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…