Thursday, May 27, 2010

GrS 39:3:6.80 No meeting with the Emperor

Well, after being put off for several hours by the Emperor's personal secretary, I've come to the conclusion that I won't get to see the Emperor today.

According to the secretary, he's been busy himself, what with, as he put it, "an entire legion of His Imperial Majesty's best troops being shuttled down to Endor." I can only assume the Emperor knows something about this mysterious shuttle and its occupants, then. Unless of course the troops are being sent down there to bring Vader back? Hmmm.

EDIT +5 mins
Just got handed a note from the Emperor's secretary, written by the great man himself. It reads "Be at ease. Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design. It was I who allowed the Alliance to know the location of the shield generator. It is quite safe from that pitiful little band. An entire legion of my best troops awaits them."

Wow, what a nice guy; I guess he wasn't really that upset about the shield codes, then.

EDIT +10mins
Vader is now back on board, with someone I can only presume is the infamous Luke, and the two of them just went in to meet with the Emperor. Vader wasn't escorted by a legion of Stormtroopers, so whatever he's up to, either the Emperor isn't aware, or has endorsed it.

EDIT +15mins
Just heard from the guy next to me that a pitched battle is taking place down on the moon between the Emperor's legion of best troops and a horde of sentient diminutive furry bipeds. As weird as that is, the weirder thing is that the Stormtroopers appear to be losing.

EDIT +20mins
Massive fireball down on the moon! I haven't seen it myself, due to the lack of windows in here, but lots of folks keep popping their head in the door and mentioning it. The shield generator has been destroyed. Unintended consequence of the battle or deliberate?

Just asked someone running by the door if they knew why the shield generator was destroyed. All they said was "Look out a window!" and charged off.

Huh. Think I'll head up to the canteen and have a look out the windows. I'll take my journal with me, as I'll probably stay and grab a bite. I hear they're doing penne all'Arrabbiata today.

EDIT +25mins
Canteen deserted. Just looked out the window.

Oh, fuuuuuuuuudge...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

GrS 39:3:6.10 The crew aboard the Tydirium...

On a whim, I tried a remote login to the systems on board the Tydirium shuttle, and sure enough, it was sitting in sleep mode down on the surface of the moon.

Logged in using the standard protocols, and I was able to grab the cabin voice logs, and what do I hear but multiple instances of someone being addressed as "Luke".

Oh, this just gets better and better. Vader's kid was on board the shuttle, and Vader just happens to be there for the routine clearance? Give me a break. Something stinks here all right. Vader's definitely up to something. But what?

Just got word that Emperor Palpatine has arrived on base. I wonder if I should try to get in to see him to tell him about these strange goings-on with Vader.

EDIT +10mins
Oh, man, I repeat, this just gets better and better. Vader has taken a shuttle down to the surface. Visiting his son perhaps?

That's it; I'm requesting a meeting with the Emperor.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

GrS 39:3:5 Shield codes used?!

Weird. I just noticed in the security log that those old disabled shield codes were just used to deactivate the shield for a shuttle heading down to the surface of the forest moon. Uh-oh. I'd better check this out.

EDIT, +15 mins
The shuttle (Tydirium, by the way) was carrying "parts and technical crew", which seems a pretty generic manifest, if you ask me. But I asked around and Admiral Piett was present, along with Vader, and both were in agreement to clear the shuttle, so I guess everything's okay.

EDIT 2 +20 mins
Wait just a minute. What kind of routine shuttle clearance requires an admiral and Lord Vader in attendance? Something stinks here. What game is Vader playing? Who was on that shuttle?

Friday, May 21, 2010

GrS 39:3:1 Stuck on Death Star II

So the Emperor found out about the shield codes, and is pretty upset about it. He thinks I've compromised the Death Star's security.

I told him that I was sure those codes had been disabled, but this didn't really comfort the Emperor, and suddenly, my planet leave got canceled, and I'm listed as being on "special assignment" on board the Death Star for the foreseeable future.

Fortunately, I know that Jerjerrod will have been as good as his word, so those codes to take down the shield won't work anymore.

Death Star II is the safest thing flying. No thermal exhaust port, no stolen plans that I know of, and no rogue shield codes out there. I've got a good feeling about this.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

GrS 39:1:16 The Emperor's pilgrimage and missing shield codes

Some fallout from the Emperor's pilgrimage trip. He was attacked on Korriban and trapped in an underground tomb for a while! Then, while he was stuck in there, his shuttle got ransacked.

I heard there were some Bothans involved too, a bunch of academics who didn't even have travel clearance to be there, they only had documents for attending the Bothan Cryptographers meeting.

Hmmm. I don't think I'll tell the emperor that those shield codes were on board his shuttle. Well, they're disabled anyway, so there's no real security risk, but he just might blame me for his inconveniences.

And he has been known to have a bit of a temper--I saw what he did to the steward that one time he brought him his vine-coffee with Traladon milk instead of black.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

GrS 39:1:15 Bothan Cryptographers meeting

Back from my trip to this year's Bothan Cryptographers get-together.

Sheesh, what a mess!

I hitched a lift with the Emperor for most of the way--he was on his annual pilgrimage to Korriban--and he dropped me off at Bothawui on the way.

Well, I head off to do my talk. The room was jam-packed, standing-room only, and wouldn't you know it, I discovered I had left my data tape containing the codes (and my presentation!) aboard the Emperor's shuttle when it brought me down to the surface.

Boy, did I feel embarrassed, having to get up there and explain that I had no Imperial shield-disabling codes to show them. I said I could still do most of the technical talk, but it seems no one had any interest! Once I told them I had left the codes on board the shuttle, and that it was heading to Korriban, they hightailed it out of there! They fell over each other trying to get to the door. I figured there was a competing talk that they would prefer to hear, now that I had no codes to show them, but apparently, they all rushed for their ships and took off into space!

Maybe they're all secret Sith worshippers or something, because I heard they were all last seen heading for Korriban. Weird.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

GrS 39:1:6 Imperial shield-disabling codes

Sent the Bothan Cryptographers a copy of the abstract for my chat at this year's get-together. "A display and analysis of Imperial shield-disabling codes."

According to the organizers, the signups for my chat filled up faster than any other talk in history. I had no idea so many of my fellow Bothans were interested in the subject.

One of the signup ladies even said "Many Bothans were dying to get this information." Wow, popular.

Monday, May 17, 2010

GrS 39:1:5 Death Star II shield codes

So construction on the second Death Star is going pretty well here around the Forest Moon of Endor.

They've got some fancy shield protecting the Death Star during construction. It's projected from the surface of the moon, and there's a complicated set of codes to disable it if you need to land near the shield generator or on the Death Star itself.

Actually, they've just rolled the codes over to a new set. I managed to successfully make the point that old codes should be disabled, to prevent them verifying in the system. The last thing we want is to have older codes that still check out and allow the shield to be disabled. Tiaan Jerjerrod promised to take care of it "soon", pleading how busy he was. After some insistence on my part, I got him to promise that he'd take care of it today, and the old codes would stop working immediately after the meeting.

He even said I could take a copy of the old codes to my Bothan Cryptographers meeting next week, to show off examples of the fine level of Imperial cryptography.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

GrS 36:3:1 Vader's obsession

Maybe I should have kept that Luke Skywalker information to myself.

Some of my buddies in the Navy say that Vader is using his personal fleet of Star Destroyers to look for Luke and the Rebels, tying up all kinds of resources and ignoring a bunch of other conflicted areas to serve his obsession.

On the other hand, I suppose it keeps him out of trouble. Vader, that is. Well, and Luke and the Rebels too, now that I think about it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

GrS 35:4: Advantage, Vader

Well, scratch off any advantage that knowledge might give me. I let the cat out of the bag, just for the sake of petty revenge.

Vader was being a bit of a jerk about something, so I just said, "By the way, did I tell you about that Rebel message board I've been reading? They're really praising the kid that fired the shot at the Death Star. His name's Luke Skywalker."

Vader gave a sharp intake of breath and turned to face me, his black lenses boring into me.

"Yeah, Luke Skywalker," I continued cheerfully. "I wonder if he's related to that old Jedi, Anakin Skywalker? Wasn't he the only human podracer ever? Didn't he win the Vinta Harvest Classic when he was 12?"

"Anakin Skywalker is dead," Vader intoned, and turned to swoop out of the room. "Besides, it was the Boonta Eve Classic, and he was 10."

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

GrS 35:3:30 Death Star investigation

I've completed my examination of the Death Star records, and managed to piece together some kind of understanding.

First, they capture this "empty" freighter. Then, next thing you know, unauthorized prisoner transfers from cell block 1138 are taking place, then a weapons malfunction in Detention Block AA-23, followed by a large reactor leak. Annoyingly, the officer reporting all this never gave his operating number, so I can't cross-check anything. Anyway, before you know it, prisoners in Detention Block AA-23 are being sprung, garbage compactors are being breached, and there's a pitched firefight in the detention block that finally ends when two groups of stormtroopers realize they've been firing at each other along the hallway.

But here's the thing that's got me all jumpy. All the garbage compactors on the entire Death Star were shut down at one point via astromech droid, using the encrypted protocol we set up. But the ID signature of the droid that issued the command? R2-D2!

He was there! He was on board! And I missed him. If I'd been there, I would have noticed him accessing the controls and I could have found him!

Of course, I could also have been killed when the Death Star was destroyed.

Actually, at first, I was worried R2-D2 might have been destroyed too, but it looks like he escaped on the freighter before the station was blown up.

One more thing--I'm lurking on some Rebel-biased forums, and the word on there is that this hero that blew up the station is some kid called Luke Skywalker. Apparently, he used to bulls-eye womp rats in his T-16 back on Tatooine, which, as some systems guy noted years ago, is exactly the kind of expertise required to jam a proton torpedo down the exhaust port.

But Skywalker? Is that Vader's kid?! I mean, he was Anakin Skywalker, his "good friend" Padmé was pregnant, and her last known destination was Polis Massa, a medical outpost.

I know I'm not the only one that saw that viral video of "Darth Vader" wiping out the Separatist leaders on Mustafar, but maybe I'm the only one that recognized that Darth Vader was Anakin Skywalker. Wow, this is explosive. Vader has a kid. Hardly seems the right kind of father figure though.

Wonder if I can use this knowledge to my advantage?

Monday, May 10, 2010

GrS 35:3:26 Death Star destroyed!

What a crazy month! Grand Moff Tarkin is dead, along with a whole pile of other people. The whole Death Star is gone, destroyed by a bunch of rebel kids--using that stupid X-wing fighter design that the Incom defectors took with them and, big surprise, proton torpedoes down the thermal exhaust port.

I was due to leave the conference today, but that's all on hold.

The good thing to come out of this is they never got around to examining my computer system before the Death Star was destroyed, so all the evidence of my indiscretion should be gone.

I'm wondering if perhaps I might be a little bit to blame for all the death and destruction, leaving those plans lying around like that, but hey, I told them that exhaust port was bad news.

The fleet did recover some data from the debris, and they've got me examining the events prior to the destruction to see if we can learn anything.

Darth Vader is pretty cheesed off about the whole thing. Word is, he spent quite a few days cooped up in his TIE fighter trying to locate a Star Destroyer to pick him up.

I had a conference call with him and naturally, he's already talking about building another one. Let's hope he doesn't insist on the same design for the thermal exhaust port.

He's already dodged the bullet on that one, as he pinned all the blame for that design on poor Bevel Lemelisk.

Friday, May 7, 2010

GrS 35:3:12 Getting the heck off the Death Star

Vader approved my request to head off to a conference for two weeks. I told him it was because my system was currently "assisting with the inquiries" on the uprising, so I couldn't do any work anyway.

So I'm off. I told the tech to keep me informed when they'd examined my system. I want to give everyone time to cool off before I head back there.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

GrS 35:3:11 Death Star uprising fallout

So Com-scan has detected that a transmission was made from Hangar 85-G to Polis Massa, and the transmission logs retain enough detail to show that it was the Death Star plans that were transmitted.

They know my system in Hangar 85-G was used, so they've confiscated it, but they haven't yet examined it, but the tech said they'd do that in the next week or so, and I should have it back shortly after that.

I think I'll arrange to head off to a conference for a little while, just to make sure I'm safely out of the picture when my system is examined. I don't want to be here when they find out the plans the Rebels sent were the ones on my system, and they connected to the Polis Massa database via my shortcut.

I'm also not really comfortable with the idea of the Rebels having a copy of those plans, not with that exhaust port problem.

Of course, Vader still doesn't believe it's an issue, but the Rebels have the plans and a small starfighter equipped with proton torpedoes.

Yeah, I think I'll take a break for a few weeks. Avoid any fallout from the Rebels and the Imperials.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

GrS 35:3:10 Death Star uprising!

There was a big prison outbreak here just last week. I'm not really sure why they've got the detention block populated when we're not even at full crew complement, but that's the Empire for you.

I heard the alarms, but I was in the bathroom at the time, and figured it was just another drill. But when I arrived back at my cubicle, what do I see but a Rebel prisoner messing about with things.

The Stormtroopers broke in and settled things down, but I'm a little concerned with what that prisoner was doing on my system.

I'm thinking that leaving my Polis Massa database shortcut on the system (from when I was tracking down R2-D2 in GrS 16:6:18 and hacked in) wasn't a great idea, and the shortcut to the partial Death Star plans was definitely a no-no.

An audit of the security logs on my system showed that the prisoner accessed both of those items. I sure hope nothing untoward happened there.