Our heroes finished stocking up on supplies, and determined that they’d completed all of the necessary external work on their vessel, the Chance Encounter (nee Gold Badger).
They discussed the job they’d been hired to perform by, they assume, the Rebel Alliance, and in particular where they were supposed to go afterwards. (The rendezvous is on the outskirts of another system.)
They received a message from Dxun Ordo, a sometimes-lapsed Mandalorian and Narkin’s former shipmate, warning them to get going as their cover had been blown.
Not long afterwards, the Dark Horseman jumped in, and her captain started to broadcast Imperial orders. Before she could complete her sentence, however, the Chance Encounter jumped to hyperspace.
Narkin made reference to the fact that they were likely in the clear, as tracking ships through hyperspace is virtually impossible (without a rare force power). Elizara pointed out that there was also rare and/or theoretical (and no doubt expensive, dangerous, and finicky) technology which could accomplish something similar.
A week later, when they dropped out of hyperspace well outside of Aquillus, and sure enough, found some trace evidence that something had followed them (as corroborated by multiple examinations of the sensor logs).
Narkin maneuvered sharply, and Argon got a visual while Elizara got a good sensor scan.
Enaran ordered Argon to fire, which he did, with the ion cannons. The shot completely disabled the vessel.
Dameth attempted to play the “innocent woman over her head” card, but was called on it. Negotiations followed, but stalled.
Eventually, Dameth successfully force-leaped aboard the Chance Encounter and entered through an airlock, where she confronted Narkin and Allana with her lightsaber.
After a remark from Narkin, she somewhat pruriently proposed a patdown. Narkin complied, then attempted an Echani disarm on her. He almost succeeded, and escaped with all his fingers. Allana attacked Dameth with a fencing blade, only to have Dameth parry it in two.
Others soon arrived in the hold. Not long after, there was a tense standoff, and attempts at diplomacy, along with some rather immature-sounding darkside ranting, etc.
Narkin fired a holdout blaster (on stun), which she mostly parried, but her fingers were numbed enough to permit Argon to force-push the saber out of her hand, which Allana subsequently retrieved.
Enaran kicked out her knee, and the party generally piled on, as Narkin disabled the atmospherics on her suit and put her in a disabling helmet-assisted neck-lock.
After a discussion of what to do with her, given the difficulty in keeping her captive, they eventually stripped her out of her armored spacesuit, transferred her to the functional suit from the Gold Badger/Chance Encounter, welded her to a metal chair (for easier transport), and left her in an evacuated hold with only a trickle charge in her life support pack with a note to encourage her to enter hibernation trance. (Subsequently, they stashed her on an asteroid.) Narkin and Allana managed to swap out the crystal of the lightsaber and repair it.
Argon instructed Narkin, the party member best suited to fitting in Dameth’s shapely armored spacesuit, how to remove the wings of the stealthed Z95 and it was brought aboard.
The party found another blaster pistol, four thermal detonators, eight smaller flash-bang pucks, custom lightsaber repair tools, another astromech droid (in imperial colors), etc.
Others studied communications from the planet, and worked on the challenging languages spoken there, as well as the cultures of the three Continent-States.
The party landed on schedule, onto a prepared concrete pad, and pre-offloaded the cargo as a convoy approached. Before the convoy had ever reached them, however, two elite soldiers in chameleon-camouflage managed to slip aboard. (They were no match for Narkin with a lightsaber, and quite intimidated by his ability to deflect bullets.)
Denebus sent a drone on high-altitude high-speed flyby, and it burst communicated with the party’s ship (including a first contact package).
The military officers who arrived, however, appeared to have no interest in fair dealings, and had strong cultural and religious objections to cooperating with “space aliens”, surrendering territory on the moon, or even acknowledging the full scope of the unvierse. Instead, they demanded the surrender of the craft (which they regarded as a high-tech fake). This conflict eventually led to a hasty retreat, along with a thrown thermal detonator to guarantee they wouldn’t be salvaging the equipment.
Unfortunately, there was a nuclear device under the pre-poured concrete pad and metastable super-heavy elements in some of the technical equipment they had brought, and this resulted in a nuclear explosion which killed the troops, including a supervising member of the imperial family inside one of the armored vehicles.
Fortunately, Elizara spotted the threat from the exotic matter, if not from the undetected nuclear mine, and the party were able to raise their shields in time.
Between heretofore undetected spy satellites detecting an unidentified flying object with exotic performance characteristics landing in enemy territory, and the politically-significant nuclear deaths of prestigious citizens and soldiers, and very short time-to-decision imposed by a robust, if archaic, space-war capabilities, at least a limited nuclear exchange was inevitable.
The party headed to Denebus, in part because they seemed more civilized to start with, in part because they were invited. With their ship, and the concentrated Denebusi population, they were able to minimize loss of life (augmenting Denebus’s significant defensive capabilities).
In the aftermath, the Altrusian government had broken down, and a civil war had broken out, yet their lunar “final retort” capability still loomed overhead. (Altrus suffered the loss of their capital and emperor in one stroke, as well as a few other major cities.)
Vegus lost one major city, but not their capital.
Altogether, the total loss of life was very significant, but could be worse.
Most of the nuclear weapons used were “clean”, so the after-effects won’t be too bad, however their Low Earth Orbit is effectively inaccessible to their technology, due to all of the (sometimes-armed) space junk.
The party cleaned up the more dangerous bits, then discussed safety arrangements for a diplomatic meeting with representatives of Denebus’ government.
In the end, it was agreed that they’d meet in a public place (the courtyard of a big temple) and that two unarmed representatives would come aboard.
The second minister was reserved and diplomatic, whereas the Princess was highly demonstrative once out of sight of her citizens. (She commented on the attractiveness of the exotic near-human aliens, the rough “truck-like” state of the cargo hold, etc.)
The protocol droids and Enaran did much to smooth over relations, and soften indelicate phrases in either direction.
Narkin and others inquired whether there were any force crystals on the planet. Apart from one red crystal on another continent, they mentioned something which sounded more like Roonstones. A reception was planned in the museum where they were held, and Allana and/or Argon managed to create a Roonstone projector.
They learned that the residents of this world came by way of an off-course generation-colony ship called The Nostromo, which probably didn’t land gently.
Denebian mores were materialist and rationalist, to the point of not believing in the Force. This proved a boon in accepting the existence of off-world humans (and near-humans), but was challenging when Narkin wished to convince them that “the Naga Sadow holocron crystal is bad!”
Narkin demonstrated telekinesis under rigorous experimental conditions. Subsequently, and considering the strange deaths associated with the item over the years, they agreed to allowing Narkin to destroy it in a blast furnace.
The party received 5 / 5 XP and one force point.