Log:Array Consortium: Sniffing Around
After a curious span of silence from the allied mercenary fleet, Adhar and company go to investigate the base at Deltara, to see if something's happened.
The ship has been on Schedule Yellow for the past several hours; already the gunnery crews and bridge officers have gone through major drills, and the mystery of painted lines on the corridor decks has been solved, specifically directing people which side they need to be traveling along depending on their destination. It's a very different ship in this moment; so many of the population are civilian-grade, but most of the senior crewmen and officers are military- or paramilitary-trained, and the system is snapping together like it was always designed to. The Serious Business is, finally, adhering to its moniker.
Down in the primary hangar bay, the Captain is busy talking to the deck officer while the guide lights leading to the open fighter hangar blaze a path that warns of outgoing craft. The Captain is not in a flight-suit, however; he wears a suit of battle armor, seemingly built for ceremony, the stern mask of is helmet staring out from under one ornately decorated arm. His expression is grave as he talks to the fellow in charge of the bay, as is the deck officer herself. Lots to go over. Big things afoot.
Mandl scrambles miners, geologists, explorers and astronomers! It's very sedate, in comparison, but deadlines are set and reports demanded. A flurry of keystrokes! The pulse-pounding action of-- spreadsheets! It's... science, albeit science-in-a-time-of-crisis. A short meeting on deck is necessary as probes are marked, logged and designated, so XPLOR stands ready...
David Ironside walks down the ramp of the Guarlara, only minutes after it sets down on the hangar floor. He's followed by his droid, who immediately turns and heads into the fighter hangar. David himself is already decked out in Array flight gear, clearly answering a certain call he picked up as he was approaching the Y'Toub system. He quickly joins Adhar and his merry band of misfits. Who actually happen to fit in pretty well. "What's up?" he requests, not bothering with formality.
A few more words are hastily exchanged before the deck officer goes off to do her work; Adhar turns to see Mandl coming and David already here - and, dressed as a spacegoing field marshal that he is, nods to the incoming men. "Things have popped off over in the Sarkhai system," he affirms. "David, did you get the bulletin I had sent to all personnel? It should have been transmitted to the Guarlara, so if it hasn't let me know."
Mandl sends Dr. B'rot's Irregulars on their assignments-- not that they're actually called that. Mandl strolls past the line of probes, doing spot-checks on telemetry, programming and astrogation...
David nods. "Bulletin, yeah." he replies. "Did you think I'd dress up like this for fun?" he points out, gesturing at the flightsuit on his body, helm under his non-gesturing arm. "I mean, I'm assuming we're heading there, anyway." he shrugs. "Bulletin was unclear. Drills are fine but I don't think any combat pilot is rusty at the moment."
"It's not the pilots that need the drills," Adhar replies with a chuckle. "The crew hasn't been in naval combat since last year, and that wasn't a battle, it was essentially a murder. When we jumped the Kaspanians last year I was able to get us to enter close enough to tear their frigate open without much of a fight. Now? Well. You gentlemen know what we're up against."
That said, he takes his helmet and rests it between his palms, now; behind his back, something has been slung under his cape of blue armorweave. Glossy and polished, black metal. Rifle, maybe, something compact. Sword and blaster, too. "David, I'd like you to fly escort for myself and Mandl, here, as well as a few others. We're going to take Turhaya to Sarkhai to meet with the mercenary brass and find out what's going on." He frowns a bit more. "I have a feeling that this 'engagement' is more of a curb-stomping than they want to admit over channels."
It's a sound, probably unlike any other fighter that has been heard really, but non-the-less the sound of specially baffled engines can be heard, well before the grey and black camo-painted sleek form of a fighter comes rumbling into the landing bay. Special paddles extend from the thrust vectored nosels, closing around the engine exhaust and diverting its thrust forward, along with retro thrusters fire as the fighter slows to a gentle stop, then begins descending toward the deck as its landing gear deploy.
The paddles retract back into into place, as the engine nosels turn down just slightly, though probably the fighter's main drives are no longer pushing it. As the fighter settles, its two large engines begin to whine down, and the cockpit canopy lifts slightly, then tiltsforward, before the pilot begins unstrapping her self...
"Yup Yup, great idea!" Kae's voice can be heard, as she takes her helmet off and sets it on the fighter's forward dash... She then finsihes unstrapping and hops out of the fighter, the cockpit closing quickly behind her as a BB droid is lowered out of a socket behind the cockpit....
Kae spins around and pats the sleek, reverse winged fighter with an outstretched hand, her arm really at full extention. Regardless of entrance, or situation, Kae is still Kae... "I'm heeerrreee! Complete with a full mixed ordinance load!" She says the goofy Sephi tilting her head, and wearing some kind of slightly armored flight suit of sorts.. Probably something of her own devising.
Mandl sends Dr. B'rot's Irregulars on their assignments-- not that they're actually called that. Mandl strolls past the line of probes, doing spot-checks on telemetry, programming and astrogation. That very path draws them closer to the more... visceral... action aboardship, and the arrival of Kae's fighter and pilot recieves a measured nod of appraisal.
Mandl opines, "Ah, diplomacy. Perhaps also Mandl can update surveys and detect encampments if we fly low enough on approach-- will sensor activity be monitored, does Adhar suspect?"
David nods at Adhar. "Escort." he echoes his understanding. "You want me in a Vendetta, the Bravado or something different?" he asks quickly, only giving Kaelyn's fighter a token glance. He quiets down to hear Adhar's reply to Mandl, it'll probably affect his flight path too.
"I don't..." He pauses, looking past the assembly at the fighter that had just landed. Blinks. "Oh," Adhar says, squinting at the glorious raptor from which its goofball pilot has descended. "I guess she got it finished." No time for love, Doctor Jones - Adhar keeps the fighter in his peripheral vision, perchance to ogle while he waves Kae over. "Bravado, please. Mandl, myself, and a squad of troops will be traveling in Turhaya. We'll meet with the assembled fleet in orbit of Daltara."
He looks to Mandl. "Shouldn't be a problem. I want you with me as third officer while Zerna runs things here in our absence. I'm not /expecting/ trouble? But that means nothing right after a battle like that, you know that as well as I."
Mandl shrugs, nods. To Adhar: "One must be vigilant. Prepare to deal with most possible outcomes, emerge in one piece." To David: "Yes, if Mandl can assist escort in any way, make David's job quicker or easier, do say!" Kaelyn is given a genial wave. "Crewman!"
David nods at Adhar, raising a wristcomm to his face. "Start her up." he tells the droid on the other end of the line. From the fighter hangar, the sound of engines firing up roars into the main landing bay, clearly R2-1S knows his way around an X-Wing like it's second nature. He turns back towards Adhar with a grin. "If that'll be all, my chariot awaits." he states.
Kae blinks and raises both hands... "Soo I was told to be here, what are we doing?" She asks, now starting to stare curiously.... "Or issit yer doing something?" She asks and looks to David, then waves to Mandl "hihi Mr Mandl!" She says and smiles brightly, before she glances back to Adhar.. "Ayup, all done, it enters and exits hyperspace smoothly, starts and stops on a dime. Can change direction so hard, that even with good dampners you have to strap yer self down securely into the seat..." She says and grins again... "Oooh, it'll also make you feel like yer head is somewhere around your waist-line if you maneuver it reall hard too..." She adds and beams... "Aaanyhoo, I was just giving it its maiden cruise.. Then I saw the memo, so I packed as much ordinance on it as I could and came flying... litterally!"
"Well, sometime maybe we can see it in action," Adhar says to Kaelyn as she comes bounding over, nodding. "In the meantime, you're in the E-Wing playing escort with David. We're heading to Sarkhai to talk to Battle-Leader Shiran'la of the Atrax Guard." He nods to David, then, gesturing for him to go ahead. "Mission and route data will be transmitted to your ships' computers. Mandl? You're with me."
Viktar walks in, strolling slowly, a toothpick between his teeth that he chews on absently. Upon seeing the gathering, he moves his furred hand up to pull it from his canid teeth and make his way over to the gathering. He quickens his pace and attempts to slide in unnoticed, to listen silently.
David gives Adhar what can possibly pass for a salute, turning on his heel to jog into the fighter hangar to link up with his droid and his fighter. Soon after, maybe -too- soon, the collective pass overhead of the group and through the blue hued shield that keeps the zero gravity outside.
Kae blinks a few times, then gives a big smile at Addy "Umm sir? If it's allright with you, May I take out my prototype here? I've got the bugs out of it, spent weeks testing them out and all, and honestly, it is probably a better match to what David there will be flying than the E-wing... That and wellll... I've spent all morning flying it and am used to the controls, aaaand, I kinda would like to give it a real test?" She says and smiles really big... "If it gets damaged, I have the knowhow to fix it." She adds.. "That and she's tougher than an E-wing, and probably more maneuverable too..."
Kae tilts her head.... "So yus, I'm volunteering my new fighter in a mission!" She says and grins brightly...
Adhar is already on the way toward Turhaya, which - par for the course - has long stopped being a yacht and become one of the galaxy's faster and most luxurious gunships. "Have the deck officer transmit the data to your ship, Crewman," he calls over his shoulder to Kaelyn, and seeing Viktar has arrived, waves him along. "With me, Viktar. We have work to do."
The trio of ships return to realspace in the Sarkhai system without ceremony - the sleek and ray-like shape of Turhaya, its hull painted royal blue and trimmed with gold-colored metal, arrives studded with cannon and flanked at either side by the exotic creatures that are the Wyvern and the Bravado. Having not removed his armor, Adhar sits in the thronelike, padded co-pilot's seat within Turhaya's undermounted cockpit, looking out upon the swirling sphere of poison that is Daltara. The small world is serene despite the reality of its acidic atmosphere, practically luminous with the faint light from the system's distant star. Beautiful, really.
"Something's wrong," Adhar mutters to himself, and leans over to key the comms. << Escort One and Two, this is Turhaya. Execute an active scan, I can't see anything in orbit. >>
Viktar sits in the pilots chair, his hands on the ornate controls of the Turhaya, a pilot's assist monacle on his left eye. He looks out the viewport of the Turhaya a the acidic world. He reaches forward to punch up a scan on the computer, which many beeps back at him, rejecting his input completely. "Oh, Come on computer, just work right for once..." he growls playfully, then looks to Adhar, "What could go wrong? Three ship in the middle of nowhere headed towards a giant ball of acid..." he grins slightly and returns his full attention to piloting his boss's no doubt expensive racing yacht.
David wiggles in his seat comfortably. That new fighter smell, right? He responds to the order before replying to it. <<Scanning.>> he reports, designated display coming alive with a rotating line going clockwise. <<What are we looking for, the ambush you mentioned?>> he ponders aloud, other hand reaching for the lever that splits the s-foils into their namesake X-shape. <<Scans aren't picking up anything here, anyway.>>
Kae is well sitting back in her pilots chair. She grins "Sarge, grab control? Gonna run a quick scan and systems analysis.." She says, then starts the diagnostic, before she switches the scanners on and begins doing an active scan of the region. As the area is scaned section by section, Kae rotates the holographic display in her cockpit, before blinking....
She pauses and blows up the display's showing of debris.... She then reaches over and flicks the mode of the wyvern from cruise, to combat mode. Several fins pop out of the slick hull including canard like fins. These each emit a bit of a puff from theirends, showing there's extended maneuvering thrusters there...
<< Boss, got debrisat mark... 2-14, sector 7.>> She then sends the rather detailed scans results to both the X-wing and the yacht... as the Wyvern's shields flicker online and weapons heat up...
"Debris," Adhar mutters, eyeing Viktar. "Keep an eye on the screens, Mister Viktar, make sure we don't get anyone coming over to visit us themselves."
That said, he keys the comms again. << This /was/ where the fleet was sortied, >> he says. << The naval forces of the Atrax Guard /and/ those of the Gray Legion. There's a base on the surface, but for now...you two go and investigate that debris. We'll be fine here for now. >>
That said, Adhar then hits the general intercom. << All hands, this is the Captain. Action stations, please. We might find ourselves entertaining unwelcome guests if we're unlucky. >>
<<Copy that.>> David replies simply as he breaks formation to dive towards the generous dustings of debris. <<So if this is where we were supposed to meet, does this mean we were supposed to meet with whatever this space dust is, or did we have a massive miscommunication?" He shrugs, simply relying on his scanners and his eyesight to determine the answer himself.
Kae nods, not that she can be seen nodding... Sarge happily bleets at her and reminds her of the fact.. << Oh yus! Roger!>> She then hits the button that tightens her seat restraints, and breaks formation as well. The Wyvern moving rather sharply and accelerating quite briskly toward the debris...<< This sooo doesn't look good.>> She says and then is quiet, least over the communications and all, meanwhile asthey head towardthe debris, Kae is keeping her head on a swivel, watching the holo display for possible problems. "You help keep an eye out too Sarge!" There's beeping, it can probably be heard over the coms, the binary is simply << Well Duuuh>>
Viktar nods to Adhar, "Roger boss." and continues the ship along its path awaiting further orders. (I'll get back in better on the next round...)
The two fighters - being ridiculously fast for their sizes - manage to close in among the flotsam; a small concentration of capital-scale debris, it looks like something broke apart in orbit. << All right, >> Adhar says, leaning back in his seat and crossing gilded arms over his armored chest. << Escort flight, give the debris a focused scan. That looks like too much to be a garbage drop. >>
David twists a dial, decreasing the range but increasing the depth of the scan as he passes. Several pieces down here are identifiable, some even blink with red lights occasionally. <<Definite explosion, some of these bits are warped.>> he comments, providing running commentary on the incoming scan results. <<Apparently this is a CR-90 corvette. Or it was.>> He turns in his seat. "Ones, focus on those blinking lights, can you tell me what they are?" he asks of his droid, who bleeps, whistles and buzzes in reply. "Mines?" <<Command, there are live mines down here, I'm pulling up for now.>> he reports, at which point he does so.
<< On David's wing.>> Is Kae's response, she's about as 'profesional' as she can get. << Can confirm, the CR-90 was detonated by something.>> She says, not really able to give much more of an idea... << David, can ya send me telemetry, I can also shoot the holo over to the Boss>> Kae suggests, her droid beeping and dwooting at her again.. ((Don't hit the explosives!)) says the droid, Kae blinks and responds, and yes it's over the coms << I Know not to hit the explosives, it's why I'm following behind the T-85!>> She says as she pilots closely to David's tail for now... Safe rout out being whatever one he sees as she didn't notice the mines.
Viktar slows the sublights, keeping the ship at a standoff distance while the other two maneuver to investigate. He looks over to Adhar for a moment, "Nice, mines..." he then refocuses on the view port and pauses the sublights, "No need to get any closer..." he says under his breath. "I suppose we could try to open up a shooting gallery to clear the way?" he says, throwing out a half baked scheme.
Mines in a wreckage field...Adhar leans back in his seat, his brow creased in thought. << Pull back to our location, Escorts, >> he says, frowning softly. "All right, Viktar, question for you: why would /you/ mine a debris field?"
David does as commanded, fighter easily pulling back to escort position. <<Mines.>> he confirms. <<Transmitting telemetry and all that good stuff now.>> he adds, swiping on a touch screen towards the other fighter's designation. Because that's how it works now, dammit. <<So walk with me here. They mined a debris field, or they blew a ship and hid mines in the debris?>>
Kae umms <<Well weren't we supposed to meet someone. Perhapse they knew we may be coming and wanted to catch whoever was coming to meet the Cr-90?>> She asks curiously, rubbing at the back of her neck some as she pilots her fancy hot-rod type fighter toward Adhar and Viktar....
<< No, >> Adhar says, frowning still. << There was a fleet here - and a base on the surface. We were supposed to meet here all right, but it wasn't no single corvette. >> Adhar drums his fingers upon the arms of his copilot's chair. << All right, thoughts? >>
David chimes in first. <<My vote's on, and I'd do the Admiral's memory a disservice if I didn't say it, it's a trap.>> Who this admiral is he doesn't elaborate on. At all. It's none of your business. <<And so, I think we need to get out of here before it's sprung.>> He makes no initial move to get out of here, instead sticking with the Turhaya on its wing.
Kae pauses a bit and turns her head toward David << OOh Ooh! Which Admiral? And is that line like very famous?!?! I wonder if it'sas famous as Han Solo doing the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs!!>> She says cheerfully. She's gotta control the fighter, so no flailing or waving of arms rapidly.. Still The fighter waggles its wings a bit as the goofy Engineer twitches her hand some.
Kae brings the Wyvern up on the opposite side of the Turhaya... << Sooo, whatcha think they're planning to do by mining a debris field like that?>> She asks, and sends Adhar a readout of the Wyvern's systems, and ordinance loadout.
<< Right... >> Adhar grunts. << Let's all back out to a distance of fifteen thousand from the planet. I'll do some work here, see if I can reach the base. >> That said, he bids Viktar reverse course, fiddling with the comms panel as he does so...
<<On your wing, Turhaya.>> David replies, pushing the throttle ahead some, but not all, to not shoot ahead of the actual shuttle they're escorting. <<Standing by.>> he comments when Adhar mentions contacting the base.
Kae titls her head curiosuly... Kae then umms << Oh Boss? You can boost your gain by routing power from yer alluvial dampners.... That should help... You'll want to access your service port just behind the cockpit and move...>> Kae talks a long while about how best to make sure communications get through, trying to spout everything she remembers so as Adhar can do the modification ont he fly... Then she pauses << Ooh Wait! Don't do that, that's how you get more shield power!" She says and rubs at the back of her neck...<< Been a while since I worked on a Baudo!>> She taps her helmet, it can be heard through the coms...<< Try this, it's a pretty common thing to do with most transports...>> She gives more instructions.
A long-range comms signal, one that's pinpointed like he wants to do, is a tricky thing - and Adhar isn't doing so well making it happen. "Damn it," he mutters as he splits frequencies and remodulates carrier waves, "C'mon, don't make me look bad in front of my people." To whom he is speaking, of course, is a mystery.
Chances are, the universe will spite him!
Kae tilts her head << SOooo umm yus, You okie there Boss?>> She asks curiouslyl, Kae just letting the Wyvern floatnear the Turhaiya...
Kae then yawns andopens a compartment inside her cockpit, and grabs a bottle with a strawof course...She pops the cap offthe straw and begins drinking... Her rather occasional slurp can be heardover the airwaves.
David chuckles. <<Let me know if you need me to eject Ones over, huh?>> he snipes at his boss easily, unsure if there's even a way to do so to a space yacht. <<Or myself, but I'd just make you look bad.>> It's not arrogance. It's bravado. At that point he turns off one of the incoming comms, if there's one thing that gets to this pilot it's eating or drinking sounds inserted directly into his ear canals.
The sound of the chewing and slurping gets in his ear, and oh, Fortune save him, he can't help but shudder. "Gods above," he mutters, "Don't eat over the comms, please. Ugh." And then...through the radio squeal and static, a repetitive code stream comes through, loud and clear.
<< All right, >> Adhar calls over the comms. << I've locked onto the base frequency. Jut give me a few minutes, I'll see if I can't communicate via cipher. >> A beat. << And damn it, Kaelyn, if you're going to eat, turn the feed off first. >>
David is free, free from the slurping! <<So.. we'll just sit here and wait for the trap to spring, then?>> he asks, sinking back in his seat. He peers out of the side viewport, blinking lights still somewhat present from this distance.
Kae blinks and oohs << OOh sorry, and I wasn't eating, just drinking a choco protein shake!>> She calls out, then puts the cap on the drink and puts it back up. Yes, Kae's put food or maybe drink storage in the fighter... << I'd offer to share, but I don't think I can make things float to you through a vacuum!>> She calls out.. << Anyhoo we await yer word!>>
Minutes of silence pass as Adhar proceeds to communicate over channel - and then he flops back with a grunt. << All right, >> he says, << They've moved. The base is still down there, but the fleet's moved elsewhere in the system. They're going to let us know when they've resettled. Should be a day or so. >> He sounds...well, annoyed would be a way to describe it. << Return to the system. We'll come back tomorrow, see what we can find. Sorry to bring you out here for nothing, you two. >>
Kae blinks and tilts her head << Naaah, better to have us here and not need us thennot have us and then need us!>>.. Kae blinks and shrugs, pivoting the Wyvern in place and waiting on Adhar to jump. <<After youboss!!>>