STAR WARS: DAWN OF DEFIANCE
THE TRAITOR’S GAMBIT
It is a dark time in the galaxy. The evil Galactic Empire has spread from the Deep Core to the Outer Rim, and everywhere the Empire’s tyranny can be felt.
Fleeing from the oppression of the Emperor’s minions, agents of Senator Bail Organa have run to a remote space station above Brentaal. Known to be a vocal opponent of the Empire, Organa may be the last hope of freedom in the galaxy.
In the hopes of stopping these dissidents before they can reach the Senator, the Empire has alerted its forces on Sel Zonn Station, where the struggle for liberty rages on, and the first sparks of rebellion have begun to burn. . . .
Stars, elongated into the lines of light, snapped back into stationary positions through the viewport of the modified YT-2000 freighter. Below the ship, the dry, arid world of Brentaal shines. Dotted above the world are over a dozen space stations, providing stopping points for travelers to refuel, refit, stretch their legs, and do some trading. Lance Moonstrike leans back after dropping his ship out of hyperspace. A human from an unknown Core world, Lance is the owner of the YT-2000. Before striking out on his own, Lance was once a pilot in the Imperial Navy. He joined the Navy in order to get access to the fastest ships available, as quickly as possible. With a highly addictive personality, he’s hooked on both fast ships, and glitterstim. He eyes his sensor readout, and sets course to the closest of the stations. Sel Zonn Station begins to grow larger as the ship approaches. A central pylon forms the bulk of the station’s mass, and three landing platforms leading to docking bays extend from the central section, equidistant from one another and jutting out into space. The dorsal side of the station features a discshaped secondary structure, on top of which blinking lights indicate the presence of a landing platform reserved for wealthy patrons.
The ship shudders slightly when the tractor beam from the station locks on to it, and begins guiding it down into it’s berth in the docking bay. After being pulled through the magnetic field which kept the atmosphere in the bay from venting into space, the ship settles down on it’s landing gear with a slight thud. As the access ramp drops to the floor, Lance stands at the top of the ramp, with two beings alongside him. On his left is Taalan Visk, a Togruta with a mean looking Imperial Munitions StarAnvil heavy blaster rifle hoisted over his shoulder. With an aura which betrays his ex-military background, he scans the docking bay with an eye as keen as any hunter. On the opposite side of Lance stands Raum Blaudvang, an Ubese encased in an armored environmental suit. Slightly shorter than the other two, his face is obscured by his breath mask, protecting him from the toxic nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere common for most of the galaxy’s species. Raum is well known for being as ruthless as needed to get the job done, even if it’s more than necessary.
After disembarking, the trio make their way through the modest security checkpoint, then proceed out of the docking bay. As they enter the hallway outside the checkpoint, they notice public information terminals located seemingly throughout the station. Visk nods to Raum and Lance, then makes his way to the closest public data terminal. After testing the securty of the station’s central computer, Visk downloads a basic map of services available on the station. After conferring with his companions, they decide to head towards Gundark’s Cantina, a popular place to go if you’re looking for the seedier side of life aboard the station.
While on their way to the cantina, the trio rounds a corner into a narrow hallway. As they make their way through the crowd, Visk and Raum notice two humans standing at the end of the hallway, dressed nearly identical. Speaking quietly into hidden comlinks, and each armed with a holdout pistol clearly jutting out from beneath their jackets, it’s obvious to the two that they’re searching for someone in particular. Fearing that any of their individual past exploits somehow made their way to Brentaal, the group begins to worry, until they notice that the two men are clearly only looking for humans.
Suddenly, a slender woman dressed in a dirty mechanic’s jumpsuit comes around the corner not far from where the two men stand. It’s obvious to the group that this woman is wounded. Holding her side, and leaving a smear of blood on the corner of the wall where she pressed up against it, she looks behind her, and notices the two men. Her eyes go wide, and she turns back towards the heroes. Spotting them, she starts making her way through the crowd to them. As she gets closer, she starts pleading with the heroes to help her. “Please, you’ve got to help me! I’ll make it worth your while, I have credits!” she shouts. At this, our trio’s ears all perk up. One of the only things they all share in common is their love for credits.
Just as the woman approaches the group, two Stormtroopers enter the narrow hallway from behind them. Seeing the woman, the troopers raise their blaster rifles, and shout through their helmet speakers, “Step away from that woman. She is under arrest in the name of the Emperor!” The two humans at the end of the hallway see the Stormtroopers approach, and begin to advance towards them. Raum, without missing a beat, arms and tosses a stun grenade towards the informants. Unfortunately, in typical fashion, the stun grenade lands short of the informants, and is then accidentally kicked by a passer-by, sending it skidding out of sight.
Visk and Lance both look at each other, and sigh. Visk raises his Imperial Munitions StarAnvil heavy blaster rifle to his shoulder, and draws a bead on one of the Imperial informants. “It’s going to be one of those days,” he mumbles under his breath.
After what ends up being a brief encounter, the stormtroopers and informants lay on the floor. The trio gather around the woman. “I’m fine, but we need to get out of sight for a while. I’ve got a place where we’ll be safe. I promise I’ll explain all of this once we are there,” she tells them.
The woman leads them a short distance away from the hallway where the brief fight took place, to a small one bedroom apartment on the fringe of the nicer parts of the station. When they get there, she rests on the bed, while Visk looks over her wounds, stopping the bleeding from her abdominal wound, and stabilizing her condition. She introduces herself as Maya, a Alderaanian Security agent that’s part of Senator Bail Organa’s private security detail. She explains that she landed on the station to retrieve some valuable cargo for the Senator. She says that shortly after she landed on the station, she was spotted by Imperial informants, and has been on the run ever since. She believes that she’s now too recognizable to be able to make it to the cargo, and get off the station safely by herself. She offers the heroes the chance to aid her, claiming that they’ll both earn credits, as well as the favor of Senator Organa if they choose to help her.
The trio takes a short time to talk it over. The offer of credits makes it a quick decision for the crew of the YT-2000, and they agree to help her. Maya tell them that they will need to go to deep storage bay V14, where they will meet up with a droid name Switch, who is a local information broker. He will have information regarding the location of the cargo.
Leaving Maya behind to rest from her ordeal, the group then heads off to find deep storage bay V14. Reviewing their map of the station, they locate it in a section of the station that has been quarantined for over a year and a half, yet no maintenance requests have been made for repairs to that section. Additionally, they learn that it is located along one of the station’s primary exhaust systems, meaning that exhaust conduits should be running right through the storage bay.
When the heroes finally arrive in the vicinity of deep storage bay V14, they find that they have entered a very neglected part of the station. Many of the lights have burned out, and blaster marks and carbon scoring mar the walls, ceiling, and floor. The area reeks of ozone and electrical fires, and pools of coolant litter the hallways at regular intervals. After winding their way through a near-labyrinth of decrepit corridors, the heroes come upon bay V14, which is guarded by a pair of Gamorreans wielding vibro-axes.
Visk and Raum both notice the Gamorreans before they can notice the trio. Raum quickly pushes himself up against a wall outside of their view, blending into the shadows. Visk attempts to hide as well, but accidentally catches his foot on a pile of scrap metal in the hallway, alerting the Gamorreans of his approach. Knowing that he was seen, he walks straight up to the Gamorreans, who immediately stiffen up in attention, but do not make any threatening moves. As Visk walks up to the guards, Raum sneaks along the wall that runs parallel to the door, just around the corner from one of the guards.
Visk attempts to converse with the guards, who grunt in Gamorrese. Without being able to speak their native language, and their own primitive grasp of Basic, he motions towards to the door to them, attempting to indicate that he wants to enter the storage bay. The Gamorrean on the right squeals at Visk, and rubs two of his thick digits together, making the universal sign for money. Visk offers him 50 credits, and moves towards the door. The guards both squeal, and drop their vibro-axes in a cross, preventing Visk from approaching the door. The porcine guard rubs his fingers together again, asking for more money. Visk looks at the guard. “You just had to make us do this the hard way, huh?” he says, shaking his head in disappointment.
With a slight signal from Visk, Raum steps out from the corner, and raises his heavy blaster pistol to the head of the Gamorrean on the right. Without flinching, he depresses the firing stud, sending a bolt of coherent energy blazing straight through the thick skull of the guard, leaving a scorch mark and blood splatter on the bulkhead behind him. The other guard squeals in surprise, then drops his vibro-axe, raising his hands to show that he surrenders. Visk raises his longrifle, and trains it on the remaining guard. He jerks his head back down the hallways. “Get out of here if you want to keep on breathing,”.
Apparently, the guard spoke enough Basic to get the jist of his message, and starts running away from the storage bay. Visk retrieves his 50 credits back from the dead guard, and the group opens the door to the storage bay.
The deep storage bay is as run-down as the hallways leading up to it, with entire metal plates missing from the floor and a huge, open exhaust shaft near the back of the room. Large crates litter the area, creating the appearance of a haphazard mess, and the air has a distinct smell of sweat and fumes that makes the entire area unpleasant. Flickering lights provide modest illumination, and a burst pipe along the ceiling leaks blue fluid down one wall. Near the center of the room is an item that seems very out of place—a large, finely crafted desk made of Japor ivory wood, which means that the desk is both priceless and rare. Sitting peacefully behind the desk is a protocol droid with shiny, ebony coverings that seem to soak up light and offer only the slightest reflection. The droid’s eyes flicker slightly, as though imitating a person blinking rapidly.
As the heroes approach the droid, Visk and Raum notice that there are 3 bodyguards attempting to hide among some of the crates in the bay. They both take note of their positions, and nudge Lance to let him know of their presence. Sitting next to the droid at the desk is a blue and red astromech droid, as well as a Twi’lek, who’s also attempting to conceal himself partially.
“Welcome my friends,” the gleaming droid says. “I am Switch. This is my counterpart, R5-B8. I take it you three are responsible for my guards not alerting me to your arrival. I assure you, there was no need to resort to violence. I was notified of your arrival through my networks as soon as your ship touched down.” With a male personality and a Coruscanti-Imperial accent, Switch could fit in among Brentaal’s nobility if he were not a droid. “Can I offer you gentlebeings something to drink? Perhaps some Corellian whiskey? I happen to have a new shipment of Whyren’s Reserve that arrived recently.” After seeing to their refreshments, Switch settles back into his chair. “Now, what can I do for you?”