Scoundrel's Luck

Video Killed the Radio Star

Just making this delivery.

You drop out of hyperspace into the Kuat system. All most of you know about them is that this is where the bulk of the Empires star destroyer fleet is assembled

Kenzi: “All right. We’ve got the homing beacon removed, the cargo stowed, and the grain in its place.”
Ren: “We might just pull this off.”

Ahead of you is the Imperial checkpoint station

Kenzi: “Maybe we should switch the transponder back to Errant Venture. They might be alerted to Gambler’s Luck blasting her way off Chandrila.”
Vula: “Good idea”

Abe easily swaps over the transponder

Kenzi: “Vula, see if you can get us clearance, please.”

The Sep, moustache fairly calm, pulls the nee Errant Venture then Gambler’s Luck then Errant Venture again into a steady holding pattern with a line of other ships. There are quite a few squadrons of TIEs and gunboats patrolling the area

Vula: “Done and Done!” Vula flashes a grin at Ken
Kenzi: “This’ll work.” He rubs at the proto-stubble forming on his chin. “It has to…”

A single light begins blinking on the comm station:
“Unidentified vessel, this is Kuat Approach.”
“Please identify yourself and give planet of origin.”

Vula: (waht is our planet of origin I totally freaking forgot)
Vula: Vula frowns and looks at the guys “Should we really use the name Errant Venture… we did shoot up some guys under that name”
Kenzi: Kenzi freezes. “Hell, we did, didn’t we.”
Kenzi: “How fast can we modify the transponder? Do you think they’ve picked it up yet? I mean, we can’t be the only Errant Venture. It’s a big galaxy.”
ABE: >.I can short the engines and perhaps change the transpoder.<<
Ren: “Maybe, but two ships of identical make with the same name? In the same sector, no less?”
Vula: “We could always say we bought the ship off someone else???”
Ren: * Ren gives Vula a flat look. *
Vula: “Hey at least it’s an idea fur ball”
ABE: >> Shorting the shields may also achieve the same effect<<
Kenzi: “Do it, Abe.”
ABE: >.Shorting out the Sublight engines<<
Vula: “What is the new name?”
Kenzi: “Sable Fire,” Kenzi says before he’s thought it through at all.
The engines shudder and die for a moment. In an instant, the transponder goes blank and all the comms reset. When they come back up, the transponder is now blinking Sable Fire. Ren holds the ship steady as the engines lurch back online.
Ren: “Easy like Sunday morning.”
Kenzi: Kenzi lets his breath out, slumping back in his chair
Vula: Vula throws the sexy back into her voice “Why hello there! This is just the Sable Fire flown in all the way from Corellia”
ABE: >>Please be cautious, Mistress. I do not have all the treatments available for STDs<<

“Corellian freighter Sable Fire, your transponder seems to be glitched. Please resend your frequency.”

Vula: “Abe, little buddy, don’t make me throw you out of the ship”
Ren: * Ren flashes Kenzi a nervous glance. *
Vula: “I’d be glad to darling!” Vula says with a smile in her voice
Kenzi: Kenzi’s attempt to reassure Ren seems to leave them both nervous.
ABE: >.Engines functioning normally, Mistress. All frequencies should be correct<<

Vula resends the current frequency to the Imperials.

Vula: “Did ya get that sweetheart” she coos.

“Please stand by for further instructions.”

Ren: " Not drawing more attention is an option, Vula. Just saying." Kenzi: “When we’re in port, Vula, I’ll buy you a trowel. When you lay it on that thick, you should spread it out.” He winks. Vula: “Don’t be hating fuzzy!” Ren: “Hrm… Gunships. Moving our way.” ABE: >> Danger, Kenzi Vigil! Danger!<< Vula: “But their weapons aren’t online..” Ren: “So far.”

ABE: >.Gunships moving to intercept!<<

“Sable Fire, please turn to 185 and maintain current velocity.”

Kenzi: ’Just be cool, everyone." Vula: “Just give it a chance to play out” Ren: * Ren nods absently. * ABE: * Sweats oil *

The gunships peel away from their patrol path and lazily move towards your vector.

Kenzi: “Let’s play along, at least for now.”

Three heavily armed ships pass very close to both sides of your freighter.

Vula: “We got this..” Vula says loudly.. then whispers “I hope. They are just doing scans, we are ok” “Just hold it together, we can get through this”

Vula’s comm beeps at her excitedly. “Freighter Sable Fire”

Ren: * Ren’s facial fur ripples apprehensively. *

“Turn to 219 and prepare for arrival at docking bay 2453. Have all documentation prepared for deck officers upon arrival”

Vula: Vula breathes deeply and then smiles “Sure thing sweetie”

The comm goes dead

Ren: * The bothan follows the directions. By the book. *
ABE: >.Master Kenzi? We may need to alter our documentation. May I examine the datapad?<
Kenzi: He turns it over “I tried to get a comparable amount of wheat…”
ABE: * Scans datapad *

Ren guides the ship, smoothly and by the book, to the docking bay. The now Sable Venture slips easily into the hangar bay, and the magnetic seal closes behind you.

ABE: >.Adjustments complete, Master Virgil.<< Kenzi: “Much obliged. We owe you big for this.”

Several groups of stormtroopers stand at attention behind the glass of the observation deck, and the tech crews run to secure your ship as it settles to the ground.

Vula: "We still got this…… " *she looks at Ken… “maybe?” Kenzi: “I think that’s normal,” Kenzi mutters, more to reassure himself than the others.

A single gray-uniformed Imperial officer strides out from the deck, flanked by two stormtroopers and a handful of techs

Ren: * Ren tilts his head to the side dubiously. * “Guess we’re about to find out.”

He stops at the base of where your loading ramp will open down.

Kenzi: Kenzi straightens his posture. “I’ll handle this,” he says, mostly to Vula. Vula: “Just let me know if you need me to get the girls out”

Ren: “No one needs that,” Ren hisses.
Kenzi: “Wrong place, wrong time.”
Vula: “Ren, you just don’t like ‘em cuz they aren’t hairy like yours”
Kenzi: Kenzi snickers. He tries to get it under control before the officer gets within hearing range
Ren: “I am pleased that you have a firm grasp of the obvious.”
Ren: * The bothan lapses into professional “I’m just a pilot” silence. *

The loading ramp settles to the floor of the station with an audible clang, and the ship’s old engines power to standby. The officer, some level of lieutenant, is standing, his posture a model of Imperial training, at the bottom.

Kenzi: Kenzi puts on his best smile and heads down to meet the Imps

“Greetings. Shipping manifest, please.” He holds his hand out to Kenzi.

Kenzi: “Certainly, sir.” He turns the pad over.

Up close, he’s less scary, but the stormtroopers are still holding rather large weapons.

Ren: * Ren spares an appraising glance for the troopers and their weapons. *

They’re well maintained. One has a sweet T-21. The officer pages through the manifest, then turns slips a datadisk into the side of it. After a few moments, the datapad softly beeps, and he hands the pad back to Kenzi.

“All your manifests seem in order. Do you require any maintenance? Your ship seems to have taken some damage.” He waves a hand at the strafe marks on the underside of the ship.

Kenzi: “I don’t think that’ll be necessary,” Kenzi says dimissively. “We’ve got another charter coming together, and I’d hate to keep the client waiting… it’s kind of you to offer, though.”

He nods curtly at you. “Shall I send a crew to offload the containers?”
Kenzi: “I believe we can manage, if you can tell me where I might find Ziven Rhade.”

“We will deliver the cargo, Captain. Beyond this point, all access is restricted to Imperial personnel. General Rhade will be notified of its arrival.”

Kenzi: “Oh, yes. I see. Of course.” Derpytreads slowly lumbers down the loading ramp, only bumping the side once. The Officer gives it a slightly … sad look. “That’s an, erm, vintage droid.” he says helpfully. Ren: “Don’t shop discount.”

He nods sagely at you.

Kenzi: “That’s the nice thing about them… always easy to find parts.”

Derpy maneuvers the containers down and piles them in a vague pyramid at the base of the ramp. As the last container is offloaded, the officer waves away the troopers.
“Have a pleasant day. Please follow all departure protocols.”

Kenzi: He glances at his datapad briefly. “Thanks! A pleasure as always.”
Ren: “All right, kids. We should get moving,” Ren says in an undertone to the nearby crew.
Kenzi: “All right, team; let’s be on our way.”
Vula: Vula smiles “See I was right. No big deal!”
Ren: * Ren’s fur betrays his disagreement. * “A little too easy…”
Vula: “So doubtful the furry one is”
Ren: “But yea. Where are we going next?”
Kenzi: (Once we’re back aboard) “More’n a little. Let’s be far from here when it hits the turbofan.”

Everyone piles back on the ship, and De gets the ship’s engines warm

Ren: “Anyplace you know of need…you know…grain?” “Some colony world, maybe?”

The cargo ramp snaps into place, and the Sable Fire slowly takes to the air again

Ren: “Abe, once we have a destination, plot a series of hyperspace jumps. I’d like to leave our trail…fuzzy.”
me: De backs her out, slow and casual like, and Vula once again contacts comms
Kenzi: “Good call, Ren.”
Ren: * Ren follows the route given by the Imperials. *
Ren: * Then gives Abe the go-ahead to execute the jumps. *
Ren: * He belatedly remembers to tell people to brace themselves. *

There are a few stumbles as the ship begins to count down to hyperspace
Ren: (Farther out seems good.) “C’mon, you lovable bucket of bolts…”

ABE: >>Coordinates entered. Hyper space at your command<<
Ren: “Oh, for…”
Vula: *Vula growls at the comm"
Ren: “Abe?”
Vula: “Abe get us out of here right now!”
De’Kar: “I think we should go tooo…” growls " umm… battle stations?"

“Sable Fire, please stand by for inspection. Do not deviate from your present course.”

Kenzi: “It’s not my fault,” Kenzi says automatically.

De’Kar: pushes button and starts the jump
Ren: “Pick a new name.”
Kenzi: “Get us out of here.”

The ship streaks into hyperspace, cutting the comm short

Kenzi: He sighs. “Maybe we should take turns with the names…. With a ship this old, the comm just isn’t very reliable, is it?” Ren: “Just call it ‘Delta’,” Ren sarcasts. “Sure isn’t.”

De’Kar: “well – thats it – I think that it’s got a beacon. something like please shoot me stamped on the hull..”
Kenzi: “They can’t un-pay us, can they?” He sounds genuinely worried.
De’Kar: “like a leaf on the wind – we should go somewhere that has no rain… like… I don’t know – someplace dry – you need rain for wheat”
Ren: Desert world, then. Good thinking, Sep."
Kenzi: “Not much Imperial presence on Tatooine, is there?”
De’Kar: "how about the Turbid Goose…for a name”
Ren: “It’s as good a placeholder as any.”
Kenzi: “Sounds all right to me. I’m sure we’ll have to change it again soon enough.”
Ren: * Ren exchanges an amused glance with Kenzi. *
ABE: >>Compliance<<
Vula: Vula sighs loudly
Ren: “Abe, between jumps, get on the Holonet and check for Imperial presence at any place we consider.”
ABE: >>Affirmative<<
De’Kar: “I would love to aquire a really nice (insert animal mount name) – we should go somewhere with animals.”
Ren: * Ren gives De a look. * “You gonna install a stable in the ship?”
De’Kar: “if you’ll let me – they’re very handy, they can haul things and scout, and smell danger…”
Vula: “I’m beginning to think De just wants things to ride on”
Ren: * Ren’s gaze cannot get any flatter. *
ABE: >>Request non-living mount for Sir Sep. It’s always the droids that have to clean up.<<
Kenzi: “Even so, that doesn’t exactly narrow it down.”
De’Kar: “not at all Abe, I always clean up after my animal freinds, that is only fair.”
Ren: “You belong on a ranch, not a ship,” he says finally.
ABE: >>As you say, Sir Sep. Speaking for the droids on this ship, we then have no preference.<<
Ren: “We’re ostensibly a Delivery Company, yea? Someplace urban is probably our best bet, if we want to continue attempting to make an ‘honest’ living.”
De’Kar: “you just don’t understand the benefits a living mount can give you – but oh well. maybe I’ll show you the true benefits sometime” smiles and winks
9:42 PM Kenzi: “Right. Folks in cities need food, and they need things taken places.”
Vula: "Then I say Nar Shaddaa
Kenzi: “Anyone been to Nar Shaddaa? Is it as dangerous as they say?”
Ren: “Probably. Maybe less dangerous than Continually Encountering Imperials, tho.”
Kenzi: “And, now that we’re smugglers, I expect we could find work there without too much difficulty. Or any difficulty, really.”
De’Kar: “so – we’re choosing to be smugglers now?” De glances at Cap
Ren: “We delivered illegal goods – to an Imperial – and got paid for it. That’s pretty definitional. We’re not just smugglers. We’re excellent smugglers.”
De’Kar: “I thought you said that it was an accident…”
ABE: >>Nar Shaddaa is the largest moon of Nal Hutta. More commonly known as the Vertical City, the Smuggler’s Moon and Little Coruscant, Nar Shaddaa is similar to Coruscant in that its surface is entirely overgrown with city sprawl for millennia. But unlike Coruscant, Nar Shaddaa is filthy, polluted, and infested with crime everywhere. I have been to this world, but never left the ship as I was on guard duty. While we we there, a sentient tried to board the ship while Master Vigil was away<<
Vula: “Doesn’t make us bad De… just…lovers of credits!”
Kenzi: “Damn. I guess that’s true.” He smiles.
Ren: * Ren nods to De. * “We didn’t know it at first. But once we knew, we decided to go through with it.”
De’Kar: “I am not judging my esteemed companions, just asking if this is a path you’re choosing.” smiles “I’m up for it”
Kenzi: “I’ve never been one for hard work.”
Ren: “I just work here.”
Ren: “Maybe we can help some people can’t help themselves. And if not, more like’n not, we can at least turn a profit.”
Kenzi: He turns to look at Abe. “… at the checkpoint? Or back on Chandila?”
ABE: >.Correction, the former Master Vigil while he was at Nar Shaddaa<<
Kenzi: He sits down, just so he can steeple his fingers. “Really.”
ABE: >>This sentient shot at myself while I was raising the ramp to prevent his ingress<<
De’Kar: “sooo – then this ship has been there before… do you know any of the sentients Old Uncle Vig talked too – good place to start for smuggling”
ABE: >.Negative. I have no records of any contacts on Nar Shaddaa<<
>>There is a slight possibility of hidden or semi-hidden records in the databanks, but I have made no serious search for them<<
Kenzi: “Then we’ll make our own contacts. Unless anyone has a better destination in mind?”
Ren: “Sounds fine, Big Cheese.”
Kenzi: “All right. Let’s set our eventual course for Nar Shaddaa, and see if the databanks have anything we might find useful. Or interesting.”
Ren: “Jump on it, Abe. Figuratively.”

As the ship moves towards its’ first hyperspace point, Abe does a thorough search of the ship’s computer databanks
What is everyone else up to besides hanging out with derpytreads?

Ren: (Searching the Spare Parts Pile for weapons components.) Vula: “That last stop got me all sorts of stressed!” Vula lifts her arm sniffs her armpits and then frowns “Time to clean up!” De’Kar: reading up on galactic history, and playing video games about piloting Ren: “I didn’t want to say anything…” Vula: Vula starts walking back to her quarters and disrobing int he process as soon as she starts walking

ABE: >>Mistress Hitori? You are creating medical hazards.<<
>>Please do not leave you clothing in the hallways. And your actions seem to be causing blood pressures to rise…<<
Vula: Vula giggles at Abe and topless returns to pick up her shirt and then runs to her quarters
De’Kar: looks up from the console “holy shit! Count Duku was an evil jedi!?! What did I miss…?”

ABE: >> Master Vigil?<<

Kenzi: Kenzi looks away and covers his eyes.
De’Kar: “hey Abe – How much of this Technet stuff is accurate, and how much is propaganda BS?”
ABE: >> As my personal records are out of date as well, Sir Sep, I am unable to say with any certainty.<<
Kenzi: “Don’t believe everything you read, De. That much I’m sure of.”

It will take several days to reach Nar Shaddaa. Ren has programmed the navicomputer to perform several separate jumps.

De’Kar: “well – at least after this I’ll know what I’m supposed to believe… jeesh..” grumbles
ABE: >>Master Vigil? I have found only the following: Shandrize Ihali, Meltdown Café.<<
Kenzi: “That’s more than what I had, Abe. Thanks.”
ABE: >> Affirmative <<
Kenzi: Kenzi busies himself in the meantime with cleaning up the ship, and making the crew quarters suck less
De’Kar: secretly starts building an animal pen in the guise of a speeder bay
Ren: * Between cleaning and tweaking his guns, Ren attempts to make improvements to Bone. It goes poorly. *
ABE: >> Would you care for some assistance, Mr. Kolath?<<
Ren: “It’s more a lack of quality parts than anything, Abe. Thanks.”

The spare parts pile yields an unexpected treasure – A mostly operational DC-15A (which De would recognize from the clone troopers).

Ren: “Hello, lover…” Ren coos to the weapon.

Vula: Vula walks in on Ren – dressed in only her undies and a cami “Well thats just weird”
De’Kar: “ooh – nice – a rifle – those are pretty accurate too, great for sniping, i heard” does a double take “is it buisness casual now?”
Ren: “With that one, it’s more Clothing Optional than anything,” Ren grouses.
De’Kar: chuckles under his mustache
Vula: Vula snorts “I’m comfortable and thats all that matters”
Ren: * The bothan rolls his eyes half-heartedly. *
Kenzi: Kenzi walks in, sees the show, turns around, and keeps on walking.
De’Kar: “riighhht…” heads off to the game console
Kenzi: At one of the hyperspace stops, Kenzi has amassed a giant pile of junk to be spaced
ABE: >.Mr.Kolath? Mistress Hitori?<<

The crew quarters are also looking really nice – Kenzi worked very hard on them :)

Vula: (and Vula now smells clean lol) Ren: “Yes, Abe?” Vula: “Whats up little buddy”

ABE: >.Would it be possible for the two of you to assist with some mechanical upgrades to my self? I am incapable of performing such extensive work on myself<<
Ren: “Sure.” He places the gun in his bunk gently, then collects his tools and moves to assist Abe
Vula: “Be glad to buddy”
ABE: * hands over scavenged parts and a schematic to provide a new form of locomotion *

It takes the entire second jump trip, but Vula, aided by Ren, with some helpful commentary by Kenzi, successfully install the components to allow Abe to roll himself around it’s…a little comical. Bone is very jealous :(

De’Kar: comforst Bone “there there, I’ll get you a pew stick soon”
Ren: “Relax, Bone. We’ll get you some better parts after we offload our cargo.”
Ren: * In an aside to Kenzi, * “We’re not getting that droid a gun, are we?”
ABE: >.Aprreciation displayed<<
Ren: “Huh,” Ren says, when the ship drops out of hyperspace. He points at the blinking comm. “Anyone gonna… get that?”
Kenzi: Kenzi stares at the light. “Weird. Is there anybody out there?”
Vula: Vula saunters over to the comm “This is the Goose, come in?”

Static bursts from the comm then a series of oscillations and beeps

Ren: * Ren idly scans the stars through the “windshield”. * “Nope.” He shrugs and punches the comm active. “Turbid Goose to unknown caller. Come in, unknown caller.”

More static then the same pattern repeats.

De’Kar: “is it binary?”
Vula: “Maybe Abe can figure it out?”
Kenzi: “I haven’t found enough stuff to make a protocol droid…”
Ren: “What’s that?” Ren asks, pointing at something to the port side.

You can barely make out what looks like a navbouy

Kenzi: “Is that, um, supposed to be there?”
Ren: “I doubt it fell off the back of a truck (equivalent).”

(Most of you know navbouies haven’t been in much use for quite some time) Kenzi: “There’s a pattern, so it’s got to be some sort of code, right?”

Ren: “Seems reasonable, yea. Abe? Can you decipher?”
Vula: “What is it?” Vula bounces over and annoys the boys to get some info
ABE: >.The Static appears to be a sequence of numbers repeated<<
ABE: >.As follows:
149 299 402849.4
149 299 402849.4
149 299 402849.4
149 299 402849.4
149 299 402849.4
3883.2 34 100344
3883.2 34 100344
3883.2 34 100344
3883.2 34 100344
3883.2 34 100344
ABE: Then it repeats<<
De’Kar: "aren’t those coordinates…
ABE: >>Unknown<<
De’Kar: But they’re wrong… "
Ren: * Looks at De. * “What do you mean?”
De’Kar: “let’s get a closer look” looks for acknowledgement
Ren: “At the buoy?” * Turns to Kenzi.* “Chief?”
De’Kar: “they sound like galactic coordinates, but they;re off the map…like way off… so maybe it’s a code?”
Ren: “Okay. Without a cipher, what are we supposed to do with it?”
De’Kar: “figure out who left it here maybe? store the numbers?”
Kenzi: He rubs his chin, which looks about the same even after days of not shaving. “Let’s get a scan of the buoy.”
Ren: * Ren nods to Sep, then instructs Abe to scan the buoy when it’s within range. *
10:43 PM De’Kar: De begins manuevering towards it – keeping the turret in Field of fire the whole time

As you slowly pull the ship closer, the comm still repeats the odd, oscillating tones. This thing floating out in spaces looks nothing like the holographic navbouies your ship projects this is…much larger

Ren: “I have a bad feeling about this.”
De’Kar: “yeah… me too…”
De’Kar: looking nervous – gets ready to punch it.

It’s more analog than digital in many ways.
Vula: Vula frowns

It seems to be broadcasting only that sequence of numbers, repeated, with some interference on neighboring channels (about the size of the fuselage of an Xwing)

De’Kar: “what is that thing?” suspicous eyes
Vula: Vula’s eyes get a little large “I think there might be a second sequence…. it’s like… piggybacked on the other.. Abe can you figure it out or help me figure it out”
Ren: Is it just me, or does it look…oddly familiar?"
Vula: “What do you mean fuzzy”
ABE: >>Secondary information stream separated. Available for playback.<<
De’Kar: “nope – I got nothing.” stache is starting to get a little ragey in the suspense
Vula: “Go ahead Abe”
Ren: “I’m not sure. I just… feel like I’ve seen something like this before…somewhere. The way the top part is built struck me.”
De’Kar: “like a ’I’ve seen this in the clouds’ sort of look, or a ’I’ve seen it on a spaceship’ sort of look?”
ABE: >.Commencing playback<<
Ren: * The bothan shakes his head helplessly. *
ABE: * plays back second channel *
When Abe recalibrates the signal this is what you hear:
After he was able to run it through several filters and edit out the alien language into basic

De’Kar: “right… so… anyone wanna guess what the hell that hing is?”
Kenzi: “Unnerving,”

(it repeats endlessly) Vula: Vula frowns and shivers

Ren: “I think… I think maybe we should leave it be. Abe, store the sequences…just in case.”
De’Kar: “I mean, it’s clearly a message – but for who? and why?” blows out stache “what did the scan tell us? anything?”
ABE: >.affirmative<<
Kenzi: “Yeah, mark where we found this, and get us out of here.”
De’Kar: doesn’t wait – just hits the accelerator

me: (you were near the Ruusan system)

De’Kar: “when can we jump?” putting as much distance sublight as he can
ABE: >.Rusan System. There is, reportedly, a moon in the system with a very old civilization. No further data.<<
Ren: * Ren makes the decision for him by punching the button to activate the hyperdrive. *
ABE: >>In active civilization. All that is left are ruins.<<

The ship slips back into hyperspace and the comm blissfully falls silent

ABE: >>Currently no active presence in Rusan system. it is apparently abandoned<<
Kenzi: “I hope I can sleep tonight.”
Ren: “We’ll have to remember that if we ever need a place to hide that No One Wants To Visit.”
De’Kar: “yeah – even us…”
Ren: “We’ll call it a Worst Case Scenario.”
Vula: “My stomach tells me to look into it…. Like I need to know”
Ren: “That’s your inner masochist talking.”
Kenzi: “I think Vula’s right, but we need more to go on. And possibly more booze.”
Ren: “Believe me. I know the feeling. It was right on the tip of my brain…”
De’Kar: “I fear that is a swelik hole with no end Vula” shudders
Vula: “How about we get rid of this grain, make sure we have enough fuel and then investigate?”
Ren: “If I remember anything, I’ll be sure to mention it. Unless it’s unnaturally horrible.”
De’Kar: “mention those too – just in case.”
Ren: * Ren gives Vula an unsettled look. *
Kenzi: “Yeah, pain is best when it’s shared.”
De’Kar: “well and it’s no good going crazy alone.”
ABE: >>Updates to psychiatric programming may be required<<
De’Kar: “how many more jumps too Nar Shadda?”


Elenore Gurtchmann

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