You haven’t lived until you’ve heard a Wookie say “Pew Pew”
The episode opens with our heroes, in their shuttle, following Captain Solov’s shuttle toward the freighter, in orbit above Drexel II. Solov’s shuttle docks, briefly, and then pulls away a short distance from the freighter. Bin’she Keeba, piloting the party’s shuttle follows the same trajectory and is soon landing inside the freighter’s small shuttle bay. As the party warily exits the shuttle, the bay is empty, but they can hear the faint sounds of blaster fire coming from somewhere inside the freighter. Dewurra points up and says, “Aughh Aughh.” Ensuring they have a way to escape, in case things go wrong, Vince pilots the shuttle back out into space, keeping the shuttle in a holding pattern around the freighter. Dewurra , using brute force, opens a forward blast door and the party investigates. They find a large room, it’s perimeter ringed with number rooms and a command console in the center of the room. They strongly suspect these are holding cells and the freighter was once a prisoner transport.
Back in the shuttle bay, they discover the turbo lift is inoperable and Dewurra forces open the aft blast doors. This leads into a two-story cargo bay. It’s quite dusty and most of the room looks as if no-one has been in here for years, but they soon find several crates that have been busted open recently. The crates have military markings on them and are about 6’ tall by 3’ wide by 3’ deep. They find one crate unopened. Dewurra breaks open the crate and finds a non-functional B1 Battle Droid inside. The party takes a ladder up to the next deck and finds two parallel corridors running the length of the ship. The port corridor has two dead battle droids and a dead Stormtrooper. Nü el’Kah grabs the Stormtrooper’s blaster carbine, and gives him a kick for good measure. The starboard corridor is empty. The party finds a cross corridor halfway down the ship. They discover used escape pods in a forward hatchway and a common living area in an aft hatchway. The party moves back to the starboard corridor and winds up at the front of the ship at the bridge. The sound of blaster fire fades as they move towards the front of the ship.
“Hey, did anybody remember to turn off that pesky gravity well on the Archanis?” Bin’she Keeba
The party searches the bridge but finds nothing. Most of the ships systems are still shut down. Bin’she and Vuko Dardo get the main computer online and attempt to plot a hyperspace course in the navigation computer to allow them to quickly leave the system once the hyper drive motivator is fixed. “Hey, what’s that flashing red light mean?” Varen Berelis asks. Vuko checks the computer display, “Do not jump to light space, ship still in a gravity well.” “Well crap!” The party looks around defeated, realizing there was a slightly important thing they failed to do while on the Archanis. Discussion ensues. The options are to wait it out on the bridge and let fate decide what happens to the crew, or to search out Crimson Jack and find out what’s going on with the hyper drive motivator.
With their hands tied and nothing else to be done in the bridge, the party moves back down the starboard corridor towards the center of the ship, stopping at the turbo lift. There has been no sign of Crimson Jack, his crew, the Stormtroopers, or Captain Solov. It stands to reason they are the ones shooting it out on the deck above. The loud cracks of blaster fire emanate from the turbo lift. Seeing no other way to get to the deck above, Dewurra decides to climb up the turbo lift to see what’s going on. He pokes his head out into the corridor on the deck above. He sees blaster fire being traded up and down the corridor, with battle droids forward and stormtroopers aft. He receives a “little off the top” from an errant blaster shot for his trouble and quickly climbs back down to report what he’s found. The crew is pretty certain Engineering is on the deck above, and that’s where Jack is repairing the hyper drive motivator. They know they’ve got to get up there, but how to do it with the turbo lift exit in the middle of a fire fight?
“Well, now what? Anybody got any bright ideas?”
They return to the bridge and Varen eyes the escape pod bays. They force open one of the starboard bay doors and climb the escape pod launch tube to the upper level, only to find that the exit would put them smack into a group of battle droids. They decide to try the port pod tubes and see if there is less heat on that side of the ship. Luckily, the port corridor on the upper deck is quiet. They open doors along the corridor, discovering some nicer quarters than the common area below. At the end of the hall, Dewurra rips open a blast door, finding Capt. Jack’s crew holed up and waiting for the Stormtroopers to cut through the opposite door.
Before Solov’s men are able to cut through the door, Varen is able to glean from the pirates that Capt. Jack is in Engineering behind the aft door of their current room and trying to hook up the scavenged hyper drive motivator. After a little conversation, the aft door opens, with the Yuzzem pointedly blocking the way. Jack is happy to hear that the group eliminated their military escort, and acknowledges that he unleashed the battle droids on the imperial forces. Jack explains that the battle droids are in autonomous mode; they’ll seek out and target anything that looks Imperial (Old Republic, really), but that they won’t show much in the way of tactics or initiative.
Vuko points out that the Arachnis still has an operational gravity well, but Jack doesn’t seem too concerned. Bin’she Keeba squeezes past the Yuzzem to help Jack with the motivator. Shortly thereafter, the Stormtroopers breach the blast door. The group must make a stand here against the Stormtroopers to protect the motivator (and their only chance to get off of this planet).
A battle that “gets out of hand”
The fighting is hot and heavy right from the start. A Stormtrooper attempts to throw a grenade through the partially open blast door, but Dewurra with his “cat like” reflexes, swats the grenade back out into the corridor, saving the group from certain death. The good doctor, Nü el’Kah, makes good use of his pilfered carbine, doing serious damage to the troopers taking cover in the starboard hallway. Our heroes manage to kill a few Stormtroopers, but, not to be outdone the Stormtroopers kill a few of Jack’s crew too. Finally Dewurra gets fed up with the back and forth and decides to do something about it. He lunges out into the corridor grabs a Stormtrooper by the arm and tries to pull him back through the blast door with him. The problem with his plan, at least for the Stormtrooper, is that the blast door is only partially open and the Stormtrooper won’t fit through. This doesn’t deter Dewurra, with his Wookie strength he rips the Stormtrooper’s arm off and then beats him with it as the trooper blacks out and dies, blood squirting from his shoulder.
In all the confusion of battle, it’s forgotten that there is a huge Yuzzem just standing there. “What’s the Yuzzem doing?” someone asks over the cacophonous roar of blaster fire. Bin’she responds, “He likes to watch.” The battle continues, but the party gains the upper hand and soon all the Stormtroopers are dispensed with. The group surveys the damage and notice that Captain Solov is conspicuously missing. After searching the remainder of the quarters on this deck they find Solov’s uniform and quickly realize that he’s changed clothes and slipped away, most likely to his shuttle that was orbiting outside. Varen grabs a comlink off a Stormtrooper, “Solov, it’s over!” Solov laughs over the comlink and says, “You still have to get out of the system,” and the comlink goes dead. Solov is heading back to the Archanis to make sure the gravity well won’t let us leave.
Crimson Jack and Bin’she get the hyper drive motivator fixed and the Bottoms Up! is ready for light speed travel once again, there’s just that slight problem with the gravity well to overcome. Jack has a plan and the group quickly find themselves coming out of orbit, the Archanis dead in their crosshairs, and the Bottoms Up! gun batteries blazing. The Archanis, already in a state of decay doesn’t stand a chance and the gravity well generators are quickly destroyed. Jack returns to his camp, picks up all the remaining refugees, including See’lok the last surviving Kaminoan, and everyone breaths a sigh of relief when the Bottoms Up! goes to light speed, hopefully leaving the Drexel system behind them forever.