Time is the Hunter
Episode 05: The Chandrila Extraction Fiasco
After their rescue of the rebel agent known as “The Skywalker”, who turned out to be a Togorian named Meow Skywalker, bounty hunter Jax Hunt (played by Irfan) and the amnesiac lady who then named herself Iris Helena (played by Ain) were taken aboart the VCX-100 frieghter Screeching Arrow to rendezvous with a Nebulon-B escort frigate at an unknown location in deep space.
After three days of being cooped up in the Arrow, Meow finally approached them with a mission.
“The mission will require you to travel to the Chandrila system in the Core Worlds to extract Imperial bureaucrat Ton Kelauae, his wife Aklu and his daughter Wencie. Land at Nayli Spaceport. The Kelauaes are holed up in Apartment 7C, Blackback Building. The Empire is looking for them and it will be a matter of time before they are discovered. Get to them before the Empire does and bring them back here.”
They accepted the mission.
The Journey to Chandrila
Iris piloted the Screeching Arrow as Jax manned the navigator’s console beside her. However Jax must have programmed the navicomputer badly because they flew too close to a hyperspace shadow of a black hole and something exploded, sending flames and sparks billowing in the main corridor behind the cockpit.
“Keep flying,” yelled Jax as he headed aft. “I’ll handle this.” At the corridor, a wall of flame blocked him and the automatic fire suppression system was knocked out. He steeled himself and jumped over the fire, reaching for the damage control panel on the wall beyond it. He hit the manual button and the suppressor force field killed the flames.
“I wish we had an astromech droid,” Jax said, studying the damage done by the overload explosion. He reported to Iris, “Our shields are dead. We’d better get them fixed before we get shot at.”
In the meantime, Jax started cooking some eggs for a light meal while Iris fussed over him and told him he reminded her of someone, perhaps a son.
She could not really remember.
The Landing at Nayli Spaceport
Two hours later or so, they reverted back to realspace off Chandrila. The ship automatically greeted Chandrila’s traffic control system and they were assigned Landing Bay 19 at Nayli Spaceport.
Iris guided the Arrow towards her berth. But 300 meters above it, the repulsorlift generators gave out and the ship plummeted downwards.
The good news was that Iris was able to reduce the damage to ship by skillful handling of the manoeuvring thrusters. The bad news was that the ship had flipped as it fell she landed the ship upside down in Landing Bay 19.
Before long, port authority and security personnel along with their droids helped get Jax and Iris out of the Arrow. Outside the ship, Iris grinned at Jax, “See? It’s good we wore seat belts.”
Officer Galveyaa, a human port authority bureaucrat told them it would cost them 600 credits to turn the over the Arrow. Jax was about to pay the man when Iris started haggling, bringing down the cost to 450 credits and dinner with him.
“What about repairs to the ship?” Jax asked.
Galveyaa turned to him and said, “We will have to look it over. Come back later and we will let you know.”
Looking for Fish
Chandrila was a Core World, which meant there was a strong Imperial presence here. Troopers, armoured and otherwise, could be seen patrolling the streets of the spaceport.
But what Iris really, really wanted was to buy some fish to eat.
Jax asked the locals where they could go find some fish. However they ended up at a local aquarium.
Looking for Blasters
Jax then realised Iris had not one weapon on her. Iris gleefully demanded to buy a hold-out blaster. Jax used his streetwise savvy to find out where they could buy a weapon although he complained, “We should really be getting back to finding the Kelauaes after this. We’re shopping, not carrying out the mission.”
They find themselves entering a darkened warehouse where a weapons supplier allegedly plied his trade but apparently Jax was not that savvy in streetwise.
The first thing that alerted them that something was wrong was the sudden lighting of two spotlights and the Imperial stormtrooper calling out, “Halt, gun smugglers! Drop your weapons and surrender in the name of the Empire!”
Iris looked at Jax. Jax looked back at Iris. Then Jax’s Relby-k23 blaster was suddenly in his hand. Two shots screamed. Both spotlights exploded in a shower of sparks. Darkness engulfed them all again.
“RUN!” Jax said as the stormtroopers opened up.
They ran while lethal red energy bolts criss-crossed the warehouse floor. Thankfully they burst out of the warehouse safe and sound. As they were crossing the street, the stormtroopers exited the warehouse, spotted them and four of them gave chase.
The duo slipped into an alley found a metal garbage container behind a stack of old cardboard boxes. Three stormtroopers ran by. The fourth stopped and peeked behind the boxes, but he retreated and joined his comrades after a second.
Jax’s head popped out of the garbage bin and noticed that he now smelled of day-old noodles. Iris turned saw that they were behind a restaurant, so she jumped out, entered the premises and ordered some fish. She ordered two steamed bluefish (one to eat and the other to take away) and Chandrilan apple juice to be precise. Jax refused to order any food as he was eager to get back to the mission.
After paying 12 credits, the putrescent duo left to head for Blackback Building and the restaurant manager glad to be rid of them.
The Siege of Blackback Building
Blackback Building was a mid-range fin-shaped apartment building constructed beside Blackback Hovertrain Station.
The lobby was empty. So was the front office. There were three lift doors. One slid open and a little old lady came out with armful of fish in a plastic bag. Iris eyed the lady’s bag of fish. The lady eyed Iris’ steamed bluefish.
Seven levels later, Jax decided to knock on the door of 7C and said, “Hello. We’re here to get you out of here.”
The door opened to reveal a little dark-skinned girl looking distressed and hungry. There were empty food canisters and packets all over the dinner table. The fridge door was open. Nothing was inside it.
Wencie Kelauae started crying, “I don’t know what to do! My parents left to get food two days ago and never returned. Please help me.”
Jax reassured her, “Come with us and you’ll be safe.”
“I’m hungry!” she sniffled.
“Here! Have some steamed bluefish!” Iris remarked happily, unpacking the food she had. They waited while the girl dined on the fish for several minutes.
Jax thought they could rest for a bit before they returned to the ship. But then Iris exclaimed in anger, pointing at the closed but transparent window where a floating Imperial probe droid was peering into the apartment and viewing them all with its multiple bug-like photoreceptors.
“Run!” Jax said, drawing his blaster pistol while Iris took Wencie by the hand and bolted for the lift.
The lift was a harrowing experience as the counter counted down to one. Would there be Imperials there when the doors parted open?
The lobby was still empty. They cautiously walked towards the open main doors.
That was when the Chariot command speeder came to a swift stop right outside the door and then a dozen silhouettes of stormtroopers scurried past the vehicle, about to storm the building.
Jax jumped through the door on the left while Iris and Wencie slipped through the one on the right.
Jax found himself in the building storage area with crates and boxes. Most of the crates were filled with machine parts, tools, old clothes and various equipment used by the building management. But he found a crate that concealed five blaster pistols, five grenades and one thermal detonator. Jax grinned under his helmet and grabbed the DL-18 blaster.
Iris found herself in the lobby restroom with four empty refresher stalls. Unarmed and wishing she had bought a hold-out blaster beforehand, she pushed Iris behind her and waited for the worst to happen.
Through the crack at the door, Jax saw eight stormtroopers enter the lobby. Each was armed with a BlasTech E-11 blaster rifle and the squad leader wore an orange pauldron. The squad leader ordered three troopers to open Jax’s door and another three to open Iris’ door.
Jax armed and rolled two grenades into the lobby.
They both exploded simultaneously. The three closest to Jax bore the brunt of the blast and but were only slightly wounded – though they were dazed. The three headed for Iris were thrown forward through the restroom door, but they were only stunned. Iris pounced on one and grabbed an E-11 rifle.
Somehow, the two in the middle: the squad leader and the sergeant stood unharmed.
Jax raised both his blasters – the Relby-k23 and the DL-18 – seeing that both troopers spinning towards him and were about to fire. But two blaster shots from Iris sent both Imperials to the floor in a smoking heap.
“We have to get back to the ship and get out of here,” Jax said.
“But I owe Officer Galveyaa dinner!” Iris said as they rushed out through the front doors.
All was moot anyway because right outside the building’s front entrance were at least three other squads of Imperial stormtroopers each pointing an E-11 (or a weapon of even higher lethality) at them. Jax heard an electronically enhanced voice call out, “Drop your weapons, rebels, or we will open fire!”
Time seemed to move in slow motion. Iris spun and saw three survivors of the squad from the lobby approach them from the rear, their weapons drawn. She held Wencie closer. Jax put away his blasters.
But then he slowly reached for two more grenades.
- Originally I had chosen the VCX-100 to be named the Laughing Arrow.
- The bluefish was also originally identified as bruallki, but the bruallki was not clearly identified as fish officially.
- I finally got to use the Into the Core Worlds article in Star Wars Adventure Journal #6. Yay.
- The PC interactions more or less happened the way I wrote them.
- We played on our bed in our pyjamas, therefore no photos of us.