Tales from the Vo Witch

Log 5 of Kisara'Fenno

Talik’Fenno,


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.

Much love,
Kisara

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TGIF... Some downtime
New herb, new day.

So we got off that godforsaken planet, and I didn’t even get a baby hellhound as a souvenir. The droid is afraid of them for some reason. It’s not like they eat metal.’

Oh well. I got some new herb to try… not a total loss.

We had quite a time though. Found the scientist still alive on the planet. I’m not sure how they survived that long… pretty sketchy place, but these people are pretty sketchy as well. We might not have gotten them on the Witch if the Imperials hadn’t attacked.

Oh yeah.., the Imperials attacked.

I thought l’d managed to stay out of their way quite nicely over the years… but stepping out of the corporate sector may turn out to be quite lucrative, but deadly.

On the plus side, we now own a small piece of business, have prospects in a possibly new black market trade route, and I just bought a new Cam Droid.

Now, if we could only avoid trouble everywhere we go…

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Log 4 of Kisara'Fenno

Dearest Talik’Fenno,
____You must have had your doubts when I left Ryloth for a smidgen of fame and heaps of fortune? Well, it is with great pride that I share a little secret with you—I’m currently the richest member of our family. Yes, my cunning has paid off and I am the smug owner of over 10,000 credits. Yes, you read that correctly. 10k, sister dear.
It was a good day…
____The guys wanted to scout out a potential trade route in uncharted territory. We had M8 and WD astrogating for us—big mistake. First the homicidal droid loses us in deep space, swerves us into mynock breeding grounds, and then nearly careens the Vo Witch into an official freighter! Thanks to Bandars stalling on the com system and Naz’s piloting skills, we escape being searched. Sometimes I wonder if WD is in on M8’s plan of omnicide…
____By now, I’m lost, but we stop on a planet they are familiar with, Etti IV. After a demeaning docking experience with local pest control, we are free to explore a bit. I had to pack light, but none of the officials noticed my hidden blaster ;) As the guys headed off to go buy toys, WD intercepted me on my way to the casinos and warned me to surreptitiously comlink the word “fruit” in case of emergency. Hah—I guess fruit must not come up often in droids’ vocabularies.
____The Free Flight Dance Dome caught my eye. Talik, you would’ve loved dancing here! They controlled the gravity to augment the experience. I was here to scam suckers, however. I noticed a table of well-dressed people in the corner already playing cards. Sitting at the table was a stunning woman with iridescent skin; a nervous, slimy Salamander; a grizzled, oily-haired hulking human, and a run-of-the-mill droid.
____I acted the part of naïve, lucky winner from the casino next door. All but the salamander agreed to my opening bid of 1000 credits. I won the first hand with no problem whatsoever. A round of drinks on me seemed the smug polite thing to do.
The stakes kept rising, however, and my usual ‘flair’ for sabbac wasn’t producing the usual results. Those bastards must be cheating me!
____To avoid a scene, I calmly offered the greedy droid the option to restore us our money and leave quietly… It took off running.
____I was prepared for this and managed a glancing blow to his side with my bola. A bundle of credits fell to the floor and in the commotion of the droid racing out the door, I tucked away half into my sleeve. With the remaining 4000 credits, I retreated to the table and in an act of selflessness, proceeded to split the money between the four of us. With an air of tragic disappointment, I left the club and once out the door, I yelled “fruit” in to the comlink, sprinted down an alley to try and catch the thieving bastard. I gave more details to WD and minutes later, rounded a bend just in time to see Bandar tackling the droid. A flurry of movements ensued: WD threatening the droid, Naz scooping up money, and Gav shooing passerby. All their movements ceased when the droid uttered its owner’s name: Ploovo.
____Apparently, he’s one of their seedy business partners. WD staunchly refused Gav and my suggestions to wipe the droid’s memories and to walk away with the money. Naz, Bandar, and WD wanted to meet with Ploovo and maintain positive business connections. I continue to sulk all the way back until we arrive at the Free Flight Dance Dome. Uhhh… they walk right in. My strategy at this point is to hide myself behind Gav’s bulky frame. When I realize he is walking straight towards the table I gambled with I begin to frantically pull on Gav’s shirt. He shrugs me off and sidles right up the scarred man and proceeds to politely call out Ploovo for sabbac-hustling with his droid. The woman looks shocked and as Ploovo slowly stands up and towers over Gav, I realize we—but especially I—am in trouble.
____Ploovo leads us to a private table where I become trapped between Gav and a surly bouncer. As Ploovo chastises Gav, Naz begins to pile the recovered money on the table.
____Every. Last. Credit.
____I am stunned. The group of treasure hunters I chose to ally myself with has just given away a heap of money—no, MY money! (I’m the one who flushed the credit-laden droid out to be captured by Bandar in the first place). No wonder they live in a wrecked ship and eke out a living by running errands. They GIVE AWAY money!
____I continue to glare at each of them even as Naz bargains with Ploovo to “allow” me to keep 2000 credits from the heap on the table. To show no hard feelings, they even agree to run another errand and deliver cargo… for free.
____As we leave the club, I guess I should be happy with the 10k credits I have safely tucked away. But I can’t help the nagging feeling that these guys maybe aren’t as ambitious as I’d thought. So much for sharing the info on my heist job…
____On the bright side, it was an exhilarating day! I’m finally making some hard-earned money. I must beg your patience again, Talik, as I won’t risk sending money to you all until I can be certain it will arrive. Hang in there.
____Love, Kisara

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Log 3 of Kisara'Fenno

Talik’Fenno,
_____ohshitohshitohshitohshitohshit OH SHIIIIIITT!!!
_____That’s been my mantra over the previous day on Cholgana. I’d like you to believe that I’ve survived this long due to my cunning, but Talik, I’ll level with you. Mostly, I’ve slipped, tripped, and fallen into trouble. But I’m not the only one… Take Gav, for instance, he started this whole mess by falling into the dammed ship and being swept away. It just got steadily worse from then on out.
_____I’m already on edge because the sharp-shooter Stumpel is quarantined on the ship from the illness the Nautolan, Bandar, had. As Gav disappears, I start to panic. Everyone is arguing over what to do. Bandar ties a rope to himself, and leaps into the rushing water. A few minutes later, the rope goes slack. I peer out around the edge of the ship, down the waterfall, expecting to see 2 bodies falling away.
_____Suddenly, there is a horrendous screech of metal. I start running back to WD and Naz. I’m running uphill? -shitshitshitshit OH SHIT!- The ship’s falling apart and I’m sliding down the edge. I’m pulled away from the collapsing metal and realize Naz and his goddamn rocket boots are to blame. Our combined weight is too much for the boots, and we keep sinking into the forested ravine below us. I decide it’s a good time to hold on tight in case Naz decides to kick me away and save himself (and the boots). I know where his priorities lie.
_____ We land in the ravine and I comlink over to WD who says he can try to pick us up by the lake. Naz’s mood has greatly deteriorated as his boots won’t start up. The march through the ravine towards the lake felt like the longest of my life, Talik—likely to get eaten at any second, with a glowering Naz muttering about bad ideas.
_____WD needed us to swim a ways out to the ship. Oh sistah… you of all people know I’m no Nautolan. Swimming isn’t my forte. I get about 1/2 way and am struggling when I hear an audible sigh from Naz who then proceeds to practically toss me onto the ship. My sputtered retorts die away as I notice a nexu emerging from the forest where we had been.
_____Sometimes, you just gotta swallow your pride and say thank you.
_____You’ll be proud to know that I also got to save some lives. I was crazy enough to climb on the outside of the Vo Witch and try to help Bandar and Gav back onto the ship from where they were hanging. I steady Bandar as he lands, but Gav is caught. The ship jerks just as he manages to free himself, and he begins sliding down the curved cockpit windows. I grab his jacket and slow his descent just enough for him to find a handhold and pull himself up.
_____We head to the (hopefully) last section of this huge ship. We are a nervous wreck of a crew. After an abandoned camp proves to hold no useful treasure, we enter the ship. As we explore, only WD and I notice a vibroknife embedded into the wall. A brief moment of eye contact, and WD surprisingly gestures me forward to take it.
____A noise from below us prompted our crew to resume its usual argument of what to do next. I just go for it— sneaking down and searching for the jerk who is most likely pillaging the ship for anything of value. Suddenly, roars emanate from above me and I spin around to see Bandar run into a side room and Gav crashing down the ladder. shitshitshitshitshitshit—I practically scream into the comlink that there’s a safe room down here and begin to pry it shut. Gav and WD make it in, but Naz sprints away. I nearly shut the door, when Bandar re-appears but seems to hesitate (claustrophobic?). I grab him and pull him in as Gav slams the door in the face of blue-clawed nexu (?!?!)
_____Update: there are 3 cybernetic-enhanced nexu outside the door. Oh. Shit. We are dead. So very very very dead. shitshitsh—-
_____ I am jolted out of my paralysis by the sound of Gav wrenching off a grate from a vent. With no hesitation, I leap inside. Ladies first when it comes to escape routes, I always say.
_____The vibroknife helps us through the vent system and the 4 of us make it into a hallway only to see a metal-fanged nexu bounding toward us down the hallway. Instead of turning to run, WD begins fiddling with the wall mechanisms. I’m just getting my blaster ready as echoing booming sounds begin. WD forced the door system into lockdown! Doors begin crashing shut in a domino effect behind the nexu. It leaps toward us, metal teeth glinting, and BAM! it is crushed by the port slamming down. Blood pools sickeningly from under the door.
____Relief is quelled as I realize that we are now stuck. shit.

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WTF? Or...How I Learned to Fly While Eating Calamari!

There’s nothing like a good smoke. I mean, sex is great. Don’t get me wrong. But, a good smoke never disappoints, and there’s no chance you’re going to disappoint the smoke.

Then, there’s flying. I nailed that asteroid field like a serlac in a poonte hole. I don’t want to brag, but it was wicked sick…

… and what was my reward?

A planet full of teeth.

WTF.

So, this is where our salvage is located? A jungle planet full of monsters. it’s far too humid, and the constant chirping of insects makes the back of my eyes hurt.

I found a good landing spot in the side of a cliff. We’re hidden in a sort of gave several hundred feet above the forest floor. There’s a source of fresh water, and Stump and I set up the perimeter fence so nothing can get in.

After a break, we get ready to descend down into the tangled mess of green below us. Stump and I use our new boots while the rest of the fools climb. They will not laugh at our purchases from here on out.

We make our way to another drop where we think an escape pod crashed on the canyon floor. Sure enough, there is wreckage 9n a small lake below.

The others unpack their climbing gear while Stump and I, once again, just jump off the cliff and slowly descend in our shiny new rocket boots.

Eat that you fancy pants.

Not long after, all hell broke loose.

I’m not going to say this planet is the worst planet… ok, no., yes… it is the worst planet I’ve ever been on. I’m trying to enjoy a good smoke when I hear screams coming from above, it appears sea creatures on this planet have decided to sprout fur and live in the trees. 5, 10…20 of these evil squid are dropping out of the trees.

They attack ‘tentacle head’ first. I’m thinking maybe they mistook her head for one of their own, but it doesn’t sound like a friendly hello. We start shooting. All I remember was a lot of fur and tentacles… followed by blood… and tentacles. We’ll be eating calimari tonight.

After that battle, we descend again to find the escape pod. The only thing of muck value is the ship recorder. Bolts made his way into the pod to retrieve it. We then ascend to the jungle above and begin our way back to the ship.

Almost home… and it strikes. I’ve heard of Nexu, but had yet encounter one. It’s basically a large amount of teeth with a tail. Gav is pretty worked over, but Stump and I get some good shots in. We finally kill it, but not without some damage done.

And, did I mention, I shot Stump. I’m not going to hear the end of this one.

We rest on the Witch, and head out in the morning…flying above this green turd of a planet. We finally run into the Rodians. They are scanning, and don’t notice us. We find the salvage. It’s in a lake. Fun.

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Log 2 of Kisara'Fenno

Dear Talik’Fenno
___________Remember all those times as kids we dreamed about getting off of Ryloth and exploring otherworldly planets filled with sweeping vistas and strange creatures? Well, it’s not at all what we expected. In those fantasies, we weren’t tumbling into ravines, getting sliced by sharp teeth, and running for our lives. Here on Cholganna, I feel less like a hero and more like a walking snack. Let me catch you up on what’s happened since I last wrote…
___________After Naz nearly made us sick with his cocky navigating through the asteroid field, we found ourselves scanning for the remains of the huge ship which had supposedly crashed here decades earlier. Naz neatly tucked the ship into a protected outcrop, we disembarked and began fortifying the site (some of us also munched on the odd tubers which grew from the ceiling).
__________As we climbed down to the clearing floor, I felt an unavoidable sense of dread. The foreign noises formed a constant foreboding hum and I felt as if the jungle was always pressing in toward me when my back was turned. Talik, I’ll be honest and say I was really scared. What the hell was I doing here!? I don’t even know if these guys can shoot, or what’s out there, or even if there is anything worth taking from this phantom ship.
__________When we needed to descend into a ravine to find the little escape pod, I admit hesitating to make sure the others tested the rope’s strength first. Stumpel and Naz excitedly brought out their fancy rocket boots they bought at “Wheel”—what chumps to spend that much on shoes! My scoff turned into a yelp as I heard a noise above me and looked up just in time to see teeth-lined tentacles descending fast. I managed only a single blaster shot as an arboreal octopus landed squarely on my head.
__________All I remember was trying to wrestle the creature from my head, as its sharp teeth cut into my lekku. My feet actually left the ground at one point as it and its buddy tried to pull me into the canopy. I struggled, but it managed to wrap a tentacle over my face—effectively suffocating me.
__________This, dear Talik, is when I felt real panic for my life.
__________As I began to see flickering lights in my vision, suddenly the octopus was ripped from my face and I gasped and continued to flail madly. Disoriented, I looked down and saw Stumpel calmly aim his blaster toward both Naz and my head. This Klatooinian could’ve killed us both, but he somehow managed a single shot (!) which struck both the remaining octupusses.
__________My amazement was short lived as I crashed back to ground and dazedly grabbed my blaster and fired the killing blow right between that little monster’s eyes. Wheezing and covered in blood ‘n’ octo-‘pus,’ I must’ve been a sorry sight. My thanks to Stumpel turned to disgruntlement when he shared some rude comments on my current appearance and stench.
__________Glaring, I rappelled down the side of the ravine and—of course— lost my grip thanks and flipped upside down just as both Stumpel and Naz smugly floated down using those damn boots.
__________I had some choice names to call them in Twi’leki, I’ll tell ya that much.
__________As I finally freed myself and got to my feet, the gang returned and said it was time to go. I was so pissed off! I’m not gonna let these guys think I’m soft though—and I swiftly climbed back up the rope. HA!
__________The walk (or nervous jog rather) back to the ship was full of wild blaster shots at any sudden movement—unfortunately for Gav. Before we could even get him to his feet, a nexu—A FUCKIN’ NEXU!— leaps out onto him. It was so fast, a series of vicious bites, sword flurries, and very surprising sucker punch from WD, and the cat was dead. We really lucked out on that one.
__________I hit the bed so hard that night, M8 could’ve used a grenade to blast my door to smithereens and I would’ve slept through it. I felt a little better in the morning until it was decided to avoid the unwelcome scanning ship and disembark at the foot of a major lake. Where, I may add, we are major targets for anything with an appetite. You would’ve loved that vista though, Talik. The ship was so large, it had dammed the river and caused a lake to form; water gushed through it and cascaded down the side.
__________So there ya have it. Almost was eaten, very low chance to recover any items of value, and a potentially threatening ship flying about. Oh, and this ‘undiscovered’ site has a recently-used boat just on the shore. Who could’ve recently been here?! I think this must be a set-up or we’ve been double-crossed.
__________One thing I’m sure of though… Cholganna is an awful planet.
Love, Kisara

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Log 1 of Kisara'Fenno

Dearest Talik’Fenno,
I hope this letter finds you well, little sister. Please let the family know that I am safe and that I hope to write more frequently now that I am no longer detained by fanatics… no need to share the latter tidbit with them. Between you and me, you’d think that those moronic followers wouldn’t have been able to track me down, but I got sloppy. They even took all my hard-earned money I made from selling the masks I liberated from them!
I don’t remember much after that, but I was fortunate enough to come to my senses long enough to take advantage of some well-meaning smugglers who wanted to play the hero. Worked out for me—they freed me from the cultists and pitied me enough to give me a room to recover in. And, Talik, I’ll spare you the details of how sick I was.
As I recovered, I planned to snoop around the ship, gather some valuables, and duck out at the next stop. We arrived at this ritzy port called ‘The Wheel" because one of the crew had a lead to a new job. Turned out the lead was Twi’lek, but he wouldn’t engage with me using his lekku. Preferred speaking instead. Weird, right!? Probably embarrassed a member of a low-ranking family graced his presence…rich bastard. I was therefore a little off my negotiating game and the gig we arranged was to send this crew on a death mission to find some long-lost ship. Not my best work. This seemed like a shady deal with no certainty of treasure, so I decided it was time to leave.
Before collecting my things, I played some sabbec with those special dice you gave me and made some quick cash (thank you!). As I was about to duck out, I saw the four crew members rushing to catch some rodians who had stolen the droid that was gifted to them. It was the perfect chance to search the ship. Before they were out of sight, I made a show of reporting the rodians to law enforcement. As I entered the ship, I realized that I was wrong. It wasn’t that they had given me the worst room in the ship… the WHOLE ship was falling apart! As I searched the rooms, I found myself looking less for valuables and more in astonishment that this rusting bucket of barnacles ever made it off the ground. I guess that’s kudos to their mechanic droid, WD.
I kept feeling like I was being watched, so I started to make my way off the ship, and ran into the the ragtag crew. All four looked only slightly scuffed up, but they had retrieved the droid and negotiated their way out of “The Wheel” without paying.
Intriguing, right? Maybe I sold them short, the stoic klatoonian, Stumpel, and the human ex-cop, Gav, certainly look threatening… maybe they are actually better fighters than I thought. And I didn’t believe it until I saw the security footage their human pilot, Naz, brought out to replay a dozen times.
Talik. You won’t believe me, but this guy can fly. I won’t even try to explain how he managed to fly THROUGH a ship without killing himself. It was impressive.
So, you can imagine then that I did some quick recalculations. The big job, Talik. The one I told you about. This crew might be able to pull it off…
I will keep you updated when I can. As long as I am not murdered in my sleep by their insane pet droid! The circuit-crossed little green terror shows up when I least expect and will either charge or stare while making creepy whirring sounds. WD told me I should treat M8 nicer and he will like me, but I still carry my blaster with me everywhere now.
Wish me well (and the locks on my door sturdy),
Love, Kisara

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Log 6 of WUD

We freed the person being held by the people we were transporting. Again there was no planning. The rest of the kidnappers group was waiting for the person. There was gun fire. We can’t go back to that town.
The kidnapped person was drugged for an extended time. I understand this is bad for bios. At the end of this week I’ll be done with several repairs. She should be ready to give us some answers then as to what was going on. Maybe we can sign her on. If she hates slavers also the plan might be moved forward sooner…

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Log 5 of WUD

Log 4 was corrupted and lost.

As the ship improves so dose our luck. We have a piece of trans lane data that could make us very wealthy. It has more of a chance to kill all of us though. If I can get my workshop together then I think we just might make it.

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Session 3.5
A Promise to Keep

Actually, I got a little ahead of myself there.

The ship didn’t land just yet. I had time to save some prisoners from the cage thing on the back of the speeder. I could only get them out one at a time because of the small door.

Gav asked the droid to heal him. “I am not specialised in organic matter, but I can always use practice.” Gav stepped back, “On second thought…” “Don’t worry, you’re 96% expendable!”

I have to hand it to the droid, he’s probably better than me at healing. As I unloaded people, I thought of Keemi, she was a nurse. The droid remarked to Naz “I have organically welded Gav together again.” Naz looked confused. “Did it work?” “He’s not dead, I count that as a success!” Droid seems to be in a better mood. I’m not though.

I only saved 14 people before the ship put up it’s spotlights, and they instantly fixed themselves on several escaped prisoners. High powered laser cannons lined the bottom of the dropship, and they aimed downwards at the people on the hill, thankfully not at the speeder. “Dam,” I grumbled. I had seven people left in the cage. I had to go quicker if I wanted to save them all… and I had to save them all.

Up on the hill above me, Stumpel was hiding in a pipe. He told me later that he had tried to convince the people on Togar’s radio that he was Togar. He succeeded… They also said he boggled up the mission and the whole operation was compromised anyway. Then the guns fired.

I got another person out.

Stumpel dove out of his hiding spot and ran for better cover. The lasers hit the backs of his feet, rapid firing all the way down the hill. The ship moved with him. The noise was so loud it was practically blowing my ear off!

I had another one out.

I started to get the next person out when a spotlight blinded my sight momentarily. I look up to see an alien peeking out through a fairly large hole. I reached for my gun and he instantly put his head back in, and the giant metal claw fell out. I jumped back and the claw latched onto the cage. There was a clunk… the cage was rising. No…

With new strength I started pulling the guy out. It was the alien I presumed Naz had called Mr Snouty. I could see why. We were far off the ground when I had him out. “You’re going to have to jump.” He nodded nervously and so he did.

I looked up at the light streaming down at me from the hole, I looked down at the rapidly further away ground. I looked at the cage… I had four left. If I didn’t jump down now I wouldn’t make it myself. I felt tears welling up in my eyes. I couldn’t look at them… “I’m so sorry.” I whispered to them. “I’m sorry…” I had to jump down. As I fell, I locked eyes with a terrified urchin, and it was the face of someone who’d lost their last hope. I made a silent promise…

And everything went black.

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