Episode 3.08, Kanter's War, Chapter 4 Report
Boarding the drop ship? I liked that plan. It was a good plan. To be fair, So’zen’s was better. It’s sometimes nice to have friends in low places, like the Nar Shaddaa criminal underworld.
The Bareesh Kajidic had sent a reply to one Jedi Knight So’zen Al Saba asking about the Tilles pirates, such as the pirates’ home base, where they stored their ill and not-so-ill-gotten gains, such as that. Bareesh the Hutt had plenty to say about it. Once he was sure we wouldn’t be overheard, So’zen shared it with the group.
Tilles had taken over an abandoned base in the Kessora Mountains. An old one on the side of the Mount Stockbalt from the last days of the Clone Wars when the Galactic Empire first rose. I have an idea what they found there, and none of it is good.
Now where the Tilles pirates stored their stolen anything? That was rumors. The Bareesh Kajidic had some guesses, no facts. They had narrowed it down to under the Piterra Wastes dust ocean east of Chausid station, at the bottom of the Husnit Canyon, or at the southwestern side of the Needle Forest canyon.
That’s a lot of territory. But it was something, and beggars can’t be choosers.
Now, what Vanya got from the captured Tilles pirates after Aerena softened them up? That got us moving.
Vanya had been setting up the captive pirates with a way out of piracy. Maybe even a way to escape from being murdered by the other Tilles pirates. During that, they came clean about the attack.
It was all a distraction, so the rest of the pirate clan could attack the moisture farms along the northern and southern edge of the Kessora Mountains. Given the distraction attack had just ended, we knew there was a good shot to rescue these farmers. So, there was no time like the present.
Sure, there was some debate. I think we’ve a half-day quota to meet on that. Some didn’t like the idea that there might be B’omarr monks locked away under Erenn Baize’s basement that were waking up on the murder side of the bed. Others wanted to rescue the farmers before time ran out.
Given the B’omarr monks were locked behind starship blast doors, and didn’t seem to care about the monastery any more, meant the rescue plan was higher priority.
Powering up the ships, we launched and headed out. Trouble was, to where? Both ‘north’ and ‘south’ along the Kessora Mountains were a large area. We could scan it, but that was still a lot of rock and sand. But while the Tilles pirates had a head start, we had something else.
We had a So’zen.
So’zen, using his skills with the Force, reached out to look into the present and some into the future. This was all to find the correct, or mostly all right, path to intercept the raiders. The Force gave him a vision of not one, but two routes to take. He was disappointed, but I wasn’t. This was far better than killing time with a thousand kilometer wide search grid.
Taking the shorter of the two, we ran across one of the two sets of Tilles raiders. After Reese hacked the pirate’s sensors to hide our approach, we hit them like a ton of bricks.
It wasn’t an easy fight. The pirates gave back as hard as they got.
Aerena took on the escort, an old ARC-170 fighter. They were evenly matched but with some help from So’zen and Reese slicing into 170’s shield systems; the fighter went out in a fireball from a well-placed missile from Captain Kolene.
The ship with the captives, an old Republic LAAT/i gunship, was a different story. We had to treat that one with more care, even if they are a flying brick. Vance took out one engine after some work. Vanya leaped over and boarded the ship directly, then instigated an uprising among the terrified farmers. After that, the pilot downed the gunship in the desert.
One pair down, another one to go.
How To Influence People and Not Get Shot
The second set of raiders would have to wait, though. These farmers needed help to get back home. So, we called back to Erenn Baize and his people to come collect the rescued farmers and dole out some medical treatment. It took precious time. But we made the best of it.
A little quizzing the surviving pirates, talking to the farmers while getting them water, helped fill in what happened. It seems Tilles is scooping up everyone they can. No idea why, just that they were.
Once Baize arrived, things got downright interesting.
There were some items involving Erenn Baize that we all knew we needed to deal with. First was his lineage. Vanya had the bright idea to have two problems solve each other. So she called up the Sisters of the Steel Rose, also known as the Adepta Sororitas, who were on Chalcedon. It was only a small squad, but that was plenty to cause some damage.
Vanya got one of their number on the comms. One Jula Brisina, who was the ranking palatine for the small squad on world. After introductions between Palatine Brisina and Erenn Baize, they hammered out a discussion involving Erenn’s potential B’omarr problem in the tunnels under his home.
Naturally, Palatine Brisina was eager to help. The Steel Rose Order has never seen eye-to-eye with the B’omarr monks and their habit of occasionally kidnapping people to stick their brains in jars. It’s a little too ‘Dark Side’ for the sisters.
Disagreements often ended with the Adepta Soroitas burning out the warrens under the B’omarr monasteries. A hot time for everyone involved, I suppose. Me? I prefer dancing to some saucy rumba. To each their own!
After that conversation was done, Reese and Vance decided now was the time to get Chancellor Kanter on the comms. She answered pretty fast, which let Reese and Vance spill the beans that Erenn Baize was more than willing for an alliance. Chancellor Kanter had no trouble with the conditions Baize placed on the deal.
Honestly, both of those were a relief to get done. The first reduced worry about the B’omarr monks. Those disembodied brains in a spider bot tended to appear and harass people without warning.
The deal between Erenn Baize and Chancellor Kanter? I was worried we’d get distracted and it would be days before that was settled. But this one got settled in under a day. I think that’s a record for us!
That left the second raider ships and their kidnapped cargo. Information from the downed pirate craft we just fought told us where to go. A mostly hidden smuggler outpost at the bottom of the Needle Forest canyon. We set course for that.
Pirates In the Mist
A few hours later, we arrived. The Needle Forest was about the same. Massive, needle-like sandstone mesas, hundreds of kilometers tall. A literal ‘forest’ of them surrounded by a year-round pea-soup thick mist.
We skimmed the surface of the mist and started scanning. At first, all we found were two schools of mist rays, some starfighters flying a death race among the tight-packed mesas, and a couple of pirates flying a slow patrol.
Then we hit pay-dirt. In the back, and I mean back, and deepest part of the canyon there was the glimmer of a concealed base shield. It covered a wide natural cavern opening. This matched the coordinates we pulled from the wrecked pirate craft a few hours ago.
We needed to get inside. But to do that, we needed a plan, which we didn’t have.
So, I figured we would do what we always do… make it up as we went along!
KitKat the Mentat
So'Zen Al Saba
Fun Flight by Aerena Kolene
Braiding is a skill. by VN Ysadora
02 Jan 2022