Friday, February 3, 2017

Mynock Squadron Recap # 20 [RPG]

[4.7.26 continued]

In the aftermath of the blaster fight in the streets of downtown Theed, the members of Gamma Flight regroup.  It turns out that a stray blaster bolt had grazed Keth's temple, and although he'll be okay, he is dazed and needs rest.  The group quickly head back to their hotel, bringing Stavros with them, in order to avoid a long night answering the authorities' questions.  On the way, Stavros explains that he's almost 20,000 credits in debt to Yossa the Brick after his luck turned during a spate of gambling.

At the hotel, Kero calls Berylis, the perky receptionist at the surgery that Keth and Kero visited earlier that day and who clearly had a crush on the Zabrak.  Berylis is happy to come to the hotel and look after the injured pilot.  Once their unconscious comrade is safely ensconced in his room, the other members of Gamma Flight return to the rooftop bar.  A jubilant Kero drags Stavros and Max on to the dance floor, but Warik resists.  Conversation is had about what to do about Stavros' problem.  Max suggests simply killing Yossa, but Kero frowns on the violence and instead argues they either send Stavros into hiding or figure out a way to get him the credits to pay off his debt.  Max mentions he had signed up for a swoop race the following evening, and that perhaps he could win the necessary funds there.  After more talking and dancing, the team decides to follow Max's plan.  First, however, they decide they'll need to pay a visit to Yossa the Brick in order to get him to agree to an extension.  Stavros seems very nervous about this idea, but he goes along with it.  Kero tries to com-link Tazo-Rhi, but receives no answer.

The squad members travel to Yossa's Place, the upscale cantina that serves as a front for the notorious Gungan gangster.  A few customers are inside nursing drinks, and the bartender droid says the newcomers can go to a curtained off area near the back if they wish to find Yossa himself.  When the curtain is pulled back, they see a muscular, tattooed Gungan holding a blaster pistol to the temple of the bound form of Tazo-Rhi!  "Meesa tink you be droppin' doz blasters!" Yossa says, smiling strangely at Stavros.  When the squad look over at Stavros, they see a strange sight: his face seems to melt, churn, and reconstitute itself as a green-skinned reptilian!  The shape-changing Clawdite that had assumed Stavros' form points a blaster at the group and excitedly tells them that he's here to deliver Grand Moff Kain's regards!  Although Kain has had to move his fleet into hiding, he had determined the identity of those responsible for breaking into his secure archive room in the Imperial Wing of Zorba the Hutt's palace on Nal Hutta.  The other "patrons" in the cantina reveal themselves as members of Yossa's gang, and also draw weapons.

Warik, however, isn't about to be intimidated just because he's being held at gunpoint!  He takes a blaster bolt to the stomach for his troubles, but draws his blaster and opens fire on "Stavros."  Max whips out his vibrorapier and places the blade against Yossa's throat before the Gungan can react and tells him there's no way he'll get out of this mess alive unless he lowers the pistol.  Yossa is startled by Max's quick and cool reaction, and was obviously expecting surrender instead of a fight.  Although Yossa had let his cantina and thugs be used in the Clawdite's ruse in exchange for payment, the Gungan had no personal stake in the action.  He lowers his pistol to the table, and his men look on, unsure of what to do.

Meanwhile, the close-quarters gunfight between the Clawdite and Warik continues.  Seeing that Yossa and his men are refusing to fight, Kero seizes on the advantage and shouts at the shape-changer to surrender.  Realizing the battle is lost, "Stavros" decides to bolt for the exit.  Kero shoots him in the leg to slow him down and then Max slides across a tabletop and plunges the point of his blade into the villain's back!  The would-be assassin is dead before he even hits the ground.

Kero chuckles and begins making herself a cocktail.  Max helps Tazo-Rhi escape from her bonds, and Warik searches the assassin's corpse to discover an encrypted comlink and tracking devices.  An ebullient Kero tells Yossa that she doesn't have any hard feelings, and tells him to open the club up to the public.  She continues drinking and then starts dancing.  Tazo-Rhi is surprised at what she describes as strange behaviour ill-fitting an officer and decides to return to her tour of the local flora and fauna from which she had been kidnapped.  Warik returns to the hotel and checks on Keth, but Max stays to party.


The next morning, Kero awakens in her hotel room horribly hungover and remembering only bits and pieces of the night prior.  Max awakens in the room of a young lady he met at the cantina.  Once the squad has assembled for breakfast, Kero insists that a full report of the assassination attempt should be filed.  She transmits the report (using euphemisms for security) to the nearest New Republic relay station via a public holocomm terminal and then heads off to do some sedate  sight-seeing.  Warik and Max take an airtaxi to the swoop-racing track and look over Barskal's vehicle to see if they can improve it.  The two spend some time tinkering, but the run-down old swoop can't be improved without a major investment in new parts.  As they work, Warik and Max disagree over who could make the best time.  Since the race itself isn't scheduled until midnight, they each take the swoop out for a spin.  Although Warik gets a better time on one leg of the course, Max more than makes up time on the other legs and finishes first overall.

Early that evening, Kero accompanies Max to a local dueling club.  Max is immediately challenged by a sneering, arrogant regular and the two face off in a contest to be the first to land three strikes on the other.  While Max relies on speed and skill, the club member seems to thrive on intimidation and aggressiveness.  Max soon finds himself with only 1 strike compared to his opponents 2, and tries feinting and taunting his opponent.  The club member becomes enranged and hurtles his practice sword like a spear!  The wooden blade catches Max in the throat, and his opponent begins to crow about his victory.  Kero escorts Max out of the arena before further violence takes place.

Late that evening, with Kero and Warik watching, Max participates in the moonlit swoop race.  Warik lays down 3,000 credits on the 6-1 odds that his ally will win the race, and that's just what happens!  Max handles the swoop carefully on a hairpin turn, loses ground on a steep hill, recovers position zig-zagging through a narrow canyon, and then pours on the speed through a narrow rock archway to cross the finish line first!  The swoop's owner, Barskal, tries to talk Max into staying on, but although the offer is tempting, Max declines.  Warik shares half of his winnings with Barskal, instructing the man to buy himself a better swoop.  

The members of Gamma Flight have had an enjoyable and adventurous R&R, but nothing can prepare them for what is about to happen next . . .

Director's Commentary (3/02/2017)

I was proud of the ambush scenario and liked how it tied in to the sessions one of the players guest-directed a few months previously.  I did *not* expect Max to get the drop on Yossa; I think he rolled a natural 20 on an Intimidate check or something of the sort.  Getting Yossa and his men to stand down completely changed the course of the encounter, of course, and the PCs made short work of the shaft-shifting assassin.  That's the fun of gaming--you never know what's going to happen, and you just have to roll with it.  Kero's uncharacteristic behaviour afterwards was a sign that her multiple personalities were beginning to be a problem.  The swoop race at the end was pretty exciting, as Warik risked a fair amount of credits on it.

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