Galaxy in Peril

Episode 8 - FOR SCIENCE

As the party patches up their wounds in the warehouse a debate breaks about about why Teeku’s cousin would be on an Imperial research team. IG-Z mentions “There are no recorded scenarios in which the Empire works alongside an alien species, I do not believe they would start now.” Teeku pauses in his hacking of the elevator with a concerned look. “Rodians are from a jungle planet I’m sure they just wanted his expertise on the jungle.” The group looks at each other skeptically but say nothing.

A few minutes later Teeku finishes with the elevator and a computer voice comes over the intercom “Biological Containment Protocols have been disabled.” IG-Z says “Are you sure we want to do this? Biological contaminants will not harm me but the three of you have no such protection” Teeku steps into the elevator “It’s my family, I can’t just leave him.” With that the rest of the party get in the elevator and Teeku starts the descent.

Several hundred feet below the surface, the elevator opens up into a central cavern with tunnels branching in four directions. There are signs present that indicate the different areas. General Quarters, Vehicle Research, Ground Weapon Research, Medical Research.

In the central cavern there is an AT-AT and an AT-ST in various states of repair and modification, neither in a remotely operational state. There are no signs of life anywhere.

Teeku looks in each of the directions considering, and then heads towards the medical wing. The door to the medical wing opens into a large warehouse, with offices on the right and what appears to be a research laboratory on the left. The research laboratory is sealed behind airtight glass with an airlock sealing off the entrance. In the back of the lab is a second airlock presumably leading further back into the lab.

Teeku enters into one of the offices and starts poking through the computer files. “There has to be some information about my cousin Beeko.” He says to no one in particular. He finds a set of files tagged with Beeko’s name, the heading of the file is Subject 47. As Dais looks for anything useful in the offices or warehouse he notices that whoever was here left in a hurry, things are knocked over, drinks are still half full, although looks like science projects in their own right. The facility has been in quarantine for over two months.

Beeko’s file shows that he arrived five months ago, jumping to the end of the file there are security recordings with Beeko’s name attached to it. Teeku fires them up and gasps in horror. On the screen there is what seems to have once been a Rodian. A large hulking twisted form is displayed on the screen. The muscle mass clearly too large for the frame, the skin is split in several places and the abomination on the screen looks devoid of all reason and appears to be filled with a mindless rage. The last of the footage shows what now can only be considered a creature bursting through one of the lab area’s glass walls. It grabs hold of one of the lab technicians and rips his arms off. As the body drops to the ground an explosion can be heard from behind the creature and the security footage is reduced to static.

Teeku leans back heavily in his chair clearly disturbed by what he just witnessed. “We are burning this place to the ground.” In the back of the lab, a red warning light starts to flash, as the airlock starts to decompress. Dais yells over to Teeku “Quick seal that door, we do not want to meet one of those things.” Teeku starts to hack into the system, finding a series of life scans for the different levels of the facility. This includes some maps of the facility. The life scans show that there are 5 life forms in the second lab and another 7 in a third lab further back. On the surface level there are two clusters of life forms which Teeku presumes are the Nexu.

Before Teeku could get back to sealing off the door a man in a white lab coat bursts through closing the door behind him. Seeing the party through the glass he runs forward. “Thank the Emperor, the cleanup crew has arrived, quick let me out!” Dais makes no move towards the door “What happened down here?” The lab tech takes a closer look at Dais and the others “Are you the cleanup crew?” Shaking his head “It doesn’t matter, let me out I don’t know if they’re following me.”

Teeku steps forward and presses the decompression button for the first airlock. As soon as the tech steps out of the room Teeku grabs him and slams him up to the wall. “You see anyone that looks like me in there?” The tech gets a panicked look on his face “They were all volunteers.” Dais tries to pull Teeku off “Wait Teeku we need to know what was going on down here.” Looking at the tech “What was going on down here?” The tech still looking worried says “We were creating super soldiers, the research was to make them stronger, faster, more obedient that sort of thing.”

Dais looks at the air lock “Why the quarantine, what did it mean by biological containment protocols, why the air lock?” The tech shakes his head “Agent 477 is still active, there was an explosion in lab 3 that released it. I don’t know what it does I was just an assistant on the strength research protocols, cybernetic implants and that sort of thing, the biochemists were in charge of the agents.” A look of rage passes over Teeku, he slams the tech back against the wall and steps away. Then before anyone could react he levels his flamethrower at the tech, and lets out a gout of flame that consumes him. Vet tackles Teeku but it’s too late. “What were you thinking, we needed information.” Teeku pushes Vet off “He did this to my cousin you heard him, he deserved to die.”

Teeku heads back to the office and starts downloading the information he can find on Beeko and Agent 477. “Give me a few and we can go back to the surface and grab those fuel tanks, we’ll light those labs up good, there will be nothing left.”

Dais gets a look across his face that Vet knows all too well. “Forget it Dais, you saw the security footage, there’s no way we can handle those things.” Dais gives Vet a knowing grin “We can sneak by them, think of how much money those implants will be worth. Come on IG-Z maybe there will be something we can plug into you even. Teeku, try and cut the life support in the labs.” Teeku shakes his head “No dice, the system already locked me out of that area after trying to seal the doors.” Dais doesn’t look the least bit deterred. “Come on guys this will set us up for the good life. We can do this, sneak in grab the stuff, sneak out no problems.” Teeku pipes in “Well there’s one problem, the labs are dark, the emergency lights barely light up the walls.” IG-Z walks over to a emergency supplies cabinet and grabs some glow rods, “Problem solved lets get this over with.”

The party moves up to the entrance of lab 2 and IG-Z starts pitching in glow rods. Dais scans the barely lit walls, it looks like the implants are in the back corner to the left. Those shelving units in the middle have highly flammable written all over the containers, so try not to light us all on fire Teeku." Dais and IG-Z start working there way to the corner, Teeku and Vet guard the way back out. Towards the middle of the lab, a series of low growls are emitted that sound more bestial than human. IG-Z picks up a glow rod and throws it towards the middle of the lab. It lands amidst a group of hulking mutants of various races, all exhibiting the grotesque muscle mass that Beeko had displayed in the security footage.

With a loud roar they start to charge at IG-Z and the others. Dais and Teeku start opening fire landing several shots, IG-Z brings his ax down in an over-arching slash dropping the first mutant that gets to him. The mutant collapses into the shelving unit sending it toppling over chemicals spilling everywhere, including over IG-Z and the charging mutants. The next mutant crashes into IG-Z knocking him off balance, the one after that grabs him and slams him into the ground. A third mutant lunges towards Dais grabbing a hold of him and slamming him into the wall, Dais finds himself on the ground. The last of the group raises two hulking fists over it’s head bringing them crashing down on Teeku’s head collapsing him to the ground.

Dais let’s out a hoarse yell “Vet grab the cybernetics, let’s make this worth it at least.” Vet dashes to the corner, scooping as many as he can into his backpack and then turns and runs for the door. Dais shoots at an alarm, setting off a piercing wail that the beasts cringe back from. Teeku then gets up and sprays flame over the chemicals all over the middle of the room. The two standing over IG-Z ignite in pillars of flame, they turn and run towards lab 3. IG-Z also goes up in flame. IG-Z gets up and moves towards the remaining two mutants.

One swings at IG-Z but misses perhaps due to the alarm, or inwardly afraid of touching the burning droid. The other rounds on Teeku and with a massive kick launches Teeku towards the door, he crashes into the wall and hits the floor, no longer moving. Vet grabs Teeku and drags him out of the lab. Dais and IG-Z follow, sealing the door behind them. The party continue to scramble out of the medical wing. As the exit into the main cavern a large explosion can be heard from behind and the tunnel to the medical wing collapses.

IG-Z turns towards Dais “This makes us even for getting you shot during the Angar incident.” Vet applies a stim pack on Teeku, medical and repair kits are pulled out and wounds are licked as best they can be.

As Teeku sits there recovering, his head resting against the cavern wall he reminisces about Beeko.

“Beeko…

Why, Beeko? What drove you to the imperial medical facilities for artificial bio-mechanical and cybernetic implants? Were you not satisfied with your Rodian blood? The blood of your family wasn’t enough for you? The blood of our ancestors wasn’t enough for you? How pathetic.

WE survived the great hunts together while the other clans gazed on from the sidelines. WE left every other clan ashamed, embarrassed and in utter disbelief after showcasing our ferocity, hunting prowess and natural instincts on the hunting grounds. Not a single one of our brethren could keep up. No….they were nothing.

Standing here, surrounded by my crew yet completely alone, I can’t help but feel like WE just became ME. I had no choice….

Torture – That is what it felt like watching this surveillance holo of your transformation from one of the strongest, keenest and most fierce Rodian hunters in the entire galaxy to an empty hulking beast. I watched the fire in your eyes dim and then burst into nothing but rage as that imperial garbage you so desperately desired pulsed through your veins. You just couldn’t stand by and let me become the head of the clan after sharing the spotlight for all of those years. You had to be the best. You had to be the strongest.

Why? WE could have had it all. Now it will be me crowned inta’s’rin’na of the Tetsu clan. It was bound to happen this way one way or another, and I truly regret how it had to come to be.

Goodbye, Beeko. We shall be reunited in the darkness.“

Teeku pulls out his datapad, scanning through Beeko’s file once more.

Subject 47’s cooperation has been exemplary. Most likely due to the fact his daughter has been taken. The daughter exhibits strong force sensitivity, the father has no such ability. Subject 47 will continue on to genetic testing as there is no further use for him. The daughter will be sent on for Stage 2.

Additional reading keeps bringing up references to Project Overlord. This facility appears to have been operating as Stage 1 which was subject screening.

Teeku lifts his head, “It’s not over. I will find her.”

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Com02 Gaztingo

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