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Tabletop Squadron Transcript, Season 1 Episode 5:
Death Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree
Transcript by Tyler (Twitter: @Tyler_MoonSage)
Note – Laura’s character Xianna’fan speaks in an accent. Most of her soft I’s sound like “ee,” and most of her TH’s sound like Z’s. Example: “this and that” = “zees and zat”
NICK: Hi everyone, and welcome to Tabletop Squadron, a Star Wars: Edge of the Empire actual play podcast. I’m Nick, your game master. Every other Thursday, our story follows a thief, a bounty hunter, a fringer, and a slicer as they explore the galaxy helping a mysterious benefactor and each other.
Additional music this week is: In Suspense by Psychedelic Pedestrian
STEVEN: Hey Squadron. Just so you know, we’ll be releasing the drink and food recipes we mention in the episodes on our website, www.TabletopSquadron.com. Check it out.
NICK: We hope you enjoy the episode.
Hi, I’m Lilit and I play Xianna’fan, a Twi’lek smuggler. I was going by an old name during this recording and while we have left the audio as originally recorded, I would request that you use my current name when discussing the episode. Thanks!
NICK: Hello, and welcome to Episode 5 of Tabletop Squadron. I’m your host, Nick, and I am sitting here with the whole squad yet again. You’re still here. Are you okay?
Go around the table and say who you are and what character you’re playing.
STEVEN: Hi. I’m Steven. I’m playing Sabos the Togruta.
HUDSON: I’m Hudson. It’s great to be here. I’m playing Tink the Gigoran.
LAURA: Hi. I’m Laura. I play Xianna. I’m a Twi’lek.
CAMERON: Hi. I’m Cameron. I am playing Karma, and I’m a Nautolan.
NICK: Great. We’ve gotten some experience points since the last time we played. Everybody has spent some, so we’ll go around the room and just say how you have upgraded your character.
STEVEN: This is Sabos. I bought Streetsmarts and Grit.
NICK: Good work.
NICK: I’m sure that will come in handy.
STEVEN: It probably won’t.
NICK: It might. You don’t know. You’re in a jungle right now, but it could happen.
HUDSON: This is Tink, and I upgraded to Level 2 on Melee.
HUDSON: Super, Smash, Brothers~!
NICK: Now we’ll get sued. Next.
LAURA: This is Laura. I just play Xianna. I guess those two are like going full Daniel de Louis up in here and becoming their character.
CAMERON: (laughing) Could you not tell by Hudson’s fur suit?
STEVEN: I do have four head tails.
LAURA: (grinning) They are really going for it. I bought ranks in Cool and Deception.
NICK: Alright. Now you have one of those flat rim baseball caps, and shutter shades?
CAMERON: (laughs) No…
LAURA: Uh, I’ve popped my collar, and yeah, put on some shutter shades.
CAMERON: For Karma, I upgraded Melee to Rank 2 and Vigilance to Rank 2.
NICK: Alright. Before we get started, let’s do the Destiny Roll.
HUDSON: I’ll go first. I’ll go first.
HUDSON: One light side.
LAURA: One light side.
STEVEN: One dark side.
CAMERON: (groans) One dark side.
LAURA: That side of the table is not doing good.
NICK: Good work, everybody. We’re all very proud.
HUDSON: Or not.
LAURA: I’m not.
STEVEN: I am.
LAURA: This side of the table rolled light side, so we’re proud of ourselves.
NICK: Makes sense.
CAMERON: I still support you, Steven.
STEVEN: Thanks, Cam.
NICK: You shouldn’t.
CAMERON: (laughs) Not in character, though.
NICK: Things that have happened recently: Falx gave you all a job in exchange for the contraband that you were sent by Sentinel to go and fetch. He sent you after some deserters that may have blown some stuff up and killed some people on their way out of town. They’re hiding out in the jungle somewhere. You fought really weird centipede monkeys with lobster tails, and some people got stabbed.
STEVEN: Just one.
NICK: Someone got stabbed… and your guide Mills ran off, and the last thing that happened was he came back with a bunch of corpses of more millipede monkeys, and said, “We’ll scatter these around to make sure that we have a moment. We need to take a second to plan.” That’s where we will take it back up again.
He immediately starts shredding up some of these monkey guts. The good news is they all have big blaster holes in them, so he just kinda reaches in and routes around, and he starts scattering it around like a flower girl at a wedding in a circle around this clearing.
NICK: “That’ll keep the trees back. Hey, could someone go to the back of the speeder? There is a silver shiny box in there. We’re gonna need that for a minute.”
HUDSON: I run back to the speeder and get it.
STEVEN: “You mean the Stone Breaker?”
NICK: “I don’t know what that is.”
LAURA: “Shh! Do not say things.”
STEVEN: “I got stabbed.”
LAURA: “I thought we talked about this last time. Do not talk, ever.”
STEVEN: “I’m recovering from the monkey wounds.”
LAURA: “Just… be quiet.”
HUDSON: I go get the box.
NICK: Okay. You head over to the speeder. It is a large speeder with room for everyone that is setup for off-road, so it’s got skids under the repulsers in case it bottoms out. On the back there’s a big crate. You head to the back and open it up, and you see a silver cubic case with some latches on it, and on the ground next to you, you see Sparks who you may remember was the junior officer that was riding with you.
CAMERON: Oh yeah…
NICK: And there’s a monkey on his chest chewing through his neck right now. So, I need a Vigilance roll from you on how quickly you respond as it looks up at you and hisses, and gets ready to jump at you.
HUDSON: Oh no.
STEVEN: Not Spark Duelson!
HUDSON: One success.
NICK: One success, okay. You can roll an attack against this thing before it gets to you.
HUDSON: Yay. I’d like to roll an attack against it. That’s going to be two yellows and a green. What’s the difficulty?
CAMERON: Melee is always two.
NICK: She’s right.
HUDSON: So, we have three successes and an advantage.
NICK: Okay. How much damage does your massive vibro-axe do?
CAMERON: So, +3.
NICK: Plus your Brawn, right?
HUDSON: Nope. My Brawn +3 is 6.
NICK: Okay. So 9 damage?
HUDSON: Nine damage.
NICK: Yeah, you just slice this thing in half. It hisses, and squeaks, and just kind of falls apart. Mills walks up behind you. “Oh, you’re adding to the circle. Great.” He looks down and Sparks the junior officer is super dead, like his throat is chewed all the way back to the bone. He’s just on the ground not even twitching. Mills looks down and goes, “Oh… Eh,” and he just keeps walking around. He says, “Grab that case, and let’s go.” He finishes the circle and stands in the middle of the clearing.
CAMERON: I walk back over to the back when I see Mills walk back there, and see Spark on the ground. I feel sad for a minute because he’s had the same length of life as my sons and that’s sad. I pull him to the side a little bit so the speeder is blocking Mills’ view, and I search his pockets.
NICK: Oh. Okay. Uh…
LAURA: Xianna walks over like, “Is there something behind the speeder?”
LAURA: “Oh… That’s sad.”
LAURA: “I was going to mess with him.”
CAMERON: “Yeah… Well, the monkeys did first.”
NICK: Searching his pockets, I would need an average Skulduggery check from you.
CAMERON: Hey, I have a Skulduggery. That is a success and an advantage.
NICK: Okay. You find not a lot, you find less on this guy than you would expect for somebody who was going on an expedition with potential hostiles in a hostile environment. You do find a really low clearance Imperial code cylinder in his pocket, and he had a light blaster pistol in a holster, and he had a couple of ration bars, just cracker bar things.
CAMERON: How many?
CAMERON: Three? Three crackers.
NICK: Yes. Really, that’s it. He was pretty light on gear. It’s almost like he got assigned this very quickly and didn’t have time to pack, or didn’t understand where he was going. One or the other.
LAURA: What rank was he, again?
NICK: He was a petty officer.
HUDSON: We do have his clearance card now, right?
NICK: Yeah. You have his code cylinder. It probably opens some things, maybe.
CAMERON: I tuck the code cylinder into my jacket, put the crackers in whatever bag I’m carrying, and then strap the light blaster to my other hip that doesn’t have my heavy pistol on it.
NICK: You’re just collecting guns, huh?
CAMERON: Yep. I have a light blaster, a heavy pistol, and a blaster carbine.
NICK: The good news is, you’re strong. The bad news is, eventually encumbrance may be a thing.
CAMERON: I’ll start handing out guns to other people as they deserve them.
HUDSON: I don’t have a gun.
CAMERON: I feel like you’re good with your axe, though.
HUDSON: I can’t shoot a gun either, but I don’t have one.
CAMERON: Maybe we’ll have a training session.
NICK: You’re handing out guns like a kindergarten teacher hands out star stickers.
CAMERON: Yeah. Good job! You gain a gun on your chart.
NICK: Okay. (laughs) So, Tink, do you bring the silver box to the middle?
NICK: Alright. Mills says “thanks” as he wipes his hands on his pants. You see he’s made a pretty decent circle out of monkey guts. Maybe you’re imagining it, but the trees do seem to be kind of leaning back a little bit from the circle. It’s probably just a trick of perspective. I wouldn’t worry about it.
Mills, with a click, snaps the four latches off and pulls the top off and the four sides of the box fall open like an industrial flower. Inside there’s another one of those heater lantern things like you had in your guest quarters / tool shed.
CAMERON: Garden house?
NICK: Garden shed? Yeah. He turns on the heater and the warm light makes you feel a little better. He says, “These trees put spores out and we don’t want to track those back to the base. Also, you know, they eat flesh, but it’s not a big deal, this will bake them out, so we’ll take a minute here to do that. Shame about Sparks, at least that’s probably what I’m supposed to say. I don’t really like the Empire that much. One of the officers is dating my sister.”
NICK: “He seems pretty milk toast. I don’t understand.” He pulls bits of guts out of his chest hair from his shirt.
NICK: He flicks them into the heater and they sizzle and vaporize. “I’m just working for them because they’re the only people here at this point. They’re probably bunkered down somewhere up ahead, that might be why there’s so many bug monkeys around, so maybe if we can find their camp you can take these guys out, or whatever you’re supposed to do. What’s the plan?”
LAURA: “Do any of you know, like, how to track people, or hunt, or you know, do things in the wilderness? Because I do not.”
STEVEN: “One could say I have limited survival skills.”
LAURA: “Mm, define limited?”
STEVEN: “More than you?”
NICK: Mills goes, “Ohh!”
LAURA: “I mean, maybe.”
CAMERON: “She did just say that she had very limited nature things…”
LAURA: “I tend to stay in cities. That is where there are people, you know, to steal things from.”
CAMERON: “Normally my bounty hunting jobs aren’t this remote. Normally criminals hide out where there are other people. I am pretty good at sneaking up on people.”
HUDSON: “I nominate Sabos.”
STEVEN: ‘I’m pretty experienced.”
LAURA: “I am good at the sneaking. The sneaking I can do. The tracking…”
CAMERON: “The finding?”
LAURA: “The finding.”
STEVEN: As an explorer I probably do have some survival, very limited…
LAURA: Do you have a rank in Survival?
STEVEN: I do.
LAURA: That is what I am asking about.
CAMERON: (laughing) I was answering you and I almost said ‘you have a rank in ze sneaking.’
LAURA: ‘I do have a rank in ze sneaking. I have ranks in ze Streetwise and ze Skulduggery.’
CAMERON: (laughing) I’m just gonna slowly start picking up Xianna’s accent.
LAURA: If you have ranks in Survival you should try tracking.
STEVEN: Yeah, I have a rank in Survival.
CAMERON: How Cunning are you?
LAURA: I have lots of Cunning, so I could help.
STEVEN: Good Cunning, actually.
CAMERON: Oh yeah, you got 3 Cunning. You’re good.
LAURA: I have 4 Cunning, so I can always assist.
NICK: Yeah. When people help and someone has a better base stat but someone has better training, you get to use the best of both. If Xianna helps Sabos to track, you get three green dice and a yellow.
LAURA & CAMERON: Yes.
STEVEN: We should do that. Let’s track things. I guess we are looking for the escaped Lira and Williams.
NICK: Yup. You’re looking for Lira and Williams.
STEVEN: We don’t know what they look like other than they’re a guy and a lady.
CAMERON: One of them is a trooper.
STEVEN: One is a trooper, one is an officer.
CAMERON: Lira is a trooper, so she’s probably in trooper uniform.
CAMERON: Williams is an officer. He’s probably not in trooper uniform, but there are also three missing troopers.
STEVEN: Okay. I’ll just look around the circle (muffled)
NICK: You’ll remember last session you found a small blood trail leading off from there.
STEVEN: Yeah. Oh yeah, that’s right.
CAMERON: Then the monkeys attacked!
STEVEN: Let’s continue to track the blood trail.
CAMERON: What’s the difficulty? I don’t think you’re rolling any difficulty dice right now. (laughs)
LAURA: Yeah. You need difficulty dice.
STEVEN: That’s three?
NICK: You already found the general direction last time.
STEVEN: That worked out well. I have one success and one advantage.
NICK: You tracked. You got one success and one advantage. Is there any particular way you would like to spend the advantage?
STEVEN: Uh, not encountering monkeys.
LAURA: I’m assuming we’re gonna try to be sneaky when we approach them. Can the least sneaky of us have a blue die when they make a Stealth roll?
NICK: I think that is a great tactical decision. How would you explain that using cool descriptions and story stuff?
CAMERON: We’re gonna put them in the back, and the people in front will sneakily fold down any foilage or anything that’s in the way.
CAMERON: Foliage. Whoa, there we go. Fold down any foilage—(laughs) Oh gosh.
HUDSON: Any foilage?
STEVEN: You know, foil.
CAMERON: We’re gonna fold down any plant stuff that’s in the way! So that there’s less crinkle noises when the people behind us walk.
LAURA: Yeah. Xianna would make sure that Sabos is in the back, maybe not completely in the back, walking next to someone, probably Karma…
CAMERON: Who can throw her arm out and stop him and stuff.
LAURA: …and then Tink and Xianna would be more in the front, because surprisingly Tink is kind of sneaky.
HUDSON: I am pretty sneaky.
CAMERON: You do blend into the jungle, as a giant white fluffy thing?
HUDSON: Well, more than that. I’m just sneaky in general. Give me some credit.
LAURA: I think it’s his feet are very soft and padded with all the fur, so he doesn’t make a lot of sound when he walks.
HUDSON: Speculation will just confuse the mind. Just know I’m sneaky.
STEVEN: My fourth head tail just rubs all the branches the wrong way.
NICK & CAMERON: (groaning and laughing)
LAURA: I think that’s just Sabos in general.
STEVEN: It’s the fourth head tail.
CAMERON: That does seem to be his defining characteristic.
LAURA: It’s like the only one.
STEVEN: And being a male Togruta. That too.
LAURA: There are many male Togrutas.
STEVEN: No there’s not. There’s like many female Togrutas.
CAMERON: There’s also many male Togrutas.
LAURA: There’s also many males. You’re not like a Selonian.
NICK: No, it’s an actual thing. There are less.
LAURA: It’s an actual thing, but it’s not like Selonian level.
STEVEN: It’s like 15% to 85%. It was pretty darn stark.
NICK: Well, the Selonians, it’s like one per 100 or something.
STEVEN: Oh, yeah.
NICK: Yeah. The otter people.
NICK: So, based on your success and the fact that you’re staying in the back where you’re not gonna break a bunch of branches and be super obvious, you can tell from the blood trail and the age and everything that it’s probably going to be about an hour trek through the jungle, or you can take your speeder and try to drive closer. Which would you all choose to do?
STEVEN: I’m pretty comfortable hoofing it, but—
HUDSON: I’ll grab the speeder!
NICK: You wanna drive?
STEVEN: “I can drive.”
CAMERON: “You’re not driving.”
HUDSON: “I can drive, for I have the necessary skills required.”
STEVEN: “As do I.”
CAMERON: ‘I feel like if we’re trying to sneak up on people not being in a speeder would be beneficial.”
HUDSON: “But my stealth carries over to speeders. Duh.”
LAURA: “I do not think that is how that works.”
CAMERON: “I’m pretty sure it still makes noise.”
LAURA: “I think the speeder still makes noises.”
STEVEN: “We should chance cube it.”
LAURA & CAMERON: “No!” (laughs)
HUDSON: “If we want to, we can just walk…”
LAURA: “We should walk. It is more sneaky.”
NICK: Okay. There’s a swipe cut to you all doing a nice, pleasant hike through the jungle.
CAMERON: The jungle that can eat us. (grinning)
NICK: It’s very Vietnam war movie-esque with people moving in a line. Mills doesn’t really walk with you so much as like action roll through the bushes. (laughter) He is getting covered in mud, and looks very Predator. He’ll pop up out of a bush next to you, which is surprising and discomforting, and he’ll make a bunch of hand signals and then disappear back into the underbrush. No one knows what the hand signals mean, but he looks pretty confident that you all are headed in the right direction.
You lose the trail a couple times, but you’re able to find it again and continue onward, so you do lose a little bit of time. Surprisingly, Tink does blend in quite well. The shadows model on his white fur, and he is able to slip from tree to tree, like a ghost.
HUDSON: Dam right.
CAMERON: Should we make a Stealth check?
NICK: Yeah. Right around now I’m gonna need a Stealth check.
LAURA: What’s the difficulty?
STEVEN: Did I get the blue die for this?
CAMERON: Yeah. You suck the most.
NICK: Yes. You get a blue die. The difficulty is average, but everyone has a black die, because stealthing through a jungle is difficult.
HUDSON: That’s a wash, right?
CAMERON: Yep. Tink just gets a wash.
NICK: You get nothing. Okay. I take back what I said.
STEVEN: Sweet. I have a success and an advantage. Sabos. Me, Sabos.
NICK: Yeah. That blue die was super helpful.
STEVEN: It was. It would have been a wash otherwise.
LAURA: Three successes.
CAMERON: Great. Karma also has a blue die because of her Stalker talent, so she gets a blue die on Stealth and Coordination checks.
NICK: Ooh. That’s really neat.
CAMERON: It is. That is a success and a threat.
NICK: Okay. You walk for quite a while. Mills is pretty quiet, but every once in a while he pops up in weird places so you jump a little bit, because he’s a scary looking dude. After about 45 minutes you see a stormtrooper helmet driven on a spike on a trail, and that stormtrooper whose helmet is on the spike is lying face down in the underbrush. Do you investigate the stormtrooper?
STEVEN & CAMERON: Yes.
NICK: You roll him over. He’s got a blaster hole in his chest. It looks like he got taken down in a run. You actually see the other two stormtroopers scattered in the brush. They’re along the trail where you’re heading, but they’re all basically just down. It looks like they were in a running gunfight and got the worst of it. They have been stripped of their supplies and weapons, and they don’t have any.
Another weird thing, Karma you would know this, I don’t know if anyone else would, they look like they’ve been dead for about five or six days so they’re kind of gross and they don’t smell great, but they also have like saplings sprouting out of their exposed skin.
LAURA: “Ew. That is gross.”
NICK: We get a shot of Karma reaching down and kind of rolling one over, inspecting it, and as you see that doesn’t have anything worth salvaging and you step away, all of the saplings that are growing out of the stormtroopers all kind of lean towards you a little and then go back up. It’s probably just the wind.
LAURA: “That is very gross.”
CAMERON: “I would put the time of death at five or six days ago.”
STEVEN: “I can concur.”
CAMERON: “Based on the… trees sprouting…”
HUDSON: “So, does this mean that our fugitives are murderers?”
LAURA & CAMERON: “Yes.”
STEVEN: “Yeah, they are. Yeah.”
STEVEN: “I think that’s information we were given.”
CAMERON: “There were five troopers that went out after them. Two troopers have already been found dead. These are the remaining.”
HUDSON: “Oh, I see.”
NICK: Mills appears behind you all with no noise. “Well, I guess murder depends on your point of view,” and he’s like passively cleaning his gun.
LAURA: “I mean, that is true. Yes. I mean… Yes.”
CAMERON: “I don’t know if it really depends on point of view.”
LAURA: “I think it does. I mean, from a certain point of view you could say self-defense.”
NICK: “You back a loth-wolf into a corner, you can’t be surprised when it bites. I would imagine. I’ve never been to Lothal.” (laughter) And he walks off down the trail.
LAURA: “Is very dry.”
CAMERON: “On Lothal?”
NICK: “Everyone always says oh, but it’s a dry heat.” And everyone’s been sweating at this point. It’s—
LAURA: Oh- No- Not me?
NICK: Oh, you don’t sweat?
LAURA: I don’t. Being a Twi’lek, I get to remove setback dice due to arid or hot conditions, because Ryloth is a desert. It is just a fucking desert planet.
NICK: So, this should be very uncomfortable for you because it’s a jungle.
CAMERON: It’s a wet heat.
LAURA: So, the humidity is getting to me—the wet heat—but the heat itself is fine.
NICK: Yeah. That’s the thing, it’s probably only like 90 degrees. I’m exposing that we’re from Texas, and 90 degrees is not a big deal. It’s probably only like 90 degrees, but the humidity—
HUDSON: For our international viewers—
LAURA: I was about to say—
LAURA, CAMERON & HUDSON: Ninety degrees Fahrenheit. (laughter)
LAURA: It’s like a nice spring day!
STEVEN: It’s only like, what, 38 Celsius?
LAURA: It’s 38-ish.
NICK: I don’t know. I don’t speak Metric. Well, that’s not super relevant, so anyway!
LAURA & STEVEN: This is super relevant!
LAURA: What are you talking about? Our, like, one international listener is going to need this information!
CAMERON: (giggles) Yeah.
NICK: Hi Ted!
STEVEN: We don’t have the Google.
CAMERON: I’m glistening.
NICK: Yeah, you’re glistening…
STEVEN: My fourth head tail is dripping.
CAMERON: (surprised laughter)
LAURA: Ew. Xianna sees that and is like, “Ew… Gross!” And she like legitimately seems grossed out, whereas when she saw the dead body she was like “Ew, gross.” This is visceral like, “Ew! Gross! Ew! No!”
STEVEN: I grab it and wring it out, shake it off.
HUDSON: I’m pretty gross right now. My hair’s matted. (laughter)
NICK: I would imagine it’s gotten frizzy, too.
LAURA: I’d imagine you smell like a wet dog at this point.
HUDSON: Yeah. Yup. Absolutely.
NICK: It does get covered up by the corpses, but everyone’s giving you a little more space. That’s part of the reason you’ve had trouble stealthing, you’re in the middle of the group but they’ve given you space, so you’re misjudging your steps a lot because you think people are closer.
(fast forward effect)
NICK: So, you continue down the trail, you see a couple more warning signs like sticks tied together, no more skulls on sticks or anything, but general trail signs for like ‘go away.’ A tree has been burned out, or tried to, it’s mostly just been blackened because it’s so humid it’s hard to get stuff to burn. You come to a clearing, and there is a sled looking thing. It looks like a repulser sled with some supplies and stuff on it.
You see some guns, and you see a very skinny guy with short, dark hair that’s started to grow out, already out of regulation, and he’s wearing one of those khaki army uniforms that you saw some people wearing in the camp, but it’s really shredded up and it’s dirty. The only reason you would recognize it is because you’ve already seen it. He’s got a bandage over one leg, and he’s sitting by one of those heater lamps like Mills gave you.
Mills says, “I’ll cover the back exit,” and disappears into the undergrowth and starts to loop around. That’s what you can see.
HUDSON: I whisper, “They didn’t say dead or alive, specifically. Someone should shoot him.”
STEVEN: “Yeah. I remembered to clarify. They were cool with either.”
LAURA: “Yes. They said either one works, so they did specify.”
HUDSON: “Well, I should say they didn’t specify they wanted one over the other.”
LAURA: “True, but that is what dead or alive means.”
LAURA: “It means either or both work.” (giggles)
NICK: Wait. How do you do both?
LAURA: … No, both work. Okay. No.
STEVEN: You put them in a box. Oh? You don’t mean that?
CAMERON: Not at the same time.
NICK: Oh. Got it, got it, got it.
LAURA: Both work. Not that you bring them back in a Schrödinger’s box.
NICK: We made that joke already. (laughs)
LAURA: It’s that both work: either one, and or. (laughs)
NICK: Got it.
CAMERON: What it is, there’s two of them, so if one of them is dead and one of them is alive, that’s okay.
CAMERON: That’s okay. That’s how that works.
NICK: Right. Yeah. I already sent Mills around the clearing, so I couldn’t ask in character. (laughs)
LAURA: I guess you could in a way do both if you brought them in with a mortal wound.
CAMERON: Yeah, like they gon’ be dead.
LAURA: Like, they’re gonna die, but they’re currently alive.
NICK: Dead-ish alive.
LAURA: Dead-ish. Mostly dead.
(fast forward effect)
NICK: You’ve got him in the clearing. He’s got like a snack bar, and it has one little bite out of it, but he looks like he’s just kind of staring into the lantern and thinking thoughts.
LAURA: “Where is the other one? There is a second one…”
STEVEN: Can we see signs of the second one?
NICK: (chuckle) As you wonder that, you hear a blaster click on and directly behind you is a very large woman with short cropped military hair that hasn’t grown out too much, and she is wearing about half of a stormtrooper uniform. She’s got the chest plate and the arm pieces, but the rest of the body suit is exposed, and the helmet is gone but she has one of the lenses from the helmet strapped over one eye, and you can see a bunch of wires from the inside of the helmet going down into the armor. She’s got cargo shorts on over the body suit on the bottom, and it looks like they’re stuffed with supplies.
She says, “The other one is right here.” She points her gun at you all. she got the drop on you, because she could hear.
LAURA: Oh. Hello~”
CAMERON: (laughs) Because she could hear Tink.
LAURA: (cheerily) “How are you doing?”
NICK: “I’m doing great. I’d appreciate if you stepped into the clearing please.”
LAURA: “I mean… Okay.”
STEVEN: “You mean that clearing?”
LAURA: “What clearing do you think she means?”
STEVEN: “Well, there was the nice one that we were at previously.”
LAURA: “Why would she mean that one?”
STEVEN: “Just checking.”
NICK: She whacks Sabos on the back of the head with her blaster rifle—
LAURA: “Thank you.”
NICK: –and it hurts real bad. As you bend over and go ‘ow,’ she—
STEVEN: My fourth head tail absorbed it.
NICK: She boots you in the butt, and you stumble forward into the clearing. “Please move, and leave your guns in the pile by the lamp.” She steps back out of range to cover you.
As Sabos goes stumbling in, the officer that’s there goes, “Ah!” and puts the bar down and looks around. He still hasn’t noticed anyone outside the clearing. He only sees Sabos.
LAURA: Okay. Xianna puts her gun down, but just kind of like has her hands by her side, because it doesn’t really look like there’s anything in her coat, because it doesn’t really look like there’s pockets.
NICK: Makes sense, and she didn’t try to search you.
LAURA: And her utility belt doesn’t really have anything on it.
STEVEN: Same. I kind of have to disarm my blaster rifle, because I don’t think it’s not obvious.
NICK: No, it’s huge, yeah.
STEVEN: But I’m gonna keep my vibro-knife.
LAURA: Well, like, do you have your vibro-knife hidden?
STEVEN: Yeah. It’s not on my belt. It’s like in my pants.
LAURA: Why do you keep a knife in your pants?!
CAMERON: (snickers) For situations like this, Xianna!
STEVEN: That’s the only place I had to keep it.
LAURA: You don’t have like boots or something?
CAMERON: No. his knife is strapped to his fourth head tail.
STEVEN: That’s definitely not it. That’s a sensitive head tail.
LAURA: I mean, you could strap it to the underside.
CAMERON: Yeah, so you could just only see it from the outside.
NICK: He touches it too much. He started that, but he kept cutting his fingers.
CAMERON: Well, you put it in a sheath.
STEVEN: Eh… Oh, no.
LAURA: I also like that you act like your fourth head tail is the only one back there, when you would have the third and fourth ones evenly spaced in the back.
STEVEN: It’s the one I give the most attention to.
CAMERON: How do you know which one is your fourth one?
STEVEN: It’s the one everyone else doesn’t have.
CAMERON: Yeah, but like—
LAURA: But you have two.
CAMERON: Most Togrutans normally will have one coming over each shoulder and then one in the back. You have two in the back. Is it the left or the right one that’s the fourth one?
STEVEN: The right one.
CAMERON: How do you know that, though?
LAURA: Or, is it kind of like when people have a third nipple?
LAURA: So the fourth one is really tiny and weird looking, so you know that’s the fourth one.
STEVEN: My head tail is adequate.
NICK: I’ve been picturing it as if it just kind of branches off of the main back one, just kind of dangly. (laughter)
STEVEN: No. it’s a fully functioning head tail
LAURA: No, I’m picturing a stubby little extra one.
STEVEN: It’s fully functioning. Okay?
LAURA: Maybe with like a tooth or something on it, because it was definitely absorbed from a second- like, from a twin that you ate in the womb.
STEVEN: Just like my hands, everything up there is just fine.
CAMERON: (laughing) What?!
STEVEN: You know, orange, I’m orange…
HUDSON: You know Sabos, you could get into the adult entertainment industry with that fourth head tail.
NICK: Okay. Anyways. And, we’re back!
(fast forward effect)
LAURA: Yeah. Xianna walks into the clearing but kind of keeps her hands nonchalantly by her sides. She doesn’t put them up or anything.
NICK: Okay. You drop a pistol in the pile?
NICK: There’s already a little pile of the stormtrooper E-11 blasters on the ground. You look back behind you and you see the stormtrooper lady gesture towards the pile and you drop your pistol down. Sabos, you put your rifle there and you go in the clearing. What do Karma and Tink do?
HUDSON: I put my vibro-axe down but do not reveal my grenades.
NICK: Are they in your fanny pack?
HUDSON: They’re on my strap, but yeah, in my fanny pack.
NICK: I know you have a backpack and a utility belt, but for whatever reason I’m picturing your utility belt as just a fanny pack.
HUDSON: Well, it kind of is actually, if you look at my picture.
NICK: Oh, maybe that’s why I’m picturing that.
LAURA: I’m imagining it has like little pockets.
LAURA: So there’s some little pouches on it instead of just being…
CAMERON: It’s like a cool fanny pack.
HUDSON: It goes across and around.
CAMERON: It’s a utility fanny pack.
LAURA: Because it also doubles as a little holder for his vibro-axe in the back.
HUDSON: So I don’t take that off, I just drop my vibro-axe.
NICK: Okay, so you drop the obvious weapons, and Karma? Cameron’s got a look on her face. She’s about to do something.
CAMERON: Heh. So, I walk out. I detach the light blasters that I have on both hips first. (laughs)
CAMERON: And then to remove my blaster carbine I have to take it off my back and swivel it around to the front, and as I do that I’m gonna shoot the dude.
NICK: Okay. I need a Cool check to see if you can do that before anybody gets the drop on you.
CAMERON: Cool. I’m fine with that.
NICK: The bounty hunter knows never disarm and change location.
CAMERON: yeah. I’ll change location, but I’m not taking all my guns and shit off, and I still have my vibro-sword in its sheath.
LAURA: Yeah. That’s why you don’t take off ALL your weapons.
CAMERON: I took off the two that I’m not good with, which were the light blasters. (laughs) To make it look like I was complying, up until the point where I am shooting the dude. So, a Cool check… Two successes.
NICK: Okay. So, guy is freaking useless. He’s just one green die. I just want to see if he sees anything.
CAMERON: One success.
NICK: Hey, good for him. Then, lady is two greens and a yellow. I should call them by their names, but you don’t know what their names are necessarily.
CAMERON: Three successes and an advantage.
NICK: Three successes and an advantage, which does make sense thematically since she’s had a gun aimed at you.
NICK: You are going to get that shot off, but as she sees you do it you hear her very emotionally go “No!” and she goes to shoot you. That is going to be two greens and a yellow with an average difficulty, please, but I’m going to give her a blue die because she was aiming at you.
LAURA: Xianna’s just over here shaking her head and rolling her eyes. “(sigh) You wait until they are not looking at you. That is when you shoot them.”
CAMERON: My gun is on stun.
NICK: Okay. Good to know.
CAMERON: Because that is it’s default setting.
NICK: Hers isn’t.
CAMERON: That’s fine. I just—Since I’m also going to shoot the dude.
LAURA: At this point, Xianna does have her hands in her pockets.
NICK: This is all happening very quickly. This is going to be the beginning of an exchange.
CAMERON: That’s two successes and an advantage.
NICK: Okay, so hers does 8, because you wouldn’t have noticed but there are some spores growing in it… When you’re out in the jungle.
CAMERON: Ew. That’s why you always clean your gun.
NICK: So 8 and two successes, so that’s 10 damage.
CAMERON: And I soak 5 of it.
NICK: Oh, wow, okay. I forgot you have like armor and stuff.
NICK: And are stronk.
CAMERON: Muy stronk.
NICK: You rotate your rifle around and snap up for a shot. Right before you pull the trigger you take a pretty good hit in the back. Your armor absorbs most of it, but having been shot multiple times in the past are very aware that you have been hurt. Before anything else happens you are able to pull the trigger and shoot at our good army officer friend. That’s going to be an average difficulty because you are very close, but it’s also going to be a black die because you were getting shot while you pulled the trigger.
CAMERON: A success, so that’s 10 stun damage.
NICK: Ten stun. You blow him backwards off of the stool he was sitting on. He doesn’t go completely unconscious, but he looks extremely phased by that. Ah, what a great pun.
NICK: But he starts to sit up a little. Now I guess I need initiative rolls out of everybody, so that’ll be Vigilance. Now shit’s gone down. You had two successes?
NICK: Do you want to just use that as your initiative roll, or do you want to roll again?
CAMERON: I’m good with two successes.
HUDSON: I rolled one success.
LAURA: Two successes.
STEVEN: One success.
NICK: Okay. He had one success, and she had three. I’m gonna make her roll again, because she used her thing up.
CAMERON: It was two yellows and a green?
CAMERON: Two successes, a triumph, and two advantages. I liked her other roll better. Can we use that one? (laughs)
NICK: She’s gonna go first, Lira, and then two PC slots, and then an NPC slot next, and then it’ll be two more PC slots.
Lira shoots you in the back. You stumble. She sees you shoot her good, good buddy, and she says “This is why we should’ve kept moving!” She shoots at you again, Karma. Same roll as last time, but she’s gonna use her maneuver to aim.
CAMERON: I remembered what the dice were. (laughs) Holy shit.
CAMERON: That’s three successes and four advantages.
NICK: Four advantages… So, she’s going to pull the trigger, shoot you in the back again, so that’s 11 damage coming at you. She hits you, the blast reflects off a piece of the paneling in your armor and starts bouncing around the clearing in a comical ricochet moment, and everybody kind of ducks so it’s distracting, so you all will have a black die on your next checks that you do. Everybody make sure you have a black die. That was her. Karma, how are you doing?
CAMERON: I have 3 health.
NICK: So not great.
CAMERON: Not great. I’m fine.
NICK: Is Karma the kind of person who is calm under this sort of pressure?
CAMERON: (severe) Yeah, I’m fine.
NICK: (nervously) Okay.
CAMERON: I’ve had worse. (laughs)
NICK: Okay. That was Lira. Two PC slots. Who wants to go?
LAURA: Hey, how close are you to her?
CAMERON: If she was following me to the weapons thing, then I’m probably short range.
NICK: I’ve been treating it medium range. She was trying to stay out of range.
CAMERON: Oh, okay. Medium range!
LAURA: Oh. Is anyone within short range of her?
NICK: No. They’re all ahead.
HUDSON: I know what you’re thinking.
LAURA: … I pull out a grenade.
LAURA: And I throw it at her. Which is ranged, light… I’m going to throw the grenade, yell “Fire in the hole!” and jump away.
NICK: Great. Thank you black die for keeping my NPCs alive, he said angrily at the blank die.
LAURA: So, three successes and an advantage. That’s not enough to do a blast I don’t think. It’ll be 11 damage.
NICK: Ooh-hoo-hoo. Okay. You basically bounce the grenade off her chest and it goes off immediately and blows a hole in that chest plate that she had. You can spend those advantages that her armor is gonna be a lot less for the rest of the fight.
LAURA: Yes, please.
NICK: I figured you would want to do that. She is in bad shape.
CAMERON: You never take off the armor.
NICK: The grenade goes off and blows a big chunk of her armor off. She basically just has the arm plates on now, and it does that broken plastic splintered look on the armor but most of it is gone. She has her rifle still up but is leaning against a tree and holding her side, so she’s shooting one-handed now. That was real bad. Also, part of the jungle is smoldering and you see some columns of smoke rising. Another PC slot.
HUDSON: I turn, and I throw a grenade.
NICK: At Lira again?
NICK: Okay. … That’s fine.
HUDSON: What would that be, ranged light?
LAURA: (hands covering mouth) Ranged light.
HUDSON: Oh great. With the difficulty of hard?
NICK: Yeah, just two.
CAMERON: With a black die.
HUDSON: Two threats.
NICK: How do I wanna play with thrown grenades being bad?
HUDSON: No failures, though.
NICK: But two threats.
LAURA: By it being a wash you technically fail.
CAMERON: By not having any successes that still counted as a failure.
NICK: So, your threats are going to be that it kicks up a lot of dust, and when the dust clears… It’s hard to see her. She dove into the bushes somewhere to get away from the explosions. She’s gonna be harder to track down. But, no one got exploded, so that’s good. (musically) Grenade explodes in the bushes~
Now it’s Williams’s turn. He sits up. He looks very dazed, but he grabs for his pistol and he goes to shoot whoever is closest, who would probably be Sabos because he was the first one in the clearing. He yells “Lira!” and takes a shot. It’s just two green die versus one purple die, because they’re very close together.
CAMERON: Does he also have a black die for the bullets flying everywhere?
CAMERON: Okay. He’s not ducking?
NICK: He was already on the ground prone (dramatic bass noise), because you blasted him off his chair. Also, if threats also affect your teammates they’re not as useful.
CAMERON: Right? This) (showing dice pool)
NICK: Yup. He’s not very good at shooting.
CAMERON: Okay. I kept forgetting. Yeah, he’s not very good at shooting. It’s a failure and an advantage.
NICK: Okay. The advantage is, he shoots, misses wide, Sabos just kind of looks around, and then he rolls under the repulser sled and takes cover under there. He uses his advantage to take some cover. That was him. He’s not very good. Two more player slots.
STEVEN: Sure. Is it—I forget how movement works.
NICK: You get a movement action.
STEVEN: Can I get close enough to under the sled to use the vibro-knife?
NICK: Yeah, absolutely you can.
STEVEN: Alright. I’m gonna run up under the sled and just try to stab him with the vibro-knife.
NICK: Okay. Go ahead.
STEVEN: Which is—Oh, I actually have Melee. Hey.
STEVEN: How hard is it?
CAMERON: Melee is always two.
NICK: Yeah, but you’re gonna have a black die, because to get under there, he’s prone (dramatic bass noise), so you run up and slide under with him, but now you’re like lying next to someone with your head on your elbow…
STEVEN: Oh, I don’t really want to get under it, I just kind of want to… I’ll still take a black die.
NICK: Okay. Laying prone and trying to side stab at someone is a little bit harder.
STEVEN: Yeah. That’s fair. Oh? Success.
NICK: A success. That does the weapon damage plus your Brawn, which is what?
NICK: Four damage. Okay, so you cut his arm pretty bad and he retreats back underneath while seething in pain. He’s just looking around panicking really hard. Karma, you’re up.
CAMERON: Great. Alright. Since chicky-bird shot me twice, I flip my blaster to kill. The dude is okay still, stun him. She’s going down. She shot me. So, I have a black die from existing…
NICK: Yeah. You gotta spend a maneuver to aim?
CAMERON: For my maneuver, I’m gonna go take cover behind a tree, specifically blocking her shot at me. Then I’m going to shoot at her. Average with two black dice?
CAMERON: And I’m going to flip a light side point to upgrade, to shoot her gooder. I’m glad that was useful.
LAURA: (sympathetic groan)
CAMERON: Two failures, two advantages.
NICK: Okay. You slam your back into a tree. You can feel your back bleeding…
CAMERON: (laughs) Okay.
NICK: …and hitting up against the tree is uncomfortable, but the cover is worth it. You lean around the corner and the stormtrooper peppers some blaster spray at you. You go back around the tree, you lean back around and take some shots, but you guys are basically just shooting back and forth with each other. You don’t hit anything. You said you had some advantages?
CAMERON: I have two advantages. I wanna piss off the tree that she’s hiding behind, and I want the tree to go after her.
LAURA: Hey, the trees are just supposedly, maybe, possibly sentient.
CAMERON: Possibly eating people.
NICK: Will you roll me one green die please, for the tree’s initiative, maybe possibly.
LAURA: One success.
NICK: Great. Hey, what a coincidence.
CAMERON: That’s next. (laughs)
NICK: Gonna go ahead and add the tree to the initiative order.
CAMERON: Possibly. Who knows.
NICK: Maybe possibly.
LAURA: It’s not confirmed.
NICK: It’s a rumor that the trees exist.
LAURA: It is an urban legend.
CAMERON: I don’t think it’s a rumor that the trees exist. (laughs)
LAURA: Yeah, the trees exist.
CAMERON: The tree is definitely there.
LAURA: It’s a rumor that they eat people.
NICK: So, describe to me how you shooting at the tree might make it aggressive.
LAURA: She shoots it.
CAMERON: So, we’ve been exchanging fire back and forth… I keep shooting the tree right next to where she is, and it has decided, supposedly decided—
CAMERON: –allegedly, that there is something on that spot that is hurting it, that it needs to go after.
NICK: Okay. So, it’s the tree’s turn. (laughs) We don’t even have to roll for this tree. It’s like a piece of environment. The bark peels back up and it’s like these long, ropey spikes. You see them basically just rearrange, and there’s a crunch, and then Lira stops shooting. There’s no more noise coming from behind the tree. That’s the tree’s turn. (giggling)
Then the tree’s roots start pulling out of the ground, and it starts spaghetti-legging away into the brush, and you see Lira with a bunch of stab wounds on her just lying on the ground bleeding. That tree just starts knocking other trees out of the way and walking off. It does the noise of a groaning ship and cracking wood as it disappears. (several make long groans) Well, that’s the noise that ships make now. (laughter) Great.
Okay, yeah, so Lira is down. She is not moving anymore. It was hurt turn, but she’s down, so we got a PC slot. All that’s left is Williams hiding under the sled, bleeding, looking very close to being unconscious.
STEVEN: Yeah. I’m gonna stab Mr. Williams again.
NICK: Alright, you go right ahead.
STEVEN: Or, or… Can I drag him out?
NICK: Yeah, you can try. You can make me a Brawl check.
STEVEN: Sure. How hard is it?
CAMERON: Brawl is always two, like Melee.
NICK: Well, for this one it’ll be contested, because you’re trying to like wrestle him out.
CAMERON: Oh. Fair.
NICK: He only has one green in Brawn.
CAMERON: So one purple.
NICK: Yeah. He’s not very good at things.
LAURA: Poor guy.
STEVEN: A success and an advantage.
NICK: Yeah. You’re able to kind of grab him round the scruff, and he tries to slap you away, and you just drag him out from cover. He’s kicking and screaming. “Where’s Lira?! What are you doing?! Aaagh!” Next PC slot.
LAURA: So… Lira’s ‘dead’ dead, or just out?
CAMERON: She’s down?
NICK: She is down, she has multiple stab wounds, and she has been exploded.
LAURA: Yeah. She’s most likely dead.
CAMERON: Or mostly dead.
LAURA: Or mostly dead.
NICK: Your experience would prove to you that it would be very rare for someone to survive something like that.
LAURA: I’m gonna go over to Sabos and Williams, and take out binders and slap them on Williams.
NICK: Okay. You don’t have to roll for that. He’s pretty freaking out of it. You got him locked up.
HUDSON: We should figure out why they ran in the first place.
CAMERON: Yeah. I swing my blaster back around my back, take out my vibro-sword, and walk over to Lira and check her pulse.
LAURA: “Well, they were lovers. I feel like that was obvious?” I look at Williams. “You two, you were, uh, how you say, banging? Yes?”
NICK: He’s just crying, like silent tears going down his face.
LAURA: “yes. I’m going to take that as a yes. I believe they were lovers.”
NICK: You check Lira. She is dead. She is no more. Most of her insides are on her outsides. That tree messed her up real good.
At this point, Mills jumps out of the opposite side of the clearing. “Alright! I’m ready to g—Oh.”
LAURA: “Thank you. You are a very big help.”
NICK: “Well, I held some of the trees back, so at least we had that. My job was just to keep you alive, not to capture anyone, so… Oh hey, that was Lira? Wow, that’s crazy.” He just walks across the clearing to her and looks down. “Man, she owed me 10 credits.”
NICK: He sets about basically packing up the camp to take it with him.
LAURA: “You could check her pockets.”
CAMERON: “Yeah. I’m going to.”
NICK: “I mean, it’s sorta, my culture frowns on that kind of thing.”
CAMERON: I check her pockets. I make eye contact with him as he says my culture frowns on this, and then look down and start checking her pockets.
NICK: Okay. You find 10 credits.
CAMERON: I hand them to him.
NICK: “Hey thanks, now I owe you 10 credits.” And he pockets it.
CAMERON: “That… That’s definitely how that works. Yes.”
LAURA: “Yes. That is how it works. You owe us 10 credits now.”
NICK: Williams says “Are you done robbing my friend? What are you even doing?”
LAURA: “Friend? Or—Was she not girlfriend? Partner? However you wanted to label it?”
NICK: “Look, we didn’t like labels. Okay? We were just trying to go. We were just trying to leave, and then getting hunted by your coworkers is really crazy, and Lira just started becoming one with the jungle or whatever… but she was really, she—Oh gosh, it’s was…” He breaks down and cries for a little bit.
CAMERON: “That kind of continued to the tree did get her.”
STEVEN: “That’s true.”
LAURA: “The tree…”
LAURA: “I mean, I did throw a grenade at her, but… The tree.”
NICK: “Look, I guess nothing really matters. We were just trying to get to a different outpost and get off the planet. Maybe that was just wishful thinking. I’m imagining Falx sent you after me? He always has his weird smuggler friends do stuff like this. Well, get it over with.” He just kind of closes his eyes and puts his head to the side.
CAMERON: “Why are you trying to get away? Well, why ‘were’ you trying to get away?”
LAURA: “Have you seen the Empire?”
NICK: “I mean, she’s got a point. It basically is one of those ‘have you seen ze Empire’ kind of things.”
CAMERON: “I have, but have not seen how brainwashed everyone is in the Empire. They’re very good at that.”
LAURA: “Eh, they are. They are okay.”
CAMERON: “The defecting is rare. The people being controlled by the Empire? Yeah, those running make sense. People within the organization? Normally very much drink the space Kool-Aid.” (giggles)
LAURA: ‘In my experience there is not a lot of deserting, because the Empire gets everyone in one way or another, eventually. It’s hard to run from a regime that has the entire galaxy.”
NICK: “That’s, uh, pretty morbid, but—“
LAURA: “Yes!” (giggles)
NICK: Williams has the binders on and he’s trying to apply pressure to the knife wound in his arm.
CAMERON: Oh. I lean down and help.
NICK: “Th-Thank you.”
LAURA: I lean down to Williams. “If we bring you back alive, how badly will they torture you?”
NICK: “You know, Falx doesn’t really go for torture all that much. He’s sort of efficient like that. Either I’ll get sent to a labor camp, or if they don’t want to waste the food waiting for a shipment they’ll probably just shoot me. Honestly, it’s weird that he didn’t just tell you to kill me. This is a bummer. This was my first posting. I had such high hopes, and now look at me.” He just looks bummed out.
LAURA: “That is why you do not desert. But so, are you okay being sent back alive?”
NICK: “Uh, yeah, I guess it’s a 50/50 shot.”
NICK: “I’ve always been pretty good at brown-nosing. That’s how I got here in the first place, so.”
LAURA: “If they were going to horribly torture you, I mean, we could shoot you now.”
NICK: “Ugh. It’s tempting. I mean, you just murdered the woman I love, but…”
LAURA: “I mean—“
CAMERON: “I think you’ll find that was the tree, and she did shoot me first, to be fair.”
LAURA: “They would kind of probably kill us if we did not.”
NICK: “Yeah. I mean, you’re dooming me to a life of slave labor at the best case scenario, so you should feel bad about that and I don’t appreciate it. There’s still a chance—“
LAURA: “So, do you want me to shoot you now? Because like, I will.”
NICK: “Wha- No. you could just like let me go, and…”
LAURA: “You have a choice. … Okay, so here’s a thing. If we let you go,” and I look over at, what’s his name, Rambo dude.
LAURA: Mills! How close is Mills to us?
NICK: He’s still just kind of patrolling the perimeter. He can hear, but you can’t tell if he’s paying attention or not.
LAURA: I want to kind of whisper, probably mostly to Karma. “So, is there any way we could, you know, act like a tree got him and just bring back Lira’s body, and maybe a bloodied helmet or shirt, and just say we saw him die?”
CAMERON: “Probably. The thing with that, though… Sweetie, you look pretty banged up.”
NICK: He looks suddenly hopeful, like surprised hopeful, like a teenager who meets Santa Claus hopeful. “I can make it!”
CAMERON: “Realistically hun, I’m concerned with you lasting out here.”
LAURA: Xianna looks at Karma. How many wounds does he have?
LAURA: Okay. “I have a stim pack, so I could fix him up…”
NICK: “I like this plan. I mean, you could tell—I don’t mean to brag-“ He tries to like brush his hair.
LAURA: Xianna already has the stim pack out and is like watching Mills, and shoots Williams up with it, and puts the empty one back in her pocket.
NICK: He gasps as the pain killers take effect.
NICK: “Well, you know, I am ruggedly handsome and independent.” He is not ruggedly handsome or independent looking.
NICK: This is a very scrawny junior officer just out of school.
LAURA: “Sure. Yes. Sure you are.”
NICK: “But, yeah, I just… You could take one of the stormtrooper bodies or something. We’re about the same level of ripped. It should work.”
LAURA: ‘Okie. Someone is going to have to go distract Mills, and then we will make a bunch of noise over here.”
CAMERON: “Sabos and Tink, go, y’all are distracting.”
LAURA: “You go make distractions. Go, go.”
CAMERON: “Go talk inappropriately about your head tail or something.”
STEVEN: “That was the plan.”
LAURA: “One of you go and get in a tuffle with a tree. Try not to get actually killed.”
HUDSON: ‘Hey Mills, uh, I was wondering, um…”
NICK: “Yeah. What?”
HUDSON: “You seem to have a lot of experience out here. What was, um, one of your hardest fought battles you ever had?”
NICK: “Oh, well let me tell you about it. There was this one time I had a whole grove of trees between me and my sister…”
HUDSON: “Oh, do tell.”
NICK: “…and I was trying to set her up with my friend, Smithson, and—“
LAURA: “Is this the distraction? That is just a story.”
HUDSON: (low, grunted) Yes.
CAMERON: “As long as he’s facing away from us, we’re good.”
NICK: At this point Mills throws his arm around Tink, which is mostly up, and points away from y’all to gesture broadly at the trees. “There was a couple of spruces and two jungle deciduous, and I was able to take ‘em down with an incendiary grenade,” and he just goes on and on about killing trees.
LAURA: While they’re doing this, Xianna gets Williams up to his feet, takes off the binders, and puts them back in her pocket. Is he wearing anything that Mills would have seen on him to identify?
CAMERON: He’s wearing an army uniform, right?
NICK: Yeah. He has one of the little blue squares, because he’s a super junior officer.
LAURA: Xianna goes over and plucks the little blue square off of him…
CAMERON: Make sure there’s blood on it.
LAURA: …and kind of rubs it on his leg a little.
CAMERON: There you go. Way more convincing.
NICK: He groans in pain.
LAURA: Does he still have his cap or anything?
NICK: No. he doesn’t have his cap. His uniform is all shredded. You could pull pieces off if you want.
LAURA: Yeah. She takes a few pieces and any large things. If he had a holster, she takes that.
NICK: As you take his insignia, he’s like, “Wait, wait, wait,” and he goes over and takes it from you. He does something you can’t tell, and the bottom pops open. He shakes something out of it and puts it in his pocket. “Okay, great. Thanks.”
CAMERON: “We obviously can’t send him… We can’t let you keep the sled.”
CAMERON: “It would be useful, but he has seen it. So, let’s pack you a bag.” (laughs)
CAMERON: “Some useful stuff.”
LAURA: “So, pack a bag very quickly, and then we will have you hide off to the side, and I will throw a grenade, sprinkle this stuff, and say a tree was getting you and you were getting away, and so I panicked and threw a grenade.”
NICK: “Okay! Sounds awesome.” He basically just takes a pile of those ration bars, he takes one arm and brushes them into a piece of cloth he makes into a satchel, ties it around a stick, and just takes off into the trees.
At this point Mills has Tink by both shoulders and is shaking him and staring really close in his face. “And there were bug monkeys! Bug monkeys everywhere!”
CAMERON: Karma starts counting with her hands, one, two, three…
LAURA: Xianna is doing that little face, like, ‘okay… and, scene!’ (laughter) And like throws the grenade at a random tree, and then is like “Oh shit!” and then right after the grenade throws all the scraps she took off of Williams, and then falls back. (laughs)
CAMERON: We both fall back like ‘ah, grenade explosion, it threw us!’
NICK: So, the camera cuts to Mills holding Tink, and he’s staring at Tink but facing towards the explosion, so you just see the cool grenade explosion silhouetting Mills and Tink. “Oh—What?” He looks over and goes, “What… What happened?”
LAURA: “Oh! So, the officer, Williams, he started getting away, and then a tree started attacking, and I panicked, and I threw a grenade. I think I killed him.”
NICK: I’m gonna need a Deception roll from you.
LAURA: Can do!
NICK: Against I guess it would be his Perception.
LAURA: Which would be?
NICK: Two purples. Mills is good at seeing. Not as good as you are at lying.
CAMERON: Can I assist, since I’m acting with it?
CAMERON: I think it’s the same. You have more Cunning, but we both have 1 Deception.
LAURA: I have 2 Deception.
NICK: So you just add a blue die, then.
CAMERON: I’m like walking over, and carefully picking up scrap pieces of things.
LAURA: One success and two advantages.
NICK: Okay. With the success, Mills goes, “Oh. Uh… Well, I mean, he’s dead. I guess that’s what’s important. It saves us the blaster charges. I’m just gonna put him down…”
LAURA: “I am sorry.”
NICK: “Well, ugh, you know, you Twi’leks are… I have zero experience with them, but I have now decided that they’re bloodthirsty, so great work.”
LAURA: “I panicked! It was scary! It was a big tree.”
NICK: “I think I saw a holo of Twi’leks with sharp teeth one time. It’s always kind of…”
LAURA: “That is just the men.”
NICK: “Oh, well… Yeah.”
LAURA: ‘It is considered attractive.”
CAMERON: “Is it?”
NICK: “Oh? Do you think I should file my teeth?”
LAURA: “No. it is just for the Twi’lek men that it is attractive.”
NICK: “Oh. Well…”
CAMERON: “So it’s attractive to other Twi’lek men or Twi’lek women?”
LAURA: “Well, I mean if they are of that orientation, yes. It is attractive for the men to have pointy teeth.”
NICK: “I don’t know why we’re talking about this. You just blew someone up. Uh, that’s good to know. Thank you for expanding my cultural horizons. I appreciate that. Just scrape that stuff into a bag or whatever. We’ll put it on the sled and bring it back to Falx.”
LAURA: “yes. Okie.”
NICK: He turns around, leaving. He’s been digging through the cart for a couple of minutes and he pulls out this big spray bottle. It looks like a cockroach bomb, like an aerosol can with a dispersal thing. ‘Oh man, they did manage to get one of these.” He takes the metal spike out of his pocket and jams it into the top, and it starts misting everywhere. “That’ll take care of the trees.” You see them actually start to spread back and clear away. “It’ll be a lot easier getting back.”
LAURA: “The fuck is with this planet…”
NICK: “Let’s try and get back to the outpost.”
CAMERON: I have collected the bits of Williams’s uniform that Xianna had thrown in one hand, and then I walk over and I hoist Lira up over my shoulder and toss her onto the sled.
NICK: She does a ragdoll flump that’s pretty gross and starts dripping into the supplies a little bit.
CAMERON: I put her on, like, not on food stuff. I shift uncomfortably and wipe the blood off of my shoulder. Then I remember, and the adrenaline starts to wear off, and I lean against the sled and put my hands on my knees, like “whoa…”
NICK: Mills sees you doing that. “Great. That way we don’t have to carry her. You got shot, a lot.”
CAMERON: “I noticed.”
LAURA: “Oh yes. Uh, so do they have an infirmary at the outpost?”
NICK: “Uh, yeah, they have that. I also have some medical supplies in the speeder that we can use.”
LAURA: ‘Okay, because I do not want to waste my stim pack.”
CAMERON: Okay. Before we head out, I’m gonna make a Cool check to try and recover some Strain. I’m going to use my Hardboiled talent. When I’m recovering strain after an encounter, I can spend advantages up to ranks in Hardboiled to recover one wound per advantage spent. I could heal one wound back this way.
NICK: Okay. Hopefully you get an advantage.
CAMERON: Hopefully, because I didn’t lose any strain. What’s the difficulty?
CAMERON: Simple? Fabulous. Hey! An advantage.
NICK: You got a wound back, and two strain.
CAMERON: I didn’t lose any strain, but I’m up to 4 health now!
NICK: Good work! You make it back to the speeder without any crazy things happening and you pile in. you toss Lira’s body into the trunk, there’s still some space back there, and you drive off into the jungle headed back towards the outpost. That’s where we’ll end the episode.
(all make dramatic noises, noises turns discordant)
CAMERON: Oh dear…
CAMERON: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. If you enjoyed our show please consider logging into iTunes and giving us a five-star review. Five-star reviews will help new listeners to find the show.
Xianna’fan is played by Laura Penrod. She can be found on Twitter at @cheerio_buffet.
Tink is played by Hudson Jameson and he can be found on Twitter at @hudsonjameson.
Karma Nailo is played by me, Cameron Robertson. You can find me on Twitter at @midnightmusic13.
Sabos Nix was played by Steven Schroeder. He… does not exist on the internet.
Our game master is Nick Robertson, and you can find him on Twitter at @alias58.
Our intro song is Space Jam by Pablo Ribot.
Additional music by James Gunter.
Follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram at @tabletop_squad. For real! We’re real people and we wanna talk to anyone who listens to the show. Reach out! See you next time.