Log:Array Consortium: Four Arms, Silver Tongue
Sent to collect a load of exotic liquors from the Core to stockpile on Nar Shaddaa, new Consortium captain Dosk manages to do something not often done in that group: complete a job without drawing a gun. People still die, though.
< OOC Note: It's been a very long time since a Consortium smuggler, when faced with armed conflict, talked it out. Well done, Dosk! -- Adhar Gann >
So the job that Adhar gives you, should you want to accept it: given the political situation he believes is building in the galaxy, it might be some time before he can get liquor from the Core Worlds once things pop off - if they do, that is. As Adhar is a fairly shrewd businessman, he is sending you to stock up on a load of liquors and brewing supplies from a number of said Core Worlds, which will be available for pickup at Coronet City, crown jewel of Corellia. It's sixty tons of booze and booze-related products is what it is, even a load of custom equipment and software for a brewing machine that Adhar bought for the Lounge.
Sounds easy, but it's a lot of credits for some of the stuff he's asking for - a lot of rare liquors in there. Lots of Whyren's Reserve from Corellia, for Fortune's sake. So how to pay for it? Cash? Ha! Not for this. No, among a standard commercial load of unrelated things, Adhar's had you pack two cases of Tionese wine to pay his 'trading partner', wine that's been mixed heavily with glitterstim spice. Very expensive on its own. Very illegal. But...if you play your cards right, also not terribly difficult to conceal from inspection parties. The bottles are already heavy crystal, and the wine will spoil when opened. It all depends on if you can pack them such that they will be sufficiently hidden.
And from Nar Shaddaa you go, leaping into hyperspace, sitting in the somewhat narrow cockpit of the Codru Dream. Adhar left you some Codru music he found from a trader, some nice, pleasant classical tunes from home. Maybe you like it, maybe you don't. But at least the guy was thinking of you, right?
And off Dosk is again on another mission. As the spice trade has been slowed since the issues with their enemies. With the thought of a ship upgrade, he is thirsty for work to come up with the credits needed to be fronted the money. All the rare, high alcoholic content stuff is boxed in around the wine with glitterstim, jammed in around the reactor housing as Adhar reccomended earlier during their adventure to the ebua's spaceport on Nar Shaddaa. The cheaper stuff being stored in the main shipping area in a container below his ship.
The problem with Adhar's system is that you're using a Slingshot - the closest you can get to the reactor housing is the top of the cargo box, where you carefully place the box of laced wine securely nestled among several pallets of rich shimmersilk and more unadulterated Tionese wine. What is it about the Tionese that people can't get enough of? Is it the whole Exar Kun thing? The former galactic supremacy of the Tion Hegemony in the ancient days? Who knows? At any rate, the parcel is right under where the reactor should be...but will it work? Radiation can't get in, sure, but what about this electromagnetic effect the captain talked about? Who knows. Certainly not you, because you don't have the skills to test outside of the ship's sensors, and they won't tell you anything.
Well. Nothing for it but to travel.
After a good ten hours of traveling to the Corellian Run and taking said hyperspace route to the Core, you arrive at the edge of the Corellian system, where the various, disparate sister-worlds await for your flyby. Immediately, the odd, cone-headed shape of a Corellian gunship approaches from starboard, its light brown hull bristling with cannons and missile tubes.
<< Incoming transport, incoming transport...this is the Corellian customs vessel Solo's Fortune. You are commanded to slow to five megalights, identify yourself, submit your manifest and submit to scan. You have one minute to comply. >>
Well. There's that.
There's a long pause. Finally, the Fortune replies. << Codru Dream, our scans reflect the general contents of your manifest, but your reactor is putting out an EM blur that's obsuring part of your cargo. Lock down your navicomp to the following coordinates and execute an approach course immediately to meet with a security vessel for inspection. This is not a request; you have thirty seconds to comply. >>
And, on cue, the navicomputer beeps as an incoming course is being transmitted. Of course, you have to accept it.
As Dosk prepares for the requests beswowed upon him, he radios. "Codru Dream to Fortune. I am experiencing a power feed problem currently." Stating over the radio as an arm stretches out "Levels are currently high, request re-scan." requesting with a bit of distress in his voice.
After a few minutes, slow, dangerous minutes that could possibly land you in prison, the comms crackle to life. << All right, Codru Dream, we see it. Try and lock down the power level and head to Coronet at no faster than sixty megalights, fifty if you see a problem. Radio if you run into engine distress - but get it fixed down there. Solo's Fortune out. >>
A sigh of relief goes through Dosk as that situation is averted, though there is still more to worry about, the landing. As a precaution, dosk keeps it at fifty and radios that he will come in slow out of precaution. "rodger Fortune, going to come in slow out of caution. Will keep you posted. Codru Dream Out" he replies before flicking back on the music provided to help him calm down. Every run was a stress but also exhilerating. A feeling he could not duplicate elsewhere aside from direct confrontation.
Yes, that was a good piece o' bluffin', old son, and your wits have saved your neck - and so you head on to Corellia, albeit on reduced engine power, until you finally land at Coronet City Spaceport some five hours later. Coronet's an old, old city, big and fancy, but nothing like Coruscant. On the other hand, unlike Coruscant, there's still seas and hills and actual /nature/. You touch down on Pad 27, and as you get out there are people awaiting you.
People who aren't customs officials.
In fact, where are those guys?
Four men in plain mechanic's overalls stand there, toolbelts around their waists. Three of them are human men, dark-haired and forgettable, but the one in the lead is a Wroonian man with the painful beauty and sharp cheekbones of all their race. His hair is slicked back, his handsome features marred with a deep seam that runs down his left cheek. When you hit the tarmac, he smiles, revealing teeth filed into points.
"Mister Consortium," the Wroonian says, his heavy accent stretching 'i' into 'ee' and the end consonants having a strange cadence, like he were testing the sounds to make sure they're right. "We are very happy to see you."
Dosk looks at them puzzled "Consortium?" he asks from the base of his ships personnel ramp. "Not sure with what you are going with there." His lower hands rest on his hips, one of which hold the blaster gifted to him from Adhar. One of his top hands rolls his cigarra in his mouth which is chewed on. "Who might you be?"
"No talking!" The Wroonian's eyes bulge faintly, his pupils enormous, and he gnashes his filed teeth. The other three men have hands behind their backs, at their belts. Doubtless there's a pouch back there with a blaster in it. "We want your cargo, four-arms. We want the spice!"
"I've no spice gentlemen. Though I have 1000 credits for each of you to let me deliver my legal cargo, more than enough to get what you want and then some." Dosk says as his hands continue to sit where they are.
"Takes a lot of gall to do this, I offer a fair price to walk away well off."
The Wroonian squints his eyes faintly. "No spice," he murmurs, gnashing his teeth faintly. His lips flatten over those fangs, and he shifts a bit, arms gangly, like if he were a marionette with loose strings. "But why? Why offer money if no spice? What /do/ you have, Consortium man? Spice is no matter. Tell us what you DO have."
"I have a load of replacement parts for pistons and grease for them. But I know how it goes around here when I make a trip. I have to pay my share to the guys who run the space ports. Like I said, im offering 1k each to leave me be and let me deliver my cargo so I can be done and move on." He squints a bit. "We keep this peaceful, next run i do this way, you make another 3k. You tell me who to ask for if there are problems on the port, maybe I tel lmy friends to ask for you and they pay you too." He shrugs with his upper arms and just watches them
The four of them are silent for a long while. Finally, the leader speaks. "Fine," he hisses through his filed teeth. "One thousand for each. And then one thousand more after you deliver your cargo! No less! We will stay here until you return - and do not lie to us, Mister Consortium! We are enemies! We will kill you if we want!"
Tough words, but the promise of cash seems ot have whetted the appetites of these footsoldiers. They withdraw into the darkness of a covered fuel cabin, presumably to await your summons of the client's paid-off customs workers to haul away the cargo.
Which you can do now, via comlink. The frequency is preprogrammed, the summoning word is 'Corellian Dancer'.
Dosk nods and does just that. "Corellian Dancer" he radios, watchin the men who approached him while looking around for those that may approach. 4k was a hit, but if it went smooth, better than a hospital and bacta bill.
Now you can't get any more truthful than that.
After ten minutes' wait or so, a platoon of customs officials, led by a CDEF officer in a high-collared uniform, arrives to do the deed. The officer might not be on the take, but you know that the customs techs are. The officer reads over your licenses and manifest as the scanner crew comes up.
"No contraband, sir," the tech announces. "It's all clear."
"Good," says the officer. "Unload it and have it taken to...Bay...427-Zed-7." The crew gets to it, unloading your cargo container with frightening speed and efficiency - almost like a burglary crew, isn't that 'funny'? - and soon they have loaded it all on pallets, the laced wine included, and they're off, leaving you with the officer and a couple of armed soldiers.
The officer looks at you. "Please do me a favor, won't you, Captain Dosk?"
"And what is that?" Dosk asks the officer. Imagining the "Dont come back here again speech about to be played"
The officer scribbles down his signature in official, holographic ink on the thin sheets of printed plastoid, and hands them back to you. "Tell Captain Gann that his forgeries are getting a little sloppy. I know he's busy being the second coming of Wilhuff Tarkin in the Outer Rim right now, but it doesn't mean anything if he gets you busted by customs." He pushes the forms into your arms. "These are good enough for me to sign without getting busted, but his seals are a year old. Tell him to get new ones."
"I'll do that" Dosk says to the customs officer, looking over in the direction to which the hasslers went to hide. "I'm sure it would be appreciative to know, There are 3 guys over there who are trying to shake me down for the cargo too." Gesturing in the direction of the fuel cabin. "Tried to intercept me in the interim before calling you guys. If it's something you want to take care of, ill have the 3k I offered them to leave me be sent your way instead. They should be there now." Adding as he give descriptions descreetly.
"Mmmm." The officer is quiet for a long moment. "Where did you say they where? Specifically? Just nod."
Dosk nods in the direction the men went after he made the deal with them
"I see." The officer nods, pursing his lips, and heaves a tired sigh. "Blue lad, bunch of humans?"
"Yeah, if its not an issue, i'll just depart now" Dosk says
The officer sighs. "No, no," he says, "Just stay there a moment." He doesn't look at them, he just calls out. "Arms right, three of the clock, FIRE!"
As he does, the three armored guards with him turn as one and unload their rifles into the front of the corrugated durasteel outbuilding in which they were hiding; the while of suppressed blaster rifles fills the air along with the smell of ozone and a bloud of spent tibanna as the whole shack is riddled with holes, flames dancing from the edges of thet impact holes. There's a groan from the wasted shed, the clatter of falling objects, and a blue hand falls out of the gap of the barely-opened door.
"There we are," the officer says, smiling at you and stepping back; the guards shoulder their blaster rifles. "Have a nice day, Captain Dosk. Do come back and trade with us again."
As the massacre proceeds before him. Dosk nods having learned last time about offering credits beforehand on a recorded pad he continues. "I will have Adhar include the 3000 to your pay roll unless you want me to leave it anywhere in particular around here." The death of the group hiding has little effect on the Codru Ji.
"No need," says the officer, gesturing to your ship. "My employer appreciates your custom, and that you did not cause a scene - if /we/ cause a scene, it's different. We're official." The staid, gray man actually winks before he turns away, betraying a hint of a devilish grin as he and the guards saunter out of the landing area. The mess, one assumes, will be handled later.
So you get on, and you take off, but not before you see that between the sheets of licenses and manifest the officer pushed back to you a credit chip has been slipped and anchored with contact adhesive. Huh.
So you managed to avoid the authorities, sneak your way past, and talk your way past...whoever they were...without firing a single shot or throwing a single punch. And you didn't even have to pay up!
Hell of a thing, sure, but also a hell of a job.