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!