Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den.   Posted by The Force.Group: 0
The Force
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Wed 13 Jan 2021
at 21:50
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
Yard 329 displays typical Imperial subtlety.  A wall with a blast door that looks big enough to fly a stardestroyer through, and marked with the yard number in twenty metre numerals.  Cameras are located to both sides, and above the door, slowly panning back and forth.

Twenty or so stormtroopers are stationed in front of the massive door, and manage to exude an air of suspicious curiosity as they look at the newcomers.

There is a smaller door to the right of the blast door, and about ten metres above that, what looks like it could be some sort of control room juts out from the ferrosteel wall.

One of the troopers walks forward.
"You there!  This area is restricted.  No loitering."
Rhijans Thanus
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Thu 14 Jan 2021
at 00:33
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
Rhijans stepped around Shard to intercept the trooper.  "Captain Danal directed us here.  Unless you want to explain to him why you interfered with an ISB investigation, you'll give us your full cooperation."  It was easy to sound confident...everything he was saying was easily verified with Danal.

"Feel free to verify that.  But I'd be fast about it."  He gave a half-glance over his shoulder, and lowered his voice.

"She doesn't like being delayed..." he added in a flat tone, hopefully indicating the unpleasant experience of watching her exact punishment on anyone who slowed her down.
Shard
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Sun 17 Jan 2021
at 11:47
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
Shard slows slightly to give Rhijans the chance to hurry forward, continuing in an implacable, tick-tock method of walking.  "Loitering?" she queries Haarmon as Rhijans confronts the trooper.  Her lips stretch slightly, into a smile that - were it more fully formed - might be qualified as 'venomous'.  Here, though, it's little more than a twitch of her lips before Shard's visage settles into a mask, brows slightly pulled downward in disapproval.  "We're loitering, apparently."
Haarmon Dak
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Sun 17 Jan 2021
at 16:22
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
Haarmon stifled a laugh. "So if we stop standing around and start exploding things, we can be all that guy over there told us to. Might get us out of a fine, or whatever."
The Force
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Sun 17 Jan 2021
at 16:59
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
"We were told to expect a group of visitors." the trooper replies, apparently looking straight past Rhijans, at Shard.  His weapon is held... almost casually.  Not quite pointing at anybody in particular.

"We were also told that you would have a code word to confirm your identity."
Shard
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Tue 19 Jan 2021
at 01:08
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
Shooting a wry smile at Haarmon, Shard strides forward to stand beside Rhijans.  "At ease - in this case, if there is a fault, it is mine.  The phrase you are expecting, trooper, is 'Lord Vader', and known only to me."  Her smile is now bright and cool as a winter's day, oddly fitting for her spare, razored features.  "A small word of advice, trooper - avoid comments like 'loitering' in the future when challenging people approaching your post; one never knows what their rank may be.  Some might view it as insubordination."

A small wave of the hand banishes that matter as unimportant to her.  "The gate, if you would?"
Rhijans Thanus
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Wed 20 Jan 2021
at 05:14
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
If Rhijans was at all perturbed by the weapon being sort-of-pointed their direction or the tone of the trooper they were facing, it didn't show at all.  The lack of shift in body tension implied that his face, inside the helmet, was as impassive as the helmet's mask.

Inwardly, he was taking mental notes.  The captain might have been easily swayed by the appearance of an ISB uniform, but the troopers here didn't seem to be.  He could think of two reasons for it...and he hoped they wouldn't have much occasion to find out whether it was just that they were hyper-focused on the task assigned to them, rather than them actually being more competent at their jobs than their officers.

And the thought that most military units he'd encountered were actually run by competent non-coms humoring incompetent officers didn't make him feel any better...

But as Shard gave their password to the stormtrooper, he stood as still and ready as any of them.  He'd already intended to appear every bit the model stormtrooper, as it made sense for an ISB officer to be escorted by such...but with the apparent competence of the group here, he felt the need to be even more...any break on his part would weaken the alibi of the rest of the group, where they, being part of an organization that operated outside the norms of the military, pretty much had built-in excuses for any anomalies in their behavior.
The Force
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Wed 20 Jan 2021
at 21:04
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
"Thank you."

The trooper looks up towards the apparent control room.  "All clear.  Open the blast door."

A siren starts to wail, while red lights strobe, and with a groan, and a loud grinding sound the blast door splits down the middle as the two halves start to slide apart.  A few moments later, a second layer of the massive door starts to open, this one split horizontally.  Then a third layer, and a fourth, and finally the door stands open.

Behind it stand another group of stormtroopers.

"You can go in."

Beyond the troopers is a huge room, filled with support cradles for starship construction, heavy machinery, and what looks to be eight large partly-completed weapon systems, much bigger than any normal turbolaser, and probably far too large for a star destroyer to use.

And there are Wookiees everywhere, moving heavy equipment about, clearing empty shipping containers, lifting parts into position for construction droids to fasten them in place.  The Wookiees are, however, outnumbered by their stormtrooper guards.

Across the bay the skeletal frame of a Lancer class frigate, lacking even its engines, sits in one of the cradles.  Nobody appears to be working on that at the moment...
Shard
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Sat 23 Jan 2021
at 14:41
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
No further pleasantries; Shard offers a quick, moving salute and continues, her attention seemingly already falling away from the troopers behind them.  Her demeanor is not whole truthful; part of her awaits the spiteful cough of blasters.  But she's focused, her gaze forward, even as her mind struggles for calm.

It's a long moment before she understands what she's seeing, though.

Void...is that some kind of cannon?<?I>  Ground mounted?  Certainly it can't be for any kind of ship, not one that Shard has seen in any case.  It's also not what she's here for, though the older woman takes a moment to gauge the scale of the systems; she has a handy measuring-stick for comparison behind them in the form of the frigate.

Pity it's not flyable.

Moving past the second set of troopers, she glances around the massive room.  <I>That can't be all the Wookies here...
  One hand makes a small circle in the air, calling her people closer.  "Assessment," Shard snaps, while ensuring they've moved a sufficient distance past the guards that they won't be easily heard.

This is a good time for Haarmon's inspiration.
Rhijans Thanus
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Sun 24 Jan 2021
at 08:59
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
In a low voice, Rhijans muttered, "Looks like they've had problems with uncooperative Wookiees, judging by the number of troopers.  Looks like they're using the Wookiees almost entirely as unskilled labor, with the droids handling the details of final assembly,  which reduces chances for sabotage.  I don't see one, but I'd imagine there's a place close by where we could take a few Wookiees at a time--for questioning, as far as the Imperials are concerned, and Juragga can hopefully convince them about who we are.  That could get us some time to find a way into their computer systems, see what trouble we can create and what options there might be to get the Wookiees out."  There were too many stormtroopers to try something overt right away...they needed time to find some fibers to weave into the loose framework of a plan.

"It would be nice if we could find a way to cook off one of those laser units...but those are way beyond anything I've dealt with.  I doubt this is something as simple as pulling a control pin and overloading a power pack...and if it is that simple, we definitely want to have out exit lined up before we do it, because one of those going up would probably obliterate everything within a dozen kilometer radius."
The Force
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Sun 24 Jan 2021
at 13:55
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
"As I recall," says Karra Hedin quietly, "not all the Wookiees are here, just the largest group, which is more than half those listed in the Imperial records.  So what we're seeing is the majority of the Wookiees in the docks."

"Almost sixteen hundred of them."


She looks about casually, trying not to show too much interest in anything.  "Imperial officers overseeing them, with stormtroopers for protection."

"Hmmm... wonder what type of ship would carry turbolasers that big?"

Rhijans Thanus
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Sun 24 Jan 2021
at 22:31
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
Rhijans didn't even try to look at the turbolasers again.  "Maybe a new Super Star Destroyer...but unless they're planning to take them offline and retro-fit them all at once, it doesn't make sense to construct all the weapons systems in advance."

A minute shift of his helmet indicated him looking sidelong at Shard.  "But something that would require a planet-based shield projector could fit these easily enough."  They hadn't really looked into specifics of what the generator had been for...they'd been rather focused on blowing it up, and what information they'd retrieved had been handed up the chain of command.

But the scale definitely matched...

This message was last edited by the player at 18:27, Tue 26 Jan.

Haarmon Dak
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Tue 26 Jan 2021
at 16:52
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
Haarmon was struck dumb by the spectacle of what was happening here. "It's like Osmur. You remember Osmur? That big dish they had going on? It's like that. So whatever this is, it's not just tall, it's wide, you know what I mean?"

He took a breath. "I probably can't do much about them droids. But if we suspect one of these guys is a saboteur, is that enough to call the whole shootin' match to a stop?"
Rhijans Thanus
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Tue 26 Jan 2021
at 18:45
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
"On suspicion alone?"  His tone made it clear...Rhijans found the prospect dubious.  "Probably depends on how close to their projected timeline they're running.  The closer they are to falling behind, the less likely.  The way the Empire operates, they're probably better off delivering flawed materials on time than running behind schedule."

His tone had become distracted...thought-filled...and he looked over the complex.  "But if some ACTUAL incident happened?  Especially if it's something that can't be easily traced back to any specific individual?  That might convince someone to pause production.  It demonstrates a real, viable threat, and if they don't know who did it, they can't be sure that something more vital isn't also at risk..."  His eyes began searching, surreptitiously, to see what surveillance gear was in use...and if there were any locations outside the scope of surveillance...
Shard
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Wed 27 Jan 2021
at 01:43
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
"Well," Shard briskly states, "we can't just stand around and stare.  I'm fairly certain someone will notice we're not investigating."  She ponders.  "Blowing things up does have its merits, but I'm uncertain as to how that will help us keep suspicion off our movements.  The more actual terrorism that follows us, the more likely we'll be pegged as the terrorists, ISB be-cursed.  Though...I'm fine with it exploding AFTER we've gotten out of here...and if we've left no Wookies or other slaves behind
in the blast radius."


Her lips tighten.  "And yes...this does remind me of Osmur, Haarmon."  What is it with the Empire and its giant superweapons.  "Compensation," Shard mutters to herself. "Not enough women in the officers."

With one hand, she points to a nearby tower - not for any reason other than to look like she's doing something.

"I'm thinking that at least the idea of getting somewhere and having them bring a couple of Wookies in for us to speak with...sounds like a good starting point, Rhijans.  Juragga can chat with them, and it's pretty certain they'll have a decent lay of the land by now.  Maybe even have an idea for a ship we can commandeer."
The Force
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Wed 27 Jan 2021
at 22:50
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
Hedine says quietly, "I can think of one reason they might be assembling them here, instead of on site.  What if it's something experimental, and they're worried about potential issues, and want to test things like power drain and fire control before they put everything in place and try to use it in front of some Admiral, or the Emperor, or somebody?"

"Could be embarrassingly fatal if they go to show off a new weapon system in front of the whole Empire, and it just... kind of fizzles."

Shard
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Thu 4 Feb 2021
at 01:09
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
"Makes sense," Shard murmurs, slowly turning in place, one hand on her chin.  Inside, she's all knots.  "But we're not sight-seers or tourists; we need to start moving.  I like Haarmon's idea.  Go with 'one of them is Juragga' or something of that nature - sorry, Juragga, dragging your name through the mud - and start 'looking for the saboteur'.  Call production to a halt, have the Wookies assembled?  Sound good?"
Rhijans Thanus
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Thu 4 Feb 2021
at 07:18
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
Rhijans raised a couple of fingers.  " Calling a halt on ALL production might be overplaying our hand.  We start making too many demands too fast, looking at the scale of what they're doing, and there's a good chance we attract the attention of someone who IS actually ISB."

He turned his head minutely toward Shard.  "Start walking through the area...see if Juragga actually recognizes anybody, because this is gonna be a hard sell to convince the Wookiees to trust an ISB officer and her pet."  He glanced at Juragga, and added, "Just saying what it's going to look like to them.  No offense intended."

His gaze shifted back to Shard.  "If he recognizes someone, pull them out for questioning, along with four or five others.  Don't say they are, or might be, Juragga...if anyone asks, they're known former associates and we need to learn what they know of Juragga's whereabouts...maybe even see if they can identify him."

He splayed his fingers out, in a spreading motion, as he continued.  "Juragga convinces them of our real intent...finds out if there's anyone we need to be careful of...we pick out another groups, the ones we talked to start letting their buddies know what's going on, so we don't end up with an angry Wookiee trying to kill Juragga for being a collaborator.  We don't have to "find" Juragga...we just need to find Wookiees who can help us find him.  We work without major interruptions to their process here, it looks like we're in on just how important it is and might even know what it's really for...the more it looks like we're in the know, the more intimidating we become when it DOES become time to make outrageous demands."
Haarmon Dak
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Thu 4 Feb 2021
at 17:36
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
Haarmon nods. "Yeah, I think Rhijans has it right. Let's go rattle some cages. Small scale rattles. Make a little noise. Keeps us moving and ramps up the chaos, yeah?"

He smiled at Shard's concerns about dragging Rags through the mud. "You kidding me? The big guy loves it. Think of the street cred!"
The Force
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Sun 7 Feb 2021
at 19:49
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
Two groups seem to be watching them.

The stormtroopers have the job of protecting this project, so any newcomers are going to draw attention from them. or there would be questions asked...

The second group are less open about their curiosity - the Wookiees may have had some lessons about not stopping work to stare at strangers, but the sight of a Wookiee being marched about by an ISB agent, a stormtrooper, and two Imperial techs is just too much for them to ignore, even if it does seem like the start of the worst bad joke of all time...  So they watch more covertly, turning a fraction more than is necessary to look at their work, and just enough to cast furtive glances towards the intruders.

Apart from the stormtroopers, the few other Imperials - Naval officers, for the most part - are studiously ignoring the group from ISB...
Rhijans Thanus
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Sun 7 Feb 2021
at 22:02
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
The attention of the stormtroopers...and the Wookiees...didn't escape Rhijans' notice.  "Better get started...too many eyes pointed our way.  I'd suggest you start over there..." he raised a hand decisively, hopefully conveying to those watching that there had been some reason for the huddle.

"While you go scouting for Wookiee contacts, I'll poke around on my own and see if I can locate some good prospects for sabotaging the works here, to give us an excuse to evac the Wookiees somewhere."
Shard
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Tue 9 Feb 2021
at 01:19
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
"Fair enough.  Let's move."  With a curt nod, Shard points at a few random areas, then turns away from Rhijans to face the other four. "We get to walk Juragga around looking for likely assistance while keeping our cover up." Her eyes snap up to Juragga, and she steps closer, easily within arm's length.

Ie, the dangerous area.

But while the finger prodding his chest isn't particularly polite, and her face is hard and sharp as the edge of a woodplane, Shard's voice is quiet and worried.  "Juragga...I hope you're okay with this.  Lots of your people are going to give you some hard looks at first."  She doesn't bother warning him to worry about collaborators letting the secret out, like she would with any other race.  For one thing, she's fairly sure Juragga could pick them out himself...if they existed.  For another?

Wookies, sell each other out?  If the Imperials knew anything about that people, they'd be examining her ISB credentials a little more carefully.

"Haarmon," she mutters, turning toward the nearest group of Wookies and eyeing them speculatively.  "I think...we're going to need to step up your training after this."  And get him a murderstick of his own, Shard suspects, though how they'll manage that she has no idea.
Rhijans Thanus
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Tue 9 Feb 2021
at 03:00
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
Rhijans did a passable snap to attention, then turned and began making a survey of the area.  Surveillance, he'd already seen, was tight...but stacks of materials created plenty of blind spots.  Without taking too long in any one area, he began moving through the stacks, assessing what was there, and looking to see where materials came in from, where finished materials were stacked, how subsystems were assembled and then stockpiled for final completion, how traffic flowed, where it naturally ebbed, where individuals went only a few at a time...

Beneath the mask, his face was nearly as inscrutable as the faceplate of the helmet as he weighed pros and cons of each location, looking for weak points to be exploited...or exploded, when the time came...and watching the movements and locations of the stormtroopers, to better blend in with their ranks if and when he needed to effectively disappear.  For now, he took it for granted that there were eyes on him, and carefully avoided anything that he thought might appear to be a tell, that he was anything other than a specially-assigned trooper checking the place on a security sweep.  The fact that he was alone was enough to keep eyes on him...but those same eyes had also seen him escort in an ISB agent, so they wouldn't necessarily be expecting him to act like a normal trooper.

Or, at least, that's how he hoped he was being perceived...
Haarmon Dak
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Tue 9 Feb 2021
at 22:00
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
Haarmon made a face. "Pull-ups," he said in response to Shard, "How many pull-ups can a guy do?"

But it was just nerves talking. He was feeling mighty exposed here and would give almost anything for a quiet corner and terminal.
Juragga
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Tue 9 Feb 2021
at 22:27
Part 24 - One flew over the mynock den
Juragga nodded.  He knew this would be difficult.  There might even be a brawl later.  He'd deal with it, and take his lumps if need be.  Anything to help free his people.  Moreover, he trusted Shard and the others.