For the second time in a week the Borrowed Time dropped out of hyperspace for a rendezvous with the Alliance Intelligence frigate Shadow Raptor. Cole had, of course, piloted the vessel on its short trip to transport the Antarian Rangers and drop off the stolen TIE Phantoms. Nak and Shikte had been sent along to act as gunners, and Patience had come along for the ride as the liaison with the Rangers themselves. For once a trip had gone off without a hitch, and the Borrowed Time crew were eager to re-unite with the rest of their number. They initially had some trouble spotting the Raptor: like last time the ship’s dark coloration and limited running lights made it difficult to spot. Eventually, however, Cole picked it out of the void and immediately asked over the ship’s comms why it might be tumbling end over end towards the event horizon of a black hole.
In the darkness of the space between systems, the YT-2400 freighter named the Borrowed Time and three TIE/ph Phantoms dropped out of hyperspace for a scheduled rendezvous. For a moment the pilots thought they had missed their window, until they spotted a Nebulon-B frigate cruising along ahead of them. Painted matte black, with only a few of its running lights on to simulate distant stars, the Shadow Raptor quickly transmitted a challenge for identification, which Cole answered with the codes given to the crew before their departure to Toprawa. The local headquarters-on-the-go for Alliance Intelligence along the Hydian Way, the Raptorhad been where the crew had received their mission briefing from General Cracken. Now it was time for a triumphant return, a debriefing, and hopefully some downtime before their next mission.
Atop a TIE fighter factory on the planet of Toprawa, a black-armored figure stared up at the sky. Far above, the smoke from an exploding Sentinel-class ship hung in the air like a cloud, even as debris rained down and TIEs circled around in confusion. “He got out. Look for the shimmer of his cloak. It’ll make things easier if we catch him alone.” Behind the Mandalorian Duron Skirata four scout troopers nodded, spreading out. Down in the factory itself an Imperial officer and his two squads of stormtroopers were faced with a group of ‘stormtroopers’, rebels, and Rangers who were clearly infiltrating the factory. His biggest concern, however, was that a Bothan had started smiling at him.
An Imperial mining and processing facility burns in the background as Toprawans scatter about, some heading for the ruins of their former cities and some following Jilam’s pleas to head for the mountains, there to be found by the Antarian Rangers and led to caches of weapons and food. Still visible in the distance, the facility’s garrison slowly retreats, having decided to preserve itself for another day rather than get mauled fighting over a ruin. Amidst all the chaos the Rebels of the Borrowed Time stand over the bodies of Captain Solm and his team of Rangers, with everyone thinking the same thing: what do we do now?
A small Imperial hovercraft lay on its side on the plains of Toprawa, smoke pouring from one engine up into the clear blue sky. Two stormtroopers stood guard outside of it, although to a trained eye the armor seemed less fitted than it should, the troopers’ stance not as rigid as usual. Scanning the horizon, one of the troopers spotted a Sentinel-class landing craft in the distance, headed roughly towards the crash site. The trooper banged on the hovercraft’s hull, and a moment later a man in a crisp-looking Imperial Army officer climbed out of the wreck. Patience Johnson checked the read-outs of his holographic armor and straightened a stolen officer’s cap. It was time for the man who could con a Hutt to make Imperials look like idiots.
Agent Castor of the Imperial Security Bureau strained against his bonds, but to no avail. His comlink, ID, and the transponder he wouldhave used to call in an airstrike on these damnable rebels had been taken, he’d been knocked out, and now he was tied up in what looked like a cave somewhere. Giving up on the bonds for now, he tried to look around and get a better view of his surroundings, but before he could the lights turned on. Someone had set up some serious light sources, as for a while he was blinded. About the time he could see again, he wished he couldn’t. A scrappy looking Bothan was crouched down next to him, uncomfortably close and muttering all sorts of horrible threats. On his other side was the same Trandoshan who had knocked him out, quiet but looming, flexing her claws. As Castor’s vision continued to return he spotted a second Bothan standing directly in front of the lights. She told him that he was in big trouble; as much as he wanted to, Castor couldn’t quite bring himself to disagree.
Continue reading Adventure Log: Living on Borrowed Time Part 4
Cole guided the Short Trip through the mists as Shikte compared what little they could see of the terrain against the maps they had been provided. Eventually, the Tusken gestured downward; they were as close to their rendezvous point as they could get without the scanners working. The former smuggler put the craft, laden with the rebels and with various crates taken from the Borrowed Time,down in the first clearing he spotted. The rebels quickly disembarked, spreading out to cover the craft, wary after their clashes with the Imperial Army earlier in the day. Cole, in a rare moment of calm, closed his eyes and tapped into another sense. After a few seconds, he opened his eyes and gestured to the others; they weren’t alone in the mists.
Five Days Earlier . . .
In a small briefing room, likely onboard a ship by looking at the construction of the walls, four very different beings wait to see what fate has in store for them. A Sluissi, Chadra-Fan, and Tusken in the uniform of Alliance Infantry wait more or less patiently, while the two Bothans seem much more agitated. For some, this is merely a (somewhat mysterious) reassignment. For others, they have little idea of what they have been pulled into. At about the time even some of the uniformed beings begin to get anxious, the only door into the room hissed open, and a middle-aged human walked in.
“My name is General Airen Cracken, head of Alliance Intelligence. I’m going to be briefing you. Welcome to Special Operations.”
The galaxy stands at a turning point. The actions of a few may bring a return of freedom, or a victory for the darkness.
Despite having made gains after destroying the Death Star, the Rebel Alliance is now on the defensive, scrambling for any advantage in order to survive.
As part of the effort to stem the tide the crew of the BORROWED TIME, now joined by their fellow rebels, begins their first mission for the Alliance….
The Borrowed Time’s crew were like many others on Nar Shaddaa, doing whatever work they could to keep the credits flowing and their ship off the ground. While their early days were by no means dull, it can be said with accuracy that their story really began when everything went wrong.