Rogue Metal

(GM's note: Written by James B. King for Challenge magazine #61. It was originally set during the Rebellion, I backdated it to the Old Republic)

Obstacle in Path
Alana, Fom, Talik, Bruin and XTR-MN8 are called in for a routine mission. They are to travel to Womrik and help represent the Republic at the celebration of the planet's anniversary of joining the Republic. Should be a simple, routine mission. The team packs dress uniforms again and departs on the Lavisar Courier. A few days later, the ship's hyperspace proximity alarms sound and the ship drops out of hyperspace. A small moon or large asteroid is directly in their path and Alana takes evasive action and avoids crashing into the asteroid. Once safely in orbit, XTR spots a base on the surface. Examining the asteroid shows the base has been hit by a bombardment and there are a few wrecked ships on the surface. The base still has power. Alana reports back to Herdessa Base and since they have a few days leeway in their journey, they decide to land and explore.
Approaching the base, they see a large, intact closed hangar door, a blown out vehicle bay and a smaller airlock. They land near the vehicle bay and approach and find many foot prints and the tracks of a large vehicle. Inside the bay are several large ground trucks, most have been demolished when the ceiling caved in from a direct hit. One is still working and it looks like another drove away, leaving the tracks. A personnel airlock gives access to the base, they are in a large corridor for moving supplies from the vehicle bay to other parts of the base. Emergency lights are on, there is air, but its cold and the grav plates are on half power. The team decides to bak track and follow the tracks of the missing truck. They get the one working truck running and follow the tracks to to a clear area with the imprints of a ship's landing pads. It looks like someone took a truck and loaded it on a ship and left. Alana thinks it was a Ghtroc freighter.

They're Dead, They're all Dead
They return to the base and explore the access way and find three very old bodies, with only a few bits of flesh dries to the bones. They bear marks of blaster fire and cuts from blades. Moving out of the vehicle access way, they enter a common room with couches and chairs in conversation groups, wall screens and games. And more than two dozen bodies in similar condition. Many doors lead out of the room and two hall ways lined with doors lead deeper into the base. Alana approaches a door to open it, but a large, black shape hurtles out of the hallway and swings a vibroblade at her. She dodges barely and fires her blaster, but the bolt glances from her assailant. The figure runs through the group, attacking them. Fom cuts it with his lightsaber and Talik misses. XTR tries to grapple with it and disarm the attacker, but its a droid with a built in vibroblade. Bruin also swings at it, but his lightsaber doesn't penetrate its thick armor. Before the droid can flee, Bruin uses Telekinesis to lift it into the air. Now the droid opens fire with built in blasters. Fom severs one arm and Talik uses Force Push to bang it into a wall while Bruin holds it up. They cut off its other arm, disarming it, then impale it on a lightsaber. The droid's powercells rupture and explode. The crew picks themselves up and tend to their wounded.

Directive: KILL!!
The team explores the warehouse and finds lots of old rations, ship parts and sozens of old battle droids, some deactivated and dead, others blown apart and piled in dumpsters. Bruin finds a robot head and reactivates it and learns the facility was a Merendata corporate droid lab, building new battle droids. There may be more battle droids active, so they return to the ship to look for heavier weapons. They have thermal detonators, but decide that is too much of a good thing. They decide to modify a couple of stun grenades to work on droid frequencies and return to the warehouse. Bruin decides to try to reactivate one of the shutdown droids, a model B8-TR, maybe they can use it. Fom and Talik sense danger approaching and prepare for combat. Fom cuts through the wall to the machine shop next door and out into the hallway as another combat droid attacks through the warehouse door. Alana throws a stun grenade and misses, Talik uses Reshape Material to prevent it from using its vibroblade, so it hits her with blaster fire. Bruin cuts off an arm and Alana throws another grenade then Fom slices it in half with his lightsaber. Bruin connects to its memory core to interrogate it, but the droid is both fairly simple and in an advanced state of psychosis. He then salvages it's power cells to help power up his restarted battle droid. They begin to explore the rest of the base and find newer bodies, only days old, of two human males, a human female and a male Twi'lek. They wear ship uniforms and probably came from a vessel that crashed on the asteroid recently.They also find a hangar with two old starfighters and a hyperdrive shuttle, all wrecked beyond flight. Finally, the last battle droid attacks them. Talik again uses Reshape Material to hamper its weapons and Bruin tries to control it with Electronic Manipulation. The last droid is destroyed and they search the base. They find another battle droid that was deactivated and shut down, but someone tried to reassemble it. A survivor from a recent landind is in the sickbay, the droids have been torturing him. They take him to the ship for treatment. A thorough search of the base records finds reports that their program for the battle droids was too warlike, the droids slipped over into psychopathy and killed some of the research team. Apparently, they broke free later and wiped out the base staff and some other crews that have crashed here. After making sure there are no active battle droids left, they depart for their diplomatic mission.

Silly Quotes and Smart Remarks
The ship lurches and drops out of hyperspace
Kevin "Can I bring up Danger Sense?"
Lee "Can I bring up my lunch?"
Jim "You just did"

Describing the asteroid
Lee "Let's ignore it; it's irrelevant"
Jim "You have a party to get to"

Talking about the fragments from the blown door
Kimi "We could have gotten cut, gotten tetanus. Space tetanus"
Chmiel "Spetanus"

Chmiel "I wear space pants because my ass is out of this world"
Jim leans over and takes a chip to penalize him for bad jokes.

Looking at the abandoned base and donning spacesuits
Jim "Obviously, you're in space, so there's no…"
Lee "Smell?"

Discussing what could be lurking in the base
Chmiel "I'm not afraid, Jim's not holding a Traveller adventure"
Jim looks at Mike and lifts up his clipboard to show he has an issue of Challenge magazine underneath it
Chmiel "Oh shit…"

Looking to loot the bodies
Kevin "Always sell on Ebay, that's the Jedi way"

Fighting the droid, Bruin hits the droid, but his lightsaber barely damages it
Jim "You score the surface, but don't penetrate"
Kevin "Did I penetrate?"
Lee "That's what she said"

Bruin uses Telekinesis to lift the droid so it can't move or reach them and they attack the droid from below
Jim "Set your lightsaber for 'colonoscopy' "

We were comparing accents and how we say certain words differently
Lee "I pronounce everything correctly"

Lee was constantly making government conspiracy comments, Kimi called him on it several times
Jim "He's very in touch with his inner conspiracy"
Kevin "Don't you (Lee's character) work for the government?"

The party finds old battle droids, some wrecked by combat
Jim "I wish Michael was here, his character would be all upset and yelling 'My brothers, I will avenge you!' "

Chmiel suggests Alana could borrow a lightsaber to fight the combat droids
Lee "You can't use a lightsaber, you're just a muggle"

Bruin is spouting conspiracy theories about the battle droids and the Military Industrial Complex
Jim "You have a complex about the Military Industrial Complex"

Bruin salvages a battle droid, his designation is BT-8R or Beater
Chmiel "I hope he doesn't have a wife"

The party finds four fresh corpses, two human males, a human female and a male Twi'lek
Chmiel "It's our stunt doubles!!"
Lee "It's like Weekend at Bernie's… Weekend at Twi'lek"
Chmiel "The Twi'lek Zone"
Lee "Look out, its Yoda… 'Hmm, tired your friend is' "