Star Wars: Predators

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.

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The Nightmares of Ogoth Tiir Part 3
The Battle of the Jacuzzi
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The Nightmares of Ogoth Tiir

Mission Roster

The group travelled to Ogoth Tiir, finding a decimated wasteland – far more radioactive (and with far more volatile storms than previously. They found the ruins of the orphanage in which Ghost grew up – blackened by blasterfire (likely from an AT-ST), clearly the sight of a battle. Ghost left with no clue as to where her family was. They were then attacked by the ravenous creatures that had previously infested the Dag-O-Bar.

Their ship was accidentally sabotaged by a survivor, who used their fuel reserves to destroy some of the creatures. This survivor led them to a colony of survivors on the wreckage of a Separatist battleship out in the lake (where Predator Squadron had previously met the head of a resistance movement on planet). They explained that they were the remnants of the Resistance – the Empire had begun a huge clampdown against such movements on the planet some months ago. As part of this clampdown, the Empire arrested the orphans and the people who ran the orphanage, taking them to the Imperial garrison.

It was some time after this that the creatures arrived. They spread through the town through a plague. The Empire tried to fight, but found themselves overwhelmed by numbers. The Imperial forces evacuated, leaving the surviving civilians to fend for themselves. One of the resistance scouts reported seeing a huge flash of green light coming from the sky, out by the Imperial garrison, but they lost contact with him.

Predator Squadron decided to check out the Imperial base. They flew there through the storm, finding the base in the eye of the storm and overrun by those creatures. They landed on the roof, their arrival attracted the attention of those creatures, so they began clearing the area. Blasting the creatures, and their larger, more aggressive paler counterparts, they heard a terrible screaming sound. Streaking through the clear skies of the eye they spotted the silhouettes of a pair of Imperial TIE model starfighters descending towards the base….

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Imperial Interrogations and Gand Surprises

Mission Roster

The squad set about interrogating Imperial Dignitary Chaast about what she knew of the situation in the Gand system:

  • The planet Gand was seized by the Empire a few months after the Battle of Hoth. It began with seizing the space around the planet, and eventually negotiating a surrender with the Gand Council.
    • In the last 6 months the planet has been turned into a veritable fortress world. Chaast did not know many details, but told them that ships are authorised to land via transmitting clearance codes to Moff Ravik’s fortress on Ryloth. If anything goes wrong with that system, there are back-ups in place.
    • In the event of an attack there are three regional garrisons that would likely respond with reinforcements – Lothal, Kessel and Mon Cala.

Of Moff Ravik she said:

  • Moff Ravik is from Jabiim. He served during the Clone Wars, fighting with the Resistance against the initial Separatist take-over. He fought in the trenches and they lost. When the Republic offered to take a few refugees from the planet when they pulled out, Ravik was among them. But he did not flee, he volunteered to join the Republic Navy – he trained, and became a junior officer aboard the Resurgence, under the command of then-Captain Tarkin.
  • Ravik served under Tarkin for a number of years, including during the Separatist Hold-Out Sieges that ended in the Battle of Ogoth Tiir. He retired at the rank of Senior Commander, eventually becoming a Moff.

Using the above information, Predator Squadron decided to try and get clearance to land by talking to Gand’s brother, Jerome – after all, if he was running ships for the Empire, he must know how to get them cleared.

Jerome said he could not get Gand cleared for the planet – after all he was banished. But he was able to provide them with codes to get past the Imperial blockade and permission to dock with one of the orbital stations to meet with them.

They made a deal with Dei the Great, trading a recording of King Molec of Zygerria singing in the shower for a shuttle. The group then departed for Gand.

The Gand Blockade

Entering the system they found a changed Gand to when Gand previously visited. Now the orbital stations had been taken over by the Empire, Star Destroyers and support craft patrolled the system and a Shield Gate protected the planet’s surface.

They met with Jerome in his deserted office. He said he could acquire the files of his company’s dealings with the Empire, but it would take a few days to assemble everything. Nothing comes free though, he’d like them to do a job for him in return for the files. His ships have come under attack from pirates, and he’d like Predator Squadron to escort one of his shipments and train his crew in how to repel the boarders.

So they left with a crew of a dozen Gand, including a 7-foot-tall uber Gand named Derek. Their voyage seemed uneventful at first, Whisper discovered the joys of caff, and Tobin realised they were carrying living cargo.

Unfortunately it did not last – they were pulled out of hyperspace by an Imperial Interdictor and ambushed by the Empire. Their cargo turned out not to be slaves as suspected, but dozens of Stormtroopers. Predator Squadron began repelling the Imperial assault.

Although Gand and Tobin managed to start jettisoning cargo containers into space, TIE Boarding craft began approaching. Galish and Derek did their best to prevent them from docking, but some eventually broke through – Oz prepared to receive boarders. Whisper and Cassie’s spider-droid dealt with an old Magnaguard that was attempting to sabotage their hyperdrive.

Despite these victories, their transport was struggling amongst the onslaught of Imperial forces. Then a voice arrived on their comm channel – responding to their distress call. Mesa led a squad of Syndicate fighters in and cleared a path for their transport to get clear of the Interdiction field. Mesa transmitted a set of co-ordinates to the squad and asked them to follow her to safety.

Rewards and Experience.

5 XP this session.

A royal screwing-over by Jerome that needs avenging.

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Loose Ends
Nar Shadda Stop-Over

Mission Roster

Zygerrian Takeover

  • The new King Molec attempted to leverage his ownership of Galish into acquiring Predator Squadron’s ship – it’s a seller’s market after all, she’s a very unique item.
  • Predator Squadron dealt with this by Tobin creating an illusion that the escape pod was a luxury shuttle, convincing the new king that they’d drop him off at Zygeria. Then firing him off in an escape pod at the Zygerrian fleet.
  • Predator Squadron travelled to Kowak where the Parallax Chain captains picked up their ships.
  • They then dropped off the Mandalorians at their nearby settlement.
  • Vera, the clan leader, thanked them for liberating her father. It appeared they had fun – Predator Squadron seemed to have thoroughly wrecked the place by the time the Mandalorians arrived.
  • As a thank you, Vera handed them a talisman bearing her clan’s crest – they hand that to one of her clan-mates, they’ll get in touch with her and whatever Predator Squadron need doing will become her clan’s number one priority (provided they can get there) – whatever target needs smashing, they’ll do it.

Nar Shaddaa, The Galaxy’s Armpit – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

  • Galish attempted to recruit the Imperial dignitary and her ISB bodyguard into the League of Fancy Hats. This didn’t exactly go well – but the Imperials got the impression they could convert Galish into a double-agent.
  • This confrontation eventually resulted in the ISB agent breaking Galish’s arm.
  • They arrived at Nar Shaddaa and handed over the Imperials to an Alliance cell on the planet.
  • Some of the group met with Dei the Hutt – Dei thanked them for successfully dealing with the Zygerian situation, and as agreed scrubbed Galish’s debt clear. She warned Galish however, not to shoot up any more Hutt bars – it seems to be a nasty habit of hers, considering what happened the first time she came to Nar Shaddaa.
  • Dei did have a gift for them – a human named Jibril Sayra recently came to her court requesting an introduction with Predator Squadron. Dei was sorry for the squad’s previous loss of the Wookiee medic Gladios Ryk and believed Jibril to be a doctor of some kind who could possibly fill that void in their roster.
  • Gand and Whisper met with a Black Sun representative and dealt with Gand and Tobins’s Obligation there.
  • They got word that the Imperial prisoners they’d delivered to the Alliance had escaped. They went after them.
  • They eventually tracked them down to a hidden Nebulon-B frigate called the Fury. They infiltrated the ship, which began taking off.
  • The rest of Predator Squadron engaged the Fury with the Honey Badger.
  • Gand and Whisper acquired the Imperial Dignitary, sabotaged the hyperdrive and made for an escape pod. (Also discovering that the ship was bound for Ryloth, and that there were multiple crates that possibly contained spice aboard).
  • The Fury blew up in orbit of Nar Shaddaa, but the Honey Badger had been severely damaged in the battle.
  • Predator Squadron now have the dignitary to interrogate about Moff Ravik.

Rewards and Experience

  • 10 XP this session.
  • Galish gained a bonus 5 XP for paying off her Debt Obligation to Dei.
  • Tobin, Gand and Oz gained a bonus 5 XP for paying off their Bounty Obligation with Black Sun.
  • Tobin’s Morality was triggered today, he gained 4 conflict and rolled 10 = +12 Morality gained this session.
  • Gand gained 5 Sabotage Duty.
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