Second Chance - SWEMPIRENJ

Playing Dead

After pulling off a daring heist to steal the legendary Jewel of Yavin, avoiding a dangerous double cross attempt by their employer, and escaping from Imperial intelligence, the crew of the Second Chance are ready to move forward with their plan to remove themselves from the Empire’s Most Wanted list by faking their own deaths. Although the heist job did not earn enough credits for the illicit cloning operation that is key to the plan, a mysterious benefactor has come forward and agreed to pay the difference… for a favor at a later time, of course…

Final plans have been conveyed to the cloners – the clones will be picked up in bacta tanks with no special memory imprints. There is still some time before they will be ready for pick-up, so the crew turns their attention to finding the droid parts needed to effectively include Gastro among the deceased criminals delivered to the Empire.

A crate of droid minor droid parts identical to Gastro’s model had been located several months ago and stored on the Second Chance. A closer examination of the crate revealed the marking: “IG-100 – PDS – Fondor.” Tiro used this information to perform research on the holonet to see what he could find. IG-100 is the droid model; PDS stands for Phlut Design Systems and had a manufacturing plant on the planet Fondor. Unfortunately, PDS had taken out loan from the Intergalactic Banking Clan that they couldn’t repay, and the IGBC dissolved the company and sold off its assets once they defaulted on the loan. The former employees and data was dispersed and sold to numerous untraceable buyers.

Further digging into the records was able to find some information on three individuals who worked specifically on the IG-100 project. A sullustan by the name of Sian Juun was not working for Teemo the Hutt on Tatooine. A female Bothan named Vestara Vos had some possible ties to the Rebel Alliance. A third Arkanian scientist could not be located.

The crew contacted Bria Tharen to ask about Vestara Vos. Bria was a little surprised and worried that the crew was contacting her considering their large high profile bounty with the Imperials. She agreed to look into the matter and would be back in touch. In the meantime, the Second Chance flew to Tatooine to explore options for talking to Sian Juun.

Back on his home world, Utut got in touch with some of his fellow Jawa associates and asked whether or not they still did business occasionally selling droids to Teemo. The Jawa scavenge crew did in fact do some business with Teemo, and agreed to smuggle a message to Sian via one of the droids sold to Teemo. While the crew awaits the delivery of the message and Sian’s response, they decide to scope out the meeting place – a local cantina called the Sleeping Rancor.

As the crew settles in and orders a few drinks, a nearby human male who seems a little intoxicated takes note and starts to insult them. “That’s a woman’s drink! I suppose you have lady parts under that robe,” he slurs at Utut. Before the crew can respond, a Bothan comes over and apologizes for his drunken friend. “He gets a little feisty after he’s had a few drinks. Let me buy your next round.”

Just as the Bothan gets the attention of the service droid, two uniformed security guards enter the cantina with a Hound-W2 security droid. They look around, mutter something to the droid, and then follow as the droid heads straight towards the group. They approach the group with their hands on their holstered pistols, and tell them to hand over the stolen microchip. The guards explain that it has a tracking device, and that the Hound droid tracked it to this exact location.

While the security guard focuses on the group in their immediate sights, the intoxicated human manages to slip out the door. The crew of the Second Chance explains that they have no idea what microchip they’re talking about, and invite the security guards to search them. A quick scan of Ney reveals the presence of the microchip tucked inside his belt. Just as the guards are about to draw their guns and take Ney into custody for theft of the chip, the near wall of the cantina explodes inwards as a huge rampaging ronto crashes through!

The crowd scatters as the beast trample over tables and chairs, crushing the furniture to splinters under its massive weight. One of the security guards get caught in its path and has his legs crushed, rendering him helpless. The bothan has drawn a gun and the human has re-entered the building, firing shots at the security guards and crew. Blaster fire and the rampaging ronto turn the scene into complete chaos.

When the smoke clears, the ronto has been brought down, the bothan and human are incapacitated, and the wounded security guards were aided by the crew. The crew explains their thoughts on how the situation must have unfolded, with the Bothan placing the stolen chip on them just before the guards arrived. Considering how the scene unfolded, the guards seem inclined to believe the story, as long as they are willing to hand over the chip. The crew agrees, and the security guards take the chip and wait for the local police to arrive to arrest the true thieves.

The next day, with the cantina wall hastily repaired, the crew returns to the Sleeping Rancor to await the scientist. Before Sian Juun arrives, a human male sits down at their table and explains he’s there representing Bria Tharen and wants some reassurance that they can be trusted given the tenuous situation they’re in. After Tiro fails to convince the Rebel contact that he must trust them based on past interactions, Ney explains the situation in clear terms and calmly gains the Rebel’s trust. He explains that he will take the droid and one other person to meet with the Rebel scientist who is hiding out nearby.

As Gastro and Ney leave with the Rebel to meet with Vestara Vos, Sian Juun arrives. The rest of the crew follows him to a nearby abandoned building to discuss the situation. Sian asks where the droid is, explaining he has to see it in order to assist. Of course, that’s not possible at the moment since Gastro headed to meet the Rebel scientist. Sian is disappointed that he cannot help, as he had hoped it would gain his freedom from Teemo’s servitude. He promises that he has other ways to help the crew if they will purchase his freedom from Teemo, and the crew agrees to do so in the near future. Sian heads back to Teemo’s palace, disappointed that he must return, but hopeful for the future.

Upon arriving at the safe house, Vestara asks that Ney waits in an outer room while she has a discussion with Gastro. During that discussion, Vestara asks Gastro a series of questions about his memories, tendencies, urges, and programming. At the end of the interrogation, Vestara speaks a command that causes Gastro’s system to completely shut down.

Vestara calls Ney into the room and explains the situation. She describes how this model of droid has been used by the Separatists as part of the personal guard for General Grievous. She explains that there is underlying programming within this model of droid (and Gastro) that allows people with the proper knowledge to control its actions. Obviously, in the wrong hands, this could be very dangerous. Vestara does not know how to disable or remove that deeply embedded hidden programming, but suspects someone among the Separatist leadership might know more. After Ney convinces Vestara that Gastro is not a threat to public safety and has not displayed any unusual uncontrollable homicidal tendencies, she agrees to reactivate him and release him back into Ney’s custody. Before departing, Vestara sells the identical droid processing unit necessary to convince someone that Gastro has been destroyed.

With the droid part in hand (as well as the troubling new information about Gastro’s past), the crew leaves Tatooine to rendezvous with Flurm, who is picking up the finished clones. After traveling to a remote location in space within the Outer Rim, the Second Chance docks with Flurm’s ship. Several of the crew dock onto Flurm’s ship to face their clones, while others remain behind, not wanting to participate in the grim task of murdering themselves.

Delivered in bacta tanks as agreed upon, the crew has decided to suffocate the clones by cutting off their oxygen supply as they are submerged in the healing liquid. Tiro examines the control panel, and finds the oxygen shut off valve. The first victim is Mallinia. As Tiro cuts the air, Mallinia’s clone’s eyes open in surprise. Her hands raise and the glass of her tank begins to vibrate. Just as she’s about to lose consciousness, the tank shatters, and she falls to the floor of the ship as the liquid pours out.

A quick examination reveals that she is still breathing. Tiro and Ney subdue her further, and carry her to the air lock, where she is attached to a life line and jettisoned into space without any protection. After a few long agonizing moments, the vacuum of space does its job and they drag the clone’s lifeless form back into the ship.

One by one, the oxygen to each subsequent bacta tank is cut off, suffocating the inhabitants. The corpses are pulled from the tanks, and similarly flushed into space, though post mortem. The exposure to the harsh environments of space is done to provide additional support to the story that the crew was killed when their ship’s hull was ruptured during a space battle.

The final part of the plan is put in motion, as Flurm is sent to an Imperial government facility on a nearby planet to deliver the corpses. He carts in the corpses on a repulsor lift, fills out the appropriate paperwork, meets with an Imperial office worker, and is told that he will be contacted in the next day or two once the paperwork is reviewed, bodies are examined, and identities are verified.

After an anxious two days while Flurm and the crew await the outcome, he is contacted to return to the Imperial office. Upon arriving, he is met by an Imperial officer who reads from the autopsy report and has some questions. The Imperial reads from the report, indicating that only the body of Mallinia shows evidence of dying in space as the story goes, and that the others appear to have suffered the effects of space exposure after they were already dead. Flurm calmly explains that he was not on the ship as it was being shot to pieces, and that he supposes that the other dead bodies must have died from the ship’s internal life support systems failing prior to the hull breach. Skeptical but unmotivated to pursue the line of questioning further, the Imperial officer accepts the explanation and confirms the bounty as fulfilled. However, he explains that the detailed autopsy required in this case and the further failure to deliver the criminals alive means only a percentage of the full reward will be paid. Flurm does not question the decision, and departs, the ploy a success.

For all intents and purposes, the Empire and rest of the galaxy now believe the crew of the Second Chance is dead. They are sent coordinates with Flurm to meet with their mysterious benefactor who loaned them the extra money needed to pull off this plan. Docking with the ship, the crew is greeted by Lando Calrissian, who they had recently met during the Jewel of Yavin heist.

Lando explains that after seeing their work during the heist, realizes they can come to a mutually beneficial business arrangement. He sees the loan as something of an investment in the team, and plans on setting up some new contacts and jobs for the crew to execute on his behalf. Lando says that Arend Shen has fled Bespine after his involvement with the heist was exposed, and offers Aris the opportunity to return to Cloud City with him to take over her father’s business. Aris says she prefers to remain on the ship, but the crew politely declines her offer to stay with them. She thanks them for their help, and departs with Lando.

With a clean slate and a seemingly trustworthy new contact, the crew prepares for their fresh start and new life of living on the edge…

GM: Steve
XP Awarded: 25 XP
- Acquiring the droid processor: 5 XP
- Convincing the scientist the assassin droid is not a danger to society: 5 XP
- Successfully thwarting the data thieves: 5 XP
- Delivering the “criminals” and collecting the bounty: 10 XP

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