Log:Aldera Squad: A Bad Seed
The Tantive IV lands upon the deck of a Gardenship capital ship, the security escorts for the Alderaanian craft were also permitted to land and disembark. Aboard this massive ship, the Alderaanians, and their allies, find a very green and fresh atmosphere that smells inviting and unlike any artificial air arrangement they've encountered. Here, the air is fresh, humid even, and the place is absent any sort of mechanical noise that would otherwise greet them on a vessel of this size. Vines and plants are seen growing from the bulkheads and around the top of this atrium, giving the sense that the ship itself is alive.
Awaiting the crew at the appropriate distance is an Ithorian welcoming committee. It is comprised of a heavy armed escort, and a well dressed diplomat who, themselves, is Ithorian. Standing an easy 7ft in height, the massive creature steps heavily forward, ushered in part from their enthusiastic guard, to initiate greetings. The Ithorian's mouth begins to move, emitting a bass-heavy language that is promptly translated by a droid that conveys emotions other sentients might come to understand.
"Greetings, and welcome aboard the Dawn of Spring. We are delighted to have you.." The only one who seems happy to see them is the Ithorian, the guards behind them seem less inclined, and impatient. They are a mixture of species, some wearing helmets, and others not. The one that had been enthusiastic to get the proceedings on track, is a Wroonian, as blue as they come. He holds his weapon at the alert, his finger over the trigger.
Looking to faces being bracketed and matched to whatever records his armor has been fed in the past, Bors walks with his helmet down and armor on in escort posture. Playing the soldier rather than standing as nobility during the arrival of the Alderaanian delegates. While he has no weapon readily in hand, carbine and rifle are worn slung and sheathed on his person. No droid accompanies him, nor is there even the presence of Kuhlai D'Mahn.
Doing his level best to keep his head from moving, while his eyes check forward and the compressed 360 sensor view level to his forehead, he resorts to court teachings to speak with fractional bob of his head or shoulders, <<"Appears were are yet to be looked upon joyously for the most part. Or there is something amiss that we've ere spotted yet.">> speaking over private comms, hoping others have ear-pieces in at the very least.
The moment she stepped on board, Ulani was in love. This ship that is akin to a floating garden. An oasis in space. Stepping off the Alderaanian transport with the others, she takes in a deep breath of the fresh air and looks around at all the vines and plants. "By the Gods," she sighs happily. Near giddy. "What a wonderful place! Oh, I would love to frequent a ship like this every other day if duties would allow me."
The budding horticulturalist is alight with eagerness, but she manages to reign herself in. This is a mission, not a pleasure trip. Though if someone doesn't keep an eye on her, it might become one. As the Ithorian and their escorts arrive, Ulani offers a bow. "Truly delighted to be here. This place is magnificent. A marvel." She's dressed to be diplomatic: the flightsuit and armour left back on the ship. Finery this day. Wearing a set of Void Armor absent of the usual yellow and earthy green tones and instead taking on a more appropriate color of Dark Green and Gray, Ejnar Celchu moves long with the boarding party on the opposite side of Bors playing much the same part he is. He wears a dark cape over his suit of armor, as is custom with Alderaanians. His own weapons seem to be just a sword at his hip and... metal rings on the fingers of his armor's gauntlets.
The Lord Celchu is silent, opting to look over the Woornian with the ready trigger. He tilts his head to the side before looking around, scanning.
Nora Frayus' eyes look past the Ithorian as he speaks. She's regarding the guards with those cool, frosty blue eyes while listening to, well... at least one of their warm welcomes onto the ship. She rests her hand idly on her sword's grip, though her body language is far more relaxed and casual than it is defensive. The pink haired noble woman gives a small tip of her chin up when she hears Bors chime in on their private comms, but doesn't yet speak over them. Instead, she turns to look back towards the Ithorian and offers him that warm Nora Frayus smile. So often at odds with the chill within her eyes.
"Indeed. Not only of engineering, but of botany as well. I could easily mistake it to be a warm, summer day instead of a space s hip. How positively charming."
The noble joining them from the Tantive IV is not Aryn, but her proxy, Lady Kiko of House Alde. Kiko is a professional looking woman, wearing a tunic and cape, with tall shined boots. She looks prior military and that's how she conducts herself. Her dark hair is pulled back tight into a /perfect/ bun, and her hands remain concealed within gloves. She is armed with a single pistol, a blaster of unknown make that sits snug in a modest holster on her hip, in view from beneath her cape.
"My companions compliments are not untrue, this is a marvel. A marriage of beauty and history." It's not clear if Kiko has taken into account the tense nature of the guards escorting their welcoming attendant, but she regards the Ithorian with narrowed eyes. "We have come to negotiate the release of Old Alderaan flora, particularly the cloned seeds your people have preserved for half century. Judging from the presence and.. look of your security, I think our welcome seems ..inconvenient?"
Hitting the nail on the head, the security 'chief' sighs and lifts his weapon. Before he can pull the trigger, Kiko blasts him three times in the chest. His body smacks the deck with a loud THUD, and ten other security guards fan out among the vast court yard of tall plants and planters.
The peaceful Ithorian raises their hands, "Please.. please, do not harm me. We are taken hostage.." The pleasant computer voice says.
When the blasters come up durasteel clears scabbard and instinct takes over for Lord Thul.
<<"Bugger all.">> Language. Bors.
Stepping forward to the motley band of belligerent brigands bandying blasters brawnily comes he in black armor banded on its edges in Alderaanian silver. The pommel of the blade catching one in the jaw, their rifle being used to parry the followup in so narrow a swing that hair is clipped and the butt stock of the weapon crashes against the heavy reinforced plastoid shell of the cheek guard.
<"Drat it all."> externals on this time and blade sings through armor and padding to draw blood and send the 'guard' to the ground clutching at their leg. <"Now then, cessation of this tom foolery is best for you, gentles. I hope thee ask for quarter and lay down arms!">
Someday, probability says, that will actually work.
You can teach a girl to dance, to write, to draw a weapon and fire. You can teach her a great many things that may have otherwise been out of her realm of possibility such as demolitions and weaponry schematics. What you can't combat, however, is obliviousness. The eye to see the body language in a potential enemy. That smell of tension in the air. Such things take years to ingrain and, sadly, training in such things come only in real world scenarios.
Such as a diplomatic mission going pear-shaped right out of the door.
Her stomach sinks and Ulani immediately turns towards Ejnar as Bors runs into the fray. "Lord Ejnar. If you would be so kind: my rifle?" When she had asked the nobleman to carry her weapon on him it was with the hope that she was being silly for asking such a thing to begin with. Ulani never minded being overly cautious and even 'silly' if it meant something went smoothly and without harm.
Today is not one of those days. She unclips her rifle from Ejnar's back with a sad nod of gratitude to him and brings it to bear, the whine of powering on followed by a bolt that neutralizing one of the foemen where they stand. "This isn't necessary," she does plead with them.
The violence boils over quickly, Kiko's reflexes not at all a rumor and just as deadly as those rumors said they were. There is a pause as the blaster flashes reflect off his armor's visor. He stands there watching the group of 'guards' spread out. At Ulani's request A hand reaches up and unclasps the cape from the front, letting it fall away and revealing an EL-16HFE strapped across his back in a quick access single point strap.
Once the large weapon is free, Ejnar draws his blade. It's a rather basic but very sharp piece of what could only be described as Songsteel. Which meant it glowed a bit. There is a high frequency ring as it is removed from its sheath. His feet move forward with aggressive momentum. The blade tares into one of the ten, slashing upwards, a trail of blood following behind. He twists and slashes across, twirling a bit with both hand on the hilt. He follows through with a third attack in which misses but only because his target is incapacitated on the ground. He looks over the felled enemy a moment before saying, <<"Don't bring guns to a sword fight.">>
What a funny guy.
Nora Frayus had begun taking a few steps towards the Ithorian. It wasn't him that she was moving close to, no. Rather, it was the guards just behind him. Her body language is warm and welcoming, and oriented entirely towards the Ithorian who gave them their welcome. Her intuition, however, seems in line with Kiko's, though it is the latter that pulls the trigger. That concussive blast of plasma is Nora Frayus' rallying cry, and with one motion she draws the blade at her side and buries beneath the sternum of one of the guards. She spins and pulls, ripping it out and dragging it across the midsection of a second. Her second strike? Parried with a blaster and deflected.
"Get behind us. We will protect you," Nora says to the hostage Ithorian. And who is going to argue with her, anyway? Half of the terrorists are already dead.
Kiko guns down another of the terrorists, standing poised in the open and holding her pistol like a duelist. Her marksmanship is superb, spilling her foe across the deck well deceased before his body even made contact with the floor. Four terrorists in the vicinity remain, seeking more ideal ground for which to get a vantage and fire. They move away from the Alderaanians, both intimidated by the fact many of them use swords in place of blasters, almost ensuring the attacks were far more painful and personal.
"Blast them!" One of the terrorist yell, but the younger of the four (and injured at that) makes a limping retreat toward the path they came. Eager for reinforcements, he begins speaking in Huttese to unseen companions, alerting them of the danger in the landing courtyard.
A lift nearby lights up, arriving seconds later with four more terrorists, all of which have their blasters ready. This makes eight in total (though only four attack this round).
Being bunched up in the midst of the enemy has the distinct advantage of making it hard to bring anything more than a pistol to bear. Bodies were pushed off of his armor in the throng and quick, slashing cuts were cutting cloth, sparking armor, or the crossguard would become a punching tool.
A jaw gives under the ornately crafted grip of Bors's blade, teeth flying and another crack across the face lacerates the forehead, spilling blood in the assailant's eyes and then the pommel snaps their nose. Concussed, blooded and tumbling to the ground, Lord Thul steps over their form and angles to put himself between attackers and the Ithorian regardless of where the hammerhead is standing presently,
<<"Lady Alde - if they had enough to claim one of these sorts of cruisers, how many do you think we face this day?">> Ulani doesn't speak or understand Huttese, but she knows it when she hears it. Instictively, her thumb toggles her gun from kill to stun, figuring that someone should be left alive to answer questions. That and it's easier for her to swallow firing the wobbly, blue rings. Especially on such a beautiful, green capship. "What in the name of the Gods happened here?" She shouts over to the Ithorian -- wherever he is. "What do these people even want with a gardenship?"
She doesn't manage to hit anyone, which is a shame. Better to knock them down before the fearsome Alderaanian excorts cut them down. Still, that is up for fate to decide. She's just here to secure some seeds! All the seeds! "However many there are, we clearly will have to deal with them!" Ulani tries to tuck herself behind a low-set planter box for cover. Whatever good that will do.
Songsteel was rumored to be even resistant to Lightsabers. Well, so were a lot of things, that didn't mean it was true. Either way, it was a reputation that the steel had. Perhaps that's why the poor injured fool Lorde Celchu was stalking was now crawling away from him as he swung. The blade sparked against the deck plating as it came into contact with it. The third strike slashed the Terrorist along the back, likely severing whatever important spinal nervous system their species had. <<"Annoying...">> Ejnar responded either to the swiftness of the enemy he'd just felled or Ulani's comments on why the Terrorists were here. He moved along, twirling his luminous Songsteel blade about his wrists nonchalantly.
Never bring a blaster to a swordfight.
What started out as a joke seems to rapidly hold water. Nora Frayus is close to them. Dangerously close. Blaster fire erupts towards her, but she closes the distance far too quickly. The first shot fires just past her ribcage, and the second just over her shoulder. Three whirling strikes cut down two and badly wound another, all while Nora Frayus keeps her body close to the Ithorian she means to defend.
"Are you alright?" she asks over her shoulder, pulling the blade free from the chest of the terrorist that falls limp to the floor. Her eyes turn to those remaining and she moves to stand in front of them and the one she's defending.
"What do you -want-?" Nora asks of one of the terrorists that remain standing. "No one else has to die. Lay down your weapons, or we will cut them from your hands."
Kiko guns down two who shot at her, both in quick succession and with lethal precision. She pauses in the combat to answer Lord Bors, though her gaze is not removed from her foes. "Were I to wager, my Lord, I might say they need only the bridge to demand compliance. Ithorians are not known for their security forces, and the state of their vessel would far outweigh any notion of retribution."
Kiko steps forward, moving in the direction of the lift where the reinforcements arrived. Her cape gently rustles, and she uses the brief moment to tuck her arm to her lower back while her other holds her blaster out in front of her. "Might I suggest we explore the command deck. Perhaps we can return the agency of this vessel to the Ithorians, and earn some political capital to boot."
The remaining pair of terrorists cast down their weapons and raise their hands when bid to do so by Lady Nora. One answers, "These plant freaks grow a rare variant of the Marcan Herb, and we had a deal worked out that they would grow a certain amount. The deal was between them.. and a Hutt out of Sneeve. They failed to uphold their end of the bargain, and we came to set right the production!"
The Ithorian behind Nora answers her first, then comments on the points made by one of the terrorist/Hutt Gangsters, "I am fine. -- He is correct. We were given a bad batch of the herb which spread a virus to our other clones. We were unable to meet their demands and thus incurred the ire of their employer. We invited you (Alderaanians) here hoping you would preserve us from their violence. They are unreasonable and demand much, but we cannot help the results from nature.."
Popping up from her hiding place behind a fern, Ulani points her barrel to the ground with the same weight as the frown on her face. "You brought us here knowing there there these ruffians aboard in the hopes that we would solve your problem for you? That hardly seems a rational, fair thing to do. What if we had been harmed? We may yet still be!" Incredulous, perhaps. Or more just on edge from her dreams of growing many an Alderaanian plant starting to go up on smoke.
"Is that even the full truth?" Ulani is a booksmart woman, but streetsmarts might be lacking. Something is niggling at her that this whole situation stinks more than first impressions would let on, but given her inexperience with Ithorians and being completely out of her element, all she has to go on is the dulcet tones of the droid repeating the Ithorian's own words back to them in Basic. And those sound as genuine as a droid is programmed to be.
<<"Hutts... of course its Hutts. Dirty little...">> Ejnar stops himself sighing, giving a nod to Lady Kiko as she observes the best course of action might be to take the bridge. <<"You there...">> he asks one of the surrendering terrorists, <<"How many of you between here and the bridge?">>
Though the Lord Celchu can't help himself as he looks to the Ithorian, <<"That's what you get for dealing with a Hutt.">>
Nora keeps those cold blue eyes on the terrorist across from her, sword held in his direction, as he speaks. When him and the rest place their weapons down and raise their hands, Nora, points the tip of her sword down towards the ground and applies a bit of weight to it. Her head tips when the Ithorian behind her speaks as well, a visible look of irritation crossing her face that softens when Ulani speaks. It seems Nora had similar thoughts as well.
A nod is then given to Ejnar, her own distaste for the Hutts being made abundantly clear as a scowl that spreads across her face. "If it is the Hutts you are dealing with, this reprieve may prove to be only temporary. Their funding is vast and their network oppressive. Even in Republic space, you may not be safe," Nora says with a soft sigh.
"But I agree with Lady Alde. We should head to the bridge. We can count on all of your men to stand down, hmmm?" Nora wonders, peering back towards the terrorist who had caught the Alderaanians up on their current situation.
"For a people who are inclined towards aggression on a ratio of one thousand to one, if memory serves, summoning such as those who've grown unwilling to be passive such as we makes sense."> Bors comments at last, having listened to the story as given by the Ithorians, walking with the others but keeping his blade with the blunt edge shouldered.
<"New Republic has red tape, they must muster and dispatch. Mercenaries precarious to summon for the circumstance. Mandalorians would cause too much collateral damage."> Lord Thul's frown coming through the externals loud and clear, <"Their chicanery lends to truth, even if I will be most cross should a triple cross be levied us."> looking then to Ejnar and Nora in the wake of their opinion,
<"If hutts be the seed of trouble, it shall take much to clear the roots.">
"It is our truth," replies the Ithorian, though they take no offense by Ulani's tone. The gangster pointed at by Ejnar, has wide eyes for a moment, but listens to the Lord's question, then Nora's. "Almost a hundred of us are on board this ship to help with packaging the shipments. We're not violent, but we threaten violence. That's the nature of Hutt business, and no one can dictate to a Hutt."
Kiko comes to pause, not certain she should lead the crew to the bridge. Her hand comes up to support her chin in a thoughtful rub, and she turns to her companions and sighs. "Do we disrupt the business of Hutts to help Ithorians who have failed to uphold their end of a bargain on the word of the same Ithorians promising us Old World flora? Or, do we back away respectfully, and honor the business agreement between the two and treat this as a misunderstanding?"
"Some of our men were killed just now. Our Lord will demand recompense for the loss." One terrorist says, not in a threatening way, but a matter of fact. It was the way of a Hutt Lord, afterall. Kiko nods and regards her friends. "Captain, this is your op." She says to Thul. "What should we do?" This addressed to the group.
It may be for the sheer weight coming down that Bors's helmet remains on. Though his head inclines slightly, caught up in the requirements of rank and duty while facing down the decision put before him.
<"Help Ithorians break a deal and in turn be made to bring them to Alderaan, or Chandrila, an act that the Hutts would take umbrage towards."> the glowing t-visor that turns his face into a ghostly impression of what is beneath turns to the ithorian, <"You are asking to bring the fury of the Hutts to Alderaan, to pull their gaze from you that made such folly as you had come under.">
The blade taps at the cowling between neck and shoulder pads, helmet turning upward and his gaze studying the ceiling as for answers. "Bugger all" grumbled in his helmet, externals turned off for that moment.
<"Flee"> told to one of those two Hutt employees, <"You and yours, gather whatever of the shipment is viable and flee. Your numbers shall count for naught, otherwise."> head turning to Kiko and his voice coming to private comms next,
<<"Lady Kiko, inform Her Grace that House Thul is granting amnesty to a Garden Ship and what repercussions follow shall be on The Most Noble and Ancient Houses's shoulders and not on all of Alderaans.">> sighing once comms are clicked off, most likely committing his dear sister's house to war with a Hutt Lord.
It isn't an easy decision to make and while Ulani has her opinions on the matter, hers was not asked. So her blue eyes fall to the man in full armour. Unable to see his face, she knows well enough from his body language. By the time a decision is made, Ulani has moved up next to him in a supportive presence. "This is a debt you now owe," she informs the Ithorian seriously. "One that you will be expected to prepay however is seen fit. But your dealings with a criminal syndicate has put more than just your life and livelihood in danger. I do hope you respect the severity of this situation and all you have dragged into it."
<<"It's entirely possible there are no ancient Alderaanian trees to be had and that the Ithorians here just needed us to be rid of their stupid and clumsy mistake.">> Ejnar says giving a side glance towards the Ithorian present. Though he doesn't stop there, a turn towards the one gangster who'd warned of retaliation for the dead, <<"Only if they wish to bathe in salt.">> Said coldly. Though he steps back as Bors gives his ultimatum. He can only think of the consequences and of a powerful ally Panteer might gain from this or it could be a bluff they called right. Only time would tell.
Nora Frayus watches the decision be made with thin lips and a clenched jaw. The hand on her sheathed-sword stays steady, even as Bors issues his command to the Hutt Soldiers. Her fingertips grasp the grip, and she turns to look towards them, the Ithorian, and then Bors Thul. There is certainly an expression on her face. Her eyes flick back and forth between Ulani and Bors as they invite the weight of conflict with the Hutts onto House Thuul and, potentially, the whole of New Alderaan. She swallows, but remains silent.
"You heard the man. Enough have died today, would you not agree?"
Kiko nods, then looks to the gangsters who were told to flee. They do not seem very pleased with the situation, but they're not eager to look a gift nerf in the mouth, either. Nodding, they begin to depart. The one who had spoken for them both a moment ago adds, "Our Lord will be displeased, but you know this already."
Ejnar and Nora's added response urge the pair off, and they walk away toward the lift and take it to the top. The Ithorian who they dealt with is slowly turning toward Ulani. "We are most appreciative for Alderaan's assistance. Fear not, we have what your nation seeks, and willingly give it as payment for this assistance."
After several minutes, a bass toned voice sounds off on a comm unit held by the Ithorian, who begins to translate by repeating it so his emitter will voice it for the others. "The Hutt Cartel have departed our vessel with no incident, honoring the agreement."
Kiko finally holsters her pistol casually and turns toward Bors. "I believe we have solved the crisis. Well done, everyone."