Log:Array Consortium: Sour Run
As a way of introducing Robert to the life that smugglers lead, Dosk asks to take the pilot along on one of the jobs he Consortium takes - in this case, an arms drop that could possibly prove hazardous to both their health - but it's a milk run, right? What could go wrong?
The run is, of course, fairly simple: in a distant area of the Outer Rim, far from the looming political disaster that is the First Order-Republic conflict (or the rapid death of the former, truth be told) there's a little bit of a corporate disagreement going on - that is to say, the corporation running the mines out that way, a far-flung operation called Matakim Resources running out from the Corporate Sector, decided to stop paying their miners. Only thing is, they planned on the miners working anyway. You can see how a disagremeent might flare up.
At any rate, it's Dosk, Rob, and Keg on their way to this nameless little rockball, where the resistance - and it's an armed resistance that's flared up, you bet your sweet arses - is awaiting weapons brought in on trade for a very large amount of Mullinine to be used for all manner of defensive and industrial blades. Swords or saws, that's a lot of dosh in ingots for you to get out after you've gotten in, and there's a couple of heavily armed corvettes blockading that moon.
So you're gonna need to be smart about it.
The two of you have another hour or so to go before the ship drops out of hyperspace. Get your general plan together, and it'll be 'say goodbye to yer arse' or 'we're in the credits.'
"So is this your first run?" Dosk says as he settles into the pilot seat and starts fiddling with the controls. Addressing Robert as he gets the ship prepped for takeoff. "Glad you were able to come along. Makes things a bit easier with a second set of eyes" Adding as he gnaws on a cigarra while the ship starts humming to life. "Just had the hyper upgraded from a x2 to an x1 so we should hopefully save a lot of time compared to the past runs I'd make."
Robert smiled "Yeah my first time, glad to help." he says taking a seat nearby. as he got himself ready. "Just let me know what you need me for, and I will hop in. I can certainly see she's had some work done, compared to all the stock freighters I've flown."
"Just try not to give away that we have more onboard than our manifest says. Play it cool. We are just traders delivering legitimate cargo." Dosk says as he checks gauges and looks over to Robert with a smile and a nod, pulling out a flask and taking a swig, he then offers it to the man. "Will be fun to break you in. Just don't give us away. But be ready if we are found out. I got 2 turrets on this ship, accessed in the center ring when you board. Keg will hop on one and you grab the other if we run into trouble while in transit." The 4 armed being says, as the engines wind up further and he begins to taxi out of the hangar.
Robert nods "not a problem. don't worry. I've had to keep my lips quiet before. CEC wanted to keep some tech...proprietary." he explained to a smirk, taking the flask and having a sip before returning it.
"Okay, I'll run for the turret if needed." he repeated the order so to signify he understood "otherwise...I'll follow your lead."
Dosk nods, taking the flask and another swig from it before returning it to a pocket in his coat. "How are you liking The Array so far? You came in at a good time, with the new ship and all!"
Robert chuckles "Well enough...I certainly wasn't expecting a job offer to helm a capital ship." he chuckled "but she seems a good place to be, and the captain seems to be quite approachable. a nice change from most big-wigs with a capital ship under their boot."
"But so far everyone's been friendly. I look forward to being involved in the muck work." he said to answer his question.
Dosk nods and says"Yeah, Adhar is very approachable. I had a small, shitty light freighter before this, he helped me obtain it and aided me with the upgrades." Pausing as he thinks about helming a capital ship. "Never touched the helm of anything bigger than this YT, must be quite a different experience, but does sound fun to pilot something so powerful around the galaxy. Just wait until the lounge on the ship is finished! Adhar and I are working on a really sweet spot for the crew there to unwind and have fun."
Robert chuckles "I'm saving up for something of my own...even if it's just a starfighter. I want to enjoy the freedom of being able to get behind a stick and go somewhere." he replied "Got some time before that happens though."
"He chuckles hearing him mention flying the Business "Yes and no...I've helmed a capital ship before in test runs of CEC Corvettes. Being the one guiding a big ship is amazing, but in other ways a lot more distant than being behind the controls of something more...direct"
He looks to the window and the ever travelling route of hyperspace. "Regardless. How are we going to do this chief?" he asked curious as to his current captains plan.
"We will hyper in and make a race for the planet. There will be ships trying to stop us, but I am going to try and manipulate the computer to get us in at an odd trajectory and as close to the planet as possible." Dosk replies to Robert as two of his arms fiddle with the controls. "We are gonna try to get in, dump this cargo, get payment and leave as fast as possible. When we take off, ill try and get the computer to find us a jump out as fast as we can so as soon as we exit the atmosphere, we can jet out. Even if its not back to Nar Shaddaa immediately, we can figure that out when we are safely away." He adds as he spits removes his cigarra and chucks it at a trash bin, wether it makes it in or not, he doesnt seem concerned.
Robert chuckles "rush in and bust through. Simple and probably our best bet if they have no real fighter cover."
He pondered for a moment at their exit strategy "CR-90's tend to affix the weapon layout forward facing. a penalty from the massive engine on the rear. If you need some time to plot a proper jump out of the system. We COULD consider letting them orient themselves towards us and then align ourselves into a gap between them and micro jump straight ahead a distance past them...we'll be able to calculate an exit long before they can bring the guns back to bear on us. even a CR-90 needs time to do a 180 degree turn."
"Robert smiles "It'd be risky. but that's half the fun. right?"
Basically thinking of doing a microjump as a way to "Zip" past the corvettes and behind them. plotting it before they are planning to leave would be pointless. But the simple calulcation of "0.5 second burst directly forward" shouldn't be too hard to astrogate. unless you want the rolls all done in advance?"
"Once we hyper in and get to the landing zone, I we will unload fast and get our payload. On the way up we should have time for the navicomputer to do its thing for the jump." Dosk says as he looks at how much longer they have to exit their current jump. "When we takeoff, depending on the situation, you can work on the micro jump while i get us up and going, helping out if there is time to. A full jump can be calculated by the time we reach orbit usually, I have a good computer. We wont know what direction they are facing or headed until we are back up to see the sensors anyhow." A new cigarra is pulled out and put in his mouth, moved to the right side of his jaw. Dosk's remaining free arm offers one to Robert. "Lets just get to the ground and unloaded."
Robert nods "understood, I can calculate it if needs be. I'll get ready at the turret now. That way I'm ready to give cover fire, and I'm also closer to the cargo bay the moment we hit the ground." he said in acknowledgement He stood and stretched a moment getting himself ready "Get down, get done, get out."
Mid-flight adjustments aren't done in hyperspace, so what's required is for you to cut back into realspace, reconfigure, and then jump again. This isn't a problem, as you're well ahead of schedule, and Dosk's astrogation attempts seem - on 'paper', to so speak - to be quite solid. Only way to find out, of course, is to enter the manual calculations and jump back into hyperspace.
Time ticks by as the blue swirl of the hyperrealm drifts on past you at speeds that boggle your fragile grasp of reality; tension seems to ratchet up with every passing minute, until the both of you have necks as tight as pulled wire when the navicomp chimes imminent arrival. The world stretches on into infinity, stops, snaps back, and you find yourselves in your own native continuum, in realspace, and before you is the sphere of ice and snow and hard, aloof stone that to this day only goes by a string of alphanumerics in lieu of a name. But here you are. You've made it, and far closer to the planet's atmosphere than you had originally projected.
And the blockade? Sensors don't read anything nearby.
Robert looks around carefully as they arrive, the tension finally released as they shift back into subspace. Rapidly turning to get the turrets guns bearing on ships that simply don't seem to be there. Robert checks one more time before calling out
"Okay...this is really good or REALLY bad. There's nothing here! The blockade is missing" he shouted to Dosk as he watched the space around them carefully.
"We're gonna make a run for it" Dosk says on the intercom "Come back to the cockpit until we see a reason for turrets, Robert" Dosk says as he guns the throttle. Though he doesn't opt to head directly for the transponder coords he should intercept, he will head off point about 1/4 orbit away before opting to head inwards.
Robert doesn't answer but quickly appears back in the cockpit as instructed as he took a seat next door
"Right I'll keep an eye out as we come down." he said watching the sensors carefully as they began to approach. The pilot using the extra moment of travel to calm and ready himself for whatever may come ahead. His eyes glancing between the sensors and the window before him as they get closer and closer to the planet.
The ship breaches atmosphere, and for a moment is wreathed in burning flame - flame and then frost as the blisteringly cold air of the planetoid siezes the Codru Dream in its descent. Temperature alarms go off, and the hull groans faintly as the sudden change of temperatures causes the ship's skin to shudder, but the freighter holds otherwise effortlessly true. The beacon is locked, pulsing away - twenty minutes flying low over the frozen wastes, this vast land of naught but ice and snow and finty mountains, and you will be at the meeting point.
Still you see nothing on the scopes.
The jump Dosk had adjusted was closer than he expected, but they were still alive and he was glad. "Keep an eye on those sensors" He says as the ship shakes during the atmosphere entry as he keeps the ship flying true. The beacon is located and the Codru'ji makes a somewhat wide arc to give Robert a chance to check the sensors once again, before he heads directly for it. "Odd there were no ships, I feel something is up. We need to be diligent. Shouldn't be this easy."
Robert nodded "Yeah...this seems too good...they had three corvettes watching this. why would all three be missing at once? we either got extremely lucky or..." he trailed off.
"Anyway, I'm going to give the sensors another run. See if being in atmo gives us a hint about anything." he says, quickly tapping in a few buttons onto the console as he configured the sensors for an in-atmosphere alignment and giving it another pulse.
Soaring low over the frozen wastes, you spent the next twenty minutes in peace and silence; following the beacon brings you easily to the landing zone, a bleak and frozen clearing ringed in places with a shield of rock. On the other hand, the mining party that you expected to be waiting for you here is nowhere to be seen.
"They aren't here as arranged, I think we leave. Now. This is all bad and Adhar can find other buyers" Dosk says as he begins to throttle the engines up again. "Unless you have any other Ideas, start plotting us a course out of here. I ain't waiting around, risking my ship over fuckery. We're here on time, they aren't something is up." Adding as he retrieves and sips on his flask, gnawing on the cigarra afterwards as he hits the throttle for the engines to wind up.
Robert nods "agreed. nothing here seems good." he said. Eyes wandering the empty area with a frown briefly trying to spot anything that explains the situation. Quickly he moves his eyes down to the console to get to work. He had no desire to risk the job. "Plotting course now, Get us out of here Captain." he said as he began calculating the jump co-ordinates to the nearest safe system. Trusting him to do all the manual work of getting them out of there as he worked.
Dosk nods to Robert as he begins to take off, opting to perform a sensor sweep once again as he starts to takeoff"
It would appear that Dosk's decision was more than prudent, for as the ship takes off and banks toward the frozen sky, each of you see a different and very disturbing thing. As the ship clears the rocky shield, Dosk beholds the burned remains of what could easily be twenty sentients lie in a shallow, scorched crater just beyond the mighty stones. Whatever happened to them, it involved a vary large gun.
As for Robert, the pilot catches something on the very edge of the sensor scopes - something big. Whatever it is, it's the size of a corvetter or large, and it appears to be on an approach course toward whatever it is that happened at the dropsite.
Good lord. This job just doesn't get any easier.
Robert blinks as something catches his eye. "We've got something big heading our way, possibly one of the corvettes." he calls out "This is a bust Captain. lets get out of here." he says confirming the captains course of action.
Dosk looks to Robert and nods. Looking to the sensors and steering the Codru Dream in a course away from the incoming Corvette and gunning the engines to escape atmosphere "How is the calculations coming?" He asks as the ship roars skywards. "Looks like the Blockade got to our contacts, they're all dead down there." adding as his eyes roam around the cockpit and displays. The engines hum loudly as they're stressed to the max, though still stock and relatively new at this point.
He hops on the intercom with a movement with one of his free arms. "Keg, keep an eye on our rear, we're getting out of here. Keep your eyes open though!"
The Dream may be alive, but that sensor contact seems to have other plans for it - and yourselves. Even as Dosk pulls the ship upward it an escape trajectory, the ship it suddenly rocked violently from the unmistakable force of weapons fire. Lights go off all around as the aft shields are blasted down to nearly nothing, and Dosk is barely able to keep the ship on course as the other vessel begins to point the Dream with what must be laser fire. Not turbolaser fire, mind you, as you aren't instantly killed. Instead, you're only a few percentage bars away on the shield display from needing. boa from needing a boatload of screen doors.
"Captain," Keg calls from over the comms, "Incoming corvette! She's firing on us!" Ahh, Keg. Your mastery of the obvious will never cease to amaze.
Robert braced himself as the feeling of the hit rocked though the ship. quickly recovering himself he blinked at Kegs works and quickly shouted "Well shoot back!" in annoyance at the call of the obvious
"Okay, calculations are done...we just need to get out of the gravity of the planet and I can punch." he said as he finished up his work "We just need to dodge that thing...Joy..." he said, watching systems carefully while letting Dosk pilot their way out of here.
"I'm working on it, I'm working on it!" The ship shudders again - not from damage, but from the turrets of the Dream spewing death of its own toward the distant corvette; it isn't going to do any damage, but at least you'll have a good idea of their speed and distance. That said, however, you've managed to avoid being hit - which means you might manage to escape further violence.
The ship plows through the clouds, past it, into the atmosphere, farther, farhter, faster....nd then you are free, heading up into the glittering stars and the void that flows on around you like an endless sea, where you see...nothing. Again.
Well, that's not accurate, you can see another corvette-sized contact coming in around the curve of the planetoid. Either way ain't nobody gonna reach you now.
At the moment they breach into space and the computer tells him that it's ready to hyperspace Robert wastes no time. grabbing the leaver and slamming it to full as he engages the hyperspace sequence. falling back into his chair as he takes a deep breath.
"That...that was something else." he said to Dosk, the adrenaline settling down in his system as he caught up mentally with everything that occured "We were lucky to get out of that one alive."
Atmosphere, gravity, and back in the glittering cloud-tunnel of hyperspace. You have been veyr lucky, and you have not been harmed. And you also have a whole lot of perfectly good guns in the hold...that belog to someone else...and will be to be returned. Failed runs are never good...but at least you've still got cargo to return.
Dosk continues to watch over the consoles as he pilots the ship up and then Robert engages the hyperdrive in the nick of time. As the ship enters the relative saftey of hyperspace, he sits back as well. "What a nightmare." Stating as he looks around, reaching back and pulling out a full bottle of Corellian whiskey in lieu of his flask and taking a swig. "These runs normally dont go that way, even with a blockade. Horrible way to pop your cherry, though we did get out alive and with no big damage to the ship." He swigs again and hands it towards Robert. "Adhar will find another buyer, like I mentioned. Just one of those things. They were all dead on the ice anyhow. Waiting would have just made it harder for us. Sometimes you just gotta call the run. Especially for shit like this. Either it pays well or you turn and burn. Don't risk it. Some pilots would have sat and waited, In my experience, dont. They wont pay you for being late, you dont wait if they are."
Robert nods "fair enough." he said listening to Dosk "Certainly makes sense...these things are too risky to just wait around for." he said with a laugh as he took the flask and had a swig himself before handing it back
"Hopefully it's not a habit. Last thing I need to be is a smugglers bad luck charm." he joked as they kept going "But I'll take coming out alive...that I will take happily...I'm sure Adhar will enjoy the guns for now." he joked checking over things on the display as he rests back. happy to simply enjoy the quiet now it was over.
"Keeping your ship in tact and good to run jobs is more important than risking a loss. Keep that in mind when you get yours. Adhar may be disappointed the run didnt go through, but we kept the cargo, and the ship is still good to go. If we lost the ship and the cargo, things would fair way worse for all." Dosk says this as he hands the man some credits. "We didnt get the full job done, but here is something to help out a bit, you did good Robert."
So it was a sour run. Shavit happens - and let's not forget, the client might have been killed, but you lads didn't lose anything. Who knows? They're not all dead down there, maybe you can find somone else down there. Dosk is right - this might be disappointing, but it's just a setback. Smugglers know all about those.
Tomorrow is another day.