Our heroes are split up and forging ahead with their plans! High above the planet in orbit around the trouble globe we find S’kreech, Georiah ‘Goph’ Phogg and the one-and-only Honeyjack on the gigantic tramp freight FULTON STEAM. Our intrepid, but slightly strange, feathered friend S’kreech wanders the labyrinth of cargo connectors of this new home. The giant grid of corridors soon envelopes him but he is pulled ever closer to an unknown destination. Soon he finds himself deep in the belly of the ship but stands before a strange container. His dastardly bow of unknown intent draws him to venture inside. Reaching out with his omnipotent senses, not knowing he is drawing upon the Force itself, he feels the presence of many lifeforms! Compelled to investigate this strange turn of events, our possessed hunter moves inside! There a veritable zoo of strange animals awaits him. Finding himself on this Ark, S’kreech stumbles upon strange alien beings that seem to posses the same senses he has!
Meanwhile, elsewhere on the ship is the dashing but perplexing Honeyjack. He too wanders the ship and soon finds himself inside the Engineer’s Workshop, a foundry of machinations! Inside is a strange two-headed being. This is the Ship’s Engineer, Avandrava Kelen the Troig! This brilliant but deranged master mechanic reveals himself to be an odd weaponsmith. The two personalities, Avan the fast-talking jivester with a sharp tongue and Drava the careful of tongue and thought, soon bombard the Honeyjack with questions. Eager for a new friend, Avan and Drava attempt to impress our stoic harmonicist with modifications to his boomrang! Soon the Troig and the Honeyjack are up to their elbows dismantling the non-flying pilot’s jetpack to create his coveted jumpboots. Could this be the start of an utterly bizarre friendship?
On the bridge of the FULTON STEAM the man known as Goph talks to the swashbuckler Captain Iego Drake. The Captain tells the cigar-lovin’ former cop that he knows our heroes are more then what they appear! But the Captain also hints that he is not such a law-abiding citizen either. He discovers that the good Captain is struggling as an independent bulk trader while the dastardly Empire attempts to nationalize all commerce. Eager to make inroads in new sectors of commerce, the Captain asks Georiah to help him make connections so he can trade inside the sector of space controlled by the gangster Hutt Cartel. He even offers to reduce shares in the current job that our heroes hired him for!
Meanwhile, far below on the planet’s surface, the massive but friendly Bale Nidae sit with his former law enforcement brethren inside a sweltering commuter star shuttle. One of the former constables, young Jesse Quanera, points out graffiti at the commuter starport! It is our hero, Bale Nidae as the Butcher of Tecwaii raising a glory flag of freedom fashioned out of the body of a dying Imperial Stormtrooper while behind him the citizens of Ord Cestus gather to aid in his worthy cause! Our gentle giant attempts to reassure the nervous and fearful constables. The men, green to combat, appear to be confident in their hero’s assurances. While they may have never entered into the horrors of close-quarters combat they know that the fearsome Butcher of Tecwaii is with them!
A few miles away the child soldier Zurin Yuls and explorer Zu’hast Rykarre watch the family of their new ally, ex-constable Ammol Azalee. Two human males, obvious with military haircuts and concealed blasters, stand watch over Mrs. Azalee. Is she their prisoner or are they her guardians? Unsure of the situation, our dynamic duo form a plot to free the family. Hatching a brilliant plan, Zu’hast uses his superior intellect to approach the Azalee wife and convince her that he is just an innocent schoolteacher delivering candy to her many children. But it all goes horribly wrong! Quickly deducing that something is wrong from the fearful expressions coming from the lovely Mrs. Azalee, the strange human male sitting with her shoves a blaster into our hero’s ribs, warning him not to make a scene in front of the dozens of innocent younglings!
However the courageous Zurin is committed to saving his friend! Leaping into action, he carefully sneaks up on the unknown agent. But he too falls prey to the dastardly mysterious foes! Disarmed and restrained, Zurin manages to cleverly signal to the rest of our heroes that they have been captured! Quickly Georiah, S’kreech and the Honeyjack form a plan to rescue their companions. Speaking with Captain Drake our wily trench-coated gunslinger secures the help of the Captain and his crew in exchange for securing a trader’s license in Hutt Space. They then learn that the sly Captain has two illegal starfighters onboard the FULTON STEAM. A plan emerges and with the help of the lovely Deck Chief,Mia Solvan, one of the bulky and temperamental R-42t Starchaser starfighters is quickly claimed by the Honeyjack, known for his flashy flying, and the deadly S’kreech. The other is flown by the strange mechanical suited Ecto Borambor with Goph flying shotgun! The cavalry quickly heads to the action!
Meanwhile at the first sign of trouble Bale Nidae rushes to the rescue! Ordering the shuttled commandeered by the novice pilot, the beautiful Zygerrian known as Corporal Silleria Latt, the mammoth ex-cop leads his force of rookie fighters towards the troubled shopping complex. Unperturbed by the demands of local flight traffic control, Bale orders the shuttle to hover directly over the crowded market. As the crowd gapes at this unauthorized flying demonstration, the deadly Zurin manages to wrench himself away from the mysterious man and disarms him. Squaring off, the two exchange blows and continue to wrestle for their very lives! Our eccentric explorer fares no better as the armed man fires multiple stuns bolts into the tall Pau’un, sending him careening to the ground unconscious!
Into the fray comes the devastating Butcher of Tecwaii! Leaping from the shuttle, clad in his armored robes, towering on his powered stalker stilts and impressive in his Tunji breathing mask Bale Nidae wades into the stunned crowd. Carefully taking aim our massive monster tries to gun down the mysterious enemy but he fears for the safety of the crowd! A firefight begins! The unknown agent attempts to protect Mrs. Azalee, confusing our crowned champion. Who are these men and what are their aims? In the skies above, the Honeyjack deposits the winged warrior S’kreech and races to face off against Advent Homeland Defence V-Wing fighters! It is a deadly game of chicken at breakneck speeds only hundreds of feet in the air! At the last moment, our beguiling boomeranger and the dastardly Advent Navy pilot veer off! They began a death-defying dance of the sky as they try to best each other! At the same time, other fighters open fire on our heroes shuttle. It goes down in flames nearby with the charming Silleria Latts still at the helm!
Engaged in fisticuffs the malicious medic Zurin manages to gain control of the phantom man’s blaster, turning the tides! Bale approaches the protective agent, attempting to ascertain his role. Revealing himself, the man instantly recognizes our protector as the Butcher of Tecwaii and rightful fear grips him! The constables, led by the grizzled Sergeant Mirax, attempt to rally behind our plentiful protector. Ammol is seized by husbandly devotion and surges towards his cowering wife. The novice warriors, filled with battlelust, follow him, breaking ranks and charging forward! In their zeal they manage to wound the strange man but the crowd is shot and bystanders drop! The unknown agent is too skilled for the constables and in a flash Ammol is wounded and the young Jesse is at the feet of Bale writhing in pain! What a horrific sight! The crowd bolts in panic and the throng stampedes from the carnage.
Zu’hast is meanwhile pulled into a strange, exotic world in his stunned stupor. Awakened in a bizarre prismatic forest, he sees sprites all around! The phantom spirits reveal themselves in the Force as wandering entities. He meets an Anx who tells him he has found the Forest of the Wandering, otherwise known as the Lost Woods. Zu’hast enters into mediation to try and find his way! Who are these spirits? Are they phantasms in an afterlife? Is this a place of the Force? Zu’hast knows not but seeks to learn more! Emerging into the chaos is the gallant Georiah Phoggs! Dropped off by Ecto Borambor and eager to thrust into adventure, he takes a sip from the finest of Corellian whisky and views the fray. Several squads of Advent Homeland Defence troopers are pushing through the panicked mob. Reinforcements for our heroes comes in the form of the dangerous S’kreech! Landing into the crowd, he glows with a certain energy that only serves to sow terror in those who dare to stand before him.
All around our heroes is yet another chaotic scene, familiar in it’s disorder. Squared off against these unknown agents, with one of their own down in his own hellish scene of confusion and another engaged in control for the skies, our valiant heroes must save the innocents, rescue their wounded allies’ family and defend themselves against the marching jackboots of the Advent Regency! Can they pull off the unachievable? Will the family of the poor constable be safe? Will we ever see the Cavern and all the others from the beginning of this story ever again? Can Bale prevent the death of more innocent lives? Will Zurin be able to get all his cool stuff back and win? Is the Honeyjack going to finally emerge as a skilled starfighter pilot? Will S’reech ever stop be terrifying? Is Goph going to have enough liquor to see this through? Should Zu’hast try to figure out if this is the Force or just random neurons firing in his damaged brain?
Find out next time on….. h3. UNCHAINED STARS!