FFG Star Wars: Uncivil Unrest

The Bounty Hunter Wars part 1
Beyond the Rim

In a hidden clearing in the mega-jungle planet of Hebroamia lurks… King Leopolzog, a minor chevin noble, has defrauded countless wealthy philanthropists in the core worlds, using their charity money to fund a brutal slaving operation fueled by the alien refugees the Empire has forced from their worlds. No slave ever leaves alive and their ships are swiftly resold or junked to prevent do-gooders from tracking them. Leopolzog’s followers include a small clan group of fellow chevin and a cadre of houk and nautolan enforcers.

A noble group of bounty hunters from the Guild Reform Committee tracked this corrupt noble to his slaving operation and launched a daring raid to capture him. The hunters – a taciturn swordsman, an explosives-obsessed chadra’fan, an adventurous duros-raised togruta smuggler, and an emancipated droid designated SP-8R who dreams of freedom for all sentient beings – managed to arrange transport off world for the slaves (mostly gran and ithorian refugees, as well as several hundred ‘obsolete’ soldiers from the clone wars). In the process, a greedy rodian freighter captain ended up throwing overboard a noble falleen with some skills and connections that might allow them to capitalize on their early success.

As part of a clever and brutal series of dealings with Leopolzog, the king arranged a deal whereby he’d be delivered to a corrupt moff who supposedly owed him a favor, in return for a hyperspace pod containing the coordinates of the lost treasure ship from the clone wars, the Sa Nalaaor. Escaping an attempt on their lives by mysterious assassins impersonating hangar mechanics, they make their way to meetings with their Alliance contacts and the neutral space station where the IsoTech experts that might help them unlock the pod’s secrets await…

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Galactic Political Cartoons

Even in the era of the holonet, the art of traditional political cartooning endures. As one of the few officially neutral space stations to be tolerated by the empire. the space station known as The Wheel is called home by a number of independent thinkers and propagandists who don’t pose enough of a threat to draw direct retaliation… yet. Here are a few examples of large, poster-sized printouts that are haphazardly pasted on bare spots of the walls throughout the space station:

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…as you can see, upwards of 90% of these political advertisements are Death Star-related, one way or the other. Some also make mention of the recent Imperial takeover of the fourth moon of Endor, a forest world with no notable natural resources or strategic value, and the ongoing guerilla campaign/genocide against the native inhabitants (depending on which perspective you subscribe to).

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Official Bounty Listings, I.E. Galaxy's Most Wanted

Although they are not the only source of bounties, as far as the majority of the galaxy is concerned, the Empire is the only legitimate employer for those who capture fugitives for pay. As the sole guarantor of galactic “law and order”, the Empire does not allow individual planetary governments any jurisdiction whatsoever beyond their own star system – their only recourse when a wanted criminal flees to another world is to pass it along to the Imperial military. The Imperial Army and Navy, which control the spacelanes in a state of permanent martial law, enforces their laws directly (with some assistance from paramilitary bureaucracies like Imperial Customs, or armed civilian groups with nebulous authority such as COMPNOR). However, the Imperials are well aware that their military machine, meant for hunting down dissident movements and pirate fleets, was ill-suited for tracking down lone individuals and solitary freighters. Therefore, they allow aggrieved planetary governments to post bounties on wanted ‘criminals’.

There is no “due process” for a planetary government or moff who wants to place a bounty; the only question is whether the proposed target has any value to the Galactic Empire and the reigning Grand Moff. Aside from that, questions of guilt or innocence are unimportant, and the bounty is posted. The higher echelons of the Imperial military, as well as the Emperor’s personal Guard, also arrange for bounties to be posted on enemies of the state; these tend to be an order of magnitude larger than other bounties. As a result, the top 10 bounties are all for Rebel Alliance political leadership. However, even the most amoral bounty hunters have been hesitant to go after the likes of Mon Mothma or Borsk Fey’lya, since the risks would be nigh-suicidal and rebel retaliation would be certain. Interestingly, the so-called “Heroes of Yavin” spoken of by Rebel-sympathizing worlds – Princess Leia Organa and a mysterious force-wielding pilot – have not appeared as official bounties yet. Apparently, the officers in Lord Vader’s handpicked military force, “Death Squadron”, are firmly opposed to bringing in independent operators in the hunt for Leia, her pilot, and her smuggler contact, wanting all the glory of avenging the Death Star for themselves.

The rules of bounty hunting (Imperial or otherwise) are complex, nuanced, and sometimes arcane. Indeed, for centuries now, it has been common practice for successful bounty hunters to keep lawyers and legal scribes on retainer. This is of particular interest in the case of the lost Sa Nalaaor which the recently-recovered hyperspace pod points to; many of the Separatist leaders believed to be aboard that ship had bounties assigned to them in the early days of the Empire. Since it has been almost 20 years, those fugitives have been presumed dead, and so the bounties on all of them have been reduced… but not eliminated.

The upshot of this, combined with an interesting quirk of the “dead or alive” status of these bounties, is that licensed hunters pursuing the Sa Nalaaor have the chance to do a little of what might be called “bounty archaeology”, or (less charitably) “bounty graverobbing”. If there is a bounty on a given fugitive ‘dead or alive’, then even a dry skeleton pulled out of some old wreckage can be worth thousands of credits if the DNA scan checks out or they have identifying documents with them. There is no limitation on how long the mark has been dead; the only rule is that the head and torso (or equivalent) must be accounted for. (remember, this is a universe where your severed head or disembodied brain can be kept alive for a time; there is actually an item in the book I own, Dangerous Covenants, that can effectively reverse death and stabilize someone as long as their brain is mostly intact!)

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Major Guild Hotspots

Once enough credits are scraped together for the Reformist bounty hunters to properly equip themselves and buy the information they’ll need – both on the individual level of the characters and the other bounty hunters that may cooperate with them and will ultimately emulate their example – the time will come for aggressive action. They seek to restore honor to their profession by bringing down the corrupt and untouchable; both the ones who rule planets and whole star sectors as their private fiefs through bribery and intimidation, and those who exploit their positions to break every law (particularly the law of basic decency) on a smaller level whenever it suits them. Some of the Guild Reform Committee hunters are so radical that they call for acts of vigilantism against deserving targets, even those with no formal bounty on their heads. They are quick to point out that this isn’t so ignoble compared to the practices of their rivals, the True Guild, who work directly as thugs for hutt crime lords, Imperial moffs, and worse.

Option 1: The Correllian Sector
Though tightly under Imperial control, this area is still rightly seen as one of the most advanced, prosperous parts of the galaxy despite not quite being in the Core region. However, the free-wheeling spirit and lax legal standards of this galactic hub mean that a horribly ugly underside exists to every bright city skyline. Aside from being the biggest center of the spice trade outside of Hutt space, the Correllian sector is also the core of the galactic shipjacking, droidjacking, and black cybernetics businesses. Some of the dangerous, illegal, and ethically questionable research is carried out here. Of particular interest to the characters;
1) The McCarran Syndicate, a subset of the larger Tenloss Syndicates (See wookiepedia) , is extending their grip over the orbital cities of Duro, threatening many local businesses and citizens (already suffering ruinous taxation and suppression of their rights at the hands of the Imperial garrison) into submitting to their control.
2) The Craeen system: A major commercial center and a haven of black market biotechnology and cybernetics development, the hyperspace navigational data recovered from E8-D10 reveals that he obtained the ARC-40 starfighter and set out on his mission from Craeen.
3) Coronet City: On Correllia itself, this legendary city is notable to the Quinon family due to their owning several of the city’s iconic skyscraper hotels and resorts. This could be useful in several ways, and if nothing else would make a highly secure and discrete meeting place to give any recovered data to the verpine operative, Snnszz.

Option 2: Hutt Space
Words fail to describe the levels of depravity, cruelty, violence, and excess that have become routine across much of this part of the galaxy. Unsurprisingly, this is a difficult area to operate for interstellar law enforcement and many bounty hunters; the exception, of course, is those bounty hunters who happily work directly for the Hutt kadjics. Because of the relatively weak and pliable Imperial presence, the Hutts and other crime lords of this region are overconfident and frequently flout galactic law, considering themselves untouchable and remaining unconcerned if the courts in some distant star system found them guilty of slave trading, spice running or so forth. Therefore, the number of open bounties in this part of the galaxy is extremely high – walking into the average spaceport cantina, you’re guaranteed to find at least a dozen pirates, slavers, gun-runners, shipjackers and other miscreants. The problem is that trying to bring justice to this sector often brings quick, heavy retaliation. If you attack a small group of pirates or spice smugglers in Hutt space, they’re as likely to call in reinforcements and chase YOU down as they are to flee.
1) While interrogating Leopolzog, it became clear that he had reason to believe the Black Sun and Hutt Cartels alike didn’t want his actions brought to light, because his particular modus operandi (offering transport to a new home to those fleeing a war or disaster and then turning around and enslaving them) is a common grift. Several ramshackle fleets of chadra-fan, still without a home after the devastation of their homeworld, are heading into this region of space, blissfully unaware of the webs of deceit and brutality they are flocking towards.
2) After a little charm and persuasion, the defel smuggler currently confined aboard the Citadel freighter reveals that she bought the antique lightsaber parts from a hutt named Pingotha on Nal Hutta. She will be very reluctant to part with the method to contact him unless offered a lot of credits.
3) Abattra, the trandoshan lawyer, is offering a contract for doing some ‘headhunting’ for the MandalMotors corporation. Reading between the lines of her offer, it seems like what she wants you to do is very shady – abusing a loophole in the Bounty Hunter Guild law to allow them to capture valuable scientists and engineers from other corporations on minor, trumped up charges (the equivalent of parking tickets; in fact, unpaid spaceport fines are the usual excuse). Then, using cajoling, threats, and bribery, Abattra uses some legal tricks to get their contracts invalidated and MandalMotors hires them. Though a little unethical, this promises to be very profitable compared to most bounty-hunting, and offers opportunities to gather informaton about the galaxy’s great corporations in the process.

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The Battle of Raxus Prime

_(Note: The results of this battle were rolled for using the mass combat system. The rebels scored a net success and 2 threats in the first round, a net failure and 3 advantages in the 2nd round, and 2 net successes and 2 threats during the third round. _

Taking advantage of intelligence indicating that both Moff Broysik and King Leopolzog were in a single shuttle bay on the surface of this junkyard world, the Skullwhomper under Captain Sando’s command made another of its trademark aggressive charges across hyperspace right into the heart of an Imperial system.

The Providence -class dreadnought’s sudden appearance directly in orbit near Raxus Prime stunned the Imperial garrison so greatly that they were slow in responding. The Skullwhomper unleashed a full broadside on the Golan IX space station serving as Imperial headquarters. This only caused minor damage to the heavily-shielded station, but since the Moff wasn’t yet in direct command, his subordinates panicked and ordered all available ships – consisting of a single Nebulon B frigate, a CR-92a corvette, eight VT-49 Decimators, and 20 assorted patrol boats, to close at maximum speed and attack the rebel dreadnought at close range. This proved to be an error, and these smaller ships were caught in the crossfire between space station and Sando’s capital ship. The Nebulon frigate was destroyed in the battle and the wreck left in a decaying orbit, as were half of the Decimator gunships and patrol boats. However, the Skullwhomper also suffered significant damage.

At this point, the dreadnought circled around the planet, putting the horizon between it and the Imperial space station. With no capital ships in-system, for a brief period of about an hour, Captain Sando’s lone warship had orbital superiority over half the planet. The Skullwhomper commenced a withering turbolaser and torpedo barrage of the target cargo bay (missing Leopolzog and Broysik by a few minutes), and once that was reduced to rubble, they tried to move on to other targets. However, because of over 200 TIE fighters and bombers swarming in from across the planet, the _Skullwhomper_’s gunners were highly distracted, and because of the huge amounts of garbage, they had trouble distinguishing active manufacturing facilities and reprocessing plants from towers of junk. In the end, Sando’s turbolaser barrage didn’t do serious damage to any of the planet’s facilities. The flak cannons of the Providence-class made up for its small fighter complement and inflicted massive losses on the TIEs, forcing them to retreat in disarray, but the _Skullwhomper_’s original mission of bombarding Imperial industry was a failure, their turbolasers mostly just blasting piles of junk into smaller pieces and frying the occasional innocent scavenger.

Wary of reinforcements, at this point the rebel dreadnought exited orbit and began withdrawing towards the edge of the system. Two more Imperial CR-90 corvettes and a flight of assault gunboats had arrived, but no Star Destroyers were yet available. Worried that this was just the beginning of a much larger invasion and desperate not to let the rebels get a foothold, Moff Broysik ordered yet another hasty attack, sending the remainder of his fleet against a damaged behemoth that still outgunned them. The CR-92 (still damaged from the earlier skirmish) and one of the reinforcing CR-90s were left crippled and drifting in space, and dozens more TIE fighters and bombers were lost. Thinking this meant he’d walked into a trap and a Star Destroyer was right around the corner, Sando panicked and ordered his dreadnought to jump to hyperspace before his fighters could land.

Almost immediately, the Rebel Alliance high command claimed this as another victory, but privately, rumor has it that Mon Mothma herself had harsh words about Sando engaging in a wasteful battle that accomplished nothing except the destruction of some easily-replaced Imperial ships in return for a valuable Rebel ship taking severe damage and setting a terrible example by abandoning all of his starfighter pilots to death or capture.

This might have led to Captain Sando eventually being relieved of his command if it hadn’t been for the fortuitous capture of Leopolzog after the fact thanks to a sympathetic bounty hunter or three who owed him a favor. A tribunal aboard Sando’s dreadnought forced Leopolzog to confess his actions to the holonet, and implicated the Empire as cynically selling Clone Wars veterans into slavery, violating their own laws against the enslavement of humans.

In the aftermath of this battle, the Imperial Star Destroyer Dutybound has been deployed to secure the Raxus System. It is rumored that the Moff might face severe punishment for the poor performance of the Raxus garrison.

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Private communication from Shira

Sent to the communicators of all the characters, shortly before the Imperial force set out.

This is Shira. Something I thought you should know – one of you helped keep an unfortunate mistake of mine private, and I feel like I need to return the favor, especially in light of what I’ve discovered while encrypting Isotech’s financial files in case the corvette gets boarded. What my brother is doing isn’t right.

You might have noticed that despite an unusually favorable set of terms in the salvage contract, you haven’t heard anything out of Reom about trying to wiggle out of the contract.

The net estimated profit of what we recovered was about one million and one hundred thousand credits – that’s after subtracting all fuel, repair costs and all on our end, and estimated parts and labor to restore the salvaged parts. Alliance, Black Sun, Kadjics… they’d all pay top cred for the stuff we recovered once it’s a little spruced up. However, as the so-called expert salvager, Reom plans to claim most of it is ‘un-saleable’ and give you about half of what your cut would ordinarily be. He also overvalued that starship we sold you by about half; I don’t care if it was manufactured less than ten cycles ago, once jawas have run rampant on it, the value takes a hit.

Anyway, I’d appreciate if you didn’t directly confront Reom about this, and it absolutely goes without saying you can’t tell him I said anything about this. But if we make it out of all this alive, I don’t want to remember our triumph with the bitterness of having cheated the partners who made all this possible. If you start questioning it, Reom will deny it ‘til his dying breath, but he’ll start making additional offers and find a sudden generosity within himself to smooth things over. Honestly, I’d appreciate if you helped keep him honest and discourage him from trying this kind of thing again.

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Emergency message from Isotech president Reom
Imperial disposition and Blockade Bandit defense plan

Attention all Isotech employees and associates: In spite of all our best efforts, especially Demo and his new crew buying us the time we needed, the Imperial space station has just dispatched a good-sized expeditionary force. The bucketheads have 3 stops on their flight path, but the last one leads right into the middle of our base. Somebody dropped the 10-cred piece on us. Before we start letting recrimination fly around, I’m pretty sure I know who it is. A regular smuggler friend of ours was acting really twitchy the last time he was here, and he left almost immediately after the ship with the Sa Nalaaor survivors arrived. We’ll deal with him eventually; in the meantime, our race to get this old corvette back in the sky just entered the ‘get ready to fight for your fragging lives’ phase. Given how much they’re sending to look for us, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Imperials have heard about Dr. Cratala, in which case they probably won’t be interested in taking prisoners aside from her. Our best bet is still to escape via the corvette; leaving it behind would cripple Isotech, we’ve sunk too much cred into it to leave it all behind now. With a fast, well-defended corvette that’s modded into a spaceborne cybernetics facility, we won’t even need the offices back at the Wheel or even Nar Shaddaa.

But for the moment we have to focus on the immediate threat. Here’s what we’ve got on the Imperial nav-grid: At the moment there’s a Vindicator heavy cruiser flying overhead in orbit, scanning the whole area from extreme range. They’re probably seeing if they can confirm the informant’s story, but they won’t spot us just like that. Once the TIEs and troop shuttles arrive, though, we won’t really be able to avoid being spotted. The timetables we’ve recovered from their computer network suggest that we’ve got about 4 hours before the atmospheric component of the Imperial search team reaches us. The good news is that by the time those shuttles reach us, the Imperial cruiser will have moved pretty far away from us, and due to the gravity well, it’ll have a hard time turning around fast enough to intercept us.

The bad news is that there is a 20 minute window during which the Blockade Bandit will be very conspicuous and very vulnerable: after we set off the explosive charges to clear away the junk covering up its aft section, we’ll need that long to fully warm up the engines from a cold start before it’s ready to make a run for orbit. Our light transports and fighters in the alcove will need to launch before that final ignition sequence, because those explosives will collapse the alcoves they’re parked in (except that one crashed Citadel freighter; it’s parked far enough away not to be in serious danger). I’m still considering our options but it looks like our only option may be to fight like cornered womp rats and hold the Imperials back long enough for the Bandit to take off.

It looks like there are both Imperial Army regulars and a squad of elite “hazard troopers” involved in this mission. Every crewmember with any combat experience – particularly including our long-lost survivors – will grab a blaster from the armory and organize into squads of five or six under the command of our more experienced mercenary and bounty hunter associates. I’m also considering the possibility of a diversionary attack, or building some quick field-works (they’re almost certain to come from the sea-side, where there’s little cover for either us or them, instead of the narrow tunnels through the junk-wall). In any case, we’ll only get out of this one by the skin of our lekku, but if we make it, mark my words, you’ll all be rich sentients within six cycles.

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The Celebration of Rain's End
Tokens of Friendship

With a small squeal of excitement Bala finished the last micro weld and lifts his protective goggles. The light from a hundred colored emitters play across the many tools strewn about his workbench. Despite the numerous strings of celebrations lights throughout the workroom, the blaster, with it’s nightshadow coating, is as black as a singularity. Clicking the battery pack into place Bala pulls a small handheld scanner from his apron and takes one last set of readings.

“Perfect,perfect.WhatdoyouthinkNeedles?Willshelikeit?”

The little nexu kit raises its head and makes a small chuffing noise before rolling over and going back to sleep.

“IhopeIgotthebalanceright.Customgripscanbesotricky.”

One last once over with the dust cloth and Bala settles the blaster into is concealment holster which in turn is nestled into a box lined with Corellian velvet.

“ThatshoulddoitNeedles.Thatsthelastofthegifts.”

Thinking back to the last few days he can hardly believe he pulled it off. SP-8R’s Escape Circuit wasn’t so hard. Those Isotech folks are sure wiz with droid tech and cybernetics. They didn’t even seem too concerned about its less than legal nature. Not surprising really. A little contraband circuity is hardly going to get them in more trouble with the Empire. A smile spreads across Bala’s face as his gaze flits over to the utilitarian plast-steal gift box.

Rising from its bed the young nexu bound off the workbench to paw at a pile of discarded metal tubes.

“Hushyou.Iwouldhavefigureditouteventually.” Bala says with a bit of annoyance. “ImeanitsnotlikeIcangooutandbuyschimaticsforonecanI?”

Of course, Val’s gift had been a problem. After a dozen or so rather dramatic failures, Bala had shelved the project. Fortunately his contacts in the rebellion had provided him fragments of an old holo-program that discussed the use of combat remotes in jedi training. The reference wasn’t detailed, but he figured the Marksmen-H Unit he’d refurbished would do the job. He’d build a charging unit into an ornately decorated box he’d been assured was from an old jedi temple. He was pretty sure the Gand had sold him a fake but the symbols were pretty.

Just then his workshop bell chimed and the Verpine contractor he’d hired walked in. After a rapid exchange of words and a casual inspection of his work, Bala hands over the credit chip and shows him quickly off the ship. Bala really did love the Verpine people. Their language was so quick and precise, without all those wasteful pauses so many species of the galaxy seemed to love.

Not a moment too soon either. The gang could be back at any moment and while the new ship was big, it would have been hard to miss a work crew in the rec room. Pulling a box from his footlocker Bala places a half dozens bottles behind the new Gosiea Industries RefresherPlus bar. Not bad at all. Korban was going to love it.

Decorations, check.
Gifts, check.
Snacks, check.

This was going to be the best Rain’s End ever.

Rain’s End is the Chadra-Fan holiday celebrating the end of the rainy season on Chad. Unlike most Chadra-Fan traditions, Rain’s End is usually only celebrated with close family. During the celebration, gifts are usually exchanged and story-telling competitions last well into the night.

Gifts
Aaron – Modified Model 53 Blaster Pistol w/ Concealment Holster.
I named the blaster “Ad Hominem” after the logical fallacy of trying to win an argument by attacking the person’s character. Get it. It packs a lot more kick than your current blaster and has some cool stealthy features I thought your character would appreciate.

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Ronny – Onboard Amenities Unit
I figured your character would want something for the ship but I wanted it to also be fun. I figured Korban (sp?) would love it.
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Dan – Escape Circuit
SP-8R doesn’t strike me as someone who is sentimental, so I wanted his gift to have meaning. I know droid slavery is a hot button thing for him so I figured what better gift then something that would help ensure he never ended up a slave.
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Skyler – Marksman-H Combat Remote
As for you Skyler, jedi stuff is super rare so my options were kinda limited. I figured your character would be down for some Jedi training equipment and this was the only thing I found that was legal and fit the bill. The plan had been armor but you already got yourself some sweet jedi stuff. Hopefully he likes it anyway.
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Empire day BBQ

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Sequence initiated…..
Data cache found….file retrieved….
Meat bags often celebrate the founding of the empire with roasted meat it is only appropriate that the meat bags that approached the innocents of this world take part in that tradition.
Searching………
Strange in previous data files most life forms that I was required to terminate I did not enjoy reducing to expired meat bags…..with the exception of gungans for some reason the speech patterns they exhibit grate on my auditory modules.
………
ALERT…..
Unauthorized paneling removal…..
System status…..
Optimal…..
Strange the Chadra-fan bypassed all external alarms while I was recharging even on the highest setting due to the recent missing power circuits that the squad of jawas some how acquired during the empire day battle.
……
………….
………………..
Sub files initiated- weapons modifications efficiency in meat bag expiring increased 110%
……….
……………
With the alliance of this crew efficiency in the freedom of other meat bags from oppression has dramatically increased by over 65%…….
Calculating optimal efficiency in granting freedom…..
Calculating….
Calculating….
Solution……destruction of Empire will result in a 1000% efficiency

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Kato Stompcraft's Story (Pending Character)

With Bala wanted by the Empire and currently preparing for a suicide mission to rescue Val, I thought it might be a good idea to have a new character ready.

Kato Stompcraft. Ex-Pitfighter Besalisk Warden/Marauder

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Background
The durasteel chains creaked and groaned as the Wookiee’s enraged ululations rattled dust from the overhead conduit.

“You’re wasting your energy”, a warm accented voice said from the shadows. “You see, those cuffs are crafted from beskar alloy. You may be strong but you’ll pull your hands from your wrists before you so much as scuff their finish. As for the yelling, well, as you might have guessed we are in the undercity. 100 meters of duracrete separate us from Level 1313 and trust me, the scum that live there aren’t the chivalrous type. Not to worry though, I was just about to let you go, but first I have a story to tell you.”

While the Wookiee warrior raged and struggled, the stranger began his tale. Though he told the story well and his rich country voice was pleasant enough, their was a detached quality to the telling that would have left a listener uneasy. As it was, the captive was well past uneasy and not much for nuance, so the story’s tone went unnoticed.

The story told of a young Besalisk taken at a young age to the jedi temple. The friendship and purpose he found there. Following that he told of the boy’s tragic flight following Order 66. It went on to tell how the unlikely pair of a Nikto master and Besalisk youngling could start to think of each other as mother and son.
It was about at this point that the hulking form of the storyteller stepped into the light and knelled before the prisoner. The weak illumination of the service lights revealing a figure dressed in a battered poncho and oversized hat. Though the clothing covered his considerable bulk, they did little to hide the strength and power that practically radiated from him.

“Eventually, that boy and his mother, found their way to the outer rim and into possession of a small ranch on a dusty little moon of no consequence. There they lived in quiet isolation for several years far away from the core and its jedi hunters.

“RWGWGWARAHHHHWWRGGWRWRW.”

“Patience” the stranger said, letting a little annoyance slip into his voice. “You’ve waited this long, please, allow me to finish my tale.”

“As children are wont to do, that young boy grew into a young man and his talent with the force grew along with him.
While his life on the ranch was good, like so many young men, he longed for adventure. So against his mother’s wishes, he packed up his meager belongings and went out into the world, determined to become the hero he believed he was destined to be.

Of course destiny is seldom found so easily and that young man learned quickly that in the city, the skills of a ranch hand were not in high demand.
Fortunately, a life of ranching and having a jedi warden as a mother gave him a powerful build and the skills to use it. So, in need of credits and with few other skills, the young man got a job as a bouncer in a particularly nasty Nar Shaddaa bar. It was there that he had his first run in with Vogga the Hutt.”

“Ohh… you know Vogga do you? Of course you do but we are jumping ahead. Where was I.”

“You see, at the time Vogga was heavily involved with underground pit fighting, or at least as underground as anything is on Nar Shaddaa. One night after a particularly spectacular incident involving half a doesn’t trandoshan mercenaries, Vogga presented him the opportunity to make a year’s wage in a single night. With financial trouble back at the ranch and few other prospects, the professional fighting circuit seemed like an opportunity to make some fast creds. Which is how our jedi youngling turned rancher turned bounce became the professional fighter known as Kato Stompcraft.

Kato went into that first fight expecting it to be a one time occurrence. Once in the ring however, the combination adrenaline, lights and the roaring crowd proved intoxicating. When the first match was over and his opponent lay unconscious at his feet, Kato knew this was the life for him.

In the beginning, Vogga was content to arrange fights for nothing more than a small finder’s fee, but he wanted more. Soon he began to persuade and eventually outright intimidate Kato into fixing fights. Unfortunately for Vogga, Kato wasn’t easily intimidated and after a particularly heated yelling match, Kato let it be known that he wanted nothing further to do with Vogga.

Now Hutts in general aren’t known for their forgiving nature, and Vogga was no different. No less than 2 days had passed before three of Vogga goons showed up to teach Kato a lesson. The lesson, as it turns out, was that Aqualish skulls are softer than duracrete. Over the course of the next year, Vogga sent many more visitors and there were many more lessons. During that time, Kato career had really started to take off. Thanks to a combination of fighting prowess and knack for intimidation Kato’s popularity grew. He was the fighter everybody loved to hate and while his record was far from flawless, he never had to look hard for his next paying fight.
As his reputation grew, so did his personal fortune and with it his ability to protect himself from Vogga’s machinations. With some of the best gear and protection money could buy, it wasn’t long before he forgot all about Vogga’s threats.

That all changed one night with the arrival of a courier droid and a single holocube. On the cube was a recording of a self-satisfied Vogga relaying detailed instruction on how he would lose that evening’s fight. Unlike previous missives, there were no threats or promises, it just ended with a single image of his mother, bound head to foot, suspended over a vat of something sickly green and fuming. From his time fighting in some of the shadier arenas he immediately recognized it as xenoboric acid and new that his mother was in serious danger.

What Vogga hadn’t counted on, what indeed no one but his mother knew, was his connection to the force, and it was through the force that he reach out. While Kato’s force gifts had never included remote sensing, his mother had taught him enough. And though his vision was powered more by fear and hate than by the inner peace taught in her lessons, he found his mother’s location through the force.

In a near blind rage Kato swerved through commuter traffic towards the industrial quarter and an abandoned thorilide refinery. If he had taken the time to consider the situation he might have been able to leverage his wealth and connections to form a proper assault force but he saw none of those options through the red haze of anger that enveloped him.

With a force fueled strength beyond anything he had ever know, he stormed the abandoned factory. Kato attacked the first two guards without slowing. Gripping each by a pair of his massive arms he tore their heads from their neck and tossed them aside. On he raged, dispatching what little resistance he found, making his way towards the main production floor and his mother.

There he blinked in surprise. Scattered throughout the production floor were huge holo emitters broadcasting images of him. As he watched in horror he realized that the clips were of him in some of him most brutal fights. Him tearing the arms from a wookie gladiator. Another of him rain blow upon a gungan warrior. All of them edited to seem as brutal and unprovoked as possible.

It was then that he saw his mother, a look of profound sadness and loss on her face, suspended from a cable right, in the middle of the spectacle. No sooner had he opened his mouth to explain, to tell her of the camera tricks and the lifelike prosthetics, then there was a soft snap as she dropped into the vat.
With a speed bore of desperation Kato rushed to the tank, reaching below the surface of the acid, pulling her free.”
His voice cracking, the stranger takes a break to compose himself.

“Do you know what xenoboric acid does to flesh? See it’s not just a strong acid, it also a painful toxin. Overloading the nervous system with incredible pain while it transforms the flesh to soup.

In desperation, Kato scraped and rubbed, desperately trying to remove as much of the viscous acid as possible. The damage had been done however and through strength that could only have been born of the force, his mother spoke her last words before passing on.”

They set there in silence for several long moments before the Wookiee grunted a single question.

“What did she say?”

The stranger slowly stood, and tossed his hat aside revealing the starred visage of a Besalisk.

“There she lay in his arms, dying the most horrendous death you can imagine and you know the last thing she said? She said that he had enough blood on his hands for a lifetime.”

Drawing two well muscled arms from his poncho he looks down at his open palms.

“And she made him promise…
She made Me promise…
Made me promise not to use my hands to kill another creature.

Can you believe that? Her dying wish was to keep me from killing her murderers.
But you know, there was one problem with her request.

You see, after all that acid, there wasn’t much left of my hands. So I had to have them replaced.”
Straightening to his full height, Kato raise a second pair of arms. These ones ending in brutal looking mechanical fists.

“And now these, these are my killin’ hands.”

With an audible pop, the restraining cuffs holding the Wookiee opened and clattered to the floor.

Hours later, Kato examines an image printed on an old worn durasheet. From the stark white light of the diner’s overhead lighting it’s clear the image was printed from some kind of surveillance camera footage. In the image about a dozen aliens, including a Hutt, surround a Nikto woman. Over 6 of the faces someone has drawn an X. With deliberate care Kato draws another X, this one over the face of a Wookiee, before folding it back up and placing it in his pocket.

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