"We're walking into a mess, and when all is said and done, they expect us to somehow save this station while wading around in the muck. We have been given a couple of rooms to use, and when you all drop your stuff of, I will have a list ready of things we need to research in the next few days as well as the few details I have on what precisely we need to do, broadly speaking. It's a daunting task, but should be doable if we all put our heads together. Zaleos, you will have to take charge once we have a plan in place; there can be no direct bailouts from me this time. Local politics, never entirely great, have reached the point that the opposing sides have resorted to talking to each other with guns, and I will need to watch my own actions carefully. So, all in all, it's pretty much exactly what I expected it to be; a big, giant mess that has every hallmark of reminding me why I hate visits home." With that, Nichos orders another drink, and goes back to working on his datapad. As a cheery afterthought, "You can forget about simple right now. Better enjoy your drink while you can. You'll need the pleasantness of the buzz to counteract your natural instincts when you find out what I've undug so far."
|Karval de Longinous|
Karval gives a throaty and hearty laugh; "Maybe we can do as well as the first mission; get a team-mates head blown off. Or the second; give away a whole world to the rebels." he says sardonically.
He raises his glass and drains it in a single quaff, then takes another and sips more gently. "Looks like a respectable place, I suppose we can save it." he looks around the station with approval.
|Karval de Longinous|
Karval taps Zaleos' pint lightly with his own and leans into the Mirikulian.
"He's in love." Karval explains to Arana with a shrug.
"Or the second; give away a whole world to the rebels." he says sardonically.
"The world has to be worth fighting for first. The rebels can have that worthless rock for all I care; nothing there but an old lab which can easily be replicated elsewhere. Saves the empress the need to spend her own resources on it; we got what we needed, that is all that matters there.
For better or for worse, this station actually needs to be saved. For one, the survival of it and it's people and our success are too closely linked to allow one of the objectives to fail without risking the success of the other. They may well be our only escape route if things go too sour. Second, both this station and Malakai must not be allowed to slip through our fingers before the empress can fully act in this region. Both are simply too valuable in too many ways.
And I'm sure you'll do Yallie proud now that you don't have the immediate distraction."
Karval's words have an unsettling effect on Zaelos. He turns to look at Aranna and stutters an apology. "Ahhh...well...uhh....present company excepted, of course." He finishes off his wine in one long swallow and gives the impassive Chiss a long look. "Riight...again thanks for your confidence in me."
"It's not you I distrust, it's the emotion of love and it's effect on your mind that give me both concern and hope at the same time. Emotions can be very powerful allies, but they can also be very powerful enemies, and the difference is not always easy to see. All you have to do is look at the whole Jedi fiasco after the emperor took power for proof of that."
Arana watches the exchanges between Nichos, Karval and Zaleos with a bemused expression, occasionally frowning as she tries to sort out the meanings and implications of their statements. Answering Zaleos' apology with a confused frown, she turns to Nichos and says "So this station is the prize we seek to win? "
|Karval de Longinous|
"I like it when the stakes are big. It gives a certain pique to the experience and does no harm to the reputation." Karval looks darkly knowing that his rep as a Gladiator was for his killer instincts. "So the information about his works, is inter-linked with the station and we must make sure the Empress keeps a hold of it?"
|Trooper A-337, "Janitor"|
Janitor watches the back and forth between the members of the team silently, nodding to the Chiss as he sits down. He frowns at Nichos' suggestion of using alcohol to dull his senses, but it's only a slight, momentary reaction before he returns to an impassive countenance. Finally, he puts in his two credits: "Secure a stronger grip on a station we already have some power over? Sounds a good deal easier than trying to capture an enemy-controlled objective."
The Mandalorean clone places his cup on the table and folds his arms. "And big stakes... Well, no guts, no glory, no pain, no gain, all that stuff, huh? Guess if it weren't dangerous, we wouldn't be here."
Nichos just smiles as Janitor speaks up. "There's dangerous and there's suicidal. This mission skirts that line awfully close. I can guarantee that if we were to skip the research and dive straight in, it would blow the line away and become essentially a suicide mission."
I'll try to get all of my notes and such gathered together and posted in game later tonight after I get some supper.
Nichos finishes his current drink, speaking no more except to tell the team where their rooms were, before retiring to the rooms for some quiet thought and rest. When the rest of the team get there, they each get a datacard with the following notes:
Mission on Chandrilla revealed that Adam and his work was relocated to a secret lab on Batseren, located somewhere in Chiss space, but I cannot confirm even the existence of the planet, meaning alternate means of finding information is required.
On Chiss space and Politics:
You find that the Chiss sought secession after the death of the emperor. Wanting to side with neither side, the Chiss now have their own government in the aristocracy. They rule a nice chunk of space save for one planet they are currently fighting over. The planet of Malakai is a resource rich world controlled by the hutts. Since hutt space is lightyears from it, they have been having a time of fighting off the Chiss. If it weren't such a remote world with such an abundance of resources, the hutts wouldn't even bother with it. Interesting enough, it is just on the border of Empress Palpetine's controlled space. Other than that, it seems as though the Chiss government is no longer a friend of the empire.
On Daneta Station
The last remaining imperial station in Chiss space. It is heavily fortified by imperial loyalists who seem to be allied with Mirianna. You find some info that says, as soon as the Chiss fleet finishes its take and hold mission of Malakai, they will shift their attention to wiping out this thorn in their side. The station appears sturdy and well defended.
Initial Impressions. Malakai sounds like a promising start to focus on, both for securing the empress's interests and finding the clues we need. Could get messy, though; one wrong move could be bad for us individually, and our cause as a whole. Not the best beginning I could have hoped for.
The planet is remote and completely untapped of its natural resources. Primarily it is rich in rare metals and earths but it also has a lot of potential from its fauna and flora. The planet has little ocean but a fair number of lakes. It is rich in fertile land too. It also has some of the most diverse and exotic wild life, not to mention some of the most dangerous.
From a resource standpoint this planet is valuable enough on its own. However, there is still more to it. The planet is home to an indigenious humanoid species known as the Malaki. These people are partially primitive. They still live in a tribal society and still live off the land without much technology. This is just the way they prefer it. They understand technology and some have been trained quite well at it, they just prefer hardships.
The people are a warrior people and skilled animal trainers. They believe hard work is not only better for you, but it is a sign of good character and aids in adaptability.
The jedi council had discovered this planet more than a few centuries about and had established a jedi temple on it to train the locals. According to the information, these people had a strong amount of force sensitivity. Similar to Dathomir and Ossus and the Miraluka where they seem to be born with an innate talent for the force.
The planet was deemed worthy of preservation and was not mined. The jedi have kept it so until the republic fell and the empire sold the planet to the hutts in return for a cut of the profits. The hutts sent the Trandoshans over to take the world and enslave the populace to work the mines. The creepy part is, you find classified information that proves the empire was the benefactor from the destruction of the environment and the enslavement of the planets people. Not to mention the whole sale slaughter of any resistance, man, woman, and even child. The information you find was set up to make it look like it was all the hutts doing this cruel stuff but it was in fact, and still kind of is, the empire. The leader of the imperial forces on Malakai is man named. General Makabe. A Malakai who betrayed his own and enlisted in the empire. He is now the leader of the imperials on Malakai. It is unclear as to which imperial faction he supports.
This is who the Chiss are fighting. Imperials and Trandoshan.
Oh, my. This is going to be interesting to say the least. Definitely has the clues we need, but oh, so many land mines to navigate.
Where to start? First, I suppose is General Makabe and his people. Must find out where he stands. Also, the natives sound like ideal test subjects for the weapon we seek; must look for anomalies there.
Second, just how much were the hutts involved? While clearly not to blame for the worst of it, they still have a role, and knowing it is going to be important.
There are reports of an unusual sorts regarding the raid on the jedi temple. You find articles reporting that the jedi, there being a good number, where handled by an imperial black ops division and Darth Vader did not oversee the initial parts of the raid. Only the man hunt that followed. There is no information as to what happened during the raid, only that it was labeled a success by an unknown division of the former empire.
Raid on jedi temple? Vader? This is getting really, really ugly. I'm almost afraid to keep going. Taintus has to lie somewhere at the end of this chain; Vader may not have been directly involved at first, but it still stinks of his indirect involvement, and that means his protege is part of this. Cortel and his weapon as well, but where, and how to the pieces fit together?
There are many tribes on Malakai that were massacred were destroyed by identifiable means. Many of which involve imperial armaments and Trandoshan bio war tactics. A report say that more than a fifth of the planets total sentient populace was slain or enslaved. The odd thing is the slaves are not all accounted for. There are records of those sold to the hutts, in particular a large sum of Malakai were bought up by a former rebel affiliated crime boss named Zedora the hutt. It seems the rebel alliance enlists the aid of of slavers and criminal overlords to win its battles. But this overlord seems to be working with whatever imperial faction controls Malakai.
Pay Dirt. Need to look into this Zedora. The missing slaves are a big lead.
Objectives on Malakai:
Inspect the jedi temple that still stands for any clues on what happened.
Who now controls the temple and the surrounding area? Has the temple been looted? How much of the temple remains?
Find out what happened to the missing slaves that weren't accounted for. The Trandoshans or the imperials may have that information.
Figure out what to do with General Makabe and his people.
Figure out how to manipulate the situation on Malakai to take some pressure off of the station while not losing control of the situation.
An imposing challenge to say the least, not at helped by the probability that I will have to restrict my actions to within the team only in order to not make a bad situation worse. I have also created a dummy organization for possible use as a cover story.
Zaelos reads the report on the datapad...then rereads it. Twice. He is silent for some time. Finally, he sets the datapad down., while rubbing his temple. "Nichos, I may be able to assist in following up on the Zedora angle. I can contact my...friend who assisted us with the Chandrilla situation and see if he is aware of this Hutt's activities. Let me know what include with my message and I will have L7 relay it."
He pauses for Nichos to respond, then continues. "This Jedi temple could provide us the answers we seek...or it could be a trap; left by Cortel. I find it difficult to believe he would ignore it after completing his research." He looks across the table at Aranna, "As one trained in the Force...the GIFT as you call it, you would be at greater risk. What do you think? Is it worth the risk to head there immediately, or recconnoiter first?"
"The Malakai sound much like my own people on Dathomir, as is their situation. Finding out where the missing slaves are and removing them from bondage would please me, though I understand given future developments that may not be possible. The Jedi temple may indeed be a trap, Zaleos, but I for one am quite curious to see what lays there; our own teachings on ...the Force as you call it, were brought to us on Dathomir by a Jedi many generations ago." Arana pauses "Of primary concern , though, is how would we , when we choose to go, get to Malakai if the Chiss fleet has it under seige?"
|Trooper A-337, "Janitor"|
As the primary meal and meeting ends, Janitor leaves another few credits on the table, insisting to pay for the drink, and heads to his room. He moves his things to the new room he's sharing with the group--it's not much--and informs the staff of the arrangement.
Janitor takes almost as long on the read-through as Zaleos, but it is far more because he's scanning the information very in-depth than any slowness. Several times he sets the notes down to rub his eyes or pace the room agitatedly. You can hear him occasionally muttering to himself, things like, "Jedi...?" and "If only there were more information..."
As Arana, Nichos and Zaleos begin to talk, the clone retakes his seat and listens attentively. "A Jedi temple..." he replies when the apparent leader of the group asks him and Karval. "If it's just ruins, I have no issue. But I've had my share of the Jedi themselves." He stares down at the notes in his lap, his mind going back to the screams at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, the bodies dropping on other missions conducted over the years.
He looks up to the group again. "I agree that the question of trustworthiness is an important one. Reconnaissance will always serve a wise warrior well as he lays plans; whether it's physical or mental, it's good to learn before acting. I think any additional information we can acquire would be of great use to us."
"You now see why I said that further research is necessary before leaving for the planet. There are many details yet to fill out before we can make even the beginnings of a plan. I was planning on continuing my research efforts tomorrow amongst the computer records. I would recommend that others do the same or get out and mingle with our hosts; perhaps the locals may know something not in the official records."
"Yes too many unknowns exist, your plan is sound, Nichos" Arana says "I will use my frustrations with this hyperspace motivator " indicating her pack " to ingratiate myself to some of the technical crew. In my experience on other stations, they are sometimes one of the best sources of information....no one notices that they are around."
|Karval de Longinous|
Karval had been quietly thinking, plotting and trying to take in all the possibilities. They seemed quite immense before him and he was glad that his companions were so clever.
"I find nothing distasteful in checking out the Jedi temple. However I know that extra information is vital, to move from one area to another is wasteful and inopportune." Karval pauses; "I do speak Huttese, if it's needful. (as well as Zeltran)" he also adds.
|Karval de Longinous|
|Karval de Longinous|
|Trooper A-337, "Janitor"|
"Same here," Janitor says after Karval suggests his actions. "My skills are almost exclusively combat, so I don't know how effective I'd be at information gathering, unless the presence of a 'Trooper would be intimidating. And at the same time," the warrior adds, "it may be unwise to reveal my origins and exploits."
Janitor moves to his gear and begins to clean his weapons. "As for languages, I know Basic, obviously, along with Binary, the High Galactic tongue, and Mando'a--that is, Mandalorean."
|Karval de Longinous|
Karval's lips quirk slightly as what might be a smile for the gruff Mandalorean, at Arana's words. "True, but of course Janitor though our skills lie elsewhere we have brains and ideas that can be put to use."
Karval tries to think of other courses of action; ways to help the station. But is drawing a blank, whilst he too strips his weapons.
|Trooper A-337, "Janitor"|
"Indeed," Janitor says. He can't help glancing over at the other Mandaloreans weapon, his eyebrows raising slightly in appreciation and admiration. "Let me think.... my years in the service have taught me much, both in conventional warfare and in covert operations such as this."
The clone's face twists in a slightly ironic smirk. "Guess we had to, with some of the stuff the Emperor had us... Well, I suppose you already know about some of that."
Janitor finishes cleaning his gear as he contemplates his experience, trying to come up with anything useful...
This game's progress is currently in your hands. I will not be moving it along until you are all ready to do so.
You can retire for the night and then in the next day you may make any inquiries for more information you desire.
Also, on an important note. Your team has received a credit chip worth 30000 credits. You can distribute it among the party for individual spending, or you can use it to purchase major equipment for the whole party. You decide.
Also, among your assets, don't forget the AT-ST Walker you were given for your last mission. It is still attached to your ship and you were not asked to return it so it's yours if you need it.
Was just waiting for the weekend to have the time to work up all the rolls.
Nichos yawns, "I agree, we have a busy few days ahead of us, we'll need all the sleep we can get." The next day, he gets to work.
The base protocol droid is 3000 credits. If we split the 30k 6 ways, that would leave 5k for each present individual and 5k for the party as a whole, which would be enough for the good protocol droid and some extra for simple expenses and/or potential upgrades to the walker and ship.
Now the fun part
Computer Use on basic information on jedi temple and it's surroundings 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (10) + 14 = 24
Computer Use on the current condition of the jedi temple, and how it's been treated since the raid (i.e. has it been looted?, etc) 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (19) + 14 = 33
Computer Use on Zedora the Hutt 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (9) + 14 = 23
Computer Use on the Trandoshans, their leader on the planet, and their bases of operation on the planet 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (1) + 14 = 15
Computer Use on General Makabi and any clues as to which imperial faction he supports 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (16) + 14 = 30
I like the protocol droid purchase here, Nichos. Don't forget about Zaelos' astromech droid R2-L7. It seems to me pairing them together would be a good thing no? :) As for the AT-ST, I would suggest using it to approach the Temple, when we are ready to go there.
Zaelos yawns, "It would be a good idea to rest now. We have no idea what tomorrow holds." He returns to the room, noting Arana has already claimed the bed for herself. He will sleep on the floor.
The next day he returns to their ship and asks L7 to open a secure channel...
Favor roll (to see if the Rebels have any info on the missing Malakai slave or if Zedora the Hutt knows anything.) 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
D'OH! I imaging the conversation went something like this...
"Yes, a collect call for Rebel Contact from Mr. Burleon
Will you accept the charges from Daneta Station?"
"Oh, He hung up! That's his residence, right? I wonder why he hung up?
Is there supposed to be someone else there besides him there to answer?"
"This is Daneta Station calling, are we reaching...
"See he keeps hanging up, and it's an Imperial trooper answering...apologies to Pink Floyd fans there, he he."
As the others pass through the rooms on their various errands during the day, they seen Nichos hard at work. At first, it seems like his normal level of concentration, but the afternoon has him focused to the point that he barely even acknowledges your existence as he seems to be working at lightning pace trying to untangle a Gordian Knot before it can retangle itself.
Any known links between Segaris, Taintus, and Cortel, starting from his initial research when he first looked at each individually through everything he's learned to this point. 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (13) + 18 = 31
Anything on Night's Nine 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (16) + 18 = 34
Arana rises early, or at least thinks she does, as she sees Nichos bent in concentration over his datapad and sees that Zaleos has already left. A rueful smile on her face, she gathers her pack and heads down to the main hangar.
Entering the massive space she looks for the closest mechanics bullpen. Seen a couple of offduty mechanics sitting on some storage boxes, she makes a bee-line towards them. Smiling at the first who meets her gaze, she stops in front of that mechanic,drops her pack at her feet and says "You know hyperdrive motivators? I've got one here that is driving me crazy. The specs say to use a hydrospanner at .035 micrometers to initialize the movtivator array, but I get nothing. You mind helping me out?"
As she says this, she instictively makes use of her force skill
Friendship 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Nym the Hutt 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (13) + 18 = 31
The conflict between Nym and Zedora 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (6) + 18 = 24
Comparing resources available to both hutts 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (20) + 18 = 38
With all of these rolls and their results, Nichos is going to sleep well tonight, despite the fact that each new answer brings up 3 more questions, each more disturbing than the last.