The Sathar had an unusual form of mind control, where they could overcome an individual’s will by oral commands. This could be broadcasted, or amplified in volume, but recordings appeared to have no effect. The Sathar could give complicated commands. Some which could be executed months later, triggered by the occurrence of specific events. Even more nefarious, the individual would likely have no idea that they were under control as the Sathar could give commands for the memories of their interactions to be buried deep within their victim’s subconscious. Only once the person was free from any mental domination would they possibly recall events of meeting the Sathar.
Their intelligence listed Onlanyt-7 as an independent system with a balkanized government. There would have to be some deft maneuvering within the system to avoid agitation from various government forces. Colonel Matsu suggested once in the system the Scalawag decouple, the crew land on the planet, and bring a large amount of attention to a series of ruins being excavated. They suspected that if the group could potentially highlight the research being done there, particularly if it were broadcasted sector-wide, it might induce any Sathar presence to act.
The second aspect of their role would be to relay any unusual activity from higher public officials. If there were any drastic events at the excavation site, or unusual occurances with local politicians (such as a murder-suicide or an abrupt policy decree), the crew would to activate special transponders each would be carrying. This would in turn activate a relay installed in the Scalawag. The Invictus would arrive in high orbit, monitor craft traffic and planet communication, and deploy a platoon of marines in power armor. The Invictus had the speed and weaponry to intercept any ships that departed the planet. While the marines in power armor had the defense and capability to neutralize any threats from the local military. Additionally the power armor suits utilized closed communication lines which could avoid any verbal commands from the Sathar. The marines could sweep the planet and find any hiding on surface.
Roxie and the group latched onto the idea of holding a concert at the event. It would broadcast the site’s location and significance as a means to bring sector-wide tourism to the planet. Col. Matsu agreed this could be a sufficient cover story for their presence as well as bring an undue amount of attention to the excavation site. It might be enough so that any potential Sathar were on the planet, they’d force their hand.
Weeks later the Invictus jumped into the system and the Scalawag launched towards the main system planet. The Invictus in turn headed to a tight orbit on the far side of a different planet’s moon, hiding its presence within the system. The group landed on the planet and began to work contacts among the three main governments. They were able to get permission to have the concert at the historical site and actively promoted the event across the planet and also utilized x-boat couriers to spread the news to holo-entertainment channels. Roxie and the crew went about making preparations to hold the event including promoting it heavily in the system media entertainment streams.
Days before the planned concert a courier delivered a small package and a holodisk addressed to Roxie. Playing the holodisk she saw both Bori Trova and Tannis Ortiz with Jan, secured to a chair behind them. Bori leered and told Roxie he wanted her to board their craft, alone, without any law enforcement presence. He assured her no harm and safe passage, but wanted her to testify publicly to judicial authorities on Blenavursai prime that she had orchestrated events to disparage his character. Upon doing that he was willing to let her part ways. Boris was also willing to let Jan go free. He waved to Tannis Ortiz, stating his associate had been eager to assist in tracking them down and was able to efficiently extract information from a former crew mate of theirs. Tannis hissed that it was a difficult, but fruitful interrogation. Roxie looked through the package and was aghast to find a human finger likely from Jan.
The crew discussed what to do and agreed to reach out to local authorities. They hoped to approach the docked ship supported by hidden law enforcement units. That evening they crossed the sparse field which served as a crude starport for the planet. A loading ramp descended and Tannis appeared with two bodyguards in tow and Jan as a captive.
Roxie walked towards the ship with a squad of law enforcement nearby, disguised as dockyard maintenance workers. Before Roxie could speak with Tannis, some of the law enforcement members drew their weapons and fired on other officers. The group suddenly realized that this could be the work of hidden Sathar agents. After triggering the transponder to the Invictus, a firefight broke out with Jan being able to escape. Roxie was stunned by a shock grenade deftly thrown by Tannis and dragged aboard. Looking over his shoulder, Tannis produced a small detonator and flipped a switch.
A small explosion was seen off in the distance, Grog and the others stood agape as it had to have been the Scalawag. Bori’s ship shot off into high orbit. The crew relayed the Invictus to pursue. However Captain Winters stated that the Invictus was actively intercepting another craft which had left orbit. The group quickly went to the Scalawag to assess the damage.
The explosion was small and the tough ship’s hull was still intact, but the damage to the engine was significant. Grog realized that even working around the clock it would take weeks to get the Scalawag jump-worthy. Meanwhile on Bori’s craft, Roxie was lead to a cryochamber for low passage. Bori reiterated if she was willing to offer her full cooperation, he would release her without harm (and not actively promote her other activities, such as the killing of Dr. Brintt). She complied for now and let the cryofluid wash over her, slipping off into a dreamless sleep as the ship jumped out of the system.
Back on Onlanyt-7 days passed and the remaining crew members tried to go through their limited options to pursue Bori. The Invictus was not responding and no other local craft seemed to have ship which could make multiple parsec jumps. However fortune shifted for them. A DSS Federation Scout craft landed and two familiar Yazarians unboarded. Loni and Tano gave friendly waves. They had picked up a priority message to all Federation craft to assist in transporting a group of individuals to the Blenavursai system. When they saw Grog was among the crew needing assistance, they made their way to the planet as soon as possible. ‘After all,’ grinned Loni, ‘We weren’t going to abandon our favorite Federation scout.’ They boarded the scout craft. It would be an uncomfortable low passage, but the cramped ship was all engine and fuel, easily capable of 6 parsec jumps. They would be able to reach Blenavursai prime before their quarry, and formulate a plan to save their friend.