Star Wars - Knights of the Old Republic
The Smuggler's Moon
“When the time comes, we stand united, and to Hell with Revan.” – Darth Sion.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
The BROADSWORD Jedi Academy, a mobile space fortress housing over two-hundred Jedi hopefuls, has arrived in orbit around NAR SHADDAA, the moon of the Hutt home planet of Nal Hutta, and a notorious hotbed of criminal activity. In every way, Nar Shaddaa has earned its nickname, “THE SMUGGLER’S MOON.”
Jedi Padawans Rai-El Hulis, Erall Rand, and Daken Rao-Kun are aboard the Broadsword, receiving a briefing on their mission to investigate a dangerous swoop gang and unravel the truth behind their rumored ties to the Sith. Accompanying the Jedi Padawans on their Knighthood Trials, R15-K, the Verpine scout droid better known as RISK, hopes to gain the respect and admiration of the Jedi and prove that even an artificial being such as he is capable of the kind of valor and sacrifice one expects in any Jedi Knight.
Elsewhere, an imposing black-robed figure stands on the precipice of a place suffused with the DARK SIDE OF THE FORCE, radioactive winds buffeting him from the torn rifts and vacant valleys of the ruined world of MALACHOR V…
As opening crawl fades into the distance, the camera sweeps down through lightning ridden bright green storm clouds, and a sound like dozens of scrambled radio frequencies causes feedback to reverberate in seemingly eternal, even tactile echoes. As the camera moves along the jagged remains of a crashed Republic star cruiser and through a shattered Mandalorian starfighter canopy (briefly betraying the corpse within, trapped with an eternal face of screaming terror), the view focuses on the tall and foreboding figure of Darth Nihilus as he clutches a strange communication device in his right hand. A floating holographic representation of a planet is seen a few inches above the communication device. A subtitle translates the Aurebesh text floating to the right of the holographic planet: NAR SHADDAA…
Facets of Darkness
- A garbled, computerized voice transmits over Darth Nihilus’s communicator, and the hologram suddenly reveals the arrival of the Broadsword in orbit over Nar Shaddaa. When Nihilus replies, his voice is not his own, but a surreal amalgam of disturbing death wails set to a caustic harmony. It is as if thousands of distant men and women can be heard crying out in their last, painful moments before suffering a horrific death, and their cries are filtered through a sickly disturbing melody…
- As he hears the approach of another figure from behind him, Darth Nihilus utters a final chant and quickly closes the communication device, the holographic representation of Nar Shaddaa winking out of existence. He crooked his head slightly to the left, acknowledging that he felt his master’s approach.
- “I trust that our operations on Nar Shaddaa go smoothly, Lord Nihilus,” purred Darth Traya , coming to a stop just as the tall, imposing Nihilus turned to face her. His answer was obviously terse and impatient, and Traya raised her hand to halt his tirade. “I care not for the details, just so long as it is done.”
- “I tire of waiting,” called another voice from behind Darth Traya, “Revan lacks the will, and Malak the strength. We should take our place as Sith Lords and bring this pathetic Republic to its knees.” The man speaking was Darth Sion, a massive, gray-skinned brute whose crumbling body was held together purely by the Dark Side of the Force. His hate was literally the only thing keeping him from crumbling into dust.
- “No,” Traya replied authoritatively. “Revan’s successes are as important as our own, but rest assured, my dear apprentices… the Sith Triumvirate shall rule the Galaxy soon enough.” Traya walked back toward the Sith Temple, passing Darth Sion, the Lord of Pain. Sion approached Nihilus and looked up into the black robed Sith Lord’s mask.
- “When the time comes, we stand united, and to Hell with Revan.” As Sion headed back toward the temple, Nihilus turned to face into the wind once more, clicking open the communicator again. The holographic image of Nar Shaddaa appeared once more, with a tiny dot representing the Broadsword in orbit.
The camera zooms into the holographic image of Nar’Shaddaa, then fade-wipes to reveal a superimposed actual view of the planet. Hundreds of ships of different shapes and sizes fly to and from the Smuggler’s Moon, but one particular ship shines brighter than the rest. Fade wipe to the Headmaster’s Office, where Rai-El Hulis, Daken Rao-Kun, Erall Rand, and Risk are receiving a briefing detailing their mission on Nar Shaddaa from Headmaster Atris. Standing behind the Padawans are Jedi Masters Ko’Dora Vadis and Sas’k.
- Atris stands behind her desk, a holographic representation of a sprawling urban complex, Tau’Hraak City, appearing in explicit detail to cover her desktop. A small Broadsword symbol can be seen in simulation, following a faint dotted line over the city, with a tiny blinking dot dropping from the Broadsword, sweeping through the buildings, and coming to a stop in the area designated “Ruusan Docks.”
- “During your Jedi Trials, you are to receive no assistance from your masters, including myself. We have made a partial exception in the case of Risk, who will provide logistical and reconnaissance support during your stay on Nar Shaddaa,” Atris said, turning her attention to the holographic tactical display. "You will take a dropship down to the Ruusan Docks, where landing privileges have been secured on your behalf. The Broadsword cannot remain in Hutt Space for the duration of your mission, but will rendezvous with you when you have successfully transmitted a “Mission Complete” signal."
- Atris went on to explain that in this mission, the Padawans did not represent the Republic, as this world and its citizens were neither governed by the Republic nor offered its protections, including those of the Jedi. They are here to honor a personal request from an affluent Republic senator who Atris left strategically unnamed. Apparently, this senator has fiduciary interests on Nar Shaddaa, and in Tau’Hraak City in particular. Therefore, while on Nar Shaddaa, the Padawans will not be able to rely on the Broadsword, the Republic, or the Jedi Order for assistance. They will truly be on their own.
- The official mission (the word ‘official’ Atris emphasized to some great effect) is as follows:
- A swoop gang calling itself the Scarabs have been a thorn in the side of Nar Shaddaa Security (Nar-Sec) for over a decade, but recently, their actions have become far more organized, and they seem far more disruptive to Nar-Sec’s already vague attempt to ensure order in Tau’Hraak City.
- Recent rumors indicate that the Scarabs may be in communication with, and in turn, their actions and motives may be influenced by, the Sith. Two weeks ago, the heads of two rival criminal organizations within the city, one an Exchange Boss, the other a prominent local Hutt Baron working for the Besadii Clan, were killed in a violent manner, as if to send a message. Nar-Sec is convinced that whoever killed these two meant to sow chaos between the two criminal enterprises, and it has apparently worked.
- The city is in chaos as a result of elevated tensions between the Exchange and the Besadii Clan. Besadii’s rival Hutt clan, Desilijic, has recently been noted to have sent one of their most prominent members, a Hutt by the name of Vogga, to replace the fallen Exchange boss, further fanning the flames of a brewing war between the Exchange and the Besadii Clan. However, though the Padawan’s mission is officially to uncover the truth behind the deaths and calm the violence between the two rival criminal organizations, Headmaster Atris has other, more far-reaching things in mind…
- “I do not care to save the lives of those who decided their path and will throw their own lives away soon enough anyway. No, your mission is to investigate the rumors that the swoop gang, the Scarabs, are receiving guidance or following the orders of the Sith. I believe that the Sith may be using this world as a test case for a new recruitment method which would give them a staggering numerical advantage over us as the Jedi Civil War continues to escalate. They may be planning to reach out to the undercurrent of disenfranchised criminals, like these gangs, to influence them into sowing discord, keeping local defense forces occupied in order to weaken a world for conquest.”
- Atris revealed that the Padawan’s true test will be determining the nature of any link between the swoop gang and the Sith. Daken asked, “What if he determine that the rumors are false, and there is no link?” Atris replied that their mission would then be to discover where the rumor came from, why it was propagated, and how to prevent the spread of such dangerous misinformation in order to halt the potential for copy-cat Sith-influenced gangs throughout Nar Shaddaa and, indeed, other such hives of criminal activity.
- After being given a stipend of 500 Credits each, Atris said that the details of their operation were completely in the Padawans’ hands. Besides the details she had given them, neither she nor the rest of the Jedi Masters on the Broadsword could aid them in any way, except of course to say: “May the Force be with you all.”
The Trials Begin!
Fade wipe to Exterior – Space over Nar Shaddaa. The camera flows down into the sprawling ecumenopolis of Nar Shaddaa, a moon completely covered in tracts of dark metal and plasteel. As the camera sweeps past a trio of glowing lights atop a central tower, a Broadsword drop ship can be seen entering view from mid-screen right. Camera zooms in through cockpit window as ship makes final approach to the Ruusan Docks in Tau’Hraak City. Within, Risk sits wired to the pilot controls, with Rai-el, Daken, and Erall clearly visible behind him. Erall is adjusting his robe’s sash while Rai-el reclines in her seat, with Daken leaning against the wall in front of her, his arms folded.
- After departing the Broadsword, Rai-el reveals that she is able to peer into the future, and while she does believe the Scarabs are somehow linked to the Sith, she knows that Atris’s theory as to the purpose of the relationship will turn out to be wrong…
- “Anything else you can tell us,” Daken asks, genuinely fascinated at Rai-el’s ability to see into the future so vividly. For all his training, the only thing he had ever excelled in had been physical movement and melee combat. He found the mental abilities afforded by the Force to be perhaps the most interesting and wondrous aspects of the Jedi, and one for which he suspected he would never truly feel with any intimacy.
- Rai-el sees in her visions a young human woman with short red hair who would play a key role in their investigation. Besides that, the future was too clouded, likely due to the emerging darkness in the galaxy as a result of the escalation of the Jedi Civil War. Risk brings the ship in for a landing at a pre-designated high security platform, and our four heroes disembark and begin to make their way into the city proper.
- Upon exiting from the massive and congested Ruusan Docks, the party finds itself in a massive circular structure lined with over a hundred turbolifts leading to the various levels of the city. According to a helpful city guide droid, Tau’Hraak City consists of over three-thousand structures, some of which span over five-hundred stories in height, all housed within a linked series of ring-shaped streets. The turbolift area itself is huge, a dome-shaped structure at least 30,000 square meters across. There are thousands of people in this area, just on this level, and there are at least thirty more such turbolift malls in Tau’Hraak City alone.
- Daken immediately notices the lax security. Most of the visible guards are visibly distracted: a pair of guards were flirting with a female twi’lek working at an information booth, another guard busies himself with a bowl of steaming noodles while reading a sports feed on his holonet reader, and a third group stand arms folded, facing one another, chatting about how terrible their jobs are rather than doing them. Atris said that this place was would be under tightened security due to the recent tensions between the Exchange and the Hutts, but if this represented NarSec at its best, Daken wonders what it would be like if it was business as usual in this turbolift mall. Erall points out that as bad as it seems, they haven’t even gotten out into the city proper yet.
- Suddenly, Rai-el has a vivid vision of the near future. In ten minutes, a bomb will go off that will destroy this building and kill everyone inside. The party springs into action, and in order to gain the assistance of the inept NarSec officers, Rai-el is forced to use her ability to augment the mindsets of the officers and make them perform their jobs correctly and professionally.
- While Erall herds the citizens out of the turbolift structure as quickly as he can without inciting a massive panic, Risk and Daken begin to search the area for the bomb. With the alarm sounding, Daken scans the crowd in order to see if anyone acted unusual. He locates a trio of young gang members making a hasty exit through a side access door leading into the service tunnels behind the turbolifts. As he gives chase, Risk follows, activating his sensory equipment and determining that the bomb is attached to the underside of one of the turbolifts, set to go off as soon as someone selected a particular level on the lift.
- After successfully deactivating the bomb, our heroes give chase, hoping not to lose the trail of the three young gang members they assume were responsible for setting the bomb. Using Risk’s scouting protocols, they quickly locate the fleeing gang members as they are entering a hexagon-shaped park area.
- One of the gang members ducks behind a tree and sets up an ambush, planning to trip Daken with a broken tree limb. However, Daken foresees the attack (the first time he can recall using such an ability) and reacts, successfully capturing his attacker while Rai-El, Erall, and Risk continue their pursuit of the other two gang members.
- The gang member he captured was a teenage human female with dark green dyed hair. She was dressed in third-hand clothes that ill suited her body and seemed as if they were reclaimed from someone’s refuse bin. She was undernourished and her eyes bore dark circles. She struggled against Daken, but he used the Force to sedate her, binding her arms together and hoping he could catch up to the other three members of his party with this prisoner in tow.