The Empire Rising

Never send a boy to do the work of a Jedi...

In the Miners’ Den in the domed city of New Prosperity, on the moon of Novar, orbiting the planet Rost

The group had been asking questions of one of the bartenders, a human. Caelium wonders about who is running the mining operation. She says that the director of the operation, Ban Saleem, has not been seen in several months, but a man named Lev has been taking care of things in his absence. During the conversation, some members of the group notice a man in the shadows of a booth, keeping to himself.

They decide to get a table. Duncan attempts to scan the network here and gathers some info on the bar- and brothel-tabs of the miners. They can see now that the man in the booth is a Defel, a wolf-like creature that is known to be sensitive to light. Suddenly, some noise from outside is heard.

Vekis approaches the security guard standing by the entrance and offers his services. Thane goes outside to investigate – he sees a large group of dirty, sweaty aliens approaching the tavern. They seem to be miners returning from a long shift. They enter the bar and are greeted by name by the security guard.

Pretending to talk to a man who is passed out at another table, Caelium watches the Defel. Vekis sees a large human enter the tavern. The security guard greets him, but does not use his name. A group of four human thugs enters the bar, each armed with a truncheon, the same weapon carried by the security guard. They spread out at the bar.

At that moment, the Defel slips out of the booth, almost completely unseen, and makes his way to the bar where the large man is. Daro and Vekis notice this and approach the bar near to the large human. Before they can blink, the human draws a light sabre on the Defel who is lunging at him with a type of vibro-weapon. The human falls to the floor from a slash. With blinding speed, the Defel proceeds to gut him. He turns to make his escape. Duncan is attempting to record all of this on his data pad.

The Defel feints to the main door, then dashes to the brothel area, trying to remain hidden. Daro chases after him. Duncan tries to hack the security cameras to follow the Defel . Caelium is ready to hand his surveillance tagger to Vekis, while he dons his armour.

Someone at the bar calls out: “Oh my god, they killed Ban!” The thugs close in on Vekis, whom they seem to blame for the murder. Two of the thugs attack Vekis, but their strikes fail to penetrate his armour. Vekis denies the charge and warns them to stand down or face certain death. Not wishing to risk that he is telling the truth, they comply. Caelium explains to the thugs what happened, that the real murderer has fled.

By this time, Thane has retrieved the air speeder. He is hovering over the Miners’ Den complex, observing the area. He sees a small, snub-nosed craft fleeing the city. Thane relays this information to Duncan.

Inside the tavern, the group examines the body of Ban Saleem. Vekis notices tattoos on him but can’t identify their significance. He takes Ban’s light sabre weapon. Duncan overhears a patron claiming that his death must have been ordered by the Hutts – Virgo the Hutt was on the moon only a few months ago. The patron seems to think that there was a dispute between the Hutts and Ban.

Afterward, Duncan reviews the establishment’s security feeds that he has recorded. The group discusses what transpired and how best to proceed – they decide to offer their assistance as a security team. Just then, Ban’s assistant, Lev, enters the bar.

Lev, who is actually a Rodian, approaches their booth and asks who they are. He doesn’t believe Caelium’s story about the group being a freelance security team and asks whether they are with the Hutts or the Empire. Daro says that they are “not with the Hutts”. Lev seems relieved by this. He asks the group if they will help him fend off the Hutt influence here. The group agrees to it if there’s credits in it for them.

Lev gives the background on the mining colony. He says that he’s known Ban for ten years and is unaware of any family he may have had. Lev is not sure why the Hutts would want to kill him. Caelium asks if Lev has confirmed that the man that was killed was indeed Ban. He says that he has not yet seen the body. Lev leads the group to a makeshift morgue, where the body has been taken. After examining the body of the slain man, Lev is certain that it is not Ban. Duncan identifies the body’s tattoos as those of a Pyke cartel foot soldier.

Lev then takes the group to Ban’s fortress. It is protected by a formidable energy shield. Several security droids, including some illegal battle droids, patrol the grounds. The party’s scanners indicate that the fortress interior is uninhabited. The complex includes a small shipyard that holds a land speeder and an armed air speeder. Inside, Lev uses his ID to pass a security door into the vault. He is shocked to find it completely empty. He says that there were weapons and other treasures here worth up to 100,000 credits.

Duncan accesses the complex’s security camera data. It shows that the security droids must have been reprogrammed to move the stuff to a mining shuttle. The command seems to have been given nine days ago to load up the shuttle and send it to a refinery planetside, close to the city of Outport. This timeline coincides with the moment the group left the spacelanes near Kamino and headed toward Novar.

Lev seems as surprised as the group to learn this. He says that he had a conversation with Ban nine days ago about ramping up production on the moon. Ban said that he had acquired a “new connection” that could help them. Lev calls up the holo-recording of their conversation. The image of the man speaking to Lev is clearly not the same as that of the one who was killed in the bar today.

Daro recognizes the man in the recording, known to Lev as Ban Saleem. He racks his brain to place him – he remembers that it is Corso, a Jedi Master. Daro chooses to say nothing about it.

Lev provides Duncan with data on several thugs of the Black Sun cartel. These men were putting pressure on Ban to pay tithe to the Hutts, assuring a cheap price for the spice that Black Sun coveted. Both Vekis and Caelium recognize more than one of these thugs.

The group retires to a room in the Miners’ Den and discusses a plan to check out the refinery on the planet Rost. Daro tells the group that he recognized the man in the holo-recording and that he believes him to be a Jedi Master.

Duncan and Thane take the air speeder to the ship, which is parked outside of the city. Thane shows Duncan the Imperial tracking system hardware that he previously discovered on the ship. Feigning ignorance of this, Duncan agrees to check out the ship’s computers. He discovers a hidden subroutine in the computer system. Its purpose seems to be for sending packets of information to hyperspace nodes as a means to remotely track the ship’s approximate location. With this disturbing news in mind, Duncan considers a way to use it to their advantage…


Rathburn hypericum

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