Log:Array Consortium: Prepare the Toasters!
Returning to complete synchronization of his relay droids, Adhar and Qadira talk conquest, women, and fighter design.
Kadi is standing by the cot, apparently having just wakened. She stifles a yawn, stretching, which of course does highlight that baby bump. That babies bump? Something like that. There's a crack of thunder from outside, and she starts to head over to look out curiously. "Is it raining yet?" she asks, answered by the beeping of several droids all at once.
"Well, I have to say, you've plenty of experience being a mother all right." Adhar arrives, followed by his own brood of boxy, spindly automatons, painted to match sulfurous soils. Just toasters with legs, really, legs and sensor arrays. No Viper probe droids, these. They clatter along behind him like ducks as he approaches, his smile wide, electric. "Hello, darling! All present and correct for final inspection."
"Adhar, good to see you," Kadi says, turning to look at the toasters. "All of you too," she adds. "Final inspection, is it?" There's a bit of a laugh, and then a stifled yawn. "Oh, I'm sorry. I just woke up, and am having difficulty with it. I blame the kidlings, because try as I might I cannot blame Ax for my being sleepy."
"You're allowed to be sleepy," Adhar says, grinning down at the bump that begins to show - all hardcore...whatever else he is...vanishing before the sight of mother and children-to-be. "I brought you some honeysweets, if thats not too much for you." He wisely doens't bring them out, lest you catch their scent. The machines clatter into ranks behind them, examining everything around them with cold, lifeless photoreceptors and sensor notes. The difference between them and your own droids is rather startling, really. They're so...lifeless.
They are a different sort of droid, but certainly, Kadi's are quirky. Except the big intimidating one she hasn't figured out a name for yet. But that one will get there. "Thank you, I appreciate that. It should be okay, but I can wait until after the inspection, just in case." She moves to look at the lot of them, and then says, "Did you have anywhere you wanted to start in mind? Or should I just randomly start where I want to?"
"Of course," Adhar says, and he takes a step back, hands behind his back. He instructs the machines, in the crisp way of a man who actually /does/ command for a living, to 'establish a technical formation'. The droids settle into a square on the deck, three feet of space between them, and open their rear access panels for inspection.
There are, of course, just twelve of them.
"Likely not," Adhar says, folding his hands behind his back - he's quite different when business is going on, one can't help but notice. His expression grows sterner, his eyes (well, his /eye/) seems to take in everything, but it doesn't range nearly so much as one might think. Sober as a judge. "I'm deploying them to a planet called Lok, it's ruled by a fading pirate faction. My intent is for the Consortium to take the planet under its control, either directly or as a client state. These droids will help me do this as peacefully as absolutely possible."
Blink. Kadi is not entirely sure what she just heard, but she nods anyway. Smile, nod, translate later. Mafia boss to the right, smuggling boss to the left. Kadi's got some really interesting friends, doesn't she? "I think that sounds like a good thing," she says finally. "I mean, peaceful sounds good. I kind of prefer it when innocent lives are not lost." The droid inspection continues.
"I'd like to buy them out, frankly," says Adhar, tapping his chin. "Or roll them into the organization - they've been pirates for decades, but they could be repurposed into a more organized secrity force. My analysis suggests they've been without true organization under anyone with true tactical education for some time now. They're falling apart." And would Adhar be the one with tactical education? Does he know someone? Very strange part of this man you're seeing, right now.
Then he says, "...I'm seeing Jayla Shane." Total record-scratch. "Can you tell me what you know of her?"
"Jayla?" Kadi says stopping dead in her tracks. Blink. "Uhm, really?" Another blink. She thinks and then she shrugs. "She's got her own ship, quiet type. Part of Waywards really, but I don't know much about her at all. I think Sion was flying with her for a while, but could not tell you what if anything happened there." The rest of that whole story takes a bit to register, due to the startlement of Jayla and Adhar sitting in a tree.
"Sion was very complimentary," says Adhar, rubbing at his chin. He looks down at you, his remaining eye brow quirked. "Quiet type? Really? Hardly what I've experienced so far." There's a lot he wants to say, it's clear. "Is there something wrong?"
Kadi shakes her head, moving back to finishing up the droids. "Nothing wrong, just I can't say I really know Jayla at all." Which probably matches given Kadi's impression of Jayla and Adhar's experience.
He nods once, then grins a bit. "She's amazing," Adhar proclaims, in that way that only someone very taken with someone else can summon. "How do the droids look?"
Kadi laughs, as she hears that sound in Adhar's voice. "You sound like me when I talk about Ax," she observes. "The droids are looking good. Number 3 needs a slight adjustment - I can get Lily to do that easily enough. Number 7 - seems okay, but I think there's a loose coil. I recommend replacing the coil before it breaks completely."
"Can you do it here?" Adhar frowns faintly at the droid in question. "I don't have a droid tech on hand, and these need to go out tonight." At the rest, he chuckles softly. "I suppose I do," he says. "She's just what I need in a woman - though she's hardly quiet, or at least she's never been around me. And honestly, I couldn't wait for Rhani anymore. Starting to feel like a townie kid pining after the college girl who only comes in on student breaks."
Kadi shrugs at the bit about Rhani, not the least worried about it. "Probably for the best," she says simply. "If you're happy, and Jayla is, that's all that matters, right?" She gestures to Lily who moves to do the realibration that droid 3 needs. Slight adjustment - very very slight, honestly, but Kadi is a perfectionist. "Yeah, I can fix that coil here," she says. "Might even have an original part."
"Well, it's not like they're made from high-quality component," Adhar says. "They're just observers. I'm sure anything that works will do." He rubs at his chin, not mentioning the two women further. "In other news...Kadi, I know you're busy, and you've got the kids to worry about...but would you be willing to undertake starship design for me, once we have the cash? I belive we will be developing our own multi-role ships for the use of the Consortium. Especially if we suddenly have territory we'll need to defend."
"True," Kadi says, "But original parts are always better, if you can get them. They somehow just - I don't know, fit better." She shrugs, and then laughs. "Yeah, I can do that, if you want. Are you looking for fighters or freighters?" she asks, curiously. She actually goes over to a crate, with a box atop it, closed off to protect things from Adder, and finds what she needs, heading over to work on droid 7 while they talk.
Adhar stands with Kadi somewhere on the deck; Kadi tend to a mess of droids, not much more than toaster-sized units with limbs and heads bristling with sensor hardware. They are arranged in a square, three feet apart from one another, and Kadi is checking their internals via a back hatch that all have open. Adhar is overseeing, his eye - goodness! - gone and replaced with a piece of bionic hardware that extends outside of his face, and his expression professional and grim.
"Fighters," Adhar says to Kadi, lips pursed in thought, "Medium weight, multirole. Using a T-65 for a benchmark, I'm looking for something a bit less armored but better shielded, pulls a hundred megalights and is decently maneuverable. Gun package would need to be a pair of twin-linked heavy lasers and a single multi-warhead launcher for deployment of various ordnance. Hyperdrive need only be a Class Two." A beat. "Single-seat, life support, uses a navi-computer. Might want to allow the option for a droid connection, however. Might make use of droid pilots in the future, and some piots will need the additional support."
Adhar adds to this, "I'd prefer it to atmosphere-capable, if only with shields employed."
Kadi is replacing a coil on one of the droids. She is seated on the ground as she does so, looking a little bit pregnant by now. She listens to Addy as she works, and then laughs. "Sounds like a challenge - I'm game." That said, she finishes with the coil, and gets to her feet. Lily is done with her work on droid 3. "alright, my friend. These droids are as ready as they'll ever be. Inspection complete, prepare for mobilization," she tells the droids.
The 'troops' do not reform - instead, they wait until Adhar clears his throat and calls out, in his best military bark, "Roll out and return to base, gentlemen!" The rattletraps turn and, as one, form into a line and march out into the turbolift - stacking themselves on top of one another to make room - before vanishing from sight.
That done, Adhar heaves a deep sigh. "Well, they're either going to be very useful, or obvious to even the dead. Hope they were worth the credits."
Kadi glowers at them, and then she shrugs, laughing a bit. "Good luck with them, Adhar. Better you than me, they'd drive me - crazier." That said she gets to her feet, and tries stretching again, both hands to her lower back. "Is there anything else I can help you with?"
"Well, they aren't coming back from their mission," Adhar says. "They're programmed to self-destruct when they're done - they're just robots, like you know, not real droids. No soul in there, digital or otherwise." He scratches at his stomach, thoughtful. "Oh! I have a pair of pistol scopes for Ax, actually. I need to bring them down real quick, if I can. We worked out a price for them and of course he can pay me later."
"Sure," Kadi says. "That should be fine. I assume he'll know what to do with them." K, truthfully, Kadi does too, but she's not doing weapons mods, nope. Cause moving that theory to practical? It takes a lot of effort and work. "I suppose that's true - kind of like the little hoppers I make every so often. Though mine are just toys, really."
"These are just toys with cameras," Adhar says with a shrug. "Trust me, in the end they'll be doing eveyrone better. I'm not interested in screwing these people. There's an actual culture there, and they all have ties to the land. I'd prefer to just buy them out or make them a part of us." He smiles a bit. "One big happy family. Anyway, speaking of family, I'm going to let you get some sleep. Thanks, Kadi. I appreciate your taking time out for this." A beat. "How much do I owe you?"
Kadi laughs at that. "I think we'd agreed to 500 credits or some such," she says easily. Obviously not looking to rip off her friends here. "And I probably should go up and see what is going on. Also you said something about honeysweets, didn't you?"
"I did indeed," says Adhar, producing from his jacket pocket a double-wrapped package of some kind of bonbon. No scents coming out to mess with your tummy! "Here you are, my darling dear. And here..." he produces a small stack of credits from a case on his belt, "...are your credits."
"Either that or a lot of time in the bacta tank," Adhar says with a thin chuckle. "Probably both. But we can hope for the best!" That said, he gives you a bright salute and off he goes, assumedly to regroup with his platoon of tin-box spies. Ahhh, smuggling life. He's still a smuggler, right? Right?