Part 16 - Unsolved mystery.   Posted by The Force.Group: 0
The Force
 GM, 637 posts
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 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 2 Jul 2015
at 18:59
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
It isn't too long before Barsh enters an alcove and opens a fairly large access panel using a key cylinder,  Behind the panel is a vertical shaft with a narrow ledge around it, and a ladder which leads down into darkness below.  Barsh reaches into a storage locker inside the shaft and takes out a glowrod with an attached lanyard, which he hands to Shard before taking one for himself.

He clips the lanyard to a loop on his sleeve, then steps into the shaft to stand on the ledge.  "If you come in, it'll be cramped until we start down, but I can pull the panel closed.  Then we can go."

You-Why emits a mechanical sigh, "I have no idea where the Alliance missions were ambushed.  I have not been told.  With access to a terminal I may be able to find out, though there could be some risk if anybody is observing us.  It would be better if we were to ask an astromech droid, or other model with a datalink, to find out.  The main difficulty there is finding one that we can trust."

"I would suggest R2-O0, if Captain Jalt is currently in the base."


Juragga is too busy eating to worry about what Haarmon is doing.  Which is probably a good thing.  A Wookiee with ulcers is not a good thing.  If he knew that Haarmon was thinking of hacking into a secure system, so soon after the recent run-in with a security team, it would probably put him off his food for a week...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 837 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 3 Jul 2015
at 05:30
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans shrugged.  "Well, then, let's make for the hangar bay and see if our friends are there...and, if not, whether or not we can find a sufficiently random astromech to ping the system for the information we need."

He started off in that direction, and mused aloud, "We've got all these fragments of information...but nothing connects them.  Somewhere, there's got to be some kind of connection...or, if not, a thread that unravels the mystery behind all of this."  He took a few more strides in silence, then added, "Frankly, I'm starting to run out of ideas for which rock to flip over.  I thought we'd certainly have turned up something more concrete than what we have, by now..."
Haarmon Dak
 player, 441 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Sun 5 Jul 2015
at 15:59
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Haarmon had a rare moment of retrospection and self-doubt. Should he be doing this? Was this a little farther over the line than he wanted to walk? What if the goons all came back? What if the bad guys were watching for this?

He paused. And then shrugged and resumed. Just mean he'd need to be even more awesome than he usually was.
The Force
 GM, 638 posts
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Mon 6 Jul 2015
at 18:51
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"Oh, I quite agree." You-Why affirms, "There are no end of writers who earn large sums of credits creating mystery holodramas far less compelling and intriguing than this one.  In fact a great many of those holodramas are trite and uninteresting, yet they sell very well."

In Rhijans' quarters, Haarmon starts working feverishly at the terminal while Juragga works, equally feverishly, at the refrigerator. 

In the hangar, Reldan Jalt's Dancing Bantha looks a little the worse for wear.  The captain himself is stuck half way into a power distribution node, working on something, while his astromech droid seems to be working on the hyperdrive motivator.  The hull has been scarred and blasted by laser fire, and Jalt's curses can be heard across the hangar, even though his head is  deep inside the ship's  insides...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 838 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 6 Jul 2015
at 20:24
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans stepped up close to Jalt's position...not intimately close, but close enough that he didn't need to yell to be heard.  "Reldan," he said, announcing his presence...in case the spacer hadn't heard his approach with the protocol droid.  He was used to walking around alone...and walking up on people un-noticed, so it was habitual.

"If you can spare him for a few minutes, we need to borrow your astromech droid.  It's important."

While he was focused on the situation at hand, he wasn't totally without some sense of social protocols...and Jalt was a friend, or as close to one as Rhijans allowed himself to have.  He turned a critical eye on the ship.  "You have a run-in with something?" he asked.  The Bantha was, like many tramp freighters, never too far away from a critical breakdown somewhere...but it seemed to be in worse shape than Rhijans recalled.
Shard
 player, 872 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 7 Jul 2015
at 11:08
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"Right," Shard sighs.  "I'm not a huge fan of heights.  No comments about the sudden stop, I've heard that way too many times."

Taking the lanyard, she follows Barsh into the alcove.  The lanyard she clips to her sash after looping it a few times to shorten it.  There's no way she's hanging it off either arm; given her choice of weapons, it'll end up cut in half or swinging around to smack her in the eye the first time they get in a fight.

Not that she's LOOKING for a fight, but...experience tells her to expect one, now.
The Force
 GM, 639 posts
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Thu 9 Jul 2015
at 19:12
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Reldan Jalt extricates himself from the ship's innards and grins at Rhijans, "Rhijans!  It's been a while.  You want to borrow my droid?"  He gives R2-O0 an appraising look, "Well, I'm thinking of taking a break anyway so you can take him, just don't get him too banged up.  Oh-oh, get over here, Rhijans wants to borrow you!"

The astromech droid produces a series of noises which sound distinctly uncomplimentary.  Then it rolls across to Rhijans, chirping impatiently...

It doesn't take long for Shard and Barsh to reachthe bottom of the shaft, where they find themselves standing in a small junction with six narrow corridors radiating out from it.  The floors of the corridors are plain, unfinished ferrocrete, but the walls and ceilings are covered with complex layers of coloured pipes, conduits and access panels.

"Don't touch anything." Barsh instructs the Jedi, "A lot of this stuff is delicate and expensive."

"And some of the pipes contain volatile compounds."


He makes a big show of securing his blaster in its holster.  "I won't be using that around here.  A couple of hundred metres that way is a room with an armoured hatch, that we can seal ourselves behind.  Less exposed components and nothing flammable there."

He starts to lead the way...
Juragga
 player, 424 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Thu 9 Jul 2015
at 19:33
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Juragga let out a satisfied belch and sat back, weary from his food frenzy.  "WaaaaaRRRRRgggh," he commented. Not gourmet, but I'm full, was his report.

Then, noticing Haarmon working at Rhijan's console, he queried, Whatcha doin'?  Anything good on Tri-D?
Shard
 player, 873 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 16 Jul 2015
at 11:31
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"Spectacularly safe place to which you've brought us, Barsh.  First the dangerous pit, now the hallway full of explosive compounds," Shard gripes, following along in his wake.  She takes a few glances over her shoulder as she does, but keeps the death-stick in hand.  "More seriously, my sudden concern is that someone else might have come to the same conclusion about this being a good place to hide...we're concerned about a saboteur, aren't we?"

A grimace follows.  "I guess we'll find out.  But for now, let's keep it quiet."  With that, the older woman falls silent.  Of course, there are ways she can search ahead of them, Shard muses.  It'll just take a bit of effort.

Slowly she stills her mind, seeking the balance-point between frost and fire.  It's there; she knows it is, and has touched it more often in the last two weeks than in years.  Maybe, Shard considers, she's getting better at it.  Her teacher might be proud.

Void take him, anyway.
The Force
 GM, 640 posts
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Thu 16 Jul 2015
at 17:16
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Haarmon continues working for a few moments, then, "Huh?  Oh, I'm just taking a look at the security network.  There's Rhijans and You-Why, and some astromech droid.  They're up to something."  On the display the astromech is jacking in to a dataport, while Rhijans and You-Why loiter casually nearby.  The image flickers, and Haarmon laughs nervously as he makes adjustments, "Oops, that was close."

Barsh shakes his head, "I don't think so.  You need a key to get down here, and you need to know what you're doing if you want to do any specific damage.  Here we are."

The hatch is almost invisible beneath a layer of warning notices and technical specifications.  It swings open ponderously to reveal a three metre diameter spherical chamber, the interior of which is covered with hundreds of panels holding thousands of flickering lights.  Each light is labelled with a binary code.  "We're in the computer core, but there's no access to it from here.  The walls are a metre thick, but an expert can come down here and see into the core - there is nothing between the core itself and these indicators.  They're a pure representation of what's going on in there, if you know how to read them.  If somebody hacks into the system, the changes they make to hide that only affect the displays, not what is shown in here.  This room always shows the true state."

Barsh is speaking in a whisper.  He pulls the hatch closed and locks it.
Shard
 player, 874 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 20 Jul 2015
at 11:36
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"Clever," Shard mutters.  "Though I can't read a thing on this." She frowns.  "Do the comms reach out through here?  Or is it too thick?"  There should be some kind of electronic ingress and egress; it can't be completely sealed.  Only it's likely hardwired, with any wireless outside of the core.

Aaaaand...that's the extent of her knowledge of such things.

She's a tad concerned about being locked in here with Barsh, but unless he's a fine actor Shard is pretty convinced that she can deal with any issues that arise.  Close quarters actually favour her.  But she makes sure to keep some distance between the pair of them.

Personal space, and all.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 839 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 20 Jul 2015
at 18:07
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans knelt down next to the astromech droid, so he could voice his request quietly enough to avoid drawing attention, should anyone in the bay be working with Reise.  "I need the locations of the Imperial attacks on Alliance operatives...in order, as they happened.  And I need to cross-reference that list with the missions flown by Volan Reise, as he was delivering cargo."

He didn't bother adding anything about covering tracks...he was pretty sure the R2 unit understood the need for secrecy.  He lookedat You-Why.

"You can save him a little time...give him that list of deliveries Reise made, it's that much less data he's got to sift through to get us a usable answer."
The Force
 GM, 641 posts
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Mon 20 Jul 2015
at 19:03
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Barsh frowns, "It's too thick, and too heavily shielded.  The only thing that gets through is just plain old power for the indicators, fed directly through cables.  Since this room represents the health of the core, so to speak, they don't want anything interfering with it and giving false readings."

Around the pair, the myriad tiny lights continue to flicker, ephemeral patterns forming and dissolving moment by moment.  "I can't get much out of either."  The clerk indicates a pulsating constellation near the upper pole of the room, "For all I know, that means somebody is hacking into the security systems.  Or maybe using an astromech droid to access base records... "

Oh-oh jacks into a data socket and whistles quietly as he works, swivelling his domed head to look at Rhijans as the man specifies what he needs.  You-Why translates, "He says that there are no direct correlations.  None of the deliveries were dropped in systems where missions from this base were hampered by Imperial forces."

And then the small droid starts chirping excitedly, a stream of rapid fire whistles and beeps follows, "He says that, after the delivery was made at Faimudin, there was a request for information on the progress of their requisition from a cell on Altomen, which is close to Faimudin."  A pause, and then, "It seems that Captain Reise never delivered any of the proton torpedoes to the proper locations, though his documentation showed that he did.  In each case, the Imperial presence in the system that ordered the torpedoes, which was not necessarily the location where he was supposed to deliver them, was increased dramatically."
Juragga
 player, 425 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 21 Jul 2015
at 03:16
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Juragga ambles over and leans in to see what Haarmon's doing.  And what's going on on the other end of that monitor.

"Mhhhhhhhrrf," he groaned.  He felt they should be out doing something, not just sitting here.  But then, Haarmon was doing something.  It was the Wookiee that felt idle.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 840 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 21 Jul 2015
at 06:22
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans' eyes narrowed at the news.  "Are there, actually, any Alliance groups operating in the systems where he made the deliveries?  And what kind of Imperial presence is in them?"

He wasn't getting much closer to closing up the security breaches within the base, itself...but this was turning into a pretty damning case against Reise.  The trick would be getting it all to Kourene, if Reise had some kind of inside connection at the Colonel's office.  He couldn't get away from nagging suspicions on that one...and, for now, he didn't indulge any of those suspicions.  The situation was enough to induce very real paranoia...the kind that went beyond healthy suspicion to a crippling fear...and he didn't have time for that.  He acknowledged to himself that there appeared to be a problem and kept working, mentally...there was at least a thread here, to be pulled.  With some luck, that pulling would either prove or disprove the suspicions, and enable him to do something constructive about the situation.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 442 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 21 Jul 2015
at 12:38
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"I hear you, Rags." Haarmon muttered. So far this show was a real let-down. Watching Rhijans talk with Jalt and the trash can was boring. And who knows where Shard and whatssisface got off to.

He cocks a sardonic eyebrow at his friend. "I wonder if I could find Kourene? He can't all the way off the grid. You think? Worth the try?"
Shard
 player, 875 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 23 Jul 2015
at 11:44
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"Fair enough.  Better sit down.  We're going to wait a bit, then stick our noses up for a report." She slides down the wall, taking her own advice.  "We'll need to do that.  If there's no comm, I have no idea how things are progressing up top, and we can't stay here for days."

Cocking her head to the side, Shard purses her lips thoughtfully.  "So.  You've had some time to think.  Anything more on this situation come to you?"
The Force
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Thu 23 Jul 2015
at 18:21
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Barsh settles down and gives Shard a rueful smile, "Yes, as a matter of fact.  Never ask a smuggler for help impressing a girl."  He looks around the chamber and chuckles, "You know, I'm surprised these rooms don't all have caches of food and weapons in them - they'd make ideal hiding places for spies and saboteurs.  I suppose that's why the owners try to keep their existence a secret as much as possible."

Artoo whistles something on a rising note, which You-Why translates for Rhijans' benefit, "That is just it.  It appears that Captain Reise was providing information that pointed to his having delivered the weapons to the correct locations, but the information was not accurate.  We have no way of knowing where he actually did deliver them.  Also, the Alliance cellss that ordered them all reported increased Imperial activity in their own systems."  The astromech droid adds a string of noises.  "Really?  You think that is the case?  He suspects that Captain Reise stole the weapons in order to sell them himself, and sold the locations of the Alliance cells to the Imperials."

And, without waiting for Juragga's permission, Haarmon starts running a pattern recognition routine, coding and recoding it, making it more and more refined as he searches for Kourene...

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:17, Mon 27 July 2015.

Juragga
 player, 426 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sat 25 Jul 2015
at 02:54
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAArrrrrgh," Juragga rumbled.

I have a bad feeling about this.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 841 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 27 Jul 2015
at 05:27
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans' face darkened in a scowl as the information that the astromech was providing suggested a perfectly solid way to set Reise up as a source of misinformation...now that they'd put everyone in the base on alert about him being a spy.

At least they had a solid connection to him being less-than-honest, and a strong suspicion of what he was doing.  "So, Reise gets tapped to deliver a weapons order...which gives him weapons to sell.  He's also got the delivery location to pass along, either to an Imperial agent or to an information broker who'll pass it along to an Imperial agent, which gives away the presence of Alliance troops."

It was enough to pass on to Kourene...if and when the Colonel turned up.  But it might not be everything...

"Do all the missed shipments-turned-attacked locations correlate to Reise's missed deliveries?  Or are there any of them that might be evidence of this being more than a one-man operation?"  If Reise had any buddies helping him with this scheme, there should be a few other traceable connections, as well.
Shard
 player, 876 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 27 Jul 2015
at 15:36
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Shard can't help but laugh. "Point taken.  Smugglers are just a bunch of nerf-herders, in general.  Probably scruffy to boot."  She considers most of the smugglers she has known, and shakes her head ruefully.

Though, there was that one back on Bandic III...

Another shake of the head dispels the memory, sending it tumbling into the back of her mind to lurk, awaiting an opportune moment.  Shard shrugs.  "I'd agree.  Though I'd expect more a bottle of wine and a basket of sweets, or something.  Seems a good place for hidden rendezvous."  She lets out a slow, whistling sigh.  "We're going to need to leave here for the fresher, as well," the older woman grumbles.

Then she purses her lips.  "So, that does bring about a question.  Remind me: how many other people are even aware of this hidey-hole?"
The Force
 GM, 643 posts
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 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 27 Jul 2015
at 16:39
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"It's all right." Haarmon reassures the Wookiee, "I've thrown together a routine that uses the security network to find Kourene.  If he's on the base, or at least within range of the visual monitoring systems, it'll find him and alert us."

"No problem."

You-Why listens to Artoo's response, and relays a translation to Rhijans, "There is a one hundred percent correlation.  It appears that Captain Reise was the sole connection at this end."

"Of course, there is no way of knowing who he passes the weapons and information on to, before it reaches the Imperials, but I believe that it is safe to say that if Captain Reise is stopped, the leak here will be plugged."


Barsh shrugs, "Let's see... there's probably only the tech teams who actually know about this room, and only the Quartermaster has a key to the service tunnels.  At least he did, until I stole it it a few minutes ago."

"So anybody who wants to get into here has to come by the stores desk, ask for the key, show a work order that requires them to enter the tunnels, and hope that nobody else has the blasted key at that time."


He spreads his hands, shaking his head, "Why did you have to mention the fresher?"
Shard
 player, 878 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 28 Jul 2015
at 12:26
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"So we're ahead of the game," Shard muses.  "Anyone wanting to come down here will need to...I don't know, burn through a pressure door."  She snorts, a quick gust of amusement. "Could attract attention."

The amusement fades at Barsh's complaint.  "You should have gone before we came down here," Shard continues with a slightly sardonic smile.  That fades as well.  "Sorry.  Hang on for a while.  We'll need to stick our heads up to get a read on what's happening.  If you can manage for a bit, that'll do.  We should pick up some food and something to drink, as well."

The former padawan pushes herself up, back against the wall.  "We're not staying here forever, and not even that long.  It's nonsensical.  We needed to get you out of the bullseye; if a few hours pass, whomever is hunting you to shut you up will start figuring they've missed their window.  The information will already be out, too many people will know...they'll need to start thinking about running more than killing."  A shrug. "Assuming someone is actually hunting you."

The smile returns.  "I'd...rather not take the chance, and I'm sure you feel the same."
The Force
 GM, 644 posts
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 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 30 Jul 2015
at 18:55
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"Well... there was the mob at he detention block.  But at that point we weren't being quite so careful, so there wasn't really a need for any actual hunting.  Anybody who heard that I was escorted out of the infirmary could have guessed that the detention block might be my next stop." Barsh says thoughtfully, then essays a smile that's almost completely worry free, "Maybe I'm in the clear already."

The terminal starts to flicker images in rapid succession, none of them current.  All of them show Kourene at different places around the base.  The most recent one is of him boarding a ship, a freighter, together with two of his ranking officers.  A quick cross-check reveals that many of the base's senior personnel boarded several ships, approximately three hours ago...

You-Why continues to translate the astromech droid's report.  "There were no other Captains who displayed such a close correlation with Imperial interception of operations.  There were a few incidents that Captain Reise could not have been responsible for, and there were a few occasions when missions he would have known about were not compromised.  But he can be linked to almost twice as many failed operations as anybody else on the base, with the exception of Colonel Kourene."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 843 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 30 Jul 2015
at 20:28
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans nodded.  "That's enough for me.  If anyone else could be more culpable, it would be the Colonel...and if he was the spy, he wouldn't have included additional personnel to find him, he'd most likely have left it to Security, with him keeping a close eye on things."  There was still a chance that the Colonel could have been involved...but it was a slim chance and Rhijans was almost willng to completely dismiss the notion as a product of his own over-developed sense of suspicion.

"Can we get a current location on Reise or the Colonel?"  One would remove the threat, the other would fulfill the mission they'd been given.  Either way, it would mean everyone could relax and breathe a little easier.