Log:The Bimm Job
Bimmisaari's inhabitants have been members of the galactic community for two thousand years, but they have made a concerted effort to maintain their planet's lush environment. Here, away from the cities, the jungle is much as it has been for millennia.
The coordinates provided are less than pinpoint. There's many, many square kilometers within it. Determined scanning narrowed down the search area, though, and now a ground party is on its way to search for what they have been told is an Aethersprite fighter, a crashed relic of an earlier time that, even at its best, lacked sufficient shields, hull strength, and hyperdrive.
The silence that follows the party through the jungle is that of a place that knows those present are intruders.
Sar Yavok pulls up his datapad and looks the screen over, squinting at the information. His eyes look up and scan the general surroundings and he says, "Alright, folks; it's somewhere...around here." He gestures wildly with his hand, saying, "So party up and we'll see what we can find. Delede, you're with me. Stavros, Fen and Lofty, fan out to the west. And Oriana and Kasi, see if you can't check out the eastern section. I'll upload a general map and an old picture of the ship to your datapads." The commander taps away at the datapad and soon everyone else's is chiming an alert.
He looks at Gren and jerks his head in the direction he's soon walking; straight ahead.
Bar'duur has a brand spanking new datapad, all ready to probably get dirty here in the swamp. The Zabrak's footing is pretty good on this sort of terrain, of course he's the outdoorsy type. The man frowns at his datapad for a few moments, looking at it, then up and around, then back at it again, he seems confused for a few moments before finally turning it over, after holding it upside-down.
"All right, chief," Stavros says, as he looks at the data on his bracer computer's screen. "This place is really spongy." His boots make little squishing sounds with every step. He has his Rebel Yell armor on and his rifle in his arms. He is a city Zeltron. Lacking any knowledge of how to survive outside an urban environment, he is a bit jumpy. "People get eaten in places like this," he mutters to Bar'duur.
Fenwick stops reaching behind his back and squeezing the carrier of water at the small of his back, wistfully eyeballing the orders. He then looks to the other two of Lofty and Stavros. "Okay," he trails off with a low murmur and then eyes forward. While walking into a frond, leafy and gorgeous, and belonging to some exotic plant, the man abruptly stops. After looking back to Stavros, he steps back in order to follow noticeably behind the Zeltron.
A low sound comes from in front of the middle team, like a cat meow-growling with its mouth closed. The sound goes down in tone as it continues. Sar can make out a creature that looks like an ocelot-gorilla, cat face on a mostly bipedal frame, peering out from between two trees. It is the source of the sound, as well as a loud knock-knock-knock on the tree next to it as it swats with its paw.
Those on the left have less undergrowth to contend with and longer lines of sight. There is a fallen tree, its trunk a few meters thick, blocking their immediate line of passage. It's up and over or down and under or the lengthy route to one side or the other. The knocking is faintly audible from over here, too.
The rightmost group has sticking vines, thorns, and visibility down to a few feet. They, too, can hear the knocking, but they also see a patch of sunlight up ahead, with a bit less undergrowth to contend with.
Sar Yavok grunts a bit as he spots the creature in the tree and he looks back to Gren, saying, "Too big to let it just hang around while we're searching." He unslings his F-11D and flips the rifle to 'STUN', raising the rifle to his shoulder. He squeezes the trigger three times in succession and sends three blue bolts heading towards the beast, sending it tumbling out of the tree.
Stavros looks ahead at the big fallen tree trunk, then back at Fenwick. "Well. Up and over, I guess-" He lets his rifle fall, slung across his shoulder, as he picks his way up the trunk, using its remaining branches to support himself. He arrives atop the trunk, and swings his rifle back into position when he hears the shots go out. "Who's got contact?" he calls into his comm, raising the G8 up and peering through its scope. "I see movement. Three gray - things, almost human-sized, heading..." He checks this bracer. "East. Sar, Gren - hostiles?"
Kasia had sense enough to wear something that was a little more appropriate to the task, that being trousers, boots, and a shirt. It all feels a bit odd compared to what she's accustomed to, but with all of the thorns here that still catch and pull at her clothing, she's glad for it. She halts at the sound of the knocking, squinting around, and again at the sound of shots fired, twisting around to look off in that direction. Again, though, there isn't much to be seen, so she forges ahead toward the patch of sunlight.
"Some people like down and under, too," however, Fenwick readily agrees with the idea of climbing over rather than rooting about in the ground. He plants his right boot to the trunk while watching Stavros climb. That leaves him to allow his blaster rifle to hang by its single-point harness at his side, freeing his hands to begin advancing as the Zeltron pipes up. The idea of hearing him, physically, and over the comm-net is awkward, which ends up with Fenwick looking over his shoulder. "I knew I should've brought more bacta." Pause. "We'll get creative."
Off in the distance was the distinctive sound of a Corellian transport's engines approaching. "Ground team, Redline," was the noise in everyone's comms. It was the voice of none other than the magnificent Zhu Yan, though today he didn't seem to be cracking a joke. "I'm on my approach, with tow cable and a team of heavy lifters here to... hang on." The com signal cut out as the YT-2000 flew overhead, followed by a pair of starfighters from what could well be the Bimm Central Authority. Seems like Yan wasn't quite having a good day. "These guys didn't believe my archaeology degree. Next time I'll fork out good creds for a better one. Hold up." Pause. "Now listen here sleemo, I have authorization from the Coruscanti school of..." and it went on like that for a moment before the comms cut out and Yan remembered to shift channels. Meanwhile the YT-2000 made a lazy turn in the distance, constantly flanked by its 'escorts'.
Visible ahead of Sar, despite their natural camouflage, are three more creatures of the same variety as the one Sar shot before. They are moving stealthily towards the tree that the other one was knocking a signal on before getting stunned.
From the tree to the west, those three are visible in the distance. It would be a hard shot to make, though.
To the east, once Kasia reaches the sunlit clearing, she can make out a small mound of moss and fungus, rising out of the ground vertically.
"Three contacts, Stavros. Local wildlife," Sar remarks, firing three more rounds into one of the new arrivals. "If you plan to engage, use stun only. No reason to piss off any planetary governments in case these things are-," he's cut off as he rolls under the second creature's swipe. "In case they're a protected species or something."
"Way out of stun range from up here, Sar. We'll see if we can get to you." And Stavros heads down the tree trunk towards the east. It's a sort of natural road, really, albeit one you might slip down if you go too quickly. He looks up as the Redline passes by with fighters trailing. "Now would be a great time to know where it is," he remarks. "Fen, can you see anything promising from up here?"
Being in the pool of light doesn't exactly make Kasia feel much better about being out in the jungle, rather more like standing in the spotlight that's shining on the easy dinner. All such fretting is kept off the coms as she continues her search, gaze is drawn to that vertical mound of moss and fungus and hopefully nothing with venom, or teeth, or anything that one might consitute as unfriendly. Only friendly moss here, please. She goes to poke at it, pausing almost as soon as she's begun to pull a pair of gloves from her pocket and tug them on, then resume the effort of peeling away moss and muck to get at whatever is beneath it. "I might've found something."
Fenwick grabs hold of moss and loses his handhold, forcing his face into the tree. He grumbles incoherently into it and then reaches higher, reaffirms his hold, and pushes himself up the next distance until the tree curls away and onto a horizontal plane. The guy scrambles forward on his stomach and slowly pushes up, glancing in Stavros's direction and then to make sure no one else is going to fall off. He scans off into the distance and then turns. In the middle of dusting off his front, Fen clicks his tongue. "I see green. There's also brown. A little orange, red, and purple, but some yellow, too." He crouches down with bending at the knees, listening through his long-range comlink and its antenna peeking from his backback. He reaches for the headset at his ear, clicking it on, "Miners headed our way, too. Can't tell how many, but they're a ways off behind us."
"Balti, Barundi, Berchestian, Bimm. There we go. Hang on." From the other end of the comm was the sound of flipping pages. Did, did Zhu Yan have a textbook or something on his lap mid-flight? The YT-2000 was still wafting lazily around the engagement zone, his escorts sitting uncomfortably close. "Big on hospitality, blah blah blah," more page flipping, "and... Jedi fanatics. I can work with this. Hang on." There was the sound of a finger hitting a solid surface as the pilot missed the comm button. Then came words. "Okay. Look. It's a big secret and I don't want it getting out, but word is a legendary Jedi left histories on this planet and... sithspit, wrong channel, hang on." Then the comm shut off. Sounds like finally found the right button. Afterwards, an uncomfortable silence.
The situation: Sar still has two angry ocelot-gorillas trying to grab him so they can bite him. Fen has spotted what look like official pursuers to the west. Zhu Yan's Redline is being followed closely by two unhappy Bimm planetary defense fighters as it drifts about, and Kasia has a pile of fungus and moss that is vertical, obviously grown atop of something.
The angry fauna try to flank Sar, circling around so he can't see them both at the same time, and attack from two different directions.
Sar Yavok is cirling slowly as he tries to keep his back to both of the animals. But then one of the beasts charges him! Sar quickly dives out of the way, slamming into the dirt and mud and bringing his rifles back to his shoulder. Three more shots are fired, taking an ocelot gorilla down and leaving Sar with just one more to contend with. He stands up slowly, once more circling the creature, "Sar to Rebel Yell. Report.
"I think I got a shot. Hold please." Stavros stops moving down the tree towards Sar's location, switches to stun, and takes aim. Three blue bolts bring the last ocelot-gorilla down. "All clear, Sar. 'Cept those Bimms, I guess." The Zeltron looks up. "Yan, I don't know what you're trying to do, but it's not working. Get to Kasia, tie up whatever she's got, get out before they shoot you down." There's a squawk of surprise from official Bimm channels; apparently they saw the stun fire below. "Sar, I know you want this thing, but it's not worth pissing off an entire Republic planet, you know?"
"You say that now," Sar remarks, moving to brush some mud off of his armor. "Kasia, I'm on my way to you. Everybody else, make your way back to the city. As stealth-like as you can. I've got a really dumb idea."
"I've only got one set of eyes." Kasia mutters as she continues to dig and pull at the moss and fungus and whatever else is there, nose crinkling as she does. "There's definitely metal," she adds as she continues to work at ripping away at the growth, though it's slow going, especially with how often she glances around to make sure she's not about to get trounced by one of the creatures that live here.
Gren might have a fast ship, but sometimes he is late. And sometimes he has crazy genius ideas. These are when two things merge as one, you know? The Last Call zips into the airspace, flying at its top speed, making it very likely the fastest thing in the solar system at the moment. The A-wing tears through atmo with both engines blazing, and settles it nose just ahead of the Redline, firing a burst of laser fire in the general direction of the freighter, before trying to manuever between the Bimm starfighters, and his apparent prey. "This bastard owes me ten thousand credits, I'm going to KILL HIM!" is shouted over open comms, as if in explanation.
At the laser bolts being fired, the two Bimm escorts immediately increase speed and come about. The Redline suddenly became less of an immediate concern. Instead, they're moving to _defend_ it - by attacking the rogue A-Wing. The Bimm official channels sound extremely agitated all of a sudden. Whatever the Bimms have in their defense budget is probably scrambling right now.
Fenwick pulls his earpiece out and lets it dangle near to the base of his neck. It's just in time for him to wave over his shoulder at Stavros and then lean forward, peering down at the ground below. The best way is to run around. The easiest way is to jump down. He doesn't jump but he at least can kick at the fallen tree underneath him before stepping forward and falling against it, sliding to the first branch in reach- and missing it with a hand- until he comes tumbling down into bushes and brush, snapping a branch or two on the way. He grunts. Standing, the kid meanders back to the trail before cutting to the flank and not directly toward the Bimms. Midstride, he draws his blaster pistol.
...Roll with it. "Look, I've told you once I told you a thousand times, you got that shipment of artifacts fair and square! Emperor's balls, I'm just an archaeologist! How hard does my job have to be?!" was the yelling sound from the comm. The smuggler was definitely selling it as he slipped down and did a hard one-eighty, sending the Redline careening in the opposite direction from the A-Wing and the Bimm Authority fighters. "Ground team, I'm clear. I would have had them too but, well, I think Gren felt left out." The YT-2000 was hanging VERY low to the ground now, relying on his proximity to baffle the fighter sensors, as it moved close to where Kasia was on repulsors. "I see a clear space to land, but I'll wait until you confirm. Quad lasers are a great deterrent for locals."
There's nothing left for the ground team to do but bug out, except for Sar and Kasia to get whatever Kasia found tied to the Redline's tow cable. Fortunately, the Redline has some grunts to help make that quick, once Yan lands.
The fighters, however, are now pursuing the Last Call and Gren, so Yan has that opening he wants.
Sar Yavok sprints his way over to Kasia's location and opens his comm channel, "Change of plans. Everybody, converge on my position. Zhu Yan's gonna grab ahold of this thing and we're catching a ride. Delede, pull those reinforcements as far away from the Guardian as you can. Once we've got the fighter stashed, hit hyper back to Nar Shaddaa and we'll do the same." Spotting the Redline hovering, Sar says, "Alright, Yan; bring her down."
Stavros just started turning away when orders changed. He looks down the tree's side at Fenwick, calling down "New plan!" and pointing to the east, beckoning him before making his own way towards Sar and Kasia. He's going to get there a few minutes after Sar, for sure, at least.
Kasia's work isn't nearly as exciting as the others, but this is one of those times where she's glad to have the less eventful day. When Sar arrives, she pushes to her feet and takes a few steps back from where she was digging. "This is it," she tells him, gesturing with her very grimy gloves.
With careful and delicate maneuvering, Zhu Yan touched the Redline down smoothly on the surface. He was already talking into his headset before he'd left his seat. "Yakko, Wakko, Dot, get out there and get that tow cable on the hunk of metal." Already he was met with cries of 'That's not our names!' as he reached the commons, and the retrieval team was already leaving the ship to start getting the hunk of metal cabled up. "Anyone available, I'm gonna need a Guy In Back when we take off to make sure the cable doesn't snap on me." It was at this point that the smuggler himself appeared in the ramp. The retrieval team buzzed off beyond Kasia and Sar and started affixing clamp points to the metal. "We have time but not much, so let's get going!"
Last Call is nimble, and her pilot isn't a scrub. The A-wing jukes and jives, and keeps the Bimms' attention, though his own shots never seem tobe quite on-target for some reason or another. "Nah, Sar. I thought I'd just hang out, maybe fight their entire system defence force...." is his sarcastic reply, as he hauls back on his stick, and loops behind one of his attackers. He fires a bad burst just to show that he -could- have vaped the space cop, and then barrel rolls out of harm's way, and shoots off toward the stars. "Learn to fly you fuzzy bastards."
Fenwick nearly runs into a tree when he's offered the wonderful idea of changing directions mid-step. At least he doesn't hit anything, but he does grab hold of the base in order to wrap around and head in the other direction. He skids to a stop only long enough to verify his heading but then redirects himself back in the opposite direction; run, run, run, trip over something underfoot and nearly collapse into an awkward roll. Rather than lose his pistol, it's tucked back into his shoulder harness. "Mare incoming!"
Stavros is not in as good a shape as Fenwick. The Kid passes him at the very end, and the Zeltron is winded from sprinting in armor, but he doesn't slow down until he's on the bottom edge of the ramp, then bends over, breathing heavily. He raises his eyebrows at the condition of the - yes, it looks like it is a fighter, as it takes shape under not-Yakko, not-Wakko, and not-Dot's quick digging and affixing of tow cables. "What a hunk of junk!" Stavros rolls his eyes. "We're pissing off a planet for that?" He makes his way further into the ship.
The workers wrap cables around what remains of the crashed vehicle into a sort of net, then scramble back aboard, shouting "It's done!"
Stavros stays by the hatch until everyone's aboard, so that he's ready to watch the cable and adjust any controls as necessary. "Congratulations, Sar," he says dryly. "Maybe someday the broken down, mud-covered fifty-year-old fossil will be spaceworthy." He pauses, trying not to grin and failing. "If we're lucky, maybe the fighter will be, too."
"You're beautiful," Sar remarks to either Kasi or the ship. Who knows? He smiles as he slings the rifle over his shoulder and tugs it tight. "She's had a rough time, hasn't she?"
As the Redline lands and lowers the ramp, Sar marches in to the vessel and finds a seat. He needs to rest for a minute or two. He almost got eaten. A lot.
Kasia assumes the compliment is aimed at the ship, her gaze turning toward the thing. Is it beautiful? If she doesn't think so, she doesn't say so outloud. Instead she keeps back, out of the way as it's loaded up, then boards the ship as well, finding a seat before she peels her dirty gloves off. The rest of her is pretty grimy by this point, too, but there isn't anything to be done about that just now. She glances up at Stavros, a faint smile turning at the corners of her mouth. "Let's hope it was worth it."
They are most definitely going to die. Fenwick bends over at the waist and rests his hands on his knees. "We are most definitely going to die." At some point, that is for certain, but at least he has a decent shot at not biting the dust right now, maybe, probably, most likely. He looks perplexed at the thought for a lingering time and then trots up the ramp. There's a quick, weary grin. "Ohh, nice one," and that's for Stavros, and for Sar is the simple but respectful, "Old Man." He looks upwards. He points at something, intending on commenting on something, but then passes up the moment. Ducking into the ship, he eventually takes a seat. "As dirty as you are pretty," he tells Kasia.
"We're not gonna die," was Yan's response as people piled in and he bolted back to the cockpit. "Hang on. This is gonna be a little bumpy." Flipping the three magical switches, he applied power to the repulsorlifts and took the Redline off the deck. There was a horrible rumbling sound and the entire ship tilted as the impromptu anchor dragged itself out of the muck, taking the shape of a giant pointy arrow thing. The netting held. They were out of here. "Stavros, close the hatch and get up here," he commed back. "Get on the tow-cable controls and try and make sure this thing doesn't fall while we get it back to the Guardian."
"On it," Stavros answers. Once he's at the controls, he frowns in concentration. "You know, if you keep it smooth, no sudden movements- this thing is way lighter than you'd think." He watches nevertheless, though, trying to keep the tension strong enough that the fighter doesn't swing or shake, but not so tight that it gets burned up by the Redline's engine. "I hope it still has its guts."
The flight back to the Guardian's hangar is remarkably easy, though Bimmisaari's spaceports resemble beehives of activity on the sensors. So is the Guardian's path to lightspeed. The hard part is getting the Aethersprite in without having it crash into the hangar's floor or the ship. The wreck looks terrible. Let's hope it was worth it, indeed!