Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Las Vegas Nevada
Current Game: Dungeonseige series
If someone had actually asked him, A4 was happy. The puzzle given to him by the Padawan was intriguing. The chemical analysis was child’s play, and discovering the respirant residue had been the icing on the cake.
What most bio-forms didn’t understand, or failed to take into consideration was that when they breathed, they drew in gas, and some of that gas remained in their systems. For humans and most of the known sophonts that was oxygen. Bidraxidine had seven oxygen molecules in it’s artificially designed matrix, and when inhaled, would leave some of them in the body, becoming a degraded form.
This gas was so close to the chemical mix called Bidraxidine that it would be unnoticed in a test of the atmosphere. The test equipment would read it as that chemical.
Yet it was not Bidraxidine. It had 8 molecules of oxygen, and from the attachment points of the molecule, had started with more like 12.
The projectile tracking was more difficult, and it turned to that now.
Ballistics was a simple pure science. A projectile would travel on a course affected only by gravity in space, and the micro gravities created by artificial systems would affect them only slightly. He hadn’t been told to add the movement of ships and wreckage, but he added that to the equation as well. He assumed that the Padawan wished to find out where the ships were as well, and as they were damaged or destroyed, where the wreckage went.
Sigma 9 was the first done, of course. The data was more recent, and the wreckage had drifted little in comparison.
“You’re mad.” The Commander snarled.
“Admiral, she expects us to believe that 8,000 people just decided out of nowhere to kill each other? It’s ludicrous!”
“I have the droid I brought working on the drift patterns of the expended ordinance and wreckage. I am willing to bet you real money that it will prove what I am claiming.”
“If it does I will apologize on the flight deck to the entire crew!” Dothan retorted hotly.
Breia lifted the com link. “Go ahead, A4.”
“Data for Sigma 9 is in. The others will take several more hours.”
“Admiral do we have a data link here?”
“On my desk.”
“A4, send it to the Admiral’s cabin.”
Onasi sat, keying the system. A spherical holo formed. At the center was what was left of the station.
“This is the location of all projectiles and floating debris within a five light second area. The ship‘s scans ordered by Captain Solo go out fifteen light minutes.” A4 reported. “Now, we will reverse the clock slowly.” As the words came out, the bullets, missiles and wreckage began to drift inward. The scale stayed at five light second, and more entered it. Then even more. Finally the scale jumped to only four light seconds. Again they waited as projectiles streamed back into the center.
“At this point, I direct your attention to the ships and station.” A4 brought up a scan of only the center light second. The distance a bullet or missile would travel in about five seconds time. As they watched, the projectiles began disappearing into the structures, but not emerging. At the edge, a life pod suddenly floated together out of scrap, followed by another. A small merchant ship suddenly blossomed into life, the projectiles that had destroyed it moving inexorably backward toward another ship nearby. Projectiles streamed into the center at a more rapid rate, more and more pods appearing as wreckage flowed together. Another ship that had been tumbling moved backwards, parts flowing into it until it was suddenly whole again.
There were millions of small red specks now. A pod reassembled, and a missile leaped from it to the station, socketing itself back in a tube that was itself reforming.
The play stopped. “This is fifteen seconds into the incident. Every ship is accounted for.”
“But what about an intruder?” The Commander was ashen.
“It was not in the system during the attack. Note this.” Another hologram blossomed. The time tick was 20 minutes after the attack. A number of the last projectiles fired suddenly drifted to the side. “Those deviations in their course were caused by a detectable artificial gravity field. I am discerning this from what you might call ‘shadow’ evidence, something not there, but it’s presence affected the matter around it. This area of affect began at 20 light seconds from the station, moved into the area of greatest damage, and stayed for approximately seven hours. It departed an hour or more before the fleet arrived.”
“I seem to owe you an apology.” Dothan said.
“Never mind you rash promise, Commander. If I hadn’t already had the clues I have given you I would have suspected insanity as well.” Breia replied. “I accept your apology here.”
“But there is an outside agent.” Koori said. “Someone planted this chemical, then came in and laid booby traps to catch us.”
“Yes.” Breia considered. “Are the logs of arrivals still accessible?”
“No, Damnit. The computer core took a hit about fifteen seconds or so into the incident. A missile from the Corvette assigned here, I think.” Koori leaned forward. “But maybe the other stations have records we can use.”
“As soon as I am done clearing the booby traps, I must go then. All of the records are on Corellia and I know there will be another attack soon. I have to figure out where and try to be there before it happens.” Breia said.
The ship settled on the small landing field near the Monastery where Breia Sookor Bai Echana waited patiently. The ramp came down, and a small figure bounded down the ramp. She remember Yodai well. He reminded her so much of Dor.
“Greetings I give, Master Sookor.” He chirped. Behind him, Sanji Gretu came down the ramp. The years had not been kind. His lungs, scarred by vacuum in orbit of Ithor had never fully healed. He had refused artificial lungs, and kept going despite the handicap.
“Stop that.” Breia hugged him. “It’s good to see you again, Sanji.”
“Have you ever noticed how much of discussion revolves around sight?” He asked.
“More than you might have.” She replied tartly. “Did you bring them?”
“Yes. Four droids of the B9 series. May I ask why?”
“They have a special function only they can carry out.” She replied. “Have two of them transfer to the Falcon.”
Yodai leaped back aboard the ship. Breia’s head turned as if she could actually see the little being. “Does he wear you out?”
“Not as much as those damn Mandalorian boys. Oh, Anak sent greetings from Ithor.”
“So the Mandalorians got that contract?”
“After Czerka tried to hide that mining base on the planet, the Ithorians decided the only people they could trust were the Mando. They don’t lie.”
“Yes, they haven’t reached that level of sophistication yet. Good for them.”
A small group of young Jedi monks approached, and Breia noticed them. “Ah, our staff as it were.” Breia said. The four young beings stopped, bowing. “Master Gretu, may I present Padawan Lang from my home world.” The young Echani bowed deeper. “Apprentices Shali of Rutia, Amberdon of Coruscant, and Yaka of Ithor.” The Twi-lek, human and Ithorian each bowed deeply as they were named. “Shali is Lang’s apprentice at the moment. Amberdon is my new pilot.”
“And Yaka?” Sanji asked.
“We need something to slow down our good friend Padawan Solo. Yaka will fit the bill nicely once we arrive.”
“What is the situation.”
“Always business.” Breia laughed then she sobered. “The attacks on the Hutt, Twi-lek Coruscanti and Corellians are not separate events as we had surmised. Breia’s report before she left suggests that they are all linked. I have studied the evidence she delivered, and I agree with her.”
“So we have been asked-”
“No. We have not been asked to intervene. I believe we must.”
Sanji considered. “I trust your judgment, Breia. But have you informed the council?”
“I will right before we leave.”
He sighed. “I worry about you sometimes.”
Her com link beeped, and she touched it. “Breia Sookor Bai Echana.”
“Master Sookor, there is a message for you from the Navy department. Marked urgent.” The apprentice reported.
“I will be up there in a moment.” She took Sanji’s arm. “Now help an old woman find the communications room.”
“-So that is the situation as I see it, Master Sookor. I apologize for not being there to meet you, but the situation will explode all out of proportion if we don’t discover what is happening. I have asked the Navy to transport me to Delta 4 station. I have checked the pattern of attacks and Delta 4 is between the last Coruscanti attack, and the first Twi-lek one. I believe it is next on their agenda. I hope you can reply before I depart Sigma 9. If not you can meet me on Delta 4. Padawan Solo out.” Breia leaned back, rubbing her chin in thought. “I can almost see the pattern she describes. Sanji, head immediately to Delta 4. Be prepared for an attack using some kind of chemical weapon.”
“At once Master.”
“Communications, send a reply to the Navy for a torpedo. Have Breia wait there for our arrival. Do not proceed to Delta 4 without support.”
Breia stood. “Let’s be about our work. Lang, has the ship been checked out?”
“Then take it directly to Sigma 9 at best speed. The Falcon cannot keep up with you, so link up with Breia when you arrive.”
“You could wait a few days. Until I can send a warship with you.” Onasi said as they headed toward the docking bay. “At least wait until the Surgeon has completed his analysis!”
“No Admiral.” Breia walked alongside her, setting the fast pace. It might have been funny to the crew to have an Admiral almost jogging to keep up, but Breia didn’t consider it. “This cargo ship is enroute to Delta 4, and I can shave a day or more if I leave immediately. You can notify Corellia by torpedo, and I can’t wait that long.” They entered the docking bay, where A4 already waited. “Come on you lump of tin, we have work to do.” She said.
“Actually there is not tin in my matrix. I am primarily-”
“I know, A4. Look up the term tease later.” Breia waited as the docking tube irised open, and waved to the Admiral and her brother before diving into it, followed by the Droid.
The light cargo ship Evanescent Star rolled away from the ship. thrusters slamming it onto course. It went into hyper almost immediately. A moment later, a message torpedo dropped out, and began broadcasting.
“Priority message to Padawan Solo from Master Sookor. Solo is to await arrival of Jedi delegation. Under no circumstances is she to proceed to Delta 4 without support.”