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Reunion, Rescue and Revenge.
Posted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:38 am
This is the continued story of Rissk, Kregor and Raynard which started on:- http://www.starwars-exodus.com/forum/vi ... &start=120
" Rissk!? IS it really you?! Don't be afraid, I've not come to harm you!"
The voice echoed over the comm a second time. Rissk's scaly taloned claw hovered over the hyperspace button on her console, her co-ordinates were set, one hyperspace jump and she was away. Something was telling her not to though.
She stood up and leaned forwards over her console peering at Kregor's ship, it looked as it had looked last time - old and battered. There was however one striking difference, there was a line attached to the ship, which disappeared, it's end was seen by the strange blue and purple sparks jumping around it.
"Rissk, I've come to rescue you - there's no time to explain, you need to get back to your present!" crackled over the communicator again. He was right too - she did have to get back to the present. She glanced down to her arm, it was almost translucent now, the lights of her console clearly visible through her green flesh.
Quickly she accessed the holonet and initiated a data download, a hardcopy of all the news, events, and information that had occured over the last 5 years. As the download finished she made a backup copy and slipped the backup chip into her robes before clicking the transmit button on her comm.
"Kregor, I don't know why you've come, and I don't know if we can get back. I need to get back though, and if you think you can help me then so be it."
She hated herself for it as soon as she clicked off the comm, allowing the dog Kregor to help her after all this time, after everything he'd done! Kregors voice crackled over the speaker again.
"Rissk, use your docking clamps to attach to the Blade, and shut down all systems, the vortex destroys electrical equipment - it will fare better if turned off though. And brace yourself - it's a rough ride, it can scramble your brain a bit."
Slowly Rissk manouvered towards the Crimson Blade and gently brought her docking clamg to the ship, it fixed in place with a subtle 'click'.
As the Blade began thrusting towards the end of it's tether, Rissk frantically started closing down systems. When she was clear she ambled back into the holding area and slumped onto one of the bunks.
The thrusters on the blade cut out and two ships drifted silently across space, then were gone. As they entered the vortex Kregor started fitting madly again, but the same didn't happen to Rissk.
Shocked Rissk climbed out of her bunk and stared out of the cockpit window. Space was not there, instead bizarre colours and whisps of smoke, brighter than any colours she'd seen were flickering around.
Sitting in her pilots chair she glanced at her navigation console, she was not in the universe according to the console. Staring in awe out of the window she suddenly felt a presence in the ship with her. Slowly she turned to look back down the inside of her ship. There standing in the hatchway was a dark shadow, seemingly made up of smoke. It was faceless and it smelled of burning ashes, it had no features but it carried a lightsabre in an armshaped whisp of black smoke.
Without moving it spoke to her, it's voice was unlike anything she'd ever heard, dark and menacing, it seemed to skip her ears and her mind and speak directly to her soul, "Do not try to alter the will of the force, woe betide you who alters the course of history.
She shuddered and tried to back away, the shade faded into nothing and she was thrown violently to the floor writhing in agony. The blackness of space reappeared at the window and she gradually picked herself up. She looked at her arms and they were solid again, it felt almost like some strange dream - was it real?
Peering over the console she saw the Crimson Blade, still securely clamped to her ship. So it was real, but she was home. Slowly she disengaged the docking clamp and powered up her systems. As the lights on her various consoles lit up she initiated the comm, "Kregor, what's going on? Why did you come?"
There was no reply. Rissk toggled her scanner-scope for habitable planets, the closest option was Sneeve. She plotted a course, taking Kregors ship in tow.
As she travelled she opened up her holonet console and checked the memory - her file was intact. She played a news file, sure enough it worked, quite how she'd use it she didn't know at this point - but a holonet record of up and coming events including their outcomes would be a powerful thing indeed.
Soon the Crimson Blade and the Gunboat were resting in a large hangar of the starport and Rissk was skipping through the rain towards the access hatch to the blade. It was raining heavily and even in the short distance she had to run Rissk got soaked to the bone. The sky was dark and overcast and the cold water chilled her. As she reached the hatch she began punching in the access codes to open it. Amazingly after her first attempt the hatch slid open and she climbed to shelter from the rain.
Kregor was lying face down on the floor of his cockpit, he didn't look to be breathing. Rissk strolled over and knelt beside him, pulling his head up onto her knee and trying to feel his breath on her hand.
It was faint, but he was breathing, almost paralysed by his ordeal he desperately forced opened his eyes. With salty tears running down his cheeks into his grey, almost white beard he whispered to Rissk, " Rissk, I'm so sorry - can you forgive me?"
This evoked strange reactions in Rissk, for so long this man had been her sworn enemy, but now she remembered the good times, the sabaac games, the Corellian ales, the fun they'd had. It seemed like a thousand lifetimes ago. He life since then, flashed before her eyes, meeting Raynard, the Dethortex Crime ring, the moment she found her lightsabre, meeting Ariane, Balor and Degrez, the Stormcrest, Skim, the Jailbreakers, the hospital on Cecils moon, the seemingly mad patient Felix...
Dozens of minor bounties flashed through her head, she thought back to the times before she'd broken free, and how she'd worked with Kregor - they had made a good team.
Her mind was drawn back to the present though, Kregor was coughing softly, a small trickle of blood running out of his mouth. She hugged his head, while his arms lay limp at his side, "Oh Kregor, don't die on me now..."
Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:36 am
Kregor coughed and spluttered, blood and saliva spraying onto Rissk's already tattered and stained robes. "Rissk, we made it... We're home... Can you forgive me?"
Rissk rubbed her chin thoughtfully at this, she'd had an interesting life so far that was for sure and really the ones to blame were her miserable parents for agreeing to sell her in the first place. "Kregor, I can never forget, but I can forgive... Pah! I sound all mushy now! Get up damnit we'd better get you to the medcentre."
With that Rissk dragged Kregor to his feet and with his arm slumped over her shoulder, dragged him through the sodden starport. Soon he'd been deposited in the local medcentre and Rissk was off to the cantina. She had a plan hatching, a plan that she was afraid could lead her into trouble, but the warnings she'd recieved in her bizarre vision as she'd traversed the time-hole were already becoming fuzzy and dream-like.
She took a stool at the bar and ordered a Corellian Ale, the holonet was switched to sport and she was watching a Slarfack match, there was nobody else in the bar so she asked the barman to switch it to the news.
Sure enough there was mention of the fugitives, herself included. It seems the dark jedi on Kashyyk had been operating under the will of the Empire. It did not mention the capture of any of the fugitives though. She may still have a chance of stopping it happening. She thought for a moment about the match on the other channel, strange to think she had a record of all the sporting results for the next few years and could effectively find out the result of the match before it had finished. The possibilities seemed limitless, but she had to save Raynard before anything else - that took priority.
Rissk chugged the last of her ale down in one gulp and slid of the stool. She noticed the barman eyeing her suspiciously, she was a fugitive again in this time and it was possible he couldn't be trusted. Slowly, and casually she walked up to the barman who was standing half behind a partition. He looked up timidly as she approached and Rissk whipped out her E-11 and aimed it at his face, " Hand's on your head or I shoot!"
Obediently the human raised his hands to his head and Rissk leapt over the counter and peered at his screen. Of course - he'd been in the process of recording a holonet message. Sweat was running down the barmans forehead as she hit the review message. The message played back with the barman whispering that he knew the whereabouts of Rissk and claiming his reward.
"Grrrr! Can't even go for a quiet drink eh??" Rissk growled, she decided to take no chances and smashed the barrel of her gun into the mans face. After he'd stumbled to the floor she smacked him a few more times with her gun, leaving his face bloodied and battered and leaving him knocked out cold. Quickly she turned her attention to the holonet console, she deleted the messages and smashed as much of the controls up as she could with her gun.
Running silently through the streets, back to the starport she picked her way through the dark, back alleys to avoid being spotted. It seemed the reward for her capture was quite substantial.
As she entered the starport she saw a few suspicious people poking around her ship. Through the rain she crept into the Crimson Blade. Quickly she entered a coded message that would only play for Kregor and operated the laser turret. The sight hovered and she deftly moved the joystick to target the intruders looking at her ship. As she lined each one up she pulled the trigger and quickly moved to the next. The men desperately tried to dive clear as the first shot rang out - but Rissk was too quick. Soon they were all smoking corpses.
Silently she ran down the ramp and across the hangar to her ship. Within moments she was blasting out of the atmosphere into space.
Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:13 am
Kregor opened his eyes groggily. He found himself on a med-bed hooked up to various monitoring machines. He waved over to one of the staff who were milling about the area, working machines and making notes on their datapads, "Hey! What happened to me!?"
The girl turned to him and strolled over non-chalantly, "You've had some sort of accident, it's damaged your brain and central nervous system. We're not sure how it happened though - a young Trandoshan girl brought you in - you've only just come out of Bacta."
Kregor screwed his face up in concentration, then he recalled - Rissk, the time hole, Ariane, the fight with Vader... It all came back to him, if albeit rather hazily. Slowly he tried to pull himself forwards, but his strength had left him and he collapsed back onto the bed feeling dizzy.
The nurse walked over quickly and sighed deeply, "You're not fit to get up yet, you need to rest. Don't worry, the Trandoshan has taken care of your bills for you."
Kregor nodded and lay back on his bed.
Meanwhile Rissk was racing towards Coruscant., the bounty hunter on Tattooine had clearly changed his name. His picture was evident from the eye patch that it was Raal'Esh. She racked her brains, somehow she seemed to recall destroying both his eyes, perhaps he'd been fitted with an electronic prosthetic? She gazed at the photo on her holonet screen again - there was a great deal of burn marks and scarring around his eyes - so it was possible. Her main regret was having allowed him to escape in the first place.
Hurriedly she keyed in the co-ordinates for Coruscant, and initiated the jump to hyperspace. It would be a dangerous place to go to, but it was where Raynard would be taken so it was where Rissk was going.
Posted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 4:00 am
Raynard at this point was onboard the salvaged freighter with the rest of the Jailbreakers [See Jailbreak 1,2 & 3 on the old SWG Boards.]
After the battle with the Dark Jedi, Caden Blackhart in which Cerius Kearn the ancient Jedi Master had met his fate and Kregor had met his son... The ragtag crew of fugitives had broken up somewhat. Loccryth had never returned to the group, Raynard didn't question this, he'd made it home, his family were safe - his life could be easier if assumed dead - whereever he was Raynard wished him luck. Despite their differences he had a great deal of respect for the wookiees fighting prowess, and sense of honour.
Jake had also dissapeared, whether he'd gone back to re-join the rebellion or lie low on Kashyyk - Raynard couldn't guess, he didn't see him killed in the action so he assumed one or the other.
Droma, the six foot Bothan was piloting the ship with Jonny, the somewhat unhinged human with a penchant for death and destruction. Raynard was in the back contemplating their next move. Droma seemed set on piracy, they had the tools and the ability he was sure... Jonny was all for it too...
Somehow Raynard didn't see himself as pirate material though, he simply wanted to go back to engineering starships. He'd left the fighitng pits and bounty hunting a long time ago, he'd sworn never to go back to it and that oath had held true - at least apart from the time they'd rescued Ariane from the Ampitheatre, but they'd forced his hand then so...
Rissk meanwhile was scouring the holonet for bounty resources, according to the files she was officially dead. The ruse with the dead clones back on Tatooine so long had clearly worked and finally she would be able to move around more freely again. Still, it would be a good idea to keep a low profile as much as possible. Soon the gunboat dropped out of hyperspace and she swept down into the atmosphere. According to the holonet record the execution would take place at the central square, but the prisoners would be held at the Palpatine 1st Imperial Prison.
She pulled back on the throttle and thought for a moment, after some frantic button bashing on her live holonet she rubbed her chin thoughtfully, 'So... Raynard hasn't even been captured yet? Perhaps it would be easier to intercept them before they're captured?'
Back in the medcentre Kregors patience had worn thin, he was out of bed and getting dressed. The nurse who'd been looking after him was pleading with him to stay, "Please, you really shouldn't be leaving yet! You're in no fit state!" Kregor scowled at her, then thought better of it and smiled warmly, "I'l live - I've had much worse in my time believe me!"
Soon he was stumbling back to his ship, somehow drained and hurt by his experiences with the time hole.
Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:14 am
Before setting down Rissk swooped up again, out of the atmosphere, blasting out of the gravitational pull of the planet she stabilised her thrusters and began studying the records of where and how Raynard was going to be captured.
Before long however, the comm cracked into life, it was Kregor, "Rissk!? What are you doing?"
Rissk flicked her comm back on, "Kregor, you should be resting - I need to save somebody, they are going to be captured soon and executed but I think I can stop it happening."
Kregor listened from his pilots seat and rubbed his chin thoughtfully, "Well, I'm not much good for hand to hand combat, but I can still fly a ship! Let me help you!"
This was still all a bit much for Rissk, the rescue from the future, the fact that Kregor appeared to be trying to help her... The panic to hurriedly rescue Raynard. As she sat and pondered the information she was after came up. He'd be captured at the Thelotin system, perhaps he'd gone there to get repairs or supplies? "Kregor, I'm going to Thelotin, we don't have much time! Raynard is aboard an old frieghter and he is going to captured there if we don't do something about it."
Kregor was puzzled by this, but he suspected Rissk would know what was going on. "Okay Rissk, I'll meet you in the system."
Sure enough Raynard was onboard the now quiet frieghter, with Jonny and Droma at the helm. As they slowed down to enter atmosphere though three Z-95 Headhunters appeared, cannons blazing. As the ship rocked from the first volley of shots Raynard sprinted to the cockpit,"Droma? What the frell's going on?!"
Droma, still piloting the his shook his head nervously, "Head hunters, they must have been tracking us - I guess we're still a lucrative bounty - hold on they're coming in for another pass."
The ship rocked as another strafing run of cannons impacted the ship. Jonny, deperately gripping the controls screamed over the noise, "We're losing shields! Take evasive action! Raynard get on the turret and return fire!"
As the frieghter swooped and jinked to avoid cannon fire Raynard rushed back to the centre to operate the turret. As he reached the ladder another blast rocked the ship throwing him to the floor sprawling. Quickly he got up and darted up the ladder. Wasting no time he slid intot the turret seat and started trying to track the tiny, manouverable ships.
Cannon fire errupted from Raynards guns, peppering the sky near the frieghter, one or two shots slapped the Z-95's knocking them off course but not doing damage. Raynard frantically smacked the comm button and screamed to the cockpit, "Guy's they're heavily shielded! I think we're in trouble!"
As they veered off Raynard unleashed another round of cannon shots, hopelessly. The comm crackled into life again, "I've been tracking you since Kashyyk you worms! You're going to pay for what your lizard friend did to me!" It was Ral'Esh his cybernetic eye clearly visible now.
Another three pronged attack came soaring in and the ship shuddered. Panels were blown open and small fires littered the corridors and cockpit. Comms were down but Raynard heard Jonny should from the cockpit,"Raynard! We're out of shields!"
As he screamed it Ion cannons smacked the ship from every side, crackling blue electricity frying all systems.
The ship was floating dead in the water now, Droma had stood up and picked up his weapon. He grinned at the others as he cocked his gun, "Prepare to repel boarders! We're not going down without a fight!"
Two of the three Z-95's were looming closer to dock, but as they did so, Rissk's assault gunboat blasted out of hyperspace and locked on. At this point Rissk was in her cockpit desperately willing her wrecked weapons into life, "Come on shavvit! Work!" And she pulled her triggers, a weak, semi-formed plasma bolt trickled out of one of her guns and lightly scraped the lead Head Hunter. Ral'Esh was back on the comm in a flash, "Well if it isn't my old friend! Officially dead you are, so perhaps I should just torture YOU to death for my own pleasure eh?"
Rissk scowled at herself, going soft... Why oh why hadn't she killed this idiot when she had the chance?!
As the Head Hunters turned their attention to Rissk though, Kregors Firespray blasted out of hyperspace and opened up. Rapid fire laser bolts blasted into the lead ship until it glowed red, then exploded. Swinging around he jinked and weaved avoiding fire, then slammed on reverse thrusters, as the two Z-95 flew past he pursued and blasted a second to smithereens. Only Ral'Esh was left, he was on the comm screaming, "You nerf herder! These are my bounty! I'll report you to the Emperor!"
Kregor didn't bother answering back, he locked on and started to pursue Ral'Esh. He was a better pilot than his cronies, desperately trying to shake Kregor. It took every ounce of Kregors skill to track him. As he did so he began firing, but Ral'Esh kept dodging the odd shot striking a glancing blow. Eventually his shields withering a shot knocked him off course slightly and Kregor was able to close in and destroy with a sustained volley of shots.
In the freighter Droma, Jonny and Raynard were celebrating, "Rissk! Talk about excellent timing! "Laughed Droma. Jonny smiled, "Perhaps she'll cmoe pirating too? Who's the guy in the firespray though?"
Raynard shuddered at the sight of the ship, he remembered all those years ago, repairing it and the explosion of it going wrong destroying his arm. he knew who it was, it was Kregor the man that had been allied with the Dark Jedi on Kashyyk... Had he come to rescue or seek revenge?
Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:14 am
Raynards question was answered soon enough over the comm.
*** "This is Kregor Faltis, Rissk and I have come to rescue you. We'll meet down on the planet if it's okay - follow my co-ords. " ***
The comm muffled and crackled out and Kregor and Rissks ships set a course for a little known starport near to their position. Silently the frieghter lurched into life and tracked them to the surface.
Thelotin was a planet with a varied eco system, but the area they landed in was mainly grass land, with forests and a comfortable temperate climate. After landing at the backwater starport the group converged on the Cantina. It was a tiny town, and a tinier starport. There was barely a soul around.
Seated in the dimly lit cantina, which had few windows to let in the bright sunshine they sat around a table and Rissk deposited Corellian Ales all around. The conversation inevitably, after brief introductions got to what everybody had been doing. Nobody seemed to know what happened to Jake or Loccryth, apart from that they probably hadn't been killed. Jonny, Droma and Raynard had fled Kashyyk and had to stop off at a small moon for repairs.
Kregors story was more interesting, he told them about his discovery of his son, that his Galena was still alive, the rescue of Ariane, his duel with the Dark Lord... It sounded pretty unbelievable to all but Rissk, who knew Kregor rather better.
Rissk told her tale of the time hole, her time in the medcentre, the desperate plea to escape and get back to her present. She didn't mention the huge database of future events she carried, but she did tell the tale of how the Empire was going to fall iminently.
Again, the story was utterly ridiculous... The Empire fall? Palpatine dead? By the hand of Darth Vader no less?! It didn't make sense at all!
After a few moments silent drinking and contemplation the conversation startde anew, Raynard sipped his drink then clicked it onto the table, "So erm, how did you know where we were and that we in trouble!?"
Rissk rubbed her chin thoughtfully before answering, "Luck mainly, hmmph! I noticed on a news report that you had been captured and executed, so I too note where and when you were captured and decided to intercept."
Raynard, Droma and Jonny felt a shudder as she told them this - captured and executed!? Droma shook his head at Kregor, "And what about you?! Why the sudden change of heart? One minute you are helping to enslave the wookiees for the Empire - the next you're in mortal combat with Darth Vader?"
Kregor shrugged, "What I discovered, it changed things - I know it seems to rediculous, but finding Galena was alive and i had a son - it turned my world upside down."
Silence followed for a few moments as they supped their drinks, Rissk spoke next, "So what are you going to do next?! " Raynard took a chug out of his drink and sighed deeply, " Droma and Jonny here want to go back into piracy - it's not my cup of tea though... I still want revenge on that Officer who took my yard and my business off me. What about you?"
Rissk frowned, "Hmmph! Not really thought about it... I don't like being on the losing side though, and I'm not really on the same side as the Empire any more anyway... Maybe I should try and hook up with the rebellion?"
Raynard finished his drink in one gulp, "Well Jake was an Elite Rebellion Spec ops - the bearded guy who escaped with us... I'm trying to recall how he said to get on to them... Perhaps they'll help me get the revenge I want on that scoundrel who sold me out and took my yard."
Kregor nodded, "Well, I suppose maybe the way to really atone for what I did would be to join the rebellion and to help speed the overthrow of the Empire... What about you two?"
Droma and Jonny sat uncertainly for a moment and finished their drinks. Jonny slid his glass onto the table, "Well, to be honest... Fighting for a cause? Just ain't my thing.. I'm going to go back to pirating and I suspect Droma here wants to do the same - thanks for helping us though... And good luck."
With that he stood up and edged out towards the door, Droma followed him, turning briefly as he exited, "Thanks Rissk - for everything... And you Raynard... We really raised the fires of hell back in that penal colony eh?"
Within moments they'd gone and only Rissk, Raynard and Kregor were left sipping their drinks and thinking about what had been said.
Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:02 am
Zior had been sitting in the cantina for some time now. He quietly sipped a mug full of ale thinking of his options. He wanted to join the rebellion and fight the empire but the rebellion didn't exactly have a neon sign above their recruiting center. So Zior had been planet hopping trying to find someone with connections to the rebellion. He had been unsuccesful so far and had just ran out of credits. He was stuck here on this mottly planet until he came up with the credits to buy transportation off planet.
Which might take awhile considering all Zior could do was fight and pilot. By the looks of this planet neither of those skills would come in handy unless he wanted to work on the...less than legal side of things. A rather strange looking group came in the cantina and sat down. Zior was only a table away and could hear their conversation but didn't pay much attention to it. It was not the Falleen's buisness as to what they were talking about.
He listened throughout the conversation not really paying much attention to what was being said until he heard one word that made him very interested. "Maybe I should try and hook up with the rebellion?"
The words struck him sharply and he listened to the rest of the conversation very closely. When part of the group left Zior stood up and walked calmly over to the table. The group wasn't exactly jumping with glee when they saw Zior was intruding on their table so Zior spoke up to clairify things a bit. "I'm very sorry but I was sitting over there and I happen to overhear some of your conversation. Are you interested in joining the rebellion because so am I. However I don't know where to find them, maybe you could help me out and I can help you out. Together we might stand a better chance of finding the alliance."
Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:27 pm
Rissk squinted through the dim, smoky atmosphere to the newcomer. He wasn't human, he looked reptilian, but wasn't a Trandoshan. Raynard eye'd him up and down also, 'Hah, a Falleen... Don't see many of those around...'
Raynard gestured towards one of the vacant chairs, "Have a seat... And keep your voice down please. I don't know if we can trust you yet... But until you prove otherwise we won't kill you."
The Fallen frowned at this and gingerly took a seat, between the aged human and the one armed Zabrak, with the Female Trandoshan opposite.
Kregor scowled at him and muttered something inaudible under his breath.
Rissk rubbed her chin thoughfully, "Hmmph! Well, we MIGHT join the Rebellion... Although to be honest I see little other choice for us, we can't work for the Empire, we can't work freelance... Tsk! Grrr! How do you suppose we JOIN the Rebellion!?"
The Falleen was about to speak but Raynard interrupted him, "I'm sorry for the shortness, perhaps I should explain a bit. We're all fugitives, I'm Raynard Quinn, recently escaped from an Imperial Penal Colony, this is Kregor Faltiss, recently infiltrated an Imperial Facility on Coruscant, and this is Rissk, a fugitive since she didn't take in the bounty Drenarb, although she's officially dead so unlikely to be actively sought."
The falleen looked a little stunned and glanced across the faces of the trio, Raynard nodded towards him, "So who are you? And how do you think we go about finding the Rebellion?"
Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 7:07 am
"I am Zior, I'm a fighter pilot. I lost my brother when Vader destroyed the bioweapon facility and city nearby it on my homeworld of Falleen. I am seeking revenge on him and the rest of the Empire. How we go about joining the rebellion, well I've been planet hopping for a while now trying to find them but as you can see I have had no success." He looked around the almost completely deserted cantina. He pushed the mug of half filled ale into the center of the table. No more ale for him, at least until he regained control of his tounge. Here he was telling his plans for revenge on the empire to complete strangers.
However he did remember seeing Raynar on the holonet...but for some reason he couldn't remeber for what exactly. And the Trandoshan looked eerily familiar too. He was going to just burst out if they were wanted criminals but he stopped himself. Indeed he had too much ale, if they were wanted criminals big deal. "We could travel to some of the less loyal planets in the Empire. They may have connections that could aid us." Zior knew he was placing his life in their hands, he had a DL-22 blaster pistol strapped to his hip that he had become a marksman with. However there were three of them and he had a couple of cups of ale. He wasn't exactly in a good situation, but it wasn't like he had a choice.
Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:35 am
Rissk frowned. " Less loyal planets!? Where do you suggest?! Hmmph! Less loyal planets..."
Raynard held his hand up to Rissk gesturing for her to 'pipe down', "Well, do you have a ship or have you been using the public transports? If you're travelling on the shuttle I'm afraid they tend to only visit planets loyal to the Empire or planets such as this one which are too backwater and quiet for anyone to interested in. The main economy here is agriculture, and we're fairly close to the core so I doubt we'll find Rebels here."
Kregor sighed deeply, leaning back in his chair, "Lok, it might sound ridiculous, but it's the most likely place we'll find any Rebel contacts. There are powerful people there, and the Empire won't touch it."
Rissk scowled at Kregor, "Lok?! Are you mad!? Grrr, he's gone space-crazy or he's drunk or something... The homeworld of that dog, Nym!? What makes you think we'll find a contact there?!"
Kregor shrugged, "Nym isn't hostile to everyone, and at least we'll be safe from the Empire there. Who know's maybe there'll even be some work for us - Nym pays well I hear..."
Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:50 am
Zior was a little disturbed when the Trandoshan bursted out at him. "I could do that, anything that pays is good for me. I don't have my own ship otherwise I wouldn't be here right now. I'm out of options, you guys are my only way off this rock. If you help me get off this planet I'll pay you back however I can."
Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:12 pm
Raynard leaned back in his chair, "Well I suppose there's no harm in giving you a lift - besides another pair of hands is always useful, especially if you have engineering skills or can fight... "
Kregor gestured to Raynard, "So we go to Lok then?" Rissk meanwhile was looking more and more incomfortable - sitting tensely with arms folded scowling, "Hmmph! I don't like it - what do we really know about Lok?! I've never been there... I heard they shoot strangers out of the sky before they can land!"
Shaking his head softly, Kregor responded,"No, no, I don't think so... I've worked for Nym years ago - couple of rogue Jedi were after him and he wanted the problem taken care of... I didn't visit Lok though... I suppose we could try to set down away from any settlements and walk in to find out whether they have any facilities that they will allow us to use... And any Rebel contacts... What do YOU think stranger... Zior rather? Have you ever been to Lok?"
Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 3:04 pm
Zior shook his head. "Nope never been to Lok but if you say its okay to go there then I'm with you. I'm ready to leave now if you want, I have everything I own with me."
Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 11:47 pm
Raynard looked up at the bar, there was a muffled discussion going on between the barman and a patron. When he looked the patron had been pointing at them - as he looked the man withdrew his hand and looked away.
" Okay guys, I think somebody might turn up the heat in here soon - I say we take to the ships and make our way out of here." Kregor and Rissk nodded and the four stood up and filed silently, slowly out of the bar.
Once into the street they quickened their pace, striding quickly towards the star port. They'd been in the cantina for quite some time now, and the sky wsa turning red. In the dusky evening light the two ships loomed, Kregors, tattered red Firespray and Rissks elongated modified gunboat.
Raynard scanned the port for signs of enemies, it appeared clear. "Kregor you set off and we'll meet you in orbit, Zior - come with us, you can come in the gunboat."
Kregor sprinted into his ship, "The Crimson Blade" and was soon blasting out of the atmosphere. Rissk, her remote still fried from the time-hole rushed up to the ship and opened the manual ramp release. Raynard and Zior rushed up the ramp and closed it behind them.
Raynard frowned at the damage in the ship. Consoles were charred and alot of the panels that should have been lit up were dead and silent. Rissk slid into the pilots seat and started the ignition sequence. Raynard pulled the manual ramp retract and closed the hatch, "Good grief Rissk, what the hell happened to your ship? Does anything work?!"
Rissk, now pulling back on the yolk to get the ship off the ground frowned,"Hmmph! Barely! I had a erm, accident... When I went through the time vortex that took me a few years into the future, it fried the electrics of almost everything on the ship, my blaster, my laser sword, everything. I crashed on a place called Cecils moon - I managed to get my ship repaired to this level there, but I had to get back to the present. Kregor found me nad helped me escape. At the moment though we just have life-support, navigation, engines, thrusters and hyperdrive."
Raynard shook his head in disbelief, "That's amazing... All this damage!? Here give me your E-11, I may as well have a look at it now." Rissk handed him her gun and Raynard took it, then turned arond and walked under Rissk's bunk, past the supply cabinets to the holding area and sat on a bunk. Soon he had the outer casing off and was tinkering furiously. He called up to the front, to Zior who seemed to be uncertain what to do, "Hey Zior, have a seat somewhere!"
Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 3:22 am
Zior looked around the cockpit , this ship had definately seen better days. After raynard yelled up Zior took a seat in the navigator's chair. He checked the systems that wirked and the ones that didn't. Alot of the systems didn't work but the hyperspace looked like it did. He would run a diagnostic but he was pretty sure they didn't have time for the hyperdrive to get tied up in a simple diagnostic.
Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 7:49 am
In the space above Thelotin a number of ships exit from hyperspace. Two imperial Lambada shuttles, a flight of 5 Tie Interceptors and leading is a ship of unknown design but it's markings are imperial. They quickly slow to sublight speeds and then accelerate towards the planet keeping a stritch formation, the Interceptors forming a prtective ring around the shuttles and the unknow ship at the head of the formation.
The lead ship is a strange design, larger than any of the interceptors but not quite as big as the shuttles. It has two slightly dipped wings and under each a pair of heavy lasers peak out. The central body is quite wide at the rear but thins towards the front giving it an almost X wing look from above. The two pilot cockpit takes up the majority of the front of the ship. The upper station is quite far back from the other section and has standard viewports for a pilot, however the forward/lower section is almost all plasitscreen ending in a rounded off "bubble" at the nose of the craft, this gives the lower station an excellent view of space around the ship.
As the ship moves towards the planet the pilot opens the comm to the rest of the flight group.
"All wings report in!" she orders
The remaining ships all report they have arrived successfully, with out any problems and all systems functioning. As the replies filter out the pilot takes a moment to check their mission briefing one more time.
From: Captain Nyran Kheiron, commander ISD Theoi
You are to proceed to the planet Thelotin and capture a number of escapees. They are wanted for numerous crimes and are expected to be linked to the criminal organisation the rebel alliance.
Proceed with utmost haste to the system and apprehend these fugitives. To assist you I am dispatching a squad of Interceptors and ground troopers which I am placing at your disposal. These troops are my best men and are aware of your "special talents" you are safe with these men.
I know you will not fail me Ariane and I will see you soon on board the Theoi. If you need further assistance we will be in the theroin system, a short jump away should you need some "heavy firepower"
As she finished reading the orders the comm clicked to live.
"Commander Kheiron, This is shuttle TB01. We have picked up two ships leaving the planet!"
"I see them" replied Ariane as the ships displays filled her screen, they looked familar but she count not tell why.
"Interceptor wing, three of you follow me the rest of you escort the shuttles to the planet, we will follow shortly!"
Responding as ordered the formation broke up and Araine excelerated towards the two ships which were now leaving orbit.
"Unidentifed vessels, On behalf of the emperor I am ordering you to shut down your weapons and prepare to be borded. You have 10 seconds to comply. If you do not comply we will destroy your vessels!"
As she spoke she powered up the shields and weapon systems of the imperials latest gunboat, the Orthos.
Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 8:10 am
Rissk scowled at her console... That voice... "Ariane!?" Raynard dropped the blaster and sprinted to the front, " What's going on?!" Rissk snarled at him, "It's Kaxson! Why is she threatening to destroy us!? Gah! She's still on the Empire's side... We've no chance in this state!"
Quickly Rissk tapped a secure comm to Kregor, "Did you read that? I know her - it's Kaxson... I can't fight them like this though... Can you buy us some time and meet us on Lok later?"
"Hmmph! Yeah, I know her too, and I thought we were back on the same side! Grrr, You get to Lok I'll deal with these."
With that Rissk typed in an excessively complicated Hyperspace route into her navicom, leaning over Zior to do so. The jump took them through many minor and major systems and was erratic and unpredictable.
As the ship flashed into hyperspace, Kregor charged his shields and swang around to meet the attack, he punched in an open comm, "Ariane! What the hell do you think you're doing!? You were locked in mortal combat with Darth Vader a few days ago - dammit he nearly killed you! Why the hell are you fighting for him now!?"
Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 8:34 am
The call over the comm confused her, she quickly thumbed the comm controls as she adjusted the Orthos course.
"Whomever you are I am sure I have no idea what you are on about. Your lies just prove that you have something to hide from the empire!"
"I ask you one more time....... Power down your systems and prepare to be borded NOW!" she ordered over the comm.
Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 9:18 am
Kregor scowled at his comm, and started charging weapons. "Ariane, I don't know if you've got amnesia or something!? I'm Kregor, we trained under the same Teras Kasi Master?! I worked for Perem, I rescued you and we fought our way through the Imperial complex only a few days ago!? Have you gone mad?! Power down your weapons!"
While talking on the comm, Kregor started navigating a path to get out of weapons range of the ship.
Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 9:48 am
"He's trying to run!" commented the co pilot from the Orthos to Ariane.
"I see him!" replied Ariane powering the engines of the gunship, "Fire a shot across his bow!"
The gunners station flashed to life as the second occupants station was suddenly ready for combat. An intensivly advanced targeting system flashed up in front of the Otho's gunner as she targeted the space just in front of the Crimson blade. A few moments later two blasts fired from one of the ships under wing canons streaked across space and exploded just short of the fleeing vessel.
"Unknown ship I order to you stop your engines and prepare to be borded. This is your last warning the next shot will not miss!" Commanded Ariane.
Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:17 pm
Kregor snorted as the searing hot plasma whizzed past his viewscreen. The Blade was as upgraded as they came - but it was as old as they came too. In a standign battle he didn't think he could win... Jinking and pulling around to behind the strange ship, he snapped his comm into life, "Kaxson, I don't know what they've done to you, or how little what we've been through together means - I won't fire on you! For the force, THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING!"
Without pausing he plotted a complex Hyperspace route in, taking him all around the sector and the next, then hit the ignition.
Posted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 1:54 pm
The Orthos gunner turret swung and tracked the aging fighter as it swung around behind them
"He's jumping!" commented the gunner
"Shoot him down!" snarled Ariane
Shoots rang out from the Orthos twin turrets, shots exploded all around Kregor's ship, one or two buffeting the ageing ship just as she jumped to light speed.
"All ships track and follow!" ordered Ariane as the imperial ships followed the fleeing ship into hyperspace.
Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:47 am
Rissks gunboat flashed into and out of hyperspace, her course was complex and double back on itself several times, even overshooting previous destinations and dropping into closer systems, before changing course.
Soon the gunboat was skimming down into the atmoshpere of the arid rock known as Lok. There was only really one settlement of any size on the whole planet - Nym's Palace. Rissk set the ship down a kilometre or so away from the settlement amongst some rocks.
" *Sigh* I hope Kregor makes it okay... Hmmm, Zior - do you want a drink? There's some Corellian Ales in the supply cabinet - under my bunk." Rissk said as she pointed to the short corridor of cabinets under her bunk. Raynard had come to the cockpit as they landed - E-11 in hand, "Rissk I managed to fix your blaster I think - you should try it though. I think we're going to need some parts to get the ship combat ready though. Mainly capacitors and relays, the sensitive electrical stuff... I'm going to go out side and start working out what we need, can I borrow your datapad?"
Rissk nodded and pulled her battered Datapad from her robes, "Here, hmmph, you have to bang it to make it work, if it still doesn't hold it upside down and shake it a bit."
Raynard shook his head in dismay, "*Sigh* I'll have a look at this too eh?" then promptly dropped the ramp and wandered outside.
Rissk frowned, "Hmmph! I need a drink- I don't know about you Zior!"
Kregor meanwhile was hyperspace jumping a complex, criss-cross path about Kessel in order to throw any would be pursuers. Why the hell was Ariane working for the Empire now!? What the hell had happened to her?
Silently he programmed another complex jump in and hit the igniters.
Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:14 am
"I'm up for a good drink." Zior said smirking as he followed Rissk to her bunk where she had stashed the corellian ale. After Rissk took a swig she handed Zior the bottle. He drank enough to wet his lips and taste the ale on his tounge but he didn't want to drink to much on Rissk. He handed the bottle back to her. "So this Nym fellow he's not such a nice guy eh." Zior wanted to know a little more about Nym so if he was going to work for him for a bit he knew what he was getting into.
Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 5:35 am
Rissk shrugged, "I've never met him or worked for him... I've only hear rumours... He's some sort of pirate, self made planet ruler."
She chugged the bottle again and passed it back to Zior, the heat of the sun starting to warm the cockpit. " He's powerful though... The Empire don't come here, they daren't. Or so I'm told... Hmmm, when Raynard has got his parts list together - maybe we should walk into town together? I think He's still on the terminals so... Hmmm, might be safer..."
Leaving the bottle in Zior's hand Rissk strode out and stepped down the ramp, into the warm desert sun. Raynard was sitting in the shade of a large rock, her datapad in bits on his knee. "Hmmph! How's it going?!" Raynard looked up and grinned, "Just a few loose connections on this... There - that should do it."
He clipped the casing back on and wandered back to the ship. Several access panels were open and parts had been loosened. Methodically Raynard walked around the ship, tapping furiously onto the datapad.
Rissk turned back to Zior, "Hey, I think he's nearly done - you ready yet?"
Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:35 am
After taking another sip of ale he placed the bottle back in its place before running out after Rissk. "Whenever you are." He said tightning his belt with his blaster on it.
Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:23 am
Raynard called over to the hatch, "Right I think this should do it! I hope you've still got some credits Rissk!"
Rissk strolled down the ramp again and grabbed the datapad from Raynards hand, "Hmmm... Sheesh! You' don't believe in doing things by half do you?!"
The list was long, but most of it was small resistors, capacitors, relays and sensitive electronics components. There was a plasma housing and a hypermatter regulator chip, and some fusion units, all in all expensive but not extortionate. Rissk read the list over again and snorted, "Hmmph! We're going to have to buy a hover sled to get this lot back too!"
Raynard grinned, "You want your ship awsome again don't you?!"
Rissk shrugged and started walking towards the distant settlement, Raynard was already stripping housings off the side of the ship and removing components. Zior darted after Rissk as he emerged from the ship.
Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:34 pm
"So are we going to meet Nym or just buy the parts and get out of here?" Zior asked as they walked through the desert into town. Something made him incredibly tight about this place, he managed to keep his hand off his DL-22's handle but he felt something was not quite right still. They were getting closer to the town now only a little farther to go...
Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2006 11:40 pm
Rissk shrugged, "Hmmm, not sure... Perhaps we should try adn get Ray the parts he wants so he can start working on the ship? Eugh! What is that? "
Rissk screwed her face up in disgust at the broad, foul smelling, vile looking green moat around the city. She spat into the liquid and it fizzed violently before dying away, "Hmmph! Nice! Grrrr, we're going to have to find a bridge!" Bargind past Zior Rissk stormed towards a thin walkway that spanned the green ichor a couple of hundred metres from where they were.
The town looked very quiet, there was a small shuttle port near the side of the bridge they were on but not a soul around, only a decrepit protocol droid with one eye missing and alot of rust. He appeared to be waiting to collect tickets, it appeared that he'd been waiting for some time.
Rissk scanned the horizon, "I don't like it... You'd think there'd be more people?!" Zior shrugged, "Maybe the shuttles haven't come this way for some time." Rissk nodded, "Hmmm, maybe, pirates and smugglers tend to have their own ships so... Let's go into town and see if anyone is about."
With that she started bounding across the metal walkway with Zior jogging to keep up.
Kregor meanwhile flashed into normal space at Hoth, keyed in a route past Kessel to Ord Mantel and hit the igniter, "Hmmph! She'll have a hard time finding us! I'll make sure of that!"
The Crimson Blade flashed into hyperspace again as Kregor pushed his joystick forwards.
At this point Raynard had removed most of the damaged components of the ship and grabbed himself a beer from the supply cabinets. He sat on the rocks, enjoying the breeze and studied the morning sky. Occasionally a ship would swoop down towards the settlement. Grinning he took a swig of his beer and wiped the sweat off his forehead with his real hand. It'd been a good mornings work, once he had the parts the ship'd soon be ready.
Posted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 2:34 pm
The task force of imperial ships once again entered normal space. Frustrated Ariane smacked her hand on the console, the computer systems beeped an annoyed response.
"Where in the emperors name are we now!" she barked at the Ortho's gunner who was feverishly working to try and locate the local system
"Ord Mandel it would appear sir!" she eventually responded.
"This rebel is determined to drag us half way across the galaxy, any luck finding his exit vector!" quiered Ariane with a sigh.
After a few moments tapping madly at the screens in front of her the Orthos gunner turned around.
"The system is well travelled sir, I'm afraid theres no way to differentiate his trail from the other ships that have passed through here recently"
She was right as Ariane sat, frustrated staring at the Ord Mandel system four freighters exited hyperspace in quick succession, two of which then quickly jumped again upon spying the imperial vessels.
Ariane mussed for a moment,"Orthos to squad lets head back to the planet, try find someone who knows where they were going. these fugitives will not escape the empire!"
On her command the ships re-entered hyperspace to return to the planet.
Posted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:20 pm
The Crimson Blade flashed out of Hyperspace and swooped down into the Atmosphere of Lok. After circling the Palace and city a few times he spotted Rissk's gunship amongst some rocks, about a kilometre out of town and eased the ship into position.
As the Blade dropped onto the desert floor it echoed a loud 'Thud' and the engines died down. Disengaging his systems Kregor stormed out of teh ship and down the ramp. Raynard was working feverishly on some weapon components, "Raynard! Right, they won't follow us now, I've been across the galaxy and back through the busiest shipping lanes, I even tookthem by the Maw. If they find us - I'll be surprised! How are the repairs going?"
Raynard grinned, "Good, theres not actualyl as much damage as you would think. Rissk has gone with the Falleen into town to ty and acquire parts. There's a couple of hours work getting everything replaced and online again though."
Kregor nodded and sat down on a rock, the desert breeze blowing his long grey, matted hair about. He stroked his beard and thought about Ariane, how things had changed... He was over sixty years old now, but he remembered his youth. The Jedi Clones, Perem, Master Yado - that fierce battle with Ariane in the hangar on naboo... At the time she'd been fighting on the side of the Jedi, Kregor had been fighting on the side of Perem Thoje. Now here she was fighting under the banner of the Empire and he was joining the Rebellion... Talk about battle lines blurred...
As Rissk and Zior neared town, more people were visible, it was still quiet though. Two sentry's were guarding the end of the bridge and they eyed Rissk and Zior suspiciously. As they neared the end, the guards dropped their vibro-lances to bar their way, "Halt! State your business!"
Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:29 am
"We only wish to acquire so parts for our ship. I assure you we won't do anything foolish now step aside." Zior wasn't one for being polite so he had to force every one of those last words out of his mouth. He didn't want them to get too noticed entering the city so telling two sentries their slime and that he'll blast them if they don't move wouldn't have been the best thing to say.
Posted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:44 pm
Rissk scowled at the guards who looked to be considering Zior's explanation, "Grrrr! look we need parts, and we could sue some work - I hear Nym always has work for pilots and hired guns?!"
The two guards wavered then pulled their lances aside. Rissk strode after Zior who had already barged his way past shaking his head. Rissk trotted after him, "Hmmph! Seems like they have some sort of security lock down on.... Hey, Zior, wait up! We should probably find the Cantina and ask about where we can get parts."
Back at the ship Kregor was helping Rayanr dismantle some of the heavier parts which were obstructing access to the inards of the ship. There was alot to do...
Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:03 pm
"We should be able to find it alright. We just need to follow the nearest drunkard." The streets were virtually deserted but a few pedestrians were lingering about the streets. One looked a little dizzy and not exactly all there. He was a human and was poorly dressed. He stumbled about down the street. "This fellow looks promising." Zior commented following the human down the street at a safe distance. After a short walk he enterred a cantina. "There not so tough was it." Zior started towards the cantina...
Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:25 am
Rissk followed Zior into the smoky cantina. She had been recently wanted and it was possible people might recognise her and realise that the report was wrong about her death. She kept a good distance from Zior and peered into the smoke to spot any possible enemies.
A band was playing in the corner, a little subdued, almost melancholy tune, and a group of dancers, comprised of Rodians and Twi'leks were moving subtly to the music. A few strange aliens, all with weapons hanging at their belts were propping up the bar or seated at dark tables.
Rissk punched Zior softly onthe shoulder,"Well, what do you think?"
Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:34 am
"I think we came to the right place." Zior said with a grin,"And I also think we should split up and start asking around so this will go quicker." He looked at Rissk it was almost as if she was trying not to be noticed. "You're not wanted currently are you?"
Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:49 am
Rissk turned to him and scowled again,"Hmmph! I thought I explained it!" Lowering her voice to a whisper she leaned close to his ear , " I was wanted, but I was reported dead, but anyone who hasn't checked the terminals lately might not know about the update - or if they were looking for me but stopped due to my supposed death - well they might recognise me and report that I'm still around... Sheesh!"
Scanning the room Rissk sighed deeply, "Grrr, I'll go see if I can get some answers from the Trandoshans in that dark corner... Even if they DO know about me I should be able to ensure they don't report us... Leave them to me, you go see if you can find something out."
Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:09 pm
"I'll go do that." He said as he headed for the bar. He sat down on one of the bar stools next to a filthy beat up looking human and a quarren. "Give me glass of the best ale you got." He said to the Bith barkeeper.
Posted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 1:58 pm
Rissk nodded to the barman and pointed to... Of course a Corellian Ale, she scooped up her drink, slid her cred chip across the bar and stormed over to the table in the corner.
The table was dark and smoky, the Trandoshans were typical Trandoshan off-worlders, bounty hunters. They were comparing wookiee pelts which they'd managed to take. One of them was showing off a magnificent silver-back pelt. One of the rarest breeds on Kashyyk.
Rissk took a seat and scoffed at them, "Hmmph! Impressive pelt there... I'm sure the scorekeeper will be very proud of you!"
The tall one with the reddish scales hissed at her, "Sssso Rissssk.... You're not dead! A mighty prize for bringing you in... Yessssss..."
Rissk had already surrepticiously pointed her E-11 at his knee under the table by this point, "Actually, no... You'll be killed you fool! Before you do anything stupid I'm pointing a blaster at your knee and if any hands move where I can't see them, your minus one leg... And you look to be beyond the age where you could regenerate it... So I suggest you shut up and listen to me!"
The hunters held out there hands, all still with a pelt in them and looked stunned at Rissk. Rissk frowned at them, "Hah! You idiots believed the propaganda eh? Actually I was involved in the wookiee incident on Kashyyk more than you think, it was myself, Kregor and Caden Blackart who were going to enslave the entire wookiee race - what would the scorekeeper think of that? Hah! Hmmph! Well, in I'm on a secret mission for the Dosh government to get the plan to enslave the wookiees back on track."
The trandoshan males looked skeptical but were listening now.
"The government arranged to fake my death so I could continue the mission, if you help me and we're successful the scorekeeper will surely grant you all a thousand Jaggonath points!"
The eyes lit of the hunters who were clearly breaver than they were bright - a trait shared by most Trandoshans with the exception of Rissk.
"I need to find somewhere to buy ship parts and I need to speak to Nym, any suggestions?"
Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2006 9:54 am
Back on the planet the imperial force had landed and started searching for any clue to where the fugitives may have gone. The troopers were making one the spot interogations and regular occurance and many of the people were quite disturbed by the increase in imperial activity in the area.
At one point in the investigation a local trader had refused to provide any inforation, when Ariane had interveened to pursuade him, the entire squad had been attacked by a small militia squad. The squad had not lasted long against the might of the Theoi's elite ground forces and soon they had managed to extract some extra information from the local militia regarding the ships the fugitives had escaped in and the combat status of each ship.
Still no lead on where they may have fleed, they continued there search, through the back alleys and bars.