As the Crusader drops out of hyperspace, they immediately receive a distress signal by several freighters under siege by pirates. Captain Forma orders the ship into action, and the party assumes gunner positions. Unfortunately, the freighter’s escort is destroyed before the Crusader arrives, and even with some lucky shooting done by the party, one of the freighters is also destroyed. However, the Crusader does manage to destroy a few of the pirate ships before the remaining ones retreat to their base. The battle now over, the Crusader agrees to escort the remaining freighters to Nickel One.
When they arrive, Captain Forma announces he is going to be leading the party, leaving 1st mate Rish in charge while he is not there. Hearing his orders, Twi’lek co-pilot Ni’ma demands that she go along with him. The Captain won’t hear of it though, telling her it’d be better for her to stay on the ship this time. Instead, the head technician Mace joins the groups going out, saying that he needs to watch the Captain’s back.
Having that settled, the group boards the shuttle and heads over to Nickel One. As they fly, Mace starts talking about how he used to work for the Captain’s father. He speaks of him very fondly, and mentions that in his younger days the Captain could stir up trouble of his own if he wanted to in a pirate-ish manner. When Forma took up his position, Mace promised his father that he’d look after him. These interesting stories from Mace speed up the time it takes to get over to Nickel One.
Once there, the Verpine the Captain and crew rescued greets the group. He introduces himself as Ked’Ix, an engineer working for the company Slayn & Korpil, and thanks everyone for saving him. Unfortunately, the pirates were able to get a hold of some of his important work on an experimental heat shield and the prototype of it he was working on. Captain Forma and Mace aren’t happy to hear Ked’Ix talk about the leader of the pirates, a Shistavanen named Bak “Bloodfang” Wulver. They had tangled with him before, a dangerous pirate to say the least, and it was assumed that he had retired. Captain Forma makes a deal with Ked’Ix to get back his heat shield and research in return for a profitable trade deal with the Verpine. It takes no time for Ked’Ix to agree, and he provides the group with a lead: a Verpine arms dealer named Zill’ik who very well could be providing the pirates with weapons. With a deal in place and a name to go on, the Captain leads the party over to Zill’ik’s shop.
The group arrives at the shop in no time, Captain going over to question Zill’ik while Kol guards the door and the others take up positions around the store. When questioned, Zill’ik denies anything and everything, knowing nothing about no pirates no way no how. Captain Forma punches him in the face, not believing him one bit. Suffice to say this sudden fist to the face is a bit distracting to the party, and they are rapt to the continuing questioning. This allows Kallukoras, a Trandoshan, and his pirate henchmen to descend on the shop. A fight immediately breaks out, though the pirates aren’t much trouble for the party. Kallukoras sees the tide of the fight turn and makes a break for it, though he only manages to get away through the Captain’s intervention. He wants to follow Kallukoras back to the pirate’s base so that they can be taken out all at once. Knowing that, the chase is on and the group speeds back to the shuttle to follow.
Following Kallukoras is easier said than done as the party has to be not just fast enough to keep up, but stealthy enough to be unnoticed and avoiding the myriad of asteroids floating around them. Kitt reiterates that fixing shuttles are more her expertise than piloting them, and ends up running into difficulties with the asteroids along with flying under the sensors of the pirates. After some intense flying, the group watch Kallukoras’s ship land inside one of the asteroids. It takes a bit more careful flying, but Kitt manages to attach the shuttle to the outside of the asteroid and the party gets themselves ready for a space walk to the inside of the base. Mace and Kitt work together to hack into the hangar doors, getting them to open and allow everyone inside. Rune finds floating in space to be a little disorienting and gets a bit sick.
A stealthy approach seems to be the way to go, working their way around the base and taking out sentries quietly. This method is made all the easier by the talents of the Jedi, who are able to extend their sight past doorways and walls to see how many men are up ahead. The party takes one path all the way to the back of the base. Since one of their main priorities is to locate the heat shield, Rudi and Kitt search one of their storage rooms for clues while the others scout ahead. There are no solid leads on the heat shield, so they rejoin the others who have stopped to listen to talking in the briefing room up ahead. With some more fancy sneaking, Mace and Kitt listen in on the group of pirates and Bloodfang himself. He outlines his plans, wanting to attack Nickel One to teach the Verpine a lesson, and makes mention of the safety of pirates’ base on the planet Metalorn, as its atmosphere is intensely hot.
The two relay the information to Captain Forma, who tells the party they’re all going to have to leave immediately, and get the Crusader to come to the pirates’ asteroid and blow it to pieces. Once again valuing stealth, the party sneaks past the conferring pirates one by one. First Mace, then Kitt, Rudi and Kol. There are a few close calls, but they all make it to the other end, near the exit, without alerting the enemy. Rune, however, is not so lucky. As he attempts to sneak from the halfway point to the exit, he trips and falls, alerting a few pirates to his presence. A lot of commotion takes place, Rune fighting off the pirates, but being forced to retreat. They all fall back behind a set of doors, Mace and Kitt quickly shutting them and overriding their locks. Rune becomes set on going around the other path and bringing the Captain back, but his plan is interrupted by Kitt’s comlink going off. On the other end is Captain Forma, who orders Kitt and the others to retreat, stick to the plan and bring the Crusader in to wreck the place into space dust. There are protests, but he shoots them down quick and tells Kitt to get them all out.
Rune, wanting to make up for causing the situation, reiterates that he intends to circle around and get the Captain. Having Kitt aim her rifle at him and tell him to follow the Captain’s orders changes his mind. With time being of the essence, the party runs back to the shuttle, zooming off back to the Crusader, all hoping that the Captain will be fine on his own.