<<Begin Recording>>

 

The phrase ‘from bad to worse’ doesn’t even begin to cover what’s been going on.

 

After lurking beneath that nameless ocean for three days, we finally built a decoy – a damn good one – to distract the Relentless while we ran for our lives off that waterlogged planet. Unfortunately, it seems that Imperial commanders are as stupid as we could hope, and the Relentless hid in the ionosphere and snagged us as soon as we were clear of that awful weather.

 

I hate being captured. It’s sheer aggravation, scrambling to wipe the computers, hiding the contraband, reminding the crew not to do anything suicidal and all that. For one moment, I thought we had a chance at blasting our way out of there, but then Dev – who surprised me by being so stupid at such a critical moment – grabbed the Spanner’s thrusters and tried to bury us inside the Relentless hangar bay. I don’t mind the idea of causing damage to Imperial property, but the trick is to stay intact while doing it. As it was, all he did was get us so thoroughly stuck that we had no option but to surrender.

 

I’m going to have to have a little chat with Rebellion Poster Boy about what the phrase ‘in command’ means, followed by a succinct definition of ‘mutiny’… Whine as he might, the Spanner is not his ship…

 

Pause

 

Detention cells on Star Destroyers aren’t any more comfortable than their counterparts anywhere else in the universe… Just as I was trying to figure out how to convince Admiral Somethingorother that this whole trip had been my idea – anything to get the rest of the crew away – Val pulled some Jedi tricks out of his ear, and managed to bust us out of our cells. I don’t want to know how he did it, but he looked like a parsec of bad space when he was done…

 

Things proceed to fall apart at this point. Some unintelligent major had already tried to convince me that Duvessa was an informant. I trust her about as far as I’ll trust anyone, so I wasn’t buying it. Then, as we’re making shrapnel out of Stormtroopers and loosely debating how to fight our way off the Relentless, Duvessa stepped out of an elevator wearing the uniform of Imperial Intelligence. She took one look at the situation – most of the Rose’s and Spanner’s crew, out of their cells, armed to the teeth and looking combative – and promptly killed the Imperial agent accompanying her.

 

It’s amazing how quickly the mind can process information. Within two seconds, I thought the following:

1)      Duvessa is an informant – then why did she kill her companion? For verisimilitude and to re-buy our trust?

2)      Duvessa isn’t an informant – then why is she wearing the uniform? Because she’s an even more accomplished liar than we thought? Then why wasn’t that apparent before now?

Data was inconclusive, so I popped a shot past her head – to convince the cameras we were willing to believe she was a spy – but without killing her, to give her a chance to explain.

 

Which would have been fine, but ex-colonel Travers – that’s another long story – blasts one past me and tells me that if I take another shot at Duvessa, he’ll kill me. Fortunately, he’s got lousy aim and his ‘warning shot’ went wide… Then the circus escalated when Val jumped in and told Travers to shove it.

 

Sigh

 

It seems Travers had built a false identity for Duvessa – using my ship’s computers, damn it – to convince the Empire that she was working for them. Supposedly, it was to cover our butts if we did get captured. How convenient. Maybe a little too convenient… Anyways, Travers decided that we didn’t need to know about it. He decided that Duvessa didn’t need to know about it. Funny, I would have thought the key player in a scam should be briefed on the situation…

 

Says a lot for the man’s communication skills, no? I was ready to blast Duvessa and ask questions later, because that outdated idiot wanted to play cloak-and-dagger games. And he can take his excuse of need-to-know and cram it out the airlock. If nothing else, I think Duvessa qualified as ‘need-to-know’.

 

My next little chat will be telling Travers that I don’t miss by accident…

 

Pause

 

We’ve all got a lot to learn about each other. But I’m afraid my temper is going to break long before I establish any kind of rapport with Travers. What he’s done has destroyed what little trust I had in him. After all, just because the evidence we found suggested that he had been in hibernation for thirty years, doesn’t mean it’s true. He could be any one of a half-dozen types of Imperial spy, and we wouldn’t know it. Our track record with spies hasn’t been the best….

 

And I’m still feeling jumpy around Duvessa… She, meanwhile, has been looking a little gloomy. I think she’s a bit put out about frying an Imperial… She’s taken down plenty of Stormtroopers already, I don’t see why she’s giving special consideration to one just because he was wearing a different uniform. Murder is murder. Get used to it, or go down.

 

Well, Duvessa’s gloominess is probably more attributable to the fact that the Marquis DeLorik is apparently alive and kicking. I really hope he’s just got a few clones of himself tucked away somewhere…It’s that, or he survived open space for an appreciable length of time, and I really don’t like that idea.

 

Obviously, we managed to get back to the Spanner – just as the Iridium Rose was being involuntarily hauled on board - and blast out of there before the dear Marquis could catch up with us. But Duvessa tells me that she and Val got a hell of a migrane from some nasty Force-trick the Marquis keeps for special visits. Heaven save me from the fate of being a Jedi…

 

Meric has given me some co-ordinates – him and Maire are here, while the rest of the crew split for the Rose when we had the chance – and we’re in for a leisurely scramble out of this section of space.

 

I’m going to have to make a stop to pick up an ID overlay for the Spanner. She’s about to get her current ID pasted all over the HoloNet and that won’t do. Blasting a hole in the side of a Star Destroyer will do that…It felt good, though.

 

And to think I just wanted to be a free trader when I grew up…

 

<<End Recording>>

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