Star Wars: Destiny Manifested

Payback
VERK STYLE!

For once, The Noculent was quiet. No lasers fired across its bow, no imperial ships on its tail, no droid assassins, child soldiers, cybernetic nexu, ‘roid raging beefcakes, nothing.
R2-Q5, the plucky, precocious astromech sat in the corner defragging his hard drive. Or whatever it is droids do when they turn off. The rest of the crew sat around the table, discussing their future employment prospects.
“The mists have shown This Gand nothing regarding the future of This Crew of The Noculent.” Gand said, shrugging his Gandy shoulders. Verk took a long drag from his deathstick. Juris perked up
“Well, there’s a droid expo on my home planet. We could find a ton of cool stuff there. Show ‘em BMO!" BMO’s face-screen switched to a DROIDCON poster. Tran didn’t look up from the yarn ball he was lazily passing between his hands.
“Hard pass- too core for my liking.” Verk stood up from the table, pulling the last leg of his deathstick into his lungs as the room watched him in silence. He exhaled a thick cloud as he pushed the butt into the table. He ran a finger along the faded burn mark under his left ear
“You want to know how I got these scars?” His voice was heavy and dark, he took a moment to regard his peers.
“Are you getting sick, Verk? Your voice sounds weird. Here, I have some meds.” Juris said, offering his friend a pill. Verk just stared at him. After a moment Juris quietly put the pill back into his pack. R2 beeped to life and joined the rest of the crew at the table.
Verk pulled out his datapad and showed the crew a woman’s image, telling them the story of how she and her two sisters literally shot him in the back. He then took them to his quarters to show them the detailed web of pictures and letters connected by red yarn assembled on the wall opposite his bed.
“01010100 01101000 01101001 01110011 00100000 01110011 01100101 01100101 01101101 01110011 00100000 01100001 00100000 01100010 01101001 01110100 00100000 01100101 01111000 01100011 01100101 01110011 01110011 01101001 01110110 01100101 00101110”
beeped R2. No one bothered to check his datapad to see what he said. As usual. Verk plucked a printout of one of the transmissions they recovered on their previous mission.
“I don’t know what she’s up to, but she’s got ties to those psychos that reprogrammed those kids at the monastery. And the way these ladies operate, all three of them are going to beinvolved at the deepest levels of this thing. If we bring them down, this whole perverse operation is going down with them.”

For the first time, the crew was under no pressure. They could take their time to set up surveillance on the woman. R2, Tran, and Verk set out to find a smuggler Rom told them about named Pluvo Two-for-One. He was a slimy bastard, but he was willing and able to secure a Data Breaker for them. When they met up with Juris and Gand, they were struggling to break into a car. R2 pushed the pair aside and easily popped open the driver’s side door.
" 01010111 01100001 01110011 00100000 01110100 01101000 01100001 01110100 00100000 01110011 01101111 00100000 01101000 01100001 01110010 01100100 00111111"
Unfortunately, Juris and Gand had spent so long working on the door that it attracted unwanted attention from the authorities.
“Hail, citizens! What seems to be the trouble?” The crew looked back at each other, sure they were screwed, until Juris stepped out from under the hood of the car
“Ah, well, you see, officer, uh- the motivator’s got a bad trans-fulcrum, so we’re trying to see if we can reroute the lug-belt through the gul-lag. But then I noticed that the spin belt’s got a frayed edge, so I’m trying to solder it in place with the-”
“Uh, well. As long as you aren’t doing anything you’re not supposed to.” The guards exchanged confused looks. “Just make sure it’s not on the curb too long”
“Oh, no officer. I’ll have it up in the air in no time. Hey, do you think you could give me a hand with the-”
“Oh, wow, look at the time, got to get back to our beat!”

The crew piled into the stolen car and took off for the business district to scope out the woman’s office. Fortunately, they were able to spot her and pinpoint which office was hers. Unfortunately, they caused an accident in the process. Gand escalated a minor fender-bender into a hit-and-run by high-tailing out of traffic and dumping the vehicle in an alleyway, where R2 sprayed it down to make sure they didn’t leave any evidence of their presence.
The group set up camp in an open construction site directly across from the woman’s office. They spent all day observing her to learn her habits and learn more about her position within the company. After she left for home, they noticed that she met up with a personal security detail just outside of her office before heading home. R2 and Tran met back up with Pluvo for their goods- but noticed that they were at a severe markup. R2 blew up at the man, stating that he wouldn’t even pay half of what he was asking for. Pluvo was offended, but Tran was able to smooth over his ruffled feathers and secure the goods for slightly less than the asking price, but now the crew owes a ‘favor’ to the unctuous businessman.
With their new equipment, the crew set up at an anonymous computer terminal to mine for the woman’s personal information. However, they were tailed by another woman and some mercs. The firefight was brief but brutal. Everyone took heavy injuries and woman was able to escape into the crowd- but the crew is still alive, and have all of the information on their quarry they could possibly need.

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Payback 2
Synthetic Boogaloo

The sound of Espo sirens could be heard in the distance, and the crew knew they had mere seconds to disappear. Turning a corner to a nearby alley Verk ran head first into an Espo, but his lightning reflexes kicked in and he had knocked the Espo cold before the man could even reach for his truncheon.

Deciding to be insane (as per usual) Lan, Tran, and R2 headed for the Espo’s patrol speeder. R2 was able to gain access to the vehicle, but in his haste alerted the Espos to their presence. Never one to be called hasty, Lan jumped in and revved the engine just long enough for Tran to get in before sending the craft screaming around and buzzing the crowd of police. The Espos spotted R2 making his way back toward the ally where the others hid and opened fire. Somehow all of the shots fired by the Espo squad soared over the little droid’s dome and he safely made it to his friends. Juris, ever vigilant, spotted a nearby parking structure and pointed it out as a good place to “acquire” a ride.

After hot-wiring a new speeder, the crew reconvened, ditched the Espo vehicle (after taking two ion grenades) and made their way toward Elia Artes’ residential complex. With Lan at the controls, the speeder put down quietly on the roof of her building giving Verk, Gand, Juris, and R2 a direct shot at the roof-top access lift. Lan, along with Tran, stayed with the getaway vehicle to safeguard their escape route.

As the smaller group (Team Kidnap) made their way to the lift door they saw a security droid standing guard, but incredibly just as they were devising a plan, the distinctive sound of a failing motivator could be heard. When they turned back , the droid was a smoking pile of machine parts. Juris, unable to resist the siren’s call of disabled droids, told the others he would be here dismantling this droid, if they needed him.

Verk, Gand, and R2 were totally surprised that Juris would abandon them now, because that was never something that had ever happened due to a broken droid before. Ever. In all the time they had known him. It was unprecedented. Like Ever.

R2 made quick work of the door and the trio quietly entered the building. R2 suggested a maintenance room or corridor where he could gain access to a hard-line would be the best way to tap into the building’s security system. He quickly cut away a portion of the wall to expose the cabling, while Verk called for Juris to come do something useful for once. Jeez.

After Juris deigned to give his allies access, and returned to his incredibly important job of taking a droid’s leg off, R2 went to work. His first task was adjusting the programming of the security droids guarding Artes’ suite. He easily made the droids think they were standing in front of suite 8321, instead of 8221. They then corrected this error by moving to the floor below and taking up station outside of the suite of Sum Randeau, but probably a different Sum Randeau, cause that’s totally a common name.

Next R2, tampered with the camera feeds on the two floors, 82 and 81, to display the feeds for floors 81 and 80 respectively. It was very complicated and in the process he noticed some droids being sent to check on the situation, but he got it all fixed in time so the path to Artes’ apartment was clear and he even tricked the investigating droids into thinking they were in the right place despite being on the wrong floor.

Verk and Gand made their way to suite 8221 to deal with Elia Artes. R2 unlocked the door for them and they silently entered. To their surprise they discovered her asleep on the sofa. Gand moving toward her, heard the sound of servomotors whirring from the next room and told Verk to watch the door. He then lifted her and made his way back out of the apartment. As he crossed the threshhold, the side door opened revealing two large security droids, Verk instantly reacted by throwing one of the ion grenades…right past the two droids and into the room behind them. After the quick exchange of fire, two smoking droids lay behind as Verk and Gand ran for the turbolift with Elia Artes in tow.

Meanwhile, Juris kept taking the droid apart piece-by-piece and placing the parts into the speeder’s open trunk.

Bored of watching Juris and his toys, Lan and Tran started scoping out the areas nearby, and spotted Artes’ bodyguards setup on a nearby roof with their airspeeders. Around this time, Verk cut in on the commlink, with a request for an expedited departure time, due to gunfighting in the residential building in the middle of the night. It wasn’t his fault though. Really. Lan, with a stroke of inspiration, lifted the speeder off, moved to the next building over and dropped off Tran with the intent of harrying the bodyguards. Unfortunately in the dangerous maneuver, all of the parts Juris had collected flew out of the still open trunk compartment. Lan quickly flew back and awaited Team Kidnap.

Tran managed to kill two of the guards while his friends loaded the unconscious woman into the speeder. Lan again attempted his wild maneuver, this time with Gand hanging out the open door in an attempt to snatch Tran from the roof mid-flight. He missed and Lan had to adjust quickly. Luckily, he was able to set up Tran with a straight shot into the waiting vehicle, and Verk with a straight shot at one of the two remaining guards. As the closest man’s head exploded, covering the last guard with grey matter, the lone survivor decided to take a few moments to think about his life-choices and decided to take up a new profession. Like baking, or maybe get a job with that incredible Renaissance Custodian he’d heard so much about.

After a bit of fancy flying, the crew was finally in the clear and headed back to the Noculent to get off-world. Lan headed straight for the cockpit and got her up as quickly as possible. The others took a few moments to rest, while Verk tied Elia Artes to a seat. He searched her for tracking devices and found none, but he did discover a small bump at the back of her neck. He pointed it out to Gand who had no idea what it might be. Then the ship, that had been making hard to escape the atmosphere came to a sudden stop.

Gand raced to the cockpit, looked out the viewport and saw a Victory-class Star Destroyer. He turned to Lan, and asked what ship it was. Lan said it was the Valiant and it had ordered him to stop the ship…so he did. Gand wasn’t a fan of this idea, and encouraged him to Punch It! So he did, pushing the Noculent beyond what most pilots could get. Unfortunately, they still had 90 seconds to jump out of system. 90 seconds full of a Star Destroyer and 24 TIE fighters. The combined piloting efforts of Lan and Gand managed to miraculously keep them alive. The evasive maneuvers they employed gave Tran and Verk time to vape almost a full squadron of TIEs. The evasive action also managed to get the TIEs to catch each other in the crossfire more than once. Despite the fancy flying and hot shooting a single devastating turbolaser blast from the Valiant nearly blew a whole through the Noculent.

As Lan and Gand wondered whether they would be able to escape, the flickering of pseudomotion from ahead revealed two new ships reverting to realspace. An Imperial Star Destroyer and an Interdictor cruiser. The Interdictor’s presence along with the four squadrons of TIEs inbound made the two pilots blanche in fear. Then the shaking of the Noculent made their stomachs plummet even further as they realized the Valiant had them in it’s tractor beams. The familiar voice of Marek Quay came over the comm and calmly asked them to cease hostilities or be destroyed.

When the ship came to rest in the destroyer’s hangar bay, their comm told them they had two minutes to exit the freighter before the squads of stormtroopers massed just outside would force the issue. Gand, Tran, R2, and Juris took a minute to hide as much of their precious goods as they could. Lan walked directly to the boarding ramp and lowered it. Verk took as much time as he could to stim Elia Artes awake. He asked if she was Lady j and was working with the Empire. In her groggy condition, she confirmed her identity by not denying it, but stated that she would never work with the Empire. Verk then hearing the stormtroopers coming up the ramp asked his last question, “Where are your sisters?!” She looked up and said, “Chandrila.” Then the troopers were there. They escorted Verk and lifted the still groggy Artes down to the deck where more troopers were waiting, along with Marek Quay and the red-haired woman who had escaped from the gunfight at the computer cafe the night before.

Once everyone is before him Quay starts to speak, “I’m so glad you could join us. As you know, we’ve been playing this game for some time, and you’ve led me on quite the merry chase.” He motioned to the red-haired woman at his side. “Luckily, Agent Jace here spotted you and alerted me to your presence.” He then looked directly at Lan. “Ah, good to see you again Lt. Greyson. We have much to discuss.” At that Lan moved to a crisp attention and saluted. Quay then turned to the Stormtrooper commander and said, “Take the others to the Detention Center. I’ll have many questions for them in the days ahead.”

All of you, except Lan, were then escorted out of the hangar and to the Detention center to await your fate…

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