1.03: The Smelting Stations of Torize
DS Day 19-24
The Farstar stayed in orbit around Kolatill for short time longer to ensure all was well. While in orbit, new crew and supplies were brought on-board. The pace was still quick, because they knew that every day they wasted was more time given to Sarne.
Finally, reports started coming in from the New Republic Provisional Government’s Intelligence Agency. Many were mixed and vague, but there was enough information in one to convince newly-assigned Captain Kaiya Adrimetrum to set coarse to Torize.
Report 10001:A: Alpha – Date: DS 014
Reports from the Torize System, obtained from hyper-probes launched from Kal’Shebbol, have detected some Imperial activity there. Short range receivers detected weak-primitive transmissions from somewhere in the system, encoded in one of the Imperial decryptions. Part of it has been translated, and is addressed to the New Republic. The origin of the transmission is unknown, and the rest of it was untranslatable due the poor quality of the transmission.
The Captain, learning from the Kolatill experience, and still shaken from the loss of Captain Ciro, was going to play this safe. She dropped out of hyperspace a few light-hours outside the Torize system, and launched a scout team of 2 X-Wings, piloted by Lt. Ranna Gorjaye, and Lt. Sooni Nubera. Gorjaye insisted she go, siting she wouldn’t send any of her pilots into a dangerous situation that she wouldn’t send herself.
Lt. Sooni Nubera and Lt. Ranna Gorjaye intended on flying into the Torize system posing as free-merchants (nevermind the fact they were flying X-wings). Upon dropping out of hyperspace, a swarm of TIE fighters converged on them, ordering them to surrender. They were tractored to a space station orbiting Torize’s main world. The station was a hulk, apparently a large manufacturing and processing station.
The station acted as more than just a processing plant. It was also an Imperial slave labor camp. A large population of human and non-human slaves were being forced to process raw ore in null-G smelters. Despite their situation, the two scouts had to find out where the transmission was coming from. However, first, they had to determine the social structure, if any, of the prison population.
While mingling through the population, the Farstar scouts were able to spot Sarne among a group of station officers. He did not stay long enough for them to get to him.
They were able to determine that the prisoner population had a social structure representative of an apparently not well-known social structure that exists with in the core planets of the Kathol system. There were representative cells of at least 4 to 5 major Noble houses, and several smaller ones. Despite the harsh prison environment, the Nobility structure remained intact. Nubera knew that if he could get the house cells to over look their petty differences and unite them against their captors, they could have one more world in the Kathol sector freed from the Imperial gauntlet.
Back at the Farstar, things were becoming clear. The scouts must have run into trouble. They rigged a probe up to do a quick stealth recon run, and it too met a quick demise. They caught a quick glance of two TIE fighters that seemed to be waiting for the probe. Someone knew they were coming. The Captain had to form a stealth rescue team, and do it secretly. She had enough evidence here to show that there was a leak on board the Farstar.
The team was formed of Kla’al, Gorak, Unda, Samarion, and Dervious, and a few others. The rigged the Muvon with some of Bifzik’s stealth modifications, and launched immediately.
Meanwhile, on the Slave Labor Station, the two scouts were making progress trying to unite the 5 or so fragmented and weary houses to free themselves. It proved to me more difficult than originally thought. Each house had it’s own protocol, own traditions, and it’s own prejudices. Some houses had a deep seeded hate for another house, and one house was actually collaborating in secret with the Imperials. However, the houses agreed to allow the New Republic act as a third party coordinator in the temporary union. Nubera and Gorjaye were also able to contact a small faction of Imperials that were willing to defect. They stage was set.
Tension was building with in the prison. Suspicion among the Imperials was rising. The timing was essential. They had to make sure all the agreed houses would commit at the same time, for fear that one would not commit and let the others be slaughtered. Every house was essential. The collaborating house was left out of the plan for obvious reasons, and would be answer to its indiscretions later.
Meanwhile, the rescue team was having an interesting time infiltrating the system. After eliminating a inquisitive probe droid on the edge of the system, the team was able to get within sensor range of the station without detection. Getting through the sensor net was going to be the challenge. Bifzik’s stealth modifications were good for bypassing passive outer-edge system sensors, but getting passed the more focused station sensors was going to more difficult.
What the rescue team did not know was a riot had ensued on the station. For the first time in centuries, the houses united against a common foe and fought hard. Why it took an outsider to bring them together, will remain a mystery. The attitudes and politics of noble houses was always strange and unpredictable.
The battle for the station was decidedly one sided. The House contacts within the defecting Imperials had spotted the rescue team, and were busy arranging the sensor array so they had an easy pathway into a maintenance hatchway on the underside of the station. The Muvon sensors detected the sensor-blanked corridor, and despite their suspicions of a trap, they moved in.
The rescue team walked into a world of chaos. They worked their way into the bowels of the station to look for their crew mates. They found the prisoner hold and some opposition. The battle was on…
After fierce fighting all over the station, the smoke cleared and their were few Imperials standing, and the ones that were, were defectors. Despite a slight misunderstanding when Unda got a little trigger happy and shot a few defectors, the Houses showed great appreciation. It was the cold blooded murders of some other prisoners hours after the battle that soured negotiations with the houses. No one truly knew who had done it, but the Farstar crew was immediately suspect.
The riots on the station were soon followed by severe unrest on the planets surface. Once the Imperials were neutralized, the Houses continued to fight amongst themselves. The Farstar, unequipped to handle a major worldwide war, sent message to the New Republic Diplomatic Corp to send delegates to quell the problem. They could do no more, and because of the murders, were asked to leave immediately.
The crew did a quick resupply job, then immediately disembarked. Where to next was the next question. Sarne was not far off and it was obvious he was building a major force to try to retake the sector.