Part 16 - Unsolved mystery.   Posted by The Force.Group: 0
The Force
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Thu 18 Dec 2014
at 21:12
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Harmon and Juragga move away, escorting a panic-stricken UY-3PO further into the base, and down a couple of levels.  The droid talks the whole way - questions about how noticeable his lisp has become, whether anybody else had heard some noise from the ventilation system or the heat exchangers, or were they seeing the walls in the same colours as he was.  All interspersed with rambling laments about how little maintenance the droid had received in recent months...

Eventually they reach the droid workshop, where a couple of techs have three, or possibly four, droids stripped down for work.  At the sight of the disassembled droids, You-Why stops, and turns towards the door, only to be stopped by Juragga, who pushes him back into the room.

One of the techs, his eyes seemingly enormous behind a set of high power magnifiers regards Haarmon and Juragga with some interest.  "Hello.  What can I do for you?  Problem with the droid?"

Shard and Rhijans, meanwhile, head for the Quartermaster's Stores, where they find the Quartermaster himself doing an inventory check.  The old man looks at them as they enter, carefully marks his position on the datapad, and asks, "Can I help you?"

There is currently no sign of his assistant, Barsh Dahgo.
Shard
 player, 800 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 22 Dec 2014
at 17:49
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"Good day.  Your favourite people, I know." Shard wanders up and puts her elbows on the desk, staring down the row of shelves and studying the quartermaster. "So.  Looking for some help.  Namely your assistant.  Do you happen to know where Barsh got himself?"

She shrugs, a small, lopsided smile on her face. "We need to make a few inquiries."
Juragga
 player, 383 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Mon 22 Dec 2014
at 20:58
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Juragga trundled along with Haarmon and You-Why, a slight smirk on his features.  He was impressed with how the kid was handling this.

He hooted in affirmation at the tech, but indicated they could handle it.
The Force
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Thu 25 Dec 2014
at 20:49
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"Barsh?" the Quartermaster scowls, "That's what I'd like to know.  He said he was going to get something to eat a couple of hours ago, and I haven't seen him since, nor been able to get hold of him.  Probably moping round the infirmary again... don't think he's been away from the place for more than an hour since his girlfriend got hurt."

"There's a diagnostic rig already set up on the bench there.  It's calibrated for R series astromechs just now, but I can help you adjust it for your protocol droid if you need it doing."  The magnifiers swing towards You-Why, who flinches away from them,  "What's wrong with him?  He looks to be in good shape from here."
Rhijans Thanus
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Fri 26 Dec 2014
at 07:31
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans' eyes narrowed minutely, but he played it off as though there was nothing noteworthy.  "Well...my next stop was the infirmary, anyway...maybe we should go look for him there..."

And have Kourene pass along to the base security personnel that he trusts to keep an eye open, if Barsh isn't there...

He raised a quizzical eyebrow and looked at Shard, waiting for her response.
Shard
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 ...or drunk.
Mon 29 Dec 2014
at 12:21
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"Thanks," Shui adds.  It's always smart to thank the quartermaster. "We'll ferret him out."  She shrugs to Rhijans.  "Feel bad for the guy, his sweetheart hurt like that.  Shall we go have a word?"


"If we see him, I'll let him know you're looking for him as well,"
she fires over her shoulder as she heads off.  Once clear of the quartermaster, she raises an eyebrow to her companion.  "So.  Really close to her?  Or feeling a lot of guilt?"  Another shrug follows.  "Could be both.  Hope he's there."  And as she strides down the hallway, a question burns in her mind.

What is a ferret, anyway?

Another, more important query dislodges it.  "Rhijans, stupid question, but just checking.  We hit some kind of trouble, you're ready.  Right?"

The man probably has wo different blasters hidden on him right now, as well as a brace of grenades, but it's always good to clarify.
The Force
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Mon 29 Dec 2014
at 19:45
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
So Shard and Rhijans head for the infirmary, which isn't a short walk.

The base infirmary is located at the end of a tunnel which places it some distance from the rest of the facility.  Even for patients who aren't allergic to bacta, peace and quiet can help considerably in a quick recovery.

In any case, a long, straight-ish tunnel gives the two investigators plenty of time for a discussion...
Rhijans Thanus
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Tue 30 Dec 2014
at 05:48
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"'Ready' is a debatable state of existence.  If we're prepared for something, it never seems to happen."

There was no smile on his face...not even a joke in his voice...but something in his eyes seemed to gleam with humor.  Warped, dark, gallows humor, perhaps...

"But I won't be caught totally flat-footed if things go sideways, no."  Those eyes that had seemed to gleam with humor a moment before narrowed dangerously.

"We haven't been around much to observe, but I don't buy the 'he's grown very close to her' explanation.  Although she did seem to mention something about him, before, as I recall...that first time we met her.  Didn't she?"  With all the fixation on getting to and from Oomba's with all the refugees, details of a passing conversation with someone who seemed to be trying too hard to appear inept had grown hazy.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 400 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Wed 31 Dec 2014
at 18:46
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Haarmon nodded at Juragga's hoot. He looked back at the tech. "No, man thanks. You better let us do it. He's a special unit and requires special attention. And he's got a... ummm.. small issue. Certainly nothing that would require him to be scrapped if people found out." He gave You-Why a significant look. "But all the same, it prevents him from talking. Right?" He gave You-Why a second significant look. Just in case.

"Come on over here, Mute." And he went and sat down at the diagnostic equipment. He looked to make sure Rags was there too. The wookie was really good at this stuff.

"Okay. Let's get to it."
Shard
 player, 803 posts
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 ...or drunk.
Thu 1 Jan 2015
at 13:50
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"Good to hear," Shard replies in an easy tone.  It's a good thing Rhijans is on their side, she muses.  Dangerous, dangerous man, and he doesn't seem to have an 'off' switch.  But the fact is that he is on their side, so it doesn't unnerve her.  It's upsetting, and a little sad; Shard wouldn't want anyone to live that way, and can only imagine what sort of terrible life has produced this constant hyper-acuity in the man.  But it doesn't unnerve her.

"She mentioned something about having a boyfriend, if I recall." The long-time rebel purses her lips. "'Course, my memory is shot these days."  My own cursed fault.  "I guess we'll find out shortly - if he really IS her boyfriend, it shouldn't be hard to spot.  If he's on a guilt trip, or..."  She purses her lips.  "Or if he's trying to get close to her because she saw something, and he needs to keep her quiet, we'll be able to figure that out."

 

Juragga
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Thu 1 Jan 2015
at 19:13
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Juragga rumbled an assent, and then followed Haarmon and You-Why to where the kid led them.  He had been working on his droid repair skills ever since they'd come across You-Why, but he was letting the kid lead the play here.  After all, aside from potentially being an Imperial spy, there was nothing wrong with the droid...
The Force
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Thu 1 Jan 2015
at 22:43
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
After a walk along the corridor, Shard and Rhijans turn a corner at the far end and enter the infirmary.  There are a handful of patients, being attended by a medical droid and two humans in uniform.  At the far end of the room, a screen has been pulled across, concealing something, and off to one side are two bacta tanks, currently unoccupied, and drained.

The droid swivels its head, briefly, towards the newcomers, and says something in Binary, which causes one of the humans to move across to intercept them.  "Is there something I can help you with?" she asks, both her face and her voice stern.

You-Why catches on quickly, and says nothing.  After all, Haarmon has just implied that any indication of a severe flaw in his programming, or his systems, will almost certainly see him scrapped.  Or even sent to work somewhere unpleasant... which makes him realise that maybe there was a reason he ended up working on that wretched ice-bound mining colony.

The tech watches for a moment as the protocol droid follows the other two across to the diagnostic set-up.  Then, with a shrug, he goes back to his own work.  If these people can handle the diagnostics themselves, that's fine by him, he has plenty to do already.

The droid stands next to the bench, and asks quietly, "What should we do first?"  There are a number of cables, with assorted connectors on the ends running from ports on the testing equipment, just waiting to be plugged in to something...
Rhijans Thanus
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Fri 2 Jan 2015
at 04:58
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"Yes," Rhijans answered brusquely...or, at least, matching the med-tech's stern voice with one of his own.

"The Colonel sent me down here to check on Kedra...the woman injured in the blast in the mess area.  And she's here looking for Barsh," he said, indicating Shard.

"We were told he was down here, as well, visiting her."  His voice, like his expression, betrayed little, if anything...cold, detached, clinical...business-like.

In the end, it was all just business, really...
Haarmon Dak
 player, 401 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 2 Jan 2015
at 22:24
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Haarmon nodded. Somewhat to the droid, party to Juragga, mostly to himself. He had the same look on his face that he did when he put the virus into the Imperial Network. The same look as when he destroyed that ice-moon's shipping schedule. The same look as when he mapped their escape from that same moon. All the twitchy smarm vanished from him in an instant. The look on this Haarmon's face never asked anyone if he was right, or if they knew what he was saying.

This was Haarmon, about to Take Care of Business.

"First thing," he said in a low, even, quiet voice, "Is we get into your head, Platinum Pants. And we see if there's anything in there what needs seeing. Rags, you wanna get in on this action?"

Haarmon was familiar enough with the ones and zeroes inside of a droid's head, but Juragga had a lot more experience with everything else
Juragga
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Sat 3 Jan 2015
at 02:33
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
With experienced digits, Juragga began to hook the droid up to the various diagnostics.  He bobbed his head at Haarmon's query, agreeing.  He was only hooking up diagnostics to the droid's frame, at first, letting the kid take the lead.
The Force
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Mon 5 Jan 2015
at 22:36
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"Over there." the woman says, waving a hand in the direction of the screen, then to Shard, "I hope that damned clerk is needed somewhere else.  He just keeps getting in the way."

"As for the injured woman, she's healing slowly, but satisfactorily, considering we're forced to use stone knives and bloodworms to treat her.  Well, it seems like that."
  Her face actually smiles, without cracking in two.

Then she turns away, almost before she's finished talking, and hurries back to help her colleague attend to one of the patients, who seems to have a badly injured arm...

Juragga leans in, his large hands suprisingly dextrous as he assists Haarmon in connecting the leads to the correct ports.  "Oh my." You-Why says suddenly, "Was that right?  I cannot see!  And now I can.  Good.  Please do not do that again."

A display on the diagnostic console starts to build a three dimensional graphic of the droid's systems.  The patient himself regards the image with some interest, "Is that me?"
Shard
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 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 6 Jan 2015
at 13:18
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Perfect.  "Not to worry.  I've a few questions for him.  Thank you...doc...all right," Shard finishes as the doctor vanishes.  A shrug follows, the older woman perfectly understanding 'more important things to do'.  "I'm off to check in on Barsh," she continues to Rhijans.  "I'll probably be pretty direct about some stuff; subtlty isn't my strong suit.  Luck."

With that, she slips her hands beneath her cloak and heads off in search of the quartermaster's assistant.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 402 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 6 Jan 2015
at 15:30
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
"It's some of you, anyway," Haarmon mutters, mostly under his breath, focused on the task at hand. "Gonna have to turn your eyes and ears off for a minute. And speech. Don't panic."

His fingers tapped out a series of commands that shut off the driod's hearing modules.

He leaned back and took a breath. He gave the driod a sour look and thought a moment. Grabbed a datapad and typed a but and then showed it to the wookie:

I'm worried about his being monitored. If he's even the spy. So while I'm in here you're going to want to make sure there's nothing hardware-related that we should be worried about. All kinds of things could be hanging around that won't show up in the programming.

The sheer number of ways that a driod could be turned into a spying device made Haarmon feel tired. And the thoughts of what might happen if the wrong person noticed that they were messing with it, what that could mean for the base, for his friends, just made him want to curl  up in a ball and have a nap.

But he channeled his inner Rhijans and got back to work. Checking anything out of the ordinary. And even the stuff that was ordinary.
Juragga
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Tue 6 Jan 2015
at 17:14
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Juragga hooted an affirmative, then tapped on the screen:

He may not be the spy, but he could be bugged.  Will check.

And then he went about doing so, combing the droid for any signs of hardware that could be spying.  Most specifically, cameras, mics and transmitters/receivers.
Rhijans Thanus
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Wed 7 Jan 2015
at 04:37
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans nodded as Shard set off on her part of their duty here.  He had other questions to ask...and was likely to be direct, himself, because he had little use for talking around a subject.  Talking about it in veiled terms, he could do...but verbally dancing around an issue had little appeal for him.

He made his way over to the screened-off bed the medic had indicated, not quite sure of what he was expecting...anything from Kedra being asleep, to missing, to getting dressed and trying to sneak out, to mysteriously comatose.  Each scenario flickered through his mind in the few steps it took to get there...and he mentally braced himself for all of them, before he slipped between the drapes to stand near her bed.
The Force
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Thu 8 Jan 2015
at 19:05
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Shard and Rhijans head for the screen.  Behind it, Kedra is half asleep and mostly covered by dessings.  IV lines are feeding several different solutions into her from an assortment of pouches hanging above the bed.

Barsh is there too, sitting on a chair not too close to the bed.  His face is twisted into a mask of anguish as the pair push past the screen.  "Oh, they don't want me to stay here, but they let other people visit."

You-Why goes stiff, even for him, as his audio and optical modules are deactivated.  The diagnostic unit indicates three corrupted memory modules, apparently empty at the moment, having transferred the stored data elsewhere, exactly as they were designed to do.  Between them they represent an almost insignificant percentage of the droid's capacity, still well within his operating parameters.
Rhijans Thanus
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 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 9 Jan 2015
at 04:41
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Rhijans turned a withering look on Barsh.  "This isn't a social call.  Wipe your eyes and blow your nose.  The lady has questions for you.  The sooner we get it over with, the sooner you can get back to mooning over your girlfriend here."

He wasn't about to start asking Kedra questions with someone else hovering near her bed...
Shard
 player, 806 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 12 Jan 2015
at 14:35
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Shard makes a small moue, considering.  'The lady.'  It beats out 'her' or 'she', but there are unfortunate connotations.  Shard knows full-out she's no 'lady' of the classy variety.  That leaves age, which pains her.  It's possible, however, that Rhijans chose it to be complimentary rather than qualitative.

Best not to put much consideration into it.

I'm not exactly young any more, either way, she moodily considers, crooking a finger at Barsh.  Not the kind to turn Rhijans' head, not the kind to give Haarmon a goofy smile.  Not the kind of thoughts to be thinking about one's teammates, in any case.  Just your ego talking.

"I need to talk to you, Barsh.  Now."  Quietly stated, without iron; she wants his cooperation, not sullen agreement.  "Those are my orders, so c'mon."
The Force
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Mon 12 Jan 2015
at 17:48
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Barsh looks from Rhijans, to Shard, and back again.  He's been in enough trouble to recognise when he's in it again.  But this feels different.  For one thing, everybody in the galaxy over the age of about eight knows the old "good officer, bad officer" routine.  Except these two.  Neither of them seems seems friendly.

Not that he cares.

"Okay... but do we have to talk here?  Kendra's tired, so I suppose we should let her rest for a while."

UY-3PO  watches the readouts on the diagnostic apparatus.  Not that he understands the displayed results, he'd be the first to admit it, but he does, apparently, have a firm conviction that he would recognise a bad result if he saw one.

Then, maybe, he could grab a blaster and kill every organic in the room before anybody could react.  That would, of course, be the first stage.  His plan would, eventually, culminate in the founding of a galaxy-spanning Droid Empire, under the benevolent rule of Emperor UY the First.  The droid gives a mechanical sigh.  His plan is, naturally, doomed to failure.  How could he hope to inspire loyalty and devotion with a flawed voder?
Haarmon Dak
 player, 403 posts
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Tue 13 Jan 2015
at 01:33
Re: Part 16 - Unsolved mystery
Haarmon watched the test results spin out on the screen. After a while he was pretty sure that there was nothing going on in the driod's head that shouldn't be. So he looked up at Juragga to make sure that the physical inspection was done.

He was going to have to turn him back on pretty soon. Or he was never going to hear the end of it.