Mission : INT-001 The Tatooine Op
Breakfast was unusually sedate. Agents Sixty-three and One-four-seven exchanged very few words as they reviewed their datapads with the details of their mission assignments. Sixty-three sent a quick succession of messages before feeding the last of her bacon to Ne’tra. “Not today,” she said to the nexu who snuffled hungrily against her hand, looking for more meat, “we’ll hunt when I get back.” She placed her napkin on the plate and stood, distractedly running over her mental checklist to make sure she wasn’t forgetting anything. She glanced across the table to her partner and smiled warmly.
“Kapr ehn hbina gar oya’karir.” «May the Three guide your hunt.» The words left her mouth as force of habit, but the poignant memory the blessing evoked centered and grounded her. One-four-seven nodded appreciatively and returned the refrain, “Kapr ehn hbina gar oya’karir.” Before looking thoughtfully for a moment and added, “Yaim’ol at ni, ner kar’taylir darasuum.” «Return to me, my love.» With a grin and a gentle kiss, Sixty-three departed, boarding the shuttle tasked with delivering her to the mission drop zone.
Onboard the small, Intelligence-repurposed cargo ship, Sixty-three removed her armor and lightsaber, securing them inside biometrically sealed storage for later retrieval and donned her requisitioned disguise. She shrugged on the battered armor of a gun for hire, double checking her identity documents, credit chit, weapons and needed supplies. Satisfied she moved to the cargo area to inspect her transport. Sixty-three tossed her supplies into the saddlebags on what was graciously called a speeder, grousing that it looked like a rejected Academy cadet swoop racer project and sat down, legs crossed to meditate. She slowly drew her Force signature inward, condensing it until it was just a dark flicker within.
The ship dropped out of hyperspace, moving into the shipping lane on approach to Mos Ila Spaceport. The meditative stillness was short-lived, however, as the ship plummeted into the lower atmosphere’s turbulence and Sixty-three was tossed violently to the ship’s hull headfirst. The heat rising from the desert buffeted the vessel, threatening to overwhelm the already rickety ship’s dampers. Sixty-three scrambled on her hands and knees toward the jump seats in the aft section, aware of the quickly streaming blood from her left eyebrow stinging her eye. She laced her forearms into the containment straps of the seat, pulling herself into place and sealed the locks with a loud curse, “kriffing di’kut” «kriffing idiot» in frustration. A few, very long, minutes later the cargo runner was docked at the spaceport.
It was still morning on Tatooine, but the heat was already sweltering. Sixty-three crouched next to the speeder, using the small side mirror to assess the cut that bi-sected her left eyebrow. She used the antiseptic liberally taking care to clean the wound thoroughly before applying coagulant and bandage. She nodded at her reflection, deciding that the bandaged wound added, rather than detracted from her cover. She adjusted her goggles, nodded to the pilot with a terse, “be ready” and set off, not stopping the speeder as she reached the outskirts of Mos Ila. She retrieved the weathered flimsiplast map and gazed up at the sky, enjoying for a moment the warmth of the twin suns on her already tanned face before she double checked the coordinates again and set off across the desert.
The location their intelligence had indicated the weapons exchange with the Republic would take place was in a rocky sector at the mouth of the Dune Sea. Two grueling hours under the twin suns without rest and Agent Sixty-three had arrived, she retrieved her macrobinoculars and hid the bike against the rock face and began to climb one of the ridges to surveil the area. Gasping for air she rolled onto her back as she finally reached the mesa atop the cliffs. She blinked up at the midday sun, reaching for her canteen, sitting up guzzling the electrolyte replacement gratefully, despite it’s awful flavor. She popped an energy tablet and washed it down with more of the gritty liquid and crawled to the edge of the outcropping to view the encampment below.
Sixty-three lifted her macrobinoculars and began to methodically reconnoiter the sector from her vantage point. She dismissed what looked to be the central hub of the area, a couple of weathered warehouses patrolled by Gamorreans and what looked to be a small cantina. Her eyes followed the movement of the beings below, moving in and out of the small building, taking larger transports out of the area and smaller groups on foot heading to the southern edge before disappearing into what looked to be old Krayt tunnels.
Nearly five hours later she had gleaned all she could from observation, noting a select few workers wearing identical jumpsuits, some heavily armed, and funneling in and out of a single tunnel. She witnessed three repulsor lifts toting camouflage netted cargo entering the cave’s mouth and only the workers exited. Sixty-three nodded, convinced she had found the drop point. She began the slow descent as the suns began to drop over the horizon, adjusting her goggles to allow her better visual acuity as she scaled the sheer, shaded rock. She mounted the speeder and took a wide loop around the zone, concealing the bike from view. She used her single stim, feeling almost immediately the sensation of clarity overtaking the weariness she felt.
Sixty-three made her way cautiously into the small plaza, timing her arrival as the most recent ground shuttle transport belched out the next shift’s workers. The bus waiting to ferry those off shift drunkenly leaving the cantina back to the spaceport. She slid into the throng occupying the cantina, casually grabbing an abandoned, nearly empty glass and adopting a somewhat inebriated stance as she looked around for her mark. She spotted him seated at a table against the far wall, a beefy man in a jumpsuit, his uniform cap discarded on the floor at his feet and several empty glasses lined up before his swaying form at the table. Sixty-three unbuttoned the top four buttons of her shirt as she approached his table and ‘accidentally’ bumped it. Her apology was slurred as he raised his eyes to the cleavage presented and the woman openly flirting with him. It took all of ninety seconds to pique the man’s interest as Sixty-three suggested they find a quiet spot to get better acquainted. She retrieved his cap from the floor as he followed her outside and into the cantina’s storage area unobserved, pawing at her as she led him into the near dark. He didn’t anticipate the muscular woman’s strength as she subdued him, his face a mask of confusion as her choke hold around his neck sent him into unconsciousness. Sixty-three winced at the stench as she undressed the man, grateful that his jumpsuit fit her as she wrestled it over her lightly armored jacket, she tucked her hair under his cap and shuffled her way toward the Krayt tunnel’s mouth, slipping into a large group of workers, unnoticed.
Sixty-three adopted the weary gait of the workers as she continued with the group deeper into the ancient abandoned Krayt tunnel. She kept her head down, but her eyes darted to the dozens of pallets of supplies lining the some 800 meters they had already traversed. At the tunnel junction she drew back from the group, concealing herself in the darkened corridor as they continued further in. She unzipped her jumpsuit, retrieving her goggles from her jacket and adjusting them to allow her to see in the dim light as she followed the more narrow passage further in until it split in two. In the glow of her goggles she could see the weapons crates clearly. She moved quickly, retrieving the tiny trackers from the sewn lining of her jacket and tagging one crate from each of the six pallets in the corridor before quickly heading back toward the main path. She removed her small goggles, stowing them and zipping the jumpsuit up, using the crates as cover until she could make her exit.
After an hour, crouched among the crates, her muscles cramped from overexertion she was able to slip into a group of weary workers, she limped along with the group, not needing to disguise her exhaustion. While the crowd made their way to the cantina, Sixty-three trudged back to her speeder, motivating herself with the thought of a scalding hot shower and a long soak in the outdoor hot tub with her riduur at Castle Alvain. Her brief fantasy was brought to a screeching halt when she reached her speeder and found it stripped entirely, only part of the rusted frame remaining, thoughtfully balanced against the rock. Sixty-three tore the cap from her head in frustration quietly spitting out the curse “bu’nas’a gar at haran gar kriffing cawe.” «Damn you to hell, kriffing jawas.»