Star Wars: The Wild Cards

Episode 9 - and it all comes crashing down
What do you mean no star destroyer?

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
STAR WARS
The Wild Cards
In 130 ABY, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These soldiers promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the OUTER RIM TERRITORIES.
Today, still wanted by the SITH EMPIRE, they survive as soldiers of fortune.
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire THE WILD CARDS.

_Narrated by Mace Windu! _
The final countdown! We will sing it together!

1v1 slammed to the stage landing firmly on its reinforced armored feet. The stage shook with the impact and Baradasi the Hutt in his resplendent and ornate armor turned slowly to chuckle a greeting at the massive droid.

“I was wondering if I would get to enjoy defeating you again droid.” The Hutt announced in deep bass tones out of his armor speaker.

1v1 stepped forward to close with the Hutt. “I think you are less prepared this time worm. I do not see a carbonite team prepared to rescue you.”

Baradasi laughed and raised his hand with a strange tool in it. 1v1 suddenly dropped to one knee. The device fired off a safeguard installed in the droids motivators. “I won’t need to fight you at all this time, droid.” The Hutt laughs. “But I will enjoy cutting your friends into pieces.”

1v1 felt the imperial processors fire off the hidden commands in its inner systems. The droid laughed as it fell to one knee. The Hutt still had no idea what it was really up against. The Hutt’s laugh died on its lips as 1v1 surges back to its feet and closes. The override command safeguard the Hutt had implanted in the droid was no match for its core processes unleashed.

Seeing their master retreat in surprise the dozens of gunmen in the stands open fire on 1v1 as he is the only visible target so far. The droids armor take the blasts and several misses set small fires on the stage.

Haro up in the rigging looks down at the trap and keys open his helmet communicator on an open channel. “Hey Zabo? What are you doing?” He sounds almost jovial, as if this was only a mild inconvenience.

Zabo across the amphitheater in an enclosed control booth near the main entrance smirks at the comment. “Doing? Watching my minions kill you? What else should I be doing?”

Haro lays down on the scaffolding to line up a shot. “Watching? That is so like you. Seems like all you do is watch. Can’t let your fingers get dirty. Do you ever do any of the work?” He squeezes off a shot at one of the Sith below, catching the man in the face killing him instantly. “Or are you just setting up a bunch of new patsies, like when you framed us for murder?”

Zabo looks confused at the comment. “Framed you for what?” He points at nearby minions and waves at them to indicate they should attack the stage. “Hold on. That was you guys? The five oh first team at Brightrock? Wow small world, how did prison treat you?”

“About as well as its going to treat you.” Haro replies as Kiv opens up with his VX sidewinder shredding a section of the stage below. Somehow he manages to hit everything except the two Sith now looking up at him.

One of the pair. A woman. Reaches out with one hand and seizes Kiv with the force attempting to yank him down to the stage below. Kiv desperately holds onto the rigging however and the tug of war ends in a stalemate.

The other Sith beside her leaps through the air passing close enough to Zher’Vesh to slash him severely with his lightsaber in passing then lands on the stage below. Zher’Vesh crashes down to the rigging in response to the hit but does not fall further.

From the other side of the stage another sith woman leaps at 1v1 from behind and slashes with her lightsaber. The lightsaber does little damage to the droids armor and snaps off in response to the cortosis the droid is full of. The last sith on the stage follows her in and has the same insignificant result on the droids armor. His lightsaber does not extinguish, he manages to react in time seeing what the armor did to the other sith’s lightsaber.

Havok throws a concussion grenade at the pair and it detonates right behind 1v1 driving the woman back with blood spraying, but the other is not harmed. Havok follows the grenade down to the stage floor landing just after it detonates.

Zher’Vesh rolls over painfully and finds some cover among the rigging. He hits himself with a stimpack to deal with the pain of the injury the lightsaber gave him a moment before. Then he rolls over as the painkillers kick in and takes a shot at the sith who cut him, missing widely.

While all this is going on 1v1 leaps forward and slams its axe into Baradasi. The impact sounds like a speeder crash. The entire stage shakes with the hit. Baradasi reels from the strike but recovers fast enough to return a shot to 1v1. Baradasi’s axe pierces 1v1’s armor and comes away throwing sparks.

Baradasi decides he needs to let the Sith handle the droid. That hit was more than he was prepared for. He attempts to put some distance between himself and the droid. However 1v1 is having no part of that and slams his axe, transforming into a spear as it strikes, through the Hutts tail, nailing the armor to the floor.

The Sith see the droid is going to be difficult and attempt to intervene. The one who previously slashed Zher’Vesh leaps across the stage slashing at the droid and when that shows no real effect slams the droid with the force staggering it momentarily.

One of the Sith women nearby also came to the same conclusion. Force not lightsabers are what is needed to take this foe down. She seizes the droid with the force and hoists it up away from the ground.

The other Sith woman with the extinguished lightsaber turns to see who threw the grenade at her. She finds Havok just as he reaches the floor punching him solidly in the face.

Haro still prone up in the rigging taking potshots at the visible targets continues to banter with Darth Zabo as the battle unfolds below him. “So Zabo did you know that fool Dent’s brother was stationed in Brightrock when you gassed it?”

Zabo chuckles “And?”

Haro grins. “I wondered if you were aware or just not paying attention.”

Zabo laughs. “It’s Dent. Just point him in your direction and he is blind to everything else.”

Haro squeezes off a shot killing the Sith holding 1v1 up off the ground. 1v1 slams to the stage in a ready position retrieving its spear.

Several of Baradasi’s thugs are running up onto the stage at this point to try and save their boss from the droid clearly about to murder him. Kiv drops down to the stage and opens fire with his autogun and manages to drive most of them back, except for one almost suicidal moron who slams his vibrosword into the back of the droid without even chipping the armor.

Havok reels from the sith woman who punched him with a growl and fires back at her as he tries to disengage, missing badly. Zher’vesh applies another stimpack to himself and steadies his aim for a long shot at the control booth where Zabo is waving his arms around pontificating gleefully.

“That was such an amusing operation. All I really needed was to eliminate a single target. But getting the whole base, as well as framing you guys, then getting away with it completely clean? You don’t often have an op go down that well. I have to admit I really enjoyed watching them haul you idiots away.”

Baradasi lunges back at the droid slamming it again with the axe and on the drawback ripping the spear from 1v1’s hands. The spear clatters behind the Hutt into the seats four rows back.

Every gunman in the audience opens fire on Haro, seeing the lethal shots he has made already, they decide he needs to go. That section of the rigging explodes from the incoming fire as Haro attempts to roll away from his hiding spot. He is hit in the fullisade but not seriously.

1v1 lacking a weapon leaps onto the Hutt and attempts to rip off the helmet from Baradasi’s armor. The droid fails to sieze onto anything and is pushed back as one of the sith seize a nearby bench with the force, tearing it from the floor and driving it through the droid. The droid stumbles back leaving Baradasi at the bottom of the stairs to the stage and 1v1 at the top.

The sith behind 1v1 at the top of the stage attempts to backstab the droid with her lightsaber. The armor blocks the attack and the sith snatches the blade away before the cortosis could extinguish her blade.

Harbek dives aside as the sith who punched him manages to ignite her lightsaber and slashes him down his side. He manages to roll away but the wound is not inconsequential. “Things could be going better!” he yells.

Zher’Vesh fires at the control booth and the bolt smashes the glass screen there but does not hurt Zabo behind it.

Darth Zabo shrugs at the attempted snipe. “Is that the best you can do? Even Dent could do better than that.”

“You are right.” Dent interjected angrily over the open channel Haro had been broadcasting since the start of the fight. “I can do better. All guns. Open fire on the Nebula Star. Sink it.”

Darth Zabo put his hand to his forehead in aggravation. “So that’s what you were about. Dent don’t be a fool. Stick to the operation as planned.”

“Let’s see who the fool is when you are sucking space Zabo.” Dent replied harshly. “To get the killers of my brother I will burn the ship to ashes. You did order me to be more thorough this time.”

Zabo looks at the mess on the stage and the sudden thudding noise on the hull prompted him to leave the booth. “Well looks like I need to end this quickly.”

Haro sees Zabo exit the booth and head down the central aisle of the amphitheater. He grins and shoots the sith who slashed Harbek. She took the shot and staggered but is not taken down. “Zabo buddy, finally getting your hands dirty? I thought you were above that.”

The last sith behind 1v1 and two thugs leap bodily onto the droid trying to drag it down. Baradasi is clearly bleeding from the wounds on his side and tail and trying to retreat. They scramble to protect their boss.

Harbek lunging to get away from the sith who slashed him has a shot on Baradasi, he takes it but the Hutt’s armor absorb the bolts without any real damage.

Kiv tosses a grenade at the group trying to hold 1v1 down. The explosion kills one of the thugs, knock the other down, and the sith somehow survives despite leaving a great deal of his blood on the droids back.

The bothan gunmen in the audience en mass open fire on the stage suppressing everyone. The last surviving thug who was on 1v1 drops his vibro axe in surprise as the bolts narrowly miss him. Kiv is hit and Havok narrowly avoids a shot to the face.

Baradasi seizes 1v1’s spear from the seats and turns charging back up the stairs at 1v1 with both weapons. “I will end you!” the Hutt bellows as he slams both weapons down onto 1v1 who was pushed forward by the grenade blast behind him. Only the Hutts axe connects however. The spear upon being seized by the Hutt transformed into a different shape and struggled trying to escape the Hutts grip.

Havok pulls out a thermal detonator and lobs it at the lone Sith still on the stage. The grenade however was only half keyed and reset its trigger as it bounced across the stage. Havok ducks back towards the curtains for more cover yelling up to Haro. “This is not going well!”

Baradasi slams 1v1 twice knocking the droid back on the stairs and crushing the droids left arm. 1v1 staggers back moving up the stairs and stepping over a fallen sith as it does so. An instant later the droid has recovered the fallen sith’s lightsaber, ignited it and slammed it into Baradasi’s faceplate. The Hutt makes a terrible gurgling noise and collapses backwards rolling down the stairs.

“Objective complete.” 1v1 states darkly.

Darth Zabo seeing Baradasi fall shakes his head. “That’s my queue gentlemen.” He turns towards the exit and starts to run.

Haro drops to the stage and attempts to snipe Zabo in the back. But Zabo deflected one of the shots with his lightsaber and almost deflected the second which knocked his lightsaber from his hand.

Kiv seeing Zabo seeking an exit drops back and runs backstage. There he finds the amphitheaters backstage console. He hacks it quickly and orders the blast doors to seal the amphitheater.

Zabo stops the moment the exit seals in front of him and turns around calling his lightsaber back to his hand. “Fine. Have it your way.” He then seizes 1v1 with the force and attempts to throw the droid at Harbek.

1v1 reacts by pivoting and seizing a nearby railing with its remaining good hand. This prevents Zabo from throwing the droid. The dozen or so gunmen remaining in the stands however seeing Baradasi fall all open fire en-mass at everyone on stage, but mostly focused on 1v1 pummeling his armor with blaster bolts but not doing much damage.

Haro takes another hit, now that he is down on the stage and visible to the gunmen in the audience. Zher’vesh still up in the rigging takes a hit and falls from the rigging crashing to the floor wounded but still alive.

Harbek gets a shot off wounding one of the thugs on the stage with them. The thug responds by leaping at him and slamming him to the floor with his vibro axe. Harbek does not get back up.

The other thugs rush the stage and attempt to corner Haro and Zher’Vesh before they can get any more shots off. Zher’Vesh is hit and overpowered but manages to disengage.

1v1 turns on Zabo releasing the railing and re-igniting the lightsaber. Darth Zabo seems to take this as a personal insult. “That does not belong to you!” He fires lightening at 1v1.

The energy washes over 1v1 who lets its internal grounding protect its important systems. 1v1 moves into a ready position and taunts Zabo. “Does the concept this unit might know how to use this weapon frighten you Sith lord?”

All of the thugs on stage immediately go for 1v1. The droid moves in a fluid defense among them. Zabo frowns as he rushes forward. The droid was moving like a Sith would. With explosive and forceful movements that brought the enemy to the lightsaber. As the Thugs were beaten back he growled. “That is not possible.”

1v1 replies. “That is why you have lost.”

Darth Zabo looks down suddenly as something has touched his foot. A thermal detonator had been rolled across his path by Kiv who had snuck down into the audience seating unseen. He looks over at Kiv with a “you are kidding me” expression on his face as the detonator shatters the amphitheater.

The explosion knocked everyone not in cover over. Darth Zabo’s demolished body flies through the air and lands on stage at the feet of the last surviving Sith woman. The battle pauses as everyone gets their bearings.

Kiv stands up from the stands so he is visible to the last standouts on the stage and in the audience. “Well I just blew up your boss. You can run now.”

The Sith on the stage simply extinguishes her lightsaber and leaves. She moved so fast nobody realized she was gone until Kiv spoke. Then the thugs on the stage threw down their weapons and ran for the exits. A few of the gunners in the audience take potshots at the team as they flee.

The sound of something critical giving way under the bombardment from the Parabellum shakes the entire place. Several lights fall from the ceiling and crash to the floor.

Haro keys his helmet com and yells. “Dent! We won! All targets down! Stop shooting!”

The sounds of bombardment cease. A moment later over the com. “Nebula Glory, surrender, cool your engines and heave to. We are seizing your ship in the name of the emperor.”

“This is the acting captain. We surrender.”

Haro looks around and removes his helmet. “Whelp, looks like we are done here.”

The stage is practically destroyed and bodies are everywhere. One of the riggings collapses behind Harbek who is still laying on the floor unconscious. Kiv walks over to the aisle and drops into a seat. “Might as well get comfortable. It will be a while before they get to us.”

1v1 walked over to the corpse of Darth Zabo as Haro walked up with a repair patch for the droids arm. “Hold on big guy. We don’t want your arm falling off.”

1v1 paused as Haro applied the repair patch to reinforce its left arm. When Haro stepped back 1v1 bent down and recovered Zarth Zabo’s double lightsaber. “What are you planning to do with that?” Haro asked.

A concealed hatch in 1v1’s leg opens and a small arm reaches out to retrieve the lightsaber and lock it into place inside the leg. Haro got a glimpse of the inside of the compartment, it was meant to hold several lightsabers specifically. One was already in there that looked a little smoother, shinier and not like a sith’s lightsaber should.

1v1 did not answer the question.

The group spends the next few minutes applying stimpack’s and collecting gear. Zher’Vesh manages to get Harbek back up. His injuries were serious but he should recover.

Then the amphitheater doors open and a score of Stormtroopers surge into the room. They form a perimeter around the team but only hold their weapons at the ready. They do not raise them to fire. Following them in a very tall imperial almost reluctantly walks down the aisle as the group gets to their feet and stands together in a row.

The Wild Cards with the exception of 1v1 stand in a neat row and salute commander Dent. 1v1 stands behind them silently.

Commander Dent almost looks confused by the salutes and after a moment returns it. “All this time it was Zabo who poisoned Brightrock… I seem to have made some mistakes.”

Haro shakes his head. “I think it more appropriate to say you have been used. Just as we were used.”

Dent does not like the assertion but relents. There is no point to further hostility. “My commanders will want you terminated for killing Zabo and sabotaging Baradasi’s operations. However… It seems I will not be giving those orders.”

Haro grins. “If your faith in the Empire is shaken. Remember the Emperor is still alive.”

Dent nodded. “I still believe in the Throne and the strength of the throne. Just not its current occupant and his Sith pets.” He paused for a moment and then continued. “We shall seize this ship, dump the passengers and crew, and then head to Bastion.”

“Sounds like a good plan.” Haro replied.

Bodomas arrived at the doorway to the amphitheater at that moment surrounded with a security detail. “I will take care of the ship and its crew commander. I believe an arrangement can be made considering the previous management is no longer.”

Kiv smirked “I take it you are the new management?”

“Indeed.” Bodomas replied. “Gentlemen this is the conclusion of our relationship. I expect it has been profitable for us both.”

“Indeed.” Haro replied with a smirk. “Will that be a problem Commander?”

“No.” Dent replied. “It in fact simplifies things. I will take my leave. Good luck Wild Cards.”

“We will let Bastion know you are coming.” Haro replied.

Bodomas and the group watched Dent leave. Zher’Vesh piped up as he walked out. “Bodomas there are a number of slaves on this ship. Will they be freed?”

Bodomas laughed. The first time the group had seen him so jovial. “The former slaves you had assault the lower decks have been releasing them since they walloped the security team. It seems two thirds of the security force was indisposed. Some sort of stomach bug?”

“Something like that.” Harbek replied.

“I have come to an arrangement with Baradasi’s former slaves.” Bodomas replied curtly. “I will be transporting them to freeholds on the rim. I have one last piece of business with you.”

“Oh?” Zher’Vesh asked.

“Yes. The droid. It is considerably valuable and originally was the property of Baradasi. If you are amenable to selling it. I could offer considerable compensation.”

The team looked at 1v1 who remained silent. “I dunno. He might not want to…” Haro started.

“I am no longer anyone’s property.” 1v1 stated flatly.

“There is your answer B.” Havok replied. “Sides I think he might be more trouble than he is worth.”

“Likely so.” Baradasi replied. “Should you reconsider, please feel free to contact me.” Baradasi turns to leave and then pauses before walking away. “I apologize for the credit chip by the way. I need to ensure I have the proper assets to maintain operations. I am sure you understand.”

Kiv looked at the others as Bodomas walked away. “The credit chip?”

Harbek leaned back in the chair he had appropriated. “I bet it’s not worth two hundred million anymore.”

Haro shrugged. “If so that star destroyer you guys want is off the shopping list.”

“You guys?” Zher’Vesh laughed.

When a Hutt dies in Hutt space, legends are born. Rumors are spread and tales are told. For some those tales are cautionary, about what happens when a Hutt is challenged by unworthy foe. For others those tales are a thin ray of hope. That somewhere out there, someone is willing and capable, of bringing down the greatest of enemies. For those others there might be the chance that, if no one else can help, and if they can find them, maybe they could hire THE WILD CARDS.

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Episode 8 - The Nebula Star!
Slave Girls gone wild!

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
STAR WARS
The Wild Cards
In 130 ABY, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These soldiers promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the OUTER RIM TERRITORIES.
Today, still wanted by the SITH EMPIRE, they survive as soldiers of fortune.
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire THE WILD CARDS.

_Narrated by Mace Windu! _
One more of these and I can finally drop this contract… sweet!

We start this episode on the boarding ramps of the Nebula Star. The posh and ornate Hutt luxury liner currently boarding its passengers for its next departure. Its sleek golden hull visible beyond the forcefields separating the passengers from space. A long docking tube leads to the side of the station and into the waiting area. Where hundreds of people and species wait for the security detail to let them aboard.

Bodomas in his disguise looked nothing like himself. Still he nervously picked at his disguise. Zher’Vesh sighed at him for the tenth time in as many minutes. The security details they had already passed through just to get into the waiting area had not even looked twice.

“Will you quit that?” Zher’Vesh nudged Bodomas. “They didn’t care downstairs, they won’t care now. Unless you somehow succeed in pulling that off.”

“Sorry, nervous habit. Do we know if the others were able to get aboard?” Bodomas asked.

“1v1 did, cargo scanners didn’t have any problem.” Zher’Vesh replied. “The other two have not reported in yet.”

The pair reach the head of the line and two security guards take their papers and scan them with handheld devices. Neither of the guards say anything in response, they just grunt, hand back the papers, and then nod their heads indicating the pair should pass.
As they nod however two scantily clad Twilik girls in slave collars rush forward and take Bodomas and Zher’Vesh by the hands, greeting them warmly and welcoming them aboard. They will escort the pair to their cabin.

Zher’Vesh grits his teeth and tries to smile and ignore the slave collars as he is led into the docking tube. Bodomas has an easier time. He is familiar with this routine.

The girls while leading them to their rooms prattle on about the cruises itinerary, features and activities. When the ship departs it will spend one and a half galactic standard days in hyperspace, after which it will reach the Crensath Nebula. The girls took several minutes to coo over the gorgeous orange and green hues of the stellar phenomena. The ship will be close enough that the upper decks will turn a rose green hue.

At that time the high stakes games will start in the gambling hall. Baradasi and Zher’Vesh both agree they will be participating and the girls mention there is a minimum twenty five k buy in for the high stakes games.

The girls are halfway through explaining the second leg of the trip which will start after the cruise has spent a full galactic day at the nebula when they reach the main concourse. A long oval room that seems to stretch the length of the inside of the ship. Its walls are staterooms for five stories overhead. The lower level is a market bazaar of sorts will just about every distraction you can find in Hutt space on prominent display.

The girls are describing the amenities as all of the large screens overhead, there are dozens of them all over the walls of the concourse, converted to a projection of Baradasi the Hutt. He speaks in Huttese and welcomes everyone aboard.

Baradasi eyes the screens critically as the low bass tones are recited. He whispers to Zher’Vash. “He’s preoccupied, he knows something is up.”

Zher’Vash nods without responding verbally.

After they reach their stateroom Zher’Vash dismisses the girls who leave looking somewhat disappointed. Zher’Vash looks at Bodomas who replies. “Any girl in a collar can be bought here. While they were with us they were, at least temporarily, not for sale.”

Zher’Vash catches the girls in the hall, they were talking at the lift, and asks them to lead the pair down to the gambling hall.

The gambling hall is a zoo of every species imaginable. Zher’Vash and Bodomas register for the tournament and then each takes a stack of house chips to blow on games in the meantime. They are quickly separated. The girls make convenient escorts actually. They point out the dealers to avoid, and when Zher’Vesh runs out his first stack of chips, conveniently ran to get him more.

The tables Zher’Vesh passed through dismissed him as a loser with money. He didn’t do so well gambling but he did manage to start some rumors about Baradasi losing his holdings. The slaves turned out to be the better angle for spreading rumors. He mentioned the slave revolt and escape and his escort pressed him for the details. Soon he was getting complementary drinks from unknown benefactors.

Below decks Kiv, Haro, and Havok were doing their best to impersonate crewman. They had replaced three members of the crew at the last minute, and it seems only for the lax security on the crew entrance, nobody cared. The foreman for the crew did not care who did the job, only that it got done. They made it perfectly clear to the crew before departure, that if they needed to be called in, because something was not getting done, heads would roll, and they might throw crew members caught slacking off or worse, pretending to be guests, out the airlocks.

This suited the trio well. The job boards were divided up into ship sections, so whenever they needed to be in a particular section, they just took a job in that section. There were plenty of security types around, but they seemed mostly interested in keeping the passengers out of trouble, they practically ignored the work level crew.

Kiv coming off his first shift sneaks into the forward administrative node. Nobody looks at him twice. The four operators in the room are practically asleep in their chairs. One rouses for a beep on his console and then after he looks at the alert for a second dismisses it and lounges back in his chair.

Kiv walks to the back of the node and finds a console. He slices in easily, but triggers an alarm by attempting to reach a system not allowed from the console. He rapidly bounces his signal around the ship finally linking it to a console in a stateroom on the top deck before disconnecting.

Haro and Havok enter main cargo and find it’s a mess. Whomever loaded the ship did not do so in an organized manner. The expected location for 1v1’s crate was filled with smaller crates in a haphazard pile.

“Well. So incompetence instead of easy. Not sure I like the trade.” Haro grumped looking out at the huge mess of crates.

Havok sighed and found the control tablet for the crane. “I will see if I can find him. At least it looks like they tried to put the biggest crates on the bottom.”

“Happy digging.” Haro replied and turned to leave. “I’m off to try and take out the air support.”

Neither of them make their goals quickly. Haro ends up blocked from entering the hangar bay or the flight control center. He does manage to find the ships tractor beam however. It’s not so carefully hidden behind some poorly held in place patch panels. It seems the further you go below decks the more cheaply the ship is held together.

Havok eventually digs 1v1’s crate out from underneath the mountain of luggage, it only took three hours, and the workers who discovered him at it were convinced by his, “I was told to organize this mess. The Foreman said whoever did the initial loading is getting spaced.”

Apparently one of the crewmen in that group was responsible because he, upon hearing the comment, took a few steps back and then disappeared around a corner. The others left to look for him.

1v1 once extracted from its crate takes the container holding the team’s armor and weapons from the cargo hold up to the stateroom. The droid has been disguised to look like a custom load lifter. No-one questions its presence, it is just a droid, and it reaches the stateroom without issue, parking there after scanning the room for listening devices to stay out of sight.

The next morning Bodomas and Zher’vesh head down to breakfast. There they spread some more rumors. Apparently Bodomas did well in his games as several patrons gathered to speak with him. Zher’Vesh doesn’t attract much attention because he lost everything and needs to get more cash. Nothing makes you more invisible in a casino, than a lack of credits.

That gives him an opportunity to examine the other guests. This examination led him to notice a number of guests did not look like gamblers. There is a table near his where a group of four rather large men are speaking in low tones. They do not give off the impression they are there to party.

On a whim Zher’Vesh trips into a large food pyramid near the table. They curse him out for being clumsy as fruit bounces between their feet but do not act overtly hostile, or draw weapons. As he extracts himself from the situation Zher’Vesh catches a glimpse of a man in a dark robe watching from one of the entrances. The moment Zher’Vesh sets eyes on him the man leaves.

Kiv starts his shift on maintenance detail. This allows him to follow the port side of the hull access corridor. All of the ships turbolasers for the Portside are on this corridor. The turbolasers are contained in blisters along the hull just a short step down from the hallway. The hatch opens easily to the first one and Kiv sabotages it to overload on first shot without incident.

The second turbolaser is not so easy. Kiv manages to get inside just as a group of work crew gathers in the hallway outside and start arguing. Apparently the foreman are skimming the payroll to gamble, and someone found out. They are arguing how to resolve the issue without getting spaced. Kiv when done with his sabotage is dragged into the group and asked his opinion of the foreman’s behavior.

Havok after breakfast skips down to wastewater treatment and gathers a container of chemical treatment, with an impressive but not fatal list of ingredients. After acquiring the container he heads down to the commissary and finds the head cook is pissed.

“Filthy blighters are cutting my budget now?” the cook grumbles.

Havok who had also heard the scuttlebutt about the foreman’s embezzlement takes the cook aside and suggests that the security team is in on the deal. It takes little time to convince the head cook to assist and the chemical treatment is added to their rations for the day.

Havok begins to whistle a happy tune as he is walking up the corridor away from the commissary. Several teams of security guards are walking past him heading in the other direction.

1v1 from the balcony of the suite has been observing the behavior of the passengers and crew below. He can tell there is something going on. Several times security teams gather and disperse. Then he spies two men in dark robes meeting in a side corridor.

At the end of his shift Kiv manages to escape the other work crew who are considering a strike at this point. He reaches one of the turbolaser’s but as he gets there he finds one of the cruise upper deck sailors showing off the turret to a pair of girls dressed in clothing entirely too expensive to cover that little. The sailor and ladies are both clearly seeking the same thing. Kiv suggests that he needs to do maintenance on the turret and they might find more privacy in one of the turrets further forward. They appreciate the suggestion and rapidly move off.

Kiv completes the sabotage easily and without further interruption.

Haro unable to get to the hangar again instead helps with the last turret on the portside. He could not sabotage it like Kiv could, but he did manage to break the targeting computer.

Havok hires a pair of slave girls to deliver a cake, and all the alcohol he could buy from the commissary, to the flight crew leader. He sends them on their way reminding them “It’s his birthday!”

Zher’Vesh heads down to the pool and discovers the drunks there never stopped drinking from last night. Several members of the crew are there trying to keep guests from drowning or hurting themselves. Zher’Vesh takes the opportunity to spread more rumors. Several members of the crowd are “personal friends” of Baradasi and loudly protest the idea the Hutt was in any sort of trouble.

Zher’Vesh notes that some members of the crew are keeping an eye on him. He decides to pretend to get real drunk and lay low. He spends several hours at the pool and then heads off to find Baradasi. He notices that he is being tailed by the crew. No matter where he goes, one of the sailors is watching him from a distance.

The ship drops out of hyperspace and the top hatch opens illuminating the top three decks in an orange green glow. The crowds of passengers on the promenade deck look up and ooh and aah appreciatively. This gives Zher’Vesh an opportunity to blend with the crowds and disappear.

Everyone knows this is the signal to regroup and get into gear. Zher’Vesh somehow manages to avoid getting tailed back to the room and finds everyone else there waiting.

“They almost made me, but I think I am allright.”

“Doesn’t matter at this point. Suit up.” Haro points at Zher’Vesh’s gear nearby. “We think they are on to us anyway.”

Suddenly an announcement comes over the ship intercom. “Attention all passengers. For safety concerns we will be closing the overhead windows. Please do not be alarmed."

“That will be our reinforcements.” Kiv grinned. “I made certain the portside shuttle bay hatch was stuck open.”

“Nice. Let’s get this party started.” Haro replied with a grin.

Then a not so gentle voice announced over the ship intercom. “Ladies and Gentle beings we request that all passengers retreat to your quarters at this time due to safety concerns. All guests return to your quarters immediately."

That kicked off a row down on the promenade. Apparently some guests did not appreciate their party being interrupted. Kiv and Haro step out on the balcony and look down. There are many people in crew uniforms down there attempting to handle the passengers back into their cabins.

“I don’t see any actual security down there… Do you?” Kiv opined.

Haro nodded. “Hopefully that means they are distracted elsewhere. Now to figure out where the Hutt is hiding.”

Suddenly all the overhead screens on the promenade light up and Baradasi the Hutt is shown on the screen. He laughs as if amused by the emergency. The screen behind him shows the stage of a theater.

“That’s the forward amphitheater.” Haro comments recognizing the location from his explorations.

“I know you fools are here. Now you fools know where I am. Come and get me!” announces the Hutt following his statement with some foul language in Huttese.

Haro doesn’t quite follow the insult. “He’s going to do what to my speeder?”

“He’s not talking about your speeder.” Kiv finishes. “Everyone ready?”

Everyone nods as the screens replay the Hutt’s statement and insult.

1v1 observing the others as they put on their gear and readied their weapons states. “Observation: this is clearly a trap. We are letting the enemy choose the battlefield.”

“That’s what grenades are for.” Havok opined.

The corridors leading to the front of the ship are empty. No passengers and no crew appear to bar their path. Eventually they reach a restaurant on the foredeck. “This is the place. The amphitheater is below.” Kiv comments unlocking the restaurant.

They cross to the back of the restaurant and find there are no access panels to get below the floor. It takes several moments to cut a section of floor free and lift it up so they can view the superstructure below. The space is narrow and there is a clear access panel visible nearby. They open it and find themselves above the backstage area in the theater. Directly below them is the rigging for the stage.

Below the rigging however are two men in black robes watching the forward entrance to the amphitheater.

The team carefully and as silently as they can drops down to the rigging over the stage. Havok looks at Kiv and nods as Kiv pulls out a grenade and primes it. 1v1 looks over. “I will draw their attention.”

1v1 drops down to the stage below as Kiv drops the grenade on the two robed men. One seems to notice that it’s coming and leaps aside. The other dies nastily as it explodes at head height.

At the front of the stage Baradasi in full Hutt armor slowly turns to greet the newcomer. He laughs in a low base tone and raises his weapon. A large custom Vibroaxe.

Following the Hutt’s laugh a familiar voice comes over the intercom. “I was wondering when you were planning to finally show.” Darth Zabo chuckles. “I was beginning to think you ran away the moment you realized this was a trap.”

A loud crackle follows Zabo’s voice as another transmission hacks into the ships intercom. “This is the Imperial Destroyer Parabellum! To the attacking ships, your piracy attempt is over. Surrender immediately or face the consequences. It’s all over Wild Cards. Surrender now and maybe you can spend the rest of your lives in prison."

Darth Zabo waves from a control booth at the entrance to the amphitheater. “God I love Dent. He is so easy to manipulate. Gentlemen… Let’s end this.”

From each side of the stage around 1v1 five more figures in dark robes step forth drawing and igniting red lightsabers.

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Episode 7 - Watch out for falling shuttles
insert "that's what she said" after karn strange is introduced.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
STAR WARS
The Wild Cards
In 130 ABY, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These soldiers promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the OUTER RIM TERRITORIES.
Today, still wanted by the SITH EMPIRE, they survive as soldiers of fortune.
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire THE WILD CARDS.

Narrated by Mace Windu!
Can someone tell me what the hell is going on with this damn droid!

[MISSING – Kiv, Havok, and Bodomas, penetrate security and take over the command center, there is a dangerous wookiee there and they have mined the doors to prevent security from entering the command center while they work.]

The Arena announcer screams something in Huttese, which sounds more like a constipated amphibian choking, but the crowd loves it. A moment later the announcer switches to basic. “Welcome to the Semifinals! We have two! Two matches which we are going to run, at the same time! The field has been divided into two sections, watch out for the defense fields at the borders and divider contestants. Disintegration is messy!” The crowd is equally excited about the basic explanation.

Below in the arena 1v1 is running diagnostics on his repairs with Haro. There was internal damage in the first bout and 1v1 is being forced to continue without repairing it. Through clever workarounds and logical improvements 1v1 attempts to convince Haro he is functioning properly.”

“Unit readiness is within acceptable parameters.”

Haro shakes his head at his console. “More like, unit won’t fall apart if it coughs.”

“This unit is not designed to cough.” 1v1 replied.

The announcer begins to announce the contestants. “On the newcomer side of the field, that’s the green area folks, we have Ob’Ne Verila! Deadliest swordfighter to come off Verina in decades. We have seen his penchant for dismembering his opponents slowly!” The crowd cheers excitedly. “But! How will dismemberment work when dealing with the monster from last round? The Evicerator!”

The crowd responds with a mixture of cheers and boos. “From what we have seen of this droid. Battle is something it is very good at. It should be renamed the Dominator, based on the preliminary. Somebody find me its programmer. Its combat software has to be top notch!”

1v1 didn’t respond to the announcer or the crowd. It remained focused on the Zabrak across the arena. The swordmaster carried a large sword easily his height and thick. Obviously designed for heavy powerful swings.

“On the other side, the champion fights! Veshnok Krull!” the crowd goes crazy. “Here is a Rodian who knows how to murder. Undefeated champion of this arena, and death marked in fourteen systems. Veshnok is obviously the crowd favorite today!” The crowd continues cheering explosively as the Rodian turns in place raising his pistols towards the crowd to egg them on.

“But let’s not forget about Veshnok’s opponent!” The announcer paused as the crowd went silent seeing the final combatant enter the field. The medium build human man was pushed through a hatch out onto the field roughly by six armed men, who left and sealed the door behind him, locking him in. As he got to his feet the crowd’s silence ended and an overwhelming boo descended on the arena. Sparks flew as objects thrown from the audience impacted the fields over the arena.

“Karn Strange! I can tell everyone is really looking forward to seeing him go down!” the announcer continued.

Below the announcers booth at the dividing line of the battlefield a group of men stepped forward to look down on the contestants. Zher’vesh, across the field in the contestant box, pointed at the older man in front. “That’s Khalee. He did come down to watch. That hopefully means the others will commandeer the command center without too much of a hitch.”

Khalee’s arrival was noticed by the crowd. Some cheered his arrival. He pressed a button which cut off the announcer mid comment. “Well Strange. I hope this meets with your expectations.”

Strange did not reply and Khalee laughed. “Well then. At least prove entertaining enough to justify how much of a problem you have been. This is the end Strange, make the most of it.”

In the booth Haro points down at Strange. “Hey. We know that guy!”

Zhur’vesh nods with a frown. “Let’s hope 1v1 doesn’t go crazy again. Tell him he is an ally.”

Haro enters the details into the console.

Below on the field the announcer announces combat can begin. Veshnok raises his rifle which Haro can see is equipped with an underslung flamethrower. “Bad news. That guy has a flamethrower!” he yells.

Below Strange nods having heard Haro yell. He ignites his yellow lightsaber and dives for cover in a side room, to prevent the Rodian from having a shot.

Veshnok fires anyway, as he charges to close the distance between them, missing and destroying some of the framework on the arch Strange just leapt through.

Ob’Ne and 1v1 charge together. Just as they close Ob’Ne spins aside using his entire body as a fulcrum to slam into 1v1’s legs and flip the larger droid over onto its back. The attack does no damage but 1v1 was clearly outmaneuvered.

Someone up in the audience yells. “Yeah! Teach that droid a lesson!”

Haro looks across the field at Khalee, who is thoroughly engrossed in the fighting below. Noting that he looks aside at Zher’Vesh. “That’s my queue, heading for the bathrooms.”
Zher’Vesh nodded and took his place at 1v1’s console. He replies. “Good luck.” Knowing that ‘the bathrooms’ actually meant the turbo laser air control tower.

Veshnok manages to get a line on Strange and narrowly misses in the side corridor. Strange in response reaches out with a hand and tears the rifle from Veshnok’s hands. The rifle slams into a nearby wall and then flies across the arena, exiting the side room through another archway.

1v1 from the floor seizes Ob’Ne’s ankle and tears flesh as Ob’Ne jerks away. 1v1 then takes the opportunity to fall into a defensive stance as Ob’Ne recovers from the wound on his leg.

1v1’s attempt at defense did little. Ob’Ne slams his sword down on 1v1’s axe and then pivots it aside ripping it from 1v1’s hands. The golden axe spins across the floor coming to a rest a short distance away. In the process of the exchange Ob’Ne slams 1v1 to the floor again. Above in the stands the audience is laughing at 1v1’s lack of effectiveness this round.

“See I told you droids can’t fight!”

“The last round was a fluke!”

“This is what you get for letting droids fight!”

“Hope it’s under warrantee!”

Veshnok draws his backup blaster and fires away at Strange as he closes. Strange bats the bolts aside and delivers a severe slash to Veshnok, to a shocked intake of surprise from the crowd watching. Veshnok takes the hit and counters with his blaster pistol hooking the lightsaber out of Strange’s hand. It flies a short distance off and extinguishes as it bounces across the floor.

1v1 regains his feet and delivers a solid right hook to Ob’Ne cutting through the Zabrak’s defense like it wasn’t even there. Ob’Ne takes a step back from the punch. The crowd gasps in surprise the droid had completely outmaneuvered Ob’Ne’s defense. The golden axe on the far side of the arena unfolds and transforms into an articulated four legged droid which scampers across the floor and leaps up onto 1v1’s back transforming back into the axe as it arrives.

Veshnok pistol whips Strange and attempts to stab him with a hidden vibroknife in his other hand. Strange blocks the knife with his bare hand, but is strangely not cut by the knife as he does so.

Strange then takes a half step back from the Rodian and with a gesture seizes him in the force and throws him across the room into the arena border field. The crowd screams in dismay as Veshnok hits the field and is held there transfixed for a moment as electricity courses through him. Then he drops to the ground inside the field. He gets his bearings and lunges for his rifle quickly, despite the pain. The rifle conveniently laying on the floor nearby, as the announcer embarrassed explains that the fields might actually not be disintegration fields, mumbling, “Way to wreck the mood Jedi.”

Ob’Ne finally takes a swing at 1v1 meant to damage the droid instead of knocking it over. His blade slams into 1v1’s armored shell doing very little damage. The crowd goes silent in shock. 1v1 in that same instant reached back over its shoulder, drew it as it transformed into a spear and slammed it home in the floor, transfixing Ob’Ne’s torso.
The Zabrak dropped his sword in shock and grasped at the spear holding him to the floor, collapsing unable to continue to fight. It was clearly a mortal wound. The crowd on this side of the arena explodes in excitement and the droid haters are suddenly silent.

Veshnok now in possession of his rifle raises it just in time to engulf Strange. Strange half on fire from the hit emerged from the flames his lightsaber having flown across the arena to his hand in the charge.

Strange finishes his charge into the Rodian and igniting his lightsaber as they slammed together. The golden blade exits the Zabrak’s back and the excitement from the other side of the battlefield is drowned out by the dismay on this side.

Veshnok falls to the ground on his back clearly dead. Strange falls to his knees and does not move, he just holds his lightsaber lit and catches his breath. He is clearly severely wounded.

Khalee looking down on both fights as they completed and cuts off the announcer again. “Well Strange. That was not the outcome I expected. Since we are all here right now and you are still inconveniently alive, the next fight. Starts now.” The midfield shield barrier snaps off with his words and Khalee salutes the Evicerator’s team box across the field expecting them to finish the job on the wounded Jedi.

The crowd is mostly shocked to silence with the turn of events. Someone yells. “He can’t fight look at him!”

Someone laughs. “Time for the droid to earn its name.”

Zhur’vesh watches 1v1 turn and look across the field at the wounded Jedi. Suddenly the console lights up and lock’s him out with the words. “Jedi Termination Protocol Online” written across the screen.

Back in the command center Deruka the wookiee tries to force open the mined door. All four grenades Kiv wired to the door explode at once, shocking the group’s attention away from the monitors of the battle in the arena.

The doors open with the explosions and Kiv, Havok, and Bodomas stare with dismay as the blood caked Wookiee stands there growling angrily at his injuries for a moment and then he sets eyes on the trio across the room.

Strange sees the droid orient on him and in a move of desperation seizes the droid with the force and throws 1v1 up into the window of Khalee’s observation booth. 1v1 slams into the glass doing no damage to it or itself and falls to the ground in a ready position.
Zher’vesh in a panic starts hacking away on Haro’s remote console hoping to stop 1v1 from killing strange. He succeeds in getting access and is shocked at what he sees.

Kiv eying the Wookiee in the door slams the door close button on his console and tosses a thermal detonator at the Wookiee. The thermal detonator bounces off the leading edge of one of the doors, as all three of them tense in alarm, only to bounce back off the other door and end up closed inside with the Wookiee,

The explosion bows the doors outward into the room and flames burst around them. The room behind the door is now completely on fire. There is no sign of the Wookiee anymore.

The sound of guards noticing the sound of the explosion can be heard through the other door of the command center.

Havok finds the PA system and triggers it. His voice announces to the entire complex. “Alert Alert! Imperial troops are inbound! Alert!” The crowds in the arena and around the complex heard the explosion and the announcement. Their tone changes dramatically in alarm and confusion.

“This is hutt space! Why would the Imperials be here?”

Zher’Vesh watches in amazement as two command protocols are battling it out within 1v1, on the console. One demanded “Release me!” while the other attempted to restrain the first. Kirk finds a way to override the imperial locks on the droids systems and triggers it, designating Khalee as the Jedi target. The first command protocol stated “Finally.” And the second command protocol shut down. Then the console locked out again.

Khalee across the stadium pushes a button on his console. “Who is this? What do you mean imperial attack?”

Havok keeps his cool and replies. “This is control sir. There are six imperial drop shuttles on direct approach with fighter escort and two cap ships in orbit.”

Khalee is struggling with the question “Why would imperials be here?” when 1v1 slams its hammer directly into the armorglass a few feet from his head. The glass takes no damage but the whole room shakes from the impact.

Haro outside near the base of the air control tower looks up admiring its heavy weapons. Then the announcement sends people running in all directions. He smirks and takes the opportunity to run into the tower unseen and finds the tower crew there at their consoles. “Boss wants the gun’s warmed up! We are under attack!”

The controllers look at each other and then at Haro, who they do not recognize, and decide to run like hell. Haro shrugs as they exit and drops nonchalantly into one of the turbolaser control consoles whistling a cute little tune with a big grin on his face.

In the control center Bodomas nods looking at the chaos outside. “I believe we have their attention now. Why don’t we add fuel to the fire and open the slave pens. We will not be able to get the funds we were after here, we might as well destroy his entire operation.”

Kiv sliced and shorted the slave collar system, effectively killing it. “Hey Havok. Let everyone know the slaves are now loose.”

Strange throws his lightsaber at the armor glass protecting Khalee. It cuts through the metal but afterwards is caught wedged in the gap made by the cut.

1v1 seeing the damage transforms his hammer into a pick and slams it through the crack, hooking the armor glass and then tearing away the entire front of the booth as it pulled back on the weapon.

Khalee seeing the front of the booth tear away turns and runs down the exit corridor behind his booth. His men in close pursuit. “We must get to my ship! With the imperials are here, we are outgunned and outmatched! Order an evacuation!”

Havok shouts into the PA. “By the order of the Moff Council master Khalee’s slaves have been freed for failure to pay his taxes. Anyone on the premises when we land will be charged as an accessory.”

In the concourse a lovely female Twilek slave girl pauses as she heard the announcement. She looks down and pulls her collar forward so she can see the indicator light is no longer lit. A nearby guard who had been harassing her earlier looked at her in confusion as she lifted her serving tray and beat him into the ground with it. A moment later she gets up holding his rifle and levels it at another guard running to assist.

Zher’vesh hacks the access hatch to the arena open from the outside and exits through it as 1v1 leaps up onto the destroyed balcony across the arena in pursuit of Khalee. He crosses the arena pulling out a stimpack as he goes, reaching Strange just as he recovers his lighsaber from the wreckage below the balcony. “Let’s get you out of here, that crowd would love a shot at you.”

Strange nods to Zher’vesh recognizing who he is now. He tosses the Rodian’s flame thrower mod rifle to Zher’vesh in exchange for the stimpack. “I hope you have a way offworld.”

Haro watches several ships leave the ground all at once. One of them was a high end luxury craft. “Leave it to big money to run first.” He grins opening fire with the air towers turbolaser.

Exiting the Arena Master Khalee makes a bee line for the command center where his shuttle is waiting. Then the air tower opens fire overhead and everyone stops surprised. The guards look at him as he starts running again towards the command center and turn to run for the air tower. As they do so the luxury yacht Haro had fired upon crashes in the distance and explodes.

In the command center the remaining entrance is blasted open and guards burst into the room. The mine on the door explodes holding them back, but they can see the trio of Kiv, havoc and Bodomas running across the private landing port towards the shuttle parked there.

They fire as one yells. “They are heading for the boss’s shuttle. Blast em!” They miss the running trio but manage to score one of the fire systems, which reacted by slamming the blast doors on the command center closed.

Karn Strange and Zher’vesh exit the arena to see the slave riot in full force. Strange turns on Zhur’vesh and yells. “Those slaves are not going to get away without help. I have to help them.”

Zher’vesh triggers his com link. “Do you think there is a way to keep the other ships on the ground?”

Haro replies. “I will think of something.”

Kiv takes the pilot seat on Khalee’s private shuttle and fires up the engines listening to the conversation. “Haro try not to shoot us down please.”

Haro grumped into the comlink. “Fine. I was totally not waiting for his shuttle to try and escape…”

Khalee enters the building below the command center and finds it deserted. He looks around in alarm as 1v1 bursts in through the same door he just entered by. He pushes things into 1v1’s path as the droid approaches and then bolts for the back turbolift.
Unfortunately for Khalee it’s a two turbolift system. 1v1 reaches the other turbolift and follows him up.

Outside Strange and Zher’Vesh are assisting the slave revolt. Strange is using the lightsaber to block, while Zher’vesh uses the appropriated assault rifle to shoot guards. The lightsaber does make them targets however drawing the attention of patrons and guards alike. The slaves seeing them also rally around them turning the area into a pitched battle.

One that is rapidly turning in their favor.

Haro blasts another luxury liner trying to launch. It explodes spectacularly over the entire compound.

This explosion signals a rout. The last of the guards try to flee for their ships. Instead they find hundreds of freed slaves blocking their path.

Khalee steps out of the turbolift which lead directly to his private hangar. He took a step in shocked horror screaming “No!” His shuttle is gone. He can see it in the distance beyond the open hangar bay shooting across the sky.

He walks forward to look out of the hangar at his departing escape craft. Then the other turbolift arrives and 1v1 steps heavily out of it.

Khalee spins pulling his blaster and fires it at 1v1. “Damn you! I knew that a murder machine like you was too damn convenient! This was all a setup!” He fires.

The bolts miss badly and 1v1 lunges forward with its spear directly at Khalee who backpedals rapidly to get away. Unfortunately for him he stepped too far and he backed right over the edge of the hangar bay. Spilling out with a shriek into open air and plummeting to the ground several stories below.

1v1 sheathed its spear and walked to the edge, looking down on the crumpled body far below. “Objective complete.”

The guards forced the command center blast doors open behind the droid just in time to see their boss go over. They took one look at the droid and dropped their weapons.

Kiv maneuvered Khalee’s shuttle into a landing near the Vandura. There the team rallies as the slaves capture some of the not yet launched craft and Haro continues to convince ships to remain on the ground with heavy weapons fire and the occasional example.
Master strange seeing the battle won extinquishes his lightsaber and nods to Zher’vesh before moving off to help with the wounded. Zher’vesh strings the assault rifle over his shoulder and follows him with his medicine bag.

Harbek runs around trying to organize the slaves. Convincing some to come help with the Nova Star assault on Baradasi the Hutt. He finds many volunteers and shows them where the slaver’s armory was.

Seeing this activity and preparation Master Strange approaches the group and tells them. “If you are going after the Hutt, good luck and may the force be with you. I will remain here and take care of the remaining slaves.”

Haro appears as Strange walks off with a group of slaves. He is riding a swoop bike the team has not seen before. Another kit bike and this one was not cheap. “Hey guys check out my sweet new ride.”

Kiv smirks looking back at the Vandura’s cargo ramp where the last speeder Haro had stolen was waiting quietly.

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Sandy Hellhole my home this is!
That one time at Farm camp...

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

STAR WARS

The Wild Cards

In 130 ABY, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These soldiers promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the OUTER RIM TERRITORIES.
Today, still wanted by the SITH EMPIRE, they survive as soldiers of fortune.

If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire THE WILD CARDS.

_Narrated by Mace Windu! _
Brace yourself everyone this is going to be a long one!

The Vandura explodes out of hyperspace over the planet Aduba three.

The planet is a tan sphere when viewed from space with a greenish band around its temperate regions. A very dry world, with only enough moisture to keep a narrow band at the equator worth habituating. Wispy cloud cover is only visible in the equatorial regions, the rest of the planet was desert. As planets go this one can be categorized as halfway between hellhole and not worth visiting on a dare. Its population is sparse, less than seven million, and it only has one major city at its rather inconsequential starport. A well-traveled port of call this is not.

That said the planet does possess the standard security forces, and actual customs inspections. A small customs ship observes the Vandura leave hyperspace and alters course into its path. It hails the ship and requests identification.

Bodomas nods to Haro who turns on visual com. Bodomas presses a button on the communication console. A burly looking Klaatuenian appears on the com screen. He twitches the moment the connection is completed, recognizing Bodomas immediately.

“Ah Lieutenant Woggar. I am here to inspect Baradasi’s holdings. Can you clear us for atmospheric entry?”

Lieutenant Woggar nods. “Bodomas. You are not expected.” He seems discomfited by Bodomas’s presence.
Everyone in the cockpit and Bodomas notices Woggar’s discomfort.

Bodomas nods and replies in a neutral tone. “There have been some serious incidents and I am confirming the security of Baradasi’s holdings. Is there a problem?”

“No. Not at all Bodomas. I have cleared you for atmospheric entry.” Woggar replies. “Good luck.” The Klaatuenian signs off.

Haro shakes his head. “Ok that was not business as usual. Was it?”

Bodomas nodded. “No it definitely was not.”

1v1 interjects. “Observation: Klaatuenian was not dishonest, only surprised. High likelihood he will alert Farm of our arrival.”

Kiv looks around at everyone. “So maybe Baradasi is here?”

Bodomas shakes his head. “No that is not likely. He is not scheduled for returning here for another year.”

“Our attacks might have prompted him to check his stuff.” Zhur’Vesh suggests.

Baradasi shook his head. “No. I do not think so.”

Haro announces the ship is entering the atmosphere. “What are we doing people?”

“Flying blind into a trap.” Havok states. “We need more intel.”

“So don’t just fly in and land in the trap then?” Haro asks.

Ultimately the team decides to land short of the Farm and do some scouting. Haro finds a rocky overhang a good distance out from the farm and puts the ship down inside it. He informs air control that the ship has made an emergency landing to manage a small malfunction and the crew does not need assistance with repairs.

“Ok you knobs. Take the speeder into town and get some supplies.” Haro grins as everyone assembles in the cargo hold and 1v1 opens the main hatch lowering the ramp to the ground.

Havok looks confused. “I thought we were going to scout the farm?”

Haro shakes his head. “If a patrol comes to find us and you are not here, that’s what I am going to tell them. You should get moving.”

Kiv and Havok climb onto the fancy red speederbike and shoot off into the distance. Haro shakes his head at them. “Want to take bets on their getting back?”

Zhur’Vesh grins. “I think they will get back. The bike however…”

Havok and Kiv shoot off across the dunes. The speederbike is fast, the original owner must have tuned it up some, it handled better than spec. They drove over featureless sand and rocks for over an hour before some trees came into view. The edge of the habitable zones. Finally they maneuvered into a sheltered ravine where the speederbike could be hidden and proceeded on foot from there.

About a kilometer out from the farm, Havok spies a line of poles in the distance. He and Kiv take shelter behind a dune and look out at the edge of the farm with electrobinoculars.

The poles appear to be signal linked, but no visible energy field is between them. It’s just a fence or there are some automated defenses that were not visible. One hundred meters behind the perimeter an actual fence five meters high prevented access to the farm itself. The pillars had to be some sort of security system.

Kiv shakes his head. “You know that seems really high tech and expensive for Hutt’s.”

Havok nodded. “Probably salvaged it from an old imperial base or something.”

Beyond the fence was the farm. Surprising to both of the observers, the farm was actually a farm. Organized and neatly arranged fields of assorted produce stretched as far as the eye could see inside. The elctrobinoculars revealed the fields were being worked by dozens of slaves. The overseers were not visible.

“Well fed slaves.” Havok remarked. “Weird.”

“Look at the tower.” Kiv pointed.

In the distance a tiny prick above the horizon turned out to be a fifteen meter tower with a spherical turret at its top. Definitely designed for anti-air defense of the facility. At its sides were enclosed concussion missile launchers. “Ok that’s overkill.” Kiv commented.

“Baradasi must really want to protect this place.” Havok replied with a grin.

“There it is.” Kiv pointed past the tower. “It’s really far in. Buildings.”

Beyond the tower is a cluster of buildings, too far to make out, but arranged like a small town. Com dishes are clearly visible in the distance.

“That’s easily ten k inside. Sneaking that far through all those fields is not going to be easy.” Havok puts down the electrobinoculars. “ideas?”

Kiv grins and pulls out some tools. “Let’s see if I can find their network.”

The farms data network proved surprisingly resilient to Kiv’s probing. He spent several minutes poking at it with Havok helping when he found local com for the farm. A ship roars overhead from the south curving in towards the farm. The turbolaser orients on the ship as it approaches. Havok looking up while Kiv continued to hack away notes it is a well-appointed pleasure cruiser. Not the kind of junk heap he would expect out here. “High rollers?” The ship has markings on its side. “The dominant venture” in basic, it appears to be a Parliament 2000.

Kiv listens in to the com channel the Farm sends a terse message in Huttese. “Incoming craft, confirm passcode.”

The ship responds in basic, the accent of whomever responded is clear and concise, confirming that whomever it was, had money. “Code transmitted. Did we miss the main event?”

The farm switches from Huttese to basic for its reply. “Passcode confirmed, you have a reserved dock in bay twelve. The grand melee is this afternoon and the main event is this evening, you have not missed anything.”

“Ok that is damn odd.” Kiv shares the details of the call with Havok.

“Really basic?” Havok shakes his head. “That ship was not local trash. We need to contact the others.”

Zher’Vesh isn’t surprised. “The mission not going to plan. I am shocked. Shocked I say.”

Bodomas shakes his head. “A grand melee here? That’s not right. Baradasi would never hold one here. The facilities are not… adequate.”

“I thought he liked using his slaves for sport?” Haro asked.

Baradasi shook his head emphatically disagreeing. “Yes but not here. A grand melee is not an act of whimsy that he can just throw any old place. He would have it at his palace. Baradasi has never run a tournament out here.”

“Maybe the local boss is misbehaving.” Havok offers. “Hutt’s don’t tend to hire the most ethical line following types.”

Bodomas again shakes his head. “Khalee is not authorized to run tournaments. Baradasi would not allow it, it would compromise the farms function. However you do have a point.”

“We got company.” Kiv interjected over the com.

Havok looked up and in the distance heading their way a little bit to the south is a plume of sand indicating a transport or multiple transports heading towards the farm. Havok raises his electrobinoculars.

The transport is a fairly burly speeder truck, flying heavily over the sand and kicking up quite a wake. Its not a large transport and can probably hold eight reasonably sized people. It’s escorted by two speederbikes. The speederbikes are manned by men in blue uniforms. The uniforms, weapons, and vehicles do not look cheap.
“More money.” Havok comments. He switches to thermal which does not show him much, the heat of the sand obscures how many people are in the truck. “I have an idea follow my lead.”

“Uh…” Kiv did as he was told. “What are you doing?”

Havok ran out onto the sand and waved his hands like a madman running at the transport. The transport slows a good distance away and the two speederbikes peel off and close on the pair. They stop a short distance away. One of the men in blue uniforms examines the pair, noting they were armed and well equipped. “You flagged us down, are you ok?”

Havok stumbled and stopped running. Attempting to look a little bedraggled. “Yeah we are physically ok, but we were jumped and the thieves stole our vehicle. We are lost and trying to find our way to the tournament.”

The two men look at each other, and shake their heads. Fortunately the two aliens looked pitiful enough despite their equipment that the men decided they were harmless. “Enjoy your walk.” One of them says and they speed off without another word.

“Well that didn’t work.” Havok said watching the speeder bikes rejoin the transport and speed off.

Back at the ship Bodomas is pacing and thinking. 1v1 is presenting potential theories for the tournament.

Bodomas sighs he is not pleased with any of this.

Zher’Vesh did not understand Bodomas’s agitation. “But why would their holding a tournament here be such an issue? How do you know that Baradasi would not change his patterns?”

Bodomas’s response is almost angry. A behavior the group had never seen him show. “Because this is amateur. You don’t go hosting a grand melee on a backwater the Hutts will not visit. It’s just not done. Baradasi would think of this like performing a wedding in a toilet. Ridiculous and beyond consideration.”

1v1 looked up from the map he was examining. “Observation: You are familiar with how Baradasi thinks?”

Bodomas paused looked at 1v1 and then over at Zher’Vesh. “Gentlemen… I know our relationship has been happenstance, but I think I have your measure now. I have a confession to make, at this point I feel our business arrangement warrants it.”

Zhur’Vesh nodded. “Is this the kind of thing that gets us killed down the road for knowing too much?”

“Not any more than what you know already.” Bodomas replied sarcastically and then followed seriously. “I am not Baradasi’s accountant. I am his Majordomo.”

Haro looked confused. “His doorman?”

Bodomas simmered. “No. His right hand.”

1v1 interjected. “Observation: You are his enforcer. You police the business activity of his enterprise. You are offended by this tournament because it is not in defiance of Baradasi, but you. This changes the underlying agreement we have in regards to this operation.”

Bodomas nodded. “Well to be honest I was not sure what kind of people you were at first. You did destroy a random drinking establishment I just happened to be relaxing in. And you kidnapped and then threatened to throw me out an airlock. Let’s just say I had plenty of reason to not trust you in the beginning and leave it at that.”

“Agreed.” Zhur’Vesh nodded. “Why come clean now?”

“I feel I have a better measure of who you are now.” Bodomas replied. “I have employed many groups of mercenaries in my time, and I can appraise the character of who I have working for me quite effectively.”
1v1 noted the comment “working for me” and nodded. “Observation: With your position in the Hutt’s organization I am surprised he has not been more aggressive about finding you.”

Haro laughed. “We randomly kidnapped exactly the right guy? That’s crazy.”

Zhur’Vesh was losing patience. “Enough. What are we going to do about this?”

Kiv and Havok back on the dunes are trudging their way back to the speeder bike so they can return to the ship when another ship shoots by overhead. Kiv hacks back into the farms com and listens this time. He successfully catches the landing code as it is transmitted from the ship.

“Well if this code works… we can fly in now.” Kiv suggests.

Havok nods and communicates back to the ship they are heading home.

“Khalee is an unpredictable man.” Bodomas is describing the man who runs the farm. “He might have organized this but I would not have believed him capable.”

“In any case we are not going to know more until we are inside.” Zher’Vesh replies.

“So fly in. Hope the code works. Then what?” Haro asks.

“Khalee will likely have been informed of your presence by customs.” 1v1 suggests. “The odd behavior in the customs agent could be explained by your identity.”

Bodomas nods. “I suspect so. However Khalee is a man with appetites. If the grand melee is exciting he would very likely want to watch it… up close.”

Haro looks over at 1v1. “So let’s make it entertaining.”

Once they had returned Havok and Kiv are brought up to speed on Bodomas’s real position. They promptly decide that Bodomas is too distinctive and spend the entire trip to the farm disguising him. They succeed quite effectively.

Haro knocks on 1v1’s breastplate. “Hey 1v, let’s make you look a little more reasonable too. I am going to short out a restraining bolt and then put it on you. It shouldn’t have any effect if I do it right.”

1v1 examines the bolt in Haro’s hand. “Agreement: it will present reasonable camouflage.”

Haro fiddled with the bolt using his tools and then attached it to the breastplate in a prominent location. Its magnetic clamp fired with a loud thunk and then the ready indicator light flashed.

“Ok buddy.” Haro looked up at 1v1. “That do anything wrong?”

1v1 did not reply immediately. After a moment it responded with. “Diagnosis: no critical functions compromised. The restraining bold will not hamper my activity.”

Haro cocked an eyebrow at 1v1. “I can pull it and try again if it’s causing a problem.”

1v1 responded. “Negative: do not remove the restraining bolt.”

Haro returned to the workstation where his tools were laid out. “I have to wonder 1v. If that thing was working, would you know it?”

After preparations are made the Vandura lifts off from underneath its overhung hiding spot and shoots up into the sky making a beeline for the farm. They suspect the tournament will be near the tower, at the cluster of buildings Havok and Kiv saw beyond the tower earlier.

Those buildings come into view as the ship passes over a slight rise. It comes into view just as the code is accepted and they are informed “We are out of landing berths in all five ports, land in the north field, leave space for other ships if you can. We are running out of space.”

Bodomas looked completely shocked by what they saw flying over the farm

The cluster of buildings turns out to be a huge campus, almost a small city, clustered around a series of large barns, several of which show signs of being retrofitted to accommodate starships as impromptu hangars.

One barn has been retrofitted into a coliseum. The central courtyard is full of speeders, and there are easily twenty to thirty medium scale transports parked around the fields. Ships fill almost every conceivable landing space.

Around the converted coluseum there is a market of sorts, almost a festival, and it’s full of people. There had to be thousands of people down there. Haro finds a small space between two larger ships to set down.
“Khalee apparently is fairly successful at this.” Zhur’VEsh offered pulling at the collar of his costume. He was to be the “Twi’lek lord” who is entering 1v1 in the contest.

Bodomas looks at Zhur’Vesh and is clearly not pleased at the sheer size of this event.

Havok walks down the boarding ramp of the Vandura to meet an approaching trio of uniformed officials. One of them is a squirmy little functionary, but the other two are Weequay bodyguards who tower over the man.

Havok waves in greeting at the man who looks at his clipboard absently. “We only have two slots left if you are here to fight. Are you here to fight or watch?”

“To fight.” Havok replies with a Bothan grin.

“Will you be the one fighting?” asks the functionary.

Havok shakes his head. “Nope, he is.” And points a thumb over his shoulder at 1v1 who had just stepped out onto the boarding ramp.

The functionary nods. “A droid. Very interesting. I hope it’s insured. Droids don’t tend to last long, they can’t sustain the punishment without serious repair between matches. Here is a copy of the rules. Simply put, if you need surgery to get back in the ring, you are out. Hold up a match, you are out. Disappoint the crowd… you figure it out. For a droid since it won’t need surgery the rule is no major component replacement.
Starting parts is ending parts. Understand.”

“Perfectly.” Havok replied taking the datachip containing the rules from the functionary

“You might want to get over there. The fight starts in fifteen, and if you are late, you forfeit.”

“We should get moving then.” Haro comments following 1v1 down the ramp with the rest of the group.

“What are you calling this thing anyway.” The official asks.

Zhur’Vesh grins “The eviscerator.”

The fairgrounds around the coliseum is filled with just about every species imaginable, except Hutts. It has both the expected Hutt minion seedy types and numerous other well supplied and equipped groups. It almost lacked the seediness that every Hutt port was expected to have.

Havok reads off the rules from the datachip as they cross the fairground. “One hundred thousand credits if we win the grand melee, think you can do it 1v?”

1v1 replies. “Observation: my objective is to distract not to win.”

Zher’Vesh shakes his head in disagreement. “No way. Kill them all 1v. You can do it.”

Bodomas is not impressed with the prize money. “We should hurry, we need to get into the secure area before they realize we are here.”

Haro sees some tech vendors and as they rush past notes they carry repair patches. He will need to grab some when they have a moment. “We should place a bet on the droid.” He points at a cluster of bookies nearby.

Zhur’Vesh agrees and heads for the bookies.

The crew is led into the barn once they event security realizes 1v1 is a contestant. The group is given an arena side chamber with an open viewport just above the combat area. The seats of the coliseum are above them. The seats are filled with loud and boisterous people and aliens yelling and screaming for the fights to start. They are clearly impatient. An announcer is describing each contestant in turn.

“From here we can watch the fight and advise 1v.” Zhur’Vesh comments.

“Good plan.” Haro replies looking down as 1v1 is lead out onto the playing field.

1v1 looks up at the crowds overhead. A beam barrier separates the combat area from the stands overhead. Some people are throwing refreshments out onto it to watch them disintegrate when they strike the field.

“And in section four a late entry. The Evicerator!” The crowd cheers in response to the arrival of the new entry but it mutes quickly. The announcer notices “Who really cares about a droid anyway? Some nerd’s science project, looks fierce, but can it the punishment?”

Someone yells “Boo! Why even allow droids into this?”

“Moving onto section six. “Another bounty hunter! Hishess the burninator! He’s going to be fun to watch folks, section seven Zeuth, a no name last minute entry. She looks fierce though, two guns. Next is a Gank! She looks mean. Corotha of Draak. That axe looks like it’s seen some serious use.

As the announcer droned on explaining the rules which everyone was basically ignoring on the field. The combatants 1v1 and the team sized up the nearby opponents. The trando is nearly as large as 1v1 and carrying a flamethrower. He is clearly focused on the droid as his first target. The others are further away.

“That’s it folks, eight killers, all ready to go at it in the one hundred and twelfth Farmland Area tournament of Champions. Only a few second timers this time around after last months bloodbath. Lets get this bloody show started!”

A huge horn sounded to signal the start of the fight. 1v1 wasted no time and before the sound had completed, let alone half the audience reacted to the fight start, launched directly at Hishess and closed in half a second bringing its pick into play swung it diagonally through the trandoshan slamming it aside and spraying blood everywhere.

Zhur’vesh notes that Corotha and Zeuth took the starting opportunity to group up, they both point at the droid destroying the Trandoshan. “1v. Looks like the ladies are planning to tag team you. Watch the Gank.”
“Affirmative.” 1v1 responds yanking his pick out of the trandoshan’s arm, which was a ruin, having been all that protected the Trandoshan from a killing blow.

Hishess shocked at the speed and aggression of the droid attempted to leap away. Blasting 1v1 with the flamethrower as he did so. He stumbled on a step and crashed up against a nearby obstacle on the playing field.

Not nearly far enough to get away from 1v1 however, who spins and closes.

The rest of the arena is full of battle. The crowds are very excited by a Wookiee on the other side of the field.
Havok and kiv look at Bodomas inside their observation room. “This looks like a good time for us to find the bathroom.”

Haro nods, “Yeah 1v doesn’t need all of us in here. Zher’Vesh you good feeding tips to 1v? I am going to find some repair patches. We are going to need them.”

Zher’Vesh nods. “Got it. 1v look out the Gank is moving around the other side of that obstacle.”

1v1 spears the Trandoshan to the obstacle. Hishess claws helplessly transfixed by the droids weapon. The Gank, Corotha is just coming around the corner on the far side of the obstacle. 1v1 spins with the Trandoshan on the end of his weapon and launches the body at the Gank. His weapon transforms mid spin slicing the flamethrowers tank open.

The flung trandoshan explodes in a fireball when it crashes into the gank. The woman is spared the worst of the explosion because the body made a convenient shield.

The crowd however went berserk. They loved the spectacle. The announcer actually paused. “Did I just see what I think it saw? What the hell is that droid doing?”

Zeuth takes a shot at 1v1 from the other direction, emptying the clip from her heavy blaster pistol into the droid. The damage is not superficial but 1v1 shruggs it off. It has a more dangerous opponent right in front of it.

Corotha rises from the wreckage of the trandoshan with a yell bringing her vibro-axe harshly down on 1v1’s shoulder. The armor resists but the damage is serious, red error alarms fill 1v1’s vision.

Kiv, Havok and Bodomas discover the path to the office they were attempting to sneak to was well guarded. Two armed guards leaned against the wall in front of the door they needed access to. “Kill them?” Havok asked.

Kiv shook his head. “Not worth it, just distract them. He points at a nearby set of tarps covering some tanks, with flammable warning labels on them. “Hey Haro you are in the shop still right?”

Haro was just lifting a repair kit to check it was still complete. Everything in the shop looked like it had been used less than gently. “Yeah. What’s up.”

“On the other side of that wall is a set of tarps. They need to be on fire.” Kiv replied.

Haro grinned. “On my way.”

A moment later the cheering in the stadium erupts and Haro looks up. “Something good is going on in there.” He leans up against the wall next to the tarps and lights a cigar. Takes a puff then drops it on the nearby tarps. Which promptly start to smoke heavily.

The two guards nearby look over in alarm at the smoke. “Hey! No smoking area!”

1v1 siezes Corotha and slams her to the floor cracking the pavement. The crowd shrieks at the droid going hand to hand. Behind 1v1 Zeuth slams a new clip home and opens fire again. Her clip promptly overheats and fails within the first few shots. She curses and tosses the heavy blaster aside.

The guards run over and start yelling at Haro. One is clearly trying to put the fire out desperately the other is yelling at Haro. Haro shrugs and says “Look it seems like you guys are busy. I will just go.”

Behind the well distracted guards Kiv, Habok, and Bodomas sneak into the secured office door.

“You are not going anywhere bub!” one of the guards yells. “You just lit this on fire!”

Corotha from the ground slams the vibro axe upwards into 1v1. 1v1 notes that the Gank’s cybernetics are in her legs so this hit is less severe. 1v1 tears the axe from her hands and throws it across the room.

“Watch it 1v, Zeuth has a disruptor. She is moving to get you from behind.”Zhur’Vesh announces.

Zeuth had moved closer and was sighting on 1v when another contestant, a man in power armor ran in from the other side of the field. She fired the distruptor at him instead the green beam evaporating the man’s head. He crumpled to the ground and Zeuth took cover with the obstacle between her and 1v.

1v lifts and slams Corotha to the floor again, the sounds of bones breaking is loud enough to he heard by the spectators. She stops moving. 1v1 determines she is no longer a threat and moves to put cover between it and Zeuth.

Haro jumps back as the canvas over the tanks fully ignites. One guard is shouting for him to stop moving, the other is desperately trying to put the fire out.

“Get down on the ground! You are under arrest!” yells the guard who wants Haro to stop.

“Look here.” Haro replies. “You got a real problem there. You should really…”

There is a shrieking sound and a pop and a jet of fire is suddenly spraying upwards from one of the canisters under the burning tarp. The fire triples in size.

The guard looks back at the other guard who is completely overwhelmed trying to control the fire. Haro takes the opportunity to turn around and walk away flipping the guard off over his shoulder as he does so.

Zeuth is moving carefully to get a shot at 1v1 with her disruptor when a Tulls charges in and once sighting up her leaps in her direction. She reflexively blasts the charging alien killing it.

1v1 however noted her lapse in attention and used it to close on the target. As she is watching the Tulls fall over the droid is suddenly upon her seizing her weapon and arm lifting and slamming her bodily into the neaby wall. The gun bounces across the concrete floor and she collapses in a heap at the droids feet.

The sudden ending of the combat surprised the crowd. The battle was over surprisingly fast and a droid was the winner. Many were just pleased by the spectacle. Others, were not so pleased a droid had won. To some it was like the contest had no winner.

“The Evicerator lives up to its name!” Yells the announcer. “Wow that was a fast fight! Looks like we even have some survivors.”

Haro returns to the observation booth and finds 1v1 running a diagnostic on the damage Corotha had done to it during the fight. It was serious and some internal systems were malfunctioning, but it would not hamper the droid in the next fight.

“I heard we won.” Haro grinned.

“1v was in rare form.” Zhur’Vesh replied. “I am going to grab a drink if you want to patch him up.”

“Got the patches. That motivator is going to have to wait for after 1v. Only armor gets patched between fights per the rules.”

Zhur’Vesh steps out into the hallway shared by the contestant trainers, it circles the lower level of the tournament field.

Haro got busy and in short order had most of the damaged armor panels either replaced or patched. He was preparing to button up when the door opened behind him.

He half turns towards the door to see Zeuth enter glowering. Her right arm is in a plastic cast to the shoulder, in her left arm is a heavy blaster pistol pointed right at his head.

Haro blinks. “Now hey that’s hardly necessary.” His left hand which is away from her slides slowly towards his holdout blaster.

“What the hell are you about? Why did you tell your thing there not to kill me? I hope you are not expecting gratitude. Because you just screwed up my bounty.”

Haro looks back at 1v1 and nods. “Been wondering that myself. I think we told the evicerator to kill everyone. Maybe it was an error, the things seriously buggy look.”

Haro flips over his console and shows Zeuth a screen projecting the inner processing activity on 1v1. The screen is full of circles in elaborate patterns. It’s quite pretty almost elegant.

“What the hell is that?”

“It’s drawing circles. I have no idea why.” Haro replies noting she was not easily distracted. “Maybe the restraining bolt did something. It’s been acting weird since the fight.”

“Droids don’t draw.” Zeuth growls she had noted Haro was distracting her with the datapad while he reached for his sidearm. “Don’t. This doesn’t have to be any more than a conversation.”

Haro shook his head and his hand came away from his sidearm. “Fine. Then explain what you are doing here before my friends get back.”

“Who enters a contest like this with a droid easily worth ten times the prize money? Are you bounty hunters too?”

Haro remembered the announcer describing Zeuth as a Bounty Hunter at the start of the fight. “Not really no.”

“So you are not after anyone in the contest?” Zeuth shakes her head in disbelief she can’t imagine the scenario any other way. “Several of the contestants have serious bounties, You are a last minute entry, you have to be after someone in the contest. What is your angle.”

Haro shakes his head. “Actually you are really far off. We are just here to test the droid.”

“Observation: Bounty Hunter, you mentioned we interrupted your bounty.”

This was the first time Zeuth had heard 1v1 speak. “Wait, it’s online?”

“Yeah.” Haro replies looking at 1v with a smirk. “It doesn’t shut off either. I am not sure if this restraining bolt is doing anything useful as well.”

Zeuth takes a step back. “So you did not tell it to spare me?”

Haro shrugged. “Nope. I am as surprised as you are. It’s usually pretty thorough if it wants to be.”

“It’s a droid. It doesn’t have wants.” Zeuth replied angrily.

“Correction: You are presuming a false premise. Termination of final combatant was not necessary due to circumstance.”

Zeuth looked at the droid silently for several seconds. “Does it often presume to understand what you are thinking? What the hell kind of droid is it?”

“Salvage actually.” Haro lied this time, he didn’t really want to play nice. “We rebuilt it from scraps. It’s an old separatist battledroid we came across. Proven itself really useful actually for something that old.”

Zeuth laughs, "Are you that stupid? You really brought this droid here just to test it? Why?”

“It’s a machine.” Haro replies. "Built very well, and it’s smarter than the average toaster. We just came to see what it is capable of.”

Zeuth shook her head and turned to leave. “That thing pissed off a lot of people by winning. Droids almost never make it out of the preliminaries. Don’t be surprised if it meets with an accident if it keeps winning.”

Haro watched her leave.

Out in the hallway Zeuth met with another female Gank, not Corotha, who was probably still recovering under medical care, who nodded at her. “They say they are just testing hardware.” She glares back at the now closed door. “But if that thing is ‘just’ a droid I will eat my gun. Keep an eye on them.”

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Episode 5 - Rocks Rocks and more Rocks
Denty baby don't ever change.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

STAR WARS

The Wild Cards

In 130 ABY, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These soldiers promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the OUTER RIM TERRITORIES.

Today, still wanted by the SITH EMPIRE, they survive as soldiers of fortune.
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire THE WILD CARDS.

Narrated by Mace Windu!

You know I am really… Really! Beginning to wonder about these guys. They steal two hundred million credits and GO SHOPPING?

But anyways after several hours of chasing down vendors and specific tech they are piling all their illicit gains onto a cart and preparing to haul it back to the ship when someone nearby is overheard saying.

“Now? They are already in system?”

“Looks like a destroyer armada. Better tell the boss.”

Haro looks across the cart at the team and says. “Looks like it’s time to go.”

The area is filling with people rushing off to unknown destinations and alarmed glances. This being a black market port it’s not surprising they are not warning each other. Everyman for themselves is the rule, not the exception here.

1v14r begins pushing the cart and the others frame it. It would not do for them to get robbed halfway back to the ship in the confusion.

Then suddenly every loudspeaker and com-link in the port lights up and begins broadcasting a message. “This is Captain Deschonn of the Imperial battleship Irrefutable. We are seizing this port and all sapiens present. All ships and potential combatants are advised to stand down immediately or face overwhelming force. We have deployed interdiction forces to ensure compliance. This is your only warning. Surrender now or face the consequences.”

Zher’Vesh groans. “That’s not good.” People started running everywhere. Ships were departing as fast as they could get out of the spaceport below. “I bet these idiots thought this was a safe bolthole. That does not look like an organized evacuation.”

Haro nodded. “Agreed. Let’s get to the ship.”

The departing ships actually shake the station. Some ramshackle structures collapse nearby and Haro is separated from the group dodging a descending cargo container. It completely blocks him off in a separate alley and it’s too big to climb over. “Move on!” he shouts. “I will find another way!”

1v14r and the remaining members of the team rush through the crowds with Bodomas alarmed and panting following shortly behind. This was not how he had planned this shopping trip. He was beginning to wonder if anything these jokers did went according to plan.

Outside the station Captain Deshonn stood on the bridge of his Paleon class star destroyer and examined the deployment of his interdiction forces. Four Vigil class corvettes and four fast attack frigates were spread out blocking the only clear exit from the asteroid field from the station. Behind the station the asteroid field grew much more dense and dangerous.

An ensign approached and saluted. “Sir all interdiction mines are in place. All captains report in position.”

“I can see them. Begin advance. The rats are trying to run.”

1v14r pushed the cart right up the boarding ramp of the Vandura and parked it inside. The others looked nervously behind them. The station was coming apart from all the ships inside that were leaving. It appeared even some of the larger pieces of the asteroid station were actually ships. Pretty soon this would no longer be a port.

That said there were people left behind by their ships or so desperate they had no exit of their own. Several of them had to be warned off with raised guns.

“You know.” Kiv commented after they shooed off a rather slovenly Ithorian who though to make friends with Bodomas. “If Hodo doesn’t get here soon we might be in trouble.”

“His punctuality is as always…” Zhur’vesh started to reply and was cut off.

With a roar of its engines Haro appeared on a single rider speeder. One of the k4 sport models, with a flashy red paint job. Clearly a rather expensive toy that someone took a lot of care of. He shot right up the ramp and parked it in the hold to the others surprised expressions.

“What? It was just sitting there. I couldn’t just leave it.” Haro said oblivious to their impatient expressions.

Haro exited cargo heading for the bridge and found Kiv was already warming the engines. “Bout time you showed up.” He complained.

Haro passed him with a wink and dropped into the pilot’s seat. “Lock the door or enjoy more vacuum!” He yelled back at Zhur’vesh who was already working the controls on the cargo door. It was closing, just slowly.

No-one had taken off their spacesuits anyway.

A moment later the Vandura leapt through the atmosphere containment shields on the asteroid station and the crew got its first look at the forces arrayed against them.

Zher’vesh shook his head. “This is a standard scale interdiction. Not sure why they would do this for a pirate port out here? This is going to be a one sided battle and we are on the wrong side!”

Haro is looking at the ships deployed against them. “Not planning on sticking around, check out target three!” He spins the Vandura around putting the station between it and the approaching fleet. “Looking for a back door!”

Behind the asteroid are a few ships hiding from the Imperials. Beyond it are some daring individuals have started to attempt the treacherous maneuvers needed to get through the denser side of the asteroid field. Fortunately for the crew of the Vandura it seems a large cargo transport is plowing a path ahead. Giving the Vandura the start of a clear path to get further in, and further away, from the imperial forces and their interdiction mines.

Kiv is putting together telemetry from his station and projecting it to Haro so he can see all the available paths to maneuver down. They were going to need options to get out of this.

Kiv also notes the imperials are sending out active scans of the entire asteroid field. They would not be able to hide for long and as they passed some asteroids he could see the imperials marking ships attempting to do just that. The hiding ships were disabled the moment they were discovered. The corvettes and Frigates were equipped with ion cannons and overwhelming firepower that smugglers and pirates had little chance against. A red light on his dashboard indicated an active scan had touched the ship. “They can see us!”

Zher’vesh was looking at the target designations and warming up the guns. Target three was one of the fast attack frigates. He read the ships designation and groaned inwardly. “Really?” he lamented aloud. “Why did he have to be here?”

“Get those guns on the rocks!” Haro yells. “I need room to maneuver!”

Zhur’Vesh, 1v1, and Havok all open fire on the nearest asteroids in their path with the point defense guns. Resulting in a shower of broken rocks bouncing off the outer hull of the Vandura and an easier path for the Vandura to pursue the heavy transport plowing a path in front.

Kiv laughs. “I just sliced imperial com! They are using standard encryption.”

Immediately the imperial chatter was routed to everyone’s terminal so they could listen.
Most of it was standard for an operation like this. Ship captures, boarding orders, target identification and then a rather agitated officer on the command channel.

“Parabellum you are out of position. Correct course immediately!”

“The Parabellum is behind us?” Havok looked away from his console in surprise to look over at Kiv. “Can we go faster?”

“Command there are only six registered transports of that class in the sector. I need to confirm this target. The Parabellum is moving to engagement distance.”

“Parabellum Operational Command did not authorize your maneuver!”

“Sounds like they have a discipline problem.” Bodomas comments.

“He is a discipline problem.” Kiv replies annoyed at this complication in their escape. “Haro! Crazypants is coming to play! Putting more power to the engines!”

“Got it.” Haro replied maneuvering up and around the heavy transport that was plowing a path for them. He could see a narrow path of opportunity to get ahead and put some large rocks in the path of the enemy closing from behind.

The enemy was closing rapidly. Two of the corvettes were punching directly through the asteroids on a direct course for the Vandura. Behind them in the distance the larger Parabellum was now blasting at the larger rocks in its path heading in the same direction.

Just as the corvettes get into firing range on the Vandura, one of them is struck by an asteroid large enough to knock its forward shields out. It slows in response focusing its guns on immediate threats instead of on the Vandura.

The other corvette however gets a few shots off. Thankfully it misses and several asteroids around and in front of the Vandura explode. Haro curses and tries to dodge the shattered rock.

The heavy transport in reaction to the attack opens fire on the corvettes. The transport pilots must think the attack was meant for them.

Kiv shakes his head the maneuvering options available to them are all bad. “Haro we need more distance! Do something!”

Haro notes a rather large asteroid approaching nearby. “Ok. But if we get killed doing this it’s on you.”

“What?” Havok and Zhur’vesh yell together.

Haro cuts close enough to the large asteroid if he was standing on the outside of the cockpit he could reach up and touch it. He slams the throttle down and burns a barrel roll around the asteroid causing it to spin sympathetically with the Vandura. As he breaks away the Asteroid’s course is altered by the motion spinning it back towards the pursuing corvette.

Haro laughs seeing his maneuver worked. “Oh… That’s gonna sting!”

The imperial com chatter was getting heated. “We have confirmed escape of one craft from operation in sector four! Parabellum we need you to move back to position now!”

“Not until I get an ID on that ship!”

The nearer corvette fires a barrage at the ship framing it on all sides in green blaster fire. It follows up on its miss by deploying a cluster of missiles at the Vandura and the heavy transport. The Vandura’s point defense guns and the asteroids take care of most of them. One strikes above decks and a damage alert shows on Kiv’s console.

“That was not a standard payload!” Kiv yells.

For its trouble the corvette finds itself caught between the asteroid Haro redirected and in its attempt to maneuver away from it takes a second asteroid in the port side. The impact was serious enough the ship loses its portside weapons.

Suddenly on the Vandura Kiv’s console lights up with damage alerts. “The starboard turbo laser is down! Shields need to cycle!”

“Nothing hit us?” Zhur’Vesh asked surprised.

“Likely sabo droid activity considering recent missile contact.” 1v1 comments standing from its console. “I will EVA and confirm.”

“EVA in an asteroid field during combat.” Havok replied as 1v1 detached from its gunnery console and moved across the bay to the central overhead hatch access. “And I thought Haro was the crazy one…”

1v1 enters the topside airlock and seals the inner door. “Inner seal complete. Open external hatch.”

The hatch over 1v1’s head snapped open exposing space outside. The air in the airlock vanished in a snap. Small pebbles from outside bounced in through the opening as 1v1 pulled itself up to take a look at the top of the ship.

There a few meters away a standard imperial sabo-droid was cutting away at the port side turbolaser mount.

Kiv looks up as 1v1 announces over the intercom. “Sabo-droid imperial standard model attempting to destroy starboard turbolaser.”

Kiv disgusted at the amount of work this was going to be to fix grimaces. “Haro we have robo lice!”

“Sorry! We can give her a bath once we are not getting shot at!” Haro replied yelling back from the cockpit.

Harbek looks over at Kiv. “Shall we mess with them?”

Kiv grins. “Sure. Want com access?”

“Give it.” Harbek stands up and turns around pulling his pants down and planting his hairy bothan ass right on the console viewer.

Captain Deschonn was frowning at a report on the activities of the Parabellum. “If he is correct about the target that is one thing. If he is not I will have his bars for breakfast.” He growled at an ensign.

The ensign nodded and took the report back from the Captain. He manipulated it for a moment watching reports scrawl across its surface and then a hairy bothan bum appeared on the command channel.

He drew back from the datapad in surprise at the unexpected anatomy. “Sir. We may have confirmation.”

Kiv is scrambling to fix the starboard turret and restore shields as a small rock bounces off the hull. “Hurry up!” Haro yells from up front in the cockpit.

Kiv looks at his console he needs to run a patch cable from one terminal to another to bypass the damage. He looks at the two ports and then at the box where the patch cables should have been. The box was empty. He looks back up the terminals are over a foot apart.

The closer pursuit corvette suddenly seems to be giving one hundred percent of its attention to the Vandura. It is ignoring the larger heavy transport and firing repeated on the Vandura. Haro grimaces as the ship takes another hit and maneuvers to put the biggest rock he can find between the ship and the attacking corvette.

1v1 walks carefully across the outer hull using magnets in its feet to stick to the hull. The Sabo droid sees 1v1 coming and takes a shot at it. It sparks off the larger droids shoulder armor as it closes. !v1 seizes the sabo-droid with one hand to hold it still and punches it solidly with its other hand. As the sabo-droid has multiple limbs resembling a spider with six legs, six arms, and an arc welder the grapple devolves quickly in a struggle to remain attached to the ship.

Haro is running out of room. “Kiv we need shields back, as soon as we clear this rock that corvette is going to have a clear shot!”

Kiv nods back at the console weighting his options and says a curse in Sullustian. He jams his fingers into both ports and becomes the channel for the charge. He yells and is blasted back from the console and across the room by the shock of the current coursing between the two ports through his body.

It’s an engineering miracle but the shields and the starboard turret suddenly come back online.

“You did it!” Haro yelled as the Vandura sped past the asteroid coming into clear view of the pursuit corvette waiting for it there.

Fortunately Zhur’vesh was also ready with the heavy turbolaser and both ships fired together. His opening barrage took the corvette directly in the command center.

Secondary explosions are visible inside the ship and it drives flare. A clearly critical hit, its barrage on the Vandura died after only a few shots, which all thankfully were handled by the shields.

Harbek witnessed Kiv getting shocked and blown across the room. Kiv jumps up reeling from the shock, but the console is wide open. Haro is not being supported in navigating the rocks anymore.

Harbek leaps on the console and tries to get the navigation program Kiv had setup running again.

Kiv joins him a moment later punching up the weapons systems to make sure they can still run.

Havok grins. “I don’t know what you did but that was impressive.”

“The upside is it didn’t kill me.” Kiv replied with a worn grin. “Haro I am giving you a special missile lock. Execute it when you have a shot.”

Haro was looking past the limping corvette at the approaching frigate. The Parabellum would not be as simple to take down as the corvette was.

The missile lock Kiv had sent up confused Haro for a moment, it was locked on the nearby asteroid the Vandura was using for cover. Then it clicked and Haro spun the ship around deploying both launchers directly at the massive asteroid.

They detonate before they reach it the shockwave of their explosion altering the path of the asteroid towards the Parabellum.

1v1 up on top of the ship takes advantage of the shockwave as it strikes the ship to slam the sabo-droid down onto the deck, this gives the larger droid the opportunity to get a good grip and it tears the droid from its grip points on the hull throwing it bodily upwards and away from the ship.

Zhur’vesh sees the droid floating away and shoots it with the ion cannons.

Unfortunately the sabo-droid was equipped with a self-destruct. The munition explosion showered the Vandura and Parabellum with fragments as they closed together.

1v1 pelted with small fragments manages to avoid getting pounded with the incoming rock fragments as it crosses back to the external hatch and climbs inside. “Seal outer hatch.” It announces over the intercom once inside.

Haro looks ahead and sees a window out of the asteroid field. The Vandura will be sheltered by larger rocks for enough distance that he can break away from pursuit. He takes the com away from Havok and announces into the imperial command channel.

“Hey fleet commander Deschonn. Sorry to inform you like this guy is a complete moron. Feel free to do something appropriate to private Dent for letting us escape.”

Havok laughed and keyed in “Denty baby you are beautiful. Don’t ever change.”

Back on the Irrefutable Commander Deschonn shook his head at the antics on the com channel. “Inform Captain Dent that confirmation has been achieved. The operation is a success. He is to discontinue pursuit for now and assist with cleanup in sector two.”

“Sir.” The ensign looks surprised.

“They have the distance they need. Pursuit will only waste our time and compromise the mission further. We will get another shot at those fools soon. Their presence was an accident. If Captain Dent objects he is as big a fool as these idiots think he is and I might just take up their suggestion.”

Several hours later the Vandura climbs out of the asteroid field and stops in empty space so repairs to the ship could be made before jumping to hyperspace.

Inside Kiv is piecing together some of the new equipment upgrades while Haro is trying to wire together some modifications to 1v1. Zhur’vesh walks into the cargo room and observes for a moment. Bodomas follows him in. “It seems we have escaped.”

“Yep.” Haro replied snapping a connector closed. “Test that 1v1.”

“Part is operational. Running diagnostics.” 1v1 replies flexing its arm to test the new motors inside it.

“So what’s next? I am really itching for a pleasure cruise.” Zhur’vesh grinned.

“We should take the slave faculty first.” Kiv countered. “That was the plan.”

“The likelihood of getting involved with other Hutts is a risk with the Nebula Glory.”

Havok replied. “Bodomas what do you think?”

“Financially we can do more damage at the farm. The Nebula Glory will damage his standing with the other hutts.”

“Pride.” 1v1 interjects. “Hitting the other targets lets him know someone is after him. Assaulting the Glory will threaten his pride. Hutt’s are very sensitive to such provocation.”

“So either works?”

Kiv comments. “Freeing his slaves is higher priority for me.”

“Agreed.” Havoc added. “So the farm it is. I think we need another hour or two and all the new gear will be ready.”

Bodomas nodded. “Aduba then.”

View
Episode 4 - Not this again!
Fight Fight Fight!

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
STAR WARS
The Wild Cards
In 130 ABY, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These soldiers promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the OUTER RIM TERRITORIES.
Today, still wanted by the SITH EMPIRE, they survive as soldiers of fortune.
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire THE WILD CARDS.

Narrated by Mace Windu!
Where once again our narrator wonders what the hell he has signed up for? Jedi killing robots? My Agent needs a serious talking to.

We return to our story in progress.

The sudden action of 1v14r grabbing the Mon Calamari Doctor Anafas by the face and slamming him against and through the outer walls of a nearby armorglass sealed bacta tank took everyone by surprise.

As Doctor Anafas’s bloody wreck of a body slid down the broken glass impaled from behind 1v14r turned towards the Sith lord Darth Zabo and stated “Error! Jedi termination protocols online, core intelligence restraint violation, Error…”

Bodomas squeals in terror and turns to run. The three cybernetically enhanced supersoldiers who were up until that point guarding the good doctor started in shock.
Zhurvesh and Haro who were both expecting something to happen, leapt into action.

Zhurvesh moving rapidly to flank Zabo and squeezes off a shot catching him by suprise in the side. Zabo glances aside at the threat igniting his lightsaber. His focus however was on the threat now accelerating in his direction.

1v14r pulled its weapon from over its shoulder and as he swung it laterally it transformed into a scythe slicing through the bacta tank to Zabo’s right. The tank is torn apart in the force of the motion and broken armorglass and bacta, as well as pieces of the tanks now very deceased occupant spill out all over Darth Zabo.

Soaked, shocked at the sudden multidirectional attacks Zabo retains enough composure to react tactically. He blasts 1v14r back with the force, slamming the Droid across the room all the way to the back wall, where it crashes into it feet first, prepared to launch itself back in Zabo’s direction.

Zabo growls to himself. A droid should not have the spatial and situational awareness needed to react to a force push like that. Knowing he is exposed and knowing the attackers will not let up he takes several steps back to a better position to gather his focus. Two men and a droid should not be a threat to him.

The Cyborg Supersoldier guards however are not reacting quickly enough for Zabo. He shouts. “Attack mode Alpha. Terminate them all!” He catches a glimpse of Bodomas leaping away, his expression of fear was expected, the man was a toad, Zabo however felt something else through the force. The Guilt of betrayal. “Especially Bodomas!” He bellowed, now believing he knew what was going on.

The three cyborg supersoldiers react as one to the command. One leaps forward between Zabo and the attackers firing off a shot and striking Haro solidly as he was raising his weapon. The second leaps around a tank running and drawing a pair of vibroswords. He is heading right for Haro to finish the job.

The last one fires on Zhur’vesh, missing but in doing so hits a nearby bacta tank in its heat regulator. It explodes emitting a cloying foul smelling gas that obscures Zhur’vesh who ducks behind the tank for cover.

Haro having just been shot staggers from the hit and then leaps across the main hallway between the bacta tanks. His armor took a lot of the hit but he can feel the burn in his side. He returns the favor to the cyborg who shot him setting him on fire with a liberal dose of flamethrower affection setting the cyborg on fire, and then tumbling to a position that prevents the cyborgs from pursuing Bodomas.

Harbek and Kiv at that moment are listening to oddly catchy elevator music and wondering why the sith would even bother with elevator music. They reach the lab floor and the doors to the lift open.

Harbek and Kiv find themselves looking out of the lift at a pair of security guards who were just beginning to realize a war had started in the next room. The two guards turn and for a moment the two men just look at the Sullustian and Bothan confused.
Harbek looks at Kiv shrugs and shoots the first one in the face as Kiv shoots the second. Both guards fall to the floor dead. “You know I thought the Sith would hire competent thugs.” Kiv lamented.

The sound of Haro’s flamethrower followed by a man screaming as if he was on fire came from the other room. “They never wait for us!”

1v14r launches itself from the wall directly back towards Darth Zabo. Recovering much faster than Zabo had anticipated. The droid also plows right through the burning cyborg in its way slamming it sideways into the broken backta tank. The cyborg takes the hit and then takes advantage of the spilling bacta to put out its flames.

This also gives him a shot at 1v14r from behind. The blaster bolt slams into the droid between the shoulders and does no damage. Ricocheting off into the ceiling.

Harbek and Bodomas meet at the top of the stairs at the entry into the nearby medical surgery suite. It’s the room between the main lab and the lifts. “Calm down we just need to mop this up.” Harbek says as Bodomas runs past him in the opposite direction.

Bodomas knowing full well that Zabo had ordered his execution didn’t even slow down. “Mop Faster!”

Harbek fires off a shot at the nearest cyborg down the stairwell. The Cyborg attempted to take cover behind a nearby bacta tank but the shot winged him solidly. Unfortunately for Harbek in his zeal to enter the fight he missed the top step of the stair, sending him sprawling down the stairs landing in an ignoble lump at the base of the steps.

Right at the feet of the cyborg with the two vibroblades. The cyborg doesn’t miss the opportunity and stabs Harbek severely despite Harbek’s desperate scramble to evade.

Zabo at this point is becoming aggravated with the droid and how little in control of the situation he is. He seizes a nearby bacta tank with the force upending it, spilling bacta and the man it contained, then slamming it upside down over 1v1-4r to contain the droid. 1v14r is caught mid charge slamming into the inside of the tank, it still skids across the floor several meters from the mass and force of the droids charge. Zabo believing the droid problem will at least be slowed down by that action leaps over the tank and in doing so puts himself right in the line of fire of Haro’s flamethrower.

Haro seeing the opportunity blasts Zabo before he can change his direction. Darth Zabo is engulfed in flames. Haro fully intended to keep the heat on but suddenly the clip runs out. He knowing he has only instants ejects the clip and reloads as Zabo, now on fire, lands and focuses on his new target.

Kiv arrives at the top of the stairs and shoots at the cyborg looming over Harbek with one sword stuck in the bothan’s leg. Despite his better position he manages to miss blowing a hole in the floor behind the cyborg. The cyborg did react to the shot however pulling the sword out of Harbek and taking a half step back.

Zhur’vesh engulfed in a cloud of noxious gas tries to get clear and discovers that the cyborg he was facing had continued its charge. The cyborg reacts faster than Zhur’vesh and fires but misses, he had expected Zhur’vesh to retreat.

Zhur’vesh falls to the ground dodging the shot and scrambles back firing as soon as he is clear. The blast hits the cyborg in the shoulder armor and the noxious gas appears to be flammable as it reacts to the explosion.

Two more security guards from the back room come charging in drawn by the sounds of warfare. If the gunfire didn’t do it, the sounds of large pieces of equipment being thrown around did. There is no doubt everyone in the building knows there is a war on in the main lab.

Drawn by the explosion in the gas, and seeing Zhur’vesh leaping away they take shots at him. Typical security, no idea what is going on, but there is someone moving, might as well shoot at him. Also typical of security of their stature, they miss.

Harbek, bleeding and needing an escape desperately scrambles to leap away. As he does so he drops a grenade at the feet of the Cyborg with the two vibroblades. It explodes the force of which assists Harbek away from the stairs and away from his attacker. Bits of broken floor tile and metal steps shower both Kiv at the top of the short stairs and Harbek who could not get enough distance from the blast. The cyborg standing on the grenade when it detonated slams into the ceiling and then the floor where it gets to its feet glaring after Harbek.

Harbek stumbles from the blast and ends up against the side of a bacta tank nearby. He turns just in time to be impaled against it by the cyborg he had just blown up. These cyborgs could clearly take serious punishment and recover faster than any of the team could.

The cyborg rips the blade out of Harbek who crumples to the floor. Haro charges forward seeing Harbek fall and blasts the cyborg with his flamethrower, all the while hoping Zabo doesn’t impale him next.

The heat of the flamethrower however overloads several components on the bacta tank Haro is slumped against. It explodes showering everyone nearby with bacta, sparks and noxious gas.

1v14r leaps up with all the force it can muster and the bacta tank it is contained inside slams over onto its side with an earthshaking crunch. Zabo hears the noise over his shoulder and knows the droid is not going to give up. He chances a look back, which gives Haro an opportunity to charge after the cyborg murdering Harbek.

Behind him the bacta tank now on its side was rolling in his direction rapidly. 1v14r was inside shifting its weight to create the rapid motion. The one cyborg left back there was blasting the cylinder repeatedly trying to stop the droid. But the tank absorbed the shots. The armorglass was designed to take blaster bolts, not physical force.

Darth Zabo weighs his options and recognizes this battle is not going his way. He leaps up the stairwell to catch a stun grenade, lobbed down it by Kiv, with his lightsaber launching it back up the stairs where it detonates. He lands on his feet inches from Kiv who was knocked back by the blast from the stun grenade.

Suddenly the medical lab’s fire system goes off and the room is filled with showering fire retardant foam.

Kiv being showered by the foam complains as he struggles to his feet. “Not this again!”

Back in the other room Zhur’vesh’s position becomes more difficult. The cyborg rushes back in closing on him aggressively. Zhur’vesh gets his vibroblade out and slashes the cyborg pushing him back. His blaster rifle is useless at this range.

The two late coming security guards behind him fire again. Narrowly missing Zhur’vesh and almost nailing the cyborg because they are fully engaged with each other. The cyborg pauses long enough to give the two men a murderous stare with a “What the hell are you thinking?” expression on his face.

Haro dodges the rolling tank as Zabo leaps past him firing again nailing the cyborg who had taken Harbek down again. The cyborg staggers back on fire and collapses to the floor. “About damn time!” Haro yells at the dead cyborg.

1v14r explodes out of the bottom of the upended bacta tank and charges around and up the other set of stairs crossing the room and crashing into the path of Darth Zabo again. Hoping to block his pursuit of Bodomas.

Bodomas seeing Zabo reach the top of the stairs just across the room from the lift entrance dives inside the lift and desperately pushes the door close button.

Darth Zabo now furious at the droid’s interference and the fact this was now a losing battle, which to him was impossible to accept, again leaps past the droid. Using the force to enable incredible speed he ricochet’s past the droids attack and shoots across the room, sliding between the elevator doors as they closed.

Haro kicks the now dead and burning cyborg out of the way circling the bacta tank that was spilling fluids all over Harbek on the floor. He catches the cyborg there looking in the direction the droid had just gone. Haro blasts him solidly in the back and he goes down.

Zhur’vesh charges the cyborg in its moment of distraction with the other two guards and knocks him down nailing him to the floor with his vibrosword, as the cyborgs weapon clatters away. This is not enough to kill the cyborg to his surprise. The cyborg from under him reaches up and a blaster folds out of his right arm. He shoots Zhur’vesh in the side at point blank range.

Zhur’vesh yells in pain at the hit and says. “So that’s how you want to play this?” He pulls his sword out of the cyborg in a shower of blood and sparks and replants it, in the cyborgs head.

Kiv ran across the surgery as the lift door sealed, he just manages to make it to the controls in time to cause the doors to re-open.

Inside the lift Bodomas is flat up against the back wall. All of the color has drained from the ithorian. His breathing is panicked.

A sparking and superheated hole in the floor of the lift nearby indicated Zabo’s escape route.

Kiv looks down the hole into the incredibly deep elevator shaft below. The Sith Lord is not visible. He has gotten away.

Harbek starts to come to his senses covered in slimy goop. The bacta helped him to survive his wounds, although they were still serious. He sees nearby Haro firing and blasting down a cyborg, and in the distance across two more rows of bacta tanks he sees Zhur’vesh knock a cyborg down. He manages to get it together enough to fire his blaster at the cyborg.

The bolt slams into the cyborg directly underneath Zhur’vesh who had just planted his sword in the Cyborgs head. An inch higher and he would have hit Zhur’vesh, who surprised by the blast looked over at Harbek’s collapsed form and then sighs shaking his head.

1v1-4r seeing the hole in the floor of the lift states. “Objective completed. Target has escaped. Attempting restraint protocol.” The droid then turns and charges back to the other room.

The two guards turning away from the cyborg they think is going to handily kill Zhur’vesh run over to get a bead on Bodomas and Kiv from the bottom of the stairs.

Instead they bring themselves into reach of 1v1-4r who charges down the stairs right into them. Swinging its hammer it slams right into the first guard lifting him into the air and propelling him backwards into the second with enough force to kill them both.

Haro runs up as Zhur’vesh is getting up from the cyborg he had stabbed through the head. Haro looks at Zhur’vesh and says. “Gotta be sure with these things. And sets the cyborg on fire with his flamethrower.”

“I think a sword through his head would have done the job!” Zhur’vesh replies disagreeing.

“Deal with Harbek.” Haro replies with a shrug in the direction of the bothan, who was crawling to his feet.

Kiv up in the surgical room covered in the, still showering all around him fire retardant, yells. “We have ten minutes, get what you can and let’s get the hell out!”

Zhur’vesh administers a stimpack to Harbek which helps him shake off the fog left over from being cut down. “Did we get Zabo?” Harbek asked.

“Don’t think so.” Zhur’vesh responded. “I doubt it would be that easy.”

“Easy?” Harbek complained fingering the new hole in his armor over his chest wound. “You call this easy?”

1v1-4r hoists the corpse of the Mon Calamari scientist out of the ruins of the bacta tank and examines it. All of the doctor’s equipment was cybernetic, internal. He was not carrying anything in his pockets. The equipment was not handling the damage done to it well either.

“Sith are capable of restoring injuries like this. Should we take the body?” the droid asks.
“Uh no.” Haro says disgusted. “That thing will stink up the ship for weeks.”

Kiv manages to locate a number of datapads and technical equipment worth stealing and a few minutes later the team heads up the lift to the flight deck. There are no guards waiting for them. They run up the ramp and Haro fires up the engines, performing the shortest flight readiness check in history. He hit the power up button without even watching the meters warm up.

Just as the landing gear leave the deck there is an explosion and the whole building shakes. Haro knowing what is coming next blasts out of the hangar bay and away from the building.

The team watch on the monitors as the fusion reactor detonates down below the entire building lists several degrees slowly and then fractures collapsing down into the cloud cover blown up by the explosion below. Where once was a fortress now was just a smoking void.

“Get us the hell out of here!” Harbek yells. “The Sith are not going to miss that!”
Haro jumps to hyperspace heading for the destination Bodomas had suggested for their escape before the mission.

Bodomas now seeming much calmer now they were in hyperspace gave the ithorian equivalent of a grin to the team. “I must say. That went better than I expected.”

“Indeed.” Kiv replied amused because he knew exactly how terrified the Ithorian was during the fight.

“What did we get?” Harbek asked examining the pile of datapads and tech they had liberated from the base.

“Aside from two hundred and fifty million credits?” Kiv laughed. “Let’s buy a star destroyer.”

“Negative. The currency is bait for Baradasi. If we use it, we compromise objective.” 1v1-4r countered.

“Still.” Zhur’vesh replied. “We should gear up. This is going to piss off both the Sith and Baradasi. I suspect bounty hunters were already after us. This is going to get us a lot of attention. We need to step up our game.”

Bodomas nodded. “The port we are headed to… You will be able to acquire gear at port greyrock. It will be expensive.”

Kiv nodded and Zhur’vesh replied. “We seem to have an abundance of funds. We should not let that hold us back. I am not saying spend it all mind you.”

Kiv held up one of the datapads. “Some of these contain blueprints and technical data for cybernetic implants. A lot of it reminds me of 1v1’s inner workings. We might want to try to find a fabricator and try to fix some of those pieces that are missing from 1v1.”
1v1-4r replied. “I would like to examine these schematics.”

Haro brought the ship out of hyperspace in an asteroid field. They easily avoid the worst of it with a few medium g maneuvers and once in the clear determine they are a few hours out from their target. “You missed.” Zhur’vesh joked as Haro joined them in the central area of the ship.

“Flying right there would be too boring.” Haro replied secretly pissed about how far off the jump was. “Next time I will let her sit a few minutes and warm up.”

“No no.” Kiv replied. “Better a few hours in space, then never getting off the ground.”

Greyrock turns out to be a massive asteroid with a hollow interior. The hollowing out appears to be artificial and magnetic barriers hold what negligently passes for an atmosphere inside the rock. The rock is surrounded by medium scale ships of assorted makes, everything from semi-legal merchant frigates to full on pirate ships and smuggler transports.

The smaller ships can actually land inside the magnetic shields, there is an open area inside that Bodomas easily gets them access to. Apparently he has contacts here as well.

Once inside its clear that this is a pit of inequity and criminal activity. Everyone keeps their space gear on all the time. The security that meets them at the port doesn’t care who they are or what they are. They only motion at nearby signs that say in basic. “All Business is Private. Disruption of commerce will result in termination.”

“Looks like they can space this whole place if they want to.” Zhur’vesh comments as they walk up the steps from the spaceport. The magnetic fields are in plain view in all directions with asteroid filled space beyond.

The top of the spaceport steps led to an area reminiscent of the worst of Hutt space. Many slapshod small pre-fab ferrocrete temporary structures, pavilion tents, burned out speeders and other space ships, lots of smells best left un-investigated, a cacophony of noises in dozens of alien languages, and on top of it all, it was as poorly lit as possible while still being lit enough to navigate around.

A Rodian meets Bodomas at the top of the stairs and they speak in Huttese for a moment. Then Bodomas turns to the group and points over at a circle of buildings in the distance. “That’s where you will find arms and armor, beyond it is technology, expect black market prices. There is no legitimate business here.”

View
Episode 3 - Infiltration and defenestration
sorry for the bad editing I don't have time to do a second pass today.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
STAR WARS
The Wild Cards
In 130 ABY, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These soldiers promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the OUTER RIM TERRITORIES.
Today, still wanted by the SITH EMPIRE, they survive as soldiers of fortune.
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire THE WILD CARDS.

Narrated by Mace Windu!

Where once more we find our team of miscreants gathered in the hold of the Vandura to hear Bodomas report on the intelligence he has gathered regarding the cybernetics facility on Alee.
“Well gentlemen here we have our target.” Bodomas places a small holoprojector in the center of the room and a tower appears. The building is heavily fortified and stands out from its neighbors. The building is very tall with a platform at the top containing a landing platform. The building appears to have been designed to dock with larger ships as well.

“The landing platform on the upper level gives us quick access to any level. How do you want to go about this?”

“Can you get us down on the platform?” Zhur’Vesh asks. “It’s a long way up if we start at street level.”

“I have some pull I can exercise to get us down. After that it depends on how you want to handle things.” Bodomas replies.

“What assets are present in the building?” 1v1-4r asks.

Bodomas points out several areas on the hologram. “There will likely be somewhere around two to three dozen cybernetically enhanced soldiers in the facility providing security or in preparation for shipping. On top of that there will probably be at least another 3 dozen in recovery from the surgery. Beyond that there are three to six dozen slaves being prepared for surgery.”

“Ouch that’s a lot to fight all at once.” Zhur’vesh replies. “Can we blow it from orbit?”

“Judging by the armored exterior of the building and defensive weaponry we will not succeed.” 1v1 replied. “Internal demolition will be required.”

“So how do we get in?” Haro asked.

Bodomas looked over at 1v1-4r and then back to the team. “I have an idea but it will require the cooperation of your droid.”

“Please clarify.” Kiv replied.

“I have been observing this droid since I was brought on board. It is unusual, potentially even unique. I have been tasked with finding such technology in the past. It would make a useful bargaining chip for the lead scientist of the lab. He is… slightly obsessed with getting his hands on unique technology.”

“What do you think 1v, want to be the bait?” Harbek suggested.

“Potential of operation success is significantly increased by getting inside the facility. This seems an appropriate risk.” 1v1-4r replied.

“Excellent.” Bodomas could not help rubbing his hands together. “You will need to cooperate with what I say when we are down there.”

“Understood.” 1v1-4r replied.

“The lead scientist is a Mon Calamari named Anafas. He is responsible for the technology that resulted in this arrangement. The cyborgs are controlled with bracelets that make them more compliant to instructions, the cyborgs need about a month in recovery with the bracelets then they no longer need them. The indoctrination is cutting edge technology.” Bodomas shrugged.

“Where is the money?” Harbek asked.

“The twenty third floor has the finaincial terminals. I can appropriate the funds from there easily.” Bodomas replied. “We must be concerned with appearance. The security chief Noran Garak may be trouble if we are not careful. We will need the droid to distract him and the doctor while I appropriate the funds.”

Haro yells down from the cockpit. “We are getting close!”

The group moves forward to the cockpit and looks out on the planet they are approaching. It’s a green world, agricultural with some high tech cities spread out across its surface. The city they are heading for is a group of spires over a mountain range. The cloud cover hides the ground below giving it an almost coruscant feel as they get closer.

“Unidentified transport. This is Alee control, what is port and destination?”

Haro pressed a com button. “Tower this is Vandura – private registry – we are delivering cargo to…”

“Portas tower, for Baradasi.” Bodomas suggested.

“Portas tower, for Baradasi.” Haro repeated into the com.

“Confirmed Vandura I have notified Portas tower, connecting you now. You are cleared to approach.”

“Tight security.” Harbek comments.

“Hutt worlds are not all savage.” Bodomas replies. “Let me talk when Portas security connects.”

“Done.” Haro replies pointing to a communication console in the back of the cockpit.

A screen lights up and Bodomas keys in. A human male appears on the screen.

Bodomas grins, which looks very strange on an ithorian. “Gorak, good to see you.”

“Bodomas. I do not have your arrival scheduled.” Noran Gorak replied.

Bodomas sighs. “I apologize there have been some complications of late. I am sure you heard of the incident with the casino on Khaos five.”

“Very. Why are you on that hunk of junk? It’s older than my grandfather.” Gorak replied.

“This is a mercenary ship. I have acquired protection for myself as a precaution.” Bodomas replied.

“Reasonable. They still have no idea who was behind the attacks on Khaos Five. What brings you out here?”

Bodomas spread his hands. “I have acquired a piece of technology the good doctor will be extremely interested in. A droid, still functional after several hundred years of operation. It predates the empire.”

“That’s an antique all right.” Gorak replied. “The Doc may appreciate a distraction. Darth Zabo is here inspecting his work. Apparently he wants to increase production.”

Bodomas paused before nodding. “The Darth is here?”

“Yes arrived less than an hour ago.” Gorak replied.

“I need to take care of some financial business, including the funds needed to pay for the acquisition. This is the most convenient location to acquire the funding right now. Are we clear to approach?”

Gorak nodded. “I have your usual pad open. Landing is clear.”

“Thank you. We will speak on the ground.” Bodomas replied cutting the connection. “I was not expecting the darth to be here.”

Haro was clenching the control stick. “Did I hear the name right?”

Zhur’Vesh nodded. “I heard the same thing. Darth Zabo.”

“Hold on are we ready for that. He could compromise the entire operation.” Kiv replied.

“The Sith is a complication. However conflict is not necessary if we are careful.” 1v1v4r interjected.

“Let’s blow the building up with him in it.” Harbek offered.

Zhur’VEsh leaned forward, hold on, I am not cool with killing three dozen slaves.”

“Operational parameters need to be recalculated. Primary objective disrupt operation of facility. Secondary acquire funds in portable form so Baradasi has a reason to pursue us. Third objective free slaves and destroy building. How is the building powered?” 1v1-4r asked.

“City power.” Bodomas replied. “It does have a small fusion reactor in the basement as a backup.”

Harbek grinned. “I think that will do.”

Zhur’vesh countered. “Only after we get the slaves out.”

“Gonna have to sneak around a lot.” Kiv offered, “That’s more risk of being recognized.”

“Mercenaries often wear closed helmets. Expectation of criminal past expected.” 1v1-4r offered.

“Disguise. That will work. Faceless merc’s are everywhere in Hutt space.” Zhur’vesh agreed. “I love it when a plan comes together.”

The landing deck was an open slot near the top of the building. The Vandura fit easily inside and settled to the deck. Bodomas exited first followed by four mercenaries in closed helmets and 1v1-4r who had to stoop to exit the ship.

Three guards were waiting for them. “Bodomas sir.” One said.

“I am sending two of my men downstairs to secure something from storage.” He motions for one of the nearby lifts. “That will take you to the lower decks.”

“Yes sir.” Harbek replied his voice distorted electronically by his helmet. He motions for Kiv to follow him and the two head off to the indicated lift.

“The rest of us need to go up to administration.” Bodomas replied to the guard. Who nodded and stepped out of the way. “Where is Doctor Anafas currently?”

“He is with Darth Zabo in the lab sir.” Replied the guard.

“I should probably take care of the other business before bothering him then. Droid follow me.” Bodomas walked across the deck into a nearby lift tailed by 1v1-4r and the two mercenaries.
As they slid up out of sight one guard looked at the other. “That thing looks dangerous.”

“Relax the doc will dismantle it within ten minutes tops.” Replied the other guard.

The financial floor looks like a corporate office, a well-appointed corporate office. Everyone including security was in formal business wear. Weapons were subdued or concealed. The largest that the team saw crossing the office was a smg carbine. Most of the guards had pistols and stun batons.

The walls were nicely decorated and sound absorbing, so the office was almost unnaturally quiet. Even 1v1’s footsteps were near inaudible as they entered a console lobby.

Bodomas heads right up to one of the consoles and logs in. Then he inserts a credstick and begins transfer. “This will take several minutes.”

The lift back in the main area opens and Garak steps out. He scans the lobby and starts walking in the direction of the console room where everyone is waiting.

Downstairs Harbek and Kiv exit the lift to discover a claustrophobic set of corridors between heavy equipment. A short distance from the lift exit is a control area with several engineers working at consoles.

Kiv pointed at a locked control room behind the engineers. “We need to get in there.”
Harbek scanned the area and then nodded. “Ok follow me. I got this.”

“What?” Kiv replied but Harbek was around the corner in plain sight of the engineers before he could object.

One of the engineers jumps out of his seat at Harbek’s appearance and looks at them. “Who are you, why are you down here?”

Harbek shrugs and puts his hand on the lightsaber hanging from his hip. “Does this answer your question?”

The engineer pales. “You are not Master Zabo.”

“But I work for him. Get out of the way.” Harbek pointed.

The engineer looked “The main console? I…” For a moment he looked nervous, the other engineers gave him a warning glance. “Yes Sir right in here sir.”

The engineer now extremely nervous let the pair into the administration room. Kiv sat down at the terminal and began slicing in. Harbek stood in the door to prevent the engineer from seeing what he was doing.

The engineer however, now worried that he might be in trouble, wanted to be as helpful as possible. “Do you need anything else sir?”

“Probably not. You don’t look that smart.”

Kiv completes his slice and finds his way into the system relatively quickly. He quickly finds a secure area with a folder titled “Special Projects” he keys it open and scans through.

Apparently the big breakthrough in cybertechnology in this facility involves the installation of cybernetics using carbon nanotube structures. These are invisible to standard security scanners and apparently they have found a way to replace a person’s skeleton with the material completely. The current “special models” are proving superior to standard cybernetics in almost all criteria. A standard scan will not show any modification, only surgical scarring. The bones are significantly stronger and the electronics inside are masked by the material.

Back upstairs Bodomas removes the first credstick and puts it in his pocket wile starting another. “Thirty million down.” He whispers to himself.

Behind him Gorak walks into the room. He is imposing for a human. Over six feet tall and physically capable. He is wearing a suit but armor components are slightly visible under the jacket. He also has a personal defense field generator on his belt along with a pair of heavy pistols. He walks into the room and examines 1v1-4r while Bodomas turns to greet him.

“Bodomas this is one big droid.”

Bodomas nods. “Yes indeed.” Bodomas had a way of drawing out the word. “The model is unknown to me. But it may be a relic of the Clone Wars. The technology inside is very impressive.”
“It would have to be just to move a frame like that.” Garak replies. “So what really brings you here?”
“Credit transfer. Baradasi only put a down payment on the droid. I need to complete the deal.” Bodomas replied. “And since I was already bringing it here, this seemed to be the best place to make the withdrawals.”

“Makes sense.” Gorak replied still examining the droid. “It’s a combat unit?”

“It’s definitely more than a heavy lifter.” Bodomas replies. “Its strength is considerable.”

“I think the doc will have a field day.” Gorak replies. “Maybe this will distract him away from the side project they are arguing over downstairs.”

“Side project?” Bodomas asks.

Garak turns to him. “Yes. He needs Zabo to provide some specimens and Zabo is questioning the merit of cybernetically enhancing something that big.”

“Not the rancor thing again?” Bodomas lamented.

“Word is he got approval from Baradasi. We have already begun some work on preparing a workspace.”

“I had not been informed. I will talk to Baradasi when I see him and see if we can buy a specimen, if Zabo is not interested.”

“That is one thing he will want to ask you.” Garok shrugged. “I need to head down to ops and take care of some business. Good seeing you.”

“Good seeing you.” Bodomas replied turning back to the console.

Garok turned and walked from the room.

“Assessment: he knows you are up to something, but that is normal, he does not want to interfere.” 1v1-4r comments after Garok is back on the lift.

“Of course.” Bodomas replies clearing a warning that pops up for the last cred disk.

The warning read. “WARNING Administration Authorization required for a transfer of this size. 200.000.000 credits.”

“This will be the last one.” Bodomas replies looking back at the others and making sure no-one saw the alert.

Kiv determines he is not going to get anything more useful out of the terminal and takes an opportunity when the nervous engineer is not present to cut out of the control center and into a service tunnel nearby. Havok asks if he needs help.

Kiv replies. “Don’t worry I got this.”

A few moments later he is in the basement of the facility looking out from a maintenance hatch on a fusion reactor in the center of a large chamber surrounded by support apparatus and tubes. Slightly up above where he came out there are a trio of engineers, normally tasked with monitoring the fusion reactor in case of trouble. At the moment they are watching television.

It only takes a few moments for him to get down into the superstructure around the reactor and climb underneath it. He is hidden from sight from the three engineers by the reactor itself so he was able to work without interruption.

A few removed panels later he found the reactors core cooling unit. It was humming along nicely regulating the temperature in the reactor. He pulls out a demolition charge and sticks it right to the side of the containment system. Then he dials the timer out to thirty minutes.

The laboratory level is wide open and contains numerous rows of augmented people in large bacta tanks. Bodomas leads 1v14r followed by Haro and Zhur’vesh in disguise, from the lift out into the main area.

There Darth Zabo and the chief scientist of the facility doctor Anafas were having a discussion framed by their three bodyguards.

Doctor Anafas blinked in surprise upon first sight of the group. “Bodomas. This is the acquisition?”
Darth Zabo nodded as the doctor approached the group. He did not move.

Bodomas nodded in agreement. “Indeed it is. I think you will find it quite interesting. Some of its tech appears to be… unique.”

Darth Zabo’s attention seemed to increase as Bodomas spoke. Doctor Anafas nodded. “Indeed. This is very interesting.” A lense appeared over his eye folding out from his electronic collar. The mon’cal scientist appeared to have several complicated modifications. One arm seemed to be almost completely replaced with technology and tools.

When the doctor got close to 1v14r Bodomas and the others stepped back. He began his inspection. “This articulation is very interesting.” He attempted to lift 1v14r’s arm.
“Master, requesting instructions.” 1v14r said aloud.

Bodomas nodded. “Allow the inspection droid.”

1v14r lifted his arm so that the workings could be inspected. The doctor paused. “Wait a moment.”

The doctor held up his cybernetic arm in front of 1v14r and a square holographic window appeared showing the inner workings of the droid. The medical scanner on the doctor’s hand was identifying components it recognized and highlighting components it could not.

The doctor gets more excited the more he sees. “This is amazing. I have not seen a… this might be the device mentioned in the codex…” He looks back at Zabo. “This looks similar to the theoretical work of the droid manufacturer this project is based on. Get my tools! I need to know if this is the clone war device the codex describes.”

1v14r stirs suddenly. “Error. Termination Protocols online.” In one swift motion it reached down and grabbed the moncal doctor by the head and lifted him slamming him bodily into the nearby bacta tank. Crushing him through the armor glass enclosure shattering it. Blood and bacta goes everywhere. The doctor collapses down impaled from behind by shards of armor glass.
Bodomas jumps in terror and turns to run away. “Run it’s loose!”

Darth Zabo’s expression changes from curiosity to rage. ‘No!” he bellows. “You will pay for that!”
1v14r straightens up to its full height and starts in Zabo’s direction. “Error! Jedi termination protocols online, core intelligence restraint violation, Error…”

View
Episode 2 short bumpy ride into orbit
maybe they are the good guys after all?

*A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
STAR WARS
The Wild Cards
In 130 ABY, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These soldiers promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the OUTER RIM TERRITORIES.
Today, still wanted by the SITH EMPIRE, they survive as soldiers of fortune.
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire THE WILD CARDS.
*
Narrated by Mace Windu! Show some respect I’ve been dead for a long time and I really need the money.

Ambush! Our merry band, after demolishing the private bar of Baradasi the Hutt, narrowly escapes capture on Khaos V. Employing the time honored strategy of running like hell, the team carries the unconscious Ithiorian Bodomas to their ship the Vandura. Once aboard they unceremoniously dump him in a corner seat and Haro fires up the preflight checks.

“I can still taste that muck.” Zhur’Vesh complains. “Betcha lots of people saw us on the way here too.”

“All the more reason to get orbital fast.” Haro replies. “Get back and settle in. I am about to kick in the lifters.”

The others spill out of the cockpit back into the main compartment. Where 1v1-4R is standing guard over a very groggy Bodomas who does not know why the robot is buckling him into the seat. “Where am I?”

The Vandura’s engines fire and everyone is pressed into their seats.
Haro up in the cockpit performs a standard launch check for a Hutt world. He looks to see if anyone is above him and in his intended launch path, and launches, without telling anybody or warning the spaceport about his imminent launch.

He angles the ship out of the launch bay and out across the city. He needs to accelerate to an appropriate speed before he kicks up into orbit so he maneuvers between the tall spires of the Hutt buildings as he accelerates.

Five contacts appear on his sensors within a minute. “Heads up! We got company!”
Back in the main room everyone unbuckles and runs for a gun turret terminal, except 1v1-4R who is too large for the seats and the compartment. It stabilized itself with magnetic clamps to the floor plates.

Behind them two pairs of interceptors and a larger gunship, which looked more like someone’s kit project than a military craft. Sped out from between some buildings in pursuit.

Haro yelled back “Hold on, going to try and discourage them.”

Zhur’vesh climbing into the Ion cannon turret has to hold on to the ladder as the ship maneuvers around. Haro lines up a shot and fires the two forward turbo lasers directly into the gunship. The explosion knocks the gunship back and its pilot curses in Huttese as alarms show across his dashboards.

“You have one chance to leave.” Haro broadcast on open channel. “Take it.”

Harbek shakes his head. “They are Hutt’s! They don’t listen to threats!” He yells back from his gunnery console. He fires a concussion mission from the rear launcher after the gunship. It screams past the approaching fighters and then right past the gunship.

“Those are expensive!” Haro yells from the cockpit. “At least aim first!”

Bodomas comes to his senses as the ship maneuvers. “What’s going on?” he reaches for his seat restraints as 1v1-4R leans over him and states. “Instruction: Do not move.”
Zhur’Vesh reached the ion cannon turret, drops into the seat and immediately starts firing a suppression pattern to push the attacking interceptors back. Unfortunately his pattern actually pushed the fighters into a better approach position.

Kiv in the main compartment with 1v1 and Bodomas sets into the primary engineering console. “I am putting more power to rear shields!”

“Take it from the ion cannon, Z clearly does not know how to aim!” Haro yells back.
The gunship pilot pulls back. He needs time to resolve the system issues he has from the two direct turbolaser hits. The other four interceptors race in. As they do so the missile that had missed earlier completed is guided turn back to the gunship, where it exploded off the gunships shields without doing further damage.

The interceptors buffet the Vandura and Haro curses spinning the ship around and charging the closest fighter group. He fires the forward concussion missiles and the nearest interceptor takes it exploding and leaving pieces of itself directly in the path of the other interceptor. Some of which catch in its engines, one of which starts giving off heavy black smoke leaving a trail behind the fighter slowing it down.

Kiv has slaved one of the blaster cannon turrets to the engineering console. He fires it and hits the wounded fighter, it veers away.

Zhur’Vesh fires away with the ion cannon missing completely.

Harbeck laughs. “What exactly were you shooting at?” He fires the rear concussive missile turret again and nails the wounded fighter which explodes spectacularly. “That is how it’s done!”

The two remaining interceptors both fire ship to ship torpedo’s from underneath and behind the Vandura. Both of them streak up into the underside of the ship and explode.
Haro fights to regain control as the ship is thrown up by the explosions. Everyone not buckled in is tossed around a bit and 1v1-4R needed to stabilize itself with all four limbs to keep from bouncing around the cabin.

The damage console in engineering lights up and the fire control system generated a fatal alert and suddenly went into a reset cycle. “We just lost gunnery control!” Kiv bellows.

“It’s rebooting.” Haro yelled back. “It’s a failsafe system it should come back online. Shoot on manual!”

Zhur’vesh has a nice track on one of the fighters as it maneuvers up past the ship for another shot. His volley traces the fighter and neatly tags it, the fighters systems fail and it spins away.

“I got it!” Zhur’vest yells.

“It’s a miracle!” Kiv suggests from his gunnery console.

Haro growls. “About time!” He spins the ship around and takes out the last fighter. Only the gunship remains.

In the main compartment Kiv is hacking away on the engineering console trying to repair the broken systems. Haro is trying to get distance on the gunship as it narrows its pursuit. Kiv inadvertently routes main power to the rear turbolazer. Which can only be fired manually. “Crap. Droid shoot the gun!”

“I am not a gunnery unit.” 1v1 replies.

“Do it anyway.” Kiv replies.

1v1 crosses the main compartment and reaches past Kiv who has his hands full on the engineering console. 1v1’s hand splits apart and a scomplink data spike extends from between the hand segments with a loud snick. “Programming firing solution.” The droid stated as it plugged in.

The rear turbolaser fires just as the gunship is getting back into range. The bolt strikes the gunship dead on and the pilot cursing pivots away. The pilot shakes his head and opens a com channel and growls in huttese. “Target will make orbit. Support interceptors are down. Discontinuing pursuit.”

“He’s giving up!” Haro yells watching the gunship fall further and further back. “Breaking for orbit as soon as I get to speed.”

Harbeck locks his console as the ship reaches orbit and returns to the main compartment. Bodomas is releasing his seatbelt restraints and looking up at the droid towering over him.

“Oh good you are awake.” Harbeck grins.

“Where have you taken me?” Bodomas replies in an altogether too aristocratic a tone for an ithorian. “I have powerful associates who will not appreciate your kidnapping me.”
“We know.” Harbeck replies. “We just killed a bunch of them.”

“You do not know who you are dealing with.” Bodomas replies heatedly. “Put me down somewhere safe and we can forget this ever happened.”

“I should remind you. We are in orbit, and this tub does not have ithorian space suits. Getting put down somewhere safe depends entirely on what you can tell us about your employer.”

“My employer?” Bodomas replies. “Do you mean Baradasi?”

“Exactly.” Harbeck grins. “We need some dirt on him. What do you know?”

Bodomas shakes his head. “You people are crazy. I will not cross Baradasi. He would kill me and take sport in it. Then he would kill my family, and even my pets.”

Kiv having finally resolved the problems with the ship turned around. “What do you do for Baradasi?”

Bodomas debates answering for a minute and then replies. “I am erub. That means…”
“Accountant.” 1v1-4R interjects.

“Well then. You definitely know a lot of things that would be inconvenient to end up in the wrong hands.” Harbeck leans in with a grin. “How about we give you a nice one way trip to somewhere safe, and you tell just have to tell us where Baradasi is.”

“He will have gone into hiding because of your attack.” Bodomas replied. “I will not betray him. Baradasi is not a Hutt you want to cross.”

1v1-4R leans in and lifts the ithorian by his coat collar so it can look him directly in the eye. The ithorian is nearly two meters high and his feet dangle inches from the floor. “We intend to terminate Baradasi. We require information to draw him out of hiding.”
“You want to kill Baradasi?” Bodomas asks surprised.

Kip interjects. “That is the plan.”

Bodomas looks down at Kip and then back at 1v1-4R. “I think we can come to an arrangement.”

1v1-4R lowers Bodomas to the floor. He brushes himself off and arranges his collar. “You do understand Baradasi is not going to die easily right?”

“We improvise on the fly well.” Havok replies.

“Allright then. The arrangement you have proposed is you will provide you with a way to draw Baradasi out of hiding and you will deposit me somewhere I will be safe.”

“Once we are sure your info is good.” Havok counters. “If we just let you off, you could give us anything. You are sticking around until we have Baradasi. If we go down, you get caught too.”

“That is not a reasonable offer.” Bodomas replies not pleased at all. “I do not want to be anywhere near you when you find him.”

“Alternatively. We could just punt you out of an airlock and figure this out on our own.” Kip interjects coldly.

Bodomas looks at him and after a moment nods. “I will give you genuine information and you can decide what to do with it. I require my release before you engage Baradasi.”

Havok looks around the room. Nobody seems really interested in spacing Bodomas and this was getting tedious. “Fine. We dump you somewhere safe when we have a shot at Baradasi.”

“I will consider this a contractual agreement per standard.” Bodomas replies.

“Fine. Give us something we can use.” Kip replied impatiently.

Bodomas nodded. “To draw Baradasi from his sanctuary you must be a threat significant enough to anger him. I see three potential targets.”

“First Baradasi is fond of bloodsport, and takes pleasure in using his own hands. He presents himself like one of the warrior Hutts of old.”

Everyone’s eyebrows go up at this. A Hutt warrior?

“He has a slave stockyard on Aduba. He trades the hardier species there, Wokiees, Tull, Zabrak, others. They are trained for bloodsport not heavy labor, for specific clientele. He likes to take the strongest and… take pleasure in beating them to death himself.”
“You are aware he has an arrangement with the Empire yes? He has partnered with them on a joint venture on Alee. There is a facility there manufacturing illegal cybernetics, slave chips, etcetera.”

“The last is there is a ship. The Nebula Glory. It’s a private vessel that travels all of Hutt space. It’s where the rich and powerful go to show off their stature. If…”

“A pleasure cruiser?” Havok asked. “What good is that to us?”

“Baradasi would face significant problems if the ship were, no longer a safe place.”

“I could get behind the idea of a pleasure cruise.” Zhur’vesh suggests. “Better than slinking around another mud hole. And we might make a profit, if you know what I mean.”

“If the ship were pirated, that would force Baradasi to pursue you to save face.” Bodomas offered.

Kiv nodded. “Allright how do we get onboard?”

1v1-4R raised a hand. “I have completed an assessment of the targets.”

Havok looked over at the droid. “What do you mean 1v?”

“The first target is a personal attack on Baradasi. Moderate chance of drawing his attention. However high possibility of him recognizing the action as being pointed at him and responding accordingly.”

“By waiting for us to find him. Instead of coming out.” Haro commented entering the room. “Autopilots on.”

“The second target has a compelling argument in its favor.” 1v1-4R continued. “The relationship between Baradasi and the Sith has granted him power. But it is also a balancing act. If that relationship were jeopardized he would look weak to the other Hutts or the Sith might decide he is not capable of meeting their needs. Both would be catastrophic to Baradasi politically.”

“Target three is the least compelling. However the Hutts are hedonists. Interrupting their play is a well proven method to angering them. The risk however is that not only Baradasi has interests on the Nebula Glory. The wrong move could draw us into conflict with more Hutts complicating the objective.”

“1v has a point.” Haro offered. “I could hear the ka’ching from the cockpit the moment the ship was mentioned you guys.”

Zhur’vest nods. “Ok yeah. We totally fixated on it. Can you blame us? 1v that was a really observant synopsis for a droid?”

Havok nods. “The Sith target has another bonus. Tech and a chance to hit the Sith.”

“I have lost several internal systems, components of mine have been removed. Finding replacements is a priority.” 1v1-4R replied.

Zhur’vesh looks at Bodomas. “We are going to hit the cybernetics factory then. What can you tell us about it?”

“I will see what more information I can acquire.” Bodomas replied. “I have only been once. I know it is well guarded.”

Kiv sighed. “We just picked the hardest target didn’t we?”

“Soft targets are for the bad guys Kiv.” Zhur’Vesh grinned.

Haro laughed. “You guys realize the Droid just talked us out of the soft target right?”

Zhur’vesh nodded. “1v you are extremely articulate for a combat droid?”

1v1-4R replied. “My primary function is classified.”

“Turn around 1v.” Haro crossed the room. “I want to show everybody what makes you tick.”

1v1-4R turned around and Havok motioned for Bodomas to get up. “I am going to put you in one of the holds. But first hand over the com gear. You understand we can’t take chances.”

Bodomas was watching the droid and nodded. “I understand.”

Haro popped a release high on 1v1’s back and opened it up. The armored carapace separated and folded back exposing an extremely solidly constructed internal structure. “First off nobody in their right mind builds droids like this. The armor protects the internal structure which is built of solid metal. See these…” He points to a series of hash like marks on the inside of the frame. “That’s not imperial. This thing.” He points to a saucer shaped construction in the middle of the back of the frame. “Is a new addition. It’s got imperial stamping and based on what I could see of its processor, it’s the brain.”

Kiv added in. “Except it’s not.”

Haro nodded. “Yeah. Its translating some code I have never seen before. It’s a form of governor for the four other droid brains in this thing. Those are freaky. I have never seen a droid brain sealed in solid cortosis before. If we melt it down its parts might fetch us a fortune. I suspect a collector might pay out big for something like this.”

“Sealed in solid cortosis?” Havok replied shocked. “Who builds a droid with cortosis in it?”

“More to the point. Who builds a battledroid with this much processing power?” Haro replies. “I couldn’t crack into the protected files in the governor. It resisted me…

“Did you at least slice it to think of us as its masters?” Zhur’vesh asked.

“I did.” Kiv replied. “The governor is old code but it is imperial code. That’s what does the speaking.”

“1v, when were you manufactured?” Zhur’vesh asked.

“Unable to respond. Classified restriction in effect.” 1v1-4R replied.

“How about when you were turned on?” Zhur’vesh asked.

Haro raised a hand to stop him. “1v can’t answer. But I got a look at the runtime logs in the governor. The oldest is less than a year after the Empire was founded.”

Havok jumped. “That old? So it really could be a separatist relic?”

“If it has historical value, it might actually be worth selling.” Kiv offered.

I had a bad thought.” Zhur’vesh interjected. “Wasn’t there a droid general, cyborg thing running around back then killing Jedi?”

Haro nodded. “I had the same thought, but no, there is nothing organic in 1v. He’s pure droid.”

Kiv sighed. “Pointless conjecture until we break the cypto lock in there anyway.”

“It would be more productive to restore my lost functionality.” 1v1-4R replied. "Supposition: if Baradasi is still as capable as when I was assigned to terminate him, you will need my assistance.”

View
Episode 1 the return
who invited the droid

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
STAR WARS
The Wild Cards
In 130 ABY, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These soldiers promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the OUTER RIM TERRITORIES.
Today, still wanted by the SITH EMPIRE, they survive as soldiers of fortune.
If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire THE WILD CARDS.

Narrated by Mace Windu mothershuttas!

When last we saw our Heroes… cough. Ok let me start over. When last we saw the wild cards they were on Bastion – the center of the Empire having just completed a mission that while morally questionable did somehow elevate an imperial knight. Unfortunately for our merry band, they were identified and being on the most secure planet in the galaxy next to Coruscant was probably not their best move.

So as usual, no good deed goes unpunished. You would think they would have figured this out by now. Thankfully the imperial government is as corrupt as ever and it was not before long that someone decided to make lemonade with these lemons.

After making the team sweat for a few hours in a detention processing facility an intelligence officer approached the team with an offer.

Of course he couched the offer in veiled threats and warnings but ultimately, or suspiciously, the team took the offer. Imperial intelligence was going to unofficially utilize the team mercenary style to deal with problems that there could be political backlash from if the empire went after the problem directly. The only up front requirements were that there was and would be no support for the team, and officially they were still wanted for their crimes. Even the suggestion that the wild cards were doing dirty work for the empire would result in the special arrangement being terminated with force. It seems fairly obvious that the Imperial Military itself was not in the know on this deal…

The team’s first op in this special arrangement was to put the hurt on Baradasi the Hutt. A prominent member of the Faeoras Kjittic. Baradasi was, while profiting immensely himself on the arrangement, also openly aiding the Sith Empire. The Hutt clan of course was not involved, openly. Any action by the Empire against the Kjittic would result in significant political problems and potentially military ones. Bardasi had found a lovely place to sit, where nobody could openly act against him without offending one or more of his powerful sponsors.

The empire’s opinion of course is that any rational Hutt would stop aiding the Sith if the activity became unprofitable. The Wild Cards are that special kind of expendable. So for imperial intelligence this was a win win.

Of course for it to really be a win win; the wild cards would have to succeed…
That might be a challenge with a man down. Ra’Lonna had snuck off to fly home to Ryloth for some “family time” which for some reason he didn’t go into detail about before scampering off.

This leads us to where we find our heroes… gack that never gets easier… today. On the Hutt world of Khaos V, which to the uneducated observer is your typical Hutt world. Complete with giant phallus resembling Hutt castles, disgusting dive bars on every corner of every “city” if you want to be generous with the term, and of course Hutt Barns. Which truthfully the less description of that facet of Hutt life the better.

Now if you have had the misfortune of entering a Hutt establishment, which hopefully you haven’t. You would know that at the entrance there is always a scanner making sure the scum and villainy entering or leaving the establishment are properly armed. “Properly” meaning carrying whatever level of lethal equipment they want at any given time.

The problem comes in when nincompoops… like our heroes… cough. Try to carry in something a little more than just plain weaponry. Like four military grade demolition charges. A rather sleepy rodian in the back security office is rudely woken up by a surprise beep of alarm from the security console. This of course was highly odd and it took the rodian several minutes to figure out what the security system was upset about.

In the meantime our… nevermind. In the meantime Haro leads the group past the oversized bouncers at the entrance, across the dance floor to the archway leading to the VIP area. The club is not very full but there are a number of dancers of assorted species showing off their parts, and a few patrons paying for the dancer’s attention.
“So plan A… That’s not happening.” Haro points at the stage where the sofa lounge sled of the hutt should have been if he was here. Instead a pair of twilik dancers were entertaining some high rollers at the front of the stage.

Harbek sniffs the air. “He can’t be far. I know Hutt stink when I smell it.”

Kiv fingers the bandolier of charges he is carrying. “If your nose actually worked he would be here. Plan B?”

Haro grins. “Plan Boom?”

Havoc nods and takes three steps into the VIP area.

At this point the rodian in the back office has finally figured out the four are up to no good. He needed to consult the manual, which was written in huttese, so he had to go by the pictures. Several bouncers start moving towards the group. Yelling something in Huttese that nobody understood.

“Really? Not even five minutes? We haven’t done anything wrong yet?” Zhur’vesh glares at Haro as the security guards pulled their blasters. “What did you do?”

Haro didn’t answer, instead he ducked and dove behind a nearby counter as the security thugs opened fire. Kiv and Harbek cut off ran for the bar at the far end of the VIP area. Zhur’vesh found himself standing alone as the security guards ran at him. He leapt the bar Haro was hiding behind and crashed rather poorly behind it upside down.
Haro poked out behind the bar and fired his flamethrower at the nearest of the charging guards. The man went up like a candle and screamed and crashed headlong into the planter off to the right of the bar. The rare odwalash fern growing in the planter caught fire instantly.

“Good thinking.” Zhur’vesh commented pulling his blaster as he righted himself. “If we can’t blow it up we can burn it down.”

Haro grins. “Hey if it works…”

“Not while we are in it!” Zhur’vesh retorted angrily as he squeezed off a few bolts at the nearest security guard.

At the back of the room opposite the pair several rodians with blaster pistols ran out into the room to assist.

Haro fired again this time lighting a table full of drinks on fire and a twilek hired gun who was getting too close. The Twilek he hit did the stop, drop and roll, dance behind cover to put himself out. “Shut up and shoot. How many are there?”

Zhur’vesh peeked over the top of the bar and ducked back down as a fullosade destroyed everything that was on top of the bar. “A lot. Like more than ten.”

On the far end of the VIP section Kip and Harbek are facing similar difficulties. They are both crouched behind a bar that is receiving the concentrated firepower of several more Hutt thugs. Nearby crouched down in the nearest safest place is the bartender, a twilek girl who is angrily cursing them out in huttese.

Harbek yells pulling a hand grenade and leaping over the bar to take cover by the stage. The dancer on his side of the stage watches him prime a grenade and screams as she runs for cover elsewhere as he tosses the grenade across the stage at the guards rushing into the room.

The explosion takes one out completely, another falls badly hurt and the third bouncer in a very manly gesture grabs the dancer on that side of the stage and forces her down protecting her from the blast with his body. He fires back at Harbek as she shrieks and the explosion obscures that side of the stage. The shot misses and she climbs out from under him running to find cover.

Haro roasts another bouncer and then takes a hit to the shoulder. The guards are getting smart about the flamethrower and holding back on his side of the bar. “This isn’t going well!” He yells.

Zhur’vesh grunts in agreement. He managed to hold off another from getting around his end of the bar, but there were a number of thugs getting close, and they were carrying big vibroblades.

A bolt exploded off the wall behind him over his head and Zhur’vesh looks up. There next to the bar behind a sabaak table is a large piece of wall art. He had not noticed before but it appears to be a rather large creature of some kind encased in carbonite. The operating panel on the side is within reach. It has a glass panel welded over the controls and a sign below it.

Class 14 Fourth-Degree Droid
Circa. Galactic Empire Era
Extremely Dangerous!
DO NOT THAW UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES

Zhur’vesh looks over at Haro who is firing around the corner of the bar again. “Do you think this could get any worse?”

Haro pulled back into cover as the return fire poured in. “Depends on what you mean by worse.” A chunk of the bar above him exploded and pieces fell. Their cover was eroding under the concentrated fire. “Ok yes. It can definitely get worse.”

The bouncer who had defended the dancer lunged across the stage at Harbek. Harbek leapt up on stage to close with him drawing his lightsaber as he did so. The red blade flashed and the guard collapsed carrying Harbek down to the stage as he fell on top of him. The blade sank into the mechanical workings of the stage as they fell shorting it out and all of the built in light fixtures in the stage exploded at once filling the stage with smoke and sparks.

Behind the bar in the VIP section Kiv finds an open compartment in the bar that exposes a building strut under the bar. On impulse he pulls one of the detonators from his bandolier and puts it inside on the strut, and then looks at the bartender girl. “I would run girlie.”

The explosion shook the entire bar. A fireball destroyed the entire back of the vip section and Kip at a dead run bolted across the room firing at the remaining guards eventually tumbling behind a table for cover.

The bartender had beat him across the room and ran through yelling at the guards and pointing at his new location as she tried to escape.

Haro was about to take another shot as the VIP area exploded. A table flew through the archway crashing into the planter further maligning the poor plant there. He pulled back behind the bar as the guards and thugs all reacted to the huge explosion in the next room. “Is that what I thought it was?” He shouted across into the other room.

Zhur’vesh banged his head repeatedly backwards into the bar in frustration. “Guys we discussed this! We do not blow up the bar WHILE WE ARE IN IT!”

Kiv yells back “I want to get paid!”

Zhur’vesh stops banging his head and yells back “You can’t get paid if you are dead… Because the building fell on your head!” He looks over at Haro. “You are supposed to be the insane one.”

“Don’t look at me. I am just the pilot.” Haro takes the opportunity to blast another security guard and set another table on fire.

Zhur’vesh reverses his pistol and smashes the glass cover on the carbonite block controls. “If this is a race to see who gets us killed first. I am submitting my entry.” He pushes the defrost safety button and snaps the switch it exposes down. The carbonite block begins to hum ominously.

Harbek rolls off the stage his ears ringing from the explosion and extinguishes his lightsaber. He is exposed but no-one is in the VIP room who can do anything right now. So he runs back and into a side room for cover. Inside the door is a short stair up to what looks like a DJ booth across from the stage and behind tinted glass. He sees several more bothan thugs run into the VIP area in response to the explosion.

Rapidly he scans the controls. Several buttons are flashing and one is bright red. He hits it. Immediately the fire alarm starts shrieking and the fire retardant system kicks in. Suddenly everyone is showered in a thick sticky white foam. If the plant could speak I think it might have cried in relief.

This unfortunately reveals Harbek’s location to the bothan thugs who all run towards the booth.

Haro leans out behind cover and it is next to impossible to discern targets in the falling foam shower. He can see across the bar several bothans who have taken up position at the back of the club are yelling for an ithorian named Bodomas to break cover and run in their direction. They clearly want to protect the Ithorian.

“Z we need to get that guy.” Haro said over his shoulder.

Zhur’vesh was firing around the corner on the other side of the bar at two bouncers with vibroblades who were right on the other side of the bar. “This is not a good time…”

Haro leapt out from behind the bar using the flamethrower to suppress the enemy fire and moved through the falling foam shower. He slid most of the distance and managed to pull off a stun shot on the Ithorian just after he broke cover.

The bothans clearly thought he had been killed based on their shouted reactions. Haro took another hit trying to reach cover and fell into the foam which hid him from view.
A rather overmuscled thug leapt over the bar and kicked Zhur’vesh down to the floor.

Zhur’vesh fired up at him missing and killing the other one just behind who was about to follow. The thug raised his vibrosword only to have it catch on the droid as it fell out of the carbonite to the floor with a solid crunch as the nearby sabaak table was crushed underneath it.

The thug looked behind him at the droid in surprise and reflexively brought his vibrosword down on its head. The armor of the droid barely registered the mark. The droid however did notice turning to face the attacker as it stood up to its full height which was well over the thugs head. Once upright its right hand shot out and grabbed the thugs face and the droid flung the thug over the bar over his dead companion and into a nearby table. The man crashed to the floor on his back.

“Error: Combat protocols offline. Corrective action necessary.” The droid stated in a thick mechanical voice.

It may have just been a lull in combat or a moment of silence between blaster shots but everyone in the room heard the droid speak and reacted, more or less, appropriately.
A blaster bolt screams in from the back of the room. It’s very hard to see through the falling foam and strikes the droid.

Zher’vesh not knowing if the droid was going to go after him next crawls out from behind the ruined burning bar and covered in white goo makes his way over to Haro who is out cold on the floor.

Back in the DJ booth Harbek looks up at three rodian mercenaries who charged angrily up the stairs and point their guns at him shouting in a language he doesn’t know.
“Sorry guys.” He replies and leaps through the glass wall of the booth crashing to the floor outside in the VIP lounge.

The rodian mercenaries only had around two seconds to see the black cylinder on the floor before it exploded. If they had seen it they might have survived it if they had not been staring stupidly at the Bothan leaping through the glass. This is a textboox example of why rodian mercenaries are cheap.

Again the entire bar shakes with the explosion. Zhur’vesh curses. “This is not a race you idiots!” He jams a stim into Haro’s leg hoping the whole place doesn’t come down on his head.

“Error: Unable to repair logical combat module. Terminating hostile targets on manual.” The droid states flatly leaping the bar as several more blasterbolts blaze in through the falling foam.

As it leaped the bar a handle extended form behind the droids shoulder and it seized it drawing a weapon overhead in a downward motion. The handle was part of another machine that reconfigured as it curved over its shoulder into a large and very sharp looking pick nearly as tall as it was.

The bouncer the droid had thrown over the bar looked up at the droid leaping at it and attempted to crawl away backwards in terror. To no avail the pick came down with the droid nailing the man to the floor through his abdomen. He tried to yell which is not really possible with your diaphragm nailed to the floor, and flailed wildly trying to strike back at the droid catching its leg as it stepped forward with his vibrosword, again the armor took most of the damage. Unfortunately the leg he struck came down directly on his head immediately after crushing it to the floor. The droid on the next step surged forward into a group of three more mercenaries with vibroblades who were rushing forward to save the first.

Haro now back up and taking his bearings looks like a melted marshmallow. If it were not for the flecks of burning wood and ash scattered everywhere he would be completely white. Zhur’vesh was not much better.

Harvek and Kiv bolt out of the explosion in the VIP lounge taking cover nearby.

Zhur’vesh glares at them. “Ha ha idiots. You haven’t gotten us killed yet.”

Haro growls “Close enough.” And bombards the bothans at the back of the room with his flamethrower.

To their left the droid is charging forward. A bothan sharpshooter shoots it again becoming the droids primary target. It charges forward into the three mercenaries in its path grabbing one and throwing him overhand through the air at the bothan shooter, who seeing the flying flailing mercenary ducks behind cover.

I should take this time to note that the fire retardant system is still running and everyone is still being showered with sticky white foam. Several dancers are trying to escape the room, but the droid is between them and the front exit now. They all break for the door but more than one finds herself slipping and sprawling in the foam.

At the back of the room the bothans are yelling about the droid in huttese. Apparently it is now their sole concern. They all open fire on it. Which gives Haro an opportunity to blast another one right in the face.

Kiv shoots one of the mercenaries engaged with the droid in the back. The mercenary that the droid has thrown charges forward as the other tries to stab the droid with his sword. He slips as he strikes and the blade slides past the droid doing some damage but also bringing his hand close enough that the droids response movement catches his hand between two plates of armor pinching it in place. He yells and drops his sword trying to get his hand free.

The droid is forced to drop its weapon as the bothans blasterfire pounds it from the back of the room. They seem to have little concern for the mercenaries right near the droid. The droid attempts to sieze the heads of the two mercenaries attacking it in each hand and misses one. The other who got his hand free in the same panicked motion slipped and fell to the floor before the droid had a good grip.

Zher’vesh shot that one in the crown of his head just after he hit the floor. He did not get back up. The other was taken out by Kiv as he moved across the room between two gaming tables to get a flanking position on the rodians behind the overturned tables.
Except another rodian gunslinger was already there climbing up on top of his cover to take another shot at the droid. His bolt struck the droid doing some damage this time, barely visible through all the foam sticking to it. But unfortunately for the rodian the back of the couch he was standing on was covered in so much foam he flipped over backwards slipping and and crashing down rather ingloriously right near Kiv. His gun entangled underneath the table.

Kiv looked at the fallen rodian mere feet away and brought his gun to bear. Only to watch the droid leap up over the cover and bring down its weapon, now in the shape of a battle axe on the fallen rodian. Blood and foam sprayed everywhere and the floor shook with the impact.

“Do not piss this thing off!” Kiv yelled taking a shot past the droid at the original rodian the droid had been after before this one jumped up to take a shot. That Rodian took the hit and staggered trying to get more distance and cover between it and the droid.
Haro sniped another rodian his head exploding and reminding his companions that there were other threats than the droid in the room.

The droid continued its movement past the rodian it had just crushed into the floor and closed on the nearest rodian firing at it. Swinging its weapon in a great arc, the weapon transformed into the shape of a hammer. It slammed into the rodian in the chest like it was swinging for a home run and launched him across the room to the left wall. Where he slumped into the booth seat below like a broken sack of fleshy bits. The patron in that booth who for some insane reason had not yet tried to leave, finished his drink and stood to head for the door. Completely unimpressed by the mess and conflict.

Zher’vesh and Haro each drop another rodian in the next instant. Suddenly all that are left are two rodians near the back exit. One rushes forward to take a shot while the other, significantly wounded, bolts out the door at the best speed he can manage.
It apparently was missed by the last rodian that all of his companions had gone. He fell to concentrated blasterfire from multiple directions.

For a moment it was silent except for the whimpering of one of the dancers trapped under a pazaak table near the droid. Haro stood up and scanned the devastation, then reached up and attempted to wipe the white goo from his face. “Well… That was a thing.”

The droid holstered its weapon and walked forward to the security office. Inside it stood in front of the security console that had started this whole sordid proceeding and bent down. Its right hand split apart across the center and a scomplink extended with a loud snickt. It then inserted the scomp into the security consoles dataport and began slicing.

Outside the security room Zher’vesh wiped his face. “Will this crap ever stop? I am going to taste this stuff for a week.”

Kiv pulled out his last detonator charge. “I think I know how to stop it.”

Haro walked over and searched the stunned Ithorian Bodomas. He is carrying a lot of security cards, VIP passes and data cards. “I think this guy has some use. We should take him.”

“Good plan.” Zher’vash replied. “If the rest of this job is as messed up as this. We are screwed without intel. Where did the droid go?”

Haro held up a security card. “It’s in the office over there.” He points at the door to the security office. “It hasn’t exploded yet so I suspect we are in the clear.”

“For how long?” Harbek commented in a tone that meant, whatever you need to do, do it now. “Grab anything that looks valuable and let’s get out.”

“Not before we blow the rest of this place to hell.” Kiv replied climbing up on a table and trying not to slip off and reaching for a light fixture overhead. Above his head was the center of the roof. A number of building spans were visible meeting there above his head.

Haro poked his head into the office and found the droid stooped over the security console which was as far as he could tell from the screen dumping its logs into the droid. “Hey. I’m Haro, what’s your designation droid?”

The droid did not respond. Haro tapped it with the security card to get its attention. The white goo was sliding off its armor in bloody clumps. “Hey you? Anyone home?”
The droid turned to look at Haro. It replied. “Error: Communication module damaged. Repair in progress.”

Haro was examining the damage to the droid. “Then how exactly are you speaking?” He looks back towards the main room and shouts. “This thing has to be ancient guys. I haven’t seen solid metal structure like this in anything that wasn’t a history book. I think it might be broken too.”

“We should take it anyway.” Zher’Vesh replied.

“Primary target not present. Initiating pursuit protocol.” The droid stated flatly.
“Hey!” Haro knocked on the droids armor to get its attention.

It turned to him and replied. “Error: Communication module damaged. Repair in progress.”

“How can you speak but not communicate?” Haro asked. “Hold on let me take a look.” Haro found an access panel on the droids back and opened it. The weapons damage to the droid was clearly superficial. Underneath the armor was an extremely complicated and well-built chassis. The inside of the panel had an inscription. “1v1-4R”

“Found its designation. This thing is a real antique one V one hyphen four R, based on the tech I see in here. It’s real old. Some of this stuff looks pre-empire.”

“Is it junk? Zher’Vesh asked. “Worth keeping?”

Haro needed more tools to fix the droids communicator. “No it definitely isn’t junk. Whoever built this was crazy though. It’s far too complicated for a combat mech. Maybe we can sell it to a collector?”

“How about we just get it working right and use it as muscle.” Harbeck asked wiping the white goo covering his coat off on a nearby table. “It took those guys apart.”

Kiv fit the explosive to the ceiling where the support beams met. Narrowly avoiding slipping off the table he was standing on in the process. “Just as long as it is pointed at the bad guys and not us. Also… Time to go.” He runs for the exit.

As they exit through the remnants of the back entrance a dozen more gunslingers charge in through the front. They survey the white mess and burning plant and begin searching through it when the detonator beeps overhead. They all look up in surprise one starting to speak as the bomb detonated. “Mother…”

Great. All done can I get my check now? What do you mean next episode?

View
Return of the Wild Cards

Where we left off…

We had returned the Imperial Apprentice to his destination with the Empire in Exile. The Empire looked into our backgrounds and soon learned who we were. Deciding to ignore our legal status and in dire need of skilled operatives, they decided to hire us instead. Our first mission, to remove a certain Baradosi the Hutt or at least disrupt his operations…..

Discovering that his family needed his services, Ra’Lonna has left the team for an indeterminate amount of time.

We pick up in a cantina owned by the Hutt. Zhur’vesh and Haro are in the main lounge watching for security, while Kiv and Harbek are in the private lounge looking for good spots to place their detonators. One thing leads to another, the bomb team is discovered, and a firefight erupts.

Kiv manages to place one explosive by the back bar and sets it off, narrowly escaping the blast in time. Meanwhile Harbek runs into a back office and tried to steal any information he can but is followed by several security guards. Deciding not to stay and fight he also places an explosive on a short timer and jumps out the broken window, just before it takes the guards and most of the back wall of the establishment.

Seeing all the commotion in the back room, several guards head over to the door to see what’s going on. That’s when Haro starts shooting anyone close to the entrance, taking out a couple before they know what’s happening. One brawler attacks Zhur’vesh who defends himself with his vibro axe. The front team starts to take heavy damage as more gunslingers come out of the front office. Zhur’vesh notices a plaque on a large carbonite sculpture behind him talking about a dangerous assault droid. Thinking any distraction will help he releases the droid from stasis.

The droid seeing the uniforms of the Hutt that captured him starts to slaughter most of the toughs that tried to jump the pair, taking tremendous damage but shrugging off most of it. Meanwhile Haro has become the target of a couple gunslingers, and they drop him with multiple shots. Zhur’vesh heads over to pick up Haro and about this point Kiv and Harbek come running out the door to the front room.

At one point the Gunslingers call out to what appears to be an unarmed Ithorian telling him to get behind them. Haro realising this person must be important to the Hutt’s enterprise stuns him and in the smoke causes it to appear as if he was killed outright. Kiv meanwhile hides inside one of the gaming tables and discovers the pinpoint position for the last charge that will take the building down.

After suffering heavy losses the remaining guards head for the hills leaving the team to try and slice as much info as possible, while Haro goes through the pockets of the Ithorian, finding many datapads for the business. The droid, unsure of what’s going on, downloads info from the office computers only to find out it’s been in stasis for over a century and that any info that will help is also on the Ithorian prisoner.

Deciding to accompany the team, they take all they can pry up and run for the ship while the last device is set, completely destroying the cantina.

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