Sometimes a forgotten part of the galaxy provides a bit of perspective about the universe we all sometimes miss and the luck involved in surviving it. After a series of misfortunes, our hyperdrive motivator quit working.
Seeking the nearest star system, we happened upon Batuu. The planet was sparsely populated, even after all the long years and history that ran through the place.
The center of that history, The Black Spire Outpost offered services to repair our simple star-hopper, and perhaps other diversions while waiting.
After negotiating a fair deal for the refit, a local told of a scavenger hunt of sorts. Littered throughout the spaceport were crates ancient and new, unclaimed and without an owner. With that in mind, we set out for the Black Spire proper.
After discovering a small crate containing an ancient and perfectly preserved Anoobas skull, we were quickly rewarded. I fear I have no holos of the skull. It was to be a present, and its giver didn’t want any documentation lest the receiver might know of it.
Collecting credits for finding the first item in the fun new game we had discovered, we came upon the main docking bays.
The influences of a millennium of being one of the last posts before the Wild Spaces were readily apparent. Imagine our surprise when we saw Corellian YT-1300f light freighter docked there.
We joked that it was the legendary Millenium Falcon, but clearly couldn’t be. Still, we had our holos taken in front of it as a joke for our friends in the start system back home.
We found another interesting crate, but it only had an old Mon Calamari spacesuit. We left that where it was, the evidence that it hadn’t been cleaned making that decision all the easier.
Feeling peckish, we retired to a small restaurant in a small bazaar near the docks. The charming Ronto Roasters cleverly prepares offerings, roasted by a pod-racer engine.
Opting for what I was promised was fresh Ronto that was raised on Batuu, I ordered the Wrap. While not the un-processed and un-frozen Ronto I was promised, the lovely slaw atop the well-roasted Rondo meat and sausage more than made up for it.
I also chose what they called a Tattooine Sunset to drink since every scan told us to steer clear of the local water. I am not sure why it was called such, as the color only vaguely resembled the great twin sunset on Tattooine. As if the drink’s creator had a vague idea that Tattoine had a sunset and it involved two suns.
After eating, I was enamored with the small bazaar. Ancient artifacts mingled with modern contrivances in place gently shaded from the heat of the day, the suns over Batuu heating the old giant, petrified trees that give the Spire its name.
Stomach full, we walked the market, mostly listening to all galactic languages spoken and standard calling out above it. We, of course, stopped to marvel at the Black Spire Obelisk. After taking part in the old tradition of rubbing the Obelisk for luck and declaring, “Til The Spire,”, we continued our adventure.
After viewing some of the local landscape and fauna, finding many rewards strung along the ancient, but still well-used encampments.
Again, we were surprised by a ship’s appearance. An unmarked black x-wing fighter was nestled away from the Spire. Having seen a share of First Order soldiers while in the Outpost, we all made nervous jokes about being in the middle of a battle between the Resistance and First Order.
Still, we took the opportunity to return the Spire and check on the status of the motivator. As we drew closer, BB40 started to have difficulty translating the locks on the abandoned cargo.
After getting reassurance that our ship would be ready that evening and finding directions to the nearest droid depot. After working out we upgraded BB40 to be able to interface with even the most difficult lock.
The attachment cost a pretty penny and required discretion. With BB40 upgraded we were eager to try it out. BB40 quickly unlocked a treasure of Armaralite, worth a small fortune in some parts of the galaxy, but easily enough to keep our little adventure going.
Seeking a buyer for the gemstones, we found another street aligned with shops of all kinds, some even buying rare things. Imagine my surprise in one shop, I found the exact skull that I had, recovered, for sale at ten times the price I had negotiated earlier.
I did not wish to make a scene, but I could barely hold back my irritation. The owner, not wishing to upset his other customers, hustled us into the street, and let me tell you that I gave him what for once outside.
Before he could explain himself, I turned to find two First Order stormtroopers demanding to know what we were doing. The shopowner accused us of being a nuisance, and possible thieves, or even worse, scoundrels.
I tried to protest but found myself clasped in restraints and whisked away to a newly-arrived Star Destroyer. Thrown in a call, I was designated Resistance scum with the other prisoners, even over my very vocal entreaties.
What ensued after that will haunt my dreams. I cannot even bear to speak of those events, wild as they were. But the Resistance scum safely delivered us back to the Spire as night fell.
The beauty of The Black Spire Outpost is to be found at sunset. The three suns setting cast long, almost multidirectional shadows across the streets and plazas. The spire lights up and the soft lights glow.
After celebrating our good luck at Oga’s Cantina and toasting “Til The Spire,” we had a long drink, mine a surprisingly fresh Bantha milk-based cocktail.
Our minds comforted by the drinks, we journeyed back to our ship, stopping and finding other prizes in the shadows of the deepening night.
The trip to this fascinating would prove to be far more rewarding than we imagined when we opened the last case and discovered a full box of old Republic credits.
It was worth enough on the open market to get us to our next destination and next adventure. Until then, consider The Black Spire Outpost for an offbeat, but potentially enriching, visit.
Until next time, “Til The Spire,” and “May The Fourth Be With You,”