Tuesday, May 28, 2024
Source GuideThe Bad Batch

The Bad Batch – S03E02 – Paths Unknown

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Story

Paths Unknown

A favour from the Durands
On Devaron, Roland Durand and his mother, Lady Isa Durand, try a Devaronian captain at their fortress. The captain protests his innocence, but Lady Durand convicts the captain of the conspiracy against her family. The captain defiantly tells her that the syndicate has grown weak under her command. She asks if her other captains agree, but they remain silent. Lady Durand triggers a trapdoor, which the captain falls into. A red light glows before the trapdoor shuts.

The next people to enter the Durand court are Hunter and Wrecker, who bring a captive Pyke. Lady Durand says they were brave enough to enter her court and credits her son Roland for convincing her to grant them an audience. Hunter returns Roland’s severed horn and explains that he has captured the Pyke, who has disgraced the Durand family. Wrecker says the prisoner is all theirs, while Hunter reassures Durand that the capture won’t be traced back to them. Lady Durand orders her guards to drag the prisoner to the dungeons. He vows that his quarrel isn’t over as he is led away.

Lady Durand remarks that the Bad Batch must have been desperate to cross the Pyke Syndicate to get the intelligence they seek and inquires into the matter. Hunter explains that Dr Royce Hemlock stole someone valuable to them and that they heard the Durands’ syndicate has the connections needed to find the Imperials’ base. He demands that she uphold her side of the bargain. Lady Durand activates a bridge, and her son Roland speaks with the clones. He explains that the Galactic Empire closely guards Hemlock’s location but that one of their sources found coordinates linked to his laboratory. After Roland hands the coordinates in a chip, Lady Durand warns the clones to leave before her generosity runs out. Roland wishes them well in finding their friend.

The jungle world
The clones depart Devaron on the Havoc Marauder. While traveling through hyperspace, Wrecker tells Hunter that Echo and Rex will take two rotations to meet them at their coordinates. Hunter is in a hurry, but Wrecker cautions that not all escaped the last time they stormed an Imperial base without backup. Hunter is unwilling to abandon Omega for another day.

Following the coordinates supplied by the Durands, the Clones travel to a jungle world known as Setron. After landing their ship, Wrecker remarks that their surroundings smell like rancid Jotaz. Hunter finds their scanners are not working and believes the Empire is jamming them. Continuing their search, they discover the ruins of Hemlock’s laboratory, destroyed by orbital bombardment.

The lost cadets
When Wrecker asks if Omega is here, Hunter suggests that the Durands’ intelligence could be wrong and suggests they investigate the site. While exploring the surrounding jungle, Hunter senses that they are not alone. The two are surrounded by two young clone cadets, Deke and Stak, armed with improvised weapons. When the cadets ask them to identify themselves, Hunter and Wrecker remove their helmets and explain they are fellow clones.

One of the cadets remarks they don’t look like clones, but the other recognizes them as defective clones. When Hunter asks what they are doing out here, one of the cadets explains that they are survivors. When one asks if the Empire sent them to finish them off, Wrecker reassures them they are not with the Empire. Hunter explains that they are looking for a female clone. Hunter thinks that she was sent to the lab here. One of the cadets thinks that Mox will help, but his comrade disagrees. Hunter pleads with the cadets for help, saying she is part of their squad. The cadets allow the Bad Batch to follow but warn them not to touch the Slither Vines.

The first cadet explains that the Empire transferred them off Kamino under the pretext of training them but instead transferred them to the jungle world, where they were made prisoners and had samples of their blood extracted. Hunter asks what the Empire is doing here. The first cadet explains that the Empire destroyed the laboratory, and the cadets were among the survivors. He adds that they have been surviving in the jungle.

Hunter and Wrecker are attacked by a slither vine, which grabs the latter. Hunter manages to free Wrecker with a knife, and the four flee. When Wrecker asks about the vine, the first cadet explains that the slither vine was a genetically engineered weapon created by the Empire that went out of control. The second cadet thinks the vines were why the Empire destroyed their facility with a Base Delta Zero bombardment. The cadets lead the way to a crag, which the slither vines have not yet spread to.

Shelter
The cadets introduce Hunter and Wrecker to Mox, who is suspicious of the defective clones. Hunter explains they are looking for a female clone named Omega, who Dr Hemlock took. Mox says he has not seen a female clone but recognizes Hemlock as the one running the base. He explains that the Empire abandoned the facility one day. He and his fellow cadets took the opportunity to escape, and the three of them were the only ones who survived the orbital bombardment. Mox adds that even the Clone troopers abandoned them. One of the cadets adds that they were following orders. Wrecker says they have also lost people.

Hunter offers to take the cadets somewhere safe but wants to find out where Hemlock took Omega and believes there must be some intelligence within the base. Stak explains that one of the base’s control room panels remained intact during their last scout. He tried to use it to signal, but there was no power. When Hunter asks if the cadets can take them there, Mox warns that the former base is toxic and tells Hunter and Wrecker they are alone. Deke says the clones need help and volunteers to go with them. Mox warns of the dangers. After the clones have left, Stak remarks that he thought Deke was the “smart one.”

Into the base
Deke tells Hunter and Wrecker that he can get them inside the ruins but warns that they will need a power source for the console. Wrecker says they have a power source aboard their ship. Deke asks about Omega. Hunter says she has been gone for too long but vows not to give up. Deke wishes the other clones cared for them and says they may be defective, but they are still loyal.

Deke notices that the ship has seen action at the Havoc Marauder due to its dents and scorch marks. Stak remarks that he had hoped to fly a starship during a mission. Wrecker retrieves that GNK-series power droid Gonky while Deke dons a breathing mask. The clones travel into the former Imperial base, covered with slither vines. As they travel deeper into the base, Deke explains that he and his comrades had to stop scavenging due to the spread of the vines.

When Hunter asks about the nature of the Imperial experiments, Deke is unsure about their nature but says it was nothing good. Venturing deeper, Deke is grabbed by a vine. Hunter and Wrecker manage to free him. They soon encounter vines that have evolved into three-legged creatures. Hunter kills one, but the other scurries into the darkness.

The cadets’ choices
Back at the crag, Stak proposes stealing the Bad Batch’s ship, but Mox disagrees, saying it will make them no better than the Clone troopers who abandoned them. Mox says he respects Hunter and Wrecker for risking their lives to save a squad member. Stak thinks that the three clones won’t survive the slither vines. He fears that if they wait for the others to return, their chance of escape may be gone. Mox asks Stak where their ship is. Stak replies that it is at the northern ridge. Mox asks him to show him.

Extraction and escape
Meanwhile, Hunter, Wrecker, and Deke locate the console in a putrid swamp. After lifting the wreckage, they attach Gonky to the console. They hear strange sounds, and Hunter senses a creature approaching them from the swamp. While Deke operates the console, several tendrils emerge from the swamp. Hunter and Wrecker shoot at the creatures.

Elsewhere, Stak and Mox manage to unlock the Havoc Marauder’s door. Inside, Mox asks if Stak can fly the ship. Stak replied that he was at the top of the class. When Mox asks where they will go, Stak says anywhere but Setron. Stak spots a DC-17 while Mox notices a tooka doll belonging to Omega. The two cadets then receive a distress call from Deke via comlink.

The Bad Batch manages to download data from the console onto a datapad. The clones then escape with Gonky as the mutated vines converge on them. While trying to climb structures, Deke falls, but Hunter pulls him up. They reach the surface but find themselves surrounded by more slither vines. Stak and Mox arrive with the Havoc Marauder. Mox extends grappling cables, which the three clones and Gonky use to ascend to the ship. The slither vines extend tendrils around the starship, and a maw emerges from the ground, revealing itself as a mutated variant resembling a sarlacc.

The clones fire at the maw, and Wrecker even throws a thermal detonator. At Wrecker’s urging, the cadets bring a cache of explosives, which they throw into the beast’s maw. This causes the giant slither vine to implode, allowing the Havoc Marauder to break free. The Bad Batch escaped with Gonky aboard the ship he flew into hyperspace.

Onward
Later, Hunter pores over the data while Wrecker exchanges jokes with the cadets while Gonky watches. Based on the data extracted, Hunter learns that Hemlock has transferred his base and experiments to a new location. He learns that the base is in a certain sector. Wrecker vows to find Omega. Hunter tells the cadets that he will first drop them off on the peaceful island of Pabu. When Mox questions their purpose without being in an army, Hunter says they will have time to figure out their lives. He tells them to make their paths and be something other than soldiers. Hunter says he and Wrecker’s mission is still ongoing. He shakes hands with Mox. The camera focuses on Omega’s Tooka doll.

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PT White

I've been involved in creating content for Star Wars The Role Playing Game since 1992 and consider myself a Star Wars Super Fan and knowledge bank for the Star Wars Universe.

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