Shooting Zebras – Bad Example, Episode 2 Part 1

A Bad Example of a logo

A Bad Example of a logo

I ran the second episode of Star Wars: A Bad Example In The Spacelanes last weekend with the GOKL crew. Without Adrian, Tickley the Jawa Jedi would be relegated to behind-the-scenes NPC while the rest of the crew did their thing.

In Bad Example In The Spacelanes Episode 1: Pilot, Or Lack Thereof, some stuff happened which you can read here.

Here follows the story of the game that was ran:

Episode 2: Crab Meat Beach Party

Long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

The shipping line to the mining community of Port Barrow on the planet Sriluur was under constant raid from pirates. Because Port Barrow was being developed and industrialized by the outlander human Tam Gromer, it was relatively shunned by the rest of the planet. However, after the arrival of the crew of the yacht Bad Example, three pirate YT-1760 freighters had been taken out of commission. Two had been captured and one destroyed.

Fearing a retaliation from the Five Skulls Pirates, the crew of the Bad Example planned take down the pirates at their base.


The drum-beat strains of the night remain in the rhythm of the newborn day. The captured pirate YT-1760, still stinking of garbage, and the battered Luxury 3000 yacht Bad Example sat side-by-side upon Port Barrow’s landing field. Several kilometres into the city a column of smoke drifted upwards from the town’s junk yard since the previous afternoon where the other YT-1760 crashed. The junk yard owners had been celebrating all night for their glorious bounty that had literally fallen from of the sky.

Tam Gromer arrived to speak to the crew of the Bad Example, just as the Jawa known as Tickley leaves to help with the repairing of the landing field. He said to them, “So, you’re going to the pirates?”

Captain Hunter Maelstrom said, “We will stop them before they wreak more havoc with your shipping, and we’ll make sure they’ll stay down. Then, we’ll be back for rewards and such.”

Annie the Trianii, who Captain Maelstrom belonged to, nodded his head in agreement as she licked her sharp talons.

“Do you know how to find them?”

“We will use their own ship’s navicomputer to determine where they originate,” exclaimed Hunter with enthusiasm.

“Good luck,” Gromer told them. “And don’t get killed.” He shook their hands beginning with Hunter, then Annie, Weapon-X the HK-78 protocol droid, Aden the former clone trooper and finally the reptilian Ssssawar the Trandoshan who sometimes was their gourmet chef, though Hunter and Aden did not really agree with his choice of ingredients.

After Gromer left, they all boarded the Bad Example and flew to the moon where they left the YT-1760 they had commandeered when they first arrived at Sriluur and transferred to it. Searching the captured freighter, Weapon-X discovered a hidden box filled with 6 thermal detonators. They attempted to decrypt the pirate’s navicomputer. Ultimately, the computer parsed the coordinates onto a star map display. The location that the freighter came from was a point in the ninth asteroid belt in the Oseon system.

Leaving the Bad Example safely in the moon’s crater, they hauled jets for Oseon immediately.


The Oseon system was covered in multiple nested shells of gases and asteroids, images of broken light which danced before them like a million eyes. Once a year, the gases would ignite to display a thousand different glowing colours and lightning discharges. Thousand of tourists that would come to observe this system-wide phenomena, known as the “Flamewind”, would be trapped in any one of hundreds of asteroid-based holiday resorts for a few weeks. Radiation surges, lightning discharges and space on fire had destroyed more than one approaching ships during the Flamewind.

Weapon-X said, “These pirates hide in a resort system filled with thousands of tourists? That’s illogical.”

“Not really,” Hunter said. “There’s virtually no one here off-season. Otherwise, the Flamewind would make it difficult for anyone to find them. This is the perfect hiding place for them to launch raids from.”

Annie, sitting in the pilot’s seat, reported, “According to the navicomputer, they are 30 kilometres into the asteroid field in front of us.”

“Then I guess, we go in.” The pirate freighter fired its main thrusters and flew into the wall of rocks before them. Ssssawar and Aden hopped into the gunwells, taking control of a quad laser cannon each. Hunter piloted the ship skillfully past the nickel-iron masses, big and small. Finally, they came upon the coordinates.

There was a large empty spot among the asteroids. The ship’s sensors informed them that the empty spot was almost three kilometres in diameter.

“They’re gone,” hissed Ssssawar.

“When three of their ships didn’t come back, they probably thought it prudent to leave,” said Hunter. “Very clever for a change, these pirates.”

Annie brought Hunter’s attention to the scopes. There was a ship in the empty spot with them. A fleeing YT-1760 bearing the Five Skulls emblem. Naturally, they gunned the throttle and gave chase. Their prey accelerated and slipped around a large, black asteroid near the wall of the open space. Annie moved her controls so their ship would fly around the other side of the rock and meet their opponent head on.

Zebra starfighter

Zebra starfighter

However, their approaching opponents turned out to be not just a single YT-1760, but also a flight of three boxy Hyrotil Vehicle Works Zebra starfighters, small and weak-hulled, but with a pair of deadly forward-pointed laser cannons. Skimming the asteroid, the enemy YT-1760 fired its braking thrusters allowing the Zebras to slip to the front, then it jinked away. The flight leader edged further forward and started firing with green bolts at the Bad Example crew’s captured freighter. Aboard the ship, Hunter and Annie began to swap places while Weapon-X waited at the lounge with a blaster rifle and a heavy blaster pistol on either hand.

The lead Zebra’s fire almost struck their ship when Ssssawar’s quick fire, followed by Aden’s barrage hit the ship, which exploded in a ball of flame for a moment. The cloud of gases and debris, however, kept expanding until it was invisible.

With Annie in the pilot seat, she pressed on the intership comlink and started to describe vividly to the surviving pilots how delicious their pirates’ dead friends had been. The remaining two Zebras pressed on, combining their fire. However, the pilots were shaken by Annie’s description of how succulent their comrades’ meat were and how crunchy their bones had been that their shots went wild. Aden’s and Ssssawar’s shots did not. The Zebra on the left exploded while the one on the right flew past them. The gunners swung their quad cannons around to track the Zebra.

Aided by his scopes, Hunter saw that the nearly-forgotten pirate YT-1760 had stealthily approached them from the asteroid below and had positioned itself to board them via the side lifepod which had been modified to serve as airlocks. Hunter announced to the crew, “We’ll have boarders at the portside airlock!” Weapon-X armed his blasters as he waited in the lifepod, as the captain made it easier for the enemy ship to mate airlocks.

Meanwhile, the final Zebra was making its turn to drop into their YT-1760’s six o-clock position. Short bursts of crimson energy bolts from both Ssssawar and Aden quickly put a stop to that. Spectacularly.

“Airlocks are connected, sealed and secure!” Hunter announced.

“Okay,” said Weapon-X who threw away his blasters, took out a thermal detonator from a pouch and armed it. Just as the airlock started to open, he threw it in and closed the door from his side. There was a muffled boom. When Weapon-X opened the airlock door again after counting to five, the inside of the airlock smelled of barbecue. However, being a droid all he cared for was counting charred masses on the floor, walls and ceiling. Six pirates, all well done.

In the cockpit, Annie was still talking into the comlink. She was letting any surviving pirates that there would be space left in her pantry to store their bodies dead or alive before starting to cook or to eat them raw. This caused a sudden outburst from the enemy cockpit. “Shut up! Shut up! You will not eat me! You will not kill me! I will tear you apart if you’ve killed any of my-”

The sudden silence was caused by the muzzle of Ssssawar’s blaster pistol on the back of the pirate’s head. The Trandoshan asked, “How many people do you have on the sssship?”

The pirate was a broken man. “S-s-six boarders… and me as pilot.”

Weapon-X reported by comlink, “Looks like we got ’em all.”


Annie and Ssssawar, both with newly-sharpened talons and teeth respectively, interrogated the surviving pirate.

“Where issss your pirate outposssst?”

“I don’t know. I wasn’t told where they were going in case I was captured.”

“How will you return to it if you didn’t know where they were?” asked Annie as she chewed on his earlobes a bit.

“They will contact me. In a week or two. If I gave them the all-clear code, they’ll let me know where Irontooth Station will be!”

“Irontooth Sssstation, eh? What issss the all-clear code?” Annie’s foretalons were leaving marks on the trembling man’s cheeks.

“T-t-the rose is red but the snow is white.” There was the smell of urine in the air as the fearful man relieved himself.

After throwing the pirate in the brig and mopping up the airlock on the enemy’s side a bit, Hunter piloted their own YT-1760 with Aden and Ssssawar aboard, while Annie took the controls of the newly-captured YT-1760, aided by Weapon-X. They piloted out of the asteroid belt, but Annie’s ship scraped a few space rocks. Luckily, damage was only superficial. However, returning to Sriluur became a chore. Bad calculations caused Hunter’s ship to skim close to an unknown gravity well which might have been a singularity or a neutron star, causing an overload that destroyed the weapons’ circuitry leaving both quad cannons inoperable. Hunter dropped out of hyperspace near Sriluur and they waited for Annie’ ship.

Annie and Weapon-X arrived almost 12 hours later citing difficulties in hyperspace caused by radiation surges.

Both ships made planetfall and arrived at Port Barrow where Gromer and Tickley stood waiting. Tickley immediately went to work on damages on the ship, aided by Gromer Imports technicians while Aden and Ssssawar marched the captured pirate to the local constabulary. Gromer said to Hunter, “Another ship? Soon, we’ll have our own fleet back but did you find the pirate base?”

“No,” Hunter said. “We tracked the pirates to Oseon. Their base was hidden in the Oseon system, but they’ve left. We did capture a pirate and learnt one of their all-clear codes.”

Gromer pulled out a datapad from a breast pocket and showed it to them. “We have new intel that you might be interested in. We’ve learnt that only one man escaped from the Five Skulls before. His name is Hobb Kersil. He’s seventy-five years old and used to be a spacer. According to reports, he’s had enough of pirate attacks and seeing his friends being killed that he’d retired to a tropical island on the planet Vendaxa. It’s at the equator, east of the western continent. He might be able to help you track the Five Skulls’ home base ”

Annie said, “Between the choice of waiting a week or two for the pirates to contact our captured pirate friend… and going on a mission…”

Hunter continued, “We’ll go look for Hobb Kersil, Gromer.”

It would be some hours later before Tickley and his ad-hoc retinue of technicians and droids finished repairing their YT-1760. Hunter purchased an astromech droid, a gold-and-white unit named R4-T61, for their astrogational purposes. Additionally, Annie had taken the transponder from the other freighter and jury-rigged it so that they would have two transponder. Their captured YT-1760 was officially renamed the Raspberry Beret. And when a switch was flipped, it would broadcast its identity as the Five Skulls pirate freighter Rapscallion Ragamuffin. With the Beret‘s weapons back online, they said goodbye to Tickley and headed to the moon to transfer back onto the Bad Example.

Soon, the Bad Example was on its way towards Vendaxa with its crew of six.

They planned on not scaring the elderly Hobb Kersil too much with a mission that might involve tangling with pirates. So, they planned a banquet for Kersil to soften him up before asking when they find him. Weapon-X was almost shanghaied into wearing a maid’s uniform to help in “guest relations” aboard the Bad Example, but he decided on wearing a tuxedo instead.

When they reverted back to realspace, the serene, blue-green sphere known as Vendaxa greeted them silently. Following the directions given by Gromer, Hunter dived into the atmosphere and skimmed close to the open sea as he piloted the ship towards what’s known on the map as “Acklay Island”. Acklay Island was ten kilometers in length along its long axis. There was nothing but thick, dense foliage upon it. For a minute or so, they thought there was no place to land until the scopes spotted a stretch of clear sandy beach 300 meters long at its western tip.

The Bad Example settled onto the beach in a brief puff of billowing sand.

Leaving R4-T61 to guard the ship, the group descended from the luxury yacht with weapons ready. A thick wall of greenery stood unyielding before them. Soothing, roiling waves beckoned them from the ocean, which they ignored.

“I’ll go first,” said Aden. The former clone trooper pushed the leaves, branches and stalks aside creating a tunnel in the jungle. Ssssawar eagerly followed him. Weapon-X, still in tuxedo, went next followed by Annie. Hunter was rear guard.

“I wonder what a seventy five-year old man is doing retired here in this blasted jungle?” Annie growled as they hiked through the jungle.

Almost an half an hour later, Aden was clearing a path in front of them when he discovered something after pulling back on a cluster of low branches, thick with large, wet leaves. It was a quadrupedal creature with strange earstalks. Its skin was a leathery yellowish-brown with green highlights. It was poised for an attack. And it was salivating.

Aden slowly put the branches back to cover the creature from view again. He turned to Ssssawar and told him, “It’s for you.”

Then with a roar, the animal jumped through the foliage in a burst of leaves and branched, its teeth going for Aden’s head.


Click here to read part 2.

Posted in Artwork, GOKL Actual Play, Role Playing Games, RPG Actual Play, Star Wars, SWD6: A Bad Example in the Spacelanes and tagged , , , , , , .

Khairul Hisham J. is a tabletop RPG artist, writer, proofreader, translator, teacher, grad student and learner-in-general.

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