Session 6: Arrival at The Wheel
“Here it is Rome, as ordered, the rarest of serpentine creatures in all the galaxy,” Huckyl said with glee, standing next to a medium specimen crate covered with a green silk cloth, “the Alamon Black Snape!” With a flourish the tall space weasel whipped off the cloth to unforough the 10 foot snake like creature. It coiled up and hissed violently.
“Oh my, it’s beautiful!” Rome exclaimed, walking over the container to inspect his acquisition.
“It is nothing, you really need to find me more difficult quarry man.”
“Oh Huckyl,” chuckled Rome, “I think you will enjoy your next contract.”
“Aye? Will the pay be better than 1,000 pitiful credits? Sometimes I wonder if you remember that you are purchasing the services of the greatest big game hunter to ever wander the galaxy.”
“Huckyl, I guarantee the next assignment will test not only your hunting skills but also your survival and stealth. The pay will be 5,000 credits.”
“5,000?,” Huckyl exclaimed rubbing his paws together, “What’s the quarry?”
“Can’t hunt a ship.”, Huckyl stated with all too apparent disappointment.
“No, this is true. But the ship is on Changoo. The Nexu on Changoo will give you the chance to prove yourself. I am sure if you were to bring one back alive you could get even more out of the venture.”
“Ah! I like it! When do I leave?” Huckyl says with a smile.
“Be back here in 3 hours, you are not going alone. And do not mention this to anyone.”
“Yes, consider this a safari of sorts. A highly secretive safari. That is all for now.”
With that, Huckyl bowed and exited off to Bitches and Creds to see his favorite tarts Casey and Pacey.
3 hours later….
Huckyl itched his jock. “Damn crabs, but dang that Pasey…” thought Huckyl as he entered Rome’s office.
“This is Huckyl, he will be joining you on your venture,” Rome exclaimed waving in his direction. He was talking to a large human, an intimidating looking Trandoshan, a conspicuous looking droid, and a Gand with a respirator mask so ubiquitous amongst their race.
“Well Rome, this is the group? A bunch of miscreants to be sure, and you know how I feel about droids.”
“Well,” Rome stated dismissively, “you have 8 hours to get supplies and information. I will send IT-3PO to your ship.”
Huckyl’s mind swam in a sea of doubt, how he hates droids. How can something without a heart be truly sentient? How can something without blood know of honor or courage? In fact he had come to pity them immensely. They would never truly know love, success, failure, or happiness. Maybe a sea of WD-40 would make them happy, but would it just be a reaction of process compared to an actual emotion? He may never understand. These thoughts teemed through his brain for a good long time until he noticed that the conservation was coming to an end.
“I will give you 10% up front. Be at your ship in 8 hours.” Rome was explaining. The human, Tengo, seemed tense. Huckyl inspected Tengo like prey, seeing that he was quick to anger and rather uncouth. He seemed to be quite street smart but rather lacking in true knowledge. But he had an aura about him that obviously served him well. His brooding appearance and manner of speech could help getting more information in a place as unforgiving as The Wheel. The Tandoshan, Boski, seemed a bit more unprepared for the trials of this place. For all his intimidating features his personality was more sensitive than appearances suggested. Only Ooyakk was unreadable behind his mask, and the droid seemed to have not been programmed for much but killing which suited Huckyl just fine.
As they left, the group began to discuss plans for the upcoming operation, not seeming to take much notice of Huckyl. He noticed that Tengo took the lead and divvied up the group. Huckyl and Ooyakk would go gather supplies then head to the cargo bay. Tengo and Boski to a couple cafes to gather intel. FA-13, and another droid stowed on the ship called B-1R would inspect a pod that had information from (name of the ship) which may contain its location then tap into the main frame to gather further intelligence. After all this, the group would convene at Bitches and Creds. They all went their separate ways with little formality. “Who are these people?”, Huckyl thought as he and Ooyakk made their way to get some survival gear.
Huckyl and Ooyakk walked away from the group down a long hallway towards the docking bay. As they traversed through The Wheel, Huckyl attempted small talk with the to this point silent Gand. Seemingly impervious to Huckyl’s gregarious nature, there was not much small talk. In fact, the only speaking came from Huckyl himself. They arrived at (the shop) where (name of owner) was working.
“Good day Huckyl! How are you?” he greeted the Selonian cordially.
“Well. (owner’s name)!” Huckyl stated cheerfully.
“What can I do you for?” asked the shop keep as he oiled a metallic cylinder with polish.
“We are looking for survival supplies” said Ooyakk, taking Huckyl by surprise.
“Yes we are indeed, what you got?” asked Huckyl.
“Whatever you need, you know I can get. In fact, tell me a story of interest and I can offer you 10% off the order” (owner’s name) explained. At this point, Ooyakk stalked off through the wares gathering what he thought the group would need not just for them but the crew of the treasure ship. Huckyl, not one to miss out on such an opportunity to boast, spoke of his travels to Tattoine where once he killed the largest Rancor the planet had to offer. So great was the reward paid him that he “made it rain all over Mos Eisley.” So impressed with the tale, the order was 10% off and the shop keep rounded the remainder down. He also offered up some of his special stock, a beautifully ornate slug thrower which Ooyakk offered to pay for with his company’s mutual funds. “Hm,” though Huckyl, “maybe I have managed an impression afterall!”
Through the comm chatter, it appeared the group had fared well thus far. Particularly FA-13 and B-1R but they would not mention exactly what they had gained over open frequencies. Tengo and Boski had done decently at the Alderan cantina, though Boski had made a little bit of a stir by pouring liquor out of a shandy on the ground near a memorial to loved ones of the survivors. “I knew it” thought Huckyl with a smile. “Such a gentle soul.”
“Now to the cargo bay?” asked Ooyakk.
“Aye friend, let me tell you of the time I slayed every last portuguine on the planet Akgraki.”
Huckyl, becoming used to Ooyakk’s foreboding presence, wove his tale. It did not seem to faze the Gand outwardly. Huckyl could sense that for all his cool demeanor, there raged an inferno in this creature’s soul. He longed to know why; Ooyakk had the air of a hunter about him. Intrigued, Huckyl stashed the new found revelations away in hopes to dig deeper into what made Ooyakk the prickly customer presented to him not long before.
They arrived in the cargo bay after a moderate walk and were greeted by (name of contact). Huckyl knew the man well, he had always been trusted with a small bribe to allow him to bring in the exotic creature’s Rome sent Huckyl to acquire. Never one for small talk he pulled the pair aside.
“I feel you should know, the Ya-Ya clan has been asking about you,” pointing to the Gand, “and the group that arrived in Dock 5.”
“Those damned Rodians, greedy and nosey,” Huckyl said spitting on the ground, “where is there ship and how secure is it? I have an idea.”
“They are docked in the hangar over that way,” stated (name of the contact), “give me half an hour and I’ll show you.”
This was just enough time for the group to reconvene. Tengo and Boski had paid a trivial fee to gain much needed information. Tengo seemed apathetic yet annoyed with the prospect that after only 3-4 hours another company had begun attempts to subterfuge his group’s efforts. His candor notwithstanding, Huckyl felt a genuine care displayed for his compatriots. “This might be a man I could come to trust” he thought. FA-13 and B-1R unveiled that they had come to obtain the entire financial asset list of (corporation’s name). “Perhaps these two droids could prove useful, even if not trustworthy” though Huckyl.
As the dissemination of the gains made slowed, Huckyl informed the group of his plans to circumvent the wills of the Ya-Ya clan. Ever the hunter, he always carried tracking beacons with him. Huckyl proposed to slip one onto their ship to help track their movements. The Gand, Ooyakk, seemed to find the plan agreeable but also wished to perform a ritual that would allow him to also track the ship’s location, and over a greater distance than the beacon. “The sign of a true hunter,” though Huckyl, “to always have a failsafe.”
Tengo was a little less impressed with the plan. How was it, he postulated, that a 6’5” tall space weasel would manage such a feat of stealth. He had noted that a large, muscular Rodian female had been keenly observant of the ship, keeping a close eye and hailing at all who tread near. Huckyl explained that he had some skill in being unnoticed, but understood the human’s trepidations. Huckly presented the idea for a distraction, having Boski and Tengo get into a small fight to draw attention from the grand deception. The plan was agreed, and the majority felt it would be wiser to meet back at the ship following to keep attention from the group.
Huckyl stooped in the shadows near the bay doors to the dock, watching as Boski and Tengo walked nearer the ship through the crowd. He noticed some slight shoving start before Boski swung a blow into Tengo’s chest. He turned to see the Rodian, standing erect near the ships entrance tweaking her nipples as she watched the fight. Huckyl shuttered, what a frightening woman, and crept towards the hull. He spied a location which would not be overly difficult a spot to place the tracker, but also allow him to get in and out quickly. He inched closer, and just as she was about to hoist the tracker up to attach to the ship he turned to ensure the distraction was still working.
“CLUNG!” came a loud crashing sound as Huckyl’s eyes widened. He had greatly underestimated the powerful force of the magnetic hold and the beacon shot out of his hands to hit the ship hull with tremendous force.
“YOU THERE!,” rang a strangely butch voice as the Rodian female spun around drawing her blaster, “What are you doin’?”
Huckyl did not even hesitate, he reached both paws up to his face and began swearing and cursing with the voice of inebriation.
“Who da HELL parks a ship ‘ERE?! I should sue you! All t’ree of you!” he yelled, stumbling around. His ruse seemed to work, as the Rodian female scoffed and ordered him away from the ship before disappearing through the hatch. Huckyl smiled and stumbled away. He figured it best that he continue his ruse to avoid suspicion, sure he would be followed.
The group congregated once more and decided it was time to get to Bitches and Creds. The bar and casino both were abuzz as (wookie’s name) was in town and his challengers had dropped from the fight. Not missing a beat, Boski offered to get in the ring and was whisked away to the pits for preparation before Huckyl could warn him. Huckyl stayed with the rest of the group which included FA-13. He gave them some information on the casino and which games were fixed and which legitimate. While stumbling around showing the group his stomping grounds, he spied the stripper twins Casey and Pasey wandering through the crowd in the club. Once they saw him, however, they emerged to greet the rest of his compatriots.
Boski was not privy to any of this information. Nor the warnings Huckyl wished the opportunity to divulge. The wookie was considered a champion in The Wheel, a large specimen even for his race shaved to the skin with only a Mohawk left. His record did not reflect this, being 5-12. This made the match up look favorable to Boski who was undefeated at 7-1 (though no one is quite sure how). Typically, (the wookie) fought 3 individuals, and the bookies were not giving Boski much of a chance with 3:1 odds.
The gang, minus Boski, was offered a private viewing room from which to watch the fight. This was in part due to the 8,400 credit bet Tengo placed as well as Huckyl’s reputation equally. Huckyl decided it best, in his expertise, to watch the fight from the stands with Casey and Pasey. He had been acting the drunkard this whole time and continued the charade. While boasting about his recent success killing enormous animals, he spoke of the safari to be undertaken to Pelor (lying EXTREMELY well) to find some “damned fairy tale treasure ship.” He also spoke of gaining exact coordinates to the ship from a pod purportedly jettisoned from the freighter before it crash landed.
With the buzz of the crowd reaching a cacophony of shouting and even some drunken brawling, the start of the fight could not have come sooner without hell breaking loose. The announcers introduced both fighters, who were bound together by the wrist at the midpoint of the circular arena. All the innocent charm and soft underbelly perceived by Huckly previously in Boski was now shrouded in an odd rage as he glowered at the wookie. The trandoshan acted first, landing quite an astonishingly powerful punch to the wookie’s head. In kind, (wookie’s name) smashed into the lizard’s collar bone area with a shattering blow. Huckyl flinched, believing that he must have had his arm ripped off. A loud cheer rose from the crowd as he looked back.
The pair had been exchanging minor blows for a couple minutes. Boski seemed to have (the wookie) on the defensive. He was staggering and favoring his left side. The wookie seemed more angry than anything, but was obviously hurting badly as well. As Boski lunged, the wookie took advantage and the trandoshan was thrown to the ground. (The wookie) paced around having untied himself before throwing Boski once more. He paced around raising his arms in the air playing into the crowd’s thirst for blood. Ever the sportsman, he calmly walked to a rack of clubs. He hoisted one up and walked to where Boski lay.
It looked as if Boski was to accept his fate. There was no shame in his fight; he did better than some trios had against (the wookie). But as he knelt there on both knees, staring up at impending demise, there was a sudden spark. With blinding speed Boski drew back and pounded his fist into the wookie with what strength remained. The crowd was silent for a moment as the wookie stumbled back and fell to a knee howling in agony. Boski had punched (the wookie) square in the testicles. The crowd was electrified! They chanted “Boski! Boski! Boski!” The favor was short lived…(the wookie) had recovered, deflected Boski’s last feeble blow and rained down a thunderous TKO double fisted slam.
“DAMNIT” Huckyl exclaimed.
“What is it, love?” Pasey and Casey cooed.
“I lost my last 100 credits there,” he said with a forlorn look.
“Aww, baby, you know you don’t need money with us!” Casey replied.
“I know, beautiful, but I have no time tonight. I must return with my charges to their ship. But I will see you upon my return,” Huckyl said, bowing to the twins and taking his leave. The group met outside the private viewing room. Tengo was outwardly peeved. Ooyakk seemed his normal non-descript self. FA-13 actually appeared to have enjoyed himself much to Huckyl’s surprise. But Boski was not present.
“Well, I suspect we should wait for Boski. It usually takes them about 20 minutes to waken a fighter that has been destroyed in that manner by (the wookie).” Huckyl explained with a smile.
“The hell it does!” came Boski’s voice from a baccarat table. He looked none the worse for wear.
“Impressive!” laughed Huckyl, clasping a hand on Boski’s shoulder, “how are you doing?”
“I’ve already lost the money I earned from the fight, that’s how I am doing!” glowered Boski.
“Most impressive!” Huckyl laughed again, “but I feel we should be moving along, IT-3PO should be at the ship soon.”
The bay was teeming with activity. Droids, humans, aliens of all shapes, sizes, and colors were heading this way or that like so many ants in and out of their burrows. Ooyakk began preparations for the hyperspace jump while B-1R aided.
Huckyl approached Tengo, Boski, and FA-13. “We should check our hull for tracking beacons, aye?”
Lucky for the group that Huckyl suggested they make the sweep. They found one and removed the item with haste.
“Shouldn’t IT-3PO be here?” inquired Tengo, “damned droid is late!”
Tengo stomped off to see what was keeping the droid. The group ran to catch up. As they turned the corner leading to the main walkway, a large room bustling with activity and heavy with sweat, they saw the problem. IT-3PO was being shoved into a grav-cart by a group of Rodians!
As they began to run, most of the group took off in pursuit. Only Huckyl stood, whipping his slug thrower around and taking aim at the grav-cart at the point furthest from the end being pushed forward and at the very top.
“One well-placed shot is all it takes…” thought Huckyl as the trigger squeezed…