Log:Array Consortium: Fellowship and Loss
Stricken by Mara's leaving, Adhar goes to see his close friend and (older) brother smuggler, the much more established Ax.
~ As usual, the Waywards hangar is busy. People are milling about here and there, working on ships, cleaning, or running various drills. Ax is near the Phantom Knight, going over some things with the officers of the ship. ~
The HLAF 500 known at the Corellian had just came in for a landing and the cockpit was raised. Jax is standing next to the small fighter with a flight helmet tucked under one arm as he talks to one of the technicans and Jax's trouble making little R2 unit Exine.
Adhar arrives, walking past the guards with only the slightest hello. His expression is blank, as though he wore a mask of his own face. His eyes, unreadable. He makes for Ax.
~ Ax glances over towards Jax as he's exiting the snub fighter. "Hey man, how's that little fly doing? Think you can go toe to toe with one of those new TIE fighters in it?" he asks before his attention shifts towards the arrival of Adhar. He looks over the man, who is lacking his cheery demeanor. "You alright, Gann?" ~
Adhar comes up to a stop in front of Ax, maybe a few feet away. He looks at the man for a long moment before speaking - and when he does, his voice is raw with conflicting emotions. "Mara came back," he says. "I told her about Ren. And then she left again." You've received a +nom from Ax. +nom/pending to review.
Jax shrugs, "I'd be happier in a T-70 or A-wing but It's me. I've shot those over engineered eyeballs down in a Y-wing." Then Adhar's there talking about Mara Jade and Kylo Ren. Jax frowns for a moment and looks to Ax then back to Adhar. "Take a deep breath, man. You need a drink?"
~ Ax gives a nod to Jax. "Well, if I'm not flying it, you can fly my over-engineered eyeball and see which one is better. I think mine is, but I may be biased," he says with a smirk. He then looks back to Adhar. "Ok, you told her what about Ren? That he came at you and kicked your ass as part of an interogation? I don't know about her, Gann, but it seems she is close to you, and it's getting between her and her duties to the First Order as their spy." ~
"What I need is my friend back," Adhar practically growls as he turns to look at Jax - and then he calms, willing what promises to be a cauldron of emotion back down inside of him. "She's leaving. To protect us. Protect me. And, by extension, you." His lips purse. "Do you understand? She's risking her life to go back to them."
Jax adds queitly to Ax, "Funny story, I shared a drink with a First Order stick jockey one time. She was all impressed with the fact I flew an Avenger. I failed to mention who I was." He looks back to Gann, "Alright. That's all a line of poodoo either they've fed her or she's feeding you. If you love this girl and she loves you take her and run. Get the hell off the moon and go to the Core. Hide out."
~ "This is where I ask what it is you want me to do, Adhar. She's a big girl, and we both know she's been working for the First Order." Ax pauses with a sigh. "I don't know what to tell you other than if you need help, I'll help, but I'm not going to go swarm the Finalizer to get her back, that's only going to get a lot of good people dead." ~
"I don't want you to do anything," Adhar says, shaking his head. He doesn't answer Jax, and that's probably a good thing. "I'm just telling you, she's done, and she did it because she didn't want to put Ren down on us. I'm not sure that she might not even try to kill the man."
Jax scratches the side of his head then runs his fingers through his hair feeling it sticking up every different direction. "What Ax says goes double for me. If you need help, I'll try to help."
~ "Well, if she tries, I wish her all the luck in the universe," Ax says. "He needs to be put down like a rabid dewback. Of course, it might all be a load of shit, Adhar. With the First Order, there's nobody that can truly be trusted. She might have feelings for you and you for her, but she also has a duty, it just depends on which one is more important." He sighs. "I hope its not her duty, I truly do. She could be a good ally, but she could also just as easily be the worst enemy there is." ~
"There's nothing that can be done, for now," Adhar says with a shake of his head. "She might come back, I don't know. Just...it's a feeling. You know all about those, I'm sure. Even with everythig, I have that spark of faith that just won't go away." He closes his eyes and sighs, shaking his head. "Whatever happens. I just wanted you to know that she isn't going to be around for a while. A little bit of safety for you both. I just...I hate that you guys don't see her like I do. I mean I get why, I just...."
He heaves another sigh, and everything just...leaves him for a moment. When he reinflates, his face clears. "We've done flight tests with HLAFs against Avengers. You'll likely need two to pick them apart, probably two on these new TIEs. We got rid of our HLAFs when we got another Avenger - they're two to one in my tactical estimation, if not three to one. The guns on the HLAFs just can't scratch deeply enough on a single hit."
~ "Well, I'd like another Avenger, and I had my eyes on one that was for sale, hell it's the one I bloody sold a while back. Guess Bar bought it, huh? I knew he had one already. Hard to come by little fighters." Ax leans against a landing strut for the advanced corvette. "These days I don't get much stick time in a proper fighter, someone has to helm this bird." ~
Jax frowns, "Adhar, I've never met this woman. It's hard for me to have an emotional attachment to her or trust her. If she needs help, I'm offering to help. My offer is because of the friendship you've offered the guild and me. I wish the Force to be with her if she goes against Ren. My friend you need to search your feelings and consider meanings and truths to you." He gives Adhar a smile, "Swarm tactics is always a sound tactics against a superior fighter craft. I do have some experience flying against various First Order Ties. The ones with gunners are a tough nut to crack." He gestures to the Painted Warrior, "And I've got more than one tool for the job."
"No, I appreciate it, Jax," Adhar says to Jax, shaking his head. "I appreciate you, too. And Sesti. I'm sorry, you don't usually see me at my best. I'm...just emotional. I feel there's a certain finality in this departure. And I really hope I'm wrong about that - for all the right reasons. If she does come back, it'll be because she's left the Order, I'm pretty sure about that. We'll all of us need to welcome her if that happens, else we'll lose her forever. Something tells me we'd be failing more than just Mara if that happens."
Adhar rubs at his brow. "Okay, so. Yeah. Fighters. Yeah, B bought the other Avenger. Gives us two, a trio of Preybirds - which are amazing, by the way, especially for a hundred grand each - and an Imperial Star Wing, which while slow is an amazing ship. Highly maneuverable for something that moves at sixty megalights."
"They're in the system," Adhar says, nodding once. "The Finalizer - which, Fortune save us all, looks like it should be a flagship, not a ship of the line. It's lurking just out by the belt. I did a focused scan as we passed..." His anguished expression shifts to one of grim awe. "It's armed with /thousands/ of cannons. Turbolasers, ion cannons, point-defense. It's almost three thousand meters long." He rubs at his face, willing himself back to business. "The power signature alone is like a planetary reactor cluster. I don't...I don't /think/ they'll do anything here, but..."
Adhar looks up at Ax. "The Republic, I think, is done. If they have a fleet of those, the Republic will fold like paper. How can it not?"
~ "I'm familiar with it," Ax says. "I've faced off against it, or rather ran like hell from it in the past." The Echani offers a shrug. "The Republic never truly was. It was a dream ruined by the greed of different men and the fact that there's simply no way for a hundred thousand planets with a hundred thousand cultures can work together as one." Ax looks back to Jax. "Well, I don't know where I can buy a T-70 or T-85, so we're stuck with whatever goes through the buy-n-fly. ~
Jax rolls his shoulders, "Oh, I thought we were talking ships we liked. I'm happy with the HLAF. Actually Helix would probably be what I used." He shrugs, "They're swinging their Cocks around." He shrugs, "The Empire had Death Stars and so many Star Destroyers. They fell. It not always the size of the gun." He pauses and then says, "We need heros to stop them."
"There's a T-65 in there now," Adhar says. "Half a million, as per usual." He looks to Jax. "Yeah. We do. I can't join the Resistance, but I'll give them everything I can. I have a feeling that...wait. Do you know an Aola Ziveri? She's Resistance, isn't she? She's interviewing to be a pilot."
~ "We need hope, that's what it takes. Wars are won by people who have hope. If we lose faith, then the war is already lost," Ax says. "T-65's are serious old-school. Not my speed at all, but if that's what Jax likes, maybe he can sell some stuff and afford it." ~
Jax chuckles, "Who knows, maybe I'll buy it. " The Corellian crosses his arm. "I don't talk about that part of my life to openly. Secrets that need to be kept." He say probably in a possible denyablity sorta way. "They're fighting the good fight. I just needed to do things my way."
"I find my faith growing by the day," Adhar says, letting out a chuckle that breaks at the end. "I don't know that I'm the emotional hardcase I thought I was, gentlemen. I don't know if that's good or bad...but it's what it is. I swear, I want to take the Castle and jump it right through that gods-be-damned Star Destroyer right now." His voice takes an edge on that is as bright as it is hot, as crackling and furious as the sword of the new Dark Lord, himself, but it fades just as quickly as it came. "I won't, of course. In fact, we're going in on a job soon that will probably see the Castle turn into some kind of a beast in a couple of weeks."
He nods to Jax. "I get it. I do. Same here. Though...suns below, I might have to go for a little while. Somewhere. I think if Locke showed up I'd kill him on the spot, regardless of what happened."
That said, he steps back. "I'm going to go. You guys...Ax, I love you, man. Big brother you might be, but you're my brother - you too, Jax. I swear by Fortune's sword, if anything happened to you two..." He grits his teeth and walks off, shaking his head. That's a man with a lot going on. And who knew he was capable of all that feeling? Probably not many. Least of all, himself.
~ "Take it easy, Adhar. May the force be with you and all that jizz," Ax says with a grin. "Don't go ramming star destroyers, you'll fuck up a perfectly decent Marauder that way." ~
Jax smiles, "Take care. Don't do anything stupid. Well don't do anything stupid that you can't turn and run from." He says and then looks to Ax. " YOu know Naboo sounds good these days more and more."
Later, on board the Bandit's Castle, Adhar calls up Sion on the intercom.
Into the intercom: Adhar Gann says, "Sion. You awake?"
Intercom: Sion stifles a yawn. "Ooh... I am /now/... Captain? Are you all right?"
Into the intercom: Adhar Gann clears his throat. He sounds...very strange. Drunk? Maybe. Or...something. Stricken.
Intercom: Sion says, "You don't /sound/ all right, Captain. I'll be right up."
Into the intercom: Adhar Gann says, "...all right."
The lights are low in the captain's quarters, and music plays soft and low in the background. Adhar is there, or at least his silhouette. Smell of something sharp in the air, sharp and fragrant. Spice, maybe? No. Incense.
The doorchime sounds, but it's barely done so before the hatch opens, admitting Sion. She's clearly come as soon as she was fit to be seen: She's barefooted, clad in a lounging robe that's a bit askew, and her hair shows signs of having a brush pulled through it maybe once or twice and otherwise left to its own devices. She blinks at the dimness inside the cabin, pausing to shut the hatch behind her. "Captain..?"
"It's supposed to calm you." Adhar's voice is low, calm. No, not calm. Something else. Clink of glass and the soft glug of something pouring. "Isn't working very well. Have a seat, Sion."
"So I'm hearing," Sion murmurs, concerned. At least her mood is easy to read: Nervous and worried. "Are you all right? I've never heard you sound the way you did just now, on the intercom."
He laughs. It's a faintly broken sound. "Sit down," he repeats, and the pouring sound repeats, followed by the clink of another glass. "Have a glass of Whyren's with me. You'll like this. Pre-Imperial. Trillian gave it to me."
"You're not all right," Sion realizes, though she takes the seat anyway, shakily trying to straighten her robe. "Not if you've gotten /that/ out. Those bottles cost a crime lord's ransom, these days." She accepts the glass, though she makes no move to drink it. Yet. "Sir, what happened?"
"I'm not all right," he says, laughing faintly. "And don't call me sir. We're both off duty. Adhar, please, for the love of Fortune." His face is largely hidden, but as your eyes adjust, you can see the suggestion of a blank mask, momentarily shifted with a laugh or grimace. "Don't tell anyone, either. This is just...me and you. Friends. All right?"
"Adhar, then," Sion replies, her eyes widening at the sight of her captain's face. "All right... strictly between us, all of this. Just two friends having a drink together, and talking."
"Mara came back," he says. "And...we talked." He picks up the glass, takes a deep drink. Smacks his lips and blows out a breath. "And now she's gone."
"Mara's gone? For good?" Sion asks, leaning closer, wide-eyed with trepidation. "What happened? Did she say why?"
"I don't know," Adhar admits, though he pauses to tink a finger a few times against your glass to remind you it's there. "She's going so the First Order doesn't come down on us. To protect us. Protect me, because of Ren's visitation, that.../krif/-ing wizard." A bright edge to his tongue for a moment, bright and sharp and hot with rage. It vanishes almost immediately, and he is that not-calm again. "She might be going to her death. I don't know. But...she's leaving for a while, at the very least."
He's quiet for a long moment. "I love her, you know," he says then, and it's a soft and awed thing. "I love her. But...not, maybe...how you think."
"I think we all do," Sion says softly. "And when I think of where she's going..." She takes a quick sip of the Whyren's, wincing faintly at the stuff's bite. "I've never met this 'Ren', but no one's ever said anything good about him to me..." She falls silent, lost for words.
"He's a monster." His voice, bright hot and angry again, sharper than the burn of the liquor down your throat. "I can't kill him. I don't have the power. But I want to, oh, Sion, how I want to. I want to kill him and all of his smiling toadies, I want to crush them beneath my boots." The brightness becomes a snarl, hideous and - possibly - quite terrifying, if not because of its intensity but from whose throat it now escapes. "If ever I had hated before, it is nothing for what I feel now."
He pauses to take another deep drink, gasping softly at the burn of it. Century or two of history in liquid form, itself the witness of much violence. "What's worse is the possibility that they won't hurt her. They might just turn her. Make her like them. She straddles that line, and I...if it happens to her, because of me..." The growl breaks, and a sound escapes him that isn't quite a sob, but perhaps the echo of it, the echo if tears dripping somewhere distant, welling up from his throat. "Not much I can do about it but sit here and drink."
Sion shivers, thinking about it. And the look on her captain's face. "I hope it won't," she whispers, hugging her elbows. "She's been there for us, so often. I'm sorry, Adhar. I just... I don't know what else to say, or to do..." She sets the glass down, the bottom rattling against the table, and lowers her gaze to her lap.
"Nothing to do." He takes a deep breath. "Sion, I'm sorry. She'll be fine. I'll be fine. We'll all be fine. I..." Adhar closes his eyes. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have called you up here. All we can do is just watch for her, and be here for her should she return. And make the bastards pay in the way we can."
"You didn't. I chose to come," Sion whispers. "It sounded like you needed someone..." She lets the words trail off. "I hope she comes back. But until then... we'll just have to be there for each other, too."
"I don't think I love her like you love her," Adhar says after a long moment, sobering - in the shadows, his face firms, and his expression becomes soft, tender. "She's my friend. But you...well. Look. I'm here for you. Whatever comes. But now...I think you should go back to bed. I'll finish this up, and then I need to take a walk. Don't worry, she'll be all right. And if she's not, we'll go get her."