Diamonds Are Forever


13-10-2009 10:34:52

As each of you arrive at this distant space station orbiting a little known moon, in a system that is primarily a shipping lane stop over, it’s a small place even by space station standards. Nothing but a bunch of Tramp Freighter captains and their crew, the guys that make the economy roll along but no one wants to see, be seen with, or get too close, the smell you see.

You all received a priority message on the secure OpNet of the Brotherhood to be at this place, at this time, in the third room of the cantina. Since there is only one cantina on the whole place you assume that this, “place” must be where you’re to meet whomever contacted you. Some of you are experienced member of the Brotherhood strange messages and clandestine meetings are standard operating procedure, but never been in a toilet like this place before.

You enter the cantina is it a seedy little place, even by most standards is a [Expletive Deleted] hole. You look around and there is everything you can imagine going on, the hologaming tables are packed, every other table has either a Pazak game going or the local harlots are plying their trade. Everything in this smoke filled place screams, loser.

You move through the crowd with your abilities and awareness at an all time high you move through them as if they were not there, you move around the circular room to the third room off the main hub, as you move in you see several people you recognize from the Brotherhood other still scream Brotherhood to you. The moment you enter the seedy band stops and all the dancers move away from the stage and the door shuts and the stage lights up to a hologram image. A table is cleared near the image and one of the dancers a sexy Zabrak motions for you to sit. When all of you take a seat the room darkens and the image becomes clear.

“Welcome Brothers and Sisters, The Grand Master has need of your services,” The hooded figure says in a sing song voice, some of the older members and a few others of you recognize the voice of the newest Tribune, Eludajae. “As you know our recent war to retake the home world of the Brotherhood was taxing on all of our reserves. Thus we must find innovative ways to refill the coffers of the Brotherhood. So the Dark Council can continue to make all those lovely capital ships you all via for. Well every once in a while we need a more direct influx of resources and wealth. Thus, why you are here today with us.” She waves her hand and your tables top becomes a holo-viewer. A world appears on it.

“This is Arkania, it’s a fairly unremarkable world except for two major factors, first it’s not a member of the New Republic or Grand Alliance, second its single major export, Diamonds.” Eludajae hesitates just long enough for the more experienced of you to get mildly annoyed at the dramatic tactic, “You are going to assist the Brotherhood in liberating several metric tons of them form the Arkania mines.”

The image of the planet goes into a localizes view the planet is nothing more than one massive glacier with a network of closed tube access ways connecting the major clusters that make up both the minding operations and the various settlements be they small minding coops or the planets three major cities. “As you see the world is nothing but a ball of ice, perfect for the creation of diamonds, and the minding camps are connected directly to the star ports via enclosed tube access ways that have electromagnetic railway systems within them. The trains for lack of a better word travel back and forth between the mines and the cities, a break neck speeds I might add. However as with all systems of transportation and mining there are openings for those that have the volition and ambition to exploit them. There are three possible locations that you can exploit to achieve your goal, of robbing the diamonds from the Arkania’s and return with them to the reassigned location.”

The holovid again changes as Eludajae speaks giving you a full 3D view of the largest Mining operation on the planet, The Eastern Mining Platform is the largest mining operation on the planet it produces on the average a full 35% of all diamond mined by the Arkanians yearly, which amounts to a net weight of around 300 metric tons. This is one of your exploitation locations, here two forms of transportation is used, the railway system, and small tramp freighters, this has a small port where sanctioned freighters can land and take on cargo directly, some of the Arkanian’s less than savory business partners use this method as with all smugglers and criminals there is little trust in their line of work. Landing here will be the easy part; it’s the acquisition of the diamonds and the leaving the port is the hard part. It is heavily armed with blaster cannon turrets and concussion missile launchers, none exceptional by our standards but present none the less. “ Eludajae waves her hand and the view changes yet again.

“This is the north west plateau, it is a 175 mile stretch of the railway system that is open air, it’s used a natural coolant system by the railway, there are several open air stretches but this is the only one that is significant enough to grant an opportunity to seize the diamonds from the train. It’s temperature is of course below freezing at all times and the weather can be inhospitable as one could imagine, traveling at approximately 250 kilometers per hour from the moment the nose of the train enters this open air area, till the end car enters the other side’s enclosed area is exactly twenty one point seven minutes. Granting you a sizeable amount of time to move in and extract the diamond cargo if you’re fast enough.”

Again the holovid changes and you see space platform above the planet, “This platform is a fixed orbital platform. It is your third area of opportunity. It is highly automated, with security being primarily old Separatist combat bots. They use a thing they call a space elevator to actually lift the cargo from the ground to the platform at which time the automated platform moves the magnetically sealed cargo crates to the heavy freighters waiting for their cargo. We do not want this to turn into a pirate operation that will attract the attention of the Grand Alliance ships in the local area. We want this to be a theft from a non Grand Alliance planet which the Grand Alliance will write off as an internal affair, once you attack these heavy freighters bound for the Grand Alliance territories it becomes their business. That is not an acceptable risk. The diamonds have to be liberated from the Arkanian platform prior to their making it aboard one of those heavy freighters.”

The hologram goes dark, “The method of how you chose to achieve your goal is your own business. You were selected because you all have shown the ability to independently act on a mission without constant hand holding. Good luck your transport is waiting in bay four.”
The hologram of Eludajae disappears, the rooms lights go back up and the band and dancers take their place on the holovid pad and begin to play as if nothing ever happened, the people around you begin to act in the same manner as all the other cantina patrons you walked through, playing Pazak or engaging in drinking or carnal displays. You take a moment to look at your members at the table, then walk to bay four to see your transport.

When you get into the hanger several of you with knowledge of history and lore will stop and look at the ship before you, someone has taken a great deal of pains for this ship to resemble, remarkably resemble, the legendary Ebon Hawk.

Someone is playing both with you and anyone else that would identify the ship that raided Arkania. You enter the ship and begin to talk with your fellows. The first question that comes to mind is, “can anyone fly this thing?”


14-10-2009 16:59:01

It felt somewhat odd for Impetus M’Nar to be sent out on a mission like this by Eludajae. Being ordered around by her lover was the twi’lek’s way of life, but never before had it extended to a military operation.

Her bright azure eyes shone serenely, her smile casting an aura of tranquillity about her while her heart burned with a determination not to mess this up. For now though, there wasn’t anything really she could mess up, Impetus was an awful pilot, for her the safest part on a ship was as far from the controls as possible. It intrigued her that it had been made to look so similar to the Ebon Hawk, even as she walked inside, she noticed that the furnishings and layout of the interior was identical to the Ebon Hawk that she had read about. She made a note to search the parts of the ship that were important to the famous figures that had used the original in times long past.

She looked over the group that she had assigned to work with, a multitude of ranks from an array of differing backgrounds, some she recognised, but none she knew. In these kind of situations it was always her to break the ice, appreciating the need for familiarity, trust and support in a high risk situation. She turned back to the rest of them, “I hope someone knows how to fly this, or we won’t be getting very far.”

Kant Lavar

15-10-2009 00:52:05

Lavar waved a hand. "I guess that'd be me..." He returned to his inspection of the ship's systems, letting out a low whistle. "Dynamic-class... they sure don't make 'em like these anymore..." Lavar had never been more than a casual student of history, so he was unaware of the significance of the ship's appearance, though he was familiar with the class - and how old it was. He headed along the ship's central corridor, through the common room, and into the cockpit. Slipping into the left-hand seat, he lit off one of the ship's auxiliary power units and started a diagnostic program. "Let's see if the insides are as good as the outside..."


21-10-2009 16:59:33

True to the Ebon Hawk of old, the insides were as state of the art as the outside, Kant’s diagnostic program ran with a speed that simply shouldn’t have been possible. The ship’s hardware bore little resemblance to the hardware used in the ship of legend, rather it carried with it the ship’s status as one of the most advanced ships in the galaxy. A four thousand year old throwback on the outside, modern, state of the art technology on the inside.

“Everything ok with the ship?” Impetus asked serenely, although she could tell by his facial expression that the Ebon Hawk had far exceeded his expectations.

“This is perfect, er...”

“Impie M’Nar,” she said in her melodious, soothing voice.

“Kant Lavar,” the hunter responded as the ship left the hangar, out into the empty space.

“Looks like you’re our pilot for this trip then, how long till we reach Arkania?”

“Provided we can jump to lightspeed as planned, a little over two hours.”

“That should be enough time for us to get to know each other and get a plan together before we get there,” the twi’lek smiled. “So, who’s next to introduce themselves?”


26-10-2009 07:00:08

Zakath remained silent for a moment as he studied the gold-skinned Twi'lek, his cold sulfuric eyes studying every detail of the insufferably serene Krath. He didn't know who this "Impie" was, and that tranquil demeanor of hers was grating on his nerves for some irritating reason he couldn't yet pinpoint, his displeasure touching his lips in a displeased scowl. Realizing that no one else spoke, the Arconan Knight mentally sighed.

"I am Zakath, Aedile of House Galeres, Clan Arcona." The Sith Knight's cold eyes swept across the other members of the team, his scowl lifting up into a twisted smile as he gestured with a pale hand toward the Krath. "So who's next to introduce themselves to the good Twi'lek here?"

The cutting tone to his remark was obvious to all as the members shifted and glanced at each other uneasily.

Kah Manet

26-10-2009 13:47:28

Sarak nodded at the Sith Knight, stepping forward to look at Impie. His white eyes, showing no emotion, glared at the Twi'lek as he studied her. His dark gray skin itched as he observed the Krath, and he wasn't quite sure why.

"I am Sarak Jamaane, once a Great Warrior of Yun Yaamka, now an exile." he said as he shifted his gaze from the serene Twi'lek to the other members of the crew. He did not wish to know their names, their titles, he just wished to know what they were capable of.

"When the time comes, I hope you all can handle yourselves." the Yuuzhan Vong said as he departed towards the Cargo Hold, leaving the infidels to their introductions.


29-10-2009 12:34:07

“I only hope he can keep up long enough to find out,” Impetus smiled. While unaccustomed to fighting alongside Yuuzhan Vong warriors, the Epis had seen them in action too many times for her own liking, and knew what they were capable of. When the fighting started, if it started, Sarak would be all but immortal to a bunch of Arkanian Miners.

“So we have three options,” Impetus said serenely, starting the on-board planning by going over the options, playing the stand in co-ordinator in absence of anyone else willing to play the part. “To land on the Eastern mining platform, secure the diamonds and make an escape, steal the diamonds directly from the train in transport, or try to take them from the space elevator. The elevator sounds risky,” she continued. “It’s too close to the Galactic Alliance’s loading bays. Boarding the train would close off any means of escape for the cargo on-board, but attempting to board a moving train seems an unnecessary risk when we can easily land on the Eastern Platform. I suggest we hit the Eastern platform first, and attempt to secure the goods by the best available means, a mind trick on a miner would be quick and clean. If they do discover our presence and haul as much cargo away as they can, they’ll be doing so with the train. We can board it as a last resort. Sound good?” She finally stopped speaking, letting people provide their input before they reached Arkania.

Kant Lavar

05-11-2009 02:41:31

Lavar shrugged, idly tapping his fingers on the butt of his blaster pistol. "Works for me. I don't know how much I'd like to try and be responsible for one half of a moving cargo operation, myself, though it'd be an interesting challenge..." He grinned, letting the traditional cockiness of his Corellian heritage shine through for a moment before glancing at the navigational repeater display. "Anyway, speaking of flying, we're almost to the nav beacon. Everyone go strap themselves in while I go up front and make the jump to lightspeed."

Suiting action to words, Lavar walked up the short corridor to the cockpit, and slipped into the left hand seat. Running his eyes over the board in habits long since ingrained to the level of instinct, he had the navicomp run one last check of the coordinates. When the proper indicators lit, Lavar guided the small freighter into the appropriate course, then smoothly pulled back on the hyperdrive actuator. The stars outside stretched into starlines, and the ship rocked with the familiar pseudo-acceleration common on smaller vessels as it slipped into the familiar blue-white tunnel of hyperspace.

Locking the controls after another brief but thorough scan, Lavar headed back to the common area. "We're on route. We should be at Arkania in just a few hours - the lane from where we started is pretty clear of navigational hazards." He slipped into a chair and leaned on the back of it, glancing around at the others. "I guess my one concern with the eastern platform is the surface-to-air defenses. If they get wise to us, we'll have a lot of people wanting us to turn into a cloud of plasma." He frowned, thinking. "We could send a couple people to sabotage the defense systems - hell, some explosives planted on the defense computer or in the power feeds to the weapons batteries would do the trick."

Kah Manet

05-11-2009 13:48:59

Hyperspace travel was always a problem for Sarak, the mechanical vessels always seemed to lurch into the jump, completely unintelligent and clumsy unlike his normal organic surroundings. He felt it would be easier to endure the travel in the Main Room, where people would be, giving him some semblance of comfort.

"We could send a couple people to sabotage the defense systems - hell, some explosives planted on the defense computer or in the power feeds to the weapons batteries would do the trick." said Kant as Sarak leaned against the wall, staring at the Corellian with piercing eyes.

"I volunteer..." spoke Sarak, his low voice ringing in the mechanical room. "I feel that this would be a good test of my Warrior training. I'd be honored for the challenge if this is the way we choose."

People turned to stare at the Yuuzhan Vong, his gray skin almost blending with the gray metal of the ship. Some nodded, others didn't even acknowledge him, but he expected the reaction. His kind weren't the most loved among the Jeedai.


18-11-2009 17:54:03

Impetus looked up and smiled. A chance to serve with a Yuuzhan Vong warrior wasn't something that arose every day. She had heard of and seen their exploits and prowess in battle first hand, but never on the same side. "I agree that we need a couple of us to accomplish that task," Impetus said softly. "That way, if one of us were to fall, there would be someone to pick up the pieces and continue with the mission. I volunteer to work with Sarak in sabotaging their defensive systems."

Of course, the lack of trust she had for the Yuuzhan Vong dwelled in her mind, and was one of the factors that spurred her to volunteer to fight alongside him. She wanted to keep an eye on him to make sure that he didn't stray too far from the mission. It was difficult not to have doubts about the Yuuzhan Vong, after they had killed so many of her familiars. "Don't worry," she said in an undertone to Sarak. "You'll find me more than capable."