Log:An Arid Dilemma
Aridus. A desert world in the Flarestar system. Unlike other desert worlds which are popular with adventurers, such as Tatooine or Jakku, Aridus has an above average amount of lakes or oases for a world of its type. It's also quite tectonically active with lava fields and volcanic activity being a somewhat common sight. One oasis in particular has a settlement built to its south by the name of Aridus Trade City, the world's capitol city and by far its most populated town. Abundant with commercial trade and vacationers, it's by no means out of the ordinary for a career trader to come here on business.
Which is precisely what happened when Captain Dolnas Ari of the Midnight Wanderer came to Aridus. What did not happen, however, was the trading he was supposed to have been doing. There was no call for help or assistance when the Midnight Wanderer descended to Aridus' atmosphere. There was only a transponder blip which disappeared rather suddenly. Air traffic controllers thought it to be an error and did not reach out until Ari's customer later checked with spaceport authorities to see if the ship had made it to dock.
A search party had been established on behalf of the Aridus planetary authority and came up empty. This is when the Artisans Guild stepped in, asking for help from those within the galaxy as a whole.
You have come here today, for reasons that may be your own, to assist in this search. The Midnight Wanderer had disappeared from radar roughly two hundred and fifty kilometers northeast from Aridus Trade City.
The search is led by Noemie Lenoir, in the N-1 Naboo Starfighter 'Moonlight Princess'. The Moonlight Princess has taken off and advanced north east out of the city and its pilot reaches forward to key her comms, which will link to everyone's ships and vehicles that are involved in the search. <<"Moonlight Princess to search party! Comms check!">>
The Needle flies with the search party without any issues, the Arc 170's s-foils being closed as combat isn't expected in this mission. When Calevaro heard about the search, he couldn't refuse. He took the first public shuttle from Tatooine to Aridus and offered his servisses. He sighs as he looks a head, thumbing his comm system. "Needle reporting. Thank you forr leting me fly your ship, miss Lenoir.. I promise to return her to you in one piece," hee cuts the transmission and smiles, turning his head to glance at the other two empty seatss on the cocpit.
Nerys Greystorm was never one to pass up an adventure, whether it the reason behind it was altruistic or not, and so, when the call came, she packed up her bag of tricks and the droids she thought might be most useful, and stowed them away wherever possible. Bitty clinging to her back, Nupty seated in her lap, and Exine haphazardly strapped to the ship between the pilot's seat and the forward hand controls. "This is Greystorm, I can hear you. Proceeding northeast along the first survey route."
Settled into the comfort, familiar surroundings of a T-85 X-Wing is Commander Poe Dameron. Like most combat missions, the pilot is wearing a non-descript, all black flightsuit with a matching helmet. With one hand settled over the flightstick of the snubfighter, his other arm finds a perch up by the seal of his canopy, 'flying casually'. <<"Moonlight Princess, this is Black Leader.. standing by.">> The T-85 X-Wing's S-foils remain closed and locked in a cruise position as the fighter streaks across the sky.
Qutha Buvu Pah
Maybe the time for stealth was apparent. But so was the need for hope. While the appearance of the man from Zelos II might not be well known - the clothing would be. It could be. Might be. <<"This is Pah, comms working...">> his voice was distant.
Hood pulled from his brow by the wind, goggles keeping sand from his eyes, and his robes billowing out behind him with the speed of the speederbike he was in the saddle of. Leaning forward, driving but only in the presence that he was keeping himself steady. Avoiding obstacles or sudden rises that would cast him into the air.
He was aware of himself, he was existing in the now and keeping himself open to the currents of "The Force is with me... I'm one wit' Th'Force, n'The Force is whit me..." his eyes close behind his goggles, letting his hands move on the controls and throttle by the instincts whispered to him, frown deepening while he searches.
Dyna just happened to be on Aridus when the freighter went down, having a residence in the trade city. Given the ties the Artisans Guild had to the freighter that had gone down, however, Dyna couldn't just sit back and ignore it. So instead she was sitting at the helm of her yacht, making a low atmospheric flight and setting off from the trade city's starport to assist with the search effort. The ship was a Luxury 3000 yacht that bore a deep, violet hue. Accompanying her at the ship's helm was an R2 unit, ready to assist in control of the ship if need be. Hearing the others calling in over comms, Dyna sends out a call in turn. <<"Envy of the Stars reporting. Ready to assist however I can,">> she states rather plainly over open comms. At least there seemed to be quite a few individuals lending a hand today, maybe this would go better than the last time Dyna assisted in a search party?
Noemie ran over the list of those assisting in her mind. As she could recall, everyone that was involved had checked in, so she nods within the canopy of her elegant starfighter. Reaching her hand forward she depresses her comms switch once more. <<"Seems like that's everyone! Okay - so as we discussed before takeoff - the Wanderer went down in the north west, about two fifty kilometers. I'm going to fly in that straight direction,">> Behind her, outside of the ship and plugged into its astromech socket, R2-N1 chirps out a positive confirmation. <<"You're all of course welcome to search wherever you think prudent. I just hope he didn't go down over one of the lava fields! I don't know if sensors can even penetrate very far into molten rock. But we need to find out, one way or the other. Moonlight Princess out!">>
"Okay, Saffy, set me a waypoint to the exact spot where the Wanderer was lost and we'll go have a look." The yellow and chromium starfighter descends lower, at flight level 2000 (that is, 2000 feet above the surface), decelerating to a leiusurely cruising speed of about one fifty knots.
"Roger," Calevaro's voice comes over the comm network. The youth moves the throthle forward, accelerates and ajusts his atutitude so his ship is following Noemi's.. He glances to his senssors and to the viewport and shakes his head, sighing. "Its uunfortunate.. Cinse I've never come tot his planet, I don't have a clue where that trader might be," and with that, he turns his atention back to his controls, the fighter flying northwest.
Nerys, hearing the word from the ship overload, frowned, keeping any comment to herself, or perhaps only to the droid as the speederbike angled up to sky, allowing it to cruise a bit, as much as a bike could, eyes tracking the terrain as the seeder accelerated. She was silent for a time, before she switched back to the shared comms, "No sign of the ship, but I can see tracks leading towards the canyon ahead. Do we have an intel on whether or not that area is or was inhabited?"
Poe responds, <<"Understood, Moonlight Princess. Going to run an analysis of the canyons.">> Poe breaks off from the formation to fly through the canyons. The proximity alert is beeping in the cockpit but Poe doesn't seem to pay it any mind. He reaches over to his left to flip a switch, then to the right to do the same thing. Inertia dampeners kick in and the craft jerks with a roar of its engines.
"Hey buddy," He says to BB-8, "Run a scan of the terrain and look for encrypted or open channel frequencies bouncing in the canyons. No one with any sense will remain out in the open desert for long, and chances are those canyon rocks might be harboring a signal we need to use to find them."
BB-8, which can be seen in its socket behind the cockpit, moves its head to hang right, then left as it begins to scan data using the fighter's instruments. Flying so close to the ground made it easier to pick up rogue signals.
Qutha Buvu Pah
Head turning, as if trying to look at something, brow creasing tighter - Qutha's eyes drift open again and the attempt to breath out is made difficult by the blast of wind and air. Letting it flow over and around him, one hand lifting a cloth over his mouth and nose to ease things.
One of the voices on comms was truly familiar and the expertise behind it was enough for him to make a decision in the moment, leaning further forward and pushing the speed of the bike to maximum. Unafraid. For whatever happens it would be as The Force willed it. For he would be the conduit of the destiny it set forth.
Again his eyes closed and he let his thoughts drift up into the air, seeking out another.
Dyna's brow furrows at the thought of the freighter having crashed into one of the many lava pits dotting the surface. <<"Would be rather unfortunate if they were lost to the lava,">> she replies and maneuvers her yacht in the direction of the pits to scan for any sign of anything out of place. Lava that may have been splashed onto the surroundings by a large object crashing into it. Or perhaps a new crater that had filled in? The Hapan maneuvers her ship lower for a better look and circles around the pits a few times. Perhaps fortunately, she didn't notice anything that might suggest a crash landing within the lava pools themselves at least. <<"Well, I'm not seeing any sign they crashed here at least, so hopefully they missed the pools then at least.">>
The Moonlight Princess continues on its leisurely flight northeast, the pilot slowing down in certain areas where it seems may be prudent. <<"Not bad thinking - better to spread out, probably! I'm slowly making my way to the point where it was lost, in case anything sticks out at me. It's hard to believe the ship crashed and then got buried by sand in only a matter of days - it's got to be out there! He's not really the type to drop his signal and go off the radar, and there haven't been reports of pirates or anything..">> The Naboo's eyes widen with that realization, but surely that possibility would have come up by now.
As the others search, they starts to spread out, as was smart to do. A speeder headed toward a narrow canyon with a T-85 providing support, if possibly unintentional, while another speeder drove off in the same direction as the icy blue ARC-170 Starfighter that was on loan for assistance. Breaking off in a whole other direction, the direct east, was a very purple Luxury 3000 Yacht to check the lava pits. Fortunately, not evidence had been found in that direction, as such a fate would be quite greusome.
The ice blue ARC-170 steadies out bheind Noemie's ship. The young pilot closes his eyes for a moment, brows creasing in thought. After a moment he opens them again, a frown creasing his forehead. He thumbs the ship's commsystem. "Nothing here yet," he reports, cursing himself for not knowing this planet a bit better.
Nerys, moving, possibly, away from the rest of the party, continued on following the tracks in the sand, keen eyes allowing her to navigate the terrain as she headed towards and then down into the canyon. "Bitty, get ready." Nerys freed a hand from the speeder, ensuring that her weapon was free, as she continued on, tracking the rise of the canyon, "I'm seeing signs of inhabitation. "I'm seeing evidence of habitation. A cave down here in the canyon, a campfire and what looks like refuse from a meal. Something carnivorous came this way."
Poe heard a voice that was not his own, and it did not come from the comms. It urged him to share his findings, and thus he reached over and flipped a switch to convey that data.
The scans BB-8 makes create a 3D model for monitors to project, showing possible cave entries and any anomalies. That's when a blinking light indicates a data-pad transmission towards the direction Greystorm was flying.
Poe adjusts his flight path, flying between a narrow pass with ease before hitting the afterburner.. because he could!
<<"All callsigns, be advised:..picking up a signal at these coordinates. Greystorm, you're near it. Computer is saying it's a datapad transmission of some sort.. dying. Might be our guy..">> Poe says, hopeful sounding (and robotic sounding) over comms.
Qutha Buvu Pah
<<"Thank you, Black Leader.">>
Farmer Pah's eyes opened again behind the lenses of his goggles, looking down to displays on his bike and frowning at his lack of interface to add, before his focus is ahead a the nearing oasis. Head canting to one side when a blink causes the world around him to, for some, violently shift.
The colors of the sky became soul chilling blackness, no stars, only the beacon of the sun that cast no rays. Only pinpointed its presence. Silicate of the sands became an eerie glow. Almost purple, deep blue. But there was one white icon ahead, in the wavering ripples of living blackness in the water, filled with speckles.
<<"Something in the water...">> disturbances in the deep blue, <<"Tracks the sand is trying to bury, headed for the canyon...">>
The zelosian's voice still distant on comms.
Finding no leads herself and noticing the others seemingly having better luck, Dyna redirects her ship in the direction of the canyon to see if she could assist the others. The mention of pirates did catch Dyna's interest. As she flew, she'd start scanning for transmissions while filtering out any coming from the ships and vehicles assisting in the search. Pirates seemed unlikely but still, couldn't hurt to see if there were transmissions from vehicles in the area she couldn't account for. As she goes through the readouts on her screen she does find something of note. "R2, what do you make of this data?" she asks the droid. The droid makes a few noises in response that get it a look from Dyna and gestures toward her computer screen. After making a disappointed whirring noise the R2 unit displays its response through the ship's computer instead. <"Seem to be picking up some kind of slow data transfer to an electronic account here too. Not quite sure what to make of it myself, but it is sounding like there might be someone else out here.">
<<"All good leads so far,">> Noemie comments to the rest of the party, her voice semi distracted while she works the, frankly aging dataconsole within the flight canopy of her N-1. "Saffy," she calls out to the astromech riding behind her, "help me with this sensor scan! I don't think I'm doing it right?" The astromech chirps a confirmation and pulls up a sensor scan on her screen, along with the words 'Nothing on sensors'. "Guess I was.." Reaching for her comms she relays: <<"On the way to the original waypoint, I'm not getting anything from up here! I can fly lower, if that helps.">>
Noemie puts her hands to the starfighter's twin flightsticks and presses them forward at a slight strength, carefully and gracefully lowering the Moonlight Princess to flight level 1500.
Behind her, to the south, Poe and Nerys work in unison to lock down the location of someone that had very clearly spent an evening in the canyon, as well as a datapad that may have belonged to them, while to the west of the canyon Qutha observes something amiss with the water on the main oasis that Aridus Trade City utilizes for its tourism industry. Further off, east of everyone else, Dyna, coming back from the lava fields, was working a little electronic magic with her droid on board the luxury yacht. Noemie couldn't help but to smile to herself a bit. Despite the potentially grim circumstance, it was nice to see people willing to help others in a time as tumultous as this.
<<Roger, black leader, needle starting to follow the signal.>> the previous member of the resistance reports to the other ships as he breapks away from Noemi's position and starts to track the signal. The sleek fighter maneovers close to one of the caves, his ship staying close to the others.
Nerys, parking the speeder a respectable distance from the cave entry, patted Exine as she dismounted, Numpty hopping down at her feet and Bitty hovering at her shoulder, "Exine, keep the speeder running. if anyone tries to steal it, fly off. I'll get back the long way around, if so." And then Nerys was off, ducking into the relative cool of the cave as she went spelunking, "Looks like this has been in use. The rest of the animal is in here," she took a knee, reaching out to prod the carcass, "And still fresh. There's an emergency shelter in here as well, but no sign of whose been using the cave for shelter."
Poe passes through the canyon at fast speeds, adjusting the tilt of his craft with each close-call before finally reaching the mouth of the canyon. Reaching up with his gloved hand, Poe initiates the throttle to accelerate, putting him firmly against his seat, and the snubfighter went supersonic, breaking the sound barrier as he grabbed more altitude.
While climbing, Poe flips the switch to initiate another scan, the results conveyed back to the others, especially Qutha, who was tracking the same thing Poe was, though Poe had picked up on it electronically. He remained quiet for this pass though, taking a wide berth to come above and fly over a bit more casually now.
Qutha Buvu Pah
Angling towards the coordinates provided, Qutha's gaze follows those depressions in the deep shifting blue that are steadily dissolving. Leaning with the ebb and flow of the currents of the Living Force and speaking aloud in mantra, "I'm one whit th'Force, N'the Force is whit me... I'm one whit th'Force, N'the Force is whit me..."
Focus comes to his vision, and his hand moves of its own accord to max out his throttle to direct him towards the cavern and Nerys's position. Voice more certain, now, lifting when he thumbed comms, <<"Black Leader. Ver' well done... As I'da hoped...">>
Again his mind reaches out for others. To lend his thoughts. His feelings to those who can put them to proper use.
Dyna slows her Luxury 3000 a bit, hovering on repulsor power as it moves ahead over the canyon as Dyna takes more of an interest in the transmission they came across. "R2, see if you can pick up more on that transmission. If you could figure out what specifically it is, that would be ideal." The R2 unit beeps and twirls its head, then lets out a low whirring noise as it works on analyzing the transmission they were picking up. As she sees the results on her screen, Dyna furrows her brow. "Interesting... now why would they be doing that out here?" she muses, rubbing her chin. <"Seems this transmission is an outgoing bank account transfer,"> Dyna would inform the others over comms. <"Seems to be coming from the north side of the canyon."> With that passed along, Dyna then turns to the droid. "R2, mind taking over the piloting for a moment and steering us in that direction?" Before the droid could even respond, Dyna was getting up from her seat and heading further into the ship, eliciting a confused beep from the droid as it watched her leave before turning to keep the ship aloft.
All signs seemed to be pointing to that canyon, it seemed. Noemie made note of that, but for practicality's sake continued on a forward trajectory toward the waypoint where the transponder had originally blipped out. Behind her, R2-N1 (labeled N1 as it had been built and programmed specifically to operate an N-1 starfighter as its specialty) chirps out a question, which Noemie reads on her datascreen, having yet learned its binary language for herself. "Could be, I suppose, though if something like that had happened there'd probably be better evidence. See if you can figure something out back there?" After only a moment, Saffy chirps in the negatory. The small Naboo shrugs her shoulders and holds the Moonlight Princess steady at flight level 1500.
Behind her quite a bit at this point, the T-85 had flourished out of the canyon and honed in on the same thing the Luxury 3000 and the Nightfalcon had honed in on: a signal coming from the northern part of the canyon. With the ARC-170 flying in close formation, if something or someone was there, they'd surely notice it soon. Behind a small distance, the aratech skybreeze driven by Nerys Greystorm had stopped for an investigation, and should the person the others are closing in on turn and head back she was sure to intercept them, for better or for worse.
<Bank accounting transfer?> Calevaro asks over the comms, tilting his head <Now thats unexpected> he comments, esailly flying the ship and following the other members of the search party. As he flies, he glances out of the fighter's canopi and tries too find a clue, anything that would give him any info. He blinks as he spots something, lowering his ship ever so slightly. <Found someone at the northern canion.. Can't see much from here> he reports as he continues to fly in formation alongside the other ships.
Nerys, eyes sharpening, looked back, almost over her shoulder, //knowing// no one was there. Yet, still, her voice sounded, so low there was no actual sound in the word, only an echo of the grief she had not yet come to terms with. "Jax?" But no, there was neither sight or sense of her beloved cousin, and Nerys shook her head. Of course it wasn't the jedi she wanted who had spoken into her mind. But, at least in this case, it was, likely, the jedi they needed. She made her way back out of the cave, trying to search for the next clue in the puzzle. Back on the speeder she climbed. The search began again, and Nerys came back on the comms, "I'm seeing signs of travel north from the cave, rocks moved as they travelled, but no body yet." The pronouncement from the ARC directed Nerys' trajectory.
Poe nods, even though Qutha can't see him. His flight path has taken him high up, where he uses his craft to transmit and process data from the other rescuers doing the much harder work. When Calevaro issues a transmission about finding someone up toward the northern canyon, and Greystorm confirms tracks leading to the north as well, Poe flies that direction and flips on thermal imaging.
Unfortunately, being so high up, he doesn't see the same thing Calevaro does. So he adjusts his flight path to take a closer look, diving down slightly and pulling back on the speed.
Qutha Buvu Pah
Keeping his bike at speed, nearing the appointed position, where the signal was. Where he was being guided. He could hear the name on Qutha listens to his instincts and lets go. Those quiet urges that insist. Rolling backwards and letting the drag of his cloak billowing out pull him into the air. The throttle disengaged and let to decelerate at a rate that might have had deadly results when it drops to coast and hover to a halt some two or three hundred meters past.
Qutha tumbles through the air, to land neatly after a pair of revolutions. His movements guided by the currents around him. His speed cushioned by the living field between the land, the speeder, the woman he is nearing. Walking steadily with his cloak flowing out behind him and a slender wooden cylinder drops into his right hand. Carved in Zelosian iconography.
No wish to make use of it. But no foolhardy pride or misconceptions to assume that its presence was irrelevant. Experience, as much as the flow that wove around and through him had taught him. A dreadful realization of truths weighing down on his shoulders. A sadness of universal realities that he had spent years of his time in his new life attempting to deny. But not now. His left hand raised to touch the comm-piece hooked to his ear, <<"General Dameron. Your guidance was true. All of you. Your worked aided in finding him. He's here.">>
Approaching the form of the Arkanian coming into sight, the cylinder still held and his left hand dipping to grab the canteen on his belt. One of several. "Sir... you're in need of help. Please let me."
Dyna returns to the bridge, now with a drink in hand. She returns to her seat, the R2 unit at the helm with her beeping excitedly as it tries to communicate updates from the others. She takes a sip from her drink - brandy, of course - and then sets the glass down in a cupholder on the side of the pilot's chair. <"We have a visual then?"> Dyna asks over comms. <"Excellent, glad to hear it."> Dyna's ship maneuvers toward the area the individual had been sighted and lowers closer to the ground, engaging repulsors to hover in place and ready to assist in recovery of the individual if need be but otherwise letting the others handle things for now.
The Moonlight Princess had reached its waypoint, the look on its pilot's face as skeptical as the blank sensor reading the starfighter had showed all the way there. Noemie Lenoir took the ship into a wide banking turn, the leisurely turn as graceful a turn as a ship of its make deserved. Fortunately, before she could report her failure to find a lead at the origin point of the lost signal, the others reported a successful finding of Dolnas Ari! <<"That's wonderful! Someone check on him! Needle or Envy of the Stars should be able to recover him. No signs of the ship, I take it?">> The N-1 makes a slight course alteration to the signals of Needle and Envy of the Stars, raises to flight level 5000 and throttles to full, advancing to the position of the others.
Dolnas Ari was parched to the point of being hardly able to speak. 'Th-- than-.. thank y-' he tries to say, taking the canteen offered to him and completely downing it. That'll likely come back up shortly, but some of it will go where it counts. Ari is sore and sunburned, and the bottoms of his boots are worn down as they clearly hadn't been the best quality boots. All the walking in the rocky canyon certainly didn't help. A datapad was on the floor beside him and he leaned back against a rocky wall, drawing downward to a sitting position to catch his breath in the shade. 'Storm,' he tried to explain, raising a hand toward the general north. 'Had to .. find a place to land.. safe from the storm..'. Dolnas Ari's eyes widen as he sees the T-85 in the distance turning about to come toward him, and yet still the ARC-170 drawing much closer. 'Can you take me? To my ship?' His voice comes out weak and pained, but the water was helping, and he surely seems willing to get out of this rocky canyon! The datapad beside him was on such low power that the screen had dimmed nearly to black in order to preserve its battery power.
The Arc-1700 flies above for a few moments before the ship slowly lands near the trader and the jedi. Still with repulssors wirrying, its hatch slides open. "Climb aboard, if you want," Calevaro shouts from inside the fighter, sighing in relief as they finally find the man relatively safe and sound. <Looks like we all did a good job> he says over the comnet.
Nerys stopped the speeder as soon as she saw Qutha with the recovered trader, Bitty already reaching into Nerys pack to retrieve her medical supplies. Never let it be said that an explorer was good only for finding lost treasures and dead things, "The team will be here to retrieve you soon, we need to get you stabilized, and then you can direct us to the ship." Whether it was still there or not, well. No need to get the man upset when he was on death's door.
Qutha Buvu Pah
"If it is not gone." mind going back to the oasis and its conents, turning to the arrival of the One-Seventy and already drawing one of his several canteens... because well. His unique physiology.
"Drink slow... Hold it in your mouth." offered to the man but keeping out of Nerys's way, to be able to aid him with the supplies she is drawing out. "There is a reason for this, all happens as a matter of its course, but we do not always know why until after." His hood slips, the sun catching on his skin, making its green undertones highlight and he leans towards it with a raising of his face towards it.
No conscious movement there, but the sun seems to give him some fresh life beyond its normal worth.
"You'll be safe now. I see it and you shall be a link in a chain, I think."
Dyna watches the proceedings from the cockpit of her ship and looking for a potential spot to set her ship down. When she sees Calevaro taking the initiative to land his ship to provide transport, she picks up her glass of brandy and leans back in her pilot seat to take another sip. "Well that's a better turnout than the last time at least," she muses. She'd stick around for the time being incase there were any loose ends that needed to be tied up, but things seemed to be well in hand now.