Friday, 4 August 2017

Star Wars RPG solo - Part 13: The criminal element

Jather is up at dawn the next morning gathering fresh produce from the market stalls as they open. His kitchen virtuosity dispels any bad feelings left over from his dereliction of duty the night before. Lina starts getting nervous as the afternoon wears on, afraid the infochant won't call back. Zil and Wex both have to keep reminding her that the junkie can't be expected to be an early riser.

Scene 9

Average (d10)

Setup: waiting for the man

NPC list: Morga the Hutt, a mysterious enemy, Lt. Nomu the crooked Imperial, infochant

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad

She finally does call Zil, and tells her they should all meet up at a club tonight, and she'll introduce them to her guy.

[I rolled on the Musical Style table in Augmented Reality (p. 38) to determine what kind of club it was, and by extension, who can pass the dress code.
Anthemic NeoPunk = dresscode not in force]

The Separatist Alliance is a night club built in a converted droid foundry on the outskirts of the city. In truth, the foundry closed its doors well over a hundred years ago, and even then it never produced anything more dangerous than 3rd-class agbots, but the owners reckoned they were starting a dance hall and not a history lesson.

Our heroes arrive after nearly an hour of travel on three separate repulsor-buses, and join the queue to get in. Zil, Wex, and Jather have all brought hold-out blasters...

[Hide skills vs. bouncers' Search (3D)
W 3D=14 vs. 13
Z 3D=16 vs. 4
J 4D+2=11 vs. 10]

...but none of the bouncers patting them down find anything suspicious.

The dull thrumming they heard from the queue outside becomes a roar once they pass into the building. Spotlights flash and criss-cross in patterns. Beings from all over the galaxy mingle in a great and heaving mass. Some of them are milling about between the occasional tables and vinyl settees, some are dancing to the distorted and frenetic sounds of the opening band. Lina hates it, Oosuu wants to join the dancers, Jather finds it bewildering, whilst Wex and Zil are reminded of their misspent youth.

Wex, Lina, and Oosuu pretend not to know Zil and Jather, in order to discreetly keep watch for any hidden dangers. Oosuu insists she has the best vantage point from the dance floor, as she can look in 360 degrees without raising suspicions. She has run off and is pushing her way through the throng before anyone can raise an objection.

Wex notices Lina looking fidgety. "You don't like this place?" he asks.

"It reminds me of my little sister's holotape collection."

"C'mon, this song's a classic! Though there's not usually a Gamorrean on vocals..."

[Q: Anything up? 50/50 (4+): O1 C3 - No, but... plenty of shifty-looking beings about.]

Zil and Jather make a circuit of the club looking for the find infochant. They spot her turquoise coat from afar as a spotlight briefly plays over it. She's sitting hunched over the bar with a forgotten drink before her. It takes a moment for her to register Zil's hand waving in front of her face, but she snaps back to the present and she greets Zil and Jather with a friendly, if somewhat rictus-looking grin.

Zil makes an effort to be polite, but rushes quickly through the exchange of pleasantries. "Your guy here yet?" she says abruptly.

"He is," responds the infochant. "I'll make an introduction. But first, I believe there was the question of my fee...?"

"Afterwards. If this is a trap, I'm not paying."

"Why would it be a trap?"

"We're dealing with a Hutt's organisation."

"Oh. Right."

"I don't think she'd set us up," Jather says to Zil. Then turning to the infochant, "Did you even tell your friend who we were?"

"How could I? We've all been keeping our names out of it. I just said that you haven't been here long and you have a deal to make."

"Here," says Zil, "have 100 credits, then, to show I trust you. You can have the other 150 in a few minutes, as I don't think we'll be talking much today. Just setting up a further meeting."

"Ta. Follow me."

[Q: Where is the meeting? (1d6) 1-2 back room, 3-5 dark booth, 6 toilet; d6=3

first impressions: Furtive and on edge, unkempt, tattoos (Augmented reality p. 19).
He has 1d6-1=2 hangers on, bodyguard (d6=human, d6=f) and his (d6=)boyfriend

NPC Relationship: neutral
Conversation Mood: guarded
scheming - agenda - rewards]

The infochant leads them over to a large, dark booth in an alcove on the back wall where her dealer is waiting. "Hey Frag," she screams over the music, "these are the people I told you about."

'Frag' is a bit scruffy looking, wearing ragged spacers' leathers with the arms ripped off and dark sungoggles. He also seems a bit sketched. His boytoy sits beside him, immaculate and glittery, and is intently running a finger along the tattooed patterns covering Frag's arms. On his other side sits a muscle-bound woman in a bright yellow party dress. She has an ugly, oversized clutch bag on the table before her, big enough to conceal a Blastech DL-44, were one that sort of person.

Frag hands his boy a pile of credits and sends him to the bar. His bodyguard gets up and stands by table, motioning for Zil and Jather to have a seat.

"So, you want in with Morga the Hutt," says Frag, cracking his knuckles.

"Don't worry," says Zil, "we aren't looking to muscle in on your racket."

"What are you looking for?"

"We have a certain matter to discuss. And an item to offer as consideration for said matter."

"That tells me all of nothing!"

"We have unfinished business. If Morga gets wind of the offer, he'll know what we're on about."

"What's in it for me? I'm not exactly running a charity, here."

"We'll kick back a portion of the profits. Or you can take 500 credits and be done with it."

[opposed Bargain rolls, Zil's 3D vs. Frag's 2D +5 bonus: 10 vs. 14]

"500 credits? That's pathetic."

"For delivering a message? I'd say it's more than you're worth."

"Now you're pushing it..."

"Let me make myself absolutely clear. We have unfinished business with a Hutt, whose attention we first need to get. You know someone who knows someone who's got his ear, or thereabouts, so you're our messenger. The message can either be communicated by you telling them for us, or else be written in your blood on a wall somewhere for them to find. Personally, I'd take the 500 credits..."

[Zil's Intimidate (5D) vs. Frag's Willpower (2D +10 for upper hand): 22 vs. 18]

"Yeah, OK. 500 credits to make a few calls is a good deal, I guess. Where do I find you?"

"How bout I give you my comlink number and you call me?"

"Sure. Great."

"Make sure to mention the name Vudlor Taf. I'm sure we're not the only people with unfinished business."

"Fudlar Tav. Got it."

"Close enough. Keep in touch. Let me know how you get on."

[Q: Any problems that night? 50/50 (4+): O2 C1 - No, and...
Q: Does he get word through? Likely (3+): O6 C2 - Yes, and... 1d3=1 day later]

Scene 10

Chaos: Average (d10)

Setup: first contact

NPC list: Morga the Hutt, a mysterious enemy, Lt. Nomu the crooked Imperial, infochant

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad

Around sunset the next day, Zil's comlink flashes, and she answers.


An unmistakable Trandoshan's voice replies, "This is Mr. Kuththuk. With whom am I speaking?"

"This is Zil."

"Ah, Ms. Lhahon. This is a pleasant surprise! I presume Mr. Enstipo is with you, and his charming friend Ms. Oosuu."

"We're all here."

"Mr. Plazeed as well?"

"Of course. We're in this together."

"My, you certainly are! A somewhat surprising turn of events, but there you are. I take it this conversation is between us all."

"We're all listening," says Wex, as they all crowd round the kitchen table.

"Good," continues Mr. Kuththuk. "Then I will make this offer: hand over Ms. Lhahon to me and the gracious and grateful Morga the Hutt shall forgive the rest of you. A clean slate all round, and potentially some work for Ms. Oosuu, as previously discussed."

Zil goes tense with fear even as Wex shouts, "No deal! We've come this far together and we're not about to start backstabbing one another now."

"Oosuu agree!"

"Jather? Jather!"

"What do you take me for?!" says the offended Devaronian. "What Wex said. We're in this mess together."

"I see," says Mr. Kuththuk. "Your loyalty is to be commended, although that does still leave you in quite the predicament. But then you presumably had some sort of offer to make. I'm all auditory organs, as they say."

"Morga prizes loyalty," says Wex. "What if I told you we knew that not everyone in his employ was, in fact, loyal?"

"I would say that is an unfortunately common blight in our line of business. But you have a name? More than one, I would hope. And proof?"

"We've got a datapad with a list of imperial informants and spies in all the major operations on Ord Mantell...

[Q: Including Morga's? 50/50 (4+): O4 C8 - Yes]

...including yours."

"I see. And you're certain of its authenticity?"

"Oosuu crack security," says Oosuu. "Not fake."

"A slicer as well as a technician! Dear lady, there may very well be a job offer for you if we can put all this unpleasantness behind us. I will contact the great Morga and see how he wishes to proceed. Until tomorrow evening, then. Good night."

Scene 11

Chaos: Average (d10)

Setup: meeting Mr. Kuththuk

NPC list: Morga the Hutt, a mysterious enemy, Lt. Nomu the crooked Imperial, infochant

Threads: make contacts, sell datapad

The meeting is arranged for the next evening in a public park [Scarlet Heroes random location=Splendid garden]. Lina reluctantly agrees to sit out the meeting as she has never before met their contact. They leave her in a nearby café and head into the park, where they find Mr. Kuththuk sitting on park bench in front of a bubbling fountain. There are no goons obviously lurking nearby, but there is lots of vegetation to conceal them.

"Ah, my friends," says the Trandoshan, "I'm so glad you could make it. I don't suppose you have the datapad on you? No, of course not. You're not amateurs, after all! Please, sit. The basin rim is cold, but I had my associates dry it off for you. I told them to go admire the scenery so we can talk like civilised beings." [UNE: friendly - comfort - power]

"Has Morga made a decision?" asks Zil.

"He's certainly considering it. But we'll need more to go on than just your word, I'm afraid."

"I can offer you the list of Porubek's people who were named. He gave me the datapad to deliver, so he must know what's on it. See how the people on this list are doing, or if anyone's seen them lately..."

"I quite understand. Transmit the list to me, and I'll have it looked into. This could take some time."

"Of course."

"You won't leave Phaeda...?"

"No. Not until this is settled."

"I must say, I'm surprised you came here of all places. An excellent hiding spot, I must confess; we'd never have found you here had you not contacted us first. Why, it's the happiest of coincidences I was anywhere near Phaeda when I got the call. Well, I'll be in touch at the first opportunity. Enjoy your stay here, if you can."

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