Transcript: S2 Episode 14: PowerPoint You in the Right Direction
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Tabletop Squadron Transcript – Season 2, Episode 14:
PowerPoint You in the Right Direction
Transcript by Tyler (Twitter: @Tyler_MoonSage)
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.
This week we have two new patrons to thank. First of all, Steve and Elaine Robertson. That’s my parents! Thank you so much for supporting the show. Your generosity knows no bounds. The crew of the Afternoon Delight may need some strategy consultants in the coming months, and I hope you’ll clear your calendars. Make sure to brush up on your strategic invasion plans. Erika Hammel, thank you so, so much for your support. Karma has a long to-do list around the ship that never seems to get done and is willing to exchange vibro-sword training for a helping hand, so I hope you have some skills repairing the ambient lighting and also have an interest in cool swishy sword techniques.
This episode features a patron-created NPC. Kelbin Blitz is the creation of Tucker Maltby. Thanks again, Tucker, for your wonderful support.
Music credit and content warnings are available in the show notes this week.
So now, let’s get into the episode.
NICK: Hello! Welcome to Tabletop Squadron, Episode 14! I’m your hosting game master, Nick. Bringing it into the new season, it’s chilly outside and we’re cold in our hearts.
LILIT: [flatly] Correct.
NICK: Yes. Indeed.
CAMERON: I was confused. I thought you meant like the new season of Tabletop Squadron. I was like, Nick, this is Episode 14 of the new season. We’ve been there.
NICK: No, like weather season, weather season.
HUDSON: I thought you meant it’s cold in our hearts and chili in our bowls.
NICK: That too.
LILIT: I didn’t make chili today!
HUDSON: Oh yeah, it was, uh…
LILIT: There’s no chili in our bowls.
HUDSON: It was shepherd’s pie.
LILIT: Yes, it was a lentil shepherd’s pie.
NICK: Shepherd’s pie in our bowls.
NICK: It was delicious. [laughs] Let’s all go around the table and everybody introduce their selves, say who you’re playing, and if you’ve spent any experience since the last time we were together go ahead and let us know what you spent that on, starting with Lilit.
LILIT: Hello. I am Lilit, and I will be playing Xianna’fan, a Twi’lek smuggler. I used my experience to buy Disarming Smile which allows me to make an opposed Charm check and lower a target’s Defense rating.
NICK: Oh wow. Wonderful. Up next we have Cameron.
CAMERON: Hello. I am Cameron, and I will be playing Karma Nailo, a Nautolan bounty hunter. I spent some of my experience points to get a new talent on my Marauder tree, and I bought another rank in Toughened, so I gained another 2 to my wound threshold.
NICK: What does that bring your wound threshold to?
NICK: … That’s a lot. I think that’s more wounds than a TIE fighter has?
CAMERON: I am a TIE fighter.
NICK: [laughs] Great.
LILIT: We are slowly turning into Voltron.
NICK: Hey, it’ll work.
LILIT: With my cargo space and her armor we soon will be a mech.
NICK: Oh my gosh. We’ll just tape jetpacks to all of y’all and then use the vehicle rules going forward.
LILIT: Tink is gonna learn how to jetpack and he will be that component.
HUDSON: No-no-no, you’re a mech and I’m a PC, and we’ll have commercials where we battle each other.
CAMERON: [long groan]
NICK: [laughing groan]
NICK: No. And last but not least, we’ve got Hudson.
HUDSON: Hi, I’m Hudson, and I play Tink, a Gigoran slicer. I had a lot of experience that I needed to spend.
HUDSON: So, I spent 70 points out of my 90…
HUDSON: …and I bought three things on my tree. I got Codebreaker to remove one black die per rank in Codebreaker from checks to break codes or decrypt communications, and it decreases the difficulty of checks to break codes or decrypt communications by one.
HUDSON: I also bought Mental Fortress: Spend one Destiny Point to ignore effects of critical injuries or Intellect or Cunning checks until the end of the encounter. That’s pretty good.
NICK: Yeah, especially because you get critically injured a lot.
HUDSON: I do. Then the most exciting one, Dedication: I gain +1 to a single characteristic.
HUDSON: I put 1 in Agility, so that made it go from 2 to 3.
NICK: Cool! [laughs] So that’s everybody I guess. Before we get started with the recap, let’s do the Destiny Roll~!
CAMERON: One dark side.
LILIT: Two dark side.
HUDSON: One dark side.
NICK: So that’s four dark side points, you say?
CAMERON: Yes it is.
NICK: Good. Wonderful.
LILIT: Gonna be fine.
NICK: It’ll be fine! So when we last left off you had recently escaped from prison. Congratulations.
NICK: You and your three newest and closest friends had hijacked a freighter that was dropping off supplies, convinced the captain to take you somewhere else, and had just arrived near the Janga Shipyards. So, let’s go ahead and get into it.
We see the boxy freighter piloted by your new and apparently old friend, Kelbin Blitz, settle gently on a landing pad in a bustling industrial area. You have made it to the Janga Shipyards, an out of the way stop for long-haul freighters and emergency repairs. It is far from the eyes of the Empire, and the people you see wandering around outside look relaxed but vigilant. The entire station seems to be made of blocky gray pieces welded together, and a diffused yellow light washes over every surface. It’s source is unclear.
So the ship sets down and you all are kind of clustered into this tight space. Kelbin turns around in his chair and says:
NICK (as Kelbin): Alright gang, this is it. I guess you may be a little obvious in these prison clothes. Xianna looks good, but everybody else, just, if you could get away from my ship as fast as possible so that we don’t get in trouble, that’d be good, and I’ll leave, and it’s been fun.
LILIT (as Xianna): Okie, thank you~
HUDSON (as Tink): Great riding with you. It was a smooth ol’ ride.
NICK (as Kelbin): Yeah, I specialize in being smooth.
NICK: He winks with his very large Bith eye, and the landing ramp falls down with a clang, and you can exit the ship if you want.
HUDSON: I leave after giving a very crisp thumbs up to him.
NICK (as Kelbin): Well, bye everybody.
NICK: He does the awkward finger-wiggle wave at you, and you all leave the ship. You’re about two parking spaces away from where we can actually see the Afternoon Delight has been long-term docked. Karma, this is where you left your ship before getting arrested on purpose.
NICK: Before infiltrating the prison to help Sentinel to escape. As you get close, bystanders are giving some odd looks to Karma and Blue and Tadzi and Sentinel and Ziller in their prison jumpsuits.
CAMERON: Ziller could have taken his off too.
NICK: He didn’t though.
NICK: You get to the door of the Afternoon Delight and the panel indicates that the ship has been locked down.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh, how do we unlock the… Hey, karma, how do you unlock this?
CAMERON (as Karma): I just need to go pick up the keys with the mechanic.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh!
HUDSON (as Tink): Okay. That scared me for a second. Sorry.
CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah. I didn’t take the clicker with me. That would have been dumb.
NICK: So you head your way over to the office where you have docking fees and things. Karma, you had prepaid the docking fee so that wasn’t an issue. There is an attendant there that is a Selkath wearing an orange jumpsuit with a vest that is staring blankly into space and seems to be ignoring you.
CAMERON (as Karma): Hey Joe! How’d she go?
NICK (as Joe): You’ve been gone for a while. I didn’t think that you were gonna be gone that long this time.
CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah, I didn’t either, but… ended up, on my vacation, found a bounty and then, you know, felt obligated to turn them in, and that took a bit longer than expected, because normally it just goes a lot faster because I have my own ship, but I was like hitchhiking with a bounty which is something that I would not recommend doing. It’s a little weird.
NICK (as Joe): Yeah, I’m surprised somebody would let a bounty hunter with their bounty hitch a lift. You must have been very persuasive.
CAMERON (as Karma): Mostly helped I found a prison transport that was heading to Kajim anyway, so…
NICK (as Joe): Ahh.
CAMERON (as Karma): Didn’t have to do the convincing to get there, because they were already there, just had to haggle for some cargo space.
NICK (as Joe): Great. Well what can I help you with?
CAMERON (as Karma): Just need to pick up the Afternoon Delight.
NICK (as Joe): Well, it’s right where you left it.
CAMERON (as Karma): Yep, I know, but you have my keys.
NICK (as Joe): What keys?
CAMERON (as Karma): Those keys.
CAMERON: Karma points, and it has an adorable keychain on it that is a little loth-rat.
NICK: A little loth-rat keychain?
NICK: Joe laughs.
NICK (as Joe): Ah… I was hoping to get a little bit more of a rise from you for that joke, but yeah, here you go. You paid in advance, so you’re good to rock and roll.
CAMERON (as Karma): Thank you!
CAMERON: Karma does finger guns and walks over to the ship.
NICK: We get one of those clock wipes that goes in a circle, and we see Karma and Tink and Xianna and Tadzi and HK and Ziller and Blue all gathered around the hot tub which has the lid on it as the ship is slowly booting up and you can hear the sound of the lights turning on throughout the ship and it coming out of rest mode. You have a minute to yourselves. The current plan was to drop your new friends from Kajim Regional Incarceration Facility here, but they seem a little nervous about heading out on their own right away.
HUDSON (as Tink): Alright. Everyone, get in, we’re doing a selfie.
[quirky music begins]
Oh, Sentinel, is there a thing like if there’s a picture taken of you it doesn’t show up because of the way you are…?
NICK (as Sentinel): What?
CAMERON (as Karma): No, Tink…
LILIT (as Xianna): Tink, that is just vampires.
HUDSON (as Tink): That’s just mirrors. Oh, it’s just mirrors with Sentinel. Okay.
CAMERON (as Karma): No…
LILIT (as Xianna): That’s vampires, not Jedi.
NICK (as Sentinel): What?!
CAMERON (as Karma): I don’t think it’s mirrors either.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh.
NICK (as Sentinel): Um…
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh! Oh… Jedi don’t—? Okay.
LILIT (as Xianna): No, vampires don’t show up in mirrors. That is like a very common trope.
HUDSON (as Tink): But Sentinel’s not a vampire. I just thought that, you know…
NICK (as Sentinel): How about I take the photo? I don’t really need photo evidence of who I’m associating with.
LILIT (as Xianna): Well now I am suspicious, Sentinel. Why don’t you want to be in the photo?
NICK (as Sentinel): Because I’m a wanted criminal?
LILIT (as Xianna): Is it because you’re not going to show up in it?
NICK (as Sentinel): No! I’m going to—Look.
NICK: He grabs the data pad that Tink was holding and poses and does kawaii peace sign fingers and a really big smile and goes (click) and then turns the screen around to show you a picture of Sentinel looking kawaii. There is a little bit of distortion on the photo, but otherwise he’s in it.
LILIT (as Xianna): Okie.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh… Okay, sure. This checks out. That’s not like an illusion or something, right?
NICK (as Sentinel): So could you delete that photo, please? I just don’t think it turned out that well.
LILIT (as Xianna): I think it looks very super cute.
NICK (as Sentinel): Okay, well…
HUDSON: I say “sure” and then I back it up to the cloud.
CAMERON: But then make a big show of pressing Delete and showing Sentinel that it’s gone now.
HUDSON: Yes, exactly.
[quirky music ends]
NICK (as Sentinel): Again, one of the most wanted people in the galaxy responsible for rebellious action against the Empire. Just don’t want photos of me floating around that can be used to derail my plans to bring freedom to the galaxy. You all understand, you’ve helped me before.
CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah, which is why Tink deleted the photo.
LILIT (as Xianna): I don’t know, I post selfies of my crimes all the time and I have never been caught because of them.
HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah, she calls them crimies.
LILIT (as Xianna): That is not what I call them.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh, well that’s what I call them.
LILIT (as Xianna): I’ve only ever been caught for unrelated events.
NICK (as HK): Xianna, I believe that you are discounting the contribution that your “crimies” may have made towards the act of apprehending you.
LILIT (as Xianna): No, because most of the times that I have been arrested it has had nothing to do with the selfies. I mean, two of the times I turned myself in on purpose.
CAMERON (as Karma): So, to be fair though, the selfies are linked to your profile.
LILIT (as Xianna): Which one? I have lots of profiles.
HUDSON (as Tink): In Spacebook.
CAMERON (as Karma): No, not in Spacebook, within the bounty hunter logs.
LILIT (as Xianna): I have like ten Spacebook profiles.
NICK: They’re all friends with each other so that Xianna’s follower count is higher.
HUDSON: And so that they can catfish more effectively.
LILIT: Yes, because you want to make it look like you have real friends.
LILIT (as Xianna): A few of the times I have been arrested it was because I went up and antagonized the troopers, so I really don’t feel like the selfies have ever impacted it.
HUDSON (as Tink): So, does anyone else want to be a big baby like Sentinel and not be in the group photo, or are we gonna do a group photo, fam?
NICK (as Tadzi): I’m good with doing a group photo.
NICK (as Ziller): Yeah brother. Let’s take a picture of all of us having recently escaped prison. That can’t backfire at all, can it?
HUDSON (as Tink): Nope.
NICK: Blue nods slowly.
NICK (as Blue): Yes, I think that a group photo to commemorate this event is in order.
HUDSON (as Tink): Okay! Alright, Sentinel, here’s the camera. Do I need to show you how to use it?
NICK (as Sentinel): I literally just took a selfie, Tink.
HUDSON (as Tink): That’s true.
CAMERON (as Karma): Well yeah, but do you know how to turn the camera around the other way?
NICK: He rolls his eyes…
NICK: …and rolls his chair back so that he can get everybody in the frame and holds it up.
NICK (as Sentinel): Everybody strike a cute pose and say… balance to the Force.
LILIT (as Xianna): Cheese~!
HUDSON (as Tink): Balance—Cheese.
CAMERON (as Karma): Balance to the Force… This is not a good smiling saying. Force brings all of your mouth like forward, not in a smile.
NICK: And we get a cute photo of everyone having escape prison looking very happy. Tadzi turns around and looks at everybody and takes a step back from the group.
NICK (as Tadzi): So, I think I can make whatever I need to happen happen here in the spaceport. Could I borrow some clothes or something? I’d rather not wander around wearing a jumpsuit.
CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah. Come this way, I’ll show you our costume closet.
NICK (as Tadzi): Awesome!
CAMERON (as Karma): Blue, do you need anything?
NICK (as Blue): Yeah, a jumpsuit sounds nice. That would be helpful I think.
CAMERON (as Karma): Alright, come on. Ziller, I’m assuming you’re good, that you’re just gonna strip.
NICK: [laughing] Ziller grabs the hips of his prison jumpsuit and pulls, tearing it away in one smooth motion, revealing that he has like an ammo belt on underneath.
[fabric tearing sound]
CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah, that’s what I thought. Cool.
NICK (as Ziller): Yeah brother, I’m ready to go.
NICK: So what outfits do you pick out for Blue and Tadzi?
HUDSON (as Tink): Ooh, ooh! Karma, Karma!
CAMERON (as Karma): Yes?
HUDSON (as Tink): Alright. Do these two.
HUDSON: I point to two outfits. One of them is the color pallet of light gray, like a shiny gray and a dark blue, and the other one is dark blue and yellow, and they’re like kind of latex but a loose crinkly latex, and it looks like what the 90s thought the future of space would look like.
HUDSON: I’m getting this directly from the movie Good Burger when they’re in Mondo Burger and all of the people are wearing the Mondo Burger uniforms.
LILIT: I know exactly what outfit you are talking about.
CAMERON: I feel this.
NICK: Yeah, so for some reason you have one of those in Herglic size and one of those in Tadzi’s size as well. They suit up.
NICK (as Tadzi): Well, you know, I have gotten pretty used to jumpsuits, so I’m fine just kinda switching it out for something—well, I was going to say less conspicuous, but hiding in plain sight’s a thing.
NICK: Blue nods.
NICK (as Blue): Yeah, I don’t feel conspicuous at all. I’m sure it will be fine.
NICK: So you all meet back up and we see the ramp of the Afternoon Delight come down, and Ziller gives a thumbs up to everyone.
NICK (as Ziller): Honestly, I’m surprised to have lived through that, brother. I really thought that we were going to have a conflict of interest and it was going to end in mortal combat. So… here’s to new friends, I guess.
HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah, to new friends! I’m excited that we were able to reconnect, brother, and I’m sure that we’ll cross paths eventually. There’s no need to cry over me. I’m… I’m fine. [sobs]
CAMERON (as Karma): Ziller, if we cross paths again and you’re doing crimes I will arrest you again.
NICK (as Ziller): Not if I arrest you first. Heh-ha!
CAMERON (as Karma): I don’t think you understand how this works.
NICK (as Ziller): Well, with that very clear communication, off I go to do not crime.
NICK: Ziller leaves, and Blue says:
NICK (as Blue): This has been a lot of fun. Karma, if you need something heavy lifted, you let me know. I’d be happy to work with you again.
CAMERON (as Karma): Thanks!
CAMERON: We touch data pads and it magically transfers our contact information to each other. [laughs]
NICK: Sure. She hefts the huge repeating blaster that she’s had with her this whole time and walks out into the crowd. Tadzi looks at all of the group, and they seem a little more hesitant to leave.
NICK (as Tadzi): Well… goodbye everyone.
NICK: Tadzi leans in and puts a hand on the side of HK’s face.
NICK (as Tadzi): I’ll miss you most of all, tin man.
NICK: Then they turn and say:
NICK (as Tadzi): Just kidding! Bye Xiann, love you~!
LILIT (as Xianna): Byeee~!
NICK: And off they go, and you have the ship to yourself, just the crew of the Afternoon Delight and Sentinel, and the ramp goes up.
NICK (as Sentinel): Now that our… I guess accomplices is the best word. Now that our accomplices have left, I have something I need to talk to you all about. Would you be willing to listen?
CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah.
HUDSON (as Tink): I like the word compatriots better, but sure.
LILIT (as Xianna): I will sit here, but I cannot promise I will listen the entire time.
NICK (as Sentinel): That’s fine. I was actually going to go to the holo theater. I have sort of a presentation, I think, if I can find where the file is stashed.
LILIT (as Xianna): Ooh!
CAMERON (as Karma): Oh, okay. Yeah, sure.
LILIT (as Xianna): Slideshows can make it more fun.
NICK (as Sentinel): We’ll do that then.
NICK: He heads down the hall. You go to the holo theater, and you can see he’s tapping through the core computer and pulls up a file that, Tink, you don’t recognize but looks like it was saved locally.
NICK (as Sentinel): I’ve been working on this for… longer than we’ve known each other, but we got a little sidetracked helping the Rebellion.
LILIT (as Xianna): [as a groan] Oh no, Sentinel, please don’t make us read your screenplay.
NICK (as Sentinel): No, no-no-no, the screenplay I already have a couple of investors for.
NICK: He smiles real wide.
NICK (as Sentinel): There, I went along with the joke. Did it work?
CAMERON (as Karma): Yay. Very good, very funny.
NICK (as Sentinel): Thank you, Karma.
LILIT (as Xianna): Wait. Do you actually have a screenplay or not?
NICK (as Sentinel): No, I don’t have a screenplay.
LILIT (as Xianna): Okay.
NICK (as Sentinel): I’ve been organizing military action for the last five years. When would I have had time to do that?
LILIT (as Xianna): I don’t know what you do in your free time.
NICK (as Sentinel): You have free time?! How do I get that? That sounds amazing.
LILIT (as Xianna): You just, uh, skirt responsibilities.
NICK (as Sentinel): Ah, that doesn’t sound like something I would be interested in doing.
LILIT (as Xianna): Or, you share your responsibilities with other people so that you all have more free time.
NICK (as Sentinel): What a wonderful suggestion, Xianna. Now that you bring that up, let’s talk a little bit about a new responsibility I may be able to interest you all in.
NICK: Sentinel clicks a controller and you can see some geometric shapes show up on the holo display in various colors and patterns.
NICK (as Sentinel): I don’t have any images of the items themselves.
HUDSON (as Tink): Are these the plans for your new makeover for your little loft?
NICK (as Sentinel): No, this is a series of powerful and mysterious artifacts, actually.
HUDSON (as Tink): There better be some wacky transitions in this presentation.
LILIT (as Xianna): Ooh, I like the clip arts.
HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah, do you have the clip arts?!
NICK: Sentinel rolls his eyes and hits a button on the controller and the slide shifts to the next one and it shows the Imperial logo and you hear (whoosh).
HUDSON (as Tink): Ooh.
CAMERON (as Karma): Ooh, I love the way you made the Imperial logo pinwheel in.
LILIT (as Xianna): It is very nice.
[low humming music begins]
NICK (as Sentinel): So, there are a series of artifacts referred to as the Shattered Force.
NICK: He hits another slide, (whoosh) and it shows the Jedi symbol.
NICK (as Sentinel): These are items that were imbued with power and the capabilities to rearrange the galaxy itself if placed within the right… or wrong, hands. An ancient prophecy says that balance can be restored to the Force if these seven items are brought together. There’s debate amongst the translations, but if someone were to use all seven at the same time they may be able to become one with the Force. They could become a god.
LILIT (as Xianna): Wait. Aren’t we all like one with the Force? Isn’t it like inside all of us? Because it’s not a vampire, you don’t have to ask it in, it just can go there.
NICK: Sentinel stops. You can tell that this is something he’s been thinking about and you’ve knocked him off track.
NICK (as Sentinel): [stammers] No, become one with the Force like gain true and unified control with the power that flows through the entire galaxy, a power that’s unbelievably strong.
LILIT (as Xianna): … If you say so. I thought we all have the Force inside of us, it’s just that some people are better equipped to manipulate it and use it, and that’s what it is.
NICK (as Sentinel): Why do you know so much about the Force, Xianna?
LILIT (as Xianna): I have no idea. I think one of those educational channels got left on while I took a nap and I just absorbed it all. There was something about midi-chlorians?
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh, the Mighty Midi-chlorians, yeah.
LILIT (as Xianna): Yeah, the mitochondria.
HUDSON (as Tink): [singing] The Mighty Midi-chlorians are coming for you~
LILIT (as Xianna): Yeah!
HUDSON (as Tink): Yeah, that song.
NICK (as Sentinel): Oh no, midi-chlorians, that’s not a real thing.
LILIT (as Xianna): That’s like a phrenology stuff. That’s not real.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh.
NICK (as Sentinel): Yeah.
LILIT (as Xianna): It’s bad.
NICK (as Sentinel): That’s an old belief that some people cling to but doesn’t have really anything to do with the Force.
HUDSON (as Tink): That’s probably why the video I saw was in black and white.
NICK (as Sentinel): Yep, those old Jedi Temple videos get a little weird.
LILIT (as Xianna): Yes, because everyone knows that new holos are in blue and white.
NICK: Sentinel shakes his head as though trying to collect his thoughts.
NICK (as Sentinel): So, this god-like Force power, I want to harness it to destroy the emperor. I don’t think we need to use them all at once, but these incredibly powerful items even operating independently could change the balance of power in the galaxy. I know the emperor has been looking for them, but I don’t think he’s found any of them yet. I’ll be honest, after my imprisonment what little remained of my funds from the Fondor operation went to covering the end of expenses for final wrap-up operations, but this is wildly important. I hope that you would be willing to help me for the sake of the galaxy.
LILIT (as Xianna): If you’re telling me that I get to steal shit, I am always down for that.
NICK (as Sentinel): And you steal shit to help destroy the Empire.
LILIT (as Xianna): I guess that is like an extra bonus.
NICK (as Sentinel): If you were able to find even one of these artifacts they could potentially lead you to more, and I have a lead on a single one at this time.
LILIT (as Xianna): But I want to know what they all are.
NICK (as Sentinel): We don’t know, exactly.
CAMERON (as Karma): You just know that there’s seven ‘items’ in the galaxy?
NICK (as Sentinel): There’s seven mystical items. Yes. Well, that’s not true. I don’t know what they all are. One of them I have already attempted to send you to go and collect, and you failed.
LILIT (as Xianna): Well, also, it had already been turned into underwear.
CAMERON (as Karma): Oh no, was it the thong?
NICK (as Sentinel): Yes, I believe the power would have been still able to work though, even if the shape had been fundamentally changed.
HUDSON (as Tink): What if I’m a mystical item? What if I’m the piece you need?
LILIT (as Xianna): [gasps] What if the real treasure was in Tink all along?!
HUDSON (as Tink): [chuckling] It’s always been in me.
NICK: Tink, Sentinel nods seriously.
NICK (as Sentinel): Tink, come here.
HUDSON (as Tink): Yes?
NICK (as Sentinel): Lean in close so that I can touch your face.
NICK: He holds his hand up.
HUDSON (as Tink): Am I being anointed?
NICK (as Sentinel): Sure. I want to see something.
NICK: He reaches out and puts his hand on your forehead, and he closes his eyes. Nothing seems to happen for a while, and Sentinel furrows his brow and seems to be concentrating very carefully, then he gently slaps the side of your cheek and sits back in his wheelchair.
[low humming music ends]
NICK (as Sentinel): Nope. Sorry. You don’t have anything that’s going to be useful as far as the mystical Force powers go. I had some hopes, but looks like that’s not amongst your skillset.
LILIT: Xianna pops out of her chair.
LILIT (as Xianna): Ooh! Ooh! Wait.
LILIT: Then runs into her room and you just hear a lot of shuffling and things being thrown around, and after a moment Xianna comes back with a box.
LILIT (as Xianna): Ooh, Sentinel, I have this weird creepy mask. Is this one of your artifacts?
LILIT: And pulls out the mask.
NICK: It looks kind of like the masks from Knights of the Old Republic, like the full helmet with the very basic features and scary stripes. Sentinel sits up straight.
NICK (as Sentinel): [shaken] What the kriff are you doing with that?
LILIT (as Xianna): I’ve been keeping it in a box.
NICK (as Sentinel): You didn’t try to put it on or anything, did you?
LILIT (as Xianna): I mean, I did, but there was like weird static or something, so I took it off. It didn’t really fit over my lekku anyways.
NICK (as Sentinel): That is not one of the mystic items. If you could place that back in the box… and then destroy it.
LILIT (as Xianna): Oh. But wait, what happens if I put it on?
NICK (as Sentinel): Don’t. Don’t put it on. Xianna…
LILIT (as Xianna): But what happens?!
NICK (as Sentinel): Xianna.
LILIT (as Xianna): What if I cut out holes in the back for my lekku?
NICK (as Sentinel): Xianna, look me in the eyes.
LILIT (as Xianna): Yes?
NICK (as Sentinel): Do not put on that mask.
LILIT (as Xianna): What happens if I do?!
NICK (as Sentinel): You will be possessed by an ancient and terrifying Sith ghost.
LILIT (as Xianna): Oh, but that sounds so much fun!
NICK (as Sentinel): No!
LILIT (as Xianna): What if I have a baby sitter that can like watch while I do it so that I don’t do anything bad and can make sure I stay hydrated?
NICK (as Sentinel): You’re going to have a babysitter for the rest of your life, because we will never be able to remove the Sith spirit from your body.
LILIT (as Xianna): Wait. It doesn’t come back off with the helmet?
NICK (as Sentinel): No. Don’t put on the mask.
LILIT (as Xianna): Why would it not come back off if you take the mask off?
NICK (as Sentinel): Because it’s a prison for that horrible Sith ghost of some kind. I don’t recognize those markings.
CAMERON (as Karma): Why did they put a prison in the mask?!
LILIT (as Xianna): A mask is the worst place for a prison, because people are going to put it on.
NICK (as Sentinel): Look, I’m not an expert in ancient Jedi rituals from the time of the Jedi Sith Wars. That was just a thing that they did.
LILIT (as Xianna): Why would you not, like, imprison it in an object that nobody was going to use? Like a shoehorn. You know, those things that help you get your shoes on? I don’t actually know anyone who uses them.
HUDSON (as Tink): I used it to stir my milk once.
CAMERON (as Karma): Gross!
HUDSON (as Tink): I didn’t have anything to stir my milk into the cereal.
CAMERON (as Karma): Why were you stirring your milk into the cereal?
HUDSON (as Tink): To get it just equally soggy.
NICK (as HK): I once killed a man with a shoehorn.
LILIT (as Xianna): Okay, so I guess HK uses a shoehorn, and I guess there are probably people who use it to help them get shoes on. Okay, so maybe it wouldn’t work, because then somebody’s foot would get possessed with the Sith spirit.
CAMERON (as Karma): Or somebody’s shoe would.
LILIT (as Xianna): Or the shoe would, however that one works. They should have put it in like a jar of Marmite or something.
NICK (as HK): Sentinel, was the Sith originally imprisoned in a shoehorn which then imprisoned it in a shoe which then imprisoned it in someone’s foot which then imprisoned it in someone’s sock which then imprisoned it in that mask?
NICK (as Sentinel): What?! No. Look, the ritual involved a mask, I think they put it on the—
LILIT (as Xianna): Wait. What if we put the mask on top of Creamsicle? Would she become possessed by the Sith spirit?
NICK (as Sentinel): It depends on Creamsicle’s capacity for channeling the Force, really. I wouldn’t risk it.
LILIT (as Xianna): I think she has that capacity.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh! So we gotta find these artifacts. I know exactly what’s needed. I think we need to put Hank back into investigation mode.
LILIT (as Xianna): No.
CAMERON (as Karma): No.
LILIT (as Xianna): That is never happening ever again. We will not speak of that time that it happened. We don’t need to go into it.
NICK (as HK): Please no. Please, Tink, please no.
HUDSON (as Tink): [chuckling] Okay, fine.
NICK (as HK): Thank you.
LILIT (as Xianna): It killed him. He was dead.
HUDSON (as Tink): He wasn’t dead.
LILIT (as Xianna): Yes he was. He died.
CAMERON (as Karma): He was no longer Hank.
NICK (as HK): I was not dead. It was worse than death.
CAMERON (as Karma): Oh no.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oof.
LILIT (as Xianna): The cap was so ugly.
NICK: In an expression that you’re becoming more and more familiar with, and Sentinel seems more and more comfortable making, he puts a finger on each of his temples and rubs for a second.
NICK (as Sentinel): Alright. Can I finish telling you about these massive superweapons, please, and what I need you to do?
HUDSON (as Tink): How many slides are left?
NICK (as Sentinel): Like three?
HUDSON (as Tink): Okay, well I’m good.
NICK (as Sentinel): And one just says Questions.
NICK: So he hits a button.
NICK (as Sentinel): The one that I’ve been able to track is called the Spirit Breaker. It appears to be an orb that interferes with people’s Force sensitivity. I don’t know what else it can do.
NICK: He hits a button and the slide changes and you just see a blue crystal orb about the size of a softball.
NICK (as Sentinel): I was able to track it through the use of many different resources and contacts to a small moon in the Typhonic Nebula. It looks like it was sent with a Jedi there before the Clone Wars, and I was able to get that information from the old Jedi records.
LILIT (as Xianna): I think I have seen that before.
NICK (as Sentinel): Really?
LILIT (as Xianna): You know, it looks like one of those balls that light up and people bring to raves and do cool tricks with. You know, one of those?
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh, like a light-up fushigi.
LILIT (as Xianna): Yes!
NICK (as Sentinel): No, actually I don’t know one of those.
LILIT (as Xianna): Oh, you’ve never—Okay, we will go to a rave the next time we are on a cool city, and it is lots of fun.
NICK (as Sentinel): I’ll tell you what, if you assemble the seven items of the Shattered Force I will go to a rave with you.
LILIT (as Xianna): What if we just assemble six? Because one of them was turned into underwear, so I don’t know how useful it will be.
NICK (as Sentinel): It still counts.
LILIT (as Xianna): It still counts? Oh okay, we will go steal the underwear.
NICK (as Sentinel): Fetch me the underwear. Wonderful. There’s two things that I would need. One, if you could drop me off somewhere where I could reunite with my droid assistant, I can attempt to gather more information for you from afar, and two—
LILIT (as Xianna): You will need a mesh top. You don’t have to have the mesh top, I just feel like it’s a very popular outfit and maybe like some glow sticks, some black light reactive makeup, that’s fun too, and glitterstim, which I have, but you can borrow some of mine.
NICK: Sentinel smiles, and it looks like he’s trying to be annoyed but is actually just very happy with having been released from prison and being reunited with you all.
NICK (as Sentinel): Tell you what, at this rave I’ll let you pick the outfit, the makeup, the accessories, all of it, whatever you think would be the best experience, but please, for the safety of the galaxy, please reunite me with my droid assistant and be aware that if you jump to the Typhonic Nebula you’re not going to be able to jump straight to these coordinates. You’re going to have to approach on sub-light drives, because this nebula interferes with gravitational pull, and you should know that a lot of the ships that go into this cloud never return.
CAMERON (as Karma): Great.
NICK: We get a quick sideswipe, and we see Endo the Tognath standing around a holo projector in another darkened room surrounded with scary looking aliens and mercenaries and pilots. There’s a little hologram of Tink, and you hear the audio of Sentinel saying “but beware, some of the ships that go into that cloud never return,” and Endo has a blank look on his alien and masked face covered in exoskeleton, and then we jump back to the ship. Sentinel smiles wide and says:
NICK (as Sentinel): So, would you be able to drop me off somewhere where I can meet back up with my droid?
HUDSON (as Tink): Which droid? Is it Capster?
CAMERON (as Karma): Cappy.
HUDSON (as Tink): No, I call him the Capster.
LILIT (as Xianna): Chappy.
HUDSON (as Tink): The Capster is what I call him. He doesn’t like it, but I call him that.
NICK (as Sentinel): He must have changed his designation, I don’t remember that, but yes, that sounds like him. If you could drop me at the Canto Bight Casino, I have contacts there and could be reunited with my droid.
CAMERON (as Karma): Yeah, sure.
HUDSON (as Tink): Wait a second. Wait, wait, we almost let him get away without telling us what we get if we do all these things for him for free.
LILIT (as Xianna): We get to take him to a rave!
HUDSON (as Tink): Other than that.
LILIT (as Xianna): Oh, I also assumed we could just steal whatever we wanted while also stealing these things.
NICK (as Sentinel): That’s true. Tink, unfortunately I don’t have any more credits. I gave what I had left to you all in exchange for the last mission. I was hoping that you would help me with this out of compassion for the galaxy and to try to make everyone’s lives better.
HUDSON (as Tink): Hmm… Do you have any, like, secret recipes or secret family history that you can tell me that I’d get excited about and want to know about but I have to wait until the end of the mission to hear?
NICK (as Sentinel): As long as there are no follow-up questions… yes.
HUDSON (as Tink): Alright. Good enough for me.
NICK: We swipe to… We see Sentinel rolling across a landing pad that’s covered in gold and shiny fake gems, and we see Cappy the silver protocol droid walking to him, and they give each other a brief hug and then begin exchanging information rapidly, and the Afternoon Delight pulls back out into space. We see karma sitting in the captain’s chair typing in the coordinates that Sentinel was able to leave for this mystical artifact, and the ship snaps into hyperspace, and we get a brief montage of everyone picking up their gear.
CAMERON: Karma just walks out of her bedroom and is wearing her new armor and is re-strapping all of her normal weapons back to herself.
NICK: Yeah, so Karma, you picked up some really cool armor that you had custom-made during your time away from the group. Describe the new armor. What does it look like?
[dramatic and powerful fantasy music begins]
CAMERON: So it is made of abyss sea dragon scales. It is a black with the green and purple kind of raven’s feather type sheen to it. It looks as if you’re playing a game like Skyrim and you’ve got the dragon armor, so it has the scale-type look of the chest plate, a couple of pointy shoulders and knees for added coolness effect, and still wearing really cool boots but now just the boots match the sheen of the rest of the armor. I’m gonna go ahead and up my Soak value.
NICK: Yeah, you might as well.
CAMERON: Heheheh. Karma just looks like she can take a hit way better now.
[fantasy music ends]
NICK: [laughs] Tink, where do you go to pick up your gear that you stashed before going to prison?
HUDSON: I have to stop at a few places across the galaxy, but the primary places that I go to… So I go to the planet of Florrum which is this sulfurous desert planet featured in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the 2009 TV series according to the internet.
HUDSON: I go over there and there’s not much on that planet, it’s kind of desolate right now, but there is one place. I go to the last storage unit that this planet has ever had called The Last Storage Unit on the Planet, and it has a sign that just says “no questions asked,” and I picked it because of that so like they don’t know what my stuff is even though I have really not much to hide. So, I go around and I type in the key code on one of the storage units, and it opens, and there’s all my stuff including my vibro-axe.
NICK: Yeah. We see a small pile of electronics, a grenade, some random snacks, a pile of sticky wooden sticks that look like they may have been some popsicles that you dumped in there but they’ve melted long before. You are able to gear back up, grab your bandoliers, your backpack, your axe, and you are fully geared up.
[bloopy video game music begins]
HUDSON: The other place I go to before I leave is, I guess this would be on the same planet, there’s like a series of shopping centers, and what I do in order to not have a bank account, because I don’t really trust the imperial banking system, I go and I put things on layaway or I preorder videos games or movies or things like that, and I pay for those items in increments, and just as I’m at the point where I could actually buy it I get a refund of all my money. I do this with like 30 items.
HUDSON: So I just have to keep keeping it up with like a spreadsheet on my holo pad, but I go through and I collect all the money from all the stuff I’ve had on layaway since I’ve been in prison and all the things I’ve preordered.
NICK (as clerk): But sir, there was a price drop, so actually you’ve paid for this holovision.
HUDSON (as Tink): Oh… but uh, I was walking down the street and I found this, I found it, and I don’t need it anymore, so I need the money.
NICK (as clerk): I guess you could return it, but if you don’t have the receipt for what you found then it’ll have to be for store credit.
HUDSON (as Tink): Ugh, okay fine.
NICK: So you get all of your credits and a Space BestBuy gift card. [laughs]
[bloopy music ends]
NICK: Awesome. Xianna, where have you stashed your gear?
LILIT: So, Xianna heads over to one of Nolaa’s many apartments and knocks on the door.
NICK: There is a very long pause. You’re starting to think maybe you were wrong about Nolaa’s schedule and where she would be at this time. Then, after a while, the door cracks open on the little security chain and you see a sliver of her face and an eye peering out.
[somber emotional music begins]
NICK (as Nolaa): What do you want?
LILIT (as Xianna): Well, so… hello. I kind of left a lot of my stuff here. Uh, I didn’t tell you I was leaving some of my stuff here, but I did, in case you haven’t found it yet. Also, you do have my pet loth-rat. And also…
LILIT: Xianna puts a hand into one of the pockets and pulls out the shank toothbrush.
LILIT (as Xianna): I have a toothbrush that I can put on the counter.
NICK: There’s a long pause, and then the door slams shut, and then you hear some rattling and the door opens all the way, and Nolaa turns around and walks back into a well-appointed and comfortable looking apartment.
NICK (as Nolaa): Well, you better come in. I think we have a little bit more to talk about.
NICK: She sits down on a couch, and you can see Creamsicle comes out from behind the couch and climbs up on Nolaa’s shoulder but is staring at you and perched on her back legs.
LILIT (as Xianna): [whining] My baby has forgotten me. I was gone for too long. Creamsicle?
NICK: Creamsicle immediately jumps off of Nolaa’s shoulder and runs over to you…
LILIT (as Xianna): Oh, okay.
NICK: …and like climbs up your leg and up onto your collarbone and nestles under your chin.
LILIT (as Xianna): Okay. Never mind. I guess she did not forget me.
NICK (as Nolaa): It’s been… like two weeks? I don’t think that your loth-rat, who is very smart by the way and gets into a lot of trouble—
LILIT (as Xianna): Yes. She may be Force-sensitive.
NICK (as Nolaa): I… don’t think she is. I think she just has really sharp teeth and is a formerly wild animal.
LILIT (as Xianna): Maybe that, but who knows. We will have to see.
NICK (as Nolaa): Anyway. Come in, sit down, shut the door. Let’s talk.
LILIT: Xianna closes the door and goes and sits on one of the couches.
NICK: Nolaa leans back and says:
NICK (as Nolaa): Despite myself, I am actually really happy to see you, Xianna. How did it go? You okay?
LILIT (as Xianna): Oh, I am great actually. It was very good. Uh… You know, I always enjoy a prison stay where I can cause a riot, so that was fun.
NICK (as Nolaa): Oh, you started a riot?
LILIT (as Xianna): Yes, at least one.
NICK (as Nolaa): Interesting.
LILIT (as Xianna): And we got out. It was very lovely. And then, as you can see, I got this toothbrush so that I can keep it here, because I understand that I have commitment issues and maybe I should not have laughed at you when you asked if I wanted to maybe keep a few things at some of your places.
[somber music ends]
NICK (as Nolaa): Sounds like you’ve been doing a lot of thinking while you were in prison, huh?
LILIT (as Xianna): Yes. When I was not making Mandalore cocktails I was introspecting.
NICK: She quirks a smile and tosses one of her lekku over her shoulder.
NICK (as Nolaa): Xianna, I really am happy to see you. Um… The thing is, it’s not that the toothbrush is what we were talking about, it’s wanting to have a toothbrush here. Does that make sense to you?
LILIT (as Xianna): I understand. That is why I only brought one toothbrush, because you have like four apartments, so really I would need multiple toothbrushes. This was a symbolic gesture.
NICK (as Nolaa): Okay. I was just checking to make sure that’s where we were going with this. Sometimes you’re a little literal and sometimes I’m a little literal.
LILIT (as Xianna): Yes. I know that the fight was not actually about a toothbrush but about the fact that I did not want to commit and maybe make myself emotionally vulnerable in a relationship, and I think it just goes back to some deep-seated parental issues.
NICK (as Nolaa): Holy kriff, girl, you really did introspect.
LILIT (as Xianna): Yes.
NICK (as Nolaa): Well, I think we can make this work. The argument was about wanting to be closer together, right? So the fact that you’ve tried, like genuinely tried, even if you were causing riots at the time…
LILIT (as Xianna): Well, the riots were unrelated to the introspection. They just happened to happen about at the same time.
NICK (as Nolaa): So you were multitasking, and that’s okay. I… I’m really glad you’re back.
NICK: She stands up and walks over to you and gives you a big kiss.
LILIT (as Xianna): Yes. I am glad I am back too, because you have a very good butt and I would be very sad if I could no longer touch it.
NICK: She playfully pushes on your shoulder and picks up Creamsicle and says, straight into Creamsicle’s face, all cutesy…
NICK (as Nolaa): It looks like we’re gonna be seeing more of each other, little girl.
NICK: …and wiggles her around and ruffles up her fur, and we cut away to Xianna leaving the apartment some time later.
LILIT: Xianna is holding up Creamsicle in a hand and looking at her.
LILIT (as Xianna): Okay, Creamsicle, you do not have to call her mom yet, just be respectful and listen to her. You know, she is not your parent, but she is your mommy’s very good friend, so you just need to be respectful.
NICK: Creamsicle nips at one of your ear cones and then scuttles down into one of your coat pockets.
LILIT (as Xianna): Thank you.
NICK: And you have recollected all of your gear, you have your coat, you have all the things in your coat…
LILIT: I have a small microscope, and various drugs including experimental ones, and a bunch of credits now, and three grenades, and a very fancy new gun, and lock picking tools, and stim packs, and fuzzy handcuffs, and regular handcuffs, and a lot more.
NICK: And we see you patting down your pockets, pulling things out, checking them, Creamsicle runs from one pocket to another, and dressed in your coat and fully armed you look and feel a bit more like yourself especially having gotten to spend some time with Nolaa. We swipe away to everyone clustered around Karma’s seat in the Afternoon Delight as the last of the coordinates are being punched in for the Typhonic Nebula, and we see all of you looking out the front windscreen as karma grabs the hyperspace handle and is ready to jump onto the next adventure.
LILIT: And in the background Xianna has the mask and is putting it on Creamsicle.
LILIT (as Xianna): Hold on, Creamsicle. I want to see if this works.
NICK: End of episode!
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 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.