Log:Array Consortium: The Inheritance, Part Four: The Moonstormer
<< The scene: the Array Consortium's hangar / hangout / base on Nar Shaddaa. >>
There's a VERY loud sound of repulsors that rips through the metal-walled hangar as the Brigand comes into view. The old NovaDrive taxies it's way over to a clear berthing spot and comes to a stop, its landing gear deploying and creaking as the ship lights upon them. The hydraulic lift of the ship clanks down onto the hangar floor and reveals the dashing Smuggler Prince Wodi Corcer. And Ziggy.
For the uninitiated, Ziggy is Wodi's 350 pound nexu. The large jungle cat tromps down the ramp beside his master and moves to rest atop a nearby crate.
"Who the hell are all you guys?"
Trillian looks up in surprise as another freighter taxis into the hangar and lands. "You're certainly popular today, Addy," she teases the spacer, punching him lightly in the arm. Then, looking at her commlink, she rolls her eyes. "Ah, well... duty calls. Thanks for letting me chill here for a bit." Smiling, Trillian stands up from the battered flight chair and starts pinning her hair up again in preparation to put her helmet on. Nodding at Adhar, she smiles at Sion and Meep and makes her way over to the Delirium's Kiss. Scrambling up the side of the fighter, she hops into the cozy cockpit, pops her helmet on and waves.
"Well well." Adhar eyes Wodi as he comes down the ramp, waving off Trillian with a smile; he gestures to the others to come meet the new arrival. "Wodi Corcer. Good to see you again, Captain. A lot's gone on since last we saw you."
Uhhhh, no shit.
Sion grins and scoops up the Teek... and blinks as a strange ship comes in to land in the hangar! She shifts Meek into a one-armed carry on her left, her right hand sliding into the open top of the carrybag slung over her shoulder. Watching the ship and its owner, she barely has a moment to nod to Trillian as the woman and her ship depart. She keeps a wary eye on the Nexu as she moves to join the captain.
"Well, while you've been running...whatever this-" he gestures pointedly to the mass of people and ships accumulated "-is, I've been out working. Here." He underhands a small sack towards the Senior Captain.
"You're a Captain," Adhar says with a blink, catching the bag and tossing it back. "You don't owe ME anything. We work together." That done, he jerks a thumb toward an impromptu seating area set up near the turbolift, some folding chairs and a card table in a half-circle of cargo boxes. "Come on, I'll catch you up and you can meet the natives."
Meep keeps an even more wary eye on the big cat looking thing. He seems quite comfy in the crook of Sion's arm, one hand on shoulder for support, feet just dangling as he leans against her shoulder a bit. Regardless of how Sion moves, those eyes remain focused on the Nexu thing...
Sion watches the exchange between the two captains as she approaches the table, frowning thoughtfully. The newcomer looks familiar, but she can't quite recall where she's seen him before. She lets the two men choose their own seats first, knowing she can fit in anyplace they leave.
"Just a little present," Wodi says, gesturing to the bag and throwing it back, again.
"How's it goin'?" he addresses Sion, hands slipping into his jacket pockets as he moves over the arrangement of seats. Since he's been sitting all day, Wodi's gonna take this opportunity to stand.
Snagging the bag again, Adhar peers into it, and sighing, closes it up again. "This your way of killing me off, Wodi? Giving me kidney disease?" He does, however, take out a single piece of candy from the bag and peers at it. "What kind of sweet is this? I'm not familiar."
Then he nods to Sion, standing as well. "That's Sion," he says. "Pilot, general spacer, good hand in a fight. Solid crew. The little guy is Meep, and he's Acquisitions. You know, DAHIGI? Don't Ask How I Got It? That's him, all right." He's proud of his crew, he is. "You two, this is Wodi Corcer. Was my first mate, but now he's a Captain." Capital C. "The Brigand there is his ship."
Meep just holds onto Sion and enjoys the view. He pays no attention to Wodi, he's looking up at the ceiling and really all round from this birds'eye view! Easily distracted he is.. not paying a single iota of attention.
Sion settles Meep into a chair, bowing her head politely to Wodi. "I think you mentioned him when you hired me, actually. Nice to meet you, Captain Corcer. You've a fine ship. And evidently plenty of security," she adds, nodding in the direction of the crate-sprawling Nexu.
"Got it at a market in Kessel," Wodi says. "They're loaded with glitterstim." He shrugs.
"Yo," he offers to Sion and Meep. He looks over to Ziggy and says, "Oh, well, he's just a big love-ball. He /will/ eat Meep if you put him down, though."
"Well, I'm not gonna eat 'em then," Adhar says, tucking the candy away into the bag. "But thanks for the thought. Lots to catch up on since you've been gone. Whew, lad! Let's see."
Adhar starts counting off on his fingers. "I've started setting up a mining colony on Kalarba - a deuterium outfit. Low profile, got our claim approved, and now we're setting up operations there in the coming months. We've a full crew complement for Voidhome, including an engineer who can direct repairs of Consortium ships and apply upgrades.
"Now the big thing right now is that my uncle died, which has been rough - however, he left me a YZ-775 whose location we're trying to pin down. Very well made, perfect for smuggling and as a flagship for a smuggling fleet, because capital scale vessels are ridiculous."
"Hopefully the love ball part will win over the hungry part," Sion replies, "because I can't carry Meep all the time." And her hand's still in that bag, just in case it doesn't. She nods to her captain, recalling that. "Have any more clues turned up? I keep expecting those gangsters from earlier to show up looking for them."
"They're actually just chocolate, you nerd," Wodi says, rolling his eyes at the square that is Adhar Gann.
"You can't just...y'know, look it up in a directory somewhere? He didn't tell you the location?" Wodi asks, looking incredulous.
"I know, right?" Adhar shakes his head. "Mind you, turns out, people are trying to kill me to get it too, so apparently that might be the reason. I killed a lot of people in self-defense last week."
"Well, it wouldn't be much of a secret if it was on public record. That's the only reason those gangsters haven't found it by now," Sion says. "The trouble is, what's working for us is working against us, too. Plus, the gangsters think /we/ know where it is. It's an ugly complication that promises to get uglier."
"Well, what are your leads right now?" Wodi asks, hands slipping out of his pockets before he crosses his arms over his chest.
"I've got investigators on it," Adhar says. "Probing datanets for location, history, that sort of thing. It's a matter of time." He shrugs. "Just need to keep killing off idiots until we find it, then make the big idiot at the top go away."
"Pity the galaxy has a never-ending supply of thuggish idiots," Sion says. "But on the plus side, we don't die easy."
"Fair," Wodi says to Adhar. "So, what can I do about that?" he asks, moving to finally take a seat, arms still crossed in front of him.
"Nothing yet," says Adhar, "But I expect we're going to get some heat poured on once we secure the boat. I'd like to see about getting her armament upgraded if possible, though holy /krif/ is that expensive." He laughs. "We have a lot of resources, but we're pretty cash-poor at present."
"Well, we have one fighter, and we know someone who owns another," Sion recalls. "As much as I hate to suggest it, those things could become downright useful if they come hunting us again, especially at the starport."
"So, our whole plan is to just sit around and hope that we don't get picked off by gangsters? Great plan, Gann," Wodi says, crossing his legs at the knee. "Ever hear of taking this offensive?"
"They won't," says Adhar. "Pakko's is one thing, but this ain't Hutt territory. CDF will be on them, if not starport security directly." He shrugs. "They'll probably wait until we find it, now. That's what I'd do. Or we'll run into them later - but we /will/ run into them. That jackass in yellow has a real hate now, so even if his boss backs off, /he/ won't."
He looks at Wodi. "Oh. Didn't I say? I've got people hired who are tracking down this 'Master Big' character also. It's just a matter of time. Then we thump him."
"Fair," Wodi says. "And I suppose you're gonna rally the troops and march down his front door, huh? All three and a half of us." he says, looking at everyone gathered.
"More than three and a half of us." Adhar snorts. "You, me, Stavros, my...where are we at, now, eight crew, Sion included? And, I expect, the Waywards if we asked nicely. But I don't anticipate needing them."
"Front door? Personally, I'd drop folks on the roof," Sion says. "Gizka did that once with a modified MetroCab airspeeder, for a rescue op. Since a ship would've drawn too much attention."
"If you say so, Gann. I don't mess with gangsters, personally. I've met enough of them to stay out of their way," Wodi says, standing up from his seat.
Adhar quirks a brow at that. "Says the man raised by a gangster and served as a Hutt's right hand. You're the one who just suggested we 'go offensive'."
Sion has to stifle a smile at that, but holds her peace.
"And you guys still should, if you want that ship," Wodi says, looking over at Adhar. "I'm just saying that I'm not gonna be on the frontlines of this one."
"When are you on the front lines of anything, Corcer?" Adhar quirks his brows. "Interesting that you willingly signed on to a group dedicated to mutual support of its members, then shy away when the first call comes. Sure you're in the right group?"
Sion doesn't volunteer on this one. It's apparent that this is between the two of them.
"I'm here for the uniforms," Wodi responds, looking down at his flight suit. "Always been a big fan of...gray." He tugs at the thing before slipping his hands back into his pockets.
"I'm not a Hutt, Wodi." Adhar settles back in his seat, expression stony. "You don't pick a side just to /not/ pick a side. You do as you like, but in this group, you get back what you put in. Don't forget that." He nods toward the suit. "And we don't wear gray for much longer. We wear blue."
"I didn't even know we had a uniform," Sion says, breaking her silence. "But now you've got me curious: Why blue?"
"Luckily, I don't want for much," Wodi says. "Got just about everything I need, aside from a nice ship." The scoundrel shrugs and looks back at the docked Brigand.
"Because the color works on everybody and it's slimming," says Adhar. "And you can accessorize with it. Wodi always complained about gray because of that." He looks at Wodi cooly. "So you have everything you need, that mean you're going solo? I can release you without a problem, if that's what you want to do."
Sion holds up a hand as if imagining something blue alongside it, shrugs, and lowers it. "Red always worked better for me, but I think I can make blue look good."
"Nah. Like I said, I like the uniforms," Wodi remarks, crossing his arms, again. "And I'm just hoping to inherit all of this when you get shot to death by a bunch of hopped-up criminals."
Siya makes her way to Adhar's hangar, which is actually right next door to the Waywards. The droids allow her in and she stops inside, looking around. "Gannn!" She calls out for her friend. "I got something for you!" She makes her way in, following the sound of voices.
"You can make anything look good, Sion." Adhar cants his head, looking at Wodi thoughtfully. "All right, so stop being a shit and get on board, you damn pirate." That said, the Captain gets to his feet as a pair of red people show up. The Great Tower of Nar Shaddaa and The Brain-Zap Rose. "Hallo," he says, easing out of that looks to have been a moment of tension to call to them. "How's it going, you two?"
Nez steps into the hangar just shortly behind Siya, smiling when he sees Adhar. With that, he gives the man a wave. "Hey ol' buddy. This is your mission, eh? Need an extra gun at your side?" He grins, stretching his shoulders a bit as if to get ready for the incoming mission.
Siya makes her way around the ship and to where the three are standing. "Ok. I did some research. Sadly, I don't know where the ship is -at-, but I can say where it has been." She offers the datachip to Adhar. "I also deleted some files off some old data servers in a small effort to help keep people off the tail of this ship. I am not sure if I deleted it soon enough. But, I tried."
Sion smiles faintly at the compliment... and blinks as someone yells from the direction of the main entrance! Her right hand tenses inside the carrybag she's had it in for a while now, and she looks up.
Two red people. One, Siya, she's met before. The other... she mentallly compares the two of them, blinking again at the impressive difference in height. They actually /grow/ Twi'leks that big? She never knew! She manages a polite smile and a wave at the red invaders, with her free left hand. Not that she exactly presents an intimidating figure, in her black sweatpants and rose-colored, cropped tee, with her dark hair unbound.
"Hallo, hallo," says Adhar, departing to embrace Siya lightly. "Hey, you," he says, smiling warmly at the red lady. "I can't believe you found something! Thank you so much for working on it, Siya. And..." He takes the datacard and eyes her. "Last location...it didn't crash, did it?"
Siya doesn't mind being checked out. In fact, in true Zeltron flair, she looks over to Wodi and offers a rather devious wink. Then she returns the embrace to Gann. There is no flirtation between her and the man, but there is definitely a deep note of friendship in the hug. "It's all in here. All the files I found are here. Last I know, the ship was still intact." She glances over her shoulder to Nez, "This fellow here helped me. Do you need another gun hand?"
Sion moves to join the forming gathering at the door. "Speaking from recent experience, I suspect we can use every one we can find," she says quietly. "We might not have anyone fashionably late next time."
"Oh, hey, brother." Adhar is a good deal shorter than Nezlani, but you wouldn't know it with the way he handles himself as he offers the man his hand. "Sure, if Ax will spare you. So this..." Adhar takes a step back, gesturing to Wodi. "Is Wodi Corcer, captain of the Brigand. If this were a holo, I would be the earnest and hard-working but slightly grizzled would-be leader with just enough idealism left to still believe in people yet have sometimes nagging trappings of authority despite my desire for freedom for all people, and Wodi would be the often-frustrating, yet skilled, antihero who butts heads with me yet nevertheless pulls through in the clutch."
Then he gestures to Sion. "This is Sion. She is basically a young badass."
Wodi Corcer offers a nod to Nez and Siya, eyes resting on the latter for a little while longer before his attention turns to Adhar and he says, "Adhar's more the stick in the mud who gets in my way."
Siya glanes to each person in turn as they speak. She laughs at Wodi's comment. "Well, he's a damn fine stick in the mud." To Nez, "Well. I didn't know you knew him! I thought -I- was his only friend!" She blinks innocently, followed by more laughter.
"Actually, I'm a pilot, but I guess there's a lot of crossover," Sion replies, though she's blushing, pleased by the compliment. "Cool to meet you, Nez. Cool to see you again, Siya. It's been quite a while. And the Captain's pretty good at making friends, from what I've seen. It's how he got me on board."
"Please, please," Adhar says, affecting a ridiculous 'rich man' accent. "Master Gann is my faaaaaath-ehhrrrr." He gives a similarly ridiculous laugh, and gives Nezlani's hand a further shake after letting go. "Don't let her fool you, she's a stand-up crewmate, no lie. So okay, all that aside, dish, woman! Where's the planet of interest?"
Chuckling, Nez shakes his head at Siya. "You probably aren't wrong! Just because I know him doesn't mean he's my friend." With that, he turns back to Adhar, giving him a grin before following up with more laughter. Though, after a moment, he bobs his head in agreement with Adhar. "Right, let's get this show on the road, eh?"
Siya laughs. "Your nam is Mister Gann from now on." She teases him. "Bimissaari. It's the last -known- location of the ship. I do not know if it is still there, but at least it will put you on track."
"Wait, we're going, now? I haven't even agreed to this nonsense, yet," Wodi says, looking around the group.
"You /might/?" Sion says, glancing back at Wodi. "Weren't you just saying that you wouldn't be on the front lines of this one? Those gangsters might have the same information Siya just got for us."
"Wh...now?" Adhar blinks, looking around at the assembled company. "Hmm. My uncle always used to tell me there was..." The smuggler captain frowns. "What did he tell me? Pirate? No! /Smuggler's treasure/ on Bimmissaari."
Siya blinks, looking over to Sion, "What gangsters?" She inquires of Sion. She shifts her weight from one foot to the other.
"Well, if we don't go now, just remember you can reach me on my commlink mostly any time of the day, really." Nez says, looking at Adhar before turning to Syia. "If it's just a couple of gangsters, we should be fine. Nothing a well placed shot can't handle."
Sion blushes. "Oh... I didn't know you weren't in the loop," she murmurs. "Sorry. Some crime bigwig is after the Captain's ship. Last night, the Captain and I had some heavies try to put the arm on us at Pakko's Place. But some of us showed up fashionably late, so their bargaining position wasn't as good as they thought it was. And some Rodians pulled a drive-by a few days ago on Corellia. I wasn't there for that one, but the Captain was."
"Treasure, huh?" Wodi asks, looking over at Addy.
"No, you're right," says Adhar. "We have to get there. If you're up for it, get on board. Corcer, stay out here with me for a moment, I'd like to talk to you."
Siya furrows her brows as she regards what Sion has to say. She glances towards Nez, "It also depends on -which- gang you are talking about." Her demeanor changed a little, more concern on her features. Though, she just shakes her head as if trying to shake it off. "I will leave you guys to your thing. Good luck!" She turns on her heel and begins to walk towards the exit.
"Corcer." Adhar squints at the man, once the others board the ship. "Want to talk to you about something real quick."
"Go ahead," Wodi says, making his way towards the Voidhome, and tugging on his gunbelt.
"So we get this ship, get it flying..." He jerks a thumb back at Brigand. "You want Voidhome?"
"Can I rename it?" he asks, looking over the arguably uglier Mon Calamari ship.
"It'll be yours," he says with a shrug. "I don't care. Just give me Brigand and pay me the difference, and you can take it. Solve your ship problem. I need money to keep the lights on, after all."
"Fair enough. Deal," Wodi says, offering a handshake to the man. "Who's flying this op, anyway?" he asks of their current mission.
"Sion." Adhar grasps your forearm and shakes solidly. "Right, let's go."
FAST FORWARD TIME.
With the lot of you on board, Adhar has Sion power up Voidhome and point the ship toward Bimmissaari. After several hours, in which the group suits up for battle, the ship leaps into the Saari Ha system from hyperspace to a vast and ultimately clear space. Republic ships scan for illegal cargo - and for once, there is none - before letting the ship into the system.
In the cockpit, Adhar stands just behind Sion. "Go ahead and let's approach the far side of the planet. Siya's got a sensor signature here, so let's just...see what we can find."
Wodi Corcer wanders his way into the cockpit and asks, "So, who's got my bunk, now? I hope it's not Mara."
At the controls, Sion nods and puts the /Voidhome/ into far orbit, gradually drawing closer as they swing towards the far side of Bimmisaari. "Sensors ready to go. Let's hope we have as much luck as she did."
Stepping up behind Wodi, Nez takes his first, real look at the planet. "This... Is an interesting place, it looks like. How long before we touch down?" He inquires, tilting his head in curiosity.
"Ain't your bunk yet," Adhar says with a snort. "This ship has two bunkrooms with four bunks in. We've been using one for males and one for females of whatever species."
He leans over a bit, not too looming, and points toward the ship's holographic sensor display - for Wodi's information, /all/ of the ship's instrumentation is holographic. It's brand new and modern, after all. "So my uncle used to tell me this story, and in the story, the smugglers he talked about a stretch of jungle by the sea...filled with Manalia flowers. So why don't you see if you can find a suitable site?"
Adhar is, of course, talking to Sion.
"This'd be a lot easier if someone else were helping..." Sion murmurs, bringing up the sensors. "I've never even /seen/ a Manalia flower." But she flips the right switches, hits the right keys, and the sensor system goes to work.
Nez turns his body a bit, crossing his arms over his chest while the two talk. Though, he does register Sion's request for help. "If I could, I would. Though, I'm not sure if Wodi here would be the better pick for the job... I'm just here to shoot things." He says, giving a grin.
"They're very specific," Adhar says, calling up a genetic reference on the ship's computer and plugging it into the sensor filter. "Sorry. And...there. How's it work now?"
And sure enough, the scanner filter kicks in - and on the holographic map generated by the ship's instruments, three sites light up. Only two of them are by the ocean.
"Okay," says Adhar. "Now...look for, um...a mountain or something. The story always talked about a hidden place, a hideout." He adds, looking over his shoulder to Nez, "Hey buddy, I just hope we don't /need/ you."
"Now, there's actually going to be treasure, right?" Wodi asks, leaning against the bulkhead and peering out of the viewscreen.
Letting out a light chuckle, Nez bobs his head in agreement with Adhar. "You and me both, man." With that, Nez looks towards Wodi, seeming to be of a same mindset before he looks back into the cockpit. "I'm sure there will be something. You guy are a smart bunch of people. Wouldn't chase all this stuff down for nothing, right?
Sion enters more commands. "At this point, I'm hoping we find the /ship/. Anything else is a bonus," she says. "Except for any fighting. That's more like a penalty... and a problem. No offense, Nez."
"The treasure is friendship," Adhar says, smirking at Wodi. "It was with you all along. And I'm giving you a fifteen percent discount off the price of this ship." Adhar looks back to the console, frowning. "Hey, Sion. What's that there?"
On the northern continent, a low mountain opens up on to the sea - and, more specifically, has a high metal content. Is that natural? Who knows?"
"Yeah, okay," Wodi says. "So, what if the whole crew is there waiting for us? I mean, you're awful in a fight, Addy."
"Are you really sure you want to sell a ship that can travel underwater?" Sion has to ask. Warts and all, she likes this oddball of a vessel. And seriously, it really does travel underwater. How cool is that?
She turns her eyes to the sensor display. "Looks like... there's a low mountain close to the water. Picking up a lot of metal inside it. It could be our prize."
"I'll get another one," Adhar says. "Besides, we need the money, if we're gonna have to sink as much into this boat as I suspect we will to get it spaceworthy." He clucks his tongue and says, "Right, bring us to it." He looks over his shoulder at Wodi, too. "I got a .lot. better."
This is where Nez stretches his shoulders again, pulling his E-11 from the strap on his back, flipping the selector switch from safe to kill. "Let's get to work, eh?" He says, bring the gun into a tight firing position. The buttstock of his weapon is firmly placed in his shoulder, an eye peering down the sights, the barrel pointed harmlessly into a corner of the vessel.
"On it. I'll put us down within hopping distance," Sion promises, nosing the ship down to drop them into atmosphere. She toggles the deflectors on double front to keep the heat of reentry off of them, wanting to get down there in a hurry in case they're not the only ones interested in this spot.
"Fantastic." As Sion brings Voidhome down to the beach at the foot of the mountain - the only good landing space - Adhar draws his gun and pulls on his helmet. This is, of course, the part where the narrator often describes the weapon lovingly in nigh-pornographic detail, but we're just going to say it's a damned beautiful and letal-looking example of anti-life machinery. "Right, then," he says. "Sion, can you stay on board and do a patrol sweep, make sure nobody's after us? Synch to frequency six-six-one-two-one-eight-zero cycles."
Nez lowers his weapon into the low ready, a position with the barrel of the weapon pointed at the ground, but ready to be flicked up at any given moment. With that, he makes his way down the halls of the vessel abit, standing ready at the cargo hatch. His right hand comes up to the commlink that is firmly placed into his ear, pressing at the controls to set the frequency as instructed by Adhar. "Right, let me know when you guys are ready."
"I'm ready as I'll ever be," Wodi says, standing up straight and stretching. "Well, gimme a second." He steps off to grab the most important thing in his arsenal. The jetpack, duh.
"Can do," Sion replies, nodding. "Just keep me in the loop, okay?" She makes no move to leave the seat, her hands resting easily on the controls in spite of the tension in her voice. Even the momentary adjustment of the com system is smooth and unhurried.
"Will do." Adhar's voice is a mechanical thing as it comes from the bizarre, alien death's-head helmet. "Come on then, lads, let's do the thing."
Thus does the captain leads the other two men into certain destruction. Maybe.
Showing back up in his /very/ tight leather and fiber armor and jetpack, Wodi Corcer is good to go. He eyes the other two men and gives them a nod, sliding his control module onto his off-hand, as his other hand rests on his gunbelt. "Let's rock." With the back hatch of the vessel opened in front of them, Nez is follows Adhar and Wodi's lead, aiming the weapon out of the vessel to provide cover should anything move when the other two are on decent tot he surface.
Once everyone's clear, Sion kicks in the repulsorlifts and /Voidhome/ reverses its trip to the ground. She levels off to begin circling the landing site at about 20,000 feet, sensors sweeping the area. <Angel on station, Ground Team. I'll be in touch!>
And so does the sausage party begin.
The three armed men step out onto a white sand beach, with the glittering blue-green water of the sea behind them and a sheer cliff of black stone that rises straight up before them behind a thick wall of trees. There's a cave up there, too, a wide cavern that splits wide the rock like a mouth. "Okay, that's it," says Adhar. "Let's find a way in."
When Nez lands on the surface of the planet, he provides a faint grunt, making contact with the ground below him. As soon as he has reestablished his posture, he begins sweeping the area with his weapon, scanning for threats. "Looks clear so far, to the cave, eh?" He says, before peeking over his shoulder at their rear flank.
Wodi Corcer isn't really (and who would believe it?) a skilled combatant, but he loves treasure. So, hopefully, he doesn't have to kill Adhar to take revenge for tricking him into coming along. His blaster pistol is still sitting soundly in his holster as he follows behind his fearless leader Captain Lame.
"Captain to Angel, give me a focused scan of the mountain here. We're looking for ways to get up inside, over." Ahdar stares at the cliff face, shading his helmet's viewplate out of habit rather than actual use. "Right, let's get out of the open, at least."
Sion guides the ship into another pass, taking /Voidhome/ lower over the mountain. <I'm getting a better read on that mountain, Ground Team. There's a definite structure to all that metal we picked up earlier, big and probably artificial. Could be our ship! I'm getting energy readings consistent with a large device, probably a powered lift. Sensors show a door as well, but it's dead; no power readings at all. That could be a problem.>
<Roger that, Angel> Nez says, pressing onto his commlink before addressing the group. "What have we got for a path up there? Can we climb?" He asks, offering the real suggestion he can make without better information of the landscape.
"Roger that," says Adhar. "Read out coordinates." He leads through the jungle, approaching the towering rock and walking along with gun in hand. "Wodi, can you get up there with your jetpack? Maybe find a way to get the door open?"
"Lemme see," Wodi says, taking a few steps up from the group and using the control mechanism in his glove to ignite the jetpack maglocked onto the back of his armor. There's a hiccup as one of the rockets disengages and nearly sends the Smuggler Prince to smash into a tree, but luckily for him, it fires again and he's back on course. Easy peasy. He comes to light at the top of the large door and asks into his glove, "Now what exactly am I looking for?"
<Coordinates... computer's having trouble with that. I can tell you it's smack in the middle of the cliff face, right at ground level,> come Sion's answer, as /Voidhome/ circles again. <Hopefully there's some kind of manual release.>
With Sion's information, Nez makes his way towrds the cliff face, further sweeping the ground level with his E-11 as he marches through the terrain. His posture is maintained effectively as he moves. When he arrives at the cliff face, he starts to look for anything out of the ordinary.
The door, of course, isn't up /there/, it's down /here/. Up there in Woditown, though, he can see very clearly that about a hundred feet into the cliff, nestled in a vast, hangar-sized tunnel, is a beautiful old ship, overgrown in places with flowering vines. A YZ-775, alseep and waiting for its promised princes and princesses.
On the ground, Adhar is busy slashing through said vines with a vibroknife, the other hand carrying his gun. "I don't know...a ship, I guess? Structures? Should be some kind of spacebarn." He arrives at the cliff face with Nez, probing at the cliff himself now.
"Well, uh, I don't see much of anything, Captain. I don't think the ship's here. I'd be able to see it from here, y'know?" Wodi says into his comlink.
"Just kidding. It's a good bit east," Wodi says, grinning to himself.
As Wodi speaks, Nez looks east, spying a durasteel door. <Hey, looks like I found that door of yours, Angel.> With that, Nez makes his way over to the door and inspects it for explosives, then checks to see if he can get the thing opened. With a frown, he presses back on to the commlink. <Looks like it's sealed up tight. Can way to release it from your side, Wodi?>
Overhead, Sion watches the sensors and waits for some kind of word from the ground team. Overwatch can be a dull job... Until the sensors light up with a contact warning! <Angel to Ground Team, we might have a problem here... bogey out to sea, coming straight for us! Whatever it is, it'll be here quick!>
<Well, how do you feel about 'finder's keeper's', Addy?> Wodi asks, tugging one of his gloves tighter. Walking forward, he begins to quicken his pace until he's at a jog, and then a sprint. Activating his thrusters, his feet leave the ground and he's on course to go flying right into the mouth of the cave.
The 'bogey' is a large airspeeder, one with a troop bay and a number of guns, antipersonnel and otherwise. Jet black against the glittering water, the ship is hard on course to close with the hangar.
"I'd say it's Fair for me, and not for you," he says with a chuckle. "Get that power up, please. We got company."
<Hey Angel, don't hesitate to light 'em up if you have to. That thing has turrets, right?> Nez says into his commlink before spinning around and pulling security on the door until he gets further information. <What do you see in there? Anything? An override switch or something?>
<Good part: Yes, it does. Bad part: They're empty,> Sion replies, trying to get a better read on the approaching blip. <And this is no starfighter. I'm moving to intercept now, but if you could hurry, that'd be great.> Adjusting the controls and bringing deflectors up full, she angles for an intercept course on the incoming threat.
"You can fix the turret forward, Angel," says Adhar, "Look for a lever with a red cap by the gun board running the ions. You'll get lasers and ion cannons at once. The ion cannons are fixed." He slips the knife into its sheath in his belt and moves forward, trying to sight where troops might be landing.
Wodi flies into the cave, stirring up a cloud of flying beasts that pour out of the structure overhead; low enough not to get a beast in his intake, he is able to close and land near the ship. Though covered in vines, it is beautiful...and well-maintained. Fuel pumps remain connected to it, as does a battery of small power generators, still humming softly. It looks like nobody's been here in years.
A small turbolift is off to the left, built into the stone. A panel there has controls /and/ an activation button.
Meanwhile, the airspeeder whistles ever closer.
No honor among thieves, right? Wodi lands just before he slams into the 775, feet sliding along the rocky floor of the cave. "Pretty," he says. "Big," he adds. Sucking his teeth, he looks around for a moment and walks over to the panel. Giving it a look, he pushes the big red button and restores much-needed power to the facility. <That do anything?>
<Looks like an airspeeder... funny that they didn't bring anything heavier,> Sion muses as the contact comes into sight. <Did they think they were dealing with a bunch of clodhoppers?> Though the airspeeder's superior maneuverability makes lining up a shot hard, the heavier armament on /Voidhome/ and its pilot's superior skill make the first exchange no contest: Team Array - 1, Mr. Big - 0. Sion's already angling for a tailing position as the airspeeder's course becomes straight ahead on the last vector, the telltale sign of frozen controls.
<Kriffing great. See if you can distract them or something! Did anyone pack any explosives? Land mines or something? We need to establish a good defensive position as soon as possible.> Nez says, providing his limited tactical guidance to the group. Then the door slides open behind him. <Great work! Doors open, moving in now!> Nez replies, running in through the door and looking for cover.
Nobody expects the Sionish Inquisition - especially these nerds in the airspeeder. Taking a heavy hit on the aft port quarter, smoke begins to billow from the speeder's right drive cluster; as electricity plays aross its black hull, the ship begins to list, and it won't be long before it augers into the side of the mountain - unless the pilots can pull it out of its death spiral, or Sion wastes 'em.
Adhar ducks into the lift with Nez, shoving his pistol into his belt. "Here we are," he mutters, stabbing at a control with an armored finger. The lift begins to ascend at a decent clip, but there's a good way to go.
"We're on our way. Wodi, see if you can get into the ship and get it powered up!"
"Power up the ship, Wodi. Guess that flying around and discovering it all by myself doesn't count for anything, now I'm doing spacehand work," he says to himself walking over refueling station to check it out. "Well, it's fueled up, at least. Don't know how long that fuel's been sitting in the tank, though, so that could be a problem." He sucks his teeth and follows the fuel hose over to the ship where he runs into a problem; the locking mechanism.
Tap. Denied. Tap tap tap. Denied. Tap tap /tap/. Denied. Smack. Denied.
"Screw it," he says, sliding his Defender from his holster and blasting the keypad to pieces. <Weirdest thing; Addy. Looks like someone destroyed the lock keypad. Gonna need replacing, for sure." He walks up the ramp.
<They seem pretty distracted right now,> Sion replies, already lining up her next shot. It's probably poor form, but considering the way the gangsters have behaved up 'til now?
No, she doesn't feel guilty.
Seconds later, a ball of fire lights the sky as the next dual laser blast cooks off the airspeeder's power system. <Angel to Ground Team, scratch one. I'll keep an eye out just in case they want to throw away more vehicles.>
<Yeeaahhh! You get 'em, girl!> Nez shouts cheerfully into his commlink. <Keep us informed, eh?> He says, waiting on the turbolift to make it to its destination. "I can see why you keep her around, attractive -and- good with the ship. Any chance she's single?" Nez asks, not pressing on the commlink as he talks to Adhar.
The lock unseals, and the boarding ramp yawns open. Fetid air washes out, smelling vaguely of decay and and old musty laundry. Inside, dim emergency lights glow, and it looks as if the ship has...wood paneling. Marble floors. The hell?
Cockpit is to fore, around a nicely-appointed turn and up the neck, where an equally nicely-appointed duty lounge rests.
"'Somebody', huh? Probably old enough to fall apart if you hit it anyway. No charge." Adhar gives Nez a kind of 'really? REALLY.' kind of look, which even with a helmet on sort of carries across. "She's single, I think, yeah," he says. "I don't allow crew to fraternize, so I mean, if she's interested..."
Meanwhile, the flaming wreckage of the airspeeder plunges into the jungle, cartwheeling twice before coming to a stop. A pyre for whomever rode inside.
Oh! Spoiler: The turbolift is at the top, and now open.
<Ground team to Angel,> Wodi says, making his way to the engine room. <Keep a patrol formation about...one hundred yards west of my location. That's the mouth of the cave. Make sure nobody sneaks in here and gets the drop on us from outside.> Reaching the engine room, he starts smacking at random things to see if he can't get the aches out of the ship's old bones.
<Copy, Ground, and glad to know my work is appreciated,> Sion replies almost cheerfully, moving to keep a better eye on the entrance. <So far my scope's negative. If anybody's down there, they're /very/ well hidden. Don't nod off.>
Nez shrugs his shoulders, casually. The grin forming on his face is quite obvious. "Hey, a guys gotta ask, right? I'd rather not start hitting on a married woman, ya know?" When the door opens at the top floor, Nez comes out with his weapon pointed in a sweeping fashion. It's probably not a necessary, but it's just an added precaution. <Hey, you keep working like that and I might need to hire you to help me with some offworld hunts.> Nez says into the commlink.
The lights come on throughought the ship; the reactor purrs like new as it comes online, well-seasoned parts responding to the first touch in what must be decades as though it were only yesterday. Everywhere, a soft white glow emits from recessed lights, giving it the feeling of a hotel rather than a starship.
"Great shot, Angel," Adhar says, stepping out of the turbolift to behold...the ship. He stares for a moment, transfixed at the sight of it. Here is a living piece of his history, of his uncle's history, two men tethered not only by the bonds of blood, but those of fellowship. He has received a gift from his mentor, his uncle, and in many ways, his closest father figure.
But he cannot tarry. Adhar shakes himself out of it, and says, "Let's get aboard. Wodi, great work, meet me on the bridge." He runs up into the ship, pausing for a moment at the extravagance - but only for a moment - before charging into the ship's fore end.
Above, another contact sounds on Voidhome's sensor board. This time, it's coming for the ship.
"Hey, I did it," Wodi remarks, pleased with himself. Hearing the call, Wodi makes his way to the fore of the ship and enters the cockpit.
<Let's talk later, Nez. I'm still on the clock,> Sion replies, a bounce of suppressed laughter in her tone. With her skills, it's easy to forget she's barely out of her teens. A second later, the serious voice is back. <Angel to Ground Team, you might want to hurry. Another incoming fast-mover, and it's on an intercept course for your position! I'm going to see if I can intercept the interceptor.> With that, /Voidhome/ peels off to meet the invader.
"Yeah yeah yeah," shouts Adhar from the bridge - which is like the cockpit of a typical Corellian freighter, only big enough for eight stations and a captain's chair. Adhar is in the pilot's seat, fingers flying across the boards; apparently all those years on a Mon Cal ship hasn't kept him from learning other ships, because under his hurried ministrations the great drives Moonstormer's aft begin to thunder to life. "Wodi, get up here and get on tactical. Nez, if you're any good, get on the other tactical station, too. We're gonna get out of here and I want those turbolasers going full blast!"
Meanwhile, as Sion peels off to meet the contacts, she meets a hail of blistering green laser fire. An old TIE Interceptor, painted neon yellow, comes whistling forward, spewing death from its four wingtip guns.
<< I TOLD YOU, >> barks a loud and familiar voice over the airwaves, fulsome with madness and rage. << I TOLD YOU THAT I'D SEE YOU AGAIN SOON! >>
"Not sure why the worst pilot in the Consortium is flying, but okay," Wodi says, sitting down at one of the consoles and turning it on. "I fail to mention to you that I'm a fighter pilot, not a turret gunner?"
<Break, break, break! Angel to Ground, this guy's flying a TIE Interceptor! We have a problem!> comes Sion's call as she engages the swift little fighter. <I'm keeping him busy for the moment, but some help would be appreciated...> The fighter and its crazy pilot (and crazier paint job) are more than a match for the larger ship, but overconfidence nearly undoes him: Sion's first volley barely misses low, carbon scoring marring the paint on the left wing's lower edge. Sion is well out of the way when he returns fire. <<Trouble is, I saw you first! Let's see if your flying skills live up to your ego!>>
"You did not," says Adhar, getting to his feet. "Take over." He runs to the tactical station, prepping the guns. "I'm a damn good pilot, but I'd prefer you on fixed mounts. Laser cannons are fixed forward for you. We'll take the turbolasers."
The ship rattles on its landing gear as power floods through a hull that has not seen flight in over thirty years - and yet, the ship responds. The repulsors are humming, and the ship gently ascend...all that needs to happen now is to retract the landing gear and go.
Meanwhile, the yellow starfighter makes an ill-timed strafe across Voidhome's dorsal surface, meaning to tag the cockpit - but Sion is just too good of a pilot, and all four shots miss. "You /bitch/," seethes the Yellow Man over the comms, "I'm going to see you burn! All of you! Burn!"
Someone is not happy.
Running and climbing into the top gunstation for the turbo lasers, Nez shouts down to the rest of the crew. "I'm up, let's get these vaped sleemos!" Then he presses on his commlink. <Get 'em Angel, get 'em! This show is all yours, girl!> With that, as soon as the vessel is out of the cave, Nez opens fire at the Interceptor with a volley of fire from his gun port.
"Alright, now we're talking," Wodi says, standing up and switching seats with the Captain. <Angel, this is ground. Wodi taking over command of the...whatever this thing is called. See if you can't bring the target closer to the ground. Launching, now,> he says, jamming the throttle forward. "Hold on, guys," he offers to the two men in the cockpit.
The mighty beast of a freighter rockets forward, Wodi's steady hand keeping the ship from smashing into the tight walls of the hangar.
And she's in the air! The 775 powers out of the cave mouth and Wodi squeezes the firing nub on the side of the flight stick, sending a fusillade of bolts toward the enemy fighter. Unfortunately, the shots fly just wide.
<I'll try, but remember: /TIE Interceptor/,> Sion reminds the current stick jockey on the recovered ship. <Headed your way now.> Even if she doesn't dare give the yellow fighter a shot at her tail. She'd never get rid of him if she did. Fortunately for her, this guy's flying is even wilder than his mouth: His temper is overriding any sense he might have. The two ships scissor back and forth, her tight throttle control dropping /Voidhome/ behind the TIE and keeping her from overflying the nimbler craft. And somehow, in the middle of all those weaves, she brackets him in the sights and pounds the Interceptor with a raking burst of fire. <<Let me know when you get around to the burning part, okay? I'm gonna go get a fizzyglug while I wait,>> she taunts him, her voice infuriatingly calm.
With the enemy TIE Interceptor's shields stripped clean off, Nez concentrates his fire on the craft. Though, it's sadly obvious that this isn't something that he does vey often. Each bolt misses it's target, going either too wide or coming in rather close but not making it's mark.
Now back in the day, the Republic was a little more leniant with ship designs - and even during the transition from the Republic to the Empire, things were still a little flexible. You can understand, then, why the Imperial authorities were so irritated with CEC for building the 775 the way it did: sure, it has defensive turrets. But it also has a pair of torpedo launchers. Stock.
With Sion's shot stripping the shields from the Yellow Man's starfighter, and ionization spreading throughout the ship, he snarls like a beast as he finds himself caught in a spin; one can imagine his surprise when the Moonstormer bursts its bonds and thunders out of the hangar, even /more/ so when the ship manages to fire one of its naval cannon and land a hit against the usually hyper-nimble Interceptor.
the entire right half of the ship just...atomizes. Pieces of it burn and fall away, smoke streaming out of the ruptured ball of the cockpit - it spins, a fiery pinwheel, gleaming yellow in the light of the sun and its own flames, and striking the sea skips like a stone several times before disappearing beneath its surface.
"And that's six," Adhar mutters. "All right, Wodi. Take us to the capital. We need to check over this boat before we try and make her spaceborne."
"Copy that," Wodi says, throttling the old ship down in an attempt to save fuel now that they're out of combat. Pulling up a map on the console, he taps in a few commands and directs the ship towards a point that pops up on his screen. "Reminds me of Dari's ship. Just not quite as fancy."
<We did it! Nice shot, Ground Team!> Sion calls from /Voidhome/, sending the ship into a quick barrel roll before she drops to cruising speed. <My scope's clear. Forming on you now.> The Mon Cal vessel drops into a flanking trail position, sticking to the larger vessel as escort. Hopefully it won't be needed, but just in case, Angel is on the job.
<Hey-ey! Yeaahhh!!> Nes shouts over the commlink with glee. <Great work guys, really! Well done!> From Nez, there is a short pause as he relishes the victory before getting back on the commlink again. <Hey Angel, what do you say we discuss that job over dinner? My treat.> With that, he leans back into his seat at the control station for the weapon.
Adhar lets out a sigh as he leans back in his seat, frowning at the turbolaser controls for just a moment before getting to his feet. "All right, then," he says, coming up and patting Wodi on the shoulder. "Guess you're getting that ship after all. Thank you for your help, Wodi. Means a lot to me that you came along."
"Whatever, nerd," Wodi remarks.
And the rest...is history. For now.