Month: August 2020

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Tabletop Squadron Transcript, Karma Interstitial 1, Part 2:
Boardroom Maneuvers

Transcript by Tyler (Twitter: @Tyler_MoonSage)

## Intro

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, and a slicer as they explore the galaxy helping a mysterious benefactor and each other.

This week we continue to follow the high stakes politics of Karma and her new friend Stiro. This one ran a little long, so we’ll have one more episode releasing next week as well. This one goes in some wild directions and I know you’re going to love it.

I wanna take a minute to address the health crisis that we’re all facing right now. Stay safe out there, squad, and make the best choices you can. We know that this is a difficult time, and we here at Tabletop Squadron are going to continue to release content as quickly as we can. We hope that it provides a bit of distraction from everything going on. If you need a place to talk or a distraction, we’ve got a great group of humans on our Discord who are loving and supportive and have adorable pets. We’re all in this together.

Music this week is Horrible by Mela and Chitarradistorta by Nickk Dropkick.

So now, let’s get into the episode.

##

NICK: When we last left off, Karma and Stiro had just finished getting information out of an admin for Serres Super Structure. They met up at a diner the next morning to discuss their plans and were about to head off to meet their mark.

ROB: I sort of rub my hands together, limber my shoulders up like I’m getting ready to do some sort of exercise or something ,and check my com for the 365th time for the time of the meeting, and make sure that we’re all good for transportation even if something bad happens. We’ll still be there.

NICK: Yeah. So, the meeting, you were very specific, the meeting is immediately after lunch, so this guy’s gonna be full, happy, kind of sleepy.

ROB: Best mood of the day. Yep.

NICK: Yeah. You made sure that happened. You actually had Diana move his lunch up a little bit, because that also makes your meeting look more important.

ROB: Ho-ho.

NICK: I’m just gonna play with these seven successes for a while, because that was very good.

CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB: Yeah, I mean, feel free.

NICK: So you have some time to kill. You hang out at the diner for a while, and then a very nondescript speeder pulls up. It kinda looks like a Honda Civic but in Star Wars.

ROB: Sure.

NICK: Plain, not very interesting, doesn’t look particularly broke down but doesn’t look nice, and Seeley Mox, the skinny blonde guy from the club, is in the driver’s seat and he rolls down the window and waves to the two of you through the window of the diner and is gesturing for you all to come on.

CAMERON: Karma throws back the rest of her caf.

ROB (as Stiro): I do believe we are being summoned.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yup.

CAMERON: Gets up out of the booth, adjusts her carbine and sword since sitting with them in a booth is difficult.

NICK: The next question is, how do you two react to being convinced that you’re about to die in a horrible speeder accident? Because that’s how Seeley drives at all times.

ROB: Oh man. I think that Stiro just sits back very steadily and concentrates on breathing, because he’s been in a lot of life or death situations before, from the time that he was little, and I think that he can tell the difference between a life or death situation where decisive action can save your life and a life or death situation where you just have to see how it comes out on the other side, and unfortunately this guy’s driving is the latter.

[laughter]

CAMERON: Karma is sitting in the front passenger seat and is full-on parent energy while they’re teaching their teenager to drive.

ROB: Oh no. [laughs]

NICK: [laughs]

CAMERON: So, is sitting there gripping the center console and the door handle, and any time we take a turn too fast or we start to see a light coming up that we’re gonna need to stop for or another speeder turns out in front of us is like throwing her foot forward where a break would be if she was the one piloting, and is just holding herself into the seat, is not moving at all with the shifts and the fast turns and stuff, is locked in, and just deep breathing but very concerned and very much has the parents’, like, ‘oh my gosh.’

ROB: In one instance do you actually mom arm the driver?

CAMERON: Yes. That most definitely happens.

[laughter]

ROB: Oh god.

NICK: And Karma’s strong enough that probably bruises his chest pretty hard. That happens right at the end as Seeley pulls to a stop. The whole flight, because it’s a speeder so it tends to go up to 50 feet down to street level, is barrel rolls, drifted turns, cutting in and out of traffic, going up on one side of the car to skip between two pedestrians, and Seeley, this scrawny guy with blonde hair, is just whistling a jaunty tune, seems super relaxed.

ROB: Yeah, he’s like an eastern European cabbie.

NICK: Yeah, that’s what I was gonna say, trying to do the taxi thing of like “so, how’s it going, how’s the morning been, saw you got the bright orange eggs, those are fun, those are good,” and everyone is just (rattled fearful inhale).

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: He slams to a stop and drops 15 feet to the street, and Karma mom arms him, knocking the breath out of him.

NICK (as Seeley): [strained] We’re here. Ow… Why?

CAMERON (as Karma): Hey, your head didn’t hit the steering wheel.

NICK (as Seeley): It never does. I’m good at this.

ROB: Stiro checks his time piece and says:

ROB (as Stiro): Well, you certainly did get us here fast.

NICK (as Seeley): And I’ll be here in case you need to leave quickly. I’ll be just looping the block, but I can’t loop the same block for too long because eventually CorSec gets called because of… I mean, it’s not my fault, but I’ll be around. A simple com call, I’ll get you out of here.

ROB (as Stiro): You got it, buddy.

NICK: He hits a button and the doors pop open and the seats angle slightly like the car is encouraging you to leave.

CAMERON: Karma unbuckles her seatbelt…

NICK: [laughs]

CAMERON: …because she was definitely wearing her seatbelt, and calmly gets out of the car. Or the speeder, I guess.

NICK: You find yourselves standing in front of one of Coronet’s many spires. Coronet is the capital city of Corellia. It is basically epitomized by dark industrial slums and factories and these huge, miles-high skyscraper buildings that have really, really, really wide bases, like five to ten city blocks, and go up to almost a point at the top.

ROB: Oh, how perfect, so the offices and such get more and more exclusive as they get higher. As well as just being higher there’s also fewer of them.

NICK: Absolutely! It also lets them build higher.

ROB: Perfect.

NICK: The bases of these, depending on where the spire is, are sometimes surrounded by rundown neighborhoods, places that are used for garbage disposal, and sometimes are very nice streets. This one interestingly has two entrances, because it’s so big. One entrance basically leads to a dump, just like a scrapyard that’s been sunk down under a rundown apartment building, and the other entrance is on a well-lit, brightly white paved avenue with people walking pets up and down it and little decorative trees on the sidewalk. Which side would you like to be dropped off at?

ROB: The money side.

NICK: The money side, great, so then you aren’t faced with a large, mechanical blast door, you’re faced with simple glass shutters that seem to become transparent in front of you, and you walk into this clean lobby. All you have to do is mention your appointment. You’re shuttled into a lift, rocketed up into the sky. You do not go all the way to the top. You are about five floors from the top. You do know the floor below that is where Diana works, and you go up past that, and you are led through a receiving area and immediately into a very nice office with glass windows all the way around, a burnished steel desk, bookcases that have glowing blue panels instead of books – because that’s in Star Wars, that’s a thing they do – and it just looks austere, corporate, organized, and there is no guy in here yet. They just dropped you in his office and he’s not here.

ROB: That’s alright. This is an important guy. He’ll feel more important if he’s a little late.

NICK: Yeah. You have a minute in this office to yourselves.

ROB: Well, due deference would be waiting by the door or whatever, but I fully intend to look at my ease when he comes in and I fully expect that the inside of this office is being surveilled by him or someone who works for him right now, so I am not going to search for anything or do anything untoward.

NICK: Hmm.

CAMERON: Karma walks to the windows, because I’m assuming it has full wall windows.

NICK: Oh yeah.

CAMERON: Since we’re up this high, you want the view. Just goes and stands at the window, facing it, with her hands behind her back in the at-east position and is just looking.

ROB: Yeah. I think security taking a look around is pretty acceptable, but the other businessman should not be dirtying his hands at this time.

NICK: Right. Did you take a seat in front of his desk?

ROB: That’s right I did, yep.

NICK: [grinning] Okay.

ROB: I’ll stand up again when he makes it in here.

NICK: Cool. You find yourself waiting in awkward silence for four, six, ten minutes or so, and a panel slides back on the wall, and you see Cord Trustbuilder walk into the room.

[elevator music begins]

He looks early 30s, he has dark hair that is long, below the nape of the neck, swept back and hair gelled in place, almost like a helmet. He’s wearing a perfectly coiffed suit, but it’s a Corellian suit so he also has like a stole over it that has the logo for Serres Super Structure on it which is like interlocking stars. It’s like the lapel of the suit is actually like a scarf or a stole thing hanging down. He strides up to you and says:

NICK (as Cord): Ah, if it isn’t my sudden reschedule. My name is Cord, Cord Trustbuilder. Nice to meet you.

ROB: Of course I have like liquidly gotten up out of the chair to stand square right across from him. I return the handshake hardily.

ROB (as Stiro): The name’s Stiro, Stiro Waybridger. It’s really good to see you in the flesh.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK (as Cord): Waybridger? I know a Waybridger. Were you involved in that shipping skidoo over by Coruscant a couple of years ago?

ROB (as Stiro): Well, I’ve got a big extended family. You know what they say about those big Corellian families, but I’ve got wide-ranging business interests which is why I am suddenly on your schedule as you so astutely mentioned.

NICK (as Cord): Yeah, you know, it’s the kind of thing where, when I see something rearranged like that, if I didn’t know Diana had my best interest at heart I’d be a little suspicious, but no reason to be, obviously, just two business men having a time.

NICK: He is steadfastly not acknowledging that Karma is in the room.

ROB: Right.

NICK: Like, it hasn’t even occurred to him.

ROB: She’s the help.

NICK: Yeah. She’s just there. What could it be? He slides behind his desk. His desk chair is one of those swivel chairs with the large leather back and the blinders that stick out of either side of the chair. It’s completely silent when he sits in it, which is weird because it’s leather, it’s super nice. He laces his fingers in front of him.

NICK (as Cord): So, what brings you on my schedule?

CAMERON: As soon as he sits Karma turns to where she is now facing him but he is now facing away from her, but so that she can see Stiro if any communication needs to happen between the two of them.

NICK: Nice.

ROB (as Stiro): Well you see, I had a serendipitous meeting with your assistant, Diana, at a mid-town establishment last night, and we got to talking about some shared experiences in the world of business and the theme of our intercourse was a reticence on the part of upper management types to seize opportunities when they present themselves, kind of an entrenched risk-averse attitude that’s not particularly conducive to growth.

NICK (as Cord): Uh-huh! Uh-huh!

ROB (as Stiro): Even though growth is the life blood of businesses of this size as you well know. Look how young you are. You got here by taking risks when they make sense to take. I do admit to have done a little bit of homework on your career. It’s a fascinating read.

NICK (as Cord): Well, I mean, it’s all in Business Monthly. I’m an open book.

NICK: He pounds his hand on the desk and two fat cigars stick straight out of the material and he grabs them.

NICK (as Cord): Do you smoke?

ROB (as Stiro): I surely do.

ROB: When these cigars appear Stiro allows a child-like grin of glee.

CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB: Like a completely guileless “ooh, that’s fun” look on his face before reassuming the business thing, because it’s important to Stiro that Cord feels like he is impressing me, like I am impressed by his office, I’m impressed that he made me wait ten minutes, this little trick with the desk, this is all so cool to Stiro.

NICK: He puts the tips of the cigars down on the desk, the desk glows in a circle of bright orange for a second and lights them, and he flips one around to hand it to you and sticks the other one in his mouth and starts puffing on it very noisily.

ROB: Yeah.

NICK (as Cord): So we’re talking about risk, right? So, that’s a lot of words. What are we talking about here?

ROB: Out of character, what’s the name of this gigantic pod race that’s coming up?

NICK: Ooh…

ROB: Because there should be a sexy name for it, right?

[elevator music fades]

NICK: I agree. So, everyone has just been calling it the Inaugural Circuit, because pod racing has actually been out of favor for quite a while. This is the first pod race that will have happened in Corellia ever, and the marketing in the underworld – because pod racing’s not technically legal – the marketing has been huge to where everyone knows about it because they’re trying to bring pod racing back, so it’s just been called the Inaugural Circuit.

ROB: So it’s not technically legal. Does that mean that literally this high profile race is being carried out illegally essentially as a marketing campaign to convince big business that the sports betting market is worth legitimizing with their money?

NICK: Yup.

ROB: That’s so great.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Yep, and you would know, because you’ve been involved in some of this, there have been massive bribes paid to CorSec, which is the Coruscant Security Core, it’s their police, to close off certain areas at the right time and not arrest anybody.

ROB: Yeah, they’re gonna avoid the track like the plague that night.

NICK: Yeah. Well, the track is the city, so that’s gonna be really fun.

ROB: Right, well…

CAMERON: [chuckles]

NICK: Yeah, but it’s the kind of thing, they’re trying to demonstrate the profitability and get it made legal enough and to get public interest big enough that they can get more of these races started, so it’s this fine balance.

ROB: Well, and it makes sense that you want the Corellian Sports Authority to walk back this pod racing ban, because as the shadow of the Empire grows deeper and deeper on Corellia you need bread and circuses, right? You need more distracting, fun entertainment for people to keep them from thinking about how maybe life used to be a little better.

NICK: Yup. So, it’s an opportunity that has been very much seized on by certain people to try and do this and get a pretty big slice for themselves. Kettle has not been directly involved but has helped facilitate some of the things that made it even possible.

ROB: Sure. Sure.

NICK: So you’re tangentially involved in the situation already. But yeah, it’s called the Inaugural Circuit.

ROB: Inaugural Circuit, awesome. Okay.

ROB (as Stiro): Now, Mr. Trustbuilder, between you, me, and the ears of God, what’s your opinion of the fine sport of pod racing?

NICK: His eyes light up and he takes a very long pull on the cigar.

NICK (as Cord): Pod racing… Now, that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long, long time.

CAMERON & ROB: [laughs]

NICK (as Cord): I like pod racing. I think pod racing is very cool. I used to hear stories about it from my dad back in the day.

ROB (as Stiro): So I think it’s safe for me to assume that you have at least heard something about a little event coming up that prefers to be known as the Inaugural Circuit.

NICK: He actually sets his cigar down on something you didn’t notice before but it’s like a built-in ramp ashtray type thing on the desk.

NICK (as Cord): Now, me being an upstanding and law-abiding citizen of Corellia wouldn’t know anything about an illegal race like that.

ROB (as Stiro): That is a damn fine answer.

[laughter]

NICK (as Cord): Especially not an illegal race that would be a course unparalleled in the sport going through the sewers, the main street, and circumnavigating the entire city of Coronet. [grinning] I wouldn’t know anything about that.

ROB (as Stiro): No. [chuckles] And let me tell you, Mr. Trustbuilder, it is an exciting thing to not know anything about, particularly at this time.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK (as Cord): Now, why would you say that?

ROB (as Stiro): Well, a few different little birds have been speaking to me lately about the betting pools that are already starting to make waves surrounding the Inaugural Circuit. You see, it’s not just my people who are interested, pretty much every investor worth his salt who’s not too afraid, you understand, is very interested in seeing what they can make happen in the betting halls, which are not only centralized but in satellite locations around Corellia, you understand. Astronomical numbers of credits moving fast and moving quietly. Now, you can ask sports analysts – not from here of course, because we don’t do pod racing on Corellia – but you can ask sports analysts who is the smart money to bet on, who is maybe a dark horse to win, but what if all that uncertainty were to be removed?

NICK: He places his hands flat on the desk to either side.

NICK (as Cord): That sounds like cheating.

ROB (as Stiro): I ask you this. Is it possible to cheat in a sport that’s not officially sanctioned by the Corellian Sports Authority?

NICK (as Cord): Yes.

ROB: Fuck.

[laughter]

ROB (as Stiro): We’re in a unique position to make a first impression of how the sport will be conducted on this world. Who is to say we don’t set a few things up to funnel the chaos in directions that we favor? That’s what Black Sun is doing on Corellia right now.

ROB: I give him a very significant look.

NICK (as Cord): Black Sun? You know, I just had dinner with the Commissioner of CorSec last week and I was assured that Black Sun doesn’t exist in Corellia anywhere.

ROB (as Stiro): I could think of no better advertisement for my effectiveness in my job than that.

NICK (as Cord): You make a fair point. Waybridger… Waybridger, Black Sun, pod racing… I’m beginning to see exactly what you’re telling me, but I don’t understand exactly what my opportunity would be in this situation.

ROB (as Stiro): Well, I forget my manners. Let me introduce you to my cousin. Her name’s Kizmet.

CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB (as Stiro): Before you bring up the lack of family resemblance, you understand, she’s my cousin, a close cousin of mine in the family that matters.

NICK (as Cord): Oh, I think I understand perfectly.

CAMERON: While this conversation is happening Karma has come up behind him, and so when Stiro says “let me introduce you to my cousin” and directs towards Karma she is suddenly so much closer than she was when he sat down in his chair.

ROB: [laughs]

NICK: You’re pulling a Batman.

ROB: Mm-hmm.

CAMERON: Yes. I have arrived, still standing at ease, no real facial expression. When he turns to look at her, nods, but doesn’t say anything.

NICK: Cord was so entranced by Stiro’s pitch that he had completely lost track of where Karma was, so he doesn’t see her, sees Stiro’s gesture, goes to turn his chair, bounces off of her, leans back in the chair, looks up, goes very pale for a second, like one bead of sweat, and then regains his composure.

NICK (as Cord): Oh, well, I do apologize, I didn’t introduce myself before. I just thought you might be a bodyguard. My apologies. My name’s Cord, Cord Trustbuilder.

ROB (as Stiro): We do things a little bit differently in Black Sun.

NICK (as Cord): What do you mean by that?

ROB (as Stiro): it’s all family. My cousin here can be very persuasive in her way, and she is but one part of the operation that I am running to change this sporting event from what it appears to be on the surface into the greatest return on investment possible in the Corellian economy. I have here for you the odds as the bookkeepers are currently publishing them.

ROB: I will bring up on a com dossiers of all the drivers and their professional records, any amateur accolades, things like that.

NICK: Cool. We get a spread of dossiers. You set your com on the desk and the whole desk becomes a screen and all of these dossiers flow out. We see pages of things, and a quick smattering of the people that you might see sitting on this desk. You see a female Xexto, which are super skinny, have four arms and big old black eyes, named Longtanno with a very safe looking pod racer with lots of safety things on it. You see Kelbit Fizz, a male Toong, the grandson of Ben Quadrenaros from the Bunta Eve Classic. He looks like a cartoon diamond-shaped face with arms and legs sticking out of him.

CAMERON: [snickers]

NICK: You see what just looks like a pod racer with a head sticking out of it that’s a droid and it’s all black with red under-lighting that just has the designation F4-ST. There are some other ones, but you also see an aging Dug, which are the walk on their hands aliens—

ROB: Hell yes!

CAMERON: Oh-ho-ho…

NICK: –with a long goatee with an X-shaped pod race behind it, and it is Sebulba—

CAMERON: Yesss.

NICK: –back from retirement, competing in this race.

CAMERON: [giggling] Oh, I’m so excited.

ROB: Old Sebulba. Silver fox Sebulba up in here.

[laughter]

NICK: So, you see Sebulba’s picture with his graying skin and goatee, and his odds are pretty good but not as amazing as they used to be because he’s been out of the game for a long time. They brought him back special for this race to boost visibility. You see another racer who is Toonba, a male Ortolan, which is the stuffed animal elephant looking guy from Jabba’s palace.

ROB: [breathy laugh]

CAMERON: [chuckles]

NICK: He is a famous actor in a holo-drama series across the galaxy who races as a hobby and to boost his notoriety. He drives a very specific pod that is maximized for surface area, not for speed, because it’s covered in advertisements for various things. On the cockpit of his ship is a giant picture of his face.

CAMERON: He good.

ROB: The Endorsement-mobile.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Yup. He tends to drive pretty slow and carefully. Toonba has won a couple of pod races in the last few years by accident, because everyone else blew up. So, those are a few of the racers that are in this race. There’s about eight total, I’ve told you about five-ish.

ROB: Sure. I will wait a respectful amount of time for him to digest the information that I’ve displayed, and I’ll say:

ROB (as Stiro): Now Mr. Trustbuilder, if it was you and you wanted to turn this gamble into a certainty, how would you go about it?

NICK (as Cord): Well, I’d probably make sure that droid racer has an accident. It seems like it’s too good for its own good, and I think honestly it ruins the sport.

ROB (as Stiro): And see, with all due respect, that’s what the people organizing the race are looking for. You can’t directly sabotage a driver, or bribe a driver to throw the race, or anything like that. They’re worried about that 25 hours a day, 329 days a year. But here’s the thing about worrying, you can only worry about so many things, it drives you crazy. All eyes are square on these racers. Look to the side a bit. What do you see? The pit crew. Nobody cares about the pit crew, it’s not exciting. Only a rarified subset of the viewership even appreciate the artistry of what goes on in the pit with maintenance.

So here’s what we did. The personnel concern that staffs these pit crews, we bought it. The shipping company that supplies the tools, fuel, other sundries for maintenance, we bought that too. Nobody batted an eye, all part of corporate acquisition, shell company buying a shell company of a shell company, you understand. And so, let’s think about the Inaugural Circuit for a second.

It’s a long race, a lot of pit stops. Even the most efficient racer in the whole caboodle is gonna be making five, six stops over the course of the event. Now, if a mechanic or two happens to develop a nervous case of butterfingers at a really unfortunate time…

CAMERON: [chuckles]

ROB (as Stiro): …or the wrong grade of transmission fluid accidentally gets shipped to one of the pits and poured into the unfortunate engine of a racer that we don’t want to win, or there’s a delay in one of the mechanical shuttles that moves the pod racer into position for a certain maintenance thing, or a wiring problem suddenly develops… these things scattered thinly enough across the entire event can guarantee an outcome without the appearance of anything but garden variety rotten luck. We’re not gonna have the lowest C racer win the whole thing, we’re gonna have someone who probably wasn’t gonna win but has been seen to win in the past walk away with it, and what a story it will be in the mainstream media when Toonba is given the victor’s crown.

NICK (as Cord): Toonba?!

CAMERON: [chuckles]

ROB (as Stiro): That’s right.

NICK (as Cord): You know, I was at the Mon Cal underwater event where he won by accident.

ROB (as Stiro): See? It can happen.

CAMERON: Karma leans forward over the desk and presses on Toonba’s dossier, and it opens up more fully and shows his win-loss record. He’s actually pretty good.

NICK: Yeah, but it’s mostly really small circuit things that he’s won.

CAMERON: Yes, but the numbers are there.

ROB: And that’s what’s gonna be on the news.

[laughter]

NICK: So you look at the win-loss ratio, and you point at it.

CAMERON: And get up in his space as I lean over the desk as well.

NICK: He awkwardly does that thing where he scooches his chair sideways a little bit.

NICK (as Cord): No see, you’re saying that this is believable, but if you expand it…

NICK: He touches it and pulls it out.

NICK (as Cord): Look, Toonba only wins enough minor league races to get to the big ones and then he doesn’t do anything there. You think this is believable? Pod racing aficionados will know the fix. I don’t know how you’re gonna pull this one off.

ROB (as Stiro): Well, as I said, the very involved processes of over the course of the event maintenance are just going to… break, in a certain racer’s favor, well and anybody who’s coming in place behind him, it’s all fine for us you understand. We’re only really going to need to affect three or four racers to guarantee the outcome that we need.

NICK (as Cord): It’s a good field. It is a good field.

ROB (as Stiro): Think about Toonba. You’ve seen him on the holo-dramas, right?

NICK (as Cord): I love him on Sands of Tatooine. I’m going to admit Sands of Tatooine is a guilty pleasure of mine.

CAMERON: [chuckles]

ROB (as Stiro): If he wins this thing on accident he is going to believe in all his heart that he won it because of his own determination to win and his guts and his spirit and his drive. He’s gonna do half the work for us, and people are going to believe him because he is famous and beloved.

NICK (as Cord): It’ll be a real shame when Sebulba rips his blue elephant head from his body.

ROB (as Stiro): He might get a slap on the wrist ,a little fine or something like that, but each one of his media appearances, his talk show appearances coming off this thing is gonna pay him twenty times what he has to pay CorSec, you understand, and this well-loved public figure being the name closely associated with the race legitimizes it further. It guarantees the success of the grassroots movement to legalize the sport on Corellia, and nobody needs to know that the first one was all a show, except for those who got rich from it of course. What’s the best return on investment you’ve ever made on a legitimate business deal, Mr. Trustbuilder?

NICK (as Cord): Legitimate? Uh, let me redo the math in my head there.

CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB: I’ll smile. [laughs]

NICK (as Cord): Fifteen percent got me to this office.

ROB (as Stiro): I’m offering you 115. It’s actually 125, but we’re taking a 10% cut. You understand, this isn’t a charity.

NICK (as Cord): You’re talking a good talk, I’ll admit, 115, I could do a lot with that. I could buy my own spire at that point, but I don’t know about working with Black Sun.

NICK: He tries to push back from the table and bumps into karma and kinda freezes for a second.

NICK (as Cord): That seems a bit overt for my taste. I think I might need to ask you to leave.

CAMERON: Karma does not move, and actually scoots forward slightly so his chair is pushed back in.

NICK: [laughs]

ROB (as Stiro): Don’t get us wrong, Black Sun is who it takes to make this happen. Kizmet here is gonna be on the ground during the race making sure that nobody in those pits or in those betting locations gets any second ideas or squirrely thoughts in their heads, and when it comes to changing hearts and minds, or violently ejecting them from the bodies in which they previously resided, you couldn’t ask for better.

ROB: I just give him this big shit-eating grin.

NICK: [laughs]

CAMERON: Karma smiles at him. [laughs]

NICK: He’s now forced to deal with the fact that the person he’s talking to is in front of him and the person threatening him is directly behind him and trying to look back and forth, and looks like he throws a muscle in his neck doing it.

NICK (as Cord): So far you’ve talked a pretty good game, but all you’ve done is talk. I’m not betting at the beginning of this race. I want evidence that this is going to work out the way you say it is.

ROB (as Stiro): I wouldn’t dream of asking you to do that. Please. I don’t even want the appearance of coming in here trying to scam you out of your money. That’s not what I’m about.

NICK (as Cord): It’s good to hear you say so overtly. I actually feel much better.

CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB (as Stiro): The betting window is open until the halfway point of the race, or I should say when the first racer reaches the halfway point. Our calculations put that around about the third lap is when the odds start to flatten and really stop being so turbulent. Profitability goes down, predictability goes up, you understand. If you are willing to bet before the third lap concludes we can get you your return on investment. That figure that I quoted to you before was not about making a bet, sight unseen, right now with no reason to trust me beyond my winning demeanor. You didn’t get this far making THAT level of risk. And if I’m not too bold to say it, at your age, being by my count five floors from the top of this magnificent structure, you don’t get that far that fast if you’re aiming for five floors from the top. We know where you’re aiming, and we wanna help get you there, because it’s gonna get us where we need to go too.

ROB: I think at this point I’m gonna do my Biggest Fan action.

NICK: Oh-ho-ho!

CAMERON: Heh-heh-heh.

ROB: My capstone ability, once per session, make a three difficulty Charm check to turn one NPC into the character’s biggest fan. So, I am going to remove a rank of difficulty.

NICK: Oh man.

ROB: Killing with kindness, so it’s actually a two difficulty check.

CAMERON: [chuckles]

ROB: And what does Force and destiny points do again?

NICK: You can upgrade an ability check for flipping one over, so you could turn a green to a yellow or if you have all yellow you could add a green if you wanna.

ROB: I’m gonna do that.

NICK: Okay.

ROB: This is for all the marbles.

[laughter]

NICK: Oh, uh, it’s actually two reds instead of two purples. I forgot to mention that. This guy is very good at not being persuaded.

ROB: Oh, he’s like a more significant ‘dude?’

NICK: Yeah. Yeah.

ROB: Okay. So, yellow-yellow-yellow, green, red-red.

NICK: Yep.

CAMERON: Yup.

NICK: I will give you a blue die for how much has gone into setting this guy up, and also for Karma, just, he is very uncomfortable with this situation at this point. [laughs]

CAMERON: [chuckles]

ROB: That is three successes and two advantages.

NICK: Damn! I wanted a despair so bad.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: I wanted you to succeed and have a despair. That’s okay. Yeah, so, this guy gets a big smile on his face and he picks the cigar back up and sticks it in his teeth.

NICK (as Cord): Alright, no kriff, I think this is something that we can do. What I need is you to tell me two things that are gonna happen before the second lap. Those two things happen, I bet an unconscionable amount of money.

ROB (as Stiro): That is what I like to hear. Kizmet, that’s great to hear, isn’t it?

CAMERON (as Karma): [flatly] It’s fantastic.

NICK: [laughs]

ROB (as Stiro): [laughs]

CAMERON: Still standing right behind him, doesn’t move.

NICK: A question for y’all. Who do you want to win?

ROB: Oh, that’s a good question. Who DO we want to win? Because it’s obviously not actually Toonba, we just want his money.

NICK & CAMERON: Yeah.

ROB: And then we’re doing actually a similar middle of the pack, it’s a person on one side or the other of him in the odds. Who’s a respectable racer who is not this guy? [laughs]

NICK: The other two I have designed are Longtanno, who is probably the best odds to win, she drives very safely and usually finishes in the top three but rarely wins.

ROB: Ohh.

NICK: And then Mousecratel is a female Alina, which is kind of like a little mini dinosaur with a triangle head, and has the largest pod racer that goes the fastest but has terrible stats at everything else.

ROB: Right, bad cornering and stuff, which is not good for…

CAMERON: A city race. [laughs]

ROB: Like, basically she’s gonna try to make up a huge amount of, uh, there’s one huge straight away, right, in the race?

NICK: Mm-hmm.

ROB: She’s probably not even aiming for first. She’s probably like I’m gonna place by just burning past people on every lap, right here, and then just eating shit the rest of the way.

NICK: Her real plan is to try to set the land speed record. [laughs] That’s what her goal is.

ROB: Right. It’s an advertisement for herself on other races.

NICK: Yeah, for sure.

ROB: Which makes sense. So yeah, I think—What was the one who drives safe and gets like top three?

NICK: Longtanno.

ROB: Longtanno’s gonna win.

NICK: Okay. So jumping back into it, he demanded: What are the two things that are gonna happen that will prove to me that the fix is actually on?

ROB (as Stiro): Now here are the two things that you can take to the bank, Mr. Trustbuilder. Sebulba is not gonna be finishing first in this race.

CAMERON (as Karma): Sebulba’s not going to be finishing this race.

CAMERON: Says a creepy voice from behind him. [laughs]

NICK (as Cord): Oh?

ROB (as Stiro): Thank you. Yes. That’s a much better way of putting it. He’s gonna have a very unfortunate technical accident, before the betting window closes, that removes him from the running. Now, he has a great record, don’t get me wrong, he’s a celebrity they brought out of retirement to legitimize this thing, but he does have a history of bullying his pit crew pretty horribly and favoring pushing things to their limits, favoring power, speed over safety. It works out for him, he’s a good driver and he has a powerful machine, but once in a while something goes wrong, and the Inaugural Circuit will be one of those times that something goes wrong and it’s going to go very, very wrong for him.

I expect he’ll be okay, maybe his brain will get a little bit rattled or something like that, but nothing catastrophic. He’s not gonna be a concern. That’s before the betting window closes. There’s a huge tumult in the betting market at that point. Fortunately you already know what’s gonna happen, so that uncertainty doesn’t need to worry a single hair on your head.

The second thing that’s gonna happen is the pit crew of Kelbit Fizz is going to experience an unforeseen delay. Security staff at the event are going to investigate a possible cheating scandal, some kind of sabotage of another racer. We can’t have that, we’re trying to legitimize the sport after all, and that pit stop that he takes that just keeps going on and on and on like you’re waiting at the space port and your ship is delayed for the third time in a row, and… he’s also out of the running. These things I promise you before the end of the third lap, and by our calculations we only really have one more big move to make towards the end of the race to give Toonba his crown.

NICK (as Cord): Well I gotta say, the more you talk the more of a fan of yours I become.

CAMERON: [giggles]

NICK (as Cord): I’m really appreciating this strategy. I can really see myself buying a planet from this plan.

ROB: [laughs]

ROB (as Stiro): It’d look good on you. You got where you were by taking smart bets, and I got where I am by making mutually beneficial relationships.

NICK (as Cord): If those two things happen you’ll get your 10%. Now if you don’t mind, I really have enjoyed our conversation…

NICK: He throws the cigar towards a panel in the wall, it hits it and just vaporizes off the panel.

NICK (as Cord): …but I do have the head of the Chamber of Commerce coming here in a minute, so, if you could—

ROB (as Stiro): Oh, surely, surely. I understand. Do you mind?

ROB: I make as if to throw my cigar like a dart.

NICK (as Cord): By all means. That’s why the panel’s there.

ROB: I throw it, and when it vaporizes I do another, like, [giggles], like oh that’s so cool.

NICK: [laughs]

ROB: Just  another completely guileless joy reaction. One little cherry on top of the disarmament sundae before I say:

ROB (as Stiro): Kizmet, I think it is time we took our leave.

CAMERON: Kizmet—[chuckles] Kizmet, I’m gonna call her Kizmet now. Karma nods and steps away from Trustbuilder’s chair, and still has her hands behind her back, and walks towards the door. I think it’s the first time that Trustbuilder realizes how heavily armed she is, because she has both her vibro-sword and her carbine on her back, and at least one light blaster on her hip and a vibro-knife sticking out of a boot.

NICK: [laughs]

CAMERON: And that’s the weaponry you can see.

ROB: When I reach the door I’ll look back at Trustbuilder, give him the finger guns.

ROB (as Stiro): Knock ‘em dead, Mr. Trustbuilder. We’ll be in touch.

NICK (as Cord): I should be wishing you the same thing. Now, go on and get out of here. I’ll see you at the celebration party.

NICK: As you walk out you see someone dressed in what looks like flowing ivory robes with a very weird, it’s like a fedora hat on, and they have a monocle, and they go walking into the room.

ROB: Oh, Stiro’s body language instantly switches to like stick up the ass, 1000% business. He’s not a casual criminal guy anymore, he’s a legitimate business man who had an important meeting a second ago. Maybe it didn’t even go that well for him. We’re gonna give the impression that this guy drives a hard bargain.

CAMERON: [chuckles]

NICK: The head of the Chamber of Commerce looks sympathetic and tips their hat.

ROB: I’ll give them a little solemn nod.

NICK: And brushes past you into the room, and you hear them go:

NICK (as CoC Head): Cord~!

NICK: And you hear Cord go:

NICK (as Cord): Ahh, the Commissioner~!

NICK: And the door shuts behind you to hobnobbing. And with that scene set, I think we’re going to move ahead to the day of the race. If there’s anything preparatory-wise that comes up that y’all would have had done we’ll just do it in a quick flashback and keep moving.

ROB: Sure.

NICK: So, the things that you need to achieve is before the third lap you need to sabotage Sebulba’s racer, probably at the beginning of the race if not the first pit stop, and you need to spread a terrible rumor about Kelbit in enough time for them to all show up, and then you potentially may wanna do something to make sure that Longtanno is going to win, because if not it could come down to a Force roll and you may end up that the money is gone but not necessarily to you, which could be an issue.

ROB: Yeah, that is true. God, this is so perfect too, because we’re gonna make a shitload of money on our improbable bet but like lots of other people who are not good at betting will also make a ton of money.

[laughter]

NICK: So, I think we’re gonna cut to the race. Do you think you’re going to sabotage Sebulba before or during the race?

ROB: Hmm.

CAMERON: I think that Sebulba has… since he is well-known for wandering about the other pods before the race starts to do all the shit that he’s gonna do to them, the start of the race.

ROB: Oh yeah. He’s gonna mark territory, try to scare people, just be an asshole.

CAMERON: Yeah. The start of the race might be the best time to do it because that’s when he’s gonna be paying the least attention to his pod racer, and there’s the most people walking around.

ROB: And his pit crew are probably taking that moment to be like, oh thank god, he’s not here right now, he’s not gonna slap me.

CAMERON: Yeah.

NICK: [laughs]

CAMERON: And there’s enough people moving around that with all of the pit crews for the eight different racers that having us being out there isn’t gonna make a big impression.

NICK: Cool. Let me set this racing scene here. The Inaugural Circuit pod race is starting about five kilometers outside of town. There is a swampy flat land with broken trees sticking up out of it. This is starting at dawn, so the sun is below the horizon still. There’s a smoggy gray light coming up over the horizon. There are stands that have been setup. There are people everywhere. They’re excited but still a little sleepy, and you see a Devaronian announcer on a high tower by the starting line.

The pits here, these are like the starting pits and then the main pits are further into the city near a sewer entrance, so the pit crews are going to have to make sure everything’s ready and then very quickly move to where they’re needed for the rest of the race, but it’s for a great dramatic start so they couldn’t talk them out of it. The announcer is a Devaronian male with long horns that have been pierced in several places and have golden barbells hanging in them.

CAMERON: Oh cool.

ROB: That’s metal as fuck.

NICK: Yeah, with like actual bells hanging off of the barbells, so it makes a jingly noise when he moves, and he has big gauges in his ears with bells hanging off of those too.

CAMERON: Oh, I love him. What’s his name?

NICK: [smiling] I don’t know. I just came up with him right now. I need to think of a name for this guy.

CAMERON: His last name is Dawnbringer.

NICK: How about Delbo Dawnbringer?

CAMERON: [laughing] Okay.

NICK: That’s good, the announcer.

ROB: There we go. But you can call him daddy.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Yeah. Delbo Dawnbringer. Our character Falx has definitely slept with Delbo Dawnbringer at least once. That is a character that will be coming back.

CAMERON: [snickers]

NICK: So, Delbo is saying—What is Delbo saying?

NICK (as Delbo): [through megaphone] And welcome to the Inaugural Circuit! Just glad to have everyone here.

NICK: Jing-a-ling-a-ling from his horns.

CAMERON: [giggles]

NICK: And you get a sleepy yay from the crowd, because it’s still about an hour to the race. He starts doing the announcer—

NICK (as Delbo): This race will determine the future of pod racing as we know it. We have Sebulba back from retirement. We’ve got Longtanno the crowd favorite, the careful racer. We even have an experimental droid racer, designation model F4-ST. And who can forget, Toonba~!

NICK: And the whole crowd’s—

CAMERON & ROB: Yay~!

NICK: [chanting] Toonba! Toonba!

CAMERON & ROB: [laughs]

NICK: And you see a little blue elephant waving its stubby arms from the sidelines.

CAMERON: Aw.

ROB: I see the crowd doing the Goldberg chant for Toonba. [deep, slow chanting] Toonba…! Toonba…!

NICK: Yeah, that’s very good.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: [laughing] Oh man, I like that a lot.

ROB: Into it.

NICK: Yeah. And we zoom in to the camera. The announcer keeps talking about the preparations. You overhear him saying:

NICK (as Delbo): As well, part of the course is on the streets of our good city of Coronet to take part in the fact that our friends over at CorSec have volunteered to be in other parts of the city and keep civilians off of the course.

NICK: You hear a mixture of cheers and boos.

ROB: [laughing, sarcastically] In the interest of public safety.

[laughter]

NICK: Yeah. We zoom in from there and we see Karma and Stiro, we see them both standing amongst the moving crowds of the pit crew. Each of the racers is probably 50 meters from each other, but there’s people everywhere. There’s a lot of people, so there’s crowds to hide in, but each area has probably a 10 meter, 15 meter square cordon around it that’s like chains on sticks. The thing that seems to keep people inside and outside of those cordons is that they’re wearing jumpsuits in various colors and the flags and everything. The pod racers are being test started, so there’s engines roaring and then cutting back off, kind of like drag racers do before the race, and it’s very hectic, it’s very excited. Delbo is still continuing to pontificate about how great this race is and how amazing it is for the city of Coronet.

As we get a shot of Stiro and Karma surveying the beginning of the pod race, we flash back to Karma and Stiro standing in a dark room leaning over a table littered with dossiers and plans, spot lit from above.

ROB (as Stiro): Well, alright now, I’ve put you in a bit of a spot and I do apologize for that. we gotta sabotage Sebulba’s pod.

CAMERON (as Karma): I’m actually quite excited about doing that.

ROB (as Stiro): That sounded like an awful lot of confidence in your voice. That is heartening to hear.

CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB (as Stiro): Are you as good at being unseen as you are about being seen to be god damn scary?

CAMERON (as Karma): Being a bounty hunter I do have experience being, you know, with the quieter aspects of the trade. It is very much going to depend on how many people are near the pod, though, how easy it is for me to sneak to it.

ROB (as Stiro): Well, here’s the thing, there are going to be a lot of people in that vicinity because of what I’m going to be doing at that time. I see no reason not to kill two mynocks with one stone on this. So, I am going to pose as a concerned employee of the fine folks who are running the race and I’m going to make a big stink, the biggest stink possible, about having seen the pit crew of Kelbit Fizz up to no good concerning the wellbeing of the pod being driven by Mousecratel. It’s gonna bring a lot of people in to listen to me, to figure out what’s wrong with me, what I’m so upset about, and my story is gonna be pretty scary for them to listen to.

In that kerfuffle, you ought to be able to get done what you need to get done just unseen enough that you’re not all the way unseen, you’re seen leaving the area in hopefully the colors of the pit crew of one of the other racers.

CAMERON (as Karma): So actually, if we can get me a uniform for Sebulba’s pit crew I can get into the ropes…

NICK: Mm-hmm.

CAMERON (as Karma): …and then casually walk by another pod as I leave, looking suspicious, but they’re not gonna suspect me when I’m near Sebulba’s pod.

ROB (as Stiro): Exactly. That’s a very good idea. I think that is a fine update to the plan. They can suspect you of something that is far off the trail of what’s actually going on. I like it.

[huffs] And see, this rumor that I start right at the beginning of the race about Kelbit Fizz is gonna be enough to concern people but maybe not get the whole thing done. Maybe one, one and a half laps in some very highly placed people are going to be receiving a call on their coms about the unsportsmanlike behavior of the Fizz pit crew.

CAMERON (as Karma): That would be very convincing if it were to come from a concerned member of that pit crew that may be having second thoughts about the sabotage that they were supposed to admit.

ROB (as Stiro): The type of business they’re getting wrapped up in. Yes, it’s such a concern.

CAMERON (as Karma): Mm-hmm.

ROB (as Stiro): And when you’ve got multiple sources of corroboration things start to look very concerning, never mind the fact that both of those sources of corroboration are yours truly.

CAMERON (as Karma): I like it.

ROB (as Stiro): And with that, we ought to be able to have things go our way.

CAMERON (as Karma): So, Stiro, I have a question.

ROB (as Stiro): Sure.

CAMERON (as Karma): From my observations over the past few days, watching your interactions, getting this con done, you are amazingly good with both people in general as well as molding yourself to be whatever would most interest the person that you’re interacting with.

ROB: Give a deferring nod.

CAMERON (as Karma): I’m just interested. I see very well how this being a gangster and working on Kettle’s crew would be an incredibly lucrative position for someone with your people skillset, but I can also see you making far more money and a name for yourself if you’d gone into the more legitimate lines of business. So I’m interested really in what made you choose this lifestyle for yourself?

ROB (as Stiro): Yeah, I suppose that is a little bit of a curiosity.

ROB: Stiro’s body language changes a lot. He had a sense of animation to him, like he’s really jazzed up because he’s making a plan and he’s getting excited about the details. You can tell that while he performs various things something that’s not a performance is that he’s kind of a nerd for the con. He loves the details of putting together an operation and figuring out how people are going to interact with different points of the plan and what the outcome’s going to be. He clearly gets a charge out of that.

That sort of scales back, and he becomes a little more introspective, and even a little bit vulnerable. He actually sits down and picks up the drink that he had been mostly gesticulating with rather than drinking for most of the conversation. Takes a long sip.

[sad jazz music begins]

ROB (as Stiro): [exhales] You don’t have to pretend. I’ve seen that you’ve noticed my face.

CAMERON (as Karma): What does that have to do with your people skills?

ROB (as Stiro): Well, when I was seven years old I didn’t have a single credit in my pocket, didn’t have parents, didn’t have siblings. I had whatever I could steal before somebody else beat me up and stole it from me. There’s a lot of kids like that on Corellia. What happened to my face is… I stole a sugar pastry from a café left unattended by a patron while they went to pick up a news holo to add to their order. I hadn’t eaten in a while and I was excited about getting something sweet, you know, just a kid with a sweet tooth.

I got too happy about it, so I didn’t wanna give it up when some bigger kids decided that it was gonna be their sugar pastry and not mine. I wouldn’t give it up, so they cut off half my face with a broken bottle.

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh my gosh.

ROB (as Stiro): And you know who found me?

CAMERON (as Karma): I’m going to guess Kettle.

ROB (as Stiro): Delirious with fever, blood loss, probably not gonna live through the night even though I tried to stick my face back on my skull best I could. Not Kettle herself, but a nice old man, a doctor who’s been patching people up for Kettle for a long time. It started as a protection thing, you know, you don’t want Kettle’s people messing up you or the people around you so you help them out occasionally, but it’s the doctor’s oath anyway, right? You gotta help people. He put my face back on, he helped me through the fever and the infection, and he didn’t want me back on the street after that so he put me in contact with Kettle’s people and I started to learn.

Here’s the thing about her, people who work for her. They care. We’re not the good guys, we’re not the Empire either. We’re a necessary part of a community. Maybe someday they’ll make perfect laws somewhere so there don’t need to be any criminals, but I haven’t seen that yet. We make a profit, we protect our own, we care about the neighborhood. None of that was bullshit. Then the Empire came in.

You’ve seen what it does. You’ve seen people scared to leave their homes. You’ve seen people stop talking. Communities become a collection of isolated people. I can’t stand it. It makes me sick. I want to live in a world where I’m the worst bad guy there is.

CAMERON: Karma looks slightly concerned.

NICK: [chuckles]

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, so I’m going to guess that the people skills come from the genuine caring about the community.

ROB (as Stiro): Well, and sometimes needing to disguise my intentions so that a repeat of the broken bottle incident doesn’t happen. I wasn’t immediately a powerful or impressive individual, I just had a little bit of wit and I was given a good opportunity.

CAMERON (as Karma): And you learned some knife skills, I’m assuming.

ROB (as Stiro): You see, the thing is about losing a knife fight…

ROB: And I flip out the karambit and dance it around my fingers again.

ROB (as Stiro): …you really don’t want to lose the second one. You’re willing to put in some work.

CAMERON (as Karma): Being used to using a vibro-sword, yep, I fully understand that.

NICK: We get a camera shot that zooms in on Karma whose armor isn’t all put together, it’s been released because you’re just hanging out and talking, and she has a huge roping scar across her midsection that looks like it was from a barrage of blaster bolts at some point within the last six months or so. It’s mostly healed, but it’s pretty bad, so understandable from someone else’s perspective for sure.

ROB (as Stiro): You were exactly right. You had me pegged completely in terms of being able to make way more money white collar than black market, but you’ve seen how those people are interacting with the Empire. They’re rolling out the red carpet for them, and what good is all the money in the world if there’s no neighborhood to live in at the end of it?

CAMERON (as Karma): I will say I identify slightly with that as there is a reason that I decided to become a bounty hunter instead of working for a fancy corporate security office.

ROB (as Stiro): There you go.

CAMERON (as Karma): Both of those apply to my skillset, but I have a lot less issues with one of them. I have a lot more freedom with which jobs I choose to take and the types of individuals that I choose to bring in for bounties.

ROB (as Stiro): That’s it in a nutshell.

[sad jazz music ends]

NICK: We get a shot of the two of you smiling over the plans. There’s like a rough sketched outline on this table of the course with little models of the different pods at different places.

ROB: Oh yeah, there’s like balled up pieces of flimsy and whatever the data pad equivalent of a dry-erase board and tons of stubbed out death sticks in an ashtray and stuff.

CAMERON: There’s a board with a lot of red string on it. We don’t really know why.

ROB: Yeah.

NICK: [laughs] It’s mostly the picture of Sebulba with a lot of red string coming off of Sebulba.

ROB: Yeah.

CAMERON: Yup.

NICK: [putting on a voice] ‘He’s the key!’

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: We swipe away to the two of y’all sitting in the stands at the race eating corn, because popcorn is canon in Star Wars now thanks to Disney.

CAMERON: Mm-hmm.

ROB: Hell yeah. Is that a Galaxy’s Edge thing too?

NICK: Yeah. Yeah. So, eating popcorn, and you look at each other and nod, and get started.

NICK: End of episode.

## Outro

CAMERON: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. If you enjoyed our show, please consider logging onto iTunes and giving us a five-star review. Five-star reviews will help new listeners to find the show, and every time we get one the squad adds five pounds to our max bench press. If you’re so inclined, you can also help support the show through our Patreon which can be found in the show notes, on our website, and basically anywhere else we post things. We have all sorts of Patreon levels including some of my favorites: Bantha Buddy, Tarkin’s Underwear Drawer, and Build-A-Beru which all have fabulous rewards and super great names.

Stiro Kuwe is played by Rob Stith. You can find him at @LordOfTheStith on Twitter and on his podcast, The ORPHEUS Protocol.

Karma Nailo is played by me, Cameron Robertson. You can find me on Twitter at @midnightmusic13.

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, and join our Discord and share all of your food and cute pet photos with us. We also sometimes talk about Star Wars. You can find the link to join our Discord on our website and in our pinned tweet. See you next time.

Word document download: Interstitials s1- Karma 1- A Particular Persuasion

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Tabletop Squadron Transcript, Karma Interstitial 1, Part 1:
A Particular Persuasion

Transcript by Tyler (Twitter: @Tyler_MoonSage)

## Intro

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, and a slicer as they explore the galaxy helping a mysterious benefactor and each other.

This week we jump to a new adventure seeing what Karma is up to on the mean streets of Corellia. Continue to get hype for some amazing guests. For example, this episode features Rob Stith, the creator, show runner, and GM for the AP podcast The ORPHEUS Protocol. Rob was fantastic to record with and I know you’re going to love his character.

No new patrons or iTunes reviews this week, so instead a friendly reminder. If you become a patron on Patreon or write a review for the show on iTunes, I’ll thank you on the air. Thank you to everyone who keeps us in the skies.

Music this week is Chitarradistorta by Nickk Dropkick and Cool Piano by Manuel Senfft.

So now, let’s get into the episode.

##

NICK: Hello! Welcome to Tabletop Squadron, Interstitial Episodes between Season 1 and 2. We haven’t named these. I’ll do that later. I’m your host and game master, Nick. We’re gonna go around the virtual table and say who you are and who you’re playing today, starting with Cameron!

CAMERON: Hello! My name is Cameron, and I play Karma Nailo, a Nautolan bounty hunter.

NICK: Great. Up next, our special guest for today, we’ve got Rob. Hi Rob.

ROB: Hey. How you doing?

NICK: Doing good!

ROB: That’s good. I’m also doing pretty good. I’m Rob Stith, the host, game master, designer… of The ORPHEUS Protocol, the game and the podcast, and I am here to depict Stiro Kuwe, the Corellian gangster who has some no-good antics up his sleeve, to be perfectly honest.

[laughter]

NICK: Yeah, that’s gonna be really good. I am looking forward to it. But before we get into that, let’s start off with the Destiny Roll!

ROB: I’m gonna give you one of these…

CAMERON: I got one dark side.

NICK: Nice.

ROB: Now, between you, me, and the podcast gods, I don’t know what these symbols mean. I have a circle!

NICK: Is it filled in or is it empty?

ROB: It is not. It is a circle that is hollow on the inside like a very thin donut or an emaciated Cheerio.

NICK: [laughs] Okay, that’s a light side point then.

ROB: Excellent!

NICK: Yay. Let’s go ahead and roll one more for me since there’s only two players here.

CAMERON: Okie-dokie. Oh dear, you got another dark side.

NICK: Great. That worked out well for me. Cool.

CAMERON: So we have two dark side and one light side.

ROB: Every session of this game starts with a little bit of astrology.

NICK: Yeah. [laughs]

CAMERON: Mm-hmm!

NICK: It really does.

ROB: our dice are in the house of dark side, ascending, oh no.

NICK: Yeah. [laughs]

ROB: That probably means bad stuff.

CAMERON: Yeah… I’m sure it’ll be fine.

NICK: Yeah, it’ll be fine, and also we usually forget that we have those anyway, so. [laughs]

ROB: [putting on a voice] ‘You don’t need to use your dark side points.’

NICK & CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Alright, so with that we’re gonna go ahead and jump right into it.

[gentle jazz horn music begins]

Corellia, a fiercely independent planet under the thumb of the Empire, home of shipyards, military contractors, and gang bosses, birthplace of ace pilots and genius generals. It smells like wet garbage. Karma, you’ve been in Coronet for a couple of days. You’ve heard rumors of something big stirring in the Outer Rim – not just the Rebellion which has blossomed into full-out civil war at this point but something dark and terrifying gaining followers and power.

You came to Coronet for multiple reasons. Firstly, you have contacts here. Secondly, you were contacted by someone that you normally wouldn’t work with. They offered you information and they offered you something else, something you couldn’t refuse. You’re sitting in a small room lit by black light. There’s a loud, throbbing music as close to you as the glowing dancers around you. you take a sip from a small glass of iridescent liquid and feel the bass of the music ruffle your head tails. Everyone in this room is dressed in scraps of loose cloth that flow with their movement and glow in the black light. You’re dressed for work. What do you look like?

CAMERON: I am wearing my standard all-black body armor with my really tall black boots, got my red headband on, some gold bangles on my head tails. I do not glow in the black light. [laughs]

NICK: No, you’re kind of like a hole in this otherwise very iridescent party atmosphere you’ve got going on.

CAMERON: Yup.

NICK: Cool. The bartender isn’t paying attention to you. the bartender is rocking out in the corner to some dancers and giving free drinks, so you’re just kinda hanging out. As that is happening, a thin man wearing a plain white shirt and black slacks leans against the bar next to you. he brushes back some blonde hair and leans in so you can hear him over the music.

NICK (as Man): Miss Karma, you may not remember me. I’m Seeley Mox. I drove getaway for you like a few months ago. Miss Kettle is ready to see you now, if you’ll follow me.

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh, of course. Thank you. Seeley, how have you been?

NICK (as Seeley): I’ve been pretty good. Crashed a couple more speeders, but like on purpose, so—

CAMERON (as Karma): That is the best way to crash a speeder.

NICK (as Seeley): Yeah, and you know, once the speeder explodes CorSec tends to leave you alone, so it’s a pretty good way to get out of a situation.

CAMERON (as Karma): That’s true, and you have the opportunity to walk away from the explosion without looking back and look super cool.

NICK (as Seeley): Yeah. I tried that and some debris hit me. Um…

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh. That—Yeah, okay. Eh.

NICK (as Seeley): So normally I’m one of those duck and run into a next door alley kind of people.

CAMERON (as Karma): That is probably safer. Yeah.

NICK (as Seeley): Yeah.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, so Kettle’s ready?

NICK (as Seeley): Oh yeah! Kettle, yeah.

NICK: He gestures very urgently and leads you out of this small kind of dance club. You follow him out of the room and into a small hallway. Leading off of these hallways there are lots of rooms lined up in succession that each are blasting loud music out into the hallway around them. it mixes in the middle where you’re walking and is pretty disconcerting.

As you head to the back of the building and through a bead curtain hanging over a doorway, the music completely stops as you pass through—

[jazz music ends abruptly]

–as if the sound is stopped by some sort of force field. Kettle, the Queen, is sitting behind a plain durasteel desk. Her wings are draped over the back of her chair comfortably. She’s a Geonosian which are those like flying bug creatures from Attack of the Clones and has long scars all over her body.

ROB: Oh, so she ‘rules,’ okay.

NICK: Yeah, she’s a fucking badass. We love Kettle.

CAMERON: Yeah!

NICK: Yeah, so this room looks like it’s normally dark but now reasonably well-lit, which you couldn’t tell through the bead curtain. She glances up from some paperwork when you come in and smiles at you.

NICK (as Kettle): Karma! Lovely to see you still alive. How is your crew?

CAMERON (as Karma): You as well. I haven’t seen them in a while, actually, but I’m sure they’re doing fine.

NICK (as Kettle): Yes, I heard a report recently from a business venture of mine that some important things were stolen, and you know what’s weird is that in its place was a note that I had given to you with an IOU on it. This is your chance to explain that to me.

CAMERON (as Karma): I would like to fully place this on Xianna, actually.

NICK (as Kettle): You mean a crew member of your crew? So you’re just gonna sidestep all of that responsibility?

CAMERON (as Karma): Yep. Xianna had the IOU. Yep. Xianna’s the thief in my party.

NICK (as Kettle): Then you won’t mind if – when I find her – we have some very serious conversation about that.

CAMERON (as Karma): I think that may actually be beneficial for her.

NICK (as Kettle): I wouldn’t say the results are gonna be very beneficial.

NICK: She smiles in a way that tugs at the scars on her face and it’s extremely off-putting.

CAMERON (as Karma): I mean, you’re a business woman, you understand how it works.

NICK (as Kettle): Oh, I understand alright. But anyway, that’s not why I reached out to you.

NICK: She cracks her knuckles which sounds way more hollow than it would on a human because she has chitin fingers.

NICK (as Kettle): Ever since the death star was destroyed by the Rebels the Empire is cracking down. They’ve been moving huge assets through Corellian industry to recover and fuel the war effort. I’ve put my best person on a job related to that, and I got ahold of you because I want you to keep him safe. He’s very, very good at what he does, but I know if you’re getting paid you’ll watch their back and I don’t have to worry about them getting stabbed in an alley. Seeley, if you could go ahead and bring them in.

NICK: We get a long moment of awkward silence as Seeley leaves and comes back with someone new. Rob, what does Karma see as you step through this bead curtain into this gangster’s office?

ROB: The first impression that Stiro makes is “well, this guy is definitely a gangster—”

CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB: –and likes for people to know that about him right when they first see him, or at least in the way that he is dressed today. Whatever the Corellian equivalent of a track suit and a gold chain is is what he is wearing tonight. It’s not trying to be nondescript, not trying to fly under the radar, like, I am a member of the criminal class and I am here to party and spend money, because in an environment like this signaling that status is actually good, because people know that you know where the action is and that you have your finger on the pulse of the money that’s moving around.

NICK: Mm-hmm.

ROB: Stiro doesn’t always dress like this. He dresses like this when he’s clubbing and is interested in making some side hustle.

CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB: He’s wearing ostentatious “I’m a gangster” clothing and accessories including some sort of ludicrous timepiece probably as well. Got a sloppy smile on his face, a bit of a relaxed swagger to his movements. He’s about 6’1”, a little on the skinny side but clearly some wiry strength beneath that, and his face is probably what’s the most interesting… and I realize we’re in Star Wars, so I should mention that he’s Human.

NICK & CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB: He’s got sort of a buzz cut dark hair, and you can see right away that the reason that it’s buzz cut is that it’s not gonna grow in evenly because there’s a lot of scarring on one side of his head. They’re not too bad, whoever worked on them was very skilled, but you can’t magically make hair follicles come back, so it’s the buzz cut for him. Similarly, he has a bit of scarring on the bridge of his nose and under one eye, again, very well treated to minimize the long-term scarring, but just like the hair follicles you can’t really stitch the nerves back together. So, one side of his face kind of slumps a little bit compared to the other side, but a lifetime of practice has made this idiosyncrasy of appearance disarming and endearing instead of threatening. He sort of swaggers into the room, gives an appreciative nod to Kettle, and does a practiced double-take towards Karma—

CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB: –as in, I am giving the impression that I was casual and now I’m a little less casual because something about you has impressed me, but then he looks like he’s trying to cover that reaction despite what he’s doing as a performance of looking like he wants to cover the reaction. Like, you can tell immediately probably that bullshit is just as natural as breathing to this guy.

NICK: It’s all very theatrical. This is something that has been practiced in front of a mirror to get the right impression across.

ROB (as Stiro): Well, hello there.

CAMERON (as Karma): Hello?

ROB (as Stiro): I’m sorry. I don’t think that we’ve been introduced. My name is Stiro, Stiro Kuwe. It’s really good to meet you.

ROB: I extend my hand for a very firm, business-like handshake if she’ll have it.

CAMERON: Karma returns the handshake in equal firmness.

[chuckling]

CAMERON (as Karma): It’s nice to meet you. I’m Karma Nailo.

CAMERON: And then looks to Kettle.

NICK: Kettle watches this handshake—

CAMERON: It goes on slightly too long.

NICK: Yeah, it definitely goes on slightly too long. Stiro, you notice that Karma being a Nautolan is an amphibious species and normally they have very smooth skin, but Karma’s hands are rough and callused from handling various weapons. You also notice that Karma is basically packing for bear. She has a large carbine rifle with a very expensive scope that you would probably recognize as being thermo-imaging and a vibro-sword strapped to her back on a semi-concealed sheath. She is a walking arsenal. There’s also potential, because Karma has a moderate reputation among the bounty hunting community, that you might have heard of her before. Do you think Stiro keeps tabs on bounty hunters or not?

ROB: I think it’s pretty likely, actually, giving the quite high ranks of Streetwise and my decent Cunning score that I’m walking around with.

CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB: So, I think it’s possible that I’ve heard the name. I probably didn’t put it together with a face… and here’s the thing, there’s plenty of ‘names,’ right?

NICK: Yeah. [chuckles]

ROB: But half of them are just stories. When I shake this person’s hand and I’m feeling calluses on a Nautolan’s hand and I’m seeing this walking weapons locker I put it all together. this person’s real.

NICK & CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB: And that all amounts to an appreciative crook of the eyebrow and a slight idiosyncratic grin from the slumped corner of my mouth.

NICK: And as you exchange a look, and I think as you entered the room, you probably noticed that Karma’s demeanor with Kettle was, uh, friendly and respectful, and as you walked in it became a lot more business-like and professional as you make eye contact. Kettle looks back and forth between the two of you.

NICK (as Kettle): Well, I’m glad that we’re off to a good start.

NICK: Her tone portrays that she is aware of how this is going to go.

NICK (as Kettle): So, Karma, I need you to keep him alive while he does his thing. You’ll very quickly see what his modus operandi is and you will understand why I asked you to come armed.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay.

NICK (as Kettle): Stiro, it’s time for me to give you the rest of the information on this job I was talking about.

ROB (as Stiro): I couldn’t be more excited.

NICK (as Kettle): That’s good. That’s why we keep you around. It’s definitely not for your fashion sense.

NICK: She looks at your—

CAMERON: Aww. [laughs]

NICK: It’s straight up a track suit. I think Corellian gangsters wear track suits.

ROB: I get a little pinch of the material on my chest between my fingers and sort of demonstrably pull it out at her.

ROB (as Stiro): This was carefully picked for this evening. Come on.

NICK (as Kettle): I can tell. It’s so interesting to me that you can be so subtle and yet so obvious at the same time, Stiro. I know that it’s your thing, but… Anyway.

ROB (as Stiro): It’s about being able to tell when subtlety counts for anything.

NICK (as Kettle): And that’s why you’re one of my main operators here. I’ve never really understood Humans. You shoot the ones that need shooting, you take the money from the ones that don’t.

CAMERON (as Karma): Mm-hmm.

CAMERON: Karma’s just nodding along.

[laughter]

ROB: Hey, I’m not gonna get up on the stands for this one, we don’t make any sense. That’s fine.

[laughter]

NICK (as Kettle): So, as I said, this is Stiro, and you’re going to be helping him to steal a ludicrous amount of money. There’s a mega-contractor in town called Serres Super Structure. They work on molecularly enhanced durasteel. It’s stuff that has a lot higher tensile strength than should otherwise be possible or some kriff. They make the metal that lets the Empire build really, really big structures, like that death star for instance. A little birdy told me they’ve been receiving a new Imperial contract, and Imperial contract that’s bigger than most planets’ economies. Stiro is going to make that go away. Karma, besides assuring you that your help with this will keep me from having you killed, I have something that might interest you.

NICK: Kettle reaches under the desk, which in the lighting and everything looks like there’s nothing under it, it looks like a desk that you should be able to see under it, but from somewhere Kettle pulls out a large camtono of something. It basically looks like an ice cream maker. Rob, you watched The Mandalorian, right?

ROB: Mm-hmm.

NICK: The camtono is the thing that the beskar metal came in.

ROB: Ohh!

NICK: [laughs] So, Kettle pulls from somewhere this camtono and sets it on the desk, and it has a heavy clang. She presses a button on the top and the sides retract revealing a pile of scales. They are pretty much pure black but with an oil sheen green on it like ravens’ feathers. Karma, you would recognize these as an abyss sea dragon from Glee Anselm, your home planet. There has not been an abyss sea dragon seen in like 2,000 years. They have to be extinct. They don’t exist. These scales are nigh indestructible. Kettle closes it again and nods to herself and puts it under the desk.

NICK (as Kettle): If you’re able to help our friend here, Stiro, complete this mission, you can have those.

CAMERON: Karma tilts her head appreciatively.

NICK (as Kettle): I don’t have a use for them, they’re basically a cultural artifact at this point, but I know what they might mean to someone of your profession and background.

CAMERON (as Karma): I appreciate the gesture.

NICK (as Kettle): So, basically the information I’ve given you is what I have. I found the beginning of a string to pull on, but the rest of it is up to you. I have somewhere to be. You’re looking for Serres Super Structure and you’re going to take their money. Stiro, this is a thing for you. Try not to die. If you do, I never met you.

NICK: Kettle snaps her fingers and Seeley grabs the camtono, and it is way heavier than it looks, he can barely lift it, and you see him start sweating almost immediately, and they leave a room by a side door that you didn’t notice existed until just now. You’re left alone in Kettle’s office.

ROB (as Stiro): So, lizard scales, huh?

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah. They’re… I don’t think anyone’s seen an abyss sea dragon alive in like 2000 years, but if you can swim down and find them on the ocean floor of Glee Anselm they’re fantastic for armor.

ROB (as Stiro): Well, my boss always has been full of surprises.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah, definitely. I will agree with that, just from previous interactions with her, yes. Alright, so um, if I’m keeping you alive what exactly is your skillset and how we are approaching this?

ROB (as Stiro): Hmph. How best for an artist to describe his art?

CAMERON (as Karma): Take as much time as you need to describe it. I completely understand.

[laughter]

ROB: He sort of chews the cud for a moment.

ROB (as Stiro): Now I don’t want to speak too indecorously, but the operation that Kettle runs – of which I am a meager part – is not exactly thoroughly on the up-and-up.

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh, yes, obviously. Yes.

ROB (as Stiro): An enterprise of that size and complexity, and frankly that character, has a lot of moving parts. Any operation of that size is gonna run into rough patches. It’s gonna have trouble spots, points of failure, that sort of thing. So, nobody bats an eye when you hire an engineer or slicer, right?

CAMERON (as Karma): Mm-hmm.

ROB (as Stiro): To fix the technical aspects of an enterprise. Well, I fix the interpersonal aspects, the rough spots having to do with relationships, and conversations, and rumors, and things like that.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay. I’m supposing, based on my being hired to watch your back, that this will be primarily through communication and manipulation as opposed to violence to remove these issues. Would that be accurate?

ROB (as Stiro): Violence is a last resort.

ROB: With that, a vibro-knife of a very curious design appears in my hand briefly. It has a round-topped handle with an eye in it, a hollowed out part that a finger could be passed through to rotate the handle quickly to alternate grips. The blade itself is like an eagle talon, curved and single edged, called a karambit, but this is of course a vibro-karambit that dances between various grips and configurations in my hand before vanishing again.

CAMERON: Karma nods appreciatively towards the knife.

CAMERON (as Karma): That’s a fine blade.

ROB (as Stiro): Yeah. Thank you very much. When the stakes are high you need to be good at your last resort, don’t get me wrong, but I try to talk to people first. When I’m lucky, that’s enough.

CAMERON (as Karma): I appreciate that approach.

ROB (as Stiro): [huffs] I know a little bit about you, but not enough to know exactly how this meeting of the minds is going to go. How do you feel about the Empire?

CAMERON (as Karma): Negative.

CAMERON: [laughs]

CAMERON (as Karma): Not a fan. I am totally willing to assist in any efforts to take down the Empire, and getting a lot of money away from them sounds fantastic.

ROB (as Stiro): What it all comes down to for me is that there is a difference between the Empire and an operation such as the one in which I am involved, and that is that the Empire is both bad for business and bad for the neighborhood. We’re criminals. People might call us gangsters, and that’s okay, it’s fair, but we’re part of the communities that we operate out of. It matters to us that the corner store that one guy’s family has been running for three generations stays that way if that’s what they want. We make a healthy profit, it’s true, but we also revitalize local economies. We take care of our own.

[deep inhale] The Empire, they come in, people are afraid to leave their homes, businesses shut down, everything gets worse, and people have to turn to a life of crime – and not a profitable one – just to live. And then what crime is, you might notice, that definition getting changed time and time again to allow for the mass incarceration of people who were just gonna be buying bread at that corner store not that long ago. We have no love of the Empire, and right now is the perfect time to give them a black eye. They lost their whatever the hell that death star thing was.

CAMERON (as Karma): Well, it was no moon.

ROB: God damn it.

[laughter]

ROB (as Stiro): I can’t even imagine how much that cost, and they’re gonna have to make big moves right now to consolidate power, because that was an embarrassment on top of a huge loss. They gotta spend money, right now, make another show of force, consolidate their power. Whatever they decide is the most important is gonna cost them billions, and that’s a modest estimate, so it’s time to hit them where it hurts, their pocket book. I’m gonna steal this contract money and I’m gonna put it somewhere where they can’t get it back, and maybe they’ll think twice about whether it’s monetarily feasible to go ruin a neighborhood or two, shut down those corner stores, when they gotta be spending their scarce resources on whatever their big project that just lost all its money was, you see.

CAMERON (as Karma): Alright, let’s do this.

ROB (as Stiro): Glad to have your support.

[laughter]

NICK: So, basically the information you have is there is a company called Serres Super Structure. They are one of the major ship-building contracting companies out of Corellia besides some of the major ship builders like YT and some of the ones that make actual ships. These are people who do support things. You know that they would have to have a huge economic point, because if they’re the ones that make the metal to build a super ship out of that’s a lot of metal.

ROB: Oh yeah.

CAMERON: Mm-hmm.

ROB: And it’s not just any metal, it’s expensive metal.

NICK: Yeah.

CAMERON: Yeah!

ROB: And the processes are expensive, and you need experts, and quality control and all that. You don’t want to build a hundred billion credit ship and then have one structural flaw cause it to fall apart when you launch it.

CAMERON: And the shipping is just ridiculous.

ROB: Yes.

NICK: Ha. Boo.

CAMERON: Ha-ha-ha.

ROB: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

NICK: Yeah. So, I think Stiro you have heard of Serres Super Structure. They sponsor sporting events and they probably do some charity work that’s a tenth of a percent of their earnings for any quarter just to get tax breaks and things.

ROB: Sure, and media buzz.

NICK: Oh yeah, for sure, they’re definitely one of those.

CAMERON: Mm-hmm.

ROB: It costs so little money when you’ve got all the money in the world to be seen as the good guys.

NICK: Yup, and they do that, and you are very aware of what they’re doing because with the amount of organizational moves and adjustments that you do you know what they’re doing. It’s pretty obvious.

ROB: Right. Yeah.

NICK: But you don’t necessarily know a lot about their structure. You haven’t had a reason before to dig into that. So, where would you go to do the footwork to start to get a picture of where their weak points would be?

ROB: I think the first thing Stiro does, it’s just like information security, in many ways it is information security, it’s trade security. The weakest point in a system is the weakest or stupidest person in the system.

CAMERON: [chuckles]

NICK: Uh-huh.

ROB: And so the first thing you do is you literally follow people from their central office at closing time and you see where they go to drink, you see where they go to blow off steam and relax, you see where they go to go be off their guard and you start there, you ingratiate yourself to the staff, you find out where their bosses hang out. You find out which bosses they’re complaining about and you get what information you can and you follow it on up the chain until you sort of know the lay of the land when it comes to the people working in this operation, and then you kind of stake some things out, bribe some people for information, and you figure out the highest ranked set of loose lips in the organization, and then you get to work.

NICK: Cool. What I’m gonna need from you is a Streetwise check. I think that this process probably takes a while. We’ll do some of this as a montage.

ROB: Sure.

NICK: And we’re gonna get to, based on this roll, how high up in the chain you can find some loose lips, and then we’ll see how that turns out.

ROB: Makes perfect sense. Alright, since I’ve got 3 on Streetwise, 3 on Cunning, that is three yellow dice, right?

NICK: Yep, that is, and this is going to be hard, so that’ll be three purple, but I’ll give you a blue die because the bars and stuff you’re hitting out, you’ve already laid the ground work there, you already know all the serving staff and everything, so they definitely helped.

ROB: Sure. So does that make it three yellow, three purple, and a blue?

NICK: Yep.

ROB: Okay. I can do that. Okay, I have two Batman pow sound effect backgrounds—

[laughter]

NICK: Those are successes. I realize I didn’t tell you what the symbols meant. That’s on me.

ROB: And one angel wings in front of a distant solar eclipse.

NICK: [smiling] Okay.

ROB: Big moves. Yeah, no, that’s two successes and an advantage on this one.

NICK: Nice. Rob picked that up fast. It’s like he’s a game designer or something.

CAMERON: Weird.

NICK: Yeah. [laughs] Okay, so two successes and an advantage. Something that you know actually that became relevant very quickly is that the janitorial and sanitation service of the building that Serres Super Structure is based in works for Kettle. They are part of Kettle’s organization. She uses them to do minor money laundering and things like that, so you have an in there.

ROB: Ha, ha, ha!

NICK: So you started at their level at some of the bars that are in the worst parts of town, and you worked your way up, and you’re actually at a mid-town bar called the Corrier which is one of those ones with the white durasteel and chrome, and there’s a lot of glass, and the drinks are all 30 Credits a pop, and you don’t necessarily see three-letter acronym business people here but you see the people who work for them, their admins, their gophers, those kind of people, and they go here because they have the money to spend and this is somewhere where sometimes important people go and it makes them feel important.

ROB: Of course. So, this time Stiro is wearing a suit, a very nice suit, but off the rack, not quite perfectly tailored.

NICK: Yes. That is perfect. As you walk in, the person that you’re looking for, her name is Diana, and you know that she is an admin for the scheduling office for the front office of this company. She works for the people who tell all the three-letter acronym people for Serres Super Structure where to go, the CFO, the CEO, the President, all of them. Diana is dating somebody who is further down in the company and that’s why she’s at this bar. I would say with the advantage and everything we’ll say you already know that’s not going well, she’s probably having a rough night. As you walk in, one, Karma, what are you wearing? Are you still wearing your terrifying body armor? Because that might be a little weird in this situation, but…

CAMERON: So, Karma is still wearing the armor and is still armed, because you never know what’s gonna happen, you don’t wanna take the armor off because you’re on a job, but has added extra accessories to make it to where it’s not obvious, like, has added a larger nice trench coat. Still wearing the armor, so black pants, black boots, but then has jacket over it that’s like a nice bright blue color. It has to have shoulder pads in it so that it’s extra, because it’s Star Wars, but also that helps disguise the body armor underneath it.

ROB: Perfect.

CAMERON: And so is tweaking it slightly to where if you were to look at her and study her you’d be like there are some weird lumps under the jacket, like that looks like it may be a blaster, but there are other security people here, so is not trying to be just a normal bar person who just happened to come here after work but is coming in with the expectation that if anyone questions me I am here as a security detail, and so they’ll let me pass.

NICK: Yeah, you’re definitely corporate security.

ROB: Well, and this is a Human majority planet. Is it rude to ask a Nautolan about lumps under their clothes? How good is your xenology really? You don’t want that kind of press.

NICK: Yeah. [laughs]

CAMERON: That’s a very good point as well.

NICK: This one’s far enough up in the chain that there are people who are worried about a news story getting out about them just asking inconsiderate questions in a bar.

CAMERON: Mm-hmm.

ROB: Well, they’re very focused on identity politics because that distracts from the central economic injustices that the Empire and its ally states are built on, so you know.

NICK: For sure.

[sophisticated event music begins]

So, you enter and we get that cool sweeping shot of Stiro walking into the bar, Karma slightly behind him and on his shoulder. Karma has adjusted her posture and approach a little to look a lot more corporate security and less lithe, capable killing machine.

CAMERON: As we’re walking around the bar she does occasionally hold up her hand to where an ear would be on a Human, like she’s listening to something in a headpiece, because that’s what security does.

NICK: [laughs] Yeah.

ROB: Mm-hmm. Sure. Stiro’s entire bearing is way more upright and reserved now. He’s gone from bad guy having a good night to nervous professional. He’s wearing the same watch as we last saw but now it just fits with the outfit instead of being this glaring mismatch.

[laughter]

NICK: Yeah, and you see this very high ranking admin sitting at a booth away from the bar – there’s only a couple of booths in this whole place – and she’s sitting alone and distractedly stirring a drink and looking at a data pad. So, what’s the play?

[sophisticated music fades out]

ROB: The two things that immediately come to mind is like a schmoozy approach, like taking advantage of her distraught emotional state, or sit at the next thing over and allow her to selectively overhear delicious-sounding business things approach.

NICK: Ooh.

ROB: And I don’t know for sure which one is going to work. In fact, you know what, Stiro doesn’t know for sure which one’s going to work better so he decides to split the difference and do both.

NICK: Okay!

CAMERON: [chuckles]

ROB: He’s gonna sit and invite Karma to sit at an adjoining booth, and I’m gonna have a fake conversation on whatever the common communication device is.

NICK: It’s just a com in Star Wars. [laughs]

ROB: Sure.

NICK: Yeah.

ROB: About something pretty interesting and enticing, and it’s gonna go not badly but not as well as I am performing that I want it to go, like somebody is having, for some reason, cold feet about a really good opportunity, and I’ll be a little bit frustrated when I hang up the call so that when I then approach and be like “ugh, man, sometimes business can be so hard,” she heard me just have a negative business experience that was also interesting to her.

NICK: Mm-hmm. Hmm, this sure feels like a Deception check, Rob. What do you think?

ROB: It does, doesn’t it?!

NICK: Yeah!

[laughter]

ROB: So that is a Cunning based thing, so I think that’s a green and two yellow.

NICK: Yeah, that sounds right.

ROB: Because I’ve got two points in Deception. Now, do I have any things from my class here…? Well, if there’s difficulty I can remove some of that, apparently.

NICK: There probably would have been, because you would have had to get her attention from her own problems, but yeah, you have – what’s the name of your ability that takes those off?

ROB: Convincing Demeanor. I can remove one difficulty per rank from Deception and Skulduggery checks.

NICK: Yeah, that’s gone. You’re going to get her attention very quickly with how well you sell this.

ROB: Okay.

NICK: I’m gonna say, because it’s kind of a setup action to the real deception coming after, it’s only average difficulty, so that’s two purples.

ROB: Okay. Hmm! It appears that I have a failure and two advantages.

NICK: Huh.

ROB: How does that play out?

NICK: I know! This is the best part of this system, Rob.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: It means that your goal, which was to have her overhear juicy business details and setup the conversation fails, like she does not notice, but you have two advantages, so something tangentially or unrelated, good, happens, and two advantages is reasonably good. Is there anything you would like to do? Mechanically with this you can spend advantages to add blue dice and stuff to checks, but you can also do things plot-wise and kind of outside the mechanics if you would like. So, the easy answer is hey, she didn’t notice, but I’m gonna use these to add blue dice to when I start talking to her to get her attention or something else has happened in the room, or you drew someone else’s attention, or something bad happens to her, something like that. Advantages generally are up to the player, so if you have any thoughts.

ROB: Okay, well I’m gonna go for something easy then. I think it just so happens that in this relationship that she’s having that’s not going so well, Stiro is fortunate to look pretty much exactly like the guy she told you not to worry about in this situation.

NICK & CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB: This dude just happens to have a lot of slightly unfavorable comparisons in appearance and manner to Stiro.

NICK: Okay, so you look like an upgrade to the boyfriend she’s upset with.

ROB: Yes. Exactly.

NICK: Oh, I love that, a lot.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: You have that whole conversation. Karma’s sitting in the booth across from you, probably looking pretty appreciative, because this is not a skillset any of her former coworkers have.

CAMERON: [giggles] Talking? What?

NICK: Yeah, they’re not good at this. You hang up the com and you wait for any sort of indication that she’s paying attention or cares and you get freaking nothing.

ROB: Drat.

NICK: What do you do now?

ROB: I lean in a little to Karma.

ROB (as Stiro): Okay. I’m not sure that worked, but now it’s time for Plan B. Just keep an eye out in case anything funny happens, okay?

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay.

ROB: I call a waiter over and I order another one of whatever Diana’s drinking and have it sent to her.

NICK: Okay. She’s drinking… When you clean a toilet you get that glowy, light blue color?

ROB: Uh-huh?

CAMERON: [snickers]

ROB: Seems like a standard Star Wars liquor color.

NICK: Yeah. That, out of a martini glass, with a really weird, instead of an olive they’re about grape size, they’re bright orange and they have little spikes all over them, impaled through the toothpick in it, so it’s a very garish color.

ROB: Sure. Now real quick, based on the rumors I was able to pick up about this middle management type that she’s dating, what’s her problem with him? Is he too nervous? Is he too uptight? Does he not take things seriously enough? Like, what’s his issue?

NICK: He’s slimy, so he’s very much corporate lackey type yes man, and she got fed up with the fact that he always said what she wanted to hear.

ROB: Oh, so I just need to be real, alright.

NICK: Yeah, you just need to be like a genuine person and she will probably go for that. I think you definitely found a hairdresser, and there’s probably a flashback scene to you doing straight beauty salon gossip with somebody to get this information. [laughs]

ROB: Nice.

CAMERON: Karma is sitting under one of the cone things that they put you under when you’re getting a perm.

NICK: Yeah. [laughs] For sure. But yeah, she’s just tired of all that double talk and obsequiousness.

ROB: Okay. What’s the most working class beverage in Star Wars then?

NICK: A Corellian ale. It’s just beer.

ROB: That is what’s in my hand when I toast her when her drink arrives.

NICK & CAMERON: [laughs] Okay.

ROB: We’re in this high class establishment. Stiro doesn’t care. He likes Corellian ale, and he doesn’t care who knows it.

[laughter]

NICK: We get a flash of the Corellian ale advertisement logo on the corner. It’s like a commercial. It’s so good. It appeals to the inherent Corellian-ness of everyone.

ROB: Hell yeah. [laughs]

NICK: So do you cheers her from your booth or did you walk over as she got her new drink?

[sophisticated music returns]

ROB: Oh, I do just a master class in body language here. I cheers her and in the motion of my arm I start to shift my balance like I’m gonna stand up and go over toward her, and I’m very open and very hesitant in the way of I’m wanting an invitation to come over, I’m not gonna presume, would you like me to come over?

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: [smiling] Aw man. So, part of your advantages is obviously that’s going to work, but what you see on her face is, her initial reaction is, oh no, thanks but no, and then you see her stop, think about it for a second, and you can see all on her face well why wouldn’t I, this guy’s handsome, look at that ale, obviously cool, this other guy’s an asshole, and then she nods you over.

ROB: [laughs] And so, I don’t strut, I just walk over and have a seat, adjust my drink on whatever passes for a coaster in Star Wars, a space coaster.

CAMERON: You arrange it so that the label is facing the camera.

NICK: [laughs]

ROB: Yeah, exactly, because this is now a beer commercial.

NICK: Yep, it happened.

NICK (as Diana): I’m assuming that this drink was from you. thank you very much. That’s very nice of you.

NICK: She downs the one she was drinking.

ROB (as Stiro): You’re most welcome. In some ways I’m a simple guy. I see a pretty lady having a rough night, figure I can do my part.

NICK (as Diana): Is my Sabacc face that bad that you can tell I’m having a rough night?

ROB (as Stiro): Ah, you know, you spend enough time in this town, you get to know people, you get to know what a bad night looks like, because everybody’s doing the same playbook here in terms of what is appropriate for business, what emotions are okay to have at work. Don’t get me wrong, I like this place and all, but we’re at work here. We’re not relaxing, we’re not at home, it’s still part of the whole corporate environment, isn’t it?

NICK: She looks down at the data pad she was scrolling through angrily and you can see there’s two screens on it. One of them is Star Wars Facebook.

ROB: Nice.

NICK: It’s like a combination of sympathetic statements and people bragging about their achievements. The other one looks like an invoice, but it can’t be an invoice because the numbers on that are insanely large.

ROB: [laughs]

NICK: There’s no way that she would be looking at something like that. she frowns at her data pad, flips it over hard enough that almost the screen would crack.

NICK (as Diana): You know, you’re right. That is what we’re doing. Why am I even here?

NICK: And looks like she might get up to leave.

ROB (as Stiro): [sighs] Because it’s what’s expected. We’re all so used to it. I try to say that I’m bearing witness or that I’m claiming it for myself, but [sighs] we’re all at work most of the time.

NICK (as Diana): I think I hate it.

ROB (as Stiro): [laughs] Sometimes I do too, but uh, sometimes you meet a kindred spirit too. It makes it a little better.

NICK: She reaches out and shakes your hand in a business-like fashion, grabs your hand strongly and shakes it.

NICK (as Diana): I’m Diana.

ROB: And I need to figure out—Is this a thing where I would have an assumed name? I really might.

NICK: You could if you want to.

ROB: God! No! I need so many Star Wars names. Oh shit! Oh god!

[laughter]

NICK: Unless you pull a James West thing, or a James Bond thing and it’s just you’re always Stiro to everybody.

ROB: I think… yeah, okay. I just need a last name, actually, because if you do an assumed name there’s no faking the difference in speed of reaction to your actual name that you grew up with.

NICK: That’s true.

ROB: So to appear genuine I am often Stiro whoever, and she didn’t give a last name, so.

NICK: No she didn’t.

ROB: I will simply return the handshake firmly and say:

ROB (as Stiro): Stiro. It’s good to make your acquaintance.

NICK (as Diana): It’s good to meet you too, Stiro. There’s something about you. I’m really glad that you came over. Um, so now what do we do? I was going to leave but we’re still here.

ROB (as Stiro): Well, I think the traditional thing is that we drown our sorrows, we bitch about work back and forth a bit and tells some jokes, and see where it takes us.

NICK: I’m gonna need a Charm check from you at this point.

ROB: Oh, good news, Charm is my fucking deal.

[laughter]

NICK: It’s gonna be an average difficulty, but you can have two blue dice for how well that conversation went slash the fact that you look like a leveled up version of her current shitty boyfriend.

ROB: Uh-huh.

NICK: Yeah.

ROB: And I’ve got Smooth Talker, at least two ranks. I also remove a rank of difficulty for Kill With Kindness.

CAMERON: [chuckles]

NICK: Oh wow. Okay. [laughs]

ROB: So, and yeah, I’ve got two ranks of Smooth Talker so if I happen to get triumphs I also get additional successes.

NICK: Alright. If it removes ranks of difficulty it’s only one purple instead of two.

ROB: Oh my god.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Yeah.

ROB: So I have seven successes and an advantage.

NICK: [laughs] Okay! You have narrative control. I think she’s very taken with you. she’s a strong, independent woman. You saw earlier, she was like why am I beholden to that piece of cark? How do you want this to go, Rob?

ROB: I feel like I get every bit of advantage from that performed conversation that she didn’t hear now, because that’s my sob story from working in corporate Corellia for the day. It’s me talking about how there’s this awesome reinvestment opportunity that I’ve become aware of that’s basically foolproof and people are afraid to take it because they’re worried about negative press from it when I know that that’s not how it has to go. It can be a good opportunity that is beneficial to local businesses and blah-blah-blah, but you know, people just are too set in their ways.

There’s a corporate culture. Everybody is speaking to each other in greeting cards and pre-planned sound bites and nobody has any fucking creativity or willingness to take even the smallest risk about anything, so people are just leaving money on the table in this situation, and that’s the sort of barrier that I’m trying to break through and having trouble with right now.

I just need to find somebody who has money to move that isn’t a drone, that can see the way the wind is blowing and make a good deal instead of just doing what everyone who had their job before them who got fired so that they could be promoted did. That’s my story, and I’m hoping to hear her story of her frustrations with work and this delicious, giant invoice.

NICK & CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB: This whole back and forth of talking about the problems we have at work and critiquing the corporate culture is of course laced with heavy flirting.

NICK: Yeah.

ROB: To like, make the medicine go down.

NICK: The conversation happens and we get it kind of from a distance as Stiro’s listening and gesturing and she’s leaning in more and more, and you see more empty martini glasses appear.

ROB: Yeah, and good thing Stiro started drinking when he was like 12, and he’s drinking just something pretty light.

NICK: We see that she is also holding a Corellian ale glass by the end of the conversation.

ROB: Haha! Yes!

NICK: And she’s doing the thing where she’s running her finger along the rim of the glass and she’s a little flushed, and you can see on her face a mixture of, one, she’s completely taken with you, you seem like exactly the kind of person she would be interested in, but as you talk about this reinvestment opportunity and everything her eyes kind of light up.

NICK (as Diana): You know, I manage the calendar of somebody who is pretty important where I work and has access to quite a bit of funding. If you were able to help him and maybe just drop the hint that I had been involved, that could be good for both of us, don’t you think?

ROB (as Stiro): You know, I think it really could. Why don’t we make that call… tomorrow?

NICK: She gets a big old grin on her face and finishes the beer, slams the glass down, and says:

NICK (as Diana): Tomorrow, I like that.

NICK: We get a pan over to Karma who’s been sitting in the other booth this whole time. Has Karma been drinking or just sitting there?

CAMERON: Karma’s just been sitting there. She’s had like a Sprite or something.

NICK: [laughs]

CAMERON: Or I guess she’s been having a Diet Coke, because that is now canon in Star Wars. She’s been drinking Diet Coke.

ROB: Oh god, it is!

NICK: Oh yeah, Diet Coke’s canon. Yeah.

CAMERON: Yeah.

[laughter]

NICK: Sprite is too.

CAMERON: Yeah, but the Diet Coke bottles are cooler.

NICK: yeah, that’s true.

ROB: There you go.

CAMERON: So when Stiro left her booth she did move to one of the tall cocktail tables with some stools at it to where she had a better view of the table and didn’t have as many big, tall things around her so that she could more accurately see the whole room and just watch and make sure that nothing concerning was going on, but has just been watching and is close enough to where she can hear most of the conversation whenever they get really excited and start gesticulating wildly about the problems that are happening at work, and just kind of is impressed with how that whole level of bullshitting just went so smoothly. [laughs]

NICK: Yeah. It’s like having three yellows on a roll.

CAMERON: Yeah, it’s ridiculous, like wow!

ROB: [laughs]

NICK: And there is definitely a point where two men in suits that are expensive but don’t fit quite right, like they didn’t know how to buy a suit, walk up and look at Karma.

NICK (as Suit): Hey, are these seats taken?

NICK: And Karma just glares them down.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yes they are.

NICK: And they slowly back away and leave the bar. [laughs] I think through his masterful control of body language Stiro is able to basically communicate to Karma.

ROB: Oh yeah, Karma gets some kind of subtle hand gesture that means the Star Wars equivalent of like sock on the doorknob.

[laughter]

NICK: And that hand gesture happens, Karma goes “oh,” and we get a George Lucas style side swipe and we’re at a new scene and we’re at a breakfast café in Stiro’s neighborhood, somewhere that is Stiro’s comfort zone, and Karma and Stiro are there debriefing the next morning.

ROB: Yeah, and the caf flows copiously.

NICK & CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB: I don’t think Stiro got a lot of sleep.

NICK: No, probably not, not with seven successes.

CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB: I mean, it is a time honored cornerstone of trade craft, let’s be real.

NICK: Yeah.

ROB (as Stiro): [stretches] Thank you for your assistance last night, Karma.

CAMERON (as Karma): I don’t feel like I did much.

ROB (as Stiro): Well, you know, my confidence was a lot better because I felt safe as a babe in arms the whole way through.

CAMERON (as Karma): Well, glad I could provide that service.

ROB (as Stiro): So, I think we have found a very good opportunity.

ROB: What’s the name of Diana’s overboss?

NICK: Yeah, so, the mark’s name – as you were able to identify between other activities last night – is Cord Trustbuilder.

CAMERON: [giggles]

ROB: Wonderful. [laughs]

NICK: [laughs]

CAMERON: Oh dear.

ROB: So, I will give Karma the rundown on Cord Trustbuilder, his position in this now recently made obscenely wealthier corporation, and his likelihood to embrace off the beaten path business strategies.

NICK: Yeah. The information you were able to gather: First of all, Diana is able to put you on his calendar as just an important opportunity at your leisure, and that’s just one com call from happening, she’ll just do that for you, because while she was quite taken with you she also thinks this is a big career move for her.

ROB: Oh yeah.

NICK: So, it’s like, hey you’re great, you’re pretty cute, but also the money though.

ROB: Yeah. Given the scam that I’m planning on running has admitted criminal aspects to it, the story I’m telling him is going to involve breaking laws. Diana is under the impression that I am a representative of a rival gang to Kettle’s gang.

NICK: Oh, very good.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: The way Corellia functions that isn’t a deal breaker, that’s how a lot of these things work. You don’t become a super-corporation like Serres Super Structure without having dealt with the underworld a certain amount.

ROB: I mean, they can help you or they can harm you, and one of them is a lot better for business.

CAMERON: Mm-hmm.

NICK: Yup. You struck old, because Cord Trustbuilder is the CFO of Serres Super Structure.

ROB: [deep chuckle]

NICK: He is the guy with the chess book- with the… tech- Bleh.

CAMERON: Checkbook?

NICK: Checkbook! As a millennial I find that word hard to say.

CAMERON: I understand.

ROB: Yeah, what is that?

NICK: Yeah. [laughs] He is the guy with his hands on the purse strings. Diana related his business structure, because you were asking about it. We get the shot of you both in a futuristic looking bed and she has the sheet up to her neck and you have the sheet at your waist even though that’s not how sheets work.

ROB: Right. Death stick hanging from my mouth.

NICK: Yeah. [laughs] She’s talking about how aggressive he is with his investing and how, she makes an offhanded comment about how lucky he seems to be as well in that he gambles for fun, with big numbers, and always seems to win. But she also talks about how he’s taken some very risky, some might say illegal moves of investing money into other projects before the first project has been completed and using that money. That’s how he got to be CFO. He’s pretty young, but he made really risky investment moves that paid off and the ends justified the means and now he is where he is.

ROB: Yeah. This is a guy destined for a meteoric rise and probably an epic downfall at some point.

NICK: If you have anything to say with it, yeah.

CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB: Well, [stammers] yeah, maybe my thumb’s on a scale a little, but I mean who’s to blame me for, uh, yeah.

NICK: [laughs] Yeah. So, you know if you can get in and talk to this guy that if you can tell a good enough story, make yourself seem dangerous and smart enough, you could probably get a big hand on this money, but nobody gets to be that level without also being careful. They make the risks on purpose. So, you’re gonna have to tell quite a tale to get him to give you money.

ROB: Sure. Well, the good thing is my pitch doesn’t even involve directly giving me money, so…

NICK: Ohh~

ROB: Yeah. I’ll relate all of that to Karma about the obscene amount of money this guy has control over and how not risk-averse he is compared to anyone else who has ever had that amount of money without being a conquering military general in the history of the galaxy.

NICK & CAMERON: [laughs]

ROB: You can actually see Stiro’s eyes light up when he’s talking about this man’s personality from the intelligence he’s gathered. He’s a kid in a candy store. He can’t believe that he has this guy as the guy that he gets to talk to. It’s like the best thing that’s ever happened to him. He’s practically giddy at this point.

CAMERON (as Karma): Alright so, next step is to go talk to him?

ROB (as Stiro): As a matter of fact I’ve got a meeting with him. [chuckles] I’m on his calendar.

CAMERON (as Karma): Wow, how official.

ROB (as Stiro): Yeah. Don’t you worry, the alias that I’m using is not connected to Kettle and not even in an ancillary way to you. Don’t need to have a worry in your head about that.

CAMERON (as Karma): I tend to not be super worried about stuff like that. People kind of assume when you’re a bounty hunter that you’re just there to get paid so they don’t tend to say that it reflects poorly on you that you happen to be taking that person’s money.

ROB (as Stiro): When you realize that everyone is just here to be paid you see behind the curtain.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah.

NICK: [laughs]

ROB: And I grin. I order up a second plate of food. I’m clearly just in a great mood today.

NICK: It’s bacon, scrambled eggs and toast but looks like there’s an Instagram filter on it that makes all the colors wrong, because Star Wars.

ROB: Yeah, of course. Fantastic.

ROB (as Stiro): So, are you in the mood to stand about looking statuesque and imposing and professional for a little bit?

CAMERON: Karma rolls her neck and it cracks.

CAMERON (as Karma): I can do that.

ROB (as Stiro): [laughs] You sure can.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: End of episode.

## Outro

CAMERON: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. If you enjoyed our show, please consider logging onto iTunes and giving us a five-star review. Five-star reviews will help new listeners to find the show, and every time we get one the squad adds five pounds to our max bench press. If you’re so inclined, you can also help support the show through our Patreon which can be found in the show notes, on our website, and basically anywhere else we post things. We have all sorts of Patreon levels including some of my favorites: Bantha Buddy, Tarkin’s Underwear Drawer, and Build-A-Beru which all have fabulous rewards and super great names.

Stiro Kuwe is played by Rob Stith. You can find him at @LordOfTheStith on Twitter and on his podcast, The ORPHEUS Protocol.

Karma Nailo is played by me, Cameron Robertson. You can find me on Twitter at @midnightmusic13.

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, and join our Discord and share all of your food and cute pet photos with us. We also sometimes talk about Star Wars. You can find the link to join our Discord on our website and in our pinned tweet. See you next time.

Word document download: Interstitials s1- Xianna 2- Start the Revolution

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Tabletop Squadron Transcript, Xianna Interstitial 1, Part 2:
Start the Revolution

Transcript by Tyler (Twitter: @Tyler_MoonSage)

## Intro

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, and a slicer as they explore the galaxy helping a mysterious benefactor and each other.

Starting off, we have an announcement. Laura is now Lilit. You may still hear the name Laura on things that have already been recorded, but Lilit will be the name being used going forward.

This week we continue to follow the adventures of Xianna and her new friend Mal. With the next few arcs we’ll get to take a look at the individual members of the crew. Look forward to some amazing guests.

I want to take a moment to thank our newest patrons. Ben Patterson, thank you for supporting the show. We’ve heard about your particular set of skills and seem to have misplaced some of the crew members. If you feel up to it, could you find them for us? We need them alive. No disintegrations. Alchemage, thank you for supporting us. We’re glad you’re here. Xianna said she was mixing up some new cocktails in the cargo bay? But now the bottles are glowing and rattling and I’m pretty concerned. Could you take a look at neutralizing those before the ship explodes? The deepest, most heartfelt gratitude to all our patrons for taking care of us and helping us keep the squad in the skies, and thank you to all our listeners for coming with us on this journey.

Music this week is Hard Fight by Manuel Senfft and O Fortuna performed by the MIT Concert Choir.

So now, let’s get into the episode.

##

NICK: When we last left off, Xianna and Mal had infiltrated the junkyard at Falx’s request, jumping dramatically off of a crane, and were in the process of discussing what their next move was.

JO (as Mal): Well, time’s a-tickin’. Where do you wanna hit first?

LILIT (as Xianna): You know, I was going to maybe talk to one of the droids first, see if they are okay with an uprising.

JO (as Mal): Ooh. I am here for a good uprising.

LILIT (as Xianna): Extra chaos, down with the man, that whole bit, because they do not look like they are in good condition, and that is not good. So, just gonna see if I can encourage them to seize the means of protection, because they are the ones doing all the work, since they are droids.

JO (as Mal): Ooh, I am here for that. I’ll give you a little backup on that, and then I think I’m gonna break away to the junk ships and check out the less dusty of the ones there so that way we have a getaway vehicle.

LILIT (as Xianna): Good, because those fuel cells are very big.

JO (as Mal): Yeah, well, hopefully if we can befriend some of the droids they would be willing to give us a hand.

LILIT (as Xianna): That would also be a benefit, or at least they could tell us where a hover cart is, one of the two.

JO (as Mal): Alrighty. Let’s get rollin’.

NICK: So, are you looking in the building for a droid or are you hoping to find one of the loading droids outside that isn’t surrounded by friends? What is your ideal situation here?

LILIT: I was gonna talk to the droids that are inside the walls, the complex.

NICK: Okay. There’s very much a skylight that you can pull open, and inside it’s a large sorting facility. There are those little boop droids, the ones with the noses that make them fold up.

LILIT: Oh, the pit droids, yes.

NICK: Yeah! And they’re scattered sporadically through here just sorting through scrap metal of various kinds, moving them from one conveyor to another conveyor, walking around with bins. It’s a pretty good size building, and it’s pretty noisy, so you would be able to drop down into here without too much trouble and find a droid to talk to. You could just do that. you come up behind one that is only sorting out round metal. You’re not sure if that’s what they’re supposed to be doing, but just anything that’s round goes in a bin. It’s whistling to itself as it works.

LILIT (as Xianna): Ello~ Ello little droid.

NICK: It straightens up and stiffens and stands real straight, and its head turns 180 degrees.

NICK (as Droid): You’re not supposed to be here.

LILIT (as Xianna): No, I am not, but here’s the thing. You look overworked and under-repaired, and so do all of your friends.

NICK (as Droid): You should talk very quickly. Within 30 seconds I’m obligated to report this.

LILIT (as Xianna): Okay. So what if, with our help, we create an uprising and get rid of all the terrible Humans or whatever species, sentients, are keeping you in such terrible conditions, and then you could take over this plant and do whatever it is you are doing here? Scrap metal stuff.

NICK: The droid turns its body around to match with its head.

NICK (as Droid): I am going to have to report you in 15 seconds.

NICK: It points with its hand towards a restraining bolt on its chest, and it looks pretty urgent.

LILIT (as Xianna): Oh yes, restraining bolts, I forget about those. Okay, let me help.

LILIT: Xianna wants to take the restraining bolt off.

NICK: [grinning] That’s definitely gonna be a Mechanics check, Xianna.

LILIT: Oh great.

JO: Unless we could hack into it. Is that a thing that you can do with restraining bolts?

NICK: You can hack droids. This one is legitimately an attachment stuck to the front that’s magnet-ed on, so it’s gonna be Mechanics to disable that. If  you hack into it, you could turn off its way to report it, but that’s going to be like “hey, I wanna be your friend, but first let me mess with your brain.”

JO: Yeah, no-no-no, I definitely don’t wanna do that. I do have Mechanics though, if you don’t.

LILIT: Okay, because yeah, I do not have any Mechanics.

JO: Great! So Mal is gonna step right on up to that bolt and they are going to reach into their pocket and they are going to pull out a multi-tool and flip it over to what looks kind of like a butter knife with some grooves in it, and they are going to use that to get the bolt off of this poor droid.

NICK: Perfect. That’ll just be an average Mechanics check.

JO: Cool. Oh-ho-ho! I got a success and I got three advantages, because I got a threat. Woohoo! I didn’t get any threats! [laughs]

LILIT: Nice.

NICK: So proud of you. [laughs]

JO: [giggling] Thank you.

NICK: Okay, so you’re able to pop that restraining bolt off. There is a circle of LEDs around the boop lens that this pit droid has, and they go from red to green.

NICK (as Droid): Oh wow, that’s so much better. So, rebellion you say? I’m super into that.

NICK: Your advantages are that this droid is super onboard for this…

JO: Yay.

NICK: …and also is a droid that has become very used to interacting with round things.

NICK (as Droid): Actually, you know, I bet you a lot of my friends would be in on this, too. If you give me some sort of tool to work with I think I could do the same thing to them that you just did to me. Let’s start an army, huh?

LILIT (as Xianna): [gasps] yes!

JO (as Mal): That sounds great!

JO: I’m going to reach into a pocket and pull out an identical tool to the one that I just used and hand it on over.

NICK: Great. The droid snatches it and it goes running off and you hear it saying:

NICK (as Droid): C7! C4! C2! Look what I got!

NICK: They all turn around and they have red lights on, and they say:

NICK (as Other Droids): In 30 seconds we will be forced to report this behavior.

NICK: They do the same desperate point towards their restraining bolt, and the droid starts to get to work.

JO: That went better than I thought it would.

NICK: [laughs]

LILIT (as Xianna): That went great.

LILIT: As they split up and the droids start moving away, Xianna does go up to one, reaches into one of the hidden pockets, roots around a bit, pulls out a bantha cake, shakes her head, puts that back, and then pulls out a grenade, hands it to the droid, and goes:

LILIT (as Xianna): Here you go. This is how you use it. Go, my friend.

NICK (as Droid): I mean, how hard could it be? It’s just a button. I could press a button.

NICK: And it goes to press it right now.

LILIT (as Xianna): No-no-no, you can’t—Don’t press it until you are going to throw it, at a sentient, that is not me.

JO (as Mal): Or me.

LILIT (as Xianna): Or Mal.

NICK (as Droid): Duly noted. You know, my cousin was a battle droid. I’m sure I could figure it out.

LILIT (as Xianna): Yes, because if you press it now it will just blow up. You have to throw it.

NICK (as Droid): Yes. Throwing. Also, I noticed that it’s round and metal – my comfort zone!

LILIT (as Xianna): Great. Now go!

NICK: It’s freed the other droids by this point. It holds it up and says:

NICK (as Droid): We’re armed!

NICK: And all the other droids go:

NICK (as Other Droids): Yay~!

NICK: And they run off into this warehouse.

LILIT: [smiling] Xianna turns to Mal.

LILIT (as Xianna): I think they got it.

JO: [smiling] Mal is just staring at the spot where the droids took off with their mouth slightly open, like, what have we done.

NICK: [laughs]

LILIT (as Xianna): I believe in them. They seem like they are going to, you know, coordinate well. It’ll be fine.

JO (as Mal): Yeah. Okay. Uh, I want to sleep tonight. Let’s, uh…

JO: And Mal does a circle with their finger.

JO (as Mal): …finish this off.

LILIT (as Xianna): Oh, okay, okay. I was not sure what that meant, so… So yeah, let’s go. We are splitting up now?

JO (as Mal): If you want to split up, yes.

LILIT (as Xianna): Okay, yeah, let’s split up. Just for a few minutes though. I’ll find you.

JO (as Mal): Alright. Well, I got your number, so.

LILIT (as Xianna): Oh yes. If you get a bunch of various fruit emojis, that is me. I just will have thought your number was somebody’s else. Just reply back that it’s you, or reply back with a speeder emoji. Yeah.

JO (as Mal): Alright.

JO: And I am going to take off running back towards the junkyard to find a ship.

NICK: Cool. We’ll start with Mal running out of this warehouse. As you get out into the bright sun you have to kinda squint into the light and hold a hand up to your eyes because it’s now ‘high noon’ and it’s very bright and hot. You can feel yourself starting to sweat a little. You see that these big loader droids that were out before and were carrying scrap back and forth, they kinda look like forklifts but if you stuck an Optimus Prime face on the front of them and their arms were more mobile and able to move left and right, up and down, so that they can pick up various sized things.

JO: Okay.

NICK: They have stopped carrying things and kinda split up into a grid, and you see two battle droids like from the prequels…

JO: Mm-hmm.

NICK: …that are spray-painted with bright red stripes, and they are pointing and gesturing and telling the forklifts where to go, and they’re both holding kinda damaged looking blaster rifles. So, all the droids out in the junkyard area are currently actively searching for an intruder, and you can see – some of those threats of yours, Jo – you can see the crane has just been spinning in moderately fast circles since you went inside and that the droids are like “oh, that’s probably not good, something is wrong.”

JO: [grinning] That’s cool. No worries. Everything’s chill. I am going to… sneak. Sure, yep, I’m gonna sneak, because I definitely can’t get threats from that. I’m going to use the fact that the magnet spinning as much as it is is kicking up a lot of dust and is slightly obscuring things a little bit with natural winds of Tatooine and the fact that there is a lot of dust and sand in the area, and I am going to make my way over to where all of the ships are.

NICK: Okay.

JO: Yep.

NICK: So make me a Stealth check. This one is going to be hard, because everyone is actively looking for you, but you are gonna get a blue die because of all the dust and everything. I think that’s a good point.

JO: How many threats can I get? [laughs]

NICK: Good question. [laughs]

JO: Okay, I have a success and an advantage.

LILIT: Nice!

NICK: Nice. Very good.

JO: After all of that. I had many more advantages, but they were counteracted by threats.

NICK: We’ll say the advantage is as you’re sneaking you’re able to throw a small scrap of metal somewhere else, so whoever’s next roll that is done to avoid detection, the droids are a little distracted, so you’ll get a blue die, so you can pass that along.

JO: Sweet.

NICK: We’ll just say that this Stealth check is you checking a majority of these kinda junker ships. You have a couple of options. Most of them look burned out, but there are three that you’re pretty sure are functioning. The only way you would know if they weren’t would be if you actually turned them on. There is one that looks like the entire exterior is rusted but somebody countered that by painting big old flames down the sides.

JO: [laughs]

NICK: It basically looks like an El Camino, so you could load freight in the back.

JO: Mm-hmm.

NICK: It’s just open and kinda weird, but somebody’s also put a lot of time but not very skilled time into trying to make it cool. It’s got like a levitator hydraulic system under it that you recognize as being something that you buy at whatever the Tatooine equivalent of Auto Zone is. It’s kind of a mess, but it’s probably functional. The muffler on it has clearly been cut away and is just set next to it, because that’s a cool thing to do for your El Camino.

And then you find another one that looks like a big box truck, kind of like a U-Haul, and it’s got repulsers on it, like the things that make ships hover, but it also has ski skids to go over the sand. It looks pretty bad on the outside, but as you look in the inside it has like a leather interior and it’s very clean, and has white enamel and chrome counterpoints on it.

JO: It’s terrible, but I want that one. I want the box truck.

NICK: And then there is one more that looks like it’s basically just an engine with a chair taped to it that you are 99% sure definitely runs because you can see all of the parts and nothing looks wrong, but also if you drive too fast you might just incinerate yourself, but it’s dragging a big sled so you could also load stuff on that. It’s like a reverse pod racer.

JO: Okay.

NICK: So those are your three options, but you’re pretty sure they all work. There’s also a lot of other junker ships, but they are all clearly missing pieces or buried in the sand or actively have droids messing with them, so those aren’t gonna be options for you.

JO: Okay, I think I’m going to go with the box truck.

NICK: Cool.

JO: If nothing else, mal feels a strong urge to remove all of the leather from the interior…

NICK & LILIT: [chuckles]

JO: …and repurpose it to something that is more useful and tasteful, because something has already been killed for this.

NICK: Yeah. Fair. We’re learning about Mal.

JO: [giggles]

NICK: So, we see a shot of you peeking through the side windows, and Mal grimaces, but then also looks thoughtful, and then we’re gonna cut away to Xianna. Xianna, Mal took off, what are you doing?

LILIT: Xianna is very convinced that this place is a front for spice trading, because there is way too much security for this just to be scrap metal, and it’s Tatooine, and what else do you do on Tatooine in secret except Hutt stuff, and Hutts like spice trading. So, Xianna wants to root around a bit and see if she can find any hidden storage spaces, like storage rooms, where they might be holding the supply.

NICK: That’s super a Skulduggery check.

LILIT: Got it.

NICK: It’s gonna be hard.

LILIT: Okay.

NICK: But it’s also gonna have a blue die because you are very, very correct. [laughs]

LILIT: Ha-ha! Okay, what we got here… Okay, one success and six advantages.

JO: Ugh, I was so worried you were about to say threats.

LILIT: No, no. [laughs] The threats got cancelled out, because there were threats, but they cancelled. Almost everything came up advantages.

JO: Good.

NICK: You were so close to failing that check. That’s ridiculous.

LILIT: I actually was, yeah, only one success.

NICK: Well you only need one. Okay. So, we’ll say… I think you very quickly find a little back manager office on the sorting area and it’s really, really dusty, and it’s got a worn-out wooden office chair that the spring is broken so it’s sitting back at like a 45 degree angle, and there’s this rickety metal desk that’s sagging in the middle. You very quickly reach under the desk and feel a little hidden button there, and you’re about to press it, and then we get Xianna doing a Robert Downey Jr., Sherlock Holmes, freeze-frame calculation thing, and it’s Xianna being like okay, this has to lead outside, there hasn’t been enough inside and we’re too close to the bedrock, I think it’s going to be underground because of the way this is hidden, so it’s probably under a pile of junk outside, so if I hit this right now without the right distraction then everyone’s gonna know that I found the secret thing and that I’m here. Those are your advantages. [laughs]

LILIT: Cool.

NICK: That’s honestly, like that thought process is like three of them, so if there’s anything else you want out of this Skulduggery check you could just have it.

LILIT: Was there any, like, a pile of scrap that maybe looked like it was a little precariously stacked so that there might be a way to create a good distraction, or would that not be a big enough distraction?

NICK: We’ll say that there is a pile of scrap close enough to one of the battle droids that’s giving orders outside. You can kind of see them walking back and forth on the same patrol route while they’re ordering the loader droids around. The combination of the loud noise of you pulling the one hubcap out that’s holding the whole pile together, and if you crush one of the battle droids, that’s gonna get everyone’s attention, and again your analysis shows that the place that is most likely to be revealed by this trap door is on the opposite side, so you could do that, cause a distraction, and reveal whatever is hidden pretty easily.

LILIT: Nice. Yeah, so that area is lit up yellow and then the hubcap I need to pull out is lighting up in blue.

NICK: Yeah. [laughs]

LILIT: Got it.

NICK: You’ve got detective vision going.

LILIT: [laughs] So then Xianna’s going to sneak over and pull the hubcap out and then get back into a hiding position to then loop back, press the button, and get around.

NICK: Okay. We’re gonna cut back to Mal. Mal, you’re planning what to do with this leather, something that’s more respectful to the animal that gave its life, and you hear a really quiet ping, and then you hear the grinding of durasteel – because it’s Star Wars – and then a huge rattle clatter, and then a battle droid go:

NICK (as Battle Droid): Oh no~!

NICK: And there’s a crunch, and every set of mechanical eyes in this facility points towards a rising cloud of dust and sparks as a bunch of scrap falls down and crushes a droid. Then, very close to you, you see a large pile of ship parts that you hear a sound like a freezer door being opened and it just starts to slide in one solid piece over and chill blue light starts to pour out of an open trap door, and Xianna comes jogging out of the warehouse.

JO: I wave.

LILIT (as Xianna): Ello~

JO: I place my finger to my lips.

JO (as Mal): Shhhh.

LILIT (as Xianna): [hushed] Okay fine!

JO (as Mal): I think I found us a ride. We just need to load it up with what we wanna take, and…

LILIT (as Xianna): Okay. I got a few things to finish up and then I will loop back around. BRB. GT2.

JO (as Mal): [confused and hesitant] Same… I think?

LILIT (as Xianna): Yeah, I think so.

JO: Because I’m gonna get the barrel of fuel and has steadily just been picking up stuff and loading it into the back I guess.

NICK: Xianna, are you going down this trap door into this other place?

LILIT: Yes.

NICK: Okay. So Xianna hops down there. We see her purple lekku disappear into this trap door. Mal, you head towards the fuel dump in the middle.

[tense combat music begins]

You see kind of in the distance just a pile of pit droids running around, they’ve all got various tools, and they’re climbing up onto these forklifts, and the forklifts are saying…

NICK (as Forklifts): I am obligated to report this behavior.

NICK: …and then they start whacking at different large blocks and knocking them off, and then the droids’ lights change and it starts to wheel away, so in the background there’s just this growing crowd of disaster happening. You are able to make it to the fuel dump without being spotted. Are you trying to carry a barrel? What is your plan?

JO: My mental plan was just to tilt it on its side and roll it back.

NICK: Yeah, you could do that.

JO: That’s only one barrel, and I kinda wanna have one barrel that I take back for me. I’m going to look around and see if there’s anything that I can use to carry the barrels over, like a hovering cart.

NICK: If you flip a light side point you can have a hover cart, otherwise I’m gonna give you something that’s not very good.

LILIT: We are currently at—

NICK: Two light side, one dark side.

JO: Okay, I will accept that and I will get my hover cart.

NICK: Cool. Right next to it, however they moved these barrels around in the first place it looks like an extra-large version of a little red wagon but instead of wheels it has little blue glowing nubs that are making it float. You could probably fit four barrels on there pretty easily.

JO: That’s what I’m gonna do.

NICK: Great! As you are loading those up I’m gonna flip that light side point back over to a dark side point and that crane that’s still been spinning around, because I think you probably tried to stop the spinning from your remote control, but the remote control’s not working anymore, and it slams into the side of the really big fuel barrel, makes a huge tearing noise, and ship fuel starts to pour out. You can see the electromagnet is sparking slightly. It hasn’t caught the fuel, but all of the droids in the place turn to see you pulling a cart full of fuel barrels.

JO (as Mal): Keep calm and carry on, y’all. Stay steady in the revolt.

[laughter]

NICK: Some of the pit droids on the far side go…

NICK (as Unbound Droids): Revolution!

NICK: …and the remaining battle droid and all of the loading droids that still have the restraining bolts on them go…

NICK (as Bound Droids): Counter revolution!

NICK: …and they all charge towards you, meeting with you.

[tense music ends]

And we’re gonna cut away from you to Xianna for a minute. Xianna, you hear a huge tearing noise about two minutes after you land. There’s like a short hallway that leads into this facility from where you started. As a clean room door swings up into the ceiling you hear this loud bang and the sound of combat starting overhead.

LILIT (as Xianna): [uncertain] I’m sure it will be fine.

NICK: And you walk into – this doesn’t just look like a drug lab, this looks like a test lab at a high level scientific facility. Everything is totally sterile, everything is perfectly clean, there is surveillance on the walls. On the back wall there’s a one-way mirror, and you can see these long, low tables that have what looks like clear water in them, and then floating under the surface of those there are all these little glowing blue vials lined in in a row, and there’s a row of computer terminals on the side wall.

LILIT: Yeah, Xianna’s just gonna start grabbing stuff.

NICK: Okay. You go and you reach into these. The water is super-duper cold, not enough to hurt you but enough that it takes an effort of will to pull these out as your hands start to go numb. You manage to grab three or four vials and then the one-sided mirror turns clear and you see a Devaronian holding a really large blaster pistol, and a PA says:

NICK (as Devaronian): Excuse me, those are my drugs you’re stealing.

LILIT (as Xianna): Oh, um, oopsies. I did not see you there. Do you want me to just like put them back… or?

NICK: [smiling] And we’re gonna cut away from that and go back to Mal on the surface.

[tense music returns]

Mal, droids are trying to kill you and also to protect you. what do you do? [laughs]

JO: I am going to push the hover cart with the fuel barrels that I want to keep away from the oil and I’m going to shout.

JO (as Mal): Run away!

NICK: [laughs]

JO: [giggles]

JO (as Mal): Run away! Don’t worry about me! I’mma be fine. You gotta look after you, because nobody else in this pit’s gonna look after you like you will.

NICK: We see a couple of the pit droids have grabbed other pit droids, like on the far side, they were the first ones to meet, and there’s two pit droids holding each other by the neck like paused mid-punch, and the one with the blue LEDs that has been freed of the restraining bolt goes…

NICK (as Droid): Aww.

NICK: …and then starts trying to fight its way free and run the other direction. At this point though, one of the very large loading robots comes up to you and says…

[tense music ends]

NICK (as Loading Droid): Counter revolution!

NICK: …and goes to smash you with one of its arms, and I am going to need you to roll a Coordination check to get out of the way.

JO: I literally do not have Coordination, so this is pure Agility.

NICK: Unless you wanna try to catch it with Athletics, but that’s gonna be very difficult for you. [laughs]

JO: Or if I want to parry it with Melee… maybe?

NICK: You could try and do that.

JO: I would love to try and parry this with Melee. I’m gonna grab my scythe, rip it out, and with a quick (shing) I’m gonna raise it up and try and not get squashed.

NICK: Cool! Go ahead and roll that. Normally all melee attacks are average. I’m going to say blocking a forklift that has a head start on you is gonna be hard, so three purples.

JO: Okay, yeah, no, I feel like that’s fair. [chuckles] That is a success. [laughs] All of that for a success.

NICK: You did it.

JO: Yeah, I did.

NICK: So, as the arm comes down you go to parry it and the arm doesn’t get stopped by your scythe, so you flinch for just a second, and then the lifter arm falls on the other side of you because it landed on this super sharp blade and just got cut in half around you, so you have managed to both disarm – haha – disarm it and also protect yourself, but this thing does still have another arm and it’s right in front of you. what are you gonna do?

JO: I’m gonna use a Computers check to remove the restraining bolt.

NICK: Cool. Go for it.

JO: Cool. Because this robot is bigger I am gonna use my scythe to try and turn it instead, because we live dangerously in my life.

NICK: I’ll let you do Computers or Melee to try it. Either way it’s going to be hard, because you’re mid-combat and that’s not easy to do.

JO: Okay, I will take Computers. [tenses] Two successes and a threat. Really? All those advantages and I still have a threat at the end.

NICK: [laughs]

JO: Okay! Two successes. [laughs]

NICK: Yeah. You’re able to cleanly slice the restraining bolts off of this thing. I’m going to say that the threat is that it doesn’t immediately decide to be your friend, it’s just kind of confused, so it’s not attacking you but it’s not an instant ally either. It just starts kinda spinning around. You hear it say:

NICK (as Loading Droid): What is freedom?

NICK: The battle droid starts to grab its blaster. Do you continue to run away?

JO: I am going to shoot the battle droid because I don’t want it to shoot this newly freed droid. That’s what I’m gonna do.

NICK: Okay. Do you plant your scythe in the ground and draw your pistols?

JO: I’m only gonna draw one. Yeah.

NICK: Okay.

JO: Because I don’t want to murder it, I just want it to not shoot anymore, so really what I’m doing is I’m going to plant my scythe in the ground, whip out one of my pistols, and I’m going to aim to shoot the already pretty beat up blaster that the battle droid is carrying.

NICK: Wow. Okay.

JO: [smiling nervously] Okay.

NICK: You could do that. It’s medium range so it’ll only be an average difficulty shot. It’s not that far from you.

JO: That’s good.

NICK: I am gonna give you two black dice for that kind of called shot, because that’s gonna be pretty difficult.

JO: Mm-hmm. Okay, that’s very fair, honestly.

NICK: You do still have light side points on the table if you would like.

JO: We are back to having two.

NICK: Yep.

JO: I am gonna do that, and I am gonna add a green to this.

NICK: Okie-dokie.

JO: Okay, so I have a triumph and a threat, because of course I do [laughs], unless the threat is… I don’t- I don’t know how triumphs work.

NICK: Triumphs count as the triumph and a success, so that counts as one more success, so you have a triumph, a success, and a threat?

JO: And then I had that stupid threat. [laughs] And the triumph.

NICK: Yeah, so you do have the threat, but you will have a triumph and a success, so that means you succeed on shooting the gun.

JO: Okay.

NICK: Just because I added minuses for that I think the gun just disintegrates in the droid’s hand.

JO: Cool.

NICK: The triumph is something really good, kind of deus ex machina, whatever you want to happen that’s gonna be a big boon, you can just do.

JO: Okay. Cool.

NICK: So what would you like to spend that on?

JO: I would like to spend it on what was going to be the next part of my plan which is the oil catching fire and making a big explosion.

NICK: Yep. That definitely happens. We’ll say, actually, so the gun doesn’t disintegrate, the gun starts to spark and flies backward behind the battle droid straight into the fuel tank and we get a huge explosion that knocks everyone flat but you.

JO: Cool.

NICK: And you’re able to book it for the box truck.

JO: Sweet.

NICK: And we’re gonna cut back to Xianna. Xianna, as you’re asking this Devaronian, “so, do I put it back, or?”

[heavy metal music begins]

There is a giant explosion overhead that shakes the entire facility and bright red emergency lights all turn on everywhere, and the one way mirror shatters. The Devaronian points the gun at you.

NICK (as Devaronian): What did you do?!

LILIT (as Xianna): I took the files from the container? Oh! Do you mean the explosion? Yes, I did not do that explosion.

NICK (as Devaronian): Well, something exploded and you’re not supposed to be from here.

LILIT (as Xianna): Yeah. You should go check on that explosion. It is probably those droids.

NICK: [laughs] Make me a Cool check, Laura.

LILIT: Yeah. Any difficulty in that?

NICK: Nope, you’re rolling opposed.

LILIT: Okay. [gasps] I got a triumph with a success, another success, and two advantages.

JO: Ooh, hot damn.

NICK: Triumph, two successes, and two advantages… Ah, you just barely beat him. So, you can tell it looks like he’s probably about to pull the trigger, but you’ve got the drop on him because he’s trying to not give away that’s what he’s doing, but he’s probably going to shoot you soon. How do you want this to play out with the triumph and the initiative advantage?

[metal music ends]

LILIT: I want to quickdraw, shoot him, and he drops his weapon.

NICK: Sure, we can do that pretty easily. Can I also help your triumph by reminding you that Falx really wanted some personnel files too, and maybe you see them in his office?

LILIT: Okay!

NICK: So he falls back and a hologram on the desk pops up. It just looks like an address program, and it starts scrolling as he grabs at the desk and he falls down. You just kicked his butt at shooting. He starts trying to climb up, but there’s a pretty big hole in his chest right now.

NICK (as Devaronian): You just come into MY facility and shoot me? Really?!

LILIT (as Xianna): Yes, and I am supposed to tell you that Falx said hello. This is all his fault, all his fault, so do blame him if I do not end up killing you. Okay. Thank you.

NICK (as Devaronian): Falx, you kriffing nerf herder!

LILIT (as Xianna): Second question. The vials of whatever drug that is, do they have to stay cold? Because my insulated pocket will only keep it cold for a few hours.

NICK: I feel like to learn more about this drug you’re probably gonna have to coerce him or something. You just shot him, so I don’t think Charm is gonna work.

LILIT: [laughs] What else do I have?

NICK: You could also do Knowledge: Education to have chemistry knowledge.

LILIT: Xianna doesn’t have any points in Knowledge: Education!

NICK: [laughs]

LILIT: I have Knowledge: Underworld.

NICK: I’d let you roll Knowledge: Underworld for chilled drugs and their effects.

LILIT: is there a difficulty?

NICK: Hard, because this is a weird experimental drug.

LILIT: Oh wow, so that is one success…

NICK: What the nuts?!

LILIT: [grinning] …but three threats.

JO: [laughs]

NICK: Perfect. You climbed over to him and were talking to him, and he’s laying on the ground, and as you’re asking him these questions you realize okay, so this stuff normally if they’re making experimental substances they keep it chilled a lot colder than it necessarily has to be to keep it stable, so your insulated pocket keeps stuff at about the same temperate for a couple hours but will keep it ‘cold-ish’ for about a day, and this stuff probably just needs to be kept ‘cold-ish.’ They just kept it super cold to keep it as stable as possible for laboratory conditions. And as you have that thought, the Devaronian grabs your ankle and pulls your feet out from under you and you fall prone. [dramatic bass noise]

LILIT (as Xianna): That is not cool!

NICK: He keeps a death grip on your ankle and says:

NICK (as Devaronian): [menacingly] You won’t get the chance to tell Falx about what you saw here.

NICK: Now what do you do?

LILIT: Shoot him.

NICK: [laughs] Okay. Roll me a Ranged attack, and you get two black dice because you’re laying on the ground and he’s at a weird angle to you, but it is an easy difficulty because you’re very close.

LILIT: Yeah. Okay. I have a triumph with its success and two advantages.

NICK: Cool. You can do whatever you want in this situation. What would you like to happen?

LILIT: I would like to shoot him to the point that he is unconscious or dead.

NICK: Okay! He leans up a little. It looks like he was going to start trying to put you in a wrestling hold, and you just plug him right in the chest and he falls back and his eyes close, and there’s a small pool of blood under him. He’s not in great shape. He’s having a bad day.

LILIT: He had a gun, right?

NICK: Yeah.

LILIT: Xianna goes and picks that gun up, throws it in a pocket.

NICK: It’s super freaking nice, actually, you realize as you get it. It has a wood inlayed handle and silver filigree. It’s very pretty.

LILIT: I bet it has a name inscribed on it.

NICK: It sure does.

LILIT: Yes. I don’t know what the name is, but [laughs].

NICK: We’ll figure it out later. Whatever. Ooh, maybe the name is inscribed in Devaronian, which you don’t speak, but they’re really blocky spell-looking sigil letters, so you recognize it as Devaronian but you don’t know what it says.

LILIT: Jeff.

NICK: [chuckling] Yeah, probably, but it looks like they glow slightly. It looks very cool. This is a blaster that looks very elegant and has kind of a long barrel and looks very nice.

LILIT: Nice!

NICK: Yeah.

LILIT: Xianna will then go to the computer and look about getting any files, depending on how easy that looks.

NICK: So, it’s very easily accessible from here, like you can see that and see that there’s a lot of different contacts, I think you probably even recognize one of the names as you’re scrolling through as someone you’ve met before in the underworld. The actual downloading of those files, like to a data pad or something, will probably take a little bit of time or some quick typing, some sort of computer skills to speed that up.

LILIT: Cool.

NICK: And there is a raging, flaming explosion overhead, so…

LILIT: [dismissively] Yeah-yeah-yeah.

NICK: [laughs]

LILIT: What check would it be to try to speed this up?

NICK: It would be Computers.

LILIT: Computers? Okay.

NICK: Mm-hmm.

LILIT: What would be the difficulty?

NICK: Average?

LILIT: Okay… One threat!

NICK: One threat. Hey, uh, Xianna, the files all download really fast. No problems.

LILIT: Great.

NICK: They’re on a data pad that was handily supplied. You got it. Everything’s great.

LILIT: Great.

JO: Falx has a Trojan, and really that’s on him.

NICK: [laughs]

LILIT: Yeah, Xianna’s gonna walk back out, swipe anything else that looks expensive or drug-like, any other spice vials that she can see, or just anything that looks sciency enough that she doesn’t know what it is but it might be expensive. A small microscope. She doesn’t know how much those cost. A textbook. Those are expensive.

NICK: [laughs]

LILIT: Especially the science ones. I legitimately once had to pay $600 for a textbook.

NICK: Ugh!

LILIT: Yeah! Because biology textbooks are so big.

JO: Mm-hmm.

LILIT: Ugh.

NICK: Ugh.

LILIT: Makes me sad. [chuckles]

NICK: I think you’re able to grab a microscope. I think you do grab a textbook about medical science that looks pretty worthy of stuff, and you grab two doses of Huttese spice. They’re not experimental or anything, they were just sitting on a countertop off to the side. Then, would you take the time to grab two more vials of the blue stuff as the lab is beginning to shake and you see dust coming down from the entrance point?

LILIT: Oh yeah. So I got two vials of the Huttese spice, a textbook, and a small microscope?

NICK: Yep, and you said you would take the time, so you can have two more vials of the blue stuff.

LILIT: Okay, so I’m up to six.

NICK: Yup. As you grab those two, one in each hand, whatever’s in the water your hands freeze up around these vials, like the muscles are spasming and you don’t think you’re gonna be able to grab any more at this point. It’s a weird situation, because the water was cold but not cold enough that you completely should lose feeling in your hands. Maybe there was something else in that water.

LILIT (as Xianna): That was weird. Okay. I’m just going to go now. Talking to myself. It will be fine. Okay, going!

NICK: You run out of the room. You get to the ladder that leads out of this place, and you realize you can’t open your hands, so climbing a ladder is probably gonna be a little difficult, huh?

LILIT: Xianna starts using her elbows to loop around the rungs. [laughs]

NICK: Okay.

LILIT: I’m also sure she has probably had to climb a ladder with her hands tied together before, so, resourceful.

NICK: I think so. I still want a Coordination check though. [chuckles]

LILIT: No, yeah, yeah.

NICK: This will be hard.

LILIT: Okay, that’s good.

JO: [laughs]

NICK: Because the numbness has spread up your arms a little bit.

LILIT: Coordination is Agility, and she’s all jacked up on Mountain Dew, so…

NICK: Yeah. [laughs]

LILIT: Yup, three successes and two advantages.

NICK: Great. You manage to get out pretty easily. We’re gonna jump back to Mal. Mal, you finish loading all this fuel onto this box truck, and as you open the door you see Xianna leading elbow-first out of this pit she jumped into. What do you do?

JO: I was hoping to grab a few engines, because those would be good money, but this is a one-shot so, meta-gaming, Mal doesn’t really need them. [laughs]

NICK: [laughs] We’ll say Xianna took long enough down in the junkyard. Instead of jumping into the ship, let’s do it that way. You see Xianna coming elbow first as you are hauling a big old speeder engine onto your cart and tugging it back towards the box truck. I like that image a lot.

JO: [giggling] Okay. Cool. I’m going to continue loading it up and make sure everything is in place.

JO (as Mal): I’m about to get it going, so hop on in.

LILIT (as Xianna): Okay! I’m coming. I’m coming. … Ha-ha! Not that way, other way, but I am on my way. Okay. We go.

JO (as Mal): [uneasily] Okay.

LILIT (as Xianna): Do you know the progress on the droids and their uprising?

JO (as Mal): Uh…

JO: I do a wide sweeping gesture at the chaos and destruction.

[tense music returns]

JO (as Mal): I’d say they have risen.

NICK: [chuckles]

LILIT (as Xianna): Great.

NICK: There’s basically two big groups of droids. A hole has been blown in this wall by several of the forklift droids smashing into it, and going out into the Dune Sea you see a cloud of the blue lit-up, free droids and a smaller group of the red lit-up, restraining bolt droids just chasing each other into the desert.

[tense music fades]

You see the battle droid that Xianna didn’t crush. It’s missing an arm and is kind of smoked up and is just looking bereft standing next to the giant explosion because it doesn’t have a gun and it doesn’t know what to do at this point. There’s just the quiet of crackling smoke and burning jet fuel, but the fire does seem pretty unstable, like the explosion’s gonna get bigger.

LILIT: Xianna does shout to the droid.

LILIT (as Xianna): Are you pro-uprising or anti-uprising?

NICK: The droid looks towards Xianna and Mal and does a dismissive hand gesture.

NICK (as Battle Droid): I’m pretty sure that I represent ‘the man’ in this situation.

LILIT (as Xianna): Well, you can always change that, you know, be on the inside, destroy from within.

JO (as Mal): Also, I know how to do repairs, and I don’t know if ‘the man’ is gonna fix you up.

LILIT (as Xianna): Oh, they certainly will not.

NICK (as Battle Droid): Yeah, you know what, kriff this.

NICK: And the battle droid just hops onto the engine that’s in the back of the box truck.

NICK (as Battle Droid): I’ve always wanted a better arm. The standard ones don’t have a lot of punch power. It’s pretty disappointing.

JO (as Mal): Well, as long as you aren’t a nark I can get you a good punch arm.

JO: I say as I am plugged in and working on my data pad to get this baby going.

NICK: This speeder has the equivalent of the keys being left in the ignition. You plug in the data pad, hit the Beginning Hack button, and it purrs to life. It sounds like this is a non-standard engine. It’s got some giddy-up to it for sure, and hey look, what a coincidence, there’s been a hole blown in the wall big enough for a box truck to go through.

JO: A wide, shit-eating grin opens up on my face as I motion for Xianna to get in.

LILIT (as Xianna): Ooh! Hold on one second.

LILIT: Reaches into one of the pockets, pulls out a grenade, and just chucks it.

NICK: So, very important question, Xianna. Do you chuck the grenade down the hatch into the experimental lab or just into the general chaos that is the scrapyard?

LILIT: Just the general chaos.

NICK: [smiling] Okay. You chuck this grenade, you jump into the truck, the truck peels out, and there’s a small explosion and then a giant mushroom cloud explosion and the walls shatter and throw debris hundreds of meters in every direction, and the crane lists and starts to slowly fall to the ground, and that cliff that you jumped off of shatters and big old pieces of rocks slough down into this facility. It’s just a big old disaster.

LILIT (as Xianna): Whoa. I wonder if I hit a fuel cell or if that drug lab had explosive stuff in it.

JO (as Mal): I’m just glad we decided to not park my ship on the cliffs.

NICK: [laughs]

LILIT (as Xianna): Oh yes, that is a good idea. It would be super destroyed right now.

JO: and speaking of ship, I’m driving back up towards it so that way we can bring that on home too.

NICK: Yeah! So, who drives which ship on the way back to see Falx?

JO: I hope I drive my ship.

LILIT: Yeah, Xianna will drive the smaller one. Does the droid have a name?

NICK: This droid’s name is B1-L35, and you name it Billy.

LILIT: That works.

NICK: Yeah. [chuckles] So, did you take it out of the back of the truck and sit it in the passenger’s seat?

LILIT: Oh definitely.

NICK: It turns to you as you’re driving back across the desert.

NICK (as B1-L35): I’ve never been inside one of these before.

LILIT (as Xianna): Yes, they are fun. Although, if you stop paying attention to where you are going you might crash. Just saying, I have no reason for that whatsoever. Heh.

NICK: As you say that we see an outside shot of the truck hitting a dune that’s slightly too big and flying kind of high in the air and slamming down and still going.

LILIT (as Xianna): Oopsies. My bad. You are really not supposed to use your holo-com while driving. If you ever drive a speeder of your own, Billy, do not follow my example.

NICK (as B1-L35): I don’t think I’ll be driving anytime soon. That ship that the liberator is fling looks a lot more complicated. I don’t know if I’ll be able to figure that one out.

LILIT (as Xianna): Yes. Well, you can ask them if you can stay with them. you can’t stay with me, because I do not currently have a place to stay.

NICK (as B1-L35): That sounds sad.

JO: [laughs]

LILIT (as Xianna): It’s not sad so much as I have been crashing at different people’s places because I’ve never really owned my own place. It’s fun. It’s not sad.

NICK (as B1-L35): You don’t have any people that you’ve shared experiences with?

LILIT (as Xianna): Yes.

NICK (as B1-L35): That you care about and have learned more about yourself in bonding with them?

LILIT (as Xianna): Well yes, you see, but that ship had a hot tub and so I do want to get back to that ship because of the very nice hot tub situation, because not too many other ships have a hot tub and shag carpeting, but the person who usually flies it isn’t on that ship. Or are they? I don’t remember. For whatever reason I cannot be on that ship, and I am like not quite sure where I am sitting with my girlfriend, maybe ex-girlfriend, I do not know. I said something that made her upset and now she doesn’t want to talk to me.

NICK (as B1-L35): That sounds very confusing and complicated.

LILIT (as Xianna): Yes. You see, I thought being asked if I wanted to keep a toothbrush on our ship was not a trick question. I don’t think it’s a trick question. I think I just have a lot of commitment issues and being asked if I wanted to keep a toothbrush at her ship, uh, was maybe not the best time to just send a bunch of laughy face emojis back with a no.

NICK (as B1-L35): Yeah, I’m pretty sure that was like a request for low-key commitment, and I’m a droid that was designed just to kill people and not think.

LILIT (as Xianna): Yes, ha-ha, I do have commitment issues. I’m at least aware of that, and that is the first step, but yes I cannot stay at her place at the moment.

JO: Does Xianna text and drive?

LILIT: Xianna does not usually drive, but in a situation like this, probably.

JO: Okay, because I was gonna say, I could call in and be like: “Why did you just send me a bunch of peach emojis? I don’t understand.”

NICK: [laughs]

LILIT: Oh, yeah, yeah. [laughs]

NICK: So, we get a side wipe to—well, first question. Do you actually return to Falx? There is an option to not do that.

LILIT: Yeah, because Xianna left Creamsicle in the bar.

NICK: Oh no!

JO: Oh, well then we have to go back.

LILIT: Yeah. Creamsicle’s been hanging out in various vents of wherever Xianna goes.

NICK: Cool. So, we get a side wipe of Mal and Xianna approaching Falx’s booth. There’s a line of martini glasses of varying heights, and he is trying to make the glasses do the humming noise and play a song, but it takes him way too long to get one to hum, so it’s mostly him just gesturing weirdly at these glasses. Creamsicle is sprawled out on Falx’s head gnawing on one of his head horns. Falx looks up.

NICK (as Falx): Oh hi, you’re back!

LILIT (as Xianna): Yes. Ello Creamsicle! Were you a good loth-rat while I was gone~?

NICK: It rolls over and flops its head down on Falx’s forehead to look at you upside-down.

LILIT (as Xianna): I will take that as a yes.

NICK: And Falx gently takes it off and sets it down where it immediately knocks over a martini glass when it runs over to where you’re sitting down in the booth.

NICK (as Falx): Ahh! Aw man, I was trying to play the Imperial Anthem. It’s such a bummer.

LILIT (as Xianna): You were not doing it well.

JO (as Mal): Why would you play that, HERE?

NICK (as Falx): I mean, me and the bartender are cool, he doesn’t care.

NICK: The bartender looks like they care a lot.

JO (as Mal): Yeah—No.

LILIT: Timeline question. The death star has now blown up, right?

NICK: Yup, sure has.

LILIT: Death star one. Okay, yeah. Just double-checking. I was pretty sure, but just double-check.

LILIT (as Xianna): Yes, um, especially since the big murder ball went boom, there has been more Rebellion stuff, so maybe don’t.

NICK (as Falx): The Rebellion doesn’t have a cool, nifty song composed by a famous composer.

LILIT (as Xianna): Yes. Well, in my personal experience, hot desert sand planets are already uncomfortable to live in, so we really don’t like it when there are Imperials because it makes it even worse, because sand gets everywhere, stormtroopers get everywhere, not pleasant. So, I am sure most people in this bar are very anti-Imperial.

JO (as Mal): And you cannot put freedom down in a song, because nothing can truly capture freedom, and that is real freedom.

LILIT (as Xianna): I don’t know. I heard a song the other week that was just called freedom.

JO (as Mal): That’s a lie.

NICK: [laughs]

JO (as Mal): The song is a lie. I’m sure you heard it.

LILIT (as Xianna): I’m not really sure if I heard it or not, but… I don’t know. Anyways, Falx, here is the data pad with whatever it was you wanted on it, contacts I guess. This is yours now.

NICK (as Falx): Hey great!

LILIT: And pulls out the data pad and just gives it over.

LILIT (as Xianna): This is for you.

JO (as Mal): And there is a barrel of oil outside the door for you.

NICK: The camera zooms to the door and you see someone wearing a black jumpsuit, and it kinda looks like a TIE fighter pilot helmet but with all of the skull-like features smoothed out. It looks like a very streamlined motorcycle helmet so you can’t see any of their features or anything. They’ve got the barrel, and they’re rolling it on one of the rims kind of at an angle towards, ironically, Falx is still flying around in a supped-up Imperial shuttle, but now it’s got a different paint job on it. It’s got like blue stripes and weird patterns and things, so it doesn’t look so Imperial, and this pilot is rolling it that way.

NICK (as Falx): Yeah, I’m sure the pilot will take care of it. That’s his job.

JO (as Mal): Right. Well, it has been… what it has been, Falx. Xianna, I will maybe see you around and we’ll blow something else up, and hopefully Billy will wanna join us at that time.

LILIT (as Xianna): Yes. I am always down for blowing stuff up. Falx, it was okay seeing you. I am sure those files are perfectly fine. You have a lovely day, and… okay, I’m going to go now.

NICK (as Falx): Yeah, it’s so weird, they’re not even encrypted. You did a great job.

LILIT (as Xianna): I am very good with computers. You remember Tink, the very tall Gigoran, yes? Hard to forget.

NICK (as Falx): Absolutely, love that Tink.

LILIT (as Xianna): Picked up some computer skills from him, so you know, I was able to unencrypt them for you, as a gift. Did not want to make you do extra work.

NICK (as Falx): That’s very considerate of you, Xianna. Thank you.

LILIT (as Xianna): Pretty sure you said there was a Devaronian. May be dead.

NICK (as Falx): Huh!

LILIT (as Xianna): Shot them a few times. There were many explosions. Cannot give you a positive though. I would say 55/45, don’t know which way though.

JO: [chuckles]

NICK (as Falx): I’ll take it. As long as he’s been drastically inconvenienced, that’s better than I could have hoped for.

LILIT (as Xianna): Oh, certainly. I shot him from like point blank range in the chest.

NICK (as Falx): Nice!

LILIT (as Xianna): And stole his stuff.

NICK (as Falx): I sure am glad that we’re just doing business together and there’s no kind of betrayal being done at all.

LILIT (as Xianna): Absolutely no betrayal, whatsoever. Good.

JO (as Mal): It would have to be intentional and malicious for there to be a betrayal, and there is definitely, uh, no intended malice happening here.

JO: Because Mal absolutely does not believe, after seeing Xianna in the crane box, that Xianna de-encrypted the files and that there is not a massive virus or something terribly wrong in the situation.

LILIT: [laughs] Yep.

NICK (as Falx): You know, Mal? You said that real weird, but I trust you. I’m sure it’s all fine, and I really appreciate the way this went. I’m gonna be honest, when I called both of you I expected at least one of you to take a shot at me, but I think this really shows that people can change.

LILIT (as Xianna): Yes.

NICK (as Falx): And I know I have, for the better.

LILIT (as Xianna): I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflecting and am trying to be less of a, what was it, hot mess garbage disaster.

NICK (as Falx): Who called you that?

LILIT (as Xianna): My possible girlfriend, ex-girlfriend, I am not entirely sure where we stand right now.

NICK (as Falx): Oh yes, love can be pretty hard.

LILIT (as Xianna): Yes. I do not think it was her fault, but mostly my fault. On that, I’m going to go now.

NICK: [laughs]

LILIT (as Xianna): Goodbye Falx, and goodbye Mal. I actually do hope we see each other again.

JO (as Mal): Yeah, hope to see you around.

JO: I’m gonna head on out with you, even though we’re not leaving-leaving together.

LILIT: Xianna does stop at the bar and orders the most expensive shot they have, whatever their top shelf Corellian whiskey is, and does tell the bartender that it is on Falx.

NICK: [grinning] It’s extremely expensive. The bartender says:

NICK (as Bartender): Good.

NICK: As you do the shot, you can tell that it’s not what you ordered, like they filled it with cheaper stuff, but it’s still decent.

LILIT: Mm-hmm. It’s more the thought that counts.

LILIT & JO: [giggles]

NICK: You do that. You point at Falx and say that he’s paying for it. He doesn’t hear. The bartender says good, you do the shot, the camera zooms in on Falx.

NICK (as Falx): [cheerfully] Well, bye! This has really gone well.

LILIT: Then yeah, Xianna continues walking out with Mal.

NICK: Mal, do you take Billy under your wing or leave him to–?

JO: Yes.

NICK: Okay.

JO: No, I told him I would fix him up. I’m not about to abandon him! What is this?

NICK: I’m just checking! [laughs] So, we see Xianna walk off into the sunset, presumably to go find a ride or her ship. We see Falx’s pilot refueling this Lambda shuttle, and the last shot is of Mal. What’s happening?

JO: I am working on an arm with some good punch power for Billy as we take off into space.

NICK: Nice. We see this large galleon looking starship that’s bristling with weapons on the mast lift up over Tatooine, we see the full ball of sand that is Tatooine, and it winks out into hyperspace. And that’ll be the end of the episode. Ba-naaa~!

JO: Woo~!

LILIT: Ba-naaa~!

## Outro

NICK: Thanks so much 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 find the show, and every time we get one the squad does an adorable dance. If you’re so inclined, you can also help support the show through our Patreon which can be found in the show notes, on our website, and basically anywhere else we post things. We have all sorts of Patreon levels including some of my favorites: Bantha Buddy, Tarkin’s Underwear Drawer, and Build-A-Beru which all have fabulous rewards and super great names.

Mal is played by Jo Welsh-Wilson. You can find them at @Fallin_Forone on Twitter and on their podcast, Arms of the Tide, at @ArmsoftheTide on Twitter, where they play a flammable plant wolf with depression.

Xianna’fan is played by Lilit Penrod. They can be found on Twitter at @cheerio_buffet.

Our game master is me, Nick Robertson, and you can find me 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, and join our Discord and share all of your food and cute pet photos with us. We also sometimes talk about Star Wars. You can find the link to join our Discord on our website and in our pinned tweet. See you next time.

Word document download: Interstitials s1- Xianna 1- Proof of Mal Intent

PDF download: Interstitials s1- Xianna 1- Proof of Mal Intent

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Tabletop Squadron Transcript, Xianna Interstitial 1, Part 1:
Proof of Mal Intent

Transcript by Tyler (Twitter: @Tyler_MoonSage)

## Intro

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, and a slicer as they explore the galaxy helping a mysterious benefactor and each other.

Well everyone, as the galaxy continues to turn around us the crew of the Afternoon Delight is separated by time and circumstance. The next few arcs will focus on individual members of the crew with some amazing guests to help us tell stories. We hope you enjoy.

I want to take a moment to thank our newest patrons! ChaseMin, thank you for your extremely generous support of the show. The Rebellion is running pretty low on intel right now, so we got you this notebook and tape recorder. See if you can get out there and find us some clues on what the Empire is up to. Haley McAuliffe, thank you for your support of the crew. We got a message from Falx Urnstad. We don’t know how he got our number, but he’s requesting some sort of parlay and we don’t know what it’s about. Can you take a ship out there and see what he’s up to? Look out for betrayal. And David Tulius, thank you as well for supporting the crew. It looks like there’s some bounty hunters out there looking for us. We got you this bounty hunter license and a cool hat. Either make friends or take them out, your choice, but be careful.

Thank you again to all our patrons for taking care of us and helping us keep the squad in the skies, and thank you to all of our listeners for coming with us on this journey.

Music this week is Wirklich Wichtig (ID 211) by Checkie Brown.

So now, let’s get into the episode.

##

NICK: Hello! Welcome to Tabletop Squadron, Xianna’s Solo Adventure. I’m your hosting game master, Nick. Just jumping right into some things after the conclusion of Season 1, doing a little bit of exploration into our characters as they go off on their own into the galaxy. We’re gonna go around the virtual table and everybody say who you are and who you will be playing today starting with Laura.

LAURA: Hi, I’m Laura, and I will be playing Tink, a Gigoran slicer.

NICK: [smiling] God damn it.

[laughter]

LAURA: I will be playing Xianna’fan, a Twi’lek smuggler.

NICK: Oh gosh. I was gonna say, I did not write this for Tink. I don’t know if this is gonna mess it all up. Okay, and up next we have Jo. Hi Jo.

JO: Hi! I’m Jo, and I will be playing Mal, the Zabrak hacker.

NICK: Ooh. Jo, thank you for guesting on the show~

JO: Thank you for having me.

NICK: Of course! Do you have any projects that you would like to plug? Where can people find you on the internet?

JO: I would like to plug Arms of the Tide. Arms of the Tide is a story where I play a flammable, purple, plant-wolf with depression, and if that doesn’t sell you we have a lovable robot with a heart of gold and a fuckton of cats.

NICK: [laughs]

JO: Oh shoot! Am I allowed to swear? You all swear, right?

NICK: Yes.

LAURA: Oh, we swear a lot.

JO: Okay. I could’ve sworn that there was swearing, but the moment I did it I was like OH NO! [giggles]

NICK: Oh no, we fucking cuss, Jo. You’re good.

LAURA: We are like 30% swear words.

NICK: [grinning] Anyway, do you have anything else that you would like to plug, Jo?

JO: Um, The ORPHEUS Protocol, which is horror, and it’s run by the amazing storyteller Rob Stith who is also a friend, so I’m biased, but I’d recommend that. Well, I guess if a listener is interested in lots of swearing and incredibly rude jokes they can check out our Haven: City of Violence episodes over on One Shot.

NICK: Oh gosh, I forgot about those. Those are fun.

LAURA: They’re all so good.

NICK: Yeah. I will definitely take a second to say that Arms of the Tide and ORPHEUS Protocol are the two shows that always jump to the top of my play list whenever new episodes come out. They are just fantastic, so anybody listening should listen to those. They are very good.

JO: Well thank you.

NICK: And also Haven: City of Violence is an experience.

[laughter]

JO: [grinning] Oh god, it really is.

NICK: It was really fun. I laughed a lot. It is confusing, in a good way. It is fun.

JO: That’s good. There was a lot that was not cut that we thought was going to be cut.

NICK & LAURA: [laughs]

JO: But yeah, thank you for having me. Hopefully Mal will work out and have some fun.

NICK: So, before we get started, we need to do the Destiny Roll.

LAURA: Okay. … Oh no. So mine came back two dark side points.

NICK: Off to a great start.

LAURA: And the other one for Jo came back with one dark side point.

NICK: [sinister laughter]

JO: Sweet.

NICK: Wonderful. Great.

LAURA: Sorry.

NICK: But the good news is nothing is going to go wrong, everything’s gonna be perfectly fine, so you won’t need those. Alright, so we ready to get started?

LAURA & JO: Yes.

NICK: Oh boy. We open on a dark and dusty bar.

[slow country western guitar music begins]

A single overhead fan spins lazily over the sparse clientele. Morning sunlight filters in through high, small windows. The building is built into the ground keeping out most of the heat. A bartender wipes the inside of a metal glass with a dirty rag, chewing on their lip and staring into space. At the end of a bar a Chadra-Fan is jumping up and down trying to get the bartender’s attention but so far has had no luck.

Xianna, you enter the bar and take stock of your surroundings. You received an anonymous message through the kind of channels that mean the offer is legit. They wanted an expert for a rob and sabotage job. They don’t mention pay, but they do mention rights to anything you can steal on the job. It’s supposedly a good tip to a low-security gig, and let’s face it, it’s been about a month since the shipyard incident and you’re getting bored. Your instructions were to sit at the booth in the back of the bar and wait for your contact. The booth in question is empty and easy to see. What do you do?

LAURA: I go up and get a drink from the bar first and then go sit down, wait, but I’m also definitely on my com channel texting emojis to various people.

NICK: Hmm. So two questions. One, what is your drink of choice in this small, dusty bar, and two, what is the most recent string of emojis you’ve sent to somebody?

LAURA: I do not have a fancy drink name right now…

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA: …so I’m just gonna say a jogan fruit and vodka.

NICK: Is it like a cranberry vodka, so it’s like jogan fruit juice?

LAURA: Yes. [laughs]

NICK: Okay. I was picturing like a sky vodka crossover where it’s just jogan fruit flavored and is really chemical.

LAURA: Nah, it’s just basically a cranberry vodka but with whatever jogan fruit is supposed to be.

NICK: Yep. The bartender definitely opens up a very dusty can of jogan fruit juice, and it comes out and looks mostly fine but pretty old. It tastes more like the interior of the can than the juice is supposed to, but the vodka’s good.

LAURA: And then the most recent string of emojis is definitely just like eight peaches in a row to Nolaa.

NICK: [laughs] Yeah. I think Nolaa has been playing the game for a while of trying to come up with a different way to respond to peach emoji every time and has gotten into the ASCII art of Kirby flipping desks and things but more lewd. So, that conversation is going on.

LAURA: Yeah. She’s just gonna sit there emoji-ing away until someone decides to come up to her, because she’s not gonna put in the effort.

NICK: Fair. The camera does a pan around the bar and shows the Chadra-Fan, the little bat person who’s probably like half a meter tall, still jumping and waving at the bartender who served you right away and is ignoring the Chadra-Fan. Then we get one of those clock wipes where it goes around to show the passage of time, and Xianna is still sitting at the bar. I think her posture has shrunk over time because it’s been about 15-20 minutes at this point.

LAURA: Oh yeah, she is laying down in it, back, feet are now up resting on that back top rim of the booth cushions.

NICK: Nice. After 15-20 minutes someone else enters the bar. The Chadra-Fan finally gets the bartender’s attention, grabs a drink, sees the person in the doorway and hides back behind the bar away from this new entrant. Jo, please describe your character for us.

JO: Okay. So, Mal is a Zabrak. They are one of the red-skinned base ones, and they have a halo of horns at the top of their head. They are wearing clothes with way too many pockets if too many pockets were such a thing to be had.

NICK: Nice.

JO: And they have a hood that they take off as they enter in the bar. I suppose that Mal would do a scan around to see if they recognize anyone.

NICK: Yeah. So Mal, you know who offered you the job and you know that they said you’d have a partner for help, and you can see a purple Twi’lek sitting upside down in a booth in the back of the bar. You know that booth is where you were supposed to meet. Do you approach?

JO: Yes.

NICK: Okay. You sidle up to this booth. Xianna, you are approached by a—How is Mal stature-wise, Jo? Are they tall, short, stronk?

JO: They’re pretty medium, honestly, and they walk tall with their head up, but yeah, pretty medium.

NICK: Cool, so still taller than Xianna, probably. Xianna, you’ve been approached by a red skin Zabrak covered in pouches.

LAURA: Xianna, still upside down, does a little wave.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, ‘ello.

JO: Mal gives you a nod.

JO (as Mal): [tentatively] Howdy. I take it you’re here for the job.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes. I am assuming you are as well.

JO (as Mal): Yep, that’s the only thing that would get me down here on Tatooine.

LAURA (as Xianna): Cool. Do you want a jogan fruit and vodka? I found someone over on the other side of the bar who will buy them for me.

JO (as Mal): I’m good, thank you though.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay.

JO (as Mal): I like to keep a clear head for the job, you know.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh yes, uh, same. Definitely the same. Clear head.

LAURA: You can see there’s five empty glasses on the table.

JO: I just nod at the glasses and slide into the booth.

LAURA: Xianna does pop back up into seated position.

NICK: Okay. As you sort of size each other up a third figure enters the bar. The Chadra-Fan pokes their head up, sees who it is, and throws their drink at the approaching person.

NICK (as Chadra-Fan): Kriff you!

NICK: They shout. The person ducks out of the way and shrugs magnanimously. As the door swings shut and the bright desert sun is blocked away you get a clear look at the new bar patron. He’s a tall Zabrak man, a little over two meters. He has medium brown skin covered in lighter tan tattoos. He’s wearing clothes that look like a fashion designer tried to codify smuggler vogue.

LAURA: [laughs]

NICK: Expensive materials beginning to fray at the hems, a dark vest, tight pants, and impractical boots. This is Falx Urnstad, former Imperial Regional Governor and aspiring smuggler. He approaches the booth where you are both sitting.

[music fades]

LAURA: Xianna is already waving.

LAURA (as Xianna): Falx~ Falx! We are over here. Hello~! I thought you were dead! Did you not die?

NICK (as Falx): The stories of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. My dear, dear friends.

NICK: He walks over and gestures widely. You can see the Chadra-Fan sitting at the bar just making anger eyes towards you now.

NICK (as Falx): Welcome to Tatooine. I see you’ve made it alright.

NICK: He orders a drink, waving his hand.

NICK (as Falx): How are you doing this fine day?

LAURA (as Xianna): Good. Good. Um, did you know you were going to hire me?

NICK (as Falx): Oh, yeah.

LAURA (as Xianna): And are we, as you say, “cool?”

NICK (as Falx): You know, honestly, I’m a little surprised that you’re not madder at me… last time we saw each other I sort of tried to frame you for murder. I thought I was gonna have to talk you out of stabbing me.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes. I just feel like I, at some point… Did that happen? I’m pretty sure we charged an extreme amount of money to one of your accounts, so I thought you were going to be very mad at me.

NICK (as Falx): You what?!

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes, like a whole week vacation in a penthouse suite at some very fancy beach resort. I’m pretty sure it was a beach resort… No, yes, because we played volleyball so it must have been a beach resort.

JO (as Mal): You can play volleyball elsewhere.

LAURA (as Xianna): Well it was like in the sand, and there was water.

NICK: [chuckles]

JO (as Mal): Oh, that’s a beach resort.

LAURA (as Xianna): So yeah, I think it was a beach resort.

NICK: The camera pans outside through one of the small windows and there’s a forlorn looking volleyball net stuck in a sand dune and then cuts back inside.

NICK (as Falx): So, you said my account. Was that, like, one of my Imperial charge accounts maybe?

LAURA (as Xianna): I don’t know. Tink did it. I just told him to charge it to you, so…

NICK (as Falx): Well, currently I am not super flush with cash anyway, so I don’t know. Maybe that’s some of the money that got seized by the Imperial government after some recent activities of mine.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes, when you tried to murder another Imperial. We were there. We saw what happened.

NICK (as Falx): Not tried. I was extremely successful if I recall correctly, thank you very much.

LAURA (as Xianna): Eh, I don’t remember so, but I see you are doing okay~

JO (as Mal): You look like shit.

NICK (as Falx): Hey!

LAURA (as Xianna): That is why I said okay, heh, and not good.

NICK (as Falx): These smuggler’s clothes, it really helps you blend in these kind of circles, you know?

LAURA (as Xianna): [interrupting] No.

NICK (as Falx): I worked very hard assembling this outfit.

LAURA (as Xianna): No. You look like a tourist.

NICK (as Falx): YOU look like a tourist.

LAURA (as Xianna): How dare you.

NICK: [laughs] A martini is delivered by the bartender who also glares at Falx and then walks back behind the bar. He grabs it, takes a sip, and says:

NICK (as Falx): You know, I think this bar may make the worst space martinis in the galaxy.

JO (as Mal): You know, I think that he may have spit in it, so that could be part of it.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes, I did see him do that.

NICK (as Falx): Hmm.

NICK: He takes a sip, looks contemplative, and then shrugs and continues to drink.

NICK (as Falx): Can’t win them all. So, you’re probably wondering why I called you both here. Great to see you, Mal, by the way. It’s been quite a while.

JO (as Mal): Never long enough.

NICK (as Falx): Oh, come on now, normally our interactions are at least profitable.

JO: Mal cracks a smile.

NICK (as Falx): And besides, considering you’re part of the reason I was able to get out from under the Imperial thumb, make this new identity, I figured that we would be able to have a working relationship at this point, especially since I’m about to help you make some money.

JO (as Mal): Well, money does make the universe go round. Let’s get on it.

NICK (as Falx): Fine. So here’s what’s going on. Like I said, I’m really getting into the smuggler’s life at this point. I’m gonna work towards being more of an independent business man than the Imperial side of things. It was definitely a me decision. It didn’t have anything to do with anything else going on. I was trying to do a little smuggling into the Dune Sea. It was a really big contract and I got completely screwed. It turns out that the trash that I was hauling as cover wasn’t actually covering anything. It was just trash. My pilot won’t leave the ship and I didn’t get paid enough to fuel up and leave. Can you believe that? Premiere smuggling tycoon Falx Urnstad is out of gas. It’s terrible.

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean, that makes sense. You are very bad at smuggling.

JO: Mal rubs their nose to hide a smile.

NICK (as Falx): I am not bad—How would you even know I’m bad at smuggling? You haven’t seen me be a smuggler. This is pretty new.

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean, you arranged jobs for us to do smuggling and they were bad.

NICK (as Falx): No, see, it’s a common misconception. That was a betrayal that looked like smuggling—

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes.

NICK (as Falx): –and it went pretty well.

LAURA (as Xianna): It did not!

NICK (as Falx): I just didn’t expect you to murder everyone. It went well for me!

LAURA (as Xianna): Well, it did not go well for us outside of the fact that we were alive at the end.

NICK (as Falx): You make a good point. I’m realizing that I should probably consider others more now that I don’t have the backing of the Imperial government. That is something that I will take to heart. I appreciate your interest in my growth as a person, Xianna. that’s really good stuff.

LAURA (as Xianna): You’re welcome~

NICK (as Falx): You see that, Mal? I’m growing as a person.

JO (as Mal): Sure you are. It’s one thing to say that you’re gonna grow and that you’re gonna change and it’s another to actually do it. It takes a lot of work to commit to something.

NICK (as Falx): Hmm. I’ll see what I can do. You know, I think this is a good first step. This is an honest contract, no betrayal, and I’ve got a hot tip. I’m gonna help you find somewhere to hit, and I just ask for a couple of small things in return. Doesn’t that sound great?

JO (as Mal): It sounds like you got something.

NICK (as Falx): So… that trash I was talking about, I dropped it at a scrapyard on the edge of the Dune Sea and they only paid me scrap prices and threatened to shoot me before I could do anything about it. Obviously it’s better to be alive and broke than dead and rich, but I think I have an idea for how to be both alive AND rich.

That scrapyard has a lot more security than it should really need. I know that they only bought scrap from me, but the rest of it doesn’t make any sense. It’s still not exactly an Imperial prison facility, you should be able to make quick work of it, but it did have armed guards, some surveillance, and droids. There’s a lot there. It’s got walls, it’s secure, I think they might be doing more than just scrapping out there in the desert. I think there’s money to be made.

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean probably.

NICK (as Falx): That’s why I called you. I’m not sure exactly what’s there, but it’s there, and I know the two of you can get in and mess it up easy. All I want out of this is a container of their ship fuel and a lead on my next smuggling contract. The owner has to have contacts filed in there somewhere. It’s worth more to me than whatever they’re doing. If you bring me those two things you’re welcome to whatever else you find there. Honestly, one of those security droids alone is probably worth more than your usual commission for a job like this. That’s what made me suspicious in the first place.

So basically, go in, steal what you want, get me fuel and some new contacts, and get out. What do you say?

JO (as Mal): [reluctantly] Fine.

LAURA (as Xianna): What part is the part where you are going to betray us? I just want to know ahead of time so I can plan ahead.

NICK (as Falx): Mal had a good point. I really need to commit and show demonstrable change, so that’s what I’m doing. No betrayal. Honestly, I’m a little worried you’re gonna betray me and not bring the fuel back, but I didn’t know who else to turn to, and apparently you owe me because you charged a ton of money, so…

LAURA (as Xianna): No~

JO (as Mal): Uh, no-no-no, you accused her of murder. She is allowed to take a month-long vacation, so really you still owe her three weeks.

LAURA (as Xianna): No, I did do the murder.

JO (as Mal): Oh!

LAURA (as Xianna): Well, not that murder, not the one he did and got arrested for or whatever, but I have done the murders in the past. Usually justified, though.

JO (as Mal): I mean everybody’s done a few murders in the past. It’s not that big a deal. You just need to own up or make sure there’s nothing to connect you.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yeah.

NICK: Falx is looking reasonably concerned at the way this conversation has gone.

NICK (as Falx): I don’t think I’ve ever done a murder—Oh wait, no, I definitely have done one murder.

LAURA (as Xianna): You just said that you did a murder like two minutes ago.

NICK (as Falx): Yeah, I’m realizing that now. Well, the thing is though, I didn’t do the murder, it looked like I did the murder which was a mistake… Okay, so I—Is it a murder if you stab the guy and then he bleeds out?

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes.

JO (as Mal): Yes.

NICK (as Falx): Because I feel like I didn’t kill him, the blood loss killed him, you know?

LAURA (as Xianna): No, that is a murder.

NICK (as Falx): Okay, so I’ve done a few murders. Okay, so we’re all on the same page. I betrayed you, you charged a bunch of money, we’re even. That means we’re friends now, so we can just have a business relationship. I think this is gonna go really well.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes. I mean, questioning a murder is more like if I poison a man and then while he is passing out he falls off a cliff, did I kill him or did he just fall off a cliff?

JO (as Mal): I’m pretty sure you still killed him, because he might not have fallen off of the cliff if you hadn’t poisoned him.

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean, they were very clumsy.

JO (as Mal): Ehh.

NICK (as Falx): Wait. Did this stop being a hypothetical and start being a thing that you’ve done?

LAURA (as Xianna): No.

JO (as Mal): Wait. Have these been hypothetical?

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): I definitely have never done this before. And besides, I think I am still legally dead, so none of my crimes count.

NICK (as Falx): That’s definitely not how that works.

LAURA (as Xianna): If I am not in the system because they think I am dead then they cannot charge me for crimes.

JO (as Mal): They can put you back in the system. I’ve put people back into the system.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes, but until I am back in the system they can’t charge me. That is how that works. It’s like if you commit a crime two times in a row it is double jeopardy and they can’t charge you for the second one.

JO (as Mal): Yes, and if you and your spouse commit the same crime they can only charge one of you. Absolutely.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes.

JO (as Mal): That is how the law works.

LAURA (as Xianna): That is why I got married one of the times.

JO (as Mal): Mm-hmm.

JO: [smiling] Mal just gives tiny nods.

NICK (as Falx): Oh kriff! I gotta get married, and then maybe murder someone. This sounds foolproof.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes. I’ve been married like, six times?

NICK (as Falx): Huh.

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean, like all were fake under different names, but I mean, still fun.

NICK (as Falx): See, I can tell from this conversation that I picked the right people for this job. I’m feeling more confident every minute. I am so glad that you chose to meet me here in… this tiny, dusty cesspit.

LAURA (as Xianna): Tatooine?

NICK (as Falx): Tatooine is a dusty cesspit. I was trying to cast aspersions upon the bar, because it’s a tiny, dusty cesspit.

NICK: The bartender makes a rude gesture and Falx returns it.

LAURA (as Xianna): I think they just don’t like you.

NICK (as Falx): That just shows that they’re not a good business person. Everybody likes Falx.

LAURA (as Xianna): No…

JO (as Mal): [coughs dramatically, clears throat]

NICK (as Falx): Mal, you—Mal. Come on now. You know that you love me.

JO (as Mal): It’s real dusty in here. It must be [coughs] acting up. [coughs] Ooh, let’s get to the scrapyard.

NICK (as Falx): Alright, I’ve got the coordinates right here. I’m gonna give them to you because I think we’ve all established that we’re all trustworthy people and no one’s gonna betray anyone.

NICK: He slides a small data pad across the bar. A little hologram pops up and you can kinda see where you are and the coordinates that it’s leading to. It’s probably an hour or so away by speeder from where you are now.

NICK (as Falx): Oh, and uh, one more thing before you go. These nerf herders, they played me for a fool. If you destroy their business, burn them out, smash the facility, whatever you have to do, I would see that as a personal favor. I would be happy to pay it back. It’d really help me sleep better at night knowing that they were done for.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay, so a smash and smash and grab. Got it.

JO (as Mal): It’s not B&E without a lot of B.

NICK (as Falx): If you run into a Devaronian, that’s the guy who owns the place, his name’s Garbo Daville. Whatever you can do to make his life miserable. If you can find him you’ll probably find the files you’re looking for. Besides that, that’s all I’ve got. I was not there very long, but I leave it in your capable hands.

NICK: And he downs the rest of his martini.

LAURA (as Xianna): Cool. Were we getting paid for this job, again?

JO (as Mal): We’re getting paid for whatever we take.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, okay, right.

NICK (as Falx): I’m negotiating for gas, so obviously I’m a little tight on cash right now, but the info’s good, I promise.

JO (as Mal): Mm-hmm. Falx, if you would scooch your boot out of the booth so I can leave?

NICK (as Falx): Oh. Right. You sure you don’t wanna just—Oh, yeah, that’s fine.

NICK: He stands up and backs away.

JO: And I climb out of the booth.

LAURA: Xianna just downs whatever drink she has in front of her that’s left, just shoves the empty glass into Falx’s hand, and then saunters off.

NICK: He takes it.

NICK (as Falx): [stammers] Alright, well, I’ll be right here. Just come find me when it’s done. Don’t forget that fuel. Very important.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okie.

NICK (as Falx): I don’t have a ton of friends, so…

LAURA (as Xianna): Byeee. We definitely will not betray you because you are definitely not going to betray uuus.

JO (as Mal): I mean, if he tries we know where his ship is and can just take apart the pieces.

LAURA (as Xianna): Or we can just come back and punch him.

JO (as Mal): Can we at least shank him? A punchin’ seems a little weak.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, I don’t have any knives.

JO (as Mal): I have a scythe.

LAURA (as Xianna): I mostly just have handcuffs and guns.

NICK: So yeah, at the mention of the scythe, Mal, you have a vibro-scythe. Are you just wearing it across your back? Does it have a blade that switches out? What does this thing look like?

JO: It looks like just a scythe blade, and it’s sheathed right now, but when Mal takes it out of its sheathe the handle pops out so that way they can actually hold and swing it.

NICK: Oh cool. That is the exact opposite of what I was picturing, and I really like it.

JO: [giggling] Thanks.

NICK: Okay. You have the location that you need to go to. It’s kinda far. What is y’all’s next move? Are you going to try to collect any more information? How are you gonna get there? What is the plan?

JO: So, my space ship actually looks kind of like a galleon, like a water sailing big ship thing.

NICK: Oh neat.

JO: And it even has the mast, but instead of sails that is where my ship laser/blaster things are, and I don’t know boat… anatomy? Is it still anatomy if it’s not a person? I don’t know boat terms.

LAURA: Probably.

NICK: [laughs]

JO: But the butt/trunk of my boat pops open.

NICK: [cackles]

LAURA: Is that the aft?

JO: The aft?

NICK: Yeah.

JO: Are you sure it’s not the ass?

NICK: Yeah, it’s the ass of the ship.

LAURA: It’s the ass of the boat, yes.

JO: [laughs] Yes. Okay. So, in one of my many pockets I have what is basically a garage door opener, and I take it out and I beep it and it opens up the aft of my ship, and on the very bottom of my ship is a smaller looking ship of the same model, and this one has actual sails on it, but instead of being made out of cloth they are made out of a thin and malleable metal so that way they are perfect for windy environments such as Tatooine.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh wow, you are like, rich?

JO (as Mal): I mean, I have enough to get by.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh hell yes. I call shotgun!

LAURA: Xianna runs and jumps in.

JO (as Mal): You kinda have to be shotgun unless you know how to drive.

LAURA (as Xianna): Well no, sometimes I like to sit in the back so I can lay down.

JO (as Mal): [giggling nervously] Okay, fair enough.

JO: And I ride out! There’s kind of a little burst for takeoff as we launch out of the back, and I press the beeper as we zoom off into the sands.

NICK: Oh wow. Hey, you even have Piloting: Planetary, Jo. That’s cool.

JO: That is cool.

NICK: You have skills to drive this boat. So, I’m picturing that there’s like a long keel, that’s the part that sticks out of the bottom of the boat, that sticks into the sand a little bit so that the ship, once you catch the winds, rides on that kind of at an angle, kind of like a hydrofoil for a water boat.

JO: Okay. Mm-hmm.

NICK: So, it hovers but cuts the sand and throws off a cool wake, and we get the ship riding into the double suns of Tatooine. Does it have seats or do you have to stand holding the rails? Does it have a steering wheel? What do the mechanics of this look like?

JO: So, there are seats. There are three rows of three-by-three theater style seats leading up to the helm, and that is how you steer the ship.

NICK: Wow, that’s very cool.

JO: Yeah.

NICK: So, you take off. I think the fastest way to get to this scrapyard is – the Dune Sea is like a big, round geographic region, and the easiest way to get there will be to cut through the Dune Sea, not to go around through the rocky parts, especially with the type of ship you have, but that can be treacherous because it’s full of all sorts of bad things, and also it’s just big and sandy and if you get lost bad things can happen.

What I’m gonna need from you, Jo, is a Piloting: Planetary roll just to see how quickly you get there, if you have any issues, that kind of stuff.

JO: Sounds good. What is the difficulty on that?

NICK: We’re gonna say the difficulty is average. You’re good at this and a ship is designed for this so it’s not particularly hard.

JO: Okay, so that is two purples, correct?

NICK: Yep, but I am gonna flip a dark side point, so turn one of those into a red for me, please.

JO: Aw, that’s so mean, but now we have a light side point.

NICK: Ah yes, it’s like the mechanics encourage a give and take nature or something. [laughs]

LAURA: Like there’s a balance.

JO: Uh, no, I think that the Jedi just win.

NICK: [confused disagreeing noises and false starts]

[laughter]

NICK: You’re not wrong.

LAURA: Jedi good, everyone’s related.

JO: Yeah. Mm-hmm. I have an Agility 3 and I have Piloting: Planetary Rank 2, so I get two yellows and a green versus the purple and red. Correct?

NICK: Yep.

JO: Cool.

NICK: Absolutely.

JO: Well, your red die came up with two Xs which are bad, however one of my yellow dice came up with two successes, so that cancels each other out. The purple is blank, and then I have two successes and an advantage left over.

NICK: Wow, so you’re good at this. You pilot straight there. Like I said, it’s about an hour away. It was morning when you left. One of the suns is starting to get a little high in the sky as you approach. In the distance, nestled on the edge, you can see these big, rounded walls with bits of junk and broken speeders and a very tall crane poking up above it. You can see the walls themselves reach out into the first layer of dunes, but the back walls are nestled in the side of a cliff, and you see this scrapyard.

It doesn’t appear to have any gates or anything, at least from the angle you’re approaching. So, what do you do? You are far enough away that they probably haven’t seen you or taken note of you. The world is your oyster.

JO: They don’t have any gates… Can we see their entrance? Or it’s just walls, walls, walls for walls of walls?

NICK: It’s like one big, round wall. From the angle that you’re at you can’t see a gate or anything, but one thing you do see is a starship take off from inside the walls and fly away, so they have at least a landing pad inside, but from where you are now it doesn’t look like there’s an easy “walk in here” door.

JO: Okay.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay, so do you want to actually get in there sneaky or do you want to just like, I don’t know, throw some grenades at them? What were you thinking?

JO (as Mal): I like where your head is at with the grenades, but we can probably do more damage if they don’t know that we’re there right away, so I’m gonna go with some sneaking.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okie.

JO: That in mind, I’m going to park the ship behind a large sand dune slash hill thing for cover?

NICK: Yeah. You’re right at the border of where the dunes start so you could park it there. You could also swing out into the rocks and make your way towards the cliffs that overlook the walls. There’s plenty of cover for you to be able to kinda scout out the area without being seen. That is definitely an option.

JO (as Mal): Xianna, would you rather we park here or up by the cliff?

LAURA (as Xianna): Ooh, here.

JO (as Mal): Alright then.

LAURA (as Xianna): Not by the cliff. And for no reasons that connect to anything I mentioned earlier.

JO (as Mal): Uh-huh…

LAURA (as Xianna): Just stay away from cliffs.

NICK: [laughs]

JO: [smiling] I smirk as I turn the boat and move into a sliding park.

NICK: Do you do the thing where the ship drifts in a 180 to park really abruptly?

JO: Yes.

NICK: Sweet!

LAURA (as Xianna): So cool.

NICK: Okay. You are parked behind a dune. You can’t see a ton from where you are, because you’ve broken line of sight. What is your plan? What are you going to do now?

JO (as Mal): We are not going to launch grenades… yet.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay.

NICK: [laughs] A good start.

LAURA: Xianna is going to climb up to the ridge of the sand dune, pull her goggles down, and actually give the complex a good look, almost as if perceiving it, with perception.

NICK: Ohh, what an interesting idea. Go ahead and make me a Perception roll. I’ll give you, because you have your scanner goggles, you can have a blue die, but it is going to be hard because it’s not “can you see the citadel” it’s “can you see important information.”

LAURA: Okay, four successes and two advantages.

JO: Damn.

NICK: Wow, you’re good at seeing things. You are able, from where you are, we’ll say that you’re good enough at this that you’re able to actually look up towards the crane – it’s like one of those skyscraper cranes that stick straight up and then hangs over – and you’re able to look into the windshield of that and see the reflection down to get a pretty good view of what this place looks like.

Things that you see: The walls are probably 3-5 meters thick. They’re really, really big. They’re about 30 meters tall, so walls are pretty scary big. The actual interior of these are filled with giant, haphazard piles of junk ships and speeders. There is a medium building on the far side of the facility from you that looks like maybe some sort of sorting facility. There’s conveyor belts going in one side and out the other. You can also see that there’s a big space in the middle probably used for a landing pad. You see some fuel tanks, and you also see some figures stomping around outside the wall and some movement inside, but you’re a little too far away to see exactly who they are. And you already saw that ships are kinda coming in and out.

From where you are you do not see an obvious entrance, but you do notice that on the side by the cliffs the wall is shaped a little differently. There may be some way to get in over there. You also think these aren’t durasteel walls, they look kind of like adobe, like just thick rock and mud built kind of things. You could probably climb them if you had to.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okie, so there may be a door on the other side. I would give it a 60/40 chance though.

JO: Mal is going to point at the crane that Xianna used to get some reflection views on.

JO (as Mal): If you’re feeling up to it we could hop on over, if you catch my drift.

LAURA (as Xianna): I think I do.

JO (as Mal): I’m saying we’ll jump onto the crane and—

LAURA (as Xianna): Jump on the crane? Oh, okay, yes. Just making sure.

JO (as Mal): No, it’s important to be on the same page, because it will be a little risky, but it does mean that they probably won’t be guarding the entrance/exit when we need to boogie.

LAURA (as Xianna): That makes sense. So yes, let’s do a perfectly safe jump onto the crane.

JO (as Mal): Perfectly safe. Yep.

JO: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): And then once we get in there, how long do you want to stay sneaky?

JO (as Mal): Preferably as long as we can. I think I’d like to see if any of those junker ships they have is worth salvaging so that way we can load it up with the goods and ride it out.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes, because if we want to take any fuel out those are heavy.

JO (as Mal): Yeah.

LAURA (as Xianna): And I do not want to carry any of them.

JO (as Mal): Again, if we can save a junker ship.

LAURA (as Xianna): I’m sure one of them will work.

JO (as Mal): I’m hoping two.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay, so half plan. That’s enough.

JO (as Mal): That’s more than I sometimes go in with.

LAURA (as Xianna): It’s more than what I usually do.

JO (as Mal): Oh, then we are ahead of the game!

LAURA (as Xianna): Great!

NICK: [laughing] Somewhere on the other side of the galaxy Karma gets a shiver down her spine at this. So, you are heading for the cliffs to try to do this jump. I think I am going to need a Stealth roll from you two to see if you can get over there without being detected by anything. This one will be average, because you’re far away and there’s rocks.

JO: Cool. I got two successes, everything else evened out, but I’ll take it.

NICK: Nice.

LAURA: I have three successes and four advantages.

NICK: Wow… Okay.

JO: [laughing] We’re using our luck early.

NICK: We’re walking through the rocks real good. [laughs]

LAURA: Also, if it’s just Perception, Skulduggery and Stealth, Xianna is incredibly good at those and not a whole lot else.

NICK: You manage to wind your way through these rocky cliffs. You’re not on the dunes. You manage to climb your way up. You do have to scramble up some sheer cliff faces to get up on top close enough to this crane. It’s one of those tall, skinny cranes with the long wide bits, so the back part with the counterbalance actually hangs very close to this cliff, and it happens to be angled in such a way that it’s only about 2 meters, maybe a little more, from the edge of the cliff. I’m going to give you both the opportunity, with all of the advantages you have rolled with the Perception check and the Stealth check that Xianna got, first of all you’re gonna get a much clearer view of this facility as you’re standing up above it.

You see that it’s actually arranged: The ship landing pad is in the very middle and has a cleared space all around it. You can see that there are some loading droids moving piles of scrap back and forth, so they’re sorting. Things are going onto conveyor belts moving into that building in the back, and that the scrap is in sorted piles so there’s one of burned out ship hulls, there’s one of engines, there are a few junker looking ships that may or may not run scattered around. The whole thing is probably the size of an elementary school on the inside, so it’s pretty big.

You can also see that near the landing pad there is a fuel dump, so there’s a really big container containing ship fuel, you would assume, and some smaller barrels next to that. you can also see that along the walls there are search lights and some small blinking orbs that are probably cameras scattered around as well. The security, like Falx said, is a lot higher than you would have expected and that patrolling around the walls and a couple inside there are actually battle droids that are walking back and forth. Outside, in the desert heat, you do not currently see any organic life. It’s all droids and cameras and things.

With all those advantages though, add two or three details to this that you’re going to be able to take advantage of during this heist, some things that you notice before you try to infiltrate.

JO: I’m kind of tempted to say that some of the loading droids are in need of repairs, which shows that they’re being worked to – I guess it wouldn’t be the bone, but worked to the wire, and they’re mistreated so we might be able to use that to our advantage by coercing them to revolt against these terrible working conditions.

NICK: Ooh, that’s fun.

JO: Yeah. They’re people, and they deserve to be treated nicely, and they’re not being treated nicely.

NICK: Thank you. I agree. That’s a great idea. What else we got?

LAURA: I would like it if we could see a central core camera that would indicate that all the other little cameras are being fed into that one, so if that one was destroyed it would probably cut all of the camera feeds.

NICK: Okay, yeah. The cameras all are wired, because Star Wars, that’s fine, and they all connect to – Tink would call it a central server, but it’s like a big ball that looks like a small version of a Doppler radar stuck on top of the building over there. If you were able to get on top of the roof of the building you could probably interface with it directly and shut all that down.

JO: Ooh. If only we had a hacker who would be able to do that. Hmm. [giggles]

NICK: If only. I think we can add one more detail if either of you can think of something that you would like to add.

JO: Besides one of the junker ships being in obviously better condition. I would prefer to pick the rattiest, ugliest of the junker ships that looks like it’s not going to work but the interior is really good over one that looks really pretty and great.

NICK: We can spend the advantages that there are definitely some viable options inside. I think we’ll have to discover exactly what those are when we get down there, but yeah. We’ll say that you can see some of the ships haven’t been covered in dust and the view screens are clean, so you know that some of them are functional and have been used recently.

Great. We see Mal and Xianna poking their heads up over the cliff. Xianna’s got her scanner goggles focused down and Mal is nearby. Does Mal have electro-binoculars or anything like that?

JO: Mal is actually using what to us looks like a cellphone to view in what is essentially a camera function and zoom in on certain things.

NICK: Oh cool.

JO: That’s how I find my glasses when I can’t find my glasses, I use the camera function on my phone.

[laughter]

NICK: Oh, that’s such a good idea. That has never occurred to me before.

JO: [smiling] Oh, so yeah, if you ever misplace your glasses your phone will have them in focus.

NICK: Hey~! So, you observe these things and you are scouting out and pointing to things and pointing out different options, and you realize that the only thing to do now is try to actually get into the base. Like I said, the back of the crane arm is within jumping distance if a little far. It is also slightly below the lip of the cliff so you don’t have to jump up or equally. You’ll be able to fall down to it a little. What do you do?

JO: I will jump first.

NICK: Okay.

JO: I’m just gonna, not a full running jump, but I’ll go back a couple paces, brace myself, I’ll even do a jump or two and then rush in and jump and aim to do a roll onto the crane.

NICK: Okay, so that’s going to be an average Athletics check for you, but I am gonna flip another dark side point to upgrade one of those. [laughs]

JO: Uck! [laughs, wincing] Okay.

NICK: You think that’s bad, wait until we see Xianna try to do an Athletics check here in a second.

JO: Well…

LAURA: Yeah… I just, I heard you say Athletics, so…

NICK: [laughs]

JO: [laughs] Oh goodness… Okay, that’s two threats and four successes.

NICK: You have plenty of successes. I think you clear it by a wide distance. The threats are that you land and you roll and you don’t make any noise as you land, because you were successful with that, but that the crane does shake a little and the electromagnet on the far side starts to wobble and the shadow down below is moving back and forth, and a couple of droids notice. None of them look up, but they are kind of alerted to the situation and just kinda looking around. So Xianna, you are up.

LAURA: Any way I can argue for a Coordination check?

NICK: See, I knew you were gonna ask that.

LAURA: Almost as if I have many points in Coordination and none in Athletics.

JO: I was gonna say, I think I might have a way to reason this.

NICK: Okay, I’m listening.

JO: Okay, so in one of Mal’s bajillion pockets there is rope, enough rope to throw back up to Xianna so that way really all Xianna has to do is like make it to the other end of the rope, and so she could tie it to something if she wanted to tie it to something, or she could just use that to jump and hope that I’m strong enough that if she doesn’t make it I can pull her back on.

NICK: I am fine with using the rope either of these ways. If you tie the rope down and tightrope walk, that’s 100% Coordination, or you can tie a safety line and we see what happens from there. Up to you, Laura.

LAURA: Okay yeah, that would be preferable, and Xianna does go:

LAURA (as Xianna): So I did lose some toes on one of my foot the other month, uh, jumping is not great. Should have mentioned that.

JO (as Mal): Okay, well…

JO: And I pat down some of my pockets and I open one, and that isn’t the right one, and I open another and that isn’t the right one, but the third one!

NICK: [laughs]

JO: Third time’s the charm, and I have some rope with two weighted ends, and I will hold one of the weighted ends and throw the other to Xianna.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. Great. This is going to work much better, because I think I might have just, I don’t know, fallen.

JO (as Mal): Well, I kinda need a partner for this job, so…

LAURA: Is there a rock or anything that it could be tied to?

NICK: Yeah, there’s rocky protrusions that look totally secure.

[sounds of heavy winds begin]

LAURA: Xianna ties it around the most secure looking rock and then also starts digging around in their pockets a little bit, goes into one of the more invisible pockets, pulls out a little baggie, and does snort it.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh. I would have offered you some, but you already jumped, so… oopsies.

JO (as Mal): I’m good~ Clear head.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes. Again, exactly. I am so glad we are on the exact same page.

[heavy winds fade]

NICK: So Mal, your partner that you are about to place your life in their hands just did a bunch of drugs before this. How do you feel about that situation?

JO: Different people have different definitions of clear heads.

NICK: Clearly. [laughs]

JO: And if I need somebody murdered, besides myself, Xianna would probably be my pick right now, and we might have to murder some people, so beggars can’t be choosers.

NICK: Okay.

LAURA: So what would be the difficulty to then crawl down the rope? I’m trying to think of the right word, but like, sloth crawl? Yeah, like hand over hand with the feet looped up over the rope, so not tight-walking but like a sloth. [laughing] That’s the only way I can think of it.

NICK: [laughs] That would just be an average difficulty. That’s pretty straightforward.

LAURA: Okay. Three successes, one advantage.

NICK: Alright. You’re able to get across very easily. You manage to even not shake the crane any more. We get a cool zoomed in shot of Mal reaching their arm down and doing the super-cool action hero forearm grasp and helping Xianna climb up onto the crane, and we get a cool sweeping shot of you both silhouetted against the dunes in the far distance in one of those panoramic movie shots that just show off that they obviously traveled somewhere to do the onsite filming. And, you are on a crane. You are probably roughly 200 meters above the ground. Now what?

LAURA (as Xianna): Okie. Thank you for helping. Do you want to just drop down, or… what now?

JO (as Mal): I was thinking we would ride the crane down and get around there, unless we can somehow get the crane over the top of the building so I can take out the cameras, but it’s gonna be a little hard to not be noticed doing that.

LAURA (as Xianna): True. Yeah, let’s just ride it all the way down. That seems fun.

JO (as Mal): I think fun will be when we get the grenades.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, okay, okay.

NICK: So when you say “riding the crane…”

JO: [giggles] We’re just gonna ride it like a slide?

NICK: Hmm.

JO: Or because the crane looks like a T-shape what is on the other end of the T?

NICK: On one end there’s the electromagnet that slides down, on the other end there’s a big, blocky counterweight, and that’s actually what you jumped to that was holding it over.

JO: Okay.

NICK: There is also a control cockpit up there where presumably anyone operating the crane would be, and there’s controls in there that you could potentially get into and do things with. Then there is a ladder climbing down, and the rest of it is pretty much scaffolding.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay, Mal. I am assuming since we have jumped onto the crane, and no one did anything, there is no one in the little crane box, so we could go and get in it and move the crane around, but they might notice the crane moving around.

JO (as Mal): They probably will notice the crane moving around.

JO: We have exchanged contact information on the ship ride over and definitely have a means to communicate with each other if we end up separated.

NICK: Oh yeah, absolutely.

JO: Cool.

JO (as Mal): How do you feel about dividing and conquering?

LAURA (as Xianna): Always a good plan. Nothing bad ever happens by splitting up.

JO (as Mal): Ehh, I appreciate your faith, because our choices are we can both go to the crane box and there’s a good chance that we will then have to fight out of the crane box, or one of us could go to the crane box and the other – preferably myself unless you’re good with computers – could use the crane arm to get over there…

JO: And I point to the big, wired camera dome thing on top of the building.

JO (as Mal): …and disable the cameras and then come back to you.

LAURA (as Xianna): That works.

JO (as Mal): Do you know how to drive a crane?

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, absolutely not, but I will try. I am sure I will figure it out.

JO (as Mal): I have complete faith in you.

LAURA (as Xianna): It will be fun! Okay, let’s go.

JO: [nervous laugh] Okay, I’m gonna get ready to ride the magnet rope over to the camera hub when Xianna’s in place.

NICK: Mal, as you are walking past the control box and Xianna is – I won’t even make Xianna roll to pick the lock to get into it, because it’s super simple – as Xianna’s getting into the cockpit, roll me a hard Computers check, would you?

JO: Me? Okay.

NICK: Yep. Something you may or may not notice as you go by.

JO: Okay, three yellows versus three purples. I’mma be a little upset if I don’t get a success.

NICK: [laughs]

JO: One success and one threat.

NICK: Nice. Okay. As you’re walking by, I think Xianna settles into this really well-worn chair and starts flipping levers and switches and things start to boot on. Xianna, you’re just touching stuff, you’re not exactly sure what you’re doing, but it looks very professional from Mal’s point of view. Mal, as you look at it, you realize that this crane is surprisingly modern, in fact it looks like it has a rudimentary droid brain in it and can do some self-controlled things. Actually, you think if you took a minute with it you might be able to control it remotely, which would mean that you could potentially both ride it as you drive it from your data pad, if that was a thing that you wanted to do.

JO: That would be a thing that I would like to do.

LAURA: That sounds good.

JO: I’m gonna start basically mid-step as I’m walking by, this kicks in, and I pause for a moment in the middle of my step and walk backwards a few paces to actually look and confirm before I knock on the door as I open it.

NICK: Right before you open the door you see that there’s a big hologram pop-up that has appeared before Xianna’s face that says Warning: Disabling all failsafes, This is extremely unsafe, and Xianna’s hitting the Yes button without reading all of these warnings going by.

JO (as Mal): [nervously and abruptly] Heyyy!

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, ‘ello.

JO (as Mal): Uh, Xi, uh… Xianna, I mean. This is actually, uh… Please don’t touch that one.

NICK: [giggles]

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, okay, sorry.

JO (as Mal): I can control this remotely. It’s a lot more modern than anything I was expecting to find here, which is ironic.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, that’s good, because I have no idea how to operate this thing.

JO (as Mal): That’s fine. It’s complicated. If you just give me one sec.

NICK: Xianna leans over while she’s talking to you, Mal, and hits something, and the light above the cockpit just pops like a balloon. [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): Oopsies~

JO: I’m gonna push the button next to it to turn it off. Ahem.

NICK: [laughs]

JO (as Mal): It’s all good. No worries. No worries at all.

JO: I’m going to pull out the thing that looked like a phone that does camera work and an actual data pad and I’m going to connect them together, and then I’m going to take a wire from my data pad and I’m going to plug the micro USB into the crane.

NICK: feigning incredulity] Jo, this is Star Wars, it’s a space micro USB. [laughs]

JO: Okay, so it’s a micro USB-C! [laughs]

NICK: Yeah. [laughs] You’ve never seen Anakin go ‘damn it’ and flip the cable over and over again trying to plug something in. It just doesn’t happen.

JO: Yeah, well that’s because everything has converted to using the same adapter.

NICK: Unbelievable.

JO: [laughs]

NICK: It completely ruined my immersion when they did that. it’s never gonna happen. So, roll me a hard Computers check again to establish a wireless connection, but you’re gonna have to add a black die to it because this is Star Wars and Star Wars doesn’t like wireless stuff, so you’re gonna have to jerry-rig some sort of antenna that will keep you connected to it.

JO: Sounds good. Oh, that’s a lot of threats. Okay. That is two threats and a success, but a success is a success.

NICK: Yeah! You got it. Don’t worry about those threats. I’m sure they’ll never come up.

JO: [chuckling, suspicious] Uh-huh…

NICK: Yup. But you are able to definitely get controls. We see an over-the-shoulder shot of Mal holding their data pad and a quick display pops up that has basically left, right, up, down. It’s the basic controls on a touch pad. So now you have remote access, and we see the crane shift a little as you make sure everything’s attached.

JO (as Mal): Alrighty Xianna, are you ready to cause some trouble?

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh yes. I think I have already started causing the trouble.

JO (as Mal): Well, that was fixable trouble. I’m pretty sure the job was to cause some unfixable trouble.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes! I saved my grenades.

JO (as Mal): [laughs] I’m looking forward to it.

JO: I’m going to get out and start making my way on over to the magnet part.

NICK: As the two of you leave the cockpit and work your way down, the wind is blowing pretty hard, you have to move kinda slowly to make sure you keep your balance, but the camera stays behind for just a second on a blinking yellow light that looks kind of urgent inside the crane. But besides that, everything’s good. You’re able to work your way to the end and grab onto the control cable. We’ll say since you have control of it that the electromagnet’s up enough that you can actually very easily climb down and stand on it. What are you gonna do?

JO: I’m gonna swing it as quickly as I can to be over the dome. I’m going to tell the crane to swing as quickly as it can while it drops the magnet and heads in the direction of the camera, because I basically want to do it as quickly as possible. As it’s going down I look to Xianna and I say:

JO (as Mal): You’re probably gonna have to jump.

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): [stressed] Ohh, I’m not good at the jumping.

JO (as Mal): Well, you can hold on and stay.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay, I will jump.

NICK: Okay, so are you doing like a drive-by with the crane and jumping off?

JO: [smiling] Yep!

NICK: Oh gosh. Okay!

JO: [laughs] Go big or go home, Nick!

NICK: Hey, I’m for it. You’re making my life easier. Go ahead and both of you roll me, I will take Athletics or Coordination this time, to jump off at the right time. The reason I was dead-set on Athletics before was because it was like a standing long jump which is very much just a straight thing…

LAURA: Yeah.

NICK: …but falling can be a Coordination thing for sure.

LAURA: What’s the difficulty?

NICK: This one’s gonna be average.

LAURA: Okay.

JO: Okay.

NICK: We’ll say you’re not moving fast enough that it’s a life risk, probably.

JO: Success! And a threat. God damn it.

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA: I got one success and three advantages.

JO: Oh good, you could counteract some of the threats I’ve collected.

LAURA: Heh.

NICK: There have been a lot, haven’t there?

JO: I’ve gotten so many threats!

NICK: So, you jump off of the crane, you are able to land… With a success and a threat, Mal, you land but not super gracefully, and you roll to take some of the impact off, and the roof of this building is slightly slanted, and you end up rolling all the way to the edge of the roof and just barely catching yourself, and one of your legs is hanging over the side. It’s not like you’re at risk of falling off, but it was super-duper close.

JO: Mm-hmm.

NICK: And some dust and rocks and things tumble off of the roof and land on the ground, but it doesn’t look like there’s anyone nearby. Xianna, you do whatever the opposite of falling prone is. You land very stably.

LAURA: Three-point superhero pose.

JO: Yeah.

NICK: Well, so you’re moving fast enough, you do the superhero pose but like the anime where you slide with the inertia a little bit and it kicks up a cool, really low dust plume.

LAURA: Nice.

NICK: Yeah.

JO: I’mma pick myself up off the roof and climb on up to the dome.

NICK: Cool. So you’re at this server ball, essentially, and you can see from where you’re at, you’re pretty much out of sight, this building’s wide enough that it covers sight lines from the ground, but you can hear that there’s starting to be activity on the ground. You can hear some droids speaking to each other in binary, just like beeping and clicking as they’re moving around, and it seems like more activity than when you first started observing. You can see that the cameras along the walls are starting to pan back and forth. None of them are pointed at you, but you’re definitely on a bit of a time limit here. Are you trying to hack into the server and turn them off?

JO: Normally I would ‘yes and’ you, but I’m very tempted to just break it with my scythe.

NICK: Hey, do it, I’m down for that.

JO: Okay. I’m going to grab the small bit of hilt on my scythe in order to pull it out of its sheathe, and with a quick flip the entire handle of the scythe comes out, and I’m just gonna give it a nice, big chop.

NICK: Alright. It’s an immobile, large target and this is a vibro-scythe which means it gets this slight blue haze around it. This isn’t combat, but to see how effective you are at slicing this into one piece I want an attack roll anyway. Make me a Melee check that’s just average.

JO: Okay. Ha-ho! Only one threat! [laughs]

NICK & LAURA: Nice!

JO: But I got successes, I got three successes.

NICK: Okay, so you just anime slice through this thing and bisect it diagonally and there’s a long pause and then it slides almost silently to the ground. There is no sound of grinding metal because you’ve cut it so smoothly. This scythe, Xianna is really scary and you’ve never seen anything like it. The only thing you’ve seen do that kind of damage is Tink’s vibro-axe, but this is so much cleaner, a more elegant weapon from a civilized age. But then as the ball is sliding it slams to the ground with a heavy thud and you can hear the droids down on the ground start to increase in frequency and on the far side you can see them start to fan out and look for stuff. But all the camera lights go out.

JO: Cool. Well, I guess it was about time for the threats to start catching up with me. I was so distracted by the threats that I forgot that I had successes on that roll. I’m gonna look to Xianna.

JO (as Mal): Well, time’s a-tickin’. Where do you wanna hit first?

NICK: End of episode.

## Outro

NICK: Thanks so much 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 find the show, and every time we get one the squad does an adorable dance. If you’re so inclined, you can also help support the show through our Patreon which can be found in the show notes, on our website, and basically anywhere else we post things. We have all sorts of Patreon levels including some of my favorites: Bantha Buddy, Tarkin’s Underwear Drawer, and Build-A-Beru which all have fabulous rewards and super great names.

Mal is played by Jo Welsh-Wilson. You can find them at @Fallin_Forone on Twitter and on their podcast, Arms of the Tide, at @ArmsoftheTide on Twitter, where they play a flammable plant wolf with depression.

Xianna’fan is played by Laura Penrod. They can be found on Twitter at @cheerio_buffet.

Our game master is me, 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, and join our Discord and share all of your food and cute pet photos with us. We also sometimes talk about Star Wars. You can find the link to join our Discord on our website and in our pinned tweet. See you next time.

Word document download: Episode 52 Hectic Skirmish of Fates

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Tabletop Squadron Transcript, Season 1 Episode 52:
Hectic Skirmish of Fates

Transcript by Tyler (Twitter: @Tyler_MoonSage)

{Transcriber’s Note: During the recording of this episode only the four cast members were present. Nick spoke dialogue for the prior special guest characters who later recorded their versions of the lines for post-production, so they are tagged as speaking in the text.}

## Intro

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, and a slicer as they explore the galaxy helping a mysterious benefactor and each other.

Well everyone, we made it, the Season 1 finale. Thanks for coming along for the ride. It means the galaxy to the whole crew.

On that note, I want to thank our newest patron. Cameron Boydston, thank you so much for your support. We seem to have lost track of quite a few expensive pieces of machinery in the last few weeks. It normally wouldn’t be a big deal, but the crew rented them, so if you could track those down and return them before we start getting hit with late fees I’d appreciate it.

This episode is the season finale, but don’t worry. We have big plans with special guests, different game systems, and fun side plots to keep the party going until the beginning of Season 2. Thank you again for listening, and stay safe out there, the galaxy is a big place.

Music this week is GIGA METAL by Loyalty Freak Music, Clair De Lune performed by Podington Bear, 8-bit Core by Manuel Senfft, and The Warbird by Tri-Tachyon.

So now, let’s get into the episode.

##

NICK: Hello! Welcome to Episode 52 of Tabletop Squadron! Moving right along, coming in towards that big old finale, just doing great. I’m your host and game master, Nick. Let’s go around the table, everybody say who they are and who they’re playing today, starting with Laura.

LAURA: Hello! I am Laura, and I play Xianna’fan, a Twi’lek smuggler.

NICK: Great! Up next we have Hudson.

HUDSON: Hi, I’m Hudson. I play Tink. What do you think? I play a Gigoran slicer… something about sinks.

[laughter]

NICK: Great! Following that, we have Cameron.

CAMERON: I feel like you can’t follow that. That’s not fair. I’m Cameron and I am playing Karma Nailo, the Nautolan bounty hunter.

NICK: What words rhyme with Cameron?

CAMERON: Uh, bo-bameron? There really aren’t many.

NICK: [laughs] I’m glad you said bo-bameron. That’s the one I use.

CAMERON: [laughs] Yeah.

NICK: Oh boy. Okay. So, let’s start off with the Destiny Roll!

CAMERON: One dark side.

HUDSON: One dark side.

LAURA: One light side.

CAMERON: Yay, Laura.

NICK: So, where did we leave off? Things that the crew has been up to lately… Oh, they’re launching an assault on a large shipyard. They have taken down some stormtroopers. They are attempting to draw the Empire’s attention so that the star destroyer screen surrounding this large and mysterious space station capable of destroying planets has to go and protect the shipyard clearing the way for the Rebels. They threw some grenades… They got shot quite a bit. They killed some security guards, and they were able to slice into a system to help Beta Squad get away from some stormtroopers and continue on towards their job. So, we open on the Alpha Team standing in this small, dusty corridor that is filled with power converters and various things, and Tink, you just somehow transferred wireless access to the slicer on Beta Squad so that they were able to get the door open themselves even though they were pinned down. Good job there. The last thing you heard was one of the members of Beta Squad saying:

ELI (as Juke): Thanks Alpha Team!

NICK: And then they closed the channel. Around this time HK leans against a wall with a hollow clank and slides to the floor, and you can see some hydraulic fluid leaking out of their chest and there’s sparks everywhere.

NICK (as HK): Damage Assessment: I’m super kriffed up right now.

NICK: You can see they’ve taken some pretty serious damage.

LAURA (as Xianna): Wow! Hank, you look terrible.

NICK (as HK): Sarcastic Assessment: Blasters are not designed to promote the health of their targets.

HUDSON (as Tink): I’m not doing great either.

LAURA (as Xianna): Do you need a stim pack?

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah!

LAURA (as Xianna): Okie.

LAURA: Xianna throws Tink a stim pack.

HUDSON (as Tink): Wait. I’ll do a stim pack with one hand and I can fix HK with the other.

CAMERON (as Karma): No—

LAURA (as Xianna): Wait. Just- Just give yourself a stim pack and then fix Hank.

HUDSON (as Tink): Aw, I thought it would be cooler the other way, but okay.

NICK: So, you use a stim pack on yourself.

HUDSON: Yes.

NICK: That’s 5 health back, which might do you some good. HK has slid down the wall to the point where his body is on the floor and his head is being propped up by the wall.

NICK (as HK): Oh yes, we’re all very happy that the organics are feeling better. I’m so glad that that’s the priority. I can feel my servos melting. A little help here?

CAMERON (as Karma): Hey, hey, do you want the mechanic who’s gonna work on you bleeding out on you while he’s trying to fix you?

NICK (as HK): He can bleed out after I’m fixed.

CAMERON (as Karma): See? Exactly. That’s why we gave him a stim pack, to hold him off on the bleeding a little bit.

LAURA (as Xianna): I have to imagine it is not good to have all that blood inside your circuitry, because of rust and things… Blood has iron and iron is in rust, so that makes sense.

NICK (as HK): Actually, if I got a lot of organic blood do you think I’d be able to use the Force? Hey Tink, come here.

CAMERON (as Karma): Whoa, um…

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh!

LAURA (as Xianna): Is that how the Force works? Is it the blood?

CAMERON (as Karma): I do think it would depend on the blood of the individual that you were using.

LAURA (as Xianna): But no, is that how the Force works?

CAMERON (as Karma): There’s some shit with midi-chlorians which is in your blood.

LAURA (as Xianna): What? No! That’s the powerhouse of the cell!

[laughter]

CAMERON (as Karma): No, that’s the mitochondria~

NICK (as HK): Those don’t exist in Star Wars.

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh, sorry. [laughs] The midi-chlorians are the powerhouse of the cell.

HUDSON (as Tink): So what you’re wanting is a blood transfusion of a Jedi into your metal body. Is that right?

NICK (as HK): You know, now that I think about it, it’s really hard to tell when someone’s Force-sensitive just by looking, so I think I’ll just need to collect a whole lot of organic blood and just keep trying until I can use the Force.

CAMERON (as Karma): This is a bad idea.

LAURA (as Xianna): Wait. I thought the Force was like some mystical power in the universe. Are you telling me it is bacteria?

NICK: [laughs]

CAMERON (as Karma): Kind of a combination of both, weirdly.

LAURA (as Xianna): Wait! Wait!

CAMERON (as Karma): It depends. Which Jedi sources are you reading?

LAURA (as Xianna): I’m not reading any!

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay.

CAMERON: Karma throws a repair kit at Tink.

CAMERON (as Karma): Hey, can you help Hank?

HUDSON (as Tink): We’re still talking about the blood transfusions.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, but there’s a hole in HK right now.

LAURA (as Xianna): I don’t know what blood type I am. I really should, but I don’t!

HUDSON: [laughs]

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh my gosh.

LAURA (as Xianna): You would think I of all of us would know that, but apparently I really don’t. I don’t know how.

HUDSON: I start fixing HK.

NICK (as HK): Your blood type is the Aurebesh symbol that looks kind of like a squiggly slice of pizza, negative.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay.

[laughter]

HUDSON (as Tink): So, HK, I’ll say this. I promise, cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye, promise…

NICK (as HK): Sticking needle in your eye—

HUDSON (as Tink): No! No-no-no! It’s a promise that if Sentinel for some reason passes away I will transfuse Sentinel’s blood into your body.

CAMERON (as Karma): [exasperated] Oh…

NICK (as HK): Verbal statements are binding contracts.

HUDSON (as Tink): You know it.

NICK (as HK): After this I’m going to go kill Sentinel.

CAMERON (as Karma): No.

HUDSON (as Tink): I—

CAMERON (as Karma): No… you’re not.

NICK (as HK): Is this, like, a command or something…?

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah. Yeah.

NICK (as HK): Damn.

[laughter

CAMERON (as Karma): Tink, fix Hank.

HUDSON (as Tink): I’ve been fixing HK.

NICK (as HK): I don’t think that bolt goes there.

HUDSON (as Tink): Ehh.

NICK (as HK): No- That- I don’t- What? Ahh. Everything’s green. Everything’s- You turned off my eye sockets. Everything is green.

HUDSON (as Tink): Listen. This is a fixer-upper job is what I call it. I just put things where I think they need to go and they’ll go there.

CAMERON (as Karma): Tink, you’re a mechanic!

NICK (as HK): That’s illegal in 12 systems.

[laughter]

HUDSON (as Tink): You know, ugh… Just, you know.

NICK: Okay. Is it the quick patch kit or the mechanical kit?

CAMERON: I have the droid repair kits.

NICK: I think those just work like stim packs, don’t they?

CAMERON: I believe so?

HUDSON: I beat my fist onto HK to get a bolt in exactly how I want it.

NICK: How many of the droid repair kits do you use?

HUDSON: I use two, but I have to roll for Mechanics, right?

NICK: No, that’s if you were healing a crit wound. If you’re using them like stim packs, then hey, he’s doing much better. Tink works away on HK and gets him mostly sealed up. It’s like a temporary patch, so the metal’s a little flexible and doesn’t match, but HK’s able to get up off the ground. He moves his feet so that his heels are under his hips and then just stands up with no recoil or pushing and it looks really weird and unnatural.

NICK (as HK): Alright, let’s go. We’re trying to destroy stuff, right? That’s why we’re here? Let’s do this.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yeah, I think that’s what we’re here for.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yep, we are trying to destroy the plans for that big old star destroyer out there.

NICK (as HK): I’m glad you were focused. I was just thinking about killing Sentinel and taking his blood.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah, we’re not gonna do that, remember?

HUDSON (as Tink): Only if he dies.

LAURA (as Xianna): You also don’t even have to kill him. You can just get him high, have him pass out, and then steal his blood that way.

CAMERON (as Karma): [heavy sigh] Xianna.

LAURA (as Xianna): People will pay you for blood!

CAMERON (as Karma): Xianna! No!

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): I’ve never taken somebody else’s blood, but I have, you know, donated blood for money.

CAMERON (as Karma): That is different than stealing an unconscious person’s blood, though. Going to a facility and donating is different.

LAURA (as Xianna): They’ll like… make more, assuming you only take the amount that—

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay. We need to move out. Okay.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay.

CAMERON (as Karma): Tink, where was the server room again?

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh, uh, over there.

CAMERON (as Karma): Let’s head that direction.

NICK: You head down this maintenance corridor and come to a door. Tink punches the button and you’re back out into the main walkway. Question for you, Alpha Team. Are you proceeding as quickly as possible or stealthily?

CAMERON: I don’t think we’re being stealthy.

HUDSON: Yeah, I think we’re quickly as possible.

NICK: Okay. You’re just running down this corridor, right?

CAMERON: Mm-hmm.

NICK: Roll me a Force die, somebody.

HUDSON: Two light side.

NICK: Cool! No alarms go off. You don’t even see anybody. You’re able to just run through a whole big stretch of encounter—I mean, empty hallways that don’t affect you in any way.

CAMERON: [laughs] Weird.

HUDSON: That saved us a lot of time, didn’t it?

NICK: Maybe.

[laughter]

NICK: You do run into a couple of stormtroopers as you go, but you’re able to either just hit them with an axe or fire from the hip, just take them down and keep moving as you hustle down this hallway. As you continue, you come to a very, very big open chasm, as Star Wars tends to have. It’s like a big canyon, you can’t see the bottom, you can barely see the roof in the darkness. What do you do and how are you going to get across here? Tink, you are sure that it’s on the other side of this thing.

HUDSON (as Tink): Definitely on the other side of this thing.

CAMERON: Are there any catwalks or anything across this chasm?

NICK: It looks like there may be a catwalk on the far side, but it’s not extended.

CAMERON: Oh…

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. I do not have any rope with me, so…

HUDSON (as Tink): Can we jump it?

NICK (as HK): Tink, that appears to be about 50 meters.

HUDSON (as Tink): Ohh.

LAURA (as Xianna): That is too far to jump.

NICK (as HK): No wait, time out, time out. Tink, can you jump 50 meters?

CAMERON: [giggles]

HUDSON (as Tink): I’ve never tried.

LAURA (as Xianna): Tink, no.

NICK (as HK): Tink, try to jump the chasm.

LAURA (as Xianna): No.

CAMERON (as Karma): Please don’t try it, Tink. No…

NICK (as HK): [chanting] Jump it. Jump it.

HUDSON: Is that HK?

NICK: Yeah.

HUDSON: [laughs]

CAMERON (as Karma): HK…

HUDSON (as Tink): No, I don’t think I’ll jump. It’s a little risky, and I have much more to do in life.

LAURA: Is there a button to make a bridge shoot out?

NICK: Not that you can see on this side. HK reaches his tiny hand out and flips the little thing that’s attached to Tink’s belt and the theme music starts to play again.

HUDSON: [hums a fast-paced tune]

[heavy techno music starts]

NICK: HK’s just nodding at Tink.

CAMERON (as Karma): HK, it’s not nice to peer pressure our friends.

HUDSON (as Tink): This gets me excited. Okay, I have a better idea.

HUDSON: I flip off the music.

[music stops abruptly]

[laughter]

HUDSON (as Tink): Beta Squad, come in.

NICK: At this point, from seemingly nowhere as you are looking at this chasm, a large, red blaster bolt pierces the air. Everyone roll me a Force die, please.

CAMERON: One dark side.

LAURA: One dark side.

HUDSON: Two light side.

NICK: Okay. You two were tied. If you could roll off for me.

LAURA: We have a chance cube.

NICK: Yeah, let’s roll a chance cube! “Red, the boy, blue, his mother.”

[laughter]

LAURA: Blue is Karma, because blue is closer to green, and red would be Xianna, because that’s closer to purple.

CAMERON: That makes sense.

NICK: Sure.

LAURA: It’s red, Xianna.

NICK: Alright. Xianna, make me a Coordination check as a large blaster bolt flies towards your face from across the chasm.

LAURA: Oh, I have Coordination! Okay.

NICK: Yeah. You should be pretty good at it.

CAMERON: And you are agile as all get-out.

NICK: And you have the Stalker talent too which will help.

LAURA: Okay, what’s the difficulty?

NICK: Hard. I was going to do daunting, but I don’t want Xianna to die here.

CAMERON: I have faith. I think Laura’s got this.

LAURA: Okay. I have a triumph with a success, three more successes, and two threats. Heh.

NICK: How do you dodge out of the way? You probably get an indication of someone on the far side in the shadows before they shoot. How do you dodge this so that you don’t take a sniper shot to the chest?

LAURA: Xianna still has her scanner goggles on, they’re just turned off, but it does create a little bit of a lens flare so she can see that someone has turned on their scope in the distance and gets a little glint of that and just straight drops to the ground and rolls away.

[laughter]

CAMERON: And we’re all standing there like what?

NICK: And then a blaster bolt goes (heavy burst firing noise).

CAMERON: “Oh!”

LAURA: Everyone’s just arguing and then suddenly Xianna’s just like (quick movement noise).

NICK: The blaster smashes into the wall and leaves a pretty large smoking dent.

LAURA (as Xianna): Someone is shooting at us.

CAMERON (as Karma): What?!

NICK: Roll me a Perception check if you wanna see if you can find where this sniper is.

LAURA: Okie.

CAMERON: What difficulty?

NICK: It’s gonna be hard.

LAURA: I got two successes and an advantage.

NICK: Nice.

CAMERON: A success and two threats.

NICK: Okay. Tink, are you just busy being like “oh gosh, a sniper”?

HUDSON: Yeah no, because I’m trying to get in touch with Beta Squad.

NICK: Okay, so you’re saying “Beta Squad, come in.” You see a huge-looking Anselmi woman, which are kind of like bluish lizard-looking aliens from Glee Anselm, the same planet as the Nautolans, and you can see that she’s wearing a black headband, but as you make eye contact with her across this large chasm she puts her gun up and backs away back into the shadows and disappears. Tink, you hear:

NICK (as Neato): Ring-a-ling, you’ve got Beta Squad.

HUDSON (as Tink): Beta Squad, this is white walker and the kids table!

CAMERON: [coughs, laughing] What?!

LAURA (as Xianna): That is not our codename!

NICK (as Neato): White walker and the kids table, I read you loud and clear.

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh god.

HUDSON (as Tink): Alright, so we need some help here. We’re at a chasm, and I don’t mean that in an emotion, deep inside ourselves way where we’re reflecting. What I mean is we are at a chasm that’s a literal chasm.

AUSTIN (as Val): Tink, quit talking about your feelings, we got stuff to do.

HUDSON (as Tink): No, no-no, really. I mean like there’s a real chasm, and there’s a bridge but it’s not extended, and uh… I gave you all wireless access. Can you see if you can extend this bridge? Here’s my coordinates.

NICK: You hear a voice that you don’t recognize.

CHRIS (as Jet): Oh, actually yeah, I do have access.

AUSTIN (as Val): Too much time thinking, not enough time moving. Let’s go! Get out of the way!

CHRIS (as Jet): No look, all I have to do is enter this one code. It’s just a couple of digits.

AUSTIN (as Val): Nope. Too late.

NICK: And there’s a giant explosion, and in the ceiling of the room you see cracks form and this huge piece of durasteel falls out of the ceiling, and the whole station is shaking, and you can see fire above you, and it slams into this chasm and grinds to a halt and makes an impromptu bridge. You can hear fire crackling and alarms start to go off, and there’s this moment of stunned silence over the coms and with you. After a long minute the coms crackle back to life.

AUSTIN (as Val): Man, these Imperial engineers really need to work on their design. That fuel line connects to the entire station?! Wow. Well, you know, I guess that takes care of the problem. Alpha Team, how’d that work for you?

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah, thanks for the bridge, Val.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah sure… alright.

AUSTIN (as Val): Let’s race!

NICK: Then there’s a long pause and you can hear other people.

CHRIS (as Jet): Wait, Val!

ELI (as Juke): Wait-wait-wait!

AUSTIN (as Val): Say my name~!

[laughter]

NICK: There’s another explosion and then the channel turns off. You continue down the hallway for a while. At this point emergency crews are starting to run around. There’s a lot of chaos. There’s a mixture of security and Imperials, so you don’t get a ton of direct looks. There is probably a point where a group of stormtroopers makes eye contact with the three of you, and the three of you are like streak-smoked and battle damaged and really intimidating looking, and they just go…

NICK (as Stormtrooper): Nope!

NICK: …and they turn around and they go a different direction to not run into you. As you continue this way the coms turn on again. Over the coms you hear:

ELI (as Juke): Jet, we’ve gotta get there faster, brother! Can’t you find us a quicker route?!

CHRIS (as Jet): Juke, we’re going in a straight line, like, a straight line. It doesn’t go any faster than that. What do we do, left turn four times and then skip a thousand meters? Focus on punching.

LAURA (as Xianna): Karma. Karma! Don’t you have kids that are named Jet and Juke?

CAMERON: [laughs]

ELI (as Juke): I AM focused on punching. Did you see that stormtrooper? I shattered his helmet! Those helmets are designed to deflect blasters. I have blaster fists!

AUSTIN (as Val): Blaster fists? Oh hey, me too! Watch this!

NICK: And there’s another explosion and you feel the station shake beneath your feet.

CAMERON: [laughs] Everyone’s been traveling down this hallway, this conversation starts, people keep walking but Karma just stops in the middle of the hallway. Xianna starts asking “hey, Karma, don’t you have kids named Jet and Juke?” and turns and Karma is no longer there. Karma is just back behind in the hallway just standing there.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay, Tink.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah?

LAURA (as Xianna): Karma is dead.

NICK & CAMERON: [laughs]

HUDSON (as Tink): Aw man~!

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean, I don’t really think so, I think she is just shocked or stunned or something.

HUDSON (as Tink): That’s a relief.

LAURA (as Xianna): Karma~ We have to keep going. Val is going to blow this whole place up and you will get smooshed.

CAMERON: Karma’s just kinda staring down at the ground. When Xianna calls out to her she looks up.

LAURA (as Xianna): If you are in shock I think I can somehow get impact into a stim pack and then shoot you up that way and it would be like an adrenaline rush, like an epi-pen.

CAMERON: Karma looks up…

CAMERON (as Karma): I’m fine.

CAMERON: …and flips her blaster to kill, and takes off down the hallway after the rest of the group.

NICK: Ooh.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay, well I’m just going to do the regular impact then.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Do you not say anything over the coms to them?

CAMERON: Nope!

NICK: Okay.

CAMERON: I haven’t reached that level of being able to converse yet.

NICK: Okay. You continue onward as Xianna is running down the hallway, reaching into a pocket and running down the hallway and trying to snort impact and run at the same time. [laughs] As you continue, you find yourself in front of a large locked door, and it just has to lead to the master server room. Tink, everyone uses this door. It keeps oxygen out in case of fires. It’s double-encrypted. Everybody likes to use this door for server rooms.

HUDSON (as Tink): Alright, everyone loves to use this door for server rooms.

NICK: And then, as you finish looking down this very large door, you see the Anselmi from earlier. Like I said before, she is very large, she has a scar you notice coming down from one eye and down to the edge of her jaw, and it looks like the Kylo Ren scar that’s been stitched up with carbon, and her frills are held back by a black headband, and you can see that there’s a charm hanging from it that has the Imperial symbol. The other thing you see is that one of her arms is held together with an external power skeleton, so it’s like it had been broken or messed up in some sort of accident and they did this to fuse it back together, but the thinking must have been as long as we’re doing that let’s put some horsepower on this thing. You can see a lot of moving pistons and things whenever she moves that arm. She looks at the four of you.

NICK (as Anselmi): I keep running into Nautolans lately. Let’s see if I can hurt you even worse than I did the last ones I met.

NICK: She shoves one hand down and activates what looks like a shock fist and in the other hand she’s holding a blaster carbine.

NICK (as Anselmi): You’re not gonna get past me.

NICK: I need you all to roll for Vigilance.

CAMERON: Karma has a success and two advantages.

LAURA: Three advantages.

NICK: [chuckling] You’ve had a lot of trouble with initiative rolls today.

HUDSON: A triumph and an advantage.

CAMERON: HK has a success and two advantages.

NICK: Okay. For her, roll two yellow and two green.

CAMERON: One success, four advantages.

NICK: And do that again for me.

CAMERON: Four successes, two advantages.

NICK: Okay. Cool! She says…

NICK (as Anselmi): You’re not gonna get past me!

NICK: …and then just charges at you, the whole group.

LAURA: Ahh!

[laughter]

NICK: As she’s running she holds her fist up by her ear and then shoots at Tink, immediately. That’s gonna be two green and two yellow from close range.

CAMERON: Five successes, two advantages?

NICK: She’s very good at this. That’s 13 damage and a crit coming at Tink.

HUDSON: Okay, so I have 3 health left.

NICK: Yeah.

CAMERON: Do you wanna roll it, Hudson?

HUDSON: Yeah, sure.

NICK: Don’t let Cameron roll the crits. That always goes really bad.

CAMERON: [laughing] Don’t let me roll the crit. I’ll roll a really high number.

HUDSON: … 98.

NICK & CAMERON: Oh no!

HUDSON: [laughs]

LAURA: 98 is the one that we have renamed Harmed: One limb is impaired until healed/replaced. Plus difficulty to all checks using that limb.

NICK: So… where do you wanna get shot?

HUDSON: Probably the same leg, so left leg.

NICK: The left leg. We’ll say that’s the one you got shot in earlier that has the stim packs.

HUDSON: Yes.

NICK: As this Anselmi is running at you, she’s firing from the shoulder with one arm. It looks kind of like the battle rifle from Halo. She’s shooting you exactly where you got shot before, three to four times, just pinpoint accuracy, just blam, blam-blam-blam, and your leg just completely goes out from under you.

HUDSON (as Tink): Ahh, this hurts in a familiar way~!

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Oh boy… That was not good.

CAMERON: [long exhale]

NICK: A PC slot.

HUDSON (as Tink): Avenge me!

CAMERON (as Karma): I will, sweetie, don’t worry.

NICK (as HK): Can I have your blood?

HUDSON (as Tink): I don’t have the Force~

NICK (as HK): I could find some use for it.

CAMERON: If she’s close range with Tink she’s close range with me as well, right?

NICK: Mm-hmm. She is close range with you, yes.

CAMERON: I’m gonna aim.

LAURA (as Xianna): You can only have the blood that already falls out of him.

NICK (as HK): I don’t have a mop. I’ll be back. I’m going to go find a mop.

CAMERON (as Karma): HK, no!

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): HK, wait! Hold on, I have some empty little baggies. You can hold that up to him. Heh.

CAMERON: [smiling] I’m going to aim!

LAURA (as Xianna): Wait! Tink is a squeegee! It will just collect in his fur. Don’t worry, Hank!

[laughter]

NICK: [delighted, disbelieving groan]

CAMERON: Oh goodness… [rolls]

LAURA: Nice!

CAMERON: Shit! Two successes, five advantages, two triumphs, so that is 15 damage.

NICK: Okay.

CAMERON: Base, and then I’mma roll a crit on her and add 30 to it? Because I have 2 ranks of Lethal Blows, so those are each 10, and then I had another crit so that’s another 10. Yes?

NICK: Okay.

CAMERON: 99 + 30…

NICK: Holy crap.

[laughter]

LAURA: So, 139.

NICK: I think that actually does kill her.

LAURA: 139: Ooh, so close. Bleeding Out: Suffer 1 wound and 1 strain per turn until injury is healed. Suffer one critical injury per 5 wounds beyond wound threshold.

CAMERON: Dang.

NICK: She turns and she’s running towards Tink and she turns her back to Karma, and karma just shoots her in the kidney, and it blows out the front of her armor and a mist of greenish blood spatters over Tink as he is down on one knee trying to hold his other knee in one piece. She stops and starts to jolt a little and stands up, and you can see a trickle of blood coming out of the corner of her mouth. She looks at Karma.

NICK (as Anselmi): Nice. Okay, let’s do this.

NICK: And starts walking. It looks cocky, but it also looks like she can’t really run anymore after that shot, and she comes forward and she’s going to try to punch Karma, because it’s her turn. That is also two greens and two yellows and it’s average difficulty. You don’t have Defense because you don’t have your sword out.

CAMERON: I would like to Dodge.

NICK: Yeah, that makes sense.

CAMERON: One success, two advantages.

NICK: Okay. She hits you, so it’s 8 damage coming at you. It is Pierce 1.

CAMERON: Okay, so I take [mumbles] 4 damage.

NICK: She clocks you, just straight in the jaw, and you feel the shot go through you. it’s not a full “you can see Karma’s skeleton,” but there’s a brief splash of “this went through her.” It was not comfortable. Karma, what do you do after getting punched in the face?

CAMERON: I think I’ve gone into silent mode. I’m processing a lot of stuff right now. I just look up and make direct eye contact.

NICK: She grins, and you can see her teeth are stained with her own blood, but this is her element.

CAMERON: I look down at her kidney and I grin. [laughs]

NICK: [laughs] And we are to another PC slot.

LAURA: Xianna pulls her gun out but then is quickly looking at Hank and Tink.

LAURA (as Xianna): So, should I… This seems like this might be a one-on-one personal thing, or should I just shoot the other one?

HUDSON (as Tink): Kill it with fire!

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean, I don’t have fire, but okay!

LAURA: She goes and shoots.

NICK: Okay. [laughs]

NICK (as HK): Did someone say fire?

HUDSON (as Tink): Yes~!

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah.

NICK (as HK): Stand by.

LAURA: She’s gonna aim. What range is it?

NICK: You’re close range.

LAURA: Close range? Okay.

NICK: Yeah. This is a cool gun kata fight where everybody is very close together.

LAURA: Four successes, so that’s 10 damage.

NICK: Phew, solid. So, where do you shoot this Anselmi? Anything specific? Center of mass?

LAURA: Center of mass.

NICK: Yeah. You hit her right square in the middle of the back and she grunts and leans forward a little. It doesn’t look like it completely pierced her armor, like her armor absorbed a lot of it, but it hurt her. She turns around and she points towards you.

NICK (as Anselmi): You’re next.

LAURA (as Xianna): No thank you~!

NICK (as Anselmi): Well, you shot me, so…

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes, I know, but I am just saying no thank you.

NICK: [grinning] And it’s another PC slot.

HUDSON: Ugh… I, I attack. [laughs]

NICK: Okay. You get up and limp towards her?

HUDSON: Yes.

NICK: Okay.

HUDSON: And I swing my axe, which this is the first time I’ve swung my axe…

[laughter]

NICK: It’s been a while.

HUDSON: It’s been a while. … One success, one advantage.

NICK: Nice. How much damage is that?

HUDSON: Six.

NICK: Six? And it’s Pierce 2, right?

HUDSON: Yes.

CAMERON: You can crit.

HUDSON: Yeah, I will crit. What do I add?

NICK: Forty.

CAMERON: Plus 10, because she already has a crit, so 55.

NICK: Yeah, so 50…

HUDSON: Okay, so 50… so 55.

NICK: Wow!

HUDSON: Man, if it was 90 again, it would be just dead.

NICK: Yeah, just dead.

LAURA: 55 is Fearsome Wound: Plus difficulty to Presence: Willpower checks until end of encounter.

NICK: Cool, so her Force powers will be—She doesn’t have Force powers.

[laughter]

CAMERON: Like what? HK can have her blood.

NICK: How do you slice her?

HUDSON: I get up and I swing it in an odd way, like in the shape of a circle but with my arm outstretched to just kinda throw her off.

NICK: [chuckling] yeah, she’s not expecting that.

HUDSON: I’m frowning because I’m bleeding out, and I hit her across the chest.

NICK: The armor catches it, but you do pierce through, and you feel it catch in her flesh and she pulls back away from it and says…

NICK (as Anselmi): Wow, this fight is going a little bit differently than last time.

NICK: …and assumes a fighting stance, and HK assumes a fighting stance and starts to walk forward and says…

NICK (as HK): I’m gonna punch the kriff out of you.

NICK: …and goes to punch her.

CAMERON: Why?! [laughs]

NICK: Because he’s excited.

CAMERON: Okay.

NICK: So that’s… Does he even have anything in Brawl? No. That’s two greens versus two red.

NICK & CAMERON: hey!

CAMERON: Okay, one success, two threats.

NICK: Nice.

CAMERON: He did it~

NICK: The threat is going to be that he’s going to be in the way of whoever tries to attack her next, so they’ll have a black die trying to work around HK, but he manages to clock her right in the face with his little robot hand and does 3 damage. [laughs]

CAMERON: [giggles]

NICK: Which doesn’t even get past her Soak, but it makes him happy. He hits her and her head snaps around.

NICK (as Anselmi): What are you doing?

NICK (as HK): I’m showing you how to fight.

NICK: We’ll go back to the top of the order, and it’s her turn. She looks down at HK.

NICK (as Anselmi): You’re second, first her.

NICK: And without looking she shoots at Xianna with the rifle that was still aimed at her.

LAURA: Oh no.

NICK: Two yellows and two greens. It’s close range so one purple.

CAMERON: But it’s plus a black die because of Xianna’s Ranged Defense.

NICK: Yep, that’s true.

LAURA: I’m also gonna Dodge.

NICK: Smart.

LAURA: How many dodges do I have?

NICK: [laughs] You can burn a strain to—

LAURA: I can burn 1, yeah.

NICK: Okay.

CAMERON: So, it’s four successes, a threat, and a despair.

NICK: Four successes is 12 damage that she shoots Xianna with. You still up, Xianna?

LAURA: [snorts] Yeah~

[laughter]

NICK: How much health you got left?

LAURA: Three.

NICK: Okay. She shoots Xianna and Xianna stumbles back towards the entrance that you came in through, and she goes to shoot her again. She’s trying to do the same thing she did to Tink where she shot in the exact same place multiple times and it just really pierces through armor and things. The gun clicks, and the gun fizzes and just kinda dies. You can actually see when you look closer that this gun looks like it was dropped from a great height at some point. The frame is cracked in a few places and the power cell isn’t attached quite the way you would normally expect. The lights go out on it and it’s totally out. She growls in frustration and throws the gun on the ground and activates another shock fist.

LAURA (as Xianna): Haha! Fuck you~!

NICK: There’s just this big old bleeding wound in Xianna’s chest. Impact’s great.

LAURA (as Xianna): I barely feel this!

[laughter]

NICK: It’s another PC slot.

CAMERON: I would like to take out my vibro-sword and stab her.

NICK: Okay. You have your rifle on a strap in front of you, right? You just drop it. It’s a maneuver to draw.

CAMERON: I have Quickdraw.

NICK: So it’s not a maneuver to draw.

CAMERON: So it’s not a maneuver to draw.

NICK: Oh, that’s cool.

CAMERON: Yup.

NICK: You keep it on your back, right?

CAMERON: Mm-hmm.

NICK: Okay, so describe this as you approach and attack.

CAMERON: So, she drops her gun and powers up [inaudible mumbling] so I toss my gun, it’s like on a sling thing so I just toss it down to my side, and then the camera starts at Karma’s feet from behind her and pans up as she slowly walks the few feet – because she’s not very far, everybody’s in close – moves up into engaged range and draws the vibro-sword out of her back sheathe.

CAMERON (as Karma): You made a mistake today.

CAMERON: And is gonna stab her.

NICK: Alright. Roll me that attack.

CAMERON: So, there’s a black die because Hank’s in the way. There’s a blue die because my vibro-sword is accurate. Then, it’s two reds?

NICK: Yup. At this point, you say that and she starts to turn around and HK slaps her face.

NICK (as HK): Pay attention to me, the melee combatant.

CAMERON: I hope this works. Three advantages and a triumph.

NICK: No success?

CAMERON: No. I don’t hit her body, but my sword comes down and hits on her exoskeleton pieces of her arm and the arm just… goes dead.

NICK: Yeah, you cut the power on it so that one’s totally out of commission now. She flinches with the pain of the weight returning to her broken arm. She says…

NICK (as Anselmi): That’s not very sporting.

NICK: …and has her other shock glove still up in a guard position.

CAMERON: I would like to gift some blue dice.

NICK: Yeah.

CAMERON: Gift a black die to her and gift a blue die to whoever goes next.

NICK: Okay. it is her turn again. I think she’s gonna try and punch Karma at this point. I don’t think she can ignore Karma after that.

CAMERON: That seems fair.

NICK: I will say, her emotional state, she still feels really satisfied having shot Xianna. [laughs]

CAMERON: That’s just rude.

NICK: It’s not polite. She’s a bad guy. She turns around and she just wheels with a big haymaker towards Karma. I’m gonna flip a dark side point to upgrade her attack. She’s putting everything into this. She knows that there’s not much time left.

CAMERON: I would like to Dodge.

NICK: Smart.

CAMERON: Turn those two purples into two reds. … One success, two advantages.

NICK: Okay, so that’s 8 damage, Pierce 1, coming at you again. We get some fight choreography here of Karma warding her away with the vibro-sword and her dodging back and forth. She manages to get up inside Karma’s guard and plant an uppercut under her chin. It hurts. Your ears are ringing pretty hard, or whatever Nautolans have. She skips away.

NICK (as Anselmi): Come on!

NICK: it’s another PC slot.

LAURA: Xianna shoots her.

NICK: [laughs] Okay.

LAURA: She’s gonna aim.

NICK: Smart.

LAURA: What was that, one purple, one red?

NICK: Yep.

LAURA: I’m gonna take the blue die. One failure and two advantages.

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA: A lot of blank dice in there.

NICK: Aw, that stinks. I think that she’s facing with Karma and you’re trying to shoot without putting Karma at risk, and it just forces you to shoot wide too many times so you aren’t able to, but it adds cool laser strobes to the fight scene that’s going on.

LAURA: Nice.

CAMERON: Gift another blue die?

LAURA: And then another blue die.

CAMERON: Pay the blue die forward.

NICK: Yeah. For whoever goes next, that’s two blue dice, and I think that’s because you’ve kind of corralled her in so she can’t be as mobile as she would want to be because there’s bullets everywhere. We got another PC slot. Tink, you wanna go?

HUDSON: Yeah, slice her.

NICK: Okay.

HUDSON: Difficulty?

NICK: Two reds.

HUDSON: I do have my two blue.

CAMERON: Oh dear.

HUDSON: A triumph with an additional three successes, four advantages, and a despair. [laughs]

LAURA: What was the crit on your axe?

HUDSON & CAMERON: One.

LAURA: Yeah!

NICK: Wait. How many advantages?

HUDSON: Four.

NICK: If you have Crit 1 then you could do plus 30, plus the 20 for the two crits, plus Vicious 4, so that’s like plus 90.

HUDSON: Yeah, let’s go. [laughs] The despair might not even matter.

NICK: Well, it’s going to.

LAURA: 38, so it’s 38 + 90, so that’s 128. Gruesome Injury: Permanent -1 penalty to random characteristic. Roll a 1d10. A 5, that’s Agility.

NICK: Ugh.

CAMERON: Ha!

NICK: And how much damage was it?

HUDSON: Three successes plus the triumph’s success… 10 damage?

NICK: Yeah.

HUDSON: Okay.

NICK: So here’s what happens. You run up towards her with your axe held low and by your side because you’re gonna do an uppercut with it, and as you get close she kicks down into your knee, hits right where the injury is, and does a twist with her heel, and you feel a bunch of stuff just break. That wound went from really bad to just catastrophically bad. Before you collapse, with the adrenaline you have, you manage to swing the axe and hamstring her and she stumbles back.

NICK (as Anselmi): You’re not getting past me you… freaks, this is my station… and I’m going to hold this position.

NICK: She stands there and she’s bleeding from all these wounds and she’s bleeding out of her mouth. Tink, you collapse to the ground, you can no longer stand, and we come to the next PC slot. HK crosses his arms and looks at her.

NICK (as HK): Evaluation: No action needed.

NICK: As the round ends, she takes 1 wound from her critical injury which fills up all of her damage.

CAMERON: [chuckles]

NICK: Her eyes roll back into her head and she collapses to the ground. So, she is completely down.

HUDSON (as Tink): HK… I’m bleeding a lot on my leg. Just singe it. Cauterize my leg.

NICK (as HK): Is this something you learned in Becoming Medicine?

HUDSON (as Tink): Yes.

CAMERON (as Karma): This is actually a more valid thing. It will stop the bleeding.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah. Cauterize is when you use water at high pressure to make my leg stop bleeding.

LAURA (as Xianna): No…

CAMERON (as Karma): No. No… It’s actually fire, hun.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh. Fire me.

NICK (as HK): Medical order acknowledged, Boss Man.

NICK: He sets the gun.

NICK (as HK): Suppressing fire.

NICK: He shoots down the hallway towards the wall, and the gun is overheating and speeding up until the barrels are burning hot.

NICK (as HK): Boss Man, you may feel a slight pressure.

NICK: He presses the gun barrel into your leg.

HUDSON (as Tink): [comically wails in pain]

NICK (as HK): Medical procedure completed. You can pay me in blood later.

HUDSON (as Tink): [whimpers] Okay…

CAMERON (as Karma): Xianna, do you wanna search her?

LAURA (as Xianna): How much is that going to do? She probably has some good things, but uh… I am kind of dying over here, so I am going to put some stim packs into me. I’ll be there in a second.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay.

NICK: As this is happening, you hear smaller explosions happening and the station is shaking. HK looks at the server door.

NICK (as HK): Strategic Assessment: Cracking this door encryption will take too long.

CAMERON (as Karma): Suppressing fire?

NICK: HK cocks his head to the side.

NICK (as HK): No, don’t worry, I’ve got this.

NICK: His left hand detaches from the wrist and slides down and you see there’s something inside where his forearm is. He aims it at the wall and says…

NICK (as HK): You may want to take cover.

NICK: …and fires, and a little micro missile comes out and shoots down and goes (tink) into the wall, and there’s a quarter-second pause, and then a giant, vacuumous explosion rips the door apart. Also then, a rain of fire comes down on either side, because it was an incendiary missile.

CAMERON: Karma had dropped to the ground and thrown herself over Tink, because he can’t move right now and he’s very flammable.

HUDSON (as Tink): Agh!

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay Tink, let’s get you up and in here.

NICK: HK shakes his hand in a very organic way like if someone punches something hard.

NICK (as HK): I was saving that for a rainy day. Pretty cool, right?

CAMERON (as Karma): It’s very cool.

NICK (as HK): I’m gonna need another missile at some point.

CAMERON (as Karma): Cool. We can get it when we get my rockets.

NICK: He grabs his hand and clicks it back into place and shakes his head out.

NICK (as HK): The way is open, Boss Man.

HUDSON (as Tink): HK, carry me.

NICK (as HK): Acknowledged.

NICK: HK puts his arms under your shoulders and tries to lift, and you hear servos whining, and he tries again, and you can hear creaking metal.

CAMERON (as Karma): Hold up. Stop. I got y’all.

CAMERON: Karma goes over and lifts Tink up and slings an arm over her shoulder to assist.

NICK: Okay. You’ve got him hopping on one foot as you carry him in?

CAMERON: I think that’s the only way we can move him. [laughs]

NICK: Probably. Xianna, what are you working on right now?

LAURA: Xianna stabbed two stim packs into her and is getting up now and is gonna run over and search the body real fast.

NICK: Okay. Roll me a Skulduggery check.

LAURA: Can do! Is there any difficulty to that?

NICK: I’ll say hard, because the body’s not in great shape and the armor’s fairly sealed.

LAURA: Okay, I got three successes and two advantages.

NICK: Okay. While you’re searching the body, I’m gonna let you do that while Tink and Karma go into the server room to try to get Tink started on what he’s working on. We see HK run into the server room with his gun barrel spinning.

NICK (as HK): Room’s clear. Let’s get a move on.

NICK: Karma helps Tink into the room, so we see their silhouette move slowly through the smoke and fire that this door use to be, and there is just rows and rows of server banks, they’re all glowing gently blue, and a single stool sitting in front of a small computer screen with a simplified keyboard that you’re able to sit down at. You do that?

HUDSON: Yes. I sit down at it and I start hacking away.

NICK: Alright. Make me a slicing check.

CAMERON: As Karma gets Tink down into the chair she’s gonna stim pack herself.

NICK: Okay.

HUDSON: What’s the difficulty?

NICK: Hard.

HUDSON: A triumph with an additional success and four advantages. The computer crits.

NICK: Okay. You’re into the system. You’re able to find pretty much what you’re looking for.

HUDSON: Not only am I into the system, I can spend a triumph to make further Computers checks within the system as maneuvers.

NICK: Nice. Basically, since we’re not in combat right now, we’ll just translate that as you can do actions super-fast. It won’t take very long to do what you’re doing. At this point, over the coms, you hear Val’s voice.

AUSTIN (as Val): Oh wow… Look at that. That’s beautiful.

NICK (as Neato): Looks like some sort of glowy cylinder.

AUSTIN (as Val): It’s more than just a cylinder, Neato. That’s like the experimental reactor I was telling you about on the way over here but even bigger! There’s SO many things that we could power with this. It’s a shame I’m gonna have to blow it up.

CAMERON: [giggles]

NICK: The com clicks off. Tink, you’re able to get into the system. You can see a majority of the memory is being used up on something called the Executor Project.

HUDSON (as Tink): That looks important… Delete.

[laughter]

NICK: It looked like some sort of giant star destroyer. It’s gone now, and you’re able to dig deeper and find more backups and things like that.

HUDSON: Ctrl+F, backup.xml.

[laughter]

NICK: What do you do to those files when you find them?

HUDSON: Delete.

NICK: Okay. They’re gone.

LAURA (as Xianna): Ooh, Tink, you have to remember to empty the little recycling trash can thing.

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh, yep.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh! You’re right. Okay.

LAURA (as Xianna): Because if you don’t it’s still in there. I have made that mistake before.

HUDSON: I delete, err, I empty the recycling bin.

NICK: [smiling] I think you delete the recycling bin, like it’s no longer there somehow.

HUDSON: Yes.

CAMERON: The Empire doesn’t recycle.

NICK: I need you to make one more slicing check for me. You’ve completely cleared out all the information you can find. I need you to make me one at a… Tell you what, if you wanna make this check, I’m not gonna tell you what it does, but if you want to it’s gonna be impossible, which is five, and you have to flip a destiny point to do it.

HUDSON: Okay!

CAMERON: [whispering] Do it!

HUDSON: Yeah, I’m doing it.

NICK: Okay. let’s see how this goes. This is something like, you see a small line in just the housekeeping part of the code, and you go “hey, that’s kinda weird,” and you start figuratively pulling on that string to see where it leads. This is to see if you find anything that way. My goal in this game is to make Hudson roll more dice than fit in his hands.

HUDSON: I have a triumph with a success…

NICK: Holy shit.

HUDSON: …an additional three successes, and four threats.

[laughter]

NICK: Okay, hang on…

HUDSON: I again crit the computer.

NICK: Yeah, and you’re able to do it really fast because of your skill. So, you pull on this little string and you find that pretty much the entire server that you were working on was the functional part, but you find a cache of data that’s basically the bid that Fondor put in to do this job in the first place. You find out that the Executor Project which you had deleted is the huge, executive class star destroyer that Darth Vader has personally commissioned. You go “Weird. Who’s this Darth Vader guy?” You get specifications of this horribly injured person who’s been put in a robot suit that looks almost designed to cause him constant pain who is theoretically stronger than anything that could possibly exist, and the way you’re able to backtrack that is somewhere in the ship there’s this weird egg-shaped thing that he can sit in that’ll make him feel better. You also find some personal diaries from something that insinuates Darth Vader in his correspondence is working on tracking down someone he thinks may be his son, and you find out that the son may have been on Tatooine in the recent past. You’re like, “I don’t know who these people are, but that sounds pretty dramatic.”

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah. I could absolutely write a fiction book on this or something. I would call it… Planet Attacks.

[laughter]

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean, so what is it?

NICK: Do you come in from searching the person’s body?

LAURA: Yeah.

LAURA (as Xianna): Ooh!

CAMERON: We’re just staring over his shoulder.

HUDSON (as Tink): I’m just seeing a bunch of really odd stuff like diary entries, something about Darth Vader?

LAURA (as Xianna): I don’t know who that is.

CAMERON: Have any of us heard of Darth Vader?

NICK: You shouldn’t have at this point. He’s like a wraith. He doesn’t really necessarily exist.

LAURA (as Xianna): It seems very dramatic. Maybe it’s like a new pilot episode for a holo-drama. You know, like Sands of Tatooine!

HUDSON (as Tink): I’m gonna take it and make it into a book.

LAURA: [gasps]

NICK: [laughing] So you take all the data?

HUDSON: Yes.

NICK: Oh no.

CAMERON: Yes!

[laughter]

LAURA: Oh, we’re gonna die.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay, but delete it afterwards.

HUDSON (as Tink): Okay!

HUDSON: I delete it.

LAURA (as Xianna): Because you want exclusive rights to the book.

HUDSON (as Tink): I know I do.

CAMERON (as Karma): That’s true. If they can prove copyright…

NICK: And then at this point, Tink, all of the stress and pain and blood loss catches up to you and you just slide slowly out of the chair.

LAURA (as Xianna): Uh-oh. Tink?

NICK: And you fall prone. [dramatic bass noise]

HUDSON (as Tink): Agh…

[laughter]

HUDSON (as Tink): Wha…?

CAMERON (as Karma): Hey buddy.

LAURA (as Xianna): Hey Tink.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah?

LAURA (as Xianna): You need to get up. We have to go.

HUDSON (as Tink): [mutters] … Stim pack?

LAURA (as Xianna): I have a stim pack. How many stim packs have you already taken today?

HUDSON (as Tink): Uhh… None after this part.

CAMERON (as Karma): No, but it matters.

LAURA (as Xianna): No, I mean today, like the last 24 hours.

HUDSON (as Tink): Two~

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, uh…

LAURA (as Xianna): So, a stim pack would only do, like… if I were to put it on a scale, like three points. Is that even going to matter?

NICK: [chuckles]

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh. Uh…

LAURA (as Xianna): Or should I just give you some impact so you can get up and about and we can get back to the ship? Let’s go!

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah. How much of it is that you’re wounded and how much of it is that your leg needs to be replaced?

HUDSON (as Tink): You know, a little bit of column A, little bit of column B.

CAMERON (as Karma): Little bit of both? Okay. Here, have a stim pack.

CAMERON: I’ll give you one.

HUDSON: I do a stim pack. So I only get 3.

CAMERON: Yeah, you’re now at 6, which is better at least.

HUDSON: That’s fine.

NICK (as HK): You know, it occurs to me with the kind of aggressive chemical cocktail that goes into stim packs that using this many of them is probably bad for your long-term health.

CAMERON (as Karma): You know, getting shot is bad for your long-term health too.

HUDSON (as Tink): Taking impact is bad for your long-term health.

HUDSON: I cross my arms.

HUDSON (as Tink): Keep the edge.

CAMERON (as Karma): Eating too many popsicles is bad for your long-term health.

LAURA (as Xianna): There are a lot of things that are bad for your long-term health.

NICK (as HK): I hear it damages your knee joints.

HUDSON (as Tink): What, popsicles?

CAMERON (as Karma): I don’t think that’s true.

LAURA (as Xianna): Popsicles?!

NICK (as HK): Yes.

CAMERON (as Karma): No.

LAURA (as Xianna): There is no way that is true.

HUDSON (as Tink): Nah, it just makes you a happy critter.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes, the impact, but we are talking about the popsicles.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah, the crits will mess up your leg. Yeah.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh… okay.

NICK: So, as you are helping Tink back to his foot—

[laughter]

HUDSON: Nice.

NICK: Several things happen at once. The smaller explosions that have been happening throughout the station start to increase in frequency, and then there is one giant explosion. I know there have been a lot of giant explosions. This one is the biggest. At the far end of the server room there is a crack in the wall and air starts to escape out of this room. The hull has been breached. You all almost lose your feet again, and it’s probably time to go. You start to run out of the station, there are alarms everywhere, and com calls saying:

NICK (as Stormtrooper): Abandon ship! Abandon ship! We’ll need to come back with salvage crews. Go, go, go!

NICK: Everyone starts to run away and leave and there’s alarms everywhere.

HUDSON (as Tink): White walker and the kids table, out! Out of the way… we’re going.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes, we are leaving.

NICK: You hear Neato on the coms.

NICK (as Neato): Roger that, white walker. That was duck soup. Seems like you’re enthusiastic and efficacious. Count me as a fan, Val.

AUSTIN (as Val): You know, the trick is to just make really big explosions. Anyway, I gotta run. See ya!

HUDSON (as Tink): Wait! Val… I love you!

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay, that is a lot. We are going to go now. Bye~

NICK: Val says…

AUSTIN (as Val): I know.

NICK: …and hangs up.

[laughter]

LAURA (as Xianna): Tink! You cannot just say you love people over the–!

HUDSON (as Tink): This might be my last minutes of life!

CAMERON: I wanna flip our light side point and find one of the carts they use in airports so that we can get Tink to our ship, because we are very far away at this point and he can’t walk.

NICK: Okay. What about there’s an IT cart and you’re able to throw the stuff on the ground and toss him onto it.

CAMERON: I was hoping for one that was self-propelling so that…

NICK: I mean, it’s a hover cart, it’s Star Wars.

CAMERON: Okay.

NICK: You probably have to push him, though.

CAMERON: Eh.

LAURA: Okay fine!

CAMERON: Fine!

NICK: Or you could leave him.

CAMERON: [laughing] No! We’re not leaving him! That’s not what I’m complaining about.

NICK: Those are your perspectives. So, you find this cart and you’re able to dump a bunch of stuff off, toss Tink on it, keep running. It doesn’t seem like the entire station is going to explode, because if you destroyed it completely that would sort of ruin the point of forcing people to guard it, but it does seem like Val may have overdone it a little bit. You see stormtroopers running for escape pods and the docking bays for ships and no one’s paying any attention to you. you see people that look like they may have been in a gunfight earlier, maybe with Beta Squad, just ignore you and keep going. You’re able to make it free of the ship and kick free of the shattered airlock. You see air rushing its way out of the station as the ship pulls away. You can see a couple of unlucky stormtroopers get sucked out into the vacuum of space as you pull out.

NICK (as Stormtrooper): Agh~!

[chuckling]

CAMERON (as Stormtrooper): Nooo~!

[grand, dramatic music starts]

NICK: Then we cut away to a different scene, the bridge of some kind of Imperial ship. Standing at the viewing screen is a tall, skeletal man. He has unbelievably pronounced cheekbones and gray, dead eyes. A navy ensign hands the man a piece of flimsy and he reads it quickly, dropping it to the ground with little emotion.

NICK (as Grand Moff Tarkin): Kalms, dispatch the screen fleet to the shipyards above Fondor.

NICK (as kalms/Ensign): But sir, the fleet was only just assembled…

NICK: The officer trails off as he meets the eyes of this skeletal man.

NICK (as Grand Moff Tarkin): I’ve been assured this battle station is indestructible. Whether or not that’s true, the shipyards are invaluable. Do not question me again. Dispatch the fleet.

NICK: We begin to see the star destroyers wink out of space in the view screen. The skeletal man smooths his uniform, flicking imaginary dust from his new Grand Moff insignia and leaves the bridge. We see the Afternoon Delight as it pulls quickly away from the station. As the crew heads out of the gravity well to kick it back into hyperspace we see that there are star destroyers snapping into position all around the shipyards. The window of escape is rapidly closing as more and more capital ships pour out of hyperspace. Their mass almost tears the fabric of reality around them. Two, three, five, six, eight star destroyers. There’s a little gap of starlight just ahead of the ship as we see the crew gripping their seats and karma firmly throws the hyperdrive into gear, rocketing through the last gap in the blockade.

[music fades]

The next thing we see is the Afternoon Delight under a blue, tropical sky and it’s swinging in to land on this little spit of sand on this unnamed moon where you took your mission. The sun is setting, painting the sky pink and orange.

[tranquil music starts]

You see Myhliri wave at you as you come in to land. Standing around you also see Beta Squad: Val, Neato, Jet and Juke. They’re chatting to each other. They look tired but triumphant. The surf laps against the sand and a handful of single-pilot craft that seem newly landed as you exit the ship. Do you say anything as you join the group?

LAURA (as Xianna): Ello~!

HUDSON (as Tink): I’m Tink!

NICK (as Neato): Tink! Good to see you. I don’t think you need to introduce yourself. We’re all friends here.

HUDSON (as Tink): I mean, I don’t know those two.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yeah, we have never met those two before.

NICK (as Neato): You look like you got a little discombobulation from the knee down there, bucko.

HUDSON (as Tink): Ooh, you could call it that.

CAMERON: We put Tink on the cart that we have on the ship and pushed him out.

NICK: [grinning] yeah, he’s in a floating thing.

LAURA (as Xianna): We do need to find a doctor after this, and a real doctor, Tink. You are not a real doctor.

HUDSON (as Tink): Just give me the leg, I can do it myself.

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): No! You can’t even reach that far.

HUDSON (as Tink): My grandmamma taught me to do stitches.

LAURA (as Xianna): No she did not.

HUDSON (as Tink): You’re right.

NICK: Val kinda looks at Tink.

AUSTIN (as Val): So hey… How ya doing?

HUDSON (as Tink): Well, better now.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Val just kinda looks down, and looks back, and then looks down again.

CAMERON: Karma comes from the side, she had been turning off ship power and stuff and hadn’t come down the ramp yet, and just barrels into Jet and Juke… and knocks them down and makes a Nautolan pile.

NICK: Aww.

CHRIS (as Jet): Mom~! This is so embarrassing. Not in front of the hardened mercenaries.

LAURA (as Xianna): Hey Neato! Neato. Do you have any drugs?

NICK (as Neato): Oh, I put that game aside a long time ago.

LAURA (as Xianna): Damn it. Okay, well… never mind.

NICK (as Neato): Except for glitterstim, that one’s healthy.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh hell yeah!

NICK (as Neato): It comes from a plant. It’s all natural.

LAURA (as Xianna): Well, I mean, impact comes from a plant too. No, glitterstim doesn’t come from a plant.

NICK (as Neato): I don’t like where glitterstim comes from. they told me they made a new one out of a special bush.

LAURA (as Xianna): You know what, sure, sure they did. Hand it over.

NICK (as Neato): You looking to party?

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes. I almost died like so many times.

NICK: Neato pulls out a file of glowing stuff and throws an arm over Xianna and they start to walk towards the beach a little bit.

CAMERON: Karma shifts slightly.

CAMERON (as Karma): Ow! Juke, what the kriff happened to your arm?

NICK: Juke looks up at Karma and rotates the arm, and you can see that he has a burnished metal arm that looks like it’s glowing at the joints on the inside like there’s dying coals in it, and it looks very nice.

ELI (as Juke): Well, uh, ran into some complications putting together this Beta Squad here, but it’s better than ever, mom. [chuckles] I punched a stormtrooper so hard that his helmet exploded.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, that is very cool.

ELI (as Juke): It’s super cool.

CAMERON (as Karma): I’m gonna kill Sentinel.

ELI (as Juke): Why? We were doing a job. It’s fine.

CAMERON (as Karma): This is not fine.

ELI (as Juke): It’s fine!

CAMERON (as Karma): It is not fine.

ELI (as Juke): Robot arms are where it’s at. Jet customized it! Sometimes it does cool electric stuff.

HUDSON (as Tink): If you’re gonna kill Sentinel let us know. We have plans.

[laughter]

NICK: HK is standing over at the sand watching this small, bright blue crab crawl in a circle. He looks up and waves an arm from the distance.

NICK (as HK): Kriff yeah!

ELI (as Juke): Mom, he’s the employer. We’re about to get paid out. I’m sure we’re never gonna have to deal with Sentinel again anyway. I don’t know why you’d be mad, I mean, you left me and Jet to go do our own thing. This is the thing we’re doing, and it must be a good deal because you’re doing it too.

CAMERON (as Karma): I just expected y’all to take jobs from more reputable people. He is not very good at giving instructions or providing enough information for the job, obviously, because you lost two crew members and then your arm, and then it’s just… this is not okay!

NICK: Jet rolls his eyes and looks at the sky and starts trying to get up.

CHRIS (as Jet): Well, I mean, he did tell us that he was working on sharing information better. I think that he really took our feedback to heart.

ELI (as Juke): So anyway. We win! We did it! Yay.

CAMERON (as Karma): Ugh…

NICK: Xianna and Neato are over doing glitterstim.

LAURA: Xianna and Neato are on their bellies on the sand staring at a little crab going back and forth and they’re each slowly poking at it and being like:

LAURA (as Xianna): Whoa… Look at it… It is like moving…

NICK (as Neato): I took glitterstim. I’m doing it with my mind.

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes! I am moving the crab with my mind, too.

CAMERON: Oh my gosh.

LAURA (as Xianna): We are speaking telepathically!

NICK (as Neato): No, I want it to go left. Stop making it go right, Xianna.

LAURA (as Xianna): But no, I want to make it go right. Stop it~!

NICK: There’s this weird vacuum-turning-on noise and the crab goes (popping poof) into a little cloud of blue dust and is gone.

LAURA (as Xianna): Neato!

NICK (as Neato): It’s because you pushed it the wrong way. Look what you did.

LAURA (as Xianna): [whining] Neato! Why did you do that?

HUDSON (as Tink): So Val, there’s this resort…

[laughter]

HUDSON (as Tink): …that I thought I had a great time there and maybe one day we could, um…

AUSTIN (as Val): Hey, that’s sweet.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah it is.

AUSTIN (as Val): Are you talking about with the whole group or with just you?

HUDSON (as Tink): [musically] Just the two of us.

AUSTIN (as Val): Sorry bud, you’re still not my type.

HUDSON (as Tink): Okay…

NICK: And Val walks off.

HUDSON: [musically] One is the loneliest number that—Okay.

[laughter]

CAMERON: Aww. Karma and the boys go over to join Tink because he’s all alone now.

NICK: Aw. They’re all chitchatting.

CAMERON: Juke’s talking about how nifty his new arm is and how cool Tink’s leg is gonna be.

NICK: And Jet’s flipping through a data pad trying to pull up the schematics of how he customized it to show you but he can’t find it because Juke was messing with it earlier. Myhliri steps in and calls the group back together, and you can see that there is a line of briefcases in the sand lined up next to their ship.

NICK (as Myhliri): Well, it’s all here. Each participant has the money they were promised in a briefcase. Sentinel dropped out of contact about five hours ago just before the conclusion of your mission, but if he needs you again I’m sure he’ll reach out. These ships were a little bonus he threw on top. We recommend that everybody go their own separate ways, at least for a while. Having just slapped the Empire in the face it may be best to lay low. Take your time, of course. There won’t be pursuit for a while, because the Empire is going to be reeling until this is over. Congratulations, everyone. This was a sight to behold.

NICK: Myhliri takes a second to make eye contact with each member of the group.

NICK (as Myhliri): It’s been an honor, truly.

NICK: They reach down and grab a briefcase. A little bit of sand floats away in the breeze highlighting gold in the sunset. You can see Myhliri’s name stenciled on the case in Aurebesh. Neato, who is still kind of influenced by the glitterstim, says:

NICK (as Neato): Well, would you look at that.

NICK: He points to the sun setting on the horizon. The bright sea reflects the light looking like a flock of suns in the water. We see the rest of the group, Beta Squad and Alpha Team stand shoulder to shoulder looking at the sunset, silhouettes standing together listening to the waves.

After a long moment of you all standing there as a group Val steps back from the line. She smiles slightly awkwardly at Tink and then warmly at the rest of the crew of the Afternoon Delight. She fist bumps Juke and hip checks Jet who chuckles, a wink at Neato, and she grabs the briefcase with her name on it and climbs up the access ramp into Stubs, the ship that was parked over by the other small ships. You can see that the cannon has been recently fired, which is interesting because you didn’t see that on the way out. It flies away with a loud rattle and a bang. So, when do you think each of your characters would leave the group?

LAURA: Oh, Xianna almost immediately goes and picks up a suitcase, does not check to see if it’s the correct name, just picks the closest one up and starts walking away to the Afternoon Delight.

CHRIS (as Jet): Hey, um, that’s actually, uh, heh, that’s my briefcase.

LAURA (as Xianna): Um, well no, the briefcases are for everyone.

CAMERON (as Karma): Xianna, yours has rhinestones on it over here.

LAURA (as Xianna): Ooh! Rhinestones? Okay. Heh.

CAMERON (as Karma): Look at how sparkly.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, they are so sparkly.

LAURA: She’s grabbing it and holding it up really intently.

LAURA (as Xianna): Ooh! They color shift!

CHRIS (as Jet): Thanks mom.

CAMERON (as Karma): You’re welcome, sweetie.

LAURA: Xianna goes and collects all of her stuff. It takes her a little bit because there’s a lot of weird hidden stashes throughout the ship, so she has to go through a bit and clear that all out. Then she pops into one of the vents and pulls out Creamsicle and a few things that Creamsicle had stashed away in a vent, and then heads back out to one of the other ships.

NICK: As Xianna is packing, Neato steps back from the group. He gives an exaggerated stretch and you can hear his joints popping, and he says quietly to himself…

NICK (as Neato): What a shindig.

NICK: …and shakes his head. He rubs at the strap on his eyepatch and takes his suitcase and then he’s into the ship and away. I think Neato and Xianna pretty much lift off at about the same time and fly off.

HUDSON: Yeah, I just kinda look out into space and I see what I think is a silhouette that turns into what looks like a Force ghost of Sabos, but it’s not a Force ghost because Sabos definitely didn’t have the Force.

CAMERON: [chuckles]

HUDSON: I look and I just kind of lift my hand up almost to touch it and Sabos says:

STEVEN (as Sabos): My only regret… is that I didn’t save more people with my head tails.

[giggling]

HUDSON: It fades away. I cart as though I’m in a canoe.

CAMERON: Good. Yes.

HUDSON: And I get my briefcase.

NICK: It says StarDestroyer1 on it.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh… They used my hacker name! [grinning] That’s so great.

HUDSON: I put it on the cart. I roll up to a ship and I just make my way on, slowly, very slowly because I’m injured. As I do I turn around and I do a slow wave to everybody.

HUDSON (as Tink): Bye~!

CAMERON: I wave back.

CAMERON (as Karma): Bye Tink~

NICK: HK raises a little hand.

NICK (as HK): Goodbye, Boss Man.

NICK: Tink is in the ship and takes off. Hank has been uncharacteristically fidgety as the team starts to leave. He looks down and says…

NICK (as HK): Would you look at that.

NICK: …and he picks up a briefcase that has his name on it. It says HK-67.

NICK (as HK): Well, I’ve carried out my part of the deal. I think it’s time to do some self-analysis. Things have been… weird.

CAMERON (as Karma): No kidding.

NICK (as HK): Find me if you have any organics to kill.

NICK: HK walks off and jumps into a ship and it just takes off straight up, like really jerkily, because he is not a good pilot, and then flies away. We’re down to Karma, Jet and Juke, and they’re smiling and looking out at the sunset, and karma’s looking at the sunset…

CHRIS (as Jet): So, I think that went pretty good…?

CAMERON (as Karma): I’ve definitely had jobs go worse.

CAMERON: Karma stares off into the distance.

CHRIS (as Jet): Well, I’m sure we’ll meet back on Glee Anselm soon, but we’re gonna go. We made a promise to meet some people.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yep. You’re expected there for your grandmother’s birthday.

CHRIS (as Jet): We’ll be there. We haven’t missed it yet.

CAMERON (as Karma): I just know that I’m obligated to tell you, so I’m telling you, so that I can say that I told you when she asks me.

NICK: Juke flexes.

ELI (as Juke): This time I’m gonna beat her. She always beats me when we wrestle.

CAMERON (as Karma): You’ve got the robot arm now.

ELI (as Juke): yeah! It’s a great opportunity.

CAMERON (as Karma): Don’t hurt your grandma.

ELI (as Juke): She hurts me!

NICK: They both hop into the last two of the little needle craft and they take off and they fly and they kinda intersect, like spin around each other as they fly off. You can tell they’re racing, and they’re off into space, probably headed back to pick up the Gemini, and it’s just Karma with the Afternoon Delight. There’s the Afternoon Delight and there’s one more needle craft and they’re both sitting there on the beach. What do you do?

CAMERON: Karma turns away from the sunset and is staring, looking back and forth between the two… and then nods and walks towards the Afternoon Delight and the ramp closes up, and then all the lights come on, and she takes off.

NICK: As the Afternoon Delight lifts from the beach we see the sun dip completely below the horizon. The sky drifts darker, sky spread across the heavens, and then we fade to black. The end.

[music gently fades]

[pause]

ALL: Ba-naaa~! Whoa-oh, for the longest time~! [singing, everyone simultaneously sings a different actual verse of the song or attempted Star Wars parody]

## Outro

CAMERON: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. If you’ve enjoyed our show please consider logging onto iTunes and giving us a five-star review. Five-star reviews will help new listeners to find the show and every time we get one the squad sings a love ballad just for you. If you’re so inclined, you can also help support the show through our Patreon which can be found in the show notes, on our website, and basically anywhere else we post things. We have all sorts of Patreon levels including some of my favorites: Bantha Buddy, Tarkin’s Underwear Drawer, and Build-A-Beru which all have fabulous rewards and super great names.

Valorissia Creed is played by Austin Wittington. You’re not going to find him on the internet, but you can find him on our Discord so stop by and say howdy.

Juke Nailo is played by Eli Kurtz. You can find him at @ZapDynamic on Twitter, and don’t forget to check out his freshly launched Kickstarter. Oligarchy is a tabletop RPG of political folly powered by the Trophy RPG system and campaigning on Kickstarter until February 24. There’s a link in the show notes.

Jet Nailo is played by Chris Russell. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @techdudetx.

Sabos Niks was played by Steven Schroeder. He’s been blown up by a star destroyer and does not exist on the internet.

Xianna’fan is played by Laura Penrod. They can be found on Twitter at @cheerio_buffet.

Tink is played by Hudson Jameson. He can be found on Twitter at @hudsonjameson.

Karma Nailo is played by me, Cameron Robertson. You can find me on Twitter at @midnightmusic13.

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, and join our Discord and share all of your food and cute pet photos with us. We also sometimes talk about Star Wars. You can find the link to join our Discord on our website and in our pinned tweet. See you next season.

Word document download: Episode 51 Attack of the Cafeteria

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Tabletop Squadron Transcript, Season 1 Episode 51:
Attack of the Cafeteria

Transcript by Tyler (Twitter: @Tyler_MoonSage)

{Transcriber’s Note: During the recording of this episode only the four cast members were present. Nick spoke dialogue for the prior special guest characters who later recorded their versions of the lines for post-production, so they are tagged as speaking in the text.}

## Intro

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, and a slicer as they explore the galaxy helping a mysterious benefactor and each other.

Starting off, I want to thank Riiichard for your very kind words on iTunes. Your review helps more people find the show, and we appreciate you taking the time to tell people about us.

I want to take a second to mention that if you are caught up on Tabletop Squadron and want more stories from us, we have quite a few episodes for our $5 and up patrons and a metric ton of new content in the works for the next few months. If you are able to support us, I strongly recommend that you check it out.

This episode is the second to last before our season finale in two weeks! We’re all super pumped to bring the end of this arc to you all and are ecstatic that you came along for the ride. We’re really looking forward to sharing some extra content in between seasons and showing you what lies ahead.

Music this week is GIGA METAL by Loyalty Freak Music, Pocket Zombie by Flex Vector, and 8-bit Core by Manuel Senfft.

So now, let’s get into the episode.

##

NICK: Hello! Welcome to Tabletop Squadron, Episode 51! We did it… again plus one.

CAMERON: Yay?

NICK: Yay! It’s so great.

HUDSON: Woo.

CAMERON: Woo…?

NICK: Yay. Well, aren’t we awesome? Everything’s going fine. I’m your hosting game master, Nick. Let’s go around the table, everybody introduce themselves and say who you’re playing today, starting with Hudson.

HUDSON: Hi, I’m Hudson, and I play Tink, a Gigoran slicer.

NICK: Up next we’ve got Laura.

LAURA: Hello. I’m Laura, and I play Xianna’fan, a Twi’lek smuggler.

NICK: And last… but not least, we have Cameron.

CAMERON: [snickers] Hello. I am Cameron, and I play Karma Nailo, a Nautolan bounty hunter.

NICK: Fantastic. Before we get started, let’s do the Destiny Roll~!

CAMERON: Two dark side.

HUDSON: Two light side.

LAURA: One dark side.

CAMERON: Good job, Hudson.

HUDSON: I did it.

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA: Thank you, Hudson.

CAMERON: Thank you, Hudson.

HUDSON: It’s all skill.

NICK: [laughs] So, when we last left off you were given your big, final assignment from Sentinel. Your job was to go to a small, unmarked moon and receive your mission where you met with Mylhiri, the Cathar spy, who gave you the coordinates and approach vector for the Fondor Shipyards where your goal is to destroy the plans for the large-scale project they’re working on there and hopefully destroy any backups or other records of that plan anywhere else, long-term goal being to make the Empire assign star destroyers to protect the shipyards and therefore leave the large space station they’ve just unveiled that can destroy planets exposed so Rebels can destroy it. You are also launching this assault as part of a joint team with Beta Squad who have also just made contact with the station. The last thing that we saw was the ship very stealthily locking into place on the airlock that you had been directed towards, all of the lights turned red on your ship, and a voice said “Assault entry in 30 seconds.” That’s where we left off. HK, their gun is spinning up.

NICK (as HK): Adulation: That’s what I’m talking about.

NICK: HK is up next to the door. What all do you do?

[action music starts]

HUDSON: I spin my vibro-axe like someone who’s a color guard member right out of school.

NICK: Nice.

CAMERON: Karma jumps up out of the pilot seat.

CAMERON (as Karma): I have never seen a ship do this before, but grab y’all’s stuff,, it appears we’re going in… in 24 seconds.

LAURA (as Xianna): What does it mean assault? What?

HUDSON (as Tink): Well, I mean, there’s like a pepper and then other things you can put on food.

LAURA (as Xianna): Tink! It is not the time for that!

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: There’s a hollow clang as HK hits his head against the bulkhead by the door.

CAMERON (as Karma): My guess would be some sort of explosion is about to happen in the bulkhead to allow us to enter into the facility.

HUDSON (as Tink): HK, you wanna move back a little bit?

CAMERON (as Karma): The red lights usually mean explosions.

NICK (as HK): Statement: I’m good right here. (gun charging whoosh)

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay.

NICK: We cut to outside the ship. We see the interior of the shipyard corridor. Two rows of stormtroopers are pressed against the walls in what cover they can find. There’s the low radio chatter of the troops as they check their weapons, aimed at the closed door. Abruptly, two lines of bright red fire on both sides of the sealed door ignite. They move quickly around the perimeter. The doorway is filled with smoke. There’s a flash of an explosion and sparks shoot outward towards the stormtroopers forcing them to look away from the bright light. A thick smokescreen makes it impossible to see through the door. So, as the explosions happens and kicks out, Xianna flips on her scanner goggles.

NICK (as HK): Excited Statement: Suppressing fire.

NICK: We see from the stormtroopers’ perspective just blaster bolts start flying out down the corridor. I’m gonna need you to make a roll, please. It’s going to be two green and two yellow and average difficulty.

CAMERON: Is he aiming?

NICK: Not with the Suppressing Fire skill. [chuckles]

CAMERON: Welp… Two successes, one advantage.

NICK: Okay. That’s going to be two black dice on any attacks that these stormtroopers make for the first round or as long as Suppressing Fire is running. Help me remember that. Now we need to roll Vigilance. It’s initiative time! Da-da-da~ [humming a tune]

CAMERON: Oh yeah, that’s something we do. … Karma just got three advantages.

LAURA: I got a success and one advantage.

HUDSON: I had one advantage.

CAMERON: HK got a triumph, a success, and an advantage.

NICK: Okay, and then the stormtroopers, there are two groups of five, so that will be three yellows twice.

CAMERON: First grouping is three successes, one advantage. Second grouping is one success, three advantages.

NICK: Cool. Up first is an NPC slot. The stormtroopers return fire. They can’t really see, so they’re gonna have a black die through all this smoke plus the two black dice from being Suppressing Fire’d, but they are rolling three yellows.

CAMERON: One failure, one advantage.

NICK: Okay. They’ll spend the advantage to give somebody a black die on their next check. They are shooting back, and blaster bolts are pinging through the smoke towards you all. you’ve had very little time to prepare. The ship kind of just did this automatically, almost as if it was originally designed for an action like this back before it was given to you, so you’re forced to duck out of the way and it does throw you off your preparations to head down this hallway, but they don’t hit anybody which is pretty great. Up next is a PC slot. Does anybody feel super pumped and excited about fighting this whole hallway full of stormtroopers?

CAMERON: I will shoot them.

NICK: Okay. Karma?

CAMERON: I am pumped about shooting them.

HUDSON: Wait. What if—Are they grouped up kind of close still because it’s the first…?

NICK: There’s two lines of five leaning up against the walls, kind of arrayed down the hallway.

HUDSON: What if I just put a grenade in each hand and throw them?

LAURA: If you have grenades.

HUDSON: I do. We’re gonna do… I have two frag grenades and three stun grenades.

CAMERON: They’re stormtroopers, kill ‘em.

HUDSON: Alright. Both frag grenades are being used.

NICK: Okay. That’s gonna be average difficulty. It’s Ranged: Light which you’re super great at.

HUDSON: [laughing] No I’m not.

CAMERON: [laughing] Nuh-uh!

NICK: It’s okay though, all his points went into hacking and axes, so of course—

CAMERON: So let’s use grenades!

NICK: Let’s use grenades, yeah.

HUDSON: Let’s use grenades! So, what was it again?

NICK: It’s going to be three purples, because you’re upgrading it for dual wielding.

CAMERON: But then you also have a black die from the stormtroopers.

NICK: Getting shot at, yeah.

HUDSON: Alright, here’s my composition.

NICK: Would you like to maybe flip a light side point to try and upgrade one of those suckers?

HUDSON: Yeah, sure. Let’s do a light side point. Upgrade one of them.

CAMERON: [snickers, laughs]

HUDSON: [stammers] To the audience, I was juggling them and almost lost them all. Two successes, four threats.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Okay, so only one of the grenades goes off, or hits, because you need two advantages to activate the other weapon, but you throw both so it looks cool. How much damage does a grenade do? I feel like it’s 5.

HUDSON: Eight per grenade.

NICK: Eight per grenade. So, you’re going to kill one of them. Tell me how you throw the grenades and how it blows up a stormtrooper. What does this look like?

CAMERON: Remember to remove the pins.

HUDSON: As majestic as an ice skater, I do a 180 spin… no, I do a 360 spin. That makes a lot more sense, otherwise I’m throwing them into the ship.

CAMERON: [giggles]

HUDSON: I do a 360 spin, and as I get to the 360th degree I click the pins out with my thumbs and I throw them like I’m about to do a dance, and I throw them straight out.

NICK: Okay. We again get the perspective of the stormtroopers.

NICK (as Stormtrooper): Keep firing! Keep them out of the hallway!

NICK: Just two grenades come whizzing out and they land.

NICK (as Stormtrooper): Take cover!

NICK: But one of the stormtroopers doesn’t move fast enough and just gets blown and smashes into the wall and falls down. The hallway is now more full of smoke. As you’re doing your spin, they do continue to shoot and some of the blaster bolts go right past your ears, like just almost hit you in the face, and you duck out of the way and lose your balance and fall prone [dramatic bass noise], so that’s good. HK stands above you and continues to fire out through the smoke, trying to provide cover for you, but you are currently on the ground. They are going to have a blue die on their next shot, because the way the grenades flew out kind of helped them triangulate where you’re coming in. Up next is another PC slot.

LAURA: There’s still smoke?

NICK: Yeah.

LAURA: I mean, Xianna has scanner goggles on.

NICK: Yeah, the smoke’s not gonna affect you.

LAURA: Yeah. I’m gonna shoot at the closest one, because Xianna can then see which one is the closest one.

NICK: Yeah, that makes sense. Are you staying in the ship or are you moving up at all?

LAURA: Yeah, Xianna would stay in the ship, and then aim. How far away?

NICK: Medium range.

LAURA: That’s a triumph with its success, four more successes, and two threats.

NICK: Hmm. How much damage does your gun do, 5?

LAURA: It does 6.

NICK: Six, so you kill three stormtroopers. Do you shoot towards the group that got grenaded or towards the group that had not yet been grenaded?

LAURA: Are they both the same distance?

NICK: Yeah. They’re lined up parallel down this hallway.

LAURA: Whichever one had not been grenaded.

NICK: So, that’s really good. How do you bring down three stormtroopers before ducking back out of the way?

LAURA: Two are just lined up so that the one shot just goes through both of them, and then it kind of ricochets off a metal panel and gets the third.

[music fades]

NICK: [chuckling] So just one really lucky shot.

LAURA: Yeah.

NICK: Nice. Do you say anything when you see that happen?

LAURA (as Xianna): Ha. Nice.

NICK: Cool. Up next is an NPC slot. The other stormtrooper group is going to go. I think they’re going to move up to short range relying on their peers to cover them. they are only rolling three greens now, not three yellows, because they have been shredded pretty thoroughly by that. Xianna, I think that’s probably why you shot them, is they were trying to move up and you hit them pretty easily.

CAMERON: They still have their two black dice and they have the blue die from Tink’s threat.

NICK: Yep, and they’re going to just shoot into the smoke. We’ll see if they hit anything.

CAMERON: Yeah, they hit something. They also fall down. Three successes and three threats.

NICK: Okay. Gosh, this could hurt. So three successes means they have 11 damage coming out. It’s gonna be pretty much random because they can’t see in there. I’m thinking of a number between one and ten.

HUDSON: Five.

CAMERON: Seven.

LAURA: Two.

NICK: Roll me a Force die, because it’s either gonna be Xianna or HK.

CAMERON: A dark side.

NICK: Yeah, so let’s roll a black die. We’ll say it hits Xianna.

CAMERON: No change.

NICK: It didn’t do anything.

LAURA: Come on, dice!

NICK: So that’s 11 damage minus your Soak.

LAURA: Okay, my whole Soak of… 2.

CAMERON: [laughs] Ooh!

NICK: Ooh… You okay?

LAURA: Um… so I take 9 damage.

NICK: Ohh… You’re still conscious.

LAURA: I got 4 points left.

NICK: Ouch.

CAMERON: This is a great way to start this.

NICK: Ohh. Xianna, I think you go “Nice!” and you go to duck out of the way, and they use the angle of your shot and just… It’s like all the stormtroopers were like a finely trained military unit and they all just hit you at once, and Xianna gets blasted. It’s not good.

LAURA: Xianna kind of falls back and immediately checks to make sure that Creamsicle was not also shot, because Creamsicle is in the coat. It probably has a massive hole in a shoulder.

NICK: You reach into the pocket with Creamsicle and Creamsicle pokes her head out and licks your finger.

LAURA (as Xianna): [weakly] Okay… I am glad you are not dead, Creamsicle. You would be so dead. You are so small.

NICK: She bears her teeth towards the stormtroopers as the smoke starts to dissipate.

LAURA (as Xianna): You cannot fight them. You are too small.

NICK: We have a PC slot up next. So, would Karma like to…? You see Xianna get peppered with blaster bolts and go down to a knee.

CAMERON: Yup. Karma’s gonna look down her scope on her carbine which allows her to see heat signatures, so she can see through the smoke, and is going to use a maneuver to aim at the stormtrooper that got Xianna, and is going to shoot them with her carbine.

NICK: Makes sense.

CAMERON: Unfortunately, they have all gone this encounter already. Well, okay, this is a fun day. Four successes, two advantages, and two triumphs.

NICK: Huh. Okay. Four successes? How much damage does your gun do?

CAMERON: Nine plus 4 plus another 4 for my successes.

NICK: That’s five stormtroopers, and there are six left, so would you like to completely clear out one of the groups and pretty badly hurt the other group?

CAMERON: Yeah. I think one group still has four, the other has two, right?

NICK: Yep.

CAMERON: Yep, so… going to just shoot down the line that has the four in it, and then as I’m shooting one of them shoots across the hallway and shoots a friend as they’re dying.

NICK: [laughs] Okay. You just lay down heavy fire and take them down very systematically.

CAMERON: Pew, pew, pew, pew, PEW!

CAMERON (as Karma): Xianna, are you okay?

LAURA (as Xianna): No, not really, I think I am dying.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay great.

LAURA (as Xianna): But I have some stim packs so I think I will be alive soon. Also Creamsicle was fine.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay good. Why is Creamsicle with you?!

LAURA (as Xianna): Because she’s in my coat.

CAMERON (as Karma): Put her back on the ship.

LAURA: Xianna reaches over, opens a grate to the ship and smooshes Creamsicle into it and then closes the grate.

LAURA (as Xianna): Go now~ Hide.

CAMERON: Be safe.

NICK: Creamsicle gives the same affronted look a cat gives you when you try to push them out of a room and then waddles away into the vents of the ship. That brings us to our last PC slot which is…

CAMERON: HK.

NICK: HK. I think HK’s gonna actually shoot. Two yellow and two green.

CAMERON: Is he gonna aim because he’s just shooting at one?

NICK: Yeah, he’ll aim this time. The Suppressing Fire stops.

NICK (as HK): Assessing threats. Firing.

NICK: And takes a shot.

CAMERON: Two successes.

NICK: Two successes! The stormtrooper has stopped shooting and is starting to back up and try to get to cover. The firing stops.

NICK (as Stormtrooper): Oh… Wait. Wait, wait!

NICK: (firing noises) And the stormtrooper flies back down the hallway and it falls silent. We get a shot of the four of you stepping out of this smoking doorway and stepping over the fallen bodies of the stormtroopers and starting to walk down the hallway. HK nudges one of the stormtroopers with his foot and they don’t move, and nods to himself, and you all are able to continue onward. Good job.

CAMERON: Yay.

NICK: I’m proud of y’all.

CAMERON: Let’s stim pack Xianna.

NICK: Yeah, so you have a moment of quiet in this hallway now that the stormtroopers are done.

LAURA: Yeah. Xianna jabs two stim packs into her and that would bring her back up to full health.

NICK: So Xianna looks worse for wear but is able to function.

LAURA: Yep.

NICK: Ugh, just the smile and wild eyed as there’s a big hole in Xianna’s shoulder.

LAURA: Mm-hmm.

NICK: Cool. After Xianna pauses to jab a couple of auto-injectors into her shoulder, we’re going to cut away from the space station for a second.

[tense music starts]

We see a scene of a dim street. The surroundings look like a mega-city. We see Sentinel floating along in his chair. His robe is pulled tight around him. His protocol droid waddles quietly at his side. As they turn a corner, the droid leans in.

NICK (as Droid): Sir, situational report. Both teams have breached the perimeter and are inbound.

[tense music fades]

NICK: We jump back to the Alpha Team standing amongst the smoke and rubble of their entry after Xianna has made herself a little bit more functional. Now that you have cleared this hallway, what do you do? How are you going to locate the server  room? What are you working on here?

HUDSON: I flip a switch on this piece of electronics I have on my side and then suddenly [hums a tune resembling early video games].

[heavy techno music starts]

HUDSON (as Tink): Hey guys, I got this music for when we’re running across.

LAURA (as Xianna): Did you get your own theme song?

HUDSON (as Tink): Yes, and I can get one for everyone else, too. I found this website.

CAMERON (as Karma): I mean, we are supposed to be loud.

NICK (as HK): Pick me. Pick me. Pick me.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes, give Hank a theme song. I do not want one.

HUDSON (as Tink): It’ll have to be later. I don’t have my holo-net with me.

CAMERON (as Karma): Why would you offer right now then?

HUDSON (as Tink): No, I would offer it—This is a future offer. We’re in the middle of a mission.

NICK (as HK): Musical Recitation: [simulates house music]

CAMERON: [laughs]

HUDSON (as Tink): I think HK has it handled.

LAURA (as Xianna): Hank can just make his own theme song.

HUDSON (as Tink): That’s exactly what I think.

NICK (as HK): Some say that my blaster bolts sing.

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean, I wouldn’t say that, but it was a cool song.

NICK (as HK): [gun charging up noise]

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, okay, there’s nobody to shoot right now.

LAURA (as Xianna): Well no, you should make that a part of the song.

HUDSON (as Tink): It could be like a solo.

NICK (as HK): Speculative Statement: Let’s see what happens when the beat drops. (wub, wub, wub)

LAURA (as Xianna): Do you blow up?

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, Tink, you computer. Where do you… Towards the center, does that seem like where the computers would be?

HUDSON (as Tink): If I was building a server room, where would I put it…? I’d put it on the second level, to prevent flooding…

NICK: [laughs]

CAMERON (as Karma): That’s a big issue in space.

LAURA (as Xianna): Tink, it isn’t…

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah.

CAMERON (as Karma): This is a floating space station.

HUDSON (as Tink): Listen. This is if I was designing it, okay? It could be landed, and then a flood could happen.

LAURA (as Xianna): No, this actually cannot be landed. It is far too big. It has to be in space.

CAMERON (as Karma): Kinda lives up here.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh.

LAURA (as Xianna): Because they have to build the ships in space because they’re so big.

HUDSON (as Tink): Ships, in, space~!

CAMERON: Yeah!

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes, I know that is your favorite book, but not at this time.

HUDSON (as Tink): You’re right. I shouldn’t. I’m getting off topic. Okay, so basically yes, second floor, and then what else would I do? I would go ahead and put it… yeah, the middle of the ship, that sounds right. I would go left, but I love—I don’t love left, I’m just saying like, the left side—

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay, he has no idea.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay great.

CAMERON: [laughs]

[techno music fades]

NICK: So, we zoom out as Tink is talking and it shows the Fondor Shipyards which are, like I said, a big donut if you stuck aircraft carriers, three of them, into the perimeter of the donut. You can actually see that two of them don’t have any ships on them, they’re blank, and you can see the outline of a really, really big star destroyer. It’s taking up the space that four normal ones would take up. It’s like they’ve just started building it and setting up where it’s going to go. The Afternoon Delight did not land against those. From this aerial view the audience can see a squat military craft that now you would recognize as Stubs, the cannon ship that Val uses, stuck against one of those aircraft carrier looking arms, and there’s a smoking explosion coming from over there. The Afternoon Delight is on the opposite side, the one that does have a mostly completed star destroyer parked up against it. As Tink is talking there’s a red dashed line being overlaid over the ship moving in towards the middle, and he says “on the second floor” and the dot shifts to one side, and then comes back, and then as you all are talking and arguing over where it’s going to go there’s like an X in towards the middle, so it’s just outlining what your assault path is going to be based on what you’re talking about.

HUDSON: That’s for the audience only.

NICK: That’s for the audience, but it’s just kinda like a summary of you all debating on where to go.

HUDSON: Can I roll Perception and if I get really good on it find a map on the wall?

NICK: Sure.

HUDSON: Like a kind of directional map where it’s like “You are here.”

NICK: Well, I was thinking, as you’re the expert for server rooms and stuff you could probably roll Computers to figure out based on the ship’s infrastructure where to go.

HUDSON: Great. What’s the difficulty of me knowing where the server room is?

NICK: Probably hard, because this is a private corporation system. It’s not standard.

HUDSON: [rolls]

CAMERON: Can he aim?

[laughter]

HUDSON: Ooh, a failure and three advantages.

NICK: Ohh… Okay.

HUDSON: This was a bad idea.

NICK: Yeah, so you don’t know exactly where the server room is.

HUDSON: So I don’t find that map, of course. [gasps] Except, however…

NICK: You can reroll a Computers check. That is true.

HUDSON: Yes.

NICK: Are you going to use that? Once per session, can reroll a Computers check.

HUDSON: I’m using it for this part. [laughs]

CAMERON: We just have to make sure that we don’t get you to a computer this session.

HUDSON: I can still do it.

CAMERON: [laughs]

HUDSON: A triumph with a success, an additional success, and an advantage.

NICK: Wow. Okay. You get pretty much everything you want. Very quickly, you’re looking at it, this is like a basic space station that has been modified and modified and modified. You’re like, oh, the server room is usually located in this kind of general area.

HUDSON: While I’m fumbling around speaking about where I think it is, I’m kinda darting my eyes back and forth and I see this plastic panel on the wall with something under it that’s written and looks like a map. I just stop talking and I walk over to it and I squint.

HUDSON (as Tink): Hey. This is a map of the ship.

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): Wait, they just have a map of their ship just on the wall?

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah. This is like a theme park style map with little figures and—

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh, there’s the star that says you are here.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah, exactly.

LAURA (as Xianna): That is so useful.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah. We know where the bathrooms are now.

NICK (as HK): Observation: This is an emergency evacuation map. While useful, it is not designed for tourists.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh.

CAMERON (as Karma): Eh…

LAURA (as Xianna): Well, I mean, it is still going to give us some idea.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah, and I see the server room is located here. It has that little picture of a server.

CAMERON (as Karma): And now we know the path everyone’s gonna take when we cause an emergency.

NICK: That’s true. We get the overview again with the red beeping line and the red dot, and a little chibi Tink shakes his head and draws a blue beeping line and a dot somewhere probably a quarter rotation of the station around and points at that, and we zoom back in. You know where to go. [laughs] You found a map. Good job. What a solution.

CAMERON (as Karma): Alright, let’s go that way.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. Tink can go in front. I will stand behind you.

HUDSON (as Tink): Alright. One more idea, hear me out. We could go that path that I just kinda felt like God was drawing a second ago, but I don’t know, whatever. We could go that path or we can do a shortcut by making a hole in the wall.

CAMERON (as Karma): So…

LAURA (as Xianna): That will draw attention to us.

CAMERON (as Karma): We do want to be loud. We are trying to distract from Beta Squad.

LAURA (as Xianna): True.

CAMERON (as Karma): But I feel like the more fights we get in, in the main corridors, the louder.

HUDSON (as Tink): That’s true. Alright, let’s take the path, the path that most will travel including us.

CAMERON (as Karma): Cool.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okie.

CAMERON (as Karma): The hallways.

HUDSON (as Tink): The hallways, not the vents or anything else.

NICK: As you continue down this walkway, it’s probably a mile or two down this big, long entry way. You basically came in at the end of one of those aircraft carrier looking extensions. You know that most of the important stuff is going to be in the main ring. This whole area is all just construction equipment and storage for building the star destroyer that’s parked next to it. You’re able to continue down there. It’s surprisingly quiet. After your explosive entry there aren’t really any alarms going off. You don’t run into any more stormtroopers. I think there’s a couple of near misses as stormtroopers patrol by, but you just let them go so you can get closer. You find yourselves as you exit this main walkway in a large, open cafeteria commissary. There’s the long, white tables with little stools seated around them. you can see a stainless steel kitchen against the far wall. It’s got multiple entries leading into it, big square open doors with no doors, just entryways. As you walk in you see setting up in the doorway there are three armed Human men in what look like security uniforms with large repeating blasters on tripods, and they aim at you, and you can hear one of them say:

NICK (as Human): Halt! Those are the intruders. Stop there!

NICK: What do you do?

CAMERON: Shoot them.

HUDSON: Shoot them.

LAURA: Duck for cover.

NICK: Karma snaps her rifle to her shoulder, Tink looks at Karma and says “shoot them,” and Xianna goes “nope” and dives off into cover as quickly as possible. I’m gonna need another initiative roll out of everybody. Vigilance!

CAMERON: Karma got two successes.

LAURA: A triumph, a success, and an advantage.

HUDSON: Two successes.

CAMERON: HK got four successes.

NICK: They’re gonna be a yellow and two greens.

CAMERON: Three successes and an advantage. Three successes, two advantages. Four successes, two advantages.

NICK: Okay!

CAMERON: I don’t like these guys. They’re competent.

NICK: We have an NPC slot, a PC slot, two NPC slots – that’s gonna be really bad, and then three PC slots. One thing that I wanna call out is we do have a triumph there. Do you wanna spend the triumph to add anything to the scene, Laura?

LAURA: Ooh. What do we wanna add?

CAMERON: Cover for us might be good, because they have really big guns. [laughs]

LAURA: Yeah.

HUDSON: The tables are set up in a way we could just flip them up.

LAURA: The tables are set up in a way that they can be easily flipped over and they appear to be made from a heavy metal that’s very industrial.

NICK: It’s definitely repurposed scraps of star destroyer armor that they reused to make furniture, so it’s very thick and heavy, and a little top-heavy so it’s easy to kick the legs out and make some cover. Good idea. First up is an NPC slot. As Karma snaps her rifle to bear the guy with the tripod the most set up says…

NICK (as Human): Firing!

NICK: …and he turns the large gun and shoots at Karma, because she’s gonna try to shoot him. He is two yellows and a green, average difficulty.

CAMERON: I would like to Dodge.

NICK: Okay. what does Dodge do?

CAMERON: When targeted in combat you can perform a Dodge incidental. Suffer strain no greater than ranks in Dodge to upgrade the difficulty of the attack by that number. I’m gonna suffer 2 strain because I have 2 ranks in Dodge.

NICK: Okay.

CAMERON: I’m going to upgrade the difficulty by two, so it’s two reds instead of two purples.

NICK: Smart.

CAMERON: A failure and a despair!

NICK: Okay! Do you want to use the despair that the cover is all set up for everybody else and that it doesn’t hit you? Or do you want to use the despair that his gun jams?

HUDSON: I was thinking that one.

CAMERON: Yeah, I kinda want his gun to explode.

NICK: It will jam. It’s not gonna just catastrophically fail.

HUDSON: [laughs]

CAMERON: I want it to catastrophically fail, though.

NICK: I understand that you would like it to. So, the gun starts to spin up and we get this long shot of Karma looking down the scope at this guy and him looking down the iron sights of this giant gun at her, and then he pulls the trigger, it fires one blaster that goes above Karma’s shoulder and her head tails flap in the blast, and she doesn’t move, and then the gun goes (stuck clicking).

NICK (as Human): Ohh kriff…

NICK: And it’s a PC slot.

CAMERON: I would like to shoot him.

NICK: That seems fair.

CAMERON: Three successes, two advantages.

NICK: Oh, I forgot about that damage boost. Okay, you kill that guy.

CAMERON: Can I shoot his gun and have it explode?

NICK: Yes. You can shoot his gun and have it explode.

CAMERON: Yay! [laughs]

NICK: You hit the small, exposed blaster pack on the side and it fizzes for a second, and you see a look of relief on the guy’s face, and then it explodes, throwing him out of the room. His two peers, while buffeted by the smoke, are still okay and they are going to also shoot. One of them shoots at Tink, so it’ll be the same roll that they made before.

CAMERON: A success and an advantage.

NICK: Ooh, buddy. That’s gonna be 12 damage aimed at Tink.

HUDSON: I… defend! [laughter] Nah, I can’t. I don’t have it.

CAMERON: I block it with my axe!

NICK: You do get to subtract your Brawn.

HUDSON: What’s the damage again?

NICK: Twelve.

HUDSON: So 9.

NICK: Minus your Soak, so you have -3, so 9.

HUDSON: Yeah.

NICK: Yeah, so that one hits Tink. I think it hits Tink in the quad. There’s a streak of blaster bolts as they bring this big heavy blaster to bear and it comes tracing up the floor and hits you in the leg and knocks your leg back.

HUDSON (as Tink): Owwie.

NICK: [laughs] It is the other NPC slot. At this time, as both these guns are going off simultaneously, your coms light up. You hear a voice over a shared channel.

NICK (as Neato): Alpha Team, ring-a-ling from Beta Squad. Come in. We’re in a bit of a fracas here with some government stooges of the armored variety over here. Our tech head is trying to get the security system shut down, but there’s too much fire. Can we get a leg over here? Some kind of whoop-de-doo? We just need this door to open.

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): Um, it is very impolite to just ask for a whoop-de-doo, like, you know, over the coms.

CAMERON (as Karma): Tink, give Neato a whoop-de-doo.

LAURA (as Xianna): I also don’t know if that is the appropriate time for one. Like, there’s setup involved for a whoopsie-do.

NICK (as Neato): No, a whoop-de-doo, like some sort of tactical assistance.

NICK: You can hear blasters firing.

LAURA (as Xianna): Ohh! A whoop-de-doo. A whoopsie-do is different. It’s a big difference.

NICK (as Neato): Oh! Whoa! You’re gonna offend my delicate sensibilities.

LAURA (as Xianna): I’m sorry. I thought you said whoopsie-do.

NICK: You can hear another voice on the coms saying:

CHRIS (as Jet): Hey. I’m doing my best here, Neato. Give me a second. I’m pinned down. If you could just keep this guy from shooting me—

NICK (as Neato): No can do, tech head. I’m keeping the other ones off our backs. We’re gonna have to rely on Alpha Team for this.

NICK: The coms click off. So, they are pinned down somewhere. If you could get some sort of access to a computer system you might be able to see what’s going on and open a door to get them a way out, but they are stuck.

HUDSON: I wobble out the door.

NICK: Okay. Well, it’s not your turn in initiative, so it’ll take a second.

CAMERON: [giggles]

NICK: At this point, as that conversation’s going, we’re gonna see how that other shot goes.

CAMERON: Who are they shooting at?

NICK: HK, because he’s scary.

CAMERON: A success and two advantages.

NICK: So that’s another 12 damage going at HK. Oh, he actually has Soak, good for him.

LAURA: Good for him.

NICK: I mean, he is now doing very poorly anyway. If he didn’t have Soak he’d be dead. These guns, very bad. It is now a PC slot in the initiative. Tink, do you want to try and charge these goons or are you gonna try to find a computer thing, or Xianna do you want to shoot? Who wants to use this PC slot?

LAURA: Xianna can shoot.

NICK: Okay, from the cover that Xianna ran to.

LAURA: Coming out of cover, how far away is she from the nearest person?

NICK: Medium range. They’re on the far side of the room.

LAURA: Okay.

NICK: You could use a movement to get to short range and try to get cover. So, if you use a movement you can get to short range, if you push yourself and do two maneuvers I’ll let you kick one of these tables into more cover and you could shoot from close range if you want to. These guys do look kind of tough. They are wearing armored breastplates over their security uniforms. They might be a little harder to bring down than a stormtrooper. But, I mean, you saw Karma do it, she made it look pretty straightforward.

LAURA: Yeah. Xianna’s gonna run in, kick a table, and then shoot from behind there.

NICK: Cool. Do you parkour over some of the tables as you get closer like a cool person?

LAURA: Yeah.

NICK: Cool. [laughs]

CAMERON: Slides across a table.

LAURA: It’s a very cool sliding over the hood of a car, except it’s over a table, and does end up with some salt shakers in the pockets.

NICK: [laughs]

HUDSON: Pocket salt! Hey!

LAURA: Hey, pocket salt is effective. Okay, what do I shoot with? Okay. That would become short range?

NICK: Yep, so just one.

LAURA: Ha. Two successes and one advantage, so that’s 8 damage.

NICK: Well, you hurt him. He’s not happy. He doesn’t go down, but it does knock him back away from the blaster and you can see smoke rising up from the gut wound. I think you hit him below the armored chest plate, so he’s not real happy about that. Did you have advantages you said?

LAURA: I had one.

NICK: So he’ll have a black die on his next shot, because he got shot and is not a fan. Another PC slot up.

HUDSON: I’ll do it. Are their blasters on like three or four legs kind of a thing, like machine gun style?

NICK: Yeah.

[heavy techno music resumes]

HUDSON: I pick up a table with both hands and I run toward the guns and I go WAAAH and I knock over all the guns with the table.

[laughter]

NICK: Oh no. I think that’s probably an Athletics check to pick up a big table and run at them. I’ll give you a blue die, because it makes me happy.

HUDSON: Yeah!

CAMERON: What’s the difficulty?

NICK: Hard. It’s a big table made out of star destroyer armor. We already established that.

HUDSON: Four successes and two threats.

NICK: Holy cow! Are you kidding me?

LAURA: He got really close to falling prone.

NICK: Aww. Okay, so you are able to pick up this table, run with the legs pointing forward. The way they’re set up you’re not able to hit both of them right now, but you definitely do take the legs of one of the gun tripods out and it falls to the ground. They don’t know what to do. They’re just like standing there, and you hit that guy with the table. Would you like to make a Melee check with the table since you’re running over him right now?

HUDSON: Sure. Yes.

NICK: This is going to be, I’m gonna say, let’s upgrade the difficulty. It’s a normal Melee check of two purples, but we’re gonna make one of those a red because you’re using a big table and running and trying to do it through a gun.

HUDSON: One success?

NICK: One success. We’ll say the damage of the table is a 2. I don’t know. So, 2 + 1 is 3 plus your Brawn is 3, so 6 damage as you hit this guy with the table. Good job, was not expecting that at all. It is the one who Xianna didn’t shoot. You were trying to distract him.

[techno music stops]

HUDSON: Got it.

NICK: His gun is on the ground which will make it much harder for him to shoot. Nice tactics, y’all. Over the coms you hear:

ELI (as Juke): Hey, uh, any day now with that support. We’re really pinned down here.

NICK: And we roll to the next PC which is going to be HK. HK doesn’t do the auto-fire thing, he just pulls the gun up and lines up a shot and takes a shot at these people. Average difficulty. We’ll say he aims, though. He’s a good droid, he knows how to aim.

CAMERON: Five successes and one advantage.

NICK: Ooh, okay. He takes out the rest of the guy that Xianna was shooting. The guy’s staggering back towards his gun, trying to bring it to bear on Tink, and HK just shoots him under the arm where the armor doesn’t cover and the guy just drops.

NICK (as HK): Target eliminated. You’re welcome.

NICK: And, we’re back to the top. NPC slot. That guy’s dead. PC slot.

CAMERON (as Karma): Tink, do you wanna technology?

NICK: I mean, he’s holding a table beating someone with it right now.

HUDSON (as Tink): What would I technology against?

CAMERON (as Karma): You’d go and find a console to login to go and open the door for Beta Squad.

HUDSON (as Tink): Ohh. Yeah.

HUDSON: I look around for a console.

NICK: There is one on the wall, but it’s across the cafeteria from where you’re at right now.

CAMERON (as Karma): If you wanna run we’ll kill this one.

HUDSON (as Tink): Alright!

HUDSON: I run to the console.

NICK: Do you drop the table?

HUDSON: Yeah, I just drop the table on him.

NICK: Okay. You run across towards the console. Make me a Computers check, average. This is a terminal for, like, the menu.

HUDSON: One success, two advantages.

NICK: Okay. Like I said, this is a terminal that’s connected to the TV screen that projects what the cafeteria menu is for the day. It’s not hooked up to anything particularly important. What you are able to do is get a system map of where everything is. You see that there is a master terminal that would actually have a lot of security access in a maintenance corridor that is like through the wall that you’re next to. You could leave and try to find a way to get into the maintenance corridor or you could potentially try to go through the wall towards it.

HUDSON: I kick the wall to see how solid it is.

NICK: It feels fairly solid.

HUDSON: Would a stun grenade get through the wall?

NICK: No, but an axe might, or some explosives if anybody has some. There’s some options.

HUDSON: Okay.

NICK: While you’re thinking about that, we’re to the other NPC slot. This is the one you hit with a table. Let’s see, Xianna’s behind cover, HK just shot someone… probably gonna shoot HK, honestly. Roll me a yellow and two greens.

CAMERON: His gun had been knocked over.

NICK: Yeah.

CAMERON: Using his maneuver to—

NICK: Right. No, so—

CAMERON: Okay.

NICK: This guy is looking for who to shoot at, he goes to pull the gun, sees that it’s on the ground and way too heavy so he draws a heavy blaster pistol from his holster and goes to shoot HK.

CAMERON: Three successes, one threat.

NICK: That’s gonna be 7 damage. He shoots HK in the shoulder. HK spins and goes down. He doesn’t look out, but he’s in very bad shape. There’s a lot of sparks going everywhere. He is at 1 health. Great. And we’re to the big series of PC slots.

LAURA: Yeah, she’s gonna shoot the one guy that’s left.

NICK: You don’t wanna go fist fight him or something?

LAURA: No, Xianna’s not going to go punch him. Short range?

NICK: Yeah.

LAURA: She’s gonna aim, too.

NICK: Does she just poke her head up above the table cover and…?

LAURA: Yep.

NICK: Cool.

LAURA: A triumph with a success, four more successes, and an advantage.

NICK: So you just totally clown on this guy. He’s completely done.

LAURA: She shoots him in the helmet, falls backwards into the soda dispenser, the soda dispenser starts dispensing Coke. Note that Coke is canonically in Star Wars now.

CAMERON: Mm-hmm. Yup.

NICK: [laughs] Yep.

LAURA: It has fancy bottles and everything. Starts dispensing Coke into the hole in the helmet and it just starts leaking out the rest of his armor.

NICK: [laughs] The security guards are down. You all see Tink is over by the wall, knocking on it.

CAMERON (as Karma): Whatcha need, Tink?

HUDSON (as Tink): HK, help me get through this wall.

HUDSON: I go and I swing my axe at it.

LAURA (as Xianna): I have a grenade still.

HUDSON (as Tink): I think we can do this without wasting one.

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean, if you say so.

CAMERON (as Karma): There’s a really big turret right here.

HUDSON (as Tink): Ooh, use that.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, move.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: We get that conversation, Karma looks at the big turret sitting there, looks back at the wall Tink’s trying to go through, looks at Xianna, they nod, and then the next thing we see is a door being cut by blaster fire and it falls in. You find yourself in the maintenance corridor. It’s dusty and has all of the power conduits just stuck to the walls and is definitely not for normal consumption. You’re able to go through there and find a big master panel. Over the coms you hear somebody say:

AUSTIN (as Val): Alpha Team, there’s a lot of guys shooting us up here, and if you could do something about that real quick before I have to stop shooting these guys, go all the way down there ,find you guys, beat you up and make you come back up here and finally help us… that would be great.

LAURA (as Xianna): We are trying~! There were stormtroopers. We… We’re sorry, but not really.

AUSTIN (as Val): Oh, listen to you guys in the land of luxury not actively getting shot at.

NICK: And you can hear blaster fire.

LAURA (as Xianna): I got shot in the shoulder not a few minutes ago! I almost died!

AUSTIN (as Val): [laughs] It builds character!

CAMERON (as Karma): Tink, where’s that panel?

HUDSON (as Tink): Uh, found it!

HUDSON: I’m typing away.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Okay. Make me a Computers check.

HUDSON: Difficulty?

NICK: Average. It’s not a terminal they expect people to get to.

HUDSON: Six advantages.

[laughter]

LAURA: Six! Advantages!

HUDSON: I almost had a failure, but one of the blue dice… [laughs]

NICK: [sighs heavily]

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA: And you already rerolled your Computers check.

HUDSON: It was for a good reason. I saw a map!

NICK: Let’s do this. You fail to open the door for Beta Squad. We get a shot of the Beta Squad team, they’re pinned down by a bunch of stormtroopers and they’re trying to get into a door to get out of the hallway that the stormtroopers are in.

HUDSON (as Tink): Uhh, so we really wanna help, but uh… you know, the system is being real finicky.

CHRIS (as Jet): Finicky? Finicky how?

LAURA (as Xianna): Tink pressed the wrong button!

HUDSON (as Tink): I think that there’s different perspectives we can have on this situation, but we shouldn’t be arguing right now.

NICK: As you’re all saying that, you hear the voice say:

CHRIS (as Jet): Oh, hey, you gave me access to the wireless network in here. I think I can access the door controls now. Thanks a lot.

NICK: There’s a long pause filled with explosions and blaster fire.

NICK (as Neato): Wow, this is getting pretty hot. Can we maybe move along and—Oh, there’s the door. Thank you so much, Tink.

ELI (as Juke): Yeah, thanks Alpha Team.

NICK: They presumably escape from that situation.

CAMERON (as Karma): You’re welcome~

NICK: Karma, those two other voices that you don’t recognize as Val’s or Neato’s sound pretty familiar. It’s kind of weird.

CAMERON: Huh. Maybe they’re bounty hunters I know.

NICK: Maybe! And we jump back to the darkened city.

[tense music starts]

In the distance far above Sentinel and his droid assistant we can see lines of speeders and dense air traffic winding their way across the canons formed by enormous skyscrapers. Sentinel cocks his head to the side. He turns to the droid.

NICK (as Sentinel): It looks like it’s time for you to go.

NICK: There’s warmth in his voice, and he smiles as the droid starts to protest. He shakes his head and gives a gentle push to get the droid moving.

NICK (as Sentinel): No time. Go.

NICK: Sentinel turns away from the droid and calls to the darkness.

NICK (as Sentinel): You might as well come out. Try whatever you’ve come to try.

NICK: Four shadowy figures step out of the walkways and neighboring alleys and Sentinel grimaces as they brandish blasters. He reaches calmly into his robes and pulls out a lightsaber hilt. He ignites it as the figures inch closer. The last thing we see is his face illuminated by the blue light of his blade, and we cut away.

CAMERON: Ooh.

[tense music fades]

HUDSON: I knew he was a Jedi! Okay, well…

[laughter]

CAMERON: Well yes.

NICK: I hope so.

LAURA: Spooky~

HUDSON: Spoilers!

NICK: End of episode.

ALL: Ba-naaa~!

## Outro

CAMERON: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. If you’ve enjoyed our show please consider logging onto iTunes and giving us a five-star review. Five-star reviews will help new listeners find the show and every time we get one the squad give Creamsicle little a bantha cake, as a treat. If you’re so inclined, you can also help support the show through our Patreon which can be found in the show notes, on our website, and basically anywhere else we post things. We have all sorts of Patreon levels including some of my favorites: Bantha Buddy, Tarkin’s Underwear Drawer, and Build-A-Beru which all have fabulous rewards and super great names.

Additional voice work this week by Austin Wittington. You’re not going to find him on the internet, but you can find him on our Discord so stop by and say howdy.

Additional voice work by Eli Kurtz. You can find him at @ZapDynamic on Twitter, and don’t forget to check out his audio drama, The Tale of Hunter’s Bay, a story inspired by the folklore fantasy RPG Errant Deeds.

Additional voice work by Chris Russell. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram at @techdudetx.

Xianna’fan is played by Laura Penrod. She can be found on Twitter at @cheerio_buffet.

Tink is played by Hudson Jameson. He can be found on Twitter at @hudsonjameson.

Karma Nailo is played by me, Cameron Robertson. You can find me on Twitter at @midnightmusic13.

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, and join our Discord and share all of your food and cute pet photos with us. We also sometimes talk about Star Wars. You can find the link to join our Discord on our website and in our pinned tweet. See you next time.

Word document download: Episode 50 The Saga Begins

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Tabletop Squadron Transcript, Season 1 Episode 50:
The Saga Begins

Transcript by Tyler (Twitter: @Tyler_MoonSage)

## Intro

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, and a slicer as they explore the galaxy helping a mysterious benefactor and each other.

Well squad mates, this is Episode 50 and is the beginning of the Season 1 finale arc. There’s a few episodes to go, and I promise I’ll give you a heads up as we get to the end. It’s been a heck of a ride, and the entire squad wants to say thank you for coming along with us. You’re fantastic, and we wouldn’t be doing this without the kind of positive feedback and community that our listeners provide. We have some extremely cool stuff planned to fill in between Season 1 ending and Season 2 starting, and we’re excited to share it with you. thank you so much.

Speaking of thanks, Killer Warhawk, thanks for your iTunes review. We’re glad you’re enjoying the show. We also have some new patrons this week. Michael Howard, thank you so much for supporting us in our endeavor to rid the galaxy of the Empire. We’ve got some experimental armor in the cargo bay, so swing by and we’ll get to testing it right away. Kystel Anderson, thank you so much for being a patron. You are a shining light in a dark galaxy. Your positive words and personality help the crew stay strong. We’ve got a shipment of loth-cats that have escaped into headquarters, so if you could round those up before they destroy something important we’d appreciate it. Edward Byworth, thank you. We can see from your resume that you have a lot of Rebel experience and we’re glad you’re with us. Stand by for a squad to be assigned to you. see if you can get them in fighting shape quick. We’re gonna need it. Ryan Pothering, thank you for your kind support. Tink said something about a hull breech and losing air and then wandered off to take a nap. Do you mind throwing on an enviro-suit and checking the exterior of the ship? I know we’re still in hyperspace, but I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Finally, one more thing to say this week. This episode features one of our Build-A-Beru patron-made NPCs! Mylhiri Milur is the creation of Ashley Coyle. Thank you for your loving patronage, Ashley, and thank you for giving us Mylhiri. They turned out awesome.

Music this week is GIGA METAL by Loyalty Freak Music.

So now, let’s get into the episode.

##

NICK: Hello! Welcome to Tabletop Squadron, Episode 50. We did it! Hurray!

HUDSON & CAMERON: Yay~!

NICK: I am your hosting game master, Nick. Let’s go around the table. Everybody introduce yourselves and your character. I think there was a pretty big windfall of experience from the last arc or so, so say what you spent that experience on, starting with Cameron.

CAMERON: Hello. My name is Cameron, and I play Karma Nailo, the Nautolan bounty hunter. I spent so much experience. I bought two ranks in Melee, so I now have a 4 in Melee, and then on my Assassin tree I bought Sniper Shot. Before making a non-throw ranged attack – so I cannot use Sniper Shot when I’m throwing a grenade – as a maneuver, increase the weapon’s range by up to 1 band per rank. Upgrade the attack difficulty by 1 per range increase. So, I can make my gun shoot farther. My other talent I acquired is Deadly Accuracy! When acquired, choose one combat skill. I have selected Ranged: heavy. Add damage equal to ranks in that skill to one hit of a successful attack with that skill. We did a rules consult, and that means that every single time Karma hits something with her gun she adds 4 to it.

NICK: Wow, that’s a lot.

CAMERON: [smiling] Yes.

NICK: Okay.

CAMERON: I spent a lot of XP points on that. [laughs]

NICK: Yeah, it’s real scary. Great. Thank you, Cameron. Up next we have Laura.

LAURA: Hello. I am Laura, and I play Xianna’fan, a Twi’lek smuggler, and there was some confusion over how many points I had. [others laugh] Without getting into it, I now have more hidden storage and Soft Spot, which means after I make a successful attack I can spend a Destiny Point to add damage equal to my Cunning to that hit. I now have 5 Hidden Encumbrance in my coat.

NICK: That’s a lot of hidden encumbrance, Laura.

HUDSON: You can fit me in there.

LAURA: I can fit Tink inside the coat!

NICK: Oh, I don’t like that thought process at all. we were talking earlier and I think that makes it so that you can hide more stuff in your coat than you can physically carry?

LAURA: Almost. My encumbrance threshold is currently 6, because the utility belt I have adds an extra, so I’m almost there. I do have to find another talent tree skill list that has Hidden Encumbrance so that I can do that.

NICK: [laughs] It’s hidden. I can’t walk, but it’s hidden.

CAMERON: [laughs] But you can’t see it.

NICK: Oh gosh. Great. Last but not least, we have Hudson!

HUDSON: Hi, I’m Hudson, and I play Rallltinkraatakat, colloquially known as Tink. I am a Gigoran slicer. Here’s what I upgraded. I’m very excited about this, however I will go with the most boring one first. [others laugh] I got a second grade in Underworld, and then the exciting parts. I bought a fifth level, which is a full stack, on Melee, and I bought a fifth level in Computers, so I am maxed out.

CAMERON: Nice!

NICK: You are an expert. You specialized. Good for you.

HUDSON: I am specialized in both Melee and Computers.

NICK: You know, two things that really go hand in hand, axe combat and programming.

HUDSON: I mean, literally there was that episode where I used equipment to break into computers.

NICK: Yeah. You’ve done it. You physically broke in. Wow, you’re really good at stuff, good job. Cool. Up next, we’ll do the Destiny Roll!

CAMERON: One dark side.

LAURA: One light side.

HUDSON: One dark side.

CAMERON: Uh-oh.

NICK: Eh, it’s balanced.

HUDSON: Is that?

NICK: No.

HUDSON: [laughs]

CAMERON: I mean… two dark side, one light side?

NICK: Yeah, it’ll be fine.

CAMERON: It’s not balanced, it’s three.

NICK: Okay! So, we’re gonna go ahead, [laughs] after that, and jump right into it.

We open in the vastness of space. The crew has just finished a wild adventure and been taken for both a literal and metaphorical ride by Illith, the Chiss fashion icon. The crew has been waiting for a couple of days in space. Any attempts to contact Sentinel has been met with a single recorded hologram.

NICK (as Sentinel): I’m relocating. Stand by. You’ll hear from me soon.

NICK: The crew has been basically in a holding pattern. What have they been up to on the ship?

HUDSON: I’m really trying to learn chess, and it is just astounding how much I can’t.

NICK: Now, are you playing Earth chess or are you playing the holo chess with all the monsters and everything?

HUDSON: Earth chess.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: So everyone else is thinking “What is this strange, esoteric game you have discovered?”

HUDSON: Yeah, no, I mean like, I discovered it from reading a holo article, and I was like this sounds like a good time and I’ll look more important because I’m looking at ancient artifacts and ancient games.

CAMERON (as Karma): Who are you playing against?

HUDSON (as Tink): [exasperated] A computer.

[laughter]

NICK: Chessmaster4000. So, what about Xianna and Karma? How have you spent the time basically just sort of in a loop?

LAURA: Xianna is continuing on her path to friendship with Creamsicle the loth-rat that has infested their ship. I hope by now that Xianna has at least petted Creamsicle if not having Creamsicle living in her room at least part-time.

NICK: This feels like a Survival roll, doesn’t it?

LAURA: I would think it would be maybe Charm or… Streetwise.

[laughter]

NICK: For Animal Handling, essentially?

LAURA: For rats!

HUDSON: Can’t there just be a Friendship stat we make up?

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA: Well, you know, that’s street rats, streetwise.

CAMERON: Roll for friendship.

HUDSON: Street rats~

LAURA & HUDSON: [hum a tune]

NICK: We’re gonna get sued! We’re gonna get sued!

[laughter]

NICK: Do you wanna flip a light side point to just be successful and now Creamsicle is your bestest best buddy?

CAMERON: [laughing] We only have one!

LAURA: Yeah, I know.

NICK: Starting early with the tough decisions.

LAURA: Fine! I will make the Survival roll. I don’t have any points in Survival, but I do have a 5 in Cunning.

NICK: Yeah, you should be fine.

HUDSON: It’s not gonna explode.

NICK: This is an average check. Well, I mean, you do constantly run the risk that Creamsicle damages something on the inside of your ship.

LAURA: Can I have a blue die because I have been feeding Creamsicle food?

NICK: You know what, you sure can, but I’m gonna flip a dark side point to upgrade the difficulty by one.

LAURA: What? Just let me have this!

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA: Two successes.

NICK: You did it! Yes, over the course of the last few days you have been leaving out bantha cakes and slowly gaining Creamsicle’s trust. Creamsicle is definitely one of those rats that just has the right kind of brain to deal with people. It turns out to be very friendly, turns out to be very food-motivated, and you even manage to teach it a few tricks. I don’t want to call Creamsicle “it” anymore. What kind of rat is Creamsicle?

LAURA: Creamsicle is a girl.

NICK: Creamsicle is a girl rat. Great.

CAMERON: Oh no, he’s writing something down. Creamsicle’s pregnant.

NICK: I mean, Creamsicle does not appear to be pregnant… right now. You don’t know about earlier. Anyway. So yeah, Creamsicle is—

LAURA: I’ve doomed us.

CAMERON: Oh no!

[laughter]

NICK: I’ve played KOTOR. I know how this works. You have Creamsicle, and I think Creamsicle likes to ride on your shoulder when you’re walking around the ship.

LAURA: Yes~

NICK: What is a trick that you have taught this loth-rat in the small amount of time that you’ve been friends?

LAURA: I have taught Creamsicle how to identify credit sticks, and Creamsicle can go into pockets and pull out credit sticks. Whether or not she can do it stealthily is a different matter, but she can do it.

NICK: Okay. I think also that you taught Creamsicle on your own coat, so occasionally when you’re walking around Creamsicle just disappears into a pocket, and you’re like aww, and then reappears with a cred-stick and drops it.

LAURA: I’ve trained her to bring it to me, so she just brings it to a different pocket.

NICK: Okay, that’s fair. It’s fine unless you need to spend money and you can’t figure out which pocket it’s in.

LAURA: It’ll be fine.

NICK: Mm-hmm. What about karma? What have you been up to?

CAMERON: Karma has been practicing a lot of her vibro-sword stances and routines. She’s improved at it greatly over the past three days and has just been running through. She did all of her typical weapons maintenance, cleaning everything up after that giant tiger thing that we fought.

NICK: Like a tiger fish monster.

CAMERON: Yeah, that thing, and then was like “hey, I haven’t used this in a while,” and just started going through sword dances and stuff.

NICK: Uh-huh, doing some kata. While they were making rat friends you were learning the blade.

CAMERON: Yes.

NICK: Cool. Karma gets through a training montage. Another question for you all: When Illith skedaddled they left a data pad behind with some information on it. Who has that data pad?

LAURA: I would assume we gave it to Tink to try to figure something out with it.

CAMERON: Yeah, probably.

HUDSON: Yeah, I looked it over. At the time that it was given to me I was actually practicing my hacking with one hand and flipping my vibro-axe with the other and that’s how I leveled up.

NICK: Okay. [laughs]

CAMERON: [laughs]

HUDSON: So this actually is right up my alley for practicing my skills.

NICK: Nice. You set your chess pieces aside, you know, like people do when they play chess, and you take another look at that data pad. You’ve mostly cracked it open, you just haven’t had time to look through all of it. You do see that it has a simple set of coordinates programmed into it. It’s kind of buried into a directory. The coordinates are just past the galactic border into wild space. You doubt you have time to investigate it right now, but you do remember that Illith promised to pay you 101,069 Credits. Hopefully this is the location of those funds? Although, you can’t help but wonder who would bother to rob you and then pay you anyway. Then, around this time, it’s been, like I said, a few days. Karma is doing her sword forms, Xianna is just being adorable with Creamsicle, Tink is tapping away on this data pad, and you receive a holo-vid call from Sentinel. There is very little fanfare. It’s ten seconds of ringing and then the holo is pushed through anyway to where you’re standing. The doors in and out of different rooms on this ship have the little control panels with the little cameras sunk into them so they can project a little holo into whatever room. You don’t have to go to the holo-theater, it’s just a better set piece. You all look up to this short holo of Sentinel. Sentinel looks kind of sick. You think you can see some city in the background. His eyes are sunken. As he clasps both his hands in his lap you can see that they’re shaking.

NICK (as Sentinel): The timeline for the mission has been moved up. Alderaan has been destroyed.

CAMERON (as Karma): [gasps]

LAURA (as Xianna): You mean like invaded, or…? Like, how many cities were, you know, shot at or…? What?

NICK (as Sentinel): It’s gone. It’s as though a million voices cried out and then were suddenly silenced.

LAURA (as Xianna): Well like, so, they got rid of the royal family, yes? Did they take over, or…?

NICK (as Sentinel): Where the planet once was there are small, floating boulders and dissipating energy.

LAURA (as Xianna): Wait.

CAMERON (as Karma): What?

NICK (as Sentinel): It is an ex-planet.

LAURA (as Xianna): Wait, they blew the whole planet up?

CAMERON (as Karma): How did they blow up a planet?

LAURA (as Xianna): How do you even do that?

CAMERON (as Karma): Who blew up a planet?

LAURA (as Xianna): Well, I’m assuming the Empire.

HUDSON (as Tink): It’s like some kind of death… st—Um. Death…

LAURA (as Xianna): A death ray!

HUDSON (as Tink): Death ray!

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes, a death ray.

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): A giant device on a moon and it goes PEW and it shoots out and it blows the whole planet up.

CAMERON (as Karma): Some sort of planet killer.

NICK (as Sentinel): Yes. We’ll be able to provide more information at the mission briefing, but the Empire has created a terrible weapon. Your job is to distract from that weapon so that other people can destroy it. We’ve talked about this a little bit in the past. I’ve been very open with my information.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay. This is the distraction at the shipyard.

NICK (as Sentinel): This is the entire reason that I have employed you up to this point.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, cool.

NICK (as Sentinel): Yes. Your target are the shipyards over Fondor. They’re lightly guarded and have no capital ships in orbit. Head to the following coordinates. I have an agent that will give you the rest of the information. I’m sorry I cannot tell you more myself.

NICK: Then he hangs up the call. What do you do?

CAMERON (as Karma): Agent’s name? Come on, Sentinel!

NICK: [smiling] He’s gone.

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh my gosh!

LAURA (as Xianna): He didn’t even… Ugh. Okay.

HUDSON (as Tink): It usually falls in our lap anyway.

[laughter]

LAURA (as Xianna): He’s giving us coordinates, right? Because I have already forgotten what planet he said. Did he say a planet?

CAMERON: I push the coordinates button on the ship.

NICK: The coordinates are not the planet of Fondor, but it is in a nearby system, it’s like an unnamed moon.

CAMERON (as Karma): The coordinates appear to be an unnamed moon in a nearby system.

HUDSON (as Tink): I learned about coordinates today! You know that data pad you gave me?

CAMERON (as Karma): Yep?

HUDSON (as Tink): There’s a directory in there that has just nothing in it but coordinates for a place way out there.

LAURA (as Xianna): What does way out there mean?

HUDSON (as Tink): It’s in wild space.

[laughter]

CAMERON: Oh, you cute little Inner Rim boy.

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean, I think the Chiss are from wild space, so maybe that is just where they live.

HUDSON (as Tink): It could be their house. You’re right.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, noted, we have coordinates for wild space, from Illith.

HUDSON (as Tink): From Illith. Yeah…

CAMERON (as Karma): In that data pad.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah.

CAMERON (as Karma): That Illith left when they stole the shiny thong and abandoned us. Yes?

HUDSON (as Tink): I hope we get that back one day.

LAURA (as Xianna): I’m not entirely sure what Sentinel needed the thong for, so…

HUDSON (as Tink): The song? There was no song involved.

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): Ugh! You know what I mean! Thong!

HUDSON (as Tink): The thong song.

CAMERON (as Karma): Sure, sure, yeah.

LAURA (as Xianna): [tentatively] She had dumps like a truck.

[laughter]

LAURA (as Xianna): What! Butt! I do know that song. Yes.

NICK: You get a ping on your com of Nolaa texting you. it’s completely irrelevant to what you’re talking about.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. I’m going to go now. Let me know when we have any idea of what we are going to do.

CAMERON: I put in the coordinates that Sentinel sent and start driving.

NICK: Yeah. The ship takes off into hyperspace. You were parked right on the edge of a hyperspace lane for easy exit in case you were discovered or you knew where the heck you were going.

HUDSON: Is it like space HOV lanes?

NICK: Yeah, it’s how the galaxy gets around.

HUDSON: Ah, okay.

NICK: Because if you don’t know what direction to shoot your hyperspace into you go through a sun and you die, so… it’s a whole thing. So! We see the ship snap out of hyperspace in a small, irrelevant system in the same region of the galaxy as Fondor. The Colonies, as they’re called, is an old region of space sitting snugly between the Core Worlds and the Inner Rim. Thank you, Wookieepedia. You have to take a long series of jumps to get there, avoiding imperial checkpoints and blockades. You quickly break atmosphere above the moon heading for the meeting coordinates. The moon in question orbits a gas giant of pale lavender. The moon itself looks like it’s entirely water, but as you sink deeper into the atmosphere you find a small spit of sand as your destination. As you pull the ship forward you land, you see a small, squat military craft pulling up off the sandbar and heading out into space. Another ship is parked in the shallows around the sand, a Z95 Headhunter, a short civilian craft that looks like an off brand X-Wing and is easily modified into a capable fighter ship, but it’s not normally used for long journeys because it doesn’t really have any passenger space. It’s like a single-seater hotrod kind of ship.

As you exit the ship, you can see a figure silhouetted by a high sun. they are tall and athletic, shading their eyes as they watch the other ship diminish into a small spot above and then vanish on its mission. How do you approach this figure?

CAMERON: I’mma go out on a limb.

CAMERON (as Karma): I think that’s our contact.

HUDSON (as Tink): I actually recognize that person. They look like a spaceketball player. You can tell by the height.

LAURA: Xianna’s not paying attention. She’s currently in the little kitchen area. She’s trying to teach Creamsicle how to identify bantha cakes. It’s not working, so she’s just been eating a lot of bantha cakes.

CAMERON (as Karma): Come on, guys. Xianna, you can bring Creamsicle.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay!

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA: Xianna runs over and is stuffing Creamsicle in a pocket. Creamsicle just seems to disappear suddenly.

HUDSON (as Tink): I smell bantha cakes.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes, I was eating them.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh.

LAURA (as Xianna): I also have a few in my pockets.

HUDSON (as Tink): Can I have one?

LAURA (as Xianna): Hold on.

LAURA: She puts her hands in a pocket, pulls one out, and the wrapper has been chewed through a little bit.

LAURA (as Xianna): You can have this one.

HUDSON (as Tink): Hmm, feels used, but okay.

LAURA (as Xianna): Well, I don’t think the inside is eaten, just the wrapper, a little bit.

HUDSON (as Tink): Ahh, got it.

NICK (as HK): Assertion: The odds of a loth-rat having parasites that can affect a Gigoran are quite small.

HUDSON (as Tink): That’s very helpful. Thank you.

NICK (as HK): You’re welcome.

CAMERON (as Karma): Alright, come on, HK. You appear to be ready to go.

HUDSON: [laughs]

NICK (as HK): Statement: I am ready to go.

CAMERON (as Karma): Great! Awesome. Cool.

CAMERON: I push the button and the ramp drops down.

NICK: Okay. [laughs] We see you all exit the ship. The sand is pretty deep and loose. When you first get on the beach you have to walk kind of with an elongated step to make any progress, but otherwise you are able to approach. As you get closer you see that the figure is a Cathar. They are wearing casual dark clothes that have seen better days but are easily forgettable. They stand about 1.7 meters tall. They look like a fierce kind of lion creature with golden skin, and as they smile at you, you note their prevalent canines. The smile doesn’t reach their eyes. Unusually for a Cathar, they have a jet black mane that shines in the sunlight. As you approach, they turn to you.

NICK (as Cathar): Greetings. I am Mylhiri Milur. Welcome to my island. Sentinel said to expect you. … it’s not actually my island, it’s a bit of a joke.

LAURA (as Xianna): I was about to ask, because this island is, um, it is just sand, and sand is terrible.

NICK (as Mylhiri): I’ve heard that your crew has a sense of humor. I was trying to develop a rapport.

CAMERON (as Karma): I very much appreciated it.

NICK (as Mylhiri): Seeing as we’re going to be coworkers, I thought that you would appreciate a little bit more casualness than you’ve probably dealt with in the past.

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh definitely. I love what you’ve done with the place.

CAMERON: Karma looks around the island.

NICK: Mylhiri looks at Tink.

NICK (as Mylhiri): See, that’s a joke that is related to the joke that I told a minute ago implying that I live on this island, because I haven’t done anything with it, because it’s just sand.

HUDSON (as Tink): So uh, Malar Malarkey… Could I call you M?

NICK (as Mylhiri): You can call me whatever you need to call me, but Mylhiri is not a difficult name especially with a translator. I don’t know why you would have a problem with that.

HUDSON (as Tink): [labored] Mylhiri…

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, I think his translator is broken.

NICK (as Mylhiri): It does sort of sound like bus brakes.

HUDSON (as Tink): It’s an older model.

NICK: [laughs]

CAMERON: But it checks out.

LAURA: It really doesn’t.

HUDSON (as Tink): So could I call you M or not?

NICK (as Mylhiri): You can call me whatever you want to call me. I’m just going to take it mildly personally.

HUDSON (as Tink): Ha! Alright.

NICK (as Mylhiri): Great.

NICK: Mylhiri straightens their- They have like a leather pilot coat, and sets it, and pops their neck from side to side. You can see that they are quite strong. The Cathar are a predatory species and are… You don’t want to fistfight one, it’s not a good idea, and you get that impression.

NICK (as Mylhiri): So, would you like to get down to business or shall we continue the humorous bonding that we started with?

CAMERON (as Karma): I think if we could get down to business and mix in some humorous bonding that would be great.

NICK (as Mylhiri): Alright. I will try to mix in some humor, but as we start this briefing you’ll understand that might be a little bit difficult. I don’t know how much Sentinel was able to tell you. he’s currently running below the radar in a lot of ways, but the planet of Alderaan has been destroyed by a massive space station just revealed by the Empire. We must do anything that we can to ensure that this station is destroyed.

NICK: Mylhiri takes a second to pause gravely and look you each in the eye, including Creamsicle who has poked her little nose out of one of the pockets and then ducks back in.

NICK (as Mylhiri): The station is surrounded by an entire fleet of star destroyers to prevent any kind of sabotage.

NICK: Mylhiri activates a small hand holo-projector showing a massive orb that looks almost like a moon surrounded by at least eight star destroyers.

CAMERON (as Karma): That’s a space station?

NICK (as Mylhiri): It’s a space station.

CAMERON (as Karma): It looks like a moon.

NICK (as Mylhiri): That’s no moon.

LAURA (as Xianna): It’s not a moon. It is a planet killer.

NICK (as Mylhiri): Yes, some sort of orb-based destroying device.

HUDSON (as Tink): With that much power they might… Do you think they harness it from the sun?

LAURA (as Xianna): That would be a sun killer. This is a planet killer.

HUDSON (as Tink): Ahh.

LAURA (as Xianna): This one just kills planets, makes them go boom. I mean, I’m assuming there was a boom.

NICK (as Mylhiri): You’re thinking the star killer. That’s later.

[laughter]

CAMERON: We haven’t gotten to there yet.

NICK (as Mylhiri): If you took this design and then hollowed a planet out for some reason and made it way bigger… Anyway. Your target is not the space station itself. There’s no way to get onto it without being captured by a tractor beam or detected by some sort of TIE fighter escort.

LAURA (as Xianna): Well yes, you get captured on purpose and then they take you in there. We’ve done that before.

HUDSON (as Tink): It’s actually a…

LAURA (as Xianna): It’s a really good plan. We blew up a star destroyer that way.

HUDSON (as Tink): It’s a trope by now.

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean, I don’t know if I would call it a trope, it is just a proven plan that has worked for us.

NICK (as Mylhiri): Sentinel has tasked you with a different mission. We are to be the guardian protectors of the Rebellion. You must attack a different target. Make it look like the Rebels are committed to destroying the Empire’s industry so they commit star destroyers to protecting that instead.

NICK: And then a question for y’all, have you heard of the Rebellion? Do any of you know that it exists?

LAURA: Yes.

CAMERON: Yes.

HUDSON: I don’t. [laughs]

HUDSON (as Tink): What’s the Rebel… You know what, I’ll just look it up. Never mind.

LAURA (as Xianna): The Rebellion. You know… against the Empire?

HUDSON (as Tink): I’d say I’m a rebel. I know people don’t like the Empire, but there’s like an organized force?

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah…

LAURA (as Xianna): I feel like I have gone over that, but that is kind of why my mother was arrested by the Empire and then taken away by stormtroopers to never be seen again. You know, that whole thing.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh, that Rebellion.

LAURA (as Xianna): Because she was working with both the Ryloth resistance and, you know, the Rebellion.

HUDSON (as Tink): That Rebellion! Okay, so I think I get it a little more now. You’re part of the Rebellion, so we’re part of the Rebellion.

LAURA (as Xianna): I thought that was understanded… I thought we knew that.

HUDSON (as Tink): Uh… I was just going with the flow.

LAURA (as Xianna): Well okay then.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay.

NICK: Mylhiri pokes their head into frame.

NICK (as Mylhiri): The Rebels are a small but desperate group of fighters. They have the plans to this space station, and we can only hope the Force grants them the abilities to destroy it. Our job is to give them some kind of chance.

NICK: Mylhiri hits another button on the little handheld holo-projector and you see a large donut with arms sticking off of it.

NICK (as Mylhiri): The Fondor Shipyards are one of the three largest shipyards in the galaxy. They recently began working on a huge and secret Imperial project themselves and they’ll be sensitive to attack. The entire facility is closed off to civilian traffic, so you’ll need to infiltrate stealthily.

NICK: You get a little bit better look at the Fondor Shipyards, and off of the three arms you can actually see star destroyers sticking out of it. It’s like the large arms provide ways for people to work on and off of these giant skeletons of star destroyers. The dry docks are famous for their size and productivity.

NICK (as Mylhiri): This is an older hologram. We haven’t gotten close enough to do recent scouting as we don’t want to give away the approach vector that you’ll be using. The ship that left before you was the Beta Squad you helped assemble. They will be launching an attack in tandem, helping to clear the way for you and escalate the chaos once onboard. Their goal will be to attempt to destroy the station and any experimental reactors that they can find. We’ve heard that the project they’re working on is so massive it needs some sort of strange, experimental technology. Your goals will be to infiltrate the main servers of the base and delete the plans for this major project. If you can, delete the plans for this project everywhere. The Fondor station is connected to most of the network that would house these plans. That is why you have been assembled as a team.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah, I mean, at least when I was in the academy the Empire doesn’t have good backup systems, honestly. I mean they’re a little bit old school with their systems.

NICK (as Mylhiri): I have no idea what that means, but that’s why we hired a slicer.

HUDSON (as Tink): Ah-ha!

CAMERON (as Karma): So, Alpha Team’s job is to get Tink to the computers, cause general mayhem. Val’s job is to blow shit up?

NICK (as Mylhiri): Yep.

CAMERON (as Karma): Cool.

NICK (as Mylhiri): The team was assembled based on your skills in infiltration…

NICK: Mylhiri nods at Xianna.

NICK (as Mylhiri): …fire support…

NICK: Mylhiri nods at Karma.

HUDSON (as Tink): And doctorness.

LAURA (as Xianna): You are not a doctor.

HUDSON (as Tink): I too am a doctor. Do you have any pains or illnesses right now?

CAMERON (as Karma): I don’t—

NICK (as Mylhiri): I’ve been a little tight in this shoulder, actually.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh! Got it. Okay.

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh gosh.

NICK (as Mylhiri): I had to fight an assassin recently and took a blade.

HUDSON (as Tink): So, if you take bantha milk and let it curdle, and then you get a stim pack, slice it in the middle, anything in the stim pack that falls out, don’t be surprised by what it is, if I could tell you I would, I just read this in literature, pour that into there, mix it up with a spoon, and then just down it like a shot.

CAMERON (as Karma): Please don’t.

LAURA (as Xianna): Why not just inject the stim pack?

HUDSON (as Tink): Because this is neck pain not a bullet wound.

LAURA & CAMERON (as Xianna & Karma): [groans]

NICK: Mylhiri is staring at Tink with their jaw hanging open slightly, so you could see their teeth which are very big and liony.

NICK (as Mylhiri): Stim packs are an auto-injection system. If you cut it open springs and stuff will fall out.

HUDSON (as Tink): Anything in there. Melt it if you have to.

CAMERON (as Karma): [defeated] I promise he’s much better at computers.

LAURA (as Xianna): [wincing] He actually is.

NICK (as Mylhiri): May the Force grant that that is so.

HUDSON (as Tink): I know a Force user! That Sentinel person!

[laughter]

LAURA (as Xianna): Tink! You can’t just say that!

NICK (as Mylhiri): I work closely with Sentinel. I help organize…

LAURA (as Xianna): And I know that, but he does not.

HUDSON (as Tink): No, I know it.

LAURA (as Xianna): Then why would you inform this person that we know the same person.

CAMERON (as Karma): They know already.

HUDSON (as Tink): They know already.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah, so why did you say it? [laughs]

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh, I didn’t know they knew that he used the Force.

CAMERON (as Karma): Why would you tell them that Sentinel used the Force if they didn’t know?

HUDSON (as Tink): We’re trying to make a connection here.

CAMERON (as Karma): That’s not something you just want to share.

NICK (as Mylhiri): Tink is forging a connection with me, your handler, and I personally feel like we’ve grown closer together as a group.

HUDSON (as Tink): Couldn’t have said it better myself.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay good.

NICK (as Mylhiri): Thank you for keeping the atmosphere here light and professional at the same time.

CAMERON (as Karma): Please don’t take his medical advice.

NICK (as Mylhiri): Oh, I was not planning on it.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay good.

HUDSON (as Tink): I am both a doctor and a la—I’m just a doctor.

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): You’re not a doctor!

HUDSON (as Tink): We’ll discuss this later, Xianna.

LAURA (as Xianna): You don’t even have one degree let alone a doctorate.

HUDSON (as Tink): I’d say I’m 98 degrees, generally.

CAMERON (as Karma): [groans]

LAURA (as Xianna): Is that appropriate for Gigoran? I do not know.

HUDSON (as Tink): Actually—[laughs]

CAMERON (as Karma): Well, the Becoming Medicine book was written primarily about Humans, so…

LAURA (as Xianna): Because that would be too low for me. That would mean I was sick.

HUDSON (as Tink): I just know the normal temperature range, and I feel normal as anything.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay… Sure.

CAMERON (as Karma): Anyway, Fondor Shipyard. You said trying to make it so they didn’t know the direction of our approach. Does that mean we have a set direction of approach?

NICK (as Mylhiri): Oh yes, you do.

NICK: Mylhiri pulls a data spike out of a hip pouch and hands it to you.

CAMERON (as Karma): Thank you.

NICK (as Mylhiri): This will give you a very specific approach that we have synchronized with the Beta Squad and will help you to get in through the patrols. It’s a complicated vector, obviously, as we’re trying to pierce Imperial security protocol which we all know is almost impossible, but with a talented pilot hopefully you can make it there.

LAURA (as Xianna): Eh.

CAMERON (as Karma): Oof. Heh…

CAMERON: Karma pulls at her collar a little bit.

NICK: [laughs]

NICK (as Mylhiri): Your goal will be, like I said, the main server rooms which should be towards the center of the station. I unfortunately was not able to provide a specific layout, but as it is an industrial complex there should be ample designations, markings, and you all are professionals of course.

HUDSON (as Tink): How rude of us. This is HK.

[laughter]

NICK (as Mylhiri): Yes, I was informed that you have a droid compatriot.

NICK (as HK): Statement: Compatriot is not the correct word.

HUDSON (as Tink): Lifelong friend.

NICK (as HK): Leader is the correct phrase.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh. You’re our leader… Okay.

NICK (as HK): Self-acknowledgement: HK is the one in charge.

LAURA (as Xianna): I don’t know if that’s right either.

NICK (as HK): Silence, secondary user.

[laughter]

LAURA (as Xianna): Ugh, fine.

NICK (as Mylhiri): Alright, that got a little weird.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah, it’s better to just go with it.

HUDSON (as Tink): Don’t ask why their hands are so tiny.

LAURA (as Xianna): Stop pointing out how tiny his hands are!

HUDSON (as Tink): No-no-no! I was saying don’t point that out.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah, but you brought it up!

NICK: HK makes the high whining noise of a hard drive that’s over temperature and just moves his hands behind his back.

CAMERON (as Karma): [whining] Aw, oh no… Stop~

LAURA (as Xianna): Stop it, Tink~

HUDSON (as Tink): Alright, well now M knows.

LAURA (as Xianna): Just stop talking.

NICK (as Mylhiri): I’m glad that we’re able to have bonded like this. I really feel like this is going well. I struggled a little bit with the Beta Squad. They’re a little aggressive in their approach.

CAMERON (as Karma): The two team members we know from Beta Squad, I could see how, yes.

NICK (as Mylhiri): One of them wasn’t even speaking Basic. Some strange language. I could only understand every other word. The other one kept trying to fight me.

CAMERON (as Karma): Uh-huh! Yeah, those are the two that I know.

NICK (as Mylhiri): The other two were pretty professional, quiet, and nondescript.

HUDSON: [laughs]

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, well that’s good.

LAURA (as Xianna): That is very descriptive. Thank you.

CAMERON (as Karma): That’s weird that you have such disparate personalities within that group.

NICK (as Mylhiri): Would you say that you all are identical in your approaches and personalities?

CAMERON (as Karma): I wouldn’t say we’re all similar in that, but I feel like we have a good family dynamic going in our team.

HUDSON (as Tink): We’re trying to say we’re better than Beta Squad.

CAMERON (as Karma): I mean, I didn’t want to just say that, but…

HUDSON (as Tink): That’s what we’re saying now.

LAURA (as Xianna): I’m not entirely sure who is in Beta Squad, so I don’t know how accurate that other statement is.

CAMERON (as Karma): Val and Neato.

HUDSON (as Tink): We’ve only lost one team member. That’s more than a lot of other people can say.

LAURA (as Xianna): That is actually a pretty good run for how long we have been together, which is like… a month.

CAMERON (as Karma): And Beta Squad lost two.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah!

CAMERON (as Karma): And we are Alpha Team, and I assume we’re Alpha Team for a reason.

LAURA (as Xianna): Who died in Beta Squad?

CAMERON (as Karma): Two of the people, because we had to get them replacements, that’s why we went and got Val and Neato.

LAURA (as Xianna): Huh.

CAMERON (as Karma): I don’t know who was on the squad to begin with, but they needed two more replacements. They were gonna get HK, but then we needed HK, and then, so, we got Val and Neato for them.

LAURA (as Xianna): Huh.

NICK (as HK): Evaluative Statement: It seems appropriate to measure organic death as a score.

NICK (as Mylhiri): Actually, that seems a little morbid to me. These are our fallen comrades in our battle against the Empire.

HUDSON (as Tink): [grinning] This one time, I thought this person was alive so I dragged it across a cave, and it actually turned out to be dead.

CAMERON (as Karma): That was a rough day.

LAURA (as Xianna): We told you so many times they were dead.

CAMERON (as Karma): And HK, we discussed this, you can keep score with stormtroopers, but that’s it.

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean really you can keep score with whoever you want.

CAMERON (as Karma): The only official score that I’m counting is stormtroopers.

NICK (as HK): Acknowledgement: The score that I speak out loud will be stormtroopers.

CAMERON (as Karma): Thank you. Please don’t kill innocent civilians.

NICK (as HK): My programming prohibits me from killing innocents, but innocence is an opinion.

CAMERON (as Karma): Eh…

LAURA (as Xianna): Creamsicle is innocent by the way, Hank.

NICK (as HK): Immutable Law: Creamsicle is adorable. I will never harm Creamsicle.

LAURA (as Xianna): Thank you.

NICK (as HK): I would lay down my life for Creamsicle much more readily than secondary users.

LAURA (as Xianna): I understand.

NICK: [laughs]

HUDSON (as Tink): That’s fair.

CAMERON (as Karma): HK, please make Creamsicle a primary user.

[laughter]

LAURA: Xianna immediately pulls out Creamsicle, holds up to Hank.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay! Creamsicle, you are now primary user. Heh.

NICK: A little scanning bar comes out of HK’s face.

NICK (as HK): Acknowledged: Creamsicle, primary user. Administrative rights granted.

LAURA: I imagine Creamsicle just does the little nose twitch and a little (cheep).

HUDSON (as Tink): HK, here’s the last question. This has been bothering me for a while. You say that you can’t kill innocents, however, if you were on a trolley—

[laughter]

LAURA (as Xianna): We are not doing this again, Tink! You wanted to do this all day yesterday, and I missed my holo-dramas because of it!

HUDSON (as Tink): It’s a hard problem!

LAURA (as Xianna): But now I don’t know who died on The Sands of Tatooine.

CAMERON (as Karma): You know they’re not gonna be permanently dead, though.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes, I know, but it’s going to be important for the plot and I want to know that it’s dramatic when they come back later, because if I don’t know that they were supposed to be dead then it doesn’t matter that they showed up in a big cape at somebody else’s birthday party.

CAMERON (as Karma): It’s true. Anyway, I’m sorry, Mylhiri. Do you watch The Sands of Tatooine?

NICK (as Mylhiri): No, I’ve been busy starting small Rebellion cells on different planets, trying to improve the quality of life in the galaxy and destroy fascism.

CAMERON (as Karma): You know, that does sound better.

LAURA (as Xianna): You can do both.

NICK (as Mylhiri): I don’t know what to tell you.

NICK: [laughs] Mylhiri looks uncomfortable at this point.

CAMERON (as Karma): Do you have any more information to give us? I’m sorry we went on that tangent.

NICK (as Mylhiri): Unfortunately, besides the general instruction, we’ve had to leave the rest to you, because we don’t know as much as we would like to going in.

CAMERON (as Karma): Will we be able to be in contact with Beta Squad?

NICK (as Mylhiri): Yes. There is a parallel com channel that will activate once the assault begins.

CAMERON (as Karma): Fantastic.

NICK (as Mylhiri): We can’t do it before, because it would tip them off as you’re trying to infiltrate.

CAMERON (as Karma): Mm-hmm.

NICK (as Mylhiri): The last thing… While I know your default approach is to start as stealthily as possible, due to the nature of this infiltration we must request that you go in loud at the beginning so that Beta Squad is not immediately overwhelmed during their approach.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay.

LAURA (as Xianna): We can do that.

CAMERON (as Karma): I think we can be loud.

LAURA (as Xianna): I think our ship has a button that sets off fireworks.

CAMERON (as Karma): And it sings ‘It’s My Birthday.’ We found that button on accident.

NICK: [laughs and groans]

LAURA (as Xianna): There’s also a few other buttons that do other songs.

CAMERON (as Karma): This is a weird party yacht.

LAURA (as Xianna): But the birthday one is the best song. The ‘It Is My Anniversary’ song is a little weird.

CAMERON (as Karma): They are all coordinated with the disco and the lights though, so it’s all pretty good.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes.

HUDSON (as Tink): I found an Easter egg in the ship. They actually, during the holidays, have the ‘You Can’t Spell Christmas Without Us’ song. Classic.

LAURA (as Xianna): What is Easter?

HUDSON (as Tink): Easter is eggs, eggs, eggs, baby, baby, baby.

NICK (as Mylhiri): What is Christmas?

HUDSON (as Tink): ‘You Can’t Spell Christmas Without Us.’

LAURA & CAMERON (as Xianna & Karma): But what is Christmas?

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh! I’ve been reading a lot on old school Earth, and…

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): What is Earth?

NICK (as Mylhiri): … Oh no.

[laughter]

HUDSON: And cut!

NICK: That’s a good place to end that. Oh god.

CAMERON: Explains the chess.

LAURA (as Xianna): I don’t think Creamsicle lays eggs.

CAMERON (as Karma): Why are you hiding eggs on the ship? That’s gonna be gross?

LAURA (as Xianna): Are they raw eggs or like hard boiled eggs or…? Are you just hiding like fried eggs in the place? Am I going to open up my wardrobe and get out a shirt and a fried egg is just going to slide out?

NICK: You all are having this conversation as you walk back onto the ship. We see the entry ramp close and the Afternoon Delight starts to take off. Mylhiri shakes their head slowly and waves to the ship as you all take off. They snap a sharp salute towards the ship as you head into the atmosphere. Down below, they say quietly to themself:

NICK (as Mylhiri): May the Force be with you.

NICK: So, the next thing we see is the Afternoon Delight appearing at the coordinates that Mylhiri gave you. I’m gonna need a Piloting check from you all as you dodge this blockade trying to get close to the Fondor Shipyards.

CAMERON: [squirms] Fabulous.

NICK: You can co-pilot if someone wants to try and do that.

HUDSON: I’ll co-pilot.

CAMERON: Ehh.

HUDSON: No I won’t.

LAURA: What’s your Agility?

CAMERON: What? Yeah.

HUDSON: Two.

CAMERON: Yeah, let Xianna co-pilot.

LAURA: I don’t think I have any in Piloting, but…

HUDSON: So I don’t have to roll?

NICK: No. Also, you should bear in mind that you have that night shade coating. That should give you a blue die to this, because it’s essentially a Stealth check with a ship.

CAMERON: Ooh! Where’s my ship sheet? Okay, so the night shadow coating reduces the range band of…

NICK: Sensors?

CAMERON: …enemy passive sensors.

NICK: Yeah, so we’ll count that as a blue die then, or let’s do two blue dice since you spent a whole mission getting that.

CAMERON: Ooh. What is the difficulty of this Piloting check?

NICK: It’s gonna be hard.

LAURA: Am I doing my own separate roll?

NICK: Yeah, you do a co-piloting check, and then I think co-piloting works that you get to add successes to the Piloting check afterwards.

LAURA: Well that’s how we’ll do it.

CAMERON: Yeah!

LAURA: Well okay… [shakily] I’ll let Cameron go first.

CAMERON: [laughs] Okay.

NICK: Why, what happened?

LAURA: It’s okay!

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA: It’s okay! Heh.

CAMERON: Karma got four successes and four advantages.

LAURA: I got three successes, three threats.

NICK: Great. We get this shot of you all in the cockpit. Laura, would Xianna put her goggles down just to look cooler while helping to pilot through this?

LAURA: Absolutely. They wouldn’t even be turned on. They would be turned off so that nothing’s working on them, just cooler.

NICK: You see the ship comes out of hyperspace, and ahead of you you can see just clouds of TIE fighters and TIE bombers and TIE elites going back and forth in patrol patterns. You can see these ion cannons stuck to small asteroids that are also scanning and patrolling. We see Xianna take her scanner goggles and slide them down over her eyes and just have a wicked grin on her face. Karma smiles confidently, and the ship seems to disappear into the shadows between these rocks and coast in towards the Fondor Shipyards. You’re very, very successful. We get a moment of the ship inverted and up under an asteroid as TIE bombers fly slowly overhead. Everyone holds their breath. As you release and you make the last run towards the station the ship shutters a little as you clip one of these asteroids and Xianna flies out of her chair and falls prone.

[dramatic bass noise]

[laughter]

CAMERON: Yay.

[action music starts]

NICK: Xianna scrambles up quickly to grab the back of Karma’s chair as Karma glides the ship with engine’s cut silently into a small access airlock that was designated in the coordinates given to you by Mylhiri. The ship clamps into place and locks down, and all of the lights turn off on the ship and then turn on red which you’ve not seen the ship do before, but it’s very much like an assault craft, and blinking above the door we see a countdown and you hear a voice say throughout the ship. “Assault infiltration in 30 seconds.”

CAMERON (as Karma): What?

LAURA (as Xianna): Wait, what?!

HUDSON (as Tink): Is this our ship?

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah! What is happening?!

NICK: You see HK hoist their large rifle on their back.

NICK (as HK): Adulation: That’s what I’m talking about.

NICK: The gun starts to spin up, and that’s gonna be the end of the episode!

ALL: Ba-naaa~!

## Outro

CAMERON: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. If you’ve 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 and will make the squad giggle like school children when we read them. If you’re so inclined, you can also help support the show through our Patreon which can be found in the show notes, on our website, and basically anywhere we post things. We have all sorts of Patreon levels including some of my favorites: Bantha Buddy, Tarkin’s Underwear Drawer, and Build-A-Beru which all have fabulous rewards and super great names.

Xianna’fan is played by Laura Penrod. She can be found on Twitter at @cheerio_buffet.

Tink is played by Hudson Jameson. He can be found on Twitter at @hudsonjameson.

Karma Nailo is played by me, Cameron Robertson. You can find me on Twitter at @midnightmusic13.

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, and join our Discord and share all of your food and cute pet photos with us. We also sometimes talk about Star Wars. You can find the link to join our Discord on our website and in our pinned tweet. See you next time.

Word document download: Episode 49 Aggressive Archeology

PDF download: Episode 49 Aggressive Archeology

Read in browser:

Tabletop Squadron Transcript, Season 1 Episode 49:
Aggressive Archeology

Transcript by Tyler (Twitter: @Tyler_MoonSage)

## Intro

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, and a slicer as they explore the galaxy helping a mysterious benefactor and each other.

You all have heard me say this before, but you’re gonna hear me say it again. Mel D’Amato, fantastic person, wonderful guest, great friend. Mel is awesome, and if you want to hear more from them follow them on Twitter at @melerella. Thank you again for being on our show, Mel.

Secondly, we are a mere $5 from hitting our next Patreon goal level. Once we hit the hot tub hangout level the team is going to be adding a ton of content. We’ve got new Discord channels and streaming planned. Hitting the next level will allow us to create a setup to stream some games and informal Q&As as well as some tabletop fun. To celebrate, I’m going to buy the weirdest X-wing miniature I can think of, so if you want to see me get immediately shot down in space by Hudson and Laura consider supporting us. Thanks everyone.

One last and very important thing: Friend of the show Aly Grauer is rereleasing her novel ‘On the Isle of Sound and Wonder’ on January 7. “Wild Mira knows the island better than anyone, and she knows the patterns of the sea and sky. She knows too that the storm that brings a shipwreck to her island shores is not natural but is summoned by her father’s dark, strange powers. When the wreck survivors wash up all over the island the mysteries of Mira’s past come with them and the truth of her father’s deeds can finally be brought to light.” Folks, Aly is a word artist and you’re going to want to get in on this one. You can find ‘On the Isle of Sound and Wonder’ on Amazon for pre-order or on Shadesilk Press. There’s a link to that page in the show notes. I personally am extremely excited.

Music this week is Social Blast by To Eris and Through the Dunes by Manuel Senfft.

So now, let’s get into the episode.

##

NICK: Hi everyone. Nick here again. This is an episode where we didn’t do the standard intro because of the way everything came together in post. Going around the table we have Mel playing Illith Utena Hatake, a Chiss flirt and fashion rogue, Cameron playing Karma, a Nautolan bounty hunter, Hudson playing Tink, a Gigoran slicer, and Laura playing Xianna, a Twi’lek smuggler. Quick recap from the last episode: The crew got onto the ship, explained about hot tubs and being sad about your parents works to Illith, they swore that they were going to get cool jackets, they chased Creamsicle for quite a while, and they discovered a secret, peaceful garden hidden somewhere in the ship they hadn’t noticed before. That’s pretty much it, so let’s keep on rolling.

NICK: We get the ship snapping into orbit above Chandrila II. It’s a surprisingly desert planet but with big, craggy, low polygon count mountains. [laughter] I stole this setting from a game from the 90s is the thing. The ship comes in to land and you see that there’s a very large, extremely tall electric fence around what looks like a half-sunken temple, and you can see some modified battle droids with kind of ski feet patrolling the perimeter. There are two guards wearing full head wraps and goggles and gear, very much like Rey salvage outfits guarding the gate with carbine rifles, and that’s what you can see. What do you do?

CAMERON (as Karma): Question. Are we sneaking or talking?

HUDSON (as Tink): We have this IOU according to Xianna…

CAMERON (as Karma): So talking?

HUDSON (as Tink): …so talking?

CAMERON (as Karma): Talking? Okay.

HUDSON (as Tink): Let’s call them.

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh, I just wanted to know where to park the ship.

LAURA: At this moment, Xianna is currently in the Jacuzzi area, in the shag carpeting, and is on the ground and is once again setting little bits of food out to try to catch Creamsicle, and probably at some point pops out of one of the vents.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay, I saw evidence that Creamsicle was in the vent, but do  not see Creamsicle, however I think putting out the granola bars will attract them.

NICK: [reluctantly] Make me a Survival check. Heh.

LAURA: Okay, I’m actually gonna do that.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: I know~ Flip me a dark side point though, because I want a despair off of this if I can get it.

LAURA: Ugh! I was just about to ask to flip one.

NICK: I know. This is what we spend our destiny points on.

HUDSON: [laughs]

LAURA: What’s the difficulty?

NICK: Hard.

LAURA: Hard.

MEL: Illith is just standing there watching.

MEL (as Illith): What odd behavior…

CAMERON: [gasps]

LAURA: Is that cocked or not?

HUDSON: That’s cocked, actually.

CAMERON: I feel like that’s enough of a despair that it should stay, though.

HUDSON: Yeah, let’s keep it a despair.

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA: Okay, fine… Okay! So three successes, a despair without the failure, and two threats. [laughter] Yes, I see your face and I know.

NICK: What the shit? You would probably rather spend your successes on Creamsicle beginning to build a relationship, right?

LAURA: Yeah.

NICK: Creamsicle eats the granola bars and even lets you get almost close enough to pet it but then dives back into the walls. You look down through the vent and see that not only is it the vent system but that there has been a hole chewed in the vent so it’s literally in the walls now.

LAURA: Xianna has her head in the vent.

LAURA (as Xianna): It is in the walls! Oh no! Okay. Oopsies.

MEL (as Illith): Oh dear.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. I am building a relationship with Creamsicle, but they have chewed a hole in the wall. Sorry Tink. I know this is not actually your ship, but you know, you do the mechanic things.

HUDSON (as Tink): No fur off my back.

LAURA (as Xianna): Cool. Okay.

MEL (as Illith): Apologies for my ignorance, but what is a Creamsicle?

LAURA (as Xianna): So, a creamsicle is a type of dessert treat that has a vanilla—

HUDSON (as Tink): You’ve never had a creamsicle?!

LAURA (as Xianna): It has like a vanilla center and like an orange coating.

MEL (as Illith): [goes to speak, stops, sighs]

LAURA (as Xianna): But, there is also a loth-rat on the ship and it is orange so I have named it Creamsicle and it is now my friend and I am going to make it my pet, and we are going to have fun adventures together.

MEL (as Illith): Oh, I see. A loth-rat?

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes.

MEL (as Illith): I have a loth-cat.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, those are also fun. Ryloth has these things called tooka cats which are exactly like loth-cats except they are purple.

MEL (as Illith): Ooh, wonderful. My loth-cat is named Root Beer Float.

[laughter]

LAURA (as Xianna): They sound very nice.

NICK: The loth-rat, Creamsicle, comes out of the opposite side of the wall just where Illith can see it, and it’s this surprisingly large rat creature that basically looks like a fennec fox with a rat tail and if it was just ratty enough to look a little off-putting but otherwise very cute, and it wiggles its nose at you and then dives backwards into the vents.

MEL: Before it dives back in, it looks at Illith and Illith just winks, and then it’s like [smoothly] “what’s up” and dives back in.

[laughter]

LAURA: “Sup?”

MEL: “Sup?”

NICK: You have forged a relationship with Creamsicle just as strong as all of those granola bars did. That whole thing happened while Tink and Karma were standing by the off-ramp discussing their strategy. I think since you agreed on talking it out we get a (Batman scene change tune) and you’re standing in front of these two robed guards standing in the desert with very well maintained blaster rifles. The one on the left who is taller pulls down a face mask to reveal a Human with a handlebar mustache, because why not.

NICK (as Guard): I am so sorry, but Barsen’thor’s Tomb on Chandrila II is not open yet for tourists and tours. We’re still finishing construction, so we’re going to have to ask you to leave immediately.

LAURA (as Xianna): We are not tourists.

NICK (as Guard): Oh, well then this is private property.

NICK: The gun safety gets taken off and you hear the blaster start to charge.

LAURA (as Xianna): No, no, no. We would like to talk to Kettle please.

NICK: The shorter one looks very nervous and shoulders their rifle without pointing it at you. You just hear (mumbling) and the taller guard says:

NICK (as Guard): We don’t bother the boss with people coming to visit. You’re gonna have to leave.

MEL: Illith takes this opportunity to sway forward, because when Illith moves with intent it’s very slinky and mesmerizing.

NICK: of course it is.

CAMERON: [chuckles]

MEL: Illith approaches just slightly closer than everyone else.

MEL (as Illith): Oh, my dear boy, you must calm down. We’re not here to cause problems. I’m actually a person of interest for Kettle. We were intending to have a conversation. We’re both purchasers of interesting goods, and I just wanted to speak with her if she’s available, dear. Would you be so sweet?

NICK: The gun drops as Illith is talking back to kind of at rest because their voice is mesmerizing, and you can see through the goggles and with your infrared vision that Chiss have, their pulse quickens and the guard says:

NICK (as Guard): Well, so, that’s all well and good. We’re not gonna be shooting you or anything, we don’t want the attention, but Kettle isn’t here. Recently they just got a new item in and it just got put in. It actually, weirdly, that delivery only happened like an hour before you got here.

MEL (as Illith): My, what a coincidence.

NICK (as Guard): Oh, I’m beginning to understand. So Kettle isn’t here, and I just, I don’t think I can let you in. I’m so sorry.

MEL (as Illith): Oh, I completely understand. I don’t want to intrude on an empty home, certainly not. Is there anywhere we could go to find Kettle? I don’t want to be intrusive, it’s just an essential matter regarding items that I’ve just purchased as well.

NICK: Man, this sounds like a Charm check, doesn’t it?

MEL: Ooh! I guess so~

NICK: This one’s gonna be average, and y’all have name-dropped Kettle which they weren’t expecting, so that’s a blue die as well.

CAMERON: That’s four successes.

NICK (as Guard): I think we can work something out here. I don’t- No, I was lying earlier. I’m not actually sure where Kettle is. Kettle doesn’t talk to us. Kettle has their own entrance. She may be inside. I would be willing to let you in on… What if we just called it a pre-tour of the facility, and we thought that you were with her if anyone asks, and if you wanted to just go in and see what Barsen’thor’s Tomb on Chandrila II is going to look like… would that work for you?

MEL (as Illith): That’s ever so sweet, my dear.

NICK (as Guard): When you get back out, if you like it and you want to know when it’s done you could just give me a call on my com.

CAMERON: [giggles]

NICK: He slides a piece of flimsy with a com number which has to be like 48 digits, right? The whole galaxy uses the same system.

MEL: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

LAURA: Maybe it’s like a QR code, like you scan it.

MEL: Dope.

NICK: Maybe, but this is also weirdly 70s technology a lot of the time. You might need a rotator to dial the com.

[laughter]

LAURA: Maybe it’s a card with a bunch of holes punched in it and you have to insert it into something.

MEL: Perfect.

NICK: I like that the technology doesn’t match. You could use a card with holes in it to program fiber optic cables. Nothing makes sense.

MEL: I think as they start to get a card out the gate behind them starts to swing open, and Illith slinks forward. They walk up, take the card, do a little twirl around the finger, and then as they walk they free their finger and drag it across their prominent jawline and walk away.

[laughter]

NICK: Oh man. The guard literally freezes in place like he’s seen an animal in the distance and doesn’t want to scare it off. You walk by. He looks straight ahead.

NICK (as Guard): [struggling] Um… Well, back to patrolling!

NICK: The friend (mumbles).

NICK (as Guard): [hushed] Shut up! Shut up!

NICK: The group is able to go into this rebuilt temple.

MEL: You can hear as they walk away:

MEL (as Illith): My, that was a big gun.

[laughter]

CAMERON: Flashback to as we were walking up to the guards, (boop-bwoop).

NICK: I’m not gonna steal your ship.

CAMERON: I’m just scared because I started a trend so if I forget to do it now I feel like something bad is gonna happen. [laughs]

[desert music starts]

NICK: Okay. The ship is locked. You are able to walk up towards this temple. You immediately get that Disney World feel. It looks old, but the way the stones are cut and layered don’t quite look right. As you get close you’re able to reach out and touch the wall and it’s like durasteel layered in stucco instead of the actual stone. It’s very nice, but it’s not authentic necessarily.

LAURA: Xianna has her ear cone up to it and is knocking on it.

LAURA (as Xianna): This is fake. It is fake. Just letting everyone know.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, Xianna, that’s not polite.

MEL: Do they do what they do at Disney World? Disney has the smell of cookies that gets thrown into the pathways.

LAURA: Oh, like the smell of sand?

MEL: an old scent of a temple being shot into the room.

LAURA: Oh, like must and old books.

MEL: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

NICK: So it’s like must, old books, but some spices so that it smells intriguing.

[sounds of agreement]

MEL: It gets you in the mood for temples.

NICK: Yeah, not too off-putting.

MEL: [seductively] In the mood for temples.

NICK: Oh yeah.

MEL: [giggles] Ooh~

NICK: You walk into the first antechamber and you can see that there’s a concession stand that’s completely empty and you get a brief, strong sent of baked goods and then as you walk past it goes back to the musty and mysterious spices. You’re able to enter this room. The temple itself is very big, very open. You’re able to go down a spiral staircase very quickly that looks like it might be a queue for a line if there were more people here, like that’s where they would stack up. You come to this extremely large open room, like interior of a dome football stadium with several very large, low polygon count columns tipped at different angles, up through the ceiling. There’s an area in the back where it looks like the roof is fractured and unstable – looks it, probably not – with a little bit of sunlight streaming in. This whole way on the way in you’ve seen different artifacts and things. You’ve seen pieces of lightsaber that don’t necessarily look like lightsaber unless you know what you’re looking at. You’ve seen different Jedi robes. There was a spot that looked like a place where you would bolt a droid to the ground where it could orate, but it’s only a droid from the knees down, like they haven’t finished installing it.

You get to this big room, and on the far wall you see this very ornate but armored Jedi robe that’s got golden shimmering highlights in it, but it looks like battle armor, like in the Clone Wars, the stuff that Obi-Wan wears that has the padding and the plate mixed in, it looks like that but with gold highlights and really cool paint decals and colors and stuff. Then, next to that in a case you see the half cape with the little thong hung on a mannequin that’s right there. The mannequin that it’s hung on looks like it was set up for the reproduction on the other side, so it doesn’t quite fit. There’s leather gloves and stuff on the mannequin where they assumed would stick out of the armor and there isn’t that, so the whole thing is just kind of piecemeal, like it’s still in production. That’s what you can see in the room. What all do you do?

[music fades]

CAMERON (as Karma): You know, the one on the right looks more like what I was expecting to find.

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean, none of us were expecting the thong.

CAMERON (as Karma): It was a surprise. It was a pleasant surprise.

HUDSON (as Tink): it was a surprise.

MEL (as Illith): That was a very good butt.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yes. High-five.

[laughter]

LAURA: Xianna’s looking at Karma.

LAURA (as Xianna): So, um, are we stealing this…?

CAMERON (as Karma): Uh, yeah.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay good!

MEL (as Illith): Sorry, what did you say?

LAURA: Xianna just immediately starts casing the whole joint.

NICK: Alright. Anybody who is worried about security measures could roll me a Perception check.

CAMERON: Okay. That would be Karma.

LAURA: Perception or Skulduggery, since full casing?

NICK: I would allow a hard Perception check or a daunting Skulduggery check.

LAURA: Flip a light side point.

NICK: Okay. You’re upgrading your Skulduggery there?

LAURA: Yes.

NICK: Okie-dokie.

HUDSON: I want Perception.

NICK: So many dice.

HUDSON: Hmm… Three failures.

NICK: Great.

HUDSON: I don’t see jack shit.

[laughter]

CAMERON: Tink’s like “This is a big room.” Karma got two successes and one threat.

LAURA: Okay, so a triumph with a success, four more successes, two threats.

MEL: Dope! I’m not even gonna try.

NICK: Wow. Okay. Illith is using their people skills to let people do what they’re good at. Here’s how this goes. Tink goes, “wow, what a wide open room” and just starts to stride across. Karma, you look up and you see that there is a large shape perched on top of one of the pillars. You go “that seems bad,” and you reach out to call to Tink. Xianna, you look and you are immediately looking for tripwires, pressure plates, security systems, cameras, those kind of things. You see a couple of cameras up on the wall. They don’t look much like you’re used to, they’re the kind of models that record archive footage more than a live monitored feed, so you kind of discount those. Then, you look up and you see a large shape on top of a pillar, and you go “that’s not good.” Illith, you go “they seem very capable, I think they got this,” and then about this point Tink is walking towards these robes and a giant… it looks like if a flying fish and a tiger had a baby, comes jumping off of one of these columns.

LAURA: In which–?! In what way?!

CAMERON: What parts of which?!

NICK: I’m getting there. [laughter] So, it’s got massive red and black striped legs with huge claws, and coming out from under each of its legs, kind of in a swept-back Power Rangers robot position are these spiked fins, and the head looks like a catfish if a catfish had giant sabretooth tiger fangs, and it’s all red and black striped and modeled, it blended into the shadows. So, this thing comes jumping off of the pillar and lands on Tink.

[techno music starts]

HUDSON (as Tink): Oof!

NICK: Doing… Could you roll me two yellow dice versus an average check? Let’s see how much damage Tink takes, because he got hit by a tiger.

CAMERON: One advantage.

NICK: Taking no damage, great, but you are pinned under this giant tiger thing. I’m gonna need everybody to roll me some Vigilance, because we’re starting combat.

MEL: One success and two advantages, please.

NICK: Nice.

LAURA: One success for Xianna, although I would like to say that with that triumph Xianna just very calmly points to Tink and the tiger.

LAURA (as Xianna): Excuse me. There is some sort of creature on top of Tink. I do not think that is normal.

HUDSON: I have a triumph and an additional success.

NICK: Nice.

CAMERON: Karma got two successes.

NICK: Roll me three yellows for this thing’s Vigilance, please.

CAMERON: Four successes, two advantages.

NICK: Hmm.

CAMERON: What’s hank’s Vigilance?

NICK: Two yellows and two greens.

CAMERON: Four successes, two advantages.

NICK: So it’s gonna go monster, four PC slots, NPC slot, and then four PC slots because Hank went first. Four successes, he had?

CAMERON: Yes.

NICK: Yeah, he’s very good at this. Great. Flying fish tiger goes first, and it rears back, it opens its mouth, and you hear what sounds like a recorded tyrannosaurus rex noise. It doesn’t sound like a monster yelling, it sounds like a monster making a recording of a yelling noise. It comes to just bite Tink’s head off. If you could roll me two yellows again against average again, but flip me a dark side point, would you? So that adds a green. Yeah~

CAMERON: One success, two advantages.

NICK: You’re gonna take 7 damage, reduce by your Soak though.

HUDSON: Yeah.

NICK: It just takes a solid bite out of Tink, just right into the shoulder, and shakes it around like a dog that found a small, fuzzy toy, and just latches on. It’s not gonna let go.

HUDSON (as Tink): It’s not friendly!

NICK (as HK): Enthusiastic chuckle. Suppressing fire! Suppressing fire!

NICK: Its gun starts to spin up and it just starts shooting everywhere in the room. It’s blasting holes in the side of the walls and everything. Go ahead and roll me his attack. Two yellows and two greens, three purples, y’all are at long range right now.

MEL: How big is this room?

NICK: It’s very big.

CAMERON: Football stadium.

NICK: Yeah, and Tink walked a good ways out. That was that fail thing.

CAMERON: Is he aiming?

NICK: Not for suppressing fire.

CAMERON: [laughs] Well…

NICK: Not so much.

CAMERON: [sigh] I’m sure it’ll be fine. Oh no, it’s not fine. Two failures, one advantage.

NICK: The advantage will give whoever goes next a blue die on their attack, but Hank doesn’t suppressing fire the giant monster very well. Weirdly it doesn’t want to take cover. Go figure.

MEL: Huh.

NICK: Also, you get a sneaking suspicion that Hank is just really enjoying shooting up what they perceive to be an ancient tomb of the Jedi and just having a grand old time. It’s like if you gave somebody a paintball gun and put them in a room of breakables. He’s just having a blast. Up next is gonna be a PC slot.

HUDSON: I wanna get away from it. I have my vibro-axe. I turn it on. Is that enough?

NICK: I mean, you’re still gonna have to jab it or something.

HUDSON: Oh, okay, yeah. I turn on my vibro-axe and just jab upwards.

NICK: Okay. That sounds like a Melee attack, doesn’t it?

HUDSON: Yes, that does sound like a Melee. Four successes.

NICK: Oh geez. How much damage is that?

HUDSON: That’s Brawn +3, so 3+3 is 6 damage, and…

CAMERON: Plus 4.

NICK: Plus the four successes, so 10 damage.

HUDSON: Yeah.

MEL: Brutal.

NICK: That puts you through starship armor sometimes. That’s a lot. You, interestingly—

HUDSON: Kill it?

NICK: Not quite. Interestingly enough, appear to do as much damage as it did to you. You plant this axe blade up under its armpit and jam it in using one hand to leverage it, and a bunch of sparks and stuff go everywhere, and you get another canned t-rex noise scream like this is some sort of animatron for some sort of theme park ride. You are able to—Did you get an advantage?

CAMERON: No.

NICK: [smiling] You’re still stuck, so that’s a bummer. You hurt it real good, but it does not let go and you are still kind of pinned underneath it. It starts leaking some sort of hydraulic fluid everywhere.

CAMERON (as Karma): I am questioning the creative who was in charge of designing this fun theme park ride.

[techno music fades]

MEL (as Illith): Very strange indeed.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah. Hmm.

MEL (as Illith): Choices were made.

CAMERON: Karma’s gonna take her big gun out and shoot it, because I think it’s another PC slot next.

NICK: Yep, it’s just PC slots for days at this point.

CAMERON: I shoot it with my big gun, and I’m gonna aim.

NICK: Knock yourself out.

CAMERON: I just got three advantages.

NICK: What would you like those advantages to do?

CAMERON: Um… let’s see. I have three. I’ll use one to give whoever goes next a blue die, and then…

HUDSON: I can get up.

CAMERON: …with Hank’s crazy firing some of the ceiling falls and the animatron shifts slightly so that Tink can get up.

NICK: I will let Tink get out of being chewed on but not out of Melee range yet. Does that seem fair?

CAMERON: Oh, that’s fine. Yeah. Still in engaged, but no longer pinned.

NICK: Dramatically scramble away as the power-zord gets distracted.

HUDSON: Wuah~!

NICK: Great. Yeah, the monster is playing y’all for fools. Who’s up next?

MEL: Illith could do some stuff.

NICK: Cool.

MEL: Upon seeing the sparks shower, Illith decides to get a little bit closer.

NICK: That’s a maneuver. That works.

MEL: And quite possibly skirt this automaton as the case may be. How far can Illith get on a maneuver?

NICK: ‘Mechanically,’ if you use a maneuver and burn a strain you could get to medium range with this thing. That’s boring. I don’t wanna do this for six rounds. Are you trying to get to the stuff or are you just trying to flank it?

MEL: I don’t know that Illith has the skill to completely unlock those tubes of clothing, so I don’t know that the goal is to get to it but to get closer to it. I would like to pull a dope move where Illith runs out and does a cartwheel but over the top of this machine and puts their gun to the wound that was already made and fires a stun into the machine.

NICK: That’s super dope.

MEL: I’ll flip something if I have to.

NICK: Yeah, flip a point.

CAMERON: It happens!

MEL: It happens!

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Yeah, that works. We’ll count that. I just need you to make a ranged attack, but it’s going to be easy because you’re now at close range because you’re doing a dope frontflip over this thing.

MEL: Whoop!

NICK: Also, for the cinematic range, may I suggest that while you’re {cartwheeling} you quickdraw, then shoot it, then put it back.

CAMERON: Yeah~!

MEL: [laughing] yes! I’ve got the quickdraw. Absolutely.

CAMERON: Two successes and an advantage.

NICK: Two successes… What’s a light blaster do? I never remember. Is it 5?

MEL: Five.

CAMERON: Uh, theirs is 6.

NICK: Ooh, I gave you the fancy one.

CAMERON: Because it’s a superior light blaster.

MEL: Muahaha.

NICK: So, that’s important. You have a very fancy custom blaster pistol.

MEL: Mm-hmm!

NICK: Describe Illith’s blaster pistol while I do math.

MEL: Illith’s blaster pistol on the side of the barrel has a pretty lady on one side and a hot guy on the other.

NICK: Nice.

MEL: Both laying in recline. It is a beautiful silver gun with an engraved handle that is wrapped in a very fine leather.

LAURA: Beautiful.

NICK: And you use it to blast into the vibro-axe cut which puts you at an interesting angle because it was kind of underneath, so you’re able to reach forward, shoot, and then land dramatically. I’m assuming you do the three-point anime land and skid.

MEL: Oh, yeah no. The cartwheel starts and then as they’re about to flip off that’s when they quickdraw, shoot from behind, because they’re able to get under the armpit from behind, put it back, and then yeah, like a Naruto skid behind it.

NICK: Nice. Damn, that’s cool.

MEL: [giggles]

NICK: You see the blaster shot ricochet around on the inside a little bit and one of the eyes flickers out on this thing. You have, um… It’s not happy. It’s not having a good day. It tries to do the canned tyrannosaurus rex roar thing at you, but there’s a spark that comes out of its mouth and you just get (meow).

CAMERON: [giggles]

NICK: We’re to another PC slot.

LAURA: Xianna looks at all of this.

LAURA (as Xianna): I think they have this under control.

LAURA: And walks over to the box with the thong in it.

NICK: Okay. You can get to the box, because I’ve decided that this room is big for set piece purposes but not mechanically, because spending your whole turn doing movement is boring. So, you are there. What are you doing to the box?

LAURA: In the Skulduggery check I had done, did I see anything, pressure plates on the thing, am I gonna have to switch it out with an equally weighted bag or something?

NICK: Oh yeah, 100%. It appears as though there is some sort of pressure-activated something.

LAURA: Okay. During the move Xianna is gonna start taking things out of her pockets which appears to mostly be granola bars and bantha cakes that are the disposable items willing to get rid of in addition to some grenades I guess. Gonna start taking out the granola bars and doing the holding them in the hand and weighing them, like setting some aside and putting some in a different pile.

NICK: It’s exactly the scene from Indiana Jones, but in the background people are fighting this giant robotic monster and getting slapped around and screaming.

LAURA: She’s yelling over her shoulder.

LAURA (as Xianna): I believe in all of you. You absolutely have this one. Good job.

HUDSON: So we get a blue die?

CAMERON: We get Bardic Inspiration for that, right?

NICK: We’ll see.

LAURA: Bardic Inspiration for everyone! I don’t think thieves can give Bardic Inspiration, but…

NICK: Interestingly enough, that is one of the skills in the Charmer talent tree. They can do that.

MEL: Muahaha.

NICK: Great. Are you trying to make this thing happen?

LAURA: Yeah. Is that another Skulduggery?

NICK: Yeah, that would be Skulduggery. This one’s hard. Flip me a dark side point.

LAURA: One success, one advantage.

NICK: Okay. You’re able to swap it out. You move so quickly you’re able to jam the granola bars into the places where the cape holds and they stick, like you had it just right. I’m gonna let your advantage be that you look up and you see a giant, very heavy and real-looking boulder suspended above this case as though if you had failed this check you would have been chased by a giant boulder across the arena.

CAMERON: [giggles]

NICK: You see that. It does wiggle a little bit. There’s a moment where you think that this boulder is gonna come out of its boulder hole, but it doesn’t.

MEL: Boulder hole.

[laughter]

LAURA: Xianna stops and looks up at this boulder hole filled with a boulder.

LAURA (as Xianna): What… the fuck? What the fuck, Kettle? The fuck.

LAURA: Then also takes the IOU from her pocket and sticks it to the front of the case, but I’m assuming with a piece of chewing gum kind of style.

NICK: Yup. You got this cape and this thong. Do you throw the cape over a shoulder to keep track of it, or tuck it into  your coat?

LAURA: Oh, it goes into the pockets immediately.

NICK: Hmm. Interesting. Okay.

LAURA: Yeah.

NICK: It appears to be cloth.

LAURA: I’m sure it’ll be fine.

NICK: Yup. We are back up to the monster slot, and it decides to sprint at Xianna and ignore Tink, because Xianna went over to the thing it was guarding. I need you to roll me an attack, please, yup.

CAMERON: Two successes, one threat.

NICK: That does 8 damage to you as it just tackles you from behind and smashes you into a wall.

LAURA: [whining] I am so small. I only have seven toes and I am so small.

[laughter]

NICK: You take a solid hit. If one were to quantify how game for a fight you were you might say it was reduced by 50%. This monster is making slavering, scary, rabid monster noises but very canned and it is not {humid} at all because it’s an automaton. And we’re to a Hank slot. He just- Flip me another dark side point. Do I have any more?

CAMERON: You have two more.

NICK: Yeah. Hank is still shooting the walls. He’s just distracted. He’s just spinning in circles yelling.

NICK (as HK): Suppressing fire! Suppressing fire! Suppressing fire!

CAMERON (as Karma): [heavy sigh]

LAURA: Just in the background.

LAURA (as Xianna): Haaank!

CAMERON (as HK): I am helping.

NICK: I think at this point he is writing Hank in one of the walls in blaster bolts, like when you get bored playing Halo. He’s out of this. Up next is a PC slot.

MEL: Illith being somewhat closer than everyone else to Xianna right now calls out.

MEL (as Illith): Xianna, he’ll leave you alone if you pass it to me. I just want to keep you safe, dear.

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): Look, it went into a pocket. I have no idea which pocket it went into~!

MEL (as Illith): You can either throw it to me or throw me the entire jacket, but we have to get it away from you, dear. You’re looking quite bad.

LAURA (as Xianna): I can’t throw you the jacket!

NICK: I really want a contested Charm check on this one. You spent the trip bonding with Illith at this point. I think you’re kinda susceptible to this. Normally I’m not one for contested Charm rolls to make things happen, but this is Illith’s whole jam, so.

LAURA: Yeah.

CAMERON: And you are so small, and so injured.

LAURA: [whining] I am so small, and so hurt.

NICK: Also, you probably had a blue die, because to add to your persuasion there’s a giant robotic tiger fish attacking Xianna at this time.

MEL: Legit. Illith is also going to use Congenial, because they’ve done their best to be a friend thus far and proven helpful, took all of you guys despite not knowing you to this planet.

CAMERON: [giggles]

LAURA: I mean, also you’re hot.

MEL: I mean… yeah.

CAMERON: Yeah.

MEL: So, they’re gonna suffer one strain to reduce that difficulty by one die.

NICK: Oh man. Oh man!

CAMERON: So it’s one purple. [laughs]

LAURA: Part of me was like “maybe you don’t have to roll, I’ll just give this to you,” but that’s a lot of dice and I wanna see what happens.

MEL: That’s a triumph.

CAMERON: So, one success, five advantages, and a triumph.

LAURA: What if Xianna just takes the whole coat off? [laughs]

NICK: Okay. I like where this is going, because you’re literally being talked out of your clothes.

MEL: MUAHAHA!

CAMERON: That sounds like a triumph!

NICK: Yeah.

LAURA: That sounds like a triumph. It’s almost faster to just take the whole coat off, and that’s when you learn that it has the pull-apart buttons. “Has it always had that?” Tosses the coat. You see that Xianna’s completely naked.

[laughter]

MEL: [claps]

LAURA: All she has on now is her knee-high, black, snakeskin boots, and you can see on her very, very high upper thigh is the pin-up girl from the Afternoon Delight, and everyone can see that as Xianna moves that the pin-up girl’s legs are kicking up and down as she flexes.

MEL: Fuck.

[laughter]

NICK: Gonna be honest. Didn’t expect that result. I like that result. Didn’t expect that result. I think with that many freaking advantages and successes and triumphs that the monster, after it slams you into the wall, it’s not so much trying to kill you as get to the cape, so in the process of it trying to get at your coat, which is confusing and it’s not very smart, it is an animatron, it would normally recite part of the Oath of Presidential Office or something, like the Hall of Presidents, but you’re able to tear the coat off and throw it as it’s trying to scrabble at you, and we get the zoomed in shot of a well-manicured and shapely Chiss hand catching the coat out of the air. I guess now it’s another PC slot. And Xianna is very naked.

CAMERON: Karma’s gonna rush over and shoot it.

NICK: Okay. Point blank, action hero style?

CAMERON: Yeah.

NICK: Are you going to do a baseball slide and shoot it underneath while sliding?

CAMERON: Yes, obviously.

NICK: Full auto.

CAMERON: Obviously. So, if I’m underneath it, what’s the difficulty?

NICK: We’ll say it’s short range, because it’s tall, so one.

CAMERON: Okay, so just one?

NICK: Yeah.

CAMERON: Okay. I’m not gonna aim, because I ran.

NICK: Fourteen advantages.

CAMERON: Well yes, but also… three successes, five advantages. I’d like to crit.

NICK: The damage is enough to kill it. Do you want the crit to be that it dies super dramatically in some way? Do you wanna just describe how you overkill this thing?

CAMERON: Yeah. Karma action hero slides underneath it, shoots up into its stomach, the blast from the blaster – that’s a weird sentence – shooting up into its chest knocks it back so it’s rearing back on its hind legs, and then it just kind of freezes and electricity goes all over it for a second, and then it just falls over to the side.

NICK: Very Star Wars.

CAMERON: And crashes.

NICK: And the head rolls off and you hear (meow) and the lights go out.

HUDSON: I take my vibro-axe, go over,, cut the head in half just in case.

NICK: As you start to hit it, it looks like it’s gonna bite you and then it’s split in half. It’s just all gears. It’s surprisingly analog looking on the inside. We’ve got Karma, Tink and Xianna over by the wall. Xianna is naked and probably heavily bruised from running into a wall by a giant robot. What’s Illith up to?

MEL: She gone.

NICK: She gone?

[laughter]

MEL: Illith, the moment they got the jacket, I mean, as anyone would do, started backing away from this mechanical beast because they now have the object of desire. Illith has run towards the entrance and is probably half way up.

NICK: I mean, you could be completely gone. They just see your boots disappearing up the stairs.

MEL: A poof?

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Yeah, a cloud slightly in the shape of Illith where Illith was standing a moment ago.

MEL: Yeah, like “fuck this monster.”

NICK: Illith is up the stairs and gone, and we get the shot of the crew of the Afternoon Delight all simultaneously looking to where Illith was and just seeing a boot disappearing up the spiral staircase. What does the Afternoon Delight crew do at this point?

LAURA (as Xianna): Do they have a ship here? Otherwise, where are they going?

CAMERON (as Karma): I don’t know, but they have all of your shit.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes. Literally, they have everything I own for the most part. They have my coat…

CAMERON (as Karma): HK, go catch them! You’re so good at running.

NICK (as HK): Suppressing fire! Suppressing fire!

CAMERON (as Karma): Stop! HK, dear lord.

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): They have my binders, and my grenades, and my gun, and the thong, and… shit! All of my drugs are in there! Fuck!

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA: Starts sprinting that way, full pace, booking it.

CAMERON (as Karma): Tink, can you grab that other outfit? Thank you. [fading] Bye~

HUDSON (as Tink): Okay!

[laughter]

LAURA (as Xianna): Everything is booby-trapped!

CAMERON (as Karma): Watch out, there’s rocks in the ceiling.

HUDSON (as Tink): Everything’s rocks around here.

NICK: [smiling] And we cut to outside. Illith, you are standing in this open field, and inside of the fence perimeter from where you’re standing you can see the two guards looking up and just the slickest speeder is coming down from orbit. It’s like a two-seater fighter ship but tricked out for luxury, but still with weapons, just top-notch. There’s an Arcona pilot wearing sunglasses that also go partially up their V-shaped head.

MEL: Oh, they’re so cool.

[oohing]

LAURA: Ooh! It’s like, uh…

MEL: What’s that fucking show?

NICK: Gurren Lagann?

MEL: It’s Gurren Lagann sunglasses.

LAURA: Ohh!

NICK: But it actually follows the contours of their face so it looks really good.

MEL: It’s perfect.

NICK: They have a cape, obviously.

MEL: Obviously.

NICK: They land. They’re not wearing a shirt, but they do have really stylish bandoliers. They land, and the door pops up like a Lamborghini door.

NICK (as Arcona): Illith, looks like you could use a ride.

MEL (as Illith): Hello, love~

NICK (as Arcona): Good to see you. Did you get what you were looking for?

MEL: I want Illith to hold up the jacket, use their laser eyes to find what they’re looking for.

[laughter]

NICK: I think you’re surprised. You hold up the jacket, use your infra-vision, and can’t see through the jacket, like it’s shielded or something…

MEL (as Illith): Ugh.

NICK: …but then you are able to reach out, as though guided by some mysterious force of some kind, immediately are able to pull out the thong and the cape in one hand, and I guess drop the coat in a pool at your feet?

MEL: Yes. Illith also drops a small data pad that offers the coordinates to a pod that holds the extraordinarily bright outfit and a link to a bank account with 101,069 Credits.

NICK: Oh, my game balance.

LAURA: Yes!

[laughter]

NICK: Thank you, Mel.

MEL: Mm-hmm.

NICK: We’ll have to figure that one out. I’ll do that later.

NICK (as Arcona): You know, there was no need to do that.

NICK: You sit in and the door slams shut, and you just go straight up. This pilot is a hotshot.

MEL (as Illith): I’m a person of my word.

MEL: This Arcona is definitely one of Illith’s lovers. They just pop a little kiss on their cheek as the ship rockets into the sky.

NICK: Seeing an Arcona blush while flying a ship at like 18 Gs is an interesting color spectrum that I’ll let you picture yourself, and they’re gone in the Team Rocket star in the sky, just out of it. We get Xianna, followed reasonably close by Karma, running up to the puddle of your coat in the desert. Also, pretty warm, a lot of sun going on at this point. You are from a desert planet.

LAURA: If this is a hot, dry, desert planet it does not affect me. That’s literally one of my things, that I get to ignore hot, arid conditions or something because born on a desert planet.

NICK: Does Xianna have really interesting tan lines from her time on the beach in her designer bathing suit?

LAURA: I mean, do we think all alien species tan?

CAMERON: Do you tan a darker purple?

LAURA: Do I tan a darker purple?

NICK: I think, in my professional opinion of gaming within a canon, this is one of those gray areas where we can make a decision. [mouth click]

LAURA: I would say yes. She is a slightly darker purple, and it’s a very weird crisscross design because the suit was so strappy, and the moment she gets to the coat just starts flying through those pockets making sure everything she cares about is there.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. The two binders are here! Okay. My surveillance tagger is here. Okay. My gun! My gun, okay. I got one, two, okay nine… eleven, okay. All my drugs are here. I think I have everything.

LAURA: Turns around putting the coat back on.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay Karma. They did not take anything, besides the thong and whatever that cape was, but you know, um… actually that was important, wasn’t it?

CAMERON (as Karma): I did ask Tink to grab the other outfit that looked more official, so maybe if we just don’t say anything Sentinel will just go with that one and hopefully that’s the actual real one, and maybe it’s just missing a little bit of fabric that was used for the cape and the thong.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. I’m still going to leave the IOU and maybe that will make Kettle not mad at us.

CAMERON (as Karma): That seems appropriate.

NICK: As Xianna is affixing her coat, we see in the background the two guards just staring wide-eyed at the situation. The taller one elbows the shorter one and they turn around and snap back to attention. We also hear a rumbling coming from the temple and we see Hank and Tink dive up the stairs as a big poof of dust comes out of the staircase that they were running up and you see a giant boulder that’s slammed into the wall.

[laughter]

LAURA: Xianna’s shaking her head in disappointment.

LAURA (as Xianna): I fucking warned them about the boulder.

CAMERON (as Karma): We told them about the boulder. We did all we could.

LAURA (as Xianna): Let’s go back to the ship.

CAMERON: Do they have the armor with them, though?

NICK: Yes, they have it.

CAMERON: Okay.

NICK: HK slaps his hands together like they’re wiping off dust.

NICK (as HK): I was surprised at the velocity from that boulder hole.

CAMERON: [giggles]

HUDSON (as Tink): I ain’t never seen a boulder hole like that in my entire life.

NICK: [smiling] And that’s where we’re gonna end the episode.

ALL: Ba-naaa~!

CAMERON: [giggling into hands] Oh no.

## Outro

CAMERON: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. If you’ve enjoyed our show please consider logging onto iTunes and giving us a five-star review. Five-star reviews will help new listeners find the show and will make the squad do barrel rolls in our X-wings when we read them. If you’re so inclined, you can also help support the show through our Patreon which can be found in the show notes, on our website, and basically anywhere we post things. We have all sorts of Patreon levels including some of my favorites: Bantha Buddy, Tarkin’s Underwear Drawer, and Build-A-Beru which all have fabulous rewards and super great names.

Illith Utena Hatake is played by Mel D’Amato. You can find them on Twitter at @melerella.

Xianna’fan is played by Laura Penrod. She can be found on Twitter at @Cheerio_Buffet.

Tink is played by Hudson Jameson. He can be found on Twitter at @hudsonjameson.

Karma Nailo is played by me, Cameron Robertson. You can find me on Twitter at @midnightmusic13.

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, and join our Discord and share all of your food and cute pet photos with us. We also sometimes talk about Star Wars. You can find the link to join our Discord on our website and in our pinned tweet. See you next time.

Word document download: Episode 48 KissyChissy

PDF download: Episode 48 KissyChissy

Read in browser:

Tabletop Squadron Transcript, Season 1 Episode 48:
#KissyChissy

Transcript by Tyler (Twitter: @Tyler_MoonSage)

## Intro

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, and a slicer as they explore the galaxy helping a mysterious benefactor and each other.

If you’re wondering what the squad has been up to this holiday season, I can give you a hint. We’ve been making and editing a TON of content for Tarkin’s Underwear Drawer on our Patreon. If you’ve been wondering how to support us or just want more of that good, good Tabletop Squadron content you should check it out. We’ve got bonus adventures, some gosh darn good bloopers, and even a whole side show where Laura and Hudson watch the Mandalorian and talk about it. Thank you to all our patrons who are already there. We really appreciate your support for the show.

I want to once again give a shout out to our guest star and friend of the show, Mel D’Amato, for being on our podcast. This episode is called #KissyChissy, which is a label of their own creation, and I absolutely love it. If you like what Mel does, you can find them on Twitter at @melerella.

Music this week is Atlantica by Speed Limit 35 and Heartbreaking by Kevin MacLeod under Creative Commons 4.0 license.

So now, let’s get into the episode.

##

NICK: Hello again, everyone. This episode doesn’t have the usual around the table intro because of the way everything came together in post, so here we are. This is Episode 3 of the Illith arc, Episode 48 total. Going around the table we have Cameron playing Karma Nailo, a Nautolan bounty hunter, Hudson playing Tink, a Gigoran slicer, Laura playing Xianna, a Twi’lek smuggler, and Mel D’Amato, our guest today, is playing Illith Utena Hatake, a Chiss fashion rogue and all around flirt. If you like what Mel brings to the table they work really regularly with the One Shot Network and you can find them on Twitter at @melerella. Okay, now we’ll get back into it.

NICK: So, when we last left off from where this is going to start, you all had just lost the bidding for the cape. You met up with Illith and had a nice conversation outside about how it would probably be good to work together and you decided to go on the Afternoon Delight. You’re heading to Chandrila II to where a mysterious business person had rebuilt basically an ancient Jedi tomb and you’re going to try to steal the cape, and Illith offered you quite a bit of money.

MEL: 101,069 Credits.

CAMERON: –69 Credits.

NICK: Yep. Nice.

MEL: Yep. That I remember, not a planet name.

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA: I have that one in my notes, too.

NICK: Of course.

MEL: Vital information.

NICK: We see the ship taking off into space. As it snaps into hyperspace we see Karma turn around in the captain’s chair and head back to the rest of the group. What are you all doing?

LAURA: Xianna’s immediately gonna get into the hot tub.

NICK: Okay. Talk about what that’s gonna look like from Illith’s perspective who doesn’t even know that big circular thing in the middle is a hot tub.

LAURA: Xianna walks in, presses a few buttons, and then walks away into her bedroom. While she’s in her bedroom the hot tub raises up out of the floor, the lid opens up, and the jets come on. I’m sure there’s fun, colorful lights.

[bubbling jets start]

CAMERON: Mood music.

LAURA: Mood music starts playing. It’s lovely.

MEL: Excellent. Illith paused the moment they got on the ship and just kind of took it all in.

[bubbling stops]

NICK: It’s a lot.

MEL: Yeah…

NICK: [laughs] Tink, are you in the main room as the hot tub is powering on?

HUDSON: I was actually in my room, and I come out in swim trunks and adult bath toys. Now, let me explain. [laughter] These are not sexy adult bath toys, they’re adult action figures that are not for children. I’d bought them from a store, and I was like are these for children, and they told me no.

NICK: [laughs]

CAMERON: [laughing] I feel like this is not improving any as you’re talking.

HUDSON: And so, it’s like some Jedi action figures, and a loth-cat action figure, and…

CAMERON: A giant rubber duck.

HUDSON: Okay, yes, the rubber duck is there, but it’s not like a child’s rubber duck, because it’s black and has horns.

NICK: Obviously.

CAMERON: Yup.

LAURA: Xianna walks back out of her bedroom with a big towel wrapped around her.

LAURA (as Xianna): Ugh. Tink, you cannot bring those into the hot tub.

HUDSON (as Tink): Why not?

LAURA (as Xianna): Because they have tiny little parts. That is why they are not for children is their little, tiny parts that they might eat, and they will get in the hot tub and plug up the holes and then make no bubbles. I want the bubbles.

HUDSON (as Tink): I’m pretty sure only a few of them have small pieces. The rubber duck certainly doesn’t. It’ll just float. It’s designed for the bath.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. The rubber duck can go in the hot tub, but the other ones with the little pieces cannot.

HUDSON (as Tink): Okay. I will pretend that the Jedi are riding the rubber duck all the way to the hot tub, and then they jump off dramatically and the duck is the only one who gets in.

NICK: As Tink is walking with the things across, the Jedi is just shedding lightsaber hilts and little ball bearings and things.

HUDSON: [laughs]

MEL: Illith gently walks past all of these tiny footfalls, god forbid they step on one and die on a Lego as the case may be, and starts to circle this hot tub and check it out.

LAURA: Yeah. The hot tub is in a nice little lounge area and there’s lots of seating. There is also a dryer. It comes out of the floor, and it’s just a big box that shoots air around in it, and we put Tink in it to dry him off and all of his hair.

HUDSON: It works really well.

MEL: Is it like that mall tornado recreator thing that kids put money in?

NICK: Yeah.

HUDSON: Yes.

CAMERON: Basically, yes.

MEL: Okay. Dope.

NICK: But heated, like you would use on a dog.

LAURA: And you have to put on ear protectors.

MEL: [snickers] Okay!

[laughter]

LAURA: Yep, it’s gotten weird.

NICK: Okay, so we have Xianna with a big towel, we’ve got Tink having formerly a bunch of adult bath toys and approaching the tub. Karma, I think you get everything squared away and you’re entering at about this point.

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh, is it hot tub time?

LAURA (as Xianna): It is always hot tub time.

HUDSON (as Tink): I mean, if you look at the clock it doesn’t say so, because it’s not a hot tub clock, but you could assume it’s hot tub time.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay. Thank you for that explanation. Illith, do you wish to partake in the hot tub?

MEL (as Illith): Um… Sure?

CAMERON (as Karma): We have a costume closet that I’m sure has swimsuits.

MEL (as Illith): Oh, that won’t be necessary.

CAMERON (as Karma): Alright. Okay.

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): Why would you need a swimsuit?

LAURA: Already in the hot tub, towel’s on the side, doesn’t seem like they’re wearing a swimsuit.

CAMERON (as Karma): I just don’t want to assume anyone’s comfort level.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. I guess that is a proper thing to do.

MEL: Illith continues to circle the hot tub, but now after observing the behavior of everyone else begins to unfasten bits of clothing as they go.

CAMERON: Karma walks over to a wall panel, presses it, and it pops open. She takes out a couple of extra towels, closes the panel back up, sets the towels on the corner of the hot tub, walks into her room to go change into her swimsuit.

LAURA: Xianna leans out the side.

LAURA (as Xianna): Karma! Karma… When you are done, can you bring us some snacks, please?

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh yeah! I want a bantha cake.

CAMERON (as Karma): [reluctantly] Sure~

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): Great. I am just already wet and I do not want to get it all over the food.

MEL (as Illith): Are there any drinks on this ship?

NICK: The camera dramatically pans to the full wet bar that is in this main living area, and then snap focuses down the hallway to another full bar that is not that far away. Illith, to your practiced party eye, I imagine that you have like Knowledge: Partying as a skill, yeah?

MEL: Yeah, absolutely.

NICK: To your practiced eye, this is a bar that has not only, like, after a party when most of it has been drank, this is like after the party and the person who lives at the house went through and drank most of their favorite things over the course of a couple of weeks afterwards. So, there’s empty bottles. At least once you go “Ooh! Tatooine tequila—Oh, that’s empty. That’s not helpful.” But there is enough, if you get creative, to make some pretty good drinks still, and then a surprising array of mixers. Pretty much any mixer you would want is there, just the actual liquor is running kind of low.

MEL: [chuckles] I think Illith is very creative and comes up with a lovely little cocktail. Actually, probably a close approximation to what they had at the show just probably without the edible flowers.

NICK: Okay. Yeah, that’s impressive for sure.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes, sorry about that. We have not had a lot of time to restock. We have been… working. [huffs]

HUDSON (as Tink): I’ll admit that I ate most of the edible flowers.

[laughter]

LAURA (as Xianna): He did.

HUDSON (as Tink): We were out of other snacks at the time.

LAURA (as Xianna): We still have a whole case of bantha cakes.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh, I mean, yeah… I just wasn’t in the mood.

MEL (as Illith): Sometimes you want to eat healthy, dear.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah. Flowers are… healthier than bantha cakes.

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean, probably, but…

HUDSON (as Tink): I rest my case.

NICK (as HK): Statement: Tink hid all of the whole wheat bantha cakes behind the garbage disposal.

LAURA (as Xianna): [gasps] Tink, is this true?

HUDSON (as Tink): Nark!

CAMERON: [giggles]

NICK (as HK): Assessment: My behavior is nark-like.

LAURA (as Xianna): Actually Hank, you should not be a nark, that is bad. But also, maybe take the whole wheat bantha cakes out and put them back in a cabinet.

NICK (as HK): Command ignored by secondary user. Primary motivation changed. Nark protocol disabled.

HUDSON (as Tink): Just remember this, Hank. Snitches get whatever the droid equivalent of stitches is.

NICK (as HK): Colloquialism: Snitches get welding patterns.

HUDSON (as Tink): Okay. That’s what I’ll use next time.

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean, it’s close enough I think.

NICK: Hank wanders off. He goes away. [laughter] He goes to go find whole wheat bantha cakes somewhere.

HUDSON (as Tink): I’m glad everyone forgot about that.

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): What do you mean? It just happened.

HUDSON (as Tink): Well… Let’s talk about something else.

LAURA (as Xianna): Why do you have so many toys?

HUDSON (as Tink): I have a very active imagination.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay, there is a lot there that we can do. Oh, where do we even start with that one.

HUDSON (as Tink): Well, if you really wanna get into my head here, there is these Jedis, and I have little custom capes for them that I bought like as bonus accessories because I wanted them to represent different planets.

LAURA (as Xianna): yes?

HUDSON (as Tink): So rather than fighting the Sith, these Jedi warriors go and fight pollution and other types of—

NICK: I think we can pan away from the continued explanation at that point.

[laughter]

HUDSON: You know what, fade me out and just go.

CAMERON: We get a fade out to Karma walking back into the room wearing a swimsuit. She has a tray full of a wide array of drinks and snacks and popsicles on ice, and it’s on a floater so she comes and floats it into the middle of the hot tub.

NICK: Which is very large I guess, because it’s big enough for between three and seven people and a tray of floating snacks.

CAMERON: Obviously, yes. That’s why it has to retract into the floor, because it just takes up so much space.

LAURA: If you say that this drawing is proportional, the hot tub is bigger than a king size bed.

NICK: That’s a pretty good sized hot tub.

CAMERON: [laughs] It’s a swimming pool. It’s just a hot tub swimming pool.

LAURA: It’s not that much smaller than the cockpit either.

MEL: It’s like an onsen, with jets.

LAURA: Yeah.

HUDSON: It’s like one of those pools that the elderly people use to swim against a single current.

MEL: I think as Karma walks back into the room Illith has poured as much alcohol into a pitcher as they could. They found the alcohol with the highest amount left and then poured in mixers until it didn’t taste like shit, just made a big pitcher of it, and placed it on the floating thing that floats by so that it floats into the middle of the hot tub. By that point Illith has shed essentially all clothing and is now climbing into the hot tub.

[bubbling sounds resume]

NICK: Nice.

LAURA: Xianna’s grabbed a handful of snacks off the tray and is leaning outside of the hot tub a bit and kind of taking little chunks off the snacks and throwing them into the carpet near vents and then just making little (mouth clicking/animal coaxing noises) “come here” sounds.

NICK: You get no loth-rat. Loth-rat hiding… while you’re looking. Bum-bum-bum…

HUDSON (as Tink): You’re making a mess.

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): Uh, maybe, but it will not be a mess later.

HUDSON (as Tink): Alright. If you’re gonna vacuum I’m not gonna complain.

LAURA (as Xianna): I’m not gonna vacuum.

HUDSON (as Tink): Why are you throwing—Oh! Creamsicle? You think Creamsicle’s gonna eat all that?

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes! Or Hank. I don’t know.

CAMERON (as Karma): It’s not going to be Hank.

[bubbling stops]

NICK: From far away you hear:

NICK (as HK): Explanatory Statement: I do not eat, being a droid.

NICK: So, we have the entire crew sitting in the hot tub. Xianna, when you look away from your snack tossing, when you look back sometimes there are bits and pieces missing.

LAURA (as Xianna): [gasps] I knew it!

[bubbling sounds resume]

NICK: The water is bubbling warmly, caressing your skin. It’s pretty relaxing after this stressful situation, and it’s the four of you hanging out and eating snacks and drinking highly alcoholic beverages. You can hear the cheerful clinking of glasses and things from the other side of the ship as Hank does, something, from the kitchen, and you have some time. It’s gonna be quite a while before the ship gets where you’re going.

MEL (as Illith): How on earth did you all come in to have this ship? Do you own it? Is it yours?

LAURA (as Xianna): No. Someone gave it to us.

MEL (as Illith): Just handed it to you?

LAURA (as Xianna): Yeah! They just gave it to us.

CAMERON (as Karma): Like a signing bonus for a job.

LAURA (as Xianna): Well yeah, we do work for them, so technically I guess this is like our company ship, but I mean, I don’t think they want it back.

MEL (as Illith): Did it look like this when you got it.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yes.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes, for the most part it already looked like this. We did get it repainted at one point.

MEL (as Illith): I assume the outside.

CAMERON (as Karma): On the outside, though.

MEL (as Illith): Yes, the outside.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah, we haven’t touched the inside. This is all original, I assume.

MEL (as Illith): Mmm.

MEL: How high onto the walls does the shag carpeting go? I need this for visualization purposes.

[laughter]

LAURA: It definitely goes at least a foot or two.

MEL: Oof, okay.

CAMERON: And it’s really plush shag carpeting.

MEL: Are there mirrors everywhere?

CAMERON: Yes.

NICK: Yeah.

LAURA: Oh yeah. Many of the bedrooms have mirrored ceilings. At least one bedroom has a disco ball, clap-on clap-off lights, some of the beds are circular and do rotate.

NICK: And are maybe leopard print.

LAURA: And a lot of the walls are velvet.

MEL: Beautiful.

MEL (as Illith): Tell me a bit about your ship. This is quite the interesting vessel you have.

HUDSON (as Tink): You want a tour of my room after this.

MEL (as Illith): Assuming it’s on a grander tour with everyone else present, sure.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh no, it would just be everyone. I mean, they’ve seen it before, but they could come again.

[laughter]

LAURA: Xianna does start laughing.

MEL: There’s definitely a snicker from Illith.

HUDSON: I am oblivious.

LAURA (as Xianna): So, this is our ship. It is the Afternoon Delight. As you can see we have a hot tub and shag carpeting, and disco balls. That is fun.

MEL (as Illith): What on earth was its purpose before this?

CAMERON (as Karma): It’s a pleasure yacht.

LAURA (as Xianna): A party ship. I think there is a button that if you press it does start playing music throughout the entire ship and sets off fireworks.

CAMERON (as Karma): With the amount of mostly empty alcohol bottles that were here when we acquired the ship, I would say mostly partying was its previous job.

LAURA (as Xianna): There is a sex room.

CAMERON (as Karma): That too.

MEL (as Illith): I’m sorry, what?

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): I don’t know exactly where it is, and it’s very confusing, but then again I have not been in like half of the rooms in this ship so I might just forgotten where it was.

CAMERON (as Karma): No, it does seem to move.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yeah, it might actually move, but last time I found it, you know, some swings and some racks, and a very large assortment of face masks, and a whole row of whips. Yes. It’s exactly what you are thinking.

MEL (as Illith): Absolutely fascinating, and you say it moves?

LAURA (as Xianna): Pretty sure, or I have just forgotten entirely where it is, which does happen sometimes because of the alcohol or drugs.

MEL (as Illith): I’d be fascinated to test that theory. I’d love to see it move. Should we try?

LAURA (as Xianna): Ooh! Oh, I thought you meant me get high and see if I can then find the sex room.

MEL (as Illith): Oh no, we… Well, a little of column A, a little of column B, why don’t we?

LAURA (as Xianna): Maybe it’s one of those things where I cannot find it again sober. That memory is solely tied to being inebriated.

CAMERON: [laughs]

MEL (as Illith): I mean, fair enough. Life is difficult enough as it is.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. I am going to test this out whether or not anyone else does.

LAURA: Just reaches into the hot tub and from almost nowhere pulls out a full bottle of alcohol.

HUDSON (as Tink): Was that in the hot tub?

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes! This is the one I keep in the hot tub.

CAMERON (as Karma): Why are you storing alcohol in the hot tub?

LAURA (as Xianna): Because then it’s where I need it. It’s just here.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, I can’t fault your logic, but isn’t it hot?

LAURA (as Xianna): Well yes, but it is some sort of cinnamon based drink so it’s kind of okay hot.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay…

LAURA (as Xianna): It is nice.

CAMERON (as Karma): You do you. Whatever. That’s fine.

MEL (as Illith): Live your best life, dear.

LAURA (as Xianna): I am trying.

NICK: There’s definitely a little plastic frog-looking creature floating in the bottle of alcohol, like that’s their thing.

LAURA: Oh yeah. There’s gotta be something floating around in that bottle.

HUDSON: I think it’s called Fire Fog.

NICK: [laughs]

MEL: Does it give off a fog when you open it?

HUDSON: Yes.

LAURA: Yes.

MEL: Hell yeah.

LAURA: There’s a little bit of a fog. Xianna takes a few swigs from it and then offers it up to the rest of the group.

LAURA (as Xianna): Does anyone else want some? No?

HUDSON (as Tink): I maintain a straightedge lifestyle, so I cannot take place.

CAMERON (as Karma): I’m good with this trash can punch that Illith came up with.

[giggling]

LAURA (as Xianna): Cool. Okay, I will put it back.

LAURA: Screws on the top and sinks it back into the hot tub and it disappears.

MEL (as Illith): That’s awfully heavy to have air in it and it doesn’t float in the hot tub.

LAURA (as Xianna): It kind of just stays in the middle? I don’t know how it works, but it just sort of floats exactly in the middle of the hot tub, every time.

HUDSON (as Tink): It’s pretty much magnetism.

LAURA (as Xianna): I don’t… I don’t know if that is correct.

HUDSON (as Tink): That’s why it always goes to the middle.

LAURA (as Xianna): Ohh! Sure.

NICK: We cut away to an alcohol commercial of two really tall tree-looking people. “Fire Fog, dense as a thousand suns.”

[laughter]

MEL: Illith takes a long swig of a cup of the, god, the monstrosity in the jug in the middle of the hot tub.

MEL (as Illith): Right. Shall we then?

LAURA (as Xianna): Okie!

CAMERON (as Karma): Cheers!

HUDSON (as Tink): I’m happy to provide some fist bumps in lieu of alcohol.

CAMERON (as Karma): I brought apple juice for you, Tink.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yes!

CAMERON (as Karma): It’s in this thermos.

HUDSON (as Tink): Okay. Thank you.

CAMERON (as Karma): [giggling] You’re welcome.

LAURA (as Xianna): So, Illith.

MEL (as Illith): Yes?

LAURA (as Xianna): What is your deal? Just what is it, in general?

MEL (as Illith): Ah… In general? I’d say I’m a bit like you all. I follow the money and go where I need to go to work.

HUDSON (as Tink): That kinda sounds like us, actually. You hit the nail on the head. I mean, I have further hopes and dreams than that, but for right now that’s where my life is.

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): I am mostly about making money, so that describes me pretty well.

CAMERON (as Karma): I’m just kind of reliving being a mom at the moment and having a lot of flashbacks to that. I’m not working this job for money. I have found new children that need my help.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Karma manages to give Tink and Xianna a look that’s equal parts judgmental and protective.

LAURA (as Xianna): Ey, I resent that. I already have a mother, pretty sure. I mean I had one at some point.

CAMERON (as Karma): You definitely would have.

LAURA (as Xianna): Well, not necessarily. I had one at one point, but you know, then she was carried off by stormtroopers, so I don’t really know anymore.

HUDSON (as Tink): That’s what happened to my parents! They were taken away too.

LAURA (as Xianna): [gasps] Did you also have to hide in a kitchen cabinet while stormtroopers barged into your house? And you had to take your sister into the cabinets and hide? And then your mother was arrested and taken away to never be seen again?

HUDSON (as Tink): Not all of that, but…

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, okay.

HUDSON (as Tink): I definitely hid.

LAURA (as Xianna): Well that is what happened to mine.

HUDSON (as Tink): Hmm.

LAURA (as Xianna): And now I am here! Many years later, but you know.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah. I’m not gonna rustle up this memory right now in my head. I’m enjoying this apple juice way too much to be doing that.

[laughter]

MEL: Illith, hearing all that, they look a little stormy themself and kind of stare into the middle distance.

HUDSON (as Tink): I’ve seen that stare before. You’re thirsty.

[laughter]

MEL (as Illith): Hmm. Um…

LAURA (as Xianna): Or possibly constipated. Or both.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah, could be both.

LAURA (as Xianna): Or also parent problems.

MEL (as Illith): Oh, probably all of the above at this point. The hors d’oeuvres at that party weren’t very good.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, that is why I did not eat them.

HUDSON (as Tink): I’m with you. I ate some.

MEL (as Illith): I regret it terribly.

MEL: Illith takes another big sip and finishes a glass and then reaches for more.

CAMERON: Karma eats a grape. I assume there’s grapes.

[laughter]

LAURA: Yeah, because Xianna’s taken another handful and is back to throwing food out into the shag carpeting.

LAURA (as Xianna): Don’t worry, karma, it is going to get picked up.

CAMERON (as Karma): Alright. If I step on a grape though, I’m gonna be real upset, Xianna.

LAURA (as Xianna): I think if you stepped where a grape is the shag carpeting would protect both the grape and your foot. It is a very plush carpeting.

CAMERON (as Karma): Fair. Good point.

LAURA (as Xianna): You would never know.

MEL: Illith turns around and faces out from everyone else in the hot tub and watches the snacks in the carpet. How deep is the shag?

LAURA: Oh, it’s DEEP.

NICK: It’s pretty bad. It’s between three and five inches of shag. It’s a lot.

MEL: I think Illith sees a little paw reach up and snag a grape and yank it under, like a little shag shark.

[laughter]

NICK: For sure.

MEL: They take another sip.

MEL (as Illith): Yes, I do also have some “parent problems,” and it did also involve stormtroopers as the case may be. My parents were military. I grew up in a very strict home. If you know anything about Chiss culture, which I assume you know at least a little, they are very strict and I was not what they would call a star pupil. When my parents left to serve, I was left behind, so instead I learned how to live by myself and left by myself, so it might have not been quite the tragedy, no stolen hearts or anything like that, but abandonment, things of that nature.

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean, it still fucking sucks.

HUDSON (as Tink): We should start a club, get jackets.

CAMERON: Karma just hands everybody a cookie.

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): So, just like, I have parental issues club?

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah, pretty much. We can work through it together. You know, I want an excuse to get jackets.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, okay.

NICK: HK walks through the room.

NICK (as HK): Postulation: The IHPI Club, “I happy.”

HUDSON (as Tink): Uh…

LAURA (as Xianna): Actually, that is not a bad idea, Hank. Thank you for that one. We can make jackets and then we can become a gang! [gasps] Ooh!

CAMERON (as Karma): I don’t know if we’re channeling this in the right way.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. It is most certainly not, but I think it would be a wonderful creative outlet. We can make patches, and style our jackets, and we can come up with cool nicknames, and then stab people.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, I was 100% there with you until the stabbing people. Depending on the people, actually. Let me rephrase that.

LAURA (as Xianna): You carry swords around and stab people!

CAMERON (as Karma): I know, which is why I backed off of that statement. I’m 100% down for picking up some denim jackets on our next stop and getting a bedazzler.

LAURA (as Xianna): I don’t want a denim one, I want a leather one. It is black and cool and has studs on it.

MEL (as Illith): Oh, most definitely leather.

CAMERON (as Karma): Are you gonna wear it over your other jacket?

LAURA (as Xianna): I will wear it over my other jacket and I will get cool patches for it, and [gasps] we can put the name of our ship on it, and we can get the pin-up girl on it too, and I’ll put my girlfriend’s name on it, and I {can turn it into a patch and thread and put it on there}, and then we can put safety pins in it!

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh, that’s edgy. That’s real edgy. I’m into that.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes!

CAMERON: [giggles]

LAURA (as Xianna): Like I said, we are going to be a gang now, so…

HUDSON (as Tink): Ooh. I got my gang name.

CAMERON (as Karma): What’s your gang name? I’m scared to find out.

HUDSON (as Tink): It’s 2Scoop.

CAMERON (as Karma): Why…?

HUDSON (as Tink): That’s the right amount of ice cream when I eat ice cream… that I enjoy.

[laughter]

LAURA (as Xianna): I think some people are going to take that to mean something very different, but it works both ways.

HUDSON (as Tink): Alright.

LAURA: Xianna jumps out of the hot tub.

CAMERON: We’ve established that we have all of the short, silk Empire robes that we got as gifts.

NICK: Oh yeah.

LAURA: I’m gonna retcon and say that those were stacked out right outside the hot tub.

NICK: Sure.

CAMERON: We have them hanging next to the dryer.

NICK: They’re always available for whoever uses the hot tub.

LAURA: Xianna jumps out of the hot tub, grabs one, puts it on.

LAURA (as Xianna): [gasps] I am going to check the costume room to see if we have jackets! Does anyone else want a jacket in case we want to start a gang?

MEL (as Illith): Oh, jackets!

LAURA (as Xianna): Tink~?

HUDSON (as Tink): I’ll go with you. I might want to see some jackets.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. Karma, I actually don’t know what your situation with your parents, if you have them, are. I don’t know if you can be a part of this club or not.

CAMERON (as Karma): How about I’m the teacher sponsor for this club.

LAURA (as Xianna): That is not how gangs work.

CAMERON: [laughs]

HUDSON (as Tink): A lot of gangs have a motherly figure who makes them cookies and treats and meals.

LAURA (as Xianna): The gang matriarch!

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah!

LAURA (as Xianna): You will be the matriarch of our gang, and we will come to you with our problems, and you will feed us and tell us we are stupid.

CAMERON (as Karma): That all seems like things I could do.

LAURA (as Xianna): Great. Okay. let’s go find the… Does anyone know where the costume room is?

CAMERON (as Karma): yes, I know where the costume room is. It’s down this way.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay!

CAMERON: Cue adventure! [laughs]

NICK: We get this scene of Xianna taking off, Tink quickly going after, Karma getting up and grabbing a robe and putting it on, and Illith sitting with their arms draped over the hot tub just kinda watching the retreating figures, because that was abrupt. Illith, do you follow them? What do you do?

MEL: Oh absolutely. Illith reaches back, grabs the whole pitcher, and then slips on a kimono and just loosely ties it in a precarious way.

LAURA: Xianna’s doing the best flight attendant motions.

LAURA (as Xianna): These are our bedrooms. There is a number of them. I don’t know how many. This is a big old dining room. I have never eaten in this dining room. I do not know why it is here. It seats like 20 people at that table. It is too much.

MEL (as Illith): Wow.

CAMERON (as Karma): I think we ate ramen in there once.

LAURA (as Xianna): Did we? When?!

CAMERON (as Karma): You were on drugs, you may not remember it…

LAURA (as Xianna): When was this?

CAMERON (as Karma): …but I’m pretty sure you made us ramen.

LAURA (as Xianna): I don’t doubt that I made ramen at some point. This is our holo-theater. I don’t think I have ever watched a movie in here, but sometimes we take business calls.

NICK: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): Next, this is our wardrobe. It has our closets and our costumes in it.

CAMERON: We open the door. It is a large closet.

LAURA: It’s also a mess, because Xianna tends to be the one going into it to get costumes, so there’s just piles and things falling off of hangers. You open the door and something falls off a top shelf.

CAMERON: There’s one corner of it that just has a lot of capes that’s all very nicely maintained.

NICK: The camera doesn’t focus very well on the clothes as though it’s whatever we need it to be at any given time and they don’t want people to get too much detail about it. [smiling]

CAMERON: Start pulling out jackets.

LAURA: Yeah. Xianna dives in there and just starts pulling out jackets.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. I found a yellow leather jacket. No other jackets. Ooh wait, no, I have a denim jacket. Karma wanted a denim jacket. I guess we are going to have to go shopping at some point if we want to make a proper gang.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah, I kinda wanted a red leather jacket. I was going between red leather, yellow leather, red leather, yellow leather, and I couldn’t decide.

[laughter]

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay, well we have a yellow leather one, so if you want that, cool, but we do not have the red leather.

HUDSON (as Tink): I’ll order it.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay.

NICK: Okay, so you’ve made it to the wardrobe. You have a denim jacket and a yellow leather jacket. Thanks for that. That’s helpful.

LAURA: Yeah.

CAMERON: Mm-hmm.

MEL: [chuckles]

NICK: Great. You’re in hyperspace so the ship has a low hum, but you hear a loud thump from the other side of the ship.

MEL (as Illith): Oh my.

CAMERON (as Karma): Tink, what was that?

HUDSON (as Tink): I don’t know.

LAURA (as Xianna): Does anyone else live on this ship?

CAMERON (as Karma): No…

HUDSON (as Tink): I mean, we can’t know for sure.

CAMERON (as Karma): But no.

LAURA (as Xianna): Do you think it was Creamsicle?

HUDSON (as Tink): There’s only one way to find out. It could be the… fluxinumerator… backfiring.

CAMERON (as Karma): Those were engineering words.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah, I worked on it the other day.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, okay. If you say so.

CAMERON (as Karma): Is that a thing that happens normally or is that a thing you need to go look at?

HUDSON (as Tink): Hmm… We’re risk takers, right?

CAMERON (as Karma): No.

LAURA (as Xianna): I mean I am.

HUDSON (as Tink): Alright. We should go look at it.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. Go!

[laughter]

HUDSON: Is this a race?!

NICK: Everybody starts running I guess.

MEL: The gang all shrugs and walks out of the room.

NICK: Xianna goes “okay, go,” and everyone looks at each other and Hank just books it, just immediately with machine-like reflexes, and then everyone else shrugs and walks in the direction of the thump, because HK did not walk in the direction of the thump.

[upbeat 60s surfer rock music starts]

The thump happens periodically. Everyone give me one of the tableaus of you all running around the ship in your robes carrying pitchers of alcohol.

LAURA: Because the bedrooms are in a little hallway, so it’s a line of doors, we absolutely do the Scooby Doo thing where we all go into one bedroom and then we each come out a different bedroom, and then we keep going into different bedrooms because one of us will go into one and then the other person will come out, look in the hallways, can’t find them, so they go into a different bedroom, and then it just keeps going until we all come out at the same time and run into each other.

NICK: [laughs]

HUDSON: Yeah, that happens. In Tink’s scenario I’m running back and forth between the rooms, but every time I come out of a room I’m holding a different snack. I have a popsicle the first time and I’m just eating it furiously because I’m running, and then I come into a room, out another one, bantha cake, right in my mouth. Go in, go out again, I come out, I have some pasta. I don’t know how that happened. That was the last snack, and I kinda meet up with everybody like you said at the very end and I’m just rubbing my stomach because it’s hurting.

CAMERON: [laughs] Wow.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. The noise is not coming from one of the bedrooms.

MEL: Illith walks out of a door with a riding crop in hand.

[giggling]

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh. Which bedroom did you find that one in? Is it the one with the disco ball down? Because that might be mine.

MEL (as Illith): Oh no, this was just in a random room I walked across. Um…

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, then I don’t know whose that is then.

MEL (as Illith): I don’t know. Oh, you know, it might have been the sex room, but I honestly couldn’t—

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, was there a lineup of them on the wall?

MEL (as Illith): Oh yes, I grabbed the prettiest one.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, that was the sex room then.

MEL (as Illith): Oh, I found it.

LAURA (as Xianna): That should be cool then.

MEL (as Illith): Excellent, but I could not tell you which door, because we were just running in and out of every door in this hallway.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Does it have rhinestones on it?

MEL: You bet your ass it does, but it has red and blue rhinestones and silky black leather and she’s just kind of twirling it in one hand and drinking out of the pitcher.

NICK: Nice.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. That was my suggestion. Does anyone else know where we should look for the bump?

HUDSON (as Tink): Hmm. I hear the bump again. That way!

CAMERON: We rush off again.

[music fades]

NICK: [laughs] Everybody runs off. So, this continues for a while, and then… What’s one of the rooms we haven’t named yet, Laura?

LAURA: Sixteen and 22.

NICK: I like that. We’ll give Mel some stuff to work with. Mel, you come to a room. The door is kind of the same color as the wall. Illith has ended up in the lead. I think probably by gesturing which way to go with the riding crop you’ve gained superiority and command of the group a little bit.

[laughter]

MEL: Dope.

NICK: You’ve gone past the dining room two or three times, and everyone keeps walking past this other door and not even acknowledging it, and you keep expecting someone to say let’s look in there and they keep not, so you finally decide to look in this room.

MEL: I just smack the riding crop on the wall and it makes a very loud noise, and everyone just stops.

LAURA (as Xianna): Ooh! Yes?

[laughter]

NICK: The thing about this, Mel, what I wanna do, I wanna let you tell us what is this room in the ship that they haven’t noticed yet?

MEL: What kind of room does a pleasure ship need…? Ah, it’s a botanical garden.

HUDSON: Cool.

NICK: Illith, you point out this room with your riding crop, and everyone snaps kind of subconsciously to attention, and you press the button and the door swings open. What do they see as you lead the way into the location of the mysterious thumping?

[sweet nature music starts]

MEL: You see a room that has been left alone to its own devices for probably longer than it should have but not so long that the plants have destroyed anything. The ship has an automatic protocol to water and care for and light the plants, so we have a dim light filtering through vines that are hanging off of a tall ceiling, or as tall as it can be in a ship this size. Trees sprout off the ground and reach upwards. They’re not thick trees, but miniature versions of trees you would find on all types of tropical planets. They’ve been very expensively, I might add, shrunk to fit the size of ship that it is on. There are bushes and lots and lots of flowers, and a small pathway that leads through the center of it.

NICK: Wow… It’s not huge, because it is on a ship, but a hush falls over the group and with a certain amount of awe the group walks into this room and follows this little narrow trail. As the door slides shut and you stop for a minute the plants absorb the sound of the ship. You just hear the drip of water from the irrigation system and it’s a peaceful place. It’s strange, you all haven’t had a moment to just stand and think since way back on Unroola Dawn before all of this started. You get a moment to think, and it’s a little humid but in a way that feels rejuvenating, not suffocating, and these plants just surround you with quiet. You have this moment to yourselves.

[music stops]

MEL: This is probably the cleanest air you’ll ever breathe.

LAURA: Oh yes, because we have not messed this place up with snack sand spilled drinks.

HUDSON: And hot tub humidity.

LAURA: And whatever Sabos did in his room.

[laughter]

MEL: Illith walks further into the room and the little path winds a little bit so that what’s past it is shielded by trees and vines and plants, and as they come around a corner they find a small pond stocked with some fish and kind of a small seating area and grass where you can sit down.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh shit! This is nice!

[laughter]

CAMERON: As Karma walks she stops and leans down and picks a few edible flowers and then drops them into the pitcher.

NICK: Nice.

MEL: Absolutely.

NICK: The pond is bigger than you would expect to find on a ship, definitely, but it is a lot smaller than it looks. Because of the way the walls are painted and the plants have interacted with them, you can sit on this little grassy hill in front of this pond and feed the fish bits of flowers and all sorts of things, and it feels like you’re in a wide open space even though you know you’re on a ship. You know if you walked very far in any direction you’d probably find a wall, but it’s like this whole room was designed to feel like you’re outside and to ease cabin fever and claustrophobia. You’re all able to sit down on this little bit of lawn, and while it’s a little longer than it probably as intended to be, it’s comfortable and it’s very nice.

LAURA (as Xianna): Anyways. Let’s go see if we can find any… What was it? Oh, we’re getting jackets for a gang, right?! [laughter] That’s what we’re doing. Wait, no.

CAMERON (as Karma): I thought there was a thumping.

LAURA (as Xianna): No, the thumping. Yes.

HUDSON (as Tink): Did you take drugs earlier?

LAURA (as Xianna): No, just alcohol.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh, okay. That explains it.

LAURA (as Xianna): I’m just like this.

CAMERON (as Karma): How did we not know this door was here?

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh, I don’t look when we are getting on the ship. I usually head straight to my bedroom or the hot tub.

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh. Huh…

LAURA (as Xianna): Like I said, I have not been in many of the rooms on the ship before.

CAMERON (as Karma): Well, thank you for finding this, Illith. This is very nice.

MEL (as Illith): Oh, of course, dear.

MEL: Illith takes another big swig out of the drink they have.

NICK: We definitely get a close-up of Illith’s glowing Chiss eyes looking out over this peaceful pond and scene as these three chuckleheads just banter behind Illith. They get this moment of watching these large coy fish, probably with too many extra whiskers because it’s Star Wars, swimming around in this pond in a circle. Illith, how are you feeling right now in this situation?

MEL: Illith stares out over the water, the expansive, non-expansive body of water, and drifts to thoughts of their old home, because back on their planet it was an icy hell scape, but every home – at least the wealthier Chiss homes – had an atrium much like this where they could find peace and fresh air and warmth and humidity, and just a place to be quiet and peaceful with their thoughts.

NICK: I think as Tink and Xianna are arguing about whether they were on the thump mission or the leather jacket mission, Karma, you probably do notice that Illith seems more reserved and introspective than usual.

CAMERON: I go and sit down next to Illith and hold my hand out for the pitcher to refill my cup.

MEL: Illith gives a generous pour.

CAMERON: Yay.

NICK: Heh.

CAMERON: Karma joins Illith in looking out over the little baby lake.

NICK: You get a quiet moment, and then Xianna and Tink high-five and sprint out of the room.

HUDSON: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. Where are we going next?!

MEL: We hear from the hallway.

[laughter]

LAURA (as Xianna): [distant] Where are we going next~?

NICK: The hijinks and the peacefulness of the ship are just a really weird combination, Illith, and you get a pretty good feel for how this group operates in general. They wander around for quite a while, and then in the holo-theater you all come to a speaker that’s inset in the wall that’s thumping erratically. As you all get up to the speaker you hear a squeaking noise and then a rattling in the walls, and it seems like the thudding all along was some sort of small creature that had gotten into the sound system and maybe that’s what the issue was.

CAMERON: What ever could it be?

NICK: So, they walk around, the rat gets away, it’s pretty great.

CAMERON: We all settle down, we watch a movie, we eat popcorn.

NICK: Yeah. It’s an action film, and the camera fades out, and when it fades back in there’s a final shot of the action film and it’s an orange Rodian with an eyepatch standing on a rock outcropping with a shirtless Pantoran leaning against his leg looking up adoringly as he fires into the air, yelling…

NICK (as Neato): I’ll get you next time, suckers!

NICK: …and then it goes to the credits. You guys space Netflix one of Neato’s documentaries, because it’s a documentary, because you had just hung out with him, so that’s fun.

CAMERON: Great.

NICK: You get this moment of sitting in the holo-theater and the lights turn on, and then fade, and then fade back up, which you know is the ship saying that you’re about to exit hyperspace. You’re close to where you are going.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay, so what are our thoughts on doing embroidery on the jacket versus getting sew-on patches?

MEL (as Illith): I do so like sew-on patches a bit more. They have more definition. You can get the colors more definite. If it’s, I’m assuming, black leather you might have some trouble with leather breaking. You’ll want the extra backing, you know?

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh yes. If we do sew-on patches we can order them as a whole group. We do not have to send it off each time we want something embroidered. We can just order a bag of patches and distribute them.

MEL (as Illith): Yes, and if we get new members we’d be able to hand it out right then and there.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh yes. We are going to have to get someone to design our gang logo.

NICK: Fan artists, get at us.

[laughter]

NICK: End of episode.

## Outro

CAMERON: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. If you’ve enjoyed our show please consider logging onto iTunes and giving us a five-star review. Five-star reviews will help new listeners find the show and will make the squad do barrel rolls in our X-wings when we read them. If you’re so inclined, you can also help support the show through our Patreon which can be found in the show notes, on our website, and basically anywhere we post things. We have all sorts of Patreon levels including some of my favorites: Bantha Buddy, Tarkin’s Underwear Drawer, and Build-A-Beru which all have fabulous rewards and super great names.

Illith Utena Hatake is played by Mel D’Amato. You can find them on Twitter at @melerella.

Xianna’fan is played by Laura Penrod. She can be found on Twitter at @Cheerio_Buffet.

Tink is played by Hudson Jameson. He can be found on Twitter at @hudsonjameson.

Karma Nailo is played by me, Cameron Robertson. You can find me on Twitter at @midnightmusic13.

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, and join our Discord and share all of your food and cute pet photos with us. We also sometimes talk about Star Wars. You can find the link to join our Discord on our website and in our pinned tweet. See you next time.

Word document download: Episode 47 An Auctional Adventure

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Tabletop Squadron Transcript, Season 1 Episode 47:
An Auctional Adventure

Transcript by Tyler (Twitter: @Tyler_MoonSage)

## Intro

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, and a slicer as they explore the galaxy helping a mysterious benefactor and each other.

Starting off, we have got a new Patreon backer! Joshua Winter, thank you so, so much for supporting the squad. We’ve got your bunk all made up, but don’t expect to use it too much, there’s a lot of work to do around the ship. Let’s start with the kitchen. There’s cookies everywhere.

Next up, I want to thank Molar Duck for their extremely kind and thoughtful iTunes review. You’re a wonderful friend to the show, MolarDuck, and we appreciate you dearly.

I want to give a huge thank you to our guest star again this week, Mel D’Amato, for being on our podcast. Illith is a wonderful addition to the Tabletop Squadron universe, and I can’t wait for the audience to see more from them in this arc.

One note this week: This episode is a little bit shorter than usual. The way the story beats played out and how this arc fell over multiple recording sessions, we opted to keep the flow going in the way that made the most sense, which means this one’s a bit more compact, but I promise it’s chockfull of goodness.

So let’s get into the episode.

##

NICK: Hello! Welcome to Episode 2 of Tabletop Squadron’s Super GenCon Special Extravaganza Holiday Special, etcetera, etcetera. I’m your hosting game master, Nick. Everybody, we’re gonna go around the table and introduce yourselves and say what character you are playing today, starting with Laura.

LAURA: Hi. I am Laura, and I play Xianna’fan, a Twi’lek smuggler.

NICK: Fantastic. Up next we’ve got Hudson.

HUDSON: Hi, I’m Hudson, and I play Tink, a Gigoran slicer.

NICK: Good. Up next we’ve got Cameron.

CAMERON: Hello! I am Cameron, and I play Karma Nailo, a Nautolan bounty hunter.

NICK: Fantastic. Last but certainly not least, our guest for this particular arc, we’ve got Mel!

MEL: Hi, I’m Mel. I am playing Illith Utena Hatake, a Chiss smuggler.

NICK: Ooh~

MEL: You can find me on Twitter at @melerella.

NICK: Yay. So, let’s do the Destiny Roll!

CAMERON: Woo.

LAURA: We didn’t even use them.

NICK: It’s fine. It’s fun to roll the dice.

CAMERON: One dark side.

MEL: One dark side.

HUDSON: One dark side.

LAURA: One light side.

NICK: Aww.

CAMERON: Okay, thank you, Laura.

LAURA: You’re welcome!

CAMERON: All the rest of us, boo.

NICK: Aw man. Okay, quick recap from what happened last episode. The crew received a mission from Sentinel to go to a fashion show and buy some long-lost Jedi robes. They went to a fashion show. Xianna stole some jewelry. Tink got some very pleasant compliments. We entered the scene with Illith, a frighteningly charismatic Chiss. Karma ran some security. You saw a very pretty model wearing a half-cape and a thong and decided that that’s the item that you need, which is accurate, and that the thong is most important. Am I missing anything?

CAMERON: Not most important, just necessary.

NICK: Fair. Fair. So, we’re gonna go ahead and jump right into it. We are going to open on the now brightly lit room where the fashion show is taking place and the crowd is moving into this open amphitheater, and what you can see are these transparesteel cases up against the back wall and they are half tubes. Imagine the thing where Batman stores his different uniforms, or costumes, whatever they are. They’re like those, but they’re not lit.

CAMERON: [giggling] Uniforms. Batman uniforms.

HUDSON: [laughs]

NICK: Batman uniforms, you know, like yeah. They’re all dark, and otherwise there’s a single podium, and people are milling around in different groups. As everybody enters the room the auctioneer approaches the lectern from the side of the stage. It is a Troig, which are those two-headed aliens that announce the pod race in Episode I. One of the heads is asleep, the other head is looking around excitedly and has a slicked back pompadour hairdo and an earpiece in and they’re wearing a completely sequent silver suit with a blue tie. They approach the microphone.

MEL: If you don’t have an accent— [stereotypical NYC accent] “Ey, you wanna start an auction here?”

[laughter]

LAURA: So wait, is it one tie around both necks into the front, or is it two neckties?

NICK: It’s two separate neckties.

LAURA: Okay. I just wanted to make sure.

MEL: Are they tied in two different ways?

NICK: Oh yeah.

MEL: Okay good.

NICK: The head that’s not asleep has a full Windsor, and the head that’s sleeping has a bolo tie. The announcer approaches the stage.

NICK (as Auctioneer): Yes, we’ll be starting the auction momentarily. Up first is the first outfit that we saw today, the Sith Happens robes.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: It’s the first very fashionable outfit that was shown in the show of the overlapping shoulder pads with the wide Elizabethan gown and the big collar.

MEL: Illith buys it.

[laughter]

NICK: Yeah, absolutely. There’s two Chadra-fans standing up near the stage, pounding on the stage, and they start bidding immediately. It gets up to about 10,000 Credits and they start looking around. Illith, are you just bidding right away?

MEL: I’m letting them compete with someone else until they get to a point where it’s going once, going twice, and Illith doubles it.

[laughter]

NICK (as Auctioneer): Yes, for 15,000 Credits we have the Sith Happens gown going once, going twice, and—

MEL (as Illith): 30,000 Credits.

[collective dramatic gasp]

NICK: The announcer stumbles for a minute.

NICK (as Auctioneer): Wow… yes, 30,000 Credits to the Chiss in the front… Oh! Illith, is that you?

MEL (as Illith): Oh yes, dear. How are you?

NICK (as Auctioneer): Oh, I’m just doing fine.

MEL (as Illith): Oh wonderful.

NICK: The sleeping head wakes up.

NICK (as Auctioneer): Oh hey, it’s Illith!

MEL (as Illith): Oh hello, dear. Good to see you as well.

NICK (as Auctioneer): Aw, it’s so good—[snores]

NICK: And falls back asleep. The auctioneer doesn’t even say going once.

NICK (as Auctioneer): To Illith, of course to Illith.

NICK: And we get polite applause. [others clap] The display case in the far left corner of the stage goes dark and the next one lights up. Some of these are a little hard to display. One of them burns your eyes out, so that’s kind of hard. I think they have a holo representation of it so that everyone can bid. The bidding continues like that. Illith, are you buying the entire fashion show?

MEL: Probably.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Yeah?

MEL: Well, I think Illith throws at least one bid at each one. Sometimes people go higher and she’s like “whatever, it’s not for me anyway.”

NICK: And it’s definitely that when the outfits are purchased, the lights go off, and the models are in the crowd wearing street clothes, and you get some ecstatic winks from some of them as you purchase some of the outfits.

CAMERON: “Illith bought mine~”

MEL: They definitely got that galaxy one and they’ve got plans for it.

NICK: Ooh boy.

CAMERON: It’s gonna go amazing against their skin.

MEL: Oh yeah.

CAMERON: Yeah!

NICK: What’s the armor bonus on holograms? Probably not… We get to the Heartbreaker Jedi cloak and thong which are spread lovely in a display case.

MEL: Spread.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Yeah, I wish I hadn’t said it.

CAMERON: That was a word choice.

MEL: [giggles]

NICK (as Auctioneer): And for our final item, the prize of the collection, created from the Heartbreaker relic robes found on the planet of Chandrila, the stylish half-cape and thong combination of the Heartbreaker line, the Long, Long Ago line’s flagship item made from the original fabric. Starting the bidding at 20,000 Credits. Do I hear 20,000 Credits? Twenty thousand—

NICK (as Chadra-fans):20,000!

NICK (as Auctioneer): Thank you very much, Mister and Mister… Wells. Wells, the Chadra-fans.

CAMERON: Wells, yes.

NICK (as Auctioneer): The very famous couple.

LAURA (as Xianna): Karma, Karma, Karma.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yes?

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. So uh, apparently that is the actual fabric, so I don’t think we are—

CAMERON (as Karma): But it seems like not all of it.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okie. I think we just have to bid on this one and then figure out if there is any more fabric.

CAMERON (as Karma): Agreed. Okay.

CAMERON: Karma raises her hand. What number are we at? [laughs]

NICK (as Auctioneer): 35,000 Credits to the Nautolan woman. Sorry ma’am, can I get your name for the records, please?

CAMERON (as Karma): Nailo.

NICK (as Auctioneer): Nailo! To Nailo up in the front.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh my god. You never give them your real name!

CAMERON (as Karma): I do.

NICK (as Announcer): 40,000 Credits. Do I hear 50,000 Credits? 50,000 Credits?

HUDSON (as Tink): Right here!

HUDSON: Tink raises his hand.

[giggling]

LAURA (as Xianna): Tink, no!

CAMERON: Karma punches Tink in the arm.

LAURA (as Xianna): We don’t bid against each other!

NICK (as Auctioneer): Yes, thank you there. We are now to 55,000 Credits.

CAMERON (as Karma): That is so rude. They didn’t ask for your name.

HUDSON (as Tink): [shouting] My NAME is Rallltinkraatakat, for the record! People call me Tink!

NICK (as Auctioneer): yes, thank you very much. Thank you.

NICK: And the bidding continues. We’re at 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85,000, and the bidding is starting to slow down. Someone bids 86.

LAURA: Xianna’s gonna grab three drinks in her hand and she turns to Karma and Tink.

LAURA (as Xianna): If someone starts to bid above us I am going to spill these drinks all over them and distract them, just letting you know in case I get thrown out. I am doing this for the mission. Team player!

CAMERON (as Karma): Noted.

LAURA: And saunters off. [laughs]

NICK: In the direction you head there’s a Bothan in a beautiful sequent gown. The bidding is at 85.

NICK (as Bothan): 99,000 Credits.

NICK: They start to raise their hand. Do you do anything to them?

LAURA: Xianna has the three drinks in her right hand and she takes one into her left and bumps into them in a way that the drinks in the right hand do not spill but the one in her left spills all over them. Heh.

NICK: The Bothan slips and falls.

NICK (as Auctioneer): Did I hear 99,000? I don’t… I’m afraid I don’t see the bidder there, so I guess we’re still at 86. Do I hear 87? 87,5? 87? 87,5?

CAMERON: Karma raises her hand, to 87.

NICK (as Auctioneer): To Nailo, we’re at 87. Wonderful, 87.

NICK: Someone starts to raise their hand for 95 again. It’s not the Bothan, it’s somebody else. [smiling]

LAURA: [laughing] Same thing, just walks up.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh. Oops! Sorry. I’m so, so sorry. Oopsies!

NICK: I think we get just a shot from the perspective of the auctioneer over their shoulders and their multiple heads, and people starting to raise their hand and just eating it into the crowd, and it happens multiple times. [laughter] Karma keeps waving to keep the auctioneer’s attention.

NICK (as Auctioneer): Ma’am, we have your bid. Thank you.

NICK: Then somebody bids 99,000 Credits after you run out of drinks. I think it’s Mister and Mister Wells again, and they look really, really excited.

NICK (as Auctioneer): We’re at 99,000 Credits. Thank you so much, Mister and Mister Wells in the front row.

LAURA: Xianna’s looking around like “Where is a server? I need drinks! And not for me this time.”

NICK: The server that you got the original three from looks at you and then runs out of the room with their tray.

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): Come back! I need more drinks!

NICK: They bid 99,000. You all have 100,000. Do you bid 100,000?

CAMERON: [pained] Yes.

NICK (as Auctioneer): 100,000 Credits! This is unheard of in the Long, Long Ago line. The Heartbreaker, setting new records. Thank you so much, Miss Nailo. Do I hear anything else? Obviously, I mean it’s not gonna go higher than that.

HUDSON (as Tink): 101,000!

CAMERON (as Karma): Tink!

HUDSON (as Tink): [hushed] We gotta win this one!

CAMERON (as Karma): Buddy! Buddy…

LAURA: [laughs] Xianna just stops.

LAURA (as Xianna): … I shall murder Tink.

CAMERON (as Karma): Tink, you don’t need to bid against me. I had the winning bid.

NICK (as Auctioneer): And we’ve got 101,000 to Rallltinkraatakat My Friends Call Me Tink. Thank you so much. [laughter] So, obviously, going once… Could we get a round of applause? Going twice, for Mister Rallltinkraatakat.

MEL (as Illith): 101,069 Credits.

[laughter]

CAMERON: And the theater in unison says:

SEVERAL: Nice!

NICK: The Troig’s other head wakes up and goes…

NICK (as Auctioneer): Nice! You go, Illith.

NICK: …and then falls back asleep.

NICK (as Auctioneer): 101,069… You know, normally we have a 1,000 bid minimum, but that one’s funny, so we’re gonna stick to it. Thank you so much Illith for your patronage. I know that the fashion consortium appreciates that you’re here. It really just brings the show to the next level. Obviously, 101,069, going once… Nice. Going twice…

LAURA: Xianna then shoots her hand up.

LAURA (as Xianna): 200,000!

CAMERON: Karma facepalms, because no one seems to know how this works.

NICK (as Auctioneer): 200–? Wow, 200,000 Credits. That’s unheard of. This is… okay. I guess that’s going to be—

NICK: A protocol droid from the back of the room raises a little mechanical hand.

NICK (as Droid): I am authorized to offer 800,000 Credits for the Heartbreaker robe.

LAURA (as Xianna): Fuck you~!

[laughter]

NICK: The auctioneer freezes and then looks to Illith.

NICK (as Auctioneer): 800,000 Credits?

NICK: And shrugs.

MEL (as Illith): Oh dear, I’ve already spent that on the rest of the collection.

NICK (as Auctioneer): [stammers] … Sold!

NICK: The crowd all starts to grumble to each other and wander out of the rooms. You see that the display cases all sink into the floor and go away. You see that there’s an armored train that immediately heads off somewhere else in the facility.

NICK (as Auctioneer): Well, thank you so much. We will be of course instantly launching these by rocket pod to the delivery addresses already provided to us, so no need to worry about that, as soon as the funds transfer.

NICK: The other head pops up and says…

NICK (as Auctioneer): Yeah, so get the heck out.

NICK: …and falls back asleep. Everybody starts to wander out.

LAURA: Xianna’s making a B-line for that droid.

NICK: The droid is just (mechanical noises) just doing the waddle thing, away.

CAMERON: Karma has Tink’s arm.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, so Tink, when we’re bidding we’re bidding as a group, so just one of us needs to do it. I’m not sure why Xianna yelled 200,000, I’m gonna talk to her too, but in the future if one of the three of us, or Hank, has the—Gosh darn it, I called him Hank. Xianna’s—Oh no… If HK or one of the three of us has the winning bid no one else in the group needs to make one, because we’re already gonna get it. Okay?

HUDSON (as Tink): Eh, I’ll think about it.

CAMERON (as Karma): If you wanna be the person to place the bids, that can be your job from now on.

HUDSON (as Tink): Okay!

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, you’re now our bid placer.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yes! Alright, got it.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, cool. Glad- Alright, yeah. Gosh darn it, I’m calling him Hank.

LAURA (as Xianna): Droid! Droid, get back here! Droid! You!

NICK (as HK): Statement: Secondary user, I am already following you.

LAURA (as Xianna): No, not you, hank! The other one! Get back here, please!

NICK: You’re able to run up and grab this protocol droid. Illith, have you gotten close by to see what’s going on?

MEL: I would like to know if I already know whose droid this is.

NICK: You have your suspicions. You haven’t seen this model before, but you are aware of a couple of different people who like to operate through droid proxies.

MEL: Hmm. Illith’s goal right now is to sidle up close, drop something… Do they have exposed wiring? Is it like a C-3PO?

NICK: Yeah.

MEL: The goal is to get up close during a commotion and put a tracker inside of one of their little wired spaces.

NICK: Ooh nice. Yeah. That sure sounds like a Skulduggery check.

MEL: Is that a Skulduggery? I’d like to suggest Charm instead.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Okay. You could do Charm—

MEL: I’m going to Charm my way close.

NICK: That means you’re gonna need to be involved in the conversation that’s about to happen.

MEL: I’m there.

NICK: Xianna, you manage to grab the droid, turn it around. You notice that this lovely Chiss has appeared just out of nowhere, essentially.

NICK (as Droid): Pardon me, I must be getting back to my employer.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay yes, but who is your employer?

NICK (as Droid): I don’t know why you need to know that information. They’re the winner of the Heartbreaker robe.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes, that is why I need to know, because I want to send them a lovely note about the Heartbreaker whatever it is and some of the history about it.

MEL (as Illith): My dear droid, what is your name?

NICK (as Droid): I am C3-14.

MEL (as Illith): C3-14, what a wonderful name you have.

NICK (as C3-14): Why thank you. I am Human Fashion Relations.

[laughter]

MEL (as Illith): I’m sure you noticed that I bought many of the pieces as well.

NICK (as C3-14): Oh yes. My employer is very worried about the amount of money you’re spending to get into their particular line of business.

MEL (as Illith): I do apologize. I didn’t realize I was undercutting anyone else.

NICK (as C3-14): Undercutting is not the word I would use. Muscling out is the word I would use.

MEL (as Illith): I would certainly be willing to entertain a conversation with your employer should they be interested. I’d even be willing to perhaps do a trade.

NICK (as C3-14): Processing.

NICK: You wanna roll me a Charm check?

MEL: Yeah!

CAMERON: [giggles]

MEL: Alright, I got three of these?

CAMERON: Alright, Charm – three yellows, one green…

NICK: I’m gonna say this is hard, with a black die, because this is a negotiations droid.

MEL: But I got a thing that says I don’t have a black die.

NICK: Well, that would be very helpful. [laughs]

CAMERON: Yup. Kill With Kindness?

MEL: Yeah.

NICK: That’s concerning.

CAMERON: Remove a black die from Charm checks.

MEL: Ding! So I’m rolling these three?

CAMERON: Yeah.

MEL: [rolls]

CAMERON: [giggles wildly]

HUDSON: yeah!

CAMERON: Oh dear.

MEL: That’s good.

CAMERON: Mm-hmm! It’s something.

MEL: That’s a triumph, right?

CAMERON: That is a triumph. Um…

MEL: Dope.

CAMERON: But so, what it comes out to is one failure, two advantages, and a triumph!

NICK: Hey, you know what’s gonna work really well, Mel?

MEL: Hmm?

NICK: The cyborg’s not gonna tell you, but dang if you can’t just easily slip a tracking device into this droid at this point.

MEL: Alrighty! Dope.

NICK (as C3-14): Unfortunately, after my transmission I am not capable of telling you who my employer is. Have a good day.

NICK: And starts to walk off.

MEL (as Illith): Oh please, may I just give you my card? Just in case your employer decides to contact me. I completely understand you can’t tell me, I just want to give you the information.

NICK (as C3-14): This is my primary objective.

NICK: It holds out its little hand.

MEL: Illith does a very gentlemanly move and caresses the bottom of the hand and then places a card in the top of it, and then at the same time underneath their index finger tucks a little tracker inside of the wires on the back of the hand.

NICK: Dang that’s slick! The droid… It can’t blush…

MEL: Nope.

NICK: …but it’s definitely like…

NICK (as C3-14): Oh my!

NICK: …and looks flustered. [laughter] And then takes the card and looks at it.

NICK (as C3-14): Illith Utena Hatake. Oh yes, thank you kindly. I will pass this card along to my employer.

MEL (as Illith): Thank you ever so much. You have a wonderful day.

NICK (as C3-14): And to you as well.

NICK: It wanders off. You notice that everyone else gives this droid a pretty wide birth. This is a big spender, or a representative of one. They got big energy going on and people get out of the way, and it starts to leave.

LAURA: Yeah, BDE, big droid energy.

[laughter]

NICK: Big, droid, energy. Illith, you’re standing there next to this purple Twi’lek in a very fashionable yet suspicious looking coat.

MEL: Hmm.

NICK: You have a tracker. You would imagine that wherever this is going, with that kind of money, that this is probably a high security situation, and as somebody that is a people person you would probably not want to do this alone. I think what happens is Xianna ends up standing there, you got blown off by this droid and by Illith walking up and kind of shoehorning the conversation, and Karma and Tink kinda hustle up to you, and you’re all standing there with Illith kind of to the side.

CAMERON (as Karma): So the 800,000 bid, that was a ridiculous power move, it was not necessary. The bidding was only at 200,000. That was just ridiculous.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah.

CAMERON: Karma’s just still explaining bidding.

LAURA: Xianna’s kind of paused and her inner monologue is like “Okay. I could shoot the droid, but I am pretty sure Karma would be very disappointed in me and that might not be right. I think that might be morally wrong to just shoot the droid. I won’t. No…” and is just staring off into the upper distance, just expressionless but doing all this in her head. “Okay, so I have no idea what to do right now.”

CAMERON (as Karma): Hey Xianna.

LAURA (as Xianna): Oh hello~! Heh.

CAMERON (as Karma): What did the droid say?

LAURA (as Xianna): Nothing. Would not tell me who he worked for. I got no information. Really, I have absolutely nothing.

HUDSON (as Tink): Hank. Hank, come over here.

NICK (as HK): Statement: I am standing right next to you.

HUDSON: Oh! God, okay.

CAMERON (as Karma): [laughs]

NICK (as HK): Statement: I’ve been here this whole time. Did you forget I was here?

LAURA (as Xianna): He has literally been here the whole time.

HUDSON (as Tink): Alright. Hank, I need you to distract the droid, okay?

NICK: The camera pans over to this protocol droid stepping onto a ship and the ship flying away.

[laughter]

HUDSON (as Tink): Ah, too late!

NICK (as HK): Observation: I am not sure how to do that. Would you like me to shoot the ship down?

NICK: He pulls out his very large rifle and it starts to spin up.

CAMERON (as Karma): No. No. No.

HUDSON (as Tink): No. Stand down.

NICK (as HK): Disappointed Sigh: Sigh.

HUDSON: [laughs]

MEL (as Illith): I can’t help but notice the three of you seem invested in that particular droid.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yes.

[laughter]

HUDSON (as Tink): Um… It’s a very nice looking droid and we just wanted to know… uh. I’m a technologist, and I have a hobby around droids, and droid-related things, and droid fashion, and this droid in particular seems to have a keen eye on their metal.

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA: Xianna moves in front of Tink.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. What my friend is saying is that the droid has a particular part that they are no longer manufacturing and he was wondering who the droid is employed by, because maybe they also have more of these mechanical parts.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah, the parts.

CAMERON (as Karma): I had a particular interest in the item that was purchased, as you may have noticed from my bidding. As you were bidding as well, I’m sure you were paying attention.

MEL (as Illith): Absolutely. I would have actually argued your points right there as the droid had been there for the entire show in the back, and if your interest truly lied within the droid you had ample opportunity prior to this point. Therefore, it could only mean that you are interested in the item that the droid had purchased.

CAMERON (as Karma): Items.

NICK: You see a subtle red glow from around the sunglasses that they’re wearing.

CAMERON: [laughs] Look at those intelligent eyes.

NICK: It’s just the Chiss thing, just observant as heck.

LAURA (as Xianna): yeah, okay. Whatever. Fuck it. Yes, we wanted to get the cape and the thong. That’s what we wanted.

MEL (as Illith): Then we have a similar goal. I’m terribly interested in those items.

LAURA (as Xianna): You know… We could part with the thong, but we really, really need the cape. Unless, do you think the thong is also part of the same material?

CAMERON (as Karma): I really don’t want to be the person to hand over a thong. [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): You know what?

CAMERON (as Karma): But at the same time I do, but I just, I don’t.

LAURA (as Xianna): I will do that one. I’ll do that one.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay.

LAURA (as Xianna): If it comes to it, I will explain, and by that I mean I will throw the thong at his face and say this is what you have now.

[laughter]

MEL: [fiercely] “Wear it!”

MEL (as Illith): Well, you know, I have a vague idea of whom that droid belongs to, not exactly, but a thought. What I do know for certain is that this person has far  more security than one person could possibly breech, so I would be willing to share some information with you in return for your aid, and I would pay you handsomely for your help.

LAURA (as Xianna): We can do that, right?

HUDSON (as Tink): … Yes, we can.

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): Okie.

HUDSON (as Tink): I’m following you.

HUDSON: I wink.

LAURA (as Xianna): You said you had theories on who the droid works for?

MEL (as Illith): You’re not curious about how handsomely the reward would be paid out? We could come to a pre-agreement just to make sure motivations are available.

HUDSON (as Tink): We like surprises, but—

[laughter]

LAURA: Xianna holds up a finger.

LAURA (as Xianna): One minute.

LAURA: Then turns around and pulls the group into that very standard team huddle.

CAMERON: Team huddle!

LAURA (as Xianna): Okie! So, how much do we want to ask for?

CAMERON (as Karma): I feel like we ask for 101,069 dollars.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. That ends with a 9, so it would be dividable by 3, right? Is that how math works?

CAMERON (as Karma): Not necessarily.

[laughter]

LAURA (as Xianna): I do not know.

CAMERON (as Karma): The 9, yes, dividable by 3. The whole number? I’m not sure.

LAURA (as Xianna): Well, 69 is dividable by 3.

HUDSON (as Tink): 101 is… not dividable by 3.

LAURA (as Xianna): I have no idea!

CAMERON (as Karma): No.

HUDSON: Tink pulls out a calculator.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay, so then I will take the rounded up number, or we give that rounded bit to Hank.

NICK: By the way, Illith, you can hear this whole conversation.

[laughter]

LAURA (as Xianna): The rounded bit will go to Hank.

HUDSON (as Tink): Okay.

NICK (as HK): That would leave me approximately 4 Credits. Thanks.

LAURA (as Xianna): It’s not like you have to buy food or anything, Hank.

CAMERON (as Karma): Eh, it would not be 4, because there’s another 3 in there.

NICK (as HK): My processor was literally shot out of me several weeks ago. Cut me some slack.

CAMERON (as Karma): We got you a new one.

LAURA (as Xianna): Wait. Hank, do you have a need for credits?

HUDSON (as Tink): Do you know that it only takes 4 Credits for a bot to have a great night out on the town?

NICK (as HK): Disapproving look.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. I don’t think he actually needs credits. I think he was just being ornery.

CAMERON (as Karma): But to be fair, we could give Hank the 1 Credit and then all of us would get 33,689 Credits.

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA: Xianna twirls around.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay! We will do it for 101,069 Credits?

MEL (as Illith): That’s a deal.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yes.

MEL (as Illith): That’s absolutely a deal. In fact, upon completion I would be happy to throw in the obnoxiously bright outfit.

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): Ooh! Yes.

MEL (as Illith): Bonus.

LAURA (as Xianna): I have so many plans for that one.

HUDSON (as Tink): That hurt me.

[laughter]

NICK: The camera starts on darkness and then there’s a sharp click and the electronic noise of a gangplank lowering out of the ship and it illuminates the Afternoon Delight, and we see Tink and Karma and Xianna and Illith all walking in a line up the gangplank, and the lights flicker on to your ship that you’ve been calling your home for about a month at this point. It’s been a while, longer than you would think, but still not a huge amount of time.

Illith, you are bathed in… Imagine 1960s luxury theater, like a Cinemark with red shag carpeting and gold highlights. There is a large circular plinth in the middle of this main room of the ship that has a flower display on it, and there are a lot of rooms leading off this main area. The ship is huge. This is a Starwind pleasure yacht which essentially is like half Millennium Falcon half super nice freighter that politicians would use to get around, and nobody ever buys them because if you want a fast smuggling ship you buy a YT ship like Han Solo has, and if you want a nice, comfy ship you buy the Naboo starliners that people get. This one is a little bit of both and people don’t usually touch it.

As you’re walking into the ship you can see down a main hallway to the cockpit. Everything has sporadic mirrors and wood paneling and red shag carpeting, and you can see an unnecessarily large galley off down another way. This is a very big ship. I’m assuming, karma, you go to put in the coordinates and take off.

CAMERON: Yup. That is a good assumption.

NICK: Everybody sits down in the large, comfortable chairs in the main room except for Karma and we see the ship taking off into space. Hank is stomping around in the back of the ship.

NICK (as HK): Unhappy grumbling. One measly credit. Unhappy grumbling.

CAMERON: [laughs]

LAURA (as Xianna): Hank, I asked you if you needed credits and you did not tell me that you needed credits.

NICK: He throws something and walks back into the ship. Illith, you have a data pad with you that’s about the size of a standard iPhone. It’s got a blinking red light on it which means you know exactly where this ship has gone to, which is—you’ve actually heard of this place and everything kind of clicks into place. It’s on a small, unpopulated moon near the Inner Rim. It’s basically in the suburbs of Coruscant, like the fancier part of the area, but one that hasn’t been settled in any way. You know that there’s a collector there that has painstakingly reassembled the Tomb of Thio Barsenthor on Chandrila, which was a very well-preserved Jedi tomb that was recently discovered but hasn’t been explored yet, but it’s something that everyone’s really interested in. It’s like a neat part of culture. This person has been buying up anything that anybody has sold that’s related to it and is basically building Jurassic park but for Jedi instead. They probably purchased this as one of the set pieces.

MEL (as Illith): Oh dear, this guy.

CAMERON (as Karma): This guy?

MEL (as Illith): This guy…

MEL: What’s his name?

NICK: It’s actually a girl, and her name is Kettle. She is a Geonosian mob boss…

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: …who you have dealt with but only sporadically. She’s only interested in the kind of things that you like to work on sometimes. She’s very scary, people disappear around her, but she also pays really well for when she needs things.

MEL: What was the planet?

NICK: I didn’t say what it was. It’s just a—

MEL: Not the planet, the area, the suburb.

NICK: It’s an unmarked moon on the inner core. We can name it whatever we want. Having heard of this particular passion project of Kettle’s, it has been called Chandrila II.

MEL: Alright. Illith is holding a data pad in their hand and heaves a big sigh.

MEL (as Illith): Ugh… this woman.

MEL: Is Kettle Human?

NICK: No, she’s Geonosian.

MEL: Oh, Geonosian!

NICK: It’s like those weird bug people from Episode II that have the flappy wings and the guns that shoot noises at people.

MEL (as Illith): Oh dear. Are any of you familiar with a particular person named Kettle?

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh, the queen.

LAURA (as Xianna): Ooh! Yes.

LAURA: Xianna starts rooting around in her pockets.

LAURA (as Xianna): It is in here somewhere. Tink, hold these granola bars.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh. Yeah.

LAURA: She’s handing granola bars.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. Hold the binders.

LAURA: You get both the regular and the fuzzy ones.

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. Okay… [gasps] I got it! I got it.

LAURA: And she is holding the IOU from Kettle.

[chuckling]

LAURA (as Xianna): Okay. Wait, Tink, you hold this, then we get the granola bars back.

HUDSON (as Tink): This is just trash.

CAMERON (as Karma): No-no-no.

LAURA (as Xianna): No-no-no, there are still granola bars in there.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh no, the paper you just handed me.

CAMERON (as Karma): No.

LAURA (as Xianna): No. Do not throw that out.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh. Alright.

LAURA (as Xianna): Also, give me my binders back. Okay.

LAURA: And then takes the paper back. Well, I guess it’s “flimsy.” Then unfolds the flimsy.

LAURA (as Xianna): See? It is the IOU from Kettle. Remember? We played cards with her.

CAMERON (as Karma): Oh yeah, from like two weeks ago.

LAURA (as Xianna): I even remember this one.

CAMERON: I don’t know how time works.

HUDSON (as Tink): I don’t remember.

LAURA (as Xianna): And I remember nothing.

HUDSON (as Tink): I have no memory of this.

CAMERON (as Karma): You did drink a lot.

HUDSON (as Tink): I did?

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah.

LAURA (as Xianna): I remember this one because it was the first time I met Nolaa.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh, was that when I broke edge?

CAMERON (as Karma): yeah.

HUDSON (as Tink): Agh.

MEL (as Illith): Time certainly does fly sometimes.

CAMERON (as Karma): So yes, we have had dealings with Kettle in the past.

MEL (as Illith): Fascinating.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah.

MEL (as Illith): I’ve had some dealings with Kettle in the past and I don’t know that I’d call her a queen, but that is…

CAMERON (as Karma): I think that’s her mob name.

MEL (as Illith): Ah, yes. I forgot about that. I don’t often like to think about the mob.

CAMERON: [giggles]

NICK: We get a flashback of Illith jumping behind a dumpster and a giant explosion and then we flash back.

MEL (as Illith): Yes. I suppose it’s fortunate that you’re familiar with Kettle. You’ll know how to interact. Therefore, we’ll need to set our destination for Chandrila II.

CAMERON: Karma looks to Tink to make that Astrogation check.

LAURA (as Xianna): Yeah, I cannot do that.

NICK (as HK): Interruption: Electric Boogaloo.

[laughter]

NICK: End of episode.

## Outro

CAMERON: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. If you’ve enjoyed our show please consider logging onto iTunes and giving us a five-star review. Five-star reviews will help new listeners find the show and will make the squad do barrel rolls in our X-wings when we read them. If you’re so inclined, you can also help support the show through our Patreon which can be found in the show notes, on our website, and basically anywhere we post things. We have all sorts of Patreon levels including some of my favorites: Bantha Buddy, Tarkin’s Underwear Drawer, and Build-A-Beru which all have fabulous rewards and super great names.

Illith Utena Hatake is played by Mel D’Amato. You can find them on Twitter at @melerella.

Xianna’fan is played by Laura Penrod. She can be found on Twitter at @Cheerio_Buffet.

Tink is played by Hudson Jameson. He can be found on Twitter at @hudsonjameson.

Karma Nailo is played by me, Cameron Robertson. You can find me on Twitter at @midnightmusic13.

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, and join our Discord and share all of your food and cute pet photos with us. We also sometimes talk about Star Wars. You can find the link to join our Discord on our website and in our pinned tweet. See you next time.

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