Privateers of ERQ-NUO

Greetings. I am ERQ-NUO.

Date: 3948 BBY.

Viscount Alvor Bolis of the Tapani Empire travels to the Tallan Shipyards at the call of his uncle, Count Ikra Bolis, to oversee the hyperdrive test of a prototype of a transport, a possible candidate for Tallan’s new line of merchant marine vessels that are capable cargo haulers and capable of combat superiority. The Spinward Savant, the prototype vessel, captained by the capable pilot Hep Raraza, and his crew Auugu Vih’Torr, Foogam Penin, Abia Hamasaki, and Kaleb Hannser. Alvor Bolis sees this position as an annoyance, but necessary to grow the fortunes of his family and that of his noble house, House Mecetti. The final test of the Spinward Savant is a long hyperspace trip across the known galaxy to the edges of known space, the destination determined by a party unknown in House Mecetti.

After arriving halfway to their destination, the system operator Foogam Penin, a Fosh from one of the guilds in the Tepani sector discovers a virus in the ship’s mainframe. Although the virus seems to be inactive, he cannot remove it. Alvor contacts his House’s research department about this issue, and they decide to go forward with the test. They continue until they realize that the current jump data would take them through the Kanz Sector, a sector blockaded by the Republic and embroiled in a deadly civil war. Alvor authorizes the rerouting of the flight around the Kanz Sector, which takes up another couple weeks of jumps.

Alvor decides to talk to the overseer of the Tallan industries, and uses his force powers to interview him. When the overseer falls over, wracked with pain, Alvor suspects him as the culprit, as only another force user can prevent the persuasive powers of the force from extracting knowledge with such results. He then detains him and contacts his uncle, who sends a message back that Tepani overseers are protected from force persuasion. Realizing his mistake, he releases the overseer and apologizes, although the man is obviously upset.

When they finally arrive in Dantooine, the second to last stop of their trip, Alvor persuades the overseer to judge them fairly, ignoring his mistake. The man agrees, and they make their last jump—right into an ambush. A pair of carriers await them, sending a message to the ship in a foreign language. The Fosh, hearing this message, immediately bolts to the engine room, where he is stopped by Abia, the engineer. Alvor disables him with the force just in time for the ships to attack.

The two carriers unleash fighters upon them, but Hep Raraza and the Spinward Savant dodge almost all of their fire, managing to destroy the fighters. Somehow, the virus wiped their hypercoordinates, and they are unable to return to Republic space, so Auugu Vih’Torr, the Sullustan co-pilot finds hyperspace coordinates for a local system. They appear there, only to encounter an asteroid field and with a half dozen fighters in pursuit. Hep dodges through the asteroids, only to have the ship nearly crippled. They short jump to a close system in order to fully escape the unknown enemies.

They arrive at a single star system with twelve planets, four being gas giants, four are too far from the star, and are frozen, and three are too close to the planet. However, they discover that a dwarf planet in between the four closest and the gas giants has breathable air. With the level of repairs they need, they go towards the planet to hopefully find a place to land and fix their secondary hyperdrive. When they get near, something takes control of their ship and steers them into the planet’s atmosphere.

After they get through the atmosphere, a tractor beam catches them and draws them towards a mountain, which is covered in carvings of semi-human appearing beings and writing that is complex beyond what they have seen before. The tractor beam pulls them into the mountain, where a hangar bay opens up and draws them in. A platoon of droids appears as a voice says, “Greetings. I am ERQ-NUO. Welcome back, Masters.” It brings them into the station, where they discover much about this unique planet.

The planet wide AI known as ERQ-NUO informs them of their status as the masters of this facility due to the prophecy of the 3,000 reincarnation cycle founded by the original masters of this facility. Alvor determines that the planet was created by the Celestials, the most ancient, powerful and mysterious architects of the galaxy, as an artistic homage to their original homeworld in another galaxy. ERQ-NUO assumes they are the reincarnations, and gives them complete access to its facilities. They determine that it has a droid manufacturing plant, and possibly even a starship plant and all it requires it raw materials to reinforce its planetary, system and sector wide defenses.

With the sprawling choices, including access to starmaps of the unknown regions, the group decides between their options as they move forward.

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Search for Star Maps

With their ship repaired and their hyperspace map empty, the intrepid adventurers take to the Unknown Regions with a hope and prayer. Their first destination turns out to be the Eflira system in the edge of the Spinward Sector, in which a terrestrial planet with a distress beacon eminating from it. They investigate it to discover it to be occupied by a plantoid species that live in cultivated gardens. The Stone Age populace flees at their approach, when the crew receives a distress call of their own. A group of technologically advanced bandits attack the ship. They fend off the crew, taking a prisoner. After interrogating the survivor, they learn a startling truth: this planet is one of the ones the Zanibar attack to capture sacrifices to their deity.

The crew manages to convince the bandits of their good intentions, and learn that these people are Jainira, a species of nomadic humans who originate from a planet that after a catastrophic disaster, can only support population. The fifty plus remnants of the crashed convoy are swayed by Alvor’s offer to leave their planet and send three of their warriors to investigate ERQ-NUO as a site of their new home.

After the Jainira agree to move to ERQ-NUO, the crew of the Spinward Savant encounter a Zanibar gunship and its escort. Hep Raraza hides his ship in a local nebula, and springs an attack once the gunship enters the atmosphere. The Savant makes quick work of the fighters, but the Zanibar gunship quickly resurfaces. Hep pilots circles around the heavily armed beast, but can barely scratch its shields. After taking several big hits, Hep takes the ship into the atmosphere to regenerate the shields and pick up the Jainira. Just as they do, the Zanibar pursue, firing another salvo at them. Several minutes of exchanging fire leaves both vehicles heavily damaged, but the Savant’s peerless gunner Kaleb Hannser cracks the Zanibar ship’s hull.

After scavenging the remains of the ship, they find a few parts and return to ERQ-NUO.

They then began a series of exploratory hyperspace jumps to locations in the Unknown Regions that ERQ-NUO gave them.

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Station Sigma

As their ship undergoes upgrades, Alvor Bolis, Hep Raraza, and Kaleb Hannser wait three days in the wild Station Sigma that orbits Yanzasi Major, the primary planet in the Yanzasi system. They go to the local casinos and bars, visiting the art dealers and other merchants throughout the station. As they investigate the many centers of trade located, they encounter an arms merchant who offers to sell them a surplus of military weapons that the local forces did not offer to buy. The crew decides to purchase his stock.

On their way out, they are confronted by shady human male who calls them into a dark alley. Against better intuition, Alvor follows him into it. The man offers them a deal: aid him in stealing the arms merchants inventory, and they can take half of what they steal. The crew does not go along with this man’s plan, and the man becomes angry. At this point, Kaleb stuns the man with one shot his blaster. They drag the individual back to the arms merchant, who identifies him as one of his lift operators. After breaking into the man’s datapad and finding evidence of his guilt, the arms merchant shoots the man in the back room.

Back on the ship, the crew spends their time awaiting the upgrades to their ship’s installation. Just as it is delivered to them, the hangar is shut down by the port authority for an inspection. For the duration of the inspection, Alvor, Hep and Kaleb exit their ship and wait in the lobby just outside the hanger. Alvor grows bored and heads to a local cantina while his friends play cards with the guards.

On his way out, Alvor is approached by a thug and his minions. Using veiled threats and the power of his silver tongue, he talks them down and convinces them they are outmatched and better served hitting the bar themselves. However, when he finds himself surrounded not an hour later while drinking at the cantina, he decides to call for help.

On the other side of the district on the station, Hep and Kaleb witness an explosion in the hangar that destroys a number of ships. However, theirs is spared the destruction and they make their way to Alvor’s aid, where they find over a dozen thugs. Kaleb and Hep’s automatic weapons quickly level the playing field and devastate the thugs. With most of the thugs unconscious or dead, Alvor locates the leader and uses his light foil to sever his arm, leaving a note to remind the thug of his failure.

With the excitement behind them, they spend most of the rest of their time in their ship, once it is cleared of suspicion, but the hanger is still closed pending the investigation into the explosion. It is then that Alvor is arrested by the port authority and brought before the local warlord’s deputy. After all of their questioning, he is released, even though it turns out that the man who was maimed was in fact the warlord’s nephew. However, due to the lack of evidence that any wrong doing occurred, Alvor is released.

Although they are tired of Station Sigma, Alvor, Hep and Kaleb locate an interesting festival in the 3rd District of the station, well away from the warlord of the 1st district’s goons. Promising to have deals of the century on ship parts, they head their in anticipation of further upgrading their ship. However, when they arrive, they only find a group of bounty hunters with Alvor’s capture on their mind.

Alvor uses the Force to defend himself, smashing apart the displays with his telekinetic power, and then manages to survive until Kaleb and Hep once again come to his rescue. Luckily for them, the bounty hunters used stunning weapons, as they barely survived the encounter.

With any further exploration behind them, they head back to their ship, hoping for a much quieter last few days before they can hyperspace out of the system.

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