Nute Gunray


Alien (Nemoidian)




Leader of the Trade Federation


Deceased (Physical body)
Active (Digitized mind)

First Appearance

Page 181, The Phantasmal Malevolance

Nute Gunray was a non-player character in Darths and Droids. He was the alien leader of the Trade Federation, and he spoke with a thick Space Japanese accent. He was also a calm, shrewd and diabolical mastermind. He was cut down on Naboo by Anakin at the end of the Revelation of the Sith, but managed to cheat death through some method, returning nearly twenty years in the future in time to usurp control of Cloud City with a grand droid revolution.

The Phantasmal Malevolence Edit

As leader of the Trade Federation, Gunray took charge of the blockade of Planet Naboo. The Republic sent two Jedi to Gunray's ship to negotiate. Highly suspicious of the Jedi, Gunray left them alone in a council room, then contacted Senator Palpatine to accuse the Jedi of being spies. Palpatine tried to allay Gunray's suspicions by telling him that if the Jedi were spies, they'd be searching his base. At that moment, Qui-Gon began searching the council room for valuables. Deciding that proved they were spies, Gunray ordered the destruction of the ship the Jedi came in on and pumped their room full of poison gas. He then ordered a squad of attack droids to remove the bodies. The Jedi managed to escape the room and destroy the squad. Gunray sealed off the bridge from them, and ordered the full scale invasion of Naboo.

When the Jedi escaped, they were able to rescue Queen Padmé Amidala and her entourage and eventually defeat Gunray's forces.

Padme led her men climbing up the outside of the palace wall, stormed the throne room, and captured the Fed leaders, including Gunray.

Gunray was released when he agreed to lift the blockade, but he ominously told the people of Naboo to savor their victory as their last.

Silence of the Clones Edit

On Geonosis, Obi-Wan came across a tall rock spire with an entrance. He entered it and saw a large factory making a droid army. Obi-Wan wondered about this, since Jango said he didn't trust droids. Obi-Wan was able to stay hidden when he came across Fed leader Nute Gunray and Separatist leader Count Dooku. Gunray and Dooku were meeting in conference with other Separatist leaders to discuss their plans to overthrow the Republic. They didn't trust Jango, but they planned to use him and his clone army in their coup and dispose of Jango afterwards. Dooku revealed to the others that he had the stolen Peace Moon plans.

Obi-Wan was soon after caught. A bit later, so were Padmé Amidala and Anakin. Padme and Anakin were placed on trial for crimes against the droid factory, with Poggle the Lesser presiding before a crowd that included Count Dooku and Nute Gunray. Padme tried to give a rousing defense, but it was just a confused muddle. Poggle sentenced them to death by firing squad. Padme threatened to have Palpatine carpet bomb the entire planet. Poggle changed his sentence to death by being dismembered and eaten by wild beasts in the arena.

Padme and Anakin were driven to the arena on a creature drawn chariot to a set of pillars, where Obi-Wan was already chained to a pillar. Padme and Anakin were each chained to a pillar, but Padme revealed she had a hairpin. Obi-Wan suggested she use it to pick the locks from her handcuffs, and she started to do so. Three large animals were released in the arena, each set to attack one of the prisoners: a reek to attack Anakin, an acklay to attack Obi-Wan, and a nexu to attack Padme.

Obi-Wan tried to free himself from the pillar using various Force Abilities, but kept failing. As the acklay was about to strike, Obi-Wan positioned his chains to where he anticipated the acklay would strike, and the acklay smashed Obi-Wan's chains, freeing him.

Padme used her chains to climb up to the top of his pillar. The nexu slashed her back, but the nexu's breath held her up, keeping her from falling off. Anakin also used his chains to climb his pillar, but not to the top, and used Force Jump to land on the reek as it charged. Anakin wrapped his chains around the reek's horn, and the reek broke them.

Among the audience in the arena were Dooku, Gunray, Jango, and Boba Fett. Jango revealed to Boba that Darth Maul was his real father and that Obi-Wan was responsible for both of his biological parents' deaths.

Anakin fell off the reek, but used Force Suggestion to tame it. He climbed back on board the reek and had it kill the nexu. By this time, Padme had used her hairpin to pick the locks from her chain and jump on the reek (Anakin used Force Levitation to slow her fall). Obi-Wan was still being pursued by the acklay and was able to climb onto the reek.

Gunray ordered his droidekkas into the arena, who surrounded the three people on the reek. Mace Windu arrived, and he sneaked up on Jango until he was able to hold his laser sword to Jango's throat. He told Jango he was hiring Jango as a private detective and ordered him to kill all the baddies, give Windu the Peace Moon plans, find out why the giraffe aliens made the clone army for the Jedi Council, and kill R2-D2. At that moment, dozens of Jedi entered the arena and fought off the droidekkas. Jango refused to obey Windu and two droids fired at Windu from behind. He destroyed them with his laser sword. He started to duel Jango.

In the arena, the bigger droid army poured in to fight the Jedi. Two Jedi tossed new laser swords at Obi-Wan and Anakin, while Padme got hold of a blaster, and all three joined in the fight. While fighting Jango, Windu chopped off Jango's head, but was horrified when that killed him.

By this time, Padme and Anakin were riding the chariot they were carried in on, Padme was riding the beast pulling the chariot, while Anakin was in the chariot. Among the combat droids in the arena were the combat droid with C-3PO's head and the Combat Droid on C-3PO's body. Obi-Wan used his laser sword to slice off one of the acklay's arms. A droid shot the beast Padme was riding and she and Anakin both toppled to the ground. Padme suggested they burrow under the sand. Anakin was about to call the idea silly, but stopped himself because he didn't want to hurt Padme's feelings. Padme explained her idea, that arenas usually have underground tunnels, and Anakin could try to find them with his laser sword. Anakin realized that was actually a good idea and started to apologize, but stopped himself because he didn't actually call it silly, and he and Padme were tongue-tied.

The battle continued to rage on in the arena, with Padmé Amidala, Obi-Wan, Anakin and the Jedi fighting off Nute Gunray's droids. Both the combat droid with C-3PO's head and the combat droid head on C-3PO's body had fallen during the battle, with the droid's head on C-3PO's body already destroyed, leaving the body completely headless. R2-D2 arrived and detached C-3PO's head from the combat droid's body and dragged it along. Then R2 reattached C-3PO's head onto her body.

Obi-Wan got the idea for him, his fellow Jedi, Padme, and the droids to form a tight circle so they could deflect the droids' blasts back at them with their laser swords. But Gunray outfoxed him, by ordering his droids to cease fire and simply wait for the humanoids to tire themselves out. This standoff lasted for hours.

At one point, Mace Windu, declared he couldn't fight anymore and that he'd roam the galaxy.

Finally Yoda had arrived on his ship, and he brought all the Clone Troopers from Kamino with him. The Troopers were all loyal to Jango Fett and with his death, they lost their connection to the Force. Yoda used Force Suggestion to get them all to obey him.

Yoda's ship was an open troop carrier where the clones fired on the droids and were able to swarm out into the arena. Yoda urged the Jedi and the other players to come onboard. Everybody except R2 made it onto the carrier, and it took off, leaving R2 behind. He decided to head back to the ship he, Padme, and Anakin came in on by making his way back through the droid factory.

Meanwhile Gunray and his fellow Separatists escaped.

Revelation of the Sith Edit

Count Dooku broke off from the Separatists after the Battle of Geonosis, and he got Nute Gunray to give him back the Peace Moon plans, which Gunray had secretly altered so they only showed a rock, and not the planet destroying laser that came with it.

Obi-Wan went to the planet Utapau and decided he'd need to find some transport to ride. He found a riding lizard, one with claws that could climb up and down the planet's sinkholes, a varactyl. Obi-Wan on the varactyl reached a meeting Grievous was having with Nute Gunray and the other Seperatist leaders, and Obi-Wan quietly eavesdropped. Gunray revealed that they'd been strip mining Geonosis and Naboo, that Gunray had sleeper agents, and planned to use the Lost Orb of Phanastacoria to conquer the Galaxy. Gunray told Grievous to head to Naboo to oversee the conversion process. Obi-Wan decided he'd better arrest Grievous before he left, or he'd have to go to Naboo.

Obi-Wan waited for the others to leave, and they did.

Later, after Anakin had turned Palpatine against the Jedi and had most of the Jedi wiped out, Anakin and R2 arrived at where Naboo was supposed to be, only to find it was not there. R2 scanned for it, and found it was now orbiting a gas giant, that the tides were causing increased volcanic activity because the Trade Federation conquered the planet and moved it, smeltering the entire planet. R2 concluded with delight that this was being done to build the Peace Moon. Many on the planet had perished, but R2 thought that the creation of a new superweapon was a distinct upside.

Anakin and R2 landed near the Trade Federation hq on the planet. Anakin was determined to avenge Naboo and fight the Feds. R2 realized he didn't have very effective weapons, so volunteered to stay and guard the ship.

Chancellor Palpatine addressed the Senate, with Padme among those in attendance. Palpatine related in flashback how Mace Windu and the Jedi he was with tried to arrest Palpatine, and how Palpatine was forced to resist with his laser sword.

Palpatine related how he killed the Jedi with Windu, but Windu gained the upper hand on him, when Anakin came to the rescue. Palpatine declared to the Senate that the Trade Federation organized a deep conspiracy within the Jedi Council to take over the Galaxy, and the Rebellion was just a smokescreen. (Senator Jar Jar Binks responded to this by saying, "Oh, muy muy...") Palpatine revealed that he contacted Nute Gunray, demanding his surrender, but Gunray was smugly defiant, revealing how he was using Naboo to create his own Peace Moon. Palpatine pledged to the Senate that they would defeat the Trade Federation and retake Naboo, restoring peace to the Galaxy. Padme heartily approved.

Anakin entered the Trade Federation hq and confronted Gunray. Anakin tried to engage Gunray in subtle mind games, and when that just gets bogged down in confusing wordplay, Anakin just drew his laser sword and slaughtered all the other Federation leaders there until Gunray was the only one still alive. Calmly defiant to the end, Gunray told him that Gunray knew that there was no Sith, that Anakin just made it up. Gunray also told him that if he would "stlike" Gunray down, Gunray would become more powerful than Anakin could "possibry" imagine. Gunray told him he knew Anakin had been having dreams of Padme's death, and that Gunray's death here would seal her fate. Anakin just killed him in response.

The Enemy Let Slip Edit

Nute Gunray's "more powerful" form was not explained until the end of The Enemy Let Slip, but Pete and the GM colluded to keep this a secret from the other players (and from the reader). When R2 hacked into the Peace Moon in A New Generation, the GM passed Pete a secret note explaining that he was now possessed by the "Moon Ghost," a digital copy of Nute Gunray's mind. The note instructed him to make more copies of Gunray and upload those copies into any computer networks he could gain access to. However, R2 could not transmit information off of Hoth, so he briefly attempted to steal Luke's X-wing and abandon the party, but when nobody noticed that R2 was "acting totally out of character," Pete gave up on that plan, picked Luke up in the X-wing, and travelled with him to Dagobah instead. However, as it turned out, there were no computer networks on Dagobah either.

Throughout the adventure, R2 was not allowed to tell anyone about Gunray, but the GM encouraged him to drop hints. Pete earned bonus XP whenever R2 switched his Ls and Rs without the other players noticing. He earned bonus XP with "let your hatred glow", "the ship's on the blink", "fry in that deathtrap", "crowded with secrets" and "rusty argonian maid", and "crowd city". Eventually, he gained access to the Cloud City computer network, and started swapping his Ls and Rs again and again in order to warn the other players of what was about to happen, until 3PO finally drew attention to it. By then it was already too late, and the new copy of Gunray had seized control of Cloud City. However, Ben had already figured out what R2-Gunray was up to, because Pete wrote a whole "language" for R2's beeps, and Ben had deciphered it. Realizing that Gunray was a computer virus, Ben retconned that Chewbacca had encountered it before on Thila, written an antivirus program and installed it on the Millenium Falcon. Once Gunray took over Cloud City, Chewbacca insisted that they flee on board the Falcon (rather than on another ship with a working hyperdrive), because he knew that all the other ships' computers would probably be compromised. When R2-Gunray attempted to hijack the Falcon's computer systems, the antivirus destroyed him, freeing R2.

However, at the end of the adventure, one copy of Gunray still controlled Cloud City, and the players had no idea how many other copies were still out there.


Princess, Chewbacca, 3PO, R2, and Lando fled along a Cloud City corridor in a running firefight with Clone Troopers. Princess sad they needed a fast ship. Lando suggested the Falcon. Chewbacca replied that they needed a fast functioning ship, pointing out that the Falcon still needed an hour for the hyperdrive to warm up. They reached a locked door. R2 said he'd open this rocked door. He plugged into an open socket, but said something was long here. 3PO asked R2 what the heaven was right with him. R2 replied nothing was long. 3PO said R2's Rs and Ls were the right way around. Princess asked Lando if that droid replacement offer of his was still open. Lando tried to get on the PA System to warn all Cloud City residents to evacuate, but his voice didn't come over the PA System. Instead a new voice comes over the system telling everyone this was their Variant Reader speaking. The voice declared that the Droid "Levolution" had begun. 3PO said this was not excellent news. R2 frantically told the others he'd regained control for just a few seconds. He started to say, "Nute Gunray is-" only to be zapped midsentence by the wall socket he'd plugged into. The voice declared that "Crowd" City was now under the ownership of the Trade Federation. Princess recalled reading about Nute Gunray in her history class and asked if he wasn't dead. As the voice on the PA made several announcements and advertisements, the others fled. 3PO declared she didn't regret this at all.

Princess, Chewbacca, 3PO, R2, and Lando continued to run along corridors in that running firefight with Clone Troopers while Gunray's voice started speaking political campaign slogans over the PA. Chewbacca told the others they had to get to the Falcon. Gunray started possessing R2-D2 declaring "We" shall "destloy" them. Gunray made another slogan on the PA as R2 regains control of himself and told the others to wait for him. Princess pointed out to Chewbacca that he had said any ship but the Falcon. Gunray possessed R2 again and tried to use "Locket thlusters" only to discover R2's body had a circuit, but no thrusters. Gunray gave another slogan over the PA as R2 regained control of himself and called out to the others. Chewbacca said there was no time to explain and told the others to run. Gunray resumed possessing R2 and declared "We" shall shoot the others, only to realize R2 had no "brasters". As Gunray gave another slogan on the PA, R2 regained control of himself and asked the others for a little help. Gunray resumed possessing R2 and declared "We" shall "crub" the others to death with "our" bare hands. When Gunray realized R2 didn't have hands either, he declared he'd use the shock "plobe". As Gunray gave another slogan on the PA, R2 regained control of himself and insisted he was okay, begging the others not to leave him behind. Gunray resumed possessing R2 and lamented if only there were a "rarge" power source inside R2's body. 3PO told R2 to pull himself apart. R2 regained control of himself and told Gunray to leave now and never come back. He repeated more forcefully, "Leave! Now! And never come back!" R2 sparkled a bit, and declared with relief that Gunray was now gone from his body. Princess told him to prove it. R2 said, "Clawed crows crave crusty clams cleverly crammed in clean cream... receptacles." Chewbacca asked if that was actually right.

They reached the door to the landing bay the Falcon was at, only to discover that door was locked too. R2 plugged into an open wall socket, and this time was able to get the door open. 3PO said, "Badly done, Artoo!" R2 declared he could feel Gunray trying to possess him again, and tried to reroute him. As they raced outside to the Falcon, everyone with lungs had to brace themselves for the alcohol in the atmosphere. Chewbacca managed to stay sober this time. Princess got instantly intoxicated and promptly, drunkenly declared she'd drive because she was "ferpectly shober!"

They all got inside the Falcon. Chewbacca warned there were Imperial ships all over the planet, and they wouldn't last five minutes while the hyperdrive still needed an hour to power up. Lando asked why Chewbacca insisted on taking the Falcon when there were plenty of better ships they could've taken. Princess slurred, " It's the party ship! Paaarty!" Chewbacca replied it was for good and sufficient reasons. The Falcon took off as Princess yelled, " Wooooooo! "

As Luke fell down a bottomless pit after his fight with Darth Vader, Nute Gunray contacted him from the PA System, offering Luke to join him and help the Trade Federation take over the Galaxy. Luke was nearing the bottom of the bottomless pit. Luke tried to use his Force powers and he slowed and guided his fall into a side vent and slid to a stop in a series of tubes. Gunray continued his spiel. Luke told Gunray he'd think about it. Gunray opened a trapdoor under Luke and told him to take all the time he'd "rike".

Gunray continued his spiel as Luke slid down some more tubes, saying Light and Dark were irrelevant to pure profit, and not-so-subtly implied if Luke didn't join him, Luke would die. Luke turned down Gunray. Gunray opened another trapdoor under Luke, causing him to fall through the bottom of Cloud City. Luke reached out to grab at some metal protrusions at the bottom. With acrobatics and climbing he was able to just barely hold on to an alcohol condenser. The alcohol in the atmosphere got to him and he was smashed. Luke tried to climb back up the hatch he fell through, but with his inebriation, the hatch closed before he could reach it. Running out of options, Luke remembered he had psychic connection, but realized he only knows how to contact Vader. Then he decided he could also try contacting his sister. Luke psychically reached out to Princess. Princess on the Falcon could hear Luke but was still thoroughly drunk. Luke told her to come pick him up.

Princess drunkenly told the others they should turn the Falcon around. Chewbacca pointed out to her they were trying to avoid a chase from Imperial ships and couldn't believe she wanted them to turn around. Princess objected, "But Luke's a party animal!" Lando recognized the name and realized she must mean Luke Starkiller, the number 1 bounty on the Imperial list. He sarcastically commented that it was getting lonely associating only with the Number 2 and Number 3 Most Wanted in the Galaxy. 3PO said she had great news: she hadn't been downloading the latest list and Lando was not now Number 4. Princess told Chewbacca they totally needed Luke 'cause, "he can do Force party tricks and stuff!" Chewbacca pointed out there was potentially even more important reasons for going back for Luke. Princess agreed, they could totally fill a couple of kegs while they were there!

Nute Gunray declared Darth Vader was now his prisoner. She told him his electronic trickery was insignificant compared to the power of the Force. Vader and her Clone Troopers attempted to leave Cloud City on her personal shuttle. As the ship took off, Vader's Pilot told her the shuttle was turning by itself. Vader told him to turn off the computer, she'd guide the shuttle with the Force.

The Falcon reached Luke still hanging onto the condenser. Chewbacca told Lando to go extricate Luke from the dorsal hatch while Chewbacca flew directly under him. This was done, and Lando was able to grab Luke and take him onboard the Falcon. Luke drunkenly complained about the "watershlides" that had no water. Lando admitted he had no idea why they installed that thing. Princess drunkenly greeted Luke. Lando left Luke to go see what Chewbacca was doing with "my" ship as Lando called it. Princess rested Luke on a bed. Luke said there was something he really needed to tell her. But before he could, Princess gave him a big, sloppy kiss. Luke yelled, "Bleagh! Wait! No! Too late! Nooooooo!!!!" Princess asked what she did. Luke told her she kissed her own brother. Princess replied, "No way! When?"

Darth Vader reached the Executor ship. She told Admiral Piett to escort the Falcon to the Executor. Piett informed her that the pilots were reporting difficulties, talking about that damned Moon Ghost again. Vader told him that was no Moon Ghost, it was Old Man Gunray. Piett noted those "meddling kids" in the Falcon were getting away.

Princess made her way back to the cockpit and rejoined Chewbacca and Lando. Some PIE fighters were gaining on them, but Princess assured the others "dad" wouldn't shoot at them. Then the PIE fighters started shooting at them. Nute Gunray came on the intercom and revealed he'd taken over the PIE fighters, calling them, "the fleshest addition to the Trade Federation freet." Meanwhile, R2 had successfully reassembled all of 3PO's body except the bottom half of her left leg, including putting her head back on properly. She thanked R2 and explained while he might not have realized it, but when her head was on backwards, she kept saying the opposite of what she meant. Princess drunkenly said she had noooo idea. Chewbacca apologized and explained he put her head on backwards to conceal his and Han's treachery from Princess, to no avail. Princess laughed and called Chewbacca "total traitor pants." Lando asked her if she was going to let Chewbacca get away with that. She slurred nooo, they have to decide between the space lions, or the space rack, or the plasteel maiden. Lando assumed she meant after a fair trial. Princess asked who'd volunteer to try those?

Darth Vader psychically contacted Luke. She told him she sensed a disturbance in the Force, that he made contact with his sister. He insisted that wasn't his fault, she kissed him! Vader told him the ships firing on the Falcon were under Gunray's control, and would destroy him unless he returned to her. Princess drunkenly asked Luke who he was talking to. Luke replied, "Multiple choice: (A) Your mother. (B) My mother. (C) Darth Vader. (D) All of the above."

R2 with 3PO to translate made a long-winded boast on how it'd be up to him to save the day, and that he had secretly hid in his body cavity the Lost Orb of Phanastacoria! Princess asked him if he could've used it at any time. He replief, no, only when it would've been maximally awesome. R2 said he was ready to rock this ship and roll. Chewbacca told him to plug into the Falcon and they could get the hyperdrive started in a jiffy. R2 declared he'd wired his shock probe to the Orb and that it now had plenty of power. He said it was time to play. Suddenly Chewbacca yelled that was not R2, but Nute Gunray, and that he'd kill them all. Gunray fully possessed R2 again, and gloated over having found the "Rost" Orb again. Chewbacca left the cockpit and entered the room 3PO and the Gunray-possessed R2 were at. Chewbacca asked Gunray why his PIE fighters were still firing on them since Gunray was onboard. Gunray/R2 declared he was many, that he was in competition with himself, that the victor must obviously be the strongest, and that was how he'd prevail.

Chewbacca climbed into the repair pit and asked Gunray what he planned to do to them. Gunray/R2 declared he'd "electrifly" the entire ship and use his shock "plobe" to "electrifly" them all "individuarry". Chewbacca taunted Gunray/R2, telling him he wouldn't be able to get down the pit to shock Chewbacca. Gunray/R2 declared he'd reverse the ship's "glavity". Chewbacca told him he couldn't while they still controlled the ship. Gunray/R2 declared he'd "prug" into the auxiliary controls. Chewbacca admitted that could be a problem.

Onboard the Executer, Admiral Piett asked Vader if he should fire on the compromised fighters. Vader told him that if he hit the Falcon, the next missile to be launched would be Piett. Piett said he didn't know what so-called plan Vader had in that helmet of hers but the Force clearly wasn't doing much good now. He ordered Lieutenant Venka to ready the tractor beams. He said that not even the Falcon's hyperdrive could help them now. Vader told him his competence and impertinence continued to maintain an unsteady equilibrium. Piett said, "Thank you, Lord Facemask." Vader told him to carry on.

Onboard the Falcon, Gunray/R2 declared that they may have thought that Anakin killed him, but in reality his powers "brossomed", freed from the unitary existence of corporeality. Princess tried to persuade Gunray to join with the Rebellion against their common enemy, the Empire. Gunray/R2 said she didn't understand competition, and that soon his overarching ambition would win out. Gunray/R2 plugged into the auxiliary controls. Suddenly he panicked, saying he could feel his mind going. He started singing, "Daisy" then faded out. R2 sparkled. R2 regained control of himself and said, "Coooool."

The Falcon now instantly went into hyperspace. Chewbacca explained that Nute was no more. He elaborated that something had been wrong with the Falcon's computer ever since Thila, Chewbacca realized it was some sort of virus so he began writing countermeasures, spending two years making it increasingly aggressive since the virus was so insidious, that it eventually cleaned the ship and Chewbacca left it active in case of reinfection. When Nute revealed himself, Chewbacca knew what to do. Lando asked if that was why Chewbacca insisted on taking the Falcon. Chewbacca affirmed this, saying all other ships were vulnerable. He just had to trick Nute into plugging into the ship and the antivirus wiped him clean.

R2 exulted at being himself again and thanked Chewbacca. He asked Chewbacca how he knew Nute was still lurking. Chewbacca answered that R2's beeps weren't matching what 3PO was translated. R2 was amazed that Chewbacca deciphered his beep language. Chewbacca admitted it was hard work, but worth the effort. Ever since Chewbacca had met R2 and R2 had explained the simplest part of his beep language by clarifying that "boop" meant "no", Chewbacca had been taking detailed notes. When R2 said, through 3PO's translation, "rock the ship and roll," his beeps used "boobleep" which meant "lock" and "eeroo-biddle" which meant "happy-speak", which Chewbacca took to mean, "LOL". Luke asked when Nute began infecting R2. R2 revealed it was when he downloaded the Peace Moon. R2 could tell it was happening, but he had to figure out what Nute would and wouldn't let him do. R2 revealed he'd been trying to give subtle clues that something was wrong with him, like when he tried to abandon the others on Hoth. He felt that was so out of character, the others should have noticed. He could also swap the Rs and Ls in his speech, to let everyone know something was wrong within the parameters of the system, but he had to be subtle about it.