Session 6: The Loss

Session date: 2 July 2015

  • Chi (Kirsten): Bothan pilot/thief
  • Rea (Denise): Twi’lek masterless Jedi padawan
  • Mahlzan (Skum): Human bounty hunter from the distant past

After an exhausted rest, the group continued back toward the port landing bay of the Shrike. They found that some sections they had passed through were now exposed to vacuum, suggesting that the creature had inflicted some deliberate damage while they were running from it. After some reversals, they managed to reroute around and make their way back.

After many hours, they encountered a sealed doorway, with a sign Tamar translated as Exit—Exhalted Only. That seemed strange, since it was deep in the core of the ship. Tamar opened the door with the imperial keycard she had been using. Behind it was a small and comfortably appointed chamber. Spiley and Gist checked it out, and a curious Spiley pressed a button. Suddenly, the door to the chamber slammed rapidly shut. Those outside heard, and felt, a loud concussive boom.

Chi quickly grabbed the keycard and managed to get the door back open and a status display turned on. It showed a graphic of the dreadnought, with a shaft leading from inside to the outer hull. There was a small blinking dot, which was shown exiting the ship and moving out into space. With the door open, they found the room gone and replaced with a shaft going far down, sealed by a sturdy door.

Chi frantically tried to reach Spiley on comms, but got nothing. With not much else to do, they decided to get to the landing bay as fast as possible, where the Invisible Hand could be found and used to retrieve Spiley and Gist from open space if necessary.

They continued onward, with increased urgency. After another few hours, they came to what appeared to be a room for holding prisoners, filled with cages and torture aparatus. Upon examination, they found a device upon which was an obelisk of what appeared to be black stone with a human man embedded into it. Tamar and Boris noted that the device contained some simple telltales indicating that status was nominal and a button for turning it off. After some discussion, they decided to press it. The block evaporated, leaving behind a barely conscious Human male.

At first unable to speak, after a few minutes he began to recover his faculties, although he couldn’t see. In an unfamiliar accent, he told them his name was Mahlzan Tarkin. It became apparent that he had been in some sort of suspended animation since before the catastrophe that had stranded the ship.  He said he was from the planet Neimar. Tamar recognized it as having once been a major center of trade in the mid rim. He didn’t seem to remember how he had gotten to the Shrike, although he had some memory of having become a prisoner of the Sith Empire. Tamar and Boris were fascinated and wanted to ask many questions, but the need to get to the Invisible Hand was pressing. They found clothes for Mahlzan and Rea helped him to stand and walk. As they continued, Rea noted that he was recovering, but pretending to be still blinded.

After a few more hours, they made their way back to the landing bay. The door, as expected, was sealed against the creature. Chi jumped up into a ventilation duct to check out what was happening in the bay. She made her way quickly to a vent leading into the bay that had been partially sealed against entry by the creature. However, she could see past the crude bars welded over it.

There was now an additional ship in the bay: an armed transport. There was a group of pirates standing around the archaeologists, who were kneeling in the center of the bay with weapons trained on them. These pirates seemed more competent than the last batch they had dealt with, more like Kane’s two pirate bodyguards. The leader of the pirates was a Trandoshan with half of his head, an arm, and both legs replaced by cyborg parts. He held a blaster to the head of the Wookiee member of the archaeologist party and threatened to fire if his questions were not answered. He didn’t seem to be bluffing.

Aiming carefully, Chi shot the Trandoshan, bouncing a shot off his armored head. As that happened, Kane cut open the door with his lightsaber and stepped into the bay. The room was set up with a catwalk around the edges, and the door entered on that level. Kane jumped down to the main level of the bay and called out to the Trandoshan, who he called Malgun. Not knowing whether Kane was about to sell them out, the others stayed just inside the door. Kane’s two pirate pirate bodyguards stepped forward onto the catwalk. Rea noted that they seemed to be looking to Malgun, not Kane, for direction.

As the discussion began, Chi used a tool from her kit to cut through the bars in front of the vent. She slipped down to the catwalk, then to the main level, concealing herself near the Invisible Hand, behind some debris. She noticed one particular pirate, a Togruta, standing to the side, managing to look both dangerous and rather bored.

The discussion between Kane and Malgun turned harsh. Malgun questioned why Kane had gone off through the ship with members of the archaeological crew, and whether he had betrayed them in favor of interlopers in this new ship, one of whom had just fired upon him. Malgun declared that he had been in contact with “Her,” and she had determined that the relationship was to be changed. Kane was no longer in charge, and was to be brough back to her.

Kane laughed and force lept back up onto the catwalk, executing a backflip while using his lightsaber to deflect blaster fire from the pirates. Malgun sent most of the pirates to the ladders leading up the catwalks on either side of the door while a few others kept up fire toward Kane. Kane’s two (former) bodyguards began firing at him, but he deflected those shots as well.

Chi snuck into the Invisible Hand. She asked the astromech droid, T3-K5, to begin prepping the ship for lauch. Meanwhile, she headed up to the top weapon turret. She noticed the other ship’s turret turning toward Kane and fired several shots toward it, missing the turret but creating a cloud of obscuring smoke around it by hitting some equipment.

The pirates made their way onto the catwalk and began firing at Kane. He deflected and dispatched a pirate with his lightsaber. Rea Force pushed some pirates back over the catwalk. Malzhan, unarmed, stayed beside the doorway and used a piece of equipment to make it look like he had a blaster at ready. Boris, Tamar, and the two droids stayed back and around a corner.

As the pirates continued firing at Kane, he concentrated on deflecting those attacks. Rea used the Force to jump forward and sweep the legs out from under two pirates, sending one  over the railing while using the Force and tossing one of their blasters back to Malzhan. Although the blaster design was unfamiliar to him, it was close enough to allow him to begin methodically firing at pirates.

Meanwhile, Chi realized that Malgun had opened the Hand’s ramp and sent another group of pirates onto the lower levels. She stopped firing and activated the poison gas canisters installed down below.

The Togruta appeared on the catwalk behind some pirates. He drew his two blasters and began firing at Kane with uncanny precision. Kane managed to deflect while taking out another couple of pirates, but it became a challenge for him to stop all of those hits. Soon he took a shot in the shoulder, but continued to fight. Meanwhile Malzhan traded fire with the pirates, taking a grazing shot across the forehead.

Not sure what was happening down below, Chi snuck down there and found several pirates dead or unconscious, but had to duck a shot from Malgun, who laughed and threatened her and her friends with a slow death.

Then the fight turned ugly. Kane took another hit, and then another. Suddenly, he was down. The pirates turned their fire upon Malzhan, who took down another two pirates before the Togruta gunfighter shot him in the torso and he fell to the deck, writhing in pain. With several blasters pointed at her and out of options, she told Chi over comms that the fight was lost and held her hands up in surrender.

Chi ran to the Hand’s escape pod. She triggered the command to launch it into a corner of the landing bay, then popped its hatch remotely, so the pirates might conclude that she had escaped into the dreadnought. Then she climbed into the Hand’s ventilation system.

Session 5: The Trap

Session date: 6 May 2015

  • Spiley Craw (Kle), Human captain of the Invisible Hand.
  • Chi (Kirsten), Bothan pilot with underworld connections.

Rea and Kane had a discussion about what they were all doing here, and what was going to happen now. Tamar got involved and reported to Rea that, while she disliked Kane and was angry with him for coercing her here, he had not mistreated her and had, in fact, risked himself to save her. Chi and Rea used a code phrase they had been provided by Republic authorities to confirm to her that they were a legitimate rescue party. As their conversation continued, they heard a loud bang as the creature tried to slam the door down to get to them. It held. More banging followed.

Meanwhile, Spiley ran in the opposite direction, soon meeting up with the two droids. He checked the room full of war robots to see if one of them could be repaired enough to allow him to use it as a sort of improvised battle suit. All of them were too damaged for that. He continued away from where the creature is and spotted the door to a small access corridor, which they had missed during the earlier chase. He and the droids traveled down the corridor.

Chi made communicator contact with Spiley, letting him know the gist of the conversation. She spotted a small item peeking out of Tamar’s knapsack. As Kane’s pirates are distracted by more banging from the creature, she took it and secured it on her person. It seemed to be some kind of jewel.

The group decided to work together for now and to head toward the ship’s control center, as best could figure where it should be. Kane noticed that Gist carried a lightsaber and got pushy about whether Gist was up to using it, but backed down when Rea asked him to.

Spiley came to a fork in the corridor. He could head back toward the rest of the group, or in a different direction, from whence he could faintly hear some sort of voice speaking in the distance. Curious, he headed toward the voice. After a while he could hear it more clearly. It seemed to be muttering to itself in a language Spiley didn’t recognize. The protocol droid, however, told him that it was using the language of the Sith. It was mostly cursing (the droid noted that Sith was a language particularly suited to cursing). While repetitive, it didn’t appear to be a recording because it did not repeat.

Soon the voice challenged Spiley and the droids. The protocol droid began to translate, but the voice switched to Galactic Standard, declaring that of course it could speak the debased language of slave species. It eventually identified itself as the Central Command Computer of this ship. Spiley told it that he was an explorer. He denied alliegance to either the Republic or the Sith Empire. It insisted that it sought contact with legitimate command authority and promised great rewards for those who provided assistance in doing so. He asked about the creature and it told him that it was one of six creations of Sith alchemy, originally designed to feed on the life force of slaves and use that power to observe for the fleet at distances of many light years and to peer into the future actions of enemies. They were called Watchers. One had escaped, killing and absorbing the life force of several Sith lords. Greatly empowered, it had released the others. A great battle had ensued, in which all but one of the Watchers had been killed, but the crew had died as well. The Computer had since spent the last millenium attempting to kill the remaining Watcher, but had not been successful.

The Computer was aware that there were others in Spiley’s party. It asked if any were Jedi or other Force users. He explained that one was a former Jedi apprentice and another had some Force ability, while one from a different group was also an ex-Jedi. It insisted that he contact them and persuade the Force users to immediately commit suicide in order to prevent the creature from absorbing their power. If it did so, the Computer insisted, it would become dramatically more powerful. Spiley told them he’d pass that on.

The Computer and Spiley negotiated about mutually assisting each other to kill or capture the Watcher. It revealed that there were two remaining backup containment cells for Watchers that it believed were still functional. It directed him that way, necessitating getting through a section of the ship in vacuum using a space suit.

The rest of the group made their way through the ship, coming to a vast, magificently-decorated hall strewn with corpses, damaged battle droids. This, Tamar said, was the main hall of the Sith lords, surrounded by the remains of palatial residence areas. Their they discovered the dessicated body of a Watcher. Tamar and Boris wanted to pause to examine the place and collect samples, but they were hurried along.

Spiley found his way to a zone, clearly filled with battle damage and corpses, where the creatures were held. First there were wrecked cages for slaves. Then there were six destroyed containment cages, built to hold the creatures within strong force fields. They were destroyed. Further on were two additional containment cages, apparently functional. The Computer insisted that it had control of the cages, but with the asssistance of the astromech droid, Spiley reprogrammed one of them to operate under the control of his datapad. He also managed to jury rig a battle droid to effectiveness, albeit with very limited mobility.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group arrived. Kane and they negotiated. He agreed that it was in the best interest of all to destroy or imprison the beast. The computer reiterated that all Force users should kill themselves immediately to ensure the creature could not absorb them and become vastly more powerful as a result. They chose not to do that. Kane agreed to hand over Tamar into their custody and to work with the group to deal with the Watcher. The Computer reported that the Watcher had bypassed blockages and was headed in their direction. They worked together to modify the approaches to the room to channel the creature in the direction of the remaining functional containment cells. It would be necessary to use the Force users as bait. They would position themselves in the second containment cell, the one controlled by Spiley. As the creature approached through the first cell, the Computer would turn it on, trapping the beast.

The Computer announced, “It’s com—” and then its voice cut off. They ran for the second containment cell. The creature appeared. It moved toward them with the same incredible speed it had shown when they had run from it before. They got to the cell. It moved right toward them, through the first cell. It did not activate. Spiley activated the second cell. The creature screamed as it slammed into the force field.

They were all now trapped inside, with the creature unable to get to them. It paced around, focusing its gaze and attenion on Kane and Rea. It showed the same level of interest in Chi, for no reason that made sense to her. They discussed options. They had rations for several days and the power seemed stable, so there was no immediate rush. Spiley had control of the battle droid back in the main containment room, but the Watcher could likely defeat it if threatened. The Central Command Computer could not be reached.

The plan they came up with was simple. They would have the battle droid try to distract the creature by shooting at the ceiling, dropping debris on it. Then they would lower the containment field, attempting to maintain the creature’s attention on the Force users. They would move out of the cell, hoping the creature would head right toward them, allowing them to trap it in the cell. After some discussion and argument, they decided they had no better plan.

Spiley had the droid fire as Kane used the Force to throw some other stuff at it. They dropped the field and ran. It turned and made direct eye contact with Chi. She paused for a moment, briefly surprised. It evaded the junk thrown at it and headed rapidly and directly toward them. Rea used the Force to yank Chi back out of the cell just as it came for her. As she did so, the jewel she had stolen from Tamar fell out of her bag and onto the floor. Spiley activated the force field. The creature screamed in frustration as it became trapped in the field. Arcs of blue energy coruscated around the cell as the creature slammed again and again against the field.

Tamar picked up the stolen jewel and confronted Chi. “How did you get this?” she demanded.

Chi looked her in the eye. “I stole it,” she said. Some contentious words were traded, with Chi finally agreeing to give it up. She asked what it was, and Tamar explained that it was a Sith diadem, an emblem of a certain rank of High Lord.

“It belongs in a museum,” Tamar declared.

They made their way carefully around the cell and back into the main containment cell area. Recovering from their terror, they had further discussion about what they might do next. Spiley asked Kane about his relationship with the Pirate Queen. He stated that he had business dealings with her but was not beholden to her.

They decided to make their way back toward the hangar where the Invisible Hand was docked.

Aside

Updated the Stun Setting stunt in the equipment section to note that you can use most blasters on a stun setting without needing a stunt or any special rules.

Aside

Just a quick note that we’re trying to restart the game in early 2015. It can be very hard to coordinate the schedules of five busy adults.

2015

Aside

Changed the Hardened Armor equipment stunt. It used to cost a fate point and could be used once per scene. Now it can just be used once per scene without costing a fate point.

Also combined the Equipment page and the Droids page into one Equipment and Droids page.

Session 4: The Chase

Session date: 7 July 2014

  • Spiley Craw (Kle), Human captain of the Invisible Hand.
  • Rea (Denise), Twi’lek Jedi. Masterless padawan.
  • Chi (Kirsten), Bothan pilot with underworld connections.
  • Gist Aupecos (Lee), Human force sensitive formerly associated with the Republic Intelligence Service.

After Rea announced that the creature was nearby and tracking them, they alerted and waited briefly, weapons ready. Nothing happened. They resolved to pay close attention and continued onward toward the anticipated direction of Shrike’s command center.

It was about an hour later that it struck. Jumping down from a panel in the ceiling, the beast loped quickly toward them. It was about five meters long and feline, with six legs. Its skin was a deep, shimmery black. It had four glowing red eyes in a blocky head, with long tendrils growing in a frill. The strangest thing was that its position was hard to make out. It flickered. One moment it would appear to be in one place; the next a slightly different place.

Everyone ran. As they did so, Rea reached into the Force to grab the ceiling panel the creature had dislodged and throw it in the thing’s face. That slowed it down long enough for the group to make it down the corridor they were in. Boris was fairly quick, but the two droids from the Genesis Five were having trouble keeping up. At the end of the corridor they could either turn right down another corridor or go into a vertical shaft.

“That’s a bounce tube!” yelled Boris. They had encountered these before, but none had been functional. He had explained then, in detail befitting a fascinated academic, that the crews of larger Sith ships had used these tubes to travel through their vessels using repulsor technology.

This one seemed to be powered up as it was glowing a pale blue. Chi jumped right into it and was propelled upward at high speed. The others followed, Rea again trying to slow the creature down with debris. Spiley was last. As he jumped into the tube, he used his blaster to take out the controls. The creature would need to climb the tube instead of ride the gravity boost. Unfortunately, it was still coming. Very fast. And both the droids had trouble at the top of the shaft getting their footing.

The bounce tube emerged into a room full of power conduits. Many were inactive, but others glowed with arcs of energy. As the group ran forward toward a doorway on the far end, Chi blasted one of the conduits near the bounce tub. It exploded and they kept running into a long corridor with no lights. They saw ancient bodies, floating. Not only were there no lights, there was no gravity.

Gist jumped first, evading bodies and making his way quickly to the end of the corridor. He found a control panel and tried to figure it out. Rea used her telekinesis to help the others get down the corridor. Gist hit a switch and the gravity cut back in. It stumbled and kept coming.

Despite their efforts to slow the beast, it was catching up.

The next room contained a large statue of a Sith warrior wielding a sword against cowering enemies. Between blasters and Rea’s telekinesis, parts of it were soon tumbling toward the entrance to the room. It threw them aside and came on. It caught up with the droids and pushed them aside, continuing toward the organics. Gist pulled out his father’s lightsaber and ignited it, concerned that his skill with it would not suffice. They kept running.

Then through a room filled with deactivated battle droids. Rea pushed one toward the beast and kept running. Spiley turned to fire his blaster toward it. The creature caught up to him and kept going right past. Boris dodged around  the droids and Rea pulled him forward. Gist tried to dive between the legs of another droid but accidentally cut it with his lightsaber. It fell over, blocking his way. Rea used telekinesis to help him as well.

In the darkness at the far end of the room they saw a the yellow blade of a lightsaber ignite. As they ran ahead they saw that it was held by a Human dressed in black, waving them forward.

Rea knew him. He was Kane Orrin, her former Jedi master, lost when the two of them found a Sith Holocron at the Temple of Darth Elyn. “It’s my old master,” she announced over the comm link.

With no other viable choice, they ran for the door. Spiley, seeing that he had no chance to make it, ran back the other way, toward the droids. The others made it through and Kane triggered the door mechanism. It whooshed shut. They heard a thud as the creature struck it.

“Hello, Rea,” said Kane. “Who are your friends?”

Session 3: Shrike

Session date: 1 July 2014

  • Spiley Craw (Kle), Human captain of the Invisible Hand.
  • Rea (Denise), Twi’lek Jedi. Masterless padawan.
  • Chi (Kirsten), Bothan pilot with underworld connections.
  • Gist Aupecos (Lee), Human force sensitive formerly associated with the Republic Intelligence Service.

The Invisible Hand kept station briefly outside the giant battleship’s port side landing bay. As they observed through the force field maintaining atmosphere in the bay, the crew noted blaster fire inside. Chi piloted the ship into the bay and landed in an open area near the Genesis Five.

The bay was large, with a high catwalk around the edge. In addition to the the Hand and the G5, it contained a couple of small disassembled ships and a smashed war machine, all of which appeared to be the same age as the battleship. There was also a fair bit of debris and some evidence of ancient battle damage. They noted a few people of different species taking cover and pointing weapons toward the Hand. Wasting no time, Rea, Spiley, and Gist opened the main hatch and sprinted for cover. Chi stayed in the ship, manning the lasers. Gist used his Force telepathy powers to get a sense of these guys. He discovered two things: First, they had been very scared for quite some time and their morale was close to the breaking point. Second, some of their minds were completely blank. They were catatonic.

Those in the bay fired a couple of warning shots toward them. There were about ten under cover in the debris, including a couple up on the catwalks with long weapons. They were of various species (Humans, Zabraks, Weequay, and an Ugnaught). They were a motley bunch. The apparent leader, a Duros, yelled at them to put down their weapons and put their hands up. Rea ignited her lightsaber and replied that they had the only way off the ship. Some more yelling back and forth ensued. The Duros revealed that they really just wanted off this ship.

At that point Chi made radio contact with the Genesis Five. A Human explained that they were the archaeologists from Tol Bator. They had been taken captive on Tol Bator by pirates and taken here in the pirate frigate. They had been transferred to the Genesis Five after arrival here at the Sith battleship. The pirates had been attacked several times by some sort of creature, and the pirate leader, Kane, had taken several of his men into the ship to hunt it down. He had taken Tamar Zibal (the Senator’s daughter the crew of the Hand had been asked to rescue) along because she was an expert on ancient Sith. Afterward, the Pirate ship (the Claw) had left and apparently been defeated in battle. At that point the Genesis Five crew had jumped their guards and taken it over.

More negotiations with the pirates followed. Their leader, a Duros who said his name was Niklo Bek, did not seem up for a fight against Jedi backed up with the Hand’s lasers. Spiley offered them the Genesis Five. According to the pirates, Kane had removed the gravitometric compressor from the hyperspace engine, so while spaceworthy it could not get back home in its current state. They had not heard from Kane in the last 12 hours. Spiley pointed out that being in space away from the battleship would be better than their current situation. And, the Claw might return any time.

After some discussion, the pirates, along with the crew of the G5, agreed to a transfer. There was a tense armed transition, with the G5 crew moving out and the pirates moving in. With them the pirates carried twelve victims of the creature who had attacked them. They described it as big, black, and fast. It attacked with tentacles which rendered whoever it touched catatonic. Rea reach out to them using her Force sensitivity and found they had been almost completely drained of the natural Force present in any living being.

The pirates left in the Genesis Five.

There were several members of the archaeological crew. The leader was a female Wookiee with a cybernetic arm named Bistakla. She could speak Galactic Standard with a heavy accent. They had previously spoken with the pilot, a grizzled and cranky human named Veezer Pak. A Corellian Human, Boris Talmeed, introduced himself as Dr. Zibal’s graduate student. There were also an astromech and a protocol droid. They were able to give a few more details about the creature, based on what they had seen and what they had heard from the pirates. It was feline, about twice the size of a lion, with six legs. It was black and shimmery. It had four red eyes and a frill of tendrils around its head. These tendrils where what it used to attack and suck the life force out of its victims. It had made several attacks on the pirates, who had apparently not been able to harm it. They’d tried wearing vacuum suits to prevent direct physical contact with the tendrils, but it had not helped. The pirates had welded reinforcements over the doors and ventilation ducts (it had taken one pirate through a duct).

Rea remembered that she had received a telepathic communication from some sort of alien presence when the Hand first came out of hyperspace thousands of kilometers from here. It had four red eyes.

The crew of the Hand briefly debated what to do about the pirates now in the Genesis Five. They considered blowing her out of space, but Rea strongly objected to that plan on moral grounds. They decided to leave it be for now.

They chose instead to pursue the pirates who had gone off into the battle craft with Tamar Zibal. They gave the archaeologists access to the Invisible Hand, locking certain sections and making clear that they were off limits. With the assistance of the ship’s astromech droid T3-K5, they placed blocks on the ship’s computer systems. They asked that the archaeologist’s two droids accompany them, since as nonliving beings they would be immune to the creature’s life draining power. Bistakla agreed.

Boris, who apparently found Rea very attractive, volunteered to go along. He argued that he had far more expertise on Sith technology and culture than anyone else present and would be needed. They accepted his offer. He told them that there was a record of a Sith dreadnought that had been reported to contain some sort of secret weapon. It had been completed, but there was no record of it joining the Sith battle fleet. The Empire had fallen soon thereafter.

After having a meal and gathering supplies, they set off. The plan was to head in the general direction of the ship’s command center (or, rather, where Boris said the command center of similar, albeit smaller, Sith ships had been located). They broke through the reinforcement the pirates had placed on the main door of the bay and set off.

The ship was big and spooky. There were endless cold dark corridors, storage rooms, equipment rooms, elevators, crew quarters, and so on. There was battle damage throughout the ship.  A few detours were necessary around areas that were damaged or had no life support. Many sections had no lights or power. Lightsabers were useful for cutting through unpowered doors. There were many ancient mummified Sith corpses, most of which showed no apparent sign of injury.

They found (and broke into) a sealed storage room with several Sith who had been killed with blaster fire. One, an officer, had apparently killed himself after killing the others. On him they found an ancient datapad. With some effort (and assistance from the Genesis Five’s astromech) they managed to retrieve a fragmented personal log. They discovered that the name of this ship was the Shrike. The officer cursed the Sith Lords who had been so foolish as to create the “creatures” who had broken loose and massacred the crew. Boris confirmed that the ancient Sith had a long history of creating monsters using Force Alchemy.

They continued through an area with no gravity (Rea’s telekinetic powers were quite helpful there). Shortly thereafter, Rea received a telepathic message. She was shocked to realize it was from her former master, Kane Orrin. He said, “It’s tracking you. it is too powerful; you must flee. I will help you if I can.”

Rea chose not to tell her companions that she had received this communication from Kane. Instead she declared that she could sense the beast and it was close. They prepared to fight or flee.

Aside

Note: I tweaked the Vehicle rules, changing the defense bonus provided by the Deflector Shields stunt from  +2 to +1. This makes it more consistent with the general Fate Core rules on stunts, which say that a stunt should give a +2 in a narrow circumstance or +1 more generally. It’s also likely to speed up vehicle combat slightly, which I think would be a good idea as the last space battle ran kind of long (both ships had shields).

Session 2: The Voshen Cloud

Session date: 6 May 2014

PCs:

  • Spiley Craw (Kle), Human captain of the Invisible Hand.
  • Rea al’Kina (Denise), Twi’lek former apprentice to a Jedi who fell to the dark side.
  • Chi Nareen (Kirsten), Bothan pilot. Force sensitive, but not aware of it (thinks she’s “lucky”).
  • Gist Aupecos (Lee), Human force sensitive formerly associated with the Republic Intelligence Service.

The Invisible Hand left Tol Bator and jumped to the Wheel. Upon exiting hyperspace they were immediately hailed by two local patrol ships and told sternly to take a specified course and prepare for boarding. Scanners showed that there was battle debris if a couple of locations in the system and the Wheel itself was lightly damaged.

With their highly illegal programable transponder indicating that they were an innocuous small freighter (Peripatetic Dromedary), they acceded to the demand and allowed a small detachment of marines in battle armor to match vectors and board the ship. Gist used his telepathic Force ability to get a sense of what the marines were thinking and found, not surprisingly, that they had been in a battle recently and were now on edge. The group’s (apparently legitimate) IDs were checked and Spiley gave a broadly accurate explanation of why they had a slightly damaged Black Fleet fighter in their hold and three members of an archaeological expedition in their passenger quarters. They interviewed the expedition members separately, but the story they told was consistent.

The marines told them that about a day ago a pirate force had staged a probing raid on the Wheel, coming in very fast and escorting an asteroid aimed at high speed. It was either aimed badly or had been placed on a deliberate course to just miss the Wheel. They had shot up the station and a number of ships on their high speed pass, then jumped away before they could be brought to action.

After a couple of hours the ship was cleared. They docked at the Wheel and dropped off the expedition members, who thanked them and made ready to book passage back to Corellia. Making contact with the Republic Diplomatic Corps, they were asked to attempt to rescue Tamar Zibai (the Corellian senator’s daughter) and the rest of the expedition if possible. They were advanced some credits to cover the cost of fuel and stores. Chi got in touch with her underworld contact, Damarek Vee, who asked to be kept apprised of the status of their expedition. Not wanting to be conspicuous, they took on some cargo, then left the system and began making their way outward from the Wheel along the Perlemian Trade Route. As they traveled they heard lots of chatter about the Black Fleet and speculation about where the Pirate Queen would choose to strike next.

About a week later they had made their way to Toola, one of the last worlds with a functioning starport on the outskirts of known space in the Outer Rim. They topped off their fuel tanks and Gist managed to scrounge a backup generator, just in case.

Then they jumped into the outer reaches of the Tingel Arm. With Chi’s expert piloting (assisted by Spiley and astromech droid T3-K5) and the rest of the crew’s hard work, they made their way without the aid of any sort of precalculated route through hyperspace. After a series of harrowing jumps, they made their way to a spot in deep, empty space. This was a region known as the Voshen Cloud, about a light year from where a star was in the process of forming.

There was nothing there.

The crew got on the scanners in order to carefully catalogue this local region of empty space. After an hour or so they found a blip. Spiley went out in the captured pirate fighter (which they named Problem Child) to obtain wider sensor coverage without needing to approach. The blip was very large, about the size of an orbital city. Spiley came back in and they made their way slowly and stealthily toward the object.

As they did so, Rea’s Jedi-trained Force sensitivity gave her an image of something observing them. Her vision showed her an alien face she did not recognize, with four red eyes. Without words, it told her, “I see you.” Then it turned its attention elsewhere.

On approach, they discovered that the huge object was a ship. Gist did a pattern recognition search using his datapad and noted that its design was similar to, but larger than, ancient battleships of the Sith Empire. They also found that a much smaller vessel—frigate sized—was keeping station about 100 meters off the giant ship’s port side landing bay. There was no sign of the Genesis Five, the expeditionary vessel in which Tamar Zibai and several other members of the archaeological expedition had set off from Tol Bator several weeks previously. They also discovered a single fighter sized craft that was conducting a patrol around the big vessel. As they got a bit closer, it became clear that the smaller vessel was a warship of the kind often used by the Black Fleet for raids.

After some thought, they decided to play a little trick. Lining up a vector that would take them slowly toward a location that would likely intercept the fighter, they dumped the Problem Child and some miscellaneous junk out of the hold, then powered the ship way down, masquerading as a clump of space debris.

It worked. The fighter took the bait, approaching the Hand to get a closer look. They powered up and blew it out of space with one turbo-laser blast. Then the fun started. The frigate launched two fighters and approached on an attack vector. The Hand went to full power and ran, luring the pirates toward an area of denser matter in the direction of the star-forming nebula. All vessels had about the same acceleration properties (the Invisible Hand is bulky but faster than she looks) and the chase drew out until they hit a flock of minocks splatting against their cockpit. Then they quickly turned and made an attack run. On the first pass, they took out one fighter and damaged the other, while Chi managed to dodge incoming fire. The next few passes were inconclusive, but then Chi managed to flare the engines right into the enemy sensors, blinding them briefly and allowing Spiley and Rea time to focus their turbo laser fire on the other fighter, destroying it.

As the fight wore on, Gist meditated, hoping to sense the mental state of the enemy captain and crew. Amid the din of battle, he gathered that the pirate leader, to whom the frigate’s captain reported, was back on the Sith ship, hunting something that had killed several pirates.

Without fighter escort, the frigate simply waited for the Hand to make a pass, attempting to score hits with its heavier weapons on the smaller, more nimble, and better piloted ship. At one point they managed to make a sudden broadside turn that set the Hand up for a hit that sent energy coruscating across her deflector shields and briefly set her tumbling, but Chi recovered quickly. On the next pass the frigate took a hit to one of it’s sublight engine ports, followed by another that took out its deflector shield generator. Gist could feel the anger and frustration of the pirate captain as he realized his position had become untenable. The frigate jumped away into hyperspace.

After chasing down and recovering Problem Child, then performing a bit of battle repair and EVA to clean off some minock remains, they slowly approached the ancient hulk. A careful survey revealed that much of the interior of the ship was exposed to vacuum, but roughly a third of it was pressurized. Coming close enough to see into the port side landing bay, they discovered a ship that appeared to be the Genesis Five.