As the crew of the Second Chance continues to pull off impressive jobs against seemingly impossible odds, the underbelly of the universe has taken notice. A former employer hopes that their previous relationship can be taken to the next level, and that they can come to a mutual agreement that is beneficial to both sides. The Pyke Syndicate has summoned the crew back to Coruscant to discuss a job involving delivering an important shipment into Hutt controlled space.
The group returned to Coruscant to meet up with their previous contact, Chopper. The Pykes were asking that the crew smuggle a shipment of spice from Coruscant to the planet Nar Shaddaa, also known as “The Smuggler’s Moon.” Chopper explained that the payment would be more than their previous job hunting down a back-stabbing Bounty Hunter, and that more details would be given by a Pyke contact waiting for them at a local cantina.
While visiting Chopper’s shop, the crew came across a colorful female who made some mocking remarks regarding a race. Chopper explained that the woman was named Shayla and was leader of a small time swoop gang that ran illegal swoop races. The chance of fame and fortune was enough to entice three of the group to rent swoop bikes from Chopper to enter the race.
K’ldarien, Minis, and Tiro revved up their swoop bikes, while Yensod funded their entry fees and rental costs (somewhat reluctantly) and cheered them on from the sidelines. The action was fast and furious, and the crew members soon realized they may be in for more than they bargained for when seeing the skill which Shayla piloted her swoop. A Twi’lek racer hit a bump and crashed into a wall on the second stage of the six part race, reminding everyone that it was more than just some credits at stake here.
Through many obstacles and hazards, the racers continued. K’ldarien hit some cross traffic, destroying the steering on his swoop and eliminating him from the race. Tiro bounced off some walls and set his bike on fire as it approached the finish line. Even Shayla, who had raced this course dozens of times, had some misfortune this day, keeping the race much closer than it may have otherwise been. But she was still good enough to take the lead going into the final straightaway. That was until Tiro, whose bike had now died on him from its damage, took a ridiculously impossible shot at her with his blaster… And connected! Her bike’s engine flared up and died, as Minis crossed the finish line first to claim the prize! And while Shayla was irate and convinced something illegal had gone on, the daze from the minor crash along with Yensod’s persuasive talk convinced her the win was legit as she reluctantly handed over the first place prize.
After the race, the crew went to the cantina and met their contact, a mid-level Pyke associate named Karfon. Karfon explained that the job was simple: Take the spice to Nar Shaddaa and land in docking bay 17, where a corrupt customs official on the Pyke payroll would let them land without inspection. Once on the ground, the spice would be loaded in secure containers in the landing bay. The crew would then proceed to a nearby deserted droid factory, where they would meet their contact, exchange the codes to unlock the spice-filled containers for a briefcase full of credits, and the job would be done.
Karfon also recognized K’ldarien as a previous spice customer of his and expressed some concern that he might dip into the stash they were supposed to be transporting. But a little convincing from the group persuaded him that the job would be done without any of the spice missing from the final delivery.
What should have been a fairly routine trip to Nar Shaddaa was complicated when Tiro botched the astrogation calculation and put the Second Chance smack in the middle of a group of pirates. The Firespray led group with an escort of Z-95 Headhunters gave the group a chance to surrender, but that wasn’t considered for very long. As the ship battle played out, it looked like the Second Chance might be in some trouble when it was caught in the Firespray’s tractor beam. However a perfectly placed shot broke the hold of the tractor beam, and the Second Chance was able to blow the pirate crew to pieces.
Landing on Nar Shaddaa should have been fairly simple, considering the Pykes had a contact in the customs department. All they had to do was land the Second Chance at docking bay 17, and the rest would take care of itself. Unfortunately, docking bay 17 was already occupied, and no matter what excuse they tried giving to spaceport control, there was no room for them to land there. Instead, they were faced with a customs officer not on the Pyke payroll, who insisted he would have to inspect their ship. Attempts to bribe and persuade the customs official into skipping the inspection failed, and the crew prepared for a brawl as he summoned his supervisor and additional spaceport guards.
Luckily, the customs supervisor was the Pyke contact himself, and after some acting and posturing in front of the other customs staff, he was able to dismiss them and proceed with the fake inspection, allowing the crew to unload the spice in the specific secure containers in the docking bay.
The group made their way to the nearby abandoned droid factory to complete the deal. The factory was indeed quite abandoned, and it didn’t take long to find a shady looking Weequay and two Aqualish henchmen waiting for them. However, the mistrust between both sides quickly became apparent. The crew had no way to identify that these were the correct people to drop off the spice with. And the back and forth game of who was to handover their part of the deal first soon escalated when Tiro tried leaving the room despite the Weequay’s insistence that he stay within their sight.
Once the battle began, two snipers revealed themselves from the nearby catwalk, seemingly in great position to cause some serious damage. They were identified as the most dangerous threat, and despite the lower ground and difficult firing angles, they were taken out without landing a single shot. The Weequay and Aqualish fared better though, as a few brass knuckle punches and carbine rifle shots found their marks. After delivering a particularly painful punch to the face of Yensod, one of the Aqualish were inexplicably floored by a flying briefcase. With his crew defeated, the Weequay went into a final attacking rage. Minis unloaded with a pair of crippling shots from his double blasters, followed by a second pair of blasts that sent the Weequay’s scorched body collapsing to the ground.
With the threat neutralized, the crew reasoned that this was unlikely to be their contacts for the transaction. They spread out and searched the factory. Soon they found a bound human, who claimed to have been ambushed and his colleague killed by the fake spice collectors. And while the briefcase presented by the frauds was empty, the credits were also recovered during the search. Both sides agree that the transaction could now proceed as planned, and the credits were exchanged for the security codes to the containers that held the spice. The contact did point out that there may very well be a leak within the Pyke Syndicate that led to this ambush, as he felt confident there was no way the information leaked out on his side of the deal.
Also discovered while searching the factory was a crate of droid parts (including a new head) that matched the make and model of Gastro. The crate had some markings indicating they were manufactured on the planet Gondor. They happily took the crate as they returned to their ship, confident they could be used to repair any present and future damage to Gastro.
The crew contacted Chopper from their ship, and let him know the deal was done. He gave them a location of a secure dropbox where they were to place the briefcase containing the credits from the deal, and informed that the payment of 1200 credits per crew member would be wired into their accounts once the pickup was made and confirmed. Before signing off, K’ldarien told Chopper that his portion of the payment would be going to pay off the cost of the smashed swoop bike, for which Chopper was grateful and agreed that the balance of the debt could be paid at a later time.
Though there were some bumps along the way, it was another successful mission for the crew of the Second Chance, with a nice payday at the end of it. And while there are still some unanswered questions – Will Shayla realize that their race victory was tainted? Who were the people waiting for them at the factory? Is there really a leak within the Pyke Syndicate? Will K’ldarien be able to pay off the debt on the swoop bike he wrecked? – they live to seek out the next job as they try and find their ways in this big dangerous galaxy.
XP Awarded: 5 XP for Tiro and Minis. (0 XP fpr the rest of the group.)