Shadows In The Black

Cruising Along

New Adventures in Betrayal & Mistrust

The Shrike made a hasty exit to hyperspace; leaving The Wheel behind and heading coreward with the promise of another big payout.

Del’nor could be heard complaining from engineering that the new drive attachment wasn’t fully installed and they shouldn’t be going to space without another week’s worth of testing. The others ignored him as per usual and drew straws as to who was going into the duct work to “feed the cat”. Nik ultimately drew the short straw and went off exploring.

While Nik explored and Del’nor grumbled, Jarek checked his heading and noticed the light on the subspace transceiver was flashing, indicating there was a message waiting. He was certain it hadn’t been flashing before they jumped to hyperspace.

The message was from A’sha warning that Sonova had betrayed them to Dusan and the package they were carrying was trapped. She offered a safe drop off point with a Koba Yashimaru near Ord Mantell.

While, Jarek deciphered the message, Del’nor was still interpreting the readings coming from the drive and not liking how the numbers kept coming up. After a fair bit of arguing with himself and cursing the lack of proper tools and equipment, he determined that while the drive booster was nominally working, the hasty install had created a power oscillation that was making the booster’s effectiveness deviate wildly and the unaccounted for power surges and drops were ensuring that there was a drift in the astrogation calculations they’d made. Simply put, they were off course.

Nik eventually came upon the desiccated corpse of the panther from the uncharted planet back in The Roil. Apparently it had survived for some time on a diet of bacta and whiskey but it eventually succumbed to the wounds it sustained.

Del’nor told Jarek to drop out of hyperspace and informed them of their drive issues. Loor and Del’nor started to recalculate a course to Corellia but Jarek stopped them and informed everyone of the message from his “cousin”.

Immediately paranoid, they scanned the surrounding space just in case the Imperials or Dusan had crept up on them unaware and this was a trap. Seeing nothing, they then started wondering about the package itself. After some cautious examination and worry about it being trapped, Del’nor relented in his examination and let Loor’s professional expertise take over.

Loor, who only had a casual acquaintance with caution at the best of times, went ahead and opened the package before anyone could stop him. While the others cringed and ducked for cover, Loor stood in front of the package with a look of beatific wonder plastered across his face. Inside was a bomb… a big baradium bomb. Or as Loor described it, a magnificent piece of artwork created by a meticulous grand master.

Loor was in absolute awe of it’s perfection and very protective of it. He denied anyone from looking at it or even touching it and proceeded to lock it in an airlock with a reverent respect bordering on fear.

The rest of the group debated keeping the bomb. Some were in favour just spacing it and cutting their losses. Others were interested in selling it off for at least what they paid for it. or taking it apart and repurposing it. Jarek offered a solution. He suggested they actually deliver the package to the Koba Yashimaru as his cousin advised. After some reluctance, they all agreed and set a course for Ord Mantell to find the Axiom Starliner named Koba Yashimaru.

Even with the new quirks to their engine, the trip was uneventful and they arrived in system to find the ship. After some basic holonet searching, Antares and Del’nor discovered that there was a luxury starcruiser named Axiom that called Ord Mantell port and sailed between several pleasure planets within the region. They slowly came to the realization that Koba Yashimaru might be the name of their contact rather than the ship itself.

They tracked the ship’s location and headed to intercept before it jumped to hyperspace. Jal hailed and attempted to bluff their way on board with a ruse about needing to contact a passenger about their recently deceased relative. Seemingly unconvinced by the ruse, they still allowed the Shrike to dock to better sort out the problem.

Once on board, they were met by a Lieutenant Danforth who listened to their story and after a quick search, advised them that there was no Koba Yashimaru on the passenger manifest. Jal thanked Danforth and apologised for the error. As they were about to leave, the alarms warning a hyperspace jump was imminent went off and Danforth suggested that they come on board until this was sorted out.

The group was initially hesitant as they’d planned to stay on their ship but Danforth informed them that this hangar would be unshielded and exposed to vacuum during the jump and they’d be trapped on board their ship until they dropped out again in 3-5 days.

The crew agreed and Danforth told them in no uncertain terms that no heavy weaponry beyond a pistol would be tolerated on board or they would be spaced. Loor was hesitant to leave his girls behind and had to be forcibly reminded to abide by the rules. Danforth became increasingly impatient and eventually the majority of the heavier weapons were deposited in the Shrike. They were then taken to a pair of cramped crew cabins and advised that while they were free to move about the ship and enjoy the amenities, they were under strict orders not to disturb the other guests or the captain or they’d be spaced. They were free to depart in 3 days when they next dropped out of hyperspace.

Immediately after Danforth left, Jal searched in vain for a complimentary minibar before realizing this was a crew cabin. Del’nor grabbed the room’s data console and attempted to subvert it’s programming. After hacking into the ship’s internal records, they performed their own search and came up with similar results to Danforth’s.

After exhausting their leads, Jarek reached out to his cousin and was given “help”. Koba was apparently a pantoran and not travelling under his real name. Armed with this new information, Del’nor started searching for passengers fitting the description.

Jal and Loor decided on a more physical approach to searching and went looking for a purser or information booth. After finding one on the main concourse, Loor told Jal to wait and walked up to the desk. He placed one of his grenades on the desk and told them that this had belonged to Koba and they should return it to them.

He then went back to stand by Jal and said to watch and learn.

They both watched as the purser at the information booth, called someone over the comms and shortly thereafter a couple of security personnel came and took the grenade away.

Loor paused and went “Oh. I hadn’t thought of that.” while Jal stood bewildered that Loor had snuck a grenade on board. They both ducked away before the purser identified them.

Loor headed back to the cabin, sulking over the loss of “Sue” and Jal attempted to find another purser who was more amenable. Jarek came as well as it was getting close to dinner time. Finding one near the dining lounge, Jal turned on his natural charm and managed to get a list of names. Del’nor started to cross reference them and accessed surveillance feeds for the specific cabins.

While Jal drank to his success, Jarek sat and scanned the room. Watching for blue-skinned pantorans. While he was watching the room, a small blue skinned elfin girl in an oversized trenchcoat sat down beside him and started to chat him up.

Midway through her airheaded socialite banter, she switched gears completely and wanted to know why Jarek and his friends were looking for her. Jarek said he had a package from A’sha. …

There was a brief pause while the girl took in this information and then advised them to stop looking for her. They were setting off all sorts of alarms with the crew. She asked if they had a way off the ship. When Jarek hesitated she asked if he even knew what the ship was. When he said he didn’t, she informed him that it was in fact a Prison Ship posing as a cruise liner. It was a way for the Empire to keep the rich dissidents entertained and ineffectual. She muttered something about bread and circuses that went over Jarek’s head.

She told Jarek that whatever they were planning, to make sure she had an hour’s notice. She then slipped back into her airheaded socialite persona and wandered back to her friends, blending into the crowd.

Jarek Let everyone know via the comms what had occurred and headed back to the room. Del’nor checked the cameras and caught a look at their target before she blended into the crowd.

Everyone met back in the room and they were discussing what their next plan would be when there was a knock on the door. Jal opened it and was met by a man in an officer’s uniform who introduced himself as Mr Steed and asked to come in. Del’nor quickly flipped the computer screen to something unassuming and everyone attempted to “act casual”.

Mr Steed entered and nodded politely to everyone before advising them just as politely that misplacing ordinance at guest services was not something that was appreciated. Mr Steed also advised Jal to keep his trained monkey from playing with the computers. He then told them that any further disruption would result in Lt. Danforth’s threat becoming a reality. With that he politely let himself out and left the group to wonder how they were going to get out of this mess.

Del’nor checked his computer screen only to find he’d been locked out. Loor was ecstatic at finding “Sue” again. The others questioned Jarek as to how they were going to contact Koba again. He realized in hindsight he should have thought about that but he was confident that she’d manage to find them when the time came though. Not able to disagree, they all settled down into planning an escape. They started checked on the hangar to see if it was open to space and figuring out some sort of plan/distraction to exit the ship.

Eventually they came up with a plan to set off an explosive decompression from within the hangar and just ride the blast into space… while in hyperspace. It may not have been the safest plan, but it was a plan. Del’nor and Loor calculated that by the time the Axiom dropped out of hyperspace to follow, they’d be far enough ahead to essentially be “lost in space”.

They were ready to make their exit… with just one problem. They had no way to contact Koba. Del’nor hacked into another terminal away from their room and started running a visual search for the girl in the picture. Not finding anything, the rest of the group went into action under the pretense of exploring the ship. While in the casino, Loor got distracted and started playing Sabaac. While they were searching, they were approached discreetly by their friend and she was furious that by searching for her image, they’d given the Ship’s crew a visual on her and she was on the run. She hastily told them she’d have no further contact with them and to speak to a Twi’lek named Sa’deen in the nocturnal pool in two hours.

Jal, Nik and Jarek made their way to the nocturnal pool and while in the elevator, ran into some people in long flowing robes who seemed to be searching for some one or some thing. Whatever it was, they sounded like they were getting frustrated.

Exiting to the level of the pool, They found it dimly lit, smelling mildly of sulphur and sparsely populated. After a quick search, the only twi’lek in the room was lounging in a robe in front of the deepest portion of the pool.

Casually approaching, he put them at ease and asked what they wanted with his boss. Jal brought him up to speed with the plan and advised that they’d be ready to go in about an hour. Sa’deen nodded and asked if they had room for one more. He hinted at being able to pay his way (once he was free that was). Never ones to say no to credits, Jal said sure, as long as he and Koba were at the ship when it was time to leave. As they were leaving, they mentioned the overheard conversation with the robed ones. Sa’been grinned wickedly and said that he was surprised they hadn’t found it yet, probably hadn’t looked on top of the turbolifts yet.

Idle curiousity got the better of Nik and when they returned to the turbolift, he climbed on top at Jal’s prompting. Once up top, he discovered an ornate sword with a series of cryptic letters engraved on the blade.

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Once he got down, it was time to go. They dragged Loor away from his sabaac game, which he wasn’t sure if he’d won or not. Jarek and Del’nor made for the control room to find an access terminal. Loor and the others headed for the door to wait for the signal.

After successfully sneaking into the control room and neutralizing the techs working there, Jarek signaled to Del’nor who started programming their plans into the computer. They attempted to “warn” the bridge that the readings weren’t right but were unsuccessful at convincing them. “Ensign Stevens” got put on report for incompetency thanks to Del’nor.

Once the minutes ticked down to the appointed time, Loor did what he does best, and managed to blow open the door without blowing a massive hole in the ship. Inside of the hangar, were a squadron of stormtroopers who immediately started firing at the group as they made their way to the ship.

Antares took a bead on the sergeant and was surprised and mildly impressed that he was still standing after the first shot. Loor raced to the ship, eager to try out his new toy only to find the ship locked. Jal stayed near the entrance with Antares as Nik charged headfirst into the troopers and engaged the sergeant as well. With the fight breaking out down below, Jarek and Del’nor gave one last warning to the bridge and then hurried to the docking bay.

Loor managed to open the ship’s door with Nik’ s help , grab his gun and fire it. Unfortunately in his haste and due to his unfamiliarity with it, the first grenade he fired was a dud and didn’t explode. It did however dent one of the trooper’s helmets significantly enough to obscure his vision making him fire wildly.

Antares took some hits but Jal managed to patch up the major bleeds. Loor suffered a couple of hits as well. Nik sliced his way through the sergeant and made his way back to the ship. Antares and Jal also headed for the ship after clearing out the troopers.

Jarek and Del’nor raced into the hangar just in time. Behind them another two squadrons of Stormtroopers came to subdue the mutineers, setting up E-web cannons in the entry.

While Jarek and Del’nor strapped in, Nik climbed into the ventral gunnery station and opened up on the troopers, blasting them into bits. They waited for the smoke to clear and when it did the Troopers and the door behind them was gone.

The clocked kept ticking down, and still no sign of Koba or Sa’deen. When they were about to give up hope and close the door, The twi’lek came running into the hangar with another group of Stormtroopers on his tail. He dove on board just in time.

There was no time to wait for Koba as Del’nor’s program activated and they were forced to seal the ship and prepare for “take off”. There was a massive overload in the hangar controls. The subsequent explosion blew a massive hole in the side of the Starliner and killed power to the force field surrounding the bay. As it flickered off, Jarek punched it and launched the Shrike into space.

There was a hideous screeching noise as the ship’s inertial dampeners screamed in protest as the Shrike shifted from lightspeed to realspace in a heartbeat.

As the crew gathered themselves and lamented about not getting Koba out, Sa’been peeled off his lekku leaving bloody stumps on the cargo bay floor. In seconds, Sa’deen became Koba and the small woman turned to the somewhat stunned crew and said. “Right boys. Let’s get me to Myomar.”

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