Things were never simple back then, and just simply having the nava card was not enough. We needed a way to decrypt it, and they don’t just leave that kind of technology lying around - we needed to go to Coruscant, the central planet of the Empire. Madine was able to pull a few strings and get us a landing spot near the Imperial Security Operations, but I would still need to pass through the streets of the city planet.
The spot Madine had secured was actually some sort of plaza, and it was swarming with Imperial Troops. I had hoped to be able to sneak through, attracting minimal attention; this worked until the first Stormtrooper clocked me as a known galactic criminal. Shots bounced off the hull of the Crow behind me; my shots were less off-target. I moved into the open streets of Coruscant, sticking to the shadows and as out of sight as I could be.
Taking an elevator down I emerged at the edge of a courtyard, a towering building rising from the ground. Stormtroopers were everywhere, and a first generation Dark Trooper stomped slowly towards me. It’s body was covered somewhat, more so than the other droids I had destroyed before, but it was smaller than the droid I had fought on Anteevy. It’s eyes locked upon me and it started walking towards me.
I used the concussion rifle to clear the nearby Stormtroopers, leaving just me and the Dark Trooper. I switched to the thermal detonators, and quickly broke through it’s armour. It suddenly became much more defensive, holding up the shield on its arm to deflect my grenades. I placed down an IM Mine and ran, leading the droid into my poorly laid trap. The mine exploded below it’s feet, throwing robot parts across the courtyard.
I climbed up to an elevator and rode it up to the roof. There were four spotlights circling the rooftops, a large door to the south and a smaller door to the east. The door to the east was closer, so I jumped over to it avoiding the lights. It was locked, but I could see a key hanging out of the wall near the door to the south - across the spotlight protected rooftop. I stuck close to the wall, sprinting in the darkness to the wall. The blue key was stuck in the door mechanism, but I managed to pull it out.
Sneaking back the same way I came and still avoiding the spotlight, I was now able to pass through the door. A Stormtrooper greeted me on the other side and he literally flew backwards with the force of the blaster hits. Ahead of me was a large elevator, used for moving cargo from the lower levels to the landing pads. I rode it right to the bottom, shooting through any soldiers I encountered. A large door led outside, and before me stood the Imperial Security Operations building. At its base, a small army of Imperial Officers turned in unison towards me, pistols raising.
My quick thinking brought out the mortar gun, and I fired a series of high explosives directly at the black-clad soldiers. Many were sent flying into the abyss of the city below, the rest lay sprawled against the walls. I entered the building, the security system already fully activated. Four auto turrets hid on the inside of the door, but the flimsy machines quickly broke with the blasts from my last mortars. The receptionists had now armed themselves, and a small firefight ensued.
With the receptionists successfully fired, I explored the inside of the building. Two large columns extended towards the ceiling, and one of them had an elevator. This led to two doors and some very surprised Imperial Officers walking around their supposedly high security building. Behind the doors were two offices, and one had a vent. If there was anything I had learnt since stealing the plans to the Death Star, it was that open and accessible vents were useful shortcuts.
This vent led me to a security office, with a troop of Officers arming themselves for my invasion. Taking them by surprise, I dispatched with them and restocked my ammo - I had been in fight after fight for nearly an hour and my weapons were running low on energy. I also found a new toy, something that looked like it packed a punch; It could be useful if I were to encounter any more Dark Troopers. I swiped a security pass and headed out, back into the foyer I was in before. Ahead of me was an elevator, which was called with a swipe of the pass.
Riding the elevator upwards, I arrived on the roof of the building. There were several parts of the building which towered above me, and a door noticeably to my left. As the door opened, I heard the Imperial Officers inside ordering for something to be activated. I threw in a thermal detonator, taking them out but it was already too late: it was online. A Dark Trooper mark two towered over me, it’s jetpack heating up behind it.
I switched out to weapon I had retrieved from the security office: it buzzed with a high energy and the chamber felt heated. Firing it, a blue plasma blast struck the Dark Trooper cleanly on the chest, knocking the droid backwards. Its armour scorched, I took another shot. I caught its shoulder as it used the jetpack to dodge, knocking it off balance in the air and giving me another strong shot. It moved sluggishly, the armour hot and melted slightly. It tried to jump up using the jetpack, but I silenced its electronics with one final blast straight to the head.
The room it had appeared from hid a switch - with nothing left to lose at this point, I threw it and heard movement outside. A section of the wall had moved, revealing an elevator. The Empire love their elevators. I rode it down, reaching what felt like near the ground floor. A huge display on the wall showed a maze of corridors and doors for a hexagonal series of corridors. Luckily, I’ve always been good at orienteering and I navigated the confusing paths to the centre quickly.
At the centre, I activated three security switches and was taken to the machine I was looking for: the decoder. I set it to write the date on the nava card to something we could read on the Crow, and then destroyed the original once I had the copy: we didn’t need it any more and this would throw the Empire off of what we knew. I radioed Jan to let her know I was returning - the less time we spent on Coruscant the better. She urged me to come back quickly, but was vague on the details. This shouldn’t have surprised me, after the mess I made in the foyer.
I followed a series of tunnels to an elevator which took me back to the plaza, the Dark Trooper parts still scattered on the floor. I turned the corner and was back at where Jan dropped me off, but the Crow was gone. In its place, I saw the unmistakable silhouette of a bounty hunter. He began firing rockets, jetting up into the air. I dodged his first barrage, reaching for the plasma weapon that had been so effective against the Dark Trooper on the roof earlier. I fired back, but the bounty hunter was much faster than the Dark Trooper. We traded shots, both barely missing but neither able to land anything.
His rockets pushed him backwards in the air, the recoil not compensated by his jetpack. This became his downfall, as he trapped himself against a wall, temporarily knocking out his jetpack. I took my chance and fired repeatedly - I would not get another shot. Another chance was not needed, as after two hits the bounty hunter fell off the platform into the sprawling city below us. He would survive that; professional bounty hunters are much harder to kill than that.
The Crow then reappeared: Jan was detected by some TIE Fighters and had to lose them before we could make our escape. We now had what we needed to find Moch and put an end to his schemes - once and for all.