Part 12 - Osmur.   Posted by The Force.Group: 0
The Force
 GM, 338 posts
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 rolls you're looking for.
Tue 25 Dec 2012
at 12:39
Part 12 - Osmur
The Imperial shuttle (which Reldan Jalt has privately name False Moustache) falls out of hyperspace and into the Osmur system.  Osmur itself blazes almost as brightly as the system's twin suns, whose light reflects from the arid surface.  A desolate, barren world.  Most of its 70,000 inhabitants live in the northern polar region, where they mine for various rare ores.

There is a space port, but traffic generally consists of a company owned transport that comes in, once a month, delivering supplies and picking up ore shipments.

Until now...

"Uh... guys...  We have about a hundred ships in orbit, not counting the TIEs.  All of them Imperial." Reldan announces, "Five... no, six star destroyers.  About a dozen cruisers and frigates, and a lot of military transports."

"There's something big going on here.  Some sort of orbital construction work, by the looks of it."


He looks around, "Do we go in, or is this close enough?"
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 459 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Wed 26 Dec 2012
at 20:55
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans dug into his vest pocket and pulled out the clearance code.  "Seems kind of a waste to have this and not use it," he replied.  "Besides, unless this thing has some phenomenal sensors on it, there's not a whole lotta intel we can collect from up here."  He was all for improvising once the plan went off the rails, but the plan should actually be given a chance to go off the rails before they started to improvise.

Still, he didn't regard himself as being in command, here...there wasn't anyone, really, that was a group commander.  He turned to the others, curious to see what they had to say on the matter.
Juragga
 player, 207 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Wed 26 Dec 2012
at 21:04
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"Grrrnnnnnnhhhh," Juragga hooted, agreeing although without any great enthusiasm.  His teal eyes were fixed on those Star Destroyers.  Still, if they were going to tuck and run, they wouldn't be in the Rebellion.  Or shouldn't, anyway.
Reldan Jalt
 NPC, 46 posts
 How much? That depends on
 how fast and how far.
Thu 27 Dec 2012
at 20:22
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"That's about what I figured." the pilot replies, with a chuckle.

The shuttle swings around in a long arc which puts it on a course which should bring it into the planet's polar region, where the space port is located.  He is about to open up a channel to send the code, when somebody else contacts them first...

"Imperial Command to inbound shuttle, what is your destination?"

Reldan clears his throat, puts on his best military accent, and uses the cover story, "This is Transport Shuttle Aldanium requesting clearance to land."  Then he starts to transmit the code.

"Shuttle Aldanium, shift to vector 259, assume standard orbit and await further... " and at that point Reldan enters the final sequence.  The voice falls silent for a couple of seconds.

"Shuttle Aldanium, proceed directly to land at the following coordinates... "

Reldan checks the coordinates.  They are being directed to land in the southern hemisphere of Osmur, far from the planet's only port.  He confirms the instructions and shuts off the comms.

"Well that was easy."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 460 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 28 Dec 2012
at 06:40
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans gave a thin-lipped grimace.  He didn't say anything, but he couldn't stop the thought from running through his mind.  Either that clearance code was exactly what we were told it would be, or else they've been tipped off and they're sending us somewhere they can isolate us without a public spectacle.

At this point, however, turning to cut and run would effectively brand the shuttle as illegitimate traffic, anyway...not only would they have to run for their lives, but until such time as the transponder codes could be changed, they'd also be saddled with a vehicle that they couldn't use anywhere Imperials would potentially be roaming.  Gut it out and act like you belong here, he told himself.  The advantage they had over the Empire was the size of the Empire made small units infiltrating their command structure easy to lose in the shuffle.

"Best start suiting up," he said.  "An extended wait once we're on the ground will have someone asking questions, I'm sure."  He put his own words into actions, stepping away from the cockpit to peel off clothing so he could don the black body glove that made the base-layer of the stormtrooper armor.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 210 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 28 Dec 2012
at 21:57
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"Damn right," Haarmon said, nodding enthusiastically. He was scared out of his bonnet, of course, but trying to hide it. The sight of all that... THAT... out there actually seemed to calm him down some. In face of all... THAT... what could they do, right?

It was all gonna work, or it was all gonna go down in flames. And all they could do is run the play.

"Damn right," he said again, "Strap on or step off. After all, any fool with fast hands can grab a gundark by the balls, but it takes a hero to keep on squeezing. That's how we roll. Am I right, Rags?"

As he spoke he started suiting up with hands that were almost, but not quite, steady.

This message was last edited by the player at 21:57, Fri 28 Dec 2012.

Shard
 player, 505 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Sat 29 Dec 2012
at 16:46
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"This is huge," Shard whispers to herself.  They're in over their heads with this one, but at least Command doesn't have its head up its rear.  Whatever is going on, they need to know.  A half-dozen Star Destroyers?

Already dressed in her 'Imperial Clothing', with all of its paraphenelia hidden away or in full view, as the case might be, she paces nervously.  "I'd rather not grab a gundark by the balls, Haarmon, but the sentiment is appreciated.  We're getting shunted to a special landing pattern.  Either that thing works, or."  No sense in stating the obvious, what they're all thinking.

"Everyone set for our background?"  Pausing, she rubs her forehead. "One thing.  And this is critical.  If we're stopped...if we get caught out...we will not go down fighting.  Understood?  As long as we're alive, as long as there's a chance of escape, we wait, we bide our time.  No crazy last-stands, if there's any hope of getting captured rather than just shot.  Command needs to know what we've found, whatever that may be."

Glancing around the cabin, she meets every eye but Jalt's, and satisfies herself with a hand on his shoulder.  "And cursed sure I'm not going to see this team go down."
 

Juragga
 player, 208 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sat 29 Dec 2012
at 19:30
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Juragga glanced to Haarmon, his teal eyes wide.

"Ruhr! he quipped, incredulous at the kid's metaphor.  But he agreed with the sentiment.

He glanced at Shard, though, when she spoke.  Getting captured... tortured... enslaved... these were not part of his option tree, normally.  He'd always been determined to go down fighting.  And yet there was a certain logic to what she said.  Who would help his family, indeed, if he were slain.

He rumbled uncertainly.
The Force
 GM, 339 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 31 Dec 2012
at 15:05
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Reldan Jalt lays in a course.  He, like Shard, is already wearing his disguise, on the grounds that he had realised that he might be fairly busy once they reached Osmur.

The shuttle descends into the atmosphere.  The glare of the two suns reflects upwards from the salt flats below, and the temperature inside the ship seems to rise, even though the readouts on the control panel say that it is actually optimal for human comfort.  Perhaps it's lying...

The trajectory through the atmosphere is steep, but controlled, and before long something comes into view on the ground.  Some sort of facility.  A handful of buildings, a landing platform, a large parabolic antenna, about thirty metres in diameter.

"Looks like some sort of communications relay." Reldan Jalt opines, "But I'm not picking up any signals from it.  Anybody else want to try their luck?"
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 462 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 31 Dec 2012
at 20:53
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans paused, for a moment, as he was fastening the various armor pieces into place.  "You don't want me doing it," he declared flatly.  "My expertise at a comm panel consists of transmitting and receiving.  On a good day, I can even mute the mic in the middle of a conversation...but sweeping channels looking for a comm signal?  I'd be lucky to even find which settings to adjust, much less carry it out with any accuracy."

Besides, he was still only half-way through getting armored.  His expertise would come into play on the ground...though, once again, he did find himself set on edge a bit at discovering yet another realm where his skills were sorely lacking.  He'd always been primarily reliant on himself...but, then again, he'd never expected to end up infiltrating an Imperial base on an espionage mission, either.  The scenario they found themselves in was something he would have found ludicrous to even consider, just a few years ago.
Shard
 player, 507 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Wed 2 Jan 2013
at 13:41
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Glancing at Juragga, Shard grimaces.  Accustomed to the Wookie, speaking his tongue with the ease of old fluency now, she's capable of deciphering the body language as well.  It's not hard to figure out what's going through his head, given how the Imperials treat Wookies and especially with his concern during the trip to the mines.  Sorry, Juragga, she mentally sighs, and rubs her thinly scarred fingers behind her back.  Yeah, I remember Imperial mines.

It's a hard thing to ask someone to live in the face of torture and enslavement, but this goes beyond them.

"Let's go with setting down where they told us," Shard figures.  "Our comm lines are open, we've given the proper codes.  Apparantly.  So we're probably supposed to receive orders, if there are any, and not go probing around." She purses her lips.  "But why?  Why the antenna?  They have Star Destroyers in orbit, and a host of other ships!  They don't need long-range comm systems, they can just piggyback off anything up there."  She squints, as if it will make any difference.

"What is that?"
The Force
 GM, 341 posts
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 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 3 Jan 2013
at 08:33
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
The descent goes smoothly, with occasional instructions and updates from the Imperials responsible for traffic control.  Reldan flies the shuttle by the book, not deviating from the assigned course in the slightest...

The landing platform is directly below the ship by the time everybody who needs to be in disguise is in disguise.  It becomes obvious that, apart from a large open space for them to land in, the rest of the platform is filled with stormtroopers.  At least a couple of hundred of them.

Reldan folds the shuttle's wings into the raised posture, and drops her the last few metres onto the platform, as gently as he can.  The stormtroopers don't move, but remain standing at attention, in a nice, neat parade ground formation.  All of them are facing towards the shuttle.

There are several Imperial Army and Navy offices, also standing at attention and watching the shuttle, in front of the first row of 'troopers...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 464 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 3 Jan 2013
at 09:52
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans risked a glance out of the cockpit before settling the 'trooper helmet on his head.  "Well, at least they're standing at attention, and not leveling weapons at the hatch.  That's a plus..."  His voice sounded even more flat and emotionally detached with the slightly tinny sound of the helmet's voice filtering processing it.

"Guess we better go find out just who the hell they're expecting, huh?"
Shard
 player, 509 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 7 Jan 2013
at 13:22
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"All for me?  How nice."  Shard's voice is dry, but an astute observer might detect a slight tremor.  This is a little beyond her experience, and she can feel her stomach twisting into knots.  But Rhijans is correct; it's highly unlikely they would have broken out this kind of welcoming committee if they suspected duplicity.  A quarter the troopers and an AT-ST or two would be sufficient to deal with whatever a small shuttle could hold.

Which, honestly, makes it worse because now it's all riding on her.

"Let's not disappoint, then." Firming her shoulders and spine, Shard tucks her chin slightly and heads for the ramp.  Checking herself at the last second, she forces her body to relax.  You're not a Naval Officer, Shard, the woman reminds herself.

Instead of spit and polish, she goes with a certain casual ease.  There had been a time where Shard could amble into a bar and snag the attention of every man in it; she struggles to remember that feeling, and the vague, youthful arrogance it engendered.  'Yes, yes,' that feeling says in the back of her mind.  'I know you're looking at me.  Boring.'

The older woman purses her lips.  Void, but I was a nasty little thing.  So self-righteous and self-absorbed.

"Drop the ramp," she states.  It's not an order.  She won't order them, not until they're in 'public'.  "Let's do this."
The Force
 GM, 344 posts
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Mon 7 Jan 2013
at 15:09
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
The ramp opens, and a wave of heat washes into the shuttle, rising from the parched expanse of dust surrounding the landing pad.  A ripple spreads through the reception committee as the stormtroopers, already standing at attention, somehow contrive to switch to an even higher state of attention.

Shard, closely followed by two more troopers and a Naval tech, moves down the ramp.  Behind her Juragga and the two droids start their descent.

The party of Imperial officers moves to meet them, and the two groups come to a halt facing each other just a few metres from the shuttle.  All of the officers are sweating, which could be because of the heat, or because they are undergoing some form of ISB inspection.

One of the officers, his Imperial Navy uniform bearing the rank insignia of an admiral, steps forward, salutes, and bows his head as he drops to one knee.

"It is an honour to meet you, Lady Nimadda.  Welcome to Osmur."
Juragga
 player, 212 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Mon 7 Jan 2013
at 22:28
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
For his part, Juragga followed closely on Shard's heels, an imaginary leash connecting them.  He loomed impressively, but contained any outright show of menace.  He was playing a part here, but all it would take would be to over-do it and have one trigger-happy Stormtrooper take a shot.

His teal eyes regarded the troopers impassively, apparently unimpressed.  Inwardly, he wondered how many of them he could get before they gunned him down, if it came to that...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 467 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 8 Jan 2013
at 03:04
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans was doubly thankful for the armor.  Nimadda...  He'd heard that name before...on their first mission.  In a context that had left him wishing he never heard it again.  His face would surely have given them away, if anyone had been able to see his moment of shock.

It was only a moment, though, and it never made it from his face to affecting his body posture.  They would have to be very careful, indeed.  And they'd have to be fast.  All they'd need would be for some report of Nimadda carrying out an action somewhere else in the Sector, and people would be asking all kinds of awkward questions.  He carefully maintained his posture...something slightly more formal than parade rest.  It made sense to him...with the way the mass of stormtroopers had stiffened even more on their decent of the ramp, they were obviously considered extremely important, even though he had no real idea just what Nimadda's official or actual position might be in the Sector chain of command.  But, as the escort of such a VIP, it would not be out of character for him to neglect to assume a posture of attention at the approach of Imperial officers.  She outranked them, and as her escort, he took his cues on interaction from her.
Shard
 player, 514 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Wed 9 Jan 2013
at 13:50
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
For a long moment, Shard merely nods her head, her eyes scanning the forces arrayed before her, her gaze curiously unfocused.  One might even guess that she regards the universe itself, staring past the Imperials into the heart of all creation.  One would be correct, in fact.

I hate you.

Her eyes snap back to the speaker.  "Stand, Admiral.  I'm not much in the mood for that, and I'd rather see your face."  A wave of the hand indicates the ranks of troops.  "An impressive welcome."  It's an Admiral.  Why do they have an Admiral here?  If she had gloves, she'd be slapping them in a palm.  "Impressive, indeed," she muses, as if considering.  Then back to business.  "But schedules are tight, and you have your own duties.  While I require a tour of your operation, here..."

She smiles.  It's thin, that smile.  "I'll leave it up to you if you wish to conduct it."

He could, of course, leave it to a subordinate.  A dangerous choice, on several levels.
The Force
 GM, 348 posts
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 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 10 Jan 2013
at 19:01
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
The admiral rises, and performs a small bow.  "Thank you, Lady Nimadda.  I shall accompany you for the first part of the tour, since my duties carry me in that direction anyway."  He gestures towards one edge of the platform.  Some of the buildings can be seen a short distance away in that direction, linked to the platform, and each other, by gangways raised about a half metre above the blazing sand.

The parabolic dish is also in that direction, just beyond the buildings.  The shade beneath it looks extremely welcoming...

As the admiral, and the visitors, start to walk in that direction the other officers fall in behind them, and the admiral starts to speak.

"We have made good progress.  We are actually three weeks ahead of schedule at this stage.  The project has, of course, become even more important because of... " a pause, as if he is unsure just what to say, " ... recent events.  The Imperial Navy has been commanded to provide additional personnel."

Down a ramp and onto the gangway, which echoes and vibrates under their footfalls.  "Construction has already begun on the primary armature which will, of course, house the reactor core and provide structural support for the drive systems.  Within two days the shield projector," he points in the direction of the parabolic antenna, "will be operational, protecting the project from potential Rebel aggression."

"Here we are."


He leads the group into one of the buildings, a low bunker-like structure, heavily fortified.  Inside the air is cooler.  There are technicians working at several consoles spread around the large room which seems to occupy the entire structure.  Few of the consoles appear to be operational, in fact most of them still appear to be undergoing assembly.

"This room will, once operational, serve as a control centre for the entire project.  If you have any questions, I will be pleased to answer them, before I leave you in the hands of Captain Alates."

A hand reaches out and beckons one of his subordinates forward...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 470 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 11 Jan 2013
at 07:03
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans dropped in wordlessly behind Shard...at a respectful distance.  Honor guard...made perfect sense for them to escort her around.  He listened to the admiral's mildly nervous talking, trying to sift what was worth keeping notes about from what was just 'window dressing'.

At the mention of a shield projector, and the accompanying gesture, he almost dropped out of step in shock.  That's a shield projector? he asked himself, silently.  Shield generators on capitol scale vessels weren't exactly small...but they didn't need an array anywhere near that large.

What the hell are they working on, that needs THAT kind of shielding? And whatever it was, would be secured by the shield in two days.  Unless they did something.  They could really use an over-stressed power-relay or two right now...put in the right places, they might be able to set the whole project back weeks or months and make it look like it was just a faulty component, rather than a saboteur.  His mental countdown began...they had to do something, and be on their way out before it went off...and they had two days to manage it.

He cursed the helmet's limited vision...he could scarcely see where he was going in the thing, and it definitely didn't provide much opportunity for scoping out the room without being obvious about it.  They'd have to see about finding some excuse to get in here alone, at some point, to really look at what was under construction.  And how to break it.
Shard
 player, 517 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 14 Jan 2013
at 15:06
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"Thank you, admiral."  Shard pads alongside the admiral as they walk, keeping her face impassive.  It seems the wise choice, given any show of emotion might let some of what she's actually feeling leak through.  Her gloves, held in her left hand, pat against her thigh with every step.  Her right hand remains close to her belt; not dangerously so, but as if a habitual pose.

She could use the shade beneath the parabolic dish right now.

"Three weeks ahead," she muses.  "Impressive, in a project this size.  Commendable, even."  'Recent' events?  Curious.  Are they talking about the recent rebel victory?  Something about a superweapon destroyed, after it...rumor had it...obliterated one of the senate worlds?

Shield projecter.  From the planet.  So they'll be shielding something in space, something requiring an enormous outlay of power.  Reactor core.  Drive systems.  It's a ship of some kind.  A big one.

She slowly stares around the room he indicates, surveying it with a critical eye.  "Evidently this area hasn't been part of that three week push...no, admiral, merely a witticism.  Commendable indeed.  Only two days?  Well done, well done."

"Questions...."  Her eyes narrow. "The shield generator.  When it goes online, will it prove sufficient?"

Come on, give me something.
Juragga
 player, 215 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Mon 14 Jan 2013
at 16:37
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Juragga kept his place at Shard's flank as if he were held there by invisible string, his teal eyes ahead.  But it took effort not to let them slide towards the shield generator.  This was big.  Very big.  Bigger than them.  His mind was dancing over ideas of sabotage and wondering if they would have an opportunity here.  If they did... if they could damage or even slow down a project this big...

Wouldn't that be worth the cost?
The Force
 GM, 350 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 14 Jan 2013
at 18:16
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
The admiral's laughter, following Shard's witticism, sounds a little forced, and nobody else in the room joins in with it.  Despite the fact that it's much cooler here, in the soon-to-be control centre, the admiral is still sweating.

"The shield would have been fully functional at this stage, but it was decided to spend some time upgrading it from the original specifications.  The projector will be capable of generating spherical shield with a diameter of 175 kilometres, and estimated as able to withstand a sustained bombardment from a light squadron.  We also have a squadron in orbit, to provide further protection in the event of a Rebel attack.  Rebel ships would not be free to initiate such a bombardment."

A holoprojector in the centre of the room flickers to life, then winks off momentarily, before coming back to display... something.

It's a narrow vertical cylinder, partly sheathed in metal, but with a lot of exposed girders.  There is a bulge at the centre, a complex array of metalwork sketching out a spherical chamber.  There is movement around it, like a swarm of tiny insects.

"Ah... excellent timing.  This is a view of the construction work as it currently stands.  I'm afraid that, at this stage, it doesn't give much idea of the final structure."

One of the insects suddenly flares with blue-white light, and the scale snaps into focus.  Those insects are ships.  The object is huge...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 475 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 15 Jan 2013
at 05:22
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans' mind boggled, luckily hidden by the expressionless mask of the stormtrooper helmet.  175 kilometers?  For a shield?  That could enclose and protect a huge number of ships...or a single--something.  Whatever it was they were building, it was enormous.  He ran down the list of the various rumored Imperial armaments he'd heard of...the only thing that sounded even close to this was a torpedo sphere, but if he was judging the scale of the structure correctly...

He couldn't know for sure how large, exactly, it would be, because he didn't know the size of the ships around the structure.  They could be single-seat fighters, however, and the thing would still be way beyond the size of what he'd heard described for the torpedo spheres.  At least, I don't THINK they were that big...the description didn't come across as THAT large.  Again, he cursed a lack of solid intel...he wasn't a ship specialist by even the loosest definition of the term, and ships generally fell into four categories for him...fighters, freighters, and small and large warships, which left a lot of room for variance between estimated and actual size.

But, between the shield and the Imperial warships in orbit, the Alliance would be powerless to do anything about whatever was being built, as long as it stayed here.  They'd have better luck sending in suicide missions to try and blow the shield generator on the planet than they would directly attacking whatever it would be protecting.
Shard
 player, 520 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 15 Jan 2013
at 16:41
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"Given the forces in the area, it seems wise to have taken the time," Shard muses.  "You certainly have the capacity to defeat any Rebel incursion at the moment.  Once the shield is complete...well, that's unimportant until you finish."  She cocks an eyebrow at the holoprojector.  Curious.  A axial shaft within a sphere.  Then the eyebrows almost rise.  Almost, but she stops them at the last instant.

An axial shaft within a huge sphere.

They could dock Star Destroyers in that thing.  What in the Void are they making here?  Suddenly the rumors of the recently destroyed superweapon are far more digestible; the scale on this creation is immense, and why would the Empire be concerned about Rebel attacks if it isn't a war machine of some kind?  "No, it doesn't give a good idea, does it, admiral?"  Reaching out, Shard gestures at the holoproj.  "So overlay the image of the completed structure."
Haarmon Dak
 player, 212 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Wed 16 Jan 2013
at 16:03
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Haarmon followed along, keeping his thoughts and his words to himself. Self-preservation might not be his forte, but even he knew when to keep his mouth shut. Look at that thing, he thought to himself, Look at it!

He needed into that computer. Like, now.
The Force
 GM, 352 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 17 Jan 2013
at 23:09
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
The admiral bows his head, "As you command, Lady Nimadda."  A flick of his right hand, and a tech reaches out to make an adjustment to the projector.  A translucent sphere appears, surrounding the central cylinder.  Then further layers are added, increasing the diameter of the sphere.

Then the growth stops.

The final sphere is marked with a grid of broad lines which divide it into sections.  The sections themselves have a fine grain of smaller sections divided by narrower lines.

The image revolves, and on one side, in what would be the northern hemisphere if this were a world map, is a large, bowl-like depression, cutting through several of the outermost layers, with a comparatively small opening in its centre leading deeper into the sphere.

"As you know, Lady Nimadda, this one is almost eight times larger than the first, at nine hundred kilometres.  The shield generator will be upgraded as construction continues, so that the output can be increased to enclose the growing station."

"We estimate that construction will be completed in less than four years, only twenty percent of the time taken to complete the first one."

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 479 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 18 Jan 2013
at 02:29
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Inside the helmet, Rhijans' face hardened in an impassive mask.  Under different circumstances, with different people, he might be awestruck at the engineering prowess involved in creating a ship...or station...or anything else...that size.  Grim resolve settled over him...if they didn't destroy that thing before it was completed, they might never be able to.  They certainly wouldn't get it done without the loss of thousands, possibly millions of lives.

And they weren't equipped to destroy it, now...they were here to find out what was going on, and report back.  But by the time they reported back, if they didn't do something, the shield generator would be active, and the projector would have the core of that...monstrosity...protected against all the firepower the Alliance could muster in this sector.

Okay, he told himself, resorting back to the analytical processes that had served him so well, thus far.  Objective one, achieved.  We know what's going on here.  Wouldn't hurt to come up with more specifics...but we know enough.  Objective Two and Three, Report our findings and delay work.  Three will have to come before Two, though, if Two is going to be useful to anyone.  So how do we slow this beast down?

He'd stiffened, almost imperceptibly, at the shock of seeing the size of the finished project.  As he began sorting options and ranking priorities, he relaxed.  The armor made either change difficult to notice...but they'd been there, if anyone looking at him knew what to look for.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 216 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 18 Jan 2013
at 13:47
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Haarmon had a plan. At least, he thought he did. It seemed like a good idea. But he'd become painfully aware in the past little while how far plans could drift from reality. Even the really good ones. His eyes darted to each of his team-mates in turn. He would have given a lot to be able to take one of them aside and run his idea past them and see if he was being stupid.

But no dice.

He gritted his teeth and willed himself not to fidget and twitch. Even a dumb kid like him knew that invincible Imperial spies didn't do a lot of fidgeting. Even when stuff was boring.

And he waited.
The Force
 GM, 353 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 21 Jan 2013
at 19:56
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
The admiral continues speaking as graphics flow across the holo image.  "Of course, Osmur is merely the final assembly point.  Most of the components are being constructed elsewhere, and brought in on transports, some of which you will have seen in orbit.  The main weapon focussing array, for example, is being constructed in orbit at Sulust, and the computer cores at Coruscant."

"The next stage in assembly will begin when the cores are delivered and mounted on the central armature.  After that the support structure for the main laser will be attached, along with the weapon's independent power generator."


The admiral seems quite happy to talk about his new toy, even if he does have other duties...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 481 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 22 Jan 2013
at 04:18
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans began making mental notes...Sullust, Coruscant...Alliance Command would have new reasons to look closely at any system with unusual amounts of traffic.  Of course, they'd need to bring copies of at least some of the plans. Otherwise, the bigwigs planning strategy for the Alliance would dismiss their reports as overblown hysteria, fed by rumors of Imperial superweapons that were too ridiculously large to even exist.

He was sure they would, because prior to seeing the schematics of how this thing was intended to go together, he would have done the same.  The spine of the thing was already up there, its heart was being built somewhere else, and before long, the whole monster would be on the loose.

Their reports would be useful, yes...but some corroborating evidence would give them a lot more credibility.  He shifted his gaze slightly, as the Admiral seemed focused on bragging up his pet project, and looked over at Dak.  The kid was looking like their best bet, when it came to getting word to the Alliance.
Juragga
 player, 219 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 22 Jan 2013
at 05:06
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Not for the first time, Juragga's eyes slid subtly to Dak, and then he forced them back front and center.  He had faith in his friend and trusted companion.  Only his skills would save the day, here.

Short of relying on Wookiee smashing of things and blowing up of all kinds of objects, that is.  But that approach was likely to be a one-way ride...
Shard
 player, 523 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 22 Jan 2013
at 12:32
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Void.

The rumors are true.  There had been a superweapon, and they hadn't exaggerated.  This, this is the exaggeration of that weapon; bigger is better, it seems, and this monstrosity will be fully capable of...of...

...destroying a world?

How will the Rebellion succeed if this finished?  How can the Rebellion succeed?  Its combined fleet could never even dent this machine, much less battle against the ships it could carry and supply, and if the Empire is willing to obliterate entire planets?

Put it in perspective, Shard.  They are.  That has been part of the rumors as well, and she hadn't paid much credence to them.  After all, not only is it ridiculous to think of the Empire willing to simply annihilate planets, but the capacity...

Oh, they have the capacity, it seems.  And if they have the capacity and have forged the tool, they are willing.  Bank on it.

Please be getting this, everyone.  This information needs to make it out.  And on that note...

"I would like a report, Admiral," she hears herself saying.  "Something I can go over at my leisure as well, not that your own explanation isn't edifying."  Snap of the fingers, point and crook one at Haarmon, calling him forward.  "Have someone provide one to my tech.  Nothing too detailed; this information is sensitive.  Just the particulars."

Turning back, she studies the holographic machine with one eyebrow cocked speculatively.  "This...instrument will give the Emperor what he requires to end the Rebellion," she muses.  All true, that.  "With your name upon it, Admiral.  He will certainly be pleased."

Her thin brows furrow. "But...four years?  Four?"
The Force
 GM, 354 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 24 Jan 2013
at 16:45
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"A report, My Lady?  Of course." followed by something which is almost a perfect duplicate of Shard's gesture.  One of the officers in the room, not Captain Alates, hurries forward.  "Provide Lady Nimadda's assistant with all current information on the status of the project."

"Yes Admiral." the officer replies, then looks at Haarmon, "This way."  Without waiting for a response, he starts to walk away, towards one of the few consoles in the room that doesn't appear to still be under construction.

Taking a seat, he works through several layers of security protocols before reaching  the files themselves.  "Where would you like to start?"

The admiral, meanwhile, is busy talking to Shard about power outputs, tonnages, ranges, shield strengths...  The numbers involved don't really seem possible...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 482 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 24 Jan 2013
at 17:24
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
As more and more people in the room were more and more occupied, Rhijans began to feel like he could begin to do a more tactical assessment of the place.  There was the Admiral, the Captain, the tech that was helping Dak...as best he could, without moving, he tried to get a headcount of the number of Imperial personnel present, and looked for any obvious security measures...audio and video monitoring devices, primarily, but also any sort of motion sensors.  Given his limited security background, if he didn't recognize the function of something right away and its position put it in an area to monitor the room, he assumed it was a security device of some sort.

There had to be something they could do to at least set back the project.  Construction was so wide-spread that there was nothing they, as a team, here at this point, could do to halt it completely...but if they could slow things down...maybe find some way to build in a system to deactivate the shields on command...attacking with that Imperial fleet up there would be suicidal, but if they could guarantee the shields would fail, attacking after the first crucial components had been attached to the main core would undo years of Imperial effort.

There had to be a way...  And he kept inventorying the room and its equipment, looking for a loophole or oversight...
Haarmon Dak
 player, 217 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Thu 24 Jan 2013
at 19:42
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Haarmon followed the officer over to the terminal, his mind spinning with what's happening all around him. Did he really think they could stop this? All this? How could it be stopped? It was like a natural disaster. Once it started, all you could really do was try to stay out of its way.

But saw what Admiral guy had spun out. He had just enough engineering knowledge to know that, once complete, there would be no staying out of that thing's way.

So he had to do something. But important stuff was usually Juragga's job. Not his. He felt miserably out of his depth. If only he could get at that terminal himself. Preferably without anyone watching. He didn't need much time. But he needed some time.

Wait, does this guy know the first thing about computers? Only one way to find out. Just as the officer sat down, Haarmon leaned over him. "What system are you using? Are you operating on the new upgrade yet?"

He tried his best to sound all flat and professional and business-like. He was, in fact, doing his best Rhijans impression.

Hope it's enough.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:44, Thu 24 Jan 2013.

Shard
 player, 525 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 28 Jan 2013
at 19:35
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Perfect.  Now it's up to Haarmon.  He's erratic at times, but performs well under pressure, Shard feels, and if anything describes the current situation....

So she stands and listens to the Admiral as Haarmon does his thing, nodding thoughtfully along with the technical details.  Many of them pass over her head, but over the years Shard has heard enough of weaponry and ships to give her a general idea of what people are talking about, and the few numbers she grasps paint an appalling picture of the final product.  If this thing is finished, the only possible way of stopping it would be another one of its kind.  No infiltration could possibly succeed in destroying it from the inside, no fleet would stand a chance against its massive firepower, its shields, its onboard escort, and no planetary defense would have a hope of stopping it.

All current information on the project's status...I'll take that.

The problem is, what to DO with it?

Could they possibly sabotage the whole thing from here?  It seems incredibly unlikely.  But if they take time to get the information back to command, before any serious assault can be prepared they'll have the shield up.

Two.  Days.

But if they can push THAT back, they stand a chance.

"Admiral," she begins abruptly, choosing a point that doesn't cut him off mid-sentence (resentment would breed issues).  "It's all very impressive, but...security?  How are you ensuring no sabotage occurs during the preparation for the shield generator?  Obviously once the generator is active, it will protect itself from any possible orbital bombardment, but what stops the Rebellion from a ground assault?  And what of the workers on the generator itself?"

A slight edge enters her voice - not directed at the Admiral, but perhaps at some distant memory.  "Do you use indentured workers?  Economically viable, but it is far more easy for terrorists to slip spies among slaves, and to bribe slavemasters: notoriously unreliable, those.  How are you ensuring there can be no issues with construction?  Or with information falling into the wrong hands?"

Her features relax...a hair.  "You have a fine record here, Admiral.  No sabotage so far...that I have heard of."  A small, sharp smile appears and disappears.  "But two days to go is still as yet 'unfinished'.  For the sake of the Empire, and for the sake of your own efficiency and capability, I would not see that good record smeared by failure.  Given this -"  A wave of the hand at the holoproj "- your success thus far, I expect as fine a report regarding your security."

This message was last edited by the player at 19:36, Mon 28 Jan 2013.

The Force
 GM, 355 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 28 Jan 2013
at 21:27
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"We are not using slaves in any sensitive work areas.  I too find them unreliable.  Naval technicians are working on the shield, and qualified personnel are tasked with orbital construction.  At the moment we would have difficulty using slaves, even if we wanted to, because there is no suitable environment for them to work in."

The admiral smiles, as he adds, "Security is... heavy.  You saw part of our contingent of ground-based stormtroopers when you landed.  Others are patrolling in the desert at a range of five to twenty kilometres out from the facility.  Additionally, we have troop transports in orbit, and assault shuttles for rapid deployment of extra forces, should they be required."

"We can have three battalions of stormtroopers on the ground within fifteen minutes.  This will change as the work proceeds - more of the troops will be moved to barracks here, on the ground."


The tech gives Haarmon a puzzled look, "I don't know.  Not my speciality."  Then, perhaps remembering whose assistant he's talking to, he helpfully suggests, "I can check for you?"
Juragga
 player, 221 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 29 Jan 2013
at 06:30
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Juragga stood very still, attendant to Shard as his role demanded. But his eyes widened as he considered the possibilities.  Perhaps he was being defeatist... just an old run-down Wookiee who'd lost everything he'd ever cared about, save his friends... but this was looking more and more like a suicide mission.  At least, if they were to have any impact on the construction of this, this monstrosity.

He studied the guards and troopers for signs of lax attention.  He had no interest in selling his life cheaply.  But if they didn't do something here... and soon...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 486 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 29 Jan 2013
at 08:19
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans noted the personnel around the room...not good odds for them to accomplish much in an open confrontation.  He focused his attention on the ceiling and walls, looking for surveillance equipment.  If they did get an opening to pull something off, he didn't want anyone to be able to trace it back to anyone specific.  That meant anything they planted would need to be done by Jalt or himself, their identities safely hidden by the faceless frontmen of the Imperial military forces.  But he also needed to know how difficult it might be for one or both of them to sneak back in here.

Part of his mind listened, almost idly, to what the Admiral was describing.  Shard was doing a great job of stringing him along, keeping him talking about the station and the defenses.  Ground patrols out to twenty kilometers, three battalions on or around the planet--but, apparently, the troops that they saw when they landed were the bulk of the troops that were currently on-planet, except for those assigned to guard duty...  The situation wasn't likely to get anything but worse, but one battalion was better than three.  The guards he could see were naval troopers, not stormtroopers...maybe stormtroopers did routine patrols of the base?  More intel...we need more intel...  He pursed his lips, inside the helmet, as fragments of options began to present themselves to him.  So far, all of them were blatantly suicidal...and didn't have much of a chance of success.

But it was already more than they had when they walked in here.  The more he learned, the better the odds became.  Keep him talking, lady, keep him talking, he urged, silently.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 220 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 29 Jan 2013
at 13:28
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Haarmon shakes his head in a deliberately robotic fashion. Left, right, centre. He saw a bad guy do it in a holovid once and it looked really badass and he always wanted to try it out on someone.

"No need. I'll check."

And so saying, he removed his personal terminal from its case and went to attach it to the Imperial system. Just before he plugged it in he paused and looked back up at the tech officer and started him in the eyes. He tried to raise one eyebrow in a quizical fashion but both went up (as usual).

The look was meant to say Back away and let me do my thing, huh?
Shard
 player, 528 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 29 Jan 2013
at 18:24
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Shard studies the Admiral with narrowed eyes as he explains the security, then nods her head and joins his smile with a small one of her own.  It doesn't quite reach her eyes, but that's fine, given the role she's playing.  It's unlikely anyone here expects a true smile from Nimadda unless she's cutting an enemy down, and possibly not even then.

"Wise decisions, Admiral.  I especially like the idea of billeting more of your troops here as things continue.  Certainly they aren't needed above."  She purses her lips.  "Casting your nets wide is a fine idea as well; it forces terrorists to cover a larger distance under risk of discovery, in the event they actually achieve planetfall."

"I also applaud the lack of slaves.  Too many officers would attempt to come in further under budget, sacrificing security and competence for cheap labor.  I'm glad to see that such foolishness isn't the case here.  You'll have enough appreciation by finishing a quality job in a timely manner."

Curse the Empire for appointing someone competent!

It's Haarmon who stands the best chance for pulling something interesting out of this.  The computer holds all the information, and he will be given enough to convince Command that they're not joking about the threat.  If he can convince it to give more...

...convince it...

That small smile steals back onto her face, and this time it stays.  Leaning back against a railing, Shard eyes the Admiral, a man deeply proud of his project, a man so taken with his success that he's willing to forgo business in order to try to impress his same enthusiasm upon a visitor.  It's not only self-interest here, she suspects, though that cretainly plays a part.  He really, really loves his work here.

"All very interesting, Admiral.  But...also a touch generic.  Oh, not in magnitude: a project this size is colossal in all ways.  But this is, when all is said and done, what I would expect to gather from a report.  If more interesting when delivered in person."  A corner of her mouth quirks further.  "I am certain you have more.  Give me something interesting.  Something surprising I can take back that will raise eyebrows."

"Astound me,"
she challanges.
The Force
 GM, 356 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 31 Jan 2013
at 21:13
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
The tech hesitates for a moment, and then glances towards the admiral, who is deep in conversation with an ISB officer.  A smiling, and apparently high-ranking, ISB officer...  "Go ahead."  With a nod of the head and a slightly nervous smile, he moves aside to leave the seat open for Haarmon.

The admiral himself considers for a moment, unsure what might impress somebody who apparently doesn't find the thought of an artificial moon with the ability to destroy a real planet sufficiently... astounding.

"The attack which destroyed the first Death Star has been thoroughly analysed, My Lady, and the design of the new station has been modified to ensure that the same tactics will not work a second time.  Furthermore, intelligence gathered during future engagements with Rebel forces, and by agents in the territories controlled by other potential enemies, will be incorporated into design refinements as this project continues.  Our goal is to ensure that the design will evolve to keep pace with enemy tactical doctrines."

"Additional stations are planned to follow this one, of course, and they too will benefit from the continual development and evolution from the basic design.  In effect, every station which is constructed will inherit the technical and tactical advances of its immediate precursor, and improve upon them."
Shard
 player, 532 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 5 Feb 2013
at 14:22
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"'As an innovation, we plan to innovate.'  I should be sarcastic, Admiral, but honestly, lack of flexibility has a tendancy to plague military doctrine." Shard nods her head, pursing her lips.  "Continuous design improvements, treating each station in an experimental fashion, evolutionary modification of the systems...such a strategem outdoes any single, splendid improvement you might have shown me." 

An eyebrow cocks alongside the crook of one corner of her mouth.  "I like how you think."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 490 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 5 Feb 2013
at 18:47
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans' eyes narrowed further in the helmet as the Admiral explained how they intended to continuously upgrade each of these behemoths.  That philosophy, if applied to standard Imperial military doctrine, could be crippling for the Alliance, and anyone else who dared oppose Imperial rule.  One of the best weapons against the Empire was its own strict adherence to tactical and strategic doctrines...you could predict what they were going to do the vast majority of the time and take steps to counter it before they did anything.

But this...this could jettison that rule in a torpedo tube.  Adaptive military theory would leave the rebels flailing to try and stay one tactical innovation ahead...and you can only keep that pace up for so long.

If the opportunity presented itself, the Admiral needed to be removed from the equation.  He was intimately familiar with the details of construction...if someone could get him talking, he'd be a trove of information.  If the opportunity presented itself, Rhijans decided, they'd have to see about that.  Barring that, shooting him would be a good option.  At the very least, Alliance Command needed to know that he was a high-priority target.  Getting rid of him might not disable the whole project, but it could slow it down, and if his replacement was of a more rigid military mind...well...who knew what options could present themselves?
Haarmon Dak
 player, 223 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Thu 7 Feb 2013
at 16:16
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Haarmon took a deep, deep breath and tried to calm his nerves. It didn't work. He could feel his palms sweating. And his scalp. And his upper lip. And he could feel things going on under the tight tunic that he didn't even want to have to think about.

But he tried to ignore that. All of it. Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, when he was on the Nets, and really in the zone, sometimes he felt like he was part of the network. Like the information was not just in front of him, but in some way was him. When this happened he was capable of such feats of data manipulation that he astounded himself. He could almost watch himself perform beyond his own ability.

That was the state he was trying to reach. Because he wanted to do something absolutely impossible.

He plugged his own terminal ("Personal Badass Device" he called it, the PBD) into the Imperial terminal and turned it on. He tried his very very best not to give the tech any sideways glances. He wanted that guy to be studiously ignoring him. Whether from fear or boredom, he didn't much care.

He scrolled through some menus on his PBD, noting the foolish names he'd given everything (current menus included "Crap I Might Need Later" and "Dudes Who Pissed Me Off" and "Don't Delete this Shit it's Important") and hoping the Imp wasn't staring as he tried to get past them quickly. As he reached his destination, he had a vague, almost totally unformed thought that maybe it was time he grew up a little.

After a moment or two he reached a heavily encrypted folder deep in the recesses of his terminal. Things were different down here. There were no bright colours. No clever names. No ironic graphics. Everything down here was cold and grey and had complicated alpha-numeric strings for names and was as organized as any Stormtrooper's footlocker. It was almost as though Mr. 'Am-I-right' Haarmon had been left behind at the doorstep. As though that Haarmon, the gun swinging, dirt-talking, finger-twitching, wookie-mocking Haarmon wasn't allowed down here, down in the basement where the really important stuff was kept.

Harmon's fingers flew across the keypad. He knew he had only a few seconds before the tech was going to start getting suspicious. Or at least curious. And either one was dangerous. Lethal maybe.

He opened a file. Started typing. Lines of code arranged themselves in his mind and iterations and algorithms spun out into infinity behind his eyes. He had to get the most done with the fewest steps. He needed to fundamentally alter the operation of a long, complicated program in moments by reaching down into its essential nature and tweaking it just enough so that the cascading consequences of starting it would push it in the direction he needed it to go, until eventually it did what he needed it to do. It was like trying to bring down an entire installation with a single charge. Or bowling over a thousand pins with one ball. Or changing the weather on Coruscant by flapping your arms on Tattoine. It was an act of exacting precision that bordered on madness. The only reason he was even attempting it was that it had to be done.

Somewhere inside of him, inside that zone, he was warmed by the thought that all three of his friends, each for their own reasons (Rhijans his pride, Shard her ghosts, Jurraga his family) would understand. And even approve. Sometimes, just sometimes, when there was no other way and the stakes got high enough, madness stopped being the problem and started being the solution.

And down in the basement, somewhere in the white-hot crucible of everything Haarmon was and everything he wanted to be, there was a moment when it seemed like the complex, jagged, discordant pieces of the universe all turned to reveal themselves as simple reflections of one single glorious whole. Down there, in that moment, everything seemed so simple, so joyous, that he only just stopped himself from laughing out loud. He pressed Send.

And he took a breath. And he stood up. Unplugged the PBD. Nodded to the tech. "It's fine. Now I'll take that report." He said, and was shocked at how calm his voice sounded.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:14, Thu 07 Feb 2013.

The Force
 GM, 359 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 7 Feb 2013
at 19:32
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"Thank you, My Lady." the admiral stands a little straighter, and he glances towards where Haarmon is working.  "Would you be interested in seeing the rest of the complex, once your aide is finished here?"

"I do have other matters to attend to, but Captain Alates will be pleased to guide you further."


The officer in question pushes past the two droids and Shard's stormtrooper escort, though he is careful not to actually push past Juragga, giving the Wookiee a wide enough berth that he doesn't actually make physical contact with the massive furry alien.

Haarmon starts stowing his equipment, and stands up...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 492 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Sat 9 Feb 2013
at 02:56
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
As soon as Rhijans was aware of the Captain moving past, he gave ground, slightly.  He was, after all, just a lowly stormtrooper...to the best of his knowledge, he didn't even warrant a rank, much less rank enough to butt heads with a Captain.

The thought dawned on him, as he stepped back, that perhaps the hand-picked escort of Ghea Nimadda didn't need rank in order to be regarded as intimidating to 'normal' troops, but at that point, it was too late...he'd already moved.  He opted for a compromise, following Captain Alates with his gaze, the inscrutable faceplate of the stormtrooper helmet concealing whether the look was questioning, annoyed, or amused.

It was, actually, none of the above.  While the helmet was looking in the Captain's direction, Rhijans was trying to monitor the reactions of the others in the room...whether the break in the seemingly mindless compliance of a stormtrooper raised eyebrows or drew closer looks.
Juragga
 player, 226 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sat 9 Feb 2013
at 23:36
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Playing his part, Juragga allows the man to pass, but subtly keeps his massive frame present as if ready to intercede should anything threaten 'Nimadda'.

Haarmon had done his work.  He had faith in the kid.  Now if they could just figure out a plan, and a way to communicate it without tipping off the enemy.  Until then, the overriding thoughts in Juragga's mind were Don't screw this up and Die well...
Shard
 player, 534 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 11 Feb 2013
at 13:21
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
About time, Shard thinks, completely unaware that Haarmon has done something grossly beyond 'getting the information'.  She doesn't bother thinking over the Admiral's question; someone like Nimadda wouldn't take any time consider her replies. "I'll take that tour, Admiral, though we may have to cut it short.  Captain Alates, then?"  A cock of that eyebrow at the man as he moves forward, then 'Nimadda' smiles. "Of course."

Sucking in a breath, she takes another long look around the control room.  "You've certainly done your job, Admiral.  That will be reflected in my report.  For now, though, I release you to your duties."  The glacial expression warms a touch.  "Thank you.  You've been most helpful...also to be reflected in my report."

"Captain Alates."
  His intent stated and goodbyes made, the admiral is no longer her concern.  "Lead on."
The Force
 GM, 361 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 11 Feb 2013
at 19:26
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
After a brief look around to see that nobody has become separated from the tour group, Captain Alates says, "This way, please, Lady Nimadda."  He starts back towards the door, which opens to admit a blast of furnace heat from the desert beyond.

Outside, the walkway clangs and reverberates beneath their feet.  Alates leads the way towards the shield projector, and has to raise his voice to be heard above the noise of their progress.  "Projecting a shield from a ground based installation is not, of course, a new idea.  What is new is the scale of this one.  Normally they are used, as you doubtless know, to protect ships which have gone into orbit above Naval facilities to have their own shields generators repaired or replaced."

"Typically, those shields enclose a volume which is, at most, a kilometre in radius.  The projection equipment is proportionately smaller,"

They step into the shade of the dish, still almost two hundred metres from the entrance to the bulky support tower.  The temperature drops sharply.  A short distance ahead, a metre long reptile lifts its head at their approach, hisses, and scuttles off the walkway.  It gets perhaps five metres before the sand beneath it erupts upwards, and a large mouth, surrounded by vicious hooked mandibles fastens onto the hapless creature and drags it below the surface.

"That is why we have these raised walkways.  Some of the indigenous life forms are rather dangerous, though that particular species does not seem particularly common." he glances at Rhijans and Reldan, in their armour, "Even stormtroopers need to see their target to fight it, and your slave would not provide more than a snack, I think, My Lady."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 493 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 11 Feb 2013
at 20:19
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans' gaze lingered on the settling dust cloud where the reptile had been dragged to its demise.  His mind catalogued and filed the information...in the event they couldn't manage to set back the operations here before departure, this was need-to-know stuff.  All approaches either had to be via established walkways or by repulsorlift...there would be no over-land approaches on foot.

And while that made getting in more difficult, it could help when it came time for getting out.  If the starport could be isolated from the rest of the installation...destroy a few walkways, and they couldn't chase you without risk of losing an unknown quantity of troops.  Knowing the Empire, that wouldn't slow them down much...troops would be ordered onto the sand, anyway, en masse, in the hopes that the sheer volume would over-run any predation losses.

Still, it was a glimmer.  A good sharp-shooter could disrupt command and communications by shooting anyone who was giving orders...while the Empire had massive resources, initiative wasn't necessarily one of them.  Without officers, troops often lost cohesion.  Didn't help them at all against the armada orbiting the planet, either...but it was a solution to one problem.  It was a starting point.

All that processed in fractions of a second, and a grim half-smile settled on his lips as he took up his place in the procession and dropped back into step.  With enough intel, and the right resources--and enough time--any problem could be solved.  They were in precious short supply of all three...but the situation was improving, at least marginally.
Shard
 player, 536 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Wed 13 Feb 2013
at 16:03
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Shard leans over the railing, eyebrows rising at the display below her, then turns back to face the captain.  Her grin might be likened to that of a shark. "Oh, I doubt I'd require my trooper's assistance for that one, Captain, nor that of my...assistant...but it's certainly another effective deterrant to any kind of ground assault."  Her lips quirk slightly.  "Assuming any transports get past your blockade, which I doubt."

She waves a hand out toward the sky.  "I suppose they could come in on the opposite side of the planet, but it's a lengthly trek even if they put down a few thousand kilometers away, and if the world is as hellish as you suggest, not one I'd want to personally attempt."

Her eyes turn up toward the shield generator.  "Rather...large," she notes.  "Immune to bombardment through its own shield, I take it?  Good."

In truth, she's cataloguing the points against any attempt to actually come back here and both destroy the shield array and sabotage the actual...death-station they're building.  It's coming up to an impressive tally in her mind.  This...this isn't going to be as easy as I thought.

And I really didn't think it would be easy before.


"Continue, Captain."
Haarmon Dak
 player, 225 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Wed 13 Feb 2013
at 16:28
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Haarmon tried his best to follow along and be all bored-by-my-own-superiority Imperial superspy. But it was hard. Every moment that passed just increased the risk of setting off the little digital bomb he had planted. And once it went off, it would get hard to just hop in the spacecraft and run away. Once they underway? Easy. No one would bother them on the way out once the world tipped sideways. But it would look awful strange for them to start high-tailing it out if it happened while they were still here.

But Shard was into the role. And the Captain was having a good time. And he didn't want to break in and break protocol or make it seem too obvious that he wanted out. And now. That might be remembered. And he had a slicer's almost genetic aversion to  being remembered.

Plus, he figured Rags and Rhijans were having fun gathering all the sweet intel they were getting. He didn't want to interrupt that. That stuff would all be important to whatever pack of nerf-herders got stuck with coming back here.

Two more minutes, he told himself. Two minutes and I'm gonna have to pull the plug on this thing.
The Force
 GM, 362 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 14 Feb 2013
at 23:10
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"The generator and projector are protected by their own shield and, of course, the fleet overhead would make it difficult for any attacker to get into position for  a bombardment of the surface."  Captain Alates' smile is very smug as they approach the entrance to the tower, the air around them almost... chilly... in the shade of the dish.

"As you can see, there are heavy laser cannon emplacements on the tower itself, as well as E-Web blasters.  These are intended to provide omnidirectional protection against ground assault by anything from infantry up to heavy vehicles."

The door opens, and the air which blows out is warmer than that outside, and redollent with the smells of hot metal and ionisation.  Moisture condenses on the white 'trooper armour.

The space inside the tower is dark, lit mainly by the flickering of welding equipment, reflecting from and around silent hulking metallic forms.  Skeins of cable are suspended prom points lost in the gloom high above.

"Most of the work in here has been completed.  All that remains, for the most part, consists of connecting the generator units to their power supplies.  There is, however, one more unit to be delivered, and we are expecting that shortly."

Alates gestures towards a narrow metal staircase which circles around the wall of the chamber, "Would you care to see the upper sections of the equipment, My Lady?"
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 494 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 18 Feb 2013
at 06:58
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans surveyed the structure with a critical eye, adding 'demolitions engineer' to the list of skill sets he wished he'd had time to develop before he got thrown into this situation.  A couple of people with the right explosives and a half-hour or so of time to work could probably make a royal mess of the tower...

His ears caught mention of the generators not yet being connected to their power supplies.  That makes this a very valuable target, at the moment... he told himself.  Destroying either the generators or the power supplies would set back work on the shield generator, which would, in turn, set back the Empire's 'safe' timetable for work on the space station.  And if the power supplies were active, at all, destroying them would likely be an easy process.  Dangerous, but easy.  A couple of grenades to imbalance the coolant flow and disabling the failsafes and they'd overload and blow up with plenty of force.  It wouldn't be the surgical precision of an engineered demolition...but it could also potentially be attributed to accidental conditions, rather than being a blatantly obvious attack.

The captain suggested going up, and Rhijans found himself torn.  It wasn't his place, as 'bodyguard', to suggest anything, though they could, perhaps, play it off as a specialist clad as a stormtrooper for the sake of anonymity.  It was the truth, after all...at least, from a certain point of view.  Getting a closer look at the power supplies would be immensely valuable...but if they went up far enough in the tower's superstructure, the Captain might just suffer a terrible accident...

Which one's going to give us the most strategic opportunity? Rhijans mused.  The obvious answer was to hit the power sources...but the tragic fall of a high-ranking officer could potentially create enough chaos to open some other doors for them.  Unable to judge between the two, he opted for a third option...sit back and wait for Shard's response, and see what spun out of that.
Shard
 player, 541 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Wed 20 Feb 2013
at 18:02
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"Presumably your tower also provides protection from those beasts we saw earlier," Shard dryly states, eyeing the tower with pretend approval.  But she doesn't like the captain's smile; it's too satisfied, too relaxed.  He'd be better off falling over himself trying to keep her happy, too busy with concerns over her impression to worry about small inconsistencies.

And inside the tower, she has her opportunity.

"'Most' of the work," Shard whispers thoughtfully, gazing about herself.  "'All that remains'.  'For the most part'.  A great deal of qualifiers, Captain."  Standing in silence for a long moment, she taps her fingers lightly against the cylinder hanging from her belt, ruminating.  "Yes.  Yes, I would like to see the upper sections of the equipment Captain Alates and -" her voice sharpens "- how long is 'shortly' and why is one unit remaining?"

Turning in a circle, she gazes around herself then heads for the staircase.  "If every other piece has arrived and is installed, fully or 'for the most part'," she continues, her voice acidic, "then why a single piece missing?  An error in preparation?  One unit was substandard or damaged when it arrived?  The supplier did not include it in previous runs?  Why, Captain Alates, and who is responsible?"
The Force
 GM, 363 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 21 Feb 2013
at 22:19
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Alates smile falters, then makes a brave attempt to rally as an opportunity presents itself, "There was an incident at the manufacturing facility, an explosion in their power generator, I believe, and several days' production were lost, so the final unit was not completed in time for the last shipment.  The admiral ordered the completed units delivered on schedule.  He decided it would be better to install the ones we had, while waiting for delivery of the missing one, rather than delaying installation of all of them."

The officer starts up the stairs, still explaining, "We are expecting the missing unit to arrive in approximately ten hours.  Work will begin immediately on installation, after which the last of the connections will be made, and everything will be powered up."  There, that should do it... a failure at the manufacturing facility, an a decision by the admiral.  In no way could either of those be blamed on Captain Alates.

The ascent of the stairs is gruelling, the climb itself is arduous, and the temperature rises as they get higher in the structure, even as the air quality declines.  UY-3P0 and R2-O0 stay at ground level, neither of them being particularly suited for prolonged stair climbing.

At the top of the stairs is a small platform, filled with a series of man-high equipment cases, all of them linked to the outer wall by large conduits, and beyond the platform, several cables, each as thick as one of Juragga's arms, lead upwards a ring of irregularly shaped cases attached to the roof of the tower, each one about the size of of a landspeeder.  Below, at the lower end of the cables, are perhaps a dozen or so massive structures, which look somewhat menacing, in spite of being (currently) inert machinery.

"This platform will, of course, be off-limits to all personnel while the shield is in operation due to high levels of thermal radiation from the equipment." Alates points to the equipment cases on the platform.  "These are the cooling system for the array of large shield generators below, while above are the control relays which allow for manipulation of the diameter and strength of the shield.  All of this is monitored and regulated from the control room."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 498 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 22 Feb 2013
at 04:34
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans dropped any pretense of 'stormtrooper detachment' as they approached the platform.  His head moved regularly, sweeping the limited field of vision the helmet provided, looking for video surveillance gear.  It was, in some ways, a test of just how paranoid the Imperials were...or if they suffered from the standard Imperial 'supreme confidence' and figured that any interlopers would have been noticed long before they got here.

He had an idea...but if it was going to work most optimally, it relied entirely on a lack of surveillance footage.  It could still work, even if they were on camera somehow...he'd just prefer that the only account of events be the story told by the survivors...
Shard
 player, 543 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 15:36
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Better.  Better.  Forced on the defensive, the Captain thinks about himself, not about them.  And his explanation?  It leaves her with an opening, as well. "In the manufacturing plant, then?"  She studies him for a few moments more before beginning the ascent.  "Very well, captain.  I'll expect the details on that manufacturing plant, and will pay it a visit, myself.  The explosion might have been sabotage.  It should have been reported...but at least your admiral's decision minimized the delay.  Better the installation of nine ahead of time, then one when it arrived, than waiting for the final one to arrive and a labourious installation of all ten."

"Sabotage," she mutters on her way up.  "Terrorists are everywhere, captain." Another searching look.  "Terrorists and their sympathizers."

She's less pleased upon arriving at the top, though she hides it.  Need to really get back in shape.  Her endurance isn't exactly what it used to be.  To save time, she takes a moment listening and staring out at the sights.  They're impressive, to be sure.  "Interesting."  She cocks an eyebrow at the captain.  "What prevents the cooling system from being targetted?  Beyond your layers of security against a force coming close enough."
The Force
 GM, 364 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 25 Feb 2013
at 21:22
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Alates' face pales.  He is about to do something which could be very dangerous...

"I... I was under the impression that it was reported, My Lady, and that your own department is currently investigating the incident."  There... he has pushed responsibility for dealing with this back to the ISB.  Dangerously close to telling Ghea Nimadda that she must have forgotten something, or didn't know it in the first place.  If he survives it might make an interesting tale to tell in the officers' mess.  If...

Her next question catches him by surprise, and leaves him momentarily puzzled.  She seems to be asking, "What are the defences of this facility, apart from the defences?" and that can't be right, can it?

He decides to repeat his description of the defence, mostly to give himself some time to think, "Apart from the numerous ships in orbit, the tower's own defensive shields, the stormtrooper patrols on the ground, the extra troops who will be stationed here shortly, and the defensive batteries... " and just as he's running out of things to say, inspiration strikes, "... there is the ceaseless vigilance of everybody associated with the project, and their loyalty to the Empire."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 500 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 26 Feb 2013
at 06:51
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
It was time to act...but whether to act impulsively, or maintain some caution?  There were ways he could cheat surveillance...but perhaps, he could maneuver things so he wouldn't need to...

"Lady Nimadda," he said, breaking the silence that he'd maintained since starting down the ramp of the shuttle.  He stepped forward, his body language shifting, subtly...no longer the rigid precision of the stormtrooper, more natural, and almost intimately close to Shard, a range that, almost certainly, no standard stormtrooper would approach.  His tone, likewise, held no question in it, as to whether it was proper for him to intercede at that moment.  It held the quiet assurance of someone who was exactly where he was supposed to be, doing exactly what he was supposed to be doing.

"We should take a look at the generators that are in place.  If one was damaged at the point of manufacture, the others may have been sabotaged, as well, and just haven't been under enough stress to set them off."  He turned that inscrutable faceplate to the Captain, for just a moment, as if assessing him, and then back to Shard.

"It's entirely possible, in the eagerness to try and maintain a timetable, they weren't properly inspected before installation."  He let the smirk on his face creep into his voice, as he imagined the captain's reaction to such a verbal slap in the face.  If things went smoothly, Captain Alates would walk them down to the most important part of the structure.

And if they didn't?  Well...Captain Alates would still be preceding them to the ground floor.  He'd just arrive quite a bit faster than they would.
Juragga
 player, 229 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 26 Feb 2013
at 07:40
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Juragga looked at the captain and loomed menacingly, a low rumble in his throat...
The Force
 GM, 365 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 28 Feb 2013
at 21:34
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Alates looks at the trooper, then at the Wookiee, at which point his nose all but wrinkles in distaste.  Then back to what he believes is a high ranking ISB officer who has direct access to Moff Kivost himself.

"I can assure you, Lady Nimadda, that the apparatus has been inspected and tested prior to installation.  The Admiral was very insistent on that point.  If you would like, I can show you the results of the test sequences, and the inspection documentation."

Behind him, Reldan Jalt moves closer, taking his cue from Rhijans and Juragga...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 501 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 1 Mar 2013
at 01:54
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"All of which can be falsified by an over-eager officer trying to cover up for problems in a project under his command."  Even with the filtered sound of the helmet, it was hard to miss the disdain in Rhijans' voice, and it was underscored by the way he once again looked at the Captain, this time giving him a visually obvious up-and-down, as if assessing him to be of specifically that sort.

He turned back to Shard.  "The only way we can be certain of this, milady, is to verify it ourselves.  A project of this urgency can't be left to the say-so of intermediaries."  It was tempting to let his tone become scathing, but Rhijans turned his voice cold, detached...he was betting the captain would be more upset if it sounded like a professional assessment than if it sounded like a political toady trying to take someone down from a higher spot on the totem pole.  "We were sent to make a readiness assessment, and that's best accomplished if we do the assessing.  Too much has already been lost in taking the word of the officers in charge of other projects."

Either agree to it, or make an outburst...either one works my way, Captain, he urged, silently.  He half-turned, so he could see Alates at the edge of his limited peripheral vision.  After all, he knew there was no threat to him from Shard...
Shard
 player, 545 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 4 Mar 2013
at 13:54
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Shard glances back and forth between the two men, absently waving a hand at Juragga. "Not...yet," she murmurs to the looming Wookie.  "Documentation can be...inaccurate, captain, for a variety of reasons."  A warning glare shoots toward Rhijans.  "Not merely falsification; Captain Alates has been useful, let's not jump to conclusions." 

Back to the captain.  "But written information, in and of itself, certainly doesn't tell the whole story.  First, the inspection ourselves.  Then documentation to follow; it will, one hopes, support what we see for ourselves."  Her voice loses its thoughtful tone, sharpening.  "Captain Alates, take us to the generators.  My people are...comprehensively trained in such things, and will make their own on-site examination of the situation.  If all is well, then good.  If not?"

A small shrug.  "Well.  I have my own comprehensive training.  But let's see if it doesn't have to come to that."

Push the man.  But not too far; anyone forced into an untenable situation will react, and they want him off-balance, not lashing out.
The Force
 GM, 366 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 4 Mar 2013
at 20:31
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Alates opens his mouth to speak, then closes it immediately.  He gestures towards the stairs, and tries an alternate speech.

"Of course, My Lady.  This way please."


They descend again, but only part way, to where a narrow walkway leads off from the staircase, running between two of the shield generators to a small circular platform, only about five metres in diameter in the centre of the tower.  The platform is some sixty or seventy metres from the lower floor, and surrounded by a low rail which bears folding trays to support equipment.

The shield generators loom silently around it, menacing and dark, a little less than a metre beyond the edge of the platform, and there is clearly space for one more to be installed.  The gap gives a clear view all the way down to the floor.  The side of each of the generators which lays closest to the platform has a panel on it, with various controls, a screen displaying diagnostic information, and a dataport.

All of the screens currently show that the generators are not operating.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 502 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 5 Mar 2013
at 07:25
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans gave a small nod in response to Shard's unspoken rebuke...for all that he was some mysterious security expert masquerading as a stormtrooper, as far as the Captain knew, Shard was still playing someone who was the ruthless right hand of the Sector Moff, with ISB connections to boot.  It was a good time to go silent again.

He followed as Alates led them to the dormant heart of the building, and looked around at the truly frightening potential energy that surrounded them, in the form of the shield generators.  A good tech could probably link them all together and start an overload cycle from a single control console...if they were all online, it was even plausible that an overload from a single unit could cascade into the next and trigger the same cycle...

At this point, even a good grenade, in the heart of one of the machines, would render the thing inoperable.  That kind of damage could be relatively quickly repaired, however...not with local parts, Rhijans was sure, or they'd be building the generators here, as well.  But there were now PLENTY of options for them to make trouble in some way.

And only Captain Alates to prevent them from exploiting one of those options.  Rhijans spaced himself within the group carefully, making sure that he had a line of sight on Alates...a line of fire, more importantly...that would potentially send the Captain plummeting from the perch where they found themselves.  And waited.  Shard seemed to have something in mind, or had at least been assertive with the situation before.  He was willing to wait to see if she had some plan of her own in play, before plunging ahead with his own.
Shard
 player, 549 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 5 Mar 2013
at 20:02
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"Very good," Shard commends the captain.  It's uncertain if she's discussing the field generator, his alacrity in bringing them down here, or his wisdom in shutting up, earlier.  She leaves that open to interpretation; perhaps he'll consider all three.  It really doesn't matter at this point.  Rhijans wanted them down here.  They're down here.  She hopes it hasn't caused any problems of which she's currently unaware.

The one problem of which she is aware is Getting Out Again™, but that's a pretty common issue for them.

Raising her hand, she sketches in the air.  "These generators...you have people alert for treachery, captain?  Perhaps a rebel agent who has suborned a worker here, or a disgruntled tech?  It's all well and good to stop the enemy from entering the complex, but what if the enemy is within?"

Turning her head, she eyes first Rhijans, then Harmon. "Commence the inspection, gentlemen.  At your discretion where to start.  Juragga, with me."

Hot.  Void.  We're in it now.
Juragga
 player, 230 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 5 Mar 2013
at 20:09
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
The looming Wookiee fell in beside Shard as if he were an automaton glued there.  His teal eyes scanned for trouble, especially from the direction of the captain.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 504 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Wed 6 Mar 2013
at 05:55
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Ah, the lady's sharp.  Inside his helmet, Rhijans smiled grimly.  He had only the limited surveillance he'd noticed earlier to go off of, and down here there were more places such surveillance could be hidden.  Their 'inspection' could turn a bunch of it up, if it was there...but if Alates volunteered the information, it would save them a lot of time.

Holding himself in a ready posture, he started a quick visual once-over of the generators, to keep himself from appearing too eager to hear the Captain's response to Shard's question.  All they really needed was a blind spot...even just a small one...
Haarmon Dak
 player, 227 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Thu 7 Mar 2013
at 16:30
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Haarmon was pretty freaked out. He was just about to say something that might nip this thing short and let them escape, something like a grunt with a pointing at a watch or whatever, but then Rhijans started with the secret spy-master stuff. No way anyone was going to swallow two peons back-talking whoever the hell Lady Nimdadda was supposed to be. So he was stuck.

And now? Now they're splitting up? He wanted to wave his arms and start yelling at the top of his lungs. If there was one thing that a life-time of holo-vids and net-gaming taught him, it was this;

Don't split the party!

But here they were, complicating things instead of simplifying, starting new things instead of wrapping up old ones. Getting further into this place rather than further out.

And all the while the little bomb he planted in their system was just sizzling and smoking away. Only a matter of time before it went off.

Heart hammering away in his chest, mouth dry, hands shaking, Haarmon fell into step with Rhijans.

This. Is. Going. To. Suck.
The Force
 GM, 368 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 11 Mar 2013
at 19:51
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"Yes, Lady Nimadda.  All of the technicians working on this project have been vetted by both ISB and Imperial Intel.  Only those who have been cleared by both organisations are permitted to set foot in this facility." Alates explains, his confidence returning now that he has something definite to report.

Behind him, Rhijans, Reldan, and Haarmon start their inspection of the equipment.  Alates eyes do not deviate from Shard and Juragga...

"All personnel are under strict orders not to fraternise with the local population.  And their movements are monitored at all times."  He risks a smile.  A small one.  "In many ways they are living under tighter restrictions on their movements than many slaves,  But they are being paid for the inconvenience."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 506 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 12 Mar 2013
at 05:48
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans smiled grimly as he noticed Alates' attention focused on Shard and Juragga.  It was a shame that thermal detonators weren't part of the standard load-out for a stormtrooper, because this would have been a great location for one.

Instead, as the captain continued to try and soothe the suspicions of 'Lady Nimadda', Rhijans took a couple of the grenades from his utility belt and propped them in what appeared to be vulnerable locations.  For good measure, he set a few of the extra power-packs for his blaster in the works, as well.

He'd save one grenade...they needed something to set the whole thing off, after all.  While he tried to work quietly, he was more focused on being efficient with his motions.  If the captain turned and noticed him...well...that meant he wouldn't be watching the Wookiee...Rhijans would just have to hope that Juragga would intercede before the Captain raised a weapon.  Or an alarm.
Shard
 player, 554 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 14 Mar 2013
at 16:55
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"A good start," Shard mutters, knowing it's good not to give absolutes with regards to compliments.  Always leave some room for criticism...or implied criticism.  She turns away for a moment, then whips back, almost face to face with the captain.  "Well paid, you say?  You monitor their movements.  Do you monitor their credits?"

Leaning back slightly, Shard rubs a finger against her jaw.  "Something to consider, captain.  A well-paid man might still be found with no money in his account.  Gambling, debts...these things might, might pass through the fingers of a background check, but they will be obvious to one who continues to observe the flow of money.  And a well-paid man with more money than he ought to have should be obvious as well.  'Well-paid' is not a panacea to treason.  When some people receive their just sum for difficult work, they only wish for more."

This is a horrible world to live in, Shard decides, full of paranoia and fear.

Of course, there's a reason for that.  The older woman doesn't look at the men working behind the captain.  Better not to draw his gaze.  Instead, she remains focused upon him, demanding his focus in turn.

Speaking of paranoia, now might be a good time.

"Captain Alates." She lets her voice drop to a more casual tone.  "I am curious.  You've been here some time, yes?"  Her eyes sharpen, but not with anger or irritation.  "Have you seen...anything...you'd like to report?  Even off the record?  Now would be a good time."
The Force
 GM, 369 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Fri 15 Mar 2013
at 14:52
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"We leave security checks on workers accounts to the experts, My Lady.  ISB handle that side of things, leaving us free to concentrate on the more... physical... aspects of surveillance.  We have equipment, manpower, and expertise in tracking movements."

Alates seems to be relaxing a little.  perhaps because he's deflected another of Lady Nimadda's questions back to her own people.

That all changes when she asks him if he has anything he'd like to report.  He starts to look less pleased with himself, and says nothing for  several seconds.  His eyes also refuse to meet Lady Nimadda's gaze.

Finally, and with much nervousness, "I... I'm not sure that the admiral is being entirely honest regarding this project, My Lady.  Occasionally, when giving updates to the senior officers, he will be asked about progress and expected completion dates for various aspects of the project.  In my opinion, the figures he gives are inaccurate."

"I believe he has overestimated the time until the station is operational by several months.  Perhaps as much as half a year."


There, he said it, "I cannot understand why the admiral would want to hide this fact."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 507 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 15 Mar 2013
at 17:37
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans smirked inside his helmet.  He could think of a lot of reasons why the Admiral would be padding estimated times of completion, ranging from the unlikely option that he was appalled at the intended function of the final product to the extremely likely option that coming in well ahead of the estimated time of completion would make him look like a phenomenal manager and increase his chances of landing some other prime assignment.

He didn't say anything, however...the last thing he wanted to do was give Alates a reason to look over his shoulder.  He'd finally worked out a way to get this mess to detonate on command...sort of.  He paid out several feet of the safety line from the utility belt, and tied one end around the pin on one of the grenades, which he wedged into a position in the equipment where the pin could come loose to trigger the detonation without tumbling the rest of the grenade out of position.  He'd want to be the last man off the platform...and he'd be at a run when he left...but that would give him a few seconds to get far enough away from the center of the blast.  He could only hope that the casing for the generator would contain most of the force, for his own sake.  Plus, if all that energy was kept contained inside the framework, it would do that much more damage to anything inside.

Keep him talking...we're almost done...  He glanced over at Dak, wondering if there was some way the kid could set the generators on an overload cycle, just to further make a mess, but he couldn't think of a way to ask the question that wouldn't get Alates looking around.

And there was a frantic edge in Dak's eyes that made him think that asking for anything right now might be a bad idea.  The kid was holding it together...but it looked like he REALLY wanted to get out of here, now when he thought no one was looking.

Soon, kid.  We'll be on our way soon...
Haarmon Dak
 player, 229 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 15 Mar 2013
at 18:04
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Haarmon edged up to Rhijans a little. Close enough to talk but hopefully not close enough to make anyone suspicious. "It's time we were leaving," he hissed, his voice shaky and intense, "All of us. Now." He didn't want to say why, not out loud. He knew only too well how easy it would be for someone to be watching them.

"Now," he said again, the plea naked in his face.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 508 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 15 Mar 2013
at 18:15
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans blinked a couple of times in surprise.  While he wasn't surprised that Dak was uncomfortable with the situation, the utter lack of bravado in the plea underscored the urgency more strongly than any quip that the kid could have made.  He nodded curtly, glanced over to make sure Reldan was squared away, and positioned himself so that his body would be screening the shield generator from Captain Alates' view.

"I think we've seen everything we need to see, Lady Nimadda.  And we do have other destinations waiting..."  It was risky, but he'd have to chance the captain becoming suspicious.

Besides, there was still time for Captain Alates to have a tragic accident...
Juragga
 player, 233 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sun 17 Mar 2013
at 17:59
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Juragga, close by 'Niimada's' side, knitted his shaggy brows and stood stock still, his gaze fixed solidly ahead.  But the muscles under his pelt tensed.  The kid didn't spook that easily, or at least, didn't let himself show it, especially in front of Shard, whom he was obviously sweet on.
Shard
 player, 556 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 18 Mar 2013
at 15:42
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"What you have," Shard corrects sharply, "is a position here, with constant observation of your people.  Do not forget that, Captain." 

But her brow furrows at his admission.  The Admiral is pushing back the timeline?  The station will be finished before its projected date?  Curious.  A few reasons for this jump into her mind, but the only ones that make sense involve either the Admiral planning something nefarious on his own, or this being a trap for rebel forces.  Leaked information...a fully-functional battlestation...

Not good, either way.

"I will investigate this matter, Captain Alates." Her eyebrow rises.  "I assure you, your name will only enter the investigation if something solid is uncovered...or nothing at all.  Until a time when the matter is settled one way or another, you will remain anonymous."  Something to keep him off balance, that, as they continue their -

And Rhijans speaks up.

Shard twitches slightly, shooting a glance over the captain's shoulder.  She's in the role too much now, ready to snap back at her 'subordinate', when common sense catches up.  Rhijans wouldn't do that...he and Haarmon, standing close...Juragga's tension, quite different from his looming of earlier...

"Of course," she mutters with a fingerwave of irritation. "The councillor." The older woman has no idea what that might mean to the captain, but even a mystery would keep him thinking in the wrong direction.  "Captain, I require your escort back to my shuttle immediately.  I hadn't expected this extensive a tour..." Her wintery smile holds no threat, for once.  "My fault, not yours.  Juggling bureaucratic appointments is not my forte.  You've done well here, today.  Well indeed."

This message was last edited by the player at 15:42, Mon 18 Mar 2013.

The Force
 GM, 370 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 18 Mar 2013
at 19:43
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Alates' face shifts from relief, to concern, to confusion, to panic, and back to relief again.  The question about unreported problems and incidents had worried him, but Ghea Nimadda seems satisfied with his answer.  And now it appears that she wants to leave, and he had expected to be spending several more hours in her somewhat unsettling company.  He doesn't much care who she is going to be spending the rest of the day with, he just knows that it isn't him...

"Of course, Lady Nimadda, this way please."

He gestures for the ISB inspector to lead the way down the stairs to the lower level, and the exit from the tower.

And then, as Shard starts down the narrow stairs, he moves smoothly between her and the rest of the team, so that he can continue speaking to her as the descend.  "A pity you have to leave so soon, My Lady.  Perhaps we can hope to see you again in the future?"
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 509 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 19 Mar 2013
at 01:15
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans turned back to Dak, quickly...they didn't have much time, the Captain would doubtless notice if the rest of the entourage somehow vanished behind Juragga.

"How hard would it be to start these things up?  And if we blow one or two of them, would the feedback overload the others?  If it's gonna take more than a couple of seconds, let's just get moving."  He spoke softly, hoping the helmet's vocal processors didn't amplify his words too much.

"We've gotta catch up before this stuff starts cooking off, because I think we're gonna have to give the Captain a fast trip to the bottom of the tower to make it out of here without him accusing us.  Want to get there before he gets low enough to only get hurt by the fall."  Yeah, he knew, it was a callous approach to take...but he also figured it was, in some ways, a mercy killing.  If their plan succeeded and they got out of there with the shield generators going up in their wake, Captain Alates would have some very awkward questions to answer...and some very skeptical people asking them.
Shard
 player, 557 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 19 Mar 2013
at 12:26
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Shard laughs, a jagged-edged chuckle of genuine-sounding amusement.  "You're a better soldier than a liar, Captain Alates.  Don't worry about that; it's preferable to the alternative.  I know you're only too glad to get me out of your hair and far, far away." She's deep in the role, now, perhaps a touch too deep, for a pang of sorrow ripples through her.

"But that's how it is, captain.  Remember it, if you reach for something higher."  Her eyes narrow, staring out from the stairs toward a distant point.  "Nobody will understand or care about what you do, what you prevent, and have prevented."  Her jaw sets, putting the lie to any thought that she wallows in self-pity.  "And it's better that way.  The Empire must be strong, captain, and part of strength is the perception of such.  As such, those who work in the shadows to keep it strong must remain there."

She purses her lips, nodding slowly.  "Unasked-for lessons are the most annoying, captain...but you'd do well to remember that."  A shrug.  "If not?  Merely the norm."
Juragga
 player, 234 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Thu 21 Mar 2013
at 04:05
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
As the captain turned his back to him, without any other reaction, Juragga fell in behind him and then, casually, almost relaxed, took his paws and swung them quick and wide, arcing in horizontally, meeting in the middle.  The only thing in the way was Alates' head...

21:04, Today: Juragga rolled 22 using 6 dice with the WEG Classic system with rolls of 2,2,4,5,4,{Wild}5. Head smash.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 230 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Thu 21 Mar 2013
at 12:31
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Too much. Too fast. Too much. Too fast. Too much. Too fast.

Haarmon was just trying to figure out how to answer Rhijans' question when he dropped the bit about dropping the Captain. That stopped him for a few seconds. And he was just wrapping his poor little noggin around that when Juragga decided discretion was not the better part of valour.

He looked around madly, eyes wide, hoping someone (ANYONE) would give him a clue as to what he was supposed to do next.
The Force
 GM, 371 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 21 Mar 2013
at 14:45
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Alates is too busy trying to make sure that Ghea Nimadda remembers him for all the right reasons to notice that her stromtrooper escort, and the baby-faced technician, are not directly behind him as he starts down the stairs.  He's even too busy to notice that the Wookiee is directly on his heels...

He's not, however, too busy trying to make a good impression to notice as he clumsily staggers into the back of the Moff's personal killer, and falls face-down on the stairs, though by that time he's too busy being unconscious to notice much of anything.

Very unconscious.

While he's definitely still breathing, it looks as if he'll be out of commission for a while.

After which, depending on how things go in the next few minutes, he might very well be without a commission...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 512 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 21 Mar 2013
at 16:49
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
With all the other noise going on in the tower, Rhijans almost missed the sound of the crumpling body collapsing on the stairs.  He spared a moment to look (making sure he left plenty of slack on the trip-cord he'd trailed out from the triggering grenade in the generator), and noticed Alates was down, and Juragga was towering over him.

Well...that takes care of THAT particular risk...  He turned back to Haarmon, bringing his free hand up to grab the kid by the shoulder and give him a mild shake, then hold him face-to-face.

"Kid," he began, with a level tone.  With more insistence, his voice still low, he added, "Dak!"  He'd never called Haarmon by name before, never had a literal face-to-face conversation with him.  If he didn't have lingering concerns about instantly giving them all away by being seen on surveillance without a helmet on, he would have taken it off, to further clarify the point.  He shifted his grip from Dak's shoulder to his neck, fingers curled around the back of the kid's head to help hold his focus steady on the dispassionate stormtrooper mask in front of him.

"You're the closest thing to a technician we've got here, and you've made it clear that we need to leave.  Is there anything we can do in a few seconds here to maximize the damage all this stuff is going to do to the shield generators?  The more we can set them back, physically, the more time we buy for the Intel guys to uncover other related operations and maybe infiltrate them.  Can we flip some switches, bump some settings...anything?  Or are we best off just pulling the pin and running like hell?"

If this is going to become a standard practice for us, I REALLY need to learn more about proper demolitions, he told himself, filing that in a mental note on the list of a few dozen other skills that he felt himself lacking.
Shard
 player, 560 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 21 Mar 2013
at 18:45
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Thump.

Shard stumbles, turning around prepared to snap off Alates' head.  As it happens, someone has already been there first, and the captain goes down, hard, on the stairs at her feet.  She looks up - waaaaay up - and nods to Juragga.  "Nice."

If the Wookie felt it needed to be done, then far be her to disagree; not from fear, but from trust for Juragga's choices.

Haarmon, on the other hand, looks like he's about to hyperventilate. Fortunately Rhijans is already there, calming the young man down and hunting for an explanation.  Pulling the pin?  I should have known...Rhijans and his explosives.  This place is about to go up in flames.

"Grab the captain, Juragga," Shard quietly requests.  "We'll carry him out.  But once he's clear of the blast, drop him - not on his head - and we're gone."  She smiles; it's bleak, but without the razor-edge of 'Nimadda'.  "If the Imperials want to execute him, that's their business.  But I'm not going to blow up a helpless man if I can avoid it."
Reldan Jalt
 NPC, 47 posts
 How much? That depends on
 how fast and how far.
Mon 25 Mar 2013
at 18:53
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Reldan, still in disguise, interrupts Rhijans' instructions.  "The shuttle has lots of guns, and the tower isn't shielded.  Why don't we just take off and blast all this from the air.  Admitted it means that we still have to get out past the ships up above, but that's better than trying to get out past a bunch of panicking Impies down here and the ships."

"That way we can walk back, nice and casual.  You can still pack the equipment with grenades, just on the off-chance they'll blow and add to the damage.  And if they don't, then that gives our hosts something to worry about while they're tidying up."

Haarmon Dak
 player, 233 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 25 Mar 2013
at 18:59
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Haarmon looked back and forth from Rhijans to Shard to Reldan to Juragga. He tried to calm down. Swallowed once hard and took a deep breath. Tried to focus on Rhijans' question. Eventually he shook his head. "No can do. I don't know the system. Or the generators. I could go in, poke around, but I'd be guessing. And it might not matter soon anyway. Which is why we gotta scoot."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 515 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 26 Mar 2013
at 02:09
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans scowled inside his helmet...his weighing options was almost audible in his voice as he spoke.  "I'd rather try and get through a crowd of panicking people down here than try and fly through their pickets after they saw us fire on the generator array.  But we don't have time to sit around and talk it through, apparently..."  He'd take the time to ask Dak what he did after they were back aboard the shuttle.

And then he got an idea.  "C'mon," he said to the other two.  They moved down to where Alates lay on the stairs...it was far enough from the grenades, with the platform floor acting as a kind of blast shield...

"If we leave him here, and tie this off, when he wakes up and starts moving, he'll pull the pin for us.  Take about four seconds to rig..."  His raised eyebrow wasn't visible, but the unspoken question was in his voice...Do we have time to do this?
Juragga
 player, 237 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 26 Mar 2013
at 04:32
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"RuuuUAAAAARRRR," Juragga complained.  The kid wanted them to skedaddle, he was all for skedaddling.  Thumping one Imperial had been fun, but they tended to swarm. Like Womp Rats.
Reldan Jalt
 NPC, 48 posts
 How much? That depends on
 how fast and how far.
Thu 28 Mar 2013
at 20:21
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"That has to be the single most ridiculous plan I've ever heard." Reldan says, "I love it.  It's so simple that none of the Impies will think of it.  They'll be scanning for mysterious transmissions and watching for squadrons of Y-wings coming in to bomb the place.  They won't think of looking for a length of line attached to a grenade."

"And even if he doesn't wake up by himself, somebody will come and move him eventually.  And with any luck, we'll be safely in hyperspace by the time that happens."

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 516 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 29 Mar 2013
at 08:50
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans allowed himself a grimly sly smile, even though nobody could see it.  He tied a simple hitch, fastening the cord to a belt loop on the back of the Captain's uniform and securing it with a basic knot, then flopped Alates on his back.

"Okay...let's get back to the shuttle before whatever Dak's worried about raises hell with our departure..."  He stood up, looking around at the group and then at Shard, with a slight gesture to proceed.

"After you, Lady Nimadda...I think we can safely claim to have found evidence of a hole in the security here that we need to go take care of, if anyone asks what the rush is..."
Shard
 player, 562 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 2 Apr 2013
at 12:56
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Shard slowly nods.  She's almost hyperventilating from the stress at this point - something has to go wrong, sooner or later, and the longer it takes the worse it'll be - but she's focusing and keeping it together.  Haarmon has something going, obviously, but won't say what, not yet.  Real flair for the dramatic, that kid.

"Works for me," she decides. "Set it up.  Sorry, Captain Alates."  With a shrug, she waves them on.  "Let's go.  If the place doesn't go boom on our way out - from grenades or Haarmon's surprise - we can always decide to fire on it as we lift.  Right now, this is a good start."

She starts to walk, not hastily but with purpose.  "But we're not in a hurry.  We act like there's a problem, we'll have a dozen administrators surrounding us in ten seconds flat looking to figure out what it is, what they can do to fix it, and who to blame it on.  It'll slow us down, even if 'Lady Nimadda' kills one of them as an example to the others."  She smiles grimly.  "They're just going to be glad to see us leave, quietly, and if anyone does ask, we have urgent business elsewhere."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 520 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 2 Apr 2013
at 15:18
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans nodded.  "Act like everything's normal, nobody will think to start asking questions about what's wrong."

He didn't actually think they'd be able to walk right out of the place without any challenge at all...but the more normal they made their departure, the less likely it was that they'd have every trooper in the place actively trying to stop them.
The Force
 GM, 374 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 4 Apr 2013
at 10:18
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
The group descend to ground level, and pick up the droids, prompting some questions from You-Why, "Where is the Captain?  Has he decided we don't need an escort?"

Artoo responds with a series of vaguely rude sounding noises.

The door opens, and they step out into the cool shade outside the structure.  The walkway lays before them, seeming to stretch for kilometres.  Past the control centre and onward to the landing platform, where the shuttle sits.

Reldan mutters as they start to walk, "Just need to make it to the good ship Sitting Duck, and we'll be out of here."

And then they're out in the heat again, leaving the shade behind, and ahead of them a squadron of stormtroopers leave the bunker and start to move towards the main walkway.  If they're heading for the tower, then Alates will be found long before the Rebel team reaches the shuttle.  The troopers approach the intersection...
Shard
 player, 564 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 4 Apr 2013
at 12:50
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"We're going to need an escort now," Shard mutters darkly as they approach the troopers.  She grits her teeth for a moment, then relaxes.  "Get ready.  I'm about to do something that might just backfire."

Won't be the first time.  Nor the last, most likely.

As they approach the stormtroopers, she lifts a hand and points to their commander.  "You - I require an escort to the landing platform.  Vanguard and rearguard, your troops will suffice.  ISB business; any tardiness in your own duties will be excused."
Stormtrooper 1
 NPC, 7 posts
 Are you sure those
 aren't the droids?
Mon 8 Apr 2013
at 09:53
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"Of course, Lady Nimadda."

The stormtroopers fall into position immediately, which provides Rhijans and Reldan with instant camouflage, but does little to conceal anybody else.

The newly expanded group continues along the walkway towards the landing platform, the troopers marching in lockstep.  Up to the platform itself, and the waiting shuttle.  It all seems to be going smoothly so far...

Shard sets foot on the ramp and starts up into the ship.  The extended escort stops at the foot of the ramp and waits for the ISB agent to disappear into the interior, and then starts to move away.

Reldan drops into his piloting position, throwing the stormtrooper helmet across the cockpit.  "Right, let's get out of here before the Moff hits the fan.  Everybody find a seat and strap in."

He starts activating systems, and the drives hum to life as the pilot runs through an abbreviated checklist, "All good?  Check."
Shard
 player, 567 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 8 Apr 2013
at 12:40
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"I don't believe it," Shard whispers as the stormtroopers leave without a single word of question or complaint.  Sometimes the Empire's monolithic power works to the rebels' advantage.  Sometimes they don't get hit with a last minute mistake or coincidence.  Sometimes...sometimes things work out.

Her hands are shaking and void, but she needs a drink.

"Not done yet."  Rousing herself, Shard glances around at the others.  "I'll keep the suit on for the moment -" she hates it, less for it's representation than for the fact that it's less-than-comfortable "- but everyone else, get ready for fast moving.  Get what you need, belt in where appropriate, and Reldan, make cursed sure you send our authorization codes and whatever else we need to leave.  Don't hurry, do it right."

Turning, she spears Haarmon with a narrow-eyed glare.  "Haarmon.  Spill.  What did you do?"
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 523 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 8 Apr 2013
at 17:25
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans dropped into a seat where he could cover the ramp.  Just in case...

He made sure he was out of view of anyone outside the shuttle before he peeled off the helmet.  "Go easy on the kid...he saw a window and did something.  Woulda been nice to know about it earlier, of course..." he conceded.

"But I would've done the same thing if an opportunity presented itself."  He looked away from the ramp to glance at Dak.

"Just what did you do, anyway?"
Reldan Jalt
 NPC, 49 posts
 How much? That depends on
 how fast and how far.
Thu 11 Apr 2013
at 13:18
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
The ramp closes, sealing the shuttle off from the outside, as the engine hum increases in pitch.  "Here we go." Reldan Jalt calls out, and the ship starts to lift, climbing away from the platform as the S-foils deploy into flight position.

"Er... I don't want to worry anybody, but I think the Impies might have figured out that something isn't quite right.  Seems to be some activity down there."

The shuttle banks, hard to port, and starts to accelerate away from the facility, while still climbing...
Haarmon Dak
 player, 235 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 12 Apr 2013
at 02:39
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Haarmon, meanwhile, was staring at the facility. He wasn't exactly sure what he was looking for, but he'd be damned if he could look away. He was so fixated on the planet, so intent on seeing the results of his data-bomb, that both Shard's and Rhijans' questions went almost totally unheard.

Ironically, it wasn't until there actually was some response that he shook his head and realized that he had some 'splaining to do.

He looked over at Rhijans, completely and totally ready to lay on some swagger and be all sorry-I-cant-hear-you-over-how-awesome-I-am. But once he opened his mouth to start the smack-talk, he found himself feeling almost shy. Maybe it was Shard's presence. Maybe it was Juragga's. Maybe it was the weight of what they had had just seen. But whichever the case, he was reluctant to make this about him. He was reluctant, in fact, to talk about it at all.

"I. Um. I put a virus in the system. A really bad one. Once it goes off, it'll erase their entire network. And send itself to everyone in every contact list it can find and do the same to their networks. Imperial security is too tight for it to get very far. But I put it into one of their terminals. Inside all their defenses. So it should. Should. Do a real number on the facility. Shut it down for a few days. Maybe a week. Maybe longer if their backups aren't up to date."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 524 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 12 Apr 2013
at 06:17
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
For one of the few times in his life, Rhijans looked at someone with unguarded awe.  Damn...this kid is GOOD, he thought.  There'd been no foreknowledge that something like this could be exploited, no real way of preparing for it, specifically.  The kid...Dak, he corrected himself...somehow, 'kid' just didn't quite seem to fit anymore...or at least, not at the moment.  He'd just taken what he had on hand and exploited the narrowest window of opportunity.

A chuckle that started as a surprised cough sprung from his throat.  "And to think, I was worried about doing enough damage on the shield array to set them back for a while.  That shield array will probably seem secondary...and if we're lucky, the virus will get into the fleet and put them out of commission for a while, too."  If they were REALLY lucky, the explosion in the shield array would get written off as an after-effect of the virus, or as something the virus was sent in to erase.

One thought did trouble him, though.  "Did you have time to copy any information about their program, while you were in there?  If we could hand over information about where components were being built, or how they were being shipped in, it'd complicate things even further for the Imperials.  Leave 'em wondering just how infiltrated their program actually was..."  There were further potential repercussions, but they'd all involve incredible amounts of luck, and he was feeling like they'd used just about all the luck they dared call on as it was.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 236 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 12 Apr 2013
at 13:40
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Haarmon did a little double-take at the chuckle/cough in Rhijans response. The part of him that still thought of everything in terms of seating hierarchies in the Senior School cafeteria took that noise and turned it into 'Pfft. That's nothing, kid. Us invincible tech ninjas do that all the time.'

Haarmon shook his head. Concentrated on the question. And while his response was both halting and uncertain, there was confidence in his voice to indicate that he knew (or thought he knew) what he was talking about.

"I wanted to. Would have. But the Imp was staring right at me and I didn't have the time. So all I got was this." He held up the stick the tech had given him. "We have whatever they wanted Nimdadda to see." He shrugged. "Maybe enough in there to find out more? Gimme a fast terminal, a slow week, and a few bottles of Mad Bantha Energy Drink, I could see what's what?"
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 525 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Sat 13 Apr 2013
at 03:39
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans gave a grin and a nod.  "Not bad...even if that doesn't have intimate details on the operation, it should give Alliance Intel some good cues about where to start looking for more information."  He almost...ALMOST...broke into a full smile.

"Now...if we can just get back home safely to deliver it..."  Setting back the operations was work well done--but if they didn't get a chance to report the situation to Command, it would only be a matter of time before the whole thing was back on its feet and churning forward again, without any hindrance.  They'd bought some time...now they needed to report in and get the payoff, what they'd bought time for...
Juragga
 player, 239 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sat 13 Apr 2013
at 05:08
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"UUuuhhhrUUUUUhhhhhn," Juragga rumbled.  Great job!  I knew you could do it!

And with that, the Wookiee moved to the gun turret of the shuttle.  If they had to shoot their way out, they were probably dead, but if he had to die, he would rather do it firing a weapon.
Shard
 player, 568 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 15 Apr 2013
at 12:47
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Shard sits in silence as the men bandy ideas back and forth, her head spinning.  Things have changed.  It's not guns and soldiers any more, or Jedi with energy blades.  It's viruses and software, war a distance.  Not such a bad thing, but something she doesn't comprehend.

Good thing they have their expert.

"Haarmon," she slowly begins, "if that thing works like you said it should, you've just given us the biggest chance we could have."  Gripping the arms of her chair with white-knuckled fingers, she thinks furiously. "I don't know how you did that so fast, but...here I thought you were coming out with information.  But you've got that and more.  You've...you've crippled them, for weeks.  I figured the sabotage would slow them, maybe enough to put together something fast and loose.  This?  Add the sabotage on top of it, and they'll be down long enough for us to plan something worthwhile."

"I'll put you in for a cursed medal." Her teeth bare in a not-smile.  "You take that information-stick and you bleed it dry.  And pray we get out of here to give what you get to Command."  Everything they've accomplished will be for nothing if they can't break through the blockade.

Not to mention we'll be dead.
The Force
 GM, 375 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 15 Apr 2013
at 19:10
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
The shuttle, nicknamed Sitting Duck by its pilot, rises higher, and moves away from the base.  "I'm going to try to put some horizon between us and the weapon emplacements on the tower." Reldan explains, "Just in case they decide that maybe the ISB inspector has gone rogue."

It's lucky there isn't a lot of traffic at this altitude, because Reldan has quite enough other things to keep an eye on: watching for pursuit, signs that anybody is shooting at them, movements among the fleet in orbit.  Luckily the things he has to watch for are suddenly reduced...

"There was an explosion back there!"

The pilot is correct.  Probably not a biggest explosion in the history of the Rebel Alliance, but enough to damage the tower.  The top section of the structure, including the huge dish, slowly topples sideways and crashes onto the sand.

Reldan pulls the nose of the ship upward, and it streaks towards the edge of the atmosphere, and the waiting fleet.

"Anybody feel like bagging a star destroyer while we still have some luck with us?"
Juragga
 player, 240 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Mon 15 Apr 2013
at 22:41
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Juragga hooted in enthusiasm and began warming up the popguns on the shuttle.  This was a Wookiee's idea of a good time!
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 526 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 16 Apr 2013
at 01:00
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans snorted audibly.  "Luck?  A Lambda shuttle against a Star Destroyer?  I think that'd take a helluva lotta luck.  And we've been spending it pretty heavily thus far."  He shook his head.

The Empire was down one major computer network...likely with seriously spreading complications attacking other systems that had been connected to it.  Their current pride-and-joy planet-based shield system was in a massive state of major disrepair.  And they had at least some intel about what all was going on with the rest of the project.

"Think we better save our luck for actually just making it PAST the Star Destroyers, actually..."  He shrugged, and looked at the others sitting with him in the passenger area.

"Odds are good SOMEONE is going to challenge our departure...anyone got any brilliant notions for a cover story?  It doesn't have to be air-tight...just gotta make them pause long enough for us to get too far away."
Shard
 player, 569 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 16 Apr 2013
at 12:30
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"Well, the grenade plan worked," Shui breathes.  Worked better than she'd hoped, to boot. "Let's hope everything else falls into place."  So to speak.  Her lips thin, she listens to Juragga's hoots of pleasure and Rhijans' cautious question.  "There's nothing we can do if they decide they really want us," she finally tosses in.  "We have to hope that Nimadda's codes -" how the heck had they gotten their hands on those, even accidentally? "- get us past the blockade, that nobody knows enough about what's going on that they're not going to chance disturbing someone of that level."

In other words, pray.

She slowly nods. "I say, stick with the codes."  A horrible suspicion has begun to brew in her gut, but she lets it pass for the moment.  "Assuming Nimadda isn't out there right now, they're our best bet for that hesitation you're speaking about." 
Haarmon Dak
 player, 237 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 16 Apr 2013
at 13:44
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Just when Haarmon thought the buzz was starting to fade, things started to heat up and his brain started sizzling and bopping once again. He looked around, happy for the presence of people who knew what they were doing. Up here, on the ship away from his terminal, he felt pretty useless.

But it was only a matter of time before someone down there set off his little bomb. He had originally wanted it to happen long after they'd left, so no one would connect them with it. But that ship had pretty much left orbit, hadn't it?

"Stick with the codes," he said, "Even if she is, it just means that they'll have to verify her identity. Or ours. And once they do that search, everything goes."

What he didn't say was that he just hoped that this shuttle's computer wasn't connected to the facility's network. That could be bad. But there was nothing he could do about that now.

"I'm, uhhh, going to run a quick back-up."

And he went over to the nearest terminal and started backing up all of the ship's vital systems. Quickly. Starting with navigation and hyperdrive. Just in case.
The Force
 GM, 376 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 18 Apr 2013
at 14:58
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
The shuttle breaks free of the atmosphere, and space ahead is full of motes of light.  A disconcerting number of them are moving, independent of the background.

The moving ones are growing bigger with every passing second.  The pilot slows down, a little, and holds a straight course, calling back to his passengers, "Let's try to act like we have nothing to hide.  And transmitting the codes now... "

"Meanwhile, Juragga's on one weapon station, but I could do with at least one more gunner, two if we can manage it.  Just in case they don't buy the whole 'casually strolling out of the exploding secret military establishment' thing."


He glances at a display on the panel in front of him, "Is somebody messing with the computer?"
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 527 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 18 Apr 2013
at 16:54
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans shrugged.  "I can tell you everything I know about starship gunnery in about fifteen seconds...but if it'll make someone coming after us have to dodge a little more incoming fire, I can man a weapon."  He'd never been in a situation where he'd needed to use anything larger than a hand-held weapon...never envisioned being in such a situation.

But that seemed to define a lot of his life, these days.  He'd also never envisioned impersonating a stormtrooper...and he'd done that.  Twice.  Never really envisioned sabotaging Imperial installations with explosives.  He'd done that, too.  Twice.  With a shrug, he made his way to another gunnery station, and strapped in and powered up to standby...Wouldn't make sense to be flying through friendly formations with weapons hot, after all...

If he ended up having to fire, he hoped it went well enough that he'd end up doing that at least twice, too...
Haarmon Dak
 player, 239 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Thu 18 Apr 2013
at 18:04
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Haarmon looked up and winced a little at the pilot's question. Did that mean it was starting? "Why?" he asked, all seriousness, "What's happening?"

Meanwhile, he tried to dump and back-up as much as he could as fast as he could.
Reldan Jalt
 NPC, 50 posts
 How much? That depends on
 how fast and how far.
Mon 22 Apr 2013
at 12:29
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"I just noticed some activity and wondered what was going on." Reldan explains, not taking his eyes from the instruments as his hands dance over the controls, "Did you spot something wrong?"

The pilot does glance around as Rhijans drops into a second gunnery position, then back to the instruments as an alarm warbles.  "Glad you could join us.  I don't think they're buying it - somebody just launched TIEs.  Everybody stay alert."  Then he puts the ship into a long, slow curve, intended to put the shuttle on a new vector without making it look like anybody aboard is panicking.  With luck the Imperials will mistake it for a planned course correction...
Shard
 player, 571 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 22 Apr 2013
at 13:29
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"Well, that's torn it."  Shard's lips thin.  Everything will be for nothing if they don't get back to the rebellion with the information; all they've done is slow the construction of this obscenity, not stop it.  She gives a quick nod to Rhijans as he heads off to man the guns - guns against how many TIE fighters? - but otherwise keeps her mouth shut to avoid distracting...well, anyone.

Haarmon is involved with something on his computer, Jalt needs to fly the cursed shuttle, Rhijans and Juragga on the guns...nothing more for her to do, here.  Supposedly the Jedi could reach across vast distances and manipulate objects and events...she can't.

And I'm a cursed lousy shot with ship's guns...Rhijans probably has me way beat with them.
Juragga
 player, 242 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Mon 22 Apr 2013
at 17:41
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Juragga, for his part, had the top turret warm and the guns fired up.  For whatever they were worth.  He figured the Impies would send out TIEs instead of just blasting them to atoms, and he'd been right.  So at least he'd get to take some of them down.

"RRrrrrrAAAAAhhhhhhhrrrrggggh," he yodeled. How's that hyperdrive coming?
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 530 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 23 Apr 2013
at 02:51
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans sat down and quietly familiarized himself with the gunnery station.  Well, at least there's SOME kind of fire-control on here...it won't all come down to just my skill.  Or lack thereof...  He hoped he wouldn't have to find out just how much assistance the computers would provide...

They'd made it back to the shuttle without incident, after all.  What could have happened in the few moments it took for them to lift off and get into orbit that would change that situation?  "If they were coming to try and take us down, wouldn't someone be sending some kind of challenge or something?  A stand-down demand of some kind?  Isn't that the way the Imperial military mind works?  "We're so powerful that you have no choice but to capitulate to us?"  Or have I just been watching too many holovids?"

It was hard to pick up...but there was an extra tension under the terse phrasing.  If things went wrong and they started shooting, he wouldn't be totally powerless to do something about their fate...but he would be utterly reliant on a skill that he'd never really had occasion to test out before.  It was a step up from helpless...but that step was a little too short for his comfort.

Focus on what you CAN do...  That mindset had kept him from losing his composure in many a tight situation...so he dropped into it once again.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 241 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 23 Apr 2013
at 12:51
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Haarmon called out over his shoulder, "Too many holovids. Those things'll rot your brain." And he laughed once in a slightly manic fashion. The pressure was mounting and his bravado was starting to return in response.
Reldan Jalt
 NPC, 51 posts
 How much? That depends on
 how fast and how far.
Mon 29 Apr 2013
at 07:20
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"Just a little longer, and I'll have our course laid in." Reldan calls out, "Hope the TIEs coope... what the... ?"

The pilot glances out of the cockpit viewport, then back to the instruments, then the viewport once more... "They aren't coming this way."  He goes back to work, plotting their course through hyperspace.  "There's another ship, a shuttle by the looks of it, and that's attracting their attention."  His fingers fly across the controls, as he inputs course adjustments, muttering to himself the whole time.  Minutes pass... too many minutes...

And then the comm comes to life.  "Shuttle Aldanium.  Stand down and prepare to be boarded, by order of Lady Ghea Nimadda."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 531 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 29 Apr 2013
at 07:39
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans flinched.  Those were words that he'd hoped to never hear uttered, especially on this outing.  "I'm voting we act like we never heard that and just keep going.  Anyone opposed?"  He wasn't THAT acquainted with Nimadda's reputation...but he didn't need to be to imagine what an Imperial agent would seek to do to anyone who spent time on-planet impersonating her.

But, with their cover officially blown, he did go ahead and switch the weapons under his control from 'stand-by' to 'active'.  There was nothing to be gained by pretending like they belonged there anymore...
Shard
 player, 573 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 29 Apr 2013
at 13:39
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"...I knew it," Shard sighs.  Of all the worst things that could happen, this is the one for which she's been waiting.  The sole good thing about the entire affair is that with 'Ghea Nimadda' already here, the arrival of the real one focused attention on her, first.

"Rhijans is right - keep it going, Jalt!" she shouts.  "We've got to clear the gravity well and get the hyperdrive running!"
Juragga
 player, 243 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Mon 29 Apr 2013
at 16:27
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Juragga brought his guns to hot status and hooted over his shoulder, "Punch it!"
The Force
 GM, 377 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 2 May 2013
at 08:04
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"Oh dear!  These organics have doomed us, R2.  My potential will never be realised."  UY at least has the sense to find a seat and stay out of the way...

"TIES coming in, they'll be here in seconds." Reldan announces, perhaps redundantly, followed by, "Damn!  This is the last time I fly somebody else's ship."  He starts frantically resetting controls on the panel and throws the shuttle into a series of sharp, random manoeuvres.

"Just hold them off a little longer!"

There is a series of impacts as laser shots spray across the hull of the ship.  "Move, you useless heap of druk!"

"I told you we are doomed."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 532 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 2 May 2013
at 08:12
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"Well...here goes nothin'..." Rhijans muttered under his breath.  He trained the weapons he controlled on the first TIE that entered his fire arc, and opened fire.

"At the very least, maybe I can make 'em think twice before coming in too close..."  It was a long-shot notion, at best...Imperial pilots were trained to pretty much disregard incoming fire--easier said that done, but being more afraid of the punishment for cowardice than of death tended to make reckless pilots.
Shard
 player, 574 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 2 May 2013
at 11:31
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Closing her eyes, Shard leans back in her seat, fingers white-knuckled on the armrests.  YouWhy's complaints fall into the background of desperate voices shouting orders and suggestions.  There's nothing she can do here.  She has no weapon that can touch the TIE pilots, and unlike her once-master, has no skill to reach out and attempt to befuddle them.

All she can do is wait.

Ghea Nimadda...concentrating, she brings the woman's face to mind.  Her thoughts flow into that curious space between emptiness and a storm of fear and rage, a balancing point between ice and fire.  Ghea Nimadda...are you there?  Does your mind walk among the stars?

They gave me your name, Nimadda.  How does it feel, to have them mistake a worn-out, tired woman for yourself?  Or does that description fit you, as well?


Someday she hopes to sit down across from the woman, compare notes.  For all of her viciousness, for all of her reputed evils, Nimadda might understand Shard.  Of course, she'd also try to (and likely succeed in) bisecting Shard with a lightsaber, but...hazards of such meetings.
Juragga
 player, 244 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Thu 2 May 2013
at 15:58
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
As the laser rounds began whanging off the shuttle's hull, Juragga needed no further encouragement.  If they were in range, they could be shot.

With a Wookiee yordle of defiant delight, he opened up with the shuttle's defensive turret, firing with great enthusiasm.  He sent his fury at the TIE Rhijans wasn't picking on, trying to set up a defensive pattern.

08:56, Today: Juragga rolled 22 using 4 dice with the WEG Classic system with rolls of 1,4,{Wild}6(+5),6. Starship Guns.
The Force
 GM, 379 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 6 May 2013
at 17:25
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Four TIEs streak past the shuttle, as Reldan jinks and veers to avoid incoming fire.  More laser bolts screech across the hull of the ship, bringing a stream of invective from the pilot.

Haarmon continues working on the computer, while Shard seems to be trying to stay out of the way as much as possible, and seems surprisingly calm...

Juragga and Rhijans open fire with the shuttle's forward mounted blasters, and the Wookiee howls as he hits one of the ties with a glancing shot which sends it spinning out of control.

Three TIEs left in the fight, and, "They're coming around for another run!" yells Reldan, as he throws the ship into a gut-wrenching rolling turn...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 534 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 7 May 2013
at 03:29
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans wasn't sure if the sensation of his stomach climbing up to his throat was due to the maneuvers Jalt was throwing the shuttle through, or if it was the notion that people could get hurt or even die if he wasn't able to hit one of the TIEs.  There was no time to dwell on it or ponder the significance of the feeling...introspection could wait for a time when someone wasn't trying to kill them.

He brought the weapons to bear on the trio of TIEs, trying to zero in on one of them as he fired off another shot.  Only a slight increase of tension in the set of his jaw betrayed his urge to mutter obscenities at the hardware as he hit the firing stud.
Juragga
 player, 247 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 7 May 2013
at 16:45
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Hooting in glee, Juragga realizes he's firing on manual. While he's done well so far - and would brag about it later, if there was a later - this was no time for showing off.  He quickly flipped on the guns' targeting scanner and lined up for another shot.  Bringing a TIE into his sights, he blazed away with unrelenting fury, roaring in determination.

09:45, Today: Juragga rolled 26 using 7 dice and +1 pips with the WEG Classic system with rolls of {Wild}6(+4),5,1,5,2,1,1. Starship Guns.
The Force
 GM, 380 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 9 May 2013
at 14:06
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
One of the remaining TIEs explodes in an expanding ball of plasma and debris as Juragga hits it with a hail of blaster fire.  The proportions aren't exactly clear, but what is clear is that luck, skill, and raw enthusiasm all play a part in the Wookiee's success.

On the other side of the ship, Rhijans is less accurate, but his constant barrage of blaster bolts at least gives the last two TIE pilots something extra to think about.

It may not be enough...  The fighters swoop past again, guns blazing, and the shuttle luches as something explodes inside it.  An alarm warbles.  "Sith spit!" Reldan curses as he starts hitting switches on the panel, then, "Artoo, we lost shields!"

The little astromech droid rolls across to start making repairs.

And Shard, seating in the passenger section, still seems unusually calm...
Shard
 player, 576 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 9 May 2013
at 15:52
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Shard closes her eyes, her mind in the eye of a whirlwind of void and heat, passion and dispassion, calm and rage.  A midpoint. "So," she whispers. "Are you just going to watch?  Or did you plan to speak?"

Amusement scuttles across her curious balance for a moment, like a furry squirrel along a delicate limb.

"Did you walk away?  Or were you trained that way?  I wonder." Slowly, she begins to peel open her own mind, preparing herself for conflict while opening herself for what might come.  Again, the balance.  The roaring, the cries, they flow about her like water about a stone, touching her but passing on.  There is literally nothing, here, that she can do.

Nothing but this.

"Listen to them," she chuckles.  "'Sith spit', from a man who barely believes in the Jedi or the Sith.  Left their mark, they did, but they're gone now.  Gone, and the galaxy is the better for it, isn't it?  No icy emptiness.  No rage and fear.  Just relics left now.  Relics like me, a building never quite completed.  Relics like you, as well."

Out goes her breath, in again.

"But you've probably seen the recordings of us by now.  Maybe even seen the surprise on my face when they gave me your name.  Didn't expect that, but I ran with it.  So.  You tell me...how'd I do?" 
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 535 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 9 May 2013
at 16:56
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Shields...  It was instinct, Rhijans analyzed their situation with one corner of his mind that wasn't focused on trying to make better sense of the fire-control interface with the weapons.  That meant they were still moving, still making progress...just more vulnerable.  And his aim seemed to be improving...marginally...maybe...

He did the only thing he could.  Tracking the weapons through their fire arc, he tried to anticipate where the TIE fighters would start their next run at the shuttle, to give himself the best chance of hitting one of them before they hit their target.
Juragga
 player, 248 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Thu 9 May 2013
at 17:34
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Roaring in protest as they lost shields, Juragga slammed his guns hard over and, using the targeting computer's help, rained fire down on one of the other roaring TIEs.

10:34, Today: Juragga rolled 23 (29 excluding the wild die) using 7 dice and +1 pips with the WEG Classic system with rolls of 3,6,{Wild}1,1,6,6,6. Starship Guns.
The Force
 GM, 381 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 13 May 2013
at 12:43
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Reldan Jalt throws the shuttle into a frantic series of rolling, twisting moves as laser fire streaks past.  He doesn't even have to look at the display to know what the newest alarm means.  "They're launching more TIEs!"

Shard sits quietly, looking surprisingly calm. 

The two fighters that are currently attacking the ship cross in front of the shuttle, curving around for another run.  The first suddenly spins away, shredding into a thousand pieces as blaster bolts strike it and rip it apart.  Juragga's aim has been almost uncanny. 

An instant later Rhijans shows that he has got the hang of the guns, as the second TIE blossoms into a red-orange flower against the star-dusted blackness of space. 

"Great work!  Now... just a moment."  Reldan's hands fly across the controls, and beyond the cockpit the stars expand into lines of light as the shuttle makes the jump to hyperspace. 

There is a chirping sound from the equipment bay.  Artoo has fixed the shields...
Shard
 player, 577 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 13 May 2013
at 13:01
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Shard laughs, a quiet sound. "A Jedi?  Hardly.  But lie to yourself if you want."  She's no Jedi, not any more; it's not self-deprecation, it's truth.  She wouldn't be a Jedi if she had the skill, because the mentality isn't there.

The older woman purses her lips at the threat; as such things go, it isn't bad, but it's not the first time she's heard such viciousness.  "Everyone needs a hobby," she whispers as Jalt announces their imminent departure.

"I can be yours."

And then?  Gone.  They're gone, Nimadda's gone, and for an instant Shard is left alone, and the fear hits.  Finally.  Yes, she's been threatened before.  And by experts.  It's not the threat, here, but who sits behind it.  "Never met anyone like her before," she murmurs, one trembling hand pushing a lock of hair back from her face.

Then she's up, on her feet.

"Fantastic work, everyone," the older woman calls out.  "Great job on the guns, Juragga, and nice save at the end Rhijans.  Thanks for getting us out of there, Jalt, and for getting everything Haarmon snagged from the Imperials back home.  You-Why, Oh-Oh, you're keeping up your ends as well."  You-Why hasn't done much on this particular voyage, but has been rather instrumental on others.

"Now...how long until we get back, Jalt?" She steals a finger under the collar of the uniform and tugs.  "I need to change."
Reldan Jalt
 NPC, 52 posts
 How much? That depends on
 how fast and how far.
Mon 13 May 2013
at 21:04
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"Be a little while, I'm afraid.  We'll need to go to Dor-Tennia first, to pick up the Bantha, then we can head for Mothessh." Reldan replies to Shard's query, and has the decency to sound at least a little apologetic.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 536 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 14 May 2013
at 00:31
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans quirked a crooked smile at Jalt's apology.  "I'd consider that highly advisable.  Somehow, I think the Colonel would be somewhat less than thrilled to see an Imperial ship coming into the system...if we were lucky, we might get a chance to actually identify ourselves before someone opened fire."

He struggled to contain the sense of relief he felt.  They'd gotten away...cleanly, as far as they could tell, but they were dumping the shuttle anyway, so if it was being tracked, it would be of minimal assistance to Imperial agents.  But he'd managed to get the last TIE fighter...while the ship had taken some light damage, nobody had been injured 'on his watch'.  His sense of relief over that was great enough that he didn't even really take note of the fact that he was more concerned about not letting the team down than he was about his own survival.

While he was prone to introspection, it didn't often lend itself to the kind of soul-searching that would make him that aware of himself.
Juragga
 player, 249 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 14 May 2013
at 23:11
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Juragga yowled in absolute victory as the Lambda-class shuttle tore into hyperspace, leaving the wreckage of several TIE fighters - and fresh onrushing ones - behind.

Clambering back down the gunwell, he leered in triumph at his claim of three kills.  As discussion comes around to their next moves, he yodeled his opinions.

"RowrRworRauruuUUUhhhRrrraaaarrrr," he commented.  He felt they should make sure to get a microburst to the Colonel ASAP, in case they were intercepted on the way to pick up their ship.  He also wondered if the Colonel wouldn't have some use for an Imperial Shuttle... for clandestine purposes, of course.
Reldan Jalt
 NPC, 53 posts
 How much? That depends on
 how fast and how far.
Thu 16 May 2013
at 20:20
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
"That, and I'm not keen on leaving my own ship parked in a cave somewhere while I'm flying about in this crate.  I thought it was going to rip itself apart during some of those turns back there."  Jalt is busy going over the instruments as he talks, making sure there is nothing wrong.  Suddenly he frowns and brings the heel of his hand down on the panel, hard, followed by a satisfied grunt and a shake of his head.

"For the moment we're in the clear.  I'd suggest everybody take the time to relax for a while.  It's not like we can do much of anything while we're in hyperspace.  When we get to Dor-Tennia we can go straight to the cave, trade ships, and run the Bantha straight home."

"Unless anybody's got anything else they want to do there?"

Haarmon Dak
 player, 243 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 17 May 2013
at 12:43
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Haarmon, having done about all he can do at the terminal, was forced to sit and wait while the others decided their fate. Sitting and waiting were not his list of favourite activities. But he cheered when Juragga bullseyed those TIEs and cheered again when it looked like they were in the clear.

But then Shard started talking in that long-ago-faraway voice. And the things she said...

Haarmon's feelings for Shard were complicated. Finding out she was a Jedi (or whatever) changed what had started as over-heated post-pubescent fantasy into something altogether different. But one thing hadn't changed: he cared about her well-being, and was worried about her.

"Shard?" he called out as she stood up, "You... umm...  you okay?"
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 537 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 17 May 2013
at 16:45
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Rhijans shrugged minimally at Jalt's final question...it seemed rhetorical to him, but with this group, you could never be certain.  "Given the importance of our payload, I'd say if anyone's got additional business, we should drop off the intel and take care of our debrief immediately after getting the Bantha, and THEN go back to take care of any loose ends."  He gave another dismissive gesture and added, "If the Empire manages to gather enough bits and pieces of stray data, the physical similarity between our group and their Osmur interlopers will give them suspicions.  If our appearance on Dor-Tennia is timed in such a way that we show up again on surveillance records at the same interval of time after their Osmur incident as we were there before, someone with a clever mind might start jumping to some uncomfortable conclusions."

He stood up from the gunnery station and began working on getting off the armor, or at least the outer shell pieces.  The stuff was not designed for comfort.  "And I think getting back to the Bantha as soon as we can is a good idea.  It's a good bet the Empire's got the transponder signature for this shuttle flagged, now...using it again before any major modifications is just asking for trouble."
Shard
 player, 578 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Fri 17 May 2013
at 22:30
Re: Part 12 - Osmur
Blinking, Shard turns toward Haarmon as the others shoot questions and answers back and forth.  "Agreed with...well, everyone," she calls out, still studying the young hacker and offering a thumbs up to Juragga.  "Straight back seems safest and most tactically sound."

With a sigh, she closes her eyes for a moment.  Snapping them open, she stumbles over to where Dak sits, her knees a touch weak.  "I'm fine, Haarmon.  Mostly."  Seating herself, she leans back, her spine aching.  "We...had a visitor.  Of sorts.  If you can believe that.  Ghea Nimadda decided to pop in and have a look at the people who had caused such a ruckus in her name."

Rolling her eyes toward him, she shrugs. "Rhijans would probably think I'm crazy for saying that.  He might be right about the crazy, but Nimadda certainly was here, in mind, or spirit, depending on what you believe.  We had a little chat.  The good news is, she's angry enough to chew through blast doors.  The bad news is, she's angry enough to chew through blast doors."

A sigh comes out as a laugh.  "But we made it, Haarmon.  We all made it this time."