Log:Array Consortium: Boarding Games
As their contract nears its end, the Consortium is busy trying to contain the Kandaka Blades as best it can - rampant pirates close to the Rim just makes their job harder. This time around, they work with Arconan security forces to run down and attempt to liberate as many new captives as the Blades take during dirtside raids on unprotected worlds. This is but one of many, but this time around, more prisoners are for the taking!
It's been a few weeks since the Consortium took out the butcher-bunker belonging to the Kandaka Blades near Teke'Ro, the system in which the planet Cona can be found. Needless to say, the Arcona are not pleased with having a group of psychotic Trandoshans and their potentially crazier lackeys wandering around their sector - while Bannax Station is still an unknown to the authorities, the stations' inordinate supply of naval and small arms is keeping a seriously oversized amount of traffic going through the sector, and people are starting to notice.
But that's not all that's being noticed. The Blades are starting to get the attention of several worlds in the sector, and that means what security forces these planets have are out hunting the Blades as well - to a surprising degree of success. The word reaches the Consortium (or Adhar, one supposes) that a transport ship belonging to the Blades has limped away from an otherwise harrowing fight, the only survivor of a caravan carrying captives newly-taken from one of the more parochial worlds in the sector. That's where we come in.
As it's the flying good-luck charm of the Consortium right now, the Mighty God Turtle - that is, the Fathier Express - has been selected as a boarding shuttle to see to this wounded bird, as it is indeed dead in space once it comes out of hyperspace. Though the coordinates are rough, the authorities involved have pointed out a dead star system that's close enough for the ship to have drifted into after its damaged motivator would certainly have given out...so there you are, Adhar and Bar'duur in heavy plates, the rest of you there, and a squad of troopers from the Business. Pash is the Captain here, however, so he's the one to lead the search from the comfort of this command chair. The boarding is all Adhar and company.
And so Hyperspace has cured into realspace, and all is dark. The white star of the empty, nameless system is a hateful eye, burning in the distance...and the hunt is on.
Perched in her usual spot in the gunnery station, Sion Corvara watches the sensor screen conveniently situated below the computer-aided gunsight. "Looks quiet. One thing's for sure, we won't get distracted by the scenery in this system," she comments into her headset.
The Fathier Express is not normally a boarding a vessel. In fact, for as long Pash Danigo has owned it, it has gone through the process exactly zero times. He would have liked to have kept it that way, too, except the Blades have proven to be a nasty bunch, and so he agrees to aid Adhar's party. Coming into realspace, he maneuvers the ship to intercept the transport ship and smirks over to Sion. "Good, wouldn't want anything surprisin' us like usual."
The captain and first mate aren't the only ones in heavy plates. Atria joins them in the heavy armor department, strapped into one of the passenger seats of the Fathier Express. As the ship exits hyperspace, she double-checks the charge on her rifle and the location of her spare powerpacks on her belt. A back-up blaster pistol is strapped to her thigh. She remains quiet for now, waiting for the action to begin.
She's the Chimera of Tatooine, the Butcher of Bantha Canyon, but to her new comrades in the Array Consortium? She's just Dr. Klo Chaze, the... slightly mad surgeon and magistrate of the medlab. However, she's sitting silently for the moment, holding her weapon in both hands. She's still not too comfortable with it -- she'd rather get up close and carve an enemy. But she's got to learn somehow, and she's always been the learn by doing type. Still. She has a gameplan, which boils down to: stay alive by any means necessary. It's the same plan as always.
Why mess with a classic?
Bar'duur is strapped in too, he's got a few different weapons with him, he didnt bring the spear though, even if he kinda wanted to, but it's not a great close-quarters weapon so instead he has a sword a pistol and his special gloves. The horned man has a casual look on his face as he remains strapped in, his eyes wandering the group. "We should get iced cream after this."
"Brother, if the inside of that ship is anything like that bunker we found, ain't nobody gonna want to eat after this." Ahdar's suit is adjusted now, so that the helmet and its sensors can connect with his damaged eyesocket - that means he's wearing a patch at the moment, but not or long. He and Bar, in their powered suits, look like relative monsters even against the heavy battle suits armor of Atria and her squad.
It doesn't look like it's going to take long to find out, however; Pash's deft touch at the sensors registers a contact almost straight away, metallic mass with a dying ember of a reactor. The YZ-775 up ahead is entirely silent, its drives out, its guns - heavier even than the insane stock setup of the Corellian ship - entirely cold. It's up ahead, drifting at just a few megalights, if that.
"I could sure live with no surprises..." Sion continues to watch, one way and another. "That doesn't look good. No shields up, no weapon charge, barely any reactor power. Something's definitely not right."
"There's always room for ice cream, Captain," Atria quips in her Coruscanti accent. She follows up with a chuckle. "So, how many do you think we can expect on this one? A ship that size can't carry *too* many, I would think."
"I could go for some iced cream." Klo pops up -- and as Sion's probably aware? If it's a mess in there... she may /still/ be just as hungry as she is now. Meanwhile, she's measuring the various people on board, deciding who would make the best human shield. Height matters, of course... as do a few other things, for that matter.
Well, it might not look good, but it's been pretty heavily torn up - ragged holes have been punched through areas of the hull, and part of the drive section has been entirely peeled away by some kind of explosion. There's a reason it's limped away from a security patrol, after all.
She's rated for eight crew," Adhar says, frowning at the image of the damaged vessel. "And fourteen passengers, but there's nothing saying it could be rigged for more. Pash, upi picking up any signs of life over there?"
Pash eyes the torn-up ship for a moment before leaning over to work the scanners. He flicks a few switches, punches in some commands, and gets little bleep-bleeps in return. "We got a dozen folks movin' around the top deck more or less. Twenty in a reinforced cargo hold." He gives a quick look over his shoulder to the boarding crew and says, "Life support's failin'. This ain't lookin' so hot." For who is the question. Turning to Sion, he narrows his eyes and cocks his head. "What do you think?" The ship continues to close the gap, slowly nearing the transport.
Sion winces in sympathy for the folks on board. "Those twenty might be some unfortunate cargo. No way to know about the ones on the top deck. But we came prepared for a fight, so we can find out pretty easily. I think we should do what we came to do."
Atria shakes her head a bit, "Only eight? What are the rest of you going to the do then?" The smile on her face can be heard in her voice even if it can't be seen because of her helmet. She listens to the sensor report and nods, "Ah, that sounds more like it. Looks like you'll have something to do afterall, Captain." Nothing like a little gallows humor before a fight.
"Just... pushing the button that makes the other ship go boom from here isn't an option, though, is it?" asks Klo -- being out on missions? That's new for her. She's the one people are brought /to./ Whether she needed to cut them to save their lives, for torture, or... well, just for fun, really. Atria gets a look, and raised eyebrows. "If you want to handle them all personally, be my guest. I'll be happy to reattach any organs you leak after the battle."
"I used to have a YZ-775," Adhar says, frowning at the ship as it slowly tumbles. "But we don't have room for twenty passengers. Pash, if you can match rotation and get us in on the port side, we can start out clearing the top deck - the dcking ports open there on either side. Cargo bay access isn't far...we can suppress the guys up top, assuming they're guards, and then maybe get the captives in the escape pods. Atria, that'll be you and your squad. Just check your fire, all right? You could theoretically drill holes in the hull, as weak as it is. Go for stun. Sion, you, me and Pash will head down to the cargo bay, taking out what guards we find there. Bar'duur will stay behind and dare people to take a step near the airlock."
That said, he pulls off his eyepatch, revealing a horrible, scarred pit in his young face, a neural socket in the back of it where the optic nerve should terminate. The helmet he pulls on has a terminal that extends like a drill bit to connect as he secures it, a strange, unpleasant sound.
Sion winces faintly, involuntarily watching Adhar. She quickly shakes her head and turns back to the weapons console, bringing the cannons to bear on the YZ. "I'll cover our approach. I don't think they could sneeze on us, the shape they're in, but just in case..."
Pash nods over to Sion and opens up the engines, pushing the ship over to the docking port indicated by Adhar. It doesn't take long at this point, and they have a plan that sounds halfway decent to him, so he busies himself with the docking procedure while considering whether or not they might be able to free enough extra space in the cargo hold for all the captives. If they survive this.
Atria turns to face Klo and gives her a thumbs up with the hand not holding a rifle. The grin can be heard in her voice as she replies, "That's the spirit, Doc." Then Adhar starts giving orders and she's all business. She takes the opportunity to switch her weapons to stun now, then looks to her squad, "You heard him, boys and girls. Switch to stun now so you don't forget when they start shooting at you. Last thing we need is to vent the prisoners' atmosphere."
"So... I do /what/ exactly?" Klo asks, turning those soulless green eyes over towards Adhar, given that her name wasn't called out in the list of orders given. "Because I didn't bring any surgical manuals to read while I wait for the conquering heroes to return in... well. As few pieces as possible." Then her attention's back over towards Atria, and she nods once. "Somebody has to be the realist around these parts. It may as well be the person responsible for keeping you all breathing." ...well, technically they're all responsible for /that/ one. Just in differing ways.
"You provide medical care when I tell you," Adhar says to Klo, producing from its cradle on his thigh a weapon that looks like a four-barreled flak gun in miniature, not a blaster. "Otherwise, come with us and stay in the back until you're needed."
As Atria's squad departs for the ship's starboard airlock, Adhar looks to Pash. "I just remembered, Pash - Dosk and Aola are around the station in case we needed them. Call 'em on hyperradio, have them come out. Solves our passenger problem." That said, he heads on himself. "Come on, you lot."
"Much as we've got here, I'm glad we've got help," Sion murmurs, tracking the ship as the come in to dock. "Should I stay and mind the ship? Or would I be handier backing up the troops?"
"We can squeeze some into the escape pods if we have to, and disable the launch controls inside them," Sion suggests, standing up. She stretches, preparing to move, and spot-checks her S5. "Hopefully we can get to the cargo bay without going through the upper deck. The interior layout on those ships is easy to change around."
Pash eyeballs Adhar for a moment, then gives a single nod. "See ya at the airlock." Swiveling his chair to get access to the comms, he opens a channel to Dosk and Aola. "Y'all want in on some fun?" he asks dryly, before explaining their need for more space to hold possible survivors. He's brief, as he needs to get going soon after to join up with Adhar and Sion.
As the ship moves in for docking, Atria unbuckles her restraints and stands, getting her rifle ready. "Up and at 'em, boys and girls. Time to earn your pay," she orders her squad and takes up the lead position at the airlock. She raises her rifle to her shoulder, ready to shoot the first hostile she sees when the doors open.
"Always looking for more fun Pash, good to hear you over comms. The Dream is exiting shortly" Dosk replies as the black, violet engined freighter begins beeping, signaling their jump is nearing its end. "Exiting momentarily" Adding. There is a bit of formality in his voice. As his arms move around once the blue streaks appear and slow to eventually become specs as they enter real space.
"We'll be there," Aola comms back, resting in the freighter behind Dosk. It was strange for her not to be in her fighter, but it was all hands to retreive the people in need of rescue so the blue-skinned fighter ace was 'on the ground' with her blaster slung over her shoulders. "Just don't shoot us when we come around the corner!" It's an afterthought, but the Twi'lek was only slightly joking at the prospect of blue on literally blue fire.
Parked up in one of the non-quad turrets, Tamrae yawns and stirs a bit as the ship shudders as it leaves hyperspace. "I'm not gonna shoot anyone on our side!" she protests with a pout. Sure, there's a reason she's not in the QUAD turret, but she's not THAT bad a shot...
Docking with a dead ship is a difficult prospect at best, especially when it's listing - but Pash is on the case, bringing the Express in to match the larger freighter's slow spin gracefully. As the ship docks, it does so with a gentle kiss of steel on steel, and power flows between the Express to the dead lock to get it to power open. So skillful is Pash's flying that Atria and Adhar can emerge first with the troops, just in time to scare the hell out of a number of pirates standing there with flayed hides hanging like coats or tabards over their battle armor.
Adhar's finger jerks first, and the gun in his hands roars - all four barrels pour durasteel flechettes into the formation of men, but the cone of fire strips paint off the bulkhead in a wide silvery sore. "Light 'em up," Adhar roars, already pumping the charge handle on his weapon. "Let's get this done!
Staying close to the hatch for the moment, just in case one of these depraved pirates gets the idea to rush for the ship, Sion nonetheless backs up her captain. Aiming around the hatch lip, she opens fire with her sidearm. Two bright blue pulses smack into one of the drooling cannibals. "Get out there, before they bottle us up!"
Atria was ready for the airlock door to open and when it does so she wastes no time in firing on the pirates. Twice she fires and twice her blue stun beams slam into one of the pirates. She then moves into the airlock, advancing onto the enemy ship and speaking over her squad's comm channel, "Drop 'em and leave 'em. Our foothold starts here!"
Klo's keeping herself close to Adhar, at the moment. Very specifically positioning herself so that he's between her and those who might consider shooting /at/ her. She's not going to jump out and take her first shot, not yet -- not until she's absolutely sure she won't hit anyone on their side.
...not so much out of concern for /them,/ but with the numbers game to account for, she'd rather have more people up and able to defend /her./
Sounds of contact and combat on the comlink have Aola frowning before she stands, making her way towards the boarding tube. "Get us down there," she calls back towards Dosk and hits the charge on her blaster rifle. She couldn't join the fight yet, but she'll be ready.
As the ship has exited hyperspace. Dosk takes note of the freighter on his sensorscreen and throttles the engines to full in approach. Backing off as they get closer as he begins to attempt to dock in sync with the disabled ship. 'Pash could have at least used thrust to try and make it straighten out a bit" he says in the cockpit, to himself at this point as he intercoms 'Gonna attempt to dock, hold on or strap in' stating as the controls are altered to start a similar 'dance' to the target as an approach is attempted.
"Well, at least they didn't blow it up accidentally..." Tamrae says, quickly belting herself in place as Dosk reminds everyone and the other ship comes in close. "How many pirates ya think there are aboard? Lots? I'm betting lots..." She braces herself for the dock.
The corridor fills with fire as the pirates begin to match their attackers, and it's seriously going down. As Atria, Adhar and the squad opens up, assisted by Sion - smoke and expended blaster gas begins to fill the corridor swiftly, clouding the corrior swiftly...but not enough to keep the pirates from getting a few solid hits in. Atria gets tagged through the thigh, and Adhar takes a shot in the chest, penetrating his breastplate but shallowly, and the thunder of his flak piece doesn't seem to be bringing anyone down yet...but then again, it's hard to see what's going on with all that mess in the tunnels.
Poor Sion gets a gut wound, and it's a good one. Real good.
Meanwhile, the pirates are going down, and Dosk's expert piloting locks the ship down on the port opposite the one where all the action's taking place. IT's likely nobody heard /that/ over all that mess going on portside, though.
Sion gasps, feeling that burning sensation in her side. She stays on her feet, but she's clinging to the hatch lip to keep her balance. "Frell..."
Atria takes a shot to the thigh, though thankfully it's not as bad as it could've been if she weren't wearing armor. She growls under her breath, gritting her teeth through the pain and squeezes off two more shots into the group of pirates.
As for Klo, seeing the hit Sion took? Those marvelous medical instincts tell her to skitter across to the most wounded of her allies -- she waits for a break in the firing, admittedly, but when she does? She's running across like a bolt.
Mind you, she's still hiding herself /behind/ Sion, because being in front of her would be great for a shield... but she's a shield made out of paper. Pretty, expensive paper.
"Hold still, you took a rough hit." she commands, fingers and tools working in perfect precision to try and keep the other woman on her feet and in the fight. For all of her quirkiness? She's a darn good doctor.
Dosk gets up as the docking clamps engage and heads for the exit. Turning to Hammy as he moves. "Stay here, guard the airlock Ham. Anyone whos Array, let them on." He says to the hunter trainer. Slapping him on the shoulder as he heads off towards the docking hatch and into the enemy ship. He doesnt opt to race ahead into a ship occupied by pirates, they sometimes lay traps and going in blind isn't his style.
With the Dream docked, Tamrae unbuckles, then climbs down from the gunwell, dropping to the deck and jogging over to the airlock as she draws her pistol. She hangs back, taking cover as she lets the experts with this, Aola and Dosk, take point on assaulting into the other ship...instead she slips up to hold the airlock and watch their backs with the Tracker droid. Cuz it would be bad if some pirates got past and stole the ship.
It's a blue bolt, seemingly 'out of the blue' from the Twi'lek. The Heavy EL-16HFE rifle lets out a scream as her bolt finds its target. It's a strange world when the pilot is leading the charge, but she moves well, keeps her rifle tight to her shoulder. She was learning, and there was no better time to apply it than when her friends were in danger.
When the smoke clears - and it doesn't take long - the pirates litter the deck, all of them unconscious. Adhar, his armor scored with a neat hole, sweeps the deck with his helmet's thermal imagers to ensure nobody else is moving. Looking down, he sets the thermals to look through decking, searching past the largely dead infrastructure for heat signatures below.
"All right," he says, "Looks like the folks in the bay are all right. Maybe those were guards after all - shavit! No no no no!" He is off, taking the stairs two at a time to the bay entrance. "I got two guards, shooting the survivors. Tamrae, get down here and get this gods-be-damned door open!"
For her part, Sion just holds still as best she can. She doesn't make a sound, but the tension in her jaw and the tears in her eyes betray the pain she's in. She's still holding the hatch lip to keep herself upright, so Klo can work.
Atria also has a hole in her armor and a bit of a limp as she follows after Adhar, though not quite bad enough to slow her down. She keeps her rifle ready, watching for more threats. "Want my squad to sweep this deck for lurkers while you get that door open, Captain?"
Dosk's armored form finds the group, following the blaster marks and yelling as he descends down to Adhar's location. "Captain" His voice emits from behind the helmet as he looks forward to hear the blaster fire emitting from the other side. His pistol and other arms resting until someone arrives to gain entry to the hatch. His head looks to the side. "Hammy, send your probes out to scan the rest of the ship, let me know if anything is encountered." Radioing back to his ships intercom.
Klo does... well, the best she can in the situation, but there's only so much the tall woman can do in the middle of a firefight, with limited tools to work with! "You'll live, Sion, but I'll have to do more work when we get back home." she tells the shorter woman from her position behind her. "Your turn to be amazing again."
"Y-yah, coming boss!" Tamrae says, leaving her covered spot to sprint down to the main bay, then up to the door as she runs over to the door panel, pulling otu some tools. With a quick twist and snap she's got the cover off, then she pulls out a clipper to slice through some of the circuits and reroute the wiring inside. "Just..almost..got it!" She moves to the side to give everyone a clear line of fire as the door unlocks then slides open.
The bay doors hiss open, revealing a spacious cargo bay in which a number of terrified-looking beings are huddled on the deck. For once, the ship isn't a horrific death hulk, but it's also spattered with blood - now, because two of the prisoners are laid out with smoking blaster wounds. The two monsters guarding them are Trandoshan, wearing the usual amulets of bones and flesh; Adhar steps in, right behind one of the killers, and bringing up his scattergun unloads all four barrels into the creature's midsection. It isnt' a blaster, after all - no clean smoking holes, no cauterization. The creature's midsection partially vaporizes, blood and bone and flesh forcibly ejected across the horrified prisoners in a spectactular shower of gore. The guard drops, isntantly unconscious, and Adhar growls a warning to the other one - but it doesn't seem to work against these bastard killers, becuse he just grins and turns his gun in Adhar's direction. If anything, it' just a challenge.
Sion grimaces, nodding to Klo and pulling her armor back together. "I owe you a drink when we're done," she murmurs, and picks up her S5, moving to follow Adhar and the rest of the lower deck boarders.
Well, the wound wasn't slowing Atria down, but then she encountered stairs. Apparently a bigger nemesis for her this trip than the pirates themselves. She takes the first couple steps too fast and lets out a cry of pain before bracing herself against the wall. She gestures down the stairs to her squad, "Get in there and reinforce the captain!"
Let's face it, Klo knows what she's good at. Stitching people's insides back together? Yup. Hiding behind people in order not to get hit? Usually, yes. ...but when she sees her cover moving closer to where the action is... she curses under her breath and follows. The sight that greets her -- plenty of delightful gore, and those... oh-so-stylishly dressed Trandoshans? That gives Klo another idea.
"Have you seen those skins they're wearing?" she calls out, loudly. "That flesh is leprous! They could start falling apart /any moment now!/"
Because another thing Klo's good at? Lying. She'll lie to anyone's face, and maybe manage to spook the enemy in the process. It's worth a shot!
Dosk walks down and gives a quick glance as he enters, the others attempting to stall the last Trandoshan having caused him to pause, but the 4 arm(ored) man merely fires at the lizard after the sight of the murdered slaves are registered.
The young Codru-Ji winces a bit at the boomboomboomboom of Adhar's shotgun and the dying scream of Trandoshans. Sounds messy. It's not like she feels too bad for them though...they could have given up instead of shooting prisoners, after all. And they're kinda sadistic psychopaths, sooooo...yeah. She won't be weeping any tears. But well, she's fine to hold back a bit near Klo.
Being a madman, and having a very short-ranged weapon, Adhar bellows challenge and charges the lizard-bastard; he gets close enough to open fire on the monstrosity, neatlu severing its arm in another cloud of thunder and silvery flechettes. Bellowing, it goes down, leaving silence in its wake.
< All right, > Adhar says, panting with pain and exertion. "I think that's...that's it. Let's round up the prisoners and get these poor people free."
Sion pauses in the doorway, wincing. "That's everyone, then?" she asks, looking around at the mess. And the survivors. She glances back at Klo and waves her inside, to see to triage. "Better see who can be moved now, and who'll need help."
Hearing Adhar's orders about the prisoners, Atria decides not to finish going down the stairs and instead returns to the top. She gets to work positioning her squad to offer protection along the routes to the two Consortium ships, just in case there are still pirates hiding somewhere.
"Right." Klo replies -- with the threat down? She's perfectly willing to go inside and try and help where she can -- it's her job, and she's going to hop from prisoner to prisoner -- diagnosing wounds, determining if they can walk, be carried, or even be moved safely. The latter, of course, is what her focus is going to be on. Barring any orders otherwise, that is.
Dosk's shot flies wide and into the wall, the blue ring dissipating before Adhar makes his rush and finishes the Trandoshan off with extreme prejudice. The Codru'Ji male simply looks at his XT-1, the dark visored helm tilting slightly before returning it to its holster and turning to the huddling slaves. A couple of his hands motioning to raise. "Alright. Everyone up, lets get you all out of here. You're getting split up on two ships for the ride out. If you're friends or family, group up and we'll do what we can to keep you together for transport, if not you will be reunited shortly, rest assured." He gets on his communicator. "Ham, we are heading back shortly, bring your drones back and continue to standby." Saying into his comms before slapping Adhar on the back. "Thanks" he says before heading back towards the door to escourt his portion of the now refugees back towards the Codru Dream.
The ships' computers are trashed from battle, and yet Tamrae manages to coax no small amount of data from them - meanwhile, te risoners are loaded, put in binders and stunned into unconsciousness for transport back to the Serious Business. Short of the two that Adhar seriously wounded and the one Aola killed, it's a clean sweep - and even the downed prisoners can be saved. You've all done extremely well, but alas, the ship cannot otherwise be salvaged. Too much damage, too many wounds, and the great machine is breaking apart. And yet, there are no problems getting the people saved who need to be; despite the wounds, you all have done an excellent job retreiving the captives.
The Arconan authorities are very pleased to have the stolen people back, and though the prisoners remain on the Business for the time being it is clear that when they're done there will be rewards upon deivering them to the authorities. First, though, interrogations, interogations and data analysis. The rest will come.