DANgerous Star Wars 2

Session 8 Log

Suddenly faced with the prospect that the recent Imperial ships had brought more to the base than just a high-profile inspection and supplemental military forces, the Group members looked to one another for confirmation of their conclusions, silently reaching a consensus with grim nods and intense stares. Between Tesh’s account of his hood-covered abduction on Dac, and the fact that the make and model of the earpiece comm was precisely that of those used by the Party – including Hothron, who’s equipment had never been recovered following his murder on Rabaan – there was only one possible explanation… The Warden was now inside the facility.

Sapphire took the comm slowly, turning it on and placing it into his ear. “Hello” he said calmly, acting on his expectation that the device was being monitored and that it had been left specifically so the Group could make contact. A voice on the other end left brief instructions, then disconnected: “Midnight, perimeter, east side”.

With the meet thusly set, the Party took to strategizing, pushing thoughts of what to do concerning Tendoora and the resistance to the side for the moment. While the Gyndine situation was a growing issue that would need to be resolved, The Warden was a far more immediate concern, having abducted a Group member during both instances in which he was present. The first time it had cost the team a member, the second it had nearly done so again. If they wanted to avoid having a “third time”, they needed to be prepared… The Warden certainly would be.

To that end, the Group made arrangements to cover the meeting location from multiple vantage points, in the hopes that doing so would give them the upper hand should the elusive operative show his face or make a move. Solis departed first, giving himself a two hour buffer to scout the area and find a suitable sniper position where he could leverage his rifle to maximum effect. Sapphire turned to his growing list of base contacts, convincing one of the TIE pilots of Viper Squadron to let him suit up and ride shotgun for the night’s aerial patrol. Tesh and DFND4 would go to the meet on foot, while Oro, DD-0X and Q’Von would hold down the fort at the facility.

The eastern perimeter, like all sides of the base’s outermost reaches, was a barren, rubble-strewn badland that had been created by the destruction of buildings in the aftermath of the Imperial occupation and the relegation of the local populace to the controlled districts. It served as an “open field” between the central structures of Yractos that made up the base, and the rest of the city, forcing any ground-based approach to be done without the benefit of cover or concealment. The buildings that stood at the opposite end of the perimeter ran the gamut from dilapidated to good repair, and tended towards the medium and large sizes one would expect in a densely populated urban center. In short, it was both good and bad for the Party.

On the one hand, Solis had his choice of satisfactory places to conceal himself in the buildings across from the base and overlooking the meeting site. On the other hand, so did The Warden. Additionally, the rubbled, uneven ground made for numerous blind spots if not seeing the area from above. The Party’s scout selected a building that was damaged, but still stable, and carefully made his way upwards, soon finding a hole from which he could look out while still being concealed. He scanned the area carefully with his rifle scope, starting with the ground level.

A blinking light caught Solis’ eye, and he adjusted the magnification of his scope to bring it more clearly into focus. From the current angle, his view was partially obstructed, but he still could make out what appeared to be a handheld unit of some kind, likely a comm. If that were true, it meant that The Warden wasn’t planning on meeting face to face. Solis opened the comm channel to Tesh and the Party, notifying them of the object’s location and then moving his position to begin scanning nearby buildings. Their adversary might not plan on going to the meeting spot personally, but it was a safe bet he would be watching.

Arriving exactly at midnight, Tesh and DFND4 easily spotted the blinking object, and found it was indeed a comm device. Tesh switched it on and opened the meet, queing up his Group comm as well so the rest of the Party could hear. The Warden spoke of his need for Tesh and his “team” to pull out of whatever operation they were working on, that their screw ups were causing him problems, and that if they didn’t withdraw he would be forced to continue his actions against them, and those close to them. In the meantime, the Party set to work, narrowing down The Warden’s location.

High above the ongoing encounter, Sapphire cajoled his pilot into flashy dogfight maneuvers that also happened to pass over or within range of the meeting location, a series of passes that allowed Solis to triangulate rough directions based on hearing the sound of the overheard TIE’s engines both personally and over the shared comm channel being broadcast to him via Tesh. If he heard the engines on the comm first, then the TIE was closer to The Warden than to himself; if he heard them personally before the comm, then the TIE was closer to him than The Warden.

While certainly not effective enough to precisely locate by, it would give him rough directions to start looking given that he knew which way the TIE was flying simply by looking skyward. A few TIE passes later, Solis had narrowed his search to one building in particular, and a moment or two after that he had spotted an overlook containing a lens connected to a shape in the darkness. Oro suggested the scout take the shot, but Solis waited, not wishing to give his own position away should he be wrong or in case the figure was a decoy.

Moments later the meeting drew to a close, with The Warden issuing a final warning about Tesh having wasted his one chance to end things peacefully. Solis instructed Tesh and DFND4 to stay visible as they left the area, convinced that the shape in the building was a camera and not a person, since it had not moved once during the meet. In the TIE, Sapphire finally relented to his pilot’s insistence that they needed to get back on the patrol route, and Solis began stealthing his way to the structure in secret. Whatever or whoever was inside, he would find out shortly.

Back at the facility, Q’Von found himself approached by a very dour looking Captain Mendalson. The building supervisor informed the holonet prodigy that he had been given orders to escort him to the security only level, where Major Dural was waiting to speak with him. Although clearly unsettled by the task, Mendalson maintained his stoicism, ordering his men to take up flanking positions around Q’Von, even as the young prodigy expressed his concerns regarding his personal safety in light of the recent attack on his person by soldiers of the base.

Shocked at news of the assault, but still under orders, Mendalson pledged to do what he could to ensure Q’Von’s safety as they moved toward the turbolifts. Oro and DD-0X interjected themselves into the situation, playing at coincidentally passing by at just the right moment to happen upon the unfolding situation. The Captain kept his answers to their questions brief, and his procession moving onward, leaving the Mon Cal and the droid with no way to stop things short of attacking. And so, they could do little but watch as the lift doors closed and Q’Von headed toward uncertainty.

Now upstairs in an interrogation room, Q’Von watched nervously as an almost eager Major Dural dismissed Mendalson and sealed the door behind himself. Once alone with Q’Von, the base commander informed the prodigy that his investigation into recent incidents at the facility had taken an odd turn, when new information had cleared his most recent suspect. Security monitors had shown a droid carrying out the deeds that vindicated his suspect, and he now believed that the droid in question had been tampered with. As both someone capable of such a feat, and the technician who had repaired the droid after the fact, Q’Von was now part of a select listing of new persons of interest in the investigation.

Additionally, in looking at Q’Von’s personnel file, Dural had stumbled upon a fact that was seemingly innocuous at first glance, but that had been far too coincidental to pass up given that he was already in a small pool of suspects. It turned out that he owned a droid, a medical droid – the same droid in fact, who had been the sole caretaker of Dural’s previous suspect. Now, it was absolutely possible that this was merely a random confluence. Q’Von’s droid was a medical droid, so naturally it would be located in the medbay, and it’s certainly possible that Dural had happened upon it as the nearest droid by chance.

Of course, it was also possible that there was a more sinister reason that the droid happened to be the closest, and that it happened to belong to one of the few people in the building capable of pulling off the droid tampering that was suspected in the incident that cleared his suspect – the person that Q’Von’s droid just happened to be the sole care provider for. Maybe it was nothing, and maybe it wasn’t. And so, to clear himself, Q’Von now needed to create a record of all of his activities since arriving to the base, and where he was located during said activities – and, until that record was complete, he would be staying exactly where he was.

Meanwhile, aside from Solis who as still looking into the shape in the darkness, the rest of the Group had returned to base and was now gathering to discuss the newest situation involving Q’Von. Sapphire was enraged, and stated the Party’s need to give Major Dural something to do besides investigating Q’Von, like defending himself from an onslaught of official grievances and filed complaints. As the department head for the building’s maintenance division, Q’Von’s absence offered an opportunity for the Party to show how severely damaging Dural’s dealings were to the project.

The Sith overseer Mastigar had cautioned Shandra and her Project leaders on their first day about undue delays or failures, and a lack of technical support brought about by Q’Von’s detention was not going to help things along. Not only that, but this was only the latest outrage carried out by the base commander. Dural had just released another department head from being held, and had detained the civilian kitchen staff and replaced them with his own men. He had ordered multiple work stoppages, and searches of staff quarters, and he had murdered a researcher in front of everyone of course.

It was clear that Dural was not going to stop, not until someone made him. He would turn over every rock, and eventually Shandra and the Party would be under one of them. This inquisition had to end before that happened, Dural needed to go. Now.

In the interim, Solis found that he would be seeing Tendoora that night after all, as he discovered the lens seen from a distance was indeed a camera as he suspected, one that had been guarded by a tripwire explosive device that he nearly set off in entering the room. For his part, Tendoora stated his need to have the Party help him smuggle Gaina out of the guarded districts, as the Imperials were being extremely thorough in their searches and monitoring of the locals in light of the impending move to redistrict them.

Thinking that he could tackle multiple issues in one step, Solis had Tendoora bring Myth into the meeting via holonet communication, and concocted a new plan that would create a distraction which would allow Tendoora to smuggle Gaina out himself, end the weapons problems that the Consortium was causing Myth, and keep the Group’s word with Lyra so that the Syndicate would begin digging into The Warden for them.

To begin, Myth would inform the Consortium that Tendoora had returned the favor of taking their weapons shipment by threat of force, and that he and his people were holed up in a specific warehouse on Gyndine awaiting transport. Then one of Tendoora’s locals would report to the military base that armed assailants had taken over the warehouse and were preparing a terrorist attack against the Imperials. The criminals would go to the warehouse in force expecting to have to overwhelm Tendoora and the resistance, and the Imperials would go in force as well, anticipating the need to surround and kill or capture the terrorists. The Consortium would have no choice but to surrender or fight their way out, leading to their death or capture.

Delighted with the plan, Myth ended communication, pledging to let Solis know the moment his part of the plan was completed. Knowing the criminals as he did, it was certain they would react immediately to get the weapons back before Tendoora could move them. In their eyes, killing him and his resistance would simplify the whole situation and so there was no doubt they would take the bait. Tendoora dispatched one of his resistance spies, knowing that the Empire would not stand by as word of an imminent terror attack was received.

As a final point of order, Solis acquired the resistance’s assistance in dismantling the explosives guarding the camera, a service they provided for the fee of getting to keep the destructive materials. Soon, Solis would bring the Group to the location and acquire the camera to see if anything valuable could be gained from it, but for now, other matters were in motion.

The following day, Sapphire and Oro commenced their campaign to dislodge Dural, with the Mon Calamari going through Imperial channels to dispatch messages to the base commander’s commanding officer Lt. Colonel Juroden Varik, and the smuggler lodging an official complaint with the Sith overseer Mastigar on behalf of Shandra and the Project. Upon hearing that Mastigar would personally consult Emperor Krayt on the matter, Sapphire bowed with a grin. If there was one thing he could count on, it was that Krayt was not one to displease.

Elsewhere, Q’Von lay in the floor of the interrogation room, his less than immediate compliance having earned him multiple beatings and a denial of food and water. In spite of the ordeal, the young prodigy remained strong, finding a perseverance that he hadn’t known before, powered by a sense he was still only learning to understand. He found that his meditations between attacks solidified his body and mind, and helped him stave off the thirst, hunter and fear that Dural was attempting to plant within him. In the past, this situation would surely have been traumatizing, but his newfound sense allowed Q’Von to almost view it as a game, one that he was winning despite outward appearances.

Dural was growing angry and frustrated, enraged by Q’Von’s lack of obedience and his own inability to force the prodigy to do as he was told. Each failed measure led to the next, and each led to more anger. It was a cycle, and Q’Von was feeding it by doing practically nothing. Steadily, the Major was becoming his own enemy. All Q’Von needed to do was stay calm, and continue his meditating. Victory was inevitable.

A knock at the door broke the intensity of the room, as a soldier whispered in the Major’s ear, and the pair promptly exited, leaving Q’Von in solitude. Downstairs, Solis received his transmission from Myth; the word had been spread, and the Consortium had mobilized, it was happening. Within hours Dural and Mendalson had met, assessed an apparent terrorist threat, and had assembled forces to combat it before it could strike at the base. Dural took the lead, leaving Mendalson to monitor the base and prod Q’Von along in his activity logging.

For a time, the Party watched quietly as flashes and plumes of smoke appeared in the distance. They couldn’t see the fighting from where they stood, but they all knew exactly what was happening. Their plan was finally coming to fruition. By the middle of the afternoon, the action seemed to slow, and then stop. The sound of incoming TIE fighters broke the focus on the distance, and brought it back to the base. The ground crews cleared space for a landing shuttle, one bearing six escort fighters. As the craft landed, and steam hissed with the lowering of the boarding ramp, the Party members looked to each other with hope. Had their complaints prompted action so quickly? It didn’t seem possible, and yet something was going on…

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