Part 12 - Osmur.   Posted by The Force.Group: 0
The Force
 GM, 338 posts
 These aren't the dice
 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
 These aren't the dice
 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
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
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
 These aren't the dice
 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.