Log:Array Consortium: In-System Road Rage
On the way home from purchasing a shuttle from the Waywards at their vineyards on Naboo, Adhar and the newly-met Maeve work together to fend off an unexpected pursuer.
Up the boarding ramp leads Adhar, pulling off his coat as he does so and throwing it clankingly across the copilot's seat. "Passenger area's back there," he says, dropping into the ship's pilot's station and begins powering up systems. "Or you can sit up here with us, if you like. You got a specific place you'd like me to drop you off on Nar Shaddaa?"
"Thank you for the lift and yes," Mae replies as she looks around once she's inside the ship, her hands prudently tucked into her pockets. "There's a landing pad attached to my place in the corellian district, if you can aim for that, that'd be great."
"Private landing pad," says Adhar, chuckling faintly. "Goodness. All right, well, when we get there, point out the landing contact on the list and I'll get you where you need to go." Once the ship's drives hum to life - rather quietly, it must be said - Adhar reaches for the repulsorlifts, pulling the ship gently upward even as he pushes the throttle forward. Then he takes the yoke and we are on our way toward the upper atmosphere, and the glittering stars beyond.
Adhar reaches forward and after flipping a few switches and pressing a few buttons the ship begins to rumble as its systems start coming online...
"Well, I don't know that it's private, per se, it's just part of the fee that I pay for having a flat in the Corellian District," Mae replies as she takes a seat and watches the control panels and all the pretty lights with interest. "I don't fly, rather, I don't pilot at all, but there's a nice view from the landing pad, so it was a decent price for the perk of having a place where the air taxi's can park."
"That's interesting," Adhar says, clucking his tongue. "I just have a hangar. I didn't realize private pads were..../ohhhhhh/." He sets the course and the ship begins to move, clearing atmosphere and heading into space. "You're wealthy, then, miss?"
"In comparison to the guild members? No," Mae replies with a quick grin. "I'm a surgeon, however, and insanely frugal, most of the time. Except for my shoe collection."
"Well, I'm not a guild member," says Adhar, the fingers of his right hand fluttering over the ship's navicomp console, "But I do all right. My name is Adhar Gann. It's nice to meet you - and you have my respect, mitstress. Healers are incredible people."
Mae waits for a good moment when there's perhaps not quite as many lights flashing and leans forward, one hand extended, "I'm Mae Zavir, and it's nice to meet you too. Thanks for giving us a lift," said as a grin forms. "Most surgeons are egotistical self obsessed individuals. I'm the best money can buy, I'm just not an ass or a bitch about it. Most of the time. Healthy ego aside," a quick wink to go with her words.
"Lots of people who do magnificent things are huge kriffers," Adhar says, reaching with his free hand to shake yours briefly once the navicomp begins its calculations before taking hold of the yoke again. "I'm sure I could, and my deeds are not yet great. I'm a smuggler." Because of course he is. It's Nar Shaddaa, right? "A fair one, though."
"Great people have great aberrations?" Mae wonders in return with a thoughtful hum to follow her words before she nods. "That's often true. But I wonder if it's not that it's great people just people who manage to wiggle, fight, weasel, cut their way into a position of power then do their best to get away with the stuff that no one has any right to do. I'll stick to my ridiculous collection of shoes, and do my level best not to harm anyone. So..." and she glances slowly around then back, "how do you know Sar?"
"Well," says Adhar, "Really, I met him on a smuggling run. I..." He pauses, choosing his words carefully. "You two have the same...recent military record?"
A slow, if somewhat cynical, smile forms on Mae's face, "I'm a surgeon. I don't ask questions, I don't make judgments and I don't report the nature of the injuries of the people that i treat to any board or committee or local constabulary, if there is one in the first place. Have medpack," she pats the kit at her side, "will travel. So as to that, yes. Though Sar is... complicated."
He nods. "Well," he says, "I don't have a subscription, but you can say I'm an ardent follower and donating party to your publication. In fact, that's -- "
Adhar's words are cut off as the ship emits an alarm, and Adhar points to a nearby station. "Get on that sensor console," he instructs, his voice suddenly calm, but stiff with the iron command. "Do you know how to ship's sensors?"
Mae blinks at Adhar then turns a thoughtful look at the command console, "I know how to use practically any computer I'm working with, but I don't know anything about ships sensors. But, I'm game," she takes a seat where indicated and stares at the panel with eyes alight with curiosity. "Which display?"
"It's very simple," he says, easing the ship's throttle a bit before flipping a few switches on the console - a targeting scope rises from a housing between the pilot's and co-pilot's station and switches on, showing a targeting grid and a centered, diamond-shaped reticle. "Hit these buttons in sequence: SCN, LR, then set the mode to passive, and the gain to...fifty-two."
"Easily done," Mae replies as she eyes the apparatus that rises between the stations, her hands hovering over the keys, "intriguing," she murmurs then - once it seems to settle - keys in the command in order, sets the mode after a moment of study then sets the gain. "Is Gain the same as scanning range, like depth?"
"Signal strength," Adhar says, eyeing the scope and the navicomputer both. "We want a passive scan, but we don't want them to know it. Keeping the gain in the middle means we don't show up as looking - look at the screen, do you see a contact?"
Sure enough, there's something there, moving quickly with a label that says 'UNKNOWN | 80 MGLT'. It is very obviously going to overtake the shuttle soon.
Making that hum of sound again, Mae nods, "I do. I have no idea what it means but something labeled as Unknown, eighty MGLT?" she calls out the abbreviation with curiosity.
"Dammit." Adhar shakes his head, flipping other switches - a soft whine emits from somewhere in the ship, and a ghostly bubble seems to snap into existence aroud the sleek shuttle's front end. "All right, you just keep your eye on that. Press the TGT, CONTACT, and then 1. That'll target the ship, and I'll -- you want to strap in, please - and I'll see if I can raise them on comms."
He reaches up overhead and flicks down a few switches before speaking into the open air. "Uh, hi," he says, cycling easily from stern officer type to vaguely goofy, friendly fool. "Hey, what can we do for you? You're coming in pretty quick."
A crackle of static fills the cabin before snapping into a harsh, throaty voice, one that is very obviously not human. << You dare strike at the honorable bosses of the Mathall Syndicate? I have been sent to end you, Gann! >>
"Safety first," Mae replies, almost out of trained instinct, and she does fasten the safety harness until its nice and snug but not cutting off circulation. "TGT and Contact then 1, right," she keys this with the same sort of intrigued curiosity in her expression and tone as she glances sidelong at Adhar, one eyebrow subtly arched at the switch up in tone. The push back on the comm, however, has the curious fading to something a touch more alarmed. To her credit, she doesn't chatter box away, just listens.
"Ah, shavit," Adhar mutters, reaching up to cut off the comms. "Well, I don't know how that happened, Doctor, but things are gonna get real interesting, real fast. So hold on, all right?"
That said, Adhar yanks back on the yoke, pulling the ship ino hard, steep loop - rollig upright at its apex and diving toward what appears to be...yes, that's a starfighter, all right, or at least the wireframe on the scope indicates.
"All right," Adhar can be heard muttering to himself, "Let's see you get out of this one, you slaving son of a bitch."
There are two things Mae never does: 1 - interrupt a pilot when the pilot is doing piloty stuff, and 2 - never ask questions when said pilot is doing stuff designed to make the average passenger try to puke up their toenails. Taking hold of the arm rests on the seat, Mae does the prudent thing and stares rather intently at the display while nodding. "Copy that, hopefully Sar and your friend remembered to snap in their safety harnesses before the crashed for the in flight nap."
Though his vision is divided between the targeting screen and the viewport, Adhar seems to have no problems with whatever he plans on doing - which in a moment is revealed to be /blasting the crap/ out of the other ship, as the shuttle's forward guns begin to whine rhythmically as he pounds the smaller - and ideally more agile - ship with the shuttles blaster cannons. On the screen, of course, the result is silent, but obvious: an red X appears over the contact and it winks out of sight, leaving a blank monitor.
"Suns below," Adhar mutters, executing a wide banked turn back in the direction he was going. "Is there anything else on the screen, Doctor?"
Nope. Blank screen. Were it a heart monitor - which is oddly seems so quickly after witnessing a death in space - there would be but flat line.
"A.. excellent question," Mae manages after a moment of taking a nice slow breath through her teeth and then leans forward to eye the monitor for a silent moment. "Ah, I don't see anything new. Known or unknown, that is, with a label on it that indicates anything. So. . No. Fancy shooting?"
"I guess," the smuggler mutters, flicking the switch that retracts the shuttle's targeting scope. "All right, let me get us out of here before the authorities get involved. Suns below, what a stupid thing."
This begs many questions, of course, but at least he's getting you out of here in one piece.
"So.. Mothball Syndicate?" Mae wonders, casting a sidelong glance at Adhar as she leans back in the seat, hands folded in her lap. "That's kind of an odd name for a group. Not that mothballs aren't a useful product, pretty low tech but absolutely useful, for the storage of textiles that moths would devour or nest in. But not a really scary name."
"Mathall Syndicate," Adhar says as the ship leaps into hyperspace, slumping back a bit in his chair. "Criminal group, slavers and spice lords in the southern part of the Outer Rim. We are in...conflict with them. I'm a little confused as to why they only sent the one ship after me, though." He frowns, face illuminated but briefly by the stars as they leap back into existence. "Well, here we are. Keep an eye on that sensor station until we get down to where we want to be, all right?"
"Ahh. Mathall, not Mothball. But it sort of sounds like that. You should call them that the next time, just to get a rise out of them. People who are irrationally angry and or annoyed or a combination of both may be less clear headed and prone to making irrational decisions and spot judgment calls that could prove to offer points to exploit," Mae suggests as she leans forward to eye the screen again. "I have actually never seen it from up here, well at least not from IN here, up here. Pick up and delivery is usually just part of the process," she admits with a bemused expression.
"I've also heard 'Meatball', too," Adhar says with a faint snort. "All right, we're going into an approach vector. Should be very easy after this."
"Hah. Meatball is a good one, but Mothball is suggesting old and stuffy," Mae remarks as her eyes light up, "Oh. That's pretty. Does it always look like this?" she wonders, leaning closer to study the display then picks out the transponder that indicates her flat at the Dacon Tower. "Number 2."
The shuttle settles down, and he cuts the power to the engines "All right," says Adhar, sounding a bit like a disgruntled airbus driver, "Here's your stop. Sorry for the turbulence."
"Thank you for the lift and the bit of mind numbing adrenaline fueled terror," Mae replies as she unfastens the safety harness and rises to her feet, mindful of the consoles and all the buttons. "Any time you need a doctor, give me a call and I'll be happy to help." She grins suddenly, "And, barring the price of bacta, no fee," she promises as she eyes all the consoles again. "This is a great deal more complicated than I knew. I'm glad I'm a surgeon, not a pilot."
He waits until the hatch seals again before steering the shuttle away from Dacon Tower, leaving the doctor to her own home and her own devices. "Kriff," he mutters, "I 'hope' I don't 'need' a surgeoun anytime soon." He says the words, of course, but he has no doubt that he's going to be back in the bacta tank - or at least a medbay - once or twice before this business is through.