The Onderon Cell

Onslaught at Arda The RESOLUTion

Having just been tasked with sniffing out the potential traitor hiding amongst the rebels, the PCs begin brainstorming ways to uncover such a nefarious character discreetly. One of their first stops is Captain Harl Bess to hand over the mysterious devices they discovered on Arda. When he hears where they came from (especially how one came from within his hanger) he is obviously upset that unregistered pieces of tech were on base at all, let alone in an area under his direct control. Their next thought is to get their hands on the logs showing who has requisitioned any kind of transport and gone out into the jungle. This is fairly easily accomplished, but does not reveal any immediate leads, just the usual patrols and special projects for the various officers on base. LEO does stumble across something useful however. A recently acquired engineer droid, VX-19, spent a lot of time accessing the Imperial cyphers database prior to the attack on Arda. Especially in light of their previous experiences with recently acquired droids, the team was naturally suspicious. Their next stop was to inquire about any personnel issues on base. Were their any reports of suspicious activities? Notable disciplinary problems? Or has somebody maybe been throwing around a little more money then is justified by their pay grades? Unfortunately, Senior Advisor Setenna Hase is unavailable working on base business, but her field assistant Var Narek eagerly answers their questions. VX-19 was on an Imperial vessel prior to becoming part of the base. He also mentions Lt. Rik Torrence as being cocky cites multiple insubordination instances. He also mentions that Harl Bess is known to have a “secret” invitational Sabacc game in the hanger after hours. The Players immediately catch onto the bit about VX-19 and decide to investigate a little closer. They send LEO in to get close to the probably Imperial controlled secret assassin droid to gather more information. While working side by side with the suspect droid, LEO notices the droid periodically slips into brief periods of inactivity and retains no knowledge of them happening. Obviously, the secret brain chip is installing the most recent patch, which requires a full system reboot. Things are not looking good for the tricksy Imperial murder droid. On his way out of engineering, LEO bumps into Clik who chats about the history of Jagomir and tells him about a Pirate compound that has not yet been explored. Clik is sure that there is some gear that has been left out there for maybe hundreds of years which the recovering base might find useful.
Meanwhile Nima hangs out in the hanger to try to make sure nobody tries to tamper with the communications devices. Nobody is even looking in the direction of the storage area, but she does notice a Bothan lurking in the shadows and looking around furtively. Being about a billion times more sneaky then the Bothan, Nima bumps into the spy “accidentally” and strikes up a conversation. “Oh, hi. I didn’t see you there. hehehe. whatcha doing hiding in the shadows like some sort of creeper.” In a display of superior Bothan cunning, she introduces herself as Lt. Masi Qual and explains that she has an upcoming mission and is brushing up on her super sneaky skills. Best. Spy. Ever.
the team decides that the next step should involve a direct “interview” with the ruthless deathbot. After approaching Commander Qurno with what they have gathered so far and explains the previous missions and their suspicion of brainchip control, Qurno reluctantly gives permission to question the robot. After turning him off, LEO digs around in VX’s skull and does not reveal any brain chips. What he does discover is evidence of Clik’s tinkering and “upgrading.” Could this be the cause of the droids “quirks?” Only one way to find out. They turn the droid on and begin the interrogation. “WHO DO YOU WORK FOR????” The droid reveals that it has no ill will toward the Rebels and has not taken any actions since joining the base against them. The droid had spent so much time logged into the Imperial cypher database in an attempt to sort out the mysterious interference on Arda. VX theorized that it could have been Imperial codes and was working to decrypt it, but was assured by Setenna Hase’s assistant that it was probably just a computer malfunction. After deciding that VX was most likely NOT a crazy murderbot after all, they return to Cpt. Bess to see if he has any information on the devices. He explains that they appear to be some kind of hyperspace transponder capable of sending data (including locations) across the galaxy. He also managed to uncover what appears to be the last message that was sent by the mysterious device. It is a report from the spy to his Imperial handlers giving away not only Arda Bases location but also details its defensive capabilities. He then begs the PCs to do him a favor. Can you go out into the jungle and set up these sensors? There are still big holes in our coverage. They are suddenly very suspicious. 2 different members of the staff have asked them to leave the base on “very important missions.” Could it just be a coincidence that there are a lot of things around and off base that need to be done and everyone just wants to get the crack Rebel cell (and Lucky) on the job? or is there a more sinister force at work, luring them off base to distract them from their investigation? They decide to risk it an go out on the missions despite their having a bad feeling about them. But not before taking the recently uncovered Imperial report to Setenna Hase for some kind of “psychological profile” on the author. She admits that because of the intentionally sterile language it will be difficult to come up with anything concrete, but agrees to look at it. At the suggestion of her assistant she mentions that in her off time she had been doing some anthropological research on the planet and had uncovered some legends that point toward an ancient Sith temple somewhere on the planet and asks the team to keep an eye out for anything “Sithy” should they find themselves out in the jungle. The team heads out on one of the bases newly assembled Pterocopters to set up the sensor nets prior to investigating the pirate compound. The first three sites go by without incident, but when the fourth is set up there is a very large explosion north of them. The manage to climb back into the hovering copter and head off to investigate. A Y-wing of unknown origin has crash landed in the jungle not far from their location. They are not able to tell if there are survivors from the air and are forced to land in order to start a rescue operation. Once on the ground, they see that the cockpit is relatively unharmed by the unfortunate astromech is destroyed beyond repair. Chalkkatta rips the canopy of the flaming wreckage and pulls the pilot away. They lay him on the ground at Kharrus’s feet for some quick medical treatment when some local fauna burst out of the jungle on either side of them. On one side a pack of swamp stalkers, a vulpine predator native to the jungles of Jagomir, facing off with a Garrix, a blind tunneling worm, on the other. None of these creatures seems to slow the group down and they are quickly headed back to base with the injured Y-wing pilot. They check back in with Cpt Bess who tells them he is at the end of his skills with the communicators. But suddenly LEO has a flash of inspiration and goes to work on the devices using Harl’s equipment. In no time at all he has unlocked the whole thing. He has the traitors log in credentials. Now all that is needed is a quick check of the Alliances personnel records and they will have their man… or woman… hutt… droid… whatever! They also know that the traitor has the rank of Lieutenant. So they decide to get the command to round up the bases LTs in a secure area. Before long they are all accounted for.. except Setenna’s field assistant Var Narek who is out on a special assignment. She calls him up. “Hey, the investigators have figured out who the traitor is and are ready to make the announcement. I would like you on hand for the announcement to help take him into custody and put the base back at ease after.” “Sure thing, boss, I’ll be right back.” After waiting for to long, the PCs have realized that he is almost certainly the traitor and has bailed. They eventually go ahead with the records check and sure enough the man responsible for the loss of Arda base and countless rebel lives is in fact Setenna’s field assistant Var Narek. They know where in the jungle he was supposed to be working and so a manhunt ensues. Setenna insists that she lead the hunt personally. Some time into the search after the rebels have spread out a bit into the jungle the PCs hear Hase cry out not far off. Racing over toward the sound they are just in time to watch as Narek speeds off on a hidden bike with Setenna trussed up behind him. They give chase to a clearing deep in the jungle with a large cave mouth in the center. They are just in time to watch helplessly as a Jumpmaster 5000 lifts off and flys out and into the sky. When the PCs return to base to report Nareks escape they are met once again by Urel Haydon, who once again seems to know more then he should. "Narek was raised on the nearby Imperial planet Ord Radama. That is likely where he will be going. You must rescue Setenna before she falls into Imperial hands. If they have the chance to interrogate her, this base, and maybe the rebellion as a whole could be in danger.

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Onslaught at Arda I, part duh

The blast of Balrekk’s grenade dies away and the team sees what is left of his broken corpse lying at at the feet of the bloodied Wookie. As they immediate threat fades they notice a rebel hunched over a small outcropping of rock. He or she appears to be struggling with something attached to the wall. As the PCs approach the figure runs off around a corner and blends in with the other soldiers as they try to evacuate the base. It is quickly seen that the figure was trying to remove another of the mysterious devices that the team had found on their patrol. Lucky easily removes it and from the wall and they head off towards their ships.

Urel Haydon catches them in the corridor. ’I need you help convincing the commanders to evacuate. The damned fools are still in C and C and if they dont leave soon they will be captured." In the Command center The three base commanders are frantically directing the escaping freighters, and organizing what is left of the bases defenses. Lucky musters up all of the authority that he thinks he has and reminds the commanders of the alliance protocols and the importance of their not being captured. After a brief discussion General Ran Niall tasks the PCs with escorting Senior Advisor Setenna Hase to the nearest freighter with a promise that he and Commander Qurno would be following shortly. Hase protests that she doesnt need an escort but is overruled and she and her assistant Lieutenant Var Narek head off towards the hanger. On the way a large blast foes off, making several rebels dive for cover. But not before their sergeant is hit. As the team moves toward them the sergeant grasps at the PCs. “You must rig the generator to blow. It was my mission but I…” Lucky commissions the remaining rebels to finish escorting Hase who eagerly obey. Then its back the way they came to the generator deep in the rocks beneath the base. But the path is blocked by a squad of stormtroopers, but they barely slow the group down in a fight that ends with a blind Wookie charging from down the hall and inserting his video axe in a stormtroopers skull.
Its clear sailing to the generators and there is no issue rigging it to blow. The only problem is that there is no way to tell how long they will have to affect their escape. The solution is actually quite simple though. when time is of the essence the right thing to do is squeeze a blind wookie into a ventilation shaft that may or may not lead up to the hanger levels. It works in this case, and the dteam arrives amidst the chaos of the bases evacuation. a number of fighters making up the remnants of dust squadron in various stages of rearming are positioned around the hanger. Lucky seizes the opportunity to commandeer an improbable A-wing under the guise of providing fighter support, while the rest of the crew makes their way to the The Falling Star and LEOs Y-wing.
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What follows is a high speed chase through the canyons as the team is chased by 2 squadrons of TIE fighters led by the Imperial Ace Tam Blackstar in which the Star barely escapes destruction but leaves the dreaded ace pilot a smoking pile of rubble somewhere in the gauntlet. LEO is clearly not impressed by his skills and manages to catch a few ZZZs during the chase. The Rebels are then clear to make the jump to hyperspace, but not before they witness the generators go critical detonating the base and the surrounding area.

After a series of micro jumps the Rebel fleet reassembles, and the survivors have a few moments to let the magnitude of events sink in. Many friends will never be seen again, including General Ran Niall who it is confirmed never made it to a transport and was still in the base when it exploded. Shortly after their rendezvous with the fleet, Setenna invites the PCs onto her transport where she greets them with her assistant Lieutenant Var Narek and Commander Qurno. She thanks them for the assistance that they have already provided. She acknowledges their previous experience with base building and begs them to follow them to Jagomir, the fleets new home. It’s a swampy planet covered in thick forest and many unknown dangers and the Ardan survivors will need all the help they can get.
After a few days at the newly assembled “Resolute Base” Commander Qurno asks the team for some assistance. “One of our scout patrols was attacked by some of the local fauna The reports are jumbled as the scouts are still in shock. All we know for certain is that they have some sort of toxin. Please investigate the site and get us some information about what attacked our men.” After a quick stop in the med bay for some supplies, they are off. After a good ways by speeder bike the dense forest forces them to continue on foot. They quickly come across the site of the attack. In the center of a clearing they find a group of rocks and vines bunched up and covered in vegetation in attempts to camouflage it. Inside there is a square depression about the size of a power pack and a few scraps of cut up wire. Before the team can discuss the unusualness of such a finding in the middle of the jungle, Lucky notices that it just got quiet… too quiet. All of a sudden a group of large insects burst out of the trees charging the PCs as they are huddled in the clearing. they manage to put some hurt on both Lucky and Kharrus before succumbing to the astounding amount of firepower being leveled against them. Lucky helped a little bit. With the hunters taken care of the larger one in the tree line retreats into the jungle and the team heads back to Resolute.
Shortly after arrival Urel Haydon meets them saying,
“I had my suspicions at Arda I that something was not right. Now I hear you have already found something here that could point to a traitor among us. I need you all to look into this further. You must be careful, though, and not raise any suspicions until you have proof. The morale here teeters on the brink, and we cannot send it over the edge with baseless accusations and fear-mongering.”
He goes on to say that he will that he will speak to command about the operation but advises discretion and secrecy.

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Onslaught at Arda I

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The team spends a week taking a much needed break following the hectic last couple weeks. Thankfully the Alliance had just given them a shiny new bacta tank which Chalkkatta immediately takes up residence in. LE-03 decides to go shopping saying, “hey, I know I am a droid, but what I REALLY need is robot eyes.” Unfortunately, there are none to be had. After the team spent some time resting they are ready to get back to work.

The Alliance has requested that the load of droid behavior mod chips be delivered to a base in the Arda system. Upon arrival the team discovers that due to heavy and mysterious signal noise, both communications and the slave circuit (which would safely guide their ships through the narrow canyons and geothermal vents) are jammed. They are going to need to fly through manually!!! The team fly through with ease however only suffering minor damage as Lucky unfortunately clips a wall. Before they catch their breath from this stressful encounter, the walls seem to erupt as a flock of Doran’enoc envelope the ships. Turns out that even a dozen flying lizards are no match for starships and are quickly dispatched.
When the PCs arrive at the base they are met by Major Yalor who excitedly greets them and praises their excellent flying. He also mentions that with one of the bases’ pilots ill, they could use some pilots like them on the next patrol.

After a cursory tour of the base, during which Lucky notes (and salivates over) the presence of several A-wing fighters in the main hanger, the team decides that they are in fact willing to face the Gauntlet and the Doran’enoc’s again and go on patrol. They meet up with Captain Harl Bess, the Dust squadron leader who provides them with the sectors that need to be covered by their patrol and loans them 3 sandspeeders. Heading back through the Gauntlet is much easier and the initial leg of the patrol goes by without incident (maybe because Lucky isn’t flying this time). As the team moves on into the next sector, the canyons fall away and the geothermal vent formations spread out. Shortly after the team enters the sector most of the team sees blinking red and blue lights hidden in the shadow of a rock formation. Inexplicably, none of Kharrus‘s three eyes seem to notice them. Fortunately this failure is quickly corrected by Chalkkatta who is acting as copilot/gunner. “rrwoWOROROWORORrorwWOWOWOROROWORORWK!” The heroes (and Lucky) land their speeders nearby and move in to investigate. LEO quickly determines that it is some kind of communications device, but seems to only be sending out white noise… the same white noise that blocked communications and the slave circuit when they arrived. LEO and company decide to deactivate the mysterious device and bring it back to base. As the crew turns to get back into their speeders, an Imperial probe droid comes up from a nearby outcrop!! In a feat that explains how Lucky came by his name, he draws both of his heavily modded blaster pistols and fires before anyone else can even recognize the danger. Not only does Lucky hit, with both guns, but his shot managed to set off the droids self destruct charges turning it into nothing but smoke and confetti. But wait, what is that in the sky behind the quickly dissipating cloud of probe droid? It is the unmistakable silhouette of 2 Imperial Star Destroyers. BUMBUMBUMBUUUUUM!
Now the team must race back to Arda base ahead of the incoming TIEs in an attempt to defend it against the Imperial onslaught. Lucky and his pilot scream off as fast as their speeder can go followed closely by Kharrus and Chalkatta. LEO takes the wrong lesson from the tortoise and the hare and starts to creep along like a grandma. Fortunately, he quickly realizes he is being outpaced by the incoming TIEs and guns if home. The good news is that by the time they make it back to base, Lucky has a round of mimosa’s ready.

No sooner then the group returns, then they receive a call from C and C. General Ran Niall informs them of some explosives planted in the walls of the canyon and asks them to “push the plunger” to cut off the incoming AT-ATs. They now race through a series of tunnels and trails hidden in the walls of the canyon, past several laser emplacements and rebel soldiers. About a third of the way to the charges, a blast overhead rains rock and debris down on a laser emplacement and crew. Because of the urgent need to set off the charges the team heartlessly leaves the wounded rebels to their fates. Karma comes back around pretty quick though as a Doran’enoc comes out of the newly opened tunnels and attacks the PCs. In a flash of inspiration, Lucky uses the mysterious communications device as an improvised thrown weapon, staggering the giant lizard.

A little farther on they come across 2 anti vehicle laser batteries surronded by the dead bodies of several rebels and another Doran’enoc. They also see 2 AT-STs at long range and unaware of the potential danger. Lucky and Kharrus man the guns and ambush the AT-STs while the rest of the team goes the rest of the way to demolitions site. After a brief exchange of fire, the fight ends in a 1-1 draw, Lucky losing his gun emplacement and Kharrus finishing off 1 of the Imp walkers. Meanwhile, Nima discovers the lockbox with the detonators. She opens the case with such ease that it doesnt even look like it was locked to begin with. With Chalkatta looking over to make sure the blast is timed properly, LEO sets off the charges and brings down a massive rock bridge down on the incoming walkers destroying 4 and trapping the remaining 2 on the far side from the base. The remaining walkers have no choice but to disembark their contingents of sandtroopers to continue the assault on foot.
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While heading back toward the base the team mounts some anti personnel guns in the cliff face to try to slow the assault, but to no great affect and the troopers quickly arrive at the base as the defenders pull back to continue the evacuation. As the PCs return to the base they run into a large group of troopers led by Captain Balrekk, who is known as “the Butcher” for his cruelty and sadistic tendencies. In the opening round of the ensuing battle, Chalkatta takes several full auto rounds from Balrekk’s blaster and is less then pleased. In retaliation he uses his Axe to cut the blaster in half and tears a long gash in his Trooper armor. Balrekk’s squad is shot, grenaded, sliced, and 1 member oddly has a mysterious communications device shaped dent in the side of his head while he and Chalkatta exchange blows. Eventually with his squad eliminated and with no options for retreat, Balrekk pulls a grenade from his belt and with a malicious grin and a sadistic glimmer in his eye, holds it up over his head and detonates it in Chalkatta’s face. Before the shrapnel from the explosion finishes the Imperial off, he has the satisfaction of seeing the Wookie’s face, and eyes, ripped to shreds.

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Dead in the Water, Part 2

The group lounges in their rented Port Tooga hangar bay, idly tinkering with LE-03‘s lifeless husk. Chalkkatta and Nima idly prod at their stumps.
Eventually the probing and prodding activates something, and LEO hums to life. They fill him in.
“So in summation, we need to find out who was behind all that! Our best lead is captain Shyndi Oglerk, who may or may not be involved. We have some leads.
1. Docking Bay 99 might still have some information, since it was only a couple hours ago.
2. The ”/wikis/barvy-harpy" class=“wiki-page-link”> Barvy Harpy might have someone who recognizes or knows her.
3. Shoola the Hutt presumably knows what’s going on on her station."

With that, they sneak off to docking bay 99. Looking as nonchalant as possible, Nima slices into the terminal. She finds out that before Tooga, the hyperspace tug was at a planet called Teagan.
“See? She’s a spy, Shyndi said she hijacked the shipment.”
“She could still be innocent… she could have hijacked it between Teagan and here.”
“Oh yeah… maybe.”

Then, it’s off to the Barvy Harpy. Roowarra, the disfigured wookiee from before who could be a future version of Chalkkatta if not for having both his arms, spots them and heads over.
“Roooaar grrr graaaaaaah.”
Chalkkatta helpfully translates: “Roooaar grrr graaaaaaah.”
The group forgives him for the mistake, especially once he guides them to the bar and buys everyone a round of Space Booze.
“Hey, do you know anything about captain Shyndi Oglerk, that human we were with?”
Roowarra shakes his head, but points down the bar at a passed-out-drunk Weequay with a mechanical left arm.
They buy Droid Arm Aymus a drink to wet his throat, and he says:
“Well she aint a pirate, I know that much! How do I know? ‘cause I’m a kriffin’ pirate! Her ship’s too new, too shiny. She’s like to get it take from her. See I heard the Crusader was hittin’ up Imps and Corporate convoys, and I went to sign on… but they weren’t takin’ on crew. Pirates are always takin’ on crew! But uh… I heard she was berthin’ at Teagan, off the Liestohl run.”

“This doesn’t look good for Oglerk. Both her ship and the tug live at Teagan?”
They head to find Shoola’s majordomo to set up an appointment, and are informed it will be several hours. They go shopping to fill the void, while LEO heads back to Whisper Base in a Y-Wing to pick up the The Falling Star instead.
Chalkkatta finds himself a mechanical arm to further improve his might, while Nima settles on a more natural prosthetic. Kharrus buys a new gun. Lucky buys a pack of gum and an ice cold Coke.

Eventually, they’re allowed to see Shoola. After tense negotiations, she agrees to answer questions… privately, to Kharrus, over dinner. Everyone heads off to get a nap while Kharrus gets ready for his big date.
The dinner goes mostly smoothly, though in the process of answering questions, some sort of failsafe seems to be activated and Shoola’s army of droids turn on the amorous couple. Now the valiant hero, Shoola invites Kharrus to strip down and hop in her personal bacta tank…
Over breakfast the next morning, Shoola instructs her majordomo to answer all of his questions.
“The great and powerful Shoola says that Oglerk was a classless piece of trash with no style, she didn’t even try to haggle her import tax. She knows nothing of the first mate, as underlings are beneath her… however, the dock master’s report says that First Mate Kog visited about a week ago, alone, in a small modified Nubian transport. He spoke with a Bimm junk dealer and some spacer with long sideburns.”

They visit the junk dealer, Kwiggley, as soon as LEO returns. He’s initially reluctant to share information, but an increasingly irate Chalkkatta eventually convinces him. Apparently, Kog purchased a rare T-series tactical droid logic processor; he also had a lot of highly technical questions about compatibility with Arakyd components.

Next spot Teagan. Kharrus negotiates with the native Devon – since Teagan is a manufacturing planet they have a massive need of raw materials, and it just so happens they have a cargo hold full of ore… A few questions later, they discover that there’s only a single Nubian transport that berths on the planet, though it isn’t called Contispex Crusader. It’s registered to Kwymar Automation Ltd, which has a warehouse just a few miles from the spaceport! The group rents a taxi, pays to keep the meter running, and investigates.

Thoughts of stealth are quickly squelched when they arrive – though to the casual eye it appears to be an abandoned facility inside a fenced lot, Chalkkatta‘s magnoculars pick up very active security cameras; he also spots a compressed path leading towards the garage that suggests recent speeder travel. They head in guns blazing.
The battle droid sentries are easily stopped, as is First Mate Kog and his super battle droid reinforcements. Unfortunately, Oglerk was inside the transport as the group raided, and was able to escape. Chalkkatta’s frequency scanner manages to pick up her final transmission.
“Calling ”/characters/iceheart" class=“wiki-content-link”>Iceheart this is Kogler. Requesting assistance!"
“You have failed me. There will be no aid.”
“But Lord Siider…”

Upon investigating the rest of the facility, they discover the warehouse is just packed full of crates, each one containing hundreds of override chips – enough to raise a stealthy droid army! They load a couple boxes on their YT-1300, (after taking the Taxi back to retrieve it) and take off. A few blaster cannon shots later, and the warehouse, and remaining chips, detonate into a massive fireball. They head into space then to pick up the remaining Y-Wing and start a much needed vacation….

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Dead in the Water, Part 1

Whisper Base is a hotbed of activity. Life is almost restored to normalcy at this point, what with the platoon of troopers to take over the routine security, leaving everyone even slightly mechanically inclined to repair the damage done to the base. The main generator proves the hardest, most stubborn bit, and remains down. LE-03 refuses to let it get the best of him however, and toils away with the help of the maintenance droids and his newly emancipated R2 unit. Unfortunately, in his efforts to restore power a surge of electricity arcs through him and shorts out many circuits – until his automated repair systems have time to do a complete diagnostic, he’s little more than a mannequin of parts. Chalkkatta stuffs him into a backpack and puts him on.

Seeing the wear and tear and fatigue his team is taking from all the constant missions, Kharrus busts out his old training manual to brush up on his first aid and combat medic courses, and even heads into Iziz to pick up a medical kit.

Gaav Fennro summons everyone to the briefing room.
“I just got a message from High Command – they’ve noticed how much we’ve done in such a short period of time, and want to reward you with some paid leave. They’re sending a freighter, the Spinster’s Loom, to come get you and take you off to some paradise for a bit.” He sounds jealous over the news, but not so jealous he’d be willing to start accompanying them on a suicide mission every single week.
Eager for a chance at R&R, the group shuffles off to Iziz to board the freighter. They’re met by Brahtikka , a female wookiee smuggler, and her LE-series droid, Lelu.
“Raaaawr, rrrr, grrowl!”
Chalkkatta seems only slightly interested.
Lelu’s words grab more attention. “Before we take you to your leave destination, The General has a quick job for you; we’re taking you to the briefing now. I don’t have all the details, but I’ve been told it’s a ‘Blue Milk Run.’” Not being genre savvy, the group accepts this at face value and boards the ship.

They come out of hyperspace in what appears to be empty space, with just a beautiful vermilion nebula. Ever perceptive, Chalkkatta notices that beside them, a few stars keep vanishing as though a black curtain were being drawn across their viewport. The question is answered almost a second later with the clangs and thumps of a docking tube attaching to the ship. Everyone exits, curious.
They’re met by a bug-eyed porcine humanoid, a Bosph, with four meaty forearms.
“I ”/characters/tay-coomsay" class=“wiki-content-link”>Tay Coomsay, this be Shadow Raptor. You come, I take bridge."
As they descend through the ship, Coomsay points out the barracks as they pass it and lets them know rooms have been set aside for their use. They make it to the bridge soon after that, and are somewhat surprised to see the continuing trend – not a single human! Instead, the captain is a Mirialan with exotic green gold skin and geometric tattoos spilling from the corners of her eyes like teardrops. She seems to have abandoned her captain’s chair to a fat pet lizard.
“Hi. My name is Captain ”/characters/hylo-sortuli" class=“wiki-content-link”>Hylo Sortuli, and this is the Shadow Raptor! If you’ll follow me…" she leads them into a conference room just off of the bridge and flicks on a holo-terminal. A man pops into focus, instantly recognizable – General Airen Cracken head of Alliance Intelligence!
“Thank you for meeting me on such short notice. I’ve read your files, and I’m impressed. You are definitely deserving of this vacation, and I promise you’ll get it… we just need your team to do a little negotiation first. As you know, the Alliance is critically short on droids. The crew of the Privateer vessel Contispex Crusader recently liberated a major cache of Imperial droids and is selling them for trugets on the credit. I need you to meet with Captain Oglerk, negotiate for the droids, and get them safely back to the Shadow Raptor. The Alliance is looking to spend around 4 million credits – we have a briefcase datapad here capable of doing the transfer for you. Good luck, and enjoy your vacation!"
Captain Sortuli adds on: “The Spinster’s Loom will take you to ”/wikis/port-tooga" class=“wiki-page-link”>Port Tooga where you’ll meet captain Shyndi Oglerk, a young human female who recently took to piracy. We don’t know anything about her ship or crew, but she has a reputation for giving quarter when asked and mostly targets Corporate Sector Authority and the Hutts; the Alliance granted her her letter of marque about a month ago licensing her as a privateer."
Armed with this knowledge, and a briefcase, the group heads back to the Loom to get this over with so they can start their vacation.

Onboard the Loom, the group makes their way to Port Tooga, a Hutt-owned hub of commerce. The docking fee is paid, and the group heads to the busiest bar they can find to start their search. A drunken wookiee almost immediately accosts them, accusing them of being the Imperial Customs agents who stole his ship. Nima redirects him to a nearby group. Almost immediately a massive brawl breaks out. As the group prepares to retreat outside, Oglerk fights her way over.
“This is your idea of a low profile? Follow me, my associate is at docking bay 99.”
At the docking bay, the group sees five massive shipping containers attached to a small hyperspace tug. Chalkkatta inspects one at random, and finds it’s full of hundreds of assorted droids – all a little worn with use, but without major damage. A fierce negotiation breaks out then, eventually settling on four million credits.
With some effort they slave the hyperspace tug to the Spinster’s Loom, and head back to the Raptor.

Airen Cracken congratulates them on a job well done. Everyone is given a room in the barracks for the time being, and instructed to write up their after action reports while the Raptor changes position. A few droids are memory wiped and brought online to help out.
The group returns to the briefing room to turn in their reports just as the Raptor prepares to launch into hyperspace… presumably to drop them off at their vacation resort!
The excitement is quickly cut short however, as the ship lurches. The lights go out to be replaced by the red-tinged emergency lighting, the deck stops humming with the power of the engine, and the gentle gusts of the ship’s ventilation system cuts out. Immediately, the protocol droid that had been serving them drinks extends a blaster pistol from its arm and opens fire!
DitW_1.jpg
This spawns a tense, three hour engagement as the group battles their way through the Shadow Raptor trying to regain control, restore power, and find out what the heck is going on… a task made difficult by both Chalkkatta and Kharrus leaving their ungainly primary weapons behind in the barracks. The group takes a beating, battling through hundreds of droids, and Chalkkatta even loses an arm to a loader droid’s pneumatic forklift.
Ultimately, they’re able to restore power, life support, and engage the engines, as well as warn the Rebel Fleet their position is compromised… and to request backup. Unfortunately, the Victory Star Destroyer Iceheart arrives as well – with the entire crew dead to asphyxiation, the group decides to cut their loses and abandon ship, heading to the forward hangar bay, where they see a tactical droid loading up Hylo Sortuli and her senior crew into an escape shuttle. Kharrus and Lucky sneak their way onto docked Y-Wings, while Nima sneaks her way into the control room to disengage docking clamps. When that’s done, she and Chalkkatta will sprint onto another shuttle while Lucky and Kharrus provide covering fire with Y-wings.
The plan works, and they give chase to the tactical droid’s shuttle. They’re able to board it without too much trouble, and the wounded Chalkkatta and Nima storm the vessel to rescue the prisoners. In the struggle a few of the hostages are executed, and Nima takes an unlucky blaster bolt to the wrist, severing her left hand… but Hylo Sortuli and Tay Coomsay are rescued in the brink of time.

The rebel reinforcements (A CR-90 Remember Alderan) let the Y-wings and shuttle dock before making their escape to hyperspace. The captain takes their debreifing, and then adds on: “We’ve faced a severe setback today, one which will take a long, long time to recover from. Still, we’re thankful for what you were able to do. I’ve been speaking with Captain Sortuli, and we believe the best bet is for you to track down where these droids came from and let them no under no uncertain terms, the Alliance will NOT stand for this. Unfortunately we have our own mission and can’t offer any assistance at the moment… but we can drop you off at ”/wikis/port-tooga" class=“wiki-page-link”>Port Tooga with your ships. Another Alliance vessel should be by eventually to pick you up.. I’m sorry. Good luck."

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Operation Shellcracker
Assault on Hammer Station

Upon receiving their brand new, decades old and worn YT-1300 The Falling Star, the group immediately dry docked it at Iziz to get the shield generator repaired. After all, what’s 200 credits each compared with fully operational shields? It’s with some excitement then that Gaav Fennro reports a highly encrypted, priority message from Alliance Command.
“Urgent mission – report to these coordinates, you’ll be briefed on site.”
Since the coordinates plot in the middle of deep space, everyone is pleased they have shields. Good thinking, crew! Everyone loads up and heads out, after minor discussion of who’ll sit where – the only unanimous decision is that LE-03 is very qualified to be co-pilot/engineer.

At the point, the ship is.. alone. The weight of being surrounded with empty nothingness has just enough time to set in when a bulk freighter drops out of hyperspace nearby, broadcasting Republic codes. It docks, and everyone is invited aboard.
“Bring any of your kit you might need, your ship will remain behind for the duration of the mission.”
The freighter takes off once everyone’s aboard, traveling uneventfully to the undisclosed location of Titan Base. There, the group is met by Lieutenant Shara, who invites them to freshen up in the barracks and grab a bite at the mess hall. Their briefing is scheduled for ten minutes, but she apologetically amends that that means more like an hour for the brass to assemble – they’ll page everyone over the intercom.
The group takes this moment to freshen up, because the plumbing at Whisper Base still hasn’t been fully restored and it’s life’s little luxuries that make everything worthwhile.
Eventually, everyone’s summoned to meet with Commander Elemack, the XO Captain Aleene, and intelligence officer Captain Jannis.
“Let me be frank – you are not our first choice. Our own special operations team was originally dispatched on this mission, but we’ve lost contact with them, and you’re our last hope. We’ve been watching your progress with ”/wikis/onderon" class=“wiki-page-link”>Onderon and we think you just might be able to pull this off. Your target is something known only as ‘The Shell Cracker,’ a top secret Imperial project that can allegedly harm the entire Rebel Fleet. We know it’s on Hammer Station which is theoretically a dog-fighting flight school operation for the Empire.
We’ve managed to capture a Lambda-class shuttle, The Emperor’s Vision, that was manned by the Imperial Survey Core – this is the only branch of the Empire that utilizes non-humans. You’re to infiltrate the station with the aid of R2-M5, find out what Shell Cracker is, and retrieve it if at all possible. If it proves too big to retrieve, destroy it. As you make your egress, signal Nightmare Squadron and they will hop out of hyperspace to provide covering fire."
The group is shuffled off to the hanger after Lucky unsuccessfully tries to procure some explosives should they need to destroy a super weapon. Commander Elemack insists he has none, and is unwilling to part with a proton torpedo. He does, however, grant LE-03‘s request that they be allowed to keep the astromech if they bring it back.
Lieutenant Shara meets them in the hangar.
" R2-M5 will be accompanying you for the first leg of this mission. Once your leave hyperspace, his job will be to rewrite the Lambda’s travel history, making it appear is if you just came from your posting by a neutron star… hence the damage to the shuttle and your need to dock for repairs. Once he’s done this, wipe his memory or destroy him; we can’t risk his records of this base or the truth of this operation falling into Imperial hands. Also, the damage to your ship wasn’t actually caused by a neutron star – we expect it will take between 24-48 hours for the repair team to discover this, so act quickly."
The team procures Imperial Survey Core uniforms and sidearms, along with fake IDs, and sets off. Larger weapons and armor – stuff that would look out of place in uniform, is stowed inside one of the “Survey Equipment” crates should it be needed during the mission.

“Shuttle ISV-7X8 this is Hammer Station. Remain on your present course but power down engines. What is your business here?”
“Uh Hammer Station, Emperor’s Vision here, we were damaged surveying a nebula… neutron star and need to dock for repairs. Transmitting clearance codes now.”
“Shuttle ISV-7X8 you are cleared for dry dock to continue your mission.”
The group is met by a relatively polite dock master, who details Hammer Station. It’s not a normal Imperial layout, so a map on a datapad is provided. The security zones of each section are color coded – green low security is accessible to all. Yellow medium security requires credentials, and visitors are not allowed in red high security areas. Beyond that, the group is given free reign until their ship is repaired.
Lucky goes to wipe R2-M5‘s memory; it emits shrill beeps, and LE-03 stops him.
“We can’t wipe this guy… he’s a bit smarter than droids normally are."
“Well we can’t just leave him, that could jeopardize everyone! It’s better to wipe him than blow him up, right?”
Kharrus suggests: “Why not bring him with us?”
And so, the group heads to Engineering with their new astromech in tow. There’s a small security detail out front that stops them. “What’s your business here?”
Lucky steps forward. “Well uh we were just at a neutron star, right? Our droid was pretty banged up – look at him – and we wanted to get him serviced.”
Skeptical but without proof of anything nefarious, the guards allow access but with Trooper Jenkins as an escort. Well into the bay, a series of vigorously emotive coughs, winks, and gestures breaks out ending with LE-03 dispatching R2-M5 to shut off the station’s tractor beams. Jenkins looks back at the commotion, but Chalkkatta manages to hide the astromech’s departure with his bulky frame. By the time they get LEO serviced M5 has returned, and all is well.

Nima, as the infiltration expert, scouts the map’s unmarked high security area next. According to the map it should be a hangar bay, but it doesn’t look like it – there’s a long hallway leading to the zone with a full squad of navy troopers at each end and a blast door in the middle. Nima is unable to find any other way in – no maintenance hatches, no ventilation ducts, no side routes… it’s truly secure.

As such, a plan begins to form. R2-M5 will wait in the Lambda – when he’s called he’ll take off and bring the shuttle around to the secret hangar to retrieve the team and The Shell Cracker. The team, meanwhile, will launch an assault on the hallway; once they get inside they’ll open the outside doors to allow R5 access, while everyone else secures the device.
Nima has a brilliant plan to sabotage the TIE fighters in the other hangar, dropping the number of fighters they’ll have to deal with from 24 to 12. She slices into a computer in the hangar and overrides the docking clamps – when they receive the order to prep for launch, the clamps will instead shut down for good. As an added bonus, she manages to convince the dockhand who saw her that she’s just a poor dumb twi’lek who likes starships, and is driven off without the alarm being raised. Sabotage!
R5 is installed back in the lambda then, next to the other three astromechs working on the ship. After a brief struggle all three are memory wiped. Unfortunately one was in the middle of sending a message when it cut out – the alarm will soon be raised!

As for the assault on the hall… LEO and Nima head up to the first check point casually, while the rest of the team waits just around the corner hastily donning their armor and grabbing their guns. LEO and Nima are, off course, told to bugger off; LEO offers a frag grenade as proof of admittance, and the race is on! Everyone sprints down the hall firing off shots as they go. The navy troopers open fire as well, along with hitting the blast door controls, but it seems like the only target they can hit is LE-03. Poor droid. They prove victorious all the same, the blast doors closing just behind them while Chalkkatta, Kharrus, and Lucky mop up survivors with a whirlwind of vibroaxe, heavy blaster rifle, and twin blaster pistols. From here, LE-03 easily discovers that the Shell Cracker is, infact, a ship. It’s purpose is still unknown, but there’s currently no time to find out! Everyone boards, dispatching hangar security en route, and blasts out into space. LEO manages to capture a technician during all of this – maybe he’ll have answers later! M5 is told to meet them at the rendezvous point.
As the stolen Shell Cracker barrels away, the already launched squadron of TIE/LN fighters swarm on one side while Nightmare Squadron pops out of hyperspace on the other. Caught in the crossfire, the crew desperately tries to stay in one piece, bobbing and weaving and providing covering fire while the Republic Aces mop up. At long last, they leap into hyperspace and their escape is good.

They come out an hour later near The Falling Star. Waiting for them is the same bulk freighter as before. The Emperor’s Vision, three stolen astromechs, the Shell Cracker, and their technician prisoner are all transferred over, while R2-M5 is officially welcomed as part of the crew.

“Well done team. It saddens me that you weren’t able to learn anything of Aurek Team, but you still performed admirably – you retrieved the Shell Cracker with zero casualties, and the scientist you brought us should help immensely in deciphering this device. On behalf of Titan Base, I thank you!”

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The Perlemian Haul

The group watched in anticipation as a shuttle, cleared with Republic codes, landed at Whisper Base. A platoon of weary soldiers poured out, making their way to the barracks to get settled in to their new home. The pilot follows out a second later, gesturing for the group to come aboard.
“As soon as you’re ready I’ll take you to Martle Station… I assume you’ve been briefed already?”
The group confirms – head to the station, sneak aboard Temple-Class Heavy Freighter M226, and commandeer it for the Republic, all part of an operation to confirm and exploit the legendary Perlemian Haul convoy.

Before embarking, the group makes a quick call to Kavia Slen and confirm they’d like the YT-1300 in trade for their Lambda. A villager will drop off their shuttle, and in a week or so she’ll have the YT-1300 for them.

On to the station! The pilot goes over their briefing again, as LE-03, despite having perfect recall due to the datapad built into his skull, forgot.

“The Perlemian Haul was always thought to be a myth. Allegedly, it’s a secret, sinister, Imperial convoy that ranges from the Core Worlds to the Outer Rim, stopping at secret bases and loading/unloading equally secret and sinister cargo along the way. Thanks to the spy you captured, we believe one freighter, M226, has among its cargo a high ranking Rebel Operative, ”/characters/ravin-zael" class=“wiki-content-link”>Ravin Zael, believed to be a traitor on his way to being “debriefed” by Imperial interrogators. Wait until the ship jumps to hyperspace and seize it; bring it to these coordinates. There’s a trandoshan infochant on the station, Passk, who’ll serve as your contact. Should you need additional funds for this operation, we’ve given you limited access to an expense account… try not to use it, we’re barely scraping by as it is."

The shuttle docks at the Imperial station peacefully, which is somewhat of a surprise given the local – the station is in orbit of Remduba II, a stripped, cold, grey world with nothing but microbial life and deep core mining operations.
Chalkkatta heads the party, stepping off the shuttle to head into the docking bay. The rest of the group follows, though the pilot holds up a hand to stop Soryn.
“Not you bud, the Alliance has another mission for you…”

Chalkkatta is greeted by a small bureaucratic welcoming party of, presumably, the harbor master and his assistant protocol droid. The dock official sneers at the wookiee.
“What are you doing here, beast? Is your master around?”
The group exchange awkward glances – how is it they ended up on an Imperial station with their one human party member occupied elsewhere? They look back to Chalkkatta.
“Roar!”
Nima steps forwards, eventually.
“Listen, we’re uh… slaves…. here as a shipment for… somebody.”
“Oh yes, of course. The muscle and the beauty, of course. Along with security and an assistant droid, I presume. Well! Go to your masters then, slaves and try not to get your alien filth on my deck! Mm.. but before you go, there’s a tax for you, for defiling this station with your gross, savage, alien appendages. 200 credits.”
Chalkatta looks like he might explode in rage, and the rest of the group continue to exchange nervous glances. The guy was a major douche, maybe it would be worth it!
As they contemplate, the shuttle behind them lifts into the air and departs. Apparently, for better or worse, they were now trapped.
LE-03 pays the fine with a grumble, and adds the amount to a tally of expenditures.

They hunt down Passk with little effort, in large part due to Nima‘s excellent “asking for directions” skills. They find a run down looking curios shop displaying assorted kitsch with a garishly dressed, and quite short, monocled trandoshan running the counter.
“Hello friendsss! Welcome to Passk’ssss! Ssssee anything you like? I have these wonderful kitten platesss! They’re nice because you can ssssee what your dinner looked like before you ate it!"
Less than impressed, the group tries to figure out what their plan is while Passk tries to sell them assorted odds and ends, inadvertently letting it slip that they have a super secret intelligence gathering post, called Whisper Base, somewhere. Eventually, they opt against disclosing their Republic allegiance or feigning an Imperial one, and just go the mercenary route.
“Know of Freighter M226? We’re trying to get on it… any information?”
“It’ssss docked now and leavesss in three daysss.. and I know ssseveral waysss to get one it, if you can pay.”
Kharrus calls up Gaav Fennro and gets a neutral datapacket ready – information on both the Empire and the Rebellion, both too outdated to actively interfere with operations or harm their interests. Passk takes this in trade, and sets up an appointment with the system’s governor – Governor Varla Prule.
“You better dressssss well – Varla is a good friend of mine and I know she isss a woman of tassste. She can do anything though, if you have the money.”

While Chalkkatta, LE-03, and Lucky head off to make themselves look a bit more presentable with grooming, oiling, and a bath respectively, Kharrus simply buys a suit. Nima cites a personal objection to spending money, and instead opts to work, briefly, at a strip club to both gain some money and, on her way out, steal a tear-away pantsuit from one of the girls. She gives Chalkkatta’s comlink frequency as her contact information, leaving the poor wookiee left to answer for both the stolen attire and, in the eyes of Big Sexy, stealing away one of his working girls.

The actual meeting goes much better – Governor Varla Prule isn’t very impressed by the group, though she does seem titillated by the idea of slumming it with such a degenerate group of bravos. By the evening’s end, the negotiations come to a close – she’ll get the group placed in Raf’s work crew loading Freighter M226, and they will, down the road, do a job for her. Her very own deniable assets!

The work is back breaking, but easy enough – they spend the first few days getting the lay of the land. By the third day, the crew manages to hide away in the loading dock of the ship, sneaking into a maintenance hatch. LE-03, being a master navigator, leads the crew in a circuitous route all through the ship to cover some 350 yards in four hours. Along the way they come across a group of ship mechanics, and easily dispatch them. LEO is even able to fix the radiation leak their plethora of stray blaster bolts caused!

From there, it’s just a quick sprint into the command module, narrowing diving through closing blast doors and escaping a squad of irate navy troopers. LEO seals the door behind them, so they might leisurely explore.
They make their way to the bridge, where everyone is ambushed by the bridge crew, executive officer, and commander – a fierce, but brief, firefight breaks out leaving the group relatively unharmed and only the executive officer, Leiutenant Hyzhan Troo, alive. At the request of Kharrus, she orders the crew to surrender lest they lose their lives to these deranged terrorists. The ship is easily hijacked then, diverted away from the convoy in hyperspace to a rendezvous point with the Rebel Alliance. Troo’s pleas to let her crew jettison in escape pods are ignored.

Success! The Republic, after a long line of praise, directs the crew to the quartermaster to receive their monthly paychecks on their way to the shuttle and back to Whisper Base. Still no sign of Soryn

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Interlude

Following the Siege of Whisper Base, the group had quite a bit to do if they were to make the base habitable again. Once repairs were began, Gaav Fennro contacted the Rebel Alliance and let them know of what had transpired.
The Republic Cruiser Lathir was rerouted immediately to return to Onderon and drop off much needed supplies for the base. As a reward for their selfless service, the group was assigned a platoon of Republic Infantry to keep the base secure in their absence. It being a counter intelligence post, Chalkkatta was also appointed as the base’s commander.

Deciding that their Lambda-class shuttle was too conspicuous, the group offered it in trade to Kavia Slen. Though a little out of her league, she eventually relented and made an offer: She can get hold of either a Wayfarer Medium Transport, a YT-1300 Light Freighter, a HWK-290 Light Freighter, or a Firespray System Patrol Craft. Either way, it will take some time. In the mean time…

The Rebel Alliance was most interested in the captured spy of Moff Lasre Dardano. Though the Onderon Cell Operatives weren’t able to crack him, trained Republic interrogators were. He revealed the stuff of legend – The Perlemian Haul is real. A mysterious Imperial convoy traveling the oldest hyperspace lane in the galaxy – the Perlemian Trade Route AKA the Axis – rumored to be carrying sensitive (and sinister) cargo to far-flung Imperial facilities and strongholds. Its existence has never been confirmed, until now… and even better, The Alliance knows its next port of call. They require a group of skilled operatives to confirm the convoy’s existence, infiltrate one of its heavy freighters, and successfully commandeer the vessel so they can take possession of it, and are sending a disarmed Lambda to pick up their operatives for the mission.

Now, on to Martle Station, to find their contact, Passk, and information about Temple-Class Heavy Freighter M226…

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Operation: Shadowpoint (Part III)
Part III, or, One Long Ass Battle

Exhausted from their trip to space to capture the as of yet unnamed agent of Moff Dardano, the group heads wearily to bed in anticipation of their meeting with the Beast Riders.
Gaav Fennro wakes everyone up.
“It’s time – you’ll have to leave now if you want to make your meeting.”
There’s some debate as to how to get there – abandon the speeders and walk in, walk the entire way, just take bikes? Eventually it’s decided that the possibility of not finding the speeders on the way back was too great a risk, and everyone takes a Speeder Bike.

The clearing proves easy to find, and absolutely full of Rupings – it looks like dozens of the Beast Riders have gathered to hear the group’s offer. They make their way inside, where they’re immediately greeted with horns of something fermented and roast meat on a stick. They seem a jovial sort – what better way to discuss alliances then half inebriated?
Eventually, Olko Baz calls for silence, and invites the group to make their plea. Nervously, Kharrus speaks.
“Well uh… we represent the Republic. The Empire sucks, you know that, but we’re totally cool and down with letting you do your own thing. Also… help us and you get to hunt the Empire like all day, every day for glory!”
Olko Baz and the other tribal leaders take their leave to discuss the possibility, while everyone else drinks and eats to their hearts content. Once nightfall rolls around, Olko and the other leaders return.
“We’ve considered what you said… and we agree. The Empire is not good for the Clazca, and we’re willing to see what you have to offer. We will come to your aid when you need us, as will you to us when the time comes.”
In agreement, the group lets their drink settle before stumbling back onto their speeders and taking off to return home to Whisper Base.

The morning starts abruptly with the base’s klaxon cutting through hungover stupors.
“All personnel, priority message intercepted. Report to the briefing room.”
Chalkkatta notices something odd – the message itself is barely encrypted, but great pains have been taken to obscure the identity of the sender.
“To the current possessors of Whisper Base, this is a warning. Moff Dardano’s forces have arrived in system, and they will be beginning their assault shortly. I highly suggest, for your own good, you repel them.”

The base explodes into activity – LE-03 starts engaging the base’s defenses, while Lucky tries to motivate the Onderon Villagers since his and their performance directly impacts his pay! Kharrus and Soryn start running checks on their AT-ST, and organizing the pilot minded villagers with their Skyhoppers and speeder bikes. Nima heads out on their stolen landspeeder to get support from the Clazca, and maybe more from Darrastead. Finally, Chalkkatta heads up with his macrobinoculars to scout the terrain.

Hours in, Gaav Fennro reports he’s intercepted another transmission – Moff Lasre Dardano was seen at Jyrenne Base boarding an AT-AT and leaving for the jungle for a “training exercise.” Weeeeeeell shit.

Soryn and Kharrus hop in their walker and head out, probably still drunk, for what everyone except Kharrus calls a ‘suicide mission’ and he refers to as ‘glory.’ The scouting trip does have positive outcomes though – they discover the AT-AT has been retrofitted as solely anti-air, though it does also have a landing platform for a TIE/SA bomber. The AT-ST’s weapons prove ineffective, as do the AT-AT’s crews’ missile tubes. Eventually, they decide to head back to base.

Chalkatta provides the earliest warning – he spots three drop shops landing near the AT-AT. He watches them unload their troops – three platoons – and fly off.

Kharrus, as the combat expert, springs into action. Leading Darrastead villagers on speeder bikes and in Skyhoppers, as well as Rupping-riding Clazca, he heads out to harass the force as it advances, trying to draw them away from the base. Very quickly he’s forced to retreat; despite his guerrilla tactics, there are just too many mercenaries too concentrated for his meager force to make an impact. Kharrus regroups at Whisper Base, preparing for the next wave. LEO boards a Skyhopper for this wave, while Soryn and Chalkkatta man the AT-ST. Lucky and Kharrus take up positions on the front line, grimly watching the wood-line.

The battle continues poorly, though this time at least they make their presence felt! The air support and AT-ST prove a turning point, tearing their way through infantry. Unfortunately, Moff Dardano sprung for some actual bounty hunters amidst the riff-raff. Despair spreads through Whisper Base as one hunter manages to take out the skyhoppers with a missile tube, while the other one throws a satchel of anti-vehicle mines at the AT-ST. Ultimately the mercenaries are forced to fall back, though they have left their mark – the Beast Riders have been nearly wiped out, all vehicle support is destroyed; the only thing between a full platoon of mercenaries and Whisper Base is a dozen poorly trained villagers with pistols, Kharrus, and Lucky.

This phase goes better – Lucky is clearly a higher class of hired gun, while Kharrus is a republic commando – mere mercenary minions never stood a chance! One bounty hunter does give Chalkatta pause however – the two become locked in a desperate brawl; Chalkatta desperately tries to find a chink in the hunter’s armor, while the Aqualish bounty hunter does his best to evade the wookiee’s rage and bring his disruptor rifle into play. Ultimately, the duel is ended with a savage slash, sending the hunter stumbling back and into LEO’s blaster sights.

The group breathes a sigh of relief – even though there’s thick smoke and corpses everywhere, Whisper Base is finally theirs. Except for that AT-AT lingering just out of range… A message comes over the base’s speakers.
“Oh you poor Rebel Scum… there’s nothing you can do now. As we speak I’m boarding my ship. I’m going to drop a proton bomb on you limp-dicked assholes, and there will be nothing left of you to remember.”
There’s a quick choice to make – run for it, or stay? LEO’s fairly confident he can overload the shield… eventually it’s decided they wouldn’t make it far enough on foot, and LEO quickly works on the shield. It won’t last long, and their shield and power generators won’t survive… but they might. Soryn mans the AA turret, lining up the quad turbolaser. His first salvo of shots nearly cripple the bomber, coming just shy – if only he’d remembered that he had it Dead to Rights! Alas, the bomber drops its payload, and the shield flashes bright white. When it clears, everything is oddly in focus and the smell of ozone hangs heavily. Soryn has time for one last shot, and the bomber explodes.

Now, for real – the base is a mess, most of their allies are dead, and they lost hundreds of thousands of credits worth of equipment… but the base is theirs, and the only Imperial who knows of its existence is dead. Hurray!

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Operation: Shadowpoint (Part II)
Part II

LEO spots the approaching Panther Interceptor Speeder and stomps on his captured speeder’s acceleration pedal, managing to both strain the vehicle’s systems almost to their limits and flood the engine, which is pretty impressive for something with a gaseous fuel source. Still, he plods along, gaining at least a little speed. He has his vengeance fairly quickly as the Onderon Security Forces do the exact same thing with their speeder. This will clearly not be a high speed chase through the city, but a battle of ‘who-fails-least.’ Kharrus decides he’s had enough of these hijinks, levels his heavy blaster rifle, and obliterates the pilot with automatic fire. LEO continues off through the city at a much more leisurely pace now that the immediate threat is gone.
The team has almost reached their hidden speeders when LEO spots a commotion down a side street – a male Nautolan in storm trooper armor dives from a warehouse, turns, and opens fire on a squad of stormtroopers pursuing him. An enemy of my enemy, right? Kharrus, Nima, and Soryn hop out of the speeder to provide covering fire, while Leo zooms ahead to try and scatter the squad. He succeeds – they break formation, and the combined blaster fire of four is enough to wipe out the Empire’s minions.

“What’s going on here?”
“Well uh… name’s Lucky by the way, I was guarding this warehouse of… wheat… when a trooper came in and started rifling through crates. Being the upstanding mercenary I am, I killed him, and decided – hey! I need new armor, he has new armor… his buddies walked in as I was fastening the last piece. Have any spray paint?”
“Lucky for you we showed up, right? Ha!”

With now six people crammed on a speeder that can support four, the group heads directly to their stashed bikes. During the trip, the rescued smuggler introduces himself.

“I’m Gaav Fennro. Thanks for helping me back there, you guys handled yourselves pretty g… alright. I was supposed to let you know the code word – dalgo – but things were so hectic… I’m here to help with the sensor array, regardless.”
Lucky, hearing this, chimes in. “Hey since you guys are clearly hiring, and my last employer probably won’t be too thrilled… need a hired gun?”

The group is noncommittal, but doesn’t turn him away as everyone loads onto speeders and departs the city – Soryn and Nima on bikes, while Kharrus and LEO escort Gaav and Lucky in the landspeeder.

Meanwhile, Chalcatta makes his way back to the landing pad in his lambda shuttle, Nihlos. It’s a curious picture that awaits him – his buddies are gone, but there’s a dozen peasants in brown and green swarming the base… and a giant boulder parked outside the front door. Weird. He lands uneasily, his concern growing as nobody pays him any mind. After checking the base, and discovering the officer’s quarters have been converted to bunk beds with all bunks except one claimed by his friends’ gear, he calls them up on the commlink.

“Rawr?”
“Oh yeah, we recruited some villagers.. and don’t mind the boulder. We think it was dragons.”

Once everyone’s back at base, introductions are made. Gaav then goes off to work on the SigInt Array while the team assembles in the briefing room to figure out what to do… and to nurse their wounds with the extremely minimal first aid knowledge Kharrus picked up in training.
Nima and LEO favor setting up traps in the woods and mining the clearing outside the main door. Nobody has any idea how to set up a supply route, or where to get more robust defenses… or how to pay for them. Lucky suggests he knows a merchant in town – Kavia Slen who’s well known for finding the more legally questionable and obscure items. Chalcatta suggests a trade – some of the SigInt info, stuff that can’t be used to harm the Republic, might be used to get some supplies… and later on, they could trade a monthly digest for monthly supplies. The group enthusiastically agrees – first thing in the morning they’ll seek Kavia out.

LEO, Chalcatta, Nima, Lucky, and Kharrus head into Iziz, while Soryn opts to stay back and look over ‘his shuttle.’ Kavia is easily found, and an accord is struck – in exchange for the datapad, she’ll provide the location of three crashed airspeeders and, depending on how valuable the info is, some maintenance droids to help out. The team heads out to check on the downed speeders, save for LEO who heads over to the local Space FedEx to get himself and his three droids overnighted to Darrastead.
“Yes sir we can do that just have all of you step on the scale. So, that weight for that distance, overnight, is… 400 credits. Or, for 40 credits, we can deactivate the lot of you, stick you in our mail room, and load you in the next convoy? I think there’s one departing in two to eight weeks!”

LEO, apparently the only team member without the money and with no bank account to accept wire transfers, heads back to Kavia to arrange transportation.
“Some day, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, consider this ride a gift.”
Only slightly obligated, LEO heads back to Darrastead and then to the base to meet up with Soryn, the lambda, and hopefully some airspeeders.

At the airspeeders, the team suspiciously check them out. Good working order, after market weaponry, no corpses in the pilot seat… this just screams of an ambush. If only Gaav, their Mon Cal analyst, were there to weigh in on the probability of trap-itude. Since he isn’t though, they proceed. Kharrus calls Soryn on the comlink to bring the shuttle… and tow cables. Chalcatta fixes the cable to the bottom of the Nihlos, scales the trees, and hooks up the first speeder. Then, he carefully hacks away the branches the T-16 Skyhopper is entangled in. Success! It’s easily salvaged despite the wookiee completely guessing both where to attach the cables and what branches to cut. The second airspeeder is freed much as the first, though it does sustain minor damage as the last branch is hacked away and it swings a wing tip through a tree trunk. By the third speeder, Chalcatta is back to perfect form – not a scratch! In his victory he turns to the group to pose dramatically, and puts his foot through a maintenance panel. Whoops. Still, Whisper Base now has air support.

The next couple days are spent recuperating, slowly healing from the rescue in Iziz.
Kharrus, meanwhile, instructs a group of Darrastead Villagers in blaster rifle use in the firing range.
LEO, recognizing that airspeeders are absolutely nothing like spacecraft and thus not in Soryn the Pilot’s skillset, shows the villagers whose jobs were lost to maintenance droids how to fly.
Chalcatta works with Gaav, monitoring the SigInt Array and filtering data.
Nima continues to try and hunt – she finds several nests and trails, but nothing that she could eat before it ate her.
Lucky occupies his time like any bored mercenary without booze – he gets into mischief, finding a stash of spray paint in the garage. Once his pristine stormtrooper armor is turned green to throw off the scent of justice, he takes to adding nose art to their skyhoppers – a Nautolan pinup girl, shark teeth, and a piranha with laser eyes. Everybody but Nima and LEO are amused.

The night of day seven has a very excited Chalcatta and Gaav assembling everyone in the briefing room. In a couple hours, a high level operative of Moff Dardano is being moved and has a pit stop at the edge of the sector in empty space. If they leave right now, they can intercept and capture him! Wasting little time, they load into the shuttle. LEO manages precise astrogation, recalling that in between assimilating a LE mechanic droid and an IG assassin droid, a R3 may have been involved.
Half an hour later, the team watches another lamda exit hyperspace, facing away, in close range. Easy enough – the resident gunner, Kharrus, targets the engines and lets loose a barrage of warning shots. Chalcatta follows up with the lighter blaster cannons, and triumphs! Kharrus sulks while Soryn docks the two shuttles.
The boarding action is quick and brutal – Kharrus kills one of the agent’s bodyguards with his heavy rifle, Nima stuns one, and Chalcatta sends one flying backwards with a caved in chest. Everyone stops for a moment to reflect on the power of a wookiee with brass knuckles. They’re brought back into focus though, as the flying corpse smashes into the command console and engages “emergency maneuvering thrusters.” With a creak of straining metal, the captured and crippled shuttle begins to try and twist away from the docking seal. Chalcatta subdues the agent as quickly as he can, taking a few blaster rounds to the chest in the process. Even so, there’s just enough time to bring their two captives on board and seal the door before the enemy lambda tears itself away and vents its already dead passengers into space. Kharrus opts to remove the evidence of their involvement, and blows the shuttle away with his anti-pursuit lasers.
On the flight back, they find out the hard way (with at first stony silence and then increasingly belittling comments about Kharrus’s Mother) that Imperial Intelligence Agents are very hard to interrogate! The team opts to lock their prisoners in the armory for now and get some rest, since tomorrow they have an important meeting with The Beast Riders.

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