Cut-Away: Shadow on the Sun
Characters of Interest
Items of Interest
The Twi’leks of New Kusa continue to celebrate the disposal of the developers who have been persecuting them. They plan to party for at least a week. They have little to offer by way of reward, though they allow Drydek, Tomoar, and Zebdar to make free use of their facilities (such as they are). The ever vigilant Tomoar stands like a towering statue and silently observes the scene as Zebdar drinks hard into the twilight. Drydek carouses with a particularity vocal reveler and obtains greater detail about O’Brin Dor and how his operation works. In the morning O’Brin Dor is extremely grateful for all the help they have provided and sends a message to Nyn in Nabat telling her all about the heroic actions of the new comers. The journey back to Nabat is uneventful and O’Brin accompanies them once more, advising them to visit Nyn to debrief her before continuing on their way.
The Nabat spaceport seems particularly busy today. As Zebdar guide the speeder through the city gates, they can see a great crowd milling about the landing pad. It seems that a number of craft, freighters of all sizes, have arrived today. Trolleys and droids bearing trade goods from worlds all around the Outer Rim push their way through the crowd. Humans, Twi’leks, Bothans, Trandoshans, and Aqualish are among the myriad species negotiating deals with buyers and spaceport staff.
O’Brin Dor sees to it that the speeder is parked and then leads everyone back down to the room in the subterranean area of the city. Once again, whispered Twi’lekan code words are exchanged and the door is opened. Nyn is clearly pleased to see them; she grins warmly and spreads her arms wide. “Thank you so much,” she says. “Our friends in New Kusa have much to thank you for. We must talk more about what happened, but first I have someone I want you to meet.” She gestures toward one of the couches to the side of the room, occupied by a rather short and stout Bothan. He regards them with wide, intelligent eyes and nods a curt greeting. “This is Oda,” says Nyn, “and he has some news that might be of concern to you.”
The Bothan clears his throat. “*Nyn* has told me a good deal about you, and I have a project underway that could make use of a group as resourceful as yourselves. However, before we get down to negotiations, I feel I ought to make you aware of this.” The Bothan pulls out a small holographic projector and switches it on. “This communication is keyed to an encrypted frequency used by some of the bounty hunters who work the Outer Rim.” He switches the projector on and it displays a series of scrolling images. The crew can make out the streets of Mos Shuuta, their ship, and their faces.
An accompanying text scrolls by, giving the following message in Gand, Rodian, Trandoshan, and Basic: “Wanted: 50,000 credits reward. If you have information, contact Tubba in Mos Shuuta, Tatooine.” Oda allows this news to sink in. “If this situation continues, you could have very dangerous people hunting you”
He has a proposition. The job he has in mind for them will bring them into contact with those who are currently engaged in a deal with Tubba. If the crew negotiate well with them, they could provide an opportunity to strike at the Hutt from the heart of his own palace. He notes that there is some risk, but the trio will have a better chance following his plans than they’ll have once these bounty hunters catch up to them. Finishing he says “I will, of course, also see to it that there is an rewarded for killing or compromising Tubba the Hutt. He should have the credits on hand to pay his hunters, and I will make sure any such money passes on to the victor.”
Oda lays out the details, “I have been invited to a private function to be hosted by a Geonosian duke, Duke Pantis. I am not expected to turn up myself, of course, but the duke will expect a few guests to appear as representative of my interests. This duke recently planned to do some deals with Tubba, then changed his mind. As it happens, this duke has a rival, Duke Dee’Rant, who is due to deliver some goods to Tubba in a few days. If Dee’Rant knew what made Pantis change his mind, he might agree to help us.“Is that understood? I realize it is a little complex. We are to find out from one Geonosian what caused him to turn from Tubba in order to convince another Geonosian currently working with Tubba to help us instead.”
Oda need to make some more arrangements, but he will be back in a few hours to see the team taken to Geonosis. He requests that they come up with a detailed cover story of why you might be invited to a party held by a Geonosian duke. He thinks that Oda is an arms dealer, so he’ll expect the infiltrators to want to buy weapons from him – that will do for the duke, but they’ll need yet another cover story for the rest of the guests.
Drydek, Tomoar, and Zebdar are eager to strike back at Tubba and decide that Drydek will play the role of a diplomat while Tomoar and Zebdar will be his personal body guards. O’Brin Dor states that he has a luxuriant suit that he will gift to the Drydek and provides him a tailor to make the proper alterations. Nyn states that her team could use as many weapons as they can get their hands on. The group receives three thousand credits with the intent to buy arms for Nyn’s team and to help authenticate the infiltrators role. Shortly after Drydek is outfitted Oda returns and begins,_ “I have finalized arrangements. The party is due to start in twelve hours, more than enough time for you to make a hyperspace trip from Ryloth to Geonosis. This communicator,” the Bothan holds up a small electronic device, “provides the encrypted signal that will allow you through the Geonosian security cordon.”_
He explains that the team is to make their way to the landing pad of Gogum Hive, a small city to the north of the planet. The Geonosians there will look after their ship and escort them to the party. The next morning, they should fly to Trellik Hive, due west from Gogum Hive. This is the home of Duke Dee’Rant. Once they are there, they should use the communicator to contact him so they can plan their next move. Drydek takes charge of the device and stows it into his pocket.
When the team board the Ardent Drake at the Nabat spaceport, they find that it has been fully repaired and refueled as well as thoroughly cleaned and refreshed. R5-01 points to the items he had saved from disposal and the group evaluates the pieces. Of note are several pieces of brown chitinous shell, one of which is marked with curious designs. Tomoar extrapolates that the pieces of chitin are from some sort of intelligent insectile species.* R5* is able to slice the computer terminal Tomoar ripped out of Anno’s den. The droid finds two message entrees.
The journey from Ryloth to Geonosis is peaceful, proceeding exactly as Oda describes. The Geonosians at Gogum Hive are expecting people such as the trio to arrive for the party, and are happy to escort them to the venue. The only thing they stipulate is that offensive weapons are left on board their ship. They may take pistols to the party, but larger weapons will have to be left behind. The duke’s party is an exclusive affair. Ostensibly, he is showing off his new cantina, a lavish but somewhat cramped chamber dug out of the Geonosian rock, intended to draw off-world spacers and their business to the hive.
The doors to the bar are guarded by a pair of hulking soldier drones armed with Geonosian Blaster Rifles. Drydek and his acting bodyguards enter the cantina, through the saloon style doors flanked by a pair of the biggest Geonosian soldiers they have ever seen. The soldiers heft the largest wide-bore blaster rifles that they have ever seen too, clearly of some improved Geonosian design. Duke Pantis has employed the guards partly for intimidation, but also partly as a sales pitch – their guns are very impressive. Inside, the décor is something of a surprise after the rough rocky walls of the hive at large. Clearly, someone has designed the cantina in order to appeal to a cosmopolitan clientele. From the cantina stage, an upbeat band has been commissioned to provide some entertainment. The band consists of a lanky Bith on mysterious horn, and a blue-skinned Twi’lek banging out a mean but subtle percussion undertones. A pallid and exotically dressed Twi’lek girl with stunningly long lekku intones sultry vocals over the frenetic melodies.
A couple of Geonosian workers man the cantina bar, and a Roche J9 Duke Dee’Rant’s protocol droid is stationed nearby. An old Geonosian with a number of golden bangles and pieces of gilded armor stands close to the bar speaking to an elegantly dressed human woman. Not far from them is a table occupied by a young human man and woman, clinking their glasses and laughing. A Gand in dusty and tattered robes sits by himself in the corner of the room and a young Sullustan male sips his drink and watches the band, occasionally glancing over his shoulder at the final guest, a Toydarian who flutters nearby. Three small private rooms line the wall to your right, clearly set aside for guests who wish to talk without fear of eavesdroppers.
Drydek approaches and introduces the group to a slender human woman with coldly sophisticated airs. She wears a close fitting suit of black leather and accessorizes with a flowing, brightly colored headscarf worn in the fashion of wealthy Coreworlders. The woman introduces herself as Saru Atar then states, “Such a fascinating society the Geonosians have made for themselves here.“ She asks if they had managed to catch any of the ritual combats during their visit. Tomoar acknowledges he only know about their practice from his days as a gladiator but has not seen it in person. Saru seems to take to the three the more she engages in conversation with Drydek. It becomes evident that she finds aliens fascinating. Eventually Drydek and Saru develop a strong rapport and she reveals to be working with the Black Sun. Drydek uncovers that after the latest assassination the Black Sun has a new newly appointed leader named Teskat. When asked about Tubba a worried expression crosses Saru Atar’s face. “Yes, I do know of him and I’m afraid he may be the cause of no small consternation if he’s left to his own devices for much longer. I can’t prove anything, you understand, but people in my network know about these things. There have been a series of strange thefts and unlikely prices paid for apparently worthless items at auction. They have all been traced back to Tatooine. The items stolen or bought all relate in some way to some designs of Baktoid Combat Automata, old B1 battle droids. Whoever is behind this might be planning on making his own. You must excuse me while I speak with the Duke in private.”
Saru and the Duke move to a private booth to discuss their business. The infiltrators decide to engage the Toydarian who’s hovering about the bar treating this party like an actual party. “Great party, eh? These bugs have learned a lot about entertaining us mammals since the Clone Wars. Good wine. Good music. I could almost believe I was home in a Mos Eisley cantina, eh? Call me Kanatta.” A typically shifty member of the Toydarian species with light blue skin. Friendly, if a little coarse and over-familiar. Drydek greets Kanatta and the fluttering creature responds, “I just love a good party, eh?”
Kanatta seems to take to Drydek, Tomoar, and Zebdar and the four share rounds of drinks while chatting. It was about half way through their first round when Konatta let’s it be known that he is a seller of information. He hopes to impress his most regular customer, Han Solo who works for Melakan the Hutt, with any gossip he picks up at the party. Konatta hopes to gain enough favor with Melakan so that he may work directly with the Hutt. “Tubba? Sure, I’m from Tatooine. Everybody knows Tubba.” Konatta remarks. When the trio start to mention more controversial subject, Konatta adopts a more serious tone. “Why don’t we just go sit in one of the private rooms for a moment, eh?” he says.
Once in a private area, Konatta becomes curt and businesslike. When asked a question, he either bluntly admits his ignorance or makes some sort of offer. Drydek asks, _“What’s Tubba’s relationship With Melakan?” Kontanna responds “That’s some insider information, and it isn’t free. 60 credits and you didn’t hear it from me.” The group tries to negotiate on the pricing. Konatta eyes the group and says he likes them so he’ll give them a package price on two bits of information regarding Tubba. Tomoar pays Konatta’s rate and the Toydarian continues with,
“Yes, Tubba has a Kubaz spy. He’s called Shiv and he most likely killed Pantis’ drone Sada. Tubba saw to it that Sada was killed in a highly exclusive gladiatorial bout; just him and his closest cronies were spectating. As the bout was finishing, Tubba allowed his Kubaz spy, Shiv, to enter the ring and deliver the killing blow to Sada. It had been a long held ambition of Shiv’s to kill a Geonosian.” Konatta follows with “*Tubba’s* from a minor branch of *Melakan*’s own clan. He’s supposed to be a dutiful junior Hutt, doing what he’s told and kicking his percentage up the chain. But word is he’s ambitious. Maybe too ambitious, eh? Maybe if Melakan got some information that Tubba was going to move against him, he’d smack the upstart down. For the good of the clan.” Konatta suggest to the team that if they can funnel him some incriminating information about Tubba, he can give the information to Melakan. He would pay them well for such details. When the group tries to squeeze more information on the cheap from Konatta they start to try his patients. “He respondes we’re professionals hear and I’ve already given you my best prices what more do you want from me?” The group decides to let the Toydarian resume his partying and they decide to speak with other members at the party.
Drydek, Tomoar, and Zebdar approach the sullustan who is sitting alone at a table watching the band perform. The sullustan gives Tomoar a look that is half awe and half pity before snapping his gaze back into his drink when noticed. Drydek introduces the group and the sullustan responds, “I’m pleased to meet you my name is Mian Nanb, but if you don’t mind, I’m trying to enjoy the music. Perhaps we can talk once the band wraps up.”
After a few moments of watching the band perform Drydek begins to socialize with Mian learning that he claims to be a tourist from Sullust who has always wished to see the rings of Geonosis. Having been here a week now, Mian has seen his fill and is keen to go home. A friend of a friend introduced him to Duke Pantis, and they bonded over a shared appreciation of music, hence his invitation to the party. Mian Nanb remains introverted, not speaking unless spoken to. He seems determined to remain sober and does not accept drinks when offered. It isn’t until the conversation turns to galactic politics that Drydek notices Mian becomes momentarily inflamed when the subject of the Empire is breached. Drydek presses Mian on the known cruelties of Her Majesty’s Galactic Empire triggering a tirade from Mian on the plight of the Wookies and other enslaved species at which point Mian lets slip that he has joined the rebellion. Immediately Mian shuts down fully aware of his enormous lack of judgement. The group assures Mian that his secret is safe and that they have no love for the Empire. Mian relaxes somewhat as Drydek shifts the conversation about Tubba. Miam claims that the Hutt is known to him by reputation. Apparently Mian Nanb had some friends who were performing a smuggling operation on Tatooine that “went against the best interests of the Empire.” They were caught in the act and ended up shipped off to Kessel. Mian Nanb is sure that Tubba informed on his friends and that the Hutt is friendly with the Empire. The group wraps up their conversation with Mian.
- Duke Pantis – Drydek charmed info on Tubba and , purchased a arms for Nyn
- Raxx’zz (Gand) – Zebdar got the drop on him. Team setups ambush. They fight, tomoar subdues the Gand. Interrogation and gand owes the group a favor for his life.
Duke Pantis’ Party