Under a Black Sun

Episode I
Under a Black Sun

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Lady Valarian has sent a team to Coruscant to track down the Bounty Hunter Rockbottom (real identity unknown), who has stolen a shipment of spice from her. Their first job is to steal his data from Black Sun, to whom Rockbottom sold the spice.

The team stole the data successfully, but a silent alarm made a hasty retreat necessary. Running from Black Sun operatives, the party caught a cab, but the operatives gave chase on speeder bikes. The droid pilot was taken out by a blaster bolt, leaving the cab without a pilot. Elkhiouno took over driving, while Reen threw the destroyed droid at a speeder bike, sending it crashing into the streets below. After a brief chase, Elk successfully crash-landed the cab just outside of the industrial sector.

Elk led the team to the shop of a Mechanic named Chopper, a Besalisk associate of Valarian whom Elk knew from his days on Coruscant. Chopper let the team use his data station, and Hagan masterfully decrypted the Black Sun data, learning that Rockbottom is a Nikto named Kaa’to Leeachos. The information gives them a number of leads, including a Spice Bar called the Umbral Club, the Spyder Casino, and Zelcomm, a weapons manufacturer.

The party made their way to the Umbral Club. Cort got some info from the owner (with a little intimidation from Reen), and met with Speng, a greasy spice dealer who sometimes fenced for Kaa’to. In exchange for an Imperial ID they’d stolen, Speng told them that Kaa’to owed a significant amount of money to the Spyder Casino, and that he was pretty sure the Nikto was holed up somewhere in Sector 943.

The party made their way to Sector 943, but found it was much too large an area to do a narrow search without more information. Hagan picked up an old, broken-down sentry droid, bringing it back to Choppers so that Cort could try to fix it and turn it into a hunter-seeker. The droid was too damaged to be fixed, however, so the team decided to follow their lead at the Spyder Casino.

The team made their way to the Spyder Casino, where Elk made a chum of the friendly Chagrian bartender Pillaat. Pillaat offered up a lot of information about Kaa’to, confirming the Nikto’s debt and implying that the bounty hunter had become a problem for the owner, causing trouble and even killing off other gamblers to whom he’d lost. He introduced the team to Korsin Fenn, the owner of the Spyder, who invited the team into his office for a private chat.

Korsin Fenn, the Bothan owner of the Spyder Casino, confirmed what the team had learned about Kaa’to. He pointed out that Kaa’to had double-crossed just about everybody he’d ever dealt with, and at this point was too much of a liability. Fenn agreed to help the party in one of two ways: He could introduce them to a Black SUn Vigo to try to arrange an alliance, or he could get word to Kaa’to that there was a buyer for the rest of the spice shipment, setting up an ambush. The team suggested another course of action – infiltrating the weapons dealer Zelcomm and getting shipment information from the order placed by Kaa’to. Fenn agreed that this might work, and told the group what he knew of Zelcomm, though it wasn’t much.

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Episode II
Hitting Rockbottom

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Worried about his dwindling supply of spice, Cort Brevis returned to the relative safety of The Lucky Despot. Informed by her associate Chopper that the team was having difficulty tracking down the now-identified Kaa’to Leeachos, Lady Valarian called in her expert tracker, a big-game hunter from Tattooine named Miglionico Barnes. Barnes joined the team at Chopper’s Shop, where a plan to capture Leeachos was already being formed.

The team was contacted by Nalah Targon, a Zabrak bodyguard they’d met briefly at the Umbral Club. She had heard the team was asking about Zelcomm Tower, and made a few guesses about why. She informed the group that Zelcomm is a smuggling front for Black Sun, and for reasons of her own, offered her assistance. She promised to deliver a tower access chip within two days, then returned to her post.

Elkhiouno and Hagan the Handsome spent the next day casing Zelcomm tower, looking for possible points of entry. They discovered that the tower was a virtual lockbox, with minimal entrances and high levels of electronic surveillance.

Reen and Barnes, meanwhile, returned to Sector 943, hoping Barnes might have better luck tracking down Kaa’to. On the way, Reen was stopped by Grewrys, a Wookiee Tera Kasi fighter and friend of Reen’s from her fighting days, and his “manager,” a young Devaronian girl named Bets Mareel. After a pleasant reunion, they told Reen about the new management their Tera Kasi team had fallen under, and the deplorable conditions the fighters now suffered. They had fled, and had asked Reen’s cousin Mola to come along, but she had refused. Bets asked if Reen would lend her voice to trying to convince Mola to leave the team, and Reen agreed.

Bets and Grewrys tagged along with Reen and Barnes to Sector 943, but Barnes found even his superior tracking abilities by the sprawl and decay of the abandoned factories. Even Grewrys’s keen nose couldn’t pick out anything over the grease and rust.

The next night, as promised, Nalah met the team outside Zelcomm Tower, giving them an access chip still implanted in a severed finger. Accessing the tower from the 4th story loading platform, the team infiltrated the tower interior and made their way to the ground floor, where they surprised a crew of guards. Stunning them before they had a chance to react, the team revived one guard so that Elkhiouno and Hagan could interrogate him. After a bit of “convincing,” he pointed them to the 50th floor, where access to the storage basement could be unlocked.

At the 50th floor command center, Hagan sliced into the main terminal, unlocked the basement, and located Kaa’to’s order information, which included his full address. They made their way to the basement and helped themselves to a few choice pieces of equipment from Kaa’to’s shipment. Hagan altered the order to cover their tracks, then the team headed for Sector 943.

At the Kelerium factory listed as Kaa’to’s address, Barnes found the Nikto’s trail, and followed it around the building to an abandoned office where Kaa’to was holed up. Rolling a stun grenade inside, the team got a jump on their quarry, but he shook off the blast and fled into the factory.

Following him, the team found themselves on a series of catwalks over the molten kelerium processing plant. Kaa’to fired from cover, wounding Reen, before using his jetpack to hover between catwalks. The team surrounded him and concentrated on keeping him out of cover, using numbers to their advantage while wearing down the bounty hunter. Elkhiouno pressed for surrender, but Kaa’to, arrogant and certain of his abilities, refused. Instead, he hovered nearby and produced an experimental thermal detonator, priming it and readying to throw. Elkhiouno made a careful shot, sending the off-balance Nikto plummeting to the molten kelerium below.

The team recovered Kaa’to’s datapad, which contained a cryptic message about a job on Bespin, as well as the access codes to his YT-2400 freighter, the Bloody Womprat. With Hagan at the helm (and happy to have a starship under his command again), the team took off, contacting Lady Valarian and telling her of their success. She happily accepted the news, and encouraged the team to follow the lead on Bespin, reminding them of her cut of any profit made. Finishing their business on Coruscant, the team set a course for Bespin.

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Episode 3
Shadowport Blues

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Having finished their mission on Coruscant, Lady Valarian’s operatives race to Bespin, where they hope to meet the enigmatic “M”, the employer who promised vast riches for a simple job to the groups last mark, Rockbottom. Arriving at the mining station, they are quickly greeted by Aris Shen, who asks their help in distracting her chaperones so that she can meet with them in private. Feigning drunkenness, Reen kisses the Lutrillan leader of the bodyguards, catching the squad off guard and giving Aris the window she needs to escape. Meeting the crew nearby, she speaks with them only briefly before taking them to an apartment to meet the elusive “M”.

M turns out to be her father, Arend Shen, a man of means by all appearances, who welcomes the crew and lays out his plan. He plans to steal the legendary Jewel of Yavin, the largest known illegal corusca gem in the galaxy, which is currently in Cloud City waiting to be auctioned. Having somehow already heard of Rockbottom’s demise, he extends the same offer to them, allowing them to join the heist.

Shen leaves Aris to lay out the details of the plan. With support from Arend and Aris, the crew will need to manipulate the bidders to ensure the gem sells for the maximum price at auction. They will then slice into the central banking computer, diverting the funds to an off-world dummy bank account. Finally, they will need to break into the art museum where the gem is being held, bypass security, and nab the gem, before meeting with Arend at his ship for a quick getaway. In order to manipulate the bidding, the crew will need to gain access to the auction gala. As registration is closed, the best option is for them to enter and place in the Cloud City Grand Prix, a starfighter race through Bespin’s upper atmosphere.

With only three days until the race and auction, the crew gets to work, researching potential bidders, casing the art museum, and digging for information about the Jewel and its current owner.

Elkhi, discovering that one of the bidders is Shreya Ordassa, one of the students responsible for the destruction of his career, sets out on a vendetta. Gaining entry to her hotel room, he discovers that the money she plans to use to bid on the gem has been stolen from the Coruscant University under false pretenses. This information may prove useful, not only for the immediate mission, but for Elkhi’s need for revenge as well. Calling one of Ordassa’s rivals, he intimidates the student into increasing the funds available to the larcenous professor.

The crew also discovers that the list of registered bidders included a reclusive old woman without the resources to bid, a young technician who faked his credentials to get into the auction, a mining corporation executive operating with Imperial encryption codes, and a wealthy young businessman with ties to Cloud City’s underworld. They also learn that corusca gems were once used to focus lightsabers, a clue as to why they have been labeled as contraband by the Empire.

Casing the museum, the crew learns from the curator that the museum dates back to the earliest days of Cloud City, and that while station schematics are illegal to own, there may still be copies with early investors, including the Incom Corporation. The museum itself is nice but kitschy, and an unlikely place to find the largest corusca gem in the galaxy. Buying a biography of Ecclesis Figg from the gift shop, they head back.

With two days left before “go time”, the crew prepares for a call from Arends regarding their ship for the race, plans some more research, and considers a double-cross. The clock is ticking.

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