1.02: The Hunt

Dates: 6/13/1999

Chronicle Day 2-3:  1 yr. Pre-ANH

Location: Lamuir IV, Gyle City Spaceport

Brendaron paced the deck of his chartered transport to Lamuir IV.  He hadn’t heard from his man-servant since he had arrived in the Freeworlds, and he was worried.

The Baron already had enough stress to deal with.  He had just returned from failed negotiations with the local Moff about his family.  They were getting the “privilege” to see Coruscant first hand, as part of the Emperor’s goodwill and hospitality towards all the Noble houses of Tapani.  Brendaron knew otherwise. He didn’t like being strong-armed.  His company has not done anything overtly against the Empire, but perhaps his few covert operations were becoming noticed.   He would have to deal with that when the time came.

“Sir, the Imperial Captain of the Gauntlet wishes an audience with you before you land on Lamuir IV.” a crewman announced.

Damn, Imperial always getting in the way… “Of course, dock with the Gauntlet when they allow…”

“They are sending over a shuttle.  He says they will escort you the rest of the way…”

“Ah…”  Imperial Escort? What has Lonell done?

The Lambda shuttle docked with the transports airlock, and six armed Stormtroopers walked  Brendaron into the shuttle.  This was beginning to worry him.

****

After being politely interrogated by the Captain of the Gauntlet, Jerik Brendaron was left with an ill-feeling in his gut; the same ill-feeling when he knows his company is getting a bad deal on hyperdrive regulators.  He was already dealing with enough problems with his family being sent off to Coruscant, but now he finds out that the Empire is interested in the man he was supposed to see on Lamuir IV… Barnes Sandos.

He watched as the ancient spires of Lamuir ruins and the sparkling towers of Herglic cities passed outside his viewport onboard the Imperial shuttle.  He was heading to the last known location of his man-servant, Lonell Ogar.

It took some doing, but he was able to trace Lonell’s location to an up-scale hotel on the east side of Gyle.  Pyre had pulled some strings to register under a different names, and paid off enough people to hide their presence.  What were they hiding from?

As he entered the upper atmosphere of Lamuir IV, he found out why.   The local newsnet was broadcasting the group’s pictures as wanted criminals.   They were wanted for questioning on a shoot-out in the starport. Shoot-out??   That’s not like Lonell.

The shuttle landed on top of the Hotel.

****

Pyre peered out the window, across the skyline.  Tarsus had complained about being so high up the tower, because it lacked a legitimate escape route, but Pyre insisted.

Rex was busy floating in whirlpool bath, while Tarsus and the other discussed their options.  The Green Mist Tavern was their next stop.  Rex claimed to know the proprietor.

Pyre spotted a white spec slowly dipping towards their hotel.  It slowly materialized into an Imperial shuttle.  Pyre’s heart skipped a beat.   When did the Imperials get involved.  He tried to rationalize… after all, this is a very prestigious hotel, they could be hear for anything.  He nearly had himself convinced of this until a knock came to the door.

“Lonell, see to the door…”  Lonell opened it and in walked six white-armored Stormtroopers, escorting Baron Jerik Brendaron.

This raised Pyre’s eyebrow.

When the Stormtroopers had left, Jerik finally spoke. “What the hell is going on here…?”

“We’ve ran into a complication or two…” Pyre said after the pleasantries were dispensed.  He was disappointed, that’s when he got his best digs in.

“Where is Sandos and why is everyone looking for him?”

They proceeded to explain as much as they knew.  Brendaron was curious to who this Jo-Di was and why Pyre seemed to hate him so much.  He didn’t feel like he was getting a full story.

That is when another knock at the door came.

Pyre sensed this one wasn’t as “pleasant” as the last knock.

“Hotel security! Please open up!…”

Pyre went to the door, as the rest of the group gathered their gear.   He returned after a few minutes of just standing at the door.  The knocking had stopped.

“We may only have a few minutes before the realize their mistake.   We must leave now.”

****

The streets were busy with merchants, patrons, cult-fanatics and the occasional Herglic constable.  But no sign of anyone looking for them… at least not yet.  They were working their way to the Green Mist Tavern, on the West-side, near the docks along the river.

This establishment was a three level tavern that serviced the more affluent patrons of Lamuir IV, including local Nobles and influential merchant clansmen.  Pyre felt a little more at home than the last place.  It was an extravagant parlor of games (non-gambling type), food and drink, with exotic music flowing through hidden speakers.  The atmosphere was a combination of hypnotic and addictive, which was probably the intention.

They were told that Gotspar was in the upper level of the tavern, “in the back rooms”.  The stress on the “back room” concerned Tarsus.

Lamuir IV is a Herglic world, all knew that.  It also is very strict about gambling, because of the Herglic weakness to gambling.  No gambling of any kind is aloud on this world.  The enforcement of these laws is left up to the Herglic Church of the Holy Currents, the dominant Herglic religion in this sector.  The Church is notorious for it’s gambling inquisitions.

Getting into the back room was a challenge which was quickly resolved with a few credits and Rex talking to the right people.

The back-room of the Green Tavern was one of the largest gambling facilities Pyre or Tarsus every saw.  Before Rex could even move, Tarsus knocked the Herglic out with the flat of his sword-blade.

Tarsus carried the limp form of Rex off to a corner as one bouncer looked on approvingly.  Pyre, and the other panned out across the crowded gambling floor, working towards the bar.  Gotspar was unmistakable.

While Gotspar spoke with Pyre and Brendaron, Tarsus watched the crowd like any good bodyguard would.  It wasn’t long before he spotted a few humans wearing gray and black suits, all spread out through out the crowd, giving him suspicious looks.  He watched cautious as one left the “back room”.  Hoping Pyre and Brendaron were nearly finished with their business, Tarsus worked his way back to the now-slowly-reviving form of Rex.

Lonell, spotting the movement of Tarsus, moved to Pyre and Brendaron to warn them trouble was going to start.  The group worked their way to another exit just as the trouble began.

Herglic Inquisition forces broke through the front entrance, screaming orders over the noise of the crowd.  Brendaron, Pyre and the others were able to escape out a rear entrance Rex apparently knew about.  Telari was no where in site.

As they worked their way to the streets, they realized the had taken a taxi here, and had no immediate transport out.  As they turned a corner, a group of gray and black suits, this time toting blasters, met them.  Tarsus drew his hidden weapon.

“This is getting complicated.” Tarsus took a quick shot as the retreated into an alley. As they did, they heard a menacing hum of a repulsor life engine echoed from the other end of the alley.  A large utility vehicle with “Hadriu’em’s Iced Delectables” pulled up in front of them.  In the driver’s seat was Telari.

“Get in!!”

Their pursuers found transportation themselves, and gave chase in the busy skies of Gyle. With Telari driving, the others firing what weapons they had (including Pyre with his mouth), the chase was harrowing and daring.  It wasn’t too long before the gunmen lost control of their vehicle, thanks to the expert marksmenship of Tarsus.

Wiping the sweat off his forehead, Telari informed them that their chasers were Mecetti agents, once again.  He had spotted one he recognized and knew he had to act fast.

They sped off toward their next destination, Empire Freight Company to find Rophele Masan, a
Shistavenen with many connections in the Freeworlds.

****

After the Empire Freight Company, and a short encounter with a familiar Imperial Officer, they found themselves in the hotel they were chased out of only days before.   They sat in the lounge, waiting for someone called the “Tall man”.  Also conveniently meeting them in the lounge was the man called Jo-Di, who had appearedoccasionally in and out of their search.  Pyre still didn’t trust him or like him.  But now Pyre was focused on the Tall Man.

Tall man? Sometimes the intrigue-types just don’t know how to be original… Pyre thought.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a tall man that met them, it was several with blasters.

The first wave of gray & black suits were easily dealt with some how, with the help of  Jo-Di, Telari and a few other in the crowd.  It was the second wave of very irate Gamorrean and one Arconan that complicated things, and gave Tarsus and the others the clue to retreat.  Just as they were making their way out the back way (there’s always a back way), a new explosion and volley of blaster fire told them a new factor had entered the fray.

%JANNA%

.

“Finally, we get some help!”  Telari yelled over the combat.  The new-comers were indeed helping them out.  The leader, a female, was waving them on to get out, while they handled this.  The authorities would be along any second, and they were in enough trouble as it was.

Hours later, they were talking with their rescuers in a nearby abandoned building.

The leader’s name was Janna Pallask, and was Telari’s contact.  She also was able to help Pyre, Brendaron, and the others in their dilemma.

“You are looking for Sandos. We are looking for him too.  Telari here has a portion of information that will break Mecetti open wide.  We, as agents of Pelagia, seek whatever we can to bring down the power base of Mecetti. We can clear your names of the incident at the space port.  If we do that, we would like in on whatever information Sandos has.”

Pyre shook his head, “Yes, that sounds quite lucrative, but we don’t know where Sandos is.”

“We were able to find that out We found the Tall Man, before they got to him.  He’s dead now.  Sandos has been arrested by House Mecetti authorities for the murder of Lady Katrina Borodish Ilm.  The murder took place on Aleron, according to reports.  You want to find out more, I suggest you head in that direction.  Sandos is being held deep within Mecetti territory, so seeing him is very unlikely.  We have reason to believe that he is being framed for this murder.”

After a short question and answeer session, and an agreement that the information Telari had could bne shared amongst them, the group headed back towards the Cadriaan’s Hope.

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