Galactic Protectorate and its lead team, GA-01 were formed. The founding members were: Kapp Dendo, Corsair, Rantog Smith and Wade Trenor.
Shadows Over Coruscant
Scene 1: Agent Of Terror
The Mayor of Republic City, Trey Duna, had been recently named in a corruption scandal. Believing that his term in office may soon be over, he began focusing on his work, especially towards the threat posed by the Black Flail terrorist cult. The interrogation of a Black Flail member after being arrested during a raid indicates that the group has made the Mayor a target. Under further interrogation, it is revealed that their leader, Zegmonn Pent, claims to be a Jedi. Jedi Master Luke Skywalker has assigned Jedi Padawan, Obi-Juan Kenobi to investigate. Similarly, Kapp Dendo has offered the service of his anti-terrorist group. The team includes Wade Trenor, Rantog Smith and Corsair.
Trenor had only been part of GA-01 for a few days, and was surprised when he was summoned before Kapp Dendo. His commanding officer had received reliable information stating that known terrorist and assassin, Carda Staub, was on Myrkr. Knowing that the other members of GA-01 would be required at Duna’s speech, and hoping that the Corporal could handle the operation, he instructed Trenor to take a charter ship to Myrkr, and once on the planet meet up with an informant named Sammy the Squid - a Rodian who spends his time around the sleazy bars close to the space port.
Meanwhile, Wade’s teammates had journeyed to the Senate plaza, and were waiting for their appointment with the Mayor when Corsair and Smith noted a suspicious technician working on some address platforms. The technician, Senn Domeet, run after being spotted by the two, but was confronted by Smith while Corsair investigated the platform controls. Corsair found that the platform was rigged with a thermal detonator. He began spreading word of the device before aiding Smith in the arrest of the terrorist. The Police arrived on the scene to disarm the bomb, and to imprison Domeet. The police also attempted to arrest Smith and Corsair, but were prevented from doing so by the Mayor.
Scene 2: The Meeting
In Trey Duna's office, the Mayor explained to Corsair the nature of their mission, and introduced two ex-members of the cult, Rean and Head, as well as Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. The two ex-members had approached the Mayor, hoping for asylum after leaving the cult. "They will assist in the mission, hoping to give you insight to the cult's operating procedures." Skywalker explained that the Mayor was expecting an attack the next day, during a speech to the crowds, and that there was no cause for alarm, Pent was not a Jedi. Luke also explained that there were three vectors for attack that cult can choose from:
1) The Weather Modulation Control Center; 2) The Air Traffic Control; 3) The Senate Plaza. The Mayor gave Corsair a datapad containing all required access codes, and four medpacs. The team was then joined by an undercover Police officer named Galorum, two of the Mayor's guard, Shiro Kanabe and Sshukk and Obi-Juan Kenobi.
Scene 3: Lightning Strikes
Arriving at the Weather Modulation Control Center, the team travelled to the Control room, while Corsair investigated the back-up generator and the roof. The team was fired upon when they entered the control room, but are able to kill one of the terrorists, wound another and stun the pilot of the get-away-speeder. Sshukk jumped aboard the landspeeder as two of the terrorists attempted to flee. She was able to kill one of them, but the pilot's injuries and divided attention causes him to crash the speeder. He was killed in the explosion, while Sshukk received only minor injuries.
Back at the Weather Modulation Control Center control room, Rean had successfully interrogated the terrorist. The presumed attack on the Air Traffic Control building had been confirmed. Taking the terrorist and the two technicians to the local medical clinic, they were rejoined by Sshukk who was recovering from her own injuries. Once they had recovered, they were contacted by Duna, who complimented them on their success, and then provided them with transportation to the Air Traffic Control.
Scene 4: Sammy the Squid
Following his orders, Wade had landed on Myrkr and begun to investigate. He was directed to the tourist information centre where he learned of a few bars in the local area. While in the information centre he also managed to scare the poodoo out of a mother after trying to arrest her son for having an imitation blaster. After confiscating this poor child's toy and threatening the centres' staff he proceeded to do a bit of bar hopping. His attempts at locating Sammy were unsuccessful.
At the police station, he hooked up with the chief in charge of arms smuggling and told them he was there to track down Carda Staub. They gave him a comlink, which had a beacon allowing the police to locate him at any time.
Scene 5: Chaos in the Canyons
After arriving at the Air Traffic Control the previous night, GA-01 had spoken with the management, describing the situation. They were allowed to stay in the Tower overnight as a security precaution. Corsair acquainted himself with the staff at Air Traffic control, and was able to gain all necessary information about the building and the organisation from a female Twi'lek director.
Waking up the following morning, the team found a suspicious group of men arriving on the landing bay. Sshuk, Corsair, Shiro and Galorum approached the men and discovered that they were members of Black Flail. A fire-fight began, and the terrorists were repelled. The four team-members on the landing bay gave chase. Smith, Kenobi, Rean and Head were too shocked at the situation to move, and so were left behind.
Scene 6: The Enemy's Secret
The four arrived at the Senate Plaza and found that the terrorists had already arrived. Corsair deployed the other three members of his team into the Plaza, while piloting his 'borrowed' shuttle. Another fire-fight began between the group and the terrorists, with Sshuk dying from her injuries. Two of the terrorists were subdued during the conflict.
Zegmonn Pent, who was piloting the terrorist shuttle, jumped from his ship to assist his men, after setting the autopilot on a course that would crash his shuttle into the Plaza. Corsair noticed this, and made attempts to prevent the impending disaster. He was unsuccessful, however, and he along with his teammates was knocked unconscious by the resulting explosion. The remaining terrorists (excluding Pent) were killed, as they were standing at ground zero. It was at this time that the remains of the team arrived in a shuttle lent to them from the Air Traffic Control.
Taking in the situation, Kenobi took a shot at the still standing Pent, managing to stun him into unconsciousness. With the terrorists captured or dead, the Mayor was no longer threatened and the medical teams were able to arrive safely. Obi-Juan Kenobi investigated Pent's lightsaber, and discovered that it was a fake - Pent was a phoney all along ("Oops! I really should have listened to Master Skywalker!").
Scene 7: Little Trouble in Big Forest
During this time, Trenor had finally found Sammy, and had informed of Staub's current location. Going to the police office, Wade asked for a vehicle to take him to an unknown location. He was able to requisition a speeder, and took it as far as the forest edge. From there, he had to travel on-foot to the co-ordinates the Rodian had given him.
He had only been travelling a few minutes when he heard growling close by. Having been warned by the Police Captain of the predators in the forest, Trenor began climbing the nearest tree, hoping for an advantage if he had to defend himself.
He had only just reached a safe distance when two young Vornskrs, appeared, and began climbing the tree after him. Shooting at one, and kicking at the other, Wade was able to make enough of a nuisance of himself that the pups gave up, and began hunting for other prey.
Waiting until he knew the creatures were gone, Trenor climbed down, and once again began his journey further into the forest. Reaching the co-ordinates given him, Wade found a tall hollowed out tree which had been fashioned into a home. Not surprisingly, the tree was full of weapons, food and ammunition crates. Suddenly the police (who had secretly tracked him) showed up, as did a group of terrorists also after Staub.
A fire-fight broke out, between the police and the gang, from which the last two men standing were Wade and the gang leader, Raz. While the two were standing-off, a figure came gliding along on a speeder bike and threw a stun grenade at the both of them. When Wade awoke, along with the terrorist, he saw a hooded figure on a speeder bike hauling the weapons crates from Staub's "home". Raz used this distraction to make his get-away.
Knowing that his quarry had escaped him, Wade returned to the city, giving details of his encounter. Once he had finished with the paperwork, he realised he had some time before his charter arrived to take him back to Coruscant. He used this time to investigate the terrorist group he had fought. He found that they had been trying to locate Staub's armoury for some time. He returned to the bar he found Sammy in, realising that he had been duped into helping Staub eliminate his competitors, but wasn't able to find the Rodian.
Scene 8: The Aftermath
Once back at GP HQ, Wade filed a report on his mission and was informed of the success the other members of his team had had on their first mission. He was also told of Sshuk’s tragic death.
All the members of the team were in attendance at Sshuk's funeral. Shiro was crying with no end in sight, but all of them were troubled by her fate - it could have been them it happened to. Rean and Head were also considering their own problems. Accused of slowing the investigation, they were put on probation and were required to complete four weeks of community service. Placed under the supervision of Smith, they must use their abilities to aid the Republic.
Kenobi was pleased that he could stop Pent, but felt dismayed at the pain suffered by those who were hurt by Black Flail. Shiro asked to be transferred to the anti-terrorist group so as to honour Sshuk's final acts. His request was accepted, but his position in the team is probationary. GA-01 also contributed to the development of eight more teams for the GP.
Scene 1: Ando's Killer
The mission commenced with the heroes on a chartered ship heading for Cloud City where Obi-Juan was to meet his master, Noda. During the night, the heroes were visited by the ship's Captain, who directed them to the docking bay. They found an YT-1300 and a messenger who gave them the ship on behalf of the New Republic. Accessing the transceiver, they found that the ship was named Spectral Mist. Once in the cockpit, a short automated message from Dendo began playing. They were ordered to activate the auto-pilot, and expect to receive further instructions en-route to their destination.
Activating the auto-pilot, Shiro found that the computer was calculating a hyperspace jump to Balmorra. On the way, a message from Mayor Duna informed them that Professor Mac T'hoff and his unique droid companion, Ecto-1, had been kidnapped on their way to Ando, where they were to treat a genetic plague devastating the planet.
The heroes also learned that the entourage, which was guarding T'hoff's ship, Hellios, was destroyed, and that ships were monitored by Balmorra Space Traffic Control entering Balmorran air-space. The heroes, arriving at the last known position of Hellios, found that ships disguised as asteroids were responsible for the attack.
The heroes were attacked by the asteroids, suffering hull damage on the ship before Trenor and Kanabe could plot an escape course. Upon reaching Balmorra, the group gathered as much information about the city as they could, and then travelled to the economy hotel where they booked out three rooms. Realising that they are short on for credits, they decided to head to the closest casino.
At the casino, the heroes had very limited luck, with more losses then wins. In a vain attempt to reclaim their stash, Corsair and Trenor staged an angry scene, accusing the dealer of aiding one of the other players. A fight erupted between these two and several guards after Corsair grabbed 100 credits off the table. The two easily defeated the guards, but Wade and Corsair were badly injured in the fight. The police arrived to investigate the disturbance, but Head, Corsair, Smith and Kenobi had already fled the building. Trenor, Kanabe and Rean were taken into custody and are interrogated before they were released.
Scene 2: Anders - Information Broker Extraordinaire
After the previous night's fight at the casino and interrogation by the police, both Corsair and Wade had to retire to their hotel room where they could recuperate. Meanwhile, the other members of the group went to the hotel cafeteria to meet with Anders, a man staying at the hotel, who recognised them from the casino the previous night. He demanded the group buy him lunch to keep his silence, but then revealed his profession - 'Information Broker'. He told them what he knew of the culprit behind the destruction of the Hellios, and the kidnapping of T'hoff. He also hypothesised that the felon would be located somewhere in the Eastern Plains. Those present decided that the investigation of the plains should wait until the following day, allowing for their preparations, and the recovery of their tacticians.
Disturbed from his slumber, Wade received a message from Kapp Dendo. Their General gave an account of conspiracy found within Duna's office, and that he was now imprisoned. The Chief of State, Borsk Fey'lya, had yet to announce a new election for Mayor. He was also pleased to inform Trenor that he had been returned authority over the GP.
Rantog, pleased at Trenor's news, decided to gather any information he could on the possible hazards the team would face when infiltrating their target's base of operations. He was directed to make his way to a local nightclub, by the ever-loveable Anders, where 'Information Brokers' of great repute were often found.
At the Lumiariam Bar, Anders and Rantog's sources proved to be right on the money. Needing an 'in' to the discussions, Corsair asked Anders if he recognised anyone they might be able to get information from. He was pointed in the direction of the owner of a local weapons manufacturing plant. Putting his moves on the dance floor, Corsair was able to impress Kodu with his skills, and was invited the businessman into the private offices of the club. Corsair was able to get Kodu to agree to allow three of his friends to join them.
Corsair, Wade, Kenobi and Rantog made their way to the upper level with Kodu. The group split up to interrogate the sentients present. Wade found out little that the team didn't already know, mainly the specifics of the plague that T'hoff was trying to cure. Corsair and the others discovered not much more, although they narrowed down a list of suspects responsible for T'hoff's kidnapping, and received a lead on where to go. During their stay in the private offices, all four of the heroes realised that a suspicious looking Aqualish was watching them. Returning to the dance floor, the team waited until they saw him leaving the building, before they quickly rushed to surround him.
After Wade had successfully intimidated the Aqualish, Corsair demanded that he tell them everything he knew of T'hoff's kidnapping. The Aqualish then proceeded to spill his guts about it before some of his bodyguards broke up the conversation and led the Aqualish to a landspeeder, which they used to leave the club. All the information the group had collected pointed towards the suspect having his base of operations located in the desert a few miles outside of the city.
Knowing what their next course of action would be, the group made its way back to the hotel, carefully searching to see if they were being followed. They relaxed when it was determined that no one had followed them, and they all fell into a peaceful sleep.
Scene 3: Divide and Conquer
After the team met with Anders and the Wookiee, Shrimhalla, they embarked on Ander's landspeeder with all heroes having to squeeze onboard, especially Shiro and Trenor, who rode in a trailer.
After a long search of a suspicious crater in the middle of the desert, the team found a few scatterings of electronic equipment, and Shrimhalla found a grenade. After further investigation, they found a metal plate beneath which was an entrance to the secret base Corsair had learned of the previous night.
Once they had infiltrated the installation, they soon met guards and displayed their diplomatic skills by shooting the guards and not thinking about the consequences. Anders and Shrimhalla did NOT appreciate it.
The building consisted of many levels including a lab, a dock, and private quarters for the arms dealers, a spice mine, security levels, and a kitchen (which the heroes felt compelled to visit). It was needless to say that the base was large, well-guarded and quiet. That was, until the heroes entered and started shooting strangers by the dozens. During a fight, the group was divided, and Corsair soon found himself in a sewer where he faced a deadly Barabel. After a prolonged melee with the Barabel, Corsair managed to injure it. He fled when heard the sound of wastewater coming from one of the nearby tunnels. He just managed to escape the swell of water, but it appeared as though the imperilled Barabel drowned.
Meanwhile Shrimhalla and Anders had blown the power to the installation with Shrimhalla's spare thermal detonator. The others had encountered advanced-model cyborgs equipped with inbuilt repair systems. After two terrifying fire-fights, GA-01 and their companions managed to defeat the cyborgs and, once the power core had been blown, made it to the warlord's private quarters.
There they found Ecto-1 and Mac T'hoff, who they had been sent on this mission to rescue. They also found trouble - in the form of an extremely powerful Warlord - cybernetically enhanced with a molecular dampening field. He had used Ecto-1's knowledge to increase his cybernetics and once he had the molecular dampening field installed, he proved to be a fearsome foe. Shortly after the fire-fight begun Corsair burst through a window into the lab in a spectacularly dramatic entrance. The arrival of Shrimhalla and Anders also bolstered the team's morale.
Shrimhalla and Trenor helped free T'hoff and Ecto-1, who required some repairing. In his weakened state, Wade was unable to fight, and so once Ecto-1 was operational, he asked the droid to help him recover. During this time the heroes tried in vain to wound the cyborg with little effect, while he was unleashing terrifying blasts from his devastating weaponry resembling that of the experimental Dark Troopers.
With Wade's slow recovery underway, Ecto-1 began to devise a means of defeating the Cyborg. Accessing the power source in Rean's Ion gun, he managed to integrate the ionic energy into his now enabled Laser Cannons. The one and only shot from Ecto-1 hit true, and the Cyborg's powerful, yet poor quality, molecular dampening field faltered when the ionic energy surged through it.
As the Cyborg's field went off-line, he was left in a vulnerable position, and quickly sizing up his opposition, he chose to do the honourable thing and fled, heading to his dock. His jet pack seemed to move at an incredible speed and he may have made it to his ship in time to escape if Trenor had not pulled off a miraculous fluke and attached himself to the cyborg with his grappling hook. Trenor fired at the Cyborg and slowed it down considerably. Following on the heels of the Cyborg and Trenor, the other heroes arrived at the landing bay. The warlord made a last effort to escape by piloting his ship out of the dock and into air even though the heroes had devastated the engine.
The ship's engines failed, and the ship fell down the cliff and blew up in a huge fire ball that made that the heroes weep at its destructive beauty. With T'hoff and Ecto-1 in tow they returned to town to be heavily rewarded for their chaotic, kamikaze attack on the Cyborg Warlord.
Scene 4: Goodbye Balmorra
With the success of their raid on the arms dealer that day, the team returned to the hotel to get a good nights sleep. However, Rean was kept awake by a feeling of surrounding danger. Hearing noises in the corridor of the hotel in the early hours of the morning, he ventured into the hall and soon discovered that the team was about to be attacked. Mercenaries had come seeking a bounty placed on the heroes' heads and Rean was in no mood for that. He woke those in the room with him and telepathically woke those in other rooms through the Force.
One merc was fooled into going down an elevator through Rean's extensive use of the Force. With only one mercenary left, the heroes had no trouble. They were all awake at this point and about to go when Ecto-1 heard a noise. He detected several men approaching from the stairwell and directed each member of the group out of their second story window. Most heroes landed gracefully, while others... did not.
Blaster fire could be heard from above and Ecto-1 made a massive leap from the window to escape his attackers. After recovering from his fall, Ecto-1 urged the group towards the spaceport. They met with dozens of mercenaries and Bounty Hunters on their way and were at one point trapped between a rock and a hard place. Then the awesome figure who had so often plagued people's nightmares stepped out of the shadows. It was Boba Fett.
The heroes all instantly recognized him, especially Trenor who idolized the methodical killer, except for Head as he seems to live in his own mini world.
The mercenaries pulled back in fright and the heroes peed themselves in utter terror. They were the targets of Boba Fett! Corsair, who had paused for a minute of contemplation suddenly felt brave enough to attack rather than surrender, like the others would've, and fired his Blaster Carbine. He hit true, to his own and everyone else's amazement. The figure of the ever-fearsome Fett then dissolved in a purple haze to an ordinary mercenary. This mercenary, unknown to them at the time, would soon revisit them and seek to wreak havoc upon them. His destiny lied with theirs.
Corsair glowed brightly for a minute then saw the mercenaries coming back as they too realized that the figure was not the real Fett. They reached the ship after a bit more fighting and refused to pay a dockworker much to leave. He then removed a pipe from their ship and they were given the chance to leave Balmorra. They were all too happy to take it.
Scene 5: We're Not There Yet!
The group rendezvoused with a New Republic fleet and made the jump to hyperspace, set for Ando.
While onboard the cruiser, Wade demanded that their ship be upgraded with shields, as their close escape from the planet, and the likelihood of space battles showed the Spectral Mist's major design flaw. After much debate, the Mon Calamari crew agreed to do as asked.
Upon entering the Ando system, the convoy was attacked by Aqualish pirates and other mercenaries. The Spectral Mist, abandoning its fellow ships, headed for Ando leaving the convoy to its ultimate and untimely death. At the end of the ship battle there was only one. The Corellian Corvette of the convoy, which had lost power and eventually all life support.
Scene 6: Ando, Sweet Ando
They reached the planet with little difficulty, excluding Trenor's miscalculated hyperspace jump too close to the planet. Directed to a landing bay, the team arrived on Ando unscathed. Wanting to waste little time, the group escorted T'hoff's to the location where he would address the plighted Aqaulish.
Violence again erupted and soon all heroes were in the fight. Several mercenaries and Aqualish fought them and only the leader of the attack and his retinue remained in their impressive Flash Speeder.
Obi-Juan felt kamikaze that day and soon found himself stabbed in the leg by the enemy leader's vibroblade. Trenor took up position as a sniper, but became furious when the terrorists left his line of sight. In his rage, he charged the group and dispatched two of them before he was turned black and burnt when set upon with the enemy leader's flamer. The other heroes stayed behind cover, taking pot shots whenever they could. Although each member of the team was injured, all the heroes eventually recuperated.
T'hoff and the people of Ando were finally safe... for the time... although with the heroes still on the planet... one could never be too sure.
Prison Ship Pirates
Scene 1: Divide and Conquer
The YT-1300 affectionately referred to by it's crew as 'POS' was coming out of hyperspace after being diverted from it's course to Bespin to somewhere above the atmosphere of Tantyyyouk. This was after receiving a distress call from another GP team, GA-05. After locating GA-05's lambda class shuttle, Wade Trenor and Rantog Smith scanned the neighbouring ship only to discover some abnormalities. It was only a few seconds after radio contact with the ship and a shout of warning from Gabrell, GA-05's leader, that the lambda class shuttle fired a modified Ion cannon, paralysing the crew, and disabling the ship.
Wade and Rantog later wake up in manacles chained to the wall of the Lambda's prison cell. Opposite them sit the patiently waiting, Gabrell and Guy, the remaining members of GA-05. After some obscenities and threats from Trenor to GA-05 it was established that a team of criminals (working for a boss who is located on the surface of Tantouyyyk), had hijacked the ship in hopes of capturing ranking officers of the new GP teams.
Meanwhile, Head, Shiro and Obi-Juan awoke from the blast to discover themselves in the prison cell of a Corellian corvette. After discovering that the door to the cell was locked (after much, much deduction on the behalf of Head), they eventually checked their weapon holsters, but found them empty. Only Obi-Juan's lightsaber was left as he had his most treasured possession hidden away in his cloak. However, Obi-Juan was unwilling to harm their captors, and he did not want to reveal their wildcard yet. Thus, he would not use his lightsaber. With no other means for escape, the group quizzed the guard before they all fell asleep an hour later.
While all of this is going on, Corsair and Rean awoke, undiscovered by the pirates, as they had been inspecting the state of the ship's engines. They began searching for their mates, but had come across a Transdoshan who greeted them very nicely. He assumed them to be fellow pirates and had asked them to get off the ship so he could start work on it.
After getting off the ship and entering the corvette through the docking claws, they climbed to the control tower and meet a Rodian and a grisly looking Human who showed them a map of the ship and demanded, at the Rodian's insistence, to know who they were and what part of the ship they were from. The Trandoshan came up just in the nick of time to change the subject. Corsair and Rean then left the control tower. The Rodian, however, began to fire upon them (as he didn't like them), and he soon ended up smoky and black. The Human attacked as well after seeing this and soon ended up the same way. This whole time a cargo droid was approaching the two and after attempting to bear hug Rean got sizzled by an Ion gun set to scrap, not stun. The Trandoshan, never having liked any of them gave a shrug, a strange, suspicious look and then walked back to the ship after explaining that the Spectral Mist had it's flight controller and black box taken. He also commented on three queer prisoners from the ship. Rean and Corsair soon found themselves holding back laughter after the queer comment, and made their way to the brig and bridge, (where the black box was being kept).
In Tantouyyyk's atmosphere, Trenor and the others used the bucket of gruel in their cell to intoxicate their Gran captor, who was only there to feed, bad mouth, beat, and interrogate them. They grabbed his keys and seconds later they were all free and combating the other raiders on the ship. After recapturing the ship, mutiny emerged in the group when Trenor (who was outranked by Gabrell at the time) started badmouthing Guy and Gabrell, insisting they turn the ship around to aid their companions. Another few minutes later Wade awoke, recalling how Rantog stunned him by shooting him in the back. Realising he was in the cell with three of the raiders, Trenor managed to get a Blaster pistol from an unconscious pirate and executed two of the group. Appalled at this Rantog, Gabrell and Guy shot him in the back, again, three times with stun shots. Rantog and the others put away their smoking guns and properly chained up Trenor. Upon reaching Tantyyyouk the group calmed Trenor, set him free and forced the remaining live pirate to fly to the "Bosses'" place of business.
The lambda class shuttle touched down on the landing pad, which emerged from a rocky mountain. The whole group then geared up in pirate outfits and equipped themselves with weapons, all silenced. Gabrell stunned the pirate and took him to the cell.
Once in the hanger, Trenor began investigating the contents of the cargo stored there, hoping to find sufficient evidence to warrant an arrest. Unfortunately, an angry dockworker soon spotted this and opened fire. Soon all hell broke loose and Rantog along with Gabrell and Guy saw the last chance of success for the mission start to slip away as all the doors to the rest of the base started to close. The docks access doors began to close and the group had about fifteen seconds to get out or be locked in the dock. Wade, suddenly attacked by another dockworker needed to seek cover, and so was unable to leave the dock. Rantog took one shot at a cargo droid heading for Trenor but that was all he could do before the doors were shut and he had to dive under a door to get to the other side. All the doors of the dock locked and the landing pad receded back into the mountain, which then closed. Trenor, swearing at his misfortune, made for the lambda shuttle as a dozen probe droids descended from the dock control tower. He pulled off a shot at the tower and smashed the glass protecting the dockworkers up there. The droids had almost made their way to the ship and Trenor prayed to make it out of this one alive. He pulled off one last shot at a droid, blowing it up, as he made it inside the ship and closed and locked the doors.
At this point he felt relieved and safe - until the droids blew a hole in the door and swarmed him. Proving how truly hardcore he is, he took down seven more of the droids before he finally fell. The remaining four of the dozen original droids then carted Trenor away to the prison with other New Republic officers.
Meanwhile, Rantog was proving himself quite the soldier as he ignored Gabrell's rank and took control. The three GP members made it to the next floor of the building, by taking a short cut through the experimental weapons department, dispatching the scientists working within, and commandeering the weaponry there.
Scene 2: Take Back the Ship
On the Corvette, Corsair and Rean had made their way to the level above the dock encountering the three prisoners and a guard (all of whom were now sleeping), but they continued on their way to the bridge. Upon entering the bridge they were interrogated by two droids which they subtly turned off by hitting the big "Off" buttons on their backs.
They made it to the Captain, a podgy, fat, wrinkly, scruffy-looking old man who had far too much lum that day. He explained that they were about to attack a casino ship as he handled the flight controller and black box of the Spectral Mist. Corsair and Rean murdered the Captain, grabbed their flight controller and black box, and bolted for the exit of the bridge. However, a wandering pirate had turned on the two droids the heroes had turned off. Rean fried one's circuitry and Corsair blew a hole in the other one's face using his deadly Blaster Carbine. They exited the bridge to the corridor where two pirates on either side of them fired. After being injured in the fight, both Corsair and Rean defeated the pirates and bolted down the corridor.
They reached the brig, and killed the guard, waking up Head, Kenobi and Kanabe, as well as another captive, who they then freed. They also retrieved their confiscated weapons (except Obi-Juan's Blaster pistol), and began heading for the docking claw.
When they made it to the dock, the man who had also been in captivity gave them a credit chip for helping him. He made for a small escape pod, while the others headed for the Spectral Mist. In the dock, some pirates whipped themselves out and start coming onto the floor. Corsair, Rean, Head and Shiro were all sick. Kenobi seemed to be enjoying the scene. Running from the horrible display, they managed to enter their ship. Their one remaining obstacle was the Trandoshan, whom they bought off using the credit chip and the promise of a good show in the dock. They quickly reinserted the black box and flight controller, and broke away from the ship.
They all sighed in relief. Corsair began to pilot the ship, when they noticed the casino ship approaching. They quickly transmitted a warning to the vessel, and received as thanks a very worthy sum of credits none of which Rean and Corsair shared with the awake Shiro, Obi-Juan or Head.
Meanwhile, in the base of the Boss on Tantouyyyk, Rantog, Guy and Gabrell made it to the second floor where just around the corner Wade Trenor was lazily residing in the prison cell, after taking down those who considered themselves 'in charge'. The group barged in, shot up the guards and freed only Trenor and any New Republic officers there.
Making their way out of the base, the group was attacked by two large battle droids. Their size and sheer firepower meant a different route had to be found. As the party withdrew, Trenor defended the rear, destroying one of the droids, and causing heavy damage on the second before he was rendered unconscious. Smith, seeing his friend fall, turned back, and destroyed the droid. With the path now clear, the group began its journey back to the exit - another hanger bay. On their approach, they saw the man responsible for their predicament. He was making his way to an escape ship. However, a few good shots from Rantog and the recovering Wade crippled his ship, and destroyed several canisters of flammable materials.
Their foe quickly jumped into a land speeder, followed closely by Gabrell and Wade in another speeder. While Gabrell steered, Wade took several shots, and succeded in destroying the landspeeders engines. The resulting damage caused an explosion in their enemies land speeder, and when Gabrell investigated it, they found his dead body.
Meanwhile, Rantog had evacuated the base, and had acquired the remaining speeder. GA-05, and the better half of GA-01, travelled to the closest settlement where Trenor was treated for his injuries. Rantog contacted the Spectral Mist and instructed they continue their journey to Bespin. After their own adventure, they were all happy to set the navi-comp to Cloud City, with (unknown to them) only half the fuel they had before being boarded. Smith informed them of Trenor's condition, and that the two of them would meet their companions there.
After a few days of healing, Wade left the hospital to find a distraught Smith. It appeared he had gotten absolutely nowhere with Gabrell, and that he had been reprimanded for ignoring a superior officers instructions. Wade was to receive the same treatment. Moreover, their weapons were confiscated and the triumph for defeating O'Brien (the criminal killed in the land speeder crash) was given to GA-05! The only positive outcome of the operation was both Wade and Rantog's improved aim, and Wade managed to sell the spice he had taken from the cargo crates (it wasn't needed for evidence anymore!) They were then shoved onto a shuttle to Bespin. Both were considering how intelligent their decision was to join up with the GP.
Scene 1: Elementary, My Dear GA-01
Since the team had been spilt into two groups due to successive pirate raids, the first group of heroes arrived on Bespin a few hours ahead of Rantog and Trenor. This group arrived with little difficulty, although if they had arrived any later, the lack of fuel in the engines would have surely stranded them ship in space. Once they had landed the Spectral Mist, Obi-Juan led them directly to Noda, and his master’s droid, JL-B8.
There, Noda told Obi-Juan of his adventure on Varonat, where a powerful Force User was trying to start a criminal empire. He stopped those plans, but the man had fled Varonat before Noda could confront him. A thorough investigation indicated that the man had fled there, to Bespin.
Activating the local holonet, and sculling a lum, Noda saw a news broadcast of a museum robbery. Disturbed by this, Noda sent Obi-Juan to investigate. Corsair, Shiro, Rean and Head decided to tag along. They found out little, bar that the culprits appeared to be the notorious Black Flail. After returning to the dock to meet with Trenor and Rantog who were soon due to arrive, trouble greeted the heroes as they faced a gang of criminals in possession of all but one of the stolen museum artefacts. They killed the villains, retrieved the objects, and met with Rantog and Trenor.
In a short space of time the heroes were able to identify the missing object as a crystal. Some of the heroes even suspected the truth, that it was a Sith Crystal. They soon met "Anders", the old man from Balmorra. The person actually proved not to be Anders, however, after Rean had force gripped him and when the others had grappled him. He was, in reality, the Bounty Hunter from Balmorra, the one who appeared to be Boba Fett. He soon escaped.
Sleeping at that point in time seemed appropriate so the heroes spent a half hour bartering room prices then retired to bed.
Scene 2: Heeeerrrres Aldus
Shaken from their sleep at some early stage of the morning they awoke to discover that a wave of force, like an earthquake had shaken the local area. A few of the heroes, Rean in particular, identified it as a disturbance in the Force.
Noda directed them to the location of the building from which the force erupted and found the media and Police swarming all over the scene. They forced their way into the building and found a suspicious character who they subdued outside of the building. She explained her purpose there to the heroes: her child had been kidnapped and taken there. It was her child from which the Force quake had come from, though she identified that something had augmented her child's Force powers.
The heroes returned to the dock and from there used detective work to deduce the location of where the missing child and Crystal would be. They all arrived and as soon as they set foot into the building, which hosted the child and crystal, violence erupted. When all the immediate enemies had been dispatched, the group split up, with Rantog and Corsair going one way while the others went another way.
Corsair met the bounty hunter, Krullis, and they fought it out. Rantog in the meanwhile dispatched Krullis' assistants.
The others had found the child and Noda, who had, apparently, been kidnapped also. They also saw the Sith Crystal for first time, but it wouldn't be their last.
Aldus, the Flail's leader was involved in some activity and ordered his mercenaries, cultists and droids to attack the heroes. Arianna, the child's mother, ran for her child. All villains bar Aldus were soon done away with and Arianna had already fallen to her doom when she attempted to help her soon who was chained to a wall next to a chasm. When she fell her Force energy met with the emerging energy of Noda and her child and resulted in a great surge of power, which "activated" the Sith Crystal. It then flew to Aldus' hand and he used it to fight the heroes with amazing power. However, he was outnumbered, and fell to the repeated firing of the heroes' weapons. He retreated and fell down the side of the building.
Krullis, losing his fight with Corsair retreated to his ship and escaped, though when he saw Aldus fall he manoeuvred his ship to pick Aldus up. With Aldus and the Sith Crystal in tow he took his ship out of Bespin's atmosphere and into hyperspace.
The heroes recovered the child, Dovan, and Noda, just after Obi-Juan took a slice of Noda's right arm off.
Authorities soon arrived, and medics began treating the group for their injuries. Noda approached Obi-Juan and told him that it was Aldus that he had been facing on Varonat, and that they must do all that they can to find and stop him. The heroes left Bespin several days later, satisfied with having been at the scene of another city's partial destruction.
After this the team took time off to recover. They then left for Coruscant. Once there, Head and Rean took up permanent positions with the team along with Kenobi. Shiro officially joined GA-01. The team was then debriefed and received orders to travel to Nar Shaadaa so as to speak with the Hutt informant they learned of while on Bespin.
Scene 1: And the day started so well...
After having spent three days recovering from the confrontation with Krullis and Aldus, GA-01 travelled to Nar Shaddaa where they hoped to contact the Hutt informant that Wade and Corsair had learned of. With the Yuuzhan Vong getting ever closer to the centre of the Republic, Trenor wanted the Spectral Mist prepped and ready to leave at a moments notice. For this reason, it was only Corsair, Trenor and Rean who ventured out onto the permacrete walkways and turbolifts.
When they arrived at the coordinates the team had been given, Corsair requested a meeting with Wahud and was informed that they would have to wait an hour. Anxious, the group decided to use the time productively, and began to talk with those gathered in the manse, hoping to discover anything further about Wahud or Black Flail. The heroes had limited luck, as Trenor's smartass comments, and Corsair's pussyfooting meant the group's ruse as spacers looking for work had no credibility whatsoever.
With the end of the hour, the three were escorted to the Hutt's meeting chamber. Again, Trenor's neglect to show Wahud the 'proper' respect almost caused the group to 'disappear'. After a brawl with a Gamorrean that Trenor crippled, Corsair worked to calm both Wahud and Wade. With both settled, negotiations began, with Rean acting as translator due to Corsair and Wade's inability to understand Huttese - the initial cause of Trenor's ire.
The negotiations for information on Black Flail seemed pointless, until Rean suggested a trade between the two bodies. "Ewww!" was the response of both Corsair and Trenor, causing Rean to elaborate "Enterprising bodies!" The trade consisted of granting Wahud limited access to the trade routes passing Kashyyyk, and the completion of a task on his behalf. With GA-01's compliance, Wahud would supply his knowledge on Black Flail. Accepting the agreement, Wahud informed them that he had an acquaintance on an asteroid that once orbited Alderaan, named Jer Blankuna. Wahud then explained that Blankuna's family had once owned the asteroid and that he had restored it to its orbit in memory of his ancestors. Wondering why anyone would want to stay on an asteroid in the middle of nowhere (since Alderaan was gone), Trenor decided that this mission was gonna be crap. Leaving the chamber, with Trenor cursing the whole time, the heroes returned to the Spectral Mist and informed the group what their course of action would be, before leaving for Alderaan's last known position...
Scene 2: Meeting Jer Blankuna
Arriving at Jer Blankuna's mansion, GA-01 and Force Protectorate were immediately ushered into his dining room were he told them of his son, Ree, a Swoop racer. He explained that his son had disappeared a week ago, but attempts to find him had been unsuccessful. Jer threw himself at Rantog, begging that the team help locate his child. The team accepted, as they were obligated to help Wahud, and because Blankuna had offered them several thousand credits if they were able to track Ree down.
Blankuna then told them how they he had been contacted by a Dug named Benkudi. Benkudi claimed to have seen their son in Mos Espa, on Tatooine, only two days beforehand. Accepting a datapad with Tatooine's co-ordinates, and a small dossier on Ree, Corsair and the other heroes left for their ship.
Scene 3: Arriving on Tatooine
The heroes landed in one of Mos Espa's Docking Bays and walked out on to Mos Espa Way. Deciding that they needed new equipment to replace their damaged weapons, the group started shopping in the local stores. After that, they entered a cantina where Trenor was automatically suspicious and outraged to see a Yevethian and so pulled out his weapon and started firing.
The alien and his 'friends' returned fire, along with the angry bar man and a group of concerned individuals and Trenor soon found himself under fire from more than a dozen angry sentients. Trenor almost perished and was saved only by the intervention of Corsair with a medpac. He was then grappled by Corsair and dragged to their ship. Corsair and Trenor waited there for the others to return. Keeping in touch using their comlinks, the others began looking for Benkudi.
Scene 4: Meeting Benkudi
After a few hours of searching, the heroes saw the Dug scampering from menacing looking thugs. They followed behind to see what was going on. They overheard the dug being threatened: "You don't know anything about swoop races off Tatooine, right? You've never been off this rock, right? And you have no business talking about places you've never been, like say Ando Prime, right? You might fall and hurt yourself if you keep flapping your jaw about places you've never been." The thugs then drove the warning home with their fists. The heroes waited for a minute, enthralled by the shrieking howls of the suffering Dug. They then regained their sense of morality and ran into the alleyway to the help the Dug. The heroes fought well - Shiro particularly. At one point he thought he had set his blaster rifle for stun, but since blaster rifles have no such setting, he cooked the threatening thug when he meant only to stun him. Realizing his mistake, he shrugged and blamed the rifle for not having a stun setting. The other thugs ran away at this sight leaving only a charred corpse and a scarred dug. Rantog and Obi-Juan entreated Benkudi to a few drinks and found out about swoop racing on Ando and that Ree had gone there to compete. They neglected to ask other pertinent questions.
Scene 5: Arriving on Ando Prime
The heroes landed on a clear snowfield just behind the town of Elesa. From there they went around town asking questions about a Twi'lek named Ree and discovered he had left for Juaka Canyon. They ignored the government building, and headed for Juaka Canyon.
Scene 6: Juaka Canyon
Upon arrival at the canyon, the heroes were stirred into action when then heard the sound of blasters coming from a nearby cavern. Once inside, they engaged a fight after seeing a Talid raiding party attacking Ree and his mechanics. It wasn't long before all Talids had been incapacitated. Once most of the Talids had been dealt with and the Talids had killed most of Ree’s men, two more people arrived, Kaeline Ungasan and his body guard, Rikal Stargunner.
The heroes fought them while Ree attempted to run behind them. Next some mercenaries arrived, three Gammorreans and Davon Gitta, a human and the group's leader. Ree fled with a Gamorrean in pursuit.
The mercenaries held all the heroes and Kaeline, with his bodyguard, at gunpoint. With no one moving Devon was free to kill Rikal. The heroes then intervened and soon Ree was brought back and all people were dead bar the heroes. Ree and Kaeline still lived though were unconscious. They were soon held hostage in the heroes' ship.
Scene 7: Back to Blankuna Mansion
The heroes returned to Blankuna's mansion in hopes of being paid, but were all grieved to discover that Ree was not Jer's son and that Jer had sold the mansion to a sweet Alderaanian couple. Determining that nothing more could be done in the system, the fact they had a prisoner and a man needing protection, Corsair and Trenor set a course for Coruscant. They needed to talk to Kapp Dendo.
Black Flail Strike Back
Scene 1: GP Headquarters
The heroes arrived on Coruscant hoping to get assistance in tracking down Jer Blankuna, the Twi'lek who set them up. They also hoped to deliver their hostage into custody, and provide protection to Ree. The group headed to the Galactic Protectorate headquarters, where they met with Dendo. They gave him custody of a Ree and Kaeline Ungasan. They asked about Blankuna, but came up empty handed.
The heroes were ordered to prepare statements for their last few missions, and were given offices to do so. Most of the heroes took care with their work and handed in full mission summaries, which detailed all the heroes' doings. After Dendo examined these reports he found Trenor dangerous and confiscated his blaster pistol. Trenor was compensated with a stun-only blaster pistol, which made him very grouchy. Rantog had a private word with Dendo about military expansion. Trenor also spoke to Dendo, but this concerned his code cylinder. Once the meetings were over, the group made it's way back to the barracks.
However, after hearing that Zandmir, the secretary from HQ, was ill, Corsair decided that it would be a good idea to visit her. While Corsair ran off to the hospital, the other heroes ran back to the GP after they witnessed a terrible explosion back that way.
Corsair found, to his shock, that he was unappealing to the ill woman he visited at the hospital. This could have been because she was gravely ill, but Corsair didn't care, and fled the hospital thinking he could maybe help out with the disaster downtown near the GP.
Scene 2: Black Flail Strikes
Meanwhile, at the epicentre of the explosion, the heroes encountered a few members of Black Flail. Trenor was thrilled by the prospect of killing, and mortified the other heroes with his frightening battle cry and love of hacking into people. Trenor managed to slaughter the cultists, and a man who he recognized as a Republic agent turned cultist. He noticed, after murdering his former co-worker that the man had been memory wiped by the Black Flail and duped into doing their will. He shrugged, showing no signs of remorse for the man. Trenor reasoned that the man would have preferred death to the hand he had been dealt.
The group, excluding Corsair, and with Shiro trailing just behind, entered the elevators and travelled up. They intended to travel to the third floor to ascertain the level of infiltration, and Dendo's welfare, but instead the elevator got jammed on the second floor. The group also quickly found that the doors had been jammed. After several attempts slice through the door with Obi-Juan's lightsaber, Trenor called upon the Force and pulled the doors apart with his bare hands. The team poured into the second floor lobby where violence immediately erupted, as the group encountered cultists and began dismembering them. Obi-Juan took delight in loping off heads with his lightsaber, (just like he enjoyed burning Noda's arm).
Shiro, who hadn't managed to enter the same elevator as the rest of the group made his way to the closest elevator. Unfortunately, he encountered the same difficulties as his teammates, and without a lightsaber, he was stuck in the elevator as it had jammed completely on the second floor. He did not know how to open the doors and so sat down until help arrived. In the meantime, GA-01 and Force Protectorate had dealt with all the terrorists, although they had suffered some minor injuries.
Corsair arrived at GP headquarters and got aboard the only functioning elevator. He noticed the others at the second floor, and quickly pressed buttons to take him to the third. The elevator shaft was damaged at the third, however, so that was impossible.
He got out at the second, joining the others and watching as Obi-Juan freed Shiro. Rantog examined the elevator shaft Corsair had used and determined that by returning the elevator back down, they could climb up the shaft to get to the third level. Once the elevator was gone, Trenor decided not to waste time and merely launched his grapple hook to the upper level, allowing it to pull him up. He jeered at the others and continued to Dendo's chamber. Obi-Juan was quick and scaled the cable after Trenor. Rean followed suit.
Scene 3: Standoff
In the chambers the Black Flail leaders confronted Trenor. Aldus was there with a gleaming, glowing red crystal. Krullis was also there with a two droids and five of his cultists. Dendo sat limply behind his desk next to Aldus. Trenor charged the cultists and started practicing his art. The other terrorists, the droids, and Aldus advanced on him. Obi-Juan charged in and joined the fray. Two of the cultists were on each of the heroes, so Krullis and the two droids stepped back towards Dendo. Aldus charged Trenor, but the tables turned and he was soon under attack by Trenor. Aldus' leading attack was not accurate and Trenor side stepped him and used the opportunity to kill the other two cultists.
Obi-Juan, nearby, greeted the two cultists' charge with a wide swing of his lightsaber, cleaving one of them at the waist. Another of the terrorists charged him, the last of the five, and delivered a quick blow to Obi-Juan's face, which left him stunned. The smiling cultist then proceeded to bash the unconscious young man. Aldus backed away from his opponent, as Trenor's vibroblade cut into his chest. With Aldus fleeing to the cover of Dendo's desk, Krullis came out to greet Trenor. Rean had made his way to the room and promptly shot the man hovering over Obi-Juan with his pistol, saving the Jedi's life. The other cultist attacked Trenor, but was cut down.
At this point, Wade made advances on Krullis and was just about to lunge on the assassin when there was a sudden constriction around his throat. Unable to explain what was happening to him, he collapsed, unable to breath. Aldus then stood up from behind the desk with his crystal glowing more brightly.
Rantog soon came to Dendo's room with the rest of the heroes only a short way behind. Rantog ran past Rean who was still firing on his enemies and took aim with his blaster rifle on one of the Flail droids. The two droids aimed at Rantog, and let out a withering hail of blaster fire, but Rantog managed to jump out of harm's way. He responded with his own volley of blaster fire, which resulted in the termination of the closest droid.
Rean refused to come out from behind cover leaving Rantog to deal with the last droid. He dodged a shot from the droid and fired at its chest dealing serious damage to the now destroyed droid's circuitry. Rean rushed forward and was able to get Obi-Juan and Trenor out of the danger zone. Once clear, he was began work on stabilising his two downed comrades.
Corsair had finally managed to get into the room, as he had been delayed by Shiro and Head falling on him while climbing the elevator cable. Krullis charged at Corsair from behind the desk. As he lunged at Corsair with his wrist claws extended, Corsair reacted with great speed, going low and kicking Krullis behind him. The assassin jumped up with equally astounding speed and dived into a roll coming up on Corsair with a blaze of impressive combat manoeuvres. Corsair's armour, however, took the brunt of the damage so he was relatively unscathed. Corsair then feinted to the left, tricking Krullis, and allowing him to stab his foe with his vibrodagger. The pace of the battle had been too much for Krullis, and with this wound, the assassin fell to the floor.
While Corsair and Krullis had been fighting, Aldus had shot out the glass from Dendo's office window, and jumped onto a speeder controlled by a remote on Aldus' wrist, taking the unconscious Dendo with him. Aldus levelled the flash speeder at the window, displaying Dendo and the powerful crystal. Threatening to blow up the GP building with a bomb he had planted unless the heroes gave him his top assassin, Krullis. He also offered Dendo in exchange. Corsair was confronted with a great dilemma. Give Aldus the man who he believes killed his father and took his father's amulet and get Dendo in exchange. Or fulfil his need for honour and kill Krullis, but condemning his Commanding Officer to be slain in front of him.
Ultimately it was his decision and he let the assassin go. Dendo was handed back to the heroes. They were also given the remote detonator to the bomb in the building. Aldus laughed as he sped away. All in all the afternoon had been a marvellous success for him. Grinning like a madman, he pulled another detonator from his belt, activating it. Several buildings in the area fell in a huge explosion, which engulfed each building. The heroes rushed Trenor, Dendo and Kenobi to hospital, then began assisting the emergency services begin rescue operations.
The team was thanked for their heroic deeds, and although the GP was in ruins and the area had been blown to bits, the men held their resolve to bring the terrorists to justice.
With the heavy damage GP HQ had taken from Black Flail, Dendo demanded the teams to bring him any information on the terrorists that could be found. To this affect, GA-01 returned to Nar Shaddaa to confront Wahud. Shiro was only allowed a small birthday bash aboard the Spectral Mist.
Casino Ship Shootout
Scene 1: Life is NEVER Easy
Once personal business had been conducted, and repair work had begun on the GP Headquarters, Kapp Dendo decided it was time for his lead team to return to Nar Shaddaa, and recover the information that was promised to them by Wahud the Hutt.
The journey to the moon was uneventful, and once the team had landed at the Docking Bay, Rean, Head, Trenor and Corsair travelled to Wahud’s manse seeking an audience. They did not have to wait long, and Wahud stood by his word to tell them of Black Flail. Rean translated the conversation, which was apparently about ice cream and ice. What Rean withheld, was that Wahud had an undercover agent working within Black Flail, who was currently on Hoth. Wahud then asked for the coordinates of Harinath Industries trade route - part of their original agreement with the Hutt. Corsair gave the Hutt a set of false coordinates, and the team quickly left.
Wade and Corsair were disappointed that they hadn't gotten the information they truly wanted, but began their journey to the Spectral Mist. To their surprise, they found that the Spectral Mist had been placed under quarantine. The Docking Bay workers hurried to offer assistance, but the group was going to be stuck on the moon for two more days. It appeared as though Wahud had a hand in this delay. Only two courses of action came to mind: whinge about this to the Hutt and demand permission to leave, or, take his offer of half price on his casino ship. They decided upon the latter and paid the cheapest price imaginable for the cheapest room on the ship.
Wade tried to contact Obi-Juan, Shiro and Rantog, but static made communications difficult. Hoping the other members of their team could fend for themselves, the group made arrangements to book a flight on the Casino ship.
Wade had some difficulties getting onboard the vessel, due to his weapons fetish, but once inside, the team decided to do a spot of gambling before visiting their room. Almost straight away, they were witness a fight between some aliens, but one the combatants retreated, and the team was able to break up the rest of the fighters. Suspicious of the aliens, Rean decided that the four of them should investigate the situation. Corsair and the others followed one of the brawlers to his room. Making note of the room number, they returned to the sabaac and divot tables. Wade begun playing sabaac while Corsair, Head and Rean looked on. Astonished at his first-timers luck, Wade managed to walk away a thousand credits richer.
That night, while most had retired to the comfort of their sleep couches, the four heroes went to confront the brawlers they had followed earlier. Language barriers made conversing difficult and a small dispute broke out between one of the strange, orange-pink skinned aliens and Trenor. It quickly escalated into a full-scale shoot out. The heroes were surprised when they were required to dodge jolts of electricity, rather than blaster bolts.
The conflict was ended, however, when the alien leader withdrew a thermal detonator, and threatened to kill all the combatants. Not wishing to die prematurely, the heroes discretely left the scene. They each had a few bumps and cuts, but they soon recovered after a good night’s rest.
Scene 2: Rantog to the Rescue?
During this time, Rantog had become bored of sitting around in the accommodations the Hutt had arranged for him and his group, so he decided to search Nar Shaddaa for something to do. Preferably trouble. Without much effort, he was able to find a tipsy Rodian in a cantina. He discovered that the Rodian was scared to leave because a group of spacers in the cantina were out to get him. Rantog agreed to distract the spacers so as to give the Rodian time to leave... for a fee. Rantog tried his hardest, but one of the spacers saw the Rodian leaving. Rantog switched tactics from a distracting conversation to a distracting fight.
The spacers fought, though they were armed only with their own fists. Rantog jumped away from his attackers as he let go of a frag grenade. Most of the group became no more and Rantog got away before the bar man could shoot him with his slugthrower.
Rantog followed the Rodian, waiting for his payment. He was about to confront him when he attempted to escape in a taxi. The driver, who had disreputable employees, shot the Rodian and took off. Rantog managed to find out through the use of his investigative skills that the Rodian was in the employ of a woman who lived nearby. The woman, Cassen, had hired the Rodian to kill the spacer's wives, which is why they were out for his blood. Rantog decided not to ask questions, and to help her, which he did... for a fee. He guarded her until she was on a charter and said farewell as she escaped all those people on Nar Shaddaa who would do her harm. Rantog then felt tired and went to his accommodations. When asked by Shiro what his day was like, his reply was “Same old, same old...” As night came, Rantog fell into a deep sleep, as did Shiro and Obi-Juan.
Scene 3: Another Day, Another Fight
Head and the others awoke early in the morning and returned to the gambling halls. The group of aliens they had fought the previous night were already there, and an unsettling silence fell between the two groups. However, a man pushing past Wade and Corsair was enough to break the silence. The two had only moments to realise the man was drawing a blaster before he began firing.
Speechless, Wade looked on as the man dispensed with two of the alien thugs, before grappling their leader. Trenor felt strangely bonded to the man as he ripped into the leader. Corsair, on the other hand, was displeased and tired of the recent violence. He grappled the hooded figure and wrestled him to the ground. Security poured through the entrances, and began to evacuate the area. Unsure of how to act, Head and Rean stood on the sidelines.
Corsair was no match for his opponent, and was thrown back by the hooded figure. This person then blew a hole in the alien leader and attempted to escape. Pulling a grenade launcher out from under his cloak, he fired two grenades at the two different security teams. As the men scattered, the hooded man removed his cloak, and Wade was able to get a good look at the man's armour, weaponry and eyes. He realised this was his father, Carda Staub.
Picking up the leader’s body, Staub activated his jetpack, and flew down the corridor towards the Landing Bay. Through a view port, Corsair and Wade were able to see Staub's ship, the Mad Jack, leaving on a course for Nal Hutta. Looking back at the alien bodies, Corsair discovered that Staub’s target had dropped his strange weapon. Secretly, Corsair hid the weapon within his own clothing.
As it was still early in the morning, and Wade and Corsair found they had enough time and the authority to begin a search of the passenger records and the gang’s room. Staub’s name was not on the ship’s register, although Wade had a feeling he recognised the alias Carda was going by. There was an entrance for a Rikal Bpeaom, though. Rikal had hired the same room that the gang had been using. They were also able to confirm that Carda had killed Ogla Bpeaom on his first mission for the New Republic. It was a simple observation that Ogla was in fact Rikal Bpeaom’s father, and that the gang had been plotting revenge on the Bounty Hunter.
With their questions answered, Corsair began to examine the weapon he had acquired. Unfortunately, it was designed for alien usage, and he was unable to operate it. Dismayed at his lack to fortune while on a Casino ship, Corsair pawned the weapon for a few credits. Exhausted from their fight and the research, Corsair and Trenor retired for the night, while Head and Rean spent the day touring the levels on the ship. The following morning, the group boarded a shuttle that would return them to Nar Shaddaa. It was hoped that the static they encountered the previous day would have diminished enough to allow them to contact Rantog and the others.
Scene 4: Obi-Juan Becomes a Man
The three misfits awoke to find themselves held at gunpoint by a squad of mercenaries. Rantog pulled out his blaster rifle to deal with the intruders. Obi-Juan tapped into his unused Force reserves and pulled out his lightsaber. Before either of them could act, Shiro was shot and fell into unconsciousness. Rantog was soon to follow. Obi-Juan was left to take on his five attackers. By the time Rantog and Shiro had reawakened, Obi-Juan was standing over a pile of bleeding and unconscious bodies. That day he proved he was no longer a child.
They had little time to congratulate him, though, as a steel plate began to descend over the doorway out of their room. Shiro fled with Obi-Juan, and Rantog attempted to take the mercenary leader with him. Unfortunately, Rantog pulled him only half the way through the exit when the plate closed on him, cutting him in two.
Meanwhile, Rean, Head, Trenor and Corsair had just been in a fight on their shuttle back to Nar Shaddaa. Pirates had locked off a section of the ship with just themselves and the heroes. Choosing to distract the pirates and challenge their leader, Wade began a fight, drawing the pirate thugs' attention. With surprise on their side, and with spectacular choreography, Richard and Corsair were able to dispatch the pirates, and security soon attended to the heroes. Once off the shuttle, Corsair didn't hesitate in using his comlink to get in touch with Rantog. Only a few words were spoken, but Wade could tell from Corsair’s face that his new friends were in trouble.
Rantog, Shiro and Obi-Juan had just left their room when they heard a noise above them. It was the noise of machinery smashing through rock. Suddenly it was below them. It was above them again for a second before a hole was made in the roof. A large, mechanical abomination stood in front of Rantog. It lashed out at him with metal talons. Rantog fired back, and with the aid of the others, drove it away.
They reached the elevators, but discovered that power to the building had been cut. They reached the stairs but found a metal plate sealing the stairwell. Kenobi started chopping at it with his lightsaber. The plate melted away, and the group rushed down the stairs. When they reached the third floor, Obi-Juan was required to cut through another plate sealing off the stairs. The droid reappeared, but the group was better prepared. However, a glance at the monster showed that the damage they had dealt to it earlier had been repaired. It viciously attacked the group, and although it hurt each of them, the three heroes were able to drive it back and away again.
Rantog, Shiro and Obi-Juan were not the only ones in trouble. On the way to the hotel, Corsair, Rean, Head and Wade were attacked by a group of mercenaries. Ill prepared, and injured due to the fight with the pirates, Wade and Rean ran behind cover, leaving Corsair and Richard to fight off their opponents. Head’s grogginess also meant he proved of little value in the battle, and fled, leaving Corsair to down the four thugs.
When Rantog, Shiro and Obi-Juan managed to reach the ground floor, they headed straight for the exits. Rean, Head, Corsair, and Wade had just come into the building. Rantog explained the situation just in time. From above came that familiar noise of cracking and smashed stone. The droid appeared and fired its two automatic slug thrower rifles into the assembled group. Shiro was hit by a stray bullet and fell back, grasping his arm. Rean’s ion gun reduced its shields enough that the others could destroy it. Making a short trip to the medical unit, they were soon all back to full health.
Returning to the scene, Kenobi recognised the droid as a Jedi-hunter. They all turned around to look at Kenobi. “There are no Jedi in this group so why would it hunt us?” That was the general thought of the group. Obi-Juan just thought, “Me a Jedi Knight. I can dream.”
Shortly after, a messenger from Wahud arrived. She explained that they had been targeted by one of Wahud’s competitors, who had thought the team was on his payroll. For their ‘bravery’, Wahud would compensate the team. Rantog wasn’t sure whether it was due to their bravery, or the fact they had killed his competitor’s thugs. Wahud also offered his assurances that they would be protected and allowed to leave the dock with their ship without paying a single credit.
Corsair was worried though. What would Wahud do when he realised that he had lied to the Hutt?
Scene 1: Ryloth, dear Ryloth
With their ship out of quarantine, GA-01 and Force Protectorate prepared to leave Nar Shaddaa. Contacting Kapp Dendo before leaving for Coruscant, Shiro was pleased to find the teams had been given leave. However, the group quickly came to realise the reason Wahud was happy to pay their docking fee was because the ship hadn’t been refuelled. After the Spectral Mist's fuel had just about run out, the heroes had no choice but to stop off at a space station to refuel, therefore missing out on the first few days of their break from work. After leaving the Orbital vessel’s Docking Bay, Rantog and Corsair discussed arrangements for refuelling and accommodation with the staff. Everyone was allocated a room, and the team took time out to relax.
Rantog took efforts to have communications opened with GP Headquarters. Dendo was frustrated that so little had come from their time spent on Nar Shaddaa, but informed Rantog that the first week of the team’s leave would be on the space station. He had prepared lodgings for the remainder of their leave on Kashyyyk. Dendo wished them to send him their mission reports, and told Rantog that a package would be arriving for him soon.
Two days had passed before Rantog was greeted by a military officer who claimed to have additional orders from Dendo, meant for him, and him alone. Rantog accepted but insisted that his ward, Obi-Juan, come along. The officer agreed.
Both Rantog and Obi-Juan were taken aboard a fast shuttle so as to aid the New Republic Force acting on Eogan in Rantog's home system, the Ryloth System. While on their way to the planet, the two heroes were briefed on their mission. They were required to sweep a wide area on the planet for a pirate crew, which had started to spread propaganda about Palpatine’s New Order.
Upon arrival several team's ships were shot down by an unseen laser turret and Rantog's transport had to make a crash landing. Knowing that the turret could pose further threats, Rantog lead his team to search for the laser turret before continuing with the mission.
Finding a warehouse, they entered to discover it was full of pirates. Too late, Rantog realised that it was a set-up, and his team was ambushed. He and Kenobi were able to defeat the thugs, and they were able to repel them back into the forest. His team had sustained heavy casualties, but they soon encountered the leader, defended by one last squadron of pirate Imperials. After they were dispatched the leader was also dealt with. The group decided to search for the turret, found it, dismantled it and got picked up by the one other surviving team.
Scene 2: Wade’s Luck
Back on the space station, Corsair and Trenor had left the others so as to learn more about the station and it’s operation. Wade was also lucky enough to find and purchase a frag grenade. Taking a shortcut on the way back to their rooms, they suddenly found both exits to the alley blocked off by two gangs, one on each end of the alley. Wondering the motives of the group, Corsair was quick to learn that one more brother of the Bpeaom family had come for revenge with his gang after attributing what had happened to Rikal Bpeaom to Staub and Trenor. It was, however, a correct accusation, Trenor and Staub were responsible for the crime... surprise, surprise.
Bloody combat began, and both Corsair and Wade were able to dispatch a few of the thugs before they were overwhelmed. After Corsair and Trenor fell to the large number of thugs, Grudgel Bpeaom stood over them with glee. He was about to kill them both with his lightning gun when shots came from in front and behind. A security squad had heard the disturbance and came running around the corner, firing at all the combatants. The group proved ineffective, and the guards were massacred. The distraction had allowed Corsair and Trenor to get their second breath, though. There were fewer thugs for them to fight now, but it was still a hopeless battle.
Knocked to the floor again, and sensing death approaching, Wade kissed his new frag grenade good-bye, and threw it into the midst of the thugs. The resulting explosion killed all but one of them, and left a pissed off Bpeaom. Corsair had seen what Trenor was about to do, so had been able to jump behind cover. His energy drained, Trenor finally collapsed.
However, it was just the opening Corsair needed to mow down the two gangsters. Medical droids arrived only moments later, and Corsair was able to tell the second security squad to arrive the events of the last few minutes. The gang's weapons were taken, though Trenor's and Corsair's were not.
Scene 3: What’s in Envelope #1?
Rantog had arrived back on the station just in time for his delivery from Dendo. Corsair decided to accompany him to the delivery point - a respectable cantina. There they both found the messengers, who had ordered lunch for the group. A waiter, dressed all in black, came to serve them. Only, when the waiter passed by a droid with a long-range communication device, Rantog and Corsair saw the waiter's arm shimmer purple - revealing the arm of Krullis. The messengers realised this soon and stated, “You can kill us both but you won't get our paper work.”
Without pause, Krullis killed both workers with his now extended wrist claws. Corsair leapt to his feet and commenced firing at the man, as did Rantog, though Krullis was too nimble to be hit, and ran out of the cantina after grabbing the messenger's documents. Rantog swore and ran to follow him with Corsair in close pursuit.
Outside the cantina the three men fought. Though skilled as he was, Krullis could not face both men at once and fell. Before the heroes could react a dark robed man on an air speeder swooped down from above. As he passed, he quickly grabbed Krullis. The two soldiers instantly recognised him as Aldus. Corsair took aim and fired... hitting Aldus in the shoulder.
Scooping up Krullis with his other arm, Aldus flew the speeder to a small freighter only a few hundred meters away. Corsair saw his opportunity to follow when two speeders came round a near corner. He jumped down into the drivers seat and took control of the vehicle. The startled driver was soon quieted when Corsair identified himself as a military operative. Rantog landed on his speeder... less gracefully. He landed backwards near the rear of the speeder. He stated he was military and ordered the driver to follow Corsair. The driver attempted to match Corsair's high speed but failed and sent the speeder crashing down. Rantog managed to jump off, bare metres above the ground to avoid the explosion that came when the speeder hit the ground. The driver was not so lucky and perished.
Corsair caught up with Krullis who was now alone and on solid ground. The two fought once more though Krullis was too tired to fight well and was defeated. Before falling into unconsciousness he dropped Rantog's documents and hit his jetpack's activation switch. He was sent flying into the side of their escape vessel, and Corsair could hear the crack of bones as Krullis unconsciously flew into the hull. Aldus dragged him from the ramp and fled, piloting the ship higher into the atmosphere.
Corsair stood on the landing platform, cloak flapping in the wind watching his two foes retreat. After a few moments, he leaned down and began reading the flimsy that was meant for Rantog. By the time Rantog caught up with Corsair, Corsair was speechless from the secrets he had just learned.
Rantog Smith was really Rantog McBolt, a wanted criminal hiding in plain site. Passing the flimsy to Rantog, he realised that his new knowledge would mean a change in his relationship with Rantog. He was also distressed that the GP had finally discovered his surname, and was releasing it to his teammates. Thinking on his feet, Corsair struck a deal with Rantog that neither of them would reveal the secrets held on that flimsy.
Scene 4: Is Wade a Magnet for Fights?
Meanwhile, Trenor, Rean, Head and Shiro were walking back to their ship so they could prepare it for departure when they were surrounded by droids who emerged from the crowds of the space station. At this point the crowds could tell what was about to happen so they fled. A man introduced himself as the owner of a Building Droid's Corporation. It was the same company that had produced the outdated Jedi Hunter droids. The man threatened them then backed away to let his droids make good on his word. Made good on his threats, they did, as Shiro was quickly pummelled. He remained pummelled for the rest of the fight. The other three heroes took a lot of damage but were successful in defeating their opponents. Head found he could actually fight well when it came down to it. The man who had threatened them was arrested.
Scene 5: Try Saying Doogle Three Times Fast!
Obi-Juan had meanwhile been with his friend Doogle, a talented student of Noda's who had abandoned his training. On their way back to the Spectral Mist, the Jedi-Hunter droid and its owner resurfaced and attacked. It drove off the nearby crowds then laid into Kenobi with its impressive arsenal. Obi-Juan was finding it difficult to destroy the machine, but some quick thinking and help from Doogle, led to its defeat. Turning on the mercenary, they made short work of him, and a slip by Doogle ended his life.
The heroes were all reunited at the med unit, where they were each being treated for injuries. They were given apologies for being attacked on the station by its staff and then farewelled as they continued their holiday and journeyed to Kashyyyk.
Kashyyyk in Flames
Scene 1: A Mystery Blaze
Leaving their problems behind, the heroes commenced their holiday on Kashyyyk. The Spectral Mist landed gracefully on the Wroshyr limb, and when the heroes debarked from the ship, they were warmly welcomed by K-27, a green protocol droid. Offering them his services as a translator and as an adviser of Wookiee customs, he began to lead the group to their accommodations while on the planet. The heroes looked upon the huge trees of Kashyyyk and the Wookiees with great enthusiasm. Corsair was used to it though. "Nice place." was the general opinion of the heroes.
Following closely behind K-27, Wade and Corsair were suddenly stunned when they heard a muffled explosion followed by the howls of distressed Wookiees. Running to the origin of the explosion, the team saw flames pouring out from inside a nearby building. The heroes rushed to help the distressed Wookiees in the burning building. Quickly pulling on his breath mask, Trenor jumped through a wall of flames to aid an isolated Wookiee. The others commenced helping the less isolated Wookiees out of the building. They were often hampered by smoke though, so this process took a long time. In the end, Corsair and one of the Wookiees the team had rescued returned to the building and managed to get the other Wookiees out. Rantog began tending to the injured in hopes he may gain a life debt. However, his motives were plainly apparent, so the Wookiees paid him no mind.
Meanwhile, Trenor had been successful in creating an exit for the isolated Wookiee and himself. To Wade's astonishment, the Wookiee had entered a raging state, and so continued to pound on a nearby wall rather than leaving the burning building. Realising the building was close to collapsing, Trenor tried to talk the Wookiee out of his rage. Unfortunately, his efforts were just too crude and blunt to have any effect. Tugging on the Wookiee's fur also proved unsuccessful. Wade gave up and resorted to his favourite tool, violence. He shot the enraged Wookiee with a stun bolt, which failed to stun. Wade's ploy proved true, as the Wookiee turned from the wall and faced him. Realising that if he didn't move fast, he would enter a world of pain, he ran. Though the Wookiee was chasing Trenor to kill him, Trenor had gotten the Wookiee out of the building. Wade and the Wookiee had lapped the building several times before Corsair interrupted and calmed the Wookiee. Trenor was just happy that he could rest his feet.
Scene 2: Aftermath of the Emergency and the Investigation
The heroes were met outside the inferno by volunteer fire fighters. Their leader introduced himself as Rruurrfhurra, and the two groups worked together to put out the blaze. The combined efforts worked well, and the fire was out in twenty minutes.
Before the teams could begin their investigation, the Wookiee Corsair had saved came to them, and told them that droids had been working within the building before the fire started. She said that they had left just before a group of Flame Beetles arrived. It was the Flames Beetle that had caused the fire.
K-27 began to inform the heroes about the Flame Beetles. They learned that Flame Beetles are beetles indigenous to Kashyyyk. They congregate only rarely, though when they do, they can explode in a small fireball when provoked. Looking through records salvaged from the building, Rantog was able to discover that the droids were rentals, hired earlier that day. Figuring that it must have been an act of sabotage using the droids, the heroes and fire fighters searched for the droids, but found naught. Relieved that the fire was out and the fire fighters had enough clues to begin an investigation, the heroes began their journey to the Spectral Mist for a change of clothes.
Scene 3: Signs of Foul Play
At the Landing Dock, however, they group saw a bunch of dockworkers fussing over a cargo box near the Spectral Mist. The heroes ventured closer to the Wookiees and staggered back when they saw that it contained Rruurrfhurra's body. They were upset at his death and the way his body was burned. Wade paused and considered how he may have died, and how his body had beaten them to the ship. However, the dockworkers approached the group, blaming them for the murder. Corsair tried to be diplomatic, though he was just not convincing enough to the Wookiees. Need it be said that a fight erupted. Needing to defend themselves, the heroes drew their weapons and set then on stun. Regrettably, the stun bolts were ineffective, and the heroes had to use lethal force. When the smoke cleared, the heroes had killed their Wookiee antagonists, though it had been a difficult battle. Shiro had proved that in melee combat, he was hopeless. The others had to revive him after a Wookiee had pummelled him into the ground.
Before they could get their bearings again, GA-01 and FP found themselves surrounded by police. The group was arrested for attacking Wookiees and they were imprisoned. However, K-27 had witnessed the scene and testified on the group's behalf. The police began a check on the droid's memory, and the teams were released after a few hours of filling out paper work. Any weapons they used in the fight however, were taken. Obi-Juan objected to his lightsaber being confiscated, but the investigators insisted. Exhausted by their ordeal, the heroes again travelled to the Spectral Mist, as they hadn't had the opportunity to change.
Scene 4: Trouble in the Air
Unfortunately they found three-dozen rental droids in the vicinity of their ship. Wade's face dropped. Each droid was spraying some liquid on the Wroshyr branch and the Spectral Mist. Flame Beetles had congregated around the entire area. Corsair and Rean left the site to get the police and told the others to wait.
Wade, on the other hand, was extremely agitated, and confronted one of the droids. It ignored him until he tried to deactivate it, at which point it attempted to squirt him with the liquid. Quickly jumping back, Wade avoided the spray, and the droid went back to its work. Trenor was not deterred, and tried to deactivate a different droid. However, he was not fast enough, and was doused in the fluid. Trenor was blinded by the spray and could feel Flame Beetles gathering on him. He ran for the nearest building for water to get rid of the beetles and the spray. K-27, who was still with the group, advised them that burning torches would create enough smoke to drive away the beetles. Rantog and Shiro ran to a nearby woodpile where they blasted the wood in hopes that it would light. After shattering several blocks, Rantog managed to get one of the logs to ignite, and the two soldiers went about setting a few more pieces of wood on fire.
After five minutes of waving the smouldering torches, the group drove off most of the beetles. Shiro suddenly got an idea. He motioned Obi-Juan to follow him and he went inside the Spectral Mist. Shiro sat the pilot's seat and had Obi-Juan act as his co-pilot. Taking off, with the Flame Beetles still attached, Shiro began flying in hopes that it would cause the beetles to fall off the ship. This idea may have worked if Shiro hadn't been incompetent. Instead, he caused the beetles to explode.
The ship's shields were lost and there were several ruptures in the hull. Shiro managed to pilot the ship back to the dock as Corsair and Rean arrived back with fire fighters. Trenor returned shortly later after having a wash. Both Corsair and Trenor had a word with Shiro about flying the ship without them present.
Scene 5: Firm Evidence
The dock was cleared of all Flame Beetles and the maintenance droids were all rounded up. The only noticeable thing about them was the Temporary Droids rental logo that on each one. K-27 stated that he was a droid from that rental company. He also told them that Turren Lonar is from Dosha and employs six Trandoshans at his warehouse. The heroes managed to find the location of a rental droid's warehouse in the close vicinity. They were then given two air taxis, not commonly seen on Kashyyyk, to take them to the warehouse. Head and Shiro stayed behind and waited on the Spectral Mist for the others to return. Upon arrival at the warehouse the group found an opposing group of menacing looking Trandoshans.
Scene 6: Suspicions Confirmed
The Trandoshans commenced firing at the heroes as soon as they approached the warehouse. K-27 was shocked at these turns of events; "Oh dear!" Trenor scowled at the droid and blamed K-27 for the Transdoshans knowledge of their arrival. Angered, and believing the droid to be implanted with surveillance devices, Trenor fired on K-27. The first shot went straight into the droid's midsection, nearly splitting it in half. The droid toppled over and started to lose power, therefore off lining.
The other heroes glared at Trenor. In a rage over his treatment and pissed at the Transdoshans, he stalked off, leaving the rest of the heroes to fight the Trandoshans, who were at that very moment firing at them. The rest of the heroes retaliated against their attackers with great vigour. Soon the Trandoshans were driven back into the warehouse and the heroes took positions on each side of the entrance.
From their defended positions, both parties fired at each other, the heroes eventually thinning out the numbers of Trandoshans. When only one or two remained, Trenor returned after being called back by a panicked Corsair. Drawing on the Dark Side of the Force, Wade burst through the doors with the strength of a Wookiee, making short work of the remaining two Trandoshans. Wade's anger did not subside. He had been told off for his attitude, and was only asked to come back because they needed his help, not to because of friendship or loyalty.
Scene 7: Final Confrontation
The heroes then went behind the warehouse to discover that Turren Lonar was now on one of the tree limbs that surrounded the huge worshyr tree, which holds the nursery ring. Turren Lonar then indicated the nursery ring to the heroes and drums full of Flame Beetle attractants above the nursery ring. In his hand he held the controller, which could release the attractants onto the nursery ring.
The heroes comlinked Shiro and Head in the Spectral Mist and ordered them to come to the nursery ring in the ship. Shiro launched the ship and headed for the nursery ring. Negotiations ranged between the heroes and Turren who demanded a ship and safe passage off Kashyyyk. Wade also asked how Rrurrfhurra's body had made it to the Spectral Mist before they had, when they had just left speaking with him. He told them that his Transdoshan workers were just waiting for another point with the Score Keeper, and were too eager to do the job, so it was rushed.
After a while the Spectral Mist turned up, but the piloting of the ship was very poor and Turren thought that even he wouldn't want to ride in a ship like that. He decided, however, that if he stayed on Kashyyyk, the Wookiees would rip him to shreds. He was willing to take the heroes ship. The heroes guaranteed Turren that the ship, which was now ploughing through tree branches, would be back any minute to pick him up.
Turren Lonar got impatient and Trenor got even more so. Trenor fired at Lonar... and missed. Lonar fired back... and missed. A few more shot were fired before Turren lost his temper and activated the platform to dump the contents of the barrels. Fire Beetles began to converge on the nursery ring. Not deterred, Wade continued to fire on Lonar, and eventually hit him. Lonar immediately fell unconscious.
Shiro and Head finally brought the ship back. Trenor and Corsair swore at them and took command of the ship. The Spectral Mist then showed that it could be flown forward instead of only backwards. Wookiees were shuttled out of the nursery ring by two other ships and the Mist. All the Wookiees had just been taken to safety when the nursery ring was engulfed in a brilliant explosion. Flames surged through the now uninhabited nursery ring.
Scene 8: Healing Time
The Wookiees were upset at the destruction of the nursery ring, though they were pleased that no one was hurt. All the weapons that had been confiscated from the team were returned to the heroes, though they were warned about ever using them on Kashyyyk again. This was especially directed at Trenor, who continued to insult and degrade the local Wookiees. The Wookiee leader, Murrahrra, decided he'd put a finders fee on Trenor's weapons, which Wade grudgingly paid for. It took Wade some time before he found out the credits were used to repair K-27.
At this point the heroes prepared for a few weeks holiday, a lot of rest, and some badly needed healing, not to mention Corsair's and Head's birthday. Wade wondered how such a stupid species managed to evolve in the first place (beside the Tokans). Corsair spent his time with his mother, telling her about GA-01 and Krullis.
Scene 1: Flight Plans
During their time on Kashyyyk, Corsair and Trenor decided that they would visit Wade’s home world of Kuat. Planning to stay at his mother’s estate, and charter the Spectral Mist when the opportunity presented itself, the two heroes prepared for their departure. Although Trenor was keen to leave Kashyyyk immediately after the decision, he was prepared to wait for Corsair’s birthday to pass. Six days later, he and Corsair loaded the ship with everything they’d need and left for Kuat.
Scene 2: Landing Troubles
Trenor, with Corsair’s vital aid, managed to lock in the hyperspace course. On the long journey the ship almost ran through an asteroid belt though Corsair’s aid prevented that tragedy from occurring. The ship eventually arrived in the atmosphere of Kuat where it was identified by planet authorities. The ship was then directed to a dock. In communications with the dock, Corsair and Trenor haggled to the point of blatant rudeness and inconceivability. The dockworkers were shocked at this and their refusal to accept the Spectral Mist wasn’t necessarily because Trenor had already refused to pay their docking fee. The next dock they went to had only two bay sizes available. One bay gave Trenor only a third of a metre room for error with his ship, which he didn’t want. Their other bay was three sizes too big and Trenor and Corsair would not pay for a bay that size. They were already in the vicinity of the dock so they pulled away.
They again took flight in search of a dock. This search proved to take a few minutes during which time Trenor maintained the ship at a length of only 200 meters above Kuat city. Defence lasers started to bombard the ship, which could have decimated a city block, had it crashed and exploded.
After increasing the Mists altitude, the heroes were finally able to locate a suitable dock. The prices were the same as at the first dock, though Trenor managed to contact his mother, who provided the two with a diplomatic discount.
Scene 3: Shopping for Weapons on Kuat
Once landing and docking procedures were complete, Wade contacted Anne, but she was busy at the embassy. Deciding that they had some time on their hands, Wade and Corsair walked to the large malls. There, they were able to purchase new chronos, and some new clothes in the latest styles. They both put an advertisement in the holonet promoting their chartering services. Finally they decided they just had enough time to update their armoury. Trenor tried to pick up a Force Pike, though he was unsuccessful. He was also unsuccessful at getting a camouflage Poncho. Corsair was able to obtain a kit for a flechette launcher.
With their time up, Wade and Corsair went to Anne’s estate. The next few days passed quickly. Corsair spent his time hitting on Anne’s secretary, and he and Trenor bummed around the embassy. Trenor and Corsair were made to do a bit of labour in the garden. Over the course of the week, the old, silly gardeners had mocked Wade’s work. He finally snapped, and commenced firing his weapons at the poor, startled, old gardeners. The group then rushed him though they were too weak and feeble to do much damage. A dozen security guards arrived and dealt with Trenor. When he next awoke he found he had been administered a drug, which seemed to have a profound calming effect. Trenor, unused to being calm and totally anti-violent could not express the rage he tried to fuel internally. He attempted to smash the furnishings of the room security had locked him in, though he was too calm and anti-violent. Once he was let out and around he even went to the kitchen and took out a huge, long knife. He fully intended to make a body count of security staff and gardeners, though he was again too sedate to follow through with it. He went back to his room where he sulked for most of the day.
In the days that followed a Bith musician named Kamzoo met Corsair. They arranged to have Kamzoo taken off world via charter. Trenor, meanwhile, had drunk five litres of lum in a seedy bar. He had no problems until he tried to climb the stairs out of the cantina. He almost made it before he collapsed in a heap. A nearby drunk decided he would be safer if he were placed in the back room. That was where Trenor resided for the next few unconscious hours.
Corsair found Trenor, walking in a daze. Corsair realised Trenor had been drinking, and the affects of the alcohol mixed with the sedative had been too much for the troubled man. They made their way back to the embassy, and from there, they packed their things to go off world. Trenor packed several changes of clothing and Corsair said farewell to the secretary he had been hitting on.
Scene 4: Departure Day
They met Kamzoo at the spaceport the next morning. Kamzoo went on board the ship while the two heroes paid the dockworkers. Outraged at having to pay a hundred credits to keep his illegal weapons, which he had locked in his room on the ship before landing on Kuat, Trenor tried to bargain with the man, explaining the charges he would be up against for illegal entry. The man was stubborn and continued to state policy, even to the point of threatening Wade. Trenor, happy that the drugs had cleared from his system, took delight in stunning the man unconscious. The man fell and Trenor made sure he had all his weapons. Once he was sure, he ran into the ship, where Corsair was, shouting, “Take off! Take off!”
Corsair powered-up the ship as laser cannons from dock security fired. The ship suffered small damages, but Corsair managed to get it flying without a hitch.
Scene 5: Extreme Measures
As the ship pulled out of the dock a land speeder came rushing towards it. When it drew near, the crew could see and hear that a figure had jumped onto the ship. The speeding land speeder then rushed past and hit ground in an alley. The crew decided that this person could be dismissed easily when the jump to light speed was made. The ship entered Kuat’s outer atmosphere and commenced astrogation calculations for a jump to Tatooine, where Kamzoo was headed. The figure on the ship turned out to be a human male named Kudirk. He managed to survive in space through using magnetised boots and a vacuum suit. He had called Corsair earlier for charter but was rejected. He had obviously decided not to take no for an answer. He then comlinked the crew and threatened to blow a hole in the ship using a thermal detonator if he wasn’t allowed in. He did, however, offer to pay the heroes for their troubles. He was let in and gave his destination as the Fondor Drive Yards. The heroes started laying in their new course. They were nearly finished when an unseen ship attacked. Presuming it was the dock authorities; the heroes quickly finished setting the course and made the jump.
At the Fondor Drive Yards, Kudirk’s friend revealed that some dodgy people maybe looking for Kudirk and that it might be safer for him if he landed in a tourist ship. An hour and one Mynock later, such a ship arrived. Corsair and Kudirk got on and landed as tourists. From there they managed to find a place for the night - at Kudirk’s expense.
Scene 6: Drive Yard Dangers
Kudirk had arranged that Corsair and Trenor would be paid a thousand credits when he had applied for a job at the drive yards. Today was the first opportunity to register so Corsair, Kudirk, Kranx (Kudirk’s friend), and Trenor all met up to register Kudirk for the job. The group was attacked. Getting out of a turbo lift that had been damaged, the group could see their attackers. Two men on foot and one air speeder were the aggressors. After a brief fire-fight, where Trenor downed the speeder, and Corsair took out the thugs, the group felt the need to move quickly and cautiously. Then detours lead the group through an engineering section. There the group encountered unfriendly security, a wary storeowner and an out raged Wookiee worker, who, unknown to the heroes, had a huge grudge with Kudirk. They were dealt with, although Corsair and Wade tried to keep themselves as uninvolved as possible. Looking a little worse for wear, the four men continued their journey until they came to an area occupied by several winding metal walkways.
Scene 7: Set Up
While the group was walking over the metal walkways, the grating above and behind and in front gave way. A Barabel jumped down on each side, surrounding the group. Suddenly the grating beneath the centre of the group gave way as a Barabel below pulled down the grating with a grappling gun. Kudirk, who was on top of the pulled down grating, fell to the Barabel’s feet. All three Barabels attacked. Trenor slowly but surely defeated his, while the one on Corsair went down after a carbine shot and toppled over the walkway, descending to the depths below. Two more Barabels joined the fray, including the one who had pulled down the grating. All three laid into Kudirk. Kranx, meanwhile, fired his automatic slugthrower at those Barabels. Now unoccupied, Corsair and Trenor fired on the Barabels attacking Kudirk. With Kranx’s help they were all dealt with. One more Barabel then appeared and ran at Kudirk. Kranx’s shots could not hit the Barabel through the walkway’s grating. Corsair was forced to jump down to that level. Soon Corsair felled the Barabel and Kudirk was revived. Ten minutes later, Kudirk went for his appointment and Kranx paid the heroes the agreed upon price on Kudirk’s behalf.
Trenor realised that this was now an opportune time to track down a Force Pike or more camouflage gear, so he went shopping while Corsair readied the ship. When Trenor returned with a new Force Pike, the Spectral Mist was ready to go. Trenor set the coordinates for Tatooine and left Fondor, hoping to fulfil the contract with Kamzoo.
Scene 8: Back to the Daily Grind
Once on Tatooine, Corsair and Wade helped Kamzoo unload his musical equipment, and returned to their ship. Aware that they only had a few days to get back to Kashyyyk before they were required for active duty again, Corsair and Trenor returned to Kuat to pick up a weapons package for Corsair, and clear things with the authorities. Wade explained how the spaceport worker had threatened him, and they had gone into hyperspace instead of returning to the Docking Bay because Kudirk was holding them hostage. Once the heroes were pardoned of charges, Trenor decided to tell his Mother about his encounters with Carda Staub.
Once back on Kashyyyk, the two heroes learned that Richard had had his 24th birthday in the meantime, and that the teams were required to return to Coruscant.
Scene 1: Pressing Information
Upon arrival on Kashyyyk, Corsair and Trenor met with the rest of the heroes. Using the hypertransceiver onboard the Spectral Mist, the teams were able to get in touch with Kapp Dendo. His instructions were clear: Return to Coruscant and give a full mission brief on their encounters while on Kashyyyk and Nar Shaddaa.
While en-route, Dendo informed them he had recovered from the grievous injuries he sustained when Aldus smote him with the Sith Crystal. He began a recap of GA-02 and GA-03’s latest missions.
The two teams had worked together to raid a Black Flail safe house. His men had brought in over forty of the cultists involved with Black Flail and it’s last terror strike. His review also included that under interrogation, one of the cultists had given up the location of a possible Black Flail warehouse, which had now been under surveillance for a day. Their job, when they arrived back on Coruscant, was to aid in the raid of the warehouse.
It was only a few days before Wade landed the 'Mist at the new GP HQ. They were met at the Docking Bay and were told the bust was about to go down. The group was split into two, with the soldiers going with Sergeant Major Harakan, while Obi-Juan, Head and Devon joined Noda in his sanctum. There, they learned that Noda had established a foster home for abandoned, force sensitive children.
Once inside the barracks, GA-01 was united GA-02, GA-03, GA-04 GA-06 and GA-07. Harakan took charge of the situation, explaining the source of the information Dendo had already described to GA-01. The six teams assembled were to assault one of the warehouses. The only information given on the warehouse by the surveillance team was that the interior was full of stacked boxes and a Flash Speeder had been witnessed going in and never coming out. GA-01 was split up with the other five teams so that three strike forces were made.
Scene 2: Lessons not learned
At Noda’s sanctum, the heroes met with Dovan, the child they had rescued from Black Flail on Cloud City. Also there was the boy’s caretaker, JL-B8. After partaking in some small talk, Noda directed Head and Rean to a sitting room where they could interact with some of the children. Meanwhile, he and Obi-Juan made their way to Noda’s own room where there was little lighting. Obi-Juan was unsure of Noda’s intentions, but Noda explained that this was to help him focus on the learning that was to come. Noda then apologised to Kenobi for not being an attentive teacher and commenced to teach his Padawan more lessons in the Force and Jedi Lore. Noda then showed Obi-Juan how to construct a lightsaber, and explained the process of imbuing the crystals with the Force.
He was surprised to learn that Obi-Juan was still unable to Sense the Force in others, and attempted to teach his student all about it. Obi-Juan was also tested on his inner control of the Force and his use of the Force to alter things around him. He was scolded when he revealed he had called on the Dark Side to save himself from a blaster shot, and was instructed, “It is better to die than go over to the Dark Side”.
Rean and Head were invited into the room and were instantly scolded on their abuse of the Force, and their reliance on its Dark Side. He lectured them on the dangers of the Dark Path and it’s devastating effects. For the most part, he was ignored and at the very end Rean was almost tempted to Force grip Noda. Noda then gave some last minute advice to Rean and left, hoping some of what he said would’ve penetrated those two thick heads. Obi-Juan’s training continued, with Head and Rean joining in, but abruptly ended when a noise much like an explosion resonated on the lower level.
Scene 3: I Have a Bad Feeling About This!
At the same time, Harakan and the teams had arrived at the warehouse. The teams burst through the front entranceway of the warehouse, and spread out, securing the area. In the centre of the large room were a computer terminal and a few chairs. One of the officers took his team to investigate. The other teams fanned out to search the boxes and the speeder in the corner. Jeff, the Sergeant who had led his team to the machinery, found himself and his men quite suddenly cut-off from the others as a steel cone enveloped the area around the computer. Try though they might, the other teams could not penetrate the cone. Meanwhile, Corsair had opened a box and sifted through the foam until he found himself staring at a war droid. “Uh guys… I think we’ve got a problem.” “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” Trenor replied while he and Shiro realised the mistake of walking into a corridor of the boxes.
Scene 4: The Dark Warriors
The four assembled Force Users ran down to the foyer of Noda's foster home, to see five mercenaries engaged in a fire fight with the building’s security guards. The security guards managed to bring down three of the mercenaries, though they were outmatched, and were all knocked unconscious. Rean and Noda had meanwhile called on the Force to aid them in the battle. Obi-Juan and Head were not calm enough to focus on the Force, so failed in enhancing their fighting abilities. All four charged forward, moving behind cover as they did so. When the heroes were about to attack the mercenaries, two more beings appeared. One of these two boasted a huge two-handed sword with ornate carvings; the other man wielded a strange short staff, which also held ornate designs. Both men wore heavy black robes, with hoods concealing their faces.
The sword-wielding man pulled his hood down, revealing scars and a horrifying Death Mask. Rean and Noda searched these two with their minds and found them strong in the Force. Noda leapt forward in a burst of speed covering a hundred metres in six seconds. He moved opposite to the man holding the short staff. The two mercenaries, meanwhile, were beset by the heroes and cut down in a blaze of glory.
Obi-Juan demonstrated his increasing proficiency with the lightsaber in melee combat. The man wielding the sword used this time to draw himself near the heroes.
While those events were underway, the man with the short staff and Noda began to threaten each other. The man then roared and charged Noda. When he was about to connect with Noda, he raised his staff high and in mid swing at Noda the staff broke out in a brilliant red light as a beam of energy came out of one end. His attack caught Noda off guard, though he managed to parry the lightsaber attack with his own lightsaber. A ferocious fight then began between the two.
Meanwhile, the man with the Death Mask charged Head, slicing his arm, though not deeply. The three heroes then formed a concentrated attack on the man wielding the sword. This proved to be slightly successful and the man suffered noticeable injuries.
The fight between Noda and his opponent suddenly became blurred when the attacker pulled an item from his pocket. It shone an incredibly deep red light, which engulfed several metres. The black robed man then emerged from the light and ran towards the heroes. With now two opponents to face, the heroes were truly out-gunned.
Unfortunately, many of the hero’s attacks were parried. After Obi-Juan attacked and was parried by the lightsaber-wielder, the man struck back, cutting Kenobi deep in the shoulder. Obi-Juan gave out a cry then prepared himself to continue the struggle. Rean and Head concentrated on the sword wielder. The two were giving their opponent little chance to attack and kept striking him. This advantage was lost, however, when, with a free hand, he used the Force to send Rean’s quarterstaff flying away. Rean’s only recourse was to strike with his fists. Head, meanwhile, ran for the staff. The lightsaber wielder then stepped back from Obi-Juan and gestured with his hand. Obi-Juan felt a strong grip on his neck, which left him injured and out of breath. This marked the man as a Dark Sider.
The Dark Sider then continued his attack on Kenobi. Obi-Juan tried to use the Force to push his opponents away, and give the heroes space to regroup, but the two men were too strong-willed. The Dark Sider feinted, but Obi-Juan saw it coming and used it to his advantage. Obi-Juan moved around his attacker and sliced his underarm. The man then retaliated with an even more damaging Force Grip, leaving Obi-Juan on the ground, unconscious. At the same time, the sword-wielder swung around to face Head and charged him. Head was unprepared and the slash to his gut dropped him to the ground. As he fell, Head threw the staff back to Rean. Fearing for his life, Rean fled, leaving his two friends at the enemies’ mercy.
Shockingly, their opponents did not outright kill his fallen comrades; instead they cut them in vital parts. Obi-Juan’s leg was slashed where it had been injured back on Ando, and Head was cut along the stomach. Rean glanced back, from a safe position sixty metres away, to see the Dark Force user smash Obi-Juan’s lightsaber. The black robed man laughed and whispered to Obi-Juan, “Fear me Jedi.”
Scene 5: Surprise Packages
Out of each of the thirty boxes in the warehouse emerged an activated war droid. Corsair took a quick look at the one in front of him and opened fire, as did everyone else. Droid after droid after droid opened fire on the teams. The team of droids surrounding Shiro and Trenor charged the two hapless heroes. Trenor, furious at Black Flail’s cowardice, called on the Force and entered a rage similar to that of a Wookiee. While the others all opened fire upon the droids, Trenor assaulted them with his Force Pike. Shiro had no time to shoot, and had to quickly pull out his Vibroblade before he was surrounded and caught in a melee.
Corsair was able to blow away droids easily with his blaster carbine, and Wade tore apart the droids that had surrounded him, not even breaking a sweat. When all the battle droids had been dismantled, GA-01 looked around to find that only their own team, Harakan and three Privates remained. At this point, the cone in the centre of the room started to lift and steam rose from it.
Scene 6: Revelations
Rean sensed Force energies emanating form the light cloud where Noda and an unknown Dark Force entity battled it out. He also heard an inhuman cry filled with hate and pain. The cloud turned a deep red colour, then mellowed and turned to fog, which quickly dissipated. Because he was so far away, Rean could see little except for a small red object fly into the Dark Sider’s hand.
The two men then walked away, glancing at Noda who could barely stand with his failing legs. Noda, however, still looked menacing with his green lightsaber and the two men walked hurriedly away.
After the men were long gone, medical and security teams arrived. The heroes, including Noda, were all revived to full health, with Noda’s Force healing aiding in their recovery. JL-B8 had been damaged by the explosion, and portions of her memory had been lost. Otherwise, she was still in working order.
Searching for his weapon, Obi-Juan discovered that the Dark Sider had smashed his lightsaber, and he cursed Wade for some reason. Also, the boy they had rescued from Cloud City had again been kidnapped. These events left many questions in the minds of the heroes but at this point all they could do was heal and rest. Noda had unfortunately been stricken by his Force fight and was temporarily denied the use of his legs. A repulsor chair was required for him to move, although he found the ride to be very enjoyable.
Pleased that Obi-Juan had survived and had mastered the Sense side of the Force, Noda decided that he would use the traditions of the old Jedi Knights, and gave Obi-Juan his lightsaber to look after. Obi-Juan looked at his new blade, watching the green shimmering in the dark. He knew that he was now closer to becoming a Knight like his master. He wouldn’t fail Noda again.
Scene 7: Destroyer
A droid much like a destroyer appeared from within the cone. It opened fire at Harakan and his men, and GA-01 had to scatter before they were caught in crossfire. At the end of the droid’s first assault, Harakan was all that remained of the other survivors. The heroes took their time to reload their weapons and find suitable cover, before they too began to fire at the destroyer. Unfortunately, the destroyer had let out two more hails of fire at Harakan before the team was prepared. When the group fired on the droid, Harakan was unconscious.
After the first few shoots proved to do little damage, Corsair then incorrectly directed the heroes to fire on the machinery next to the droid. The destroyer fired on the heroes. The heroes fired at the computers while taking fire from the droid. Finally, the computer was destroyed, but the destroyer was unfazed. Corsair, humbled by his incorrect assessment, returned fire to the machine, as did the other members of the team. A good shot from Shiro managed to penetrate the destroyer’s strong shield and Corsair followed suit by annihilating it.
Scene 8: Wake Up Jeff!
With the immediate danger dealt with, GA-01 rushed over to the computer console. There they found Jeff and his team lying around the machinery, all dead except for Jeff. In unison, the team cried out, “Wake up Jeff!” Salvaging what was left of the computer; Wade was able to determine that it had been used to wipe the memories from you. Though they had prevented the machine from completing its job on Jeff, he had still developed an interesting speech impediment. He persisted in saying words backwards, pronouncing his name as “ffej! ffej!”
Republic teams arrived and helped the heroes with medical treatment, especially Jeff. Upon return to the GP HQ, the heroes discovered a holoprojector with a message from Kapp Dendo on it. He informed them that he was needed at the frontlines of the war with the Yuuzhan Vong, and that he was appointing Harakan as the new head of the GP. GA-01 was a little disgruntled, as Harakan had made bad command decisions while on the mission, but they could not object to Dendo’s direct order.
However, Harakan did gain favour with them when he reorganised the survivors of the mission into GA-02, and established GA-10.
With the Black Flail element on Coruscant dealt with, the team was able to relax for a few days. Jeff underwent psychiatric help, and Trenor, meanwhile, spent his time on the prowl, visiting nightclubs until finding a young doctor named Sasha Assant, who he talked to for a while. He walked her home and got her comlink number.
Due to the unforseen casualties caused by Black Flail within the GP teams, GA-01 reviewed military logs so as to develop two more resilient teams - GA-09 and GA-10.
Scene 1: Wazzup?
Looking for action rather than recovery, Shiro and Rantog showed up for work the day following their stakeout mission. They were satisfied to have fully recovered and were looking for action. Zandmir Mrak, the Chagrian female at the GP service desk directed them to Varash’s office. Varash was the Sergeant helping Harakan in his duties. He greeted them when they entered his office, and they greeted back. The GP's window cleaner, Tony, disturbed the meeting when he entered the office, but Varash continued.
Varash went over their mission. They were to attend a restaurant where Ambassador Aldia Ardlo would be dining with other important ministers, politicians and ambassadors. His own body guards had all been killed, probably by the Hutt who the Ambassador had certain grievances with. This left the Ambassador unprotected. Rantog and Shiro were ordered to act as the Ardlo’s guard. Rantog drew to attention the fact that Tony could’ve heard that conversation and asked if he could be trusted. The Ikotchi, Varash, responded, “It doesn’t matter. The news on the comlink will cause him to go into shock. The only thing he can say from the next five minutes onwards is ‘Wazzup’. I know, due to my Iktotchi precognition.” The heroes accepted this and turned to go to the restaurant to perform their mission. In the background, they heard Tony's comlink activate...
Scene 2: Enter the Bouncers
At the restaurant the two heroes went to the front entrance and attempted to walk right in and past the long queue. One of the huge bouncers abruptly stopped them. The heroes then waved a few papers in his face and their badges but the bouncer was an illiterate tool. He denied them access. They then tried the side door to the kitchen. A bouncer there bluntly told them to go through the front. The captain of the bouncers, a man in red, came beside this other bouncer. The two heroes tried to explain their importance, and that the guy in front wasn’t letting them in. He told them his men were competent, and acted stubbornly, so they both mooned the bouncers. The bouncers became so angry they whacked each hero’s rear end with a Stun Baton. Both heroes then ran… all the way back to the GP. There, Varash scolded them and described how these kinds of things tend to annihilate promotion opportunities. The heroes were told to rush back and were given some credits for public transport. As the heroes begrudgingly left Varash shouted, “And put some bloody pants on you fools!”
Scene 3: Enter the Idiots
This time Shiro and Rantog read their paperwork to the bouncers, and too stupid to realise that they may have been duped, the bouncers let them into the restaurant.
Scene 4: Dismal Displays
Rantog and Shiro found working with the bouncers grating, and often ridiculed their stupidity. Angered by the heroes, the bouncers turned on them and stunned them. Communications between Varash and the restaurant owner were made. The end results were that promotion prospects were to be all but dismissed and Rantog and Shiro be severely reprimanded.
The heroes, meanwhile, had been sent to the kitchen as punishment, where they ate Nerf brain stew. This punishment was very unfitted for the heroes as they kept asking for more, particularly Shiro who ate three bowls of the brain stew.
Rantog and Shiro had been furious the whole time, but remained, as they were dedicated to their mission. They approached the table where the ambassador sat, trying to find places where they could hide. However, this odd behaviour in a restaurant meant that the ambassador told them to go away. So they did, tying to look less conspicuous. This time the bouncers told them to leave the restaurant. Both Rantog and Shiro had to hold themselves back from killing the dofus.
Accepting the place was full of retards, the heroes hid in plain sight, acting as a gay couple having a meal. This didn’t help their reputation with the bouncers.
Scene 5: Playing it Close to the Chest
Rantog and Shiro ordered the most expensive food and wine they could. When asked how they would pay they kept replying, “We’ll charge it to Harakan.” The waiter was unimpressed and sent for his manager who contacted Varash. Even though the heroes needed to hide in plain sight and were doing it for the GP, he denied the heroes funding, and they had to pay with their own credits instead.
As the waiter left the heroes heard a faint noise, much like a jetpack would make. “Hmmm.” “Yeah Rantog, sounds like the baddies are here and that this mission was too predictable!” They went to the balcony of the restaurant where the Ambassador sat. The noise was coming from below. Suddenly five mercenaries predictably sprung up onto the platform via jet packs. One jet packer went straight into a pot plant. The heroes commenced attacking the jet packers. As this occurred, the restaurant defences became slowly active. The bouncers were meanwhile attending to similar attacks at the two entrances.
The heroes managed to defeat the attackers whilst sustaining little damage themselves. All in all the heroes received more damage from being dissed by the bouncers than anything else. The unfortunate thing was that in the attack, the man they’d been sent to protect got shot. This resulted in a failed mission, but their patron survived.
When the two returned to GP HQ they asked why the restaurant had laser cannons hidden inside. Varash told them to shut up. They asked why the Ambassador would go to a place that was such an easy target. Varash told them to shut up. They tried to explain how the bouncers were rude, but Varash told them to shut up. Rantog was sent to be a doorman at a gay convention for a week while Shiro took Tony’s job as a window wiper for a week. Tony, meanwhile, took leave due to his distressing news.
The two were pissed to no end, especially when they weren’t promoted, and they heard Wade scored.
Next Story: The Swoopers of Corustious
Scene 1: Hurry To Hoth
After a long and well-deserved vacation, GA-01 and Force Protectorate had spent some time acquiring personal equipment that they thought would aid them in the field. On the morning the teams were to report for duty, they both received a message from Harakan, requesting that the two teams assemble, and prepare for a mission briefing in his office at 0800. Harakan had sent the message as priority one, so the heroes made tracks for Harakan's office as fast as they could.
On the way, Rantog remembered he had plans for the day, and told the team that he would meet up with Harakan later on, and then left in another direction. The others continued to the Admin building, and entered Harakan's office, noticing that he seemed a bit uneasy and on edge.
Harakan began their briefing by telling them of the situation that had arisen. A supply ship containing valuable material needed for the construction of transparisteel had crashed into Hoth on its way from Ison to Coruscant. The miners had managed to get off a distress call and enable their homing beacon before the ship tumbled into the atmosphere of Hoth.
Harakan gave GA-01 two objectives:
Primary: Rescue all miners. It is not known how many are dead or alive. Every effort is to be made to keep them alive.
Secondary: Only to be completed after the Primary. Salvage as much of the cargo as possible.
Harakan continually stressed the importance of life over cargo to the team, during which point Rantog walked in, bringing smiles to the team as he described Trenor's past indiscretion with a small load of spice. Trenor feigned ignorance, but Harakan remained sceptical.
Harakan wished to repeat the mission priorities to Rantog, but Smith claimed he already knew his orders, so the team was dismissed. Upon leaving the office, GA-01 was halted by Jeff. "I lliw eb eht wen maet rednammoc. sA uoy wonk, ym eman si ffeJ tarT.
"retfA gniyevrus ruoy troper I dnif uoy orihS gnivresed of a noitomorp. I eralced uoy etavirp tsrif ssalc.
"I won osla etomorp riasroC ot laroproc. retfA sih launitnoc syalpsid fo msioreh dna ytlayol."
Thankfully, he was accompanied by a 3PO droid, who passed on the news of Rantog's promotion to Sergeant, Corsair's to a Corporal, and Shiro's to a Private, First Class.
Jeff then pulled out a palm card and read: “I will take lessons to fix my speech. I am assured that after a week, treatments will heal the damage done to me by the memory-wiper.”
Begrudgingly, Wade congratulated his teammates, as they rushed to the Spectral Mist, quickly running through take-off procedures before plotting a hyperspace route to Hoth.
It took the team an entire week to reach Hoth. Wade was able to sent a recorded message to Sasha telling her of his situation, and hoping she would be waiting when he got back to Coruscant. The rest of the group spent their time training with remotes, or improving their Force techniques.
Obi-Juan and Wade found it hard to concentrate, distracted by the plight of the survivors and hoping that they would still be alive when the group arrived.
Scene 2: Look! Over there!
When the Spectral Mist came out of hyperspace next to the Hoth system, the heroes set about locating the downed mining ship.
Trenor's skills in areas besides combat shined, as he successfully located the vessel - aptly named Shady Lady - but also picked vague emissions from other objects surrounding the vessel. However, as he could not get a lock on what these were, the team had no choice but head towards the location of the Shady Lady.
The ship glided gracefully into the atmosphere of Hoth... and landed 25m away from the Shady Lady. It seemed the rest had done the heroes some good. Upon landing, they established communications with Harakan, reporting that the ship had been found. Harakan then gave them new orders:
1. Rean and Head were to conduct a perimeter sweep around the Shady Lady and the Spectral Mist.
2. The rest of the team were to head towards the Shady Lady, however, only Rantog and Obi-Juan were to make the initial contact, with Corsair, Shiro and Trenor standing guard.
Although these commands brought nothing but groans from some of the team, they obeyed them, and headed out of the ship.
Suddenly, two Wompa Ice Beasts rose from the snow, blocking Smith and Kenobi's path. Rantog threw one of the emergency food rations at the beasts, hoping to distract the Wompas, and it seemed to work, until Corsair started blasting at them. Infuriated, the creatures charged at Rantog and Kenobi, but both were able to dodge out of the way. Corsair continued firing, with Rantog joining in. The combined fire killed the closest Wompa, and stunned the other. Wade was able to end the conflict by charging the remaining beast and slicing him in two.
Scene 3: Eeek!
With the threat of being devoured gone, Obi-Juan and Rantog continued on their way to the Shady Lady. Upon reaching the ship's entrance, Obi-Juan was greeted by human named Plato. After assuring Obi-Juan and Rantog that they were harmless, he allowed them, and only them, to come into the ship... but warned Rantog and Obi-Juan that they would see things that would remain in their memory forever.
As Obi-Juan and Rantog stepped inside the ship the stench of decaying flesh choked the air. As they proceeded further into the ship to where the rest of the crew were, they saw something that they would never forget... the remaining crew had began to eat their dead crew mates in order to survive the frozen wastes. Out of the twelve-man crew only five now remained, as the other seven had died when the Shady Lady impacted with Hoth.
In the meantime, Trenor and Shiro examined the hull of the ship while Corsair remained standing guard. The soldiers were hoping to find a reason for the crash. However, there was no obvious source of the tragedy.
Seeing that the ship was clear of hostiles, and that a line of communication had been established, Rantog used his comlink to order Trenor, Corsair and Shiro to meet him inside. The team began the rescue operation, giving their food rations to the surviving crew, and after making sure they could walk, Rantog, Shiro and Corsair escorted the five survivors back to the Spectral Mist. Meanwhile, Obi-Juan and Trenor remained on the ship to check out the cargo.
Scene 4: A Dark Reunion
While conducting the perimeter sweep, Head spotted a man off in the distance who was waving to them. As the man approached Rean and Head, he had the look of a man who was very, very irritated about something.
"It's about time you showed up!" yelled the man to Rean. Rean stood in total bewilderment. "Ok. Let me make it easy for you... I work for a Hutt." "Oh!" said Rean. This brought on the regulatory rolling of the eyes from the man. The man introduced himself as Peter, and explained he was working for the Black Flail, but was actually an informant for Wahud the Hutt, and had been waiting for Rean after the heroes encounter with Hutt after their job on Ando... over four months ago.
Peter told Rean that when Aldus had been on Hoth, he stayed in a cave not far from their current position, and that it was possible that additional information about Aldus and his operation could be found at the cave ... including stacks of treasure.
Rean, intrigued by what he could find about Aldus, decided to go along with Peter. He also sensed a strange pull in the Force along the path he was about to take, though whether it was good or bad was difficult to tell. Head decided to follow for only one reason: "Treasure! Cool!"
They hadn't gone far when they were set upon by four Black Flail cultists. Due to the low visibility, Rean and Head failed to notice the arrival of the thugs until it was too late. Peter had set them up.
The heroes pondered attacking the group, but when five more Black Flail members appeared from the behind them, they reconsidered. However, the five behind the heroes were ordered to go to the Shady Lady's crash site, extract the cargo and blow up the ship, leaving no witnesses. Peter had no patience for long waits, and it would serve GA-01 right for not showing up when they should have. Although Rean and Head denied that there was anyone else with them, Peter and the group of Black Flail members did not believe them. He was aware that the Spectral Mist had landed next to the Shady Lady and ordered the group to destroy that ship too.
Rean and Head were now stuck with the Black Flail. The heroes had failed to make any attempt to leave a trail they could follow back to the point where they had met Peter. All they could do now was follow Peter and the four Black Flail to wherever they led them.
They walked for about ten minutes when Rean and Head both saw the snow shift near the feat of the two cultists who were walking up front (the other two were behind the heroes). Suddenly, two Wampas burst out from the snow, and ripped the heads off the two leading Black Flail members. Having already seen them, Head and Rean were not deterred, and attacked the Wampas.
Both Rean and Head fired on the Wampas, but the damage inflicted was not enough to take the Wampas down. The two Black Flail members, now in a position to fire on the Wampas, do so but to little affect. Peter decided to run away like a scared little rabbit and hide until it was all over.
The Wampas then attacked the group of four men, but Rean and Head were very lucky, as the Wampas focused their attention on the two Black Flail. Head engaged in a fistfight with one Wampa, while Rean flanked and attacked with his quarterstaff. This tactic ended up proving successful as Rean and Head dispatched the two Wampas after an enduring fight, but lost another Black Flail member in the process while the remaining one remained severely wounded.
Peter came out of his hiding spot, and both Peter and the Black Flail led Rean and Head to the cave, with Rean and Head keeping their blasters trained on the two "guides". Upon reaching the cave, Peter instructed both Rean and Head that they were both to enter the cave. Although showing some initial reluctance, both Rean and Head eventually decided to enter the cave, and leave their "guides" waiting for them.
Upon entering the cave, both Rean and Head felt a strong presence in the force. They also noticed that the cave contained a single path, which rounded a corner and seemed to end at a point where a bright light glowed. Seeing as the path was the only way they could go, Rean and Head made their way along the path until Head brought them to an abrupt stop as he noticed that a spot in the path ahead seemed out of place. The area of the path would require them to make a jump that neither thought they could make, and while they were pondering this, Rean spotted what looked like a lever jutting out from the snow.
Rean pulled the lever, and a patch on the floor slid across to reveal a deep hole. Out of the hole rose a sceptre, atop which was a red crystal that shone brilliantly. Head sense a strong presence of the Dark Side in the sceptre; however, the sceptre automatically floated towards Rean and hovered in front of him. Rean grabbed the scepter, and felt the Dark Side grow in him.
Both Rean and Head considered exploring further down the path to find the source of the light, but decided against it, and went back out the way they came. They found Peter and the Black Flail member waiting for them as they promised they would, and started to make their way back to the initial meeting point near the Shady Lady. Nearing the meeting point, blaster fire could be heard, at which point the Black Flail member turned on Rean and Head. However, with their blasters already drawn and themselves on high alert, they cut down the terrorist with little effort. Peter, being his usual cowardly self, managed to get away from Rean and Head but did suffer a shot from Rean's blaster pistol. Both Rean and Head knew that Peter would report what happened to Aldus (in order to keep his cover) and to Wahud the Hutt. They knew that the result of that would not be good. Rean and Head continued towards the blaster fire, and came to a sudden stop when they saw the scene that was laid out before them - they were in serious trouble.
Scene 5: Double Trouble
Once back inside the Shady Lady, Wade and Obi-Juan split up, hoping to find anything in the ships logs, and the contents of the cargo bay.
Checking the black box, Wade noticed that the computer had reported a fault in the hyperdrive just before the crash. Quickly checking the engines, Trenor found the remains of several incendiary devices on both the hyperdrive and the ion engines.
Meanwhile, Kenobi had located the cargo manifest, and had found ten entries for light cargo. Calling back Wade, they headed to the cargo bay, where they discovered two additional metal crates.
Cautiously, Trenor put on his breath mask, and asked Kenobi to leave the bay. Sealing the door behind him, Trenor moved to the crates and was able to open them easily, using his code cylinder. Inside the boxes, the Corporal found a scattering of small electronic components. Using his sensors to check the air for toxins, and finding none, he called the Jedi back into the cargo bay.
The components that Trenor had found were strikingly similar to those that the Force machine the team had encountered on Bespin was composed of. The two wondered why a simple freighter would have that technology aboard, why the two boxes weren't on the manifest, and what the strange symbols on the boxes meant. Putting a few of the electrical components in his pockets and removing his breath mask, Wade escorted Kenobi back towards the Spectral Mist, to gain assistance in transporting the twelve crates from the Shady Lady.
However, two small groups had snuck up on the other members of GA-01. Although the team members were safely aboard the Spectral Mist, with the survivors of the Shady Lady, the two groups of five were between them and Trenor and Kenobi. Knowing nothing good would come of this situation, Corsair went to man the laser turret, while Rantog began digging a small trench beneath the ship's hatchway, hoping he could use the position to mow down any targets with his light-repeating blaster.
Scene 6: That was easier than I thought!
As Trenor and Kenobi strolled out of the Shady Lady, they were surprised by the shouts of "There's the Jedi!" and "Get those militant pigs!" They stared at each other for only a moment before realising the severity of the situation. Five members of Black Flail were charging at them, along with five members of the Peace Brigade. Fortunately for the two heroes, the assembled thugs began disputing between one another as to who was going to capture the team.
Without his all-temperature cloak and his poncho, Kenobi was slowly freezing, and his dark robes were any easy give-away to his position, he decided the best course of action was to wait out the fight back in the Shady Lady. However, Trenor was curious on how the dispute would turn out, and he knew he was the only thing between the Peace Brigade and Obi-Juan. To keep his presence unknown to the thugs, he hit the deck, and with the camouflage his poncho offered, he completely disappeared from sight.
By this stage, an amazing fire-fight had begun between the two terrorist groups. One of the Peace Brigaders was packing a rocket launcher, and immediately took out two members of the Black Flail crew. The remaining three cultists charged at the Peace Brigaders, engaging them in melee combat, hoping avoid more blaster fire, and prolong their life spans.
At this point, Rean and Head appeared from the direction the Black Flail cultists had arrived from, and became quite wide-eyed when they saw what was happening. While Rean and Head worked their way back to the Spectral Mist, Rantog ordered Corsair, Trenor, Obi-Juan and Shiro to begin transferring the cargo from the Shady Lady to the hold of their YT-1300... right behind the backs of the battling terrorists!
It was not until the last Black Flail member fell, and the remaining, rocket launcher toting, Peace Brigader stood and started to take aim at the heroes that they stopped in their tracks, slowly turning to look down the barrel of death. However, Rantog was ready and waiting, and so had the drop on the Peace Brigader. Rantog's single shot hit true, piercing the ammo feed on the launcher, and the resultant explosion blew the Peace Brigader into a shower of little bits of flesh.
Trenor went to examine the bodies of the fallen terrorists, to assure they were dead and to investigate who they may have been, and how they knew where to find the team. Unfortunately, most of the bodies were so badly mangled and burnt that his search was unsuccessful. As he left, and the little bits of flesh continued to fall from the sky, Rantog was sure he heard Wade say: "We better go it looks like rain!"
As the team loaded the last of the ten crates from the manifest onto the Spectral Mist, Trenor requested that they go back to load the extra two crates he and Kenobi had found. But, as four of the heroes stepped onto the loading ramp of their ship, the Shady Lady exploded. Apparently, the Black Flail members had planted a bomb onto the ship while the heroes were inside it. It had most likely based on a timed dead-man's switch.
The heroes saw this, looked at Trenor, shook their heads, breathed a sigh of relief and walked back into the ship. Trenor was just thankful that he had taken a piece from each crate so that they could be examined back at the military lab on Coruscant.
Scene 7: The Mystery Machine revealed
After the Spectral Mist had entered hyperspace, with Shiro at the controls, Smith, Corsair and Trenor began to reflect on the events they had just witnessed. The three of them were able to put together the pieces of the puzzle. The Shady Lady had crashed because bombs had been planted on board, set to blow when the ship was passing Hoth in Hyperspace. The crates had probably been put onboard by whoever rigged the engines to blow. Black Flail cultists would pick up the crates from the downed ship, and when the Republic came for a rescue operation, all the listed cargo would still be present. Too bad for them that GA-01 arrived so quickly.
Upon their arrival at GP HQ, GA-01 and Force Protectorate immediately helped the survivors of the Shady Lady crash to the infirmary. From there, they reported to Harakan, with Obi-Juan and Wade producing a flimsy with a sketch of the symbols they saw on the two metal crates. Wade also offered Varash the few pieces of the machine that he had collected. The Sergeant took them straight to the labs to be analysed, while Harakan had his secretary, Zandmir, begin searching for matching images to that of Kenobi's sketch.
Harakan also confessed that the news of their mission had leaked to the Peace Brigade, which is why the team had been confronted by them on Hoth. They were most likely there looking for Kenobi, hoping to get a substantial bounty by taking him in.
As it was it was only a day until the Rantog's birthday, Zabrevin dismissed the team, allowing them to pursue their own interests while a full investigation of the team's findings was run.
GA-01 were able to celebrate Rantog's birthday in style. Wade took the opportunity to introduce Sasha to his teammates. At least the heroes could forget the looming threat of the Vong, and the constant dangers posed by Black Flail, for one night.
Next Story: How Noda met the Findsman
To Catch A Thief
Scene 1: What Else Do I Need?
After their recovery from the Rantog's party, the heroes were summoned to Harakan's office once again. He informed of them of the techs' findings, revealing that the electronic components Wade had salvaged were identical to the ones the team found on Bespin, meaning that Black Flail was trying to make the Force weapon once again.
Because of the sensitive nature of their mission, the team was given a holodisk and directed to play it once they had left Coruscant's atmosphere.
Entering the disk into the Spectral Mist's holoprojector, Rantog and the soldiers watched the holo as it told them the only lead on who may have created the Force weapon were the markings Kenobi had provided. The symbols were the insignia for Scabbard, a well-known pirate, reputed to have a base hidden within an asteroid field in the Mid-Rim.
Military intelligence showed that members of Scabbards crew were sighted on Ison - the homeport of the Shady Lady. It was evident that they were responsible for the crash. In addition, Harakan had reports that Scabbard often hired mercenary crews, and would contract out his ships if the price was right.
Rantog wondered why Scabbard was allowed to continue with his operations, but this was explained by Zebravin's recorded image. The reason why no military action had yet been taken against the criminals was because of their location, because they had small vessels capable of outrunning most New Republic cruisers, and the fact that the Vong invasion was now the primary focus of the fleet.
The Master Sergeant continued, revealing that members of the NRI had infiltrated the base, and had established a 'safe' leak that allowed them to tip-off ships to planned pirate raids. The team's new orders were to rendezvous with the NRI agents under the guise of a mercenary band, and retrieve any information they could on a link between the pirates, those responsible for the creation of the Force weapon, and Black Flail.
To aid them in the completion of their objectives, the transponder of the Spectral Mist had been altered to register the ship as Crazy Pat, while new clothing had been provided for the team, as well as several disguise kits to assist the heroes in looking the part of a mercenary brotherhood.
Once the holo was finished, the autopilot of the ship activated, sending the Crazy Pat into hyperspace.
Scene 2: The Wannabes
Upon arrival at the asteroid belt, the team were immediately contacted by the first of Scabbard's security screeners. The transponder worked perfectly, sending information to the security team that the ship was the Crazy Pat, and belonged to a group of mercenaries know as The Wannabes. The pirates working in traffic control had no idea that the transponder code they were receiving was false, and the team made it through the first gate.
The second screening gate was a little bit trickier. With The Wannabes being an actual mercenary group, the team had to convince that second security squad that they were who they said they were. Bluffing his way through it, Shiro managed to convince the squad quite effectively, and they were allowed clearance to land in the asteroid base.
Upon landing, the team exited the craft and were greeted by the docking bay team, who offered to conduct a clean and repair of the ship. The heroes replied with a firm, and very impolite, "No. $#%^ off!", playing their roles as mercenaries as though it were second nature. They did, however, manage to acquire a map of the asteroid base, and decided that they would head towards the cantina - "The Crazy Ithorian" - where they hoped they would meet their contact.
The heroes headed towards the cantina, noticing nothing unusual, but it was to be a different story once they entered the cantina. Unlike other cantinas, "The Crazy Ithorian" was clean and looked very chique. The prices of the drinks reflected that, with the heroes paying 1 credit per glass of lum.
Not knowing exactly who they were looking for, they hung around a bit until Corsair was approached, by what seemed to be a friendly Wookiee. They struck up a conversation, and upon hearing the pass phrase "Do you like to do Wookiees in palm trees?", Corsair replied "Only when it's hot and I'm drunk". At this, the Wookiee revealed himself as Varn, and that he was the contact they were supposed to meet.
Scene 3: An Inside Job
Varn told Corsair about the situation on the asteroid. Scabbard was not aboard the asteroid, and because of that, security had become a little lax in his absence (less fear for life and all). He went on to explain that the plans they sought were inside a secure area in the North Western Corner of the base. Varn had arranged to meet a contact in about an hour, hoping she could provide the heroes with a more detailed map, so that they could find a way in. Varn told Corsair that he would come and get him and two other associates when his contact arrived. Corsair then relayed what he had learned to the rest of the team, and organised Rean and Obi-Juan to come with him to the meeting with Varn and Varn's contact, while the others were to keep surveillance.
The hour passed. Varn came up to Corsair, who was waiting with Rean and Obi-Juan, and led them to a cubicle where Varn's contact was waiting. Her name was Quellom.
A soon as she was introduced to Corsair and told of his status as a member of the GP, Quellom whined, "Not another GP agent! The Herglic and Chiss almost ruined our last job!"
After being calmed by Varn, Quellom explained to Corsair that their last job had been in infiltrating the asteroid base, and that she had managed to secure a job working for Security. In her time there, she had acquired a map that showed other areas of the base, such as where power came from, heating ducts, pipes, etc. She explained to the heroes that there were two entrances to the facility - both required security scans and both were guarded by two guards at all times. She offered the map to the heroes for the sum of 1500 credits, however, Rean, using his abilities in the force, convinced Quellom that she "did not need any money for the map" and that she would "give it to us for free". Quellom did so, bringing a shock on Varn's face, and a shock to Quellom's a few moments later when she realised what had happened. Needless to say they weren't happy, but neither was in a position to argue the point without creating a scene.
Scene 4: Spy Game
During this time, the other heroes were conducting surveillance on the cantina. Trenor spotted three suspicious looking characters, and upon further investigation, noticed that they were spying on the meeting that was going on. Luckily, the majority of the meeting was being conducted in Shryiiwook (as Corsair had a vocal enhancer), so the frustration showed on the three spies. Rantog had also spotted the three spies as well. Passing the word along to Head and Shiro of what was happening, the four heroes began to formulate a plan.
Trenor decided he would sneak up on the spy that was using the listening device, while Head and Rantog decided to see if they could pick the pockets of the other two. Shiro decided to stay at the bar to drink and make himself out to be a distraction while his team mates went to work.
Trenor managed to sneak up behind the man with the listening device undetected, while Head and Rantog snuck up behind the other two and successfully managed to pickpocket them - Rantog obtaining some credits, an ID card and pass-card, while Head managed to get credits and an ID card. The two pick pocketed guys did not notice as they were distracted by the sight of Shiro trying to tumble out of the door of the cantina unsuccessfully. The guy with the listening device was too busy trying to decipher what the heroes in the cubicle were saying.
When the heroes in the cubicle, including Varn and Quellom, got up to leave, the three spies tried to follow them out of the bar. However, not knowing Trenor was right behind him, the spy with the listening device bumped into Trenor, dropping his device on the ground. Quickly, Trenor managed to pick up the device, remove the disc, and hand the device back to the spy with a polite "Sorry", and proceeded to leave the cantina with Rantog, Shiro and Head following. The spies never knew what hit them.
Outside the cantina, the heroes all gathered at a stall in one of the main walkways, and decided that the best progress for the night would be to see it through on the ship, as the spies were people who worked for Scabbard from their ID cards. As the group walked towards the ship, Obi-Juan detected that they were being followed, so he along with Shiro and Trenor, ducked quickly to small recesses on the sides of the walkway. They waited there until they saw the three figures that were following them pass them, and then sprang upon them, knocking them unconscious, and dragging them to the recesses along the walkway all without being detected. They then caught up with the rest of the group and went aboard the Crazy Pat.
Once inside the Crazy Pat, the heroes decided that their best course of action the following day would be to have Head and Rantog go to the main entrance, while Corsair and Varn went to the side entrance, of Security. Quellom will have gone on ahead in the morning and would be waiting inside the base. The rest of the heroes would then work their way along the air ducts that ran from the cantina's refresher to inside the secure facility. Hopefully, their progress would be undetected by the guards at either entrance, as the heroes at both ends would distract them. The heroes would then meet up with Quellom, and, with her assistance, download the information from the system to their datacards to take back to Coruscant. They would then make their way out using any means possible. With that decided, the heroes went to sleep, all save for Rantog, who made a call to his father, Nathan, without disturbing the rest of the heroes from their slumber. He then erased any evidence of the call being made, and then slept.
Scene 5: Secret Agent Men
The next morning, the heroes awoke, ready for their task at hand. Quellom left first, proceeding straight to the secure facility, where she entered without a problem. Rantog and Head left a while after, followed by Corsair and Varn, and proceeded to their pre-determined destinations. The rest of the heroes - Trenor, Obi-Juan, Rean & Shiro - proceeded to the cantina. All the heroes managed to slip into the refresher and into the air duct without much of a hassle, aside from Obi-Juan, who had to use his Force Powers in order to confuse the mind of the bartender who entered the refresher at the sound of Obi-Juan's failed attempt to reach the duct. However, once the heroes were all in duct, things seemed to progress as planned.
Head and Rantog managed to successfully distract the guards from noticing the slight bends in the ducts as the heroes walked their way towards the opening at the secure facility. Both Head and Rantog managed to entertain the guards, breaking into a song and dance routine, which brought in a few onlookers. Varn and Corsair managed to distract the guards at their end by striking up conversation - a much more intelligent approach in their minds.
Upon entering the secure facility, the heroes - Trenor, Rean, Kenobi and Shiro - met up with Quellom who managed to get one of Scabbard's crew out of the Systems Room. Once this was done, the heroes set about transferring all the information from Scabbard's system to datacards - but it was going to take time. During this time, Shiro heard a noise coming from the room opposite the Systems Room - the refresher. Shiro went into the refresher and decided that the most logical thing to do, according to him anyway, was to strike up a conversation with the guy on the toilet. Lucky for Shiro, this guy looked like he had one too many lums, and did not get surprised, but rather, started to narrate his life story to Shiro. This continued until Shiro noticed it was time to move, and promptly stunned the guy sitting on the toilet, feeling that he was going to pass out anyway so he might as well "help him on his way."
Quellom went towards the exit that Head and Rantog were at, who were desperately trying to keep up their entertainment act, while Corsair and Varn, receiving the signal, began a fight. This brought the guards at their end to intervene at which Varn knocked out one while Corsair stunned the other with his stun baton. With the guards at this entrance neutralised, Corsair and Varn made their way back to the other entrance, while the rest of the heroes - Trenor, Kenobi, Rean and Shiro - made their way out the facility through the exit that was now unguarded thanks to Varn and Corsair.
It took some time, but eventually, Quellom managed to convince the guards that Head and Rantog were with her and they let them leave. The heroes all met up at one of the gates to the space dock and proceeded to their ship - all seemed to be going well.
Scene 6: We are all... Gonna die!
Suddenly, a cry went out behind them, and they turned around to see guards rushing towards them. Quellom and Varn become trapped in the corridor, while the rest of the heroes managed to make their way to the space dock and ran towards their ship. A brief firefight ensued on the space dock, with the heroes managing to take down the initial wave of pirates that were trying to stop them. They all ran aboard the ship when they noticed the base guns were being rotated towards them. Pirates had surrounded the ship. They were trapped.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, klaxon alarms went off all around the base, and the base shook tremendously as though it was taking a pounding from something. No one had any idea what was going on. The heroes noted the base guns had turned away from them and the pirates were now running inside the base or towards other vessels. They took their chance. Shiro managed to successfully take off and hurl the ship out of the asteroid base, through a few asteroids, and into a clearing a fair distance away. It was only then that the heroes dared stop to look back. What they saw was unbelievable. A huge armada of capital ships and star-fighters had attacked Scabbard's base. There were not New Republic ships, and the team concluded that it could only be a mercenary force, but who? And how did they get here? No one seemed to notice the brief smile that worked its way into Rantog's face and then quickly disappeared.
The heroes then saw their comm board light up. It was a transmission from another vessel not too far from their position coming over a secure NRI channel. The call was from Quellom and Varn. They had managed to acquire a ship and get of the asteroid base. Neither crew wished to wait around to see how the situation would play, so they made tracks for Coruscant, knowing full well that whoever had attacked the base had just saved their lives.
Upon arrival at Coruscant, Harakan debriefed the team, with Varn and Quellom present. Harakan told them that the NRI, at this stage, had no idea who attacked Scabbard's base or why, but they were investigating the situation. Harakan then took the acquired data from Scabbard's base and handed it off to an NRI tech officer. The data would be critical in the next step of their operations. They were one step closer to ending the operation of the Black Flail.
Next Story: The Disputed Gem - Survivor
Scene 1: The Trail of Bread Crumbs
The heroes were called into Harakan's office at the early hours of the morning for a briefing. All were quite tired from their last mission but they knew that they were getting closer to Black Flail, and that time was running out. NRI techs had worked all night on the information they had extracted from Scabbard's base and managed to find a link to the next lead - a Bimm called Ginder was in possession of an old and battered head of protocol droid, L80-RC, that belonged to a former crime lord, Riboga the Hutt. They believed that the droid head contained the information necessary for the next piece of the puzzle. Ginder was currently on a floating cloud city by the name of Tolea Biqua, located in the Cularian System. From the information the heroes retrieved, it was also believed that others also held interest in the droid head in Ginder's possession, also for the information it contained. The heroes were to meet up with Ginder at a cantina called the Falling Rodian, and make a deal with him to acquire the head, and return to Coruscant. The pure simplicity of the mission put doubt into the heroes mind, but Harakan reassured them saying, "Not all missions require daring acts, but most, if not all, hold great importance." The attempt at inspiration seemed to have some affect on the heroes, although it was clearly a facade to those who knew them well. The heroes left the briefing and set out for the Cularian System with Shiro at the controls.
Scene 2: Ginder's Story
Upon arrival at the Cularian System, the heroes had no troubles finding a place to dock, and did so without a fuss. Once they landed, they walked out of their ship to find no reception of any sort, not surprising considering the company there were now amongst. They did, however, spot a human standing near the one of the gates of the spaceport. Rantog approached the human and asked him if he knew the way to the "Falling Rodian". The human was reluctant to give out much information, but realised, after he milked as much credits as he could from a person whom felt was the stingiest he had ever met, gave Rantog general directions to the "Falling Rodian".
The directions were good enough and the heroes were at the cantina in very little time. Now all they had to do was sit and wait for this Ginder to show up. The heroes approached the bar where a human barkeep, Norben, gave the heroes the once-over as they each ordered a lum. The group then inquired if he knew of Ginder. Norben told them that Ginder had been coming to the cantina every afternoon for a while, as if he was waiting for something or somebody, and he had been more nervous than usual.
After waiting for half an hour or so in a cubicle, the heroes spotted Ginder as he came bustling into the cantina, with a package wrapped in brown paper under his arm. He was noticeably nervous, looking around frantically, seemingly afraid of his own shadow. When Ginder spotted the heroes, he seemed to visibly relax, and walked straight towards them. "Am I glad you came," Ginder told them, placing his parcel on the table in front of them with a heavy thump. The package was about the size and shape of a Human head. "I've been carrying this around for days," said Ginder, "even sleeping with the thing. It's been too much. They're after me. I have to get off planet. A ticket, a berth - anything. I'll give it to you, and then it'll be your worry. You've got to help me."
The heroes questioned Ginder as to what he was talking about, to which Ginder replied, "It's an old L80 model. Riboga used them when he ran the joint. I found it while going through some salvage shipped back from Uffel - the droid moon. I'm surprised to find it. The droids there recycle just about everything useful. Anyway, I shop it around, figuring it might have some useful data in it. Some guys want it without paying. That's bad business. I say no. They start following me. And then some other guys start following me, too - soldiers. And then these droids come around, asking people about me. That's when I decide I can't hold onto it, but I can't sell it. I don't want to just dump it in an alley, either. Someone needs to take care of it. So I call you. You take it, and then it's your worry, not mine."
Upon hearing this, Rantog piped up, questioning Ginder about who exactly these other people were. Ginder believed that one group of "guys" consisted of a varying number of alien toughs who apparently sought to earn points with Nirama, the new crime lord of the Cularin System. The other group of "guys" were military in nature, although they didn't wear uniforms. The droids, according to Ginder, were most likely from the moon Uffel. Ginder felt that they wanted the L80 head back for their own strange reasons.
The heroes agreed to help Ginder off the planet in exchange for the droid head. Upon hearing this, Ginder immediately agreed, and handed the droid to Shiro. However, as soon as this was done, Ginder let out a frightened "Eep!" and dived under the table. Upon seeing this, the heroes turned their heads toward the doorway - the cause of Ginder's fright.
Scene 3: The Military Guys
Standing in the doorway were three Humans - two men and a woman who Ginder quickly identified as Teck Randon, Joq Landhauler and Kirla Shorg. They were wearing miner's grey jumpsuits, but the creases were neat and precise, and their hair was short and worn in a military style. Their shoulders were back, their bearing haughty, and their eyes scanned the crowd like hawks. From Ginder's reaction, the heroes deducted that this one of his group of "guys", probably the soldiers. The soldiers spotted the heroes, and the head, and made their way over to the heroes. As they did this, the heroes rose from their position, and stood in a triangular formation in front of the cubicle. "Excuse me," Teck said in a bluff intimidating voice, "We are investigating a theft. I think you're friend here" - as he pointed to Ginder - "has something that does not belong to him. If he is smart, he will give it back, and no one will get hurt."
Upon hearing this, Ginder launched into a detailed defence of how Bimms don't steal, as it is against their beliefs and is a crime as bad as murder. After listening to all this, they believed Ginder. They tried to reason with the soldiers, offering money, bluffing, and Obi-Juan even tried to fool them with a Jedi mind trick - but nothing worked. The soldiers wanted the head and were not going to leave without it.
Scene 4: Things Get Interesting
As the negotiations were getting nowhere, some of the heroes became restless, and they noticed that more individuals had joined their conversation. A trio of cloaked figures, two large Trandoshans named Orix and Dimogog, and one small Sullustan who called himself Jubieck, had come up the heroes from the opposite side. "Excuse me", said Jubieck, "but I believe that the object you're discussing was once the property of Riboga the Hutt. As such, it is now the property of his heir, Nirama. We will claim it for him. Give it to us, now." The Trandoshans growled menacingly at the heroes, keeping a special eye on Shiro, who was holding the head.
The heroes were now in a sticky situation. The three Humans were positioned opposite Corsair, Trenor and Head, while the three thugs were positioned opposite Obi-Juan, Shiro and Rantog. Rean was in the middle of both groups. Realising how badly things could become, attempts were made to be diplomatic with the three newcomers, however these failed - badly.
Out of frustration, the three aliens attacked the heroes, surprising all of them except Shiro. As soon as this commenced, all the patrons in the cantina rushed for the door, blocking any immediate exit. Dimogog launched himself at Shiro in an attempt to get the droid head. Shiro, however, saw this coming and managed to hit Dimogog with his vibroblade. Dimogog continued his charge but missed. Orix attacked Head, while Jubieck attacked Obi-Juan.
After the initial surprise, the soldiers decided their best chance at getting the head would be to eliminate the heroes first, so they decided to attack them from the other end. Teck faced off against Corsair, Joq against Trenor, and Kirla against Rantog. Rean decided his best course of action would be to help Shiro (who was on his left) by beating the Trandoshan Dimogog with his quaterstaff. Neither side gave the impression they were going to ease up so it was to be a fight to death (or at least unconsciousness).
The heroes, however, managed to come through it all in the end (although a few were hurting). The bodies of their adversaries lay crumpled in front of them. Ginder crawled out of his hiding spot and thanked the heroes endlessly. The heroes, after hearing quite enough of Ginder's ranting, decided to leave the cantina and head for home. They gave Ginder a pass on a flight off Tolea Biqua, which he readily accepted. Ginder ran out before inquiring about the destination - Tatooine. The heroes smiled amongst themselves, restraining laughter, because they knew Ginder was in for a bit of a surprise. Then they left the cantina, with Rantog tossing a few credits to the barkeep, accompanied with his favourite phrase: "Sorry about the mess."
Scene 5: Out on the Street
The heroes had not gone far from the "Falling Rodian" when they were approached by a droid - a 3P0 unit holding a datapad. "Excuse me," said the droid, "but my sensors indicate that you have the remains of an L80-RC on your person. Those remains belong to the droids of Uffel. Will you be willing to return those remains?" The heroes looked at each other and let out small groan. They had just gone through a bit of a fight to get this droid head and were not about to give it up to some pesky droid. The heroes politely told the droid to "take a hike."
Hearing the heroes' refusal, the 3P0 unit said, "I'm sorry", and hit a key on his datapad. Immediately, the head Shiro was holding began to whine as ancient circuits came online with a sound that grew higher-pitched and more urgent by the second. Wade recognised the sound as that being of a thermal detonator about to go off. The heroes notice smoke pouring out of the ears and throat of the L80's head. Wade decided to take charge and try to deactivate the head and was successfully able to disarm the head's explosives. Seeing this, the 3P0 unit apologised to the heroes, and asked for the head again. The heroes just glowered at the 3P0 unit saying, "I don't think so. Leave now." and sent the 3P0 unit on its way. The 3P0 unit willingly co-operated.
Once the heroes got back to their ship, they laid in co-ordinates for Coruscant, and went home. Arriving at Harakan's office for a debriefing, they handed over the droid head to one of the technicians, and told Harakan of what had happened. Harakan's only explanation was that the head must contain something of great value, and once this was discovered, the heroes would be called in again. The techies were going to work on the head all night. The heroes decided it best to get some rest.
Next Story: The Path to Truth
The Rycar Run
Scene 1: Technicians are Great
The heroes had only just awakened after their journey back from the Cularian systems, when they were summoned to meet with Harakan is his office.
Harakan told the team that vital information had be extracted from the droid head the Ginder had donated to the GP. Apparently, a smuggler by the name of Rycar Ryjerd had provided a constant source of arms and supplies to Black Flail. Harakan explained to the heroes that from the information they had extracted, and external intelligence reports, Rycar was a very cruel man. The technicians had even been able to break the encryption on disguised files, and had inadvertently discovered the location of Rycar's hidden base. It would be their job to go to base, capture Rycar, and get bring him back to Coruscant.
The heroes eagerly embarked on this mission, as they could feel that they were getting closer to the prize that they sought after - the destruction of Black Flail. The heroes boarded the Spectral Mist and Shiro found that the hyperspace co-ordinates for Rycar's base in the Obana Asteroid Belt had already been entered into the navi-comp.
Groaning at the thought of having to fly through yet another asteroid belt, the heroes began to wonder - if every villain in the galaxy was in an asteroid belt somewhere, why not just send out a fleet to sweep them all? They all chuckled at the thought.
Scene 2: The Obana Asteroid Belt
The trip through hyperspace was uneventful, and when the Spectral Mist arrived near the asteroid belt, Wade and Shiro jumped to their stations, operating the sensors, and piloting, respectively.
Wade had to recheck the instruments though, as a gas similar to Tibanna was playing havoc with the sensors. Reaching out with the Force, Obi-Juan was able to help direct Shiro towards five large asteroids drifting in an area towards the centre of the asteroid field.
Scene 3: That’s No Moon!
Before they could go any further, the Spectral Mist was surrounded by large floating creatures, resembling jellyfish. From their time spent on Bespin, the group realised that they must be some type of Beldons able to survive in space.
“Evasive manoeuvres!” screeched Rantog, who realised the explosive power of a Beldon if it was struck.
Shiro was just able to steer around two of the Beldons before two more appeared dead ahead. Going into a nose dive, the Mist’s pilot was able to avoid the hazard, but the ship had now truly entered the asteroid field.
At this point, Wade was able to coax the computer into giving him a reading on the asteroids, and he was found that three of the five were capable of supporting life, and there were signs that each might have a limited ecosystem. He also realised that the life sign readings could also mean mynocks and space slugs, and so warned Shiro to be watchful for such creatures.
Showing the others how it's done, Shiro expertly navigated the dangers of the field, without even scratching the Mist's paint. However, upon entering the gaseous cloud at the center of the Obana Belt, the heroes were taken by surprise as two of the larger asteroids started bearing down on them. It appeared that these two asteroids were, in fact, two colossal creatures similar to the Beldons they had seen on Bespin. Rather than risking taking hazarding the power of the creatures, Rantog directed Shiro to outrun them, which proved the best bet, as the creatures were very slow.
Using a basic process of elimination, Shiro worked out that the third approaching asteroid must be Rycar's base. Nearing the rock, Obi-Juan spotted three, undisturbed, rectannas mounted on the exterior of the asteroid, as well as massive ion engine on the far side, opposite a docking bay.
It was immediately apparent to the team that the scanners the asteroid was using were built to operate under the disturbances the Obana gas produced, as Trenor watch the computer register a ship sweep, and Corsair saw the approach of two battered Cloak Shape fighters.
Scene 4: Enemy Fighters, Coming Your Way!
Wade and Corsair jumped from their seats and rushed to the weapon placements, with Wade suddenly finding religion, and Corsair humming the tune to "Blaze of Glory".
Luck was with them though, as the fighter pilots proved incompetent and few straight into the blasts fired by Wade and Corsair.
Scene 5: Rycar's Hidden Base
Not detecting any other ships leaving the base, the heroes concluded that Rycar must have fortified himself deep in the asteroid, and decided to head in after him. Shiro managed to land the Spectral Mist in the docking bay without a hitch, but when the group scanned the area with their electrobinoculars, they noticed that Rycar's ship, the Blaze Of Glory, was missing. It was also some time before Corsair stopped grinning like an idiot, and joking about the name of Rycar's ship.
The group also noticed that the only lines of defence against decompression within the base were minimal external shielding, and a single, shielded airlock door.
Running from their ship into the docking bay, the five heroes were alert for the presence of any of Rycar's men or Rycar himself. They were surprised that no one had come to greet them, but this only increased their unease, as they knew a trap would lay waiting for them. The only way out of the docking bay for the heroes was through a darkened corridor. Walking cautiously up the corridor, the heroes hadn't taken more that few steps when the lights flashed on, and a blast door at the other end of the hall opened up to reveal what seemed to be Rycar with his bodyguard - brandishing an E-Web repeating blaster.
Scene 6: He Certainly is Brave
The heroes, expecting an ambush such as this, were not caught off-guard by the ambush as Rycar had hoped, however his bodyguard managed to squeeze off a few shots with his E-Web before the heroes had a chance to shoot. Corsair and Obi-Juan were the first to take hits, as there was little cover in the corridor for them to shelter behind. However the barrage of return-fire from the heroes managed to keep the bodyguard pinned - preventing him from squeezing off any more shots.
Wade distracted Rycar's bodyguard by sticking his finger down the nozzle of the repeater, while Obi-Juan charged the thug with his lightsaber, and struck the bodyguard sweetly, knocking him unconscious. Rycar had used the groups' focus on his guard to fire a few shots at Rantog and Shiro, but they all went wide.
However, when he realised he had lost his backup, Rycar turned to flee, but an excellent shot by Rantog knocked Rycar down before he could escape the heroes. Luckily for them, Rycar was not dead; just unconscious.
Rantog ordered Obi-Juan and Wade to take Rycar back to the ship, while he and Corsair hefted the E-Web back to the Mist. Shiro was left to tie up the bodyguard with his own clothes, so that he couldn't do anything once he woke up.
From there, Shiro took the Spectral Mist out of the asteroid belt with only a slight hiccup, and once they were out the belt, plotted a course for Coruscant.
In their wake, the asteroid blew up; having a self-destruct sequence to destroy all traces of his work should Rycar be forcibly removed from his home. With Rycar now under New Republic guard, Harakan was confident that tracking down the remnant of Black Flail would be easy. He congratulated the team, and told them he would call upon them when Rycar's interrogation was over with.
A Risky Trail
Scene 1: More Briefs
Early the next day, Harakan requested the presence of GA-01, and they complied (albeit with some degree of grumpiness). They gathered in Harakan's office and waited impatiently for their NCO to show up. Finally, Harakan walked in:
"It seems our interrogation of Rycar went smoother than expected," he grinned. "He has revealed to us that the key to discovering the location of Black Flail's hidden base lies with a man going by the name of Cutter Serth. Therefore, it will be your task to track down Serth on Tatooine, and retrieve the information from him - by any means possible."
Harakan's last four words stunned GA-01. Had Harakan just give them a license to use as much violence as they wanted? Obi-Juan sensed this "urge to kill" resonating from Wade, and Rantog, while both Rean and Head felt exhilirated at the prospect of travelling again. Shiro seemed to accept this as "just another mission", while Corsair's face showed an intense focus on the task that lay ahead of them - like it held a much greater importance to him than the rest of the group. Obi-Juan knew he had to be on-guard.
So, after re-arming and settling their accounts, the team boarded the Mist, and set a course for the desert planet. Little did they know they were speeding towards an event that would change their lives - forever.
Scene 2: The Watering Hole
Exiting hyperspace, with Tatooine in full view, GA-01's pilot, Shiro, plotted a course for the Mos Espa docking bays, where Serth was last reported to be. The heroes disembarked and made their way to the local cantina, The Watering Hole, hoping to find a lead that would take them to Cutter Serth.
"I love Tatooine," mused Trenor. "It has to be the only place in the galaxy where you can carry your weapons everywhere."
"You just be careful," warned Corsair. "The last thing we need here is more Hutt trouble."
Rean let out a small chuckle.
"Hey! It wasn't MY fault," claimed Trenor.
"Whatever," said Corsair. "I guess next you will be claiming it wasn't your fault that your fist got a life of its own and punched out your mother's butler."
"Well," said Trenor, "since you brought that up-"
"Shut up," said Corsair frustratingly. "We're at the cantina now. Let's keep our minds on the job shall we?"
GA-01, with Corsair in the lead, walked through the entrance to the cantina and began scanning the crowd. They found a table big enough for them, sat down, and order some lum. While waiting for their drinks to arrive, the heroes were approached by a middle aged woman.
"I am Ladira. Right advice, for the right price."
The heroes looked at each other and rolled their eyes - an information broker, and a Devaronian no less. Previous encounters with information brokers hadn't gone so well due to the fact the team were rather hesitant to part with their well earned credits - and it didn't appear that this one would be any different.
"We need to know everything about a man named Cutter Serth, in particular, his current whereabouts." said Rantog.
"Straight to the point I see. Well, I'll tell you this much, Serth works for Lady Valarian - our resident crime lord," said Ladira. "She pretty much controls Mos Espa. Knows everything about everyone. She rarely parts with what she knows, and getting a meeting with her without having something she wants is close to impossible."
"And?" questioned Rantog.
"500 credits" said Ladira.
"Deal." said Ladira.
Rantog nodded to Head who, reluctantly, handed over 300 credits to Ladira. Once she had secured her "income" Ladira began.
"Cutter Serth is currently prisoner on a sail barge belonging to Sonhan the Hutt. Serth is one of Lady Valarian's best intelligence officers, so she wants him back - alive. If you rescue Serth - you will secure a meeting with Lady Valarian. The Lady knows quite a deal more than Cutter Serth, so she will be a much better source of information for you than Serth will. I suggest, as an added bonus, you bring back the sail barge too. Lady Valarian will appreciate it and reward you for it too. Sonhan's sail barge is currently heading towards Mos Eisley, so if you manage to get hold of a landspeeder, you should be able to reach it quite easily."
"Thanks," said Rantog. "You can leave now."
Ladira, slightly offended, got up in a huff and walked off. Obi-Juan shook his head in disapproval at Rantog's lack of manners, but Rantog wasn't really in chivalrous mood - not that he ever was much.
Their drinks arrived and the group downed their lum like they were having a shot, and headed out of the cantina. They had only walked for a few minutes, wondering where they were going to get a landspeeder from, when they spotted it. A landspeeder, big enough for all of them, and in good condition - with the added bonus of the keys in the ignition.
"Gee," said Obi-Juan sarcastically. "What a suprise."
Accepting that they had probably been set up - and had paid to be set up - the heroes rushed onto the landspeeder. Shiro took the controls and sped them on their way. Trenor decided to use the sensors, and quickly picked up the sail barge on the radar. Trenor gave Shiro the co-ordinates.
"Anyone feel like turning back?" questioned Shiro. A few seconds of silence ticked by. "I guess not. Let's get this party started." And he accelerated as fast as possible.
Scene 3: Plenty of Sunlight
As the heroes neared the sail barge, they spotted movement on the upper deck - after which they spotted cannon fire from the deck gun.
"Woah!" yelled Shiro, who had managed to avoid the laser blast. "Looks like its gonna be a bumpy ride boys. Hold on!"
Shiro pushed the landspeeder as fast as he could, deftly avoiding the gun fire from the deck gun, whilst the rest of the team laid down some cover - or as Trenor put it, "diversionary" - fire.
After a few moments, Shiro had managed to catch up to the sail barge, and brought the landspeeder alongside the base of the sail barge. He put the landspeeder into cruise mode, then turned to his partners.
"Now we climb. The landspeeder should stay along side the sail barge - as long as the barge doesn't change its course. I suggest haste."
Not wasting any time, Obi-Juan sprang into action, and he, along with Trenor and Rantog - as they were the closest to the sail barge - managed to scale the sides of the barge up to the upper deck. Corsair and Rean followed directly behind. Rean managed to make his way up with little trouble, however, Corsair lost his grip half way up and fell back into the landspeeder.
"Bloody Hutt spit!" yelled Corsair, partially suprised by the fact the fall didn't hurt him, and that he had ended up in a perfect sitting position on the seat at the back of the landspeeder.
"Are you ok?" inquired Head.
"I'm fine," said Corsair. "I think we had better all go now, it looks like the sail barge is changing course, and from the sounds of it, I think they could use a hand on the upper deck."
The upper deck was a miniature version of chaos. Guarding the deck were eight of Sonhan's mercenaries. From the moment Trenor, Obi-Juan and Rantog reached the deck, it was clear this fight was going to be "last species standing". The mercs all managed to squeeze off a few shots - and some came very close - but none seemed to hamper the heroes. Trenor sprang into close combat action with the nearest merc, while Rantog proceeded to unleash hell with his light repeating blaster. Obi-Juan, using the calm of the Force, deftly lit his lightsaber and attacked the nearest merc.
When Rean came up, and saw what was going on, all he could say was, "Woah."
He then began taking pot shots at mercs who were busy avoiding the gunfire that was spewing out of Rantog's blaster.
Corsair came up next (Shiro and Head were still having trouble scaling the barge from which they had fallen twice already); unsheathed his blaster carbine and proceeded to make deadly accurate shots at the mercs. By the time Shiro and Head made it up, all the mercs on the upper deck were either dead or unconcious.
"You two took your time." commented Rantog.
"Hutt slime," said Head. "They leave a trail everywhere. Like really big snails."
"Well, you guys tie up the ones that are unconcious. The last thing we need is these guys waking up and firing at our backs."
Shiro and Head secured the mercs on the upper deck - using the tried and proven method of tying the mercs up with their own clothes - and the team moved down into the main quarters.
Entering the main quarters, the heroes noticed that the area in the center held a large banquet room and servants' quarters. They spotted six servants - three Humans, a Twi'lek, a Rodian, and a Mon Calamari - who all seemed to be in very bad shape, along with two R2 servant droids. In addition, the heroes saw that three Gamorrean guards defended the area. Angered by the condition of the servants, the heroes charged the guards, and quickly disposed of them.
"Let's split up," said Rantog. "Shiro and Head - it will be your job to secure the cockpit and get control of this vessel. Wade, Corsair and Rean - proceed to the lower level. That'll be the most likely place where they're holding Cutter. Obi-Juan and I will make our way to Sonhan's suite and 'deal' with the Hutt."
"May the Force be with you," said Obi-Juan, as the team split up.
Shiro and Head decided that the best method to secure the cockpit would be to storm it. They barged into the cockpit - only to be confronted by another Gamorrean guard. Unfortunately, this guard was not like the others, and this was immediately apparent through the failure of Shiro's and Head's intial blows to knock him out.
The guard retaliated with a devastating attack, striking Head with two massive blows with its vibroaxe. Barely alive, Head tried to retaliate, but his efforts proved futile. Shiro attempted another strike on the guard but his shot went wide. The Gamorrean guard smiled devilishly at Head, and swung his mighty vibroaxe. Head tried to avoid the attack, but the guard was too good. The vibroaxe hit Head right in the midsection. Head slumped to ground, let out one last gasp, and died.
Shiro, seeing his compatriot fall, fired a salvo of shots at the guard. Without Head in the way, all of his shots hit true, and the guard, peppered with holes, slumped to ground. The two pilots, seeing (and smelling), the death of their guard surrendered to Shiro.
Meanwhile, at the Hutt's suite, Rantog and Obi-Juan had encountered heavy resistance. The pair faced two Gamorrean guards, a human guard, a human commander, and at the back of the suite - Centa Sonhan the Hutt. Keeping in cover of the door, Rantog unleashed hell with his light repeating blaster, while Obi-Juan took pot shots with his blaster pistol. Although the guards tried to retaliate, the heroes covered proved to by flawless in their attack, blocking any shots that came their way, and scoring hits with all their shots. In little time, all the guards, including the commander, had fallen. Only Sonhan was left.
"Humans!" he yelled, flying into a rage, and forgetting himself. "I will squash you like the little bugs that you are!" he threatened in Basic.
"I think not," said Rantong cooly. "Get back Obi-Juan, this is gonna make a bit of a mess."
Rantog waited for Obi-Juan to get behind him, then pulled out a grenade and threw it at the Hutt. The grenade exploded, but the Hutt still came. Rantog, let out a "hmmm", then decided it would be best to throw a few more grenades. Five grenades later, Hutt guts were spattered all over the room, with a little being splashed on Rantog and Obi-Juan.
Dusting off themselves, Rantog considered the scene before him, and turned to Obi-Juan.
"Well," he said, "That was easy. Are you hungry? I could eat a Hutt right now."
"Have I ever mentioned you scare me?" questioned Obi-Juan.
"Constantly," said Rantog. "Come on. Let's go check on the others and make sure they're ok."
While this was going on, Wade, Corsair and Rean marched into the lower level, where they encountered a human engineer and Twi'lek female guard, and spotted Cutter in one of two cells. As soon as they were aware the heroes had discovered them, they both attacked, but their initial fervour failed to do the heroes any damage. Corsair and Trenor manage to subdue the guard and the engineer with little fuss, while Rean busied himself with freeing Cutter from his cell. Once they had secured Cutter, they made their way back up to the main deck.
Scene 4: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Corsair, Wade, Rean, Rantog and Obi-Juan met up on the main deck. Noticing that neither Shiro nor Head had come to meet them, they were worried that things had gone badly in the cockpit, and started making plans to secure it when their comlinks buzzed.
"Cockpit secure," said Shiro to heroes relief. "We have a man down. Head's dead."
This news shocked the team, especially Rean, who had been Head's friend since the beginning. Head was the only one who knew, and understood, the path that Rean was taking. Now that he was dead, the anger, hate, and fear, grew that much more in him. Suddenly, Shiro's voice sounded over the cockpit.
"Erm, we gotta problem, looks like we have a large gravel storm brewing right over our heads. I'm gonna try and avoid it."
The sound of dirt and stone slamming the upper deck reverberated through the barge. It was at this exact point that the heroes grimaced. They remembered that they had secured guards on the upper deck that weren't dead yet.
"Oh well," said Corsair. "That's one problem taken care of."
Obi-Juan was about to give Corsair an earful for saying such a cruel thing when the comlink sounded again. The panicked voice of Shiro came through.
"Looks like we got another problem," said Shiro, as a very loud roar sailed through the air. "A huge lizard appeared dead ahead, and it's blocking our path. The pilots are murmuring about a Krayt Dragon, and aren't helping. I tried firing on it but the guns seem to have no effect."
Immediately, Rantog sprang into action and yelled into his comlink.
"Fly into the storm. The Dragon won't follow us in there, plus we need to go that way anyway. It'll be ok, we'll be protected by the ship."
Trusting his leader's orders, Shiro changed course and headed straight into the storm. Sure enough, the Krayt Dragon didn't follow, and after some time they came out of the storm and headed back to Mos Espa. Wasting no time, they parked the sail barge and went to see Lady Valarian. Her guards let them pass when the heroes arrived with Cutter, and were lead into the main chamber, where they were told Lady Valarian would greet them.
Scene 5: Their Just Rewards
"Welcome," said Lady Valarian. "I see you have brought back something that belongs to me. I can't thank you enough. Name your price."
The group looked confused, as none of them could speak Whiphid. Sensing their confusion, Valarian switched to Basic, and repeated her speech.
"The price is information," said Corsair. "We want to know what you have on the Black Flail, in particular, where they are hiding out right now."
Lady Valarian let out a light chuckle.
"My dear boy. The ones you seek are on this very planet."
Slightly taken aback by this, the heroes waited for her to continue.
"You will find them in a cave located in the mountain ranges that those pesky Jawas call home. You will find everything you require on this datapad."
Lady Valarian handed the datapad to one of her servants, who gave it to Corsair, then hurried back to her side.
"There is something else you can give me," she said. "That sail barge would make a great prize for me. It would be a sign to anyone who wishes to challenge me."
"Fine," said Rantog. "25,000 credits. No less. More if you like."
"Deal," said Lady Valarian, and handed over a credit chip to that value.
"Oh yes," added Rantong, "You'll also find a... gift... in the Hutt's suite."
As the heroes walked out of Valarian's palace they all felt ambivalent. They were happy they got what they came for, even more so that they didn't have to travel far to reach it, but it had come at a cost - they had lost a member of their team.
However, the death of Head did not impact much on Rantog and Wade, who decided that they would secretly take the body of Head to a freezer storage area on Mos Espa. Unfortunately, their attempts at making this secret were unsuccessful, and soon enough the whole team knew about it. Obi-Juan chided Rantog and Wade on their cruelty - however Wade seemed unaffected.
Rantog was shamefaced, but remembered how close to their goal they were, and so decided it was time to report in to Harakan.
"Harakan's office, Jeff speaking."
"Jeff?" said Rantog suprised. "What are you doing there? Where's Harakan? Put him on."
"Unfortunately, I can't do that. It seems that Harakan left Coruscant the day after you departed for Tatooine. He's left no contact details either. So, unofficially, I am now in charge - and you will address me as Sir, Sergeant."
"Yes, Sir," said Rantog reluctantly. "I just wanted to report that we have acquired information about where the Black Flail's secret base is - it's right here on Tatooine. We have their location. What are our orders?"
"Your orders are to infiltrate the base, and eliminate the remnant," said Jeff, "But proceed with caution."
"Yes, sir," said Rantog. "Over and out."
Corsair couldn't help but notice that Rantog failed to mention to Jeff that Head had died, although when he questioned Rantog about it, the Sergeant replied that he didn't know Jeff well enough to trust him.
Rantog had recently become suspicious of Harakan, and this was compounded by the news that Harakan had disappeared. He thought it was best to keep these suspicions to himself as they may divide the team, and because he didn't have any evidence to support his beliefs. All he knew was he had be alert for anything.
With a reprieve from action, Obi-Juan decided he would report into Noda about what happened too.
"Evening, Master" said Obi-Juan. "I hope you've been keeping occupied on your journey? At any rate, it appears that the moment of truth has arrived. We have been ordered to strike at the Black Flail's hidden base and eliminate the remnant."
"Hmmph." came the reply. "There's no lum on this ship at all, and the dejarik board broke after Gand's fifteenth loss." His face showed suddenly showed surprise as what Kenobi had said finally sunk in. "Be careful, Obi-Juan." warned Noda. "I sense much darkness in the future. Those whose power can blind us will undoubtedly be there. You will need to be focused and ready."
"Yes, Master." said Obi-Juan obediently. "There is one more matter. Richard Head did not survive our last mission. We are keeping his body in freezer storage here in Mos Espa until a suitable time can be arranged to bring him back to Coruscant. Jeff does not know about this, as Rantog failed to mentioned it to him in his last report."
"That is unfortunate," said Noda. "I will speak to Jeff about this matter personally. May the Force be with you, Padawan."
"And you, Master."
Next Story: The Disputed Gem - Reunion
Scene 1: On the Right Path
Having received a datacard from Lady Valarian with the location of the Black Flail remnants showing as being on Tatooine, the team quickly departed her hotel, and headed for the docking bay where the Spectral Mist was berthed.
Following map provided, and flying low to avoid radar detection, Shiro cautiously piloted the Spectral Mist to the crest of a ravine. Hoping to travel the rest of the way with greater stealth, Corsair, Rantog, Shiro, Devon, Trenor and Obi-Juan made their way through a rocky, narrow valley. Trenor worked with his sensor equipment while rest of team keep on the lookout for any of the cultists being in the area. Trenor was the most successful in his endeavours, as the darkness of night had set in and the others had difficulty distinguishing shadows from animals or even each other.
Stopping for a moment, the group consulted the map and found they were within a hundred meters of the cave they were bound for. Walking scarcely five meters, they noticed the outline of two landspeeders parked up ahead, with two guards at the entrance to the cave.
Rantog and Corsair took up sniper positions, and before the guards could return a single shot or raise an alarm they were both cut down from the combined blaster fire.
Scene 2: Chill Wind
As the team approached the entrance to the cave, Rean, Kenobi and Trenor felt a chill through the air. Cautiously, the group passed into the cave, and immediately realised that they were in a corridor – a structure had been carved into the hillside!
The team waited a moment while Wade and Rantog switched on their glow rods, then they all started to make their way down the corridor. As they journeyed, they all felt a powerful presence nearby. Obi-Juan couldn’t tell if it was power from the light side or dark side of the Force, but it was definitely coming from further down the hall.
After walking for a minute, the corridor opened up into a crypt. There were no other exits from the crypt besides the way they had entered it, and so the heroes began searching the room for any secret levers, or clues on how to proceed.
With surprising ease, Corsair found and accidentally triggered a hidden switch on the right wall. Instantly, massive rocks fall from the ceiling in the corridor they had just left. Fortunately, none of them had remained in the corridor, and so none were injured, however, they looked to be trapped.
Obi-Juan was about to lecturer Corsair on caution, when he noticed a concealed door slowly reveal itself in the wall next to where Corsair was standing. Each of the heroes took a moment to think then they all agreed that they needed to continue on through the door.
Scene 3: Cult Kill Crew
As Rean swung the door open, he realised he was facing eight members of the Black Flail cult. Surprised, both he and Rantog are slow to react and the cultists were able to pull off a fee shots with their pistols. However Corsair and Trenor pushed into the Hall, and with Obi-Juan’s help, they slew the last of these cultists.
As the last of the villainous mob fell, a Dark Side spirit appeared, hovering above Rean. However, it slowly floats to a position near Wade. There, the spirit introduced itself as Vagamor, an old Lord of the Sith. The heroes manage to scare the spirit away, threatening the use of Force Light and the desecration of the tomb they just left.
Obi-Juan soon discovered that even in the large hall, the only way out seemed to be the way they had come in, and he quickly began searching for a level or switch that might open another door somewhere. Shiro began to investigate a bas-relief he felt was suspicious, when one of the faces on the image swirled and changed into that of Aldus.
Calling the others over, Shiro pointed out the change to the bas-relief. When all the heroes had gathered around it, the face started talking: “Since you’ve hounded us this far, worms, you can come forward – if you dare!”
Wade and Rantog instantly accepted, and Corsair was eager to fight Krullis once more. Obi-Juan and Rean agreed in support of their colleagues, and to put an end to the Black Flail threat. The bas-relief sunk into the wall, then moved aside, revealing another chamber.
Passing the threshold, the group could see Aldus, Krullis, Scabbard and Doogle facing them, accompanied by what the team hoped were the last six Black Flail cultists and four elite guards.
Scene 4: The Beginning of the End
Fazed by the initial fire from the cultists, the team was slow to react except for Trenor, who was psyched and charged at Aldus before anyone else could move. A brave cultist got in the way of his charge, and was instantly felled by a single swing of Trenor’s Force Pike.
After a beat, Rantog opened fire with his light repeating blaster at the six guards, supported by Shiro attacking with his blaster rifle, Corsair with a carbine, and Rean taking some shots with a pistol. Within moments all six of the cultists were dead, with the heroes only slightly out of breath.
Holstering his carbine, Corsair attacked Krullis with a vibroblade, the two becoming locked in melee. The elite guards stepped forward, laying down massive amounts of blaster fire. Rantog directed Rean and Shiro to help him with the guards and Scabbard, as he had seen Corsair and Wade already in fights, and Obi-Juan now facing off against Doogle.
Shiro continued to fire with his rifle; however Rean felt a surge of power go through him, and he chose to use the Force to try crushing his opponents’ windpipes. However, the rate of return fire at the three heroes from the guards inflicted serious injuries on them; especially Shiro.
Taking a deep breath, Rantog prepared himself for a final volley with the guards and Scabbard, springing from cover. Yelling his battle cry, Rantog pulled off three shots, and was amazed to see he had scored head shots against his targets! The last two of the guards, as well as Scabbard, fell dead.
The fights with Wade and Corsair continued. Corsair managed to land several crippling blows on Krullis, but the fight was an even one, and Corsair had taken a significant amount of punishment himself. Trenor on the other hand was enjoying his combating, repeatedly smacking Aldus hard with force pike - scoring hits to his head and heart – without being struck once. As Trenor landed the final blow, Aldus keeled over and died. However, a dark shape started to take form over the body.
Scene 5: The Dark Side
Meanwhile, Rantog took in his surroundings and quickly spotted Corsair’s battle with Krullis. Unwilling to let the fight continue any longer, he carefully took aim and shot Krullis, knocking him unconscious. Still in a rage Corsair leaned down and executed Krullis. Glaring at Rantog for having interfered in the fight, Corsair reached down and ripped Vikram’s medallion from the assassin’s neck.
A small device on Krullis' arm caught Corsair’s attention, and he triggered it, revealing that along Krullis’ disguise as Fett, he had also been disguising himself as Harakan! Both Corsair and Rantog stared in shock and anger, realising they’d been taking orders from the enemy for some time now!
Across the room, Wade witnessed the dark spirit, Vagamor, sink into Aldus’ body, and the Force Adept stood once again. Not wasting any time, Trenor rushed forward again, and pull all his strength into a blow against the Sith. Again the body fell to the floor, dead.
Obi-Juan and Doogle had moved to the back of the chamber and were duelling ferociously. Kenobi was pulling his blows, unwilling to hurt his old friend, but Doogle did not have the same compunctions, and tried to land several killing blows.
Fortunately, the young Jedi’s travels with GA-01 had helped him learn some good defensive techniques, and he was able to avoid the worst of Doogle’s blows. However, he soon realised that no matter what he said, Doogle had fallen too far to the dark side. Calling on the Force to aid him against his older and superior opponent, Kenobi broke through his friend’s defence and pierced his heart.
As Doogle fell, Obi-Juan felt great pain, and so avoided returning to the others, just beginning to celebrate their victory. But the Jedi’s mourning was cut short when he felt a surge of dark energy run through the room. His gaze was pulled to Rean, whose eyes had gone wide, and a huge grin was plastered on his face.
Devon had gone insane through his overuse of the dark side and because of the huge dark side presence in the cave. The Force Adept started to hurl threats at the team, insisting they bow to his power, and telling them of his plans to kill everybody and end suffering. Trenor, already immersed by a dark side rage grew impatient with his foolish companion and moved to punch him unconscious.
Unknown to him, his growing attachment to the dark power of the cave meant his strength was growing exponentially larger the longer he remained in the crypt. Smacking Rean with a back-hand, Trenor instead caused the punch to snap Rean's neck - killing him.
In that moment, Trenor was shattered and he was consumed by the Dark Side. His turn was not as momentous as Devon’s sudden change, and so went unnoticed by his team mates.
Scene 6: The Victorious Heroes Return
The team drug Rean’s body out of the cave but stop at corridor; it was no longer blocked. The boulder fall from the ceiling was an illusion formed by Aldus, and since his death it, it his dissipated.
Returning to Mos Eisley, the group retired to some rooms offered by Lady Valarian. Rantog took the opportunity to place Rean's body in cryo-stasis beside’s that of Head.
Following this, he made his report to Jeff who claimed to have some important news and they are required on Coruscant immediately. He also reported the death of Rean to Jeff, who was sorry to hear it.
Once back on Coruscant, Corsair resigned his commission - he had had claimed his vengeance, and wanted to see no more violence it if could be helped.
With a week of leave available to them while Jeff tried to resolve the fall in man-power, Rantog spent the time with Obi-Juan, especially on his birthday, and the two formed a strong bond. In the meantime, Sasha was confronted by the changes to the team. Obi-Juan and Rantog seemed happy, but Shiro was depressed, and Wade seemed to be distracted. When she confronted him with it, he was quick to anger.
Next Story: The Disputed Gem Interlude - Pursuit
Standoff on Leritor (part 1)
Scene 1: Corsair’s Enterprises
After leaving military service, Corsair immediately took steps to book himself passage upon a charter ship travelling to Kashyyyk. Once he had reached his home planet, he quickly journeyed on foot a short distance to his Harinath Enterprises, where he hoped to see his mother again.
The reunion was just as Corsair expected, with the emergency and the rush of business keeping the family from displaying too much affection. Syal explained to her son that in his absence pirates had attacked several of Harinath Enterprises’ trading ships. Attempts to contact their son had been futile, as he had already left GA-01 when the emergency situation arose.
Kardeffca approached Corsair, and explained how Syal and he had been counselled by Obi-Juan to seek advice from his Master, Noda. Thankful for the counsel the family contacted Noda who sympathised with their danger and perceived that the “attacks” might be more than pirate related occurrences. Noda later contacted them and was able to tell them he had consulted the situation with members of the Jedi Academy, and was able to have a Jedi team sent to investigate. Just as Kardeffca finished his story, a Kel Dor entered the room along with a human female. The alien quickly introduced himself as Jedi Knight Dorn Plo, and his young apprentice as Zdenka.
Corsair immediately thought the two looked familiar, and asked them if he had seen them before. Zdenka took but a moment to meditate, and replied in the positive. The three had been on board the same charter, and had passed each other on several occasions. The reason Corsair had beaten them to the Trade Centre was because of his familiarity with the area, and his ability to bypass the security checks in the building, while the Jedi had to follow protocol.
Kardeffca explained that the whole affair had put a big scare on clients, driving profits down as far as 43%. Along with the damage to ships, loss of employees and having to pay off Wookiee families who had lost family members in these tragedies, the trade centre was on the verge of closing down.
Scene 2: The Planet Leritor
For the first time since their return from Tatooine, Rantog, Wade, Shiro and Obi-Juan had been called into Jeff’s office. He had once again congratulated the team on their efforts to destroy Black Flail, but informed them that he had a new assignment for them to do.
The team was required to travel to Leritor, where a civil dispute had begun, and was likely to grow into war. Once there, the four heroes were to establish diplomatic relations with both sides of the conflict, and assist them in working out their differences.
While travelling to the Outer Rim planet, the group was given the opportunity to review data on both the inhabitants. They found that one group was made up of the indigenous species to the planet, the ‘primitive’ Sauvax. The other inhabitants were settlers, who had made a pact with the Sauvax that no settler, star ship or harvester would go within 100km of the coastline.
When the Spectral Mist began it’s approach, Shiro swung around from inside the land mass, so as to keep in line with the Settlement Pact. Wade began operating the sensors, hoping to locate the settlers, and the Sauvax natives, but a SOS being sent by one of the settler harvesters interrupted him.
Scene 3: Under Way
Corsair was about to set out and begin his own investigation, when Plo stopped him. “It is better to work as a group. That way, we won’t interrupt each other’s investigations.” Corsair agreed, hoping he could spend time with Plo’s attractive Padawan. Just then Kardeffca was notified by a droid that one of his senior executives, Hurra, had not come to work yet. A quick communication with his family revealed that the Wookiee had left hours ago. This added to the growing mystery, and so the three decided that it was the best place to begin their search.
Heading off, Corsair and the two Jedi journeyed to the worker’s home and from there followed his usual route to Harinath Enterprises. On the way, the trio saw Hurra’s speeder outside a bar. The heroes were surprised, but decided to split up and make their way into the bar from different entrances. The Jedi went through the front door where all seemed normal, with the usual bar fights and drunken Wookiees. Dorn and Zdenka began questioning the bartender, and discovered that Hurra was out the back in a private booth.
Corsair had entered the bar via the back door to the kitchen, where a gruff Wookiee chef asked him to go away. Ignoring the chef, Corsair went from the kitchen into the bar, where he met with Zdenka and Dorn. The trio made their way to the private both, and were shocked to see two Yuuzhan Vong warriors interrogating Hurra. Hurra had been severely wounded by an amphistaff and the two aliens were using what appeared to be a communication device to relay any information to their fellow warriors.
The Yuuzhan Vong, as soon as they noticed they had been found out, lunged to attack. A melee begun, but the lowly warriors were no match for the Jedi and their trigger-happy ally. In record time, the aliens were killed and Hurra was freed. When he had revived sufficiently, Hurra explained that they should go to the Trade Centre immediately, as the aliens were likely to attack. Dorn Plo then guided his Padawan and Corsair back to the Harinath Enterprises, though upon their return they discovered a fire blocking the entrance. Plo used the force to create a path into the building, allowing the heroes entry.
Scene 4: The Gevion
Under Rantog’s instructions, the Shiro piloted the Spectral Mist towards the source of the transponder sending the SOS. As the group approached the scene, they saw that a hundred or more Sauvax had surrounded a harvester named the Gevion. The crew on the harvester waved to the heroes, and Wade received a transmission from the Coms Officer to set the ship down on their deck. Expertly landing the ship, Shiro and the others disembarked and began heading towards the settlers, hoping to find out what had happened.
The Captain of the harvester introduced himself as Hercule, and explained that he was in charge of the Harvesting Combine and the colonists on the planet. After leading the team past his panicked crew and into the stateroom, Hercule told the group that the Sauvax had surrounded his harvester two days ago. He explained that moving the harvester any further, now that the Sauvax were there, would be a breach of the Settlement Pact, and the Combine would lose their right to stay on Leritor. If his crew didn’t get back to work soon, all the crops would deteriorate, and the Combine would go bankrupt.
Rantog asked him if the Sauvax had ever approached the colonists before, and Hercule was quick to brag that the natives required their services on occasion. Rantog wondered if this was a similar circumstance, but Hercule denied it, telling them that one of his other harvesters, the Nellist had disappeared several weeks ago. The crew were in a panicked state because they feared that they would meet the same fate. Attempts at communicating through the speaker system were unsuccessful, which the group had already learned from their studies. The Sauvax only spoke to each other face-to-face, and none of the crew had gone to talk to the Sauvax because of their fears. Thanking Hercule, Rantog and the others left to begin their discussions with the Sauvax.
Scene 5: Legacy
The heroes followed the path on destruction down one of the corridors, where three Yuuzhan Vong warriors confronted them. The combat was quick, as Corsair was driven to save his father’s legacy, and the Jedi wished to end the threat posed by the alien invaders. With only minor injuries, the heroes incapacitated the aliens and continued further into the building, finding more destroyed droids and ruined computers.
Their journey ended at one of the trade center’s hangar bays. The group instantly saw three more warriors attempting to blow up some of the smaller freighters with plasma eels. There also appeared to be three more just out of earshot.
Dorn instructed his Padawan to help Corsair fight two of the Vong, while he headed off and surprised another of them. Again, the heroes proved victorious, as their tactics caught the invaders off-guard.
A dozen meters away, plasma eels were set off by the other Yuuzhan Vong on the dock. Plo, Corsair and Zdenka then charged the remaining warriors. One of the Vong proved to be a true master, and a long duel began between him and Dorn. Another had a bout with Corsair while the one remaining warrior sparred with Zdenka. When the heroes had defeated their opponents they quickly went about stopping the fires but it was too late... much of Harinath Enterprises had been burnt to the tree branch. The Jedi saw to the aid of workers who had been hurt during the affair while Corsair went to make sure that his mother and Kardeffca were safe, which they were.
Standoff on Leritor (part 2)
Scene 1: The Tevelor
Standing outside of the harvestor, the Gevion, the team approached the Sauvax, and were guided to what appeared to be their leader. Before they had a chance to introduce themselves, the leader informed them that the off-worlders had murdered an entire village of Sauvax to the north.
Again using what he had learned while in hyperspace, Rantog presented a medpac in a gesture of good will, and then introduced himself, along with Wade, Shiro and Obi-Juan. In return the leader said he was his tribe’s Tevelor.
Wanting to hurry through the negotiations, Wade began asking questions of the Tevelor. First he asked if the Sauvax had attack the Nellist, but the Tevelor claimed to have no knowledge of the other harvester. The Tevelor also thought the idea of the Sauvax attacking a harvester would be highly unlikely, as it had thick armour and the colonists had superior weapons.
Obi-Juan then asked where the village of the murdered Sauvax was. He pointed north, and explained in was a full days journey. Excusing themselves, the team entered a huddle, planning on how to proceed. It was finally agreed that the group would help solve the two mysteries that had befallen the inhabitants. To this end, Shiro and Wade would return to the Hercule with a few questions, while Rantog and Obi-Juan would continue talking to the Tevelor.
Scene 2: The Plan
It wasn’t long before Wade and Shiro learned that Hercule knew nothing of the murders. Asking where the Nellist’s last known location was, Shiro informed Hercule of their plan, before he and Wade returned to the Spectral Mist.
Meanwhile, the Tevelor had told the Sauvax to leave the harvester, as the heroes would discover who was behind the hideous massacre. It took a little convincing, but Obi-Juan managed to get the Tevelor to agree in joining them on the Spectral Mist, as it would hasten the progress of their investigation.
Landing the ship nearby, Shiro opened the hatchway, and their three other companions clambered on-board. It took Wade a bit of persuading, but he was able to sway Rantog into letting him handle the investigation of the Nellist alone. Getting on the sensor suite, Wade was able to help Shiro locate the Nellist, where he quickly jumped out. The others continued towards the village, being directed by the Tevelor.
However, he invited the heroes to travel to his village, where they could discuss matters further. They agreed, and were at the village in no time, and from the ship, they entered the Tevelor’s hut. He offered them some food, and as a sign of respect, the three heroes ate. Unfortunately, Obi-Juan’s green face didn’t please the Tevelor, but Rantog was able to calm him. After a few more minutes, Rantog asked if they could walk through the village, to see what Sauvax life was like. The Tevelor agreed, and the group left his hut, and then split up to gather information.
Scene 3: The Nellist
Investigating the area around the Nellist, Wade discovered that there were no markings of a Sauvax passing as there had been around the Gevion, although there were signs of a star ship landing. Dead bodies lay around, with Sauvax spears the obvious murder weapon. However, all the dead were elderly, making Trenor wonder where the younger members of the crew were.
Making his way through the ruined harvester, Wade had to tread carefully, as the whole structure was ready to collapse. Since his time at the academy learning Engineering, and his extensive time on the battlefield, he was able to recognise the scorch marks of star ship weapons throughout the husk. As he turned to leave, the whole harvester began to shake, and he was just able to make it out with some minor cuts and bruising.
Taking time to recover, Wade looked north, towards where his team-mates would be, but saw a huge plume of smoke coming from further up the horizon. Taking a mental note of the direction, Wade pulled out his comlink and tried calling Rantog.
Scene 4: The Slaughtered Village
It had been an hour since they had split up and in that time Obi-Juan, Shiro and Rantog had learned that a farmer had seen the river near the destroyed village discoloured by silt, smoke had been seen in the north, and a child had found a piece of refined metal while wandering up the coast.
They began planning on where to go next, when Rantog was called by Wade, who explained his situation, and what he had learned. He was instructed to make his way northeast, towards the coast and the slaughtered village. He and the others would meet him there.
Going back to the Tevelor, the team asked him to direct them to the slaughtered village. Once he had agreed, it was only minutes later that they had landed and begun their search. Soon, they had discovered a set of binders and a depleted medpac. They also noticed that the river by the village was full of silt, indicating a mining operation. This troubled the group further, as the message they had gotten from Wade suggested there was another group acting independently of the Sauvax or the colonists.
While heading towards a ruined hut, Obi-Juan startled a small Sauvax that had been in hiding. It began to run, but the Tevelor called out, and the child ran to him crying. The child begun blubbering about giant birds that spat fire, and the team instantly knew that she had seen star fighters.
The child continued, explaining that the elders had been killed, while the young Sauvax had been fed to a bird, which then flew north with the fire-spitters.
They knew that they would have to enter a very dangerous situation soon, so they asked the Tevelor if he would be able to return to his village without the Spectral Mist. He nodded, and so the heroes returned to their ship, and called Trenor over his comlink. It was then a simple matter to rendezvous with him, and then follow the trail of the river to a small encampment.
Scene 5: The River Camp
Wanting to enter the camp undetected, the Shiro landed the Spectral Mist, and the heroes journeyed on foot to the camp. They had almost reached the clearing when they saw two snub fighters firing at two weakened men running in their direction.
A blast landed between the two men, and they fell, not getting up. The group held their position for the time, but as soon as the fighters were gone, they broke cover and began providing medical aid to the injured men. The first was unconscious, but the second was aware enough to explain that they had escaped from a slave camp just a few kilometres up the small river that ran nearby.
This confirmed the suspicions that the group had on what was occurring on Leritor, and the heroes promised the injured men that they would help them and free the other slaves. They picked up the men and took them to the Spectral Mist to rest, then began their trek up the silty river to where they knew the slave camp to be.
Scene 6: The Preparations
Stealthily making their way through the jungle surrounding that part of the river, the four heroes stopped just out of range of some guard towers and their sentries.
Pulling out their electrobinoculars, Wade and Rantog scanned the area and found the camp to be roughly 100m x 100m in area. More guard towers enclosed the site, but they managed to see that the slaver’s power generator had been left unguarded on the southen side of the camp. Rantog also spotted three Snub Fighters on the adjacent corner of the base.
Taking everything into account, he ordered Wade to remain at their current position, where in an hour's time, he would create a distraction, allowing Rantog’s plan to progress. In the meantime, Rantog, Shiro and Obi-Juan would circle the camp and arrive at their own positions from which to strike out at the slavers.
Wade wished Rantog the best of luck, and prepared himself for his own task. As soon as the others had left him, Trenor entered a trance that would aid in recovering the energy he had lost when the Nellist had collapsed on him.
While this was happening, the three other heroes discovered that the only secure path around the camp was a dangerous one, as it required them to navigate a cliff face overlooking the guard towers. The height of the cliff would conceal their presence, but the danger of traversing the cliff, both up and down, was a daunting prospect. Shiro began, and was able to find hand holds up the sheer face. Taking his time, he had no problems at all. Obi-Juan had difficulties beginning the climb, but by the time he was halfway up, he had adapted to the task.
Unfortunately, Rantog was not accustomed to this kind of activity, and the weight of his weapons and armour worked against him. He had fallen on several occasions on the climb up, and by the time he reached the top of the rock face, he was fearful of the hike down.
The three crawled over to the ridge and peered down on the camp, seeing an archaeological dig site below. Parts of a star ship could be seen, but their distance from the ship made it difficult to clearly see what they were dealing with. Leaving the ridge, they inched their way to the edge of the cliff, which they would have to climb down.
Not trusting his abilities, the Sergeant sent Kenobi and Kanabe ahead of him, planning to wait until they had finished their descent. Rantog’s fears proved true, for when Shiro and Obi-Juan had just reached the base of the crag, they heard a muffed yell and saw their friend plummeting towards the ground. Summoning up his reserves, Obi-Juan was able to catch and lower Rantog safely to the ground using the Force. It was several moments before the Sergeant released his bear hug on the Jedi.
Regaining their composure, the group took a moment to hide, hoping that Rantog’s yell had not alerted any of the guards, and when they were sure they had not been discovered, they snuck into the tree line at the southern end of the dig. Taking care not to reveal themselves, the heroes trekked to their positions, waiting for Wade’s distraction.
Scene 7: The Attack
The hour had passed, and Wade sent the signal through his comlink that his distraction was about to begin. He was in the process of pulling the trigger on his rifle when Obi-Juan stopped him. It was Obi-Juan's role to destroy the power generator, then infiltrate the camp and free the slaves. Unfortunately, Kenobi had agreed to the plan without actually knowing how to plant the explosives required to destroy the generator.
Giving the Jedi a quick walkthrough, Wade resumed his position watching the guards walking the northern side of the perimeter. Rantog gave the go-ahead, and within seconds the first sentry had fallen. His partner followed only moments later. With all the guards within range now terminated, Wade left the cover of the trees, and used his grappling spike launcher to scale the closest guard tower.
The charge Kenobi had placed blew, shutting down all the power across the camp, including power to the blasters in the guard towers and to the doors in the slave cells. The Jedi made his way through the south-western part of the camp, investigating the first building he came across. It was a shed that contained weapons, medpacs and equipment used for archaeological digs. No one was inside, so he began his way towards the next building. However, there was a clearing he had to cross before he could enter it. Hoping he could get through the open area quickly, Obi-Juan made a dash for the door, but was intercepted by four Klatooinan sentries filing out of the next building along, as well as four more guards from within the dig site. Four charged the Jedi while the other four opened fire with their blasters.
Meanwhile, Rantog and Shiro had also broken cover, with Rantog planting charges on the bulk freighter resting on the farthest corner of the camp, while Shiro mowed down another group of sentries on the eastern perimeter. With Wade to the north, Obi-Juan to the south, the cliff to the west and Rantog and Shiro to the east there were few ways for the slavers to escape. With the confusion that was occurring in the encampment, Rantog and Shiro sabotaged one of the Snub Fighters, and then commandeered the remaining two.
Wade reached the top of the guard tower he was ascending, but the guards were prepared for his arrival, and he couldn’t defend himself from the blaster bolts that pierced his side. Teetering on the edge of the tower, Trenor was struggling not to fall when the guards took the opportunity to charge him. Fortunately, their mass gave him the opportunity to anchor himself on the platform, and it was with great difficulty that he defeated them, throwing them down to the ground below. He was about to collapse when guards from inside the camp reached the top of the ladder and began firing at him. He was able to blast two of them down, but two more appeared, and in his weakened state, he was forced to surrender to them.
Piloting the fighters, Rantog and Shiro had begun destroying the guard towers, and only two had been left untouched. When they had seen Obi-Juan being swarmed, they began firing on those that were attacking the Jedi, and with their help, almost all of them had been dispatched. Only one sentry had managed to retreat to the safety of the freighter. Rantog and Shiro were preparing to turn for another pass over the camp when a door to a small shack opened and a woman appeared from within. Obi-Juan stood still, wondering what she hoped to do, and was horrified when she glared at him and he felt a choke hold over his neck. He was barely able to regain his breath before it appeared as though she was going to renew her attack. Powerless to defend himself from such an attack, the Jedi ran inside the building he had been trying to reach in the first place. To his dismay, there were four more Klatooinan guards waiting for him...
Standoff on Leritor (part 3)
Scene 1: The Attack Continues
Obi-Juan stood still, wondering what the woman who was blocking his path hoped to achieve, but was horrified when she glared at him and he felt a choke hold over his neck. He was barely able to regain his breath before it appeared as though she was going to renew her attack. Powerless to defend himself from such an attack, the Jedi ran inside the building he had been trying to reach in the first place. To his dismay, there were four more Klatooinan guards waiting for him, and he was stunned and unconscious in mere seconds.
Rantog and Shiro had been able to see Obi-Juan flee into the building, and they began to fire at the woman and a man that had come out from the same building. They missed both on the first pass, and in retaliation, the woman used her powers to squeeze Shiro’s throat. For a moment he lost control of the fighter, but quickly recovered and resumed his turn of the ship.
The next pass was a success, as the blasts landed right between the two slavers, and the explosive force flung them backwards. By the time Shiro and Rantog made their third pass, the slavers had run into the building they had seen Obi-Juan enter.
Wade had been dragged out of the tower by this stage, and was being pulled along the ground towards the same building Obi-Juan was prisoner in. It was much to Wade’s surprise, as well as the guards, that the human settlers and the Sauvax slaves came charging out of their cells and overwhelmed the guards.
Rantog and Shiro landed the fighters and destroyed the consoles to prevent them from being used by the sentries to escape. They then came to the help of Wade, offering him bacta, and treating those who were sick and wounded among the slaves. With only a small resistance left in the camp, Rantog began to devise a plan of helping Obi-Juan and capturing the slavers.
Scene 2: The New Strategy
Coming down from the north end of the camp, Wade tried to sneak up to the building Obi-Juan was being held hostage in, while Rantog and Shiro distracted the sentries by firing at the shack. Wade had managed to move stealthily up behind the building with no one seeing or hearing him, until he accidentally snapped a twig just as he was passing underneath a window.
The guards instantly heard him, and two left the safety of the building to confront him. They split up, hoping to surround the soldier, but while the building protected one from Rantog and Shiro’s fire, the other was open to the blaster bolts. The Klatooinan didn’t get the chance to scream.
Wade heard the other sentry coming, and tossed a grenade around the corner of the building, but because of his weakened state, his aim was off, and it did the guard no harm. He then drew his rifle from its holster, and prepared for the sentry. He suddenly turned the corner of the shack and was face to face with the guard. They both fired at each other, and both knocked each other unconscious.
This time, the other two Klatooinans left the building, but were smart enough to approach the group from behind cover. Rantog and Shiro and been so busy watching Wade’s back, they didn’t notice the slaves charging the building until it was too late.
The slaves overcame the sentries easily, but above them a window opened, and the women that Rantog and Shiro had seen earlier poked her arms through the gaps. They were amazed to see lightning fly from her fingertips, and fry the slaves. Not one of the poor beings seemed capable of movement anymore.
Shiro and Rantog saw Wade get up and begin speaking into his comlink, hoping he was buying time for them to approach the building; they circled around to the east, and were able to sneak up on the sentry still cowering in the hulk of the Freighter. He tried to fire at them, but they obliterated him in a hail of plasma energy.
Wade had been buying time for his teammates, and for Obi-Juan, who had by now regained consciousness, but relapsed when he tried to heal himself, and overexerted his abilities. The woman with the strange Force abilities had taken possession of Kenobi’s comlink, and she introduced herself as Profex Rynalla. Wade complimented her on her skills, and challenged her to a duel, but she declined, claiming that she knew of his Force abilities, but he was not up to her standards yet. Although Wade was losing his temper fast, he had managed to learn form her that there were only two people left in the shack, Profex, and her slaver Chief. He was only happy to inform her that his lesser talents had still allowed him to defeat all her cronies.
Scene 3: The Get Away
With all her sentries and guards down except for the Chief, the Dark Sider made a dash for the exit, taking Obi-Juan’s lightsaber with her. It was too late for the team to act, with Wade and the Jedi incapacitated, and Shiro and Rantog still inside the Bulk Freighter.
At this point, the Chief became worried, and when Rantog contacted him by comlink, he was quick to surrender. Having taken into account all that had transpired, Wade contacted the colonists, calling for medical supplies and assistance. Meanwhile, Rantog and Shiro searched through the base, untying Obi-Juan, and discovering evidence of another slave camp further north. In addition, Rynalla had left behind some archaeological manuscripts describing Sith treasures located within the crashed ship. When Wade tried to approach the ship, he was ordered by Rantog to help tend to the injured. Although frustrated, Wade obliged and helped the fallen Sauvax, and the wounded slavers.
Eventually, the colonists arrived along with Hercule, and with a small contingent of Sauvax healers. They began work on helping their fallen comrades, and arresting the slavers. Rantog took the opportunity to take Hercule aside, and told him of the existence of the other slave colony. The Combine leader thanked the team, and told them that since he now knew the Sauvax were not a threat, he could work with them to defeat their foes.
With their numerous injuries, each of the heroes bid farewell to the people and left in the Spectral Mist, returning to Coruscant. Each had many things to ponder. Obi-Juan no longer had a lightsaber, and he didn’t know where his Master was anymore. Shiro and Rantog were becoming frustrated with the near suicidal missions they were sent on, while Wade contemplated the technique of Force Lightning he had just learned.
Scene 4: Master
When Obi-Juan parted ways with his colleagues, he felt obligated to visit the students at his Master's orphanage, to see if they were still being well cared for. He was surprised to find Noda had made his way back to Coruscant from his own adventures, and was playing host to a Gand.
The senior Jedi introduced the Gand, and gave Kenobi a quick run down of their investigations. Obi-Juan related his tale of the destruction of the Black Flail leadership, and the rescue of the Sauvax. "But Master, I lost my lightsaber in the battle. I know what a disappointment I must be!"
"Padawan you still are Obi-Juan, but nearing level of Jedi Knight you are." Noda began. "On Ilum the Gand and I found a Force cave. Build a lightsaber there, you will. See if ready you are."
"Thankyou for having such confidence in me Master," Obi-Juan said. "I won't disappoint you this time."
"But more news, have I." replied Noda. "Learned has Gand that some Black Flail remains here on Coruscant. On stake-out he is. When return from Ilum we do, capture the remnants we will."
Scene 5: Testing Begins
After several days in Hyperspace in which Obi-Juan spent much of his time in meditation, the Jedi arrived on the harsh ice world of Ilum. The two heroes had a difficult time in piloting the ship due to the buffeting winds and the uneven surfaces of the snow drifts, but they were able to set down only a few hundred meters from the cave where Adegan crystals grew that could be used in the construction of a lightsaber.
Noda and Kenobi donned their cold weather gear, and left the ship behind, making sure to first run the heaters, as well as activate a homing beacon inn case the ship was buried under snow before they came back.
The two hadn’t one far at all when two massive beasts sprang from under the snow and attacked them. “These are Gorgodons!” called Noda. “Fierce predators!” He activated his lightsaber, while Obi-Juan brandished a vibroblade.
The Padawan Jedi found it difficult to fight in the chill conditions, and the creatures had natural armour that deflected most of the blows he dealt. Noda seemed to be having difficulties too, due to his small stature. However, a chance blow to the neck of one Gorgodon seemed to severely handicap the predator.
Calling out the weakness he had discovered to Obi-Juan, Noda was distracted enough that the enraged creature he was fighting pounced on him and knocked him prone into the snow.
Seeing his master stumble, Obi-Juan calmed himself which came easily from his meditations, and called upon the Force to help him make a critical strike. He felt the ripple flow through him and into his arm, and he was able to inflict a killing blow to the Gorgodon he was facing off against, just as it leapt at him.
Quickly pushing the carcass off, Obi-Juan regained his footing in the snow and raced to his master’s side, as Noda was having trouble holding the beast at bay. Working together, the Jedi team were able to wound the beast and drive if off.
Scene 6: The New Blade
Hurrying to the cave to get cover from the cold and recoup from their injuries, Obi-Juan and Noda were astounded by the beauty of the crystals within. However, they did not let this distract them for long, and with Noda’s guidance, Kenobi soon found a spot to meditate and begin building his new lightsaber.
Obi-Juan felt himself fall into a trance, and he was faced with the illusions of his team mates, and of possible futures to come. When he woke up, a lightsaber was resting in his hands, and Noda was smiling at him from across the cavern.
Obi-Juan smiled back, pleased to have made his master proud, and in completing his final piece of training before his trials as a Jedi Knight. Additionally, after his visions of the future, Kenobi was determined to use his abilities to stop injustice and defend those who would be oppressed...
Next Story: Turning Point
The Disputed Gem - Justice (part 2)
Scene 1: Unwelcome Welcome
After arriving on Coruscant after their ordeal on Leritor, Wade, Rantog and Shiro decided to report to Jeff, while Obi-Juan visited his Master at the orphanage.
Upon entering the GP HQ, the three soldiers were ordered to immediately report to Jeff. The team was irritated by not having the chance to unpack their gear and catch up on the progress of the other teams, and were discouraged by the looks being sent their way.
Once at Jeff's office, they quickly found out why: "I've heard from Jedi Master Noda that the bodies of Richard Head and Devon Rean were not lost as your report states, but rather, they've been put in refrigeration so that you can make a profit from their outstanding bounties." Jeff said. "I've contacted the families to confirm this, and they were both shocked and dismayed at the news."
Shiro had no idea what was happening, but Wade and Rantog both had guilty looks on their faces. "I had no idea sir!" Shiro exclaimed, "Smith claimed that the bodies had been dealt with already."
Jeff studied the soldier's face for a moment and relented. "Very well, Kanabe. You are to return to Tatooine with Trenor and Smith, and retrieve the bodies and return them to their families so that the Reans and Heads can finally grieve."
Jeff then turned to Trenor and Smith, "I will be examining your conduct in the weeks to come. You two may very well be court-martialled upon your return!"
With that, the three soldiers collected their duffels and made their way back to the Spectral Mist.
Scene 2: Out in the Open
Wearily, the teams on Galatia made their way north, tired by the heat of the sun and their previous efforts since attacking the freighter security guards. As they drew closer to the base of the plain, a squadron of blue-dressed Tech Men swoopers sped towards them, shooting as they came within firing range.
Though their high speed and distance from the party rendered much of their fire ineffective, they still wounded one of Jeff’s team mates. Having been caught off guard by this attack the party was unprepared to mount a resistance and so rallied to set up a line of defence.
Quickly the swoop bikes soared over the line shooting down a few GP troopers. As the swoopers passed the line, the soldiers had their own successes, bringing down two of the riders. The Jedi each took down a bike, scything the swoops with their lightsabers. The remaining swoopers turned about and delivered another strong volley of fire which resulted in the death of more GP soldiers.
Retaliatory fire again brought down two of the thugs, only a half dozen remained. Piloting through the line, the hooligans wounded one of Jeff’s team members but yet again, two of them were scythed by the Jedi. The remaining gang accelerated as fast as they could directly towards the defending line. Each bike charged at an immense speed, one at each of the Jedi, one at Arenen, and another at one of the GA soldiers.
The soldier was rammed down before he could resist but the others stood their ground and began a melee with the toughs who manoeuvred their swoops, around their targets. Dorn found himself challenged by the squadron leader, who, enhanced by the genetic alterations of the blue trooper program, posed a significant threat. He jumped from his bike and, while doing so, met Dorn’s lightsaber with a powerful blow of his force pike.
With Corsair’s assistance, Zdenka struck a critical blow on her foe’s engine, which suddenly stopped functioning. Foreseeing imminent danger, Corsair and Zdenka jumped back moving to safety as the bike overheated and detonated after the critical cessation of the engine.
At the same time Arenen was engaged in a gruelling conflict with his blue trooper opponent. Arenen had him on defence but was unable to deal a critical blow against the trooper’s tough armour, nor could he deliver any blows strong enough to knock out the trooper. To his relief his fellow GP troops formed a circle round the bike. Once the Chiss realised their strategy, he ducked to the ground, at which point a hail of fire engulfed the trapped swooper.
Dorn continued to struggle with the gang leader, testing his lightsaber against his adversary’s force pike. When Zdenka freed herself from her own melee she ran to her master’s aid. Facing two swirling blades, the combatant went on total defence. Nevertheless Dorn used this relief from his own defence to deal a crucial blow against his opponent’s weapon. His lightsaber smashed the handle of the force pike, leaving its wielder, the last standing member of his attack party, momentarily stunned.
Despite the setback, the swoop leader quickly recovered his wits and came charging at a sprint towards Dorn. As the biker lunged forward, a vibroblade extended from the back of each of his armour-plated wrists. Dorn narrowly blocked the strikes with his lightsaber, and then counter-attacked with a full 360 degree swing that cleaved the blades from their hilts in the swooper’s armour. Though all appeared to be over, the thug made a rapid grab for his holstered blaster carbine but was stopped dead by fire from the GP soldiers.
Scene 3: Conflict Looming
The combat had left the terrain battle scared; flaming bike wrecks dominated the scene. Amidst this field, however, lay the casualties of the GP force. For a brief period, the team members attended to their fallen comrades before trekking off once again. They marched on, embittered by the recent events, until they came within view of half a dozen strange walking vehicles.
The large siege machines formed the forefront of a Verpine siege army, and were followed by the main force. As the team stood in awe at these massively expensive but militarily effective machines, a convoy of land speeders moved towards them from the main Verpine force. The speeders drew up along side them to ferry them inside one of the looming siege machines.
Inside one of the siege machines, the team was led to a war room where a dozen Verpine commanders sat at a large round table. Part of the team was then led to an equipment room while the Jedi, Cath and the GP team leaders took their allotted seats. For the sake of the new arrivals and to double check plans for every one else, the Verpine General stood up and briefly detailed the battle plans; the six siege machines would draw close to the lines then give the defending forces a saturation of missiles; following, the escape pods, six per machine, would launch, targeting areas of strategic importance. The rest of the force would then proceed to the walls and, with the help of those forces inside the walls, bring down the defences.
Defence fire would be concentrated on the siege machines which should be relatively safe due to their own strong shielding, coupled with that of a rear mobile shield generator. Operation “pod drop” would allow three-hundred-and-sixty warriors to be launched to strategic areas of enemy defence. The pods were planned to be assigned between the most battle-experienced Verpine warriors, although this was amended to allow the insertion of the GP teams into the operation. With the briefing concluded the teams were led to equipment stores and were geared up for battle.
Scene 4: Preliminary Bombardment
The GP team assembled without delay into the escape pod assigned to them. They were relieved to hear that the one other pod being aimed for the dock was filled with top ranking, high-achieving Verpine commandos. Everyone had been armed heavily with frag grenades and blaster rifles. In addition they each received a thermal detonator, just in case kamikaze tactics were needed.
Preparing for launch inside the pod, Arenen and Corsair could see the base growing larger as the siege machine grew ever closer to its destination. The siege machine, at that point, began to slow noticeably and in the distance Arenen and Corsair could see movement of troops and artillery on the fortress’ defences. From below everyone in the pod began to hear a heightening sound of engines; the missile saturation was about to begin.
In an instant dozens of missiles surged towards the base from each siege machine, followed in turn by a second and then third burst. Thanks to the efforts of the GP force, the freighter had knocked out the main shield generator but a secondary field had been established to intercept the intense missile fire. The first barrage made a massive impression on the shield, creating shockwaves all along the walls front.
The second wave tested the limits of the shield, hitting them with such a force as to cause friction in the back-up generator itself. With this volley having an obvious affect on the wall no one was taken by surprise when the third barrage managed to cause structural damage to the outer walls of the base. With the shields being obviously weakened the pods were primed for immediate launch. From an overhead speaker came a five second warning to the assembled crew. The team braced themselves for launch, all profusely sweating in anticipation when suddenly the engines roared to life. An amazing increase of velocity in a matter of seconds sent the pod soaring at immense speeds over the terrain. As suddenly as the engines fired they cut dead and, as planned, the pod fell with the incremental decreasing velocity directly onto the bases’ primary dock, and right behind it was the second pod.
Scene 5: From the skies
Mere seconds were all that was needed for the team to regain their focus from the flight. One of Jeff’s teammates opened the hatch door on the pod’s left as Arenen pushed open the left side hatch. The team came pouring out of the pod to the bewilderment of the Tech Men dock defences.
The dock defenders readied themselves for conflict; the security took aim with their rifles, two watch towers powered up their e-webs, the few droids moved towards the GP team, and the dock technicians in the control room opened the windows and un-holstered their blaster pistols. The Verpine commandos initiated the fire fight, gunning down several nearby droids. The GP force also sprang to action, firing through the control room window, taking out a few of the armed technicians, and providing support fire at the small droid cohort.
Retaliatory fire followed; two remaining droids charged the Verpine, the towers blasted two of the hermaphrodites down, and the security moved forward- establishing a line and firing wildly past dock equipment and ships at the Verpine causing little casualties. As the defenders sought to reassert control of the dock, the GP team continued to gun down the technicians who, in their attempt to pick off the invaders, accomplished nothing bar opening themselves to attack and demonstrating the vulnerability of the control room.
As fighting continued all around, Corsair, Arenen, Cath and the Jedi moved towards the entrance to the control room. En route to the entrance they were ambushed by the line of security which had enveloped the southern quarter of the dock around the control room’s access point. Responding without pause, Zdenka and Dorn ignited their lightsabers and charged at the blue trooper guard.
The duo deflected oncoming fire away deftly by their lightsabers and, once within melee range of their opponents, cut a swathe through the cold blue troopers. The other GP forces and the Verpine fought on, decimating the droids and making a strong stand against the rest of the security forces’ line. The security towers were the deadliest defence, reducing many Verpine to burning corpses quickly and with alarming precision. Taking the offensive against the e-web towers, one of Jeff’s team, Jarison, an Ubese, grabbed the explosives of his own team and set to arming them. This collected conglomerate of explosives assembled by the Ubese was a saving factor in the conflict; the Ubese hurled the mass of explosives into the base of the closest tower; the subsequent explosion sent shockwaves over the dock platform and crippled the tower. While the tower fell, an inferno of flames, the Jedi dealt with the security forces. Being left free of assault by the Jedi, Corsair, Arenen and Cath ran for the control room’s entrance, reaching it without opposition. The trio blasted down the door and all the technicians in the room, once inside. Arenen, seeing the computer terminal, began to hack into the dock computer system, despite their lack of time.
Already reinforcements could be seen amassing in the distance, forming into units, arming their weapons and moving onto escalators bound for the dock. The first wave of reinforcements arrived just as the original security guard was being finished off. The Verpine commandos had suffered significant casualties and the GP force had lost another member, but overall their attack had been so far successful; one of two towers was destroyed, the droids were demolished, the control room captured and the security detachment almost entirely defeated.
When the first reinforcement brigade, an elite unit of blue troopers, strode upon the dock the Verpine and GP teams caught them in a crossfire. In response to minimal losses due to this oncoming barrage of fire, the reinforcements laid down a solid wave of fire solely at the Verpine commandos, killing almost the entire remainder of the team.
Meanwhile, an unnoticed guard had snuck into a fighter plane and was initiating take off procedures. Jarison again lobbed several grenades into its engine while it was taking off. Smashed by the following grenade explosion, the plane was sent crashing into the second tower, rendering it neutralised, along with the plane and its pilot.
Turning their attention from the Verpine, the reinforcement platoon of blue troopers moved to intercept the GP force in melee while continuing fire to soften up their opponents. Arenen, busy at the computer terminal in the control room, was attempting to hack the system for information regarding Tytannus or the now besieged base. While hacking Arenen noticed an instant message to the control room; one of the few intact ships aboard the dock was wanted to transport the base commander and his platoon to Tytannus.
Realising that he could not stop the ship but could use its departure to his advantage, Arenen communicated to the source of the notice that everything was under control and that the ship was all ready for take off. Cath and Corsair, who had been standing guard whilst waiting for Arenen to finish were relieved at this news, as it provided a means of escape, despite where that escape might lead to.
At the same time the reinforcements pushed forward and the GP forces moved back, trying to hold their ground against the barrage of fire from the armoured minions. They had been pushed back to the edge of the dock, covering behind some cargo loads when the reinforcements split into two units, one heading decidedly for a ship, the other further pinning down the GP team.
Arenen returned to his hacking following the transmission but was soon interrupted by Cath and Corsair signalling it was time to move out and assist their pinned and struggling comrades, as well as get everyone to the ship before it departed. Arenen, in the little time available to him, managed to copy onto a disk files from the dock computer on space transport and movement, as well as the basic layout of Tytannus. Altogether, he, Cath and Corsair exited the room via a window.
Dropping down from the window, then hiding behind a near by small, long range communication tower, they surveyed the scene. The blue troopers pinning their friends were right in front of them while further down the dock was the ship due for launch, troopers were still embarking. Rallying together, the three charged simultaneously at the oppressors, guns blazing then grabbing their melee weapons and engaging their surprised foes in a ferocious hand to hand combat. Seizing the opportunity, the Jedi made a charge for the combat, leaping into the fray, lightsabres extended and swirling. Turning the tide, the GP force stood up and advanced, continuously firing and ignoring the risks.
Knowing they had little time to rally and make their escape, the GP strike team fought hard and ruthlessly. Jeff and Jarison cut down foes from afar whilst the others now swarmed the lessening numbers of blue troopers in melee. The whole counter-attack took just a minute but that still left little time to get to the ship. Making their way there, with the Jedi cutting down the two guards outside the ship, they rushed onboard; the ship had ignited its engines and was about to close the hatch.
Cutting down a third guard who was closing the hatch by a control panel, the Jedi allowed the entire team to enter. Fortunately there were no cameras aboard the ship so the strike team was able to take the blue troopers largely by surprise. The small ships corridors were packed with thick blaster fire. The GP team, however, had the upper hand as they advanced slowly through the ship laying down a continuous barrage of heavy fire as they went. Before long they had reached the bridge where they found the commander and the pilot. With the rest of the blue trooper crew now lining the corridors, it was easy for the strike team to coerce the commander and pilot into taking them aboard Tytannus, especially because of Dorn’s ability to affect minds.
Scene 6: Body Snatchers
The soldiers Shiro, Wade and Rantog set down on Tatooine, and made their way directly to the refrigeration storage after hiring out a land speeder. They arrived just in time to see a group of thugs entering a speeder, carrying bags that Rantog recognised as being the ones he stored Rean and Head in.
"After those body snatchers!" he yelled, bring Trenor and Kanabe to action.
A speeder chase ensued, with Shiro piloting at his best, and quickly catching up to the thugs. Trenor leapt from the speeder into the thugs' and quickly knocked the pilot unconscious. Rantog watched his back; firing shots at the thugs trying to grapple with Wade.
Without too much further effort, Trenor brought the speeder to a halt in a side alley, and the fight began in earnest. While Rantog and Shiro were disembarking from their own speeder, Trenor took opportunity of their distraction, and electrocuted the thugs with his new Force lightning.
Rantog was surprised by the thugs' quick surrender, but didn't question it too much. He and Shiro loaded the bodies of Head and Rean into the back of their speeder while Trenor intimidated the thugs to find out how they knew about the bodies being stored there. The group had no idea how they found out, just that they knew, and that the bounties were good in the Colonies.
Trenor proceeded to knock the thugs unconscious, and then the three soldiers travelled back to the Spectral Mist. They returned the speeder, paid the docking fee and had left the planet all within an hour.
Scene 7: Into the Maelstrom - Tytannus
The small ship made its way through Galatia’s atmosphere, penetrating into space where, in the distance, the crew and passengers could see the looming expanse of their destination. Tytannus was akin to a fortress, nothing of note could be seen on its exterior, apart from shield generators and an extremely large weapon of some description. The large weapon spired down from the inside of Tytannus and was supported by numerous small ships and support beams. When compared to conventional weapons it looked most like a cannon, but so large that it could potentially annihilate large ships with a few short firings. Alarmed by the imposing structure and adjoining weapon, the team began to reconsider but were steadied by the advice of Jeff and the Jedi, who reasoned with them that the only real options, from a moral and rational perspective, were to either destroy Tytannus or neutralise its commanders somehow. Steeled on by these words, the team donned the armour of their enemy, available from the ship’s stores, and prepared for the inevitable as the small ship proceeded into Tytannus’ docking bay.
Once all landing procedures had been completed, the group fell into line behind the blue trooper commander, who was feeling the effects of Dorn Plo’s affect mind. The commander led the line of troops past dock security and he and his undercover retinue moved speedily to the war room of Tytannus, where the army commanders were discussing events. The column passed the corridors without a second glance until they reached the first of two guarded security doors into Mathanthias’ war room. At the door the commander stated his business to the guards; to report to the war council on the events back on Galatia’s surface. He and his retinue were allowed access past the door. At the second door only the commander and his two guards, replaced by the Jedi, were granted access to the war room, while the others waited in the long hallway, lined by a dozen guards, between the two doors. In the war room, the Jedi took their positions behind the seat of their commander at the table. They had entered as Mathanthius was cursing the apparent security failure on the freighter. With the base commander’s arrival, matters turned to the siege on the base.
Scene 8: Developments
The Spectral Mist was on the return journey to Coruscant when it was suddenly brought out of hyperspace. Before the eyes of Trenor, Kanabe and Smith was a massive Yuuzhan Vong vessel in front of them.
"Evasive manoeuvres!" All three screeched, and Shiro quickly began to pilot away from the enormous ship. Meanwhile, both Wade and Rantog ran for the laser turrets. They made it there with time only to buckle in before a wing of Coral Skippers passed by, opening fire.
Trenor was frustrated that his use of the Force was limited in an engagement such as this, although both he and Rantog proved effective in handling the starship weapons, as after only a few shots each of them had destroyed a Coral Skipper.
However, the Spectral Mist was also taking heavy damage. Fortunately, Shiro had managed to escape the range of the Yuuzhan Vong interdiction, and the ship once more entered hyperspace.
In relief, Smith and Trenor returned to the cockpit, where Wade begun running diagnostics on the damage sustained. The engines had taken damage, as had the navi-com dish. It was likely that it would take longer than expected to return to Coruscant.
Rantog had a look of deep thought on his face, then he began talking: "That won't look to good on our reviews, will it? They may even think we've gone AWOL if we don't reply soon!"
Shiro interjected, "But they'd see the damage that we sustained. That can't ignore that."
"True," conceded Rantog, "but we never would have gotten this damage in the first place if we hadn't been ordered to come out here! And just think about what happened a few minutes ago!"
"What are you getting at?" Trenor snarled.
"Just this: Wade and I joined up 'cause we thought we'd get to defend Kuat, and the first thing they do is send us to Coruscant! Then they induct us into this secret ops group, which is fine to look at, but what happens when they try sending us out here again? Or even on a mission close to the invasion corridor!"
"We'll be royally screwed!" panicked Shiro.
"So, what's the plan boss?" Wade said with sarcasm.
"I propose that when we get back, we quit the military. We've made enough of a reputation for ourselves in helping Coran Horn those months back, taking down Black Flail independently, and even rubbing elbows with Hutts like Wahud; we could easily make a living as mercenaries. All in favour, say aye..."
Scene 9: The Good Fight
The commander began to report on the “tragedy” below and the failure of his subordinates to carry out his emergency procedures for such an attack. Meanwhile the Jedi readied for combat, waiting only to hear their comrades’ blasters. Sure enough, only moments later the team pulled guns on the surrounding guards, blasting half of them in a surprise assault. Several guards from the war room ran to the others assistance, leaving only a few guards for the Jedi to dispatch with. The assembled leaders continued their discussions, confident that there was just some accident or something that would pass shortly. To their complete surprise the Jedi jumped swiftly onto a group of guards still in the room, brandishing their lightsabres. The war room guards all engaged in the subsequent melee but proved no challenge for the still strong Jedi. Though wearied by all the continual conflict, all the team members pushed on and fought to their best ability.
The GP soldiers in the corridor were now facing a reinforced guard, which now numbered ten blue troopers. The team pulled back to the first security door which they used to hide behind in between firing. In addition to providing some protection this afforded Jarison safe distance to hurl a thermal detonator. While finishing off the last of the war room guards, the Jedi heard an enormous roar as the thermal detonator exploded, sending heat and flame surging throughout the corridor. The commanders who were at the table now split up; five positioning themselves to blast the GP soldiers. The remaining three commanders charged at the Jedi, bearing vicious vibro-axes.
The thermal detonator had halved the ranks of the blue troopers, but once again found those ranks reinforced to almost full numbers, and this time those reinforcements were the most elite of the entire blue trooper legion. The ensuing fire fight was fierce with shot after shot nearly connecting with the members of the bewildered GA team. Amongst the barrage, one shot did connect, ending the career of another of Jeff’s team mates. In the war room the Jedi fared about as well, finding themselves hard pressed to even avoid their foes blows, let alone land any of their own. The battle wearied Jedi continued, however, to fight, finding strength in each other and the force.
Back in the corridor, the GP team, fuelled by the anger felt by the loss of a team mate, staged a death or glory assault, leaping from their positions and storming at the enemy, guns blazing. Oncoming fire was largely ineffectual, with shots hitting only armour or missing entirely, as the blue troopers attempted to back away, losing their focus. The savage counter attack, due to precise close range fire, proved overly successful, blasting away the standard guard and downing two of the five commanders. The retaliatory fire was also effective as the GA soldiers had left themselves wide open. Jeff took a shot to his chest and, though protected by armour, fell to the ground, stunned. Jarison was also hit and stunned, momentarily losing consciousness.
Corsair and Arenen, each aiming very carefully, fired a shot at the commanders. These shots hit their targets square on the helmet, burning through almost to the commanders’ foreheads. The commanders fired back in a reactionary manner but were completely off in their aim. The now adrenaline charged duo, Corsair and Arenen, were ready for close combat action when they were both thrown a grenade by the now conscious Ubese. Each warrior removed the pin and hurled the bombs at the commanders who stood frozen. The short range explosives blew the commanders out of the corridor and onto the floor of the war room. Jeff too, now got back up to his feet and marched with the others into the war room, receiving no opposition from the nearly two dozen corpses strewn all over the corridor.
Zdenka and Dorn had almost exhausted their remaining strength when another explosion surged from the corridor. Foreseeing the event seconds before it occurred, Dorn leapt across the expanse of the door to the corridor. When his opponent followed he was hit by three dead commanders being thrown by the impact of two grenades. Two of the three commanders which were fighting the Jedi did not follow Dorn, instead attempting to overwhelm Zdenka. Going on the full defensive, Zdenka was able to stave off her attackers in time for aid to arrive. Dorn, along with the GP soldiers charged the two commanders from behind. The surprised commanders were unable to effectively defend or counter attack with their large vibro-axes, so were at the mercy of Dorn and the GP troops who, by this point, were out of patience.
Scene 10: The Final Trial
The team which had come from the space station to the freighter, to the base of Galatia and now here gathered together quietly, taking a moment to rest. Arenen moved to a computer positioned on the war room table in front of Mardonius’ marked out seat. While he downloaded everything he could on the blank data disks he had been carrying, Jeff, with the look of surprised realisation, said, “Where is Mathanthius?” The Jedi, who were in the room with him when he disappeared, did not notice his departure. He hadn’t gone through the corridor and there were no other apparent exits to the room. They all warily surveyed the area and started to fan out across the room when a small hiss broke the silence. Turning to a corner of the room, they witnessed a small widening slit moving across from the wall’s corner. The slit took mere moments to fully open, revealing a small passage way, from which Mathanthius emerged, wearing thick Blue Trooper armour and bearing an ancient and large sword. Sparing no time he charged straight at the Jedi, letting out a loud battle cry and wielding his massive sword overhead. Arenen intercepted Mathanthius as he stormed towards his targets and smacked him with a stun baton. Mathanthius, feeling the stun effect, fell but quickly rolled back to his feet, undaunted by the physical pain. Nevertheless, Arenen’s assault bought his team mates a few seconds to fire, close range, at the Blue Trooper Lord. Wounded yet still undaunted, Mathanthius turned his anger towards Arenen and, with a powerful stroke, fuelled and directed by the dark side of the force, the war lord cut deep into Arenen, piercing armour and flesh. With his sword stuck into Arenen, Mathanthius had no way of defending against Dorn Plo. The Jedi Knight, with a masterful stroke, cut precisely through Mathanthius armoured wrist. The severed wrist still grasped onto the sword, which hung from Arenen who sank to the ground. The GA soldiers now formed a circle around the war lord and shot stun blasts repeatedly at him. Unable to halt herself, Zdenka then pushed through the circle and, before any one could stop her, severed Mathanthius’ head.
Scene 11: Closing
No one blamed Zdenka for her action, though Dorn and Jeff were disappointed to lose such a valuable captive as the master planner behind all the Tech Men’s unethical actions. At this point Corsair, hearing approaching troops, locked the war room door and led the team, carrying the wounded but stable Arenen, into the small passage from which Mathanthius had emerged. Therein they found a tiny tunnel which led to a secret escape pod 50 metres away.
Using Mathanthius’ secret escape pod the group safely escaped from the space station Tytannus, eventually landing on Galatia’s surface near a Verpine town. There they rested a few days before being picked up by a Republic transport and taken home. They had completed their mission, gaining valuable information on Tytannus and having destroyed the majority of the command body of the Tech Men organisation. The days of the Tech Men and their Blue Trooper program were ended.
Next Story: The Invasion of Rostana: Renegade