Well then, best laid plans of nerf herders and men. We get to Sullust only to find it’s pretty much on lockdown. We can land at the moon and kind of sorta sneak around there, but peacefully getting to Sullust’s surface is no dice. Kota’s group goes off to the edge of the system to hide in typical Jedi fashion. They plan a normal assault a day or two from now to just level the target manufacturing plants. Kota himself isn’t here yet, apparently his ship moves super slow through hyperspace.
The Hidden Hand manages to successfully land on the moon and knock out some upgrades for myself and the ship. We have a little meeting to sort out our next moves.
Tarash is hell-bent on doing this one particular demo job himself to protect some silly meatbags so we decide we’re definitely going down there.
We decide to fly in and drop off a demo team, Tarash and I. I am excited. This, this is my purpose, I am designed for this nice, messy insertion type of deal. Marma and the bug will drop us in, then keep the Tie defenders busy while Tarash and I run around placing explosives in strategic areas. I get the killing all to myself!
First we finish up business on Sullusts moon. I manage to get some upgrades, climbing claws, jump servos, Darkvision, record and transmit functionality, just in case. I am feeling prepped and ready to rumble for sure.
Now for the fun part.
We get strapped in and ready for entry. We take off and start heading directly for the planets surface. Still a full parsec from atmo, we get hailed by a squad of four Tie fighters. We are politely, but firmly, informed that Sullust is on lockdown and we are not permitted in this range of the planet and if we could please turn away and either return to the moon or leave the system.
Marma, in her best corporate drone voice, informs them that there has been a total misunderstanding, she is so incredibly sorry for her mistake and she will of course immediately return to the moon and that again she is so sorry for the misunderstanding. She then does not alter her course one inch and continues directly for the target entry spot on the planet.
The Ties begin to close with us, and as soon as they’re in range of the guns, I open fire. Well, this time I’m not letting Marma somehow cheat me from righteous kills. Though the first round manages to seriously damage one of them, it motivates the Ties to come in even closer. And I’m all about motivation. They get close enough that I don’t have much chance of missing, and I get another shot.
This one ends badly for the one I damaged, as Skyron finishes him off. I manage to pop a second one, and due to my deadly skillset manage to hit the fuel cells and explode it in a particularly satisfying fashion. The remaining two make their first wise decision of the day and retreat to outside gun range, with Skyron and I taking potshots to remind them.
We’re monitoring comms, so we know that several other squads are enroute to assist, but Marma is in control, and we’re finally nearing the surface.
What makes Sullust useful for us in this particular tactical situation is that it’s surface consists of a massive maze of rather large tubing system formed by recent volcanic activity. This allows Marma an opportunity to show off, and she is taking full advantage of at the moment. As we dive into the first tube and almost instantly lose our tail, I do believe I heard an enthusiastic “WEEEEEEE!” coming from the Pilots’ section.
As we move through the tubes at a rather excessive speed and head towards our target drop-off spot, Tarash and I prep for entry. We anticipate about 10-15 troopers, and a skeleton crew of janitors to be on duty this evening, so we can travel light. I bring the big gun, Tarash brings a rifle and the explosives. In the meantime, Marma is going to have a good time screaming through the lava tubes until we’re done.
As we land outside the factory, the standard security turrets give us a warm welcome. Skyron knocks most of them out with the ship guns, but not before Tarash, in his excitement, decides to dance with them first. Sigh. This may be a short mission. We get inside, and hurry up to the security room to turn off the alarms and slow the arrival of reinforcements.
There are a few guards in there, a couple on break and one working the turrets and monitoring the cameras. We catch them by surprise and manage to subdue them without bloodshed just yet. :( It’s ok, as I note several squads of storm troopers on patrol via the cameras. There will be blood.
We note the current location of the patrols and plot out a route for getting to the necessary strategic locations for planting the explosives. Time to get to work. We start with the basement, and work our way up to the top of the building for extraction.
We get off at the basement level and head towards the load bearing portions of the foundation. The planting goes smoothly, but on our way back to the lift, we run into a patrol that apparently likes to change up their patrol routes. I pick off two of them, but the other two charge and get into close combat. THey’ve got vibroknives out, and one takes a stab at me, I dodge out of the way, and his knife gets stuck in the wall. I blow him away, look over, and Tarash and the other trooper are grappling. I rip the knife out of the wall and wait for an opening.
Tarash manages to work his knees up to his chest and kicks the trooper off him. This is my chance. I jump in and take a slash at the trooper who sticks his hands up to ward me off, but that is surprisingly ineffective against a vibroknife, and I just cut off his right hand two inches below the wrist. In shock, he is comparatively easy to flip over and coup de grace with the knife through the base of his skull.
That was fun. Checking their comms, they had apparently alerted the other patrols, which meant that we were going to have to do the rest of the job the hard way. Which, really, I’m ok with that. I pack up the hand as a trophy, and because dead hand jokes on a ship are just a constant source of joy. (Marma’s piloting through an asteroid field, “Hey, need a hand with that?!”)
We head up the lift to the next floor and head for the strategic positions. We get the explosives planted, and then run into another patrol on the way back. This one is a little more prepared and are at least taking cover and using covering fire. They try tossing grenades at us, which we manage to dodge, but reminds me of something to add to the shopping list. We are cut off from the lift, but Tarash sorts out an alternate route via some internal access maintenance tunnels that let out into the lift tunnel.
We begin to climb up, but they see us and start taking potshots at us. I pin them down while Tarash clambers up to the next floor, then my climbing claws come in handy as I just scoot on up under fire. On the next floor, I lean over and manage to pick off one that is trying to climb up after us. Then it’s off to the strategic locations for this floor. We start off, but run into the third patrol. Tarash gets the first explosive into place, and then tosses one into important looking electronics on the other side of the hallway.
I manage to pick off a couple of them, but then the remaining two charge into close combat. The one after me manages to get his bayonet stuck in my carapace, which is just a tad too close for comfort. At this range, my gun will do some pretty tremendous damage, and the troopers torso just comes all apart in a gooey mess. Best. Op. Ever. Tarash picks up one of their blaster rifles and we pick up all the remaining grenades we can, becuase, well, grenades.
Tarash manages to use the butt of his rifle to knock his trooper away, and I get a shot in that blasts away most of his armor, and Tarash finishes him off with a rifle shot right to his chest. This meatbag was actually getting pretty good at violence, not such a bad master after all.
We start to head back to the lift, but a couple of the troopers have made it up to the door and are trying to get through. Also, they noticed our trick from last time and sent a guy up a floor and had him trying to climb down through the internal access tunnel. He almost picked off Tarash, but I got a lucky shot off and blew him apart. I’m going to be picking trooper out of my gears for awhile. Seriously delightful!
I pin down the troopers trying to come through the lift door while Tarash scoots up the tunnel, then I come up after. This is near the top floor, and there are some finished Tie fighters lying around and a main freight lift in the middle. He plants the last of the explosives, then we head up to the roof and extraction time.
As we get up to the roof, the remaining three troopers are still coming after us. Using the edge of the lift tunnel for cover, I peek over and assess. One is starting to climb up and the other two are right behind him. I decide to teach a tactical lesson about the value of high ground. I switch to autofire and then open fire. It was glorious. Heavy blaster bolts hitting the trooper on the rungs, then walking the fire down into the the other two was just perfect, and made a nice bloody mess at the bottom.
Tarash got a hold of Marma, who came screaming out of nowhere, and destroyed two of the four Ties that had been stationed over the plant. They took a little bit of damage, and managed to pop the remaining two before setting down to pick us up.
We loaded up quick and headed out of system. Skyron and I on guns again and picked off a couple more Ties while leaving atmo. Marma did a micro-jump to the edge of the system to catch up with Kota’s group while we settled in and repaired what damage we could to the ship. I had taken a few dings and nicks which Tarash worked his mechanical magic to repair.
As we settle into the fleet, a voice comes over the comms. Apparently the group has an old friend in the fleet, Nym and the Revenants(No, not a garage band. Don’t feel bad, I made the same mistake) and the Jedi’s habit of picking up mercenary groups to staff his little militia resulted in this clown being among them. He powers up his weapons and informs the group he intends to “vape” us. This is not a colloquialism for “say hello” or “Shake hands”. He also uses an open comm channel to accuse us of being Imperial spies. Some days, I just love my job.
Best. Team. Ever.
Personal Notes: Next time, bring grenades.