The crew of the Embar had been spending the last few days in the Ithorian herd ship, Bazaar, hiding out from some bounty hunters — who were seeking to “collect” on the overdue debt Captain Ryku Niros hadn’t paid off on his ship — and trying to find some work transporting (or smuggling) cargo.
Business started looking up earlier today, when the crew was contacted by an old man named Dorn who was willing to pay 5,000 credits to find a Rebel sympathizer named Zaz Kamiroz on the planet Molavar and deliver the man to his contact on Salliche — a retired general called Locus Geen.
Molavar is a backwater, desert world in the Outer Rim Territories, with a number of seedy spaceports and low-income moisture farms.
The crew's astrogator, Charl, knew the Abrion sector pretty well, and the routes to Salliche, so the job seemed like a cinch. Sure, the crew sort of suspected this guy was working for the Rebel Alliance, but as long as they got paid in the end, they didn’t mind working for the Rebels this one time. So they decided to take the job.
Emerging from hyperspace, the Embar descended upon Molavar, the desert world. Its endless sea of sand blindingly reflected the light of both suns through the ship’s forward viewport.
A quick scan of surrounding space revealed a few other ships in orbit around the planet, waiting for landing clearance. While many of the ships were armed, none appeared to be Imperial. Malcraan space traffic controllers asked the crew for their ship registration code, previous port, and purpose of visit before granting permission to land. Ryku's reasonable answer was accepted; Molavar isn’t choosy about its visitors. The PCs’ craft was directed toward Docking Bay 94.
After their ship landed, a customs officer approached. Ryku's show of respect was not lost on the customs officer, whom he invited inside for a sandwich. It cost 20 credits per day for a landing permit; the captain paid for one day. While the customs officer had never heard of Kamiroz, he did hear rumors about the two miners who recently arrived on Molavar claiming to have found the Royal Palace in the ruins of Alderaan.
The evening rush was underway as the crew exited the docking bay. Humans, numerous droid models, and aliens of every description moved through the crowded hangar. The pace was hurried for such a backwater world, and not even the blistering heat of the twin suns — just now lowering in the sky — could slow it down. Landspeeders roared by, uncomfortably close in these narrow walkways, and swarms of small, rancid smelling Jawas in hooded robes jostled past.
Meanwhile, Neo, who had been keeping his head low here on Molavar for quite some time, recently heard of a miner from the Alderaan asteroid field named Zaz Kamiroz who had information on the fate of the Royal Palace, and insisted on gaining an audience with the Princess. Rumors claimed that fabulous treasure, including Jedi artifacts, might be buried down there in the ruins of Alderaan. Neo suspected that Saul might also be interested in these artifacts, and there was a big chance he’d run into his old crush, Shira Elan Colla Brie, there as well.
Kamiroz was supposed to meet Neo in the spaceport hangar tonight, but the miner never showed up. While Neo waited, Ryku and his crew arrived on planet. Shakka’teksa recognized Neo right away and ran out to greet him. After they got reacquainted, he explained what he knew about this miner he was supposed to meet here tonight. Since the miner didn’t show, Neo worried that something bad happened — perhaps the Imperials got to him first.
Suddenly, a fire team of Imperial stormtroopers burst into the hangar. One of them pointed right at Neo and said, "There he is. You're under arrest!"
The crew managed to dispatch three of the four stormtroopers. One got away, and they knew it was only a matter of time before backup arrived. Ryku and Tyron rushed over to the customs officer and, through persuasion, bribery, and intimidation, convinced him to tell the incoming stormtroopers that there’s no Jedi here, that the original fire team attacked a random bunch of spacers who fought back and escaped. Then they laid low inside their ship until the stormtroopers all left again.
A close call, and their mission to find the Alderaan miner had only just begun…