Avvy's Adventure on the Edge of the Empire

In Which the Shackles are Cast Aside
A second mutiny thwarted
From the desk of Captain E.M. Greyviper, Ret.
BEGIN AUDIO LOG

Escape From Servitude:

Major Beller, the droid better get finished with that entry hatch. Every second we’re on this rock is another second we’re likely to end up at the bottom of the swamp, covered in blaster burns, courtesy of the Black Sun or the Emperor knows who else.

Oh, right.

Captain’s log.

This is Edmund Merriweather Greyviper, former Captain of the Imperial Navy. Things have gone somewhat tits up, as the saying goes. As it turns out, the Verpine decided to take me up on that whole duel to the death thing over the ship, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

So, in the fallout of the Black Sun shootout, I was prepared to leave, but others wanted to get the ship repaired first, even though we could have just as easily gotten the repairs completed on Corellia, or any other world not crawling with organized crime syndicates that want to blast us into char. I had raised this objection, but was universally overruled. At this point I had yet again reached such a point that even the Finest could not pull me from my state, so tossed my flask aside. Awaiting my death at the hand of a menagerie of multi-species criminal assassins, I sat in the cockpit of the Invincible III, flicking the sub-light engines on and off.

During one of the lulls, I heard some commotion outside. Presuming it was our inevitable death, I tromped out onto the twisted ship ramp and saw something at the entry to the landing pad. Of course, we hadn’t cleaned up the blasted merc corpse in the entryway, so I ended up with it all over my feet again. At I let this latest defeat sink through the wet skin of my feet into my bones, I pulled my electrobinocs from my belt and took a closer look.

So, Captain’s Log. Can you guess what it was at the entryway to the platform? Sure you can. It was corpses…because of course it was corpses. Secure in the knowledge of imminent death, I stomped on over, leaving my bloody, sticky footprints across the platform’s deck, as Danhanka followed as backup…or perhaps just to observe whatever my fate would be. As it turned out, they had all been killed by a Verpine shatter gun, which I have by now become quite familiar with, having seen them used by an enemy, an ally of convenience and a crewmate (the first two being the mercenary, Lira Finn, and the latter being Sparky). I hailed Sparky and Saffron to inquire as to his seemingly murderous rampage and, having been securing ship parts far from the pad, professed his innocence. That left only one reasonable option, which was confirmed when the two of them arrived shortly thereafter. Saffron was holding aloft a pair of boots, presumably for me, when one was shot from her hand.

Now, initially, I had suspected Saffron of orchestrating this as an act of comic revenge. The mere accusation send Danhanka into laughter enough to nearly break his heavily bruised ribs. Truth be told, none of us really reacted to the gunfire except for the Verpine, who cowered behind the ship parts. I had seen this play before, if we were intended targets, we would be dead. Saffron took the same attitude and Danhanka just laughed and took to pushing the cart full of materials to the ship. The droid…Infomate?…was…still on the ship maybe? I don’t know, whatever it is droids do. Strike that part, nobody cares about the droid. Or, unstrike it, I’ll edit this later.

As it turned out, it was Lira Finn. She jetted onto the landing pad and made herself known.

So, here things got FUNNY. Now, I had always assumed Finn to be a capable warrior and shrewd person…for a woman. Despite her insufferable earnestness, I had always held a begrudging respect for her. Little did I know how misplaced that respect was. Apparently she had come to us because she was concerned about the fate of her home world, Mandalore, after Zann had goaded her people into open rebellion. Apparently he had giving them the “perfect” opportunity to exploit the situation we had created months before when we destroyed much of the Imperial garrison.

Once I had stopped laughing, I politely explained that her people were just as much cat’s paws as we had been and that Zann was most likely luring them into revolt so that the Empire would have to redirect forces to crush them, thereby leaving some other tangentially related target undefended for him to exploit and profit from.

At this point, she offered a quarter million credits, with 50k up front, to help her find information as to his plans.

Again, after I stopped laughing, I set about convincing my compatriots that this was utter folly, given that Zann had been many steps ahead of foes much more capable than ourselves and had explicitly bested us in terms of understanding his goals, as our entire mission to Mandalore was entirely obscured to us until moments before we arrived and, even then, was shrouded in mystery. More over, the last criminal syndicate we had tried to deal with…entirely fairly even…had just tried to brutally murder us not hours before. My argument was that even though my life was no longer worth that much, that I presumed everyone else valued their lives more than the credits she was offering, but apparently that fell on deaf ears.

As the crew devolved from discussion of “should we take this terrible suicide mission” to “how can we do this terrible suicide mission,” I said my final piece that I hoped Finn was okay with us dropping cred on her as soon as Zann discovered her plan (which would be instantly), because that was by all accounts I could muster, the most likely conclusion. She made some threats or something, I hadn’t really been paying attention to it because I already knew what she had to offer, a slut to the skull, which was likely much less painful than whatever my imagination could conjure Zann’s alternative to be.

The crew continued not to listen to reason, so I boarded the ship and fired up the engines.

Now, I suppose I should set the scene. Danhanka had already given up and determined to get some sleep and then wake to whatever grim work was before him, so he had already retired to his quarters on the Invincible III. The Verpine and the droid were repairing the hatch through most of this. Saffron was still engaging Finn in conversation.

As soon as I fired up the engines, the Verpine stalked into the cockpit after me. Knowing this would come and preparing to meet my death, I was ready for him. I had locked down the door with a shot to the controls. He did the same on his side, opening the door, which gave me a prime opportunity to open fire. I had set it to stun, out of misplaced mercy if nothing else, as this was the second mutiny against me. I only winged him, dazing him insufficiently and he responded by throwing a net…A BLOODY NET?!? Truly, what possessed him? A bloody net. Anyway, mutual combat was had, grenades, blaster fire and my withering intimidation. I forced him to retreat from the cockpit.

Once again in charge of the ship and finally freed from that ridiculous, preposterous net, I completed takeoff. I gave the Verpine a final opportunity to flee and survive his betrayal, banking the ship over a nearby rooftop so he could leap out. When he refused, I roused Danhanka on the comms and assured him that once he rousted the errant Verpine, we would make haste to a hospital to get his grevious wounds looked at. Apparently this was enough, because Danhanka began his hunt.

Before he could locate the Verpine, Saffron hailed me in an insane attempt to convince me to land, which was already part of my plan once I ran off the mutineer. Much talk was made, but ultimately it ended in one final offer to the Verpine to depart the ship. He refused and revealed his hiding place…one of the Invincible III’s escape pods. As soon as he punched out, his mutiny had gone into outright theft and sabotage, so I banked the ship into him and sent him hurtling, hopefully, to his doom in the swamp far below the city.

And so we come to the end of things. Saffron is free to follow whatever mad quest she sees fit to earn credits to care for her sister. Danhanka is free of a life of brutal mercenary work. The droid has a chance to be a full member of a crew, I suppose. (Note to self: I guess I’ll have to call him by his name. That’ll be hard, but I’ve had to make due with worse. If I can pretend to be a brainless rebel, I can tolerate a crazy world where droids are people.) I’ll drop Ensign…

Major? What the hell was his rank? Yes, most certainly. Major.

Drop Major Beller off wherever he wants to go, although if he sticks around I might see what I can do about reaching out to the few contacts I have left to get his record expunged and get him reinstated. At least someone can come out of this not stinking of shit. Speaking of which, the Verpine is likely trapped beneath dozens or hundreds of feet of fetid and highly polluted swamp water, free to die of asphyxiation, dehydration or drowning. Honestly, any is suitable to a serial mutineer.

I may not be much. I’m not an Imperial. I’m not a captain. I’m not a rebel. I’m not a crime lord. I’m not even a smuggler.

But I am a survivor, and that chittering bugman should’ve recognized that.

END AUDIO LOG

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Defeat in Victory
From the desk of Captain E.M. Greyviper, Ret.
BEGIN AUDIO LOG

Return To Nar Shadaa:

We have arrived back upon the fetid cesspool of a world that is Nar Shadaa. The rebel agent greeted us and informed us that he had done upgrades to our ship. We provided them with some of the overview data I had collected from the data I had retrieved from the installation’s deceased commandant, and we also provided them with 2 of the 3 vials of rakghoul infection that Saffron had collected during our egress.

It is unfortunate that the rebels were unable to pay us any cash, as the delays for Saffron and company to retrieve the necessary materials for their rakghoul serum left us owing a debt to the assassin droid, IG-88. Upon arriving on world, 88 delivered an ultimatum and we have a painfully short period of time to accumulate the thousands of credits to pay. Lacking resources, we have decided to sell the detailed biological information and possibly the samples. Lacking a great deal of options, we attempted to reach out to the Black Sun syndicate, as they should have the ready cash to make a trade for it. Saffron and I met with some initial resistance when attempting to sell the information, but they said they would contact us should they be interested. We attempted to impress upon them the time sensitive nature of the situation and have returned to the ship to wait.

PAUSE AUDIO LOG [Timestamp: Imperial Calendar 128.5.22:1030]
UNPAUSE AUDIO LOG [Timestamp: Imperial Calendar 128.5.22:1825]

As it turns out, attempting to deal with the Black Sun was a horrible idea. They attempted to take the information by force. We managed to run them off, primarily thanks to my intimidating demeanor, although the Verpine’s steady aim and the Rodian’s bestial combat ability definitely helped. Although well trained, two of the attackers were driven off when I impressed upon them the hopelesseness of the fight. The third detonated his grenades in a suicide attack as it became clear to him that Danhanka was about to eviscerate him.

The ship is a shambles, the gangplank was blasted open and needs repair, Danhanka is yet again on the brink of death, and we are no closer to having any sort of financial recompense to alleviate our desperate situation. With our options extremely limited, I know a way I might be able to raise the money. Were the situation any less dire, I would not take such drastic action, but I obviously cannot rely on the aliens or the one conscious Tam sister to resolve the situation.

BELLER! FETCH ME A TOOLKIT FROM THE ENGINE ROOM AND GRAB THE GOLD LABEL JOHNNY SKYWALKER FROM THE STRONGBOX!

Let’s get this over with.

PAUSE AUDIO LOG [Timestamp: Imperial Calendar 128.5.22:1828]
UNPAUSE AUDIO LOG [Timestamp: Imperial Calendar 128.5.22:1917]

What fresh hell is this? I have sold my chair…my beloved, custom-crafted Captain’s chair…along with my last bottle of Limited Gold Label and, to make matters even worse, it took my bloody my boots and my hat to seal the deal. My ONLY pair of boots.

The deck plating is still spattered with blood and gore from the Danhanka or the Black Sun attackers, so OF COURSE it’s all over my bare feet.

Everything is gone. Maybe it would’ve been better if we had been turned into rakghouls. I swear by Palpatine’s prostate, we’re getting the hell off this heap and shipping freight. I, for one, am done dealing with crime syndicates of any stripe. The Empire won’t take us, the Rebels wouldn’t pay us in a time of need. If Zann comes looking for us, he can take a flying leap out an airlock before I’ll get tied up with his business again.

Time to get the hell off this rock and set a course for Corellia. I suppose I’ll drop Beller off somewhere along the way. With Admiral Piama most likely dead, perhaps he still has a way to wheedle himself back into the Emperor’s Service..

I suspect Danhanka will be in for this, as I’ve seen the way he has been looking at a bottle of Old Wookie’s since I’ve returned to the ship. I’m less sure about the Verpine. If he wants the ship, he’ll have to take it from me. Part of me, a large part, hopes he’ll kill me with that fancy gun of his.

END AUDIO LOG

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Mutiny!!!
And betrayal!
From the desk of Captain E.M. Greyviper, Ret.
BEGIN AUDIO LOG

Mission 6.something:

AAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRHHHHHH! HHHRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOO!
Bloody hell…
HHHHHHHHHHHRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
I’ll try this again later.
UUUUUUUUGGGGHHHHHH

PAUSE AUDIO LOG [Timestamp: Imperial Calendar 115.5.22]
UNPAUSE AUDIO LOG [Timestamp: Imperial Calendar 117.5.22]

Finally, the rodian sleeps, if you can call it that. He thrashes like a condemned man and weeps and howls when awake. It is truly a miserable sight to behold and he has been at it for days.

On to the important things. Fortunately, Ensign Beller was able to bring me my recording device and fetch my cap from the floor of the cockpit. Status Report. I am currently sitting manacled in the hold of the freebooter’s ship, alongside the rackghoul-infected rodian. He is midway through a “cure” formulated by Saffron. I can only assume it will fail and we will all be killed as my already-most-formidable crewman is converted into a mindless beast of praeternatural strength, whereupon he will rend his bonds and rampage through the ship delivering harm unto man and droid alike.

But I get ahead of myself.

As Captain, I made the decision to stay on world, rather than leaving my crew to their fates in the rackghoul warrens of the former Imperial facility. Unfortunately, 88’s patience had run out and we began to accrue an hourly rate of 5,000 credits per hour for our delays. After retrieving some laboratory equipment and information, the crew made it back to the ship…and that is where things went wrong.

Obviously it would not do to have potentially infected crew mingling and potentially dooming everyone with further risk of infection and the dangers of a sudden change. I secured myself in the cabin, with sufficient supplies to see us back to Nar Shadaa, regardless of circumstance. Unfortunately my crew, consisting of aliens and women, lack the rationality possessed by the droid and myself. Desperate, maddened by their predicament, and potentially mentally deranged by infection, they breached and assaulted the cockpit. My attempts to repel them via the nonlethal weapons at my disposal were unsuccessful.

And that is why I lie here in the hold, covered in blaster burns…THEY FIRED AT ME AT FULL POWER! EVEN I HAD THE DECENCY TO ATTEMPT TO STUN OUT THE MUTINOUS, FEAR-ADDLED CUR!

So, yes. Here I am. The only reason we are alive is that it seems only one of the crew was infected. Were Saffron infected as well, she would not have been able to complete the serum and both she and the rodian would have turned, most likely overpowering and killing the majority of our organic crew.

I can potentially forgive the freebooter’s betrayal. Despite it being a transparently suicidal act, firing upon me in the cockpit and breaching quarantine, it is at least his ship. My crew, however…what they engaged in was nothing more than mutiny.

END AUDIO LOG

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The Escape!
Monsters among us
From the desk of Captain E.M. Greyviper, Ret.
BEGIN AUDIO LOG

Mission 6.something:
Captain Greyviper again. I’m back aboard the ship and things have taken a turn for the worst. It turns out the station was abandoned because it had been overrun by terrible creatures called rakghouls. Fortunately, I remembered hearing about them lurking in the underworld during my time at the Academy on Coruscant.

Most dangerously, they are not natural creatures, but are the product of a highly transformative parasitic infection. There was either an escape of experimental creatures, or a failure of containment and accidental infection. Either way, the result is the same. Containment was breached and the staff was nearly all killed or converted.

Before this grisly discovery, I had prudently gone topside to seek out the base commander’s offices. I found the lifeless bodies of the commander and his adjutant, desiccated by the climate control systems. As I was working on retrieving information from his computer system, the rest of the crew inadvertently disabled the power and the door locks. Whatever had locked down the creatures in the lower levels had failed.

The crew noticed indications of something moving down there and decided to make haste to reactivate and overload the reactors to destroy the “bioweapon” we had come for…despite the fact that I had explained (for the Captain and, by extension,, the Rebel’s benefit) that the droid had already “hacked” the system to set up a self destruct. Whether that was true or not was quickly rendered irrelevant as they managed to reactivate the generator and draw the attention if a pack of the aforementioned rakghouls. They defeated the creatures after sustaining infection-risking injuries and set the reactor into an overload sequence.

As soon as I became aware of this state of affairs, I made haste for the ship with the slicer droid in tow. We blasted off as soon as we were aboard and opened radio communications with our doomed comrades. They are pleading for us to let them on, but I cannot risk it. They may attempt to reenter the complex, disable the self-destruct and allow Saffron to work on a cure, but who knows if that works.

I may just kick some supplies overboard and make for Nar Shaddaa. Once I drop off 88 and return this ship to the rebels, I’ll collect our pay and our ship and return to see if anyone has survived.

I’m wracked by indecision and Beller is silent on the issue.

88 grows impatient. I can sense it. I need a drink.

END AUDIO LOG

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Breach and Clear!
I've got a bad feeling about this...
From the desk of Captain E.M. Greyviper, Ret.
BEGIN AUDIO LOG

Mission 6.something:
The rebels came through with their pilot, a roguish, self-styled “Captain” with a small patrol craft optimized for speed and evasion. Were it only a few years ago, I would be blasting his like into dust to keep the space lanes clear.

To keep that terrible droid, IG-88, secret from the rebels for, at least a little while, we tossed him into a crate as some “equipment” we would be making use of. The Rebels and the Captain didn’t ask any questions, which was probably for the best for everyone’s health.

Once we entered the system, there was a noticeable lack of a Naval fleet presence. Even so, the Captain took no precautions. He brought us in a few kilometers from the base on the surface. We dressed for infiltration, the Captain, myself and Danhanka as stormtroopers and Saffron as Imperial Intelligence. The Verpine and the droid simply played out their proper roles as slave and equipment respectively. Traversing the jungle, we soon found ourselves at the base of a highly-advanced, well-concealed shield. We were able to uncover one of its anchoring emitters and the droid did its duty, shorting itself out against the emitter’s capacitors to clear us a path.

On the outpost’s campus, there was a distinct lack of ground crew, only a handful of AT-PTs patrolling the grounds. At my instruction, we walked with dutiful purpose and made our way to the landing platform and its accompanying lift. In the interior, the non-appearance of base staff of any kind has become rather disturbing. We have released 88 from his confinement and the Captain seems quite unperturbed by his appearance. He actually seems to like the monster. Dreadful. Regardless, we now have a goal set before us. 88 has scanned the interior, found no life forms and managed to calculate a path to the central security room. We will be heading that way shortly…

END AUDIO LOG

BEGIN AUDIO LOG: Captain’s Log, Supplemental
BLOODY HELL! That slicing droid that 88 saddled us with has utterly screwed the womprat. Security…activated. If you find this among the scattered belongings of my dessicated and mangled corpse, know this: Never trust a droid to do a man’s job.

Wookie mercenary, whereever you are, I apologize for everything I said. I should’ve saved all those insults for every last droid in this wretched galaxy.
END AUDIO LOG

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We Wait
Like a steel trap in a spider's web...checkmate
From the desk of Captain E.M. Greyviper, Ret.
BEGIN AUDIO LOG

Mission 6.something:
Those rebels have fallen for my masterfully executed ruse. It seems to me that perhaps I have chosen poorly in deciding to go into the Imperial Naval Academy. What I spy I could’ve been!

I can only imagine I never would have ended indebted to that gruesome slug and alone in the universe with no one but adjutant Beller to accompany me, but there is no sense in dwelling on my past. As my High Galactic teacher always said, non potest pugnare fata.

I’ve given these rebels pure gold! Big chunks of juicy Imperial intelligence. Even having deliberately given them the older of the data I have collected, they should be falling all over themselves to help me…and what do I get? A pittance. 1,500 credits? Bah. It’s not even enough to hire a repair crew to appraise the defective air scrubbers of the INVINCIBLE III. I’ve tossed it into the group account. Maybe we’ll buy more experimental combat drugs with it and stick one of the greenies with it.

At least the Rebels took the bait on the “bioweapons” at The Droid’s Imperial outpost. If they hadn’t gone for that, I can only imagine Beller and I would’ve been forced into the clutches of Imperial justice to evade that marauding metal monster’s wrath. Of course, even this has backfired. Rather than serving as adviser to a Rebel vanguard, it seems I’ll be leading a Rebel assault on the blasted base. Moreover, The Droid seems to have decided to assist us by gracing our presence with a slicing specialty droid, presumably so he has more opportunity to spy on us.

HELLO THERE DROID LACKEY! IS IT GOOD TO KNOW THAT YOU WILL NEVER KNOW THE SOOTHING WARMTH OF A BELLY FULL OF MID-SHELF ALCOHOL?

…what a mess. We’re all going to die trying to get out of this alive. I need a drink.

Greyviper out.

END AUDIO LOG

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3-23-2014

We staged an assassination attempt on Greyviper, earning him some street cred with the Rebels. Now they think he is a disillusioned former imperial officer who has a hit on him by the empire. Someone likely to work for the Rebels. Greyviper gets contacted by a Bothan who meets him in a hangar. Greyviper makes a deal with him to give him a list of imperial locations, routes, etc… for 1000 credits. Then he promises a second list for more money later, after they check out the first list. We tell IG-88 that we will have to wait a while for the Rebels to check out the first list and he says, “Timeline Unacceptable” and that the item he needs may be gone from the secret base by then. Greyviper in turn tells the Bothan rebel contact that he just received some “new information” that there is a secret base where a chemical weapon is being created, that it will be done soon. This, we hope, will make the rebels attack that base sooner rather than later, so IG-88 doesn’t just annihilate us.

5 EXP Awarded

Quotes of the session:

“I gave her ALL twelve parsecs”

“Screwed your mom’s force ghost”

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3-2-2014

IG-88 Wishes to use us to get to a secret imperial facility so he can obtain a certain item. We decide to cause a rebel attack on the base to cause a big enough distraction to be able to get IG-88 in.

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2-23-2014

We make the trade with the local Whiphids on Toola and then head back to give the talisman to K’Rokh. He gives us an old YT-1300 which we gut and use the parts to upgrade our own ship, the Invincible III/Cheesewagon.

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2-16-2014

Found a ship to salvage. Can only get it if we go to Toola and deliver supplies and credits to a small village where K’Rokh is from. Once we return with a talisman proving we dropped off the supplies, he will give us the old ship for parts to use to repair our ship.

In order to get the talisman though, we will have to prove ourselves to the village first, by giving them an impressive game that we killed. We found two Hssiss Dragons to kill, barely survived, but killed them and brought them the head of one. Mynock Man made one into jerky though. It’s delicious.

We used a local monkey-like creature to lure them out. We saved him, although we also blew one of his legs off, and brought him to the ship. He subsists off of alcohol. We called him Hoot after the weird “Hoo” noise he makes.

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