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Den would lock eyes with the guard for a moment, following it up with a curt "what?" Not pressing it any further however he would follow behind the others into the facility. Slapping Briar heartily on the back, Den would let out a low chuckle. "Look at you, getting us into places. Alright, this is real simple now, all we got to do is find the cells that they keep the fighters, and if there are those wookies, we know that someone in this place is bent and taking from the empire".

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Castar takes his pass without comment and keeps pace with his companions.

Addressing Briar, "Unfortunately I wasn't able to dig up much intel. I did catch that there is a fence name Scazio who deals in stolen goods. He may be a good lead to follow up on to see if we can pick up this pirate's trail."

Casting a sidelong glance at Den, he continued, "Yeah man. This is the Outer Rim. Most folks in this place are bent and wouldn't blink about taking from their mothers, most likely. What exactly do you propose we do IF we find this evidence, considering the hefty amount the administration pays exactly to sidestep this kind of investigation?"

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Den would stop walking for a moment as he it caught off guard by the question. After a moment though he would jog after the others to catch up. "Easy, you don't want to hassle the admin with this? We won't. I say we just, deal with this ourselves. If they aren't meant to be here, maybe we just, you know, leave the cell door unlocked". 

Den would place a hand on each of his allies shoulders, cutting them off before there were any protests. "Now I know, I know, that may sound like a bad idea, but think about. The empire will hear about a breakout and then they can deal with it,0 if they care. If nothing else, we'll give those poor things a fighting chance to avoid the fighting pits", This last part is said with a little more edge to it, more determination. 

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The guard at the service entrance to the Spire holds Den's gaze only for a moment, then busies himself with the next arrivals at the gate. There is a steady flow of foot traffic, grav sleds, and service droids heading deeper into the Spire, with notably fewer personnel exiting at this time. The three imperials proceed down the service corridor, passing vendors catering to the workers, street food for those in a hurry and on a budget. Reaching the central Spire itself, they discover a directory kiosk and a number of service lifts going down. The Ring is below them, as are most of the Spire's public spaces. There is also a single service lift going up, with two heavily armed and armored guards flanking it to either side. 

Jocinda leads Veitra to the Ring via the spacious promenade the more affluent guests of the Spire enjoy. Exclusive boutiques and spas, casinos and recreational resorts vie for their attention along the way. Arriving at their destination, the blue-skinned woman shows their passes to one of the receptionists. "Welcome back, Miss Jocinda. Your box for the evening is up and to the left from here." The hostess indicates the direction while handing her the keycard. "Enjoy the show." For all the world, her demeanor is as though they are going to the opera, and not about to witness the brutality of gladiatorial combat.

Meanwhile, just as Brecor is exiting the Imperial docking bay in exasperation, he overhears a request to dock: "We're not landing, just offloading a single passenger. One Lieutenant Cani Patral, Imperial Navy. Just dropping her off. She has business on the station, and is to rendezvous with the Stormcrow for her return trip. Code is ION-6-7-5-Bantha. Permission to extend a tube?"

Lance Corporal Dawson turns from the com, and catches the eye of the departing Lietenant. "The code checks out, Sir. Looks like you have company. Were you expecting a... guest?" Just as Brecor is about to answer, his comlink dings, as well as Briar's, indicating a message received: "Lt. Patral of the Intrepid arriving imminently for supplies. To return on the Stormcrow. Acknowledge."

 

 

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V notices the fact as she walks with her escort, looking around at the various people around, trying to see if she could spot anyone of significance.

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Pausing for a moment, Den glances back to the others as he sees the directory point. "Alright, just act like we belong, and we will be fine". Marching forwards, Den would go to stand before the directory, flashing his identity badge quickly as he begins speaking. 

"Where are the holding cells for the fighters?" He kept it blunt and simple. He hoped he could avoid further questions by avoiding overexplaining his reason for asking. To much information could suggest they were hiding something. 

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Veitra notices a couple familiar faces, across the crowded arena. It takes a moment to place them in this setting, but she's certain they are two of the troopers from Banshee Squad, from their shuttle. Dress up pretty well, actually!

Something else raises her hackles, though, as if she is being watched..? The sensation quickly passes, and she is unable to discover its source.

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The docking tube hisses and pops as it connects with the ship and the durasteel door swishes open. At medium height fairly indescript woman is standing behind it. She has 2 duffle bags, 1 one on each shoulder. They clink and clang as she walks onto the Dock propper, obviously full of some kind of metal impliments rather than clothes or personal effects. She looks around with a slightly lost expression on her face. 

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"Lieutenant Patral, welcome to the Wheel. It is a pleasure to have you, Miss." Lance Corporal Dawson delivers a salute, and indeed seems delighted at being saved from further conversation with Lt. Sturit. Gaze lowering to take in the two duffels, he drops his salute, and calls over his shoulder: "Kit! Get the gravsled for the Lieutenant, here!" 

Dawson turns back to the officers. "Lieutenant Sturit here was just about to head into the Wheel proper. If you tell me what you're here for, I can point you in the right direction?" 

 

 

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Castar shoots a sidelong glance at his Duro companion.

Okaaaay. He thinks to himself. I guess we'll see how this pans out. What could possibly go wrong?

He does his best to look bored, as Den converses with the official.

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The "official" eyes the Duros and his companions with an amused expression. "It is good that you ask me my friend, because Kresen can help you, even when the kiosk cannot." It is not the first time the infochant has been mistaken for an official by new Wheelers; indeed it is why he is often found near the interactive directories. The man pauses, meaningfully, expectantly... 

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Den stifles a groan as he realises his mistake. He didn't have the credits for this, or the time. They would be expected back on the shuttle soon. This was supposed to be a simple in and out job, not a whole extra thing. Forcing an affected grin onto his face, the sergeant would go to slap the infochant on the shoulder as if greeting an old friend. "I'm glad to see some people still looking out for others, and asking for nothing in return". 

As he says this his would go to crush the dealers shoulder in a meaningful grip, hoping to convey that Den was not in the mood for wheeler-dealing. Looking over his shoulder he addresses the others. "Isn't he nice? A true friend indeed."

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"What I'm here for is classified. But my rendezvous ship is called...... The.... Weather Bird? Wait I've got it down here somewhere. Uh Stormcrow, I can't say I'm familiar with one of those. Not enough gears for my liking. Hey! Is that the 23d-IS multi adaptor coil over there?" 

Cani dumps her tool bags on the gravsled and walks over to some engineers that are working on a ship in the docks. 

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V quietly bites her lower lip, making sure not to look around.

Hon, do we have a... private viewing area...? Or are we watching with the crowd?

she asked her escort.

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The man winces as Den's long fingers dig into his shoulder, the eager glint fading from his eyes to a more subdued expression. "Of course sir. Helping is what I do..."

"Heya, Kresen. Everything okay..?" A young man is crossing the corridor, but not quite closing the gap between himself and the foursome gathered near the kiosk. 

"Fine, Cahnce. Just explaining to these gentle folks that I take gen for my services as well as creds. The Wheel is my home, and I am always anxious to learn the latest from the worlds beyond." Turning back to his new clients, he appeals to Castar and Briar: "If you mean the arena fighters for the Ring, the event is scheduled to begin quite soon. I know a shortcut and can get you there first, but it will still take a few minutes. I'm sure you have something of interest you could share with me as we walk? Knowledge is my currency, my livelihood. Come quickly, follow Kresen." 

 

Lieutenant Brecor is not sure what to make of their new arrival, as she brushes past him to make her way closer to the mechanics. As Cani gets closer, she realizes that the engineers are actually two offduty stormtroopers bungling a job on an old shuttle that can't possibly be spaceworthy. "It is, Miss." The trooper remembers himself and salutes, smudging his brow with grease. "This old girl was never meant to be used as a permanent residence and base, and the systems are a constant struggle. Trying to tie them in directly to the station's, but this wiring's older than I am..." 

 

"We have a private box of seats reserved." Noticing her companion biting her lip, Jocinda mistakes her apprehension for a more general one. "I am not a fan of the bustling, groping crowd in the stands, either. Don't worry, we're nearly there." Indeed, in a few moments they arrive and she uses the keycard she was given to enter. There is seating for six, luxuriously appointed relative to the seating they had passed along the way. The balcony seats provide an excellent overview of the entire arena, if not the closest one. 

 

 

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"Sure, we probably have something" Den would grunt as he goes to follow behind the infochant. Honestly he didn't believe they would have much to offer (or at least he didn't), but if worst came to worst, a pistol being waved in the face tends to deal with money issues. "If the fight starts soon, you better hurry up".

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Briar followed behind Den and Kresen, thinking over the recent reports that she had read about the Outer Rim. "This might be of interest to you," Briar said offhand "I've heard of a new group of smugglers operating out near Felucia, they seem to be doing quite well, they might even be expanding their operations." she continued following after the two, and glanced back over her shoulder to see if anyone was following.

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V gasps as she looks around.

Well, this sure is nice...

She smiles as she turns to her host, smiling seductively as she twirled on the spot to look around the room.

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Kresen visibly relaxes as Den releases the ungentle grip he has on his shoulder, and the glint in his eye returns as he listens intently to Briar's intelligence. The ISB agent dips into her tradecraft training to surreptitiously check for any followers, but Cahnce only watches for a moment before continuing along on his original trajectory. No one else seems to be evincing any undue interest in their little group, as they move steadily closer to the arena. 

The infochant interjects a few times to clarify or wrangle out further details, but it is difficult to discern whether or not he had any previous awareness of the smuggling ring. Ultimately, he seems well pleased with the exchange, though he doesn't appear to want to hang around further. "See? Everyone has something for Kresen. I thank you for the auricular edification and... we are arrived."  

The oversized durasteel door does little to obscure the raucous sound of the Wookiees inside. Indeed, they sound almost jubilant compared to their demeanor aboard the shuttle, if they are in fact the same ones.

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"Hmmm, well this old wiring was done with a different alloy from todays. You need a medium that allows the current through since it behaves slightly different when in the new metal." 

Cani folds her arms and has a hand to her chin for a few seconds. Then a" ah" escapes her lips and she picks up a trooper helmet that was left lying near by. Flipping it over she starts tearing out padding to get to the small amount of electronics that made up the helms comm unit. She then took the wire that connected transmitter and receiver, snipped it to size with a small tool from her belt and brought it over to the problem. A few minutes of welding later the small wire was haphazardly joining the two power systems together. 

"Fire that up. Should work. Gonna need replacing often though. Wasn't designed to handle that kinda power. I'd recommend getting a 89c if you can."

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With a barely perceptible hiss, the oversized durasteel door begins to slowly retract into the wall away from the keypad. Agent Ostell's first glimpse into the room reveals the presence of more than a few Wookiees, and also the Melitto handler Scarpa Flek, lending credence to their supposition. In all, there are ten Wookiees, the same number they had transported aboard the Stormcrow... it takes a moment to discern their differentiating characteristics, but they are indeed the Wookiees they are looking for. 

The insectoid Scarpa appears to be adjusting the collar of one of his charges, while the others are communicating back and forth, some inspecting the arsenal of arena weapons scattered about. When the door has slid open enough for someone to pass through, the Wookiees belatedly notice the intrusion. "Hwwhhrryghh?!"

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The Melitto turns, but the imperials have caught him flat-footed. The room is... not quite what they may have expected, however? More like the backstage of a theatre prior to a performance, or a locker room before a big game, than a cell housing slaves pressed into fighting for their lives.

The rectangular room is nearly ten meters wide, but only goes back about five meters. Bunks and lockers line the walls, with nothing else in the way of furniture. A few of the lockers are open, revealing an assortment of polearms, nets, even shields. The guide's rifle leans against a locker in a back corner of the room. 

The atmosphere changes with the arrival of the imperials; there is a tension in the air, but it is not necessarily adversarial in nature. Not yet...

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"Would you take a look at this..."

Castar appraises the room.

"Great setup you guys have here. Though it definitely isn't the private viewing box that this guy..." He taps Den on the chest and continues, "thought the infochant was talking about"... Oh well. Hey Scarpa! Good to see you, best of luck to you all!" He turns to Briar, "Unless you had something else for the gentlebeing..."

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