Scoundrel Records

I'd say its time to go
Big guns in space

The ISB agent rolled off the speeder bike as it exploded into jungle just beyond the front gates. Mal’r “Mal” Brooken had just cleanly separated the agent’s head from his shoulders with a well aimed rifle shot. The detonation of the bike was the last echo of the battle. The ground war by the survivors camp had been won, but the Dark Scouts and their long range scout ship we would be leaving Cholganna soon. They even had taken the crew left with the Gozanti as prisoners.

Nothing could ever be easy. Ever. So, Sehath (Prars’ehath’klocerg), Sasha, Captain Rel Harsol, Mal’r “Mal” Brooken, and Axel. Started the chase. They had to get to their “fleet” which now included the Yiyar’s Night Flyer, catch the scout ship and stop it from making hyperspace. All in all, a great plan except for the fact that they couldn’t just vaporize the ship without losing crew mates and boarding the ship was going to be deadly.

Of the ships, Sehath’s was the fastest by far. It also had armor composed mostly of speed, luck and paper. Undaunted, Sehath bolted skyward as vapbait, confident of skills. The shrill roar of his engines could be heard as he punched his ship forward as fast as he could. The next fastest ship was the newly christened Cholganna Chairiot, previously known as the Night Flyer. Axel, Captain Rel Harsol, Mal’r “Mal” Brooken, and the three remaining battle droids took up station on the ship. Captain Harsol took could command because he…well…he wanted too. He wasn’t necessarily the best of pilot but he his command experience exceeded everyone by far. Slamming the throttle down, everyone was thrown back a bit as they flung themselves forward to the attack.

That left Sasha the Gozanti. The brick. The big, flying brick. She tucked herself into the pilot’s seat and proceeded to take off. Slowly. In a moment of desperation she put her hands on the dashboard and pushed, trying to will the ship forward. Her wail was heard over the comms as the ship ever so gently slid spaceward.

Meanwhile, Sehath watched the blue before ship turn to black and then red as broke atmosphere and closed to the gas and debris field surrounding Cholganna. He spotted the scout ship on his sensors and moved to intercept it. There was no way he going to take the ship on. The couldn’t outgun it and he had no chance against it if it hit him squarely. He could, however, vector in on collision course and make them move. He pulled the visor of his tattered space suit and went in as fast he could.

Some distance back, aboard the Cholganna Chairiot, Axel could see the blasts of gunnery fire against the red cloud. A space battle. “Wait until I give the command,” grumbled Harsol hoarsely over the comm. “We won’t have another shot at this and he won’t won’t last long in that tin-skinned ship.”

“Incoming ship, be advised. This the ship ??? on a mission for the Galatic Empire. No interference will be tolerated. Turn to vector 92.1 by 7.66 now. Repeat, turn or be considered hostile.”. Sehath swung in tightly as he could and fired a lucky blast into the scout ship. As passed by the to the port , he dropped his ship into the scout ship’s flight and sped out in a large arcing curve. This brazen act caught the crew off guard. The pilot slung the ship into head over loop to the port to avoid the collision and blasted. The shot didn’t connect cleanly, but still nearly punched through Sehath’s ship. He glanced back to see loose papers swirled briefly around before the ship re-established pressure. He swallowed and pulled down again on his already closed visor. His mech, attempting repairs, gave what can only be called cat-call and went back to work on the sparking environment system control.

“Settle down and listen to me. We’re coming in fast and trailing to their aft and starboard. Sehath is pumping a vapor trail out, so I don’t think he’ll hold their attention much longer.” A bright flash out ahead of them put more truth to the Captain’s words.

Sehath felt his shudder and spin as he took a direct hit. He brought back under control into a tight turn that threw his droid to the ceiling. Another hit like that and he knew he’d be mark on the Imperial pilot’s scorecard. He knew could break off until…

A flash of blast nearly blinded the Imperial pilot. He’d turned to roll on a tight turn to his aft to line up a shot on the smoking gnat of ship that had engaged him, when everything just went wrong. A shot amidships had cracked his lower dorsal plating and brought down the navicomputer. A second crunching blast had come through on nearly the same spot, taking down two of troopers and bloodied his co-pilot. He knew he had one last chance if could up above the YT-2400 bearing down on him. The he saw the brick.

Sasha smiled as she finally moved to range. The Gozanti brought all of her guns to bear. Seeing the lions finally arrive to the fight, Sehath wheeled his ship around and headed to the compound back on Cholganna.

“Lower your shields, stop all activity. There is no other option,” piped Captain Harsol to the wounded Imperial ship. There was only a short pause before a static filled “We are standing down. We await your orders.” was heard. Grinning for for the first time in was probably years, the Captain leaned back over his seat and said “Nice shot, Mal. The field is ours.”

To be continued…

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Mountains of junk, specks of treasure and Jawas armed to the teeth
Action in the refuse

The newly christened Cholganna Chariot slid smoothly into the berth exposed under the overhang of debris. There were various crew members scrambling about inside the scrap covered hangar, and one in particular stood out. He was tall for a Rodian, with fairly clean garb (given the grease, dust, and rust covering the landscape) and a surprisingly cheerful smile (for a Rodian). The crew, consisting of Axel Riprock,Mal’r “Mal” Brooken, Sasha, and Crom, secured the ship before moving out to the landing bay. It was cool in the cradle of twisted steel and old, rotted space hulls, but there more than just the odor of space ships and ozone. The place carried the scent of staleness and oil; however, it was bigger, brighter and nicer than the filthy interior of the Chariot. Stepping down the ramp, they were greeted by the Rodian.

“Greetings. Greetings. We have been expecting you for sometime. I am Notra. This my dock. Roem says you coming. And now you are,” he called up as he grabbed and vigorously shook the crew’s hands. The crew, after nearly being eaten by or shot at by nearly every living thing on the entirety of Cholganna, probably came off a bit shell shocked by the friendly Norta (once again showing Rodian snouts don’t always quiver with deceit). Nevertheless, they smiled and moved in.

“Oooo, that is a dead-man-flying. Tie fighters must of really stung him. Let’s close the doors,” said Norta as he pointed out of the bay towards a small, smoking scout ship that staggered, and careened in all directions at once as it was coming in for a landing.

Mal’r shot a glance back, “He’s with us. Might want to clear back a bit when he lands as parts will probably come off.” The small scout was followed by the screeching of metal on metal as a trail of scrap followed into the landing bay.

Norta looked over Sehath’s ship and motioned for his crew to keep the blast door open. Sehath (Prars’ehath’klocerg) brought his ship, or the remainder of it, to as graceful a landing as possible. Howeve, there was nothing gentle or smooth or even clean about the ship or the “landing” aka the metal-rending screech to a stop. The ship resembled the landscape of junk it was parking in. His droid sounded a shrill whistle and proceeded to collapse over from either fear of death or the shock of actually surviving the flight. The only laughable part was the droid actually faired better than the rest of the crew. Sehath, adjusted the remnants of his environment suit, patted the droid, patted a few smoking spots on his suit and trotted down the burnt gangway of the ship. Sasha slipped Mal’r the 10 credits she lost on their bet.

Sehath came over to the crew and Norta, smiling and alive. Sasha slipped Mal’r another 10 credits she lost on the second half of their bet. As the silence began to weigh on Norta just a bit and no one else was talking, he asked the obvious, “So what happened?”

Since nobody crowded to the front to tell him, Mal’r explained the entire episode in laconic detail. “Roem sent us to Cholganna to get whatever we could find of the Sal Nalor. We arrived to find the planet covered by a red and very rocky nebula. After a bit of searching, we found the Sal Nalor or at least most of it. Something, who knows, maybe battle damage, the nebula or just plain navigating too close to the planet, caused the Sal Nalor to slam in and create a gorge a couple of kilometers long. The suprising part though, was that some of the crew survived. And they’ve been living on the green hell for nearly 30 years before we showed up. The Yiyar showed up not too long after we made planetside. They talked mean, but kinda curled under press if ya know what I mean. We meet up with ”/characters/harsol" class=“wiki-content-link”>Captain Rel Harsol , Cratala and about 30 surviving crew. After a bit of discussion, the Empire also showed up to our little party but the Cap’ didn’t like them much either. Needless to say, we left the surviving troopers and Yiyar back on Cholganna and came here in our nice, new and shiney Cholganna Chariot. We brought Cratalla, sent the rest of the survivors with the Gozanti and the trooper’s ship back to The Wheel.. Roem said to go the biggest pile of scrap, junked ships and rust in the universe, so here are."

After nearly 30 seconds of riveting dialogue, Norta smiled even bigger as he looked past the crew and back to the scout ship. Cratala was emerging from the ship, looking burnt, shaken, and ever so happy. With her hair going in every direction but correct, she asked, softly," I don’t suppose you have a place to clean up? It’s been a while since I’ve seen civilization." Norta got his big smile even larger and waved over one of his people to escort her to some place nicer than the hangar bay. There were a couple of sideway glances amongst the crew, and with nary a word, Mal’r took first watch over Cratala.

The group basically split up from that point on. The underground base had an extensive system of tunnels which turned at odd angles as they climbed their way through hundreds of corpses of broken ships. As he made his way down the irregular and jagged halls, Mal’r wondered how many lifetimes had been spent building what was now not even remembered by anyone still alive in the universe. Sasha, generally bored with the whole secret base hidden in a world of mountainous junk secured by the Empire tale, went off to find food and a quiet place to clean her armor and weapons. Axel, having spotted a nearly perfect capital ship laser grid array on the flight in, borrowed a junk skiff and proceeded to go on a treasure hunt. Alone, Crom just wandered a bit around the secret base hidden in a world of mountainous junk. Thought to be secured by the Empire the labyrinth of scrap was actually a secret base with a premier cybernetics showroom and medical facilities hidden in a world of rust and broken hulls. Norta explained, as they were friends, he could definitely get Crom an employee discount.

Sehath stood alone in the bay and watched as the last of the billowing smoke stopped rising from his vehicle. Then and just then and very unceremoniously, the gangway clanged off his ship to the bay’s floor. “We can fix it nicely for you,” gurgled Norta as he slid up beside Sehath.

“She really does need some work.”

“Yes and you were very brave to fly it… er… her.”

“How much?”

“Well, let me see. First, aft plating burnt. Starboard engine plating gone. Engine coolant non existent. Interior lounge and bar very tattered. Droid dead? No, just resting. That’s free. Port stabilizer laughable…” The laundry list continued for a bit followed by some quick mathmatics until , " Sixteen thousand credits and I’ll throw in quad lasers a bonus. Good deal, no?"

Sehath remained calm and collected outside as inner spirit joined the droid in a cat nap on the floor of the bay. " Sixteen? I don’t have that many credits as this time."

“No?”

“No.”

“You sure?”

“I am sure.”

There a brief pause before Norta offered another idea, “Anything to trade?”

“All I have I this ship, my droid, my reputation and my friends.”

“Nothing else?”

“Well, we did get a couple of bikes and some armor back on Cholganna. I dont’ suppose anybody would mind if we traded some of those. They’re pretty bulky and take up a lot of room in the ship anyway.”

“Speed bikes? Very nice. I’ll take 10 in trade.” And thus begun the Great Bike and Armor Wheel and Deal of ABY 0.

As the others slept, ate, wandered and traded, Axel sought his treasure, a near mint capital ship laser grid array. He knew it couldn’t be too far. A couple of hours tops. He made sure he did all his prep work like telling others where he was going, getting advice and gear from the locals and he even brought along another crew member as backup. Well, we was going to do all that but he didn’t. After being cooped with the ne’ er-do-wells on the Chariot, he just needed out. Besides it would only take a couple of hours.

First he went north-ish in the exact direction he needed to go. He had to make a slight turn here and there through the debris field, but generally he was on course. After about fifteen minutes of weaving in and out of towering heaps of very lethal and very heavy looking scrap, he found he his way again. Another forty minutes, he knew he was on the right track. Another fifty five minutes after that, he arrived exactly on the spot he was looking for. Except for one thing. The laser grid array was not there. There was only a horribly crushed in cranial piece for a protocol droid. He thought of IT3, smiled, picked it up and started a spiral search.

Back at the base, Mal’r, comfortable that the base was secure and Cratala was safe, went back into the Chariot. Earlier, hidden in a wall compartment behind some very vile and sticky trash, he had found a small satchel of weapons. He decided to give the contents a good review and a very good cleaning. There were some broken pistols, the empty hulls of a couple of grenades and a tidy box about 40 cm wide by 60 cm long. Tinkering with it for just a moment, Ma’lr found that he had a SKZ sporting blaster rifle nicely packed up. Considering the care given to the rest of weapons he’d found, it was in great shape. It was a great weapon for assassins, small, concealable and it packed a pretty lethal punch. It was even better weapon for a Sasha. He bundled the rifle up under his arm and headed back to the showroom. There had to be a scope and an augmented spin barrel here someplace.

Axel finally, after another 2 hours of searching finally found his treasure. He was so happy that he was almost getting light headed, a little woozy if you will. He dug out a fair fauxsimicle of a crow bar and began to lift the array out of the ground. It was bigger than he thought it’d be. It look much smaller on the flight in. It didn’t matter though, he was going to bring this back in. He just a little rest. He knew that being incarcerated in the Cholgonna Coup was going to wear on him. He took a moment to get a drink of some water. Not completely clear he spotted something moving about 100 meters away to the northwest. 100 meters? 10 meters? Not completely sure, he remembered he had a commlink in his belt.

“Hey guys, there something out here”, he comm’d back to the station.

Taking a small break from his negotiations, Sehath piped, “What is it? And does it have a labor droid servo or a conductive energy splicer?”

“Well, I don’t know.”

“Find out and call me back.”

At that point, Norta pointed to the commlink in Sehath’s hand, “Turn it off. It’s bad, very bad to give our position away.” Sehath clicked it off and began again, “OK, all the bikes plus the armor, but we get breakfast. Right?” The Rodian snout twitched in anticipation for the close.

Meanwhile, over in the weapon technical lab, Mal’r was deeply engrossed with the IsoTech’s best weaponsmith, a male Cathar called Woem and a blue female Troob who went by the name of Purr. They were some of the best weapon smiths outside of the core and the were completely and utterly goofball dewbs (and they loved it). They’d rarely been outside of their labs or schools, but they’d seen all the vids and new all the legends. Mal’r didn’t brag nor did he boast, but that made him even more gunslinger-y to them. Between the three of them, Sasha’s weapon was really something to behold. The test firing on the lower gun range was spot on.

Outside in the mountains of rust, grease and toxic lakes of oily green and brown, Axel was hiding. And he was deep and well. The movement he saw was an Imperial probe-droid. . He didn’t get a great chance to be sure of it’s exact model, but it was obviously heading right at him. He quietly slid of his skiff to the ground, came back and turned it off and then slide back down low between what looked like the cracked inner and outer hull rings of an old freighter. It was dark, rank and sticky. It was also the closest and deepest hole he could find. He could hear the probe droid hover in close. He ever-so-carefully clicked the off switch on his comm and he attempted to slide back even further. The droid stopped for a couple of minutes and began to scan. The droid must of had a very careful search program as it chimed and hummed with a dozen different noises as it hunted for the comm signal it had picked up. Valleys and ebbs of metal, old capacitors and decaying batteries made such searches difficult, but the droid was not programmed to be frustrated with such noise. It was programmed to find, to report and to kill. It was going to be long time before Axel could slip from his warren. Which was ok, thought Axel, “I just need a little rest anyway.”

As the sun rose about 8 hours later, it was noticed that Axel was not back. Well, not Axel actually, but that he had not returned the salvage skiff. Sehath had turned on his commlink out of habit in the morning, when heard a struggling voice crackle across his comm, “Guys, I’m still out here. I don’t feel…”

Jovel Nial leaned over and put one finger to her lips. “Don’t call back. I’ll zero in on his position. Thats what I do. Sasha, get a bike. I’ll direct you.” Sasha, sensing are reason to fly one of the new bikes, bounded out towards the hangar. Sehath grabbed his carbine and trailed after her. Jovel started using her datapads and her recently-acquired-but-probably-not-authorized access the local computer net to triangulate Axel’s position.

Sasha ran up to the first Z-74 and was preparing to jump on when see spotted sold sign. She slowly turned and moved towards the next one in line, only to find yet another penciled-in sold sign. Sighing, she went to the next one and again, sold. Her face was begininng to flush red when she turned to Sehath, who quickly responded, “Only three! I only traded three!”

She responded curtly, moved to the fourth bike, pulled the “Norta’s” sign off and began to push off. Sehath sheepishly pulled himself into the jumpset. Norta watched his sign flutter to the ground and chose the wiser path of not questioning her. Sasha listened to the local comm net for a moment until Jovel gave her the location.

The bike rose up just a bit and roared off with Sasha hunched low over the handlebars and Sehath clinging feverishly , tight to her. She glanced about the piles of ancient trash and newly dropped debris as she expertly snaked her bike amongst the ruin. The googles kept the sand and grit off her eyes, but she could taste the oily air that parched her skin and throat. It only took 30 odd minutes for her to get the location given to her by Jovel.
There was the skiff half loaded with some large board made of wires and lights. She didn’t see Axel. Scanning back to her right, she spotted the droid. It’s search pattern had taken it back out towards the acidic lake. It had a chance to react the charge made by Sasha and Sehath. Sehath, obviously not recognizing his pilot or known flying style, clamped his legs to the bike, moved his grip with both hands from Sasha to his carbine and fired. It was a good shot that caused the droid to start spinning uncontrollably counter clockwise. Sasha brought her bike back up above the droid by climbing a semi-large rubble pile and performing what is known as a nose-stand. The nose-stand is accomplished by using the front replusor brake and, simultaneously, an air brake to cause the nose to drop while bringing the back of the up and around. When done properly, as Sasha did, it looks alot like a cartwheel performed by bike. The bike stopped and Sasha squeezed the trigger of the light repeating blaster on the bike. It is doubtful that the droid was even able to compute what was happening as it exploded into more debris.

As bits of droid rained down, Sasha spotted another one moving around a tilting pillar of decayed piping up and to her right. She slammed the the bike back into gear (good thing it was military grade construction) and swooped wide and left to get a better for angle attack. Sehath grimaced and tucked himself in behind her. Swinging up and over fallen control tower, she brought the bikes to bear again. The droid was solidly hit, but it stayed aloft as it turned to return fire. It never got the chance to shoot though as it too exploded. Sasha spied Crom and Mal’r just after Crom reduced the droid to cinders. She gave a quick salute, pointed back to the direction skiff and moved off.

Over the commlink Crom heard, “It’s Sehath. See if there are droid labor servos. I need them. Er… Uh, we need them.”

While Axel and Mal’r searched the smoking husk. Sasha circled around the skiff. It was Axel’s alright. There was his water bottle and his new datapad on improvising explosives, but he wasn’t there. Then out of a dark little hole only about 2 meters deep crawled Axel. He smelled bad, his clothes were covered in stains of unknown origin and he looked worse. “Grettings. I glad made me to here. Is it still butterflies?” he asked as he climbed onto the skiff and started driving.

“Axel?”

“Yessir. Let’s roll grid and along move.”

The ever so slightly green pallor of his skin gave him the appearance of being affected by a Sacorria virus. The slurring words made him appear drunk and hi movements resembled a Korriban zombie in the last stages of decay. Axel, however, may not have even noticed his condition. If he did, he made no reference except to say “Hole dark bad feel.” Environmental poisoning combined with exposure was killing Axel right before their eyes. Sasha drifted over the skiff and Sehath jumped down to the platform. The skiff bucked and swayed a little, but finally Sehath laid Axel back and started heading back to the hidden bays. For his part, Axel cheered him on with a “You’re my hero. Strings make yellow songs. And you are hero!” At which time, he finally succumbed to passing out.

As Crom and Mal’r finally caught up complete with Sehath’s requested parts in hand, they made their way back to the base. Norta must have been watching them from a distance as he had a medical team waiting to quickly rush Axel off into the bowels of the labs. It was only about 30 minutes later when a near-human female med tech came out and said Axel was going to be fine. They’d experienced this before and he was responding well to the standard treatment. “We can have him up and going in about an hour or so if you want to pay for the medicine. 500 creds and he’ll as chipper as a ever. Maybe even more so.”

Mal’r moved the pillar he was leaning against and asked, “500 credits for what? Is he going to be OK?”

“The medicine, silly. He needs to feel better, right?”

“I am not sure about 500 credits of feel-better.”

The tech pursed her lips and glared back, “Better is better for your crew, right?”

“Right. 500 credits. Better is better.” he answered pulling the appropriate chips from his pockets.

True to her word, Axel was back in farm boy fashion in less than two hours. He looked good, moved well, but he was talking a bit faster than normal. Mal’r looked over to the tech who simply responded with “Side effect.”

Norta came up just then and slapped Axel on the back,“You look much healthier. Good deal.”

Sehath grimaced just slightly at the words “good” and “deal”.

“There are skiffs coming in with Jawa traders. They find; we barter. Some times they bring treasures, sometimes bantha poodoo. See if they have the splicer”, called Norta to the ad-hoc crew.

Mal’r stopped and sent Crom and Jovel to check on Caratala, while the rest of the crew ambled up towards the three incoming skiffs. Each skiff carried salvaged gears, oversized boxes and about 4 Jawas. The first one had what appeared to be mostly ship parts, the second one was cover plating and the trailing one had an abundance of droid parts. The skiffs slowly rolled into the last bay on the right amongst the technicians’ toolsets and lifts.
As they approached, Sehath slowed up and stopped whispering out, “They’re kind of stocky of Jawas. Are Raxus Jawas that much bigger?”
Mal’r, who in a previous life, spent a little more than a year on Tatooine looked up the Jawa driving the first skiff.

Too bulky. Too big. It was not a Jawa.

Before he could contemplate why someone would be disguising themselve as a Jawa on Raxus Prime, he saw the blaster come up from the folds of the robes. He saw a Rodian with a Yiyar clan symbol on his back pull a pistol on Norta, who batted it away and started punching back. At this point everything started happening hyper fast. Between the incoming Jawas, the techs and the crew, nobody was more that two meters from the upcoming firefight.

A firefight was described by J’Walez as a hostile encounter in which antagonists with blasters shoot at each other. That is a pretty apt description, but until some blaster fire singes the air next to you, time stops and blaster fire never ceases, you can’t know. Mal’r, however, had been in up close and personnal fights like this before. The “Jawa” in front of was bringing his gun to bear, but he was far to0 late. Mal’r growled, “Bantha spit!” and pulled both of his heavily-modified heavy blasters. Before the “Jawa” could blink, Mal’r pulled the hair triggers on his pistols and placed two well spaced holes into the two closest to him.
It happened so fast and was not in line with the carefully planned subterfuge, the attackers were caught off guard. Before anybody had even started firing, Mal’r jumped into the next two standing in the second skiff bed, killed them both at point blank range and lowered himself for cover behind the boxes on gate.

The rest of the crew, seeing Mal’r shooting, didn’t take time to question his motives and firing started in earnest. The last bay had become a storm of blaster fire, grenade explosions and bodies. The Jawas now showed themselves to be Sullustan mercenaries. Axel, with a little more step in his giddy up, dropped a grenade amongst the group closest to him. Two more fell. Sehath pulled his only grenade and rolled it under the middle skiff. It lifted a couple of meters in the air before it crashed down crushing a mercenary beneath it, while the other three where obviously the worse for wear.

As they didn’t see where the grenade had come from, the remaining three from the middle turned towards Mal’r. He ducked low and backed up causing them to miss, but they put out enough fire to destroy the boxes he was using as cover. He was trying to make his was to the front to use the cab seat as some cover when the second skiff ended it’s movement by slamming into the back of the vehicle he was on. As Mal’r’s right foot slipped off the platform, he turned and fire both blasters again. The first merc died out right, but the second betrayed a moment of surprise as he looked to where his hands should have been before slumping onto another Sullustan on the ground.

At the back of the train, Axel was taking a lot of fire but he had seen this training. He rallied, stood up, pulled the pin and lobbed another grenade. Between the two blasts being slow close, he was fairly deaf; however, he was alive. Two more down. Just as Sehath was about to raise his carbine, a shot went just past his right shoulder and into the Sullustan who drawing down on him. Sehath turned to see Sasha and her new shiny carbine turn to race off into the base. This was not the only battle going on. The Yiyar had come for revenge and blood.

Crom was moving down the hall when he heard the blaster fire and explosions pierce. The air behind him. Looked over to Jovel as he pulled his heavy blaster pistol and continued into the semi-lit passages in front of them. They had moved sixty meters towards the first main junction of halls when they heard movement coming towards them speak a language they didn’t even recognize. They turned the cornering and saw, to their great surprise, Trandoshans, well armed, large reptile mercs. The mercs we’re making a lot more noise than Crom and Jovel, which gave them a very slight edge. Jovel started falling back as Crom raised his pistol firing point blank into the chest of the leading Trandoshan.

He hit cleanly, but the heavy armor stopped a lot of the blast. The merc dropped down to the ground on one knee, which gave the one behind him a chance to shoot. Crom dodged out of the way, but in doing so Jovel as hit. With no armor at all, she went down with a straggled scream. There was really only two choices now, flight or flee. Crom chose to make a run for it, but not without Jovel. He pulled back in adjoining room and tried to take cover behind some dilapidated crates. They were in cover, but the mercs pushed into the room and started blasting everywhere at once. One lucky shot hit the hardwired control panel behind Crom, which bang to shower the room in orange and white sparks. With the waterfall of sparks illuminating his position, he hoisted Jovel over his shoulder and made his way to the next. He snapped off a couple of shots, but in all the confusion and noise he didn’t hit anything.

The next room, unfortunately, turned out to be more of a large closet that path to safey. Jovel started coming round as they began to barricade the door. There was no escape now.

With the battle at the skiffs over, Mal’r and Sehath started off into the interior of the base. Sehath had the lead and was trying to move to the sounds of blasters. They came across a couple of dead and dying IsoTech personnel, but no mercs. After a couple of eternity moments, they filled made their way to down the flickering halls to a old closed freighter door.
Sehath pulled at the down, but it was jammed shut and the fire fight behind was growing more intense. Sehath freed a rusty iron bar from the hallway’s wall and flung himself into opening the door. He slipped on the damp, uneven floor, jamming his back and shoulder, but he forced the door open. In the room, four surprised Trandoshans turned to the screeching noise.

Mal’r went in before they, or anybody else, had a chance to react. Stepped into the first one, jammed his pistol into his gut and fired. That shot killed Mal’r’s shield and a merc directly behind. Mal’r showed the body and the third one in the room, spun low and shot him twice in the chest and once in the head. The remaining, or last if you prefer, didn’t even see what was happening clearly. The shower sparks had partially blinded him and din of the blasters in a confined area had effectively made him lose control. He glanced to his weapon and switched his repeating blaster to full auto and was preparing to spray down the room, when felt the warm muzzle of a blaster touch his right temple. His end was quick, but at least painless.

To be continued…

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Out of the junk heap and into the fire

Sehath reporting in.

We seem to have an on-going challenge with anti-social entities throughout the Empire. Just as we finally ousted the YiYar mercenaries out of the IsoTech base on Raxus Prime and managed to even link up with the Twi’lek Reom, whom I met at the Wheel. Reom apparently had some altercation with the YiYar at the Wheel and suffered their wrath. He was up and around, but seemed worse for wear. Reom was so impressed with us that he offered to include us as partners in IsoTech in addition to paying our agreed upon fees for the mission to Cholgana. That sounded quite acceptable to me and to the others.

About this time, we get an incoming message that Imperial forces were on the way to us. Of couse, nothing can ever come our way that is not trying to kill us. Reom also informed us that one of the hulks we had been fighting mercenaries in was actually an operational CR90 Corvette, known as the Blockade Bandit (I knew they could be sitting on this much star ship debris without having something functional!). Unfortunately, the Bandit is still buried under tons of other junk and is also not fully functional and needed quite a bit of assistance to get airborne. About that time, we hear that the other hulk where our ships were docked was under attack (AGAIN!) by more YiYar mercenaries. They attacked and blew out the engines on my poor little scout. I’m really getting to hate those space pirates.

Reom had not planned on having to escape YiYar and Imperial forces, particularly after having his crew and resources depleted from the YiYar surprise attack. He was sadly short of crew skilled members. It turns out that the ship’s doctor is also their chief engineer. Odd, but it works out for us. He went back to try to get more of the engines operational. Axel went to go set charges to blow off more of the junk off of the CR90. Sasha and Joval went to the CR90 bridge to get the ship started on pre-flight. I went with a Wookie from Reom’s crew and a couple of our guys to see about getting our ships out of the hands of the YiYar. Let’s not forget that the Imperials are inbound.

So on the CR90, Axel managed to do a great job getting the junk blown off. Dr. Strangeglove, Reom’s doc, was quite the wizard in getting some of the engines running. Joval got the computers running. Sasha was ready to blaze out, as soon as we can get going.

Out on the other hulk, things were not as good. Crom, Haladek (the Wookie) and I approached and saw several more YiYar Trandoshan mercenaries, who, of course started shooting at us. Things were not smooth. Haladek went blasting in, Crom went around and started clearing a path to my scout. Faithful R4-D5 was working to get the scout’s systems running.

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Eventually, everything burns

Intro

The plasticrete tunnel was long, dark, and obviously unused in sometime. It was also 32 meters under the surface of dry, dead and air-void moon called Vixarii 2. It was also the only way into the Imperial base Dark Cell that could be taken by a Rebel sortie without being seen.

The mission to raid the base had been requested by the newly-minted Admiral and previous Captain Rel Harsol. He had be stationed at the based in his youth and had even attained plans for the small base. It is not very big and is primarily used as listening and relay post. With the very recent destruction of the Deathstar, it became a heavily used depot for troops and supplies.

Plan A was simple enough in form and function. The five man team was to rendezvous for insertion on the moon’s surface, take a two day journey traveling only while dark to the tunnel entry, contact the inside Rebel agent, slip into the base’s hangar and steal the transport carrying the heavy armaments. Plan B was mostly the same except prolific amounts of violence were added to the plan.

As he stood at the base of the ladder at the end of the tunnel leading up to the base, Mal’r “Mal” Brooken was trying to figure out what plan C was. He was down two team members, Axel Riprock and Sasha. They had not made it to the pickup point and, like all good military plans, it was decided to push ahead regardless of the danger. And now, Mal had to improvise and he was wondering how much of plan B was going to happen.

He moved up the ladder, opened the old trap door and entered the base behind a lovely set of crates in a nicely darkened hallway end. Peering around, he saw very little foot traffic from his vantage point, but could hear the obvious and heavy sounds of the hangar which was about 30 odd meters directly down the hall. He leaned back over the access shaft and motioned for Ozmod and Crom to come up. Ozmod (or Oz) was new adjutant for Admiral Harsol and was originally assigned a LRRP member. Crom was part of the crew from Isotech and was brought along as the getaway pilot. He had come in disguise wearing his Dark Scout armor.

“OK, plan F is…”, whispered Mal.

“What about plan B?” interrupted Oz.

“I can’t get plans B, C, D or E to work with us being all standing. So plan F, OK?” Mal spoke as he glared back in the darkness.

With no response coming, he started again, “OK, plan F is make contact our man, move to the hangar quietly and make off with the transport when it is preparing to launch. The hangar doors will be open for their flight and we’ll be handle the crew with just ourselves. Now, Crom, on your commlink find <<contact>>.”

It took a couple of long minutes before Crom gave a thumbs ups “Got him, but he is indisposed with an Advisor and can’t meet with us.”

“Well, we wait then bu…”

Crom pulled off his helmet looking worried, “The Advisor has asked for me, meaning Scout 1184, to come to the command center. That can’t be good, right?”

“Right, Plan G, "started Mal “involves Scout 1184 and me going to the C&C, snatching the Advisor, Oz milling our cover as we all meet at the shuttle. Oz, I do appreciate you approving the extra payment for the Advisor. We’re cards short in our deck, but this what we got.”

Oz and Crom nodded and peppered up their confidence.

Oz pulled up to the crates asking “How will I know when to start shooting?”

Through the static voice of his helmet, Crom responded wryly"I think that will the only obvious part of the plan."

Oz nodded again and tried his best to melt into the hallway.

“Ok, you’re right, right?” Mal spoke to Crom as they started out to the C&C." You walk strong and lead. I’m your informant if any ask. Tell’m I’m Gritz Broadhead."

And then Mal’r tripped and fell to the ground flatly. Loudly. Clumsily. He was so busy jawing to Crom he didn’t see the re-fueling cables leading up the transport. Of course everybody in the hangar turned to see what happened. Mal’r stared at the floor, stared at the cables, stared the shuttle they were connected to and then stared the closest dock worker. And then he stood up, started airing his lungs and was finding words that they had never heard before. The interest in the fallen civee was dramatically reduced. He growled a few more times as they went left the hangar.

“I think you forgot that step in the plan, Mal” a laughing static voice whispered.

They were now standing outside the door and it suddenly struck them. There were lots of blast doors everywhere and they had no keys.

Mal left Crom by the door, walked back the hangar entrance and waved a haberdasher-looking worker over, “Tired so very tired of sloppy work. Come here.”

The worker came over looking very unhappy at being selected. Mal’r grabbed him by the collar while pointing to a repulsor lift just inside the hall “Does that look secured? Fix it.” Mal’r glared his best I-will-murder-you-and-your-crew-and-nobody-will-care-ever look and moved back the door with newly acquired base keys he had just pick-pocketed off of the worker.

Com breathed deep once and then again entering the C&C, “Scout 1184 reporting as requested.” The room was large, bright filled with blinking control panels and way too many Imperial staff. There three comm-operators, two Stormtroopers, two Imperial officers and a tall, thin, smiling,fish-faced Adviser.

“Greeting,” the Adviser spoke in the warmest of tones. “Glad to see some of our more valiant forces. Scout 1184, welcome. Please come and tell us of your operations and, of course, of your comrade.”

Mal’r moved by Crom crossing to the only other entrance to the room. He could feel Scout 1184’s mental pillar shake and quiver. “C’mon on, 1184,” he thought tried to position for the upcoming maelstrom.

“Sir, Scout 1184 reporting as requested,” snapped Crom in a very good and serious tone. “I was deployed with my troop to assault the Rebel held positions of Yavin. We were with the first wave and I was the only survivor.”

“Ah, such a shame to lose the Emperor’s glorious troops to such defiant little gnats. The only survivor you say? Then who is your companion?”

“That is Gritz Broadhead. He is a bounty hunter and informant we’ve utilized in the past,” Crom drilled out in an unexpectedly confident tone.

The Adviser turned smoothly in place and called to Mal’r “Gritz, we are glad to have you with us. What exactly do you do exactly?” There was wonderful callous tone to Adviser’s voice.

Mal’r stepped back from the door he had just locked and joined in the conversation “I perform the duties necessary. I scout, I listen, I snatch and grab and I shoot. I do what is required.”

The Adviser, without such much as a breathe, smiled his thin smile and continued “Very good and very good. Assets like yourself are a joy to employ on behalf of the Empire.” Glancing down at his datapad, he continued “We don’t have enough time to discuss in the detail necessary. I would love to have both of you join me for dinner at fifteen hundred hours. We have so much to discuss, Right, 1148?”

Crom paused for a moment “1184, sir. Dinner?”

“Of course, 1184, dinner and conversation. I am sure you will enjoy both as much as I will.”

Dinner with the dinner was sounding oddly better than the expected gunfight to both Mal’r and Crom. So Plan H, dinner, conversation, snatch, grab and exit was started.

It was just at the exact moment, the comm officer from the far side of the room looked up “Sir, I find no orders for a Scout 1184 to this sector. To be more precise, I find no trooper Scout 1184 in our records at all.”

The conversation kind dried up at the moment as everyone turned towards Crom. The Stormtroopers where first act. They got off a quick series of shots missing Crom, but hitting Mal’r in the ribs. Before they could fire again, Mal’r threw his weight into the tattle-tale comm officer driving his face into the control board while drawing and shooting the two Stormtroopers. Before they had hit the ground, Crom drew his pistol and put it’s muzzle to the Adviser’s temple. <<undercover>> muttered a little curse as he shot the other officer and moved towards the exit to the hanger.

Guns were drawn as the klaxons began to sound. The operator closest to the door, and behind Crom, pulled his pistol and put it the back of Crom’s head “For the Emporer!” Before he could pull the trigger, Mal’r squeezed another blast that caught him square in throat. The operator’s second to last action of his life was to reach to the gaping wound that previously was his throat. His last action was to to fall into and blast the comm board. With sparks erupting from the panel, the base lights and systems began to flicker and scream.

The room flashed and flared with sparks and blaster fire. Crom moved to the doorway using the still smiling, but very surprised Adviser as a shield. <<undercover>> ran out the door into the arms of a waiting Stormtrooper. Before anything could happen, the trooper surged forward as a blast from Oz caught him the back. Oz, realizing his part in the plan was due, began to squeeze of well aimed shots from his crossfire position.

Mal’r slumped to one knee as the pain from his ribs proved to be anything but dog cheap. He kicked the closest chair into the legs of the only standing Imperial who immediately crashed down into the Stormtrooper’s corpse. Mal’r fired off another shot at a figure moving up behind Crom, but he missed badly. He stood up feeling the blood fall from his side and crunched his knee into the Imperial as he attempted to stand. The door way, only six meters away, looked very far way indeed.

<<undercover>> went to the left as he entered the hangar. There were already four dead or dying bodies lying about. Oz was putting out a tremendous amount of fire and forcing the hall to be clear for his comrades. Crom walked forward, his pistol at Adviser’s temple, when he felt something hot and brutal punch into his stomach. As the edge’s of his world turned black and drew in, he glanced down to see that Adviser had shot him. The Adviser had pulled a black-eyed Betty from hiding and shot him the stomach “Shame really. I would have been fascinated listening to your story at dinner and the followup one from your torture.”

Crom slumped to both knees seeing the Adviser place his pistol to his right eye slit. Then it went black as he slumped to the floor. "Ah, death is too easy, " said the Adviser as he pumped two more blasts into Crom’s back. “Now for one that will truly hurt.”

The Adviser then felt afraid and hurt and cold. By focusing solely on Crom, he had let Mal’r and his Bantha Tickler get too close. Mal’r couldn’t raise his arm high so he slid the blade up and between fifth and sixth ribs. He ripped the blade back and punched in again. The Adviser twisted to avoid the second attack; however Mal’r didn’t missed completely and carved away the Adviser’s right shoulder blade.

With the Adviser down, Ma’lr saw his chance. He heaved Crom over his shoulder and lugged his way to the Lamda’s gate. <<oz>> moved up and kept firing to keep new arriving heads down. He took care to blast any door access panels he could. Taking turns of cover, fire and move, <<undercover>> and Oz made it into the ship.

<< undercover guy>> operated on Crom to try stem the worst of the injuries. Oz grabbed a another blaster rifle from the floor and tried to push out as much fire as he could. He felt the lurch of the ship as jostled forward and watched the ramp began to rise. “We might just make it,” he dreamed.

It took only moments for the ship rise forward, sealed and secure. At the end, Mal’r had fired the aft cannons into the hangar to slow any pursuit that have might occurred. <<undercover>> was far too busy still working on Crom in engage in any sense of victory. Oz leaned back happy and alive only to find that he too had been shot in the left ear and shoulder; It wasn’t going to kill him, but it was sure sign of his previously unidentified mortality.

The Base

Compared the adventure of the base, the trip to Arda was a non-event. <<undercover>> patched up as best he could the remainder of the team. Crom’s wounds, while painful, were not critical and healed well during the seven day journey to the first meeting point. Mal’r’s wounds proved be much more severe and were going to require better facilities than were on the Lamda. Oz took his stitches as a badge of honor.

When then finally picked up Jovel and Axel at Geonosis, Crom was feeling well enough to pilot the ship. Corporal Axel was very excited that his mission was successful, was all smiles and patently oblivious to the glares from Crom, Mal’r, Oz, and <<undercover>>. He reviewed the mission with each of his team members and wrote out the post-action report during the last three day leg of the journey to Arda 1.

Crom was pretty happy with the shuttle. It handled well and fast for a vehicle of its size. Mal’r was pretty happy with the shuttle also. It was fairly rare on the black market and would fetch a large amount of credits.

On the morning of the third day, they arrived in the atmosphere of Arda 1. From space, it appeared to giant ball of red and brown dust, dirt and rock. From the surface, the description remained the same.

Crom lowered the wings and began to prep for landing “Come in. Come in. This is Grey Team One requesting permission to descend and land. Acknowledge.” Static greeted him as he tuned through channels and frequencies. Jovel slide into the communications chair and began to search and refine access channels.

“Come in, Grey Team One. This Dust Seven. Please acknowledge our slave navigation request.”

Crom looked up and blankly stared at Mal’r. Mal’r took the look and turned with the same to Jovel. She just held up her hands with I-don’t-know expression on her face.

“Come in, Dust Seven. This Grey Team One. We do not acknowledge the slave navigation request.”

_"Brrzkkc zzet Grey Grrzzt pphptpth zzzzzzz dangero sssgsfft brrczzzk grid open."
_
“Come in, Dust Seven. This Grey Team One. We do not acknowledge the slave navigation request.”

“Bzzzrrckktkt Grid ten, four and seven akskffff proceeed wfi bbbrrrxt caution.”

“Well, they are here,” said Crom point to a virtual, blue-light world map. “Well?”

Axel chimed in “We are here and we should go in now. The static is probably because of our Imperial circuits or sun spots or something.”

Mal’r gently slide himself into the co-pilot’s chair and strapped in “Strap in. We are going in.”

The comms still called out with static and the occasional word, but nothing of use to the crew. Jovel hung over her station trying to tune the channel and identify the source of the static. Crom looked back over his shoulder to check on the rest and began the descent.

The planet came up quickly and filled the entire view of the cockpit as they came in. Mountains and plains of brown colored nothing made this planet a great place to hide a secret rebel base. About a hundred clicks from the grid location, Crom calmly mentioned “Those grid points are in a canyon according to the nav. I am going in slow and careful. Hard to tell from here, but it looks pretty narrow.”

Crom banked into the canyon. It was deep enough that the sun light didn’t touch the floor. Chimneys and pillars of poorly stacked rocks threw shadows in the boulder strewn floor. The canyon swept back and forth as sunk deeper beneath the surface. There was little in the way of vegetation and absolutely no signs of life.

“Well, this will be a interesting ride,” quipped Crom as he barely kept the shuttle wings from dragging the sides of the canyon. “Try’m again. We’re closer now so maybe they’ll hear us.”

Jovel pulled on her headset and listened through interference trying to glean any data she could. Nothing. The squelch of air blocked everything. The ship shuttered and pull hard to the down and right.

Crom pulled the ship back but over compensated leaving a long scar on the left side of the canyon. "There, " he called pointing to large leathery winged monsters flying from their cavern roosts. The Daran’Enok as they are know as best described as angry, perpetually-hungry, short-necked dragons. There were at least four of the seven meter long creatures closing on the ship. “This is gonna be bad if they land on us,” Crom said while trying to evade them in the too narrow cavern.

“Jovel, skip the listening and start the close terrain nav. Crom, punch it! Now!” yelled Mal’r as he grabbed the co-pilot sticks to help Crom. Crom muttered a quick “Hang on” and punched the shuttle’s speed to it’s max. There was a tearing noise as one of the dragons was jerked free of the ship and pulled part of the hull with. It landed amongst the boulders of the floor and never got up. The ship went nearly perpendicular to the ground as Axel flung himself into the gunner’s chair. Before he could fully set, he fired a burst of the forward cannons just in case he was lucky. He was and two of the Daran’Enok vanished the blasters vaporized them. It was another five minutes of very aggressive flying before they lost or shot the last of the Daran’Enok.

“Bzzrts slow sstbsttf sdfds dow-fffzt”

Crom kept the ship centered to the canyon and the floor, but it was anything but steady as the walls jutted back and forth into air. The ship appeared to echo the flight patterns of falling leaves jutting and bouncing in unseen currents.

“ZZZzdft kilomet-bbbffsst and you’ll be on top sszztff of us”

“Canyon ends in two clicks, Crom. We lost those things. Put his thing down and park!!!” cried Jovel as she was flung about in her chair harness.

“Not…………………..that……………fragging……………………….easy……………………to..do…………………………right.now,” groaned Crom as he struggled to retain control and not form a large, smoking crater in the canyon wall.

The ship shuddered as they banked right and Crom started lowering the landing gear “Well, I’m a dancing Mary! There’s the hangar! Putting us down NOW!” All the systems were screaming as tail swung around bringing them sideways. The left landing gear hit first and spit screeching sparks. The ship stopped quicker than expected as Rebel troopers poured out of their recent hiding spots and started blasting away at the shuttle. “It wasn’t that bad of landing,” yelled Crom as he ducked to the floor.

Mal’r leaned back, rubbed his face and started to the back of the Lamda. He lowered the lift and backed out aiming his pistol to the top of the ship. One of the dragons was still up there being blasted by the troopers and he fired a couple of times in support. It was amazing the amount of damage they could absorb before they fell. The monster rolled off the roof and ended its eleven meter fall with a loud, wet thhuummp.

Mai’r passed by a cluster troopers slowly insuring the monster was dead “So BBQ tonight?”

Mal’r caught up with Corporal Axel as he moved towards a small cluster of Rebel officers, “Remember, we get paid first. Real money this time.”

Axel nodded, smiled and continued on. Understanding that nothing he had said and even reach Axel, Mal’r followed along. Jovel, ever-smiling, moved to find the barracks and some food. Crom, knowing his pay day was coming, wandered around the stone-hewn hangar until he was chased away. At that time, Crom started to find the quartermaster as he knew he going to be paid in Alliance credits, again, and this would be the only place to spend them.<<agent>> went to find the comm-station so he could report in the Admiral.

Axel, with Mal’r in tow, meet with those in charge. Long story short is that Corporal Axel is great, they got paid in Alliance dollars (again) and nobody in charge cares too much about irregular troops when aren’t fighting (and even that was a less-than-stellar approval).

After being dismissed, Mal’r decided to find the base doc. He was still injured from the raid on the moon and he knew his broken rib was not set properly.

More to come.

The Battle

Aftermath
Once the blockade was passed and the injured were stabilized, three more jumps to hyperspace was done (as was standard protocol to throw off pursuit) before Grey Team made it is way to the new meeting point. Mal’r gave Crom a secret passage he had obtained earlier and they made the same points but in two less days. They could have made it faster, but Mal’r stopped the ship out the asteroid ring around the dead world Maltis 2. He took extra care in searching the ship for beacons and other transmitters. It would have probably better off to take an extra two day as they found nothing, but Mal’r had become even more vigilant about such precautions.

Axel drifted in and out conscious and pain in equal measure. The little cleaning droid on the ship was pretty busy trying to keep things shiney.

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LIVIEN MAGNUS FORCES UPDATE

Hey All! Jovel her! I just got intercepted this messages while traking Sehath’s INavTrans garbled messege. Is everthing ok? Sasha is tying her hand at making her own version of th “Blue Fairy” and we havin a gret time!

Never th som wen she maks it tho. Oh sh hs anotr fur me to ty.

God lock wit yur missn


Agent: Codename Devlikk Opera
Report Status: In Progress
Planetary Coordinates: 23.9441N, 44.0852W

Findings: Asset has acquired target from the rebels. Target is on trajectory to arrive planetside within 18 hours. No known pursuit recorded by The Eternal Wrath. Local rebel contingent is active, but do not seem to be on high alert. Asset Rialla is well under control and fully compliant. It has been years in development but the asset captured is well worth the resources spent.

Threat Assessment: Low

Recommendations: Keep Orgraal in bubble. Gen. Xantus will meet with him to review our Imperial forces. Imperial force status has been appropriately adjusted as requested. Small detachment to accompany rendezvous to secure rebel target.

End transmission: Sent 27.748.3254


Agent: Codename Devlikk Opera
Report Status: In Progress
Planetary Coordinates: 23.9441N, 44.0852W

Findings: Obtained target from rebel asset. Lost 9 troopers in firefight with OpFor. Indeterminant affiliation. Not fully coordinated during combat which leads to indication this is a local warlord looking to acquire deal leverage with us. Some combat troops are within this Opfor. Heavy weaponry used in resistance during operation. At least one grenade launcher has been used. Damage to transport but flight condition yellow for exfiltration. SpecOp within OpFor ranks that reportedly dispatched several troopers single handed. other OpFor members are more distraction than threat. Planning to trap OpFor in cross fire in our predetermined kill box. Have left tracks to force position to assure funnelling of OpFor.

Rebel target has been given experimental stimpack to accelerate consciousness and enforce compliance.

Threat Assessment: Medium

Recommendations: Reposition The Eternal Wrath for Livien Magnus Spaceport intercepts. Position Commander Treaska’s AT-ST to remove threat of heavy weapon OpFor in kill box.

Rebel target is alert as past test indicate. Assuming precautions in next 12 hours after interrogation.

End transmission: Sent 27.748.3272

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