Sky Breach Base
|Sky Breach Base|
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Sky Breach Base is the ground-side station for JTF Satele Shan’s space elevator, and it serves as the operational headquarters of the battleteam Garza’s Pathfinders. It is a primary node of defense for the JTF, as it represents the Satele Shan compound’s first and only access point through the chaotic electrical storms that envelop Daleem. The Base is also the continent’s primary transit hub, both in terms of goods and commerce and in terms of intelligence and operational opportunities. Outwardly, the Pathfinders and adjutant Base personnel act as garrison and local security. In reality, the battleteam takes full advantage of the information flow that passes through the Base, allowing them to intervene in Daleem and Vatali affairs to the benefit of the JTF. The Base is designed such that the battleteam shares most of its living and working spaces with travellers and Base workers. Whether they are playing dejarik with a freighter captain, chilling at the Havoc’s bar or assisting a P&C team with a difficult surgery, the Pathfinders are always “on the job,” gathering intelligence for the next assignment.
The basic function of Sky Breach Base, the transport of goods and people between the orbital space station and the Satele Shan compound, is carried out in the East Tower, where the space elevator and various other modes of transport converge. The West Tower provides for the living and recreational needs of travellers and Base personnel, but also houses a training center, medical facilities and a command and control hub for the Pathfinders.
The Satele Shan JTF established its headquarters on the continent in 34 ABY, when the Vatali Empire welcomed Clan Odan-Urr into the Kiast system. The space elevator immediately proved to be a vital strategic element of the base when, during the Hoth-Satele Shan military exercises, the rival House used the tether’s electromagnetic field to pass through Daleem’s electrical storm cover. The JTF leadership, recognizing the elevator as an important junction for both military and intelligence interests, decided to station the newly-formed Pathfinders at its ground-access point. Sky Breach Base was built primarily around the battleteam’s operational needs, though outwardly it is presented as a garrison and transport hub between the Satele base and the space station.
The Base was constructed as a joint effort between Satele Shan, the Ship Smiths Guild and Pau’an Pharma and Chem. The two guilds obtained several commercial arrangements and concessions by participating in the enterprise, and in return the JTF got the planet’s top experts and professionals to develop the various components of its new facility. The presence of two major guilds so close to home works both ways for the JTF. The guilds certainly like to keep an eye on their new rival for the Daleem Governor’s attention. However, Satele Shan is also garnering new insights into the operations of the guilds through the close interactions between the guilds’ employees and the Pathfinders.
The East Tower is the larger of the Base’s two structures. The space elevator dock spans the length of this tower, and it is surrounded by cargo loading bays and passenger platforms. The tower also houses several freighter landing platforms and hangars, a maglev train station, the traffic control center, customs and security offices, a detention area, impound dock, starship repair bays and many cargo warehouses.
The Ship Smiths Guild was the main contributor to the construction of the East Tower. In exchange, Satele Shan handed them several of the complex’s key amenities — the maglev train, the low-orbit shuttle service and the repair docks are all owned and operated by the Guild. In addition, the Guild obtained an exclusive contract for the maintenance and repair of the whole Base.
The West Tower hosts a leisure block, living quarters, a medical facility, a gymnasium and the Pathfinders’ control hub. It is in this tower that the battleteam prepares for missions, hones their skills as field operatives and processes intelligence in collaboration with the Sentinel Network.
The West Tower’s entrance opens into a high-vaulted atrium and a reception center. The atrium extends to the promenade, which itself girds the circumference of the tower. On the North side a portico opens onto the lake, otherwise the promenade is lined with workshops and vendors that cater to the Base’s transiting visitors. There are souvenir stands, a droid repair workshop, a security systems store, weapons stores, starship outfitters and a small holomovie store, run by an Aleena, which claims to “satisfy ALL your viewing pleasures!”
The atrium also leads to the Havoc’s Tether, a cantina-diner whose huge kitchens are run by owner and head chef Bohl Chomo. Freighter crews, visitors and off-duty personnel go to the bar for drinks, live music and perhaps a game of dejarik. The bar, connected as it is with interplanetary trade, is well-stocked with liquors and cocktails from all over the galaxy, though the Devaronian bartender often complains that all he hears from spacers is “Just slide me the grog, Yelko!”
The Havoc’s (and indeed the Base’s) star attraction is undoubtedly Bohl’s cuisine. His kitchens can cater for up to 300 hundred beings in the central mess hall, though he has also been known to host distinguished parties of delegates and Sephi nobles. Bohl’s simple dishes are a celebration of their primary ingredients, which are often locally sourced and carefully chosen. Bohl eschews spices and complex recipes. He is instead a master at exalting the quality of each component of his dish. Some of his most renowned dishes are his game gornt T-bone, his nuna and waffles, the Mimban marsh stew, smuggler’s mynock eggs and the jolly jogan pie.
Bohl Chomo is a male Ithorian who owns the Havoc’s and runs its interplanetary-acclaimed kitchens. Beings from all over the Kiast system come to sample Bohl’s rustic, genuine dishes, and yet little more than myths and rumors are known about the Ithorian’s past. It is told he and his family lived and worked at a diner on Artiod Minor until a band of raiders destroyed their settlement. Bohl, taken as a slave aboard their ship, ingratiated himself to the marauders by cooking their meals. It is not known how he eventually escaped, but they say to this day a ghost freighter drifts in Wild Space, the bodies of its crew, soup spoons still in hand, slumped across the galley table.
After a period of roving through the kitchens and eateries of various worlds, Bohl found employment with the food marketing board of the Indag-Conclave of Daleem. While in the guild he came into conflict with his colleagues in the bioengineering division, disputing over the quality of native versus enhanced products. His contrarian and abrasive attitude did not win him many friends, and in 33 ABY he was accused of sabotaging a Conclave biodome laboratory. Nothing was ever proven, but he was laid off, albeit with a substantial severance sum.
Bohl did not leave Daleem. At first he opened a food stall in one of the planet’s orbital space stations. When construction began on the Sky Breach Base, the Ithorian used his severance credits to purchase the central ground allotment of the West Tower. The publicity he had garnered when campaigning against the Conclave’s bioengineers meant that chefs and apprentices flocked to the Havoc’s newly opened kitchens. Bohl is uncompromising about the training of his kitchen staff as he is about the provenance of his ingredients, and it is no surprise that his diner now rivals the reputation of the most chic restaurants of the Voraskel Palace.
The Base’s living quarters span several levels above the promenade. The hostel can provide accommodation for up to three hundred guests, and it is usually crowded with freighter crews, travellers, merchants, tourists and commuters trying to catch a wink. A separate section houses dormitories for the Base personnel, the security garrison and the Pathfinders, as well as several communal and recreational areas.
The Pharma and Chem Research Partnership and Emergency Health Center, usually shortened to “P&C-C,” is a medcenter operated by Pau’an Pharma and Chem and the Pathfinders. It specializes in the treatment of trauma, battlefield injuries and acute medical conditions, and it is a center for research and innovation in the field of emergency medical care. The facility was funded entirely by the Pharma and Chem guild, which was eager to establish its own team on the Satele continent. The Pathfinders are free to work with the medical amenities and staff on the site. In exchange, they work closely with the center’s research teams on the various P&C projects overseen by the Director of Research Pim Dolor.
The P&C-C is serviced by a dedicated turbolift that goes directly to the topside and ground-level landing platforms, to allow rapid access to and from medical transports. The Center itself is equipped with bacta tanks, a hyperbaric chamber, a surgical theater, bioscanners and several mobile medical capsules for transporting critical patients. The whole facility is geared towards supporting urgent and intensive care patients. Though there is a small ten-bed ward, once the patient is stabilized they are usually transferred to a larger medical facility to continue their treatment and rehabilitation.
The male Pau’an Pim Dolor is the current Director of Research at the P&C-C. Apart from administering to the daily workings of the Center, Dolor supervises the facility’s various research projects and their associated P&C teams. He also serves as the guild’s official liaison to the Pathfinders in Sky Breach Base.
Before coming to the Base, Dolor was a gifted and enterprising biochemist. He rose to lead a team researching new sources of bacta at one of Pharma and Chem’s most prestigious scientific establishments. His work showed great promise until, in 34 ABY, the toxic by-products of his experiments were found to be contaminating the water supply of the nearby settlement. P&C could do nothing as health inspectors from Governor Golvrim’s civil service took over the facility to end the contamination. No-one was seriously harmed in the incident, but the breach of corporate secrecy it caused signalled a clear end to Dolor’s scientific career.
Dolor views his subsequent reassignment to Sky Breach Base as a significant demotion, as the administrative work he is doing now cannot compare to the hands-on science of his curtailed career. Nonetheless, he does not let chagrin affect his professionalism. Learning from the mistakes of his past, he keeps a close watch on all the research teams in the P&C-C, and a tight leash on any information that flows from the P&C research to the Pathfinders. He has grown very adept at stymying access to the data, drip-feeding only the bare minimum to the JTF operatives. This approach has led to some disputes, especially when patient care comes into the picture, but the contracts signed by P&C and Satele Shan means that the Pathfinders cannot push very far for the moment.
The Gymnasium is a facility designed to exercise the body and mind of the Pathfinders and other military personnel in the Base. The Pathfinders take on missions with wildly varying operational requirements, environments and objectives. The Gymnasium is outfitted to train and prepare the battleteam for these diverse operational needs. It has several well-equipped sparring rings, stocked with practice weapons and training lightsaber, repurposed combat droids and several holographic simulation programmes. There is a shooting range and arms and armor workbenches. At the very back, with wide viewports overlooking the wetlands around the Base, are several meditation chambers.
The Pathfinders’ command and control site is located near the top of the West Tower. It is based around a central control hub, surrounded by conference halls and debriefing rooms. The hub is equipped with long-range communication, sensor suites and star-charts. The Pathfinders use the control cloister to collate intelligence from SeNet and the JTF, to plan out their missions and to track and guide operatives on the field. The cloister also serves as a war room in case of invasion, as it controls the Base’s defense systems. As an additional defense measure, the cloister sends out a persistent all-clear signal. Should the signal cease, because the Base is attacked or destroyed, transceivers in the Satele base automatically trigger a state of alert to warn the JTF command.
The Watch Commander resides in the West Tower’s top floor, but these are not just sleeping quarters with a view. The Commander’s office controls the slave circuits to some of the Base’s most critical systems, such as the all-clear signal, the shields and the life support systems. It also has encrypted lines of communication with Satele Shan command and the Sentinel Network. A concealed corner of the office is taken up by a secure vault wherein are stored dangerous artifacts that the battleteam recovers on their missions. Just above the penthouse, the tower’s roof forms a landing platform which is usually kept clear for use by emergency medical shuttles.
The foundations of the SBB’s two towers run deep into the ground, and they are criss-crossed by a network of engineering and shield generator maintenance hatches, waste disposal conduits and narrow access corridors. These so-called Warrens are seldom visited by Base personnel, but they are inhabited by a gang of low-lives and smugglers that calls itself the “Conduit Rats.” The gang’s leader is a female Chadra-Fan named Payan the Giant, and the members are all Teedo, Chadra-Fan, Patrolians and various other diminutive species. It is believed they have ways of moving unseen into the West and East Towers, and they may even have an inside man in the promenade. Law-abiding citizens mostly know them for small-time crimes and scams, but in reality their main line of business is smuggling. They take pride in being able to satisfy a criminal’s smuggling needs with discretion and efficiency. Their exact methods are unknown at this point, but their main site of activity is almost certainly the East Tower, which sees the greatest passage of goods and transports. So far Base personnel have not had much success in smoking them out, and this is partly for lack of trying. The Pathfinders and the Conduit Rats have an unspoken agreement, whereby Base security will close an eye to their activities as long as the wee outlaws restrict themselves to “safe” contraband, keeping away from arms traffickers and spice runners. This arrangement works to the battleteam’s benefit, because they are better able to observe and control what goes through the Base and, furthermore, the gang is an excellent source of underground information.
Payan the Giant
Payan is the Chadra-Fan boss of the Conduit Rats gang. Her relationship with the Pathfinders is sketchy at best. Though she sees the advantage in maintaining their little agreement, she does not always have full control of her fellow outlaws. It is not out of any lack of loyalty, but rather the fact that quick profits will blind them to the bigger picture. Gang members who cross her can expect a good beating if she finds out, but the denizens of the Warrens also appreciate that she is fiercely defensive of her gang, and they would never knowingly betray her.
Payan and the Rats were once members of various bands of brigands which roamed the Palioxis Cloud nebula. Since the fall of the Vauzem Dominion in 5 BBY these leagues of smugglers turned more and more to violent pirating and raiding. Payan and her diminutive comrades saw themselves being increasingly cut out of the deal as the marauders came to favor brute strength over wit and cunning. Payan reached out to those like her and they banded together for mutual support and protection. Eventually she led them to Daleem, where they would seek to re-establish a less bloodthirsty approach to their outlaw ways.
At first, business was seldom profitable and Vatali police was always hot on their heels. Despite this, they stuck together and, in 34 ABY, they found their big break. With Sky Breach Base in the final stages of construction, the Satele JTF needed some advanced surveillance hardware sneaked into the West Tower. The rig wasn’t exactly illegal, but they did not want the other guilds of Daleem to know about it. Payan’s wily gang carried out the job without a hitch. With enough credits to establish a fixed base and a permanent enterprise, they saw that the Warren’s maze of cramped corridors and dark passages were a perfect fit, so to speak, and their deal with the Pathfinders means their credit-flow is steady and reliable.
In case of an attack on the Kiast system Sky Breach Base becomes an important defense node for the Satele JTF. Control of this Base means access to the wider system for the JTF and, conversely, access to the Satele base for an eventual invader. The Base is outfitted accordingly, with a V-90 ion cannon, four Golan Arms Turbolaser II batteries and a deflector shield generator, all aimed at repulsing an assault descending from orbit via the space elevator’s electromagnetic fields. The Base also garrisons a small security force, though it can house a larger military unit in times of emergency.