Star Wars: A New Sound

Besh: The Next Three Years

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Having been entrusted with the safety of the Huckleberry, Besh Viridux, made his way back to the Duros system, careful to cover his tracks. Things finally settled down enough so that he and R-7 could download and decode the secret thumb drive that Ricardo Tubbs left in that safety deposit box on Nar Shadda.

That is whole other story but it’s safe to say that Besh and his family are quite well off now and Besh’s nephew and niece are getting the education they desperately need. Besh started flying routine cargo runs out of Pezzarra Station and still gets the ol’ slitherhorn out for solo shows in whatever cantinas he finds himself in. His repertoire many consists of sappy romantic numbers that “spacers can make babies to”. In fact, his latest release, “Making Spacer Babies” is a top selling album in the colonies and mid-rim markets. It features excruciatingly long slitherhorn solos.

Besh still has run-ins with bounty hunters every now and then but those situations usually resolve themselves. Besh has started taking correspondence courses through Corellia University in an effort to finally get a degree and make his parents happy. He is majoring in History with an emphasis on Pre-Imperial Myth and Folklore.

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Val Holiday: The Next Three Years
"I am the Lizard King."

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Following the breakout success of the Carbonites’ first record, Chillin’, Val tells the band that they should lay low for a while to avoid the various reprisals of the Hutts, the Empire, and/or his father. As they go their separate ways on indefinite hiatus, he returns to Nar Shaddaa and reunites with his old friend Lib Fortuna, using his new wealth to help her start up another cantina, called of course The Huckleberry (he gives the ship to Besh).

Setting up a private studio suite in the back of the club, Val gradually descends into a reclusive, drug-addled existence of excess and bizarre musical experimentation, paying little attention as the galaxy whirls on outside. Lib watches with growing worry as he loses himself in endless psychedelic cacophonies, and wonders how to bring him out of this spiraling decline…

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The Twi'lek's Troubles

So. Wow. We get to this weird planet in the middle of the nebula, right? And there’s this giant gyroscopic floating thing orbiting the planet. The crew has told me that it’s some sort of death station or something. I guess it’s bad for hyperspace or something.
But, that’s not the truly crazy thing. Bib Fortuna, the main honcho for Jabba, offered me. ME. MEEE. A job. He wants me to report stuff from my band travels to him. Pretty sweet, right? Well, no.
The band has decided that Fortuna and Jabba must die for the plan to destroy the evil black hole sun thing floating in the sky to work properly. I mean, that makes sense, right? We don’t want to be hunted forever across the galaxy by Jabba. I’ve heard the rumors. I don’t need that.
So accounting; this is what I’m good at, right?

  1. Bad mojo floating thing is definitely bad. I agree with Val and everyone that it needs to be destroyed.
  2. Saving lives is important. I agree that we should save some of the slaves and everything.
  3. No Jabba and no Fortuna mean that we would live a longer life, and that’s always good.
  4. But, I also stand to lose a lot of standing that I have recently gained in the Hutt space.
  5. But, we were rocking on that televised concert and I bet we have actual band cred now. It might be nice to get this Hutt stuff behind us and actually make a name for ourselves without working for nasty crime bosses.
  6. But, I kind of like nasty crime bosses.
    So, I have no real plan. I guess I’ll go along with Val’s plan for now. I’d rather not be tossed into a star by Jabba for messing with his hellfire station.
    Damn, if he didn’t have to go and build some bad thing, I might have been in a great spot! Someone should teach Jabba the joys of gardening. I know Besh would help with the kettleweed.
    Okay, I can hear Shorty knocking at the latrine door. Probably wondering why I’m taking so long. I just needed to get my thoughts down and I hoped that maybe you would hear and lend me guidance from beyond. For what it’s worth Kip, I’m truly sorry that damn, dirty bounty hunter killed you while working his way to us. We avenged you, but that doesn’t help this message heading out to nowhere. Maybe there’s a datapad out past the next galaxy.
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Same Carbonite Time. Same Carbonite Channel
Will the band finally overcome their biggest hurdle towards fame?

Last time, on Dark Starkers, the Carbonites were in a real pickle. Kraxis the assassin was hot on their trail, leaving a swath of blood, carnage and dismemberment in his wake. Could he be after their treasure map? The band has won their way onto the Hutt Cruiseliner in order to sneak onto the Jewel’s eye planet. They’re kind of in it for adventure and glory – they have made big splashes on the airwaves with their smash success at the Nal Hutta Battle of the Bands – but if they happen to acquire some shiny treasure along the way, they sure wouldn’t complain. All they have to do is stay low on the Hutt radar and avoid the alarming amount of assassination attempts….

The gang picked their way through the corridors, stepping gingerly over corpses, pieces of corpses, lakes of blood, wrestling back their gag-reflexes. They found Gorga in his quarters, a leaking blob of death. R7’s scans showed a faint sign of life coming from the air vent and Neelo climbed up with the help of humanoid ladder, Besh and Shorty, to look for a survivor. Sadly, Jas’s friend, Kip had been left as a bloody message of warning. She cut him down but was unable to save him. She called to Jas, who had busied himself with nestling into a pile of bodies as a disguise, to inform him of his friend’s demise. This news, compounded with the band’s subsequent arrest, really put the gang into a bummer mood.

Jabba more or less voluntold them to corner and trap Kraxis, which they agreed to on the condition that they could record an epic music number in the process. They did, and Kraxiz showed up, blazing and garish, weapons hot and aimed straight at their vulnerable heads. The gang reached for their pistols, amped the song up to a crescendo and tensed for the grand battle that would follow – but then R7 rolled a thermal detonator toward the enemy, it exploded in time to the final chord, and Kraxis was vanquished!

They stood there, speechless and adrenaline flowing. The assassin was dead. The song was triumphant! Could they have really been so lucky?!

Moments later, with the clank of heavy doors, the gang sat despondently in jail cells, weapons confiscated.

Neelo asked for some Kettle weed. Besh obliged. Val suggested they keep low, but R7 had had enough.

He attempted to brake from his restraining bolt. The guards noticed and began to wollop on the little droid. Shorty had had enough as well. He raged and shook his cell door, distracting the guards, and chaos ensued. Val called for peace, Jas tried to call upon the force, Gloamy attempted to assist Shorty and R7 continued to override his restraints. Shorty and the guards scuffled, Gloamy bravely jumped in, flapping furiously to protect his own bodyguard, but he found himself head first in the toilet. R7 released Val and Jas, and they joined in the melee, fists, lekku and axes flying. Jas opened the weapons locker, but R7 was already dispatching the first guard with his fusion cutter.

Besh and Neelo sat and watched everything through a haze of kettle weed smoke until R7 helpfully opened their cell door, wherein they wobbled to their feet and, with warbling battle cries, entered the most unnecessary combat of their lives. They were too late to rescue Shorty from suffering a critical eye-gouging, and Besh received a nasty gash in his leg before impaling the second guard with his own axe. Neelo finished him off with a theatrical body slam, driving her elbow onto the axe with a squishy crunch.

They were free! More or less. Neelo patched Shorty and Besh as best she could. They were bloody and unfit for any more confrontation. Could they escape the ship somehow? Val decided no, it was too dangerous and they should lay low and hope for mercy. Reluctantly, Jas put the weapons back into the locker, Neelo placed the bodies to look like the guards had killed each other, and the band locked themselves back into their cells. Jas flung the keys toward the guards and they settled into their places, just as their escort entered to fetch them back up to Jabba.

The Hutt had decided to forgive the band, with some careful persistence from Val, and told them to clean up for the trip planet-side. They traded baffled glances and headed for the baths, glancing back over their shoulders at the Hutt to make sure he wasn’t just guffing.

What will happen on the Eye of the Jewel? Will they find treasure? Will they end up massacre fodder? Will their new song be the next number one hit on the galaxy charts? Stay tuned to find out!

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Ship's Log: Huckleberry
ABY 3.3.27 - Centaxday

Sector: Hutt Space
System: Unknown

Crew:
Captain Val Holiday – The Face/Lead Vocals
Jas Tuso – Band Agent/Percussion
Neelo – Medic/Hallicset
Besh Viridux – Pilot/Gunner/Slitherhorn
R7-01 – Mechanic/AV Tech
Gloumi – Summer Intern/Shellhorn (ugh)
Shorty – Muscle/Security

Passengers
None

Current Cargo
Band Gear

Pilot’s Log: Besh Viridux

Technically speaking, this isn’t really a pilot’s log because we aren’t even on the Huckleberry right now. That is to say, the Huckleberry and it’s crew are in two different locations on Jabba the Hutt’s flagship “The Anti-Salter”. Strange name for a ship, I know. The Hutt’s have a peculiar hatred for sodium, but hey, it’s their ship so whatever.

I don’t like being locked away down here in the servant’s quarters away from the Huckleberry. We just got that ship kitted out pretty nice and now it’s locked down for the next three months as we cruise through the Outer Rim playing for Jabba. I guess at least we’re getting our foot in the door on the jizz scene. If we can pull off this three month stint, Jas will be spending most of his time turning down gigs for us. We could maybe get a couple holo-recording deals and start touring the core world circuit. Living large! Then I can actually start affording some other things besides kettleweed noodles.

The Anti-Salter is taking some getting used to. For starters, it’s really old and it’s designed for Hutts. The servant’s quarters are down in the bilge and it’s where all the slime water filters down to. It smells something fierce and the locks on the doors are actually mechanical. It’s like something you would fine on a primitive pre-space world. Also, no holonet access, not even local ship holonet. This deal is getting worse and worse every day. Our main point of contact down here is a Twi’lek named Tuso. He sort of manages all the help. He showed us our room and relayed to us some important rules about working on “The Anti-Salter”:

#1. Don’t be late – We sort of already screwed this one up apparently.
#2. Don’t go to the Red Zones – Red Zone is a synonym for places on the ship that you would actually want to go hang out in.
#3. Don’t talk to the entourage – basically anyone who isn’t stuck down here with us
#4. Don’t ask where we are at or where we are going – cause those aren’t natural questions a band would want to know when they are performing. “Hello Mystery Place! Are you ready to Jizz!” or “We are so happy to be playing here in Mystery Place. It really is a special city/town/bar/world you have here.”

I’m sure Tuso will come up with some more rules as we make our way around the Outer Rim. When we went up to play last night though, I looked out the Gala viewing deck where we were performing and almost pissed myself. It looks like we were traveling through hyper space as I expected but it also looked like we were flying through a nebula. If I had to guess, I would say it was the Jewel of Nal Hutta. The very same nebula in which Zelda’s strange medallion pointed us to. Now we just need to convince Jabba to let us leave the ship once we get to whatever is in the center of this astronomical gravity maze. Jas is working on it so I’m pretty sure we’ll end up getting the info that Kaz wants.

The real problem is that two IT guys ended up beheaded down the hallway from us and a comm engineer has gone missing. Tuso is worthless for intel so we went down and investigated it ourselves. Security is labeling it a double homicide, but they didn’t even notice that the Twi’lek engineer was missing until we made our way into the bunk room. Blood everywhere, plus the heads were missing. Seriously! How do two guys behead each other and then hide the heads? Smells like a cover up. We went to investigate further in the Cargo Hold. Upon interrogating Beelo-Beelo, the Gungan Cargo Supervisor, we discovered that 1) Beelo is pretty sensitive about non-Gungans speaking in the Gungan dialect and 2) three carbonite crates had been thawed out. Turns out the containers held two assassin droids and Kraxis, the bounty hunter who’s been trying to kill us for weeks now! I guess that’s what you get for hiring a Gungan to be in charge of your cargo hold. Needless to say, Beelo freaked out, insulted Shorty who then in turn gut-punched him, only to have Beelo take off into the shadows of the cargo bay. I don’t think Beelo will be bothering us for now though. His head’s going to roll when Jabba finds out who let Trilock’s prize bounty hunter on board Jabba’s flag ship.

Val and R7 went to work real quick on tracking down the assassins. R7 sliced into the ship’s network and traced Praxis’ droids. Looks like he kidnapped Reela, the comms engineer, to gain access to the ship’s controls. Clever and deadly, but not clever enough. R7 overcame Kraxis’ network counter measures and we pinpointed Reela’s location. Val and Jas convinced Tuso to provide us with a strike force and we stealthed our way up to the room and took out those assassin droids holding Reela. That was a close call. One of those droids got a surface to air missile shot off and nearly killed Jas. Shorty made quick work of them once he got in there swinging his vibro ax. It’s too bad Gloomy wasn’t there to see it. I hope he gets over whatever flu he’s got. It can’t be fun hanging out in a bunk all day.

Turns out, while we were saving Reela and taking out the assassin droids, Kraxis was making a run at Greeba up in the Hutt slime bath level. Doesn’t Kraxis know that’s a red zone? He’s going to get in a lot of trouble. Perhaps Kraxis left a clue or two for us to follow up on. We will have to wait and see. For now, we’ve got to go practice our set. There’s another show coming up in a couple hours and we don’t want to suck.

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Tou Wanna Wonga Anra and Ramud,

Hey Kiddos,

Ol’ Uncle Besh checking in. I know I haven’t written in a while but I was pretty busy with the band and some other business we had to square away. We’ve had a a couple eventful gigs since you last heard from me. We even got a new ship. A YT-2400. Pretty nice too. R7 and I have made a lot of special modifications to it ourselves. The Fortune’s Favor was starting to have some problems so we decided to sell it and trade it in for this one.

We picked the new ship up on a crazy place called Barrab III, way out on the edge of the Outer Rim. The gas planet was surrounded by a ring of junk ships and a space station built right into the core of an old asteroid mining facility. I saw so many old ships, even some pre-Clone War models. It was all pretty wizard. There were ships that I had never even seen before. We even got to see an old Pyron Solar Cruiser in mint condition, or that is, it was in mint condition.

Anyway, the big news is that we are made our way back to Nal Hutta and our band competed in the “Granwey Nukta” just this past week. After a lot of practice and working really hard we made a big impression on the competition judges and we won. Mr. Holiday was very happy and we celebrated all night long. You might see some footage of our performance on the holo vids coming out of Hutt Space. Now we get to tour for three months as Jabba the Hutt’s house band. We’re going to be going all over the Outer Rim spreading that cool jizz where ever we go! Pretty cool, huh? It just goes to show you what you can accomplish if you work really hard and stay in school.

How are things back on Pellezara Station? I hope the garage is bringing in good business. I wired 400 credits to Pop-Pop’s account. Tell him he should spend it to upgrade the security system. You know, just to be on the safe side. “Cheespa bo Coopa” as the Hutt’s say, you know what I mean. There are a lot of bad dudes out there.

I also wired 50 credits to your mom for the both of you. You have to spend it on something “educational.” Go to the museum or the library or something. You got to keep up on your studies ok. Love to everybody for me. Stay out of trouble, you know what I mean. I’ll write soon,

Uncle Besh

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Computer log 3.14159265359

01010111 01001111 01010111 00100001 00100000 01010111 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01100001 00100000 01110111 01100101 01100101 01101011 00101110 00101110 00101110

Everything started out great! Won race around the junk ring, spent some time with a twi’lek who is great with her hands (mechanically), and wrapped it up with winning a battle of the bands to win the slot to become one of Jabbas personal jizz band. Not everything went according to plan though. After that close call with KanjiKlub we decided to hightail it to Nal Hutta for the battle of the bands and the first thing I hear over the comms is that damn recall of R7 droids from Industrial Automan. Only this time, they are saying that were going to explode like a thermal detonator! With some quick thinking, and some fine mechanical work from Neelo, we were able to disguise me to look like an old R1 unit and get around pretty freely. Once we got into the competition, we were matched up against the band who were expected to win and it came down to a close call but unfortunately we lost. Now Val was pretty upset but with some quick negotiations, a thermal detonation, and an intense practice session we were back in it and won the competition. I may have pushed it a little too far though and I just know those monitor droids noticed me during that last battle against Rage Against the Empire. Well, if Industrial Automan what to play hardball and hunt me down that badly, then lets play.

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Capn's Log: We are the Champions
S.S. Huckleberry, Log Entry 0008

“Well hells yes, we did it. We won the battle of the bands on Nal Hutta! It weren’t no easy thang; we got shot at on stage and lost the first round against that Ithorian metal band Rage Against the Empire, but with the help of Jas’ buddy Kip we got another chance after someone blew up Alderaan Duran.

After an intense practice session, we came back and walloped a clone band from “Down Under,” then went up to bury Rage with an epic set that brought down the house and gave us the prize. Nods to Shorty for “disarming” that rabid fan and Number One for winning the slicing war behind the scenes. Everyone came through when it counted and now we’ve finally made the big time, and pretty soon we’re off to the secret Hutt planet as Jabba’s personal musicians.

Well that’s all for now, I’m still hung the hell over from last night … what a night. Been seein’ a lot of Holonet coverage about our show … I hope Dad doesn’t notice …"

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Jas' Journal
An excerpt found from Jas Tuso's Hololog

What does it mean to be a Jedi? Besh said I was one, but what does that all mean? The only Jedis I have heard about are General Obi-Wan and Aayla Secura, but they are long gone from this galaxy of ours. My uncle once told me that they all perished. My experiences as of late challenge such an assertion.
After Teth, my mind started humming. I was feeling things: life, other people, great temples. I was having vivid dreams, I was acting rashly. Then, to find out I was being haunted by some sort of Jedi ghost who tried to rip apart the ship all for me!?! Things are getting crazy. I must confess, without Besh, I would not be here. He told me to relax and focus within. My instincts were telling me to fight and lash out despite the evidence that such actions were a detriment to the Fortune’s Favor.
As I calmed my mind, I felt something. Maybe the Force? I don’t know. But, I managed to calm away the ghost. Does that mean the ghost was a part of me or does it mean that acting calmly is the weapon of choice against ghost Jedis? As I meditated, I started being able to feel the ship; I could feel Besh and Neelo; I could feel their fear, their uncertainty. It was like feeling that family on the space station, but now I could tether that sense and hold on to it.
Who am I?
I am still Jas Tuso, future billionaire of Nar Shadaa. I am no Jedi, nor do I ever want such a moniker. The title of Jedi is reserved for those long extinct or for the trophies of bounty hunters. But, I can no longer hide that I am more than I was when I first joined Val. I have some sort of gift. Whether it helps or hinders by ascent to greatness, I’ll have to wait and see. For now, I must use my gifts to help right the wrongs I have caused on the entire band. I must help them regain the prestige of being the best damn Jizz Band in Hutt Space. We must make some coin!

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"Cap'n's Log, star date ... whatever"
S.S. Huckleberry, Log Entry 0001

“Yep, things are finally lookin’ up. Like I was tellin’ Gloumi, changin’ ships is sure to change our chances. Fortune’s Favor was a bit on the nose for Lady Luck; she likes a good show of confidence but you don’t dare get presumptuous. I was definitely drunk when I picked that name. Hey darlin’, I got your message. We play a gig at Lib’s bar on Nar Shaddaa, blowed up. We play a gig at an Imperial base, blowed up. We head to Outland Station for repairs, blowed up. Plus my drummer who’s been setting up these oh-so-sweet gigs starts talkin’ about weird dreams and tryin’ to pull mind tricks on my pilot in the middle of a damned dogfight! And the droid starts beeping about a damned “ghost in the system.” I got it, darlin’, I got it. But I’m gonna show ya that I’m still your huckleberry, and now this nice new YT-2400’s my Huckleberry.

I knew those Alderaanians were more bad luck. Dunno why Besh got so attached to ‘em so fast, he’s a bit of softie under all that spacer pose. And what happens? Blowed up of course. Sure I’m sorry ‘bout it, but better them than me. Dunno who that starfighter belonged to, but I sure wasn’t gonna wait around to find out when he brought back buddies. Real shame we couldn’t take more of those abandoned ships; Shorty keeps grumblin’ about that turtle-shaped one, we gotta get him a pet or somethin’. But the Wookiee’s really not too bad to hang with when he lets himself lighten up, and damn if he don’t know some choice curses. Gloumi’s still a bit too quiet but he’s got a good head on ‘im, and he came up with someplace I never heard of to lie low. Hell, I don’t even know what Shorty and Number One are sayin’ without the intern around to translate. At least the droid’s been back to normal with not a chirp about any ghost. Glad that’s done with.

Rest of the band’s still on the Fortune for now, we had to leave in a hurry. Probably sell it off when we get to the junkyard, if it ain’t blowed up before we get there. That was just a joke, darlin’. Kinda nice havin’ all this extra space with just four crew … I think we gotta have another band meeting when we we’re outta hyperspace. Besh and the Doc are solid, but that Ewok’s got too much Teth vibe on him, and I want a fresh start, clean slate, new leaf, all that. Plus I don’t feel his slappy bass fittin’ into the Carbonite groove … damn, it’s been too long without a gig.

And then there’s Jas. He promised he’d stop with the Force nonsense, but on the station he was talkin’ about voices in his head again. Either he’s a damned delusional or he really has some Jedi in him, and neither of those are good for business. Yep, time for another meeting …"

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