With the bounty on them lifted, if only temporarily, Hakken Thul and Rylon Corsair head to the Imperial held world of Kestos Minor with an illegal shipment of weapons once bound for a militia that would have fought against the tyranny of the Emperor long ago.
The Nameless YT drops out hyperspace outside Kestos Minor. Streaks of stars become points of light and the planet races toward the view port. That’s when the spacers see the 3 Star Destoryers right in their path. They lay motionless, TIE Fighters buzzing about them like insects. They do not hail. The pair know It’s likely most forces are deployed planetside and this is a not so subtle reminder of what lies below.
RA recalls that Kestos has been subject to Imperial rule since early on in the Empire. Hakken remembers hearing a bit about the Kwymar Suppressions which saw the Empire squash any resistance in the sector.
Over the comm, a Bureau of Ships and Services or BoSS agent contacts the Nameless, operating under the transponder code Crazy Tom. He implies the ship is stolen with a line of questioning about the ship being too far out of its last stop to have made it so far. Rylon, somehow, successfully bluffs his way through the questions by mentioning the last check in Nar Shaddaa. The agent lets them proceed dismissing them as a late file or misfile.
As near the planet, B3 excitedly chirps and whistles. He swivels his head around and the young blonde Jedi he had projected on Sleheyron appears. She stands as a life sized hologram in the cockpit and smiles as she speaks, “Welcome to Kestos Minor, Denth. Now that you’ve reached orbit, coordinates for the militias meet up location and comm signal have been unlocked within your droids memory. Kestos is a Corusca gem in the rough, a friendly and peaceful world, you shouldn’t have any problems like the other outer rim planets. Senator Ivor Drake will have further instructions regarding this mission. The militia leader, Mesha Vendock will have the information about contacting her…. by the way if you’re hearing this at all it means the prototype memory core works! So whatever you do, take care of little R4-P-B3 – he’s priceless… at least his head is. May the force be with you, Jedi Mckeen."
They set down in Kestos City, the largest metropolis on the planet, and once the location of the militia headquarters. Waiting for them at the landing platform is a customs agent and 3 spaceport security. RA and Rylon head down to meet them, while Hakken waits in the cargo hold – blaster ready. B3 quickly forges a manifest. First the agent is taken back by the Imperial model droid, which RA explains as a gift from Rylons father… an ex senator Rylon interjects. While Rylon attempts to be charming, he comes off more desperate for friends. After offering to be generous with his credits with a night of gambling and drinking, RA speaks up about him trying to make his way in the world, and then it seems to dawn on the customs agent that this is a spoiled young man being forced to do some honest work. RA goes and retrieves the forged manifest, which all checks out and even has working authorization codes. The agents leave as Rylon still talks about hitting the town.
When they try to reach the militia leader, the comm signal seems to be connecting, but no ones picks up. B3 believes he can trace the signal, which leads them though the Imperial oppressed city. They trace the comm to a cantina. The place smoking and dark, a traditional Bith band is backed by a Ortolan on omnibox. They look around the bar, Rylon catches the eye of a young blue Twi’lek and Hakken makes eye contact with a haggard old man.
As Hakken moves closer, the old man tries to make a run for it, but is too drunk to get anywhere. He merely runs into a crowd behind his bar stool. Hakken catches him and helps him back to his seat. Noticing the comm sticking out of his coat, he asks why the old man doesn’t answer. “How’d you get this signal? No ones commed it for 20 years.” Hakken gives a quick explaination and Mesha Vendock introduces himself. Hakken asks about the senator Ivor Drake, but the old man reports the senator has been imprisoned since the onset of the Empire. Vendock himself has fought the Empire for 20 years, even joining the Alliance and leading a cell on Kestos, but since the Kwymar Suppression, whats left of his platoon as been trapped on Kestos. The Alliance unable to provide reinforcements or evacuation. When Hakken reveals that he has the shipment as well and that Empire wont be defeated with them just sitting around here, a drunken Vendock gets to his feet and starts shouting about getting into action.
Meanwhile, Rylon and the Twi’lek girl are getting along nicely. She speaks almost no basic and giggles at everything he says. They drink and Rylon feels the effects quickly. She seems distracted by the yelling old man with Hakken, and Rylon suggests they go somewhere else. They all find themselves exiting the cantina in line.
Outside, Hakken trys to calm down the old man, while behind them Rylon feels the point of blaster in his side. “Just keep moving, sleemo”, the Twi’lek says in basic, no hint of an accent, “I don’t know what you have planned for the old man but its not gunna work.” Hakken notices the trouble Rylon has gotten himself in and laughs. It’s not a long walk back to the ship, and when the docking bay doors close, the Twi’lek demands to know what they’re doing with Commander Vendock. The drunken old man finally notices the girl, “Oolia?! What are you doing here?”, before blacking out.
Inside the ship, Oolia gives a more sober account of the situation. Ten members of Bandit Squad are left, including herself, and not counting the commander. They have an X-Wing, two Y-Wings, and a captured Sentential Class Landing Craft. She suggests they make it for the nearest Alliance base, blasting their way off planet if necessary. Vendock comes to for a moment to shout they must start the revolution here on Kestos.
Rylon is apprehensive about the blasting their way off planet, but Hakken goes over the plan with Oolia and it seems sound. Rylon asks, “What about those Star Destroyers?! They’ve got over 50 TIEs each!“. Hakken grins, _”So it’ll be a target rich environment."_
Oolia gets the last of the Rebels ready while Vendock sobers up. Hakken and RA take gun postitions, B3 takes engineering, and slightly sobered Vendock and Rylon take the cockpit.
They use the distraction of the Crazy Tom being stolen as cover for the Sentinel Class shuttle to pursue. Being that the transponder lists the YT to the son of wealthy family on Kuat, the Sentinel Class firing on it isn’t scrutinized. A squadron of TIE fighters aid in the pursuit. After a few moments of dog fighting, a formation of TIEs are blown up either by turret or concussion missile and a Star Destroyer lights up space creating a curtain of blaster fire. As the fighters sneak in behind and the Star Desrtoyers and make hyperspace, the nameless YT is battered by the Star Destroyer. With a break in the fire they make it out with the Landing Craft, rendezvous with the fighters and jump to the Corva Sector.
Later they set down on Titan Base on an uninhabited planet in a remote part of the the sector. The sector is Imperially held, but still Titan Base runs missions throughout this region of space.
Greeted by a stuffy Bothan female, Captain Aleene, second-in-command of Titan Base, the spacers are directed to meet with Base Commander Elemack, regarding their cargo while the rest of Bandit Squad is debriefed.
The Mon Calamari Commander is not one for small talk. He gets right to business asking what the pair want for the weapons. They agree on repairs to the ship, along with a heavy repeating blaster and a missile tube.
Commander Elemack makes a plea for them to join the Alliance and stirred to action – Rylon volunteers on the spot. Hakken turns down the request. Rylon and Hakken argue over the matter.
“Don’t you see what they’re up against? You’re turning your back on them.”
“I’ll take on the Empire in my own way. I don’t need them telling me what to do!”
B3 goes with Rylon and RA stays with Hakken, as Hakken is still under contract with RA.
After some time, the Gran quartermaster Yen comes by to inspect the cargo. Rylon, having second thoughts about joining, tries to back out as he looks over the weapons, telling the Gran he could do more good staying on the YT. “I’ll see what I can do, son. Perhaps making you a procurement specialist under me can keep you on the ship.”
Meanwhile, stewing in the cockpit, Hakken receives a comm from Jan Ors.
“Still alive, I see.”
“You too. I hear you’ve made not only a sizable delivery but even rescued a squad, but you’re not going to join us?”
“Got my own way of doing things.”
“Well, on our mission to Imperial Security Ops to convert that nav data… we sorta left some code in the computers. Its remote activated to either wipe away your record… or send it to every Imperial computer in the galaxy.”
“Didn’t know the rebellion was into blackmail”
“Fail safes… If you couldn’t be trusted after all. You don’t have to join up officially. We have plenty of non commissioned civilian contracts. I’ve taken the liberty of telling the Commander of your special skill set”
Hakken lets out a heavy sigh. “Alright… I’m in.”