Resh Hour | Scene 3

Eventually they come across a locked door. Renci suggests Renn try his luck on it, and this time she will keep watch. Renn agrees and with a smirk tells her, “Watch yer feet.”

“You watch out for shocks,” she shoots back. She looks up and down the corridor, then steps over to some sort of intercom in the wall. Renci pries the communication device off the wall, figuring she will be able to repurpose it for something, given that it clearly has some sort of speaker and transmitter in it. But she also keeps one eye on what Renn is doing.

At the door, Renn pulls a long leather wallet from inside his vest. He opens it, and Renci sees that it contains slots for a variety of small tools as well as leather strips and thin metallic chains. It is Renn’s jeweler’s kit. He extracts a few tools, then unscrews them, revealing them to contain lockpicks. He then sets to work on the door, and before long it slides open.

The two of them step into the room, which they now see is a prison block, a foyer of sorts with a long hallway lined with cells. Behind them, the door silently slides shut. Renci notices it closing and turns to the panel on this side, only to discover that it is damaged somehow. So not everything in this place was left untouched, after all, she thinks.

Renn continues into the room, oblivious to the door closing, because something has caught his attention. One of the cells nearby is occupied. The person inside appears to be dead, and Renn moves down the aisle, looking through the small windows at all the lifeless bodies inside. “They’re dead. All these prisoners’re dead.”

Renci accesses the computer terminal near the door. She cannot get the door to open, but she is able to pull up prisoner records. What she sees gets her really excited. The entries only have numbers—no names—but there is a column for crimes. For many of the prisoners, “Force Sensitive” is listed as their only crime. The incarceration dates are not recent, though; they are within the first decade of the Empire. Still, it is an important enough find that Renci needs to pass the intel along. She can route the call through the Resolve, but because of the weird atmospheric effects on this planet, she figures she will need to boost the signal to get it there. Rather than take any chance, she adapts the piece of communications tech from the hallway for this purpose and puts in a call to her handler, Fortune, who favors the bold. Renci’s opinion is that if more of the brass were like Fortune, the Rebellion would get a lot more done.

Renci tells the cloaked hologram, “Scouting out a new location on Gaulus, I came across a prison where they were incarcerating Force Sensitives.” In response to Fortune’s questions, Renci clarifies that she is at the prison but not imprisoned herself. And unfortunately, everyone they have come across so far is dead. Renci says that the facility is obscured but not strongly hidden. “I haven’t seen any Imperial insignia or tech so far. Also haven’t seen any Jedi things yet,” she tells Fortune.

The handler starts a question, “Do you need—”

Wanting to do this independently, Renci quickly insists, “No, we don’t need any backup.”

“We?” asks Fortune.

Renci knows Renn was an Imperial officer who used to spy for the Rebellion and that he has not done any further work for them since his traumatic extraction from the Vigilant about six months ago. She does not know what exactly his deal is, but it might be best that Fortune not know she is working with Amulet, so she evasively answers, “I hired a contractor to drive me here.” She then goes on to say that if she had access to a ship, she would be able to do better work in the future. Fortune takes note of the request and does not pry into the “driver.”

Meanwhile, Renn investigates the cells. He picks the lock on one of them and places his vet kit in the way of the door so it cannot shut all the way and trap him. There is a dead Chagrian inside, and Renn examines the body, trying to figure out the cause of death. There are no obvious wounds and no decomposition, but it does not seem like a recent death. Something is preserving these bodies. Renn tries another cell, examines another body, but it is no more enlightening.

Renci puts a hand over her comm and calls down the hallway to him, “You’re familiar with Imperial prisons right? Is this the kind of set-up they used?”

Renn steps out of the cell he was in and heads farther down the hallway, towards where he sees some sort of control console. “I’ve certainly never been here before,” he replies. “I’d know if I had…” His work in Imperial prisons, distasteful as it was, was all well after the time period of his hazy memories. He knows all the prisons he visited for work, and it was only a month or so ago, from his perspective, that he prepared a comprehensive summary of them during the flight to Bespin to give to Draac…. Unpleasant memories of a stressful time that is supposed to be behind him now. He collects himself a bit and looks in another cell, examining the room itself rather than the body in it.

“Have you been to a lot of Imperial prisons?” Renci asks.


“As a prisoner… or as a warden?”

Renn says bluntly, “I was an interrogator. Do ya have any more questions?” Then he looks up at the ceiling in the cell, and a chill runs down his spine. There is a grate, a very familiar type of grate. He moves to the control console and sees settings for changing the dimensions of the cells. This cell block is equipped just like the one he was kept in for months after he deserted. Mira senses Renn’s rising distress and starts singing to try to calm him. “This is a reeducation facility,” he announces, his voice shaking. “We have ta get outta here.” He spins around to head back up the hallway towards Renci and sees the shut door. “Why did ya close the door?!” he asks, alarmed.

She looks up at him as her comm device fritzes out, the hologram of Fortune dissipating. “The door closed on its own,” she says simply.

“Can ya open it? We’ve got ta get outta here,” he reiterates urgently as he closes the distance between them.

“Look, just cool it,” she tells him. “You work on the door—you seem to know your way around these doors—and I’ll try to find another exit.” Renci checks the walls and the area by the control console, but there are no other exits. She steps into one of the cells Renn left open and notes the grating in the ceiling. That seems to be the way to go. She tries tic-tac jumping up to the grate, but she cannot quite reach it.

Renn appears at the cell entrance, shaking his head. “I canna get the door open from this side.” He sees what she is attempting and suggests that they can flood the cell to get up to the grating.

“Why would the cells be able to flood?!” she asks, incredulous. “And how do you know that?”

Renn quietly replies, “I wasna in this type of prison as an interrogator.”

Renci starts to ask another question, then says, “We’ll save that for later.”

Renn asks if she has a fusion cutter like her girlfriend does, as it could be useful here. Then he heads back down the hall to the room controls and realizes, upon a moment of reflection, that raising the floor would be a much better approach. He gets it to lift a bit, enough to make it a little easier for Renci to jump up and grab the grating. She tries just wrenching it loose, but it will not budge. Dangling by one arm, she pulls out her mini portable fusion cutter. She is only able to cut through some of the bars before its power cell gives out.

Renn joins her in the small space and they discuss other ways to deal with the grating. He reluctantly suggests they could maybe use the Czerka as a sort of lever on some of the bars she has weakened. Or maybe they could squeeze through with how it is now, though some of the edges look pretty jagged.

Renci points out that Mira could get through, and Renn brightens at the idea. She asks, “Will she be able to communicate much of use though? Is she a smart bird?”

Renn seems to take a bit of offense at that. “I can understand her just fine.” He smoothes the kiros bird’s feathers and tells her, “I know yer scared, but we have ta get out.” He launches her up to the grating and closes his eyes.

“Are you talking to the bird or yourself?” asks Renci, but she gets no answer.

When Mira flies back down a few moments later twittering excitedly, Renn tells Renci that there is ductwork about a meter wide up there. However, without the bioluminescent moss it is rather dark, so he is not sure where, exactly, it leads. Renci points out that it has got to be somewhere other than here, so they will have to take their chances.

Renn offers to boost Renci up to the grating for her to try to squeeze through, but Renci insists on being independent and declines. Renn says, “It’s fine; just stand on m’ shoulders. Ya brought me along ta help ya, didn’t ya?”

Renci tells him he needs to keep watch since they do not know what else could happen here, or what she might have triggered when she pulled a device off the wall. Renn looks alarmed upon hearing that. “Look, I need to procure tech, all right?” Renci says defensively. She jumps up and drags herself through the bars, catching herself on a jagged edge. It is not sharp enough to pierce her skin, but it will leave some bad bruising behind.

Renn sends Mira up, and she flies through the grating again. Then he jumps up and tries to squeeze through, but even with Renci helping from the other side, it is no use. He drops back down and sighs, “I shoulda known that wouldna work. It never did before.” He unslings his rifle and holds it up for Renci to grab the other end. “We’ve got ta get more of these bars outta the way, so I can squeeze through on the diagonal.” They try the lever approach now, with one of them on each side. Renn winces when he sees the damage done to the long barrel. It will still fire, but he will definitely have to repair the rifle later. Guess it is a good thing he got that repair kit on his Nabat trip. He tells Renci to drag the rifle all the way up into the duct, and then he jumps up and grabs the edge of the opening.

As Renn pulls himself through, Renci wonders aloud, “Why did they make the opening this wide to begin with?”

“Ta give ya false hope,” Renn says. Mira lands on his arm once he is sitting in the duct and brushes him with her long tail, singing to calm his nerves.