Part 16 - Unsolved mystery.   Posted by The Force.Group: 0
The Force
 GM, 558 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 30 Oct 2014
at 15:52
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
You-Why takes over from Rhijans, apparently happy in the knowledge that he is being asked to do exactly what he's programmed for, and better than any organic could manage.  The protocol droid knows how to say anything, and in the politest possible manner.  The major issue is that sometimes he chooses not to...

On this occasion, though, he chooses to exercise his programming to its fullest, and in no time at all is explaining everything to the former slaves.

Leaving the organics to their own business.  Whatever that might be.

The refugees start towards their temporary living quarters, where a number of Alliance teams are gathering to help them settle in...
Juragga
 player, 374 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Thu 30 Oct 2014
at 16:42
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Juragga leaned down to Haarmon and muttered a soft growl in his own language.

I hope this is going to work out for them.  But we still have a spy to catch, he said.
Shard
 player, 782 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 3 Nov 2014
at 13:33
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"Cleanup," Shard mumbles, watching the slaves leave.  "I could do with some of that.  Food, as well."  She touches her hair, grimacing.  "I'll be in the mess hall in about a half hour, if anyone wants to meet there."

She shakes her head.  Ongoing security situation.  Lovely.

The woman dithers a moment, considering advising people to check their gear, then abandons that idea.  They know their business, this group.

"Good luck," she calls after the former slaves.  "Gonna go get washed up," she reiterates to the group before heading for her quarters.  After the dealing with the Hutt, the sight of the slave quarters and torture chamber, the tension of their escape -

- using the cursed murderstick -

- she really could use about a quarter hour under hot water.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 749 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 4 Nov 2014
at 05:41
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
The droid took over directing the...refugees, Rhijans decided was the best term for them...and he had a moment where it seemed no one was paying attention to him.  He heaved a sigh of relief, and his whole frame relaxed, almost imperceptibly.  They were hardly what he would consider secure, considering the fact that the Alliance operations had been compromised.

But they were back, and the Hutt was in their wake and for the moment, out of range as a threat.  And the Empire hadn't come crashing down on their little expedition.  Mentally, he checked off Kourene as a possible leak.  If the Colonel had been selling out Alliance operatives, he could easily have thrown them to the Empire and NOBODY would have known, since the circle of people involved in the mission was so small.

He wasn't completely certain, yet...but at this point, the only person he was completely certain wasn't selling them out was himself.  The rest of his team, he was almost completely certain about...their close calls with the Empire didn't feel, to him, like the kind of events that would be contrived by an Imperial spy.  The Colonel, he was now relatively certain about.

That just left everyone else still at the Alliance base.

His relaxed moment, such as it was, ceased abruptly, as he began surveying everyone around them with veiled suspicion, watching for any tell-tales that would give him a hint as to the identity of their spy.
The Force
 GM, 559 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 6 Nov 2014
at 17:25
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Shard heads off to her own quarters while the former slaves are starting to get settled in to their new quarters, ably assisted by UY-3PO.  Other members of the team have their own agendas, and set out on their own "missions".

Eventually, feeling less worn (or, at least, less dirty) they find themselves outside Colonel Kourene's office, ready for a debriefing.  Security seems to have been tightened up in the area immediately around the office, with armed guards on duty in pairs in the nearby corridors.  Techs and droids also seem to be common, all opening up inspection panels and checking the interiors.  Then they close them up, seal them, and move on to the next one...

The Colonel, when they meet him, looks a little more haggard than at their last meeting, and appears to have undergone recent dermal regeneration.

"Come in." he says, calling the team into his office.  "Sit down, and give me a full report.  I take it from the overcrowded guest quarters that the mission went well?"  While this should, ostensibly, be a good result, the Colonel looks less than happy...
Haarmon Dak
 player, 389 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Thu 6 Nov 2014
at 22:38
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Haarmon was all the way in favour of the increased security protocols. The more stuff you were keeping track of, the easy it would be to track down when something went sideways. Maybe he would spend some time beefing up their network security too. Couldn't hurt. And it would give the IT guys something to do beside play video games and download holo-porn on duty.

He noticed that the Colonel wasn't looking too excited about things. I guess knowing that someone you trusted was a void-cursed filth-merchant spy would do that to a guy.

He grimaced at the Colonel's question. "Well, we did it. And we're all alive. But we had to go through some... things... to get there. But no more than we deserve, I guess, trusting that Ubese."

He then started to tell the Colonel about his and Shard's half of the mission. But he spoke slowly, and carefully, and precisely, pausing frequently in case anyone else had anything else to add.

It seemed that 'being a team-player' was sneaking up on him.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 750 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 7 Nov 2014
at 06:55
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans listened to Haarmon recount the adventures (at least they weren't misadventures) that he and Shard had experienced in the Hutt's dungeons...and while he didn't comment, on more than one occasion, his eyebrows raised in an expression that could have been either surprise or skepticism...it was hard to tell.

"From my end of things...as far as Oomba knows, we represent some wide-spread cartel with operations in various corners of the galaxy, but the cartel doesn't want people knowing much about their operations or their location, origins, headquarters, etc.  So, basically, I told him the truth and just left out all the names.  He thinks we bought slaves to start up a mining operation here in the sector, since the demise of the Imperial mine created a new demand.  No mention of where or how soon we'd be shipping...or even who we were shipping to."  His tone was cold, crisp...summarizing the facts as he recalled them.

"If we ever have to cross paths with him again, we've got a cover story in place.  Of course, if he pieces together who worked over his interrogator and freed Wakuda, it won't matter, because he'll want us dead."
Juragga
 player, 375 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sun 9 Nov 2014
at 01:31
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"RRrruuuhNHHnmmm," Juragga rumbled.  The beer in Oomba's palace was terrible.
Shard
 player, 785 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 10 Nov 2014
at 12:56
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Shard listens in silence as Haarmon starts his report.  Leave him to it - he made the first move, the ball's all his.  And he does a fine job, really.  Pays attention.  Has a good eye for detail.  Rhijans has his own thoughts on the matter, and ends on a dark note.  She can't fault his logic, and nods.  The nod dissolves into a coughing fit after Juragga's own report.

"I didn't get to the beer," she adds, "but I'll take Juragga's word that it stank."  She mulls over the report for a long moment.  "I don't think it'll take Oomba much thought to realize who burned his droid and stole his two playtoys.  We're going to have bounties on our heads."  She sighs; it won't be the first time for her, but she hates having dragged the others into this.

"You could probably make some good money turning me in," she quips at Rhijans.

Back to the colonel.  "Other than that, we fixed our bloody mistake with that Ubese, we've freed a ton of slaves and rescued a maybe-philanthropist's-agent from a Hutt, and saved someone who was being tortured to death, criminal or not." Her mouth twists into a slight moue as she considers, then Shard shrugs.  "Sounds like mission accomplished."
Colonel Kourene
 NPC, 25 posts
 Commander of
 Defiance Base.
Mon 10 Nov 2014
at 18:00
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Kourene listens to the reports in silence, and when they are finished he says nothing, as he stands to inspect some display screens mounted on the wall behind his desk.  He runs a finger along the top edge of one, then inspects the digit briefly.

Without turning, he finally speaks, "It does sound as if you were successful, yes.  And I'll have to meet this woman you mentioned.  We've tried, unsuccessfully, to find these people in the past.  Hoped to share resources and information with them.  Not surprisingly, though, they've tended to keep a low profile and not publicise their presence."

"With any luck she'll prove to be a useful contact. Good work."


At last he faces towards the group.  "There is still, however, the issue of the spy in the base.  Indeed, the situation has escalated.  While you were away, somebody planted an explosive device in the cafeteria.  A number of personnel, including myself, were injured, and one tech is still in the infirmary...  She is, unfortunately, allergic to bacta treatments, so the medics are having to patch her up without it."

"This needs to be stopped."

"Effective immediately, I'm removing you from all other duties and assigning you to track down whoever is behind this."

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 752 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 11 Nov 2014
at 08:37
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans gave Shard a tight-lipped smile that showed no teeth at the mention of turning her in for a bounty.  Odds were extremely high, if the Hutt put out a bounty on her, Rhijans would have a price on his head, as well.  As far as Oomba knew, the whole expedition had been under Rhijans' direction...it would be only natural for the Hutt to assume that anything Shard and Haarmon had done was at his behest.

Then Kourene mentioned the spy, and any semblance of humor faded from Rhijans' face, leaving only a hard, emotionless mask in front of dark, glittering eyes that hinted at his displeasure in finding the spy was still at large.

"Is there anyone on the base that you can vouch for?" he asked.  "We don't want to waste time watching someone who's already cleared.  And do we have, or can we get, a list of personnel who arrived AFTER the spy problem began?  A list of personnel who arrived shortly before it began would also help, as well."

If nothing else, it gave them a place to start looking.  As the situation currently stood, they had nothing at all to go on...everyone on the base was a suspect.
The Force
 GM, 560 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 13 Nov 2014
at 22:03
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Kourene nods, "I thought you might want that information."  He slides a datapad across the desk, "Lists of new personnel, both before and since the issue began, plus a list of people who have already been investigated and deemed clear.  And a list that cross-references the others, to give names of new people who haven't been cleared with certainty yet."

He pauses, and then adds, "One of the names on the 'not cleared' list is a Kedra Ashaine.  She's the injured tech I mentioned, and you'll find her in the infirmary.  She might not be able to answer many questions for a day or two, and I'd rather you didn't try to ask her any until at least a day or two after that.  Give her some time to recover, she deserves it.  She was close to the device when it detonated.  Tried to warn other people about it and got caught in the blast."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 753 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 14 Nov 2014
at 05:28
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans nodded.  "For the sak of making sure there's someone to ask...can you assign someone you trust to covertly keep an eye on her until we're ready to ask some questions?  There's a chance she may have seen something useful...and a chance that whoever planted the device noticed her attention.  If the spy thinks she can incriminate him, I'm guessing she's at pretty extreme risk."

He glanced down at the lists...he'd share them around with the others, but for now, he was curious to see if there were any names that jumped out at him for some reason.
Shard
 player, 786 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 17 Nov 2014
at 13:16
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"Maybe I'm being paranoid, but we should be taking a long look at Kedra as well." Shard taps a forefinger on her lip.  "We've bumped into her before, she's new, she has a lot of questions, and she was close to the blast when it went off.  Maybe she warned people because she was going to be caught setting it up, and it seemed like a good way to avoid suspicion.  Maybe she had a change of heart; she didn't seem like a bad person."

Her lips twist into a grimace.  "Maybe I'm just cynical.  I'm not saying it's likely, just something we need to keep in mind as we investigate.  Anyone could be a suspect."

There comes a small pause.  "Present company excepted," Shard clarifies.  She's not figuring on implicating the Colonel - if he were the spy, this place would be shut down already - and she trusts her team.

Void, she wishes she were better at probing minds.
Colonel Kourene
 NPC, 26 posts
 Commander of
 Defiance Base.
Mon 17 Nov 2014
at 18:00
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"I've assigned guards to the infirmary already." Kourene confirms, "Four men in the room, for two reasons.  One, to make sure nobody can get to Kedra.  And two, just in case, to keep Kedra from escaping if it turns out that she is a spy.  I did consider that possibility myself."

"The guards have orders to only allow a few listed medics near her, and nobody else.  Both medics and guards are people that I trust."


The Colonel scowls, "I hate having to send you to question our own people, but i don't see any other choice.  If you need more people to help you, I can assign a few more - you might find you want extra fire-power in case of trouble."
Shard
 player, 789 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 20 Nov 2014
at 14:29
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"Sounds fair," Shard agrees.  It's good to see the Colonel is on the ball himself - steps ahead of them, in fact. "So...we're going to be the people questioning everyone?"  A slow nod follows.  "I didn't get involved in this to be popular anyway," the long-time rebel sighs.  "And people will probably understand the necessity, given what has happened."

Even so, there will be those who are angry about their loyalties seemingly being questioned.

"What do we think?  More people?" Shard inquires of the others.  "Or are we good?  I suppose it depends if we're splitting up."

Splitting up leaves two choices - Haarmon and Juragga, or herself and Juragga.  She bet Rhijans would do well working with the Wookie...but there's a language barrier.

"I'd rather not split up," she murmurs.  "I figure this kind of thing is going to take all of us - together - to ferret out."
The Force
 GM, 562 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 20 Nov 2014
at 18:28
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
The Colonel returns to his chair and sits back as the team starts to discuss the best way to deal with the situation.  After all, it's up to them now, and he has confidence in their ability to do the job, which is why he assigned them to it.

OOC: Knock yourselves out on the planning.  Kourene can answer any questions that you think of.  :)
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 755 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 21 Nov 2014
at 08:17
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans nodded.  "On some levels, we'll have to operate independently, I think, at first.  I'd suggest we each select a few individuals on the list and pay them an extremely informal visit...the moment it gets out that we're actively searching for a spy, I think we're going to need to stick close to each other to watch each others' backs.  The more information we can gather before we start turning up the heat and asking some direct and intensive questions, the more ground we can cover before someone starts trying to figure out how to take us out of the picture before we find them."

He looked up from the list, a rarely-seen expression of intense dissatisfaction on his features for just a moment.  "Make no mistake...we may be able to question two or three people before the rumor mill starts outrunning us.  I'd like to make those two or three people count as much as possible before I start worrying about being in someone's crosshairs or checking my quarters for booby-traps."
The Force
 GM, 563 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 24 Nov 2014
at 19:06
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
And at that precise moment, the office door opens.

"Excuse me, it seems that I have not received a copy the memo regarding this meeting."  You-Why stands there, trying to give an accusatory stare, which doesn't quite work with his lack of facial expressions.

"I would think that, as an important member of the team - one who has played a vital role in recent missions - I should be included in important meetings and debriefings.  After all, I do have an eidetic memory, and can recite, verbatim, anything which has been said in my presence.  No matter what language it was spoken in."

The protocol droid shuffles into the office...
Haarmon Dak
 player, 391 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 24 Nov 2014
at 22:30
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"But apparently you can't remember not to end a sentence in a preposition," Haarmon says, somewhat sourly. In truth, he was feeling more than a little out of his element. He was trying to look at this thing like a big program, like a debugging routine. But no matter how he went over it, people were more complicated than computers. And you couldn't just turn them off and on again when they acted up.

He eyed the driod. Most of the time anyway.

"What we need," he said to the group, "Is a honeypot. A way to narrow the field, like. We figure out something that the spy would want, want real, real bad. And then give it to them, or give it out to various information pathways, just different enough each time to figure out where the leak came from once they pounce."

He thought a bit. "And one thing a spy would really want a piece of is someone who might know who they are. Which is us. Once people figure out what we're up to."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 758 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 25 Nov 2014
at 05:23
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans grimaced slightly.  "I'd prefer to limit the field of potential suspects a bit before we start teasing them with notions that we have the spy's identity.  You think it's hard dealing with a spy?  Try dealing with the thought that any person you encounter may be trying to kill you.  A certain level of paranoia is healthy in this business...but that goes way beyond the event horizon."

He looked over at You-Why.  "Sorry...I had assumed you were still busy coordinating things with the refugees we brought back from Oomba's."  Remarkably enough, there actually seemed to be some real contrition in his usually-emotionless voice.
Shard
 player, 791 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 25 Nov 2014
at 13:28
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"Toss my apologies on as well, You-Why," Shard mutters, rubbing her forehead.  This is getting complicated.  "But...since we're on the subject, your opinion.  Did you see anyone with those refugees who might be considered suspicious?  Other than Oomba's former guard?"

It's a shot.  Not that it would explain the situation here - the refugees just arrived - but one never knows if the Empire is seeding more and more spies into the area.

"I like your plan, Haarmon.  Rhijans has a point as well."  Pursing her lips, she leans forward. "What if we start with questioning, then once word gets around we leak a little information.  Not 'we know', but that we've narrowed it down.  If we knew we'd act on it." Her eyes narrow.  "If it was just a spy, I'd say they'd run.  But it's not.  It's someone planting bombs.  A killer.  They might just take a shot at us."

The older woman leans back, massaging her forehead.  "Until then, Rhijans wants us to split up.  Fair enough - ferreting out people isn't exactly my speciality.  But who?  I'd like to hit up the Quartermaster.  I'm not convinced at all it's him; I figure a spy would like to be less obviously antisocial.  And he would have plenty of opportunity to seriously mess up missions.  But it's just that - I'd like to eliminate him from the running ASAP because if it IS him, he has the gear, access to explosives, capacity to really cause harm to missions, etc."
Juragga
 player, 377 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 25 Nov 2014
at 16:49
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Juragga hooted a greeting at You-Why.  Not entirely friendly, but not a hostile one either.  The droid was irrascible as ever.

Turning to the others, he asked, "rrrRRRRHHhhhhhNNNN?"  Where do you want me?

Subtly, he tapped Haarmon on the tricep.  A simple tap, to let his partner know he wanted to talk privately... later.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 759 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Wed 26 Nov 2014
at 06:16
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans scowled slightly for a moment, speaking before glancing down at his list from the Colonel.  "I think the QM's been on the job long enough that if it was him, the problem would have started earlier," he mused aloud, but he looked for the name, just in case.  He'd been looking before for easily identified prospects, not looking to rule out specific individuals.

"I'll start at the infirmary.  She stepped up...it may be that she just happened to get in the way of the blast, but she may have seen something that got her moving.  Hopefully, she's in a condition to talk about it..."
Haarmon Dak
 player, 392 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Thu 27 Nov 2014
at 22:46
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Haarmon nodded at his Wookie friend. Juragga had pulled his niblets from the fire enough times that, if the big ragdoll wanted to talk, then that's how it was going to be.

Try dealing with the thought that any person you encounter may be trying to kill you.

That sobered him up in a hurry. He'd been shot at more than once in the last little while. Explosions. Laser-fire. But this was a whole 'nother level. All of a sudden Rhijans made a little more sense to the young slicer. That deadpan reserve, the aloof distance. The clipped, precise speech. This is what his life is like, all the time, every day, Haarmon thought, While you're happy-assing around on the Nets like a clown. Every day.

He took a breath.

"Colonal? Maybe I could have a look at all the reports on all the attacks so far? I know you guys have gone over it. And I'm not convinced I'll be able to add anything, but maybe I crunch it all through a terminal, throw some code at it, like, you know? Maybe I can squeak something out. Something we haven't seen."

This message was last edited by the player at 12:38, Fri 28 Nov 2014.