DANgerous Star Wars 2

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…

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