Second Chance - SWEMPIRENJ

Bootlegging, Business, and Brothers

Their new ship fully repaired and loaded up with several crates of imitation Corellian whiskey, the crew flies towards Corellia to finish a seemingly easy job. However, the job quickly hits a complication when the ship is identified by CorSec for a randomly selected inspection.

Realizing they left the crates of illegal alcohol out in the open, Ney, Utut, and Tiro race to move the contraband from their very public location to the engineering shafts hidden under the main floor of the ship. As the crew runs back and forth carrying the bulky crates, they catch a break when the approaching inspection vessel has some technical difficulties with their boarding tunnel. The extra few minutes gives the group just enough time to hide all the crates and wipe the sweat from their brows as the CorSec patrol boards the ship.

The head of the inspection team reviews the identification cards and asks some general questions about their background and which parts of each home planet they might be from. While the crew isn’t intimately familiar with the details on the newly acquired fake credentials, they are able to respond to the inspector’s satisfaction.

The inspection of the ship not only fails to locate the illegal goods, but also uncovers a repulsor sled the group hadn’t realized was on board. Satisfied with what he sees, the inspector gives the ship his stamp of approval as he and his guards depart. The ship then proceeds to land on Corellia with full clearance from security and customs already granted.

The crew loads the crates on the repulsor sled, and takes them to the delivery location. After a simple inspection of the delivery by one of the workers there, he agrees that everything is there as expected, notifies Bren that the job is done, and payment is wired into their account.

On the way back to the ship, a loud woman shouting about selling water catches the group’s attention. As they approach her, she sees them making eye contact and beckons them closer. With promises of the cleanest and coldest water on Corellia, she makes her sales pitch.

As the old woman starts to pour them a free sample of the water, someone bumps into Ney, apologizes, and walks away. Ney is familiar with the trick, and catches the pickpocket by the arm before he can get away. The teenage boy insists he was not trying to steal anything and just bumped into Ney because he was too busy looking at his datapad, but Ney sees through the story. The woman begs Ney not to turn the boy in and explains that it’s hard living on the street and admits she was in on the plan with him. Unsurprised by the admission and not bothered by being targeted, Ney instead offers to buy the boy a hot meal at a nearby diner.

During the meal, Ney explains that he was once in the same shoes the boy is in and that with some hard work and determination, he can make a better life for himself. The boy asks for some additional guidance and maybe even some consideration that Ney would take him under his wing as an apprentice. Ney turns down the idea for now, but gives the boy his personal comm channel codes and explains that once the boy is able to gain access to a comm that can reach him, they would talk further and possibly come to an arrangement. Ney pays the bill for the meal for the boy and the entire crew, and bids the boy good luck as he departs.

Back aboard the ship, Banu contacts the crew. Banu explains that Flurm ran into some trouble with one of his bounty targets and was wounded, requesting that Gar return to the villa to help provide medical attention. He also explains that Aris has sent a message confirming everything is in place to begin their business relationship, and that a job will be waiting when they arrive.

Arriving at the villa, Gar attends to Flurm’s injuries while the rest of the crew contact Aris Shen. Aris explains the details of how this business relationship will work – She contracts the jobs out to clients who need discrete (and sometimes violent) solutions to their sensitive problems, and the crew gets a cut of the pay based on client satisfaction. Two jobs are currently available for the crew to choose from. The first job involves removing some hostile squatters from a homestead that recently was inherited by the client. The second job involves assisting with some negotiations between a mining tycoon and a group of miners who have gone on strike. The crew decides to play the role of negotiators and head towards the mining planet.

Upon arriving on the planet, they head to the office of the owner of the mine. The owner is a Chevin businessman who makes it clear that this is one of several mines he owns across the galaxy, but any disruption in production is bad for his profits, and this is clearly a disruption. As the crew is led into the tycoon’s office, they see a familiar face standing behind the Chevin’s desk – K’ladarien standing protectively behind the mogul, employed as his bodyguard. While the crew uses some body language to acknowledge recognizing him, the tycoon notices and says to hold their reunion on their own time, he wants to talk business. K’ladarien nods, acknowledging he’ll meet up with the group after his shift is over.

The Chevin explains the situation: The miners have camped themselves inside the mine, disabling any lifts that provide entrance down into the mine itself and posting some armed guards. He has dealt with striking miners before, and has successfully used slave labor to replace them, either as full time replacements or to encourage the miners to relent. This time however, the slave labor he sent to the mine were met with violent resistance. A fight broke out, and a few of the workers on both sides were killed. The Chevin now wants the group to negotiate with the miners in an attempt to end the strike without any further bloodshed.

After the meeting with the Chevin, the group waits outside the office for K’ladarien to find them. When he does, he explains that he took this job because the leads he has followed indicate that the Imperial responsible for having his friend killed is working directly with the Chevin. The Imperial has made visits to the Chevin in the past, and K’ladarien is waiting patiently for the next visit so he can surprise the Imperial and avenge his friend. When the group asks about the character of the Chevin, K’ladarien explains he’s a fairly typical businessman, more interested in making money than who gets hurt along the way. He does business with all sorts of associates, including the Empire, the Hutts, and even the Rebels. The group offers their help dealing with the Imperial should he need it and gives K’ladarien their latest comm codes before parting ways.

As the group heads towards the mine, they’re approached by a woman. She explains to them that she understands they were brought in by the Chevin to help end the strike, but her husband is one of the miners. She took up a collection from other wives of miners in the hope that the negotiators would accept it in order to not feel obliged to favor the mine owner’s angle. She wants to help offset the payment they’re receiving from the tycoon to try and make sure the negotiations are handled fairly. After a brief discussion, Ney agrees to accept the payment, promises to be fair, and guarantees not to hurt any of the miners. (Although how sincere he is in these promises is somewhat doubted by the rest of the group.) Satisfied by Ney’s words, the miner’s wife gives them the collection of credits and leaves.

Upon approaching the mine, the crew notices signs of battles – blaster scorch marks, scattered debris, and even some blood stains. The entrance to the mine is guarded by two armed guards, who look alert and prepared as the group approaches. The guards ask who they are and what they want. Tiro explains that they are there on a routine mine inspection, and that all mines must be inspected regularly to remain open. The guards are puzzled as to why a mine that is effectively shut down by the strike would need an inspection, but Tiro states his case well enough to convince the confused guards. They admit the group, who descend into the mine via a lift.

Once they reach the bottom, the group is met by more armed guards and the foreman, who had been alerted by the guards above ground. Not buying the inspection story, the foreman demands they explain who they really are and why they are there. He’s suspicious that the Chevin sent them to try and infiltrate the mine and kill them all.

The group speaks honestly this time, explaining that they were in fact sent there by the Chevin mine owner, but not for violence. They want to attempt to negotiate a peaceful end to the strike, and have come in good faith to hear out the miners’ demands. The group listens carefully to the terms they’re seeking, and return to the Chevin.

Back at the Chevin’s office, Utut presents the miners’ demands in a very effective manner, pointing out that almost all the changes the miners are asking for would help boost overall productivity and help the Chevin make more money himself. Utut explains in great detail to the tycoon what the miners want, and emphasizes that many of the requests would help make the mine more profitable in the long run. The Chevin agrees to almost all the terms, but wants them locked into a contract promising they won’t strike again. The contract is for six years, gives an immediate 10% raise, and another 5% after 3 years, but the miners will be brought up on serious charges if they have another work stoppage.

The crew returns to the mine, and the crew presents the Chevin’s counter offers to the miners. Having had almost all of their demands met, they’re willing to concede the few points the Chevin asked for in return. Without much debate, the foreman and miners happily accept the proposal. They all go back to the office together and sign the new contract.

Before the group departs the planet, K’ladarien follows the crew outside the Chevin’s office. The Whipid is now a bit disappointed that his job as a bodyguard here is likely to come to an end, but happy he still knows he can expect the Imperial to show up sooner or later. Utut tells K’ladarien that he should give the crew a call when the Imperials show, and they’ll come help.

Back on the ship, Ney receives a private transmission from Flurm. Flurm says Ney’s brother has been making open threats that he’s going to avenge his brother by killing Flurm. Worried that his brother’s mouth is going to get him in trouble, Ney puts out some feelers with his underworld contacts. After a few calls, Ney locates his brother on Nar Shadda.

On Nar Shadda, the group goes to a local brothel and finds a call girl who approaches Ney, saying she can do good things for Nautolans. Interested to hear what she can do, Ney hires her and enjoys some adult entertainment. Meanwhile at the brother bar, Tiro and Utut fight off the advances of an Ugnaught call girl.

After he finishes, Ney asks the prostitute if she knows his brother, Embro. She says she can’t really tell them apart, and gets lots of customers. When Ney explains that his brother has a shorter tentacle, she says she does know “Stumpy” as they call him. She says he comes by regularly, and doesn’t have a regular place to stay, but she’s heard he sometimes is allowed to crash in the back of a nearby diner called Chez Rivera.

The crew heads to the Chez Rivera diner and orders food. The staff is mostly droids, though they get a glimpse of the Devaronian chef when the kitchen door swings open. Ney tries going in, but a service droid bars the way, explaining only staff is allowed back there. Utut distracts the droid by claiming there’s no womp rat in his womp rat stew, and Ney manages to sneak in.

Ney explains to the chef that he heard Embro was making dangerous threats and is going to get himself in trouble. The chef agrees, and says he’s generally a good kid, but does run his mouth a bit too much. Given the amount of concern Ney was showing for the kid, the chef wonders aloud if maybe Ney was the brother Embro is always talking about. Ney denies it, saying he was a distant cousin who doesn’t want anything bad to happen to Embro. The chef seems to buy it, and says Embro will be showing up late tonight to crash at the diner.

Later that night, Ney picks the lock to the diner and heads inside, while Tiro and Utut stand watch from the shadows. A group of hooligans pass by and harass Tiro, but Tiro gives them the cold shoulder and they move along to easier prey.

Embro enters the kitchen and starts to get comfortable to go to sleep. Ney sneaks out of his hiding spot, and kicks Embro awake. Embro thinks he’s seeing ghosts, but then realizes it’s really his brother. After an exchange during which Embro clearly doesn’t understand why what he’s been saying and doing is so dangerous, Ney decides to see about bringing him to Banu’s to keep him safe and have him help out around the villa.

Back aboard the ship with Embro tagging along, the group contacts Banu. Ney explains that his brother needs a place to stay and could use some looking after to keep out of trouble, and although he possesses very few useful skills, he could help out around the villa. Banu declines the offer, saying that he’s not running a foster home and doesn’t need any extra mouths to feed or kids to look after at his luxurious villa where he had hoped to enjoy a peaceful retirement. Utut steps in and explains the situation from a different view, saying that now that Embro knows they’re still alive, him being out there in the open puts all their lives at risk. Looking at it that way, Banu reluctantly agrees to let Embro stay at the villa.

Back at the Villa, Aris contacts the group and congratulates them on a job well done. She says the credits have been wired to their account. Two more jobs are now available, in addition to the swoop gang squatters job that is still available:
The heir of a noble house has vanished and the family suspects a rival house has kidnapped him.
A small brothel is getting trouble from a bunch of local gangsters, and the off-world owner wants it taken care of.

The group agrees to think about which job they’ll take on next as they retire for the night to recover from an eventful few days.

GM: Steve
XP Awarded: 25 XP
- Smuggled the bootleg liquor past customs: 10 XP
- Caught the thief during the water jug scam: 2.5 XP
- Highly successful mining strike negotiation: 10 XP
- Prevented Ney’s brother from causing further problems: 2.5 XP

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