25th October 2020.
Sunday lunchtime had arrived, we're on Skype and I was in my living room.
Time for the next part of Ares' Edge of the Empire campaign.
Location: Kijimi City.
The crew had been talking to 'the old man' when an 'old woman' came into the room. The old man had referred to her as Val?
The crew was aware that Kerna, who was in possession of a Jedi medal, had told them that it had belonged to her brother, whom she had said was called Val?
The woman Val, asked the crew about baby Wilfred's mother and they explained that she had died in childbirth. She also asked the crew where they were talking Wilfred. They were trying to find the boy's father.
Val was visibly affected when she heard of the mother's death.
Pell was still confused about the name Val and asked her to explain it.
Val explained that Kerna had no family except for her nonna. She took pity on Kerna and helped mentor her. She gave the medal to Kerna as a gift and convinced her that it had belonged to her brother. Because the medal had belonged to a Jedi, Val deliberately gave her wrong information in order to protect her.
"Hmm," said Pell to Val. "If the medal belonged to a Jedi called Val and you're called Val. That must mean that you're a Jedi?".
The old man turned to Pell and asked, "Do you always say exactly what you think?".
"Hmm," Said Pell to the old man. "What does he mean when he says do I say everything I think?".
Val looked intently at Pell and a moment later, waved her fingers subtly and said. "You don't think I am a Jedi.".
"Hmm," said Pell to Val. "I don't think you're a Jedi!".
Pell found the argument quite compelling and gave it no further thought.
Val continued and said that she might know some information about Wilfred's father.
His name was Daro Janren.
Val believed that he might have gone to the planet TBC.
She told the crew that there were extensive cave networks on TBC that contained crystals with the special qualities used to power lightsabres and in the past the Jedi mined these caves for the crystals. The Empire was aware of these caves, but other than those, were also smaller caves that the Empire did not know about. It was possible that Daro Janren was in these caves.
The crew now had some information that they could act upon, they thanked Val and the old man then made their exit.
The crew returned to the cold, busy streets of Kijimi City, pulled their coats tight and headed towards they city gates.
As they got close, they spotted someone watching them; it was Pell's double - Coron.
At the same time Chrisy was growling and scratching his head when he saw at small group of people on a street corner staring at the crew. One of them turned and shouted at Coron - who then spotted us.
Chrisy roared at them while the rest of us fled back into the city.
Utri dived into cover and M/8 sprinted off with Wilfred.
Robin ran into a side street, Pell was a little confused on where everyone was going and decided to follow Robin. Coron chased Robin and Pell.
As Robin and Pell dashed down a street, sporadic blaster fire flashed past Pell, barely missing him, he was forced to throw himself through the closest door.
Meanwhile M/8's self-preservation partition instructed him to increase the distance between himself and the pursuers. He was forced to reduce his velocity to zero though. M/8 had encountered the Mandalorian bounty hunter!
"Give me the child," Commanded a muffled voice from behind the Mandalorian helmet. "Don't force me to take him from you. You're only putting him at risk.".
M/8's danger-assessment subroutine was generating a number of errors and was conflicting with his child-rearing subroutine. It instructed M/8 to open fire on the Mandalorian. The Mandalorian, in turn returned fire.
Pell rushed through the building, it turned out to be some sort of laundry. He stumbled into large, damp, flapping sheets and was forced to shove them aside.
"Coming through! Being chased by a madman with a blaster!" Pell yelled as he ran.
Looking behind, he was saw he still being pursued by Coron.
Fighting his way through more laundry, Pell saw the back door and made for it. Before he could reach it though, he was abruptly yanked to one side by an unknown person?
Chrisy stopped roaring, he had realised that M/8 was gone with Wilfred. He looked around, growling and scratching his head questioningly. He then caught sound of blaster fire and bounded off towards it with long strides.
M/8's reasoning subroutine was running through numerous response scenarios to the Mandalorian who was closing in, it was generating errors and conflicting with other subroutines. The danger-assessment subroutine instructed him to call the others on his commlink.
Robin and Chrisy both heard M/8's message and made for his location.
There was no time for help to arrive though, as the bounty hunter moved in, M/8's behaviour subroutine instructed him to pull out his knife and strike at the Mandalorian.
It was an error; the Mandalorian easily deflected the attack, M/8 had now overextended his reach and was left open, the bounty hunter smoothly stepped in and snatched Wilfred out of M/8's arm.
The bounty hunter turned and fled, M/8's child-rearing subroutine immediately flagged a critical warning and M/8's entire processor unit reprioritized all of his subroutines. As the Mandalorian fled, M/8 fired a blaster shot at his leg, he staggered for a moment but shrugged it off and ran on, dodging round a corner.
Pell had been dragged behind a large sheet, he looked around at his assailant, it was Garan's father Madak. The Zabrakian held an index finger to his lips. From behind the sheet, Pell watched silently as Coron ran past and out of the back door.
Madak demanded demanded to be taken to his daughter. Pell explained that this was nothing to do with him.
Now that all the shouting had faded away and the blaster fire was no longer filling the street, Utri popped up from behind cover. He looked along the street, everyone had gone and he needed to find them? He moved towards a hoverbike and tried to hotwire it but failed, instead he tried to contact the others on his commlink. Pell's reply told him to go to a nearby laundry
M/8's manhunter subroutine launched and the droid gave chase. He ran round the corner and the Mandalorian was no where to be seen? M/8 initiated a situational scan and his manhunter subroutine analysed the data: The highest probability indicated that the Mandalorian had gone through the closest door.
As M/8 was calculating this, Robin and Arrived on the scene. M/8 quickly explained the situation and the three of them went through door.
Meanwhile, Madak was not happy with Pell's excuse and also wanted to know what had happened to his son. Pell was forced to explain that Garan was safely at The Vengeful Runner, a day's walk from here.
At this time, Utri found them in the laundry.
After passing through the door, M/8, Robin and Chrisy found themselves in a smoky, badly lit room. It appeared to be an illegal gambling den, all the staff and clientele had stopped whatever they were doing and stared at the three of them:
There were three exits from this room. M/8's reasoning subroutine deduced that were too many variables for a situational scan to process in the limited timeframe they were working in. Instead, his behaviour subroutine instructed him to appeal to the occupants' better natures.
"We're looking for a baby that's been stolen, can any of you help?" Came the audio dialogue from M/8's behaviour subroutine.
No one answered.
Robin had been watching when M/8 spoke, she noticed several sets of eyes glancing towards the leftmost exit.
She told the others and they immediately went through.
This time, they found themselves in a seedy, dimly lit strip joint. complex patterns of colourful light swam across ceiling and walls as distorted music pumped out of a sound system that was never designed to play it. Chrisy growled, scratched his head and stared at the stripper who was suggestively gyrating beneath the kaleidoscopic light.
M/8 triggered his situational scan again; it detected an inconsistency in a rug's positioning.
The rug was whipped away, a trapdoor was beneath and descended down into a sewer. M/8's situational scan detected splashing footsteps from below.
The three of them climbed down and into the flowing sewage, the air was thick with the rank stench of waste. Robin winced and Chrisy growled quietly, scratching his head and holding his nose.
M/8's self-preservation subroutine instructed him to deactivate his olfactory sensor.
The three gave chase, the tunnel ended in a ladder that rose up, it was brightly lit in the darkness by a pale stream of daylight that blazed down the vertical shaft. The manhole cover above had been moved.
They climbed up and found themselves on the other side of the city's dome, surrounded by Kijimi's icy climate.
Back at the laundry, Pell was trying to convince Madak that the crew had nothing to do with the disappearance of his daughter. Pell said that Madak must have confused us with someone else, we were charged with caring for a newly born baby boy and were looking for his family.
Madak wanted to know about Wilfred but was hesitant to tell anything to someone who was essentially a stranger.
Madak admitted that he knew the name Daro and knew that it was his son. Now Madak wanted to see Wilfred.
Utri and Pell were taken aback, clearly Madak knew more than he was telling. They discussed whether to take Madak to the others.
"Hmm," said Pell to Utri. "There's two of us and one of him. We can handle him.".
Madak scoffed at this.
Utri and Pell decided to take Madak to the others. They contact them on the commlink and were told to come outside the city. The trio set off.
Back in the wintery exterior, Robin, M/8 and Chrisy saw the Mandalorian running, he was headed towards a spaceship.
M/8's tactical-assessment subroutine calculated that the risk was within a acceptable parameter and he fired at the fleeing bounty hunter who was carrying Wilfred; the blaster shot missed, M/8's targeting processor had failed to correctly vector the movement.
Robin, M/8 and Chrisy sprinted through the ice and snow. Further ahead, beyond the Mandalorian, the spaceship's entry ramp began to lower.
As M/8 sprinted, his behaviour subroutine diverted power to his lower extremities and he caught upwith Mandalorian and tackled him to the ground, they sprawled across the ice. Robin and Chrisy were also closing in.
At the ship, the ramp had lowered and a man descended: In his 40's, of average height but lean, he was dressed in a plain grey robe.
He gestured with a raised hand and M/8 and the Mandalorian were violently flung apart like a pair of rag dolls. They crashed to the ground ten metres apart, Wilfred lying halfway between them.
Chrisy stopped, growled, scratched his head and took a shot at the man; it missed.
The man gestured with his other hand and Wilfred levitated into the air and began floating towards him.
Robin lunged forward and managed grab Wilfred out of the air! they were now at a standoff.
Reading, writing, playing and painting are the things that I do.