Galaxy in Peril

Episode 13 - Down the Rabbit Hole

Lt. Fren leads Dais away from the ship. But to Dais’ surprise he does not lead him in the direction of the security station, he instead points to what looks like an abandoned warehouse. “Sorry for the cloak and dagger bit, there are a lot of eyes on this station and not all of them have our best interests at heart. In light of your previous stay, at the station, I thought you should see this.” Lt. Fren pulls out a data-pad “This recording was recovered from the data banks of an Imperial shuttle floating in the Outer Rim.” Dais watches the scene unfold, Angar speaking defiance to his captors, Vasto Varik setting him free, and the Red Wolves bodies being dumped on the ship. “Shouldn’t Varik have known about the security footage?” Lt. Fren shakes his head “The Imperials constantly change the location of the cameras and method of storage on their prisoner transports, the only real way to get rid of it is to blow the whole ship up, and even then, you have to hope there weren’t any relay stations close enough to capture the feed. That’s not common knowledge, I’m sure he purged the dummy system. The bounty you’ve accrued on your heads is the real deal by the way. I’m not sure what you did but there are a lot of factions on this station that won’t care, so if I were you’d I’d be moving along soon as possible.” Dais grunts “Thanks for the tip, I better round up my crew and get us on our way then.”

Dais gets back to the ship, and after several tries, to reach the others in his crew, he gives up and brings Ral Tosh on the Holo-Comm. Ral Tosh appears, a look of intrigue passes over his features, and then he puts on a false air of confidence for those around him on his end of the holo. “Karl Jarik it’s good to hear from you again, did you get the vid I sent you from our mutual Fren?” Dais sits there slightly confused, treading careful not knowing what will tip off who, “Yes it was received.” “You should take the job.” Ral Tosh says and then disconnects. Dais sits there, now really confused, wondering what to do next. Not even ten seconds later his comm buzzes, “It’s about time they called in.” But again to Dais’ surprise it’s Lt. Fren on the other line. “You can find those goods at this section of the spaceport”, some coordinates appear on Dais’ data-pad. “On level 1 there is a whiskey shop next to a florist.” Lt. Fren then disconnects. Dais quickly writes down the message, feeling that while it doesn’t make any sense it must be important.

A couple hours pass and Dais’ comm finally buzzes “Where the hell have you guys been?” Vet responds over the comm “Just making some new friends, we were swinging by to pick you up at the station, they done with you?” “Yeah I was done hours ago, get back to the ship, I think I know where we need to be heading.”

Once aboard the ship, Vet, Teeku and IG-Z take a look at the coordinates and the information given by Lt. Fren. Teeku speaks first “Those are star coordinates, let me go punch them in the navigation computer and see where they show.” A couple minutes later Teeku returns “It’s weird, those coordinates aren’t in the computer. I can’t guarantee we’ll come out where we’re supposed to when the computer doesn’t have them in the system.”

“I’m not sure we have a choice, after your run in, I don’t think it’s a good idea to stay here. What’s the worse that can happen.”

A few hours of hyperspace travel later, the worst is about to happen. Coming out of hyperspace the party finds themselves before a hulking Imperial Vessel. Over the comm an impatient voice says “This is the ISS Empirical. This is a restricted area, identify yourselves.” Dais “Uh hi there, good afternoon, how are you doing today? Our uh navigator fat fingered the controls we didn’t mean to stop here, we’ll be going now, have a good day, thank you.” There is a A moments pause and then a curt response “Ship’s name and registration.” “Ha well you see we haven’t been having a good day, we encountered some pirates and they shot out our transponder, the ship is called Wompa Stompa.” An agonizing minute goes by and finally “Very well, we will be sending out a squad of TIE Fighters to escort you out of the area to make your jump.”

“Well that could have went smoother, where are we Teeku?” Dais asks with a sigh of relief. “According to the computer we’re in the Dominus Sector, and more specifically the Dominus System. We’re not far from where we need to be, I can make the adjustments and we’ll come out on target.”

After another jump the view outside the cockpit is consumed with a massive moon. “There are no signs of life on the moon, but according to the scanners there is an old abandoned mining outpost down there.” Teeku says looking up from the scanning equipment. “There is a breathable atmosphere we should be fine to head down. Looks like in the center of the facility is where most of the commerce took place” Dais nods, “Take us down then, we’ll see what there is to see.”

Upon landing and looking around it quickly becomes apparent no one has been at this station for a long time. All of the equipment is covered in a thick layer of dust, and the insides of the buildings are no different. In the central building there is a staircase leading down. Vet notices a lone set of foot prints heading into the lower levels.

“I hope this is who we’re here for, this place gives me the creeps, and I don’t like hanging out in the same system as an Imperial Cruiser, when we have a bounty on our heads.” Dais says as he heads down the stairs.

The first level is what appears to have been a flea market of sorts. There are a lot of stands lining the streets and stores interspersed between. Vet points down the street, “Hey you see that stand down the street? Looks like they sold flowers, and if I’m not mistaken the store next to it sells Corellian Whiskey. That can’t be coincidence.”

Teeku points as well, “The tracks lead that same direction. That definitely seems to be our destination.” Everyone takes a firmer grip on their weapons as they proceed forward. As they enter the shop, they find Ral Tosh standing there waiting for them. He holds up a bottle “Care for a drink, I think the owner forget where he hid this one when he packed up.” Dais takes a swig, “So I hear you can fix things.” Tosh grins “Oh you did, did you? Well it may be that I can, but I’ve got a job for you first, we found the mole in our organization, I’m embarrassed to say it was Vasto Varik, my right hand man. Apparently he’s been feeding the Red Wolves information, while also working for Angar to try and frame Grigg. It seems the only one he wasn’t actually working for was me.”

Dais jumps in “That’s all…” Dais pauses rethinking his well and good comment, “…pretty horrible but that doesn’t explain why everyone is trying to kill us.” Ral Tosh looks at Dais like he’s been spending too much time in deep space. “Sure it does, it all started with the crate. The crate contained a droid, this droid happened to be Empire property. They wanted it back real bad but they don’t have any pull in Hutt territory nor the Wheel, so they contracted a local small time band called the Red Wolves, your first encounters I’m sure you noticed were comprised of various alien races and weren’t exactly coordinated. The Empire quickly started swelling the ranks with their own operatives. I’m not even convinced any of the original Red Wolves are left. Anyways Vasto caught wind of this and decided to make some money on the side, tipping the Red Wolves off to where you would be with the crate. At some point Angar must have figured out what was happening and bought Vasto’s loyalty. So now Grigg is worried about the Empire finding out about his involvement with the droid, he just wants this whole thing to go away. Which is where you come in. Vasto is on the Empirical, we believe that’s the location of the Dark Trooper project, the Empire is looking to replace their Storm Troopers with cybernetically modified clones. They’ll be more droid than human. That’s one of Darth Vader’s personal research vessels. Tread carefully in there.”

Dais gives Ral an incredulous look, “You want us to go in there? We’re wanted by the Empire, you must be crazy.” Ral Tosh gives a knowing smile, “The way I hear it there’s no bigger rush than walking into a room where everyone wants you dead, knowing one slip of your deception will be your doom.” Dais gets a starry eyed look and breaks into a cold sweat, Vet and Teeku look at each other knowing their fate is sealed.

Teeku sighs, “Well if you can get us some Imperial Bounty Hunting Commissions I think we can make that work. We’ll have to trade ships they’ve already seen ours.” “I can do that, my ship is called the Goose Egg.” Ral says, Your papers will state you were hired by the Emperor to flush out a mole that’s leaking information off the vessel. It’ll be a tough sell but I think it’s your best bet. Oh and I want Vasto alive, I want to ask him a few questions before I teach him the cost of betrayal."

A few hours later the paperwork is in order and the party once again finds themselves in front of the ISS Empirical. The exchange of information is made and Dais lands the ship in one of the many hangar bays. A greeting party consisting of a pair officers and a detachment of stormtroopers is waiting. As Dais and crew get off the ship the officer steps forward “I cannot believe the Emperor has sent a group of bounty hunters of all things to this ship.” Giving Teeku and Vet a look of disgust. “These allegations of a security leak are preposterous I report to Lord Vader himself. My aid Corporal Malic will show you to your quarters and assist your investigation for as long as this charade most go on.”

WIth that the officer turns and leaves, a nervous looking officer that Dais presumes is Corporal Malic steps forward, “If you’ll follow me I’ll show you to your quarters.” Teeku laughs “We’re not on vacation, take us to your computer terminals, I want to see the logs of all incoming ships from the past month.”

Corporal Malic leads them to a bay of terminals, the Imperials manning the stations look surprised to see Teeku and Vet, and outright shy away from IG-Z. Within a few minutes it is determined the only new personnel on the ship in the past month were three technicians and two researchers. The two researchers had pictures attached to their profiles and were immediately dismissed.

“Corporal Malic we’d like to interrogate these three technicians, can you escort them to us and provide us a space for questioning.” Malic nods once and speaks into the comm in his collar. “This way.” With a sharp turn he leaves the room.

The first technician that is brought in is a woman, after some quick questions for appearances she is dismissed. The second technician brought in is a portly man named Tak. The same questions are asked and he is dismissed as well.

After a long delay Corporal Malic shows up “I’m sorry to say that we cannot currently locate Mr. Vantik.” Dais looks grim “Doesn’t that concern you a bit? Can you show us his quarters, and where he’s been working these past few days.” The quarters were empty with no personal effects. One of his bunk mates mentioned that he left for his shift early.

“Mr. Vantik was working on the air ducts on Level B, there’s extensive security between the different levels even in the air ducts I do not believe he could have gotten to our research labs on Level C.”

Arriving at the air duct Teeku instantly recognizes the duct entrance is askew. Crawling in Teeku manages to track which direction Vasto went through the vents. He stops when he gets to a disabled laser mesh between Levels B and C. So much for extensive security Teeku thinks to himself. Teeku then heads back to the entrance of the air ducts to reports his findings.

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