1.08: Crisis – Pembric II

DS Day 66-70

Where: Pembric II

The Farstar’s slicers assured Adrimetrum that there were more trap doors to deal with in the computer systems. They had set up as many fire walls, and redundant backup systems as possible, but these trap-door programs were hidden well. This Drake better have what they need, or this was going to end here, thought Kaiya.

Tigress had earlier spoken to the Captain. The self-appointed New Republic agent had already mentioned that there was a renegade New Republic agent in the Kathol Sector named the Dragon. She now claimed that Pembric II was the Dragon’s last known location, and he was on the trail of an Imperial agent called the Wraith when he went rogue.

The Farstar amazingly made it to the Pembric system without any trouble, and by the Captains orders the Farstar parked inside the outer asteroid belt. The Captain had been advised that the Bombaasa Cartel, ruling organization of the world, would not be very friendly to the New Republic. She ordered Gorak and Kl’aal to form an infiltration team.

Pembric II, the heart of the Kathol underground, was in turmoil. The Bombaasa Cartel, led by Crev Bonbassa, had ruled for a few centuries on this world, since it rested the power from the ruling Houses. Strong tensions still existed between the Cartel and the Houses. House Brakia still had a strong presence on planet, and brokered the only existing alliance between them and House Ik’Tal, prior to the arrival of the New Republic. In hard times, even sworn enemies could be joined together. House Karadol and House Kathor, while collaborating closely with the Cartel, still coveted more power on the planet for the Nobility, and themselves. House Shador, the Shattered House, was the only noble house that had no presence on planet, and was willing to do anything to arrange it. This would be the key in Farstar’s plan.

Jessa Dajus, who kept in contact with a few of her Shador contacts, learned that the House was preparing for a major usurp of power from the Cartel. All that was needed was a way to get at Crev Bombaasa himself. Once the head of the Cartel was dead or “taken care of”, as they put it, they could make their move, by first placing one of their loyalists in his place. Dajus passed this on the Gorak, who was ironically the only individual she could trust with the information. She knew that the captain would not approve of the Farstar crew being recruited as assassins, no matter the target.

Gorak chose his team carefully. Dervious, and Samarion would be the primary muscle, backed up by Unda, Gammer Firdaaz and SLAVE. Dann Drugah and Bifzik were brought along to help with the slicer and any equipment and/or droids he needed or had. Sooni Nubera volunteered to avoid another several days of patrols and sitting in the cramped X-Wing. Loh’Khar and Kl’aal finished out the group.

They took the Aegis assault shuttle down, with the Hutt loaded onboard. They were permitted to land after bribing the space traffic controller. The planet was desolate, and hot. The spaceport was heavily neglected. The Hutt thanked the group once again, then slithered off with his assistant, F’ej Daw not far behind.

A Rodian with several white-clad guards approached them from the south. He introduced himself as Kebbo, Legion Magistrate to this starport; the Legion being the Cartel-run government.

“I am here to welcome you and your crew to Pembric II, and check your needs. I would also like to collect your docking fees and landing rights fees. Please feel free to ask me anything you want.”

While handling the formalities, they witnessed a crowd of people trying to get into the landing area. They apparently were desperate for passage off, offering Gorak and his crew anything for space on their shuttle. The Legionnaire Guards quickly quelled the group with their rifle butts and a few blaster shots in the air. Kebbo just shook his head…“The criminal element here… a magistrates job is never done.”

So it was illegal to want to leave, thought Gorak.

To contact Drake (and get some good Soccorran Raava), he directed them to the ThrusterBurn TapCafe, one of the starport’s most prominent bars and casinos. He offered two of his guards as escorts to the bar. Gorak obliged suspiciously. Gorak had good reason to be suspicious.

They were lead down a side alley towards open square with a fountain in the middle. Two speeders were parked on the other side of the fountain. Perfect cover. Ten humans piled out of the speeders, all variously dressed, and armed.

“Drop your weapons, and surrender, Rebel-scum…” The two escorts said as they faded back from the group. Apparently their undercover mission wasn’t so undercover.

I don’t think so… Gorak drew his blaster.

Blasters flared, and thermo-detonators arched across the square. Dann Drugah, not one for combat, took cover behind a steel dumpster. Gammer, who was craving a stiff drink and in no mood for a fight, dove into the fountain just as the first speeder went up in a flash of flame and debris. Samarion was an ambidextrous dreadnought of blaster fire, and Dervious a viscous warrior with a taste for blood. The thugs didn’t fare well. Two tried to make an escape, but were dropped by the scout-pilot Sooni Nubera who was hidden in the shadows behind his new toy… a Brodie K-Meleon Stealth Suit.

Their opponents were all human, and some had Imperial serial number bar-code tattoos. The bodies were disposed of, and stripped of anything useful, including transit passes which would allow them to leave Pembric. Without these, they could not leave Pembric, apparently.

 

The TapCafe was a sharp contrast to it’s surroundings, at first glance. It was bigger than most starport bars, much more distinguished than others. It had a light air about it, and was very roomy. But it had it’s own dark shadows, and hidden booths; secrets and dark deals… it was just dressed up prettier.

Drake was found talking among his four bodyguards/bouncers. He was human, with scars across his face that showed he had seen some action outside the action he would normally see owning a bar like this. He was not very talkative until her heard the ship engineers name, where he opened up a little. He knew of a slicer that could help them rid the Farstar of its problems. Gaelin was a young slicer with incredible talent. He was trained by the best in the sector, who later disappeared in service of Sarne. If this kid was trained by slicers that worked for Sarne, maybe he could crack these trap-doors. The catch was the kid was working for Bombaasa himself and the crime boss was not about to let the kid go for free.

 

In mid-sentence, they were interrupted by a familiar Rodian. “The boss wants to see you all. Bring your friends. You too, Drake.”

Crev Bombaasa was a glutinous hulk of a man, with eloquent and calm mood about him. He was extravagant in his conversation, but his underlying meaning was sinister and dark. He sat in the back room, in a casino that attached to the rear of the bar. This room was smaller, and was smoke filled. A small array of assorted games were spread across the floor. Several bouncers and security droids lined the walls, standing at attention. Bombaasa was in the middle of a sabaac game.

“I have one question for you and your people, Mr. Gorak.” he looked coldly over his winnings. “I am not particularly interested in your reasons for coming to Pembric. I do want some assurances that the New Republic vessel ‘hiding’ in our asteroid field is not a spearhead of a New Republic attack force.” He wanted a New Republic treaty guaranteeing this. Gorak did not have the authority for this, but remembering what Jessa had told him, he decided to play a bluff.

” I can draw up the agreements, as long as you can bring me the slicer called Gaelin.” The crime boss was reluctant, but with the persuasion of 10,000 cr. Changed his mind. They were to meet the next day to complete the transaction.

Returning to their ship, Gorak set a plan in motion. He was going to “take care of” Bombaasa at the meeting. The group had to come up with a plan to take out him and the guards, while not killing Gaelin. Gorak also contacted people he knew in the other noble houses, and spread the word of the time Bombaasa would be killed. The other houses had 24 hours to prepare for a major siege of power from the Cartel. Drake and his bodyguards, themselves tired of the Cartel rule, offered to help. Bifzik, with Dann Drugah and SLAVE’s help, planned to patch into the droid control network of the casino and change the programming to turn the droid’s loyalties. Gammer was going to play drunk ( which wasn’t too hard for him ) and plant special explosive-rigged liquor bottles strategically around the casino, while everyone else was going to take strategic positions through out the casino.

At the casino the next day…

“… All I need now is the New Republic seal, and you have a deal.” Bombaasa said after reviewing the phony document Gorak threw together.

The plan was going well, until a servant took one of Gammer’s bottles that he had left lying and put it back on the liquor rack of the bar. The fiery explosion to follow was a little bigger than anyone planned. Several of their team was engulfed, but took cover before any major damage was done. Bombaasa went down, as did several of his guards. Gaelin was covered by Sooni, who took the brunt of the explosion. Sooni was hurt badly, and fell unconscious. Samarion, after the majority of the explosion had cleared, blasted Kebbo before he could recover from the blast. Gorak picked up the barely conscious crime boss, and shoved a blaster in his face.

“Here’s your New Republic Seal!!” And blasted him in his face.

Outside, they could hear explosions and sirens, as the other houses started their war against the Cartel. It wouldn’t be long before Legion forces would be converging onto the TapCafe, so the group grabbed the wounded and scrambled out the door. Riots and urban skirmishes were erupting everywhere. House forces were engaging Cartel forces at every corner, with imperial surplus weaponry, and some weaponry no one recognized. Pillars of smoke rose to the skies from numerous places in the city around the space port. Crowds of people were scrambling to the star port to find passage off. Fighting the crowds was worse then fighting the Legion Security.

Dervious and Samarion in front, they parted the crowd as they worked towards the ship. For a small fee, Dervious allowed a group of fifty refugees on-board, fighting back the rest that couldn’t fit on the assault shuttle. Drugah had the ship warmed and ready by the time the doors were closed. They left Pembric in a sea of chaos and destruction, a world entering a new era of either growth or declination. It was in their hands.

The Shuttle returned to the Farstar packed to the walls with people. The captain was quite surprised, but understood why. She promised to drop them off at their next stop. The slicer was immediately put to work, and even Bifzik was impressed. The boy hacked at the trap-doors, finding at least 25 new ones that no one on board knew about. He assured that he got most of worst ones, but there may be a few more he couldn’t find. The Captain was only moderately reassured by this. He also found a high-powered hyperwave comm-channel that sent a pulse of data every day, and had a range of hundreds of light-years. This is the communication channel that set off the depot beacon on Aaris, and the channel the Sarne-spies used to jack into the Farstar systems on Shintel. It also was how Sarne was able to track them. The Captain ordered that signal shutdown.

Drake and his four bodyguards joined the crew because they had little to go back to. Twenty refugees agreed to join the Farstar crew, while the others were willing to get off at the next stop. The next stop was going to be Galtea, a frontier world were they expected to meet someone from the church. They had a few questions for them.

In private with the command crew, Drake revealed that he was the Dragon, the renegade New Republic Agent. He had been chasing the Wraith, an very illusive and dangerous Imperial agent, when he was re-assigned. He refused the re-assignment, determined to get the Wraith. He claimed to know what Storm Giant was all about, and that the Wraith was the key to it all.

“Sarne’s plan is to time his counterattack with the Coming of the Prophet, and involves the hyperspace storms around the gas giants. These hyper-space storms, when given a catalyst or some kind of release signal, will grow to immense proportion and very swiftly. This will trap any ship in the sector in real space and will not allow it to jump to hyper-space. It will also blockade the sector from any outside help. During all this, Sarne, who has the technology to navigate through these storms, will counterattack with full force, expecting to take the New Republic by surprise. If the Wraith is the key, then it has to mean that he is the catalyst or knows how to send the release signal. Stop the Wraith, and stop Project Storm Giant.”

Now, the Captain had two missions. One: To stop the Coming of the Prophet – a spirit of ancient Dark-force power is being resurrected, and this bounty hunter Clarke wants to stop it. Two: To stop this mysterious Imperial agent from starting Sarne’s plan to take back the sector. Why is it never easy…?

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