Here we have a somewhat-expanded and edited version of Kira’s in-character log for the fifth session of the Star Wars game.
We were all back aboard the Nightraptor treating our wounds. Lazlo was unharmed – apparently being a LOT tougher than he looked – and I had managed to get by with only some small cuts and bruises. Most of the others required some medical treatment to recover though… Ben especially, since he needed quite a bit of time in the bacta tank. He seemed very injury prone, a wonder he had survived this long in the middle of a galactic war – but I finally had a few minute to take stock.
Garyan was getting antsy in his tank. I was wary about Lazlo’s plan to soothe him by placing his weapons in the tank with him, but was outvoted. It was most disturbing when it actually seemed to work for a bit, but I could feel a sense of foreboding beginning to stir within me.
Ben was having nightmares in his tank. Apparently nearly being eaten by jellyfish several times has given him fears of being immersed in a confined container of fluid. It was really beginning to disturb the kids too. Not knowing anything better to do, I tried to soothe his nightmares with the Force. My Master never really taught me anything like that except for use on myself. Trying it on Ben proved surprisingly easy. Much easier than I would have anticipated.
Meanwhile, Telera was reviewing the sensor logs of the battle with the Sith and was laughing quite hard. Nice to see that at least something can break that perpetually calm exterior. When she began to wonder aloud about what precautions the Sith might be taking in the future, I had to laugh a bit too. I really suspect the Sith are going to learn all the wrong lessons from that battle.
Is that one of the things that defines the Sith? Always coming up with the wrong lesson?
Once the majority of us were done in the bacta tanks, we began to discuss how to deal with the bio-weapons still on the loose. The large crystal creature had managed to put all of us out of action for sometime by itself, even WITH Garyan firing missiles at it. I really didn’t want to get caught between several at once, even if they were smaller.
One proposal was to let fish into the base and let the things wear themselves out against the fish. We would have to kill the lights to cut off their energy supply for that to work too. This struck me as too time consuming and haphazard to work well.
Another suggestion was to try to starve them out by killing the lights and simply waiting. I wasn’t certain we could kill power to the lights without disrupting something else, plus the security droids were bound to interfere if we cut the lines directly. Ben’s calculations on how long the things could last without light varied so widely that we probably couldn’t rely on them. Plus who knew if the stupid things could hibernate or something?
No, the simplest solution in my mind was to detonate a concussive blast next to them and shatter them. We were out of grenades, and I couldn’t readily move things via telekinesis outside my line of sight. So we were going to need to buy explosives and small underwater drones for delivery. The others quickly assented to the plan and we headed back to the surface to purchase the materials we needed. Fortunately Ben had some extra cash on hand to cover the charges. Well, considering what he’d charged the fix the Nightraptor, he should. The locals were rather mildly disturbed at our purchase of toy subs and explosives, but I chose to ignore it. Not much I can do about their opinion anyway.
Explosives, and cheap little drones that didn’t even need to be refitted to carry them, were easier to get than I would have thought. Apparently depth charge fishing is quite legal here. I suppose the jellyfish make that somewhat reasonable, but my Alderaan sensibilities still chafe at the idea.
By this time, Lazlo had finished repairing his fighter craft he was busy salvaging. He is going to have to replace the entire life support system though, as I doubt he can breath oxygenated water. We are going to have a small fleet of ships at this rate. I’m not sure if that is good or bad.
Garyan was getting particularly blood thirsty. I hate to say it, but I have seen this all too often now. In his search for a bigger gun to use, he found out about the collapsium reactor we have stashed away. I immediately interposed myself between him and it, but Garyan was going to need something violent to distract himself with. Quick discussion led to the “plan” of leaving Garyan here with the sub explosives hoping he kills some of the bio weapons before he explodes. Meanwhile we would disassemble the collapsium reactor system permanently so nothing could detonate it. Sorry but I am more than willing to sacrifice a suicidal maniac for the sake of the planet.
Alys volunteered to stay with Garyan and “help” out with things. She did get the override for the detonators from Ben though before we departed back to the surface.
Back on the surface, it looked like the best bet for getting the lead and steel we needed was going to be the police auction on what was left of De’arc’s ship. Current competition was a kid with delusions of grandeur (at least I hope so), and some of the other port engineers looking for scrap of their own.
Ben came up with a private offer to the engineers; he’d leave the planet in exchange for no competition on the bidding. Considering the distinct lack of markets around here, one additional starship engineer running around probably was making things difficult for the locals. The engineers quickly agreed to the plan and dropped out of the bidding.
The group then bribed the kid with one of the derelict fighters Lazlo stole parts from. I really hope those stories of kids pulling an Anakin Skywalker and building podracers or fighters in their backyard are just legends. I really hate to think of the gap in ability between someone like that and myself. So far I haven’t run across anyone with that kind of ability, but the galaxy is large.
Ben managed to win the bidding with the minimum bid of 100 credits. No doubt it helped that he was the only one bidding still. The auctioneer looked highly annoyed, but we didn’t do anything illegal. Their fault for not having a higher minimum bid.
Alys’s report on Garyan’s progress came in about this time. In pursuit of a bigger bang, he had tied three drones together and found he couldn’t drive the thing with any accuracy. The drones hit a wall and became stuck. Seeing how the first batch failed, he strapped another three together and sent them off with similar proficiency. Those three collided with the wall and exploded. The explosion then triggered the first set and made a real mess of things.
The security droids immediately determined that Garyan was an infiltrator and started trying to kill him. Garyan responded with more drones colliding with the droids for more big explosions. Alys had just shown up trying to figure out what Garyan was up to as more explosions went off. Garyan was now at war with the ancient Sith base for all intents and purposes.
Back on the surface, Ben had purchased a droid called FL-17 to install the shielding we had just fabricated in place of the collapsium. It wasn’t intelligent by any stretch, but it didn’t need to be. Plus being simple kept weird program errors from radiation to a minimum I am told. I took Ben’s word for it.
Doing the work in space made things safer and more isolated from major population centers. Zero gravity helps a lot when moving something weighing tens of tons. We had FL-17 go slow with the work as we didn’t want any premature detonations. I toyed with the idea of whether I could hit the hyperdrive button before something went catastrophically wrong, but decided I didn’t want to find out. We got the shielding in place, the collapsium removed, and the detonatinv system disarmed eventually. FL-17 was going to need repairs though according to itself. I couldn’t tell much difference before and after, but Ben said that it’s hands and external plating were pretty radioactively contaminated.
The decision was made to chuck the collapsium into the far side of the local sun just to be on the safe side. We informed the locals to watch the sky and verify we had dismantled the stupid thing. Hopefully that gesture of good faith will do something to help our reputation here. Even though it went off shortly after entering the photosphere, at that range it was quite harmless. Hyperdrive tends to make you forget just how FAR away from their suns planets are.
Garyan’s war with the Sith Base wasn’t going well. Alys had fled the scene (I don’t blame her either). Garyan was busily ramming drones into the security droids left and right before detonating them all in a kamikaze strike. We were able to rescue Alys after we got back – a good thing she’d taken along a huge supply of jellyfish poison this time – but I decided not to even bother searching for Garyan. Even if he was still alive (which everyone rated as damned unlikely given the explosion and collapese), we weren’t going to rescue him so that he could blow us up too.
Sigh, his job was to destroy the bio weapons so we could loot the base. Instead he destroyed the base (or a portion of it) and turned the remainder of it hostile towards us. If he wasn’t dead I would be sorely tempted to smack him around with the ship mounted stun cannon.
Surveying the damage, it looked like Garyan had managed to destroy a great number of the droids, several rooms of the base, corridors were now buried in mud, and the base was now exposed to the waters outside – although the internal systems had sealed off the remainder to contain anything that was left. Lovely.
At this time the team the locals had sent to watch over us had arrived. This bunch was led by some guy nicknamed “Shipwreck” who specialized in underwater salvage operations. Hopefully a specialist in remote operations given the seas of THIS planet. We eventually found one of the escape shuttle ports and used that to get in. The base wanted new identification as Garyan’s little bout of suicidal insanity had convinced the system that the codes we were using were compromised.
Ben tried his precognition again, looked puzzled, and then told Shipwreck to dress as a Sith for some reason and put in the next set of codes from the three that had originally seemed most likely to him. I got real perplexed as to what was going on. When the computer identified the code as the personal code for Darth Revan. I will admit that threw me for a bit of a loop until I remembered that the current Revan was merely the latest to take that moniker. The computer then asked for Revan’s personal identification verification code. Well crap, how were we going to figure that one out?
I’d looked over the archived information – and from what I remembered of the guy, he liked forcing enemy ships to crash-land on hostile worlds with little chance of escape. The Republic would send expensive rescue missions to the worlds only to find very few survivors most of the time. A fine specimen of sapient life if there ever was one. What in the galaxy would he have used as a personal code word? Shipwreck proceeded to announce his own name to the computer system which took it as the password. At which point it became apparent why Ben had Shipwreck dress up as a Sith.
I am going to be honest here. I really thought that whole routine about absurdly fortunate and unlikely coincidences in the holos was evidence of bad writing. Actually seeing that level of continuously fortunate circumstances happening before my eyes was disturbing me on a whole new level. Is this the precognition at work or something else entirely? It really makes me wonder about the chain of events that got me here from the Naichron. Was I just barely staying ahead of the bad luck until Ben’s ability to generate good luck started to overwhelm my own? Or were circumstances pushing me to be here this whole time?
Well anyway, “Darth Revan” had full administrator access to everything in the base. Shipwreck was looking for guidance on what to do next. I asked him to grant me identical access to himself so that we could get things moving. Computer informed us the “prior” bunch impersonated us well. They looked and dressed like us to the point of being virtually identical. I bit my tongue to keep from calling the computer an idiot and used my new authority to request a damage report and status.
Four crystal things still running loose, but one of them was where part of the corridor had collapsed too in a massive series of explosions. Telera went to verify that it hadn’t survived and escaped. Several rooms destroyed, blocked or buried. Only fourteen droids remaining after the fight.
Ben and Shipwreck stayed in the control room and prioritized repairs and maintenance. Containment of bio weapons was first, second was production of bio weapon countermeasures, and third was preparing the base for relocation. I went after the crystals myself this time after being provided with the requested countermeasures.
Destroying the crystals was easy enough. I had the droids drop a small package of explosives next to the crystals. Remote detonation took care of things easily without putting myself or anyone else in danger. When I recalled that the things could be useful as a morphic crystal, I had the droids retrieve one stashed in stasis and put it in an aluminum box for Ben. He can tinker with it at his leisure and I didn’t have to worry about trying to catch one of the escaped ones.
An argument sprung up over whether to keep the base or not. I was for keeping the base. Alys, Handell, and Ben were for relocating it. Lazlo was for leaving it as a pointless exercise. I wanted the research notes and the data archives. Ben wanted the manufacturing facilities. Alys wanted the notes on where dangerous monsters might be found. Handell wanted to use it as a safe hideaway to fall back to. Telera, 10CH, Khadim, and the kids had no opinion one way or another.
We eventually agreed that keeping the current location was probably a bad idea; too many people now had a fair idea of where it was. Oh well, I am willing to accept being outvoted. We didn’t have the cargo capacity to ship all the base’s systems to another star system. So that meant somewhere in the current system then. I voted for a metal rich asteroid or something. Everyone agreed to that except Lazlo, who said it was stupid (he wanted to relocate to one of the few islands). We ignored him.
Next I asked for an inventory on the Force weapons projects. I was particularly interested in the types of items, success rates, and issues found. After all, Force-based devices were supposed to be impossible!
It mostly turned out that they still were, at least as far as the experiments here had gone.
The first batch involved grafting Force sensitive stuff similar to bacta into a host as a sort of symbiont. Granted a short term boost in Force potential at the cost of the stuff degrading the user’s Force pattern. Death would follow inside of a year.
Right, that stuff goes in the pile that will be thrown into the sun when we are done.
The second batch was a set of chemicals/drugs that acted as tailored stimulants. This could increase Force ability for a time, but had the same limitations of all stimulants: addictive and ultimately degrading on the body and mind. Plus the fact that it could cause the user to go into an uncontrolled Dark Side feedback loop. These might be useful in an emergency, but I am not going to use them if at all possible – especially since most of them were for nonhumans.
The third batch was a set of creatures that would hunt Force users and kill them. They were sterile and had a limited lifespan. Well at least the Sith weren’t completely stupid. More stuff to chuck into the sun.
The fourth batch was a real piece of work. The Sith apparently took the brains from Force sensitives and carved away all the parts not related to Force ability. The remaining piece was then put into stasis. Sith would then attune themselves to the pieces and use them to project Force abilities. Prolonged use would cause insanity and all sorts of nasty things. Top priority for destruction in my opinion.
The fifth batch was failed experiments. I didn’t have time to review them in much detail, hopefully I can review them at my leisure later. A negative result can be just as informative as a positive.
At which point Lazlo called me while dressed in Telera’s, the kids’, and my robes. He seemed to be of the opinion that wearing robes is what gives us Force sensitives our power. He looked ridiculous. While I felt that his power had grown a bit in the last few minutes – possibly just from his confidence in his “theory” – I knew it had nothing to do with his assertion. I also didn’t feel like explaining to him why Jedi and Sith wear robes. He can learn that for himself.
I turned my attention back to the Force weapons lab. Something was going to have to be done. As Telera and I approached the place, we could tell the place was roiling with Dark Side energies. Probably the result of four thousand years of tormented force-sensitive spirits being imprisoned on the edge of death. Just great. Entering ourselves was going to be dangerous. Telera was filled with righteous fury over the whole mess. Can’t say I blame her either. I elected to take the easy way out of this. Loaded up another droid with lasers and told it to enter and destroy the remains.
Well that helped a bit, but the place was still seething with the Dark Side. Looked like we were going to have to purify it. Telera was hesitant to try given the malice within. I thought back to my time at the Trayus Academy under it’s oppressive aura and decided Telera wasn’t ready for that sort of thing. I volunteered to enter if Telera would teach me what to do. Hopefully my time and experience at Trayus would buy me time to complete the ritual without contamination.
Telera looked at me like I was nuts for proposing such a thing but eventually relented. She vowed to do what she could to support me from outside.
Once inside I could sense the folly of my arrogance. This place, while smaller than the Trayus Academy, was much deeper than it. I was going to get overwhelmed quickly if I couldn’t get through this soon. I don’t know if it was the Force, Telera, my own indignation, or something else, but I felt a massive surge of power as I completed the ritual and banished a large amount of the power. However it did feel like some of it may have only been driven away rather than banished.
My fears were confirmed as we started getting reports of temperature changes, electrical discharges, and various power systems overloading. Plus I could feel some dark Force powers at work. We chased the reports and feelings back to the control room only to find that the door had been sliced open from the inside and the remaining shuttle gone missing. I asked Handell to follow whatever it was.
A quick review of security cameras showed a humanoid creature kneeling at the control panel before it suddenly got up, sliced a hole in the door with a lightsaber blade and took the shuttle. Great, one of the spirits had taken over the bio weapon that had still been in the computer room and was now loose. Told Handell his primary priority was shooting it down, otherwise follow it. We would catch up with him later.
I asked Alys if she had her own ship we could use. Apparently she did, although it was back on land. We had Shipwreck’s surface team pull us up and warn the local government while we headed back to shore.
Handell was losing ground against the shuttle – well, the Nightraptor was fundamentally a freighter, not a military vessel – but the locals managed to get five fighters after it as well. Apparently they were a bit paranoid after the orbital battle a couple of days ago, and had everything they had ready to go on a moments notice. One managed to hit the life support system on the shuttle which unfortunately did nothing against the bioweapon. It escaped to hyperspace with one fighter in pursuit. Fortunately, that fighter was able to relay back a heading to the rest of us on where the shuttle was heading.
Looked to be some backwater Republic world I had never heard of. Not much in terms of defenses since it was on the far side of the galaxy from the war. Luckily the shuttle didn’t appear to be very fast. Handell and the rest of us jumped close enough to Republic space to connect to the Galactic network. From there we tried to warn the Republic to shoot down the shuttle before it arrived. Hopefully they will listen.
Telera sent a similar message to the Jedi as well. Her’s also included the line “I was watching and this wasn’t their fault”. Hopefully the Jedi and the Republic can get something there to intercept the shuttle before it gets to a world. Despite Telera, I am willing to bet the Jedi and Republic are going to blame me for this. I can’t seem to win or do anything right at times.
Since there wasn’t anything more we could do on that front, we headed back to Archegeph. The locals were once again annoyed with us. Not much I could do there. We then went back down to the Sith base for final cleanup.
In the arena/testing area we found there to be twenty one people being kept in stasis for bio weapon testing purposes. Quick check of the records showed three to be captured Republic soldiers, twelve to be kidnapped Falusian locals, and six to be Sith techs and guards with lacking performance. Well we decided to keep the Falusians in stasis until we could hand them over to one of their planets. The Republic soldiers we brought out of stasis and tried to explain what had happened over the last 4,000 years.
Explaining that the year was no longer 19,463 but was now 23,749 did not go over well. I didn’t know what else to tell them other then the fact I could sympathize with being torn from my old life by the Sith. We asked if they would help us in the meantime with keeping an eye on the Sith in stasis. The Republic soldiers agreed, and we armed them with the spare weaponry and armor we had. On the bright side, if they could get their back pay from the Republic, they could all probably retire if they didn’t bankrupt the Republic.
Releasing the Sith didn’t go as planned. Between the computer referring to Shipwreck as Darth Revan all the time and the Sith techs and guards being rather weak willed and spineless, we had no problem keeping them in line. Unfortunately they thought we were just more Sith Lords to be followed. Will I ever be rid of that blasted stigma? I did laugh when one of the guards announced that at least he was done with alimony payments. Some of these people may not be that bad of guys to have with us; it looks like the rank-and-file is the rank-and-file no matter which side they’re on.
Right, we got them in line, and proceeded to prepare the base for relocation. We chucked all the dangerous nonsense into the Sun for disposal, but kept the records and genetic samples. Alys found us a decent asteroid nearby to relocate the base to. The relocation itself is going to take the better part of a month to complete with hollowing out corridors and moving equipment.
When done, we are going to activate the system that floods the underwater base with magma to destroy it and what remains of it’s contents for certain.
On the plus side, with some more work and some technical equipment, we could mount a hyperdrive to the asteroid and move it around as we need from system to system. If we can find someone with the right skills, we could even mount a repulsor system on it and hide the base in a gas giant within whatever system we move it to. We are going to need techs and engineers though to do that. Maybe we can quietly hire some from a backwater world in the Republic?
The Festival of Masks is approaching and I need to return to Alderaan. Maybe the others can try and recruit while I return home. Besides I need to talk with the Republic sooner or later.
I will have to give this some thought later though. In the meantime I need to help Telera with teaching the kids Force techniques. I can do that much at least, although I will leave the philosophy of it all to Telera.