Living on the Edge Ep 9 & 10

Wasting no time after their fight in orbit over Vasch, the crew of the Lonely Refuge departed for Melnea’s World in the hopes of catching arch nemesis Cease Fussal. Setting a risky course and pushing the hyperdrive to its limits, Ria manages to reach their destination within moments of their quarry. Despite some heavy upgrades, Cease is flying a elegant Sorosuub 3000 Luxury Yacht, and is quickly forced to the surface of the planet.

The crew set down in the swampy marsh nearby and board the battered luxury vessel. Cease appears to have been flying with limited crew as the only one left alive is the man himself. Sam bursts onto the bridge ahead of the others. Mad about the man’s betrayal he opts for the “shoot first, ask questions later” approach. Unfortunately, Cease had rigged up a dead man’s switch to a set of explosives he’d installed into 1D-J0. The resulting explosion destroyed the crew’s faithful droid, the Jedi lightsabers he had stored inside him and Cease.

Fortunately, Emiko’s technical skills proved up to the challenge of both retrieving the data crystals hidden in the lightsabers and salvaging DeeJay’s memory core. While she does her work, the rest of the crew set out to explore the coordinates Cease had come to Melnea’s World to investigate but find only an empty swamp.

While debating what to do next, a salvage vessel arrives to make claim to Cease’s down Sorosuub. Realizing the salvage yard might be the lead they need, the crew head into the city to search for a twenty year old wreck. Luck, or the Force, proves to be on their side as the Hutt that controls the yard still has the old beat up Y-wing in his lot.

Always eager to make a deal, the Hutt swindles them into trading the Y-wing the crew picked up on Vasch for the one he has, which happens to be in much worse condition. During the negotiation, Verci picks that the Hutt might be planning to supplement his earnings on this deal by relaying their location to the plethora of people who would like to find her crew.

Assembling the data from the three found lightsabers, the crew identifies a system inside the D’Anjon nebula and set course. After a short layover on Vuzsa Refueling station, they jump into the largely unexplored nebula…and right into a mine field.

A mine detonates nearly completely crippling the Lonely Refuge. The nebula is dense in this system and the crew are unable to locate the other mines, only a massive metallic signature nearby. Working round the clock, Emiko manages to get the battered old Y-wing in the cargo bay into a semi-working state. Ria, and newly refurbished Dee-Jay, venture out in the old bird to scout the minefield.

Ria’s piloting proves up to the challenge as she navigates the field and moves close enough to the metallic signature to identify the old lost cruiser, RelianceUsing Ria’s relayed data, Sam attempts to follow with the Lonely Refuge but is unable to avoid another mine collision. The explosion kicks them clear of the mine field, allowing a tired Emiko, to juryrig enough working systems together to allow them to dock with the old battle cruiser.

Putting aside further repairs, Verci decides its worth the risk checking out the legendary ship to see what they have all risked their lives for. It seems everyone in the sector has been chasing after this vessel.

The ship has no power or gravity forcing a slow sojourn in space suits. Opening the first pressure door reveals a gruesome sight; bodies of Old Republic naval crew and a few Jedi fill the corridors, mixed with broken remains of droids. A great battle, lost to the record of history, was fought on this ship.

Making their way carefully to engineering via turbolift car, which thanks to science is easy to move, the crew restore some back up power to the ship, bringing on some lights and restoring the gravity. While some areas are able to have their atmosphere restored, many parts of the ship are still exposed to space.

A look over the ship schematics reveals the most likely location of a Jedi treasure vault near the hangar deck. Force to climb the turbo lift shaft due to the restored gravity, the crew slowly make their way back up. As they emerge onto the deck, a clanging vibration can be felt through the deck plating and lights as seen ahead.

A surviving group of battle droids, four B-1’s, two super battle droids and a Droideka, advance on the party. Identifying the Droideka as the primary threat the crew unload on the advancing droids. They manage to disable the Droideka’s shield and destroy it, but not before Verci and Ria are badly injured. Dr. Evie tends to the wounds as best she can through a space suit while the remaining clankers are taken down.

After a long rest and dip in the Lonely Refuge’s bacta tank, the crew continue their journey to explore the Reliance. Heading straight for the vault, Dr. Evie suddenly feels an unusual feeling. A connection to something she had gotten glimmers of before passes through her. As it does, the door to the vault opens, revealing a large cavernous room filled with crates.

The crates are labeled with an organizational code the crew can’t interpret and the opt to randomly open some crates. As they do, their is a flash of light and then darkness…

…memories flash through Verci’s mind. She see’s herself serving a brief career with the Rebel Alliance and New Republic, eventually rising to command the battlecruiser Reliance during the Battle of Coruscant. She see’s herself signing the business license for Pink Lady Enterprises and she see’s her small shipping firm grow rapidly in power and standing…

Waking up in her large bed she is momentarily disoriented. A call on the comm focuses her from her unusual dream. Morani Alwaid, her Chief Operations Officer, tells her that they lost another freighter, the third in the last month. All have been in systems bordering the Arkanis Sector.

As the two women talk, another call comes in. Morani reports its an urgent message concerning Colonel Samma’el Pajari…

…Ria sees herself flying above the second Death Star. She blasts a group of TIE fighters, allowing Wedge Antilles to slip inside the giant half finished monstrosity. Several more flashes of battles against the Empire pass through her mind before disorientation then hits her.

A squeal from Dee-Jay brings her attention back to the X-wing she’s flying now. He alerts her to the impending collision. Returning to the present she quickly maneuvers the X-wing clear of the debris field. Her comm buzzes, 

“And that boys and girls is how it’s done. Never somethings impossible unless you’re ready for Duchess to prove you wrong.”

And she recognizes the voice of the leader of Wildcard Squadron, Thom Athzari, her former command, which operates under her in her role of CAG aboard the Reliance. The squadron continues their training exercise before returning to the ship, where a junior officer is waiting. He informs Ria that the CO wants to see her, to which Thom gives her an “I told you so” look.

Going up to the CO’s officer, Ria is confront of by former Red Skull member Wins Tidnea, 

“What the hell were you thinking pulling a move like that? You’re supposed to be setting an example for the trainees, not showing them how to get themselves killed.

Before you can respond he continues, “And don’t give me any BS about how we’re the same rank and the pilots are your responsibility. I’m your husband and you’re carrying our child, that makes it my business.”…

…Evie, former doctor, sits meditating at the Jedi Academy on Yavin IV. The Force gives her a clear vision of her time with her old crew, the day they discovered the Reliance lost in the D’Anjon Nebula. She briefly reminisces about her time since then, serving as a medic for the New Republic, and her role in the outbreak on Gorno being discovered. Sentenced to never practice medicine again, she has been serving time studying the ways of the Jedi.

Her meditation is interrupted by her Jedi instructor, Togs Starburn. He commends her progress but informs her that a new arrival at the Academy has requested her presence.

Moving quickly to the infirmary, Evie finds Colonel Samma’el Pajari in one of the beds. She immediately recognizes the tell tale symptons of Gorno’s Disease. Perplexed how her old friend could have contracted the disease she goes to him. He reaches a weak hand up to her, 

“Tell Emi I’m sorry. I got him. But they’re coming.”  before he dies…

…Emiko sees flashes of battles, the day her children were born, danger and peace. All different but all with one constant, Sam. She looks around her home, filled with friends and family. Students of Sam’s from the local military academy chat amongst themselves. Taygeta Panaybe plays with her children, trying to keep them distracted. Her old crewmates, stand in a corner with her…

Chatting Evie finally can not contain herself and asks Emiko how Sam could have possible contract Gorno’s Disease. The planet, and all of Arkanis Sector, have been dubbed off limits by the New Republic. Recently battered by Grand Admiral Thrawn’s campaign, they don’t have the strength to bring that lawless sector under control. 

Reluctantly, and with much cajoling, Emiko reveals that Sam went after his old nemesis Lorent Tarkin. Tarkin has set himself up as a warlord over a few worlds of Arkanis. This makes Evie concerned that Tarkin may have found a way to weaponize Gorno’s Disease.

Determinedly, Ria has Dee-Jay requisition them a ship, a request that her husband Wins intercepts. Realize her determination, and recognizing the threat, he denies her request and then orders the Reliance to prepare to depart. The old crew gather together for one final mission into Arkanis. 

During the journey, Jedi Togs begins to show symptons of Gorno’s disease. Evie orders him quarantined and despite her ban, begins to study him. She identifies a virus similar to Gorno’s but slightly different. It lacks the biological markers that had implicated her in the tragedy on Gorno. She reports her findings to the doctor who had taken over her research into the disease. Later, a call comes in, the Jedi Academy on Yavin IV has suffered an epidemic level outbreak, almost all of the Jedi have been infected, but oddly none of the non-Jedi.

A short time later, the Reliance arrives in Arkanis. a large ship of ancient design approaches declaring their presence an act of war by the New Republic. Emperor Lak Eakere, former head of the Arkanis Mining Guild, demands their surrender. Captain Tidnea orders battle stations. 

A battle commences. Ria leads her fighter squadrons out to engage the enemy. Outnumbered two to one, the enemy is flying an unusual TIE design, equipped with a hyperdrive motivator energy signature which Emiko recognizes as her design. The fighter battle hangs in the balance but Ria and Wildcard Squadron are able to hold their own against superior numbers. 

Verci and Emiko offer their services to Captain Tidnea, directing weapon batteries and using the battlecruisers comm system to disrupt communications from the enemies main capitalship. The old Reliance appears to be holding her own until an intruder alert is sounded. The enemy some how slipped ships past their sensors.

It is not long before the fight makes its way to the bridge. The enemy boarders are led by Yinke Yanis, a former slave the crew had once rescued and returned to her farm world. She does not seem to recognize them now and attempts to kill Verci. Using every trick in her considerable book, Verci manages to sway Yinke, breaking through whatever conditioning had been affecting her. Pausing Yinke looks at Verci confused. 

Self declared Emperor Eakere steps on to the bridge. He thanks Verci for helping him come to power, and repays this debt by offering her a chance to join him. Verci refuses by drawing her pistol and shooting. Deftly, the business leader turned Sith, ignites a lightsaber, deflecting the shot and then decapitates Yinke, whose head falls into Verci’s lap, paralyzing her. 

Emiko and Evie attempt to fight to advancing forces, first with weapons, then with the Force, and then by trying to activate the ship’s auto destruct. Unfortunately, Wins is killed along with his XO, leaving no one onboard with an authorization code. It is not long before Emiko, Verci and Evie all fall prey to the power of the new Emperor…

…another flash of light and the crew finds themselves on the floor of the vault aboard Reliance. Dee-Jay and Sam are desperately trying to rouse them. What just happened?

Living on the Edge

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