Log:Array Consortium: I Know You Know We Know
Now known to him as the former operative of the Supreme Leader, Adhar talks to Mara about the future, discovers his picture of reality around her isn't quite what he thought, and shares some interesting truths of his own.
LOCATION: Bandit's Castle, Hangar Bay
So, the hangar again. Last time you were here, it was...fairly empty. Now, the cradles are stocked with starfighters, or at least half of them are - and none of them are half bad. Especially the Avengers, who lurk in their cradles as though ready to spring out at any moment. Raptor-like Preybirds are also there, but parked on the flight deck is a five-winged Imperial XG-1, the assualt fighter being checked over by technicians and the like. The pilot, who now climbs out of the cockpit, wears a dark blue flight suit of indeterminate origin, its helmet a faceless affair studded all over with yellow sensor lenses that look disturbingly like eyes. Looks more like a beast from legend than a pilot in that moment, or at least until the helmet comes off. Then it's just Adhar, and he's an idiot. The spell is broken.
Mara Jade sits on a crate watching the activity. right now "other duties as assigned" means holding the crate on the hangar deck so it doesn't float away.
"Hey," he calls, waving to you as you perch on said box. "How's it going? You look bored as hell." Delicate as always, this one.
Mara Jade smiles wryly. "Can't a girl enjoy some down time once in a while? I mean, I know I haven't been betrayed by the First Order and been hiding out to keep off their scanners or anything, but sometimes a break is nice" she retorts.
"Uh-huh." He tosses the helmet to you. "Well, while you're taking a break, check this out. You fly fighters at all?"
Mara Jade catches it and looks at the design. "I can hold my own I imagine. Not a lot of seat time in one. Shuttles, light freighters really." She looks from the helmet to Adhar, "Why?"
He nods at the helmet. "This is a new technology that we've worked out," says Adhar. "Taken from our technical analysis of the Sith armor. It uses an integrated sensor system to allow the wearer all-around vision, so you can't be easily be surprised. Ideal in space combat, I'm sure you'll agree. It also integrates enhanced HUD and optical systems to enhance visual acuity."
Mara Jade huh's thoughtfully as she examines the sensors. "All around vision? How does that work without being a visual overload?"
"Well," he says, "There are neurological buffers - basically the images are projected holographically inside the helmet, so the image tracks as you turn your head. Keep it turned, the view continues to scroll - but in the case of motion the helmet's programming translates as threatening, like an attack, it will trigger a warning that will let you turn to meet it. It's incredible stuff, really." Well, Adhar /does/ look proud. "Between that, and the increased visual acuity, it really gives us an edge in space combat."
Mara Jade listens and nods. "Impressive." She looks up and smiles. "It's amazing what can be learned from four thousand year old technology isn't it? And to realize it was somehow lost in the in-between times.."
"Like I tell people," says Ahdar with a chuckle. "Just becaue it's old, doesn't mean it's primitive." He takes the helmet back gently from you and hangs it on his hip, nodding at the fighters in their racks. "So we don't have many ships," he says, "But the ones we have are pretty cherry. The Avengers were top-tier Imperial technology during the Civil War, and that really hasn't changed. Faster and more maneuverable than even current-generation X-Wings, and with equivalent firepower. The Preybirds, those ones in the back...shavit hyperdrives, but they're fast and heavily armed, if not nearly so maneuverable. But they also have heavy shields and hull armor, so they work well in assaults or as escorts."
Mara Jade shakes her head, handing the helmet back. "I didn't say it was primative. It's amazing what technology they had. And that it was lost is incredible. Who knows what else has been lost." She falls silent and looks at the ships as he talks of them, nodding.
"Oh, I know that," Adhar says with a faint chuckle. "Most people do, though. You consider how old the Republic is, nevermind the fact that there's been at least two Sith Empires..." He shrugs. "I'm sure there's all kinds of things out there that haven't been found yet. I don't know why I ran into that stuff, though. This year I've found /two/ suits of Sith armor, suits of Jedi armor, relics...." He shakes his head. "I swear, sometimes I think Fortune is messing with me. Especially since I don't have the power myself - does that make sense?" Adhar shakes his head. "Here's all this stuff you could use if you could use the Force, shame you can't." He grins faintly. "Ah, well. The Force is a curious thing, right?"
Mara Jade nods. "And that really only goes back four millennia. Going back to the origins of the Jedi. And the first exploration of the galaxy, history is staggering." A smile at the comments about fortune and the Force. "It is difficult even for those of us who do have a stronger connection to it." She then looks toward the lift. "By the way. Can we talk? Privately? It shouldn't take long. I'd just prefer to keep the number of ears to yours and mine."
"Sure," he says, nodding. "My office."
Mara Jade drops off the crate and makes her way to his 'office'.
LOCATION: Bandit's Castle, Captain's Room
Adhar gestures for you to sit as he heads for the autochef. "Can I get you something?"
"Thanks." She settles and looks over. "I don't need a drink. But you might want one. When it's all done at least." A wry look is offered. She sits back. "So. You know my history. And who I've been working for, going back well before I came to Nar Shaddaa."
"I assume this means the mysterious Supreme Leader," Adhar says. "I thought he would be military, but based on what you've said and the fact I know you're a Jedi hunter....or witch-hunter or whatever....I assume he's a sorceror, too. And worse than Ren or his Knights."
Mara Jade shakes her head, "This wasn't anything about him in particular, no. But Snoke is a Force sensitive being, yes. I did look specifically for latent or hiding Force users. Further anything that would benefit Snoke, or to a lesser degree, Kylo Ren." She looks at him, "This specifically has to do with the armor." She doesn't pause long enough to let him interrupt her as she continues. "I am the one that obtained the original suit of armor from you. And I was the one that, to protect you, used the Force to alter your memories of the event to believe it was Republic agents who took it from you, even if fair payment was left for you. I don't expect forgiveness and I'm not going to ask for it. I don't regret what I did. I did it to protect you and to keep the armor out of Ren's hands. How I did it was my decision. I may have been trying to be loyal to Snoke and through that, the Order. But I couldn't let such a dangerous item reach him." She sites back and falls silent to let Adhar absorb what he was just told and to react however he feels justified.
There is a flicker of something across his face, but as he does not turn from the autochef yet you cannot see it. "All right," he says, his voice neutral. "But you paid me. So I figure that's all right." He turns, cup of caf in hand. "Did you do it any more times?"
Mara Jade says, "It may not have been as much as you likely could have sold it for. But if Locke or Ren had take it from you, we both know you would have been lucky to get anything at all from them. I didn't try to cheat you." She shakes her head, "No. I have never used that ability on you or anyone else before or after. It isn't something I enjoy doing. I wouldn't have thought twice had it not been for your own loyalty to me. The rest of the crew. Mandl. Sion. Even Meep and Bar'duur, really. Once word came to me of what you were selling I knew I had to act quickly to prevent it from going to Locke and then to Ren. If this keeps you from trusting me, I accept that. But if I am turning my back on the Order and Snoke, then you have a right to know of actions I took while still loyal to them. Nothing I've learned while working with the Consortium has been provided to them. I've not spoken of any Force users to them, few that I've encountered. It would have compromised my position. But now that Kylo Ren made that decision for me, there is no reason I should ever give anything I know to them, ever."
"Oh I know that much," he says, smiling faintly. He goes over to sit down. "You want to make things up to them, you can chip in for a posh hyperdrive so we can trade Wodi's old freighter for a troop shuttle. Sixty thousand would be enough if it won't break you. They don't need to know of course." He sips some caf. "Well. Now that we're both marked and stuck with each other, how about I tell you some things?"
Mara Jade smirks. "Adhar Gann. I wasn't telling you because I feel guilty. I paid a more than fair price for the armor. You'd have gotten half or nothing if you'd gone through with selling it to Locke and you know it." Her tone is quiet but firm. "You're not going to extort me for speculative credits you wouldn't have gotten.."
"I'm kidding you, Mara," Adhar says with a faint grin. "No. It's fine. And I'm not mad at you." He sips from his cup. "It's past. Doesn't change things one whit for me. Okay?"
Mara Jade shrugs, "If it did I'd still have told you," she states simply. "Why don't we go raid a first Order supply shipment. You'll make more than sixty thousand credits," she says with a sweet smile.
"I know, and I appreciate it," Adhar says with a smile. "So. Here's the deal. I've known who Kylo Ren was for six months. Since I got to this moon, in fact - went on a gem run on the border of the Unknown Regions, was loading my ship when he and a couple of shuttles full of Stormtroopers tried to take all the children from the mining village. Then the Resistance swarmed out to meet them. I saw him in action. I tried to kill him, in fact, by dumping my whole cargo load on him and his troops - of course he just swept it away, but do you know how much damage eighty-five tons of armored cargo containers full of raw gems will do? Both shuttles, gone. Stormtroopers dead everywhere. Ren just pulled out, though I wouldn't count it a 'win'. But at least we got the survivors out, and took them somewhere they could live anew.
"So I've been a Resistance sympathizer now since that time. They tried to recruit me the day after that event, but I don't care for military order. This is as formal as I get." He smiles. "I've been funneling them supplies, bacta, weapons...part of the reason I'm not filthy rich is on some occasions I just turned over whole weapons shipments to them and burned clients. But it's all worth it. As you say.
"And I've known who -you- were for months, too. I will admit, I've been trying to get you to crack your cover and come clean to me, but I respect why you didn't. I knew you were a trained hunter of Force-wielders, and that you likely were an agent of the Order. I didn't care, though, because I knew if that were so, and you reported on us, I'd had been dead long ago." He shrugs, putting the cup aside. "People have been warning me off you for ages...but I knew better. I could see someone of worth. Partially because as good as I try to be, I know exactly how much evil I could do if I gave myself half a chance. That's how a lot of us are here. You belong here, I think. And I'm glad to have you."
Mara Jade listens. She nods. "I figured you knew. But I was trained to maintain my cover. I did to the best of my abilities - short of altering memories. I grew up ont he streets as I told you. That was the truth. I am, first, loyal to myself and any friends I might have. The few I have. There were no such friendships in association with the Order. I owe them nothing. They provided me with a shuttle but the rest I had to obtain on my own. I'm not going back. I.. don't know that I want to join the resistance. Or anything of that sort. But I will help you and them if a situation arises. I will not simply stand idly by."
"I'm not trying to get you to," Adhar says with a chuckle. "But I figured since we're being honest, you should know my shavit, too." He shrugs, and leans back in his seat again. "So I figure we're square. I do have an appointment with Resistance command, however. I'd like to tell her about you, so they don't worry anymore. Their intelligence service has been freaking out about you in my crew for ages. I've been having to do a lot of gymnastics to keep them satisfied that you weren't going to screw with them."
Mara Jade smiles. "It seems like we are, yes." She then nods. "Alright. if it will ease tensions on your dealings, point out to them that I'm an independent captain of my own ship just allied with you. If I go rogue you can easily cut me loose." She shrugs."Just a thought."
"I'll do that. They know you're...well, what you are." He shrugs. "Honestly Mara, I'm going to ask advice about how to deal with all these wizards around. All my best friends are...well, not Jedi, but force-wielders." He shrugs. "Sensitives. Whatever. I know I'm not, though. Touched a holocron, didn't open for me."
Mara Jade says, "I'm sure they do given that Ax knows. But deal with us how? You keep saying 'deal with'. It's beginning to sound more like you want to learn how to hunt Force sensitives yourself.""
"No, no," Adhar says with a shake of his head. "Like...help them. Understand them. Help fight their enemies, and keep the rest of my crew safe from them. That sort of thing. I know I'm not an equal, but if I know more about what can be done, and train against it, I can do a lot to stymie even a sorceror."
Mara Jade shakes her head, "You will find most who can sense the Force to be hesitant to share their knowledge. Given that you are essentially asking us to tell you how to defeat us or hunt us, you are simply better to trust us to defend ourselves and you while you focus on those accompanying any dark Force users.." she shrugs.
"Well, then we'll just see what happens." He chuckles. "Want to come with me? And can I literally borrow money for a hyperdrive so we can snag this thing? You'll be paid back, obviously. I just don't have the liquid cash at present."
Mara Jade stands and laughs. "How much do you need..." She shakes her head.
"Seventy thousand," he says, coughing faintly. "But it'll get back to you. After this point, I really think we can sit down and start bringing money in and take care of everyone. That shuttle's going to be a good addition. Boarding, transport, that sort of thing."
After a moment he says, "WAit, you aren't /using/ that armor, are you? The Sith stuff? Because I saw how badly it screwed up Ax just to touch it."
Mara Jade nods. "I can loan you that much, yes." Then she looks sharply at him, "Do you think I'd use that armor? It still exists but it is hidden where it will never be used by another Sith, or anyone, ever again."
"I don't know," he says, shrugging. "I mean you're talking about being gray, right? Darkness is part of that." He smiles, and gestures. "C'mon. I bet I can find you Jedi armor, if you wanted. I found some for Ax, you know. Like they wore in the Clone Wars, mind, but it was still excellent. Has positive resonance." He heads for the door.