27th September 2020
It's Sunday lunchtime and I'm logged into Meetings whilst sitting in my living room.
It's time for a short session in Ares' Edge of the Empire campaign.
Location: The Windbreaker.
Utri and Robin were returning from their successful deal with Haduck. The port was a busy place, they kept their eyes open as they threaded their way through bustling streets. Anywhere amongst these smugglers and criminals might be someone searching for them.
Robin had a bad feeling; as they walked along, she furtively looked about at the constant churn of moving people. Her fears were realised, someone was following them, a Zabrak.
Back at The Windbreaker, Pell was sitting in the cockpit staring through the viewports, watching people pass. He too had a bad feeling.
"Hmm," said Pell to no one in particular. "There's no one there, but there's definitely someone watching the ship!".
As Pell was contemplating his predicament, he saw a pair of Imperial officers appear in view, one of them turned and approached The Windbreaker.
Quickly, Pell ran down the open entry ramp and intercepted the officer before he could board.
The officer was a stern looking man in a well kept grey uniform. He spoke to Pell and addressed him as 'Coron'? He told Coron/Pell to continue his 'undercover mission' to retrieve the cargo from The Windbreaker. Once that was completed, Coron/Pell should eliminate all the crew!
Pell was not at all sure what was going on?
"Hmm," Said Pell to the Imperial Officer. "I'd like to help you, but I think you have the wrong person,".
The officer complimented Pell on his commitment to remaining 'in character', he said that he would return in one hour with data files on all of The Windbreaker's new crew, whom they had now identified.
Pell was relived when the officer left, he didn't seem to understand that Pell was not Coron.
Just as the Imperial officer rejoined his companion and they disappeared into the crowds, as Utri and Robin returned, they gave him a wide birth.
Robin explained to everyone that we should leave Nar Shaddaa as quickly as possible, her agreement with Haduck did not last very long.
"Hmm," Said Pell to the crew. "That Imperial officer who thinks I'm someone else will be returning with files on killing all of you in an hour. Shouldn't we wait?".
After this, the crew quickly agreed that they needed to leave in less than an hour. Everybody grabbed their few worldly possessions and vacated The Windbreaker and headed over to Sev's shipyard.
Sev was happy with the outcome of the deal and was pleased to see the crew. He explained that adding M/8's upgrade would take two to three hours.
The crew were not happy with this, they felt it was too much time, they imagined their pursuers breathing down their necks!
Instead of getting M/8 upgraded, they settled on getting his head changed! This would only take half an hour.
During this time, the rest of the crew boarded their new ship, 'The Vengeful Runner' and as they began checking her cabins and systems, they noticed that it was filled with that new ship smell.
As Chrisy was checking a viewscreen, he noticed a Zabrak suspiciously approach the ship. Chrisy watched as the Zabrak clamped something to the ship's hull, then very quickly leave.
Chrisy rushed outside, he looked around scratching his head, the Zabrak had already gone. Chrisy checked the hull and found a tracker magnetically clamped to the hull. He removed it and attached it to a passing droid.
By the time this was done, M/8's head had been changed, it was time to leave.
Without delay the crew strapped themselves into seats and Pell took the ship out of the yard and upwards.
Pell accelerated to escape velocity and the ship began to gently shudder. Soon Nar Shaddaa seemed to shrink away like a falling marble. Pell put the ship into an orbit and cut the engines.
The crew got together, they needed to talk about their next step. They needed to find a planet that was out of the way, not under Imperial influence but busy enough to find work.
After some discussion, the settled on the planet 'Kijimi', the crew vaguely knew it was some sort of ice-planet.
Pell programmed the the destination into the navcom, set off and activated the auto-pilot.
A very short way into the journey and Utri had a bad feeling.
At the same time, M/8's awareness subroutine logged an uncategorised anomaly, it triggered a situational scan.
The inconclusive situational scan automatically triggered the danger-assessment subroutine in M/8's self-preservation partition.
M/8 used the ship's internal scanners to check all primary ship systems.
The internal scan reported that there was a higher than expected concentration of carbon dioxide in the air: No other anomalies detected.
M/8 ran a diagnosis program on the life-support systems, the carbon dioxide scrubbers were all working with normal parameters; no fault detected.
The reasoning subroutine in M/8's intelligence partition launched: The ship's systems had been calibrated to manage life-support for five biological lifeforms on this trip. The carbon dioxide scrubbers were all functioning correctly, but there was a higher than calculated concentration of carbon dioxide in the air.
Conclusion: There was an additional source of carbon dioxide production on board.
Conclusion: There was at least one additional biological lifeform on board.
M/8 informed the crew that he had reasoned that someone else was aboard the ship. The crew was alarmed, they split into two groups to search the ship.
Pell locked the ship's controls as they would be leaving the cockpit unattended during the search.
The search was not a particularly fast one, this was the crew's maiden voyage in her, they had left in a hurry and had not had the time to familiarise themselves with the ship yet. Every corridor and cabin was a new space for the crew.
As he was looking round, Chrisy spotted a vent grille that looked slightly out of alignment. He gave a growl, scratched his head and opened the grille.
Behind the grille was a shaft that ran into some part of the ship's bowels, at the shaft entrance he found a folded up cape and a bag.
Chrisy unfolded the cape and found some food and drink within. He scratched his head as he realised there definitely was a stowaway on board somewhere?
He then opened the bag, Chrisy growled alarmingly was he found in the bag was another tracking device.
Chrisy knew this was not good, he took the scanner to an airlock and jettisoned it. Scratching his head, Chrisy wondered if it was too little, too late.
The other search party had failed to discover anything, when Pell heard the distinct ping noise coming from the cockpit. It was the kind of noise that was generated when a computer error was triggered. It dawned on Pell that someone was trying to access the flight controls!
"Hmm," said Pell to anyone in earshot. "It's good that we've discovered the stowaway, but it's bad that they're trying to bypass the computer lock,".
The alarm had been raised, everyone ran back to the cockpit. Bursting in, they were surprised to find a Zabrak youth in there, different to the Zabrak they had previously seen.
The Zabrak had heard the crew dashing towards the cockpit and was ready for them, he had turned to face the way in and was brandishing a spear.
With a growl, Chrisy easily plucked the spear from the boy's grasp. Chrisy looked at the primitive weapon curiously and scratched his head.
The boy stood his ground and shouted at the crew, "My father knows about your plans with The Empire!".
The crew were taken aback and a little confused. They knew that an Imperial officer had approached Pell.
They explained to the boy that they had no dealing with The Empire. The boy seemed unsure about this.
The boy told the crew his name was 'Garan' and he was searching for his baby sister. She had gone missing from their home planet of 'Dathomir' four or five months ago.
Reading, writing, playing and painting are things I do.