The gantries and giant computer towers crashed down into the icy cavern behind them, and the party dove into the unknown passageway and hoped for safety.
Jarek landed badly and collapsed from the strain. Jal tried to revive him as the group gathered their wits and assessed the situation.
As Jarek came around, the party realized that Del’nor had somehow gotten lost. In the confusion he seemed to have wandered off. They tried to hail him over the comms but were met with the voice of Loor, who had finally woken up from his Bacta Tank nap and wanted to know where they were and what was going on.
Despite the commlink not being secure, they filled him in with the details of where they were and what they were planning on stealing (and from whom), then told him to bring the ship around to secure their exit.
Loor took off and started circling the base looking for a hangar to land in, keeping low enough to avoid detection occasionally trying to scan for Del’nor’s comm signal.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party checked in every available janitorial closet, living space and guard post they found along the corridor until they eventually gave up, hoped for the best and tried to find a way back to the surface themselves. With the computer towers no longer functioning, the base’s environmental controls were shutting down and the temperature was dropping rapidly. If they didn’t get out of there soon, they would freeze to death before the stormtroopers found them.
After some time exploring various corridors and service rooms, they eventually came to another set of hanging walkways that led back to the turbolifts. Guarding the lifts were a large group of stormtroopers and what looked like some technicians that were trying to assess the damage to the server towers.
Opting for stealth, the party tried to sneak towards the elevators and avoid a fight and at first they seemed successful. Unfortunately Jal stumbled as they got closer and drew the troopers’ attentions. They were initially mistaken for a group of firefighters but the confusion didn’t last long and a firefight broke out.
Antares sniped at a few of them while Jarek laid down some covering fire. Jal took some shots as did Nik, who also moved up towards the lifts. With a precision born from teamwork, they each whittled the enemy down so that when the troopers returned fire, they were less than effective. They made short work of the stormtroopers, and rather than leave the technicians alive to call reinforcements, Nik, calmly slaughtered them as they surrendered.
They called the lift, and expecting more troopers, prepared for a fight. It never came and they were able to board the lift with ease. As they were about half way up, the lift shut down on them. Antares volunteered to climb up as he was the smallest. While on top of the lift looking for a ladder, he saw that there was a data console control panel with a flashing red light on top of the lift. Jal was nominated smartest Falleen in the room and was immediately drafted into attempting to fix the broken lift.
Giving it his best shot, he determined that the lift was in fact stopped, and it probably wouldn’t be going anywhere any time soon. The red light stopped flashing and became a solid glow that illuminated the ladder in an almost prophetic fashion.
With much grumbling, the party hauled themselves out of the elevator and started the long climb up the remaining fifteen levels. After a grueling 40+ minutes of climbing they eventually came out on the same level where they’d started. The halls were eerily silent. as they made their way back to the side door where they’d came in.
Jarek unsuccessfully attempted to catch Loor’s attention as he circled above. Before having to resort to more violent methods of getting Loor’s attention, he noticed them on his own and came in for a landing ignoring the fact that there wasn’t a big enough space for the ship to land. He gracefully hovered above the ice and lowered the loading ramp.
The whole team struggled to get on board but after numerous attempts, they managed it. Before Loor could head to space, he was reminded about Del’nor and hovered a little longer while the team waited impatiently and scanned the exits looking for their friend.
As they were waiting, Del’nor’s voice was heard on the comms asking why they hadn’t broken atmo yet. Baffled at how Del’nor had beat them to the ship, but relieved that they could now leave, they headed for space and came within kissing distance of one of the star destroyers they’d seen when they entered in system.
Loor worked his magic and plotted a course straight towards the blockade.before the star destroyer could lock on or open fire. The stars blurred as they jumped to Hyperspace. They were free…
… but only briefly, as the the gravity well projector of an interdictor class star destroyer, the Praetor, pulled them back into realspace and hailed them at the edge of the Gordian Reach. Jal tried charming them and bluffing their way past using what they hoped were the right codes from the stolen data but either his pheromones didn’t work well over the comms or the codes were bogus. Either way the interdictor insisted they dock for inspection.
Fearing incarceration (or worse), the crew punched it as the interdictor launched fighters. Jarek was confident he could outfly them and Loor calculated a rough distance to the edge of the destroyer’s gravity field. The chase was on.
As the fighters closed, Nik and Antares manned the guns and prepared for a fight. Jal, not sharing Jarek’s confidence, injected him with an agility booster and when Loor laughed at this, Jal turned around and dosed him as well.
With both pilot and co-pilot doped up, They easily outflew and stayed well ahead of the tie fighters swarming behind them. They took advantage of a bit of floating debris (likely one of the interdictor’s previous customers), and made a break for it.
They cleared the gravity well and Loor realized he still had to make the hyperspace calculations to get them out of there. Relying mostly on blind luck and his racial gifts , he scrambled to make the the calculations and was successful. They made the jump and headed for The Wheel to meet up with Prospero.
After a (relatively) short, and uneventful trip, the Shrike dropped out of hyperspace at the Wheel. After being cooped up in the ship together for a month and a half, the group was desperate to get out. Jal desperately needed a drink so he, Nik and Jarek headed to meet up with Prospero while the others started perusing the various online shopping catalogs of the establishments on The Wheel and counting their credits.
After meeting up with Prospero and having a quick drink, he advised that they were being watched. Suggesting they meet up later, he told them to come by his place in a few hours once he lost his tail. Jal, suggested that they meet on their ship instead and promised to take care of the tail. Acting as a drunken fool, he successfully stalled the Defel tail long enough for Prospero to slip away.
Once they were back on the ship, they brought the others up to speed and waited for Prospero to arrive. They didn’t have long to wait. He showed up and they got down to business. He reviewed the data, lamented that it was now almost two months out of date, but was impressed that it (and they) had survived. They dickered over the price, and after coming to an adequate agreement, Prospero gave them the name of his contact on The Wheel: one Sonova Bith.
Sonova proved to be a Devaronian of few words but of many resources. He was able to get the party some key items they’d been hoping for; he allowed them the use of his drydock to help install Del’nor’s gizmo. He also offered them a delivery contract on Corellia with a 40,000 credit payout which they jumped at.
Before the week was up though, Jarek got a call from “his cousin” advising him that their old friend Dusan had heard where they were and had sent a bounty hunter after them.
Deciding to get a head start on the delivery mission to Corellia, they finished up their restocking and refuelling and took to space as fast as possible. Del’nor griped that the drive wasn’t ready yet but the others ignored him and jumped to hyperspace anyways…