he tragedy of Bodir and the horror of the Unknown Regions well behind them, our heroes have returned to celebration on Dantooine with the surviving Wookies and friends alike. Amazingly our heroes have also managed to hold onto the Ellison’s Fury, a IMPERIAL Dreadnaught left abandoned by it’s crew and commander.
As THE TARISIAN pushes our heroes to agree to their next mission on his behalf, the captured Dreadnaught in orbit of Dantooine has only added to the growing legend and prestige of the party, as the number of commitments they have made rises as well.
With this rise in our heroes prestige however comes a rise in those who seek out and hunt the party for their own devious purposes…
Myth or Phantom Menace?
Both Aidan and Kalko were both utterly stunned to hear the name of the Corpse Droid mentioned by The Tarisian. Until now both still held doubt that the reverse cyborg Negas spoke so fearfully of to the Direktoranda was nothing but a hoax. Yet hearing that this strange Parias was on the hunt for the creature, and had tracked it to Dantooine no less was very disturbing. At once Kalko and Aidan explained everything they knew of, or had heard of the Corpse Droid, the rumors of his devious missions at the hands of the Hunto Pawa, his desire to harvest fresh limbs and organs to integrate with his droid body, no details were spared.
The Tarisian was visibly shaken by this news, and asked that they all find this Parias at once if the Corpse Droid did indeed pose a credible threat. It had turned out that Parias had just left however, chartering passage offworld on transport that had just left for hyperspace.
Though disapointed the Tarisian told Kalko and Aidan not to worry necessarily, he had said that Parias had told him he would be tracking the Corpse Droid to the Tapani Sector, and would contact the Tarisian from there in no less than a week. Still concerned over the threat the Corpse Droid posed, they moved on to other business.
A Friend in Need
Meanwhile back on the the Neimoidian shuttle, Nyla and Akira were both teaching the twins Elsae & Eldewn Force levitation techniques, when Miss M’Row came to tell Akira that his girlfriend Dyneh Lonin was looking for him and needed to speak with him. After telling the twins and Nyla that he would be back shortly Akira left with the Tarisian’s Zeltron secretary.
As the twins practiced their levitation in relative quiet, Nyla thought that this would be a good time to attempt a farseeing use of the Force on Darius, to see if her friend was safe after they had left him and his friends on Laponth. Nyla knelt on the ships floor, closed her eyes and opened up her mind to the Force. Within seconds she could see Darius, but instead of being safe and in the company of his fellow Stormtroopers he was in pain, in agony in fact and surrounded by flames. Nyla gasped in horror and instantly lost her connection to him, for a moment she forgot where she was as she feared that her good friend was fatally wounded, but soon realized that Elsae was staring at Nyla while Eldewn practiced on.
Nyla remembered back to Akira telling her about Elsae’s strange if uncontrolled farseeing abilities, and how she may have seen The Navigator in her dreams weeks before they arrived in the orbit of Bodir. Nyla also remembered Eldwen telling her about her sisters ability to see the future sometimes, even if she didn’t want to. Nyla asked Elsae if she too had seen what Nyla had seen, and if she had used her farseeing abilities to do so. When Elsae simply stared at Nyla she repeated the question, telling her how important it was for her to know the answer. After a few more moments of silence Elsae simply said that she did not know what Nyla was talking about, and ran out of the shuttle in a hurry. Eldewn scolded her master Nyla for upsetting her sister, telling her that her visions were something she didn’t like to talk about before running after Elsae.
Nyla sighed in disappointment, worried that she’d just upset both sisters, one of which being her own padawan learner. She knew however that if she was going to calm them both she needed to right this matter and fast. Nyla found the twins outside of the shuttle sitting on the ground in the docking bay. Nyla apologized if she had been to forward and that she only wanted to understand what if anything Elsae had seen. Nyla explained to the two what farseeing was and why it was a powerful technique to use, though even after telling the twins about it and even answering their questions, Nyla was unable to find out if Elsae had been able to see Nyla’s farseeing as well.
The Opportunity of Investment
Soon after Nyla was summoned by comlink to join Kalko and Aidan in the Tarisian’s office, and to bring Akira with her. Nyla told the twins to go back to the Renegade to wait for them both there while she and Akira were out. Though Nyla was unable to find Akira outside of the hanger bay and as he was unresponsive on his comlink, she had to go to the Tarisian’s office without him.
Once at the office and after she explained that she couldn’t find Akira, the Tarisian got down to business… their investments in his operation. The Tarisian presented fifteen business ventures he owned a controling stake in, ten of which the party could purchase a five percent stake in for the premium price of one and a half million credits. The premium price the Tarisian explained was because the party would be expected to take an active role in these endeavours when needed more so than a casual investor. The player party understood well the sort of missions the Tarisian had in mind when he spoke of “an active role”.
Together the party looked over and considered the Tarisian’s proposals.
Summary of Lead Portfolio Investments
Prepared for “The Tarisian” by the
Greater Divis Bank of Business Credit
Ecumenopolis Danto-Lommite Ore Mine
Location: Dantooine, Raiobollo Sector, Outer Rim Territories
Investment to date: 105,012,050 Credits
Expected Quarterly Profit: 11,040,220 Credits (Up 510% previous)
The rare ore variant known as danto-lommite is capable of increasing the range of temperatures withstood by the already strong and versatile metal alloy known as durasteel when combined with carvanium carbon,meleenium, neutronium, and zersium to a much higher degree than with the typical grades of industrial lommite used across the galaxy.
Recent developments made in settlement defense have greatly reduced the rate of pirate raids on Ecumenopolis and have allowed for a near five fold increase of the rates of ore export. The recent improvement in the consistency of deliveries has lead to the projection of a near tripling of clients by the end of next quarter.
Causes for Concern: A return of frequent pirate raids on the settlement, or an attempt by the Imperial government or Mining Guild to seize the operations or enact heavy export taxes as retribution for previously unpaid taxes and or dues.
Derelict Canyon Kolto Harvesting Operation
Location: Manaan, Inner Rim Territories
Investment to date: 75,650,000
Expected Quarterly Profit: 3,040,220 Credits
The rare healing agent known as kolto, a cheaper alternative to the more widely used bacta is widely demanded as a cheaper alternative to the aforementioned bacta. The only planet in the galaxy where kolto is known to grow is Manaan, and therefore the rights to the mining operations on the planet alone are highly sought after.
A recent partnership with the investment firm Hontor Galactic Industries, backed by the government of the Galactic Empire has guaranteed a 30% share of all profits, minus the operation costs involved in the harvesting.
Causes for Concern: Before the buyout by Hontor Galactic Industries the mining rights to the Derelict Canyon were highly disputed by a Hutt cartel and the criminal organization Black Sun, nearly resulting in a gangland conflict over said rights. It is conceivable that one of these organizations may take retaliatory action after loosing their respective stakes on Manaan.
The Golden Barrens Irrigation Network
Location: Gejorofo, Baranos Sector, The Colonies
Investment to date: 57,100,000
Expected Quarterly Profit: 2,900,500 Credits (Up 69%)
The vast majority of the only continent on the planet Gejorofo which is suitable for agricultural development is mostly covered by an arid desert. The irrigation network now partially constructed in the region of desert known as the “Golden Barrens” has already yielded great success in turning the planet into a viable option for agricultural exports to nearby planets in the Baranos sector which are heavily dependant on food imports.
As the network is less than a third finished at this time, the completion of the second third over the next two quarters is expected to open up even more export opportunities and continued growth of the operations viability.
Causes for Concern: Consortiums which previously controlled the importing of food stuffs and agricultural goods in this region have mounted several failed legal challenges to the operation. Though all parties are uninterested in bringing Imperial interests into play, it is possible that the operation could be nationalized by the Galactic Empire in a manner similar to the kolto operation on Manaan. It is also possible that the consortiums could attempt to sabotage the operation.
Black Moon Starlines
Location: Imperial Center, Imperial Center Sector, Core Worlds
Investment to date: 52,600,500
Expected Quarterly Profit: 3,100,100 Credits (Up 55%)
The Black Moon Starline offers a first class passenger experience, flying from the smaller less congested Mon-Nebulonic Starport on Imperial City non-stop to Alderaan, Corellia, Duro and Kuat. The starlines inclusivness and high end in flight services has made it quite popular with the business class of many Core World elites, and excellent reviews have lead to as many as seven additional Core World ports express interest in allowing operation from their respective locations.
Causes for Concern: The regional commuter starline industry is highly competitive, and demands for bribery and kickbacks at all levels of government have added elements of instability and unreliability in many aspects of the operation. In addition, repeated terrorist attacks and hostage takings throughout the Core Worlds have severely undermined consumer confidence in starline security.
Universal Solvent Exports
Location: Devon, Atrivis Sector, Outer Rim Territories
Investment to date: 44,750,340
Expected Quarterly Profit: 2,950,150 Credits (Up 52%)
The single most sought after compound in the universe continues to be water, and a the large number of settlements throughout the galaxy, but mainly in the Outer Rim Territories which cannot provide a clean and consistent supply of water throughout the year rely heavily on the import of water to supplement their own meager reserves. Currently over thirty five different planets, outposts, settlements and mining operations have regular deliveries made, a number expected to grow to fifty by this time next year.
Causes for Concern: Suppliers of water have twice raised their selling price so high that alternative suppliers have had to be found, though negotiations are underway to permanently purchase no less than four different natural reservoirs in order to alleviate this risk. Piracy is also a constant risk due to the highly sought after nature of water in many regions in which deliveries are made.
Location: Dac, Calamari Sector, Outer Rim Territories
Investment to date: 35,875,000 Credits
Expected Quarterly Profit: 4,500,100 Credits (Up 49%)
The three year Clone Wars devastated the galaxy on a scale not seen in millennia. As to this day the remains of tens of thousands of battles remain un-salvaged it is easily understood why this operation is one of the most profitable in the Tarisian’s portfolio.
Currently the remains of land based conflicts count for the highest source of revenue, however increased profits have allowed in greater investment for space based salvages of larger warships.
Causes for Concern: Competition is often deadly, as this highly unregulated industry attracts a very dangerous class of entrepreneur. Disputes over salvage claims often result in the use of live fire weaponry at said disputed claim sights.
Korpidra Bridge Construction
Location: Varldolag, Bothusvin Sector, Outer Rim Territories
Investment to date: 33,175,000 Credits
Expected Quarterly Profit: 4,100,400 Credits
The near completed construction of the more than 185km long deep water bridge on the planet Valdolag is easily expected to fully recoup the cost of the bridges construction through the use of bridge tolls charged to the vast amount of freight traffic which currently is forced to fly or sail between the two continents.
Causes for Concern: Five previous attempts to link the continents have failed over the past three thousand years. Seasonal ice flows and hurricanes have created treacherous conditions which have compromised many of the previous attempts. Economic downturns have also hurt the profitability chances of at least two of the attempts, leading to their abandonment.
Location: Tranustdal, Mytaranor Sector, Mid Rim
Investment to date: 32,575,000 Credits
Expected Quarterly Profit: 3,750,300 Credits (Up 145%)
The legendary Denendre Whiskey brand of Corellia had until recently suffered from centuries of neglect, much to the benefit of countless other Corellian brands of whiskey. The recent buyout of the company and reinvestment in it’s operations has lead to tremendous cost savings, not the least of which was the moving of the operation from Corellia to Tranustdal in the Mid Rim. A great renewed interest in the brand from Core World aficionado’s of whisky has also greatly improved the brands appeal and bottom line.
Causes for Concern: Corellian alcohol makers are notorious for their underhanded tactics to stifle competition to maintain their artificial market monopolies. Sabotage, bribery of local officials, kidnapping and even murder has been known to befall naïve entrepreneurs attempting to break into the high end Core World whiskey market.
Gandos Asteroid Gold Mine
Location: Gandos Asteroid Field, Halla Sector, Mid Rim
Investment to date: 30,270,000 Credits
Expected Quarterly Profit: 3,550,000 Credits (Up 45%)
It is speculated that the amount of gold contained within the asteroid designated “Gandos Major” is somewhere in the vicinity of 75,000,000 to 150,000,000 worth in credits.
Causes for Concern: The Gandos Asteroid Field one of the most dangerous environments to mine imaginable. Operation costs are high and catastrophic failures have occurred at regular intervals. Though the isolation of the asteroid field has aided in keeping outside knowledge of this operation low, there still remains the chance that outside investors may learn of the potential claim and make a move against Gandos Major themselves. As with other mining operations, the possibility of Imperial or Mining Guild discovery and subsequent involvement could prove detrimental to future profitability.
Green Herd Industrial reclamation
Location: Ithor, Ottega Sector, Mid Rim
Investment to date: 27,140,000 Credits
Expected Quarterly Profit: 4,750,000 Credits (Up 55%)
With large scale industrial sprawl being a near catastrophic problem on thousands of worlds across the galaxy, Green Herd Industrial Reclamation offers a truly cost effective and organic option for the reclaiming of previously contaminated industrial lands as pristine natural environments. The Ithorians which run Green Herd Industrial Reclamation are without a doubt the most highly sought after skilled experts in this field whose expertise have already benefited no less than 39 planets and ecosystems since the projects inception more than 18 months ago.
Causes for Concern: Competition for contracts to reclaim failed industrial lands can be fierce at times, as well internal factions which seek to maintain land use for industrial purposes have hampered and at other times outright sabotaged reclamation efforts in the past.
Spinning Pulsar Holofilms
Location: Ator, Ator Sector, Core Worlds
Investment to date: 25,070,000 Credits
Expected Quarterly Profit: 3,920,000 Credits (Up 58%)
Spinning Pulsar holofilms has made a stead profit for six consecutive quarters by producing quality low budget direct to holodisk holofilms, typically in the action, murder mystery and historical drama genres.
Causes for Concern: Many holoactors, performers and production team members are non-union contract players with Spinning Pulsar, but choose to leave after a typical two year contract if they feel their experience merits higher pay. As a result retaining a high caliber of talent has become difficult throughout the low budget holofilm industry, resulting in many cases a franchise of holofilms with leading rolls often recast and different installments written by different writers with subpar results.
Raioballo Medicinal Solutions Ltd.
Location: Dantooine, Raioballo Sector, Outer Rim Territories
Investment to date: 24,400,500 Credits
Expected Quarterly Profit: 3,500,000 Credits (Up 40%)
Raioballo Medicinal Solutions Ltd. is the distribution arm of the kolto harvesting operation on Manaan. While a great number of buyers buy kolto straight from the source on Manaan, Raioballo Medicinal Solutions acts as a wholesale distributor of kolto on the galactic market, bringing shipments of kolto to a buyers doorstep who would normally not have the means to purchase and transport the kolto themselves.
Causes for Concern: The bacta cartels are in no hurry to allow competition to threaten their monopoly, and may mount any number of legal, financial or military operations to hamper the reliable delivery of kolto to it’s buyers.
Upper City Gem Entertainment
Location: Dantooine, Raioballo Sector, Outer Rim Territories
Investment to date: 54,000,000 Credits
Expected Quarterly Profit: 5,500,000 Credits (Up 40%)
Upper City Gem Entertainment is a casino and hotel conglomerate, offering Outer Rim high rollers and travelers a taste of Core World luxuries at a cost that won’t empty your credit account. From Taris to Muunilist UCGE boasts a dozen locations with plans to open up another two dozen within two years time.
Causes for Concern: Without the regulation of the more corewards hotel and gaming industries, large Hutt consortiums and criminal operations compete in an often deadly race for guests and high rollers.
Auroran Protection Interests
Location: Dantooine, Raioballo Sector, Outer Rim Territories
Investment to date: 34,000,000 Credits
Expected Quarterly Profit: 4,220,000 Credits (Up 40%)
Depite a name more fitting for a Core World political advocacy group, Auroran Protection Interests is an insurance firm that provides coverage against kidnappings and hostage takings. If a policy holders insured individuals or property is found to be in a hostage taking or kidnapping scenario, a team of experts will evaluate the situation and decide with the approval of the policy holder if payment should be made or if a rescue should be attempted.
Causes for Concern: This industry is wrought with fraudulent claims aimed at paying off policy holder held debt. Though to this date no lives have been lost while attempts at rescue and resolution were mounted, this is always a concern moving forward.
Ithullan Colossus Wasp Harvesting
Location: Ithull, Ithull Sector, Inner RimTerritories
Investment to date: 31,000,000 Credits
Expected Quarterly Profit: 3,740,000 Credits (Up 45%)
4000 years ago the Colossus Wasps of Ithull served as the most unique form of space travel in the galaxy. The hollowed out exoskeletons of the sometimes three hundred meter long insects would be retrofitted to act as long distance ore haulers by Ithullan shipwrights. Popularity and demand for these Colossus Wasps lead to the creatures being hunted to near extinction, and the species has only recently recovered in any reasonable numbers.
The collapse of the ship building industry on Ithull has meant that this recovery will not be utilized by the Ithullans, therefore leading the door open for outside investors. To date ten full sized exoskeletons of already deceased Wasps have been recovered, two have been successfully retrofitted and sold as cargo haulers with the remaining eight expected to sell by the end of next quarter.
Causes for Concern: Legend has it the it was the low costs involved in converting the wasps exoskeletons into viable starthips that lead to their being hunted to the brink of extinction, if word got out that a small population has survived to this day there is a high risk that illegal poaching could again decimate the species, thereby ending the endeavour all together.
Star Dragon Transport
Location: Dantooine, Raioballo Sector, Outer Rim Territories
Investment to date: 14,000,000 Credits
Expected Quarterly Profit: 1,220,000 Credits (Up 38%)
While the Tarisian provides his own transportation to mining operations across the galaxy, other would be minors do not have the luxury of a fleet of transport vessels at the ready to transport goods and cargo. Star Dragon Transport offers safe and reliable transport of equipment and personnel to hazardous mining operations throughout the galaxy at a premium price for cost sensitive operators.
Causes for Concern: Though not as hazardous as an illegal mining operation itself, there is always the chance that anyone caught doing business with illegal minors none the less by the Mining Guild or Imperial authorities could face stiff penalties and or punitive measures.
The party was overwhelmed by the choices to say the least, and although everyone was leaning towards options that fit their interests, the Tarisian told them they had at least a few days before he needed a firm answer, giving the party time to talk things over.
As the party wrapped up their investment talks Miss M’Row showed Traz Nunb and Krith Nosix into the office, Krith was curious about the Imperial signals he’d detected with his high end cybernetic implants, and Traz was wondering why a Neimodian shuttle painted in Imperial colours was parked in the settlement’s starport.
Aidan explained that the shuttle was his, and he had bought it on Laponth to temporarily service the Ellison’s Fury so that they would not have to necessarily land the large warship. Aidan then thought to ask Krith if he would mind going up to the Fury with Beesix to evaluate the state of the ships systems and to see if there were any lingering Imperial traps on board the ships computers. Krith happily obliged, saying that he always loved the chance to slice into Imperial systems.
Aidan took the opportunity to ask Traz if he could have the Wookie droid expert Lifpirr have a look at the droids on board too. Traz told Aidan that Lifpirr was actually wanting to speak with him, concerning the broken droid he had dropped off more than a month earlier. Aidan told Krith to go wait in the shuttle, and that he would go with Traz to speak with Lifpirr.
After Aidan left Kalko asked Traz if he and his crew could look over his brand new starship, which he had named The Emerald Eye. Traz happily agreed, though Kalko joked that now that their operations and holdings were expanding that he might need his own offices one day like the Tarisian has. The Tarisian replied that the suite that had been reserved for Aidan could be used as an office by Kalko if he so wanted due to the fact that because of the large windows overlooking the settlement, Aidan refused to sleep in the room fearing snipers.
Kalko proclaimed he had no such fear of snipers, and after Miss M’Row offered to give Kalko a “private tour” of the suite.
Nyla stayed behind with the Tarisian, together talking about their mutual thoughts on just what threat the Corpse Droid really posed. In any event the Tarisian explained that it was all moot for now, as when he spoke to the party next he would inform them of a new job he had waiting for them. He explained to Nyla that even though Frohm Gin’Dahl still lay in a coma, his personal physicians had recently recovered a hidden data storage device from under his skin, one that contained information on the location of a massive amount of credits.
The Tarisian explained to Nyla that years ago when he was an investor in league with the movement that would soon become the CIS, he, along with associates such as Frohm invested a large amount of funds into a clandestine effort to trigger pro-seperatist uprisings throughout the galactic Mid-Rim. The Tarisian explained that he never learned of the success or failure of the endeavour, and after he severed all ties to the Separatists in the last year of the Clone Wars he had assumed that the money had been spent and lost long ago.
The Tarisian told the party plain and simple, he had every intention of taking that money back.
The Mystery Droid Deepens
Nyla was able to catch up with Aidan and Traz on their way to see Lofpirr at his shop. After arriving at [[Lofpirr’s Droid Retail & Repair Emporium]] Lofpirr warmly greeted Aidan, and Traz introduced him to Nyla. Lofpirr then proceeded to tell them all about the bizarre findings within the droid from Ordisan.
Most bizzare Lofpirr explained was that the mysterious second and larger power core which he had pointed out to Aidan more than a month ago was found to contain traces of genetic materials. He explained that the secondary power core also seemed not to be a secondary core at all, as from what he could tell it was meant to be used at the same time as the primary power core. Even stranger was a small but sophisticated computer core, one that was separate from the droids brain but like the second power core, meant to run along side of the droids brain. It’s job it seemed was to regulate the second power core containing genetic material. Even stranger was that the computer core, though nearly entirely destroyed, evidently contained more than ten times the lines of code in it’s programming than your typical battle droid’s brain.
The last mysterious item Lofpirr produced was a long chrome rod, one that Lofpirr was uncertain of where it fit into the droid’s construction. He claimed to have no understanding of what this rod was for or why it was needed. When Aiden picked it up to examine it however, Nyla briefly if only for a second sensed a lingering trace of the Force on it, which she relayed to Aidan. Aidan and Lofpirr along with Traz were all equally puzzled, and disappointed there was nothing more it seemed could be learned from the remains.
Moving along to other business Aidan told Lofpirr about the party’s recent aquisition of more than nineteen-hundred Imperial droids of varying degrees, and asked if he would be able to join Krith onboard the Ellison’s Fury and investigate the state of the droids and if they were all in service condition. Lofpirr agreed for a small fee, and the promise that he could keep a hand full of droids for resale purposes. Aidan and Nyla agreed, and Traz showed him the way to the waiting shuttle with Krith on board. Nyla and Aidan watched the shuttle take off into the already setting sun, only to notice then a large number of Dantari of the Kiwa triube walking about this part of the settlement. When Nyla and Aidan asked why they had come to the settlement, the Dantari explained that they were part of a large trading caravan that had arrived earlier in the day at Ecumenopolis, and that they would remain there for the entire week trading goods and wares. This intrigued Nyla and Aidan, as both loved every chance they had to speak with their friends the Kiwa.
Our Friends the Kiwa
Aidan and Nyla soon found the small camp the Kiwa had set up outside of town, and with it their friend Kiwa Ro Bordup. Both greeted Bordup warmly, and asked how he was doing. Bordup explained that though he, his kin and their village were well, many dark clouds were on the horizon for his people. He spoke of the terrible Irith tribe of beast-riders from the south, and how with the spacers weapons the pirates from Ordisan had given them they had become an even greater threat than before. Bordup told them about how the Irith had been hunting the Kiwa’s herds and attacking their hunting parties, and that things were so bad that all the Kiwa villages in the area were now preparing to amass a great army of their combined forces to drive the Irith off their lands once and for all.
Aidan, ever the Mandalorian who respected the need to fight congratulated Bordup on his tribes decision and wished them all the best. He even contacted LE back on the Renegade to use the ships scanners to scan for possible locations of the Irith’s hoards. Within minutes LE reported back to Aidan that he had located at least six locations within a two-hundred kilometer location that may be Irith temporary settlements.
Bordup spread the news to his friends and all were extatic that Aidan had helped them so much. Bordup begged to let them repay his kindness in any way he could think of. Aidan in turn asked Bordup to tell him about the Battle of Dantooine which took place during the Clone Wars.
Bordup told Aidan and Nyla the stories which he too had heard from tribes on the other side of Dantooine where the fighting took place. All he knew for certain was that a massive army of mechanical men from the stars arrived with a terrible and massive machine as tall as the mountains, and that they fought the Clone Troopers for days until the arrival of a wizard, who using nothing more than his magic and a blade of purple light was able to destroy the mechanical men and bring their towering machine to the ground in ruins. Nyla was certain the wizard they spoke of was Jedi Master Mace Windu, who she had heard had lead a Republic army on Dantooine during the wars.
Aidan asked if Bordup would mind joining he and Nyla to investigate the ruins of the battle in the hopes of salvaging some usable droids to add to their growing collection. Bordup happily agreed, bringing along two of his strongest warriors as well to help them in their salvage.
Using Bordup’s recounting of the battle and the Renegade’s scanners, after only three hours of searching Aidan, Nyla, Bordup and his two warriors had located the site of the battle from above on the opposite side of Dantooine from where Ecumenopolis lied. Aidan put the Renegade down on a hill about a kilometer from the site of the battle next to a farmhouse. Aidan and Nyla had hoped to find someone inside the farmhouse who could recount the battle, but were disappointed to see it’s barn empty, the farmhouse itself boarded up, and the windmill spinning lifelessly generating no power for anyone. An examination of the house’s interior seemed to point to the house being abandoned more than a year ago, but in a calm and orderly manner. Long prairie grass had grown over what Nyla imagined to have been their fields, and a broken landspeeder sat near the barn with an Iriaz resting lazily near it in the mid-day sun.
Both Nyla and Aidan accepted that they would find no one in the farm house that could help them learn of the battle, and loaded into the Mud Hog with their friends and set off for the nearby battlefield in the valley below the farmhouse.
A Memory of Contradictions
Well after the sun set on Ecumenopolis, Traz came to speak with Kalko, who was in the middle of his umpteenth private tour of the new offices with Miss M’Row. Kalko was upset that Traz’s knocking on their door interupted his tour with Miss M’Row, and demanded to know why he was interrupted.
Traz explained that word had spread throughout the settlement about Kalko’s new starship, and with quite a few capable spacers out of work due to the slowdown in business as a result of the pirate raids, many had asked Traz if he could find out if Kalko was planning on hiring any new hands for his ship. Kalko thanked Traz for the interest, and told him he would get back to him the next morning.
Traz thanked Kalko and bid him goodnight, but not long after Kalko had once again returned to Miss M’Row’s tour of the suite did Dyneh knock on their door. Kalko, even more agitated now demanded to know why she came calling so late at night, to which she replied that she hadn’t seen Akira all day and hadn’t heard from him since they arrived back on Dantooine. She explained that she’d heard from the twins who were playing casino games on the lower floor of the Upper City Gem that Miss M’Row had taken Akira with her, and that Dyneh was wondering if she knew where he was.
Kalko explained that as soon as he had a free moment he would ask Miss M’Row, but that he was very busy. Dyneh thanked Kalko, though was still visibly worried. Kalko had no sooner closed the door again than he heard a knocking again, this time from little Umdat. “OH COME ON!!” a now extremely angry Kalko shouted. Umdat explained that he had snuck into the kitchen of the Upper City Gem’s restaurant and had been working with it’s auto-chef to make an even better cup of eeffoc than the Renegade’s auto-chef could muster. He presented a cup to Kalko, who though agitated drank the concoction, and agreed it was suberb. None the less Kalko told Umdat it was too late for him to be up, especially drinking Eefoc, and that if he wasn’t careful Nyla would send him home as punishment. Umdat became terrified, and ran away.
Kalko finally returned to Miss M’Row to ask what had happened to Akira after she had talked to him, but Miss M’Row claimed to have never seen him that day either. This puzzled Kalko, who was certain of what Dyneh had told her. He asked M’Row again if she had never gone onto the shuttle to get Akira for Dyneh, it was then that M’Row seemed to recall strange flashes of images in her memory of seeing Akira, but they were clouded and hard to recall. Kalko sensed something unusual was afoot, and got dressed with M’Row to find out what it was.
Both of them went down to the starport to speak with Traz, who couldn’t remember seeing Akira himself but called up the port’s data tapes to see if he was seen by their visual scanners. Indeed sure enough that afternoon Akira could be seen leaving the shuttle with Miss M’Row leading the way and exiting the docking bay, but unfortunately the scanners didn’t follow either of them after they left. Miss M’Row was stunned by this, insisting to Kalko she couldn’t understand why she had no memory of any of this. Kaklo knew his girlfriend was telling the truth, and told her that having seen not one but two Jedi at work for many months now, he was sure that someone with Force powers could be behind this, possibly having used their powers to affect M’Row’s memory.
Kalko was able to get in touch with security at the Upper City Gem, who were able to tell him they saw M’Row heading towards the casino by herself shortly after she and Akira left the starport. This told Kalko that if something had happened to Akira, it had happened just outside of the starport. Still he couldn’t be sure, and thought it possible Akira was simply off drinking.
Kalko and Dyneh made their way down through the settlement, talking to everyone they could find and asking if they had seen Akira. Eventually they made their way to The Gorging Gundark, a normally lively but tonight quiet cantina on the southern edge of the settlement. There a burly human named Birdo told Kalko and M’Row about how earlier in the evening he had seen Akira outside of the cantina as Birdo was enjoying the fresh evening air, but that he seemed drunk and passed out and was being helped along by a short hair human woman in a white shirt and red vest.
Kalko thanked Birdo for his help, and just before he and M’Row left the cantina a young Bothan woman came to speak to them both. She had been sitting at the endge of the long wooden bar and had realized that Kalko was the spacer who had just bought a new ship, and wanted to know if he needed her to be in his crew. M’Row rolled her eyes at the Bothan woman, and Kalko told her that they could talk tomorrow, but for now he was in the middle of something else.
Kalko and M’Row left the seedy Cantina but soon realized that the Bothan woman was following them, even stranger was that she was trying to avoid being seen. Eventually Kalko turned around to confront the Bothan, when all of the sudden a woman jumped out from the shadows and pulled a black hood over M’Row’s head. M’Row struggled in vain as the attacking woman came into Kalko’s sight, the short haired woman that Birdo had said he’d seen Akira with. The woman drew a dart gun on Kalko, but he has just as fastly drawn his blaster on her. Kalko shouted to let M’Row go, and the woman simply snarled back, telling Kalko that this was a fitting revenge for what the Hutt’s had done to her because of him and his friends. Kalko told her he had no idea what she was talking about, but that she would soon be dead if she and her Bothan friend didn’t let M’Row go.
In an instant both fired their weapons, the human woman being grazed by Kalko’s blaster and the dart from her gun hitting Kalko square in the neck. Kalko fought on, grappling her and wrestling her weapon out of her hand. The Bothan woman tried to shoot at Kalko but he was able to knock her to the ground even as the short haired human was fighting him fist to fist. Eventually the Bothan ran away shouting to the Human that too many people had heard them fighting and that they had to leave, soon the short haired woman grabbed her gun from the ground and fled as well, away from the settlement, but in a different direction. Kalko wanted to pursue them both, but tended to M’Row instead who was in great distress.
After freeing her he contacted Aidan and Nyla, telling them about what happened and that Akira had been kidnapped. When Kalko sent Aidan and Nyla a blury picture of the human woman he had snapped with his complink as she was fleeing. Aidan needed only a second to recognize the woman as Tyrnia Masak, the woman he and Krith used to attempt to blame for the destruction of the Ocean Scoundrel on Manaan. Aidan told Nyla and the Kiwa warriors to pack up the few scattered and badly weathered battle droid remains and to get back on the Renegade, so that they could find Akira and save him from the kidnappers.
Back at the settlement Kalko was calming a very distressed M’Row down when Orn Syndulla along with several volunteer militiamen on landspeeders and swoop bikes arrived. Orn demanded to know what was going on, and Kalko recounted everything that had happened Orn was furious, and reminded the militia that bounty hunters were strictly forbidden on Dantooine. The militia volunteers cheered in unison, vowing the help track down these bounty hunter scum and rescue Akira. Kalko cheered with the militia, and then dropped to the ground, finally succumbing to the tranquilizing dart in his neck.
In Pursuit of the Sirens
Not too soon later Aidan and Nyla landed the Renegade back at the settlement. As Aidan helped Kalko come too and helped him onboard the Renegade, Nyla attempted to use her Force powers once again, this time trying to find Akira and speak to him. After only a moment of searching she found him, and quite close by. He was worried, and he was being held against his will she felt, but his resolve was strong, and when he sensed her reading him he told her not to worry, that he was being held captive, and to NOT try to rescue him.
Nyla told this to Aidan, a now awake Kalko, Bordup and the Dantari warriors. All agreed that they had to do something to help Akira. Nyla used the Renegade’s navigation system to guide the vessel to where she felt Akira’s presence was, about eighty kilometers to the south-east of the settlement. Within minutes the Renegade had detected a small starship resting atop a tree covered hill overlooking a valley below, a starship who’s engines were online and was preparing to take off.
Aidan told Nyla and Kalko to get to the ships guns, telling them that he would disable the ship before ever consider letting them leave with Akira.