Phantom Hunters 7 - A Chilling Discovery

The Hunt for the mysterious dark jedi killer continues as the Phantom Hunters follow the trail through suspicion and treachery, only to finally be marooned on the chilling ice planet, Hoth, where they must now forgo the pursuit of justice in favor of the more pressing pursuit of survival and escape! But will this unexpected layover lead to an even greater discovery?

Mission Brief 03.0517

Following the interrogation of Savor Kibbs, the Phantom Hunters received a message from Governor Creed informing them that he had information for them. He invited them to come to Darga Prime, and they left at once in the Phoenix Moon. After stopping briefly on Coruscant they arrived in Tican Oosta. They took a cab to the governor's manor, but the cab suddenly swerved into an alley where a bunch of thugs attacked. Suddenly, Satchal disappeared, and to him everyone else did. To Satchal the Dark Jedi appeared and attacked him. Satchal fled only to run into a Gran with a vehicle who helped him escape. Satchal then went to the governor's manor to meet up with the others.

Meanwhile the others saw the Dark Jedi as well, but he fled from them into an escape vehicle. The team commandeered the cab and pursued him straight to the governor's manor. When they arrived they found Satchal up in the governor's personal chambers standing over the dead governor. To Satchal he had arrived and found everyone dead. When he went upstairs to investigate, following a trail of blood, he found the Dark Jedi waiting for him. He went to strike the Dark Jedi, and dueled with him. However, when he struck the Dark Jedi dead he suddenly turned into the governor.

The authorities suddenly arrived and arrested them, but Geldar sensed for the Dark Jedi and realized he was still in the area. He convinced the authorities that a Dark Jedi had set them up, and they tried pursuing. However, the Dark Jedi managed to give them the slip, so the authorities had no choice but to arrest the team until they could sort out the mess.

At this point, before the heroes are questioned, Tianti, Senator Prin Ay’laya’s newest chief aid (who took Brin'tac's place), arrives with his entourage. Vlagari, is one of the entourage. Tianti, one of Vlagari’s race, declares that Senator Prin Ay’laya demands that the heroes be set free. Brin’tac (and his friends) is an honorable person, and he would never commit such a crime. Tianti is then to take them to Senator Ay’laya’s suite on Kothlis to discuss this situation further. Once the task force is free and taken to Tianti’s ship (a transport shuttle), Tianti then shows the evidence they have acquired from Creed’s mansion. Particularly of interest is that the security video of the murder shows a man that looks very much like Satchal. Although the murderer obviously has six fingers on each hand, his face is a striking resemblance to Satchal.

Their second clue is that of a holo-message left in Creed’s office next to Master Lo’s carbonite lightsaber. The message was left by Master Jin Tai Lo in case he didn’t survive the encounter with Wraith. Creed had found the message and hid it so that it wouldn’t reveal any of what Master Lo had received from the Bothan. The message also details how Master Lo discovered that the Dark Jedi’s name was Wraith, and he was on Darga Prime to kill Governor Creed. He was sent to have Creed killed because he was talking too much about Wraith’s master. Master Lo also indicates how he believes that Wraith and his men were going to frame Tso as the prime suspect in the crime as they framed him for the deaths of his fellow shipmates. He, however, still has no idea where Brin’tac’s family might be.

During this time, Kradlo, also one of Tianti's assistants, pulls Geldar aside and begins speaking to him about his suspicions about Satchal. (It is later learned that Vlagari set him up to do this.) He wonders why Satchal wasn’t around when Jin Tai Lo was killed. He was alone on an unknown planet without anyone around supposedly atoning for his use of the Dark Side. It would have been easy for him to slip offworld and go to Darga Prime. Not only that, but Satchal was on Kothlis with his master when Brin’tac’s family was kidnapped. Supposedly they were there for matters of the Council, but now Vlagari wonders just why Satchal was truly there. Perhaps it had something to do with the kidnappings.

Geldar refused to believe Kradlo, and began to grow suspicious of the six-fingered alien. (Kradlo, Vlagari, and Tianti were all six-fingered aliens who wore synthesizor masks so they could talk. Their race has no vocal cords so the synthesizor masks allow them to speak.)

While this is happening, the shuttle is attacked by a group of mercenaries over the planet Hoth. In order to survive, the team is forced to crash land on Hoth. The mercenaries then hunt them across the frozen slopes of the planet in order to complete their mission. All the while, Vlagari, Tianti, and his other aids remain with them. Vlagari secretly leads the mercenaries to the heroes with a tracking device as they flee into a mountain cave. At last, as the team approach a series of caverns, they suddenly discover that Vlagari is really Wraith, the Dark Side Jedi that kidnapped Brin’tac’s family and killed Creed and Jin Tai Lo. The mercenaries chase them into a Wampa’s den where they are trapped between a wampa and the mercenaries that Vlagari hired. At the same time, Vlagari pulls out his own lightsaber and kills Tianti, his usefulness being at an end, as the other aides also pull out weapons and fire upon the Phantom Hunters. Only Kradlo survives Vlagari's massacre of the aides.

A fierce battle ensues, and while the mercenaries pin the heroes inside the caverns Wraith escapes and uses the Force to set off explosives to create an avalanche to trap them all inside. Wraith then decides to leave them all for dead, including the mercenaries and the senator’s surviving aide. (He does this so there are no survivors or witnesses to his deeds.) He must return to Coruscant and inform Senator Ay’laya that the heroes killed his chief aide, Tianti, and that Satchal really is the Dark Jedi that has killed Master Lo, Creed, and kidnapped Brin’tac’s family.

As Wraith escapes, the Phantom Hunters unite with the mercenaries and the surviving member of Tianti’s staff to fight their way through the caverns against wampas until at last they find their way out. They hurry as fast as they can to follow the trail of Vlagari, but by the time they arrive at the mercenary landing site they find that Wraith has taken one of the mercenaries’ ships. As they arrive at the site, Wraith destroys all of the remaining mercenary ships and flees the system.

The End

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