Part 23 - Errand of Mercy.   Posted by The Force.Group: 0
The Force
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 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 30 Jan 2020
at 21:31
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
Juragga squirms back out of the crawl way, dragging his tools with him, and sits up.  If the information isn't here, then it isn't here.  He's just glad that Halec Rett is offering to try and find it for him - the man probably has a lot of contacts on various worlds.  The Wookiee warbles his thanks and gets to his feet.

"No problem.  I'm happy to help, and thanks again for fixing my ship."

Tfalta Dawl gives Rhijans a half bow and turns to leave.  Then stops and turns back for a moment.  "Thank Haarmon, please, for me and for her.  She tells me he looked after her well."

Across the hangar, as Dawl leaves, Rhijans can see You-Why shuffling towards him as rapidly as he can.

"Sir!  Sir!" the droid calls out as it gets closer, "Colonel Kourene would like to see yourself, and the rest of  the team, in his office as soon as possible.  He said it is a matter of some importance."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1414 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 31 Jan 2020
at 06:01
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
Rhijans sighed, imperceptibly, and responded, "Of course it is," in a soft growl.  He gave You-Why a nod and a comradely clap on one shoulder.  "Thanks.  Coming with us?  I know you're dealing with a lot, but your input would be appreciated, for whatever it is."

He looked around, not seeing Juragga at the moment, but spotting Haarmon and Shard close by.  "Shard, Haarmon!  Any idea where Juragga is?  The Colonel has sent for us..."
Shard
 player, 1464 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Fri 31 Jan 2020
at 16:40
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy

There comes a sigh, long and slow; an exhalation of pain, not relief.  Reaching out, Shard lays a hand upon Haarmon’s shoulder, light but nevertheless there. “If I sound like you,” she quietly avers, “then I’m pretty pleased.  You say some cursed smart and wise things, Haarmon.”

Moving closer, she throws one arm over his shoulders – it’s casual – and gives him a squeeze.  “Sometimes it’s easy to forget that the crap we get up to has a price – on us.  Maybe we’re doing something right for the galaxy, but people die.  Just need to look at Rhijans – void save him – to see what that can cost.”  The grey-skinned hunter has scrubbed his spirit clean of remorse – or hidden it well-away, and Shard suspects more the latter – to keep from breaking under the weight of his own deeds.  The older woman doesn’t know what he has done, but can guess; ‘bounty-hunter’ isn’t a trade in which one protects one’s innocence. “Get the chance to do something good and right – well-put, that – like protect a cursed baby, and…” Her free hand makes an absent wave in the air.

“It must feel like a gift.”

Void, how hard have I become?  I look at Rhijans, but how far behind him am I, if I need Haarmon just to remind me of this?


“I wouldn’t know a hero if one bit me,” she muses, now staring up, eyes blindly searching the past.  “But a decent, good person of solid spirit, that kind of thing I’ve seen before.  And that’s you, as well.  I wish you could have kept the child with you – become her protector, or something.  I could hand some ‘Force moves in mysterious ways’ Bantha crap to you, but…I figure you’d know I was full of just that.  Also, I couldn’t get it out without laughing at myself.”

Her lips tighten, and she leans to stare into his face.  “Life, right?  It just…”  Headshake.  “Anyway, no lesson to teach here or lecturing.  Just…talking.  I don’t have the cursed right to tell you what you should feel, or what perspective you ought to have on this.  That’s all you.  I’m just here to blather on, and maybe listen if you want to talk.”   One side of her mouth quirks up.  “I can shut up and manage that, promise.” </darkgreen>

Then she snorts, quite far from delicately.  “As for graceful exits, I’m pretty sure this isn’t your worst; I’ve fallen down stairs, and I bet you could match.”  But the amusement swiftly fades.  <darkgreen> “Nobody expects you not to feel, Haarmon,” Shard solemnly states.

Then a shout echoes and Shard winces.  <DarkGreen>"Duty calls, apparently."
  Turning her head, she raises her voice.  "Not sure, Rhijans - we'll need to comm him."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1415 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 31 Jan 2020
at 18:43
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
Rhijans nodded at the response, starting to walk towards the pair.  "Can one of you do the honors?"  Anyone else might have sounded sheepish asking that...Rhijans managed to make it tactical, especially when he added, "I could tell him to meet us here, but if he's got any explanation for why he couldn't, I don't understand Wookiee, so I'd just have to get you, anyway."  It was one thing when Juragga was present, and there was body language and context to the assorted grunts, growls, and howls...but without any visual clues, they were mostly just noise, to Rhijans.

As he got closer, he added...in an almost-soft tone, surprisingly, "Dawl wanted me to let you know the infant was grateful for the way you took care of her."

Was there a hint of empathy in his voice?  It was hard to know...but it was a tone that he had rarely, if ever, used around anyone in the team.
The Force
 GM, 1096 posts
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 rolls you're looking for.
Sun 2 Feb 2020
at 22:20
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
You-Why follows after Rhijans, silently at first, but soon starts talking when they reach Haarmon and Shard.

"If anybody is interested, and I suppose there is a small possibility that they might be, my discussion with the Colonel was fairly successful.  That is to say, I think it was.  Or as successful as it could possibly be, given the circumstances."

The droid seems to be sliding back into his familiar sulky mood.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1416 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 3 Feb 2020
at 18:26
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
Rhijans paused and turned to the droid.  "What makes you think we wouldn't be interested?"  The words could have been taken as accusatory, but the tone was genuinely curious and non-judgmental.
Shard
 player, 1466 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Wed 5 Feb 2020
at 02:43
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
While Rhijans speaks quietly with Haarmon, Shard flicks on her comm. ++ Hey, Juragga.  If you’re there, we’re going to meet up at the colonel’s office.  You free? ++ Waiting for a response, she turns to the somewhat petulant You-Why and slowly nods.  “I’m interested, and I’m happy to hear about it.  How about you tell me what you and the colonel managed to work out?”   All true – she would like to know what You-Why is feeling, and doesn’t begrudge him his grumpy mood today.

After all, he’s heard the worst possible news: terminal illness.

“Really, You-Why.  What Rhijans says.  Let us in on what happened,” she quietly finishes, hoping for some kind of good news...or at least tolerable.  Haarmon is already dealing with a painful loss, and she wants the best for the droid.

Or at least, what You-Why considers to be the best, which is the only metric that really counts.
The Force
 GM, 1097 posts
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 rolls you're looking for.
Wed 5 Feb 2020
at 22:47
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
Juragga responds almost instantly, indicating that he would meet the rest of the group at the Colonel's office.

You-Why emits a passable imitation of a sigh before explaining, "Nobody had asked me about it until now, so it was difficult to see that there was any interest.  I have observed that when organics, and Humans in particular, are unwell, then queries regarding their health, and any efforts to improve such, are usually the first order of business when they meet somebody they know."

"As for my own meeting with the Colonel... it was quite brief.  He listened to what I said, and then told me that he would speak to somebody who might be able to help, and then sent me to find you.  He said that he might, perhaps, have some news for me when I come back with the rest of you."

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1417 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 6 Feb 2020
at 05:12
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
Rhijans got a look on his face that could have been amusement, of some sort.  It was hard to say, as he'd never really been openly amused about anything in the time the team had been together.  "In our defense, You-Why, you weren't here long enough to start asking questions.  First thing you said was that Colonel Kourene wanted to see us, and you expressed it in such a way that implied he meant right away.  Before anyone had a chance to ask you, you had already started talking about the meeting and implying nobody cared about the results."  He gave the droid an inscrutable look.

"We're only biologicals.  Our brains don't process information as fast as yours."
The Force
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 rolls you're looking for.
Sun 9 Feb 2020
at 20:21
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
The droid is silent for a moment - or at least as silent as he can be with the constant quiet clicking, whirring and hissing that accompanies every movement of his servos.

Then he speaks again.  "You are right, I suppose, and I apologise for my hastiness.  I have been associated with this group for a some time now, and I have become so familiar with you that sometimes I almost forget how inferior you are."

"Ah, here we are."


The droid turns through a doorway, and into a room where Colonel Kourene sits talking to a woman who, judging by the tool kit on the floor next to her chair, is a tech.

Both look at the group as they enter, but it's clear that the woman's attention is focussed almost exclusively on You-Why.

Kourene nods, "Good... glad you got here so quickly.  Sit down, please, all of you."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1418 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 10 Feb 2020
at 04:02
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
A ghost of a smile flickered across Rhijans' face at You-Why's mention of their inferiority.  It was there and then gone, so quickly it might have been imagined...but anyone who saw it might have perceived it to be, not just amusement, but even some degree of fondness.

He followed You-Why into the Colonel's office, giving a nod and taking a seat when directed, turning his focus on the unfamiliar tech.
Shard
 player, 1468 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 11 Feb 2020
at 02:05
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
Shard suppresses a sigh of irritation.  At times, You-Why's attitude grates against her nerves.  It's not a common thing by any stretch, and she wouldn't want it gone -- it's part of who the droid is, after all -- but it can be irksome.  Of course, You-Why might have a few things to say about her attitude, in all fairness; yet another reason why she should just keep her thoughts to herself in this case.

Rhijans handles it with aplomb, and by the time he and the droid are finished, they've arrived at the office.  Haarmon has been quiet -- that's worrisome.  Juragga said he would meet them, and there's no sign of the huge wookie...yet.  Instead, they're brought into a room with a woman Shard can't place.  And a tool kit.

Suspicions deepen.

"All right," Shard murmurs, moving to a chair.  She keeps one eye on the woman, whose entire attention seems on You-Why.  Getting a little concerned, here.

It's just your paranoia, Shard.

But what if it isn't?

Colonel Kourene
 NPC, 44 posts
 Commander of
 Defiance Base.
Wed 12 Feb 2020
at 21:22
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
Once everybody is settle, Kourene gestures towards the stranger.  "This is Karra Hedine, she's a tech who has a fair bit of experience with droids."

Hedine nods, and smiles nervously.

"I called her in after UY-3PO came to see me.  I'm hoping she will be able to do something to help him, preferably without wiping his personality, which has, quite frankly, proven useful on occasion.  Simply put, this droid has developed some traits which make him a unique resource."

There follows a brief conversation, in which Kourene and You-Why describe the droid's situation, with additional details from the rest of the group.  During this discussion, Juragga enters the office and squeezes himself into a seat.

"I just have to say," says Hedine finally, "that I think this problem can be corrected, to everybody's satisfaction.  The main issue is that I don't think I can do it.  I do, however, believe that I know somebody who can.  But he isn't here, on Mothessh."

"He is actually a prisoner of the Empire."

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1419 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Wed 12 Feb 2020
at 21:30
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
"Of course he is..." Rhijans muttered.  The look on his face was plain to read, however...he was going.

"It might be best if we take something other than the Bantha...after spring the Colonel from Imperial detainment, I'm sure she'd draw some attention."  If there was any doubt about his expression, his tone cleared it up.  They were going, it was just a question of how to get in and out.
Shard
 player, 1469 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Sat 15 Feb 2020
at 13:06
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
Excellent news, that there is a possible 'cure' for You-Why's 'condition'.  "I think it's to You-Why's satisfaction that the problem needs correcting," she muses.  "His choice on this.  But if there's someone who can correct it -- and You-Why is in agreement with this course -- then I'm all for going. To...to..." Her brow furrows. "Where exactly is this person being held?"

Rhijans has already begun strategizing; she leaves him to it, sure he will better clear the details for that than herself.  Her eyes shift to the droid.  "You-Why; I figure you probably want this problem fixed, but...asking might be a good idea.  Do you?"
The Force
 GM, 1099 posts
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 rolls you're looking for.
Sun 16 Feb 2020
at 21:51
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
You-Why sounds surprised as he replies to Shard's quiestion.  "Oh my.  Yes.  If I can be restored to full integrity, then that is definitely what I want.  Part of my core programming... any droid's core programming, in fact... is to ensure that we keep ourselves at peak efficiency."

"The last I heard, my brother... oh, sorry... that's who we're talking about here, my brother, Najdo.  He's the one who can fix your friend.  The last information I had is that he is being forced to work at the deepdock on Ord Mantell." Hedine smiles hopefully.

Kourene, however, isn't smiling.  "Ord Mantell?  That's half way across the Galaxy!"  He lowers his head and takes several deep breaths, before looking up again.  "If your brother can help You-Why, then that's where the team will need to go.  That's all."

"I can find you another ship to get there too."

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1420 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 17 Feb 2020
at 02:49
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
If Rhijans was at all surprised by the announcement that they needed to go to Ord Mantell, it didn't show on his face.  "That might actually make it easier, for us.  We've been involved in enough actions, in enough places around the sector, that sooner or later, we're going to be recognized."  He didn't say it; but a quick glance down at the gray skin of his hands and his eyes shooting a glance at Juragga said plenty...there weren't that many gray-skinned humanoids travelling with Wookiees in the galaxy.  Haarmon and Shard enjoyed the relative anonymity of being human and, therefore, practically omnipresent throughout the galaxy.

"When's the last you heard anything about your brother's status there?" he asked.  Current intel was always useful...but rarely available.  Unsaid, but lingering in the tone of the question was another...Are you sure he's still there?
Shard
 player, 1470 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Wed 19 Feb 2020
at 02:49
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
“I figure it’s everyone’s programming – instinct for us – to want to keep ourselves working well,” Shard muses, considering You-Why’s shocked response.  “Course, sometimes something goes wrong in the programming…or our heads, same thing…and we don’t care as much about that any more.”  Her smile is lopsided, a crooked thing hanging on her face, like a once-glorious, now-faded painting left askew on its hook.  “Good to hear that’s not the case for you.”

Hedine parleys out some information regarding her brother, and the colonel is less-than-pleased by what she reveals.  Even so, he acquiesces, offering a ship to boot.  Shard, however, still remains uncertain; it wouldn’t be the first time she has been hoodwinked by someone with personal reasons to play her false.

Keep it steady, Shard.  This could be You-Why’s only chance…only easy chance, anyway.  ‘Easy’ being relative.


If one person can do it, so can another…but this is the only one of whom they have any information.  Sneak out an Imperial prisoner, or search a galaxy blind?  The former edges the latter by a hair.

More questions from Rhijans follow, leaving Shard waiting for answers.
The Force
 GM, 1100 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Wed 19 Feb 2020
at 22:54
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
Hedine shakes her head, "Not too much real information.  The deepdock has tight security, as you'd expect at a place where the Imperials build star destroyers.  Najdo was being transferred to Ord Mantell, and another prisoner tried to escape when the ship they were on developed a fault, and the prisoners had to be switched to a new one.  In the confusion Najdo managed to pass a message to a transport captain in the hope that he might actually deliver it.  That's how we learned where he was being sent.  That information was from about two months ago."

"My guess would be that they have him building computer systems, or programming construction machinery.  Probably under heavy guard, since either of them would be  sensitive areas.  Or they might have him working on sanitation, but that would be a complete waste of his abilities."

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1421 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 20 Feb 2020
at 01:56
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
Rhijans snorted softly.  "That actually leads me to think he might be working sanitation.  The Empire isn't exactly the model of efficiency that they'd like us all to believe.  If they were, we'd have been dead a long time ago."

He shrugged.  "Two months isn't as recent as I would like, but as intel for an operation like this goes, it's not bad."  He looked at Kourene, and added, "If we had some kind of computer spike that could scramble their construction processes while we're there, it would be a pretty significant strike for the Alliance.  It'd have to a be a really good one, I'm sure they've got a pretty tight security system on their network there...but it would potentially give us a window of chaos to get back out."  Not that he had any good ideas on getting in, really, although the past trick of dressing him as a stormtrooper, with Shard and Haarmon as techs or officers, had held up pretty well.
The Force
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 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Sun 23 Feb 2020
at 21:08
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
The Colonel ponders briefly, then nods.

"That's a good idea.  If you can do some damage while effecting the rescue that would make the expedition even more useful.  I'll assign a team to create a spike for you.  I'm sure Haarmon can take care of using it."

Then, after a short pause, he adds, "Just remember the rescue is the important part of this.  If you need to get out without using the spike, then do it.  The rescue is the main priority."
Shard
 player, 1471 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 24 Feb 2020
at 01:05
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
"No worries on that part, colonel," Shard quietly returns. "Without getting her brother out, we've nothing to help You-Why, and that's a tad more important to me at the moment." Her liPs quirk in a mirthless grin.  "We'll try to deliver the package, but...yeah, getting the tech out takes precedence."

Any existing amusement -- faint it might be -- fades from her voice.  "So, we're getting a different ship.  Maybe different clothing, or armor, or something.  Right now we're rather...recognizable." Between Rhijan's skin, her clothing, and Juragga, they stand out; it's rather bizarre to say that You-Why and Haarmon are the most normal looking of the lot of them.  "And we'd better do it fast - two month-old information is getting a little stale."  Best not to think of the possibilities, only consider that their knowledge of the situation might be grossly incorrect.  And leave it there.

And now her expression definitely sours.  "And we're working on a timer, to boot."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1422 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 27 Feb 2020
at 01:14
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
Rhijans nodded.  "If there's anyone that can slice some decent Imperial IDs, we can always go in that way again.  I know we've done it before...but it's a big Empire.  Easy for a handful of individuals to disappear in the masses."  He glanced over at Haarmon.  This sort of thing was definitely more in Haarmon's part of the universe...

"Might even be able to plant some orders telling them to expect some kind of specialist, his or her assistant, and some new manual labor coming in under guard, so we're at least not an unexpected sight coming off whatever ship we use, if orders like that would fit in."  He gave a minutest shrug, indicating that he wasn't familiar with Imperial protocol.  If the right name was on the order, it wouldn't matter if they were unexpected...people would go out of their way to NOT notice them...but he didn't know whose name would have that kind of power.
Colonel Kourene
 NPC, 45 posts
 Commander of
 Defiance Base.
Thu 27 Feb 2020
at 21:07
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
"I'll get you whatever you need, just let me know.  Work out among yourselves what you expect to have a use for, and I'll get you a ship.  A pilot as well."

Hedine clears her throat, and raises a hand.  "I'd like to go along too, Sir.  I can recognise my brother, even at a distance.  Even if he's not in the best of health, or if he's grown a beard again.  And they might need a tech."

Leaning back in his chair, Kourene thinks briefly, then, "I'll leave the final decision on that up to the team.  If they say you can go, then, as far as I'm concened you can.  But you do so on condition that you do whatever they tell you to, and don't do anything stupid."

"Yes Sir.  I can live with that."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 1423 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 27 Feb 2020
at 21:31
Part 23 - Errand of Mercy
Rhijans snorted softly at the advice to not do anything stupid...as most beings in the galaxy would consider a fair portion of what they did on a fairly regular basis to be pretty stupid...but said nothing until the exchange concluded.

"Any experience in combat?  Or life-and-death crisis situations?"  It wasn't a judgment, although it could potentially have been taken as such.  Those familiar with him would recognize the tone, however...assessment.  How much were they going to have to carry her along?  As far as he was concerned, unless she was a total disaster under stress...which was unlikely, or Kourene wouldn't have brought her in for the conversation...the mission would be a lot easier with her than without her.  He was just trying to figure out how much easier.

"And have you been involved in anything that would potentially make your face recognizable to the Empire?"