Blaster fire keeps chipping away at the crate I am using for cover – I cannot stay here for too much longer. I sneak a peek in search of targets – each one of them hidden behind crates of their own. The effects of my healing herbs are apparent, I feel rejuvenated and ready. As my closest target’s blaster fire pauses for reload, I make my move. Running out of cover I jump over a nearby crate and land directly in front of a stunned Stormtrooper. He tries to fire but fumbles his gun and misses, I respond with an elbow to his head. As he goes down he desperately continues to spray his blaster, he is scared. By this stage my crew has taken out all of his comrades, and he knows it. His mind must be shrouded in fear – he is in a scenario I hope I never find myself in.
Knocking the weapon away from the Stormtrooper, I hold him up against a bunch of crates for questioning. He is not very responsive, even with friend Vrinko’s calm approach – without seeing his face I cannot tell if that is due to anti-interrogation training or simply shock. It matters little, within moments technician Manco arrives at the scene and fires a warning shot at the Stormtrooper’s foot. Perhaps a little trigger happy, our Jawa blasts the enemy’s leg right off, and I find myself now holding up a lifeless, limp, and footless shell of a Stormtrooper – so much for interrogation.
We salvage some weapons from the Imperial fallen and decide to head to our ship, Von Reiser heading a different direction in the forest to get to his own ship – the situation certainly feels a little odd, could this be some elaborate scheme for an Imperial to gain our trust? Either way, if the Imperials were here to ambush us at the bunker, they surely would have backup waiting somewhere, very likely up in space. As pilot Tyr takes us off world, friend Vrinko and myself man the turrets.
Von Reiser’s modified Imperial fighter, an experimental Advanced Tie-Fighter if memory serves me correct, rendezvous with us just outside orbit. But it is not the only Imperial ship out here, on our trail is a squadron of Tie-Fighters.
As out-numbered as we may be, our strength in outer space matches our strength as a team on foot – with help from our new found ally, Von Reiser’s, impressive piloting skills. He manages to take out four of the five enemy ships, one of them a Tie-Interceptor – compared to the Gambit’s kill count of one Tie-Fighter. Technically an easy feat for a skilled pilot such as him, but I wonder what mental hurdles he may had to have overcome to turn on his old wingmen like this. There appears to be a larger Imperial command ship off in the distance, but that is not a fight we are prepared for – we hyperspace out… to a quiet and empty location.
Von Reiser has requested we make this stop off for him to finish some business. Our ally’s Imperial ship, identified only as Raptor on our ship’s radar, gets close enough to the Gambit to bump hulls. With-in moments Von Reiser appears on our ship, and we begin to drift away from the Raptor. There is some chatter between him and technician Manco, it appears our ally wants his ship… destroyed. We let Von Reiser man one of our turrets as the rest of us watch out from the cockpit – laser fire leaves the Gambit and hits the Raptor, coating it with a sharp electrical field, before exploding into a shroud of fire and debris.
If this were some scheme to gain our trust, consider me convinced. I hear no quip at the ex-Imperial’s actions from pilot Tyr. For a captain to watch his own ship be destroyed… to be forced to do it himself – could pilot Tyr ever pull the trigger on his own ship? It is no secret that he is a man whose primary language is credits, but I do not think any price could convince him to destroy the Gambit.
But there are also rumours of pilot Tyr’s past life as an agent of the Empire – and whether or not anyone else notices, his accent does occasionally match that of an Imperial. I cannot help but feel that at this moment, Von Reiser’s actions are projecting pilot Tyr’s own past.
Enough speculation Arribacca. It is wise to be mindful but not to the point of paranoia, or the expense of truth. And besides, what better time than now to brew up some of Jgata’s lovely tea for everyone on board and listen to their side of the story.