Part 17 - In the aftermath.   Posted by The Force.Group: 0
The Force
 GM, 663 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 8 Oct 2015
at 16:20
Part 17 - In the aftermath
The strange looking group makes their way through the base - a gray skinned Humanoid, a protocol droid, a Wookiee, and a Human who keeps closing his eyes and appears to be concentrating really hard...

But there have been enough things going on lately that the people they pass, most of whom appear to be in a hurry, are too busy to notice them. 

As they round a corner, they pass a security team who stand there, waiting patiently (and trying to prove how alert they are by scrutinising passers-by), as their leader talks on a comlink.  "Copy that, Control.  We'll head over there now."

Barsh stirs in his sleep, and wakes suddenly, calling out, "Kedra!"
Haarmon Dak
 player, 459 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Thu 8 Oct 2015
at 17:22
Part 17 - In the aftermath
As soon as Haarmon gets the transmission from Shard he stops and leans against the wall, eyes closed, brow furrowed, mind focused. He tried to find that point of sharp concentration that he managed before. It was hard. Like trying to balance on a tightrope. On a unicycle. In a windstorm.

This message was lightly edited by the player at 17:35, Thu 08 Oct 2015.

Shard
 player, 902 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 8 Oct 2015
at 17:23
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Still waiting, Shard starts slightly; Barsh's explanation was hardly the message she expected.  Coughing her tongue back up into her mouth from where she had swallowed it, the older woman eyes Barsh with an appraising eye. "Bad dreams, Barsh?  If they were, fire off the details now before you forget them."

If they weren't...she doesn't want to hear about them, prurient or not.  Love stories make her maudlin, these days.
The Force
 GM, 665 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 12 Oct 2015
at 15:44
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Barsh shakes his head, groggily.  "Bad dream?  You might say that.  I... I dreamed I killed Kedra.  Again.  I mean I dreamed it again, not I killed her again."  He looks thoroughly depressed. 

The security team start to move, heading away from Haarmon, Rhijans, Juragga and You-Why.  Twenty metres away the turn into a side passage which leads directly away from Rhijans' quarters...
Shard
 player, 903 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 13 Oct 2015
at 12:53
Part 17 - In the aftermath
"She's alive," Shard states, helpfully.  Then the older woman softens a touch.  "Dreams will come, Barsh.  But they get better, after a while.  They really do.  We can see about getting you in to talk with Kendra - maybe that'll help those dreams, as well."

Abruptly her brows draw together, almost a wince. Hot void.  Imagery?  And...loud, sometimes.  No control, but there's a lot of natural ability there. Digging in her heels, she presses herself up the wall, then steps forward to extend her hand to Barsh.  "Come on.  I got a message a bit ago - we're to meet with security.  Everything should be clear for you, now, but we're going to keep you under watch for the moment." She cocks her head to the side, a half-smile appearing on her thin visage. "I'm not going to let anything happen to you now, after all the trouble we've taken to keep you safe."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 865 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 15 Oct 2015
at 05:11
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Rhijans paused at the corridor heading to his quarters, and turned to look back at Haarmon.  "Which way and how far to the computer core?" he asked.  "And should we go meet Shard or wait for her?"  It was apparent from the tone his voice took, in the second half of that question, that the prospect of sitting and waiting for Shard to show up was not appealing to him.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 462 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 16 Oct 2015
at 11:57
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Haarmon's heart skipped a beat and his mouth went a little dry at Rhijans' tone. He didn't like thinking of Rhijans displeased.

He pulls out his datapad and keys up the map of the base for Rhijans. A couple of screen swipes and a few taps and he had it. "Here's us. Here's your quarters. Here's the core. Assuming she got moving as soon as she heard the plan we should get there only a minute or two before she does. But there's enough routes from Core to quarters that if we go hunting for her we could miss her."

He shrugs. "But once she's out of the Core we should be able to use comms again. Assuming we're not still hiding. It's more reliable than... ummm.. the... other... method."

He was reluctant to get into the specifics of the 'other method.' Mainly because he for really-reals had no idea what the hell he was doing.
The Force
 GM, 668 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 19 Oct 2015
at 16:43
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Barsh pushes himself to his feet, seeming a little groggy, and almost stumbles.  "Still half asleep.  Be glad to get back on a flat floor too." he yawns, and then, "Let's go."  Shard pops the door, and they step outside of their safe little hidey hole.

Barsh leads the way, while Shard watches his back.  "I really hope this doesn't all blow back in my face,"

You-Why studies the organics, puzzled.  There's clearly something going on that he isn't able to follow.  They obviously have some way of talking across long distances that he is not privy to.  Which means they could be saying anything.  He drops a memo into his priority stack to remind himself to keep an eye on them, just in case.

"If she has been told to meet you at a particular location, surely it would make sense to be there when she arrives."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 866 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 20 Oct 2015
at 04:52
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Rhijans gave Haarmon another inscrutable look...something that could have been incredulity, distrust, annoyance...or equal parts of the above with something more.  His lip twitched as though he were about to say something when You-Why spoke up, and his eyes darted to the protocol droid for just a moment.

"True enough.  If she needs help, she knows to call us.Assuming we can even hear the call...

He gave a jerk of his head in the direction of his quarters.  "We'll set up and be ready to respond if she calls for help...and ready to move out immediately to Security when she gets there with Barsh."  While his tone was decisive, there was something...a hint of dissatisfaction, perhaps?...coloring the words.
Shard
 player, 904 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 20 Oct 2015
at 14:36
Part 17 - In the aftermath
"Some of this will," Shard flatly states. "Best you prepare yourself for it.  There's always going to be people angry with you.  There'll always be people who whisper about no smoke without a fire.  Whatever."  She slips around in front of him, making sure to stay ahead.  "You keep behind me until we get through this - it's unlikely anyone is back there, or they would have shot already, but they sure could be waiting up ahead."

Ducking under a pipe, she continues with the main line of discussion.  "But you remember why you're here.  And you stick with it.  Do that, and you'll always have people ready to step in and defend you, if you make good on that.  You can't make even half the people happy even half the time, so don't try.  Just keep working your best to make this galaxy a better place, and...there will be people who see that." 

Maybe Kendra, but she doesn't mention that name.  Better not to make him expect something that might not happen.

"For myself?  We get through this alive, I hear anyone talking garbage about you I'm calling them on it."
The Force
 GM, 669 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 22 Oct 2015
at 18:47
Part 17 - In the aftermath
It doesn't take Shard and a very grateful Barsh long to find their way back up from the tunnels and into the base proper.  From that point it's a short walk to a service elevator, and then another, longer walk to Rhijan's quarters.

Oddly there don't seem to be many security teams about...  A few droids, some base personnel going about their usual work, a service tech who is currently no more than a pair of legs sticking out of an access panel.  All of them seem too busy to pay much attention to two people just walking along a corridor.

Rhijans' door opens as soon as Shard signals her arrival, and she and Barsh enter, to find Rhijans himself, Haarmon, Juragga, and You-Why inside and waiting for them...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 867 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 23 Oct 2015
at 05:15
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Rhijans looked up as the door opened, a quick flicker of something that could have been relief showing on his face.  "Good to see we're all still intact..."  His eyes flickered over to Haarmon for just a moment and the scantest hint of a smile played across his features momentarily.

"Or mostly intact, at least."  He didn't pause for a laugh, just kept talking.  "We've been able to confirm enough details that I have no doubt that Reise is responsible for the leaked information.  Doesn't seem like he's got an accomplice, but he might...someone kept issuing him deliveries after the first few were reported back as missing...either someone was deliberately overlooking them, someone was preventing the reports from proliferating to the right channels...or someone was just lazy and didn't keep tabs on the results of his delivery shipments.  But all the activity connects back to his ship."

He looked over at Barsh.  "Security's been advised...but in order to keep any potential inside contacts from alerting Reise before he can get back here, they want to keep Barsh, to make it look like everything's been pinned on him."  He gave Barsh a measured look, and added, "They know you aren't the one.  They just need someone to give the impression that they're still being misled.  Once they have Reise, the truth can come out.  But if word gets to Reise before he gets back here and they can round him up, he could run for it...and sell out the whole sector's operations in one stroke, instead of the piecemeal job he's been doing."
Juragga
 player, 435 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sun 25 Oct 2015
at 21:25
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Juragga yodeled a greeting for Shard, then sat back and pondered as Rhijans laid out all the details he'd uncovered.  It was the first time the Wookiee had heard all the particulars...
Shard
 player, 906 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 26 Oct 2015
at 18:27
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Grinning, Shard hustles Barsh inside to the tune of a bugled hello from Juragga and...is that actually a smile from Rhijans?  Worth the wait, she decides.  "Nice to see everyone alive and healthy - mostly - as well."  She shoots a quick look at Haarmon, appraising and warning simultaneously.  He doesn't look healthy...but doesn't look decomposing, so he's still on the proper side of that line.  A slow nod follows.  You and I need to talk, youngster, and soon.

Flick of two fingers off the brow to Juragga, and a small sniff at Rhijans' summation.  "So we might have others working along with Reise to obfuscate things?  Void.  But I like the plan for Barsh.  Security can keep him safe...or they'd better." Her eyes narrow.  "We have people on the 'safe' list in there?  They watch Barsh.  ONLY them.  If none of them are cleared by the Colonel, they don't get Barsh.  Period."

She jerks a thumb toward Juragga. "They don't like it, they can explain it to our complaints department."   Hot void, they've done enough work keeping Barsh alive until now; and she'd made promises, to boot.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:28, Mon 26 Oct 2015.

Haarmon Dak
 player, 463 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 27 Oct 2015
at 01:20
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Haarmon wasn't around for most of this, so he took Rhijans' word for it all and just dug the groove. Also, he was feeling quite shy with Shard in the room. Vulnerable. Like she'd seen him naked in the shower or something.

His right hand picked at the bandage on his chest. He sat close to Juragga and stared mostly at the floor.
UY-3PO
 NPC, 36 posts
 No, I don't like you
 either.
Thu 29 Oct 2015
at 18:01
Part 17 - In the aftermath
You-Why listens quietly to the conversation, apparently paying close attention.  Occasionally he interrupts to verify what is being said, mostly by Rhijans.  And sometimes he interrupts to make sure that people are aware of his own part in the investigation, paying particular attention to detail when describing how he was responsible for interrogating and torturing certain individuals.

His uncannily accurate imitations of their screams of anguish are particularly unpleasant.

Finally he adds, "We should, in all likelihood, probably report our findings to Colonel Kourene as soon as possible.  Unfortunately I have been unable to ascertain his exact whereabouts.  None of my sources, including R2-O0, who is usually quite reliable for an R2 unit, have been able to tell me where he is."
Haarmon Dak
 player, 464 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 30 Oct 2015
at 14:01
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Haarmon stood up, glad that there was something happening he could actually help with.

"True story, Tin-Shirt. Hey security guy. You mind if I go mucking around in the system? Like, for legit? Then I can poke around without Rags getting all anxious gramma on me.""

Assuming he gets permission, he starts walking his way through the archives, like he'd started back in Rhijans quarters. Back there he'd had to stop because the big red light was blinking.

(and also because he maybe turned into a Jedi or something maybe sort of kind of)

But now? With all the time he needed? And permission?

Nowhere near as fun. But WAY easier.

Investigation (Networks): 23
Search: 11

Shard
 player, 908 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 2 Nov 2015
at 13:37
Part 17 - In the aftermath
"Well done, You-Why," Shard notes to the droid, wincing at one of the screams.  And she means it.  Every team needs someone capable of frightening the opposition.  They have Rhijans...but there's something implacably terrifying about a protocol droid speaking this way.

Between him, the bounty-hunter, and Juragga, they should be able to get information out of anything but a dedicated computer server.

Which leaves Haarmon, already hard at work moving in on that system hunting for Kourene.  Shard moves over, leans on the back of the chair, and peers at the screen.  "You're pretty good at finding your way around there, Haarmon," she quietly notes.  "Amazing how you pass information back and forth."  Leaning forward, she fixes him with a stare for a moment before shifting back again. "You and me, we need to talk."
Haarmon Dak
 player, 467 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 2 Nov 2015
at 18:45
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Haarmon didn't quote know what to say to that. He mumbled something that might have been "M'kay" and tried to concentrate on the screen. And ignore the fact that he was almost certainly blushing.
The Force
 GM, 671 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 2 Nov 2015
at 20:04
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Fighting down his embarrassment, Haarmon works at the terminal in Rhijans' quarters.  The same one that he had used to slice into the Security system just a short while ago.  Shard stands close to him, doing nothing to reduce the heat spreading through his face.

Information flows across the screen.  Colonel Kourene is off-world, and his current location is unknown, beyond the fact that he boarded a ship which filed no flight plan, and which is somewhere within a sphere whose radius is defined by the maximum distance that it could, potentially, have travelled in the elapsed time.

It's a depressingly large volume of space, and growing larger by the minute.  Even larger if the ship had made the jump to hyperspace.

Further information suggests that a number of the Colonel's staff had also left the base with him, travelling aboard separate transports...
Haarmon Dak
 player, 468 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 2 Nov 2015
at 20:21
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Aha! No one got anywhere without leaving a trail.

He started two lines in inquiry. First, his staff, their whereabouts, and anything they may have left behind. No way every flunky who stapled his reports together was that careful.

And second, start linking pictures and video from security footage to see if he could find what ship the Colonal left on. If he  knew that, he could make strike out into the wider world and see what was findable.

And he was trying to ignore how close Shard was standing to him.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 870 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 3 Nov 2015
at 04:59
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Rhijans turned a measuring gaze on You-Why as the droid recounted his own part in the process of discovering the truth.  Interrogation procedures were not a standard part of protocol droid programming, to the best of his knowledge, and that left Rhijans with uncomfortable speculations on where that kind of programming could have come from...and what other non-standard subroutines might be running through the droid's brain.  Or whatever they called the processing units they used...

For now, however, he kept his peace, watching Haarmon begin his own kind of interrogation.  He'd been focused on other matters so intently that he'd been able to keep it subdued...but the thought of Colonel Kourene being off the base, with no known destination and no expected time of return, and his entire staff traveling under similar conditions, made him profoundly uncomfortable.  They had no way of knowing who Reise had sold information to...odds were extremely good it was Oomba's organization, as Hutts enjoyed notoriety when it came to weapons and information (among other things)...they had no idea of what information, exactly, had been passed along to them, whether it had been merely the locations of the outposts to which Reise had been neglecting to deliver or if the whole sector's operations had been compromised...and they had no idea how much of that information Oomba was holding in reserve as a bargaining chip to get around Imperial entanglements with his operations.  Selling a Rebel base might be enough to get a full spice shipment through Imperial Customs without more than a checkmark acknowledging the ship had gone through the port, or get a subordinate out of Imperial custody.  Might even be enough to buy Imperial arms, especially if they were older weapons that were due to be cycled out of issue.  There were plenty of reasons for Oomba to hold back information from the Empire.

But there were also plenty of opportunities for that information to leak...for something critical to happen and no one in the chain of command to be here to oversee a response, whatever that might be.  And while he felt quite competent taking care of himself...and even his team, if need be...he saw the potential for a catastrophic lack of response without a recognized authority figure present.

All of that flickered behind his eyes in the amount of time it took for Haarmon to type in one of his inquiries.  And the rest of the time was spent trying to keep the accompanying sense of unease from making him want to pace...or go to the hangar deck and see if Jalt's ship was finished and he could get them off the planet until Kourene returned.
Juragga
 player, 440 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 3 Nov 2015
at 06:44
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Juragga huffed indignantly at Haarmon's "Gramma" comment, but stood back and let the kid do his thing.  He was very good at it; and it was not Juragga's forte.

But neither was sitting back and doing nothing.  So he mosied over to the doorway and checked the hall.
Shard
 player, 909 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Wed 4 Nov 2015
at 16:35
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Nothing.  Nothing, nothing, and nothing...void.

That too.

She's not blind, though; Shard quickly realizes proximity is upsetting Haarmon.  Embarrassment, to be sure; for what, she wasn't quite certain.  Same as before?  Or because of his 'discovery'?  Either way, it's not helping and she can't decipher anything that's passing on the screen.  It might as well be in Sandperson for all she can comprehend.

Actually, Shard considers, she'd have better luck with Sandperson.

"Good job.  Keep it going, Haarmon," she mutters, turning away to do what Rhijans eschewed: pace.  It's one thing to move, to focus, to have a goal; it's another wait, and hot void, she wants a drink.  Only a few more days of this, she tells herself, knowing full-well her assessment is optimistic.  A few more days, and it'll get easier.  You can hang on.  You know you can.  Look at Rhijans.  Pro.  Take your cue from him.

Her eyes flick to Juragga as he moves to the door. "Anything out there?" she quietly queries the hairy giant.  If there's a danger...

...If there's a danger, Juragga will beat it to death.  With itself. 
The Force
 GM, 672 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 5 Nov 2015
at 19:55
Part 17 - In the aftermath
Haarmon tries to focus on getting information out of the system regarding the Colonel's whereabouts.  It's slow work, and doesn't look too good.  Kourene and a handful of staff officers left on four different transports, none of which filed flight information with the base's traffic control centre.

The officer's themselves were, apparently, under instructions to keep their destinations secret.  If they filed any information with their own people, it consists of phrases like, "Off-world: meeting."  The location, and the purpose, of that meeting are a tightly guarded secret - hardly surprising considering the security issues that Defiance Base has been experiencing.

Haarmon is, at least, able to identify the ships that they used - a variety of transports and freighters, all of which launched within a half hour of each other:
    Rim Runner
    Kornell's Sky Dancer
    Lady Fortuna
    Mynock Bait

Interestingly, Lady Fortuna returned to the base about an hour later.  Apparently without its passengers...