1.076 ABY – 0845 Hour – Titan Base – Cael Report
I awake in bed in Kressa’s quarters. She is still sleeping next to me. My head is pounding slightly from drinking some local drink called the “Hammer of the Gods.” Now I know why its called that. That invisible hammer from that drink is pounding my head this morning. Guess I will not make it to PT, but that’s ok. I got enough exercise last night. I check my datapad for the time. A blurb pops up 1st. It is Life Day on Kashyyyk. I then notice there are several messages from Mathus. Mostly tech stuff about the Guppy. 1 message from Grabbo. The girls prognosis is better then expected. Flower will be out of the bacta tank sometime tomorrow and Moonbeam will be out in 3 days. The last is from Elmac. Kressa wakes up and rolls over towards me. I put the datapad down. (Kressa) “What time is it?” (Cael) “0845.” (Kressa) “I better get dressed before I am late for my post.” She gives me a kiss on my cheek and rolls out of bed. As she walks over to the fresher, I think to myself. “I can get use to waking up to her face every morning.” I roll out of bed and look for my clothes. I read the message from Elmac as I get dressed. Seems he wants to congratulate my team with some sort of award ceremony at 1300 hour today. I am just finishing putting my boots on when Kressa comes out of the fresher dressed in her day uniform. I stand and face her. (Cael) “Can I see you again, minus those hammer drinks?” She chuckles at my joke. (Kressa) “I get off duty at 1800 hour.” (Cael) “I will see if I can catch up with you. Depends what Elmac has planned.” She nods and kisses me on my cheek again as we exit her door into the hallway. She turns and heads towards the command section. “I can really get use to waking up to her face every morning.” I head towards the cafeteria. 1 cup or maybe 3 cups of java might get rid of this headache. I have to admit. The food on this base is a hell of a lot better then it was on Whisper Base.
0930 Hour – At breakfast, I read the daily reports coming in. Seems the Oppressor is more severely damaged then we all thought. She is derelict and cant jump out of the Roche asteroid field. The other Imperial cruiser, Shadow of Bardos is stationed at the edge of the asteroid field to protect her. If we had a squadron or 2 of those B-wings. Might be worth it to finish off both cruisers. I forward Elmac’s message to Berrenger, Grabbo and Mathus and let them know about the ceremony at 1300 hour. After chow, I head to pick up my armor. The burn mark is still on the leg, but at least they got the blood stains and smell out. I head to the Smooth Sailor. I drop off my armor and pull out my dress uniform. It needs a good brushing and I need to realign the pips on it.
1300 Hour – The Titan Base has a decent size briefing room. It has a huge holo projector in the center with 10 rows of seats rising up on all sides in a large circle. Berrenger is already there. He is talking to Captain Jannis. Soon RR5, Grabbo, Zal and Mathus show up. We all sit in the 3rd row near the door leading to the command section of the base. Most of the ceremony is boring. Elmac is very monotone in his speaking. Gravic is promoted to a 2 star admiral. There are 2 short holos of the battle at the Roche Asteroid field. Most of it is from RR5’s recording from the B-wing. There is a bit of holo from the Guppy’s view. The battle was impressive. The Guppy held their own against the Oppressor. Next commander Ackbar has a recorded message. Due to the fact he has been summoned by Mon Mothma and is no longer on base. He thanks my team for his rescue. The protection of the B-wing data and the B-wings themselves. Elmac has us all come down to receive high honors commendations with a ruby cluster. Berrenger is given an official rank of Lieutenant in the Alliance Intelligence division. No promotion for me. I guess I will need to ratchet up my kill score of Imperials to become a Major. Or maybe rescue a General or do some big thing next time. The Ruby Cluster does make for a nice pip on my uniform. Even the admirals get wide eyed when they see that pip. Elmac goes over a few other awards for some of the Guppy’s crew. The Guppy’s crew is technically on leave while she is in dry dock. Some food and drinks are served. A lot of small talk amongst the base personnel. Kressa is not at the ceremony. She is probably stuck on duty. As the crowd thins. Elmac motions that he wants to speak with me. As I make my way across to him. Berrenger and Jannis are talking a few meters away. (Elmac) “Captain, we may have another pressing assignment for you and some of your team.” (Cael) “My fire team portion is in the infirmary.” (Elmac) “This assignment may be more subtle. The missing Spec Opps Team and the Shell Cracker Prototype, well, has run into a snag. Arkem sent the Gigaran mercenaries on that mission.” (Cael) “Then I assume the mission did not go well?” (Elmac) “On the contrary. The Gigarans took Hammer Station without too much trouble. But, they, well. They are now trying to sell the Shell Cracker prototype to the highest bidder.” My facial expression must have giving away my shock. (Elmac) “”Yes, we were a bit taken back by their action also. Let us sit down with Mr Berrenger and Jannis to discuss this further.” We go into a side conference room. (Jannis) “Well the Gigarans have gone rogue. They have broadcast that they will be taking bids from all comers for the Shell Cracker prototype. We would like you Mr Berrenger to represent the Alliance in this bidding process.” (Berrenger) “How much of a credit line will I have to work with? This cant come cheap?” (Jannis) “The Gigarans have no clue how important that prototype is or what its cost will be.” (Cael) “So why haven’t the Imperials gone in and taken their prototype back?” (Jannis) “We are not sure, but the Imperials are sending someone to bid for them. There may be others bidding on this also, but we are not sure who.” (Elmac) “Mr Berrenger, you will be given a 2 million credit line. Arbitrarily it can be increased to 3 million credits, but we have on good authority to trust your negotiating ability to keep the price reasonable.” (Elmac) “Once you have secured the Shell Cracker. We will also want you to negotiate a deal with an obscure pirate crew that has come into possession of a large amount of droids that they acquired from 3rd party. They wish to offload them, I mean sell them. This deal we can allocate up to 5 million in credits.” (Jannis) “These droids will free up Alliance personnel for more active duty. We can not afford to loose many personnel. The Empire has been making large advancements on some of our hidden bases. Here are the coordinates for Hammer Station, but I believe you 2 have already been there.” A large smile crosses my face thinking about the Governor on Hammer Station. (Berrenger) “Sir, I will do my best. What personnel are available for this mission?” (Elmac) “Well, Mr Mathus is up to his elbows in repairs on the Guppy. Captain Cael will be in command of the mission but you are in charge of the negotiating. I think your pilot, that RR5 droid would be a good asset. I suspect you can use the Smooth Sailor.” (Cael) “Can we get her camouflaged in some way? Maybe a phony BOSS code transponder? Different paint scheme?” (Jannis) “That can be arranged” I turn to Berrenger. (Cael) “We have R2T7 as our astromec and you have your DZ protocol droid. We may even bring Dr Grabbo for support. Just in case, but since we are short a technician. Can we have a computer tech expert?” (Elmac) “We can easily arrange that. We will transfer the credits to 2 separate datapads.” (Jannis) “Here are also the coordinates of the meeting with the pirates.” (Elmac) “Good Luck gentleman, dismissed.” As Berrenger and I walk out of the conference room. (Cael) “Look at you, a Lieutenant. You’re in it now. Up to your neck.” Berrenger just grimaces at me and grabs his neck. Like I was going to slice it with a vibro knife. (Cael) “I need to pick up some tools and stuff before we assemble our team.” (Berrenger) “Ok, I will meet you at the Smooth Sailor later.
1530 Hour – I stop by supply to get a black suit. Something roomy that I can hide a few blasters under the jacket. It fits pretty good. I ask Wayne what he has in stock in hold out blasters. He hands me two DC17 lite blasters. (Wayne) “These are just as easy to conceal and have a slightly better range.” (Cael) “Ok, I need a double shoulder holster that these will fit. Do you have a pair of scanner goggles that look like dark sun glasses?” Garth hands me the harness while Wayne goes into a closet. He comes out with a pair of goggles. A little bigger then glasses but not overly bulky. (Wayne) “Here, try these. They are an older style.” I try on the shoulder harness and adjust it to fit. Both blasters fit snug. The glasses work fine. (Cael) “Thanks guys.” (Wayne and Garth) “Your welcome Captain Cael.” I stop by the base barber. I have him adjust my hair style and darken it up to a darker brown. When she gets done. I look in the 3 D mirror. Even my mother would not recognize me. This memory of my mom stops me in mid thought. Then I catch myself. The barber is staring at me. I think she may have asked me a question. (Cael) “Thank you miss. This will do very well.” I head to the smooth Sailor.
1730 Hour – The docking bay is all hustle and bustle. There is a crew prepping the Sailor. They changed the color scheme to a blue accent on the white. The deck Sargent walks up to me and hands me a new datapad for the ship. (Sargent) “Captain Cael sir?” (Cael) “Yes” (Sargent) “Oh, I was not fully sure that was you. Here is your new ship designation. She is listed as the Spinsters Loon – 237S77RA44. This BOSS code checks out as active for a model 2660. The actual ship, well she is technically out of commission and in for major repair. So you should not have any trouble. She is almost fueled and prepped. Should be done soon. Besides the paint needs an hour or 2 to dry. Please sign here.” I sign the datapad. He downloads the form into the main computer and then hands the datapad back to me. (Cael) “Thank you Sargent.” When I get inside my ship. There is a the person that Berrenger freed on the prison ship. The one that worked in the Jedi temple archive. He is playing dejarik with Dizzy. Berrenger walks in just after me. (DZA7) “I can not comprehend losing 5 times to this person. I know 1,986 winning combinations but I can not seem to win?” As we watch the game progress. I am far from adequate in this game, but this guy Gemmintark just lures DZ in and flanks him with smaller faster pieces. Then goes in for the kill. The game, I think game #6 is over in under 5 minuets. (DZA7) “I have Analyzed your play style. I have deduced your anticipated moves but you do not use the same strategy more then 1 time.” (Berrenger) “Gemmintark, what are you doing here?” (Gemmintark) “Well, when I was released from the infirmary. The base commander did not have any orders for me. Only not to leave the base. So I have been on and off playing dejarik with DZA7 here.” I put my suit and other toys in my cabin. I head out past them. Still in my dress uniform. (Cael) “Berrenger, we shove off tomorrow morning at 0700 hour. Please inform RR5 and make sure he is here and ready. Did Jannis give you the 2 credit datapads?” (Berrenger) “Yes, they are both safe in my cabin on the ship here. Where are you off to now?” (Cael) “Meeting someone very important at the cantina.”
1.077 ABY – 0600 Hour – Titan Base – Cael Report
I slip out of Kressa’s bed so as not to wake her. I grab some sweats from the gym room and go to PT. The class runs for 25 minuets. Then a shower and I grab a stack of protein bars and java on the way back to the Smooth Sailor. It is 0645 hour when I get there. Everyone is ready. RR5 and Roots are prepping the ship for take off. Berrenger is still in his cabin. There is a male Doros named Vona. He says he is assigned to this mission as a computer technician. Gemmintark is still sitting with DZ. (Cael) “Are you going with us? I thought you cant leave the base?” (Gemmintark) “I have no other pressing matters. I would like to go with you.” I cant understand why I said what I said. (Cael) “Sure, why not.” I change into the black suit, and get ready. Grabbo comes on board and sits at the Dejarik table with Jemin. RR5 gets clearance to depart. As we are maneuvering to the jump point. I come out of my cabin. (Berrenger) “Well if you don’t look the part of a Black Sun bodyguard.” I accented the outfit with some bling. A couple of gold chains and 2 gold rings. I step into the cockpit. (RR5) “R2T7 has calculated our jump trajectory. I can initiate it now or are we to be delayed?” (Cael) “No delay. You are the pilot to get us there. Use your discretion.” RR5 gives me the blank stare. He engages the hyperdrive and we are in seconds in hyperspace. The trip is actually shorter then I expected.
1100 Hour – Hammer Base
We arrive in system. Hammer Base does not look too good. There are a couple of areas that look dark. There is also some debris floating near the base. There are a few other ships in the area. There are 2 imperial shuttles about 5000 meters above the base and a sleek private shuttle sitting off to our port bow. (RR5) “Sir, there is no beacon to follow into the landing bay. The station also does not reply for landing instructions.” (Cael) “I do not think there is anyone to guide us in. Just bring us in and land us in the main landing bay. The 1 with the force door still operating.” RR5 brings the ship in and finds a spot on the far side of the landing bay from a solar sail ship. The private shuttle lands after us in between the yacht and us. There is a Czerka Corp logo on the shuttle. 1 of the Gigarans walks over towards our shuttle as we exit the ramp. We can see the 4 people exiting the Czerka Corp shuttle. 2 male humans, a Devorian and an Aqulish. They all have large datapads and are entering data. The Gigaran with the heavy blaster rifle. Walks over to us. (Gigaran 1) “Who you with?” (Berrenger) “We are here for the Alliance. Do you remember. I was the person that freed you from the prison ship.” (Gigaran 1) “Yes, freed guy. You follow me. Only 4.” So Berrenger, DZ, Grabbo and I follow the Gigaran. The Gigaran motions for the 4 Czerka members to follow him also. These Czerka people are strange. They are constantly typing in their datapads and looking at us and the Gigaran. They are probably trying to calculate how much we are willing to bid. As we walk through the base. There are a large quantity of dead imperials laying everywhere. It is starting to smell in here. All the doors we go through have clear sign that the Gigarans had forced them open. We enter a large room with a holo projector in the center. It is showing a holo of I assume the Shell Cracker. It is some sort of heavily armed gun ship. Already in this room are several other Gigarans. A Quarren in combat armor is sitting next to another Gigaran with a rifle. There is a Pyke in a very expensive suit across the room. He is smoking something that emits brite red smoke. He has a protocol droids standing on either side of him. Another Gigaran, the 1 not holding a large blaster rifle. Walks to the center of the room. (Gigaran 2) “We have powerful ship. We want only small portion of cost. You each chance bid. Best bid win.” I contact our ship with my comm. (Cael) “Roots, run a low level life form scan of the station. Is anyone else here. Let me know.” (Gigaran 2) “I put 4 glostos in bag. Each pull 1. Red bid 1st. Blue bid 2nd. Black bid 3rd. White bid last.” My comm beeps, so I open the link. (RR5) “Sir, R2T7 has detected 15 life forms in close proximity to you. He also detects 5 other life forms. Approximately 20 meters past where you are. No other life forms detected other then in our ship.” (Cael) “Thanks, I’ll get back to you.” I close the connection. The Devoric walks forward to pick 1st. He picks the black gostos out of the bag. Gostos must mean colored rock. The Pyke walks forward and picks 2nd. He pulls the blue rock from the bag. The Pyke does not look happy. The Gigaran motions to Berrenger. As Berrengeer steps forward. The doors to our right open. (Imperial) “Hold it right there rebel. I will pick next.” I look over at the imperial officer standing in the doorway, it is Sariv. How the frick did he get released? He is wearing an Imperial Captains uniform. Sariv struts down past Berrenger. Puts his hand into the bag and pulls the white rock from the bag. He then reaches in again and pulls the red rock. He tosses the red rock to Berrenger, who catches it. (Sariv) “There Rebel, you can go bid your trinkets and leave the true bidding to the rightful owners.” Sariv walks over to the other imperial officer and 2 storm troopers by the door they came in.. Berrenger has an angry look on his face. (Gigaran 2) “Come, you bid 1st.” The 4 of our group walk into a side room with the lead Gigaran. There is a large table in the center of the room. It is piled high with all types of food stuff. Most are not on plates. Just piled on top of other food. Not sure how long it has been sitting there. (Gigaran 2) “Feast, we talk, you bid.” the Gigaran fills a canister with several items and attaches it to their breather mask. (Berenger) “You did a good job taking the station.” (Gigaran 2) “Gigaran take station for Gigaran. Gigaran jailed last mission. Alliance no rescue Gigaran. Gigaran angry.” (Berrenger) “Remember, I was the 1 that freed you on the prison ship. That should at least count for something?” (Gigaran 2) “Gigaran remember friend. Alliance not friend” (Cael) “Didn’t we rescue you from prison ship?” (Gigaran 2) “You just there on ship. You no sent rescue Gigaran. You there for stuff. Just find Gigaran.” (Cael) “Then why did we rescue you and not get any of the imperial stuff?” Berrenger is giving me his angry look. (Gigaran 2) “Gigaran no trust you.” I throw up my hands and walk away towards the table. Berrenger begins to discuss the deal with the Gigaran. I only catch part of it. After about 10 minuets. They have agreed upon 2 million credits for the Shell Cracker prototype and we supply safe passage for the Gigarans home. I am pretty sure, if the imperials do not win the bid. They will resort to force. We then exit the banquet room and go back to the holo projector room. The Pyke and his 2 droids enter the other room to discuss their bid with the lead Gigaran. I work my way around to the other side of the room. There is a double door that is slightly ajar. As I pear in the darkened room beyond. I can see several people in there. I put on the scanner goggles. This allows me to see in the dark. It is the missing Alliance Spec Opps team. The Pyke and the droids soon come out of the other room. The Pyke has an upset look on his face. He paces a bit and blows a lot of the red smoke. Berrenger walks over to the Pyke and introduces himself. The Pyke blows smoke in Berrengers face. As Berrenger is coughing. The Pyke and his 2 droids storm out of the holo projection room. Towards the hanger bay. The Gigaran next motions for the Czerka Corp group. They go into the other room to bid. I use the commotion of the Pyke storming out to slip into the darkened room. I make my way across the room. The floor is strewn with dead imperials. When I get to the group. (Cael) “And I assume you 5 are the missing Spec Opps team?” (Soldier 1) “Yea, Who are you?” (Cael) “Captain Cael, my team and I are here to rescue you.” I undo their binders. (Cael) Who is the worst 2 of you? I only have 2 stim packs on me.” The soldier point to a male human and a female Merialan. I give each solder 1 stim pack each. (Soldier 1) “We have not eaten in days. We are pretty weak.” (Cael) “Where is your commander?” (Soldier 1) “The Gigarans took him out that door you came in.” Their commander must be the Quarren in the combat armor. The last 2 soldiers are rounding up weapons from the dead imperials. Now comes the hard part. How to get this team safely out of here. Then the idea hits me like a fat nerf falling on me and I smile. We may be able to rescue these people, get the prototype, and not spend a credit. This might work. I call the ship again.