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.
“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.