After all the recent setbacks, we really need a victory - bring me one! With these words from Admiral Ackbar echoing on their minds, the heroes left for planet Duram, where diplomatic negotiations have halted, apparently becausr of fear of fate of Calessia.
When arriving to Alessia, Cavalier was hailed by corvette Tantive IV and it's captain Antilles - son of a late rebel hero. Heroes moved to the planet with a shuttle and were greeted by a group of local representatives, and then lead to the Republic senator that had been leading negotiations so far; Protocol droid c-3po leading to her explained that senator Organa-Solo had been very ill and can't lead negotiations. Heroes met Senator after doctor had left her room - she seemed on the first sight quite distracted, silently repeating something while staring the wall.
After short discussion, everyone moved to council Chamber where negotiations were supposed to continue. After a long discussion (during whichI heard that group's diplomat had moved points from persuasion to shooting) the situation was undecided, Prime Minister Hedron being strongly against joining the Republic and other ministers being generally undecided, the decision lead to the situation where king's word decided the matter, and he decided for the Republic. Hedron stormed out, declaring that the matter isn't over. Trouble and Chazz decided to follow him.
The twi'lek and pilot drew attention of guards and decided to split up. Trouble followed the minister closer and saw him going to a building that was some kind of military center. Then Trouble was surprised by a rodian bounty hunter he knew had been working for a hutt he had had some trouble with, but was able to dispatch him. He remember that the bounty hunter often worked with another droid -bounty hunter and tried to move away, but too late - he was soon hit by accurate shot from a blaster rifle set on stun.
Chazz tried to follow Trouble and soon started to hear shooting and blasts from here and there. Trouble was barely conscious enough to hear angry shouts telling the bounty hunter to stop, the speedeer he was tossed into rocketing to sky and then being hit with something heavy; it crashed to a building and was left hanging 50 feet high, about to fall down.
In the meantime, council chamber of the palace was stormed by stormtroopers, guided by Prime minister. Commander, Senators, two ministers, king Graydon & 3po were escorted out of the palace.
The bounty hunter had disappeared when Trouble was conscious enough to try to climb out of the speeder - after he was able to climb so the speeder was a bit more stabile and where he could grab the key to his handcuffs. He managed out, saw an AT-ST below him and jumped on it, eliminating it's commander and then shooting it's pilot inside. Chazz made to the scene, got in the walker (after Chazz managed to climb up, Trouble found how to make the walker kneel) and they decided to move back to the palace.
In the meantime imperials escorting their important captives were exiting the building. The commanding officer watched comfortably a lone AT-ST walking towards them on a catwalk. When the walker was close and didn't seem to be stopping, he started to worry - and then he had to jump aside as the walker walked right through the imperial formation! One of the stormtroopers wasn't lucky and fell off the catwalk.
Maxmillian and Korin took advantage of the situation as a walker eliminated a group of troopers with a grenade launcher; The troopers didn't have much chance in the fight, and the imperial officer decided to level the playing field by taking Leia as hostage. Trouble was all the time trying to shoot the officer with At-St, even if I told that he should win the officer in an agility check, not roll 1 with trait die, be able to deal enough damage to hurt the officer enough AND avoid hitting the cover +4, provided by Leia). Finally, Korin stepped in a speeder and drove fast over the officer and Leia so they should act to avoid being hit. This removed Leia from being cover to the officer and Trouble decided to act. Unfortunately the officer beats Trouble in initiative and shoots Leia to head with Drop. With several raises of damage, the universe was almost changed, but Leia also rolled several raises for her soak roll and then the officer got his share of violence.
Trouble lost it totally when fighting one of the last stormtroopers and eyes glowing red attacked the trooper with a knife. The rest of the troopers were easily taken care of. It didn't go unnoticed that Maxmillian shot unarmed prime minister who was trying to stay away from fighting - although no-one was able to clearly see what had happened, it gave doubts about ex-imperial's motives and nature.
The group was taken to city's command center. There was some republic troops in the city to enforce defenses, and imperial force that was in the town was quite small and was easily defeated. But the contact to Cavalier was broken as radios were heavily jammed and an arrow-shaped ship - an Imperial star destroyer had arrived to orbit over the city. City's shield generator kept it from bombarding the city or it's defensive forces, but a heavy assault force was currently landing at the edge of the shield dome. It seemed like the arriving assault force outmatched the city defenses very badly, making this more or less impossible fight. Sensors revealed that Cavalier and Tantive IV were hiding behind the planet's moon, but due to jamming there was no way to contact them. In addition, Nebulon cruiser and Corellian corvette were even more badly outmatched against the Star destroyer than the city was against the assault force, even if counting the defense squadron from Duram.
The defenders had one additional advantage: King Graydon revealed that there was heavy orbital cannons in the city, built secretly, but they weren't completely instealled yet; It would require turning shields off for a few minutes to charge enough energy for them to fire, which would give the destroyer enough time to bombard the city to rubble, and energy spike would also reveal the cannon.
After several failures, the Republic is desprate for a victory, as any failure could break the Republic now. If they lose this city, they'll likely lose princess Leia too, a very strong symbol for the struggling Republic - this all might be enough to break the fragile new republic!
To be continued...