Age of Rebellion

Marion's Log Episode One: Rise of the Conqueror

The Lost Protocols
How did it come to this?

After a year of on and off captivity, interrogations, as well as character profiles, the Rebellion, now New Republic, had decided to give Marion Tarrk a chance to prover herself.
As an ex-stormtrooper, her expertise would come very well in handy for the mission in question.

Going into the mission Marion was worried. All she knew about this Corran Sloane gentleman, was that he too was an ex-imperial. It was clear right away that he was no stormtrooper, but he was definitely not a civilian. The options remaining, left Marion little room to trust him. Even so, the two were sent to the hutt controlled planet of Arsheek. The more time Marion spent with Sloane, the clearer his previous occupation became, which left a sour taste in Marion’s mouth… That said, working with an imperial again was a nice change of pace. They barely spoke, beyond necessity. This was a relief for Marion, who just wanted to focus on the mission. She had been away from action so long that she worried that she had gotten dull. It seems she her worried had little strength in reality.

Their mission was to find an imperial agent. Who carried information about a ship called “The Hammer”. After sometime on the planet, they found themselves in a bar of scum and villany. Marion ordered a drink, while Sloane made friendly with the locals. Sloane started chatting with a human called Mendez, who was dueling with a rodian. It seemed to not be going very well for the rodian, not necessarily losing the game, but he being taunted by Mendez. The rodian shot up, knife wielding against Mendez, who got out of the way. This was not something that interested Marion. That was, until Mendez got out of the way, and the knife was going towards Sloane. Now, whether liked her partner or not did not matter to her. Without hesitation, she picked up her blaster and shot the knife out of the rodian’s hand. Pure instinct on her part, to her own amazement, she did not even drop her drink, in fact sipping after the shot. This turned into a bit of a shootout. Marion’s worries about her skill and ability, quickly turned into muscle memory. She had not rusted at all, she actually surprised herself in very useful, given that she usually doesn’t resort to pistol fire. She ended up blowing up the rodian’s pistol. The rodian scampered away, with his friends.

That is how Marion and Sloane came into contact with Mendez, who now owed them. He had information on the crew of the Space Butterfly, where the imperial agent had been forced to take refuge. The ship had been captured by the hutt, Nado. Mendez gave the two an in, to speak with the hutt. Marion, somewhat reluctantly, got back into her stormtrooper uniform and demeanor. Nado had a particular fancy with stormtroopers, due to their programmed loyalty, as well as skill. Marion came under the faux employ of the hutt. Sloane’s negotiations turned up a rather interesting find… One particular item on the ship was a lightsaber, non functional, but a lightsaber nonetheless. Marion found out little else about this and was sent to meet her new commander, Cheol-Su Wen. Cheol-Su demanded respect, which she earnt quickly with Marion. Marion needed more convincing for the respect to be earned, thus being sent on an errand to speak to the rodians. It was not unlikely they were thinking of attacking the hutt, since the prison held one of their own. It seemed they want this in prisoned rodian because they were upset with her, however. In order to prove herself, Marion was told to go unarmed. So she did. Her own mission would likely benefit from the rodians attacking, so she used the fact that their leader was the same rodian she fought earlier to her advantage. She goaded him into attacking. It turned out to be a bit more of a harrowing battle than she anticipated. Maybe I over did it, she thought to herself, as the rodian short her in the torso. But she found herself a blaster, off one of the attendants at the bar. In her mind, it was set to stun… But it seems his ‘friends’ didn’t trust him, and it was set to kill. So, living up to her stormtrooper legends, she accidentally nearly killed the rodian. The rodian dying would be very detrimental to both her health, and to her mission at this point, so she decided on diplomacy. Yes, cause I’m a great diplomat., she thought to herself. Even so, she managed to discourage him from continuing the fight.

Cheol-Su seemed to prefer this outcome, even if it wasn’t the optimal. She also thought it was a good idea to, again, have Marion be unarmed… But even worse, be strung up as bait. Marion did not like the idea, but again she was less rusty than she thought, and barely flinched at the idea.

The rodian’s showed up pretty exactly when the collective tactical know-how of the stormtroopers calculated. Which give Marion exactly the time she needed to use her vibroknife to almost cut the ropes, waiting for the battle to begin. Her plan was to leap into the water, but looked at the distance of the moat, and thought the three dumb words that people think at least once in their life, I can make that jump. It seems she was right, she could, somehow. In her mind, she prepared to land in the water, which meant that she held her breath, but landing on the grating made her burst all of that air out, living her winded… Unarmed… Pretty much next to the enemy. Great plan, Marion…, she thought to herself. But the stormtrooper up top tossed her a blaster rifle. She managed to catch it, while under fire. Just another great feat of athleticism for a stormtrooper., she told herself to release the high of succeeding so well with this crazy plan. The enemy did not take long to quell, and Marion joined with Sloane who had freed one of Nado’s slaves. This particular woman turned out to be the agent they were looking for. Sloane had also acquired a ship from Nado, and a droid. A fast growing family, Marion thought to herself, and shook her head. The trandosian guards on the way to the hanger were quickly dispatched by Marion’s stormtrooper accuracy. And they took flight. However, Nado had sabotaged the ship, and they crashed some clicks outside of the city.

They quickly realized that their best shot was to stage a prison break, saving Mendez’s friend, to have him help them get off world. Upon returning Marion went to fetch their things, overhearing that most of the bounty hunters under Nado’s employ was out looking for them, in the city. Leaving mostly the stormtroopers and some trandosians to guard the hutt himself. Mendez had a different strategy to get into the hutt’s palace again, though. Always trust a scoundrel to know another way in…, Marion shrugged to herself. Together they made it in and managed to rescue the prisoners, using the codes the droid, who seemed to serve the agent, had. Everything went well, Too well in Marion’s mind, until they ran into Cheol-Su, and her stormtroopers. As if things wasn’t bad enough… The empire showed up, and the Agent Dinah Talo ordered the stormtroopers to get into empirical employ. They didn’t seem happy about it, but obliged. Not that Marion was happy about it. A dropship let out a bunch of stormtroopers, along with a rather scary looking individual, named Zekmet Darya. They picked up the lightsaber, as well as all the ex-empire personnel. Except, knowing the empire, they didn’t count us as “ex”., Marion thought to herself.

They were escorted back to the ship, where the agents and the stormtroopers were split up. The troopers were lined up to meet a doctor, to check the for injuries, and the interrogate them. The further into the ordeal they came, Marion got more and more annoyed… This was so far from protocol, that she doubted they ever knew what protocol was. This led her to question the doctor, which led him to pump her up with even more drugs, seeing as the original drugs didn’t really have the desired effect. This left her unconscious. Though she was drugged, she woke briefly several times during the electro torture.

Next she knew though, she stumbled out of a bacta-tank, looking at Cheol-Su. Marion was somewhat embarrassed by her current weak demeanor, but powered through it. Cheol-Su told her to shape up, so as to not be left behind on the coming mission. Thus, Marion grabbed her willpower by the scruff, and got back into working order, thus passing the inspection by the scary Darya, with little trouble. She geared up for snow camo, and boarded the ship. Sloane was also coming with this party, it seemed. Their mission was to investigate a crashed ship. The exact location of the ship was unknown, but the locals would likely know. The crew consisted of Marion, Sloane, and the stormtroopers from Nado, that wasn’t terminated. This was a relief for Marion, this meant that their team was expendable, making their departure from this particular branch of the Empire much easier.

The village was visible from the landing spot. Marion saw two potential routes. Great… Icy-freeze-to-death water, or less-than-stable-looking mountain path. Lovely options, she thought to herself. The mountain path seemed less dangerous from her experience, but neither path was a good option. Thus, they traversed the mountain path. Part way through, they were walking on a snowy bridge-like structure. As Marion was almost across she realized… This is just packed snow. As she finished that thought, she heard a noise behind her. She reacted quicker than she knew she could, swinging around, grabbing his hand, as the stormtrooper fell, falling down with him. She woke up with the trooper above her. It seemed that she had, instinctively, shielded him and taken most of the blow. Every bone in my body hurts.. My muscles are sore.. I’m freezing.. But I won’t let us die out here., she thought, as she forced herself to her feet. She looked around, saw the hole in the ceiling where they came crashing in. Jaxx, as the stormtrooper was called, pointed out some weird-looking crystals growing out of the wall. Marion went up to it… Her better judgement might’ve told her not to tough alien crystals growing out of an alien mountain, on an alien planet. But it felt like it called to her, so she touched it. It lit up, seemingly, and showed her things… Told her things… She could not make heads or tails out of it, but somehow she knew the way to the exit, so she started leading the way. The two had been walking for some time, before they heard a noise. They stopped and looked around, but they forgot to look up… A tentacle creature came down from the ceiling. A battle of desperation began. The monster got ahold of Jaxx, and even knocked him out. It was charging Marion, but she leapt over it, shooting it to finish it off, before it killed her. She ran back to Jaxx, and used one her stimpacks, and tried to wake him. He woke, and Marion sighed a sigh of relief. Never again…, she thought to herself.

The tunnel continued for a while longer, until the communicator suddenly connected. I never thought I’d be so happy to hear the voice of an agent, she said to herself, overcome with emotion, hidden behind stormtrooper training and helmet. It did not take long until they reunited. The cave had turned into a big structure, Marion had not noticed the transition. Sloane pointed at the first, and apparently only, corpse they had found. It was jedi-looking individual frozen in a thick layer of ice, grasping a yellow cube. Marion wiggled the cube out of his grasp. Afterwhich, there was another noise. Marion, who was already on high alert, started shouting orders, to rally the soldiers. Her injuries caught up with her, however. She was about to take cover herself, when a sharp pain through her body, forced her to her knees… Right in front of the giant bug-like creature, that climbed out of the hole in the middle of the room. She didn’t have time to get up, before the creature slammed her with one of the braziers sitting around the hole, she was knocked to the side. How did it come to this?!, she shouted in her mind out of panic. She shouted at the top of her lungs, to motivate herself, and got into a brutal battle leaving her little room to do anything, aside from remaining the creatures punching bag. Though avoiding any lethal hit, with every touch of the creature, she felt more and more of her body just breaking. Keep it together, Tarrk!, she shouted in her mind to herself, mimicking her gymnastics trainer, and academy trainer, for her younger years. She got knocked to the ground, and the giant thing was about to step on her, turning her into paste, when a shot came from Sloane. The creature seemingly softened up, and fell to the ground. Marion got up and looked around. she made a head count, Sloane, Jaxx, Cheol… Where’s the other two?. She saw one of their hands sticking out of the snow. She rushed over there and started digging… They had both been crushed by boulders. No… Is it my fate to always be the last one standing?, she thought to herself, silently sobbing. Stormtrooper training could no longer contain her emotion, but her helmet could. She got up, and put on her ‘stormtrooper-face’, as they left. Jaxx suggested that Marion’s injuries may be worse than she shows, and offered to carry her. Perceptive bastards…, Marion pridefully thought to herself. Sloane and the others had already visited the village, and set up basic relations. Thus, upon coming back there they were greeted by the locals, and Marion was able to receive some… Potentially questionable medical care.

Jaxx was there when she woke up, the next day. Her mind was still a little bit fuzzy, but she didn’t want slow down the team anymore. She geared up, and they set out to find the ship, with the shaman-leader-person in tow. The shaman had a strange aura about him, he almost glowed in Marion’s eyes. They arrived to… Where the shaman took them to. To Marion, it just looked like any other part of this snow planet. The shaman put his hand out, and… It was hard to tell. It looked like he lifted a ship out of the ground, but the winds must’ve just uncovered it. Still, a ship meant a possible way out of here. Even if the ship didn’t work, if we could just get the long range communication to work, we could signal the new Republic. Marion geared up for a fight, as they had been told some sort of non-living creature was in there. She figured it was likely a droid. And there was a droid in there. An R2 unit, R2-D6, to be precise. It crashed with the ship, and had had been working tirelessly to repair it. The thing could even fly. So Marion got into the pilot seat, and set off. I hope my piloting skills are as un-rusty as my blaster skills…, Marion thought to herself, as she lifted the ship to fly out into space.

Marion Tarrk Episode Two Part 1

The Calmer Mission
Why does it always turn out like this?

Marion was called to a mission briefing. Sloane was also called, as well as a Twi’lek slicer named Vic. The mission surrounded a deal that was to be made on Coruscant. The New Republic was to contract the repair of several buildings, some of them useful for the war effort. There are three prospective clients, who’re vying for the contract. However, recent intel suggests that Grand Admiral Ramzan Belikos is not only interested in the deal, but he might also have an in with one, or more, of the prospective buyers. Marion and her team would pose as the inspection crew sent by the New Republic, in order to ascertain which buyer is the better, and which, if any, is in league with the empire. Before leaving, Marion checked in on her stormtrooper friends, Cheol-Su and Jaxx, to see how they are settling in, and how the New Republic is treating them. They seemed bored, but well.

They got on the ship, together with AR-47, the protocol droid that used to belong to Agent Talo, and R2-D6. D6 and Marion went for the cockpit, to set out and plot a course. Once into hyperspace, Marion went back to lounge with Sloane and Vic. A rather serious discussion about their past began, which resulted into a political debate about the Empire.

Upon arriving on Coruscant, the crew settled into their safe-house. Leaving gear that can’t be traveled around with, to go speak to their contact, Reev Chandras, president of Core Construction, and the person in charge of selling the contract. She was on-sight, overseeing construction. The crew was undercover as a third-party company called Scaven Health and Safety, which Reev had informed would arrive, and was in the employ of the New Republic. Through her conversation, the team decided to speak to Malkus Ryuga, CEO of Durastar Industries, first.

Malkus Ryuga was out looking over the battlefield that is Coruscant at the moment. The team spoke him, and learnt of plight. They had already become aware of that several of his factories were beyond the border, into areas controlled by the empire. Sending mercs into imperial areas to reclaim his factories is a very good cover, should he be the snitch. But, he would stand to gain a lot by playing us, or playing both sides. Hmm, I was not trained for this line of work. The team went for a tour of Durastar’s Pipe factory. Most of which bored Marion, so she zoned out, and simply scanned the rooms they went through for possible entry ways, but the facility seemed pretty solid. At least through the areas that they were lead through. Part way through the tour, en explosion changed the mood. Marion volunteered the team to check it out, as the Durastar clerk seemed to suggest that they were too understaffed for it, for the time being. They borrowed a plumbing van, and set out to investigate.

It turned out to be the work of a terrorist cell the Black Suns, specifically a zabrak cell. Marion was reminded of her time in the outer rim. She was part of a squad that set out to recruit the zabraks. Except, zabraks are really the kind to be recruited, so the whole ordeal turned very bloody. She also felt that her piloting skills was not on the level to drive this van against terrorists on speeder bikes. But she had leave worries behind, a battle was take place. At this point in time, Marion did not realize her potential in the line of a pilot. However, she displayed remarkable skill in the profession, given her choice in vehicle. She held her own, and was even able to fire off her weapon a few times in the battle. But most of her efforts was to line Sloane up, to take out the zabraks. Marion’s adrenaline was shooting on all cylinders. As they also carried mostly blasters, they aimed for Marion, instead of the vehicle. One of the shots hit her straight in the shoulder, causes to almost lose control of the van, but she gritted her teeth and worked through the pain. The last of them was ahead of the team’s van, and as Sloane shot it Marion saw the bike land straight in front of them, and elected, for whatever reason, to use it as a ramp, and shot up on the upper platform, where the leader had been sniping them. In her stressed state, she still found the willpower to aim her weapon and shoot him. He was barely grazed, and fled into the hole of the pipe that they had made. Marion took a breather, and stopped hyperventilating. Together the team figured out that they likely currently based in a nearby sewage treatment plant, but they would likely move out pretty soon. They returned to the Durastar facility, and reported their findings. The team recommended a swift strike. Durastar only had unchecked mercs left. Not a soldier in sight… Well, time to drill them into shape., Marion thought. And with this ragtag group of lowlives, to be fair, the Soldier and the Agent set out to do what they do best… Scare the living shit out of them, to make sure they cling to any stability they can find making them loyal-ish, and placing a carrot in front of them increasing their morale, and thus effectiveness as well as cementing their loyalty. They borrowed speeder…vans, as Marion would call them, from Durastar, and made their way back to the hole. Why do I always get into situations like this?, she thought to herself, while remembering having to employ local farmers to protect an imperial facility, along with the village of the farmers, from beasts. And with that they entered the pipe, and “speeded” to the sewage treatment plant.

They laid out a plan of attack. There were three entrances to the plant, from their pipe. Sloane and Marion would sneak through one each, and Vic n’ Mercs go down the middle. Marion and Sloane were able to scout out the area ever so slightly. The zabrak’s had cleverly set themselves up on both sides, both the main entrance, but also at the pipes. With a surprise attack from Sloane and Marion, a fierce battle took place. Marion could still feel the strain from their previous romp with these terrorists, and wasn’t on her A-game, as she would say. She had only taken out one single zabrak by the main door, when she saw the big zabrak, with a double-vibrosword, slicing through her allies. She remembered that the greatest weakness of the zabrak’s is their temper and their honour. Thus, she ran towards him, taunting in their tongue, challenging him. He responded in kind, bursting up to her to knock the blaster out of her hand. A fierce duel took place. Big-ass zabrak with a double vibrosword, vs. out-of-armor stormtrooper with a vibro knife… I got this., Marion thought to herself sarcastically. She would likely describe at mostly luck, but she managed to avoid damage, while holding her own against the beast. She miscalculated, however. These gangster did not have the tribal honour, that she witnessed on their homeworld, instead, the big zabrak ordered his fellow gangsters to shoot her. To Marion’s glee, however, Vic backed her up. And together, they were finally able to fell the big beast. The true hero of the battle was one of the rodians they brought. Not the most skilled, and not the most seasoned fighter. But as, Marion would describe, he was twitchy as fuck! Firing like a mad man, he hit be shear force of amount, rather than any semblance of skill. But even with Twitchy leading the charge, Marion fell after the big boss up in the control center fired at her. Vic gave her a shot of medicine, and she was back in the fight. To the boss trying to flee, but seemingly the door had be shut. She fired at him, but she was unbalanced, and only grazed him. And she thought to herself, Why does it always turn out like this?! Then she noticed that Sloane and the others used the Stun setting, so she switched as well. He knocked Sloane to the ground, and lined his vibro axe to strike down on him. Marion panicky began running towards him to tackle the zabrak. However, Sloane was faster than the zabrak, and shot him down. In the wake of the battle Marion picked up the double vibrosword, and the boss’ blaster. And the team discussed what to do with their new prisoner…

Marion Tarrk Episode Two Part 2
The Worker Riot

The Worker Riot
He wasn’t as bad as I thought.

The team brought their prisoner back to their headquarters. Where they discussed what to do next. Marion decided to take some time in the bacta tank, to heal her wounds. Sloane began interrogations of the zabrak leader. Vic spent most of his monitoring Marion inside the bacta tank. When Marion got out, they had already sent a message to Durastar, reporting on the situation. Not long after Marion got out, the team was contacted by their Republic commander, saying that the president of Core Industries, Reev Chandras, had been attacked. They hurried over there, to reveal themselves to her, in order to ensure her that the Republic has her back. Sloane also decided to investigate the holovid of the assassin. It was a video of an armored humanoid jumping out of the vents, attacking the president by shoving her off the side, having her land on a payload. He quickly concluded that this was not an assassination attempt, the assailant was too skilled to allow such a blunder, as that. Sloane also pointed out that the assailant checked where the crane was, which made it even more clear that this attack was meant to send a message, but not to kill. Vic identified the weapons as likely coming for shady backgrounds, potentially even the Black Sun.

After this, the team decided to meet with the Princess Vayet, of Kuro Neimoidia, as the second one to check out. They were brought onboard her ship, as this particular customer has her factories on the neimoidian homeworld, and not here. Construction was underway to have factories on Coruscant. The team was able to find out that many of the workers are actually from an old Imperial prison installation. Some of them wookies, and many of them used to work on the Death Star, itself. Upon meeting the head wookie, Shyyrtacca, they started learning about a problem the neimoidian’s were having with their workers. The wookie and their guide seemed to have very different things to say about what was happening. The picture became clearer after speaking to the Princess herself. It seems the humans among the workers were displeased about their stations, and the fact that so many aliens had been given higher positions. Not necessarily too surprising, given that many of the humans used to be wardens to some of the aliens. Pfft… Imperial dogma. Humans believing themselves better than aliens just because… Ignorant., Marion was ones herself indoctrinated in this way of thinking, but her experience on her old homeworld, as well as her experiences since leaving the empire, had left her somewhat less ignorant about the strength and intelligence of aliens.

After they concluded their meeting with the Princess, the team decided to check out of the situation themselves. This lead them to travel to another ship the Neimoidian’s had in orbit, aptly named “Ship 2”, or “Personnel Carrier 2”. As per the Princess’ instructions, they did not have a guide here, but merely a Droid that would take the team were they wanted, or needed, to go. They headed for the mess hall, where a fight was breaking out. The fight was between a brute of a man, and a much smaller twi’lek. The charged in to attack the twi’lek, but Marion got in the way. A brawl began, where Marion was began not trying to hurt the man, and Sloane attempted to break them using diplomacy. Marion’s tactics changed drastically when the man got passed her, and attacked the twi’lek, who was panicking and trying to get away. Shit, he was better than I thought!, Marion thought to herself. She lept over the man, and struck him square in his chest. She then took a defensive stance in front of the twi’lek again. It was here that Sloane finally managed to make his voice heard, and ordered everyone to stand down. Marion called for guards to take the two participants of the fight away. And Sloane took custody of the woman, named as the potential leader of the human workers, named Mera Jerat, and had her bring them to a room they could speak in. It turns out the closest room with this description was the lavatories. It was not big enough for Mera, Sloane, and Marion, so Marion opted to leave the two of them, to go speak to the man she fought, Ryldon Shayr. She had learnt a thing or two from Sloane at this point, for better or worse, as well as other agents she had seen interrogate people. Start strong… It’s not that different from fighting, you shake their guard, then go in for a haymaker… Thus she began pushing his buttons. She shook in questions in between belittling his conquest of going after someone so much weaker than himself. In the end she managed to get a good deal of information, as to why he attacked, but also made him shaken in his own resolve. That’s when she went in for the “haymaker”. Her otherwise steely soldier-like person dropped, and she became much kind and warm. She managed to convince him that people as big as them should not be picking on the small, but protect them. To her surprise, he seemed to take it in. Wow, he is indeed better than I thought., she thought to herself as she left…

Corran's Log Episode One: Rise of the Conqueror

Sloane, Corran
Formerly of the Imperial Security Bureau,
Commission for the Preservation of the New Order


The Empire has fallen, long live the empire…or Republic is what they are calling it now. ‘The New Republic’, seeing as how the last Republic was such a success… How many countless billions of lives have died because of their opposition to order? How many lives ruined as the empire’s control of the galaxy has weakened? The galaxy is burning at the hands of terrorists, idealists and other low lives.

Low lives that I have now joined. As the Emperor and Lord Vader died above Endor, the Empire, and its ideals died with them. It did not take a day for the infighting to begin, sides were drawn and more focus was put on who would rule instead of the Emperor than to make sure there was a galaxy to rule. It soon became clear that even if the Shadow Council eventually managed to unite under one leader and crush the rebellion, they would have lost too much power to keep the Galaxy under control. And so I left them to become a traitor.

This eventually led me to the wonderous planet of Arsheek, a lesser swamp planet located in hut space, ruled by Nado the Hut. I alongside another traitor, a former Stormtrooper commando, SL- 1517, had been sent to track down an Imperial agent going by the aliases Harthin Mett and Derzin. We needed to retrieve information from him about a missing research vessel named ‘The Hammer’ that the empire seemed to have taken a rekindled interest in and identify why it was important to them.

SL- 1517, or Marion Tarrk as she called herself, and myself began the hunt at one of the cantinas. Harthin Mett had killed a bounty hunter called Yorick before disappearing and intel suggested that Yorick had friends and allies at the place, and hopefully one of them could lead us in the right direction.

We had barely reached the bar counter before a fight broke out between a Rodian and a human. We unfortunately got caught up in it and quickly had to put the Rodian in his place. After the Rodians had scurried away, the man introduced himself as Tavik Mendez, and after some persuasion, he along with his combat droid, M1-D9, or ‘Mandy’ as he called it, agreed to help us with finding the agent. Apparently the agent had tried to escape onboard a ship owned by a Duros smuggler called Shorat, but it had been seized by Nado’s men while trying to leave the planet and now the agent along with the rest of the crew and cargo were being held within Nado’s palace.

Nado, had gotten delusions of grandeur since the fall of the empire and had recruited a handful of Stormtroopers to act as his elite guards. I arranged to have SL- 1517 sold to Nado as a way to get closer to the hut and hopefully be able to barter for the lives of his captives. To do this, Mendez got in contact with a Bothan merchant who was due to visit the hut for the customary bribe to let him continue to operate his business. Mendez had his own reasons for wanting to free Nado’s prisoners and promised to help identify the agent if we managed to free them. And with that agreement in place, we went to meet the hut.

After handing over our weapons, we entered the giant slug’s great hall where he greeted us, a pair of slave girls tending to him and, to my surprise, the rodian gang we came across at the cantina acting as guards. It was clear that the hut was intrigued by what I had to offer, but he was more enamoured by his price than I had suspected. It soon became apparent why, one of the rodians opened up a decorated box and from within it, took out a lightsaber. Badly damaged, but a lightsaber nonetheless. A cold chill went through me as I saw the weapon, and I realized quite quickly that whatever secrets ‘The Hammer’ held, I wanted no part of it. Still, my questioning about the release of the captives and interest in the ship made the hut suspicious of me.

Thankfully, my mannerism seemed to have impressed an Imperial protocol droid, AR-47, and together we convinced the hut to keep me as a guest while I debriefed the droid about the crashed ship, while SL- 1517 was taken to the barracks to begin her ‘service’.

I cleared out the servants from my room and, deciding I might as well take advantage of the hospitality entered the pool prepared for me. I looked forward to seeing how SL- 1517 would react to meeting other Stormtroopers, I’m sure the New Republic had done several checks and interrogations of her before trusting her, but Stormtrooper indoctrination is quite thorough so some vestiges of it might still remain.

While pondering whether or not to trust her, the protocol droid entered my room. Given how he responded to some of my comments and his demeanor to his surroundings, it was clear he had recently been acquired by the hut and likely not yet programmed to be loyal to him. As such, I decided to drop my usual accent and act the role of loyal imperial agent. We quickly arranged a suitable story for him to bring back to Nado while I was granted free roam of the facilities.

I decided to visit the cells where they kept the prisoners to see if I could make contact with the agent. A Trandoshan guard blocked my way, but it would seem the creature responded to my projected air of command, and assumed me to be a trusted friend of the hut, and so let me inside without even coming with me. Honestly, I’ve seen imperial guards flogged for lesser acts of incompetence than that.

I made my way to the cells and struck up conversations with the human prisoners, triggering a few agent call signs to test the waters. None of the prisoners responded to them, but as luck would have it, an Imperial lawyer, a man called Jae-Woo Rattik was able to answer a few of my questions. He was the cousin of Captain Serano, a war hero amongst the Empire and desperately wanted me to send word to him. More importantly, with his help I was able to identify the agent, the male aliases were merely there to throw us off, the agent was, at least for now, going by the name Dinah Talo, and was currently being kept as Nado’s slave. Complications, I do so hate complications.

I returned out of the jail and had AR-47 set up another audience with the hut. I posed as a representative of a minor scavenger lord, wanting the right to salvage the ship. I tried to barter these rights with the hut, along with information about his captive, Jae-Woo Rattik in exchange for his ‘slave girl’. While the hut was eager to use the information I had to leverage a man he called Belikos he was unwilling to part with his latest possessions.

Instead he gave me the ship the agent had used, along with its star charts. As I was considering how best to steal the girl, one of the slugs’ pet Stormtroopers marched into the room and shot down one of the Rodians. It seemed that while I was speaking with the prisoners, SL- 1517 had been busying herself with agitating the Rodian gang who were now attacking their former employer. The hut had his men carry him away to a more secure area while one of his guards, a Stormtrooper herded away the slave girls. As the room emptied, I picked up the blaster from the fallen rodian and without much deliberation walked up and shot the Stormtrooper at the back of his head.

I quickly verified that the girl was indeed agent Talo, and while tempted to head to the cargo bay right away, now that she was secure, I decided to provide SL- 1517 with some backup fire, seeing as how she for whatever reason continued to guard the place against the Rodians. Agent Talo on her part, identifying herself as AR-47’s owner took the droid and headed for the hanger.

I hurried off to the palace doorway where I saw SL- 1517 hanging on to the ledge of the moat surrounding the palace. Cursing my luck I opened up suppressing fire, receiving a grazing blaster shot to the side as thanks. As she got up however, instead of retreating back to the palace, she continued the fight. I assumed this was again due to the Stormtrooper conditioning, which was certainly a warning signal but she did respond when directly told to fall back.

We hurried back towards the hangar, mutely appreciating the agents work as dead Trandoshan guards were strewn along the path. We entered the cargo bay where Agent Talo was prepping her ship. SL- 1517 went to assist her with prepping the protesting AR-unit while I looked around the place. I found what I assume must have been a force crystal of some sort, again, anything concerning Jedi magic left a bad taste in my mouth, but seeing as how such things were always a high priority within the empire, I could only assume the same applied for the New Republic.

I also found a pack of deathsticks. I was never one to use them while not undercover, but I imagined that they would soon come in handy, given my luck since setting foot on this planet. We all hurried on to the ship, a scrappy bow-tie fighter, silently hoping that the hut had not messed it up too much while his crew worked on it.

The Bow-tie took off the ground, and for a moment things looked as though it was going well, but as we began picking up speed…it wasn’t. We began falling and while we avoided crashing in a ball of fire, it was a crash nonetheless. We had ‘landed’ in the marshlands and me and SL- 1517 went to survey the area while Agent Talo tended to the droid and the ship.

I found the entrance to a tunnel network that Mendez had mentioned and we decided to sleep there for the night. Agent Talo offered to take watch, but since I didn’t like the prospect of leaving myself vulnerable with an agent I didn’t know to watch my back, and since she seemed to hold a similar sentiment, we left it to the droid to monitor our surroundings.

I made a point of not falling asleep before she did, but while I can’t be sure, it seemed so did she. At times I fear our training at the academy gave us trust issues… It would seem as though we eventually came to some sort of agreement as sooner or later we both fell asleep and the night passed without incident.

We wandered through the tunnels back towards the city we came from. We spoke very little. I was tempted to try and squeeze her for the information we came from, but feared that pushing too soon, before we could assure a way to transport her off world should things turn ugly, would only make things more complicated. Thus we continued in silence until we ended up right beneath the cantina where we first met Mendez.

From the commotion above, it seemed as though Nado had put out a bounty for us, which had gotten a large portion of the bounty hunters on the planet to start moving. We made our way to our hotel and SL- 1517 snuck in to get our belongings, finally allowing Agent Talo to change into something other than a gold bikini. I would perhaps have felt worse about that transition had we not been trekking through marshlands and glorified sewers.

We continued our journey through the piping system until we reached Mendez’ hideout. , M1-D9 stood watch and as soon as we approached it alerted Mendez. We brought him up-to-date with what had happened and I told him about the people I saw in the cells. Apparently he wanted to free one of the Rodians called Vipp. In return for helping him, he would take us off world and fly us where we needed to go.

As Nado seemed to have weakened his defense while searching for us, we deemed it best to strike as soon as possible. Mendez led us through yet another set of tunnels, these apparently connected to the hut’s garbage chute. After tying fresh meat to his droid, to attract whatever beasties lived in the water, we pressed on. Mendez swore on the efficiency of the technique, and while I had no reason to distrust him, made sure to position myself behind him while walking through the tunnel.

We finally reached the chute and silently made our way to the cells. The surviving Trandoshans were nowhere to be seen and we were able to free the Rodian and the Imperial Lawyer without any problem. Things were going well right up until the moment where we exited the prison. Nado’s Stormtroopers stood there waiting for us, blaster rifles ready. We had numbers on our side, but even so it would likely end up being a nasty fight. But then Agent Talo walked up and with a confidence not shared by the rest of us, told the Stormtroopers to stand down and get back in line. It took a while for me to understand what she meant, until I heard the familiar sounds of imperial drop pods striking down outside. “The cavalry had arrived”.

Complications, I do so hate complications.

It seemed as though the diligent agent had called them here while she ran off right before we joined up with her last time. For a moment, I considered igniting the fight between the Stormtroopers, ideally we would take them out and it would provide me ample opportunity to stun Agent Talo. Then we could bring her along through the tunnels and head off using Mendez’ ship… But it was naïve, too many things could go wrong, and even if miraculously got to Mendez’ ship, we would more than likely be targeted down by the imperial ships in orbit. Instead I returned to being an imperial agent, walked up towards the commander, a cocky looking woman named Cheol-Su Wen, and told her to be a good dog and stand down.

There was a long silence where I waited to see if she would fight or if she would submit. My gamble payed off and she and the other Stormtroopers fell in line, moving out to secure the palace, taking SL- 1517 with her. Myself ,Talo and the lawyer did similarly, securing the hut’s throne room while Mendez and the others ran off through the tunnels. I quickly tried to convince Talo not to share too much information with this faction of the Imperials, pointing out how she would be far more valued by my own employers. She dodged giving a clear answer, but said she would keep it in mind.

Soon loud, determined steps rang through the palace. I stood at attention, looking forward, so at first I didn’t see the woman as she addressed Agent Talo in her synthetic voice. I cursed inwardly when it seemed as though the two knew each other. This would make things far more difficult.

She seemingly ignored me and walked past me, a towering woman, seemingly more machine than anything else. She addressed the hut and ‘convinced’ him to sell her the lightsaber. As her mechanic hand claimed the artifact, memorizes of a similar event shot through me. I did not like where this was going. Still not much else happened, she silently turned on her heel and we followed her.

As I stepped into the drop pod, there was an unexpected feeling of returning home. Returning to the place where things were orderly and things made sense. A place where I fit in. The sentiment surprised me, I thought that I had shed that part of me, but some things are not so easily parted with it seemed.

As we returned to the ship, the woman, naming herself Marshal Zekmet Darya finally turned to me and demanded my identification. I confidentially gave it to her and explained how we had come to free Agent Talo. I was unsure if this won me any favors with the woman, but it did seem as though she and Agent Talo had a shared past, back when the Marshal was a Director. A dangerous woman then.

I was set aside to await debriefing and a few hours later, I was face to face with the holo projection of the leader of this little expedition; Ramzan Belikos, or indeed Grand Admiral Ramzan Belikos as he now claimed. He had been an advisor to the Emperor before his death and had been in the outer rim during the Battle of Endor, and it seemed as though he viewed himself as the next Emperor, as ridiculous as that might seem.

He questioned me about my activities and I quickly responded with the prepared scenario I had created for myself, an agent sent out on a mission and was to be considered dead or missing in action until orders told me otherwise. It should have been quite a believable lie, it was not unheard of and above all it should have given me some measure of protection from most imperial interrogation procedures. Only… The Grand Admiral did not seem to follow Imperial procedures.

Instead he wanted to test my loyalty by other means. Agent Talo had reported on my cooperation with SL- 1517 and so, he had me watch as he killed her. I had not known the Stormtrooper for very long, we had been assigned together because of our shared past and nothing more. Her life was an asset to be used, as was mine, but this…was wrong.

This was not how the Empire did things. Yes, we did horrible things, I knew that better than most but we did those things because we had to, not because we could. Sacrifices had to be made for the greater good. But this… was just Belikos wasting valuable resources as a show of strength. That wasn’t the strength of the Empire, it’s the type of strength used be petty thugs and low lives.

While I tried to keep me features neutral, it seemed as though some of my discontent showed as Belikos dismissed me as weak. My prior feeling of coming home quickly faded. It seemed as though I did not fit in with the Empire anymore after all.

I returned to my cell and there I spend the next few days. I learned that SL- 1517 survived the torture which was probably for the best, assuming she also didn’t break. Beyond that there was not much news; the days were spent with Imperial propaganda videos played on holo displays combined with drug induced food to help keep me malleable. Finally Agent Talo came by to brief me of my new assignment.

She seemed somewhat disillusioned by the way Belikos ran things so I once again tried to plant the seed that there were better alternatives out there. Sadly however, it seemed as though I was too late, she had told Belikos and Marshal Darya everything and we had finally reached the location of ‘The Hammer’.

Having apparently earned Belikos’ displeasure, I was not assigned to any of the high priority missions, instead I was sent to command a small group consisting out of SL- 1517, Cheol-Su Wen along with a few other Stormtroopers as well as AR-47 . Cheol-Su Wen… I didn’t even know her designation, but since the rest of Imperial protocol seemed to be thrown out the window, I decided not to make too much of a fuss. As for SL- 1517, I was unsure if I should trust her or not. After the torture they were sure to have started their re-education. And then there was the fact that Belikos has mentioned her telling them something during interrogation, presumably something tying her to me.

I thus greeted them curtly and ran over the debriefing one final time. We were to make landfall on to the ice Planet Svan-Tee IV and make contact with the natives, a primitive humanoid species called the Darfellan. We were to get the natives cooperation in finding a small unknown fighter that had apparently crashed on the planet. Marshal Darya had reassuringly pointed out that should we fail they would leave the planet without us.

Failure meant being stranded on an ice planet and success meant continued service to Belikos, which would likely lead to future suicide missions, oh joy. SL- 1517 took point and acted as guide to where we believed their village was located. Things started off well, but as the perceptive reader would recognize, a pattern was slowly forming. We had trekked the majority of the way through the heavy winds, but while crossing a mountain ledge, one of the Stormtroopers crashed down, snow and ice giving way beneath him. SL- 1517 tried to save him, but was merely swept down along with him.

A small pang of regret shot through me, she had been a good soldier and above all, she was the closest thing to an ally I had on this planet. But, I did not want to join her in the afterlife just yet, and so we continued. We reached a cliff right above the village. It would be an excellent vantage point should the aliens put up a fight, but ideally it would not come to that. Climbing down would not be too difficult, they had primitive rope ladders which seemed to be used for that exact purpose, it would however make us vulnerable while climbing down.

And so, after confirming the structural integrity of AR-47, I… sent him ahead of us to initiate diplomatic relations. It seemed to have gone well and the tribe welcomed us. We quickly gained access to the village elder, a large strange looking male who AR-47 quickly introduced us to. Talking to him was strange, it was as if he naturally learned our language as the conversations kept going. If it was a trick, it was a good one; I saw no sign of deception from him.

Regardless, I explained our reasons for coming and he agreed that he would send guides to help find the ship when the weather improved. While I very much doubted that they were still alive, I mentioned our companions and asked about possibilities to send out a search party. He told me with absolute certainty that they were still alive. Again, I was unable to detect any sign of deception from him, which reasonably meant either he was a better liar than I thought or they in reality had more advanced technology hidden away somewhere. Still, for whatever reason, I took him on his word, he explained that they had landed in a cave which he translated into “place of horrible danger and darkness” or something similarly uplifting, but was willing to send people to help in the morning.

If his statements were not entirely hyperbolic then it seemed unlikely that the two would survive the night alone and so I asked if it was possible to send out a party right away. The man looked as me once again, and I had the unpleasant notion that he read me far better than I did him. He told me he could send a scout to show our group the way and allow us to retrieve our troops.

This likely went against procedures, but we needed as many troops we could get a hold of, and again, she was likely the closest thing to an ally that I was going to get on that frozen rock, and thus worth taking a gamble on.

One of the elder’s scouts led the way the cave entrance, although calling it a cave might be underselling it, the entrance had fine carvings and the walks were littered with ancient texts, marking it more as a temple than a mere cave. It was clear that someone far more advanced than the natives had once used this place.

Cheol-Su Wen seemed excited about the rescue mission, far more so than she had been for the actual mission, so I had her take point. We continued for some time until we found a room with markings I had hoped to never have to see again. The mark of the Jedi order, It was strewn all over the place, along with statues of their hooded masters. It once again confirmed my suspicion that Belikos was after their jedi magic, or at least the status such things still had within the Empire.

We continued through the halls and out through a passage leading to a wide underground river. There was no bridge to cross but there was a computer controlling a floodgate of sorts. I managed to drain the water to let us pass but in doing so the computer went out, leaving no room to adjust it. We continued on for some time, only to notice the floor slowly getting wet beneath us. Oh good, the tampering caused a flood. Because we desperately needed more things to worry about. We picked up the pace, trying to get a hold on SL- 1517 but there was something blocking the signal to her comlink.

We continued until we reached an enormous room with a large pit at its center. The room was open to the sky above and the walls had started to crumble in on itself. We climbed down some stairs and when we got all the way down the interference on our comlink finally cleared. SL- 1517 and the other Stormtrooper really was alive and working on finding a way out. Following the sounds of Cheol-Su’s steady shots with her blaster, they finally rejoined the team.

They began making their report but were quickly interrupted by a loud growl. I sighed inwardly and turned to face the interference however, my sarcastic remark got stuck in my throat as I stood face to very large face, with an enormous beast. A chaotic scramble ensued, each of us scurrying in different directions, all except for SL- 1517 who had fallen to one knee, presumably due to whatever injury she took during the fall.

We all opened fire at the thing, but while it seemed to shrug off most of the blows, it crushed two of the Stormtroopers with almost contemptuous ease. And then there was SL- 1517 who kept having to be on the defensive to avoid having the creature rip her apart. I on my end had made sure to circle around the thing, keeping the large pit between me and the monster, as was procedure. Let the Stormtrooper soak up the brunt of the damage while I moved into position. Things were going according to plan, the beast was slowly being worn down and I was about to secure my position when the creature had finally caught Marion and was about to finish it’s game of cat and mouse. The Stormtrooper she had saved, Jaxx, ran up to shoot the thing up close. Foolish, there was no point in risking your own life like that, it was far more practical to stay back and – was about how far my inner monologue got before I noticed I was on the move as well.

I moved up, took aim, and fired right as it was opening its jaws, rewarding it with a mouth full of blaster fire. That seemed to have finally been enough even for it and the beast fell down the hole it came from. Marion had gotten banged up quite badly but seemed relatively stable. A small tinge of disgust went through me after playing the scene over again in my head. Belikos was right, I really was getting soft.

While the others tended to Marion and confirming the death of the other two Stormtroopers I found the crushed remains of someone who had come here before us, preserved in the cold. He held what seemed to be a holocron. I worried about involving us with more Jedi business but told Marion to bring it with us for safety. The fight had hastened the cave in along one of the walls, allowing us to climb outside. It seemed unlikely that Marion would survive returning to Belikos the way she was, and noticing how Jaxx also seemed disillusioned with Belikos and already knowing Cheol-Su’s view of the Empire, I suggested that we simply didn’t report in.

I told them we had other employers who would take them in, and with any luck, the long range communicator on the crashed ship should be enough to send for help. They seemed to agree it was our best shot, and hurried back to the village.

Marion was brought to the elder and he worked whatever tribal medicine his people used on her. Normally I would object, but it seemed like the best treatment we were going to get. AR-47 meanwhile had organized so that I would have a chieftain hut to rest in…as well as some of the village huntresses to attend me. I could have sworn that was not standard behaviour for a protocol droid, but after the day I had, I didn’t object.

A few days passed and when it seemed as though Marion would be ready to leave, I finally had AR-47 create a secure link to Agent Talo. I knew this was objectively foolish of me, merely verifying that I was alive could create complications further on, but I felt I at least had to give her a final chance to get out. And besides, we had still learned very little about the empire’s plans on Svan-Tee IV, besides it being related to Jedis in some way.

Agent Talo came up on screen, she looked haggard, clearly she had not had a better time of things these past few days than we had. Already a good portion of the people in her unit were dead, but they were pushing ahead. I once again asked her not to stay with Belikos, his was not the Empire that we had pledged our allegiance to. For a brief moment she seemed uncertain, but soon her resolve was made clear. She was loyal to Marshal Darya who she still believed was a person worth following, for what reasons I couldn’t fathom. She believed her former Director had what it took to set the Empire straight and there was nothing more I could say to sway her.

I did not get any more information out of her and so we said our farewells, both understanding we would never see the other one again. And if we did, it would most likely be as enemies. A shame, a real shame. Dinah was a good agent.

We left the next morning, the elder himself was leading the way to the ship, just as Belikos’ ships jumped to hyperspace, leaving us behind. The trek took quite a bit of time but we finally arrived to find…nothing. Just more snow and ice. But the elder seemed confident enough and claimed all we had to do was to wait for the wind to clear the snow away.
The wind did indeed pickup, but that shouldn’t have been enough to uncover several tons worth of metal, but seemingly it did. It was the first and only time I sensed something akin to deception coming from the man… perhaps they were not as primitive as they wanted others to believe.

Soon the ship was uncovered, it was an old rebel fighter that had crashed on the planet. We cautiously approached the ship, with the elder warning us of something lurking inside the ships interior. Something… which showed itself as an R2 unit. Apparently the droid had spent his time repairing the ship and, based on his estimates, the ship should be flightworthy.

We said our farewells to the elder, and I warned him to hide should people dressed like us approach him in the future. He nodded knowingly, turned and was soon swept up in the blowing snow. The long distance communicator was apparently still somewhat unreliable, the R2 unit using most of its energy to power life support on the ship. So instead we decided to gamble that the the ship would hold as Marion settled into the cockpit.

The ship took off the ground, and for a moment things looked as though it was going well and then…it continued to do so. ‘Perhaps’ I thought to myself, ‘my luck was changing’.

Marion Tarrk Episode Two Part 3
The Gizka Incident

The Gizka Incident
What the hell is that thing?!
As Marion was heading to speak to the Twi’Lek she was contacted by Sloane. She was informed that agent Talo was here, undercover. I knew we’d see her again.. But here? Now? For a faux Empire, they sure work efficiently., Marion thought to herself, while considering what this meant. After a brief conversation they went to speak to the princess again. Sloane informed her of the agent in their midst, and offered to assist in the issue. There he goes, making bold claims again., Marion thought as he mentioned a name and set up a plan to potentially capture her on the way back to the ship.

Thus, the team took their shuttle back down to the surface, making plans of their own. As they landed they split up, all heading towards the area where agent Talo’s character worked. Vic from the front gate, posing as a droid worker. Sloane from the slums. And Marion climbing in from up top. Marion’s entrance wasn’t as graceful as she anticipated. Her rope skills was a bit rusty, and she messed up a little. Even so, she entered unseen. She noticed a group people gathered around, not working. What the hell is going on there?, she thought to herself, and took a closer look. It looked like a machine had malfunctioned, and made a hole in the ground. A few workers had gone after whoever had fallen into the hole. Marion’s thought was to help the people hurt, but after a bit of thinking, and checking in with her teammate, who had also entered successfully, she realised that it was likely that Agent Talo had made this mess. Thus, she went to help, and investigate. She was briefed on the situation, a droid had fallen down as the crane malfunctioned. And a team had been sent in after it. A lift was being fetched, and set up, but Marion offered to go down herself.

It was pitch black in the hole, luckily Marion had the foresight to pack a torch. Sure was lucky I thought to bring this thing., she thought to herself, shaking her head. She met one of the workers right away, who was using a torch to keep gizka away from the opening. Marion pulled out her blaster and made her cover as a pest control very convincing. She told the worker to stay put, back-up was coming, while she went in further to see if she could find Talo. She met up with a worker who was taking back the droid. She bore the name that Sloane had mentioned being Talo, namely Sarfine Dellot. She turned out to be just another worker, and not Talo. Marion quickly reported this Sloane, but got no response, beyond a silent acknowledgement. Is he in trouble?, Marion thought to herself, and pressed on. She ran into the other workers, and found out that one had been split off from the group, and they had no idea when she went. Talo…, Marion muttered under her breath. Marion scanned area, and went in the direction she thought that Sloane was in. This is like a friggen labyrinth…, thought to herself as she pressed on, and signaled for Vic to go after Sloane, incase she got lost.

She entered a room that was covered with gizka eggs. She attempted to hide, but a big glowing gizka noticed her. What the hell is that thing?!, she thought to herself, as she got up on a structure to get the high ground. The gizka charged her, stabbing its tusks straight into her torso. She stepped back, and took shot after shot. The thing seemed to not care, until she got one of the tusks. Marion was forced off her high ground, and spotted Vic and Sloane, safely, behind cover on the opposite side of the room, giving her covering fire. With this, Marion was reassured, her team was with her. I can do this., Marion thought to herself turned around and shot the beast in its head, it fell limp on the ground. With that agent Talo’s voice could be heard, and a smaller droid blew up. Coward!, Marion thought to herself, knowing full well this is how agents operate.

The team compared notes on the way back from the worker site. As they returned Sloane made sure to contact the princess regarding their findings. And Marion pondered using the bacta tank again. However, with their time running out, she could not risk staying in it for too long. She healed her fresh injuries, and left it at that.

The team then decided to pay a visit to the third and final vyer for the contract, Rangi Skeelos. As an ex-member of the black sun he was low on the list from the get-go, specially in the eyes of Vic, having some experience with them off-world. However, a meeting was quickly set up in a cantina that Skeelos owned. The talks were nothing to be surprised about. Skeelos gave them a bribe, in the function of Heavy Blaster Pistols, custom made, gold plated with a logo for Scaven Health and Safety.Marion somewhat reluctantly accepted the “gift”, as Sloane indicated that it was a very generous gift. Perhaps I can get the gold plating off back at the base? Who wants a shiny weapon in a fight?!, Marion thought to herself. Sloane’s interrogation was facing issues, in that Skeelos seemed to be very guarded, so Marion decided to help, by accessing her past fascination with vibro-weapons. This did seem to garner some attention, but not as much as Marion had hoped. Still, the team was able to get some head-way with investigating Skeelos, but also towards figuring the assassin business that had plagued them previously. Skeelos had arranged a tour of his facilities, and his associates who would lead the team was waiting outside. The team said their goodbyes, and went to the guides outside.

To Marion’s surprise she saw an old comrade. Ran Bosca, a former stormtrooper that Marion served with before her station in the other rim. Their last mission together granted Marion her first facescar, against the jedi. Marion felt a shot of adrenaline, as her memory of Ran flashed by her. From their first encounter getting inline in front of Darth Vader, to inspect the new recruit to the Jedi hunting squad. Marion had tripped on her way in, but Ran had caught her. Later in the lounge, Ran had approached Marion barely able to contain her laughter at the embarrassment of tripping in front of Lord Vader. Marion, embarrassed and frustrated, got up in an attempt to punch Ran, but Ran had calmed her down, by saying it was alright, Vader seemed to not care. The two sat down and talked. Even revealing their actual names. There was a brief pause when Ran mentioned her birth planet of Alderaan, and replied she was also from there. This friendship grew over the months they served together, and it even garnered the attention of their fellow soldiers, some being disturbed as stormtroopers should not get too familiar with one another, while others joined them in their lounging every so often. It kept growing until their fateful encounter with the jedi. Most of their friends dead, only Marion, Ran, and a handful of troopers left. That’s when Marion up and left, stationed herself out in the outer rim. Seeing her again, Marion’s reaction was fear. What if she hates me for leaving? Does she hold it against me?, were thoughts going through her mind. She kept her fears and anxiety about it contained during the tour.

The tour itself was very uninteresting. It was a very set path, revealing next to nothing about the actual operation, with minimal skeleton crew. It was not until the very last factory, where the weapons were manufactured, that they learnt anything at all. They met the weapons maker himself, and Marion, again, channeled her old love for the vibroswords, and got the weapons maker talking quite a bit. She even got to see, and try out, the newer model of the swords as well as the older models. After the tour the team was treated to dinner, at a place that Skeelos owned. Ran was allowed to come with them, even though her duties was technically done with. This gave Ran and Marion a proper chance to catch up. Marion’s fears were alleviated, as Ran did not seem harbor much resentment towards her leaving. She wasn’t happy about it, but she seemed to understand. They talked about the past and about current employment. Ran even mentioned another old stormtrooper she was keeping in touch with, Alexx. Ran suggested the three of them getting together, since they were all close by again. Marion was a little apprehensive about this. While she would like to, she is on a mission. After the dinner, the team went back to base to discuss what to do next…

Corran Sloane, Episode II: The Shadow Concordance
Us vs Them

Sloane, Corran
Formerly of the Imperial Security Bureau,
Commission for the Preservation of the New Order


The Emperor was a genius. This, more than anything I feel is something far too many people, especially those within the ‘New Republic’ have forgotten. And even amongst those that do remember, most seemingly only think about it in terms of how he got himself into power while, to me, the far more impressive aspect of it was in how he kept that power and how he ruled using it.

People claim that he ruled through fear, and this is of course true, but that was far from all of it. He ruled by dividing the Galaxy in to ‘Us’ and ’Them’. There can be incredible unity in such division, a sense of belonging as part of a whole against the other. If you were a citizen of the empire, you had rights and protection that non-citizens did not, giving you a sense of superiority and further made you comfortable with the Empire that brought you to this elevated position. Even if in reality, you were no better off than before the empire.

This of course led to a need for the ‘other’, someone to look down on. The obvious target for this was aliens. Not all of course, many of the humanoid species were welcomed within the empire, if perhaps occasionally looked down on. Some species, however, were deemed lesser and many even enslaved. This was of course cruel and unjustified, but it was all part of fueling the mentality of Us vs Them, and most of all, it worked. In just a few decades, The Emperor changed the entire galaxy and brought with him a new order… right up until it all came crumbling down.

This point of view, perhaps best exemplifies why I did not feel particularly at home within the base of the New Republic. Oh I could blend in, I could put on a fake accent and be one of ‘them’, but I preferd not having to do so while not on the clock.

Thus I spent most of my time when back at base working inside my room instead of ‘cavorting with the locals’. I did my job and then I kept out of other people’s way. I learned that Marion’s recovery was progressing steadily and soon after she was back on her feet we went to meet with Director Jatru, the Mon Calamari intelligence officer, and our superior officer.

He debriefed us on a situation taking place on Coruscant. The ground war on Coruscant was continuing and while The New Republic seemed to be winning, the situation was unstable at best. One ongoing project to strengthen The New Republic’s presence on the planet had been to rebuild Coruscant’s infrastructure that had taken a heavy toll during the ongoing conflict. The task to lead this project was given to Reev Chandras, the president of Coruscant Core Construction. This would be far too great of an undertaking during a time of war for them to manage it on their own, which is why they were planning on hiring one of three possible contractors; Malkos Ryuga, CEO of Durastar Industries, Rangi Skeelos, CEO of Gundark Inc and Princess Vayet of Koru Neimoidia.

This would have been all well and good, except for a leaked conversation between Belikos and an Imperial Commander named Hadrian Mossak, where we learned that Belikos was aiming to funnel the credits the New Republic was spending on the project to finance the imperial war effort. To do this they would make sure that ‘their’ contractor was the one selected. Issue being, they were not considerate enough to name which of these contractors were working for them.

Our task would be to find this out while also making sure to defend the companies from Imperial sabotage. Our cover was ‘Skaven Health & Safety Inspection’ meant to investigate the suitability of the contractors. For this mission, myself, Marion and a Twi’lek slicer named Vicrushakal or… “Vic” was sent out.

I left the briefing and went to prepare AR-47. I had shut him down when approaching the Rebel planet to avoid unnecessary outbursts. Unfortunately that had just meant I had delayed them as the droid began rambling on about rebel filth and treason. After it seemed he had gotten most if out of his systems, I convinced him that it was the closest thing to the empire we were likely to get.

With AR-47 reluctantly joining the cause, we went to meet the others on board the ship. Marion and the R2 unit R2-D6 began punching in the coordinates as “Vic” sat down with me to have a chat. I did not have much trouble with having a Mon Calamari as a superior officer, it was a business arrangement like any other and thus impersonal, but playing friends with ‘them’, people I’ve had an active part in enslaving and worse seemed distasteful.

I could, and likely should have simply acted the part and gone along with it, but I didn’t. I talked to him as I would a slave, probably in some ways hoping that he would lash out at me, condemn me for what I had been a part of or, perhaps more importantly, allow me to retain the idea of him being the ‘other’. But he didn’t, he didn’t even seem to be particularly interested in the Empire or what they had done, and again continued to try to get to know me, as well as Marion as she joined us.

Don’t misunderstand me; I am proud of my service to the Empire. It might have at times been unpleasant, but it was all for the greater good of the galaxy. But it was different talking about it with one of ‘them’ while on the same team and as equals, and thus I became defensive.

A conversation revolving around the righteousness or lack thereof of the Empire ensued where I once again defended our actions despite neither of them really questioning them in the first place. I kept my face largely neutral but I was more emotional about it than I should have been. I sighed inwardly at myself as I collected my thoughts as we broke up the conversation and went about our duties.

We set forth on the planet and after a brief stay at our base of operations, and an introduction of ‘Skaven Health & Safety’ to President Chandras, we began our investigation of Durastar Industries. Malkos Ryuga the CEO of the company greeted us warmly and gave us a guide to show us along some of his working factories. Durastar had been suffering from repeated sabotage and even terrorist attacks, performed by a gang made out of Zabraks, supposedly working for The Black Suns, for some time, and combined with having many of their factories within enemy territory, they were feeling the pressure on them.

As the tour went on, suddenly emergency lights began blaring and apparently they had once again been attacked. Not wanting to lose the opportunity to get a hold on some of the terrorists that were likely tied to the Empire, we asked for directions and transportation to the site of the attack. Surprised, Ryuga offered up a company hover-van equipped with a nav-computer. Vicrushakal and AR-47 went into the back with me and Marion in the front.

As soon as we got close to the site, the Zabrak gang was surrounding us. They seemed to have expected us and riding on their speeder bikes and swoop bikes began blasting at us from all sides. Perhaps it was the death stick, but somewhat amusedly, I realized this turn of events was far less disconcerting than our previous conversation onboard ship. This was something I understood and had been trained to handle, and so we began killing them one by one.

Describing it like that perhaps made it seem simpler than it was. It was a close call on multiple occasions, but it was not more complicated than killing those who opposed us, and so we did, all, except for one. A large Zabrak male trying to pick us off from afar. He got one or two solid hits in on Marion but as soon as we got in range to reciprocate, he turned tail and drove his bike into one of the massive pipes criss crossing all along Coruscant.

That was how they had been going in and out of Durastar territory only to quickly vanish. Vicrushakal used the van computer to find out where the pipe were leading to and narrowed it down to a factory deep within Imperial territory. Based on prior attacks, it seemed as though the gang switched bases fairly often, and it seemed likely that they would look into moving out now that they had been compromised.

We rode back to Ryuga and requested troops to take down the gang, I wanted to gauge his response but I didn’t get much out of him. He provided us with a small group of mercenaries, certainly serviceable but not the investment of someone going out of his way to protect his industry either.

Marion began a rousing speech of honour and glorious combat in front of the mercenaries. Feeling mildly sorry for the girl I made an addendum to her speech, highlighting the credits rewarded to those still living when they returned. Our combined efforts seemed to have given them the motivation they needed and so we began our preparations.

I squared in on the most reliable looking member of the team; an Rodian junkie, likely with some neurological disorder. People like that didn’t survive in this line of work if they didn’t have the skills to back it up. He was called, fittingly enough, Twitch and I gave him a deathstick in exchange for a ride. Marion drove Vicrushakal and the rest of the gang followed suit.

We travelled through the same pipes the the Zabrak drove into and after a while we had reached our goal. We split up to attack them from three directions, me and Marion from the sides and Vicrushakal and the mercenaries storming the center.

The fight turned ugly right from the get go, even though Marion and I managed to land a surprise volley on them, they were expecting us and had prepared their base for an attack. The mercenary team began to be ripped apart by an enormous Zabrak wielding a double-sided vibrosword, and for some inexplicable reason, Marion decided to challenge the guy instead of simply shooting him in the back.

Her ‘heroics’ cost her dearly and was shot repeatedly while she stayed out in the open. I on my hand got stuck in an odd form of trench warfare with another group of them. Eventually the fight began to turn and soon the leader of the gang was all that remained, but our side had taken a heavy toll as well, only two mercenaries still remained and Marion was barely still on her feet.

I blasted the door panel on the place, trapping him in here with us, and after ordering everyone to set their blasters to stun, we moved in to capture him. This seemingly only made him more desperate, and charged us with a vibro axe. Marion didn’t seem ready to defend herself so I moved up to support, only to be welcomed by the charging Zabrak and just barely dodged a series of blows that would have taken my head off. Thankfully he seemed unhinged and messed up his aim, allowing me respond in kind by simply shooting him in the gut.

And that was that, the guy almost fell on top of me as he dropped unconscious. Vicrushakal went about trying to get as much information that he could from the gangs’ network while me and Marion was surveying the scene and gathering up the fallen’s weapons. As predicted, Twitch was one of the last two standing, alongside a human named Dizzy.

It had been a bloody ordeal with close to 20 dead, but it couldn’t be helped, these Zabrak had made their choice and so had we. And besides, it was either Us or ‘Them’.

Marion Tarrk Episode Two Part 4
Soldier's Code of Honour

Soldier’s Code of Honour
How did I end up here?

We conferred about what to do next, and Sloane asked Marion whether or not Ran would be useful to them. Marion had lied, saying no. Not because she actively tried to lie, but more so out of some sort of hidden code of honour between soldiers, and old friends. After their meeting Marion was going to look after her injuries, when Sloane confronted her about lying. Lied? Hmm. I guess I did… Not sure exactly why, I suppose I didn’t like the idea of using Ran. After clearing up the whole thing, it was decided that Marion would go meet Ran, and that she would attempt to get information out of her. She contacted Ran, who seemed to be very happy to meet up. Ran suggested martial fights, she had previously mentioned as one of her interests.

Marion took some time deciding what to wear. Being in uniform would be a bit odd, but she didn’t like the idea of going too casual, her blue coat was fitted above, of course. And with that, Marion made her way to the legal fighting arenas of the area. She was there early, as was her way, even though she knew Ran’s way was to be late. Ran showed up, in a beautiful red lacquered skin coat. Some of the people here seemed to know her. The matches hadn’t started yet, so they simply carried conversation. The subject quickly circulated on what they did after the ordeal that left them without a team. Ran became stationed here, working for Skeelos, indirectly, and simply remained working for him when the empire collapsed. Marion began speaking of what she did, but the subject quickly focused down on the massacre of the Zabraks, as one was going to fight in the ring. About this time, Marion noticed that a familiar Zabrak had entered the establishment, and taken a seat right behind her. The fight began, and their conversation continued, if a bit less, being somewhat focused on the match as well.

After the match’s conclusion, with the Zabrak winning, the conversation began anew. And Marion began her attempts to get information out of Ran, but Ran caught on, whether Marion is just a terrible liar, or she wanted to be caught, is difficult to say. Ran demanded that Marion come clean about her affiliations, and what she was doing. I didn’t want to do this… This is WHY I didn’t want to do this. Lying to a friend is too painful… I have to tell her. Marion told her about how she was still fighting , and how she was sent on an assignment here to see what the three parties are hiding, and which one is on the payroll of the Empire. Ran seemed a bit stunned at first, but seemed to calm down, and even seemed positive to the idea of aiding her. But, before Marion could get confirmation on this theory, the Zabrak behind her piped up. He seemed to have caught on to who she was. By her own retelling, it seems he wanted to mate with her, and to prove himself worthy he would fight her. _ While flattering, I guess, I wouldn’t say I’m interested in him, though.._, Marion thought to herself, while looking for the words to respond. Whatever response she made, had little impact of the zabrak, as he pushed away Ran, and lunged at Marion. A fierce fight broke out, where Ran aided Marion, who had pulled her vibroknife. How did I end up in this mess?, she thought to herself. While fighting she hurt the zabrak grievously, but ultimately he got the better of her and knocked her out.

The next thing Marion knew, she woke up in an apartment. Her vision foggy, her hearing mumbled. She heard a shower going in the room, which stopped as she started fidgeting. Her wounds had been looked after. Soldier patchwork…, she thought to herself. Ran stepped out of the shower, and told Marion to rest. How did I get here?, she asked Ran. Ran explained that after the zabrak had knocked her out, she knocked him off the upper ledge, potentially knocking him out. After that she had picked up Marion, and brought here her, to her apartment. Marion was still a bit wobbly, so Ran helped her clean up. Marion told Ran she was of the Resistance, and asked her to join. Ran declined the offer, saying that she had no intention of continuing the fighting. However, she did sign up to help Marion looked up Skeelos, and gave Marion valuable intel on Skeelos’ factory. She was also told to keep a low profile, hence why Ran had thrown away her communicator. Ran had also gotten rid of her clothes, and lent Marion some of hers.

And with that Marion left to report her findings to Sloane and Vic. They had believed to have died, as Vic explained that her communicator was last located in a trash compactor. Marion gave an inappropriate smirk, being impressed with Ran’s thoroughness. But Marion explained what happened, and how Ran had helped her. She continued to say that Ran had agreed to help them. And so, planning to break into Skeelos’ factory could continue, with valuable information aiding the team greatly. Yet, Marion was worried about what would come of Ran. I’ve not heard good things about what happens to those who betray anyone of the Black Sun, former or otherwise. She conferred with Sloane about what to do, and given Ran’s assistance, it seemed that Sloane had an idea.

Corran Sloane, Episode II: The Shadow Concordance, Part 2
Coruscant Core Constructions: Building a Better Tomorrow, Today!

Sadly the twi’lek was unable to find much of note on the thugs’ network, either they had already moved any incriminating evidence or their security was simply too tight for him to get into on site. We did learn about a ship in orbit named the Black Comet that seemed to be issuing them their orders.

We gathered up the remaining weapons as well as the unconscious Zabrak and returned to base. We parted with Twitch and Dizzy with the understanding that they would be tight lipped about what had happened. I also gave Twitch my card and pointed out that he might have a future within the New Republic.

Marion was badly injured and headed straight to the Bacta tank with Vicrushakal monitoring her vitals. I, on the other hand prepared to have a chat with the Zabrak leader, Vyytak Zarvady. I brought AR-47 with me, if the man worked for the empire, it seemed likely that he knew of the Empire’s torture druids, but unlikely to know what they actually looked like.

We kept the Zabrak in chains inside a cell and that’s where I settled in and calmly waited for him to wake up. When he finally did, I immediately began pressing him for answers. . I’ve found it often saves time to start off bluntly, threats of violence, torture and the like. Few people are defiant against such things, especially thanks to the notoriety of the imperial agent’s interrogation techniques. This was of course something we actively encouraged and spread, making sure that the stories spread and amplified across the galaxy.

But, Zarvady was not like most people, he didn’t respond well to threats of violence because he did not fear it, and while he seemed unnerved by AR-47 he did not succumb to my threats. It did show me his true weakness however; he like so many people like him lived and died on his sense of pride and ego. I switched approach and before long he was all but swearing himself to the New Republic, “who could finally appreciate him for the great warrior that he was”.

He provided me with frequencies to the Black Comet, information on his contact man with the empire, Captain Tharzak one of Mossak’s subordinates. He also agreed to have his remaining gang members stop attacking Durastar as well as provide information that would aid the war effort in exchange for his freedom. I did not have the authority to grant him this, but I reported to high command and vouched for him.

The hours passed and after 24 hours Marion finally emerged from the Bacta tank, patched up, but still in bad shape. She even requested to return to the tank in hopes of fixing one of her ribs. But alas we did not have time for such luxuries as we received word that President Chandras has been attacked by an assassin.

We left at once and were immediately granted a private audience with the president. She was hurt quite badly, but not dead. We told her our true identities to ensure her that the New Republic had not abandoned her and that we were on the case.

After learning this, she showed us a holovid of the attack. It showed a slender person, likely a woman scale a wall, cut down two guards with a pair of vibro swords only to finally attack the president, shoving her off a ledge. The assassin then immediately escaped by jumping on top of a passing train.

It took a few viewings but there was no mistake, everything throughout the event was executed flawlessly. There was no doubt that this was a professional, not some petty criminal. A professional would not have been sloppy enough to risk an operation like that by pushing the president off a ledge where she could just as easily have cut her down. That combined with the fact that she even made sure to get the attack caught on screen confirmed that she intended to fail, the president was supposed to survive. So why attack her?

There were several reasons why they might want to scare her, but it still didn’t make much sense. Vicrushakal, who had had dealings with them before, pointed out that the blades used looked a lot like those used by the Black sun gang. Interesting, that certainly did narrow the possible explanations down somewhat.

Still, with not much else to go by, we excused ourselves and left to continue our investigations as Skaven health and Safety. We decided to visit the Neimoidians next. We were transported up to the Royal Carrier, where we were immediately greeted by Grand VIzier Otek Canay. He showed us around the ship and explained how marvelous their operation was. He told us about their chief engineer, one of the engineers working on the Death Star and showed us to his quarters. I steeled my features as the doors slid open, the engineer was a Wookie.

Perhaps I should have expected as much, many of the Neimoidians work force had been taken from imperial prisons and slave compounds, but after having seen what those creatures can do when enraged, seen good soldiers ripped apart, I always felt uncomfortable being around Wookies that had not been properly secured. Still, their species capability of violence aside, it was clear that the creature was quite intelligent.

Shyyrtacca, as the Wookie was called was more forthcoming about the situation on the ship and told us there had been issues brewing between humans and the other species. We listened to his retelling of violent outbursts from the humans and with that in mind, approached Princess Vayet.

She too seemed honest in her explanation of the situation, explaining that some of the humans felt slighted due to how the other species had gotten better positions, and accused them of preferential treatment. The princess told us that was not the case, but that the truth of the matter was that they were simple unqualified. The humans had been for the most part prison guards to accomplished engineers and scientists, most could not hope to compete with them.

We got the name of one of the human agitators, a woman called Mera Taret and left to have a word with her. It was entirely possible that this was natural distrust between species, but it would also be a reasonable way for Belikos to grow dissent and enable sabotage even while the ships were in orbit.

We arrived at personnel carrier 2 a short while later, and were greeted by an annoying little protocol droid, “tuned to be pleasing to the human ear”. It seemed as though some of their “robotic expertise” from the days of the clone wars, still lived on.

As we entered the mess hall we were immediately greeted with a bit of a spectacle. A group of humans were holding down a Twi’lek girl as some buffoon looking man prepared to beat her up. How childish, Academy bullies all over again.

I managed to clear out a chunk of the people surrounding the girl but my voice didn’t seem to carry enough due to all the noise. Marion jumped in front of the man and began having a brawl with him, to the excitement of the crowd. I noticed Mera Taret amongst them, spurring the man on. I walked up to her and once again tried to make my voice heard but to no avail.

Thus I went over to the speaker by the wall and began spouting vague official sounding threats in the name of Skaven health and safety. That got their attention. The brawl ended and Marion decided to have a talk with the man, Vicrushakal the girl and I took care of Mera Taret.

There was not much in ways of privacy around the ship so we had the talk in the toilets. Again, vaguely reminiscent of the Academy… She was haughty and proud, I quickly fixed that. After I had made her position clear to her, she quickly became compliant and told me more about what had been going on amongst the crew. She told me about a woman called Sarfine Dellot, a new recruit and who seemed to have been the instigator of the violence these past few weeks.

She informed me that she should be leaving for her shift that very minute and that I might be able to catch her before she left. I hurried out of the toilets and arrived right as the doors to the shuttle were closing. Through the doors I saw a dark skinned woman looking at me in surprise, likely mirroring my own expression. That was all I had time to notice as Dinah Talo and rest of the crew flew down towards Coruscant.

Marion Tarrk Episode Two Part 5
The Heist

The Heist
How did this happen?!

The plan was set in motion, after a much needed soak in the bacta tank for Marion. The first step was to commandeer a truck of ore. The team set themselves up to jump onto the truck, and blast it from above. Marion did the jumping, of course, with Vic and Sloane doing the blasting from above. Marion waited for the moment to arrive. Why do I always get these jobs? I mean, Sloane looks… Capable physically. Ugh, my body still hurts from that blasted zabrak… Oh, here it comes. She patiently waited, until the truck was close enough for her to simply drop down it. Marion used her vibroknife to stick to the truck, and slid herself down to get sight on the driver. She took a shot, but she missed the driver. Resulting in her getting run into some poles. Ugh… That’s the rib broken again… Fuck this! She thought to herself, as she was able to take care of the pilot with Sloane and Vic’s help. She shot the car to make it stop. She dropped off, limping slightly from the pain, but quickly regained her composure, before Vic and Sloane could see it. This plan is already delayed because of me, I won’t have them delaying it further, because they think I can’t fight. She was using her strong will, and idiotic pride, to keep going, seemingly, without hinder.

Marion took the driver’s clothes, and proceeded to head to the factory, Vic and Sloane hiding among the ore. They came in without too much trouble. Thank you, Ran…, she thought to herself. Well inside, Marion sabotaged the truck slightly to feign the off-loading unit malfunctioning, luring the guard over, taking him down without too much issue, using the stun setting. The team tied him up to his chair. Marion took a lap of the room, while Vic worked on the computer. They decided that the best to go, was through the reactor room, that was guarded by two droids. Droids, huh… Wish I had an ion-blaster, but they are basically re-fitted astromechs, by the looks of it, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. Sloane seemed to have an idea, and sent the guard in first, to distract and confuse the droid’s sensors. It succeeded in giving the team time to get into their positions. Sloane went straight for using the power core’s as cover, as they gambled that they likely didn’t use their full attack on those. Marion took cover behind some metal scrap a bit away from his two companions, and Vic in the back attempting to slice the droids. It was a good plan… Until the droids hit the panel behind Marion, sending her flying, burning her face and torso. How the hell did this happen?! This was supposed to be the easy part! Marion, feeling the pain surging through her body, both old wounds, and the new, panicked, and darted towards the power core, dropping prone, using the walkway as a makeshift cover. She kept firing, destroying one of them. And she kept hammering the other, before Vic managed to slice it. Marion took a stimpack, and grunting from the pain, no longer hiding the fact that she was hurting. We’re too far in now… Can’t back down., she thought to herself, swallowing her pride. Vic found several paths to their location, the vents being the best option for stealth, and potentially for more information.

They entered the vent, that would leave the past the foundry. A fork in the vents would either take them to their location, or to a vent opening that would overlook the foundry area. It laid past the actual burning hot foundries… Marion thought that it would be warm enough to singe her slightly more, but made the judgement that it’d be worth it, if they found more information about Skeelos’ worker situation. The furnace was not as warm as she thought. It gave her new courage to press on. She reached the vent shaft, and found definitive proof that they did indeed employ slaves. And that they were wearing prison anklets, likely from prisons that the Black Sun used to operate. She resisted the urge to charge in and aid the prisoner who was getting beaten. Fuckers…, she thought to herself. Marion’s normally somewhat formal and clean language, was getting drowned more and more by the pain she was feeling in every limb. She went back to her team to report. Afterwhich, they went for the security elevator. It went to the security station on the roof. Vic sliced into the elevator controls, but they heard guards approaching. They would be very easily spotted in the clear elevator, and decided to take them out. A quick volley took the guards down, before they could call for back-up. They entered the elevator and went up.

The team prepared themselves… As soon the door opens, the fighting begins. The thugs that came to meet them, thinking they were the boss, was quickly taken out. And Marion charged the glass, drawing the vibrosword she claimed from the zabrak… It was tough, but she cut through, two slices and it was weakened enough for her to burst through it, Sloane right behind her. They made quick work of the two remaining people inside. There was a man encased in pseudo carbonite suspension, they figured must’ve been the man some guards were talking about earlier, while they were in the vents. Vic went to hacking, while Marion and Sloane went to secure a ride, Sloane opting to bring the frozen man. Well outside, Marion spotted the boss of the place, Takuro Shem. A mild bit of panic struck her, as she originally reached for her vibrosword, to buy Sloane the time he needed, as pain shot through her entire body. Can I do this…? No, I have to!, she psyched herself up. I’ll be smart about it…, she thought to herself, rushing towards Shem, shooting him with her blaster, dropping her blaster rifle, drawing her sword, and engaging him. She shouted for Sloane to get to the ship, while she was face to face with an other vibrosword wielder. Shem swung at her, but she managed to avoid any vital hits. Instead, she saw an opening while they were moving… She kicked him, pushing him to the edge of the roof. He was knocked off his balanced, so she rammed herself into him, actually getting him off the roof. Marion sighed in relief. How did that even happen…?, she was in disbelief, thinking her pain was going to get worse against him. Before she got the calm down too much, she heard grappling hooks shooting into the room where Vic was, she ran back to check on him, cutting off the lines. Vic was just about ready, so they went to catch up with Sloane. Sloane had stolen a hovercar, and flew it up to them. Marion took the pilot seat. Her vision was slightly blurry from the adrenaline, and she didn’t quite see the vent outlet, and rammed straight through it. With that, part of her wanted to slow down a little, but she felt a surge of… Something. And she punched it. They had pursuit coming up shortly behind them. Vic helping with maps, but Marion had an idea. I never said it was a good idea, but it was A idea…, she thought to herself, as she headed straight for an opening of one of the Durostar piping systems. This was a bad idea! I won’t have even a split second to turn in here!, Marion thought to herself. But as Vic started yelling instructions Turn left… NOW!, he would yell behind her. Somehow, she found the calm within her to make a perfect turn, exactly when she needed to. Marion and Vic seemed to have the same idea, they were headed for the hole they originally entered, when they fought the zabrak gang. They were coming up to the whole and… Marion herself could not explain it. Whether she roughly remembered the size of the hole, or if she could see… sense… that they wouldn’t it. Either way, she pulled out her blaster, and few a few good shots, she managed to increase the hole enough so that they fit through… And they were out, no pursuit to be noticed. Marion took a deep sigh, tears welling up. Didn’t think we’d make it, she thought to herself.

They went back to base. Looking over the information, it seemed Skeelo’s was a gangster, and a slave worker… But he was not in league with the empire. However, Sloane seemed to have what he needed to try to contact them. He pretended to be a black sun operative, on a mission gone very bad. He claimed to have information on us, the republic agents, and that we were terrifying. They seemed to buy it. Whoever Sloane spoke to, sent a person, and not a droid, with some supplies, to a set location. The team left to stake out the location, prior to it landing. Vic, R2D6, and Marion stayed at the location, while Sloane went to the designated coordinates, to meet with the individual. The drop ship landed right on time, and as soon as the person, wearing a mask, left their vision Marion, Vic, and D6, went in to slice the drop ship. They got in with little trouble, Marion had to shoot the ship though. And found out that the ship came from one of the neimodian ship, the Dagger of Koru. They all they needed. Vic sealed the ship and set a trap, and Marion made a few more shots, to make it seem like they tried a few times, but ultimately didn’t get in. As they were pulling back, Sloane voice came through, coughing, he informed them that it was agent Talo. Marion ordered D6 and Vic to return to the ship, as she went to back Sloane up. Talo ended up escaping, but they had the information they needed.

They gave the information to the Core Construction president, and reported in with New Republic headquarters. The team went to a New Republic medical facility, to repair themselves. Sloane from exploding, thanks to Talo, and Marion from being… Having a hole shot in her by the zabrak gang, skewered by a giant mutant gizka, being pummeled by the same zabrak, and being exploded, continuously, by the droids. Command contacted them, to congratulate them on their success…

Corran Sloane, Episode II: The Shadow Concordance, Part 3
Well Played, Agent Talo

I called the others and told them that we were to leave immediately. I felt an unusual sense of excitement; this was no longer simply a mission, now it was a contest. The game was afoot. Still, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat disappointed in Talo, leaving such an obvious link to herself was sloppy.

We updated Princess Vayet that Miss Taret would cause no further issues with her, and more importantly, I told her that Sarfine Dellot was to be apprehended the second she got back onboard the personnel carrier. She confirmed that she was a new hire and was clearly distraught by the news that Dellot had betrayed her trust.

We got directions to the site where she would be working and while it seemed likely that she wouldn’t be returning to the ship, she might try to go out with a bang. The area was a glorified garbage heap, where the Neimoidians were currently running a salvage operation and storing many of their droids. We split up in and approached the site from 3 directions, I went through the slums and was quickly met by one of the few visible people working the site. I acted the part of some riff-raff in need of employment, and was quickly hired and sent to put on worker overalls, all the better infiltrate the place.

Still, no sign of Talo… or barely anyone else for that matter. The place seemed to barely have any workers on site and as I met up with Vicrushakal, Marion explained why. There had been a machine malfunction and it had caused equipment and people to crash down to the city level below and had drawn the attention of most of the workers. Clearly Talo’s work, and likely a distraction. I tried to scan for her to see what she wanted to accomplish by this, but she was nowhere in sight.

Marion who had approached he group confirmed that Sarfine Dellot had gone down to help and I gave her confirmation to follow. Meanwhile, me and Vicrushakal discussed the likely area that she would target if she wanted to cause as much damage as possible. The clear target would be the Mainframe computers stationed in one of the cabins. It should be relatively easy to set up an explosion from below to bring it all down.

With that settled, I went down a maintenance shaft to wait for her to strike. It was pitch black in there but with my goggles and the light from the death stick, I was able to see enough to make it down safely. I kicked open a rusted grate and was about to head out, when everything stopped. Outside was a rancor sized gizka, surrounded by a hive of smaller ones. I took a long intake and waited.

The presence of the creature changed little, I still had to stop Talo if this was where she was headed and based on Marion’s reports she was coming this way. But apparently not under Sarfine Dellot as I had thought, I had been wrong about something, something didn’t line up…

That was as far as my thoughts had time to go before Talo’s voice rang across the room. A floating spherical droid had been following marion and through it Talo taunted us from afar, already having made good her escape. With that the droid self-destructed nearby Marion, drawing the Gizka’s attention. Vicrushakal, who had followed after me gasped as the creature turned to look at Marion who was coming towards us. She leapt up on higher ground, but it didn’t help much as it charged her with its horn. We began opening fire and eventually Marion finished it off as we took out the smaller creatures surrounding her.

We returned to the surface, my colleagues seemed somewhat subdued about the whole ordeal, especially Marion who had taken a nasty hit by the creature, thus adding yet another scar to her growing collection. Still, I had difficulty keeping a grin off my face. She had not been sloppy at all, she had played me, and she had played me good.

We had a quick chat with the real Sarfine Dellot, I gave her a similar talk as I had Taret and informed the Neimoidian princess that while Dellot had been part of the crew causing fights she was not the criminal I suspected.

We returned to the base and began planning for the next day. Vicrushakal pointed out that this likely meant that the Neimoidians were innocent as well. I cautioned him about this, reminding him that Talo had not gone for the mainframe computers, and now it seemed unsure if she was even involved with the riots. It was suspicious, certainly, and was perhaps the best they could accomplish while the ships were in orbit, but it is always beneficial to be distrusting of everyone.

Still, for the moment the Neimoidians were by far the more appealing candidate and so we decided that the next move was to move forward and have a talk with Rangi Skeelos and have a look at his Gundark Inc. His operations were obviously the most suspicious, with his past ties to the Black Sun, especially now with the Zabrak gang and the assassin wielding their blades.

Marion went to her usual place back in the bacta tank for the night and prepared to leave early the next morning. Skeelos met us in one of his clubs, and as we continued through the aisles of male dancers, we were shown to Skeelos’ office. He was surrounded by strong looking bodyguards wearing very little and seemed to be entirely at ease.

The talk went well and he began the meeting by bribing us with customized heavy blasters, excellent. That meant he acknowledged that we were important enough to bribe and to get on our good side. We continued to talk, about his business, fears of industrial espionage targeting him, the strengths and weaknesses of his operation and so on until he finally prepared for a tour of his facilities. When I felt I had learned everything of importance while he still liked me, I risked asking him about the swords the assassin had used. I studied the man’s reaction carefully to gauge his response and he genuinely seemed outraged by it, but he also didn’t seem to think it was impossible that one of his men had done it. Interesting.

He briskly ended the meeting and we met up with our guides. Marion apparently knew one of them, a woman named Ran Bosca, from her time with the empire. This could mean that she was a link between the imperials and Skeelos, but it could also mean that we could use her to get more information.

I let Marion deal with her friend while I focused my attention on a scared, mousy looking woman named Branca Feldor who was in charge of PR for the company, who guided us with clearly pre rehearsed lines. It was clear that she only wanted us to go to very specific areas, going off script was clearly not allowed. Based on her fear when I tried to push this, as well as Ran’s readied blaster rifle behind my back, it seemed Skeelos had been very specific about this.

The final stop was the weapons manufactory that was run by an Ithorian scientist named Ranthak Varr. Skeelos had been suspicious of him leaking secrets and while that was a valid area for investigations, I was currently more interested in what Skeelos was hiding from us and if he was tied to the assassin. The Blades made at the factory were indeed very similar to the ones on the holo vid.

I began questioning Feldor who seemed to have lowered her guard somewhat now that the tour was largely over. We talked a bit about notable swordsmen within the company and amongst those who had left them, and with some assistance from Ran, I learned the name of the most likely suspect, an Umbaran named Lye Xomae who had left the company a few weeks earlier.

With that it seemed we had more or less all we could get from them, and so we left the place to have a late sprunch. The meal went over without much of value being said and we soon left to return to base. I had Vicrushakal examine the pistols for signs of bugging, tracking and the like , and after confirming that they were clean we began planning to visit one of their factories the coming night.

Everything was set, Marion and I shared what we had learned during our talk, and everything seemed to be moving smoothly, except for one thing; Marion had lied to me.


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