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Life In The Fast Lane

  • Thread starter patchman70
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(Please no posting in here... will start another thread for comments/hate posts/cash...)

(FYI, the beginning is taken as a direct quote from the adventure “Secret of the Sisar Run” as is the premise of the story. Any theoretical, mathematical or interstellar question about what is written is all part of the game and may or may not make ‘sense’. It’s part of an adventure, so everything can be used by the GM to mess with the characters. Thanks for reading…. Patchman70)

Episdoe 6 Riding the wave.

“Ironically, the stellar body that first brought the Hutts to the Sisar Run millennia ago is now considered a great nuisance by them and anyone else navigating near it. The Novolek Beacon is a trans-dimensional energy streamer, a rare sort of the pulsar star that emits a steady barrage of radiation, stellar energy and matter as it rotates. The streamer is a result of EM-invisible, multidimensional, gravitational curves intersecting across a large star. Sort of a convergence of hyperspace mass shadows, the star is under great gravitational stress, but does not possess enough realspace mass to collapse into a singularity.”
“In addition, the gravitational curves are not uniform, and occasionally, a patch of the star will be freed of the immense forces pushing against it. This patch then explodes outward in realspace, like air pushed out of a balloon. The realspace stream is mostly high-energy stellar plasma-hydrogen and helium gases-yet this stream causes a hyperspace shadow itself. The hyperspace shadows are dragged back into the other gravity wells, but the realspace particles continue unaffected.”
“This paradox, the El’shuun Aa Effect, causes immense disturbance throughout a localized area of hyperspace. The “walls” between dimensions are stretched thin at this point and even subspace communication signals are disrupted, their broadcast ranges varying radically. Yet, despite all this chaotic activity, all that is seen in realspace is particle fountain emitted from a bright star, flashing like a light-house in a storm.”
“The Novolek Beacon, like most energy streamers, is not always active. It follows precise cycles, as the stellar bodies that cause the imposing gravity curves to move about in space. The Beacon, nicknamed “The Grandfather Clock” for its precision, flares every 28 days, 12 hours and 42 minutes; the flare’s duration is variable, however lasting anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of days. At this time, all hyperspace travel around the Beacon has to be rerouted or slowed down, depending on the Streamer’s intensity”
“The Hutts have long been dreaming up a way to destroy the star since it slows down traffic and spawns all sorts of excuses for disreputable smugglers who conveniently ‘lose’ important cargoes. Incidentally, it creates an arena for competing pirate forces. Rumors float up and down the Sisar Run that Durga the Hutt is contracting scientists to come up with a plan to destroy the Novolek Beacon. What would happen if a transdimensional streamer was artificially destroyed – is unknown.”

Kal listened to this during the hours of hyperspace and studied any information he had on local space. It didn’t help the feelings that came up; it’s a trap of some kind. He shook off the daydreaming and got back to work.
“Looking at the beacon this close seemed suicidal,” Kal muttered, “and we need to get closer?”
“Yes.” Ressa said. “Can’t you see the first two ships? They seem to be heading just to the right of the Novolek beacon. There has to be something there. Follow them.” She got to work on tuning into the signal given in the last message. She also kept a close watch on the first two ships, Kalend Thora in the Starknife and Kal’Falnl C’ndros in the Shelltooth.
Behind Kal and his crew was Helrot, Az-Iban, Leids and Ryjerd. All the ships were loosely heading for the point that Thora was. Some picked up a faint signal and some just followed the one in front of them.
Kal and Tev’ah both were starting to feel the beacon’s waves affect their ship; shield came up and dumped all available power into the engines to keep from being bounced away from the beacon and the signal.
Ressa’ worked on the signal, cleaning it up and boosting its signal. “You need to get closer Kal, I can’t boost it anymore without blowing the system.”
“Ok, what are we supposed to do?” The ship was starting to hit the outer waves of gaseous plasma and becoming harder to pilot.
“Find the next message and move on, how hard is that?” Spoke Ressakai. She started by tuning into the frequency that the file said to, Gamma-34. There was a weak signal near the streamer, but seemed consistent and not coming from the beacon.
“Must be a satellite hidden next to the beacon. Fly near this spot.” She said. “How do I send this to your station?”
Pilot and co-pilot turned and look at each other, then turned to her and both said at the same time “Tell us.”
She sighed. “See the Beacon? 12 o’clock. So fly at 2 o’clock and I’ll let you know when to leave.” She went to trying to boost the signal and see what was being broadcasted.
A line of ships began to form in this part of space. First was Kalend Thora, far ahead of everyone. Second, Kal’Falnl C’ndros followed closely by Kal in third. Fourth was the Given Elis Helrot. Fifth, sixth and seventh was a bunched up Az-iban, Leids and Ryjerd respectively.
Ressakai noticed that Kalend pulled off and was heading away from the signal and Beacon. It seemed odd that she seemed to figure out to fly in, lock into the signal that fast and then leave. “I’m good and I can’t do it that fast. I wonder…” She continued to watch her ship on the screen while trying to crack the signal.
The race was on and with smugglers that means ‘everything goes’ when cash is involved. Everyone saw that Kalend in the Starknife was first and starting to fly away, everyone started pushing their ships to catch up.
Kal’falnl was next inline to start hitting the slow moving waves expelled from the Beacon. She fought to keep her ship moving towards the spot that held the signal. Being that she was the only crew, she had to slow a bit to concentrate on flying, finding and decoding the signal.
Kal didn’t have that problem, his was the Aggravation. Both he and Tev’ah seem to be fighting with both the ship and the Beacon. The waves being sent out seem to be affecting his controls. The Beacon was trying to push them away both from it and the satellite and they were trying to push toward the satellite, fight the Beacon and dodge everyone heading the same way.
Ressakai worked fast. She surprised herself on how quickly filtered out the signal and downloaded the file. She double checked the file, and killed some time to make it look like it was tough. No one likes a showoff, because then they expect you to do it again.
“I got it, get us out of here. I’m starting to break the code now” She shouted.
“Finally, I was wondering what you were doing back there… your nails?” Kel answered her with his usual sarcasm. “Tev’ah, I’m getting us away from here. As soon as I come about, put the shield double back.”
“Yup, glad they are still up… “The co-pilot said and new he spoke to soon. “Shields are down. Figures, give me time.”
The Aggravation headed away from both the Beacon and the satellite, in third.
The battle for signal continued, Elis’s crew got the code pretty quick but his guidance system cut out and they rode the waves until the controls got fixed. This pushed them back in the pack.
Az-Iban, Leids and Ryjerd were still all bunched up. They all seemed to be playing it safe, as safe as you can fly inside the discharge of a stellar mass, that is.
It took Ressakai about 30 seconds to crack the code. It translated to a hyperspace location with a small message. She read it out loud. “Congratulations on getting this far. Now, proceed to Nwarcol Point. ‘Envelope’ will provide you with docking instruction. Your contact will provide you with the cargo. He will greet you with the code phrase, ‘The mynocks are bad this month.’”
“Nwarcol Point… Never been there so this should be fun,” Said Kal as he started to program the nav-computer for the jump. “This should just take a few minutes.”
Behind them the race got interesting. Az-Iban got the code before Leids and Ryjerd and in a very unsporting, but true smuggler, fashion started to shoot at the satellite. Since the Beacon affected the targeting computer, it took a few shots before blowing it up.
This left Leids and Ryjerd with no chance of finishing. Kal’falnl noticed this, and loitered around long enough to contact both with the same offer she gave Kal, 50% of their cut for the code. Half pay seemed better then no pay and maybe a first place finish would still be possible, so the eventually accepted.
“What’s keeping you, Boys? The last one to the Point buys the drinks!” said Kalend over the com. She was by far in first place and pulling away fast.
Now they raced for pride towards the station. Well mostly for pride, most raced for something far more important then pride, credits.
Eventually every jumped to Nwarcol Point. Kalend was first, again. Followed by Az-Iban, Kal, Kal’falnl, Elis, Ryjerd and Leids in last. Most were affected by the beacon, since it was ‘in full swing.’ They all seemed to come out of hyperspace farther out and scattered then they anticipated due to the Beacon.
“Great…. Traffic.” Muttered Kal.

Episode 7: Surh, Kal Surh…


Episode 7 Surh, Kal Surh

The Aggravation arrived at Nwarcol Point Station.

To call it old wouldn’t do it justice. The Hutts had built it long before the idea of a Republic. To Kal, it looked like a small child had put it together using parts from several different broken toys. The inside was all Hutt.

Kal was checking out docking bay 12: 421 that his ship was sitting in. After jumping into the system and losing sight of the others in front of or behind him due to the large amount of traffic around Nwarcol Point Station. It seemed the Beacon was ‘in full swing’ and that kept most traffic from leaving the system in a timely manner.

Not really knowing what to do, Kal tried to contact traffic control but was put on hold. At that time, the program known as ‘envelope’ translated a signal and pointed him towards the docking bay. Immediately after, that Traffic Control contacted the Aggravation and cleared them for approach. The tractor beam insured a safe landing.

Upon landing, the ‘envelope’ program started a clock that the coordinates for Destination: Adventure! will be provided in 30 minutes.

“So we wait?” said Te’vah.

Kal wasn’t listening. He was checking out the docking bay. There were two freighters with Jatayus Outbound markings and a few other assorted unmarked ones in the process of being unloaded, loaded, refueled and repaired. Moving around all the ships, at the pace of a Hutt exercising, was the docking bay crew.

Walking up to the first worker close enough to bug, Kal tried to ask a question but was cut off with “Relax buddy, your ship is next.” The worker promptly walked away and joined a group talking and laughing.

“Ressa, lets go find the bar and collect a drink for not being last. Te’vah, wait here and contact me when the cargo arrives. I’ll bring you something back.”

With that Kal and Ressa headed towards the door that led to the inner core of the station. They headed directly to where normal business out on the rim took place, a bar.

Along the corridors, just outside the docking bay, there were vendors selling anything and everything.

And then Kal saw the sign, a neon blue green circle with the animated posh humanoid wearing a large formal hat. “They got a Biscuit Baron out here! Waaahooooo!” yelled Kal and he ran towards it with the enthusiasm of a 5 year old. Ressa just shook her head and followed, hoping anyone she knew didn’t see her with him.

10 minutes and 40 credits later, Kal had enough food for a family of Hutts. Ressa was hoping he had bought enough food for her and Te’vah too, providing it was edible. They headed back to the ship.

Back at the ship, Ressa gave an audible sigh. She was on a ship with two children.

“You’ve never had Biscuit Baron before?” Te’vah asked Ressa. “You must try this … and this …. Here dip it in this sauce. Isn’t that good? Wait, try this first!” This was repeated several times, by both of them, over and over again until they were rudely interrupted.

“Hello up there, you got a delivery here…,” was all they heard. When they got down to the end of the ramp and looked around, both Kal and Te’vah were carrying biscuits covered in sauce dripping all the way and trailed by Ressa trying to avoid slipping on the sauce.

Standing there was a human in a plain brownish jumpsuit carrying a clipboard. “Are you Mal Biron’s haulers?” was all he said.

“Yes we…,” Kal started to say when Te’vah slapped his empty but sauce covered hand over Kal’s mouth.

Whispering in Kal’s ear he said, “He didn’t use the code phrase,” then gave the stranger a menacing look.

Knocking his co-pilots hand away from his mouth and using his left sleeve to wipe his mouth clean from sauce, “Sorry I meant to say, ‘what’s the code phrase?’”

The stranger gave a loud sigh, cleared his throat and spoke, “The mynocks are bad this month.” About this time a Binary Load Lifter carrying a fairly large box on its lifters stopped about 2 meters behind the stranger.

All three crewmembers nodded and just stood there.

“What about the answer code phrase?” He finally said, looking around with a touch of intrigue.

“Uhhhhhhhh” was pretty much the answer from all three.

“I’m just messing with you guys, err and lady. Can you open your cargo hold so I can get to work? Bill, follow me. Some people think they work for the Black Sun, ISB or the Hutts…sheeesh.” And with that he started to move toward the back of the freighter to load the mysterious cargo.

“Te’vah, go open the door and watch him, Ressa help me get the ship prepped for take off I think we are getting close to the timer to tell us where we go next.”

The next ten minutes went by with Te’vah watching the dockworker and droid slowly placing the large crate and locking it down. It had to be either breakable or expensive because of the care given. In the cockpit Kal and Ressa worked on watching the clock, getting the ship ready and putting out the fires that usually happen getting the ship ready.

Kal went outside to find out how much they owe for docking and ship restocking fees.

Again finding a group of workers just standing around drinking and eating, “How much do I…,” was all he got out.

“Nothing pal, you’re taken care of. You can take off whenever.” Then worker went back to his conversation. Kal stood there a moment mouth gaping, and then turned back towards his ship.

He began to run, wanting to get out of there as fast as possible since he didn’t want some one to find out they paid for the wrong ship.

For the first time in his piloting career, Kal took off early.

The Beacon was in the process of ‘turning off’ but it was still affecting travel. Ships had to almost leave the system to make the jump to hyperspace.

Kal was having a hard time putting the coordinates for the next jump and getting the computer to confirm it. Cussing and hammering at the consol didn’t seem to help.

Tuning out the captain’s rants, Ressa turned to play with the communication/sensor system. She needed something to do and it looked like it was better than listening to him

She tried to use both the ships sensor and communications arrays simultaneously, an easy test for normal ships. On this one, it caused a problem. A small ‘pop’ and some smoke caught the captain’s attention.

“What is that smell?” Kal spoke above all the noise.

“That would be your SHIP. Go back to piloting, I got this.” She quickly popped out the burnt fuse and found a replacement in a box on the wall.

After that, she rerouted some of the systems to improve power and signal strength. This would theoretically improve both scanning and communications.

She began testing by aiming the dish back towards the station to see how many ships and communications she could pick up. However, what she caught wasn’t that.

“……….All Right <static> … Listen up… Me Harties…Listen up fellow Disac peers, Yar and all that. “

Ressa hurriedly hit the record button and prayed it worked.

“Listen up fellow Disacs pirates. This be your prodichal… prodicle… gar. This be Morrtur Heth, or better known right now as Az-Iban. I’ve got a sweet little cargo load right from the wolfmans’s clutches. I’ve popped ‘er open and she looks pretty good. There’s gonna be five more loads at the following coordinates, plus a big luxury liner. Sharpen yer teeth, boys. The pickins are gonna be good! Yarrrr.”

The signal then stopped.

“Kal, we got a problem….” Ressa said as she tapped him on the shoulder.


Episode 8, Salin away with the goods…

“That’s one hell of a practical joke,” Kal said as he spun around in to face Ressa at the comm station

“Listen for yourself.” She replayed the message.

After hearing it, Kal wondered what to think. Was this another test, a loyalty test? Or was it real and the whole mission was in danger. “Look up those dis-whatever pirates in the computer and see what it knows about them.”

“Te’vah, go check the guns. I don’t want to get caught with my pants down IF this is true. Not like we can hit the side of anything, but we can make it difficult. We’ve got six hours to do what we can. “Kal spoke more like a captain then, well, what he normally sounds like. No one questioned him.

All three had stuff to do. Te’vah went to check on the guns, Ressa worked on finding as much as she could about the pirates and Kal worked on some kind of plan to help them survive.

Two hours later, Ressa called him to show him what she found.

“What I found doesn’t give me much, other than they used to be big on the Sisar Run. Travel used to be dangerous to major shipping companies like Jatayus Outbound, Xizor Transport Systems and independent transports about a year ago, then it slowly tailed off until it completely stopped. Who stopped them? The Imperials took credit but they were around when the pirates were at their best and did nothing to stop them. Once they disappear, the government takes credit for what someone else probably accomplished.”

“Then who did?” Kal asked.

They had about two hours to think before rendezvous with the Destination Adventure! Do they contact everyone else and let them know about the ruse? If they don’t, it would make the odds better to finish first. What’s an honest smuggler to do?

After two hours of thinking, this made Kal’s brain hurt, and getting the ship ready for a fight, the Aggravation dropped out of hyperspace.

“Give me an idea what’s around Ressa.” Kal said.

“Give me a second. I’m still not use to your antiquated equipment.” Ressa said.

Frustrated at her lack of respect for his ship, Kal became angry “I don’t have time for any excuses, just tell me if the Destination: Adventure! is out there.”

“That’s what I am doing, coming up now. I see the Destination: Adventure! now, about 25,000 kilometers straight ahead. Ohhh a luxury liner, hope we get some time off on there.”

“Copy that, heading that way. Shields up and charging the guns. You set Te’vah?”

“Cowering in a gun well, like usual boss.” The Twi’lek responded with both humor and dread.

“I see the Starknife and Hinthra ahead of us and …. Hold on….Ok, I see The Shelltooth, Scarlet Vertha and Tower behind us. No sigh of Rampaging Ranat,” called out Ressa reading off the scanner.

Through the speaker in the cockpit came the voice of Kalend Thora “Last stretch kids, last one buys.”

The group of ships accelerated towards the final goal. Everyone scraping as much speed as they possibly can for the extra five thousand credits.

Kal was wondering if he should tell anyone about the message they heard. Would any of them believe them or think it’s a trick to somehow get him into first place.

“The hell with it, let’s do a good deed. Ressa, give me an open channel.” Kal said sounding worried.

“Everyone listen up, Az-Iban is really a pirate. I think they are going to jump us before we get to the luxury liner. I’m giving you a heads up. That is all, Aggravation out.”

There was no reply from any of the other ships. Everyone was dumping everything into the engines to finish first.

As he thought to himself if that was the best thing to do, Ressa called out behind him “I got a big ship exiting hyperspace about half way between here and the luxury liner. I wonder who our guest is.”

Everyone didn’t have long to wait, the ship turned out to be an Imperial Guardian-class Light Cruiser.

Every ship captain and crew began to sweat. Everyone was carrying cargo, more to the point illegal cargo and most had some kind of a record. This was not part of the deal.

It was a modified Guardian-class that can carry T.I.E fighters, bad news. Piling on the bad news was that it was directly halfway between the smugglers and the Luxury Liner.

The group of ships that started bunching up in a race to the Destination: Adventure! now started to spread out and plot jumps to get the hell out of this place, well all but one did. Kalend Thora, in first place, did not change course. Actually she sped up.

“Wha…. The Starknife, it’s not changing course. She’s still heading for the Destination: Adventure! and will be passing that Imps. Why would she do that?” Ressa spoke slowly.

Alarms went off with warnings of ships coming out of hyperspace nearby.

Four ships came out of hyperspace, three MRX-BR Pacifiers and an YT-1300. All heavy modified for the job at hand. They immediately began attacking and everyone’s speakers came to life. “Greetings! Pull those tugs over now and we won’t space you. Run for it and we’ll salvage your cargo from the void… yar.”

It would get worse; a distorted comm signal came through the speakers, “Now reading private ship Aggravation. Please proceed towards us for close inspection scan before heading to the Destination: Adventure! Imperial Cruiser Light Hammer out.”

Kal just shook his head and continued on course. He could see that others got the same message since everyone started back to their original course. The Aggravation moved up one spot to second because of this.

“Well what do we do? We got imperials and prison in front of us if they catch us. Behind us, we got some pirates with an overgrown sense of tradition and death if they catch us. So do we run and face the wrath our new employer?” asked Ressa.

“I knew I should have applied for a position at Biscuit Baron,” lamented Kal.