In the last session the group had managed to thwart the self-destruct of their assigned ship, the Starskimmer, and discovered that the captain of the vessel was attempting to fake his own death. Upon repairing the nearly overloaded hyperdrive and returning to the New Republic science vessel, the Stellar Horizon, the players were briefly incarcerated until the details of their experience could be verified. Admiral Nerogan himself visited and apologized to the group for the betrayal of Captain Rahn on their first assignment. Tracing back the Captain’s activities over the past several weeks, Republic computer techs had found that he had been running several queries on the ship’s database without authorization. Although he had hidden his tracks well, it seemed that he had found what he was looking for about a week before and had attempted to delete all records of his search from the database.
Luckily he was unaware of the high-security automated backup of the system and the crew was able to discover the location that had caught his interest. A scout drone had recently made it’s way back through the Tangle, a series of gravity distortions surrounding the Unknown Regions, with preliminary scans of a previously unknown system. The crew isn’t sure what interest the Captain has in the system or what sets it apart from the dozens of other candidates for exploration, but they are sure that whatever it is he needs to be brought to justice. The players are offered the opportunity to take over command of his ship and they rename it to the Homestar Runner, voting the Duros Beeb T’bobo to replace Rahn as the commanding officer. They are given the coordinates and the nav data and head off into the Unknown Regions.
Due to the complexities of navigating through the Tangle, the journey takes several days. Upon exiting hyperspace the team found themselves in the middle of a large asteroid field. Beeb’s expert piloting allowed the ship to navigate out of harm’s way with barely a scratch. As they made their way out of the cloud of sensor blocking particles the comm station picked up a faint signal of unknown classification that seemed to be repeating on a loop. By carefully navigating their way through the asteroid field they were able to approach the signal undetected.
They spotted a colossal alien vessel whose hull had been battered by the asteroids and appeared to be stranded. Attached to the ship was a smaller Corvette sized vessel and two starfighters skulked around the surrounding asteroids. The Jedi, Saracev Quest, reached out with the force and felt the presence of evil on both the fighters and the corvette as well as several small pockets moving around the larger alien vessel. Choosing discretion over recklessness the crew decided to wait before taking action and after a short time the Corvette and Starfighters disengaged from the larger vessel and made their way out of the Asteroid field before making a hyperspace jump.
Seeing their opportunity, the team moved in and hailed the ship, receiving a response almost immediately. The being that answered them identified himself as Xa’Thras, a simple merchantman who had been stranded when his ship mistakenly came out of hyperspace in the middle of the field. He begged for the group’s help as the other ships had left two squads behind that were rampaging through his ship, killing all of his crew. Captain Beeb immediately moved to dock with the larger vessel and Tito Timmons performed some stealthy recon of the docking area.
Seeing a relatively small group of six figures through the airlock door, the team dispatched them quickly with a few well-thrown grenades and a short pursuit through the tunnels. The beings found were Lugubraans, dim-witted thugs resembling giant leeches and obsessed with eating, being led by an Ebruchi commander.
After making contact with Xa’Thras through the internal comm systems the team was given a map of the ship. Using the Jedi’s ability to sense the dark side, the team was able to track the second group of invaders and set up an ambush for them outside of the command deck. The Lugubraans were easily dispatched but the wrecker droid they had brought with them gave the team some trouble. After the droid was finally brought down the blast doors to the command deck opened and Xa’Thras slithered out, thanking the heros profusely and granting them several items from his extensive collection of technological artifacts.
After the players received their rewards Xa’Thras explained that he had come to this system after receiving a tip that one of the ancient Gree tombships was located on the fourth planet. The Gree were one of the original races whose technology far surpassed most of the current levels of development. A tombship housed the remains of a Gree Master Craftsman and served as a mobile monument or museum, containing examples of the technologies the Craftsman had developed. A find like that would make anyone quite rich but the Asteroid field had ended Xa’Thras’ attempt to lay claim to the ship.
When the players asked if Captain Rahn had been sighted, Xa’thras told them that he had been the first to find him and had ignored his pleas for help. The ship had tracked him as far as he could and theorized that he was also heading for the fourth planet. The players now had a new destination!