The Colux Skull

Star Wars, Pool of Force. 12/28/2020. Clone War era, 3256 LY

  • Primes. A clone trooper pilot, left for dead and on his own, hiding behind a beard and a helmet.
  • Numidian “Noomie” Smith, a scholar and archeologist with an interest in Jedi and Sith artifacts.

Primes piloted a HWK 270 named the “Century Hawk”, and Noomie brought along a protocol droid, EC 17 (Easy).

The Tagelia Scholars offered them work, sending them to coordinates off the shoulder of Yina Sept to receive further information from their slug-like contact Delsiar. They arrived and contacted him on the holo net.

Skullduggery

Delsiar explained that Gell Station on Yina Sept was a tourist site, now secured by the Confederacy of Independent Systems (CIS) and exclusively serving their notables who came to this safe place to relax. One of these notables was Braydeel, a Gran aristocrat who was a military commander currently on vacation excavating a site on the planet, a temple called the Headspiece of Dinakka, about 18 kliks from the spaceport.

Apparently Braydeel was bragging to his friends that he had discovered the Colux Skull. The Tagelia Scholars wanted that skull. They had an arrangement with Lady Selentia, a CIS aristocrat currently located in Gell Station. She filed the necessary information identifying Noomie and Primus as contractors working for her, so they would be granted permission to access the station.

Delsiar said there was no contract, but if they acquired the Colux Skull they would get 20,000 Sekk credits (Republic credits were no good in their region) if they smuggled the skull offworld in a scan-resistant box nestled between their engines. If they were leery of the risk of taking the skull off-world, they could sell it to Lady Selentia for 10,000 credits. Delsiar encouraged the scoundrels to handle this quietly, and not bring undue scrutiny to Lady Selentia or the Tagelia Scholars.

Heading Out

The Century Hawk slid right on past the CIS frigate standing guard over the station. Noomie and Easy collaborated figuring out local protocols; Primus could bring his blaster rifle, no problem, but would be well served to put it in a backpack. Blasters were fine. Since the port was restricted, serving aristocrats likely to have illegal material anyway, security wasn’t too curious.

They handled docking and fees with the downtrodden B1 battle droid repurposed to be a functionary. J66 “Jaysix”, Lady Selentia’s protocol droid, greeted them and interfaced with Easy, updating him with Gell Station protocols. They met with Lady Slentia where she reclined in a mud bath. She was disinterested in their business, so they headed out to rent some transportation.

The easiest way to travel out into the jungle was on civilian STAP (Single Trooper Ariel Platform). The easiest place to get one was Bruhkko Rentals, a low-quality tourist service run by a patchy Trandoshan. He was sober enough to warn them to stay on the beacon-lit paths, giving them a trail map; it was mating season for some of the jungle monsters. They picked out a couple STAPs that had blaster mounts and weren’t too shaky, and left Easy behind at Gell Station to “guard the ship.”

The Headspiece of Dinakka

The beacon-lit repulsor route was equipped with monster repellent generators, so their trip to the temple was short and uneventful. They decided to pose as curious tourists, so they boldly approached the site. Braydeel had at least a dozen B1 battle droids, but they seemed somewhat the worse for wear with moss and corrosion from the swamp. They seemed to be there for protection against jungle monsters; a big tangled corpse was visible off to the side, blasted repeatedly.

The B1s intercepted the scoundrels and send their greeting to Braydeel, who came out to greet them. Noomie could certainly speak the archeologist lingo, and the two hit it off. Braydeel took them on a tour, with Noomie engaged and gracious, admiring Braydeel’s finds, to the point where the Gran invited them inside his parked ship, the Clarity. Why pitch a base camp when you can park an armed freighter onsite?

Aboard the Clarity

Primus evaluated the security as Noomie chatted up Braydeel, encouraging him to get tipsy as they drank wine together. Braydeel invited them to see his trophy room in the ship, the most high-security area, unlocked by a tri-eye scan. Noomie’s attention was fixed on the Colux Skull on display in a place of pride on a column in the center of the room. Braydeel explained it was part of a Sith and dark mystic tradition of encoding information on the skulls of important leaders, sometimes in symbols and code and sometimes with complex booby-trapped microcircuitry.

Primus was looking elsewhere. He noticed the dome of the freighter had the droid brain controlling this contingent (designed to direct a much bigger force.) He observed that there were only B1 droids here, no super battle droids; but he saw the circular port in the trophy room that probably housed a droidika, activated in case of emergency. What really captured his attention were the clone trooper faceplates, cut into plate-like trophies mounted on the wall, paired with holographic projectors to tell the story of acquiring each one in battle.

His tension and accent got Braydeel’s attention, but it was too late for the Gran. The scoundrels gunned him down before he could hit the security lockdown control. Primus sprang over to the controls and locked the droidika bay as Noomie looked over the trophy column, seeing its alert and shock defenses. He directed Primus, who grabbed the skull and took the shock, yanking it out of the defenses as the alarm activated. The prize was in their hands.

A couple of the B1s clattered up, trading fire with the scoundrels; the battle droids were gunned down, but not before one scored a hit on Noomie that dropped him. As more of the B1s converged on the ship, Primus managed to burn through a couple med kits keeping Noomie alive.

As Noomie staggered to the bridge, Primus slammed the gangplank so the B1s outside the ship could not board. The clankers struggled to formulate a plan, but Noomie hacked into the droid brain controls and issued commands for the B1s to go on long patrol.

The Getaway

Primus dragged Braydeel’s corpse to the edge of the site, where monsters would clean it up, and Noomie hefted the Colux Skull to the STAPs. Flying casual, they returned to Gell Station, ordering Easy to check in with Jaysix to let Lady Selentia know they were headed out. They were off world before the alarm was raised.

They deposited the Colux Skull at the drop point and got 20,000 credits. Job well done.

(3 Character Points)

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