“We really failed Rayyka.”Akaraak Shinno, Kash’s father
His second day on Shili, Renn investigates Wilderness Intercept, Akaraak Shinno’s new business. (Computers, GG P → 0,1) He can’t really find anything from research sources, but he gets an address, so he goes to scope out the place. It’s located in a more industrial section of town, with warehouses and vehicle lots. When Renn enters, there is no one manning the front desk, but there are pamphlets. He takes one and skims it while also observing the facility. (Perception, YGGG PP → 2,1) Wilderness Intercept advertises hunting expeditions for wayward youth and young adults, with the philosophical position that isolating them from cultural traditions only serves to further alienate them. The building is a former warehouse with various activity stations installed, like climbing wall, parkour course, target practice, camouflage station, etc. There are a few adult Togrutas doing activities with small groups of young Togrutas.
An older Togruta male notices Renn in the foyer and heads up to the front desk. He’s wearing a badge with his name, Akaraak, and he asks how he can help Renn. Renn needs a Cool check versus Perception (RRPP) upon recognizing the name. This is not as startling as meeting Mohra, so I’ll give a boost die here. (Cool, YYGb RRPP → 0,-4) Failed, with so many disadvantages. In social combat, that’s enough to reveal your true goal in an encounter and also take strain (3/15).
Renn introduces himself as Darren Beamwalker and tells Akaraak he is in town on other business and just recently learned of Wilderness Intercept, which sounded very interesting to him as a hunting enthusiast and freelance journalist. This seems like it would be a great story for some of the hunting periodicals he sometimes submits articles to. Renn would like to learn more about Wilderness Intercept and why it was started, like how Akaraak’s life experiences, family life, even financial situation enabled or led him to this sort of work. And (to reflect the strain he took) he asks kind of nervously if it is okay for him to be here asking this stuff, or is this a Togrutas-only thing? (Deception, YYYG RR → 2,1) Success (Akaraak: 2/13) and Renn gets a boost die on his next roll. Renn has revealed the type of information he is really after but has concealed his reason for wanting it.
Akaraak assures Renn that non-Togruta’s are welcome, though Togruta culture is at the heart of the work they do at Wilderness Intercept. He takes Renn at his word and gives him a tour of the facility while describing the history of Wilderness Intercept. He says that he had a long and successful academic career, and it provided enough financial security that he could start up this project as a non-profit so it could help those truly in need. He explains some aspects of Togruta culture, like the importance of community and specifically pack-hunter mentality for a stable society. He is really slipping into professor mode. (Education, YYYY PP → 4,0) Success, so Renn is at Strain 7/15 from the long lecture.
Renn makes a Charm check (shocking!) to pry for further personal details, like what made Akaraak think Wilderness Intercept was necessary if the culture is already so oriented towards the pack. (Charm GGGb RR → 5,1 D) Given the success, Akaraak is going to go into more details, but because of the Despair, somehow in all the back and forth, he gains some real insight into Renn. (Akaraak: 7/13)
Akaraak explains that he used to have a daughter, and that he made a lot of mistakes raising her. His daughter had a lot of trouble in school when she was young. His wife and he were both professors and had difficulty accepting that their daughter wasn’t doing well academically; they just didn’t know how to handle that. They also didn’t understand at the time how uprooted she felt after they moved to Shili from Kashyyyk (where they had been ambassadors) to avoid the war. Like many parents, they tried a variety of disciplinary approaches to deal with her behavior, including withholding privileges.
Akaraak says one of his primary regrets in life is never teaching his daughter to hunt. Why he thought that punishment would help her learn to behave properly, he can’t understand in retrospect. For one, it would’ve given him more time with her, and maybe he could’ve understood her better. At the time, withholding the privilege of hunting seemed a good idea, but as a result, she missed out on even more opportunities to incorporate into the pack, as all her peers were going through that rite of passage and earning their jewelry, while she was not. She felt cast out, and he blames himself. It all resulted in her making some regrettable choices that ultimately led to her early death. There’s nothing he can do about that now, but he can help prevent that from happening to other families, by giving at-risk youth a chance to experience the support of the pack in a nurturing environment. Sometimes Wilderness Intercept takes families out together to mediate the hunting experience, and other times they take out groups of at-risk youth without their families, to separate the hunt from whatever personal pain those familial relationships have. But the point is to help the kids feel that they are accepted into the pack. “My wife and I really failed Rayyka. If I can make a difference for these kids today, it can make up for it on some level.” (Kash has already told Renn her real name is Rayyka Shinno, though she has not used it since faking her death.)
Given that Akaraak’s focus is on the concept of the pack and community, he picks up subtle cues from Renn’s responses in the conversation that Renn’s experiences of any sort of collaborative working together or esprit de corps is entirely tactical in nature; Akaraak is talking to someone with military training (the above Despair). He asks about how Renn learned to hunt (Charm YYbbb RRRP → 0,-2 D), which Renn just sort of brushes off by saying his mother taught him to shoot without any further elaboration. Failures causes 2 strain. (Akaraak: 9/13) Akaraak reveals his disdain for Renn’s style of hunting compared to the superior way Togrutas do it in packs with traditional weapons, saying this builds community far better and keeps people together so there’s never a danger of a hunter falling alone without backup to provide aid. The threats and Despair cost Akaraak some motivations (Flaw: Pride, Fear: Isolation).
Akaraak is well past half his strain threshold, so we can end with a compromise. Akaraak invites Renn to come along on the next day’s expedition, when he and some of his counsellors are taking out a group of youth, so that the article can provide a first-hand account of Wilderness Intercept in action. This leads to a discussion of Renn’s hunting experience/techniques, which are primarily solitary and Ranged-Heavy, and contrasting them with the superior pack-hunting and close-up Melee and Ranged-Light of traditional Togruta hunting. Akaraak has Renn try out the exercises in the target practice station, which include spear throwing at medium and short range, plus melee spear work at engaged. Renn’s never used a spear before in his life, but throwing it (Ranged-Light, GGGG PP → 1,1) is much more comfortable to him than up-close fighting (Melee, YG PP → 0,-1). They also go through the parkour course and camouflage station, which involve a lot of things designed to simulate quick and stealthy movement in turu-grass, but Renn is more used to jungle environments (Coordination, YYGGbb PP → 0,3 and Stealth, YYGGbb PP → 1,2)