Log:Array Consortium: Seeking The Imperious
'With the damage to the power system of the Bandit's Castle such that the Consortium cannot justify the expense of its replacement, Adhar has been digging deeply into Imperial records and other resources to find the location of a 'ghost ship' called the Imperious, an Imperial Strike Cruiser thought lost for thirty years - and having found its most likely location, goes with Mara and Bar'duur to see if this 'ghost ship' actually exists...
LOCATION: Consortium Hangar and HQ, CoreStar Spaceport, Nar Shaddaa, Hangar P3
Mara Jade nods to Bar'duur. "Bar" she offers with a smile. "How're things?" Then she looks to Adhar, "We can take the Sabre if you want. You'd be sad if you scratched up your pleasure yacth" she teases. (re)
Bar'duur's eyebrows lift. "Yeah? I was wondering about that." says Bar'duur as he approaches Adhar and Mara and halts. He casts Mara a little smile and shrugs in reply. "Nothing to complain over." He says before his attention returns to Adhar. "The crews arent very optimistic about the Castle after all, seems like at this point it'd be better off being stripped down of weapons and hauling cargo instead." He glances toward the Marauder for a moment. "So you want to go investigate this lead?" He asks. "Just you two in that?" He points toward the VoidHawk.
"Yeah, you say that now," says Adhar, smirking at Mara, "But that 'yacht' killed two TIE Interceptors with a single shot each on the way home last night. Had repairs crews fix 'er when we landed, so she's already been scratched. Also, more room."
Adhar nods to Bar'duur. "I figured that would be the case," he says. "But likely we'll sell her for repair costs if this ghost ship is salvageable. We'll go out and have a look, and hopefully be back inside of a day. Oh! Aola and I snagged her sister last night. There's...a lot there to talk about, but just keep your eyes peeled. Wasn't a fun process."
That said, he nods to Mara. "You want to give it a shot?"
Mara Jade nods to Adhar. "I'm not making any runs today. Nothing I need to do. You want to fly that's fine. I'll just relax and take a nice long nap till we get there" she says with a smile. "I'll need to get a few things from the Sabre first but whenever you want to head out."
"Let's go ahead." Adhar slips off the box and gets up, shifting in his jacket. "I'll see you on board."
Mara Jade makes her way on board the ship, a tan shemagh scarf wrapped about her neck and a cloak that largely covers her form. Knowing her as Adhar and Bar'duur do, they'll notice she's got a third blaster holster strapped on, resting against her ribs on her left side. There is also a curious metallic cylinder clipped to her belt just behind her right hip. A pair of goggles is worn down around her neck. "Ready?"
LOCATION: Voidhawk, Interior
Adhar's ship is fairly small on the inside - certainly bigger than the Sabre, but still small. On the other hand, it is richly decorated like a small yacht; greel-wood panels clad the walls, which are otherwise cream where bare metal can be seen. The floor is metal, but of an interesting mosaic pattern of different finishes. Furniture of plush, brown leather line the living area, and a greel-wood table that can descend from the ceiling has holoprojector on either side to provide projections as needed. There's even a refresher cabin and a top-class autochef, and triple bunks unfold from the walls made from ultra-comfortable metafoam and made with silken sheets. She might be small inside, but she's as plush as she is fast and dangerous.
"So here we are," Adhar says, gesturing around the boat. "She can haul six comfortably, so there's no worries there. And the cargo bay's back there." The cargo bay, of course, is a small cavity in the aft sealed by a pair of transparisteel doors. "What do you think?"
Bar'duur steps into the ship after Mara does, looking around for a moment. "Fancy." He grunts, I mean, nice ship." There's a little smile offered and he looks around while making his way over to a seat, halting and placing a hand on the back of the seat.
"These things are amazing, Bar," says Adhar with a shake of his head. "We need to get the other one somehow. They're fast, maneuverable, and can kill a TIE Interceptor with a single shot from the turrets." He looks at Mara. "You could sell the Sabre and buy one, but these need copilots if you want to use the turrets. So that's maybe not so good for you, if you want to still go solo."
That said, he grins back at Bar. "Really, though. They're not cargo hauler, but this thing pulls ninety megalights /stock/. The Voidhawk pulls a hundred twenty!"
Mara Jade chuckles. "Well.. I might buy one but I'd have to have those credits back you owe me, Adhar.." She winks and settles into a chair. "But enough bragging, boss. get us out to space."
"Oh he owes you money too?" Asks Bar'duur with a lift of his brow. "Huh." He says with a little grin and lowers into a seat as well, stretching a bit. He tosses a small travel bad he's been carrying under his seat before he checks out the console in front of him. "It's a nice ship, good all around, a lot more shiny looking than any YT for sure."
"You think I owe /you/," Adhar says to Mara with a shake of his head, jerking a thumb at Bar'duur. "I'm into this guy for at least six hundred thousand. But we will get there." Another shake of his head. "I call him my co-captain, but I'm really not kriffing around too much."
Then he chuckles. "Well, I owe her seventy thousand. Got that hyperdrive that Jax wanted so that I could trade that and the Rancor for the harvester. You weren't around, I figured I'd ask the master smuggler here." Ahdar nods, then. "Let's get up in the cockpit. You two fly, and I'll guide you."
Mara Jade settles into the pilot's seat and soon as the ship powered up and ascending out of the atmosphere toward space. "Alright. Space lanes look clear. You have jump calculations?"
The ship is laid out like a starfighter, oddly enough; a chair slides out from a recess along a track to fit the pilot's station, which has a yolk instead of a stick - otherwise the controls are very much like an assault fighter's. "So the ion cannons and torpedo launcher are fixed guns," he says, showing their arming switches on a panel along with the shield control. "Firing triggers are on the yoke there, triggers being the guns and the torpedo launcher being the thumb button top of the right grip - the arming and locking toggle is on the left. And then...
He doesn't take very long explaining the controls; there really isn't much TO explain, so close is the ship to most starfighters. Someone really wanted to give bored Imperial nobles and other rich people a taste of combat piloting. No wonder the Empire shut production down after six months. Once the ship is out and heading up through the atmosphere, Adhar - who sits in the gunner's seat behind you, the gunnery console swinging down from the starbord wall over his lap - nods his head at your question. "I've plugged the figures in slot three," he says. "Should take us out to where the ship /should/ be, based on my calculations. Took me a couple of days to do it, but I've extrapolated an astrogational course based on the telemetry data before the Imperious disappeared, sightings since then, gravitational forces, all that sort of thing." Someone sounds like a goddamned nerd, but there's no denying he knows his astrogation. "It'll take us five hours to get out there, though, even though it's not far in terms of distance. Lots of mass shadows to navigate. No hyperlanes out there."
Mara Jade doesn't need a lot of explanation. She simply nods. "I can fly it." Calm and relaxed. And she flies it like she's never flown any other starship but this one by the time it's out of atmo. She nods."I see them." She brings up the hyperspace system. "Preparing for jump." The ship begins to drift as the hyperspace routines take over. Once the calculations are completed, a soft chime is heard and then the stars visible outside turn into blurry streaks as the ship erupts into hyperspace.
Lounging in the seat, Adhar waits for the hyperspace blur to kick in, then flips up the gunnery console and gets out of the gunner's seat. "I'm going to get some caf," he says. "Gonna be a bit of a flight. You want anything from the autochef?"
Bar'duur was just hanging around in the back for most of the trip but eventually he's peeking up in the cockpit as they get closer. "We almost there?"
"We just jumped, man," Adhar says, emerging from the back with his cup of caf - he's brought one for Mara, too, just because. "Here," he says, handing it to her before dropping back into the gunnery chair, pulling the folding console down from the wall and back over his lap. "Feel how smooth this thing is, Bar? I almost want to sell off the Preybirds and get the other one of these that's at the Buy-N-Fly. Bloody gunships, these are. Gunships with fine appointings." Very important, the luxury when you're flying a death-yacht!
Time passes. Hours tick by, bullshitting is done, Mara makes fun of Adhar and probably Bar'duur laughs. It's a fun trip, when all is said and done...three friends on the road in their very own super-comfortable death yacht. And yet the time finally comes
when the trip comes to and end, and the navicomputer rings the alarm that indicates imminent realspace transition. Into the real world you return, into deep space...a distant nebula filling up the backdrop like a vast cloud of witchfire.
"All right," says Adhar, prepping the guns and activating the sensors. "Here we are. Let's see what we can find."
Mara Jade leans back in the seat. "I'm going to sleep. I'll wake when we get there." Eyes close and soon she is in fact sleeping. But less than five minutes before the jump comes to an end her eyes open and she leans forward to look at the displays to make sure things are still in the green.
As the ship slows and the system appears out of the blur of stars, she resumes flying, "slowing us down while we get our bearings."
"Yeah? I mean two of these fully armed and crewed and two Avengers would be an alright wing." Comments Bar with a look around. "We'd have to get some fighters to replace them though, in the end it's good to have numbers if we're in an all-out fight with an enemy that can actually field resistance you know?"
"Sending out an active ping," Adhar says, fingers playing across the gunnery console - he's routed sensor functions and shields back to his station, letting Mara focus on flying the ship. "And...hmm." He does it again. "Mara," he says, "I'm getting a lot of gravimetric disturbances here, Mara. Go to...227 mark 15, twenty degrees elevation...for six hundred kilometers."
Then he nods over his shoulder at Bar'duur. "Yeah," he says, "Fighters are good, but maybe we should focus more on armed transports. Turning them into gunships. They'll survive longer, and the firepower they carry will make things easier when dealing with masses of fighters."
Mara Jade nods and alters course. "Changing heading now." The pinpricks of stars begin to shift as the ship changes direction. She continues to watch the scanner for any anomalies or ships. "It would be good to have some of each but gunships aren't a bad option, no" she agrees.
"Hm." emits Bar'duur, he doesnt sound sold exactly on this. "I think focusing on any one thing is not good, veriety is good." He comments as he leans back in his seat comfortably. "All things have their place and purpose." He looks out the window for all the good it's worth. "I agree mostly."
The ship shudders faintly as it travels through the gravitic morass, and the sensors are scrambling left and right - yet Adhar's deft fingers are able to dial through the eddies of gravitic current, and finds the right sensor band. "I have...yeah. Okay. I have a contact! Shit, big one - Mara, piping it up to you. Get us closer, please."
On your sensor display the contact appears, a long, large mass roughly in the shape of a cigar. It's only about a hundred kilometers away, but not quite visible to the eye. Must be shrouded by the luminous nebula's outermost boundary.
Mara Jade nods as the coordinates are sent to the pilot's displays. "Understood. It's a bit rough through here. Hang on." Just the same, she manages the thrusters and controls with amazing skill, bringing the Voidhawk through without a problem aside from the buffetting. "Not surprised a ship of any size could get stranded and lost out here.."
The ship shudders again, but your skill with the stick keeps its course true. "You're doing great," he says from behind. "Just a little more, all right? I'm charting our passage through the anomalies."
Mara Jade says, "I know." She confirms as she controls the ship. "It's like trying to fly through sludge. This area is a gravitic nightmare."
"I believe it," Adhar says. "But you're doing beautifully. Just a little more...there! Look to port and down!"
Sure enough, there, silhouetted against the glow of the nebula, the unmistakable form of a large ship can be seen. Capital, absolutely, with a bridge tower and the general design of some kind of warship. The lights are off, however, the engines dead.
Mara Jade glances back at him. "Do you praise all your pilots when they fly?" She asks dryly as she brings the Voidhawk to within three hundred meters and slowly set a parallel course to examine the hull from bow to stern. "Doesn't look like it's had any serious hull breaches on this side.."
"No...but damn, it's so hard to scan through this crap!" Adhar shakes his head, pounding a fist lightly on the console. "Shavit! Get us closer, Mara. I'll have to scan this thing point blank."
Mara Jade nods. "Alright. It looks clear of debris. At least nothing large enough we're going to die from hitting..." She reaches up and adjusts the shield output. "Shields two thirds forward. Just in case." At the speed she's flying it should be enough as she grins the Voidhawk around. "One hundred meters.."
You bring the ship in until it's almost on top of it; Adhar hits the floodlights, exposing gray armor, turbolaser turrets...heavy batteries and ion cannons in places. Point defense lasers. The ship is definitely a warship, some weight class in the cruiser range, probably medium. The War College classifications still stand, after all. All power is out, and as you bring the ship past the warship, enormous compared the tick that is the Voidhawk, Adhar hits the sensors again and directs them in a long, detailed focused scan cycle.
"This thing..." Adhar shakes his head. "It's intact, all right - wait, no, there's a breach in the midsection, down on one of the lower decks. Ten turbolaser batteries, ten turbolaser cannons, capital ions...look, that's a full hangar deck over there! I've read about these things in my naval strategy studies. It's an Imperial ship, all right. Strike Cruiser...or Strike-class cruiser, depends on who you talk to." He swings the lights up and toward the bow, where the Imperial seal still rides in chipped black paint on the hull, and the name of the ship in strident Aurabesh capitals.
Mara Jade brings the Voidhawk around to a stop to study the name. "Gravitic anomalies are strong here. "Make the call. Stay outside or try to dock. Power seems to be off but it might be wise to come back with a shuttle and a full recovery crew now that we know it's here. There won't be much three of us can do with something this size..."
"Life support is totally down across the ship," says Adhar. "We don't even know if there's any fuel left for the reactor. No, Mara, let's get out of here and come back with a shuttle full of engineers and troops. I don't want to risk it out here, not even with you by my side."
Well, at least he's got /some/ sense.
Mara Jade smirks. "I may have some skills. But I'm not that good." She then checks the scanners. "locking in coordinates.... and getting us back out of these whirlpools so we can make the jump back.."
You make it through, far more easily than the last time - with Adhar's plotting it's easy to get back to the edge of the morass, and you can leap back into hyperspace without problems. You have found the ship, dead and cold in space as it is, but...is it salvageable? Or usable? That's a story for another day...but not one far away from tonight. Clock's ticking, and the Castle is not what it was.