Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Star Wars - part 3 : "A Trip to the Wheel"

Episode 48: "A Trip to the Wheel"

The team hadn’t expected to be asked to take Melly Lemgoo anywhere other than back to Echo Base. They were surprised by her request to go to the Wheel, a large space station known for gambling and entertainment. When they questioned Melly, she told them that she wanted to go there to auction some information about Imperial naval deployments and convoys!

This didn’t sit well with the Venture team, but after they discussed it with her they realized that their mission had only been to extract her from Columex, not to take her anywhere specific. They also understood that Melly wasn’t cheating the Alliance by selling the information instead of giving it to the rebels – her agreement with them hadn’t been to give them everything she had acquired, and she wasn’t a member of the Rebel Alliance herself. Although the team members didn’t like it, she had every right to sell the intel to the highest bidder if she wanted to. Further discussion led them to conclude that they should try to acquire the funds to purchase the information themselves.

Once they had come to this decision, Dash sent the Alliance leadership a coded message disguised as a frivolous request for credits to purchase a yacht, to request that they release some of the funds they were holding on behalf of the New Jedi Order and the Antarian Rangers. Melly had already explained that the starting bid for her information would be 100,000 credits, so Dash’s message requested a million credits to help insure that the team could be the highest bidder.

During their trip to the Wheel, Neri made Taanar practice her skills with the Force by having her levitate small objects while doing a handstand. Neri threw small rubber balls around her to distract her during this training.

On arrival at the Wheel, the group learned that the Wheel had a strict no-weapons policy and would scan every visitor for illicit weaponry. Neri and Taanar hid their lightsabers in ADX’s secret shielded compartment. During the scan this caused an anomaly, but Neri was able to persuade the station representatives that this was a special customization of her droid’s equipment. She and her companions entered the Wheel in the guise of a Corellian noble traveling with her droid bodyguard, her personal pilot, her Togruta ward, and a Wookiee nanny for her ward. They were met by Melly Lemgoo and her friend Captain Raulmark Muridep, who extended an invitation to the invitation-only auction, which would take place in two days. After the arrangements had been made the group reserved a modest hotel suite.

Neri decided that the team needed more weapons, so she sought out a black market arms dealer. He warned them that they might be scanned again in the ‘high roller’ area of the station, but they decided to purchase several hold-out blasters anyway. Lowarra also bought a vibroblade and a stun baton.

The team received a response from the Rebel Alliance, but the leaders had decided to release only half the amount of credits that Dash had asked for. They could only hope that half a million credits would be enough to beat the other bidders.

Melly Lemgoo sent the group an invitation to the Main Ring entertainment center, where the auction would take place. As they entered the area, Neri and Lowarra both detected something off about the situation. There were Imperial agents present. Neri immediately drew her hold-out blaster, but the rest of the group other than Lowarra were taken by surprise. One of the agents raised a grenade launcher and fired a net at Lowarra. Lowarra avoided the net and fired back at her assailant. Then a stun grenade landed in the midst of the group, and ADX was hit by an ion grenade. Clearly the Imperials had known who was coming and prepared for them.

Lowarra moved toward the man who had tried to net her, and immediately was caught in an immobilizing trap. A second stun grenade fell into the group, stunning both Dash and Taanar. More ion grenades hit ADX, but fortunately his body was hardened against such effects.

Reeling from the effects of the stun grenades, Taanar took cover behind a piece of the décor. She watched in amazement as Neri used the Force to lift the still-immobilized Lowarra off the ground and use her sturdy body to try to bludgeon the man who had set up the trap. Unfortunately she missed him and slammed Lowarra into a wall, but the Wookiee was too tough to be bothered much by the experience. Lowarra broke free of the trap and she and Neri focused their attacks on the same target.

Another stun grenade flew at Neri, and she Force thrust the man who fired it off his perch on a walkway overhead. Taanar tried to shoot at him with her hold-out blaster but missed. Neri then attempted to make another Imperial agent flee in terror, but he resisted her and fired on her. Dash was busy exchanging blaster fire with a second man who had taken high ground. Neri managed to stun the man who had resisted her fear effect. One of the men tried to catch her in an electrified net, but she dodged it. ADX was hit several times and despite his hardened exterior took some damage. Another net was fired at Dash, who also avoided it.

Still hiding behind some of the furnishings, Taanar attempted to disarm a man who was heading toward her master with a blaster rifle, but her skill with the Force wasn’t strong enough to pull the rifle out of his hands. Meanwhile Lowarra had flown into a berserk rage and rushed some of the agents, a terrifying vision of flying hair and foaming lips. Inspired by her new friend’s fury, Taanar managed to hit the agent with a potted tree, and Dash then shot him. Lowarra sliced one man into three sections with her vibroblade. The last agent who was still on his feet faced ADX, but Neri disarmed him. Then Lowarra charged him and he ran, only to be brought down by ADX’s fist. Only the agent Lowarra had trisected was dead; all of the others were merely unconscious.

The Imperial agents were all taken prisoner and questioned. They revealed that they had recognized the Venture team on Columex and followed them to the Wheel. The team were just starting to realize how well-known they had become.

During the fight, Melly Lemgoo and her friend Captain Muridep had retreated into a separate room along with a group of security droids. When the fighting was over they emerged to find that the other auction participants had all fled. Muridep tried to bid on Melly’s information, but the team were able to outbid him and acquire intelligence on Imperial ship movements for the use of the Antarian Rangers.

At the end of the session, Taanar Ryl had reached 3rd level and Lowarra had reached 14th level.

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