Voyage of the Fickle Clemency
- Gev Dyson – Bounty hunter (Edward)
- Ordan Vallas – Minor Jedi (Eduardo)
- Zor Draco – Former TIE fighter pilot (Martín)
- Pac Vesme – Former Alliance SpecForce Urban Combat Specialist (Mario)
- R4-3T – Astromech droid (NPC)
The new team of Rangers are settling down on the mountain base on Vandor. However, Captain Goddard & his YT-2000 ship Rough Profits are away on another mission.
Their Ops Officer is the New Republic intelligence Major Tailgunner, who calls Zor Draco, Gev Dyson and Ordan Vallas to the Rangers’ conference room to introduce them to a new member of the team. He greets them all, “Hi everyone. My name is Pac, Pac Vesme. I was a SpecForce urban combat specialist. If the action is in the streets, I’m your dude.”
Tailgunner says, “Pac here has signed up to help us clean up the Outer Rim. But as you can see, we have transportation problems. All the starships used for the evacuation of Vandor two weeks ago have returned to their assigned New Republic posts across the sector. So we need new ships and we need them now. Here’s the mission.”
“There is an Imperial vehicle storage facility in the abandoned city of Par Mabis. Now Pac would know about this as it is located on his home planet of Hetzal Prime. As far as we know there is at least one Gozanti-class cruiser. Your job is to go to Par Mabis, break the lock on the cruiser and bring it home. Here’s the problem: The entire city is still shrouded in a lethal chemical agent, mycotrine-12.. We will furnish you with NBC suits, then you need to travel to Hetzal Prime.”
“Great,” Pac mutters. “The one place in the galaxy I’d hoped to stay away from.”
“Do you think there might be any fighters to procure?” Zor asks.
“We believe there is a squadron of fighters stored there,” Tailgunner informs him. “but our agent on Hetzal Prime was killed before he was able to send any more information.”
“Hope he wasn’t tortured,” says Ordan.
“No. He was hit by a speeder crossing the road in the city of Toratin, 350 kilometres away from Par Mabis. I told him not to send messages when crossing streets. In any case, we have gotten you tickets on a cargo ship from Vandor to Hetzal Prime. You leave within the hour.” She hits a red glowing button on her panel and the teams’ datapads beep, receiving the travel confirmation.
“We’ll be ready to depart in 15 minutes,” Zor announces. “Major, with your authorisation, I’m taking command of this mission.
“Former Captain Draco, the mission is yours,” Tailgunner tells him. “In fact, I received authorization to give you a field commission of New Republic Captain-Supervisor.”
Half an hour later, the skies are clear — a rare sight in this region — though the sun is still hidden behind low clouds at the eastern horizon. Twenty kilometres away from the outpost is a cluster of semi-circular landing pads constructed precariously over a snowy cliff. Below the landing pads is a loud, roaring waterfall that pours from a dark cave opening into the seemingly bottomless gorge below…
There is an old dark grey-painted HT-2200 transport on Pad Three, the Fickle Clemency captained by a Shistavanen named G’morque. She welcomes Zor, Gev, Ordan, Pac and R4 aboard and requests they remain in the starboard cargo compartment for the duration of the journey. The compartment, they discover, is full of old agricultural machinery.
Pac sighs, “This brings back memories, and not the good ones.” G’morque brings the team to an alcove at the inner wall of the starboard cargo compartment. The rest of the compartment is cordoned off by tape. There is a connecting to refresher, and four sleeping bags on the deck, which is strewn with hay. Zor says, “Well, I’ve seen less comfortable places. Thank you, ma’am.”
G’morque growls, “It will take 20 hours to reach our destination, gentlemen. We will take off now.”
Soon, they are in hyperspace.
Soon, Zor decides to formulate a plan with the team. “Pac, you’ll be in charge of tactics, since it’s your turf and your area of expertise. What’s your advice?”
There is a loud snore from Pac on his sleeping bag.
By the sixth hour of the ship’s voyage, all the gyrating as it streaks through hyperspace makes Pac’s stomach feel bad. (Everyone rolled Stamina, only Pac missed the Difficulty number by 1). He needs to use the refresher.
Gev says, “Where did the Republic find this hunk of junk freighter?”
Zor calls the captain by comlink, “Captain G’Morque, I think there is some problem with this ship, why are we gyrating so much?”
There is a reply,, “This is Captain G’morque. I will look into it in a bit. In the meantime, lunch will be served.”
Meanwhile Pac rushes for the ‘fresher. It smells inhuman. Water is flowing intermittently, but at least there’s water.
Ordan says, “I’m not sure if Pac will be up for lunch but I could have his.”
“Oh, good. Lunch! I’m famished!” Gev unseals his helmet with a slight hiss and takes it off. Zor rolls his eyes, “You know you can leave the helmet off when we’re not on a mission.”
Ten minutes later, the cargo bay personnel door slides sideways and G’morque enters, followed by a rust-encrusted R2 unit that might have been white and purple. The astromech droid is pushing a hovercart with a dented food tray and a black metal dome cover. Is this their food?
Meanwhile, Pac exits the rank ‘fresher making a face, “Ugh! Guys, I think a Mythrol used the ‘fresher before me.”
“Dinner,” G’morque says with a smile – maybe a feral sneer – on her face, “is served.”
They expect the worst, but instead under the cover is fresh Chandrilan squall tendermeat, pickled blackbeak eggs with neonan red cheese from the Tapani sector, Corellian ryshcate as desert pastry, and three jugs of meiloorun-flavoured fizzyglug. There is enough for all the passengers. “Enjoy,” says the captain.
Ordan says, “I love meiloorun!”
Zor says, “Well, this is amazing. Compliments to the chef. That neonan cheese looks delightful.”
Her astromech droid blows an electronic raspberry at R4 and heads out. G’morque says with a dramatic flair. “I am the chef! Thank you! My first passion is for cooking! I hope you enjoy it.”
They eat well and are very much refreshed before they even reach Hetzal Prime.
The Fickle Clemency drops out of hyperspace at the twentieth hour of their journey. The ship flies past abandoned orbital structures including a hyperspace booster ring park. Staying away from the capital city of Aguirre, G’morque lands the ship at a vast grassland rimmed by a forest of gnarled trees. The Rangers don their NBC suits and thank Captain G’morque for her service. Upon deployment with weapons ready, the Fickle Clemency takes to the sky and vanishes into the blue.
Suddenly the team notices an approaching lime green vehicle. Pac (with a roll of 21 on his 6D+1 Streetwise skill) identifies a convertible civilian-modified Uulshos Chariot speeder. They draw their blasters and take cover behind some open crates and an overturned 9001 Z003 speeder on the grass. Ordan does not ignite his lightsabre.
The speeder stops five metres away and a white armoured stormtrooper helmet peeks out from behind the windshield. Zor calls out, “Identify yourself!”
“Don’t shoot!” a voice cries out. “If you want to shoot at least shoot at one of the kinrath that the Imps brought out here to make it hard for us Hetzal Prime citizens.” An old lady about 1.4 metres tall limps out of the driver’s seat and removes her Imperial helmet. She wears a floral pattern frock and mesh armor. “I promised my son Sandy that I would help you with your mission before he died. That awful Trast speeder truck in the city. Sorry I scared you.”
Zor walks out of cover, gun still in hand. “Your help is welcome, ma’am.”
Gev asks, “Uh, isn’t the air here toxic?”
The woman answers, “No. The mycotrine-12 toxin is contained in Nuqqas Valley. My name is Stassie McPing, my son Sandy — Sandsmurch — was your contact here. Force rest his lazy bum of a soul.” She also recognises her fellow Hetzal compatriot. “Waiiit- Pac? Pac is that you? Little Pac? I knew your mother! Where have you been? You’re all grown up now!”
Pac stutters, “I… yes, I am… Ma’am.”
Gev says, “So we’re wearing these stupid suits for no reason.”
Gev spots (with a 3D Perception roll of 12) something that bursts through the wizened, twisted trees at the western side of the field. The arachnid-like creature is pale, at least 3 meters tall, and scurrying towards them. It emits a feral screech. Its forward pincers look quite lethal. Mrs. McPing yells, “A wild kinrath! Be careful of its venom stinger!” The creature is rushing towards them but has to cross distance across the grass. The Rangers draw their blasters and lightsabre, then leap into action.
Zor’s blaster puts a glowing hole through the creature’s arm. The blast made. Mrs. McPing screams in terror. Then Pac’s blaster bolt glances off the creature’s armored head, its front claws rearing high as it advances still. Gev strides out confidently and fires twice at the incoming beast, now 20 metres away. Both shots strike home, The bolts explode out the back with a bunch of internal organs and smoking goo.
The creature falls to the ground with a thud mere five metres away. Its arms are still twitching. R4 appears from behind a crate a beeps a sigh of relief.
“Thank you. Thank you!” says Mrs. McPing. “Usually when a kinrath charges like that, people die. It’s why I’m wearing armor.” She gestures to the lime green Chariot speeder. “Shall we?”
“Are these things common around here?” Zor asks.
“They aren’t from here,” she says as she hobbles back to her Chariot speeder. “During the year of Imperial defeat, the local Imperial prefect imported them from offworld just to spite us Hetzal citizens. My husband was killed by a kinrath.” She seems sad.
“I’m sorry for your loss, Mrs. McPing,” says Zor. She climbs into the driver’s cabin. There is an open hatch that leads to the convertible open air passenger’s cabin in the back. They climb aboard using a short, foldable ladder.
The engine roars to life but before she guns the throttle. “I will never, ever forgive the Imperial prefect who ruled here before fleeing away — a coward — evil if ever the word has meaning. If I can find him,” she pauses then produces an E-22 blaster rifle from a hidden compartment, “I will kill him and his kin. Imperial Prefect Tanus Draco!”
Captain-Supervisor Zor Draco’s eyes slowly went wide upon hearing this.
- Nuqqas in Maltese means “Failure”.
- Kinraths are from Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic video game.
- Hetzal Prime is from The High Repulic.
- First time playing with Pac’s player Mario after knowing him for almost 20 years since the Holonet Forums.