Star Wars: Edge of the Empire

Episode II, Part 2: nope
Zet's journal

I really thought I wouldn’t be able to sleep, but as soon as the adrenaline wore off I crashed hard. I kinda have the vague feeling Santos lurked around in our cabin for a while to keep an eye out but it’s all a little fuzzy right now. I just feel really lucky to have found such a good friend.

We didn’t have a problem getting into Tabarith’s penthouse. Santos kind of made fun of me but I’ve never ziplined on actual SKYSCRAPERS before, let alone with that kind of wind, and I’m not a freaking maniac like he is, so I’m just glad we both made it across. It was freezing up on that roof and it seemed to take Callia and Qurzer a long time to get the door open, but they pulled it off and we got inside before my lekku snapped off.

They’d found Ingrid somewhere. I reeeeally don’t understand why she’s so hostile… it’s not like we picked the casino where she’d just started her new life as a normal non-criminal on purpose. We did kind of get her off Tatooine. She’d still be back there, hiding in a closet from Gamorreans and Teemo if we hadn’t helped her out. Buuut whatever.

A nasty security droid smoked Santos really good the second we dropped out of the access hatch. Luckily for him, I’m super-quick, and patched him up with a stim while simultaneously providing cover fire. And using him for cover. The benefits of a super-tall accomplice…

I don’t know where Shen found Qurzer but they’re welcome to tag along with us anytime. They managed to lock down the elevator behind us so no one would follow us up that way, giving us what we thought was ample time to explore the penthouse apartment once the droids were taken out. I managed to find a couple of hysterical Cathar women behind door number one when one of them nailed me with an expensive-looking vase. Callia calmed them down (more on this later) and she, Qurzer and I went to investigate the office.

Minutes after the Selonian got on the computer and found the info we needed, Tabarith himself showed up, flanked by a small mob of guards. This is when things got super weird. Callia tried to calm him down, and he started gloating at her about how she was “far away from the Jedi temple,” and “all her people died out twenty years ago” or whatever. So, like, what, she’s been a Jedi (ex-Jedi??) all along and we had no idea? There was NO time to talk about it, and if some kinda Jedi mind trick wasn’t going to solve the problem there was nothing I could say, so I used the only language violently abusive underworld scum understand and nailed him with a stun grenade.

That’s basically when all hell broke loose – I took some really bad blaster fire, and when Santos showed up he tried to grapple Tabarith from behind and almost got his head popped off for his trouble. He managed to shoot himself free and then I knocked the guy out, but by then there were twice as many guards in the room, none of them were going down, and we were all running low on stimpacks.

And then the bounty hunter showed up.

I didn’t even have time to warn anybody… I think they all assumed she was there to help when she started by knocking out some of Tabarith’s thugs, but then she turned around and got me all tangled up in some kind of rope thing. I was pretty sure I was gonna go for another trip through the skyline of Cloud City when Santos had the bright idea to shoot her jetpack with our spare zipline. And then Callia cut me loose. Qurzer had called a transport while they were on the computer, and it was already waiting outside the broken window. While everyone else was jumping to safety (or something… I don’t really get what happened with Ingrid and Qurzer but it involved a parachute) Santos attached the zipline to Tabarith’s huge office chair and knocked it out the window, taking the bounty hunter with it.

Aris paid us, thanked us, and bypassed her dad completely. It’s too hot here now, and they’re apparently dusting one of the bacta tanks on the Krayt Fang for prints because someone left a dead human girl in it. We’re on some kind of fancy passenger ship, all expenses paid, probably headed deeper into Imperial space, and I don’t even want to leave my room to enjoy it in case someone else recognizes me and tries to drag me off somewhere.

(Added in a messier scrawl the next morning)

I’m never drinking with Santos again. Did we find out he was Force-sensitive last night or did I imagine that after like three glasses of quanya?

(OOC note just to keep track of gear – Zet picked up a new vest somewhere on the Corellian Runner that adds +2 encumbrance, for 100 credits. She also restocked her stim packs from 0 to 3!)

Roleplay log: Prying into Callia's secrets!!
an e-mail rp log

After leaving Aris Shen, Zet was quick to explain the bounty hunter’s presence to the others — and that’s the most that the normally talkative Twi’lek has to say for quite some time. Throughout their final preparations to get on board the passenger ship, she really only makes whatever conversation is necessary to facilitate the process.

The room that the smuggler pair and Callia will share on the ship features a pair of double beds, a small kitchenette and a seating area; Zet quickly claims the left bed as soon as they arrive, scrambles into it, and passes out for a while. And when she wakes up she’s not overly eager to leave their private cabin. She orders in a meal by room service and stays in, sprawled on her stomach on her bed as she quietly peruses a holobook.

Lots of things happened during what was supposed to be a simple caper. There were many moments revealed and quiet a few near-deaths. Silence might be necessary for the first day of this flight on the pleasure cruise.

Unlike Zet, though, Callia took the single bed and then disappeared from the room for a while. She needed to clear her head, find a quiet spot in a viewing port. It’s been some time, though, and she finally returns with a much more serene attitude than she’s had since this whole expidition started. Zet seems deep in her book and Santos is nowhere to be seen, so she decides to make up camp on her bed and lie down for a little while.

Zet twitches into a half-sitting position when the door opens, but it’s just Callia. “Hey,” she says quietly, but beyond that, she doesn’t immediately launch into conversation. She certainly relaxes and stops thinking about the blaster she’s keeping under her pillow, lowering her eyes to her book again.

After a few minutes though, she calls over, “Are you napping? It’s okay if you’re napping…”

Callia nods her head in reply to Zet’s greeting and then lies back on the pillow. Aaah, modest luxury. Her eyes close and she begins a breathing exercise to keep this serene feeling going. Aaah, bliss. Aaah, no worrying for a little while. Aaah, no more dea—

“Not at the moment, no,” She replies. Her eyes open and she turns her head toward the Twi’lek. “Why do you ask?”

Zet sits up again, letting her thin blanket pool around her waist. She peers over at Callia, biting her lower lip for a moment. “I wanted to… to thank you again for what you did back there.” Callia might get the sense that this isn’t actually what the thief wants to discuss, although her gratitude is deeply sincere. “You didn’t have to get in the way like that- I mean, you could’ve… died, so… thanks. I owe you big time.”

Oh Callia definitely knows that isn’t what Zet would like to discuss, but it is definitely a good ramp-up. She smirks momentarily before sitting up herself. “No need to thank me, Zet. Nor do you owe me anything, please believe that. This is just what I was brought up to do.” Now get to your point…

“I do, actually,” Zet retorts with a ghost of her usual smirk. “But with the way things are going, I’m sure I’ll get a chance to pay you back.” She hesitates for a moment, toying with the phrase ‘this is just what I was brought up to do’ in her head, and then clears her throat. “So, um… Jedi Temple?”

Callia won’t argue the point. “Yes. It was a place on Coruscant, back when it was still known as Coruscant.” She takes a slow breath. “It is where I lived most of my formative years…which would make me a giant target to the Empire.”

“I know what it was.” Zet is watching Callia closely now, but she only looks curious — and maybe, just maybe, slightly awed. “I’m old enough to remember when there was a Coruscant with a Jedi Temple on it. I’m not realllly a big fan of the Empire, but they’ve been saying that you all turned traitor on us decades ago…” The Twi’lek sounds kind of neutral about it, testing for Callia’s response without really expressing an opinion either way.

Callia smiles wistfully. “That is indeed what they say. It’s not the truth, but history is always told from the point of the victors.” She takes a deep breath. “It’s complicated, either way. I was only an apprentice myself when the Empire was formed. Being a young adult when the world goes from some level of respect to outright hatred and fear of you in such a short span is confusing. The fact that I survived Order 66 and as long as I did afterward…” She trails off.

“It’s rough when people think you’re one thing, but you’re actually something else entirely,” Zet agrees softly, glancing down at her hands in her lap for a moment. “But what happened? Like, how did he know- Tabarith?” When she looks back to Callia, she seems just a tiny bit skeptical. “Were you going to tell us? The Empire has burned entire villages to the ground for harbouring a Jedi…”

“He is Force-Sensitive and trained well enough to recognize what I was doing.” Callia replies. “I’m not sure how or by whom, but he is. Perhaps it’s his Empire friends. The Empire does keep quite a few Force-Sensitive individuals about specifically for hunting down what is left of the Jedi.”

“To be honest, it wasn’t who I considered myself to be anymore. I slipped now and then, used the Force without really thinking about it.” She takes a deep breath. “But it seems the past few days has brought it back out of me. It may have come up, in time. Right now, I wasn’t sure how much I trusted you all or how much you trusted me. You could make a lot of money by turning me over to the Empire.”

Of the pair, it’s Santos whose eyes tend to light up whenever credits are involved. Zet just shrugs. “There are safer ways to make some quick credits than trying to kidnap a Jedi and drag her kicking and screaming to the Empire. I won’t tell anyone. Not even the others, if you really don’t want me to… I barely know Qurzer or Ingrid.” She fidgets, trailing her deep green fingers back and forth against the blankets on her bed. “But it might be important for them to know, if there are people hunting you. Like … that admiral?” she guesses. “I mean, Santos at least, he’s trustworthy…”

Callia laughs softly. “Well thank you. I do agree that it would be safer for everyone.” She lays her hands flat in her lap, palms facing up. “I’ve been contemplating it, actually. I believe it would be best for all if they knew what they were getting into. Ingrid seems to have no real interest in being stuck with us and I imagine she would have even less after learning what I am. Qurzer…may like to bail as well. They seem like a genuinely good being who may not want to be mixed up with this. If I am going to commit to this, then you should all know what you are in for.”

Another soft laugh escapes her. “Ah yes. The Admiral. He is blackmailing me and I imagine he will soon find out I did not complete the mission he sent me to do in the first place. We may have Imperials raining down upon us sooner than we would like.”

“I can’t believe Qurzer jumped off that transport with a parachute for Ingrid…” Oh, now she’s a bit exasperated… “It’s not like we picked that casino just to inconvenience her, I mean, Aris’s husband was awful…”

This is off topic. Zet rubs her temple ruefully. “By which I mean, uh, Qurzer seems like a good… Selonian. I don’t think they’re going to leave if Aris is paying them to stay with us for a while. And you helped me with my little problem, so maybe it’ll turn out that Santos and I can help you with yours. We’ve got a ship waiting for us back on Nar Shaddaa. I’m sure there’s room for one more.” She smiles hopefully.

“No one deserves to fall to their death, even someone who seems so inconvenienced by us. If I didn’t know better, I would think that Qurzer was a Jedi.” Callia chuckles softly.

“If you will have me, then I would be honored to join. The best way to stay hidden is to stay mobile.”

“That’s true,” Zet admits in about the most uncharitable tone she can muster up. “Qurzer’s kind of growing on me. I wasn’t sure about them at first but I think they’re just… kind of… socially oblivious sometimes. You know?” Her smile broadens as Callia accepts her invitation. “Haha, honoured? To basically join a smuggling crew? Well, that’s one way to feel about it…”

“Yes. Very clever and on top of things in the moment, but oblivious indeed.” Callia agrees. “Maybe honoured isn’t the correct wording for it…” She smiles. “But if we can do more like this…helping save a woman’s life, I think we can all get along very well.”

“Well I should be up front with you… it’s not always like this. Sometimes we’re just carting stuff around. When we have a ship to do it in, anyway…” Zet grins. “But we’re not secretly assassins or anything. I was telling the truth on Bespin when I said we don’t usually have to kill anyone. I was worried about the Black Suns, and having my face on the Holonet with a bounty on my head, so I guess it was like my Tatooine. Not my best day.” She gives a teasing wink.

“I believe you proved that back on Bespin. I don’t believe a single individual died by our hands.” Callia replies. “I don’t think any of us have been having our best days. Things will hopefully improve from here on out.”

Zet laughs. “I’m, um, not that optimistic, if we’ve got crazy scary bounty hunters and Imperials chasing us, but… if it’s that important to you, we can try to remember to keep our blasters on the stun setting.” She leans forward, looking incredibly serious all of a sudden. “Callia… you’d never use some kind of Jedi mind trick on us, would you?” It’s possible she’s joking… she’s almost too earnest to be sincere.

“I think it would be important to all of us to try and…keep our killing to the desperate situations.” Callia leans back some, looking slightly affronted. “Of course not.” Not unless you’re about to do something that will jeporadize everyone…huh, what?

“I just had to ask!” Zet insists, waving her hands disarmingly. “I believe you. Um, when should we tell the others?”

Callia shakes her head softly. “When we all have a moment alone together would be best. I think all of us could use a little down time right now, though. Lets all rest and deal with this in the morning?”

Zet nods. “Yeah, of course. If any of them get upset I’ll stun ’em for you.” She smiles, still looking weary, but some of that warmth reaches her eyes. “I’m glad you’re with us, Callia.”

“I appreciate the gesture, but I’m sure we can handle them in a much more civilized manner.” Callia’s laugh is warm and seems to light up her whole being. “I’m glad to be here, Zet. Thank you for helping get me to this point. For now, though, I am going to lie back down and try to rest.”

“I’ll read really quietly.” Zet huddles back over towards her spot by the wall and picks up her holonovel again. “Have a good sleep.”

Roleplay log: <3 besties <3
an e-mail rp log

(OOC – this presumably takes place a while after Callia woke up from her nap and left for food. Zet was very sulky)

Aris Shen secured two rooms for the ragtag little crew. Given the way Ingrid seems kinda grumpy with about half of the group, Zet diplomatically suggests that she and Qurzer take the smaller one together, while the larger one can handle three. She can’t be mad with the Selonian who just took a flying leap off a transport to save her life, can she?

That leaves Zet, Callia, and Santos to share the other one, which features a pair of double beds as well as a kitchenette and small seating area. Aris wasn’t kidding when she said modest. But it’s not uncomfortable. Zet, who has been pretty uncharacteristically quiet after explaining the bounty hunter situation to the group, immediately slinks onto one of the beds, kicks her boots over the edge, and zonks out for a few hours.

She doesn’t come out to explore the ship when she wakes up, either. She just figures out how to call room service to have a meal delivered and stays put, which is where Santos might find her – sitting on the floor with her back leaning on the dresser, poking through the contents of her belt with a half-eaten plate of breakfast beside her. The Twi’lek just looks tired.

Santos stands in the threshold of the room for a minute, moving his hand over the right side of his abdomen, feeling the alien, mountain range of flesh that had been perfectly smooth a day earlier. He’d spent a few hours silent in the room while Zet slept, blaster in hand, ready to take out anything that entered. After a time he figured they were safe for the moment, and roamed the ship for an hour, trying to enjoy whatever luxury he could. Didn’t work.

He sits down on the floor beside Zet, inviting himself to share the half-picked over plate. “We made it, right?” He says quietly, an attempt at comforting his friend.

Tired or not, Zet’s hand twitches towards the blaster laying on the floor beside her as soon as the door starts to open. She’s visibly relieved to see that it’s only Santos, her hand withdrawing into her lap as she leans back again. When he comes to sit with her, she automatically budges over to make the room, and hardly bats an eye as he goes for the food. Chances are she was done with it anyway. “Barely,” she agrees, looking over and up at him. “Thanks to you and Callia.”

Santos shrugs. “There is no barely. This is a pass or fail kinda thing, and we passed.” Santos isn’t used to this side of Zet. She’s the talker. She’s always talked their way into, and out of everything, well, almost everything. “Think about it. They sent their worst at us, and we passed. That’s something to celebrate, isn’t it?”

She nods slowly, her eyes drifting away from him as she mulls that over. He’s right, honestly — they should all be living it up in the casino right now after what they just survived. But the Black Suns’ bounty just became extremely real in a way it never was before, and… “You almost died,” Zet persists quietly. “Or… I mean, what if Callia hadn’t cut the rope, and then that bounty hunter had taken off with both of us…? It’s… um, it’s just… it’s a lot to process right now.”

Santos gently picks up Zet’s hand and places it on his chest. “Feel that?” he asks as he locates a rhythmic beating. “That’s the heart beat of someone very much alive. Almost doesn’t count. There have been tons of almosts.” He grins at her and his eyes become two red crescent moons in the dark room, “and if she hadn’t cut the rope, the bounty hunter would have had two pissed off smugglers to contend with. I’d say Callia did her a kindness.”

The Twi’lek focuses on her hand, studying her slender green fingers against the darker colour of Santos’ shirt and feeling the thump of his heart beneath her palm. She’s quiet again for a long moment, just nodding and chewing on her lower lip. “Sorry,” she says at last. “You’re right that it’s not our first close call. Maybe it’s just that this one felt really… personal. Like I hope you’re right that she was literally the worst the Suns have got, because otherwise…”

“Because otherwise we may have a challenge,” Santos has a tendency to downplay risks, or maybe he just doesn’t have a solid grasp of his own mortality. Either way, he’s confident about just about everything, and that can be infectious. “We know how this hunter works, and we can plan for that. If anything else come our we we’ll deal with it. The two of us, and maybe our new friends.” Are Callia and the others friends? Zet’s the only person who’s fit that title so far. They haven’t tried to kill him yet, so there’s that.

Yeah, Santos’ devil-may-care attitude plus Zet’s own cocky demeanor doesn’t always equal the healthiest of outcomes for them. Then again, they’ve just proven that neither of them is above beating a hasty retreat. She can’t quite help but laugh at him, even if she sounds a little bewildered by how flippant he’s being about all of this. “I think Callia’s on our side,” she says with a small nod, slowly taking her hand back. “Probably Qurzer too, at least because Aris paid him to be.” She looks up at him again, searchingly this time. “You’re really feeling okay? You were on fire.” There’s still the faintest flicker of guilt in her eyes, but she’s sounding less mopey. Quickly, she adds, “I mean literally, but you also did good.”

“Yeah, the fire wasn’t my favourite, but did you SEE this scar?!” Santos raises up his shirt to display his new trophy. “Tell me this doesn’t make me look like a badass!” He lets the shirt drop back down and meets her eyes, “WE did good. Unless one of the hits I took damaged my memory, you didn’t just lay over and take it. That’s why I know we can take anything that comes our way.”

Zet carefully schools her features at the sight of the scar, no doubt because she’s somewhat less excited about it than he is, but she doesn’t say anything aloud to rain on his parade. Everyone survived and no one got dragged away on a rope by a bounty hunter. That’s what she should be focusing on. “I dunno, for a while there I think Tabarith might’ve been cutting off the oxygen to your brain. You were looking a little sky blue,” she teases with a smirk.

“See, that’s why I keep you around,” he returns the jab, “you’re the only one who knows how to monitor my oxygen intake.”

He stands up, and shakes his legs a bit to get the blood flowing again. “I saw a desert bar in the dining room that must have had a hundred kinds of cake. Care to join me?” He offers with an extended hand.

Zet grins at him, but when he invites her out she hesitates, glancing from his hand to the door and then up at his face.

She can’t be an agoraphobe forever. Not in this line of work.

“Maybe just for a little while,” she concedes, grabbing her belt and blaster in her other hand as she lets him hoist her to her feet. Quickly affixing both around her hips where they belong, she gives her shoulders a little roll as though steeling herself. “Only because I’m really excited to not be eating slugs.”

Roleplay log: Drunken blanket fort light saber glow sticks
an e-mail rp log

Zet was still more or less immersed in her holonovel when Callia left to get something to eat earlier, and by the time she gets back, the Twi’lek is nowhere to be found in their shared accommodations. Neither is Santos. Maybe it’s an ideal time to get in a bit of quiet meditation before those two troublemakers come back?

She won’t have long, though, as soon the green-skinned smuggler is bursting back through the door, two bottles of something colourful and likely alcoholic partially covered by the front of her jacket. “- lots of blankets on two beds,” she’s saying in a not-very-hushed tone to whoever’s following her. “More than enough to make a fort with the chairs- um…” Zet trails off when she sees that she and Santos aren’t alone, shuffling inside to make enough room for her friend to get in behind her and shut the door. Looking a bit like someone who isn’t sure if she’s in trouble or not, she plunks down the bottles on the counter of the kitchenette.

“Alright, I’ll attach one to the top of the closet..” Santos begins before realizing Callia’s in the room. Another two bottles are gently plunked down on the kitchenette. Well, one and a half.

“What’s she… is that how humans sleep” He asks in a whisper, studying Callia’s activity.

Callia was a little relieved to find the room empty when she came back. Perhaps that meant she could use the time for some more meditation. She hasn’t done anything too peculiar and is sitting quietly in the middle of the room, hands folded in her lap and letting herself flow into the Force. The serenity and solitude is a welcome change after the past days.

Of course, that could never last. She doesn’t open her eyes when the two enter the room, nor does she acknowledge them right away. Meditation can be distracting and enveloping, after all. There is a delayed response to them both. “Welcome back.”

Okay, well, that cracks Zet up. “No, they sleep laying down like everyone else… Hey Callia.”

Leaning up against the counter, she peers curiously at the woman on the floor, and then adds, “We were gonna build a blanket fort in here. And then drink in it. Excessively. You could help if you want!”

Santos is already hooking a blanket over the closet door as Zet goes over the plan. “Awesome. Callia, can you push that desk into place? We can line up the chairs on either side to make a great room.”

Clearly, to Santos’ mind, when confronted with the opportunity to build a fort, the answer is always YES!

Callia opens her eyes and studies both of the smugglers. Exactly how old are they, again? But then, didn’t Yoda always boast about the minds of children? The human smiles. “I can help with your fort, sure.” She replies and stands up in one smooth motion. So much for peace and quiet.

That’s right, playing is good for you. Zet flashes Callia a grin – she’s certainly looking better than she was earlier, although that half-empty bottle Santos was carrying might have something to do with that. “And the excessive drinking,” she prompts her, but she’s already moving to rearrange the chairs as the Chiss suggested. It’s almost like they’ve done this before. “We might need to steal the blankets from your bed too…”

Almost as if Zet’s narrating Santos’ movements, he’s busy stripping Callia’s bed of blankets, and tying corners together. “Yes, the excessive drinking is the most important part.” They probably should have brought a few more bottles for Callia. Ah well, hindsight.

Callia leaves anything about excess drinking unsaid for the moment. Really, she’s alright. The two of them are a force to be reckoned with, she decides, as they’re already so focused on taking over the entire room with a blanket fort. Callia cannot help but chuckle and start helping Santos strip down the rest of the beds and tie corners together. “So, are blanket forts something you two regularly build?”

That’s what room service is for. “Umm… define regularly,” Zet replies slowly, hauling the last chair into place. “Maybe we could just say… it’s not the first time. But we only make them on special occasions? Santos thinks we should be celebrating that we all got off of Bespin alive, therefore, blanket fort and alcohol.”

YES! We’re alive, we’re free, and we’re heading home to my baby. What’s not to celebrate?” Santos works with surprising fluidity considering his fresh burn wound. He takes his forts very seriously.

“We do try to keep our building skills sharp. You never know when you’ll be stranded on the streets of Nar Shaddaa, right?” He follows up, cheerfully.

“I see. That’s quite the celebration.” Callia’s head bobs as she speaks, the amused grin on her face growing wider. “Ah, I suppose that would be a valuable skill. Is that home for both of you?”

“I’m never stranded on Nar Shaddaa,” Zet retorts with a cocky flip of her head-tails. She leans hard on the desk, but that proves to be beyond her abilities to move, so instead she wanders over to the blanket Santos had put over the closet door and starts to carefully stretch it towards the chairs. “It’s where we met. I grew up there.”

“And it’s where Dash is. until we get it up in the air again. There’s room enough for more too, if you’re in need.” Santos lets Zet take over the blankets as he moves towards the desk, gliding it across the floor with a little effort.

Callia watches Zet try and fail to push the desk around so she goes to take over there, pushing it close enough to have blankets drapped over. “Zet had mentioned as much and I’ve accepted her offer. It’ll be fun.”

Zet glances up when Santos invites Callia along, darting a quick look between them. She hadn’t exactly mentioned the invitation to her business partner yet… she’d just kind of assumed it would be okay. Good thing it is! “I was gonna tell you,” she says to Santos with a bit of a shrug. “Especially after Bespin… I’m kinda feeling like there’s strength in numbers right now.” Although she’s not so great at moving heavy furniture, she’s got quick and clever fingers, and she’s making easy work of getting the blankets hooked or tied to the chairs in creative ways.

With the work almost done, Santos heads to the kitchenette ask produces three glasses from the cupboard. He carefully cradles two bottles in each arm, holding the glasses in place with his fingers, and makes his way into the fort.

“Hmm,” he mutters, “it’s a bit dark in here. You still have those glow rods, right Zet?”

Callia helps Zet finish up once the desk is in place. Once everything is together, she too climbs inside. “I haven’t done this since I was a child.” She murmurs. “We would build forts with our sleep mats…” She trails off wistfully.

“Watch your head so you don’t wreck it all, Santos,” Zet says breezily. Still outside the fort, she reaches into one of the pockets of her belt. They’ll both hear two soft cracking sounds, and then a pair of lightly glowing blue plastic tubes come rolling into the front, faintly illuminating the insides. The Twi’lek follows close behind on hands and knees, settling in to sit beside the Chiss. “You and your siblings?” Zet supplies, looking across at Callia. She’s actually pretty positive she isn’t talking about brothers and sisters.

Santos gets busy filling the three glasses nearly to the brim with the half-full bottle. He passes a glass to each of the women, and holds up his own, waiting to the expected, satisfying “ching” of glass hitting glass. “You had a large family?” Also directed at Callia, completely believing she’s talking about brothers and sisters.

Callia chuckles, giving the pair a look. “A very large family, yes. Most of them died during the Clone Wars twenty years ago.” Really, they were her brothers and sisters. “I haven’t thought about them much in the recent years.”

Callia looks at the glass handed to her and does indeed ‘ching’ with Santos’ glass. She’ll only take a few sips, though.

Zet gives Santos a much more enthusiastic clink with her glass, though not so hard as to splash precious alcohol everywhere. She’s avoiding Callia’s eyes now under the pretense of watching her drink as she lifts it to her mouth. Only after she’s swallowed a mouthful, with a slight twitch of one eye at the faint burn in her throat, does she reply, “Sorry to hear that.” She sounds sincere, at least. “Santos probably doesn’t know what you’re even talking about. Are your parents still around somewhere?”

Santos sees Callia’s “few sips” and raises half a glass. “I’ve heard about the Clone Wars,” he shoots back, slightly defensively, “although the way I learned about it, it was called ’The Collapse of the Decadent Galactic Republic.” He gives his best stuffy professor impersonation, which might have been more convincing if not for the quivering of his mouth trying to burst into laughter."

It strikes him that laughing after Callia’s comment might seem a bit insensitive. “Did anyone survive?”

“The Decadent Galactic Republic. Yes, that is a good name for it. It was becoming rather…corrupt from the amount of power it was weilding. Not that a Dictator calling the shots is an improvement.” Callia takes a bit of a larger drink. This is a rough topic. “No, they are not. As for survivors…I’m sure some did but none of us have come across each other in years. The Empire is too big and it’s become increasingly more difficult to traverse space or send messages.”

Zet was only a kid when that all happened, so she doesn’t have much of an opinion either way about the decadence or non-decadence of the former republic. She just grins, having another swig of her drink. “See, that’s why you need to travel with a pair of smugglers. We know all the sneaky ways to look around.”

“We’re very good at sneaking.” Santos grins wildly, oblivious to the absurdity of that statement, given how ‘sneaky’ they were with entering the room. He looks down at his empty glass with a frown, and tops it up. While he’s at it, he tops up Zet’s glass and empties the remainder of the bottle into Callia’s. “One down, three to go!”

“Clearly.” Callia agrees sardonically. “Very good at sneaking. We can sneak in and out of all the dangerous places.” She takes another sip of her beverage, smiling just a little after Santos tips the rest of the bottle in her glass. “How do you plan to get back to Nar Shaddaa? We should look up where exactly this cruiser is headed.”

“We snuck into that skyscraper just fine.” Callia wasn’t there to witness the high-pitched sound Zet made as she ziplined from one building to the other or the way she needed a solid object like a wall or Santos to lean on until her knees stopped wobbling. As far as the Twi’lek is concerned, it’s better that way. “Umm, well, the bad news is, passenger vessels like this follow major trading routes and basically the only way to go from Bespin is in. Like, deeper into Imperial space. So, probably we should hop off within a stop or two and get ourselves turned around properly, whether that means taking a job or two that will get us moving back in the right direction, or um, commandeering another ship.” A beat, as she swallows. “Probably it’d be better to work back that way or we’re gonna come up short,” she adds, with a glance at Santos.

“Heading into Imperial space might not be that bad an idea though. It would definitely be easier to find transport to the boarder of Hutt space.” The Chiss wastes no time in emptying another half his glass. “I mean, you and I are nobodies as far as the Empire is concerned, and get I get the feeling Callia can get around well enough unnoticed.”

“Imperial space means checkpoints and getting through security without getting caught, though,” Callia mutters softly. It was so much easier before the admiral was on her ass. “We’ll just have to be careful and…sneaky, as you two put it so eloquently. For some reason, I doubt Qurzer will have any trouble. Who knows about Ingrid, though.” She takes another drink. “As much as the idea of Hutt space doesn’t seem any better, it might be good to get back there as soon as we can.”

Zet is finally almost finished with her glass – which is more like a glass and a half, thanks to Santos topping it up before it was empty. Draining it, she hopefully holds it out towards the bottle. Refill?? “It’s true that the deeper we go in, the more trade routes we can follow to get back out,” she admits uneasily. “But um, you do remember that message Callia got back on Tatooine, right?” If Zet had eyebrows she’d be pointedly raising them at Santos right now. “I don’t know that we’re all nobodies to the Imperials.”

Santos tips the bottle into Zet’s glass, wavering just slightly. Of course, it would be rude to fill Zet’s glass and no one else’s, so more for Callia, and more for himself.

“Yeah, Zet. I haven’t forgotten about Admiral ’let’s just set three tie-fighters after them.’” His drink sloshes from side to side as he waves his arms around energetically. “Seriously, that was just an insult. Wasn’t even a challenge. We can work around it though. You can make us some fresh credentials, and after I break out my disguise kit, no one’s gonna recognize her.”

One look at Zet and he already knows he’s not winning this one. “Or we can go the scenic route. At least we might make enough cred to get my ship up and running again.”

Callia has maybe had half a glass at this point. When Santos tops her up again, she gives the Chiss a look. “It’s alright, you don’t have to pour more in mine every time you want a little more.” She says.

“Scenic routes are alright. There are more hyperspace lanes in Imperial territory, but…they are heavily controlled. Lots of checkpoints and the whole nine yards. Maybe not as much as there used to be, but with the rumors of rebels in the Empire, I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t start cracking down more.”

“We do need the credits,” Zet points out, trying to make the idea even more appealing. “The more we make the more we get to keep. Or the bigger payment we can make which means less interest later…” She empties about a third of her glass all at once. She likely hasn’t had as much to drink as Santos, but she’s quite a bit smaller than he is, so she’s starting to look almost as wobbly. “Like, there’s actually no point in trekking all the way back there if we don’t have it together… They’re already gonna be pissed that we blew Teemo off. So on top of the fact that it’s better for Callia this way…”

Santos gives Callia a confused look, nearly identical to the look he gave her in Vorse’s penthouse. How else would she get excessively drunk?

“Ok. We’ll stay in the Outter Rim. We can’t avoid the Empire forever though, and it would be helpful to know what we’re in for.”

“We’re in for a lot.” Callia mumbles. “I lived in the Empire long enough to know it’s not the sort of place you want to be any longer than you have to. There are plenty of places to hide and people who will help you, but they’re getting fewer and further between these days.” She takes another gulp from her glass. “Plus, from the sounds of it you both owe some people moment and it might be better than having another bounty hunter on your trails, no?”

“The Hutt cartel.” Zet, for one, is well on her way to excessively drunk, so she’s maybe getting a little too chatty. Then again, if Callia’s going to travel with them she should know. “It’s actually not a big deal, it’s not like this… Black Suns situation.” Insert long swallow from drink here, given the point of this exercise is to Not Think About That. “Our ship needed a ton of repairs, and the Hutts are doing it for us, and we’ve gotta give them a down payment against the cost. No bounty hunters or anything.”

“Yeah, we’re in a bad spot, but we’ll get out of it.” Santos fills his glass again, and tips the bottle towards the others, offering the chance to say no if they’ve reached or passed the excessive point. "I just want to get back as fast as possible. I’m not losing another ship on that planet. He empties the glass in a few moments.

“Another ship? How many have you lost, then?” The human asks, one delicate eyebrow arching upward. She declines the offer for more booze. Instead, the glass is set down so she can stretch her back out. “You two are going to suffer from some pretty bad hangovers tomorrow if you keep this up.” She laughs.

Zet gives Santos a nod, holding her glass out for him to top it up. She’s only on the way to excessive. “Whatever… we can sleep in tomorrow.” She’ll let Santos tell his own story if she wants to, but she does sassily correct him: “It’s a moon.”

As Zet offers her glass, Santos empties the second bottle into it all the while pretending to be indignant at her sass. “More like stolen.” He explains as he fills his glass again, “I had just left the Unknown Region, which by the way is a stupid name. I know the place. Billions of Chiss know the place. Yet another example of how ‘aliens’ are marginalized.” He pauses for a moment, and takes another sip. “I apologize. I’m slightly inebriated. I got in with a Trandoshan who I foolishly thought I could trust. We were doing great for a while, until we landed on Nar Shaddaa. He beat me, took my ship and left me for dead.”

Another pause, and another drink. “So, as long as we’re sharing our pasts,” he asks sheepishly, “what’s going on with this admiral?”

“Perhaps we should all just go to the Unknown Region. If there are billions of Chiss there and you can survive in this sort of habitat, it would be best for us all.” Callia smirks. “Aah, well…I am sorry. I suppose that wouldn’t be a good first experience to the ‘known region’.”

“The Admiral would like something from me that I am not able to give him, it would seem. And until such a time that I can, he’s holding it over my head.”

From the little downward glance and smirk on Zet’s face, she’s likely heard the Unknown Region complaint before. Not that she looks like she particularly disagrees that it’s hard out there for a nonhuman. Having been steadily working on emptying her glass as Santos explained his situation, she’s apparently drunk enough at this point to helpfully append, “That and the fact that she escaped Order 66. I know it was before your time.” She playfully elbows Santos in the ribs.

Before his time, yes. But he’s Chiss, AKA, possibly the Empire’s only ally. He was taught about how Order 66 hunted down the monstrous Jedi, protecting the Empire from its greatest threat. Of course, since he’s been on his own he’s learned to questions what the Empire feeds people.

He’s quiet for a moment, with a focused look on his face, as he tries to fight the alcohol and string a thought together. Then he bursts out laughing. “Of course. You’re a jedi. It makes so much sense. The Gamorreans, that trick with the Cathar. You’re totally a jedi.”

That’s right, tell people when they’re drunk. A good idea. Callia looks slightly surprised, perhaps because this isn’t the way she expected it to be blurted out. Who knows what the blue man’s reaction will be, especially now that he’s gone all silent.

When he starts to laugh, she looks even more confused. “Yes, I was a Jedi.” Her brows knit together. “The trick with the Cathar? You knew what I was doing?”

When Santos says the word “Jedi,” something clicks in Zet’s brain and she realizes what she just did. She casts an apologetic look over to Callia, opening her mouth to say something, but then the woman interjects with a question of her own. Huddling down a bit to see how this plays out, she just fumbles for the third bottle to pry it open and pour herself another glass. She tops his up without asking, her eyes lingering on his face with a puzzled frown.

“Yeah,” Santos responds, confused by her question, “I could feel it, like the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up. We all felt it.” Suddenly at a loss for confidence, he downs the freshly poured drink and turns to Zet, “You felt it, right?”

Interesting. Callia doesn’t speak as she studies the Chiss carefully. Very interesting. Her eyes turn to Zet, knowing what the answer will be. “It’s not something those who are not…sensitive to the Force normally feel.”

Zet is already shaking her head at Santos. “I mean, it was suspicious, but I didn’t… ‘feel’ anything. I didn’t know anything was up until we were in Tabarith’s office… Callia tried to do something to him, and he noticed and called her out in front of everyone.” She’s almost gaping when she looks back to the only slightly sober person left in this here blanket fort of truth. “What’s that mean, then? He could learn to do that stuff too?”

Suddenly Santos doesn’t like the mood the conversation has taken on. Unfortunately, his can’t muster much to lighten it. “What, you mean I too could learn to put Cathar women to sleep?”

Callia nods her head. “If he is strong enough in the Force, yes, you could learn to put Cathar women to sleep.” She smiles lightly. “But we can save that conversation for when you are sober. I think we’ve all had quite a bit now.” She picks up her glass and knocks back a little more for good measure.

Zet gives Santos an encouraging little pat on the back, although between this rather significant revelation and all that she’s had to drink, she’s back to feeling a bit speechless. “You haven’t,” she informs Callia, although not as quickly as she might have if she weren’t all tipsy and confused. “We’ve been doing all the hard work. There’s another bottle and a half here to go. We can be sober tomorrow.”

Santos grasps for the half bottle, and starts filling the glasses again, no doubt spilling a bit on the floor. “That’s right. When you entered the fort you signed a verbal contract to get excessively drunk.” Maybe that’s drunk enough to forget this whole revelation. “There’ll be plenty of time to be sober when we get off at the next stop.”

“I don’t believe I ever committed to the getting drunk part,” Callia replies with a laugh. “Just that I would help build the fort. The rest you assumed.” Either way, she will appease them by drinking more. Let’s not make this party too melancholy.

“Well you didn’t NOT commit!” Zet has one hand down on the floor now for balance as she has another swig from her glass. “Ahh, don’t make a mess…” Her eyes fall on one of the blue glow rods and linger there for a moment — it’s kind of mesmerizing, when you’ve had enough to drink. After a second she remarks, “It could be kind of cool though, like besides the fact that you could get executed any time… You’d get a lightsaber!” She bats one of the sticks towards him.

Santos cocks an eyebrow as his pick up the glowstick. “Is this a challenge?” He holds the glowstick like a blade, as best he can considering the fort would come down as soon as he stands up.

Oh dear. Callia watches them both while she takes another sip of her drink. Her eyebrows arch upward and she’s prepared to watch them get into some sort of battle with the glow-rods.

It literally was not a challenge. Zet doesn’t know the first thing about sword fights, the glow rods are so short that someone’s probably going to break a finger, and they’re in a highly collapsible blanket fort. While excessively drunk.

“Obviously…” Switching her glass to her left hand and draining it in a few quick swallows, she snatches up the other one in her right. It’s kind of wobbly as she tries to smack his glow rod with the one she’s holding.

At least Zet managed to connect with Santos’ “lightsaber.” Santos isn’t so lucky, seeing as of the three empty bottles on the floor, he’s personally responsible for two of them. He swings slowly, and wildly misses the mark, leaving him lying on the floor, giggling like a child.

Ah yes. The disrespect of a very ancient and highly regarded martial art skill. Callia cannot help but shake her head and smirk. “I am glad those are only glow rods and not the real thing. Even younglings aren’t that careless when swinging their blades about.” She teases the two.

“Ha!” Zet points her glow rod at Santos’ throat, although she doesn’t actually touch him with it. Or, not on purpose, but her balance isn’t so awesome right now… so she might.. a little. “I’ll let you live because you’re my best friend, but you better remember who’s the best…” She glances up at Callia with a lopsided grin. “See, no killing.”

“You win! You win!” Santos declares, hands raised slightly above the ground. “But you know it would have ended differently if you weren’t on a boat!” He begins to push himself back up, before deciding it’s a much better idea not to. “I think I’ll stay right here for a while, if it’s all the same to you.” He says softly, as though told him to move.

“It is the Jedi way,” Callia tells Zet with a small smile. “I think that sounds like a good idea. You two rest…” she takes what’s left of the liquor out of the way so both can sprawl without any fear of spilling it everywhere.

Zet gives a gloating laugh, and then lightly tosses her glow rod aside to show that Santos is safe for now. “I honestly don’t think my legs are gonna work anyway,” she confesses, although she does shoot a sad look at the last, unopened bottle of liquor. “Hey, keep that somewhere safe. We might have another reason to party.” She flops down on her side beside Santos, sliding her empty glass a safe distance away too.

“Nah, that bottle’s gonna save us from the…” Santos starts with an idea, but somewhere between the first and fourth word he loses it, and instead decides just to sleep.

“We’ll save this for another night, yes. It’ll be safe and sound, don’t you worry, Zet.” Callia reassures as she sets the bottle aside for the time being. Yes, sleep little ones. Maybe she can fuzzily meditate now. Too bad the alcohol makes her connection to the force a little muddled.

Galactic News Bulletin - Tragedy for Corellia StarDrive
Correspondent Trace Stardust

Tragedy in the corporate sector – the senior design team for shipwright, Corellia StarDrive have died when what appears to be a malfunction in the hyper drive for their ILH-KK Citadel-class civilian light frigate caused an explosion.

This comes at an unfortunate time – the venerated shipwright has been in talks for a merger with their chief rival, Corellian Engineering Corporation.

I’m Trace Stardust with the Galactic News Network.


Between Episode II and III: A realization
Callia's journal

So now Zet knows who I once was am. That was a hard conversation, admitting that I was once part of that Order. I haven’t thought about my training or that path in a very long time, not beyond the nostalgia of days past and the pang of ache and guilt for never becoming a Jedi Knight. It is too dangerous for us, we need to do what we can to survive. I did what I could by hiding in plain sight for years.

It is who I am, though. After admitting it, I felt a peace I have not felt in years. The Force, always there in my peripherals, begging me to come back, sang with it’s approval. This is who I am.

It was the will of the Force that I was tossed into this admiral’s path. It was also the will of the Force that I met these individuals when I did.

I meditated and truly communed with the Force today, for what felt like the first time in ages. I used my old lightsaber crystal as a focus and anchor. It still sings softly to me, the chime of the Force ringing through it so loud and clearly. If I am going to do this, I am going to do this right. There is no turning back any longer. I will remember my training, I will go back to this path. I am so far off of it that it will take some time to do.

It would be best, as well. Santos is Force-sensitive. He is, while clearly intelligent, completely reckless and perhaps driven by his emotions. It may take some time to help him understand why that might be bad. I don’t think I could see him taking the path of a Jedi, but I will help him as best I can to at least learn how to control the Force around him.

I never would have thought this is where I would end up. Not now. But I’m determined to do this and do it right. I think Master Alesca would approve.

Vignette: Building a Lightsaber

It was hard, many years ago, to give up all that she ever knew and toss her entire life to the wind in order to survive. At least she ended up on a sympathetic planet and was taken in by a sympathetic family where she could hide. Her talents went to waste, her life dreams drastically changed and Callia eventually became complacent to a simple life of doing her work, keeping her head down and evading the Empire. Who knew that not long after her 36th birthday that her whole life would change once more.

She was reflecting on that at this very moment as she stared at the odds and ends lied out on the carpet in front of her. The insides were simple to find, pulling apart bits of hardware and appliances she had come across since they boarded the Corellian Runner.

The outside, on the other hand, was more difficult to procure. That she had painstakingly worked on nonstop when the time was available. It was a labour of love, buffed to gleaming perfection. She picks up one of those pieces before her, fingers wrapped gently around the grip. It felt familiar, like it always belonged in her hands, like it had never left her side.

“I can’t believe I’m going back to this path.” She mutters. The piece is lied back down in it’s position. Everything in it’s place…everything except the crystal. A crystal that she fishes out of an inner pocket, releasing a deep breath as she does. The crystal reacts to her touch, singing in a way she hasn’t heard in years. A soft smile spreads over her features as she turns it over in his fingers. The journey she went on to acquire that crystal came rushing back to her as if it were yesterday.

She focuses on the crystal and on the Force, opening her palm face-up as she does. The crystal glides from her hand to take it’s place amongst the other pieces that are now lifting from the ground before her. Both hands raise, positioned on either side of the floating pieces.

She’s done this before, of course she can do it again. Nevermind that it was over twenty years ago. It’s nothing like riding a speeder but there is a deep familiarity to this task that becomes easier as it progresses. The Force does the hard work and she acts as the guide. It’s a joyous feeling, one full of warmth and fulfillment. One that is so deeply a part of her, it causes her doubt and fear to melt away.

Slowly, the pieces start to assemble themselves. Crystal into energy chamber, aligned just so. Wires and screws connecting the chamber to the power cell and the blade channel. Emitter to the channel. The casing slides into place over all of this and then finally the hilt. All pieces in their place, the screws and the Force holding them together. When it’s complete, Callia reaches her dominant hand to grasp around the hilt of her weapon—of her life.

“The crystal is the heart of the blade,” She recites, “The heart is the crystal of the Jedi. The Jedi is the crystal of the Force.” It was her master who had recited this last time. That thought causes a soft pang of remorse in her chest. She must push on, taking a deep breath as she does. “The Force is the blade of the heart. All are intertwined. The cyrstal, the blade, the Jedi.”

With her thumb she activates it, a blade of yellow pure as the sun shooting from the hilt. Callia slowly gets to her feet, both hands wrapping around the hilt of her lightsaber as she holds it before herself.

“We are one.”

The Force chimes it’s approval and Callia feels a surge of rightness. This is her destiny, it always was. She strayed from the path for a time, but no longer. The Lightsaber is just the first step on a long journey forward.

Episode III: Seafood and Starships
Santos' Journal

I’m not really sure how to feel about what just happened. I mean, on the one hand, several Mon Calamari lost their lives, but on the other hand I HAVE A NEW SHIP!

I thought it’d be nice to spend some time on a cruise ship. Nice food, a comfortable bed, and a large number of people willing to believe whatever you tell them. It’s remarkable how many people just assume a tall blue man must be Pantoran nobility. The truth is, it got old fast. After you sample everything the buffet has to offer, there is not too much more to do. I tried to get a turn in the cockpit, but apparently the cruise line has a strict no guest policy when flying the thing.

Of course, what happened wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. We ran into Rakine, that Togruta from the Krayt Fang in the dining room, just before the captain announced that Imperial Customs would be boarding. We quickly ran up to our rooms to hide our grenades and Jedi, then headed back to the dining room for an inspection. Rakine, Qerzer, Zet and I lined up in the ‘alien’ line, and were subjected to insult, humiliation, and body search, while Ingrid and the rest of the humans just had their papers checked. After that farce the Imperial Officer declared that a bomb had been found, and that Rakine Bokete was a Rebel. Rakine by that point had slipped into the kitchen to hid (using me as cover… a common theme in my life). An explosion later, and I was on my way up to the cockpit with Ingrid and Qerzer, after the Officer led Zet upstairs. The three of us ended up trapped in my room in a firefight with some storm troopers. Somehow Callia and Zet made their way into the room with an unconscious, armless officer, and I locked myself in the cockpit with 4 Mon Calamari. Meanwhile, Rakine and the others boarded the Imperial ship to plan some bombs, and I waited for the signal to get the hell out of there.

It didn’t work out that way, unfortunately. Storm troopers kept flooding the Corellian Runner, and they managed to break into the cockpit. All four of the Mon Calamari were murdered by the empire, but not before managed to get me and Qerzer out of there. We ended up IN THE BLOODY WALLS, and headed for the Imperial ship. I guess we took a different route, because I didn’t see any sign of the others. What I did see were speeders, and a big, shiny Lambda class shuttle. There were a few Imperial Navy officers in the hangar, so I jumped on a speeder and opened fire.

Zet eventually led the others to the hangar and we flew away as fast as the ship could carry us. Rakine set off a bomb she had planted on the Corellian Runner, leaving it dead in the water, and I picked up a gang of pirates closing in on them. Honestly, That’s not a fate I’d want anyone to endure, so I was glad to hear Trace Stardust report that the Runner and Imperial vessel had managed to repel the pirate attack. Hopefully the passengers can get a refund, or at least a free voyage.

Galactic News Bulletin - Terrorism in Paradise!
Correspondent Trace Stardust

Terrorism in paradise! The leisure cruise liner, The Corellian Runner was the target of attack by a terrorist bomber while en route to the resort world of Kaal. The bomber’s agenda seemed to be linked to the growing insurgency movement.

While no official credit has been taken by the rebel terrorist group, a spokesperson with the Imperial office assures us that sufficient evidence exists to link this horrific attack on innocent galactic citizens to the anti-government criminals in the rebellion.

Thanks to the efforts of an Major Katryn Organa leading an Imperial Customs vessel on patrol in the area at the time of the bombing, the passenger ship and its guests were saved from the bombing and the threat of attack of opportunity by Mugaari Pirates who frequent the region.

Rear Admiral Genarus Thorn, commander of the patrol fleet involved in the rescue, had this to say, “It is important to remain stalwart in the face of such barbarism. Remain vigilant and report suspicious individuals to your nearest Imperial Garrison office. We do what we must for safe, secure society.”

Despite assurances that the Corellian Trade Spire remains a safe hyperspace lane for passenger ships, citizens of nearby systems remain concerned amidst rumors that the terrorist group may have included a Jedi.

With the Galactic News Network, I’m Trace Stardust.


Episode III: That escalated quickly
Zet's journal

On the one hand, it was a really nice treat to have an all-expenses paid trip on a fancy passenger liner for a week. I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten so well in my life. But on the other hand, Santos is right… I don’t know if I’d pick that kind of cushy lifestyle in the long term.

It was all nice and quiet until earlier today, when COINCIDENTALLY we noticed Rakine in the dining area, minutes before we were waylaid by an Imperial customs ship. Callia was worried that her ID wouldn’t come up clean, so we did what any rational being does with a pint-sized Jedi and stuffed her in the vents in our room. I couldn’t find anywhere to stash my more dangerous grenades, though. The Imperials were about as bad as I expected. They barely even glanced at the humans but they were pretty rough with the rest of us. I managed to palm my frags off to Santos before they searched me, at least, while those morons were standing right in front of me watching me.

Suddenly the major was freaking out, saying there were rebels on board and they’d found explosives in someone’s room upstairs. Then Rakine just disappears into the kitchen and all the Imps start looking for her. When the Stormtroopers walked in there to look, a stun grenade went off and she came barrelling out and ran down the stairs! We were trying to get Callia on the comm – she managed to find the bomb, and took it to the bridge.

It took a little doing to get up there and meet her. I didn’t manage to sneak up on my own, so instead the major marched me up there and locked me in my room. Whatever, I’m small and bendy enough for the vents too, ha. Too bad Santos, Ingrid, and Qurzer weren’t even a tiny bit sneaky about it. We freaked the Imps out by getting on the PA and telling them the rebels had control of the bridge, at which point Rakine hailed us from engineering to clarify what was going on. So she’s … maybe a rebel? I’m not that clear on it.

We had to deal with the Imperials in the hall at that point, though. That major got me really good, more than once, before Callia lit up a frigging LIGHTSABER in the middle of the hall and cut her arm off. Obviously I’m happy I didn’t get shot to death, but that was kiiind of terrifying. I didn’t even realize she was carrying one of those.

Ultimately, this was the plan: Santos, Ingrid, and Qurzer had managed to take out three Stormtroopers, so we relieved them of their cool stuff and put Ingrid and Callia in their armor. They were supposed to fake-arrest Rakine and I to walk us onto the Imperial cruiser, while Santos stayed on the bridge of the passenger ship, ready to jump us into hyperspace as soon as we’d dealt with the Imperials. Qurzer stuck with him for backup and we were gonna help Rakine sabotage the Imperial ship so we could all just fly away. Easy, right?

It was actually all going fine until a guard looked the wrong way as I was breaking a door open for the others. Callia and Rakine ran for it to the hyperspace controls, but that left Ingrid and I to deal with a bunch of pissed off Imperials. Actually it mostly left Ingrid, because the guard threw me in a cell immediately. She was smart enough to start opening the forcefields holding the other prisoners in, and then she managed to shoot a light out somehow while I was still fighting with the damn locking system on my cell. That’s when Callia came busting back out there, her lightsaber literally the only source of light in the place, to let me out and chop a guard’s head off!?

Meanwhile I had Santos on the comm telling me more and more Stormtroopers were boarding the passenger ship, and then stuff started exploding over there. I’m pretty sure Callia wanted us all to bail anyway but I wasn’t even really thinking about that. I just booked it as fast as I possibly could to get back to him. The others were lucky I was nice enough to hold the elevator for them. By the time I got to it, he’d managed to get from the cruise ship over to the Imperial one and down to the very bottom level.

When we got down there, he and Qurzer were on a pair of speeder bikes they’d found, using them to fire on a bunch of soldiers. Callia jumped in right away, and I left a nice little surprise on the elevator for anyone coming down behind us. But we didn’t have much time to screw around in there. Ingrid managed to shoot out one of the consoles and suddenly all the lights and alarms started going off to warn us the room was about to open to space outside. We booked it onto a Lambda shuttle (with speeder bikes, in Qurzer and Santos’ case) and got the hell out of there just as a really, really badass Stormtrooper showed up to start trying to kill people.

I guess Rakine and Callia ended up using the lightsaber to wreck the hyperdrive on the Imperial ship, but inexplicably the passenger vessel half-exploded too. We had to jump away as pirates started showing up to raid them. Callia was not happy. I don’t really know how that happened… it wasn’t what I would’ve wished on all those innocent people, that’s for sure.

I kind of have a feeling Santos thinks I’m worrying about him too much. I didn’t really put much thought to it when we found out he’s sensitive to the Force, but after seeing what Callia did today… And she says things could get really dangerous for him if he doesn’t learn how to control it. Especially because he’s we’re so impulsive, and the kind of work we do… I don’t know. I told him to go and talk to her. He left me flying the damn ship. There’s nothing here to crash into, at least. Our next stop is some planet in the Jiroch system. Apparently there’s a Jedi temple there or something that’s calling to him and Callia. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me kind of nervous, but at the same time, what if we find something there that could help Santos? We’ve got to look.