Thursday, October 29, 2015

"Commotion at the Comm Tower" - Star Wars: Riptide, Episode 3 Chapter 3


The crew save Kara Pacha from some storm troopers then break into an imperial holo-net relay tower in order to gain intel on the transport and incarceration of Doctor Torpas.



Episode 3 Chapter 3 
COMMOTION AT THE COMM TOWER

Mon calamari scientist Kara Pacha
was on the run from stormtroopers
when she was saved by the 
crew of the Riptide

The Crew of the Riptide
Evo Shandor - nautolan transport captain
Balin Lee - young human Jedi-in-training
Emily Wonder - human mercenary
Eggs Ledscramb - quarren bounty hunter
There She Is!
The storm troopers slowly advanced down the alley, their blasters ready. One held back and stood guard at the entrance to the alley while the other three checked every door.

The storm troopers shoved Balin, Evo, and Emily out of their way, pushing them, grabbing them by the shoulder, and manhandling them. The crew made small talk and tried to misdirect the storm troopers but to no avail.
Eggs helped Kara onto the roof of the repulsorlift transport and out of view of the three searching storm troopers. Unfortunately, the one standing at the entrance to the alley saw her and shouted out, "There she is! On top of the transport!"

The storm trooper standing next to Eggs started climbing up the rear of the transport. The one at the entrance to the alley aimed his blaster.
Balin uses the Force
Balin made a swift motion with his hand and the lid of a nearby waste receptacle flew off and hit the storm trooper as he took aim. The blow caught him off guard and sent him off balance.

Balin and Evo grabbed hold of running boards on the left side of the transport while Emily grabbed the right side. Eggs grabbed the rear of the vehicle, but so did the storm trooper standing next to him. Evo ordered the vehicle to return to the spaceport at top speed. The auto-pilot sped out of the alley and maneuverd a few meters over the heads of the pedestrians on the street. Evo, Balin, Emily, and Eggs were dangling onto the side while Kara clung to the roof of the transport.

Eggs began wrestling with the storm trooper while the transport reached top speed. The pair punched at each other a few times before Eggs was able to dislodge the stormtrooper and send him falling to the street below.

Once free, Eggs helped Kara into the back of the transport. They returned to the spaceport but then immediately took a repulsor-cab to a hostel to talk with Kara in private.

Kara's Story
"My Kara Pacha. I was a lab assistant to Doctor Ardap Topas, a once-brilliant microbiologist and epidemiologist. He was drafted into the imperial military and assigned to the bio-weapons program against his will. To ensure his compliance, Admiral Dirg Kargin had the doctor's family taken prisoner, including his wife and his young daughter. Doctor Topas reluctantly complied in order to protect his own family.
Admiral Dirg Kargin
"At Admiral Kargin's direction, Doctor Topas was forced to create the disease that would afflict the natives of the planet Nesia*. The empire planned to force the Nesians to submit to subjugation in exchange for treatment for their disease. This strategy worked so Admiral Kargin ordered new diseases to be created for other troublesome species.

*Nesia is the Imperial name for Auilai.

"Everything changed a few weeks ago. Doctor Topas learned that his daughter had been taken by an imperial inquisitor. That could mean only one thing - mental conditioning and torture! Doctor Topas confided in me that he was no longer going to design bio-weapons for Admiral Kargin. He had me destroy all of his current work. Then we began creating cures for the diseases he created. Not just treatments, but innoculations that would make one immune to future bio-weapons.

"Doctor Topas was paranoid that we would be found out, so he took our work home with him every night. He told me he kept the results hidden in case we were ever discovered. He also told me that enough of the cure was created that we could undo the damage done to the Nesians, if only we had a way to get it to the planet and distribute it. He took the risky step of researching ways to transport the cure.

"His inquiries must have backfired for we were found out!  I came to work today to find the laboratory filled with storm troopers. I saw Doctor Topas being led away under arrest. I barely managed to escape, myself! Thank you for helping me to elude those storm troopers.

"Doctor Topas' arrest was all over the information broadcast. They bragged about discovering his, our, treason. They announced that Doctor Topas had confessed to his crimes and, in recognition for his confession, the death sentence was to be commuted and he would serve a life sentence in the imperial prison on the planet Vell. They put out a warrant for my arrest with a bounty of 10,000 credits. The report also offered me clemency if I turned myself in. I don't believe that for a minute!

"I need help! I want to get the cure to Nesia, but only Doctor Topas knows where it is! I need help rescuing Doctor Topas from prison. Then I need to get the cure and transport it to Nesia. I could use your help, if for nothing else than to find someone else that could help me!"

The crew conferred and Evo replied, "We've decided. We will help you."

The Situation
Here's what the crew knew:
  1. Doctor Topas was arrested and being held somewhere on Chador, probably in the sector administration complex in Markaze. 
  2. At some point he would be transported to the imperial prison world Vell.
Here were their options:
  1. They could try to rescue him from the sector administration complex.
  2. They could try to rescue him during his transport to Vell.
  3. They could try to rescue him from Vell.
Here's what they didn't know:
  1. The location of Vell.
  2. When the doctor would be transported, if he hadn't been transported already.
Based on the above, they decided they needed more information and that much of that information would be restricted. So the first order of business was to gain access to restricted imperial military communications. They discussed a few options but the likeliest target soon became apparent: the communications relay tower outside of town.

Emily then asked, "So what do we do with Kara in the meantime?"

Eggs suggested, "We could leave her on the ship."

Evo replied, "Ehhhhhhhh....."

"What?"

"Let's get her a room in a hostel first. I'd rather her not be on our ship in case its searched or something."

With that, they rented a landspeeder and drove out to the tower.

The Tower

They holo-net relay tower stood just over a kilometer tall and was located about twenty kilometers south of the city. The crew drove up, parked, and walked right up to the front door. There was no external security but they had to buzz for entry.
Evo fancies himself a talker

The technician on duty responded lazily, "Yes? What is it?"

Evo answered, "We're the maintenance crew. We were sent to perform routine maintenance."

"The maintenance isn't scheduled for another ten hours."

"We thought we'd get it done early. Let us in."

"Sigh. Allright. I'll be right down."

A few minutes later, the bored technician opened the outer door. He was confronted by several blasters, surrendered, and was tied up. The other technician on duty was likewise soon restrained.

The crew got Parts plugged into the imperial communication network and Eggs began reviewing the traffic. They soon got confirmation of Doctor Topas' arrest and confession from the public information network. A search of the restricted traffic uncovered the truth that Doctor Topas was to be shipped to Vell for interrogation to learn the location of the hidden cure. Once the cure was recovered, he would be executed via disintegration.

Eggs also learned that Doctor Topas was to be loaded onto the Gozanti-class transport INS-4963, departing for Vell at noon local time tomorrow. Vell was the outermost planet in the Chador star system, a desolate rocky world with a thin atmosphere. The prison there was built underground in an abandoned mine.

The crew decided that their best bet was to intercept the transport en route, board it, and abscond with Doctor Topas.

But first they'd need a communications jammer.

To Be Continued...

GM Notes - Compare my invasion of the communicaitons tower with the similar invasion in Rebels. in Rebels, the communications tower was protected by four storm troopers and two turbolaser batteries. I left mine undefended for a couple of reasons:
  1. They're on Chador, capital of the sector. There has been no rebel activity here and the idea that there would be is absurd!
  2. From a storytelling point of view, I needed to provide the players with information and intelligence. I left the "how" to their ingenuity, and they had many options. They thought of and chose the communications tower so I went with it. I made the information relatively easy to obtain because it was necessary to lead them to the next episode.