Star Wars: Flying Casual

Rescuing Mom

Without their regular equipment, the crew all agreed that they wouldn't stand much of a chance rescuing Shakka’teksa’s mother. So they made their way back the way they'd come, back to the Thundercats garage beneath the stadium. A veritable revolution raged outside. Once the media discovered that Inquisitor Lord Saul arrived on planet to arrest the "rogue Jedi" that had infiltrated the race, the fans went wild with outrage. Taris had always been loyal to the Imperium, but this intrusion was too much. Nobody interferes with the Tarisian Season Opener like this!

With the roar of stampeding fans, blasterfire and explosions echoing in from outside, the crew rearmed themselves and said good-bye to Ruffilius, who himself chose to lock up and hide in here. Charlemagne suggested finding a back entrance to Je Vas's offices, rather than going in through the front, which would likely involve battling past hundreds of stormtroopers and rioters. Between himself and Shakka, they sliced the computer system and found a map of the stadium.

Captain Ryku, Tyron, Shakka'teksa, Charl, and Neo entered through a service entrance, which led them into a warehouse type room littered with crates and boxes and barrels. They passed by a large window at the same time as a patrol of four stormtroopers on the other side. The troopers ordered them to halt. One poised a heavy repeating blaster at them while the other three went around to question these interlopers. Tyron opened fire on him, shattering the glass while his companions dove for cover. Neo bolted for the door and ignited his red lightsaber, welding the door shut. The three stormtroopers turned back to the window, and soon blaster bolts came at the crew members thick and fast.

From where he was, Neo glanced into the other room. He saw what appeared to be the beast pen, except most of the cages had been opened. All manner of terrible creatures feasted upon their handlers. The room stank of blood and animal musk.

Rather than remain in a shootout with the stormtroopers, and probably with more stormtroopers arriving soon, the crew turned their fire toward the door separating the stormtroopers' position from the beast pen room. After only a few devastating shots, the door was wrecked. A huge wolf burst out through the opening and bit a stormtrooper in half. The others turned and shot at the beast as a second one leaped through the door at them. Using this distraction to their advantage, the crew escaped through another door.

With a shove of the Force Neo pushed through the next two locked doors, which ultimately led the crew to the slaves dormitory. Here at last Shakka’teksa was reunited with her mom, Wampihi.

An explosion shook the whole stadium. Little chunks of mortar crumbled from the ceiling, and the crew knew they had to get out of here. But they couldn't leave these slaves here to die. And with the potential threat of Je Vas detonating the slave collars, Shakka’teksa knew they had to find him. Wampihi said she saw him flee up a turbo-lift to the landing zone upstairs.

The noise of the battle rose to a crescendo when the crew members stepped out of the turbo-lift and onto the tarmac of the stadium's rooftop. Here they saw stormtroopers and revolutionaries fighting it out below, while TIE-fighters screamed overhead. Further up, the faint outline of a star destroyer could be seen above the clouds. A row of various types of starships stretched out ahead of them. One of them lifted off, and Shakka’teksa spotted Je Vas in the cockpit.

The Embar showed up, a welcome sight, piloted by 4Q2. The droid opened the hatch so a few of the slaves could board, but then two TIE-fighters swooped in, laser cannons slamming into the Embar's shields. 4Q2 pulled away, the TIE-fighters in hot pursuit.

Charl and Tyron discussed which starship they should take, and eventually agreed to take two ships. Then Ryku, Neo, and Shakka’teksa argued over who would ride with whom. Charl finally just picked an Imperial Customs Frigate and boarded it.

Neo felt a disturbance in the Force. He lifted his lightsaber with an audible hummmmm…

Suddenly, Inquisitor Lord Saul and four stormtroopers stepped out of a turbo-lift to engage them. Out here with little to no cover, the crew would certainly have been doomed. But Charl punched the accelerator on his ship and barreled into the squad of stormtroopers like ten-pins, killing all of them in one swift blow. Lord Saul commanded the Force to halt Charl's frigate in mid-air. As the engines blasted away at full power, the Inquisitor held the ship firmly in place. Tyron and Ryku shot at their Dark Side foe, but he deflected their shots with his lightsaber while continuing to concentrate on holding Charl's ship. Then Neo unleashed a crackling lightning bolt that slammed into Lord Saul. Charl used these distractions to veer his ship aside and break away, zooming out of range.

Furious, Lord Saul turned his attention on Neo. Both red lightsabers blazed and crackled as the two dueled each other in a final confrontation. They pressed against each other's strength, but neither of them gave in. Neo suddenly crouched down, causing Saul to push hard against the air and stumble forward, while Neo slashed at his legs. Saul jumped back, thrusting the point of his lightsaber at Neo's back. Neo rolled away, narrowly avoiding the smoldering red blade, and they stood regarding each other silently for a moment. Then Neo raised his offhand, and lightning flashed from his fingertips, striking a mighty blow against the Inquisitor Lord, who responded with a thunderclap that nearly blew Neo off the rootop. Skillful lightsaber blows were exchanged before Tyron finally landed a solid shot with his rifle, taking Saul down at last.

Charl hovered low enough for Captain Ryku to get in. Shakka’teksa made for one of the Light Patrol Ships and jumped into a turret. Tyron came right after, buckling himself into the pilot seat. Neo grabbed some of Lord Saul's gear, then leaped onto Tyron's ship as it took off and closed the hatch.

A fantastic starship battle commenced. Tyron opened fire with his twin laser cannons and was rewarded with a flash that meant an enemy TIE-fighter had taken a solid hit. Charl and Ryku maneuvered their frigate into dogfighting position, locking on to another TIE-fighter and blasting away. Tyron corkscrewed around a couple other TIE-fighters, bringing his patrol ship right up on Je Vas's fleeing vessel. Neo used the Force to charm the slavemaster into powering down all of the slave collars and then tossing the remote out the window. Then Neo got him to fire his laser cannons at some of the TIE-fighters, providing enough of a distraction for the crew's two ships to make a getaway.

As he pulled out of the dogfight, however, Charl's frigate took a critical hit that blew out his stabilizers and sublight drives. He managed to crash-land into a skyscraper, smashing through dozens of offices and boardrooms and scattering screaming civilians.

Tyron pulled his ship around to pick Charl and the captain up. Then they joined the Embar in flying up to the orbiting Kraken. Charl punched the hyperdrive and they all left Taris far behind them.

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