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Episode 1 - For a Few Credits More


Malkavian Grin

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Cloud City.

In a galaxy full of modern marvels, this was among the cream of the crop. Or, at least, that's what all the flyers and advertisements on the holonet would have someone believe. True, it was a place of extravagance where the rich could spend their credits easily on all the finer things in life. But not all places within exist in the sun's rays of hope--especially when tibana gas was concerned.

One such place was a nondescript street in the bowels of the city. An Ithorian named Vou had carved out a bit of a life for himself despite a rocky past. Following the raid on his gang's hideout, Vou found a datapad with some information on it about someone named Valtar Prane. Vou had heard rumors of a bounty hunter named Kardassk looking for just such a man. Perhaps this was a step toward independence?

Walking down the street toward a well-known "safe" location for Vou--a cafe named The Withering Spoon--was a tall, well-built Trandoshan covered in small trinkets of fallen foes. The skin showing was covered in a layer of scars. He and Vou had been in light contact over the 'net after Kardassk had exhausted the rest of his leads. Vou might have had the home-advantage, but Kardassk easily had the intimidation factor in his favor.

The cafe itself was profitable enough, but anyone in the know realized it was just a front for money laundering. That was most of the reason why the owner--a Human woman named Teel--employed a little astromech for the customers. R2-K8, or "Kate," was tasked with serving people with holomenus and taking orders without any lip. It wasn't a big deal when Kate would get things wrong or accidentally spill soup. Teel just tought it was funny and the customers could never stay mad at her upbeat attitude.

Not knowing that the restaurant was a front, a Human woman in common clothes had just sat down. She'd heard about a cute little droid that seemed to bring back some memories of her master's droid. Could they be one and the same? Jeela had found herself far too curious--and a lack of anything better to do. Somehow, it all just felt like she was supposed to be here right now. Was it the Force at work? Could she even tell if it was, anymore?

Droid business was steady again after the galaxy calmed itself collectively following the Clone Wars. That meant people needed droid technicians regularly. In an effort to boost the family business' reach on Bespin, a Twi'lek named Sienn had been tasked with ingratiating herself with the locals. It had been a "request" from her uncle which had felt a bit more like a threat than anything else. Since she left home, Sienn noted just how quickly her uncle's takeover shifted gears, as did his attitude toward her. Part of her goals included tending to an astromech named "Kate" which was rumored to have something valuable stored in it. Sienn was waiting patiently at the counter, nursing a drink, while waiting for Kate to get off the clock for such maintenance.


This is where our story begins. A group of strangers guided by an unseen hand, if one believes in such things.

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Vou ChonturVou.jpg.def8fa1e8de9f1265f18b1d47c3da8e5.jpg

Ithorian Scoundrel, Level 1


Vitality: 13 / 13


Vou sits at the table waiting for the Trandosian bounty hunter to show up. He is a little nervous because Transdosians are not known for their social skills. He hopes this does not go bad, but the money being offered for the information is too good to pass on. He was a total stroke of luck that he found that datapad. He scans the rest of the people there to see if any look out of place. The human woman who seems to think this place is really a restaurant.

It was then he spots the big Transdosian coming down the street. The scars only add to that race's already intimidating look.

He sips his drink and tries to look calm. He also pulls his foot out of the way so that Kate doesn't roll over it again while serving the clients.

 

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Jeela AjikJeela ajik

Human Jedi, Level 1


Vitality: 13 / 13


Jeela sits at a table in the corner, sipping a drink. She watches the cute red R2 whirring around. Something about it seems so familiar, but the sceptic in her does not allow her to even guess the truth.

Then, she hears it. "Thanks, Kate!" a cafe patron says.

Wait... did...?

Jeela feels a pit in her stomach, the same feeling she had the first day she lifted off her home planet. The same feeling as when master Leru first showed her how to use the force. Giddiness, but reservation. Excitement, but only half-belief.

She raises her hand to signal the droid, then hesitates. She bites her lip for a moment before pushing herself to call it over, without drawing too much attention to herself. "Another drink," she requests, hoping to get a closer look at the droid.

Edited by Primeval Stasis (see edit history)
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Kardassk

Attributes: Menace +2, Daring +0, Guile +0, Acuity +1, Presence +1, Spirit +2

Vitality: 14/14


Kardassk strode down the street, a determined look on his face. Of course, to those unfamiliar with Trandoshan facial expressions, there was no difference between determined and angry, so those in the crowd who looked at his face quickly got out of his way with many backward glances. Scorekeeper preserve me, but these people are so jumpy. It's like they think I'm just going to start randomly killing them left and right. Approaching the cafe, he saw an Ithorian sitting at alone at a table. I hope that's him. Approaching the table, he smiled pleasantly and asked, "Excuse me, are you Vou Chontor?"

Of course, a pleasant smile and a predatory smile on a Trandoshan are also identical to the unfamiliar, so while he hoped the Ithorian wouldn't be scared, he would at least try to be understanding about it.

Edited by Phntm888 (see edit history)
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d64435c2724347529e2f8bb2c29933c1.jpg.4e41029397fc2a3768c425da31c6f6f8.jpgR2-K8 "Kate"
Class III Astromech Droid

Vitality: 12 / 12


<Beep boop!>My pleasure!The cute little astromech was finally becoming proficient at this assignment, despite it being outside the parameters of its programming. The Withering Spoon was laid out simply enough that Kate was able to navigate it with her photoreceptor closed. That is, if there were no moving anomalies within the space. And by nature of its purpose, the little cafe was full of anomalies. Feet in the aisles, bag straps or coats hanging low, and the general passage of ambulatory beings were all foils to her ability to traverse the space effortlessly. The ever-changing environment had formed the reputation of being a bit bumbling but thankfully her demeanor had generally diffused any particular confrontations. A few encouragements from the surprisingly pleasant Teel had helped her aspire to excel at this posting.

<Deet beedoop dit dit bwee ope>Orders in for Table 7, Miss Teel. The droid passes briefly by the end of the bar where her human supervisor is waiting, holomenus tucked snuggly back into the holder strapped to one side of her barrel-shaped body. <Dittle eep peep>One in the door. she adds, dome swiveling around to spot the Trandoshan passing through the room to join the Ithorian. Vou Chontur. The one who ordered doors opened sometimes, among other things. His jobs were fun and challenging. She wondered if they were always doors he was supposed to get into. But she was getting distracted - the hand raised from the corner was beckoning.

Kate rolled cleanly through the space that had given her trouble near the Ithorian (his foot, with quick apologies) and tweeted cheerfully to Jeela <Weep phew bip!>Yes, Miss, right away! It is unlikely that the droid has had a good cleaning since she had last seen it, evidenced by plenty of scoring, dents, and scrapes in the deep red and white. The sharp-eyed woman would recognize a little mark in Kate's lower torso, etched long ago by a younger version of herself with some sharp implement. It is only visible for a moment as the droid wheels about, head remaining static so that she's looking at Jeela as she rolls away with a pleasant hum-hum.

She arrives at the bar with a clunk, narrowly avoiding Sienn's foot and re-orders for the corner booth. Looking up to the twi'lek, she tweetles, <Feep boo>Almost finished!

Edited by Fletcher (see edit history)
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Sienn Freetaa
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Twi'lek Noble, Level 1


Vitality: 13 / 13


 

Sitting at the bar Sienn couldn't help but watch the bar around her with a small look of wonder. She didn't really get to just hang out in places like this back home. Her Uncle always insisted it was unsafe for her outside of her residence or a few other select destinations. She didn't get to just go out and watch everyday people as they went about their day. It was frankly fascinating to her. She examined each of the other patrons with a smile while taking another sip of her drink. Was that a Trandoshan that just walked in? A shiver ran down her spine as she could almost hear the kinds of things that would be said back home if one showed up anywhere she was supposed to be. Warning of danger or comments of contempt. However this one didn't look like they were causing trouble or looking for targets, they just went and spoke with the Ithorian that had been handing around.

 

So engrossed in her surroundings Sienn didn't even spot the close call until the last moment, pulling her foot back too late to have done any good in avoiding Kate's path. "Oh don't worry about it," she assured the droid with a smile and a wave of her hand. Realizing she was perhaps being a bit too casual, and hardly behaving as expected of her, she sat up a bit straighter and forced a more neutral expression on her face. "That is to say, I do not have any other pressing engagements at this time so you should feel no need to rush. Your work need not be negatively impacted on my account."

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A table of patrons finished off the last of their drinks as Kardassk walked inside. Much as he tried, he still cut a threatening figure. The people--a Rodian and two Humans--quickly averted their eyes and paused in laughing at some unheard joke as they dropped their credit chits on the table and walked out.

Teel looked up at Kate's call to the Trandoshan. She was ready with a jug of blue milk, filling another person's mug while she took him in. Luckily he seemed to have manners, which kept her from grabbing the slugthrower she had hidden just under the counter-top. Looking at Sienn, Teel asked, "You fancy a fill-up honey? On the house. Least I can do while you wait to do your job."

On the street just outside The Withering Spoon, a small crowd of six people ran from something unseen. As if on cue, anyone else on the street quickly ran away or went indoors. Several people forced their way into the cafe, making the quaint setting suddenly claustrophobic.

"Did you see them?" one person said.

"Of course, why do you think I ran in here?" replied another.

"I dunno, that's why I'm asking!" said the first, obviously exasperated.

"Hard to miss a bunch of bucketheads. Looked like they had somebody in cuffs, that's why I ran. I'm not getting caught up in that."

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Vou ChonturVou.jpg.def8fa1e8de9f1265f18b1d47c3da8e5.jpg

Ithorian Scoundrel, Level 1


Vitality: 13 / 13


That's me. Have a seat and let's talk business.

He answers Kardassk and motions to the chair opposite him. It is then he notices all the commotion as a group of people come in talking of Stormtroopers coming and having someone in cuffs.

He can't help but to try to catch a view of what is going on outside, wondering if he knows the person being arrested.

 

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Jeela AjikJeela ajik

Human Jedi, Level 1


Vitality: 13 / 13


Jeela laughs lightly to herself as the little droid rolls away, head backwards. K8 after all these years. What are the chances? And what is the droid doing here anyway? She hasn't seen it since...

She feels an ache at the memory of Master Vidarr; a reminder of something missing - not just the person, but the sense of purpose. Could it be that the dull throbbing of force in her mind brought her here to remind her? For what reason?

"Do not fear the darkness" the words of her master echo in her memory, "so much you hide the light." Jeela takes a deep breath. Maybe, she should-

So absorbed in her memories was she that she hadn't notice the Trandoshan's entrance. The alarmed arrival of several people breaks through her thoughts though. Stormtroopers. It probably has nothing to do with her. At least she tries to tell herself that. But the memories of the past are weighing on her: where there are stormtroopers, there may be far worse things. A small panic starts to rise

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d64435c2724347529e2f8bb2c29933c1.jpg.4e41029397fc2a3768c425da31c6f6f8.jpgR2-K8 "Kate"
Class III Astromech Droid

Vitality: 11 / 11



<Beedeep!>Okay! Kate peeps pleasantly to Sienn, happy that she is not pressed for time. Though the duties of today are customer-focused, the line is somewhat blurred when it comes to meeting the needs of the other sentients in the room. Keeping the twi'lek waiting would be punishable in another circumstance.

Before Teel can fill another glass for the human woman in the corner (whose empty K8 had left on the table accidentally, rather than bringing it back to be refilled) the little astromech's demeanor changes suddenly at the commotion. <Dee bo bidup? Dee bo bidup!?>Stormtroopers? Stormtroopers!? Her dome turns one way while her body wheels itself the other way with nervous processing sounds chittering til she comes back to orientation again.

Over to the end of the bar Kate goes, a low-profile network jack tucked away along with the main computer setups that run the front of the front. At least it is actually a connection to the public network and not a dead port for show. A little door opens on her chassis and a dataport jack snaps up and engages the circular input, more processing sounds exchanging between herself and the panel itself. The odds may be slim that a Stormtrooper operation is announced somewhere on the general network, but it's certainly possible that civilian lines have lit up with people warning each other about what is going down. Sometimes this place gets a closure warning when authority types are in the vicinity... for whatever reason.

The usual announcements and warnings scroll past, though nothing pertinent to this moment here - Imperials locking down sectors of the city, skirmishing with varying elements within, enforcing curfews and random searches. Standard fare. And yet for some reason, the cute little droid gets the spark of inspiration to try to figure out what has made the 'neighborhood' so alarmed. Surely Teel or others within would be grateful to know whether they should close the cafe.

Whirring away, K8 engages access to the Imperial channels to see what she can see. Or hear.

 

Name
Skill: Technology
10
2d6 4,6
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Kardassk

Attributes: Menace +2, Daring +0, Guile +0, Acuity +1, Presence +1, Spirit +2

Vitality: 14/14


Kardassk turned towards the commotion. Sithspit! I hope they haven’t arrested my bounty. Scorekeeper let it not be so. Kardassk moved to see who they were escorting. “Pardon me."

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Sienn Freetaa
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Twi'lek Noble, Level 1


Vitality: 13 / 13


 

Sienn gave Teel a smile and moved her glass closer for the offered refill. "Thank you. I appreciate it," she told her with a nod. She opened her mouth to say something else when the commotion began. At the mention of stormtroopers she tensed, glancing nervously toward the back of the room where her she had sent her droid protectors to stay out of the way. "Do the imperials arrest people here often," she asked Teel in a worried tone. "I thought things were a bit calmer here then all that."

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Jeela AjikJeela ajik

Human Jedi, Level 1


Vitality: 13 / 13


The tension inside of her continues to mount. Why did she have to be reminded of the past now? This probably is nothing, just some routine arrest. There is no cause for panic, and yet she is. The energy of the room, the people around her. Their fear, their anger. It's all building to...

"Do not fear the darkness."

Wait, she can feel the people around her. The realization hits her sideways. She can feel the force again, as more than a hollow pit - a small stem has sprouted. Was it seeing the droid? Remembering Master Vidarr?

What would he do in this situation?

She takes hold of that olive branch from the force, pulling on it gently but firmly. Not what would Master Vidarr have done, what would he want me to do. Be prepared to take control of the situation. Be aware of the danger. Look out for others. She reaches out tentatively, feeling her way, trying to get a sense of whether there is any real danger.

Name
Spirit (+1) - use the force
7
2d6 1,6
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Vou and Kardassk both paused their interaction to peer out the window, gawking at the street for a chance to see the commotion.

Teel held a look of genuine concern as the people rushed inside. "Is it bad out there?" she asked. One person who'd caught their breath replied, "Yeah, they're shooting at people. Got a couple arrested. Damn Empire, don't they know it's over?"

Trying to remain calm, Teel gave Sienn a polite, if forced, smile. "Yes, unfortunately. Ever since the Death Star was destroyed, they've been hostile. Well, y'know, extra hostile. Like any little thing could set them off. They still think Cloud City belongs to them."

Finally after several tense moments, a group of six stormtroopers came into view of the cafe. Two people walked in the middle of the circle, clearly wearing bright-white manacles. They wore common--if ratty--clothing with oil stains, one in coveralls. Both were male, one a Human, the other a Twi'lek. Neither fit the description of Kardassk's target.

In a booth by herself, Jeela found the Galaxy suddenly feel much, much larger than it had for quite some time. The sensation threatened to overtake her mind until she wrenched control. In that moment, she realized something was very wrong--or would be soon. She saw a shadow hanging over Cloud City like a choking smog. As if on cue, some people in an alleyway across the street from the cafe rushed out of the darkness holding wrenches and pipes up high. They tried to overtake the stormtroopers as one was hit with a pipe. There was no contest, however, as the rest of them opened fire at close-range, filling the rabble with blaster bolts.

The people in the cafe all rushed to the window to watch. Two of the armor-clad troopers high-fived as another put their foot on the neck of a rioter, then shot them in the back three times. They were celebrating the violence and taunting anyone left on the street. It was muffled through the building's glass, but they shouted, "WHO ELSE WANTS SOME OF MY IMPERIAL WRATH?!"

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Vou ChonturVou.jpg.def8fa1e8de9f1265f18b1d47c3da8e5.jpg

Ithorian Scoundrel, Level 1


Vitality: 13 / 13


Damn Imps! I would love to shoot all six of them and teach them a lesson.

His hand strays close to his hidden pistol, but he does not pull it. As much as he would love to shoot those troopers, he is not fool enough to take them on all by himself.

 

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