Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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The Dark Side of the Moon

Darth Osano


Life was full of happy coincidences.

With the expensive equipment that had been purchased from Theed Hangar, Helix Syndicate had taken to another form of contract work. Planetary governments and private corporations were always looking for more mineral deposits to exploit, more tibanna gas to harvest. They lacked the equipment necessary to fund their own prospecting. Since the Helix Syndicate had its foot in other industries, they could do it for a lesser cost and generate better results faster than their competition. Such was the benefit of a diversified portfolio. The Syndicate’s prospecting crews currently lacked the experience their rivals had, but once those companies collapsed and the grizzled veterans were looking for work again…

Well, chances were they wouldn’t be going to another small potatoes firm. But that’s not the previously mentioned coincidence.

During a routine scanning operation on a remote system, the Helix Syndicate found something far more valuable than any simple mineral deposit. They found a pirate shadowport, constructed into a derelict worldcraft, a habitation sphere. Maleagant wagered that it must have been built sometime before (or perhaps even during?) the Gulag Plague, since no definitive records could be found detailing its construction. A large logo had been painted on the side, but it was unrecognizable. Some government that had briefly existed during the Golden Age, maybe. It didn’t matter how they got there or why, just that the Helix Syndicate had found them. And now they had scanned and identified them as one of the most prolific pirate dynasties in the sector.

Maleagant was reasonable, so he offered to keep their location secret and suppress any chances of its discovery in exchange for bi-yearly tribute. The pirates declined, so instead a mercenary fleet had been chartered and the pirates were cleared out with extreme prejudice. Many lives were lost in the orbital battle, and many more were lost when the Helix Syndicate’s Shock Troopers stormed the worldcraft and took it over. Block by block. Level by level. Centimeter by centimeter. The fighting had taken weeks, but as the inaugural battle for the recently created Shock Troopers, it was sufficiently titanic. All of that had taken place a few months ago and the Helix Syndicate now sat on this worldcraft without the foggiest idea of what to do with it.

Recently, Thengil Ri’Shajirr had spoken of converting a similar structure into an intergalactic hunting reserve. Terraforming it, shipping in animals, and catering to the richest hunting enthusiasts in the galaxy. Illegally, one might add, so also tax free. A sufficiently ambitious undertaking. Ri’Shajirr wanted to rent it from an old, middling company called Darkwater. Maleagant dissuaded him, telling the Cathar that he could find a better deal elsewhere.

And by better deal, he nominally meant “pay me instead.”

To oversee construction, a Cardan I-class Space Station had been towed into the system. It was in his office there that Maleagant anticipated the momentary arrival of Lord Fa. Unfortunately, Maleagant lacked the resources to refurbish and rebuild this worldcraft independently. [member="Tai Fa"] had a reputation for tackling immense projects in record time. If he were able to shoulder some of the cost, the project would become executable, and soon enough they would both be making money off of Thengil’s operation.


The demon moon loomed in the distance, a ghastly specter visible even from Halcyon Citadel. Thengil’s eyes swung from the skies down to the citadel streets. He imagined the sky filling with a thick, black cloud, like oil leaking from Dxun. What terror must the beastriders of yore have struck into the populace of Onderon, wheeling down from the moon on their drexl mounts?

Ri’Shajirr continued walking. His associate, Maleagant, arranged for a meeting here in the citadel with a beastmaster, a warrioress by the name of Blackthorne. Thengil met the woman once in the cold climes of the Yalaran mountains. His blackmailing friend said she dealt in the exotic animal trade. A more dangerous business than many thought, also a more profitable one.

The large Cathar entered a building called Blackthorne’s Beastiary.

“Can I help you?” asked a clerk.

Thengil sniffed the air. So many smells.

“I have a meeting with Blackthorne.”
A rather sinister Trandoshan was contacted by the guild for the sole task of establishing a hunting lodge on an antique habitation sphere. “It is unnatural,” the hunter hissed in his native tongue. “The scorekeeper certainly would not approve.” Despite his personal disapproval, it didn’t stop him from nearly whacking a construction foreman with the back of his scaly, clawed hand. The crew immediately got down to business and began constructing a handful of carefully designed lodges intended for housing the galaxy’s most illustrious hunters on this private reserve of exotic game.

Yet why the Trandoshan? Who was he—what made him so special? This particular Trandoshan is the guild’s top hunter; and by hunter this does not mean bounties. Of course a Trandoshan would be an avid hunter, for the hunt is everything in their violent and bloodthirsty culture.

The Trandoshan returned his full attention to the oversight of construction, despite having not a single clue as to what was actually going on. So long as he saw more and more building each period of a given day he remained content with the overall progress. Such contentment, however, did not replace his lust for the hunt. His thirst driving a knife into the heart of some beast or someone.

Indeed there were already reports of crewmembers going missing each day…

The costs added up what with the need of replacements, but eventually one of the lodges had been completed. This particular lodge looked over the cove where some of the larger game would come to drink their fill of fresh water, providing only a short distance between the housing and the sniper nest providing ample cover for the hunter, well out of sight of any beast if they were smart along their path.

[member="Vitor Avendahl"]
[member="The Guild"]

The sound of powerhammers and drills were so loud that even Corondex’s overseer - Havel - could not hear his own thoughts. The Duro, a college dropout, had been hired by the arms dealing corporation to make sure that everything went according to plan. Most, if not all, operations were conducted by droids that received a curse every few minutes from the overseer due to their absolute tardiness. A few had already been sent away for repairs and one, after nearly tearing down a whole wall, was immediately scrapped.

Havel was certainly not a fan of this job considering the dubious people that moved around the station that was built in the middle of nowhere, to his knowledge. It still paid twice as good as to what he would get with trash resume. He just had to make sure the droids did their work correctly and that everything with the logistics was right.

Their first step was to reconstruct this small section of the ship into an armory. A place to buy, rent and repair arsenal. The section seemed to be some sort of additional crew quarters and so the droids had to tear down walls. Clearing the quarters completely and making it a wide open space with only wall that covered the ‘back room’ where staff would hang out.

“No, no, hey, not there! Ugh.” Havel attempted to communicate to the droid who started drilling at the wrong place before realizing the droid was out of control. Such scenario called for his foreman blackjack. Ionized at the top, he slammed the droid and sent it away deactivated. If anything he liked about this, it was the ionized blackjack.
Progress continued swiftly and with little delay. Afterall, what could trouble them on a remote habitation sphere well under the protection of several influential corporations and their private security forces? The Trandoshan hunter continued watch over the guild’s pet project. Yet with each passing day he became more and more unsettled by the artificial nature of this station, already he knew he would never set foot here again after departing; he’ll take the credits and go elsewhere even if it meant a smaller paycheck.

Because for this hunter it was the thrill and the challenge—not the monetary concessions—which drove him along his career path. Several additional lodges had been completed just as well, each within reasonable range of the key hotspots for hunting activity. Each offering a different level of challenge for a different level of hunter. Obviously it would be the case that the clientele were all egocentric and likely pompous as well. So it would be no surprise if every single one of them simply tried setup in the most challenging lodge, putting themselves in distance of the most dangerous beasts the galaxy had to offer its hunters.

That is why it is also important that the guild establish a training service tied into these lodges. If hunters suddenly began to die left and right chasing down creatures beyond their means, of course it wouldn’t be too long that the hunters of the galaxy wondered if this artificial hub was intended to kill hunters rather than the hunted.

[member="Vitor Avendahl"]
[member="The Guild"]

After the first phase of the construction of the armory was complete, the second phase came quickly after. Havel was notified by his supervisors that he would be working 50 hours rather than 40 now. When he attempted to protest that he wanted that pay as overtime, his supervisor made sure that he was happy with the 50 hours that would not be counted as overtime. The Duro was in no position to negotiate with a barrel of a gun.

The Wraiths, they called themselves. Havel hated them but feared them twice as much. Their helmets, identical to gas masks in terms of appearance, freaked him out. They patrolled the sphere, as far as he was told, and oversaw security. Rumors were that they disciplined harshly those that veered off course.

Coming in late to work and obviously intoxicated was not one of Havel’s best choices. The Wraiths were about to eat him alive when the Supervisor had arrived to save him. He had made sure that this was Havel’s final failure.

The fear of the encounter drained all alcohol from his blood and he had quickly sobered up to do his work. Unclipping the blackjack from his belt, he looked at targets to vent his frustration at.
The Trandoshan spent some time spying on the Corondex operation. Weapons dealers were by far the most appealing aspect of this project so far; considering it was the closest thing to the hunt that this hunter had away from a true atmosphere filled with truly wild beasts and their unpredictable nature. The crew foreman approached, “Sir…” he says with fear in his voice knowing very well what the hunter’s temperament is like. “We have completed the last lodge. I received word from the guild that the veterans will be arriving soon and awaiting your supervision.”

A large green hand gripped around the foreman’s slenderer throat, invoking a painful gasp for air. “You are free to go…” The lizard’s wicked gaze pressed into the fearful eyes of the human. The foreman struggled weakly to escape the Trandoshan’s grip, only to be freed last moment and cough violently to catch his breath before running off and as far away as possible.

Eventually the veteran hunters did arrive: Each one experts in their own right, and handsomely paid in salaries and bonuses to provide that same expertise to the wealthy elite that would eventually partake in what these lodges had to offer. Each lodge had been provided ample space to support the training operations. Target practice, holo simulations, and weapons demonstrations being the key aspects of the course. For additional credits a veteran would accompany you on the hunt as well, providing insight and assisting in the establishment of a perfect shot.

[member="Vitor Avendahl"]
[member="The Guild"]

The second phase went by far much smoother than the first one. Havel believed it was his culling methods of immediately removing droids that underperformed from the workforce. The droids were setting up all sorts of workshops for weapon repairs and modifications. They also double checked the reliability of the tools that were to be used in these armory. A few fusion cutters and torches had to be disposed of and replaced with ones that actually functioned right.

Other than that, everything seemed to be going as planned. A few mishaps from droids, here and there, that resulted in Havel immediately clubbing them away with his ionized blackjack and an satisfactory evil grin on his face.

Nothing interesting really happened throughout the second phase of the construction of the armory. Uneventful days followed with monotonous work hours passing by slowly. Even the Supervisor had only appearance once to check up on everything. He was pleased with the droids and Havel’s progress. The few taps on the back meant that he best continue or he might as well find out what the consequences were of failure.
In order to properly test their training course and find any holes in their operation, the guild had brought in some amateur hunters from various hunting grounds across the galaxy. They were all told that they won some contest or another—to be given the opportunity to hunt with some of the best on a private habitation sphere located in a classified corner of the galaxy.

To no surprise most—if not all—had arrived giddy and with itchy trigger fingers. Each one executed to prove themselves better than the veterans who were being paid to train them. This of course represented the same mentality of the snobs who would be paying for accommodations. Even if they were accepting the services of veteran hunters, why wouldn’t they want to consider themselves clearly better at the game? The Trandoshan kept himself out of sight and observed from a distance.

First were the target practices: Most were adequate shots, capable of hitting accurately enough to justify a kill at average ranges. One or two were actually impressive, and another of the same count were somewhat worse than expected. Overall the target course was adjusted to accommodate the spectrum of weapons skill that might be employed by the many hunters staying at the lodges.

Second began the weapons demonstrations. Showing the hunters which weapons were best for which prey, and how to properly differentiate between the values of blaster power settings and not to overload their weapons or rely on successive fire. Lastly was the holo simulation: The use of training weaponry against holographic targets which were projected to life by high-tech simulation projectors.

[member="Vitor Avendahl"]
[member="The Guild"]

Phase three soon after began when the armory finally gained some looks of what an armory was supposed to be. This phase was no longer construction or bringing in tools to aid construction. It was time for the actual products to be set up and stocked.

Heavy lifting droids marched through the corridors holding massive crates of weapons and ammunition. These droids, unlike the ones Havel had supervised before, were by far much more competent. They dropped the crates in the designated places and other droids took the role of opening the crates and putting away the guns to where they were supposed to be.

The backroom led to what was the armory’s warehouse. A rather large hall that had racks all the way the eye could see. It possessed a completely automated storage and retrieval system in place that made it by far easier to manage inventory. Havel wondered how much money was invested into this as he walked down the warehouse inspecting it for any malfunctions or errors.

Everything seemed right.
After the three primary courses had been complete, the veterans were confident enough to move onto the final stage. The amateurs were off to hunt on their own and only if all survived with no complications could the Trandoshan finally depart the dread station. To ensure his presence was not distracting, he ventured over to the armoury to review the various weaponry that would eventually be provided to the hunters.

Meanwhile the veterans were forced to stay back at the lodges. If they served as a safety net then it would never prove a successful operation. Hours had passed, and only a handful of the hunters had returned with prey of various calibers. The three hunters which were missing provided cause for alarm, and two veterans set out to find them. Of course it was easy to assume they simply died, or maybe they were still out here trying to snag prey.

To the surprise of the veterans the three were actually more than fine. They had snuck off on an impromptu getaway with some of the construction crew of other areas on the sphere: Getting drunk and partying. The veterans of course kept this under wraps, and proclaimed that each hunter had successfully passed the checklist and that the lodges were one hundred percent operational.

Even if the Trandoshan didn’t exactly believe them, he saw it was ‘good enough’ and was quick to depart the station and onto better jobs elsewhere.

[member="Vitor Avendahl"]
[member="The Guild"]

The beginning of the final phase marked the end of Havel’s employment. He was paid his final pay check to the last cent and offered shuttle services to the nearest civilized planet with a greater space port and transportation services. The Duro was also allowed to keep his ionized blackjack as a gift from Corondex which he greatly cherished for the rest of his life.

The armory’s construction was complete, its operations ready to begin with only a dozen droids setting up the equipment on the walls to hang with some meager decorations here and there to give the atmosphere of an armory solely focused upon providing weapons for hunting big game. Additionally, the staff that was to operate the armory were introduced to their new workplace by the Supervisor. He guided them through all the systems and the way to use them.

Oh, you probably ask yourself who the Supervisor is ?

None other than your friendly Givin - Akash Guul. How could he miss the opportunity to learn something new right from the field of action for his master - Lord Tai Fa.

These days Lord Fa was immensely busy.

The restoration of an entire star sector was not an easy or straightforward task after all. It took time, patience, diligence and staying the course to turn the Humbarine Sector from decay towards prosperity. In this, the Thirriken was already partially successful with his efforts. Many galactic corporations found themselves interested in this project, from Theed to Arceneau Trade, they were all invested in the success of the sector.

Industrial zones were being restored, old and ancient trade ties reformed, shipyards opened and jobs started to flow back into the economy.

There was still much work to be done, but at this junction Lord Fa did not need to be there personally. His bureaucratic apparatus was rolling on like a well-oiled machine and all he had to do was sign off on orders every once in awhile. Of course, the Sith did more than that, even if it wasn’t necessary. Micro-management was not a good thing, but sometimes certain events needed a firm hand to be stirred in the right direction.

Yet, when [member="Maleagant"] made contact with him and told him of their new plans, Tai realized that a break was in order.

He made sure that there were no lingering issues waiting for his approval and then set out for the coordinates given to him by the Shi’ido. It took him some time to get there - as the Outer Rim was quite a distance from the Core Worlds, but this simply gave him time to review all the encrypted information sent to him. Most of it was dry reading, numbers and projections of profit, the costs that they would accrue over the span of this project… things like that. It was understood, then, that if this project was to succeed that Lord Fa would need to inject capital into it.

They all would, of course, but his focus on his business had given him a certain freedom and leverage. In the last couple of years the Thirriken had made his fortune in the galactic scene. Few corporations run by aliens - publicly or privately - had received the success that Fa Holdings had.

It suggested a downturn in the humanocentric trend of galactic society and this pleased Lord Fa.

Time that the non-humans took their rightful place within civilization. A sleek frigate exited hyperspace near the coordinates given out by Maleagant. The lines were long, thin and the elegant design made it seem as if the starship was swimming through the cold void of space than anything else.

A slow approach allowed it to make contact with the Cardan-I station anchored in orbit around the derelict Worldcraft.

Passive sensory readings indicated that the Worldcraft was currently powered down, perhaps in anticipation of a complete system wipe and to properly start the process of figuring out what needed to be retooled, and what could be saved. After a few more minutes where IFFs were exchanged and identities confirmed, the frigate made way to dock with the station itself.

The soft tick of the Thirriken’s talons against the durasteel would warn of his arrival.

As he entered the hangar bay from the docking tube Lord Fa could already see a whole flurry of movement throughout the bay and adjacent areas. Personnel, equipment and droids being hauled from one place to the other, all suggesting that Maleagant ran a tight ship in this operation.

That pleased Lord Fa, it was always good when your associates knew the true worth of order and regulations.

Darth Osano

Lord [member="Tai Fa"] would be escorted to Maleagant's office by none-other than Deglarch, the Morgukai who had been present during the military exercises the Syndicate and Fa Holdings had engaged in. Compared to his employer, Deglarch had spent most of that event in a far more calm and collected state. As opposed to Maleagant, who vibrated eerily in his seat as each match approached its end, who grit his teeth every time an Enforcer was knocked out of the game, who had to restrain himself from cheering every time a Fa Holdings soldier was tagged. Maleagant had vowed never to attend one again after that, but Deglarch did not and had been present several times after that for the additional exercises that took place.

At their approach, the office doors opened. Deglarch bowed respectfully and stood to the aside, allowing the Thirriken to enter. The Shi'ido with the scheme, Maleagant, stood up from behind his desk at Lord Fa's entrance. Lord Fa was a trusted and respected member of the GenoHaradan, so of course everyone in the Syndicate was ready to pay their due respects. That, and he was the only one with a company ranked V in the Ardik-Ovmar Corporate Growth Scale.

"Lord Fa," Maleagant said in greeting, in his usual taciturn manner. He gestured to one of the seats in front of the desk. "A pleasure as always."
An inclination of the beak transferred his respect to Deglarch once he rose from his bow. In his experience it was always important to show at least a token amount of respect to your underlings and the underlings who worked with your associates. They remembered such actions - perhaps they would think nothing of it or perhaps they would appreciate such gestures, but the point was that it costed little and could pay off in the long run.

If Lord Fa was anything it was a bird who always considered this long run.

“Maleagant.” The Thirriken greeted back calmly, before hopping onto one of the seats and finding himself a comfortable position to perch from.

“I am quite impressed with your operations here. Tidy, streamlined, organized. You clearly know your business.”

Another incline of the beak.

Always underline your verbal gestures with physical ones, it only served to punctuate the meaning of your words. This was one of the few things he had learned from observing humanoids. They seemed quite fond with it and as such Lord Fa had chosen to adopt it for his own ends.

He only wished that Thengil would have similar aspirations as Maleagant. The lion did not lack for strength, not at all, in fact in the physical sense he probably could outscale them all.

But true order and organization? That was where their third associate lacked immensely.

Darth Osano

It was only natural that Thengil not have a knack for larger projects, for keeping things organized and streamlined. If all Sith were capable of mounting such projects, Lord Fa and Maleagant wouldn’t have been in as advantageous positions as they were now. It gave them an important leg up on their equally ambitious but less visionary colleagues. Thengil still had an important role to fill, to be sure, albeit one less… Wealthy.

Then again, this was technically the Cathar’s idea. But time would tell exactly who got the most money out of it. Maleagant sat himself down once [member="Tai Fa"] was sufficiently perched. “Thengil Ri’Shajirr wishes to turn this habitation sphere into a large, self-sufficient hunting reserve. An attraction for the galaxy’s wealthiest.” There was little sense in wasting time exchanging platitudes. If they wanted to sit around a table and exchange vapid compliments, they would be sitting on the High Council of the floundering Sith Ascendancy.

I do not think he understands how difficult it will be to restore this one to working order and then terraform it to suit his vision,” continued Maleagant, yellowish eyes flickering with amusement. “But his projections in regards to the profits are hard to dispute.

Lord Fa could rest assured that if what Thengil proposed wasn’t profitable, they would not be having this discussion. Maleagant would have sold the habitation sphere to someone else, maybe even Lord Fa himself, and been done with it. There was the potential for good source of recurring income here, however, and recurring income was the best kind.

The Syndicate can’t restore it by itself. Not quickly enough. Help me get the sphere operational and you’ll be given a 45% stake in it. Then we can both profit from Ri’Shajirr’s rent payments.

Maleagant had promised the Cathar his help. He had not promised it would be for free.
The fact that Lord Fa was here in the first place already suggested a certain amount of faith in the project.

“Yes, I have already reviewed the numbers you send me on the way here.” He did not believe in dallying around and postponing the important parts of his job. The projections seemed to be on point, perhaps a little bit frugal here and there with the perceived cost and liberal with the projected profits. But in truth the Thirriken could not blame Thengil for this - it had been clear from the moment they started that the lion was far more interested in… results, regardless of their efficiency and the availability of more optimal conclusions.

All about the short-term and gains, always hurrying and chasing, never taking the opportunity to sit still. To wonder about consequences and if it wasn’t better to take the slower path, if it meant more profit in the future.

But Maleagant was quite right in his estimation. They truly did need Thengil every once in awhile, when something heavy needed to be carried for instance. The need for strong arms and physical strength could not be understated after all. Sometimes the crates needed to be carried, instead of floated by repulsor jets.

The offer was very reasonable, in fact, it was generous.

So generous that there was no further need to negotiate - after all, it had been the Syndicate who discovered the installation in the first place and shed their blood to conquer it from the pirate infestation. So an additional 5% for their organization was only reasonable in this instance.

“Acceptable. What is the time schedule we will be operating on?”

It was important to know what Thengil was exactly expecting from them. It would tell him how much resources he would need to divert and how fast capital would need to flow in.

Darth Osano

Maleagant allowed himself a faint, smug smile. “We make the schedule.

This operation was Thengil’s brainchild, and that Maleagant could respect. But as of now, this was his, er, their habitation sphere. They would make the necessary repairs in a timely manner, but this was not going to be a rushed project. What would be worse? Putting up with a sulky, impatient Thengil? Or having to evacuate half of the worldcraft because of a fuel leak, because something hadn’t been sealed properly? Or covering up a freak accident, stemming from a computer glitch, that got half of the cargo bays vented into space?

Not that Maleagant was familiar with any of these oddly specific tragedies…

It will take several months. It will take just as long to set up the necessary contracts elsewhere and move other pieces into place.

The Shi’ido depressed a button on a console embedded into his desk. A data chip emerged, which he then slid across the desk to Lord [member="Tai Fa"]. Ostensibly, it contained the schedule. “I’ve divided the worldcraft into a dozen sections. We will work through them - thoroughly - one at a time, clockwise across the sphere until we come back to where we started.

The choice was clear - deal with a meticulous, tedious schedule or be prepared to deal with freak accidents and major setbacks further down the line. Maleagant considered the right decision an obvious one. He was sure Thengil would understand. But if he didn’t… Well, he didn’t have to. He just had to let the people who knew what they were doing handle their end of the bargain.
A carefully prepared schedule with meticulous attention to detail and efficiency sounded like music to Lord Fa’s ears.

No, he did not consider it tedious to follow procedure and the words of caution. If it meant that they would need to spend a few more weeks on this project? That was a price worth paying, if it meant that the job would get done well, instead of having to plug leaks here and there for the rest of the time they were operating this business. There were no real shortcuts in engineering and construction.

At least none, if you wished to have a sterling reputation and the trust of your customers. Thengil would be aware of such a thing, if his entire business did not revolve around peddling narcotics to hooligans and miscreants. You could get away with a lot of things when you controlled the supply of their ‘salvation’ so to speak.

None of that here.

“I will forward the technical details to my staff and share the schedule with them. You can expect my personnel to arrive within the first week with the first shipments of material.” Luckily Tai had already been looking for a purchaser of a number of ore and raw material shipments.

That meant that they would already have something to work with here.

“I can also supply industrial equipment as I have done on Kashyyyk and labor forces in the form of droids, if necessary?”

Darth Osano

Generous as ever. Fortunately, Maleagant had quite the sum of equipment, engineers, and droid labor worked out. But there was always room for more. Probably. There was a fine line to walk between not enough manpower/equipment and too much manpower/equipment. In either scenario, production got stalled. Too many idle hands would be just as distracting and draining as repeated stalls in construction due to inadequate resources.

After a moment’s consideration, the Shi’ido replied. “It may be.

The Helix Syndicate had gotten off to a modest start in terms of amassing the necessary resources. Only modest. If they were capable of any greater starts, Lord Fa’s presence here would have been redundant. Not unwelcome, just redundant.

I’ll have a list of our current resources sent to you,” Maleagant replied. “We can work out what else is required between us from there.

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