“I need to gear up,” Ta’lenna announces on her way out, “I might look around here a bit and then move on to Mos Eisley. What are the rest of you doing?”

“I can give you a ride,” H’Vas spoke up quickly but a bit nervously. Pretty girls tended to leave him a bit tongue tied, but he was about to ship out with the blonde and he figured he needed to at least be able to talk to her.

“Why thank you, handsome!” Aurora responded, a hint of relief in her voice.

“And anyone else who needs one, too,” he added as an afterthought turning around to look at the others. “I rented a T-44 land-speeder in Mos Eisley to get out here.’ He did wonder briefly about how the others got here, but decided it was probably rude to ask.

He also has a question for the Rodian as thing begin to wrap up.

“How will we know who our contact is at the cantina?” he asked.

In response to H’Vas’s question about their contact in the cantina, the Rodian who has been handing out the credit chips touches his console again and a life size holodisplay of a male Mon Calamari springs to life.

“This is Maril Thibben,” the Rodian speaks softly only for those paying attention. “Notice the white scar over his left eye. He is the current owner of your transport, and he will be your contact. He does not know you by sight. You will use the password phrase – ‘Jabba is the highest Hutt’ – to which he will reply ‘There is no finer in all the galaxy’, if all is well. If for some reason there is a problem and he feels you must delay taking possession of the ship, he will say ‘On Tatooine, but not on Nal Hutta, I think.’

Holo image of Maril Thibben

“When you have made contact, Thibben will provide you with the location and the access code to your ship, the Nomad Prime. For a consideration, he may also be able to put you in contact with potential customers for cargo shipments. His obligation to Lord Jabba is completed when he passes you the access code.”

OOC: It will be common knowledge that a ship’s access code consists of a ten digit number that can be keyed into the keypad at the spaceport. Without the code, the spaceport will keep the ship locked up and will alert security if any attempt is made to open the hatches directly. With the code, the hatches will unlock from the spaceport command panel. The code is set using the ship’s on-board computer and can be changed at will by anyone having the existing code. Forget the code, or have it reset on you and you lose the ship.

Ta’Lenna commits the face of the Mon Calamari to memory as well as the key phrases.

Elena had come late, signing her life away to make taking her ship appear ‘legal’ was not a pleasant process. One bad run and jabba takes her ship. ‘Well, that’s gratitude for you!’ she thought as she adjusted her pack on her shoulder. Glumly she took up her cred slip not even bothering to look at it. She was Bantha bait if she didn’t get it back and soon. She said nothing to the others and just followed the ones that said they were going to Mos Eisley. She didn’t bother looking at any faces and she didn’t want anyone looking at hers. She was a fairly tall woman, dark hair, green eyes and not thin and not heavy though it might be difficult to see under her clothes. She wore an old style rebel pilot’s hat complete with goggles and her satchel bag was filled with any kind of tool that existed as far as repairing a ship went. She had never used a weapon to kill before so she hoped she wasn’t expected to now or tomorrow or ever for that matter. People who used weapons oft as not died by them and she intended to stay very much alive thank you!

She passed H’Vas but stopped when she heard what he had said. “A T-44? You’re braver than you look, those things are notorious for engine coolant failures. Hope you asked where the fire suppressor is….or when you rented it did you even bother to see if it has one?” She said condescendingly. “Well?” She asked after just a moment. “You gunna drive? Ladies here gotta shop, move!” she barked and scowled at him.

A little later, when Aurora was the last to emerge from the chamber, her face was pale and she wore an expression of anxiety.  Spotting the other members of her new little group, she went up to them and said, “I just found out an important bit of information the Rodian neglected to mention.  This little ‘mission’ of ours has a time limit.  We have to be back here within one galactic year, or else.”

“I could pick up a few items myself, but I think I’ll wait until we get to Mos Eisley,” said Aurora in response to Ta’Lenna’s comment.  “I just want to get out of this place as soon as possible.”  She hopped into one of the T-44’s passenger seats.  In response to Elena’s comment, she said, “So…this thing can get us to Mos Eisley without breaking down, right?”

The dark haired woman practically bit his head off about the model of land-speeder he had rented and then demanded a ride, but the good looking blond was nicer about it. H’Vas wondered how they were all going to get along living in a transport for months — up to a year, it sounded like — at a time. Three humans, two Twi’leks and the four armed Basalisk. Quite the family gathering.

He waited to hear from the Rodian about their contact and then he lead the ladies back through the labyrinthine palace to the car port where his land-speeder was hovering on standby. The rental unit was old and fairly beat. It had an actual physical key rather than a gene recognition interlock, and he fumbled with it as he opened the cowling. he glanced around for the fire suppression system, wondering what would happen if this thing went up in a ball of flames in the middle to the desert. There seemed to be a whole lot of desert on this planet.

Rented Land-speeder

“I think we can all fit,” he called to the others. Though it would be a squeeze — especially for the Basalisk.

Seeing as her companions seem to be in a rush to get off of the planet, Ta’Lenna gives up her search and instead follows them to the transport.

It certainly looks like a rental, having all manner of dents and rust. However the appearance of the vehicle doesn’t matter so long as they arrive in Mos Eisley.

On the ride to Mos Eisley, he started a conversation he thought they should have before they took command of the ship.

“I can pilot a ship, I can astrogate. I have knowledge of astronomy, engineering and general technology. I’m not particular good with weapons. I think we should pick a captain. Someone who will speak for us when we negotiate for cargo or deal with authorities. Any volunteers?”

“I volunteer,” Ta’Lenna says. “I love to talk and I love to listen. I, too, can pilot and astrogate. I’m good at talking to people and finding things out. I’ve never had to use any weapons, really. But I will not go unarmed. I look forward to inspecting the weapons Jabba left us once we are on our way. I’ve heard of how brutal spacing can be.”

“I think we should all introduce ourselves now. I am Ta’Lenna Beel. I was a slave for most of my life. I’ve earned my freedom now, but I am essentially the same slave until I can make some credits of my own. I heard about the meeting at Jabba’s while hitching a ride with some smugglers. In fact, I watched them walk out on Jabba.”

She eyes them all in turn. H’vas seems simple, Rab seems lost, the Besalisk she has seen before but doesn’t really know, and the humans are both different. One has been quiet so far save for trashing the transport. The other, who knows?

Elena always hated talking about herself but the Twi’lek seemed kind enough and she could only imagine what she had been put through being a slave. He shivered just thinking about that as she listened to her. She did have a way with words and was well spoken it seemed. She removed her hat and ruffled her hair then settled the hat back onto her head and nodded.

“Well…I’m Elena…if it spins, thrusts, flies, lights up, pushes or pulls I can fix it. I can talk to computers, droids and Jawas, it’s people that don’t really interest me much. Except her,” she pointed to the Twi’lek named Ta’Lanna, “she’s pretty hot,” she said as she gave the Twi’lek a wink. She looked down at her own chest briefly as it seemed quite inadequate compared to hers then grunted softly then tried to look nonchalant about it all.

“People with weapons tend to put holes in people who are holding weapons so if what we are about to do involves having to face people with blasters…I’ll be right behind ya,” she said honestly just barely able to contain a grin. “I do ‘happen’ to know a thing or two about security systems, explosives and in a pinch I can plot a course and pilot a ship,” she added. as she fumbled with a part she had just removed from the speeder’s auxiliary control system computer console.

H’vas had asked for volunteers to be the captain.  It sounded like he meant more of a group spokesperson than a leader or pilot.  Aurora thought about volunteering, but then Ta’Lenna spoke up first.  Aurora was fine with Ta’Lenna being their “captain”; she’d probably make a better captain than Aurora would anyway, considering that Aurora really didn’t know much about flying a spaceship.  Ta’Lenna seemed pretty interesting; Aurora wanted to ask her about her life as a slave, but decided it could wait until some other time.

Aurora raised a surprised eyebrow at Elena’s comment about Ta’Lenna being ‘pretty hot’; she’d thought that, if anybody was going to express such a sentiment about Ta’Lenna, it would have been Rab.  Aurora grinned in amusement and glanced at Ta’Lenna, wondering what her reaction would be to Elena’s statement.

When it was her turn to introduce herself, Aurora said, “I’m Arani Korden… well, actually, that’s not true.  I’m sorry; I’m just nervous about giving my real name out to folks I don’t really know.  My real name is Aurora Kelene, of the Naboo.  I don’t know much about astrogating, or high tech equipment, or that kind of stuff, but I do have kind of a knack for dealing with security equipment, so if you ever need to get a locked door open, let me know.  I’m pretty good at dealing with people too.  People seem to like me; most people, anyway.  When it comes to fighting, I think I’m a pretty good shot with a blaster, although I can’t say I’ve ever been in an actual shootout.  If there’s somebody around wanting to hurt you, I tend to think it’s better to just sneak away.  Oh yeah, and I play a mean game of sabacc!”

H’Vas glanced sideways at the blonde, Aurora, wondering how much he should believe of what she was saying — she couldn’t even come out with a real name after all. Who’s to know if the one she has given now is any more real than the first one. There again, a rose by any other name . . . though he suspects this one has sharp thorns.

“Perhaps you’ll teach me?” he suggests, firing up the very utilitarian land speeder and setting the navigation console to HOME

The vehicle slides about a bit on its repulsor fields as they all climb aboard, but it stabilizes itself and sets off across the desert without grounding out.

“To play sabacc?  Sure, Sweetie, I’ll teach you…” said Aurora, giving H’Vas a mischievous smile.  “But of course, you’ll have to teach me something in return!”

H’Vas was firing up the speeder’s engine, so Aurora decided to relax for the (hopefully) smooth trip to Mos Eisley.  Interlacing her fingers, she put her hands behind her head, leaned back, and propped her feet up on the speeder’s dashboard with her ankles crossed.

Elena grabs a hand hold as the speeder slides. She is not confident of the driver’s abilities and sets the goggles on her hat down over her face. She’d take to modifying the speeders lift capability if they were stopped but where she is she can’t get to anything so she just holds on for dear life and tries to maintain a grin about it.

Ta’Lenna enjoys the friendly banter among them and the extra attention she is receiving. “I’m flattered, thank you.”, she says politely.

As she awaits arrival at Mos Eisley, she listens to her companions introduce themselves.

When they have finished she asks, “Do you mind checking out the ship before we acquire a cargo? I think a few of us could use some of the supplies in there right away.” She looks about and sees that they are not all armed. Obviously armed, anyway. “I’d rather not pay Maril Thibben the extra credits for a recommendation, but getting our hands on something could be dangerous.”

The land-speeder is heavily loaded and H’Vas soon realizes that he cannot go as quickly as he traveled on the route out from Mos Eisley the day before. The twin suns are rising higher in the sky and the temperature is soaring as he coaxes the vessel over a sea of dunes with glimpses of orange colored cliffs and mountains on the horizon when they crest each rise. The rough terrain, however, is interacting with the repulsor sensors and the ride can quickly seesaw out of control. [DC 15 Pilot roll to control the land-speeder]

1d20 = 6 + 6 = 12 for Pilot

The land-speeder grazes a dune and sends a spume of hot sand into the air and into the cockpit.

1d20 = 12 + 6 = 18 for Pilot recovery roll

H’Vas manages to regain control of the vehicle and they continue on a few more kilometers across the desert landscape

1d20 = 18 + 6 = 24 for Pilot

They are about half way back to the space port by now.

1d20 = 17 + 6 = 23 for Pilot (3/4 of the way there now)
1d20 = 18 + 6 = 24 — safely arrived on the outskirts of the Mos Eisley space port. It is mid morning. The local day is 23 standard hours long, divided by convention into 8 slightly less than 4 hour watches

It is now the middle of the 4th watch — the end of the 4th watch will be noon local (the major sun). Nightfall will happen towards the end of the 6th watch. Midnight is the end of the 8th watch.

Mos Eisley has been referred to as the armpit of the galaxy. It is the largest settlement on Tattoine, though it does not look that large from a distance — most of the housing is below ground as befits a desert world environment. There about 350 spaceship hangars suitable for landing and managing cargo. The population is about 45,000 sentient beings, most of whom are villainous scum. There is an Imperial presence (storm troopers) on the streets in a continuing effort to control smuggling and slavery. They don’t seem to be doing very much.

Ta’Lenna spit sand and curses when H’Vas grazes the sand dune, but from that point on his driving is fine. The trip is a bit slow and dreadfully hot. The oppressive suns are near the crest of their arcs and the sight of Mos Eisley is a welcome oasis. Though filled with villainous and untrustworthy types, at least they have food and water.

“Let’s find the Mon Calamari,” Ta’Lenna says as she jumps down from the speeder. She’s relieved to be off of it and longs to be off this planet. It’s been so, so long!

She enters the spaceport and begins to scan the crowd for their contact, Maril Thibben.

Elena hung on for all she was worth and having the goggles did help keep the sand out of her eyes. She shot H’Vas an angry look though and muttered about his piloting. If this is who they have to pilot their ship they were indeed in a heap of trouble but there was nothing for it. She clamoured out of the speeder when they stopped and listened to what the others intended to do.

“Well, I trust ya cutes,” she said to Ta’Lenna. Me, I’m looking for a few desperate Jawa’s to see me some tech and repair gear. If I had more coin i’d get us a droid but we’ll have to settle for just us to get it done. Anyone else?” If not she’d shrug and move into the crowded street. If so, she’d gesture them over and they’d move into the crowded street.

Ta’Lenna shrugs at Elena and says, “Take this. Get me a few data card, holocrons, whatever can store data. Use the rest towards a droid. If we’ve been supplied with weapons and food rations on the ship then I’ll be okay so long as you don’t mind me mooching a hot meal from time to time.” She hands Elena a card with 987 credits on it.

“I also misspoke when I said I could fly a ship earlier. I know how to pilot most ground vehicles, but I am not truly familiar with star ships.”

Elena looks at the others as if they’r holding out on her. ‘Well?” She gestured with the 2 chips she held in her hand suggestively. “I might be able to get us a used Astromech if you double down a bit,” she said as she looked around now that Ta’Lenna gave her her chip.

“Hey, we got here!” H’Vas calls out to the cat calls and hoots of derision at his flying abilities. “You guys are heavier than you look.”

When they land, he returns the vehicle to the rental agency and the heads to the cantina where they were told to meet their contact.

Aurora flinched when the land-speeder grazed a dune, sending a spray of hot sand her way.  “Ugh!  I hate this planet!  It was bad enough just having two suns burning my skin, but now I’ve got sand in my clothes as well.”  After that she pulled her feet off the dashboard, sat up properly, and held on tight.  She had no desire to be thrown out of the speeder if there was another such collision.  Fortunately, there was not.

When they arrived at Mos Eisley, Aurora quickly hopped out of the speeder, stretched her muscles, and brushed off as much sand as she could.  She raised an eyebrow in surprise when she saw Ta’Lenna give Elena her entire credit chip; perhaps Elena’s flattery of the Twi’lek woman was paying off?  Elena prodded the group for more money for a droid.  Aurora frowned, but pulled out the credit chip she had been given.  “Actually, I don’t like droids, but I’m willing to contribute for the benefit of the group.”  She then transferred 500 credits from her chip to Elena’s original chip.  “An astromech droid might be cool, but see if you can find one that can actually talk instead of just beeping at you.  And whatever you do, please don’t buy one of those stupid Roger Roger battle droids.  I hate those things.”

Elena took the credits gracefully. Aurora was quite attractive as well and she looked at her also with eyes that appreciated her curves. being alone for as long as she has been. Space is very lonely and she had lost what propriety she had been raised with due to the long stints of doing cargo runs alone. men, women, if they were beautiful she would partake if to just be with someone other than herself for a time. Sometimes she paid for it and sometimes the people she was with were into her. She had no designs on something like a family or finding someone to share her life with. A partner or three though…now that had possibilities…especially if they shared her bed once in a while.