Star Wars – Shards of Exploration
Menace of the Slave Lords, Chapter 8
The dark sky above Monorick 6 was alive with dying wreckage. Shattered starship components burn up in the atmosphere. Larger portions fall to ground in the deep black desert sands.
Davish, So’zen and Aerena return to the docking bay in Port Graymouth. The mines seem – at last – headed for peace, quiet and a well-fought for ‘return to normal’. But questions about the hive of mysterious insects sends Davish and So’zen – followed by Aerena – out to the crater in the desert.
There they find the hive crafting an unusual scaffold made of the local minerals, such as the unstable mexalite that runs thick in Monorick 6. Davish and So’zen head to the crater’s edge for a closer look, only to be captured and taken down to the hive! Aerena acts fast, following on her speeder bike into the crater.
Discovering the ‘hive’ has a collective intelligence all its own, a negotiation breaks out between Aerena and the hive queen over the miners, So’zen and Davish. She brokers a deeper bargain that So’zen helps finalize once he was freed from captivity. The hives would work with the miners. A symbiosis of a sort. Already, the hive worker drones have started to pair up with miners to assist with extracting new ore and shore up tunnels with the hive’s more durable honeycombed support structures.
That only leaves the matter of the now silent mining colonies and the mysterious coordinates that the Nightsister raider fled toward.
Meanwhile on Chalcedon, the slave rebellion burns its way through the city. Word of a “Freeworld’s League” at Port Etmar lead by Nalarine Kanter spreads faster than the fires. Hijacked ships ferry escaped slaves toward this desperate hope for freedom.
Among flame-baked ruins near the docking bays, acrid smoke drifts through the underground air. Vanya, Danar and Boba Fett stand among the ruins. Nearby the former gladiator turned assassin, Thira, moans in pain. She’s seriously wounded but alive.
Her partner? The assassin had once again slipped through their grasp. Around the corner from the urban battlefield, they hear the sounds and voices of freed slaves, now freedom fighters, managing the escape ships under the watchful eye – and occasional assistance – of Darth Vondromas.
Meanwhile, a section of the underground city goes ominously silent…