Who’s piloting this thing?!
Having botched the astrogation calculations in an attempt to quickly get away from Kamino, our band of heroes arrive at Tatooine in one piece, unfortunately, their main hyper drive did not, and they limp into the system a week later than they anticipated, using the Crown of Bartok’s (All Hail Queen Bartok, may she live forever) backup hyper drive. En route to Tatooine, with some extra time on their hands, they investigate the computer chips that Varen Berelis took from the large satellite array orbiting around Kamino. The parts have Imperial manufacturing markings, and based on their engineering, and the fact that they are all burnt to crisps, it’s determined that they were pieces of a larger system that generated massive amounts of power in a very short period of time. After several days of investigation and deep discussion, the crew surmises that the story of the Kaminoans having committed “mass suicide” is most likely a steaming pile of Bantha dung and the truth is more likely that the Empire was testing some new large scale weapon (Cough cough precursor to the Death Star). Unfortunately for the Kaminoans, the Empire chose Kamino to test the weapon. Perhaps because of their affiliation with the Galactic Republic and their work with the clones.
“Mos Eisley Spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.”
The crew decides that Mos Eisley is probably the best place on Tatooine to obtain parts to repair their broken hyper drive and lay low, just in case the Empire is looking for them. Using their legal status as a trading vessel, they land in Mos Eisley at one of the many docking bays. Varen and Corgan Dil’Alys set out to acquire parts, some of which are quickly found in town, but they learn that they must track down some Jawas to get the other not so easily found parts. Meanwhile, Vuko Dardo and Bin’she Keeba have gone to Chalmun’s Cantina to see what the scuttlebutt about town is. Vuko overhears a Duros in the corner spouting rabble about rebels and some kind of alliance. While this is the Outer Rim and this kind of talk is not unheard of, nor rare, it seems more and more people are talking about rebels, there is a small Imperial presence in Mos Eisley, and talk of rebellion could land you in hot water. Vuko takes his drink and attempts to find information elsewhere, but it appears that it’s business as usual in town. Checking the Bounty Board, Bin’she learns that there is someone claiming a large number of bounties on Tatooine. A few minutes later, back out in the searing heat and bright Tatooine sun, they see an IG-88 assassin droid walking down the street and Bin’she instantly knows who’s been collecting the bounties. They slink away in the opposite direction. The crew reconvenes, and sets out to find transportation to get out to the Jawas. They find a Toydarian junk dealer who tries to rent them a landspeeder for an exorbitant price. Bin’she exclaims, “We could almost buy our own ship for that!” They negotiate him down to a reasonable price, plus a “security deposit.” Having been fleeced by the Toydarian to rent the landspeeder, they head out of town to find the Jawas.
A few miles out of town, while cruising through one of the numerous rocky valleys that pepper the Tatooine landscape, Bin’she notices a large pile of rocks blocking the valley. Just then a large Bantha with a Tusken Raider on its back, appears on the other side of the roadblock. At the same time, the air fills with the sounds of growling Tusken Raiders. Eight Tusken Raiders, each carrying a deadly slugthrower rifle, appear on both sides of the valley. A short but intense firefight ensues. Bin’she, not wanting to stick around and see how this fight turns out hits the gas. The land speeder might have suffered a few scratches as Bin’she deftly drove it over the road block, while Varen, Vuko, and Corgan picked Tusken Raiders off the valley rim, also killing the Tusken Raider on the Bantha. “There goes the security deposit,” Vuko says as he inspects the damage to the landspeeder while they speed away from the few remaining Tusken Raiders on the valley walls. A short time later they find the Jawas. The Jawas have the part and intense negotiation ensues. Varen, ever the slick talking politician, talks the Jawas down from wanting 100 gallons of water in trade for the part. With his arms raised and looking around indignantly, Varen says to the Jawas, “What do we look like, moisture farmers? Where are we supposed to get water on a desert planet?” The Jawas reluctantly agree to 300 credits and the crew turns back to town.
We should have been more cautious!
On the way back to town Corgan radios to the ship to let them know we are on our way back with the parts. Unfortunately, the com link is silent on the other end, no one is answering. Once back in town they park the landspeeder a few blocks away from their docking bay and try to come up with a plan. Vuko offers to put his sneaking skills on display and see what’s going on in the docking bay. He slinks away and as quiet as a thermal detonator, he trips over some old power converters lying near the entrance to the open docking bay. Looking up, hoping no one heard him, he realizes that is not the case. Inside the docking bay, at the foot of the Crown of Bartok’s entry ramp stands a large gathering. There are six Gamorrean Guards and a Twi’lek scout surrounding Dewurra, D4-VNC1 (Vince), and Nü el’Kah. See’lok is still hiding in one of the smuggling compartments aboard ship. The Twi’lek, and everybody else, turns to Vuko. “Join us friend,” the Twi’lek says. Vuko walks over to join the crew and as he is crossing the docking bay he slips his com link out of his pocket and switches it on, however, continuing his recent trend of “stealthiness” he drops it on the ground as he attempts to hook it to his belt. Thankfully, it stayed on so Bin’she, Corgan, and Varen can hear what is being said.
“My name is Bib Fortuna,” the Twi’lek says as Vuko joins the others. “The great Jabba the Hutt welcomes you to Mos Eisley. What is your business here?” Vuko explains they had to make an emergency landing and they were only in Mos Eisley to repair their ship. Bib Fortuna says that is too bad, and wants to know, since we are employees of Tessil the Hutt, why we did not inform Jabba that we were in town as soon as we landed. Vuko tries to explain they just landed a few hours ago, they weren’t in Mos Eisley to conduct any business, they’re not currently working any jobs for Tessil, and were leaving as soon as their ship was repaired. “I had gone into town to procure parts. We are going to fix our ship and be on our way,” he explains. Bib Fortuna says that will be for Jabba to decide. “Please, come with me, the great Jabba the Hutt would like to speak with you. He is waiting for you in his palace here in town,” Bib Fortuna says as he motions for the crew to leave the docking bay. Vuko, hoping that Bin’she, Corgan, and Varen have been listening to the conversation over the com link, prays they make it Jabba before he does.