General Bolan briefs Teams 1 and 2 at Hastor Base’s control room. Also in the room: Count Voss, Prince KorvoNax II, and the bothan, Shadowfur. At the back is Old Hawke.
Bolan, speaking to the teams. “Thanks to Team 1’s efforts, we’ve managed to locate the Glex Pirate’s base of operations within the Indar System. They have a base hidden at Ve.” Ve is the 7th and last planet of the Indar System. “Team 2’s… erm… ‘scout’ for lack of a better term, Ranger 13, Lt. Cloudgazer, was able to do a quick flyby of the area to gather intel. He managed to find just what the base is.” He points to the main viewport, the picture of a large battleship of an old and obviously Mandalorian design. Long, with four main engines pushing it forward, the sides bristling with guns. Hawke whistles in appreciation as the general continues. “A Keldabe-class Battleship called the Black Lie.” Black Lie is Smuggler’s-Cant for ‘Space Cantina.’ “The ship isn’t actually in orbit around Ve, but instead anchored just past the planet some distance away, on the far side.”
Korvo steps in to continue the briefing at this point. “This unfortunately poses a few problems.”
Char-Tail interjects. “Like we have nothing big enough to actually HURT the damned thing.”
Nodding, Korvo continues. “Yes, that is indeed one of the major issues. A Keldabe Battleship is well armed and heavily armored, can hold a crew of well over 5000, and can carry almost three dozen fighters, not including any that are flying around on their own in the area. We’ve already seen that the pirates have hyperspace capable fighter ships.” He sighs. “And this leads to the other major issue. Even if we DID have something big enough to dent the ship, it would be for naught. Flying in will alert them far before we can get within range, and they’ll simply jump to hyperspace and flee the system.”
Hawke grumbles some of his wisdom to the group. “Even if you were to micro-jump in, you’d get maybe one salvo off before they bugged out and left you all holding your dicks in empty space.” This gets some glares from Korvo and Voss, but chuckles from some of the others in the room. “Or holding your tits, for the ladies.” He nods to Char-Tail, who just shakes her head, though there’s more laughter, and more glares from Voss and Korvo.
Clearing his throat, Bolan attempts to get the briefing back in order. “Ahem… quite. Luckily, thanks to Shadowfur, we’ve managed to find a work-around… in a manner of speaking.”
At this point, Shadowfur will stands to address the rangers. The bothan is a skittish fellow, and talks with a slight electronic augmentation to his voice that makes him sound like a used starship salesdroid. “So, the problem is you need the ship to sit still long enough to hit it with weapons we don’t possess. I have the solutions! A while back, I managed to… eh… ‘acquire’ some experimental tech from the Imperials doing research in the area.” Holding up a finger he talks very matter of factly. “It is quite surprising what will ‘fall off the back of a star destroyer’ at times. Very profitable to follow behind and pick up those lost items. Only then the Imperials just up and leave and fail to claim them. So I, naturally, being the good citizen that I am, keep them until a legitimate representative of the Empire claims them. For a nominal finder’s fee, of course.” Count Voss will clear his throat pointedly, making Shadowfur get back to the point. “Ah… yes… but I will be waving my fee for the Rangers, of course.”
Bolan scoffs. “Of Course.”
Voss’ tone is far less kind or flippant as he chides the bothan. “The only reason you’re not currently picking flees out of your fur in a cold, dark cell is because you’ve promised to provide intelligence and technology.”
Shadowfur’s brown fur seems to lose a little color, and his already nervous voice is even more skittish sounding. “Ah yes. And it is most kind of you to extend this offer. Ahem. So, during a few of these ‘finding expeditions’ my associates were on, they found some very unusual items.” He pulls up a crude image of a very unusual ship, with a TIE cockpit and the wings of a Bomber, but it instead has two bulbous attachments above and below at mid-ship, making it look similar to a sphere with wings. “This little gem, I found out, is an Interdictor TIE. Not to be confused with the TIE Interdictor, which is just a super-heavy bomber. Imperials aren’t very inventive with names, I must say, so I’ve taken to calling it a Grav TIE. It works similarly to an Interdictor Cruiser, only on a somewhat smaller and more maneuverable frame. One of these will be able to ‘lock down’ a small section of space around it to keep any ships in the area from jumping away. The area is limited, so it would take many of them to work on a fleet of capital ships, but one is enough for a single capital ship and it’s fighters.”
Cloudgazer chimes in, dubious. “What’s the catch?”
Shadowfur’s fur ripples with his nervousness, and he starts to fiddle with his hands. “Ah… the catch is… being smaller, while making it easier to move about, also makes it kind of easy to destroy, even with their heavy armor and shields. Which is why, I hear, the Imperials never used them in any great force. So it will need a fighter escort to protect it from other fighters. Sadly, this will not help against the Battleship’s large guns.”
Cloudgazer frowns, angrily spitting out. “So why’d you waste everyone’s time showing us something that’ll be blown out of the sky in half a minute anyway?”
With a sudden turn of cool nature, Shadowfur attempts to calm the young hotshot pilot. “Patience, young one. Patience. I haven’t shown the second item of interest.” Shadowfur pulls up a second image, this of some kind of missile. “Ion Torpedoes! All of the punch of an Ion turbolaser, with none of the pesky ‘being too big for my ship’ issues.” He quickly continues before anyone can ask any questions. “And yes, before you ask, there is still a catch. They can only be fired from Proton Torpedo launchers, meaning they replace the regular torpedoes. And…they are slow, and have no guidance system. Dumb-fire only. So they are terrible against small fighter craft. There was also a problem with them… misfiring in the torpedo launcher itself, knocking out the ship trying to fire them. They are not very stable, but the chances are very slim. But that the chance is there is, and with the lack of use against small craft, a staple of the Rebellion, are, again, the reasons the Imperials abandoned the project.”
Voss jumps in again, irritated by the bothan’s roundabout way of presenting. “Unfortunately, what the bothan hasn’t gotten around to saying yet, is there’s ANOTHER issue.”
Shadowfur nods slowly, his large ears drooping a little. “Ah, yes… that. See, I cannot just hand over these items.” Again, quickly continuing before anyone could say anything, he waves his hands before him, as if blocking some incoming projectile. “N-not that I wouldn’t do my part to help the Rangers in any way I can. It’s just that… it seems the gang that I hired to guard my facilities didn’t take kindly to my prolonged leave of absence, and subsequent leave of paying them for several weeks. They’ve claimed the storehouse for themself. They have cut off all communication with me. The gang called the Trebels are the ones that claim that section, but the whole city has been claimed gangs since the Imperials packed up and left. Doesn’t even have a name anymore. People just call it ‘Gangland.’ It seemed a good place to store goods, but the gangs, they are greedy and violent. They are always fighting now, so I doubt any has found any kind of buyer for the goods. None of them have my kind of connections.” He ends this looking very proud. That is until Voss chimes in.
“We’re still waiting for those ‘connections’ to pay in, bothan.”
Shadowfur’s confidence seems to melt again when the count scolds him. “Yes, well. With the turbulent climate of the system and sector as a whole right now, and my aforementioned absence, many of my connections are not willing to return without good reason. The underworld is fickle.”
Bolan steps up yet again to lead the briefing to the mission at hand. “So here is the mission. A troop transport landspeeder will take Teams 1 and 2 are to go into this ‘Gangland’ city, find the warehouse and secure the area. Eliminate any gang members in the area that pose a threat or don’t flee or surrender. Maybe we can clean up some of Inda while we’re at it. Once secure, signal Hastor Base, and we’ll send a shuttle to pick up the warheads. Fly this Grav TIE back here to Hastor base so we can make sure it’s in battle-ready condition. Any questions?”
After a few questions about rules of engagement, the Teams are off. The mission starts at 0500 hours the next day.