Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast.   Posted by The Force.Group: 0
The Force
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 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 2 May 2016
at 19:26
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Haarmon packs his equipment away, then hands the largest tool box to Juragga to carry.  That one contains some unconventional tools - thermal detonators, demolition charges, spare weapons, etc...  Useful for Juragga to take that, as it's less likely that anybody would stop a large, angry looking Wookiee to inspect his luggage.

The datapad with the work order goes in the top of Haarmon's own tool kit, along with his portable console and assorted datachips.  All equipment that will easily pass a quick inspection as the sort of thing that a tech might carry.

And they're ready to go.

They step out into the corridor and start heading towards the Quartermaster's stores.  A little way ahead a squad of stormtroopers are checking that doors are secured.

Following their map they find an elevator, and descend.  They step out at the entrance to the stores, where an Imperial in an officer's uniform with the insignia of a lieutenant looks at them with an expression of disgust.  Clearly these lowly techs and the Wookiee slave are making the place look untidy.

"Yes?  What do you want?" he snaps at them.
Shard
 player, 991 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 3 May 2016
at 12:37
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Passing the stormtroopers is an exercise in stress.  Shard can almost feel her heart hammering against her ribcage, wonders if the troopers can hear.  But no, those helmets must be blocking the drumbeat out.  Past them, she fights to unclench her teeth.

A single squad of troopers, they could manage...but if a fight breaks out, the entire ship will be against them.

Elevator and down, giving her more time to relax, to struggle for control.  And then here they are in the belly of the beast, faced by its disgruntled master.  Stepping forward, Shard tries a salute. "Sir.  We've received a repair order...faulty power coupling in the thermal regulator?"  Her voice trails off a touch, making it almost a question.  "Reporting as ordered." 
Juragga
 player, 468 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Wed 4 May 2016
at 05:38
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
The worst part was pretending docility.

What he WANTED to do was lash out, roar in Wookiee rage, and snarl in the face of death as he tore them all to pieces with his bare hands, or died trying.

But what he ACTUALLY did was bow his head and shuffle along, acting subdued.  Because that was the only way Imperials could accept his people; and THAT was the only way to accomplish their mission.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 948 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Wed 4 May 2016
at 05:46
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Rhijans kept his face carefully neutral through the whole thing...apparently bored.  If anyone paid attention to his eyes, however...

He was taking careful stock of everything he could process.  Labels on doors. Locations of people.  Where voices were heard and where they weren't, indicating groups of people beyond them.  Anything on the stormtroopers that denoted any kind of special status.  What was piled where in the QM area...all of it examined briefly, analyzed, and filed away as tactical information for later use.

Even when Shard stepped up and started talking, he stood, his face slightly averted...while he wasn't as obvious as a Wookiee, his 'sub-human' status meant he should avoid treating officers as anything close to equals.  But out of the corner of his eyes, he watched, assessing the man's body language, reactions, apparent physical ability...

Whatever humor he'd displayed, in whatever miniscule degree, was gone.  He was all business, at this point, even though part of that business required him to look like he regarded almost everyone around him as a superior.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 522 posts
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Thu 5 May 2016
at 13:05
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Now that things had moved past planning and recon into actual ops, Haarmon stopped feeling quite as on top of the game as he did a few minutes ago. This was Rhijan's realm, and Haarmon, with no small amount of awe and envy, watched as the the grey-skinned operative draped that cold cloak of indifferent competence across him self and got down to business like breaking into secure detention centres and messing up Star Detroyers and walking away clean (probably with explosions in the background that he's studiously ignoring) was just another day on the farm.

And Shard, of course, was at home everywhere. Poking into planning and ops equally efficiently and equally expertly. And poor Rags, who was out of place everywhere, getting more and more ready to fight, the menace lurking inside of his arms like a snake sunning itself on a rock.

All of them so good at what they did. And all of them falling into their roles so easily.

He was just glad he had them to hide behind once the slicing was done.

He stared at the Imperial behind the desk. Noted the pristine cleanliness of the area. Noted the look of frustrated annoyance on the man's face. It was clear he didn't want them here. Didn't want anyone here messing up his perfectly ordered universe.

So let's give him no reason to keep us.

He looked up from his datapad as Shard talked, making a tight, unhappy face, and keeping his voice fast and clipped and impatient. "And yeah, look, I'm really sorry, Lieutenant, but the docket's full today, you know. So if you could hurry us along we need to get this done and out of here fast, like, Kessel Run, fast, we'd really appreciate it."

Con the Imp:
09:04, Today: Haarmon Dak rolled 16 using 4 dice with the WEG Classic system ((5,4,{Wild}2,5)).

This message was last edited by the player at 11:40, Fri 06 May 2016.

The Force
 GM, 731 posts
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 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 5 May 2016
at 18:38
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
The officer looks at the proffered datapad, studying carefully, his face locked into the same sour expression.  But he doesn't take the pad.  His eyes just scan the information.

"I wasn't aware that we had any kind of environmental problem.  Are you absolutely certain that you have the right section?"  He doesn't wait for an answer.  "The station number is correct, and ShipOps would not have made a mistake, I suppose.  Very well, get on with it, as quickly as you can.  Don't let that... " a curt nod in Juragga's direction, "... touch anything fragile."

He turns, swivelling on his heel, and stalks into an office set off to one side, where he sits with the door open, so that he can watch the outer room while he works.

The outer room is at least twenty metres wide and twice as long, with rows of shelves holding carefully labelled storage bins.  There are large cabinets around the walls.  It seems likely that not all parts of the room can be seen from the office...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 950 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 6 May 2016
at 07:23
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Rhijans' lips tightened slightly in the barest hint of a grin, and he gave Haarmon a nod.  They were in...

Now, they just needed to find the junction in question.  And a couple of storage containers with armor in them.  And get into the armor and out of the QM section without raising any alarms...preferably while leaving an obscenely large explosive charge in their wake.

One thing at a time... he told himself.

"Okay, boss," he said, in the best casual tone he could muster...which was still crisply businesslike, but at a level that shouldn't attract much attention.  "Where's this regulator at?"  He started walking back, eyes scanning the labels on the crates, looking for armor...but trying to be aware of anything else appropriately opportunistic.

He always took a special delight in using Imperial munitions to destroy Imperial equipment...
Juragga
 player, 470 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sat 7 May 2016
at 16:45
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Juragga hung his head and looked shamed as the officer told them not to let him break anything.

...as he mentally rehearsed all the things he was going to break.  Starting with said officer.
Shard
 player, 999 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 9 May 2016
at 12:38
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
"Efficiency, sir.  Fix the problem before it becomes serious."  Haarmon is doing a good job - he's a natural at this kind of fast-talk - but it never hurts to throw in some extra weight behind any flim-flammery.  Rhijans seems to be getting them pointed in the correct direction, and is probably salivating slightly at the thought of planting some kind of obscenely large explosive charge.

Well, probably not; salivating doesn't seem quite right, Shard figures, as it might freeze from his void-cold professional aura.

And Juragga?  Biding his time, wisely.  "C'mon, you," Shard mutters, moving up beside him and trying for the right mix of condescending affection.  "Let's see if we need any muscle for this job."  They will, and soon enough; probably with the gargantuan bowcaster smuggled away in one of the equipment cases, or possibly just breaking said equipment case over someone's head.

Or working on some delicate technical aspect, with those surprisingly dextrous Wookie digits.

And off they go, headed into the back in search of the regulator in question.  "This way," Shard states firmly, without any real idea.  Not that the officer would know; their group just needs to look like they know what they're doing.
The Force
 GM, 732 posts
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Mon 9 May 2016
at 19:06
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
The regulator is easy enough to find.  There's a large maintenance panel on one side of the room, towards the back.  It's clearly marked as covering several systems which control environmental conditions, power, and datalinks for something called <t>Section 372-25</t>.

Close to it is a locked door, a red indicator burning balefully on its control panel.

Something else too, which wasn't visible from the entrance to the stores... three Imperials are among the shelves, apparently checking inventory.  All are wearing rank insignia which indicate that they are lowly Midshipmen.  All of them look to be young, probably new recruits, or at least fairly recent.  And all immediately try to move as far from Juragga as possible, consistent with continuing their assigned duty...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 952 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 10 May 2016
at 06:46
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Rhijans sidled close to the others.  "Been watching the shelves...the stuff we are looking for isn't out here...at a guess, I'd say the Armory is behind that door..."  His voice was quiet, and he kept his eyes low, as though he'd been conditioned to avoid eye-contact with his 'betters' (Shard and Haarmon).

"I don't know if there's a good way to bypass that...there's definitely not a good way to do it with the Quartermaster crew in here taking inventory."  He shot a quick glance, sidelong, at Shard.  "Maybe us grunts need to go investigate a feed-line coming into the regulator and see if we can scare the QM Corps into hiding for a few minutes...?"

Their lack of enthusiasm for Juragga's presence could, possibly, be due to mere distaste.  But there could also, easily, be an element of fear in there.  Either one, however, could potentially be made to help their current project...
Haarmon Dak
 player, 528 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 10 May 2016
at 14:05
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Once they were past the guy at the desk, they were firmly back in 'real world logistics' territory and Haarmon pretty much clammed up. Rhijans was right in that there was no quick, easy, or quiet way past that door, especially with an audience.

He freezes at the three soldiers counting taking inventory and his mouth goes dry. But he managed to keep walking, mostly out of assurance that the others would take care of this if taking care was needed.
Shard
 player, 1002 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 10 May 2016
at 15:38
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
"They're young.  Very young, and inexperienced.  I can get rid of them," Shard quietly notes.  "Leave this part to me and Juragga."  Her and the Wookie against a group of green techs?  Not a problem.  That leaves Haarmon and Rhijans to get into the armory and have Rhijans suit up...which is perfect.

"Juragga, let's go.  We don't want to be loud, here, but if you can loom really well..." The older woman makes a disgusted noise.  "Of course you can, who am I kidding?  Just follow my lead."

Hopefully with Juragga in tow, Shard heads to confront the three workers.  "Hey.  You lot."  She gestures with one hand.  Once achieving their attention, Shard puts on her serious face.  "We're dealing with the environmental system, here.  Specifically the thermals.  Coolant fluid could escape and go vapour.  The last time that happened, we had four crew in sickbay and me with about sixteen forms to fill out.  If you have a break scheduled, take it now.  If you don't, get up to the front of the room."

Folding her arms, she nods her head toward the front of the room, positioned to block - well, for Juragga to block - the view toward the back.
Juragga
 player, 472 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Wed 11 May 2016
at 01:33
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Juragga, of course, was only too happy to follow The Jedi.  He lumbered after her, drawing himself up to his full height.  Finally he could straighten his spine and not simper!
The Force
 GM, 734 posts
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 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 12 May 2016
at 19:36
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
The clerks try to edge away from Shard or, more accurately, from the towering wall of fur behind her.  Unfortunately for them, they run out of space to manoeuvre.  At that point they have no choice but to listen to Shard's "advice".

They seem torn, though, between avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals (and a Wookiee) and avoiding the wrath of their superior.

Only briefly though.  They may be new recruits, but they know enough to know where the real danger lies.  But, at this point, they just don't care...

"We have a scheduled break in about ten minutes.  We'll request to be allowed to take it early because... because... " and he desperately searches for a good reason, "... you've told us we're in the way and delaying your work."

The man signals to his comrades-in-inventory, and the three move carefully past the tech team, paying particular attention to avoiding the Wookiee.

As they walk away, they can be heard talking quietly.

"Sakz isn't going to like us telling him we have to take an early break.  You know how he likes his schedules"

"Never mind him!  I just hope she doesn't call a surprise inspection while we're away."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 954 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 13 May 2016
at 05:39
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Rhijans grimaced, minutely, at the mention of 'she'.  Women in authority in the Empire were few and far between.  Women in authority in this sector of space were almost non-existent.  "Should've expected that..." he muttered softly, between gritted teeth.

"Clock's running," he said in a low voice as the clerks moved far enough away to not hear him.  "Can you bypass the door?  Don't want to sound any major alarms."

Frankly, he didn't care if something happened to cause the Quartermaster to come investigate...as long as he didn't sound an alarm before he came.  Rhijans had no doubts about their ability to deal with him...and, at this point, few (if any) compunctions about doing it with extreme prejudice.  Lives were on the line...a LOT of lives, if he interpreted the clerks' commentary correctly.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 530 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 13 May 2016
at 19:02
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
"Maaaaaybe?" Dak's reply to Rhijans came out in a long, distracted question as he turned his attention to the armoury door. He produced a small multi-tool and opened the locking mechanism.

It was hard to slice into doors in an Imperial Ship. Too many layers and redundancies. It just took forever. Usually the best way out was through.

He noodled around inside the door, cut a couple of wires. Poked a couple of circuit boards.

"Maybe," he mumbled, more certain, "I think I got it."

OOC: 21 on Security roll. I think that's my first roll for non-computer Security.
Shard
 player, 1005 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 16 May 2016
at 12:13
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
"Well-chosen," Shard agrees with the recruits, watching them huddle their way out of the area.  But ice-water pours down her spine as they discuss potential surprise inspections, and Shard turns a wide-eyed look of horror toward Rhijans.  Void.  Hot void.  Not here.

Coincidence?  No.  They're on the ship holding Kourene.

Swallowing thickly, the older woman edges back a touch, speaking out of the corner of her mouth.  "Rhijans."  Her face pale, she false-starts twice before shaking off enough of her palsy to speak properly.  "I'm a liability.  If it's Nimadda -"  there; you've said her name and she hasn't appeared "- she might be able to figure out I'm here."  Leave it to him to work out why; regardless of his beliefs, she's certain the onyx-eyed hunter has seen enough to at least put credence in her words.  And...

Shard's eyes close.  Haarmon.

They snap open again, the fear buried under diamond-hard purpose.  A touch to Juragga's arm brings him into this as well.  "You two.  No matter what, you need to make sure Haarmon gets out of here.  You can't let Nimadda get her claws into him."

Curse it all, he's her responsibility now. Nimadda will turn him inside-out, and there won't be anything left of the Haarmon we know when she's finished.

Assuming she doesn't just kill him.

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 956 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 16 May 2016
at 18:42
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Rhijans turned to Shard...and in a rare physical gesture, reached out one hand to rest on her shoulder and turn her to look him in the eyes.  "We are ALL getting out of here...anyone left behind will be dragged over my dead body, and I have absolutely no intention of dying here."  His voice was tight, controlled...the sound of a voice belonging to a man who refused to accept his own fears.

"This just means we have to create that much more chaos, and hit that much faster, when we do...get her so busy looking every which way that she can't focus on us."  Rhijans had always found he got the best success when he chose to respond to fear through action, not waiting and worrying...

He turned to the door.  "One way or another, it's time to make a move.  See about rigging a charge in the junction there...see how many systems we can screw up in a single blast...and I'll see whether or not this armor idea is actually going to work out or if we're going to have to improvise."  He reached out and triggered the door release.
The Force
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 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 16 May 2016
at 18:55
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Juragga grumbles menacingly, his meaning abundantly clear: Nimadda will have to go through him to get to Haarmon, and he'll make sure it hurts her.

Haarmon, meanwhile, demonstrates that he's as handy with opening locks physically as he is at slicing them.  The door slides open, releasing a somewhat antiseptic smell of metal and plastic.

Lights flicker on, harsh white lights that make Juragga squint and growl.  There is a long narrow room stretching away from the doorway and lined with two wall racks, one on each side.  And they hold blasters.

It looks like enough blasters to equip an entire army.  Below the racks are neatly labelled equipment bins.  All of them closed, and with code locks on them...
Haarmon Dak
 player, 535 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 17 May 2016
at 12:21
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Haarmon was actually rather pleased with  himself when he got the door open so easily. It was harder than it looked and he'd had nowhere near as much practice. But a couple of pokes, and zip and zap, and boom! It opened right up. Only thing easier would have been to shoot it.

He turned around, feeling pretty good and saw that everyone looked all intense and grim and serious. I mean, sure, they were in the middle of an Imperial stronghold on an impossible mission a single misstep away from death at all times.

But even more serious than that.

"What's up?" he asked. "Did something happen? What happened?"
Shard
 player, 1009 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 17 May 2016
at 12:49
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Swivelling to face Rhijans, Shard meets his diamond-hard stare.  Her own brims with tightly-controlled fear and sharp-edged determination.  Some of that fear recedes at the smoke-skinned hunter's words, and the older woman feels a knot in her belly loosen.  A hair. "Right," she whispers, her voice cracking slightly.  Be like him, Shard.  Move.  Keep moving.  Don't sit and think.

"Thanks."

Juragga grumbles his own warnings to their enemies, and Shard shifts back from Rhijans as the hunter moves to the door.  Running fingers through her hair, she nods along with the Wookie's views. "Makes two of us." I'm cursed well responsible for Haarmon, now.  More than before.  Looks like she'll have to walk over a trail of bodies to get to him.

And the woman will, Shard knows, if that's what it takes her; so best to think like Rhijans and work toward getting out alive.

"I'll leave blowing the void out of this place to you," she starts, then Haarmon turns around.  With a question, and this one is for her to field.  Stepping forward, Shard gives him a thin-lipped smile. "Let's keep it down, but you need to know that Nimadda is here.  Ghea Nimadda.  We've talked about her.  It just means we need to be...extra-extra careful."    Her voice trails off as she looks past Haarmon. "Void.  How many blasters IS that?" Shard wonders, then shakes her head. "All of them, I guess."

Aaaaand...coded locks on the armor bins, of course.

"I'll watch for the techs," Shard states with a significant glance for Haarmon, edging back from the door.  Simultaneously, her mind seeks balance, search for that fulcrum between fire and ice.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 539 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Wed 18 May 2016
at 12:51
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Haarmon's face fell. Sometimes being a slicer was being a maid in a house full of slobs. No matter how many locks you hot-wired, how many codes you broke, there were always more locks and more codes.

"What's the plan, Big Man?" he said to Rhijans, "Are we snatch-and-grab? Or blowing up? Because I'm, uh, not all the way sure I can do much about all this. Not quickly anyway. But say the word and I'll get to it."

His face fell a little more at Shard's news. He didn't really have much of a response handy so he just sort of gave a tight-lipped nod. They were going to be as careful as they could be. "Just gotta play the cards that came out of the deck, I guess, huh?"

This message was last edited by the player at 11:22, Thu 19 May 2016.

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 958 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 19 May 2016
at 07:21
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Rhijans looked at Haarmon just a moment longer than usual...reading, assessing.  Whatever he saw, apparently satisfied him, because he gave a minute nod.

"We need to get at least one, preferably a couple, of these tubs open, assuming that's where the armor is stored.  And if we can find wherever they've got the stockpile of powerpacks for the blasters..."  THAT would make for a pretty impressive blast.  And, potentially, render a significant portion of the stormtrooper complement for this part of the ship unable to get their armor.

Not that it would make a HUGE difference, really...stormtroopers on a Star Destroyer were like mynocks on a cheap space transport, only worse.  But if they disabled a large enough portion of them here, it would take time for others to move to cover for them.

"See what you can do with the bins, I'll see if I can locate power-packs or any other likely prospects for amplifying the chaos when we start pushing buttons."  He waited long enough for a confirmation before he started moving deeper into the armory.
The Force
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 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 19 May 2016
at 19:49
Re: Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Rhijans takes a look at the bins.  They seem fairly sturdy, and all are labelled.  Though on closer examination, the labels bear only ID codes for the contents, not nice descriptive names.  Doubtless anybody who should be looking at the bins knows which code they are searching for, and what it signifies.