Prolog

Running the Gauntlet

The Gambit Crew: Present day.

Blasting out of hyperspace The Traitor’s Gambit comes to a dead stop in realspace. The hyperdrive winds down, leaving only the the hypnotic thrum of life-support and shield generators. Before them, in this region of the Outer Rim stretches The Gauntlet, a vast asteroid field of tumbling, shifting rock like a school of strange, gargantuan sea-life.

To the average traveller this is a hazardous if easily avoidable feature of the galaxy; so distant from the space lanes that few plotted courses need account for it. But the crews of The Traitor’s Gambit are not your average travellers; they plan, despite the peril beyond, to take their ship in…

Following the instructions of Aspin the infochant, they start a series of scans looking for a transponder signal within the asteroid field. Finding it, they travel within and begin to follow the bread crumb trail into danger… After some fancy manoeuvring and some quick gunnery, the comm channel comes to life!

The Traitor’s Gambit emerges into a seemingly impossible and surely unnatural refuge form the surrounding dangers of The Gauntlet.
You have discovered The Eye; a vast space station and trade hub at the centre of the asteroid field. Around it, in holding patterns and flight paths both arriving and departing is a multitude of starfighters and transports.

Cloak & Dagger

Scene Cut: Tyr 1 month ago

On Coruscant, beneath the skyscrapers, beneath city streets and the layered, sprawling populace is the undercity; a world apart from the Imperial Capital above; a place of gangs, criminals, the displaced masses, the desperate and those who take advantage of them. In an unnamed cantina, bathed in the perpetual artificial light of the down-below, sits an unassuming figure, in a gloomy alcove; back to the wall and occasionally eying the service exit. The cantina’s not busy, but busy enough to screen this clandestine meeting with a man called Aspin.

Tyr walks in and it’s so cold in this sub-sector that the servos in his cyberarm are aching as he turn a shiny metal object over in his metallic palm. With his free and still natural hand he innocently checks the expertly concealed holdout pistol one last time

A slightly overweight Devronian, in an aging red flight-suit saunters in. Bypassing the bar to purchase a drink he walks over to Tyr’s table and casually slides into the booth.
He looks Tyr over; dark eyes flickering over the object clinking in his hand and says rather nonchalantly…

Aspin
I see that you got my message? I am Aspin and I have a message from an old colleague of yours.’

Tyr opens his hand and place the old Imperial dog-tag that Aspin sent him on the grimy table. On it, the name Marl Vorusk.

Colleague is a poor description for Marl Vorusk. Tyr’s trusted mentor, Marl not only made him the man; the agent (or at least ex-agent) he is today, but he was also there that fateful day… The day he lost your arm, decided to part way with the Agency but most importantly, the day Marl Vorusk died…

This dog-tag perhaps says differently.

Aspin
-Look, we don’t have much time, specifically… (wetting and rubbing a horn with his thumb) YOU don’t have much time. I’m… an old friend of your…colleague (He says gesturing to the dogtag) and he has a message for you… It doesn’t matter how he is alive, only that he is…And to warn you, that you, are in danger. You’re poking around has attracted the wrong kind of attention and you need to leave Coruscant. Other parties are interested in that data and they’re are closing in… You need a place to lay low, somewhere these interested parties can’t touch you, but somewhere you can make contacts, build resources… maybe a few creds on the side… Our mutual friend has a suggestion…_

Aspin slides a datapad across the table…

Aspin

This datapad has coordinates for a location out on the rim and off the radar. You have a ship yes? Well it’s the perfect place for a Tramp Freighter Captain to ply his trade…

Aspin grins

Aspin
Of course any space jock can make a modest living hauling freight but someone like you, if someone like you could put together the right team; there’s a lot of lucrative trade out there… the kind of cargo and the kind of jobs that only a team of specialists; who aren’t afraid to take a few risks and maybe break a few laws can do. You could make a lot of imperial ’C’s’ while setting up a whole network of contacts across the galaxy… Who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy it..Like a holiday no?
If you can’t put a crew together here, you’ll find plenty of willing hands there… You’ll want a good tech… Someone who can handle the rough stuff; but anyone who can, handle the controls, shoot a blaster or talk their way out of trouble will be useful… In fact, I might have exactly the kind of… specialist you need. I’ll speak to him, see if he’s interested in a little trip to the stars eh? Haha!

Aspin downs his drink slides out and almost as if it was an oversight says:

Aspin
And when the time is right… you’ll hear from him… Good luck…

The Mechanic

Scene Cut: Tyr 3 Weeks ago

When Tyr limped in on The Traitor’s Gambit he had to find himself a good tech. After researching the local spanner monkeys; one in particular caught his attention; an odd little Jawa by the name of Manco

Business was slow for him, probably because here in the Imperial Capital, even down below; a Jawa is not the most popular choice for handling expensive machinery with their sticky fingers and reputation for repairs that last as long as it takes to get the goods out the workshop… But, he was hungry for work and discreet and proved to be a master mechanic. During the course of him virtually rebuilding Tyr’s ship he got to know him a little…

Intense, excitable and flighty he could also prove to be intense and deadly serious, particularly (and surprisingly given his current home of Coruscant) vocally anti Imperial. You even had occasion to discover that he’s not unhandy with a blaster, a ridiculously oversized repeating blaster in fact. And considering that you’re practically his only customer, you doubt it will be difficult to convince him to join you…

Tyr heads to Manco’s repair bay where he’s putting the finishing touches on The Traitor’s Gambit and makes him an offer of employment.

Imperial Trouble
_Scene cut: Two Years ago, the Players take on the role of an elite Stormtrooper Squad _

Imperial Stormtroopers are a uniquely disciplined and singly motivated elite force, providing support to both Naval and ground forces and answerable directly to the Emperor.
Each trooper; encased in combat armour, employs state of the art weapons and is referred to only by number, not rank or name. They are deployed to crush the fiercest resistance and neutralise the Empire’s greatest threats.

But even among the Stormtroopers there are elite corps who handle the most delicate and darkest missions…

The suns of Tattooine do their best to test the limits of the environmental skin suit lining their armour but they are trained for such adverse conditions and despite two days forced march there are no complaints… there is only the mission. It is the middle of day three when reports comes in that the scouts have made contact with their target.

ST 001
Rec team, get up onto that ridge and see if you can get a fix… Patch through the coordinates if it’s a positive ID.

Rec 1
Affirmative ID of target vehicle.

ST 001
Close on coordinates and engage to secure.

Two speeder bikes sweep up and descend down the dune face towards the trail of red cloud of sand marking the target.
A few minutes pass when the Rec teams call in…

Rec 2
001; this is Rec 2, have engaged, weapons hot but target not responding, awaiting instructions.

ST 001 trudges up the ridge…

ST 001
Rec 2, this is 001; drive them east point 2 by 52. ST 002, take your team down to 2 by 52, and set up the PLEX, when you see that crate, put one in a track; disengage only if it halts.

The Squad moves down into a natural, slightly cooler canyon and sets up its ambush site and ready the Merson PLX rocket launcher.

The canyon shudders, shale sliding down the rocky walls as a vast wedge shaped, tracked vehicle made of great sheets of rusted steel, lumbers ponderously into range. The bikerscouts have long since peeled off; blaster scoring evident on its dusty flanks.

ST 003 Takes aim, fires and it’s a direct hit!

ST 001
Good work 002, hold position, move down and secure the perimeter. Do not allow any passengers to leave the vehicle, but do not board, await the rest of the unit…

Confused Jawa’s open the Sandcrawler loading door, as the Stormtrooper squad emerge from cover and secure their prey. The other units arrive…

ST 001
Squad’s C and D take up a perimeter north and south of the canyon, take out any runners.
Squad A, you’re with me, we’ll sweep each level and clear out all passengers, accept no resistance, once we secure the control room we call in the VIP. Squad B assist with escorting passengers outside.

The Stormtroopers sweep through the crawler, quelling resistance and escorting the survivors off, rounding them up in a tight pack against the canyon wall.

Once they secure the vehicle they call in the ‘The Adviser’; A human dressed in desert survival gear, a blast vest and a head wrap.

He enters and engages the Captain in his own peculiar language. After an eventually heated exchange, the encounter ends with him killing the Sandcrawler captain. He simply looks across at ST001 and says

Adviser
Execute all witnesses, destroy all information.
The Stormtroopers mercilessly sweep the Sandcrawler, ferreting out the last few occupants without resistance and jostle them at blaster point out into the dust and heat. The vehicle’s milling crew clusters in a tight chattering mass against the shadow of the canyon wall.

While they strip and pile communication and recording equipment for destruction and set charges throughout the vehicle; squads C & D tighten the perimeter around their prisoners; set up a pair of heavy repeating blasters… and execute the Red Order.

The Survivor
Scene Cut: Manco 3 Weeks ago

Repeated laser blasts bounce around a makeshift target. A Stormtrooper helmet balanced on a pipe. Amongst the charred Sandcrawler wreckage a lone figure in a brown cloak crouches. He takes a deep breath, trains his blaster sights on the target again and pulls the trigger releasing a bolt.

This time the shot finds its mark sending the helmet into the air. The figure picks up the helmet again, staggering towards the target; he stops for a moment resting on his blaster.

Exhausted he plods over to the pipe and places the helmet on it. Looking around he finds another piece of Stromtrooper armor and other debris and sets up more targets. With a deep sigh he walks back to his spot. Tired and hungry, since his food ran out, he has not eaten for many days.

His only focus has been the targets and until he hits the mark he will not leave. Images rapidly flicker through his mind. Images on-board the Sandcrawler, repairing everything from engines and shields to armour and blasters. Images of his family. Images of his friends. Images of an Imperial officer, a face he will never forget.

Head angrily twitching, he smoothly brings the blaster rifle up to shoulder height and releases three shots in succession. Three targets shatter as every bolt connects.

Finally satisfied he gets up and with one last look at the makeshift graves of his family and friends he picks up his trappings and walks off over the dunes towards the spaceport.

His old life gone forever.

The Professional
Scene Cut: Tyr, 2 weeks ago

Tyr had been anything but idle since arriving on Coruscant; gathering intel, speaking to infochants… He visited some dangerous parts of down-below and dealt with some unsavory characters; sometimes needing some extra protection.

But contracting a hired gun is not as simple as it sounds. You need someone who knows their way around their tools but doesn’t rely on them, someone who can use their presence to intimidate foes but also blend into the crowd. Someone who will take orders but someone who knows when and how to take the initiative.

Sometimes you need a thug, a killer, sometimes even cannon-fodder but mostly you need a professional and you make your way to his apartments.

Drohn, a tough looking Zabrak lets his sometime associate in and listens to his proposal. The merc. agrees and Tyr now has a hired gun for his crew.

The Downward Spiral
Scene Cut: Drohn, 1 year ago

The Firespear; flagship of the Black Spirals; breaks out of hyperspace a few parsecs from it’s target, an Imperial stronghold on an isolated agrarian world.

On board, a dozen heavily armed mercs; most more interested in rebel bullion than any noble cause; assemble in a converted cargo-hold made armoury and tactical staging area.
Drohn first ready in his kit as usual sits down on a munitions crate, trying to focus on the task at hand amid the typical banter of ‘the locker room’.

Galo muses with a typically stupendous and gory tale to his captive audience… scarred lip twisting wickedly… And the merc crew aboard the Firespear erupts in laughter…

And that’s when Irsha walks in!

Irsha
Alright ladies, hands out of each others ammo bags or at least stop smiling about it…

Irsha Kelt; an old and trusted friend out of Irdonia, something of a mentor to Drohn and Captain of the Black Spiral. With her striking figure, smoldering glare and natural charisma she could’ve been a holoactress or intergalactic super model; but no such occupation comes out of Iridonia, certainly not for the daughter of a professional soldier… She is immediately confident, in control and as dangerous as a primed thermal detonator.

Irsha
Gather round the screen. As you know, we’ll be dropping in hot on the dark side, 3 By 437; the flyboy’s will drop us in a shell and we come out blasting… Expect heavy resistance on the platform once the package opens but we should have surprise, so find cover, remember your forward, secondary and tert-

BWAAAP BWAAAP BWAAAP!
Her briefing interrupted, Irsha jumps to action…

Irsha
What the!? Folann, get on the Comm, find out what…

Ships Control
Imperial interdictor on intercept; tractor beams locking on, boarding pods enroute, ALERT! All hands prepare to be bo-

KFZZSTSFKKK!!!!!!

Irsha
The Comm’s dead- DROHN, get to the cockpit, find out what’s going on!

Lights flickering, bulkheads creaking alarms sounding, Drohn makes his way through the corridors to the cockpit but the blast door has been emergency sealed and the surface is hot.

He notices out the viewport that three imperial pods are approaching the ship and there’s a loud proximity alarm from the other side of the blast door.

As he returns back to the crew in the hangar bay, the ship shakes from three blasts and pressure loss alerts sound.

The crew is gearing up… Irsha announces-

Irsha
Alright crew, we’re about to be crawling with Imps’; hopefully grey lids and not white tops… Well, I’m not standing for Imperial slugs sliding all over my ship- Let’s tool up and clear every last trooper…

Folann the Bith, sitting at a monitor hooked up to the ship’s scomplink, turns around…

Folann
Ahhh… Irsha, I’ve got at least three possible hull breaches here, this ship’s gonna be swarming with Imps, mining spice is not part of my retirement plan…

Tonik
Yeah Irsh, blast this, let’s get to the pods while we still can…

Irsha orders Drohn to round up the crew and head forward but the crew is decidedly reluctant and look to him for support. Drohn is a Merc, not a Rebel and whilst he trusts Irsha, he respects her he even trsusts her with his life but this time around? He doesn’t see their way out of this; he reluctantly steps up and suggests escape instead.

Incensed, Irsha calls Drohn a coward and the bay is suddenly swarmed by Stormtroopers.

A desperate firefight ensures. Irsha attempts to mount a defence with a few that want to fight. Drohn leads the others in a fateful run to the escape pods. By the time he arrives he is scored with blaster wounds and his companions lay behind him like a breadcrumb trail…

But he does indeed eventually reach the escape pod… Drohn looks back and Irsha is seemingly lost. There’s no reason to stay.

Drohn pulls down the clamp release and charges the boosters. There’s a moment of quiet as the internal pressure equalises in the capsule. Internal lights flicker on and he punches out, plummeting planetside.

The Firespear is a ruin at least four boarding pods are latched onto her hull like Bagarian leaches. Explosions rock her surface and debris peels off, floating adrift.

Gripping at the trophy around his neck Drohn approaches the planet’s atmosphere. The pod shudders and the last feeble signal from the Firespear’s sublight comm bleeds out with the desperate voice of friend and mentor Irsha Kelt…

Irsha
All Spirals get to the escape pods, all Spirals get to the esc…

And since that fateful day Drohn hasn’t heard from Irsha or word of the fate, of Black Spirals since.

The Fugitive
Scene Cut: Tyr 1 Week ago

Manco is tuning the hyperdrive with a malice unbecoming of a master mechanic, Drohn is loading the last few supplies on board and while Tyr sits in the docking bay going over the the manifest and general papers stacked on a shipping crate; throwing of his long-coat as the humidifiers in the hangar bay struggle to cope with the idling engines of the The Traitor’s Gambit.

Two cloaked figures approach the ship, one tan, one a dirty ruby red. Both hooded heads are misshapen, either non-human or wearing blast helmets.

The red cloaked figure throws back his hood with a toothy smile, wry snigger, and the familiar horned crown of Tyr’s contact Aspin.

Aspin
Tyr- good, I see you’re just about ready? Almost got yourself a full crew compliment I see? Good, good… Maybe I can help you fill another bunk?

Alongside him the other cloaked figure peels back his hood to reveal the moist mottled skin and large reflective disk-like eyes of a Mon Calamari.

Aspin
This is Vrinko Dash, deft hands, sharp mind, silver tongue and swift feet… A perfect addition to your crew and someone who needs to get off the planet almost as much as you…

Tyr looks questioningly at Aspin for a moment before he shakes his head, accepts this final crew member and begins introductions.

Break & Enter
Scene Cut: Vrinko 2 Weeks ago

On the fifth floor of the fortified Layana tower; upper levels of the underworld of Coruscant, broad webbed hands clamp over the guard rails on the fifth floor and a figure; assisted by a sytnth rope and grapple hauls himself up onto the platform. Vrinko, can only hope that Jint his Snivvian accomplice has disconnected the alarm system…

Well… he’ll know soon enough!

Vrinko drops onto the platform and tries the security screen- Open! He passes in, moving silently and slowly. Following the memorized plans in his head, he moves through a plush sitting room abound with animal trophies and even more carefully past a ‘live’ one; a reptilian bird asleep on its perch.

Then through a corridor of glass fronted cabinets where he finally arrives at his mark, a rare and expensive war medal. Lifting the object and placing it in a secure pouch he retraces his steps…

Almost clear, stepping over and out of the threshold the alarm resets and sirens sound throughout the building!

Rushing to the balcony he looks down some five stories to a cluster of security guards already massed around the base of the building- No exit that way…

Vrinko takes a look across at the neighboring rooftop where a balcony; 3 meters away and one story down beckons. Vrinko steels himself, takes a short run-up and leaps into the thick but still Coruscant air! He lands, rolls and runs on to a stairwell, immediately heading down and hopefully to freedom, hoping his partner has fared as well.

Lady in Waiting
After carefully shadowing his way home through the city streets, Vrinko approaches the run-down apartments that once belonged to his cook of a master Norcuna now gone, the apartment is now his. But he stops dead as he spies and slides into the shadows when he notices a bulky robed figure lurking nervously near the entrance.
He observes patiently for a few moments; finally relaxing only when he realises it’s Arnimon; an Ithorian matriarch and recent addition to his long list of potential financial benefactors.
Spotting you as you emerge she immediately stumps over with Ithorian femininity and places a long broad palm upon Vrinko’s chest.
Arnimon
Vrinko, I’m so glad you’re O.K. I came here to give you this

And passes Vrinko an envelope; bulging with Imperial credits.

Arnimon
I was waiting for you when I heard noise from inside, I was about to knock when I heard a terrible cry, I didn’t know what to do, I was about to call Cor-Sec!

Vrinko smoothly dismisses his patron, keeping her calm and assuring her all is well. She leaves a concerned look on her face but with a smile and a wave.

Vrinko sidles up to the entrance, a shadowed alcove and listens- It could be Jint, but it might be Imperial police officers too…

Quietly up the stairs and into the main corridor, the rooms have been overturned. Vrinko proceeds with extreme caution eventually arriving in the living area…

The living area, like the rest of the apartment has been overturned, an appliance is smoking in the kitchen and a lamp is flickering beneath a toppled seat.
On the long dining table, one leg buckled under, the familiar but now motionless form of Jint lies face up and bleeding onto the floor.

Around the room; half halfheartedly rifling through the ruins of the overturned dwelling you once shared with your sorely missed master, are three human ‘Thugs’ in patchwork armour and variously armed. Looking out the window in a miserable hunch is also a green scaly-skinned humanoid.

Vrinko stands boldly in the doorway and challenges the thugs.

At first, the leader, tries to play cagey; asking about the previous occupant; Vrinko’s master Norcuna and making less than vague threats that they will do to Vrinko what they did to his friend on the table. The thugs, move slowly to outflank the Mon Cal but he’s too sharp, he draws his lightsaber and that’s when a desperate fight begins.

The two moving in leap at Vrinko with vibrodagger and club. Vrinko waves the ancient weapon at them, surprising himself as much as his opponents who now proceed with much more caution.

The vibrodagger lunges, Vrinko steps deftly aside and swipes the super-heated beam through his opponent who shrieks and falls down dead.
Club, a desperate and fearful look on his face charges in and swings; Vrinko deflects the blow and swings back, winging his opponent… Then, across the room, the thug’s leader draws a blaster pistol and fires, Vrinko has no more room to twist and a searing blaster bolt hits him in the side.

Just as Vrinko thinks his position is hopeless a new player enters the fray; from behind him, a robed figure swoops in, draws a sporting blaster and fires at the leader who ducks for cover. Using the momentum of this change of events, Vrinko turns a vicious blow on Club and send him flying backwards… dead. The leader stands up to fire again, but Aspin coolly lines him up and blasts him from behind his cover before he can shoot again.

The unarmed, green scaled alien runs for the door, Vrinko moves to stop him and he halts, terrified… And unarmed. He drops to the ground, looking at Vrinko and clutching at his temples, he points at the Mon Cal…

Alien
You, you’re one of them, please, please let me go, I am nothing more than a slave, I won’t hurt you…

Vrinko lowers his lightsaber, his new ally does the same with his blaster. Vrinko moves closer to the Alien who seems to grow more amore uncomfortable the closer he gets.

Vrinko
Go!

The alien runs, still clutching his head. Vrinko hurries over to Jint, he is dead and obviously, crudely tortured… Vrinko shudders and closes the snivians eyes.

Behind him the figure checks the bodies of the thugs, finally pulling back his hood to reveal the horned Devronian features of * Aspin*, Vrinko’s recent contact…

Aspin
They’re all dead… Are you okay? You remember me mentioning that I might have an interesting proposition for you? Well the boat is leaving- literally right now; c’mon, pack what you need, we leave now before anyone follows up on these bottom feeders, I suspect they’re cannon fodder for a greater power and it would be best if neither of us were here when they follow it up…

Vrinko takes one last look around the room, sweeps the apartment for those possessions he cannot leave behind and pulling up his hood, follows Aspin into the night.
The Beginning, the Middle & the End

The Beginning
Scene Cut: Tyr 3 Years ago

Tyr moves through the dank tunnel system, moisture clings to the walls, the air still and cold. Pressing his palms together trying to draw out some heat; they were once the soft hands of a clerk, now rough and hard like the hands of most ISB (Imperial Security Bureau) agents.
He comes to a mesh gate and shifts it roughly aside, taking a dark side passage and stopping near a distinctive piece of alien graffiti to wait.
After almost half an hour, left shoulder numb after leaning against a rusted water pipe; the figure of a Bothan shoulders the gate aside and walks with cautious but deliberate steps towards Tyr’s position…

Bothan
Solaris?

It’s a Bothan; one of the few Alien races who still enjoy the favor of the imperial machine (some say because of humanity’s natural affinity with the mundane canine; to which the Bothan’s share a passing resemblance).

Bothan
_Thanks for meeting me here. You don’t know me, nor will you… But I know you… Few enough ISB agents would report a crime, fewer again could muster the resources to see the charges laid- Still… A shame it didn’t stick, but no surprises there.

In fact it was these events which led to Tyr’s promotion from shipyard auditor to full field agent. After discovering a simple clerical error, Tyr pursued a cadre of Imperial perpetrators through a series of very dark legal paths and ultimately brought them to Justice.
But Tyr didn’t make any friends, certain Imperial higher ups would have swept the situation under the rug, along with Tyr’s body if not for Marl Vorusk. Marl Vorusk a senior agent who not only took up Tyr’s cause but helped him prosecute (if unsuccessfully) his charges and ensured that rather than ‘terminating’ his employment he was in fact promoted and took Tyr under his wing…

Bothan
I have something for you…

Handing Try a gold data cylinder.

Bothan
It contains information; information that people, very important people, very high on the Imperial Intelligence ladder would be willing to do anything to ensure stays buried… If this information IS released it will have ramifications that will cripple this emerging Empire of evil…

We bring it to you because our caretaker-ship has come to an end, we have collated it and guarded it literally with our lives but now it must pass into the hands of someone, on the inside of the machine who could not only protect it but might also be willing to use it… We hope that, that person is you…

There is a catch though… In order to ensure that this information get to this point without being leaked, or diluted, or doctored, or lost; it has been encrypted. It will take more than one expert many moths to break, unlock and transcribe the information contained there… And that will be YOUR task…

Before you take this, you need to understand- There is a shadow standing over you just for considering it… I… am the last link in the chain… Every being whose hand this simple object has passed through is either dead or in the hands of Imperial interrogators. I hand this to you in the hope that when they find my body, they will believe this information lost and the hounds will lose the scent.

Tyr accepts the Cylinder and the task that accompanies it…

As the Bothan hands it over, his expression is difficult to read; fear, relief, resolve… perhaps all. Until there is only a steely glint as he pulls up his hood and disappears back the way you both entered with hurried steps echoing off the concrete walls and not a look back.

The Middle
Scene Cut: Tyr 2 Years ago

Dell is good… It took 3 months to track him down but when it comes to rogue slicers that’s always a good sign; too hard for the average Sec-Cop to locate but not a resourceful client with a real problem. Rumour is he works for the thrill and glory but it didn’t stop him accepting a generous fee.

After a month of silence and a clear instruction of ‘Do Not Disturb!’ (trying even Tyr’s patience) he has finally called with good news; he’s made a break through. Tyr arrives at his hab on the 77th level of a Nar Shadar scraper; but the door is ajar and obviously forced… if carefully.

No sign of a struggle, except to Tyr’s trained eye. Thankfully the cylinder wasn’t left here… Tyr searches the room, aware that whoever did this, whoever has Dell may be back, or worse is watching now.

Tyr sweeps the house first, cupboards, drawers, desktops; then the computer. The system has been wiped but his discerning eye spots a hidden compartment and a stash of data rods. Pocketing them, he leaves, touching nothing else.

At home, Tyr reviews the information on the data rods. The information is general but Dell has made a series of notations.

There is reference to three different classified documents, including the subjects of Personnel, Technology & Religion and finally a reference to the 501st Legion.

The last note refers to the encryption itself. A sophisticated, artificial intelligence that will be hard to crack… Great…

The End
Scene Cut: Tyr 1 Years ago

Marl arrives at Tyr’s door, late, with an uncharacteristically grim expression on his middle aged, neatly groomed face. He looked like a father, or a man who might run the local store with his warm eyes and neat black beard; but that’s was why he was so good at what he did.
He was the only one who shared your secret, though you suspect that he was dubious as to the information’s authenticity; that was until you shared with him the entry referring to the 501st.

An elite Imperial unit, part rumour part legend; answerable only to the Emperor.

He had received a message, from a ‘ghost’; someone who knew that Tyr had come into possession of some black information. The contact demanded a clandestine meeting that Tyr should be there.

And so, Tyr and Marl board The Last Ride Out; a ‘characterful’ YT-2400, piloted by a reliable ex-smuggler on Marl’s retainer by the name of Gardon Mann.

They travel to an abandoned colony outpost on an unnamed moon orbiting a Gas Giant known only by the designation G046. The colony has been turned into an unofficial way-point for smugglers and shady deals.
Only a handful of permanent residents are here; mostly running the makeshift landing area and a few providing the rudest of supplies.

They land, alongside two other ships, one quiet and unattended, the other taking on a short cargo.
Gardon and his modified medical droid descend the entry ramp with and go through a standard external check of the ship leaving Tyr and Marl to find their contact.

The colony though abandoned is still largely intact; though all furnishings, fittings and belongings have long since been removed or salvaged. A compact web of tunnels link empty ex- residential domes and the practice of visitors is to locate and temporarily appropriate a place to conduct meetings or exchange.
Given details where to meet they have no trouble finding the location.

The colony is still and quiet, devoid of vegetation and wildlife of any kind.

There is a tense moment when they cross paths with an Aqualish, roughly leading a female human down the corridor but they pass and nothing is said.

Eventually they find the alfresco eatery in an abandoned food court with a cracked and weathered glastic dome. Much of the is bizarrely seating still in place though much has been tossed and broken.

There are two unfriendly looking humans in dark clothes, standing at a table with a strange device on it.

One of the toughs indicates for them to sit while the other turns on the device.

The hologram of a dark but human figure appears, is standing in shadows, features obscured. He identifies himself only as a member of Renik (Counter Intelligence department of the Bureau)

Tyr is asked to verify the data Marl gives him a grim nod and Tyr connects the cylinder to a scomplink on the device.

Agent
Do they know what’s on it? Where did they get it? Do they know a Bothan named Ferril Bann? Are they aware he’s an ex-Imperial spy who was stealing classified information and selling it to rebel agents? Do they know a Slicer by the name of Oberdell Caullen? Are they aware he has an Imperial bounty on his head for information brokering and electronic infiltration? Have they attempted to extract the information and what are they planning do with it? Has anyone but them attempted to access the information? Have they been approached by anyone to purchase that information particularly a suspected rebel operative? Have they reported the discovery of the device to anyone in Imperial Intelligence?

Tyr being Tyr and a longtime agent himself, answers with leading denials orchestrated to trick his ‘opponent’ into revealing more information… The two spar, neither gaining a foothold in the vocal tug of war.

Agent
Well let me make this easy for you agent, if you hand over that information now and submit yourself for debriefing then I will allow you to keep your full status, if not..

Marl jolts forward and the yells at the figure, causing the two enforcers to twitch

Marl
You have no right! There’s no way you can…

Agent
Marl… I’m surprised at your naivety; you know there ARE no limitations when it comes to Renik

Marl quiets down and looks gravely at Tyr…
Agent
Well Agent?

In answer, Tyr stands defiantly, disdain on his face and yanks the cylinder from the device.

Agent
Well then, I will be forced to take executive action!

The two enforcers attack, loosing holdout blasters but they are too slow; Tyr beats them to the draw and throwing the table up for cover, blasts one of the enforcers off his feet.
The second squeezes off a shot in return, winging Tyr…
Marl is quick with his own blaster and fires back. The enforcers stumbles trough the café trying to find cover where he can when Marl looks up…

Even in the heat of the firefight, Tyr is drawn to his gaze- up and out the through the glass dome into the stars beyond where a Tie Bomber is bearing down on them!

It releases a missile, small at first, time moves slow, Tyr and Marl run, or try too, but this time they are too slow as the projectile gets bigger, closer… until it punches through the dome with a shattering crack and a shower of fractured dish sized transparent plastic. Then an explosive fireball, a shockwave of force, tumbling smoke, cinders and debris…. and then all is black.

Tyr is aware of being dragged through collapsing tunnels and tumbling superstructure.

A screaming, bloody, human girl.

Cold hard hands.

Tyr wakes, groggy on the bunk in his quarters on The Last Ride Out. His body aches, squinting dust out of his eyes. Sharp pains over his body, lacerations, puncture wounds… But he’s OK…

Except for his arm.
The pain is nearly unbearable and he braves a look to see a nasty shrapnel wound, exposed muscle and bone. Gardon’s medical droid; 21-G is gently administering aid.

The ship is in motion.
The ship shudders in the middle of dogfight.
Captain Gardon is dead.
Marl is missing…

The ship’s mechanic a grimy Sullastan called Fobo comes barreling in as the ship shudders, blaster bolts thumping the ships shields.

Fobo
Doc is he alright?

21-G looks up with as much of a grim and disdainful look that a droid’s fixed features can.

Fobo
Tyr! You’re a pilot right? You gotta help the Cap’s dead! That woman’s at the controls, she can fly, but she’s no combat pilot! If you don’t take the controls we’re for the Maker!

21-G
Sir, I would not recommend that course of action, if you engage in any strenuous activity, you will lose that arm…

Fobo
But he’s our best pilot, if he doesn’t, we’re lose it all!

There is only one thing to do. Tyr struggles to the cockpit, ship shuddering with blaster fire the whole way… The woman is the same he saw earlier being manhandled by the Aqualish. She is wrestling with the controls, harassed, bleeding from a minor head wound, her clothes scorched, torn and covered in fine dust…

Shela
Oh thank the maker! I know enough to get us in the air but I’m no dog fighter! I can handle a weapon console though! Oh my! Are you OK? Whoh, you look terrible… I’m *Shela*…

Tyr looks over the console, the pain killers have kicked in, but he’s flying one handed. The Astrogation coordinates are calculated but there’s no way to jump out in the middle of this debris…

The space is littered with fighters out for blood… Shields are working hard but holding, an Imperial Frigate is looming in the distance… Shela man’s the guns…

The rest is a blur. Ships turn about each other; Tyr wrestles the failing controls to thread a safe path between the debris of fractured ships and ruin from the devastated station.

As Shela blasts the last Tie in range, Tyr flies hard for open space and triggers the hyperdrive, hopefully it wasn’t damaged in the fight… YES!

As they enter Hyperspace the pain killers subside, leaving Tyr, not with an expected wracking pain but a stomach turning, cold, numbness in his terribly injured, left arm.

21-G and Shela help him struggle back to his cabin. He collapses as the droid bustles to help.

When they arrive in port again, Tyr is heavily sedated and missing his left arm.

Weeks later there is no word from Marl and Tyr goes go into hiding; his life changed forever but not before benefiting from two small pieces of luck…

A grateful Shela provides Tyr with an underground cybersurgeon and a full limb replacement on her cred stick. Though the implant has never quite taken- he appreciates being whole again.
Secondly, by a happy mistake in the paperwork on arrival (or he suspects by arrangement of the now also missing 21-G) ownership of the The Last Ride Out passed to Tyr.

Once healed and recovered he organises new papers for the ship, a false identity and relocates to the one place he figured no-one would expect him to flee- Coruscant, A place where he can hide in plain site, in the vast undercity whilst having access to prime contacts…

The rest is of course is has brought him to the here and now.

Before Tyr, the great Space Station at the centre of an Asteroid field beckons.
He has a handpicked crew he believes he can trust.
A ship, a mission and the hope that perhaps his old friend and mentor is not only out there, but also still looking out for him.

The Eye Control
Starship Traitor’s Gambit; this is The Eye control, please hold on vector 145TY and await boarding instructions…

Prolog

Star Wars: Rogue Traders DamienMaster