Star Wars: Predators

Outriders of Endor
Prelude to the Battle of Endor

Mission Roster

Captain Volin saw the group off, he wished them luck and said General Maidine had asked him to hand the group these small boxes. Each of the box contained a dose of neurotoxin in a small pill – for the worst case scenario.

They departed for Endor and arrived. Death Star was there, along with a Super Star Destroyer and 5 Imperial Class Star Destroyers – lots of TIE Fighters around. The shield enveloped the entire planet, and the Death Star, making it impenetrable to ships. This posed a problem since the group arrived aboard the Intruder and they didn’t want to broadcast their presence by transmitting clearance codes.

So they edged closer to the shield and eventually came across a pair of troop transports heading for the surface. The Intruder followed in their wake, being careful to stay out of direct line of sight. The transports were joined by two more – larger – transports, Ghost recognised them as AT-AT deployment vessels.

The shield lowered for the transports and the Intruder slipped through behind them. The Intruder followed them, keeping low to the tree tops to avoid being a visible presence. The transports split up – the troop variants heading to the west and the AT-AT deployers to the north. The group decided to follow the western group first, to confirm the Bothan intelligence in that direction (since it made no mention of the north), but noted down the bearing of the northern transports to pursue later.

In the distance they spotted the shield generator – a huge dish, with multiple smaller dishes – and a large landing pad (clearly heavily defended, with an AT-AT patrolling nearby). The troop transports made for the landing pad.

A large lizard-squirrel-like creature sprung forth from the trees and glided towards them – it was about the size of the Intruder. It latched onto the roof/front, Ghost rolled over to try to shake it off to no avail. Tobin leapt from the cabin to the underside of the ship (which was now facing up), bring his lightsaber to bear on the creature. This loosened the creature’s grip. Ghost pulled the Intruder to a halt, flinging the creature off. Unfortunately Tobin’s safety line snapped and he too went falling into the forest below.

The crew noted Tobin’s position, ascertained he was alright and planned – the Intruder would fly north and investigate where the other transports were heading, meanwhile Tobin would scout around the shield generator.

So the Intruder flew north on the bearing of the AT-AT transports. The further north they went the more the trees thinned out – they were travelling hundreds of kilometres. The temperature dropped, snow began falling – they were clearly heading for an arctic region of the planet.

Here they found a huge mag-lev train station, two AT-ACTs had been deployed, the area was well defended. This wasn’t in the Bothan intelligence.

They followed the line and came to a huge landing field – hundreds of starfighters were assembled here, Ghost spotted every TIE version she could think of (Fighter, Bomber, Interceptor, Raptor, Striker, etc) and Ace spotted some Mandalorian Protectorate Starfighters in a hanger. This place was also well defended – AT-AAs, laser cannon emplacements, etc.

The line continued, over a vast cavernous pit being cut into the ice – heavy duty construction vehicles appeared to be cutting deep below, meanwhile other vehicles moved things up the surface amidst the vast snow drifts around. This appeared to be some sort of deep mining operation.

Finally they came to another huge dish installation – another shield generator, apparently inactive. It seems as though the Empire has a back-up in case the Rebels take out their shield…

Meanwhile Tobin had to mercy kill the creature – it had gotten caught in some kind of primitive net trap as it fell. He then ran afoul of a Scout Trooper patrol, killed them and hid their bodies in a pit. Disguising himself as a Scout Trooper he headed for the Imperial Landing Pad, intending to try and find a ride ‘upstairs’.

On his way he fell into a primitive trap himself – on a river bed, his foot almost got pricked by poison spikes buried in the mud. Just pulling himself up from that, he then came across a pair of AT-STs. Playing a Scout Trooper who’s patrol had been ambushed by a massive lizard creature, he got ordered to go help a patrol in distress nearby (he’d be quicker than the walkers as they’d have to navigate around several dense clumps of trees).

He arrived in the clearing, the only sign of the patrol being two blaster’s and a broken helmet. Tobin was then ambushed by Ewoks, Tobin ran away terrified in a very undignified manner.

View
On the Eve of Battle: Jacen and Ghost

Jacen arrives in Ghost’s room, he checks to see if anyone has noticed him, thankfully he’s yet to be seen. He sighs, closes the door behind him.

“Sorry to show up like this, I need your advice about something and your the only one I can count on who might have an idea what to do.”

“So, what’s troubling you?” Ghost replied.

“Multiple things, Endor for one, but because the Force is going through one hell of a storm its hard not to feel uneasy. But what I’m really after is simple: in your personal opinion is it possible to redeem an Inquistior?”

“Hypothetically, personally, or just asking for a friend?”

“I’d like your brutal most honest response.” Jacen sighs, “I’m thinking about trying to get Mara Jade off that path. I feel that once the Empire starts crumbling, my moment to strike will be close.”

“Brutal honesty? Certainly it’s possible for an inquisitor to be redeemed. The snag is that redemption isn’t something you can force on a person. They have to want it. If a person is forced to do good or evil, then can they really be called so?”

“No, that would be me just forcing my opinion. But surely, there’s no harm in trying, I mean she went against the Cabal killed a few… Even though that Master brought them back. I think that once the Empire starts to crack, she won’t have an idea what to do.”

“Be careful with your assumptions, Jacen, they can lead you to take actions with consequences you don’t know about. Or worse, leave a weakness in your heart to be exploited.”

“You might be right. But I’m prepared for the alternative, she might try to kill me, I’ll defend myself and possibly I may end up killing her. Problem is I don’t want to, and that’s going to be used against me.”

“Sometimes we have to make a hard choice, between saving a person from themselves or saving others from a person.” Ghost replied, “It’s the burden of having the power to change fate, to have to choose whether or not to stop someone before they go too far, or have to catch them when they’re falling.”

“Is there a way to tell?”

“If you’re asking for some measure to judge it by, then no. It’s something you have to feel. I can’t quite put it into words.”

“Hmmm. Then I suppose I should confess something to you. After Endor I’m leaving the Alliance and I’m going to try and resolve this thing between Mara once and for all, alone.”

Ghost asked, “Do you know where she is?”

“No. But if I put enough feelers out, she’ll find me. She said so herself, and once she discovers I’ve left and after her, I’m reasonably sure she’ll come after me.”

“And what will you do if you find her?”

“I’ll talk to her, if things go well and the Empire is left reeling she might be willing to listen. If not… I’m prepared.”

“Why would you do this alone, when there are those who could help?”

“For various reasons. For one, I won’t be alliance anymore and I feel this is something I could do myself. Maybe I can coax Skywalker into it, she knows a few temples, maybe they’re not Jedi but it might be enough. Also, after this, I won’t be coming back I feel as if force sensitives shouldn’t be involved in wars for too long, we only have to look at history to see what happened there.”

“That’s not really what I meant,” Ghost said, “You have assembled around you right now some of the most resourceful and capable people in the galaxy. A tracker who can follow targets across the stars, a scoundrel who gets connections everywhere, a hunter that can master any environment. All stood at your side, all have benefited from your help, and yet you hesitate to ask them to aid you when you need it. This isn’t about the war, this is about doing what’s right. War or not, each of us would benefit from knowing that one less inquisitor is out there one way or another. Tobin already wants to wipe out the Sith, he would have no objections to tracking her down.”

Jacen shakes his head “It wouldn’t work, she’s clever. Mara actually once helped me get into the Alliance when I was with her. Because we’re all Alliance personal, we’ll leave tracks, and Mara will dodge every net we put down. With less numbers the option to find her increases. And since its me, she’ll come after as a Master does for an Apprentice when they need a pick up.” He flinches at the mention of Tobin “No, definitely not. He’ll try to kill her and in his state of mind I can’t trust him.”

Ghost sighs, “Listen, I’m only offering advice. You’ve built up a few friendships here and I don’t want to watch you throw it all away to go chasing after a girl. I’m not going to judge you like that. But I will say to just wait until after Endor before you commit to this. An event this scale is going to change the course of the galaxy. For better or for worse. For all we know, this unit could be disbanded after Endor because the war ended, or the Alliance could be routed and we spend the rest of our lives running. Hell the way things are going now, I wouldn’t be surprised if she turned up on Endor seeking her own objective. Just keep your options open, and don’t jump before you know what’s coming. No matter what though, if you ever need to talk I’ll still be here.”

Jacen chuckles “You’re just like Tobin, he said exactly the same thing before he tried to threaten me. Okay, there’s another reason why I have to do this alone, Mara killed Gladdos if I bring the rest of you there’s no promises she’ll survive. And I just want to do one right thing in this Galaxy…” He takes a breath and centres himself “I’ve already set the wheels in motion, after Endor I’m going.”

After a moment Jacen says, “Not only did I want your advice, but I also need you to watch Tobin. I get the feeling he’s already in too deep, he thinks I haven’t noticed but he’s in danger of falling and I won’t be there to watch over him.”

“Don’t worry. I’m watching over him. I’m watching over you all.”

“Why do I get the feeling your going to try and follow me?” Jacen asked wryly.

“No. But when the time comes, I’ll be there for you.”

“Thanks. Hopefully you’ll hear from me after. But lets say, you felt like sneaking on with my plan, at the very least come alone.” He steps to the door, pauses, “Just one last thing, is there a reason you don’t feel like coming to Endor?”

“It’s not that I don’t feel like going to Endor, I’m going in with the infiltration team. What I’m worried about is that Tobin is trying to take the mission scope too far, which would jeopardise everything. We won’t be the only ones fighting there, yet he seems to want to take on the entirety of the battle onto our shoulders.”

“The sad thing is you’re right,” Jacen replied, “He’s going to do something stupid, and there’s a chance we might not be able to stop him. I’ll do my best to stop him, but there’s only so much we can do, and I don’t even know how he’s going to do it.”

“He’s going to try and get onto the Death Star,” Ghost said simply, “His father is there”.

“I can’t follow him, if we do we’ll compromise everything. And someone has to be around when reinforcements arrive.” Jacen said, “I’ll do my best, you do yours. I’ll see you once the dust settles. May the Force be with you, Valentine…”

He chuckles as he leaves, “Make a note that Tobin doesn’t always keep his mouth shut, if you did some digging you won’t believe what he’s done.”

View
On the Eve of Battle: Clone Wars History
Jibril and Ace
View
Truth, Revelations and Electric Misadventure
A Group Conversation

The squad are sitting around the table in the Honey Badger’s galley.

Jacen: The thing is we have mission parameters. Ultimately, we’ll need to wait for the other forces to arrive. They’re our back up and we’re the scouts, so its our duty to inform them what we’ve learnt.

Ghost: There is also a lot of intel we could learn from being on the ground without ever setting foot on the Death Star – slice some computers.

Tobin: Wut? You would secure your intel on a closed system on a deathstar?

Ghost: The facility on the surface isn’t just for the shield projections, it’s part of the construction. There will be shipping and status updates there.

Jacen: True enough. All I need is that computer terminal, I can jack in and pretty much uncover as much intel as possible from there. We should be on guard for any taunts – specifically Klevic. He might be a ‘convenient’ target to lure us out.

Tobin: Yes; but the shield generator would only store things on a need to know basis, we won’t find much evidence of the station’s capabilities nor tactical data stored there. Have you ever considered that they might have considered internal defectors accessing the system in this way?

Ghost: True, but they would have the records of what was shipped through there, such as the components needed for deflectors. It’s not just a shield generator base. It’s a supply base for constructing the Death Star too.

Jacen: Possibly. But lest you forget we also have the advantage of them not aware we’re coming. That means security may not be as tight, or may not have been properly established.

Tobin: Them not being aware of our arrival is subject to debate. I mean, if I wanted to set a trap for us, I would set up an obvious weak point and have my best on standby. Give us exactly what they want us to see and an easy way to obtain it.

Tobin sighs

Ghost: Well, that’s the point isn’t it? Sending the sentient war crime that is Predator Squadron in first. If it is a trap, it’s the best way to make sure there isn’t one by the time the rest get there.

Jacen: Indeed, at least if its sprung than it’ll warn the others that we’re not there.

Tobin drums his cybernetic fingers on the table before he sighs.

Tobin: Fine, I get it, stick to the plan, avoid another Kamino. Because you were there to cover me that time.

Tobin folds his arms and knocks back a shot.

Ghost: Well it’s likely that when we’re on the ground that the situation will become a clusterfuck of misinformation. I’m sure that in the confusion that people and property would go missing.

Ghost: “And conveniently turn up at a later time, to take a ride back up to their quarters.”
Galish walks into the galley/kitchen area.

Galish: So… hick we are really going to do this?

Ghost: Have you been drinking again?

Galish: hick Alcohol helps with the Death Stick thing.

Jacen (shrugs): Let’s be fair there are others doing the exact same.

Ghost: Wait… You have a death stick thing now?

Galish: What kind of Gand leaves concentrated death sticks in their coat pocket? A child could find it.

Ace: You mean you ?

Galish: Its is a service that I preformed getting rid of it. (Pause). Hick.

Ghost: By inhaling it?

Jacen (eyes widening): Death stick!? I thought she said Death Star!

Ghost: Can’t I leave you unattended for 5 minutes?

Galish: Whattya mean? You can totally hick trust me. (Pause). I miss my wife.

Ghost: I’m gone for a few days and you develop another addiction…

Galish: If it helps… hick I won’t be doing that again.

Ace: From what I’ve heard you were not gonna stop arguing so…

Galish: No taste you see.

Ace: You desived it.

Galish (gesturing to Ace): Wh… Who is this…?

Ace: I’m ace and yes I’m a clone.

Galish: Urr….. right.

Galish staggers over to the fridge, near the large oversized-whiskey-bottle-shaped hole in the kitchen wall.

Ace: Erm guys this the one you told me about with the drinks ?

Galish: Hick.

Ghost: I swear if I find you going for the alcohol I’ll have Gand rig up your toothbrush as an explosive.

Jacen (face-palming): Yep… I had no idea she moved on to a stronger vice.

Galish: Ghoosssttt!!! I’ve… m-missed you… Hick! I have a cyber liver now!

Ghost: …

Tobin cocks an eyebrow.

Tobin: Before you look at me, I was up to my waist in Stormtroopers when this happened. That’s how we found Derek.

Galish: Wh…Who’s Derek?

Ace: A Gand.

Galish: Anyone got any coolant?

Tobin: That huge Gand you really hate?

Ghost: No Galish.

Galish: Ooooooohhhhhh. That guy hick. I.. I can’t get hold of my wife on comms. She’d know what to do.

Ghost: Communications are on lockdown in preparation for the Endor operation. And right now, I don’t think she’d want to see you in this state.

Galish slumps down by the fridge.

Derek walks in, goes to the fridge, he’s wearing only a towel around his waist.

Derek: Sup guys?

Galish: OOOOHHHHH.

Ace: Oh no…

Derek (to Galish): Please move.

Galish: Wuuhh…?

Ace: Who let you on the ship?

Derek: Er… You guys gave me a lift.

Tobin: Seriousness Galish, you gotta get a grip on yourself. You were puking the entire time of the raid. Oh and the Chiss got high off caffine.

Ace: We did ?

Derek: Well a lift metaphorically. I literally don’t have anywhere to go.

Tobin: Alright Derek?

Galish: I was throwing up? Hick.

Dereck (nods): Mr. Stryder.

Galish: Hehe… “Strider”. Such a funny name.

Ace: No one calls him Mr.

Derek: It’s polite.

Derek turns to Galish.

Derek: Princess, can I please get to the fridge?

Galish: AAHHHH

Ace: Am I the only normal person on this god damn ship?

Galish staggers to her feet.

Galish: Please… wwaaahh…

Galish falls down again.

Tobin: Aye I am glad I found someone who appreciates it! Thank you most humbly.

Ghost: No, Ace. Because you’re not normal either.

Ace: I’m normal just some PTSD.

Jacen (sighing): Welcome to my life. Ace… right?

Tobin sighs and uses the Force to project illusionary booze to lure Galish away from the fridge.

Galish: OOOHHHH

Ghost: A genetic copy isn’t normal.

Galish scrambles towards the illusion, moving out of the way of the fridge. Derek opens fridge, starts pulling out mayonnaise for a sandwich.

Ace: Who eats mayo?

Galish: NO ONE! THE LEAGUE HATES MAYO!

Derek: The league?

Galish: Hick.

Derek (turning to the others): “Do I want to know?”

Tobin: Don’t pretend to be normal Jacen, you were slicing a Hutt’s bank account when I was hired to stop you.

Tobin chuckles.

Ghost (to Derek): No, you don’t.

Galish: The League of Fancy Hats!

Ghost: Run. Save yourself.

Galish gets back on her feet.

Galish: D…Derk? Dereeek??

Derek: Yes?

Galish: D! I’ll call you D!

Jacen opens his mouth to comment, but closes it – too easy.

Derek: My name is Derek.

Galish: D, I am sooooooooooo sorry for drinkin your drugs.

Derek: I earned that name. You stole my medication. And almost killed yourself with it.

Galish: Hick As yoiu might have gathered, I am not very lucid at the hick moment.

Ace: I earned my name too. Why do you think they call me Ace?

Galish: But I just wanted you to know, (Galish prodding at Derek’s chest) Drugs are bbbbabaaaddd.

Derek: So are the things I’ve seen. The things the death sticks keep away.

Galish: You hick and I should talk sometime after Endor. GHOSTttt!! I am going to heeeellllpp. I feel the need to shoot something up. WHERE IS MY GUN??

Ace: We have a range right? Go shoot in the range.

Ghost: In 7 pieces hidden around the ship.

Galish: Whhhaa? Why???? You break’d my gun?

Ghost: So that you don’t get drunk / stoned and try and shoot someone with it.

Galish: Ohhh….. safettyyy

Ace pulls out his elctro staff.

Ace: Hey you want this?

Derek finishes his sandwich and begins eating it, slowly.

Ghost: Don’t tempt the infirm, Ace.

Galish: Cloney, I don’t trust myself to electrocute myself.

Ace turns the elctro part off.

Ace: Here you go.

Galish:But I wannnaaa help at Endoorrrrr. Huh…

Galish takes the staff, examining it.

Galish: How… How does it go bang?

Ghost: This is a bad idea.

Galish fumbles with the staff, attempting to find the trigger. Galish finds the trigger, activating the arcing purple electricity from each end of the staff.

Ace: Oh god.

Galish: Wowwww.

Derek finishes his sandwhich.

Derek: Right, I’m off for a nap, if you see Oz thank him for letting me borrow a bunk here.

Galish: Tis all sparky… DERREEEEK!

Derek: Yes?

Galish goes over to him and hugs Derek with the electrostaff in hand. Derek is still slightly wet from the shower. Ace moves to the far side of the room. When Galish hugs Derek, she also gets slightly wet. The purple electricity from the staff starts arcing around both Galish and Derek.

Ace: Erm can I have my staff back? I don’t want that going up anything. Or in anything!

Ghost: Oh no, it’s far too late for that.

The sparks start flying and electricity continues arcing around both Galish and Derek, they both fall prone in the middle of the galley.

Jacen turns to Ace.

Jacen: You see? This is why you don’t enable her.

Ghost: Warned you were. Clean up your mess you should.

Ace: It’s fun though I need to laugh. Been to long since I could do stuff like this. And I’m not cleaning it.

Ghost: Fair enough.

Ghost bends down and picks up the staff.

Ghost: 7 pieces might be a stretch…

Ace: Don’t you dare!

Ace draws his heavy shatter rifle.

Ghost: If you want to try that, you had best prepare to find 14 pieces.

Ace: Give it back.

Ghost: All actions have consequences

Jibril walks past the scene. Jacen waves to Jibril, but gestures that she should keep clear.

Jibril: Pfft. Alcoholics.

Jibril continues walking past the galley, waving Jacen off.

Ace: I’m just trying to keep morale high, we are all probably gonna die on this mission.

Tobin: Oi, calm it fellas, can we stop playing with our dicks a moment before we all do something we all regret?

Jibril stops.

Jibril: Most might die. Some of us plan on surviving this you know!

Derek (voice slurred): Er, could someone please pull her off me?

Jibril: Well I am not touching that mess of a Aqualish.

Ghost: Planning on just rolling over, clone? If you’re going to claim defeat before the battle then why bother?

Tobin: I mean, there’s an Empire that might kill us, so let’s save the macho gestures for them, now move, I might need to give CPR if I’m not lucky!

Ace: Oh we can spare if you wanna go.

Derek: Well I’ve never kissed a Rodian before…

Jibril sighs.

Ghost: Yell out that you’re going to survive, fight against the impossible.

Jibril: Move over Tobin, I’ll do the CPR

Jacen sighs, moving Galish’s body over with the Force so that she’s rolled over.

Derek: Thank you!

Jacen: You’re welcome.

Jibril: Huh, looks fine to me.

Ace: Also I know I’m not gonna die but the rest of you, yeah I don’t think so .

Tobin: Never mind, its the "Forc"ught that matters, right?

Jibril: Are you still talking about our deaths Ace? Hardly inspiring rhetoric.

Ace: Everyone’s got to die at one point.

Galish is drooling, knocked out on the floor. Derek picks himself up and begins heading for the door to one of the rooms.

Derek: You guys be careful, I’ve seen what a Death Star can do up close.

Tobin: Hmm, so have I. So have I

Jibril: Ace, so annhilistic.

Ace (calling to Derek): Wait wait wait how do you know about the Death Star?

Derek: Those guys told us about the one they’re building in public at the Syndicate base before you arrived.

With that Derek wanders off.

Ghost: The apartment prices were crazy, but the views were to die for.

Jibril: Talking about death before a mission is more likely to result in death.

Ace: No talking about death makes you stay on your toes.

Jibril: You really are a half empty type of clone, huh?

Tobin: Besides, I’m gonna live forever. Lady Fortune is one of my mistresses! Ahaha.

Ace: Tobin, you mean the Force, right? (Pause) Also if you had see even half the shit I have, you would get it.

Jibril: Well then why don’t you enlighten us then as to what sort of “shit” you have seen?

Ace: Hmm where do start.

Jibril: Honestly my dear, I keep on hearing this and yet know nothing about it.

Tobin: Aye, that’s right. I understand it’s will, though I also understand that like any lover it will drag my ass through hell if she thinks in cheating. Ahaha.

Ghost: Start at the beginning, and when you get to the end, stop.

Ace: Well it will be easier if I do this.

Ace walks over to the nearest screen and loads up a file on the first Battle of Geonosis.

Ace: Well this is where it all began.

Ghost: First instructional video they show at the academy, what else you got?

Ace: Yeah I was actually there, I know stuff that wasn’t in any file.

Tobin: Hang on Ghost, I never heard anything about this.

Ghost: It was the first official deployment of the clone army, it’s quite a big historical event.

Ace: After a long time training this was our first battle.

Ghost: A massive attack on the Separatists, leading to the eventual genocide of the Geonosians. To sum it up.

Jibril studies the screen.

Jibril: I’ve read about this before. Ace, were you at the Battle of Mygeeto?

Ace: They where hostile and we didn’t kill them all!

Jacen: Maybe you didn’t. But it sounds like the Empire wanted to finish the job.

Ace: And which battle, Jibril?

Jibril: The Battle of Mygeeto. I recognise your markings.

Ace: There were two. Or one very long one.

Jibril: “Wolfpack” I seem to recall. I can’t be sure which one it was, but I am sure you were part of the Wolfpack, the 104th Battalion. Under General Kit Fisto I believe?

Ace: The Wolfpack was General Plo Koon and I was wolf pack yes, when I wasn’t doing special stuff.

Jibril: Huh… interesting. (Jibril looks back at the screen.) And you wonder why I didn’t become a solider?

Ace: Yeah the clone wars it was hell.

Jibril (looks back at Ace) You have my deepest sympathies.
Jibril walks away, kicking Galish as she leaves the room.

Ace: Well thanks, I just wish that everyone I used to know was still around they could help us.

Jacen: Maybe they’re a few still out there, I mean we have a couple of clones here.

Ace: Yeah that is true, but from what I know most didn’t have the chip taken out like I did.

Ace tilts his head to one side and points to a scar. Jacen frowns.

Jacen: Why did they install a chip there?

Ghost: Yeah. Order 66 would be quite inconvenient right now.

Ace: Well technically none of you are Jedi and it was a control chip.

Galish stirs.

Galish: Whhaaa…. what happened?

Ghost: Misadventure.

Galish: Sounds like a normal day.

Jacen: And to think this came from the Republic. Should have known it wasn’t as perfect as people made out.

Galish picks herself up unsteadily.

Ace: Hey this is not the clones fault! Blame Palpatine, not us!

Ghost:: There’s no such thing as perfection, only an ideal to strive towards.

Ace: Well I am the perfect solider.

Ghost: Than I am sad for you.

Ace: It’s what I was bred for so nothing to be sad about.

Ghost: Not because of what you are, but because if you achieve perfection then you can only fall from there.

Ace: No I didn’t try to be perfect, but that was why I was born.

Jacen: I’m not blaming you. I’m just disgusted with the methods the Emperor made, it’s like you were never even given a choice to begin with. (Jacen hangs head low) It just makes me wonder if the Republic was setting itself up to fail from the get go.

Galish: N…No one is perfect.

Ace: Jacen most of the Republic where good people. I know I’m not perfect, that’s what they wanted though, hence the chip.

Jacen: Then think about this. Is that what you believe or were programmed to?

Ghost: Then rejoice in being flawed. That means you can still drive yourself to improve, to be better than you are now.

Ace: If I was programmed I would be like a god damn battle droid I am not I can think for my self do stuff for my self don’t don’t question my loyalty.

Galish: Loyalty to what? Your programming?

Ace: I’m not a battle droid I’m not programmed I think for my self.

Galish: Not all programming is mechanical.

Ace: If I was programmed do you think we would be talking right now you would have Star Destroyers on top of us now if I was not loyal to the Rebels?

Jacen: I’m not questioning you. I just needed to be sure of something. It’s clear you’re your own person. Maybe I’m overthinking it, but I wonder if everyone in the Senate knew about the chip and were okay with it. That’s just not what I agree with, no one should be given such a thing.

Ace: If the Senate was in on it we wouldn’t have the Rebel Alliance. Do you even know the Alliance’s history?

Galish: Th…This is getting a bit too deep for me. Just think on this… our actions define who we are. Just let them be the right ones for you.

Galish staggers out muttering about her gun.

Jacen: Everyone does. And yes, those people rebelled. Doesn’t mean the Emperor didn’t have an inner circle of politicians with him. Either way, there’s no sense talking methodical or the past, nothing we can do about it so we move forward.

Ace: Yeah whatever you say, I’m gonna go find the bar get a drink try to find someone to “talk to”.

Experience

All participants gained 5 XP for good roleplaying.

View
The Briefcase from Ogoth Tiir

This brief interlude deals with the mysterious locked briefcase Ghost recovered on her last visit to Ogoth Tiir.

Ghost, escorted by several Alliance technicians in hazmat gear is flown out to the medical frigate – a modified Nebulon-B Frigate – with the briefcase. There you dock, and from the airlock are able to go straight into a specialised quarantine chamber.

Everything is sterile white, including the two blaster turrets that are built into the ceiling. Clearly they aren’t sparing any precaution. There are two medical droids on standby within the room, looking into the next room through the thick transparisteel you can see that another group of Alliance personnel are observing via hologram.

“We’ve cleared out the entire deck, and have security teams on standby,” one of them explains, “If those creatures are half as dangerous as you say they are, we can’t risk them getting out”.

The hazmat technicians place the briefcase on a table and begin assaulting its locking mechanism with various pieces of specialised gear. It doesn’t take long until a clicking sound hails the briefcase unlocking.

The technician exchanges a wary look with Ghost and his friend before slowly easing the lid open. He dives back, in case anything comes flying at him. All is still for a moment, the briefcase is still nothing appears to be happening.

The technician picks himself up off the floor, his companion laughing at him, “Your face!”.

Looking inside the briefcase, Ghost sees a pocket containing a small data card. However, most of the interior space is taken up by the protective enclosure around three small vials. Each vial contains a small amount of smokey red liquid – no bigger than your thumb. But each is attached to a long injector device.

There appears to be a small square power unit in one corner of the briefcase, a charge is being run to each of the vials, each of which are secured in some sort of mesh. But the document can be freely accessed.

The technicians sweep over it with various scanners, before giving the all clear – it appears as though no toxins are leaking from the case. For now at any rate.

Ghost examined the vials and the mesh, it appears as though the current is designed to go directly into the liquid inside the vials. Ghost assumed that the current was either to destroy or contain the samples. She read the data card:

There’s only one file on the datacard. It’s a set of instructions, indicating precisely in which order and which location to inject the vials in a subject. All three are required apparently. It notes that it’s for emergency use only, in case of containment breach, and that regardless of symptoms “Site 1 aboard the Fenris should be contacted immediately”.

The documents indicate that the vials contain a “genetic stabilisation catalyst” – it appears to be designed to slow the spread of infection until “containment specialists” can arrive on-site to terminate the infection properly. It’s not an outright cure, the infection could still spring forward unpredictably.

It says that the electrical current is maintaining the catalyst compound within the vial, and that this should not be interrupted for more than 30 seconds before injection. It notes that there is only enough here to treat one person, and the most senior officer in the field should receive the treatment in only the most dire of circumstances.

Ghost mulled over her options – essentially either finding a longer term solution for Jibril personally, or analysis and eventual synthesizing to replicate the liquid in the vials.

Ultimately Ghost decided to present her options to Jibril and see what she thought. Jibril prioritised the longer-term solution to the crisis over immediately solving her personal problem.

Rewards and Experience

Ghost gained 6 conflict, because although it was for the greater good, she was still potentially condemning Jibril to a life of suffering and potentially even death.

Ghost and Jibril gained 5XP.

View
A Quiet Drink with Tobin and Jacen
After 'The Calm Before The Storm'

Note: Contains some fruity language.

Tobin enters the bar on the Mon Remonda after receiving a comm from Jacen asking to meet him there. Tobin notes that despite the requests from Alliance personal to maintain sobriety that more than a handful have chosen to ignore it. It takes a while, but he spots Jacen in the corner of the room, he doesn’t seem to be looking at him or anyone in particular. Almost as if he’s scanning.

“Howdy there partner! Long time no see; I understand Ghost took you on a long vacation! Irradiated beasts and a lovely petting zoo”

Tobin pulled up, it had taken him a minute to get to the table, partly because of the merry people, partly because the need for a good drink. He looked a touch cut up, though the fresh scent of bacta patches seemed to dull the worst of it.

Jacen seems distracted, or disinterested, possibly a mix of the two. “It didn’t have a good variety, it was monster this, monster that, plus the scenery is much to be desired.” He waves a hand towards the crowd, “Tell me what do you see when you see this?”

“I can imagine so. Never went there myself. That was the time when I was first making my way to the Smuggler’s Moon. Tis a pity what happened there, but given Ghost’s fabulous leadership skills it’s good as it’s gonna be.”

The Rodian shrugged off Jacen’s lack of interest in his banter, the conflict in his own soul was getting greater so maintaining that optimisms helped ease it off. To the question Tobin turned and glanced over his shoulder and watched the crowds of happy gowers, some celebratory, some veterans having more somber drinks, Bothans blending in the crowd.

“A load of people having a merry time, some keeping their hopes up, for other’s its their first assignment. Most of them here can’t wait to rip the empire’s hearts out and start up the new republic.”

“You’re half right. Most of these people maybe drinking, but when you sense… it,” Jacen nudges Tobin, “Hint, hint, they’re all panicking inside. This isn’t a celebratory moment, they’re all here because in 2 days time they’ll be in the thick of it, and most aren’t expecting to come back.”

“But that isn’t why I’ve brought you here. Truth of the matter, this is a farewell moment. Alive or dead, my place isn’t here I’ll be leaving the Alliance right after this mess.”

Tobin replied, “Well of course, who can not worry about it? How we deal with death is what defines heroes like us; I’ve always considered it something to planned for and by being prepared I’ve dodged it for years. We might all be afraid but we are here because we want things to get better. That’s why all these people are here, whether we actually will or won’t is immaterial.”

Tobin didn’t respond to Jacen’s admission immediately. He took another drag of the spirits and kept talking; talking was his way of coping with all of this.

“Yesterday, I saw Gand being dissected like lab rats, computer panels to brains, ready to load into the cockpit of the Raptors. I was disguised as a technician at the time so I needed to get the information so I tweaked the scientists mind in just the right way. He started talking about how he enjoyed his research, at how Gand didn’t feel pain. I’ll tell you right now, I felt no guilt when I plunged my blade into his black heart and watched him fall with all of 12 seconds to think about who staved his mind of oxygen.”

Tobin took another draft, his demeanor changing rapidly; talking about exploits was one thing, but he rarely talked about it like this.

“On the way out I saw a photo of him with his family; he lived a full life outside his routine torture of Gand, all being piped from the home world. That same life he deprived of the others. Isn’t it sad?”

Tobin went on, again glancing at the crowd. This wasn’t the activity while he had been irritable lately, but in the common’s room he had seemed so jovial, even to Lando he didn’t bat an eyelid as 4000 credits was gone. Yet he was grim right now as he checked the bubbled within the spirits with a distant gaze. That, and he seemed oblivious to Jacen’s statement.

“Your dodging the issue,” Jacen said, “I’m telling you this now, because I’m not a fan of long goodbyes. Plus I’m pretty sure you’ll try to talk me out of it. So, questions? I know you’ve probably got a few.”

Tobin’s glare flickered over and for a moment a thought seemed preoccupied. “Right, I keep on forgetting there’s one common denominator that I keep observing. A hypothesis that I’ve had 4 years and enough people I know to link it all together.”

He trailed off as he took another drag and set his glass down on the table, tapping it with his metallic right finger to the simplest question.

“Why now?”

Jacen sighs “Because now I’ve gained perspective. I’ve been in this war for what, a year? And now I’m starting to realise why the Jedi fell in the first place. They got themselves in a war that fractured them apart. Rumour’s aside, I don’t think Force sensitives have any place on the battlefield, we’re too tightly connected to the Force, not only does that give us a significant advantage we’ve also got the added baggage of balancing over a trip wire. Since I’ve been in this war, we’ve had to make difficult decisions. One of my difficult decisions was making a choice back on Ogoth, there were over 70 people, we just had the one ship and I practically tore comforts aside just to get the kids in. And I saved them, but those people back there? The parents. Left in that hellhole for about a week because they’re not a priority for Alliance standards.”

Tobin takes a sip having listened to that and gives a simple, yet direct response.

“And how many would have survived if you weren’t there to make that decision Jacen? Right there you have saved; 10, 20? 30 lives? Think about it, how badly do you think it would have gone had you not been there? It’s because of you those kids have a future. Think about that a moment because you are only seeing it from one perspective.”

“I mean, I doubt Ghost would have done anything about it; she keeps her mind clear by minimising her interaction with the galaxy and I wager she probably preferred everyone to die; it would mean no one would know Kaida Valentine, and that she could continue living as a shadow.” Tobin chuckled, the irony that the same Bothans that were monitoring had also proven a good source of information. His mind drifted on one such mind focused intensely on them, he would do nothing about it for now, he lacked that sense of urgency to deal with it. “Just like at Xorrn when I alone had to recruit the army because she refused to see the galaxy as it actually is, just like the Jedi. Do you really want enlightenment by ignorance like her? Burrowing back into the Smugglers Moon and just waiting for the rain to fall?”

He never let his eyes lift from the table, though his immediate supply of intoxicant beverage had run out. The Rodian seemed in no rush to get another.

“Enlightenment by ignorance?” Jacen replied, “Don’t be daft. I’m hardly Jedi material. I make the tough choices because that what life is, tough. But war? It’s a life stealer. So I can kill an average Imperial stormtrooper, so can anyone if they tried. But at the end of the day, they’re people. Granted, most of them can be xenophobic, arrogance arseholes but that’s what the Emperor made. He’s probably got a propaganda engine going all over the core systems, and the generation… my generation have no choice but to suck it up. The Empire will pressure them if they don’t, I imagine the ISB has documents on everyone core world, and hell they may have engineered the system so that the only option is Empire or bust. Let’s get it clear, the Empire is evil and corrupt. But not everyone has to die because we Force users think, ‘hey we know best, sit down and shut up, because we’ll take it away if you don’t.’”

He leans into his chair “There’s only so long we can call something just, and then we end up falling. I fell for that exact reason, I can say it’s what I was taught all day, but it wouldn’t have got that bad if I wasn’t so frustrated in being the Empire’s bitch everyday. Fact is, it’s going to twist us the longer we stay in, and if we win at Endor not only have we just destroyed a Death Star but we’ll destroy their spirit. Imperial morale will drop through the floor, we don’t have to be there to sort it out. The Council got here before us, it’s up to them to see this through.”

The Rodian’s skin darkened as listened on, the Rodian rubbed his ear lobes as he drew a deep sigh and waved his hand dismissively, twisting the unsuspecting mind to do his bidding.

“You don’t want to listen to this, in fact, drop your listening device right in the drink.”

Curses erupted from a distant table as sparks erupted from the table, the Rodian didn’t laugh as the Bothan raced out of the hall to “dry the device”, instead he lowered his head and spoke softly in a growl, all a sudden, sober.

“So you are perfectly alright with a culture that not only discriminates against aliens, but is willing to experiment on them? To use them as a keffing resource, to allow people to be selectively removed from society and crushed? Hell, they are building a virus that only kills non-humans, of course being a human means that you never, have to worry. You, would never understand what that feels like because as long as it doesn’t affect you it’s never your fucking problem until the sky turns red with hellfire. It won’t be your fucking family on the line because I’m covering for you, no the Bothans will likely target everyone I love and it would be your fucking fault.”

The last sentence dripped like venom as he held Jacen with a sharp stare, before he sighed.

“This is the problem with you whom only ever lived on a lawless shit hole of a planet, you only ever took that shit stick of an example and smothered it across the entire galaxy. I know, I came from a similar background, I had to prop up my family with money stolen from rich imperial families, but I believed things would be better, they could only get better.”

“I hoped you would have felt the same, but I was wrong. You and I will never see from the same page, mark my words, one day several worlds will disappear and you will wish you stayed to end this tyranny once and for all.”

Then, seemingly drained of all his energy Tobin leaned back, a burden draining from his shoulders as he glanced at the ceiling lights, his voice a whisper.

“I’ll pull some strings with Reiikan and Lando to have the HWK ready for launch. I need to go to Nar Shaddaa myself, since apparently my brother is out there trying to become me so I need to sort that out. I’ll let you know about the hanger as soon as I know. We will grab some things, the Crest and go. I’ll drop you off and from there you will be on your own.”

Jacen watches the bothan leave “I guess it’s already started…”

Jacen cocks an eyebrow “Don’t you dare put me in the same label as those in the core! You think I don’t care about the virus?! It’s a stupid idea from a egotistical moron who can’t even consider the fact that if that virus gets released, then the whole galaxy is fucked. We’ll have dead planets, possibility dead races…” His voice trails as he composes himself “And that’s something you should sort out. But then that’s what you’ll always do, you won’t stop because you think we’re bound by destiny or fate. Believe it or not, but all things die, planets are no exception.”

“As for your offer, no. I have no plans for Nar Shaddaa, in fact there’s something I’ve gotta do. A debt that has to be paid.” His face is impassive, its hard to tell who he’s referring to. “And that’s something I can’t pull off with Predator Squadron, and it has to be the moment the Empire is at its weakest otherwise it won’t work.”

“You certainly don’t care enough to fight for it. All you care about is returning to your normal life and going back to Mara Jade. I’m not stupid Jacen; I know you much better then you think, just even I don’t know her agenda so be careful.”

Boom, the truth again, he taps the side of his head knowingly, given that the emperor being a Sith Lord was knowledge that came from her.

“Besides you owe me, a favour for a favour, you get your life back from the terrible thing you stole, you save my brother from the stupid decision’s he’s about to make. I can solve every problem, but I can only solve one problem at any time you see.”

Tobin stares back unflinching with eyes of cold gold, “Because Cassie bore witness to the meeting. You don’t need me to say anymore. Just sorting that toe rag out will take a day or two, tops. Then you will be free.”

Jacen holds his gaze “No. I don’t think I will.”

He stands there unfazed not even threatened in the first place. “After all, I’m not his blood. He won’t listen to me, an outsider. You think I can just drop the name Tobin Styrder sent me, and he’ll do whatever I say? He might even do the complete opposite, perhaps he’ll take it the wrong way, or worse he’ll go to more extremes because that’s what the Legendary Tobin Stryder would do.”

Tobin held the stare as his face darkened, until a crackle of glass drew his attention back to his hand, he grunted as he flicked the shards away and rose.

“I’ve got important prep to carry out, I’ll see you on the shuttle when it’s time to move out. "

He momentarily lingered as he went to say something else, but thought against it as he turned and left swiftly, passing through the crowd of drinkers that barely noticed the confrontation that took place.


“Keffing hell. I’m going to need another plan now. Selfish little prick, always disagreeing right up to the end. Come on Tobin, you always had the answer to every problem you faced, unless I want my entire family to die, I must thi-.”

He muttered to himself as he started to make his way back to the Honey Badger, chewing on the ridge of his free hand; Jacen keeping the crystal a close secret for this long had meant the Rodian wouldn’t have time to employ any other measures; the Bothans would know he had it and while they wouldn’t act before, they knew where his mother lived and any half baked genius would figure out he alone went there.

Unless I get nasty…

Then his eyes flickered as he swiftly came to a halt and glanced around; satisfied no one was here, he opened his bag and drew a slender belt from his pocket that he clicked under his tunic. The stygium stealth belt was the most advanced piece of kit at his disposal, further more no one but he knew he had it. It was good for rainy days like this…

“Alright, it’s a bit rough around the edges, but plan V will do.”

With a twist Tobin vanished from sight, a literal ghost within the shell.


Experience

Tobin and Jacen gained 5XP for good roleplaying.

View
The Calm Before the Storm
  • Oz and Ace arrived back at the Syndicate Star Destroyer with their captive, General Sloane. They locked him up on Gand’s stolen shuttle. The group dealt with their business with the Syndicate (Ace agreeing to owe Cobra Talonbane a favour in exchange for keeping the ARC-170 – Talonbane said that he liked competent people owing him favours).
  • They left and headed back to the Rebel fleet. On the way they examined the intelligence they had gathered:
    • On Project Raptor:
    • On Project Darkwing (from the data drive General Sloane extracted from the facility):
      • Thus far the Empire have manufactured and launched 21 Darkwing-Class Star Destroyers, 15 of them have been assigned to escort duty for Project Remnant.
      • A requisition order has been placed to retrofit a Super Star Destroyer with cloaking technology. This sub-project is nearing completion at the Fondor shipyards.
      • They recovered the Imperial ID number that reports are sent to (via Ryloth and Gand). This ID number is II-Delta-116-1215.
    • They interrogated General Sloane, he revealed himself to have been present at Sullust, where Tobin and Gand were involved in acquiring a recording of the first Death Star. He lost two fingers because of the “sloppy” interrogation technique employed. He was then assigned to the Triton Imperial Academy, which Predator Squadron attacked. That was where he suffered his burns. Finally he was assigned to the Reichenbach, which is where his head was badly injured. He also believes he was shot at one point by Ghost, but Ghost contends that if she shot him he’d be dead.
  • They arrived at the Rebel fleet, and were assigned to the rear hanger of the Mon Remonda.
    • Despite the secret nature of their meeting, Captain Volin met with them and noted the unusual circumstances in which the Onderon Crest disappeared from Home One, and how this happened to coincide with Predator Squadron’s last visit to the ship.
    • Lando Calrissian arrived, having been joined the Rebellion and being appointed the rank of General. He gambled with them, drank and remembered old times. He also arranged a date with Whisper.
    • Richard, the bartender they once knew, who had travelled with them to Chieweb-3, and then left there for the Rebellion with them, also paid them a visit. He explained how he had followed their exploits for the last few years, had acquired holofootage when he could. Although many in the pilot’s lounge bar he ran did not believe that he knew them. He mentioned that he now also helped out on the hanger decks re-arming starfighters during battles.
  • Finally General Madine arrived and began his briefing:
    • After Madine loaned General Rieekan the drop pods that got Predator Squadron off of Jabiim, Rieekan owed Madine a favour. So he’s asked to borrow Predator Squadron.
    • Madine explained that what they were to discuss was to be kept confidential. Very few amongst Alliance High Command know about his planned mission, but he believes it to be essential to the survival of the Rebel Alliance.
    • Madine recapped that the Bothans acquired the intelligence relating to the Empire’s new Death Star – it’s location over the forest moon of Endor, it’s technical specifications, the defences on and around Endor and that the Emperor himself will be inspecting the project. Madine finds all of this very convenient – it’s too tempting a target, the Alliance cannot afford to pass the opportunity up. It’s also come along too quickly to properly confirm and verify the Bothan intelligence without alerting the Emprie that they’re coming.
    • Madine is aware that the Bothans have their own agenda, and no doubt whatever situation the Alliance go into will further the Bothans interests. However, he’s not sure whether what will happen will be in the best interests of the Alliance.
    • Officially the High Command haven’t given them the resources to verify the intelligence – they claim it’s too big a risk this close to the strike. So Madine needs a group who can operate under a time constraint and who are good at improvising.
    • Predator Squadron are to go in, verify the accuracy of the intelligence (full copies will be provided for their study). If they find anything that doesn’t add up, anything that doesn’t track with the intelligence provided with the Bothans they’re to deal with it as best they can.
    • They leave in two days. Once they arrive they’ll have 48 hours until the main strike force led by General Solo arrives. After that, a further day until the Rebel fleet arrives.
    • At this point Tobin produced a white crystal and explained that it was stolen from the vault aboard Home One. Madine went very pale, explaining that it was the Bothan SpyNet ‘Red List’ – a list of all their active agents. If the SpyNet ever confirmed it was in their possession they would kill everyone they’d ever spoken to. Unfortunately, even if they could acquire a scanner to read the crystal in time, it’d do little good in confirming the above intelligence – all the Bothan agents who gathered the Death Star intelligence are dead, save for Captain Kay’daq (notably not present at this meeting), they therefore wouldn’t be listed on the crystal.
  • Ace sought out General Rieekan to request some additional funds for gear. Rieekan explained that Sloane had a bounty on him that he could use. Sloane would soon be transferred to an Alliance prison.
  • Tobin went to Harrum Kal, to an Alliance enclave. He trekked through the jungle, coming across vicious Akk dogs, tripping sentry droids and triggering an alarm, before he managed to slip into the village in disguise. Here he met with his mother, handing her his journals and some gifts. She mentioned how his damn fool of a younger brother had now travelled to Hutt Space, working for the Gorensla Kajidic, hoping to follow in Tobin’s footsteps.
  • Whisper went on a date with Lando where they discussed their future plans. Lando seemed focused around acquiring resources and leveraging his new position to retake Cloud City from Imperial occupation. On their flight back to the Mon Remonda Whisper broke Lando’s heart by informing him that she was married.

Rewards and Experience.

  • Ace and Oz split the 20,000 credit bounty on General Sloane.
  • 10XP this session.
  • Their Duty would have gone up a rank last session, but it only got applied this session after determining Ace’s Duty.
  • Ace gained 5 ‘Favour’ Obligation to Cobra Talonbane. This takes the collective group Obligation to 104.
  • Tobin gained 10 conflict today, rolling a 3 = -7 Morality.
View
Downfall of the Darkwing Project

Mission Roster

Recap

Predator Squadron have formed an alliance with the Syndicate, a band of outlaws who specialise in raiding Imperial shipping and giving the Empire a bloody nose. They’ve agreed that the Stealth Star Destroyer, the ABYSS and it’s entire line, represent a grave threat to both the Syndicate and the Rebel Alliance.

The Syndicate used their resources and contacts to search the CHARGOAL SECTOR, an area formerly of the control of Grand Moff Kevlan. They traced Imperial shipping followed up rumours, before confirming the location of a large hidden Imperial facility in the region – the THAN’LA NEBULA.

Than’la is a vast veil that sits between Charl, the Sector capital, and Kal – the site of Predator Squadron’s first mission for the Rebellion. Together with Alliance reinforcements, the two forces prepare to launch a strike at this facility, aiming to bring an end to the shadow of Project Darkwing and gather valuable intelligence….

The Deep End

Predator Squadron were gearing up and talking with Cobra Talonbane (leader of the Syndicate and self-proclaimed best star-pilot in the galaxy) when the squadron of X-Wings arrived from the Alliance. However, the squadron was not alone – a small shuttle was with them. Although Talonbane was happy to work with Predator Squadron, he was wary of the wider Alliance, he was worried this was an attempt to stab him in the back.

They had the shuttle land on the hanger deck, the ramp descended and a man wearing battered grey and white Clone Trooper armour; bearing a jet pack, a large rifle and a sigil of a wolf’s head on his forehead. Tobin was ecstatic immediately enthusing “”/characters/rc-1701-a-k-a-blisk" class=“wiki-content-link”>Blisk, you survived!". Oz and Talonbane were more suspicious, however.

Oz tackled the trooper to the ground, removing his helmet. His scarred features were indeed those of a Republic Clone Trooper, although he was clearly quite old. The trooper hit his jetpack, managing to get out from under Oz and hover above them. He explained that he was with the Rebellion and that General Rieekan had sent him to assist them and introduced himself as CT-6666, also known as Ace. After presenting them with the orders signed by Rieekan, the squad began initiating him.

After some time getting to know this new clone, and warning him which squad members to watch out for, they set down to the business of planning the raid.

The Syndicate had located the base, but their sensors were unable to penetrate the veil of the nebula much. They would be flying in blind. The general plan being that the Syndicate squadron (and accompanying Alliance X-Wings) would harass Imperial forces and provide a distraction for Predator Squadron to board the facility. Predator Squadron didn’t have any of their own ships available, so the Syndicate were loaning them a Y-Wing and an ARC-170 Starfighter (both a little old and rough around the edges, but functional). Whilst Predator Squadron boarded the station, the Syndicate might see to liberating one of the Darkwing-Class Star Destroyers if they could. Everything else would have to adapt on the fly.

The Than’la Nebula

  • Arrive at the nebula with most of the starfighters. The rest of the Syndicate forces have gone off with the Venator-Class Star Destroyer to delay reinforcements.
  • They enter the nebula, all is quiet. All they hear is their own ships and chatter on their comm. Scanners struggle to pierce the murk of the nebula.
  • Suddenly a Y-Wing off to their starboard explodes in a blue fireball. Scanners still reveal nothing. They begin wondering about the TIE Phantoms they encountered previously, but even Tobin’s knowledge of their cloaking device doesn’t help.
  • Gand scans the wreckage, and his explosive expertise helps him identify what destroyed the Y-Wing. To his expert eye, it looks as though it hit a concussion mine – a cloaked concussion mine. Luckily, Gand was able to get a look at the repulsor wreckage from the mine – using this, he was able to produce what he thought to be a rough map of the locations of the mines, aiding the ships in navigating the nebula.
  • Arrival at the Hub and construction site…
View
Dead in the Water

Mission Roster

  • The reinforcements that the Rebel Alliance sent to the Hoth Outpost arrived. They sent medical personnel down to help the injured operatives from the base, and took Predator Squadron up to orbit.
  • They found the Shadow Raptor in orbit – a matte-black Nebulon-B Frigate. They met with Captain Sortuli (a Mirialan) on the bridge. She’d heard they had potentially infected personnel with them and wanted them quarantined to the medical bay. She explained that the Shadow Raptor was a former Alliance Intelligence vessel (formerly captained by General Cracken, before he was head of Alliance Intelligence), but now it was being used for supply runs and medical relief. Most recently they were shipping a supply of droids to the Rebel Fleet, they’d been asked to stop off and pick up Predator Squadron on their way to the rendezvous point by General Rieekan.
  • Predator Squadron settled in for the three day voyage to Sullust, where they’d meet with the Rebel Fleet. Ghost settled down for some meditation in her cabin. Jacen and Xerxes went to the forward hanger deck to hang out with the pilots. Jacen tried out his new cocktail, which proved very popular with the pilots. The ship jumped to hyperspace.
  • There were a series of loud bangs and alarms began blaring. The ship rocked and was flung out of hyperspace. The lights went out and were replaced by the red of emergency lighting. The crew began testing out their position, finding the hatches sealed. Ghost looked out of her cabin window and saw that the Shadow Raptor was slowly edging towards the maw of a black hole.
  • Predator Squadron began going through the ship – Ghost heading for the bridge whilst the others went to restart life support. They fought through the droids that were running rampant on the ship. Jacen and Xerxes got the life support restarted as Ghost finished taking the bridge. Ghost learned from the captain that the Imperials were raiding the databanks – they should take out primary communications to prevent external transmissions.
  • Ghost went to main engineering as Jacen and Xerxes headed to meet her. Ghost took out the droids, at P-Comm but not before the Empire got a garbled transmission off. Ghost sent a distress signal on a Rebel frequency, before sabotaging the communications system so the Empire couldn’t retake it. Ghost then headed to meet with Xerxes and Jacen.
  • They met up and debated the best method of crossing the connecting bridge and reaching the engine room – in theory it would be quicker to dive out of the forward hanger bay and reach the aft hanger. Xerxes’s inner adrenaline junkie meant he was all for that plan, as was Ghost, however Jacen felt it was needlessly reckless.
  • Ghost and Xerxes went for the forward hanger, staring out through the magnetic field into the abyss. Together they stepped into the void. Their momentum carried them towards the aft hanger, but they were coming in rapidly. Ghost successfully threaded the needle and landed in the aft hanger, but Xerxes came in too fast and too high – he crashed to the ground, knocking him senseless.
  • Xerxes’s misfortune provided Ghost with an ample distraction to sneak aboard the shuttle the Imperial droids were loading. Ghost found a deactivated protocol droid aboard, treating it with suspicion and caution, she disabled the shuttle. Ghost’s caution proved wise – the droid set up and began attempting to escape in a different shuttle as the droids distracted Ghost. Ghost took down the escaping shuttle’s engines so it couldn’t escape. The infiltrator droid made it’s move – heading for Xerxes. A group of technicians intervened and shoved the droid out of the magnetic containment field keeping the atmosphere in the hanger. Unfortunately the droid managed to snare them in it’s grasp, tumbling with them into the void of space.
  • Ghost realised there was little she could do for Xerxes – it was critical to restart the engines as soon as possible, they had minutes at best before it’d be too late to pull the ship out of it’s tumble into the black hole. She left Xerxes in the hanger and headed to meet Jacen at the engine room. Together they cleared out the infiltrating droid forces, and liberated the chief engineer. They bypassed the firewall the droids had placed on the engine room systems, and rebooted the electromagnetic field coil, but they would need to manually restart two engines to pull the Shadow Raptor out of it’s dive. The first one restarted with little problem, however, the final engine would not engage. With the clock ticking down they tried again, still it refused to restart. As the captain warned them that they were rapidly approaching the point where it would be too late to abandon ship, Jacen and Ghost tried one last time – this time it came together, the engine re-engaged and the captain was able to pull the ship away from the black hole. The Rebel reinforcements arrive, and together they headed for the rendezvous point at Sullust.

Rewards and Experience.

  • 10XP for successfully saving the ship and escaping the black hole with their lives.
  • Jacen gained 5 Duty for supporting the Rebel troops morale and helping with the liberation effort.
  • Ghost gained 3 Intelligence Duty for learning of the Imperial infiltration droid programme (it seems to have expanded since the last time Predator Squadron saw the tactic implemented).
  • Jacen’s Morality was triggered this session, he gained 2 conflict, rolling 10, meaning his Morality increased by 16 this session.
View
The Nightmares of Ogoth Tiir - Epilogue
A Conversation at the Hoth Outpost

Int. Hoth Base Med Bay. Later that day.

Jibril sits at an examination table with Ghost. Travok floats in the large bacta tank, headphones on, opera blaring. At the back of the lab, one of the scientists is running a blood test on Jibril’s sample, another is adjusting settings near Travok’s tank. Jacen is sat near the first scientist, an array of disassembled computer equipment spread out in front of him.

Jibril: Pfft, no pain no gain.

Ghost: So you want less treatments?! Fine enough, your choice I suppose.

Jibril: Now, let’s not be hasty…

Ghost: But you’ll gain immense pain. And from that pain you’ll gain new limbs. Become free from fear and morality.

Jibril: But then none of my dresses will fit. You wouldn’t like it when I’m having a bad hair day, let alone a bad dress day.

Ghost: You wouldn’t have to worry about that, neither having hair nor dresses to wear. Hair free and care free.

Jibril: You’d hasten a rage?

Ghost: Basics of therapy. Sometimes you have to break down those mental barriers before you can build new ones.

Jibril gestures to others.

Jibril: You heard it hear, folks! Ghost wants me to completely lose it!

Travok opens one eye lazily glancing at the pair, before returning his attention to his opera. Jacen doesn’t look up from his soldering.

Ghost: Once you have truly lost everything and come to know your despair all you have left is to rise.

Jibril: Look, if you want to have a girly chat, I am all for it. Once I’m properly medicated, mind.

Ghost: Best types of ammo belts to wear under dresses? Most firepower you can hide in cleavage? That sort of thing, right?

Jibril: Pretty much, among other topics.

Ghost: There are other topics worth talking about?

Jibril: The lack of parents for one. Placing bets about other members of the group, that sort of thing.

Ghost: Amazing. Such frivolous things are talked about?

Jibril: Such things are indeed. Loose tongues and all that.

Ghost: So how many magazines did you empty into your father’s head?

Travok’s eyes open, his claws reaching at the controls to pause his opera.

Jibril: Hah, never knew him. (Pause) What sort of magazines?

Ghost: Usually EM-11 high capacity tibana-mix blaster cells. Though in a pinch, the cheaper Blastec D9’s will do. Though it leaves a dirty scorch pattern. Not recommended for covert operations.

Jibril: Indeed not, don’t want your choice of cells to give you away. Hence the blades. A gun is so impersonal.

Ghost: Blades are ineffective and require you to be up close and personal, increasing the risk factor for an assassination. Not to mention the forensic leftovers on both the blade and target from the close interaction. A highly tuned blaster tweaked to imitate a common galvanising pattern leaves you anonymous, and a flash suppressor makes it virtually impossible to detect.

Jibril: A blaster, no matter how tuned, can never really compare to the slow, deliberate action of a good stab, watching their life drain away as they know who killed them. Done cleanly, a stab can be as anonymous. But of course, I’d never do that, it would be unwise to go around killing everyone. And I am a doctor.

Ghost: A poor killing method that doesn’t take into account many variables, such as guards, surveillance, recording implants. Being a ‘doctor’ would make you an ideal assassin. What better way to take out a target than with complications for an existing problem.

The electronic gear that Jacen suddenly lets out a high-pitched screeching feedback noise. It ripples across the red bacta in Travok’s tank, everyone jumps. Jacen tweaks his soldering iron and the noise cuts out. He waves apologetically to the others.

Jacen (Under his breath): Stupid Skype circuits.

Jibril: It would be highly unethical of course, but it is true, I could simply… encourage a complication. And as you say, I have a poor killing style.

Ghost: Your skill is such that there would be no need to ‘encourage’ any complications.

Jibril: That stabbed me right in the ego.

Travok: Pair of mono puncture needle gloves and even the act of greasing palms has the hardest Inquisitor kneel over begging for compassion.

Ghost: You’re supposed to kill enemies, not allies or collateral. (To Travok) That is true. Close quarters against a well armed opponent can frequently put them off balance making a kill easier.

Jibril: Your inference is that I would willingly kill my own company is a viper’s tongue, my dear. I have not made any such manoeuvres against any of you.

Ghost: I make no inference that you would. I’m stating outright that you did on an ally. Blood transfusions aren’t easy to mess up.

Jibril: Humph, you berate me for attempting to save a life?

Ghost: Intentional or otherwise, your medical ‘ability’ is a menace at best, and a liability at worst.

Travok: I’ve seen butchers heal more animals.

Ghost: I’ve seen animals heal more butchers. That is a day I would never like to repeat.

Jibril: And what of you? Hiding your face from your own allies, stomping around in that suit, where was your so called compassion for your fellow refugees?

Ghost: Showing my face on that planet would cause more trouble than it would have solved. There’s a reason I wear a mask after all.

Travok: You did promise to be a hero, the kind that people look up to. I remember it like it were yesterday.

Ghost: Half the people on that planet hate me for who I am, a traitor who left to join the Empire. The other half hate me for what I am, the child of the one who sold out the planet down the path that led to it’s destruction. My name, my face, even the suspicion that I’m there would have caused problems. Sometimes being a hero means that you have to save those you can, and shoulder the burden of the survivor’s hatred and anger.

Jibril: Then you must be no hero at all. You did not stand there and quell their fear as we took their children away. You left us to do it for you.

Ghost: I had faith that Jacen would do the right thing.

Jibril: It wasn’t Jacen whom lied to them. It was I.

Jacen is too engrossed with his electronics work to notice. Travok leans forward and addresses Ghost.

Travok: Compared to the end of all times? Ghost, I, Travok helped establish that cell, I didn’t know those people well but I knew they wanted change, the bravest sods I knew. Perhaps the truth was what they needed. The truth only us two and the Empire’s secret service would know.

Travok swings his head around to address Jibril.

Travok: Beside Jibril, that was a smooth service but ya gotta focus and not falter, every conversation is a battle for supremacy, the throats you exposed them almost discarded our quiver. In negotiations, the predator within us is friend. (Travok shivers) Sorry, I didn’t thank you for saving my life. I am grateful.

Jibril: And here I lay in that attempt. Your gratitude is warmly received. Do not mistake me, I am most grateful for the care that you, Ghost, hath bestowed on me but I fear you and I will never see eye to eye on a all manner of subjects. Your relationships, I observe, are best described as distant for want of standing alone. An unfortunate position to be in, I know. Perhaps then I will grant the three questions, here and now. You may fire when ready.

Ghost: To understand me is to walk the path I’ve walked in life, to experience the worst of all things and still keep walking. I hope you never reach that point of understanding because of what it would mean to have seen and done.

Travok starts preparing himself by looking up a High Galactic dictionary in the databanks.

Jibril: I don’t claim that we are the same but there are striking similarities, is there not? Both growing up without family, both fighting to survive. Perhaps I am the antithesis to you, a opposite but still valid outcome of a not particularly advantageous life. You would not agree? Heh, as I say, I am granting you all the three questions. Don’t let them go to waste.

Travok taps the tube to get their attention.

Travok: I’m not exactly a bleeding heart like you all. Just I owned a successful business, the Empire liquidated it and one of my brothers. I have been on contributing to the Alliance since then as a criminal. And I thought 20 years ago, the Empire was good for finally representing Trandoshan! How wrong I was. (Pause) Well… why did you seek this squad out? Surely you had better career prospects then the most dangerous commando squad in the galaxy.

Jibril is silent for a moment, contemplating. Jacen finishes his soldering and turns around to face the group, interested.

Jibril: My darling lizard friend, is it so wrong to want to advance oneself? The underground Sabacc tables on Coruscant are awash with…. stories of a group so brazen and deceitful, why, it was like you were all calling to me! I sought you out specifically to widen my horizons, to… appreciate how the Outer Rim lives. I had heard tales of your medic recently dying in combat… a Wookie of all things. Supply and demand did the rest.

Jacen: Do you have any blood family relatives alive? Given your situation you may need a transfusion.

Jibril (Sighing): No. I have no knowledge of either my mother, my father or of any relatives. My first memories is of a orphanage in the lower levels of Coruscant. It is rather ironic that until now, I gave little to no thought on the matter. Now it will ultimately kill me. (Pause) Your final question. Make it count.

Travok turns to look at Jacen within the bacta tank, before being swallowed up in the bubbles projected by a sigh.

Jacen steadily eyes Travok back.

Jacen: It was a decent question. Unlike Trandoshans, we can’t grow limbs back or cleanse our blood system at will. No one deserves to die like that.

Ghost: It was a question we’d already asked and received the answer to.

Jibril: It is rather amusing. I’ve poisoned people before to make them answer my questions, watched them as they cave into the chemicals coursing through their veins. Now I fear that my own blood is no longer my own.

Travok (shrugging): I will be honest with myself, I am not sure whether my physiology could handle it. Though I wonder what it would be like, living with a pink skin mammal body.

Travok begins turning within the red gel of the bacta, floating.

Jibril: My darlings, if you cannot fathom a question, how will you know the answer? I await your final question though let’s make some haste with it, death is a awful inconvenience to such things.

Jacen shrugs and gestures to Ghost.

Jacen: It’s Ghost’s call.

Jibril I won’t expect such haste from you Ghost. your distance encroaches on every part of your life.

Ghost: I have 72 questions I could ask right now. I’m trying to narrow it down.

Jibril fixes a gaze onto her arm.

Jibril: An utter tragedy…

Ghost: When the feeling’s gone and you can’t go on?

Jibril: Oh there is feeling there my dear. The feeling of impending death.

Ghost: I guess if I had to narrow down my question to one, it would be: Why do you continue the charade of lying to us in the face of imminent death with the only means of salvation being those you’re lying to. That, or: Why Rathtars. (Pause) Not why they do what they do, just why do they exist? But the first question will do.

Jibril shakes her head.

Jibril: You’ve already asked your three questions, a fourth is not permitted.

Travok hisses behind his breathing gear in the tank. The scientist tending Travok’s bacta tank raises a hand and mutters something when he realises that the 4 year degree he did on Rathtar psychology is meaningless as the question wasn’t addressed to him.

Ghost: Pop culture lyrical throwbacks are neither a question, nor something that can be answered by anything other than a continuation of the lyrics. So I neither asked a question, nor received an answer.

Jibril: I am sorry my dear, did your sentence not end with a question mark? (Pause) I rather think it did. And I have given you an answer

Ghost: Then I refer back to addendum b: You spoke, but didn’t answer that. I’m owed an answer, but since I already looked up the lyrics that will no longer suffice, since I had to answer it myself.

Jibril: You asked “When the feeling’s gone and you can’t go on?” and I replied “Oh there is feeling there my dear. The feeling of impending death.”

Ghost: Once again: Pop culture lyrical throwbacks are neither a question, nor something that can be answered by anything other than a continuation of the lyrics.

Jibril: And yet that is what you said.

Ghost: Much in the way a high five can only be answered by another hi five, anything else is not an answer. It is not a query of information return, but of a specific response which you failed to provide.

Travok: That’s why I very deliberately didn’t ask any questions: from my impersonal stance floating in a goldfish tank. I still think it’s worth answering. We have had a lot of people come and go lately from small details that could have been addressed in conversation. Sandy, Mesa, Tobin technically, since he had died… Ellen too.

Jibril smiles weakly.

Jibril: Perhaps you’ll more careful with your careless talk in the future and perhaps I’ll earn the right to be alive long enough to answer your extraneous question soon.

Ghost: That’s true. You’d need to live long enough to answer any questions. Given that I’m the only one keeping you alive at this moment, your survival kind of depends on my whims.

Travok continues to float and sighs.

Travok (Muttering): It’s not as if I can leave. Only 2 days and 16 hours to go…

Jibril: There’s that viper tongue again.

Ghost: On the contrary, a viper’s tongue would imply that I’m being devious. My ability to keep you in good health is entirely dependent on me being able to remain calm and composed. (Pause) It would be a shame if something were to disrupt that. In the wrong mindset that ability would do far more harm than help. (Pause) It’s quite hard to remain calm and composed whilst also looking over your shoulder to check if you still trust a person or not.

Travok attempts to get comfortable, wondering: Was this what my mother’s pregnancy was like? He pushes that thought down and continues watching the contest of wills, undecided as to which side he’d bet on.

Jibril: As I say my dear, you and I are the antithesis to each other. It is only natural to assume that you’ll not trust me, even when I laid out the rules clearly. I can trust that completely.

Ghost: Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you if you end up with worse claws than now. Or perhaps a snazzy tail. You know I thought about getting one installed once? Decided it would be impractical for clothing. And dignity

Jibril resumes looking at her arm, unperturbed by Ghost’s last comments.

Jibril: You know I once thought about a tattoo on my arm?

Ghost: They’re overrated, and vulnerable to rogue fountains of youth.

Jibril: Something… colorful and bold. Of course, no orphanage would allow such deviant behaviour. I even had a design ready, spent ages on it. (Pause) A shame that the place burnt down, it was lost in the process.

Jacen cocks an eyebrow.

Jacen: You can’t seriously be following an orphanage’s rules even now?

Jibril (Sighing): I have been to too many of those places. The ruins of the one we were at on that planet reminded me of that one in particular.

Travok: Aye what I wouldn’t give for a sip from that fountain right now. Always thought it was a bullshit story that barmy Rodian kept telling

Ghost: Could always try and track down another one. Might take a while

Jibril raises a questioning eyebrow and glances at the others. No one seems to want to explain the fountain of youth story.

The scientist near Jacen pulls out a datapad and starts writing down quotes from what the squad have said for his fanfiction. He seems really pleased with himself.

Jibril: It would be pointless to have a tattoo now, not when I present myself the way I do. Some (Looks at Ghost) choose to hide away, afraid of what you might see up close. Much too impersonal. And yet… looking at her arm, that might just be how you’ve survived this long.

Ghost: Sometimes it’s better to hide from the world than to lie to it.

Jibril: I hid for long enough. You’ll get the answer to your question soon enough my dear.

Ghost: Or a monster to put down. I have a feeling I’ll be disappointed either way.

Jibril: A vipers tongue, lashing out at all who displease you, I expected no less. As I say, you’ll have an answer soon.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.