Log:Defiance Guild: A Whale of a Time
The Redline skimmed across the sands of the Dune Sea on Tatooine at high speed and low altitude, piloted by none other than the incomparable Zhu Yan. He was making a token effort at stealth as well, not going at full speed and flying high enough that he didn't kick up a sand plume. He'd gathered a motley crew of merry reprobates for the little desert excursion, and during the hyperjump out, he'd explained to them exactly what they were there for.
BRIEFING: Zhu Yan had filled everyone in on the way there, including over comms so everyone got the message. In summary, he'd been following the activities of a small merc group known as Harlan's Helljumpers that operate out of a Baleen-class Heavy Freighter. They are known for strapping themselves into drop pods and firing themselves out of the hangar for when they want to do business. "They call themselves High Impact Public Relations Executives, which is really cool," Yan had said. It was obvious why Yan was observing them in the first place. "What's not cool is that they like to enforce for Hutt cartels out on Nal Hutta itself and they are real schuttas about it. People tend to pay up real fast when there's a missile full of dudes heading towards them. The victims usually sell themselves into slavery to save their families after the mercs destroy everything. And that's terrible."
About a week ago their freighter made a hard landing out here on Tatooine and has been sitting here ever since. From what Yan was able to ascertain, what crew that survived the crash were killed by Tusken Raiders. So, that leaves behind with a big-ass whale of a freighter out there that Yan wants, that has a pest problem aboard, plus whatever goodies the raiders didn't steal. Then Yan bragged about how good he was which is pretty typical.
WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW: The seas of sand eventually started giving way to rocks, signalling the change of location to the Jundland Wastes. Here Yan flew lower, no longer worried about a dramatic smoke plume, and carefully weaved the disc-shaped freighter through the rocky outcroppings. His navicomputer was beeping at him, ticking down a time to destination, and when it finally started beeping incessantly he turned it off. Then, without warning, he eased down the main engines and went to repulsorlifts, carefully setting the Redline down behind a ridge.
"Alright guys, the old Helljumper freighter is behind the ridge," Yan advised as he came out of the cockpit dressed in his heavy armor and with his trusty Bryar by his side. He put the helmet on as he popped open the hatch. Upon disembarking and making their way to the rocky ridge, the team would find that there was indeed a Baleen-class Heavy Freighter parked in a sand-filled clearing on the other side. The clearing stretched out back into vast deserts. Parked. Not crashed. At worst it had suffered a landing that the ship was absolutely not designed for. But it looked to be in remarkably good shape! Two slapped-together ramps of metal led into the cavernous, wide-open hangar bay, clearly designed to be walked up and easily large enough for three people to walk together side by side.
There were didn't seem to be any Tusken Raiders about, but there were definitely signs of their presence. Some looting, an old campfire, some tents, Jawa corpses here and there (because what's a good Sand People raid without some dead Jawas?) and a few banthas milling about nearby. It wouldn't be much of a logical stretch to assume that the Raiders were inside
Oriana is also dressed her armour. Helmet off for the time being, she'd of strapped in and kicking up her feet. Outside of any updates or discussions she'd of done what she always does post mission. Read. It's a book too, one that looks old. It's written in her native tongue, Drikish, and every now and then she'd of muttered to herself in that language, as if reciting something. Placing the bookmark in place when they land the book is gently put away. Unaware of what sort of dangers there could be, the princess is wearing her bandolier of grenades, her vibrosword on her back, throwing knives strapped around her thigh and also, a vibroax. No rifle this time. Snatching up the helmet and following their fearless leader out it's slide on as big brown eyes look around briefly. "Well, this'll be an adventure.
Returning from another mission that was assigned to Triz and Spark 4, she was headed to Tatooine for a brief stop over. Having visited the planet a few times before she has decided to do a little sightseeing as well. So not heading directly to Mos Eisley but instead taking in the vast deserts and the obvious rocky outcroppings of Jundland Wastes. She is flying high in her little X-Wing. Barely observable by those on the ground. She twists and turns to get a better view of the lands. It's one of those twist that she spots the YT-2000 obviously trying to sneak up on something or someone. "Interesting," she says before she flips a few switches and dials in her systems. "R2, see if you can track that YT down there," she commands before adding "With out letting them know we are here. If you can." The little R2 unit beeps and goes to work as Triz banks Spark 4 in a lazy turn over the ship.
"This does not look like the debriefing, /Yan/," Tarion complains, coming up behind their fearless leader, toting his cheap-ass carbine and dressed in his traditional combat armor. "This does not like the debriefing /at all./ This looks distinctly /different./" He peers through the holo-imaging viewplate built into his helmet, zeroing in on the banthas. "Banthas," he observes aloud, zooming back out and scratching at his chin. "Lots of banthas."
Up on an overhang near the ship was a Sand People sentry, but he was looking out towards the desert. How odd.
Zhu Yan, of course, didn't notice this at all. "Look, things change! We gotta roll with the punches!" Yan said, not even looking at the overhang. He drew his Bryar and went up and over the ridge, heading down towards one of the ramps leading into the ship. It was lucky that sentry was looking the other way, even though it was a stupid and or mysterious thing for the sentry to be doing. Sand People weren't that dumb. Were they?
Maybe not. From within the ship there was the deafening CRACK! of a projectile weapon being fired (causing Zhu Yan to halt his advance abruptly when he was half-way there), followed by the sound from everyone's worst nightmares. A bloodcurdling cry of anger, fury, determination. The powerful cry of a vicious entity that was about to make something or someone else their bitch.
"URRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR URK URK URK URK URK!"
The sentry was still peering at the open desert with some concern. It was looking for something
Regaring Tarion, Oriana tilts her head some chuckling a little. "No mission goes right sweetie, ever." It sounds as if she knows of this from experience. That's when she turns to speak to Zhu, but he is marching off. For a second the woman stands there, looks up and spots the sentry. Her pace quickens then, feet hitting gently onto the ground until she comes to a quick halt behind their leader. "Zhu, look up. One of the sand people is staring into the desert, doesn't seem right." Then there is this horrid sound that makes her pause briefly. "Great, I thought I left messed up creatures behind on Dxun." A hand moves to grab her sword, so it's held at her side and at a ready.
Triz sees a lot from her vantage point. Watching the ship land "This is strange, R2. Nothing out there but Sand People and Raiders." She frowns as the nimble craft is put into a tighter turn, a turn that also lowers her a bit in altitude. She deploys her S-foils, the wings splitting to give her a better firing spread. The R2 begins to beep and whistle "I know, I know. They said to avoid anything resembling trouble but, well maybe they had troubles. We can't turn our backs on those needing a helping hand, right?" All pure bantha crap. The R2 knows it and beeps again. Resigned to the pilots actions. That's when she spots the other ship that didn't make as graceful a landing as the YT. As she zips from around a rocky outcroping she then sees a convoy heading in the direction of the YT and the other ship. "Call me a fool but," she switches her coms to the open channel <<Hi, YT. This is, uhm, Ghost 2, I think you might have some company heading your way. Like in the form of a big convoy of vehicles. Just a friendly warning," comes the female's voice.
"It'd be nice if it could /start/ right, at least," Tarion mutters, glad to at least have two arms for this mission. That whole 'shoot at people one-handed' thing doesn't work out very well for his teammates. "Guys, are we gonna do something about that one over there?" He asks, pointing over at the sentry who's busy staring at nothing. What a maroon. Then there's a voice coming over the open comm channel. "...if I lose another arm I'm not paying for it." He starts looking for cover, but that's the thing about the desert; there ain't much. "I've got a bad feeling about this."
"Right. Sithspit. Come on. We gotta get a move-on." Zhu Yan confirmed quickly as he broke into a jog for one of the ramps. The Baleen had landed nose-in, if you could call it a nose, and he made it half-way up the scrap ramp before he was out of sight of the sentry. Then he keyed the comm. "Ghost 2, this ship is owned by Harlan's Helljumpers, and they have a nasty habit of firing drop pods into houses of people who don't pay their debts. They are bad people and I am confiscating their ship. If you could stop that convoy getting to us, we'd owe you." He flipped off the comm and made a face. Zhu Yan didn't like owing people.
With Ghost 2's sorta-nervous proclamation, it became apparent what the sentry was looking for. Her transmission went off in the ears of all three members of the ground team. The approaching convoy was far too organized to be scavengers. Looks like some of the mercs had headed out, and were now coming back.
The cavernous hangar bay of the ship was visible now, at least to people who made it up the ramp. There didn't appear to be anything moving about, but there were some cargo crates, a couple of Zephyr swoops and an old SoroSuub landspeeder in the corner, and some beat up drop pods in racks on the ceiling. The sounds of brawling came from further within the ship, in the tight maze of corridors between cargo containers. Tusken shouts and sounds of blasters. Sounds like the crew had stumbled upon a war.
Oriana shrugs to Tarion, in her world, nothing has begun right so she's overly use to it. With hand on her sword she looks up slowly, the other voice has drawn her attention. There is a smirk, that turns into a broad grin. "Why hello sweetie!" Her tone is familiar, as if she knew who was talking. "Glad you're up there." And yes, it does make her feel better to know is above them. With a glance back down as Zhu breaks out into a run she follows suit, heading in the same direction. Slowly coming to a stop at the sounds there is a quick breath. "Want me to go ahead? I got toss out a grenade or break it up? Or, something." No she isn't afraid of walking right into a fight.
Triz tightens the turn she was in to bring her zipping right over the heads of those in the YT <<Ghost 2 copies. But give me a name to call you by.>> The X-Wing goes vertical, twisting in a spiral. <<Well, if it's not a small world,>> Triz replies on the open coms to Oriana. <<Think I have this covered for you>>. It might appear as if the X-Wing would be leaving but once Triz gets to the place she wants to be the spiral stops and she noses the craft over. Flying upside down she dives as fast as the craft can go. Aiming at the lead vehicle and once it's right were she wants she flips the bird rightside up and fires. Instantly the speeder she shot at goes up in a ball of fire, bits and parts flying every which way. She doesn't dally though and zooms back skyward <<One down,>> She replies rather smugly.
Gritting his teeth, Tarion takes off after Yan, keeping pace behind the smuggler and warrior princess, his carbine clutched firmly before him in the cybernetic/organic hand combination, maybe a little too firmly in the former. There's a whining, creaking sound from the rifle's barrel shroud before he realizes how hard the mechanical arm lets him squeeze when he's not thinking about it, but luckily the realization comes in time to prevent any real damage to the weapon. As they breach the top of the cargoramp, he glances around in the mixed light, flipping on the nightvision and then immediately flipping it back off. "Bad idea," he whispers, waiting for the floaters to stop swimming in his field of view after the light that does make it in from outside flashes brightly across his viewscreen.
When the lead speeder of the convoy goes up, the rest spread out in surprise. Some of the soldiers in the open-top ones look and point, and one in a long flatbed-like speeder starts scurrying for something under a tarpaulin. There are four speeders remaining in the convoy.
The sounds of fighting are still taking place deep within the Baleen. Occasional blaster fire but mainly shouts and screams and the sounds of people wailing on each other. Definitely something of a running battle going on down there. "Grenades would do too much damage. Go in with blades," Yan advised. "There's enough hiding places for you to have plenty of room for an ambush. Take the lead and we'll cover you." Then he keyed his comm. "Let's go with Raid Group, since that's what we're doing."
"Good shot, Ghost." Oriana calls back up to Triz, smirking anew. Regarding Zhu there is nod. Turning to the noise, the warrior princess (nicely put Tarion!) moves forward in a steady, confidant pace with the sword held in her hands. "Nobody shoot me in the ass!" Is the only remark they get about covering her.
Happening upon a merc and a raider quick work is made of them. The merc gets the first hit, she spun and hit him good, slicing off one of his arms, that spin leads her round to the raider, who gets his head lobbed up leaving it hitting the ground with an expression of pained surprise. The finished turn brings her sword back to the merc, a slice up from groin to neck is what he gets to finish him off, the body slumping to the ground shortly after lifelessly.
<<Well seems I disturbed the ant hill,>> Triz says. <Raid Group sounds great to me.>> Again for reasons only known to Triz she gets where she wants and wings the craft now identified as Ghost 2 over, slipping it expertly in the atmosphere. The engines of the craft catch hold and the ship dives back to the ground. She aims at one of the vehicles that looks like it might be big enough to be carrying more than a simple speeder. Once lined up she lets loose with a volley of fire from her Taim & Bak KX9 laser cannons. The vehicle, is struck badly by the first shot and fire spreads quickly. The second shot finishes it off in another fireball. <<Make that two down, Raid Group>>. Triz pulls back hard on the stick, flying right through the fireball as it mushrooms skyward and climbs leaving a trail of smoke in her wake.
Tarion cannot make any promises about not shooting Ori in the ass, so he doesn't. After she cuts down a ridiculous amount of living beings and leaves them in ruined chunks on the floor, one of their horrified compatriots comes around the corner, realizes the doom that has just befallen his friends, and turns to run. He doesn't make it far before the amateur bounty hunter blasts him in the back. "I should probably feel worse about that," he remarks to Yan, watching for the next to materialize as Ori stalks ahead and they prowl behind.
"Don't be," said Yan, as he spotted a Tusken Raider round one of the corners. It's single voice cried out in URRRR and was suddenly silenced as Yan's first charged Bryar bolt caught it in the face. It hit the ground, dead, but since Yan is a paranoid bastard he shot it again once more to be sure.
The blood-soaked warrior princess had struck terror into the hearts of pretty much everyone. Except Yan and Tarion, maybe, sorta, since she was on their side. The radiant fury of Oriana had the Tuskens and mercs running away as far as they could. The sounds of combat grew a bit further distant, requiring Ori to go and hunt a little bit more.
Back at the convoy, the big-ass speeder did a flip and crashed into the sand like the world's worst gymnast. The flatbed, still intact, was cruising along and the guy in the back had found something. Out came a goddamn SAM launcher. In Triz's cockpit, the beepbeepbeep of a missile lock went off and then went solid. Incoming missile! Just for the record, there are three speeders left in the convoy.
Speaking of convoy, the sentry has spotted what's going on. He lets out an URRRRRRRRR of warning, but unfortunately, everyone's too busy being skewered by Oriana to hear it!
Yeah, Oriana is some warrior princess. And yeah, they can run scared. It's an odd mixture, she is graceful and poised as she does this, but equally deadly, as the merc and raider had found out. When the others scatter that's when a knee is taken, a hand is laid upon both bodies while Tarion and Zhu fire their own shots. Something is said in her native tongue, it could sound like a prayer. One that's directed to the other two bodies that fell from the guns. Just because she killed, doesn't mean there isn't a respect for their lives, for their spirits.
Moving forward following the sound of the others, it's when she rounds a corner that the chance to take two by surprise comes. Heaving herself forward her sword goes through the heart of the first guy, through his body, which brings the tip into the heart of the other man behind him as their pinned to the wall shish kabob style. Hearing a some noise behind her she, with a hard tug, goes to pull her sword out and lean back swinging it at the next person, but that fails to it its mark.
"Crap, jam that," She says to the R2 as the missile lock comes up. Triz doesn't climb. No sense in doing the same thing all the time and it's time to evade that damn missile. She flattens out her climb rather quickly before banking the nimble fighter over, the right S-Foils nearly touching the ground. It's a very tight turn that causes the ship to creak and groan and the R2 to let out one long beeeeeep. The missile flying harmlessly past her to impact in the desert. "Hang in there, DATE," she calls back. 'Date' because she spends more time with the R2 than going on real dates and it's name is R2-D8. Flying as low as she can, so low a wamprat gets sucked into one intake which the X-Wing chews up and spits out with out even so much as a burp, sand billowing up behind her leaving a huge cloud of dust in her wake. She lines up the next lucky contestant in 'This is your life," and lets fly another two round burst at the vehicle. Which promptly disintegrates into nothing as the second swerves dangerously to avoid the full onslaught of her laser.
"Ori, look out!" When the woman fails to take out the third assailant (or defendant depending on your perspective), Tarion gives a shout, snapping his blaster rifle upward to blow the guy away. Except he misses, and the guy remains less than blown away. "Ah, kri-" he begins to curse, until the control panel his blaster bolt DID hit shorts out and a deafening, blood-curdling scream roars beside him as a door, unnoticed, is opened by said panel. "What the-" he begins again, not allowed to finish a sentence this pose, and turns towards the scream, catching sight of a very angry and very loud Tusken Raider charging at him, gaderffi stick raised high.
Tarion's laser blast hit a control panel. That control panel opened a door. Behind that door was a cargo hold. In that cargo hold was not a Rathtar, but something worse. Far worse. An avalanche of packaged MREs came sliding out, flooding the corridor and suddenly making that area incredibly hard to walk. It was by sheer luck that the sudden onslaught of meals in aluminium missed Oriana by a hair. That or she's some sort of ninja goddess. Still haven't figured that out.
Tarion himself, however, was not having the best of days. Yan was too busy with his jaw agape (but hidden behind helmet) at the avalanche of Marine's Best Friends to save Tarion's ass, a fact which really Tarion should be annoyed about. The Tusken cracked the kid bounty hunter across the head with the blunt end of his stick, doing a few points of Stun damage and was about to commence with the wailing and the beating before Yan straight up shoved his blaster into the Tusken's mouth-hole and fired. Shit got messy. Then, because Yan will never stop being paranoid, when the Tusken hit the ground, he shot it in the face again. Well, what was left of it. Good work Yan. Could have used that a second ago.
Deeper in the ship there was the sound of three blaster bolts punctuating the air, then silence. It looked like the last thing left were mercs. Or at least one of them. And he was armed. Watch out guys. He might need to be AMBUSHED!
MEANWHILE, IN THE DESERT, Triz has making the convoy her little bitch. Mister Flatbed, he with the SAM, straight up detonated as Triz hit the fuel tank. Boom baby! The two remaining convoy members tried to scurry away, but only one had such luck. The other one upended itself and planted itself in the sand. It was out for the count, but the owners were already firing blasters at Triz. It's almost like they thought it would work. The other one was running like a Tusken Raider after seeing Oriana.
The lone sentry looked around for some backup, some hostiles, anything, and then dropped his hands to his side in the greatest portrayal of 'Well fuck' that can be conveyed via body language. Poor guy.
"Thanks sweetie!" Oriana yells back to Tarion. She'd consider throwing her knife at his attacker but, Zhu got their first. And then just as suddenly there are food stuffs, everywhere. Luckily missing the shiny flood with a bit of a jump her jaw opens with surprise. But it's brief, there is sudden silence ahead. Shots have stopped. Knowing this means one side had won, there is a quick turn, with the aim to sneak up it fails as there is an accidental kick to some of the packages, causing them to slide forward with unobstructed noise. This is the alter that she is coming, and when the corner is rounded there isn't enough time to avoid the shot, which gets her right in the stomach. There is a hint of blood that trickles out of her armour, but this only serves to piss her off more. Moving swiftly, the sword finds the mans flesh, three times he is hit. Once in the groin, one to the kidney, and the third to the heart.
As the next to last vehicle is no more, Triz pulls Ghost 2 into a loop. Up and over the top she is aiming right at the second vehicle. Again her laser cannons light up, twice, sending their deadly intent on the last remaining speeder. "Damnit!" Triz curses as she barely nicked the speeding speeder. Pulling up she banks hard left before she climbs once again "My bad, DATE. To much in a hurry." She bring the fighter in a not nearly as tight a turn as she begins to line up the zig-zagging speeder.
It's a unique sensation, being clubbed in the head with a gaffi stick. It knocks Tarion to the ground, and a troupe of bell-ringers go to work on the inside of his skull, despite the protective helmet keeping his actual cranium from being cracked. There's a pair of blasts and a spit of fire and blood and probably some neural material as Yan disposes of the threat, and the bounty hunter pulls himself back upright on an adjacent cargo container, twisting his helmet back straight before realizing it already was and he's just seeing funny. Once he gets it oriented to the front again, he's muttering a "thanks" to Yan and casting around for Ori. "Where's Bloody Ori?!" He squints as he peers towards where she was, seeing only a pile of MREs in her place. "Oh, krif, don't tell me I buried her in freeze-dried nerf jerky." He lunges forward, picking a few units up and casting them aside, trying to sort to the bottom.
The rapid crescendo of screams of the last surviving member of the mercenaries inside the Baleen ended what little resistance there was to the assault. All was silent, and because it was so silent, one could hear the URRRRRRR URK URK URK of that poor lonely sentry, the distant roaring of Incom engines, and the distinctive vud-vud-vud sound of Taim & Bak laser weaponry. The raid team now had time to search and loot the place.
"I think she ran off. That's probably her doing her warrior goddess thing," Yan said, his voice sounding processed coming from the vocoder in his helmet. "You head out and try to find her, I'm going to go to the bridge and assess the damage."
The last speeder was spewing smoke now, and going slower. Any shots to take it out could be easily done at -10 difficulty.
Oriana did run ahead, and it seems the last guy she sliced and diced was it. She stands there a minute, catching her breath. A hand slides into her armour where her wound is, as if feeling for damage. Not that she is any good at knowing what to do, you'd think by now she would be. Mostly, it's checking for depth. As it feels, it's a light flesh wound. Thusly, her hand is pulled out and the blood is wiped on her armour. Kneeling down she once again places her hand on the body, repeating that prayer in her native tongue, the one that will honour this mans spirit.
The line up was perfect. The first blast from her lasers left no trace of the last speeder except for some smoke and the second blast just turned some sand into pretty blueish glass. Triz nudges the fighter upwards and keys the coms <<Raid Group, your little unwelcoming folks are no longer. I don't see anything else that you can't handle. Skies are perfectly clear.>> She does a barrel roll over the crashed ship <<Missy, I'll see you back home. You know how to get hold of me.>> She turns Ghost 2 outbound and heads towards Mos Eisley.
"There you are," Tarion calls as he breaks into the room where Ori's just finished saying her blessing over the man's fallen corpse. On noticing the body, Tarion puts another blast in it just to be safe. "Can never be too careful with these bastards. You ready to go, Ori? That was the last of them." Despite his pronouncement, he looks less than relaxed, eyes still mobile and peering into the corners of the room. "Yan's waiting on the bridge, let's head out."
That sentry is still outside making noises, ineffectively. Poor chap. Someone should have used that roll to shoot him.
"Thank you, Ghost Two. Appreciate the assistance," was Yan's voice on the comm.
Yan was at the bridge now, talking away at himself and whoever was listening. "You know, I'm really surprised they managed to get a Baleen-class on the deck while barely damaging it. This thing, it's spaceworthy!" He was surprised. Really surprised. His helmet was off and he was going through control panels on the bridge. "And those speeders in the hangar are intact as well. I think we've got a real haul here."
Just before heading deeper into the craft to find Yan, Tarion peeks out at that urrrrrr ur ur urrrrrrr sound, takes a sight on his carbine, and pulls the trigger once. There's a spark and flash and a hint of ozone, and then a blast knocks the Tusken sentry down. "Felt bad just leaving him there like that," he murmurs, slinging his rifle over his shoulder and heading inside.
"Don't worry sweetie I will." She says to ghost, it's clear the two seem to know each other. Looking to Tarion as she stands and as he shoots the body there is a chuckle and a pat on his arm. Ignoring her scratch and moving into thr ship, pausing briefly for the guy to be shot the way is made in.