We begin with Jared Locke following Howley the emo spice dealer to the outside of an Alphonse family spice production facility. After some cursory investigation he learns that this former flop house now seems to house a swoop bike gang on the ground floor, a second floor where the windows are completely blacked out, and a third floor where one of Lott’s lieutenants, Jedd, is holed up with a Rodian bodyguard named Rheeta. Locke decides to call his allies to a meeting.
Sazari / “Aurora” informs the group that the blacked out windows likely mean that a glitterstim cutting facility in on the second floor, as glitterstim is photo reactive and must be harvested in total darkness. She also informs the group that glitterstim “cutters” are rare and posses a very valuable skillset, and that her contacts within Demlow the Hutt’s organization could be very grateful if they were to be presented with such a resource.
The team decides to do a lengthier reconnaissance of the facility. They surveil the facility in shifts and learn that the swoop gang on the ground floor are guarding the spice operation upstairs. 20 of them live in barracks-like conditions for 12 hours at a time, gambling and carousing but keeping sober. They intuit that there are six guards on the second floor guarding the cutters and making sure they work unmolested. Jedd the Alphonse lieutenant, Rheeta, and six other bodyguards never leave. Food and payment are brought up to them by an elevator with access controlled by code cylinder. Zev Davron believes he can hack into the elevator if he can just get to the mechanical closet next to it… with 20 dangerous looking swoop gangers between it and the front door.
Dax" Doshimoni, dealing with the frustration of his loss in combat to his family’s pet Wookiee, is jonesing for bloodletting. Dax ditches his surveillance shift to follow one of the swoop gangers as he leaves the facility. Dax pins the thug to a wall and threatens him to drop some information or die. The thug isn’t having it. Dax takes a swing at him with his axe but misses. In a remarkable show of restraint, Dax tries one more time to threaten the thug. The thug begins almost crying and tells Dax he overheard the upstairs guards talking about how there’s a hard room next to Jedd’s office with an escape hatch with a gassed up speeder in case things at the facility get too hairy. Dax thanks him for the info by snapping his neck.
Taran has a possible plan for getting past the guards on the first floor. She thinks that, with Zev’s help, she can rig up a potent stun grenade and knock them out before they know what hits them. Zev takes to the project with gusto and together they concoct a mechanism which can knock out the entire first floor and keep the guards sick and off-kilter should they inconveniently wake up.
The team notices that the building has a back door close to the elevator and mechanical closet. Aurora tries to pop it open from the outside but can’t seem to get it open. She thinks it might be easier from the inside. Vera Alphonse thinks she can get Aurora to that door and keep the guards occupied while she fiddles it open.
A plan is formed. Vera and Aurora will try to charm the street toughs into bringing them back to the facility for a party. Aurora will sneak away and pop the back door, letting in Zev so he can work his magic on the elevator. Taran will join him with the knockout grenades and guard him while he works. Locke will post up in a sniper’s next across the street, keeping the long view of the situation and picking off enemies from range. Dax will sneak onto the roof and drop into the hard room. When the engagement begins and Jedd seeks safety in the hard room, instead he’ll find Dax.
The swoop gangers are tracked to a greasy looking cantina. Vera and Aurora drop in and lay on the charm. The swoop gangers take the bait, and even though the boss sometimes gets mad when they mix business and pleasure, they decide its worth the risk to take the gals with them. When they arrive, Vera pretends to be very drunk and in the mood to dance. All the gangers stop what they are doing to watch.
Dax climbs the side of the building to the roof. He finds the hidden escape vehicle and sabotages it, just in case. The hot oil spilling out of the vehicle reminds Dax of what he’d rather be doing, what he’d always rather be doing, and he nearly succumbs to his blood lust. Aurora hears his labored breathing over comms and hazards a guess as to what Dax is going through, but can’t say anything since she is in a room entertaining a bunch of thugs. Her nerves are rattled as she thinks about this op completely unraveling as a murderous Trandoshan loses control. Dax, however, gets himself evened out. He’s ready to go.
Completely mesmerized by Vera, the gangers have no chance detecting Aurora as she sneaks to the back door and jimmies it open. Zev and Taran are ushered in undetected.
Zev gets control of the elevator. Aurora, her absence still undetected by the reveling thugs on the first floor, rides the elevator to the third and waits.
Locke fires upon Rheeta and scores a solid hit. Before anyone can move Locke fires a second shot and takes Rheeta out. Its pandemonium on the first floor. The 20 guards (make that 19 since one didn’t make his shift thanks to Dax) rush to the elevator but Zev has it locked down. Some guards were ordered to escort Vera to safety (forgetting all about Aurora) but Vera convinces them to all go stand at the elevator, she can find her own way out.Jedd rushes to the safe room with two guards but – surprise! Dax is there. Taran made Dax promise he wouldn’t kill Jedd since the team needed him, but there was no discussion about maiming. Dax takes Jedd’s arm and leaves him on the floor writhing in pain until he passes out. One of the upstairs guards realizes why their reinforcements aren’t arriving and tries to out-slice Zev from the upstairs controls.
The 20 (19) guards are waiting for the elevator and are starting to realize that something is wrong, but before they get curious about what’s going on in the mechanical closet, Taran drops out a knockout grenade. Every ganger drops to the floor unconscious.
Zev attempts to slice past the thug at the controls upstairs to let Aurora out but fails. Aurora for her part jimmies the door open, and is so successful that she opens the door to just a slit where she can see out but the guards upstairs don’t notice her presence.
Locke drops two guards, but one of the others grabs Rheeta’s rifle and fires off a shot back. Locke is wounded, but the guard, unskilled in the use of Rheeta’s rifle drops the gun and falls prone. Dax takes down the two thugs ineffectually guarding Jedd. Aurora shoots Zev’s counter slicer in the back of the head and takes out the unskilled sniper who shot Locke for good measure and the third floor is clear. The team’s primary objective has been met. Sort of.
Jedd is in a heap on the ground and Taran has to patch up his severed limb before he can moved for interrogation or he’ll bleed out. Meanwhile Vera has to convince the guards on the second floor, literally in the dark, not to call for reinforcements immediately so the team has time to get the cutters out of there. Zev and Aurora work on a lockbox on the third floor that they can’t drag with them. Locke decides there can’t be any witnesses that can link Vera to the scene. He calmly saunters over to the first floor and executes the 20 (19) unconscious guards with autofire. The second floor guards, pacified by a masterful performance from Vera, stand no chance against Dax who sneaks down from the third to finish them. Dax is in complete control of his bloodlust. Mostly. Out of ten cutters, Dax “accidentally” kills only two. Dax threatens the cutters to come with them or else. They agree but move slowly. Vera convinces them of the wisdom in moving quickly. Zev and Aurora crack into the lockbox and abscond with the contents inside. Taran is finally able to stabilize Jedd’s wound and the team is on the move before any alarm is raised.
With eight cutters to bargain with, the team has some serious leverage to make deals with Demlow’s operatives and hopefully make their lives easier… for now. They must also find a way to get Jedd to give up the location of Lott, who will hopefully lead them at last to Dead-eye. But how will they convince the one-armed gangster to cooperate?