CHAPTER 1: A New Ally?
With Noxghar and Pol deciding to stay behind at the Spyder in case Kaa’to were to return, the rest of the group ventured back out into the streets of level 1313.
As they began walking through a plaza back towards Chopper’s garage, a blaster muzzle was stuck to Shyvah’s back. A cold, mechanical voice warned her and her friends to stop in their tracks. Kraln and Rikoo, who were slightly ahead of the female Chiss, turned to see a droid covered in tattered clothing. It looked like an IG-series assassin droid, but heavily modified with thicker plating and half its signature cylindrical head missing.
“You’re coming with me," it said. "I’ve been tasked with returning those responsible for a data theft earlier tonight to Black Sun. I know you are they.”
Kraln tried negotiating with the droid, but the bounty hunter would have none of it. Trying a different approach, the cunning Chiss scholar deduced that Varannis, their new “buddy”, must have been the one who put the bounty out. He convinced the droid to call the Falleen underboss and explain the situation to him, explaining that things would undoubtedly change once he knew who they were.
Keeping his gun trained on Shyvah, the droid used his internal comlink to communicate with Varannis at the frequency provided to him by the group. The Falleen answered and, after having the situation explained to him by the droid, reluctantly honored his debt to the thieves and called the bounty off. He made it clear to the droid that it must relay the message that the debt was now paid.
The droid, unhappy about having its time wasted, told Varannis to offer some sort of compensation. The underboss snickered and said to come find him if it wasn’t happy. He also mentioned that both the group and the droid were after a common bounty, Kaa’to Leeachos, and that it should work with them to make things easier for itself.
Before the droid could decide on a course of action, Rikoo growled and pointed at a shrouded figure further down the street: it was Kaa’to!
With split-second timing, the droid turned, aimed its slugthrower rifle at its bounty, and fired. A loud bang, a sound rarely heard on Coruscant, where energy-based weapons were the norm, echoed through the plaza, shocking nearby civilians. The bullet struck Kaa’to in the leg, the sheer force of the impact knocking him prone onto his back. As bystanders began running away in terror, the Nikto stood up and quickly hobbled away into a nearby alley.
Kraln immediately sprang into action, dashing across the street… but quickly tripping over the curb and falling onto his face. Without missing a beat, however, he quickly rolled onto his back, his blaster trained on the IG droid. This and a few choice words convinced the bounty hunter to give into the logical course of action: team up and pursue their common target.
The foursome quickly followed the route the escaping quarry took, leading them into a bustling make-shift marketplace. This was not an official market, but a popular area where merchants set up tents and rickety booths every few days illegally (the CUP didn’t mind, as long as things were kept civil). The sheer amount of bodies in the area was staggering, let alone hooded ones. Finding Kaa’to was going to be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Shyvah, using her keen tracking abilities, managed to block out the distracting noises and visuals long enough to find a blood trail. She led the group through the crowd, fighting off merchants as they went, until they reached the end of the catwalk. The trail ended there, as if Kaa’to had jumped off. Had he hailed a skycab?
Upon closer inspection, she noticed scorch marks. Kraln used his knowledge of chemistry and technology to identify them as those left behind by an old, combustion jetpack. The Nikto bounty hunter must have been wearing one under his shrouds and used it to escape into the depths below… or the sky above. They were too late.
CHAPTER 2: Let’s Go Dancing
Back at Chopper’s, the crew hopped into The Rust Bucket, the crusty, smelly, and noisy landspeeder they had acquired from their Besalisk “pal”, and headed off to level 1459, where the Umbra Club was located. Luckily for Rikoo, who was sitting on the trunk and holding onto the tailfin, his claws helped him keep a grip while the sorry excuse for a vehicle coughed, wheezed, and sputtered its way through the Coruscant streets. The droid took this opportunity to introduce itself as IG-76.
Arriving outside the Umbra Club, its distinctive neon signs and video walls illuminating most of the street, the crew drew the attention of anyone on the street as their retched transport’s cacophony resonated throughout the area. Its repulsorlifts were so shoddy that it couldn’t even muster a smooth touchdown; the entire frame simply collapsed to the ground, as if the planet’s gravity had suddenly been dialed up to 200%.
Kraln, always worried about keeping a proper image, made grand gestures and loud remarks to ensure witnesses that it was all part of the model’s design. No one bought it… except for one homely-looking Toydarian woman waiting in the club’s lineup. She gave the blue-skinned showman bedroom eyes that would make any man run of his life.
Scanning the large crowd outside the establishment, it was clear getting in through the front door was going to be extremely long, if not downright difficult. Especially if the Klatooinian bouncer, who was currently breaking a Rodian drunkard’s arm, had anything to say about it.
Wondering what to do next, Shyvah noticed a drunken Twi’lek stumbling out of a nearby alleyway. His pitiful attempt to zip his fly made it very clear that he had been relieving himself back there. That, or someone else was relieving him. Regardless, the team knew the club had a back entrance thanks to the info they had gathered, so they decided to check it out.
As they entered the L-shaped alley, they remembered the fact that the back entrance was usually guarded. If they were to turn the corner without first knowing what was waiting for them, they might be in for a world of hurt. IG-76, who was quite adept at being sneaky (not something you usually encounter in a droid), stealthily peeked around the bend and saw nothing but a bored-looking bouncer, another Klatooinian, and an overhead lamp above the door. Taking advantage of the guard’s apparent disinterest in his surroundings, Kraln used his heightened vision to peer through the darkness that surrounded the lamp and noticed a lack of surveillance cameras and a single biometric reader. Undoubtedly set to recognize only the bouncer’s print.
Putting on their best spice-addict act, the band marched their way towards the doorman. Caught off guard, the large Klatooinian pulled his finger out of his nose and asked who they were. In response, they said they were Speng’s customers and that they were expected.
The bouncer did not buy this excuse, knowing full well that Speng always made his clients go through the front door. He did, however, offer to open the rear entrance for the right price. Rikoo did not like this, and quickly grabbed the greedy club employee by the throat. Unexpectedly, the Wookiee’s gesture made the Klatooinian laugh. He praised the hairy beast’s panache and offered to let him in for free, as long as the other three coughed up some coin. They did so reluctantly, and he pressed his thumb against the plate and opened the door. As they stepped through the threshold, he said his name was Umbopo and that they could use the back door anytime because they were “alright in his book”.
CHAPTER 3: Pan Galactic Gargleblaster Blues
The lighting in the club was very dim, save for the strobes that covered the dance floor, and the music loud. Peering through the poorly lit club, the group noticed a few additional Klatooinian bouncers strewn about the ground floor, as well as one stationed at the top of the stairs that led to a VIP balcony where five private booths were located. This was undoubtedly where Speng, a man who practically lived at the club, was to be found.
Shyvah and Rikoo made their way up the stairs, and IG-76 and Kraln headed to the bar, where a Gotal bartender was being harassed by angry-looking customers. Could that be Omacala, the owner?
The Wookiee and Chiss were stopped by the bouncer, being told that no booths were free. They explained they were there to see Speng, but were shot down by being told the dealer was busy.
Meanwhile, back at the bar, IG-76 listened in on the verbal assault the Gotal was receiving. It seemed the obviously-drunk patrons were mad at him for failing to keep their regular booth open, even after receiving a bribe ahead of time. The Gotal, who was clearly the owner at this point, explained that the booths were a “first come, first served” deal and that sometimes he couldn’t keep them open if demand was high.
The droid, attempting to end the argument so it could question the bartender, asked if it could get served. This enraged the drunks, who were clearly unable to comprehend why a non-organic being would be in a drinking establishment. Kraln stepped in, asking why his droid had not gotten his drink for him yet. The drunks’ tempers flared and they grabbed Omacala’s apron to yank him in closer. They then turned to the Chiss and told him to mind his own business.
Things were about to get messy, but luckily a booth opened up and the drunks, happy to finally be getting what they wanted, hobbled over to it, but not without threatening the droid and its “owner” one last time.
asked the duo what he could get them, and when they replied “Information!” the Gotal laughed and said “For a price.” Unfortunately, his price was too high. IG-76
was quick to “ask” how much keeping his establishment in one piece was worth to him, but the bartender once again let out a hearty laugh, telling the droid that its intimidation tactics were of no consequence, seeing as he dealt with harsher threats on a daily basis.
Realizing they weren’t going to get any information out of the stubborn club owner, Kraln switched tactics and ordered “whatever Speng drinks”. Omacala didn’t catch on to the ruse, and served him a Pan Galactic Gargleblaster. Kraln paid for the beverage but did not drink it. IG-76 scanned the nearby tables for suspicious characters that might aid in their mission, and noticed two humans behaving in a bizarre fashion. One was a scared-looking man who sat alone at a table, and the other an angry-looking ruffian who also sat alone at a different table, his eyes burning holes into the other man’s back.
The droid led the Chiss to a nearby table, where their two compatriots joined them. It detailed its observations, and Shyvah went to sit at the scared man’s table. She attempted a conversation, but was continually ignored by the frightened patron. The others sat with the angry miscreant, who identified himself as Sol, and discovered that he had followed the other man into the club in order to kill him when the time was right. Apparently, he had hired the man, Kyle, to slice into a slaver’s datapad to ensure he won a Twi’lek slave girl at a black market auction. Unfortunately, this did not happen and the girl was sold to another person. Enraged, Sol chased Kyle throughout Coruscant, ending in the club. He’d been waiting for two hours for Kyle to depart so he could make a move… but the slicer was so afraid that he refused to get up and leave.
Kraln noticed that, during the story, Sol’s eyes continually gazed at Shyvah and her “assets”. Knowing this to be a useful advantage, Kraln signaled her to join them and further distract the angry man. She did so, and as Sol began falling in love, IG-76 and Rikoo used their stealth skills to sneak Kyle out the back without anyone noticing. Outside, Kyle thanked them and promised to pay them back. Without missing a beat, the duo told the slicer to go to Chopper’s garage and wait for further instructions.
Back inside, Speng was finally free, so the bouncer motioned to the two Chiss to step into his booth. They did so, and found the spice dealer to be a lanky, weasely-looking human male. He got straight to business, saying he didn’t recognize them. They said they were new in town and wanted information. Speng snickered and reminded them that he was a dealer, not an infochant. Kraln offered Speng his Pan Galactic Gargleblaster, which pleased the man enough to offer to sell information for 200 credits.
Trying to further get on the dealer’s good side, the Chiss purchased some death sticks (and got a discounted price for being a first timer). The price for information stood, however, so Kraln excused himself momentarily to get additional credits from the droid and the Wookiee, who were waiting with the bouncer at the top of the stairs now. First, however, he ordered an additional drink for Speng from a hover waiter droid. It quickly returned with the cocktail, and Kraln realized he could spike the drink with a death stick. How to do so without being seen by the bouncer, however? The answer came in the form of IG-76 being pushed down the stairs by the bouncer after an attempt to bypass the Klatooinian ended in failure. Taking advantage of the distraction, Kraln spiked the drink. He then collected credits from Rikoo.
Back in the booth, Speng consumed the drink and began hallucinating almost immediately. This allowed the Chiss team to pay the dealer for information with less credits than originally agreed upon, as well as a few ration packs to satiate his newly developed munchies. Unfortunately, his high resulted in increased paranoia and he suddenly panicked. He hit his emergency button, and the booth’s curtain was almost immediately torn open by two human thugs who had been sitting guard in a nearby booth. They threw both Chiss out onto the ground and aimed blasters at their heads. “Get away from Speng!” they shouted.
Quick to draw, Shyvah blasted her assailant straight through his nether regions (see: taint), ending his life in the process. Distracted by his friend’s death and the sudden overwhelming amount of screams coming from panicked customers, the other thug had his blaster shot out of his hand by a well-placed rifle shot, courtesy of IG-76. Kraln wasted no time in kicking the blaster off the balcony and, as his attacker tried jumping over to a nearby girder, shot him in the groin, sending his limp body, fiery/bloodied crotch and all (see: taint), to the ground below.
Back on the ground floor, the two bouncers who weren’t helping clients evacuate took cover behind an overturned table and took a few shots at Rikoo and IG-76. They missed and instead ignited various curtains and parts of the wall. The enraged Wookiee threw a frag grenade behind the table, and the two Klatooinians were turned to ash… save for their reproductive organs (and taints), which for some bizarre reason did not seem to combust.
During the confusion, Speng managed to run out the back door. As the party figured out what to do, Omacala stood up from his hiding place being the bar, and shouted incessant insults at them, blaming them for turning his club into a flaming mess. IG-76 turned to him and said “I warned you.”
CHAPTER 4: Pants
Shyvah and Rikoo raced out the back door while the other two stayed behind to loot bodies and see if they might find helpful information. As they exited the alleyway onto the streets, they noticed something in another alley across the street. They ran to it: pants. Speng’s pants, to be precise. The spice-addled human must have removed them in his disillusioned state. Entering the dark crevice between buildings, they encountered a vagrant who introduced himself as Sir Wil’fred Lo’ree Ay. He was a strange man. He excitedly pointed down to the end of the alley, saying that the pantless man went that way. Also that his hands were covered in some sort of mud.
Following the strange man’s advice, they bolted down the alley and back onto a street, where they followed the mud prints only to realize Speng, with his hallucinations, was heading back into the club. Communicating with their accomplices inside, they managed to secure Speng as he walked through the door. They bound his hands with a pair of binders and led him out to their speeder. They were going to question him away from prying eyes.
As they were stuffing him into the trunk, a squad of CUP droids arrived at the club on swoop bikes to investigate the disturbance and firefight. They immediately ordered the band of thieves to stop, but they were already driving off in the opposite direction in order to avoid being captured. A chase ensued and Rikoo, piloting the vehicle, managed to swerve in and out of street traffic expertly without incident as he tried to get him and his comrades out of harm’s way. The others fought off the cops one at a time, shooting them from the passenger seats. They managed to destroy two, although one of them flew into citizens, a mother and her two children, before exploding in a spectacular fashion. The last two cops tried riding behind another vehicle in order to shield themselves from the group’s attacks, but Rikoo slammed on the brakes and, once he found his vehicle right next to the two bikes, hit the gas and swerved the speeder into them. They plowed into one another and exploded.
After the chase, they made their way to Chopper’s and parked the vehicle in the rear lot.