Log:Array Consortium: Red Stars At Night, And The Wheel Turns.
Attending a banquet held by the Waywards Guild in honor of slaves recently freed by the Consortium, Adhar and company witness the fateful event that signals a change in the galaxy: the death of the Hosnian System. What follows will serve as much a memory as the fireworks themselves.
LOCATION: Hidden Grotto Winery, Naboo
~ The Hidden Grotto Winery was lit up on this fine Naboo evening. Lights were strung in the trees, there were outdoor tables set up with food of all sorts set upon them. A four-piece band was playing upon a raised stage playing soft music for now. A full service bar was near the tables with a pair of Zeltrons and a droid mixing and serving drinks. There were more than a hundred people here wearing Waywards colors, and another fifty or sixty individuals of multiple races gathered around, eating, drinking, and socializing. Many of the latter folks dressed in brand new clothes in a semi-casual Naboo style. For the most part, it seems that people are gearing up for a feast and spirits are moderately high.
Ax was moving through the crowds, dressed all in white. The Echani was mingling with small groups, going from one to the next, smiling and shaking hands with both employees and refugees alike. Perched upon his shoulder was his pet tailring, Adder, who was wearing a matching white outfit to Ax's though with cutouts for his wings. A fine silver tether goes from a harness under Adder's outfit down to Ax's wrist.
Yep, it was party time at the Wayward's winery. ~
Meep follows behind Adhar. He's.. dressed up.. ish... with the usual white collar.. black bowtie and a little tuxedo jacket.. with tails... it's all in miniature of course, so it'll fit him. He keeps close behind Adhar, peering cautiously about, hands clasped over his chest.. trying to look as un-imtimidating as possible!
Kadi was last seen earlier, but she comes out now, dressed in fancy mostly Naboo outfit, except thank god not the hair. Still, the outfit suits her, flowing gently and moving as she does. The green colours in the dress make her hair and eyes show off ever so vibrantly, no doubt why the entire set up was selected. She pauses to look out at the crowd, finding it impossible to miss Ax, and Adder, and that brings a smile to her face. She spins once, with a laugh, and heads their way, only to come to a stop as Adhar and folks enter the area, completely unintentionally highlighted.
Aola was here, but this sort of finery was very much new to her. Of course, it wasn't that she didn't like it, what wasn't to like about luxury and fine food? She'd simply grown up a merchant's child and then a resistance fighter. It didn't lend itself to the 'fancy' things in the galaxy. Wearing a backless dress of purple so dark it was basically black that had been bought for her, the blue-skinned woman was sort of moving along the fringe of the party since she'd arrived, trying to get her bearings.
The Greystorms make their appearance, the pilot in a dark blue fitted tunic, and black pants, with his wife on his arm. Sesti wears a dark blue, sleeveless, gown, that criss crosses over her torso that show her light brown skin at her abs and just below her shoulders. The low cut in front frames the three, simple, tribal symbols tattooed on her collar bone, and her dark hair has thin, pale silver leaves entwined in the braids on the right side. The leaves glitter in the light as she turns to look towards the open bar, and then with a smile and low words, she gives a gentle tug to Jax's arm and lead them in that direction. She looks over to Adhar, and her eyes blink once, her lips pulling into her mouth for a moment, then she smiles towards him with a little wave.
Mandl, suited in sutble pastel, mingles between co-workers old and new, sipping a flute of the Vineyard's wine through a straw with a bowtie on it.
Yeah, he's pretty much, uh, martially dressed. Maybe he expects there will be a military parade through the vineyard later, who knows? Adhar smiles nonetheless, his short, curly hair coiffed to one side in a sort of devil-may-care tumble over one eye. He might be a militant rogue, but he's still a rogue.
"Hello, everyone," he announces, nodding to some of the former slaves as he passes, heading toward Ax - he glints in the sun and whatnot, the armor trying its best to outdo his smile, but as he sees those who were once miserable now looking happier and well-fed, even hopeful, the polished gilding has no chance. "Ax, my friend," he calls to the man in white, offering him a gauntleted hand. "Thank you for having us, and for taking care of these people. You have my deepest appreciation."
Jax watches as Adhar appears with members of the Consortium. He looks to Sesti and then follows her expression. His features spreading into a grin. He knows most of the people here. He offers a friendly wave. Though he's distracted as a server with a tray of wine sweeps past. He snags a pair offering one to Sesti before lifting the other to his lips.
~ With Adhar and company's arrival, many of the refugees raise a glass in salute to the man, him and his crew having rescued them a few weeks earlier, the Waywards having helped them since. Some had already moved on to their new homes or with family, others had family that had flown here and stuck around for the party.
Ax looks over towards Adhar and crew as well, Adder even looks over, though likely more towards Meep than at the others. "It's my pleasure, most of these people have actually been quite helpful with the preparations and such." Ax looks about the crowd, smiling. "So, who have you brought with you? I see at least one new face I don't believe I've met before," Ax says looking towards Aola. ~
Bar'duur isnt wearing armor, he heard it was a party so he's dressed in a nice suit to at least appear presentable and help him fit in. The man steps into the area looking around a litle as he goes but he's silent.
"Ah." Adhar turns to see Aola slinking in the corner, and smiles kindly in her direction. "Aola! Please, come meet someone very dear to me." Adhar asides to Ax, "Aola is one of my greatest pilots - it's her and Sion, neck and neck. She's the one who did that unpowered meteoric insertion over Icarii that took out the Mathall complex. You should see the telemetry. Simply incredible." He keeps waving all through this, smiling still.
Looking up as she's mentioned, it seems there's only so long that Aola can lurk at the sidelines. One hand self-consiously holding her other arm at the elbow, the Twi'lek gives a little bow of her head in greeting. "Aola Ziveri," she offers lightly to introduce herself, her gaze spotting a few familier faces herself in the Greystorms and offering them a smile before she continues. "Pilot with the..." she trails off, it seems Adhar had already begun to give her details. Instead she clears her throat lightly with a chuckle. "Neck and neck?"
Kadi glances at Adhar and Ax, making her way over towards them. "Good evening," she greets, in a good mood. "Ax, you look wonderful as always. Ashar, it's good to see you all." She pauses as the introduction of the new pilot goes on. "Well met," she says, lightly. "I'm Kadi." She leaves it there, whether or not anyone needs more info. Cause well, it's how it goes. Her gazes goes to the dressed up tailring and that makes her smile increase. "Handsome," she notes.
Sesti smiles as she takes the glass from Jax, and then turns to look again. "Who shall we greet first?" she asks, and then looks at Adder. She turns to her husband to kiss his cheek, and whispers quietly, before she begins to take a path that will guide them towards Kadi.
Meep keeps one hand clutching at Adhar's pantleg, keeping nice and close. He gives a big wave as he spots Kadi amongst the tall-folk, but remains with Adhar. His nose gives a twitch, "egheagaepo?" he chitters, giving another little tug on Adhar's leg, hungry! Babble ( 9442) repeats after Meep, "Fud?"
"Neck and neck," Adhar says, nodding once, chuckling as he snags a glass of wine on flyby and hands it out to the lady. "You aren't the only one who can do those kinds of maneuvers - but you /are/ by far the more experienced. I didn't make her my second officer for nothing, after all." He grins at Aola, bowing his head faintly. "I still need you two to fly together. You'd be holy terrors in those Avengers, suns below."
Oh! There's Kadi, to whom he gives a bright smile - and is about to say something, but then there's Meep tugging on his leg. "Ah, yes. Ax, can you send somebody over with a plate for Meep? He's a hungry fellow...well, most of the time, but he /did/ get all dressed up and he usually does that for *nobody*." He take the opportunity to look past Ax then, looking for....somebody. Maybe. Who?
The bigger they are.. the more time they take to prepare for a party, and so it's likely no wonder that the large creature is running late, though there isnt much really he can do to spiffy himself up to be honest. He's wearing his best bow-caster backpack and matching strap across his chest. Garrurra looks over to those gathered as he rather lumbers on over.
Bar'duur stays out of the way and to himself, over by the food area he collects something to eat and watches the partygoers.
Jax is beign swept towards Kadi and therefore the rest, "Uhm I would guess Kadi." He says as he finishes his wine in one gulp. He drops it on one of the trays as he goes. Another he picks up a some tastey treat. As they arrive and he hears Meep say the word fud. Jax stops just short of droping the snack in his mouth then holds it out towards Meep. "Hey Aola. How you been? No disrespect to Sion but I'd prefer a seasoned experience fighter pilot watching my six in an Avenger."
~ Yes, there is food aplenty as well as people serving it to any who want. The cuisine is mostly Naboo fair, though there are other foods from across the galaxy, something for just about any appetite as long as it didn't involve food that squirmed or cried when you tried to eat it. Then, to go with the food were drinks from around the galaxy.
As Kadi approaches, Ax smiles to his wife. "Ah, the mystery dress. I do very much like it, my dear. I very much like it indeed," he says with a grin. Then he turns back towards Adhar and Aola. "A pleasure to meet you," he says. As he speak, Ax moves close to his wife, close enough that Adder tries to hop over to her shoulder, but Ax keeps him in place with the tether.
Ax looks to Jax, "Yeah, I gotta admit, I'm a good pilot, but starfighters aren't my specialty. Jax has taught me that much at least." ~
Meep reaches out towards Jax and treat! "rhaefer! rhaefer!" he jabbers, bouncing a little on his feet, trying to jump up and catch the snack! Ignoring all pretense at politeness or.. general conversation! Babble ( 9442) repeats after Meep, "Oot! Oot!"
Kadi grins at Ax, her cheeks flushing a bit at the compliment. "I'm glad you like it," she replies softly, before taking a deep breath. "it's okay, Adder," she tells the tailring. "I'll give you scritches later. Promise." Not like he understands, but she did try. Meep gets a grin and a small wave, especially as Babble translates for the little guy. "There's lots of food, Meep. We just gotta make sure they know to - " Kadi flags over one of the servers, and asks her to please offer one of the treats on her tray to Meep. Which means she learns Meep's name, and realizes that he's not a pet. Which will hopefully spread among the folks helping out with the serving and such. She turns her attention to everyone else next. "I have to say, I think we all clean up really nicely."
A grin comes to Aola's lips despite herself and she nods at Jax, jerking a thumb towards him while looking at Adhar. "See?" she teases before looking back to her former Wingman. "I've been okay," she says with a smile. There were things that needed sorting out, but now wasn't the time to bring people's moods down. Instead the Twi'lek just returns her thanks to Ax with a smile. "There's people of all talents when it comes to ships. I'd never really imagine I'd find much joy in helming a capitol ship, but I can make a fighter dance."
"Maybe," says Adhar, looking to Jax as well, "But there's only one way she'll /be/ a seasoned fighter pilot. She's definitely got the chops, and the attitude. I think if she doesn't get more time behind the stick she's going to really lose confidence in herself. I'm /molding/ her into the officer's position, but she's a pilot at heart. Binding her wings would be incredibly unfair, nevermind harmful to her spirit." He sounds...very convinced of this, and firm. If very politely so. "And I've been sticking her with the Preybirds for far too long."
It only after this that he gives Kadi a bow, that gilded helmet of his still under his arm. "My lady," he says, his Corellian accent suddenly taking over (a country accent, no less.) "I am very merry to lay eyes on you again, and thank you most kindly for yer hos'p'tality."
"Food," Sesti echoes quietly in Jax's ear, before she finishes her wine a more decorous manner, and puts it on the tray. "Garurra?" she lifts her head a little to see if she's seeing properly, and then nudges Jax.
Jax winks at Meep, "Any time." He though laughs at Adhar's comment, "You are not wrong. Just have her go up against your more experienced fighter pilots before you throw her against the Order." He then gesture to Ax, "Aola, Ax is being modest... for once. He's took on the FInalizer in a small Capital ship. He dropped a lot of expensive cargo and burnt up some atmo... took out several Ties. He's a hell of a smuggler." Jax shrugs, "I've just been fighting the First Order. They're damn good." At Sesti's nudge he turns, "Don't tackle him in the dress." He says moving to head towards the wookiee.
"I can't make any ship dance - well, not by /flying/ it," Kadi says with a laugh. "so good for you!" That to Aola, and then she blinks, giving Adhar a chuckle. "Adhar, that's such a touch of home, thank you," she says. all of a sudden, she's got a little touch of homesickness. She takes a moment to look around, grinning at Sesti and Jax. Her eyes widen as she notices Garr, but that's only cause of where Sesti and Jax are looking and then heading. Instead of heading his way, she murmurs, "Excuse me," to the group, and heads over to the bar. Perhaps only accidentally in Bar'duur's general direction. But at any rate, it allows her to get a drink and take a few moments.
"Hi Kadi." Says the Zabrak man in a suit, Bar'duur smiles a little as well. "How are you doing tonight?" Dispite how well fitted his suit seems he doesnt seem very comfortable in this sort of gathering.
~ Ax laughs, "No, my wife's talents are not in piloting, but there isn't a better engineer out there. She's in fact, moving along well with the design of our very own production of fighters. I've secured services for a small shipyard that will build them our specs for us, providing we keep them stocked in materials. Then, it's my turn to make the ship dance." He then looks over towards Jax and Sesti, smiling as he spots Gar. "Well, let's let the festivities begin, shall we?"
Ax turns towards the stage where the musicians are playing, he raises his hands high and brings them together in a clapping motion. Soon, the music gets a bit louder and faster paced, moving to a less serene and more festive tone. Then, the skies are alight with gold, green, blue, and red blooms of fire as fireworks are shot from the top of the distillery. Magnums of blossom wine are passed around for people to refill their glasses, for tonight is a good night for festivities, or at least it will be for a while yet. ~
Sesti frowns to her husband. "Where is the fun in letting a wookie go by without tackling him?" she wants to know. She shifts her expression to return Kadi's grin, then looks down, the grin widening a little as Meep jumps up for the food. A serving droid passes, and she takes another two helpings of the food, one for her and one for Meep. Her speculative glance goes back to Garurra. "Do you think I cannot take him in a dress?"
"Your own production of fighters?" Aola repeats. Well that gets the pilot's attention. "Are you planning to produce an updated version of the Naboo's fighters? I'd seen a few pictures of them in the past, pretty but a little dated." Tilting her head, the woman's lekku give another little twitch as yet another subconcious gesture or perhaps afterthought to language that was unneeded in basic. Taking a glass for herself finally, the blue-skinned pilot sips her drink and turns her gaze to Kadi. "What are you using for a base frame?"
"No," says Adhar, "It's a completely new construction." He grins a bit at Aola and the rest in their little gathering, though he does let them talk about starfighters while he goes to where Mandl is.
"Hey there, friend," he says, smiling at the Bith. "How are -you- doing over here?"
Kadi gives Aola a brief apologetic glance. "I'll be back," she says. And then she's over getting her drink, and she smiles at the fellow over there on his own. "Bar'duur, good evening. I am doing well, thank you. How are you doing? You seem a bit on your own, not joining in with the crowd?" It's a gentle question, and there's no judgement to it, more curiosity. "You're more than welcome to do so, if you wish."
Mandl nods. "Is nice to wander Naboo again. Old familiar sights." A cautious sniff. "... weather will be prime-viewing for several hours, still. Cloud-cover not until morning."
~ "Not based on anything existing, though borrowing a bit from a few sources," Ax says towards Aola. "Going for a sleek and fast, stealthy design. We obviously cannot win a battle through attrition, so we aren't designing it for that," Ax says to the pilot before she goes off to talk with Kadi about the space frame. Ax looks up at the fireworks display, timed almost perfectly but not quite with the music. Some people start to dance, wine and liquor is handed out freely, and the Echani leader of the Waywards seems to be content.
He looks over to where his wife wandered, Adder tugging him in that direction via the tether, making one wonder exactly which of the two was in charge. Ax approaches, leans in and gives Kadi a kiss on the cheek. He looks to Bar'duur, giving the man a smile. "Enjoy the events, or at least the fresh mountain air. Every time I come here from Nar Shaddaa, it's as if someone removed a weight from my chest and I can breathe more fully than I have in ages." ~
"No. It's not that. I just dont know if the dress will hold up to tackling Garr." He says to Sesti, "I'd suggest asking him to dance." He catches sight of Mandl and waves. Then catches another tray of drinks going past snagging one and rasing it to his Bith friend.
Mandl salutes Jax in kind.
Adhar nods at Mandl's words, chuckling. "It's going to be nice night, yeah, but I feel like I'm the clown at the party." He gestures to himself, his gilded plates and coat. "But at least I'm not wearing a cape. Although after last night, I felt it was best to wear something to the event. Never know, right? All sorts of things are going on."
Mandl pats Adhar's shoulder. "Is best be safe. Mandl's pager is off."
"I'm doing fine, thank you." Says Bar'duur, and he smiles still, just a little bit. "I dont have anything to say to anyone I guess, right now." He's holding a plate by now with a few things on it, he's not really hungry but it's there and it looks appetizing. When Ax arrives he nods to the other man. "It's nice here, the air but it makes me want to walk in a forest."
Kadi smiles at her husband, not aware that perhaps it was the tailring leading Ax and not the other way around. She nods briefly, "I'm okay," she says quietly. "Just suddenly a bit nostalgic." There's a bit of a wistful tone to her voice. She now has a glass in hand, and she nods to Bar'duur as well. "It - yes, it makes me glad to be outside and to enjoy the fresh air while we have it. Even if the place is so different from Corellia that it's hard to believe it can be home." She glances towards Aola, not having forgotten her.
Music, fireworks... parties... all Meep cares for is food! He plops down on his rump, next to Aola's foot, happily holding his snacks in both hands, taking alternate bites between them. He looks up at Aola and beams, cheeks all stuffed full like a chipmunk, chewing noisily before taking a few more bites, the crumbs splattering down over his chest and scattering about the ground.
"I can patch myself if need be, thank you," Adhar says to Mandl with a snort. "I've got a medpac on my belt and everything." He looks up and out across the sky, at the dawning evening, the darkening of heaven's bowl. "Fortune, what a beautiful night. I forget that you can still see the stars on some worlds, even with all the cities. /Almost/ makes me feel at home."
Swiftly, Aola is left alone with her discussions, but she shrugs. If nothing else, she'll have to look into these new fighters when their plans are properly drawn up. It was more than a little interesting to her. She's not however left alone as Meep the 'Mascot' comes over and sits down next to her, earning a little chuckle from the pilot who leans down to pat the small sentient's shoulder before sipping her drink once more.
Mandl nods agreement. "Set beside the Vertical City, most other planets are built quite low to the ground -- it helps."
~ Ax smiles and nods to his wife. "We'll go visit there after this, if you'd like," he says. "It would be good to see your parents again anyway," he adds. He then looks to Bar. "Absolutely, and you should. We're in the lower mountain regions, so there's still forests about, and they're quite pleasant and serene." ~
Seeing his star pilot - so to speak - sitting alone with Meep now, Adhar clears his throat. "Let's go sit with Aola, Adhar murmurs to Mandl. "She's having a hard time lately. I'll tell you about it later, but c'mon." That said, he gets ot his feet, heading over to where Meep and Aola sit, bowing to her in a dramatic way.
"Hallo again, m'lady," he says in his native accent, drawling and twanging away. "Th' Ponce Knight returns. May we sit with you again?"
Mandl waddles after Adhar.
Meep holds his snack with both hands, leaning against Aola's leg as she leans down to pet. If anything, at least Aola knows where he is... in case something happens and he gets lost in the crowd. Not to be rude, he reaches down to pluck an extra snack from his chest, holding it up to Aola in offering, "rhaefer?" Babble ( 9442) repeats after Meep, "Oot?"
Kadi smiles as Bar'duur takes them up on that offer, heading to take a walk. She waves to Mandl as well, having seen him at least in passing. Ax gets a bit of a brighter smile for his comment. "That would be good," she says. I like that idea." She reaches her free hand for Ax's, and then says, "Shall we go say hello to Garr? And Jax and Sesti?"
Jax had left Garr and Sesti to catch up. Jax not understanding his friend as he did once. There's a bitter sweet expression on Jax's face for a moment as he reclaims another drink. He's slowly sipping at this one. He makes it back to Adhar, Aola, and Meep. "So Gann, Is that Royal Guardsman armor you've repainted?" He says with a sip, "Very Noble Warrior looking."
"Only if you can keep your 'ponce' to safe levels." Aola answers Adhar with a wink before sipping her drink lightly, but there's a nod of thanks. Being left alone with thoughts and fears isn't really what the pilot needed right now after all.
~ "And, Adhar's pilot lady had questions about the new fighter for you," Ax says with a grin as he takes his wife's hand in his. "Shall we?" he asks getting ready to move. Then, even though the fireworks are over, there's a new light in the sky.
The skies over the entire galaxy, across every world, in every star system, grow darker and hued in a crimson shade.
Within moments, an unmistakeable beam of light is visible in the sky above. The beam of light lances its way from the edges of the outer rim and spears deep into the heart of the Galaxy's center.
The beam extends far into the heart of the galaxy and then is abruptly ended, cutting itself off after a visible burst of red energy is also seen.
Then it all fades away again.
Something unlike anything else ever witnessed in the galaxy has just occurred, something that will make anyone who witnessed it feel a sense of intense dread and fear.
Those with star chart knowledge will indentify where that beam of light faded out at, they'll know it was in the epicenter of the Republic itself.
Hosnian Prime. ~
"All a matter of image," Adhar says, chuckling very faintly. "And also there was an assassination attempt yesterday. As I was leaving here, in fact." He sits down next to Aola, not quite sheltering her with his taller and bulkier self, but the very least keeping her out of the wind. And then...there is the flash.
Adhar turns, looking to see the terrifying sight of the beam that hisses through the sky and splits apart, revealing for just a moment new stars in the night sky over Naboo. The smugglerstares for a long moment, and then he calls out to Ax.
"Ax, they've done it! That was Hosnian! The Fleet!" He is on his feet, giving Ax a stern, grim look, his hand on Aola's shoulder to steady her should she need it - for she must be feeling what he does, the dread that crashes down in waves as those evil lights flare and wink out, leaving now naught but the stars once more.
"They've /done/ it."
Kadi waves to Sesti and Garr, in passing, but takes her steps over towards Jax, Aola, Adhar and Meep. "Certainly," she says. "On second thought it looks like Sesti and Garr are catching up, I'll catch up with them both another time." Resolute, Kadi does start towards the others, getting 3/4 of the way there before the sky darkens and hues crimson. "Oh, what is going on?" she asks first, and then she goes quiet, staring.
Aola's eyes go wide as she looks up, her head tilting to the side. For a moment? Truthfully there's admiration. That terrible energy was beautiful and commet-like...but the truth of what it ment was a heavy pit in her stomach. Done it? She hears Adhar yelling, but even with her time in the resistance being so recent she didn't -know- of such a weapon existing. Her glass slips from her hand and the Twi'lek simply goes silent, staring in shocked horror.
Sesti stuck her tongue out in an unladylike fashion to her husband before she dodges through the crowd to sneak around behind the wookie and jump up on his back, wrapping her arms around his neck in an almost piggy back fashion. Then she laughs and hops down. "Where have you been?" she asks, and swings herself around to land on the ground in front of him, looking up to the larger being. It's because she's looking up that she sees the red glow over his shoulder, and her eyes widen as she watches, her mouth falling open.
"Wait an assassination attempt on Naboo? Here?" Jax expression stiffening. His drink forgotten for the moment, "That's uhm..." Then the red light goes streaking across the sky. His eyes looking up. His glass joining Aolas on the ground. He murmurs, "So much fear." The shock dropping the Corellian fighter pilot.
~ Ax's attention goes to the heavens and he just stares. Millions of lives get snuffed out in an instant. The Echani just goes straight to his knees. The musicians, being distracted by playing are last to notice, but eventually music dies. Everyone is looking up, most are silent, some are crying. Most have no clue what is actually happening.
Tears stream down Ax's cheeks as he's overwhelmed by the instant death and destruction of so many. Words cannot express how he feels and none come to his mouth. He just stares above, the lightshow over, but he just stares to the skies. ~
Kadi doesn't feel quite what Ax does, but she immediately moves to his side, kneeling beside him, reaching for his hand, to offer what she can. "That is terrifying," she says softly, her attention now on Ax, though she does also look over to Jax, instinctively.
Would that it be only millions, but Adhar knows the numbers there. He gives Aola's shoulder another squeeze before dipping to help Jax to his feet. "Come on, friend," he murmurs, his voice iron-hard yet somehow gentle, "I know it's got to be horrible, but we need to stand firm. Galaxy's going to need you lot more than ever now." Assuming that doesn't work, he gives Jax a quiet, but sharp "Snap to, soldier!"
"Hey!" Sesti took a moment to recover from her shock, and then move towards Jax. When Adhar's voice goes sharp on him, she's there, interposing herself between Adhar and her husband. "Let him be," she tells him, putting an arm around the Corellian, under his shoulders. "He does not need to be told what to do, and you have no right to do so. Let him be," she repeats, and her purple eyes fire sparks at him.
~ Overwhelming destruction turns to sheer rage and anger. Ax punches the ground once, and stands. He looks to his wife. "It is imperative that those fighters get finished. We're going to need them." Adder hops off his shoulder and onto the ground, the tether having fallen loose from Ax's wrist.
"I'm sorry to cut the festivities short," Ax says. "But in lieu of current events, I think it's best everyone gets to their perspective stations." This was aimed primarily at the more than a hundred Waywards that were present. Ax looks back to his wife. "I'm going to get the Knight ready. We're at full-blown war now." Ax looks to Adhar for a moment. "We'll be in touch, but see to you and yours. I'll see to mine." And with that, Ax began heading towards the landing area. ~
It's actually Ax's words that get Aola blinking back to reality. War, ships, movement. The Resistance had known at some point a day like this would come, but had they counted on the Republic fleet being wiped out? It didn't matter. Adjusting the strap of her dress, the woman moves to turn away from the party and start to walk towards the shuttle. Days were about to get very busy. She had to go after her main concern now, because the war wasn't likely to wait.
"I'm...yes, you're right, sorry," Adhar says quickly if gently, his own dark eyes haunted by what he has seen - he ignores Sesti after that, watching for a moment as Ax heads toward the landing field. "Aola," he says, "Get to the shuttle. Call home on the holocomm. I'll be right behind you." There's a certain tone to his voice that puts a strange accent on 'home'. Then, as she goes, he follows.
"Let's all calm down," Kadi says. "And not make rash decisions." That with a now worried look at her husband. She reaches for Adder's tether though, as Ax goes off without the tailring. "C'mon, Adder," she says, crouching down to let the little predator up on her shoulder. She gives an agonized look at where Ax went, and then turns to the crowd, starting to soothe the ruffled feathers, the fears and get everyone moving, as Ax had requested. "Thank you all for coming," she says. "We regret the festivities are cutting short." She looks over to their guests and calls, "I am so very sorry," after them all. By now there are tears on Kadi's cheeks, and she's just ignoring them.
Maybe it was years of Corsec Academy, his Resistance time, or just being the son of Mama Greystorm. The orders cut through his mind and he focus and in moments he's back standing on his own feet. His expression hard as he eyes Adhar and his fist balled up. He looks as if he's going to Strike Adhar. Though Sesti's voice stops him. He growls, "I'm fine." Though Tears are beginning to streak down his cheek. "Gann's right. It time for soldiers and warriors." He turns to looks at his wife, "And may the force be with us."
LOCATION: CoreStar Spaceport, Hangar P3, Nar Shaddaa
The voyage back to Nar Shaddaa passed in total silence, save for the sounds of Meep's snacking. Little guy can't help it, he's gotta eat.
When the Harvester touches down in the hangar, however, it is clear that the horrible spectacle of Hosnian has been seen as far as Nar Shaddaa. Crewmen are everywhere on the deck, talking to each other in hushed, excited tones, equal parts awed and terrified at what has transpired. Some have to get out of the way to make room for the shuttle, and as it touches down they begin to form a block of bodies streaming out of the Bandit's Castle and elsewhere as Adhar in his gilded armor leads the group down the ramp.
"Well," he murmurs to himself, "I suppose this is to be expected." He calls out, more loudly, "All right, everyone," he bellows, climbing up on a box and pulling on his gilded helm so that his voice broadcasts much more loudly. << FORM UP AND EARS OPEN. >>
Meep is non-chalantly trundling down the ramp, still munching on leftover snacks from the party. Ears perk up as he hears the captain declaring a speech, grumbling a little as the crowd starts to gather and he is quickly... blocked up! He hops up a few times, struggling to find a spot to watch from, pushing his way through the forest of legs till he has a frontrow spot, looking up at the Captain... still stuffing his mouth with snacks and chewing overly loudly.
Pash is hanging out with some of the crew, leaning heavily against a supply crate and wearing one of his grimmest looks yet. The men and women around him are, of course, discussing recent events as the shuttle arrives, when as they move toward the vehicle to meet those on board, he hangs back. Watching Adhar climb to announce the room, he suddenly feels detached.
Nevertheless, the spacer does move closer to the crowd. Whereas Meep pushes his way to the front, though, Pash purposefully hangs from the rear edge, easy to spot as an outlier.
< All right. > Adhar holds up his hands, looking a bit more like a warleader than a smuggler in that getup, something he's more than aware of but isn't about the change for the moment. < Now I know you've all seen the lights in the sky. We know that the first Order has been building up military forces in the Outer Rim for some purpose, though we have not known what - however, a massive destructive event has taken place in the Hosnian system, originating from the Unknwon Region of the galaxy. We do not know how destructive this event truly is, but we must assume - at least for the moment - that the entire system, and the Home Fleet, is either destroyed or unable to act. >
Below, a wave of muttering from the crew - some gasp, some hang on to each other. Some cry. Maybe they have relatives there. Adhar doesn't know all their family trees yet, but he can assume. < However, > he calls, < We must remain calm. If this /is/ a military action by the First Order, and the Republic /has/ had its heart effectively cut out, we cannot allow this to keep us from conducting business. Systems beyond the core will need equipment and weapons with which to defend themselves. People are going to flee the Core if the First Order goes there. We must be ready to assist these people in getting what they need, and getting /where/ they need to go - and we cannot do that by allowing this to trip us up. The galaxy will go on. We must be ready to surivive, to look after each other, and to look after everyone else that we can during the days ahead. That goes for all of us - Captains and crews alike. We must remain professional and not fall into hopelessness or petty gouging of those who need help. We are professionals, not gangsters. >
Meep doesn't understand a word of it, for all he knew the fireworks and the blowing up of.. whats it called.. are just one in the same! He munches his snack, peering up at all the concerned faces... blinking. He shrugs, using both hands to open up his little baggy wide, stuffing his snout into the bag to try to lick the interior clean of all the remnants.
Pash also notes Adhar's militaristic attire, which doesn't do much to soften his stony features. As the man talks, though, and he sees the fear in the room slowly ebb, or at least warm into something more manageable for the time being, he does start to look more relaxed.
"'Scuse me," he tells some enginners grouped in front of him, before pushing his way into the crowd. He winds through it to the front of the pack and ends up next to Meep, looking up at Adhar, where he waits for the man to hop down to their level.
Indeed, there's a wave of relief that ripples through the crowd - yes, business. People will need things. People will need help. Professionalism and commerce and opportunity, these are things that the crews can grasp. Adhar feels things lighten, and he presses on a bit more.
< All right, > he calls out, < Now I know the next few days especially are going to be very hard as we wait to see what happens, but in the meantime, stick to your stations, look after each other, and more importantly prepare yourself for whatever comes - that's how we beat this thing, whatever's coming, and that's how we survive. >
This breaks the momentary spell of panic, at least enough for people to loosen up and begin filtering back to their jobs. Adhar, satisfied for the moment that he hasn't screwed everything up by opening his stupid face for once, pulls off his helmet and clambers back down onto the deck. His expression is stony as he does so, lips set in a flat line.
Meep still doesn't quite follow, but he looks waaaay waaay up, tilting his head back as Pash appears overhead. Then his attention returns to Ashar.. and he just waits... something'll happen certainly.
The crowd disperses. Jobs begin again. Pash glances down and over to Meep. He eyes the small being's snacks and there's the briefest of smirks on his face, short-lived because his attention refocuses on the armored smuggler descending onto the deck. He takes a few steps closer and lowers his voice.
"I heard someone popped some shots your way," he states, blatantly avoiding the topic that was just addressed. "Does that explain all this?" he asks, looking the armor up and down.
"That and I was at a party," Adhar says, rubbing at his forehead. "Besides, if I'm going to plate up I need to look like a million credits, right? Branding. When I break out my powersuit, that's when you know I'm serious." He looks Pash over, the helmet under his arm. "You doing all right?"
Meep gives an unimpressed chitter, crumpling up his empty baggy and tucking it into a vacant pocket for later use. He wipes at his snout a little, frowning as he can't quite get any of it off. Reaching over, he leans over towards Pash, rubbing his nose and mouth against Pash's cargo pants to try to use them as a napkin.
Pash opens his mouth to comment on the "branding" when he feels a tug at his pants. Glancing down, he grimaces at the sight. "Nuh-uh," he grumbles firmly, pulling away from the Teek.
Back to Adhar, the spacer shrugs and says, "I'll manage. How about you?" He looks to Meep as well when he asks this.
"Yeah, well. Gonna be real kriffing interesting in the near future," Adhar mutters, and he reaches down to five Meep the corner of his coat to wipe his face on before standing back up. "If it's what I'm afraid it is. That beam came out of the Unknown Regions. Can't say for sure, ubt it sure as hell looked like the whole system was wiped out. That means the Senate, the Home Fleet, everything. We got our work cut out for us." Then he blinks at Pash. "Me? I'm mad, that's what I am. I'm mad as a bantha with his pecker cut off." Is that...an accent? Yes! A Corellian accent. A /country/ accent. Space Texan. Sort of.
Meep perks as he sees Pash try to pull away. Oot! Pash wants to play! Meep eagerly chases after that errant pant-leg... right up till Adhar offers his coat-corner, Oot-oot.... gingerly dabbing at the corners of his mouth till all the bits of snack are gone. Yes, easily entertained... easily distracted.. thinking only of food for now.. well not so much now, he's full! He plops down to sit with an audible 'oof', all this eating demands a little moment off the feetsies to rest.
"What?" Pash grunts. Each time Meep advances, Pash makes a little sidestep in a tight circle around Adhar. "What is this?" He's glaring down at the Teek, only fully giving the other human his attention when the Teek is tamed with a bit of cloak fabric.
Pash brushes off his pant leg and asks, "When are things not interesting?" He grimaces, though, and shakes his head. "Can't judge you for that," he admits. "If there was ever a time to be angry."
"This?" He looks down at Meep, and looks back up again. "Oh. That's Meep. He's a Teek. He works in...acquisitions." Adhar shakes his head, going back to the previous topic, and says, "We just need to keep doing business. Weapons and military equipment are likely to be the new capital goods for us. Resources, too. Anything that the other powers /not/ the Republic are going to want."
Meep sits with the group, all full of snackfood and excitement. He rubs his tummy, so full! Ears perk as he hears his name... then there's business talk so his ears droop a bit and he loses interest, eyes going about the hangar.. still resting.. can't go scampering around on a full belly!
It's a very busy time right now. With the apparent...event...in the Hosnian system viewable across the Galaxy, it makes sense that things here would stiff with tension - and yet there really isn't that much, with people looking stressed, of course, but not nearly as terrified as one might expect.
Adhar and Pash stand by the landed form of the Harvester, next to a stack of crates. Adhar is...wearing a blue, gilded suit of what very much appears to be the armor of the Imperial Royal Guard that used to follow Emperor Palpatine around. Because of course he is.
Meep, of course, is being Meep.
Getting clearance to land was a little more difficult than Nadia might have liked, but given what news transferred to her comms when she got out of hyperspace made that understandable, if not completely accepted. Still worn from travel, she makes her way into the hangar with her gunbelt hanging on her shoulder and her gloves tucked into her belt.
And Pash is being...Pash, for what that's worth. He listens to Adhar and nods, letting out a sigh at the explanation of what needs to be done. "Of course," he says, having come to the realization that there is profit to be made off The Event. "Luckily I got some practice with that recently," he says, referring to his recent torpedo run.
Meep looks up as the new ship comes in to land. He watches as the pilot emerges, Nadia! Oot! Meep pushes himself up to his feet, trundling over towards Nadia, both little arms outstretched. He makes it about halfway there before he spots something on the ground, a loose nut! Like the metal kind. He shifts away from Nadia, stooping to pick up the metallic object, placing it into his mouth and biting down gently.. as if to gauge its worth.
"It's going to be interesting, that's for certain. Let's start probing the markets, see what people are going to look for in the coming days. There'll be a clamor for it in the near future, in some way or another. Even if it's criminal organizations and not governments. And then..." Adhar pauses as Meep wanders off, peering at Nadia as she enters. His eyes linger on her for a long moment, hooded, before he lifts his chin in her direction.
"Interesting times," he calls to her. "You get in all right?"
Nadia glances over at Adhar with a shrug, "I guess, yeah." Nonchallant about the destruction of planets, every day sort of business as far as she's concerned. "Good time to be a smuggler." This is where business gets good.
She also spies Meep with the metal nut and heads over to scoop him up, bolt in his mouth and all, to plop down on her shoulders as she makes her way over to where Pash and Adhar are chatting.
Pash studies the woman, chewing over her response to the system-wide destruction with a look of disappointment. Almost. "A bittersweet moment, to be sure," he says flatly. Still, he also offers a greeting the woman's way. "Nice to see you again," he says, slipping his hands into a pair of free pockets.
Turning to Adhar then, Pash nods. "I'll do that. Need to make that trip south, anyway. The one we talked about." Maybe he'll find some new business leads there.
Meep chews on the nut a little more and then fwoom! He's airborne! He gives a bit of a giggle as he is picked up and then settled down on a familiar perch. He sways a little, leaning against Nadia's head for support, clambering a little, getting comfy and secure as he rejoins the group via Nadia-ride.
"Yeah," says Adhar, nodding. "Do that. I'll give you the details on that so you can pull it off tonight, if you've got time. Fortune knows nobody's going to be on the spacelanes to stop you."
Then he looks back to Nadia. "Well, that's the notion," he says. "But maybe not. Depends on who did it, and what they did for sure. We start seeing more of these 'incidents', it's going to make our job /really/, unpredictable, and that doesn't make business good at all."
"Eh.." Nadia wiggles her hand with a flask suddenly in it as she climbs up on something solid enough to act as a seat. Meep gets a cookie from inside her jacket which she very obviously carries solely for giving to the Teek at this point. "Even if we just move refugees... But wasn't this Hosnian Prime?" Glancing between Pash and Adhar, "I think we can agree that there's only a handful of likely culprets.."
More treats! Meep eagerly takes the fresh treat.. evidently having forgotten the hundred or so he's already had today, fooood! He eats a little slower this time, just munching away as he listens to the chit-chat about incidents and jobs... Hosnian.. sounds like a dessert.. wonder if it goes good with ice cream.. hmmmmmm.
Pash gives Nadia a look of agreement and shakes his head in disbelief. Only a few culprits indeed, and the most likely one is parked too close for comfort. Might be a good idea to put some space between him and...everything right now. If only to organize his thoughts.
"Better book it, then," he tells Adhar, eyeing his Broadstar at the other end of the hangar. "Don't you all cause too much trouble while I'm away."
"Yes," Adhar says, nodding once. "But we will see. The next few days are going to be very interesting, to be certain." That said, he rubs at his brow. "Right. Meep, buddy, I'm gonna need to borrow Nadia. Pash? Go ahead and do the thing. I'll have a datapad with the details run over to you while you're getting the ship powered up."
Nadia raises a brow at Adhar saying he needs to borrow her, but she doesn't move from her seat all at once. Not until after she's had a few swallows from her flask. Once that's done she hops up and move Meep over to the empty crate stack. "Be careful out there Pash."
Meep is settled onto the empty crate, yaaawning out loud.... slumping over and curling up... yuss... too many snacks, must nap.
Pash offers a lazy salute to the others before swaggering off to his ship. He picks up speed along the way, and soon disappears into the underbelly of the Special Delivery.
"Right, then." Adhar gestures to the Bandit's Castle, seeing a sleepy Meep. "Will you join me for a drink, Nadia?" Is he going to wear that armor while you do it?
Nadia reaches over and scratches in Meep's furr between his ears, then she's off towards the entry ramp of the Castle. "Might as well." Gunbelt on her shoulder and all.
LOCATION: Captain's Room, Bandit's Castle
He sets the helmet on the desk as he enters, and takes off his coat - apparently the oversized coat is so he /can/ wear armor underneath it, the ponce. With the coat off, the armor demonstrates its full artistry, which is lovely and terrible in aesthetic when its design and further artistic embellishments are concerned, but also obviously highly advanced in its construction as you see what the Empire usually hid beneath a long cloak. Interesting. "You want a drink?" Adhar goes to the liquor cabinet, popping open the door. "Because I feel this is time to get out the big barrels."
Nadia isn't paying the first bit of attention to the armor. She swaggers into the office and plops right down into a seat after depositing her gunbelt across the back. "You can pull out the cheap stuff for me." She says this with a shrug and a glance back, "It might not be every day a planet blows up, or whatever the hell happened... but let's face it, it wasn't exactly my crowd." Not a lot of people she knows on the Republic Core World.
He says nothing, pouring two glasses full of amber liquid, then putting them on either side of the central table. Sits down across from you, apparently not at all encumbered by the armor. Lifts it to you in a toast. "To the galaxy," he says. "It will never be the same."
Nadia lifts her glass and laughs quietly, head shaking, "This is what the galaxy does, Adhar.. Some jack ass blows up a planet, which causes someone else to blow up whatever blew up the planet..." She swallows the drink and sits back with the glass twisting between her claws. "Then a few years pass and generation of people are born who don't ever remember that the first planet was blown up... The galaxy will be perfectly fine."
"That's what /you/ said," Adhar points out. His voice is neutral. "The galaxy will never be the same. So you know what this is." Adhar takes another drink. "Tell me. The frog-dog is already out of the bag, and I'd like to know if we're going to start seeing systems go up any time somebody's seen as shitting on the Supreme Leader's doorstep. I was going to Hosnian tomorrow, you know."
"Eh, I was being dramatic." Nadia shrugs, motioning around with her glass, "The galaxy's fine. If a little more dangerous." She draws her tongue across the inner flap of her split lip. "Pretty good thing the trip was tomorrow, then." She shrugs at the unspoken question, "I wouldn't go to any Republic worlds for a while if I were you. Just to be on the safe side."
"Well, that causes some problems for us," Adhar says. "Our business is /in/ Republic worlds. Or at least a lot of it." He crosses his legs, plastoid clacking on plastoid. "Going to need to do a lot of retooling." A moment. "So how do you think it's going to change? These people are as humanocentric as the Empire is. Think they're going to start enslaving nonhumans again?"
"I doubt it." Nadia shakes her head, "I think the xenophobia thing was a poor sell for the Empire." She's just being honest, "And you're right. We are definitely gonna have to change the way we do business." That's the Republic capital world, after all. Senate is gone.
"They do," says Adhar, looking at you calmly, "And we'll look after you and Asiir. If you need it." Honest, too, though his voice remains carefully neutral. "So, new business. What do you recommend?"
Nadia laughs again and shakes her head, "I survived the Empire, I'll survive the First Order." She glances around for the bottle of liqour and ultimately stands up to go refill her glass. "Government contracts aren't the only contracts." She points out, "Or you could tap into the First Order money? Or planets that are suddenly going to be without Republic support settling old debts against ancient enemies.. Trade blockades, etc."
"That's where I imagine the money will be in the meantime," Adhar says, watching as you get up to refill the bottle. "The other small powers and planetary governments will be arming for war or self-defense, terrified by the collapse of the New Republic - assuming that's what happens. But I think we both know what's going to happen, there. I think that's where we should focus, personally."
"Oh yeah? What do you think's going to happen?" Nadia pours another tall glass and sucks a bit of liqour from her claws after replacing the crystal stopper in the bottle. One brow perks as she rejoins Adhar, "You're right, at least. Lots of credits to be made in the chaos..." She doesn't feel the least bit bad, or she certainly doesn't appear to, so she might as well look like she wants to make money.
He shrugs. "I have no idea." Adhar drains the rest of his glass and sets it down on the table. "But strategically speaking, the First Order will likely move its ships into the Core Worlds and the Rim, where planets have the most to lose. The Rim will stand on its own, at least for now. Even with as many ships as the First Order may have, they'll still have to conquer each world, or spend their resources resolving control over those worlds that surrender peacefully. Eventually, though, they'll spread out everywhere. They don't talk about destroying the Republic, they talk about bringing their brand of order to the entire galaxy."
Nadia considers Adhar for a minute, glass in her claws. "Where'd the attack come from?" She asks this as if she doesn't expect an answer, "I remember the Death Star... at least I remember people talking about it. They had to physically move that big station within the system to fire its weapons on a planet... Terrifying." She takes a drink of whiskey, slow, appreciative. "They can fire this thing from... whereever the hell it is? Across light years.. and hit not one, but multiple targets? And that's assuming it's actually a stationary device, but I assume someone would have seen something big enough to destroy several worlds, right?" She shakes her head and laughs, humorlessly, but still laughs. "As long as whatever that is exists, they're not going to need to send ships to conqour anything... they'll send an envoy, meet with government officials, and that planet will then be First Order controlled."
"We'll see." Adhar doesn't look at all convinced. "From my studies, even with an axe like whatever it is they have, authoritarian governments like the First Order's will want to project power throughout the the space they wish to control. Either way, it doesn't matter. Business needs to happen." He pauses a moment. "Oh. You do a lot of spice runs out to the Senex-Juvex sector, don't you?"
Nadia nods to the latter question, not being of any particular mind for politics. How she'd do it and how others would are vastly different beasts of burdon, "Just out that way a few nights ago, actually. Choice parties."
"So I hear," Adhar says with a nod. "I got business out there come up suddenly. Thought I might ask what you can tell me about it - I just know there's a lot of rich nobles out there, and a /lot/ of slavery." He manages not to spit the word out this time.
"That pretty much sums them up." Nadia motions, "They're hard up to find out whether you're dangerous though... Maybe threaten them for the laughs when you land?"
"Oh?" Adhar's brows arch. His surprise is clear, here. "What do you mean?"
"Well..." Nadia finishes her drink and sets the glass upside down on the table, "You have made a lot of friends with your warship and hatred of slavery. I'm not saying it sounds like a trap, but.. ya know... it probably is."
He grunts. "It's a corvette," he mutters. "Kriff, it' not like I'm going around in a battlecruiser. You /can't/ be serious." Adhar's brows arch. "Wait, what did you tell them when they asked?"
"When they asked what?" Nadia tilts her head a little.
"If I were dangerous or not. You said they wanted to know. Did they ask you?" His brows arch again. "Or are you just hearing things while out and about."
"I told them that you were." Nadia doesn't feel the need to lie about it, "Which you are. Especially if they made you dangerous. Which they will."
He's quiet for a few seconds. "Dangerous," he repeats softly. "Hmm. I don't know how to feel about that. Wasn't long ago people thought I was soft. Maybe I'm overdoing it."
Nadia turns her hands up in a shrug, "Wasn't long ago people thought the Republic was safe... things change."
"I suppose they do." He purses his lips. "So. Trap. Hmm. What do you think they might want? I can't imagine they sent the assassin from yesterday - that's bothered me since it happened, you know."
"They sent an assassin?" News to Nadia, nodding now that she does. "Maybe they'll settle things with you. Hell, I don't know Adhar, I'm just making sure you know the score."