Star Wars: Freelancers

Episode 1 Epilogue
Epilogue for Chapter One, Episode One

Echo Base – Planet Hoth

Stohn slowly descends the ramp of the Whitepoint Star into the icy hangar bay. Almost immediately, vapor from his slow breathing is visible. Standing near the bottom of the ramp, Mon Mothma and Princess Organa somberly wait to speak with him. “What happened?” Leia demands, almost immediately. “I don’t know,” replies Stohn, “as soon as the convoy was assembled and ready to go, an Imperial armada jumped out of hyperspace, trapping the convoy with their interdictors.” Mon Mothma and Leia stand in stunned silence, not sure what to say next. Tears can be seen welling up in Mon Mothma’s eyes before she shakes her head, pulling herself together. “Not here,” she says. She looks to Leia, “Assemble high command in the conference room.” She then tells Stohn, “Please join us there, we have much to discuss.” She looks to Virnak and Leibo, the only two to have exited the ship with Stohn. “I understand that you have cargo for us?” she asks. Virnak nods, replying, “Yesss ma’am. Medical equipment and military suppliessss.” She nods, “This will be supremely helpful to us, thank you so much. And thank you for bringing our officer to us. The medical supplies are needed most urgently, we must begin unloading them at once.” Virnak nods, “Of courssse. My crew will asssisssst you in this endavour.” Mon Mothma smiles, “A bright point in this otherwise dark day. Once the supplies are unloaded, please feel free to treat your crew to a hot meal in our mess hall.” Virnak nods, “Thank you, you are a most gracioussss hosssst.” Mon Mothma smiles once more and offers a slight bow, departing the hangar bay to head to the meeting of the Alliance High Command.

Imperial Capital City Bestine – Planet Tatooine

“The latest report from Base Foxtrot, sir,” says the pretty blonde assistant as she hands a datapad to Governor Neruba. Seated at his desk, he skims over it for a moment, before letting it fall to the desk with a clatter. “How many fucking tuskens are there are on this miserable planet?” he asks, rubbing his forehead. “Send a request to the Moff for more stormtroopers,” he says. She looks at him questioningly, “Sir, I thought you didn’t want the Moff to find out about this operation?” He waves a hand dismissively, “The Moff has been hearing reports that Tusken Raider attacks are down planet-wide. Simply inform him that we’ve stepped up patrols and we’re attempting to bring this planet more tightly under Imperial rule. In order to continue to do so, we need more stormtroopers.” She nods, “Yes sir.” As she quickly departs the Governor’s company, she begins mentally preparing herself for a conversation with Moff Tirksis. Before she reaches the door, he interrupts her train of thought with “One more thing.” She stops, turning to look at him. “Tell the bounty hunter that I’d like to speak with him.” She raises an eyebrow, and Tahnos presses a button on his desk, starting a holographic security camera feed above it. The feed shows the crew of the Whitepoint Star escaping from the starport on the planet Sullust. He presses another button, zooming in on the image of Leibo dashing toward the ship’s ramp. “I found her,” he says. His assistant nods and exits the room as he once more turns to stare out the large window in his office.

Tusken Encampment, Jundland Wastes – Planet Tatooine

A cloaked, hooded figure slips between two Tusken tents in the dark of the night. The figure stops for a moment, hood moving as though it is surveying the camp. In a sudden blinding flurry, the figure rapidly dashes through an open space toward another tent, disappearing into the darkness in the back of three tents. A raider notices the movement and howls loudly, running over toward the commotion. Two other raiders converge from between the tents, blocking every possible exit. When they arrive, they howl loudly as they see nothing at all. They quickly search each of the three tents, despite the fact that the entrances were observed the entire time. The raider who first spotted the commotion emerges from one of the tents holding up a plain brown robe, howling loudly into the night. Inside, he found no other evidence that someone had been there…

*IMPERIAL HOLONET TRANSMISSION*

The official seal of the Imperial Security Bureau is displayed

A voiceover begins, “Earlier this week, a group of terrorists known to be associated with the hate group “Alliance to Restore the Republic” got in a firefight with Imperial forces in the starport district of Minersport on the planet Sullust.”

The seal spins away and is replaced by security footage showing people being carted out of a bar on stretchers, many with very obvious blaster wounds

The narrator continues, “These terrorists are wanted for questioning by the ISB for any possible connection to the terror attack which destroyed the planet of Alderaan, as well as the Imperial Orbital Mining Station.”

The image transitions to an image of the Whitepoint Star before cycling through an image of each of the crewmembers

“If you have any information on their whereabouts, please report it to your nearest COMPNOR office. You may also submit anonymous tips via our Holonet anonyline. These terrorists are considered armed and extremely dangerous.”

The security feed transitions to a stylized logo of a pair of eyes peering out of a cloak

“Remember citizen: if you see something, SAY SOMETHING! Only your diligence can prevent another tragedy like Alderaan.”

*TRANSMISSION ENDS*

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Episode One - A New Beginning
A new beginning for the crew of the Whitepoint Star...

Star Wars: Freelancers

Chapter One: A Long Shadow

Episode One: A New Beginning

While waiting for the Imperials to inspect the ship, the crew decided to open one of the cargo containers and inspect it’s contents. The container they opened contained several tanks of stolen Imperial military-grade bacta. They quickly devised a plan to stash the tanks in a hidden smuggler’s hold, and filled the original container with various material which matched the falsified manifest provided by Jabba’s lieutenant.

After scanning the ship, the Imperial Customs Corvette announced it would be boarding, and sent over a party consisting of a single Naval officer and several stormtroopers. While a few stormtroopers searched the ship, Anduril attempted to nonchalantly lean against one of the containers, as if trying to prevent it from being opened. Naturally this was the container that the officer decided to inspect, and he opened it, discovering that the contents matched the manifest. After he decided to inspect another container, Sean talked him out of it. The stormtrooper’s search of the ship found nothing but a small container of illicit spice, which the officer threw on the ground. Satisfied, the officer and his stormtroopers began to depart. Suddenly, the Interdictor fell under Rebel attack, and the Whitepoint Star quickly fled the area.

After a short journey to the Lok system, the crew set down at a pirate stronghold in order to seek out the recipient of Jabba’s cargo. They found someone at a cantina outside the stronghold who knew where the recipient was, but would only take the crew there in exchange for transportation off of the desolate planet. During this time, several gamorreans started a fight with other members of the crew, and a full-on firefight ensued. After defeating their attackers, the crew retreated to the ship and took off for an installation on the other side of the planet. As the cantina burned, the pirates turned their turrets on the fleeing ship, but were unable to land any shots. The few fighters they were able to scramble in response did not reach the Whitepoint Star before it crossed into the airspace of the installation hey were fleeing to, so they broke off their pursuit and returned to their stronghold.

After announcing that they were bearing cargo for Zell Darklighter, two IRD-A Superiority Fighters escorted the Whitepoint Star to a small corporate research facility belonging to StarForge Industries. Zell met with the captain and crew, inspecting the contents of the cargo hold. He asked the crew to deliver the cargo to the Rebel Alliance, in exchange for a sizable sum of credits and a replacement for the blaster turret which had been sold off. After some discussion, the crew agreed to his terms. The crew stayed overnight while one of their members was healed in a bacta tank, and StarForge techs helped the crew install a quad blaster cannon turret on the Whitepoint Star. Zell did not know where the Rebels were, but knew of a contact on the planet Sullust. StarForge also provided the crew with a full tank of fuel and restocked their food stores before the ship departed their facility.

After an uneventful trip to the planet Sullust, the crew split up to search for the Rebel contact. The Captain and co-pilot were asking north of the port, and were directed to someone who turned out to be an Imperial Intelligence Officer. The Captain was arrested and the co-pilot was shot during the ensuing firefight. After being treated at a hospital, Virnak and the crew decided that getting arrested or having the ship impounded would not help the captain break free of Imperial custody, so they took off to rendezvous with a Rebel convoy at the planet Derra IV. As they ran toward the ship, they spotted some stormtroopers speaking to the dockmaster. The stormtroopers ordered them to halt, and immediately opened fire when the crew didn’t. The crew blasted one stormtrooper and took off, evading a pack of TIE fighters sent to stop them.

En route to Derra IV, the ship experienced a hyperdrive malfunction, and landed on a small remote world to seek repairs. The people of this world were very hospitable, but did not have to required repair part. While waiting the several days it would take for a supply ship to arrive with the part, the crew investigated the damage to the ship. It appeared as though it could only have been a deliberate act of sabotage. A thorough sweep of the ships computers and droids revealed nothing helpful, as if whatever program initiated this thoroughly scrubbed the logs and removed any remaining bits of itself from the computer banks. The crew also decided to investigate the cargo given to them by StarForge, opening the cargo containers. Inside they found very specific items tailored for an icy world, including airspeeder retrofit kits, grappling cables, and an ionizing coil for a planetary ion cannon. There was also general military-grade weaponry for the Rebels. Unsure of what to make of this, the crew closed up the containers, and patiently waited for the replacement part to come in. Once installed, they were able to leave the planet, making the short jump to the Derra system just hours after the rendezvous time.

Upon arriving at Derra IV, the crew discovered that a massive debris field was all that remained of the Rebel convoy. A search of the wreckage revealed that absolutely nothing remained, and only a raw metal junker would be able to extract anything of value from it. A radio contact from the surface was revealed to be Stohn Jeveson, a Rebel Officer. The crew landed at his site, a former storage cache for the Rebellion. The crew agreed to give him transportation to the Rebel base at Hoth, where they would also deliver the cargo from StarForge Industries. After packing up what meager communication gear and supplies were left, the crew quickly departed the planet, before the Imperials could have a chance to give the planet another sweep.

After a complicated series of jumps designed to prevent any tracking, the Whitepoint Star arrived at the planet Hoth, home to the secret Rebel base. Upon landing, Mon Mothma and Princess Leia Organa were waiting in the hangar bay to hear Stohn’s account of what happened to the convoy…

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Freelancers Chapter One
A Long Shadow

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Star Wars

Freelancers – Chapter One

A Long Shadow

It is a dark time for the Rebellion. Although the Death Star has been destroyed, Imperial troops have driven the Rebel forces from their hidden base and pursued them across the galaxy.

Searching for any evidence of support for the Rebellion, the Empire has begun cracking down on free enterprising merchants throughout the galaxy. This has pushed many otherwise honest freighter captains into the hands of the Hutts, who have valuable illicit cargo to sneak past Imperial inspection points.

Thanil Nalfion, captain of the WHITEPOINT STAR, has been stopped by an Imperial customs corvette. Knowing that their cargo is illegal, he and his crew anxiously await the results of the Imperials’ scanners…

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Chapter One Prologue - Part One
Part one of the Chapter One Prologue

Chapter One – A Long Shadow

Prologue – Part One of Two

Jundland Wastes – Planet Tatooine

A Z-11 Cargo Speeder skims across the rocky wasteland, the open bed loaded with numerous cargo containers bearing the Imperial Crest. Two Imperial stormtroopers stand at the back of the bed, each holding on to a vertical post with one hand. In the cabin, a clean-cut human drives, while a grungy looking one rides shotgun. “Hey boss, how are you gonna spend all dose shiny ImpCreds you get from dis job?” the passenger asks the driver. “Let’s finish the job before we worry about spending the money, eh?” the driver shoots back. The passenger shrugs and leans back in his seat, “Jes’ tryin to pass the time… How much further we got?” The driver rolls his eyes, “A couple more hours. That detour around the blocked-off canyon set us back two hours, now we’ll be lucky to make it to the Imperial base by nightfall.” The passenger, Gren looks out the window nervously. “We better hurry ap then, dontcha think?” The driver looks over, irritated. “You know I’m going as fast as I can,” he replies. Gren looks back at the driver, “I know uv a shortcut, get us back on schedool.” Reg’s head whips over as he looks at Gren, “Are you serious? How much of a shortcut are we talking?” Gren grins, “A couple uv hours. Settlar’s pass, itz called. Thens we don’t hafta drive around the Razorpeaks range. Reg looks at Gren suspiciously. “Are you sure?” Gren nods emphatically, “Yeah boss, it’s an old smugglers secret.” Reg looks down at the chronometer on the dash and nods. “Show me the way.”

The Cargo Speeder slowly approaches a slight incline at the foot of a mountain range. A slight ways up the incline, a tight pass between two mountains can clearly be seen. “You had me worried there for a minute, Gren,” Reg says, clearly relieved to see the pass. “I toldja boss, old smuggler’s secret,” Gren replies with a grin. Reg gives Gren a pat on the back, “Looks like you will be worth the money I’m paying you after all.” Gren just nods, and Reg guides the cargo speeder up the incline and into the pass. The pass is very tight and rocky, with sheer vertical walls. Reg tenderly guides the speeder through the pass, and the Stormtroopers in the back seem to be on high alert.

After a slight bend in the pass, Reg sees the wreckage of a landspeeder blocking the pass. He stops the speeder, and hops out of the cabin. One of the stormtroopers gets down and comes up to talk to him. After a short conversation, he motions to the other trooper, who gets off the bed of the speeder and joins him by the wreckage. As Reg opens the cab door to tell Gren to give them a hand, the wreckage explodes, sending the stormtroopers into the steep walls of the pass. The shockwave from the explosion knocks Reg off of his feet, and the world becomes a bit blurry for a few moments. As he begins to come to, he sees several swoops approaching from the direction they just came from. Dazed, he looks around a bit, before noticing that Gren is standing over him with a blaster pistol pointing at him. “Sorry boss, just business…” says Gren. Before Reg can manage to open his mouth for a response, Gren pulls the trigger, ending Reg’s life in a brief flash of red.

“Gren” ditches his overcoat, revealing a swoop rider’s leather vest beneath. On the back is the image of a Krayt Dragon’s skull. He waves at the approaching swoops, and their riders dismount near the back of the cargo speeder. “Good work, Coppo. Spikes will be very pleased,” says one of the riders, also wearing the same style vest. Answering his actual name, Coppo responds, “He better be, it took me weeks to gain this asshole’s trust. Let’s get this thing back to the hideout and see what kind of goodies we got, before the Imperials notice the missing shipment…”

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Chapter One Prologue - Part Two
Part two of the Chapter One prologue

Chapter One – A Long Shadow

Prologue – Part Two of Two

Gang Hideout – Planet Tatooine

A cargo container pops open, and a Rodian wearing dark goggles peers inside. “[Another container of bacta!]” he says, speaking in his native tongue. “Put it over there with the rest,” replies a deep voice. The Rodian does as he is told, moving to grab a hover-jack to move the container. The issuer of the command is a tall man with blue skin, wearing a set of dark red armor, covered in spikes. His eyes are an intense red, matching the color of his armor. “Excellent work, Coppo,” Spikes says to the man who stole the cargo. “Jabba will be very happy with us.” Coppo looks slightly confused, replying, “Why? I mean bacta’s expensive, but this is like a grain of sand in the dune sea of HIS money.” Spikes shakes his head, answering, “It’s not about the money. It’s about sending a message to this new Governor we’ve got.” Coppo ahhs in understanding as Spikes continues, “He needs to understand that outside of the pretty paved streets of Bestine, Jabba still rules.” Coppo grins, nodding in agreement before replying, “Now if we could just figure out why the new governor is so determined to conquer Fort Tusken… We’d both be rich men.” Spikes shrugs, watching as the Rodian prepares to force open another Imperial container. “[I heard that he wants to impress Moff Spartin, and he’s just attacking Fort Tusken because he knows they’ll come defend it,]” says the Rodian, as he lights a plasma cutter. “So what, he just wants to wipe them out?” asks Coppo. “[That’s what I heard,]” replies the Rodian, cutting in to the lid of the container. “Either way, it’s definitely making him popular. Raider attacks have almost completely stopped since he started this little war, and people are feeling safer every day,” Coppo says. “Yeah well, we’ll see how they feel when he gives up. It’s not like he’s the first Governor to try and take Fort Tusken from the raiders. It’s like their holy land… you’d have to wipe them all out to take it, and he doesn’t have enough stormtroopers,” replies Spikes, with a cynical tone. Coppo nods, continuing the thought, “And he’ll have an even harder time without all of these medical supplies. Looks like this was supposed to be a field hospital. Bacta tank, bacta, surgery droid, it’s really got the whole 9 yards.” As he mentions each item, Coppo motions toward them. “Can’t wait to see the payday on this one,” he says…

Whitepoint Star – Granglier System

“Virnak, talk to me!” shouts Captain Nalfion from the bridge of the Whitepoint Star. “The hyperdrive issss out,” replies a voice through the comm panel, “The jump coilsss are burned out, we’ll need to get new onesss.” Thanil pounds a fist down on the console, before grabbing the controls and veering the ship sideways. “I don’t think our new friends here are going to be too keen on the idea of us setting back down on the planet, what about the backup?” he asks into the panel. “I am bringing the backup online now,” comes the reply, “give me a few minutesss.” As if on cue, the ship rocks with the impact of laser fire, and the captain gives it another sharp maneuver. “Thanil, this planet is close enough. It will only take us 3 days to get there on the backup hyperdrive, and we should be able to find new coils for the main hyperdrive,” says the Twi’lek seated near the captain. “Great!” he says, “now get back there and help Virnak get the backup online while we still have a ship left to escape in!” She punches a few buttons into the astrogation computer, so it will begun calculating a jump, then dashes out of the cockpit. The larger freighter continues to duck and weave, evading the fire of the two cloakshape fighters for a minute or two, before lining up and flashing out of sight, as it jumps to hyperspace…

Imperial Capitol Building – Bestine – Planet Tatooine

Governor Neruba stands behind his desk, looking out over Bestine through a very large window. He is a fairly tall, thin man, wearing the black uniform of an Imperial Governor. As he looks out over the city, a look of contempt crosses his face. He is interrupted by a knock at his door, and he turns around, sitting at his desk. “Come in,” he says, clearing the look from his face. A pretty young aide enters, carrying a data pad. “Sir, the latest reports from Base Foxtrot have arrived.” She frowns, continuing, “It looks like one of the shipments didn’t make it.” With that, she flips the data pad around, setting it on the desk in front of him. His faux-pleasant expression fades into a scowl as he reads the report. “Jabba,” he utters, the scowl on his face deepening. “Yes, sir. The Krayt skull graffiti found on the dead troopers’ armor belongs to a swoop gang that we know are enforcers for Jabba,” she explains. “Yes, I know,” he says with an eerie calmness. “Send another shipment, we need to be able to get the injured at Base Foxtrot back on their feet.” She nods, “Y-yes sir.” Clearly afraid of his underlying anger, she quickly retreats from the room. Before she reaches the door, he says, “Oh! And one more thing.” She stops, and slowly turns around, bracing herself for whatever angry words he is going to hurl at her. “Send it in a real convoy this time.” She blinks a few times, then nods, excusing herself from the room. Tahnos stands up, looking out the window once more. “One day soon, I’ll be done with this wretched rock, and all the disgusting creatures that inhabit it…”

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