Part 16 - Unsolved mystery.   Posted by The Force.Group: 0
Haarmon Dak
 player, 444 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 12:56
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Haarmon looked up at Juragga as Kourene's travel route solidified from the various bits of data. His left hand picked idly at his wound as he spoke.

"So he's off-base. And all his high-muckety-mucks too. You wanna dig a little deeper? See if we can find where he went?"

Haarmon started really digging into the depths and guts of the base's datafiles. High-ranking officers left large swaths of data behind them everywhere they went. No matter how secretly they tried to move, they had secretaries and admin staff and subalterns and minions by the dozen, all of whom needed them for something pretty much all the time. All it took was for one of them to jot something down, make a note of something somewhere, a way Kourene or whoever could be reached, when he'd be back, how far he was going, a note to pick up a kid a souvenir from Planet A or B, or a good friend some liqor that can only be found in System X, anything, and that would give Haarmon enough hand-hold to dig deeper.
Shard
 player, 879 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 15:45
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"The people trying to kill you because they figure you're the saboteur, that's another matter," Shard points out.  "For that, we NEED to stay down here until the colonel has the information and can issue an all-points that it wasn't you.  At least, not really."  Uncomfortable point, that.  "At that point, I won't have to worry about being forced to kill perfectly good associates because they've got a Bantha in their collective bonnet."

Rue touches her, dark and amused.  "Or be killed by them, I suppose."

"So," she continues, leaning her head back, "we need to be careful."  It's cold against her hair and she relaxes slightly, letting the soothing feeling seep into her scalp and wash away her stress.  "Wish there was more you could remember," Shard muses.  "Like, your 'friend' said something really revealing in front of you.  Only that's something for the vids."

Her head snaps down, her gaze frank and shadowed with sorrow.  "You know you're probably going to have to leave.  Go to another base.  For your protection.  Whatever the colonel says, there might always be people who figure that where there's smoke, there's fire."
Juragga
 player, 428 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Wed 5 Aug 2015
at 03:24
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Juragga moaned a plaintive wail of impending doom.  He had a very bad feeling this was going to get them caught and in all kinds of trouble.
The Force
 GM, 645 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 6 Aug 2015
at 16:09
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"The whereabouts of Captain Reise are not recorded in the base computer, and Colonel Kourene is currently noted as not on site." You-Why translates after a longer pause, "The only information on the Colonel is that he boarded a ship, and is off-world, but the name of that ship is not specified."

Like the astromech droid helping Rhijans, Haarmon digs deeper, with similar results.  The information that is given is that the Colonel boarded a ship, and left the base.  The only further information he can find is that the Colonel, and the other officers, should be back later today.  But the name of the Colonel's ship, and its departure time, are never listed... and none of the ships have flight plans on record (which, admittedly, isn't too uncommon for smugglers and freighter captains working on the wrong side of the law. 

And just then a red light starts winking on the monitor... 

"Not necessarily.  I can think of a number of different chemical reactions that produce plenty of smoke with no fire.  A lot of them are used in smoke grenades."  Barsh's face drops, "But yes, I see your point.  I wonder if Kourene would be prepared to put in a word for me?  Tell people that it was all a set up to expose Reise as a traitor.  Maybe you could have a word with him for me?"

"And no, I can't think of anything revealing that Reise said."

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:19, Fri 07 Aug 2015.

Shard
 player, 880 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 6 Aug 2015
at 17:07
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Shard snorts as he takes apart the analogy, but then perks up.  Her brows knit together and she hunches forward, mind racing.  "That's not a bad idea, Barsh," she finally states, the words starting slow then speeding up as her relief builds.  "Not a bad idea at all.  Might work out!"

Laughing quietly, Shard then shakes her head.  "'Maybe'?  Cursed straight I'll put in a word for you.  This isn't your fault, Barsh, and I'd be happier seeing you getting on with whatever life you have hear.  You've held up under this void-cursed mess, and you deserve better.  No question I'll put this to the colonel."

Still chuckling, Shard settles down again. "Not a bad idea at all," she repeats.  "Should have thought of it myself.  Nice, Barsh.  Rebellion needs thinkers like you."  She squints at him, an exaggerated expression of consideration.  "Try not to get killed," the older woman offers, more quietly this time.

Her lips purse. "Haarmon," Shard mutters as the thought suddenly comes to her.  "You know, we might not have to duck out of here to figure out what's going on," she slowly states.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 844 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 7 Aug 2015
at 06:52
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans scowled even more deeply.  The Colonel and a lot of ranking members of his staff off-site...

"When was the last departure for Reise's ship?" Rhijans asked...and flipped through Kourene's list once again, looking for Volan Reise.  Two scenarios played in his head...one he could dismiss as over-developed suspicion, but the other had a couple of possible conclusions that could have blood-chilling repercussions.

"Specifically, where does it fall in relation to the departure of the Colonel and the other brass?"
The Force
 GM, 646 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Sun 9 Aug 2015
at 18:16
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
R2-O0 whistles and chirps, and You-Why replies angrily, "Yes, this is important, and I am quite sure the work on the ship can wait.  The faults will still be there when you get back."

The astromech droid continues making noises to itself quietly, for a few seconds, and then becomes more vocal again.  "He says that the Colonel's transport left just a short while ago, some time in the last few hours, whereas Captain Reise was last here three days ago."

Barsh nods enthusiastically, "Yes, I always try not to get killed.  I'm pretty good at it so far."  Then Shard's mention of Haarmon catches his attention.

"What about Haarmon?  Does he have a plan to get me out of this mess?"
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 845 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Sun 9 Aug 2015
at 18:36
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans nodded, some vague sign of relief creeping into his features.  The information was enough to allay concerns of impending doom, at the very least.  He scowled slightly, and looked down at the R2 droid.

"Just one last thing, and then you can return to helping Jalt with the ship..."  His jaw flexed involuntarily as he cinsidered actions to take, depending on the answer he got.  "Does Reise' flight history show any pattern of duration?  If so, how soon should he be returning, assuming this most recent flight is a standard one for him?"

Three days would mean Reise had departed before Kourene had given them the assignment to find the spy...which could mean he'd be coming back under the assumption that everything was normal.  If that was the case...

That would give them an excellent opportunity to detain him before he could let anyone know his cover was blown.  Assuming he didn't have an inside collaborator that could give him warning...
Shard
 player, 882 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 11 Aug 2015
at 16:54
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"He might," Shard quietly replies.  "Give me a minute, Barch.  I need to think.  This situation might be complicated - our situation, right now - but there might be an easy way through it.  So cultivate un-killability for a bit." Pursing her lips, she leans against the wall and stares into the distance, her eyes unfocused.  She might as well be searching a distant star with her gaze.

And, as a matter of fact, metaphorically that's not far off.

Haarmon.  She knows him.  Knows his sight, knows his laugh - the sharp, nervous one - knows his twitchy movements.  And, most importantly, knows his spirit.  She has, after all, touched it only recently.

Shard seeks balance.  Struggles.  Relaxes.  Hunts for the fulcrum she has come to realize is the pivoting point about which her life turns: care.  Care for the innocent, care for her friends, and a desire to protect springing forth from that care.

And her thoughts spring forth like petals on the wind.

~ Haarmon.  Can you hear me? ~

This message was last edited by the player at 16:54, Tue 11 Aug 2015.

Haarmon Dak
 player, 446 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 02:30
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Speaking as someone who's spent most of his life snooping around in other people's business, Haarmon was impressed by both the effort and the results of Kourene's attempts to maintain secrecy. I mean, sure, he had his life and the lives of his whole base or whatever at stake, but still. It was pretty badass sith-ninja awesome.

Which just made Haarmon grit his teeth down and try all the harder.

Windows and programs and data scroll across the screen at a dizzying rate as Haarmon starts writing scripts to scrub through the depths and guts of the mainframe. Somewhere in there was a series of 1's and 0's that hinted at Kourene's location.

Haarmon wanted it.

His eyes narrowed and his gaze flickered at the blinking red light. He looked at Juragga nervously. Several times.

"That's..... uh.... not a problem. I can fix that."

And then back at the screen.

Then, right in the middle of his pretty elite slice job, he heard Shard, plain as day, in his head. And he wasn't dying. Or in pain. Or hopped up on Bacta. Or anything.

His hand went to his chest and started rubbing his wound.

~ Shard? ~ He tried to think back. He wasn't sure what he was doing exactly but he tried to THINK her name real hard. ~ Is this real? Are you... you know... ~ a flickering image of Shard in a dark robe and cowl moving her arm back and forth in not-the-droids-you're-looking-for kind of way... ~ And yeah, I can hear you. Does it count as hearing if it's not your ears? ~"

]

This message was last edited by the player at 14:50, Thu 13 Aug 2015.

Shard
 player, 883 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 13 Aug 2015
at 14:46
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Success.  In a way.  Shard focuses, barely managing to grasp Haarmon's reply - it fades in and out, but never completely, and she captures the meaning.  Including the imagery.  Well.  At least her altered clothing has coverage, rather than going the opposite direction.

Disturbing thought.

~~ Yes, it's really me.  And I'm doing...that, and 'hearing' is as good a word as any.  I'm holed up with Barsh right now, in the computer core.  Comlinks can't penetrate this deep.  I need to know the situation. ~~

There's a short pause.  Then she continues, her voice laden with concern. ~~ You seem...better.  Than before.  How bad is your injury? ~~
The Force
 GM, 647 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 13 Aug 2015
at 16:20
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
The astromech droid continues muttering to itself, and occasionally directing vaguely rude noises towards You-Why.  Or possibly Rhijans, it's hard to be sure.  Eventually, though, it tells You-Why something which he decides is worth translating.

"Captain Reise always seemed to follow a somewhat erratic schedule.  Intervals between his visits ranged from one to six months, overall, with recent intervals averaging two months.  More or less.  Though, if you are hoping to anticipate his arrival, he would need to send a coded communication before landing to prevent interception by the base defences."

Haarmon continues to work, though he seems distracted by something...  Meanwhile the warning keeps flashing...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 846 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 13 Aug 2015
at 16:49
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans nodded, thoughtfully.  That was at least one crisis that didn't appear to need quick resolution.  "So, the final confirmation would be, I suppose, to find out what and where he was issued...and see if there's any Imperial action there within the next few weeks.  From what we picked up earlier, I think we can get that info from the Quartermaster."

He looked down at the astromech.  "Thanks, Artoo.  I would have been weeks trying to get all that through 'proper channels'..."

He made uis way back over to the Bantha, tracking down the ship's captain.  "Hey, Jalt," he began as he approached, by way of anmouncing his presence so he wouldn't surprise the man.  As he got close enough to drop his voice so they wouldn't be readily overheard, he asked, "Do you know anything about Volan Reise?  Beyond the base-wide announcement a little while ago, that is," he clarified.  If anyone would know more about flying a ship, it would be another captain, as much or more than base records.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 447 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 18 Aug 2015
at 13:07
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Haarmon gives the blinking light another slightly anxious look and then Juragga a slightly more anxious look. But most of his attention was on maintaining the tenuous, fragile connection he had with Shard. He bore down with all of his might and tried to keep her image in mind as strongly as he could. But he was not a man much used to policing his own thought processes, so it was like trying to catch an oiled-up duneclaw.

He tried to keep it simple. Short words. Heavy on the images. No ornamentation (which was even harder than policing his thoughts).

This message was last edited by the player at 18:18, Tue 18 Aug 2015.

The Force
 GM, 649 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 20 Aug 2015
at 17:04
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Reldan Jalt pulls his head out of the access panel that currently has his entire attention, despite his recent declaration that he was about to take a break.  He blinks confusedly at Rhijans, before shaking his head, "Reise?  Can't stand him.  Man's full of bantha poodoo.  Wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw that pile of junk he calls a ship.  If only a quarter of the stories I've heard are true, that's way too many."

"Finished with my droid?"  R2-O0 rolls past chirping quietly...

Barsh watches Shard quietly, realising that she's concentrating on something.  He assumes she's trying to think up a plan to get him out of here.  Of course he doesn't realise that she's focussing on something else entirely...


Juragga starts howling, hooting and growling, waving a fist in the direction of the blinking tell-tale.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 448 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Thu 20 Aug 2015
at 17:09
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Haarmon relaxes his concentration a smidge. Just enough to give Juragga a sideways glance. "If they are coming, then distracting the computer guy with lots of warbling ain't the smart move, huh?"

He gives the blinking light another look and types a few lines of code. But most of his attention is reaching through space and trying to keep the connection with Shard. She clearly wanted something from him. There were easier ways to make conversation.
Shard
 player, 886 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 20 Aug 2015
at 18:38
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
So far, so good.  But it's not easy, and obviously some things aren't getting through.  Shard struggles not to focus harder, knowing from bitter experience that will only make things worse.  Instead, she seeks to release her tension, relax further.

Success is a balm to her spirit, and she slumps slightly in place, breathing evening.

The news is good, so far.  Juragga with Haarmon (hardly surprising), Rhijans hard at work (also not surprising) but with Jalt and an R2 unit (this does come as a surprise).  Haarmon well, recovering.  And worrying about a scar (once again, hardly surprising).

It's enough to almost make her smile, despite her deep relaxation.

Having absorbed the message, Shard reaches out again, seeking the threads of their link to guide her own words back to the busy programmer.  She desperately hopes there are no other sensitives nearby; if so, they might capture her message themselves.  While risk is acceptable, she can't help but worry Ghea Nimadda has pulled the same trick back on them, and infiltrated their base.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 848 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 21 Aug 2015
at 06:59
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans nodded.  "We are...and he's been extremely helpful.  Thanks for sparing him to us for a few minutes."

He glanced over at the droid, and then back at Jalt.  "Any of these stories you've heard mention places he's likely to be found? When he's not around here, anyway..."

It was a long-shot...and he didn't want to spend a lot of time getting into it.  He'd have more use out of arguing with the Quartermaster about the records for Reise's latest requisition...at least, until he pointed out the damning pattern of Reise's failed deliveries followed shortly by Imperial raids.

But he'd feel a lot better approaching the base Security officer with the whole thing if he could also include some mention of where the man had likely gone.

Besides, it was instinctive.  He'd been told to track down the spy.  Now they had a name...but he'd spent years working on finding the actual person, not just putting a name and face to someone's question mark.  He might not be sent to bring Reise in...but he still wanted to know where the guy was.
The Force
 GM, 650 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 24 Aug 2015
at 17:00
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Jalt thinks for a long moment.  "Never paid much attention to him really.  I heard he likes to deal with the Hutts, but he doesn't seem that stupid, so he must have something to offer them that keeps him on their good side."  he shrugs, "But that's all just rumours.  Can't say how much truth there is in it, but he might be over at Trilvess-Nene, Eonakos... maybe Lattooine.  Or even Carodol, if he doesn't mind dealing with Oomba, which is just an expensive form of suicide."

Juragga quietens down, catching on that he might be making things harder for Haarmon.  He gives one last forlorn groan, before falling silent.  His friend seems to be distracted enough as it is.  And not just by his working at the terminal.  There appears to be far too much staring into empty space going on...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 849 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 25 Aug 2015
at 02:36
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans scowled.  "Something to offer, like information to sell to the Empire, to keep them out of Oomba's business," he growled softly.  He could see that being a very lucrative deal...along with selling off the weaponry he had failed to deliver to the Alliance operations that had been attacked.

Yes, those were both items a Hutt would find of tremendous value...

"Thanks, Jalt.  I owe you..."  He couldn't be positive, of course, but it felt like the pieces were falling into place...

At the very least, it gave him something concrete to go to Security with.  Let Reise come in, just like normal...and bag him once he came off his ship.  Unless they had some idea of where he was.  They could be chasing him all over the sector, otherwise.

He turned and headed for the base's Security Office.  It was time to get the cards on the table...because Reise could potentially be back before Kourene, and if they botched grabbing him then, the integrity of Alliance operations in the whole sector could be fatally compromised.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 449 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 25 Aug 2015
at 12:23
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Haarmon listened as Shard's voice wavered in and out of focus. He caught most of it. He thought. But who knew? This whole thing was pretty weird. She might have recited the entire works of Omar Berenko in there somewhere.

No. That's stupid. Shard has better taste than that.

When it seemed she was done he shook his head to clear it and carefully, carefully, withdrew himself from the system, making sure all the while that it all seemed to be coming from somewhere else. He watched Rhijans head out and down the hallway. He didn't know where he was going.

But he had to intercept.

"Okay, Rags. It's off. I'm out. But Shard says we gotta go make facetime with Rhijans. You up for some harass and recon?"
Shard
 player, 887 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 25 Aug 2015
at 12:34
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Finished, Shard releases whatever connection she has achieved, with the hope her message has reached its recipient.  It's difficult to know; unlike a comm, this particular system is wonderfully imprecise, depending on the skill of its user.  Haarmon?  At best a neophyte.  Shard herself?  Be honest; not much better, and you're way out of practice.

Opening her eyes, she regards Barsh.

"We're going to be stuck here for a bit.  I'm going to stick my head out of this core for a second; Haarmon needs to know where we are.  I have a secure communication to him, so I'm not so worried, and either way, I'll send it to him in a code other people can't decipher."
Juragga
 player, 430 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Wed 26 Aug 2015
at 23:55
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Juragga woofed an affirmative, sharing a shaggy-faced grin.  To a Wookiee, anything was better than sitting and waiting!
The Force
 GM, 652 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 27 Aug 2015
at 18:27
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Barsh frowns and shakes his head, "Might be a little too dangerous for me... do you need me to come with you?  If it's all the same to you, I'd rather stay here until this is over."

In Rhijan's quarters, Haarmon and Juragga prepare to risk their lives by stepping out into a base where, for all they know, Security is still hunting for them.  It's entirely possible that Haarmon could be about to expand his collection of potential scars.  The terminal is running a diagnostic program and cleaning up its memory modules, and the red light has stopped winking at Juragga...

Rhijans and You-Why set off for the central security office, where Rhijans will make sure that somebody other than him has some idea what's happened and what's going on.  With Reise's uncertain schedule, he could be back at any time, so it's important that somebody be prepared for his arrival.

The pair have only gone a short distance when Rhijans spots a security patrol up ahead, currently moving away from him.  Not quickly though.  They seem to be searching for something (or somebody), checking storage lockers and equipment cabinets...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 851 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 28 Aug 2015
at 05:59
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
At first, they seemed like an easy way to find out who the duty officer was, so Rhijans would know who to ask for when he arrived at Security...

But, maybe he'd been asking too many questions or still had too many lingering doubts about just how alone Reise was in his operations...Rhijans gestured for You-Why to remain quiet, and behind him, and dropped in to shadow the patrol, hoping to overhear who or what they were looking for...