Dawn of Defiance gets Savaged

02) DoD - Traitor's Gambit

The deep storage bay is as run-down as the hallways leading up to it, with entire metal plates missing from the floor and a huge, open exhaust shaft near the back of the room. Large crates litter the area, creating the appearance of a haphazard mess, and the air has a distinct smell of sweat and fumes that makes the entire area unpleasant. Flickering lights provide modest illumination, and a burst pipe along the ceiling leaks blue fluid down one wall.

Near the center of the room is an item that seems very out of place—a large, finely crafted desk made of Japor ivory wood, which means that the desk is both priceless and rare. Sitting peacefully behind the desk is a protocol droid with shiny, ebony coverings that seem to soak up light and offer only the slightest reflection. The droid’s eyes flicker slightly, as though imitating a person blinking rapidly.

In addition to the protocol droid, three bodyguards hide behind crates scattered around the room, a blue-and-red astromech droid beeps and burbles quietly besides the protocol droid, seemingly lost in its own world. Lastly, Switch’s majordomo, a Twi’lek thug, stands quietly off to one side, not actively hiding but also not clearly visible.

The heroes find that Switch seems to have aspirations of sophistication that are likely remnants of his protocol droid programming. With a male personality and a Coruscanti-Imperial accent, he speaks cheerfully and lightly. “What business may I conduct with you?” he says.

The heroes explain they are here on behalf of one of his business partners, Maya, and are here to secure a cargo she initially came to collect. Sensing a possibility of additional profit, Switch indicates he would be happy to part with the cargo for a paltry sum of 1000 credits. The heroes were unaware that they were going to have to pay for the cargo, but Switch is not really moved by their position. He offers the group a drink from an extensive collection of liquor he seems to be proud of, but only Izza partakes. She realizes after a short time into the conversation that her Zeltron phermones and female good looks will be useless against the protocol droid, giving Switch the upper hand.

Switch then proposes to have them work for him on a delivery that needs to do to Alderaan in order to reduce the price as a compromise. He will discount his fee to 800 if the heroes will deliver some Corellian ale, and upon confirmation of completion, the will send then another 200. Izza starts to get nosy about the cargo, to which Switch states that specifics about the cargo itself has a price, adding an additional 100 to the tallies above.

Sensing through their body language that the organics were still iffy about handing over the credits, Switch adds some incentive to the pot. If they agree to supply information to Switch in their travels, he’s willing to reduce the fee by an additional 100 credits each. This seems palatable enough and the crew gathers 400 credits, while Switch states their cargo is a slab of carbonite with an organic inside. They are further surprised to find the cargo is hiding in plain sight in the Sel Zonn Imperial Storage Bay.

As they are preparing to exchanging credits and cargo manifest information, the sound of Gammorean guards outside the office squealing amid a hail of blaster bolts catches their attention. The blast doors leading into the storage bay slide open to reveal a number of armed thugs outside. In the midst of the rabble is a large Chevin, his trunk hanging low to the ground and his mouth twisted in a snarl. “So you thought you could hide your deal with the offworlders from me, droid? I’m tired of not getting my cut! Turn him into a scrap heap, boys!” Switches’ rival, Ganga Lor, has arrived.

As the battle starts to unfold, the heroes scatter to take cover and prepare for a firefight. However, Neth gestures and sends a crushing wave of force on Ganga Lor and his lot. The thugs fall due to the crushing weight of the Force, but Ganga manages to escape. Evading blaster fire, Ganga calls out in his native tongue loudly, and suddenly, the 4 thugs that were in the room with Switch become turncoats, and ambush our heroes. Lots of moving, ducking, shooting between Izza, Morder, Switch, Ganga Lor and the thugs follow. Neth gets caught in the deadly crossfire, but manages to negate the energy of not one, but two well placed blaster shots! Gonzo is in hand to hand combat with a thug wielding a vibroknife, and neither can get the upper hand on the other.

Slowly but surely, the thugs are whittled down to just the turncoat Twi’lek and Ganga Lore. As Ganga is slowly pushed toward the gaping exhaust vents in the back of the room, which would spell certain doom to man or machine should they fall in, Neth comes around, lightsaber in hand and tries to strike down the Chevin gangster. But a bad spin of the blade, plus an off balanced lunge from Ganga causes the saber to fly from Neth’s hand and over the lip of the vent. Leaving the rest to their fate, Neth slides to the edge of the vent precipice and reaches out with the last of his power to grab the saber before it falls too far out of reach. He succeeds against all odds, and his saber is retrieved. He turns to see Gonzo has the Twi’Lek thug in a headlock, and Ganga is on his knees with hands on head. The heroes start to ponder what to do with them when Switch strides up and executes his rival and dumps him into the vent. He allows his former majordomo, the Twi’Lek to leave, rewarding his service to date by giving him one hour to get off the station or suffer a traitor’s fate.

Switch then goes back to business, as if nothing ever happened. He thanks the heroes for keeping him functioning, and rewards the space hoppers by advising he has a new proposal. He will give them the location of the cargo, tell them what it is and why it is important, and pay them to haul the Corellian Ale 200 now and 200 more on delivery, and all the gear of the thugs in exchange for their droidguard services for the last 2 minutes. He also wishes to maintain their contact relationship for future information in their travels. The heroes happily accept and Switch immediately sets about acquiring new talent.

The heroes are told that an agent of Alderaanian Security has been frozen in carbonite for transport from the Deep Core world of Empress Teta. The agent had himself frozen so that he could be transported as cargo rather than as a passenger, reducing the chance that the Empire would find and arrest him. The agent was spying on the Empire’s secret interests in the Deep Core. In the months since the rise of the Empire, hundreds of warships have sealed off the few known trade routes into the Deep Core, only allowing wealthy Imperial loyalists in or out of that region of space. Over the last few months, the Empire has set up the Deep Core Security Zone, and Emperor Palpatine himself has overseen the transfer of large amounts of resources and nobles loyal to the Empire into the Deep Core. The frozen security agent had been scouting one of the dozens of worlds that the Empire had discovered during its recent expansion into the Deep Core.

After selling their thugs gear booty, the heroes return to Maya, who advises them transportation has been acquired and is standing by. When she finds out the cargo is in the Main Cargo Bay on Blue Deck, she is very concerned. She tells her new friends that Blue Deck is one of the nicest and most dangerous sections of Sel Zonn Station. Reserved almost exclusively for Imperial loyalists and off-duty personnel, Blue Deck is a combination of luxury and fanatical devotion to the Empire. Everything on Blue Deck is pristine and well maintained, with none of the technical problems seen elsewhere on the station. Propaganda posters for Emperor Palpatine cover the walls, and the insignia of the Empire is found almost everywhere the eye can see. Stormtroopers guard every entrance and exit to Blue Deck as well. She also notes to them that the anti-alien bias encountered on the Promenade is even worse here. Shopkeepers steadfastly refuse to serve non-Humans, and cantina bouncers prevent aliens from entering the establishments. Very few aliens walk the halls of Blue Deck, and those that do are usually servants or slaves of nobles and Imperial agents. This gives the group an idea. With ‘Lady Izza’ in charge, her servants and slaves in tow, they will enter Blue Deck with the illusion of purpose, in hopes of making it to the Main Cargo Area without incident.

As the turbolift doors slide open and they step out onto Blue Deck, it is like entering a wholly different space station. The floors are polished and possess a metallic sheen, and the massive windows along one wall grant the most magnificent view of Brentaal available on the station. Maintenance and service droids flit about from one place to the next, keeping everything clean and ordered. Moving about the halls of Blue Deck are large numbers of Humans, most of them wealthy by all appearances. They pay little attention to the few aliens found in the area, except, perhaps, to sneer as they pass.

Lady Izza makes discrete inquiries about Blue Deck and the Main Cargo Bay, and is able to find out that the Empire has just sent an entire squad of stormtroopers to the main docking bay to check out some suspicious cargo. Meanwhile, Neth has stealthed into the shadows and is scanning the crowd when he sees one of the stations informant/agents. He recognizes that this agent was present at the Promenade battle, but does nothing about it. Finally, the informant spots Neth. The two lock eyes, and the informant bolts. As Neth gives chase, the rest of the group sees Neth taking off, and Lady Izza also notices the informant and realizes he could finger them. The chase is on, as the group hauls after the informant. After a few moments of navigating the crowds, they chase the agent into the less populated areas of Blue Deck. The chase ends when Neth gets close enough to Force Grip the informant, and he fails to break free. The heroes close in with blasters drawn…