The Wheel - Myth-Weavers


The Wheel

 
The Wheel

THE WHEEL
Astronavigation Data: Besh Gorgon system. Mid Rim region
Orbital Metrics: 302 days per year / 24 hours per day
Government: administrator
Population: 300,000 (Humans 70%, Other 30%)
Languages: Basic
Major Terrain: space station
Major Cities: The Wheel
Areas of Interest: hangar levels, hotels, casinos
Major Exports: entertainment, information
Major Imports: food, water, high technology, information
Trade Routes: Perlemian Trade Route
Special Conditions: Neutral
Background
The Wheel is an enormous, circular hub-and-spoke style space station located on the Perlemian Trade Route near the outer edge of the Mid Rim. It is the center of an "immunity sphere" making its status under the Empire unique. Nominally, Imperial ships are not allowed at the station, and there is no formal Imperial presence. This makes the Wheel a popular destination for anyone avoiding the gaze of the Empire. It is a hub of economic activity, aboveboard and below. It is also a major tourist destination, with popular casinos and entertainment zones.

Reality is more complicated. While publicly the station maintains a reputation of independence, the Wheel secretly pays the Empire a great deal in taxes in exchange for its apparent autonomy. Relatively recent events even saw a violation of the immunity sphere with the temporary deployment of Imperial stormtroopers in pursuit of some of the most wanted rebels in the galaxy: Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, and Chewbacca. Their presence proved highly disruptive, resulting in the death of the Wheel's administrator, Senator Greyshade. Currently, a committee of station section chiefs is running the Wheel until a new administrator takes control. In spite of these events, the Wheel still functions normally thanks to its central computer system, called Master-Com.

With the Rebels gone, Imperial troops have withdrawn from the Wheel. The incursion has tarnished the station's reputation as Empire-free, but it is recovering. However, the Empire has taken advantage of the incident to secretly increase the presence of Imperial Security Bureau agents and informants on board.

The lack of Imperial customs agents and traditional starport controls draws visitors from across the galaxy. Smugglers, merchants, traders, and brokers of all types exchange wares outside of the normal tax and transportation laws. Illicit deals are as common as legitimate transactions. The station even serves as a neutral site for diplomatic negotiations between parties ranging from feuding planets and interstellar corporations to powerful criminal syndicates and individuals of all backgrounds.
MASTER-COM
Master-Com is the Wheel's master-control computer system. It functions much like a droid due to the myriad sensory inputs and databanks throughout the station. Thanks to the late Senator Greyshade, Master-Com has a number of humanoid droid bodies, which allow it to walk the decks and interact directly with the crew and visitors. However, its main function is to run virtually everything on board, from environmental controls, to turbolifts, to cargo distribution, and more.
Beyond the Rim Adventure Module, pg 14

Exploring the Wheel

Citizenry and Security
The Wheel's inhabitants and visitors are diverse in origin and occupation, but it is dominated by humans. Despite its separation from the Empire, it still retains attitudes toward the Empire, and particularly non-humans, as might be seen on Imperial Core World planets. Non-humans are allowed on board, but are often made to feel less than welcome by administrators, crew, security, and human visitors. The Wheel has its own skilled security officers who are quick to quell any disruption. Fighting is frowned upon, quickly reported to Master-Com, and halted as soon as possible.

Hangar Levels
The hangar levels contain docking bays, landing platforms, berths, and docking clamps suitable for every type of starship from one-man craft to enormous capital ships. Most of these facilities are found on the station's ring. While there is no Imperial Customs office to deal with, administrators from the station still meet incoming craft, arrange for starship services, and inform the crew of station policies and rules.

The station understands its unique status and prices its services and wares accordingly. Docking fees are often ten times the going rate for similar stations and only marginally negotiable. All manner of starship services and repair facilities are available for craft of almost any size.

Included on the hangar levels are the hangar decks where everything from equipment to information can be found -- for the right price.
Grinner's Wheel and Dealings
The Wheel is a fantastic, civilized place to get away from it all -- especially the Empire. I don't know what sort of deal they've managed to pull, but whatever it is, it keeps the Imperials away. Well, mostly. I'm sure the Imperials keep tabs on the place, and I've heard they got their own station or ships nearby, just to track the comings and goings of whoever wants to avoid Imperial eyes. No matter. There's enough traffic that one more freighter will hardly be noticed, or seen as out of the ordinary.

Go. Have fun, but not too much. Local security is tough. They don't care who you are. If you make trouble, you're off the station faster than you can say "Jabba the Hutt sent me." Probably won't care anyway. You want a name they will care about? Sure, I got one, but it'll cost you extra.

Hangar Deck Locations

The hangar decks contain a variety of different stores and other facilities commonly sought out by short-term visitors. However, the Wheel hosts almost any establishment that can be found in a modern, major city. Below is a short list of establishments around the hangar, along with their primary owner or contact.

Blasted Asteroid Cantina
The Blasted Asteroid is a cantina chain located in starports and space stations throughout the galaxy. The Blasted Asteroid is a favorite for regular travelers to the Wheel. It never closes and is nearly always crowded with the newly-arrived, the nearly-departed, and all manner of patrons in between. The cantina is dingy, though a small army of droids helps to keep the place running and relatively clean. Fights are discouraged, and the staff will quickly call Wheel Security at the first sign of trouble.

Bartender: Ceoloe is the cantina's leading bartender and bouncer. The human is a large mass of muscle, more than capable of handling bar fights quickly and easily, often through simple intimidation. Ceoloe is talkative and indiscreet. He'll say the wrong thing or make a revealing comment a bit too loud for comfort.

Infochant: Warroon Dak, a rotund Corellian, is a talented and savvy infochant. He sits in a large, round booth near the bar, selling or trading information to anyone looking for someone or something on the Wheel. Ceoloe keeps an eye on him and quickly pulls him out at the first sign of trouble.

Cargo Storage
The Wheel has numerous cargo bays that act as distribution centers for cargo transfer betwwen ships and merchants. Incoming craft can purchase hauling and storage services for almost any length of time, and at various security levels. Although all facilities are guarded by alarms, droids, and security officers, higher-security bays can include vault-like protection. Costs range from a few hundred credits to several thousand, depending on the amount of space and the security level selected.

Cargo Administrator: Cargo administrators are common throughout the hangar decks. They oversee the transfers between warehouses and ships. While ships might use their own crews or droids for cargo hauling and delivery, it is often safer and cheaper to use the Wheel's services. The administrators are not customs officers, but they report illegal activity if they see it. Most are reasonably honest, but some can be bribed or bought off, though they risk losing their jobs if caught.

Clothing Store
Sonou's Apparel carries a complete line of starship-ready clothing for many common species. Jumpsuits, environment-specific wear, and even spacesuits are available, as well as a limited supply of formal wear. The clothes are surprisingly and suspiciously cheap, running at two-thirds of the common market value.

Owner: Sonou, the Twi'lek proprietor, makes a good living replacing spacers' and traders' worn-out clothing. Her clothing is admittedly cheap, often wearing out in about half the time of a comparable garment. She readily admits this if asked. Sonou relentlessly orders around her staff of Twi'leks and droids, though she is civil enough to her customers.

Droid Repair
The Dented Droid is one of a chain of droid repair stores found in major space stations, starports, and cities around the galaxy. It is small, grimy, and filled with semi-functioning droids in addition to an impressive array of random parts scattered on shelves and in half-open boxes. The entire place seems filled with beeps, whirs, and the hum of ratcheting gears.

Owner: Jilaa San is the Sullustan mechanic who keeps the shop running. Her work is competent but barely organized and not terribly fast. She always says she's ready to take on new work, but the truth is she is perpetually exhausted and over-promises on delivery times. Irate customers must pick up partially repaired droids or constantly prod her to finish the job when she inevitably falls behind schedule.

Hangar Deck Locations (cont.)

Gear Store
Farlander's Outfitting and Supply is part-showroom and part-pawn shop. The store carries new and used gear ranging from shipboard tools to survival gear to maintenance equipment. Farlander's also carries a limited selection of non-military-grade weapons, such as average blaster pistols and hunting rifles. If it's not in the store, Nols and his inventory droid, CZ-332, can probably dig up something comparable from elsewhere in the station. Nols also buys used gear, as long as it is in working condition. He's a slick salesman and, while not totally honest, he avoids becoming a willing fence in order to steer clear of trouble with Wheel Security.

Manager: Nols is a young human who grew up on the Wheel. He has worked at the store for most of his life and has an intimate knowledge of everything about it. However, he is fascinated by his customers and is always trying to learn new things about where they came from and what they've seen. He is easily impressed by exotic items, bizarre stories, and distant worlds.


High Stakes and Hyperspace
The luxury level of the Wheel sports the main drag of casinos and hotels, but small gambling dens and gaming arcades can be found throughout the hangar decks as well. Inside, the dark parlor is illuminated only by the glow of vidscreens holocasting ronto races and gladiatorial matches from other planets. Patrons may seat themselves at any of the dejarik, sabacc, ot chance cube tables, where small holographic projections of Togrutan waitresses take drink orders and set up games. There is always someone playing, though business is markedly brisker at night. Droids and obvious slicers are not allowed, given their ability to cheat.

Bookmaker: Jokol, the Duros bookie, collects wagers, serves drinks, and makes small talk with gamblers at his bar. He will ignore visitors who aren't betting and is gruff even to those who are. He's a long way from home and refuses to talk about Duro or the Core worlds if asked. He has, however, done his fair share of travelling and is a talented pilot.

Parts Store
Also known as Hal's, the parts store is a one-stop shop for picking up common parts for ships, vehicles, and related equipment. Basic items can be found in the store, while other parts can be ordered from warehouses elsewhere on the station. The store typically has a line of people waiting to reach the front counter. The store can also deliver equipment to ships, but payment is required up front. Repair services are also available.

Owner: Hal Lars is the owner and lives in a small apartment behind the store. The elderly human relies on cybernetic hearing and eyes. He has an extensive knowledge of the common starships that pass through the station and an uncanny memory for previous customers and their problem equipment. He is helpful, but expects to be paid for his parts and advice. Hal is highly knowledgeable in local happenings.

Tasia's Tapcafe
Tasia's is a quaint restaurant catering to travelers tired of shipboard meals. Alderaanian dishes are its specialty. With the Death Star's recent destruction of Alderaan, Tasia's Tapcafe has become a rallying point for refugees and anti-Imperial sentiment. Messages and holos form an impromptu memorial to the planet on the back wall, which is now covered in both open and cryptic messages to the dead, the survivors, and the defiant. Brun Brux, the Alderaanian proprietor, is aware that his place is likely drawing the attention of the ISB, so he discourages open talk of the Rebellion. Instead, he publicly focuses his efforts on saving Alderaan's culture and spirit.

Proprietor: Brun Brux is a thin, bearded restaurateur who used to be more concerned with his tapcafe than galactic politics. Now, he is alternatively saddened and angry at the recent events. He meets new Alderaanians regularly and commiserates with them as they pass through the station. Every day is an emotional one at the tapcafe.








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