2 ABY – 06 Echo – 26 Centaxday (Relatta). After making a quick circuit of the island on the Zephyr, Kantarra, Cheebs, and their new droid associate C4-BL3 pull up to the abandoned industrial facility from the water level of the lake. They drag the speeder bike onto dry land and proceed to scout the structures on the stony slab of an island. What first appeared to be one such structure proves to be several massive starship engines neatly arranged at some distance from a cyclopean hangar building.
C4-BL3 (Cable) hacks a smaller door to the hangar next to the gargantuan hangar’s blast doors and restores the facility’s power. Inside, he accesses a dataport and discovers details about the Carrack Class Light Cruiser class light cruiser being built here, the bow section of which rests inside the giant hangar. The engines outside clearly were intended for it, but the ship’s construction was mysteriously abandoned 35 years prior. Finding that most of the facility is on several underground levels, the party takes a now-working turbolift down to a rough-hewn cavernous area where the light of Lorik’s old lightsaber keeps the ill-tempered local population of huge carnivorous bats at bay. They transit the caves and proceed further down via another turbolift to explore the facility’s offices.
Cheebs feels a string of bad vibes – a new sensation for him – about a side door they were about to pass, but the party decides to explore it anyway. Inside the computer room, a glowing red object sits on a pedestal under a protective hood. (Comparing notes later, Kantarra & Cheebs decide it may have matched the description of a Sith holocron.) Cheebs stops C4-BL3 from accessing the dataport on the pedestal – barely, as one of the curious droid’s primary motivations is to access any and all data.
In what must have been the center’s main data office down the hall, C4-BL3 has no trouble finding downloading the geological survey data that Nix had set as a secondary objective. However, a countdown timer appears onscreen right after Cheebs decided then to play Cable some audio recorded at Salliche on the decoded Imperial subchannel.
Apparently Cable’s slicing had triggered a facility-wide self-destruct mechanism! Fleeing the underground levels with all haste possible – none too fast considering the Duros’ flimsy constitution and the droid’s overworked gyros – the party narrowly escapes smoke and fire, accompanied by an ominous orchestra of distant explosions. Finally reaching the relative safety of the outdoors, the party witnesses the implosion of the entire facility.
After the hangar collapses onto the unfinished cruiser’s hull and a large sinkhole appears in the middle of the island, the party is amazed to see a red beam of light shoot up from the middle of this new crater, straight up into the sky. A number of the white-haired Echani are spotted on the far shore, watching the group and the island’s ruin. Our accidental heroes race back to the ship on the Zephyr.
Comparing notes after reaching the apparent safety of their ship, Kantarra tells Cheebs that she had heard at least one voice in the data center and particularly from the red object on the pedestal while they were in the previous room. Ominously, the voice matched the one they’d recorded off the decoded Imperial subchannel on Salliche!
After a brief respite on ship, the party decides to go after the missing research team. They take their bike back to follow a previously unexplored path northwest of the ambush site and find a small village overlooking a canyon. There they parley with a number of the white-haired Echani. Speaking cryptically, the Echani say that the party has accomplished what the expedition had set out to do (though the latter didn’t know exactly what they sought) and state that the expeditionary team is safe. The Echani seem upset at Cheebs’ blurted assertion that this outcome was merely an unintended side effect of the party’s mission, but after Cheebs hastily spins a story about the party’s value as “cosmic buffoon archetypes,” the Echani admit their debt of gratitude. An Echani leader states that the lance of red laser light had been “the spirit of Rivan” being released, and also that the Echani themselves are “Oblates of Rivan.”
At this point, the sinister-looking Echani invite “the one who is worthy” to “have a conversation” as a means of negotiating for the expeditionary team. By this they mean Kantarra. She chooses a “distanced conversation,” which turns out to be an archery contest. Despite having no experience with the energy bow she is given to shoot, Kantarra narrowly defeats the Echani’s archery champion, scoring closer to the bull’s eye on 4 of the 7 targets. The Echani then release the four captive and dazed (drugged?) members of the missing expedition, saying their condition will wear off once they leave the Echani village.
The Echani leader’s parting words to Kantarra are “You are more Echani than you realize…. Remember what it was you did, and remember what you didn’t know you did.” To which she promptly responds, “Oh, we will!”