Star Wars: Desperate Fringe

EPISODE I
New Beginnings

EPISODE I: New Beginnings

PLAY CRAWL
It is a time of increasing desperation in the outer rim, but not without its’ opportunities. The once draconian Imperial Forces have withdrawn to the core civilized space, leaving behind only a few scarce garrisons and conducting infrequent patrols. The waning presence has left a power vacuum being filled by Hutts, organized criminal gangs and various militias. Without the aid of Imperial logistics and subsidies, medical centers shut down and disease, poverty and hunger affect large swaths of the region.

Small-scale turf war skirmishes between rival Hutt cartels and criminal gangs happen on a weekly basis, the body counts continuing to rise. Pirates and highwaymen litter and prey on popular space lanes. Better governed planets and communities organize standing militias, extremely wary of outsiders. Occasionally small oases of unspoken neutral ground emerge where a sense of normalcy can live for a few moments of time.

A small newly formed band of rogues using a stolen ship step forward into a new life to try and escape their pasts and thrive into the future.

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Water we do now?
Session 1

I’ve been neglectful in keeping my logs, and I’ve long lost the excuse of possible imperial pursuit. The more time we spend on the Luna Moth, the more I think I understand why the imperials don’t seem too concerned about us. I suppose I should be happy about this, but perhaps some better planning might have garnered Tass and I more comfortable transport. No sense worrying about that now though.

With our immediate danger behind us (or at least out of view), we have more mundane issues to worry about, namely money. It was the last thing on my mind when I packed what little things I had when leaving the prison. Fortunately, Tass had better presence of mind than I did, and managed to escape with more than a standard kit of gear.

Our group got a little larger in pursuit of finding some personal financing, as we picked up a droid, 8-88, who seemed pretty keen on making a quick exit. His contacts have been solid so far, I just hope it continues when we can eventually make some medical runs to some of the surrounding systems. I can’t believe how bad things have gotten.

The initial meeting with Jerry Halls went well, 8s certainly knows his way around this weird little ecosystem. I was surprised it was something as small as a food and water run, though I suppose we weren’t to be trusted with much else. Despite damn near making a fool out of myself, some of the old bargaining skills came back to me. Or at the very least, I was annoying and stubborn enough to wear down Jerry enough to let us take the cargo on loan, with promises payment with interest on the other end. I’m sure Claudia would have attributed the success to stubbornness. Alternatively, if we can get our hands on some “spice”, we can call it even. Jerry was kind enough to hire some extra muscle to travel with us, a Chiss named Zechxis. Honestly, I never expected I would meet one of their kind in person. He knows his way around a fight, that’s for sure, though I find his eagerness somewhat unsettling. Though I’m sure I’ll become more used to it if he continues to save my life as he has.

Our trip to our delivery destination went well enough; Tass has really taken back to piloting quickly, despite her extended incarceration. Though her landings could use some work, I’m fairly sure we’d be a smoldering mess on the outskirts of town had I needed to take the helm.
This planet is a humanitarian disaster; I can’t imagine why there was ever a settlement here in the first place, at least for organisms that require water. I never expected one of my first acts as a free doctor was drugging myself up so I didn’t feel so damn thirsty. And with a bit of luck, I managed to get 8s’ system to more efficiently handle the harsh climate. I just hope that small bit of wiring that came loose was just spare material.

After working our way through the unfortunate masses of the area, we made contact with Biff the Bith. I give him credit for his professionalism, he struck me as the first honest businessman we’ve run into in a long time. We worked out a delivery time and started to head back to the Luna Moth. Tass managed to “barter” with some of the locals to get some coverings for our supplies, as we were pretty worried about the water drawing some unwanted attention. She’s had to restrain me at least a few times from helping these people. I’m sure her caution is well founded, it’s just difficult for me to see this much suffering in one place. Again.

My companions were more optimistic than I was regarding our chances of pushing supplies of water through the streets uncontested, and rightly so. It seems my instincts to be cautious are ill timed. We ran into someone trying to sell some information on the bounty, though he ran off before we could provide any payment. On our way back to the Drunken Bantha, some dog-like creature seemed to have caught the sight or smell of our water. Fortunately, it probably didn’t have a good game of fetch in a while either, so we were able to give it something else to focus its attention on.

Biff was happy to receive our shipment, even a bit surprised by how quickly we got back to him. We received our agreed upon payment, though our conversation was cut short as we were trying to gain a little information about a local bounty. We were hurried out so quickly, I didn’t get a chance to see if Biff could put in a good word for us with the local fuel merchant.
Our brief respite was cut short when we interrupted a few undesirables from harassing a Rodian woman. We managed to defuse the situation without running up a repair bill at the Drunken Bantha, and for that I’m quite thankful. We managed to get a little more information on the bounty, and were rewarded with a few stims. Somehow, I almost left the stims on the table, I really need to pay more attention.

While our delivery skills are adequate, we really need to work on our subtly. Our clumsy questioning attracted a bit too much attention from the locals. And as luck would have it, we ran into that fine group of individuals that were harassing the Rodian in the bar, though they weren’t very happy to see us. A firefight broke, during which I was little more than a target. And at the one point when Zek needed a quick stimulant during the battle, I probably did some of the worst medical administrations under pressure than I had in a long time. Fortunately, my companions’ combat skill was much better than my medical skills while under pressure, and we managed to resolve the conflict. Zek in particular resolved the situation with his immediate adversary in a most gruesome manner. I’m grateful he’s working with us.

One of our foes managed to limp away, though this is probably a bit of good fortune. I trust we can follow his path and perhaps have a chance to collect on the bounty, though I expect this information has come at the cost of us having any kind chance at catching them off-guard. After patching us up, and finally getting my hands on blaster, we’re ready to give pursuit.

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reward=(bounty)*0.2+(finders=keepers*.*)
New friends, new opportunities

// check for encryption hash
if (security.scanPacket.give (#I want to know88) ==
then sys.lookup.check(88prime)
else set self destruct(true);
//access log file
set public (true);
}

Sometimes I don’t understand organics, but I try. After tracking a wounded thug (read.alt “Bandin_Dobah_Leuitenant”) to a warehouse, a brief firefight ensued, during which I exercised considerable tactical expertise (read.alt “hide_behind_rock_pile”). Our team performed surprisingly well, and Zechxis was delighted to take away from the deal with a new ranged weapon. There was much bandaging.

Upon investigating the building, we found no other resistance, but I did discover a R4 Astromech droid (set.name “R4-W4”) from which was being downloaded one of my favorite things: valuable information (read.alt “The_Maw_region_near_Kessel”). I also found a data pad to replace the one that I had lost during negotiations (read.alt “fleeing_in_terror”) on a job before joining this crew. Others in the group found two prisoners: a wookie (set.name “Grapirr”) and a human (set.name “Trevor_Reaves”; set.name.alt “Judge”). The latter proved to be the friend referenced by female Rodian we had encountered at The Drunken Bantha earlier that day.

They seemed both competent (set.parameter “Mandalorian tattoos” true) and friendly, so we freed both the prisoners and agreed to an impromptu deal: we would help Judge and Grapirr capture Bandin Dobah in exchange for 20% of the bounty.

Following Judge’s lead, we returned to The Luna Moth and piloted it to an asteroid belt where Bandin Dobah was hiding. After expertly disabling (read.alt “blowing_up”) an automated sentry and capturing an enemy combatant, we entered the main asteroid where Dobah’s ship and crew were hiding (set.parameter “aware of our presence” false). A small piloting error then occurred (set.parameter “aware of our presence” true), followed by another firefight. As I encode this, we are preparing to disable and/or board the enemy vessel.

//END OF LINE

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The world according to Zechxis - Part 1

Zechxis Log #1 –

So I’ll be the first to be honest here – yes I’m pretty drunk, and yes, I got bored with 8-88’s datapad which is why I’m writing in this thing. You can only see so much intergalactic smut and play so much Star Suckers 68 till you’re bored with that. And as much as that wookie is pretty awesome, I won’t play games with him anymore. “Let the wookie win” they say? Well let’s just say I found that out the hard way, but that’s a story for later (unless some idiots want to hear about it, it could make a nice bar story). I’d play more queterra but doc, as nice as he is, told me to pipe it for a bit – he’s been doing a lot of surgeries lately.

So let’s see….what happened yesterday? Oh! Right! Well we landed on that ass of a rock they call an asteroid that Bando’ had landed on (Yes, I know it’s Bandin, but Bando sounds cooler…reminds me of another name I heard maybe…). After dealing with the punk in the flaming piece of shit he called a ship and blowing the surveillance bot to smithereens, we landed surprisingly easy. Like, they were literally surprised to see us. No idea what they were doing, but it looked like they were literally just chilling out lazy Sunday style.

They caught on pretty quick though. Just saw two at first – looked like a couple of regular johns. I took cover quick. Then I realized my cover was a bomb. Then I realized that taking cover by a bomb was a very bad idea, and I’ve had many of those. So I waltzed myself in as usual, and took cover. Before I could swing in on them though, the man himself, Bando was on me!

Now let me tell you something. I am not against any of our various intergalactic races. I’m all for inclusion and rights and other things like that. But Aqualish freak me the hell out. See, I hate spiders – they are simply hideous. A joke of parts made by a god. I think Aqualish look like them, but they have asses for mouths. I don’t even wanna know what else is going on with them under the clothes. So when I saw him, a hulking Aqualish who had the balls and talent to wield a proper vibroaxe (two hander!), I was impressed, terrified, and strangely turned on by the idea that kicking his ass for money would feel really good! I could tell he was better equipped and taught than his friends, but I definitely, definitely underestimated him! Not only was he blocking my strikes, but he had some muscle to him – damn near like a machine it felt at times! Then, his buddies start ganging up on me. I had two other guys – one trying to club me and the other trying to go for me with his fucking super blaster rifle. The clubber actually ended up hitting himself, so that was funny – I slit his throat enough to rip his head off in front of his boss ol’ Dobo. I threw the head at him, and stomped on his friend’s body for measure, but Dobo – man he had no heart. Not a tear, not a sigh, not a grab for the heart. He’s just that cold blooded, and that ain’t right. He then proceeded to kinda kick my ass a little – well, he hurt me. And the asshole (who I never got to kill sadly) with the rifle got me real good.

I wanna say that I don’t believe in relying on guns. Anyone can shoot a gun, though I admit not many can aim well. Still, fewer can wield truly righteous blades like yours truly. And it’s so much more satisfying and better! For one, you end up keeping in pretty good shape, as all that hacking and decapitating ends up working your muscles. With guns, you just plop down and pull a button. They have their purpose and in large number are pretty hard to argue with. But with something like a blade or a club, you really have a way to personally show your artistry of how much you hate a person. Unless you’re good enough of an aim to shoot through the eye, bullets are less personal and interesting. It’s like some boring human abstract art versus beautifully brushed strokes and lines. So when someone in the middle of a good clean up close and personal howdy do interrupts that with a fucking blaster – well by the fucking stars you can’t get me more pissed! I have the balls to run at you swords out from a mile away – the least you can do with a blaster is say “hello”!

Thankfully I had my teammates there. Doc did the first ever ride by stim injection to perk me up (He even gave me some nice drugs to make me a little tougher and make our pilot’s choice of ship music sound a little better). With resilience and stims, I outlasted him though, just like always. I got him good, but then Bando did something I didn’t expect – he became a total, utter bitch. He ran away from me and hid behind the definitely to-be-dead rifle guy. But our bounty buddy who brought the Wookie, Judge, finished him off. By that point we had Bodo surrounded. Horrifically, I realized that he was really close to the hunk of machinery that made us have nice things like oxygen and gravity were powered. I could’ve sworn he said something around the lines of “You won’t take me alive and I’ll take as many of you as I can with me – because I won’t just calm down and go to jail and eventually get out and be able to, you know, live again. Maybe start a nice family.” But even after some negotiations and pleas and love letters were sent, he to my surprise turned the gun up in his ass face and killed himself. What an ass.

Judge wasn’t happy. He blamed me for some reason. Look, first of all, he kinda jumped me, though I was totally going to hurt him at least a little before we took him away anyway. Figured it would have hurt the moral of his friends – ended the fight quicker. So I had to defend myself, and maybe that included going at him swinging with my two sharp friends. But also, he looked really pissed off. He was totally going to go apeshit on possibly the doc or 888, which I was and still am not ok with! Yeah, we sorta just met, but this is a good crew all in all! Definitely a change of pace from past gigs. I later learned that 888 nearly got blown up by rifle fuck, but he made it. He got in the hatch and found out a bunch of tech shit and info on our man, but I leave most of that stuff to the others. I like simple things – a night getting faded, walks on the beach with pretty ladies, gambling, racing in borrowed landspeeders, getting wasted at podraces and ruining family outings, a good argument, scaring the shit out of someone for information (or “coercion” as 888 calls it), lying (even if I’m not very good at it), sneaking around like a creep, and of course, cutting up your sworn enemies to ribbons in mind blowingly lecherous ways!

Though I worried about my mortality, the benefits of living included getting a slightly better blaster pistol (for when I definitely need a gun), and I found a ton of glitterstim! I almost tried some with the pilot, but the pilot, as usual, was all business while on the job (she seems like she used to party though). Judge wanted some as payment for the downgraded bounty reward on account of nothing to do with myself. Again, they worked it out, and credits will be rolling if I have the swords by me and life with me. We stopped by to see our original contractor (Gerry?), and C-Lo the Hutt. Apparently, we now work for him, which is alright I guess. I already made an extra 50 credits with him by betting on a fight – I bet on the fat Aqualish. Guess why? So we got more work on the way – that’s good! One of my blades got fucked up by Bando though (that’s bad), so I gotta sink some credits into that ASAP. But soon I’ll have money to burn! Whatever we all decide to do next exactly I’m game for – it’s the journey, not the destination. I’m not too old yet. I’m in no rush. Now, time to pass out and dream a little dream.

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Miner difficulties

Sallo. Sallo is here, or at least was here. I’ve been able to focus on our immediate needs, tending to our wounds, finding work when we can, and other such mundane activates. But now this, and it’s all flooding back. The betrayal, the detainment, and the last bit of my former life flying away to parts unknown.

I need to get a handle on our immediate happenings, everything has been happening so quickly, it’s difficult to keep it all straight. Our group needs to discuss things, we’re we’ve all been, where we’re supposed to be going. We can’t just continue wandering around this sector, we need direction. Purpose.

Maybe if I lay out everything that’s been happening in my log, I can figure out what we should be doing next. Our crew has gotten a little bigger, Judge is a welcome addition. We’ve unfortunately had more and more need for extra firepower in our various encounters. I’m so rusty with a blaster, my former CO would have me at the firing range every day for a month if he could see me now.

We got call from Jerry, a few days late unfortunately, but apparently his little “opportunity” was still available to us. It seems he was contacted by one of his regular customers, which is apparently quite strange for this customer in particular. Some kind of distress call. It became clear though that this was not one of Jerry’s best customers, which is why we got the job. We agreed, for a small fee, to head out to track this person down, and maybe claim a rescue prize. We also bought up his supplies (1500 credits worth) in the hopes of a re-sale.

After learning of the destination, we rented some cold-weather gear. I much prefer the snow and wind to a desert planet any day. I’m thinking we need to invest in more of our own equipment; I’m really not too fond of renting things, though we had little choice at the moment. With our gear in hand, Tass took us off planet and we went off to track down the distress call.

Impressively, Tass was able to track down the location of the call on the planet surface, though there was nothing but faint life signs and a wreck of a ship. Someone spotted an ideal landing area and we stepped out into the cold, dark world. Fancying ourselves explorers, we tied ourselves to each other, since only a few of us were smart enough to bring some way to see in the dark (I’m excluded from that group by the way – I need to get better prepared). We find the ruined husk of the ship and push our way in. We walked into something out of a nightmare.

The cockpit was smashed to oblivion, with the unlucky pilot long dead. The pilot, incidentally, turned out to be our contact. So much for selling the supplies back to him (though we’d find another buyer later, or at least it seemed like it). 8s was able to extract the black box from the ship, though we didn’t have the equipment to find anything out from it as of yet. We then started to explore the rest of the ship.

It’s difficult to describe the extent of the damage, both to the organic and mechanical. It seemed like the ship was carrying slaves of some kind, many who died upon impact. Something else was either let loose, or got into the ship. It appears to be the later, as we later learned that strange panther-like creatures we ran into are native to the area. I felt useless trying to treat some of the injured, but they were just so far gone (a running theme, I would soon discover). I brought one unfortunate soul back from oblivion for a time to answer a few questions. I hate doing that, but we had to learn what happened. I made him as comfortable as possible as he faded away. I hope he’s found peace.

We soon learned we weren’t completely alone, and tracked a wookie outside the ship. We stumbled through the darkness – wait, check that, I stumbled through the darkness. Fortunately Tass kept me steady, as she often does. We found the wookie, but he was injured, and more of those damned panther-like creatures were around us. Two were upon us, and fortunately the greater skills of my companions prevailed. I was little more than a target there, trying to keep myself available for emergency care. It was all I could do not to rush over to the wookie, but I would have been eviscerated I’m sure if I struck off on my own. The wookie was dead, too far gone for me to do anything… again.

Without much else to look for, and failing to scavenge anything from the wrecked ship, we boarded the Luna Moth and took off, looking for answers. We managed to find a small outpost, and decided to set down nearby. This is going to end up being either one of the smartest or dumbest things we’ve decided to do.

This is some kind of small mining outpost. We met up with one of the directors, Darwin Brandal I think. Turns out our ill-fated contact (“Jim Smith”) had been their supplier for quite some time, and was overdue for a delivery. In what will probably be our last bit of luck for the time being, we happened to have that very supply in our holds. Darwin offered us twice what we paid (3000 credits). They were in dire straits, I didn’t have the heart to negotiate. My first instinct was to hand it over for a bit less, but I need to remember I have a responsibility to this group. I also take it I’ll need to save up quite a bit if I’m ever going to get back home.

Since we (1) weren’t under fire and (2) weren’t hunting anything, I decided to clear my head a bit and volunteered to administer some medical attention. I was right in thinking this place was sorely under-staffed, it’s going to be difficult leaving these people when our business is done. I left Zech, 8s, and Tass to tend to the black box (I guess I should really just say 8s to tend to it). I’m not quite sure what 8s does or finds in the equipment he examines, but I feel we’re all much better off when I excuse myself from the situation.
I left to tend to someone named Iggy, who was recovering from a substance abuse problem. A man named Jeret directed me to him. This time, I was smart enough to contact my crew, and had Zech come over to watch my back. We may be partial saviors to this outpost for now, but there no guarantee the whole populace will feel the same way.
I’m still trying to understanding what happen soon after. Iggy was delirious, mumbling about looking for someone in the woods. He had… something… rather, some things inside of him. They drained power from my tools, and other electronics in the area, feeding off the energy or something, and collected all in Iggy’s stomach. They burst out in a horrific display, cutting the lights, and dispersing throughout the room. Zech acted quickly, shielding us from them, but not without burning his foot in some acid these damnable things apparently spit out. I grabbed a small sample before we left. Iggy was, well, the usual.

As is always the case, things got worse. Some kind of seismic event rocked the colony. The rest of the crew and I were OK, but there was some kind of cave-in. When I met up with the others, I was already preparing to head over to the mine. Fortunately the fuel we brought had been put to good use, and we had decent transport available. But that changed, at least for the moment, when I ran into Tass and 8s. Imperials. Sallo Eriston. One big, horrible, damnable coincidence, the only kind we seem to run into these days. We had a brief argument about whether we should stay or not, but I just couldn’t leave these people. Tass was probably right, we should have just left; that would be the smart and safe thing to do. But I don’t think I could have lived with myself. And for extra incentive, it was going to be a lot harder for any of us to live if we didn’t complete our transaction with Darwin for the supplies.

And so here we are, speeding off to the mine. Hopefully with fewer “too far gone” conditions than I’ve been running into lately. Part of me hopes the imperials are there. Or at least some sign of them, some sign of Sallo. I need to speak with him, find out what they did with Quintus. It would be the closest I’ve been to home in a long time.

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Moan, Skitter, BOOM!
Out of the frying pan, into the electrical webbing.

Fighting a feeling of forboding in favor of cash, our heroes ventured down into the depths of the mining tunnles in response to a distress call. There they began working to remove the rubble from a cave-in, creating a man (or Twi’lek or droid) size hole in the rubble. Just as they were pulling one of the survivors out, his arm decided to make the trip without his body, revealing him to be some kind of android or replicant.

The party didn’t have time to ponder this shocking development, though, as they were soon joined by some of the missing miners. These newcomers had more brutish murder than earnest labor in mind, though, and began beating on members of the colony staff. Cut off from egress, the party was forced to squeeze through the hole in the rubble they had just created.

On the other side, they cracked open glowsticks and followed the tunnel until it led to a generator room. This would have been fortunate if not for the fact that a new creature had taken up residence in the room: some kind of energy spider. A tense stand-off with the formidable creature ensued, during which the party tried to position itself to escape, but found the room’s exit covered by mysterious webbing.

The spider, who was about to be joined by more of the zombie creatures, eventually decided that enough was enough and went on the offensive. Most of the party tried to hold it back, but their efforts were mostly ineffective and served only to annoy the beast. Just as things were becoming their most dire, 8-88 finished hacking away the fibres blockign their retreat and the party escaped.

Circling back to the tram, the group fought off more of the zombies (now revealed to be colonists under the influence of some kind of parasite) and gunned the tram. Then they stopped it so that allies who had been pulled off could get back on. Then they gunned it again. Then stopped it. Gunned it. Stopped it, then finally broke free of the melee and made for the surface.

Upon returning to the mining operation’s surface base, some members of the party quickly boarded the Luna Moth while others went to retrieve their promised funds from a nearby safe now that its security code was known. This cash grab proceeded mostly without incident, except for the odd appearance of an alien who had apparently been engaged in the act of finishing up some last minute paperwork before fleeing the scene. Perplexed but nevertheless still in a tremendous hurry, the group reconvened on the Luna Moth, which lifted off just in time to avoid an incoming plague of mindless zombies.

And right into the crosshairs of incoming spacecraft!

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