Star Wars: Shards

Episode 54 - Shadows of an Empire, Act 5
Heir To Rebellion

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On the forested moon of Torak Fell

With the heroes back at the main estate house, House Vorboccioni security quickly surveyed the mysterious underground “site”. Ground sensors accurately identified a fully intact, Marauder class, corvette! Leaving Kayla to oversee the restoration of House security, Ursula prepared to begin the excavation of the Marauder, indicating to Count Vorboccioni, “It’s perfect. Especially with how cutthroat the shipping business is …”

This leaves our heroes to regroup, find a way to transport the rescued Jedi Master Kryn Toth back to Allandor for treatment and recovery, and unravel the mystery around the crimes against Danar, Yeager and rise of Empress Katianna.

Meanwhile …

This is Morris Van Turpin Of Pan-Galactic News … the news you can count on!

In a breaking story … word has come from the Alliance fleet in the Shindra system. A contingent of Beskar Aran and Adeptas Soriatas sent to the new Alliance flagship to assist in security were summarily disarmed and discharged back to Procopia by Admiral D’Arcy himself. Of the contingent, only Sister Lieutenant Jenna Martovich and Captain Razak were allowed to remain as “civilian observers” that were under the supervision of Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan.

Quoting Admiral D’Arcy: “The situation in Shindra is dangerously fluid. I have great respect for the Beskar Aran and the Sisters of Battle, they are not authorized Alliance military, during this time of crisis. For their safety, only one member of each will remain as an observer under the authority of Auditor Miles Vorkosigan.”

In other news, the requested Mentat Auditor has been dispatched from Mentis. He is being brought directly to Procopia at best possible speed. Also on Procopia, Dr. Simon Tam is now sequestered on the Royal premises. The reason given is so that he may better see to the Emperor’s direct care.

More in a moment as we return to the groundbreaking revelation that the head of House Vorpadaran may have confessed to violating the infamous and lethal Vorloupulous’s Law.

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Episode 54 - Shadows of an Empire, Act 4
Bishop to Queen Four

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Star Wars – Shards of Honor

Episode 54

Shadows Of An Empire, Act 4 : Bishop to Queen Four

This is Morris Van Turpin Of Pan-Galactic News

Speculation surrounds the events on Procopia. While it was clear the assault on young Emperor Gregor was motivated by a lone deranged being, many wonder if it was for a deeper motive since the ‘lone being’ was a mentat. Highly trained, highly disciplined, Mentats are the very picture of stability. Did something happen to this one that broke his conditioning? Or does the fault lie in the Mentat system as a whole? More on that during our investigative segment “Mentat or Maladjusted” later on.

This just in … in an unusual move the Imperium crown has requested the assistance of the combat arm of the Bene Gesserits, the Adeptus Sorotus or “Battle Sisters”. Currently, they are being deployed alongside the Beskar Aran around the capital in case of retaliation over the seizure of Vormecetti and Vorpadaran assets. Meanwhile there has been no reports from the main holdings of either House where forces have been deployed to serve the arrest warrants.

In other news, investigation into the poisoning of Emperor Gregor has prompted his sister, Empress Katiana, to request a specially trained mentat from Mentis to assist her and the Solicitors. This mentat’s name is unknown at this time, but is said to be the equivalent of an Imperial Auditor with regards to Mentats. A Mentat Inquisitor if you will. More on this as it develops.

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Episode 54 - Shadows of an Empire, Act 3
Vor Errant

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Star Wars – Shards of Honor

Episode 54

Shadows Of An Empire, Act 3 : Vor Errant

This is Hamilton Carter of Holonet News reporting …

Many speculate on what the motives were for the now deceased mentat turned assassin. Political? Personal gain? What do we really know about the mentat advisers. Advisors so prevalent throughout the Vor houses, both great and small?

As this reporter has stated before, many have wondered, where were his personal guard? Where were the Jedi, the Bene Gesserit and his other advisers? More news as it develops!

Update! Word has come out of the Confederacy that there is unrest in the capital world of Soterios. Reports are unconfirmed, but something may have happened to the self-appointed Empress Merglyn. More on this as news becomes available!

Meanwhile on Crella, a combined force of Alliance Navy, Mandolorian mercenaries, and freedom-loving authorized privateers struck a devastating blow to the Confederacy! Halting their vicious advance, our brave men and women stood firm, sending those Confederates slinking back into their hole.

In other news, the trial of Dr. Jack LeGrange begins today in the Fondor system. Accused of treason and illegal medical experimentation on sentients, this may prove to the be the trial of the century …

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Episode 54 - Shadows of an Empire, Act 2
Path of the Jedi

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Star Wars – Shards of Honor

Episode 54

Shadows Of An Empire, Act 2 : Path of the Jedi

This is Hamilton Carter of Holonet News reporting …

Reports have come in now from the front at Shindra. Outnumbered, and facing long odds, the Alliance pulled defeat from the jaws of certain death by a single act of a lone commando squad. This squad was led by none other than Admiral Vord’arcy in a raid that some have begun to call the “D’Arcy Gambit”. Even now, Alliance troops stand victorious upon the deck of the Confederacy’s greatest warship, and Shindra remains a system free of Confederacy tyranny! We can all sleep sound knowing that the brave beings of the Alliance military stand firm, unbroken and unchallenged defending our way of life!

In other news, no word has come from the palace over Emperor Gregor’s condition. Empress Katianna has requested a new Mentat to assist the Inquisitors in solving this case of attempted assassination. No word has emerged as to the motives of the Emperor’s deceased Mentat. Some speculate, it might have even been a political move or a rival Vor house striking out against the eldest of House VorShindra, rather than at the Emperor.

Many have wondered, where were his personal guard? Where were the Jedi, the Bene Gesserit and his other advisers? More news as it develops!

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Episode 54 - Shadows of an Empire, Act I
Laws, Honor and Politics

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Star Wars – Shards of Honor

Episode 54

Shadows Of An Empire

A desperate fight over Shindra leads to desperate measures. The flagship of the Tapani fleet, GREGOR’S PRIDE, goes down in a blinding flash of energy. As one last strike, the shock wave and ion wave shatters the back of the CONFEDERACY fleet.

Believing Admiral D’Arcy dead, the Alliance fought with renewed vigor. Suddenly, the CONFEDERACY DREADNOUGHT’S weapons fell silent. A single message broke the stillness: ‘A young Jedi taught me to always carry a spare. So, I claim this vessel for the Alliance. D’Arcy out.’

Meanwhile, our heroes are confronted with a different crisis. Accused of treason, numerous houses are brought sternly to heel by force. Dark forces long dormant play their moves in a gambit long coming … one that would spell the end of our heroes, the Alliance, and even the mighty Tapani Imperium itself.

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Episode 53 - Cry Havok, Part 2
Jungle Games

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Star Wars – Shards of Honor

Episode 53

Cry Havok

The CONFEDERACY DREADNOUGHT bears down on Shindra. Its escorts launch waves of fighters and landing craft. These are immediately intercepted by a combined force of ALLIANCE, DENDARII MERCENARIES and fighter wings from CLAN VENN. The battle for the fate of Shindra has begun.

On the other side the border between the CONFEDERACY and the ALLIANCE, the surviving ships from both sides have retreated to count their losses. The ALLIANCE gathered at the orbital Naval base at Crella, the CONFEDERACY to an old gas mining station in orbit around the fourth planet of the system.

Meanwhile, while our heroes speed towards the planet surface of Crella in search of Dr. Ton Wi, a pair of concealed CONFEDERACY assault shuttles follow them discreetly …

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Episode 53 - Cry Havok, Part 1
A New Hope

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Star Wars – Shards of Honor

Episode 53

Cry Havok

The Dendarii Mercenaries fall back to regroup with ALLIANCE fleet at Shindra. Behind them, an immense CONFEDERACY DREADNOUGHT bears down on the world with unknown and deadly cargo!

At the same moment on the other side of the province, THEMIAN VORHEJERON leads a CONFEDERACY assault wing to smash through the defenses at Barnaba. However, his small fleet doesn’t stop, they immediately jump to hyperspace deeper into the Vorbarnabas’ province.

Little does the ALLIANCE know that the target of the CONFEDERACY push is a small ship fleeing for its life. Aboard this ship is information that could save the ALLIANCE, or spell its doom.

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Episode 52 - Dark Side of the Moon, PART 4
A race against time!

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Star Wars – Shards of Honor
Episode 52

Dark Side of the Moon, Part IV

In the heart of the Shindra system, the CONFEDERACY now begins to move. Two assault forces advance, yet never arrive. Out of the Shindra Nebula, hyperspace explodes open as the Dendarii Mercenary Fleet appears directly on top of the CONFEDERACY’s assault! The CONFEDERACY assault scatters. Only a portion return to the main fleet.

Beyond Shindra, the MISMATCH finds its way into the SOTERIOS SYSTEM. It drops out of hyperspace and avoids the automated drone patrols. CAPTAIN ELENI BENACOR sits astounded at the sight. The Tatooine-like desert world of SOTERIOS has been ravaged. Enormous factories and mechanized facilities scar portions of the landscape, leaving the arid desert world partially wrapped in soot.

Meanwhile, on the world of FONDOR, emergency response teams react to the sudden explosions that rocked the High Peaks Mesa district! They descend upon the medical clinic prepared for a war. Inside the ruin, Rushlight, Dizzy and Greelo meet the Fondor Defense Force and consider their options, now that they have uncovered critical data that points to imminent doom for the world of FONDOR.

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Meanwhile, aboad the Reilly’s Luck in High Peaks Mesa docking bay twelve ...

Alert sirens wailed like a mythical banshee. The ear-splitting sound shattered the calm of the High Peaks Mesa district of Fondor City. Between the clean, white buildings a column of black smoke snaked skyward away from the High Peaks Medical Clinic. Walls blasted, windows shattered beyond repair, the clinic looked every bit the victim of a small, but violent war.

Overhead, the sharp roar of speeder bike engines heralded the Fondorian Defense Force. Their rapid response team descended in force. Speeder bikes took point, scouting the area overhead, while armored transports settled outside the battered front door of the clinic and deposited Defense Force troopers in combat gear. A few seconds behind the transports, combat-ready ambulance hovertanks slid into position. EMTs in scout armor poured out the back, and followed the armored Defense Force troopers into the building.

Janis Arin surveyed the scene on the news feed while it played out like a holodrama. She sat with her boots propped up on the nearby table in the rec-room of her ship. On screen, the EMTs carried out the first of the survivors, and Janis snarled.

From the corridor to the rec-room, Teneb chucked; a rough sound punctuated by a staccato hiss. The Trandoshan bounty hunter entered the room. He glanced at the news feed. Satisfied, and partially bored, he returned to tapping on the datapadd.

“Please tell me you have found something worthy to do that doesn’t involve checking signal relays,” he asked in a gravel-laden tone.

“Yeah. Curse.” Janis snapped, then nodded at the news feed. “Behold, Helic’s handywork.”

The Trandoshan glanced up from the datapadd. “Hm. He get them? At least take a trophy? After all, one of those drifters was a Cathar. Might’ve had a nice pelt on him.”

Janis gave a derisive snort. “What d’you think?” She gestured to the screen.

On screen, a pair of Defense Force troopers escorted two EMTs with a medi-lift. On the lift lay Helic Ton, restrained and bandaged in bacta patches. Through a wide hole in the front of the clinic, the camera-bot captured a brief image of a large Cathar. The camera rotated and then captured the image of a human woman in a blaster-scored military uniform.

“Sithspawn!” Teneb swore. He clenched the datapadd with both hands, and nearly broke it.

Janis stabbed the ‘off’ control for the holovid with a finger. “I still say we snipe those three and be done with it.” She rubbed her eyes. “Anyway, we’ve a timetable to keep. How’re the relays?”

Teneb grunted, and dropped the datapadd on a nearby table. “Fine. They’re within spec.”

“Good. That’s something right.”

Teneb folded his arms over his chest. “Legrange call yet? Surely he’s seen this.”

The other bounty hunter shook her head. “Not yet. Last time I spoke with him, it was right before Helic ran off to ‘surprise’ our collective problem.”

The comlink chimed.

“Naturally, it would be Legrange.” Teneb said with a sour tone.

“Hey, even lunatic geniuses watch holovid. I always pegged him for a ‘Jedi Quest’ fan though, not the news.” She punched the ‘answer’ key as Teneb suppressed a chuckle. “This is Aris. Go.”

The image of a supposedly dead man – Dr. Jack Legrange – appeared. “Ah, Ms. Aris. You have seen the news?” Dr. Legrange’s voice was measured and cool.

“I have.”

“It seems your associate made … an error,” Dr. Legrange replied. “Pity. The loss of that clinic was painful. Before he embarrassed himself, did Mr. Ton at least do away with this pack of interlopers?”

Janis clenched her teeth a moment before she replied. “No. They lived through that small war Helic started. They didn’t come out unscathed though.”

Dr. Legrange was quiet a moment. “Interesting. They seem quite hardy. I presume you’ve a small dossier on them?”

Janis and Teneb exchanged a glance. Janis picked up a second datapadd from a nearby table. “Yeah. Not a lot on two of them, but a good bit on the third. Sending the files now.” She access the files, then hit the ‘send’ key.

Dr. Legrange hummed softly to himself before he spoke again. “A cathar, a human and a rodian. Hm. I’m surprised to see a cathar in this end of the sector. The human is military? Very interesting. Ah, the rodian. I see why you have such a detailed report on him. This ‘Greelo’ seems well-traveled and very skilled.”

Teneb snorted. “Only if you like to play with bows and arrows. We’ll erase them and they’ll be out of the way.”

“No.” Dr. Legrange did not the word like a command. It was more like a statement of fact; something that would be impossible to refute.

Janis and Teneb exchanged a glance again. This one was more surprise than uneasy.

“Alright,” Janis replied slowly.

“Subdue them,” Dr. Legrange continued, “but don’t kill them. I need them alive, and not interrupting my plans. Wounds? Well, those I can fix. But dead? They’re no good to me dead.”

“It’ll cost,” Janis interjected.

“Yes, yes, of course. I’ll pay the extra fee.” Dr. Legrange replied with a dismissive wave. “Just get them. Although, since they’ve proven to be rather inventive or durable or both, Teneb, I want you up here aboard the Zarkov. I want a ‘plan B’ for protection.”

“I’ll head up,” Teneb snarled.

“Excellent. Now excuse me, but the ion capacitors are still charging and need steady attention. Teneb, I expect you within the standard hour. Ms. Aris, once you have your quarry contained, send word and I’ll have the Zarkov meet you at the usual coordinates. Legrange out.” With that, the comlink went silent.

Janis keyed the ‘off’ button on the console. She turned to look at Teneb.

“We’d better tell Rogga,” Teneb said. “He’s not going to like this. Especially that part you didn’t send to Legrange … the one about that military lady being a part of Beskar Aran.”

“I don’t like any of this either,” Janis countered. “This deal’s getting worse all the time.”

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Episode 52 - Dark Side of the Moon, PART 3
High Peaks Showdown!

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Star Wars – Shards of Honor
Episode 52

Dark Side of the Moon, Part III

Deep in the TAPANI SECTOR, the Shindra system reels from CONFEDERACY assaults. The battered, proud and outnumbered ships of the TAPANI ALLIANCE hold the line against the CONFEDERACY to keep Shindra free. But the CONFEDERACY has yet to commit its main force to battle; instead, they remain silent at the system’s hyperspace jump point.

However, beneath the cover of wrecked ships at the edge of Shindra, CAPTAIN ELENI BENECOR quietly slips past enemy lines. Silently, she leaps into hyperspace towards the SOTERIOS SYSTEM, the capital of the CONFEDERACY. Her mission? Uncover the secret plans of her evil sister, EMPRESS MERGLYN, and perhaps bring about a turning point in the war.

Meanwhile, on the world of FONDOR, a group of unlikely heroes disembark at the Ogami monorail station to make their way to the High Peaks Medical Clinic – the only link between the killed Herglic victims found so far. Little do they know, that a Corellian corvette slips out of hiding from behind Fondor’s moon of Nallista and slowly powers up its long range targeting system aimed at FONDOR CITY.

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