Episode 7-Secret of the Lair
'Adventure 15-S3 Cluade and Ar'Ryn-Playing for Keeps
Part One-One-Small Scratches and Big Boarders
Cluade and Ar'Ryn watched as the sister ship jumped into hyperspace, carrying away Grem, Rogan and the two ancient Jedis, as the sounds of pirates cutting into the ship grew louder. Cluade, having a chance to catch his breath after the most recent battle, realized that he had been scratched by a Rackghoul as well. Checking with his med sensor he realized that he was scratched by one of lighter colored monsters and not the more prevalent darker beasts.
The results of his first test showed that he was not infected but comparing it to a sample of the other Rackghoul the results came up positive for having been infected by the Rackghoul disease. Checking the blood samples of the rest of the party he was relieved to find that he was the only one infected with the second strain of the disease.
Recalling what he had read from the consoles during the exploration of the ship, Claude deduced that the second strain of the disease acted slower but the results were more horrific. It seemed that the the Empire was trying to discover the difference between the two strains in order to weaponize both. Having used most of his medical supplies in the creation of the test and vaccine to cure his friends, Claude was seriously in need of medical supplies and a lab in order to create a second vaccine for the second strain.
Ar'Ryn meanwhile had his hands full due to the fact that hyperdrive reactivated and was once again preparing to make a pre-determined jump to unknown space. Working furiously, with help from RX, Ar'Ryn was able to pause the countdown but not completely deactivate it. Hearing the sounds of the pirates coming closer, Ar'Ryn came up with a quick plan to use one problem to solve the other. He directed his faithful droid to hold the countdown and to prepare to make the jump on a second's notice. If the pirates threatened Cluade, Hooss, Tozvos or himself, he could at least have the option to threaten them back by separating them from their main ship by making a jump to the unknown co-ordinates.
As the Bothan worked on the final touches to his plan, Claude ventured out into the medical area where they fought the monsters in order to collect a sample and hopefully find some medical supplies to cure his condition. When he made his way to the corridor he spotted the first pirate and was commanded to surrender. Setting his gun down in the hall, out of sight but within reach, Claude told the pirate that he was a medic and unarmed. This news of being a medic was apparently important as the the pirate quickly called to his leader.
The leader of the pirates didn't mess around and carefully instructed Claude into a position so he could be placed in binders. As Claude was brought closer to the leader of the boarding party a familiar voice called out to him. It was Bell, she was part of the pirates boarding party, and they quickly disarmed her and placed her in binders as well. The leader of the boarding party told Cluade that needed his services and that they already had two of his friends aboard their ship.
At that time Tozvos went to check on Claude and was spotted by the pirates. Claude realized that he could have his ally attack but even though he could be freed it would most likely cost the Nelvannian leader his life in return. Choosing discretion over valor he instructed Tozvos to surrender to them and he too was placed in binders. Not trusting Claude's claim that they were the only people on the ship, the leader of the boarding party dispatched her men to spread out and advance on the bridge.
'Part Two-High Stakes and Low Returns
Leading their prisoners before them, the pirates entered the bridge and confronted Ar'Ryn and Hooss, and ordered them to place their weapons down. After introducing herself as Sade, she told Ar'Ryn that the ship was hers and that they will escort them back to Hooss's ship and for them to leave. She informed them that if they tried to fight back her crew would shoot out the windows killing their party only as the pirates were still in their space suits.
Ar'Ryn tried to bluff her by saying that the ship was rightfully theirs and when that failed he threatened her by saying he would have his droid engage the hyperdrive. Sade countered that two of their friends were currently aboard their main ship and that one of them, the drunk Coreillan lost his ship to her in Cloud City and that the Gand was in serious condition and about to die without medical care. When asked how Xextuss was injured the crafty pirate replied that Bell could answer that as well as why their other two compainions wanted to get rid of her.
Realizing that they were at an impasse, Sade proposed an interesting solution. Pointing to the holo-chess table in the main hold, she suggested that they play three games to resolve the issue. The first game would be against Claude and would determine wether they took him with them by force or if he and Tozvos would be free to go. The second would be for the release of Bell and the chance to talk to their pirate captain. Who ever won those games would get the ship, with a third game being played in order to break a tie.
Having little choice, Claude and Ar'Ryn agreed. Claude sat down at the table first and had his binders removed in order to play. The game went back and forth during the start but soon Claude had the advantage. Keeping the pressure on he was able to keep Sade from effectively positioning her remaining piece and defeated her.
Impressed, Sade ordered Tozvos freed from his binders as well and told Claude he was free to do as he wished. Needing a medical facility to cure his condition and also concerned about the fate of his friend who was dying, Claude decided to go with the pirates when they finished on the Old Republic ship. While Ar'Ryun began playing his first game against Sade, Claude returned to the destroyed medical bay in the attempt to retrieve any remaining information about the second strain of the disease and to collect samples.
Ar'Ryn then took his turn at the Dejarik table. With an anxious Bell watching, the two began taking turns trying to destroy the other person's pieces. Ar'Ryn began with a classic Bothan opening gambit but found that the intelligent female pirate expected such a move and quickly countered with a little known move that place her in a better position. The game went poorly for the Bothan from there on out and soon he was defeated.
Not to be deterred, Ar'Ryn offered to play the final round to decide the fate of the owner of the Grand Empress while Claude continued searching for more clues to his condition. Their second game against each other was much closer than the first. Ar'Ryn worked hard to try to defeat her strongest pieces but Sade was able to counter by taking down his weaker pieces quickly. Soon the game was over and Ar'Ryn was again defeated at the holo-chess table.
Sade instructed the two Bothans that they would be escorted to Hooss's ship and then contacted her captain back on their main ship, the Tytan's Fury. Realizing that he was going to lose not only a significant historical treasure trove, a massive bank of intel on the Empire, as well as a possible command ship to build a fleet around, Ar'Ryn requested a chance to talk to the pirate captain.
Hesitantly, Sade agreed and gave RX a communication channel number to open and the image of Tytan Halcyon appeared from the holo-projector on the bridge of the ship. After a brief introduction, and carefully treading around the news that Tytan was responsible for hiring the raiders that attacked Kellos several months ago, Ar'Ryn began putting his diplomatic and negotiation skills to the test.
The Bothan presented several cases to Tytan on why he should not sell the ship and the importance of the vessel. Tytan listen carefully but had strong counters to every point made. Finally a tentative deal as agreed upon that Ar'Ryn could keep the ship on several conditions-first he had to fly Tytan's colors, second that if called upon the ship would come to Tytan's fleet aid when ever he needed it and the last was that Bell must go with the two Bothans.
Ar'Ryn had no problem with the last two requests but the idea of flying under someone else's banner or colors hit a nerve with Bothan due to his strong independent streak. Pulling out all the stops, Ar'Ryn tried one last time to broker the deal so he could keep the ship and his independence. Tytan had succeeded in his business by building relationships with allies that he felt he could depend on and decided that allowing Ar'Ryn to remain as a private operator was worth the future potential help from him and agreed to the deal.
This news greatly upsets Sade and she complained to Tytan that once again he had given away a ship that was suppose to be hers.
Ar'Ryn questioned Sade on why they did not want Bell around and she replied that she is a spy. Recalling how Hooss mentioned that they knew about the heroe's attack and destruction of The Abyss from an informant, Ar'Ryn realized that Bell had been spying on them the entire time since they picked her up on the Wheel.
When questioned about it, Hooss simply reminded his friend when they first encountered each other back on the luxury space station that he did inform them about her occupation as a spy, that he told his fellow Bothan not to trust her and that someone from an important background such as Ar'Ryn's was going to be monitored if at all possible. Still fuming, Ar'Ryn let the issue drop and he said his goodbyes to his fellow warrior and great friend Claude.
Still upset at losing the ship, Sade gathered her crew along with Claude and Tozvos and they prepared to leave for the Tytan's Fury when suddenly they were all attacked.
Part Three-Returning Rackghouls and Pairing Partings
Rackghouls once again busted through the floors and ceiling of the ship and attacked everyone in the area. Claude quickly jumped into action and began fighting back and Ar'Ryn shouted commands at RX in a brilliant attempt to take out three of the beast at once. Grabbing Hooss and diving through the blast doors from the bride to the main hold; he had RX fill the area with the anti-fire gas as Bell doved into the main hold behind him.
Sade and her pirate crew fought back bravely but several pirates were ripped to shreds by the monsters. Ar'Ryn, saw a chance to score some points in his favor with Sade, and took down the Rackghoul closest to her. Claude finished off the one closest to him as Tozvos blocked several hits aimed at the medic.
Just when it seemed that they were going to be in the clear the ancient auto defenses came on-line and four old security robots deployed from the walls and ceiling of the ship and began attacking the party. Several pirates were hit by the flame thrower of one robot while the other bots fired on the group with lasers.
Working with the pirates the heroes were able to take down the old machines with little effort. When they opened the blast doors to the bridge they found that the gas attack had worked against the Rackghouls and RX was safe. Claude checked over the survivors and tested them for both strains of the disease and was relived to discover that none of them were infected.
Claude meanwhile had been fighting off the disease the entire battle and knew that without getting to the pirate's medical equipment that he would soon transform in a monster. Saying his goodbyes once again to his friend he boarded the Tytan's Fury and prepared to find Xextuss to save his life and find Nix to put a boot in his ass for losing their ship with all his medical equipment, medical droid and his personal affects, including those that were mementos from Sarri.
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