2.01: Mission to Timbra Ott: Starfall
DS Day 105-120
Where: Timbra Ott & Kathol Outback near Timbra Ott
The Captain paced the briefing room in the New Republic headquarters on Gandle Ott. She had been waiting impatiently for weeks to get into the fray, but her ship was in dry-dock going under major refits. High command refused to give her another ship, because they wanted her ready if Sarne got away once the fighting starts to slow down. She knew he would get away. She knew how slippery he was.
She peered at a monitor in the room which displayed an orbital shipyard hangar, with the Farstar suspended in it. Her ship was going through some major changes. Some Starwolf engineers stayed behind to help in some of the reconstruction. A second hangar was being built on the opposite side of the original. The crews quarters and the sick bay was being moved to the lower weapons deck, which was being expanded to be a fifth deck. A brig was being built on the fifth deck as well. She was pleased with the work, just wished that it didn’t take so long.
Loffryyn would scream if he heard what she was thinking. They performed the refit in record time. The equivalent of an entire deck had to be gutted. Power conduits had to be re-routed, the sublight drive had to be reconfigured for a new center of gravity, the hyperdrive field had to be recalibrate for the extra mass. It was no easy job. Bifzik wanted to gut the entire internal system and start from scratch, and Loh’khar supported him. Loffryyn and the Captain argued that down, siting they had little time.
The Captain sighed. So much has happened, and now they were heading back. She placed the datapad back on the table. On it was the orders she knew was coming. They had to prep the Farstar for departure within the next week. Sarne was on the run, and headed for the Outback. She was about to brief her crew. But what bothered her was the secret orders she received. She didn’t like having to lie to her crew.
The briefing was simple. As far as the crew was concerned, they were to go to Timbra Ott, the only planet anyone seems to remember from the Outback. Timbra Ott, a former Noble House Penal colony, was to act as their new base of operations. There, supplies and intelligence will be sent. It will be the Farstar’s relay station. The Farstar crew was to make first contact with the population, who hadn’t had contact with the sector core in decades. There, they are to negotiate with the factions to get permission to establish a garrison, and military spaceport. Once the word is given, the New Republic will send a supply convoy to start the base.
The Captain had her own mission. She was warned that is was top security, need to know only. A famous Imperial engineer, and noble house member of House Karadol, Sir Walen Blissek, had defected during the battle of Oon Tien, and was a key player in discovering the secrets of Darkstryder. But his cooperation had a condition. His daughter, Lady Lira Wassel – also an engineer working for Sarne – had gotten word to her father that she was dying. She and her father at one time had a falling out, because she was more loyal to Sarne than he was, and the fact that she married one of Sarne’s right-hand men, Imperial Governor Denn Wassel – Lord Wassel in House Karadol, Imperial Governor of the Stellar Southern Rim Region. However, she wanted to see her father one last time before she died. The captain was to assign an escort team to him, and help him find his daughter. She knew it screamed a trap. But it was his condition… to see his daughter one last time. She didn’t like it, but she was going to follow her orders.
She assigned the Doctor to check Blissek out, and give him a temporary new face while on-board. SLAVE and Mavia Tanatus were assigned to protect the engineer. High Command stressed that even if this was a trap, it was the Captain’s responsibility to keep the engineer alive, and in New Republic hands.
Departure was a somber moment for the Captain, for she knew that as soon as the dropped back into real space outside Timbra Ott orbit, she could be sending as many as six of her crew to their deaths.
Timbra Ott was a pleasant world, with the majority of the surface hot savannas and wide open plains. The world was a divided one, though, with the most radical fringe groups of the Kathol Core being banished to this world. Fringe Noble Houses were the most power on this world, but many violent and unfriendly clans were vying for their power. The people of Timbra Ott were struggling to establish a planetary government, and trying to shed the criminal reputations of their past generations. No longer would Timbra Ott be considered a Penal Colony.
News of the Imperial displacement was already filtering in to the fragments society of Timbra Ott. The New Republic was welcomed with mixed reaction. The Captain, given diplomatic power by the New Republic Provisional Government of Kathol, appealed before the parliament to gather the clan leaders. She wanted to initiate talks to accept the world into the New Republic, if the parliament was willing. However, the parliament had conditions. Guarantees had to be made, however, that Timbra Ott would no longer be considered a penal colony by the New Republic or the Noble Houses. This required the presence of Than B’Dorbeck and a representation of the Noble Houses Council, who were called from Gandle Ott, and sent on the fastest ship available. Clan leaders from across the planet were called to the meeting; leaders of the reclusive Clan of the Black Pearl, and the violent Clan of Liadamor, to the weird cult of the Clan Oboros, and the mysterious and brooding clan of the Dark Star Rising; All were called even if the hadn’t had contact with the parliament in decades.
Meanwhile, the Muvon was fueled and prepped for the secret mission to escort Blissek. The mission was chosen. Kla’al was mission leader, and he chose Gunthar, Dr. Akenseh, Dr. Hasslock, Mavia Tanatus, Gorak, Brophar, Bifzik, Dann Drugah, and Slave. They were briefed, not surprised there was a secret mission behind all this. While most crew members were on leave on Timbra Ott, the Muvon launched.
They were told that the daughter was in the care of a fragment colony on a moon of the gas giant in the same system. The gas giant loomed in their view-port, and sensors did pick up signs of the colony. However, it was what else the sensors picked up that worried them. It was a Victory-Class Star Destroyer, baring down on them at full thrust. Before Brophar could react, a bright flash enveloped the ship, and everyone blacked out.
They awoke to a rhythmic hum of a capitol ship reactor under their feet. The clean walls, and modular nature of their room meant only one thing. They were captured by the Imperials. All were in a small cell, except for Slave and Blissek. Assessing their situation further, they realized that somehow, probably by use of a Darkstryder mind-warping device, and were brought on board. It was obviously the trap they expected. Which brought them to the question… where was the engineer? A tortured human scream answered their question.
Hours passed, and the torturing only stopped occasionally. The engineer didn’t sound like he was going to take much more. They ship’s day was nearing an end. Walen’s screams finally stopped. The night came slowly.
Their sleep was interrupted by a loud explosion resounding throughout the ship. Several more were heard afterwards. The cold floor beneath them became noticeably warmer. The rooms was totally dark. All power in the cell was gone. Feeling around, they were able to determine that the door to their cell was knocked open, but Imperial crew members were outside with hand-lamps. A battle ensued, and with the help of Kla’al and Gunthar, were able to over-power them, despite their lack of weapons.
Weapons weren’t a problem once the got passed the first and second set of guards. They found the engineer, barely conscious, but alive. They had to find a computer terminal, to determine the status of the ship and a way out. It was quite apparent that the ship was under attack, as they walked through the cell block hallways and beyond. Debris was everywhere. Power was out in many places. Small fires and gas leaks were everywhere.
Their first challenge was to use the turbo-lifts, which were out. Climbing down several decks, they got to engineering. There, Bifzik was able to patch in to the main system.
:VSD Subjugator *** Priority Command D-113***
:Restricted Access *** Security Code D-1228-H
:Command Clearance Only
:From: Captain Kolack in Command of the VSD Subjugator
:To: Chief Engineer Juren *** your Eyes Only
Reading on the bridge indicate 67% power loss throughout the ship. Two of six power cells operational. Main and Auxiliary reflector screen generators destroyed. Power available to remaining weapons systems nominal. Starfighter complement 97% depleted. Crew casualties at 54%.
It is therefore my decision to reroute all available power to engine control core. Main and auxiliary hyperdrive and sublight engines to be rigged for self-destruct. Three-hour delay posture. Implosion sequence will be programmed from bridge and transmitted for reception and implementation by you at engine control core. Clear engine command of all personal not essential to this operation. This is a priority command. I want no leaks. I am holding you personally responsible for the success of this operation.
:Transmit Priority Command D-113
:Priority Command D-113 *** Time: 03:00:00 and counting***
They got more than they bargained for. “Self-destruct”? What was this guy doing? They had to get off ship.
They journeyed further into the bowels of the ship, running to obstacles constantly. The Captain was obviously alerted of their presence, He would taunt them, saying that he was going to teach “these moisture farmers and Bantha herders to be soldiers…”. Kla’al vowed to kill that man outright.
To find their ship and Slave, they had to patch into another terminal outside of the engineering Network. Too many other channels to sort through, and stealth was of the essence, even if this captain seemed to be following them. The less they do to add to that, the better. This led them through a crumbling engineering section, with drives on fire, reactors going critical, and engineering staff desperately trying to save the doomed ship.
The next terminal, Bifzik was able to find their ship on one of the hangar levels. He was also able to find more information about their situation.
:Priority Command D-113 *** Time: 02:03:45 and counting***
:VSD Subjugator Battle Report
:Logged by: Captain Kolack, Commander, VSD Subjugator
An enemy force of supply ships outside the Timbra system encountered. Enemy force include: 8 Bulk Freighters, 21 escort X-Wings, 12 escort A-wings, 1 New Republic Attack Frigate. Possible destination: Timbra Ott. Mission: Unknown. Initial Imperial Plan of Action: Attack. Current Plan of action: Intercept at next jump point in 02:03:40, using sublight engines.(See Priority Command D-113). Probability: 90% successful.
Report logged and ready for probe launch as we remain under communication blackout.
They recognized that convoy as the one to go to Timbra Ott. The self destruct had to be stopped or set off early. With the now-conscious engineer’s help, they were able to devise a plan to set the self-destruct for an early explosion. They had to get to the Reactor Control Core. Blissek knew the way. As it turned out, with the ship falling apart around them and a maniacal captain following them every step of the way, the trek there wasn’t as easy as the engineer had hoped.
The plan did not go off as planned. They ended up trapped on all sides in the Reactor Control Sore. They resorted to rigging a make-shift repulsor lift field in the Core and jumping several levels down. They unable to reset the self-destruct time, because someone who knew the Victory-class as well as Blissek used special codes only Blissek and his daughter knew. His daughter? Could she have betrayed her own father?
Now, all they could hope for was to get to their ship and warn the convoy off before the VSD exploded. They patched into the computer system one more time.
:Priority Command D-113 *** Time: 01:07:21 and counting***
:Restricted Access: *** Security Code D-1228-1
:Command Clearance Only
:From: Captain Kolack, Commander, VSD Subjugator
:To: Hangar Deck Officer Lieutenant Klito ** Your Eyes Only
Prepare command shuttle for departure, hangar bay G-12. Time of departure, 00:47.00 minutes. Shuttle crew and two squads of troops to be ready and waiting at time of departure. Three units of reserve fuel, three months consumables and two astromech droids to be loaded aboard as well. Clear hangar G12 of all non-essential personnel. This is a priority command. I want no leaks. Do not fail me.
Their ship was in G-11. From where they were, they could only access it through a lower maintenance droid access way, on the outer hull. They accessed it through a turbolift shaft, and found there way to a control center, where Bifzik stopped to patch into the main droid control server. There, he reset all droid directives to hinder any efforts security was making to catch them. Bifzik was also able to locate Slave, in a storage area nearby.
The outer hull was battered. They had to dodge several hull breaches. Captain Kolack was not making things any easier. His soldiers were at every turn. At one point, they stumbled across what appeared to be an alien space craft imbedded n the hull of the destroyer. No one could identify it. The area they were in was very unstable, so they could not stay and check it out. They trekked further through areas filled with noxious gas, areas with no gravity, and areas with smoke and flame.
The hangar area was busy with the evacuation. High priority officers were being escorted to their shuttles. The group was pinned down in a control area above the hangar. Two of them were working on the security of a hatch that led to a hangar adjoining their hangar. Just before they were overwhelmed, the hatch swung open, and they repelled down to the next deck. The hangar was filled with smoke. A hum from some unknown engine could be heard thorough out. The ship’s system directory said they were in a cargo loading hangar, near the walker storage. They wouldn’t have the walkers active, would they?
A loud metallic stomp echoed in the hangar. “Welcome, my students” he said like he had been through this ordeal. He felt like he was teaching them a lesson in warfare.”Welcome to your final exam…”. The group scattered. Two of the group manned a nearby AT-ST, while the others fought their way through to their ship. Gunthar climbed to the ceiling rafters to try and get a strategic angle on the Captain’s AT-ST.
The AT-ST battle was intense, but quick. While the Captain pounded on the inexperienced crew of the other, while Gunthar was struggling to toss a thermal detonator into the hatch of the AT-ST. With a quick move, Gunthar got the TD into the hatch, shut it, and let the AT-ST toss him to the floor. The AT-ST exploded with incredible force. It set off a chain of explosions, as the ship began to disintegrate around them.
Gunthar awoke from unconsciousness with debris falling all around him. He saw out of the corner of his eye a woman running to a shuttle. He looked over to see the Muvon already in preflight, and hovering. The AT-ST pilots were climbing down from the vehicle and heading towards him. He got up, and began a run towards the shuttle. The other saw what he was doing. It was the engineers daughter. Gunthar overpowered the guards and the pilot of the shuttle easily. Someone would answer for this. The engineer’s daughter was as good as anyone.
With the hangar exploding behind them, the launched out into space, broadcasting their warning to the convoy. The Convoy veered off just as the destroyer exploded. Only light damage was caused. The trip back to Timbra Ott would not be a lonely one.
From this, they learned one thing. They weren’t alone in this part of the galaxy. It was wild and untamed. Even the Empire was vulnerable here.