And yes, I did try turning it off, and turning it back on.
Anyhow: We landed on Nal Hutta, home of the Hutts. Like Jabba the Hutt. Since they are huge, sentient slugs with little forearms I assume they build things mostly with contract and slave labor. We are in Nar Shadar, "Little Coruscant", "Vertical City." A huge sprawl of multi-level buildings and flying craft.
Nal Hutta also has Spice processing plants. The Spice in the Star Wars universe is not like the Spice in Dune (although it is based on it) but it is still highly valuable.
There are Imperial stations in orbit, which will become important. Our shuttle is parked in the spaceport, registered as a private civilian ship.
|The party never ends at the Burning Deck.|
We go to the "Burning Deck" bar to meet our contact and fixer, Donita. But Donita has been tailed and only has a couple minutes to give us our mission:
A new TIE Fighter facility in orbit just came on line, and it has a flight school. The previous facility was destroyed by the Rebels, but the Imperials rebuilt it (like they do). The Alliance wants us to upload a virus into the new facility. It sounds like a piece of cake.
Donita provides a cover story and transponder codes to ID us as an Imperial Survey crew. We have been studying the wreckage of the old facility and want to ensure security upgrades are in place on the new base.
He downs his drink and leaves quickly, sticking us with the tab.
After a moment we go to follow, but Imperials have shown up: A Droideka (rolling military droid) and 3 Colicoids, an insectoid people, armed with blasters.
I make a break for the kitchen, looking for a way up to the roof. The others duck back into the bar and try to look casual. R3 rolls back in quickly. "R3, you made a mournful noise and you don't have a weapon, so they leave you alone." A lesson for all of us there, I think.
|I am sorely wishing I'd replaced my frag grenade at this point.|
I run upstairs but slam into a server with a tray full of stir-fried maggots and calamari, making a horrible noise and attracting attention. The bartender points the imperials my way. I make it through the kitchen and out a window, where I hang precariously. After a bit I let myself fall, landing on my feet and joining Trip outside on the side street. We walk away casually as does the rest of the crew, and the Imperials are left empty-handed--but clearly they know something is up.
We get to the shuttle and talk our way past flight control, or at least R3 does by rudely beeping and whistling at them.
R3 locates a map of our location and our destination. We immediately run into a patrol and once again R3 gets us past by befuddling the Imperials with a rapid-fire sequence of vaguely insulting beeps and whistles.
We proceed to our destination without problems but run into guards at the lift we need to ascend up to the level with data access. Nomi pours on the charm and the guards relax completely, deciding to go on break and letting us know that they'll send some refreshments up in about 3 hours.
So far, so good!
The lift takes us up to the data area, and R3 gets to work. Things start out well, with R3 quietly locking the door to the stormtrooper barracks/break room. Several attempts are made to upload the virus, but none succeed. Eventually it is R3 who is infected, not the facility. I gave it a try after mirroring the screens that R3 saw on some monitors, but I too fail, and alarms start to scream.
R3 hitches a ride down on the descending lift, which is no doubt going to return bearing over-eager TIE cadets with blaster pistols. The rest of us descend down a maintenance shaft, and successfully talk our way past a small cadet patrol.
At Nomi's urging, I decide to give it one more try by uploading the virus to a TIE fighter and hoping it will propagate to the network the next time they fly it. But disaster strikes again! Not only do I fail to upload the virus, which by now I believe to be badly designed, but I trigger a security response and my picture is taken in the TIE fighter. I shoot it a couple times in anger but the damage is done, and my blaster pistol isn't going to wreck a fighter designed for deep space dogfights.
We run back to the shuttle hanger, where it turns out Dany and Trip have been in a heated firefight with a commander and some cadets. They have dispatched the cadets after an initial ruse failed dismally, but the commander has closed with Trip and followed him into our shuttle. Imagine his surprise when Dany's blaster is pressed up against his temple, and the rest of our crew boards the shuttle like a herd of rampaging banthas. We truss him up like a Blenjeel sand worm on Emperor's Day and stick him in a corner.
We fly out, and the only saving grace of this mission happens now, when Dany circles back to lay down some fire on the TIE hanger, destroying several. Hopefully including the one that took my damn picture. The base defenses begin to respond, and we get the hell out of there. You can't win them all.