You get a message addressed to all syndicate Operatives Ztaka knows, although not through the normal channels:
From: Ztaka Vao
Subject: Prison break
So first, sorry for not going through the normal channels. What with all the recent events, I think this is safer this way. Do feel free to tell anyone I forgot!
Now to the main topic of this email:
Janice has once again decided to put me in charge of stuff. And I need operatives to help.
We're busting people out of jail. There's a bunch of people in a Republic jail Janice managed to get in contact with. They're a bunch of hackers and space pirates. Most of them worked for Black Sun and are ready to join us if we get them out of jail. So we're doing that.
Now it's gonna be a bit tricky, 'cause they're in a prison out of the way, and we won't be able to land anywhere near. We're gonna have to drop in scape pods, hen act fast. Janice got a contact in the jailor's camp. They can get us off the planet if we can get to them. So we'll have to drop not too far from the prison, get our targets out, get to the camp without setting all the guards on us, and talk to our contact there. Not a walk in the park, and likely to get ugly, so I'll need backup. A lot of.
We'll meet on Ord Mantell, probably in our hanger, this Wednesday at 10pm. I'll tell you more there.
From: V. Skorlen
Janice. I’ll make this short. We just got duped.
It started with a job led by Ztaka Vao to break out a group of imprisoned Black Sun heavies. The team consisted of myself, Ztaka, Mikita, Ubbit, Llinos, Theiron, Jayke, Tyron, and Jeos.
The first part went well, we found the prison, and during a riot, we escaped with the Black Sunners we came to retrieve. There was a small incident where one of the Sunners – a boss of some sort named “Redfist” – challenged Ztaka’s lead. Ztaka shot him. Not what I expected from her, and she seemed nervous both before and after the event. There were no further incidents and we escaped clean.
The second part is when things went south. We made our way to a nearby landing pad with shuttles and made to steal one. At this point Ztaka ratted us out to the shuttle’s guards, kept us under the watch of their guns, she then absconded with both the prisoners and the shuttle. She stated she was sick of taking jobs from a maniacal droid, and announced her intention to take the former prisoners and strike off on her own pirate career.
We managed to escape with no further losses, but we weren’t able to get a track on Ztaka or the missing shuttle.
No idea if Ztaka was our mole or not. Doesn’t make sense to me for her to end the game now when there was no pressure on her. Plus several of the information tidbits that Atzin relayed to us “through his informant” were tidbits that Ztaka wasn’t there to know.
Recommended course of action? There are several of us who can begin tracking her within the day.
Everything with a purpose.
To: All operatives
Mandatory greeting: Operatives,
Short introduction: Some of you might be aware one of yours has seen fit to leave us. Further explanation: I'm talking of course of the Twi'lek Ztaka Vao. She has seen fit to leave and go independent, recruiting a crew with the help of a fair amount of your numbers.
Condescending admission: I am aware she pretended to be on a mission from me, and am not surprised she fooled you. Snide addition: You organics are easily fooled. Necessary reassurance: No action will be taken to discipline those of you who helped her, under the assumption you believed her story.
Veiled threat: It is of course unacceptable that an operative would be leaving our organization like so. Especially at a difficult moment such as we are in now. Reassuring statement: We can assure you we will do our best to express our disappointment in her to Ms. Vao. We do however expect her to be a very minor inconvenience. Your attention should still be pointed first towards the Black Sun. Semi-Gossip: I know there has been talk about a potential mole in our ranks. It is highly unlikely that it is Ms. Vao Off-handed remark: Do feel free to annoy her if you cross her path, but don't waste time and effort on her.
Closing statement: Remember, we give back what we are given. Work for us and we will work for you. Unfinished Threat: Shoot us in the back...
Operations Director and Public Relations Officer
From: Ztaka Vao
To: Janice (encrypted channel)
It's done. I'm off with a crew. I think the others believe I betrayed them alright. It was hard leaving them behind in a tight spot. I know they're good, but still, I didn't like it. I hope they made it out OK.
The crew you found me is good. I REALLY hated having to kill their captain, but you were right, now they obey without asking questions. And I'd rather have killed one with Vannik and the others at my back than have to deal with mutiny now all alone... Hopefully I don't need to kill anyone else.
We already stole two other ships, and robbed a couple more.
I won't be contacting you anymore, as per your instructions. I'll be waiting more instructions as you have them. I will miss my friends in our organization. I hope I don't have to stay undercover forever...
PS: If the guys reported me insulting you, please don't get mad, it was all for the act...
If you pay attention to that sort of thing, you hear of a new pirate crew that's appeared in the outer rim. They call themselves the Gray Hand, and are said to be lead by a mean twi'lek bitch. Their mode of operation is somewhat different to other pirates: Most often, they hack the ship's computers and take control of it, directing it to a quiet place off the space lanes. Threats of opening the ship to the space vacuum is often enough to keep the crew cooperative. Only rarely had a crew actually been spaced. They are also strongly suspect in several cases of an “accidental” spacing of a ship's cargo. Whether this is done by hacking or by an agent of theirs aboard the ships is still being investigated by Republic and Imperial officials.
((Feel free to use the Gray Hand as NPC if you need space pirates in the future. They could either work against or for the Syndicate, although unwittingly in the latter case. Only Ztaka knows they actually always work for the Syndicate. Leave Ztaka out of the NPC roles, she'll have enough lieutenants and ships to act as NPCs once in a while if needed.))