Log:The Irregulars: The Bloodlines of Lianna
A night view of Lianna hangs in the viewport, the ecumenopolis scintillating with lights. Homeworld of House Santhe and Santhe/Sienar Technologies, the planet's prosperity is evident in the number of ships queuing for entry on the down world starport.
The bridge of Y-4 though not luxurious, is large enough for the group to gather to go over the upcoming mission. Dyannah has a holoprojection of the planet lit which turns in place as she talks.
"Let me make it clear that our overall objective is to find the whereabouts of the manufacturing and planning facilities for the production of TIE drones. You know they have started production on all of the variants. The big prize would be to find the main production facility so that the Resistance can do some precision removal."
She smiles at the thought before gesturing and the holoview changing to zoom into an area fifty kilometers from the starport. "The good news is that we have a contact willing to defect. Intel reports him as disgruntled by his treatment at the hands of upper management at Santhe/Sienar." She looks up, "One Arnkale Colbird. Apparently he's one of their top researchers, brought in from Corellia, under tight surveillance by the Santhe/Sienar security. They have not treated him well threatening his family when he tried to leave the project according to our sources."
Looking at each of them, "We need to locate him, as our first objective. Reach him, extract him if we can and get out of Lianna without a fire fight. Your input into the mission is invaluable. Your questions and observations are welcome."
Nova's green eyes ice over a the mention of TIE Drones: Lately, there've been a lot of innocent people killed across the galaxy's spacelanes by those literal death machines. Seated on the edge of an auxiliary control board close to the briefing area, she raises her hand. "Does he know we're looking for him? And if they're threatening his family just for wanting off a project, shouldn't we take steps to get them away, too? Or is that another team's job?"
Rial Het hears out the briefing with a series of short nods. When it comes time for questions and observations, he muses aloud, "If'n they're watching the lad so close, we'll need eyes kept out for surveillance." He draws a breath to ask a further question, but Nova hits it first and he adds a mute nod and thumb toward the blonde at her query.
Jax was along as not a full member but as a guest and volunteer. So he was in the back of the briefing room. The Corellian watches the display of the mission plays out before him as they explain the tie drones. This was news to him as he's new to the game. He raises his hand, "They're flying droids? No pilots? They tried that in the clone wars with various success. If destruction doesn't become an option. Perhaps slicing in Virus and back doors might be something to consider."
"Good questions Nova, Rial." Dyannah nods with a faint smile to them both. "That has been taken into account. Reason we are going into it with a van. Seems that luxury groceries will be delivered today as well as a little catered birthday party. The wife and their twelve year old boy will be coming with us. The sticking points will be the elevator and loading them into the van."
As Jax speaks, the Zeltron crosses her arms, eyes down listening as she nods at certain intervals. "The Resistance has been fighting them. Nova can tell you a bit about that. I've seen reconnaissance films taken during the fights. They are getting more and more dangerous from my reading of things. Jax, talk to Silver Astro about that point, I think any ideas will be welcome."
"That's true. The Trade Federation built them on a budget, so they weren't always effective, but with weight of numbers on their side, they were very dangerous," Nova recalls. Her mind quickly turns to other matters, though. "Does our target have any known after-work hangouts? Maybe we could make a discreet approach in one of those," she suggests, unsure of the answer. This undercover stuff isn't her forte', but she's learning. And trying to learn faster.
Rial Het gives a small nod to the updates about the family and evacuation plan. The discussion of drones and a theoretical virus draws a wince. "I'm no master slicer, now.. but the master slicers I've chatted with on th' question say remote slicing isn't an option without some backdoor into their matrix or some such. Maybe if'n we find this prototype factory after a chat with our lad." A look aside to Nova and another nod. "Aye, should be able to scan his location once we're ground side, aye Dy?" he looks to Dyannah for confirmation.
After the initial routine checks concerning their clearances for landing, space traffic authorities clear the demilitarized Y-4 transport into the starport.
A truck waits for them prepared by the small Resistance undercover cell on planet. It has been loaded and prepped. Dyannah slides into the driver's seat and waits for the others to load in.
Terraformed and settled for more than five centuries there is nothing left of the original landscape in the extended area around the starport. Monotonous and anonymous buildings whizz by.
There is a clear demarcation between the Santhe/Sienar housing and the surrounding buildings. Trees and grass are only for the rich; the high rise buildings tower over gardens and manicured lawns. The transport truck pulls up to the back entrance bay of the third building, the side panel of the truck having morphed into the name for a well known grocery chain.
A building guard, discreetly armed to keep up the pretense that people living here are NOT virtual prisoners of their benevolent employers, walks over to the truck and hands them the manifest. Trays of food for a celebration, a birthday if the inscribed cake is any indication plus the weekly groceries for the family.
Kadi is quiet, listening. She looks curious though as she hears the name of the researcher. "Bet he knows my parents," she comments lightly, in her Corellian accent. She simply keeps up, keeps quiet mostly, and pays attention. She does add, "I'm not a slicer, but I am an engineer."
Behind the front seat of the truck, Nova takes a few deep breaths, trying to settle her nerves and get into character. She'd hastily changed into some fairly generic workwear before leaving the ship, hopping into the truck last-second, carrying a duffel which holds a few potentially useful items. Her hair is a bit mussed, like most workers', her jacket holds a name tag, and her boots are comfortably run-down. It's a great blend-in disguise... except she forgot to put on her pants in her hurry to get ready, and apparently hasn't yet noticed the fact. Her sky-blue athletic briefs definitely stand out against the weathered tan of her attire.
It's probably a good thing she's only visible from the midriff up when the passes the guard her ID and accepts the manifest. "Hi! Thank you!" she says, with a bubbly smile that seems to be her best cover identity feature.
Rial Het sits on the truck's passenger side, an arm leaning on the repulsor truck's window frame, looking for all the world like a bored grocer. Discreetly taking note of the building's surveillance cameras, he waits until they're out of guard hearing to murmur, "They're running a standard Sienar-Janus surveillance system, and I see a computer terminal. Will loop the feed once we're out. Should prevent any central alarm being raised." Aside, he adds to Nova, "Nice bum, but a bold choice of disguises."
Jax had dyed his hair coal black, red contacts, and applied blue make up to his face, neck, hands, and everything that he looked like a Chiss. He looked good except for his smile. It was too wide. He pushed the food cart along and as the guard eyed him, he tried to put the force in between his words, "I'm with the Food Service Company." He of course sounds like he's Corellian and not a proper Chiss. He's got to work on that snarl. Though at the mention of the lack of pants later when it's a topic. "Yeah wondered about that. THey're in the cart. Figured you might want them."
This particular trip is Sesti light, with only her stun baton in one boot and one knife in the other. Of course, there are a couple of throwing blades also discreetly tucked into her simple delivery clothing. Not that she really trusts the delivery coveralls to disguise her, what with the tattoos and double rows of horns, there's no way to make the fierceness of her Zabrak heritage look anything but Zabrak, so she decides to hide in the cart under the cake. She takes advantage of her smallish size to fold into the small space, closing her eyes and trying not to groan when Jax doesn't exactly sound Chiss.
Kadi isn't trying to look like anything but a human, because she'd fail. She instead simply has made herself up to look Echani. That's easy! Pale skin, she speaks the language, and nobody knows who they are any way, right? She smiles very sweetly at the guard as whatever id she currently has is passed over to him, waiting for him to let her through. It's not a disguise really, just sneaking a tease at her husband, even if he's not here to see it. She does have a sweet and innocent look to her, and it's made a bit more ethereal due to the gentle shading make up that someone else applied for her before this started.
Dyannah backs the truck up to the dock as though she had been driving rigs like that all her life. Her makeup making her look human baseline has the faintest sheen to it. "Nova, you will have pants on or I will shoot you," she says with a smile fit for a diplomatic reception.
The guard on the outside of the dock comes over to the truck as they begin to unload, being suspicious is just doing his job. He circles around to the other side watching Jax, pretending not to stare at the Chiss who are unusual enough on the planet to merit a stare. The guard depresses a button on the side of his collar checking in, "All clear, they are going to the penthouse for the Colbird party. It's down on the schedule."
The group each in their own imitable way, a cross section of immigrant labor on the rich planet doing menial jobs, cross the dock and head for the freight elevator on the way to the penthouse. Dyannah remains with the car. Into the elevator they go and thirty floors pass in seconds for them to unload on the penthouse floor.
Nova blushes as Rial points out her fashion faux pas, and nods a quick thank-you to Jax as the man produces the very cargo pants she'd be needing for the mission. She hastily pulls them on. If she can only get over the last-minute, pre-mission nerves, she'd actually make a decent agent. "I have pants on, ma'am," she replies quietly to Dyannah, blushing. She has little doubt the Zeltron would follow up on her threat. After all, she's the dangerous kind of interesting.
Slinging her duffel over her shoulder, she moves to assist in the unloading. Presumably, it contains supplies for the party. And up the 'lift they go, the forgetful soldier staying close to the would-be Echani and Rial. If something goes wrong, she wants to be in position to back them up.
The 'lift doors open, and she gives the greeter a cheery smile. "Hi! We're here for the party. If you could show us where to set up, I'd be ever so grateful," she says, laying it on thick, even batting her eyelashes once. "We're a tad behind schedule; I'm so very sorry for that! The traffic on the way was just horrid!"
Rial Het checks in at the nearest computer terminal, subtly slipping a data spike into the comp socket. Under the guise of checking in their arrival, he times the command for the moment the security guard is back at his post, and loops the optical feed, before joining the others for a turbolift ride. "All's well," he notes to the others during the ride. Then out into the penthouse corridor, and past the detachment of interior guards as Nova takes verbal lead.
Jax's pushing the cart with the cake and his wife in it. He settles down and gets his game face on as they ride the lift up. He make sure to look down and to the side to make sure he's not making eye contact with the camera. Then the lift opens and Nova speaks and Jax push the cart out of the lift. "What she says is true. We're just a catering company here to set up for the party." The power of the force behind his words.
Sesti twitches her muscles slightly, tensing and relaxing them like a cat to keep from stiffening up as they go up the lift and towards the penthouse. Her fingers rest near the top of the boot where she's stashed her stun baton.
Kadi continues along with the group, seeming like she knows what she's doing. Spoiler - she doesn't. She is very bright though which might save her hide. Maybe. She smiles at the guards again, quite content to walk along with Jax, apparently keeping the cart on an even keel so it doesn't tip or get stuck, as they walk. It's simple, it's easy, and she concentrates on that, but there's a wide guileless look on her face when she does look to the guards.
Only the family is at home for the party. Their short stay on planet hasn't allowed for the boy to make friends, Colbird's wife, introverted and fearful, stays home. They shop using datapads. Arnkale, their target, has special permission to stay home, answers the door. Close behind him is a face that none of the group is prepared for. Two guards are attending the birthday party despite a low keyed protest from Arnkale. His protest earned the extra guard. Security is on alert with the man.
The second hurdle is cleared with no violence but the guards in the house will need to be subdued. The alarms they carry will alert the guards in the hall and halt the elevator if they are not subdued quickly.
"Can the rest of you get started? I'll join you in a moment, promise," Nova says, still using that too-chipper party person voice. She lowers her voice and addresses Arnkale.
"Excuse me, but could I trouble you to show me where your refresher is? I need to powder my nose... and set up the makeup kit for those of us who will be wearing costumes," she says, her knees coming together suggestively and her smile turning a tad embarrassed.
As the cake is wheeled in, Rial acts as party coordinator, directing the cake one way, shaking the client's hand, crouching to bid the child a cheerful, "Fair name day to you, little lad," and generally making it all seem normal. He notices one guard take a wary interest in Nova, and steps toward him. "Your pardon a moment, sir," he asks quietly. "Anything we can do to make your jobs easier, today? Anything off limits, any zoning ordinance we ought know about?"
Jax Greystorm just lightly shakes his head at Nova's shenanigans. Jax though goes to sitting up the plates and everything on the cart but his wife and the cake. "See I'm a nice guy. I'm just serving cake." He says to a gaurd.
Curled up in her hiding place, Sesti hears the chatter from her cohorts that indicates that there's more people in the room than expected. She closes her eyes and grinds her teeth together silently in frustration. Putting a hand over her mouth she whispers into the coms "I can stun the one to the right of the cart without them alerting anyone, just tell me when to 'cut the cake'."
Kadi nods to the group, emphatically. That sweet smile to the guards. "I am DJ," she says, sounding like she really is Echani. But there, she's heard it enough, and she's fluent, so why not? She grabs the sound system and sets it up, easy enough, and then starts it up, testing the sound. And actually it sounds pretty good.
Despite the music and air of festivity, Arnkale is pale and sweating, a fact that the older security guard takes note of. Nova's winning smile though derails his thoughts with a helpful push from Jax's Jedi abilities. Arnkale's wife, hovers over the cake cart which has been rolled to the middle of the room in front of the picture window. Her face is tense and unsmiling, darting glances at the older guard and at the younger guard who comes out of the kitchen. The cart is between the two guards now.
Only the boy seems calm, sitting on the couch facing the large picture window, his nose shoved into a datapad, sullen and unhappy at not being able to go to Santhe Holo Park. He looks up at Rial's question and glares, "I don't want some stupid cake I want to go on the holo-rides," he replies grumpily. But his expression lightens with the music.
His mother fakes a smile to Rial, saying with embarrassment for his behavior, "He wasn't happy about us staying home."
Down below in the truck, Dyannah pretends to read her datapad but is too nervous to do anything but listen through her senses to the guards. The party is out of her range mentally but she sends a pulse to Sesti and Rial through the communications devices they carry. "Cut the cake."
Jax head turns to the side at the sound of the buzzing from the cart. He had been rooting around near Sesti when it happened. He picks up the cake and moves it to the counter. His eyes glancing around for a moment. Then for a moment he closes his eyes and draws in a breath then exhales. He lets the force flow through him and guide him. He looks around for a moment watching people.
Pointed to the refresher by someone helpful, Nova slips away. She returns within moments. "Excuse me, I do need a room to serve as a dressing room for our costumed people. The refresher room is nice, but it's too small for us," she says to one of the guards. "If you could show me to a room that's large enough, and has a mirror, it'd be totally wow. I know you're busy, and I'm sorry to pull you away like this, but I don't want to disturb the family. It looks like they could really use the break."
At the older guard's gruff nod, she accompanies him to the master bedroom, the only room large enough. "Thanks, totally! We're almost ready now. We just need to get dressed and all, and I have to set up the makeup kit for that," she adds, keeping up a steady line of patter to bore and distract him. "It'll just take a few minutes, promise! This is gonna be such a /great/ party, even with only one guest!"
She unslings her duffel as the irritable man watches, pulling out the costume makeup kit and a couple small costume bags. The former goes on the large dresser, in front of the big dressing mirror. The latter are laid on the bed, within easy reach. "It'll only take a sec to get this stuff ready to use," she says, keeping up the combination of boring and irritating. "I just have to open the bags and lay out the costumes..." When the man looks out the bedroom door to check the hallway, she seizes her opportunity. A quick tap of the button shuts the door, sealing away all sound from the room. Catching his shoulder, she turns him around right into a fast left hook!
He's quick enough, even after that swing, to slip her next two punches. This fight just got complicated... and he's still got his comlink!
Her hand on the stun baton in one hand, the other on the vibroblade of her boot, Sesti waits in a coiled spring, ready to unleash. As the notice comes through from Dyannah, she slashes out with the blade to free herself from the cart, and spins around low her stun baton crackling as it crashes into the side of the guard's knee. He buckles from the force of the blow and the stun energy coursing through him. Her attempt to follow up with the blade is hampered by the cloth still stuck to her blade, and the cake crashes to the floor next to the guard, splattering icing on his com. She misses the hand that reaches for the com by mere inches and she dives to try and knock it away from him.
Rial Het turns a roguish grin back on the birthday boy when the mother explains his displeasure. "Hadn't you heard lad? No holo can rival the real thing." He hears the command to cut the cake, winks at the twelve year old, and in an instant a holdout blaster is in his hand and the rogue is opening fire on the beset Sienar Corporation trooper, dropping the man with the third shot, and instructing the family, "Stay in back of us when we start moving. You're going outside after all, lad."
Kadi is fiddling with the music, turning it down, then up, when things start to go sideways. She does try to help, but this is where her inexperience at things shooting shows up. Because she misses. Well. that's not so fun. But she did try. A sigh, and then she eyes the blaster as though it shot on its own. Honestly for all the good that does, it might have. "Note to self," she mutters. "
A thump is heard from the bedroom. Arnkale's wife's pallor morphs to white and she sways in place looking between the cake and Rial's pistol then down to the guard on the floor. "Arnkale?"
Her husband goes to her side to support her, "You heard the man, son. Can you follow his instructions?" His words quaver but he nods gravely to his son. "They will keep us safe, we need to get off this planet."
This guy's better than your average Rent-A-Goon, slipping another of Nova's punches. But she feints, having him looking high when she strikes from low, and slams a fist into his gut. As he staggers and bends over, she expertly snaps her knee up into his face, taking him over backwards and down!
Sighing in relief, she quickly cuffs the guard with his own restraints and takes his comlink, slipping it into a pocket. Then she hastily repacks her duffel, slinging it on and exiting the bedroom.
She's back in the living room within moments, smiling at the sight of the downed guard. "Two down," she confirms. "That just leaves the two outside. Pity about the cake, though... it really looked good!"
Rial Het motions for the family to wait beside the door, fully covered from the impending blaster fire once the door opens. A nod to Nova as she emerges. A glance to the others, a sharp nod, and out into the corridor they go.
Little boy Blue Jax grins at Sesti's and Nova's work. "Might keep him back." He says to Rial of the boy. Then moves to the door and slides it open. Then he lets a trio of ion blasts out down the hall. The first striking the guard, "Splash 1. Still got a contact." He says dodging back into cover to let Sesti do her thing. How does he move so fast?
Sesti growls and just plain drops the entangled vibro-blade, reaching back into the cart for the vibro-saber she stashed there, hoping the reach will help her get to the man. However, before she can bring it to bear, Nova is there and takes care of that problem. Without missing a beat, or saying anything, she's up and towards the door on the heels of her husband. As he ducks back into cover, she brings the blade around to take care of the guard's arm closest to her and any thoughts he may have about drawing a weapon. He probably manages to duck her jab with the stun baton more out of shock than actual skill, but her blade comes around again and she drops him. "Clear," she says firmly, before she heads to the lift, taking point and depending on the others to follow.
Kadi steps back with the worried couple, smiling. She holds that Echani accent, and says, "Stick with us now, please. It might be a bit scary, but we need to move very quickly." She's expecting that Rial has the child, but she watches to see if she should be taking care of him, since she's probably the worst shot, and the worst at shooting. "If we say run, we're all going to have to try to run as fast as possible," she says. "Are you all up for it?" She's encouraging them to move towards the door, as she does so, once there's that all clear called. "Here we go, it'll be fun." That's for the kid, likely nobody else will believe her.
One intense look at Rial and then his son, "He's yours. Get him out alive." Arnkale holds his wife as they run down the hall to the elevator. There is the thunder of footsteps at they throw themselves into the car. Rial hits the number. As the door closes a comm squawks asking for the half an hour check in. "Station Thirty Five. Report! Come in Station 35!"
Looking at her watch, Dyannah takes a deep breath and starts the van, all the while watching the platform guards reaction in the side mirror.
Nova takes a spot at the back of the elevator as they beat their hasty retreat. <Cake is being shared,> she says quickly into her comlink, meaning that they're on their way down for a quick getaway. About then, her pocket starts squawking about Station 35 needing to report. She blinks and hastily pulls out the comlink, offering it to Rial. "Can you get them to shut up and leave us alone? We really need a head start!"
Rial Het hustles the Corellian family forward with Kadi's help once the call of 'clear' is heard. "Turbolift to the ground floor. We've a waiting speeder truck to take the all ro our ship. You'll be off world in a matter of minutes, and safe in hyperspace shortly after." His certainly isn't even dimmed when the comlink squawks in Nova's hand. Accepting it with a nod, he clears his throat once and speaks in a wholly different voice. He sounds just like a Lianna native, with a professional- yet subtly bored- edge to the accent some describe as lightly snobbish. Ge even managed to mimic the tone and cadence of the guard he'd spoken with, briefly. "Station 35 to dispatch, all clear. Someone in the command center mentioned a party coming up, I got the caterer's card. They're good. Station 35 out." Kadi totally gets onto the lift without any qualms, hands patting her pockets. The fixer jacket she's wearing is good for that, lots of pockets. She pulls out a pair of repair goggles and a bandana, handing them over to Arnkale. "Here, sir," she says. "This can help you look not like you. Just a little, to give us a head start." She also moves to get wife and kid on the cart, making sure they are good,because they are going to have to move, when that lift door opens.
Although she was first to the van doors, Sesti waits just inside one, keeping the open door between herself and the outside world. She holds onto it, counting heads as people go into the van looking to see that her husband mans the other door. Rial's performance had earned a slight, barely visible, smirk, and she nods to him as he passes. Once all are in, she hops in herself, and pulls the door after, waiting for Jax before she gives the 'Delivery complete' to Dyannah.
Jax looks at the comlink and Rial. His expression horrified as he wait for the all clear to come. He's prepped in case this turns into a fire fight. He lets out a breath, "May the force be with us."
The comm call back allows the guard in the surveillance booth to nip out. The spicy smell of a mild narcotic wafts its way out onto the platform. His colleague frowns at the smell and barely glances at the crew with the cart, empty of the cake, full of part of their prize. He doesn't notice the extra person. Two guards are presently earmarked for an early retirement when the top researcher is reported missing. Dyannah takes a deep breath when she sees the door open and waits for the slam of the back door. Keeping watch for who joins her in the front of the van