Saturday, August 14, 2010

Chapters 13 to 15

Chapter 13: Return of the Wookiee
Scene 1
The party (minus MISSION and JUHANI) walks through the Lower Shadowlands, BASTILA and RGN slightly behind the others. There is an uncomfortable silence; the tension between them is palpable.
RGN: Is there something you'd like to ask, Bastila?
BASTILA: Well... yes, there is. In our time together I've been watching you --
RGN: No kidding. (She frowns at him.) Sorry, go on.
BASTILA: As I said, I've been watching you. You are a true servant of the light; you follow the tenets of the Jedi Order despite the lure of the dark side -- and with so little training! Don't you find it difficult at all?
RGN: Well, if you must know, I'm using a walkthrough.
RGN: Never mind. Um... yeah, I guess I do find it difficult sometimes. The Dark Side dialogue is so much more amusing.
BASTILA: That's a relief to hear. I've never found the Jedi path an easy one to walk.
RGN: Oh, you're not so bad.
BASTILA: But I've always struggled for control over my passions. I've always been too quick to anger, too quick to get involved. Whereas you...
RGN: (Shrugs) I'm not that great.
BASTILA: RGN, remember that pond we came to earlier? You walked over the surface.
RGN: Well... all right, so maybe I am that great. That doesn't make you a bad Jedi.
BASTILA: I know, but... I didn't expect you to be like this.
RGN: How did you expect me to be?
BASTILA: Just... different, I suppose. More evil.
RGN (puzzled): Evil? Why?
BASTILA: Oh, it doesn't matter.
RGN: Look... maybe we can help each other follow the Light Side?
BASTILA: (Sighs) Perhaps you're right. You... you continue to be there for me, don't you? Even after I keep shooting you down in flames.
RGN: Our characters were made for each other, Bastila. You have to see that.
BASTILA: I... I'm not sure. I need to check the script. Look... I'll talk to you about it when we get back to the Hawk, okay? (She runs ahead to join the others.)
RGN (frustrated): Damn! And we were getting so close...
Scene 2
The party turns a corner. Ahead of them is an injured Wookiee, GRRRWAHRR.
GRRRWAHRR (clutching his side): Please... please help me! I'm dying!
They run over to him.
CARTH: What happened?
GRRRWAHRR: An attack... from nowhere. Please, heal me before it's too late! (RGN checks his wounds.)
RGN: Look, it doesn't look all that serious to me. Just a few scratches --
GRRRWAHRR (annoyed): I tell you I'm dying! Look, my paws are shaking!
RGN: But --
RGN: All right, all right. (He injects GRRRWAHRR with a medpac.)
GRRRWAHRR: Ahhh... that's better. Oh, yeah... (Hopefully) Any chance of another?
RGN: Er... I don't think so.
GRRRWAHRR: Aw, come on, man! I'll pay you back as soon as I have the cash, I swear!
RGN: No! Look, that was all we had, OK? Now who was it who attacked you, anyway?
GRRRWAHRR: They just appeared out of nowhere! Outsiders in colourful armour. They waited until we put our weapons away and then... they pounced! Brutally robbing us of our credit cards and mobile phones!
BASTILA: Hmm... this sounds familiar.
GRRRWAHRR: They've been plaguing our hunting parties for weeks. They only attack when we're unarmed, the cowards!
RGN: Really? Well, here's a suggestion: why not try keeping your weapons out next time?
GRRRWAHRR: Hmm... yeah, that's actually a pretty good idea. Thanks! (He wanders off. RGN watches him go, shaking his head.)
RGN: (To JOLEE) Are all the Wookiees as dumb as this?
JOLEE: (Shrugs) Hey, it's good for business. Especially since I set up as a Feng Shui consultant.
Scene 3
The Lower Shadowlands, some time later. JOLEE is leading the way.
BASTILA: Jolee, we've been walking for quite a while now. Are you sure you remember where you saw the Star Map?
JOLEE (irritated): Of course I'm sure, dammit! Do you think I'm going senile or something? Now, a left turn here, a right here, and here we are at --
CARTH: A bunch of swoop bikes.
JOLEE (embarrassed): Well, it is a long time since I last came down here.
Suddenly they hear the sounds of footsteps behind them. It is SHERRUK and his Mandalorian raiding party.
SHERRUK (threateningly): Who dares disturb our swoop bikes?
They turn to face him. A smile spreads over RGN's face as he recognises the Mandalorians.
RGN: Well, if it isn't the Cabbage Patch Raiders. I suppose you're the ones who've been terrorising the Wookiees?
SHERRUK (horrified): You?
RGN: I don't think we were properly introduced last time we met. I'm Randomly Generated Name, this is my personal assassin droid HK-47 (HK waves), and this is Canderous Or- oh, but you know him, don't you?
CANDEROUS: Sherruk, is that you?
SHERRUK (gulps): Canderous? Look, I can explain --
CANDEROUS: You've been attacking Wookiees for their mobile phones? You pathetic excuse for a Mandalorian! (He steps forward threateningly, pulling out his sword.)
SHERRUK: RUN! (He and the other Mandalorians turn and flee.)
CANDEROUS: Hey! Come back here and fight, you cowards!
But they have already vanished into the shadows.
CANDEROUS (shaking his head): Guys like them give other Mandalorians a bad name.
CARTH: Well, you have to hand it to them: that's quite an achievement.
RGN: Oh, give it a rest, Carth.
HK-47: Request: Permission to hunt down and viciously slaughter the colourful meatbags, master?
RGN: Perhaps another time, HK.
HK-47 (frustrated): Protestation: Oh, master, you're no fun at all.
Scene 4
A clearing in the forest. In the middle is the Star Map, next to a COMPUTER with a holographic interface. As RGN and the others approach, the interface activates.
COMPUTER: Initiating neural recognition. Primary neural recognition complete. Reticulating splines. Preliminary match found. Begin socialized interface.
RGN: What?
COMPUTER (hisses): It's supposed to sound 'hi-tech', OK? Now, where was I? Ah yes: Awaiting instruction. Greetings.
RGN: What are you, exactly?
COMPUTER: Error. Subject displays unfamiliarity to environment. Behavioural reconfiguration will be needed before access.
RGN: 'Behavioural reconfiguration'? That sounds disturbingly Orwellian.
COMPUTER: Look, I just want to ask you a few personality questions, all right? Let's get it over with as quickly as possible. Now, you travel with a Wookiee and --
RGN: Hang on, how did you know that? No one could possibly have programmed you with that knowledge, unless it was in the last few hours!
RGN (rolls eyes): Never mind. Go on.
COMPUTER: You travel with a Wookiee and have encountered complications. Hypothetical: you and this Zaalbar are captured and separated. If you both remain silent, one year in prison for each of you. However, call Zaalbar a traitor, and he will serve five years, while you serve none. He is offered the same deal, but if you both accuse the other, you both serve 2 years. What do you do? What do you do?
RGN: Hey, I know this - it's a 'Prisoner's Dilemma', isn't it? I learned about this in economics class.
CARTH: 'Prisoner's Dilemma'?
RGN: It's a type of game theory. It's quite simple really - each player has what's called a 'dominant strategy', which means...
Ten minutes later.
RGN: ...and that's how the Prisoner's Dilemma relates to the Cournot-Nash equilibrium.
CARTH: OK... you lost me around the word 'player'.
The COMPUTER's eyes have glazed over.
COMPUTER: Er... have you finished yet?
RGN: I'm sorry, what was the question again?
COMPUTER (exasperated): Do you accuse Zaalbar of the crime?
RGN: Well, that is clearly the best strategy for a rational self-seeking individual. Unless the game is played multiple times, in which case --
COMPUTER (panicked): All right! There's no need to elaborate; I think we've established quite clearly that you're Rev -- I mean, you're ready to access the Star Map. Yes. (RGN looks suspicious.)
RGN: No more questions?
COMPUTER: Well... I did have some more, but I've changed my mind. Please, just take the Star Map and leave me alone! (The interface shuts down before RGN can say anything else.)
RGN (shaking his head): Well, that's certainly one of the weirdest security systems I've ever come across.
BASTILA: And the stupid thing nearly gave the game away as well.
RGN: What was that?
BASTILA: Oh... nothing. Come on, everyone. (She walks off quickly, the others following.)
RGN: OK, I'm starting to get the feeling that people aren't telling me something here...
Scene 5
The Lower Shadowlands.
BASTILA: Could we get back to the ship as quickly as possible? We left Sasha alone with Juhani and I'm worried that she might be trying to kill her or something.
RGN: Come on, Bastila, be fair! I know Juhani had her little Dark Side interlude, but that's all in the past now.
BASTILA: No, that wasn't what -- oh, never mind.
CANDEROUS: Hang on, what about the mad Wookiee we were supposed to kill? I want to get some fun out of this stupid planet, at least!
RGN: Jolee, have you seen any mad Wookiees round here?
JOLEE: No... unless it's Freyyr you're talking about. But he could be anywhere in the forest --
A twig snaps with an ominous 'crack'.
RGN: Or possibly, right behind us.
FREYYR: RRRRAAARGH! He lunges at them, sword raised.
JOLEE (frantic): Hey, Freyyr, calm down! It's me, Jolee! I banished the Dragon of Unhappiness from your bathroom, remember?
FREYYR: Jolee? (Lowering his sword) Yes... I remember. (Sheepishly) Um... sorry about that.
JOLEE: Friends, I'd like you to meet Freyyr, ex-Chieftain of the Wookiees.
CARTH: Ex-Chieftain? Hang on -- are you Zaalbar's father? The sex maniac?
FREYYR (offended): I am not a sex maniac! It was all a lie spread by my political opponents, or rather one particular opponent, who happens to be my own son. None of it's true, I swear!
RGN: Really?
FREYYR: (Lays hand on heart) I did not have sexual relations with those Wookiees!
RGN: ...Good enough for me. Freyyr, did you know that Chuundar is helping Czerka Corporation turn Kashyyyk into a theme park?
FREYYR: Oh, my beloved planet! If only I could find Baaca's Fork, then I would make them pay!
RGN: You wouldn't happen to have any idea where it might be, would you?
FREYYR: Alas, no. It was lost many years ago, along with other holy relics such as Bacca's Napkin and Bacca's Ultimate Pub and Restaurant Guide.
RGN: You guys take your food very seriously, don't you?
FREYYR: Indeed. Throughout the years I've spent living in the Shadowlands I have searched ceaselessly for the fork, but not the slightest trace could be fou-
CANDEROUS: Is this it?
(He reaches into a bush and pulls out a small, shiny object.)
FREYYR: Can it be? (Gasps) Great Bacca, so it is! The fork, the holy fork! Now I can reclaim my rightful place as Chieftain!
HK-47: Resignation: I take it this means we are not going to kill him, master?
RGN: Sorry, HK. You'll get a chance to kill someone soon, I promise.
Scene 6
The village of Rwookrrorro. The Wookiees look on in excitement as FREYYR sweeps into the Chieftain's hut, accompanied by RGN and the others. CHUUNDAR is having grapes fed to him by one of his female companions; he looks up in horror as the party enters.
ZAALBAR: Father!
FREYYR: Yes, it is I! Your reign of terror is at an end, Chuundar. I have the Fork of Bacca! (He holds it up triumphantly.)
CHUUNDAR: (Stands up) Not so fast, Father. Remember that I still have the knife!
FREYYR: Then there is only one way to settle this!
BASTILA (innocently): Ready Steady Cook?
FREYYR: (Glaring at her) No! A fight to the death!
CHUUNDAR (chortles): With a fork? What are you going to do, prick me to death?
RGN: Hold on, everyone, there's no need to fight. Why don't you two talk this through and try to come to an agreement?
HK-47 (almost crying): Master!
CARTH: Talk? The only legitimate solution is to immediately hold free and fair democratic elections. I'll see about getting the Republic to help organise --
RGN: OK, Carth? This is a society whose governmental system is based around a cutlery set. I'm all for democracy, but I'm not sure the Wookiees are entirely ready for it yet.
CANDEROUS (exasperated): Are you all crazy? I didn't come here to act as an election monitor! Less talking, more fighting!
HK-47: Agreement: I second that proposal.
FREYYR: So be it! May the best Wookiee win!
An enormous battle breaks out.
Scene 7
CHUUNDAR is dead. Rioting Wookiees rampage through the village and up the walkways, pursuing the fleeing Czerka officers.
WOOKIEES: Crush! Kill! Destroy! Let no one escape!
JOLEE: The entire planet is rising up against Czerka.
BASTILA: Do you think we did the right thing, RGN?
RGN: On balance, yes. OK, so a few thousand Czerka workers are going to be killed, most of whom are probably just low-level grunts who didn't want to be here in the first place. But hey, at least the Wookiees won't be enslaved any more.
FREYYR and ZAALBAR approach them.
FREYYR: Outsider, you have restored me to power and reunited me with my son. How can I reward you?
RGN: Well, you could start by calling me by my name, rather than 'outsider'.
FREYYR: Consider it done. Anything else?
ZAALBAR: May I have Bacca's Dinner Set?
JOLEE: (Waves hand quickly at FREYYR) You don't want Bacca's Dinner Set, Zaalbar. Why not have some credits instead?
FREYYR: You don't want Bacca's Dinner Set, Zaalbar. Why not have some credits instead?
JOLEE: (Waves hand) Yes, Father, that will do fine.
ZAALBAR: Yes, Father, that will do fine.
BASTILA (indignantly): Jolee! How can you abuse your Force powers like that?
JOLEE: Oh, shut up, Little Miss Perfect. You're the one who ends up going to the Dark Side, not me.
BASTILA: How do you know?
JOLEE grins and holds up a copy of the script.
BASTILA: Let me see that!
JOLEE: Not while RGN's here. The Big Plot Twist is still to come, remember?
BASTILA: Oh, yes.
RGN: OK, there's definitely something strange going on here...

Chapter 14: Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Scene 1
On board the Ebon Hawk. RGN enters the empty cabin, practically dragging BASTILA with him.
RGN: Right, Bastila, you're not getting away this time. Have you had time to think about what I said earlier?
BASTILA: (Sighs) You have been patient with me, haven't you? I suppose you deserve an answer.
RGN: I would appreciate one, yes.
BASTILA: Alright, here goes. Oh, God, this is so embarrassing...
RGN: Look, I got all the crappy pick-up lines earlier, now it's your turn.
BASTILA: I know, but I hate having to say all this stuff about how weak and helpless you make me feel. It's like being the heroine of a Barbara Cartland novel.
RGN: Come on, just say it. (Prompts) 'You're stronger than I am...'
BASTILA: 'You're stronger than I am, and there's no point in telling me otherwise. You will be a great Jedi, I think. I hope...'
RGN: And?
BASTILA: And... (Groans in disgust) 'In some ways you make me feel weak, like I'm caught up in the wake of our destiny. But at the same time, you make me feel stronger, more alive.'
Romantic music begins to play. RGN and BASTILA look around in surprise.
RGN: Where's that coming from? (He strides over to the door and pushes it shut. Behind it stands CARTH, holding a portable tape player.)
CARTH (sheepishly): Sorry. I thought it would help create the right mood.
RGN: Honestly, is a little privacy too much to ask for? (Looks around room.) Are there any more of you in here?
JOLEE, CANDEROUS and JUHANI emerge from under the beds, shamefaced. BASTILA throws open a cupboard door to reveal MISSION and ZAALBAR.
MISSION: (Smiles guiltily) Hey there.
RGN: Just get out, all of you! (They scurry out of the room, whereupon RGN slams the door behind them and locks it. They quickly take up position outside the door, listening excitedly.)
RGN: You were saying, Bastila?
BASTILA: Ah, yes... about my feelings for you. Well, I've been thinking about it for a while and I've come to a conclusion.
RGN: Which is?
BASTILA: That they are merely part of the bond we share. And so, by facing and overcoming my feelings for you, I have learned a valuable lesson about control and the dangers of emotion.
RGN: Say WHAT? (Outside the door, the others look at each other in concern.)
BASTILA: I'm sorry if this isn't what you wanted to hear, but it can't be helped. Well, it's been nice talking to you, RGN. (She starts to walk towards the door, but RGN grabs her by the arm.)
RGN: Bastila, what are you talking about? I know you're in love with me!
BASTILA: Look, don't you realise how difficult this is for me? You think I don't know what's going to happen?
RGN: What do you mean?
BASTILA: If I fall in love with you, I'll end up being captured by Malak and turned to the Dark Side. Then you'll have to 'rescue' me and of course I'll be pathetically grateful and collapse into your arms. It's so demeaning!
RGN: You can't fight the plot, Bastila. The writers want us to be together.
BASTILA: No, I must be strong! I must resist this hackneyed, chauvinistic plot device!
RGN: You don't always have to be original, Bastila. Give in just this once. (The others are listening with bated breath.)
BASTILA: But I don't... I mean, I can't... Malak will...
RGN: Look at it this way. We're both Jedi, we're both gorgeous, we spend half our time quarrelling with each other, and it's absolutely forbidden for us to fall in love. Do you really think there's any way we canavoid ending up in bed together?
BASTILA: (Gives in) Oh, all right, you've made your point. Now shut up and kiss me, you fool!
RGN: (Shakes his head) They're going to have to change that line when they make the movie.
Their lips touch... then suddenly, everything goes dark.
RGN: Hey! Who turned out the lights?
Someone giggles in the darkness. The lights go on again to reveal SASHA.
BASTILA: I might have known.
RGN (sternly): Naughty girl! (SASHA giggles again. The others quickly scatter as RGN picks her up, opens the door and deposits her outside.)
RGN: Now, where were we?
They kiss passionately. MISSION, peering through the keyhole, gasps with delight.
MISSION: Oh my God, they're kissing!
ALL: Woohoo! Go RGN! (Etc.)
RGN and BASTILA finally break apart.
RGN: Wow.
BASTILA: Yes... it's a pity we can't do it again.
RGN: What, you mean that's it? All that for one lousy kiss?
RGN (hastily): No, I didn't mean --
BASTILA: Look, just be glad you're not a woman. Not only would you have to date Carth 'Everyone's out to get me' Onasi, you wouldn't even get a kiss out of it. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and torment myself with guilt about what we just did. (She runs out of the room, leaving a disappointed-looking RGN behind her.)
JOLEE (entering the room): Hey, kid, it's not so bad. Just wait till you hear what she says to you on top of the Temple.
RGN: Shut up, Jolee, you're not helping.
Scene 2
Meanwhile, on board the Leviathan, a nervous-looking SAUL walks up to MALAK and kneels before him.
SAUL: Calo Nord is dead, Lord Malak. He has failed in his mission. I don't like to say 'I told you so', but...
MALAK: The penalty for failure is death, Admiral Karath. (SAUL looks worried) But I'm in a good mood today, so I'll let you go. Besides, I should have known that no mere bounty hunter can stand against a Jedi.
SAUL: Lord Malak, may I suggest once more that you send your apprentice Darth Band-
MALAK: Ah, I have an idea! I shall send my apprentice, Darth Bandon, to take care of our young Jedi friend.
SAUL (sighs): An excellent idea, my Lord. (Rolls eyes behind MALAK's back.)
DARTH BANDON enters the room. As a Sith soldier crosses his path, he blasts him with a bolt of Force lightning, which strikes a console. It explodes, electrocuting several other soldiers.
SAUL: Lord Bandon, your habit of lashing out at random underlings is having a significantly negative effect on our recruitment drive.
BANDON: Shut it, flunky. (To MALAK) What is thy bidding, my Master?
MALAK: Find Bastila and bring her to me!
SAUL: Should I write that down for you, Lord Bandon? (BANDON glares at him, then turns back to MALAK.)
BANDON: As you command, Master. (He turns and walks out of the room, blasting away a few more hapless Sith soldiers as he goes.)
Scene 3
On board the Ebon Hawk, which is flying through space.
JOLEE: So where are we headed now?
RGN: Manaan. (There is a chorus of groans.)
MISSION: Oh, not Manaan! It's the most boring planet in the galaxy!
CARTH: Did you know that the main side-quest there involves becoming a lawyer? And I bet there'll be a really slow and tedious underwater sequence as well.
RGN: Look, I'm not happy about it either, but we've got to get it over with sometime.
CANDEROUS: Hang on, what about my duel with Jagi?
RGN: Oh yes, I'd forgotten about that. Does anyone mind if we stop off briefly on Tatooine so that Jagi can settle his little lovers' tiff?
BASTILA: Actually, I've changed my mind on that one. If it means putting off Manaan, I'm all for it.
RGN: Fine, so we're agreed. Which of us are going to go with Canderous?
HK-47: Query: Is there likely to be violence involved, master?
RGN: Yes, I'm afraid there probably is.
HK-47: Statement: In that case, master, I feel it is my duty to accompany you. For your protection, of course.
CARTH: I'm coming too. I wouldn't miss this for the world.
JUHANI: And I also. After all, they are both Mandalorians and one of them has to end up dead.
Scene 4
In the dune seas of Tatooine. CANDEROUS, accompanied by RGN and the others, walks down a valley.
CARTH: Hold it, guys, I just thought of something. How is Jagi going to know where and when to meet us?
JAGI and some other Mandalorians appear in the distance. The others look at CANDEROUS, who shrugs.
CANDEROUS: Don't ask me.
JAGI approaches.
JAGI: Ah, Canderous. So you managed to come after all. I see you brought friends.
CANDEROUS: So? So did you!
JAGI: Some people might regard bringing Jedi as cheating.
CANDEROUS: Are you saying you're not up to fighting Jedi?
JAGI: Um... no. (Quickly) Come on then, let's get this over with!
RGN: Hey, wait a minute. Jagi, I think you should at least give Canderous a chance to explain about him and Mandalore. (Turns to JUHANI) Don't you agree, Juhani?
JUHANI (viciously): No! Let them fight!
RGN: Oh-kay. Well, Jagi, I still think you should let Canderous explain himself.
JAGI (raising blaster): I disagree.
RGN: Let me put it this way: (Waves hand) You want to give Canderous a chance to explain himself.
JAGI: OK, Canderous, I'll give you one chance. Explain what happened with Mandalore!
CANDEROUS: Jagi, it isn't what you think.
JAGI: 'Isn't what I think'? You told me you loved me, and then the very next evening I caught you and Mandalore together!
CANDEROUS: I do love you, Jagi! (CARTH is almost choking.) What happened with Mandalore meant nothing, I swear!
JAGI: Then why did you do it?
CANDEROUS: He promised me a promotion. Did not Mandalore state in the Good Mandalorian's Handbook that we should seek advancement through the ranks by any means possible?
JAGI: What? Canderous, he was talking about military strategy, not sexual favours!
CANDEROUS: (Laughs) Oh, Jagi, you're so naive.
JAGI (red with fury): Damn you, Canderous! I cannot forgive you for this.
HK-47: Encouragement: Fight, fight, fight!
CANDEROUS: Well, so be it. Sorry it had to end this way, Jagi.
The two parties fire volleys of shots at each other, and the Jedi use the Force to attack the Mandalorians. Eventually JAGI and his friends fall to the ground, dead.
RGN: Well, that was pointless.
CARTH: Not entirely. (Grinning, he holds up his tape recorder.) I managed to capture all of that interesting little exchange on tape.
CANDEROUS: What? Hey, give that here!
CARTH runs off towards the gates of Anchorhead, with CANDEROUS in hot pursuit. Shaking their heads, the Jedi follow.
Scene 5
The Hawk flies towards Manaan, an oceanic planet. It circles the planet once, then another time, then another...
RGN (voiceover): Come on, Carth, just land it.
CARTH (voiceover): Oh, all right.
The ship docks on Ahto City, the only city on the surface of Manaan. As the party members exit the docking bay, they see a REPUBLIC SOLDIER arguing with a SITH SOLDIER.
SITH SOLDIER: You Republic people are so pathetic, sitting around grovelling at the table-scraps the galactic senators deign to give you. It makes me sick.
REPUBLIC SOLDIER (indignantly): The senators work for the good of the whole galaxy, not for individual gain!
JOLEE (doubling over): HA! HA! (The soldiers look over at him.) Sorry.
SITH SOLDIER: It's the destiny of weak-minded fools like you to be ruled over by the strong, like we Sith! Oh, and did I mention that you have really stupid uniforms as well?
MISSION (shrugs): Can't argue with that one.
The two soldiers stalk off in opposite directions.
BASTILA: There are Sith here?
RGN: Of course. Manaan is neutral, remember?
BASTILA: Oh, gods...
RGN: Don't worry. None of the Sith on Taris realised who you were, so I doubt that these will either.
Scene 6
The party enters the main part of Ahto City. A Selkath OFFICIAL sits inside a kiosk.
OFFICIAL (subtitled): Welcome to Manaan. (He hands RGN a thick booklet entitled 'Laws and Regulations of Manaan, Volume 1 of 18, Part 1a.') Please study this carefully and pay close attention to the information inside.
RGN: Volume 1, Part 1a? You mean there's more?
OFFICIAL: Yes, but most of our other laws are unlikely to be of concern to a visitor.
CARTH: So what happens if you break a law?
OFFICIAL: It depends on the gravity of the offence. For minor infractions such as speaking too loudly in a public place, the perpetrator receives a strict telling-off... followed by permanent banishment from the planet.
RGN: And other offences?
OFFICIAL: Anything more serious is punishable by life imprisonment. Or death.
RGN: Ha, ha! (The OFFICIAL is silent.) Er... that was a joke, right?
OFFICIAL (stiffly): Here on Manaan we are very serious about our laws.
RGN: Right... (Looks at book) Guess we'd better get learning these, then.
They walk off in stunned silence.
CARTH: I think I need a drink.
RGN flips through the book and begins to read from one of the pages.
RGN: 'Section 5, Part vii: Alcohol. The manufacture, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited on Manaan. Any infringement of this ban is punishable by a jail sentence of not less than 25 years.'
JOLEE (sighing): This planet isn't going to be a lot of fun, is it?

Chapter 15: Trials and Tribulations
Scene 1
RGN and the others walk through the streets of Ahto City. MISSION begins to sing under her breath.
MISSION: Manaan-a-na! Na! Na-na na!
PASSER-BY (overhearing): I wouldn't sing that if I were you.
PASSER-BY: The Selkath tend to get a bit annoyed about it. They've had two people sentenced to death for it already.
RGN: Tell me, how many people does Manaan execute each year?
PASSER-BY: Almost none, actually. The legal wrangling goes on so long that most people die of old age first.
MISSION: Huh. Some comfort.
PASSER-BY: By the way, are any of you called Jolee Bindo?
JOLEE: That'd be me.
PASSER-BY: Well, there's a woman called Elora looking for you.
JOLEE: Elora? Now that takes me back. OK, I'll look out for her.
They walk on.
RGN: Who's this Elora?
JOLEE: Her husband Sunry is an old friend of mine. We fought together in the war against Exar Kun.
CARTH: You fought the Sith?
JOLEE: Well... technically he fought the Sith. I took more of a back-seat role.
RGN: I might have known.
JOLEE: Hey, I'm a Consular -- we're not supposed to be good at fighting. Anyway, Sunry was always away from home, and Elora and I... well...
RGN: Jolee, you're not telling me you screwed her while her husband was off fighting for the Republic?
JOLEE (defensively): Hey, she was lonely. I was just trying to comfort her.
CARTH: Yeah, right.
They enter Ahto City West. ELORA, a middle-aged woman, runs up to JOLEE and flings her arms around him.
ELORA: Jolee, thank the Force you're here! You have to help me!
JOLEE: What's happened, Elora?
ELORA: It's Sunry... (Sobs) He's been accused of murdering a Sith woman!
JOLEE: Murder? Yeah, I can believe that.
ELORA: But I'm sure he's innocent!
BASTILA: So why do the Selkath think he did it?
ELORA: Well... they found his fingerprints on the murder weapon, and his hair on her jacket. And a spot of her blood on his trousers. And several witnesses saw him running away from the hotel where she was killed. (The others exchange glances.) Isn't it obvious that the Sith are trying to frame him?
RGN: Either that, or he really did kill her.
ELORA: Sunry would never murder anyone. Please, you have to help me convince the Selkath that he didn't do it!
RGN: But how? None of us -- hang on, why is everyone looking at me?
JUHANI: Because you always do this sort of thing.
MISSION: Yeah, we just kind of tag along while you do all the work.
RGN: Look, I hate to disappoint you all, but I don't actually have any form of legal training.
CARTH: Yeah, but weren't you in advertising? That's practically the same thing.
RGN: No it's not!
JUHANI: What about your Light Side Mastery?
RGN: I already have Light Side Mastery! I'm 100% Light Side! There is no possible way for me to be any more Light Side than I am now!
There is silence for a moment.
JOLEE: I'll tell the Jedi Council about you and Bastila.
RGN: Oh, God, all right!
Scene 2
RGN enters the Ahto City court. Five Selkath JUDGES sit at desks inside. Before them, a SITH CAPTAIN and a REPUBLIC CAPTAIN are arguing bitterly.
REP. CAPTAIN: Your Honours, the case is quite clear. Several of my men saw one of the Sith soldiers drop the cigarette butt upon the ground in flagrant disregard of Manaan's anti-littering regulations.
SITH CAPTAIN: Your Honours, I must protest! A Sith soldier would never defile the pristine floors of Ahto City in this way!
REP. CAPTAIN: Are you saying my men would?
SITH CAPTAIN: Well, now that you mention it --
The middle JUDGE holds up a hand.
JUDGE (subtitled): Shut up, the pair of you. Now, since there is no independent witness to determine the perpetrator of this heinous act, I will proceed to fine both the Republic and the Sith the sum of 50,000 credits. (Horrified, the soldiers begin to protest.) Silence! Now, I have just one more thing to say to you both: If ever you disturb our streets again, your lives will pay the forfeit of the peace. Understood?
The two men nod reluctantly and storm off, muttering to themselves. RGN approaches the middle judge.
JUDGE: Good day, off-worlder. I am Judge Dredd, and these (indicating the others) are Judge Judy, Judge Mental, Judge Mentday and Judge Notlestyebejudged. How may I help you?
RGN: I've come about the Sunry murder case.
JUDGE DREDD: Ah, yes. You wish to take on his defence?
RGN: Not particularly, but it looks like I'm going to have to.
JUDGE DREDD: Well, I must say that it appears to be an open-and-shut case. But feel free to investigate and see if you can turn up any new evidence.
RGN: Wait a minute -- I'm the defence lawyer and the detective investigating the case? Am I the only one to see a slight conflict of interest here?
JUDGE DREDD (coldly): I assume you are aware that criticism of Manaan's laws is punishable by --
RGN (hastily): On second thoughts, an excellent idea. Very... efficient. I'll get right to it, shall I?
Scene 3
The party approaches the hotel where the murder took place. Suddenly there is a blinding flash of light, and a robed, hooded FIGURE appears through a cloud of smoke.
FIGURE (hoarse whisper): Caesar! Beware the Ides of March!
RGN: The Ides of March? I thought it was November.
FIGURE (normal voice): Hold on, am I in the right place? (Looks around.) This is the Old Republic, right?
RGN: Er, yes...
FIGURE: The old Roman Republic?
RGN: Ah... you're a bit out there, I'm afraid. This would be the Galactic Republic.
FIGURE: (Takes out list and looks at it) Ah yes, of course! You're RGN, aren't you? (RGN nods.) Well, I've got a message for you: If you want to learn the truth about the murder, don't bother with the hotel -- go to the Republic embassy.
RGN: Right. Well, thanks, er...
FIGURE (mysteriously): Just call me... Deep Throat. (There is another puff of smoke, and he vanishes.)
MISSION: What was that about?
RGN: I think it was an oh-so-cunning reference to the Watergate scandal that brought down President Nixon.
MISSION: No, I mean the bit with the embassy.
RGN: I'm not sure. Let's go and see, shall we?
The party enters the Republic embassy. ROLAND WANN, the Republic's ambassador to Manaan, stands at the entrance.
WANN: Good afternoon, Master Jedi. What can I do for you?
RGN: I'm investigating the Sunry case.
WANN: Ah yes, I heard about that. Dreadful, dreadful business. (He covers his mouth with his hand to conceal what looks suspiciously like a smirk.)
RGN: (Looking closely at him) Would you happen to know anything about it?
WANN: Oh no, no, no. Definitely not. Can't help you there, I'm afraid.
RGN: Oh. Well, in that case, do you know anything about a Star Map on Manaan?
WANN: A Star Map? Yes, I think I know what you mean.
RGN: Really?
WANN: In fact, I can even get you there. But --
RGN (wearily): But first you want us to undertake some sort of task for you, right?
WANN: Right! But don't worry, it's quite an easy one.
WANN: Oh, yes. Just a simple matter of breaking into the Sith embassy, recovering a droid they stole and bringing it back to us, then going down to our underwater kolto mining facility, fighting off any insane Selkath you find there and finding out what's turning them into crazed murderers. And solving the problem, of course.
JUHANI: Perhaps we should be grateful that he is not giving us a difficult task.
WANN (helpfully): You could start by interrogating a Sith spy we captured to learn a passcode for the base.
RGN: (Sighs heavily) I guess we don't have much of a choice, do we?
Scene 4
Inside the Republic embassy.
RGN: OK, we're in. Now to look for evidence of the murder.
MISSION: Hey, what about the prisoner? I always wanted to see an interrogation.
RGN: We can do that later. I'm going to check out the computer system -- there's bound to be something interesting there.
He enters the computer room and begins to slice the computer. A Republic technician working at another console completely fails to notice.
CARTH: You know, I'd complain about the Republic's unbelievably lax computer security if it didn't work in our favour so often.
RGN: Aha! What have we here? 'Top Secret: Video of Sunry murdering Elassa, stolen from Ahto City Grand Hotel'.
A grainy security video shows a man, SUNRY, entering a bedroom with a beautiful Sith woman, ELASSA. They are obviously arguing about something -- then suddenly, he draws a blaster and shoots her.
JOLEE: So he did do it? Damn, I hate it when it turns out the obvious suspect was guilty all along!
RGN: Yeah, who'd have thought a murder mystery could be so boring? Perhaps if the Republic had destroyed the tape rather than keeping a copy for their viewing pleasure...
BASTILA: Well, I suppose we'd better confront Sunry about it.
They walk towards the exit.
MISSION: I wonder why there was a hidden camera in their room anyway?
RGN: I think it's best not to ask.
Scene 5
Inside the Ahto City prison. SUNRY stands in a small cage-like cell; the Selkath WARDEN is nearby.
RGN (to WARDEN): Could you excuse us, please? I'd like to speak with my client in private.
WARDEN: Yes, of course. (He puts his fingers in his ears and begins to hum loudly. RGN sighs.)
RGN: Sunry, I'm RGN, your legal representative.
SUNRY: Ah, at last! Perhaps you'll be able to talk the Selkath out of this ridiculous idea that I killed Elassa. The idea that I, a Republic war hero and supporter of various children's charities, could possibly murder someone --
CARTH: Cut the crap, Sunry, we know you did it. We found the tape.
SUNRY: Ah. (Shrugs) Well, it's a fair cop.
BASTILA: You were having an affair with her, weren't you?
SUNRY: So? Is that a crime?
RGN: Given that we're on Manaan, the answer to that is almost certainly 'yes'.
RGN: So why did you kill her? Did she threaten to tell someone?
SUNRY: Um... no. We had a fight over the last Mars Bar and... well, things just got a bit out of control.
RGN: You killed her over a Mars Bar?
SUNRY (defensively): Hey, she was a Sith, wasn't she? I was practically doing the galaxy a favour.
RGN: Sunry, the Selkath execute people for singing in the street. Somehow I don't think they're likely to take the long view in this case.
SUNRY: So how do you plan to get me off, then?
RGN: Er... I'm sorry? 'Get you off'?
SUNRY: Yes! You're supposed to be my lawyer, aren't you?
RGN: Sunry, when I agreed to defend you, I wasn't aware that you were actually guilty.
SUNRY: You mean you're going to tell the Selkath? But then the Republic would be thrown off Manaan and wouldn't be able to harvest any more kolto, which as everyone knows is the most powerful healing agent in the galaxy!
RGN: I didn't know that, actually.
SUNRY: Well, you do now.
RGN: Anyway, why does the Republic have to be involved at all? If you would just confess, I could try to get your sentence commuted and there'd be no need to tell anyone about the video.
SUNRY: But... but then there would be no moral dilemma! No, I won't do it!
RGN: Oh, for God's sake. Can anyone see a Light Side way out of this?
The others look at each other and shrug.
JOLEE: Wait a minute. (Checks walkthrough.) According to this, you can bribe witnesses at the hotel without getting Dark Side points.
RGN: You're joking.
JOLEE: I'm afraid not.
BASTILA: RGN, I take it you realise that not getting Dark Side points for something doesn't automatically make it ethical?
RGN: Well, what choice do I have? It's either letting a murderer go or destroying the entire Republic's war effort!
BASTILA: (Sighs) Well, I do see your point.
RGN: Fine, then, I'll do it. But for the record I'd like to make it clear that I feel very bad about this, OK?
Scene 6
The Ahto City courtroom. SUNRY's trial is in progress.
JUDGE DREDD: Call Firith Me.
FIRITH ME, the first witness, approaches the witness stand. The Sith PROSECUTOR takes out his notes.
PROSECUTOR: Mr Me, you claim to have seen a man fitting Sunry's description running out of the hotel just after the murder?
FIRITH ME: Well, actually... I'd like to retract that statement. I just remembered that the man I saw was about seven feet tall, with flame-red hair, a wooden leg and a heavy beard. Oh... and it was actually a woman.
PROSECUTOR: Hang on, what's going on here?
JUDGE DREDD: Hmm. Most irregular... but we will take your new testimony into account. Call the second witness!
GLUUPOR, a Rodian, approaches the stand.
PROSECUTOR: Gluupor, you claim to have heard the accused arguing with the victim just before the fatal shot was fired?
GLUUPOR (subtitled): Er... Gluupor think he make mistake.
JUDGE DREDD: A mistake?
GLUUPOR: Yes... Sunry not argue with Sith lady. He really say, 'Me love you very very much. And me would never, ever murder you.'
PROSECUTOR: What the...?!
JUDGE DREDD: Well, this certainly throws new light on the case. Would the prosecution and the defence like to make a final statement before we retire to discuss the verdict?
PROSECUTOR: Yes, I most certainly would! These witnesses have clearly been persuaded to change their testimonies!
RGN: Objection, your Honours!
JUDGE DREDD: Objection upheld.
JUDGE DREDD: The prosecution will be silent! Now, would the defence like to make a closing statement?
RGN (smoothly): I believe my client's innocence speaks for itself, your Honour.
JUDGE DREDD: Very well. We will now discuss the verdict.
The JUDGES leave the room. Some time later, they return.
JUDGE DREDD: The judges are unanimous in returning a verdict of 'Not Guilty' in the case of Sunry vs. the Sith Empire. However, since I feel like punishing someone, I will fine the Sith Empire 100,000 credits for wasting our time.
PROSECUTOR (furious): This is an outrage! (Turns to the party) You'll pay for this, you Republic scum!
JOLEE (smirking): Not as much as you're paying the Selkath. Oh, and good luck finding the seven-foot-tall bearded lady.
For a moment, the PROSECUTOR looks as if he would like to strangle JOLEE, but he eventually thinks better of it. With a snarl of fury, he turns on his heel and marches off. SUNRY and ELORA approach the party.
ELORA: (Hugs JOLEE and RGN) Thank you so much for all your help! (Turns to SUNRY) And now, you miserable worm, would you like to explain why you told Elassa you 'loved her very very much?'
SUNRY (taken aback): Er, I --
ELORA: You were cheating on me, weren't you? You bastard!
CARTH: Yeah, isn't he? Of course, it was different for you when you were cheating on him with Jolee --
SUNRY: What?
JOLEE: Er... Time to leave, I think.
He dashes off, pursued by a vengeful SUNRY. ELORA hurries after them. The others watch, open-mouthed.
RGN (eventually): Well, I'm sure there must be a moral in there somewhere...

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