A Tangled Web

How much is that Nexu in the window? 2

Old enemies, new friends and a cargo to deliver..

Passing through Quarantine Control and into the station, the team realises that it is very early morning, station time. With nothing to do till morning, they decide to catch some shut eye. Tarlo heads off to his bunk, while Slugg and Hok secure a room. This leaves EXE roaming the quiet halls of the sleeping station.

While walking around the dark shops of the Marketplace, a tall human looms out of the darkness. Seeing only EXE’s protocol droid exterior, he flashes and Imperial Seal and demands the droid follow him. The Imperial agent leads EXE to a small compartment hidden behind a fake panel. In the room is a small desk, two chairs and a terrified Rodian. Impatiently motioning for the droid to enter, the man closes the door and takes the other chair, forcing EXE into an awkward perch behind the Imperial. For the next hour the now evident Imperial Security Bureau (ISB) agent uses EXE to grill the Rodian mercilessly, probing for information about something called ‘Tanglefish’ and someone called ‘Commander Reman’. The Rodian seems to know little and finally, disgusted, the Imperial motions for the Rodian to leave. Astounded to find himself still alive, the Rodian darts out of the room. Seemingly forgetting about the droid entirely, the ISB agent continues to work on his datapad. EXE, feeling the pressure of his dead-man programming and his need to punsish the Empire, considers the matter for a moment, before extending his integral vibroblade and clinically embedding it into the agent’s neck, severing his spinal cord. After waiting a moment to confirm the man is dead, he leaves the room, closing the door behind him and continuing his nocturnal wandering.

Morning comes, and the team assembles again in backroom of The Maw with Drax. The infochant gives them the remainder of the mission.

It seems that a Hutt called Greebo is looking for a Nexu to ‘liven up’ his palace. To complete the mission, the team needs to deliver the Nexu to Greebo on Cato Nemoidia. The catch being to get past the Imperial customs station at Quellor.

Sitting down, the team pools it’s knowledge and comes up with an solid plan to use a shipment of live Kellfish, a particular delicacy on Cato Nemoidia, to smuggle the Nexu past the Imperial scanners. All that is required is some solid paperwork to backup the story. Unfortunately, this is where the plan comes unstuck as Tarlo, perhaps still feeling the after-effects of the previous day, is unable to create convincing enough documentation.

Wisely not risking the caper on bad documents, the team reconsiders their options with Hok remembering the encrypted disks recovered from the Yiyar captain’s office. A call to Drax and they get a name of a slicer that owes him a favour. Offering a favour for a favour, they head up to Droid Services to crack the disks. After an encounter with a remarkably insistent underling, resolved by EXE administering a much needed ‘Glasgow kiss’, the team meets the slicer, Shia who duly cracks the data.

Accessing the database, they find the network of Yiyar smuggling routes, including one that bypasses the Quellor customs station. Armed with this data, they head back to Far Horizon after shopping for supplies and food for the Nexu.

Passing back through the corridors to the ship, the team encounters an old friend- Rasz. While he looks a little more harried, he is still in fine form, all but accusing Tarlo of stealing a hyperdrive motivator from him (which he of course did- but not deliberately) and warning him again to stay out of Nova Watch business. Heated words are exchanged, but no blood, and after a final warning, Rasz leaves. With no further impediments, the team boards the Far Horizon and leaves Pronus-6 again.

After a quick stop off in-system to pick up a cargo of Kellfish (Hok not being one to fly with an empty hold), they begin the haul to Cato Nemoidia. On route, the team takes the opportunity to get to know eachother.

From Exodeen, they begin to track the Yiyar smuggling route. The first leg proves a little difficult to plot and, as a result, the Far Horizon emerges from jump inside a meteor storm. Proving his piloting skills exceed his astrogation ability, Hok extricates the ship with nothing more that some mild system strain. Breathing a sigh of relief, the team takes the opportunity to look around. In the distance is a cluster of shipping containers escorted by a single Y-wing, which starts to vector towards their ship. This is clearly a hidden Yiyar trans-shipment point.

Not wanting to mix-it-up with the incoming fighter, Hok begins to plot the next jump. Tarlo, thinking fast, mutters something about IFF and begins searching the Yiyar database and finds a recognition code buried in it’s depths. Quickly transmitting the code, the team watches as the Y-wing breaks off it’s approach and returns to the cargo containers.

Now with all the time in the world, Hok carefully programs the final leg into the navicomupter and jumps the ship out.

Emerging from hyperspace over Cato Nemoidia, they encouter no issues with decending to the bridge city of Zarra. While Slugg and EXE secure the ship, Hok starts by attempting to sell their cargo of Kellfish but can’t meet the negotiating tactics of the local Nemoidians. Instead, the team heads out into the city to find the palace of Greebo the Hutt.

From the locals, the team discovers the way to Greebo if you don’t come with an invite: casino floorboss to majordomo to Hutt.

Greebo’s palace is a building of many faces- depending on who you are. For the tourists, it is a pleasure dome- part casino, part theatre, part hotel. For those on the darker side, it is part slave pen, part spice den, part brothel. For the rich and powerful, it is the place of power for Greebo. For our heroes, the way in is the harder road.

As the team enters Greebo’s main casino, several plans are put in place to attempt to make the first link in the chain- the casino floorboss. Eschewing the subtle approach, Hok immediately heads for the sabbac tables. In an amazing set of hands, he proceeds to triumphantly secures the entire pot- the result of more than a few hours of play. This immediately attracts the floorboss and Hok expertly capitalises on this, securing first his attention, and then his support, in their quest to meet Greebo. With the enthusiastic support of the floorboss, they are next ushered into the presence of Rou, Greebo’s human majordomo.

Treading lightly, Tarlo takes the lead and flatters Rou …carefully… and lays out their business. Recognising his master’s interest in acquiring a Nexu, Rou agrees to pass them and, before long, the team finds themselves in the throneroom of Greebo the Hutt … alone!

The negotiation for the Nexu is handled quickly, far more quickly than the team would have expected, with little of the games Hutt’s are renowned for. The reason, and the reason for the empty room, becomes clear. Greebo is having a problem with a local smuggler- a smuggler who is quite well connected with the local Nemoidian government. As a relative newcommer, Greebo must move carefully but cannot let the smuggler operate with impunity. Therefore, as a small service prior to completing their transaction for the Nexu, Greebo would like the team to address his problem. How, is up them, just there can be no link back to Greebo. Recognising that saying ‘no’ to a Hutt in his own throneroom is not the smartest option, the team agrees.

On the way to the palace’s speeder hanger, Rou gives them their breifing: Hake Senpath is latest scion of an old Cato Nemoidian family fallen hard on rough times. He is presently running a spice smuggling operation in an effort to rebuild his families’s fortune. He is relying on his old family contacts to protect him from Greebo’s.

Taking a speeder to the ruined bridge city of Tarko-Se, the team sets about finding the elusive Hake Senpath. As it turn out, he isn’t all that elusive, being holed up in the ruins of his families’ old Treasury- part townhouse, part treasure vault.

Casing the joint, the team observes an Aqualish leaving the building and heading to the local market. Deciding to use distraction to pick his pocket, EXE and Slugg stage an altercation that ‘accidently’ knocks him over. This works, and Tarlo completes the lift, but- Aqualish being Aqualish- he quickly gets to his feet and immediately swings at Slugg. A short brawl ensues and the Aqualish is quickly laid out on the ground- with EXE immediately rifling through his pocket!

Now possessing the key to the front door, the team heads back to the Treasury but wisely decides not to just walk in. Giving the matter some thought, they decide to see if there are other entrances. Recognising that, as a city built on a bridge, the main services aren’t going to be buried, but rather built into the base of the bridge. Searching throught he ruins of the surrounding buildings, Tarlo discovers an entrance to the service levels.

Tracking their way to the base of the Senpath Treasury, the team discovers a garbage chute leading up into the building. Exercising his thief’s skills, Tarlo disarms the security screamer and the team scales the garbage chute into the lower floor of the Senpath treasury. Searching around, the team finds some broken elevators and some stairs leading up to the ground floor. Tarlo, showing some light feet, sneaks up he stairs and sees a squad of 4 B1 battle droids patrolling the floor, confirming the wisdom of not just opening the front door. Now knowing there is pain around, both EXE and Hok are all for charging in guns blazing- but after a second thought the team cools down and decide to check out the lift shaft again. This time actually looking, they see the maintenance ladder leading up and decide to use it instead.

Now up on the upper floor, Tarlo and Hok begin to stealth down the main corridor, checking out the rooms. Tarlo moves like a wraith- Hok, not so much and attracts the attention of the doids. Thinking on his feet, Tarlo tosses some rubble into the lift shaft.

Unknown to the team, the droids hear the noise- both the squad they do know about, and a second squad they haven’t seen yet. Knowing there are only two entrances to the lift shaft, one squad heads up stairs, the other down stairs.

As one squad of droids starts coming up the stairs, Tarlo and Hok continue to stealthily check out the room on the upper floor and, eventually, Tarlo discovers Hake at his desk in his office.

The rest of the team, watching the progress of the droids, prepares an ambush. As they enter the main corridor, Hok gets off the first shot, drilling a round through two droids in one shot: 2-for-1.

All hell breaks loose.

Another shot from Hok and the other two droids drop. Tarlo, fearing he’s just about to become the squishy meat in a bad-guy sandwich runs out of the line of fire as both Hake and his crew burst out of their respective rooms, attracted by the noise of Hok’s rifle. Suddenly, Hok is standing pretty exposed. Reacting quickly, he drills one of the crew but takes a hard shot from Hake. Running into cover, general firefight ensues, with Hok, EXE and Slugg gunning it out with Hake and his crew. In the chaos, Hok takes another hit and Hake’s crew are dropped. Taking advantage of the distraction, Hake disappears.

With the second set of droids approaching, the team scrambles around trying to find where Hake went. After some peering under doors and a SAS-worthy breach and clear of and empty room with a stun grenade from Tarlo, an escape hatch down to the old vault is discoverd in Hake’s office- from which you can hear the sound of ship’s engines starting up. Hok stands rear guard as Slugg and EXE toss themselves into the hole and Tarlo tries to work out how to he help without getting hurt.

Through the hole, you discover the old vault room that Hake has turned into a hanger for his ship- a YT-2400 freighter. A really solid perception check reveals two very heavy hangers doors driven (barely) by a set of motors. Slugg puts a round into one of them, destroying the motor and stranding the ship. In the meantime, the droids redirect to the old vault doors, leaving a trashed droid behind thanks to Hok. Finally…Hake has come to the ranp of his ship and tossed a shot at EXE, EXE’s return fire missed but Slugg landed a round, a grenade from Hok aimed at the droids misses, but a follow-up shot from Tarlo drops another one, the droids have opened the door and are taking aim at Slugg……

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