Saturday, February 12, 2011

Redshift Chronicles Intelligence Brief #2: The Merantan Affair and Bongolaanian Connection

Stardate: Thirday, 053-130 ABY/Tarsan Intelligence Service (TIS)
Subsector: Shannekam

Preliminary After Action Review of the Merantan Affair

Ten days ago, Nance Windu, Cad So Billes and Sei'do Avari; members of the 3rd Diplomatic Security Team (3DST), were assigned to investigate the fire at the Tarsan Agricultural (TAg) Market offices, in the Constellation Tower on Merantis. 

Once they landed in the capital city of Stedmonton, they were led to the scene by their Merantan Intelligence Service (MIS) liaison officer, Lt. Trayl Caltos.  They quickly made two discoveries about the fire:  First, the blaze was caused by arson, from an unknown incendiary device placed in the office lounge.  Second, and possibly of more significance--the TAg Market's computer was accessed prior to the fire's outbreak. 

The following three files were downloaded:

1. TAg Facilities on Zenya
2. Cohaine Family Records
3. Service Records and Flight Plans of the Ivory Bantha

Items of note within these files are:

--TAg owns controlling interest of seafood processing facilities on three islands within the Tau Tau Archipelago on Zenya
--The Cohaine family is the prime owner of TAg
--The Ivory Bantha, a YT-1300 freighter, is the Cohaine family transport; and finally,
--Damethon Cohaine, son of CEO Thassall Cohaine, departed Tarsus two weeks ago to inspect TAg's Zenyan operation

Within a day, the DST's investigation turned up two likely suspects:  Kal Jorek and his Shistavanen partner Frizz.  Later that day, they learned through an unnamed source, of Jorek and Frizz's most likely hideout within Stedmonton's warehouse district.  They followed two associate gang members and attempted to break into the hidedout--without calling for back up from MIS or the Stedmonton Constabulary.

In the ensuing gunbattle with seven gang members, Windu was severely wounded after charging into the hideout.  (The photo above shows So Billes and Avari attempting to reopen the warehouse door).  Jorek attempted to bargain with the remaining team members, by offering Windu's life, in exchange for allowing him and his gang to escape.  When Avari opened fire and So Billes attempted to employ a hand grenade, one gang member, Tonda Gunka, ran inside the warehouse and finished off Windu. 

Three gang members were killed and a fourth wounded, before Merantan reinforcements arrived.  The Merantans cornered and killed the wounded gang member and captured Kal Jorek.  However, Tonda Gunka and Frizz managed to escape.  Their whereabouts are currently unknown and the Commonwealth of Merantis posted a 5,000 CR bounty on each of the fugitives.

So Billes and Avari received verbal reprimands for not contacting the Merantans before engaging the smugglers, from Chief of Constables Pendric Nelprin--and Ambassador Heraud--once she arrived to attend the diplomatic conference. 

The Bongolaanian Connection

MIS confirmed that Kal Jorek is a BIB (Bongolaanian Intelligence Bureau) field agent, who employed Frizz's smuggling gang to aid him in his operations.  However, despite having undergone four days of interrogation by MIS, he has not provided any specific information on Bongolaan's interest in the TAg facilities on Zenya, the Cohaine family, or Damethon Cohaine's travel itinerary.

Therefore, it can only be speculated that Bongolaanian forces may be planning either, or both, of the following:

1. To assassinate, or kidnap Damethon Cohaine.
2. Launch a strike against TAg facilities on Zenya.

Cad So Billes and Sei'do Avari, along with additional assets, were ordered to track down Cohaine and ensure his safe return to Tarsus.  Their secondary objective is to determine the most likely Bongolaanian threat, if any, against the TAg facilities on Zenya.  If possible, the team is to assess whether the mainland Zenyans or the Tau Taus (a Gunganoid race) would help, or hinder, any possible Bongolaanian ventures. 

They left Merantis three days ago in their assigned Rockhopper-X Class shuttle (#147, seen in the photo below) and should arrive in the Zenya System within the next 1-3 days. 

Tarsan Defense Force Current Readiness

It has been three weeks since the Commission of Tarsus received the declaration of trade war from the Peoples Democratic Republic of Bongolaan.  After an all-night session with his fellow commissioners, the Prime Commissioner's Office decided that a full mobilization of the Tarsan Defense Force (TDF), would be too disruptive to the planetary economy at this time, in the face of an unspecified threat.  However, mobilization orders have been prepared and activation notices are ready for immediate transmission.

At this time only two units are at 100% operation level:

1. 603rd System Defense Boat Squadron (603SDBS)--16 fast attack boats, plus 4 spares.
2. 641st Strike Wing (641SW)--32 starfighters, plus 8 spares.

Two units are currently at a 50% operation level:

1. 632nd Defense Squadron (632DS)--7 hyperdrive-capable starships (1 x destroyer, 2 x frigates and 4x corvettes).
2. 3rd Lift Infantry Regiment (3LIR)--1st and 3rd battalions are fully manned while 2nd and 4th battalions are in cadre status.

Once full mobilization is authorized, it will take 2-4 weeks for 3LIR and 632DS to reach 100% operation level.

The remaining two units of the TDF are currently deactivated and their ships in mothball orbit around Rond:

1. 654th Pursuit Squadron (654PS)
2. 627th Long-Range Patrol Squadron (627LRPS)

These units, along with the deactivated half of the 632nd totals 30 hyperdrive-capable starships (1 x cruiser, 3 x destroyers, 14 x frigates and 12 x corvettes).  Once 632DS is brought up to full capacity, it will take an additional 4-6 weeks to fully mobilize 654PS and 627LRPS.

The mercenary assault frigate, Alderaan's Vengeance (the "Aldi-Vee"), is currently operating under an anti-piracy contract.  In the event of open hostilities with Bongolaan, another contract may be negotiated, or the ship may be purchased outright.

For now, all we can do is wait for further developments.

The Ivory Bantha, shown below, is a typical YT-1300 transport:

The Strategic Holograph

The subsector map below, displays the most direct route-of-travel, 3DST may have taken to reach Zenya (circled in yellow).  The system lies only 2 parsecs away from Bongolaan, while it is 5 parsecs away from Tarsus. This gives Bongolaan an advantage of launching an operation before Tarsus is aware of the situation.  (Without a holovid connection, it will take 5 days for a subspace radio distress signal to reach Tarsus).

Six years ago, TAg signed a 100-year lease for 3 islands, (within the small green circle shown below), with the Tau Tau Autonomous Government, (circled in red). 

The map below shows the name and location of the TAg seafood processing facilities:

1. Vianda and Ooverton on Vandalla Is.
2. Kul'kva on Kulovaan Is.
3. Pierson Station on Milquoor Is.

Pierson Station also hosts a Class-D starport.

The Tau Taus, however, do not own all the islands within their archipelago.  Within this area of interest, the Zenyan mainlanders have claimed Donmils, Concmar and Havran Islands.  One month ago, the Zenyans activated a Restricted Access Zone north of the TAg facilities.  The purpose of this activity remains unknown at this time.

Editorial Notes:

1. The planetary and local maps are based on the planet Lefiguura, found on pages 76 and 79 of Smash & Grab, Traveller--The New Era, by GDW (1994).

2. The characters Damethon and Thassall Cohain are derived from the characters found in Rescue on Galatea, by Mark Lawrence (FASA, 1982).

3. The player's encounter with Kal Jorek and his gang is based on Adventure #2: Arms Dealer Beware, found in Star Wars Roleplaying Game--Galaxy of Intrigue, by Wizards of the Coast, pgs 160-163 (2010).

4. The planet Tarsus is based on the Traveller adventure module Tarsus: World Beyond the Frontier, by GDW (1983).

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