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Umbara


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Qessax growled slightly as he signaled back to the others still on the ship. A few hand gestures made his commands known. Stay, guard the ship, kill potential liabilities, be ready to move. Silence was key. He was almost excited to actually be in the field again like this. 

 

However, he was not fully happy. The Knights had made their move towards the slavers and the slaves. Their desires were too evident to the Imperial Agent. Hopefully, they would be effective. The slavers didn’t seem to notice the Knights yet, but with their adapted eyes, the darkness was a bright day for them. Their whips were still activated, and their focus was still on the slaves. Qessax did feel an ounce of pity for them. His own people had their own history of slavery, and these slavers were being forced to work in unsafe and unsanitory conditions that even a Bolosar would be uncomfortable.

 

One of the slavers did stop and peer around him. Having heard something, the Umbaran peered through the shadows like it was day time, seeking a noise he may or may not have imagined. The other five slavers continued their own work, while the slaves continued on, many on the brink of falling unconscious from exhaustion.

 

Qessax refocused himself. The Knights would do as they saw fit. If they messed up anything too badly, at least they could be a distraction. Instead, he worked himself with the clones, following their steps and guiding where he could. 

 

He eventually broke off and found himself a perch where he could see most of the hangar, and the others. He had one thing the others didn’t fully have: the schematics of the ship memorized like the back of his hand. He would be a lookout and a guide where he could.

 

“Wing Guard…” Qessax whispered into his comm. “Be watching those corners of the walls. Umbarans have been known to use modified Millicreep droids to patrol  areas they can’t post soldiers at.  If you are spotted, its done for.

 

It was then he saw the first complication of the mission. He had to adjust his night binoculars to make sure he was seeing it correctly, but his hunter senses told him more than enough. Like a hunter tracking a muumuu, he could track this target. 

 

“Team…” Qessax whispered into his comm for the whole team of clones, mercenaries, guards and Knights. “One of the power suits is moving toward the ship. Time of contact 1 minute. Need a distraction. Nothing too noisy, but something to pull the thing away” 

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 On silent feet the imperial knights ran through the hangar, their dark clothes blending seamlessly into the murk of ruined salvage, dismantled fighters, and rusting cargo. Their force enhanced eyes searching for the slight red glow of a low light camera, or the soft skittering droids Agent Qessax had been describing over encrypted comms. They did not find anything as they closed like a noose around the pack of slavers and their slaves. They stopped and crouched in the murky darkness waiting for the go signal. Their eyes closed, waiting for the force to lead their charge. 

 

But in a night of complications and near missed disasters, another complication tore its way into the plan. Like a bantha in a glassware store, except in the form of a mechanized soldier. Slouching his way towards the recently landed ship. Keen on investigating something that would not matter in a few minutes. 

 

There would be justice this night, and no foolish Umbarin would get in its way. 

 

Raphanel let the force flow through his body, then out of it, reaching high, envisioning the criss-crossed beams of old fighter mount racks that took up nearly every spare meter of the hangars ceiling. Many of the beams were coated in a yellow orange smattering of spot rust. Places where the protective durasteel coating had been worn away during the clone wars, places where after too many fire missions without time for rest and refurbishment, the stains of use had turned into deepset decay. 

 

If there had been time for reflection, Raphanel could have made a comparison to Umbarin culture itself, and the deepset moral decay that had become the basis for this current mission. But now was not the time for such things and he had found what he was looking for. And with a gentle nudge of the force, a crosswire beam from which five generations ago a starfighter would have dangled and recharged, fell from its place to crash loudly to the durasteel floor.

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Lord Commander Raphenel Karlovci Contispex- Imperial Warden

 

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“Bloody hell!” Chrissie hissed, nearly dropping her computer as she jerked herself forwards around a blind corner of the catwalk. A pair of softly clinking robotic insects scurried down the wall from higher up in the catacombing catwalks . Only the Wing Guard’s hostile-mobile-armaments sensors soft buzzing had tipped her off in time. Still, her hiss seemed to have drawn the droids’ attention as they paused, their sensors sweeping the area.

 

At the entryway, Vangar watched across the darkened bay. Everyone on his team seemed to be functioning properly; a surprise to say the least. The slaver that approached their ship would beed to be dealt with. He hoped that Qessax’ agents could handle it. His shotgun at this range would be more a distraction than needed.

 

And the. It happened. Above them, in the dark, a beam seemed to break loose. The faint bending of worn metal was all that foretold the rapidly plummeting chaos. Vangar’s eyes widened as he ducked back into the access bay. He slid the panel shut in front of his very eyes. It sealed with a hiss as if he had never even been in the hangar bay at all.

 

It was then that he heard the faint clatter as the telltale scan of the patrolling assassin droids pinged in his ear and across his heads up display. With a pneumatic hiss, Vangar slung his scattergun. In the same motion a pair of elongated songsteel blades found their way to his hands, drawn from the back of the warrior’s waist.

 

A red light began to flash on one of the miniature droids as it sensed the threat that the obscured Barabel presented. Meanwhile the second continued to scan, convinced it had sensed another.

 

Springing forward, Vangar was airborne in an instant. A momentary burn of his rocket boots carried him the extra distance even as the droid raised it’s electrified tail to strike. The Barabel did not need the force, a lifetime of combat training and hunting having honed his skills. His blades flashed in tandem. His left hand lashed out in a jabbing arc to bisect the tail from the body of the droid; all the while his right plunged forward, driving straight through the insect-sized bot leaving nothing but a sparking front and back of the droid as it clattered over the railing and down into the depths. Clink. Clank. Pitter. Patter.

 

He did not stop to admire his work, the second droid whirring about, it’s energized scorpioned tail

lashing forward. The electricity arced across the elegant silvery blade as Vangar brought both blades across the second droid sending pieces of it in opposite directions. Spinning about and dropped into a predatory stance, the Barabel’s eyes and sensors looked for other threats. He did not see any, for the moment.

 

”Are you alright?” He hissed to Chrissie as he lowered his blades.

 

”Aye,” she nodded, eyes slightly widened at the surprising dissolution of the immediate threat. “Thanks boss.” She pointed up a runged ladder nearby, her finger running a path along a catwalk three stories above them until it intersected with a computer console. “Gotta get up there.” She moved towards the ladder and began to climb.

 

Vangar moved towards the ladder as well, sheathing his blades once again. He waited until Chrissie was at the next level the  he began to climb. As he reached the second level he paused, his HUD illuminating another insectoid droid a ways down the walkway. In the shadows, the Viceroy paused. He did not tense a muscle beneath his armor, as if that would do anything to hide him any further. It felt like an eternity before the droid moved onwards and out of sight. He began to climb again, not stopping until he made the desired landing shorty after Chrissie.

 

The Wing Guard hurried forward until she reached the console. Carefully she began to examine the entire system. She ran her hands along the edges of the console where intersected with the wall. She dug her fingers into a panel that swung open at a push, fishing out a wad of wires. Standing on her tiptoes, the technician peered at the twisted wires. With a careful fingernail, she separated the third white wire from the others. Pulling a clipper from one of her numerous pockets, she cut the wire. Nothing seemed to happen. No alarms were triggered. Lowering back to her heels, Chrissie pulled her hacking equipment from her satchel and set it on a durasteel deck plate adjacent to the viewscreen. She set to work, her fingers flying from her equipment to the console and back, her eyes darting back and forth as she entered a trance-like state.

 

Vangar stood a half dozen steps back, letting the woman work. He scanned the area cognizant for threats. It would take several minutes and then they would be on their way to their next objective. All Chrissie had to do here was input a couple strands of code that would disabled the locks across the ship. Then it was on towards the command station within the sphere. It was going to be a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG walk.

 

 

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The umbaran mechanic nearly jumped at the sound of the metal that fell from above, even inside his protective armor. The crosswire beam echoed throughout the hangar, making the slaves who were working jump, and even their slaving masters had to pause before getting the slaves back into gear.

 

“Well, not what i expected, but not bad” Qessax whispered into his comms, confident that what had just happened was because of his team mates. He had a sneaking suspicion it was the Force users, but he wasn’t going to admit that yet. 

 

The Umbaran mechanic, sufficiently distracted, went to investigate the fallen metal. Once he found the piece, he began to scan above, making sure there was no risk of any further potential accidents. 

 

Still, the slavers were disturbed, and more then a few slaves were taking advantage in the lull of enforcement to take a break. Some of the slavers had lost all focus on the slaves and were glancing around. Something was off. One of them was even leaving the slaves under another slaver's care to investigate the area. Nobody could pinpoint it, but something felt off to them. 

 

“Vangar, i believe you should be near the command station by now. I’m transferring some of the security codes to you. Hopefully, they can open the doors, but I can’t say anything about the men inside. My guess is their leader is getting ready to start the ship up soon.”

 

Little did Qessax realize how true that was. Even as Tyr sipped at his drink, one of the mechanics alerted him it would only be a few more minutes before the engines were operational. 

 

“Hold on…” Qessax breathed into his comm, raising his sensors up to his eyes again. “Looks like we got some slaves making a move from their group. Tilt, they are moving in your direction. You boys better hurry up whatever you are doing. We are close and i don’t want to muck this up now. If they make too much noise,…”

 

Qessax didn't want to even think of the consequences of failure of stealth.

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Tyr congratulated the mechanic nearby for a job well done. A promotion was incoming for everyone, that was for certain. Once the engines started in less then ten minutes, the ship would be maneuvered towards the planet and within their fleet of smaller craft for protection

 

“Sir, two of our drones just went out. I’m not sure why…”

 

Tyr furrowed his brow. The last known location of the drones were very close. Too close. No, he was not about to lose his promotion. Not when he was this close to perfect completion.

 

“Get some men up here to check it out. And seal the bridge. I don’t want a stray mynock to get in here and muck everything up. No, not the blast doors, just seal it tight, as a precaution.”

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Progress was made, and while there were no guards or droids passing through Thumper gave a quiet but obvious hum. He had already hacked into a variety of Battles Droids both standard and heavy models, the Vulture drpids were especially hard but they only proved a half minute's worth of trouble but even then there was no technology beyond his scope. At least in regards to fixing them up or doing exactly Thumper did, coding and reprogramming. Being on a time restraint, infiltration,  and he'll call it what it was, reconnaissance, it made things a bit difficult, but nonetheless the Clone did his best and that's all he could give. After finishing up a batch of Vultur droids, at least four of them, he signed just slightly while atop of one from a ladder. 

 

Thumper looked about until spotting something bulky in the distance. He pulled a binoculars from his back and looked through them, trying to focus around the darkness and lenses and see exactly what he was looking at. A pair of maintenence Umbarans were playing with a terminal, a half built thing but judging by their operation it was functional. He'd watch as the pair turned on several Battle Droids from a distance but immediately turn them off. They would discuss something but otherwise strolled off elsewhere. 

 

"Captain,  I'm looking at a control center for droids. Looks like it's functional at least." Thumper reports into a comm-link between his squad. 

 

"Is it worth the risk? We're swimming in deep water as it is." Tilt replies quietly, still looking for any trouble. 

 

Thumper responds a bit more aggravated, [C2]"It can be, if I can get a hold of that thing I can an hours work done in the soan of a minute. Remember,  we've done things like this." 

 

Without even waiting Thumper moves from the Vulture and starts his way through the series of droids. Cursing to himself, Tilt motioned for Riggs to move up, seeing no time to argue he instead opted to staying silent unless necessary to tall. He wasn't too happy with his soldiers decision but had no choice but to move along given Thumper quickly closing in on his target. They moved quickly and aggressively, Tilt thankingthr higher powers they hadn't been seen just yet. 

 

As soon as Thumper was close to the large computer system he only had seconds to stop and quickly duck behind a downed Vulture. The two engineers from before had returned, they were speaking about something that the Clone couldn't understand but what he understood was that he was too eager. He realized the fault of the situation,  perhaps he shouldn't have gone for the control station? Instead he lied and wait not wanting to risk getting caught going forward or moving back. 

 

Tilt didn't wait however. He saw the engineers coming toward Thumpers location, he bumped Riggs and gave a motion with his hand with two fingers up. The Sargeant understood and picked up the smallest but heaviest object he could find. He chucked the thing far behind the engineers toward a large junk pile that sat next to an Umbaran light freighter. The pile was carefully hoisted by a makeshift platform and wires that bately contained it. And as soon as the piece of junk hit the pile, the wires snapped and the several tons of parts and trash fell atop the freighter, with the platform swinging from momentum and slamming hard into the windows of the cockpit shattering them. All three Clones seemed to have stopped in unison, cringing at the loud noise, but it seemed to have gotten the attention of slavers and engineers alike. 

 

Tilt and Riggs quickly hid amongst tool towers and droids while Thumper maxe use of the distracted engineers and quickly hid himself in an old fighter cockpit which had been covered in tarp. Riggs and Tilt watched several engineers,  slavers, and whoever else rush toward the noise,  Thumper waited for everyone to clear up and heard shouting of anger in the distance. Taking advantage of that situation,  he moved toward the terminal and immediately started to get to work with the system. Meanwhile his other two comrades had pushed in and took positions,  Tilt on the ground floor blending in amongst ruined droids while Riggs stayed atop an upper platform after taking a ladder. 

 

[C2]"Oh man, looks like that's one of the head honchos," Riggs whispers over his comm link, "Chewin' all of 'em, he looks pissed!" 

 

[C2]"Focus Sargeant. Thumper, how long?"

 

Thumper makes a few hand signs between hacking the terminal. After a good minute Riggs gave a "red light" to Tilt, letting him know that the individuals were getting back to work stations. The Clone Captain was about to cuss his subordinate until Thumper starts to make his way back. As soon as he returns the three quickly made their own path between all the droids and junk using the chance to cross the way deeper into the ship. Once they were cleared of units, Tilt ordered his squad to stay in tight formation for better security. And to avoid anymore runoffs. He was going to have a long talk with Thumper. 

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