12: The Search & The Scourge
ESB, + 1 month
Where: Planets Elrood & Dega
SUBTITLE: Operation Elrood – Industrial Intrigue Part II
Leaving Elrood and it’s politics behind, the crew of the Lovely Angel traveled deep into the Drift, following the estimated route dictated by the Rebel Parek. They were seeking the last known position of the Whisper, and expected trouble. The had heard that a pirate band called the Scourge haunted the Drift, targeting RMC ships as often as possible, almost too strategically.
The Scourge had a personal meaning to one party member. They were the pirates had killed Bastian’s parents, or at least that was what he was told. In recent communiqués with his mentor, he had learned that his adopted mother was his true mother, who had given his embryo to a surrogate mother, to keep from embarrassing her Imperial Senator husband. She apparently was unfaithful to him. But in an attempt to gain political power, they decided to fake an adoption, making the family appear like a happy family willing to take a child from a less fortunate home, and raise as their own. The surrogate meant nothing. However, in some political plot, Bastian’s parents were killed in a pirate attack on a star liner, long after Bastian had left them (or they left him, depending on how you look at it.) Now Bastian was considering revenge.
En route, the party encountered a wounded Duinuoguin. They helped it heal, and found out it was hurt in a battle with invaders. The bombarded his colony with asteroids, and destroyed the majority of the settlement. He left to try to get help from others. He then recognized the Jedi’s; recognized their Force. He identified himself as a Starwing, Warrior Dragon of the Light, one of many that are in hiding in the Drift. They were charged centuries ago, to be the warrior to fight the Drakaresh, the evil Shadow Drake dragon warriors. He saw this meeting as a sign; a battle cry to re-gather their forces. He left with a promise to rally his friends.
Trouble was not long in hiding. They suddenly dropped out of hyperspace, and immediately attacked by a small squadron of Blast-boats, and a large modified transport. A cargo barge could be seen fleeing from the site. The Lovely Angel, heavily modified by this time, made short work of the annoying pirates, boarded the crippled transport, and retrieved the data they needed to find the Rebels and their ship. Unfortunately, they were on two separate planets.
Two blast boats escaped with the mysterious barge, and they determined they were heading to home base. They had those coordinates, which was also the location of the Gray Griffins (the missing Rebel scout team). They set coarse at the fastest hyper-speed they could manage, reaching Dega hours before the others. The base was inside one of the larger mine shafts that litter the ravaged planet. Using a stealth device on board the Lovely Angel, they infiltrated the pirate base, posing as the pirate survivors of the last attack. At a specific moment, the signal was given, and they attacked, stunning them all. However, before they could stop one, a pirate triggered a release, and two beasts, pets of the pirate leader Chalmer, roared into the room. Surrounded by these beasts, blasts not seeming to have any effect them, the situation was dire. A third beast was attempting break through their final way out. Before the Jedi could delivere a killing blow through that door, a voice came through the Force.
“You don’t want to do that, Jedi…”
It was Starwing. He fought and killed the beasts, mortally wounding himself. Before he died, he said
“The rallying cry was received. The armies are forming”
They cleaned the base up, to prepare for the returning ships. They set a trap for the 75+ expected pirates returning from the Drift. They explored the catacombs of the mines surrounding the base, and scouted out the surface in a five kilometer radius. As the ships were detected by system perimeter sensors, it became apparent they were not alone. Base defense were engaged.
Something bothered the Jedi about the incoming ships. He sensed someone, but not one he recognized. They scrambled to re-enforce their trap. It was too late to turn back.
The battle was short, but difficult. The presence that was felt turned out to be Baxter, Bastian’s “son”. However, Baxter looked exactly like Bastian, and just as old, almost a clone. Bastian was torn. He wanted to save his son from the Jedi who was determined to confront the Dark Jedi presence he felt.
Before the Jedi reached the battle, Mishavek flew the Lovely Angel over the opening of the mine shaft, and fired ion cannons at the barge. They had guessed right when they assumed that this was the ship that ripped them from hyperspace earlier… had to be an interdictor field. But what they didn’t know was the pirates had modified the field to create a real graviton field, and used it to bombard planets by towing asteroids with the field. The interdictor field’s modifications were unstable, and the ion cannon blast set off a chain reaction that could not have been predicted. The field triggered a massive gravitational influx, drawing everything near it toward the center. The crew raced to escape the building gravity well. The entire base was imploding; tunnels were collapsing. The destruction nearly destroyed the entire base when it suddenly stopped. The party was littered about the base’s surviving compartments. They dug themselves out from the rubble after setting some high explosives to finish the job, and left the base behind.
The Jedi still felt the dark presence. Baxter had survived somehow.
The party had a few prisoners to interrogate, one being the pirate leader, Chalmer. The pirates apparently had a deal with the Imperials to delay the RMCs progress in colonizing Alluuvia, so their competitors Imperial Mining Limited could claim the planet. In return for his life, and a “…chance to work with THE Dirt…uh…Lovely Angels…”, he agreed to stop the attacks, and help the party in their efforts. He gave them inofrmation on the location of the Whisper, and gave them a YT-2400 to trade for it.
Next stop, Korad, to find the Whisper, the missing Rebel ship.