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
- The squad are standing around the cockpit, discussing their next moves. Oz bursts in. Unaware that Cassie has also betrayed the group, he pins Mesa to the ground before dragging her off to a cell.
- The internal comm starts playing a taunting recording of Lieutenant Klevic- he mentions a failsafe system and leaves them an annoying song.
- They shoot the speaker in the cockpit so they can hear each other and start searching the ship. It appears that whilst upgrading the Honey Badger Klevic took the opportunity to plant some Detonite around key areas of the ship and link them so they start a timer after the hyperdrive has been activated multiple times in quick succession (suggesting that they’re off route and that Predator Squadron have likely escaped).
- They start disarming the charges, but also have to contend with the unknown type of radiation. There’s also the matter of the annoying song, Tobin’s practical solution was to start shooting the internal speakers. Although they disarm some charges, more activate outside the ship (on the sensor array and comm antenna). That said, one detonates causing a breach in the forward airlock – Xerxes saves Jacen’s life by pulling him away, they seal themselves in the bridge. Oz has to go for a spacewalk, he saves the sensor array, but has to detach the comm antenna to avoid risk of damage to the ship.
- Jacen got off a brief distress call, in which he requested assistance from the Rebel Alliance.
- As the group are discussing what to do, a proximity alarm sounds from the bridge. They find a group of 6 strange starfighters have approached. They flicker a light at the bridge, Predator Squadron signal that they don’t understand.
- They jury rig a short range comm unit out of a comlink and are able to receive a transmission. The ships are speaking in the Syntaroo trade language. They claim the Honey Badger is trespassing on their territory and that they should surrender. Predator Squadron reply that they require assistance,
- Arriving at the co-ordinates the strange craft send them, they find a tropical planet and its arid moon. Orbiting the moon is a cruiser – around the size of a Venator-Class Star Destroyer. It appears to be a combination of Star Destroyer and Mon Calamari Cruiser design (in the same way that the starfighters adapt characteristics of both TIE Fighters and X-Wings).
- Once aboard the massive hanger they are greeted by the Commander (again in Syntaroo), he claims not to speak much Basic. He explains that they are Chiss, and offers them a customary meal. His hanger technicians start trying to scrub the outer hull of the Honey Badger for the radiation. Predator Squadron claim to be bounty hunters.
- At dinner, Predator Squadron explain who they really are (explaining the hold of dead Imperials), including that they just attacked Kamino, assassinated Grand Moff Kevlan and ended up stranded out here. The Commander remarks that he has sent teams down to the planet known as Ice 9 – they survived, but many members were often driven mad. They avoid the system, but have never known the satellites to be active (although he admitted to once attempting to deactivate one – apparently it did not go well).
- The conversation turned to Predator Squadron attempting to convince the Commander of the evil nature of the Empire. The Commander admitted that he had not been 100% honest – he did in fact speak Basic and he knew of the Empire. He claimed to work for an organisation called the Empire of the Hand. At this point an Imperial Star Destroyer arrives in-system.
- A shuttle arrived from the Star Destroyer and a man in his late 30’s or early 40’s, introduced himself as Commander Parrik – he wore a proper Imperial uniform. He enthusiastically tucked into the meal, and explained that even out here he had heard of Predator Squadron. He thought they sounded like effective operators, and because they sounded effective he thought he would come and talk to them.
- He explained that the Empire of the Hand had a degree of autonomy from the Galactic Empire. He said that they were out here in Unknown Space keeping the Galaxy threats from threats most citizens weren’t even aware were out here.
- “In ancient times we used to have vague star charts, and on the edges we’d write ‘There be Krayt Dragons here’. Now they don’t, but that don’t mean the Krayt Dragons aren’t there.
- Parrik explained that they were more inclusive of aliens (the Chiss commander and his crew for one, one of Parrik’s Stormtrooper bodyguards was a Rodian). They’ve also outlawed slavery within their borders (all who serve the Empire of the Hand do so willingly), Parrik didn’t seem to think much of Grand Moff Kevlan, and when pushed about the Death Star he admitted that he disliked the concept of ruling the galaxy through fear (he said it was inefficient, and that the Death Star arguably ended up driving more sympathy towards the Rebellion, rather than crushing it).
- Parrik didn’t seem overly enthusiastic about the Rebellion either (whilst admitting that the Galactic Empire had its faults) – he believed a Rebellion victory in the Galactic Civil War would cause anarchy in the aftermath. A galaxy united under a strong ruler was necessary for stable peace (although he believed the Galactic Civil War to be comparatively unimportant – there were far worse threats out in the Unknown Regions and the Empire of the Hand was the line between them and the wider galaxy).
- Predator Squadron seemed widely swayed by his arguments. They said they were interested in joining. Parrik seemed pleased, he took them aboard his Star Destroyer and gave them access to a situation room, where Predator Squadron could see some of the threats the Empire of the Hand was up against. He was even able to arrange for a comm line (albeit of very poor quality) to the wider galaxy by which Tobin was able to arrange with Ame to protect his family from Kevlan’s final threats.
- Parrik was concerned about the apparent presence of an Imperial installation on Ice 9 – that was within the Empire of the Hand’s sphere of influence, the Empire should not have anything there. Predator Squadron’s first job for the Empire of the Hand would be to investigate and destroy any Imperial facility they find down there – a test if you will. Parrik offered a squad of Imperial Stormcommandos to accompany them, and Predator Squadron accepted.
Return to Ice 9
- They arrived and launched from the Star Destroyer. As they approached the planet they spotted a HWK-290 fleeing the satellites. Tobin stretched out to the ship to sense the pilot and realised that it was Mara Jade. Suddenly the HWK changed course, making a bee-line for the Honey Badger, broadcasting a brief message warning them away from the planet, Mara’s ship jumped to hyperspace.
- Evading the sattelites they spotted an Imperial shuttle heading deeper into the icy honeycomb-like structure. They chased it unsuccessfully because of the close-knit nature of the terrain, but they were able to trace its course.
- They arrived at this colossal alien-looking building jutting from the ice. The shuttle had landed nearby. They landed the Honey Badger and battled their way past an ice creature over a bridge in order to get to the entrance.
- Sensing the planet was strong in the dark side, as if the very Force itself had been violated here, they stepped inside the cavernous entryway…
Rewards and Experience
- 5XP for dealing with Klevic’s failsafe.
- 5XP for encountering the Empire of the Hand.
- 5XP for successfully arriving on Ice 9.
- Brief note of the changes to the Honey Badger.
- Jacen rolled 4 with no conflict, meaning he went up to 31.
- Tobin rolled 3, gained 3 conflict, meaning a total of 0, remaining on 76.