Star Wars: Freelancers

Episode 3 Prologue

Bridge – Grey Damsel

XB-027 steps through the mangled remnants of the blast doors leading to the bridge, sweeping the room with his sensors. After concluding that the noises coming from the bridge are not being caused by a living threat, his hostile action processor shuts down, allowing his normal droid brain to resume control. He watches with something resembling curiosity as red warning lights flash on displays all over the bridge. He tilts his head to the side slightly as the distant brown orb on the viewscreen continues to grow larger and larger. He feels an internal sort of satisfaction, knowing that his mission is complete: Those rebels who attempted to escape aboard this vessel were all killed. He clicks his visual feed over to review the death of each crewmember, watching for ways in which he might have done so more efficiently, or with less risk to himself. Several cycles pass and he feels a slight shudder. He clicks his visual back to realtime as the hostile action processor begins warming up. He wonders why the viewscreen is suddenly glowing red, with flames licking across it, as the HAP takes over, executing a standard threat assessment subroutine. As he mindlessly rampages across the ship searching for threats, the Grey Damsel slams into the Jundland Wastes on Tatooine, scattering debris and wreckage across several kilometers of desert.

Minersport – Mon Gazza

Leibo walks casually through the port district, glancing about cautiously. She’s not sure why, but she can’t shake this feeling of dread. Ever since they landed on this dusty rock, something has been nagging at the back of her mind. She scans the crowd she’s walking through, looking for anything amiss. But on a planet filled with smugglers, pirates, and criminals, what does amiss look like? She sighs, trudging on toward the docking bay where the Whitepoint Star is landed. With each step taken, her dread grows. Pulling up her remote link to the ship, she views the security feed surrounding the ship, but sees nothing unusual. The two crew members remaining on the ship are hanging out in the lounge, eating. This serves to put her a little more at ease, though the feeling is far from gone. For a moment she even wishes the oafish Anduril was with her, with his powerful armor. She dismisses the absurd notion, and presses on, deciding to get off of Mon Gazza as quickly as possible. As she steps through an arching doorway into the complex where the docking bay with the Star is located, a red warning message flashes across her display, and she hears the distinctive whine of charging capacitors for what feels like a half of a heartbeat. Her legs react quickly, but not quickly enough, as a massive blue cloud of energy erupts from beneath the ground. Her reaction is enough to prevent the snaretrap from grabbing her, but the blast of energy managed to catch her legs, sending blue lightning racing all over her suit. Likewise, the energy sent her into a forward flip, legs landing hard on the other side of her. As dust settles all around her and numbness creeps from her legs up her torso, she manages to roll over and draw her bowcaster. Through the cloud of dust, the outline of a hulking figure becomes visible. With her display dead, she trains her bowcaster on the shadow. It moves into a sprint, emerging from the cloud to leap over her. She sees a tall, muscular Trandoshan outfitted in a dark black metallic armor. She hears what might be servos powering his movements as he leaps over her, with a long black maul in his hand. She rolls over quickly, firing a few shots from the bowcaster as she attempts to aim it at her attacker. A vicious swing of the maul sends her bowcaster flying across the empty bay. He swings it around and over his head, and she again hears the whine of capacitors charging as blue energy cackles around the head of the maul. As he sends the head of the maul into her chest with a crushing blow, the world turns blue, then black.

Tomb Beneath Fort Tusken – Tatooine

Alyna brings the blade of the lightsaber around just in time to catch the stone hurtling toward her, vaporizing it. “Very good,” the ethereal projection of a long-dead Jedi Master says. “But I’m afraid that was my last rock.” Alyna nods, shutting down the crackling, unstable blade of the ancient lightsaber. She reaches down, painfully feeling the welts covering most of her body. When this lesson started, he had many rocks. She wasn’t sure how a holocron projection was able to fling stones at her, but the pain told her they were as real as she was. Initially, she had protested: Her Master (and grandfather) told her that she was never to carry a lightsaber. It was a dead giveaway to what she was, and a true Jedi, he said, could resolve any conflict without one. They had argued over the matter many times, but she always wound up giving up. He was very persuasive, and he had kept them alive all this time, after all. Still, part of her had always known that she would need one sooner or later – eventually the Empire’s thugs would find her, and she did not intend to go without a fight. So when this holocron Master told her he was going to teach her the arts of the lightsaber, she told him what her grandfather had said. Master Dorantil Tordis said that he would talk to her Master, but in order to reach him, she may need to use a lightsaber to defend herself – and the holocron she’d be carrying. So she agreed, somewhat happy that she’d finally get to feel the blade of a Jedi Knight in her hands.

Clipping the saber to her belt, she asked, “What now, Master?” The projection paced for a moment, considering. “I believe it is time that I meet this grandfather of yours, and advise him on how best to restore order to the galaxy.” He shakes his head sadly, “The Jedi Order may nearly be extinguished, but we can restore it. You must get this holocron to your grandfather safely. The future of peace and order in the galaxy may depend on it.” With that, the projection slowly fades away, leaving Alyna alone in the dark tomb. She picks up the deactivated holocron, tucking it into a pouch inside of her garment. She wraps herself back up in the garb of a Tusken Raider before shifting through a solid wall, leaving the tomb in silence once more.

Imperial Capital City Bestine – Tatooine

“The time has come,” comes the words from a hologram of a hooded man. “Docking bay 942C in Mos Eisley in exactly 4 hours and 23 minutes,” the voice continues. “Use the equipment we sent you. Do not fail in this.” Tahnos Neruba nods, answering, “I won’t.” Without another word, the hologram deactivates, leaving Tahnos to his thoughts. He stands, looking through his large window thoughtfully. His heart begins to race – all of his work is coming to fruition. He dismisses thoughts of the rewards awaiting him, and focuses on the task at hand. He turns around, pressing a button on the intercom on his desk. “It is time. Tell Commander Morkas to have the lander waiting for me in 30 minutes. We’re going to Mos Eisley.” He strolls out of his office at a brisk pace, going to change into combat gear.

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Tujin

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