It all started as the crew of YT-1300 freighter “The Duchess” were “importing” a load of gundark meat to a mining camp on Sevarcos II. An Imperial Blockade set up by the local system authority was squeezing the miners for better prices on their spice by trying to starve them out. The Imps did not look favorably on anyone bringing meat to the planet, rancid or otherwise, and Duchess pilot Jared Cypher had to make a run for it. Even though the crew managed to blow three tie fighters out of the sky, they suffered damage to their hyperdrive and would not be able to escape from the system without it. Cypher found a place to land near the mining camp and the Face managed to talk the mining leader into paying half the fee for the meat rather than the 20% they wanted to pay, even though much of it had spoiled due to a bad refrigerator unit.
Once they had a few credits in their pockets, the crew set out to find a way to repair the ship. They happened across a Trandoshan infobroker/junk dealer named Domner Taz who could get the parts they needed, but would need to send them on a mission to pay for it. They needed the repairs and to get off planet for a few days while the Imperials were looking for them, so they agreed to take the mission. They were to infiltrate a pirate stronghold, rescue a Rebel operative who had been kidnapped, drop the pirate compound’s shields, then steal a ship and escape. After a relaxing day in an underground hidden room, they left for the pirate enclave on The Towers in the middle of the night. It was an uneventful ride to the mission, and they were dropped off just outside the shield.
The group – Niska,Meat Cage, Cypher, Jack Rooks, Crow, and Terrance Va’al – made their way into the compound, which is a nice subdued airy fortress. Crow and the Toydarian went into the pawn shop to ask for some information, Niska and Cypher went to the bazaar in the back half of the hall, and Cage went to the bar to look for anyone he might have known from his time as a pirate.
At the pawn shop they ask about Captain Bosche and are told that he is not the type of pirate who takes prisoners or holds them for ransom, especially if they’re Rebels. In fact, he would avoid attacking Rebels at all. At the bazaar, they find a strange knife hilt. Crow was just leaving the pawn shop and he recognizes the hilt as a replica of a weapon he thought long gone, and they have a conversation about his past. They made their way over to the bar to meet with Cage who is staring at a member of Bosche’s crew. They speak to him, and their conversation makes them start to feel like something is very wrong with the mission they’ve been given. Then the crewmember walks out of the bar and disappears.
Niska and the Toydarian remember they saw something weird while they were wandering the bazaar, and with the help of Cypher and Cage, they discover a hidden door. Unfortunately, the crewmember was just coming out of it and ushers them back to the Captain’s quarters at gunpoint, where Bosche is waiting to speak to them. They discover he not only does not have a prisoner, he is going to sign on with the Rebellion to become a Privateer. That’s when a pirate barges in and tells the Captain he got reports of x-wings and a Y-Wing out near the asteroid belt at the edge of the system.
The PCs decide to investigate and manage to approach the ships unseen using an old patrol boat. While observing them, they realize the ships are not in very good shape, and the pilots don’t seem to understand the ships very well. Suddenly, the Y-wing opens fire, but the crew gets off a critical hit and it blows the whole skipfighter to hell – but not before the pilot ejects from the cockpit of the Y-Wing. The rest of the ships immediately jump out of the system. The crew pick up the ejected Y-wing pilot, who is currently unconscious. Now they have a prisoner they can interrogate and hopefully find out just what is going on.
Bosche contacts the PCs and tells them he wants to speak to the pilot. During the interrogation, the pilot reveals that he was to bomb the pirate stronghold as soon as the shield went down. Then he and the X-wings were to jump away and meet at a location very close to where Bosche said the meeting between him and the Rebel Mayeb was to take place. The crew suspects a setup, but before they can discuss it, a blaster shot forms a neat hole in the Imperial pilot’s head.
Some of the pirate crew, along with the Quarren quartermaster, stage an attempted mutiny. The crew of The Duchess, aided by a particularly impressive shot from Bosche and his blaster cannon, quickly put down the mutiny, which was apparently all about the fact that the pirates weren’t making the same kind of money they used to since they started restricting their activities to attacking only Imperial targets, plus they’ve attracted too much attention. The surviving mutinous pirates are bound, but the Quarren inastigator is made to walk the plank, which is a short plasma bridge attached to the captain’s quarters that leads to a very … long … drop.
Bosche decides to go to the meeting, mainly to warn Mayeb, and he asks the Duchess’ crew to accompany him. Three of them sign on to be bodyguards, and the other three to crew a gunboat and patrol the space around the meeting place. Prior to their departure, Jared Cypher headed out to reconnoiter prior to the meeting. The only thing he finds is a couple of recent ion trails leading to and from the abandoned asteroid mining platform the meet is to be held on, but nothing definitive. The pirates and PCs head out to the meeting. Bosche, Niska, Terrance, and the Toydarian Politico, along with a handful of pirates, dock at the abandoned asteroid mining platform and head into the meeting. Mayeb was already there. The pirates circulated through the facility to ensure they were alone. That’s when the stormtroopers hiding on the platform attacked. They took out one group of pirates and attacked the meeting. Bosche and Mayeb hit the deck, the medic hit one group of troopers with a stun grenade, the Toydarian whipped up the remaining pirates into an effective fighting force with a rousing speech, and Niska scored a double beheading.
Meanwhile, in space, an Imperial gunship jumped in and dropped off a slew of Tie fighters, Tie interceptors and a Tie Defender. Bosche’s first mate, Sol, was flying patrol and called in Jared and the remaining pirates to defend the platform. They jumped in with guns blazing and Crow along with Meat Cage took out the Defender and one of the Interceptors before the Imps even knew they were there. Sol took out an Interceptor and a couple of Tie fighters, and the battle was going their way.
Not so in the facility. The heroes were pinned down in the boardroom. Mayeb was calling in reinforcements on her communicator. But the heroes couldn’t really get a bead on the troopers in the dark, and things were looking bleak.
Back in space, they’d just about mopped up the Tie fighters, when the Reble gunship jumped into system with a couple of X-wings who finished up the stragglers. The Imperial ship jumped away, leaving Jared and the pirates to board the station and overwhelm the troopers. Bosche and Mayeb were safe, and the team got a couple of new contacts.
Bosche decides not to join the Rebellion at this time, because they apparently have a mole. But he’s remaining friendly with the Rebels. He lends the crew a YT-1760 so they can go pick up their ship, but when they emerge from hyperspace over Sevarcos II, they get a message from Bosche that includes a short holovid about the death of Devaroni Tal and that they are now wanted for murder. Bosche says they can keep the ship for now and recommends they head to The Wheel to rest up and begin their search for their now-impounded Duchess.
Beyond the Rim