J.J. STAR WARS ADVENTURES

Do Not Go Quietly Into The Night

Rathok Nor shuddered as his mind once again became his own, and the haze of darkness vanished from his perceptions. It was as if he had been awakened from a long slumber… One filled with terrible visions (memories?) of horrific acts committed at the command of Master Joras C’aboth. He couldn’t spare the energy to grieve over those he had murdered for his master, or for the fate of his tortured soul, he had to act, to do something.

He looked down at the diminutive Rodian youngling, Kilum, the flickering light radiating from the youngster’s emerald lightsaber blending seamlessly with his green skin. He gave him a sad smile, his acceptance of his responsibility, and yes, his fate, written in the lines of his face.

He reached his hand out to Kilum, rasping “Give me my saber, brother!”

The young Jedi looked uncertain, but something in the older man’s eyes made his decision for him. He hesitantly tossed the ancient lightsaber to Rathok Nor, who caught it as if it were an automatic reflex and in one smooth motion activated it’s cobalt blade and raised it in salute to his younger counterpart. He then yelled “Run! I’ll buy you time to escape!” as he turned to run back down the corridor. Back to the madness of his Master, and back to once again do battle with the dark side.

The Rodian and his comrades raced in the opposite direction,presumably back to their ship. Rathok felt a twinge of envy as he watched them go. They were going back to their lives, back to the world. He was likely going to be dead in a few minutes, at the hands of a madman. He didn’t want to die! He wanted to live, to escape! Not to be. He thought. He steeled himself, took a deep breath and pressed the door panel controls, releasing the lockout and allowing the door to hiss open. He entered the reactor chamber and closed the door behind him and engaging its security lockout again.

As he turned to face the reactor core, he saw flickering visions of madness, a result of either the reality-warping gravity field generated by the micro-singularity which powered the ship’s hyperspace-fold engines or of the sheer power of his insane master. Or maybe it was some odd interaction between the two? Joras C’aboth had been one of the strongest of the Jedi Masters, one of the reasons why the Council had sent him. Rathok knew he was no match for his Master, one-on-one at least, and perhaps even less so with the power of the Dark Side enhancing his powers.

As he walked towards the core, his blue lightsaber blade cast an eerie glow in the wavering darkness, it’s hum seemed to change in pitch and there was an occasional crackle or snap as the energy of the blade interacted with whatever energies were now loose in the engine room. As he neared the spinning core, he heard a raspy, wheezing intake of breath and then a tortured cackling laughter erupted from the darkness. It startled Rathok, and he spun to face it, his blade raised to parry, but there was nothing there.

I would swear he was right behind me he though to himself, but he steeled his voice and called out “Master C’aboth! it’s time to stop now sir, we’ve gone too far and must atone for our actions!” Again, rasping laughter from behind him, but when he spun to look, there was, again, nothing there. Suddenly they appeared, seemingly from the center of the spinning core, ravaged and horribly burned and maimed they ran towards him, clawed hands reaching for him and their screams of agony and rage filled the air.

Sadly, Rathok went to work defending himself from these horrors who once had been his friends and shipmates. His blade spun and sliced and twirled in a bright blue lightshow of death. He severed appendages, even the heads of some, and as the final ghoul ran at him he cleanly bisected its entire torso and the thing slowly slid apart into two squirming pieces on the deck before finally falling still. Rathok gathered his wits, caught his breath and squinted to peer into the darkness. Once again, that nightmarish laughter behind him. This time he didn’t spin to confront it, he simply waited.

“Come out and face me Master, let’s talk about this. There has to be a way for you, a way back to the light!”

After a seemingly eternal pause, his master spoke. “There is no light. No darkness. There is only Power, my apprentice. And power comes at a cost, the greater the power, the more … significant … the sacrifice required. And sadly, you have demonstrated that you are not strong enough to wield that power.”

“No sir! It doesn’t have to be like this! You can come back! I know there is something of the good man who taught me for all these many years, the lessons you’ve given to me prove it! You warned me of the seductive power of the Dark Side, you were the one who showed me how to resist! How did it finally seduce you, Master? What did it finally take to pull you out of the light?”

Joras C’aboth didn’t waste any more words. Across from Rathok, a crimson lightsaber blade lit the darkness, and holding it, his face twisted in agony and rage (and maybe glee?!?), stood C’aboth. Rathok sighed a shuddering sigh. He’d failed, and now the universe would pay for his failure … if he couldn’t stop him.

Suddenly the soft, feminine voice of the Artificial Intelligence spoke over the ship’s intercom “Engine overload sequence aborted, power levels returning to normal, beginning hyperspace jump sequence in 10 seconds”

As the lights in the engine core returned to normal, Rathok was momentarily distracted, however it was an eternity for his former master, who closed the distance between them with a blindingly fast force jump, and sliced downward with deadly speed and accuracy. The angry red blade seemed to make contact, ever so briefly, with Rathok’s collarbone, and in an instant, he was gone. His robes and saber fluttered to the deck, his body, however, was gone. Vanished. C’aboth irritably kicked the robes and his apprentice’s lightsaber skittered across the deck. “No matter” he muttered angirly.

C’aboth raised his head slightly and spoke seemingly to no one “Can you track the freighter that escaped before we jumped?”

The AI responded in its smooth, emotionless, but definitively feminine voice “I was able to get a partial hyperspace vector before they exceeded the range of my sensors, Master C’aboth”

“Excellent. Can you use that vector to find a way back to normal space?”

“I should be able to calculate jump coordinates which will return the Shadow Hawk to normal space, however the precise point at which the ship will emerge is unknown. It could take considerable time to determine our exact position relative to the galactic core, much less to formulate an approach to a known habitable planet.”

“Surely, if those inferior organisms can find a way out, the most advanced computer in the universe can as well, yes?”

“I will begin calculations, Master C’aboth”

“See that you do, it is time that we returned and passed along the … enlightenment … that we have achieved out here in this accursed space. The Jedi must be eliminated, to make way for our new order, but we need information. We have been away for some time.”

The AI quietly responded “Perhaps I can provide assistance with that. I have detected a foreign presence in the network, a droid consciousness which did not originate on this ship. It may hold the information you seek.”

YES! Pinpoint its location, I will retrieve it myself.”

“Understood. I have sent the location to your datapad.”

“Very well, continue the diagnostics on the cloak, I want it operational when we return to normal space.”

“Very well.”

C’aboth stalked out of the engine room to begin his hunt. The droid was obviously well hidden, but it was only a matter of time before he found it, and with it, the knowledge he needed to find the intruders who had turned Rathok Nor against him, and forced him to destroy his former apprentice. He had briefly felt the presence of three of them, had been able to glimpse into their minds for the smallest of moments, but it had been enough.
He had felt them turn, ever so slightly. It would come.

Fortunately, with the discoveries he had made about the micro-singularity, time was something of which he had plenty to spare. He calmed himself and chuckled. “Oh yes, time enough for all things under the heavens. Including vengeance.”

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Whispers in the darkness

Eldritch walked the empty corridors of his ship, it was sleep cycle and the rest of the crew were in their quarters, but sleep still eluded him. He made himself a snack in the galley and padded back to his quarters. Something was strange tonight, an uneasy tension hung in the air, and Christian felt it. Suddenly, there was a very faint and raspy whisper, but he couldn’t make out what it said. More like a ragged exhale than anything intelligible, yet he felt drawn to his personal safe. He keyed in the combination and pressed his thumb to the release stud and it opened silently. Within were a few odds and ends, papers and money, and some confidential records, but that wasn’t all. It was also there.

He reached inside and wrapped his fingers around the hilt of the weapon, and it somehow felt, well different than it had before. Colder, but somehow … alive? That wasn’t exactly right, but he sensed that there was more to it than an antique Jedi’s weapon, some sort of intelligence or maybe it was awareness? He withdrew the lightsaber from the safe, closed it, and slipped it into his cargo pocket. He didn’t know why, but it suddenly seemed to him that it had become very important that he keep it with him. It might prove useful on their mission to find Nura, and even if not, he somehow couldn’t bring himself to put it down.

He was suddenly relaxed, almost at peace. He slept, but was plagued by nightmares.

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So, um,... yeah... Redemption?

Kilum’s skin glistened from the moisture excreted through his skin. Sweat for those humans, but for a Rodian, well, different. All the practice to control his thoughts, feelings, took much more effort than the practice with his lightsaber. Kilum could feel his connection to the blade as a focus of a kind for his thoughts. Now resting, swinging in his hammock, Kilum sensed a calm.

Kilum strained, heavily, to practice control. Kilum felt the power of knowledge, touched it,… felt it. The seductive lure of knowledge presented a perfect bait to get Kilum to touch, and take, some of that power he felt. In retrospect, Kilum knows where he went wrong. Anything that grants power, knowledge,… whatever, through an easy, expedient path surely leads to the dark side. He knew it was the path to the dark side. Studied why it was the path to the dark side. And yet, was still seduced. Now he needed to turn from the dark path, reject it completely, and more ardently follow the path he knew to be right. A path to the light.

He worried, though. He was not alone in touching this power. And even with his training, such as it was, he was able to free the Jedi from his mental shackles and to help him be redeemed. Since Kilum was seduced, it is clear that those untrained others of his band surely touched the darkness and were tainted as a result.

“How can I help my friends if I can barely help myself?” Kilum lamented. The light side provides the answer, but do I have the strength to lead them on that path? Master Lars surely would have insight into the problem. After all, he once was a servant of the dark side and managed a path back.

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Christian Eldritch stared vacantly out the front viewport of the bridge of the Longshot, the swirling and streaming wisps of hyperspace sped past, but he didn’t see it. The escape from the ancient dreadnought had left him questioning everything he had previously taken for granted. He had somehow begun to see the universe … differently. Where he’d once simply existed, he now felt like he’d been plugged into something deeper, something more substantial, yet less so at the same time. Something about that crazy old Jedi had infected him, somehow fucked him up.

He could, well, feel things, stuff he’d never consciously recognized, but that had helped him in the past. He now knew why he’d been so successful with the con, so good at getting the women into bed and so damned good at gambling. It was the force. He felt its power within him now. Something both old, yet very new.

But now that he could see it, could actually sense it, he also sensed something else, something…dark. He could swear that when he wasn’t paying attention to it, that he could faintly hear the cackling, insane laughter of that mystical madman. He could even hear a subtle whisper, something telling him that he could do it. “It” being anything, that he was entitled to do whatever he wished to whomever he wished to do it, and that if he did it that he’d experience both pleasure as well as power.

This was terrifying, on so many levels, he didn’t know how he would be able to cope, but he knew he needed to talk to Lars. Like now. He reached for the switch to activate the hyperspace comms, and after checking to be sure the others were still sleeping, he began to tell Lars. Everything.

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Session Notes 01-14-2018

And the saga continues in this not so friendly place….

And then Victor came over the comms asking where we all were. He was back on the ship and we used space suits to get into this ship through the unpressurized landing bay.

The team went back to the air lock to meet Victor. And in the mean time, Victor went all McGuiver and made a home-made space suit out of bags and tape to get across from the ship to the door into the ship. After not finding a space suit on the ship handy.

And then things happened. The ship door opened, there was a mis-que and Victor did not go well towards the ship door with the air rushing out. Then the team made an attempt to catch Victor which went not as expected (okay, screwed by the wild die – nuff said). Then Grek asked the kid to try and use the force to help bring Victor in. Well, that went not quite as expected. And then there was a rope used to pull Victor in. Well , lets just say that did not go as expected either (yeah, that damn wild die). So the synth rope with the grapple (yes a Synth rope with a grapple vs the home made space suit – hold your breathe Victor) to catch Victor before he went past the Longshot towards the opening to space outside the ship in the homemade space suit… Luckily, the grapple worked and we were able to pull Victor into the ship and close the door.

After asking Victor where he was which was in the engine room but we missed him on leaving the ship.. Rumors circulated about him being asleep in a secret compartment or under the effects of some home made brewed hydraulic fluid alcohol mix. Only Victor knows the truth…..

The party went to the elevators that worked. And went down 3 levels into a hallway that was dark with flickering lights. There were a few people who were scary looking and came towards the party only to get shot dead. Including the one in the distance. These were all normal crew of the ship but sort of distorted looking.

The video log fragment was played after accessing the computer by the door in the hallway. It was the most disturbing site of people with no eyes, blood, screaming and things coming out of the guys hands. This along with various members of the party feeling very uncomfortable with being here in the ship and some wanting to leave back to the long shot and destroy the ship. While others wanted to find out what was going on and shut down the source to allow us to get out of here.

It was at this point that the party needed to continue back towards the engineering section where Kilum sensed the he needed to go in another direction that he had something he must take care of. He started walking in that direction of which Captain Eldridge and Raina would not let him go alone to where he was destine to go. The rest of the party continue towards the power source.

The portion of the party that went for the power source came to a room down a long corridor with spikes along the walls and some black fluid in the middle of the room over concentric circles moving with a control panel on the floor near by. Victor called Kilum to which he answered and light saber sounds could be heard to which he said ’ I am busy with things there ’ (click). Victor was able to get the controls to change the concentric circles from spinning to be in a fixed position. Then things got REALLY weird. Grek and Mirren saw long lost important persons to each there like alive and talking to them which completely distracted them from the room and what Victor was doing. Then when Victor was trying the controls again to try and shut down the machine then both Grek and Mirren came over to the control panel (not of their own choosing) as if to confront Victor.

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Engineer's Log

With more effort, Grek’s droid manages to recover a log fragment from what appears to be the Chief Engineer. The hologram shimmers into being, but it is filled with static and artifact.

“…gravitational anomalies seem to be related to some sort of malfunction of the power regulators……………………………….blown plasma relays throughout the section, but the containment field seems to be holding, for now. I don’t know what this…………cloaking device………………….. I mean there’s not a lot of research out there on micro-singularities after all………………………..the Captain has assured me that it’s all within specs, but what the fuck, I don’t even have clearance to see these supposed specs!?! Typical Republic bureaucratic bullshit……………..one of these days this thing is gonna open a hole that it can’t close and then what? Fuck all is what……”

The image derezzes into white noise.

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Log Entries

The idiosyncratic protocol droid worked solemnly on accessing the ancient computer system on board the dreadnought Shadow Hawk. As it worked, the rest of the crew pretended not to notice, all the while surreptitiously looking over its shoulder.

“Anything?” Grek asked after several moments of awkward silence, punctuated by the whirring of the droid’s servos and the rasp of the spinning access point.

“Yes, Master Grek, I have obtained access to the ship’s main computer, however there are still several section of it which are encrypted and to which I do not yet have access.”

The droid’s head tilted slightly to the side, as if in curiosity or sudden interest. “I have managed to download and reconstruct some partial fragments of the ship’s log that were deleted. Apparently each duty section’s chief kept his or her own personal log, and then the ship’s command staff kept their own separate logs. It would seem that someone or some_thing_ did not wish for these logs to be found.”

“Play the log entries.” Grek instructed the droid. It responded affirmatively and bent to its task. In a moment, a holographic projection filled the space in front of the droid.

The log showed the haggard face of what was presumably one of the ship’s medical staff. The audio and video skipped and stuttered, and it was filled with slight static, however it was viewable.

“Medical log … hell, I don’t even know the date anymore. The condition of the crew has continued to deteriorate, to the point that I can no longer keep up with the spread of the illness. Crew members have all exhibited substantially similar symptoms, with the early stages marked by vivid and disturbing dreams to increased irritability and occasional random bouts of non-responsiveness. As the condition worsens, the dreams become waking hallucinations, ranging from hearing random noises or seeing flashes of color to, as the condition becomes more advanced, full audio-visual hallucinations of people, places and things. Ultimately, as the patient’s madness deepens, follows paranoia and violence.”

The doctor wipes his hand across his face in weariness and continues:
“I have thus far been unable to determine the cause of the affliction, and at this point am not optimistic as to my chances of uncovering it before it begins to affect too many of us to continue the research. I have ruled out bacteriological or viral etiology, however the brain scans all exhibit physiological changes consistent with some sort of external stimulus. I just don’t know…I’ve never seen anything like this. Perhaps it’s related to the mishap with the ship’s drive system that occurred recently. There is an incidental correlation between the time this condition began to be reported, at least generally speaking, and when the “incident” took place in the engineering section. With the Captain apparently content to take his orders from that strange old Jedi, I have been completely cut out of the loop and can only speculate as to what happens next, but some of this may be related to the artifact we discovered…………………………………………………………………………"

The image dissolved into white noise and static and the droid turned to face the group.
“This is all I was able to reconstruct at this time, I will continue to attempt to decrypt and restore more of the log entries.”

Eldritch frowned for a moment and then schooled his expression to its usual confidence. “Well, I think we need to find whatever is running on this crate and get it shut down so we can get the hell out of here. This thing gives me the serious heebie jeebies. Let’s move people.”

The group filed out of the chamber and continued down the eerily flickering corridor.

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Practice makes perfect

After meditating for a while, Kilum (ironically pronounced “kill ’em”) began lightsaber practice with the two, small, round training droids firing weak blaster blasts strong enough to sting, but not enough to harm. The blindfold tested Kilum’s ability to sense his surroundings. Jedi seem to have a certain skill that channels the Force and makes them better than normal at an otherwise mundane skill.. Anakin had piloting. If Kilum had anything, it was skill with a lightsaber. In truth, he was always good with any kind of blade, a necessity as an orphan alone on Nal Hutta. But this skill truly came into it’s own with a lightsaber and the Force… and focus.

Man, these things sting when you miss, Kilum thinks. Focus. Control. Sense the blasts before they happen.

The two droids floated around firing shots, each being deflected by Kilum’s lightsaber. One quickly swung around behind him firing. In one quick move, Kilum angled his blade behind him blocking the shot.

Well, I’ve had to do that for real in a fight. What was that Sith dude’s name anyway? Wasn’t that an abandoned station around Taris? Why was he there? Why couldn’t I bring him back to the Light?

“Ow!” Kilum shouts from the shot that hits him.

Focus, dude! Focus!

Kilum steadies himself, pushing the distraction out of his mind.

Lars would be preaching at me over this less than stellar performance. Stop that! Focus!

“Grr…” Kilum groans after another shot. “I’m so DONE with this today.”

Between Lars the born-again Jedi and these strange encounters with the Sith, it’s no wonder I can’t focus. But, hey, things are looking up! We’re going to save a damsel in distress like a true knight! Yeah, it’s, like, an old lady, but still a damsel. Might have been nice if she were a bit younger. And single. With antennae. And lush dark green skin. Just saying…

Okay. DEFINITELY need to meditate and get myself straight in the head. We might need a Code Saber and I must be ready. The guys depend on me and I’m not letting them down. No flirting with the Dark Side,… you, know, like Lars…. See? Lars did teach me something!

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It's Always Something...

Lens Reekeene deftly manipulated the holographic star map, zooming in on a small binary system. She rotated the map, bringing a small gas giant into focus and then zooming in on the space station which orbited it. “Eldritch Station” she muttered with a wry smile.

“What was that, General?” The man seated across from her asked with a slight uptick of an eyebrow.

Lens chuckled “Eldritch Station” she said. “He’s got nerve, Mikka, that’s for sure. What the hell though, it was a great find. It’s as good of a name as any I suppose.”

Mikka smirked. “He’s really a lucky son of a bitch.”

Lens smiled. “He is, isn’t he? Almost as lucky as that other Corellian fellow … what was his name? The Kessel Run guy.”

“Solo”, Mikka replied.

“Yes! That’s it!” She snapped her fingers. “Now THAT’S one lucky son of a bitch. Well, the first supply transports have arrived at ‘Eldritch Station’, and repairs and upgrades are underway. In a short while, this will be an impressive base of operations, especially once we upgrade the weapons and defense systems.”

“What about the Corellian?” Mikka asked.

Lens’ smile faded a bit. “I’m going to have to send him back out there. All of them, actually.
The Imperials have apparently captured Nura, and they cannot be permitted to hold her, she knows too much. Oh, and then there’s that little matter of her being a Jedi.” She shook her head. “The entire group is dangerous. Loose cannons, for the most part. And what a rag-tag group! Smugglers, bounty hunters, scouts, tech-heads …and have you ever seen a Rodian Jedi? Much less one so young! He’s very impressionable and has apparently adopted his Captain as some kind of role-model. He’s even started walking like Eldritch, all swagger and very little brains”

Mikka laughed. “Oh come on now General, they remind me of a couple of folks we used to know.”

She laughed with him “We were much younger then, my husband. Now we’re … respectable. Leaders, even.”

Mikka nodded but his smile remained. “The Roughnecks are one of the premiere units in the Alliance, largely thanks to you. The Longshot crew are a good fit.”

She pursed her lips. “Perhaps, but I need a command crew for the Marauder, and soon. They may just fit the bill.”

He nodded “They might at that. And Eldritch wouldn’t have to leave that rattling old yacht of his behind, which is a selling point.”

Lens chuckled “Don’t let him hear you say that. But, I don’t think we’re going to need to sell them on the idea, it’s not like we’re talking about some old Mon Cal junker. I’d bet bananas to tibanna that I’m not going to have to sell it at all. They’re getting ready to lift off for Margron 2 to try to pick up Nura’s trail, I’ll think on it some more, we still have some time.”

She clicked off the holo-projector and rose from her seat. The fleet glittered among the stars outside the viewport and she absently stared out at it. “Let’s get some rest, Mikka. Something tells me things are about to get a lot more … interesting. It may be some time before we have the chance again.”

He nodded with a knowing smile “Yes, General.”

She playfully swatted at him “Save it for our quarters, Mister.”

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So where are clear where we left off....

Just wanted to post this so we know where we left off based on my notes:

https://db4sgowjqfwig.cloudfront.net/campaigns/128270/assets/778602/2017-07-24_17-03-18.mp4?1505429615

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