The Onderon Cell

Takeover at Whisper Base

The story begins with the team disembarking from a speeder deep in the Onderon jungles, watching in mild regret as it flies back to Iziz. There’s no way back now – the only way is forward to Whisper Base! From there, three objectives – take out communications to stop distress calls, disable the shuttle to prevent escape, and then disable Lieutenant Sarev. Following the map uploaded into LE’s internal datapad the team makes short work of the jungle trek, managing to avoid setting off any of the proximity alarms and easily skirting the holocams all the way up to the massive garage doors and the least imposing, and still ajar, service hatch.

Once inside, Nima sets about investigating the assorted crates and lockers, while Kharrus and LE-03 check out the collection of speeder bikes and two rusted AT-STs. LE-03 easily sabotages the majority of the bikes, while Kharrus and Nima strike out with the AT-STs and crates respectively. If only they had a code cylinder! After much debate, the team moves into ambush positions while LE-03 moves to cut the power line he’s identified leads to the base’s communications system; since a hatch to the outside was open, it should be easy enough to blame the sabotage on local fauna while they slip deeper into the base.

A small team of Imperial Army Troopers steps into the garage from the depths of Whisper Base and seals the door behind them. The lead figure, a sergeant by his uniform, has just enough time to point out nearly every member of the “hidden” team before Kharrus levels his heavy blaster rifle and takes him out. Soryn, who had just confessed he’s never actual fired a blaster before, manages to take out two more troopers with critical precision. Nima and Chalcatta close the distance to bring vibroknives and brass knuckles to the fray, distracting the remaining troops long enough for blasters to bring them down. A clean victory!

Using the defeated sergeant’s code cylinder, LE-03 opens the door to the base proper. He pushes past a surprised battle droid pushing a mop cart, only barely registering its presence as he races to the power generator room.

“This unit needs to complete the sanitation of this garage bay-”
“What is it, a battle droid?”
“See that, it’s a restraining bolt, if we pop it off I bet it would help us.”
“This unit would greatly appreciate-“

The battle droid, now a custodian, BX-2R, is silenced abruptly as molten remnants of its head fall away to reveal the barrel of LE-03’s forearm mounted heavy blaster pistol.

“It would have turned on us. It was a battle droid.”
The rest of the team stares in stunned disbelief as LE-03 turns and rushes back down the corridor. With a sigh, they follow.

LE-03 quickly discovers that the main generator is locked beyond what his captured code cylinder will allow. On the plus side, he also confirms the mess hall is empty and there’s nothing worthwhile in the trash compactor! Chalcatta, now leading the rest of the party, makes a quick detour from their trek to the landing pad to stop in the communications room to sabotage any chance of a distress call. As he leaves the door, he spots four more Imperial Army Troopers directly down the hall. As it turns out, their greatest weaknesses are Wookie-powered punches to the face and blaster bolts to the chest. From there, Soryn easily disables the shuttle Nihlos and discovers its transponder was switched off. Weird.

LE-03 scouts ahead, pushing 2R’s mop bucket. All droids look alike, right? He discovers a trio of stormtroopers guarding what his map identifies as the armory. For now though, he pushes into the firing range and comes to a stop behind two practicing officers. His second forearm blaster pistol extends from his exoskeleton, and he calmly lines up both shots. One officer down, one missing an ear – not quite what he had in mind! Yelling in pain and terror the Army Officer leaps into the range for cover and calls for help – luckily the rest of the team was laying in wait and open fire on the armory stormtroopers when they move to respond. Blaster fire fills the air for a lot longer than anybody would have expected, finally dying off when Nima slides across the deck and takes out both troopers with quick ankle slashes from her vibroknife. Somehow, nobody was watching and her action-heroine stunt is met with disbelief.

The barracks are quickly dealt with, with blaster pistols and grenades collected from their dozen hostages. Chalcatta and LE-03 agree that the best place for them would be the trash compactor – everyone else strongly disagrees and instead opts to tie them up and throw them in the mess hall’s walk-in refrigeration unit. A duty roster shows the only thing separating them from Lieutenant Sarev are six stromtroopers and a locked door. Not a problem for the brain trust of Kharrus and LE-03 who cobble together a bomb with the “liberated” blaster pistols and grenades. From there it’s just a quick throw and… dead stormtroopers.

“Theta squad! This is the control room! What’s going on out there?! Report!”
“Uh… everything’s fine out here. No problem. How’s your day?”
“Raaaaaawwwr!”

Falling for Chalcatta’s clever ruse, the command staff open the door to find themselves face to face with Kharrus’ heavy rifle. The command staff are easily taken hostage and bound, only for a wayward glance to lead Nima to investigate a desk and discover… a hidden door!

“The lieutenant’s made a break for it! It looks like this leads to… the garage!”

Soryn and Chalcatta sprint for the shuttle, assuming a lambda will be easily able to catch a fleeing officer while the rest of the team race to the garage. Discovering a missing AT-ST, they hop on the speeder bikes (the ones they didn’t sabotage,) and give chase. A few kilometers in they notice – they’re being chased too! Somewhere along the line four Scout Troopers have picked up their trail and are keen to open fire. The Nihlos arrives in the nick of time, Chalcatta using the laser cannons to easily take out the AT-ST… and a few scout bikes for good measure. Unfortunately, one manages to get away – long term, that’ll probably be an issue. But, for now, Whisper Base has been taken!

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Operation: Shadowpoint

In the aftermath of taking Whisper Base, the team sat in their brand new briefing room to discuss options. As it was, they had a few goals: They needed to resupply, and establish a steady supply chain to the base; acquire staff; ditch their hostages; and fortify the base. Since Moff Lasre Dardano has likely been alerted by the scout trooper who got away, a counter attack could be coming any day now.

Chalcatta, (whose player was absent) solves one of the problems in minutes – he calls up the Republic cruiser Lathir that dropped them off. The rest of the team listen to his well stated arguments for taking the prisoners.
“Raaaaaarrrgggh. Roar! Growl.”
With that, he heads off to the walk in refrigerator to retrieve their prisoners, load them onto the Nihlos, and ferries them off into space to be gone for a narrative amount of time.

The rest of the team excitedly crosses that off their list. Nima opts to monitor the SigInt array, since she can, and try to figure out anything worthwhile from the backlogged messages. LE-03, meanwhile, sifts through the base’s information on Onderon and the surrounding area. Of particular note is information on the capital city, Iziz, the Imperial Logistics Base Jyrenne Base, reports of beast riding barbarians, and a local exploited village. It’s too late in the day to check any of them out, but the team resolves to investigate Darrastead village in the morning. Nima, meanwhile, decides there’s far too much information for just her to sift through and, after checking the encryption, sets up the SigInt array to automatically transmit everything to the Republic.

The team wakes up to an automated message from the base – a high priority message! Everyone gathers in the briefing room, and discovers Republic High Command has something to say.

“You guys are sending way too much information, you’re going to compromise the frequency! We’re sending you a signal intelligence expert to help manage stuff, he’ll be there in 24 hours. He’ll work the word dalgo into conversation somehow. This message will self destruct in 5…4…3…2..1.”

Good news! Now, to get the base cleaned up since BX-2R is out of the picture. The team hops on their captured speeder bikes and goes racing off into the forest.. after Kharrusreminds everyone they need to close and lock the main door to ward off would be burglars.
The village of Darrastead is found fairly easily, but there’s only one problem – who’s actually going to talk to the locals? LE-03 opts out due to self professed anger management issues, and Nima, Kharrus, and Soryn diplomatically settle the issue with “nose-goes.” Kharrus is readily elected to be spokesman, as the charismatic Soryn comes down with a bad case of GM-PC-doesn’t-want-to-talk-to-himself-for-an-hour.
The villagers are skeptical of the claims that Whisper Base has fallen, but so delighted by the news joy outweighs any desire for proof. Showing a remarkable insight into herd-mentality, Kharrus easily negotiates for a team of villages to come help out at the base in exchange for excess medical supplies and parts, with the bonus offer that the base’s barracks are open to any villager who would rather not risk being eaten by Bomas in the middle of the night. LE-03 manages to find someone with technical knowledge to help him out, while Nima finds both success and despair in recruiting a lone, pervy, farmer to come back to the base with her and train at the rifle range. Skeeved out, she opts to let Kharrus handle the actual training.

The next day, the team decides they’re going to track down the beast riders – maybe they could be convinced to join the fight against the Empire, since they’ve been attacking patrols already. Soryn is left at the base to await both their SigInt specialist and the workers from Darrastead. Everyone else piles on to two speeder bikes and they take off. In no time at all they’re in hostile beast rider territory, and come face to face with the draconic Ruping the Clazca Tribe beast riders call a steed. After a brief meeting, it’s settled – in one week’s time they’ll meet back up and discuss an alliance with the tribe. Until then, they won’t be permitted in Clazca territory.
On their way back, they get a message from Soryn.
“Hey guys? Uh, someone dropped a boulder in our lawn.”
Upon returning to Whisper Base, the massive boulder is easily spotted. A test, to verify the Imperials no longer hold the base? Or, perhaps it was an attack that just missed its mark. Either way, the team hurries inside.

A few hours later the detail from Darrastead arrives, and the team set out figuring work assignments, bunk allocation, and training regimens – both to teach their new workers to maintain equipment and to defend themselves, and for the natives to teach the rebels how to hunt and survive in this dangerous jungle. Kharrus is concerned about food supplies – even if they have quite a bit in ration packs, eventually those will run out!

Day three starts quietly. Too quietly – as the 24 hours they were promised by High Command comes and goes, the team grows increasing restless. Nima eventually checks the SigInt array, searching for anything that might clue them in to what’s taking so long. She finds a lone report that catches her attention – earlier that morning, a Mon Calamari smuggler was picked up by Iziz Customs having illegal weapons and enough supplies for a small team. Despite being unconvinced the smuggler is their man, the team still decides to rescue him; after all, having a smuggler in your pocket is always a good thing!

Leaving the Darrastead Villagers in charge of the base, the team hops on two speeder bikes and heads off into Iziz. Soryn and Nima slip through the checkpoint with ease:
“I’m just taking my lady friend somewhere nice,”
While LE-03 and Kharrus end up having to pay an “Undesirables” tax directly to the guard’s wallet. Once in the mercantile district, the team splits up.
LE-03 purchases a few minor parts to repair the speeders he banged up, and a new hydrospanner for his technically minded villager friend.
Soryn uses all his cunning to flag down a passing local and ask:
“Hey, where’s customs at? The old treasury building? Thanks.”
Nima, now informed, heads out to scout the treasury building out. She discovers it’s pretty heavily guarded, but there’s roof access and, in a twist of destiny, a crowded tavern just across the street. Once the team reconvenes, Nima heads into the bar to find the biggest drunk.
“Hey uh… that guy over there? He was talking shit about you.”
She manages to flee the ensuing brawl just in time to see the Stormtroopers guarding the treasury door moving to break up the disturbance. With ease, she scales the building while everyone is distracted. Kharrus follows her, and discovers that a Gran climbing a three story building draws a crowd of its own. Soryn and LE-03 meanwhile slip in through the unguarded front door.

Once on the roof, destiny rears its ugly head and Kharrus and Nima discover the roof access was actually a hood covering for a fan. No problem – Kharrus sneakily rips the vent cover off and drops it, sending the metal lid banging down the vent shaft and gumming up the fan with several loud crashes. Nima glares daggers at him. Still, they hop down the vent and climb through, emerging finally in the ladies lavatory. As they step out, they’re only a little surprised to see a squad of stormtroopers crouched with blasters raised – evidently they’d heard the stealthy intrusion!

Soryn and LE-03 have similar luck. Despite skirting the outside guards, they bust through the front door to find four more stormtroopers on patrol inside the lobby. Well shit.
For a few minutes the entire building is filled with blaster fire. Adrenaline turns to despair as one of the troopers calls for help on his commlink with his dying breath. Kicking it into overdrive, the team manages to find the smuggler. Just as Nima has his shackles off, Kharrus demands to know the password.
“The password? Oh, it’s-“ The Mon Calamari is cut off abruptly as another team of stormtroopers fight their way to the third floor and set off a grenade.
Soryn and Nima take the smuggler with them, climbing back out the ladies lavatory vent to the ceiling. Kharrus, already critically wounded from his sustained firefight, leaps from the second story window in a desperate attempt to escape. Against all odds he survives, battered but not yet broken.
LE-03, in similar panic, runs down the stairs and out the back door. Thanking the meatbag gods of destiny, LEO helps the gravely injured Kharrus into the back of a speeder parked nearby and hops into the pilot seat. By the time he has it turned on and ready to go, Nima and the smuggler have rappelled down. Soryn is a bit slower, hopping first from the roof to a lower roof before scrabbling down and into the back – he clearly subscribes to the ‘face first’ method of parkour, and ends up looking little better than Kharrus.
LE-03 punches it just in time to see Onderon Security in a landspeeder of their own rounding the corner. The chase is on!

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Onslaught at Arda I

Arda_1_Attack_3.png
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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