Starhounds

Beyond the Rim - Episode 2

It's a Jungle Out There

Hot on the heels of a firefight, the crew of the Intrepid Star and the insufferably affable IT3PO found themselves blasting through hyperspace en route to the Cholgauna system, alleged site of the wreck of the Sa Naloar. Predictably, smooth sailing didn’t last long – instrument malfunctions forced a quick decision from the crew, and the Intrepid Star dropped out of hyperspace farther from Cholganna than expected… and right in the middle of an asteroid field.

Bruised but not beaten, Bimko and his crew swept the sensors of Cholgauna in a desperate attempt to locate the treasure ship’s wreck. They did a poor job of it, too – after wasting untold hours scanning the wrong hemisphere, the sensors finally hit on something worth investigating. Ky landed the Intrepid Star in Cholganna’s dense foliage, and Bimko, Issh, and IT3PO ambled through the jungle to determine what had pinged the sensors.

It wasn’t much… or was it? In the middle of a tepid pond, an escape pod rested half-submerged. Leaving IT3PO safely (and out of conversation range) on the shore, Bimko and Issh waded toward the pod. Isshtatha fished a skeletal arm clutching a blaster from the pond, but Bimko did him one better and came up with a Nexu skull. It would take more than ill omens to deter the duo, even as aggressive bugs with an urge to sting began to swarm. Issh jumped into the pod, discovering a computer panel and an enormous nest of vicious insects. As the swarming insects became too much to bear, the Wookie completely trashed the escape pod’s computer panel… but managed to salvage its memory banks before leaping back into the water. While Issh was escaping, however, Bimko was wading into the thick of it – or at least diving under it, as he dove below the surface to escape the swarm. Much bravery and stupidity and stupid bravery ensued, and a very wet Duro and Wookie rejoined IT3PO on the shore.

In a flurry os surprisingly deft tech work, Issh used his data pad and slicing gear to glean a hologram from the pod’s memory banks. It didn’t look good – an image of Captain Harshal did a fair bit of screaming and threatening to kill people, and everybody was a little weirded-out – but at least the crew knew they were on their way to locating the Sa Naloar.

After returning to the ship to towel-off and crunch some numbers for the Sa Naloar’s possible crash trajectory, Isshtatha picked up some disturbing com chatter: the Rodians were hot on the trail of the Intrepid Star, and were already in-system. Issh pulled Bimko aside to break the news, cheesing-off Ky in the process. Cheesed-off but ever the sort-of professional, Ky piloted the Intrepid Star to a landing site – and with a little luck, maybe it would be near the landing/crash site of the treasure ship.

Bimko ordered Ky to take the Star into orbit, and the Duro captain, his Wookie pal, and their annoyingly chummy droid set off once more. Spaceship debris littered the jungle floor, and soon the trio stood in the shadow of a hulking starship wreck, which IT3PO verified was, in fact, the Sa Naloar. Sure, it was getting dark – but Bimko was jonesing for a treasure hunt, and Isshtatha, as ever, was there to get the Duro’s back. Scaling their way through the hulk of the ship, the duo made discoveries good and bad: a few credits here, a crazy octopus monster there. All in a day’s work… and then JACKPOT. With a second feat of electronics wizardy, Isshtatha opened a security door to reveal the largest treasure horde he or the Duro had ever seen. Unfortunately, something had discovered out heroes – a weird, angry, cybernetic nexu. Issh bravely battled the creature while Bimko bravely stuffed his pockets with treasure, and after an intense encounter, all three ended up back on the jungle floor.
Fate had decided that things just weren’t quite weird enough, and the robo-nexu’s attack was halted by a group of gun-toting, paranoid militia-folk lead by none other than… Captain Harsol? And what the hell – his group of hardened survivalists could control the cybernetic Nexus? Still shaken, Bimko and Issh witnessed the unthinkable, as Harsol – by all appearances a living being with a brain – became overjoyed to see and converse with IT3PO. Harsol turned the weirdness up to 11 with a meandering, paranoid line of questioning leveled at the Duro and the Wookie, and ultimately persuaded the duo to accompany him back to his settlement. Left to themselves in a bunk made of starship wreckage, Bimko and Isshtatha weighed their options and began considering their escape…

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