The Undying Threat.

How to escape from an evil slaver base, part one.

The party are soon ready to move out with their rag tag band of ex slaves, but near the entry point to the slave pens block all is not so simple, for Jaric and Saltikacome under attack by Thalassian guards. Jaric in typical Jedi Guardian style surges up the corridor to engage the 3 he can see and sets about him with lightsaber in hand, forcing the vile slavers to fight for their lives. They cannot draw a bead on him so close and as quick and clever as he moves, and in moments one is down and another is grievously injured. At this point Tal and his combat droid are in the area, with Tal shooting one of the slavers dead with a cleverly shot blast, and Tersha moving up quickly and dispatching the last of them. It is about now that Tersha and Jaric see, in the distance through the transparisteel windows of the concourse, a large out of control freighter, damaged by the staggering space battle tumbling towards the windows on a collision course; they have maybe a minute or two before it impacts, and the decompression and explosion of a freighter engine will likely kill all in the concourse and its area offshoots.

Throughout this all, the horrid feeling of malaise and sinister temptations starts to rise in the area, as all the party feel a seductive and beguiling feeling to give in to their anger and sense of outrage at the slavers actions and the plight of the slaves themselves, with Tal letting the anger and hate loose within his heart for a few precious moments and Tersha and Fowmaral resisting the lure of the malign feelings, though it weakens them and tires them to do so.

After some quick thinking and slave wrangling, Tal and Fowmaral manage to get the milling throng of prisoners to head quickly back up the corridor to the furthest pan (where the force field and the children were held) to try and avoid the catastrophic results of the freighter crash. Meanwhile, realising that they may not have the time, Jaric gathers his thoughts and will and uses the Living Force to reach out, and drawing on vast reserves he never thought he had (destiny point) he starts trying to divert the path of the onrushing freighter away from the crash into the concourse; as he stands motionless lost in communion with the Force, Tersha fights off a band of thalassians who attack, all the while the chaotic battle rages throughout the mezzanine as hundreds of slavers, thugs and criminals fight one another in an orgy of violence and fear. The Sith are now down to the Ragged Figure and Darth Xamax, duelling in a wide ranging battle; no sign of the other 2 Sith can be seen for now.

Tal and Fowmaral manage to get the slaves back to the childrens pen and start trying to adjust the forcefield to be one that shall help seal the door and make it properly vacuum resistant and airtight.

Tersha dispatches the last of the attackers and then watches as Darth Xamax flees from the Ragged Figure; the Figure merely laughs quietly and then starts to walk to the Sith docking area, heedless of the carnage around him. He notes Jarics using of the force and what he is trying to do, and he then gestures at the transparisteel walls, using the Force to weaken them; with stray blaster shots impacting against the windows on a regular basis (from without and within), it seems only a matter of time before the whole area will be jeopardised and spaced. Satisfied, he seems to automatically take control of the Sith soldiers in the battle, who fall into step behind him. Jaric completes his diversion of the freighter flightpath, having bought precious moments for the others to secure the slave pen against what is to come. He and Tersha flee back up the corridor and get to the pen in time, as once they cross the threshold and the door is activated with the force field they are informed by T3-X2 (who has been keeping them fed with updates on the space battle and external views including schematics sliced from the Thalassians primitive databse) that the windows have suddenly given out and the whole area is rapidly depressurising. In less than a minute the concourse is open to the vacuum of space, and hundreds have been slain as a result.

Inside the pen, they discuss what to do next, with Tal stating that according to T3’s sliced schematics there is 8 feet of rock between the back of their slave pen shelter and a corridor complex at the other side of it. Moving with efficiency the 3 Jedi use their lightsabers to start cutting a way through the rock to get to through the wall. It takes them a long hot 45 minutes to do this, with oxygen running thin and the heat reaching almost intolerable levels as they do so. Eventually Jaric manages to break through and the opening looks into a quiet corridor lit by flickering emergency lighting, running left to right from them. In time they all manage to get out into this corridor, but are unsure which way to go, for they have spoken to Harramis Datshara and he has advised he is now in a side hangar a little away from the main battle areas; he is planning to liberate a decent ship that he can use to help transport the prisoners to safety, but he must go silent as he is about to start his plan; he’ll be in touch he says before he goes quiet.

Fowmaral Uses his Feelings to determine which way is best for them to go, and he feels that heading to the right is the safer option, and with this in mind, they head off as a trail of people in that direction, with Tal 30 feet ahead using his Stealth Field Generator and natural stealth to scout ahead. He comes to a turning off the corridor and peers round, listening intently; the corridor stretches off into the darkness, but he can hear an occasional whirring sound, and then he sees the tell tale flare of a shield coming online as a huge droid powers up, starting to stride ominously down the corridor towards him; so this is the safest route eh?

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From calm to warzone, just add Sith

Heading out onto the main promenade and concourse of the station, the party see the corridor they wish to investigate guarded by 8 Thalassian thugs. Looking around, they notice patterns in the crowd of hundreds as other station security in small groups congregate on a widening circle of people some 200 metres down on the main concourse; within this circle are 3 figures facing one, with the one being the Ragged Figure and the others being the dark robed Sith. Suddenly, the Sith Fire up their red bladed lightsabers, 2 single bladed ones and one double. At this the Ragged Figure gestures and as his 3 Sith Blades fly free from his back and attack the others, great dark side power is unleashed in a massive 50 metre blast centred on himself that envelopes the area and all onlookers within it in corruscating streaks and arcs of Force Lightning and frightening energy.

The situation rapidly degenerates as panicked thugs, pirates, criminals and slavers start stampeding away from the maelstrom, and within moments the party see only 2 guards at the entrance to the tunnel they are watching for the others are summoned away to try and deal with the sudden and appalling outbreak of violence. At about this time the party see that blaster fire and other violence starts to spread within the crowd of hundreds, and soon a full fledged warzone has erupted. At this point Tersha uses her Mind Trickery to make one of the two remaining guards to convince the other that they both go and assist their colleagues, and just like that the way is open for them to proceed.

Heading up the dimly lit corridor cut through the rock of the asteroid, they soon chance upon a corner and Tal Eran sees 2 sentries guarding a large sliding door with a keypad. Tal, who had been travelling ahead of the party using his Stealth Field Generator decides a quick take down of these two is needed, especially as he is sure he hears more guards further up and around the curving corridor. Tersha once again uses her Mind Trickery to make one guard think he hears some trouble within the slave pen, and as they are distracted, Tal and the mysterious close combat droid he recently acquired move up. The droid snaps the neck of one guard with one hand and catches the body with the other, whilst Tal kills the other quickly with his vibroblade. Checking within, they see about 30 male slaves (half human, the other half a mix of other sentients including a Bith and two Rodians) manacled in pens and in a pitiful state. The 2 Rodians immediately perk up and show interest in the change of events. The party split, with the 3 Jedi staying in the pen and using their sabers to free the prisoners whilst Tal, the droid and Saltika scout ahead to take down the next sentries; this is quickly achieved as the next 2 guards are playing Pazaak to the exclusion of the world around them, and Tal and the droid once again strike with sneaky lethality. Tal cracks the door code quickly and the pen within shows about 40 female slaves looking much the worse for their recent ordeals. Saltika sees one of the people she is here to save, and the slaves are told to wait for the Jedi to come along and free them.

Back in the male pen, the Jedi free the Rodians first, who immediately make a bee line for the dead guards, each taking a weapon and then passing the remaining weapons to other prisoners who seem lucid and alert enough. The Rodians thank the Jedi and take up defensive positions watching the doorway.

Back with Tal and the others, they stealthily check around the last corner and see that it ends in a doorway guarded by 3 Thalassian guards but also a fourth man, dressed in medium combat armour and carrying a heavily modified blaster carbine; he seems a better cut above the others and is definitely not a Thalassian. Tal decides that upping the stakes is required, and so tosses a Frag grenade up the corridor. It lands perfectly placed and explodes, killing the 3 Thalassians and staggering the mystery man, but only for a moment as Saltikas carefully placed blaster shot drops the staggered man. The droid is quickly up the corridor and administers 4 quickly delivered chops to 4 villainous necks to make sure they are down. Tal hacks the door easily and inside they find about 20 children of various races, and a force field at the back of the room that contains the 2 children they are here to free. Tal checks the force field but immediately determines it is trapped and will crush the 2 children inside (one, the boy seems to be faring very poorly indeed) if attempts to deactivate it are not flawlessly perfect. The combat droid takes the fallen guarsd weapons and takes them back up to the adult prisoners to arm those capable of effective action, passing the Jedi coming the other way. Saltika accompanies the Droid, and Jaric also follows, thinking that keeping watch on their exit would be desirable.

All through this series of events the captured guards comms carry a lot of panicked and frantic activity as general mayhem has broken out, with Sith soldiers coming off their warship to add to the mayhem, and the fighting somehow spreading to the ships docked in the hangers and docking spans; the Jedi suspect that some dark influence and power from the Ragged Figure is causing this outpouring of hate and violence. The resourceful T3-X2 also keeps them updated from his monitoring the station data feeds on developments. Fowmaral and Tersha arrive at the childrens detention area and whilst Tersha starts freeing and preparing the children to move (the adults are being organised by Saltika and Jaric back up the corridor), Fowmaral uses his Force inspired advice and guidance to aid Tal in deactivating the trapped Force Field. The 2 children, being Ferralla (the girl) and Rann (the young boy) are now freed, but the boy seems ill and feverish, in poor shape to attempt to escape; Fowmaral uses his powers of Vital Transfer healing to give the boy energy and health enough to move and survive until the medical droid on their ship can aid him further.

Harramis Datshara contacts them over their comms about their progress and also the burning need to leave soon, as the dark side emanations coming from the concourse are gaining strength as the battle rages. He gives them coordinates for them to meet and gather themselves, and then signs off again, for his work is not quite done yet.

At this point, comms from Saltika and Jaric indicate that hostiles have appeared in the pen areas and they are fighting them, but the time to leave must surely be now; with about 90 men, women and children freed and needing salvation, the party now have a task ahead of them; just how do you guide a throng of weakened and scared people to safety through a warzone containing Sith, many assorted thugs and a station full of Thalassian slavers? There’s only one way to find out, for this they must do, and not try…

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Meeting old acquaintances

As the party sit in the booth of the cantina discussing what to do next, Fowmaral feels a sudden and icy cold feeling of mingled dread and recognition for a moment, and stopping to think of it, the last time he felt this feeling was back in the ruins on Ruigers Landing. Tersha, Harramis and Jaric don’t feel it, it seeming to be something intimate only to the Ithorian Padawan. Ths feeling passes but continues to cause concern.

Harramis had managed to gather a little information at the bar that indicates to him that the only way to safely depart the station with the children and their lives intact is to try and sabotage some aspects of station security and perhaps cause a distraction of sufficient size to draw attention. He also managed to discover that the name of the Sith Lord who has arrived is one Darth Xamax. He also is looking into the possibility of using the stations own substantial comms array to send a beacon signal and tight banded message to the Jedi Council (or more likely the Council abiding on Dantooine which is nearer than Coruscant) perhaps allowing the Myrkzor to be located and it’s many years of evil history to be halted. With this in mind he departs, trusting the Padawans to do gathering more information on where the children are kept and using their own judgement in what they do with any information they find.

Tersha was about to leave the cantina to head back to the ship and ask T3 to look into the possibility of hacking into the local security systems for more information when the bar goes momentarily quiet as one of the Sith apprentices walks in. The large armoured human walks to the bar and soon the bar goes back to its noisy status quo. Fowmaral decides to go to the bar for a new round of drinks and try to pick up any scuttlebut and eavesdrop any of the patrons who have understandably moved further up the bar from the new entrant. A Chiss bartender serves him and also recommends the Ruby Bliels (there’s a special on for this tasty cocktail), but the Ithorian decides on picking drinks by colour, which is not as great a method of selection as you might think.

The young Padawan overhears a conversation between a slightly drunken Thalassian and a female pilot he is trying to impress (seduce is too grand a term for his clumsy single entendres), with the Thalassian sure that the Sith is only here to throw his weight around and look for a fight. Of note Fowmaral realises that the attractive red haired pilot is actually trying to pump the slaver for information. Intrigued, the Ithorian heads back to the others and passes this on. Tals well travelled eye notices the style of the flight suit and the way the heavy blaster is worn on the woman indicates someone of Corellian extraction.

This is all interrupted when a loud Houk offers a challenge to the Sith, quieting the establishment and causing a widening of space around the plucky thug. In fact, the Jedi note that the Houk is under the effect of a force compulsion, and not acting under his own volition. Tal momentarily considers shooting the Sith before he does something vile and unnatural to the Houk, but decides against it. The Sith uses Force Grip to crush the Houk to within an inch of his life before using a Sith Tremor Sword (that hurts Tersha to look at) to end the poor thugs life.

All goes quiet when a slow sarcastic hand clap begins and the wavelike crowd parts again to reveal a figure clad in ragged bandage like robes. This figure immediately triggers remembrance within Tersha and Fowmaral as the same being who they freed back on Ruigers Landing. This figure despairs loudly at what the Sith have become and gives the young Sith the option of bending the knee or dying. The Sith bravely charges, before the 3 Swords scabbarded on the ragged figures back float up into the air and lay into him, forcing the Sith to fight for his life. Soon he is beaten and wounded in many locations, and the Ragged Figure advises him to bear a message to his mistress that she shall bend the knee and serve or die. The Sith flees, and soon all others who had not already fled follow him. The Ragged Figure commands the party and the Female Pilot to remain. (the party had seen that the woman recognised the figure and had her best WTF face on).

The figure tells the Jedi that now is not yet the time for fighting, that the time for that is years away yet. In the meantime they can go off and do what they wish, and as a reward for their releasing him they can carry out their mission on the station as what he is about to do shall serve them elegantly as a distraction. He also suggests that Tal should have taken his shot whilst he still could. At this, the Ragged Figure strides off purposely from the cantina, leaving the surprised party and the woman alone (even the barstaff have fled).

The woman immediately fixes herself some drinks and for the others too when they request it. She is one Saltika, a Bounty Hunter/Pilot here to try and effect the escape or release/purchase of a captured family taken from one of the colonies hit by the slavers recently. She had taken the Ragged Figure with her as a passenger for he paid well and also furnished her with the codes and protocols to enter Myrkzor. This turn of events has shocked her, especially when he told her to look out for an Ithorian, a Miralukan and a Human who would be of some use to her own mission. Throwing in her lot with the party (for what other choice does she have) she reveals that the slaves are kept in a series of pens and chambers accessed past a security check point that she remembers seeing recently. The children, men and women are kept separated and also by species as well.

The party also contact Harramis (who is currently monkey climbing along the underside of a generator substation with a drop of hundreds of feet into darkness beneath him) who advises his own part of the mission is proceeding well enough and to keep him updated. He felt the force echoes of the cantina confrontation and suggests they are careful. The party head out into the main concourse and are aware that something major is about to kick off. They spot the corridor they need and its guards and bide their time until it is right to act…

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