Saturday, May 10, 2014

From the Journal of Orts Freestar (CTX-1991), Entry #1

How I Got Into This Mess



I've been going hungry for a while now.  I've been burned.  I don't want to work for the wrong people.  I don't want to do the wrong thing.  I've spent a lot of time wondering if the Rebel Alliance is actually a collection of the right people.  But the longer I've been out of the game, the less I think it matters.  Urchalang has haunted me for a long time, but I can't let my fear of the Rebels being the wrong people to take on the Empire keep me from stopping another Urchalang.

I met up with a contact given to me by Mundo, the old softie.  He never joined up either, but his excuse was that he was too old to change his ways.  Regardless, he kept is Rebel contacts close to the vest, but he trusted me, so I figured I could return the favor.



First Contact

The Rebels put me in contact with a Weequay that everyone calls Slim.  From what I understand he is the squad leader of this particular mission.  He doesn't talk much.  I try to chit chat a little, but he's mainly just flying the shuttle.

He gives me the rundown of what we are doing.  We're on a jungle planet with huge trees, but not Kashyyyk.  In fact, I have no idea where this op is taking place, but I'm the new guy, so I guess all of that is need to know.

Slim gives me a rundown of the people we are going to meet up with.

Wiley--Old soldier, probably past his prime, but with valuable scouting skills, stealth, and sniping talent.

Doc--In a revelation that didn't shock me in the least, Doc is the squad medic, but he apparently has a mercantile streak about him.  He's a deal maker.

Kres'rin'rokini--Some mysterious blue guy, all into the spy game and slicing.  Plays things close to the vest.

Isaac Wilkins--New recruit, farm boy from the middle of nowhere, but he's apparently good with vehicle mounted weapons.

Rana--She's a Duro mechanic, and she's apparently touchy about piloting, even though Slim says she's good at it.

Apparently we're meeting up with the rest of the team because somehow they lost their shuttle, and the Imps have been picking up and dropping off something ominous from this planet.  Curious to figure out how they lost their ship, and if they have any clue about what the Imps are shipping from this planet.



My New Team

I am no longer wondering how they lost their ship.  I'm wondering why they haven't died yet.  Its not so much that the team doesn't have talent, it's that at the slightest provocation they run off in multiple directions without coordinating anything.

Apparently, lacking a tracking device, the team threw their long range comm unit at the last shipping container, hoping that someone could dial up and contact that comm unit.  Of course they didn't have a comm unit to call the one they threw away until Slim and I got here.  In the end, it didn't work.

Isaac is jabbering about seeing a feral Jawa in the forest.  We're not sure where the Imperial base is directly, and some of us seem to want to storm the Imperial base, kick in the door, and kill everyone.  Oh, and now we've got TIE Fighters zeroing in on our location.

Despite not wanting to be assumed to be the pilot, Rana is pretty adamant about flying now that we're trying to get away from the TIEs.  I'm not sure if they have a sensor lock on us or not, but it's best not to sit still.  Rana weaves through the giant tree branches, and seems to be staying out of the TIEs line of sight.  Then she grazes a tree, flies under another branch, and touches down close to the tree.

As she is weaving, the TIE pilots must have been flying by instrument.  Hopefully they are either thinking that they are chasing a sensor ghost or that there are some harmless smugglers poking around that they don't want to waste their time on.  Flying by instrument, they nearly slam into one another, and after they avoid that incident, they fly away from our position.



Tactics by Committee

After our near miss, I hear more about the feral Jawa, more about wanting to kill everyone at the base, and multiple variations of the same, with everyone wanting to do what they advocated before anyone else had a chance to explore the options.  I'm not sure what it was that Slim said, but Wiley called him out.  I reprimanded him for not following the proper chain of command, and his next rebuke to Slim was, "you idiot . . . sir!"

We called in to command to see what we had as mission parameters now that we knew the containers were filled with nerve gas and the general idea of what was going on.  We were told that if we could cripple the operation or take out one or more of the containers, we should add that to our to do list.

Personally, I wanted to gather as much information as we could.  I was hoping we could take short hops around the jungles, open up the sensors, and triangulate where the Imperial base was from the patrol range of the TIE fighters.  I had a rough idea, but I wanted specifics.

I also have to make a confession.  I have no idea what Kres'rin'rokini is, but I know he's not a Pantoran.  He's kind of cold and implacable, so I figured that if I keep pestering him, he'll give something up.  It's great to have a spy on your side, not so great if you don't know what game he's playing.  So for now, he's a Pantoran, because it seems to upset him.

While the rest of us are still arguing, Isaac and Doc head out to look for the feral Jawa, so I ask Wiley to follow me as we track them, and actually keep Slim appraised of what we are doing.

There was an incident with a local primate.  It involved Doc's stun rifle, Isaac, a knife, and a lot of blood.  I'm trying to forget it, but if it comes up in some kind of evaluation later, I just wanted to make sure that I noted it.  I'll provide details if I have to, but I'd rather not.

Turns out Isaac's "feral Jawa" was actually a humanoid canid species that nobody could properly identify.  We tracked him to his camp, and he seemed a bit standoffish, but not hostile.  I tried to barter for information, but Doc was already out in front of me when it came to cutting deals, and the canid was willing to talk if we just left him alone.

He gave us more specifics on the drop site the Imps were using for their mysterious containers, and also gave us a rough schedule of how often they came.  He showed us the plants they were harvesting and from where, and Doc took some samples.



Improvisation

We decided to head to the drop site and attempt to track another container.  Thankfully it didn't take much to convince the team to not strip out the long range comm unit again.  Rana scavenged around the shuttle looking for spare parts and managed to throw together the nicest looking improvised tracking device I have ever seen.  She's really talented.

Maybe a little short sighted.  The housing didn't have an access port for Kres'rin'rokini to program it.  There was a little bit of modification that had to be done, but in the end, we had ourselves a tracking device.  Now we only had to wait.

After a while, another transport headed for the landing pad.  I set up as far back as my taped up DC-15A would allow me a good shot, and Wiley crept up to the container pod.  There were labor droids all around the site, gathering material and putting them in a processor in the pod.  I was ready to shoot anything that got near Wiley.

I had been trained to fight droids, at least before the secondary training module started, so I had an idea.  If a fight had started, I was planning on attempting to blast some of the tree branches and drop them on the clankers.  If I could do that, it might be less likely that a patrol would notice the blaster marks on the tree branches than if the droids themselves had blast marks on them.

Thankfully, it never got that far.  Wiley was almost detected, but he collected himself, got up close to the pod, and placed the tracking device.  The long range comm unit seemed to have an easy time picking up our encoded signal, so we should be able to track the container, and so should Alliance command, once we clue them in on what we did.

Now comes the hard part.  Figuring out what to do next, and keeping everyone from doing it all at once.





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