Episode 01: Skyfall
Note: This GOKL campaign follows the Star Wars Edge of the Empire Beginners Game that started with GOKL Escapes Mos Shuuta and continued with GOKL Escapes The Insurmountable Ned. Now that the former Krayt Fang has been renamed Modesty Blaze (after a short stint as Babymetal before retcon renaming) after its major refitting on Rodia, the campaign will now be named “Modesty Blazing.”
No Obligation roll just because.
Initial Destiny pool rolls resulted in this:
Ord Throsol was a white dwarf system with multiple asteroid fields and thick cometary clouds. The airless planetoid known as Ord Throsol was centre of mining refinery and manufacturing. The Modesty Blaze is berthed alongside the scout vessel, the YV-929 armed freighter Veracity Slush. The Blaze crew had just been commissioned to deliver machine parts to Gir Tashkent of Spacewell Manufacturing Inc. on Smallberries Skystation in the Hypori system.
But first, Zeltron pilot Darter Kel, the droid 41-VEX, the Trianii assassin Qillian Ryn and the new Trandoshan hired gun Tray’Essek bade farewell to Nora Romanova, the Wookiee Lowhrrick and Twi’lek Oskara who have joined the crew of the scout vessel for a job beyond the Saijo Sector. A moment later the trio was gone with the Slush.
As they prepared to raise ship, an RA-7 droid stopped them. He had a package that also needed to be delivered to former Imperial captain Razi Sunmote of Sunmote Trading on Smallberries Station. Darter was reluctant to take on any impromptu jobs but the droid was very transparent. He showed the holo message from Sunmote, which had the proper documentation, and opened up the package to reveal the old droid caller inside.
An extra 1000 credits earned from going to Hypori couldn’t hurt.
On the Road
VEX calculated the hyperspace jump perfectly (with 3 Successes on Astrogation) shaving some time off the journey. However, they were violently pulled back into realspace 20 light minutes away from the planet Hypori. VEX scanned the area and discovered a gravity field projected from a nearby asteroid. Also, three R-41 Starchasers were accelerating to attack speed toward them.
Darter’s superior piloting skills allowed him to execute a tight turn keeping the fighters boxed inward of their turning arc. (Successes and Triumph on Darter’s Piloting roll gave everyone else an upgraded skill and a Boost dice.) 41-VEX angled the shield as Qillian loosed a barrage which missed. However, one of the Starchasers were slammed by Tray’s multiple blasts and disintegrated catastrophically. First kill!
The remaining fighters fired their cannons in vain and failed to outmanoeuvre the Blaze. Darter’s flying allowed to the gunners to still gain the upper hand, easily hitting and damaging the R-41s. After their second miss, Darter was lost his tactical advantage. The two Starchasers dropped into the Blaze‘s six. Before they could fire, Qillian sent a volley of bolts at them. Their attempt to evade the red energy bolts resulted in their coming into Tray’s gunsights. Tray’s cannon fire took down a second Starchaser. The last R-41 turned tail and jumped into hyperspace (after failing a Cool check).
The Blaze held station near the asteroid and discovered a scaled down gravity well projector there. VEX wore a maneuver harness, flew out to the asteroid to single-handedly remove the 2.5-metre disk from it and dragged it back to the ship. They stowed it in the ship cargo hold for later use.
Then VEX plotted a short microjump to bring them to Hypori.
Smallberries Station Docking Hub
The skystation was a torus 2.4 kilometres in diameter and hovered 10 kilometres over the Hypori surface. It appeared to have a central administrative and docking hub, and a total of 18 colossal modules attached to it like a ring.
The station security chief Bug Zapper, a manumitted 434 droid greeted them at their prescribed landing bay. He apologised for the pirate attack, saying, “They are getting bolder and bolder each day. Because of this incident, we will waive your 100 credit docking fees. Please, carry out your business in peace and enjoy our facilities.”
After Zapper left, it was time to get to work. Darter Kel and Qillian Ryn would oversee the labour droids unload Gir Tashkent’s cargo then go meet him at his office for payment. 41-VEX and Tray’Essek would visit Razi Sunmote with his package.
The docking bay portal led out to the main pedestrian thoroughfare filled with dozens of organics and droids travelling from somewhere to somewhere. Darter (the only one who succeeded in a Vigilance roll) noticed a group of three insectoid Verpines looking at the group and whispering amongst themselves. They caught Darter watching them and slinked off into a subhallway, too far to be followed.
Secret of Smallberries Station
41-VEX accessed the station computer to find their way to Sunmote Trading which was located in Section 11. Spacewell Manufacturing was in Section 12.
With VEX’s map, Darter and Qillian headed for Section 12. En route, they were almost pulverised by a piece of salvage: a rust- and dirt-encrusted metal module obviously recently dug out from the ground. The Tinhub Brothers Salvage Corporation worker apologised for one of their lifter droids malfunctioning, and dropping the 5 metre tall construct onto the deck and rolling toward them.
Darter, miffed at the near squish experience, fired his a stun blast onto the deckplate beside the Tinhub Brothers worker saying, “Well, I also apologise for that malfunction!” The intimidated worker told him he had just brought up a newly-discovered salvage, a leftover from the Battle of Hypori during the Clone Wars. Such accidents were rare.
He invited Darter to join the Tinhub corporation if he would like to work in salvage. Darter stood down and said, “If the opportunity arises, I might take you up on that.”
When asked, he told them about the skystation, which was named after Jonn Smallberries, who was a human who designed the station and constructed it with his droids two hundred years ago. But when the station was completed, Jonn Smallberries disappeared. Slowly people began to move in, making it their home and livelyhood.
The Tinhub group was joined by new floating lifter droids. The procession waved goodbye and continued on their way with their salvage.
The Hawker Stalls of Sector 11
Elsewhere in Sector 11, Razi Sunmote had left his office to intercept 41-VEX and Tray in the crowded hallway, demanding the package. He asked if they preferred cash or credit transfer. VEX shrugged, or at least he tried to shrug – much to the audible objection of his shoulder servos. He took the droid caller, transferred 1000 credits to Tray’s credit stick and disappeared into the crowd, cackling, “Now I will have revenge on you, Tile. Your time is nigh!”
Their work completed, Tray and VEX looked for a hawker stall (with a successful Streetwise roll) and was attracted by the smoke and fumes coming from a sub-hallway. The passage was filled with food vendors on both sides of the street, frying, broiling, sautéing and barbecuing. They walked down the hallway looking at all the satay, yong tau foo, char kuay teow, otak-otak, garlic naan, roti bawang and other vendors. They stopped at a large bubbling pot with a red stew within… as well as small, decapitated, furry primate heads.
VEX ordered a bowl of soup and attempted to eat it – without irony – which was difficult because he had no mouth to eat with. Tray, new to the group, did not object to it and also ordered a bowl for himself.
The Battle of Section 12
A Zeltron and a Trianii walked through the bulkhead blast doors into Section 12. Spacewell Manufacturing was at the end of the hallway which forked into a t-junction. They realised that the hallway was unnervingly empty as the blast doors closed behind them.
Qillian had a bad feeling about the doors closing and turned back. He tried to reopen the blast doors. It did open, which allowed a one-horned Advosze in a red jumpsuit to walk through. He ignored them and walked by. Happy that the doors did not lock behind them they too trotted down the hallway 10 metres behind the Advosze. As he turned the corner to the left, a blaster bolt struck him in the back from the right corner of the junction, killing him. It was a B1 battle droid – an infantry trooper of the long-defeated Separatist army – with a blaster pistol. He turned his blaster on Qillian, but Darter drew his sidearm and dropped the mechanical trooper in a single shot.
Running to the corner, they both caught sight of another B1 droid slamming the blast doors of a warehouse at the far end of that hallway. They carefully crept up to it and hacked the door lock, opening it. Inside is a medium-sized storage area. There were three armed battle droids standing over half a dozen dead organic corpses. There was a large hole burned in the wall to the right and a smaller hole on the wall to the left.
Qillian vaulted inside to smash one of the droids into the other. Darter aimed and dropped one of the droids Qillian was after and ducked behind the doorway. Qillian tried to grab one of the droids and swing it into the remaining one, but the battle droid twisted out of his way. The droids fired on Qillian who managed to dodge. Qillian punched the closest droid, decapitating him. Before the other could shoot, Darter’s second shot felled him with a smoking hole in its chest.
Qillian and Darter explored the larger hole. It was a Tinhub Brothers Salvage Corporation warehouse! It was the salvage they had seen. The large module was open and something had egressed from it, killing everyone there then blowing a hole into the neighbouring warehouse, and the next, ad nauseaum.
Darter quickly tried to call Chief Bug Zapper on the comlink but he seemed to be in a panic. Then the radio was cut off. Qillian checked the comlink (Mechanics check success) and discovered that all communication radio frequencies have been flooded with static. The recent Tinhub salvage could have unleashed a cache of dormant Separatist battle droids which was attempting to overrun Smallberries Station!
The Trandoshan Cultural Attaché
As they were enjoying the soup, so to speak, Tray noticed a Snivvian in a blue jumpsuit pointing his blaster pistol at VEX’s back talking into a comlink excitedly. Tray flung his bowl of soup at the Snivvian but missed. Before the Snivvian could react, VEX had spun and dropped the guy with a stun bolt.
The soup vendor yelled, “HEY! Treat my soup with more respect here!”
As VEX dealt with the unconscious gunman, Tray pulled a fast one on the vendor, saying, “But this is how we Trandoshans greet old friends! We throw bowls of soup at them!” (A successful Deception skill roll ensues.) As Tray hurried to help VEX drag the Snivvian away, another Trandoshan – a burlier one than Tray – came up to order a bowl of soup. The vendor smiled at the newcomer and threw a bowl of soup at him.
Sounds of fisticuffs grew weaker as they left the hawker stalls. VEX said to Tray with a glint in his droid eyes, “Don’t look back, Tray.”
Cut Off at Spacewell Industries
The doors to Spacewell Industries office opened as Qillian and Darter ran past. Someone beckoned at them. It was Gir Tashkent. He asked, “What happened? Why are people dying in Section 12?” Darter informed him about the droid and the comm jamming. Tashkent told him to use the hardline comm gear in his office. They were able to connect VEX, but only for a moment.
Tashkent told them, “The cut the hard line. If there is a threat of overrun, do you know what they will do? They will jettison the whole section from the station… with us in it!”
A Vexing Bounty
“Was that the others trying to contact us?” Tray asked, tapping on his comlink. VEX slapped the Snivvian until he was awake and told him to spill his guts. The Snivvian said, “Let me go! I’m just an apprentice bounty hunter! I don’t have the skills to bag you for the bounty!”
“Why did you try to capture me?” VEX asked. “Who sent you?”
“Nobody!” the Snivvian whimpered. “We travel everywhere looking for bounties. We were on Naboo and are en route to Rodia. I stumbled onto you by chance.” VEX grabbed his palm holoprojector that he was offering. There were files on a dozen bounties in its memory, including 10,000 credits for the capture of 41-VEX. Breaking the memory encryption, VEX discovered that the bounty was posted by a corporation named Spiral Life Industries on Coruscant. VEX had never heard of it before. Neither did he know why they would want VEX captured.
“Okay, man. Let me go. You know I can’t defeat you myself.”
VEX let him go. But at the end of the alleyway, he turned and flashed a sinister smile. “I can’t defeat you myself. But I’m now not by myself. I’ve called my team before you stunned me and now we will take you.” He pointed at VEX and prepared to attack, waiting for his team-mates to join him.
No one came.
Tray strode forward and punched the Snivvian several times. VEX calmly walked to them, then fired a stun bolt into the bounty hunter’s chest. Tray took his grenades and his liquid cable shooter. VEX took his jumpsuit. Tray dumped the naked Snivvian in a public trash can and hung a sign that read, “I’M LOST. IF YOU FIND ME PLEASE SEND ME BACK TO THE NEAREST SNIVVIAN COLONY.”
As they headed for Section 12 to look for the others, VEX asked Tray, “Does this jumpsuit make me look fat?”
Escape from Sector 12
VEX and Tray crossed the bulkhead threshold into Section 12. After sweeping through the empty hallways (and failing Streetwise rolls) the duo was unable to locate Darter and Qillian. They found themselves going deeper and deeper into the utility and support sections of Smallberries Station. They found themselves in a room filled with machines. In the centre, connected to hundreds of thick cables was a hyperdrive. What was a hyperdrive doing in that section of the station?
The comlink buzzed for attention. It was Darter and Qillian calling from Spacewell Manufacturing. VEX and Tray had come into range of the station’s comm network short range transmitter. Everyone was brought up to speed after sharing information. The battle droid attack. The bounty hunter. Tashkent. The hyperdrive. A new plan was devised: get out of Section 12 before the station jettisoned them.
VEX and Tray became more and more lost. They found themselves deeper in the technical section and discovered three gigantic grasping claws that held the section in place. (Upon a successful Mechanical roll) VEX discovered that each large claw had a tiny crawlspace that they could use to get to the neighbouring section on the other side of the bulkhead. It was hot, humid and uncomfortable but they soon burst out on the other side at the base of the grasping claw. Using the liquid cable shooter appropriated from the Snivvian earlier, they cast a line that allowed them to rappel to the floor and rush back toward Modesty Blaze.
The Sunmote Gambit
Darter, Qillian and Tashkent found that all bulkhead blast doors leading back to Section 11 had been sealed. They were unable to pick the heavy electronic lock. They had to look for an escape route out in the rim of the station, perhaps a speeder bay from which they could flee Section 12 outside.
“This calls a journey into the ventilation shaft,” said Darter excitedly. The Zeltron disrobed leaving only his tight underpants, produced a bottle of lubricant from his discarded jacket’s pocket and poured in onto his body. He gleefully dove into the ventilation shaft that Tashkent had identified would lead out toward the rim. Darter offered some lube to Tashkent, who politely replied, “No thanks. These are Nakatomi-class shafts. It’s actually big enough to pass through crouching.”
They travelled rimward, burst out to the outer thoroughfare. There were dead bodies everywhere. The hallway lead out past a courtyard with a spiral sculpture. On the far end of the courtyard was Honest Grumb’s Used Speeder Lot. They could see five swoops arrayed in the shop with the external wall open and exposed to the cloudy skies outside. They ran for the speeder lot.
“You have survived thus far,” boomed a voice, stopping them in their tracks. “You must be formidable indeed.” It was the former Captain Razi Sunmote surrounded by twenty B1 battle droids assembled in the hallway to their left.
In Sunmote’s left hand was the droid caller VEX and Tray had delivered to him. It was active. He held out his right hand, “Join us. Help me in my quest for revenge.”
Darter took the advantage and strolled over with a smile. “Of course! Of course! We could always use the job! What quest do you have in mind?” The battle droids flanked Darter, Qillian and Tashkent who looked very, very worried.
“To destroy the person who got me drummed out of the Imperial Navy: Captain Flintlock Tile. With my droid army, we would help me exact my vengeance.”
Darter noticed that further down the hallway beyond Sunmote were forty other B1 battle droids and twenty fully armed BX commando droids. He grinned and said, “Of course. Tell us what we have to do.”
“All you have to do is just sit and wait.” Darter and Qillian finally figured out what his plan was. The Section jettison protocol and the hyperdrive that the others had discovered must be a part of Sunmote’s plan.
Darter edged toward the swoops in the speeder lot and said, “We shall wait right here for your future orders.” Qillian and Tashkent backed into the speeder lot as well. Darter sat on the swoop’s control panel and used his gluteus maximus to activate its power systems. (He fails a Skulduggery check.) A battle droid spotted spoke up, “Sir! I think they’re about to take a swoop.”
Darter quipped, “Yes! That was actually the plan!” and leapt onto the pilot seat. Tashkent jumped on behind him. Qillian held on to the back of the swoop and began pushing it, giving it a running start.
Sunmote bellowed, “SEAL THE EXTERNAL DOORS!”
The external doors slid toward each other at high velocity. (Qillian’s push results in 3 Advantages, which gave Darter a Boost dice to successfully roll his Pilot skill.) Qillian jumped onto the back. The doors slammed shut after the swoop had screamed out of the speeder lot, into open skies. (A second passenger during flight meant Darter had to roll a Setback dice with his Pilot skill.)
As the swoop dove downward because of the extra weight, Section 12 was jettisoned and slid out from the station’s restraining arm; a colossal piece of structure 600 meters in length. Gravity pulled it in the same direction Darter’s swoop was headed. The falling structure was catching up with them from above. The swoop disappeared into a cloud below the skystation. The orphaned Section 12 followed suit.
(Darter, even with the Setback dice, rolled 2 Successes!) The swoop flew back up from the cloud, away from Section 12’s trajectory. Darter climbed toward Smallberries Station. But before Section 12 crashed onto the surface of Hypori, it emitted a bright pulse of light and promptly disappeared, leaving an ionised cloud of particles behind the shape of the vanished module. The ionised cloud reacted with the surrounding moisture clouds. An ominous but spectacular lightning storm began.
“Aren’t you glad I lightened our load by stripping naked?” Darter shouted as the overtaxed swoop flew into the central ring and pulled up on deck right beside the Modesty Blaze. Simultaneously VEX and Tray arrived at the landing bay through the open blast doors.
The soup-stained VEX, wearing his new blue jumpsuit, walked up to Darter who was half-naked and glistening with lube. They both folded their arms and sized each other’s dubious physical looks.
Because they saved his life, Gir Tashkent paid them all that he had on him: 9000 credits, instead of the promised 7000. He said, “I have warehouses and factories in other Sections of Smallberries. I will recover my loss in Sector 12.”
Chief Bug Zapper and his security force arrived. After Tashkent’s explanation, Zapper commended the party for their bravery. Qillian whispered, “Yeah. Better not let them know where Sunmote got the droid caller from.”
When they were back on Modesty Blaze, it was time to plan their next job. Darter wondered aloud, “I wonder if Imperial Captain Tile would pay a reward for warning him about Sunmote.”
- Tashkent is an Earthly location, just like Antilles.
- The players initially thought that Smallberries Station was a converted Trade Federation warship.
- Jonn Smallberries is named after John Small Berries in the movie Buckaroo Banzai.
- Throsol is Welsh for “crowbar”.