The crew of the Apparition, now operating under the callsign Visage, receives a sensitive mission to collect a Rebel asset. They are sent to the border planet, Bastion, near the what is referred to as the Unknown Regions. Communications have ceased from a scout ship, Fivez, and an extraction may be required.
- Retrieving the whole team, passengers, and vital cargo
- Retrieving the passengers and vital cargo
- Retrieving vital cargo
Loronar E-9 Explorer-class Armed Long-Range Scout Vessel
Unit Visage tracks down the meeting site from the coordinates. They inspect the site and evidence of a hostile encounter. They locate a datapad with recorded footage of the attack. Dr Danks believes the imagery depicts the assailants as a cyborg, Shistavanan, Quarran, Tusken-garbed raider, bone-masked cloaked figure, and a another cloaked figure trying to chow down on someone’s jugular. Despite the violence of the attack, there were no fatal wounds, and evidence indicated the Rebel team escaped, along with a Chiss and Anomid.
Using the datapad, Jaxo picks up a faint distress signal from off-planet, which they pursue.
THEN, a Harrower class Star Destroyer exits hyperspace off the starboard bow …
A voice message is sent …
|VCX-100 model vessel, power down your engines and lower your shields. Prepare to be boarded for inspection. If you do not comply, know that you will be dealt with promptly by the order of Imperial Inquisitor Raithe.|
Jaxo instinctively engages the hyperdrive, thankfully with a lock on the distress beacon. A quick shudder indicated an impact of some kind, though nothing significant enough to set the ship off-course.
Amid travel, the Apparition unexpectedly exits hyperspace, apparently caught in a graviton -ion net … a scavenger’s contraption frequently used for capturing and salvaging ships. Shortly thereafter, the Star Destroyer that harried them earlier becomes ensnared in a similar trap.
Jaxo gives the orders to blast the rig near the emitters. Kyler’s aim is true. Before the rig can compensate, the Apparition enters hyperspace again, heading towards the distress signal. Another trap on the far side of the sector catches the vessel, dropping it back into normal space, then immediately draws it towards its home.
The crew sighs in disappointment.
“It’s ok! We’re heading towards the distress beacon again,” Aggril consoles.
Then they see where they’re headed …
- Apparition is brought into the central structure, through a long and erratic corridor, before finally resting on an open platform, and docking locks are activated.
- Aggril and Q7-D7 state they will remain with the ship to figure out how to deactivate the lock and prepare for departure.
- The party tracks the location of Fivez, while HK-8H and Aolen scout their surroundings.
- HK detects frequencies in a binary dialect and then works over time to translate the pattern.
- Injured beings are located, though there is no help for them, as they are infected with a bio-mechanical virus of some sort, and Danks is unable to identify a means for a cure.
- Hostile activity is detected: a chase; the party intervenes and is warned to stay away from the Core. They learn that lightsabers and ion blasters are highly effective against the drones.
- Meanwhile, Dr Danks traverses the landings and lower gravity down to the parked Fivez
- Danks locates the cargo and when the others convene, they figure out a way to temporarily disengage the vessel from the landing platform in order to park it on a platform closer to Apparition
- They inspect the cargo: a stasis chamber that has strange shielding, even with some obfuscation to Force readings. Aolen pierces its veil, and through description of the creature inside, HK provides insight: it is the species rumored to belong to the Builders (Rakatan)
- Unit Visage opens comms with the crew and coordinates a meeting halfway between the ship and their direction, which was heading towards the Core
- Another encounter with drones, these are tougher and more armored, more coordinated; however, they are no match for Unit: Visage.
- HK translates the binary pattern: an ancient dialect, and the system directs a message at the droid, indicating familiarity with 8H, and then presenting an invitation to the Core.
- Aggril and HK discern the source of the docking locks and are successful in jamming the signal.
- The Units discuss either escaping now or venturing into the core to investigate.
- A salvage crew approaches, and HK attempts to send a binary message to them to desist. They accelerate their progress, following his message like a welcoming beacon.
- From both ships, the crews use the weapon systems to mow down the salvagers, while Bossco summons the Force to pull some of the Rippers. Rippers throw some Fusers onto each ship. Aggril sends an electrical charge across Apparition’s surface to disable the Fuser. Kyler blasts the other off after J-355-I3 misses her shot against the Fuser on Fivez.
- After removing the salvage team as a threat, HK instructs Jaxo on a navigation path, while convening in binary to sync both ships to fly to a safe landing point close to the core.
- Imperial TIEs fly in scouting and beginning to land troops for an invasion.
- They view the chamber, riddled with manufacturing chambers and a holographic image of Lekatan Prime, who presents an offer to converge with the system and receive optimization.
- Jaxo suddenly feels an overwhelming sense of fear and dread, choosing to remain inside Apparition
- Bossco attempts to out-logic the core in debate; he feels the Dark Side reaching out to him as the debate wears on, and ultimately he withdraws from the conversation.
- An audience of bots and drones of various size and structure fill the terraces.
- A kind of tractor beam reaches out for Bossco; Kyler calls upon the Force to pull the Toydarian out of the way, which results in Kyler being pulled in to converge instead
- Aolen jumps down to the chamber, accepting the seduction of the dark side to reach his destination, and strikes as the chamber, only to have his lightsabers unignite … phryk alloy?
- Jaxo blasts the core, with Fivez assisting; system surges occur
- After revealing something of a connection with the AI, then hacking the Lakatan systems to alert the Imperials and call for aid, HK is pulled in to converge
- Aggril convinces Jaxo to dare flying the Apparition down to the core and attempt a another, more directed surface surge; he agrees, and the surge sends the system into something of a slightly powered down mode, but only locally.
- Imperial ships arrive
- The system activates again, this time starting to engulf the Apparition
- Aolen focused on causing vulnerabilities in the Core structure nearby and to release the Apparition from its lockdown.
- The Imperials collaborated with the party to take down drones
Aggril worked to gain access to the system, while HK hacked from the inside of the system.
- HK and Aggril manage to collectively take control of the system, with the Core AI warning about a possible corruption.
- Bossco meanwhile influences Kyler to break free of the AI’s control and fight alongside his comrades.
- TIE fighters took out components but were ultimately snagged by tractor beams and begun the process of convergence.
- Jaxo gets impatient, and once Aggril frees the Apparition, he lifts off, nearly colliding with Raithe’s Interceptor.
- Raithe blasts the converging TIEs to bits but gets blasted apart by the Core defense system; Raithe manages to be pulled into the System and contained by HK.
- HK separates a corrupting influence, Leksende, and confines his presence; determines the Imperials as a threat.
- HK projects an avatar to replace the Core AI’s avatar, and commands all drones to attack the Imperials. Meanwhile, the ISD is attacked and destroyed.
- Most Imperial forces are eliminated. Some ships escape into Unknown Region space.
- Griza Nen is killed during the crossfire. (She was an undercover Czerka agent, anyway)
- The party claims the station as a base. Bossco accepts optimization. HK creates a drone to follow the party. HK works toward creating a bio-mechanical replica of his master, Sorcerer Washol.
- The party secures the stasis chamber at the station to further inspect prior to delivering to Dantooine. They escort Unit Fives and the Chiss to Dantooine.
- The party has yet to agree whether to inform the Rebels about the Lekatan station as a possible shadowport and new, hidden base of operations.