Tales of the Jedi

Episode 32 – Soft Targets

Soft Targets

Knight Rune, Myn and Vox appear before the Jedi Council to debrief them on the events in the Empress Teta system. Rune asks to be included in any future plans involving Ulic Qel-Droma. Master Vandar implies that perhaps a Knight with more distance would be better. Master Doe-nar thanks Vox for her assistance and informs her that she has Rune to thank for petitioning to clear her criminal record. Also, Knight Vara Nreem cannot be reached so Rune is asked to continue watching over Myn. The Council then suggests that Rune escort Senator Dorean Shae to Shulimik since it is considering joining the Republic. During the flight, Dorean tells Vox that it is really him she should thank for clearing her record. Once on Shulimik, Rune assists the Senator with the negotiations by recounting Coruscant history in that it was once three nations: Correlian, Duros and Tong. Rune is happy to see that the SAI Stellar Corporation is not represented. Rune scolds Myn when she risks embarrassing the Order by nearly falling asleep in the audience. A few days in, Corland Government Agent Nistal Vagan appears and asks for Rune’s help. A group of Timarland Liberation Front terrorists have taken a group of orphans hostage and will only negotiate with the Jedi. The leave Stanyard and take a speeder to the rural town of Agrestic. Outside of town is the “Almost Home” orphanage in an area called Rust Ridge. The media is everywhere and the stand-off has been going on for 51 days. They meet Director Lee Ransom who has setup speakers around the complex what blast horrible music and the sound of animals being slaughtered non-stop to try and get the TLF to surrender. Ransom explains that they tried an earlier sneak assault and all the cops ended up dead plus a boy was killed so he has not wanted to risk any more children. Without hills around the walled complex, there are no good sniper positions and he is reluctant to attempt another fly-over. Rune speaks with Imago Rile-Lo who is in charge of the operation at Agrestic. He is called the “All Father” by his followers and has even ‘married’ several of the older 12 and 14 year old girls in traditional Timari rituals. He forces many of the children to spend each day digging one hole in the backyard to “build character”. Inside, Vox speaks with the only female among the TLF, Fatima Umbra. She tells Vox, who is posing as a medic, that some of the girls are beaten but only when they refuse to be indoctrinated. To test if the Jedi can deliver, he demands a porterhouse boveen steak lunch with the bone still in and in exchange he will release one child. He next two demands are more difficult – the release of the People’s Champion, Akopyan Faust and transportation to the free non-Corland country of their choice. Pulling some strings, Dorean calls the Corland president and convinces him that saving orphans will make everyone look good. The Jedi manage to secure the release of Faust and while transporting him, there is a rush to figure out why Imago is not happy that it happened so quickly. They learn that Faust’s cellmate was Libb Stut who had robbed an armored speeder and got away with 2 million credits. He ditched his partners and hid the money. Police worked on him for months and got nothing but it only took two weeks and a near fatal beating for Faust to narrow down the location of the money to the orphanage. But Faust got carried away with his interrogation and put Libb into a coma before he could discover the exact hiding place. Rune teamed up with the federal agents and contacted an old woman who used to work at the orphanage. She recalled a favorite tree where Stut used to hide things and an elite team of officers were able to sneak in and retrieve it even with the children working double time to dig. Rune then bartered Faust and the credits in exchange for Imago only bringing 6 of his men and 5 of the children. The rest of the children were immediately freed and the remaining TLF, including Fatima, left behind to defend the “holy place”. Vox and Myn were hiding in specially made compartments on the transport and were able to tip off Rune and Nistal who were following in another speeder (unable to be tracked since the transport’s radar had been sabotaged). The transport landed near a larger ship and the TLF were confronted as they were climbing the ramp. A fight ensued in which his lieutenants (Domingo, Belga and Dogg) were killed but Imago was left unconscious and injured. Faust, not wanting the Jedi to follow, launched a life pod with the five Rile-Lo brides. Turning to gloat, Rune used the Force to destroy one of his ships instrumentation panels which was enough to scare Faust off – getting away with only one follower … and the 2 million credits.

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