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…