The past two weeks I have been stuck on a slave transport ship… as the willing copilot.
Before you disown me entirely, let me explain the circumstances surrounding my apparent betrayal. First of all, the ship was completely empty. We were merely transporting it from Etti to Maryo. (On the other hand, this was a favor to the despicable crime lord, Ploovo. And who knows what kind of trading that creep is mixed up in).
For some reason, the guys seem to blame me for having to run this errand, even though I wanted nothing to do with keeping a ‘business relationship’ with Ploovo. All I wanted was to wreck his slaving ship and zoom away in the Vo Witch toward more lucrative tasks. We could easily avoid or incapacitate any potential bounty hunters, I’m sure. But nooooo, the others deemed that plan too “risky.”
So there I was, stuck as copilot on the cursed ship for a two-week trip towards Maryo. At the very least, we all did agree to try and hinder the next slave operation that could take place. WD was able to sneakily set the locks of the cells on a timer to open every 3 weeks and the crew quarters to lock down. It’s impressive he could do this, but I worry it puts too much pressure on the potential slaves to lead a revolt. In lieu of reliving my frustration by breaking things on the huge ship, I mostly stayed in my room on the Vo Witch. I’m not sure what else I could do, Talik.
We were ahead of schedule and Naz convinced us to travel with the Vo Witch over to his home on Tirsa’s moon. I was shocked by the state of the place—junk everywhere, sparsely populated, and the people I did see were emaciated. We found out this place was designated by the corporate sector as a new toxic dumpsite… effectively rendering the entire moon unlivable. Naz’s family and people were now all refugees. Their only option was to die or barter their futures as indentured workers for evacuation.
So, there you have it. We couldn’t leave them. But we couldn’t take them as the Vo Witch is too small and the slaver ship was due in Maryo. If we could only get the contact information of the person who owns this ship, we could possibly convince them that we are running late. Gav and Bandar were to create a small distraction as WD and I snuck into the warehouse to access a computer.
All went smoothly on our end, and WD and I manage to snag a computer and make it back to the ship. WD begins setting up the computer as I walk back towards where Gav and Bandar were. I hear a blaster shot and pick up my pace. I faintly see commotion and begin to run. When I see Gav slice an Espo in half, I am full on sprinting towards them.
Bandar is standing on a crate, yelling towards the refugees with sweeping gestures. He is encouraging the refugees to revolt!
So much for a simple distraction…
My plans change as I see a group of Espo reinforcements swarm off three large ships and head towards the commotion. If only I can steal a ship, maybe we could evacuate the refugees before they are all killed. The closest cargo ship was beginning to power up and shut its ramped entrance. A split decision to hijack the cargo ship has me ready to leap onto the ramp! But it is closing a lot faster than I thought and wow that’s pretty high up by now and— <whoosh> Bandar races past me, leaps into the air, grabs ahold of the ramp and rolls inside just as it slams closed.
Dumbfounded, I slow to a stop and stare up at the ship as it flies away. A moment later, a blue figure with a tarp leaps off the ship. Bandar lands on a building and gets up surprisingly quickly. He will surely feel that fall tomorrow.
A sound of an explosion brings my mind back to what’s most important: my survival. The safest place is the Vo Witch. I turn towards its landing area just in time to see it take off. Damn droid is flying to safety without me!
Ok, ok… think. The second safest place to be is by Gav. I turn and sprint back towards the center of the compound. It is utter chaos. Blaster fire everywhere, refugees and Espos locked in bloody fighting. Talik, it was as if everything slowed down and the desperation of Naz’s people became apparent. They were weak from hunger and using anything they had to fight the armored Espos with blasters. The bodies littering the ground were mostly locals. Young and old. Women and men. It was horrific.
I found Gav hunched over and grimacing. Thinking he was badly hurt, I began reaching for my stimpack. Turns out, he was only frustrated that the bodies he was LOOTING didn’t have any good shit! People were falling like flies around him and he was fixated on finding treasure. That thieving bastard was saved a kick to the head by the cries of Bandar for everyone to get out of the way. The fighting died down as we collectively turned our heads skyward in time to see a burning ship falling.
I ran for my life.
Most of what happened next is a blur. The majority escaped the horrendous explosion, and in the confusion, the remaining Espos were forced to surrender their weapons to the numerous refugees. Bandar and Naz convinced the refugees to gather their meager belongings and board the slaver ship Stumpel landed. We left the doomed moon and find ourselves with one hundred emaciated refugees in the hold of the slaver ship we are piloting. No need to point out the irony of the situation.
We are in the midst of deciding what to do next. There is talk of asking the refugees if they would like to become homesteaders on a planet we have found on our secret route. Talik, what do you think about this as an option for our village? If the planet proves habitable and out of the control of the corporate sector and Hutts, maybe we could secretly relocate there ourselves.
It’s only an idea, of course, but now that I have some money, I could help get a possible homestead started. Think about it. Maybe ask around and see if other Twi’lek would be interested in leaving Ryloth to start anew.