Log:Bad Company: a prequel
Hound Base: an abandoned factory tunneled fathoms beneath the crusty streets of the Gearhead district, accessible by a loooooong shaft down from the above facade or gouges cut into the canyon wall that service as docking bays. It never housed more than a hundred or so personnel at any given time, but these past couple weeks have been the most quiet and empty it's felt since the legitimate business once operated here dismantled years ago.
The hangar is alive with a small but steady stream of activity, the training center is home to a handful of grunts being put through the paces. The on-duty medical staff is still logging in and checking quality of the bacta recently secured, and Brig General Greystorm...is staring quizzically at the security surveillance terminal rigged up in the 'tactical' section. A multitude of vidscreens display feeds from various access points around base, in addition to a couple surveillance eyes rigged in a radius around the abandoned factory. It's a display full of blipping lights, binary chatter turret/other defense system reports.
"Well...." the greying soldier leans forward on the counter, propped on hands, to peer at a particular feed that's flashing a bit funkily. Looks like she's talking to her own reflection. "What's wrong with /you/?"
Kirit is one of those Rebels that's always in demand. Sure, she designs fightercraft for fun but she can also put back together just about anything and a Rubnik Sphere at the same time before she gets bored. Which means she's often summoned to fix something that the regular techs just.. can't seem to crack. It seems to be her lot in life. Presently, she's off in one corner with a power droid's access panels laid out and a number of wires extending from its innards. Seems the thing blew a fuse converting the power supply of Nar Shaddaa to something the hodgepodge of equipment the Rebels have cobbled together can use. She's squinting into it's innards with a soldering gun when the general mutters.
Now one doesn't mutter about something being broken and /not/ get the attention of a Verpine. She leans to her left and peers around the bulky droid. "Something wrong, General?"
"Has the Dune Sea got sand?" Ambrosia mutters some more, furrowing her brow with the effort of conjuring up some once-memorized configuration of magical key-tapping. It's an important access code, one required to get a history report of cam Dorn's (D) signal reception and relay times, so she can get a guesstimate of when it went haywire and started filming....that puddle. Wallpuddlewallpuddlewall - it seems to be having a small seizure. And Greystorm may also suffer a neural breakdown if she can't -- OH YEAH. Tappitytap. She's in.
"Dorn's vid feed appears to be acting up," she finally elaborates. "Old piece of shit. Second time this week. Thought that kid from the ops pit was working on it, replaced the ....mmmmrgh" A mild growl protests this inconvenience and she upcurls a lip. "Yeah this thing's fried." Dammit. "I'm gonna take a walk topside see if I can't get a handle on it, make sure the readout down here is saying what I think it's saying." That cam D is toast.
"Mind if I take a look?" Curiosity tickled the antennae after all and Kirit is already standing and walking that way with a satchel of tools slung over her shoulder. She plops down next to the console and with a quick Vvvtmm of a powerdriver has the panel off in an instant. Her claws click together in a sort of eager anticipation as her head leans in to look at the array of circuit boards and connective wiring within. "I do see some fresh solder in here so someone did /something/." Her multifaceted eyes flicker as they focus on different spots within. "You have a comlink with you? When you get there just holler and we'll work together." Her mandibles crinkle into a rough approximation of a smile. Its an affected gesture but one she's come to use often when around fleshlings.
A sigh of resignation blows from between pursed lips and Ambrosia steps back from the console to stoop aside and peer into what it is Kirit's examining. Looks like a rat's nest of wires to her, old or new, so she just nods. "Yeah, all right. Gimme an extra few to get all the way to the...." a lean back to look at the screens. "Roof. Left of ventilation stack A." Kriff. "Maybe more than a few." Rolling her eyes, Amber grunts to her feet and stalks out of the room. "Next raid had better score some decent security equipment."
Kirit gives a nod and plugs in her datapad to the service jack then fishes out a circuit tester. "I'll keep that in mind when I blow up the next star destroyer." She grins at Amber. "That is, if we have enough time to board the floating bits left behind. Sadly, that's a rare occurance." Usually, they have to hightail ane run before reinforcements arrive. Alas. She inhales deeply then punches a few keys to start the diagnostic cycle on the datapad and begins poking at circuit boards like a doctor does when they tell you to take deep breaths.
It's a slow, ponderous ascent up the tram once Ambrosia's fitted a couple pieces from her personal armory to person and climbed into a mean street getup of shabby clothes and half hidden armor. Seems slow, anyway, when you're suffocating under layers of smelly rags. Bag lady Greystorm climbs out of the tram, hops onto the lift platform and rides that up the final bit of distance into the spooky vacancy of the abandoned droid factory. It's a vast, empty space populated by corrosive dust, debris, skeletal machinery, and the occasionally unlucky vermin that skitter a little too closely to the easily-woken turrets. The soft wub-wub-wub of surveying, security drones on patrol floats through the air.
Somebody really should clean this out. Stepping over an obliterated rat, she plucks the link off her belt and murmurs "Almost there. How's our baby doin?" into it. She pointedly stands in front of one of the 'eyes' just outside the lift and stares back at the bark requesting identification in Huttese as the drones crankily swivel behind her to fix a little red bead on the back of her skull. The scanner casts its soft, red glow over her face and wielded card, then chirps out acceptance.
The response from the comm is a bunch of static hisses and clicks which eventually become, "Diagnostics are running slowly. This circuit board is either a hundred years old or has never had a bad sector scan and purge run in it's life." She sighs and there's a pop of static from the mic and another hiss. "And the wires are too thin. The whole system is running hot. Which might explain the software issues."
There's some static coming from Amber's comm, too, but it's probably just the technology gods' way of bleeping out her foul utterings as she climbs some rusty ladder into the ceiling and muscles her way through a hatch. "Can't--nnngh--say I'm---guh--surprised." Creeeeeeeeeeeeeak. The hatch finally relents and she pushes on through to the roof - two stories above the street -- and turns in a half circle to locate the ventilation stack and....yup. There's cam 'D' stuttering away on its mount. Shaking her head, Ambrosia steps cautiously on over and heralds Kirit on the comlink again. "Okay. I'm in position."
"Alright, I'm going to see if I it will take basic diagnostic commands." Kirit declares. "It will spin three sixty then pan up and down. Then the zoom will wind to full and back. Just let me know what it doesn't do." She looks to the datapad and the diagnostic results. She half expects the camera to explode when she sends the command but.. here goes nothing.
Aaaaaand here happens nothing.
Sitting back on her heels, Ambrosia waits for the camera to perform its twirl and bow. It does neither of these things, but it doesn't explode so blessings can be counted? It just keeps up the nystagmus. "...Did you do it yet?" She drops the comm hand back over a knee and twists her neck from side to side, up and down. While looking down, she notes a little notch in the conduit feeding up to the cam's mount. "G'damn moon," grumbles over the device next, followed by "think I've found the problem!"
Did I do it yet... Kirit's greymatter protests as she looks down at the readouts accusatorially. "Yes. I have sent the commands." She replies testily as a claw pokes at the display. Then Amber is tendering her eureka moment. "I am all antennae." Which is to say ears but why use those when antennae are so much more efficient!
"Something's taken a bite outta the...er" Ambrosia's voice drops to a much huskier, conspiratorial tone. "Stand by. Hear somethin'. Bet it's that little furry farker at it again."
And it is. Just around that stack, four meters out, the duracrete rat is busy doing what it does best, chiseling away with its teeth of steel. Amber creeps forward on one hand and both knees, pistol sliding out from holster and lining up to send that vermin back to the hell from which it birthed. Before she can take the shot, its head snaps up, whiskers flick'n'twitch, then it scurries away and over the edge.
The annoyance wrinkling her face is soon to melt away though, as does any residual flush left from her climb. Because now, still staring down the sight, she's spying something else in the crosshairs. Movement. Big movement. Rhythmic movement. The low rumble of transports grows louder by the second as they close in on this block. There's the unmistakable gleam of white. And it's difficult to tell with the acoustics bouncing off surrounding warehouses, but is there a distant roaring in the skies? Very slowly, Ambrosia lowers her gun, lifts her comm, and speaks like she's seen a ghost.
"Change of plans, Xiptil. I need you to activate the alarms. Rouse the base. Tell everyone to pack what they can in a HURRY and fly far'n'fast like we've got bad company." Silvery tresses waft in the breeze as she rests a cheek against the crumbling metal shaft and watches the nightmare materialize in the dimming light with one tired, green eye. "This is not a drill."
"What are you seeing?" Kirit asks as she hurriedly disconnects her gear from the console and stuffs it into her satchel. She's left the console wide open but then if this is an emergency evac.. that beast is staying right where it is. Still.." She eyes it thoughtfully before marching over to the center command display and keying in the general alarm. Warning klaxons begin flashing throughout the base but she ignores it for the moment. Instead, she takes her hydraulic drill and removes the master panel. With its guts exposed, she starts ripping out circuit boards with sparks flying as she grabs and yanks. ~Rant, get Flash 2 prepped for flight. NOW. And warn the other Astromechs to do the same. We need to leave!~ Ahah! She spies the array of data crystals and plucks them one by one, tossing them into her satchel before turning to run for the corridor down. There's one last look at the forlorn power droid. Ah well. She was never a fan of droids anyway.
"A lot of firepower," is the reply to radio in from Amber's comm. "And my guess is there's more'n what I can see from here. They've found us, Kirit." And then she's scrambling backward, fast as she can away from the edge and to the open hatch. The descent is much faster than her climb up and the leather of her gloves starts to abrade away as she sliiiiiiiides and drops. "ATTENTION ALL BASE PERSONNEL!" she barks into another frequency, voice carrying to any link that's tuned into their primary channel. "This is B.G. Greystorm, reporting topside. Uninvited guests heading our way, eta...three minutes?" It's not a lot of time. "More, if not an immediate breach. Load up and evacuate what you can, but do it NOW, or prepare for one hell of a fight!"
Boots slam and skid over the gritty floor, bearing Amber back to the lift where she stops and reconsiders. A long look over her shoulder acknowledges the inevitable and her blaster comes back out of the holster. "I'll slow'em down best I can, so consider the tram closed for repairs!" She hops back onto the lift long enough to peer over the edge and shine her tac light on the tram control panel down below. Eh. Where's a good thermal, when you need it?
A single blaster shot rings out over the sound of her voice and the control box sizzles and fries around the scorched hole that was its activation switch. "Keep a man posted at Sacrifice's comms 'round the clock, and I'll call for rendezvous coordinates." She sounds a little more out of breath now, whatever she's doing. "Eventually." A second shot blast the lift panel and she takes off trotting a cautious weave around the ancient production lines.
"Understood." Kirit replies tersely into the comm as he long spindly legs pump hard for the crew quarters. Her clawed feet scrape on the durasteel floor as she slides to a halt and dashes into her quarters. It's a good thing she wears her flightsuit like a jumpsuit. She has no time to change into her official rebel flightsuit. Not that the Imperials don't already have a clue. Instead, she rifles her belongings for a little box then grabs her helmet. Wait. She takes half a second to rip her namebadge and rank insignia from her uniform, stuffing them into her satchel. Off running again, she makes for the hangar. ~Tell me you loaded the tools, Rant.~ Sure, a Y-wing doesn't have much room for personal gear but..they are the precious.
"One more thing," Ambrosia pauses with the comm to her lips, hunkered down near the entry bay doors behind a tarpaulin-covered crate stack to peer out at the nearing enemy. "Override my security clearance at bay entry. Let those blaster bots do their thing." The Hound lapses into radio silence on that note and turns off her comlink. One hand closes around the ring hanging from the chain around her neck.
"If there's even the slightest bit of you in me, now would sure be a time to show it," she whispers to no one, then sucks in a deep breath on the count of three and bolts from her hiding place before the friendly turrets can turn against her and dashes into the street. LOOK! A REBEL! She fires a shot that's more ceremonial than effective, too far away to hit its mark. That grumpy Greystorm follows it up with a pair of unwelcoming gestures, then runs like hell toward the darkness of the nearest alley to begin the deadly game of hide and seek and shoot, long as she can.