Part 5 - That went well...   Posted by The Force.Group: 0
The Force
 GM, 111 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 7 Feb 2011
at 13:18
Part 5 - That went well...
The rest of the journey back to Ker Zaineer goes without incident, though the occupants of the transport are forced to retain their breath masks for a while, as a couple of holes are plugged with anything that can be found in the vehicles equipment locker.

Before the group gets back to the Ker Zaineer, night has fallen, and the glow from the city lights is clearly visible as the transport and the two attendant swoops crest the pass through the final range of mountains.

If there is any major Imperial activity in the city, it is very low profile.  Stormtroopers are not in evidence as the vehicles make their way to the space port.

The cargo is dropped off, and loaded quickly onto the Dancing Bantha.  Reldan Jalt starts making preparations for getting the ship off the ground and away from Dateen in record time.  Jihon Mogg finds himself a place to rest up, and Shisskurr checks the dressing on the besalisk's wound.  Or that's the story... in reality, the trandoshan is acting as a guard for their unexpected passenger - Tfalta Dawl is also on the ship, having been told to sit down and be quiet.  The Jedi appears happy to comply, and is even taking the opportunity to have a peaceful nap.

Rhijan's Thanus meanwhile heads for Jektoo Zaerd's vehicle rental establishment, hoping that the rhodian businessman won't be too shocked by the state of his vehicles.  The two rented swoops are inside the transport, since their pilots are currently busy attending to other matters.

At Tfalta's suggestion, the third swoop is also in there, making things a little crowded.

OOC: Anybody else who wants to go along with Rhijans is also squeezed into the transport, otherwise they are back at the ship, helping with guard duty.
Shard
 player, 151 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 7 Feb 2011
at 13:41
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Perfectly happy to stay far away from their 'guest', Shard decides to accompany Rhijan to drop off the transport.  Plunking herself down in the passenger seat of the vehicle, she closes her eyes and leans back, enjoying the fading remnants of post arrival-celebration - a quick draining of the contents of her flask before refilling it.

"I have a feeling your friend Zaerd isn't going to be too pleased with us," she mutters, tapping the transport's door.  "Took a bit of a beating out there.  Good thing it's pretty obviously blaster scarring."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 121 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 7 Feb 2011
at 16:53
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Rhijans shrugged.  "As I recall, when we originally inquired, he did offer us an option that had a weapon...of sorts.  I suspect he knew about the swoop gang.  In any event, unless he's trying to talk us into buying the transport outright, I think I can afford a 'repair surcharge'.Although I'm DEFINITELY turning in a reimbursement request...

Well, if Dawl actually was a Jedi...he snorted softly to himself at the thought...at least the chain of command would be pleased with the bonus on the deal.

And they still had to break orbit and get away clean.  It was too early to start celebrating, just yet.  They'd managed to beat any overt Imperial pursuit here, but the Empire still held the high ground of orbit, and they couldn't relax until the ship was past that point and still unnoticed.

One thing at a time, he reminded himself.  Zaerd first...
Mark Jacobs
 player, 78 posts
 Got a bad feeling
 about this.
Fri 11 Feb 2011
at 05:09
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Mark Jacobs remained at the transport with the jedi guest. He didn't say a word to her, but kept a watchful eye. When the woman took an opportunity to nap, Mark relaxed and closed his eyes for a moment.
Jektoo Zaerd
 NPC, 7 posts
 One careful owner. An old
 lady who hardly drove it.
Mon 14 Feb 2011
at 09:48
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"No, is very much bad."

The honest rhodian businessman studies the hull of the repulsorlift carefully, walking all around it, and even peering under the belly of the vehicle.  Finally he stops, "Too much damage.  Only good for scrapyard, hyou understant?" he turns away from the customers, "I can tell hyou best plates to take it, if hyou are interesded?  I will nod take."

His eyes lock on the transport just coming into the lot, the one he had hired out earlier today for a run to Ker Aldas.  It looks to have taken some damage, and he doesn't see the swoops.  Jektoo Zaerd's shoulders slump, he had half expected the transport to come back with a few scars, but to lose the swoops... unless the customers are still using them, and will bring them back in later?  He can only hope.

Behind him the non-customers start their struggling vehicle and head out of the lot, while Jektoo Zaerd crosses to where Rhijans is parking the transport.

"Good night to hyou my frients.  Hyou meeted trouble on road?"

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 123 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 14 Feb 2011
at 09:49
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Rhijans shrugged.  "It was an interesting drive, but nothing too extreme.  We've even got a little surprise for you, although you might want to be careful about what you do with it."

He walked around to the back of the transport, and popped the cargo hatch, revealing the two swoops they'd taken originally...and the one they captured on the way back.  "One of yours took a hit...still operational, but it needs some attention.  But we found this one, which seems to operate just fine.  I'm not sure if the previous owner will be looking for it or not, but I'm sure he's got some friends who would be very grumpy if they found it here."  His gaze was level, as if he was commonly in the practice of transacting business about blaster-scarred vehicles and equipment.

He nodded into the transport and added, "Oh, and you'll probably need to detail the interior.  I'm sure there's a few hundred of those seeds in odd corners."  Beyond that, he offered no further explanation as to why the transport had been opened while out in the 'danger zone' of the planet.

This message was last edited by the GM at 09:51, Mon 14 Feb 2011.

Jektoo Zaerd
 NPC, 8 posts
 One careful owner. An old
 lady who hardly drove it.
Mon 14 Feb 2011
at 10:20
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Jektoo Zaerd examines the vehicles carefully, poking a finger into blaster scars to see how deep they go, and grumbling something when he realises that some of them go right through the transport hull.  The newly acquired swoop is scrutinised with particular thoroughness.

Finally he looks away, gazing into the distance, as if seeking some sort of guidance from the city skyline.  Then he turns back, "Is nod good.  Much works is neeted for trans-port be used agains.  New swoop is nod best on mar-ket.  Was nod best when was new.  Will nod pay for works on trans-port.  Also there is my damaged swoop to consitter."

"Bud I likes hyou.  Hyou seems like honest people, and I am gut judge of people.  I will take eg-stra swoop to cover part cost.  I also will keep deposit.  Between two, I make only small loss and still affords to feed my family."

Reldan Jalt
 NPC, 32 posts
 How much? That depends on
 how fast and how far.
Mon 14 Feb 2011
at 10:38
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Back on the Dancing Bantha, Reldan Jalt continues preparing the ship.  With luck, she'll be ready by the time everybody is ready to leave.

Luck, it seems, may not be with them.  R2-O0 warbles urgently, bringing an exasperated curse from Reldan, and a yell that the droid should, "Fix the damned thing then, laser brain!"

Judging by the noise which is the droid's response, it's probably best that nobody else within earshot can understand it.
Shard
 player, 152 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 14 Feb 2011
at 12:02
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Shard studies the Rhodian as he checks out their vehicles.  Oddly enough, the man appears despondant but not surprised.  Her thin brows draw together as he continues to study the vehicles.  It's a bit of a shock that he doesn't choose to gouge them for all the damage - and the shock isn't because he's a Rhodian.

"Seems fair enough," she finally replies, "though it's not up to me.  I'll cover half of whatever you pay, Rhijans.  But I'm a little disappointed in our friend, here," she continues, eyeing Zaerd.  "I don't recall any warnings about swoop-gangs, just 'no animals'.  And you seemed pretty familiar with the directions to Ker Aldas, but aren't the least bit surprised that we turn up with holes shot through our vehicle.  I was expecting wailing and gnashing of teeth."

Stepping closer, she eyes the dealer thoughtfully.  "If I didn't know better..."  A shrug finishes that thought.  "But my philosophy runs something like 'if there's no proof, it's rude to say'."

Part of her philosophy, in any case.  A very small part.
Jektoo Zaerd
 NPC, 9 posts
 One careful owner. An old
 lady who hardly drove it.
Mon 14 Feb 2011
at 12:40
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
The rhodian spreads his hands, "Sometimes is bantits on roads, but nod all times.  More times nod.  Sometimes other whys for things are shod at, but nod all times.  But those times I finds is best nod ask too much keshton.  Some people nod likes keshtons."
Neary Narf
 player, 58 posts
 Co-pilot of the
 Dancing Bantha
Mon 14 Feb 2011
at 16:40
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Assisting Reldan with the preparations Neary shakes her head at arguing with the droid.  In her experience it was always a loosing battle, especially if you actually managed to tick the droid off.

So she focuses on her tasks and leaves Reldan to his own devices.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 124 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 14 Feb 2011
at 17:47
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Rhijans actually gave a half-grin at Shard's comments.  "I took it as a given, when he made a point of the mining laser being an optional weapon on the other transport, that there was a chance we'd have trouble.  But I also figured that we probably had enough firepower already, especially when we added the swoops."

He focused his attention on the Rodian.  "I'll call it a deal.  Sorry we couldn't bring her back in better shape...but it could've been worse."  He was a pragmatist.  Not knowing who the swoop gangs were, Zaerd likely had to be careful what he said by way of warning.  Offering someone an armed transport was a good warning, to those who knew what to look for...and Rhijans had considered it.  Given that they'd ended up traveling back with an extra swoop and its pilot in the cargo bay, as well as their cargo (and unexpected passenger), he was glad he'd opted for the larger vehicle, even though it wasn't armed.

"Been a pleasure doing business with you.  If I'm ever back in Ker Zaineer on business, I'll look you up."
Shard
 player, 153 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 15 Feb 2011
at 15:50
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"Fair enough," Shard concedes, both to Rhijans' point and Zaerd's.  Maybe Zaerd is in with the swoop gangs, maybe he isn't - whichever, they have no proof either way, and there's no point in harassing the merchant about it.  Better to give him the benefit of the doubt.

"Just how much was the deposit, merchant Zaerd?" she inquires, figuring on getting a more accurate answer from him than Rhijans.  Her teammate might give her the right response...or he might shade things to favour her.  He might also shade them to favour himself, but Shard hasn't received that impression from him.  Either way, she wants this to be fair.

She can always bug their command people for some credits.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 127 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 17 Feb 2011
at 18:43
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Rhijans shrugged as he glanced over at Shard.  "It's already been paid.  We can square accounts after we deliver our shipment."  He'd already planned on reimbursement from the Rebellion, although whether or not their leadership in this area felt they could afford a few hundred credits on top of the power converters remained to be seen.

"We've got a delivery to make, and it's coming up on time for our friend here to close up shop for the night.  Let's not take up more of his time."  While maintaining a business-like manner came naturally to him, Rhijans couldn't escape that little part of his mind nagging that they needed to get out of here before the Empire decided to expand their search for the group's new and unexpected addition to the passenger manifest of their ship.
The Force
 GM, 113 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 17 Feb 2011
at 18:47
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Reldan jalt continues the preparations for departure, studiously ignoring the R2 unit which works around him, and seems to make a point of bumping into him every so often.  It also seems to be... muttering... to itself constantly.

Neary Narf assists with the departure checklist, while her own mouse droid  appears to be giving R2-O0 moral support.

Mark Jacobs watches over the strange orange Jedi, who wakes from her brief nap, apparently finding her seat too uncomfortable to relax in.  She doesn't say anything, though, she simply smiles at the human.

Shisskurr finally declares that he's done all he can for Jihon Mogg.  The blaster wound will probably heal without a scar, or it might not, only time will tell.

Meanwhile Jektoo Zaerd looks at Shard and says, "Deposit is one pard in three of cost.  Pait al-ready."  To Rhijans, he adds, "Yes.  Hyou is wel-come.  Tell hjour frients aboud Jektoo Zaerd."

Shard and Rhijans Thanus take their leave of Jektoo Zaerd and start back towards the ship.
Shard
 player, 154 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 17 Feb 2011
at 19:46
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"Fine, fine..." Shard shrugs, one hand slipping under her cloak.  "Let's get going - we'll hash this out while we walk.  Thank you, Merchant Zaerd - good luck with your business in the future."

It's better to end on a positive note.

Pacing along beside Thanus, the older woman comes out with both her flask and a small wad of bills.  Flipping the drink to her other hand, she sorts through the bills, tugging out a couple and snapping them out to Rhijans.  "There.  Please.  I'd rather avoid the embarassment of you refusing and us getting into an argument about who gets the 50 credits."

One third of three hundred...half of that...yep, that sounds about right.  She pops the lid of the flask and takes a drink, just enough to put some heat in her belly.  The lid snaps back on, and Shard bleakly studies their surroundings. "Seen one starport, pretty much seen them all, eh?"
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 128 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 18 Feb 2011
at 10:08
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Rhijans looked at the credit note, then at Shard, without missing a stride.  "You DO realize I was expecting Command to reimburse the whole thing, right?  I mean, I'm certainly not going to argue with you about it...especially not over fifty credits...but at least hang onto your money until we see whether or not the Higher-Ups decide to stiff me for the bill, okay?"

He gave a dry chuckle...well, sort of a chuckle, at least, but it was about as close to amusement as anything he'd done thus far.  "If they decide they're going to stick me with the expenses, I'll be glad to take your credits, okay?"  He shot a glance at her, kind of half-turning his head so he could see her clearly...and she could see he was looking...but still maintain a view of what lie ahead of them.  There was something--analytical, almost calculating, even--in his gaze, but for the moment, at least, he said nothing more.
Mark Jacobs
 player, 79 posts
 Got a bad feeling
 about this.
Sat 19 Feb 2011
at 20:46
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Mark Jacobs scowled when the orange alien jedi smiled at him. He'd heard some stories about the jedi, all bad. Most had been from the newsfeed from the Empire. But when there was nothing else, that's what Mark had to go on.

"So what is it with you. What makes you special, and everybody else not?"
Shard
 player, 155 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Sun 20 Feb 2011
at 11:55
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"Fine, fine."  Irked, Shard stuffs the cred-note away, knowing full well she'll probably forget about it by the time they got around to talking to command.  But she's not here to argue with teammates, and isn't interested in a prolongued game of chop-logic.  She continues to walk for a few more paces, the furrow between her thin brows growing more and more pronnounced.

Finally, "Out with it.  Something's caught your interest, and I suspect it isn't my curvaceous figure."  There's heavy irony in the older woman's quip given her wiry form, now shrouded in the travelling cloak.  "You either have a question, an observation, or a conclusion based on such, and if you're going to burn holes in me with your eyes, I deserve to know which and what."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 129 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Sun 20 Feb 2011
at 19:58
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Rhijans smiled a thin-lipped grin that showed none of his teeth.  "Oh, I've got a string of questions.  Just not sure that out on the streets, where potential Imperial sympathizers could overhear, would be the best place to start."  He gave an odd mix of sniff and chuckle, and shot her another glance.

"I guess this one's innocuous enough to start, though...Why are you so dead-set on making sure that I'm not stuck holding the bag for the transport rental?  Not that I don't appreciate it...credits aren't always easy to come by, after all...It's just--I don't know.  Not like anyone I've ever had to deal with, I guess."
Shard
 player, 156 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 21 Feb 2011
at 12:31
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Shard grimaces at his hint of a handful of probing questions, the sort he doesn't want people to hear.  Some of them she can guess - they'll be the ones she'll have trouble answering, no doubt - and others...at her age, she has grown not to enjoy surprises.  They're usually unfortunate ones.

But the first question is simple enough.  "A couple of reasons," she begins, still ambling along. "The first is a little long.  This is a team."  Her lips shift into a moue of consideration.  "I've seen people who figure it their duty to pay for everyone and everything; those people get used, and that can break a team.  I've also seen people who sit on their stuff, don't dole it out to help the group; those people get resented, and that can break a team.  If this team starts having issues, it'll fall apart when we need it to hold, and that won't just be the mission going down the tube, it'll be all of us."

One eyebrow cocks.  "So that's the logical, thinking reason.  To continue." Two fingers pop up, then her hand falls.  "Because it's wrong for you to pay the whole thing, and it's right for me to chip in," she states, her tone frank. "I've got money, it's not invested in anything other than the next bottle, so I should be tossing in my share.  And you shouldn't have to carry the cost for everyone."
The Force
 GM, 114 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 21 Feb 2011
at 12:53
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Tfalta dawl studies Mark for a moment, a frown of confusion temporarily replacing her smile, then, "I'm sorry.  I don't think I've ever said that I'm special, and nobody else is.  If I really thought I was better than anybody else, it would be easy for me to make you believe the same, but I wouldn't do that, because that would be one step on the road to becoming just like Ghea Nimadda."

"Next thing you know, I'd be torturing people and ordering stormtroopers to wipe out entire villages."


The smile returns, "I prefer to keep a more positive outlook on life.  People are equal - only the choices they make differentiate them."

Reldan Jalt finally leans back from the panel and speaks to Neary over his shoulder, "That's it, we're ready to go, just as as soon as the others... " he leans forward again, peering at a display, "Uh oh... this doesn't look good."

Shard and Rhijan's are crossing the field, on foot, deep in conversation.  Rhijans spots it first, only a second before Shard.  In the distance, still beyond the flicker of the protective shield, the unmistakeable shapes of a pair of Lambda class shuttles can be seen, apparently descending towards the city...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 130 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 21 Feb 2011
at 17:54
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Rhijans uttered muffled curses in about four different languages.  "Okay, we'll continue the philosophical discourse later...we've gotta get out of here."  He broke into a jog, and grabbed his commlink.

"[COMM]Jalt, get us takeoff clearance ASAP.  We're on our way back, we'll be there in two minutes."  About thirty seconds before the shuttles power down, he estimated.

I KNEW things were going too smoothly...
Neary Narf
 player, 59 posts
 Co-pilot of the
 Dancing Bantha
Tue 22 Feb 2011
at 08:25
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"Oh, lovely.  Yeah, let's hope they..." Neary starts and then the call comes over the coms.

"Nothing promotes action like a bit of the right incentive, eh? Even if they aren't coming for us we're better off being not here, so I'll go get things started," she says with a grin and then scurries off toward the cockpit to begin flipping the needed switches and pushing the buttons required.
The Force
 GM, 115 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 24 Feb 2011
at 16:34
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Shard and Rijans start running towards the ship...

The defensive shield flickers as the two shuttles pass through it, their wings folding up in preparation for landing...

Neary starts activating controls, as Reldan replies to Rhijan's urgent message, "Just saw them.  No point asking for clearance - if the Impies plan on closing the port, it's probably too late to try and get it already."

Landing struts unfold as the Lambdas come in over the perimeter of the field...

"Just get back here as quick as you can."  The sound of the engines ramping up sets anything loose in the lounge rattling.  "We're ready to blast out of here as soon as you're aboard."

The shuttles start their final descent, their gear only metres above the ferrocrete now...
Shard
 player, 158 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Fri 25 Feb 2011
at 13:38
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"Everywhere I go, always running."  Shard shakes her head as she sprints for the ship.  "You'd think it would get easier with experience, but no - I'm just getting older."  Bitterly amusing, that admission.

"I'm not sure...it's such a good idea to just blast off," she gasps, staggering for the ramp.  "Might get us out of her...fast, but they've got people in orbit.  Maybe get clearance first, and hope...any words hasn't trickled down to the nobodies yet."

Assuming, of course, those shuttles are here for them.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 133 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 25 Feb 2011
at 17:41
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Rhijans nodded as he kept pace with Shard.  For all that she talked about how old she was, the woman was doing a good job of staying athletic in her aging.  "Agreed..."  He made sure he had the commlink activated before continuing, "If we can play it off as business as usual, maybe we can slip out before they actually shut things down.  If we try and blast our way out of here...well, there's an awful lot of firepower in orbit, and I don't think we're far enough around the planet to make a break for it before that Star Destroyer shifts orbit to cut us off."

Of course, by the time he finished the explanation, they were within a few dozen meters of the ship.  Requesting clearance would only be effective if nobody in the tower had just seen two people come sprinting up to the ship.  They might not have any say in the matter.
Mark Jacobs
 player, 80 posts
 Got a bad feeling
 about this.
Sun 27 Feb 2011
at 05:52
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Mark stood at the ramp. He tried not to seem anxious as he waited for Shard and Rhijans to board. "Trying to cut things a bit too close."

"Let's go."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 134 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Sun 27 Feb 2011
at 05:58
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Rhijans grimaced at Jacobs.  "So sorry to keep you waiting," he replied, drily.  "No one bothered to inform us that we'd have Imperials arriving, or we'd have been more punctual in our business.  Just wanted to make sure if we ever came back to town, we wouldn't wind up seeing ourselves on wanted posters, for running out on a rental bill."  He continued past Jacobs without pausing, proceeding directly to the crew commons area and taking a seat.

"Clearance or not, it's time to go!" he yelled in the general direction of the cockpit. He really hoped they'd managed to get clearance.  Or that some other idiot was also making a run for it so the Imperials wouldn't be able to focus their entire effort on just one ship.
Shard
 player, 160 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 28 Feb 2011
at 14:26
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"Good to see you," Shard gasps as she stumbles past Jacobs.  Still fast on the sprint, Shard, but I see you've lost some of your wind.  She knows she'll have to work on that if she doesn't want to slow this group down.  'Work'.  That means exercise.  That means cutting back on the drinking.  Not exactly a pleasant thought - some days, the booze is all that keeps her going.

A Very Bad Thing™, that, but cursed if she knows what to do about it.

Rhijans seems in better shape than herself after that sprint across the field - hardly surprising, the man looked like a professional.  Probably does calisthenics every morning, Shard sourly concludes, her irritation focused on herself and her half-planned exercise routine rather than the man.  They probably garnered all kinds of the wrong attention with the run, but given the people who might be watching it will take time for that to float upward to someone both interested and capable of doing something about their leave-taking.  If they move now - not panicked, but with purpose - they might very well escape the closing gates.

"I'm in," she coughs out, falling into the seat across the lounge from her running partner.
Reldan Jalt
 NPC, 33 posts
 How much? That depends on
 how fast and how far.
Mon 28 Feb 2011
at 16:39
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"Just a few more seconds!  Got to wait for them to sit down!" Reldan Jalt calls back from his position at the controls.  The ramp closes and seals the Dancing Bantha"Everybody strap in, I'm expecting... turbulence!"

The two shuttles touch down, and their ramps drop.  Stormtroopers start to disembark in an orderly fashion.  At which point, Jalt activates the Bantha's thrusters, sending her straight upward and through the defence screen.

"That should give us a head start, they won't be able to come after us so quickly with the doors open and troopers on the ramp." the pilot explains to Neary, with a grin.  "So we can concentrate on what's ahead of us."

He raises his voice again, shouting to their passengers, "Somebody want to get ready in the turret, just in case?"  Then, to Neary once more, "I hope the starboard alluvial damper holds up, R2 was griping about it."

The ship climbs rapidly towards the edge of the atmosphere...
Mark Jacobs
 player, 82 posts
 Got a bad feeling
 about this.
Tue 1 Mar 2011
at 09:56
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Mark heard the call to man the laser turret. "Right on it." He strapped himself into the seat and began the power cycle. He stopped short of activating the targeting computer, but that would only require a flip of the switch.

"Reldan, you know that this gun isn't big enough when dealing with the Imperial Navy. Just get us out of here."
Neary Narf
 player, 60 posts
 Co-pilot of the
 Dancing Bantha
Tue 1 Mar 2011
at 16:20
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"Anything that helps," Neary replies to Reldan and returns the grin as well.

"Yeah, I heard you two... discuss it," she says, the grin turning a bit to one side.  Hopefully they will not have to find out much about anything, except what is for supper when they return to the base.
Reldan Jalt
 NPC, 34 posts
 How much? That depends on
 how fast and how far.
Thu 3 Mar 2011
at 14:29
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"I know it's no use against anything bigger than us, but it makes a pretty good mip-swatter." Reldan assures Mark Jacobs, "Here we go... "

Above the atmosphere now, Dancing Bantha accelerates to her full sublight speed.

"Sith spit!  I'm picking up a couple of TIEs coming in fast.  Hold on everybody."  Reldan Jalt throws the ship into a series of tight turns which make things somewhat uncomfortable for the crew and passengers, but don't have the desired effect on the attackers.

"I can't shake them!  It's up to you, Mark!"
Shard
 player, 163 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 3 Mar 2011
at 14:56
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"Lovely," Shard groans, her head spinning as the Dancing Bantha lives up to its name - enthusiastic, but not exactly agile.  Jalt puts the ship through its paces, a skilled but ultimately useless endeavor.  TIE fighters are simply too agile to be shaken off by the evasive tactics of a tramp freighter.  Her stomach clenching around the alcohol, Shard has a sudden, bleary epiphany: perhaps it would be best if she swore off the stuff.

Of course, that will last as long as it takes for the nausea to pass, she knows that very well.

Then the order goes out for the shooting to start, and her gut clenches for another reason.  She's helpless, here - unable to keep these kids from getting themselves killed.  Cursing silently, she glances across at Rhijans, then closes her eyes - which doesn't help her nausea at all.

If they aren't reduced to free-floating debris, they might just get shot into a crash-landing in the gravity well, or nabbed and dragged aboard the Star Destroyer.  Either way, it's likely doom, but negotiable doom rather than instantaneous.  If that's the case, they'll need her, not some half-sober, vomiting old woman.  And so Shard bites back bile and struggles to concentrate.

Feel the burn of the alcohol within you.  Taste it on your tongue.  There is a space between cold, hard emptiness and the raging fire.  Find that place.  Focus upon it.

Draw forth the poison from within you, bringing it into your blood, and from there to within your lungs.  Feel it, taste it as you breathe it out.  There will be pain; accept this.  Do not reject the fear, do not dwell upon it - accept it, then move onward.

Emptiness is blind.

Rage is blind.

Between them lies clarity.


Not the words of her teacher, oh no - a mantra of her own, philosophy hammered out over years of disappointment and pain, of staggering back and forth between the two poles.  And as she exhales, the air ripples about her nose and mouth, like the heat haze over a fire.

Or the shimmer above a glass of solvent.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 138 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 4 Mar 2011
at 08:40
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Rhijans noticed Shard's eyes on him for the moment, and he felt as though there were words about to follow...but the woman stayed silent, and closed her eyes.  There were a lot of situations he could think of where he'd prefer not to see what was going on...but this wasn't one of them.  It would only have heightened his frustration at once again being powerless to influence the situation.

He glanced at Shard again, about to comment on things...but something caught his eye.  Just a flicker of motion...a shift in appearance, more than an actual movement...something in the air between them, it looked like.  Or he thought it looked that way.  He blinked a time or two, trying to make sure it wasn't tired eyes, and when he looked again, it was gone.

His face maintained the carefully-schooled neutral expression that he so often wore, but consternation showed in his eyes for just a moment.  Either he was far more tired than he realized, or there was something more to Shard than he figured...even though he'd already figured there was more to Shard than met the eye.

He just wasn't sure which one was the case.  And he was definitely at a loss to figure out how to ask her about it.  Must be some kind of near-human racial trait or something, he told himself.
Mark Jacobs
 player, 83 posts
 Got a bad feeling
 about this.
Sat 5 Mar 2011
at 14:42
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Mark turned the turret in the direction of the incoming Ties. He knew that they wouldn't last in a long fight. The fighters were closing fast. The Ties were faster than their ship.

Mark would only have one shot before things guy ugly. He fired two shots.
The Force
 GM, 119 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 7 Mar 2011
at 19:25
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
The Dancing Bantha continues its wild gyrations, but now a new factor is added to the ride - a low, rumbling vibration which comes up through the soles of a person's feet and sets their teeth on edge.

Reldan Jalt curses under his breath, and then, louder, "That doesn't seem good!"

In the turret, Mark Jacobs opens fire on the two approaching fighters.  One of them is unscathed, and retaliates, but the second takes a direct hit and spins off, out of control.

Laser fire streaks past the Bantha's hull, as Reldan struggles desperately to stay out of the line of fire.

"Everybody still awake back there?"
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 139 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 8 Mar 2011
at 07:47
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Rhijans suppressed a snort, and answered Jalt's call in a dry tone.  "Oh, yeah...we're fantastic.  When does the in-flight entertainment program start?"  He wasn't particularly prone to caustic wit, but he was getting tired of being fired upon in situations where he couldn't do anything about it, and the frustration made itself evident in his tone.
Neary Narf
 player, 61 posts
 Co-pilot of the
 Dancing Bantha
Tue 8 Mar 2011
at 15:43
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Neary studies the control panel and then reaches out to tap a flashing light, frowning.

She hums and peers at the light as if it may give up its secrets thus.
Shard
 player, 164 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 8 Mar 2011
at 18:15
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"Peachy," Shard croaks.  She considers a witticism to add onto Rhijans, but gives up - she can't easily top his, and her growing headache proves a hinderance to both capacity and desire.  The alcohol tastes foul coming out on her breath, far worse than it did going in, leaving a dry throat and a pounding skull in its wake.  Never again, she promises herself, knowint it to be a lie.

Maybe...one of these days...

There are things she can do for the pain, of course, but Shard has her limit...and her pride.  Suck it up - that wouldn't be right.  There was only so much one could rationalize.  She cocks her ear, listening intently.  The Bantha had returned fire, that much was clear from the sound echoing through the ship's hull as the blasters pulsed; whether or not they had hit anything was a different matter.

But that other sound...

"You hear that?" she called out to Rhijans, who looked desperately uncomfortable - frustrated, it seemed to her.  Shard couldn't blame him.  "Please tell me it's nothing serious!"  Hyperdrive malfunction.  Just my luck.

Or maybe the fluidics.

This message was last edited by the player at 02:33, Wed 09 Mar 2011.

Mark Jacobs
 player, 84 posts
 Got a bad feeling
 about this.
Wed 9 Mar 2011
at 02:13
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Mark didn't acknowledge the other sounds that was coming from the Bantha. He was entirely focused on the remaining Tie fighter. He squeezed off another shot at the elusive target.

"When do we jump to Hyperspace?" Mark shouted over the sounds of turret fire.
The Force
 GM, 120 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 10 Mar 2011
at 19:30
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
The damaged TIE continues to roll and spin for a few seconds longer, before erupting in a ball of flaming wreckage.  The other fighter stays close on the Dancing Bantha, despite Reldan Jalt's best efforts at shaking it off.

"This one knows how to fly!" the pilot comments to Neary, as he desperately throws the ship into a wide, twisting turn.  Then, over his shoulder, "I'll have the jump plotted in a few seconds!  I'm a bit busy just now!"

Laser bolts slam into the Bantha's shields, and the vessel shudders, as Reldan yells, "We just lost one of the sublight engines!"

Mark Jacobs retaliates as the TIE swings past and seems to sit directly in his sights for a moment.  A bolt from the Bantha's cannon hits the fighter, and there is an explosion in the vicinity of one of the fighter's weapons, which immediately stops firing.

In the passenger lounge, an acrid stench gives away the fact that something inside the Dancing Bantha is burning...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 140 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 11 Mar 2011
at 08:39
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Well, hell, there's finally something I can do to be useful around here, Rhijans thought as the biting tang of the burnt...whatever...reached his nose.  "Something's burning back here," he called out, his voice going calmer in tone despite the threat of an on-board fire.  He slipped his restraints and grabbed a fire suppressor, trying to follow his nose to the source of the acrid fumes.
Neary Narf
 player, 62 posts
 Co-pilot of the
 Dancing Bantha
Sat 12 Mar 2011
at 07:47
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Grunting, Neary slams a hand hard into the panel near the light.  At the impact she winces a little but is rewarded with the light going out.

"I knew I've seen that dumb light before.  We ought to fix it, at some point," she tells Reldan.

Then comes the call about a fire and she sighs.  It is nice to catch a break now and then.

"Could someone please see to that?  We're kind of busy here," she calls back, not knowing if anyone is actually doing anything more than yelling "fire" at the moment.
Shard
 player, 166 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Sat 12 Mar 2011
at 12:14
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Squinting against a flare of pain, Shard stands; her stomach lurches, then begins to settle.  The hangover won't last long, she knows - just enough to make her suffer for her indulgence, payback from the universe's grand, cosmic balance.  "We're on it!" she calls back to the cockpit as Rhijans snags a fire extinguisher.

I hope...

Thanus seems more relaxed, more at ease all of a sudden; Shard can guess why.  Needs to have something to do, does he? she thinks as she begins moving toward the smell, sniffing out the flames.  The conclusion seemed to fit the man to a 'T' - smooth, energetic, always on his toes, Rhijans reminded her a little of a Syriac V bush-cat, with its vast territory and constant drive to patrol it.

Herself?  The fire was just another thing to put a knot in her gut, and she'd rather be sitting in her chair, riding out the battle and the hangover both.  But...'needs must', her teacher used to say, one of the few things she thought he got correct.
Mark Jacobs
 player, 85 posts
 Got a bad feeling
 about this.
Sat 12 Mar 2011
at 19:15
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"All clear!" Mark shouted from the turret. He checked just to make sure as he looked over his shoulder with a smile.

"We're in the clear. What's wrong now?"
Reldan Jalt
 NPC, 35 posts
 How much? That depends on
 how fast and how far.
Mon 14 Mar 2011
at 14:11
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"Not in the clear just yet... Reldan Jalt replies to Mark Jacobs, Stay alert, we've got more fighters inbound, but I think we're going to get away before they get here."

The pilot lets the Dancing Bantha slip into a steadier trajectory as the damaged TIE swerves away, unable to shoot at them any longer.  Instead he concentrates on plotting the best course back to Mothessh.  Next to him, Neary Narf slams her fist against her panel, and all the lights on the ship flicker for a moment before flaring back to full power again.

Rhijans and Shard start searching out the source of the burning smell.  It doesn't take them long to find a wall panel with smoke seeping out around the edges.  It also feels hot to the touch.  A sharp kick suffices to remove the panel, releasing a more smoke and exposing a small fire inside.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 141 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 14 Mar 2011
at 14:39
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Rhijans pointed the extinguisher at the flames and sprayed the contents into the small compartment, continuing for a couple of seconds after he no longer saw any flame.  He paused, and watched for a few moments to make sure there wasn't another flare-up.

"Think we got it!" he called out.  In a quieter tone, he asked Shard, as he looked into the compartment again, "Any idea what all this runs to?"  Personally, this was on a much smaller scale than he'd studied any kind of starship operations or repairs, but if it was something vital, it'd be good to pass word along so someone could fix it.
Shard
 player, 167 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 14 Mar 2011
at 15:48
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Crouching down, Shard gingerly peers into the hole, wary of sudden sparks, flames, or something exploding.  Why it would, given the fuses and circuit breakers, she has no idea, but one never knew.  "Hopefully the fresher," she mutters.  "Better that than the hyperdrive."

Shuffling a little back, she glances up over her shoulder at Rhijans.  "I think we better sniff around some more." Her hands find the panal they kicked off, and she raises it up for a look.

It's probably too much to ask for lettering, but one can always hope.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 142 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 15 Mar 2011
at 02:37
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Rhijans nodded.  "Nothing says that whatever overloaded this couldn't have hit some other systems, as well."

As Shard worked on replacing the panel, he started sniffing again, and running his hands across the repair panels with a surprisingly gentle touch, feeling for another hot-spot.
Reldan Jalt
 NPC, 36 posts
 How much? That depends on
 how fast and how far.
Thu 17 Mar 2011
at 14:10
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"That's it!" Reldan Jalt exclaims triumphantly as four more TIEs close in on the Dancing Bantha.  For one agonising moment it isn't entirely clear what he's referring to.

And then it is.

The stars stop being distant, bright points of light, and stretch into not-so-distant, bright streaks of light which hurtle past the ship and vanish, to be replaced by the swirling energies of hyperspace.

"Jacobs, you can stand down now, we made it."

The pilot pushes himself away from the console and quietly says to Neary, "Make sure everything's in the green, or at least the yellow.  I'm going to check up on this fire."

Back in the bowels of the ship, Rhijans and Shard have extinguished the blaze, and are busy checking for secondary fires when Reldan arrives, followed by R2-O0.  "Everything under control?"
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 143 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 17 Mar 2011
at 14:59
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Rhijans shrugged.  "Well, we don't seem to be in any danger of being incinerated while in hyperspace.  The hot-spot was over here," and he indicated the panel Shard had been working on.  "Haven't found anything else alarming, thus far."

With the exception of the mild sarcasm in the initial response, his tone was crisp, direct...professional.  Almost coldly analytical, even, as though the potential for a life-threatening fire was just another everyday event.
Shard
 player, 168 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 17 Mar 2011
at 15:45
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"Nothing serious, except my headache."  Shard sits down on the floor after settling the panel in place and puts her back against it.  The hum of the hyperdrive is welcome, slowly settling her nerves.  "Rhijans has done a great job getting the flames down, but you'd better have someone with more knowledge than the two of us -" not a terribly difficult thing "- have a look at the systems."

Shard has no idea what could go wrong, but is absolutely certain something will.

"Everyone else in good health?  Narf?  Jacobs?  The others?"  She cocks an eyebrow.  "Our guest?"

Rhijans is well, that much she knows.  In fact, the man appears completely unfazed.

This message was last edited by the player at 15:45, Thu 17 Mar 2011.

Neary Narf
 player, 63 posts
 Co-pilot of the
 Dancing Bantha
Sat 19 Mar 2011
at 06:19
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
"I'll pound it into submission if I have to, captain," Neary replies to Reldan as he leaves and starts her checks, making sure that everything indeed is in at least the yellow.  AS she did a small grin starts to grow on her face.  It was rarely boring, at least, flying with him and for the rebels.
Reldan Jalt
 NPC, 37 posts
 How much? That depends on
 how fast and how far.
Mon 21 Mar 2011
at 20:05
Re: Part 5 - That went well...
Reldan Jalt crouches to peer into the open panel, "I think it's part of the power distribution grid for the shields.  Most likely burned out when we took a hit."

He straightens up, "R2 can probably patch it up."

He turns away as the droid moves in to effect repairs.  "We're in the clear anyway.  Next stop Motthesh."