DANgerous Star Wars 2

DANgerous Star Wars 2 Log

Panning away from the emptiness of space, the camera settles onto a vibrant, water-rich planet with deep green land masses scattered across its surface. The silence is broken by the low hum of an engine as a crimson-colored shuttle comes into the frame, momentarily blocking view of the planet and its lone moon before proceeding along an approach vector and shrinking into the distance. It bears the mark of the Empire on its upper stabilizer, and as it nears the planet’s atmosphere, a voice crackles over the interior comm system:

“Attention all passengers: We are now on final approach to Rabaan. Arrival to Ban Belos Spaceport is imminent. You are required to have your identification out and ready for inspection.”

The shot changes to a spacious interior cabin, where a regally dressed woman can be seen leaning toward a large mirror-surfaced wall panel as she examines herself carefully, looking for any flaw in her completed appearance. She wears a close-fitting, yet conservative white evening gown, accentuated with more formal Imperial elements and a missionaries cowl with the hood lowered. Apparently satisfied, she closes her eyes for one deep breath before exiting the cabin and moving through a corridor into a common area. She stops just inside the doorway, eyeing the room’s other occupants expectantly:

“You’re all ready I trust?”

Session 1 Log
Arriving without incident to Ban Belos Spaceport on the planet Rabaan – located deep inside the territory controlled by those Imperial forces loyal to the usurper Darth Krayt – the Party commenced its first undercover assignment for the Empire-in-Exile under the direction of Imperial Missionary Shandra Otara, a covert agent better known to the Fel Imperium as “Minister White”. Her status as the guest of honor and keynote speaker for the evening’s gala unveiling of the Gyndine Project at the residential estate of Regional Governor Tyberion Lang made her the perfect distraction, but at the cost of leaving her unable to assist the Party as they carried out the night’s objectives.

Chief amongst these goals is the solicitation for defection of Arlan Lassiter, the outcast Captain of the Star Destroyer Challenger. The Imperium’s intelligence files suggest he’s the ideal candidate to turn to the side of the True Emperor, if only he can be spoken to privately and made to see the light – a task his routinely empty social calendar has made nearly impossible until now. With luck, the Party would also fulfill their secondary and tertiary objectives: namely identifying the recipients of previously nonspecific gala invitations and the theft of food and medical supplies from an Imperial Mission cargo ship, bound for Gyndine.

The Group’s three phase plan divided the Party into two teams, with the first (designated “A” or alpha) set to infiltrate the gala while the second (“B” or bravo) maneuvered about the landing pads and docking facilities of the Spaceport. Tesh Ryon (the Imperium’s liaison), Q’Von Casyr (the young holonet prodigy), and DD-0X (the oft-memory wiped medical droid) rounded out “A” team; while bravo team was comprised of Solis Javliin (the Umbaran scout), Sapphire Soto (the formerly retired smuggler pressed into service), DFND4 (the three-armed, custom-built security droid), and Hothron Krill (the Zabrak mercenary).

Things started off well, with alpha team forging a promissory letter of promotion for Captain Lassiter and entering the gala as Shandra’s entourage while bravo team acquired the Group’s mission equipment from Grant Soto, hired smuggler and son to Party member Sapphire. Despite being under arrest and forced to serve the Imperium while his father worked to earn him a pardon, Grant maintained his composure and wished the elder Soto luck, uncertain when they might see one another again once the mission was over.

Inside the gala, Governor Lang took up Shandra’s escort as expected, relieving Tesh of the role, and issuing an “order” for the former escort to find himself a drink, and return with one for Lang – a directive that took the undercover liaison to the nearby bar counter, where he met Kazic, an attendee with a career in finance. Meanwhile, Q’Von and DD-0X spotted a pair of problems with their first phase 1 objective. The estate’s eastern balcony – the site of bravo’s entrance with alpha’s equipment once it has been cleared of gala attendees – possessed a mounted security holocam and a posted member of event security.

Uncertain of how to deal with this unexpected complication without their equipment, Q’Von and DD-0X stayed back while the newly returned Tesh attempted to remove the posted guard using an application of the Force to affect the man’s mind – a move that resulted in additional security personnel being dispatched to investigate his suspicious behavior. Timely intervention by both Q’Von and the financier Kazic enabled Tesh to play at being intoxicated and avoid arrest, but put both he and the holonet prodigy squarely in security’s sights, limiting their ability to contribute to the team’s objectives.

Elsewhere, bravo team had arrived to within electrobinocular range of the eastern balcony and awaited a cleared entrance location – a prolonged delay that eventually forced Sapphire and Solis to send Krill and DFND4 back toward the spaceport to begin bravo team’s first phase 2 objective, locating the Imperial Mission cargo vessel and Captain Lassiter’s private shuttlecraft. In the interim, the smuggler and scout would assist alpha by timing the external patrols while they waited.

Back inside, alpha team pressed on in spite of their difficulties. DD-0X moved to the overlook guest level, quickly discovering it to be choked with the lingering haze of hookah and Esoomian gruu pipe smoke – a method of obfuscation that might just work for blocking the mounted holocam. Q’Von, knowing himself to be a person of interest to security, turned the situation to his advantage, using quick movements and line of sight obstacles to draw the posted guard and backup team into following him as he moved away from the balcony.

With DD-0X using an appendage fan to blow thick smoke to obstruct the holocam from an overhead window, and Q’Von leading security on an odd and circuitous route around the gala, Tesh once again made his move, attempting to remove the final couple occupying the balcony by seeking a dance with the young debutante – much to the chagrin of her wealthy suitor. Although Tesh failed to acquire the dance, the effort was enough to draw the suitor’s ire, who took the opportunity to show up the liaison by taking the lady for a dance himself – Finally clearing the balcony for bravo team.

Sapphire and Solis moved swiftly, covering the distance between their cover and the building’s base as rapidly as they could. Ascension guns made the trek upwards a minor affair and as quickly as they had arrived, the smuggler and scout were gone again, passing the equipment pack off and racing back across the clearing to return to the spaceport and catch up to Krill and DFND4. For their part, the mercenary and security droid had located a trio of Imperial Missionaries, and had made their approach – claiming that Missionary Otara had sent them to resolve an error on the shipping manifest.

Krill explained that a small selection of items were placed on board by mistake and needed to be removed before the ship launched, handing the team’s datapad with the cargo vessel acquisition list to the confused missionary, who agreed to take them with him to straighten things out with the ship’s captain. Once inside the vessel, the mercenary followed the Captain to his cabin while DFND4 began opening cargo containers and filling a spare crate with the items from the Group’s list.

The situation devolved quickly however, when the Captain stated his need to send a transmission to clear the transfer of items – a process that Krill knew would reveal the falsehood of his claims. The Zabrak struck the Captain with his ion blaster, wielding the weapon as a bludgeoning instrument and rendering the Captain unconscious with a series of blows about the head and shoulders. Krill ordered nearby Missionaries who had witnessed this outburst into the room and sealed the door, but not before one escaped, racing past DFND4 and off of the vessel.

Sapphire arrived on scene at this point; he and Solis having received the docking bay number from the droid and mercenary while they were enroute. The fleeing missionary began to tell his story to Soto, then noticed the smuggler’s weapons and decided him a part of the apparent robbery crew. The frightened man resumed his flight, but not before Sapphire managed to rip off his identity chip. For his part, Solis secreted himself alongside a nearby stack of shipping containers, remaining out of sight now that things had started to go wrong.

Meanwhile, alpha team moved on to the objectives for the second phase of their part of the mission. Q’Von made amends with the security guard, offering up a drink as part of his apology and smoothing things over just enough to be left in peace. Tesh, scoured the gala’s dining tables, soon locating Captain Lassiter and taking a seat in an effort to engage him. DD-0X, rejoining Q’Von after the bar stool apology began assisting in the prodigy’s efforts to acquire a copy of the guest list.

With the event well underway, and Shandra taking the podium for her address, Q’Von and DD-0X noticed the equipment for the entryway’s secure checkpoint being dismantled and the parts rolled away in anticipation of the later departure of the gala’s crowd. The pair seized on the opportunity, with Q’Von using his charms to woo a female worker near the end of the procession, and gaining access to a card secured side office for a bit of hanky panky.

Q’Von kept up his seduction charade just long enough to secure the apparently adventurous woman with mesh tape before casting her aside and using the room’s terminal access to hook up the portable computer from the equipment pack. DD-0X kept an eye on the door and the bound woman while Q’Von did his job, slicing into the network and downloading a copy of the gala’s guest list. The pair then departed the room and slipped away just as a security officer took notice of the woman’s abandoned rolling cart against the wall across the corridor.

Back at the spaceport, troops began arriving to investigate the reports of armed individuals conducting a robbery of the Imperial Mission’s cargo vessel. Sapphire sought to deceive the guards, stating himself to be a passerby and describing the fleeing missionary as the assailant who had fled the scene. Inside the vessel, Krill watched as the bay was secured and the ship surrounded. Unable to access the ship’s computer without the Captain’s access codes, he knew it was only a matter of time before he was trapped in a hostage situation that would ultimately lead to his capture.

The mercenary locked his captives into the captain’s cabin, and acquired a set of missionary regalia. He changed into the garb, and cut himself severely, laying down onto the floor in an effort to appear as a missionary who had been attacked as part of the ship takeover. DFND4 took the shipping crate of items and exited the vessel, informing the advancing troops that the criminal had gone toward the cockpit. The custom security droid then took up position alongside a set of charging stations housing cargo droids, attempting to blend into the background of the scene until the situation was over and the bay once again open.

Having re-secured the ship, and found no obvious attacker in the vicinity, the security forces began investigation operations. Sapphire Soto was transported alongside the liberated missionaries and other witnesses to a nearby security station, where all were seated in a waiting area and were told they would be interviewed individually. Krill was taken to a medical office, and placed in a bacta tank with guards at the door. Whether he was a prisoner or a protected victim was uncertain. DFND4 and Solis remained hidden in the docking bay, listening as the remaining security personnel called for a scanning crew to search the ship.

In the meantime, Tesh endeavored to make light conversation with Captain Lassiter, who spent the majority of his time silent, and only occasionally responding. It was during this activity that a tremor rippled through the force, alerting Ryon to an unseen problem. He scanned the room and noticed increased activity amongst the security personnel, who were tapping their comm links and attempting to remain subtle about having done so. Something was wrong, and whatever it was, Captain Lassiter was aware of it also, as a subordinate approached and whispered into the Captain’s ear, prompting him and his party to begin collecting their belongings to leave the event…
Session 2 Log
With the operation teetering on the brink of disaster, the Party needed to take swift, yet cautious action if there was to be any hope for success. Word of the disturbance at the spaceport had prompted the abrupt departure of Captain Arlan Lassiter from the unveiling gala, which meant that the mission’s already limited timeclock was now suddenly about to run out, with no one from either team ready for phase 3. Despite the acquisition of both the guest list and the required Imperial Mission cargo, neither objective was fully completed, as no new names had been matched to attendees, and the cargo had yet to be delivered to Grant Soto and the Imperium’s smugglers. Worse still, two Group members were in the hands of security forces, their fates unknown.

Solis wasted no time, slipping out of his hiding spot and over to a crowd of onlookers that had gathered near a second cargo ship at the far side of the docking bay. A small number of uniformed security officers had taken to canvasing for witnesses, enabling the scout to be directed to one of the on-scene investigators. Inside the cordoned off area, Solis took on an air of authority and a false name, using his knowledge of bureaucratic procedure to pass himself off as an intelligence agent or other plain-clothed officer with some potentially pertinent information about a certain unsavory Captain Lassiter. While any inquiry into the Captain was sure to turn up nothing of relevance, the delay would at least keep Lassiter on the ground long enough for the Group to catch him – and Solis himself would be long gone before anyone could ask additional questions.

The on-scene investigator Sarkin Highlark agreed to dispatch an officer, presumably not wanting to see any stone go unturned in his investigation into the incident. It was confirmation to Solis that his ruse had worked, so he pressed more, trying to determine if Hothron had been discovered and captured by asking if any Zabraks had been taken into custody or held for questioning. Perplexed by the seemingly offbeat, yet specific question, the investigator agreed to look into the matter, giving Solis a comm channel to reach him on and allowing the scout to continue on his way. For his part, Solis took up subtle pursuit of the dispatched officer, hoping to follow the man to Lassiter’s shuttle.

Meanwhile, at the security station, Sapphire listened at the missionary witnesses whispered to one another about what they had seen – discussions that were periodically silenced by a barked order from a passing security officer. While many details were different from one telling to the next, two elements remained the same: that the assailant had been a male Zabrak, and that he had used a blaster pistol. It was a vague enough description to keep Hothron safe – assuming he wasn’t the only Zabrak in the area at the time.

When his turn to give a statement finally came, Soto kept to the story he had told upon first being encountered by security: that he was a simple bystander who had briefly encountered a sentient fleeing the scene in suspicious fashion. He again described the missionary without mentioning the man’s regalia, keeping his tale as near to the original telling as possible – so as to deny the investigators any new information. Afterwards he was re-seated in the waiting area and told that he should be able to leave soon.

Elsewhere, Hothron surveyed his surroundings inside the medical bay. He was in a room at the far end of the hall from the entryway, with a pair of security officers stationed outside the door. The room itself held little of use to him: the bacta tank he was currently inside, an examination table, a stool for a physician, and storage compartments with basic triage supplies. Nothing that was going to get him past two guards with blaster rifles and backup just a commlink call away. He would have to wait until the situation changed before he could make a move.

As it turned out, he didn’t have to wait long – as almost on cue a quartet of new individuals entered the bay. Three were clearly Imperial army regulars, with plastoid armor and military issue heavy blaster rifles. The fourth was the oddity, dressed in expensive finery, but with a sidearm on his hip. This new group spoke briefly with the security officers before the well-groomed leader had one of his men relieve the posted guards – who nodded their acknowledgement and then left.

Now alone with the quartet, Krill steeled his nerves and began looking once more for anything that might help him escape, or serve as a weapon should he find himself in a fight in the next few moments. On command, the remaining two regulars pulled Hothron from the bacta tank, while the leader pushed the stool forward for the mercenary to sit. Krill played along, taking a seat and waiting. The leader browsed a datapad as he spoke, referring to Hothron as “Missionary” and inquiring about the circumstances of his injuries during the attempted hijacking of the Imperial Mission cargo vessel.

Inferring that he was apparently not yet a suspect, Krill began to concoct his story, of being on board the ship and then feeling the pierce of a blade as he was attacked from behind. He stated that it had happened quickly, and that he had never even seen anyone, simply waking up in the medical bay just moments ago. The leader tapped his datapad one final time, then looked up, with a smirk. It was interesting, the man said, that no other witness had mentioned a blade. Everyone else had seen a Zabrak male with a blaster pistol.

In that second, the quartet’s intention became clear. The leader’s smirk melted into a scowl as he turned to his regulars and gave the order to “Do it”. Hothron reacted in the blink of an eye, flying to his feet, and driving his fist into the leader’s face as the soldiers raised their rifles. The first shot struck true, sending the mercenary backwards just enough for the leader to recover and jam his sidearm into Krills abdomen. Time seemed to freeze as the man pulled the trigger, the resulting bolt incapacitating Hothron and dropping him onto the floor. As the Zabrak blacked out, muffled words drifted through his consciousness. “Get him out of here, keep it quiet”.

Back at the gala, Q’Von and DD-0X exited the estate, moving as quickly as they could manage while still maintaining their appearance as guests who just happened to be leaving a tad early. Outside, reserved airspeeders and their accompanying pilots waited for the officers and dignitaries who would soon be making their way home. The pair moved to the public terminal kiosk, made arrangements for an airspeeder flight, and endeavored to keep a low profile as they awaited transport.

Meanwhile, DFND4 watched from beside the droid charging station as a scanning crew finished its sweep of the Imperial Mission’s cargo vessel. With no further dangers having been found, it was only a matter of time before the docking bay would be open again. The security droid would be able to drop off the stolen supplies to the Imperium’s smugglers soon, and link back up with Solis to move to Lassiter’s shuttle. If he could solve one final problem.

Being situated next to the docking bay’s loading droids, DFND4 found himself the target of a false assumption on the part of a crewman from the other hauler. The man ordered the security droid to get his crate on board the ship, forcing DFND4 to feign compliance and then slip past the loading ramp and underneath the vessel. Once out of sight, DFND4 stored the container inside an air duct, using a hydrospanner swiped from a mechanic’s kit.

Shortly thereafter, Sapphire Soto’s voice came over the comm channel, with a report that he had been given clearance to leave the security station. However, the smuggler also believed he was being followed, as the individual who had given him the notification wasn’t a security officer, but rather a well dressed stranger with an Imperial army soldier as his escort. The man had come to Soto directly, addressed him by name, and then departed without another word.

Solis also had unwelcome news for the channel, as his efforts to tail the dispatched security officer to Lassiter’s shuttle had failed following the man’s acquisition of a speeder to ferry him. The scout had attempted a distraction to slow the officer’s advance and keep close, but the effort was unsuccessful and had gained Solis specific notice – forcing him to give up the pursuit or risk alerting his target to the fact that he was being shadowed.

All was not lost however, as Q’Von and DD-0X had Lassiter and his companions in sight outside of the Governor’s estate. The Captain’s departure had placed him only a few moments behind the prodigy and medical droid, and as such they were in position to follow his reserved airspeeder with the transportation they had called via the terminal kiosk. From their midair position trailing the target, they could provide real time updates and location coordinates as needed.

With things finally starting to come together, the Group set about wrapping up their other business. DFND4 retrieved the stolen cargo and delivered it to Grant Soto and the Imperium’s smugglers. Sapphire procured airborne transport and worked on identifying or losing anyone that might be tailing him after the incident at the security station. Q’Von put the finishing touches on a forged set of military credentials so as to get past the checkpoint and to Lassiter’s shuttle. Solis reconnected with the investigator from the docking bay, in an effort to get any updates on Zabrak prisoners and to be officially paired with the dispatched security officer to interview Lassiter.

Having now completed all other tasks, and being as ready as was possible given the circumstances, the Group converged on the military docking platform that housed Lassiter’s shuttle. Q’Von used his forged credentials to gain entry, bringing DD-0X and Tesh Ryon as his escorts. Solis, Sapphire, and DFND4 entered alongside the dispatched security officer, and were directed to Lassiter’s shuttle – which was preparing for takeoff.

Solis made the first move, sidelining the investigating security officer with other tasks while he boarded the shuttle and addressed the Captain directly. For his part, Lassiter was cautious, but willing to listen when word of an end to his stagnating career was offered. Slowly, methodically, Solis lead the solicitation, convincing the captain to permit the other party members on board to join in the meeting. Q’Von offered up his forged promissory commission document, while DD-0X displayed a listing of other defectors who had since been elevated under the True Emperor Roan Fel.

In the end, Lassiter’s desire for advancement and reciprocation of loyalty won out over his fear and reservations. Upon hearing support for the decision from both his men and his wife, he officially agreed to defect – enabling the Party to contact Minister White with the good news. The deal was cemented with Lassiter making the commitment to provide one of his Star Destroyer’s shuttlecrafts for the Group to use, thus ensuring that he could not back out of the deal, lest he face the wrath of the Sith for providing military equipment to enemies of the Empire.

This agreement necessitated Lassiter taking the Group with him to his ship, where they would train on the vessel’s configuration options, Imperial flight protocols, and shuttle maintenance procedures. The only thing left to do on Rabaan was to locate Hothron, who had not been seen since since the incident at the Imperial Mission cargo ship. Having already established contacts within the investigation, Solis took the lead on this front.

Meanwhile, Hothron awoke to find himself still injured, and still imprisoned. His legs and arms were manacled to the chair and table at which he was seated, and a familiar voice could be heard as the cloth hood covering his head and face was removed. Despite bearing a minor facial wound, the mercenary’s well dressed adversary had lost none of his arrogance. He smirked as he attempted to garner information from Krill, indicating intimate knowledge by asking how long Hothron had worked “for her”. When the Zabrak refused to cooperate, the man offered him one final chance, which Hothron turned down flatly.

With a shrug Krill’s captor rose and opened the room’s door to reveal men just outside. He ordered them to put the mercenary out the airlocke, responding to their inquiry about needing to learn Hothron’s name first by stating coldly that it didn’t matter. When Solis’ search finally located the Party’s wayward teammate, Hothron had been dead for more than an hour. He had been beaten, stabbed, shot, possessed both offensive and defensive wounds, and had been discovered orbiting the planet in nothing but undergarments.

Hothron’s comm (presumably in the hands of whomever killed him) was found to be still active, and briefly emitted static over the secure channel before the Group removed the devices. Although the night’s overall mission had been a success, Hothron’s fate revealed the seriousness of the assignment that they had all undertaken, and that someone, somewhere was working against them…
Session 3 Log
Housed – temporarily – aboard the Pellaeon-class Star Destroyer Challenger, the Party set itself to the task of training on the Nune-class shuttle being provided to them as part of the defection deal with Captain Arlan Lassiter. The week-long process would keep them largely isolated from the ship’s crew, a necessary separation given that only a handful of senior officers and Lassiter’s personal security detail had thus far been entrusted with the news of the change in allegiances. It would likely be months before the Challenger could truly be considered an Imperium ship, but in the meantime things were in motion and the Captain was making good on his promises.

As the only Group member with any real flight experience (not to mention a valid Captain’s Accredited License issued by the Bureau of Ships and Services), Sapphire Soto trained as the shuttle’s pilot – learning the specifics of the controls layout, being granted access codes, memorizing Imperial flight procedures, and conducting both realspace and hyperspace test flights. The smuggler was also quietly issued a Ship’s Operating License and Arms Load-out Permit for the Nune-class shuttle Aggressor.

Tesh Ryon filled the post of System Operator, and was instructed on reading and interpreting sensor data, managing the shuttle’s shield controls, and learning both the operation of the communications equipment, as well as the protocols associated with contacting or being contacted by other Imperials. Additionally, he was taught the IFF (Identify Friend/Foe) transponder code system associated with military vessels – enabling him to determine the type, designation and allegiance of such craft.

The more technical position of Chief Engineer went to Q’Von, who was given an overview of the shuttle’s circuitry and power distribution, shown how to divert or reroute power as needed in emergencies (such as away from overloaded circuits), and trained to repair both system and hull damage when at dock or between battles. The prodigy was also provided instruction on reconfiguration of the vessel’s modular interior components, permitting the Group to shape the shuttle to their specific needs.

More generalized training was also available to the Party, from routine maintenance procedures to weapons calibration and targeting drills. Beyond this, DD-0X made sure to inventory the available medical supplies while DFND4 took stock of the Aggressor’s provisions and consumables. By the time the Group departed the Challenger to made ready to contact “Minister White” and acquire their new orders, their confidence level had grown tremendously, with Sapphire even joking about operating the shuttle by himself.

Once away from the Star Destroyer and in communication with their benefactor, the Party listened as Shandra outlined their next assignment, namely getting the Aggressor smuggled onto the Project’s host planet. Gyndine, one of the many worlds affected by vongspawn mutations, was also the site of a Kuat Drive Yards orbital array. The facility, dedicated to research and development, was eventually deemed vital to the war effort, and became the catalyst around which Krayt’s Empire formally occupied the entire system. The planetary government was forcibly disbanded, with all of its representatives soon arrested or killed – save for one.

The last remaining government official, previously a mid-level minister, was currently in hiding and acting as the De-facto leader of an underground resistance movement against the Imperials. This made the organization a perfect partner, and Shandra (under the guise of Minister White) had brokered an alliance. The Party’s resistance contact – Tendoora Veran – was a former member of the planetary security forces who had taken up work as a cargo hauler after the occupation.

Per the arrangements already made, the Party would meet Tendoora at Ozuar Anchorage, a shadowport far enough from Gyndine to avoid detection, but close enough to still be of use. Veran would take the Aggressor to Gyndine in the holds of his bulk freighter, and Shandra would arrive in short order to transport the Group to the passenger liner that would take them all – alongside the first wave of Project employees – to the Project facility.

With their orders confirmed, the Party made the jump into hyperspace, bound for the coordinates given to them by Shandra. Their arrival point was beside a large nebula, which served to conceal the shadowport’s location from any who had not been made aware of its presence inside. Having been given codes to the appropriate broadcast comm frequency, Tesh obtained an approach vector and Sapphire took the Aggressor in, slow and steady.

The dust-choked interior of the nebula disrupted communications, obstructed the cockpit viewport, and greatly reduced sensor range; mandating constant monitoring of the shuttle’s instruments to facilitate minute course corrections in order to stay on target. With Tesh thoroughly engaged in his work, Q’Von stepped up to assist, relaying information to Sapphire and helping to make it through the thick exterior and to the lighter center, where visibility increased, and both sensors and comms returned to normal.

With the nebula safely behind them, the Group landed in one of the Anchorage’s many docking bays, where the differences between shadowports and the more standard starports were many and obvious. In place of the usual customs officials were gangs of ruffians, who – rather than inspect one’s cargo – simply demanded immediate payment of credits for overpriced necessities such as docking and fuel; demands that were backed up with an almost giddy eagerness to use force.

Fortunately, the Party’s contact Tendoora Veran was not far off, and his accustomed ease and prompt payment brought about a return to “civility”. The Gyndine native then insisted the Group join him in going to another meeting while one of his associates moved the Aggressor onto his hauler. Given that they had little else to do until Shandra arrived with their new transportation, the Party agreed – following as Veran led them deeper into the shadowport.

The meeting turned out to be in a desolate, all but abandoned section of the station, behind a heavy door in a darkened chamber. DD-0X and DFND4 counted a half dozen lifeforms inside – clean, uniformed sentients bearing standard issue weapons and logo-ed armbands… corporate security. A large obviously distorted hologram stood at the room’s center, atop a table projector. Tendoora introduced the hologram as “Myth”, a seller of weapons.

As the discussion proceeded, the true reasoning for Veran’s choice of post-occupation profession became clear. More than merely smuggling the occasional shuttle or person, he was stockpiling weapons for an eventual Gyndine uprising. There was a problem however, one that infuriated Tendoora, and prompted “Myth” to supply an urgent and hasty explanation.

The shipment of disruptors that Veran had paid for and was at the shadowport to retrieve was in the hands of another group, a criminal organization known as the Zann Consortium. In the past, “Myth” had long sold weapons to both Tendoora and the Consortium, but a recent war between the Consortium and another criminal group had increased their usual demand considerably. Despite working in the field of weapons manufacture, “Myth” was limited in the amount of weapons he could supply.

In order to keep his company’s board of directors and shareholders from discovering his side business, “Myth” was only capable of selling a certain percentage of the weapons he manufactured, under the falsehood of them having been defective units that were destroyed. If that percentage of “defective” units got too high, an investigation into the problem would likely land the arms dealer on a prison planet and the supply of weapons would vanish for everyone.

This meant that the only other weapons “Myth” had to sell to the Consortium were Tendoora’s, which – while he didn’t want to do that, he was left with little choice given the trouble that the criminals were threatening – specifically hijacked ships, killed or ransomed crew members and stolen cargo. He had however, also convinced the Consortium to stay behind and speak with Tendoora, to make a more long-term deal that would preserve the peace and at least keep everyone alive and in business.

With a location for the Consortium’s representative in hand, Tendoora ushered his side out of the chamber and toward the site of his next “meeting”. As expected, the criminals had left a large group of sentients behind in a vacant cantina – most likely to kill rather than talk. Anger and shouting quickly consumed the gathering, and Solis knew that things were about to turn ugly. He slipped back through the entry and made his way to the upper level overlook, discovering two rifle wielding criminals aiming down at the assembly below.

The scout’s approach wasn’t unnoticed however, as one of the goons swiveled his weapon to face the new arrival. A shot rang out, sending the criminal slumping to the overlook grating as DFND4 stood below, blaster still trained upwards. The security droid had reacted in an instant, and there was a second’s pause before realization sunk in, igniting a ferocious gun battle. Q’Von and Sapphire upended tables, taking cover as the room filled with a veritable laser-grid of blaster bolts.

Tesh rushed to join Sapphire behind the table, calling upon the Force to hurl a chair at a nearby criminal, narrowly missing as the creep took cover behind one of the weapons crates. DD-0X moved to Q’Von – who had been caught with a round in the chaos. On the overlook, Solis and the second rifleman exchanged fire, shots sparking on the metal railing as each sought to both take cover and return fire. Tendoora and his resistance fighters maneuvered quickly, using their experience in the security forces to maximize their battlefield impact.

Having participated in many an illegal gunfight, the criminals took advantage of both their superior numbers, and their spacing throughout the cantina, attempting to negate their enemies cover. One reckless goon jumped onto a table, using the higher position to catch Q’Von with another round as the prodigy rose to continue engaging the enemy. Though successful in one regard, the tactic also left the criminals exposed, costing them several casualties in short order.

Manipulators a blur, DD-0X worked furiously to assist the fallen Q’Von, turning all attention away from the ensuing battle, and catching a devastating shot in the process. Blue electrical discharges surged wildly as the medical droid emitted a mechanical shriek and toppled over, smoke billowing from a large carbon-scored hole. Tesh moved to fill the gap in medical treatment, conducting a vitality transfer via the force, to partially mend Q’Von’s wounds at the cost of his own health.

The criminals in the meantime, had decided that the fight was turning against them and moved to escape, the mad dash toward the establishment’s rear exit costing them additional fighters. The rifleman from the overlook fell over the railing and onto the cantina floor, signaling Solis’ victory in the one on one matchup and giving the Party the high ground as well. As rapidly as it had begun, the firefight was over, the last couple of criminals having escaped out the back room through a large hole in the wall.

Tendoora and his associates celebrated the acquisition of their gun shipment while the Party searched the fallen Consortium fighters and tended to their injuries. DD-0X was in arguably the worst shape, and would require some extensive repairs – but overall the Group had survived well enough intact. Everyone returned to the now-empty docking bay, where Shandra would shortly arrive to transport the Party to the passenger liner, and hear about their exploits with Tendoora. Only Solis stayed a few moments longer, making his way into populated areas of the shadowport to warn others away from dealings with “Myth”.

The resulting trip away from Ozuar Anchorage and to the passenger liner gave Q’Von time to recover, and make the necessary repairs to DD-0X along the way. Aboard the new vessel, Shandra introduced the Party to Oro, one of her Mon Calamari contacts, who would be taking over for the murdered mercenary Hothron (whose killer she had codenamed The Warden due to his presumed ability to order Sapphire’s release back at the security station). Shandra also had one minor task for the Group, sneaking into the cargo bay of the ship and adding a small crate to the shipment, to be stealthily reacquried after they had arrived to Gyndine – an easy job when compared to the recent mission on Rabaan.

Arriving finally to Gyndine, the passenger liner moved past the orbital array and through the planetary shield’s lone gateway, entering atmosphere and pressing onward to the capital city of Yractos. The ship was met at the landing pad by Captain Lin Mendalson, who would be helping Shandra and her assistants settle into the facility and introducing them to the facility commander, Major Dural. For his part, Dural seemed unhappy with the prospect of the Project on his base, or perhaps it was merely the presence of the project’s Sith overseer Lord Mastigar being present – who issued stern words to Shandra regarding his expectations as to the Project’s rapid advances and lack of delays or failures before leaving.

With the brief introduction out of the way, Mendalson once again took the lead, issuing code cylinder access to the Party members, entering their likenesses and records into the base’s database and leading a firearms certification drill, enabling the Group members (save for Sapphire who failed the exam) to carry their weapons on the base. The scout would have to attend a secondary class for another shot, but not before the Party needed to retrieve the package they had sneaked into the cargo hold of the passenger liner.

After nabbing the package ahead of any inspection, the Group returned to Shandra in her office, and watched as she first silenced all, and then opened the crate. Inside, scanners, portable computers and other slicing equipment were quickly put to use, as Shandra and the new arrival Oro took to carefully going over the entire office, ensuring the absence of any devices that might be watching or listening. Only once the room was fully swept and found to be clean did Shandra speak again, bringing the Party more fully into the fold.

The Gyndine Project was, by and large, a ruse, designed to gain access to funds, equipment and personnel – which would be used over time to assist in taking control of the planet Dac (Mon Calamari) away from Krayt’s Empire. As a world focused on ship production for the Imperial Navy, Dac was a key target, and taking it would be a long term goal at best. She continued explaining that things would occur slowly at first, starting with the very basics.

If the group was to operate on this base safely, they would need to know as much as possible about it. Troop numbers would need to be determined, as well as tapping into the network of sensors and holocams used by the military forces. The Group was inside the proverbial belly of the sarlac, and if they were to maneuver, they needed intelligence first and foremost. The time table for the initial fact gathering was set to one week, as the Party would then need to travel to Dac, and return to the base with a number of the Project’s “key researchers” – which was to say additional spies and operatives…
Session 4 Log
Newly settled into the Gyndine Project Research Facility – known prior to the start of the Imperial occupation as the Yractos Public Medical Center – the Party commenced work on the first phase of their mission to set up shop: seeking to map out the facility’s sensor and holocam coverage, install and configure remote taps into the building’s security network, and determine an approximate troop count and disposition for both the facility itself and the areas of the base immediately outside of it – all without drawing any undue suspicion in the process of course.

Given only one week’s time to accomplish these tasks before they would be forced to travel to Dac and return with the “key researchers”, the Group divided its resources, with each member using their respective cover job title to work individually in different areas of the facility and its surrounding environs. Being assistants to the director of operations for the Project, the Party’s code cylinders allowed them to move throughout the facility, save for the uppermost level, which had been taken over by building security.

As the head of transportation, Sapphire requisitioned a speeder bus and began ferrying Gyndine workers to and from the facility, learning that in the aftermath of the occupation the Empire had emptied out large portions of Yractos, regulating the local populace into a small handful of tightly controlled and severely overcrowded districts. He also made polite small talk to various checkpoint guards, taking mental note of any mention of Imperial forces or patrols made in passing. Additionally, the bus route also allowed the smuggler to keep in contact with Tendoora Veran and the resistance movement – who had done some information gathering of their own.

DFND4 used his status as a mere “Maintenance Droid” to move about the facility, assessing damage resulting from the recent forceful takeover of the medical center, and making what small repairs he could when being observed. Internally, the security droid updated a growing file on sensor and holocam locations, guard positions and patrol routes, and the current usage of wards and wings as compared to the original floor plans given the loss of the uppermost level and the facility’s new dual purpose of both medical center and research facility.

Being a medical droid in a medical facility, DD-0X virtually disappeared into the background, using a concealed audio recording device to monitor nearby discussions while working on various injuries or exams. Though most of the patients were the result of simple workplace accidents, the occasional wounded soldier or captured resistance fighter highlighted the slow but steady nature of the conflict, and offered up opportunity to garner details from outside the facility itself.

Tesh took advantage of his “Consultant” job title, coordinating with various work crew supervisors and staying informed on the repairs, changes and additions being made around the building. This ploy allowed him to move along with the workers, blending in as he made subtle changes to work orders in an effort to create small blind spots in the automated security coverage – under the guise of keeping everyone on the same page.

Solis took a more sentient-oriented approach, leveraging his post of ration and supply officer to work in the soldiers’ chow line during the various meal shifts of the day. This enabled him to make friendly conversation and gain favor with specific guards in the form of extra rations and other harmless contraband. The position also permitted him to find a target for the next phase of his plan – an attractive female facility employee about which to engage in a little locker room talk with his new friends.

With the scout’s guidance and encouragement over the ensuing days, the lewd but innocent banter soon became plans to use the repair work to covertly install a hidden and precisely aimed holocam for a bit of pleasure viewing at the comely woman’s expense; and as luck would have it, Solis knew just the tech to bring in on the job. With help from Bek Sisk, the soldier most dedicated to the perverse plot, Q’Von and Solis installed the hidden camera, and were then secreted to the security-only level to attach the feed to the upstairs monitors.

Q’Von worked quickly while Solis kept Sisk occupied, hooking up not only the feed from the unauthorized hidden camera, but also the remote taps that would send the security center’s stream of camera and sensor feeds to the portable computer located in Shandra’s administration office. With this done, the pair left Sisk to his viewing, knowing that they had some viewing of their own to do over the remaining days before the week was gone.

Now having access to the entire security network inside the facility, the Group turned its attention outward, with Sapphire bringing Solis and Tesh along for the speeder bus trips to and from the worker districts. A few minor detours allowed the trio to more thoroughly gauge the size of the base, and combine their data with information supplied by the resistance movement to arrive at a well-informed estimate regarding the number of stationed troops, and the equipment available to them.

By the week’s end, all of the mission objectives had been met, and the time had come for the Group to depart for Dac to transport the “key researchers” to the facility. All that was required was a shuttle craft for the trip, which turned out to be a sticking point for the base commander Major Dural – who initially refused to permit non-military personnel from operating any of his ships or vehicles, and relented only when faced with the prospect of being reported to the Project’s Sith overseer Mastigar.

Despite his authorization for the Party to use the shuttle, Dural insisted on his own techs being aboard, to ensure that the vessel remained undamaged and in top shape. Sapphire ignored the Major’s obvious slight, and instead turned the mandated oversight into an opportunity, making friendly inroads with the techs during the hyperspace flight to the watery homeworld of the Mon Calamari race – and the target of Shandra’s long-term and far reaching plans.

Flying past the planet’s Star Destroyer producing orbital array, the Party set down on a landing platform aboard the floating capital of Coral City. Their contact Ido, arrived a short time later, requesting that they join him for a walk as he explained a complication in the plan that he needed the Group’s assistance to overcome. The falsified documentation for the “key researchers” was fully prepared and ready to go, however, the progressively stricter Imperial regulations against the Mon Calamari people now barred them entry from the Records Repository, meaning that they needed off-worlders to actually enter and insert the records.

Additionally, Ido had a request to make, namely that the Group assist him in smuggling a wanted sentient (Choldo) into the Project and off of Dac. The process would require not only falsified credentials, but a forged identity as well, which would need to be uploaded in another area of the Records Repository, and would thus increase the difficulty of the mission somewhat. Sapphire agreed to the job, but stipulated a payment of 6000 credits, to cover the risk and the expenses.

Though shorted on the payment amount, Sapphire agreed to let Ido make up the difference by getting a message to his son Grant – who was still in the custody of the Imperium and acting as both reward for his continued service and insurance policy against his refusal to serve. The Mon Cal eagerly agreed, and Q’Von devoted time to the creation of forged identity documents before the Group moved on to the Records Repository.

Unable to get any recent intelligence from Ido about the Repository due to the regulations against Mon Cal entry, the Party opted to send in a three man team, while the remainder of the Group maintained a watchful eye outside from across the street. Q’Von, DFND4 and Solis entered, discovering the first level of the building to be for querying and records request only. To insert records, they would need to use the turbolift to reach the upper levels.

The second level allowed entry of the falsified credentials, setting the holonet prodigy back 120 credits in fees, but transpiring otherwise without incident. With this done, the trio moved to the third level, where Solis felt it prudent to remain inside the lift to the side of the doorway so as not to be seen. Unlike the previous level, record insertion for persons required authorization and an operating number for the individual doing the insertion, prerequisites that the Group members did not have and could not manufacture on the spot.

Q’Von attempted to bluff his way past the checkpoint, while Solis went back down with the turbolift and outside to inform the rest of the Party as to the problem. Meanwhile, Q’Von and DFND4 hit an impasse with the guard on duty, prompting a quick attack in the hopes that the man possessed a code cylinder to get through the door and into the records area. The move was successful in getting through the barrier, but revealed them as aggressors to security and prompted an audible alarm.

A three-man response team engaged Q’Von as he made his way through the door, two catching him with blaster rounds and the third rushing forth with a stun baton for the capture. DFND4 shoved the heavily-injured holonet prodigy out of the doorway, stepping forward to return weapons fire, which sent the baton wielder scurrying away for cover. Though hardier and able to take more damage, the droid would not last forever, particularly given that the pair would soon be trapped now that the alarm had been sounded.

Outside, the rest of the Group reacted as the alarm filled the street. Solis concealed himself from sight, a move that was mirrored by the Mon Cals Ido and Oro. Sapphire rushed to ready the shuttle for takeoff, in case the team needed to make a hasty retreat to avoid arrest. DD-0X entered the Repository, knowing that Q’Von was armed only with an arc welder, and could be hurt in light of the security response. Tesh maintained his position, watching for any outside response to the alarm sounding.

Back on the third level, DFND4 held off the response team while Q’Von re-closed the door and spot welded it shut with his tool. It was a laborious activity given his severe injuries, but there was no other option. With their opponents cut off, the pair returned to the turbolift, finding DD-0X inside, the medical droid having come in search of Q’Von. Manipulators moved with precision as DD-0X worked on Q’Von’s injuries during the trip downwards.

Meanwhile, Tesh noted the rapid approach of two military regulars from up the street, drawn to the sound of the alarm emanating from the Repository. The heavily armed duo hastened toward the building, radioing for additional units and drawing their weapons. He was about to warn his friends inside when a familiar face caught his eye down a side alley, the financier Kazic from the gala unveiling on Rabaan. The pair locked eyes for a split second, and Tesh knew that each had noticed the other. He moved to the spot as quickly as he could without drawing notice from the regulars and rounded the corner where he had seen his bar stool acquaintance.

Kazic was not alone however, a fact Tesh instantly realized when nearly a half dozen Quarren toughs thrust blaster pistols forward in his direction. The force user held his hands up in surrender, engaging his comm link and asking why they were doing this, knowing that his allies would hear him. The Quarren proceeded to relieve Tesh of his possessions, soon cutting off the comm link broadcast and shoving him into a nearby enclosed speeder.

Back inside, Q’Von, DD-0X, and DFND4 reached the ground floor of the repository as the two regulars entered the building. The prodigy, still wounded and slumped onto the medical droid, reacted immediately, informing the soldiers in panicked fashion that the perpetrators were upstairs, killing everyone. The duo ushered the Party members aside, moving into the turbolift with their weapons forward, ready to engage as soon as the lift doors opened on the upper floor.

Having successfully tricked the first responders, Q’Von and DFND4 shared a look, then hurriedly sealed the turbolift doors with the arc welder, preventing the soldiers or the security personnel from coming back down behind them as they made their way out. If nothing else, it would slow any pursuit, as their foes would be forced to move to the stairs – a detour that would buy the trio enough time to escape into the city before the backup units arrived.

Once out the front doors, they moved down the street heading in the direction of the shuttle craft. Ido and Oro joined in the flight, knowing that more responders were on the way and would lock down the area once they had arrived. With Tesh nowhere in sight, there simply wasn’t time to search the area and figure out what was going on and what had happened to him. Solis, still concealed, looked about quickly as his mind raced. What to do…
Session 5 Log
Devising an alternate plan to hopefully get the falsified identification for the Mon Calamari operative Choldo uploaded despite the current predicament unfolding at the Records Repository, Solis abandoned his hiding place and raced to intercept his retreating allies. He retrieved the data storage device and split off from the Group, maneuvering his way down various side streets and passages to reach the city’s commercial district, where he hastily located a public terminal on which he could dispatch a long-range transmission with relative privacy.

Solis spoke to the message’s recipient, Sarkin Highlark of the spaceport security forces on Rabaan; in hushed, but hurried fashion, describing the urgency of his need for an immediate upload of data vital to his ongoing investigation. He told of the desperation of his situation, and made cryptic reference to potential consequences if the data wasn’t added to the Imperial network before it was too late. For his part, Highlark was concerned, but found the transmission cut off before he could ask too many questions. All that was left was the data file that had been sent during the brief communication.

Whether or not the gambit would work was anyone’s guess, but Solis didn’t have time to dwell on the subject, knowing full well that the Group would have to depart the system before anyone investigating the incident at the Records Repository had a chance to look at the security holocam footage. If images of himself or Q’Von could be pulled from the cameras, the resulting all-points bulletin would make getting off the planet all but impossible.

Meanwhile, back at the docking bay, Sapphire prepped the shuttle for takeoff and informed Solis via comms that they would be ready to launch by the time he got back. The smuggler also dispatched Ido to gather the researchers and undercover operatives who would be returning with the Party to the Project facility on Gyndine. Still being wounded, Q’Von remained under DD-0X’s care, while DFND4 and Oro took to assisting in pre-flight checks and other ship’s tasks. As for Tesh’s whereabouts, no one knew, but the sudden disappearance brought back memories of Rabaan and what had happened to the mercenary Hothron.

The circumstances surrounding Krill’s death were still unknown, and left a great many questions unanswered. The presumed perpetrator – “The Warden” – evidently had known of the Group’s presence during the gala, knew (or had managed to determine) Hothron to be a member of the team, had proven capable of acquiring the Zabrak after he was taken to the Imperial medical bay, was able to remove any mention of him in the spaceport’s security logs, and had successfully smuggled the mercenary off of the planet, where they killed him after taking the time to torture him.

Most concerning of all however, was that “The Warden” was still at large. He had worked against the Party, killed one of its members, and yet – they knew almost nothing about him. He had never been identified beyond a basic physical description; his motives were unknown, his loyalties only guessed at; even the moniker “The Warden” was one that Shandra had assigned so that the Group had a name to use when referencing him. He was, for all intents and purposes, a ghost.

Elsewhere, Tesh steeled his nerves and bided his time as his Quarren abductors arrived to their destination. They had placed a cloth hood over his head during transit so he couldn’t see, but based upon sound he determined some useful information. Loudspeaker announcements and passing engines told him he had been taken to a waiting ship, and footfalls indicated that only two or perhaps three of the thugs had gotten out of the speeder, which he heard leaving seconds after he was pulled from the vehicle.

No one greeted or otherwise spoke to the goons as they dragged him up a boarding ramp, and his captors didn’t call out to anyone once inside – meaning that there were no additional sentients in the area. Armed with this knowledge, Tesh continued to wait while the Quarren took him deeper into the ship and to a chamber behind a door that hit the wall with a metallic thud when opened. Inside, he was shoved into a chair. Based on the feel of it and the sound it made when pushed into position, Tesh knew it to be metal, as was the table that his arms were placed upon when the goons removed the binders from his wrists.

Still, he waited, knowing that he needed them to lower their guard before he could make his move. They manacled his legs to those of the chair, and locked his arms into metallic restraints that ran from wrist to near-elbow, and were clearly mounted to the table’s surface. With this done, his abductors gloated, then delivered a swift punch across the face, and a second to the body. Content with their work, the Quarren left – finally giving Tesh the conditions he sought.

With a deep breath Tesh let the Force flow through him, lifting the hood away and enabling him to see. The table-mounted restraints, though solid, were held fast with relatively simple locking pins – and while certainly out of reach of his hands given the near total coverage of his lower arms, it was a trivial matter to remove them via the Force. Within moments, he was free, and moving to the door. A small sliding viewport offered a glimpse into the corridor beyond, allowing Tesh to see one captor at the far end, speaking with someone just around a bend in the passage.

Noting the presence of a blaster pistol on the thug’s hip, and lacking any equipment of his own, Tesh knew he needed to retain the element of surprise and attempted to draw the confrontation back into the room, where he had the advantage. He slid the viewport closed and began shouting loudly, confident that the Quarren’s willingness to abuse him and their expectation of his helplessness would bring them back in short order. The approaching footsteps indicated to Tesh that his plan had worked, and he made ready.

Hiding behind the door, Tesh waited as the responding captor opened it, and angrily cursed at the sight of the empty table. Then with all his might, he shoved the door forth, striking the goon and sending him crashing backwards into the doorframe. Utilizing the momentary distraction, Tesh stepped out and thrust his hands forward, bolts of lightning arcing from his fingertips. The pure, unadulterated fury of the dark energy hoisted the Quarren off the ground, and hurled him screaming back down the passage and into a collision with his companion who had moved to assist.

The toppled thug issued forth a terrified shriek at the sight of the blackened, smoking husk that had seconds ago been his ally, and abandoned all thought of offense, scrambling to his feet and clambering down the corridor, half tripping and falling with every step. The flight was a futile effort however, as Tesh sent forth a large shipping crate with a wave of his arm, ending the encounter with a fatal crunch as the container flew into the fleeing Quarren, knocking him down and landing atop him. Having no one left to prevent his escape, Tesh calmly collected his belongings and exited the ship, bound for the only safe place he knew of on Dac, the Party’s shuttle.

Solis meanwhile was nearing the Records Repository, having detoured in his trek back to the shuttle to get a status update at the sight of the Group’s partially successful mission. Astonishingly, the upper levels of the building were engulfed in flame, an outcome that had no possible connection to the actions of the Party a short time before. As emergency responders battled the blaze, motion just outside the cordoned perimeter caught the scout’s eye. An enclosed speeder had moved from a side alley and made a brief stop, allowing a figure to rush from an alcove and get inside before taking a hard corner and leaving the scene.

The suspicious figure had been a man, one that was somehow familiar, and Solis pondered a moment longer before coming to the answer. Though dressed in an Imperial uniform rather than fine attire, the man’s face and features had matched Sapphire’s description of “The Warden” from the security station at Ban Belos Spaceport on Rabaan. It seemed almost an impossibility, and yet Solis was certain in light of the location of the sighting, the inexplicable fire where the Group had just been, and the unexplained disappearance of Tesh.

Returning to the Party’s shuttle with all haste, Solis found that Ido had arrived with the “key researchers”, and the small crowd of Mon Calamari were boarding in preparation for departure. The scout joined the formation, casting one final look over his shoulder. To his amazement, Tesh was running to the shuttle as well, slightly injured, but otherwise well. Each informed that other that they had important information to share with the Group, and got on board as quickly as they could.

Once safely off world and into hyperspace, the Party gathered in the cockpit to discuss the mission and hear both Solis and Tesh’s news. Between Tesh’s account of his abduction at the hands of the financier Kazic from the gala on Rabaan, and Solis’ sighting of “The Warden” at the Records Repository, it suddenly became clear, the two were one and the same. While not a positive identification by any means, it was a new line of inquiry that could be pursued.

The Group’s arrival to Gyndine took on an ominous tone, when the shuttle received a transmission stating that the planetary shield was closed, and that they were ordered to dock with the orbiting star destroyer Hammer’s Fist. All eyes turned to Ido and the extra operative Choldo, whose falsified identity had not been uploaded back on Dac. If Solis’ effort to get Investigator Highlark to finish the job had been unsuccessful, a custom’s inspection would be the downfall of everyone – a possibility that might very well force the Group to do the unthinkable to the sentient they were trying to spare.

Fortunately, the deviation was unrelated, as the planetary shield had been raised as part of the security measures surrounding the Project’s delivery of bio-hazardous samples of vongspawn coral seeds. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief, and within the hour, the military-escorted cargo ship that had made the drop off was away, and the Party landed back at the facility in Yractos. Aside from the presence of the facility commander Major Dural – who had come to scrutinize Sapphire’s handling of his shuttle and express his displeasure at the excessive duration of the voyage – all went according to plan, as Choldo’s fake identity seemed to check out when scanned.

With all of the initial staff now at the facility, the Gyndine Project was poised to officially get underway. The following days saw the first staff meeting, as Shandra gave an address to the assembled scientists, missionaries and other employees – and laid out the Project’s goals and directives. For the Party, those early days also saw other developments, some better than others.

Sapphire, began building rapport with Captain Mendalson, attending the required weapons training classes, but intentionally failing during examinations so as to prolong the process. DFND4 and Q’Von both received repairs so to speak, with the sentient finishing up his recovery and the droid getting replacement parts. DD-0X searched the gala guest list, attempting to find any mention of a Kazic on it, and learning in the process that the financier had apparently slipped into the event uninvited.

Solis, after making arrangements for an anonymous gift to be sent to Investigator Highlark for his assistance, had perhaps the worst development of all, discovering that his execution of the security tap mission had created a loose end. Trooper Bek had begun sharing a small selection of racy holocam stills from the unauthorized camera with some of his fellow soldiers, and the growing “eyes only” club was now interested in getting additional installations in the rooms of other attractive women in the building, including Shandra.

Dealing with Bek would have to be done carefully, and was hardly the only objective at the moment. The fact that “Warden Kazic” wasn’t on the guest list meant that he was not officially connected to the Project, and was shadowing the Group’s movements some other way. Suspicions of a leak in Shandra’s network filled Sapphire’s mind, even as the Party searched the shuttle they had used for signs of tampering or listening devices – a search that revealed nothing out of the ordinary.

Additionally, the Group’s resistance contact, Tendoora Veran had reached out, having lined up a meeting with members of the criminal Zann Consortium regarding the precarious situation surrounding Myth’s weapons trade. The events leading up to the meeting also displayed the opposing views within the resistance itself, as while en route to Tendoora, the Party was briefly stopped by Kallos, a representative of the resistance’s leader Gaina Celes, who requested that the Party attempt to moderate Tendoora and his more radical faction while dealing with him.

Finding it much safer to avoid Tendoora’s more overt methodology, Sapphire agreed, and together with Solis convinced the factional leader during the subsequent meeting to forego his plan to meet with and attack the Consortium delegation and instead, delay the meeting until after they spoke with the organization’s rival, the Syndicate. Q’Von also took the opportunity to inquire about where to obtain some specialty droid memory components, and was given the name of Volka, a droid merchant.

With the investigation into “Warden Kazic” stalled for the time being, and both factions of the resistance appeased for the moment, the Group turned its attention back to trooper Bek and the “eyes only” club, hoping to use an upcoming sample collection trip to Gyndine’s vong-contaminated southern hemisphere to eliminate the club’s leader, and Solis’ loose thread by way of a tragic accident. To this end, Sapphire sabotaged a line on the trooper’s hazard containment suit while Solis had Ido place a makeshift medicinal-based “poison” on standby, just in case.

The murderous micro-expedition the following day seemed to be going as planned, when contact from Bek at the forward position indicated that he was having problems and needed to be pulled out after potentially being exposed to the bio-hazardous materials during the collection process. Having already acquired a sufficient variety of infected flaura and fauna, the Party ordered the scientists and their escorts back, quarantining the shuttle carrying Bek and everyone aboard.

The attempt ultimately failed however, as Bek and the rest of those in his company were found to be uninfected and were released back to active duty following an overnight evaluation at the facility. There was no time to lament the turn of events, however, as contact from Tendoora declared that members of the Syndicate had come to Gyndine and were ready to meet. If the Party was to commence their newest plan, they would have to do it now, and quickly.

Staying only long enough to make minor reports to Mendalson and other security personnel regarding illegal activities bearing the mark of the Zann Consortium, the Group discreetly boarded a speeder bus and set off for the meeting coordinates, soon finding Tendoora and the resistance and then moving on to where the Syndicate was waiting. Solis took charge at the meet, operating under the pretense that he was not Solis at all, but “Sensetter”, an intelligence agent within the Empire.

The primary Syndicate mouth piece, the Devaronian Lyra Mar listened as “Sensetter” offered a trade. If the Syndicate would help identify the double agent codenamed “The Warden” AKA Kazic, the Empire would return the favor by crushing what Consortium membership was within the area, clearing the decks for the Syndicate to fill the criminal power vacuum and take over. She demanded an up front good faith payment of 30,000 credits, which Solis managed to get waived by pledging to have the Empire take care of its end of the deal first.

Upon receiving Lyra’s agreement to the deal, the Party bid Tendoora and his men follow them, and then instructed them to be ready when called. Having already planted the idea of the Consortium as an enemy of the facility with their minor reports, the Group would now need to convince the Imperials that the criminal organization was a real threat, one that needed to be eliminated immediately.

Solis’ plan involved killing two birds with one stone. By assassinating trooper Bek while simultaneously planting evidence that he was working with the Consortium, the conclusion that would most likely be drawn was that Bek had been working as an inside man for the criminals, and had decided to withdraw from the arrangement, which ultimately got him killed. The breech of security would surely infuriate the base’s commander Major Dural, who could then be counted on to institute a full scale crackdown against the criminals, a sequence of events that effectively upheld their side of the bargain with Lyra.

Satisfied with the plan, the Party set to work, with Q’Von using arrest records and news reports concerning the Consortium to fabricate a rough financial narrative for Bek, which was then transferred to a credit chip that would be planted in the trooper’s belongings. The work lasted through the night, and by morning the falsified evidence was ready. That’s when the unexpected happened.

Seeing the synchronized arrival of several troop transports and mechanized units to the research facility, Q’Von announced to his team over the comm that something was about to happen. Solis reacted quickly, taking to hiding and slipping out past the encircling forces before their perimeter was completed. Back inside, an overwhelming force of soldiers detained everyone in sight, ushering them all into the main research laboratory, where Major Dural awaited.

“Does anyone know what this is?” Dural asked rhetorically, holding up the remote security tap that Q’Von had installed before the trip to Dac. The Major continued on, explaining the device as a breach of his security systems, and part of a larger operation. Crews of technicians entered the laboratory, using handheld scanners to sweep work stations and systematically scan everyone present. The search cost Shandra and the Project two researchers, one who had been flagged by the scanners as possessing vong biomaterial which had been taken from the vault without authorization, and one who had been shot by Dural to make his point. Despite the chaos and death, Dural was good enough to promise to replace the two researchers.

Meanwhile, Solis reached members of the resistance and informed Tendoora’s men to be ready to act if required. With the message relayed, he hurried back – taking advantage of the reduced manpower outside the facility after the bulk of the troops had gone inside to secure and search the building to penetrate the line and make it back without drawing attention. By the time the scout reached Shandra, she had been escorted back to her office, and most of the severe drama had passed.

Though Captain Mendalson stood “guard” outside Shandra’s office, Solis was permitted to pass, and he quietly explained the Group’s plan, and that this turn of events did not disrupt things beyond control. If anything, it could be made to work with their plan, all he needed to do was get the doctored credit chip into trooper Bek’s quarters and let Dural’s investigation find it. The Party need only handle Bek before he was taken into custody.

With the hurried briefing concluded, Solis took possession of the credit chip and made his way upstairs towards the security only level. With only a lone culprit identified, the mass of workers had been permitted to return to their rooms, and most were in the process of doing so at that moment. The scout used the movements to cover his own, bypassed the turbolift via air ducts to make his way to the security only level. To his amazement, Bek was already in custody, standing against the wall opposite his quarters under guard while the room was being searched.

Despite these seemingly impossible conditions, Solis had to act. If the Imperials did not find the credit chip, and forged connection between Bek and the Consortium would not be established, and the discovered security tap wouldn’t be associated to that connection, leaving Dural to deduce that another culprit still existed inside his base. Without Dural looking connecting Bek to the Consortium, Lyra and the Syndicate would not undertake efforts to unmask “The Warden”, and rather than being on the hunt, the Group would remain the hunted. Everyone the Party was working for came down to this moment… it was life or death, do or do not, there was no try.

The scout moved with the silence of shadows, pressed against the wall while all eyes were focused on the room. He moved closer, and closer, waiting for the perfect moment… and finally it came. Bek, with his wrists locked in front him him, raised his arms to wipe sweat from his brow, offering a second’s opportunity to carry out the deed. Solis moved swiftly forward and ducked into a side room, flicking the credit chip, which seemed to freeze time as it twisted and turned through the air, a perfect arc that landed the device into the cargo pocket of Bek’s off duty trousers. For his part, Solis couldn’t help but grin, the poor fool would be the most shocked person in the room once it was discovered…
Session 6 Log
With Solis returned and the incriminating credit chip successfully planted on trooper Bek’s person, the Party breathed a collective, albeit momentary sigh of relief. While discovery of the chip would connect Bek to the Consortium as planned, and keep him jailed by adding to the charges already being brought against him for the breach in security that allowed for the theft of vongspawn virus samples, it also meant that the soldier’s assassination needed to be carried out immediately, before anyone had a chance to interrogate him. If he were to name Solis and Q’Von as accomplices in the growing probe surrounding the security breach, the pair would then also be implicated in the very scheme the Party was using to cover its tracks and point the business end of the Imperial war machine at the Consortium to fulfill their side of the bargain with the Syndicate.

This meant that there could be no more mistakes. No more setting up of “tragic accidents” and relying on nature to run its course – as they had tried during the recent sample collection mission. This time, Bek’s demise needed to be guaranteed, or all could be lost.

As the architect of the plan, and the one with the necessary access, Solis braved the now-guarded hallways, evading patrols and reaching Ido’s quarters undiscovered. He informed the Mon Calamari operative that the dosage-based makeshift poison he had placed on standby was no longer sufficient; that something absolutely lethal was now required. Ido insisted that with the proper ingredients from the laboratory storage area, he could create such a concoction, but that following the discovery of theft, no one was permitted in the area until a full inventory counting had been completed.

Despite Ido’s reservations, Solis requested the materials list anyway, and continued toward the laboratory storage once he had it in hand. With the turbolifts under guard, the scout had to take the long way to the building’s corner stairwell. This detour was an acceptable one, however, as it allowed Solis to acquire a helper when he came to the maintenance droid charging stations on the lowermost level. DFND4 was always one to be reckoned with, but never more so than on a full charge.

Elsewhere, Q’Von suddenly found himself in an uncomfortable position, as a pair of fully armed and armored troopers entered his quarters. The duo had evidently used their security access to override the electronic locking mechanism on the door, and they wasted no time in ordering the holonet prodigy to stand against the wall. Being cornered, outnumbered and in no position to fight, Q’Von listened as the soldiers jammed their fingers in his face and barked demands to “fix” the situation with Bek, or else. Then, as quickly as it had started, the encounter was over, and the two men exited the room and stormed off around a corner and out of sight.

Back downstairs, Solis exited the laboratory storage area with the various chemicals and materials from the list Ido provided while DFND4 dragged a shelving unit into position and tipped it over onto the head of the freshly slain officer who had been taking inventory when the pair arrived. The droid had shot the man through the face, and then proceeded to crush his entire skull in an effort to conceal the true cause of death from whoever found the man later. This in turn had required an explanation as to how the man’s head was crushed, leading to the tipping of the shelving unit. It probably wasn’t the greatest crime scene ever, but then DFND4 wasn’t that kind of droid…

With adequate supplies in hand, Ido began working on his concoction while Solis returned to his quarters and finished out the evening. The following morning, Shandra gathered the Party’s sentient members for a meeting she was having with “all department heads” in light of the recent problems at the facility. In truth however, she sought an update on the Group’s activities, and was ordering them to find out who was behind the theft of the vongspawn samples from the facility. She stated that the presence of another group was a risk to the overall operation that could not be allowed to remain. Worse still, the facility commander, Major Dural was already ahead of them, having taken the vongspawn thief into custody during the lock-down.

Sapphire led the response, assuring Shandra that things were being handled. Bek and the vongspawn thief would soon be gone, and the actions of the other group would be attributed to the criminal conspiracy they were fabricating. All roads would trace back to the Consortium, and then the Empire would take them out, which would keep the deal with the Syndicate, get Lyra and her crew looking into “Warden Kazic” on behalf of the Party, and solve the weapons crisis for Myth and Tendoora in one fell swoop. In the meantime, the Party could work to locate the other team.

Satisified at this news, Shandra left the Group to their work, and returned to her administration duties. Q’Von pledged to look carefully into the credentials of every employee still at the facility and brought the Party up to speed on his encounter with the soldiers in his room. Clearly, word of Bek’s arrest had made its way to the membership of the “eyes only” club, and they were taking action to try and secure their leader’s release. He could probably stall them for a time, but the Group would need to come up with a solution before too long.

In the meantime, the Party set to work, with Sapphire looking into transport and shipping logs hoping to find the method the thieves were using to move their illicit personnel and cargo, while Q’Von began his records scrutiny. Solis returned to Ido’s quarters, taking possession of the completed toxin and moving to the kitchen. As the Project’s ration and supply officer, no one looked twice at his preparing of the prisoner meals, nor did they take particular notice when he delivered them to the security only level. His easy explanation that the guards on duty had not come for the trays was enough to get him buzzed through, and before long, Bek and the thief would be gone. The deaths of the other prisoners was certainly regrettable, but but there was no other option.

The remainder of the day saw frequent interuptions, as Major Dural and his staff conducted facility employee interviews. Knowing that the intent was to lock people into stories that would later be checked against whatever confessions the captured theif would make, the Party kept their answers mundane and simple, sprinkling in the occasional minor reference to the growing criminal problem where they could. By nightfall, everyone had given their story, and Q’Von had uncovered an employee whose record contained subtle overlaps of information that revealed it to be falsified. Conferring with Shandra, Q’Von determined the containment specialist, Andros Wan to likely be a member of the thieving ring.

With Wan’s shift about to end, Solis and Sapphire conducted a sweep of the man’s room, locating a removed wall panel behind furniture and a cache of incriminating evidence. This confirmation of his guilt would be useful in the coming days, but for now the Group needed Wan to remain in play if they were to learn more about the operation he was a part of. To that end, they took images of the items in the cache, then returned the room to its previous state and left.

Having likely found a link to the shadow group operating inside the facility, Solis slipped off the base, making his way to the familiar meeting place of Tendoora so as to bring the Group’s Gyndine ally the latest news. He was stopped up short however, as he discovered the early stages of a blockade of soldiers and vehicles subtly encircling the crammed districts containing the local populace. Despite the Party’s repeated mentions of the Consortium and its dealing, Dural was apparently making ready to take some action against the Gyndine, and he didn’t want any of them getting out of the area.

The scout hussled along his way, meeting up with his contacts and gaining an audience with Tendoora himself. He warned the resistance fighter of the advancing forces, and showed a few of their positions to Tendoora with electrobinoculars. They needed to move quickly and relocate, before the exit was shut off entirely. For his part, Tendoora was hesitant to leave, having invested so much in infrastructure for the resistance in this area, and having military emplacements that would need to be dismantled before they could be moved.

Solis pressed his arguments, stating that the resistance itself was worth more than some lost equipment. Equipment could be replaced, even if it slowed down whatever timeline Tendoora was hoping to maintain. The Gyndine reluctantly agreed, and ordered for his people to begin evacuation of the area. They would have to move swiftly, and carefully, so that the Imperials would not see them. With this done, Solis made his way back toward the facility. The Party would need to know that there was another kink in the plan it seemed.

Elsewhere, DD-0X was pulled from normal duties by a military physician who moved with purpose. It turned out that the medical droid was needed to assist with several autopsies, as prisoners from the security only level had died inexplicably. Only one patient clung to life, the healthiest of the bunch, trooper Bek. DD-0X joined in as instructed, and quietly notified the Group of the situation via comms. It seemed the toxin had not quite finished the soldier off, at least not yet. If Bek somehow managed to survive the ordeal, a new plan would be needed.

Q’Von acknowledged the transmission, then prepared to leave his quarters. He didn’t make it though. News of the incident from the security only level had apparently traveled fast, and the “eyes only” club knew exactly where they placed the blame. The duo of soldiers had returned for the holonet prodigy, sticking him repeatedly with their service vibroblades as he struggled in vain. Outmatched, Q’Von could do little but open his comm channel, and allow his fellows to hear the commotion and hope they recognized his voice. Within seconds, he was unconscious, on death’s doorstep…

The remaining Party members raced frantically through the corridors, reaching Q’Von’s quarters in time to see the soldiers boarding the turbolift at the end of the hallway with the prodigy over their shoulder. Oro reacted first, bounding down the passage and shoving his arm between the doors just as they sought to close. The safety systems detected the blockage, re-opening the doors and allowing the Mon Calamari to face the soldiers head on. He drew forth his lightsaber, and ignited it, revealing the crimson blade.

“You have interfered in the Emperor’s work!” he hissed, holding the pair at bay just long enough for them to drop Q’Von before he struck them down with one mighty swing of the deadly weapon. Tesh cursed under his breath, for he had not brought his own lightsaber with him. If Oro was in fact a Sith, as it appeared he might be, things could very well get ugly extraordinarily quickly. The Imperial Knight called out to the Force, lifting Q’Von from the turbolift and pulling him back to the Party, then stood between the Group and the Mon Cal.

Thrusting his arms forward, Tesh attempted to disarm the potential Sith, straining to pull the weapon from Oro’s hands and into his own, but the Mon Cal held fast. Unable to take the lightsaber, Tesh pressed for an explanation and watched as Oro’s expression lifted. Oro stated that he was not a Sith at all, but had merely acquired one of their red lightsabers from a previous engagement. With the encounter essentially over, the Party took the slain soldiers and Q’Von down to meet DD-0X in the intensive care unit.

By this point the flurry of activity in the medical bay had all but halted, as Bek’s condition was stable under the equipment’s care, and the autopsies were still in progress in the morgue. The droid surveyed Q’Von, and determined his condition to be faltering. He would be dead without immediate surgery. Anxiously, the Party waited for DD-0X to offer instruction, but heard nothing as the droid looked about. Internally, programs clashed, running the data over and again, inevitably arriving to the same impossible dilemma.

The equipment required to save Q’Von’s life was still in use, maintaining the life of trooper Bek. As a medical droid, DD-0X could not allow the patient under his care to come to harm or die, and thus the equipment was unavailable for use to save Q’Von because Bek needed it. However, as a medical droid, DD-0X could not fail to render aid to a dying sentient with an immediate need. Q’Von needed the equipment to live. Bek needed the equipment to live.

Unable to break the technological log-jam via medical ethics protocols, DD-0X turned to more mathematical modes of problems solving. Bek was there first, and was already using the equipment, therefore it should stay until Bek was finished using it. A standard queue uses first-in, first-out functionality. However, Q’Von was part of the team’s mission, in which the lives of the eight team members were at stake. Standard mathematics shows that 8 is greater than 1. This still did not solve the problem, as each candidate now had one argument in their favor.

As the programming reached impasse after impasse, a stream of errors began to register. A decision had to be made. Auditory input from the room’s sentients broke the flurry of computations, and sparked an answer. Q’Von had 4 sentients demanding treatment, Bek had 0. This meant that Q’Von was more important. Confirmed, Q’Von was more important. Q’Von was connected to DD-0X, to the mission, to the Group. Q’Von would live. Bek would die. DD-0X acted…

The surgery was extensive, and required assistance from Sapphire, who acted in the capacity of assistant, but in the end, Q’Von was saved. Now the coverup had to begin. Q’Von had to be moved, the slain soldiers of the “eyes only” club had to be disposed of. Bek had to be reattached to the equipment so that knowledge of Q’Von’s presence there would not grow. More than that, the coverup had to fit the narrative of the Consortium conspiracy. Or, as always it seemed, everything would come crashing down around the Group.

With Q’Von safely returned to his quarters, the rest of the Group moved outside the building and to the nearby supply depot with the dead soldiers in tow. If the base’s food stores were to be destroyed, the supply line to the forces slowly encircling the locals’ districts would be cut, and Dural would likely not be able to proceed with whatever he was planning. If nothing else, it would delay the action, and give Tendoora and his people more time to evacuate before the noose tightened around their proverbial throats.

Solis placed the soldiers nearby, and had DFND4 give him a flesh wound with one soldier’s weapon. He then instructed the droid to strike him physically, giving him injuries he would use to sell his story when the destroyed stores were found and an investigation was launched. Coming from DFND4, one strike was sufficient to cause significant injuries, and the stage was set. Solis prompted his allies to return to the facility and began lighting fires, soon engulfing the depot in flames. Though risky being inside and “unconscious”, he was certain he would be found by authorities before he died, and if not…
Session 7 Log
Spared from the worst effects of the flames that rapidly consumed the supply depot by responding military personnel – all part of the plan of course – Solis continued to play the role of the nearly departed, feigning unconsciousness as he was taken from the scene and transported to the medical bay of the research facility. The attending physicians, whom DD-0X had conveniently joined in anticipation of the scout’s arrival, treated Solis’ wounds, and placed him on oxygen for mild smoke inhalation before finally turfing him to a recovery room to rest. Also according to plan, the pair of soldiers found near Solis inside the depot were DOA, both men having suffered massive and ultimately fatal burns – at least that’s what their admission records said.

Elsewhere, Q’Von was doing some recovering of his own, bed-ridden from the surgery that saved his life at the cost of trooper Bek’s. What lasting effects the incident would have on the Party’s medical droid – if any – remained to be seen, but for the moment the holonet prodigy could do little but devote his attention to the images of the equipment found in the hidden cache of Andros Wan, storage container technician and the second confirmed member of a ring of thieves that was stealing vong coral seed samples from the facility.

The first member, taken into custody by Major Dural during the initial lockdown after scanners detected missing lab samples on his person, had died from the poison attack carried out by Solis in the quest to eliminate Bek, and was now – for lack of a less pun oriented term – a dead end. This meant that Wan and his equipment were the Group’s only options to identify the remaining ring members and bring them down before their activities caused irreparable harm to Shandra’s operation. Complicating things was the fact that Dural had revealed the discovered security tap to everyone, which let the thieves know that there was someone else to watch out for.

How much watching the thieves were doing was anyone’s guess, but they certainly had the capability, as evidenced by the successful theft of samples, and the presence of a handheld signal hijacker in Wan’s stash. Though not nearly as desirable as the Party’s own installed tap had been, the device would allow for brief, limited glimpses into the security network, so long as one had a rough idea of where to find the cabling for the various sensors and holocams. This rudimentary methodology would permit the perpetrators to look just long enough to identify a few camera blind spots they could use during the course of a normal work day.

Tesh meanwhile, isolated himself from the Group, searching his feelings regarding Oro and the newly revealed red lightsaber. The Mon Calamari’s explanation had seemed a little too casual for something as serious as a Sith weapon; and his willingness to use it to end the lives of two men who had all but surrendered felt a bit “dark”. That said, Oro’s actions had helped to save Q’Von’s life, and by Shandra’s account, he was a trustworthy ally, and had long been a part of her “Missionary work”, which did much to help the struggling Imperium. Still, Tesh couldn’t quite shake the feeling that something was amiss…

Back in the medbay, Solis opened his eyes to discover Major Dural standing over his bed; a predictably stern expression upon his face. The base commander offered brief, and clearly hollow, pleasantries before questioning Solis as to his account of what exactly had transpired at the supply depot. The scout broke into his falsified tale, speaking about his concerns following recent events at the facility, and word of the growing menace known as the Consortium. He stated that he had gone to check on the depot’s food stores, and that the soldiers were already there, and had attacked him on sight.

From there the tale became fuzzy and broken, as Solis pretended at experiencing the confusion and gaps in memory typically associated with the survivors of traumatic events. For his part, Dural smiled coldly, stating that there was no cause to worry, that it all would “come back” in time, and time was something that Solis now had in abundance, because he wasn’t going anywhere. With that, Dural shouted for his guard, posting two stormtroopers on the door, and snapping for the closest medical droid to come forth immediately.

Having been nearest to Solis’ room – both to monitor the scout’s health in light of the injuries inflicted on him as part of the Party’s plan, and to gauge the success or failure of the plan itself – DD-0X obeyed without delay, and listened as Dural gave instructions. The soldiers were to notate DD-0X’s make, model and unique serial number. Solis was not to be permitted to leave the room without authorization from Dural himself. No one save for Dural or DD-0X was to enter the room or communicate with Solis. DD-0X was to be the sole medical caregiver for Solis and would take on no other responsibilities. These orders were to be carried out until further notice.

An analysis of the Major’s directives indicated that he viewed Solis with suspicion, but that he was unaware of the teammate relationship that Solis had with DD-0X. The droid calculated a 98.257% chance that this fact would be important in reaching a resolution to the situation that was favorable to the Group. And so, DD-0X set to work, examining Solis and using the process as cover to open the comm link channel to the other Party members and emit a staggered message consisting of beeps and tones – a mode of communication that had the highest probability of being seen by the guards as normal droid functionality while also being understood by friendly persons listening in.

Though certainly not ideal, the comm setup allowed for communications to go back and forth, which kept the Group members outside of the medbay informed on the goings on within, and would hopefully enable them to assist when Dural finally made whatever move he was gearing up for. In the meantime, DD-0X kept the Group up to date on the movements in and around the medbay via droid chatter, while Solis answered questions the Party had for him via a basic yes/no framework. A throat clear for yes, and a cough for no. It was a slow process, but one that was able to be conducted under the guard’s noses without notice.

The ensuing days saw Solis’ predicament become steadily more dire, as Dural would return periodically, revealing new information and asking progressively more direct and specific questions. On his second visit, the Major showed the scout security camera footage of him delivering the prisoner meal trays to the security-only level on the night that all of the prisoners had would up being poisoned. Had he prepared those meal trays? If not, who had, specifically? Why had he personally delivered the trays for that meal, but never for any other? Did he find it odd, as Dural himself did, that the one set of meal trays he delivered just so happened to be the trays containing the lethal agent that killed the prisoners?

Dural’s third visit focused on the slain soldiers found with Solis inside the supply depot on the night of the fire. As it turned out, autopsies revealed the men to have no smoke in their lungs. While true, they were wearing helmets, which would provide some level of protection, standard stormtrooper armor was hardly fully contained, environmentally speaking and so one would think that there should be some smoke, assuming the men had been alive when the fire was started. Also, it was interesting that Solis was the one person connected to both incidents where multiple people had died, and not just connected, but known to be personally on scene.

With that final question posed rhetorically, Dural turned to DD-0X, asking how long before Solis was able to be released. The droid falsely stated 48 hours, knowing that realistically he could leave much sooner. However, it was evident that the Party would have to clear Solis’ name, and so time would be needed. Evidently not satisfied with that response, Dural then asked how long until the scout could be moved, which DD-0X offered 36 hours. The Major nodded slowly, turning to his men, and instructing them to bring Solis to the administration tower in 36 hours time. The troops acknowledged the order with a nod as Dural exited the room.

Now on the clock, but knowledgeable of the evidence against Solis, the Group set to work, striving to develop a plan that would clear the scout from suspicion, while also adhering to the facts that had put him in Dural’s cross-hairs in the first place. Everything against him thus far was circumstantial, which meant that if new information could be introduced, Solis could be made to look like someone who just coincidentally happened to be in the wrong places at the wrong times, or perhaps better yet, not so coincidentally.

All of the groundwork that the Party had laid attempting to put the base’s Imperials against the Consortium was still in place. They just needed the criminals to become the focus of the investigation. If Solis were made to look like he was being framed, Dural would be back to Bek and the doctored credit chip, which would paint all of the recent problems (the sample thefts, the poisoned prisoners, the slain soldiers and the depot fire) as the criminals trying to cover their tracks by setting up someone else to take the fall.

There would still be the issue of who actually stole the samples in the first place, but the Party was already working on that. Investigation of Andros Wan would lead them to the other thieves, and all that needed to happen then was for the ring to be connected to the Consortium. That would tie the entire sequence of events into one logical narrative: The Consortium had been paying the thieves to steal the samples, and had gotten a small handful of base soldiers on their payroll to facilitate the thefts. Once the security tap had been discovered, the Consortium began trying to seal themselves off from the investigation, poisoning the prisoners to eliminate the captured thief, and framing an innocent man after killing the soldiers they had paid off.

Trying to refute such a logical and internally consistent story-line was going to be incredibly difficult, even more so for the criminals considering that they were going to be completely blindsided by the accusation. If the theft of highly illegal, weaponizable vong biotech from the base, followed by a string of murders, including those of Imperial soldiers didn’t set the Empire against the Consortium and cause them to take severe action, nothing would. And so, it seemed a pretty safe bet that clearing Solis’ name would set the Party’s agenda back on track, and hopefully, allow things on the base to settle down once and for all.

The Group’s plan relied largely on the skills of Q’Von, who muscled through sitting upright long enough to reprogram a captured labor droid while Sapphire and Shandra set up a string of incriminating back and forth communications between Solis and a fictitious third party onto a datapad. The re-purposed droid’s new programming instructed it to place the pad into Solis’ room, hidden, but not well. The droid was then to immaculately bleach the rooms of the slain soldiers, and once done, wipe its own memory.

As the current prime suspect, Solis’ quarters were certain to be searched, and given Sapphire and Shandra’s lack of slicing talent, investigation into the datapad would expose the evidence as being falsified. Additionally, given the recent search of all employee quarters in the aftermath of the facility lockdown, the sudden presence of the datapad in Solis’ room would seem suspicious, especially when paired with the freshly bleached rooms of the two dead soldiers. This new information, when combined with the circumstantial evidence against Solis, would surely cast doubt on the idea of the scout being behind everything, particularly when the credit chip found in Bek’s trousers offered an alternative theory to pursue.

With the reprogrammed droid off, the Party waited for the scenario to play itself out. Q’Von, sensing a connection to something he didn’t fully understand, pondered the potential outcome of the Group’s plan, and found himself troubled by a feeling of darkness. Sapphire allowed himself to be seen, chatting up shuttle pilots and learning along the way that there was potential trouble brewing for the base commander in light of the growing list of incidents. Word had apparently reached Regional Governor Tyberion Lang, and the rumormill now suggested that the Governor was planning a visit to the facility.

DFND4 took the opportunity to examine the new security measures being put into place in the facility’s storage area, helping to install new barriers, and emplacements for Imperial personnel to oversee things as opposed to Project employees. Tesh resumed his meditations, still unsure if he trusted the Party’s newest member. That evening’s dinner, served by an entirely new, and military based kitchen staff, hinted at other potential changes that would soon come to the facility, perhaps the source of Q’Von’s disturbing feeling?

By daybreak the following morning, the memory wiped droid had been found, along with the bleached rooms, and the incriminating datapad. Tense hours of Imperial activity passed before success seemed evident, as Mendalson arrived to Solis’ recovery room, and presented the soldiers on post with new orders issued by Dural. For his part, the base commander was not able to deliver the orders in person, as he was in the process of joining Project director Shandra in welcoming Governor Lang and the Sith Lord Mastigar to the facility for an inspection.

The esteemed guests and their entourages seemed to bring the prospect of sweeping changes with them, as a look out of nearly any of the building’s windows gave view of the arrival of ten thousand or more additional troops to the base. Rumors spoke of a redistricting of the Gyndine locals, and other security related alterations to both the base, and it’s surrounding environs. Even Shandra seemed concerned, casting aside her usual informal mannerisms toward “Ty” and introducing “Governor Lang” to her various department heads, including Sapphire and Oro.

Having completed their inspection of the Project facility, Mastigar and Lang took leave of the building. Being accompanied by Dural, it was presumed that they were off to inspect other parts of the base, or to work out upcoming changes or housing for the new troop additions. In any case, the Group’s work needed to continue, and Dural being preoccupied offered up the opportunity to engage with the much more amicable Captain Mendalson.

For the next three days, the Party intensified their investigation into Andros Wan, bugging his equipment, going over stockpiled security camera footage to pick out who he frequently spoke with in the facility, and following him to see if any of the same faces appeared with frequency. The resulting file that was generated boiled down Wan’s contact to primarily 8 sentients, including one with a criminal record for smuggling, a transportation operator in Sapphire’s department by the name of Gammuth Targon.

With this information in hand, Sapphire and Oro took the contents of the file to Mendalson, stating that in their capacity as department heads, they had initiated a review of the Project employees and had found some potential issues that needed to be looked into surrounding Wan and Targon. They also requested a copy of the stolen items inventory that had been taken following the discovery of the security tap that led to the lockdown. Mendalson agreed to assist the pair, and told them he would get back to them with the list.

Elsewhere, DD-0X spotted a familiar face while on duty in an exam room of the public area of the facility that served as a makeshift hospital for the Gyndine locals. The man was one of Tendoora’s resistance fighters, and his bogus arm injury was an excuse to make contact with the Group, and deliver a message. The resistance fighter stated that the redistricting was indeed going to proceed, but that the Imperials had shifted tactics in light of the new high ranking arrivals and were going to do it publicly as opposed to whatever had been planned before. Given this, Tendoora was going to need the Party’s assistance in smuggling a few things.

Acknowledging receipt of the message, DD-0X applied appropriately false bandaging to the man’s arm and sent him on his way, passing the news to Sapphire, who took the matter up with Shandra. The pilot spoke of the problems that Tendoora frequently caused with his borderline reckless behavior, and asked the Project director if they needed to continue the relationship with him, or was it better to attempt to get their shuttle hidden elsewhere and let him go in his own direction.

For her part, Shandra suggested that perhaps, if Tendoora were to be removed from the equation, the more radical faction of the resistance – having no leader – would then fold back into the more moderate part of the movement, and that maybe the Party should consider that an one possible course of action. With that prospect lingering, Sapphire thanked Shandra and ended the meeting, deciding that he would recommend Solis go and see Tendoora to hear him out. Then the Party could decide what to do.

As the Group gathered to update one another on their various goings on, Tesh spoke first, holding up a cloth hood and an earpiece comm, stating that there may be a problem…
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…
Session 9 Log
Observing the newly landed shuttle and the flurry of activity that accompanied the lowering of its boarding ramp, the Party took note of the immediate, almost panicked industriousness of the military staff. Soldiers stood a little stiffer, saluted a little more rigidly. Ground crew workers buried themselves in the nuances of their tasks, never looking upward. Nearby officers moved briskly and with purpose, taking on a hawkish demeanor in the oversight of their subordinates. Independently, the mannerism changes of each sentient were minor, but viewed collectively, they made the usual operation of the base under Major Dural seem lackadaisical by comparison.

Despite their distance from the shuttle, both Tesh and Oro could sense a confluence of the dark side of the Force. It swirled around the vessel’s principal occupant, and descended the ramp with him like a rolling fog bank. His face was a mottled grey, and wore a perpetual contemptuous sneer as he approached a waiting landspeeder and climbed aboard. Once the dark one was seated, the repulsorlift vehicle moved away, and all eyes turned toward the only conceivable destination – the base’s administration tower. Very soon, Dural would return and discover that he had a visitor, whom he had kept waiting.

Elsewhere, Q’Von was helped into a chair in his quarters, having been released from the interrogation room by Captain Mendalson. Absent the Major’s interventions, the holonet prodigy had finished his activities log, and was granted reprieve while the entries were being examined. Assuming Dural was unable to disprove any of his claims – most of which were in fact true, he would be cleared as a suspect and could resume his normal duties. In the meantime, a physician had been placed on call if he should have need, and he was free to meet with the staff members of his department in a limited capacity to ensure the continued operation of the Project – something he elected to do immediately.

Dural’s eventual return showcased both the efficiency of the Imperial war machine, and the ruthlessness with which he carried out missions – as his losses were minimal and his prisoners few. Beyond that, the base commander’s success also meant that the Party’s side of the bargain with the Syndicate was complete, and it now fell to Lyra Mar and the criminals to hold up their end of the deal. Incidentally, this worked out great in terms of timing, as “The Warden’s” surprise arrival to Gyndine mere days ago could now be turned against him. Chances are, he’d have a much harder time harassing the Group with a gang of murderous, and indebted criminals tracking his every move. The hunter was about to become the hunted.

Before the proverbial hounds could be unleahsed however, there was the matter of the base’s newest arrival to deal with. If, as the Party was hoping, his presence was in reaction to the filing of an official grievance against Major Dural, the expedience of his travel hinted at the Empire’s intention of a swift resolution. With this in mind, it came as no surprise when Captain Mendalson appeared a short time later to fetch Shandra and Sapphire for a meeting at the administration tower. As it turned out, the shocking part was waiting for them inside.

Having so recently been to the epicenter of the base’s operations, Sapphire still knew the the hoops he had been required to jump through for his meeting with Lord Mastigar by heart. First was the entry vestibule, where a staff member had asked him the nature of his visit and inspected his documents before permitting him past a secured door where he could then access the turbolift. The overseer’s floor had then been guarded by a full dozen or more knighthunter stormtroopers, a trio of which had frisked him thoroughly while prompting him for the nature of his visit and examining his documents a second time. Only then, once they were certain he was unarmed was he allowed access to the Sith’s chamber.

Today the vestibule stood empty, the staff member notably absent behind the large information desk. The secured door leading to the turbolift was left in the open position, it’s mechanisms to automatically reclose being either disengaged or inoperable. Gone where the dozen plus knighthunters, with only a lone blaster pistol breaking the uniform tiling of the floor. Mastigar’s chamber was more brightly lit than before, with Major Dural standing before the overseer’s desk. Mastigar himself lay face down on the ground, his head completely turned around and facing the ceiling with an agonized expression upon his face. Dural’s voice broke the stunned silence of the room. “Madame Director, Mr. Soto, it is my honor to present Lord Veklor, our new overseer.”

Up close, it was easy to see why Lord Veklor had inspired such diligance from the soldiers at the landing site. His eyes held a sort of dull luminescence that seemed as if it eminated from an internal hatred of all living things. His wrinkled features were made all the more horrible by the throaty, rasping gravel that was his voice. Though he lacked the red and black tattoos typically associated with the Sith, the lightsaber that hung from his belt left no doubt as to his ability with the Force. Even his crooked, disjointed manner of moving left one in a state of unease.

As predicted, Lord Veklor had been dispatched after Emperor Krayt was made aware of Sapphire’s grievance. Mastigar had been deemed a failure to allow such problems to go so far without stepping in to resolve them himself, and so Veklor had terminated his services as overseer, both figuratively and literally. As the new overseer, Veklor’s first act would be to arbitrate the dispute between the base commander and te filing representative of the Project. A hearing would be held, and both sides given an opportunity to state their respective cases. As complaintant, Soto would outline his grievance against Dural, and the Major would then justify his actions by laying out the facts of his investigation.

With the basics of the hearing laid out, Veklor continued his explanation, stating that should the Major’s case be without sufficient merit to continue, Dural would be held to account, and he would no longer be the base commander. A new commander would be named and the overseer would consider the matter of Soto’s grievance closed. But, if the Major’s line of inquiry was substantiated by the facts, Soto would be found guilty of obstructing an official Imperial investigation, a verdict that would land him on a prison planet. Each man would have the night to prepare their evidence and documents, and on the morrow, the hearing would commence.

Sapphire spent the remainder of the evening strategising with various Party members and assembling documents he would use. Shandra had been ordered to stay behind, for reasons Lord Veklor didn’t bother to mention. In any case, it didn’t change what must be done. Lists were compiled of staff members who were missing, murdered or otherwise removed from Project service. Statements were gathered from numerous employees regarding Dural’s behavior and actions – in particular on the day of the lock down.

Tesh contemplated calling upon the Force for the purposes of gazing into the future, but thought better of taking the risk in light of Lord Veklor’s presence on the base. Instead, he outlined a repeatable daily routine for himself, with the intent of keeping an eye out for anyone that might be shadowing him. Q’Von turned to Oro for guidance, coming to grips with the fact that his newfound sense was somehow tied to the Force. While he didn’t fully understand it yet, he knew he would need assistance to hone his abilities, and guard himself from being detected.

The following morning saw the hearing take shape, with the proceedings held at the former justice center for the Gyndine government. Shandra was seated in the deliberation’s section, while Dural sat at the table for the accused. Sapphire was placed at the accuser’s podium, with those witnesses he had brought with him – notably Solis and Q’Von located in the audience pews. Veklor sat in the seat of justice, and gave both Sapphire and Dural one final opportunity to drop their respective cases should they wish to avoid the hearing and it’s judgement.

Glowering at one another, both men refused, and the event began. As the accuser, Sapphire was granted the floor first, offering up his witnesses, Project employee statements, and other documents. Solis, Q’Von and Mendalson were called to give testimony, with Sapphire’s narrative being that Dural was sabotaging the Project to get it moved off of his base, and using his authority to detain anyone he wished and torture them in an effort to obtain confessions of guilt from otherwise innocent persons, when he didn’t just up and murder them as he had done during the lockdown that is.

Whispers into the ear of Lord Veklor from a soldier serving as hearing security brought things to a temporary halt, as Oro was then brought into the venue. Veklor held the military complaint the Mon Cal had filed with Dural’s commanding officer, and ruled that he was hereby merging the cases into one, and that Oro’s would share Sapphire’s fate if his verdict was in the Major’s favor. With this done, Oro joined the side of accusation, and added his own information to the record.

The centerpiece to Sapphire’s case was the shooting of the Project employee during the facility lockdown following the discovery of a security tap and stolen vong samples. The researcher who had been shot was given no opportunity to surrender, and had been guilty of no crime whatsoever. Additionally, by Dural’s own standing order, anyone on the base carrying a firearm was required to pass a rigorous training class, and be re-certified. This meant that the Major was well trained, and carried a weapon that was in serviceable condition. Those facts meant that the shooting of the researcher was no accident, and had crossed a line.

For his defense, Dural laid out the details of his case, stating that at multiple times his primary suspect would miraculously be killed or the beneficiary of new evidence that was gained via suspicious means that effectively exonerated them. He had suspected someone was working against him, and so special steps had to be taken to get to the truth before whoever was opposing his investigation could get to the suspect. As for the charge of murdering the researcher, the Major stated that his weapon discharged when he had been jolted by the man’s sudden movement.

Having heard from both sides, Veklor took command and ordered Dural to produce the security footage from the incident during the lockdown for examination. After a brief recess, Dural informed the Sith Lord that no footage was available; that in the aftermath of the discovering of the security tap, the system was taken down for diagnostic purposes, and had yet to be turned back on when the event in question transpired. This excuse seemed to anger Veklor tremendously, and prompted the overseer to render summary judgement in Soto and Oro’s favor.

With the hearing concluded, Shandra and those Party members present watched with a certain satisfaction as Dural was escorted out, and ordered taken to Veklor’s shuttle. Details began to emerge of the post-Dural base, as Mendalson would be elevated to the position of base commander, new measures would be put in place to better facilitate the workings of the Projects, and regulations concerning interactions between the Project and the military personnel of the base were to be drafted. While not all of the news was good – new stringent operations reports were to be filed with Veklor on a set schedule, most of it was, including the news that the new overseer would monitor the Project from afar, rather than being on-site as Mastigar had been.

A Group meeting following the departure of Veklor saw an excited Shandra, who announced that the Party could retrieve their shuttle craft from Tendoora, as it would no longer need to be hidden. The Project’s department heads had been granted clearance for a personal shuttle, and it would be a simple matter to dummy up documents that the “Aggressor” was the one they had been assigned. Moreover, the initial hurdles were finally being cleared, and the Project could now be set up in the way it was intended to be – allowing for the siphoning of funds.

There were certainly still matters that needed to be attended to, the Party would now have more latitude to operate, and the Project could begin the expansion that would be critical for later phases of Shandra’s grand plans…

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