Having finally obtained ships of their own, Team 1 is sent into the space around Indar to look for pirate activity. Reports are the pirates were working with Gol, until the Empire’s collapse and the Pirates pulled their aid and sent the Imperial Mof packing to some other system in the sector.
The team’s first stop is the 7th moon of the planet Iga, 5th planet in the Indar system. The moon is a wild, untamed jungle moon full of unknown life, both flora and fauna. Their mission is to aid a team doing research on the moon’s wildlife. Upon arriving, the team meets a friendly Besalisk researcher. He explains that his team went searching nearby caves dug by some unknown wild life. Come morning, the research team hasn’t returned, so Team 1 goes in search. They find the secondary camp just outside the caves, along with one of the members of the research team alive, the other very dead. The dead member, another Besalisk, had strange blue leaves growing from her head. The living member claimed she went insane and attacked everyone, and he was forced to kill her. The team then mount a rescue mission for the remaining member still in the caves.
However, the caves are home to an unique species of large insect. The insects infect victims with some kind of toxic mist that turns the host hostile to everything that isn’t the insects. The insects (later designated ‘Sectoids’) have many unique features. Their chitin is resistant to lightsabers, but not as fully as corosis. Stun damage proves fatal to them. And their toxic spray seems not to infect those with some level of force sensitivity, though certain wild life seems also immune, such as Damien’s dentari pet. During the mission, Drax is critically injured, losing his arm to one of the warrior sectoids. Eventually the team find the missing member, dead, along with several pirates that had been infected. Soon after, the hive queen is found and quickly dispatched, the whole hive dying at the same moment of her death.
After healing and resting, and Drax gaining a new cybernetic arm, the team escorts a freighter transport from Inda to a mining refinery station above the 2nd planet Toran, called TRS-1. A single attack by pirates happens en route, but they are driven off easily enough. Upon arriving at the station, the team finds it has been taken over by pirates recently. Making quick work of those inside the base, the team takes TRS-1 back, and captures the pirate that seems to be in charge. He gives little information, but does reveal a base somewhere in an asteroid field.
The Asteroid field is above Bento, the 4th planet. The team gets a distress call that has been on loop for days, but at a weak signal to hide from the pirates. Before they can follow, they intercept a group of pirates trying to flee the asteroid field. Refusing to surrender, they try to fight (then to flee in panic), but are once more easily dispatched by the team.
Within the asteroid field is a massive asteroid, partially hollowed out into a makeshift base. Landing with no opposition other than the rocks, the team finds the transport broadcasting the signal. The transport (and the hanger) are all empty, devoid of life. Finding the cargo manifest, the team finds the following entries:
Raw ore. Destination: TRS-1
Foodstuffs. Destination: TRS-1
I7-XS-338 Bio. Destination: Thayn
The last entry is the only one that seems worrying. ‘Thayn’ is new to the team, but they suspect (correctly) that the ‘Bio’ is a sample of the sectoids from Iga-7. Further into the base, they are only attacked once by a pair of panicked pirates that die rather than surrender. The rest of the base is eerily quiet. Soon, they find the crew of the transport, dead by some odd burns. And a distinct smell that the sectoids’ infection spray gives off.
In the command room, the team finds all of the pirates, dead and being feasted upon by a giant, mutated warrior sectoid, acting independent of any queen or hive. It proves much tougher than any of the other sectoids fought thus far. The team also finds that the sectoids, or at least this one in particular, are not immune to fire, as it burns to a crisp once hit with an incendiary arrow once felled. Searching the computer yields the location of a base on Iga-7, and a holo-message from Glex, the leader of the pirates, and another man.
The transmission starts showing a man wearing a dark cloak and black turban, his face hidden from view, except for two eyes that seem to glow red-yellow from some augmentation. When he speaks, his voice is augmented, obviously intentional, either by external means, or a cybernetic augment. It’s impossible to tell which. The biggest thing of note about the man is that he is openly carrying a lightsaber at his belt, as if to show off he has one. “I have told you and your men time and time again. Do not attack MY ships! The Breva was not to be harmed. Send it and its crew on their way. Steal some of the cargo if you want, but the biological cargo must be in tact, along with the crew. Remember, no stun weapons on the biological cargo. The crew know how to herd the sample safely, but it must be sent along now! The Rangers have likely already heard the distress beacon, and I can’t stop them this time. Do not make me get Umbris involved.”
The man in the black turban’s message ends with an ominous finality, and the visual shifts to a different man, a human wearing rather fancy clothing for a pirate, and sporting a scared face and neat beard. His voice is gruff, but commanding. “You heard ’em, boys. Get to sending that transport on its way safely. Say something about letting them live as a warning. Just make sure that they keep their little pet with them. Glex out.” The transmission ends there.
Shortly after hearing this message, Amit gets inspiration to destroy the station. Reversing the gravity generators, the asteroid breaks itself apart soon after the team leaves. Returning to Indar, the General reviews what they have learned, and instruct them to find this base at Iga-7, wipe out any and all of the pirates there, capture the commander, and hold the base until they can send a tech team to pull the data from the computers. And to watch out for Sectoids.
Rank 2 acquired