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Mission Report: Operation Sidestream

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Mission Report: Operation Sidestream

Report Prepared By: Alliance Intelligence
Report Approved By: Crix Madine

Summary: The goal of Operation Sidestream was make contact with the Outer Rim smuggling ring known as “The Happy Blasters,” led by Salem Victory, with the goal of forming an agreement over the sale and transportation of weapons and parts needed for resistance efforts. The operatives assigned were Agents Organa, Solo, and Skywalker, with the support of Chewbacca and astromech R2-D2.

Agent Solo has previous acquaintance with the group and has worked with them before. He was the point of contact. Agent Organa was to negotiate terms. Agent Skywalker was sent as backup and to assist in egress if quick extraction became necessary.

Agents left base at 0800 hours in the Falcon and flew to the Chorlian Sector, where the Happy Blasters operate along with several other mercenary and smuggling groups. After changing crafts, agents proceeded to the planet Vaynai in the guise of wealthy visitors coming to stay at the resort on the island of Jundt.

Agents arrived on schedule and successfully took up residence at the resort. On the first day of the mission, the Happy Blasters made contact and negotiations began. On the third day all three agents in addition to the Happy Blasters were forcibly escorted from the premises of the resort. Agents returned to base with Victory and the Happy Blasters. Mission was a nominal success.

Agent statements to follow.

Mission Statement
Leia Organa

Travel to the planet Vaynai proceeded without incident despite “Agent” Solo’s apparent desire to turn us all into space milk by flying at speeds that cannot be considered advisable or desirable in any star system. When asked to attempt traveling at something resembling reasonable speeds, he said, “I got my methods, Princess,” and then got up to use the facilities, leaving control of the “ship” in the hands of his co-pilot Chewbacca. It must be said that despite the reputation of Wookies, Chewbacca is by far the more civilized and reliable of the two.

Agent Skywalker spent the majority of the journey practicing with R2 and the training tools left behind by Master Kenobi. It is my opinion that while Skywalker has progressed far given the limited tools at his disposal, he is going to become a liability to the Alliance without further training. It is still unclear how the Empire tracks and finds Force-sensitive individuals but I suspect that the stronger he becomes the more danger he will be in—and if he becomes stronger without someone like Master Kenobi to guide him, it’s unknown what may happen.

My father had the privilege on a number of occasions to view the training at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. From his private notes (as all official records have vanished into the gaping maw of the Empire) I have been gleaning what usefulness I can to pass on to Agent Skywalker. He generally seems receptive, although he is at times stubbornly firm regarding his preferred method of doing things. In time it may become necessary to once again try to find any remaining Jedi Knights, if only to keep him from accidentally hurting himself.

Vaynai was much as I remembered: a sea of needlessly flashy and bright signs and attractions. For all its promises of relaxation, it’s hardly the place I’d choose to go, but then I suppose the real reason people go is to show off their wealth. That certainly seemed to be the order of the day. As part of the cover we had decided on, Solo and I were to masquerade as a couple with Skywalker attending alone. With all due respect, Senator Mothma, the dress you chose for me, while finely made and certainly very beautiful, was not perhaps the most circumspect, and I found it very difficult to hide my blaster.

Solo’s contact was a man in the Happy Blasters named Antaki Dahn, who works as a Sabacc dealer in one of the higher-end casinos. We were to meet him after sunset and hold initial conversation while participating in a game. Solo insisted that he be the one to play.

“I have a talent for Sabacc,” he claimed. “I won my ship in a game of Corellian Spike.”

“Are you sure you won that game?” I asked, which sent him into such a pout that the receptionist checking us in asked if we had encountered trouble on the way.

The receptionist informed us that security was tighter than usual as General Tessala Corvae had arrived on the planet to make use of the resort for her recovery from recent action. While confident that we had taken every necessary precaution to disguise ourselves, I had in the past met General Corvae, and it was entirely possible she would recognize me.

“Agent” Solo decided that then was the perfect time to throw his arm around my shoulders and declare that he hoped it wouldn’t detract too much from our honeymoon, and he winked obscenely at the receptionist, who had the gall to giggle. Solo and I went to our room. Agent Skywalker took the room across from ours and we settled in to await nightfall and our promised meeting

[...]

Han Solo

[...]

The room was pretty nice, I have to admit, though I was expecting something more befitting royalty if you know what I mean. There wasn’t nearly as much gold or velvet or any of that, which I remarked was a shame to the Princess and she just glared at me. I’m going to have to request different team members in the future. Ones who appreciate my sparkling sense of humor and my ability to improvise. Princess says I’m reckless, but that’s because she doesn’t have a gambler’s instinct. I don’t need to know the odds to know whether something feels right.

I made myself at home in the room—I mean, if the Rebellion is paying, may as well make use of it. Not to mention that if anyone were to drop in on us they’d want to know why we were just sitting around staring at each other. Princess didn’t much like my suggestion to mess up the bed with me and spent the first fifteen minutes checking for bugs and cameras. When she was finally satisfied, she sat down at the desk and started to lecture me about the proper protocol for making contact with potential agents.

Given she’d spent most of the trip to Vaynai giving me the same lecture, I thought I was well within my rights to take a nap and don’t think it was entirely necessary for her to dump a glass of water on my head.

To avoid any questions about what exactly had happened, I went in the shower and then changed into the clothes that Princess had indicated were more appropriate to the cover we were using. She was still dressed like a priestess, and not a fun one.

“You should change clothes,” I told her, “and take down your hair. Mess it up a bit.”

I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about when I say she gave me a look that could kill. I’m astounded General Tarkin didn’t drop dead on the spot when he took her captive.

“Why would I do that?” she asked with her nose in the air.

“They think we’re newlyweds, sweetheart.” I tried to find whatever magic nonsense was keeping her hair up. She slapped my hand away. “We gotta look like we’ve been enjoying ourselves.”

“I’d enjoy myself more with a bantha,” she said, but she did at least take her hair down.

The kid was already downstairs when we got there, pretending to drink a cocktail and completely failing to notice that at least five people were eying him up. Whether they wanted to con him or something more mutually beneficial didn’t really matter—I was happy to use the kid as any kind of distraction we could.

Antaki is a son of a Hutt piece of scum, but the one thing I can say about him is that he’s punctual. We hadn’t been at the gambling table for more than one hand when he sidled up and sat next to me. I said hi, talked some shit, then pulled Princess over to say hi.

“This is my lucky charm,” I said. “My beautiful bride.”

I’d like to state here that the bruise on my left arm is from the pinch she gave me at that. Check the medical logs. The doc thought Chewie had gotten mad at me.

I asked about Antaki’s line of work—obviously a cover to ask about how the Blasters were doing—and he said some shit about how they were having some problems with supply lines, like that’s any surprise. Obviously there isn’t much we can do about that, so I steered the conversation toward whether they needed capital, and maybe we would have gotten further except that was when the Imperial came in.

[...]

Luke Skywalker

[...]

I’ve never been to a place like Vaynai before. The closest is probably Mos Eisley, but even when I lived on Tatooine I knew it was a backwater hole. I was a little overwhelmed at first, but the people who worked there were friendly enough and I was able to settle in to watch Leia and Han.

Things seemed to be going well—Leia only scowled once and it was when Antaki was looking away, and Han didn’t lose too much money. Then I felt it—a disturbance in the energy of the place. People were quieting, shifting away from the door, and when I looked over I saw a woman in Imperial casual wear with two bodyguards at her back.

She came over to the bar and sat down a couple spots away from me. I shifted so that she couldn’t get a direct look at my face, not that I thought it was likely that I would be recognized, and continued to act as though I was occupied with drinking.

I didn’t do anything to draw her attention, at least not that I know of. But a few minutes after she had arrived, I sensed her move closer and then she said, “Are you not enjoying your drink?”

We hadn’t decided on a proper cover story for me, as it wasn’t thought that I would be interacting with many people. The main idea was to lean on my Outer Rim origins since Han said, “No one would buy you for a Core-worlder, kid, sorry to say,” so I decided then that I was going to play as close to who I was as I could.

I turned toward her casually—out of the corner of my eye, Leia was watching me so I felt okay about engaging—and said, “It’s my first time here, I’m just a little overwhelmed.”

Corvae—Leia told me later that’s who she was—smiled and said, “Yes, it’s my first time as well.” She lifted her glass in an invitation to toast. “To new experiences.”

Knowing it would be more suspicious not to toast than to go along, I tipped my glass to hers and drank, though not much. She, on the other hand, drank the entirety of her glass, sat it down, and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. She was still looking at me, eyes narrowed, and I became a little worried that maybe the Empire did know my face, except that her bodyguards had moved away to lean against the wall. I forced a smile and asked her what brought her to Vaynai, which may have been a mistake, because after she told me that she had been sent on rest and relaxation by her boss, she asked me why I was there and, again, we hadn’t decided on a solid backstory for me.

That was when Han came over and dropped an arm around my shoulders and said, “Hey babe, why are you still at the bar?”

[...]

Leia Organa

[...]

It seemed to me that Agent Skywalker had the situation under control, although I could see that he was nervous from the way he was angled a bit away from Corvae. She was quite striking, and I could tell she was interested in him to some degree, though when Solo said, “Oh shit, she wants to eat him with a spoon,” I felt that was exaggerating a bit.

Antaki had gone nervous at the arrival of the general. Corvae’s bodyguards were mostly surveying the room, but one had fixed their attention on him, which didn’t bode well. “We need a distraction,” I said under my breath in the guise of giving Solo a good luck kiss on the cheek.

I did not suggest what Solo did next, which was dump me off his lap, say, “Play for me, gorgeous, I’m getting thirsty,” and saunter over to the bar where he draped himself over Skywalker. I picked up Solo’s cards instead of staring—the other players were tittering—and saw immediately that his hand was good enough to win, while his current bet was appallingly low. I raised the stakes and drew everyone’s attention back to to the table so they wouldn’t pay attention to whatever was going on behind me.

[...]

Han Solo

[...]

Something I think we’ve all learned about the kid is that he can’t tell when someone is flirting with him, and that Imperial wanted him [CENSORED]. Normally I’d have let it go but the kid doesn’t have the chops to keep it going and I figured he’d give up the game as soon as she got him up to her room. So I did the first thing I thought of, which was go over to him and drop my arm over him.

I swear, if looks could kill, I’d have been a smear on the floor from the way the Imperial glared at me. She pasted on a credible attempt at a welcoming expression and said, “Good evening, is this your first visit to Vaynai too? We were just comparing experiences.”

“Yeah, we thought we’d treat him to a visit,” I said, leaning more on the kid. “He’s not one for this kind of travel most of the time, but my wife wanted to treat him.” I jerked my head back at Princess. “Give him a nice reward.”

The Imperial looked pretty confused at this point, and so did the kid, so I did the only thing that seemed reasonable and kissed him. Now the kid nearly blew it here with his reaction, but after a moment he seemed to get it, and when I got a chance to look back at the Imperial, she was seething.

“He didn’t mention he was here with anyone,” she said through gritted teeth.

“He’s shy,” I said promptly, which was helped by the fact the kid was blushing hard enough to power his lightsaber if you know what I mean. “Come on, babe, we’re missing you at the table.”

I dragged the kid up and over to where the princess had won me another hand of cards. She managed to keep a straight face when I settled in a seat next to her and pulled the kid onto my lap, though Antaki looked as though he’d just seen a shaved Wookie. “Our boy was getting bored at the bar, sweetheart,” I said to Princess.

To her credit, it only took her a moment to catch on—which made me want to ask her some things about Alderaan—and she leaned over to peck the kid on the cheek. He went even redder at this, which maybe wasn’t the most convincing thing in the world, but it did go with my new plan of passing him off as a charming yokel we’d seduced into our marriage.

“We’ve been neglecting him,” Princess said, putting a proprietary hand on his knee. “Maybe we ought to take him back upstairs?”

“We were just getting to know our friend here,” I said, nodding to Antaki. “Unless you want to join us too. Maybe a couple more drinks.”

At that point we were being openly stared at by the entire table, which I think is kind of small-minded of them. Antaki thankfully finally caught on, closed his damn mouth, and nodded.

[...]

Luke Skywalker

[...]

I’m still not sure that Han is right that General Corvae wanted to “despoil my innocent body,” as he put it, but his plan at least did give us the excuse to slip upstairs with our contact without arousing too much suspicion. Plenty of attention, maybe, but I guess people thought we were just going to have an orgy—Han, if you’re reading this, I grew up on Tatooine in spitting distance of Jabba’s palace, I’m not completely ignorant of the world—which is better than thinking we were going to conduct potentially treasonous business deals.

The good thing about it was that Antaki was impressed with our level of improvisation and promised that he would get in touch with his boss that night. The bad thing was we did have to give the impression that we were enjoying each other’s company, so there was a lot of bouncing on the bed and making suspect noises.

Antaki was sent back to his quarters—though Leia insisted on him leaving a sock behind and carrying his shirt balled up in his arms for “verisimilitude”—while Han refused to let me leave at all. “We made that Imperial think you were our playtoy,” he said from where he’d reclined on the bed, apparently tired out by the whole business. “She can’t think that there’s any room for her to wriggle in.”

“You seem to be very concerned with what the Imperial does with Luke,” Leia said, her arms crossed. “Surprisingly so.”

Han shrugged and said, “Maybe I am,” and the two of them glared at each other. I’m fairly used to them using me to make each other jealous at this point but this was definitely a new way to go about it. Personally I’d recommend stranding them on a planet where they have to be in close quarters all the time, preferably somewhere cold where they might have to huddle for warmth. At this point they can clear a room at headquarters just by coming in it while bickering because no one is sure if they’re going to end up on one of the desks.

Sorry, ma’am, but you have to admit it’s true.

In any event, I slept on the couch while Han got shoved off to the floor and Leia took the bed. In the morning, we took our time before heading downstairs, where Antaki met us with the news that his boss was willing to meet us on one of the scenic hiking vistas, so the four of us left together to go finalize the deal.

[...]

Leia Organa

[...]

As unconventional as Solo’s plan was, it did have the benefit of giving us an excuse to bring Luke along with us instead of him needing to shadow us. I’m not endorsing the decision as in the long run I think it may have drawn undue attention to us—I’m sure you’ll agree, ma’am, when you get to the end of my report.

We met with Salem Victory on one of the cliffside hikes near the resort. He had arrived with a member of his crew who reclined next to him on the grass with all the appearance of enjoying the sun, but the two of them were clearly on their guard.

“Did the Imperials follow you here?” was the first thing Victory asked after preliminary greetings were exchanged. He looked profoundly displeased, and I suspect he must have had a run-in, perhaps with a member of Corvae’s escort. “Why are they here?”

“I have it on good authority that General Corvae is here on a rest and relaxation stint,” I said while next to me Luke choked on the fruit he was eating and hacked until Han thumped him on the back. “It was an unfortunate coincidence, but one of the risks of meeting here, as I’m sure you were aware when you suggested it.”

That put Victory on the defense, which was right where I wanted him as we began negotiations. By the end of the half hour we had allotted for discussion he had agreed to run weapons and energy cells for us in the sector in exchange for medical and mechanical services, which recently have been difficult to come by as wanted criminals. These, of course, would not be provided at our base. Victory only made a token attempt at trying to gain access to our headquarters, probably for appearance’s sake rather than anything else, but to ensure their loyalty I also let them know that we did in fact know about their other interests.

It’s frankly hilarious that Solo thinks he’s the best of us at gambling; he doesn’t play with the stakes I do. We had nothing on them aside from the usual whispers that Victory had interests aside from making money—which could mean anything from political aspirations to having more exotic interests in botany—and there was no guarantee that his interest was in anything the Empire would deem worthy of their time.

But times like this is why you bet high. Victory went very white and began babbling about how it was just a passing interest and he’d only heard that there was something of interest on Kriekaal, there was no guarantee it was actually Jedi related and he only wanted to see if the rumors were true. I’m not sure how I managed to keep from laughing. Luke, naturally, was staring with his mouth open.

“Relax,” I said in my best impression of Solo, raising my hands to calm him down. “We’re not interested in stopping you. What you do on your own time is your business.”

The undertone, of course, being that we all knew even owning something associated with the Jedi was considered treason. The irony of the situation—namely, a Jedi-in-training of sorts sitting there listening—was not lost on me.

“Yes, yes, of course,” Victory said, though he still looked nervous.

Just then I heard the approach of voices. Luke had heard them too and was looking around, while Solo turned to Victory’s companion and said, “Don’t take this personally,” and leaned over her like he was going to kiss her. Victory looked shocked, so I shoved Luke at him just as a group of guests from the resort rounded the corner.

I’m sure that we made quite a picture, given that they vacated the premises within record time. This did, of course, put us in an awkward position where we were now seen with yet another two people. Maybe the wiser thing would have been to part ways, but there were still details to finalize and we were in an exposed area. The hotel room, while not ideal given the proximity to General Corvae, had the benefit of being enclosed and we did now have a reputation of being a couple that accumulated companions.

So we took them back to our room.

[...]

Han Solo

[...]

Probably the most annoying part of the whole thing was that everyone in that damn resort thought I was getting [CENSORED] six ways to [CENSORED] when in reality we sat around the room throwing pillows and occasionally shouting out. Victory seemed to find the whole thing relaxing, as the fear that had stiffened him up—not that way, ma’am—ever since the Princess mentioned his Jedi relic hunt seemed to fade. He even suggested to his second that they kiss to make things a bit more believable, and I thought she might get sick on him. Antaki, on the other hand, seemed much more agreeable.

The good thing about bringing them back and getting Victory to relax was that he admitted his crew didn’t have a safe harbor at the present. Princess was able to turn that into more gold for us as we have at least one place we can offer them, and so by the end of the night Victory was maybe as happy as if he really had [CENSORED].

I really don’t think we made that much noise, all things considered, so when the hotel security came by to tell us there had been complaints, I thought they were joking. Maybe laughing in their face wasn’t the best way to have handled it—okay, maybe I’d been drinking a little to celebrate a successful mission, too—but I don’t think it warranted being taken down to security to “sober up.” And don’t think I put it in the kid’s head that he had to rescue me. That was all him.

[...]

Luke Skywalker

[...]

It was becoming urgent that we leave soon given the amount of attention we had been drawing. Though Corvae hadn’t approached me again, I did see her at several points and the fact that we had been steadily accumulating a larger group was going to look suspect at some point. After security took Han down, I called in to Artoo and Chewie and told them to have the Falcon ready, then went down to get him.

Han seems to think it was a daring rescue plan which is nice but frankly it wouldn’t have been worth the effort. The guards took a bribe that Victory supplied to me and let Han out. He couldn’t quite walk on his own, so I had to mostly carry him back upstairs. He and Victory then got into a contest of who could remember the most drinking songs, and that was why security came up the second time to ask us to leave.

On the one hand, it was a little embarrassing to be taken down to our shuttles, but on the other Victory and Han were best friends by the time we got there, and if anything the Blasters were more on board to sign on with us when they heard about what we got up to. I’m pretty sure Victory let them think there really had been an orgy, since a couple of them said a few things to me that don’t make sense otherwise.

I really am sorry we ended up bringing the Blasters back with us. I know it wasn’t part of the mission and Leia wasn’t happy because it went against some of their negotiations, but about half of them needed medical attention and the other half were so run-down that they could barely fly. I thought it was in our best interests to bed them down for a bit and get them in their best shape before sending them on their first supply run.

On a related topic, I would like to in the future discuss Kriekaal and the source of Victory’s interest. Having spoken with him further it sounds as though there is some kind of Force-imbued object there. With permission, I may visit with him to see what can be learned. In the meantime I am at your service.

 

Recommendations:

Agents Solo, Skywalker, and Organa showed high levels of improvisation under pressure, though their methods leave something to be desired. Despite occasional personal differences they continue to work well together, though Agent Skywalker’s recommendation regarding Agents Solo and Organa is noted.

We will need to retrain Agent Solo on appropriate mission report summaries and protocol when engaging with contacts of unknown loyalty. It may also be appropriate to provide more training to Agent Skywalker for undercover work, though it is unknown if this will be a frequent occurrence given his skills lie in other areas. Agent Organa is to be given supervision of the Happy Blasters once they are fully rested and are ready to begin work.

The Jedi artifact mentioned by Victory is of some interest, particularly given Agent Skywalker’s abilities. I continue to advocate the search for an appropriate teacher for him, though most if not all are dead or in hiding. Coming into contact with an artifact may be a temporary stopgap as he continues to learn; however, we should be wary as we are not aware of the full extent of the Empire’s ability to find Force-sensitive individuals.

The Happy Blasters should be permitted to keep their base with us until it becomes necessary that we relocate. In that event we will house them on a nearby planet to make runs to Outer Rim planets; until further evaluation can be done I think it is wise to keep them at arm’s length. But they may prove useful allies.

Final note is we should likely hold safe sex seminars for recruits; I know it seems like a waste of time, but being in a war is no excuse. And someone will need to tell the Blasters that there are not weekly orgies, no matter what Agent Solo told them. I have already invoked my authoritative privilege to not be the one to do so. I leave the decision to you, ma’am.

REPORT END