Smoke from the still smoldering T-65 X-Wing filled the docking bay adjacent to the Steamline Space Tavern, a large barge that cruised through Hook Nebula in the galaxy’s Outer Rim. The Steamline’s owner, Lew the Hutt, had come down to the docking area to marvel at the fact that the X-Wing’s pilot, Bake Travnor, had survived his latest Tavern Wars mission.
Travnor had exited the singed Snub-fighter and was clutching the Corellian Whiskey on the rocks he’d been handed by one of the docking bay’s mechanics, who kept several bottles on hand to accommodate Travnor and other pilots who usually insisted on the booze after returning from battling over alcohol shipments to The Steamline.
“I heard you were engaged with four Scyks. I thought for sure you’d be dead – and I wouldn’t have to pay you this time,” Lew said in a loud and threateningly jocular voice that scared everyone in the area except for Travnor, the leader of the Whiskey Squadron mercenaries who flew for the large brown and green Hut.
“It was a close call, but I’m back, more or less in one piece,” said Travnor, who pulled off his helmet to reveal hair as grey as his close-cropped beard. “I’ve told you Lew, the key to winning dogfights is to make them miss more than they hit.”
After some tinkering I came up with a new talent for my local group for casual X-Wing games – the eponymous Whiskey Squadron rules. A player may spend 1 point for this: Before each defense roll, a pilot may roll one defense die. If it comes up as an evade the players shall add one extra defense die to the subsequent defense roll. This talent can be used by both named and unnamed pilots in a list.
(We still have a few stickers laying around. If you want one email email@example.com and we’ll get it in the mail).
Lew the Hutt watched as Bake Travnor, drink in hand, slowly climbed the steps to the Steamline Tavern’s office, from which the enormous green gastropod could oversee operations in his joint.
Bake entered Lew’s domain and stood in his boss’s presence, sipping his Corellian Whiskey on the rocks.
“It’s all set Travnor. The dogfight will be two days from now.”
The pilot nodded. Bake was the leader of Whiskey Squadron, hired by Lew to fight the Tavern Wars against pirates and mercenaries employed by Elmer, owner of Argy’s Space Tavern. Both the Steamline and Argy’s are housed in space barges located just outside the Aturi Cluster.
Lew had placed an enormous bet with Elmer – that one of his pilots could beat Elmer’s best in a space dogfight. Bake would represent the Steamline and he had chosen, much to Lew’s annoyance, to fly a T-65 X-Wing.
“You know Elmer’s guy will be flying something fancier and faster, right?”
“I’m most comfortable in the old snubfighter. Best to stick with what you know, Lew,” Bake answered as he finished the last of his drink.
Lew laughed as he assessed his employee – well into late middle age with grey hair and a close-cropped white beard. But something about Bake’s cocky blue-eyed stare always gave the Hutt confidence.
“Win this Travnor and I’ll give you more than enough credits to pay off your gambling debts,” the Hutt said.
Continue reading “An X-Wing dogfight”
Bake Travnor scanned the empty patch of space in front of him and looked at the sensors of his T-65 snubfighter. The screens showed no threats, but the leader of Whiskey Squadron didn’t trust them. He and his wingman, Glenn Sundowner, were flying old X-Wings and the electronics were as temperamental as a drunk Wampa.
“Whiskey Two, what do your sensors show?”
“Nothing, all clear,” Sundowner reported back.
The duo were returning to the Steamline Space Tavern after escorting a shuttle carrying the previous week’s band out of the dangerous space near the Aturi Cluster, the disputed area where the Tavern Wars raged. Whiskey Squadron flew for Lew the Hutt, the Steamline’s owner, and had to be wary of ships hired by Elmer, the Argy’s Tavern boss and Lew’s rival.
Bake slowly rolled his head side to side, still hungover after finishing off the Steamline’s last bottle of Whyren’s Reserve Whiskey the night before with the band – a shoegaze rock trio from Scarif who easily matched the grizzled old pilot drink for drink.
“Aaah, incoming!” Sundowner shouted over the comm system. “I’m hit.”
Bake’s X-Wing shook violently as well as his rear shields took direct fire. He spun his head around and saw several Tie Fighters closing fast.
“I knew these sensors were off,” he said to Sundowner. “Bank right and I’ll bank left. These are Argy’s ships and there are probably more. We’ll have to out fly and out run them. Good luck. Last one back to the Steamline buys the first round.”
Continue reading “‘Bank right!’ Whiskey Squadron makes a run for it”
Bake Travnor, the grey-bearded leader of Whiskey Squadron, reluctantly reached inside his jacket pocket and pulled out his glasses. As soon as he put them on several smugglers at the Steamline Space Tavern chuckled.
“Laugh all you want,” Bake said as he motioned for a fresh drink – whiskey on the rocks. “If I’m going to get Lew the Hutt’s Whyren’s Reserve delivered here I’ve got to learn to fly a K-Wing.”
When Travnor’s refill arrived he resumed studying the flight manual for the assault starfighter. In his many years as a Rebel and New Republic pilot the fifty-something Travnor had flown X-Wings, A-Wings and Y-Wings but had always avoided the bulky K-Wing.
Now Lew, the Steamline owner, had secured 10 cases of Whyren’s, the rare Correllian Whiskey. He’d also rented a K-Wing that he’d charged Travnor with flying to deliver his expensive stash. Unfortunately for Travnor Lew had spent so much on the whiskey and starfighter rental he had no money to pay for any other vessels. Travnor would have to pick up the booze and make it back on his own, knowing full well that Lew’s rival in the Tavern Wars, Elmer the Argy’s space tavern owner, would be sending ships to shoot him down.
“Oh well,” Bake said as he finished his drink. “For Whyren’s, it’s worth the risk.”
Continue reading “Mission: A K-Wing whiskey run”
Bake Travnor sipped his Corellian whiskey on the rocks and surveyed the scene at the Steamline Space Tavern. Travnor, a former Rebel and New Republic pilot who had spent 25 years flying X-Wings, A-Wings and Y-Wings on missions across the galaxy, smiled as he noticed the several hundred other patrons at the Steamline were also enjoying the name brand booze. Bake had helped escort the freighter carrying the spirits to the Steamline, a remote watering hole just outside the Aturi Cluster.
“You humans do love Corellian whiskey,” Dans, the two-headed Troig bartender, said from his left head. “When we announced the shipment had docked I thought I would go deaf from all the cheering – and I have four ears.”
“Lew the Hutt wants to see you,” Dans said from his right head.
The veteran pilot finished his drink, setting it back down on the large, horseshoe-shaped wooden bar carefully. Why would the Steamline owner want to see him? His tab was paid and he didn’t think he’d done anything recently to offend Lew; people who upset Lew didn’t last long, especially now as the Tavern Wars raged.
Continue reading “X-Wing Whiskey Squadron is born”