Log:Array Consortium: The Soccoran Survey
With the idea of expansion firmly in the minds of the Consortium's Captains, Dosk and Pash Danigo lead Mandl and Tamrae in an expedition to Soccoro, seeking opportunity.
Mandl slides a datapad atop the table. "Mandl has already reviewed standard topographical projections. Ruled out some sites, marked interest in others. Is no braggart, but... will save time. Trust Mandl to know a mesa from a sinkhole. These three locations promise a solid location for Tamrae's landing-pad, and also contain features a base might use."
Pash leans forward to examine the datapad. The numbers don't mean much to him, but he tries not to let that show. "Sounds like a good lead to me," he states, settling back against the seat. "What do you want me to do once we get there?" He looks to Dosk for his thoughts.
It's about this time that the holocomm starts to beep at the pilot's station. Adhar's apparently calling.
Dosk takes a glance at the datapad and is about to respond to Pash when the holocomm beeps. Heading to the cockpit he calls out over the intercom the news of Adhar calling and beckons the team to the cockpit. Hitting answer once everyone is in (assuming everyone comes, that is)
Indeed, it's your friendly neighborhood cycloptic Senior Captain. Adhar's body floats into view, where he's standing at what appears to be the bridge of the Bandit's Castle. "Hey guys," he calls, "Hope I'm not interrupting, just wanted to check in and see how you're doing. Make it yet?"
Mandl waddles over.
"Hey boss.' Tamrae says, swinging around in her chair. "We're nearly there, should be droppin' out of hyperspace in a couple minutes. An' then Dosk gets ta fly us in and hopefully not get us plastered by an asteroid, an' we'll be on th' surace."
Pash is watching Dosk as the call comes in, and when the Codru-Ji heads off to take it, his gaze narrows ever-so-slightly. Then he's facing a holo-Adhar. With one eye! "You're looking well," he says, flatly. As Tamrae fills him in on things, he pulls out his datapad, powers it up, and punches in some notes.
"Oh, don't worry about it," Adhar says to Pash, grinning. "Took a shot in the eye. Assassination attempt. Mara's gone to take care of it - Fortune help whoever it is that tried it! I should have a prosthetic in a week or so, and it won't take long to heal up after. Alas, my good looks are gone, however, such as ever they were." He winks with his remaining eye, and shrugs. "So guys, I wanted to say something, and I haven't for a bit. I know this isn't a military, and you captains are your own people, but...I wanted to say how glad I am that I've got you on my side, Captains and crew. You're amazing people. I appreciate what you do." He looks straight at Pash. "Some of you go above the call often, and maybe I don't say that. So I just want you to know that I see you, and what you do. Even with just the one good eye right now."
That said, he shrugs. "That's all I wanted to say. Good luck. I really look forward to seeing what you come up with, all right?"
Dosk listens as Adhar talks and nods, smiling a bit. "Will do Adhar, thanks. Hopefully we come up with 'something'." Replying as he spins his chair a bit. "Thanks for all the support you privide."
Mandl cranes neck to check the hyperdrive-cutoff. "We should be arriving soon, yes?"
There's a long drawn out sigh as Tamrae flops back in her chair, leaning her head back over the top. "Seriously, captain? That's like, less than a week since th' last time someone shot ya. Ya really need ta start taking more backup with ya..." She frowns at the image, then waves. "We'll see ya soon captain. Hopefully with more than one eye on yer side." she says, with a faint smirk. "Get well soon."
Pash rolls his gaze over to Tamrae and smirks. "Seems like every time I come back from a run he's got a new hole in him." Well, in this case the hole might not be new, but it's a whole lot more visible. Turning back to the hologram, he gives the senior captain a nod, still wearing his smirk. "Make sure you get fit with a nice one." He has enough creepy cybernetics occypying his dreams as it is.
"To be fair," says Adhar, "I was mauled by a creature last time. But yes, fair enough. Every time death doesn't take, I just come back bigger and better, so worry not. You lot take care of yourselves - oh, and whatever you do, remember! This is Socorro, and Socorro is a planet of smugglers, but they /have rules and codes/ for this sort of thing. S'why I like them. Just don't try and bribe anybody and don't take these people as thieves. Greed is as big a sin to them as bounty hunting and slaving, all right?"
That said, his image winks out, leaving you to your work.
As the image winks out, grasps the controls as the ship should be dropping out of hyper any moment. "You're a smuggler like I and I trust you to help us watch eachother's backs, Pash. We're going to Socorro, need you're eyes, ears, insights and...blaster in case anything goes awry. We will be going out to the desert, if we end up landing, it can be very dangerous I hear." Dosk says, turning his head in the mans direction. "Maybe we actually can look for a place for Adhar to open a ship modification place there, Tamrae. So hopefully you spot something that looks worthwhile. There are a bunch there, I suppose. But, they have all the good mods there too. So could be an in for us."
Mandl nods. "We must all be ready to perform at peak efficiency."
Tamrae raises her two rights hands into fists, saluting Mandl absently. "Victory an' efficiency!" she chimes in, then sits up again. "Sure, I can at least tell ya if I think it'd work. On a planet like this, finding someplace away from th' city would be nice and private.
Pash glances down at his blaster and sighs. He really hoped to go a bit longer without needing to use the thing. Straightening up, he preps for the exit from hyperspace, expecting a bumpy ride on the way to the planet. "You got it."
"Victory and Efficiency" is a damned fine motto for any organization - and so you transition into realspace, right in the face of the vast asteroid belt, and weave through the vast and terrible rocks to make it to Socorro. Vast and yellow-orange, banded with the vast black sands that make it famous, the planet is ready to be approached - and of course, the first place to go is Vakkeya. The capital, after all, is where all things on Socorro begin!
As Dosk makes his way through the asteroid belt, with a couple of close calls, darting to and fro between rock collisions, his eyes widen at the sight of the planet. "We've made it!" He says aloud. Calling in a request for landing clearance thereafter. "We'll check out the capital and then head to scan/scout out the targets you found Mandl, I'm glad you came through with your efficiency once again!"
Mandl straps in, remarking: "Mandl can be no other way."
The younger Codru-Ji settles back in her chair, watching as the planet grows larger in the screen. "So, land at th' starport, wander a bit from there?" she asks curiously. "I don't know much about this place, other than it's kinda spread out. Not a lot of large buildings, right?
Mandl chortles. "Is Tamrae worried she will not fit through the doors?"
Pash remains seated, glancing between the others in the lounge. As they power through the asteroid belt, Pash looks pleased at Dosk's piloting, which he hadn't yet been able to experience. When on the other side, he begins considering his options once they land, but his thoughts are interrupted by Mandl, whose comment elicits a rarely-heard laugh from the smuggler.
Down through the atmosphere you go, where Vakeyya awaits - and indeed, as Tamrae says, it's a very spread-out sort of place, albeit not dense with urban structures. Soco-Jarel spaceport is by far the largest part of the city, with landing pads scattered aabout and docking struts jutting out of the spaceport spire that is Soco-Jarel tower. It's an interesting mixture of high technology and native architecture.
Getting landing clearance, you settled down on the pads and are required to pay the fees - the dockmaster there, a tall, dark-skinned man with a single brain of black hair running down the side of his head requests them, but the way he says it seems as though he might want a bribe, or at least that it might be possible to slip over. Question is, do you do it?
As the ship lands. "Alright, here we go" Dosk says as he unstraps and makes his way towards the ram, then down it after it lowers. The Codru-Ji notices the dark skinned man as he approaches and inquires about the fees. Looking the man up and down he shakes his head. "Not gonna happen." Dosk says as his lower arms rest on his hips and his top arms cross. Stepping to the side off the ramp for the others to disembark. "Haven't paid in years."
Mandl struts toward the hatch like *Doctor* Mandl, PhD, MD, LLC, TM(R). Make way, peasant.
Tamrae follows Mandl down the ramp, grinning at the guy a bit. "But, if ya got a good bar ya can suggest, we'll buy ya a drink later, ya?" she offers to the guy. "Prob'bly gonna be thirsty work, walkin' around here."
Pash unstraps himself, stands, and stretches. Something pops and, in response, he grunts. On the way off the ship, he mutters some wise words he's heard recently, "Greed is a sin..." as he passes by the dockmaster. Since Tamrae takes to talking the man up, he walks off a few paces to survey the landing pad, taking in a deep breath of this alien air.
As you pass, he grins widely, and takes the requested fees without anything else - and you have a decided feeling that you have passed the first of perhaps several future tests.
And so here you are, in the capital. Lots of places to go, of course, lots of places to see - where do you begin?
Dosk heads into the city looking for potential sites for a ship modification shop, or an out of business one that could be purchased and upgraded. Stopping along the way at a stall or two to try out local snacks.
Mandl, whose supreme scholarly authority went unheeded, is probably looking over its shoulder remorsefully at the customs-agent. But only for a moment, because: stand back! I'm going to try ... SCIENCE! Scooping up a handful of the local dust, the Bith mixes and shakes and adjusts knobs on devices no civilian should ever need.
Tamrae, after asking with the dockmaster, find a speeder shop that rents by the day and rents a battered but rugged speeder bike that she takes out into the desert, after promising to remain in contact with everyone else. She also purchases a map of the area, if she can find a datacube for it, so she has some idea where good spots to look might be.
Pash wanders into the city as well, keeping an eye out for slick boots and nerf-skin spacer jackets, tell-tale signs of in-the-know flyboys. These are the beings he cozies up to, dropping comments here and there that are meant to spur conversation and bend talk toward the subject of local trade, legal or otherwise. He's a smuggler, after all, and and it pays to know the smuggling scene.
Well, you get a lot of information, that's for sure.
Dosk's probe of the city yields one truth: Vakeyya is the place to do business. Specifically, for our purposes, Soco-Jarel Spaceport. IT's the only place that doesn't have a lot of tribal or old-school business ties wrapped up in it, and there's plenty of opportunities to set up stores and real businesses. Profitable businesses. As long as you're willing to rub elbows and pay respect - not bribery, but respect - then you do the thing that you want to do.
Tamrae finds...very little. There's a reason why this place is built up the way ti is already, and that's because all the proper constructable land has already been taken up - more or less. What's left is for houses, not serviceable Consortium structures. Ah, well.
Mandl finds a lot of things himself, though as he feared, a lot of the mountains aren't really the best. The mountains along which Vakeyya has been constructed IS ideal, but the positions are going to be remote at best. Why build up there when you could just built at the spaceport? It's a real question, though physical search may yield more.
Pash, on the other hand, finds that Vakeyya is FULL of business. Socorro exports little, imports everything else. What exports there are, well, they're very profitable, so this balances things out - but the sheer volume of smuggling jobs here are boggling. I mean you can just go to any bar, tavern, or business and there /will/ be work for you, so long as you're not on the blacklist. Still a lot of poking to do, but just like Nar Shaddaa, this place is a relative paradise for smuggling work.
What it is, however, is isolated. Nar Shaddaa has everything that Socorro really doesn't - exciting nightlife, tons of intrigue, and connections to things that aren't the Socorrans or the Black Bha'liir, the powerful smuggling concern that operates out of here. The Consortium showing up won't be a problem so long as it behaves itself, but no way is it ever going to be master of business here. It'll be obliterated if it tries.
So. Live, let live, and make money. Those are the keys to Socorro.
After Dosk's adventure to research business ventures, he returns to the Codru Dream and hits the ramp to lower, looking forward to getting into the cooler air conditioned ship. He makes his way to the crew lounge and starts topping off his flask with a bottle from a shelf near the autochef as he awaits the rest of the team to arrive with what they've gathered. Suggesting that on their exit, they go do flyby's of the sites Mandl found interesting and performing a quick stop for the geologist to collect samples if desired.
Mandl and Mandl's cup of caff are awash in disappointment. It pores over the data, pronouncing to Dosk: "Best land is taken. Odds of thriving here are... slim, unless we commit and adapt and start taking dangerous chances to make *this planet* the Array's own. Will be an uphill battle. Feels ... unnecessary."
"...I hate sand." Tamrae adds, frownign as she runs her fingers through her hair, ruffling it to dislodge particulates, then sighs. "There's nothin' nearby to use that isn't already taken. We'd need ta establish ourselves, an' buy up an existing structure ta convert, maybe." she suggests.
Tamrae hesistates a moment, then adds. "Well, except for th' starport tower. There's hangars we could rent there. Maybe attach shops too. Dunno."
Mandl chortles. "We have found a suitable location for an ATec Armormat."
"The spaceport here, yeah. We could at least rent a hangar and have shops spread out. There is a ton of potential. They have ship mods and equipment here that is common for you to potentially use that are way more uncommon on Nar Shaddaa." Dosk says as he sips from his refilled flask. "We're looking to make arrangements here as a fallback, not a complete replacement of what is going on, on Nar. Plus the people here seem a lot easier to deal with as long as you are respectful." Adding as he sits down.
"So it may not be available to set up outside of the city, at least /something/ set p inside here could work well, in my opinion. At least if we had a presence here, if we grab smuggling jobs, 40 percent of it wont go to the hutts.
Mandl does the 'so-so hand.' "The more ambitious we become, the more likely we will want... or need... to explore the high mountains or the poles. We have no desert acumen at present."
Pash is last onboard the ship. When he enters the lounge, he stops just within the doorway and spreads his arms wide. "I love this place," he announces, before finding an empty spot to park himself. "There's more work here than I expected, and I expected a lot." He pulls out his datapad and starts tapping away at it, muttering to himself about something being slower than it ought to be.
Tamrae hehs. "I get th' feelin' that this is th' sorta place where as long as yer willin' ta not rock th' boat, ya can do well. But if ya try ta get too pushy...' She shrugs. "It'll be a bad time for ya." She frowns. "But I think we could fit in here pretty easy. Become part of th' scene."
Pash nods and looks up from his datapad and over to Tamrae. "You got that right, and boy is the boat a big one. The Black Bha'liir has a strong presence here, so we should keep that in mind." He thinks, then says, almost to himself, "Met a Wookie on Nar Shaddaa with contacts there, actually..." Hmm. Yes. Should look into that.
Mandl says, "As a mineralogist, Mandl must remind everybeing of silica's abundance in the galaxy. Is nothing here we cannot get anywhere else. Place to lay low? Yes, is fine. Disappear here, blend in? Could do. But making this our primary base is picking a fight in uneven, unequal territory we have no experience with. Mandl's recommendation to Adhar will be to stay on Nar Shaddaa."
"We are already staying on Nar Shaddaa, Mandl. The Captains voted on that in the last meeting. Adhar asked us to scout here for a fallback location in case we have to flee Nar Shaddaa if the First Order makes a move and we have to relocate, since they seem to be killing smugglers." Dosk says. Standing up and changing the subject. "Well, if we are not to check out the areas in the desert. I suggest hitting the long hyper route home."
Mandl ohs, meek. "Mandl was not... at that meeting. Yes, fallback." Somewhat shamed and emotional, Mandl bows to Dosk and falls quiet.
Tamrae mms. "Well, it'll work for that. No one here seems like they're gonna like th' Order any more than we do." she says, her shoulders rippling in a shrug, then nods. "I think if we wanna find somethin' out there, it's gonna take some serious searchin'. More than just me, anyway." she says. "Might as well head back an' report in, if Adhar wants ta send us out again, at least we know what we need now."
Pash finishes up with his datapad to look up and around at the crew. No trek out into the desert? He's won't be the one to complain. "Let's get moving, then." He offers a quick smile and turns to Dosk. "You mind a co-pilot this time around? Been a while since I had a crack at an asteroid belt."