The Jawa Job Part 2
Our most excellent Team decided after a day’s rest to take the Chuk-Chuk back to Tatooine and attempt to follow its lead to the mysterious stone vault its projections showed them. After a surprisingly uneventful emergence into Tatooine orbital space, the Ruby Queen sets down close to the area the Chuk-Chuk showed the Team.
Everyone grabbed some digging tools and proceeded down a narrow crevasse with high walls that ended in an apparent cul de sac. There they found a huge dune of sand that they determined covered the great round stone door they saw covering the vault in the artifact’s projection.
After some energetic digging (some much more energetic than others for various reasons), the sand was cleared enough to allow the door to be pushed out of the way and the Team made their way into the ancient vault.
They discovered that whomever was using the place must have found it mostly as it was, digging extra space out of it only when necessary. Early on there were signs that this place was of some importance to an ancient, now extinct people known as the Kumumgah, a sentient, humanoid race widely believed to be the forerunners of both the Jawas and the Sand People. Having once been the chattel of the Infinite Empire, when they rebelled on Tatooine, they were rewarded with an Infinite Imperial Fleet glassing the once lush planet, turning it into the desert it currently happens to be.
But whatever the Kumumgah used this place for, it was now deserted and crumbling. The first thing they saw there was a few Womp Rat skeletons, which suggested the creatures were able to find their way into the place somehow – probably through the small tunnels and tubes whose apertures dotted the various chambers and corridors periodically. Next they discovered the desiccated corpse of a long dead Jawa, half chewed apart by Womp Rats but still clutching a large, well polished (and very valuable) Shern crystal. After taking the crystal for themselves (hey, archaeological expeditions cost money ya know) they move on to see what they can see.
Upon entering one chamber the Team is confronted by a small swarm of Womp Rats, which they fight off quickly and efficiently, not sustaining a single scratch themselves. As the Team progresses into the warren of chambers and corridors they begin to notice what the Womp Rats were eating to survive in this place. A type of mushroom grew plentifully in the cracks and dimples of the rock wall, living amply on the light moisture of the place and drawing nutrients from the mineral rich rock – which also made them toxic to most of the Team – except for Gand, who found their psychotropic effects quite pleasant. After Gand’s good long buzz was indulged, the Team moved ever deeper into the place.
Eventually they reached a large chamber occupied by three extraordinary Womp Rats. One was a huge, almost mutated Brood Mother and the other two were its Male mates and guardians (not that she really needed guardians). After a wicked fight between these nasty creatures and out heroes they emerged victorious and were able to more carefully contemplate the other thing in the room – a large dais not unlike a metallic version of the stump of a huge tree.
As they approached, the “stump” opened up four ways and in a wave of bright white light a grapefruit sized sphere arose from within, buoyed by a repulsorfield. The Chuk-Chuk’s key function was used to activate the sphere and when it was, it turned out to be part data storage device and part holographic projector, filling the whole chamber with a globular, three dimensional display of some kind. After observing it for a while, Dr Jotano came to realize that what they were looking at was a complete DNA map of the Kumumgah – sufficient data to (if presented to people with the right skills to make it happen) recreate the Kumumgah race.
Realizing the enormous find they have on their hands, the Team rushes back the way they came to the Ruby Queen to make their exit of Tatooine space. Unfortunately their presence and attempted exit doesn’t go unnoticed.
A YV-929 armed transport under the employ of Nilon Agon gives chase, hoping to disable and board the Ruby Queen, but once again, the most excellent piloting skills of Vani Kyros (cuz it sure as hell ain’t the gunnery skills of Gand or Salem!) saved the day and allowed the Ruby Queen to fight off her attacker long enough to make the jump to lightspeed, where the Team was finally able to relax…and wonder how much money that nice Sharn crystal is worth…
Tune in next time when you’ll hear Salem say “You wanna sell this crystal? Could happen…I know a guy…but it’s not cheap…”