Log:Array Consortium: Adhar Makes A Call
While scouting the shops on Nar Shaddaa for deals, Adhar finds some items the Resistance might find of particular use - but when he calls his contact, he finds someone very unexpected on the other end of the line.
Business is...busy, because that's why they call it that, right? And Adhar has been busier than most - but he is always watching, and when something unusual catches his eye, he always asks himself: could Ambrosia use this? Now, most of the time it's something ridiculous that would get him killed, like, say, four-thousand-year-old Sith relics from the time of the Second Empire. This time, however, when scanning the shops on his nightly rounds, he has found something that yes, yes, Amber would definitely want.
And so, Adhar goes up to his office, ensures hs very illegal holocomm unit is equally connected to the reconstructed Holonet in its very illegal way, and dials a code into the unt that a lot of very righteous people would probably judge that he should never have in the first place.
Naturally, he calls Amber.
Leia is at her desk going through data pads provided to her by the intelligence agents, one of whom intercept a coded message beamed to the base on secure channels. With Amber organizing base defenses, Leia is in a position to take the call.
"Adhar Gann." She says quietly once the image of the aging General has full materialized in blue holographic lines.
It's not the best connection, thanks to the bootleg connection, but on the General's end, a young man behind a portion of a desk backed with a portion of a starship cabin wall manifests, one who carries much more age in his dark eyes and a mug of something hot in his hand. Pale traces of scars on his face, fragmentation wounds healed by bacta tank (but only at the end.) He looks as though he's about to say something cocky, maybe cute to the woman he expects on the other end of the line, but that smirk dies instantly.
"Senator," he says, straightening faintly in his seat like a kid who's been caught screwing around in class, then corrects himself. "General. Hello."
Half of a protocol droid is visible behind the General as he slowly leans into view of the holographic camera, then slowly leans out of view. With the weak signal, Leia appears to flicker a little, but it is without a doubt the former Senator sitting at her desk. She's wearing a combat vest over a blouse and her hair is up in an ever impeccable bun.
"Hello." She repeats, managing to sound both cordial AND pressed for time at the same time without ever having SAID she was busy.
Well, he's a grown-up, and he's able to switch gears. "Of course. I'm on Nar Shaddaa at the moment. I've got a line on a few things that infantry operations and covert operations might like. Ah...let's see. Koromondain wrist-lasers and power cells, got some SoroSuub H-Tracker rifles, which I know are very outdated now but I can get at a fantastic price per unit, and the big one here, a lot of six Merr-Sonn SX-451 anti-material rifles. I'm going to assume you know what all of this is, but feel free to stop me with questions.
On top of that, in our private stock, we also have a set of Aratech RBZ jump boots and seven Arakyd light rocket packs. Got some midscale elecroscopes for rifles, and also I can get a decent price on a lot of nine Kashan XT-1 pistols, which are very accurate with even iron sights and /very/ ammunition-efficient."
He clears his throat. "So. Any of that interest you, ma'am? I have figures for procurement here."
Threepio strolls past behind Leia, stops, turns towards the cameara... and stares.
"Yes, Mr. Gann, I know what all of that is." Leia furrows her brow a touch, "What are you looking to make for everything?" She glances at something someone sets on her desk, then nods up at whoever it was, and returns her attention to the image of Adhar projected on her desk.
Threepio turns and strolls back in the same direction he came from.
"That was /meant/ as a compliment, as in I'm not going to second guess you," he says, frowning at the cup in his hand. "Maybe I should have had more of this before I called." A beat. "Sorry.
Now that he's made an ass of himself, however, things seem to flow more easily out of his mouth. "Ten percent, if the budget will bear it," Adhar says with a wave of his hand. "But if not, don't worry about it. I figure Ambrosia can tell you that I'm not trying to make a profit off of this. If you'll tell me what you want from the list, I can give you an amount to transfer to me for procurement, and then either set up a drop on Nar Shaddaa or move it out to wherever you folks want. I don't know how quickly the gear in the store will last, though. They don't keep things under the counter for anyone who isn't a slug the size of a house."
"It's fine, Mr. Gann." Leia says with a shake of her head, "We'd be interested in the tracker rifles, wrist-lasers, and jump boots." She regards another datapad with a frown and a glance up at someone out of camera view, then she nods and looks back to Gann.
Threepio shuffles into view, staring at the holographic image to about midpoint behind Leia, then starts walking backwards out of view.
"Of course. If you wanted them all...that would be...131,104 for eight wrist lasers at 16,388 per unit, 3600 or so for the ammunition on hand, six power packs at 605 per unit, and eight trackers at 11,400 per unit at 91,200. Looks like they've got seven powercells for the rifles currently for 438 a unit, or 3,066. The boots I'll give you for 18,000 straight across, which is five thousand less than retail - I know, because I own a store that sells them." He looks back up from his monitors. "How many would you like of each, and are you sure about the anti-material rifles? I got a good discount on at least one, and that's for sixty-six thousand from a retail of seventy."
Well, the man knows his numbers, and he certainly does his homework. One can say that for him.
"Add one of the anti-material rifles." Leia agrees with a nod, three of the wrist lasers, the ammunition, two tracker rifles and the ammunition. With the boots." She raises a brow at the image on her screen, "Call it 113,000 even." Apparently she's good with numbers too, but why wouldn't she be?
Threepio shakes his head as if disapprovingly. This is visible because he slowly stands up from behind Leia, then turns and strolls off to the left saying, "Oh dear, Oh dear."
"Will be done," he says, looking down and prodding at a console built into his desk. "If I can get you any further discounts I'll wire back a refund. Reminds me, I need to talk to Ambrosia about the new flight suit technology we've developed." He pauses to look up at your image. "Unless you'd like to hear about it. It's actually quite effective."
"I'll let her know to expect your call, Mr. Gann." Leia agrees, "I'll have Threepio send over the details on where to drop off our supplies and make sure payment is wired to a secure account." She doesn't sound impolite, but clipped. One has to assume she has a rather strained relationship with smugglers, even a relatively honest and straight forward one.
He nods, tapping into the console again. "Of course. Do you need naval equipment? Hyperdrives, engine units, weapons? Ton of that stuff around here, and I visit Socorro a great deal where naval weapons are actually quite inexpensive. Tend to get good prices as well. Not starfighter weaponry, but if your fleet's anything like the Home Fleet, I expect you have some converted transports, that sort of thing, as gunboats and shuttles. Can actually probably get some ships out to you too if you have the need. Not T-65s or -70s, but still excellent escorts and the like."
Bundle of resources, this one, isn't he?
Leia nods, eyes locked on the image, "I'll discuss it with the Admiral and see what we'd need to bolster our fleet." She agrees, "Is there anything else, Mr. Gann?" She's noted his resourcefulness of course.
He's quiet for a moment, reaching for his cup - which he then drains like whiskey for a dying man - and looks straight at the conjured image of your face. "May I say two impertinent things, that I have likely no reason to do so, and ask a question that is very much on my mind for reasons that I will make obvious?" A beat. "Since I get such good prices for you, of course."
Well, it's not like he ever has a problem going where angels fear to tread...
"Let me see if I follow." Leia continues to eye Adhar's image, flickering a little for a second until the connection strengthens, "You want to ask me a question you know you shouldn't because you get discounts for us?" Her head tilts a smidge, as if she's wondering whether he knows who she is. "Mr. Gann, you've been helpful to the Resistance, so I'm going to humor this question."
"And two statements that I probably have no right to make," he points out. "And since I'm baiting the Krayt anywhere, here we go. First...I saw your husband the other week, on Nar Shaddaa. He's healthy. Same as always, as my uncle's stories apparently hold - he ran cargo for the Rebellion, but that's hardly important now." He clears his throat. "But he's well. I asked him if he wanted to pass on a message, and he said...'Keep your wits'. Though he may have been talking to me. So that's one." He draws a breath, as if testing to see if the connection dies. Since it doesn't, he keeps on. "Also, you have this link, it's my permanent one. I...figure I know that something very bad is coming, very soon. In some form or fashion. I don't know that we can give much in the way of military help, even though by the standards of smugglers I'm looked at as trying to be another Raddus. But I've seen some of what's out there, General. I've...encountered people. And if we can help evacuate, or move people, or - Fortune forbid - help pick up the pieces, well...look, all that I have is yours."
The question has yet to be asked, of course. One wonders if this is all said to disarm you from what's coming or urge you to brace.
Leia is surprisingly straight-faced at the mention of Han, but she nods at the message he sent her, or Adhar, and continues listening to the other statement made. Threepio glances at the holograph when Solo is mentioned, but he doesn't say anything.
"I'll keep that in mind." She may have the same feeling, may know through that feeling that the entire galaxy is going to change, but she's not in a position to elaborate and wouldn't know how to explain it if she were.
"You mentioned a question." Disarm the Senator Organa? Darth Vader Adhar is not.
Most likely the attempt wasn't made in the first place - but the young smuggler king, or lord, or halfwit prince or whatever they call them - doesn't seem to be putting in that kind of effort. Likely he knew from moment one that the only way to go was bare honestly. Funny, he felt the same way when he met Kylo Ren, though the woman on the other end of light years doesn't need any powers for that. She just looks at him. Adhar takes another breath, and when he lets go, he looks...a little tired. No. Not a little.
"I have to ask," he says. "How do you deal with all these sorcerors and wizards? I turn ten feet one direction and back again, some friend of mine turns out to use the Force, and I attract Sith and Jedi relics without looking, and I..." He shakes his head. "I don't have any connection to it myself, not outside the natural binding of all things. But how do you deal with it? I find myself wanting to protect people that are dear to me, but I can't stand against people with flaming swords who can read your mind and set your blood on fire with a wave. Believe me - I know it from direct personal experience." He's not Darth Vader, not at all. He's just...a little lost, in that moment. Well. Not a little. "Can you give me any advice? WIth all your experience with the whole thing?"
Well. At least he kept the biggest thing for last.
Leia's gaze remains fixed for a while and she remains quiet through that drawn out stare. Even once Adhar has finished she just watches him like she's waiting for him to explain something or elaborate. Whether she actually expects this or not, she does eventually speak up. "I don't." She explains in two words, but thats probably not enough to satisfy his curiosity.
"I don't deal with it. I continue acting as my instincts tell me to whether there are sorcerors or wizards involved. Admiral Ackbar, General Dodona, Wedge Antilles, my father.. Bail Organa.. None of them have any intimate connection to the Force and they manage just fine." She continues to watch Adhar, "So what exactly are you asking? Do you feel overwhelmed with the realization that people can do those things? Are you wondering how to protect these individuals?"
He blinks once. "Overwhelmed? No. My uncle has a holo of the Jedi Temple as it existed in the last days of the Republic. I've held artifacts from the Jedi Civil War in my own hands. That it exists doesn't bother me. That my friends possess these powers doesn't bother me. They're quite able to protect themselves." He pauses, pursng his lips, silent for a moment. When he speaks again, his voice is a bit lower, softer.
"If I can help them, that's fine, but I'm honestly more interested in protecting the people under my command, my friends...everyone that the Order would torture - as you and I both know - to get information from. Or use to draw out these friends of mine. I know that Ren isn't the only one that the Order's got out there. I've been told that there is worse out there than him, though...and having /met/ him, and survived, /that/ is terrifying. But while I'm not stupid enough to think that I can stand up to them as an equal, based on what I've seen, that doesn't mean I'm not gonna try."
He smiles, but it is fragile. "The Force will decide what happens, right? All we can do is act."
Mention of Ren has her lips pursing just a little and her knuckles tighten in the fist upon her desk. "You're biting off a lot more than you can chew, Mr. Gann. I have no doubt that you're an accomplished individual and I'm sure you're very skilled, but if your organization is dealing with the First Order in a way that draws that kind of attention, I think you're asking the wrong questions. There's no reason Jedi or Sith should be coming after your people... unless there is a reason, in which case, maybe I have questions for you."
He wanted to talk to her.
He wanted to ask this of one of the most skilled politicians in the galaxy, one who is almost certainly force sensitive if her heritage is of any say in the matter.
He did, but not as a politician. As someone who was submerged to her neck in the Force all around, whose every moment for so many years was penetrated by it. Whose blood carries it now. He dares much, this Adhar Gann, but he has a certain fearlessness about him as he does so, the certainly that what he does is for a good reason.
"Then ask," Adhar says simply. "Or we can meet. Whatever you like. I have nothing to hide from you. /Especially/ from you."
"Your question sounds specific. You know someone you're concerned about or you're dealing with someone who you're are... Either way, I don't have much advice for your if you don't tell me who they are." Leia softens a little, but she's still got that fixed stare with a raised brow.
"Maybe we can meet. It doesn't sound like a conversation we should be having over a holoterminal, no matter how secure the line."
"Well, I'm not here to waste your time," he says, lifting his hands in a gesture as old as pawnshops. "And I for damned sure don't like to waste mine. Tell me where, and I'll go. I don't lie to people who I respect." Or remind him of his mother, oh, Fortune, that eyebrow! "I can go now, in fact. I have to make a delivery anyway, right?"
"Now isn't good." Leia shakes her head, "I'll send you a coded message in the next week to organize a meeting. When we receive our shipment, I'll make the trip myself with Amberosia." Whom she clearly trusts enough to let run things in her stead. Fair to say the two have known each other since GCW.
"As you wish." He nods once. "I'll await the summons. Meanwhile, have your people wire the credits to the account I'm sending now..." Adhar pauses to prod at the console on his desk, sending information across space. "...and I will see to it by the end of the night. Should I be on the lookout for anything else?"
He adds, quite suddenly, a very low, very gently, "And really. General. Thank you."
Leia glances at her datapad and nods once the transfer information is received, then looks back up at Adhar. "I would strongly advice staying away from Kylo Ren." For a variety of reasons that she doesn't seem inclined to elaborate on.
"I'll let you know once we've organized a secure drop/meet point, Mr. Gann. Threepio will be intouch with you with details."
"Trust me, General," he says with a shake of his head. "I wasn't looking for him to visit. We'll talk soon."
That said, he awaits the transfer, and likely a terse goodbye.
"May the Force be with you, Mr. Gann." Leia can't continue to talk about Kylo and keep her expression neutral, so she gives a standard, but genuine, farewell and reaches up to disconnect the holoterminal.
And then...he's alone. One level down, a powerful force-wielder, his good friend, sleeps. He'll have to tell the General about her. His good friend, Ax. Ambrosia's own son. What is it about himself that he ends up with these people? Or is it their effect on him? Perhaps it's the Force itself. All that Adhar Gann knows is this: his place in this world is infinitessimal, a mote of dust in a sea of darkness. Whatever he does, for good or ill, will likely matter little in the grand scheme of things - but whatever he /can/ do, he will. He might be bloody-handed and a smuggler, but he is no slave to darkness. Nor does he wish it to win the day.
"Right," Adhar says to himself, and gets up from behind the desk, that famous, grand, /sad/ woman's face still burning in afterimage behind his eyelids. "Guess I got shopping to do."