Hellhawk – Episode 21

The Order of Phoenix Burning

After meeting Gaetan’s “Uncle” Ilashii, the group is invited back to the room he has rented on Flammarion Orbital.  Investigator Wain has indicated that based on the location, this is probably more than a simple room.

Location: In Flammarion Orbital, an O’Neill habitat orbiting the world of Flammarion.

Date: 176-1110

Characters

Crew

Others

Characters

  • Martin Clairmont (Pete Cooney) – Security – Marine Lieutenant C65645 Age 30
  • Gaetan Boucher (Billy Lenoir) – Engineer/Navigator – Retired Navy Captain 835B8F Age 46
  • Drusill Telyn (Robyn Nixon) – Pilot – Navy Lt Cmdr 3455BB Age 42
  • Steac Malabru (David …) – Captain/Owner Hunter 9A88B8  Age 42
  • Kafla Thingvellir (npc) business executive Age 48

Crew

  • Shaki Khuudaarma (Robyn/npc) – Commander – A79798
  • Urkoksou Kharrghse (npc) – Security Detail – 89A654
  • Gzanggvek Kangso (npc) – Security Detail – A89565

Others

  • Ilashii Kaundaash – Aid-de-Camp to Anka von Duur-Dirza and Retired Naval Admiral – XXXXXX Age 70

Flamarrion Down Penthouse

The group follows the instructions given by the captain of Ilashii’s Guard back to the city.  Leaving several of the the local security officers behind to clean up at the command center.  The APC carrying Gaetan and Ilashii having left several minutes before is not visible in front of the group.  The group approaches a part of the city that is remarkable for the height of the buildings.  The directions seem to lead to a landing platform near the top of one taller buildings.

Several people are waiting on the platform as the air/rafts approach.  The APC that Gaetan and Ilashii left in is nowhere to be seen.  A valet approaches as the air/raft lands and offers to take the vehicle.  There is another liveried servant standing nearby who calls to Steac as the air/raft touches down.  The servant welcomes the group and says, “The Aide-de-camp is waiting for you, if you will follow me.”

He leads the group into the building and up several levels on a glass enclosed lift.  After a short walk, he leads you into an enormous room with glass walls.  The views of the city are breath-taking.  There are a few people in the room.  The first you see are servants.  They offer to take jackets or any equipment or weapons that may be cumbersome inside and offer refreshment.  You see the security personnel next.  They seem to be watching from the side of the room.  In the far corner of the room, next to the windows you see Gaetan discussing something with his “uncle”.  Ilashii seems to be agreeing with what Gaetan is saying as you approach, they both turn and greet you.

Ilashii says, “Thank you for coming.  I hope your hunting expedition was successful.”

“Absolutely, this venture has proven fruitful.” responds Steac as he takes in the view.

Ilashii says, “Gaetan has told me about the conversation that Drusil helped him record.  The Order of the Phoenix has become a problem for the high noble families lately.  It would be nice to see one of their leaders discredited.  The only problem is, I cannot allow Gaetan to walk into a trap.  His uncle, the Duke of Gulf Subsector would not be happy with me if I allowed him to be injured.  He is needed to resolve a political situation on Qevar.”

He goes on to explain his pursuit of Gaetan across the subsector, including his arrival on Walston just as the group was leaving the system.

See Episode 16b

Ilashii explains, “While I would like to catch this Baron in something treasonous, I’m at a loss for ideas.  Sixteen weeks of travel will wear on your mental sharpness.  Do any of you have suggestions?”

“Well,”  Begins Steac, fumbling around his waistband for his sunglasses.  Finding them, he slouches down a bit in his chair as he drops his sunglasses into place.  “Why not go ahead with this “planned” meeting?  He wants it, give it.”  Steac tips his head to both Inspector Wain and IIasii and continues, “We’ve got all of the hole-cards, Wain can sic Snoops on Gaetan, I’m sure you’re capable,” nodding to IIasii, “of all manner of bugs and tracers to cover movement and sound.”  Pushing himself up and leaning forward and looking over his sunglasses at Gaetan, “You’ll be covered from every angle and I’ll offer to be the one to fire a sedative dart and put him down if one of his mangy paws gets near you.”  Satisfied, Steac leans back in his chair still looking over the rim of his sunglasses, “Anyone else?”

Ilashii nods his agreement, but says, “I thought of this.  My concern is we are using Gaetan as bait.  Can you say it’s not the Baron’s intent to have a sniper shoot him from a distance?  I have some safety concerns with this idea.”

Shaki also pipes up “Also I would not put it past this group to utilize IEDs against Sir Gaetan.”  knodding his head toward Gaetan “In our recent civil unrest, we often had times in the past 10 years to deal with these devil devices, that act impersonally and without discrimination.  How selective is the ‘Order’ in its assassination attempts?  How long have they been following Gaetan’s movements?  How well do they know his habits?  If Sir Gaetan changes his method of arriving to meet Drusil in the park, will it be noticed by these brigands?”

Ilashii nods in agreement and says, “There is too much risk in sending Gaetan, but I fear we won’t discover anything without some bait for the trap.”

Gaetan says helpfully, “The right armor might reduce the risk.  I don’t mind going.”  But the withering glare from his uncle is not difficult to understand.

<waits for response from everyone>

Shaki pulls up his comcomp and begins sharing some details “From my investigations of this Order of the Phoenix, they seem to be a well integrated organization of semi-legitimate royals from within the Imperium itself.  Though mostly of minor houses, they have made great headway the past 50 years in gaining a foothold on many planets, and in the Imperial Spinward Marches Decemvirate  itself.  Taking on a member of the Decemvirate could have large repercussions for anyone in this room.  Decemvirate members and planetary representatives tend to be untouchable.  This is one thing that makes Sir Gaetan vulnerable at this point, he has not been publicly unacknowledged by his liege, the arch-duke.  Taking him out does not disrupt Imperial or subsector business, but instead is simply a personal assault on his house and lessons the power of the arch-duke.  It looks like Sir Drusil has jeopardized his own knighthood by providing this information to Sir Gaetan.”

“Your assessment is very accurate Minister Khuudaarma.  If we are lucky, Drusil’s rank will be the only casualty.”  Ilashii agrees.

“Ahem” Steac sits up in his chair,  “Is this Baron willing to die with Sir Gaetan?”  Looking around at all present; “How much time have we before this meeting?  I’ve a possible solution as we’ve likely far more Personnel than on his side.”  Everyone around make it clear by  their facial expressions that he should continue.”  All I’m thinking of is a simple snare-trap.  We lay out snoops to all surrounding buildings, structures, landscaping locales, etc. that can furnish a lair for a possible sniper and have them send alarm of any warm bodies in, on, or around that can be investigated by personnel on vid watch.”

Steac hand fumbles around… “no glass, could I get some water?  Thanks… dry mouth.”  After a sip or two he continues, “You set up armed personnel in Chameleon suits all-around this location.  Sir Gaetan arrives with Dru in body armor capable of handling flak.  The minute the Baron is in eyeshot, Sir Gaetan runs forward and engages the Baron in the tightest Bear-hug possible as the personnel in Chamies close in from all directions as the snare.  Let the Baron blubber all he wants in rage and hatred for Gaetan.  Point is, unless the Baron is willing to die for his cause, Gaetan should be safe.”  Here Steac picks up his glass of water and takes a long drink and sets the glass down forcefully.  “C’mon, with all of the brains at this table, top this or take it.  Most animals want out of a snare any way possible save for ending their own lives!”

“Problem here is that Sir Gaetan is supposedly meeting with Sir Drusil at the location.”  Shaki interjects “Sir Gaetan isn’t suppose to know that it’s the Baron who will be there instead.”  Suddenly his face lights up.  “That’s it.  We send in Sir Drusil first as a diversion.  The Baron isn’t expecting Sir Drusil to show up.  We load up Sir Drusil with bugs and sensors, and we can scope out the location easily!  Sir Gaetan can then move in, knowing exactly what he is going up against and he will have an ally already in place.  He just needs to move in quickly enough to keep Sir Drusil from tripping over his own tongue and giving the gig up!  Sir Drusil just has to go in blubbering or asking questions.”  Shaki smiles “Something I’ve noticed the good Sir is good at, without trying too hard!”

<wait for more responses>
Steac finishes his glass of water quickly, sits-up, and gives Shaki his full attention.

Shaki pipes up again “Of course given Sir Gaetan’s recent activity and recognitions on Walston, I could not allow Sir Gaetan to go my himself anywhere here on XXXX, so of course I and Urkoksou and Gzanggvek will go along with Sir Gaetan as his recognized body guards.  That will place 4 allies in immediate proximity to Sir Gaetan if the ball drops.”  Shaki looks at everyone with steely resolve, including Ilashii.  “Sir Gaetan is an honorable man, and I know he does not wish to run from a situation.  If he wants to deal with this here, then we are with him.”  He looks over at Urkroksou and Gzanggvek, who both nod in agreement with their commander.

“All of the situation scanned by Dru ahead of time… allows Gaetan to know exactly where to stand and how far… I like it!”  Steac smiles and looks over to Ilashii, “Well?  I like the idea of keeping my Navigator in one piece, and it seems sound to me.  C’mon, lets give it a go!”

Shaki looks over at Ilashii “Admiral Kaundaash, Sir, I would never allow Gaetan to expose himself to harm, without going with him – Gaetan is a hero of Walston – Honor demands it!  Plus this would allow Walston to truelly see that I accept the new government on Walston.  I feel that there is a cloud over my reputation, since I was a representative of the old government to the new council.  Failure here is not an option for me, nor is a failure by Sir Gaetan in this exchange an option for him.  You know as well as I that Sir Gaetan cannot run from this confrontation and return to any level of legitimacy of his own back at XXXX (Gaetans homeworld).”  Shaki notices the look of surprise on both the Admiral’s face and Gaetan that Shaki knows of Gaetan’s background.  “Admiral, your search for Sir Gaetan shows that there is a need for him back on your homeworld, and back in his family.  I fully expect that you need him with his reputation and honor intact.”  Shaki looks over at Gaetan for confirmation.

Ilashii says, “Let me see if I understand.”  He begins listing things that he feels have been suggested, adding his own emphasis.

  • Steac, Martin and others go to the park to scout it out, looking for any dangers.  They should be unobtrusive, searching for snipers, IED’s or whatever the Baron intends to do.  He offers a few marines to improve the coverage of the park.
  • Drusil goes to meet the Baron, with surveillance equipment, to cause confusion in the Barons plan, draw the Baron out in the open and provide an additional ally on the scene for Gaetan.
  • Gaetan with Shaki, Urko and Gzang leave the safety of Ilashii’s apartment, in an enclosed air-car to meet with the Baron.  If necessary, he makes an appearance to draw the Baron’s intentions out.

Illashii asks, “Does that cover everything?”

Shaki responds “Sounds like a good idea about the closed air car.  That could be Sir Drusil’s excuse for coming to the park: ‘to entice Sir Gaetan from the car for the Baron’, else what reason would Sir Gaetan have for exiting the car and exposing himself.  And without Sir Gaetan exposing himself, then the Baron would have no target, and would undoubtedly not show himself.”

“Let’s do this; I’ve made many a trap as a hunter.” Adds Steac.  “If I lay a trap, I can sure as heck spot a trap.”

Shaki looks at Illashii to see if he has any further objections or to see that he is with the plan now before he continues “Good let’s contact Sir Drusil on the Hellhawk and get him prepped.  Given that we just finished a Safari here in the habitat, it would not be unexpected that we are still armed and armored rushing to the meeting between Dru and Gaetan (falling back on the familiar terms for two men that they have all come to know).  So lets all get suited up and armed.  The admiral’s staff can get the covered car for us while we finish up.”  Shaki looks down at his watch and notices that they only have another  hour from Gaetan’s appointment.  “Let’s go gentleman.”  and rises to take care of business.

The next ½ hour is blur of activity as communications go out to Drusil on the Hellhawk and the entire situation is explained to him.  While hesitant at first, as the plan is detailed out to him, his voice becomes more eager and pleased.  Meanwhile Steac and his team head out as quickly as possible in the Walston’s air car to park to embed Steac, Martin and some of the undercover Marine snipers into the park prior to the meeting.  Once they are in place then the signal will be given to Drusil to goto the park.  The plan is to have Gaetan and his team arrive fashionably late to the park, giving Steac, Martin and the Marine snipers ample time to observe and survey the park before the meeting.  Two more Marines don jogging outfits and go for a ‘run in the park’.

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