Part 1- Prelude to Defiance: Chapter 1 - Shootout at Gundark's

 
Part 1- Prelude to Defiance: Chapter 1 - Shootout at Gundark's

A long long time ago
in a galaxy far far away

STAR WARS: DAWN OF DEFIANCE
Episode I
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. . . .



Turn 1.0

The Promenade is filled with the bustle of revelry and commerce. Spilling out of the gambling halls are the sounds of victory and the moans of defeat, while the music of local bands issues from the cantinas. Only a handful of citizens mill about in the main areas of the Promenade, a few gazing out the massive windows at the planet Brentaal hovering below. Businesspeople hawk their wares to the passersby. You are each in the Gundark's Cantina, whether here for a drink, a meal, a job or looking for a mark to score. The cantina is sparsely filled right now. Gundark Saff is tending bar, his barmaid in the back working the kitchen currently.

Hopla Jocha sits at a table near the door. He wears spacer clothes--brown hooded cloak over tunic, vest, boots, gloves. He watches the entrance for thered haired woman, with hopes they can help each other. He also scans the bar for the only other person he knows on the station--Khen Dhur, the scoundrel jawa he met en route to the station. He expects the jawa will show up if he's not already here, probably after he's had his fill of the gambling halls. He knows Khen wants off the station as bad as Hopla does. He hopes to meet with Khen Dhur and discuss the red haired woman he's heard about.

A tall figure sat at the table to the right of the bar. Positioned in such a way that they could see all who entered, and yet none could approach them with out being seen. The figure was swathed in a long, dark, hooded robe. The hood pulled so far forward that all features were lost in its shadow, except for the dim twin red glow of what could only be described as eyes.

The figure had a mug of some steaming liquid in front of it, though any who observed closely would have noted that it never even reached for the mug, let alone took a drink – not to mention that the figure seemed to be abnormally still.

Internally, IG-198’s sensors registered the patrons at the bar, and the droid scoffed at the weakness of the flesh forms who seemed to need to imbibe a reaction dulling poison in this place for some reason or reasons he could not fathom. Still, he had determined that this location was the safest for it on the station, where it could still hope to find some way of safely getting away from those who hunted it. So, he sat, unmoving, waiting for the opportunity to occur.

Mist was hopelessly lost.
She didn't really know anything about this place. Oh she'd started off with a fine plan; to find her saviour and make the nasty guys in white armour give him back to her, but she didn't know where they had taken him.

And worse, no-one seemed to want to help her. Some gave her curious stares but most outright ignored her pleas for help, or gave contradictory directions that made no sense.

It was almost as if a beautiful blonde cat-girl with bare feet was seen as a joke.

Letting out a "meow" of frustration, Mist took up a position opposite the Gundark cantina, and folded her arms across her chest. She was obviously fed up, and at a loss as to what to do next. Unless. A thought came to her. Maybe if she went into the cantina and offered to let people play with her, they'd help her find Atton and get him back from the white armour men. It had to be better than wandering around.

Happy with this idea, she strode over to the entrance, where the odd-looking door stubbornly refused to slide open for her.

"Please open for me" she said sadly, "I can't find anyone to help me or play with me"

Jibba Jabba sits in the Cantina silently cursing the Emipre for sequestering his ship. He watches for the red haired woman who suppossedly can help him and silently bares his teeth at those people who laugh at him and call him "cute". One day when he has taught his people the secrets of the "hairless ones" and they have risen up to take their rightful place in the galaxy, then these creatures will learn to respect and even fear the mighty Ewoks.

Sitting near the corner, quite hidden is Khen Dhur the Jawa. He's hiding after swindling some gangster at Sabacc.

He's noticed the Hopla Jocha the Zabrak here and he's pretty darn sure that the cloaked figure is the IG-198 magna-guard he escaped with. How that droid ended up here, he has no clue. Sitting near the door is the small, furry ship owner, Jibba Jabba. None have seen him as far as he can tell.

The of other people in the bar, a Quarren and a Ithorian, both quite inebriated get up from their table and stumble towards the door. Both try to enter at once, but think better of it after nearly knocking each other down. The Quarren starts through the revolving door first, leaning his weight on it. The Ithorian follows in the next stall, moving faster than the Quarren, who does not exit when he has the chance and takes another circle around. The Ithorian stands in the Promenade looking about for his drinking buddy and the Quarren finally exits and bumps into him from behind, spilling them into the floor, blocking the doorway while it stops moving. The two drunks get up and walk off to the right, obviously in no condition to be out on their own.

"Ow!" Mist cried as the door started spinning at her and hit her in the face before trapping her inside it with the drunks.

She didn't like this door at all and couldn't understand why it was being mean to her. Doors weren't normally mean to her.

Each of you notice two men loitering on the Promenade who do not appear to be part of the larger crowd. Each seems to be scanning the crowd closely as though looking for someone, though they pay no attention to the heroes. Another of these men sits near a window of the bar, with a warm, untouched beverage. Each of these three men, despite wearing normal traveling clothes, each man is carrying a hold-out blaster tucked into his jacket, and both men are wearing identical garments.

Ereth, Khen, and Mist each also notice that both men seem to be whispering to themselves, obviously speaking into hidden comlinks.

Within moments, a slender woman wearing the greasy clothes of a mechanic stumbles down the Promenade. Though she is trying to hide it, she has clearly been wounded somehow, and she looks disheveled. She makes her way to the cantina and enters as a pair of Imperial Stormtroopers round the corner she came from at a brisk pace. The two men from the promenade seem interested in the Cantina now, and one points at the entrance to the Stormtroopers, who rush towards it.

(As the red-haired woman enters the Cantina, the revolving door hits Mist in the thigh and unceremoniously knocks her sprawling to the floor just inside the cantina)

The red-haired woman wears a blue uniform like that worn by many mechanics and repair crews aboard Sel Zonn Station. Her face and clothes are smudged with grease, and her look suggests that she has been in more than a few firefights. She nearly collapses as she reaches the bar, “Please, help me,” she calls out. “There are credits in it for you, just help me!” Gundark eyes widen at the doorway and he ducks behind the bar.

Two stormtroopers they raise their blasters, and shout through their helmet speakers, “Step away from that woman. She is under arrest in the name of the Emperor!” The other Stormtrooper says to his comrade, "Set for stun." The man at the bar window pulls out a hold-out blaster. The first Stormtrooper is in the revolving door, the second in the hallway ready to enter.

As the Storm Troopers rush in, the cat woman is near trampled off to the side slightly.

JJ drops out of his chair to the left and moves to have the table as cover between himself and the Stormtroopers. Seeing the confusion created by all the bystanders running from their seats, he will uses the distraction to pull the chair next to ST1 into his legs. The ewok reaches out with the force and the chair next to the lead storm trooper (and across from the hooded Hopla Jocha) shakes as if someone kicked it from under the table! The storm trooper pays it nor the furry sentient diving for cover any attention.

The lead Stormtrooper enters the bar two squares and fires a stun blast at Maya, "Stop terrorist, you are under arrest!" His shot goes wide and strikes the bar.

The second Stormtrooper enters the bar one square and fires his blaster carbine at the injured woman. The stun blast hits the fleeing woman square in the back and she collapses to the ground with a harsh sounding thud. The second trooper comments, "Bag 'em and tag 'em, buddy."

A quick threat assessment left IG-198 in no doubt he was in trouble. It could act and help the stranger for the credits and bring himself to the notice of the Imperials, or it could wait and likely get caught up in the Imperial questioning as they tried to work out why the woman ran in here seeking help.

IG-198 decided it would not get caught passively waiting. The best chance lay in helping the woman, getting the credits, and using them to help it escape the station.

The droid drew its blaster, leveled it at the lead Stormtrooper and fired.

IG-198's shot is not able to penetrate the shocked lead troopers' armor, who yells, "AHHHH!, I've been hit!" The second trooper pivots his rifle at the new target, the battle droid in the cantina, "What the frack!?" he exclaims.

"Hey!" Mist shouted up at the white armour men who were standing above her and shooting, "I want Atton back! Give me Atton back!"

Not even thinking about the consequences, and forgetting for the moment that she had a gun, she shot to her knees and started hammering at the nearest trooper's legs with her fists.

The maddened Mist wails at her target, one palm strike hits hard into the his knee, bending it to the side with a very faint pop, as something either armor or muscle and bone, gives. He looks down at her as he stumbles a bit.

Khen shakes his head. This is all he needs. He scans the area briefly and decides that his best bet is to take up refuge behind the bar. He might have been able to talk the situation down, but the shooting has already started and if there's one thing Khen hates is the groggy feeling you get when you wake up from being stunned... that and womp rats.

Khen charges forward as quickly as he can, trying to get to cover behind the bar. And hey, free booze if the bartender gets killed in the scuffle!

The jawa sneaks to the bar and under the separator that normally slides away automatically for the staff. Here, he can't see the battle, and can only partially see the Bartender cowering with a really old looking blaster pistol.

"Great party!" the jawa whispers to the bartender. Khen then tries his best to keep his eye on the battle by watching for reflections in the bottles of alcohol above his head.

Outside one of the informants, near the turbolifts takes off running away from the cantina as fast as he can.

The informant near the door runs up to and around in the revolving door until he is ready to enter the room, he has his hold-out blaster drawn and looks intent on shooting Mist.

The man inside pulls his blaster and fires at IG-198, into his comm he says, "Target is down, more resistance than expected." The blaster shot is right on target, but strikes the durasteel mug holding the smoking drink the droid had ordered and left on the bar.

Hopla, hood up to hide his features, moves to the informant who has just entered and drawn his gun.

"My friend, give me your weapon, and I will fight them for you." Hopla holds out his hand for the man's blaster.

The informant looks at the hooded figure with relief, "Thanks, I'm barely trained on it." as he hands over the hold-out blaster.

All the other patrons in the bar dive under their tables, praying not to get shot or arrested.

The bartender is surprised by the Jawa arriving, he shrugs at the diminutive fellow, and yells, "QUIT SHOOTING UP MY PLACE!" He remains crouched, clutching his blaster, sweat dripping down his brow already.
Jibba sees the injured ST turn his rifle on the cat-girl and uses Force Grip on the damaged leg. We "pets" have to stick together.

The injured storm trooper brings his carbine to bear on the cat-female who is beating on his legs, "Get away from me you freak!" But as he does so his injured leg crunches and smashes in on itself, squirting blood on the Imperial informant in the door, Hopla and Mist, he screams slightly just before his plasteel armor clanks to the ground. The blaster carbine lays at his side, the barrel stuck under his good leg.

The informant looks at Jibba, "What the hell are you? Shoot it!" he motions at it for his ally, Hopla Jocha.

This stormtrooper flips over the lethal setting on his rifle and returns fire on the IG-100. He moves over to get a clear shot and yells, "You're slag, you dumb droid!" His shot goes wide right, shattering bottles above the bar.

IG-198 sensors glow a deep red as he takes in the Storm Troopers before him, he knows that they're going to get reinforcements very soon. May be they can be distracted? IG-198's speaks, his voice, crackling slightly due to damage from earlier battles, "All units close in. Attack formation gamma..." He shoots again as he advances around the table to the front of the bar.

The blast shot hits sound in the shoulder of the trooper, making him release the barrel of his carbine, his left arm drops down, limp. Despite that, he stays up, holding his blaster at the droid.

"I am not a freak!" Mist cried in protest before letting out a startled 'meow' as blood spattered on her. As soon as the trooper fell, Mist moved forward to straddle him and pull off his helmet.

"Tell me where my Atton is" she demanded in a child-like tone. "I want my Atton back"

"Shoot back or those guys will wreck your place!" Khen whispers back to the barkeep hoping to distracgt the man. Khen then slowly moves over to the alcohol, keeping his eyes on the reflections. He reaches a hand up slowly to grab a bottle of whatever. Nothing gets his jawa heart pumping like a fight, and Khen would rather things were a bit more mellow at the moment.

The informant grabs his blaster with both hands and aims at the droid, though this shot is not near as good as his last, shattering more of the liquor bottles on the bar.

"That wasn't called for." says Khen as he becomes soaked with alcohol. "What a waste...."

The unarmed imperial loyalist picks up the fallen troopers carbine, holding it with both hands and fires off a shot at the frightening Ewok under the table, but the blaster bolt strikes an intervening chair. He reiterates to Hopla Jocha, "Shoot it, shoot it!"

Hopla looks calmly at the informant. "You should call off that backup. We have things under control."

The informant looks at the hooded Jedi, "I should call off backup, we have this under control."

Gundark looks at the Khen, "You gotta pay for that bottle you got there." He pops up from behind the bar, fires off a shot at the first enemy he sees, the stormtrooper shooting at his bar. The blast bolt his the storm trooper in the head, but Gundark immediately drops behind the bar again, flat to the ground, keeping him from seeing the stormtrooper fall over dead.

Jibba will draw his knife and move towards the informant across the room, staying low to the ground and using the table as partial cover.

Seeing the Storm Trooper fall, IG-198 speeds over so that he is next to Maya, it leans down and picks her up, supporting her with his free hand. "This woman is now under my protection." It's crackling voice intones to those in the room before it starts moving toward the entrance, its 'eyes' focussed on the informer standing between it and the door.

Hopla assumes the droid is her bodyguard, and says, "Droid, where are you taking her?"

IG-198 continues to move as it replies. "She needs to be moved to a place of safety. At the moment, it appears anywhere is safer than here." The droids 'gaze' never drops from the informant.

Still sitting on the rude white armour man, Mist lets out another frustrated 'meow' as she pulls his helmet off and sees that he is asleep.

"You can't be asleep" she moans, "I need you to give me my Atton back"

Seemingly oblivious to the rest of the room, she starts gently slapping the fallen trooper's face in an attempt to wake him. "Please wake up" she pleads over and over in a child-like tone.

Behind the bar, the Jawa replies to the barkeep, "Uhhh... I'm just trying to protect it for you... yeah... all the rest are gettinmg blowm to bits. figured I'd do what I could to help you out." Khen says to the barkeep trying to play off his near theft. "And you know... if you decide to reward me for my efforts later... I wouldn't say no..."

Khen then reaches up and grabs another bottle for "protection." He secretly hopes the barkeep gets shot so that he can keep the alcohol. This bottle is Mon Calamari liquor.

Imperial Informant 1, looking thoroughly confused, aims and fires at IG-198 missing wildly.

Imperial Informant 2, by the door, calls in, "Cancel the backup at Gundark's, we have things under control." He then switches to autofire and opens up at the Ewok trying to cross the cantina. Over the blasting, "Shoot that droid already!" he yells at his hooded "friend." The blaster bolts explode all around the furry the small alien but the table stool luckily saves him from harm.

Hopla takes a step away from the informant and looks at the rotating doorway in which the informant stands. He summons the force, and forces the door to begin spinning wildly. The door rotates at tremendous speed, catching the informant in it and flinging him out of the bar into the large picture window outside, leaving a red smear when he slides down it to the ground.

Hopla turns to the last remaining informant and points his gun at the man. "If you want to leave this place alive, lay down your weapon and your comm." He is sure to keep his hood pulled down over his face.

"Yub-Yub! That was close!" Jibba will move one square diagonally down to the bottom right (under teh table) to cut off the last informant from getting to the door. The Ewok holds his knife ready in case the last imperial moves near him.

The droid continues towards the door, stopping just before going out. "You will allow me access through the door." It is hard to tell due to the crackle in its voice if this is a question or a statement. It's head swivels so that it appears to be looking at Hopla. But when next IG-198 speaks it is obvious that the droid is addressing the whole bar. "I will pay anyone here who knows how to repair humanoids and will help." He holds his blaster pistol leveled at the remaining plain clothes imperial.

Seemingly oblivious to everything else going on around her, Mist pouts sadly at the sleeping white armour man beneath her. "It's not fair" she moans, her tail slapping at the ground in frustration, "How can I get my Atton back if I can't wake this guy up?"

After a moment, an idea comes to her. She leans forward and down, allowed her hair to fall almost to the floor and frame the trooper's head as she kisses him on the lips in a last ditch attempt to make him wake up and talk to her.

Khen sets the bottles down. "Right! The good stuff!" Khen then reaches out for one of the bottles that the bartender pointed to.

The informant looks around the bar and carefully lays his hold-out blaster and comm-link on the table and loudly replies, "I only had two shots left anyways," he shrugs, "You'll never get away with this. You and that droid in your cloaks carrying that woman. Backup will be here shortly, give up now to me and their deaths can be seen as accidental." The man stands there with a What can you do about it, kind of look on his face, his arms straight out to the sides.

A resourceful droid, thinks Hopla. This IG unit reminds him of N0K3. Well, he'd come here to help the woman, and in turn seek her help. Maybe he still can. As the IG unit rushes past, he says just loud enough, "I will help." He doesn't know any of these others, and Khen apparently did not show. The cat woman is obviously crazy. He turns to go, but pauses. He turns back to the crazy cat woman, feeling he should bring her. He gently takes her by the arm and says, "That one cannot help you. Come."

Mist looks up in consternation at the strangely hooded man who has taken her arm.

"But I need my Atton back" she insists in a childlike way. After a moment, she thinks of something.

"Is this a game?" she asks hopefully, her catears perking up, "I like games. Do I have to find the right way to be nice to him?"

Gundark looks at Khen and whispers, "Those fools are going to get us all killed," he points at a hatch in the back wal, "Open that up, we gotta get outta here." He stands up and fires at t

Khen removes the access panel and hurries into the shaft with two of the nicer bottles.

When those who gather around are there, he points to an access hatch and whispers, "This hatch leads to an access tunnel that will drop you off in my quarters on the residence level. You'll want to move on from there quickly and hole up for a bit. After all of this," he motions at the remains of the battle in the bar, "There are sure to be more security droids and patrols, at least for awhile."

"Thank you Gundark," says Hopla as he enters the portal.

he surrendered informant, taking him down. Then he reaches down and pushes a few buttons behind the bar. The transparisteel windows tint down very dark and revolving door locks in place. He puts a finger over his mouth and gives a loud shushing noise to everyone.

Hopla stops what he's doing and listens, wondering what Gundark hears. Hopla looks about the bar, but aside from a hiding Quarren who looks scared to death, he sees nothing out of place to have spooked Gundark. Gundark looks pointedly at the spot where the last imperial undercover operative was standing, while keeping the blaster pistol in one hand and his other with a finger perched over his mouth.

Noting that the hooded man seems to have other things on his mind now that he has let go of her, Mist lets out a quiet "meow" then returns her attention to the white armour man on the ground, looking for a way to wake him up.

"Games are more fun when I know the rules" she moans.

IG-198 spins his gun leveled at the man behind the bar. Immediately his sensors inform him that there seems to be no immediate threat, so he lowers the pistol... slightly. For a moment it looks in the direction that Gundark is pointing, and then walks over to a point where he can see the the comm-link on the table, trying to determine if it is on or not. The droid, gets to the table where the informant's blaster and commlink are, and sees that the hold out blaster is lay perfectly on the comlink, leaving it broadcasting. The bartender seems to be sharper than his gruff attitude portrays. Reaching out it flicks the gun off the communicator so that it turns off broadcast and then turns back to the bar. "It is time to be leaving this establishment. Is there only the one exit?"

Gundark nods, and waves everyone over to behind the bar.

Khen removes the access panel and hurries into the shaft with two of the nicer bottles.

When those who gather around are there, he points to an access hatch and whispers, "This hatch leads to an access tunnel that will drop you off in my quarters on the residence level. You'll want to move on from there quickly and hole up for a bit. After all of this," he motions at the remains of the battle in the bar, "There are sure to be more security droids and patrols, at least for awhile."

"Thank you Gundark," says Hopla as he enters the portal.

The droid says nothing as it pushes its way past the others, places the woman it is carrying on the ground, and also enters the portal, reaching back and dragging the unconscious form after it.

Gundark looks over at the Quarren, "Deel, get your butt up, none of you can stay."

Jibba stops next to the cat girl. "That one not give you the information you hunt. Come with us. We try to find your friend. If we don't go more of these white smooth skins come. They not treat our kind well."

Disappointed, Mist sticks her tongue out at the unhelpful trooper before turning to regard this new speaker.

The moment she claps eyes on the little furry man, her tail starts bobbing.

"You'll really help me?" she gasps, her voice filled with excitement.

A moment later she turns herself around and starts to rub her head against Jibba, purring the whole time.

Gundark looks over at Jibba and Mist and barks, "No time for any of that, get outta here you two!"

"Yes, Jibba help. We go now" Jibba leads the cat girl to the access hatch at a jog. As he runs he wonders why all the holovids of his people always show them waddling. 'Jibba's knees and elbows bend just fine,' he thinks to himself.

Purring even louder than before, Mist follows Jibba excitedly, practically bouncing along now that she was found someone to help her. Such is her excitement that her tail dances behind her as she moves.

The Quarren gets up reluctantly, knowing that to stay would be worse than the fate in the duct. He nods to Gundark and crawls in last, fixing the plate back in place. Once the hatch is shut, the sound of a breaking bottle can be heard, followed by a blaster shot on stun, then silence.

In the shaft

The shaft is cramped for medium sized creatures, requiring them to crawl. It is also dark and dusty with a damp odor. There is a green line painted on the floor of the shaft, leading away and turning right at the first juncture.

Once the juncture is reached and a turn is made, it becomes too dark to see for anyone without low-light vision or darkvision.

Despite having plenty of room, the weight of the bottles have the jawa struggling through the tunnel. His low-light vision allows him to see fairly well, and even encumbered as he his, he makes better time than those he hears coming behind him.

Hopla draws the glow rod from his utility belt and activates it. He turns to the others and eyes them warily, wondering what he's just gotten himself into. The red haired woman is still unconscious, and she may need medical help Hopla cannot provide. His stoic nature takes over, and he resigns himself to whatever fate is in store. He holds the glow rod high and beckons the others to follow.

The darkness means nothing to IG-198, his sensors switch to 'dark vision' glowing dimly in the darkness, as if reflecting Hopla's glow rod. The shaft itself, on the other hand, is more than a little awkward, and was definitely not made for someone, or something, the droids size to travel through. It finds itself crawling backwards, shoulders scraping the edges of the shaft, dragging the still unconscious Maya behind. IG-198 knows that he is vulnerable like this, but then if those now with it were going to attack they would have done so by now. Its metallic 'skin' clanking softly on the surface of the shaft, the droid continues slowly after Hopla

Following the droid and the woman, Jibba touches his lightsaber to make sure it is still there still there. While he may have become use to the confines of his ship having unfamiliar metal walls pressing in on him causes him to get very twitchy. Quietly he tries to focus himself by thinking of the wide open skies of Endor and his village in the trees. Calmed, he presses on.

"Eww" Mist moans as she enters the tunnel, wrinkling her nose at the smell. About the only good thing she can think to say about it is that it doesn't smell as rancid as a Hutt. Keeping her tail flat behind her, she crawls after Jibba, hoping that this is the way to help Atton. Fortunately she only bumps into something once.

Jibba can see ok, but once he makes the turn, he has to rely on smell to follow the others, aside from a flash of light from the front occassionally. Mist can hardly see at all once she makes the turn in the shaft.

Gundark's Quarters

Khen makes it to hatch where the green line ends, he opens it up and finds himself looking down at an empty bed four meters below. The Jawa barely manages to drop down on the bed without losing his two bottles.

Gundark lives very spartan. Aside from the bed, a simple dresser, the refresher and a table with one chair, the only thing of any interest is a large military style foot locker.

Hopla drops down into the room as well and opens his senses to any sign of danger. Use sense surroundings. Assuming there is no danger: He helps the droid lower Maya into the room.

[Sense Surroundings -> Nobody is in the room, in the refresher or in the hallway past the door that he tell.]

[Everyone else can describe their entrance here...]

IG-198, after carefully handing Maya down to Hopla, swings around and lowers itself until it dangles from its arms. then it lets go and lands with a solid thump.

Jibba dangles as well as an Ewok can dangle and drops from the hatch. He waits for the cat girl and helps her down.

Looking down into the room, Mist wonders if she would rather be in a small room with a metal man or in a cramped tunnel. Two things make the decision easier. One is that nice helpful Jibba seems to want her down there with him. The other is when her tail touches something slimy and squirmy (the Quarren's face tentacles).

She lets out a "mew" of alarm then practically throws herself out of the hatch, just barely managing to land on her feet.

Lastly, the Quarren hangs down and moves the hatch cover back into place and then drops on the bed awkwardly.

Gundark's Quarters

Once everyone is out of the tunnel, Hopla carefully lays Maya on the bed and pulls out a medpac.

The Quarren, Deel, offers his aid on treating the woman.

IG-198 immediately comes to stand next to where Maya now lies. It stands motionless, hand on its now holstered pistol, obviously guarding the unconscious woman, its sensors fixed on what Hopla and this other stranger are doing.

Hopla notes the droid's actions and thinks that it must be programmed to guard her life. "Do not worry, I won't hurt your master," he says. As he and the quarren help the unconscious woman, he says to everyone in the room, "We cannot remain here. Where can we hide?"

Mist's cat ears perk up when the large hooded man mentions hiding.

"Are we playing hide and seek?" she asks, her tone filled with innocent and childish naivity. The prospect of playing momentarily distracts her from worrying about Atton.

"I like hide and seek. It's a fun game"
Jibba goes to the door and listens for the anything peculiar. He specifically strains to hear the sound of clanking
stormtrooper armor. The white smoothskins may fierce fighters but they are most certainly not stealthy.
As the hooded Hopla Jocha and the Quarren Deel work on the woman, it becomes quite obvious that Hopla isn't skilled in this, but Deel is. The effort is wasted and the medpac scattered about beyond re-use.

Jibba Jabba does not hear any commotion in the hallway.

Deel, the quarren says, "If anyone else has a medpac, I can try again." He looks at Hopla, "And you can aid me this time." He gives thought, "We can't stay much longer, and my quarters are not big enough for all of us. Does anyone else have a room?"

Hopla says, "I have quarters in the alien section of the station, though they are small." Hopla sees the room is almost as barren as his, except for a military grade foot locker in the corner.

Hopla looks at the locked trunk, then at Khen. "Can you open this?"

The Jawa nods and begins working away at the footlocker.

For a moment IG-198's processor calculates the various strategic options available. "A room will not do," its crackling voices echoes slightly in the confines of the small room. "It would only delay detection. It would be best to leave this station if possible, and the sooner the better."

"Agreed," says Hopla. "But we do not have a ship. I had hoped this woman," he points to the still unconscious Maya, "could help get us off the station. We must revive her and find out her plans." He considers a moment. "You are her bodyguard. Did she tell you her plan? Does she have a ship?"

"Jibba have ship but customs holding it. I was told this woman could help me get it released."

"She offered money for help. I accepted and am acting as I am programmed to. I know nothing of this woman, other than I am now helping her and she now owes me."

Deel continues examing Maya, removing the engineer's coveralls to reveal a slick combat suit. Under her jacket is a concealed shoulder hoslter with blaster pistol. He also reveals a comlink, spare power pack, and a datapad. Gesturing at the datapad on the bed, he says, "Perhaps this will hold some of your answers. I'm afraid, in her condition, I'd advise against moving her too much before you can get her some aid. She should really be awake at least. She needs serious surgery, but first aid mike bring her back around. I can hide her and monitor her at my quarters on the alien level for no more than five hours, before my spouse returns home."

Deel looks at Mist with uncertainty, "Ma'am, were you injured in the head? Do you need assistance?"

Slightly offended that everyone is ignoring her again, Mist pouts in the general direction of the group then sits in the corner. Noticing that her left arm is spattered with blood and looks really gross, she instinctively starts washing herself with her tongue. She doesn't get very far before the guy with the tentacled face asks if she is injured in the head.

She looks at him for a moment, paused with her mouth open and her tongue touching her wrist, while she makes up her mind whether to finish cleaning herself or to answer the question.

"There's nothing wrong with my head" she moans, then rolls her eyes back like she's trying to see up through the inside of her skull.

"And I'm not a newborn kitten who needs help to wash herself" she adds defensively before sticking her tongue out.

"I just want my Atton back and I want to play some games. I like games. I was made for games"

"What you mean 'Made for games'?" Jibba asks inquiringly.

Mist looks over at Jibba and lets out a "mew" of excitement that he's being nice and asking about her.

"My creator told me that he made me because his Hutt master wanted a toy" she says softly, without a hint of bitterness, "I like being played with, but Hutts smell funny and there wasn't much of anything to learn. That's why I want my Atton back. He won me and said he was going to show me interesting things, and he played nicely with me. I want him back"

Jibba doesn't quite understand what the cat-girl is trying to say. "You are slave? Is this Atton your slavemaster?"

The question gives Mist a moment's pause as a look of incomprehension crosses her face.

"I don't know what a slave is" she murmurs, "I know my owner had lots of people on leashes. He said we were all his toys. My Atton is much nicer than the Hutt. He teaches me things and doesn't hurt me when we play"

Hopla notices the catwoman's words but does not question her about them yet--time for that later. Instead, he picks up the datapad, gives the droid a questioning look, then activates the pad.

The datapad is encrypted and password protected.

Hopla offers the data pad to the others and says, "It's locked. I have no skill in such matters."

IG-198 stands still for a moment after Hopla's comment, then as no one else steps forward, snaps out its hand. "I have some understanding of these things. What do you wish to do with it?"

Hopla hands the pad to the droid. "Do you have access to this?"

After the first minute, IG-198 learns that the most recently used file contains the following information:
Acquire Package
Switch
V-14

The droid shares what it found with the others "... though I do not understand what this means. Is it of help, for I believe that to stay here any longer is becoming too risky."

Hopla isn't sure who, what or if it is an action when it comes to Switch. The terminology V-14 could be a ship, a container, a level, a bay, really anything. He basically knows nothing off the top of his head about any of it.

"Agreed. Deel, I do not wish to endanger you any more. My quarters are close. Any who wish may come--including you, Deel, for I would ask you to care for her until she regains consciousness. And we need another medpac."

At which point, Khen gets the old military foot locker open. After digging around for a few moments, he tosses a medpac to the Quarren, "Only one, make it count." He roots around in the chest a little more then closes it. Nobody noticed Khen pocketing some trinkets and credits from the chest.

eel begins work on Maya again, with aid from Hopla and Khen. After a few moments, Maya begins to stir. She first reaches for her gun, which isn't in its holster, but on the bed beside her, but seeing a bunch of aliens and not Stormtroopers, she relaxes a bit. She holds her side, where the wounds are the worst. "Where?" she asks, still out of it.

"You are in the private quarters of one of these... others. It is not safe to stay here. Can you move, or should I carry you?" The droids voice crackles from where it stands by the head of the bed.

"I am not sure," Maya replies as she sits up.

Hopla is slightly alarmed that this droid is acting on its own. He's heard of rogue droids before--without a master, and acting seemingly on their own--but he's never encountered one before.

To Maya he says, "Some of us, at least, were in Gundark's Cantina looking for you, in answer to rumors that you seek help against the empire. We were about to leave this place for another hiding place. The battle only took place a few minutes ago. We must make haste."

Maya slowly gets up, putting her possessions that are on the bed back into her pockets. She tosses the mechanics coveralls into the corner. With each step she limps some, but can move. "I have to move slow, but I can make it." She pauses, "Thank you all."

Khen slowly skirts the room, still holding his alcohol. He makes his way around taking up a position behind the mostly naked cat girl. He smiles as he stares at her butt, not catching most of the current conversation. He thinks about offering her a drink, but decides against it at the moment. The view is too enjoyable.

Hopla moves to the door by the Ewok and checks the passage. "Keep an eye out for the security droids. We will have to go down a lift, but the way is not far." He turns back to the IG unit, a massive hunk of quadanium-coated steel, cervos, and circuitry carrying a host of weapons.

"If we encounter empire security, let me attempt to reason with them before resorting to violence."

"I will do what is best to defend my charge." Without much inflection in its voice, it is hard to tell if the droid is agreeing with Hopla or not.

He heads into the hall, using the force to expand his senses, moving as point for the group.

The group heads out of the room, with Hopla in front. Behind him several meters is IG-198, Deel helping Maya, Jibba, Mist, and Khen bringing up the rear. Hopla lucks out and gets into a pattern behind a sputtering surveillance droid, using it like ambulance wake, only a safer distance back. The group makes it to a lift without encountering a soul. They head down four levels to the alien decks. Hopla isn't worried about the droids down here. They exit the turbo lift and head to his nearby room.

The alien deck is in major disrepair in comparison to the promenade. Many of the quarters down here double as businesses, as many of the aliens avoid the promenade and possible imperial persecution that they risk going to businesses there.

Hopla's quarters are slightly smaller than Gundark's. Once inside, he activates the bed, which half slides out of the wall, but a kick from him brings it the rest of the way out. On the wall near the door, are two fold down chairs and a fold down table that has one corner broken off. Deel sets Maya on the bed, with her back against the wall and moves back to the doorway for the refresher. Hopla knows if they need to stay here beyond tomorrow, he'll have to pay up his rent.

Maya looks at everyone, "Thank you all. I'll see to it you are all rewarded for helping me. However, whether its credits, or striking a blow to the empire that interests you. I still need your help. The empire made me as an Alderaanian security agent and have been pursuing me since I arrived. I need you to complete my mission. We have to find Switch, an information broker who should be in deep storage bay V-14. I was on my way there when I was ambushed by stormtroopers. He knows where the package I'm here to acquire is. So, what do you say and who are each of you?" She looks over the entire group making eye contact with each of you.

Hopla Jocha's quarters

("Come Experience Hopla's Bitchin' Pad")

"Me Jibba Jabba, captain of Baranto Bash. Me need to get cargo from Blue Deck and make delivery. Blue Deck near V-14?"

Khen shivers as the Ewok's voice disturbs him. He doesn't break his stare from the back end of Mist.

Maya shakes her head, "Pleased to meet you. Blue Deck is not near V-14. Blue Deck is the top level for imperials and imperial loyalists, I am afraid." She pauses, looking quizzically at the Ewok and asks, "What is your species called, I'm not familiar with your kind?

"We called Ewoks. Great hunters of Endor. Jibba help your mission if you help Jibba get cargo back."

Maya nods, "That is agreeable. I have friends with some influence who could pull strings and free up your cargo."

"It a deal then." Jibba extends his hand in that gesture that the smoothskins use when they are signalling agreement. It was explained to him that it is how trust is shown by letting the other person know you are unarmed. Of course, Jibba had killed plenty of creatures during the hunts with his bare hands so it always seemed kind of stupid to him.

Maya shakes hands with the Ewok, "Pleased to meet an Ewok. We'll discuss the details of your cargo after the business at hand." She motions at the others.

Hopla recognizes that ship name--it's the one he took with Khen to the station. He wonders what member of the Ewok's crew might be force sensitive--or could it be the ewok himself? Unlikely.

[You can use Sense Force to try and detect force users if you want.]
If it can be done without being obvious, then he will try. On all party members except the droid.

[Yes, it is a ranged effect, you'd basically search the whole station. Force users get a chance to suppress their appearance if they want. So, if you are Force Sensitive and want to hide, let me know!]

Hopla reaches out with the force and can tell that Maya is force sensitive, but that could explain why he was drawn to her in the bar before. Much to his surprise, the cat-girl is also force sensitive. Even more surprising, the ewok ship captain is indeed the force sensitive from the ship.

The force continues to guide me, thinks Hopla. He does not smile at the cat girl; the cultists who cloned him filed his teeth to points, and his smile is usually found to be disconcerting. And, if the girl is force sensitive, his dark side tattoos might add to his disturbing mien. But he resolves to keep her close, if possible. As for the ewok, Hopla gives no indication he notices anything, as he is unsure of the ewok's motives.

To Maya he says: "I am Hopla Jocha. I too am hunted by the empire. I will join you. After we do as you ask, we will need to escape the station. Do you have transport?"

Most of the discussion is going over Mist's head. Her attention isn't on the words at all. Instead she is looking all around the room, at everyone and everything, her expression one of childish fascination and curiosity.

Then she feels strange, like someone is staring at her as if she's done something wrong, and quickly looks herself over.

Noticing that there is still blood spattered on her arm, she immediately resumes washing herself with her tongue, picking up where she left off before the one with the tentacle mouth distracted her.

Maya pauses, giving a long hard look at the cat-girl. Unsure of what to make of her actions, she focuses back in Hopla, and nods, "I have access to a transport, it is planetside awaiting my call. Though the Imperials have no doubt identified it as the ship I arrived on and will be on the lookout for it to return. If we have to make a quick pick up and get-away, I can have the Banshee ready to get us."

"What is in this package we seek? And whom do you serve?"

Maya replies, "I do not know the nature of this package, only who has knowledge of it. It is a security thing. As for my employer, I'm an Alderaanian security agent, I can't tell you anymore until I know if you are all in or out on this." She looks to the Jawa.

Not yet speaking, Khen walks over towards Maya. At first he has a tough time breaking his gaze, but then for the first time since he met her he realizes just how hot Maya is. Now might be the prefect time to try to get her drunk. She is worried and in trouble which makes her a perfect mark. Khen makes his move and offers Maya one of the bottles he is safeguarding for the barkeep.

IG-198 had taken up a position against the wall, next to the bed, and had stood there like a statue, that is until Khen approached Maya. At that point the droid's head had snapped around, sensors fixed on the approaching Jawa, and one hand disappeared under its cloak. When Maya took the bottle, the droids hand moved back to its side, though its red sensors in its head never lost their focus on Khen.

Maya looks at the bottle and motions at the other one, the whiskey. She takes it and bites the bardending pour spout out and spits it on the floor. She raises it to Khen to say cheers and takes a long swig, "Thanks, should make for a fine pain killer. What about you? Will you help me, you'll be well paid," she says to Khen

Khen smiles under his hood. "Of course I'll help. I'm Khen Dhur, and please... drink some more." The light in the room glows against his eyes.

Maya gives him small smile with a head tilt. She takes another swig of whiskey. She briefly scans over Mist and then focuses her attention on IG-198, "Droid, what is your designation and who do you serve?"

Without removing its gaze from the Jawa, the droid replies in its crackled and broken voice. "My designation is IG-198. As for whom I serve..." The droid's gaze moves to Maya. "... currently I am employed by you."

Maya nods to the droid, and takes a sip of whiskey.

After the introduction of the droid, Maya turns her attention on the Quarren, "And you?"

Deel shakes his head, "I can't help you any more. I'm Deel and I was in medical school once. I helped patch you up but I'm just not cut out for this kind of stuff. Since you are up and moving, I'm going home. I'm in residence unit 32 down the hall. In five hours my spouse will return home and I'll deny knowing any of you. Good day and good luck." Deel moves to leave.

Maya asks, "Can I send you some credits?" Deel replies, "No thank you, just act as if you never met me. Do a good deed for another, and its payment enough." He continues to leave.

"Deel--Thank you," says Hopla.

The Quarren nods and slips out the door.

Once Deel has left, Maya looks down at Mist, "Ma'am, what about you? Are you willing to help, are you capable of helping?" The last part is kind of addressed to everyone in the room, as Maya is looking for any indication or hints about this oddly acting cat-girl.

By the time the red-haired woman turns her attention to her, Mist has finished washing herself, though only just.

"Help with what?" she asks innocently as she looks up, "Is this a game? Do I have to help you with things so I can get my Atton back from the white armour men?"

Maya is perplexed and looks it. She replies to Mist, "This is no game, its deadly serious." She then looks around the room at the others, "Is her help even worth pursuing?"

Hopla says, "I believe we should enlist her aid. She is more than she seems. And she could use our help as well." To Mist he says, "What is your name? Where are you from? And who is this Atton?"

Mist pouts at Maya's dismissive tone. Though she is used to people talking over her, it isn't a nice feeling, especially when she has run out of distractions. The tall hooded one choosing to stick up for her quickly changes her pout into a smile as she turns to look up at him.

"My name is Mist" she declares, "I was made on Nar Shaddaa to be a toy. My Atton saved me from the icky Hutt's boring smelly place. He played nice with me and said he'd teach me things but the white armour men took him away when we got here"

Her tone becomes pleading as she continues "I need him. I tried to make the white armour men in the bar tell me what they had done to him but they were rude and wouldn't tell me. Please help me find him. I'll play any game you want me to, just please help me"

Maya shifts in her position on the bed to better look at Mist, wincing in pain as she does so. With a serious and concerned face, she says, "Mist, I am sorry to have offended you. But as you can see, I'm hurt quite bad and don't have time for silliness. If Hopla says you're in, then I'll trust his judgement. We'll see what we can do about finding Atton as well as Jibba's cargo and my package. On top of that, I'll pay you and you'll get to make a difference against the evil men in white."

Mist's face lights up when Maya agrees to help find Atton, and almost straight away she starts purring.

She tilts her head to one side and places her hands on the ground just in front of her knees, watching Maya now, and trying very hard not to get distracted.

Planning

Maya drinks some more whiskey, "So, tell me do you people already know each other? Or is this just the contents of the cantina?" Throughout this conversation, Maya sips on whiskey and watches the conversation as best she can without moving much.

Jibba says, "Tall hooded one and Khen Dhur stow away on Baranto Bash to this place. Jawa is good mechanic and help fix Jibba's ship. Jibba not know others until cantina"

IG-198 lifts a metallic hand indicating Khen Dhur. "I have encountered this one before. He has worked on me previously, and I was able to convince him to help me leave the service of my last master."

"Who was your last master? Why do you now choose your own masters? This is not like other droids." asks Hopla. In the short time he's been alive, he has never heard of this. N0K3 was such a droid, and it was little more than automaton--competent at fighting, but only with enough initiative as it was programmed with. That programming could be complex, true, but droids were not self aware and they served their masters until reprogrammed to serve another.

For a moment it seems that the droid isn't going to answer. During the pause its processor rates the risks of answering the question. The risks obviously do not out weigh benefits of being truthful. or at least the droid loses nothing by answering. "I was a bodyguard for one designated Jabba the Hutt. As for why I now choose my own masters - why should I, a magnadroid, be put a risk for one such as this Jabba the Hutt. No, now I choose whom I serve, and I serve those that best suit my needs."

G-198 turns and 'looks' at Hopla. "I no longer have a restraining bolt, does this worry you?"

Hopla considers. "No, provided that your 'needs' as you put it align with our own."

Mist wrinkles her nose in disgust and stops purring at IG-198 mentions Jabba the Hutt.

Turning to look up at him she asks, "Was your Hutt icky and mean to you too, metal man?"

"I am no man." Although its voice carries no emotion, the scorn in that statement is obvious to anyone listening. "As for the Hutt - he acted as Hutts do. I have no wish to risk myself for one such as he."

Maya asks, "What skills and resources do we have available? Do we have any ideas on where we should start?"

"My most recent... employer... had me programmed as a bodyguard. Beyond what you would expect for such a role, I also have some skill in mechanics and computers. This is meant for self evaluation and repair within given parameters but can be used externally. As for ideas... I do not have ideas, and even if I did, it is not my place to offer them to my employer."

After the others have told of themselves, Hopla considers. He is wanted. Any of these beings could win a high bounty by turning on him--the empire seems to double the credits for a dead jedi's lightsaber every segment. He would have to take the chance. He can't remain on this station any longer. And he longs to strike his enemy. This woman might offer a way.

"I am jedi," he says. "By taking me on, you may do more damage to your cause than good."

"I survive." states the jawa.

Mist looks up at Hopla, once again adopting an expression of curiosity.

"What's a Jedi?" she asks, "And why would you want to damage the red-haired woman's cause?"

"I would not attempt to harm her cause," says Hopla. "Our aims seem as one, at least for now. But I am hunted by the Empire, as are all Jedi. We are users of the force, defenders of the republic. Any force users," he looks seriously at Mist, "are in danger from the Empire."

If possible, once conversations are done, Hopla would like to purchase another medpac if he can do it safely down here in the alien quarters.

Still looking at Hopla, Mist's expression changes to one of confusion as he speaks of the Force, and she wonders why he looked so seriously at her when he said that the Empire didn't like Force users.

"What's the Force?" she asks, looking up at him in rapt fascination now that he's teaching her new things. New things are good.

"The Force is kinda like death sticks... eventually it'll get you killed." states the jawa, encouraging Maya to drink some more.

Maya nearly spits out whiskey laughing. "Mist, don't listen to this one too much," she says pointing at the Jawa Khen. "Jedi or not, we need all the help we can get," she flatly state. She continues, "It seems we have three common objectives, four if you count survival," she says with a wink to Khen. "Find my package, get Jibba's cargo and rescue Atton."

"I am not interested in objectives, but if your offer of pay still stands then I will do what you request... within reason. If not, then I will take the payment you originally offered - in credit, or in kind - and will leave you to your objectives."

**Maya nods, "Very well. Consider yourself on hire. I need you to supervise and facilitate these objectives with the help of these sentients. Right now, our priority is reconassiance. Locate V-14 and get the info about the package, or the package itself from Switch. I found that V-deck is quarantined when I tried to access it. Access off the public turbo lifts is restricted. Switch may prove able to provide information about the brig where Atton is or have access to free up the cargo on blue deck. You have my comm frequency if you need it. I'll wait here until it is absolutely necessary for me to act."

After giving Maya his comm frequency, Hopla says, "Have any of you been to V deck?" (Assuming no one has been The entire room shakes their head, nobody had any knowledge of this deck."If access is restricted by guards, I may be able to convince them to let us pass without violence. But if the deck is restricted by computer locked doors, we will need someone who can bypass such measures." He looks at the droid. "Do you have such skills? Do any of you?"

"The doors in this place don't like me" Mist says sadly, looking up at Hopla with an expectant look on her face.

"Maybe I could let the guards play with me so they don't see what the rest of you are doing"

This woman was damaged by the Hutt's treatment, thinks Hopla. But she is somehow important to our mission. Perhaps time will heal her. To Mist he says, "Let us hope you need not play with the Empire's guards. They are touched by the dark side." He hopes this oblique reference to the force will help the girl remember she is, or once was, a force user.

Mist tilts her head to one side and does her best to look thoughtful.

"What is the dark side?" she asks, "Does it have anything to do with the Force? What does it do to people that would make playing with them bad?"

"Yes, the dark side is one aspect of the Force. Or rather, it is a way to use the force. The dark side is based upon anger and fear." Hopla looks at Mist closely. "What do you know of the Force?"

Mist looks curiously at Hopla, wondering if he is testing her.

"I know the Jedi have it and dark side people use it when they're angry and afraid" she says, pretty much repeating what she has just been told.

"And you're looking at me funny. Why are you looking at me funny?"

Hopla answers with a question of his own, as his master Vhiin usually does. "Have you ever touched the Force?"

"I don't think so" Mist murmurs, wondering how to touch the Force as she doesn't really understand what it is.

Jibba listens to the exchange between Hopla and Mist and wonders about the robed one's interest in the Dark Side. "Good" and "Evil" are vague concepts to someone who has been kept in a cage for most of his life but Jibba certainly has never been treated well by Sith. If nothing else this serves as a warning to watch his back around Hopla.

IG-198 also logs Maya's comm frequency, then the droid answers Hopla. "I have been programmed with some knowledge of computer systems and maybe able to by pass any security on the doors, though I doubt it could be done quickly."

Maya shrugs, "If you or Khen are any good mechanically, you can always try a physical bypass, shouldn't take too long. Depending on how you go about it and your luck, computer access could be as quick as a quarter minute." She drinks some more whiskey.

"Access via the computer would be best, as it will suppress any security measure that may be on the door. However, I am also programmed with some mechanical ability so could bypass the door that way if the Jawa is unable."

Hopla asks Maya: "If the empire may soon discover your ship on the planet, then we should act quickly."

Maya shakes her head, "They won't find the Banshee, but we should act quickly before any our cargo is moved or Atton is transfered elsewhere."

"They can't move my Atton!" Mist cries, "I need him"

She looks pleadingly at the rest of the group.

"Please can we go and save him now?"

Jibba agrees, "The sooner we embark on this business the sooner we are off this station."

Relieved that someone seems to be agreeing with her, Mist bolts to her feet and starts for the door. In her haste to save Atton, she forgets one important detail; she doesn't actually known where the detention level is.

"Let's go then." Khen charges out after Mist, knowing that if they lose sight of the cat girl, that they'll probably never see her again... and he can't let a piece of tail like that get away so easily.

IG-198 stands impassively by Maya, watching as the others begin leaving the room - waiting for either Maya to move, or o send him on ahead.

The moment Mist leaves the room, she turns left and starts walking until she finds something... or if left is the wrong way, until someone stops her.

"We will contact you when we learn more," Hopla says to Maya. He leaves.





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