So this week our heroes found themselves headed towards the Starway Hotel to question the owner, a bothan by the name of Rede Vorg. They arrive at the hotel and see that it is very extravagant. The lobby is huge with a large crystal chandelier and a fountain. Behind the counter is a short brown furred bothan, who greets them warmly.
“Welcome to the Starway Hotel friends! What can I do for you fine folks this day?” he says as they approach.
Ali walks up to the counter and smiles brightly.
“Well we were hoping we could get some…information, we were told you had.” she says.
“Uh. Information? I’m sorry, all I have are hotel rooms. Can I interest you in a room? Your friends look weary.” Rede says, looking confused.
“We were told you have information that might be important to us, how much can we…?” Ali asks again.
“No. Sorry, You must have the wrong person. Hey! I know, you look like you want luxury. A woman of your beauty surely could use some pampering! How about I give you a discount on the penthouse suite!” Rede counters.
Ali shrugs and gives up the chase.
“Sure. How much?” she asks.
“A hundred credits, for you and your friends, for the week. It comes with anything and everything you could possibly need or want!” Rede exclaims.
“Anything?” Ali says, hinting again.
“Except this information you seem to think I have. I’m not that kind of bothan.” Rede interjects.
“Fine, fine. Here,” Ali says as she slides a 100 credit chip onto the counter.
“Excellent! Now if I can take your stuff, and if you will follow me!” Rede says as he shoulders their packs and leads them into a lift that takes them to the top floor. When they arrive they see that Rede was not exaggerating. The main room has a lowered central area with two sets of steps leading down to it. It has comfortable looking sofas and lounges and a huge holovid screen complete with Holonet access, a rarity these days.
Off to one side is a tub full of hot bubbling water, and a cleaning droid nearby. A huge a balcony overlooks the rest of the city, and there are six other rooms branching off from the main room, each one a large bedroom.
Kat and Vin both sit down to enjoy the holovid while Ali goes to pick a room and Torr goes to do the same. A few hours later, Vin and Kat are almost dozing as a nature special on Kath hounds is playing on the holovid. Ali is toying with the strange cube she bought at the market, and Torr is meditating in his room. Torr hears something, a whisper of a sounds really, coming from his closet where all of his and Kat’s stuff is.
Torr opens the closet door to find that a fake wall panel had been removed to reveal a hidden tunnel. A sheepish looking Rede is crouched over one of their packs with his hand in it, and Kat’s bowcaster is sitting in the tunnel already.
“What are you doing?” Torr asked, eyebrow raised.
“Uh…making a few extra credits?” Rede says obsequiously.
“Bad idea.” Torr says as he whistles sharply, calling everyone else’s attention to the room. Everyone immediately piles in and takes stock of the situation.
“That’s my bowcaster!” Kat roars angrily as he advances forward and pushes Rede aside so he can reclaim it.
“So what do we do with him?” Ali asks.
“Well there is a window…” Vin points out.
“No wait! Information yes? You wanted information? Well ask and I’ll see what I can do! then we can just forget this whole thing happened! yes?” Rede begs.
“Okay. Well we’re looking for the voice passcode to activate…”Ali begins.
“Syn’s ship right? Yes I have a datapad with that information I believe!” Rede says, cutting Ali off.
“That’ll do, yes,” Ali nods.
“Wait, right here. I’ll be right back with it!” Rede exclaims.
“No, no. Ali go with him, make sure he actually has what he says he does.” Torr advises.
“Yeah, let’s go,” Ali says as she pushes the bothan into the tunnel .He leads them to a dilapidated stairwell in a portion of the building that had obviously been bricked over and forgotten. the stairway leads to a cellar that looked more like a warehouse. As they hit the bottom of the stairs and Rede opens the door into the room, Ali sees and hears an attractive female human with silver hair wearing a skimpy outfit and a name badge that marks her as the owner at the shop across the street.
“So Rede whacha find this time?” the girl asks.
“A twi’lek!” Ali says as she comes into view behind Rede.
“Oh no Rede. You got caught again?” the girl who’s badge reads Zyra asks.
“Yeah. they just want some old datapad, and they’ll forget the whole thing happened.” he says as he begins rummaging through cabinets, shelves, and crates. He eventually finds the pad and hands it to Ali. Ali turns it on and sees that it’s a schematic for Syn’s ship, a heavily modified YT-2400. The schematic was obviously drawn up by Syn, with the passcode on it so that a mechanic could work on the ship. The passcode reads ‘Despair to those who sin.’
With her prize in hand Ali takes another set of stairs that lead sup to the office behind the lobby area and then back up to her room. The group decides to move immediately to take the ship now, while it’s still night time. They head to the spaceport and see that the private docking ring is guarded by a pair of Stormtroopers. As the group whispers among itself and discusses their options, one of the troopers calls over.
“Hey! Are you here to haul that cargo from Port 4?” his voice crackles from behind the helmet (the Stormtroopers not only failed their Perception check, but rolled a ‘1’ on the Wild Die).
“Why. Yes, yes we are!” Ali calls back. She looks back to the group “Just roll with it.”
They make their way to Port 5 where Syn’s ship is located, well out of sight of the Stormtroopers. they find that the port’s blast door is down. Kat smiles and walks over to the panel that controls the door and deftly punches in a code which opens the door immediately.
“Common port security code,” he brags.
“So do we have anyone who can fly this thing?” Ali asks as they approach the ship.
“Sister, do you have to ask?” Vin asks with confidence.
“I can fly too.” Kat offers as they board the ship through the lowered ramp. “Can I co-pilot at least? he asks as Vin takes the pilot’s chair. Torr translates and Vin gestures to the seat next to him.
“Go for it!” he says as the console begins to glow red. A voice comes over the speakers.
“Please state the passcode,” it says.
“Despair to those who sin.” Ali calls out.
“Passcode accepted. Welcome back Syn,” the computer says as the ship begins it’s start up procedures.
“Alright, hang on to something. Here we go.” Vin says as he deftly maneuvers the ship out of the docking ring and into the atmosphere, and eventually into space. As the ship makes its escape from the planet’s gravity, the consoles begin glowing red again, locking Vin out, and hissing can be heard throughout the ship as hydraulic steam shoots from various sections.
“Whoa! Hey guys! Something’s really wrong here!” Vin shouts back.
“Well figure it out!” Torr exclaims as he looks around, bewildered.
“What’s with this thing?! Is it going to explode now?!” Ali asks in a panic.
A few seconds later the bottom turret ejects itself from the ship, followed by the concussion missile launchers, the extra shield regulators, and the hyperdrive attachment, leaving the ship in it’s stock configuration and leaving all of the upgrades floating in space.
“That clever bitch,” Vin whispers to himself before calling back “Looks like there were other reasons she wasn’t worried about the ship being stolen. We just lost all of the upgrades. They’re just out there now, waiting to be picked up by the Imperials so she can attach them to a different ship, which will no doubt be provided by the graciousness of the Empire.”
“What about a tractor beam, can’t we just pull them back in?” Kat asks. Torr quickly translates.
“Tractor beam was one of the components that just launched itself into space. And…we have bigger worries!” Vin says as he takes some sensor readings as is his habit when leaving a planet. “Looks like there’s a space station in orbit on the far side of the planet, and they just launched fighters. Someone man that remaining turret! Kat adjust the shield polarity! Full aft!”
The TIE fighters scream in, lasers firing their brilliant green light. The first batch sizzles across the top, near the turret that Torr is now occupying. He returns fire and grazes the closest one, and then takes a second shot and hits it square in the center, causing it to explode in a shower of sparks and flames.
The second TIE takes another couple of shots, missing entirely as Vin rolls the ship first to the left then to the right to avoid the fire. The TIE then dips under the ship, realizing that the turret is on top of the ship (yes I do use rules to simulate differences in ‘height’.
“Can you quit doing that?!” Torr calls over the intercom as his lunch threatens to evacuate him.
“Sure! You mind us getting hit and exploding?!” Vin calls back as he puts the ship into a steep ‘dive’.
“Yes I do mind! Keep doing it!”
As the ship blasts past the remaining TIE fighter Vin points at a button near the communications console.
“Ali! Push that button!” he commands. Without thinking, she picks the button she thinks he’s pointing at and pushes it. Turns out to be the right one as she sees a message that states that the TIE’s communications have been jammed.
As they get even with the TIE fighter, Torr takes a couple more shots and strikes the fighter enough to cause the pilot to eject. Vin then makes the calculation to make a jump into hyperspace, the ship jerks, the stars streak, and they are off.
More to come next week!