Star Wars: Freelancers

Episode 3 Epilogue

Bridge – Arc Hammer

Captain Needil watches as two stormtroopers drag away the carcass of his predecessor. He had hoped for a command of his own, but he never expected it to happen like this. When General Mohc learned that a small freighter had jumped into the system attached to one of his ore haulers, he was displeased. When he learned that Captain Frash had allowed them to escape, he was furious. And when General Mohc is furious, someone tends to die. “Commander Kensington,” Needil says. A man nervously looks over from a command station. “Yes, sir?” “I want you to dispatch a Tie Scout squadron, their orders are to track that freighter. Find out anything they can. Emphasize the importance of this task,” the Captain answered, ominously. “At once, sir!” came the response. Needil resists the urge to glance over at Mohc, who is undoubtedly still seething. He sets about ordering heightened security across all of their operations, very much wanting to avoid the fate of the man who’s shoes he now needs to fill.

Sandcrawler Sootana – Jundland Wastes – Planet Tatooine

Grobble takes a step back, crossing his arms. Looking over the massive droid, the little Jawa can’t help but feel a great deal of pride. They’d been picking through this wreckage for days, competing with the other Sandcrawlers who’d been drawn by the crashing starship. It took a lot of trading and haggling, but he’d managed to get all the pieces that were found by other ‘crawlers. It was luck that he owed finding the torso to. The rest of the parts? Pure Jawa skill. Similarly, reassembling the thing was no small task – he’d never seen a droid like this before. His helper, Smiwee, claps him on the back. Speaking in the garbled tongue of the Jawa, he says, “Put in power core. See if work!” Grobble shakes his head, declining his enthusiastic helper yet again. “It work. But not obey. Not even with bolt.” Grobble points at the vaguely stormtrooper-esque helmet. “This Imperial,” he continues, “Shooty droid. Bad.” He frowns, wishing he could see the fruits of his labor – but he knows that it would probably end poorly. “We take to Jabba. He pay good.” Smiwee’s eyes light up at the mention of being paid well, nodding enthusiastically. “Utinni!” he exclaims, causing Grobble to nod and repeat the “Utinni,” with slightly less enthusiasm. The two of them waddle off together, looking for something to eat, as the sandcrawler continues its journey across the desert.

Imperial Capital – Bestine – Planet Tatooine

Governor Neruba hands the small crystalline cube to the man standing in front of him. “Excellent work, Tahnos,” says the casually dressed man. “Where is she now?” he asks. “Downstairs, in the holding equipment you sent,” answers Tahnos. The man turns to leave. “And your end of the deal?” Tahnos asks, before the man has the chance to start walking. The man turns back with a smile. “Already in motion. Hyperspace travel can be such a dangerous thing, wouldn’t you agree, Governor?” Tahnos smiles at the subtle emphasis placed on the word ‘governor’. “Indeed, it can be,” he answers. “She also had this,” he continues, holding out a lightsaber hilt. The man squints at it for a moment, taking it in his hands. He turns it over, evaluating it, before handing it back to Tahnos. “Keep it, as a souvenir. That ancient thing would be worthless in combat, anyway.” Tahnos tucks it away, unable to hide a grin on his face. “And I trust you have a fully equipped interrogation chamber?” the man asks. “Of course I do,” replies Tahnos, his grin widening. “Good,” answers the man. “You may want to have your personnel steer clear for the next several hours.”

Jabba’s Palace – Planet Tatooine

XB-027 is vaguely aware of the several droids that his arms smash to pieces, his hostile action processor permanently fused in an active state. He knows he shouldn’t be smashing them, thanks to the new programming bestowed upon him by the wise and mighty Jabba the Hutt, but he is powerless to stop the hostile action processor. After a few violent seconds pass, something pops in his chest, and his systems click off one by one as they lose power. The last thing he sees before complete power loss is the helmet of a stormtrooper rolling away from a gladiator droid wearing full stormtrooper attire. ‘How unusual’, he thinks, before he is enveloped by the void.

Imperial Dungeon – Bestine – Planet Tatooine

Leibo rotates slowly in the air, suspended by an unusual energy field. She’s not exactly sure how long she’s been like this – days, weeks? It’s hard to tell. With no outside lighting, she can really only tell the passage of times by the meals she is brought, which is not very often. Her stomach growls and she lets out a long, slow sigh. Before it is finished, she hears the screaming again. Her friend, Alyna. She still doesn’t understand why the two are being held in this room together. Perhaps it is the only room that has these energy cages. But why not build them in separate cells? None of this makes any sense. She sighs again. It pains her to hear her friend screaming, but at the same time, she is relieved that she isn’t the one being tortured. Alyna refuses to talk about it when she returns from their “interrogation sessions”, and the man who tortures her refuses to say anything to her at all. Every time he is near, Leibo gets an uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach. Her stomach growls again, as if on cue.

Shuttle Tyder – Planet Arkanis

Alexander Julstan sits down in his plush chair aboard the shuttle Tyder. He pulls a datapad from his desk, beginning to read it as the shuttle lifts off of the pad. He detests travelling to Issor to deal with the filthy creatures that inhabit it, but it is one of his duties as the Moff of this sector. He reads the latest reports on suspected Rebel cells on the planet, sighing. Why can these fools not see the peace and order that the Empire brings to them? Why must they continue to force his hand? He begins planning a public demonstration in his mind, executing the Rebel leaders in front of the gathered masses. He reflects on his choices in regards to that planet. The governor is very nearly useless, and tax revenue continues to slip. Surely, he thinks, allowing the natives to continue to operate interstellar business was a bad idea, one which will need to be rectified. As the shuttle departs the atmosphere of Arkanis and begins accelerating toward the edge of the planet’s hyperspace danger zone, the reactor core begins heating to a dangerous level. The sabotaged warning system doesn’t alert the pilots as it should, so when they slide their control levers forward to make the jump to hyperspace, the hypercritical reactor explodes, destroying the shuttle, and killing everyone aboard.

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