Dawn of Defiance

"That's No Moon."

The night air was damp and smelled of acrid smoke rising above the valley wherein the heroes were ambushed. Before them in the mire and the mud were the remnants of their mechanical opponents, five dwarf spider droids and one large crab droid. Each, save one, was brought low by use of the Force, the slash of the lightsaber or through the destructive power of the the blaster. The Jedi named Torrent, trapped under the huge LM-432 squirmed his way out from underneath being driven into the muck under the weight of the mechanical monstrosity. Fortunately, he suffered little damage from the combat encounter and was able to recover quickly his physical condition and his mental faculties, drawing upon the Force to both heal and to calm. His friends were worse off, however. The trandoshan soldier, Trissen, suffered most severe during the encounter taking an impressive amount of damage from his droid assassins and was none to happy to see his old B1-X companion. Whether due to his fatigue or to his sense of honor, Trissen lashed out at the wayward battle droid for having left the crew back on Bespin without transport, their beloved YT-1300 which now sits in shambles in a ravine somewhere east of their current position. Were it not for the diplomatic skills of their new padawan Jedi friend, a Togruta named Jenna, another inter-party fued would have erupted over the amibitions of the B1-X to reprogram one of the still operable spider droids and the trandoshan soldier who would rather have nothing to do with his perceived traitorous former companion. Mharrula the Shade, the Trianii scoundrel and also a newcomer to the team, along with Jenna urged a compromise. The dwarf spider droid would remain shut down while the B1-X attempted to re-purpose it for the team’s advantage. However, the battle droid would not be allowed to step foot onto Darga the Hutt’s old luxury transport, now piloted by Trissen, indefinitely. Encouraging the group to embark once again on their mission and to not get bogged down into intra-party hostilities, Jenna and Mharraula re-focused the group to learning the reason for Gremag’s deception and on the mystery of encountering droids on a world that should no nothing about such technology.

Noting that the space junk in orbit around the planet, seen through the use of the Force by Torrent, is actually the debris of a large-scale battle involving Separatist war machines, the team boards their space transports for a closer look within the planet’s rings. Located on the outer ring’s edge the Jedi discovers a most disturbing thing. Orbiting amongst the lifeliess debris and the asteroids appears to be a fully functional Trade Federation Droid Control ship! How is this possible? Who is maintaining this and why? The heroes intend to find answers to these and more as they make a direct flight path to this anomaly amongst the dead. Unfortunately for the heroes they fly directly into a trap. Half a dozen orbiting asteroids surrounding the droid control ship were hollowed out by unknown engineers and re-purposed as passive sentinals. Once the heroes managed to get in range of these quiet guardians, they came to life. Approaching first, Torrent’s starfighter was engaged in a fight to maintain control of his vessel. The asteroid’s outer shell opened along a crack along its centerline revealing a tractor beam device and several armed missile bays aimed directly at Torrent’s vessel. Taking evasive action but to no avail, the tractor beam took hold and the asteroid guardian launched its secondary attack. One discord missile was fired from within its bay and seconds later broke apart in mid-flight casting three buzz droids at Torrent’s trapped starfighter. Reaching out with the Force, Torrent punched in reverse left thrusters in an effort to avoid contact with the incoming mechcanical gremlins. His actions proved successful and the three ship saboteurs were sent helplessly out into the black.

Meanwhile, Mharrula had some troubles of her own. With B1-X attached to her outer hull, they became the target of their own asteroid saboteur, however, noting the trouble given her Jedi companion, she wasted little time in dealing with her assailant. As the tractor beam took hold of her vessel, she calmly aimed and fired her concussion missiles into the heart of the asteroid successfully destroying the tractor beam system. B1-X launched himself from the hull of Mharrula’s vehicle and directly into the open bay of the asteroid and went to work quickly de-activating the discord missile launch system. In the Chainbreaker, Trissen and Jenna were also caught in the grips of their asteroid opponent but through the expertise skill of starship piloting quickly escaped the bonds. Repeating the lesson learned from their companion Mharrula, their ship-disabling droid guardian was also in like manner, neutralized.

Turning their attention to the droid control ship, the heroes searched for an entry point into the massive craft. Torrent received ominous readings from within the vessel. Presence of the dark side! Drawn like a moth towards a flame, Torrent quickly discerned that a hangar bay was open on the port side of the ship, force field left down. All three vessels entered within only to find that the hangar was dark inside, no light source immediately available. B1-X was dispatched to locate the force field operation panel in order to restore atmosphere so that all may disembark. Having found and re-activated the force field, lighting was also restored. Unfortunately, what was then seen by the heroes gave little reason to rejoice. Ten Vulture droids in pristine condition were found occupying the hangar bay along with their transports, albeit quiet and apparently in ‘sleep’ mode. An interior hangar door opened and out walked a troop of B1 battle droids armed not with blasters, but with tools! Almost ignoring the newcomers entirely, the platoon made their way to the outer hull through the force field in order to make unknown repairs to the droid control ship. Parley was attempted only to be met with the phrase, “The Master wishes to have the facility repaired. The Master wishes to have the facility repaired.”

To be continued…

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