Josus is having trouble sleeping
The past couple of hours with Amolle Volpine (Fox) the new medic didn’t help! She’s planning to kill Slider at a dinner in his honor the next evening. And that dinner is hosted by his murderous uncle.
So Slider is tossing and turning during the evening while the rest of the crew sleeps.
At about oh dark thirty, Slider hears the hatch across the hall from his slide open followed almost immediately by the hatch to the bridge.
Normally not something to take note at, but he’s not getting much sleep.
However, seconds later, the collision alarm goes off and Celeste’s voice comes over the overhead speakers, reporting that the ship has been boarded and there are intruders in the Engineering Bay!
What a way to kick off this Threesday.
Josus grabs his weapons and turns to Break Out to find that his Duros roommate isn’t rousing himself from sleep.
Josus turns and opens the hatch to his quarters and Celeste sprints back into her quarters.
“How do you know we have boarders?” Josus demands, but Celeste ignores his question as she arms herself with her blaster pistol.
But as if to punctuate Celeste’s announcement, the sound of blaster fire reverberates from the aft of the ship.
Amolle Volpine (Fox), Celeste’s roommate, comes out into the hallway, armed with her blaster carbine and racing toward the battle. Like Celeste, she is also only wearing her skivvies.
Down the hall, Pa Pooga (Wrasp) emerges from his room, similarly attired, and armed with his lightsaber and his favored disintegrator pistol.
Wrasp then Fox form up the vanguard as the two proceed down the hall toward the Galley.
Devo joins the two as the third combatant and Aliz kisses him on the cheek, cautioning him to “not be too brave.”
Josus makes one more attempt to verbally encourage Unsien (Break Out) to rouse himself from sleep and the Duros begins to emerge from his bedding.
This puts Josus at the back of the advancing line, right behind the two new gunnery crew; Xargub the Sullustian and Anvo the Iktotchi. Both are armed with their standard issue BlasTech DL-44 pistols.
As Wrasp and Fox enter the Galley so do the intruders!
The attackers are well armed Weequay wearing custom combat armor and are armed with matching blaster carbines. This advanced team is comprised of four fighters and the four open up and blast at Wrasp and Fox!
Wrasp is hit a couple of times and he dives to his right to take cover behind the kitchen prep table while Fox dives to her left to take shelter from the enemy with one of the dining tables.
Wrasp returns fire and disintegrates one enemy while Fox downs the other lead enemy with her blaster carbine.
Josus, the the back, bellows for the teammates in front of him to “Get down!” and most of them are cowering without any cover anyways as the Weequay try to shoot at them like fish in a barrel! Josus tosses one of his flash bang grenades hoping to drop it at the feet of the attackers, but instead, the grenade lands in the middle of the galley.
When it goes off, the blast disorients and stuns everyone in the galley, plus Devo (just outside his hatch) and the two remaining Weequay assailants.
It also deafens most of the crew.
Meanwhile more Weequay take up defensive positions in the Engineering Bay to attack the crew from medium range, while the two stunned attackers retreat to the relative safety in the aft of the ship.
Still dazed, Wrasp advances and takes up a position just outside of the hatch leading to the guest rooms and further back, the Engineering sections.
Shots are exchanged and two more Weequay are downed in the engineering section, but fortunately none of the other crew are injured.
The Weequay attackers then begin to call for a truce to confer!
It takes a bit to enforce as the crew of the Vigilant are deafened.
But one of the Weequay produces the incapacitated body of Mash Biliggass (aka: “Magnum”) and demands to know if the crew want to lose their companion in a most permanent way!
Wrasp uses the force on the Weequay holding Magnum hostage and influences the Weequay to advance and give up Mash.
The Weequay advances but doesn’t give up the hostage so easily. The two begin negotiations.
The Weequay is willing to concede the battle, but wants to withdraw his downed crew. The Weequay is also upset that Wrasp used a disintegrator weapon to kill one of his team!
Wrasp objects to the attack on his crew and accuses the Weequay of being a band of assassins!
The Weequay clarifies that he’s actually a mercenary and this type of job doesn’t necessary define his men as assassins (per se).
Wrasp is not amused, but the Weequay clarifies that their job was to actually kill the Bothan on board. The rest of the crew were simply collateral damage.
Wrasp asks if the Weequays were hired out by Josus’ uncle Morac, but the Mercenary “Can’t say” due to professional considerations. After all, he and his team are “professionals.”
Sure the mercenaries are going to lose their bonus for not killing Josus, but Mercenaries aren’t paid to die. The team just wasn’t expecting quite this much resistance.
Wrasp and the mercenaries wrap up their negotiations and the Weequay depart the ship with their wounded.
With the thread neutralized, Fox begins tending to Wrasp’s wounds.
Slider is miffed that anyone got onto the ship unannounced and demands that the repair team affect immediate repairs! Celeste asks Devo to assist her in the repairs and they determine, (quickly and easily) that the top hatch in the Engineering bay was cut open by the invading mercenaries. The two quickly set about repairing the hatch while Slider demands that they fix this so that it “never happens again!”
After wrapping up Wrasp, Fox tends to Magnum and gives him a positive (if but lengthy) prognosis for recovery.
With the excitement over, most of the crew return to get some sleep.
Understandably most of the crew awaken late that morning.
Wrasp and Break Out head off to meet with the Caterers, while Josus plans to head to the family home later that afternoon. Fox, and Josus will arrive to the party separately.
Except for the mid evening interruption, everything seems to be proceeding as planned.
Wrasp and Break Out get to the Laorl palace with the catering crew, aided by Goldie. The three make their way to the server room and find that it is now guarded by two Weequay guards and they are up armed with eerily similar combat armor.
Wrasp begins negotiations to bribe the two guards and they (with some help from the Force) entertain Wrasps’ offer.
One of the guards accepts a payment of $50,000 but when his companion objects that the payment is “too low” the first Weequay shoots and kills his companion!
After payment is confirmed, the Weequay admits Wrasp and Break Out and disappears to “take a break.” A retirement long break at that.
Break Out, with the help of Goldie, set to work on slicing past the security measures to access the server and the Duros succeeds. He initiates the data transfer with an expected upload time of one hour.
Josus arrives and is greeted by his former girlfriend’s father Dorusk Talhem (and one of the uncle Morac’s advisors).
Dorusk expresses his surprise at Josus’ arrival, but Josus points out that he is indeed the ‘guest of honor’ for this evening’s dinner.
Dorusk has a request from Mari, Josus’ mother. She would like to speak with her son in private before dinner.
On the way to (and from) Mari’s quarters Dorusk remains eerily silent and is largely unable to make eye contact with Josus.
Mari chides her son for returning as he did. She too is surprised to see that Josus survived his assassination attempt, but Mari indicates that she had nothing to do with that attack.
Mari encourages Josus to abandon the Rebel Alliance as the Alliance chances are doomed! The Empire is building the Death Star II and according to sources, the Empire is approaching completion of the project soon!
Neither she nor Morac have any other details, but their Imperial compatriots are convincing. It would appear that the defeat of the Rebel Alliance is inevitable!
Josus is not able to determine definitively if his mother had anything to do with Jobai’s death, but she is now convinced that it was safest to abandon her hopes in the rebellion. The Empire’s conquest of Bothawui space was total and complete. None of the opposition forces were able to escape or withstand the attack and the Empire is employing weapons and technology that are clearly unavailable to anyone else in the galaxy!
Mother and son are unable to convince the other and it soon becomes time for the dinner feast.
Morac has assembled a small group to celebrate his son-in-law’s return including four of the current council members.
Morac welcomes his guests and introduces his ‘beloved’ son-in-law in whom this feast is in honor of.
They begin with a light appetizer and the entertainment is a small Mon Cal water ballet troupe performing a “Zero G” dance in a suspended bubble of water.
As the main course is being served, there is an interruption and someone forcibly and angrily gains entry to the party.
The party is interrupted by Varsk Talhem, Mako’s brother! Varsk fights past the servants and staff and gains entry.
He is there to accuse Josus of crimes against his sister, including attacking (Battery with a weapon), kidnapping, drugging, and then violating his sister’s virtue!
Josus denies the accusation demanding any semblance of credibility or a scrap of evidence.
Vorsk lays out the various crimes against Mako’s person that Slider is being accused of. And sadly Vorsk is correct about everything (except for the crime of forcing himself upon Mako. That was just added to make the series of crimes more salacious)!
Vorsk accuses Josus of being a flight risk and Vorsk is unsatisfied with ‘modern justice.’
Vorsk demands that he be permitted a duel with Josus! With swords no less!
Josus: Inner Monologue “Oh for frick’s sake! This duel is the last thing I need now. I’m about to be murdered after all!”
Morac (Josus’ uncle) feigns disdain and shock at the barbaric and archaic tradition. He certainly couldn’t condone such behavior in his house. Not without the consent of both parties and perhaps not without the blessing of the Bothan Counsel?
The four counsel members confer for a couple of moments but it’s painfully obvious that one of the members of the Counsel is eager to see a blood duel. In the end the Counsel members assent their approval for this duel, based on the extenuating circumstances surrounding the accusation and the accused.
Vorsk, with the tacit approval, demands justice in the form of the duel!
Josus, relents and agrees to the duel but only after dinner!
Vorsk refuses to leave the room, and voices his opinion that Josus is likely to try to slip out of the palace in order to avoid justice!
Midway through dinner, Josus begins to feel the affects of the poison that Fox told him to expect.
Fox politely reminds Josus to “relax and feign death.”
Unfortunately, that becomes easier than expected as Josus falls unconscious.
As he fades out, Josus hears Fox proclaim that something seems wrong with Josus, but not to worry because she’s a doctor.
And then she excitedly proclaims that Josus has been stabbed!
Back in the server room, Wrasp and Break Out are finding the wait tedious. They’re getting toward the end of their hour.
But one of the caterers (who smuggled the two into the palace) comes rushing in! Security is getting ready to lock down the place and the constabulary have been sent for! Someone has poisoned and stabbed Josus!
But the group needs to leave! Now!
Wrasp and Break Out aren’t quite ready to exfil the situation. They wait as long as possible to confirm the completion of the data transfer.
Once that is done, Wrasp leads Goldie out of the server room while Break Out arms and places four data purge grenades, designed to take out as many of the servers as possible!
His placement is amazing and not only does Break Out take out all of the data, but he also shuts down the power to the palace!
The ensuing confusion helps the various parties escape.
Wrasp and Break Out (with Goldie) are returned to Cadrec Nitheli. Nitheli confirms that they have received the data and he has his best teams working to sift through all of the data.
Wrasp requests a copy of the data and Nitheli replies that this request, while possible, will take some time. In short, Nitheli’s teams will need to construct 15 similar servers in order to transport all of the data to Wrasp. But Nitheli also promises to deliver Wrasp some food the following morning!
Fox arrives at the warehouse with Josus’ body in a body bag (per plan). But Josus is still unconscious and there’s a lot of blood loss! (not according to plan)!
Fox grabs the body and takes Josus back to the Vigilant so that she can begin treating Josus to try to save him.
Wrasp and Break Out return to the Vigilant and their first order of business is to check on Slider to see if Josus will survive!
Fox indicates that there were “complications” but she thinks that she might be able to revive Josus. But his recovery is going to take a couple of days.
Feeling pretty good about the outcome from the mission, the crew head off to sleep.
Foursday CD 8-08 begins quietly.
Ghost reports that a delivery truck is approaching the ship and Wrasp and Break Out eagerly head out to pick up the delivery.
The driver has the crew sign for a crate of cod (on ice).
Eagerly, Wrasp has his load masters take the crate onto the ship and Break Out sorts through the ice and fish looking for computer components. But it turns out that the crate of cod is just a crate of cod.
Meanwhile, Aliz approaches Pa Pooga (Wrasp) and lets him know that she has found an opportunity cargo to ship to Hutt space. Someone has approached Aliz and wants to sell her stolen art for the princely sum of $400,000.
Aliz doesn’t have any experience with this type of cargo and wants to know if the Captain want’s to pursue this opportunity.
Pooga contacts Nitheli and asks some intelligent questions. Nitheli has a cousin who knows a thing or two about art, but he’s not familiar with the seller (Coth Kenani). Nitheli recommends that Pooga proceed with caution.
Nitheli sends Ok Nasosa (a “cousin”) to Pooga to check out the art.
Pooga and Nitheli discuss the delivery of the data and Nitheli indicates that project will take a couple fo weeks to complete. However, his team is focusing on the ‘Death Star II’ project and if they find anything soon, Nitheli will contact Pooga.
Aliz and Ok Nasosa confirm that the art is as valuable as claimed (and is stolen). Pooga proceeds with the deal but through aggressive negotiations, picks up the art for just $375,000.
Nitheli contacts Pooga and reveals that he found something new.
Morac received a message from Sullust that one of his agents had sensitive data regarding the Death Star II project. In response, Morac sent the ship Wandering Karn to Sullust to make direct contact with the agent Rim Noholo regarding “Telestial Mote” two days ago. Nitheli’s research indicates that the Wandering Karn is equipped with an HC 2 hyperdrive and the expected travel time is ten days. After a bit of research, Break Out determines that with their HC 1 hyperdrive the trip to Sullust should take no more than five days.
ETA for the Wandering Karn is CD 8-16!
If the the Vigilant departs the next day (CD 8-09) they should be able to get to Sullust before the Karn.
The team takes off and Break Out is able to shave some time off the trip and the crew arrive on CD 8-13. Three days before the expected arrival of the Wandering Karn.
Josus regains consciousness two days later (while en-route to Sullust).
Josus’ vision is blurred, his throat is parched, and he’s too weak to move.
After crying out for help, Mash Biliggass (Magnum) responds to Josus’ cries for help. Josus asks for water and Magnum reluctantly gets a glass for Slider before racing off to get Fox.
Fox is pleasantly surprised that Josus is awake already and Wrasp and Break Out join Fox to welcome their teammate.
Luckily Josus survived his ordeal. Fox had some issues with Josus being poisoned. Varsk stabbed Josus after he fell unconscious and had poison applied to his sword blade. Fortunately, Fox was able to identify the poison and apply an antidote.
Yes, they pulled off the data transfer and they will eventually get a copy.
Wrasp explains the side trip to Sullust and assures Josus that they will return to Bothawui so that Josus can seek out his vengeance.
One minor issue though. Josus is legally dead now. So he can’t use his IPCK credentials.
Arrival to Sullust
The crew change their transponder to the identity Falcon’s Crest for use while visiting Sullust.
Break Out (left seat) and Wrasp (right seat) pilot the Falcon’s Crest to the Sullustian capital Pinyumb through the noxious volcanic clouds that blanket Sullust.
The starport for Pinyumb (and the other starports on Sullust) are accessed via massive locks and once the Falcon’s Crest settles onto the landing pad the crew notice a Sullustian ground crewman approach the ship accompanied by an Imperial Naval officer and two Stormtroopers.
Wrasp eventually uses the force to convince the Imperials that his ship (filled with Rebel Alliance fighters and stolen artwork) is actually empty.
The remaining Sullustian, is confused by the departure of the Imperial agents but he’s there to see if the crew need any routine or maintenance services. Wrasp authorizes a payment of $2,000 credits for topping off of consumables and they ask the local rep where they might be able to find off worlders.
The Sullustian directs them to check out the Vectress, the designated offworlder entertainment establishment.
Celeste asks the Captain how many days they intend to stay at Sullust as she would like to do some PMCS (Preventative Maintenance Checks and Services). Wrasp gives Celeste three days to work on the engines. She indicates that she could take care of four of them in that time.
Off they go to the Vectress.
Wrasp is on the lookout for any Bothans, especially lone Bothans as they are seated.
An Aqualish takes objection to Wrasp and shoves the Kel-Dor as he starts an aggressive altercation!
Wrasp is taken aback and is confused. One of the Aqualish’s crew steps in to try to translate and the best Wrasp can figure out is that the Aqualish is concerned about a bounty on his head. Playing on that fear, Wrasp tells the other crew that he thought he saw a constable headed this way.
The trio order drinks and Wrasp is dissuaded by the server from getting the “local drink” because it’s make from mushrooms!
After relaxing a bit, Wrasp notices that there aren’t any Bothans in the joint and asks one of the servers where one might go about locating Bothans on Sullust. The server recommends that they check the Bothan Embassy and they can get there via a taxi.
A quick trip and deeper into the stone catacombs and caverns of Pinjumb, the group arrive at the Bothan Embassy.
The attendant believes that they can get into contact with and relay a message to Rim Noholo.
Wrasp wants to be contacted fast!
How fast? The Bothan emissary asks.
$5,000 credits fast!
The crew return to the Falcon’s Crest to await contact.