Transcript: S2 Episode 2: The Good Ramen

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Tabletop Squadron Transcript – Season 2, Episode 2:
The Good Ramen

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 hunt for galactic treasure, staying away from a bitter rival and growing closer together.

First of all, thank you to dr0wwarr10r for your review of the show. We’re glad you’re having fun listening, and thank you for helping others find us. We also have a new patron. I want to issue a warm welcome to CurseOfStu. Thank you for joining us on our space hijinks. Your expertise wrangling dangerous creatures will come in handy as we just picked up some rathtars and they’re causing a mess. Here’s your body armor and your shock prod. Good luck.

Not much else to announce this week, so we’ll jump right into it.

Music credits and content warnings for this episode can be found in the show notes.

Let’s get into the episode.


NICK: Hello! Welcome to Tabletop Squadron, Episode 2 of Season 2. I’m your host and game master, Nick. Boy, things sure are getting interesting aren’t they? We’re all just as excited as you are to see how this turns out. Let’s everybody go around the table and say who you are and what character you are playing today, starting with Lilit.

LILIT: Hello. I am Lilit, and I will be playing Xianna’fan, a Twi’lek smuggler.

NICK: Great. Up next we’ve got Hudson.

HUDSON: Hi, I’m Hudson. I’m playing Tink, a Gigoran slicer. {with strange emphasis}

NICK: Agh…


HUDSON: Yeah, that rolled off the tongue in ways I didn’t want it to.

NICK: It was more sensual than I was expecting. Eh…

HUDSON: [close to the mic, poor ASMR attempt] A Gigoran slicer!

NICK: [groaning laughing] No-ho-ho!

CAMERON: [giggles wryly]

NICK: Last but not least, we have Cameron.

CAMERON: Hello. I am Cameron, and I am playing Karma Nailo, the Nautolan prison inmate.

NICK: Oh-ho. What an interesting character class you have chosen.

CAMERON: Yup. [laughs] Also a bounty hunter.

NICK: Well, before we get started, let’s do the Destiny Roll!

CAMERON: One light side.

LILIT: One light side.

HUDSON: One dark side.

CAMERON: [gasps dramatically]

NICK: What does that bring us to?

CAMERON: Two light side, one dark side.

NICK: Nice. Cool. When we last left off… you all got sent to prison. You’re there to try and rescue someone from jail. You were inducted into the prison and got the rundown of kinda how things work from the head guard. You did quickly learn that solitary confinement is sort of the punishment that is the trademark of this place. If you break the rules you get sent to solitary. You were brought to your cells. You met Filbert, which is Tink’s cell mate, and you then went to the cafeteria where you were having a nice lunch when a huge shark creature introduced himself and then slammed Tink’s head into the table. We last left off with Tink putting a lunch tray against his stomach horizontally and charged at the shark creature. [giggling] Am I missing anything?

HUDSON: So, how much like Street Sharks was the shark creature?

NICK: Not as Street Sharky as you’re probably picturing. Think more like Adonis ripped body, gray skin, shark head. This one isn’t the same species that we’ve seen in the past that’s much more Street Shark. This one’s more like big ripped scary dude…


NICK & CAMERON: Shark head.

NICK: Yeah.

CAMERON: So like, no neck, just shark head.

NICK: Mm-hmm. So, let’s go ahead and roll Vigilance for this. Karma and Xianna, you do not have to roll Vigilance yet, because you are not yet involved, so it’s just gonna be Tink to start.

HUDSON: One success.

NICK: The shark guy rolls two yellow and a green.

CAMERON: Two successes, three advantages.

NICK: So, here’s how this goes. You were sprinting at this shark person with this tray horizontally aimed towards the two of you, and the shark guy watches you coming, has a confused look on his face which is kind of painful to look at on a shark face, and as you are within striking distance he just straight-palm strikes into the tray, shoving it into your abs as hard as he can, and I’m gonna need to roll an attack against Tink. It’s gonna be two yellow and two greens.

CAMERON: Two difficulty because it’s Melee?

NICK: Yep.

CAMERON: One success, two advantages.

NICK: He has 4 Brawn, so that’s 5 damage. We’ll give +1 damage for the tray, so that’s 6 damage coming at you, Tink.

HUDSON: With my Soak that’s 3 damage total.

NICK: He slams the tray forward into your abs. You feel something rupture just a little bit, like at the skin level. It hurts.

HUDSON (as Tink): [pained grunt]

NICK: You double over under the pain and the shark rolls his shoulders and says…

NICK (as shark): Come on, don’t stop yet, we gotta make this look good. I gotta get my reputation in order.

NICK: …and strikes like a fighting pose and does the four-finger “come at me” gesture where he waves his hand forward, like this. I’m trying to describe this with words and struggling.

HUDSON: A “come hither” with four fingers.


NICK: There you go. You got it. You made it sound like a sex thing.

HUDSON: [laughs] I guess I did. I pull the tray out of my stomach and wield it like a vibro-axe and run forward, screaming.

HUDSON (as Tink): Aaaaaahhh!

NICK: … Do you hit him?



NICK: Okay.

HUDSON: Well, I mean, that depends how this roll goes, but yes.

NICK: Yeah. Roll me that attack. You can use your Melee check instead of Brawl, because you are using a weapon.

HUDSON: That’s convenient.

CAMERON: [chuckles]

NICK: It’s only gonna add 1 to your damage, though, instead of the 2 or 3 that the axe does.

HUDSON: Five successes, one advantage.

NICK: Geez, you’re really good at this. That’s 9 damage coming at this guy. You hit this guy really solidly. What does that look like as you charge him with your lunch tray?

HUDSON: I smack him across the face with the tray and he goes oof and like falls backwards a little bit and you see a drop of blood fall down from a cut I made on the face.

NICK: Heh. He falls backwards and lands with his elbows against a table, and you see that drop of blood. He looks surprised and brings a hand up to the cut and looks at the blood and then licks it off of his finger. He turns around and he picks up the lunch table he was leaning against. It’s a white fiberboard table with enamel finish on the top. It’s kind of flimsy looking, but it’s like ten feet long. It probably weighs like 15 kilograms. He picks it up and tries to smash it over your head. Same roll as before, please, but add a black die because it’s a big, unwieldy table.

CAMERON: Fascinating. Three advantages and a triumph, but no successes.

HUDSON: [laughs]

CAMERON: You’re welcome. [laughs]

NICK: Okay, so he doesn’t hit you with the table, but—

HUDSON: Hurts my feelings real bad.

CAMERON: [giggles]

NICK: The table smashes on the ground and he’s left holding two of the legs of the table and they’re perfect length for swinging and have jagged ends. He looks at those and shrugs, like “okay.” At this point there is a walkway around the edge of this cafeteria that’s probably ten meters up off the ground, and there’s guards up there, and some of them grab what look like grenade launchers off the walls and start launching tear gas into the cafeteria and an alarm starts to go off. The shark is obscured by tear gas and you can hear him coughing, but he’s coming towards you.

CAMERON: [hums the Jaws danger tune]

NICK: [laughs] Yeah. [also hums the tune] Karma and Xianna.


NICK: Tink and this shark guy appear to be fighting to the death. The crowd of prisoners is starting to form a circle and cheer. Some of them are trying to leave, but they’re locked in with this tear gas coming down. What are you two doing? Are you just watching? Are you gonna help?

CAMERON: I have been watching and eating my lunch.

NICK: [laughs]

CAMERON: Because we sat down and the shark guy immediately approached us.

NICK: Mm-hmm.

CAMERON: So I’m like eating my pudding cup, watching, probably occasionally yelling out tips on form, probably to both combatants.


NICK: What about Xianna? Same thing? Just hanging out at the table?

LILIT: Xianna’s placing bets with other prisoners on who’s gonna win, and Xianna has definitely bet a usage of impact on Tink winning.

NICK: We get a prisoner going:

NICK (as prisoner): Hey, how do you have impact in here? Do you know Jeyb?

CAMERON: [chuckles]

LILIT (as Xianna): You know. Like, this is a prison. Do you not know?

NICK (as prisoner): Is it, uh, readily available?

LILIT (as Xianna): I mean now it is, yes.

NICK: The prisoner shrugs and shakes your hand and then wipes his hand on his pants.

LILIT (as Xianna): I wash my hands…


LILIT (as Xianna): Like, ugh, amateurs.

NICK: But yeah, takes that bet. You bet that Tink was gonna win?


NICK: Okay.

CAMERON: Xianna learned from last time when she bet against Tink.

NICK: As the tear gas is starting to fill up the room you can hear the sound of approaching prison guards coming towards either door as this is going on. Tink, it is your turn. What are you doing?

HUDSON: So, my translator actually filters out the tear gas… [chuckles]


HUDSON: …but my eyes get really—

NICK: Flip me a light side point. That can be a capability of your translator.


NICK: Your lungs are okay but your eyes hurt like mofos.


NICK: Yeah.

HUDSON: So, is this table on top of me then?

NICK: No, it like smashed on the ground in front of you.

HUDSON: Oh, in front of me.

NICK: Yeah.

HUDSON: Okay. What is in my immediate area I can grab?

NICK: As far as things that are available around you, you’ve got your lunch tray with a smattering of shark blood, there are some tables nearby, there is a ring of prisoners that are cheering you on, there is a post wrapped in padding with a PA system at the top that is blaring an alarm, there is a grenade of tear gas that is actively pumping out tear gas right next to you, there is a large shark creature holding two jagged table legs approaching you… that’s kind of your immediate surroundings. If there’s something that you want nearby we could talk about it, if there’s something that springs to mind. It’s like a prison lunch room. There’s prison lunch room things.

HUDSON: Okay. One thing I kinda wanna do is spend this turn to do what the kids call roll like a log and get them off their feet.

NICK: So you’re going to lay on the ground and roll at them?

HUDSON: yeah, like stop, drop and roll style.

NICK: Towards their feet?


NICK: Okay!

LILIT: It’s a bold move.

CAMERON: I would argue that Tink should get a blue die for blending in.

NICK: For blending in with the tear gas? I agree, 100%.


NICK: So that is a Brawl check.

HUDSON: [sarcastically] Great.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Yeah, I know.

HUDSON: I still refuse to put anything in Brawl.

NICK: [laughing] You should put point sin Brawl. This happens to you a lot.

HUDSON: It does… Okay. I get a blue die and then difficulty is?

NICK: Two.

HUDSON: Two successes and an advantage.

NICK: You can either do damage to his shins or I’ll take the two successes and advantage for knocking him prone. That’s not exactly how the rules work, but I like it. You wanna knock him over?

HUDSON: Yes, knock him over.

NICK: Okay. You knock him over. He falls prone.

[dramatic bass noise]

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: [laughing] He falls down, like face-first, lands on his face. You hear his head bounce a little bit. Also, the air is a little clearer down here because the gas is rising, so that’s fun. That’s actually not how tear gas works. It stays low because it’s heavier than air, but fuck it, Star Wars gas. He falls. He hits the ground with a thud. Do you continue to roll under the table or do you stop and get back up?

HUDSON: I stop and get back up.

NICK: Okay, so that’s both of your maneuvers. He climbs to his feet. The shark is gonna roll two greens against two purples with a black die.

CAMERON: Two failures and a threat.

NICK: Yeah. He climbs to his feet. He’s discombobulated. You are the same color as the gas. You are close down to the ground. He’s turned around. He can’t find you. also, he dropped his table legs when he fell down and he got up and he can’t see those, so he’s just looking around wildly for you and can’t find you in the tear gas. You hear the sound of guards opening the doors and you hear them starting to yell at people to get back against the walls, and you hear the zap of stun blasters starting to go off. What do you do?

HUDSON: How close am I to a stun blaster that someone would have?

NICK: Well, you’re not in the middle of the room, you’re near a wall, but you’re back away from the two different entrances to the cafeteria, so you’re not super close to a guard. You could run towards one and try to get one, but that’s a… I will say, out of character, if you try to take a gun from a guard you might die.

HUDSON: That would—Yeah.

NICK: They may just kill you.

HUDSON: Yeah. That’s a thing. Yeah, I was thinking about that a little more and I was like, [inhales] how much do I want to hurt this shark?

NICK: [laughs] I mean, I want you to hurt the shark, but…

HUDSON: Would it cost a turn to say do you want a truce?

NICK: No. Just talking to him won’t cost a turn. If you’re trying to actually convince him to not fight you, that would be like a Charm or Negotiation roll or something and that would be your turn, but because you’re hidden in the smoke I’ll let you do it Batman style where he can’t figure out where you are, if you wanna do it that way.

CAMERON: [in a Batman voice] Do you wanna join our squad?

NICK: [in a Batman voice] Justice!

HUDSON (as Tink): You are a worthy adversary. How about a truce? Your face is already bloody enough.

NICK (as shark): Are you making fun of me in the middle of this fight?

NICK: Are you gonna roll something?

HUDSON: Yeah, I’m gonna roll Negotiation.

NICK: Okay.

HUDSON (as Tink): No, no, it’s more of a compliment to your, uh, your masculinity.

NICK: Difficulty is going to be hard, so three purples, but you can have a blue die because this guy is mildly concussed at this point. [chuckles]

HUDSON: Three failures and four advantages.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: Well! Any ideas on what you want those advantages to be? Because the failures means he goes…

NICK (as shark): This is a prison fight. You don’t just call a truce. Where are you?

NICK: …and starts turning around.

HUDSON: Can I say something that really hurts their self-esteem with the advantages?

NICK: Sure.

HUDSON (as Tink): Huh, megalodon? More like megalo-don’t you wanna quit?

CAMERON: [giggles]

NICK: The shark stops, goes…

NICK (as shark): Aw…

NICK: …and bends down, picks up one of the table legs, and then sniffles away a little bit of a tear.

NICK (as shark): Come out of that smoke. This is… Have you never been to prison before? This is like a thing that you do.

NICK: You can see the lights of blasters starting to fly through the room as prisoners are either raising their hands and leaning up against the wall or getting stunned. Karma, Xianna, what are y’all up to?

LILIT: Xianna’s already doing the correct procedures and is up against a wall, hands up, but is in a way that she can still view the fight and is next to the person that she placed the bet with.

NICK: And on the other side you’ve got Filbert down by your waist.

NICK (as Filbert): Well, looks like your friend got into some trouble pretty quick there.

LILIT (as Xianna): Yes, but I trust him to win.

HUDSON: Over where the fight is happening I yell from a distance.

HUDSON (as Tink): You can call me Dragon!

CAMERON: [laughs]

LILIT (as Xianna): His name is not Dragon.

NICK (as Filbert): Well, Tink sure seems to have a sense of humor. Pretty bad luck drawing that big old shark, though. He’s new too, but I don’t think this is going too well.

NICK: As you can see the security walking past you. They’ve built a cordon – it’s like a square of guards that are moving in towards the people who are still watching the fight from up close and Tink and the shark. Karma, what are you up to?

CAMERON: Karma finished her pudding cup, calmly went and put her tray away at the tray drop-off, just walking around like nothing’s happening. [laughs]

NICK: [laughs]

CAMERON: Walks over to the wall, leans against it.

NICK: We get the shot of you walking with your dirty tray, setting it in the return, there’s stun bolts flying around you.

CAMERON: As she leans down to set it in the retray a bolt goes right where she would have been and she stands back up, turns around.

NICK: [laughs]

CAMERON: It’s just constantly missing. She’s constantly moving out of the way at the last minute. Just walking. Not engaging, but upping her cool factor.

NICK: So, the shark finally sees Tink standing in the shadows of the tear gas and charges at him with the table leg held high. Make me one more attack check, please, but with two black dice because the shark is emotionally compromised and still discombobulated.

CAMERON: And suffering from the effects of tear gas.

NICK: Mm-hmm.

CAMERON: One success, one threat.

NICK: So Tink, he gets you on the side of the head. It hurts. You see stars. You take 6 damage, and he’s up close to you. There are five guards in a square kind of formation around you aiming at the two of you. Everyone else has been pacified. You hear one of them say…

NICK (as guard): Get down on the ground.

NICK: …and it’s your turn. You’ve just been hit in the head with a table leg.

HUDSON (as Tink): This is just getting fun, though.

HUDSON: Punch him, uppercut.

NICK: Okay.

CAMERON: [chuckles]

HUDSON: That would be Brawl, wouldn’t it?

NICK: That would in fact be Brawl, yes.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: We need to get you a shiv. We really do. [laughs]

HUDSON: One failure.

NICK: Okay. You say this is just getting good and you go to throw an uppercut and the shark just leans back a little, and you realize you’re actually pretty dizzy from all of the poison gas in the air. You start to waver on your feet. The guard who had shouted at you yells:

NICK (as guard): Put him down!

NICK: The last thing you hear is pew-pew-pew-pew, and you get hit with a whole bunch of stun bolts, and you drop. The last thing you see is the shark standing over you going…

NICK (as shark): [boastfully] Ha-ha!

NICK: …and then you hear pew-pew-pew and the shark drops too as you’re both stunned down.


NICK: So, we cut away to…

[slow groovy music begins]

The prisoners are all being led out of the cafeteria. You’re being led back toward the north cell block which is your base of operations. As Karma and Xianna are standing outside, everyone’s made to line up in the fenced-in corridor that leads from the cafeteria back to the cell block, you see Tink and the shark guy being dragged out. They drag them out the hallway.

[slow groovy music ends]

Tink looks like he’s a little conscious but not able to move or anything, and they turn right and start to head down, it looks like, past the rec yard where you came in towards the far corner of the prison. One thing you notice is there are two Human guards per Tink and the shark guy each with one arm in their armpit kind of dragging them along, and behind that is another group of guards, and you see an assassin droid wearing the guard uniform walking with the rest of the guards. The droid makes eye contact with Karma, and then Xianna, and says…

NICK (as HK): Well that’s unexpected.

NICK: …and then turns very quickly to act like he didn’t see you and keeps walking, but he is walking right past you.

LILIT (as Xianna): Bye Hank~!

NICK: [laughing] HK ducks his head down in his shoulders a little bit and keeps walking, and one of the guards turns to him.

NICK (as guard): Did that inmate talk to you?

NICK (as HK): Supposition: That would be impossible as I do not know any inmates.

NICK: And continues to walk on.

CAMERON: We’re all lined up against this fence, and Karma is not standing next to Xianna because we weren’t next to each other on the wall when we got led out. She leans forward and flips her head down to look at Xianna and is like, what… not talking but making the “what” gesture.

LILIT: Xianna kind of leans out and yells back.

LILIT (as Xianna): I’m pretty sure that was Hank!


CAMERON (as Karma): Affirmative.

LILIT (as Xianna): Did you not recognize him?!

NICK (as guard): Silent on the line, inmates.

NICK: You hear the sound of a stun blaster being charged. Filbert elbows Xianna in the hip and says:

CAMERON: [snickers]

NICK (as Filbert): Hey. Don’t be talkin’ around them. They’re gonna stun ya. You don’t wanna go to solitary.

NICK: The guard points the stun blaster at Filbert.

NICK (as guard): I said silent on the line.

NICK: We’re gonna cut away from that, and we’re gonna cut away to Tink. You really regain yourself as you are dragged through the open air, the fresh air helps, and you start to get some feeling back into your legs. As you start to regain your balance the guards let you go, and you fall to the ground, but then you are able to get back up and you walk ahead as they hold you at stun blaster point.

You find yourself being led through the rec yard, out of the fence, through another area into what looks like a flat piece of ground nestled in the corner of the walls. You can see a large metal plate that’s sunk into the ground, and as you get close one of the guards holds up a little RF fob and hits a button and it starts to open. There’s a long spiral staircase leading down into the earth. The guards prod you towards the staircase, and you hear what sounds like some sort of droid saying:

NICK (as HK): Welcoming Statement: Welcome to solitary.

HUDSON (as Tink): Uh… thanks?

NICK: The droid walks up behind you and jabs you in the back with his gun.

NICK (as HK): Commanding Statement: You will comply. Enter the staircase.

HUDSON (as Tink): You sound familiar…

NICK: He shoots you.


NICK: You fall to your knees and he turns around and goes…

NICK (as HK): Can you believe that guy? These inmates get weirder every time.

NICK: …and goes and stands behind some of the guards who are looking kind of suspicious. You’re able to regain your feet. The shark guy is already heading down the stairs. Do you follow?

HUDSON: Yeah, I follow.

NICK: Okay, so that means they don’t shoot you anymore, which is probably good for your long-term health. You head down this staircase. As you’re walking, you do struggle with the stairs because the stun shocks are still causing your limbs to kind of jump. You have to grab the wall to steady yourself a few times. The air down in solitary smells dry and dusty as you come to the bottom. There is a small guard room behind a large sheet of transparesteel. A bored-looking guard waves you through the entry and towards a row of doors.

NICK (as guard): You’re in Room 12. The shark there fella is in Room 3. Go ahead and shut yourself in.

NICK: He doesn’t even look up from the holo-screen that he’s watching in there. It all seems very kind of honor system. [chuckles] There is a barred door that can shut leading into these individual cells, but it’s just sitting open right now. All you have is the staircase, this little lobby with no furniture, the little guard room, and then these individual tiny cells. What do you do?

HUDSON (as Tink): Hey, shark buddy, sorry about what I said earlier. I was under the influence of tear gas, and things just got heated, you know?

NICK: The shark is halfway in Room 3, about to pull the door shut behind him, and he looks at you and says:

NICK (as shark): We’ll have to work that out at some point.

NICK: Ka-clang, and it echoes loudly as he shuts himself into the solitary cell.

HUDSON: I walk to my solitary cell and get myself in and close the door.

NICK: Great. Good job being a rule follower. You shut yourself into Room 12. The inside of the solitary room is just a durasteel box. There’s a small drain in the corner you assume is “the facilities,” but otherwise the room is bare. You’ve got all the time in the world. What do you do in solitary?

HUDSON: I cross my legs and attempt to meditate, although no one has ever taught me.

[quiet chuckling]

HUDSON: I just go, hmm~, close my eyes… and I fall asleep real quickly.

CAMERON: [laughs]

NICK: [laughs] Okay, yeah. We see Tink, legs crossed, hands clasped in his lap, humming to himself. The humming starts to falter and then he slumps against the wall and falls asleep.

CAMERON: The real question, though: How are the acoustics in solitary? Since he was humming.

NICK: If Tink can hit the right note, the resonance of the room is real nice.


NICK: I don’t think Tink has yet.


NICK: So, you don’t know how long you were asleep. You wake up, you try to meditate again, you probably fall asleep again, but over time your legs and arms stop jumping with the stun bolts and your eyes and breathing start to clear of the tear gas, and you’re almost feeling comfortable. It must have been a couple of hours. You hear a voice coming from the wall behind you.

NICK (as Sentinel): I recognize that presence. Tink, is that you?

HUDSON (as Tink): [dazed] Whaaat?

HUDSON: Somehow Tink has 5 o’clock shadow even though it’s only been a few hours.


CAMERON: And his face is already covered in fur!


LILIT: Is it a ring of darker fur? Suddenly a light gray fur has grown in.

HUDSON: Yes, suddenly a light gray fur has grown in.

HUDSON (as Tink): Who goes there?!

NICK: You can see that there’s a little seam in the wall behind you as you’re looking, and it looks like some of the welding has been chipped away, and there’s just the tiniest little gap which must be what’s letting the sound through, and you can hear:

NICK (as Sentinel): Tink, it’s… it’s me. I can’t identify myself. There’s no guarantee they know who I am. But, we’ve worked together for some time…

NICK: You can hear the wink.

HUDSON (as Tink): I know you! You’re… [stammers] Um… Like, when something is, is uh, is every once in a while?

NICK: There’s a long pause. You can hear the person in the next cell thinking.

NICK (as Sentinel): Um… Sure. Yeah.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh! It’s great to talk to you. How have you been?

NICK (as Sentinel): I’m gonna be honest, Tink. Not amazing. I have been in solitary for quite a while. I got captured right before the beginning of your mission, which we will not go into details of, and here I am.

HUDSON (as Tink): Oh, well… Wait a second! Can’t you use the F—the… the “orce-Fe” to help us…?

CAMERON: [giggles]

NICK (as Sentinel): Stop. Stop. Stop.

NICK: You hear a thump, like a frustrated head hitting the wall next to you.

NICK (as Sentinel): Listen. I got here because I got captured by the Empire. Why are you here?

HUDSON (as Tink): Why are any of us here?

NICK (as Sentinel): I mean, that’s a good point and we have plenty of time. If you would like to philosophize about that we have the time.

HUDSON (as Tink): You know, I’ll think on it later. So why am I here in this cell? Well, hmm… You know that shark? Big scary one?

NICK (as Sentinel): No.

NICK: [chuckles]

HUDSON (as Tink): Well, there’s a big scary shark and I kinda had to show what I’m about here and move up the food chain, so yeah… I got in a fight.

NICK (as Sentinel): Oh, I see. Oh! Because it’s your first day. That makes sense. You have to beat someone up to show that you’re a badass.

HUDSON (as Tink): Yes.

NICK (as Sentinel): How’d that go?

HUDSON (as Tink): Not great. I caused damage, but damage was caused upon me as well.

NICK (as Sentinel): Well, it sounds like we have some catching up to do. We’ll just have to be careful about what we say.

NICK: We’re gonna cut away from that to Karma and Xianna. After they sent everyone back to their cells to make sure that there weren’t any extra weapons in the cafeteria, to clear up the debris, to make sure everybody understood that, to quote the announcement over the PA system, “lunch is a privilege not a right,” you are led out into the rec yard. You see a lot of people, more people than would fit in the north cell block, and you can tell that both cell blocks are let out at the same time. A majority of the grounds of the prison are made up in this yard. It’s just brown dust, dirt, some of it’s terrace so there’s some parts that are above others, there’s some bleachers around, and you see a bunch of different activities. Why don’t you both roll me Perception checks on what’s going on that is important.

CAMERON: Okay~ What is the difficulty on the Perception check?

NICK: Difficulty we’ll say is average.

CAMERON: I got two successes and one threat.

NICK: Okay.

LILIT: Three successes and two advantages.

NICK: Okay, so Karma, you notice a couple of things right away. There is a volleyball court that is being used by some of the more athletic prisoners at this time.

CAMERON: [chuckles]

NICK: The sport looks a little different than your last experience with volleyball. There seems to be some contact. If you get near the net you’re likely to get hurt. You can see people sitting on the side with bruises or clutching limbs. It seems pretty no holds barred. You also see that there’s an area with a bunch of free weights that are being used, a lot of flexing muscles and strong people doing bench and spotting each other, and you also notice that there is a fence going around this entire rec area.

This entire area is fenced in. it’s a very tall fence, maybe like 6 meters tall with razor wire on top, and this is the only place you’ve seen where guards regularly are on the same level as the prisoners. They’re usually on gantries and stuff up high. They are standing on the other side of the fence doing a circular patrol. You notice that it seems like there’s a lot of guards and they seem to be cycling through, and one of them appears to be a droid of some kind.

Xianna, with your Perception you notice these things. You probably don’t notice the guards, because that’s not what your focus is right now. On top of that, you notice a couple of different prisoners that are very clearly the people you talk to if you need something. They are standing by themselves. A group of other prisoners will walk up to them. They will have a whispered conversation. They will turn away from each other where no one can see what’s behind them and then everyone will split up again. There’s two different people like that in this yard just kind of making the rounds. They’re very obviously suppliers, smugglers, that kind of thing.

You also notice that there is a kiosk set up in the corner. It’s through the fence, but there’s a little gap, and there’s a little store setup. It looks to be a place that you can exchange credits for things from the prison, like extra snacks, things like that.

LILIT: The commissary!

NICK: Yeah, there’s a commissary, and it backs up to the rec yard. You notice that there is a group of people in the corner very clearly gambling. You can’t see what they’re gambling on or what game they’re playing, but you recognize those cheers of success and boos of failure from the entire yard. It’s very clear what’s going on there. The other thing that you notice is there are some bleachers set up. it looks like there was some sort of athletics field or something here that’s no longer being used. It’s just kinda rundown. It’s become just another part of the rec yard.

[intense music begins]

But on the bleachers, there is a group of people very clearly sitting in a hierarchy. You see a very large alien of some kind sitting on the top seat, and then coming down from there there’s a couple of people, and then a few more, and they all seem really vigilant, and then there’s a group of less intense-looking people standing around the bleacher. It’s very clearly a gang setup. Whoever is over there is holding court right now.

[intense music ends]

And those are the things you see in the rec yard.

LILIT: Xianna does immediately go over to one of the “suppliers.”

LILIT (as Xianna): Ello. New here. Which one of you do I talk to for various types of contraband? One, fun makeup. Two, impact. I will accept other forms of drugs, but mostly impact. I can only bring so much in myself. Three, the better ramen. Yes, I know the commissary has the ramen noodles, but someone always brings in better stuff.

NICK: These two smugglers, you caught them when their circuits intersected and they were handing off inventory. They’re two Bothans. Their jumpsuits seem a lot more baggy than the ones that are standard issue. To your practiced eye their inventory is very clearly hidden amongst the jumpsuit. One of the Bothans says:

NICK (as smuggler1): Wow. First day and you’re already trying to find impact, huh? That’s a… decision that you are making.

LILIT (as Xianna): It is not my first time in a prison, and I have to look towards the future and prepare for when I run out.

NICK (as smuggler1): Well, if you have credits then this transaction will be pretty easy. Impact’s 300 a dose, makeup is 50 credits for more than you could probably use in a month, and the good ramen noodles vary by supply. It’s a daily market price we would have to assess… but if you’ve got credits we’re good to go.

NICK: And the other smuggler says:

HUDSON (as smuggler2): So uh, the ramen market opens at 4 AM in the morning, and uh… I guess there’s no other kind of 4 AM, right?

CAMERON: [laughs]

HUDSON (as smuggler2): We get the samples, you know, the little cubes of ramen you can try out. Might I suggest the Naboo Special when you come there.

NICK (as smuggler1): Yeah, the Naboo Special is the spicy duck flavor.

HUDSON (as smuggler2): Oh yes, it’s just [kiss noise].

CAMERON: [giggles]

LILIT (as Xianna): I mean, I guess there sometimes is a difference between 4 in the morning and 4 at night, if you know what I mean.

HUDSON (as smuggler2): [chuckling] Oh. Oh yeah.


LILIT (as Xianna): I mean those impact prices… eh, a little more than the other prisons I have gone to, but I guess the other prisons I have gone to have been… somewhere else. Where were they…?

LILIT: Also, how much money does Xianna have in her account? Like, her prison account. You have an account that your “loved ones” can put money into that you can then spend at the commissary.

NICK: Right. That is true. Do you think Nolaa would have put money in your commissary account?

LILIT: Yeah, and Xianna probably even would have – knowing that she was gonna get herself arrested – given money to somebody, probably Nolaa, to put onto the account.

NICK: So… the commissary, I would say you probably have like 200 Credits in there, maybe 500, like enough that you’re pretty well-off but not enough to raise red flags. The issue you’re going to run into is you can’t withdraw your commissary funds to go pay an illegal smuggler in the general population with. They’re assuming either you have credits smuggled in or that you have something to barter or a service to exchange for these things. They just gave you prices in credits because you’re new, so they thought maybe you would still have credits floating around.

HUDSON (as smuggler2): So, if you’re interested, right after the market ends in the morning I actually have this little stand where I sell wooden figurines if you’re interested. It really brightens up the aesthetic of the cell.

LILIT (as Xianna): I mean, that sounds lovely.

NICK (as smuggler1): That was a great pitch. You’re doing a great job. He’s new.

LILIT (as Xianna): You seem nice. Thank you.

HUDSON (as smuggler2): You’re welcome.

LILIT (as Xianna): I would love to see the figurines at some point. I was just asking more for reference in the future. You know, first day in, wanted to just get the layout of the place, but I am sure I will be back within a few days to actually make purchases.

HUDSON (as smuggler2): Oh, I figured… Heh, you get it? Figured. I figured… It’s, uh, well…

LILIT (as Xianna): Oh yes! Heh. I get the joke. It is very funny.

NICK (as smuggler1): And if you can’t get the credits together right now, don’t worry about it. I’m sure we can work something out.

LILIT (as Xianna): Yes. Okay. You two have a lovely day. Goodbye.

HUDSON (as smuggler2): Bye.

NICK (as smuggler1): See you soon.

NICK: Karma, what are you up to on the rec yard?

CAMERON: Karma is zeroed in on where HK was in the rotation around the rec yard and is kind of stalking him.

NICK: Okay. It looks like the guards on each side of this square yard are doing two sides of it, so you do a short side and a long side and you turn around and come back and they pass each other, but there’s also times where they just turn around and go back the other way. It’s a little hard to predict. They are in pairs, so HK is with one Human guard, and they’re walking up the short side and down the long side that’s closest to the cafeteria and turning around and going back. He’s just kinda walking. From the distance you’re at you can hear the guard say something, you don’t really hear it, but then projected loudly from HK you hear:

NICK (as HK): Patronizing Laughter: Ha-ha. Ha-ha. Ha… ha, ha. You are so funny.

CAMERON: I’m following to see if he ever ends up on his own or if he starts saying useful information for me in the conversations. [laughs] Karm is occasionally pausing when he’s approaching her to make sure that he knows that she’s there and is making it so that he is aware that she’s there.

NICK: The second time that you make meaningful eye contact with him—It’s hard to imagine a droid rolling their eyes, but he manages it somehow. He turns and says:

NICK (as HK): Officer Smith, I am in need of something from over there. Will you go get it for me, please?

NICK: And the other prison guard goes:

NICK (as Smith): What are you talking about…?

NICK (as HK): I need—Will you go to the, uh, cafeteria? I dropped restraining bolts or something. Officer Smith, please go to the cafeteria.

NICK (as Smith): Well, I’m not gonna leave you on patrol alone.

NICK (as HK): Officer Smith, please go to the cafeteria immediately. Thank you.

NICK: The guard shrugs.

NICK (as Smith): I don’t know what’s… Your communication is off.

NICK: And he leaves, and you have HK on the patrol alone and you’re able to approach.

CAMERON (as Karma): Hey HK. What’s up?

NICK (as HK): Do you think I did a good job? I don’t think he suspects anything.

CAMERON (as Karma): He may suspect a little bit. You did seem a little excited about it.

NICK (as HK): Now, this was more of a courtesy. We cannot be meeting like this as I am a prison guard. Next time I will be forced to shock you, because you are a prisoner.

NICK: And he brandishes the gun.

CAMERON (as Karma): Don’t you dare shoot me, HK.

NICK (as HK): There is a fence between me and you, and you are a prisoner, and I am a prisoner guard.

CAMERON (as Karma): HK, do not shoot me.

NICK (as HK): I’m not going to right now. This conversation was a courtesy.

NICK: You see HK shrug and cock his head to the side.

CAMERON (as Karma): Well, I appreciate that. Question. Are you here on a job for anyone?

NICK (as HK): If I was on a job for someone I would not disclose that information so readily.

CAMERON (as Karma): Why not?

NICK (as HK): Because… if I was on a job for someone I would be undercover as a prison guard.

CAMERON (as Karma): Hmm. Okay. Don’t shoot me.

CAMERON: [giggles]

CAMERON (as Karma): I would just like to lay down that rule for future encounters.

NICK (as HK): Well so the problem though now is we’re talking too long. The only way to keep the cover up is I think I’m gonna have to stun you before you walk away.

CAMERON (as Karma): [heavy sigh]

NICK: HK projects his voice louder and says…

NICK (as HK): Get away from the fence, inmate!

NICK: …and starts waving the gun around.

CAMERON: Karma takes a few steps back, rolling her eyes at HK. [laughs]

NICK (as HK): Don’t roll your eyes. Respect my position.

CAMERON: HK. Buddy. [laughs]

NICK: HK drops the gun back down.

NICK (as HK): [reluctantly, quietly] Yes, I’m doing a job. I got hired to break someone out of here.

CAMERON (as Karma): Okay, cool, us too.

NICK (as HK): What?!

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah.

NICK (as HK): This was my thing.

CAMERON (as Karma): Well it’s our thing now. Also, I think you’re still the most important piece here, because you’re the only one with access to weapons.

NICK (as HK): They won’t let me have anything bigger than this.

CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah, but you can do a lot of damage with that.

NICK (as HK): It doesn’t actually kill organics, it just knocks them out.

CAMERON (as Karma): Well how hard are you hitting them with it?

NICK (as HK): I’m not good at melee.

CAMERON (as Karma): Well, I mean, you stun them first.

NICK (as HK): Oh. Ohhh…

CAMERON: [laughs]

CAMERON (as Karma): I should not have told you that.

NICK: [laughs]

CAMERON (as Karma): I regret this decision, but it’ll probably be useful in the future, so whatever.

NICK (as HK): This is great. I’m gonna try that out in a little while I think. This is good.

CAMERON (as Karma): Hmm.

NICK (as HK): Where did Officer Smith go? The cafeteria, right?

CAMERON (as Karma): Yup.

NICK: [smiling] And HK starts to stalk down the fence line towards the cafeteria.

CAMERON: [laughs]

LILIT: Xianna, from the distance, is waving.

LILIT (as Xianna): Bye Hank~!

NICK: HK puts one of his hands next to his face, even though that’s not how his speaker works, and says…

LILIT: [giggles]

NICK (as HK): Do not fraternize with a guard, inmate!

NICK: …and waves the gun at you, but it looks like a greeting, and then he continues to walk off. I think that’s where we’re gonna end the episode.

ALL: Ba-naaa~!

## Outro

CAMERON: Thanks for listening to Tabletop Squadron. If you enjoyed our show, please consider leaving a review on your podcast listening app of choice. Reviews will help new listeners to find the show, and every time we get one the squad gets warm fuzzies.

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 Hot tub hangout, which all have fabulous rewards and super great names.

Xianna’fan is played by Lilit 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 your food and cute pet photos with us. We also sometimes talk about Star Wars. You can find a link to join our Discord on our website and in our pinned tweet. See you next time.

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