Our four PCs are all acquainted with one another and have been living the freewheeling lives of space hobos, working as hired crew on different tramp freighters. They all crewed together on their last job, and got word of a potentially profitable run of Bacta from Alderaan to Hutt Space.
They’ve been in the capital city of Aldera for a week or so, and have had time to scout out the city and the spaceport. The ship with the cargo of Bacta is supposed to take off in a couple of days, so they are killing time at the Aldera Alibi in the Spacer’s quarter.
One of the patrons in the bar ambles over to the comms terminal to check for any recent job postings and utters a cry of shock: “They’ve closed the spaceport! The frickin Empire has declared the spaceport closed to commercial and private traffic until 1800 hours.” There are groans of frustration from around the bar as spacers begin altering flight plans, and notifying passengers of delays.
Gwen gets busy slicing into the Empire communications channels and finds the chatter. All Imperial troops are to be off-planet by 1800 hours. And the Empire has established a short-duration blockade around Alderaan at a distance of 50,000 km “to prevent unauthorized take-offs and landings on Alderaan”.
Zaquesh looks out the window and sees squads of Imperial troops and officials streaming into the spaceport, and Imperial transport ships are taking off every few minutes.
(Obviously, player meta-game knowledge is flashing giant red warning lights here.)
They decide to head to the spaceport to see what, if anything, they can do, when an impeccably dressed corporate type crashes into them. “You’re spacers! I urgently need to get off this planet in the next 3 hours! Just me and a small cargo.” He hefts a couple of heavy suitcases.
He introduces himself as Kuna Shule, a special projects director for the Nexus Consortium. He needs to be on his way to Dirha quickly, and he says the suitcases are full of “scientific samples.” He’s been turned down by all the other spacers because the spaceport is closed and no one is willing to attempt an unauthorized departure with all the Imperial activity.
They head into the spaceport. They had been eyeing some of the used ships at Hosk Transport and Logistics, and they start looking them over again. Zahira really likes the looks of the TL-1800, but Quint looks it over and declares it to be a maintenance nightmare. They spend some time debating between the remaining two ships – a Nova Drive 3-Z and a Barloz Medium Class freighter. With appropriate rolls to make some quick determinations about their condition, speed, offensive and defensive capabilities, they settle on the Nova Drive 3-Z.
Zaquesh starts negotiating price with Hosk, the Bothan proprietor while Zahira goes to check out the inside of the ship. Then things get a bit confusing. Gwen tell Kuna Shule that they don’t currently have a ship and may need some help purchasing one. Kuna Shule seems well motivated to make a deal and offers to lend them the money to purchase the ship. While she negotiates with him, Quint decides that there’s nothing wrong with stealing a ship and hacks the docking clamps to release. Zahira starts playing with the controls and Quint gestures everyone on board, including Hosk.
Hosk is furious when Zahira takes off and Zaquesh has to restrain him. The control tower orders the ship to land immediately, but they take off and clear atmo. One of the blockading Imperial destroyers dispatches a couple of TIE fighters to escort the rogue ship back to the port, but Zahira turns off the comms and takes evasive action. They dodge a few rounds of fire from the TIE fighters while Quint gets the astrogation computer up and running. They punch into hyperspace as the peaceful planet of Alderaan explodes dramatically behind them.
Quint plots a convuluted and dog-legged hyperspace route to Dirha, in Hutt Space. During the several days of the voyage, Kuna Shule reveals that the samples he is carrying are Kunda Stones. A colleague of his had delivered a large shipment of Kunda Stones to the Empire, and he got word that they had something to do with a chemical agent the Empire was working on called Pacifog. He thinks the Kunda Stones are needed to make special breathing filters for Imperial troops so they won’t be affected by their own chemical weapon. Kuna reluctantly admits that he is taking the sample to Dirha so that manufacturers sympathetic to the Rebel cause can start creating their own filters against the chemical weapon.
Hosk has very mixed feelings – he is still furious that these spacers stole his ship and kidnapped him for no reason, but also realizes that they saved his life. So he vacillates between gratitude and anger. Kuna Shule has a private conversation with him and (presumably) pays him for the ship.
The crew has to figure out what to do with their ship – They have no operating license, no captain’s permit, and no valid registration with BoSS. So they can try to find a smuggler’s port to get forged credentials, which is very expensive. Or they can land at the Dirha spaceport and do everything legal and official, which is less expensive but more time-consuming and involves a lot of background checks. “Adventures at the DMV” – Quint calls it. Or they can drop Kuna Shule and Hosk off on a remote part of Dirha and deal with their credentialling later.