After reporting back to the Jedi Council on the matter of the Germalaine system, the heroes are ordered to return to Coruscant. Arriving several days later, some members enter the Jedi Temple immediately upon arriving. Barrett, Marin, and Vandal head off to check in with the Republic Explorer Corps, while Tycho, Nicaela, Glendora, and Lucas are called to meet with the Jedi Council.
Heading to the Jedi High Council tower, they are met by one of their masters, Jedi Knight Galen Marek. He is looking over the report Tycho sent to the Jedi Council. Reading it, he says there are several details that seem to be missing, but he was never one for reports anyway and would prefer to hear it from his Padawan specifically what happened.
After a few minutes of discussion, J-3PO opens the doors to the High Council chamber and states the Council will hear them now. Heading in, most of the chairs are filled, but some of them are empty.
Master Kenobi listens to the Padawans describe their encounter on Ger’malaine with the Blazing Chain Pirates. When completed, various masters have follow up questions or comments.
“Do you feel this is an isolated incident, or part of a larger conspiracy?”
“Were you able to track down the origination of this ship? Where was it taken from?”
“Thank you for this report, padawans. Do not concern yourself with this matter any further. We will deliberate and determine the proper course of action to resolve this matter. You are dismissed.”
Serra Keto “Master Draco, this is a matter for us to deliberate, but these padawans have uncovered quite an alarming piece of news here. I think they’ve earned the right to listen in on our discussions.”
She’shel Ve “If the ship was taken from a shipyard in Ord Zeoul, then someone should be sent to investigate it’s theft.”
Echuu Shen-Jon (hologram) “It is quite alarming that this is the first we’ve heard about this. One would think the Republic would want us to help in the investigations, or at least alert us that pirates had stolen an armed Separatist Warship.”
Quinlan Vos (Hologram) “I am engaged in my investigation here on Thule, and Ord Zeuol is on the other side of the Galaxy. I advise we sent Jedi Marek to investigate the boneyard.”
Nevas Seng “I agree, Marek is the best choice available, unless you wish to handle this matter personally, Master Kenobi?”
Sian Jeisel (hologram) “It’s settled then; Jedi Marek and the padawans will leave for Ord Zeoul immediately.
After exiting the Council Chambers, Marek instructs his padawan to assemble his gear and meet in the main hanger. The group has only two hours before they have to leave.
Once down in the main hold, the group is greeted by an incredible sight. A long, sleek transport awaits them. It appears to be made by Sienar Republic Systems, and shares many design similarities with their TIE series of fighters. Marek descends the ramp in the back of the craft. “You like it? It’s called the Scimitar. It’s been in storage by the Jedi Order since before the Clone Wars. Who knows why is beyond anyone’s guess, this ship should be out doing Recon for the Republic Navy. It comes equipped with a Stygium-cloaking device, which makes the ship invisible to sensors and even visual inspection. It’s almost unheard of in a ship this size. The accommodations aren’t the best, but it’ll get us to Ord Zeoul quick enough, and allow us to conduct our investigation quietly if need be.”
The ship feels cold, perpetually, even with the heating on full. Everyone who slept on board had the strange sensation of voices whispering to them from across the stars.
Nine days later, the Scimitar emerged from hyperspace near the Ord Zeuol shipyard. The space near Ord Zeuol’s oblong moon is filled with junked hulks and intact spacecraft. Remnants of over two centuries of space-faring is packed in an area thousands of kilometers in size. One of the largest objects is an old VenteX Cargo Facility.
With the cloaking field active, the group went to investigate the area where the Destroyer was berthed, based on the data from it’s navigational computer. They found a completely different ship in it’s place. Looking around the area, they find a half destroyed pirate freighter hidden in the middle of a debris lot. The vessel appears to have been hit by a turbo-laser, and was destroyed with all hands on board. Unable to access the ship’s computer, the Jedi decided to cut it out of the hull and take it with them aboard the Scimitar.
The ship flew out of the field, de-cloaked, and approached the station. After a brief exchange with a gruff Givin station commander, the ship was allowed to land in one of the processing chambers. They are escorted to the Commander’s office by a pair of burly humans (Cando and Jorn). The Givin’s office was sparse, utilitarian, and clean to perfection. Everything in it is set down at mathematically perfect angles, and the air scrubbers work extra hard to keep the room free of dust. Metal cabinets, desks, and chairs predominately the gun-metal grey room.
“My name is Station Commander Yixxil, welcome to Republic Decommissioning Depot Enth-Shen 555. Now, I’m behind schedule and don’t have time for further pleasantries. Why are you on my station?”
“Commander, we’re investigating the theft and destruction of an old Recusant-class Destroyer in the Ger’malaine system.”
“Then why are you here?”
“Because the destroyer was stolen from your facility.”
“…it seems you have your information incorrect, Jedi Marek. We are not missing a destroyer.”
“CCD-624? A Recusant-Class Commerce Guild Destroyer?”
“Yes, that is the registry of one of our Destroyers. It’s located in lot 36-990-400.”
“…no, it’s currently burning up in Ger’malaine’s atmosphere.”
The Givin commander then activated a holoprojector. “Here, let me show you. We’re in the middle of salvaging one of the other destroyers from the cache her right now, but I can spare a fly-over of the location of the warship. We use droids for all the salvage operations. They work hard, don’t complain, and don’t ask for raises.” Various views of the shipyard start to cycle through the viewer. Eventually, the camera shifts to the hulk of a Commerce Guild Destroyer. “See? There you are, Jedi. CCD-624; one of seven Commerce Guild Destroyers in my shipyard.”
When asked where it came from: “Three years ago a republic survey team was working in an asteroid cluster near the Naboo system. When they approached one of the larger asteroids, they discovered it was hollowed out and turned into a storage berth for a flotilla of Separatist warships. Seven Destroyers, Four Munificent Frigates, a Lucrehulk Battleship, a Providence-Class Destroyer; enough warships to invade a system. Because we are the closest decommissioning yard, they were sent to us. But due to budget cuts we haven’t been able to start the actual refining of their hulls until earlier this year.”
Were the ships stripped of weapons and equipment when they arrived? “No, because removing over two-thousand gun emplacements, nevermind shield emitters, sensor arrays, and reactor cores would have taken a year, a year of work that would have taken this facility further off schedule and over budget. This facility has no extra funds for that kind of work or that kind of overtime. So I authorized the droids to take a month removing all the fire control systems and navigational arrays from the ships. The ships would have been rendered effectively inoperative until we had time to begin the salvage operations.”
Where are the other ships? “They’re around the shipyard. We have so much craft in this yard, and re-stock it so often that we can’t actually see them from here. But I know they’re still there because our patrol droids sweep the shipyard every few days.”
Where is the salvage being brought to? “We have loaders arriving every hour as containers are filled. They’re being processed in Chamber 5.”
Marek instructed the padawans and tells them to go check the containers and review their contents. He stayed behind to discuss matters with the Station Commander.
As the heroes arrive in Chamber 5, they see one large shipping container being offloaded and a new container arriving. There are a few organic beings in the area, but the predominant workforce is labor droids. As they investigate the loading bay, details are uncovered; the salvage being off-loaded from the incoming containers are very generic, and not matching what should be coming in from a warship. Checking computer records provided few other clues, but someone noticed the heroes snooping around, because all the droids suddenly stopped working and began to attack the party.
Binary Load Lifters and the PK Worker Droids moved in to engage the characters in melee. “Gonk” Power Droids waddled up to the group and self destructed, sending shrapnel across the chamber. After some deft maneuvering and fighting, the group managed to put down the droids. They discovered that the two likely candidates for the sabotage and the cover-up were Jorn and Cando, the two workers who met the Jedi at their ship. Checking the internal sensors, Jorn and Cando just left the station on a starship.
When Marek is told about the altercation in Chamber 5, the heroes hear a lightsaber ignite over the comm and a startled yelp from the station commander. “Padawan, take the Scimitar and capture them. I’m going to stay here and continue my ‘discussion’ with the Station Commander.”
The heroes run the Scimitar and embark on a chase to try and catch the fleeing culprits before they can reach the edge of the asteroid field. After some tricky maneuvers from Tycho, some revealing sensor scans by Lucas, and some demoralizing convincing from Glendora, Cando and Jorn are caught and brought back to the station.
Cando and Jorn have been working at the decommissioning depot for over a decade. Earlier this year, they were contacted by a mysterious figure named “Hejaran” offing to supplement their income if they would help maintain the ruse of the salvage operation. With no increase in pay from the Republic or Commander Yirril, they took the credits. Their instructions were to make the records show that the Separatist warships had been decommissioned and salvaged. Meanwhile Hejaran’s people would steal the ships, one at a time. Cando and Jorn were able to face records, recycle materials, and fake holo-logs to make it look like the ships were processed as normal.
When a ship was to be taken, a freighter would jump into the system while the stations sensors were being secretly jammed. The thieves would install the missing key components swiftly, swap the ship with several nearby derelict hulks to mask the obvious void in the shipyard, and jump out with their new warship. It was all perfect until a month before when a band of pirates attacked during the restoration of a Recusant-Class Destroyer. The pirates took a beating, but they got away with the Destroyer. Cando and Jorn tried to cover up the attack, but they knew their secret would come to light soon. Appeasing their partner Hejaran, they made arrangements for the theft of the last warship, then planned to flee the station soon after.
The last ship, a Lucrehulk-class Battleship, is to be retrieved sometime in the next couple of days. With no time to get a fleet out here to capture the thieves, Marek orders his padawan to take the Scimitar and report back to the Council. Meanwhile, he will sneak aboard the battleship and hide from the thieves. He’ll bring along a hyperspace homing beacon so the Order and the Republic can dispatch a rescue team to retrieve him, and hopefully reveal where all the warships had gone. The belief being if all the ships are taken by the same party, they all may be in the same place for “safekeeping”.
Marek sneaks aboard the battleship, and the Scimitar engages the cloaking field. Less than a day later, a well-armed Action VI bulk freighter jumps into the system with an escort of Y-Wing fighters. The freighter docks with the warship, and an hour later the Lucrehulk begins to move out of the shipyard. With the departure of the warship and his mentor, Tycho turns the cloaked ship towards Coruscant to report on the recent events to the Council