After a short time with my new companions, I have learned that though each of them are capable in their own right, I wouldn’t exactly call us a well oiled machine…at least not when it comes to trekking through a dangerous jungle famous for its adverse terrain and no shortage of predators. Of course, things could have been much worse, so I suppose I’ll just have to remind myself that if it wasn’t for these gentlemen, I’d be stuck on the Wheel with hardly a credit to my name.
I kept to myself for the most part, strapping in the first available seat after boarding their Wayfarer-Class medium transport designated Stargazer. Now, I know my around cockpit pretty well, but I will admit that piloting that monstrosity must be quite challenging. I’l be the first to admit it, Nathan could probably fly circles around me. The man must have some serious skill to so easily maneuver the behemoth!
Hyperspace travel was as boring as ever and many of the crew spent a good portion healing up from some of their previous dealings. Oh, there was the not-so-insignificant fact that some type of tracker had been hidden on the ship prior to our departure. I’ll wager that the ER salvage crew had something to do with this. After all, they did try and run off with CZ-13. Fix seemed to want to take it out on CZ and the fact that the droid responded with the emotion of . . . well . . . a robot/droid only seemed to anger the Sullustan even more! It was highly entertaining I must say.
Removing the thing once we landed set us back a bit and nearly killed Fix after he removed it. This little salvage mission is getting more curious with each step forward. After dealing with exploding tracking devices and swallowing the gulp that had lodged in my throat, we then continued on with our mission.
Bugs, hidden beasts, and the general heat of the jungle were easy enough to put at the back of my mind, but I won’t lie . . . my life nearly ended after a simple climb down the side of a cliff. Sure it was rather embarrassing falling like that, but I wasn’t the only one. Samiel seemed to suffer the worst from the fall seeing as how he decided to hit every protruding edge on the way down with his head. Fortunately, Gadik seemed to know his way around the outdoors and used a particularly pungent smelling plant to wake the man up.
Now, the next few moments seemed to happen a blur. One moment I was tending to my own wounds and the next, I was being grappled by something I would later learn to be an aboreal octopus. Sounds of blaster fire filled the air while I struggled to no avail. Oblivious to everything else going around me, I intensified my struggles and managed to pry myself free whilst being dangled about 6 meters in the air. Once free, I managed to flip down and stick the landing without further injury. I figure I’d fallen enough for the day.
At least that’s what I told myself.
With the beasts either dead, dying, or have fled, we all collected ourselves again and proceeded to investigate the crashed pod. A quick inspection of the area showed that the passengers didn’t get very far and that the pod had become a nest for thousands of particularly nasty thumb sized insects. One alone was annoying, but thousands? No thank you. A few thousand credits wasn’t worth it.
Fortunately, Nathan had a solution and tossed in a grenade that effectively stunned or killed them all long enough for Fix and I to wade over and inspect the pod. We found more bodies with uniforms that had CIS on the sleeves. A short time later, Fix managed to salvage a few useful items and we made our way back. I did scoop up a pristine nexu skull as a souvenir before returning to the Stargazer.
While the crew was preparing for takeoff, I heard a garbled message over the intercom. I couldn’t make out the majority of it, but I did catch a familiar phrase that screamed Empire.
Only two words escaped my mouth as I considered an Imperial presence.