissen was able to save all of the necessary survival items from the wreckage of his destroyed vessel and the group quickly set up camp. While the slicer, Jendi, and the ship’s engineer, Seljuk, settled in the party moved on to the city of Forard to investigate. On their way, they stopped in the financial district and broke into a bank to gain what credits they could and also recovered a mysterious, but malfunctioning weapon of the Jedi order, a lightsaber.

Trissen and B1-X unsuccessfully negotiated a settlement between two scavenging groups of Ugors and Squibs who were arguing over the torso, arms and head of an Almas Academy protocol droid, however, the Ugors did agree to aid the heroes with star ship equipment to aid in party’s recovery of a recently discovered Cularin militia ship. After starting the necessary repairs to the sub-light engines, the heroes made their way back to the Academy courtyard only to become engaged in a deadly skirmish with the Squibs whose demeanor had changed dramatically. Riding giant, ferocious lizards out of the pits of hell, the Squibbian scavengers through themselves into a beserk rage in their attempt to destroy the crash landed party. Only after great heroics were the Squibbians and their dark lizard mounts brought low. The party now rests back at the space port of Forard before continuing onward into the ruined Jedi temple in search for the holocron.

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The Fate of the Apprentice
Shadow of the Clone Wars

Torrent could never shake that feeling that he had left something undone back on the planet Terra Dheneb where he and his friends encountered a fully operational droid control ship complete with active battle droids of every type. Seeking resolution, the Jedi-in-hiding made his way back into the Unknown Regions to face his next trial. While yet in orbit around the planet, Torrent felt a tremor in Force originating from a small moon hidden within the debris of the Clone War-era conflict, a battle between two opposed Separatist forces. Upon landing on the moon and after locating the source of the disturbance, Torrent located a prison building placed seemingly in the middle of a vast wasteland. Entering within, the beleaguered Jedi felt the strong presence of the dark side which led him ultimately to the chamber which was its source. There, trapped in an energy cage was the figure of none other than Asajj Ventriss! During a brief parley, the Jedi was convinced that she should be freed, however, he was immediately betrayed by his host. A short lightsaber duel ensued, however, as Torrent had grown powerful in the ways of the Force, Asajj found herself at the mercy of his sublime suggestions. Opting to keep her alive, Torrent allowed her to go free so that she might exact vengeance on Asajj’s true source of anger, Count Dooku. It was the Dark Lord of the Sith who caused her to be imprisoned so long ago as a result of Asajj’s ever growing hatred of her master. Despite the fact that the count did not survive the conflict, Ventriss stole a craft and blasted her way into the Core. For his acts of bravery, combat skill and compassion, Torrent successfully came through his trials and was awarded the title, Jedi Knight.

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Medical Rescue
Oh, my Gloot!

Until recently, Ibeksus Gloot was in the employ of the Royal Casino on Cloud City. The party, however, indirectly ended his career there when they caused a commotion during the galaxy’s annual Sabacc tournament which gained the notice of the Empire. As a result, the casino was shut down and the proprietor, Jacc Mandelbrot, was imprisoned. Ibeksus was taken by bounty hunters due to his involvement in caring for the heroes before they encountered Darga the Hutt in his luxury liner, The Glorious Chariot’s hangar. Fortunately, before Dr. Gloot was brought before the Imperial Inquisitor for questioning and ultimately imprisonment, Trissen and Mharrula the Shade intercepted the transfer and captured the notorious bounty hunter, Bossk. In exchange for his freedom, Ibeksus Gloot was freed into the custody of the heroes while Bossk and Aurra Sing sought credits elsewhere. Dr. Gloot now happily fills a spot as a crew member aboard a recently acquired party spacecraft.

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Release the Kraken!

I have decided to try my hand at writing a radio drama inspired by my kids’ latest role-playing session and using techniques learned from reading Michael J. Straczynski’s The Complete Book of Screenwriting. Perhaps Garrett of Threat Detected will air this as written, perhaps not. Either way, it was an excellent experience for me. I hope that you enjoy it. Let me know what you think.

THE LOST TEMPLE

Release the Kraken!

MUSIC: THEME MUSIC/BREAKOUT

SOUND: STARSHIP ENGINE HUM

SOUND: SOLDIER FOOTSTEPS ON METAL FLOOR IN DECRESCENDO

SOUND: STARSHIP DOOR CLOSES

TRISSEN: What the hell…?

MHARRULA: (INTERRUPTS TRISSEN) Shut up, Trissen. I’m not in the mood. We’ve a Bothan to fry.

TRISSEN: Fine! But when this is all over, you are going to explain all this business about you being some sort of royalty.

TORRENT: Yes. I, too, would like to learn more about your relationship with these rangers. It seems that there is much to learn about Trianii societal customs.

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Yeah, with your influence with the rangers, you could help us in finding a droid army for me!

MHARRULA: Don’t even think about it, clanker. There’s not a chance in the universe I’d help you with that. (BEAT) Now, if you boys are done playing ‘Who’s that girl?’, I think we should find the bridge to this starship and pay our respects to the captain.

SOUND: STARSHIP DOOR OPENS

TRISSEN: After you, Miss Kitty.

MHARRULA: (LOW GROWL)

SOUND: FOOTSTEPS ON METAL FLOOR THEN STARSHIP DOOR CLOSES

TRANSITION: FOOTSTEPS ON METAL FLOOR, DARK, MOODY MUSIC

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) My sensors tell me that there is an organic life form beyond this access door.

TRISSEN: Could be our Bothan. Hey, can you make out what the security panel says? It’s written in some sort of alien gibberish.

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) It’s Neimoidian but, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s a warning for personnel not to enter.

TRISSEN: Well, that sounds like an invitation to me. Stand back!

TORRENT: No! Wait!

SOUND: BLASTER FIRE FOLLOWED BY STARSHIP DOOR OPENING

TORRENT: We have a droid for that. You are going to get us all killed.

TRISSEN: What an excellent idea, Jedi. Send a droid! (BEAT) Hey! B1-X! Why don’t you go in and have a look around?

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) (WITH APPARENT JOY) Okay! No problem, guys!

SOUND: METAL FOOTSTEPS ON METAL STAIRCASE DESCENDING

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Ummm, it’s dark down here…(PAUSE) Aaaaaigh!

SOUND: SEVERAL METALLIC OBJECTS CRASHING TO THE FLOOR

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) It’s all right! I’m ok! Let me turn on my torch. (BEAT) Ah, yes. Much better. Uh-oh. Ummm, guys? You might want to have a look at this!

TRISSEN: What is it? Did ya finally find your CPU?

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Uh, no. Well, I don’t think so. That is, unless my CPU is looking at me with its red eyes.

TORRENT: Red eyes? B1-X, maintain your position. We will be down to join you shortly. (BEAT) Trissen, Mharrula, let us proceed cautiously and be on our guard. I sense a malignant force in the chamber with our droid friend.

MHARRULA: You got it.

TRISSEN: Yeah, sure.

SOUND: LIGHTSABER IGNITES, GUNS COCK

SOUND: FOOTSTEPS DESCENDING METALLIC STAIRCASE

MHARRULA: Gagh! What’s that smell? It’s like…smoke, or…rotten eggs or something!

TRISSEN: That’s sulfur, sweetheart. It reminds me of the smell of war. (BREATHES IN) Ahhh, I love it!

TORRENT: You would. Trissen, with your ability to see in the dark you will have to lead. I believe that the bright spot light ahead is that of B1-X’s head-mounted torch. If I am not mistaken, some distance farther I can make out two more lights, blood red in color. These are the ‘eyes’?

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Yep, that’s right Torrent. And they’re creepin’ me out.

SOUND: LOW GROWL, HEAVY FOOTFALLS

DRAGON: (GUTTERAL AND DEEP) Who dares enter my chamber? You are not armored like the rest and you have the stink of the living. Identify yourselves!

TORRENT: Living? Titania, see if you can locate an illumination panel. I’d like to see our host.

SOUND: ASTROMECH COMPLIANT ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FOLLOWED BY TRACKED VEHICLE MOVEMENT

SOUND: BREAKER SWITCH TOGGLE ON IN REPEATED FASHION TO SIMULATE LIGHTS ON EFFECT

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Uh-oh…

MHARRULA: Oh my…

TRISSEN: Holy Sh…

SOUND: ASTROMECH DROID ALARM GOES OFF TO INTERRUPT TRISSEN

TORRENT: It’s a beast of some kind!

TRISSEN: Gee. What gave that away? The fact that it is the size of a starfighter or did the long, spiked tail and leathery, obsidian-colored wing span give it away?

MHARRULA: Guys! Look at its eyes! They are literally on fire! The teeth! Good God! They are like swords!

TORRENT: The myths are true, then. This crimson creature is of a race related to the Krayt Dragons of our universe. This beast is the parent of that race.

DRAGON: Enough!

SOUND: AIR BEING REMOVED FROM THE CHAMBER FOLLOWED BY SILENCE

TORRENT: Look out!!

SOUND: A FIERY EXPLOSION

MHARRULA: (SCREAMS)

SOUND: ASTROMECH DROID BLARING ALARM

TRISSEN: The flames! They are stopped by a force field! The creature…

TORRENT: is a captive prisoner.

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Oh. A prisoner. Yeah. Of course! (Laughs nervously)

DRAGON: My apologies for the demonstration. It was intended to reveal my low estate. You are foreigners to my realm and are no doubt not responsible for my humiliation. You see? You are quite safe.

MHARRULA: (Nervously) Um, yeah. Safe.

TORRENT: Your eminence, my friends and I are indeed new to this area. We did not expect to find a presence of your magnificence. We also offer our apologies for the intrusion.

DRAGON: You are a polite one. What business do you have here?

TORRENT: We are hunters. Though our prey is of the two-legged kind. An inferior sport when compared to the glory that is you.

DRAGON: Heh Heh Heh. Inferior, indeed! Look upon me, human. None can be my equal. None can consider me to be the sport of any creature!

TORRENT: No disrespect intended, O great one.

TRISSEN: (WHISPERS) Torrent, what are you doing?!

DRAGON: Your prey. Whom do you seek, hunter?

TORRENT: I seek the one named Borsk La’Reth.

DRAGON: (SCREAMS AN UNEARTHLY SHOUT) ARRGH! Borsk! The vile! The filthy worm! The deceiver! May he suffer a long and painful death!

TRISSEN: Oh. So you know him? (Chuckles)

DRAGON: He is the reason I am here! He is the one responsible for imprisonment! He and his metal, soulless men.

TORRENT: Ah, then our goals are of a similar nature?

DRAGON: Yes. Yes, indeed! (Chuckles) Perhaps we can work out a mutual agreement. Release me and I will aid in your ‘hunt’.

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Sounds great! All I need to do here is type in the code on this access panel and…

SOUND: PUSH BUTTON TONES

TORRENT: What are you doing?!

SOUND: AIR BEING REMOVED FROM THE CHAMBER FOLLOWED BY SILENCE

MHARRULA: Not again!!

TRISSEN: Duck!

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Uh-oh.

SOUND: DRAGON ROAR, A FIERY EXPLOSION

DRAGON: Thank you, my friends. Have I mentioned that it has been weeks since my last feeding?

TRISSEN: It. Is. Time. To. RUUUN!

SOUND: RUNNING FOOTSTEPS ON METAL FLOOR, HEAVY FOOTSTEPS OF DRAGON

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Guys! I got this one!

SOUND: JETPACK IGNITES

DRAGON: A flying metal man? Good. I prefer a challenge. Take this!

SOUND: HEAVY TAIL SLAP AGAINST METAL, DRAGON ROAR

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Ha! You missed me, lizard! Can you out run blaster fire?

SOUND: BLASTER FIRE FOLLOWED BY RICOCHET EFFECT

DRAGON: I can do better than that, metal man. Your infantile weapons fire is useless against me. Nothing can penetrate my natural armor, fool!

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Aigh! Time to change tactics and fast! Let’s go for a ride!

SOUND: JETPACK THRUSTS FOLLOWED BY METAL FALLING ON ROCK SURFACE

DRAGON: WHAT?! Get off of my neck!

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Hold still! I don’t want to hurt you, I just want to ride you! Now heel!

DRAGON: Am I a dog that you should give commands?! Very well. Let us see how much of a dragon rider you really are!

SOUND: FLAPPING WINGS AND DRAGON ROAR

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Hey! Look out! That doorway is too small! Aaaaaaah!

SOUND: METAL HITS METAL FOLLOWED BY METALLIC THUD

B1-X: (GROANS)

TRISSEN: We’ve got companeeeeee!

TORRENT: Quick! This way leads to the bridge!

TRISSEN: Good! That gives me an idea! Mharrula, Titania and Torrent. Follow me!

MHARRULA: I hope you know what you’re doing!

TRISSEN: Trust me.

DRAGON: There you are, human! Prepare to die!

TRISSEN: Eat this!

SOUND: BLASTER CANNON FIRE FOLLOWED BY RICOCHET

DRAGON: Lizard man! I come for you!

SOUND: RUNNING FOOTSTEPS ON METAL FLOOR FOLLOWED BY DRAGON ROAR AND VIOLENT WHOOSH

TORRENT: Look! The blast doors to the bridge!

MHARRULA: Titania, get them open and fast before we’re roasted!

SOUND: ASTROMECH FRANTIC BEEPS FOLLOWED BY METAL DOOR SLIDE

B1 GUARD: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Halt! You’re not supposed to be here.

TRISSEN: Heeeeeere’s the dragon!

B1 GUARD: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Huh? What drago…(BEAT) AIIIIIIGH! Guards! Run away!

TRISSEN: You heard ‘em, guys. Let’s move!

SOUND: B1 YELLS FOLLOWED BY DRAGON ROAR

TORRENT: The corridor turns left up ahead! Duck for cover!

SOUND: MHARRULA SCREAMS, A FIERY EXPLOSION FOLLOWS! B1 DROIDS YELL

TORRENT: Are you guys okay?

MHARRULA: Yeah. We made it fine. Can’t say the same for the guards.

TRISSEN: Right. Looks like our dragon friend melted them all down.

B2 GUARD: (B2-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Get up and turn around real slow.

TORRENT: Not all of them it seems.

MHARRULA: There’s so many of them! Too much for us!

TRISSEN: Yeah, for us maybe. But not for him!

B2 GUARD: (B2-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Who?

TORRENT: The dragon, of course.

B2 GUARD: (B2-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Oh, the dragon. Wait. What dragon?!

TRISSEN: This one!

SOUND: HEAVY FOOTSTEPS ON METAL FOLLOWED BY A LOW GROWL

MHARRULA: The staircase to the bridge on the far side…run for it!

TORRENT: Right! Let us pray that this droid army will be too engaged with our friend to bother with us!

B2 GUARD: (B2-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) All droids! Concentrate all firepower on the beast! Aigh!

SOUND: METAL CRUNCHES FOLLOWED BY MULTIPLE BLASTER FIRE AND DRAGON ROAR

SOUND: LIGHTSABER SLASHES, BLASTER FIRE, EXPLOSIONS

MHARRULA: The staircase! We’ve made it! Titania, open the door! This dragon is making its way through the sea of battle droids with ease.

TRISSEN: Impressive! I’ve gotta get me one of those as a pet!

SOUND: R4 DROID BEEPS FOLLOWED BY DOOR OPENING

TORRENT: Good work! Quickly now.

SOUND: FOOTSTEPS ON METAL FLOOR

SOUND: MULTIPLE LIGHTSABER IGNITIONS

TORRENT: Lightsaber droids!

TRISSEN: Awwww Come on!

LT. PAKKA: Welcome to the bridge. My mistress has foreseen this.

TORRENT: Mistress?

SOUND: HOLOGRAPHIC PROJECTOR INITIATES

SOUND: ‘DUEL OF THE FATES’ INTRO

TORRENT: That image. She looks vaguely familiar. Gaunt, pale face with dark markings around the mouth.

ASAJJ: I am the image of your doom, jedi!

MHARRULA: Lieutenant! What is the meaning of this?! You have no mistress but a Trianii daughter!

LT.PAKKA: What?! The Lady Mharrula lives?

ASAJJ: Of course she lives, you fool. Now kill her!

MHARRULA: As much as I’d like to comply you are forgetting something.

ASAJJ: What is it?!

TRISSEN: The dragon.

ASAJJ: You let them release my prized pet, Lieutenant? Borsk! Execute this incompetent!

BORSK: (FROM A DISTANCE) Yes, milady.

LT. PAKKA: No, wait!

SOUND: BLASTER FIRE FOLLOWED BY A THUD

MHARRULA: NOOOOOOOOO!

SOUND: HEAVY FOOTSTEPS AND DRAGON ROAR

ASAJJ: Droids! Destroy the creature before it tears this ship apart!

SOUND: BLASTER FIRE, LIGHTSABER SLASHING, DRAGON ROAR THEN YELLS IN PAIN

TORRENT: The lightsabers are having some effect against the beast! Look! He’s lost a limb!

TRISSEN: Watch out!

SOUND: METAL CRUNCH FOLLOWED BY GLASS CRACKING

MHARRULA: The dragon’s just sent that lightsaber droid flying into the viewing window and its beginning to break apart. We’ll all be sucked into the void!

TORRENT: B1-X, plug into the ship’s computers and activated the emergency shields! I will attempt to keep the glass together to give you time! Hurry!

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Roger, roger!

SOUND: PUSH BUTTON TONES

TRISSEN: Mharrula! You and me have a date with this Borsk! Let’s get ‘im while the attention is on that dragon.

MHARRULA: Wait, Trissen. I think that the Lieutenant is still alive.

LT. PAKKA: (GASPING FOR BREATH) Lady…Mharrula…please…forgive me. I was…deceived.

MHARRULA: Your sins are forgiven you. Die in peace soldier.

SOUND: PAKKA DRAWS HIS LAST BREATH, LIGHTSABER SLASHES, THE DRAGON LETS OUT A DYING ROAR, ASAJJ CACKLES IN DELIGHT

ASAJJ: Good. The beast is now killed. Alas, my friends. Your time has come to an end as well. Borsk! Fry these intruders!

BORSK: As you wish, milady!

TRISSEN: Get down!

SOUND: BLASTER FIRE HITTING METAL

SOUND: ASAJJ LAUGHS MANIACALLY

TRISSEN: It’s no good, Mharrula. He has us pinned down. Let’s hope that the jedi has enough of that ‘force’ in him to keep this rig together long enough!

SOUND: GLASS CONTINUES TO CRACK WHILE LARGE SLIDING DOORS SHUT

TORRENT: (LETS OUT A SIGH OF RELIEF) B1-X, good job. You got the emergency door closed in the nick of time. Now, let’s see what we can do to help our friends.

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Wait! I have an idea! It’s time for me to get my own droid army?

TORRENT: Excuse me?

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) This is a droid control ship, is it not?

TORRENT: Well, yes…but…

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) Then there’s gotta be some kind of remote control here on the bridge.

TORRENT: B1-X, that’s brilliant! Get to work. I’ll provide you cover until you gain access!

SOUND: LIGHTSABER IGNITES FOLLOWED BY BLASTER FIRE AND MULTIPLE RICOCHET

ASAJJ: You will never make it out of here alive. Though imprisoned on the planet below I guarantee you that my powers extended even this far. Witness the power of the dark side!

SOUND: DOORS CREAK, SEVERAL SMALL EXPLOSIONS

TRISSEN: I don’t know how she’s doing it but she’s tearing the ship apart herself!

BORSK: No, milady! I will perish as well!

ASAJJ: Borsk, you have failed me for the last time. By leading these infiltrators from the known regions you have destroyed my chance for revenge against Count Dooku!

TORRENT: (TO HIMSELF) Oh my. She still thinks the Clone Wars are active. Just who is she and how long has she been here?

SOUND: PUSH BUTTON TONES

B1-X: (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT) There! This ship’s computer gave a worthy effort at resisting my attempts to take control but I have finally done it! (BEAT) (B1-SERIES DROID VOCAL EFFECT OVER SPEAKER) All battle droids. Attention all battle droids! Abandon ship! I repeat. Abandon ship!

TORRENT: B1-X, I appreciate your concern for this droid army but must I remind you that Borsk is getting away?!

TRISSEN: He’s stopped shootin’ at us and he just ducked into that ready room!

MHARRULA: Let’s get him!

SOUND: ASAJJ CONTINUES TO LAUGH, RUNNING FOOTSTEPS ON METAL, THE SHIP STARTS TO BREAK APART

TORRENT: Wait a minute! Jenna! She’s still with the ship in the hangar! (BEAT) Jenna!

JENNA: What are you guys doing still in there? I pulled out as soon as the hangar started to break apart.

TORRENT: Never mind that! Swing around to the bridge and come pick us up!

JENNA: I’m on it!

SOUND: STARSHIP THRUSTERS IGNITE

SOUND: RUNNING FOOTSTEPS, METAL DOOR SLIDES OPEN

MHARRULA: Trissen! He’s just stepped into an escape hatch! Blast him!

TRISSEN: I thought you’d never ask!

SOUND: BLASTER CANNON FIRE, FOLLOWED BY A SCREAM THEN A THUD

MHARRULA: You weren’t supposed to kill him you stupid lizard!

TRISSEN: What? You said to blast him, so…I blasted him! Not my fault he couldn’t take the hit.

MHARRULA: We’ll argue this later. Quick let’s get into that shuttle and get outta here! Torrent! B1-X! Let’s go!

SOUND: METAL DOOR CLOSES FOLLOWED BY SHUTTLE THRUSTERS IGNITING

SOUND: LARGE EXPLOSION AS THE DROID CONTROL SHIP BREAKS APART COMPLETELY

MUSIC: MUSIC REACHES CLIMAX THEN RELEASES TENSION

TRANSITION: LIGHT MUSIC

JENNA: I sure am glad you guys made it back here aboard the Chainbreaker in one piece. Captain Trissen, shall I set a course back for the known regions?

TRISSEN: Yeah, plot a course for a rendezvous with the Resurgence.

JENNA: You got it, boss!

MHARRULA: When we get back, I need to catch up with those rangers and find my father.

TORRENT: Rest assured, my lady Mharrula, you have your friends to count on to help you in your search for him.

TRISSEN: Yeah, kid. I’m looking forward to meeting this royal dad of yours. He’s bound to show us lots of gratitude for saving him from that Vader guy, if you know what I mean.

MHARRULA: Trissen, you’re such a mercenary!

TRISSEN: Only the best, dear!

SOUND: SHIP’S HYPERDRIVE IGNITES FOLLOWED BY JUMP TO HYPERSPACE

MUSIC: STAR WARS THEME FINALE

Thus ends my kid’s side trek into the Unknown Regions. Next up is Episode IV of the Dawn of Defiance campaign, Echoes of the Jedi!

View
The Counsel of Mharrula

“Your father was seen as a traitor.”

Mharrula’s heart sank at the word and an excruciating pain ripped through her body as the thought settled. She grew angrier and would have struck down the messenger with no greater remorse than she would have with dispatching a mynock were it not for the tears beginning to form around the Trianii sergeant’s eyes. She softened and forced herself to allow more to be spoken.

“The Pyorn loved his daughter dearly. All of us knew this and so when he asked us to aid him in finding her, due to our allegiance to him and our honor we unanimously agreed. We would follow your father to the death, you must understand. There is little that we would not do for him…or you, Lady Shedorran.”

Trissen, noticing the royal title just handed out like freighter food in the mess hall, winces and under his breath repeats, “Lady? Who does this furball think he is talking to?” Torrent overhearing his comrade’s remark of disbelief lets out a small chuckle.

“When you left the homeworld, the pyorn, your father, was convinced that you had fallen in with the pirates of the Red Fury Brotherhood. He made it his and our mission to rescue you from that decision. Days turned into weeks and weeks, months when finally we had come upon some evidence that you had gone so far out into space as to leave the known systems entirely. A Bothan spy, one Borsk La’Reth, claimed to know where we might find you and invited us out here in the unknown regions to learn of your fate.”

Shocked at this news, the Trianii known as Mharrula the Shade her voice quivered in response, “Father? He came looking for me?”

“Yes, my lady. He was struck with grief and vowed never to return to our world until either death overcame him or you were found.”

Mharrula’s hardened visage soon gave way to tenderness as tears began to form in her eyes. Softly spoken, she insisted that the sergeant continue.

“Shedorran, our lieutenant and the rest of us were alarmed to find that our Bothan contact was found in this ancient droid control ship but despite the circumstances surrounding La’Reth’s situation our only desire was to learn what we might know of your disappearance. Borsk, at first, claimed to corroborate what we had already learned, that you had fallen in with the dreaded pirates. He had us convinced that in order to retrieve you from them it was necessary to repair this space station in order to give us a fighting chance of defeating the Brotherhood. We agreed and began work on restoring this station, repairing droids and…finding certain live resources on the planet’s surface which would prove effective against the pirates.”

Torrent, Trissen and the B1-X droid were astonished at the news and each expressed his own surprise audibly.

“Restoring this station?”, Torrent was extremely concerned at the possibility of the implications of a fully working remnant from the Clone Wars era.

“Repairing droids?!”, the B1-X sounded hopeful to meet more of his kind working in top form.

“Live resources? What do you mean live re-“, The sergeant interrupted the trandoshan mercenary’s query by continuing his story.

“A month went by like this as we continued our work believing this to be the best chance we had in regaining the pyorn’s beloved daughter until…”

“Until what, sergeant?!”, Mharrula growled.

“Until we learned of your father’s apparent treachery.” At this, the Trianii soldier’s eyes shifted to the floor in shame but continued…

“Lt. Pakka claimed to learn from the Bothan that this venture had been nothing but a ruse to bring us out here far away from our families, our home and everything thing that we knew for nothing more than the vanity of our dear leader. The lieutenant informed us that the Bothan actually knew very little of your whereabouts and instead invited the Pyorn to join him in some damned crusade against the Empire by building up this station from which to direct hit and fade attacks against her. All for vanity, all for Trianii or so we were led to believe. Lt. Pakka and Borsk came to us in private to inform us these things and our anger was rashly kindled against your father for this betrayal. We. Committed. Mutiny. Against your father presuming you to be dead and we drove him from our sight destroying his personal ship and sending him one way back into the known regions with hyperspace coordinates to Coruscant where he would be captured by Lord Vadar and ultimately…executed for his ‘crimes’ against the Empire.”

At this confession, the sergeant went down on his knees and wept bitterly, “But you are alive and we have been misled! Please forgive us, milady!”

Mharrula, at first speechless at this news and pausing for what seemed hours, knelt down to meet the sergeant eye to eye and spoke in a controlled, forgiving manner, “Sergeant, you have done well in telling me the truth in this and I thank you. Please rise, sir, from this semi-recumbent posture. It is most unbecoming. You have work to do.”

“Yes, milady. We are at yours to command.” The old soldier regains his composure as the others in his troop stand at attention, firearms crossed in front with business side pointed to the floor.

“First, you are to tell where I might find this Lt. Pakka and secondly as your penance, you must rescue my father from this Vadar. How long ago did you send the Pyorn away?”

“Merely an hour before our meeting, Lady Mharrula.”

“One hour? Fine. Then we might have a chance. Travel to Coruscant from here may take considerable time and depending on the level of competency of your navigator you may be able to arrive before my father does. See to it that you and your brothers act in haste. Rescue my father from Imperial detainment and execution and all will be forgiven you. Fail me, and I promise you that you and your men will have much to suffer on our homeworld! Is this understood, sergeant?”

“Yes, milady. We will leave immediately. Please make your way to the ship’s bridge. Both the traitorous lieutenant and the Bothan may be found there. I do not believe that they will be expecting you though they will be heavily guarded by battle droids.”

“Thank you, sergeant. You are dismissed.”

With that the proud Trianii rangers, in two columns quickly leave the chamber. Before he exits the room, however, the sergeant turns around, salutes and addresses for a final time the pyorn’s daughter, “May the Force be with you!”

“And also with you, sergeant.”

Once all had departed, Mharrula turned to her comrades.

Trissen clears his throat and begins, “What the hell…”

“Shut up, Trissen. I am not in the mood. We have a Bothan to fry.”

To be continued…

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Shock and Awe

Violently thrust into the reality of the moment, Torrent lifts his eyes to meet those of his adversary wielding the flaming weapon. His are meet with an equal amount of surprise by a pair of over-sized, feline orbs with the familiar diamond-shaped pupils, black on a field of sapphire blue. Without missing a beat even while engaged in melee, the cat-like humanoid speaks in a low but firm tone through gritted teeth, “Jedi. Cease. Your. Attack. Now!”

Throughout the chamber a series of clicks are repeated in near simultaneous expression, the threatening and all too familiar sound of blasters being set to terminate a potential target. Recognizing the dire truth of the situation and taking a moment to regard the stares of the ‘terrible things’ poised to take his life, Torrent relents. Calmly withdrawing his saber and subsequently extinguishing its light he addresses his host, “Who are you and what business do you have on this station?”

In like manner, the Trianii soldier composes himself and sheaths his fire sword, and with a note of incredulity remarks, “One might ask the same of you, my dear renegade of the Empire! It is not I and my brothers here who are the uninvited. This station is ours and is no concern of yours what business we have in using it for our own purpose!” Growing angrier at the intrusion and at the audacity of this hunted warrior of the Old Republic, “I should have my men strike you down where you stand, you dog!” Raising a fur-covered and clawed hand, “My Rangers, slay this fool where he…”

“Stop!”

All eyes shift towards the Jedi’s entrance. Mharrula the Shade strides leisurely into the chamber with an air of nobility and the Trianii trait of infectious confidence. “You will not harm my Jedi protector! Put down your weapons this instant!”

Gasps are echoed throughout the room and the phrase " A Trianii daughter!" is whispered and repeated several times in surprise. One by one, the felinoid males lower their blasters and take to one knee including the leader of their group. Trissen’s jaw drops as he witnesses this unexpected turn of events and more so at the thought of having traveled with a companion whom he hardly knew could command such authority. This engendered a mixed feeling of elation and jealousy within the soul of the Trandoshan mercenary.

Mharrula comes to a halt in front of the platoon’s bold leader, a sergeant by rank according to the insignia sealed onto his skullcap. “Rise and explain yourself.”

“Please forgive. We did not know that you were aboard, my lady, nor did we expect that you would be in such company.” Slowly coming to a standing posture, the Trianii male lifts his face so that he could meet the eyes of the lovely female. His own goes wide with instant recognition in surprise and fear. “The lady Mharrula!”

Once again, audible gasps are echoed throughout the chamber. “You are alive!”

Sensing that the situation appears to be well in their favor, the Trandoshan motions for the B1-X droid and both enter cautiously into the chamber taking positions just behind the Jedi. Nudging his friend he quietly asks, “Did you know about this concerning our cat woman friend?” Torrent, with a smile, shakes his head without removing his attention on the scene being played out in front of them. He crosses his arms in a posture befitting that of a royal protector as he was referred.

Now displaying a bit of her own astonishment at the latest reaction from the Trianii soldier she asks with a tinge of anxiety in her voice, “What do you mean by this? How is it that you thought me dead and why is this important to you?”

“You discern the heart well, my lady. On behalf of my brothers, I ask for your forgiveness. We have been tricked into believing that you were a lost cause.” Pausing for a moment to regain his bearing the penitent ranger sergeant continues, “Your father, the Pyorn Shedorran was our captain.”

“My father?! Your captain? Explain yourself! How did he come to be out here in the unknown regions of space? More importantly, where is he now? Why ‘was’ he your captain? Talk, sergeant!”

Almost quivering in fear the mighty cat warrior responds, “Yes, my lady. Patience, I beg you. I will tell you all that I know.”

To be continued…

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Rogues in the House

“Identification, please.”

The crimson-colored light saber droid in a menacing monotonous tone challenged the clandestine invaders. A pause. A moment later, Mharrula’s eyes went wide with recall. “Guys! The code cylinders. Try the code cylinders!”

Quickly, Torrent, Trissen and their Trianii companion located their recently found treasure and produced them for inspection by the lifeless droid guardian. Regarding the team with its blank red-glowing stare, the droid approached the members and in serial fashion accepted the gift handed over willingly and inserted each into a receiver port on the right side of its skeletal head. Each cylinder was received approvingly with a click, a whir and a re-assuring high toned beep and then handed back to its carrier. To emphasize the success of each transaction, the light saber droid sentry repeated to each recipient, ‘Thank you, move along.’

However, following the final identification test all droids in the chamber stood erect to include the terrifying Ultra Droideka. Trissen’s stomach twisted in pain as his mind prepared him for what surely must have been a rejection of his code cylinder and things might end badly for the group after all. Another pregnant pause was experienced until finally the lead droid issued his verbal response, “Viceroy Gunray, please proceed as you desire.” Following this, it led the remaining armed sentries in a fidelity chant, “Long live the viceroy! Long live the Trade Federation!”

“Umm…carry on.” Trissen turned to his friends and nervously suggested, “Let’s get outta here before they change their minds.”

Swiftly, but calmly, the group made their way to the metal door on the opposite side of the guardroom. The door shifted open as soon as the team was within one foot of the access panel and each, Torrent, Mharrula, Trissen, B1-X and the two astromech droids exited into another turbolift chamber. “This place is simply full of surprises. We must remain on our guard.”

“Thank you, Jedi, for stating the bleedin’ obvious!” Trissen punched in the direction codes on the interior lift access panel and sent the team plummeting softly to the deck below.

“Heh! What do you know…all other directions were barred for us.”

Seconds later, the turbolift came to a halt and the door opened revealing a dimly lit corridor leading into darkness beyond.

“Well, let’s get this over with, shall we?”, Mharrula offered and she stepped out gently into the hall, blaster pistol ready in hand leading her way.

“Easy, sister. I’m the leader of this party. Besides, I’d hate for anything to mess up your pretty tail.”

With a growl Trissen leaped ahead of her and took the point position while Torrent, B1-X and the rest of the crew cautiously took up positions in the rear.

“Hey!” The Trianii female, not one to be treated thus by any male, much less that of a glorified and grating lizard on two legs, rushed forward to meet Trissen as equals as forward guards. “Watch it, lizard boy. You forget that I fell in with the universe’s worst hive of scum and villainy, the Red Fury Brotherhood, before I met up with you fellas. I would not be so eager to show me your back.”

It was a lie, of course. Mharrula had never actually had any dealings with the dreaded space pirates but the charade proved an effective tool for the moment to garner some respect from the battle-hardened mercenary. Trissen let out a snarl but allowed her to remain at his side without complaint. He and the rest of his company had greater things to be concerned about.

Meanwhile, Torrent reached out once again with the Force in an effort to discern the location of the presence of the dark side which he first felt in the hangar bay.

Help!

The call in his mind’s eye was unmistakable. He beckoned to his friends that they might pause and consider the news. “I have felt a presence near to us and a call for assistance though the precise location from whence it came eludes me at the moment.”

“Interesting, Jedi. The cat lady here and I have come upon a passage leading to our right though this corridor continues further ahead.” Mharrula casts Trissen an angry glare his way. Taking no note he continues, “Can you give us an idea where to go from here? It could be that all you ‘heard’ was simply a means to a trap.”

Closing his eyes and concentrating once again, Torrent employs the Force as a willing guide to discernible life forms, ripples in the fabric of the universe.

“Well?!” Trissen, becoming ever impatient attempts to bring his human friend back to reality.

Opening his eyes from his temporary trance, Torrent raises his light saber arm and ignites the weapon at hand. A green flame is emitted from the sword shaft and pointing to the right, “We should take the right side passage. Lead on and proceed with caution.”

“Yeah. Just what I was about to say.” Trissen followed closely by the Trianii female resumed his position this time leading the group as recommended.

Moments later the team exited the darkened corridor to enter into a well-lit and large chamber. Roughly 20 meters across were two exit points, one to the right and the other on the left spaced 10 meters apart. Halfway across the room on the right wall a closed door with an access panel led to presumably another chamber.

The trandoshan soldier offers his opinion, “I say we try the door first. It seems that the ‘goodies’ have been behind these things all day.” Not waiting for a reply he moves forward to the access control panel. Mharrula and this rest, given little choice in the matter follow suit. The Trianii female flattens herself against the right wall with blaster held close to her jawline and to the left. Torrent prepares by standing directly behind his mercenary friend confident that whatever lies beyond must be confronted directly as his senses inform him of the life which is surely present. With light saber held firmly in his right hand, he readies himself for a lightning charge. Trissen, oblivious to the Jedi’s motives manages to crack the simple mechanical code causing the metal portal to shift rapidly to the left. Instinctively, the reptilian soldier jumps to the entryway’s left side charging his blast cannon in tandem of the move.

Shadowy figures begin to take shape beyond the opened door, cat-like and numerous. Without waiting for approval, Torrent raises his light sword held high over his head with both hands while he dashes into the chamber at full speed. He is met within by alarmed yells and shouts as his downward strike is met by a brilliant light coalescing into a flaming sword!

To be continued…

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The Hall of the Dead

Pyorn Shedorran.

Mharrula’s body buckled at the discovery of her father’s name imprinted upon the make-shift arm of the hulking B2 droid monstrosity making its way slowly to her present position.

Crunch!

The sound of the arm swinging just above her head and ultimately making contact with the corner of the wall from which she collapsed behind brought her back into the moment rather abruptly. Shaking off the memory of her family’s patriarch she rolled back from a prone position deeper into the antechamber inserting more buffer space between her and her clanking adversary. Coming out of the roll, she grasped her heavy blaster pistol and brought it to bear upon her metallic antagonist. Squeezing off a couple of bursts, the force of the laser blasts erupted upon the steel breastplate of the hulking foe, sending it backwards into the larger chamber from whence it emerged. Likewise, the green-skinned Trandoshan companion, Trissen, brought his blast cannon to aim upon one of the approaching menaces, this one a modified cargo loader droid with the head of an IG100 Magna Guard of the clone war era. Firing off a single, powerful shot sent the walking undead-like droid on a collision course with a steel column. Finding itself partially wrapped around the column, the ‘Magna-beast’, with unearthly strength, ripped itself away from the structure leaving behind a warped mass of metal for the repair droids to later re-configure as best they can. It then resumed its course to intercept the alien soldier to return the favor.

Torrent quickly engaged another of the foes proceeding from the larger chamber and easily ripped to shreds with his green-glowing saber a droid nightmare which looked to be a cross between a skeletal IG88 assassin droid and a dwarf spider droid. A few rapid strikes upon the creatures’ mechanical legs sent the robot helplessly to the floor. Torrent delivered a coup de grace to the skinny, black head and it moved no longer.

B1-X had a more difficult time with his opponent, however. Before he could raise his personal shield, a droid shaped from the head down like a B2 droid but wearing the recognizable head of a third degree protocol droid, knocked him backwards and prone to the floor with a heavy strike of his massive metal shielded arm. Recovering quickly, B1-X charged his jet pack which sent him upwards to rain down red blaster fire upon his aggressor. Within moments of the constant barrage, his opponent was sent to the ground in a pile of scrap metal.

The brutish load lifter droid closed in on his adversary in the desire to engage him in a violent melee. Swinging his monstrous arms at Trissen he was met by nothing but empty air as the Trandoshan called upon his martial arts training to avoid the clumsy attack. Moving defensively back into the clear area of the antechamber, he fired one last wild shot from his mobile artillery cannon. One more was all that was needed to explode the load lifter hybrid into several pieces. ‘Heh! Take that, you no good clanker!’

Left with a solitary opponent, the team came together at last to devastate the initial droid combatant that was making its way quickly to engage the combat-inexperienced Mharrula. Taking powerful shots from all flanks the remaining droid was mercilessly shoved into the north corner of the antechamber where it would ultimately find a final resting place. Calling a cease fire, Trissen moved in for a closer look at the robotic beast. Smoke wafted into the air emanating from the shattered R2 droid eye socket. Trissen relished in the moment he witnessed the last of the lights to extinguish from within the metallic body. ‘That’ll teach ‘em to mess with me. Come on! Let’s get outta here and find this damnable Bothan traitor!’

Torrent, troubled by the sadistic attitude of his companion attempts to inject calm, ‘Easy, my friend. We do not know for certain that La’Reth has committed treason. Let us investigate further to discover the truth and not jump to conclusions that may cloud our judgment.’

‘Yeah, whatever Jedi. My instincts tell me that this is a set up perpetrated by a no-good…hey, let’s try that door on the far eastern side of this here room.’

Without needing further commands, Titania wheels up to the access panel and attempts to unlock the door. A few seconds later, the heroes gain access to the room beyond and present themselves for conveyance through. Unfortunately for them, they are greeted by a pair of skeletal, maroon-hued droids armed with the weapon of choice for Jedi and Sith alike. Deeper within the room, coming out from the shadows rolls a giant Destroyer droid whose blaster armament is as large as Trissen is long. Trissen’s mouth drops.

Before any of the team could react, one of the pair of lightsaber droids approaches, ‘Identification, please.’

To be continued…

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A Saber in the Dark

The turbolift deposited the strike team into a darkened room. All but the faintest of lights from a pair of access panels glow from within this new area in addition to that which spills forth from the lift chamber. The light betrays the location of a pair of metal doors immediately to the right of the heroes’ lift exit. “Let’s get our droids to earn their pay.”

Trissen cautiously steps forward from the cylindrical shaft leading with his massive blaster cannon, a weapon he earned in a previous encounter with Imperial security forces on the jungle world of Felucia. Little did the Trandoshan native of Coruscant know then, that his initial dealings with the Empire would eventually lead him into the unknown regions of space to explore the empty shell of a Trade Federation Droid Control ship in search of an elusive Bothan spy in the service of a budding rebellion force led by Senator Bail Organa. The astromech droid known as ‘Titania’ beeps and whirs with the command, eager to prove herself in front of her master Mharrula the Shade, a Trianii female and relative newcomer to the team. “It’s ok, Titania. You may proceed, but please, do keep your noise down. We know not what else lies beyond. We’d hate to attract any undue attention.”

‘Titania’ wheels her way to the pair of doors and chooses the left access panel first. Extending her mechanical arm from within her droid shell she interfaces with the mechanical lock and in a few moments is able to shift the access panels’ indicator lights from red to green. The door opens and reveals a small armory which includes B1 battle droid style blaster carbines. “Now we are getting somewhere!”, Trissen notes excitedly and makes his way over for a closer inspection.

Without needing further approval, the curious droid probes the right-side access control panel and inserts its unlocking mechanism. Once, the lights go from red to green followed by the shifting of the door from closed to open. A soft white brilliance fills the chamber and a gasp is heard from the Jedi as he observes the contents within. There, lying on a shelf within the closet-sized room is a pair of curved handled light sabers decorated in alternating stripes of chrome and obsidian. The trandoshan ceases his meticulous inspection of the new found firearms in response to this queer response from his Jedi friend. Mharrula and B1-X step forward for a closer view as Torrent leads them to the curious cache. Reverently picking up one of the pair he notes out loud, “These were the tools of the Jedi. What are they doing within this craft and in this region of space?”

“Well, can you tell us who exactly they belonged to?”

“Trissen, if I knew that, much of this mystery might be brought to light for certain, however, I know not the owner or…who the previous owner was.” Torrent depresses the activation switch to reveal a sword of light with a bright, bloody hue. “Ah, a weapon crafted by one who opposed my order!”

“Well, dark or light, it doesn’t look like he’ll be needing them anymore.” With that, the green-skinned weapon aficionado removes the remaining saber from its resting place and inserts it into his pack. “Put that thing away and let’s move on. The sooner we find this La’Reth, the sooner we can get back to familiar territory, and to our reward!”

“But, my eager friend, what if the owner is yet present in this ship and has laid a trap for us? Perhaps he meant for us to find these here?”

“Well, if it’s a trap, then I say we spring it! I prefer to meet whatever comes sooner than later. All this sneakin’ around is drivin’ me crazier than a Mynock let loose in a shipyard!”

Mharrula continues her search of the small chamber and soon discovers a number of code cylinders in a hidden storage compartment under the main shelving units. “Hey guys, have a look at these. Might be pretty useful to us as we go ‘sneakin’ around.”

She hands one each to her team mates and then makes her way across the larger chamber to what is now a visible blast door set into the eastern wall. Whistling to her robotic companion, she motions for the droid to locate the mechanical lock in an effort to see what lies beyond. Again, the little astro droid successfully activates the opening mechanism and the heavy grey blast doors slowly open to reveal yet another dark chamber, this one much wider than the one in which the group now finds itself. What can be seen easily is that this next room is lined with steel columns starting roughly 15 meters beyond the threshold and dividing the great room. Also, the faint glow of several access panels to the immediate right reveal sets of metal doors not unlike the pair already dealt with. “What is this place?”, wonders the feline companion.

Without missing a beat, the B1-X ally answers quickly, “It is a detention block. Trade Federation Droid Control Ships often used these for Jedi prisoners as well as…”

Along the right side of the larger chamber the faint red glow from the access panels one by one shift to green permitting the doors to open.

“…malfunctioning droids!”

Metal upon metal is heard as large, dark figures with eyes emitting colors or white, red, or green are released into the room.

Moving to a defensible position in the antechamber, the trandoshan shouts, “What do you mean by ‘malfunctioning’?!”

“Droids that went mad and started to modify themselves in strange ways using scrap metal.”

A beep and siren call is sounded from within the detention block, a noise not unlike that of an astromech droid but more guttural and grating. The team’s attention is brought to the form of a B2 battle droid slowly making its way toward the heroes except this particular model was wearing the head of an R2 unit as if in some badly put together Halloween costume. Its left arm and hand were the normal appendages of a droid of the B2 variety; however, his right blaster wielding arm and hand were replaced with what appeared to be part of the exterior of a star fighter to include bearing the insignia and rank of the pilot.

Pyorn Shedorran

Mharrula’s eyes went wide with recognition and her body went limp and with a sickening feeling in her stomach. Thinking to herself and trying to hold back a wave of despair she called out within the depths of her soul,

Father?

To be continued…

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Uninvited Party

“Destroyers!”, shouts the group’s Trandoshan leader.

Within moments, the two pair of Clone War-era droid terrors unroll and lock themselves into combat positions, each armed with a pair of the dreaded auto-firing blasters aimed directly at the heroes. Energy crackles from within each droid’s internal reactor core and soon discharges covering each in a blue-white globe of virtual invulnerability.

“Get behind me, droids!”, Trissen yells out of concern for the team’s seemingly weak droid mechanics. “Torrent, now would be a good time to show us the evidence of your years of training!”

Without thinking to consider the words of his alien friend, Torrent reaches deep inside and then concentrates on the space about him detecting the presence of the Force in the air, his friends, and the droid opponents. Properly centered and with lightning fast reflexes the young Jedi releases a wave of powerful energy towards his foes and overpowers them almost just as instantly knocking both immediately prone to the floor! “Great work, kid!”, Trissen remarks elatedly.

With the droidekas languishing on the station’s floor their shields become disengaged giving the heroes a chance to act before they can manage to upright themselves. At this, the two rebellious astromech droids move forward to deal with the aggressors, unheeding of the soldier’s warning to them. Working together, the droid called “Titania” begins the assault by covering one of the two helpless Destroyers with slick, black oil making it even more difficult for her enemy to regain its footing. The astro-mechanic called “Gumbo” rolls to the front line and, removing from within its shell via a green-colored compartment a now exposed laser welder, proceeds to take aim at point blank range and fires a short burst of white-hot energy. The droideka instantly catches fire and within moments explodes into several pieces which fly in all directions within the starship corridor.

With one opponent left in this corridor, the Trandoshan rushes towards him, dropping his blaster cannon and then removing from his hip holster, his trusty and reliable mace. Trissen charges at his foe with a piercing battle cry, mace held high above his head. His mace comes down crashing into steel and circuitry. Repeatedly, the grim soldier strikes with devastating blows on the would-be mechanical assassin until all of the droid’s movement stop and its lights go dark.

Finding himself alone in the center of the massive conference room, the B1-X droid quickly notes the peril he is in as the sole target for the pair of ‘rollies’ entering from the left corridor. He instinctively activates his custom defense energy shield to counter the incoming blasts of laser fire aimed at his current position. He immediately takes a personal inventory deducing that his best chance of staying in one piece lies in the use of a pair of thermal detonators which he found in the armory aboard the Chainbreaker, Darga the Hutt’s old ship which has now become party property. Reaching for the destructive weapons, he ignites his jetpack and charges towards the closer of the two droidekas. Confident in his shield’s ability to absorb the continuing blaster fire, B1-X comes within melee striking distance. He reaches slowly through his opponents’ energy shield and attaches the deadly pair of explosives to the chassis of the unsuspecting enemy and then immediately retreats back into his buffer of air, now thick with the smoke and acrid smell of battle. Seconds later, the charges ignite and destroy their host with devastating force sending droideka shrapnel in multiple directions throughout the chamber.

The remaining destroyer droid lays down a staggering burst of blaster fire over the B1-X’s exterior shield but finds itself evenly matched and is unable to penetrate its flying nemesis’ defenses. Unfortunately for the skeletal equivalent of a walking tank, it finds itself outnumbered and flanked from the ground and from up above. The B1-X returned fire with multiple targeted bursts with the intent to overwhelm the droideka’s shields which then allowed the Jedi, now with activated light saber in hand, to engage the doomed mechanical combatant in melee. After a few more tense moments of combat and several successful saber slashes later, the lone robotic nightmare ceased performing its primary function forever more.

Our weary team of battle-hardened heroes is only given few seconds to recover when all exits to the conference room come immediately to a close with heavy blast doors and a familiar noble but mysterious voice is heard through the room’s overhead speakers. “I see that my hospitality has caused you much excitement. Alas, now it is time for rest. I would like to provide you with one of my cures for insomnia. Please. Rest…in peace!”

Issuing forth from vents in the ceiling and the floor, a most dreaded biological weapon, “Dioxis gas! We must quickly find an exit…or make one else we shall surely perish!” cries Torrent.

“It seems we are being led where we do not wish to go though I can’t see that we have much choice.”, growls Trissen as he quickly makes his way to the only available chance for survival, the turbolift chamber in the northwest corner of the huge room. He attempts to manipulate the controls, “Bantha pudu! It’s locked. Titania, get your can of parts over here and see what you can do!”

The normally cheerful purple-on-white ‘astro’ wheels her way slowly but with great protest as can be evidenced by her many and varied beeps and irritated whistles to the mechanical lock and then inserts her access panel interface. As the gas quickly fills the room, the turbolift door is successfully opened and all enter within the confines of the cab. Nervously, Mharrula jokes “Well, that was some welcome, huh guys?!” Trissen groans while Torrent gives her a sideways glance and then shakes his head.

The team is safe…for the moment.

To be continued…

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