Log:Array Consortium: Professional Possession of Precious Polstine
Polstine spice is expensive and highly sought after. Ten kilograms of the stuff is quite a lot as a little goes a long way. You have been called upon by Taska Lin, an up and coming gangster, to transport the goods from the pickup site on Nar Shaddaa to contacts on Raxus, in Raxulon.
The pickup is to be conducted in the undercity of Nar Shaddaa at a place inaccessible to ships. This is allegedly for security reasons and so that no one will see Taska Lins guys working with the Array Consortium until theyre officially working together. Taska Lins employees are a scrawny Devaronian and a Trandoshan that are waiting for you. The meeting place is fairly well lit for the undercity and there doesnt seem to be anyone present except for the pair youre supposed to meet. Both figures are armed, the Devaronian with a blaster on his hip and the Trandoshan with a vibro axe in his hands and a rifle across his back. The Trandoshan has a satchel slung over one shoulder.
Zuhj is right up front when it comes time for the meeting, hoping that his presence will serve as a reminder that the Array Consortium works with all kinds of aliens. He's clearly got his eyes peeled for trouble but he doesn't seem to be too put off by the location of the meeting. Rather than risk screwing things up by talking he remains quiet and allows one of the others to speak the code word: 'Bantha Burgers'.
Razia is armored and sports a rifle over her back. She shouldn't stand out -too- much as armored and armed people are pretty commonplace on this moon. Though, in some sort of effort to blend in, she wears a dull brown garment over the armor. She stops, glancing about slowly and almost all too casually. She is not the one to move in and say the password. You really don't want this Rattataki doing any sort of negotiations. She is here strictly as muscle.
Sion is along for security reasons, but honestly, the real reason is because having a backup pilot and a full-time turret gunner never hurts. She's clad in her retooled scout armor, and the blaster on her hip is there in case things go sideways. It'd /really/ be nice if they didn't. But this is the spice trade, so the possibility is always there. She stays close to the fringes, watching the outskirts of the little gathering for potential trouble, always ready to drop casually into the shadows. Her black and gray gear is well-suited for that.
When it comes to meeting new underworld types, it pays to have backup, so Pash put out a notice for anyone willing to help out with the spice pickup. A nondesctipt speeder was procured for transport, as well as a case to hold the goods if need be, before the group set off. Now, with Zuhj at his his side, Pash approaches the contacts and gives and lifts his chin slightly in greeting. "You Taska's guys, then?" he asks, voice low enough to keep the conversation solely between them, or at least he hopes.
The Devaronian steps forward and grins a devilishly large grin, "Depends on who's asking, friend." The Trandoshan stands there, implacable as a statue. Apparently the smaller being is the talker of the two.
Razia does not wield her weapon, though it is evident by her general posturing that she does not have any qualms with changing this fact. Armored arms lift to fold across her chest as she peers towards the Devaronian, then to the Trandoshan from behind her visor. She pauses, canting her head slightly. Her head turns back the way they came. "Company is on it's way."
Chatty bunch... Sion tries to keep an eye on the rest of the place, since it's hard to miss the Devaronian and the Trandoshan. But the suspicion in the Dev's voice reminds her of a small security issue. As does Razia's mention of incoming company. "We should hurry. Especially since this place smells worse than moldy, burned bantha burgers," she says, grimacing, her hand resting near her blaster.
Pash looks between the two and says, "Pash." The expression on his face shows he's tired of dealing with beings who hold up handoffs due to paranoia, though he's been on the other side of things once or twice. "We're the ones here for the pickup, so how 'bout we make it quick?" he suggests, echoing the thoughts of the others who came with him.
"Delicious bantha burgers, just for you guys," the scrawny guy says. Just before the Devaronian can open his mouth to speak again the sound of a pair of swoop bikes can be heard. The Trandoshan looks in the direction of the sound and shouts a warning in his native tongue! He tosses the satchel towards your group and moves to ready his blaster rifle as the Devaronian draws his pistol. As soon as theyve got their weapons drawn three round bursts of bolts rain down at them from the direction of the swoop noises.
As the bolts fly through the air the pair you were sent to meet try to return fire only to be cut down. The swoopers, a pair of humanoids wearing light security armor, turn their attention to your group as their vehicles stop next to the corpses. Thats when a figure from the shadows appears with a light repeating blaster in his hands and engages the party crashers, forcing them to use their bikes for cover lest they be shot to pieces otherwise.
Zuhj draws his blaster and looks around for cover to run to, ready to deal with the newly arriving bad guys using force, if necessary. "Look out!" calls the Nikto as he checks to make sure his allies are still doing well.
Razia immediately moves to step to the side in an effort to take a little cover as the swoops well.. swoop in. The rifle that was slung across her back is removed in one graceful motion with the business end pointing at the party crashers. From behind the visor, a rather sadistic smile crosses her features. Without hesitation, the trigger is pulled, shooting a bolt of energy towards the interlopers.
For her part, Sion ducks instinctively as the first shots ring out. The sudden violence has her grabbing for her weapon immediately. But she takes the opportunity to edge into the darkness on the verge of the meeting place, taking advantage of her black and gray gear. With her antiquated pistol, she'll have to get close to do much good, so that's what she focuses on doing.
The satchel hits the ground and slides toward them, ending up at Pash's feet. He grimaces at the interruption, bends down to retrieve the goods, and shouts, "Cover me!" Then, he turns to make his way to their vehicle. For him, the job is getting the goods where they need to go. Putting down those in the way is why he called for backup. Even so, he pulls out his holstered blaster and watches out for enemy fire.
As the two swoopers are fired upon they lean around their cover and proceed to annihilate the guy with the light repeating blaster, their three round bursts of fire taking him in the head, neck and chest and leaving him dead upon the ground with smoke rising up from the holes left by the bolts.
Zuhj opens up with his blaster pistol firing a total of three shots, only one of which hits. It does some damage to the swooper but doesn't put the man down yet. The pair of villains turns to look at him, bring their blasters around.
Razia has only recently began training with this weapon. It has a bit more kick than she is really used to. She always prefered smaller weapons. Somehow, her shot COMPLETELY misses! In fact, it goes wild and strikes into some passing cart filled with feathered fowl! The cage they were in exploded and feathers puff up and everywhere, cascading down in a shower of fluffy bits. "Damn!"
Sion does manage to get closer... but when a shot *spangs* off the duracrete beside her, she realizes that she's been somewhat less than stealthy! She dives for cover behind an old, overturned supply cart, rolling and bringing up her weapon. "Good try!" she calls to Razia, trying to be encouraging. She's really not that great an being encouraging, huh? She opts instead for doing some real good, waiting for the two goons to focus on Zuhj before popping up and taking aim, bracing her elbows on top of the cart's side to steady her aim. She fires... The urban blight is suddenly lit bright as day for a second as the fuel tank on one of the swoops detonates in a brilliant fireball! The resulting fire turns the thug using the bike for cover into a screaming mass of flesh and plasma flame, and he's reduced to ash in moments. <Scratch one,> she reports into her comlink. Now they just have to scratch the second one and get out of here.
With the sound of blaster fire behind him, Pash reaches the vehicle without incident. In quick succession, he gets the door open, tosses the satchel inside, and climbs in. Its one of those open air ones, so he ducks a bit to make himself less of a target, which may be unnecesary because a speeder explodes under heavy fire. When the noise from it dies down, the smuggler breathes deeply and takes stock of the controls, flipping the necessary switches and turning all the right dials that are needed to power the thing up. Takes a lot less time than the freighter, thankfully. "Lets make a move! he shouts over the whine of repulsor engines.
When Pash says to start moving Zuhj does exactly that, striding towards the speeder while letting off another trio of shots from his pistol in the direction of the remaining swoop driver. Two of the three rounds hit and that seems to do a good enough job to drop the attacker, either dead or close to it. The Nikto doesn't stick around to find out as he heads for Pash and the speeder.
Razia calls out to everyone else once ash gave the order to move out, "Move move move! Go!" Being security, she waits till the others have moved towards the vehicle before she trails behind them. She pauses long enough to aim at the remaining fellow, gritting her teeth. The trigger is squeezed and the bolt flies out, striking the man in the face! Where his face and head was is replaced with a fine red mist and tendrils of dangling flesh. The body remains erect for but a moment before it sags to it's knees, then falls forward into a growing pool of his own blood. "Heh."
"Nice shot!" Sion exults as Razia pulps the head of that annoying second goon. It's about time something went their way! And, as the Socorran turns to run for the speeder, she recalls that that never lasts. Something's coming... actually, several somethings. <Guys, we might have a problem. I'm hearing at least six sets of footsteps coming our way, from where we came in. We need to go!> She whirls and makes for the speeder, going cover to cover in case the newcomers have blasters. As she's the farthest from it, this might take a little time...
Watching the last of their assailants go down, Pash shoves his pistol into his holster and grips the controls with both hands. "Come on, come on," he says as the others move closer to the vehicle. He hears the warning from Sion and maneuvers the craft so that it aims for the nearest exit, all the while drumming his right hand nervously on the control handle.
Once Sion's called them out it's possible to hear those approaching footsteps. There's definitely people coming this way and they're in a hurry. As Sion, Razia and Zuhj make it close to the speeder half a dozen thugs of various species round a corner, all of them armed and dangerous looking. One of them points at you and yells something in Huttese. The lot of them begin aiming their weapons your way, yelling for you to surrender in a variety of tongues.
Razia turns to run for the vehicle, grabbing at the side and hoisting herself up with ease. She flops into the seat, leveling the barrel of her rifle towards the oncoming group. "Get us out of here." She says in an almost giddy tone towards Pash. "I will give us cover." She squeezes the trigger of the rifle, not really aiming for a person, but with the intent to make them scatter.
"Punch it, Pash!" Sion shouts, ducking under a low pipe as she runs for the speeder. She's a bit behind the others, owing to her longer sprint from across the meeting space. Tossing her blaster into the rear floorboard, she jumps for the speeder, catching the lip of the cockpit's sideboard but still hanging halfway out, struggling to clamber over the side.
"Thought you'd never ask," Pash grumbles to Razia, ignoring the multitude of commands coming from the newcomers. He never liked it when people shouted at him. Cutting a sidelong glance to Zuhj, he says, "Make sure that bag don't fly outta here." It might be a good suggestion, because at Sion's command a moment later he opens up the engines to full, aiming for hole Razia just opened up for them.
Upon reaching the speeder Zuhj plants a hand on the top of the door and uses his momentum to hop into the seat. Ass firmly planted he turns towards the approaching thugs and points his pistol in their direction, then hearing Pash's instruction he instead grabs the satchel that they came for.
It turns out the Nikto doesn't need to shoot. Razia's got it covered as she sends a blaster bolt right through the center of the group of enemies and sends them running for cover. The speeder starts heading for the hole in the group of thugs but veers off at the last moment. One of the villains is crushed under the vehicle's repulsors but two more manage to jump onto the vehicle and cling to the sides, one right next to Sion and the other right next to Pash's driver seat! The other three aim their weapons, trying for shots on the engines!
Razia holds onto the side of the vehicle as they speed forward. As they draw closer to the group, the vehicle lurches as a person is run over and others hop onto it in an effort to apprehend them! Razia had this brilliant plan to shoot at some pipes hanging over the heads of the shooters, alas she was unable to account for the sudden movement. The blast goes wide, striking some wall and leaving a small hole in it's wake. She curses in her native tongue, working to take aim again.
Clinging to the side of the speeder, Sion barely sways aside as /something/ *thumps* onto the plating next to her! Something turns out to be a Klaatuinan who has the same idea she does: Get into the escaping transport. Seeing that they're slewing slowly towards the wall of the alleyway they're taking to get out, Sion lunges for the cockpit. The goon has the same idea, grabbing at her leg. She pivots and kicks frantically at him, finally digging both heels into his gut hard enough that he howls and loses his grip. He tumbles off into the street, and keeps tumbling into the side of a big trash bin. That had to hurt... That wall is getting closer... too close! The Socorran pulls, kicks, and levers herself up the side of the vehicle, feeling the rush of wind from the duracrete behind her, and a sudden rush of friction. She kicks once, pulls again, and tumbles into the seat, safe! Well, except for the back shoulders of her armor being half-shredded, and the seat of her suit being entirely missing. But mostly safe!
The speeder thuds over the body of the one of the goons and Pash bounches a few inches off his seat. Gritting his teeth to steady the vehicle, he notices that one of the thugs has managed to attach himself to his door. Oh, hell no! Pash looks ahead and sees a number of incoming objects along the sides of the road approaching fast. A lightpost, a bunch of parked speeders, more poultry in cages. Pulling the controls a bit, the smuggler makes a quick move to the left in a effort to knock the guy off by running him into one of those.
Pulling the satchel full of drugs onto his lap Zuhj holds on to it tightly, looking around to see what he can do to make things go more smoothly during the escape. Seeing as how there's a dude clinging onto the vehicle right next to Pash the Nikto decides to do something about it and, reaching across Pash with his blaster in hand to try to shoot the guy in the face. But Pash has that covered, ramming the man into something and, at the very least, shaking him loose. "Good flyin' captain!" says the Nikto as he sits back in his seat.
The remaining thugs, now behind the speeder, open fire with their blasters, failing to do more to the speeder than leave a little carbon scoring on it. After that fusillade they end up out of range of effective fire.
Razia ducks down as the return fire bounces off the craft. Once it is clear, she lifts back up and looks back, grinning from behind the visor of her armored helmet. "That was fun! What's next?" The Rattataki has an odd idea of fun. Reaching up, she pushes a button on the side of her helmet, allowing the visor to raise up and expose her pale features. "So, I assume we are headed to the ship, then flying to the next meeting area?" She ponders something. "You know, those people knew we were there. There has got to be someone on the inside."
Sion stays low as blaster fire *pings* off the coachwork of the speeder, adding little besides carbon scoring. The noise ceases as suddenly as it began. She blinks at the sudden silence, then peeks over the back dashboard, kneeling in the back seat. The goons are receding behind them! "Yes! We did it!" she exults, making a few childish faces at their former pursuers. Of course, that just makes her damaged armor and the pink underwear showing through it more obvious. She might feel the draft any time now...
Pash hears a crunch as the thug on his side collides with the light post, which flickers violently on impact. He manages to keep the speeder from also colliding with it while, at the same time, avoiding a burst of fire from the beings behind them. "Too close," he mutters, though he does give Zuhj and a nod as he rounds the nearest corner on their escape route. "Everyone alright?" he asks of the others. "We'll head back to the ship directly and reroute our way to the next meetup, stop somewhere along the way to send a transmission to the buyer."
"I'm doin' good. No extra holes in me," Zuhj replies to Pash, flattening his lip flaps together in a smile as he turns around to look behind them, double checking on things.
The rest of the ride to the Fathier Express goes smoothly. The ship is waiting there, unmolested thanks to security at the hangar. Once boarded it's just a matter of getting things to their final destination...
The remainder of the smuggling job is uneventful. Raxulon is beautiful and peaceful and, thanks to the fall of the Republic, surprisingly accessible. The gangsters that accept the spice from the members of the Consortium are professions and not overly paranoid. It's the kind of hand off smugglers dream about.
Still, who knew about the hand off in the undercity? Does Taska Lin have a spy in his midst? Does the Array Consortium? These are things that may be discovered in the future...