Fragments from the Rim
Black Ice: Aren't You a Little Short for an ISB Agent?
<appropriate dates for Aren’t You a Little Short for an ISB Agent?>
We accepted a mission to investigate some Imperial activity on a shipping route. With Du Nahgg on walkabout, we were given an Imperial Lambda shuttle and some old passcodes to get on to the space station. Our target was the ore shipments and the suspicious behavior around them: why would the Empire act like smugglers in their own backyard?
Impersonating Imperial officers seemed like a bad idea, given the Empire’s xenophobia and my (and Bao’s) very much non-Alien features, but there was really no other good way to get us into this Imperial bastion. What we did not count on was the local Governor’s insanity, or Bao Bogo’s light-fingeredness, or our fearless leader’s scheme to up the impersonation ante by taking on the role of ISB agents.
We needed extremely good false papers to pull that off, so Bao and I went a-scavengin’ an’ a-scrounging for what we would need to pull off a proper forgery. We ran into the station administrator and local Governor at a trinket and curio shop, where Bao Bogo immediately tried to pick-pocket. As well as that went, I was then surprised to see Bao Bogo attempt to brazenly return the stolen item. We were subsequently invited to dinner, an invitation we thought we had no choice to accept but the would provide us with the opportunity to pump her for information regarding shipments. The storekeeper also proved a source of information, and we eventually collected our belongings and headed to prepare for our little ISB show.
We managed to talk ourselves into the command structure of the ore shipments and prepared for several days’ travel wherein Bao Bogo and I would have to remain masked at all times while avoiding interaction with the rest of the Imperial contingent. We seemed to have the wary commander’s trust, at least temporarily, as we started the ore run.
<appropriate dates for Aren’t You a Little Short for an ISB Agent? Part Deux>
I had never been so bored and simultaneously terrified… at least not since Dagobah. We had successfully sold our ISB cover story, but I definitely couldn’t show my face in the Imperial Transport. No Bothans in the ISB, after all. Instead, I tried to keep an eye on the situation via open comms.
We had convinced the commander that there was a traitor in his midst, but everything started to fall apart once we made contact with the ore transport. The problem was that the commander was a relatively honest man, and though he understood our need for secrecy (ISB operating in the open would not be efficient, after all), he was unable to maintain our fictions. Not that it would matter, since we would simply have to show our credentials to the ore transport commander…
A long voyage, only to find ourselves about to be discovered, badly outnumbered and outgunned, surrounded by Imperial Star Destroyers protecting a secret shipment at all costs… I was certain we had reached the end of the road, and much to my disgust, I could only blame myself: had I not joined the Alliance, I would not have been in that ridiculous position, about to be massacred with all the thought and effort given a small colony of ants when the builders come to build.
<appropriate dates for Aren’t You a Little Short for an ISB Agent? Part the Third>
We managed to be loaded into the Black Ice. Somehow, Van Alden’s plan worked out in our favor. Even better, we had been loaded in one of the two pods next to the engines. The massive ore train had two gargantuan engines on either side, and that also meant we were next to one set of control rooms that would very likely contain a navicomputer with the destination of the ore train. Accessing that would allow us to know where the Black Ice had been, and more importantly, where it was going.
The scale of the thing made me uncomfortable. The things the Empire could build were terrifying, and this was the most visible reminder I’d seen so far. Moving around inside the Black Ice, we were as motes of dust in a cavernous room. We eventually located a way into the control areas, and Bao Bogo and I collaborated to remove the obstacles in our way: blast doors, locked, but still beatable. We managed to surprise what appeared to be an engineer of some kind in the middle of his duties, but he was efficiently and quietly dispatched.
We were all tense as we traveled the corridors of the massive ship. The engineer’s data pad suggested this side of the ship was covered only by a skeleton crew, so the opposition would be light, but I think Kira’s palpable unease was contagious. I was certainly nervous enough as Bao and I cracked various doors to gain access to the various rooms.
We encountered other Empirical obstacles, mostly troopers, likely surprised by the presence of our out-of-place Empirical uniforms, but they were just as swiftly dispatched as the engineer, though unfortunately not before an alarm was raised. Soz then got to work, pulling all the information he could out of the auxiliary navigation console. Bao and I explored what we thought was a weapons locker, but turned out to be something much more dire: a tactical room built for training purposes, displaying a laser of such power I figured I’d read the schematics incorrectly. But no: this was the secret. The Empire was building another Death Star, this time with a laser so powerful it could fire more than once a day, but rather continuously.
Seeing those plans, I was terrified. I suddenly needed to be off the Black Ice, away from its dangerous payload. Soz worked to get the information set up for posting on the holonet as soon as we got a chance, and all plans of sabotaging or stealing the Black Ice disappeared, as we discovered the other side of the Black Ice had sent an Imperial Walker to apprehend us, running along the corridor that connected each section of the massive ore train. We all piled into our Lambda shuttle as the Black Ice came out of hyperspace at its destination, the place the new Death Star was being constructed, the gas giant Endor.
As we vented the train’s pods, Soz made a lightning-quick calculation on the Navicomputer to get us out of danger before the power of the Empire could come down on us, and we jumped away, our precious cargo of information safely tucked away.