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Mission log 35 - Gradual Table

Log 20210524

On Starday (CD 9-08) Rachel assigns Wrasp with a new mission: Mission 035 Gradual Table.

It’s an agent extraction mission for an important agent on Coruscant. The request is coded as “urgent” but a “non-emergency” by the agent. Privately, Rachel confides with Wrasp that this is actually the top rebel agent located on Coruscant and that the Rebel Alliance Intelligence is freaking out about the loss of this agent!

Wrasp makes arrangements to pick up a cargo from Naboo for luxury food items for delivery to Coruscant. Wrasp also instructs Aliz to store the stolen art (intended for sale in Hutt space) somewhere secure in the on base storage. The team’s X-Wing and Y-Wings are also stored on the base at Kirdo III.

Wrasp also has the Starbound Wayfinder painted green and prepared with markings for the identity Aqua Memory.

Since they intend to ship food to Coruscant, Wrasp has his team transfer the grain that they picked up on Kinyen from the Flair Rider onto the Aqua Memory.

The crew get the Aqua Memory prepared and ready for departure and depart on Lightday (CD 9-08) and arrive very late to Naboo on Onesday (CD 9-10).

The next day, Wrasp and Aliz negotiate for a shipment of very high quality wine from Naboo and foodstuffs to fill up the rest of the cargo bay.

With a valid cargo, the ship takes off for Coruscant.

Break Out is able to shave a couple of days off of the trip to Coruscant and the team arrives on Threesday (CD 9-19).

When Wrasp asks his bridge crew who has been here before, he learns that none of the other crew have ever been to Coruscant before.

The traffic is extensive, but Unsien has dealt with heavy traffic before. Nar Shaddaa is almost this busy. Duros and Corellia come close at times.

The fleet orbiting the capital world is daunting and most of the crew get their first look at a Super Star Destroyer.

However, this used to be home for Wrasp.

Due (in part) to the sheer volume of merchant traffic in system, the Aqua Memory is not singled out for random inspection and secures a berth at their requested star port in Bureaucratic Sector 12 (Bur-Sec 12).

Part of their cover is to visit the upscale restaurant “Solitary Grape” as patrons and Wrasp asks his current go to team to dress in their best most fashionable outfits. Slider has a decent suit, and Fox has a barely passable dress. But it’s time to go shopping for Unsien!

“What? This is my best flight suit!”

Wrasp takes his crew to get new clothes.

One afternoon and 15,000 credits later, his crew is ready for a night on the town.

They have their aircar (also painted green for this mission) and arrive at the “Solitary Grape” a bit early for their appointed meeting time, but not terribly too early to scope out the place.

Pa Pooga doesn’t stop a beat when asked if he has reservations for the evening, but a 5,000 ‘gift’ to the Maitre D’ and a request for the ‘best table’ yields some rather rapid results.

Other guests are “moved about” and Wrasp and his three companions are seated in the elevated central table as everyone else wonders who this newcomer to society is . . .

New Money? (Oh my yes)!

On the way to the table, someone recognizes Pa Pooga and calls out to a fellow Kel’Dor.

Wrasp only half remembers this individual and certainly not his name. The only thing Pa Pooga remembers is that this man was dismissed for misappropriating funds from his Father’s budget.

While Pooga tries to play off the introductions without disclosing that he has no idea who he’s talking to it quickly becomes obvious that Pooga doesn’t remember this other Kel’Dor’s name.

The old ‘friend’ introduces himself as Bom Dreculn.

Dreculn ‘joins’ the group for a bit, but he can’t stay long. He’s meeting up with another party this evening.

Pa and Bom touch base. Bom is working for the Empire and just returned to Coruscant.

Bom asks what Pa has been up to and Pooga reports that he is a ship captain and that he arrived with a shipment just today.

When Bom reacts sufficiently impressed by the acquisition of a ship, Pooga invites Bom to stop by the pad so that Pooga can show off his ship. Wrasp invites Bom to stop by the next evening.

Bom takes his leave but doesn’t pay for the drink that he ordered while at Wrasps table.

After the waiter takes their order, Pa announces that he has a shipment of Nubian Wine for delivery to the “Solitary Grape” but the waiter shrugs it off and suggests that Pooga make his delivery arrangements at the delivery dock out back . . . after he enjoys his dinner! Maybe tomorrow during normal delivery hours?

Pooga then asks if he can speak with Ms Grace Verity, but the waiter is unfamiliar with that person. He indicates that he will ask around.

It’s an upscale multi course meal (tiny ornate portions) and when they are ordering desert a Female Imperial Navy Officer approaches the table, introducing herself as Commodore Mirah Sabegesh.

She indicates that she is the person that they are seeking.

Wrasp tentatively asks if she is the ‘gardener’ to which Commodore Sabegesh replies that she is actually the ‘entire gardener.’

Confirmed!

They exchange minor pleasantries and the Commodore hands Pooga a card with her address. She invites them to join her at her residence so that they can talk privately in an hour.

Wrasp’s team enjoy a leisurely desert and then make their way to the address given on the Commodore’s card.

Just as they arrive at the residential mega-structure Wrasp receives a call on his communicator from Aliz.

The Twi’lek reports to Wrasp that his friend has arrived and is asking about when he can expect the Captain to return.

What friend?

Wrasp has Spice hand the communicator to the stranger and quickly determines that Bom Dreculn the larcenous Kel-Dor has arrived a full day earlier than expected.

There was a misunderstanding on when Pa Pooga had established his invite, but Bom is there and he’s willing to wait for his friend to return. No, it doesn’t matter how long Pooga will be on his current appointment.

Wrasp instructs Aliz to take care of his friend as he expects that he will be out for at least a couple of hours.

And then Wrasp remembers the vast definition that has meant in the past. And (correctly) feels that he should clarify that injunction.

Using code, the two sort out the details and Wrasp feels assured that he’ll find the other Kel-Dor alive and responsive by the time he returns to the Aqua Memory.

The security at the Commodore’s apartment residence is impressive, but the four are expected and ushered quickly to the Commodore’s apartment very high in the tower.

Commodore Mirah Sabegesh meets the four guests and invites them in. At a quick glance it looks like the fortunate Commodore lives in an apartment complex that may have a larger interior than Pooga’s prized Starbound Wayfinder including the cargo bay!

Sabegesh introduces herself and lets the team know that she is the commander of the Bureau of Ships Services (BoSS).

Wrasp comments that the post seems to have some nice perks!

Some, Mirah agrees.

Down to business. Wrasp asks what Mirah’s plans are for the extraction and ‘Entire Gardener’ lets him know that she did not request the extraction for herself. She apologizes for the confusion. The coded messages used to convey information back to the Alliance are often simple and imprecise.

In reality the team will need to go and do some furniture shopping tomorrow afternoon at the local Kish and Virrs Furnishings, specifically for a new couch. With that cover, they should make contact with the “Grey Woman.”

To ensure that they’ve contacted the correct agent, they should ask about “The lovely sunsets over Alderan . . .”

To soon?

But before the group leaves, Mirah asks Wrasp if he has any of his Ghost transponder ID’s that he would like to switch out. Commodore Sabegesh has a work terminal here at her home and she can make some adjustments if they have some time.

There are three ID’s that have been compromised, according to Sabegesh’s records:

  • Stellar Wind (Not a surprise)
  • Vigilant (which is news to the crew. Not shocking, but still news).
  • Yellow Duck which they’ve used on two combat missions. So no surprises there.

According to Sabegesh’s reports, the Yellow Duck has a bounty of 500,000 credits currently. Naturally that’s the identity that Wrasp does not change.

The other two ID’s are swapped out for the following new transponder code names:

  • The Corkscrew
  • Racing Darter

Their business concluded, the four teammates depart the Commodore’s apartment and return to their ship to deal with Pooga’s “old friend.”

Bom Dreculn is being well tended to by the two Twi’lek women, Cop and Aliz. True to her instructions, Aliz has procured another very high value bottle of wine from Pooga’s office.

The two Kel’Dor reunite and Bom accepts the invitation for a tour of the ship. After Pa Pooga concludes his lengthy and cordial tour, he invites Bom to join him in the Captains quarters and the two settle in for another drink.

Alone, the two talk and Bom is eager to share his recent exploits as he’s returning from Kinyen where things got a little exciting.

Liquored up and relaxed in the company of an old friend, Dreculn is only too eager to share his exploits with Pooga.

Pooga also uses the Force to provided added impetus to Dreculn, when the Kel’Dor expresses some reticence to divulge ‘classified’ information.

Dreculn was hired by the Empire to help them conceal and obfuscate large volumes of supplies and shipment for what Dreculn eventually discovered was the construction of a newer and bigger Death Star!

The Imperial base on Kinyen is a key logistics post for the transfer of materials, but Dreculn doesn’t know the actual construction location of this new Death Star.

Bom was also present in Kinyen when the Rebel Alliance raided the system and hijacked the Action IV Polar Thrash. This move confused the Empire as that particular cargo ship was only loaded with food and didn’t contain anything ‘important.’

However, the Empire did respond by increasing security for that system.

It’s getting late and Bom has appointments in the morning. The two bid farewell and Dreculn takes his leave.

After the other Kel’Dor departs, Wrasp lets Aliz know that she has the job of selling and offloading the ship. Wrasp and his team have another appointment that they need to deal with.

Foursday (CD 9-20), Pooga, Moss, Laorl, and Vulpine go to do some couch shopping at Kesh and Virrs Furnishings.

The four find the couch section easily enough, but aren’t quite sure what was meant by the term “Grey Lady.” First step is to check out the art and décor to see if there are any clues there.

Moss finds a small statuette made of brushed steel and checks it out, but it seems to be a dead weight.

While Break Out evaluates the statuette, Slider gets eyes on a slim human woman wearing a grey dress who has frosted grey hair and grey eyes.

Slider: “I have eyes on the target.”

Slider directs Wrasp and the others toward the woman who is just arriving to the couch department.

The woman gets angry when asked about the “Sunsets over Alderan.” She complains that she hates Mirah’s preferred code phrase. Then asks if they have a safe place where they can talk. This woman is pretty sure that her quarters are bugged and she might also be followed!

Wrasp and crew escort the grey woman back to the Aqua Memory.

Wrasp’s crew is still offloading their cargo but it’s easy to get the Grey Woman onto the ship without undue notice.

In the galley the four sit with this agent and Wrasp asks about her extraction.

But, no. She also isn’t slated to leave Coruscant. She is one of Sabegesh’s agents here on Coruscant, but the extraction is for a different woman.

The crew is being asked to make their way to the world of Talravin (M10) and to touch down at Tuberbourg. Once there, they should be able to be directed to the Pogrin farmstead. There they should be able to locate She’leah Gambia. She’s a woman who saw ‘disappearing’ TIE Fighters and has requested extradition to the Rebel Alliance.

Talravin is still in the Core systems and is an Imperial controlled world. The crew will need to exercise caution with that part of the trip too.

The secret agent then departs with the assurance that Wrasp and his crew will be able to extract Gambia.

Aliz does a great job offloading the cargo and is able to secure five times the cost of the purchase price (average) for the foodstuffs that she sold.

With the news that they’ll be heading to Talravin, Aliz does some quick research and discovers that Talravin is an impoverished agricultural world. She secures a cargo of primitive farming tools.

Once loaded up the Aqua Memory departs Coruscant on Fivesday CD 9-21 for the short two day trip to Talravin.

On Lightday (CD 9-23), the crew arrive and receive landing instructions for Tuberbourg easily enough.

While Aliz and the rest of the crew negotiate a trade for the farm implements that they shipped in, Wrasp and his three teammates get directions to the Pogrin farmstead.

It’s a pleasant enough drive for the four, but it’s painfully obvious that this world’s population lives in bare poverty. Most of the structures and vehicles observed are old, worn, and often neglected.

Based on the directions given the Pogrin farmstead is easy to locate and though not in good condition, it’s in better shape than most of the other buildings that they’ve passed so far.

In spite of the fact that it’s Lightday, the fields surrounding the farmstead are being worked by the staff.

Moss drives their aircar up to the main home and the four aliens (well except Fox. She, like the other occupants on Talravin, is human).

Pa’ Pogrin is called and greets his guests warmly. He directs the crew to head over to the barracks where they will find She’Leah Gambia.

Wrasp asks Pa’ Pogrin about his yield and business.

The two Pa’s have difficulty coming to terms and Slider eventually points out to Wrasp that Pogrin’s family exclusively trade in barter as money would be in terribly short supply.

Wrasp, now understanding, hands Pogrin a couple hundred credits, a veritable fortune for the elderly farmer and he breaks down in tears. Then bids the Force be with the four aliens.

It’s a short drive to the barracks and the team find that the barracks are dark and seem completely unoccupied.

Part of the issue is that the barracks aren’t exactly tidy, but with some evaluation, Slider realizes that one of the beds in the back of the barracks is occupied. Someone is bundled under the blankets.

Cautiously, the four approach the bed and discover a woman hiding. She is in distress and when they pull the blankets back, find that her face is bruised from a fierce beating.

She flinches from the light and the team ask if she is She’Leah.

She nods hesitantly and the team express anger at her abuse. Break Out expresses a desire to exact revenge on the Pogrin family for their abuse!

She’Leah sits up and defends the family. The crew also notice that She’Leah is wearing an Imperial Navy flight uniform and it’s been ripped and torn, with most of the patches having been ripped off.

She’Leah explains that when the locals found out that she was at the farmstead, a gang showed up and attacked her, because she’s with the Empire. Pogrin’s clan interceded and hid her here.

Fox starts tending to She’Leah’s wounds and gets her patched up as best she can.

Their business done on the Pogrin farmstead, all five pile into the aircar and return quickly to the Aqua Memory.

They radio ahead to the ship and let them know to wrap up their business and to prepare for departure.

By the time the team returns, Aliz has concluded her business but only sold the cargo for half what they paid on Coruscant. Wrasp is understanding and based on the Twi’lek’s successes in the past (and most recently on Coruscant) the loss is minor by comparison. The most important part was that they got onto the world unnoticed.

She’leah Gambia is set up with a room and given a proper meal. She’s also strong enough and eager to discuss her news with Wrasp’s team.

Gambia story

While serving as a gunnery crew aboard the VT-49 Transport Elusive they were assigned to make a delivery to a “secret base.” Gambia wasn’t permitted to know the location of this system but their trip was ten days out from Kuat and she knew that the Elusive was equipped with a Class One hyperdrive.

While approaching the planet, (and subsequently on the return trip from the planet) Gambia observed some “new TIE style fighters” that would disappear from her scopes. There were even occasions where she was close enough to have visual contact with these new fighters and when they disappeared from her scopes they also disappeared from in front of her eyes!

Gambia “The fighters seemed to shimmer in and out of existence!”

To deliver their cargo, the Elusive set down on a snowy planet in a mountainous region, arriving to a tall tower that the local crews called “The Spire.”

The Elusive’s cargo was offloaded by obvious slaves and Gambia noticed that the slaves were a mix of Humans, Mirialan, Felucian, a group of huge stocky aliens with silly toothy smiles with nasty sharp teeth. Additionally there were noticeable numbers of Mando’s and some Mon Cal, plus a handful of Twi’lek’s.

While visiting the “Spire” Gambia had a chance to sit down with a Zyggerian crew who were entirely too at home with the facility. Apparently business is very good for the Zyggerians at the “Spire.”

The whole thing freaked out Gambia and didn’t help her since she’s had reservations about the Empire since they destroyed her homeworld.

When Gambia asked if Wrasp could help her family, the Kel’Dor replied that his crew would likely not be able to take the time to help her out.

The return trip to Kirdo III returns the Aqua Memory on Starday CD 9-29.

The crew turns Gambia over to Rachel Starrunner and the crew update Rachel on what they’ve learned.

The next day is the fifth Lightday of the month and as such the base will be largely shut down so that the crew and staff can observe this special Lightday.

The next day is Onesday and also the first day of the tenth month (CD 10-01). Back to business . . .