Red Clouds

Chapter 1, part 1

"My gun doesn't work in vacuum."

Bikott contacted the crew of the Paragon B-400 with a job – find the missing Clone Wars battleship Steadfast using some newly acquired data, and if intact plunder the wreckage for juicy military secrets in the ship databanks.

7F-3 used the data and his knowledge of astrogation and military hyperdrives to produce a list of possible trajectories from Lawiir’s Forge that the Steadfast could have plotted. The cone of likely locations extended well into the Sanguine Expanse, an area of nebulae and immense gas clouds, difficult to navigate through.

Checking out an early candidate, a barren moon with wreckage from a Clone Wars battle scattered on the surface and in orbit, the crew detected strange transmissions from the battle droids still active in the wrecked ships. After isolating the signal from a vulture droid, they swooped in, Moossh blasted it with the ship’s ion cannon and 7F-3 rushed out to extract the head from the decrepit machine. Pursued by incensed broken-down droids, they quickly returned to hyperspace.

Once deactivated and sliced, the vulture droid core revealed something interesting – the battle was caused by Republic forces pursuing the missing Steadfast and running into the Separatist convoy, leading to a battle. The Steadfast remained missing after this, but the telemetry data from the vulture allowed 7F-3 to rule out several possible sites. The crew continued searching systems.

Eventually, the crew left hyperspace near the asteroid belt of a quiet system in the expanse – several bloated gas giants orbiting a dwarf star. While the moons of the gas giants seemed bare, checking the belt was more successful, as they spotted a huge asteroid seemingly riddled with tunnels.

Heading carefully inside, the crew picked a tunnel and began exploring, manning the various turrets to scour the rock with searchlights, before abruptly reaching a dead end. This was actually a huge bulkhead, part of the Steadfast superstructure wedged in an adjoining tunnel. After blasting apart some rocks and floating across in suits they sliced a maintenance hatch and pulled themselves in through an an access shaft. The crew crept through the lower decks of the ship, eventually finding a modern Lambda-class shuttle in the main hanger which showed signs of cramped habitation by humanoids. Markings indicated it was owned by WehX mining, a corporation operating on Wehllund.

Crawling through the innards of the ship, the crew discovered the presence of a number of refugees, some arguing about supplies and others attempting to activate various ship systems.


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