Through the front window of the old warehouse, the rebels saw a nervous Devaronian pacing about, speaking on his com. “Are you in or aren’t cha? Darga will kill me. If I’m killed, I’ll miss out on a very important part of life. What’s it called? Oh yeah, life!”
A pair of modified mining druids chipped away at the stone floor, seeming to repair the dilapidated warehouse. The rebels also noted a Rodian standing guard in the rafters above Raden.
Tor, Kelyn, Carson and N3MO knocked on the front door.
“We’re going to try this diplomatically,” Torwarned the droid.
“I’ve got this,” Carson said, tapping at the security pad. A red light started blinking.
He fiddled some more with the alarm controls. A beeping sound escaped the locked door.
Finally, a microphone-shaped droid emerged from a slot in the door. “Nobata outmians!” the droid chortled.
Tor’s mouth dropped open. “No rundee Huttese? You speak Basic?” he asked.
The droid cackled. “This is private property. Get lost.”
“We’re here to see Raden,” Tor insisted.
“There’s no one here by that name. What do you want with him?” the droid contradicted itself.
“Darga sent us to monitor his progress,” Tor insisted,
The droid withdrew, and the mighty door swung open.
The Devaronian stood where they had seen him when they’d looked through the window. He was joined by another mining droid and half a dozen Twi’lek thugs. “First Darga is PO’d at me for blowing that weapons cache job. Then he’s furious because I hit that relief transport. He banishes me out here, threatening to kill me if he sees me before I get his precious weapons. Then he wastes your time, sending you out here to check on me?”
“You know how Darga gets,” Tor sighed.
Raden laughed wildly. “I sure do. So, what’s the deal?”
The rest of the rebels had climbed a ladder outside the warehouse and were working on getting through a locked door. Khalikthought for a moment, looking at the security pad, then he typed D-A-R-G-A. Green light. He threw the door open, revealing two heavily armed Quarren. “Get out of here!” one chortled. “While you still can,” the other one added, wagging its facial tentacles at them.
Youth got the better of Khalic. He squeezed the trigger on his blaster. The Quarren fired their weapons.
Downstairs, the paranoid Devaronian decided to eliminate all ends. “Get them!” Raden ordered the Twi’leks.
“Get who?” Tor asked, trying to salvage any in roads he had paved.
“Get you!” Raden barked.
The three mining druids turned their intention to the intruders. Their servo motors roared, and they seemed to fly across the warehouse at their targets. One of them landed next to N3MO, smashing through his hull plating. One flew toward Tor, who activated his Force shielding to absorb a lot of the pry bar blow. The third leapt onto the rafters and charged Ce’sr, beating him mercilessly with the pry bar.
Tor raised a hand. Half the Twi’lek goons flew through the air and bounced unconscious off the wall
Raden gasped as N3MO’s saw came to life and dove through the mining droid like it was made of Chandrilian butter. The Devaronian headed for the wall to his right and seemed to melt through the stone. Tor realized the annoying creep was using the Force.
Three Twi’leks surrounded N3MO. One by one, the droid dismembered them and performed involuntary autopsies on them, turning the warehouse into a slaughterhouse.
Blaster fire filled the old structure as Darga’s thugs exchanged blaster fire with Varth’s rebels. Tor used the Force to boost his jump, sending him five meters into the sky, so he landed on the rafters. The Camassi headed through the doorway, into the half of the warehouse Raden had headed, The Devaronian was standing right in the doorway. “Take me to Darga,” Tor ordered,
“I can’t. He’ll kill me if I show up there.”
“Then give me directions.”
“You’d never find it.”
There was truth in the creep’s eyes.
The Devaronian raised his hand. Tor realized he was about to be Force slammed. He raised a hand to neutralize the effect. Raden stared shocked.
“You know any more Force tricks?” Tor asked.
N3MO busted down the door that led to the western half of the warehouse. The Twi’lek and Rodian ordered to defend the doorway abandoned their posts when the door began to buckle beneath the druid’s attacks… and when they saw Tor head after their charge. N3MO entered the stairwell before the thugs were all the way up. The Twi’lek shot down, rupturing a circuit board. The druid’s lights went dark. Its chasis tumbled down the stairs. Kelyntook cover behind the fallen droid and blew away the Twi’lek.
Khalik leapt from the rafters, twisting his ankle in the process. He limped over to his droid, hauling some circuit boards and plating he’d looted from the defeated mining druids.
Barris and Ce’sr moved into the rafters, battling a Rodian. Despite multiple wounds, the goon refused to give up the ghost. It fell back out the door, toward Tor.
“We can protect you,” Tor promised Raden as the Rodian appeared behind him. Tor had time to activate his Force shield before the blaster bolt took him in the back.
Raden doubted Tor’s abilities to protect him and hurried onto a series of decks that crossed the vast canyon the warehouse sat at the precipice of.
Tor turned and summoned the debris all around him to swirl together and attack the Rodian. The green goon took a splinter to the cheek. The Force was just not strong with Tor today,
The two Rodians stood back to back in the rafters. One of them lacked a leg. Neither intended to go down without a fight. Baris blasted the spirit out of one. Tor Force slammed the other out of the room and out of his body.
Raden was almost out of range, rushing across the piers. Khlaik looked up from his work on N3MO, gritted his teeth and sent a blaster bolt into the Devaronian’s leg, hobbling him. “You want to see Darga, huh? I suggest you leave while you still have all your organs inside you.”
“We’ll take our chances,” Tor declared.
After some repairs and healing, they were off to find the Hutt.
Hopping aboard your new swoop bikes, with a blaster stuck in Raden’s ribs, he leads you on a treacherous and winding journey through the city bridge, to one of the mountain hubs, and out onto another dilapidated bridge city.
The trip took close to an hour, and rarely traveled uickly. It was a Surreal journey that seemed to go inside and through ruined buildings and excavations as much as outside through the streets. Several times, he took you down into the city sublevels, where you found yourself winding through labyrinthine tunnels, stairwells, and riding down non-functional conveyer tubes. After a while of this, you realized that you weren’t sure, any longer, of which direction you were pointed. Clearly, Raden didn’t like to travel in the open.
You finally ascended a long and wide concourse stairway up into a collapsed concourse, with daylight streaming in between the mountains of broken rubble and steel from several destroyed palace compounds, which had all flowed into the streets. There were many gaps in this area where it looked like turbolasers had blown chunks of the road out.
You finally ascended a long and wide concourse stairway up into a collapsed concourse, with daylight streaming in between the mountains of broken rubble and steel from several destroyed palace compounds, which had all flowed into the streets. There were many gaps in this area where it looked like turbolasers had blown chunks of the road out. He picks his path through towards a massive toppled Neimoidian statue, which hid the remains of a sturdy stone battlement, inset with a pair of massive blast doors 5 meters tall, and carved with elaborate Hutt runes.
Raden walked timidly forward up to a door, which had a small communications panel. He pressed a button and sputtered some phrases in Huttese.
A long moment passed before two Nikto guards with hunting blaster rifles appeared on the battlements above the doors, weapons pointed down at you. A metal panel in the blast door scraped as it slid open. You see a large pair of glowing eyes staring at you from the dark. A gravelly voice speaks from within the doors, again in Huttese. “He’s going to kill you, Raden.”
The panel slid closed. A moment later, there was a heavy clank of metal on metal, and the blast doors parted to either side. A rush of cool, dry air flowed outward from the Hutt palace. Raden motioned you to follow.
Entering the palace, you followed Raden down a long, dark hallway, illuminated at random by torches set into wall sconces. You have a bad feeling about this place, like something is watching you from the darkness. You passed unmarked metal doors. The air was thick with the smell of dust and rotting wood.
As you moveddeeper, you realized that Darga’s palace seemed to be created from the wreckage of two adjacent palaces, which have been hastily retrofitted together. You got the sense that both buildings were once bright and beautiful, and very old. Eventually you heard music and voices, and you realized
you must be approaching the throne room.
Entering the large chamber, you realized the throne room was likely a portion of the Great Hall of one of the other palaces, or what is left of it. Its opulent and repulsive. A thick layer of oddly scented smoke and spice drifted through the air, rising out of braziers in the corners of the room. Once beautiful tapestries lined the walls, though most have been torn, burned, or stained. Beautiful cornices in the long tubelike hallways had been painted over with tacky gold and purple paint.
A raised hoverdais, plated in polished gold, hovered in the center of the room supports the massive and bejeweled bulk of Darga the Hutt, and he was surrounded by crowds of thugs and servants, while a human band played and twilek dancers twirl. Behind the dais, you sawa large open balcony that opened into a cavernous dark room that seemed to have spotlights at riveted at regular intervals into the ceiling.
As you walked into the room, the conversation and music stopped. Silence reigns as every eye turns to watch Raden lead you into an open space in front of the opulent dais. There is a filthy rug there. Darga’s eyes roll from you to Raden, and his ringed fingers throw aside his large gold drinking chalice. He Booms something in Huttese to Raden
In Huttese:“What are you doing here? Outsiders? In my palace? Again? I told you before, bring me the weapons shipment I wanted in the first place, or don’t come back. I still can’t able to find a market for your last haul” Someone from the crowd whipped a pair of medpacks at him, bopping him in the head. Raden fell to his knees in supplication and began to grovel. “Im sorry for interrupting you, Darga, your bloatedness. This is all their fault Not mine!”
A very brightly polished silver protocol droid, with large, pimped out violet eyes and a blinking purple flame-job on his chest, approached.
“His Swollen Magnificence, Darga the Hutt, demands to know why you have come to his palace, and how you convinced Raden to escort you.”
Carson and his companions realized they had to come up with a good reason to remain in Darga’s palace, or else they’d be executed or kicked out. Khalik studied the technology. He could tell Darga didn’t care if he had the latest greatest. He cared about appearances, Everything was covered in chrome plating, all garish colors. N3MO spoke quickly to 66, Darga’s droid translator in Binary. “What does the Big Darga dig?”
“He’s crazy about his gladiator fights,” the droid told him.
N3MO whispered this info to Carson. Kelyn whispered to Carson he could speak Huttese. He should relay the message directly to Darga. Kelyn relayed, “Mighty Darga, we have heard of your power and the prowess of your gladiators. We wish to test our druid’s might against your best.”
Darga laughed and applauded. “There must be easier matches to arrange,” Darga snickered,
“We only want to challenge the most worthy,” Carson explained.
“Very well,” Darga announced, Your team shall take on mine after a feast.
Maybe we can explore working on a venture together, after we get to know each other. Besides, my other associates would be disappointed if they missed an opportunity to take your money in our games. Guards, take Raden to the dungeon to consider his failures.”
“Hey, put me down!” Raden shouted as he was dragged away by a pair of Gammorean guards,
The rebels were in their excuse for guest lodging when they heard blaster shots fired in the audience chamber. They arrived in time to see that the arena area is dimly lit, with Darga’s repulsor crèche gliding back into its place in the throne room. A lot of money is changing hands, and some bodies are carried out of the arena on stretchers, their wounds still smoking. One of the bodies was slapped roughly on the bar for the medical droid to help, but it was too late
“Ah excellent. It is time to celebrate our guests. As the newest promising members, the honours will be yours. Guards!”
Raden was dumped rudely on the floor in front of you. He was roughed up badly. He struggled up to his knees.
“You failed me for the last time Raden. First, you miss our haul on weapons shipments, then you try to make good by looting a Republic medical disaster aid shipment I can’t sell medpacks, and I can’t fight a turf war with a surgical droid. And now you show your face in my court, without my weapons haul. Your time is over, Raden, and I see it fitting that the newest applicants for your place in my court should have the honour of executing you, personally. If you want to join this court, I would want you dispense my justice. Let’s begin!”
“Fine,” Kelyn said, picking up the vibroaxe.
“Hang on,” Tor said. “Great Darga, wouldn’t it be better for Raden to serve his sentence in the gladiator pit?”
“Very well,” Darga said, chuckling. “He will be on your team.”
Fine, Tor thought. I did want to protect him.
Tor, Carson, N3MO and Raden stood side by side in the gladiator ring. Their companions sat in Darga’s box, throwing bottles of Blastech 45 at Darga’s crew. The gladiators included: Yrrcanna, a Wookiee warrior whose sated his bloodlust in the ring. The only element of his Wookiee dignity is his usage of a bow caster. Tull Raine: Barabel shock boxer. Many have died in the ring against him. He uses no weapons, just his fists. Var Rotha: Human bounty hunter betrayed by his crew. He was forced into an escape pod that burned up on reentry, leaving him badly burned and deformed. He wears a death mask and a hood, using grenades and heavy artillery to bring his foes down.
Bariss tossed a bottle that dug into Tull’s skull. The Barabel flipped out and charged Bariss, swinging wildly as the other combatants moved closer together. Carson studies his opponents. “The death mask dude needs to go down fast. He’s packing big guns.”
N3MO and Yrrcanna ran into the maze in the arena’s center. Tor had Carson fling a smoke grenade in the midst of the enemies and ran into the mist. Ce’sr turned to Darga. “Let’s make this interesting. I’ll give you classified Rebellion information if the smoke clears and your guy is still standing. If your guy isn’t standing… you give me five thousand credits.”
Darga pondered the deal and shook hands with the Utapauan.
Wookiee and droid ravaged one another in the narrow confines of the maze, but N3MO dropped.
Tor blasted Var Rotha with Force powers from within the smoke. Tull caught up to Carson and began pummeling the noble.
Khalik threw himself over the railing and crept toward the maze while Darga was enraptured with what was happening behind the fog.Var Rotha hurled a thermal detonator. Tor barely had time to activate his Force shield, which saved him from a nasty injury.
Khalik yanked on N3MO’s circuits and made some rapid sodders. Adrenaline surging, he lifted the 400 kilo droid to its feet. N3MO raced through the maze and slaughtered the Wookiee from behind.
Raden raced to Darga. “Please spare me,” he begged.
Kelyn drew his blaster and blew the Devaronian away. “I have no patience for these pathetic fools,” he hissed. “Permit me to go into the ring in this unworthy one’s place.”
Granted, Darga agreed, gaining admiration for the silent mechanic. Kelyn hopped into the arena and blasted the Barabel, giving Carson a moment to fall back before firing another volley at the creature.
Meanwhile, Tor used the Force to whip up debris from all across the arena, sending it whirling at the bounty hunter, severing his jugular.
“Your companions are finished,” Carson shouted at the Barabel. “Give it up.”
The vile creature stared for a moment then sprinted out the door.
The crowd went crazy. Ce’sr collected his credits.