Artefacts of Old

Episode 22: Derem City

Recovering Master Gar Anstaks last wishes and a holobook containing a detailed map of a city, Rebeka June, Jace, Lanyef Reolm and Rak Blackfire return to the Dawnstar, ready to leave Ossus and continue there search for the Orb of Lanaya…

They woke up the following day, prepared and ready to seek out a protocol droid to assist with there hunt. Rebeka readied the ship for launch and within minutes they were flying out of the planets atmosphere and back into open space. They bypassed the blockade with no confrontation. It was strange, as though they weren’t there. A wing of interceptors zipped over there ship putting everyone on edge, but despite how close they got they still didn’t seem to notice them. Rebeka hurriedly put some distance between them and the planet and the Dawnstar escaped into hyperspace.
Rebeka tried working again on the blaster on the way back, but she fumbled the power pack connections and the gas chamber ruptured, forcing her to call it there for the journey. They arrived at Meera and landed on the planets landing platform.
“It’s about time I actually got to meet this guy.” Said Rak as they left the ship.
“Oh yeah.” Said Rebeka, recalling Rak had not actually met him yet.
“He’s nothing special, but he seems to have a lot of money.”
They arrived at Terrn’s office just before a meeting with the foremen was over, they were just leaving as they were heading in.
“Hello.” Said Rebeka, some of them giving her a brief nod.
They then went into his office, finding Terrn busy reading a datapad.
“Ah,” he said, giving them a brief smile. “I take it you were successful in… who’s this?”
“This is Rak, we needed an extra crew member, we needed another after U’tl left.”
“I see… well, did you want him put on the payroll? I can certainly do that.”
“If it’s alright with you.”
Terrn looked thoughtful. “It’s acceptable, I will trust your judgement.”
“We’ll let you know if there’s any problems.” Whispered Rebeka, not as quietly as she thought, as Rak looked at her.
“Yes, well how goes the search for the Orb?”
“we have need of a protocol droid to translate this holobook and holorecording.” Said Rebeka, the party producing them.”
“we also have a couple of Assassin droids that need looking at by the republic.” Said Jace.
“assassin droids?” said Terrn puzzled.
“Like the ones we encountered on Mazhar and Kohlma.”
“only they were more advanced.” Added Lanyef.
“Interesting,” said Terrn. “do you have said droids?”
“we have parts.” Said Rebeka, pulling out the unusual workings of the droid they’d scavenged.
“I do believe there is a team working on these, I’ll inform them of the new discovery if you leave them on planet.”
“Will do.” Said Rebeka, putting them on a table to one side.
“Has there been any progress with these droids.”
“Only that they are made of fairly standard technology except for the servobrain, which is alien in origin and not of any known species. It’s not certain if the sith came up with them themselves or were given the technology, they are years ahead of any present droid tech.”
“yeah.” Said Rebeka.
“But to business, I’ll have the translation team send over a droid now.”
“would you like us to wait?”
“If you would, the droid should arrive momentarily. As I said before, I’m overseeing the star map translation teams personally now.”

They waited a half hour, then there was a knock at the door, and once terrn bid it enter, the protocol droid entered the room.
“You sent for me Mister Terrn.” It said politely.
“Yes, my companions here have something they need you to translate if you are able.” Said Terrn.
Rebeka turned on the hologram and the droid watched as master Gar Anstak spoke.
“The language is an old dialect of Miaran, it appears to be a last will of the Jedi himself. He states that the Orb of Lanaya can be found in Derem City on Kamino.”
Terrn looked puzzled. “That’s not a System I’ve heard of.”
“There appears to be no recollection of ‘Kamino’ in my databanks.” Said the droid.
“could the planet be renamed?” asked Rebeka.
“Unlikely, A planet rarely undergoes a change of name once it’s designation has been altered.”
“Master Anstak then expresses that he put the orb in the care of the Kaminoans, who sealed it in the vaults of Derem City.” Continued the droid. “he also mentions a map in his office that will lead you to the vaults, and it is kept in vault 275.”
“he then goes on to explain the Kaminoans are an accommodating people, provided you’re polite.”
They then got the droid to examine the holobook, but aside from a map that displayed the location of Derem City, and a route to be taken to reach the vaults, there were no astrogation coordinates to be found.
“I don’t suppose you know any intergalactic Cartographers on the station?” asked Rak.
“You could try the Hyperspace Exploration Corp, we currently have 2 scouts stationed in this system. They generally have access to the navigational information of the entire galaxy, perhaps they know of it or can help you find it.” Said Terrn.
“It’s worth a try,” said Jace. “Let us know if the researchers discover more about these droids.”
“I believe they’ve only discerned they have a resistance to current ion tech.”
“yeah, we discovered that.”
“Some researchers are also speculating they know who the designer of the droids frame might be.”
“Who was it?”
“again, It’s speculation, so nothing is proven as yet. Still if there is a chance it is him, then it’s likely he may know more about the droids design.”
“They seem to have voices too, not normal droid voices. Sentient almost.” Said Rebeka.
“curious. Still back to the matter at hand, it looks like your search is not over, I’ll keep you updated of any further changes. Good Luck on finding Kamino.”

They returned to the station, Jace and Rak selling the lightsabers they recovered from Ossus to Druun Avruun at the meera emporium, while Rebeka looked for Taylen and Bob, and Lanyef bought yet another outfit. As Rebeka left High Tone, she saw Taylen and Bob talking to Lex and Tam outside. Rebeka waited for the conversation to finish, then as Lex and Tam left, Bob got his attention and Rebeka gave them a wave.
“Well, aren’t you a sight for sore eyes. I haven’t seen you in ages.” Said Taylen.
“Yeah, I’ve been busy. Actually you’re just the person I was looking for.”
“Really?” said Taylen, smiling widely. Bob shook his head and rolled his eyes.
Rebeka explained they were looking for a planet named Kamino, and wondered if they knew where it was.
“Kamino, not a planet I’m familiar with.” Said Taylen, looking at Bob.
“It’s not one I recognise either, but the Navicomputer may have the details. We can look for it back on the ship.”
“That would be great.” Said Rebeka.
Taylen invited her back to the ship, a heavily modified dynamic-class transport known as the lost cause. They headed straight for the astrogation lab, a large navicomputer covered one wall and was plugged into a large holoviewer. Bob sat down and worked his magic, the holoviewer displaying a map of the galaxy. Rebeka watched in awe as the two of them discussed this planet, and that system in a bid to find the lost Kamino. One planet they mentioned seemed to discomfort Taylen and while Rebeka was curious to know what had happened, Taylen refused to talk about it. Eventually they found Kamino.
“Inhabited, fairly friendly people, not part of the Republic. They do accept the currency though.That any help?”
“That’s amazing, thank you.” Said Rebeka.
Taylen put the coordinates on a datacard and handed it over. “Since you’re here did you want to have a coffee or something?”
“I can’t right now, we’re really busy. Sorry, rain check?”
“uh…yeah, of course.” Said Taylen, a little put out.
Rebeka felt a little guilty, “here, 500 credits for your trouble.” But they waved her off.
“All part of the service, we get paid to map stars, you don’t need to pay us for that.”
“Are there any dangers in Wild Space?” asked Rebeka.
“The route isn’t travelled by the republic much, but Kamino does seem to do business with a few of the outer rim worlds. So don’t be surprised if you see other transports. Also watch yourself, the Kaminoans are Cloners.”
Rebeka nodded and thanked them and headed back to the ship, the others were already waiting for her, Jace having bought some upgrades for BMO. They then set off for wild space, entering hyperspace.

During the interim, Rebeka applied the programming upgrades to BMO and called U’tl. She also finished the blaster she was building and gave it to Rak, who in turn offered her his old blaster. They arrived at 2 in the morning on the fifth day, and opted to hold orbit above kamino until they were properly rested. Jace kept watch in the cockpit in case the inhabitants attempted communication. Once they had properly rested, they scanned the planet for the Ruins of Derem City, and found them nearby to another inhabited city. Tipoca.
When they were within communication range of the city they were immediately hailed.
“Greetings travellers. what is your business here?” came a soft voice.
“We’re here to explore the Derem city Ruins.” Said Lan.
“Very well, please land on Tipoca City platform 387, a greeter will meet you there.”
“Okay, thank you.”
The Dawnstar flew down into the atmosphere, a storm was raging about the city, rain flooding off the cockpit window as they landed on the platform. The four of them wrapped up and hurried across the platforms connection to the main building. Even with the short distance between the ship and the door, it practically drenched them.
The door opened and a slender Kaminoan waited in the doorway, and bowed slightly to them.
“Welcome to Tipoca City, how can I make your stay agreeable?”
“We’ll not be staying long, we’re looking to explore the Derem City ruins nearby. Are we okay to leave the ship here?” asked Rak.
The Kaminoan looked puzzled, “I’m not sure what ruins you mean.”
“Well, either way we’re just going to look around.”
“I’m afraid if you’re an Offworlder, you cannot look around before you see the Offworld Relations Administrator.”
“Then I guess we’d best see the Offworld Relations Administrator.”
The Kaminoan nodded “This way please.” She said, gesturing to the corridor to her left. They followed her into several corridors, all of them white and bright, and then finally to a door to an office. “May I present the Offworld Relations Administrator Runa Min.” said the Kaminoan once she’d opened the door to the office. There was another Kaminoan, a male, sat behind the desk in this office who remained seated but gave them his full attention.
“please have a seat,” said Runa, gesturing to the empty chairs in front of his desk. As they either sat or stood, he continued to use the terminal at his desk for a few moments, then returned his attention to them once more. “I understand you told the ground controller that you wished to investigate the Derem City ruins, is that correct?”
“yes,” said Lan
“It is, if that’s alright?” said Rebeka.
“Normally it’s not something Offworlders ask for, may I ask why you wish to go down there?”
“Just curious really, interested in architecture and the like.” Said Rak.
“Indeed? I am also curious to know why our people find the Derem City ruins so interesting. However, curiosity is not something I can report as a viable reason.”
“How about Mapping?” suggested Rak.
“I’m afraid we already have plenty of Maps of the ruins, if you wish one I could certainly direct you to the cartographers.”
“we’re working for someone… it’s business, I’m afraid.” Said Rebeka.
“Ah, then we come to the peak of the reason. Who are you working for?”
“An archaeologist.” Said Rak after some shared glances.
“and what does the Archeologist seek in these ruins.” Said Runa.
“an Item kept in one of the vaults.” Said Lan.
“I’m sorry, but without a proper receipt there is no way I can allow you access to the ruins. If you have anything stored in the vaults that is.”
“Well, there we have a problem, the person who put the item there.” Said Lan.
“He’s dead.” Said Jace
“Yes… to put it bluntly.” Added Rebeka.
“I see… in such an event then his property becomes part of the Kaminoan government.” Said Runa. “However we are not unsympathetic, and are as interested in archaeology as your employer is. You may explore the ruins, however in order to do so you must compensate our government for this privilege, A fee of 6000 credits each.”
“May I ask what that’s for?” asked Rebeka, as everyone looked unsure about the price.
“Why the mere privilege of entering our ruins, without Kaminoan Security intercepting you of course.”
“Can we get a group discount?” asked Lanyef.
Runa smiled, the others gathering that was a no.
“I’d be happy to pay…a price,” suggested Rebeka. “But that seems a little much for government work. Can we negotiate?”
“Perhaps there is something we can do for you while we’re down there?” said Lan.
“There’s not a lot we want from Offworlders, it seems you want to investigate our society so that is what the price represents. Perhaps your employer would be better at bargaining.”
They thought about this and decided that perhaps getting there employer in on the arrangement might help them.
“Seems like a good idea.” Said Rak.
“Alright,” agreed Rebeka.
They gave Runa Terrn’s call details and waited for him to contact Terrn. Within minutes there was a small hologram of Terrn on Runa’s desk.
“We made it, if you hadn’t guessed.” Said Lan as Terrn took in the unusual Kaminoan.
“Yes, I noticed.” he said. “Is there a problem?”
“Your employees here wish to investigate our ruins, I have given them the gracious price of 6000 credits per person in order to grant them permission, but they seem reluctant to pay this amount.”
Terrn and Runa spoke at length for several minutes, weighing both sides of the debate until finally they seemed to reach an agreement.
“…You seem to be very curious about these ruins yourself.”
“I am. Many of our people, against all common sense and programming have decided to conduct pilgrimages to these ruins. I merely want to learn what is so fascinating about these ruins.”
Terrn looked thoughtful a few moments before finally speaking, “So in all fairness, you’d like an expedition into the ruins?”
“…Yes, but not at the cost of creating a specific group to serve this purpose.”
“in that case, I suggest you allow the 6000 credits you want from each of them to cover the expenses and equipment my people will need to perform this task.”
Runa seemed doubtful, but after a few moments he nodded. “That seems like an acceptable compromise.”
Terrn nodded and looked to the others, “I believe that is the best we can expect. I will reimburse you when you are successful.”
The group reluctantly agreed and Terrn disconnected, the four of them paying the fee. Runa then gestured to the Kaminoan at the back of the room.
“Kina will take you to the deep sea exploration offices for outfitting.”
“Thank you,” said Rebeka.
“Deep Sea what?” said Rak.
“Exploration.” Repeated Runa. “The expedition will be scheduled for tomorrow, when the current weather has cleared. I will make arrangements for you to stay in the city in the meantime.”
“Thank you, it’s very much appreciated.” Said Rebeka.

The party were taken down several corridors to a large room, where several kaminoans used various devices to scan there measurements. They had trouble with Jace, who refused to remove his armour. Jace demanded they attempt to make his armour able to withstand the pressure. Unsettled by his demands, the Kaminoans did eventually come up with some additional attachments that would keep his armour pressurised. Even after the others had left, Jace had to remain behind to continue being measured and tested. They were also warned to only take what they needed, as the more they took, the harder it would be to reach the city or the surface.
The next day, the suits were prepared, a dull white in colour, and Jace had several additions to his suit that made it harder to move. The Kaminoans allowed them to use there changing rooms to dress in the wetsuits, and Kina informed them that a ship was waiting for them on the nearby platform to take them to the city ruins and it would remain on the surface while they searched.
Lanyef asked to have his suit cleaned while he was gone, Kina expressing that this would cost additional funds which Lan readily paid. Kina took his suit and took the group to the platform, letting them get onboard. The shuttle took off and flew out across the ocean, landing in a spot that seemed like any other, the ship floating on the waters surface.
The four of them jumped in, following Jace down, being the heaviest of them. They swam down, moving past shoals of fish beyond the light of the surface. The deeper they went the more sinister and dark the ocean became, a huge shape moved past several hundred metres away. So large it didn’t bear thinking about. Only the Kaminoans knew what monsters lived in there seas. They descended further, passing the sunspires of the ruined city, overgrown with coral and Kelp. As they neared the bottom, they turned on there lighting devices and checked the map for where to go next. The map was leading them into the glascretia bedrock tunnels, so they followed the route carefully. They were swimming for over an hour when the tunnel finally started to look more and more designed. A rail seemed to end here, a good sign that civilisation was once in these tunnels. Eventually they came to a train, overgrown with kelp, parked at the station it once served. According to the map and the signs visible at this station, these were the vaults they were looking for. The map displayed that many of the vaults were at the back of the complex.
As they swam down the entrance corridor, they came across a shoal of fish that seemed somewhat interested with them. The shoal approached, Jace readying his blasters. Rak swam ahead, getting in close with his blaster, trying to blast a fish as it came near, the shot flying wide. Lanyef swam up to, firing, but the blaster shot dispersed. The fish swam forward, rolling at the party. Lan got caught by the spines as one went by. Rak also did, avoiding one, then getting pricked by the other. Jace blasted one as they came by, burning it’s outer spines with his shot. Rebeka fired twice, neither shot hitting one of the small fish, as Jace blasted away, killing one and injuring another. Rak swam after the shoal as it passed by, blasting another fish and causing minor burns. Lanyef’s shot flew wide as the fish struck Jace and Rebeka, there spiny bodies raking across there sides. Rebeka tried to fire on the darting fish, but again the awkwardness of moving underwater made it hard to aim. Jace blasted another fish apart as Rak fired on the injured one, putting it out of it’s misery. Rebeka dodged the remaining fish as it came back, Jace blasting it finally and killing it.
They pressed on, swimming down the corridor, reaching a junction that led to several sets of vaults. One set was where they would find the vault they were looking for so they swam down that corridor. They spent a fare while searching the endless corridors, numbered vaults and damaged signs, until finally vault 275 was before them, and looked to be untouched. The access still had power, so Rebeka attempted a manual override while Lanyef hacked the access, Lanyefs method proved the quicker and the door opened. There were several aquatic artefacts in the vault, among them was indeed what looked like the Orb of Lanaya, a large pearl that glowed gently. Jace took it in his pack while the others collected a few more of the Artefacts kept within the vault. Then made there way back out into the corridors, heading for the rail station. The swimming was beginning to take it’s toll on them, causing there arms and legs to burn. When they reached the rail station they came across several figures who seemed as surprised to see them as they were to see the figures. They were all Quarren, a species capable of surviving underwater. They swam back behind the archway. “Everyone get into cover!” Called Jace as they positioned themselves in the corridor. The Quarrens swam for the benches as Rebeka fired off a shot, just grazing one as the blaster shot nearly dispersed. The quarren returned fire, Rebeka getting a minor graze from a shot.
“There’s no other way out of here.” Said Rak, checking the map. Lanyef readied his blaster blasting another Quarren, Jace following suit, blasting the Quarren out in the open, causing several burns. Rebeka shot another Quarren, wounding him and causing him to flail in pain. The Quarren leader threw a grenade into the corridor, everyone trying to swim franticly away as the explosive detonated. They all took minor injuries as the concussive force swept by. Rak awkwardly swam out, shot the leader and swam back in, as Lanyef blasted him following up. The concussive force had it’s toll on there ability to swim, Jace awkwardly swimming into the station to get closer to the leader. He blasted furiously, one bolt going through the Squid, leaving him to float lifelessly in the water, he didn’t relent, bringing his guns round, wounding another pirate, who swam away quickly to make his escape from the desperate situation. Rebeka killed him before he could escape as Rak chased the other, though he was still finding it hard to gain momentum. He shot one of the injured Quarrens, finishing him off. Lan did the same grazing another injured Quarren. Jace engaged his jet pack to catch up to the fleeing quarren, but using a jet pack underwater was harder to control and he almost overshot. He fired on the runner, the quarren taking a few grazes but otherwise still fled. The last quarren joined his friend firing a shot at Jace on his way to escape. Rak swam up and blasted the last injured quarren, killing him as Lanyef shot the escapee, killing the last remaining Quarren who floated forward motionless.

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