The Kraken

2 ABY – 09 Golf – 8 Benduday () The huge ship “Dugan's Hand” draws the Porgatu inside a cavernous docking bay, its powerful external tractor beam handing the ship off to a smaller one mounted on the bay's ceiling. The bay is dark, its floor covered in old cables and debris, but containing no other ships. C4-BL3, Kantarra, and Cheebs venture out, but they are soon faced with several threatening droids of unknown types. Keeping their cool in the face of more unknown threats, the party takes no chances and shoots first. They handily blast the droids, but not before C4-BL3 takes a nasty hit from returned fire. The group retreats into the ship. While Cheebs repairs the comm (and suggests upgrading him with armored skin), Kantarra goes up to the cockpit to scope things out. Seeking to disable the tractor beam on the ceiling, she decides to simply blast it with the ship's guns, and it rewards her with impressive pyrotechnics. But the pirate voice (continuing to spout nonsense at them on a still-open comm channel) says something about its minions as well as “unleashing the .” The group hastily gets on their respective guns as R3-M3 starts the power-up sequence.

Several more groups of droids appear from various directions, all converging on the Porgatu. C4-BL3, Cheebs, and Kantarra lay about the ship in all directions with gouts of heavy laser fire, but to little effect. Only C4-BL3's quad laser cannons find their mark, and many of the droids make it under the shelter of the Porgatu's outstretched stabilizer wings. Seeing this, Kantarra drops down out of the cockpit and partially opens the chin ramp, peering out and blasting at the droids with her deadly carbine. The droids seem now to be moving in concert. Meanwhile, Cheebs powers up the drives and attempts to lift the ship up to safety (there are ominous noises coming from under the ). The ship lurches, one of the cargo container's landing legs apparently being stuck – or held down. All he succeeds in doing is pivoting the ship around. C4-BL3 says something about the “floor is covered in snakes!”

Masses of hydraulic cables and sparking power cables have braided themselves together and are working their way up, covering the sides of the Porgatu's cargo container and heading for the itself. Giving up on the idea of breaking free, Cheebs allows the landing legs to collapse, letting the ship drop fully onto its belly. (Kantarra is thrown around by the sudden jolt, but she's not thrown out of the ship, thankfully!) Ruptured hydraulic cables under the ship spurt oil and other fluids all over, and the sparking power cables ignite a number of small fires start very close to the Porgatu. Kantarra squeezes off deadly shot after deadly shot, eliminating the remaining droids attempting to hide under the Porgatu's stabilizers. Then she jumps down to the cluttered hangar floor.

Meanwhile, Cheebs is running around the ship trying to decide what to do. He grabs his (yet untested) ion , runs back to the secret storage chamber, and activates “Rollie,” their menacing heavy-weapons . Calling to C4-BL3 to come along (since he's out of targets with the ship's guns), they drop down into the cargo container and head for the doors. They drop the ramp and rush outside. Cheebs sends Rollie to one side of the container to help Kantarra, who is experimentally hacking away at the cables with her blade. Cheebs & C4-BL3 head to the other side. While Cheebs unloads his ion into the mass of mechanical tentacles, C4-BL3 thinks better of it and heads to find a data port at a nearby cargo loading console. Cheebs and Kantarra blast away and hack through tentacles with no real overall effect. At Cheebs' prompting, R3-M3 tries energizing the ship's hull to repel the tentacles.

C4-BL3, meanwhile, has started slicing into the ship's computer system. He quickly realizes he's up against an opposing AI of daunting intelligence and unknown code resources. Although the comm resists this enemy's attempt to retaliate and hack him, he has its attention. C4-BL3 tries in vain to persuade the entity of their peaceful intentions. Now the “” seems to stop its efforts to engulf the ship but sends out a wave of tentacles toward the comm . Cheebs blasts ineffectually at the mass and shouts a warning to their hacker .

C4-BL3 suddenly realizes the console he's using has local control over the hangar's hydraulic cargo-loading systems – which are apparently providing the motive force to the “.” Just as the tentacles are reaching him, he succeeds in shutting down all the hangar's hydraulics. The tentacles drop limply to the floor. R3-M3 de-energizes the Porgatu's hull and confirms that the ship is now free. Several unknown models of small maintenance droids appear to extinguish the fires.

The party breathes a collective sigh of relief and draws together to plan. While R3-M3 tends to the overwrought ship's systems, C4-BL3 shows them a prize he's recovered from the computer's unencrypted data stores: Complete deck plans for the Dugan's Hand. The malign AI he sensed through the ship's computer network seems to be tied into the systems on the bridge. Many areas on the deck plans are labeled with strange religious-sounding terms (narthex, sanctum, chapel, etc.), and Kantarra is alarmed to see one labeled “Inquisitory.” But at this point Cheebs reveals that his sense of has given him a strong feeling that the entire ship is devoid of sentient life forms. What's more, -touched Duros says he feels a specific strong Force presence on the ship. It seems to correspond with an area marked “Feretory.” The group reasons that since droids (allegedly) cannot connect with and there aren't any biologicals aboard, perhaps Cheebs is sensing a Force artifact, similar to how he can sense Kantarra's chilling blade. C4-BL3 finishes isolating the hangar's systems from external control. The party considers its next move.

Dugan's Hand – Cutaway
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