Episode 7 Chapter 3
Kaminoan scientist Doctor Adrap Topas
was forced to create a biological weapon to
oppress the people of the planet Auilai.
He later defied his Imperial overseers
and created a secret cure, but was discovered
The Crew of the Riptide rescued Doctor Topas
from an Imperial prison transport
and have brought him and his cure to the planet Auilai.
Doctor Topas has manufactured enough anti-virus
to cure and inoculate every inhabitant of Auilai,
but in order to distribute the cure
the rebel dissidents of Auilai,
led by the enigmatic Shadow,
now known as Baraq Lee, Balin's father,
must invade and occupy
a secret Imperial biological weapons facility...
The Crew of the Riptide
Evo Shandor - nautolan transport captain
Balin Lee - young human Jedi-in-training
Emily Wonder - human mercenary
Not in attendance this week
Not in attendance this week
Eggs Ledscramb - quarren bounty hunter
Rhys March - twi'lek tech-spec
The Riptide carried the assault force and a small fleet of one-man aqua scooters halfway around the planet Auilai to the designated staging point. Here they were far enough away to avoid being detected by the Imperial biological weapons facility that was the target of their invasion.
Evo Shandor entrusted the operation of his submersible space transport to Rhys March, the newest member of his crew. Evo would join Balin and Emily on a dangerous advance mission to sneak into the facility via an undersea thermal exhaust port. Their objective was to knock out the power generator in order to disable the shields and turbolasers that protected the island base, allowing the Riptide to land and disgorge its invaders.
Baraq held Balin's shoulder. With nothing more than a silent nod and a grim smile, Balin knew what his father was thinking. With a quiet nod and a half-smile in return, Baraq knew that his son understood.
Balin, Evo, and Emily assembled outside the transport on their sea-scooters. Each scooter was shaped like a wide triangle with a seat you straddled, handle-bar controls, and a screen. During high-speed operations, the seat recessed into the delta and the pilot road with their bodies low against the vehicle to reduce drag.
As they approached along the twilit sea floor, they could see the island rising like a mountain in silhouette before them. Balin got a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach. He felt an evil presence on the island. A presence that was searcing for him.
The team ascended from the dark towards the thermal exhaust port. As they entered the light, they caught the attention of four guards patrolling the waters around the islands. The guards were not Imperial, they were the warlord Rakai's men. Each man wore armor and carried a force pike. In addition, the guards rode a massive predator known as a xaruk. Each xaruk had been bionically modified with laser eyes and armor plating.
|One of Warlord Rakai's Thugs riding a Cyborg Xaruk|
Balin signalled the others to tighten up around him. They formed a tight triangle. Balin activated his green lightsaber and began parrying blaster bolts while Emily and Evo opened fire on Rakai's thugs.
Rakai's thugs swam towards the trio. Balin, Evo, and Emily turned their aqua-scooters back out to sea in order to keep their distance, but turned around to fire as they retreated. They managed to pick off a two of the xaruks. One of the thugs became wounded and fled the battle. Balin turned his scooter around and closed with the remaining mounted guard, engaging him and the remaining two unmounted guards in melee combat. Between Balin's lightsaber and Emily and Evo's shooting, the trio made short work of the remaining guards.
Balin used his lightsaber to cut a hole into the thermal exhaust port. A pipe connected the heat sink in the port to the power generator inside the facility. The trio swam their way up the pipe until it hit a pumping station. Balin cut a hole in the roof of the pipe and the three climbed out.
They were sitting atop a pipe over sixty feet above the floor of a cylindrical room. The pipe upon which they sat was one of many connected a massive four story tall cylindrical power generator. They climbed the pipe to the side of the power generator. Massive transparent tubes contained arcing ion plasma held inside magnetic conduits. They carefully began climbing down the structure.
During the climb, Balin lost his grip, but he quickly reached out with the Force and arrested his fall, gently lowing himself to the ground. Meanwhile Emily climbed down easily while Evo slipped and fell, breaking his leg.
I had them make three climbing rolls, sum the results, and compare the total with 30. I then compared the difference to the damage table. Evo got a Stun result.
Evo staggered as he tried to pull himself to his feet. Balin's used the Force to heal the injury, reducing the break to a sprain. Evo winced at the pain and began looking around the room for controls to shut down the power core. He asked Emily to help but she simply glanced around and shrugged. Evo rolled his eyes and continued to study the walls of complicated controls.
Balin suddenly spun around and faced the turbolifts. A dark presence was approaching. The turbolifts opened to reveal a squad of six stormtroopers accompanied by the mysterious man with the vibro-sword that killed Kara Pacha.
The stormtroopers made no attempt to attack. They simply entered the room and fanned out to either side of the turbolifts.
The man stepped out of the turbolift and stood aside, allowing a tall figure in a cape to enter the room. The figure was an image from a nightmare. He was humanoid but completely devoid of skin. His body was composed of artificial bionic skeleton and exposed muscle tissue. His face lacked a nose. His lips were pulled back around his horse-like teeth. His skull was chrome and gleamed in the lights of the turbolift. His right eye was a yellow lidless orb with a pin-prick pupil. His left eye was obscured or replaced by a large glowing red lens. His ears were protected by round coverings from which protruded short antennae. Cables and wires and tubes ran throughout his chromium skeleton. A deactivated lightsaber was magnetically attached to his metallic hip.
The man with the sword sneered at Balin, saying over his shoulder, "You see, Inquisitor? I told you they faked the crash. The boy I told you about is here," he paused to savor his disgust, "the Force adept."
The skinless cyborg strode forth into the room, examining Balin, evaluating him. He replied in a monoton voice, modulated by a computer, "YES, INSPECTOR DEMEK. YOUR SKILLS ARE ADMIRABLE."
He turned and addressed Balin, his recessed lips curled around his long teeth, approximating a smile, "GREETINGS, BALIN. I AM PLEASED TO FINALLY MEET YOU. MY NAME IS DAROGAN. I HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE TASK OF RECRUITING YOU TO THE NEW ORDER."
"INCORRECT, BALIN. YOUR MOTHER IS ALIVE AND INCARCERATED IN AN IMPERIAL PRISON. JOIN ME AND SHE WILL BE FREED. YOU CAN BE REUNITED WITH HER."
"No! You're lying! She died!"
"INCORRECT. JOIN US BALIN. THE EMPEROR IS ASSEMBLING AN ARMY OF YOUNG FORCE ADEPTS TRAINED IN THE WAYS OF THE DARK SIDE BY HIS LOYAL INQUISITORS. YOU WILL BE A PART OF THIS ARMY. JOIN US AND I WILL TRAIN YOU TO BE POWERFUL IN THE FORCE."
"IT IS INEVITABLE. IT WILL HAPPEN. JOIN US AND YOUR EVERY WISH WILL BE GRANTED. THE EMPEROR REWARDS HIS LOYAL SUBJECTS."
There was a pause.
"THERE IS BUT ONE CONDITION. YOU MUST SURRENDER THE KAMINOAN, DOCTOR TOPAS."
"It's too late. He's already made enough of his cure to free every native on this world."
"WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT HIS CURE. THIS WAS NEVER ABOUT HIS CURE OR THE NATIVES OF NESIA OR THE ULCAULT. HE NEVER TOLD YOU WHY HE WAS ARRESTED DID HE?"
Balin looked confused, "It wasn't the cure?"
"IT WAS NOT. ALTHOUGH IT IS TRUE THAT DOCTOR TOPAS ABANDONED HIS WORK WHEN HIS OFFSPRING WAS IDENTIFIED AS A FORCE ADEPT AND JOINED THE NEW ORDER, HE CREATED THE CURE TO BUY THE FRIENDSHIP OF YOUR PITIFUL REBELLION. HE KNEW WE WOULD SOON BE COMING FOR HIM SO HE NEEDED TO ESCAPE.
"FOR YOU SEE, THE OFFSPRING OF DOCTOR TOPAS, LIKE ALL KAMINOANS, IS A CLONE. A CLONE CREATED BY DOCTOR TOPAS HIMSELF. DOCTOR TOPAS HAS MANAGED TO UNLOCK THE SECRET OF CLONING FORCE SENSITIVITY!"
Darogan let that sink in for a moment.
"THAT IS WHY HE WASN'T SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR HIS TREASON. THAT IS WHY INSPECTOR DEMEK IS HERE. HIS MISSION IS TO RETURN WITH DOCTOR TOPAS SO THAT WE CAN BEGIN CLONING FORCE ADEPTS. AS LONG AS YOU SHELTER DOCTOR TOPAS, YOU WILL NEVER BE SAFE.
"IF YOU REALLY WANT TO HELP THE PEOPLE OF THIS WORLD, IF YOU REALLY WANT TO PROTECT YOUR LITTLE REBELLION, YOU WILL SURRENDER DOCTOR TOPAS AND JOIN THE EMPEROR."
"I'll never join you, so you're just going to have to kill me."
The cyborg's lips formed a parody of a grimace, "SO BE IT."
Darogan activated his lightsaber.
Agent Demek ordered his stormtroopers to fan out and eliminate Evo and Emily. Balin closed his eyes and pushed his empty hand at Demek. Agent Demek was bodily thrown against the far wall of the turbolift with a crash. Emily followed up with a barrage of blaster fire, filling the turbolift with small explosions of sparks and smoke. The doors closed.
The stormtroopers followed orders and fanned out to the left and right of the round room. Evo and Emily took out four stormtroopers by the turbolifts while the two remaining flanked right around the power core. Evo and Emily exchanged fire with the stormtroopers as they slowly advanced around the room counter-clockwise.
Darogan and Balin faced each other. Darogan raised his lightsaber in a salute. There was a tense pause. Then the two rushed at each other. The two combatants ran past each other. There was a blinding flash and swooping hum. They stopped a few meters apart, facing away from each other. Darogan's hand and lightsaber lay on the floor. The cyborg clutched his severed stump and turned to glare at Balin.
Balin walked back and picked up the lightsaber. He kicked the hand back to Darogan, "You dropped something."
Darogan looked around. He was alone. His stormtroopers were dead. Evo and Emily pointed their blasters at the cyborg inquisitor.
Balin pointed towards the turbolift. "Get out."
Darogan grabbed his hand and made his escape.
Once they were alone, Balin turned to Evo, "Did you find the controls yet?"
Evo quickly found the controls and shut down the power core.
Every lightsaber duel I've ever un in WEG's d6 system has gone like this:
- Both sides have Lightsaber Combat up, adding their Control dice to the attack and the Alter dice to the damage. This generally comes to 7-10D to attack and 6-7D damage.
- The combatant with initiative spends a Force Point, doubling the attack dice to 14-20D.
- The attacker splits their dice into 5 attacks at 9-15D each.
- The defender spends a Force Point, doubling their dice.
- The defender parries the first attack at 14-20D, the second attack at 13-19D, the third attack at 12-18D, and so on.
- At some point, usually on the first roll, such as in this fight, the attacker rolls 1 or 2 points higher.
- The attacker rolls 6-7D damage, the defender rolls 2-3D STR. The Defender is killed.
Every lightsaber duel I've ever run is usually over in one or two strikes. I've never been able to sustain a back-and-forth duel like in the movies. My fights are more like samurai movies, where the two samurai face off, trash talk, then rush past each other exchanging one strike. The loser falls down dead.
In Balin and Darogan's duel, Balin's player had 24D, split into five actions for 19D each. Darogan had 20D. He lost the first roll. Balin rolled a LOT of damage, indicating a kill result.
However, Balin's player liked the idea of a recurring villain so he described the result as severing Darogan's hand, which I thought was genius!
In retrospect, what I should have done to achieve a Star Warsy lightsaber duel was have Darogan use Full Defense. Then he'd have ADDED his 20D to the base difficulty of 20. He'd have survived the first round at least.
Once the power core was shut down, the base's shields were deactivated and the turbolaser batteries became dormant. The Riptide approached the hangar bay unopposed. A lambda-class shuttle was seen fleeing in the distance. The Riptide landed and disgorged the rebel assault force. After some fierce fighting, the base was taken.
Doctor Topas deployed the counter-virus using the base's drones, distributing it across the planet. Once they were done, the Shadow ordered the base to be destroyed. Evo set the power core to overload. It eventually self-destructed in a fantastic explosion.
The crew of the Riptide joined the Shadow and his rebels at their secret base in an abandoned city. The counter-virus was spreading. Every native of Auilai would soon be cured of the gill rot virus and would become immune to future Imperial biological attacks. Without their monopoly, the Empire would lose their ability to control the natives. The Shadow's rebels planned to free the captive workers. Soon the Empire would face a full revolt on the planet Auilai. When that happened, the Rebellion would gain a strategic sanctuary.
But that was the future. Tonight, the crew of the Riptide celebrated their victory with the Shadow and his insurgents. Afterwards, the crew were officially inducted into the Shadow's rebellion. They were no longer simply smugglers and gophers working at arm's reach. They were part of the inner circle. They were Rebels.