Attention all Isotech employees and associates: In spite of all our best efforts, especially Demo and his new crew buying us the time we needed, the Imperial space station has just dispatched a good-sized expeditionary force. The bucketheads have 3 stops on their flight path, but the last one leads right into the middle of our base. Somebody dropped the 10-cred piece on us. Before we start letting recrimination fly around, I’m pretty sure I know who it is. A regular smuggler friend of ours was acting really twitchy the last time he was here, and he left almost immediately after the ship with the Sa Nalaaor survivors arrived. We’ll deal with him eventually; in the meantime, our race to get this old corvette back in the sky just entered the ‘get ready to fight for your fragging lives’ phase. Given how much they’re sending to look for us, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Imperials have heard about Dr. Cratala, in which case they probably won’t be interested in taking prisoners aside from her. Our best bet is still to escape via the corvette; leaving it behind would cripple Isotech, we’ve sunk too much cred into it to leave it all behind now. With a fast, well-defended corvette that’s modded into a spaceborne cybernetics facility, we won’t even need the offices back at the Wheel or even Nar Shaddaa.
But for the moment we have to focus on the immediate threat. Here’s what we’ve got on the Imperial nav-grid: At the moment there’s a Vindicator heavy cruiser flying overhead in orbit, scanning the whole area from extreme range. They’re probably seeing if they can confirm the informant’s story, but they won’t spot us just like that. Once the TIEs and troop shuttles arrive, though, we won’t really be able to avoid being spotted. The timetables we’ve recovered from their computer network suggest that we’ve got about 4 hours before the atmospheric component of the Imperial search team reaches us. The good news is that by the time those shuttles reach us, the Imperial cruiser will have moved pretty far away from us, and due to the gravity well, it’ll have a hard time turning around fast enough to intercept us.
The bad news is that there is a 20 minute window during which the Blockade Bandit will be very conspicuous and very vulnerable: after we set off the explosive charges to clear away the junk covering up its aft section, we’ll need that long to fully warm up the engines from a cold start before it’s ready to make a run for orbit. Our light transports and fighters in the alcove will need to launch before that final ignition sequence, because those explosives will collapse the alcoves they’re parked in (except that one crashed Citadel freighter; it’s parked far enough away not to be in serious danger). I’m still considering our options but it looks like our only option may be to fight like cornered womp rats and hold the Imperials back long enough for the Bandit to take off.
It looks like there are both Imperial Army regulars and a squad of elite “hazard troopers” involved in this mission. Every crewmember with any combat experience – particularly including our long-lost survivors – will grab a blaster from the armory and organize into squads of five or six under the command of our more experienced mercenary and bounty hunter associates. I’m also considering the possibility of a diversionary attack, or building some quick field-works (they’re almost certain to come from the sea-side, where there’s little cover for either us or them, instead of the narrow tunnels through the junk-wall). In any case, we’ll only get out of this one by the skin of our lekku, but if we make it, mark my words, you’ll all be rich sentients within six cycles.