"The Dark Times" Star Wars Saga Edition Campaign
A Scout/Bounty Hunter who's an Empire supporter, but is quickly changing his tune to neutral. Possibly even towards rebellious.
HUTT CARTEL SECURITY INTELLIGENCE REPORT
Name: Salmith Chejel, Species: Iktotchi, Gender: Male,
Political Affiliation: Hutt Cartel, Age: , Height: ?’?",
Weight: ? lbs, Hair: None, Eyes: ?,
Skin Color: ?, Homeworld: Iktotch (Expansion Region),
Professional Occupation: Dockyard Security
Distinguishing Features: ?
Language Fluency: ?
Residence(s): (Flophouse above the Motor Pool),
Financial Holdings: (Indebted to Aruk the Great: 55,000 credits) (Security Pay Grade),
Not completely finished yet..
- * * Three Years Ago * * *
The Iktotchi stepped off the transport gangway onto the deck of the newly commissioned Imperial Star Destroyer. He looked around the hangar-bay in awe (though he tried not to show it). The recruiting centers had holo-vids and holo-images of these ships, but seeing their sheer size in person took his breath away.
He wasn’t a particularly burly man, but what he lacked in strength he more than made up for in speed and ability to think quickly. Being an Iktotchi, his most prominent feature was the two large horns protruding from the top of his skull, curving down just above his shoulders. They were a deeper brown than many of his race and showed the wear of middle-age.
“Welcome to the Conquest, recruits! Now fall in!” The sudden barking of orders brought him to attention, along with the other dozen new recruits. He saw the man giving the orders was a typical Imperial Navy lieutenant. But instead of anxiety, he felt exhilaration. Finally, after all these years, he was part of the new Galactic Empire.
“Roll call!” announced the lieutenant, “Keenan Anhold!”
“Present!” said the man apparently named Keenan.
The lieutenant continued calling names until he reached the Iktotchi.
“Present, sir!” Salmith responded.
The lieutenant paused for a moment, looking Salmith up and down, “You should feel honored. We rarely accept non-human races into the combat ranks.” He looked him over for another moment, perhaps expecting a reply. When he received none, he moved on to the rest of the men assembled on the deck.
While it had been obvious to Salmith on the transport, he didn’t really think anything of the fact that he was the only alien among a dozen humans. He put the thought out of his mind as a quirk of the new Empire.
After roll call, the lieutenant directed the new recruits to their temporary quarters on the Destroyer and gave them instructions for the next few hours. Each room housed two bunk-beds and four small foot lockers. There was room for little else. Salmith was assigned to a room with three other recruits; Keenan Anhold, Armith Mendel, and Sam Sinee. Each were, by Salmith’s reckoning, far younger than himself, though he was far from an expert on human physiology.
Since the Conquest was still collecting it’s latest batch of recruits, Salmith and his group, designated Beta Squad, were given a basic tour of the Star Destroyer including the mess, showers, and medical facility. Even though Salmith saw only a small part of this ship, he was still amazed at how long it took them to get around to the different areas. In fact, to reach the medical facility, they were in a transport tube for what felt like an eternity, though in reality it was only a few short minutes.
After the tour, the squads were told to remain in their quarters until the following morning when first inspection would be called. The recruits only had a vague idea of what was involved in an inspection, but they knew they would find out in the morning (probably the hard way).
“Quite a sight, these new Imperial-class ships,” remarked Sam Sinee. Sam was a slight man, rather short for a human (or so Salmith supposed), with pale white skin and thinning hair. He had a nervous demeanor, though not to the point of fear.
“I’ve seen Victory-class destroyers up close, but these new ISDs are a whole other kind of huge,” added Keenan. Keenan was distinctly different in appearance from Sam. He was a tall man, a few inches taller than Salmith. From his muscular physique, he must have grown up doing some sort of manual labor. He had dark skin, piercing green eyes, and a very tight hair cut (hair still being one of the things Salmith wasn’t very familiar with. Did it hurt when it was cut?)
“No argument here,” said Armith. If Sam and Keenan were polar opposites, the Armith fell right in the middle in terms of appearance. His skin was light, but not pale like Sam. He wasn’t well built, but seemed fit (at least in comparison to Iktotchi). He was only a little shorter than Salmith, but made up for it with a natural commanding presence.
“What about you, Salmith? You ever seen one of these monstrosities?” Sam asked, with a distinct accent, unlike the others.
“Only on holo, never in person,” Salmith replied.
Armith gave Salmith an inquisitive eye, “So how is it that an Iktotchi was recruited in what is, traditionally, a man’s Navy?”
Salmith simply shrugged.
“Not much of a talker?” Armith was quickly becoming skeptical of this new bunk-mate.
“Iktotchi generally keep to themselves. I’ve worked with many on Hashen Station near their homeworld. They don’t really know how to open up to new folks. Don’t take it personal, “ Keenan explained, then quickly added, “uhh, no offense, Salmith.”
“None taken.” Since Salmith was embarking on this new chapter in his life, he thought it might be best to break from the norm, at least a little bit, so he added “I’m sure we’ll get to know each other well over the next few weeks.”
“If we’re not too busy crawling through muck all day and night,” Sam mentioned half-heartedly. Keenan and Armith gave a polite chuckle.
- * * Eight Years Ago * * *
The rumors were becoming more prevalent throughout Iktotch society. At first, there were only a few reported visions of a great new Empire, nothing that hadn’t happened many times over Iktotch society’s long history. But as the months wore on, more and more variations of this same vision were being reported. “A great shift in the power of the galaxy” was the generally accepted perspective. How the power shift came about, or what it would look like were still hotly debated among everyone from high-ranking political figures to night-shift workers in the ore-refining facilities.
Salmith Chejel was one of those that received the visions quite frequently. His interpretation was that the Galactic Republic would disband and a new galaxy-spanning empire would take its place. In his estimation, this could mean nothing but good for the citizens of the galaxy. The Republic was corrupt and its politicians were too interested in their own agendas and petty squabbling to care about the citizens they governed.
The majority of Iktotchi never had any such visions and believed the entire situation to be a waste of time, or a fabrication. Iktotchi who did have the visions were divided. Will this new power be good for the galaxy, or not? Many of the visions were interpreted in such a way to make the new empire seem dominating, or a dictatorship. These people were unofficially labelled “The Reluctant”. On the other side, interpretations showed that this new empire would bring stability to the galaxy where all races would prosper. These people belonged to “The Expectant” group.
Salmith was firmly entrenched in The Expectant’s camp. His visions contained none of the doom that The Reluctants’ visions foretold. He saw only stability and hope. A washing away of the corrupt, inept Republic and the rise of a new power that would repair the mistakes of the old government.
One thing was clear from the visions and agreed on by both sides; the Clone Wars would end in the next few years. The resulting power shift would be swift and decisive.
Salmith considered his vision interpretation abilities as better than average, so he often participated in rallies and debates on the topic. Many of the debates became heated, some completely fell apart, and rarely was anyone swayed one way or another. He would contact his local Reluctant politicians in an attempt to convince them to welcome this new empire with open arms. But he was, more often than not, met with skepticism or outright ignored. He spent most of his time discussing the matter with those who believed no change was on the horizon, rallying people to his group’s view point. Convincing disbelievers was often far simpler than convincing a Reluctant.
But despite the turmoil, Salmith continued working on his career over the next few years. He was employed as a licensed big-game hunter, tasked with keeping the largest predators at bay from the more rural areas of Iktotch. When an attack was reported, he would be called in to track the beast down and destroy it. Most often, his hunts took place in the most inhospitable areas of his world (Iktotch itself was a mostly barren moon with devastating dust-storms). Given the constantly changing landscape, tracking was considered a difficult skill to master on Iktotch, but Salmith excelled at it.
He only had a few distant family members, but had quite a lot of friends in the hunting circles. His involvement in The Expectant’s also earned him some new friends as well as some enemies, though nothing overt was ever visited on him. His closest friend, Yelosi Tiin, was a hunter as skilled as himself. They often took missions together, looking at them as a friendly competition to see who could bag the prey.
- * *
The years passed as most years did for Salmith and his society. But as “The Shift” grew closer, there was a noticeable change in the balance of The Expectant. Many of their previously optimistic visions became pessimistic. An air of anxiety was building on Salmith’s world. His visions, however, never wavered. He was still convinced in a positive shift of power.
Politicians began to see that their world would be violently subjugated if they tried to resist the new power on the horizon. It was eventually agreed that Iktotch would welcome this new empire; not out of a sense of optimism, but out of a fear of enslavement.
Salmith believed their reasoning was flawed, but he was pleased about the result. Iktotch would be one of the first members of this new government and a prosperous new age would begin.
And so Iktotch waited. It felt to Salmith as if his whole society was holding its breath. People were nervous. Friends he spent much time with became distant and reclusive. The optimism of The Expectant was no match for the overwhelming pessimism of the rest of the populace. But The Expectant didn’t make waves. After-all, their goal would be realized.
- * *
The holo-vids were seen all over the world. The Jedi Order had conspired to take over the Republic. They might have succeeded if not for the strength of the Chancellor (who himself was the victim of an assassination attempt by high ranking members of the Jedi Order!). Resulting from this betrayal, the Chancellor declared himself Emperor of the new Galactic Empire, never again to allow the Jedi to gain power, never again to allow corruption to poison the galaxy. The Separatist movement collapsed and the Clone Wars ended.
It was many months before the Empire arrived at Salmith’s distant home-world. When they did, they met no resistance, though his world’s anxiety was nearly palpable. And so, there was no subjugation, violent or otherwise. Only a blockade that controlled trade to and from the dusty moon.
Salmith was excited. He saw that the Republic had been transformed into the new Galactic Empire, with a strong new leader. There would be turmoil for some time, as is the case with all shifts in power. Salmith wanted to help ease that turmoil and make the transition easier for people. He decided he would join the military ranks of the Empire. His long years of hunting and tracking would probably make him a great candidate. With his skills and experience, he hoped to be tasked with hunting down the few remnants of corruption left over from the old Republic. He would help make this new galaxy a safer place for everyone.
- Two Years Ago *
The members of Beta Squad had been honed into very capable hunters. As he hoped, Salmith was using his skills to track down enemies of the Empire and bring them to justice. The four squad-mates became as close as kin, each one having found their purpose in the squad supporting the other three. Armith was the defacto squad leader, even if he hadn’t been assigned the position officially. He had a tactical mind and was able to adapt to unique situations quickly and brought their squad to victory far more times than defeat. Keenan became a skilled heavy-weapons expert, experienced in both long-range combat and explosives. Sam turned out to have a natural talent for tech. He could crack any terminal, bypass any lock, and fix, adapt, or create almost any equipment in the field. Salmith, nicknamed ‘Sal’ by his squad, was their primary tracker and close-quarters blaster combat expert. His years of experience easily helped him adapt to tracking sentients through keen wits, and an ability to gain information from conversation..
Beta Squad was a force to be reckoned with. Stories were even told amongst the other soldiers of Beta’s exploits. Rarely did they fail to complete a mission, and on those occasions, it was determined that Intelligence, or the mission-assignment officer was at fault. For all intents and purposes, Beta Squad had a perfect record.
But things change in militaries. Beta Squad was officially disbanded and each member became an “autonomous entity” that could be called on at a moment’s notice by high-ranking Imperials. They weren’t forbidden from staying in contact and often would pair up to complete a particularly complex mission. They continued to share the same base, allowing them to stay close, but each were given their own private quarters.
Each former member of Beta Squad continued to excel at their duties. Missions were completed with exceptional results, which meant they were assigned tougher and tougher missions.
But from one of those missions, Sam Sinee never returned. His mission was to work with a member of the Intelligence branch to rescue captured Imperial officers from one of the remaining Geonosian Separatist splinter groups. Shortly after arriving on the station where the officers were being held, the Intelligence agent revealed himself as a double-agent. He intended to capture Sam and hold him with the other officers. While the details are sketchy, what is known is that a shoot-out took place and Sam was out-numbered and out-gunned. He was unable to escape. His body was never recovered. Salmith and the remaining members of Beta Squad were devastated. They had lost a brother and were unable to help in his time of need. Compounding their grief, the Imperial Navy offered no memorial to Sam’s memory and generally acted as if he had never existed.
- * *
Shortly after the events of Sam’s demise, Salmith had been given a mission to track down a Verpine arms-dealer named Ponic Dyal. This led him to the planet Lantillies, a planet Sal had not yet visited. It took about a week for him to acclimate to the strange new world and gather enough information about the insectoid death-merchant.
His greatest source of information came in the form of a Baragwin called ‘Grandfather’. As it happens, Ponic was an unexpected rival for Grandfather’s own arms business, so he was more than happy to dish out as much information to the Imperial tracker as he could. He even loaned Sal a custom rifle and modified his blasters to give him an edge against the interloper.
Salmith spent the next few days tracking the Verpine, learning his routine and habits. Eventually he settled on a plan and executed it without a hitch. Ponic was captured and Sal completed yet another mission successfully. Before he left, however, he took some time to thank Grandfather for both the information and the weapon upgrades. It was rather uncommon for someone to be so helpful to an Imperial tracker like himself. He wanted to make sure he made a good impression with the Baragwin and hopefully cement a contact he could use in the future.
- One Year Ago *
About a year after the events of Sam’s demise, one of Salmith’s solo missions was to locate and capture a Bothan spy thought to be operating on Coruscant. His crime? Stealing and selling classified Empire documents.
Having not yet been rated for a personal craft, Salmith was once again shuttled to his destination on a Eta-class shuttle from the Conquest. His pilot was the same man that had shuttled his old squad to many of their destinations; Leno Taree. Salmith wasn’t particularly close to Leno, beyond a shared professional relationship. Their conversation, on this particular trip, however, was somewhat unsettling for Salmith.
Leno was recounting rumors he heard of alien worlds being forced into servitude for the Empire. Slavery and oppression seemed to be on the rise, according to these rumors. Salmith didn’t think much of it. He knew there were still pockets of resistance to the Empire and rumors were unreliable at best. He didn’t forget the conversation, though.
Arriving on Coruscant, he again employed his skills as a tracker to locate the Bothan, a man by the name of Goc Kren’qamo. The ‘snatch-and-grab’ mission, however, turned out to be less than routine. According to Sal’s information, Goc was holed up in an abandoned apartment complex on one of the lower levels of Coruscant. Sal acquired a personal vehicle and travelled to the complex.
Goc, however, was ready for his arrival, no doubt tipped off by the same people that gave Sal his location. A short shoot-out took place before Goc escaped on his own vehicle. He led Sal on a dangerous chase through the streets and sky-ways. They traded blaster-fire many times, often damaging buildings and personal property. At one point, their chase led them through a particularly busy intersection and they caused a multi-vehicle pileup.
All of this, of course, got the attention of the local police force. But by the time they caught up to Goc and Sal, Goc had already crashed having lost control of his speeder. Salmith was securing his prisoner when the first beat-cops caught up to them.
In typical fashion, the local police force took both Sal and Goc into custody. It wasn’t something unusual, Sal had been ‘arrested’ many times, but due to his position, charges were always dropped and he would be free to go with his prisoner. This time would be no different.
This incarceration, however, lasted longer than normal. He had been in a holding cell for two days when he was finally summoned to an interrogation. Instead of a local detective, however, the interrogator was a Sector Ranger named Bixel Anderon. This was unusual as Sector Rangers were rarely ever brought in for local disturbances like this.
Over an hour of interrogation did nothing but frustrate Bix. Sal knew it was only a matter of time before he was let go and he had no reason to give in to Bix’s pressure. Bix wanted to know why Sal was chasing Goc, why it was important enough to shoot up five city blocks, putting many civilians in danger.
A knock at the door frustrated Bix even more. A junior beat-cop, clearly nervous around the more senior Sector Ranger, told him that Salmith Chejel was free to go with his quarry. All charges had been dropped. Bix flew into a rage, berating the young patrolman and threatening Salmith and Goc. To Bix, it was simply inconceivable that yet another ‘Empire lacky’ would get off scott-free while the civilians of Coruscant would be left to clean up the mess.
Salmith didn’t hold Bix’s attitude against him. Sal knew how frustrating it must be. But at the same time, he was confident that his mission was more important than a few broken windows and wrecked speeders. The citizens would recover and move on. He tried to say as much to Bix before he left with his prisoner, but Bix would have none of it.
But this wouldn’t be the last time Salmith and Bix crossed paths. Over the next year, during Sal’s missions, he would come across Bix and each time Bix was forced to let him go. Each time, however, he seemed less and less frustrated over it. It almost became a routine. In a strange way, they developed a sort of gentleman’s agreement. Sal did nothing that put civilians or the innocent in excessive peril, in fact he would go out of his way to protect the innocent. Bix began cutting him some slack when Sal was caught in his jurisdiction, realizing that Salmith wasn’t an evil person, but just another lacky of the Empire doing his job.
- Three months ago *
With his success record, Salmith had gained the attention of more important members of the Imperial Navy hierarchy, including Dakroy Natu, a Deputy Director in the Intelligence branch.
To be continued..
- Recently *
—Job on Nar Shadda, asks for Bix’s help, gets in debt to the huts, Empire writes him off