Detective work! We know how to do this.
More or less.
Let's get right into it, then.
Items still in possession of the bodies: datapads, weapons, body armor; one fulla holes and the other is charred with a single hole,
One of the datapads — goes with Judge Belish who was electrocuted — has a puncture hole in it and was singed. The drone hit the data crystals and they cracked.
We are not going to easily get intel out of that, which was probably the purpose of shooting this datapad.
However: the Judges' badges are not just decorations. Though fried pretty thoroughly in the electrical attack, this badge may have stored some evidence.
Judge Mika Tarno specialized in tracking down smuggling rings. and was not assigned to a particular area. She just came off a case where spice was being smuggled from Helios through Thyferra.
The shield belt has 3/4 power left. When someone tried to kill Danar kind of like this, it drained slowly because the hunter-seeker drones move really slowly.
Davish says the shield belt does not look like it has been improperly used or stressed.
Davish asks Danar about shield belts: why would a Vor hand over a shield belt to a non-Vor? It’s not forbidden, he once gave a belt to KitKat because K had a vitally important task to perform under heavy fire.
Danar finds a very small House Vorbeltaliano
sigil. Vorbeltaliano is the shipping arm of the great House. Currently the Count Antony Vorbeltiano
, came into countship 3 years ago, is very aggressive and a risk taker. He has made some enemies in the progress.
Danar also says this is not a loan, this is HER belt! Judge Tarno has had this belt for about a year and a half, Danar says.
Judge Tarno's badge is also damaged, but may have some recoverable evidence.
Previous case worked on by Judge Mika Tarno:
Spice smuggling ring through Helios
, supplier coming in through Thyferra
She suspected a larger player, like Rogga
, but was unable to prove it. Leads pointed her to Tashtor sector
in the Mid-rim. No local authority to appeal to, as that is outside Tapani Imperium
Ring leader was: Mara Zebnakin, currently serving time aboard the prison frigate, Black Star.
natives would have known the badge was a problem. But then, even the most egalitarian Tapani natives would equate attacking a Judge
with attacking their Count
, if not their High Lord
or even Emperor
Gregor Vortapani Himself; they would have refused to do so, or they would have made damned sure they left not even molecules behind as evidence of the deed. Leaving the badges on the corpses, that's suggestive of this job being done by someone who is not from the Tapani Sector
at all. It could
be a Tapani; it could even be a traditionalist Tapani. But if so, the deed would have been more thoroughly done.
We will see if this holds water as the case continues.
Vir warns me without naming names that the Grand Solicitor is accompanying the assigned Judge over here to the Galactic Embassy. Hoo boy!
I set up my DataPADD to record first, and then start the fried Judge’s badge playing its holorecordings.
The Judges are first entering the Knights’ Hall of the Crimson Knights. Judge Mika Tarno is speaking to Judge Belish: “Are you seeing this?” They look around, it looks like there was a pitched battle, not sure how recent. There is dried blood here and there but no bodies, no armor, no weapons. Judge Tarno says she is picking up the security system but she’s getting a blank record.
(Check dataPADD for the rest!)
Glimpse of a large figure in form-fitting power armor. Not a Dark Trooper. Humanoid, lithe, runner build, but tall. Belish (wearing the badge) is in the middle of turning around and reaching for his weapon. “Prep taser,” he says. And that’s when the figure shoots him with an arrow, and then the badge records “System Failure”. The arrow string is plasma!
The gloves are NOT Mandalorian Iron! Looks like a form-fitting version of ARC armor, but matte black. No unit designators.
Infractions Filed database stored in Belish’s badge still has entries from the last case he worked on.
Everything seems to be connecting back to Rogga the Hutt.
Recorded data on other sensory fields than audiovisual:
Biometric includes both Judges, no other life nearby, the assassin is “species unknown”.
Judge Gram Valorin shows up to render aid. We start with the cracked data crystal from Judge Belish’s DataPADD.
We get the full video of approaching the Knights Hall
. Apparently they are both following up on their individual cases. Judge Tarno says she got a message from the Coruscant Defense Force asking about antiquities and spice smuggling — specifically, Jedi artifacts are the antiquities being smuggled! The smugglers are sending out FAKE holocrons, which all have the same pattern. Belish remembers seeing that particular pattern on a holocron in the Crimson Knights'
So we know already that there was a battle. The judges went to look for survivors — the personal effects of all the Knights are missing, the armor, the armory is cleaned out and sanitized, the whole stand for the holocron is gone. Their entire search is recorded.
Then this voice says “This doesn’t concern you.”
Judges immediately go for weapons. Before Tarno can say anything, even activate the “judges in distress” thing, she gets hit by a hunter-seeker delivery drone. She can’t get to her belt to turn it off as the gray cloud surrounds and sinks into her.
Meanwhile Belish gets hit by that arrow, which has the head of a hunter-seeker.
At the end of the recording is a set of textual notes, mostly shorthand. The last word is shortly before the attack started: “Chalcedon
On Judge Tarno’s dataPADD is also shown a hidden vault in Commander Ivana Maeques
’s office. It is also empty. Davish says, off the record, that she kept the sole means of securely tracking and communicating with the “advisor” to the Crimson Knights. Some old folks type who helped them fly under Pruneface’s radar.
Judge Valorin has a record of the serial numbers of these hunter-seekers: they are part of a group supposedly destroyed. The Bene Gesserits have records showing they were stolen by the Blue Sun
group. The raid was broken up by the Banana Republic
group. While en route back to Procopia, the ship carrying the evidence was hit by an ion storm and was destroyed.
And then everything electronic stops working so good, including Davish’s lightsaber and Danar’s shield belt . . . meanwhile the hunter-seekers disassemble themselves. They reassemble into like 30 scarab drones!
I’m using wrenches as An’sss batons, to smash up the scarabs two at a time. Danar is spraying them with some kind of chemicals. Davish is using a lab tray to smash more of them, but the rest pile up in the center of the room and turn into a humanoid figure.
YAY a Decepticon!
Volunteer NO information, speak politely, and base all logic on how they do not want to be in this part of the galaxy.
He says he is repaying a debt so that he can go home.
He requires us to delete “all copies” of the information on the Judges’ dataPADDs, and he knows that Danar has one of those copies — but not about my dataPADD, or about the upload to the Judges’ server. He orders me to forget I ever heard of Chalcedon, and when I say that is a commonly used word for a form of matter, he says I should forget about the place. I’ve never even been there! Good, he says, don’t. I say, “I hear your words,” which sure as shit does not include “obey”.
(Two emails sent, in the teal notebook.)
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