Starhounds

One Step Ahead - Prologue to the new season

Isshtatha left the jungles of Kashyyyk at a relatively young age, but after adulthood. Two tramp freighter merchants – an Anzat named Tyrisa Wan and her first mate, a Herglic named Burbosa – took the wookiee on as second mate and engineer, a role that worked out well for all involved. Their ship was a large cargo hauler called Failing Light. For the first decade or so, things went well, but as the Republic grew more bloated and corrupt, the movement of arms and illegal mods increased to both governments and a growing criminal element. Tyrisa and Burbosa began moving more and more arms, even going so far as to pirate weapons and move them for ever-shadier clientele. Tyrisa began feeding more regularly, Burbosa began consuming mountains of spice. Isshtatha had to get out.

Having grown the crew from three free traders to more than a dozen cutthroats, the crew of the Failing Light became little more than a group of thugs and thieves. In what should have been a simple job, the crew bombastically stormed a luxury liner and, as the bulk of the crew went about stealing directly from passengers, Isstatha was dispatched to clean out the safe. This was his chance. He cleaned out the safe and stole one of the luxury liner’s small boats, but not before setting off the ships distress beacon and disabling her gravity. As he blasted away in the chaos, a Republic Patrol Craft jumped into the system and began dispensing justice. Isstatha doesn’t know what happened to the Failing Light’s crew, but Herglics live for hundreds of years, Anzats for thousands. Long life spans make for long memories, and Tyrisa and Burbosa were too clever to stay in a stockade for too long. With the confusion surrounding the Clone Wars and the rise of the Empire, it’s entirely possible they made their way out into the Galaxy as mercenaries. Isstatha doesn’t exactly keep tabs on them, but sometimes he bolts awake at night certain that his ticket is about to be punched.

Many years later Bimko Löditz, a young Duro with a penchant for moving merchandise, was finally making a name for himself. Ever the consummate capitalist, Bimko had built a reputation for moving cargo fast and without much fuss, even if occasionally he skimmed a little off the top. Bimko was street smart enough to not ask a lot of questions, and book smart enough to plot a course through some of the worst the hyperspace lanes had to offer. This reputation eventually got him in front of Vallifar the Just, a powerful lieutenant in the Besadii Hutt clan. Vallifar, based on Gomorr and employing thousands of that planet’s native sons in his gang, desperately wanted to cut into the Desilijic spice running operations. Bimko took the job and was able to slip spice from Nal Hutta to Corellia, directly under the nose of CorSec. Impressed, Vallifar kept Bimko employed for some time.

Laying low on a backwater world and plying his trade as a slicer for half a century or so, Isstatha ran into Bimko during one such job. Bimko’s ship was locked up in an Imperial impound after getting boarded carrying spice. He needed to get it out with a new transponder ID. Isstatha hacked into the ISB database and plucked out an appropriate ID, then snuck into the lockup with Bimko. The two were able to blast their way out and slap the new ID on the ship with none the wiser. Their personalities meshed well, and Bimko agreed to keep Isstatha on the job and give him a cut of the earnings.

Things didn’t go well and the ship was once again spotted by the Empire. Their phony ID was revealed (after much poking and prodding, to Isstatha’s credit), and their ship took a beating. They made a hasty jump to hyperspace after dumping the spice and limped the craft to the industrial mining world of Eriadu where they sold it at a loss and Bimko burned another shell ID to keep his name clean. An Imperial world, Eriadu soon received word of the two fugitives, thus beginning a frantic attempt by the two to find passage off world. They found their salvation in a young pilot named Kyrin Bel-Don who promised them passage off world if they helped in with a little job. Together, the three broke into the local Imperial garrison and swiped a Sienar Systems Scout craft, fresh off the assembly line, with no assigned Imperial ID and little to no modifications. Bimko and Isstatha were curious how the young pilot knew so much about where and how to find a clean ship (let alone an Imperial one), but they were desperate to get off world. They snatched the ship and took to the stars.

It wasn’t until they landing in Gelgelar Freeport and got a legal ID for the ship that Kyrin revealed his past. An aspiring fighter ace, Kyrin was crestfallen when his Imperial Academy training ended in him being assigned routine engineering and repair duties and not his flight wings. Furious, he stole a ship an bounced to the Outer Rim, not sure of his next step but always on the look out for freedom and throttle. The Empire issued a bounty on his head, standard for all deserters, which restricted his movements to Eriadu where he had hoped to book passage off world. Gathering intel on world, he learned of the delivery of three scout ships in need of final assembly before entering the deep-space exploration contingent of Eriadu’s garrison. While everyone involved is pretty sure they got away clean, if the Empire can link any of them to the ship’s theft, they’ll all be feeling the pressure.

Meanwhile, Bimko’s cut-and-run isn’t sitting well with the Hutt. Vallifar may be Just but he isn’t forgiving: Bimko owes the Hutt the cost of the shipment with interest. While he aggressively pursues Bimko for his money, he hasn’t dispatched bounty hunters … yet.

The three now find themselves as shipmates on a quest for their own freedom, always just a step ahead of their personal ghosts. If they can keep their ship in the air, they may just live long enough to pay off their debts and go honest. Or they may just load another energy pack in the blaster and space off to the next big score.

Comments

Sounds great so far. I like how Bimko has an indirect relationship to this Hutt. Now that I’m simply a smuggler there won’t be any faces for me to keep track of, making my crew the only faces I can trust.

 

I like it – classic smuggler set-up. Also, way to go for deep cuts as to long-living species that Issh is running from. I had to look up Herglic… which I’m not proud of.

Quixotic_Earthling

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