Edged by the Empire
Episode 07 I Was Young When I Left Home
Irfan did not use any of his 15 XP to upgrade his character Hondo Pash. He rolled Destiny Points for the PC and the two main NPCs, who are basically auxiliary PCs anyway.
Blowin’ In The Wind
Recently departed from the port of Silverlake in the Naboo system, the Lava Jaeger flew into Blue Nirvada‘s atmosphere, a frozen ocean world orbiting a blue dwarf star in the Tarabba Sector.
However, there was a vicious snowstorm along their flight path toward Obsidian Island, the hometown of Captain Hondo Pash and his 9-year-old sister Yuzy Pash where they grew up. The armoured mercenary gunslinger Giin Lawquane in the co-pilot seat with the BlasTech EE-3 blaster rifle slung on his back asked, “Do we wait it out?”
Hondo took a second to ruminate, then decided, “Let’s go in.” The YT-1300 light freighter plunged into the maelstrom of ice and snow. Buffeted by incredible bursts of wind, Giin was thrown off the co-pilot station. Astromech R2-8D8 rushed to help with the controls, but a tremendous downdraft slammed down hard onto the Lava Jaeger. Hondo was unable to control the ship which then crashed into the snow-swept ice fields beneath. The ship skidded on the plains.
Artoo beeped a warning: They were skidding at high speed towards a large patch of rock that rose above the ice field. Hondo fired the ship thrusters to bring the ship to a stop before they crashed into it. Damaged, they decided to wait out the storm. Yuzy served everyone meiloorun-flavoured ice cream.
Two hours later, the other astromech droid R5-K2 chirped that the storm had passed, but the ship was under a ton of snow. Hoping for the best, Hondo activated the ship’s systems (with a Triumph on Piloting) and the Lava Jaeger burst out of the snow drift.
Black Diamond Bay
Shortly Obsidian Island Airspace Command had cleared them to land on Platform 127. Hondo reduced the ship’s altitude and soared toward the island, an ancient caldera of black rock that protected the city of Obsidian Island. While the land outside the mountain crater was nothing but ice, there was a sizeable bay of water within the caldera itself. The island wore itself down to sea level at a gate which allowed ships to egress the bay and travel across the ice fields outside with snowspeeders or ice skimmers, sailing on pontoon skis.
From the cockpit canopy they saw sail-boats and powered catamarans leave their wake on the liquid water in the Central Bay which was five hundred metres in diameter. Multitude of marinas, piers and dockyards ringed the edge of the bay. There were also recreational areas like parks, fishing spots and promenades near the water. There were also large areas at the side of the bay which were blocked off for aquaculture. The next occupied ring of the city up from the bay was peppered by numerous well-lighted open air landing platforms and starship repair berths. Further up the inner slope of the caldera were residential areas and commercial districts. Terraces were cut into the rock and soil to create agricultural land.
Hondo had never been back here since he was sixteen-years-old and Yuzy was four. He had lived with his mother Doro Pash and aunt Zosy. Then one day Zosy said Doro was dead and the children had to leave Blue Nirvada. The two children had found their was to other systems in the Outer Rim Territories until Hondo was old enough to find work. He had Yuzy wait for him at Baron Deathsplitter’s Orphanage For Little Girls in the city of Mos Espa on Tatooine while Hondo worked from job to job until he found himself in the employ of the vile crime lord Teemo the Hutt in Mos Shuuta.
And now Hondo had been recalled by Aunt Zosy because apparently Doro was alive and had been in hiding. But now she was captured by her enemy, her husband who happened to be the Imperial Admiral Keargan Kanu. It was time to uncover the truth.
While Giin tended to the port authorities, Hondo met with their pickup client. Hondo was only able to find a customer on Naboo that needed a datapad couriered to Blue Nirvada, an Advosze gentleman known as Mister Glool for a measly two hundred credits. After Glool left, Hondo stood at the edge of the landing platform and gazed upon the familiar sights of his hometown.
He caught sight of a slick catamaran unfurling her sail which had a red diamond insignia emblazoned on it. The wind caught her sail and she slewed on her way onto the waves.
Then Hondo and Yuzy shopped for cold weather gear for warmth, obtaining white parkas with synthetic fur linings and hoods for themselves. Yuzy asked Giin, “Don’t you need one?” Giin answered coolly through his modulated helmet speaker, “I don’t need one.”
That was when a bright flash of an explosion from somewhere in the city caught their eye. The roar of the explosion followed a second later. Bystanders started panicking.
Hondo, Giin and Yuzy sprinted for the explosion. A gaggle of police and rescue personnel, organics and droids, on foot and on repulsors, were trying to extinguish the flames, clearing fiery debris and directing traffic. A single Trandoshan in Obsidian Island Security Brigade colours was managing the disaster scene. Officer Klikwask told them that the cause of the explosion is still unknown and ordered them back to the security cordon.
Giin disagreed with Hondo’s act. “I’m thuppothed to be your thecurity offither, but you keep running towards explosionth. Why did we have to come here?”
Hondo couldn’t answer why. As they headed back to the ship, Yuzy asked, “Why didn’t you ask whose house it was?” Hondo slapped his forehead for not doing so.
Soon they were back on the Lava Jaeger having some more meiloorun ice cream. As he licked his spoon, he came to a decision, “We should check out our old neighbourhood to find Aunt Zosy.”
Driftin’ Too Far From Shore
It took them thirty minutes climbing further upslope, past agricultural terraces and along streets that wend their way through residential and industrial zones. Soon they were at the old neighbourhood gazing at the empty, cylindrical old house. Hondo knocked at a neighbour’s door and an Advosze answered the door.
When asked, the Advosze said he knew Zosy Pash. He moved in four years ago and Zosy moved a year later. A moment later, Hondo thanked him for Zosy’s new address and led the team towards 34 Cobalt Street. It took another 30 minutes to walk down there where they discovered that 34 Cobalt Street was the house that exploded earlier. Yuzy said to Hondo, “I told you you should have asked more questions.”
The fire and the crowd were long gone but Officer Klikwask remained to manage a squad of sentry droids to sift through the smoking rubble. Hondo approached the Trandoshan security officer and introduced himself, “I am Hondo Pash. This is my Aunt Zosy’s house. Do you know what happened here?”
Klikwask’s eyes widened. “Hondo? Yuzy? It’s me Uncle Klikwask! I used to patrol your street five year ago or so, before you left Blue Nirvada!” Hondo suddenly recognized the old Trandoshan. They embraced each other.
Hondo told him about Zosy’s holo message to them, recalling them to her. When Klikwask offered his help, Hondo requested access to the street camera records. They viewed the holoprojections in three different angles before Hondo noticed several humans carrying a large canvas bag that might have had a person in it. These humans, who carried themselves like professional and experienced soldiers, wore jackets with a red diamond emblem patch on their sleeves.
The catamaran with the red diamond sail!
Klikwask notified Central Bay Traffic Authority who identified the catamaran as the Burning Gator whose present whereabouts are unknown after it had left the City Gates. However, after it cast off Authority database tracked the catamaran to the West Promenade (only just over a hundred metres downslope from Cobalt Street) where it lingered for about ten minutes before sailing away from the city.
Because Klikwask could not leave the crime scene, Hondo led the team down towards the Promenade.
Down Along the Cove
The West Promenade was a pedestrian walkway at the edge of the Central Bay where many city folk were picnicking, jogging and fishing with their family and friends. Children were walking by with balloons. The only place someone could hop onto a boat was a patch of soil that extended out twenty metres into the bay where a lone Gotal had cast a fishing line. Hondo discovered that there were boot tracks that led into the water.
While Hondo took some soil samples in the hopes of identifying where the boots might have come from, Yuzy sauntered up to the Gotal and asked him, “Say, mister. Did you see anyone come through here and boarded a catamaran?”
The old Gotal shook his sensory horns and said, “Oh, yes. Those guys. They came here with a big bag and jumped into a catamaran. One of them asked the pilot to set sail for Spiralblade Island.”
“Thanks, mister,” said the nine-year-old, turning to Hondo with a smirk on her face.
Giin jibed, “I guethth she’th the invethtigator in the family.”
They returned to Cobalt Street to let Klikwask know of this. Klikwask said, “Because our speeders are damaged and our patrol skimmers will take longer to sail out there, I’m coming with you on your ship.” He checked his DL-44 heavy blaster pistol and headed for Platform 127 with Hondo, Yuzy and Giin.
Can’t Leave Her Behind
The Lava Jaeger landed on the black rocky beach of Spiralblade Island. The centre of the small island rose and twisted into a sharp peak of dark, volcanic rock. There was not even a hint of activity on the island. Garbed with their newly-purchased cold weather parka, Hondo scoured the beach looking for any clues under the grey sky. It was Yuzy again who gleefully pointed out the matte black metal hatch further up the slope of the beach, beside a cluster of large boulders.
“Good job, Yuzy,” said Hondo, thumbing the safety off his DL-17 blaster pistol and strapping on his vibrosword to his belt. “But I think you should stay on the ship. It might be dangerous.”
“No!” whined his sister, waving her staff. “Come on, Hondo. You know I’m valuable to the group. I can help. I can spot things better. I can sneak into small places. You might need me.”
Hondo thought it over and begrudgingly agreed.
“Besides,” said Yuzy excitedly. “We might meet our Dad who we’ve never seen before!” Hondo decided against letting her know that Admiral Keargan Kanu – their father – might be an enemy.
They managed to electronically open the locked hatch thanks to Klikwask’s computer skills. The heavy, disc-like hatch swung open, revealing a downward passage. The frigid winds from the frozen ocean that whorled around them with clouds of snow felt warmer than the near-darkness that awaited them below.
They descended, weapons ready. At the bottom of the steps, they noticed a pair of remotes guarding the hallway to the left and right. They counted to three, then blasted the floating globes from the stairway.
Giin asked, “Left or right?”
“We go right,” said Hondo.
It took them several more minutes of exploring the hidden outpost when they stumbled onto three humans in a locker room. Their discarded jackets emblazoned with red diamond patches were on the back of chairs and the floor. They were now cocooned in white armoured shells of Imperial stormtroopers.
They drew their blasters.
However Yuzy lunged forward first, her staff sweeping the first trooper’s leg. He fell unhurt, but follow up blaster fire from Hondo and Giin neutralised the threat. Klikwask shot another trooper, who shot back wounding the Trandoshan. Yuzy bolted past the two remaining troopers, striking them off balance with her staff allowing the wounded trooper to be shot by Giin, felling him. Yuzy wised up and ducked past her crewmates and through the door. Hondo unsheathed his vibrosword and failed to pierce the stormtrooper’s tough armour. Klikwask received another blast on his chest, injuring him even more.
Somehow Giin’s shot did not kill the remaining trooper. But one final sword stroke by Hondo, and the trooper was finally defeated.
“Where’s Yuzy?” Hondo looked around for his absent sister. He ran out searching but she was not in the anteroom. She was spotted running down a long, adjoining corridor.
“Yuzy!” Hondo called.
“I hear Dad calling me!” came the faint but excited voice as she disappeared around a corner through an open door.
Subterranean Homesick Blues
The door led to a small fighter bay with a CloakShape fighter curled up asleep but ready for launch, but no Yuzy. There was another stormtrooper in the next chamber. Hondo, Giin and the wounded Klikwask made short work of him. Giin said, “We’re shooting at Imperials now. The danger just leapfrogged by an order of magnitude.”
Meanwhile, Klikwask used his computer skills on a mushroom console to open what seemed to be holding cell doors. A light flipped from red to green and the door slid open with a thump.
Sitting inside, dishevelled and disoriented was a woman, about forty years old: Zosy Pash.
“Hondo?” she muttered disbelievingly. “Hondo, is that you? How did you-?”
“I’ve come to rescue you, but Yuzy’s gone. She ran off looking for her dad.”
“Yuzy’s here? Oh no! I heard the troops saying that my abduction also served as a trap for you. He needed you for something. But if he has Yuzy-?”
I’d Hate to Be You on That Dreadful Day
Hondo and Giin helped Zosy out of the cell, but the door to the fighter bay slid open. A stormtrooper rushed in firing his deadly E-11 blaster rifle. Giin – their best gunslinger – missed. Instead, Klikwask scored a hit, which unfortunately glanced off the trooper’s hardened armour. The Imperial turned on the Trandoshan, barked, “Alien scum!” and fired. Klikwask fell in a plume of smoke and sparks.
Zosy dragged the unconscious Klikwask out of the fire zone. Giin’s blaster inflicted grievous bodily harm upon the trooper. Then one final head shot from Hondo exterminated him.
Hondo had an emergency medpac, but his skills were lacking. It took both Zosy and Giin’s efforts to stabilise Klikwask, though still knocked out and heavily injured.
Hondo ran toward thick, double blast doors, DH-17 pointed ahead. The doors parted. The shuttle bay ceiling was a wide open gash. It allowed a clear view of the grey sky. A departing Lambda-class shuttle pirouetted as it disappeared into the clouds. Sheets of snow thronged like billowing curtains into the shuttle bay. Already, snowdrifts were forming and writhing on the flight deck. They took Yuzy!
Sprinting back into the fighter bay, Hondo commandeered the CloakShape fighter, waking it from its slumber. Cockpit lights indicated which systems were yawning and stretching. An experienced pilot, Hondo had no problem activating and priming all its systems. However, unfamiliar with Imperial docking protocols, it took him one hundred and seventy nine seconds to crack open the top hatch.
Then, he was aloft and soaring. But the Lambda-class shuttle had already reached the mesosphere. The wide-winged fighter sliced through the clouds perfectly with its horizontal stabiliser fins in pursuit. With the shuttle’s low rate of acceleration, Hondo caught up with it quickly in the thermosphere. Soon, he had broken though into the void of space and glided into firing range. The targeting computer painted the shuttle with ranging lasers, attempting to acquire a target lock. The shuttle’s target lock warning must be strobing and screaming into their pilot’s ears.
Suddenly, the fighter’s holo comms system flickered on. Hondo’s finger froze over the firing button.
It was Yuzy. But she did not display any distress. In fact, she looked very, very happy.
“Hondo! I found Dad! I’m so happy. He says he will take me to Mom, then we’ll come back for you. Don’t worry about me, big brother. I’ll be fine. We’ll be seeing you soon!”
A million courses of action flashed before Hondo’s eyes. A million courses of action evaporated into nothingness.
A second later, the shuttle’s drives flared and it disappeared into hyperspace. Hondo still gazed wordlessly into the void.
Some time later, a shadow fell across the coasting CloakShape. The Lava Jaeger loomed in space before the fighter. Giin’s voice broke the silence, “Are you all right, bothth?”
Hondo was still asking questions in his mind, so he vocalised them, “Why did he take Yuzy? Why didn’t he also take me? Where are they going?”
“Hondo,” Zosy’s voice buzzed in his ear. “We’ll try to find the answers the best we can. But first, let’s get Klikwask into a bacta tank.”
The freighter and fighter spun and began their flight back to Obsidian Island.
- I was so exhausted during the session that we needed to take a number of 5 minute breaks and one 30 minute break to untangle my game mastering mind. I wasn’t even cognitive enough to remember the exact dice rolls and scores, except for the Triumph rolled in the Piloting skill to break out of the snow after the storm had passed in the first encounter, Klikwask’s injury amounted to negative 2 Body Points and Critical Damage: Overpowered, and Hondo’s botched Computers roll caused him to lose three minutes in the shuttle pursuit.
- Irfan was exhausted, and you could see several points in the game session where Yuzy or Giin had to hint or take the lead in the investigation.
- Blue Nirvada is a star system created by Irfan.
- Irfan’s character’s backstory was created by me.
- The Tarabba sector also houses the Utapau system.
- Hondo Pash collects an additional 20 XP.