Star Wars: Predators

The Heart of the Tempest

Mission Roster

Note: “Team Resh” in the tag refers to this unit of Predator Squadron. “Team Jenth” refers to the other unit that is currently attempting to re-trace the legacy of Suljo Warde in Chronicles of the Gatekeeper

Navigating the Rishi Maze

Predator Squadron arrived at the star cluster known as the Rishi Maze in The Firespray. A mixture of stars and gas, the cluster glowed in the darkness. It’s position slightly away from the galactic disk afforded the squad a remarkable view of the galaxy – it stretched out beneath them like an ocean of twinkling stars. As they steeled themselves for what was to come, they remarked that sights like this was why they loved their job.

They set off into hyperspace, for the first waypoint (of three) on the route they received from Dei. The star-cluster seemed to rush towards the ship as the stars elongated and the ship entered hyperspace.

The hypertransceiver relay, that was only to be used in emergencies, started flashing red, indicating an urgent message. It was from General Rieekan, based on the Alliance’s analysis of some intelligence Predator Squadron had recently recovered from Coruscant:

Predator Squadron, we have uncovered recent intelligence that indicates a traitor in your midst. It then goes into a transcript of a recent message that was sent to the Empire by Xizor.

Xizor informs them that Kamino will come under attack from the Rebellion. Specifically he plays them a recording of Mesa’s interrogation.

Guri enters the room and explains how Mesa can get out of the current situation – she can take a job at Black Sun as a pilot. She’s clearly not cut out for her current line of work in the Rebellion. The Dark Prince is generous with this offer, but he would require a display of loyalty – her assistance in capturing the squad when they come to rescue her.

Mesa protests, she can offer something better – a battle between Predator Squadron and the Empire that Black Sun can use the confusion to take advantage of. The Empire don’t know that Predator Squadron are coming, stuff might go missing in the battle – e.g. Black Sun might be able to use the situation to acquire a Star Destroyer.

By this point in the message, Oz has decided to grab Mesa by the throat as Jacen makes ready to prevent her from interfering with the ship. The message continues:

Guri replies that she will take the proposal to the Dark Prince for Consideration. Eventually she returns and says that Black Sun are interested, however they require the full details of the Rebel plan. Xizor has his eyes on a greater prize than a mere ship…

Mesa asks what these plans are. Guri says that they’re for Xizor to know and Mesa to find out.

Mesa then explains that she doesn’t know all the details. The only person who really does is Cassie. Mesa suggests Black Sun make her disappear…

Guri replies that the details that Mesa does know will suffice. As a show of good faith, they would even arrange for Mesa to ‘escape’ from their custody.

Mesa explains who Predator Squadron are and what they’re good at doing (the identities of the members and their squad roles). She explains that they’ve been raising funds on Nar Shaddaa to help execute this plan. The general plan is an attack on Kamino coinciding with Grand Moff Kevlan’s visit – they know when this is and plan to kill him. She then says that they’ll likely use the Angel of Lothal and her Firespray along with possible starfighters.

Mesa then goes on to trying to trade the location of the Honey Badger to them as it can be used to demoralise them (along with the robot spider). Guri says Black Sun have no interest in this.

Guri then notes that the Dark Prince is generous and rewards loyalty. However, disloyalty is met with swift retribution.

There’s a final note about how the Emperor is amused that Xizor is attempting to gain more prestige than Darth Vader in the Imperial hierarchy. This information will be passed on to his commanders, and they thank Xizor for his service.

Xerxes and Oz forced Mesa into the back and began removing her of her weapons and equipment. Jacen dropped the ship out of hyperspace, they found themselves within the Rishi Maze, orbiting a neutron star. A large spread out debris field – possibly a failed planet – orbited the star.

Just as Oz was about to throw Mesa out of the airlock into the vacuum of space, Jacen noticed a group of TIE Phantoms de-cloaking and moving to attack position. Mesa remarked that now might be a good time to have an awesome pilot, but Oz disagreed, bashing her head into a bulkhead. Xerxes stunned Mesa with his blaster to cut the beating short. They hand-cuffed her unconscious body to a pipe in the crew quarters/make-shift med-bay where Tobin and Cassie were waiting.

Jacen struggled to overcome the interference from the star, in order to programme a route back to the start of the Rishi Maze. They planned on retreating – Mesa had cost them their window of opportunity to get Kevlan. With some minor damage from the TIE Phantoms, they returned back to the start of the Rishi Maze.

They came out of hyperspace thinking they’d be able to safely make it back to base and re-think (Oz fearing Mesa may have compromised the Dag-O-Bar). Unfortunately there was an Imperial fleet waiting at the mouth of the Rishi Maze – including 3 Interdictors and 3 Darkwing-Class Star Destroyers de-cloaking – with dozens of TIE Fighters throughout the area. They appeared to have flown into a trap.

Given the relatively few accessible routes through the Rishi Maze, the Empire appeared to have hemmed them in. They had a choice to make – either try and make their way through this fleet, or continue with the operation and get to Kamino. With the prospect of possibly capturing Imperial navigation data on the Rishi Maze – along with hoping to get the opportunity to kill Kevlan – they decided to press on with their mission.

Into the Tempest

  • Their arrival at Kamino, etc.

Mesa and Kevlan

*Mesa’s arrest by the Empire, and meeting Kevlan for the first time.

The Hatchery

*TANKOR!

Into the Admin Section

  • CLIFFHANGER!!!

Rewards and Experience

  • 15 XP today.
  • Jacen gained 11 conflict, rolling 4. Because his Morality triggered today, he went down by 14 points to 43.
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Shadows of the Empire - The Heart of Black Sun

Mission Roster

Note: “Team Resh” in the tag refers to this unit of Predator Squadron. “Team Jenth” refers to the other unit that is currently attempting to re-trace the legacy of Suljo Warde in Chronicles of the Gatekeeper

Predator Squadron fought their way to the cell block in the basement of Xizor’s palace. They unleashed a captive dianoga upon the Black Sun guards and then rescued a groggy Luke Skywalker (who was being suspended in a energy-rack in a room with these strange tiny lizard-creatures that had an effect on Force users).

Meanwhile Tobin sneaked his way into the upper levels with the intention of sabotaging the shield generator system. He found out that Xizor had some sort of problem, something about being betrayed. Tobin then found a facility that produced a back-up Guri. He programmed her to be resourceful and convinced her to join him. That said, something may have gone awry within the programming; at the very least this Guri is incredibly literal.

The squad retreated back to the hanger, where Mesa, Lando and Chewbacca were waiting. Mesa had visited a local sample-warehouse and acquired 5 vials of glitterstim and 5 doses of Impact spice.

The squad flew off as the Super Star Destroyer Executor brought itself into position to bombard the building from orbit. The crowd at the Empire Day parade cheered – seeming to think that this was part of the show. Xizor was presumably killed in the attack.

The squad launched in a stolen shuttle and fighters, Tobin losing his arm to Guri (the Xizor bodyguard one, not the newest one) as she attempted to stop him. They flew off and evaded several dozen TIE Fighters as they made a break for space, followed by the Millennium Falcon, then dodged the point-defence guns of the orbital platforms before getting clear to hyperspace.

They met up with the Angel of Lothaland said farewell to Lando’s group. Luke gave some parting words of advice to Jacen regarding visions of the Force and the dark side.

With that Lando said they were heading for Tatooine, and Predator Squadron began making preparations for their assault against Grand Moff Kevlan and Kamino.

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Shadows of the Empire - Empire Day

Mission Roster

Predator Squadron arrived on Coruscant to find that Empire Day celebrations were in effect. They managed to blag their way through the security patrols and arrive in the Executive District.

They found that Xizor had a palace in the district and this was likely the meeting place where Luke Skywalker had been taken. Predator Squadron infiltrated the facility through the sewers. One group (consisting of Lando Calrissian, Chewbacca, Tobin and Mesa) found the hanger level, they got separated and Tobin found a custom Starviper in a private hanger guarded by Guri. The others (Jacen, Cassie, Oz and Xerxes) ended up on the same level as the detention level, however, ran into a hoard of Nexu in a private habitat.

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Shadows of the Empire - The Hutt-Black Sun War Part Two
The Lever Has a Safety Warning For A Reason

Mission Roster

Note: “Team Resh” in the tag refers to this unit of Predator Squadron. “Team Jenth” refers to the other unit that is currently attempting to re-trace the legacy of Suljo Warde in Chronicles of the Gatekeeper

Mesa’s Flight to Freedom

Mesa was in this cell where the gravity was turned to the ceiling (trapping her on a little plinth, or she’d ‘fall’ into a spinning fan blade. She used some acquired light pieces to jam up the blade and floated out. She then had got caught in an opposing gravity field (so she kept floating back and forth), until she used the centrifugal force to throw herself into the one above her.

She then escaped, sneaking into the hanger bay. Finding a power loader she strolled out towards a YT-2400 freighter doing her best to look like she belongs. Unfortunately this didn’t work. So she ripped out the opposing power loader’s ‘gonads’ or drive system.

Guri then drops down from a catwalk above and tried to disable Mesa’s loader. Mesa power slammed her, ejected herself and sprinted for the ship. She got on board, disabled the droid in the cockpit and took off. At this point the crew in the back start cutting through the cockpit door, so Mesa’s solution is to crank up the oxygen so the air catches fire from the sparks. I repeat, she set the air on fire. Fire solves everything!

Anyway, it turned out Guri was climbing on the hull, so after putting herself out, Mesa just slams the hyperdrive levers. This threw Guri off the ship, but then Mesa had to deal with a greatly angered Dash Rendar (who’s ship Mesa was in the process of hijacking), who had been wearing fire-proof welding gear to cut through the door.

The Skyscraper Infiltration

Meanwhile the others broke into the skyscraper. The stealth approach failed almost immediately, so they were pursued by Destroyer Droids until they got to the elevators.

They made their way to the designated office and found the spice that Mesa failed to find. As people were trying to break into the office to get them, Tobin hot-wired the secret elevator into a little tram because they couldn’t find a key. So off they went into the Black Sun transit system.

Aboard The Outrider

Mesa convinced Dash not to kill her. Dash wasn’t impressed with the situation. After an awkward conversation, they came out of hyperspace near a tropical planet. In orbit, was a rather striking looking facility:

The_Star_Forge.jpg

It was clearly undergoing a massive repair job – lots of little ships flitting around back and forth. Mesa didn’t know where they were, but Dash identified that they were deep in the Unknown Regions (but couldn’t get an actuate fix – this system was on no star charts).

At which point a trio of Abyss-class Star Destroyers decloaked and launched fighters. Mesa spun the ship around, meanwhile sensors are freaking out about an energy pulse building up from the planet below. A giant purple wave of energy fires from the planet and surges towards the Outrider. They fail to avoid that and it kills all power in the ship.

Mesa headed to the back of the ship and starts working on the engine (Dash was deciding whether it was worth dumping his cargo or not, since it was no longer stowed in compartments because he was in the process of unloading it when Mesa decided to ruin his day).

Mesa repaired the ship, restoring power. She beat Dash back to the cockpit and programmed in another random hyperspace jump…

The Black Sun Skyhook

Back on Nar Shaddaa, the others arrived in the skyhook and stealthily took care of the security droids. Tobin then sneaked his way to a computer terminal and began hacking Black Suns data network.

He found the schematics for the facility and a prisoner manifest for all of Black Sun’s operations in the area. It noted that a Chadra-Fan was captured in the facility a few days ago, but it successfully escaped. It also noted that Black Sun were responsible for capturing Luke Skywalker himself at Kothlis. Skywalker is currently in the process of being transferred to their Coruscant facility. Tobin was able to acquire that ship’s itinerary.

So the group then traveled to the station’s security centre. Cassie coerced the guards into surrendering. Then Tobin overrode Black Sun’s droid systems, turning their security droids against the station’s weapon emplacements.

They then coerced the guards to direct them out – they had to pass through a repair bay to get to the nearest hanger. In the repair bay they found a severely damaged, yet miraculously still functional, Guri. All her ‘skin’ was ripped off – she appeared to be a skeletal metal robot, walking with an awkward gate, her systems clearly damaged. She began walking towards them, but given the low athleticism of the group she made up ground.

Tobin saw the others were struggling, so pushed them forward and stood to hold Guri off.

Unfortunately, Guri took this moment to pull a lever – it turned out that the floor of this room was a conveyor belt. So now the group were being pulled towards her.

Xerxes managed to get the blast door open at the other end and jump through. He then fired at her (every shot the group threw at her barely seemed to phase her, she just kept advancing on them, relentlessly). So then Xerxes blasted the machinery around her and dropped a huge pneumatic press between Guri and the party.

They ran through the door and into the hanger bay. Looking back, they saw Guri wrench this huge chunk of metal in half. Advancing towards them, the blast door barely closed in time. She began punching the door, each blow denting it.

Not wanting to stick around and find out what would happen when she got that door open, the group nicked some ‘Heavy’ M3-A Interceptors and flew down to the planet as a Hutt fleet began engaging the station.

Outrider Down

So the Outrider came out of hyperspace (its hyperdrive having died due to a power surge from the purple energy pulse), they were crashing into an ice planet. Leebo got Dash and Mesa into the escape pod and ejected them. The Outrider spun off and crashed in the snow.

Looking around the desolate icy wastes, Mesa spotted some mountains in the distance, but no signs of civilisation.

Leebo attempted to console Dash that at least if they ran out of rations, Dash could sustain himself by eating Mesa.

So they began walking, back towards where they projected the Outrider to have crashed. (Dash warning Mesa that if she said another word he would shoot her and leave her in the snow). And a blizzard began rolling in.

In the midst of the snow, Mesa got separated – lost track of Dash or Leebo. Eventually, weakened already by the stressful day, she found she could go no further. She collapsed in the snow, very quickly finding herself buried.

Mesa may have blacked out, it’s a little fuzzy. But the next thing she knew a bright light was shining in her face. Out of the light stepped 6 figures – Imperial Snowtroopers. They picked her up, dragged her in front of an AT-ST where she was formerly arrested. (Along with Dash and Leebo – she could see the flaming wreckage of the Outrider on a hill nearby)

Coruscant Bound

Dei was pleased at the work the group had done. She’s scrubbed off some Obligation and awarded an Ardos Disk to Xerxes (since he was the only one who didn’t have one). Since her clan is now in possession of Black Sun’s station, she has said she will keep an eye out for any information pertaining to where Mesa went.

Dei did give the group an old Clone Wars era copy of a route to Kamino that she was in possession of.

Predator Squadron now plan to accompany Lando and the Falcon crew to Coruscant, picking up the soldiers from the Angel of Lothal along the way, in order to secure the rescue of Luke Skywalker…

This journey will take aproximately 3 days, by which time Skywalker is scheduled to have arrived.

Rewards and Experience

The group gained 10 XP.

Obligation has now been reduced, this is reflected in the updated Obligation table.

Tobin gained 4 conflict. We will roll before next session.

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Shadows of the Empire - The Hutt-Black Sun War

Mission Roster

Note: “Team Resh” in the tag refers to this unit of Predator Squadron. “Team Jenth” refers to the other unit that is currently attempting to re-trace the legacy of Suljo Warde in Chronicles of the Gatekeeper

In which Cassie and Xerxes meet up with Tobin to help Lando Calrissian and his companion Chewbacca escape from pursuing thugs. They flee through the city streets. Surrounded, they escape aboard the Millennium Falcon and meet up with Jacen and Oz.

Meanwhile, Predator Squadron’s dock is targeted by Black Sun (who have apparently traced the comm signal Mesa previously sent). This is a prelude to an all out Black Sun attack on the Hutts (Xizor believing the Hutts have slighted him by sending Mesa into his tower).

During this time, Mesa was interrogated by Guri, she was relatively co-operative in order to avoid the threat of being flushed out into space.

As things concluded, the rest of Predator Squadron were preparing to ascend Black Sun’s skyscraper in an attempt to access the hidden passage that allowed Mesa to board the Skyhook. They plan to disable the defences so the Dei’s kajidic can remove the stain of Black Sun from their system.

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Nar Shaddaa Nights

Mission Roster

Note: “Team Resh” in the tag refers to this unit of Predator Squadron. “Team Jenth” refers to the other unit that is currently attempting to re-trace the legacy of Suljo Warde in Chronicles of the Gatekeeper

Kamino Plan

Cassie and Xerxes presented their plan for taking down the Project Tempest facilities they recently located at Kamino to Admiral Ackbar and General Rieekan.

In short, they plan to infiltrate the planet using a stealth modified freighter (that they previously used during the Battle of Nar Shaddaa). They then plan to destroy the facility and drive the Grand Moff to his ship (in orbit). At that point, they will board the ship and take it over, overriding it’s hyperdrive to send the ship to co-ordinates of their choice. At these co-ordinates they want a Rebel task force ready to take the ship on. They will then demand the surrender of the ship.

First, however, they must acquire the co-ordinates to the planet (Kamino is located near the Rishi Maze star-cluster, and according to Blisk there’s only one route in and out – the Republic kept it a heavily classified secret, only bridge crew and generals knew the co-ordinates). They came up with several ideas for this – the Veradi Hutt Clan supposedly traffics in hyperspace routes, the Black Sun Syndicate also supposedly has a vast library. They also considered trying to get in touch with Lando Calrissian to see if he has any knowledge of hyperspace routes. They also thought about raiding the Virgillia Scrap Yard to salvage some navigation data.

Nar Shaddaa Vacation

They then decided to travel to Nar Shaddaa to gather supplies ahead of the assault and go gambling to acquire credits.

Immediately upon stepping off the ship Cassie and Xerxes were accosted by a Toydarian. He offered them the chance of a life-time -all they’d have to do is perform a small robbery, the Toydarian would split the profits with them fairly – 60/40 in his favour. He said his name was Volo Rax, Black Market Dealer Extraordinaire. They just needed to steal a stash of spice off his dealer, Devro, a one-eyed Nemoidian he had a grudge with.

Xerxes was interested, but would only commit if Cassie agreed to go too. Cassie did not.

At the first casino they won heartily, making a profit. They proceeded to another joint – a slightly more up-market venture called the Starlight Express Casino. Here Cassie made a small profit against a Gotal in Sabacc, and Xerxes lost at Hintaro. Mesa arrived with Volo Rax, being told of his amazing deal. Mesa decided to go for it.

Mesa went to the skyscraper designated by Volo Rax and scrabbled her way inside. She deftly avoided patrols and traps until she made her way to the elevator. She got inside and climbed to the top of the cart. Once it reached the top (800th) floor, she climbed off onto a maintenance catwalk. This allowed her access to a service ladder, which she climbed down to the 700th floor.

At the designated office, Mesa broke through the lock, short circuiting the repulsor-trap on the other side (which would have pinned her to the floor with heavy gravity fields). She searched the office, she didn’t succeed in finding any spice, but did find a gold-plated HH-50 Heavy Blaster Pistol. Checking the cabinet, Mesa discovered a hidden elevator.

Mesa took the elevator, avoiding the pressure plate in the centre of it. It took twenty minutes, travelling sideways, down, along, and then back up again. When it came to a stop Mesa triggered the pressure plate to set off the gas, using the confusion to escape from the investigating security droids. It was at this point that Mesa realised that she was aboard some sort of skyhook, high above the city.

Mesa hid in a service crawlspace, amongst the wires and pipes of the station. She commed Cassie and Xerxes for help. They didn’t get much information before Mesa hung up, but they knew enough to return to the Starlight Express Casino to look for the Toydarian.

On the skyhook, alarms started going off and the service crawlspace was filling with gas. As her vacuum seals failed she bolted, quickly pursued by security droids. She thought she lost them when a window in the corridor she was travelling along burst as a man was thrown through it.

“You are our head of security! How can you not find one intruder?” a voice yelled, “Your employment is terminated”.

A blonde woman wearing a black and gold jumpsuit stepped into the corridor and spotted Mesa. Inexplicably, Mesa witnessed her hand transform into a blaster pistol of some kind. The hand/pistol levelled at Mesa, this mystery woman demanded her surrender. Once Mesa had her hands up, the woman grabbed Mesa by the throat and lifted her up against the wall like she weighed nothing at all, demanding to know how she got on board. Through gasps Mesa explained about the elevator.

“Very well,” the woman said, “We will take you before the Dark Prince and see what is to be done with you”.

Down on the planet, Cassie and Xerxes saw no sign of the Toydarian at the casino. Outside they heard a huge roar, followed by a bang. There were a pair of speeders in the air, one firing at the other, which crashed right in front of the casino.

The aggressive speeder landed behind it, a group of men got out, proffering blaster rifles. The door to the crashed speeder was flung open and as the smoke cleared they saw a man with very fine fashion sense step out – Lando Calrissian. He was joined by a Wookee and they started returning fire to the men with rifles.

Cassie went over and took cover behind the speeder next to Lando – she had never met the man, but knew enough from descriptions of him. She asked how his day was going.

“Have we met?” Lando said, “Because I’m sure I would remember”.

Cassie then explained that she was with Predator Squadron. Lando just put his face in his hand and said “I have a bad feeling about this”.

The Wookiee asked why it was that everywhere they went there was someone from Lando’s past, and it usually ended badly (and that he should really look into buying some clothes of his own by now). Lando ignored this, and with the thugs finished off, he turned to Cassie:

“Have you heard of Luke Skywalker?” he said. Cassie confirmed that she had. “He’s missing, and I need your help”.

Rewards and XP.

  • 10 XP today.

Note: As of the end of the session, there are now 12 days until Grand Moff Kevlan is due to visit Kamino.

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Onslaught at Jabiim
Part Two: Uprising

Mission Roster

Note: “Team Resh” in the tag refers to this unit of Predator Squadron. “Team Jenth” refers to the other unit that is currently attempting to re-trace the legacy of Suljo Warde in Chronicles of the Gatekeeper

Xerxes and the Mysterious Mountain Lab

Xerxes dealt with Oz’s doppelgänger – a strange being wearing a shiny golden jumpsuit. It said its name was ‘Hello’ and that it lived in the lab. It knew a was was going on and that this was unsafe. Although it had the ability to hold a conversation, it would often repeat key phrases. It also seemed to think that the Clone Wars were ongoing and that the Republic was the dominant force in the galaxy, that said it got the date correct. It claimed it had been ‘asleep’ for 20 years.

It absolutely did not want to go outside, and was very fearful of the possibility of battles and violence. Xerxes eventually only convinced it by promising it that it’d take him to Oz, who he told him about and commented on how they looked exactly the same. Even after this convincing, Hello froze upon trying to cross the threshold of the laboratory and had to be lifted over, it also displayed a fear of the rain (Blisk loaned Hello a poncho to protect and camouflage him).

The Battle of Haydon Valley

Cassie planned and assaulted Haydon Valley. She used the Sky Walker monks as a commando strike force to stealthily raid the Imperial base’s command centre whilst her main force engaged the base defences. She sent the main bulk of her army down the pass, but got ambushed by Stormtroopers in sniper’s nests along the canyon walls.

Eventually her forces broke through and used proton torpedoes to disable the power lines to the turrets mounting the canyon walls. The Empire sent out their forces and engaged the main Resistance army in a high pitched trench battle. Meanwhile the monk commando strike team deployed dioxis gas against the Imperial army. The commandos then broke through the Imperial lines and took the command centre.

Having seized the wall, Cassie inspected the command centre, discovering an Imperial vehicle bay and a munitions store on the other side of the wall. Cassie began preparations for the army of Super Stormtroopers inevitable assault against Haydon Valley.

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Onslaught at Jabiim
Part One: Ravaging

Mission Roster

Note: “Team Resh” in the tag refers to this unit of Predator Squadron. “Team Jenth” refers to the other unit that is currently attempting to re-trace the legacy of Suljo Warde in Chronicles of the Gatekeeper

Awesome recap here!

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The Return to Nar Shaddaa - The Conversation
A Private Talk Between Tobin and Jacen

Jacen is meditating in the cockpit of the stolen Starhopper. Tobin enters, his arms folded, casually dressed in a jacket, wandering into the room. Despite the cramped quarters of the ship, he has been exercising in the cabin outside.

Jacen’s eyes flicker towards him, acknowledging his presence. Jacen has a hard expression, almost as if he’s tolerating Tobin’s presence.

Jacen: Something you want to talk about?

Tobin: I figured you had a lot on your mind, you meditated much more than when I last seen you really taking the training to heart, your aura is much more composed in your aura.

Jacen: You weren’t clear on a few things regarding meditation. (He snorts dismissively) It helps. Stops me from reacting too fast.

Tobin: (Nodding) Indeed, organising one’s self is useful, you will be surprised how much you can sense within a single ship, the little buzzing of energy, like being inside a living beast in harmony with itself.

Tobin uncorks a bottle of Corellian Whiskey, pouring a drink to himself.

Tobin: I sense that you have questions. I understand, I might not have been as honest as I could have been. What do you want to know? And don’t worry, Jacen, I brought this.

Jacen blinks away his surprise.

Jacen: Funny, I figured you would be asking me that. There’s nothing I don’t know about you, your training session with Mara for instance, she filled in the blanks. But… there is one thing I don’t understand. Why do you have that black orb?

Tobin smiles slightly at the ripple of surprise he felt through the Force; it was always good to feel that he still had that unpredictable edge, though his smile dropped slightly as he turns around to face Jacen.

Tobin: The Black Orb I had earned on a mission long ago; a Quaren Inquisitor offered to train me, I didn’t accept and he stood between me and his shuttle. Turns out the teacher still had much to learn as I killed him and obtained his holocron and staff. (strokes chin) And for a long time I kept it as a curious little fetish; I like trophies you see; the Jewel of Yavin, the Black Orb, this lightsaber I hold… Each of these items have history. (pause) Funnily enough I’m still the only member of Predator Squad to have killed inquisitors, though they both underestimated me, these fellows haven’t.

Jacen’s eyes narrow.

Jacen: Don’t sidestep around the question, Tobin. I’m not stupid, I know what it does.

Tobin: Aye it’s a communicator. I’ve only once used it for that purpose though. When the staff was lost to Darth Vader, they… (pause, strokes chin) weren’t exactly happy that I had concealed that item from them.

Jacen: And you’ve kept this communicator cuz?

Tobin: Oh, and again when the communicators were removed from Gand and Galish, my only task was to eliminate Imperial spies; it seemed in my best interest. As for the communicator, I kept it because it would come in handy some day. Two years it has been in my possession, fairly certain even the inquisitors didn’t believe I had obtained it. (pause) But I’ve told you everything that I know. To be honest, they don’t trust me too much. I’ve never had much respect for figures of authority and while I believe in our superiority as Force users, our methods… (pause) Differ.

Jacen nods, musing to himself.

Jacen: Best be careful, you’ve used it once, no doubt they’ll figure out something’s wrong.

Tobin: They already know. For task masters they were surprisingly lenient on me. Now you have asked me a question… What is it you have been doing? I thought Vader had you back there. I’m certainly glad to see that wasn’t the case!

Jacen: Training. Getting ready for the real fight, one I suspect you’re already aware of.

Tobin: The real fight? Aye, long as Vader lives, none of our plans can ever come to fruition.

Jacen smirks.

Jacen: Ahhhh. So, you’re a bit clueless in that department. Big surprise, you weren’t told the real enemy.

Tobin: (Chuckles) Well you got me there, I do love a good surprise. (rolls his head as he massages his eyes) Though, if he isn’t who is it then? Go on, lay it on me.

Jacen considers it.

Jacen: In time, you’ll know when Ghost gets here. Suffice to say, the Inquisition isn’t our only concern.

Tobin: (Raises eyebrow) Jacen, I am fine to entertain your sense of mystery, but we don’t even know if they will be returning. We’ve already lost a lot, Elaiza and recently Reine. One by one, the people I know are lost, like tears in the rain.

Tobin seems to become lost in thought as he fixates his gaze at the sky, taking a draft of the whiskey.

Jacen: Until there’s confirmation they’re dead, my lips are sealed. This sort of information can’t be repeated twice, let me put it this way…

Jacen pauses, his eyes glance around the room – it’s edges, walls, corners, you can tell he’s looking for something or someone.

Jacen: These walls have ears, I don’t think you’ll find a safe room anywhere.

Tobin: (Nod’s drily as he takes another sip) That’s nothing new fa me buddy, but I get your point. Hopefully they will be back, pretty much everyone I used to preform heists with is gone now, just Gandi left now. (Pause) Though, I hope she hasn’t gone easy on you; I had to do all those stunts with a stump! Ahahahaha!

Jacen: There’ll be others. (Nods to himself) Her methods were unique, she was actually a lot more lenient with me than with you. (Snickers) Then again, boarding Vader’s flagship was anything but lenient.

Tobin: Wait, what? You- (Pauses to compose himself) Must have been quite a tale.

Jacen: (Smiles wickedly) How can you tell I’m telling the truth?

Tobin: (Grins) I can try prying it out of your mind, though I guess you’d much prefer to tell it.

Jacen: Perhaps you can. Maybe you can’t. Point is, what Mara put me through is kittens compared to you going through my head.

Tobin: Alright, give me the low down then. Or are you gonna be the kina fella who would rather let anticipation build?

Jacen: (Raises eyebrow) That depends, are you going to abuse my name again?

Tobin: Oh please, you know me. (Pauses) That’s not helping.

Jacen: (Sighs) Get serious. You betrayed my trust, if the circumstances were different I wouldn’t be working with you again. You owe me one, making me a target of the Hutt’s isn’t funny.

Tobin turns his head up and scratches at the scaly ridges of his head.

Tobin: Oh, so that’s what it were about at that table… (Pause) You did use a false name, didn’t you? Well in any case there were three reasons for that. You think you can figure out what those were? Hmm?

Though his manner sounds a touch playful, Tobin’s expression and mannerism indicates that he is taking this quite seriously, with a hint of genuine curiosity.

Jacen: (Snapping) That’s not the point! You deliberately withheld that information.

Tobin: Deliberately withheld that information? No, that information was all there, you put your name on the ship, it’s not my fault that you never asked where this ship came from. I told you stories of my exploits and the power the Force had to offer, BUT you never took me seriously. (The Force seems to ripple as he hammered his fist in his palm) Always you dismissed my teaching as the mad ravings of an outlaw, the force as some hokey cokey religion in which children are sacrificed to maintain vitality, instead you repelled me. You didn’t want to learn, you just wanted me to teach you some cool tricks so you could get yourself killed on some foolish endeavour without understanding the consequences of your actions. Reason one was just that, how did you feel when you found out you were the owner of one of the most wanted ships in the galaxy, hmm? Did it terrify you to know that a Hutt would stop at nothing to crush you? (Pause) Answer me honestly, and I will teach you the most valuable lesson of all.

Jacen: No, I saw you as a friend, a mentor. Someone who could help me get revenge for my parents. I always listened, even when you spouted your stories. (His eyes darken) You don’t understand what it’s like to be in my position, those Hutt’s sold my parents down the line. If you want the truth, here it is: You made me feel like a victim, you did something that no blade can touch. I trusted everything in you, and you didn’t treat me in kind, always the damn dismissals, always thinking your better just because you lost people time and time again. Your problem Tobin, is that you think everything should start and end with you. That whatever happens to you is something the entire Galaxy should know.

Tobin pauses, there is a certain disturbance in his Force aura before he sighs.

Tobin: Well that’s true. Perhaps I lost track of when I was just the son of a mechanic, looking for righteous revenge on my fathers killer. I’ve lost so much of myself since then. (Sighs) I’ve… even lost my empathy. For that.. I’m truly sorry. (Tobin hunches forward, massaging his eyes, tears?) The lesson? While I have never been a slave, I used to have a comfortable life until I was plunged into poverty. What I do understand is this; I got exactly what I wanted. Cold revenge served on a well chilled plate, I did whatever I could to achieve that; pulled odd jobs on a merc team, joined the Alliance when business turned sour and eventually robbed a Hutt to draw my target in. Yet…. I’m haunted, Jacen. The Empire, the inquisition, the Hutts, bounty hunting guilds, even Black Sun. In order to get what I wanted, every one of those fellows is hunting me. (Pause) Every night, I dream of that last encounter that will end me. My paranoia has gotten so bad that I sleep with my blaster every night in case someone I know one day tries to turn me over for a fat paycheck. That was the consequence of carrying out my revenge to the extent that the only way I keep going is to continue to steal, to kill, to grow. Living a peaceful life? That’s…. Beyond me now. All these little goals I set myself is all that keeps me going these days. It’s the only way I can cope. (Pause) So, I ask you, is revenge worth that price? Lets say you do kill Dei or Kaltho, you will be hunted by every Hutt and every goon to the ends of the galaxy with every resource at their disposal, would you be willing to give up your life for that?

Jacen considers this for a moment.

Jacen: It depends on the method I get my revenge, I’ve debated watching them choke on their own fat voice. But I haven’t decided the endgame, it may end with a dead Hutt or it may end up with a Hutt who’s in disgrace living on the slums like the rest of Nar Shaddaa. But I know one thing is certain, I need closure, the past is strangling me binding me to matters that will distract me from our enemies. For the record, I’m not basing these crimes on data, I saw exactly what happened after I was stunned, and I will never forgive, never forget.

Tobin: Even if that means pitching a tent in hell to get what you want?

Jacen: If that’s the price, I’ll bear it. There are always possibilities, the future always shifts, not everything you say will happen will. But let me ask you this. If you were in my shoes, and a Hutt killed your father, not Dillinger, would you take the shot back then?

Tobin: (Sighs before smiling wearily) Well, I did rob a Hutt, killing one wouldn’t have been much more difficult.

Jacen: Would you do it? Ignoring your current self, what you are now. I’m talking about the Tobin who wanted his own justice. Would he kill that Hutt regardless?

Tobin pauses to contemplate.

Tobin: Yeah, I would have. I wanted revenge because the just authority refused to deal with it. Killing a crime lord? Without a doubt.

Jacen: Don’t you see? There’s no difference between him and me. The questions that stand are who really did it, why and how should that person pay?

Tobin: That’s just it really. You gotta take revenge, just make sure unlike me that the person you take revenge on actually deserves it; don’t waste your life like I did. Though I guess putting it one way, love it or hate it after this we are gonna be bunk buddies love it or loath it, the entire galaxy after us! (Pause) I mean, if you got your heart dead set on attaining justice and willing to go to hell for it, might as well go with a guide, no?

Jacen: I’ll do my research, for now let Dei have her victory. We’re in this together, friend or not, we need one another so let’s make that clear. (He pauses, contemplating) But before you leave, a little advice: You may think Dei is your ally, but truth of the matter is she’s like every other Hutt. They play with their food a little, study it, may even lick it just to tease it, but at the end of the day we’re all the same, to be used and devoured at their leisure. Make no mistake, she’ll find your weakness, then she’ll stab you and laugh as you squirm. Remember these words, they may come in handy when she decides that your too much trouble.

Tobin: I’ll keep that on my mind. To be fair there’s plenty I could say about the member’s of this team; especially Oz. I am curious of how you got the information in the first place though; I’m not sure if I would trust Jade either; she might be the most mysterious of all. (Long pause) Oh yeah, the third reason: if you had made off with my ship then at least it would have been easy to track you down. Though you didn’t and you certainly long passed that test, after all, no drinks are truly free, that you certainly taught me. (Pause) Jade’s the only one I’ve never been able to touch; I mean if she’s siding against the inquisitor’s and Vader it really begs the question of who exactly, is backing her.

Jacen: All in good time. Wait for Ghost, then I shall reveal all I know to you and her.

The End.

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