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Jan 27, 2021 9:24 AM
the phantom menace
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Someone else has made it in alright, too.

Anakin ghosted out of his ship once Gardulla left - she's sometimes hard to trick, and Anakin's not taking any chances - and through the hallways she mostly remembers in nightmares (and dreams of the future, sometimes; those are perhaps nightmares for everyone but her), to Gardulla's control room.

Now, what're the defenses here...

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First she's gotta get inside the control room itself; the door's locked shut electronically, with a numerical keypad on its right.

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She stands to the side so no one will bump into her and watches, searching mentally for visions of people opening the keypad - though if someone happens to walk through the door first, all the better.

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No one comes this way, but from the couple of people inside she can put together a mix of visual recall and muscle memory.

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This bit's tricky... She enters the code into the pad while very aggressively projecting 'there is absolutely nothing abnormal going on here, you see what you expect.'

She's in a calm mindset as she does so, of course, but - she's alert as the door slides open for any questioning or alarms.

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One person, who happens to be looking at the door, frowns vaguely at her and then turns away; the others ignore her.

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The door slides closed behind her, and she goes completely from their awareness.

Now, if she's lucky, there'll be an unattended console...

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A couple, even!  One closer to the door and a dusty one off in a less-traveled corner.

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The dusty one, she thinks - she feels she'll be less likely to be disturbed there.

She makes her way over carefully, trying to envelop the concept of 'nothing is happening over here' in her cloak as she begins investigating the console properly. First, to turn it on...

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Turning it on is nothing, it's the password screen that is probably expected to flummox her.

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Anakin takes a few deep breaths.

Trying to force visions of her own success is - the sort of thing she does when nervous, but not always smart - she could do that for the password, but -

She tries to center herself, a bit, lean mentally on her friend, and - let her senses guide her hands. It's a bit scarier than normal, in a tense situation like this, surrendering control of where she's going, but...

She has to trust that she'll be led okay.

Her fingers move, guided by the Force, to enter - well, a password.

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She's in.

Well, she's got access to this terminal at any rate.  It doesn't look like it wants to give her access to the whole compound from one location, but perhaps with some creative slicing...?

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She can do creative! Slicing's fun, as much as she's been able to do it - she has enough of a sense of what she's doing for her instincts to be actually useful here.

(And if she has to, she'll use this to figure out which terminal to use for actual full access.)

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Safeguards against accessing the whole compound from one terminal, or at least from this terminal, appear to be on the software end, and a good slicer like Anakin can circumvent or force past them with relative ease.  Here are the security cameras, here are the guard patrols, and here's the control system for the subcutaneous slave collars.  The system isn't enthusiastic about turning them off but a competent slicer can route around that.

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Disable any alerts, first, then turn the slave collars off - and wreck the code enough they'll have trouble turning them back on.

Security cameras... A bit trickier, but they can get short loops of nothing happening, set individually for each one she spots nothing happening on. And a little fallback - anyone trying to reset that naively will just turn all the cameras off and delete the software controlling them.

Then she disables the boosters for the guards' communication devices, also activating the signal jammers Gardulla has and tuning them to interfere with her stuff, too.

And then - a bit quickly, because Qui Gon and Gardulla were in a lounge room and didn't look to be moving soon but might -

She shuts the blast doors around the lounge room. And then traps the off duty guards in the guard room, too, and cuts off the guard patrols and also the armory. So she'll have a path down to the slave quarters, of course... There's some guards actually near many of the slaves, though, so she can't just announce she's taking the compound over the intercom...

And then she starts using the terminal's communication to spread as much chaos over the network as she can - to keep anyone else from undoing this - she's maintaining a cloak in the Force so no one around her suspects anything but that's giving her a headache, so she waves her hand over the terminal, breaking it just enough no one can get access, and heads for the door, keeping her cloak up at the same intensity until she's out -

And then, cloaked just enough to be a whisper of wind to anyone she's passing, she takes off at a run for the nearest slave quarters.

(She'd practiced mind tricking people directly with Qui Gon, so hopefully she can convince the guards they want to drop their weapons and leave...)

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As the blast doors slide shut and lock the room down, as Gardulla's communicators fail, Qui-Gon turns toward her and lets the smile fall from his face.  "Right on schedule," he says.  "Exalted Gardulla, I am not the wealthy amoral tourist I have presented myself as to you.  I am Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, and I've come here today to give you an ultimatum."

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She turns, enraged. "You dare?" she bellows.

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"I suggest you consent to hear my ultimatum," he says mildly.  His hands are clasped behind his back, near where he's concealing his lightsaber under one of the gaudy shawls he's put on for the occasion.

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Her hands flex, and she eyes him. "Speak, worm," she demands. "Gardulla will hear your useless prattle."

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That was actually easier than he expected.  "You have committed crimes against the Galactic Republic and against the dignity of thinking beings," Qui-Gon says.  "In specific, I am referring to your trafficking in slaves and your conduct toward them.  My people are remedying the wrongs you have done to the extent that it is possible.  I do not intend to give you leave to ever commit such crimes again.  There are two ways this may be accomplished."

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"As if I would bow to one like you."

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"I am giving you the opportunity to confess to your crimes and be sentenced formally," Qui-Gon says.  "I would work to make sure you are treated fairly.  But I won't bring you on board my ship if you refuse to come quietly.  It would endanger people I am obliged to protect.  You would have no mourners on Coruscant, mighty Gardulla."

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"Coruscant has no jurisdiction, Jedi. The Hutts are sovereign - and I have broken no law of ours."

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"I don't think much of a legal code that permits torture or trafficking in slaves," Qui-Gon says.  "As a matter of simple practicality, the courts will try you and sentence you if I bring you before them with a confession of your crimes.  You would be allowed to live out your life, without the ability to hurt anyone else, but in relative comfort.  The other option, your excellency, is that I kill you right now, in this room.  It's that that I don't believe Coruscant would mourn."

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"You think you could fight your way through every one of my guards?"

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