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Session #01: Rescue on Narsus V

The Scenario
Governor Tebesk-a-Susek of Narsus Prime had a problem, and he called in a group of heroes -- Jedi Consular Paddy Valero, Jedi Guardian Trini, Professor Mokona Solaris, Pardu Technician Zaky, Ex-Imperial Technician Bail Solaris, and Field Medic Dr. Joah -- with the hopes that they could help him out. The Jedi had been sent out by Luke Skywalker's Jedi Academy to help deal with the problems posed by renegade Warlord Shel Abadan, whereas the other heroes were local professionals interested in saving their sector from chaos (or else in it for the pay or coerced by other means).

On the nearby world of Narsus V, there were several floating mining platforms, similar to the more famous facilities on distant Bespin. These platforms mined and processed various volatile gases found in abundance in the toxic atmosphere of Narsus V, and the larger platforms also served as holding areas and trading ports for freighters that would come to load up and sell the gases and byproducts off-world. Forces loyal to Shel Abadan had overrun Mining Platform G-7G, and had commandeered its defensive systems, though not otherwise harming the civilian population on board (yet).

As it turns out, these forces had captured Moff Jerjeran, the former leader of the sector government, who had been allowed to retire peacefully to the remote planet of Langoria as part of a settlement with the forces intent upon overthrowing Imperial rule and joining the New Republic. Shel Abadan, formerly Moff Jerjeran's right-hand man, was terrorizing the trade lanes, proclaiming himself a champion of the Imperial cause, but ignoring any orders from Admiral Pellaeon to stand down. (Abadan claimed that Pellaeon, by "surrendering" to the New Republic, no longer represented the "true Empire", and so he holds himself beholden to no one. Essentially, he's just a well-armed space pirate.)

Moff Jerjeran had been transported to this mining platform, and was being held in a containment chamber until a shuttle could arrive to take him (presumably) to Warlord Abadan's flagship (a Nebulon-B class frigate). It was not known precisely when this shuttle would arrive, but the heroes were to get to this station and try to rescue Jerjeran with a minimum of collateral damage, and avoiding any civilian casualties.

Governor Susek felt obliged to rescue the Moff, since Moff Jerjeran, Imperial leader as he might be, actually still had some sympathetic support amongst some factions of the Narseti people, and for the New Republic aligned governor to simply let the Moff meet some unknown fate would have brought severe political repercussions. Furthermore, Abadan must have had some purpose for acquiring the Moff, and perhaps Moff Jerjeran had some important information, such as old Imperial passwords, or the location of secret caches. The heroes were offered a modest sum of 4000 credits for completion of the mission, plus a possible bonus if it could be done exceptionally well. Medical expenses for recovery after the mission would be covered, as well as replacement of expended ammunition (excluding explosives), and transportation would be provided in the form of a YT-1300 on loan.

Arrangements were made to get the heroes onto the station by various means -- either on the aforementioned freighter, or else slipped on board by other craft, with the appropriate faked credentials and uniforms as needed.

One major complication in this mission was the presence of civilians. The forces of Warlord Shel Abadan had allowed the gas miners to keep using the facility, thus granting themselves a "human shield" that would dissuade the governor's forces from mounting a direct assault on the platform.

Furthermore, many of the gases mined on Narsus V are extremely explosive. The canisters holding these gases for shipping would be kept in a sealed blast chamber, so that if some mishap should occur, the explosion could be contained. These blast chambers, incidentally, were heavily shielded and highly secure ... just perfect for Abadan's men to stow away their prisoner in. After all, nobody in his right mind would try blasting his way in there to mount a rescue mission, what with the room stacked to the ceiling with these explosive canisters.

Another complication was that Narsus V has a toxic atmosphere. The interior portions of the station were sealed, but exterior portions were kept inside a breathable atmosphere by means of several large magnetic fields. If these fields should collapse, blast doors would lock down to seal the inner station, and the outer docking areas would be soon filled with the toxic gases from the outer atmosphere.

Two Stormtroopers guarded the door leading to the containment chamber, and it was not known how many more might be inside. Two technicians manned the docking station outside (and kept watch with a semi-automated security blaster turret), while four lightly armed guards in the service of Abadan guarded the interior. When the shuttle would arrive, it would bring with it another officer and a group of six Stormtroopers to escort the prisoner. A TIE Interceptor sat in suspended dock, with a TIE pilot on standby, to provide escort and defense for the shuttle if need be.

Getting In
The heroes arrived via different means. Paddy Valero and Bail Solaris posed as base technicians, and maneuvered into position to do some "maintenance" on an access port on the outer docking bay. Zaky also managed to get himself passed off as a technician. (Despite his distinctive look as a Pardu, the Pardu are native to this sector, and therefore aren't all that unheard-of, despite their anti-social culture.)

Dr. Joah, Trini and Professor Mokona arrived on the YT-1300, which was given false transponder codes to pass for a medical supply vessel. Professor Mokona stayed on board the ship to watch for trouble, while Joah and Trini moved over to a medical station that just happened to be right near the blast chamber where the prisoner was being kept. They kept an eye out for any activity, ready to give code signs to the others in case they saw the prisoner being moved.

Zaky moved his way to an access terminal, and, under guise of doing "maintenance", proceeded to use his slicer skills to get into several secure systems, in preparation to cause some diversions if need be (such as setting off alarms, opening or closing blast doors, and even faking a magnetic field shut-down).

A Rough Start
Meanwhile, Paddy and Bail moved over to "check out" the station where the dock technicians were working, bluffing successfully enough to persuade them that they had actually seen some sparks underneath the terminal. While they examined the station, Paddy noticed that the shuttle was in fact on its way, and would be arriving within the hour. Bail wanted to know if anyone wanted a drink. The pilot, who had been suspiciously watching the two, declined, whereas the two dock technicians were more amenable to the idea. Bail went off to get a volatile exotic drink, and came back, then "accidentally" dropped the bottle near the dock technicians, then was about to "accidentally" drop his cigar, when the TIE pilot, unconvinced by Bail's "accident", pulled out his blaster. Bail tried unsuccessfully to talk the pilot down - whereupon the pilot shot him, and Bail dropped the cigar.

One of the technicians ran off from the resultant fire, and was hit by a stray blaster bolt from the pilot -- whereupon the technician fell to his doom, off the side of the platform. As a firefight broke out between Paddy (using a power droid for cover) and the pilot, the other technician tried to find cover. A single shot from Paddy took out the pilot. Paddy cuffed the technician. An alarm had already been sounded, alas, and the forces inside the station started to scramble.

Joah ran into the bar and whipped up the customers, prompting a panicked mass exodus from the bar and into the main throughway. One of the guards was suspicious of Zaky and came over to see what was going on. Zaky at first was successful in persuading him that he was trying to deal with the problem, but -- while the guard was looking over his shoulder -- he then proceeded to try to hack into the security some more, claiming he was working on putting out the fire. Alas, the guard was too keen-eyed to miss this, and turned on Zaky. Zaky tried to defend himself, but got shot by the guard. Trini tried to come to his aid, while Joah moved into position to take down the Stormtroopers.

In the ensuing battle, Zaky managed to throw one guard out through the window (fortunately sealed by a magnetic field just outside, so there wasn't a sudden leak of toxic gases), while Trini sent another falling to his doom. The third was taken out, but the fourth rushed up to a control station, aiming to take out the YT-1300 with the defense turret.

Professor Mokona saw that there was obviously trouble, and powered up the freighter, then dashed outside and tried to do something about the turret that was powering up. She ripped open a panel and started shooting inside, but failed to hit anything vital at first. Then, back at the firefight in the main throughway, Trini took out the guard who was trying to fire the turret, but a stray blaster bolt took out the terminal. The turret started going wild, firing randomly, but Mokona at last managed to shut down the turret ... though causing an overload in the process. Fortunately, Paddy, who was at the controls in the dock area, saw a warning that the turret was about to overload, and warned Mokona in time for her to get out of range of the resultant explosion. Paddy applied a medpac to Bail, getting him back into the action. Bail grabbed a breath mask from a fallen techie, then climbed his way up and into the TIE Interceptor. Paddy released the docking clamps, and Bail took to the air in the TIE, to provide cover, as the shuttle was still on its way in. Paddy and Mokona dashed across the rampway leading to the main station area, in order to try to lend help.

Joah took out the two Stormtroopers, using a slowly moving large female alien for cover, though she took exception to this and tried (vainly) to attack him. An errant blaster bolt took out the controls to the blast chamber door, and another errant blast took down one of the fleeing patrons of the bar. Zaky managed to close the blast doors leading out of the immediate area, sealing it off against Stormtrooper reinforcements, at least for the time being ... but also preventing several of the patrons from escaping.

By this point, all the forces of Warlord Abadan had been defeated (here, anyway), and the heroes gathered together outside the blast chamber. Professor Mokona applied first aid to the alien that had been stunned during the firefight, and helped evacuate the civilians to the YT-1300. Joah busied himself with relieving the dead Stormtroopers of their blaster rifles and utility belts, and started dragging one of them back toward the ship. Paddy applied a medpack to Zaky, and then joined Trini to start cutting through the containment doors with their lightsabers. Zaky went back to the terminal to try to edit the security camera logs to make it appear as if this had somehow all started from the TIE pilot going berserk on the docks and shooting people at random.

Final Showdown
Once Trini and Paddy cut the containment doors open, it was revealed that inside the explosives-filled chamber was the prisoner, an officer, and two Stormtroopers. Trini and Paddy engaged the Stormtroopers in close combat so that they couldn't fire with their blaster rifles, though the officer (firing out of the chamber) had a blaster pistol, and used it against Paddy. (The Stormtroopers were reduced to using their rifle butts as clubs.) Joah dropped the Stormtrooper he had been dragging, and prepared to fire into close combat with his newly acquired rifle, but after realizing that this meant firing into a room stacked to the ceiling with explosives, he reconsidered this move, and rushed up to aid in close combat.

Trini managed to take down one of the Stormtroopers with her lightsaber. Paddy, not as experienced with the lightsaber, opted to drop his weapon and pull out his blaster pistol instead, taking his chances. He fired ... he missed ... he hit the explosive canisters behind his target.

The canisters exploded, triggering secondary explosions and a chain reaction that detonated the entire blast chamber. Without the containment doors, a column of fire belched outward. Paddy was instantly taken down, and Trini and Joah were both severely wounded. Nonetheless, Trini and Joah instinctively grabbed up Paddy and started running. Zaky abandoned his post at the control station, and started running out, too. Professor Mokona and the civilians were already on their way out, and clambered on board the YT-1300. (All the civilians, that is, save for a plant-like alien which was slowly shuffling along the rampway.)

Joah, alas, was taken down by one of the secondary explosions, leaving Trini to use her considerable strength to haul Paddy by herself. Paddy, mortally wounded, with his dying breaths urged Trini to abandon him, but she stubbornly pressed on, even as the raging fire and toxic fumes taxed her own health greatly.

Meanwhile, Bail performed a daring and very risky maneuver, bringing his TIE Interceptor low over the YT-1300, then climbing out and leaping from it, onto the freighter. He did so perfectly, and clambered down the top hatch, rushing to the cockpit to get the freighter off the pad. (Fortunately, the engines were already running.) With skilled maneuvering, he managed to bring the freighter along the rampway, lining up the boarding ramp to scoop up the plant-alien and Zaky. Zaky helped the plant-alien inside, then snapped on a securing harness and stood in the ramp-way, as the freighter maneuvered up to the very edge of the dock. Trini, badly burned and wounded, staggered up with Paddy's body, and Zaky hauled her and Paddy's remains on board the craft, despite the fire raging and the eminent danger of further explosions taking the ship with the doomed mining platform.

With Trini safely aboard, Bail tipped the freighter away from the mining platform, and Zaky closed up the boarding hatch, even as Mining Platform G-7G blossomed with plumes of flame and begin to drop, taking with it everyone who had not managed to get on board one of the many ships that had managed to escape the conflagration.

Of the rescue team, Jedi Consular Paddy Valero and Field Medic Dr. Joah had died. Joah's remains were on the station when it fell into the lower atmosphere, whereas Paddy Valero's body was recovered, so that proper funeral rites could be observed. (His lightsaber was sent back to the Academy, so that it might see use again in the hands of novice Jedi.)

Governor Tebesk-a-Susek was absolutely beside himself upon receiving news of the disaster, and refused to meet with the survivors until he could compose himself. The local news service carried the story that Warlord Shel Abadan was responsible for the mining platform's destruction and the deaths of those still aboard it when it fell. The official line is that Abadan's forces had the Moff aboard the station and were trying to force out of him the whereabouts of some sort of secret Imperial weapon or cache, so that Abadan might carry on a reign of terror in the sector. The Moff refused, and so Abadan responded by having the station destroyed in his anger.

A memorial service was held on Narsus Prime, honoring the departed Moff. Governor Tebesk-a-Susek was the keynote speaker, praising him as a man of integrity, despite serving a corrupt and duplicitous regime.

The surviving heroes were denied any pay for the mission, or any compensation, and were told that if they were to mention to anyone their involvement in this incident, the Narseti government would vehemently deny it. Governor Tebesk-a-Susek, at the very least, seemed confident that those directly responsible for this tragedy had died in the confrontation, and therefore, no punitive action would be taken against the surviving members, and they would not be out of consideration for future missions. Fortunately, none of the surviving civilians actually saw the heroes take actions that led to the conflagration. (One alien witnessed a gunman shooting at the Stormtroopers -- she couldn't help but notice, as he was using her for cover -- but for all she could tell, he was just a lone renegade, with no connection to the crew of the freighter that rescued her and the others. Nonetheless, she's been quietly given an incentive not to speak freely to the press about her experience.)

Dissenting View
Warlord Shel Abadan, of course, had his own version of events that transpired, though not necessarily any more honest. His propaganda claimed that Moff Jerjeran had, in fact, been rescued from his "prison" on Langoria, and that this tragedy was a result of draconian measures taken by the government of Tebesk-a-Susek to make certain that the Moff did not escape, at any cost.

End Game Results
Joah and Paddy, alas, are no more. John C., however, is bringing back a "clone" of Joah -- that is, a new character, with the same abilities, so as not to go through the character creation process again so soon.

4000 experience points were awarded for the adventure, and as they were divided up amongst four surviving PCs, this brought Zaky, Mokona, Bail and Trini up to level 2 each. All surviving PCs got one Reputation Point for their heroics in saving several aliens from the doomed mining platform.

It is assumed that enough game time will pass between sessions for the PCs to heal up from their wounds, and for those characters with Profession or Craft skills to roll for a week's worth of income for the purchase of additional equipment.

Note: PCs who weren't here for this adventure will have no IC reason to know what really transpired during this adventure, unless one of these PCs tells them. In fact, for PCs who did survive, please keep in mind that unless the other PCs took time to tell you, you may not even know exactly how things came about this way. (Trini is the only survivor who would qualify as an eye-witness of what exactly transpired, though Zaky might be able to hazard a good guess.)

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The Pardu and the world of Geluvil are creations of John Boulton, (c) 2001.