Shadows In The Black

Agents of Wanton Destruction

Have Bomb, Will Travel.

With the debris from their escape from the Axiom still scattering around them, the crew of the Shrike plotted a course to Myomar. Once they jumped to hyperspace and were well on their way, Koba brought them up to speed on the plan. They were going to plant the bomb in the Imperial Naval Academy…

On the whole, the group had no initial problems with the plan and immediately started plotting out how to get past customs and what they would do once they hit planetside. Koba gave them some pointers and advised that they’d have a contact in Myomar City once they landed.

As the ship neared Myomar, Jarek and the others were stashing anything and everything that could possibly be considered contraband into the smuggling compartments. Del’nor finally had enough and voiced his dissent of the plan. He had problems not only with blowing up a school full of students, but that he seemed to be the only one who’d realized that up until this point, they weren’t getting paid for any of it. After the others realized this, they sided with Del’nor (though still had no moral problems with the job itself).

Koba and Jal dickered back and forth on numbers, and ultimately came up with an adequate amount of $25,000 once they reached Myomar with a $10,000 bonus if they got Koba out alive afterwards. It was less than the group had hoped for, but enough to keep them from spacing Koba then and there. Del’nor still had moral qualms about the job, but the glares of the other crew silenced him for the time being.

While the The Shrike prepared to drop out of hyperspace, Koba once again disappeared into her quarters and pulled one of her quick changes. When she returned to the common area, she was now a male captain in the Imperial Navy. No one other than Jal really seemed to notice or care beyond wondering where she’d stored the uniform.

They dropped out of hyperspace and quickly joined one of the various inbound lanes of traffic heading planetside. While waiting their turn, they were selected by one of the many Imperial Customs Frigates patrolling the planet for a random boarding inspection. They suppressed a moment of panic and welcomed the inspector on board.

After handing over their B.O.S.S. Pad for inspection, they waited patiently for the Inspector. She immediately noticed some discrepancies with the data provided and asked to speak to the captain, Grib.

Jal advised the official that Grib had sadly passed away several months back and had transferred ownership to them. Del’nor swore, repeatedly, that they’d filed the proper paperwork. The inspector disagreed. She did a little digging and determined that while the paperwork had been filed, the $1,000 credit processing fee had not. She let Jal know that if he was willing to pay the processing fee, she could correct the error.

Jal paid and the customs party departed, giving them a location to dock with reasonable moorage fees. They headed planetside towards the dock and were not entirely certain if they’d just paid a legitimate fee or if they’d been fleeced by an Imperial official. They landed and sorted out the refueling and moorage with a small bothan gentleman who then locked the ship to the dock and handed Jal one half of a two part key. Jal once again tallied the costs and was somewhat unimpressed that no one else volunteered any extra credits to help.

Once the ship was secure, Koba led them to a set of apartments at the edge of the city, close to the monorail that serviced the academy. He knocked on one of the dormitory apartments and was greeted by two “cadets” who let them in. Koba transferred the $25,000 to Jal in good faith and they started to plan… until there was a knock at the door.

One of the cadets answered and a man pushed his way into the apartment easily. Ignoring the weapons pointed at him, he identified himself as Jaran Drathul, a friend of Cregan. Koba recognized the name and after a quick call to confirm, verified him. The newcomer offered his services as former student of the academy to help them get in and to their goal. Just stating that Cregan asked for a favour that coincided with the original mission.

They got down to business and started to formulate a plan to get into the school. They weighed a lot of options and ultimately decided to go in as maintenance workers. They still hadn’t decided whether to replace an existing crew or contrive an emergency requiring their special services. Hedging their bets against both ideas, Del’nor started to forge an adequate work order that would get them into maintenance while the rest headed to Kaliban’s to see if they could meet an appropriate group of maintenance workers in their off time.

They got to Kaliban’s at the tail end of the dinner rush and whether by luck (or destiny), managed to find a maintenance crew from the academy relaxing after their shift. Jal made a beeline to the bar along with Jaran, while the rest took a booth nearby the crew. A small child poked his head over the booth and attempted to converse with “the strange aliens” until his parents, embarassed at his questions, pulled him back to his dinner.

Jal purchased several bottles of whiskey and attempted to sample each of them in an effort to hide the tremors in his hands he’d been suffering from ever since the Axiom. Jaran, ordered a round of drinks for the maintenance crew and arrogantly told Jal to pay, who did, very begrudgingly.

Jaran took the drinks to the table and started up a conversation with the workers. They were initially suspicious of Jaran’s intentions but he managed to convince them he was genuine and they started to open up to him. Loor took the opportunity to insert himself into the conversation and awkwardly tried talking shop about different types of reactors. The maintenance crew, Lar, Rey, Kurl, and Omo, felt Loor was insane when he started talking about running a building reactor in a starship. Especially as the model he discussed was known for its excessive methane discharge.

Somewhat deterred, Loor headed back to the table with the others but was intercepted by the barkeep who politely asked Loor to leave and advised him that based on his previous actions in the Kaliban’s on Karsten’s World, Loor was no longer welcome in any of their establishments. Grumbling, Loor left and met up with Nik and Antares who were lurking as inconspicuously as they could in an alleyway nearby. Loor asked them why they were outside and they glared at him, telling him he’d sent them outside to wait for the workers. He nodded sagely, as if this was his plan all along.

Meanwhile inside, Jaran bought another round and convinced the workers, who were getting suspicious of the constant attention, to stay awhile longer. Jal, took the opportunity to mix up a chemical concoction to make the workers woozy and slipped it into Jaran’s second round.

The night dragged on and the workers, felt the effects of Jal’s drug fairly quickly. Jaran continued to glean tidbits of information from them. Eventually the combination of drugs and alcohol wore them out and they begged off another round and left, if somewhat unsteadily. Jarek, Jal, Jaran and Koba waited an appropriate time and followed while Nik, Antares and Loor kept tabs on them.

The workers stumbled home and Nik, Loor and Antares prowled after. Once they’d managed to get a good distance from the bar they pounced on the workers and easily (though somewhat publically) subdued them and stole their uniforms. Jal and the rest caught up and they debated the merits of killing them or ensuring they’d be out of commission for an extended period. Eventually, they dosed them with more of Jal’s concoction with the hopes that they’d sleep for at least long enough to pull off the job.

They headed back to the apartment and brought Del’nor up to speed. The plan was to pose as the replacements for the crew they had just rolled. Jal wanted to rent a delivery van, but then realized it was well past midnight and it would have to wait until morning. As they solidified their plans – and argued who would wear the uniforms and who would hide in the box, Jaran came clean as to his reasons for being there. His friend, Cregan, wanted Jaran to get his cousin out of the blast radius. Jaran was willing to help them get into the academy and point them towards the reactor but would have to focus on Cregan’s cousin first.

While the group took the information in stride and started to incorporate it into their plan, Loor hung back. Something was nagging at him from earlier. Something about the reactor the maintenance crew had said they were using. He puzzled over it for some time before finally getting a really bad feeling. He ran some preliminary numbers in his head and suddenly it dawned on him. Combining baradium to that type of reactor would be bad. Very bad. By his estimation, the baradium itself would easily decimate the academy, but coupled with the reactor, the primary blast zone would reach well into the city. The death toll would be catastrophic!

Loor interrupted the planning session frantically and confronted Koba with this information. All plans stopped as the crew realized what exactly they’d signed on for. Killing several thousand Imperials was one thing, but devastating a city filled with innocents was well beyond their moral limits. Koba argued vehemently that they weren’t innocents. They were supporting the Imperial military complex just by being there. Besides, they needed that large of a blast to ensure they killed the Moff visiting the school. The others did not agree and tensions rose dramatically.

Loor was livid and without hesitation and before anyone could stop him, he ripped open the bomb casing and disarmed it, stating that now it couldn’t be used unless he wanted it to be. The room got deathly silent as they all realized what he’d done and how close they’d all just come to being vaporized. Koba’s demeanour did not warm at all. In fact it got much colder. In a tone that was glacial at best, she informed the group that their contract was terminated and their services were no longer needed. She would finish the job on her own.

There was a long silence as the group processed. The group was ultimately split between those who objected to destruction on this scale and those who were more morally flexible but just felt they weren’t getting paid enough. They bargained with Koba and it came out that while she wasn’t okay with the plan either, she had her orders. They eventually came to an accord where they’d blow the school and rather than let the city be decimated, they were confident they could redirect the blast upwards into the atmosphere.

With the conflict over, the group got some rest and then headed out the next morning to rent the van. Jal again paid out of pocket and was somewhat peeved about it. The others, argued that since he was the captain, he was the one who had to pay. Jal shelved the argument for another day and they all piled into the van and headed out to the school. Nik would accompany Jaran in the search for the cousin, while Koba would be an Imperial busybody there to inspect repairs and Jarek was the student liaison tasked to show him around. Del’nor and Antares hid in the box while Jal and Loor were the maintenance workers sent to install parts for an upcoming reactor refit. After getting past the gate guard. Nik and Jaran split off and the rest met with Charlie, the head of the maintenance department who had numerous questions about why they were there. After they spun a tale of parts being delivered early and a nudge from Koba’s uniform, he let them through and directed them down into the depths of the school. They passed another crew on the way out, but once in the reactor room itself, they were blissfully alone. On the downside, the reactor was so loud that no one could hear anything. Antares, Jal and Jarek set up watch on the entries to ensure they wouldn’t have company while Loor rearmed the bomb and Del’nor, being the smallest, attempted to mount it inside a small vent under Loor’s direction.

Meanwhile, in the dormitories, Jaran and Nik had little trouble locating Cregan’s cousin, but found that he wasn’t home. After questioning one of his floor mates, they left a message on his door in case they missed him and headed down to try their luck at one of the classrooms. They managed to catch him at the start of class and Jaran tried his best to convince the kid to leave while Nik loomed quietly behind. The kid was having nothing of it and told Jaran where to go and headed in to class, but not before Nik managed to subdue him quietly.

After checking to ensure no one had seen them, they headed back to the van to meet up with the others. The others however were not there, having being held up once again by Charlie and his incessant questioning. He begrudgingly let them go but Jal got the feeling that he trusted them even less the second time around.

With the bomb set and Cregan’s cousin asleep in the back of the van, the crew headed back to Myomar city. Loor handed Koba the remote detonator he’d rigged up and wished him luck. They then headed back to the Shrike with plans to rendezvous with Cregan on Ord Mantell. After speaking briefly with the bothan dockmaster, they broke atmo and in their eagerness to get the hell away from there, kept punching in the incorrect coordinates into the hyperdrive computer. Eventually they remembered to carry the one, and went to lightspeed.

The trip was uneventful and once they reached Ord Mantell, Jaran contacted Cregan and they were directed to land on a small remote island. They delivered the kid, who after being sedated for most of the journey was surly and displeased to see Cregan. Jaran questioned Cregan’s decision to blow the city and was dismayed by the fanatical fervour his friend preached. Jaran told him he’d changed and the two former friends realized their paths would not likely cross again.

Back in space, they were hailed by an absolutely livid Koba, who said the bomb had NOT detonated and they needed to get back there immediately to fix this. Once again the group argued about going back or cutting and running. Jarek said he was going back, because of his family commitments. The others were torn. Del’nor wanted to know why the bomb hadn’t gone off. The puzzle of not knowing meant he wanted to find out. Loor felt he had a contractual obligation. “Job isn’t done” was all he’d say. Antares and Nik felt that going back was a trap and Jal and Jaran didn’t disagree. Ultimately they headed back to finish the job.

When they entered the system, they nervously joined the planet bound traffic and made up a number of elaborate excuses for being back so soon for when they were inspected. However, they didn’t need them as customs didn’t select them and they landed without issue. They contacted Koba and were told that the dormitory safehouse was a bust and she asked that they meet her at an abandoned manufacturing mill in the northern part of the city. The group felt Koba was trying to lure them into a trap and went to the meeting very cautiously.

When they arrived Antares used his rocket boots and jumped up onto the roof to scout the terrain while Nik snuck in through the partially open door. The building looked abandoned and Antares couldn’t see anything through the skylight, though the scope of his gun said their was a heat signature in the office on the second floor. The crew cautiously entered and headed to the office, still expecting a fight. Koba came out to meet them and looked more frazzled than they’d seen her. She showed them the detonator and clicked the button multiple times with no effect. She wanted to know what the hell had gone wrong. The group was at a loss.

They reluctantly agreed to head back to the school to figure out what went wrong, fix the bomb if possible, and possibly set the reactor to overload if not. Being late at night, they were limited in their options for transportation, and ultimately took the last monorail out of town. The few drunk students making their way back to the dorms and the late night cleaning staff heading to work were their only companions and they made little fuss over the motley crew of heavily armed non-humans (mostly) sharing the train car with them.

They got to the school and quickly overpowered the guard at the service gate. They made their way through the empty hallways and into the school’s basement with little trouble. The reactor room was just as loud as it had been before, making any communication beyond dumbshow impossible. Antares boosted up to one of the higher service gantries while the others again watched the doors. Del’nor climbed back into the vent where he’d placed the bomb only to find it… missing. He tried to explain it to Loor, but the noise confounded any meaningful communication. Instead he immediately went to work on setting the reactor to overload, which by Del’nor’s estimation would easily take out the Academy.

As soon as he was done, he started running back out the way he came, frantically waving his arms for the rest to follow. They booked it back up the stairwell into the main atrium and straight into the squads of stormtroopers that were waiting for them. It was a trap!

A firefight broke out and while Antares jumped up to a higher perch, Nik charged headlong into the fray with his vibro-knives humming viciously. The rest dove for cover and they heard the troopers trying to evacuate someone of importance. They suspected it was the Moff, but were occupied with staying alive and never caught sight of him to confirm. Del’nor and Koba ducked back into the stairwell and covered the stairs in case they got flanked. Nik soon regretted his charge as the troopers blasted him with all they had. He managed to stay standing after the first salvo, but the second dropped him easily and he started bleeding out. Jal broke cover to save his friend while the rest of them drew fire. The fight lasted awhile but the group eventually managed to take out the troopers through a combination of firepower, audacity and sheer luck. They realized though that they didn’t have an exit strategy in place and as reinforcements arrived, they started to worry, especially as ammo started getting low.

Jaran told them to follow him and started running back down the hall, deeper into the school. Jarek said he’d cover them and randomly grabbed a grenade from Loor’s belt. They made a break for it as more reinforcements arrived and in the confusion they lost sight of Koba. Jarek raised his hands to surrender, and once the troopers drew near, pulled the pin on the grenade, sacrificing himself and blowing them to pieces along with most of the atrium.

The shockwave of the detonation shook the school and the others didn’t have time to look back or even mourn as they started dodging debris and pieces of collapsing building. Del’nor worried that the grenade might have prematurely triggered the reactor explosion and screamed at them to RUN! Jaran led them deeper into the school towards the training flight deck where the tie fighters were kept. They hastily fired up 4 of them and climbed into the cockpits. Not being familiar with the ships, almost everyone except Jaran had some initial difficulty taking off but eventually 4 tie fighters shot out from the hangar and into the night.

Their sensors picked up other incoming fighters. They prepared to fight but quickly realized that these were trainer ships with no viable weapon systems on them. The 4 tie fighters banked hard and made a break for it, just as the incoming fighters came into range and opened fire…

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