Surveillance Plan

“Lovers’ spat,” remarked Nyarchagga with a chuckle as the others attempted to collect themselves after what had just happened.

Tarrsk snorted at the Dug’s joke and made some remark of his own under his breath to the same effect, but the others missed it entirely. Lialla was already on her feet and making her way for the door Satchal and Ivanna had vanished through, and Geldar quickly snatched her elbow to stop her. “Wait!” Geldar said with a little more emotion than he’d meant to have. “You won’t do any good interfering.”

“She has no right to talk to him that way,” Lialla said heatedly, and she jerked her elbow away from him. “Someone needs to tell that snooty Jedi just where she can stick her attitude!”

“So you have deemed that you are the one to do it?” Brin’tac replied coolly as he came up to back up Geldar. “You will only make matters worse, Lialla. They must work this out on their own. Master Ivanna and Satchal both have their reasons to be upset in this matter. Master Ivanna is Satchal’s master and as such she should not have Satchal questioning her actions as he did. However, Satchal has lost a master already to a situation very similar to this one. Master Lo told Satchal he couldn’t come when he went to face Wraith and died. Satchal is afraid the same thing will happen.”

Kazzra’an gave off a series of roars interrupting the conversation with his own comments. “Oh come on,” he roared. “Call it like it is, Bothan. A blind Gamorrean could see that Satchal’s feelings for Ivanna run a little deeper than Master-Padawan.”

The comment, however, went unnoticed as Lialla, who didn’t understand the Wookiee one bit, replied, “So you want me to do nothing? I don’t care what the situation is, the fact remains that she is in the wrong here. She should not be going off alone through a droid-infested city.”

“So go with her,” replied Nyarchagga with another chuckle. He was enjoying this exchange most profusely. Lialla only rolled her eyes in his direction and returned to her argument.

“Now that would be something I’d pay to see,” remarked Tarrsk with a smile. “They’d be like two starving Rancors fighting over a pile of corpses.”

“Yeah, except there’s no sport in pitting a juvenile Rancor with a bull,” Nyarchagga added, and they returned to listening to the conversation.

“Fine,” said Lialla at last. “So we’ll leave them be, but I still wonder why we even have her with us. I don’t like her at all, and I don’t think she’s very much a part of our team. She doesn’t even consider us when she makes any decisions. I hope she goes off and gets herself killed.”

“Yeah, that’d show her,” remarked Kazzra’ an, and Geldar only threw him a sour expression.

“Can I say something here?” asked Tso who had, until this moment, been very quiet through the whole discourse. Everyone turned to look at him, and he shifted rather uncomfortably now that he had their attention. “I would just like to point out that, in spite of everything that’s just happened and everyone’s emotions and all, we still don’t know anything about this Ivanna person. I don’t trust her one bit, and I think we need to find out more about her. She may want to go off alone, but how do we know she isn’t going to just lead our enemy back here to us? That seems kind of suspicious to me. And another thing I’ve been thinking about is how do we know that she isn’t somehow responsible for the droids going crazy? After all we arrive here and suddenly the droids go ballistic. Doesn’t that seem kind of coincidental? I mean, no offense to Satchal, but I think his master is shiftier than the Dug when he’s playing Sabaac. She did spend ten years in a Dark Jedi infested prison, or whatever it was. How could she have spent so much time there and not been corrupted?”

Everyone was silent for a moment as they all took in his words. Then Geldar said, “You’re right. Maybe this is a perfect opportunity to find out more about our Master Jedi.”

“What do you propose?” asked Brin’tac, somewhat leery.

“We send Gnat to follow her,” Geldar explained. “She won’t be able to detect him with the Force. Gnat will spy on her and show us exactly what she’s really like when she thinks no one is around.”

Nyarchagga shook his head. “We couldn’t watch her with my wrist monitor. Gnat would send a signal back here, and that could be traced.”

“Gnat could record the information in his memory banks and we could play it when he returns,” Brin’tac offered.

Nyarchagga didn’t like the idea of sending his prized espionage droid off after a Jedi when there were thousands of virus-infested droids roaming about and a good chance that somehow the Jedi might pick up on his presence and destroy him. Instead of voicing this thought, however, he said, “Not a good idea. If he was discovered by enemy droids they could download his memory and discover our location. The Jedi might not pick up on him, but computers and droids could. That’s a risk we shouldn’t take.”

Tso nodded. “I say we follow her.”

“No,” said Geldar. “That would be too dangerous. She’ll be using the Force most likely to detect life and where it’s located throughout the city. If she does she’ll know we’re following for sure.”

“Can’t you hide our presence from her?” asked Kazzra’an. “Orruwarr told me such things were possible for a Jedi.”

Geldar sighed. “I don’t think we’d be powerful enough to hide our presence from her, but I suppose we could try. I just don’t know.”

“All I’m saying,” said Nyarchagga, “is that if we are discovered by her then we’ve lost nothing. We can just say we were following to help her. If Gnat is discovered by droids….”

“We get the point,” said Geldar. “So we can’t send Gnat. I just don’t know if we should necessarily go ourselves. It seems very dangerous just to try to see what she’s like when we’re not around.”

Brin’tac, after pondering the situation for a moment, considered his friend’s true motives and thought of another solution. “Perhaps Gnat could be set to erase his memories the moment he is discovered.”

“Ah,” said the quick-thinking Nyarchagga. “But if Gnat is hit by surprise that won’t work. They could take his memories the moment he’s powered up.”

Tso sighed in frustration. “Then forget it. I’m sorry I said anything.”

“Wait,” said Geldar. “We can think of something.”

“Why not ask Avatar?” suggested Tarrsk. “He’s got some supplies. Maybe he has or knows someone who has a bug we could borrow.”

“The signal would still be traced back to here,” Nyarchagga replied.

“So we go somewhere else while we receive the signal,” Tarrsk said.

“Or we could take from Gnat’s memory our exact location,” said Brin’tac, and Nyarchagga threw his friend a fierce look as if to warn him to stop pressing that issue.

“That would not work,” Nyarchagga said. “We would need to erase his memory after he was already following Ivanna outside of this location.”

“He’s got a point there,” said Geldar. “We also have to keep in mind that Ivanna can move fast. The Force aids her movements. Gnat would be hard pressed to keep up with her. A bug is probably the best way to go.”

“But a bug doesn’t give us video feed,” said Tso.

Kazzra’an, growing bored with the conversation, growled, “Why don’t we just slap Gnat onto her back somewhere after taking our location from his memory? We then shut him down with a timer switch on him so that he powers up after twenty minutes or so. That should give Ivanna plenty of time to be far away from this location so that Gnat won’t know where we are when he powers up.”

Brin’tac smiled at the Wookiee. “A good suggestion! What do you think Nyarchagga?”

“Poodoo!” said the Dug viciously. “I think it smells like poodoo. Even if we could slip it on her somewhere…”

“I thought you were skilled enough to pull something like that off,” said Tarrsk challengingly.

Nyarchagga shot him a venomous glance as well. “A Jedi has better perceptions than most.”

“Slip Gnat on her when she’s busy staring at Satchal then,” Tarrsk added with a chuckle.

Nyarchagga swore under his breath, but before he could respond Geldar said, “The only problem with that is even if we could somehow slip Gnat onto Ivanna she might at any point discover him attached to her.”

“If we want to spy on her I don’t see any other solution,” said Kazzra’an. “Do you?”

Geldar thought about it a moment and had to agree. The best solution so far was to slap Gnat onto Ivanna somewhere and hope she didn’t discover him. However, if they were really going to ensure that they got accurate footage of her actions they’d have to be watching her constantly, for if she were to find the droid at any point she could alter his memories before she returned back to the base. That meant that they were going to have to watch from Nyarchagga’s monitor, which meant that they were still going to have to go somewhere else in the city to do this. That would be dangerous, but what else could they really do? He wanted to spy on Ivanna to see what kind of person she really was, and if they were going to get accurate information on her actions outside of the group it was going to have to be done this way.

“All right,” said Geldar. “I don’t see any other solution. Gnat is the best way to get both audio and video footage of Ivanna’s actions, and I, like most of us here, want to see what this Master Jedi is all about. I have to confess that I don’t trust her any more than I did Daragald’s Blight, and it would sure give me some peace of mind knowing more about her true character. Plus Satchal may feel better knowing that we are keeping an eye on her so we can see if she’s in trouble or not.”

“But that would mean you want to watch her from the monitor,” said Tso, a bit confused.

“Right,” said Geldar, and he explained his reasoning.

“That sounds logical to me,” said Brin’tac. “What do the rest of you think?”

Lialla piped in again. “I think it’s a great idea. As long as we’re careful and keep an escape route open we’ll be fine. Besides, if Ivanna is really going to betray us we’ll have time to warn Avatar if we’re watching her from Nyarchagga’s monitor.”

“It sounds like a good plan to me,” Kazzra’an chimed in, anxious to be done with all of it. Tarrsk also gave his consent, and Tso was soon to follow. The only one that didn’t really seem to like this idea was Nyarchagga, but he finally gave in, though very reluctantly.

“Fine,” said Brin’tac. “Then the moment we bid farewell to Ivanna we’ll have Nyarchagga slip Gnat onto the Jedi. When she’s gone we’ll go somewhere else in the city and watch her until she’s completed her quest.” With everyone in agreement they headed for the only exit to the hideout as they waited for Ivanna to leave.

 

The End

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