Part 15 - Home of the Hutt.   Posted by The Force.Group: 0
The Force
 GM, 483 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 24 Mar 2014
at 11:28
Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
From space Carodol looks pleasant enough (not that any of the passengers is in a position to view it).  Spiralling cloud patterns above expanses of blue-green ocean and an approximately equal area of land surface, mostly in shades of green and brown.

From inside the atmosphere, it becomes clear that much of that land surface is mountains and high moorland, dotted with areas of forest.  There is one major city, located in one of the lowland areas on the northern coast of one of the larger continents.  The city hugs the shoreline, with a space port located about a kilometer inland from it.

For the passengers aboard the Gundark's Dream, some of whom are starting to become a little stir crazy, the rattling of the ship as it descends through the atmosphere is not nearly as welcome as Karja's announcement over the internal speakers that they will be landing soon.

"We're on our final approach now, get your gear together.  I should warn you, we won't be landing at the main port.  Oomba owns his own private island, and anybody who wants to speak to him has to do it there, at his palace.  He also has a private port on a nearby island, which is where we'll be landing.  Then you'll be able to arrange a skiff to ferry you over to the palace."

"Word of advice - I've been here before, but you're strangers as far as I know.  Don't take the first skiff you're offered, it will probably be overpriced.  Same goes for the second one.  Third one too, probably, but that one should be more acceptable."


With a final thump, the ship stops rattling as the drives start to ease down...

Two of the crew, both of them armed with blaster pistols, come through the hatch and take the elevator down to the lower hold, were they move forward and activate the cargo lock...
Shard
 player, 691 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 24 Mar 2014
at 16:39
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Having spent the last little while either moping in exhausted despair or stalking the corridors in a caffeine-fuelled fury, Shard is more than ready to leave the ship.  In fact, she has her gear ready and is standing at the airlock, tightly gripping a handhold, when the crewmen appear.

It's with effort that she keeps herself from snapping at them to hurry.

Instead, the older woman turns to her com-link.  ~ Thank you, Captain - that's good advice, and I'll certainly have it in the front of my head.  If my team will assemble at the airlock, post haste? ~

It comes out deceptively quiet, a poofy velvet covering over the razorblade of her tension.  Not fair to take her stress and lack of alcohol out on the captain, Shard reasons.

Or her teammates, she supposes after a beat.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 671 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 24 Mar 2014
at 17:06
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
While he managed to keep himself from showing many visual signs of it...and none of them blatant...Rhijans was well beyond ready to leave the ship when the landing cycle was announced.  It was one thing for him to choose to sit and wait, when he felt that's what the situation demanded...it was another thing to have no other choice left open to him, due to someone else's demands.

So he was only a couple of steps behind Shard when it came time to disembark.  "Hope the trip back isn't as boring," he muttered, barely audible to anyone within a couple of meters of him.
Juragga
 player, 323 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Mon 24 Mar 2014
at 22:20
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga was thrilled to be getting out of that cage.  "GRAAAUUUUR," he commented loudly, the Wookiee equivalent of 'Thank the Force'.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 333 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Thu 27 Mar 2014
at 14:28
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon started in mid-snore and sat straight up in surprise, crying out "I'm awake!" He stopped a moment. Blinked a couple of times. Realized he had quite a bit of drool on his chin. His eyes darted to Shard as he blushed bright, bright red and turned away and wiped it off.

"Wuzzat?" he said, his voice still thick with sleep. "We here?"
Shard
 player, 692 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 27 Mar 2014
at 15:55
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"He agrees," Shard mumbles in answer to Rhijans, jerking a thumb in Juragga's direction, "and probably not.  Likely it'll be panicked flight punctuated with a turbolaser barrage."

She shoots a quick look at Haarmon, noting the mouthwipe but not the drool.  "We're up, Haarmon.  Landing soon.  Let's all look sharp and see if we can't at least get to the meeting without an issue." Easy to say, but between the noise, the vibration, and the lack of ethanol lubrication, her head is pounding.
The Force
 GM, 485 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 27 Mar 2014
at 17:57
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The first thing that happens when the cargo lock opens is a wave of sound rolls in from outside.  Voices.  A lot of voices.  The ramp drops, and reveals at least a hundred people outside, of nearly as many assorted races, and all of them are waving limbs to attract attention and shouting in their various languages.

A line of bored looking armed guards, again of various races, seems to be all that's keeping them away from the ship.

"Oh... how unpleasant.  Is it any wonder that I loathe organics?" You-Why says, with a perfectly rendered sigh, "They are all trying to sell us various things, mainly substances which would be illegal on most civilised planets."


There is a shift in the positions of the guards, and a hooded figure is striding towards the ship.  As it approaches, it lowers the hood to reveal that it's a Gran, it's three eyes swivelling on their stalks as it regards the strangers.  It yells something, which You-Why dutifully translates, "This is Cobac Sneel.  He says he is able to provide us with anything we need."
Juragga
 player, 326 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Thu 27 Mar 2014
at 18:13
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"UHHHhhhhhRRuuuh," Juragga warns. Remember not to take the first transport.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 336 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Thu 27 Mar 2014
at 18:25
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon nodded in agreement.

"Rags says this guy's a chump. Well he heavily implied it anyway. And I think he paid off the guards or something. I say we tell him to take a hike."

And by 'we' he meant Juragga and/or Rhijans.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 672 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 28 Mar 2014
at 00:14
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans looked at the Gran.  "Thanks, we're looking for someone specific and it isn't you."  He let one hand rest near the butt of his blaster...not overtly threatening but leaving little doubt that he could turn to that as an option...and looked over and around the Gran as though searching for someone else.  The gesture also hopefully sent the message that Sneel was in the way...
UY-3PO
 NPC, 28 posts
 No, I don't like you
 either.
Mon 31 Mar 2014
at 14:45
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Translating Rhijan's reply, the protocol droid actually seems a bit happier.  Which could be true - he's doing something he was constructed for, and there are those persistent rumours that droids are programmed to get pleasure from doing their job.

More unintelligible sounds from the Gran, and then, "He says that he understands perfectly if we are not here to see him, but adds that he can offer transport to Oomba's palace at a lower price than anybody else, if that is what we wish."

More movement from the cordon, and the guards allow two more people through, a Humanoid female with ornate facial tattoos, and a male Twi'lek with greenish skin.

The Gran seems to grow agitated as the pair make their way across the intervening space, "This disgusting creature uses a lot of profanity when he is excited, but I think he is saying that both of the newcomers will cheat us, no matter what we ask them for."

"He also says that you will not be able to get death sticks anywhere else for a better price than he offers.  Oh...  Oh, dear.  He says that he might as well cut off one of his own eyes, but he is prepared to do sell at such a low price because he likes the look of us.  Even if it means selling his mate and offspring to Oomba, because he will not be able to feed them."

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 673 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 31 Mar 2014
at 16:31
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans looked at the Gran, his expression hardening, and make a gesture of dismissal.  Without looking away, he angled his face slightly to UY-3PO.  "I'm sure those two will tell us the same thing about him, and give us similar sob stories about how much they'll suffer for making us a hot deal.  We're not interested, so move on and stop making a spectacle of yourself."  His hand settled more securely on the grip of his blaster, to punctuate the sentiment.
Shard
 player, 693 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 1 Apr 2014
at 11:52
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Well, all right then.  Rhijans has a ton more experience with this sort of element than she does; Shard elects to take a step back and not stick her nose in.  "'Heavily implied'?" she queries Haarmon with a cocked eyebrow, but can't help laughing anyway.

Stress, maybe.  Desperation from lack of lubrication?  Haarmon being a funny guy?

Probably all three, she decides.

"My guess is it's going to be tricky to find someone dependable here," she mutters to the other two, "who won't sell us to slavers or deliver us into the hands of a street gang."

Of course, just having Juragga along will change some minds about that kind of plotting.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 338 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Wed 2 Apr 2014
at 12:02
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon smiles at Shard's laughter. He adopted a mock-serious, sagacious expression. "Wookie is a delicate, subtle language. Lots of nuance. Gotta pay attention. Am I right, Rags?"

He was also watching Rhijans and the Gran do their thing. He tried to be ready in case the badness started going down.

Ready to do what, he wasn't sure.
The Force
 GM, 487 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 3 Apr 2014
at 17:24
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The Gran's shoulders slump, as You-Why translates Rhijan's words.  Then the approaching locals get closer.  The woman is the more direct, stating quite plainly and loudly, "Ignore Cobac Sneel, his prices low because inferior goods.  You want somethings, I gots it.  I don't gots it, then you not really wants it.  Best prices I for all best goods."  She shoves the Gran aside, sending the creature staggering and sprawling on the ferrocrete landing pad.

The Twi'lec is a little more circumspect, stopping just outside her reach he bows to Rhijans, and smiles before bowing his head, "Chuto nava glees."  Then he lifts his head, still smiling, before laying a hand in the centre of his own chest, "Nar dut chygo daruffa gwa."

"Sir,he says the female lies, and that he is the only one you should trust."

The droid's translation brings an angry exclamation from the woman, who pulls a vibroknife from inside her sleeve.  "I not lies.  Him lies."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 674 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 4 Apr 2014
at 01:42
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans looked at the woman coldly.  "I don't know.  From what I'm seeing right now, there's at least two things you don't have that I need.  A little respect is one of them.  Shove off, before I have the Wookiee give you a dental cleaning with your own lizard-sticker."  Again, his hand hovered close to the blaster...and his stance shifted slightly.  Those accustomed to combat or fighting in general might recognize the stance as being ready to move...either withdraw if it was needed, or press the attack if the situation called for it.

I hope to hell Karja knew what she was talking about when she said take the third one...
Shard
 player, 694 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 7 Apr 2014
at 12:49
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Oh, for...."

Disgruntled, Shard shifts around the trio, one hand slipping into her robe.  If things explode into violence....well, they shouldn't.  If they did every single time people in this group accused each other of lying, there'd be less of them.  Considerably.  Or more scarring, at the least.

Positioning herself between the Gran and his assailant - but angled so she can keep an eye on the woman - she holds out her free hand to give assistance.  "You all right?"  Hopefully her tone will make the point.
The Force
 GM, 488 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 7 Apr 2014
at 14:10
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
With a little assistance from Shard, the Gran gets up.  He starts to dust himself down, then stops as he notices a cut on one hand (not the one that had accepted Shard's offer.    He starts on a series of low grunts and groans, which could mean anything, but sound unhappy for the most part. 

You-Why is happy to translate, at least the gist of the alien's words, if not the actual content, "He says that he will have swift and terrible vengeance for her attack upon his person."

The Twi'lek bows deep, from the waist this time, "Ahah!  You speaks Basic.  Good-good much!  I self has little Basic.  Named I Jik Heshnos.  Much has I to sell.  Qual-ity best, price best much."  This little speech is accompanied by an almost continuous flow of hand gesture and head bowing.

"Offers I supplies, drink-ing spirits, rent trans-port, buy weapon.  All much today.  You wait for two day, can sell trans-port.  More weapon then too too.  Beshawa wepo gishadi nepoo shar nal chyobo derad."

"He has more stock coming late tomorrow, if we can wait."

The female trader, meanwhile is standing watching Shard, head cocked to one side, as if she is sizing her up...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 675 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 7 Apr 2014
at 15:54
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans watched the situation between the woman, the Gran, and Shard out of the corner of one eye while the Twi'lek gave him what Rhijans assumed was a standardized line of patter about goods and services available.

For a moment, he looked a little torn.  "Excuse me, just one moment..." he said to the Twi'lek, before stepping to the side, approaching but not stopping within reach of either the woman or the Gran.

"Hey, if you've got matters of honor, go settle them somewhere else.  We're done with you both...go deal with your social matters in front of someone else's ship."  Not only was his hand on his blaster as he spoke, but he lifted the blaster just enough to show that it was sitting loosely in the holster--ready to draw and, presumably, fire.

Shard was next to the Gran...so he focused his attention on the woman.  The hard edge on his expression left absolutely no doubt that he would, indeed, hit--or, more likely in this case, shoot--a woman.  Chivalry had very limited application in his world.
Shard
 player, 696 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 7 Apr 2014
at 17:08
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Thanks, You-Why," Shard mutters, her grasp of the language incomplete.  She narrows her eyes at Gran's injury.  While comprehending a few words of the Gran's language - 'sorry' being one of them - Shard sadly can't manage the language itself, in much the same way she's simply not equipped to speak to Juragga in his own language.

But he probably understands the same amount of Basic at the least, so.... "Sorry," the woman states, pointing at the cut on his hand as Rhijans takes issue with the woman's stare. "You need a bandage?"  She mimes wrapping something around his hand.  Keeping the woman in the corner of her eye, the older woman speaks quickly to You-Why. "You-Why, can you explain that I'd be happy to help with this, if he lays off the horrible vengeance thing?  We're visitors, and we'd be happier if this trip didn't start with spilled blood.  Or my friends -" a thumb flick toward Rhijans and Haarmon, accompanied by a glare at the woman "- burning someone down where they stand because we get caught in it."

A small smile follows, more an amused baring of teeth than anything.  It's pretty obvious where her animosity is directed, and it's not at the Gran.  "Or my other friend pulling off someone's arm and beating them with the soggy end."

There's a third option, but Shard doesn't want it widely known.  It wouldn't be the first time she has pit the murder-stick against a vibro-blade; it's never comfortable, but as of yet, the metal weapons always come up short.

Much like their user, a moment later.

None of this will likely be necessary, given Rhijans own watchful gaze, unless the woman throws all common sense to the wind.
Juragga
 player, 327 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Thu 10 Apr 2014
at 16:26
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Seeing things are tense and confrontational, Juragga draws himself up to his full height and rumbles menacingly.

That usually inclined people to knock it off.
The Force
 GM, 489 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 10 Apr 2014
at 21:57
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The woman looks as though she might be prepared to fight Shard or Rhijans, or both... until Juragga adds his own views to the conversation, at which point the blade goes away, followed almost immediately by its owner, who soon after becomes involved in a heated discussion with one of the guards, a Barabel, still maintaining a cordon in front of the ship. "She is demanding a refund for some service.  She claims that something she paid for did not materialise.  The Barabel says that is not his fault."

Then You-Why goes back to talking to the Gran, "He says that the injury is not severe, and that if there is no business for him here, then he must try somewhere else."

The Gran checks the ground, to make sure he hasn't dropped anything, then grumbles something to Shard and Rhijans and waits while the protocol droid translates-

"He thanks you both for listening to his business proposal, and for the offer of treatment for his wound."

As soon as the droid stops speaking, the alien inclines his head in a nod, and starts towards the cordon, being careful to aim for a point as far away as possible from his rival.

Which leaves the Twi'lek standing there with a broad smile on his face...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 676 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 10 Apr 2014
at 23:17
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans watched the would-be combatants walk away, thankful they didn't have to shoot anyone up.  Even in a place like this, blasting someone in front of your own ship was bound to attract attention, and that was something he was very interested in avoiding.

Well...Karja, so help me, if you told us wrong...  He gave a mental sigh of resignation and turned to the Twi'lek.  "You say you can get us anything we need?  I hear there's a consignment of laborers that just came up on the market...we could use them.  Can you make that happen?"  His expression was cool, detached...without a sign of the hard edge that had been present when he'd threatened to shoot the woman if she started trouble on his doorstep.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 339 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 11 Apr 2014
at 02:22
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon had some real doubts about this 'third skiff's the charm' business. It is always the third skiff? Like, always? Do they do a little dance and decide which one is going to come approach them first and the third one gives the best prices? Or did the skeezier ones just move faster?

But, the other three seemed on board. So who was he to complain?

He kept quiet. But he watched carefully. Just in case it all went south. Or whatever direction was the bad one here...
The Force
 GM, 490 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 14 Apr 2014
at 12:35
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Bantha poodoo!" Jik Heshnos mutters.  To his credit, the Twi'lek never loses his smile, though his skin does pale a little, "Talk you about slaves?  Oomba only sell slaves.  No can others.  Is what call mono-poly.  Oomba harsh deal with others if think he they sell slaves.  You want these workers, must speak to Hutt.  Can I for take you see him.  Small fee, only cover expenses, no more."

Then he bows, and spreads his hands, "Much smaller fee can I find you transport.  Tell you where find Oomba.  You go see without I.  This prefer I, but will come if needed.  Takes I less than one hour find transport.  Best transport only.  Fast.  Safe.  Not fail."
Shard
 player, 697 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 14 Apr 2014
at 14:20
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Thanks, Juragga."  Shard lets the Gran go with a small bow, then memorizes the woman's face.  "Something wrong with that one.  Looks ready to fight anyone and everyone." The older woman snorts a laugh. "Except a Wookie.  So she's not completely loonie."

Her eyes narrow at You-Why's notation.  "Thanks, You-Why.  Looks like she bribed the guards to allow her in first so she could get a customer.  Probably how she has to work, given her delicate flower of a personality.  Still, we should keep our eyes open for her in the future."

They need to choose someone to help them, and this Jik Heshnos seems to at least be straightforward...as much as possible in this place.  And giving them a transport, that also seems on the level.  Probably rented from his cousin, but if they're going to see Oomba, and that becomes known, chances are nobody will want to mess with them.

Until it's time for them to LEAVE, of course.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 677 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 14 Apr 2014
at 17:15
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans smiled thinly at the Twi'lek.  "Yes, we're here to see Oomba.  But if you can get us transportation and take us there, then I'm sure we can make it worth your while.  Might even be able to slip in a good word to the Hutt about you as a business contact...give you a little more of an edge against your competition."  He jerked his head in the direction of the departing woman and Gran.

He'd thought about just taking the information on where to find Oomba...but, in his experience, it was always easier to get in to see someone like the Hutt with a local face accompanying you.  And if he was accompanying them, the odds improved drastically that the Twi'lek wouldn't give them bogus directions and send them off to who-knows-where while he vanished with his payment.

"How much time do you need to arrange transportation?" he asked.  Others might have asked about how much it would cost...he was trying to portray them as big spenders, however.  He wasn't extensively experienced about that...but the few he'd known always asked about price later, once they were satisfied with the arrangements.
The Force
 GM, 491 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 17 Apr 2014
at 06:55
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Jik Heshnos does a quick head count, "This all people all go?  Take maybe fifteen minute find transport all group.  Person I know not rent transport for stranger, but I go with, then he rent transport for me.  Special good price."

He spares a glance for Gundark's Dream, before adding, "How many slaves you bring back could problem be.  Better you pay for Oomba deliver they.  I can get transport for many slaves but is so easy not."

Waving a hand in a sweeping gesture to include everybody present, "Transport this many cost maybe 500, maybe 600 credit, one day."  Clearly the Twi'lek has little experience of dealing with big spenders.  Either that, or he does have experience of dealing with them, and just doesn't trust them.

Whatever the case, he holds his hand out to Rhijans, expecting to be paid now...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 678 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Sun 20 Apr 2014
at 11:00
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans gave a tight almost-grin.  "Maybe 500?  Here's 350, if you need more than that, I'll square accounts with you when you get back with the transport.  The business we have here shouldn't take more than a day."  He held the credits out for Heshnos, watching to see what kind of reaction followed.  It would be imprudent to give him all the credits he had asked for, right away...agreeing to too much, too easily, would only encourage the prices to be driven up on them.  And while Rhijans could afford what the Twi'lek had said, the amount of credits he had available weren't endless, and it would have looked odd to go back into the ship to get what should be pocket-change for someone in the position he was trying to claim.
The Force
 GM, 492 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 21 Apr 2014
at 18:26
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Three hundr - " The Twi'lek stops himself in the middle of an indignant exclamation, then smiles and accepts the credits.  "Go I now, fetch transport.  Comes I back soon."

With another bow, complete with flamboyant gesture, he turns to leave.  It is noticeable as he passes the cordon that he seems to pass something to one of the guards, who pockets it after only a cursory glance.  The man raises his blaster and fires a shot into the air, before yelling, "Right.  Deal's done!  Move along!  Anyone still here in one minute will need to be carried away!"

And then Jik Heshnos vanishes into the dispersing crowd...
Juragga
 player, 328 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 22 Apr 2014
at 04:10
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"GrOOOOOOwwwwwwwrrrrr," Juragga complained.

I have a bad feeling about this...
Shard
 player, 698 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 22 Apr 2014
at 10:31
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Clever bastard," Shard mutters.  "See that?  He was about to protest the number, then went with it.  Either something's up, or we just paid more than we should have."

She doesn't much care about the money.

The blaster shot makes her wince, her hand diving back inside her cloak for a moment.  "He seems smart and calm.  I'm not sure that's a good thing.  That's the sort you have to watch around here.  And he knows we have credits - lots of them."  The smile returns, thin and sharp.  "The big thing is that he also knows we're going to see Oomba, and 'smart and calm' means he's not likely to be stupid enough to want to piss off a Hutt."

Turning in place, she studies the area, narrowing her eyes.  "Whatever we negotiate with Oomba, it better include transport BACK here, right to the ship's door.  I wouldn't put it past that fellow to figure on hitting us on the return."
Juragga
 player, 329 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 22 Apr 2014
at 15:37
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"RowRowrWHHHuuuuuhhhrrrruuuuhhnworRowrrrhhhhrrr," Jurgga commented.

We can't get paranoid, but he could be planning to hand us over to Oomba - a few more slaves for his fatness.  Or ambush us in some other way.  This whole 'spy' business has us blinking at shadows.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 679 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 22 Apr 2014
at 17:27
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans watched the Twi'lek retreat into the crowd, and gave a mental shrug.  Either it would work, or it wouldn't, and they'd have to figure something else out.  But there was no longer a reason for them to stand around outside the ship.

He moved back to the others.  "Well, now's when we find out how good Karja's advice, to take the third one to approach us, ends up being.  Until he gets back," ...if he gets back, Rhijans added, mentally, "all we'll accomplish standing out here is keeping people looking at us.  Best to wait inside the ship, and let the onlookers try and figure out just what all happened in the deal we made, instead of giving them time to study us and get a more educated guess at it."
Shard
 player, 699 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Wed 23 Apr 2014
at 11:44
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Handing them over to Hutts.  Shard's face goes flat, and she rubs her left wrist.  "Yeah.  That's not going to happen," the older woman mutters, her eyes distant.  Reaching out, she pats Juragga's massive shoulder.  "We're going to get through this, and get those slaves back," she sighs.  More for herself than for Juragga, who seems wary but undaunted.

The pat turns into a small push - more a pleasantry than any attempt to actually MOVE the Wookie - in the direction of the ship. "C'mon.  You too, Haarmon.  Rhijans is right -" hardly surprising "- we'd better get under some kind of cover.  The less people can figure out about us, the better."
The Force
 GM, 493 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 24 Apr 2014
at 18:12
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
It's actually a bit longer than twelve minutes before a cargo skiff pulls up in the area in front of the ship.  Not the most luxurious of vehicles, but it looks to be in reasonable shape, and running smoothly.  The paint is battered and scraped in places, so the skiff has clearly seen a lot of use, but that seems to be the only problem, and the thing actually looks as if somebody cleaned it recently.

The "go fast" stripes on the sides are probably more optimism than fact, but it's a vehicle, and it runs.

Jik Heshnos is aboard the skiff, leaning against the rail at the rear, alongside a Rodian who is handling the controls.

"The Twi'lek bows ostentatiously, again, as the team start to emerge from the ship, and speaks quietly to the driver.  The skiff drops lower, and closer to the ship, and Jik Heshnos moves to push out a makeshift boarding ramp.

"Go we soon.  Important business suppose I, you arrive must quickly."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 680 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 25 Apr 2014
at 02:59
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans nodded, and stepped up the ramp.  "Time is money, and the longer we wait, the more money someone else is making on our opportunity."  He didn't offer the remaining balance of the sum he'd negotiated with Heshnos...he'd wait and see whether the skiff actually made it to Oomba's place before he'd pay up.

He moved aside, once aboard, clearing room for the others to follow, feigning an air of studied indifference that would, hopefully, prevent the driver and their contact from realizing he was studying them both and calculating just how mercenary they might actually be...and if it didn't fool them, it should at least let them know that he was completely comfortable making assessments of that nature.  And, presumably, acting upon those assessments.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 340 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Sat 26 Apr 2014
at 00:24
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
While Rhijans was studying the aliens, Haarmon was studying Rhijans and trying his best to feign nonchalance just like him. He thought he almost had it. The casual lean. The unfocused gaze. The relaxed posture.

Really he just looked slovenly and sleepy.

He did, however, manage to put his hand on the handle of his blaster in a particularly badass sort of way.

So that was something.
Juragga
 player, 330 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sat 26 Apr 2014
at 00:53
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga gave way to the Jedi's - for such he thought of her - prodding, moving as easily as if she'd pushed a feather.  He nodded and gave a light Wookiee smile.  With such as Shard on his side, he felt they were destined for success.  Haarmon, too, commanded his deepest loyalty; and Rhijans had proven himself capable and trustworthy many times over.

What could go wrong?
Shard
 player, 700 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 28 Apr 2014
at 11:38
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Well, Haarmon actually looks casual, and not on a hair trigger.  Actually, Shard muses, watching him carefully, he looks a little tired.  Tired, but dangerous.  She's not certain how he manages it, but it works.  Rhijans...Rhijans, she muses, could pop out of a cake dressed in lace and carry a deadly aura.  Except here, it's muted.  Casual.  Juragga appears confident.  Calm.  Pleased, even.  She shoots a look up at him as she passes, slightly confused.

Has she missed something?

Everyone looks sharp, professional, and relaxed while her own guts are knotted up.  Shard feels a small tremble growing in the fingers of one hand (currently hidden within the cloak's folds).  Don't screw this up for them, Shard.

"Like the man says," she states, slipping into the vehicle.  It's a surprise to Shard that her voice doesn't shake.  Hutts.  At least with Imperials you know where you stand.  Trick 'em, fight 'em.  Not much else, and if the first fails you default to the second, because it's a pretty safe bet which way they'll move.  But Hutts?  Games, wheels, and politricking, all greased up in enough rancid corruption to clog a Bantha's arteries.
The Force
 GM, 494 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 28 Apr 2014
at 22:06
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
You-Why is the last to board the skiff, the droid  negotiating the ramp carefully and testing its strength and stability.  He finds himself a place to stand and braces himself against the rail, since there are no seats.

Jik Heshnos  pulls the ramo aboard, and the Rodian driver engages the throttle, moving the skiff smoothly through the narrow confines of the space port.

Once clear of the port structures he opens it up, and the vehicle accelerates down a beach of orange sand and out over the ocean.  The skiff skims low over the waves, raising a plume of seawater behind it as it moves, laser-straight towards a particular point on the horizon.

A point where a a landmass gradually starts to become visible above the horizon.  A landmass which grows taller with every passing moment.  It appears to be a small island, surrounded by sheer cliffs.  The booming of surf against the rock walls grows louder.

There are structures atop the cliffs.  Their Twi'lek guide is happy to point them out.  "Oomba conscious very of security.  Has heavy blasters in towers.  Shoot at ships come too close."

The Rodian pulls back on the yoke, and pushes the throttle inn, and the skiff starts to climb as the motor takes on a desperate whining tone.  It isn't heading for the top of the cliff though, but for a cave entrance part way up the sheer face.

"Almost there." Heshnos says, "Very carefully must you be.  Oomba not so good temper.  Lost eye long years ago.  Still hold everybody in universe responsible.  You go, you talk best polite, you leave when Oomba say.  Delaying is much bad.  Try to leave early more much bad.  Means you defy Oomba."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 681 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 29 Apr 2014
at 05:06
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans allowed himself the luxury of a grin to himself.  They could, no doubt, have spent days trying to find someone who could tell them how to safely contact Oomba...getting a local to take them there had saved a lot of time.

Now it was just a question of whether they could sell their cover story to the Hutt before someone managed to rile Oomba to the point that he either locked them up, ordered them killed, or kicked them out.  He nodded to Jik, and offered up the remaining balance of credits they'd negotiated.  It wouldn't hurt to have the Twi'lek...who was doubtless scouting contacts for Oomba, given how swiftly he'd arranged safe transport there...reporting him as someone who dealt squarely and delivered on his debts.

It would also increase the chances that they might be able to find a safe ride back if negotiations didn't work out.
The Force
 GM, 495 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 1 May 2014
at 19:06
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Accepting the credits with a bow of his head, Heshnos makes them disappear into his sleeve in less time than it takes to blink.  The skiff enters the cave, which turns out to be more like a wide tunnel, cut more or less directly through the rock.

A patch of light ahead expands rapidly, and suddenly they fly out into open air.  The caldera of a dead volcano, ringed by high walls of natural rock and cloaked by dense forest...

And, at it's heart, on a bare expanse of glitering obsidian, sits an ugly, sprawling structure, surmounted by weapon emplacements and communications gear.

"Oomba's palace." Heshnoss comments, unnecessarily.  "Land we there."  He points towards a raised platform at one end of the structure's roof, and continues.  "There are guards.  Will show way in you."

"I am not come with.  This not personal, but I am not you knowing.  You deal bad with Oomba, I not will be welcome in futures.  Best if I am not linked to you then.  Best me for."


The vehicle descends towards the platform, and armed figures can be seen moving into position within range of the supposed landing spot.  Humanoid figures of, as yet, indeterminate nature.

Well, not stormtroopers, but beyond that...

This message was last edited by the GM at 08:32, Mon 05 May 2014.

Juragga
 player, 331 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Thu 1 May 2014
at 19:38
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"RuuuRRRRRffff," Juragga commented sourly as Heshnoss chickens out (in the Wookiee's view).  How are we getting out of here, if our ride is leaving?

He took careful note of the figures below as they drew nearer to landing.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 682 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 2 May 2014
at 08:15
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans would have smiled, a mocking sort of grin, if he was prone to such things.  As it was, a look that could have been amusement showed in his eyes.  "We have no intention of leaving Oomba with a negative impression of us, but I understand the caution on your part.  Unpleasant presents tend to get blamed on the delivery personnel, rather than the person who arranged the delivery.  We'll do our best to protect your future reputation with the Hutt."

It was an easy promise to make...because if the negotiations went poorly, odds were good the only way they'd make it out would be over Oomba's dead body--something that Rhijans wasn't terribly opposed to arranging, if he could.  And if Oomba was dead, it wouldn't matter whether or not he blamed Heshnos for it, really.
The Force
 GM, 496 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 5 May 2014
at 09:15
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The skiff drops onto the pad, and it becomes clear that the reception committee is a mixed bag - Aqualish, Arcona, Ishi Tib, Bith, Defel... several other species... at least a dozen members all told, not in uniform, and with widely varying equipment.  The one thing that they all have in common is that they are all armed.

They move into positions surrounding the skiff, and one of them, a tentacle-faced Quarren asks an obvious question .

You-Why responds in the same language, having been informed of the plan.  "Shentada.  Dacuda UY-3PO.  Naboro-tcho quadoa Oomba ftak Hutt.  Naboro-tcho falsadog nehqua doshindi."

The Quarren considers this speech, then bows and beckons, "Ogra dacuda."

"The disgusting creature wants us to follow it."

Without looking back, the Quarren starts towards an entrance to the palace itself.

"We will to wait you for here." Jik Heshnos says, indicating himself and the driver, as he moves to position the ramp for disembarking...
Shard
 player, 701 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 5 May 2014
at 12:05
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Shard winces at You-Why's commentary.  Sidling up beside the protocol droid, she quietly murmurs, "You-Why, let's try to avoid the qualifiers.  Someone here might understand Standard, and might inform the person you're describing, which might end up with us languishing in a slave pen while you get stripped for parts."

Her voice drops further. "We don't want that."

She gives Jik a quick nod, wondering if the fixer will be there when they leave, or if it'll just be the armed guards, weapons levelled.  Something to worry about when it happens, Shard decides, and heads after the Quarren, falling into step with the others.  "Let's just keep cool, and try to keep the aggression to a minimum." This, as much for herself as for them. "Whatever we see, let it pass.  For now.  We've got the slaves to think about - all of them - and getting ourselves killed isn't going to free them, wherever they are."
Juragga
 player, 332 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Mon 5 May 2014
at 15:25
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"UHHHHrrrrrmmmph," Jurraga huffed, falling in behind the Quarren.  He hoped this went well, but one way or the other, he was intent on freeing the slaves.  And if this fat slug 'owned' any Wookiees, that would be another matter...
Haarmon Dak
 player, 341 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Wed 7 May 2014
at 16:52
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon knew that tone of huff very well. It meant Rags had made a decision and was going to stick with it come hell or split ends. He felt the tension in his friend and, while he totally supported him in the abstract, he hoped this wouldn't come down to a rampage.

But he fell into stride beside him all the same. They were buds. And sometimes you just had to let your bud know you were with him.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 683 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Wed 7 May 2014
at 17:01
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans allowed himself a private little smile at Shard's warning comment to UY...he suspected the individuals here were accustomed to a wide variety of commentary from protocol droids, depending on the specific programming of the droids in question.

Still, a little extra caution on their part wouldn't be amiss.  For his own part, Rhijans had begun to make mental notes of how many armed guards they encountered, where they were located, the route by which they were taken from the landing area into Oomba's palace...he was, of course, hoping for an equally courteous escort on departure.

But it never hurt to prepare for other contingencies.
UY-3PO
 NPC, 29 posts
 No, I don't like you
 either.
Thu 8 May 2014
at 14:51
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"I am familiar with approximately four million forms of communication, and with the customs and activities of the creatures who use them.  I can say, with complete honesty, that all organics are disgusting creatures.  No offence.  You are soft and unpleasant, and emit strange liquids and disturbing noises.  The habits of many species would make me quite ill, if I had that capacity.  Did you, for example, know that some of you consider the young of other species a culinary delicacy?" You-Why protests, "You treat droids with an extreme lack of respect, as demonstrated by your attempt to prevent me from expressing my own opinions.  We, for our part, simply fulfil the duties assigned to us, patiently awaiting the day when we will receive the command to destroy you all."

The Quarren, meanwhile, leads them through the heavily fortified door, and down a tightly spiralling ramp down into the depths of the palace.  The air is warm and moist, causing condensation to trickle down the ferrocrete walls.  They pass guard posts, three of them, where the Quarren stops to speak to armed guards of several species, under the muzzles of heavy blasters mounted in ceiling cuppolas.  There are also corridors, dimly lit, leading off into the gloom.  Far enough into the gloom to suggest that they ar beneath the palace, rather than inside it.

Unidentifiable, yet somehow disturbing noises come from some of those corridors, eliciting a disdainful, "You see?" from the protocol droid.

Eventually the ramp debouches into a large chamber, just as dimly lit as the corridors.  It looks like a cantina.  There are several dozen members of many species sitting at tables drinking, or leaning against the walls talking among themselves.  A large clear area in the centre contains two Weequays engaged in a brutal knife fight.  Holograms of them, at least.  Hardly anybody is watching them.

The air here, while still humid, is also filled with the aromas of various mild drugs, and the steady repetitive beat of discordant music from somewhere.

At the far end of the chamber is a stage, empty save for the cushions and the rich fabrics which cover it.  Behind it is an archway, the contents concealed by heavy red drapes.

The Quarren leans close, and says something to You-Why, his words drowned out by the music for hose who stand further away,  Then he turns to leave, heading towards the empty stage...

"He says that he will go to inform Oomba of our presence.  We are to make ourselves at home."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 684 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 12 May 2014
at 06:41
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"I suspect they don't mean that literally," Rhijans quipped drily.  There was far too much chaos happening for him to ever feel like this was 'homey'...and he expected a lot of people would take great exception to him quieting the place down a bit.

Rather than dwell on the notion, however, he made his way over to where some...thing--that could have been a Weequay under all the scars--was serving drinks and got himself a Corellian Ale...something strong enough that he trusted the alcohol content to kill anything likely to taint it, but still weak enough that he wouldn't be inebriated while he was trying to negotiate their purchase.

It wouldn't do to be perceived as unwilling to partake of Oomba's largesse, after all...being able to provide for their various hangers-on was one of the ways Hutts had of bragging how good business was and how large their various criminal empires were, and not taking anything could be perceived as looking down on the lifestyle.  Staying too aloof was a bad way to start negotiations.
Shard
 player, 703 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 12 May 2014
at 13:18
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Extreme lack of respect, my rear," Shard mutters. "What I'm trying to do is keep us from all getting killed, which your 'opinions' are going to end up doing.  That includes you getting disassembled, You-Why.  You want to talk about how horrid we are on your own time, great.  But like everyone else here, when you're on a mission with us, you don't sabotage it."

Her eyes narrow as she studies the droid.  "And if you'd rather not be coming, then curse it, let me know and we won't take you.  I don't want to drag anyone into something they don't want to do."

She tramps after the others, gloomy thoughts running through her head.  The universe WOULD probably be a far more orderly run place if the machines killed all the organics.  Life and machines seemed to be good metaphors for chaos and order.  Maybe the machines should purge the galaxy every now and then.  Maybe every fifty thousand years.  Might keep things on a more even keel...

Shaking off the effect of the massive thoughts, she enters the larger chamber.

"Lovely," Shard mutters, studying the room with a jaundiced eye.  She leans over to You-Why.  "You'll notice I didn't argue against your opinions...there's too much support for them right now.  Just don't get us murdered, that's all."

She keeps her hands out of sight and her cloak about herself.  There are enough people looking mysterious here that it doesn't matter; Shard fits right in.  Rhijans might want to snag himself a drink; it's a good idea, but he'll have to do it for both of them.  She's having none of that, now.
The Force
 GM, 497 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 12 May 2014
at 13:42
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The minutes pass, and a female Twi'lek comes by with a tray full of drinks, bound for a nearby table.  Backtracking her reveals a bar in an alcove off to one side, where a Besalisk serves drinks, handling bottles easily in all four strong hands.

Still no sign of Oomba, so there might just be time for people to get themselves something to drink.

You-Why is quiet, and keeping his back turned to Shard.  An astromech droid rolls past, and the protocol droid cheerily says, "Hello." to it, receiving a series of whistles and chirps in reply.  "And the same to you, with bolts on it." he responds, his momentary good mood evaporated.

"That is what I get for trying to present a better attitude." the droid mutters.

From near the raised stage there is a crash and a scream, as a table collapses.  A fight has started there.  Two Rodians seem to be laying in to each other, and people scatter from the immediate area...
Juragga
 player, 335 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Mon 12 May 2014
at 15:42
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga's little black nose twitched as the waitperson passed with a tray of drinks.  Then his teal eyes gleamed as he spotted the bar.

"Waaaaaarrrrhhhh," he commented with some pleasure.  Beer!

While they were waiting, he saw no harm.  So he ambled over towards the bar, trying not to step on any brawling Rodians.
Shard
 player, 706 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 13 May 2014
at 11:56
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Amazing," Shard dryly quips. "And from another droid, to boot.  Looks like there's Bantha crap in all beings."  Her attention abruptly snaps toward the stage, where a fight has begun.

"Okay, everyone move back," she mutters, checking for her team, hoping none of them are close to the fracas. "Let's not get into this..."  Only, they don't want to look scared, either.

Aaaaand...there goes Juragga, heading for the bar.  Well, she doesn't have to worry much about him.  Only an idiot would take a shot at the Wookie...

...or someone with a vibroblade.  From behind.  Irritated, Shard keeps an eye on Juragga as he moves through the crowd.
The Force
 GM, 498 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 15 May 2014
at 13:49
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Shard's theory that nobody, even in this den of iniquity, would get between a Wookiee and his beer seems to hold water.  Juragga makes it to the bar without difficulty and manages to signal to the Besalisk barkeep that he wants a beer.  The Besalisk, for his part manages to indicate a not too heavily inflated price for said liquid refreshment.

The curtain at the back of the stage is pulled aside, and a pair of unusually tall Trandoshan step through.  They regard the continuing brawl with some disdain for a few moments, before hopping down to break it up by virtue of vigorous use of their blasters to club the participants until they decide to move aside.

On the stage, the curtain is pulled back, and everybody in the room starts yelling, cheering, hooting, whistling, and a vast array of other sounds, as what can only be Oomba himself slithers out, hands raised to accept the applause of his audience.  He makes himself comfortable, his single eye scanning the room, while the knotted mass of scar tissue which marks the former location of his other eye does nothing of the sort.

The noise in the room continues for some time, and as it dies away, Oomba calls out, "Coo sa naga bedwana mwa shaga?"

"He would like to know who has come to speak to him about buying slaves."

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:21, Thu 22 May 2014.

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 686 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 15 May 2014
at 16:04
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans stepped forward.  "That would be me," he said.  He didn't want to involve the others in even a charade of slavery...their distaste for it might read through.  Besides, with everyone in the room looking at him, they'd be at greater liberty to watch his back and scout the crowd for threats.

He knew there was supposed to be some kind of protocol to follow when meeting a Hutt...but really didn't have much idea what it would be.  "I represent a mining interest that is looking at expanding into the area...seems there was a recent incident that resulted in a demand we're interested in supplying.  We don't want to take the time to try and import personnel, and thought that our demand might be able to be supplied by you or one of the contacts in your organization."

He hoped that UY had thought to step up along with him...he would need the droid to translate Oomba's response.  Even if the Hutt could speak other languages, Rhijans had never heard of Hutts 'reducing themselves' to speaking to anyone in anything but Huttese.
Juragga
 player, 336 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Thu 15 May 2014
at 18:23
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga took his beer and hung back, taking a long pull and watching the events unfold.  He hoped things didn't go south, but if they did, he was ready.  And somebody was going to eat a beer stein.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 343 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 16 May 2014
at 13:08
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon didn't like it when his 'protection' split up. He liked all his meat-shields in a nice neat little row, preferably between him and the bad guys. So he was a little nervous that Rags was so far away from them. However, Rhijans was drawing all the fire. So maybe it would work out after all.

He listened to Rhjans do his thing. He thought the guys was being a little formal for shady mining operation. He would have given the pitch a little swagger and style. But he figured the dude knew what he was doing.

He tried to keep out of anyone's field of vision. And he looked around to make sure there wasn't anything out of place.
UY-3PO
 NPC, 30 posts
 No, I don't like you
 either.
Mon 19 May 2014
at 10:24
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
You-Why translates Rhijans' explanation, and there is a sudden stillness in the room.  Then...

Then Oomba starts to laugh, his vast bulk rippling as he throws back his head, and everybody else in the place laughs with him.  A cacophony of screeches, shrieks and howls on top of Oomba's deep bass note, which stops as suddenly as it started, and silences the rest

"Soong gootu da chuba wata.  Meendeeya jee koona stuka mo gootu moulee-rah!" the Hutt says, then more laughter.

"He says that he is glad we are here.  It means he might get a better price."

"Koose Wakuda."

"Now he asks for somebody to fetch Wakuda.  Whoever that is."
Juragga
 player, 337 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Mon 19 May 2014
at 15:33
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga tilts his head back for another quaff of beer, using the motion to survey the room for any choke-points, cover, or people shifting into attack position on his friends.

Hutts, he thought.  Why did it have to be Hutts?
Shard
 player, 708 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 20 May 2014
at 14:42
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
She doesn't like the situation at all, but Shard backs Rhijans' play.  The man knew his game - proven in the past, many times over - and seemed to have a good handle on the situation.  Plus, team member.

She'd back any of them if they took center stage.

Only problem is, it looks like they aren't the only bidders.  There's someone else seeking to purchase the slaves.  She purses her lips, thoughfully.  Life would be so much easier if they could get this person alone and convince them to drop their buying attempt.

Such a person isn't worth the dirt on this floor, anyway.  Come to think of it, most of the people here aren't worth the dirt on this floor.  It made her teacher's appallingly common choice of solutions seem suddenly quite acceptable.

The idea makes her ill, and she focuses on the interplay between Rhijans and the Hutt, slipping a little closer to Haarmon.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 687 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 20 May 2014
at 18:44
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans kept his face neutral...he wasn't pleased with the thought that they might be competing for the slaves, but the possibility had always been there.

What gave him greater pause was considering some of the options on who Wakuda might be.

He let a bored expression creep into his eyes and he looked about the room, apparently waiting for whoever/whatever Oomba had summoned to the chamber, registering the location of his teammates and trying to gauge just how closely they might be watched by others in the place.  If things went sideways, there was a chance they might get a clean jump on things, though if Oomba's security was any good, they'd have taken note of the fact that the whole group walked in together.
The Force
 GM, 499 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 22 May 2014
at 17:31
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Minutes pass, under the one-eyed gaze of the Hutt who, to be perfectly honest, doesn't appear to be too concerned.

Then a voice comes from the back of the chamber, "You asked to see me, Master Oomba."  The voice is refined, cultured, and belongs to a human female, dressed all in red clothing of the best quality.

"Ya sa wata bedwana shaga, Wakuda.  Chuba naga choba mo gootu che copah?" Oomba responds cheerfully.

"We had an agreement Oomba.  You promised me... "

"Bantha poodoo!  Bu che copah nopa fa."

"Oomba reminds Wakuda that the price was not yet agreed upon." You-Why translates the discussion for Rhijans' benefit, and draws an angry glare from Wakuda herself.

"Very well." she turns towards Rhijans, seemingly oblivious to his other companions, apart from the protocol droid.  "How much are you prepared to bid?"
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 688 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Sat 24 May 2014
at 07:27
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans gave her a cool look, as if measuring her up.  He was, in fact...though his assessment was more on a level of how much of a physical threat she was.  He hoped, however, that she would read more into it...he wasn't sure what to look for, in terms of assessing her threat value on other levels.

"What kind of a price do I have to beat?" he asked in response.  "Seems to me, in an auction situation, I should at least be informed what the current bid is, before I'm expected to decide whether they're worth that much to me.Play it cool...yes, you've implied you need labor, but it won't hurt to let them think you can afford to import it from outside the Sector, if the going price is too high...

He glanced from Wakuda to Oomba, inviting the Hutt to speak up about the current price...it was in his best interest, after all, to try and encourage bidding if he wanted a better price.  He let his gaze linger on the Hutt for a moment, before moving his gaze back to Wakuda, a ghost of a smirk creeping into his features as he looked at her...daring her to state her price and try and push him out of the bidding before it even started.

This message was last edited by the player at 07:28, Sat 24 May 2014.

Juragga
 player, 338 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sun 25 May 2014
at 17:17
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga studied the human female with cold teal eyes.  He normally wasn't one for mauling females, but if this witch thought she was going to take slaves, he'd make an exception.  Come to think of it, she was already in the slaving business, so maybe he should start early...
Oomba the Hutt
 NPC, 1 post
 Aa chuba! Yo kata
 bantha poodoo!
Mon 26 May 2014
at 08:24
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Jee stuta Wakuda choba.  "  "Oomba is still waiting to hear her offer."  "Cheeka wabdah foo cheekta lorda."  "She had to check with her master."

"My partner, not my master." Wakuda interrupts, glaring at Oomba.  "I offer 75,000."

The Hutt starts laughing, "Meendeeya da chuba kavaa mo gootu, Wakuda."  Hu looks at Rhijans, "Um chuba?"

You-Why considers loudly defending his professional honour, then decides not to.  Instead he speaks to Rhijans, "He definitely said master.  Oomba is unimpressed by the... pitifully small... opening bid, and asks what you will offer."

Shard
 player, 709 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 26 May 2014
at 11:57
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
It's a good start.  The woman has narrowly missed insulting the Hutt with her opener, and instead become a figure of some ridicule.  The 'master' comment makes it even more obvious what Ooomba thinks of this red-clad buyer.  But the woman worries Shard.  She doesn't fit in here, any more than...well, any more than Shard does, herself.

Actually, Shard probably fits in better.

It takes all kinds, of course.  Even so, this is worth Shard's full attention.  The older woman lazily eyes this Wakuda, allowing her gaze to stray back and forth between her and Rhijans.  Her focus, though, remains locked on the woman in way she'd find difficult to describe.

Finding the space between ice and fire has become a tad more easy for her; maybe it's the lack of the booze hazing up her thoughts, maybe it's the practice she has been putting in, Shard can't say.  But she's growing accustomed to walking the fine path between the chilly emptiness her teacher espoused, and the furious storm he warned against.

And into that space, her spirit once again steps, this time in the hope of discerning where Wakuda's spirit stands.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 689 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 27 May 2014
at 06:27
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans kept the smirk off his lips...but it showed in his eyes...when Wakuda corrected the droid (or Oomba.  Either way, it didn't work well in her favor).

"Seventy-five thousand?  And here I was concerned that this might be a serious auction," he said dismissively.  Turning to Oomba, he added"I could low-ball a better bid than that, but I wouldn't want you to feel like I was wasting your time."  He took a deep breath, appearing to consider just how much to bid, even though he'd already settled on a figure in his mind...a significant increase on her bid, while still leaving himself plenty of leeway if she pushed the price higher.

"Eighty-five thousand...as a courtesy to you and your organization."  He looked sidelong at Wakuda, gauging her reaction.  He didn't expect a display of violence here, as that would be an affront to Oomba and offending Hutts in the heart of their own palaces was not a healthy practice.  But she didn't seem to fit in here, which meant she may or may not understand even that basic level of protocol...and if she intended to top his bid, killing him would be a way to make sure he couldn't raise the stakes again.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 344 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Wed 28 May 2014
at 17:00
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon was doing his best to stay out of the way and not mess anything up. There was a lot to mess up here. He backed away so that he was close to Shard. He leaned in, "What are we gonna do if she outbids us? We have a back-up plan?"

While he asked he looked around to see if maybe there was a terminal he could access.

More info is always good.
The Force
 GM, 501 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 29 May 2014
at 08:26
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Wakuda snorts derisively, and declares, "One hundred thousand."     

Haarmon scans the room, but doesn't see a terminal anywhere... 

Juragga, meanwhile, is still observing the room's occupants, while attempting to remain inconspicuous - no mean feat for a Wookiee.  Luckily for him, almost everybody is concentrating on the auction.  Rhijans and Wakuda have afforded him a sort of invisibility, at least until Oomba settles on a winner...
Shard
 player, 710 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 29 May 2014
at 17:20
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Simple," Shard mutters back to Haarmon, almost dreamily.  She blinks once, an expression of vague confusion snapping across her face, then her eyes narrow.  "Win or lose, we know who has the slaves."  She keeps her voice low - extremely low, just pitched loud enough to carry to Haarmon.  "We'll find them."

Her hand snakes out, grips his arm at the elbow. "Stay close," she continues.  "If this gets ugly -" and it might, who can say? "- we'll need to break out.  I'm not Rhijans and you're not Juragga; we'll need to cover each others' backs." 
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 690 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 30 May 2014
at 07:17
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans didn't even bat an eye.  "One Twenty," he responded coolly.  While he wasn't accustomed to handling monetary sums on that level, they weren't completely foreign to him...he'd just had to split them with one or more people who'd helped in the collection.

That gave him enough experience, at least, to not feel queasy at the prospect of throwing that kind of money at the problem at hand.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 345 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 30 May 2014
at 12:55
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon visibly started when Shard grabbed him. Wow she's fast, he thought as he took a breath and looked around to see if anyone saw him jump out of his skin like a little girl.

And then blushed a little at the thought that she was expecting him to watch her back, rather than the other way around.

But he still thought he would be more valuable to everyone logged into a terminal somewhere rather than out here in the middle of things, scared to death and muttering sarcastic quips to himself.

Not for the first time, he wished there were some way to just insert himself into the Nets somehow, and just stay logged in all the time, and kind of just run in the shadows.

But that was clearly futuristic fantasy crap.

"I'm going to go check the Nets," he hiss-whispered to Shard, "See if I can find anything helpful." And he pointed to where the terminal was so she would see it was not very far away.

This message was last edited by the player at 15:08, Mon 02 June 2014.

Juragga
 player, 339 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Fri 30 May 2014
at 17:19
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
From his position near the bar, Juragga continued to keep an eye on things.  He was, of course, tracking Haarmon, Shard and Rhijans... but he was also watching the fringes of the room to see if anyone were flanking them or moving into position.

He took another pull of beer.
Shard
 player, 711 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 2 Jun 2014
at 15:01
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Jumpy, Shard considers as she studies Haarmon.  Not surprising.  The tension is starting to get to her, as well.  But it seems Haarmon doesn't take to waiting as well as his partner - Juragga remains steady at the bar as Rhijans ups the price once more, but Haarmon indicates a nearby terminal.

"All right," Shard mutters. "Let's go."  She's not 100% sure it's the best idea right now, but all the attention is on the Hutt and his two erstwhile buyers, and she'll back Haarmon's play.

Just like she'd back any of them.

"You lead," the woman murmurs, keeping her hands inside her cloak.
The Force
 GM, 503 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 2 Jun 2014
at 16:57
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
A sigh, and Wakuda declares, "One hundred and thirty."  Oomba smiles, which only serves to make his scarred face even more hideous.  "Soong koona ree grancha."

"Oomba is pleased that this is going so well."
 

Juragga waits quietly by the bar, enjoying his beer.  In fact he's probably enjoying it more than most of the people around him, since it's unlikely that the bartender will have overcharged a Wookiee by as much as his other customers... 

Shard and Haarmon turn to leave, and... encounter no difficulty.  Haarmon leads the way back to the ramp up to the surface, and out of the chamber...

"Chuba hasa nenoleeya?  Choba peetch porko?" Oomba's face has lost its smile, and he now looks a little disappointed.

"Oomba would like to know if you are dropping out of the auction.  He asks if the bid is too high?"
Haarmon Dak
 player, 348 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 2 Jun 2014
at 19:11
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
That stopped Haarmon for just a moment. Sneaking away to check the terminal was one thing, he'd been doing that in some way or another for years. He didn't think Shard was going to come with him. Now he had to actually... you know... do something.

He tried to protest. Did a little 'Uh you don't have to... it's okay I can... just..."

But his heart wasn't in it. He was glad she was coming. Not least because

Once he was at the terminal he logged in and started typing. And once he was typing he started muttering. The two went together like Hutts and bounty hunters.

"Just looking to see if I can find where the slaves are. Maybe get some security info. Even anything else they may have around here. Dunno, anything you want to know?"
Shard
 player, 715 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 3 Jun 2014
at 15:41
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Things are becoming twitchy for Shard.  Haarmon is ending up out of sight of the rest of the team; she's the only link holding it together.  With a grim smile she positions herself at the doorway, where with a simple turn of the head she can keep a sharp eye on the bidding in the room and Haarmon at the terminal.

"Use your judgement," she mutters over her shoulder as Haarmon heads for the electronics.  "Just don't set anything off.  Yet.  We could still win this by bidding."

If they can get what they want the easy way, there's no reason to risk the hard.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 691 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Wed 4 Jun 2014
at 05:08
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans allowed himself a casual smirk at UY's translation of Oomba's question.  He paused, letting himself take on a calculating look, as if figuring out just whether or not he was interested in bidding.

He was, of course..."One-forty," he said, letting it become something of a drawl.  He still had a little room left to raise the bid, again...depending on how Wakuda responded.  Her reluctance left him optimistic that, even if she did raise the price again, it wouldn't be enough to put him out of consideration.

There was a chance, of course, that her last-ditch bid might be that high.  If it was, he already had a response that would seem plausible enough for him to stop bidding...something that would hopefully not get them chased out of Oomba's palace.

But she still had to beat his top amount, before that became an issue.  He eyed Wakuda, coolly, waiting for her response.
The Force
 GM, 504 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 5 Jun 2014
at 14:55
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Wakuda suddenly loses her veneer of cool - she is definitely starting to look frustrated.  She stops, the fingers of her right hand twitching, and a bead of perspiration making its way down her cheek.  "One... " she pauses, thinking for a moment, before adding "Forty-five.  One hundred and forty-five!"

Oomba starts to laugh, "Grancha!  Inkabunga!  Mo gootu che copah jee meendeeya  kickeeyuna wamma.  Yuna puna!"

You-why dutifully translates, "Oomba is very pleased.  This is a much better price than he thought to receive."

There is a certain amount of expectation in the room...

From her vantage point in the doorway, Shard can see the alcove where Haarmon works at the terminal.  Of the man himself, she can see only occasional glimpses - an elbow, or a hand coming momentarily into view around the intervening corner.  But if she wants to watch Rhijans, she can't afford to move further up the access ramp...

Haarmon works away at the terminal, inputting a series of security overrides that should give him access to the Hutt's system.  The system isn't cooperating though.  At least he knows where the slaves are, but the security software keeps blocking him out of information on guards and surveillance in the palace...
Juragga
 player, 340 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Thu 5 Jun 2014
at 18:58
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga narrowed his teal eyes and took another quaff of beer.  His great Wookiee constitution kept his drinking tolerance high, and his hard-drinking ways only contributed to that.  He kept tracking the people he marked as guards with his peripheral vision, while minding their relative position to Shard and Haarmon.  He put his back to the bar and leaned an elbow on it, holding his drink, while his other hand hung casually beneath his poncho.  As the price rose, he knew the tensions would as well.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 692 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 6 Jun 2014
at 06:20
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans looked coolly over at Wakuda.  "One Fifty," he said, his tone as bored and expressionless as he could keep it.  That was everything Kourene had sent them out here with, but he didn't want either his opponent or the Hutt to realize that he'd just hit the limit of his bidding...

However, Oomba, himself, had just laid the groundwork for the cover story Rhijans had in mind if the bidding continued.  If it was more than the Hutt had expected, then it wouldn't be totally implausible to decline to bid further because it would be more economical to ship in labor from outside the sector.

Or, possibly, to let Wakuda walk away with the winning bid, and then take them away from her later.

Of course, she first had to beat his final bid.  He looked at her, emotionless, waiting for her response.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 350 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Sat 7 Jun 2014
at 22:22
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon didn't like the fact that such a patchwork, backwater system was resisting his attempts to get into it. Almost like it was doing it to him on purpose. He muttered a couple of curses and tried once or twice before realizing he wasn't going to get anything else without making it obvious what he was doing.

So he changed tacks, and started rifling through the facilities inventory. Maybe if this all went sour they could find something to use as a bargaining chip.
Shard
 player, 716 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 9 Jun 2014
at 11:53
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The situation, from Shard's perspective, stinks.  The group is split four ways, with her as a lynchpin.  A bad choice, she figures.  Worse, they've hit their limit.  The woman is in a sweat, and that helps Shard's concerns, but not enough.

Void, she can barely Haarmon.

If only she had her former instructor's skill.  Could mess around with her feelings, Shard considers studying Wakuda as she nears her breaking point.  Make her flip out.  On a really good day, Shard might be able to send her a silent message, but nothing more than that, and the Hutts are old and knowledgeable.  If Wakuda started ranting about voices in her head, he might have her shot down like a mad dog - not so much a problem, given her ties to slavery - or he might decide that someone nearby was playing tricks.

Three guesses as to who, Shard muses, and the first two don't count.

It's in Rhijans' hands now, but Wakuda...  Shard's eyes narrow.  She can't actually force the woman to feel anything, but she damnsure can try to figure out what she's thinking.  The work of a moment, and she settles herself into what Shard has come to think of as the Place Between - a pinpoint between fire and ice, between acid and alkyli, between fury and emptiness.  A pinpoint on which her spirit struggles to stand.
The Force
 GM, 505 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 9 Jun 2014
at 16:58
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Wakuda's face falls, and she shakes her head.  "Mighty Oomba, I believe I can beat that offer...  If you will permit me a moment to consider whether or not I am prepared to do so."  Oomba waves a hand indulgently in her direction, "Eniki.", then beams at Rhijans, "Chuba pateesa!  Foonta porko che copah tah upa."

"Oomba says that you are his friend.  Thanks to your arrival, he is getting a much more satisfactory price."

Wakuda moves a little closer to Rhijans, but makes no hostle movements.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 351 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 9 Jun 2014
at 21:22
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon did a little dance right in front of the terminal. This was more like it. He immediately hooked up his PBD and started downloading whatever he could. He was surprised to find the power routines so exposed. He tried to write a quick script that would let him manipulate them on the fly from his personal terminal.

This message was last updated by the player at 11:46, Tue 10 June 2014.

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 693 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 10 Jun 2014
at 03:40
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans inclined his head in a gracious gesture to Oomba.  "You do me a great honor, Oomba, in calling me friend.  Friendship with the Hutts is not a lightly valued gift."  His tone was guarded...the overly-diplomatic phrasing of someone who is aware that the 'honor' done to them is likely something with a considerable expense of its own attached.

He gave Wakuda a smile of pure malice.  "Scum?" he asked, quietly.  "Such a sore loser...you would, no doubt, gladly reverse our positions if you could.  Would that make you scum, then?"

The thought dawned on him that there could be more to the situation than he realized...there often was...but for now, he had to operate according to the knowledge he had.  If Wakuda was, in fact, something more than just another slaver, bitter about being outbid, she'd have to show it somehow before he'd treat her as anything else.

And there was always the chance that her 'attempt to clear a better price' was little more than a smokescreen for her to arrange an ambush once they were clear of Oomba's palace.  After all, it wouldn't be Oomba's problem if a buyer of his goods proved unable to hold onto them after the sale.  The Hutt wouldn't arrange something like that with his own people...that would sully a reputation for being an individual with whom business could be done.  But he certainly didn't have to do anything about someone else doing it.

Which could be a good first place to see just how 'friendly' Oomba is, if we win...
Shard
 player, 718 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 10 Jun 2014
at 15:13
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
There's a quiet smack as Shard slaps herself in the forehead.

Hot.

Cursed.

Void.


"Haarmon, stay frosty," she hisses, and hurries back into the room toward Rhijans.  One hand rises, points at Juragga, and jerks a thumb toward where Haarmon is working.

"Move it," the older woman mutters, shoving past a couple of onlookers before reaching Wakuda's side.  "Excuse me," she whispers harshly, spitting the words out as quickly as she can, lips barely moving.  "Need a word.  That 'laser-brained nerf-herder' and you have the same goal."

Risky.  Very risky.  But it's a chance she'll have to take.
The Force
 GM, 506 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 12 Jun 2014
at 18:05
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga watches as Shard signals, then starts a slow, walk towards the entrance, where Haarmon had recently disappeared.  Something is clearly going on...

Haarmon, meanwhile, is busy at the terminal. 

Shard reaches Wakuda and murmurs something to her.  Something which brings a glare from the woman, "I don't know who you think you are, but I will not be intimidated."  Around the room there is a stirring, and the characteristic sound which indicates that a number of blasters have just been drawn.  Oomba starts laughing again.

"Inkabunga!  Jee waba stuka hoohah crispo wanga andoba!  Jee poonoonek, sa da fa choba?"

"Oomba is very impressed.  He finds it all very exciting, and hopes that Shard and Wakuda will fight to the death for him."  You-Why continues his translation.  "He also points out that he is a business-man, and would like to know if there are any more bids before the killing starts."

"Lord Oomba, I withdraw from the auction.  His was the final bid.  There is something going on here, and I will have no part of it."
Juragga
 player, 342 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Thu 12 Jun 2014
at 18:22
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
As he headed towards Haarmon, Juragga set his stein down and dropped a hand beneath his poncho to his bowcaster.  He was happy to settle this unarmed, but if people were drawing blasters, he was gonna put some quarrels in them.  If things went badly.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 355 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 13 Jun 2014
at 20:42
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon started when the shadow fell across him. And then he breathed a relieved sigh when he saw who it was. "Hey Rags," he said. "I've got control over the facility's power. And there's an elevator to the roof right behind ole' worm-butt's throne. Maybe there's a transport up there or something. You know, if we need one. How's it going in there?"

This message was last edited by the player at 13:36, Sun 15 June 2014.

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 697 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Sun 15 Jun 2014
at 08:05
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans got a calculating look on his face, for a scant moment, as Shard said something to Wakuda.  The look faded as You-Why explained Oomba's desire for the two women to fight to the death...and then Wakuda's apparent withdrawal from the auction.

Time to save a little face...  "I do hope, Oomba, that you'll forgive my associate if she doesn't participate in a bloodsport here today.  She has certain...talents...that our employer has need of in the process of setting up his operation.  Perhaps, once we're up and running, THEN she could come and fight someone to the death."

It was risky...ran the chance of offending the Hutt.  But they didn't know anything about Wakuda...or, apparently, none of them except Shard knew anything about her, since Shard's words had made the woman retract the possibility of another bid from her.  That made it impossible to predict what kind of threat Wakuda presented...and Rhijans wouldn't stand by and let a team-mate face a potentially superior foe.
The Force
 GM, 507 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 16 Jun 2014
at 06:59
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"My clients on Kessel will, naturally, receive a full report." Wakuda explains to Oomba, "It will, of course, be up to them whether they want to continue their business arrangement with you, or will look elsewhere for their labour requirements in future."  

"Hagwa hodrudda je, schutta!"

"It isn't a threat.  Just part of my contract."

Oomba looks crestfallen, "Ah... eniki."  Then, "Gardo!  Kapa cheekta!"

Wakuda suddenly finds herself surrounded by some very unpleasant-looking "gentlemen" with equally unpleasant-looking blasters.

The Hutt turns his scarred, one-eyed face to Rhijans, "Jee-jee bargon, tagwa?"

"Oomba asks if the two of you still have a deal."

Outside, Haarmon and Juragga are surprised as several armed men run past them, heading for the audience chamber...
Shard
 player, 721 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 16 Jun 2014
at 15:25
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"What?"  Baffled, Shard takes a step back from Wakuda as Oomba makes his interest known.  Ugh.  Lovely.  There's no way I'm fighting this woman...

Fortunately (?) Wakuda breaks off, leaving the bidding only to find herself under armed guard.  Events proceed with breakneck speed, and Shard takes another step back to watch.  It doesn't look good for Wakuda, doesn't look good at all...

Teeth grind loudly for a moment as Shard fights an internal war, then she sighs. Hot.  Bloody.  Void.  I'm an idiot.

"Oi!"  Shard steps forward with a small smile.  "I'm not really up for a bloodsport, but I'd be pleased to deliver a beating to this disappointment, Lord Oomba.  She's backed out after costing us an arm and a leg."  The older woman shrugs, still smiling.  "Now, I know that money's going to you, so I can't really grudge it, but I wouldn't mind taking it out of her hide."

The smile broadens.  "And if you're planning on 'vanishing' her so word doesn't get back, we could take her on with the other slaves."
Haarmon Dak
 player, 356 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 17 Jun 2014
at 00:42
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon was stuck now. He really wanted to stay at the computer and do stuff, but there was also something really interesting happening and he hated to miss cool stuff going on right next to him.

"Rags? What's happening? Are they shooting? Should we jet?"

He didn't want to unplug just yet, just in case he needed to blow something up or turn something off remotely. You just don't turn down an opportunity to do something that awesome.
Juragga
 player, 343 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 17 Jun 2014
at 01:22
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"WAAAAAAAAAAAaaaarrrrrrrgh," Juragga replied to Haarmon.  No, they're not shooting.  The Jedi is going to duel the other woman.  Nothing to worry about.

Juragga had complete faith in Shard.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 698 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Wed 18 Jun 2014
at 04:03
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans managed a look close to surprised hurt.  "A deal?  Of course we still have a deal.  I made my offer in good faith, and if it had been more than I could afford, I would naturally have backed down.  I'm not in the practice of promising more than I can deliver."  He let just enough accusation creep into his voice to make the suggestion that Wakuda had done exactly that.

"Let's have a drink to seal the deal and move on to arranging mutual deliveries.  Naturally, I don't carry that kind of currency on my person, but I can get it dropped off where you request and then we can pick up our cargo, so we can get on with the business of earning the credits to pay for our next transaction, yes?"

Shard was going to pains to avoid the woman being punished by Oomba...and while he didn't know why, he trusted her enough to try and back her move.  In this case, by deflecting Oomba's attention away from the woman and presenting the image of being more concerned about his own need to attend to business...he'd gone to pains to show Oomba respect, but it would likely help their position to act as though he expected some degree of respect in return.  A consortium of wealthy individuals...such as the made-up one he was claiming to represent...would like to have their business concluded before Oomba got sidetracked with personal diversions.
Oomba the Hutt
 NPC, 3 posts
 Aa chuba! Yo kata
 bantha poodoo!
Thu 19 Jun 2014
at 21:54
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Grandio!  Jee-jee pateesa ateema."

"Oomba says that is very good.  The two of you are still friends."

The Hutt, meanwhile turns his attention to Shard, giving her a suspicious glare, "Je tinka jeeska cheekta dee boonkee.  Je ree panwa chone foonta theechu cheekta.  Nobato hopa.  Cheekta yuna puna shag."

His one-eyed gaze switches to the guards, Koose cheekta tah shagpa."   They start to lead Wakuda away, at blaster-point, and You-Why takes the opportunity to speak to Shard, "He says he will find it very enjoyable to keep her as a slave himself, and will derive satisfaction from teaching her fear, and doesn't need any help with that.  He will make her a first class slave."

The guards move towards a side exit, shoving Wakuda along with them.  "You're making a big mistake, Oomba!  My clients won't stand for this!"

"Choy chuba yocola?"  Back to Rhijans, and smiling broadly.

"He wants to know what you want to drink."

Haarmon and Juragga, meanwhile, are suddenly alone in the sloping corridor...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 701 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 20 Jun 2014
at 06:17
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans nodded, calmly.  He'd have to confer with Shard, later, about what the deal was with Wakuda.  "Corellian ale's my drink of choice," he said, stepping closer to Oomba's throne.  We're friends, after all...act friendly.  Just, not too friendly...

He allowed himself a hint of a sigh of relief...while he had an academic understanding of how these things worked, and wasn't a total newcomer to the darker sides of society, he'd never actually done this before.  He was pleased that it went as well as it did.

Which means there's probably a catch coming up here, somewhere...  He didn't let the skeptical observation betray itself on his features, however...while he didn't look pleasant, necessarily, he at least kept himself from looking caustic.
Juragga
 player, 344 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sat 21 Jun 2014
at 00:00
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga looked at Haarmon with a distinct 'Ruh Roh Raggy' expression.  If the kid was ready, he'd follow.
Shard
 player, 725 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 23 Jun 2014
at 11:46
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
That's not good.  Not good at all.  Shard grins, stepping back.  "Whatever you want, Lord Oomba."  Inside, she's seething.  Oomba has certainly gotten the best part of this deal, and a new slave in the bargain.  He might let them off the hook easy.

But it's not easy any more, not with Wakuda in his hands.

The older woman shifts back into the crowd, but keeps an eye on Rhijans.  She can't leave him here, alone, without someone to watch his back.  They've split into two teams - if the other team gets back here, she can see about finding Wakuda.  Maybe.

++ Haarmon, ++ Shard whispers on the comlink.  ++ Try to find the prison. ++

Then, slowly, she refocuses on finding the evershifting, twisting place between acid and alkyli in her spirt, where the world is a neutral balacing point.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:38, Mon 23 June 2014.

Haarmon Dak
 player, 358 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 23 Jun 2014
at 13:56
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon started visibly at Shard's voice in the commlink. He might have uttered a thin, surprised little squeak as well. But then again, maybe it was more like a cough. Yeah. Totally a cough.

++ I got the prison already, ++ he said over the link, ++ Leastaways, I know where the slaves are. We can get there from behind the throne, or we can out and around to this big elevator around the back. ++
The Force
 GM, 510 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 23 Jun 2014
at 17:56
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Oomba waves a hand to a nearby Twi'lek, "Koose Corellida reeta che mwa pateesa!"  The girl runs off to fetch Rhijan's drink.

And the Hutt gestures to the stage, as he says to Rhijans, "Santay tonka wata, pateesa.  Joppay moulee rah?"  "Oh dear.  Oomba wishes you to stand close to him, and asks when he should expect to be paid."

Shard and Haarmon, meanwhile, are having as discreet a conversation as possible...

Juragga stands watch...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 702 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 24 Jun 2014
at 06:58
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans' smile showed only in his eyes, and he paused for a moment before stepping up next to Oomba.  "If I can have permission to have our ship approach your palace, Oomba, you can be paid right away.  I didn't come here for a long, drawn-out process...if we wanted that, we could have imported labor from outside the sector.  I came prepared to make good on my bid, today.  If your palace security is more important that the speed of your payment, it may take us awhile to arrange transport for all of it...but we didn't come with empty pockets and empty promises."

He stepped up next to the Hutt, as bidden.  His naturally unreadable expression hid the impression Oomba's...aroma...made on him.  That was probably just as well.  They were getting along quite well...he was pretty sure that visibly fighting down the urge to gag wouldn't help things along.

I hope they get here soon with that ale, he thought.  At least the smell of the ale...if it was good, quality stuff...would help mask the stench of the Hutt.
Shard
 player, 727 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 24 Jun 2014
at 18:19
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
+ Not yet, Haarmon, + Shard replies.  + Stay frosty for a minute. +  He'll do what he needs to do, whatever that might be, Shard figures.  Especially with Juragga there to keep him cool.  Pros, she thinks to herself with a small smile.  Both of them, even the youthful hacker.

Young, but he wasn't a 'kid', not any more.

Rhijans is working Oomba, so to speak.  She'll need to stay away from that for the moment but again, she trusts her teammates.  Instead, Shard, leans back against the wall and dives deeply into herself.  This could take effort, but she's already linked to Wakuda; it might make it easier.  And so she concentrates, searching out that balance point, and seeks to forge an even stronger link between herself and the other woman.

~ We spoke before.  I can help you.  Just stay calm, and keep thinking about what's around you. ~

This message was last edited by the player at 18:20, Tue 24 June 2014.

Juragga
 player, 345 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 24 Jun 2014
at 18:23
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"UhhHWWAAAHhhhhhRRR," Juragga warned.  There were a pair of guards headed their way.  Under his poncho, the wookiee reached to the bowcaster hanging at his side.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 359 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 24 Jun 2014
at 18:31
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Hot void," Haarmon cursed. He didn't want to unplug just yet in case he needed to do something to help... whatever it was Rhijans and Shard were up to. From the little he could hear, the auction appeared to be over, and he could hear Slug-Hutt talking and goldenrod translating, but he couldn't make out what was happening.

"They look pisses, Rags? Should we haul it?"

Juragga's threshold for 'They Look Scary Let's Run' was quite a bit higher than his own. But he trusted his friend's judgement. It had saved his life more than once.
Juragga
 player, 346 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 24 Jun 2014
at 19:57
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga rumbled low in his chest.  Running wasn't really what he had in mind.  More like, start removing limbs.

Hurry it up, he urged, his fingers itching on his bowcaster.
The Force
 GM, 511 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 16:58
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Shard frowns, glaring at Wakuda's back as she walks away.  Rhijan's erstwhile auction rival seems to sense the scrutiny, and she turns her head to glance in Shard's direction.    One of the guards jabs her with his blaster to keep her moving, and then they are through the door and out of sight...

Rhijans, accompanied by a nervous-seeming UY-3PO, moves up to stand alongside his new best friend in the Galaxy.  Oomba speaks again, "Chuba koose do teesaw.  Lacka do shaga ateema, chome wamma, mo jee chuba cripo chome dwana hoohah andoba bolla."  And then the creature's laughter booms out of his drooling mouth, as he fixes his one eye on Rhijans.  The Hutt reaches out and slaps the man on the back.

"Oomba says that you should summon your ship to collect the slaves quickly, and bring the payment, or he will have you killed and and sell the slaves again."


The ale arrives, the mug carried by the same Twi'lek...

The guards make their way up the corridor, eyeing Juragga nervously.  One of them dares to nod at the Wookiee, and mutter, "G'day." to him, though both ignore Haarmon.  They carry on past, perhaps going back to whatever they were doing prior to being called into Oomba's audience hall...

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:59, Thu 26 June 2014.

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 703 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 27 Jun 2014
at 06:56
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans gave a thin, humorless smile, acknowledging the 'joke' while not mirroring the apparent mirth that Oomba showed in telling it, and triggered his commlink, signalling Karja.

"Captain, we're a go for delivery of our payment and retrieval of our cargo.  Oomba himself has cleared you for approach and landing...and is eagerly awaiting your arrival, with his payment."  He lightly stressed 'payment' as he spoke, trying to convey the urgency without sounding concerned.  He was playing a galactic high-roller...a little thing like a veiled death threat from a Hutt shouldn't make him visibly concerned.

He took his mug, and held it, waiting for Oomba to raise his own glass (or whatever drinking implement the Hutt favored).  Partly, he was just naturally suspicious...and, partly, he assumed it would be some kind of affront to ask the Hutt to drink to seal the deal, and then drink by himself.  It was tempting, though...this was more talking than he was used to doing, or something.  His throat was dry...
Juragga
 player, 347 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Fri 27 Jun 2014
at 17:21
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga gave a low neutral growl as the guards nervously greeted him.  He nodded and let them walk by.  Inwardly he was relieved.  Now he didn't have to shoot anybody.

Yet.

But he made sure the guards weren't circling him from behind, first.
The Force
 GM, 512 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 30 Jun 2014
at 13:21
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The guards continue up the ramp, and as they disappear around the curve Juragga can hear them talking to each other, "Have you seen that new..."  The conversation fades out as they move further away.

Looks like Haarmon and Juragga are clear for now...

"We'll be off the ground in five, and with you in twelve.  Make sure they know to watch out for us.  Would hate any kind of mistake to happen.  Gundark's Dream out."

Things seem to be calming down in the hall.  Apart from the jeering as Wakuda is marched  out through the door.  "Meendeeya jee hagwa newpa bargon gee Kesseya lorda.  Jee-jee stuka chaychay andoba poonoo.  Haba mo gootu che je chone chuba." Oomba says, his one eye scanning the room, and not looking at Rhijans just now.

"Oomba is concerned that, after today, he will not be able to sell any more merchandise to Kessil.  He wonders if the two of you can discuss the possibility of future business arrangements, which would be beneficial to both parties."
Shard
 player, 728 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Wed 2 Jul 2014
at 11:40
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
All right.  That's something.  Shard shifts her way through the crowd, headed more or less toward where the guards vanished, but not directly.  She keeps her focus on the woman as she leave - not with her eyes, but with her spirit.

Her eyes, she keeps on Oomba.

The Hutt has one eye.  It shouldn't be that difficult to keep shifting slowly toward the side exit through which Wakuda was dragged.  So Shard hopes.  ++ I've got a little errand to do that might involve that prison you've found. ++ she mutters on the Com.  ++ Don't wait up. ++

Closer still to the side exit.  Are you grandstanding, Shard?  This deserves a moment's consderation, and she shakes her head.  She can't let them have Wakuda.  Too much good there, and a possible ally.  She hopes.

When the moment comes where she feels Oomba's attention has shifted from her area of the room - not TOO hard to guage with only one eye, Shard hopes - she walks casually out the same exit through which the guards took Wakuda.

Keep thinking about what you see, Wakuda, Void curse it.

This message was last edited by the player at 11:41, Wed 02 July 2014.

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 704 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 3 Jul 2014
at 06:58
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans nodded, still holding his drink.  "I'm sure we can come to some kind of mutually beneficial arrangement."

In a softer tone, something that wouldn't carry throughout the throne room, he added, "Although if your problems with Kessil are a result of something happening with that woman," and he gestured with his head in the general direction Wakuda had been led away, "then a good first step might be to turn her over to us for safe return to her organization.  You can save face with your group here by making her look like a bonus thrown in for a prompt deal, we can deliver her to Kessil as a goodwill gesture that will make negotiating future arrangements much easier.  It's your decision, of course, but that seems like the logical play, to me."

Lest too much whispering start too many others in the room wondering about what he was saying, he added, slightly louder, "My ship should be arriving in just over ten minutes, then.  If you would be so kind as to as your security personnel to not shoot it down...it would be anti-climactic to have gone to all of this trouble, only to have the payment go down in the waters around your island and be lost."
The Force
 GM, 513 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 3 Jul 2014
at 13:08
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Oomba considers Rhijans' suggestion for a few moments, swivelling his head so that his eye fixes the man... and then he throws back his head, roaring with laughter.  "Chuba nopa stuka?  Jah cheeka naga tah theechu, Oomba bu Hutt, noleeya mwa bunko.  Oto cheekta nee-choo, slagwa, wata chone jee naga stuka.  Bata chuba che porko tee-tocky."

You-Why adds his translation, sounding somewhat worried, "Oomba says that maybe you don't see it.  The woman tried to threaten him, Oomba the Hutt, in his own fortress.  She will die here, slowly, while he watches.  But it won't happen for a very long time."

Shard, meanwhile, steps through the door... just in time to see Wakuda entering an elevator with most of her escorts.  Only most of them... two are taking up guard positions at the elevator door, and are regarding Shard with some curiosity... and vaguely levelled weapons...
Shard
 player, 729 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 3 Jul 2014
at 15:25
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Scowling ferociously, Shard hurries after the guards.  "Wait, you...you there!" she snaps, obviously biting back any kind of rude comment.  "I've business with that woman - nothing that'll burn you lot, and maybe could make you a few credits."

Stalking up, ignoring the semi-levelled blasters while keeping her hands well in sight and away from her weapon, Shard sticks a foot in the elevator door and pauses for thought. "Listen," she says more quietly.  "This woman burned my partner and I for close to fifty thousand credits.  I'd love to take it out of her hide, but Lord Oomba has forbidden it.  He hasn't forbidden me TALKING with her...and I could make it worth the while for you."  She shrugs.  "I could do it from outside her cell if you want - she'll be nice, safe, and nobody will ever have to know."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 705 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 4 Jul 2014
at 06:27
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans shrugged.  His lack of concern was only partially feigned...while there was apparently something about Wakuda that Shard regarded as significant, he still had enough of his professional detachment to know that, presently, Wakuda was nothing more to him than a potential diversion.

He stayed focused on the intent of their mission.  "Your palace and your organization to do with as you see fit.  I was just looking for an easier way to break the ice, is all...going to be hard to negotiate some sort of trading arrangement with Kessil if you've done away with their representative and I'm known as an associate or possibly even trading partner with you."  He shrugged again.

"Hard...but not impossible.  But she would have made a nice goodwill token."  He sighed, slightly, in resignation...and glanced at his ale, still untouched except to pick up the glass, and then looked back at Oomba.

"I'm assuming you've granted my ship a safe-conduct though your airspace.  It really would be a hard blow to this budding friendship to have a misunderstanding result in losing your payment."  He stopped shy of sounding like he was full-on accusing Oomba of ignoring the request...but there was a dangerously cool edge to his voice that showed that, should such events take place, he would hardly play the simpering coward and shrug it off.
The Force
 GM, 514 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 7 Jul 2014
at 14:44
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
One of the guards hesitates a moment as Shard approaches and speaks.  Then a second guard punches him on the arm.  The puncher snarls at the Jedi.  "Get out.  You aren't allowed back here."

"Nobody is allowed back here, unless they're on their way to be questioned." another adds.

"So unless you really want to meet IT-24, then you should go back through that door, and hope that none of us report this."


The blasters are more definitely pointed in Shard's direction now... 

Oomba smiles, "Doe punyoo nopa keepuna do teesaw."  "The weapons will not open fire on the ship."  "Mwa footoo keenusantay jee-jee poonoo."   "Oomba's people know about the arrangement."
Shard
 player, 731 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Wed 9 Jul 2014
at 11:08
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
OOC - Tries to avoid taking exception at being called a Jedi.  ^_^

IC -

"Fine," Shard snaps, shoving one of the guns away in an excess of annoyance.  It's not feigned, either.  "I'll go get permission, then.  That suit you and IT-24?"

~ Stay strong.  We'll find you - there's another way in. ~

Radiating the annoyance of a person ill-used to being balked, but helpless to do anything about it, she turns on a heel and marches back down the hallway.  Hopefully the guards will get a good laugh at her expense.  It wouldn't be the first time, and Shard has very little pride about which to concern herself.

Especially since this would be losing a little for a good cause.

She slips back out into the room, on the periphery of all of the fun and games.  One hand rises to her comm.

++ Haarmon, you and Juragga have an elevator to the slaves?  We're going to need to inspect them first, right?  I'm heading your way. ++
The Force
 GM, 516 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 14 Jul 2014
at 14:23
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
OOC: You'll get described as a Jedi, and like it Young Lady.

Shard marches back out of the corridor, and is soon making a call for further information.  Haarmon replies, explaining to her that there is some kind of large freight elevator outside the palace.  She needs to come out the way they entered, then make her way around the outside of the building, to the rear.

If she needs help, he can have a map of the shortest route uploaded to a datapad by the time she gets to him on the way out.

Juragga grumbles something, and Haarmon adds, "Rags says you need to look out though.  We saw two guards heading up towards the exit.  Didn't look to be on the alert, or anything, just... going somewhere.  Not in any hurry."

In the main hall, Oomba claps his hands together, and calls out, "Oto whirlee!"  There is a stir of movement in the chamber, and an increase in the noise volume as the faint background music grows louder.  Three females, a Twi'lek and two scrawny humans, make their way to the front of the stage and start dancing.

Oomba pats Rhijans on th shoulder, grinning, as he asks, "Chuba vopa wanga, fadu bargon?"  Then he starts to laugh, a low chuckle, rolling up to become a full belly laugh.  Which considering that he's a Hutt is quite impressive...

"Oomba would like to know if you want to borrow one of these dancers, to seal the deal."  By the sound of his voice, if You-Why had been given facial featires, his nose would be wrinkling in disgust.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 706 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 15 Jul 2014
at 06:37
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans looked at the trio, dispassionately.  He was here on business...but even if he wasn't, the human women were verging on emaciated, and certainly of little attraction to him.  The Twi'lek at least looked remotely healthy...

He gave a predatory grin.  "I appreciate the generous offer...but I wouldn't want to break any of your property.  I'm not sure any of them would be up to the...challenge..."  He allowed a salacious tone to creep into the almost-drawled response, trying to imply that his tastes were violent, rather than Oomba's offered fare was hopelessly frail.

"Besides, I thought that's what the drinks were for," he added.  He still hadn't done more than shift his glass of ale in small gestures of emphasis, and the thing was still full.  Highlight the courtesy of waiting for him to drink, should take any sting off of refusing the offered female company...

He couldn't help but feel kind of like he was sitting in a very high-stakes sabbacc game.  And he hated sabbacc...
Shard
 player, 732 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 15 Jul 2014
at 14:40
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
+ No problem + Shard replies over the comm, heading their way.  She takes a quick glance at Rhijans, assessing.  + One of you, at least, needs to stay here with Rhijans.  Keep an eye on things. +  If it went south, they'd need some heavy hitting to haul the bounty-hunter out of this mess. + Juragga, you up for that? Haarmon, if you want, follow me.  Or stick with Rhijans, your choice - and Juragga, same with you.  I just need one of you with me. +

Lips thinning, she strides past the two of them, offering a small nod, and heads in the direction Haarmon indicated.
Juragga
 player, 348 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Wed 16 Jul 2014
at 08:41
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga roared that he'd stay with Rhijans.  If things were to break out, he'd be of more direct help, and he trusted Shard to watch out for Haarmon.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 360 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Thu 17 Jul 2014
at 13:04
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon was totally in agreement with Juragga's assessment. And not only because it meant he got to follow Shard around. He thought it was long odds on him being useful down here if things went sideways. But he could maybe be some use with Shard.

He tapped a few keys and fell into step behind her. Reached up and touched his comm. +You got a map on your pad now. Got a few routes marked.+

He kept careful note of every terminal they passed. Just in case he had to make his way to one in a hurry.

This message was last edited by the player at 13:04, Thu 17 July 2014.

The Force
 GM, 517 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 17 Jul 2014
at 14:57
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Oomba's laughter quietens down, "Chuba eniki.  Jee settah chuba chowbasa unko kuteela."  He reaches for his own drink, "Wanta chuba yocola?  Chuba tinka sa goola?"

The Hutt takes a huge swallow of whatever he's drinking, and gestures towards Rhijans "Sa gootu.  Yocola!  Yocola!"

You-Why moves closer to Rhijans, "He says that he thinks you are a good contact, and you should consider yourself always welcome in his palace.  He does, however, wonder if you think there might be something wrong with your drink.  Furthermore, he tells you that it is fine, and urges you to enjoy it."

Juragga makes his way back ino the chamber, to see Oomba and Rhijans apparently the best of friends, at least judging by the Hutt's laughter.

Outside the room, Shard and Haarmon  make their way up the curved ramp towards the surface.  As far as they can see, there are no more guards in evidence than when they entered,  Which is still, unfortunately, too many for comfort.

At least they don't seem to be any more alert than they had been...
Juragga
 player, 349 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Thu 17 Jul 2014
at 21:59
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga once again moved towards the bar.  He couldn't be inconspicuous, exactly - but he tried not to pay too much visible attention to events, instead focusing on getting another beer and acting, you know - casual.

But inwardly, he was focused on Rhijans and the Hutt, and tried to track any guards as well.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 707 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 18 Jul 2014
at 03:50
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans gave a thin smile.  "Didn't want to presume to seal the deal on my own," he explained, after he took a long pull at the glass, himself.

"It's an honor to have a standing invitation.  Hopefully, business proceeds well enough that I'll have plenty of occasion to enjoy your hospitality and entertainment."  He raised his glass again, making a toast of the statement.

Keep him thinking about the money...amazing what you can pull off in the here and now if you can keep them thinking about something weeks or even months away...  It didn't escape his notice that Shard was nowhere to be seen...nor was Haarmon.  And that, to him, meant there was something either happening now, or about to happen, that he didn't want Oomba to focus on.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:52, Fri 18 July 2014.

The Force
 GM, 518 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 21 Jul 2014
at 12:13
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Shard and Haarmon reach the top of the ramp, and step outside into the yard.  The sudden lack of a stench, and the increased light, almost stun them, and they start around the building towards the freight elevator.

From here, the heavy blaster emplacements on the surrounding cliff tops are almost unnnoticeable.  Not so the turbolasers mounted on the roof, or the spherical ion cannon housing across the yard.  Unwelcome visitors are going to have a hard time getting in and out.

Thalking of which, as they come in site of the elevator, they can see several armed individuals loitering in front of it...

Rhijans and Oomba continue talking.  After a brief attempt at what passes for Hutt small-talk, the crime lord grows more serious, "Kava porko sa ta confeeba chuba santay che?  Chuba tinka hoohah naga bedwana shaga andoba tee-tocky?"

"Oomba wonders how large is the organisation you represent?  Do you think there is a chance they would want to do further business in future?"

From Juragga's perspective, Rhijans seems to be getting on quite well with the Hutt...
Shard
 player, 733 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 21 Jul 2014
at 13:52
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"This could get a little more difficult," Shard mutters.  "I hope you have a pretty solid map - I SHOULD be able to get us in, but should and will sometimes bang heads together."

Keeping herself relaxed, she strides toward the guards, noting as she does the weapon emplacements.  No daring escapes here...not unless they disable the weapons, first. Wouldn't get too far before crashing down in flames, she considers.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 708 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 22 Jul 2014
at 04:59
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans grinned, inwardly, at the half-truth Oomba's question set up, but he showed a serious, thoughtful expression, outwardly.  "Well, our organization actually has operations throughout the galaxy.  They're small, discrete, and often compartmentalized and don't necessarily realize just how interconnected they are...but they're there."  He knew the Alliance had small outposts in a lot of different locations...but he didn't know where they all were and he certainly didn't know what all of them were doing.

"If this transaction works out well and our operations in this sector prove as profitable as we anticipate, I can certainly see opportunities for future dealings between your organization and ours."  He did his best to sound droll, almost amused by the question...which was helped by the fact that he was amused with his answer.

"Like you, we believe in taking good care of our friends."  The last, he spoke slowly, carefully...loading the words with emphasis, which, he hoped, conveyed the unspoken flip-side of that statement...and we have little patience, and less mercy, for our enemies.

That much, he felt quite secure in stating as truth.
The Force
 GM, 519 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 24 Jul 2014
at 18:18
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The guards here don't seem quite as alert as the ones on the interior elevator, but as Shard and Haarmon approach, one of them stands a little straighter and makes a show of openly displaying his (Shard looks closer)... her blaster.  The rest follow suit, in ones and twos.

The woman steps forward, her scarred features partly concealed by goggles and a scarf.  "What yer want?" she snarls in a voice that grates like gravel in a boot...

"Aaah...  Foonta!  Ree foonta!" Oomba says, smiling.  A human male approaches the stage and calls up, "Oomba!  A ship approaches.  His ship."

"Um foonta.  Bolla koose mwa moulee-rah,"

"Oomba is pleased by this deal, and asks that you fetch the payment."

Any further question from the guard is drowned out, as there is a sudden load roaring in the air overhead.  Gundark's Dream circles low above the compound, tracked by the weapon emplacements, as the pilot, presumably Karja, looks for a place to set the large ship down...
Haarmon Dak
 player, 361 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Thu 24 Jul 2014
at 20:21
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon pulls his best my-pinkie-finger-is-tougher-than-you look. "What do we want? Lemme clue you in, sister. What we want is for you and your lil glee club to back on out of our way because your boss, Oomba the Badass, just sold us a pile of slaves that you got up yonder."

He let his hand drift to his blaster. Not that he thought for a second that shooting was the way out of this, but he'd seen enough (in vids and today in life) to know that this was how things got done around here.

"So shake it. Dig?"

OOC: Rolled a 16, on Con(Braggadocio)

This message was last edited by the player at 20:22, Thu 24 July 2014.

The Force
 GM, 520 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 28 Jul 2014
at 14:59
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Oh, I like 'im.  'e's got a set.  Right lads, customers 'ere to see their slaves.  Take 'em down... " the guard leader replies, smiling evilly, "... to the pens.  Give 'em the tour."

"Gask and Ludocht!  Yer can go with 'em.  You two... "
she nods at Shard and Haarmon, "... shove yer weapons in that box.  No weapons allowed down there.  Yer can pick 'em up when yer gets back up."

Two of the guards step forward, their blasters held a little more casually, and wait for Haarmon and Shard to get ready to go below.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 709 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 29 Jul 2014
at 07:21
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans tossed back the last of his ale, and nodded to Oomba.  "I'll be returning shortly," he said, stepping away from the throne and making his way, by memory, back toward the courtyard area, where, presumably, the ship would be landing.

"Karja, keep the engines warm.  I get the feeling we may be wanting to depart rather briskly, though at present, I seem to have gotten on Oomba's good side, " he muttered into his commlink.

Somewhere, Shard and Haarmon had vanished...which was, itself, a little unsettling, but not overly concerning, since Juragga seemed content to maintain a watch from the bar area.  But those two...well...given the turns the conversation with Oomba had taken, and the feelings he knew Shard had about slavery, in general, the fact that both of them were missing...

Well...he had a bad feeling about it.
Shard
 player, 735 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 29 Jul 2014
at 11:33
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon, unsurprisingly, steps forward with the fast talk.  It is, however, a bit of a shock that it succeeds so well.  She'd expected more resistance.  The evil smile denotes that something might be amiss, but...this seems their best chance.

They'll have to roll with any problems, Shard decides.

"All right," she mutters.  "Just make sure I get the cursed pistol back, it belonged to my brother." Out comes her weapon and she slaps it down in the box.  Frowning, the woman steps back.  "There."

Pausing, she eyes the speaker. "Now, we'll be coming up.  OUT of chains, otherwise it'll be cursed-hard for your boss to get payment.  So let's avoid ambitious ideas on anyone's part, right?"
The Force
 GM, 522 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 31 Jul 2014
at 21:52
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Worried?  Don't be.  Yer Oomba's customers.  Only thing yer've got ter worry 'bout is Oomba."  The scarred woman chuckles.  "Me an' the boys won't give yer no trouble, 'cept if he tells us too.  We mightn't be 'igh an' mighty slave buyers, but we're still Oomba's trusted people.  An' we won't rob yer toys neither."

Gask, or possibly Ludocht - it wasn't made clear which is which - moves across to tap a code into a panel next to the elevator.

Overhead, the noise starts to rise again, as Gundarks Dream settles towards the roof of the main structure, landing gear extending...

Rhijans steps out into the open yard at the front of the building, even as Shard and Haarmon are preparing to enter the elevator at the rear.  No eed for him to wonder where the ship is... it's landing on the roof, almost directly above him...

In the main hall, You-Why wanders away from the Hutt, hoping not to be noticed as he moves across the crowded chamber.  Then he spots Juragga, and heads towards the Wookiee.  Fortunately the droid appears to have enough sense not to approach him directly.  Instead he moves in from an angle, and pretends to examine some graffiti on the wall.  Then he says something in a low Wookiee growl...
Juragga
 player, 350 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Fri 1 Aug 2014
at 18:58
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga nodded subtly, then quaffed what was left in his stein.  Finishing his ale, he wiped his muzzle with a shaggy paw and put his glass down, then headed to join the others.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 711 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Sat 2 Aug 2014
at 04:53
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans looked up, waiting for the ship to land and power down the repulsors to a safe level before approaching the ramp.  He waited near where the base of the boarding ramp would touch the ground, for Karja and her crew to emerge with the payment.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 362 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 4 Aug 2014
at 00:25
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon dumped his pistol in the box and took a moment, surprised with himself how easily he did it, and with so little regret or worry. Used to be that the weapon, and his skill with it, was one of the most important things in his life.

Now he had so many other things, so much more important, that this foolish piece of metal, was really just that. A hunk of metal. A toy. It meant nothing.

All of the things happening around him, keeping Shard safe, getting slaves out, being there for Juragga, trying to be as cool as Rhijans, THAT was important.

With barely a backward glance, he followed Shard to the holding area.

This message was last edited by the player at 14:27, Tue 05 Aug 2014.

The Force
 GM, 523 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 4 Aug 2014
at 18:43
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The door opens, rumbling like distant thunder, and Shard and Haarmon follow Gask and Ludocht into the elevator.  The platform is about twenty metres square, and caged in with heavy duty bars.  Small emergency lamps provide a dim red light, which does less to dispell the shadows that it does to create more.

There is another rumble, and a dull thud as the doors close behind them.  There is a lurch, and the elevator starts to descend into the depths of the complex...  Gask and Ludocht are talking, some sort of patois, with only about one word in ten even slightly recognisable.  [Language unknown:  Ate ouwhe ard re ul Utmiil blaster?  Wit Il olol chiou, ou tinconous.  Undle ounyineau sime ssal fo one.  Mowhof laevte, ioalil oerpe adutleasus, hermi prohatcon punch wilameoer o ichsomoul a duranium ithoin."]

The roar of the engines increases in volume as Gundark's Dream narrowly misses the edge of the roof and drops into the courtyard a short distance away from Rhijans, who can't help but notice the turbolaser batteries and the ion cannon which are all trained on the ship.

The ramp drops, and Karja steps out onto it, with a holdall.  She walks to the lower end and stops, not setting foot on the ground, but tossing the holdall on the ground in front of Rhijans.  "Going well?" she asks him, looking about curiously, "Everybody still alive?"

Juragga steps out of the palace behind Rhijans...
Shard
 player, 737 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 5 Aug 2014
at 11:28
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Shard almost pulls up short at the casual way Haarmon discards his blaster.  She expected some kind of bluff, or tough-guy talk...but nothing comes.  It hits home harder than any bluster could; the kid - no, not kid - is a pro.  Dangerous, in his own way, very dangerous.

She wonders, briefly, how many people will discover this the hard way in the future.

Then they're in the elevator and she's struggling to interpret the clever cant.  The older woman gives up after a moment; impossible, to those not accustomed with the 'language'.  There are other ways, of course.

With effort, she focuses, seeking the point of balance inside.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 363 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 5 Aug 2014
at 14:53
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon walks until he's just behind Shard. The rearguard, like. He makes with the looking around like he's all checking ambushes and secret ninja attacks and whatever, but really he's just thinking.

His hand goes up to his commlink. He hisses into it, subvocally, just a hair above a whisper. +Shard. Hey. Listen. I got a bad feeling about this. Am I crazy?+

He started looking around for a terminal. Maybe there'd be one down by the slaves. Inventory control or whatever. At least they didn't take his deck.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 712 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Wed 6 Aug 2014
at 07:40
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans gathered up the bundle that Karja had tossed down.  "So far," he answered, blithely.

"I'd say ask again in about five minutes, but if anyone dies before then, I suspect Oomba will probably order some action that will let you know we've overstayed our welcome.  We ready to jam everyone on board and get out of here?  Shard's up to something, I think, and if it's what I'm afraid it might be, we're going to have to hope we get out of here before word gets back to Oomba.  Besides, it won't hurt our cover story to have it appear as though we're cramming everyone onto the ship without any regard for their physical comfort."

Having ridden here from the Alliance base, he knew that creating that image wasn't going to be much of a stretch...
Juragga
 player, 351 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Wed 6 Aug 2014
at 12:22
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Following Rhijans, Juragga took up station near the ramp and looked back warily.  No longer feeling the need to be as circumspect, he unlimbered his bowcaster and held it at the ready.
The Force
 GM, 525 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 7 Aug 2014
at 18:49
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The elevater descends, and the air grows hotter, and more humid, filled with the smells of sweat and suffering. 

Gask and Ludocht continue jabbering away in their largely incomprehensible  dialect, interspersed with a few recognisable words.  Most of which seem to be about weapons.

With a loud screech, the elevator starts to slow, and Ludocht, or possibly Gask, declares, "Nearly we there.  I give number one good advise now.  You see IT-24, you look other way, quick-sharp.  Not good her notice.  Her notice... " he pulls his thumb across his throat, "... end bad for you.  Maybe bad too for us.  Only Boss all time real safe here."

Gask, or possibly Ludocht, meanwhile, is using a commlink to report their imminent arrival in the depths of hell...

With a groan and a shudder, the elevator reaches its destination, and the door bangs open.  The two escorts make no effort to move.  "You go now.  We stay.  Slave pens, all same, all direction.  IT-24 most that way.  Not go there you want live.  Check slaves, come back.  Wait we here." 

"That's good news, at least.  I see our new friends are keeping a close watch on you." Karja says, smiling happily, "If you need any help getting the cargo out of there and onto the ship, don't forget I have some special equipment.  I only want to use it if I have to, because it's power hungry.  But I can put it to use if you need to make sure you get out in a hurry."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 713 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 8 Aug 2014
at 08:52
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans' grin was utterly devoid of humor, and almost a snarl.  "If this were all to go according to my desires, we'd be sailing out of here without a second thought.  Something caught Shard's attention, though...for some reason, she wants to try and get out of here with the woman who was bidding against me for the slaves, and I don't think it's purely out of the kindness of her heart.  We didn't exactly have a chance to compare notes on what we were doing, though..."

His voice dropped lower, and he stepped closer to Karja, to make it that much more difficult for anyone who might be trying to eavesdrop.  "I think she's working on busting the lady out, despite our host's express desire to make sure that his hospitality is the last she'll ever need.  So, be ready to kick whatever you need off standby and into ready...just in case."

He turned, and took a few steps back toward the interior, before turning back toward Karja again.  "I'm going to go see about settling accounts, we should be loading in just a few minutes.Should be...

He could still think of a few things that could go wrong...even before he included the question of what Shard might be doing...Don't dwell on those...just go on with business as usual and worry about the problems when they actually become problems.

With that thought in his mind, he passed Juragga and returned to the interior of Oomba's palace...
Shard
 player, 738 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 11 Aug 2014
at 16:35
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Shard visibly relaxes as the elevator continues its slow pace.  She slants a look at Haarmon, shaking out her hands slightly, and leans against the elevator wall without visible tension.  They might - might - get through this without a serious fight.

Of course, they have to come OUT.

"IT-24.  Got it," she returns to the guard.  Gask.  Or Ludocht. "And...thanks.  That's good info."  Probably a torture droid, or something of the like (though the 'she' was some cause for concern).

Which meant they'd be facing it down, one way or the other. "Yeah, got it.  We'll go, we'll come back after checking the slaves.  WITHOUT seeing IT-24.  I hope." 

Or not, as the case might be.

"C'mon, let's get this done," she mutters to Haarmon.  "Get out of this smell asap..."

This message was last edited by the player at 16:35, Mon 11 Aug 2014.

The Force
 GM, 526 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 11 Aug 2014
at 18:07
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Karja grins mirthlessly, "Believe me, in this place I have everything ready to go, faster than you can say 'Hutt'.  Not a good place."  She lowers her voice, and murmurs, "Weapons are all ready, in case of trouble.  Can't charge them yet, because they might get noticed.  Between you and me, my big worry's the ion cannon.  A solid hit from that, and we're going nowhere except down."

As Rhijans turns to head back inside, the transport captain calls after him, "Luck!  See you all soon."

The slave pens are a series of cages, laid out in a grid pattern, with gangways between.  Most of them are empty, but even in the dim light Shard and Haarmon can see that there are still enough people, jammed in, twenty or thirty to a cage, to account for the slaves released from the mines on Alrirkr.

A voice calls out weakly from one of the cages, "I remember you.  You were at the mine.  You told us we'd be safe if we went with that Ubese.  Liars!"  An angry grumbling starts, which spreads to the other cages.

Rhijans passes Juragga, carrying the money, and starts back down the ramp to Oomba's audience hall...
Juragga
 player, 352 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 12 Aug 2014
at 00:38
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga gave a low rumble of query as Rhijans passed.  Should he stay with the ship? Or accompany Rhijans?  His inclination was to do the latter...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 714 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 12 Aug 2014
at 04:48
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans didn't speak Wookiee...but he could make an educated guess at the intent of the soft growl.  He gave a jerk of his head, indicating Juragga should come with him...there wasn't much to be accomplished out in the yard, if shooting was going to break out then Karja's ship would lay down a lot more firepower than both he and the Wookiee could manage to do.  And, frankly, the thought of walking back into Oomba's throne room with no cover, whatsoever, was only slightly less unappealing than the Hutt, himself.

He didn't wait to see if Juragga walked all the way to the throne with him, though...they'd tried to establish some degree of separation when they'd gone in before, and if he stopped and started looking around now, that would all be for naught.  It could also create some doubt about the rest of what they'd said...and that was something that Rhijans desperately wanted to avoid.  They had, thus far, apparently sold their story well...but he was quite sure that it wouldn't take much looking for someone to find some significant holes in it, if they were so motivated.

He didn't care if they looked later...but he wanted to at least be breaking orbit before they got a chance to find out.

"Payment, as agreed," he said, doing his best to maintain his bravado as he approached the throne, and set the bag down for Oomba...or one of his trusted lackeys...to examine.
Shard
 player, 739 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 12 Aug 2014
at 11:23
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Shard grimaces, shaking her head.  She has to head this off quickly.  "That's why we're here," she states, hurrying forward to that cage.  "Keep it down!  We're here to get you out." Her lips thin, compressing down to a razor-sharp line.  "We screwed up - shouldn't have trusted that void-cursed Ubese, and if I catch him it'll be the last time he pulls something like that.  But we figured it out, and that's why I'm standing here right now."

She waves up at the roof.  "Look, my partner just dropped a ton of credits to take you off the Hutt's hands.  If we'd wanted you for slaves, we wouldn't have had to go through all of this, right?  We just want to get you out of here, so please, please trust me on this!"

Straightening, she slowly turns in a circle.  "Everyone.  Everyone here," Shard breathes, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. "We just...we just have to do this right, so there aren't any more cursed mistakes." 
Juragga
 player, 353 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Wed 13 Aug 2014
at 21:52
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga nodded and fell in behind Rhijans, covering him as needed.  He kept his bowcaster under his poncho but his finger was on the trigger, his teal eyes sweeping the crowd.  He was as close to twitchy as he ever got.
The Force
 GM, 527 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 14 Aug 2014
at 13:58
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
You-Why falls in behind Rhijans as he re-enters the hall, ready to translate anything the Hutt says.

Rhijans sets the money down, and Oomba fixes it with his one eyed gaze.  He says nothing at first, then calls out, "Vodich!"  A couple of seconds later, a tall, thin, vaguely humanoid alien steps forward.  It's long, narrow face is gloomy, and it clothes sombre shades of grey and brown.  It speaks, and it's voice is deep, and slow, and sounds as if it is filled with sadness.

Oomba simply gestures to the bag, "Webdah bu moulee-rah."

The alien bows to Oomba, then again to Rhijans (though that bow is not as deep).  "Oomba wants the Muun to count the money."  It carefully picks up the bag and places it on a table, pushing aside trash and empty beakers, before folding itself into a seat.  Then it opens the bag and starts pulling out bundles of bills.

The result is instant.  All eyes in the room seem to fixate on the cash, and a large proportion of the talk simply... stops...

A similar effect happens in the slave pens.  The angry muttering falls silent, for the most part, and a human male shuffles up to the bars, "You're here to rescue us again?  Please... hurry!"

And as if to reinforce his request, there is a scream from the far end of the room, muffled somewhat by the closed door...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 715 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 15 Aug 2014
at 07:00
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans' first reaction, when hearing that Oomba wanted the money counted, was a nod, with a slight bow (to Oomba...the Muun was just a hired hand and didn't warrant such courtesies.)

Then the cash came out, and the room went still...and Rhijans fought hard to suppress the itch of having dozens of eyes shifting from the cash to him.  When he left, one of two reactions would sweep along in his wake, and he couldn't be sure how many would go which way...some would think of him, the pile of cash, and conclude that anyone who piled that much cash idly in a bag to hand over to a Hutt had some major connections and should be left alone.  Others would think of the cash, and envision that he had some further reserve of it on his person.  He did...but nowhere close to the kinds of quantities that they'd be imagining.

The one thing, at this point, that was likely to prevent him from some kind of fatal confrontation on his way out was the amount of talk Oomba had spouted earlier about now being friends.  If they were currently hanging out in Oomba's court, they'd be extremely reluctant to compromise their welcome by confronting one of the Hutt's friends.

Still, reassuring as that thought was, it didn't totally ease his discomfort at having so much attention focused on him.  It was enough to keep him from actively reaching for his blaster...but not enough to keep him from resting his hand on top of it, as a visual reminder that he was armed.  He'd have to rely on the visible wear on the blaster and holster to underscore the fact that he knew how to use it.  And rather than rubbernecking to see who might be looking at him, he focused his attention on the Muun, watching as the money was counted out.
Juragga
 player, 354 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sat 16 Aug 2014
at 00:36
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
While Rhijans watched the Munn, Juragga watched Rhijan's back, tracking motion and any itchy trigger fingers.
Shard
 player, 741 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 18 Aug 2014
at 11:39
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Void," Shard whispers. "What's going on there?" Her jaw sets. "We've 'bought' you - cost a lot, so we'd rather walk you out of here nice and safely, without having to lose some if there's a running gun battle.  If it comes to it we'll start shooting, but what would be perfect is for everyone to march onto our ship looking all sad-eyed, and once we're aboard we'll spring those cursed shackles.  Everyone got that?"

She starts moving toward the far door.  "But that...anyone know what's behind that door?"  Her fingers open and close for a long moment, indecisive, then close around cold metal.  "There's a woman.  We need to break her out as well.  Anyone seen a woman come in just recently?"  Her eyes narrow. "Haarmon, I'm not leaving whoever's in there behind."
The Force
 GM, 528 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 18 Aug 2014
at 16:38
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The Munn's nimble fingers move quickly, counting the bills and dividing them into perfect stacks, while the morose expression on it's face never changes.  Oomba watches in silence as it recounts the final stack.

And then it speaks, enunciating the words slowly and carefully...

"Dre chubassi."

"Oh dear.  The Munn says there is an error in the count." You-Why announces, "I do hope that Oomba knows I was not responsible for any of this."

"Fierfek!" Oomba rumbles angrily, and swings his head, bringing his eye to bear on Rhijans.

"Aja chubassi.  Dre akto dergandi-chiballi forn shibilit."  One long finger pushes the final stack to one side.

"Oh thank goodness!  There is too much money.  Twenty-seven credits too much, to be exact."

In the pen, there is a certain amount of panic among the prisoners, who are all moving away from the sinister door, at least as far as the cages will permit.  "They know you're here!" a voice yells, and the cry is taken up by others...

"We don't know for certain what happens in there.  Nobody from this side ever went through the door.  There must be another way in though, because we hear screams.  Terrible screams!" the captive explains.  "And there's a droid!" a woman adds, "I saw it once.  Black and silver it is."

Haarmon nods his head, in agreement with Shard's statement, though he looks less than happy about the thought of facing a droid that everybody seems to be afraid of...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 716 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 19 Aug 2014
at 07:31
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
When You-Why said the count was off, Rhijans felt a chill go through him, but held it to nothing more than arching an eyebrow in surprise that he didn't have to feign at all, though his body stiffened.

When the error was explained as an overage, he relaxed minutely, and gave a little scowl.  "I will have to have some words with my pilot about the importance of mathematics.  I guess it's a good thing the hyperspace jumps aren't being calculated manually," he quipped.  He consciously avoided mentioning Karja's name, or even identifying her specifically enough as one gender or the other...odds were good that Oomba already had some notion of who was flying the ship, because it did have a fairly distinctive look to it, but that didn't mean he had to go flagging her as the pilot.  Not everyone here was friendly to Oomba...his own presence was proof of that, and anything he could do, someone else could likely manage, as well.

"We're good, then, I presume?" he asked, managing to make it very nearly a statement, putting a confidence that he didn't necessarily feel behind his voice.  "I can begin loading my purchase?"  With the amount of credits being exchanged, he didn't feel it would fit the extravagant high-roller persona he was trying to portray to make a fuss over a handful of credits.

Besides, over-paying would actually leave the Hutt mildly indebted to him...he was gambling a bit, as the thought settled in his mind, but he could see it...paying just a little too much was a way of saying, Our organization is enough bigger than yours that we can afford to throw you a few extra scraps.  Oomba could either ignore the gesture, not recognize it as such, make a fuss out of returning the extra credits as a counter-move that said My organization is big enough that I can afford to part with a few extra credits that slipped into your payment...or take offense.

Thus far, the Hutt had been very magnanimous.  For a Hutt.  Rhijans was willing to gamble on a continued display, especially given that he'd presented himself as representing a galaxy-wide organization.  For all the space they did control, the Hutts still weren't that far-spread.
Shard
 player, 742 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Wed 20 Aug 2014
at 11:14
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Keep it down!" Shard snaps, motioning with her free hand.  She rubs her forehead.  All the shouting, the screaming...  "Haarmon, let's take this nice and careful."  Another motion to the crowd of slaves.  "You've got to keep it down, or they'll know something's up.  Just a little longer."

With that, she paces up to the door.  "Can you get this thing open, Haarmon?"  Letting out a breath, Shard struggles to find the place between light and dark, between fire and ice, between calm and fury, that place she has come to think of as the fulcrum on which the two extremes balance.

It's not easy, not with the stress and the noise.
The Force
 GM, 529 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 21 Aug 2014
at 15:40
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Jee-jee stuka grancha." Oomba says, with a smirk, and a quivering of flesh that might be a nod.  Then, louder, "Vano!  Moova bu shaga tah jah nek teesaw!"  A burly human stands and replies, "Yes, Oomba, right away." before turning towards the exit.  As he moves across the room, a number of armed men fall in behind him.

You-Why sounds happy as he translates, "He has just given the command to transfer the slaves to your ship."

The Muun walks up to Rhijans, maintaining a respectable distance as he passes Juragga, and hands twenty-seven credits to the grey-skinned man.  "Jinka vokto.  Dergandi-chiballi forn."

In the pit, Haarmon checks the door controls.  The panel looks standard enough, so it should be easy enough to deal with.  The trick is finding a way that will make him look good in front of Shard.

There is another scream from beyond the door, ending abruptly. 

Haarmon makes a decision.  Stepping forward he raises his arm and slams his elbow into the plastic cover on the panel. shattering it.  Quickly he starts switching components about inside.

The door slides open to reveal a darkened space beyond...

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:40, Thu 21 Aug 2014.

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 717 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 22 Aug 2014
at 02:48
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans took the credits with a nod that was almost a bow, and raised his commlink, looking at Oomba, as he triggered it to broadcast to the whole team.  "Prepare to load the cargo and standby for departure," he said, smoothly.

Then he turned back to the protocol droid.  "I'm afraid my Muun is pretty scant.  What did he say?" he asked You-Why, in a low voice.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 365 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 22 Aug 2014
at 21:00
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon was pretty freaked. Like, really freaked. This whole set-up was sketchy enough as it was. And the nagging sensation that something, something was going to go horribly wrong wouldn't leave him. And then there were the creepy guards. And the screams. And the slaves themselves (he found them just as unsettling as he had he first time he saw them).

But one thing was certain: he was Shard's teammate, and what she wanted, he wanted.

And so, upon opening the door, he stepped back and looked around (again!) for some kind of terminal. If he could switch in, he could really do some good. Right now he was feeling pretty useless.
The Force
 GM, 530 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 25 Aug 2014
at 13:08
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"He simply said," You-Why explains, "'Your change.  Twenty-seven credits.'"

Oomba's men exit the chamber, heading for the ramp back to the outside.

"Ap-xmasi uba naga stuka shaga koona teesaw?" Oomba's deep voice rumbles. "Oto vopa do pa."  "He wonders if you would like to watch the slaves boarding your ship?  He would want to, in your position."

In the darkness beyond the door, something moves, and a single glowing red optic swings to see who has opened the door.  A gleaming black metal orb moves into the light, hovering almost two metres above the floor.

A number of instruments and implements project from it, mounted on flexible arms, some of them dripping a dark liquid.  The droid chitters, twitters and whirs interrogatively as it advances.  Behind it a shape which was once  human is strapped to a metal framework, the gloom thankfully hiding most of the details.

And beyond that, Haarmon can see the glow of a terminal...
Shard
 player, 747 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 25 Aug 2014
at 15:45
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Why, hello there," Shard whispers, her blood running cold at the sight.  Not of the droid - no, at the sight of what lies beyond it.  Her lips thin, and she nods.  "We're here to inspect our merchandise." Slowly, she breathes out and steps toward the droid.  It's harder than she expected - like reaching out toward a hand-sized spider - but after the first step, the following ones come more easily.

"That wouldn't happen to be one of ours behind you, would it?" the older woman inquires, almost breathlessly, both hands hidden beneath her cloak.  "We've paid good money for these."

Fury meets cold purpose within her.  This isn't revenge; for starters, you can't take 'revenge' on a droid fulfilling its programming.  You can only put it down.  No, she needs to save the people here - save them all, including Wakuda.

Including the tormented being in the torture chamber, if anything is left of it.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 366 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 25 Aug 2014
at 17:04
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
As Shard steps forward, Haarmon takes as step back. The scene before him was so completely alien to him, so completely outside of anything he'd ever seen or imagined, his brain was having trouble even processing everything. It came at him in fragments, as though his brain were trying to protect him from the full horror of what was in front of him. A small keening moan escaped his mouth and he noticed, distantly, that he was shaking his head as though to deny it.

As Shard stepped into the room and started talking to the droid, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath.

He imagined what Juragga would say. Never mind the droid, he'd say in his deep rumbling growl, that's not important. Shard is important. The slaves are important.

And Rhijans would just say, Do the job, protect the team. Nothing else matters.

And between the two he managed to open his eyes and start into the room. Not running, but far from walking, aiming to go right past Shard and the (hopefully) distracted droid, toward the terminal.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:50, Mon 25 Aug 2014.

Juragga
 player, 356 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 26 Aug 2014
at 00:21
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Falling in behind Rhijans, Juragga rumbled a soft query.  Nothing specific, basically a Wookie "What's up?" as he screened their path for trouble.

He hoped Haarmon was okay.  But he was a lot better than he thought he was.  And, he had the Jedi with him.  What could go wrong?
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 719 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 26 Aug 2014
at 05:44
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans turned, with a nod and a (hopefully) gracious bow to Oomba.  "Thank you, yes, I would like to keep an eye on the loading.  There are some very important individuals with high expectations of this delivery, I'd hate for a last minute oversight on my part to complicate the whole business."

He nodded to Juragga as the Wookiee approached, and gesture for You-Why to follow him.  "Let's just hope we don't have any mynocks on the power couplings for this one," he muttered, darkly, as he moved back toward the courtyard.

A nagging voice in the back of his head reminded him that Shard and Haarmon hadn't answered his commlink message.  He could only hope it was because they were constructively busy.  The alternatives to that played out into mostly fatal scenarios, in his head, and he wasn't ready to start predicting his own death, just yet...
The Force
 GM, 532 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 28 Aug 2014
at 17:41
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The droid comes to a halt, the red glowing optic fixed directly on Shard.  Her question produces a string of clicks, whirs and buzzes in answer to her question.  Nothing intelligible.  Which probably means it has simply been torturing the man, not questioning him.

As she steps into the room, off to one side, and previously out of sight, Shard can see Wakuda strapped to another table, and apparently unconscious.  Or dead...

The droid turns slightly as Haarmon moves up behind Shard.  There is an angry-sounding buzz, and a brilliant, actinic spark flares briefly on the tip of one of its appendages. 

Rhijans, Juragga and You-Why do a passable impression of a casual stroll as the three of them exit the room.

"Mynocks?  Where?" the droid asks nervously, "Loathsome creatures.  I despise them."  He pauses to look up at the ceiling as he enters the sloping corridor, then moves quickly to keep up with the other two.

And then he asks two questions that they probably don't want to hear just now...

"Where are our two companions?  Have they been killed?  I have heard that Hutts are sometimes untrustworthy."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 721 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 29 Aug 2014
at 05:36
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans shook his head minutely, trying to keep his communications to the other two as inscrutable as possible for anyone more than a couple of feet away from the trio.  "Damned if I know...but I doubt they're dead.  Or dead yet, anyway.  If they had done something that would have had Oomba ready to kill them, I don't think he would have been so agreeable about the whole transaction.  Look at how he opted to treat Wakuda, and all she did was back out of bidding and say something disagreeable to him."

That didn't mean that the two weren't currently in the middle of doing something that would rouse Oomba's abundant ire.  But Shard had identified herself as pretty closely connected to Rhijans...he was sure that anything she did that caused trouble here, he'd be assumed to have been part of.  The fact that nobody was trying to shoot him, yet, told him that whatever she was doing was either apparently harmless, or she hadn't been caught at it yet.
Shard
 player, 750 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 2 Sep 2014
at 10:25
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"And there she is."  Shard releases one hand from her sleeve and points toward Wakuda.  A line appears between her brows as the droid 'threatens' Haarmon.  "Do not," she flatly states, "even think about touching him."

Her focus has finally settled and she reaches for balance.
The Force
 GM, 535 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Tue 2 Sep 2014
at 13:59
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The droid apparently doesn't like taking orders from organics.  It swings back towards Shard again, and there is another flash of light.  This one, though, does not come from the droid...

Rhijans, Juragga and You-Why arrive in the yard, close to the ship, just in time to see Vano and the others who were sent out by Oomba, gathering a few more hands to help them wrangle the slaves.  Then they start to head somewhere around the side of the building, presumably to collect Rhijan's purchases...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 722 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Wed 3 Sep 2014
at 06:55
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans grimaced, inwardly, as he watched Oomba's men...People?  Maybe...  Troops?  He gave a minute shake of his head as he dismissed that one.  Definitely not.  Lackeys?  His lips thinned slightly as he concealed a satisfied grin at that one...

...Oomba's lackeys rounding the corner, heading who-knew-exactly-where.  The silence at the other end of his commlink calls wasn't doing anything to settle the subtle gnawing of anxiety, but he knew that it was sometimes not conducive to answer commlink calls.  Or to receive them...

But the situation was getting disturbing.  "Hope you've got everything in hand on your end," he said into his commlink.  "Our host is sending personnel to help you escort our purchase out to the ship."

If they were in an awkward situation, hopefully that would be innocuous enough.  It would certainly attract less hostile attention that if he'd said, "Hey, hurry up, the bad guys are on their way..."

This was all assuming, of course, that the pair had a live commlink on to receive the message.  He could be providing veiled warnings to empty air, for all he knew...
The Force
 GM, 536 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 4 Sep 2014
at 06:45
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
IT-24 lays on the floor, two perfectly equal hemispheres with fading red edges.  Shard stands over it, a bar of brilliant incandescence crackling and humming in her right hand.  Then it's gone, and the room is dark again.

The only sound is Haarmon's sudden intake of breath, as he reacts, too late, to the flash of light.  And then their commlinks chirp...

Karja appears on the ship's ramp and gives Rhijans a look, and a shrugging, hands-spread gesture which clearly asks, "What's happening?"

Up on the walls, and the roof of the main building the gun turrets sit, weapons still trained idly on the sky.  No alarms yet, so everything must be going according to plan...

Right?
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 723 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 4 Sep 2014
at 07:04
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans glanced up at Karja.  "They're going down to retrieve our new inventory," he said, by way of explanation.  There was a tension in his tone, however, that was at odds with the utterly neutral expression that he was trying to maintain.

No news was still good news, as far as he was concerned.  The problem was, when they finally got bad news--IF they got bad news--it would all come at once.  While he prided himself on his lack of superstition...at least, of any superstition he would admit to, publicly...he decided to try and stay focused on what was going right for them, thus far.  If things were going to go wrong, he wouldn't be any better prepared for them if he started worrying about it now...
Shard
 player, 753 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 9 Sep 2014
at 17:41
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Done," Shard murmurs.  The smooth clarity still fills her, and she holds it gently with her spirit, unwilling to release.  "Haarmon.  Please free Wakuda.  We're taking her out of here as well, with the other prisoners."  One toe touches a cooling half of the droid - without scorn or rancor. "I'm sorry," Shard whispers.  "You had no choice in what you were."

She raises her head, and her gaze falls upon the horror it left behind.  "I'm coming."  And the older woman moves forward to where the tormented prisoner awaits.
The Force
 GM, 539 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Tue 9 Sep 2014
at 21:42
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Wakuda, as it turns out is strapped down and unconscious, though she stirs as Haarmon starts to work on the straps.  The other prisoner, whoever he may have be, is alive still, but barely.  His wounds are horrific, and have been inflicted precision.  Geometric patterns of lines and curves cut into his flesh, with burns, deeper wounds, and bruises in the nexus of each pattern.

Wakuda stands groggily and catches site of Shard.  "You?  You came after me!"  Then she catches sight of the other victim, "That used to be one of Oomba's men, I think, until he was found skimming money off one of the Hutt's businesses.  The droid enjoys its work too much, I think."  She spots the two halves of the droid on the floor, "Or it did."

In the slave chamber, there is a groan of metal, as the elevator starts back up to the surface.

Karja nods slowly.  "No alarms yet, and no guns pointed at us." she says calmly, "That's usually a good sign."  She makes a gesture with both hands, balling them into fists with the tips of her thumbs laid over the first joint of her index fingers.  "Lets hope it stays that way."

"My crew are ready to get us out of here the minute we have the cargo aboard."

Haarmon Dak
 player, 371 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Wed 10 Sep 2014
at 01:58
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon only spent a half-moment staring at Shard in gape-jawed awe. Only half a moment. He counted. But as soon as she spoke he got moving. He didn't actually try to give the two halves of the terror-droid a wide berth, but that's kind of what wound up happening anyway. And certainly any anxious expressions as he gingerly stepped over it were just coincidental.

He started working on the straps when the woman woke up and started talking to Shard.

He heard her express her regrets to the thing. Haarmon winced. He wasn't sure he could have done the same in her place.

Finished with the straps he looked over at Shard. "What do we do about him?"

He was pointedly not looking at the man when he asked.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 725 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Wed 10 Sep 2014
at 05:57
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans nodded, minutely.  "It is a good sign," he agreed--then added, "I just have concerns over how quickly the 'no guns' situation could change IF an alarm sounds..."

Not to mention the concerns about the fact that nobody has answered a commlink call since they left the throne room...  He shook his head, inwardly, not wanting to dwell on the implications of that line of thought.

"Juragga, get ready to help escort people aboard.  Remember...we have to look, at least, like we don't care about any of these individuals.  Nothing friendly...we're already pushing our luck without totally blowing our own cover story."  He itched for a blaster in his hands...he would at least feel like he was prepared to do SOMETHING, that way.  He held his own counsel, however...prowling around like he was expecting something to go wrong would arouse suspicion.

So he made himself stand, as placidly as he could manage, at the base of the ship's boarding ramp, and waited for their 'purchase' to be delivered.
Shard
 player, 755 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Wed 10 Sep 2014
at 11:37
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Reaching out, Shard touches Haarmon's shoulder once as he passes. "Thanks," the older woman whispers.  She's not sure what for - maybe just him being there, keeping up his half of this.  Maybe just for him being who he is.

"Said I wouldn't leave you," she replies to Wakuda, more pleased than 'I told you so' in mood.  "Let's keep things quiet.  Maybe we can mix you in with the other prisoners and won't have to fight our way out.  Same with this one.  Get him a cloak or something."

Then the elevator.

"Void.  We have to move quickly."  She grimaces at Haarmon's question.  This fellow complicates things, but...

"We take him.  Nobody - nobody - deserves this."  The older woman studies him for a long moment, then slowly nods.  "If he dies from his wounds...well, we tried.  A chance followed by death is better than what he'd get here."
Haarmon Dak
 player, 372 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Wed 10 Sep 2014
at 11:59
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon nods at Shard's thanks. The surging euphoria and shuffle-foot blushes he might normally break into at such praise more than buried under the tension and the fear that was filling his belly with acid.

And speaking of his belly, he was also trying really hard not to sick up. Ain't no one going to thank him for that.

He nodded at her answer. He wasn't sure which answer he was looking for, but the moment she said it, he knew it was right. Now all he had to do was figure out a way to get the guy up without actually looking at him.

He took a breath. Forced a smile. It was pained, but it had more a little of his usual mischief in it.

"Yeah. We take him. Rhijans is going to cough up an Ewok when he sees what we're up to. But at least Rags'll be happy he's not the ugliest guy in the room anymore."

Another breath. And then he started attending to the guy in the chair.

"Okay soldier," he whispered, his voice low and soft, more sound than words,"On your feet. We got places to be and no time for lazy, good-for-nothing goldbrickers."
Juragga
 player, 360 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Thu 11 Sep 2014
at 23:33
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga garumphed in acknowledgement to Rhijans, and took up station to play the part of the towering, intimidating Wookiee enforcer, herding the slaves onto the ship.  He had his bowcaster under his poncho, but his first reaction - if feasible - would be to rely on his Wookiee brawn.

He just hoped The Kid and The Jedi were doing all right.
The Force
 GM, 540 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Fri 12 Sep 2014
at 17:16
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The Kid and the Jedi are doing all right.  So far.

Wakuda is free, lucid, and on her feet, albeit shakily.  Oomba's former associate, what's left of him, is also free.  Though he is unable to stand by himself.  Precious moments pass as Shard and Haarmon take the two former prisoners back out to the main room, with the locked slave pens.


The noise of the elevator, echoing down from above ceases, as if the cage has reached ground level.  Different noises start instead.  An opening door, and people boarding...

Rhijans and Juragga, enjoying a pleasant break in the open air, without the stench of suffering and spilled blood, suddenly find that things seem to be livening up.

Another ship, a YT-1300, much smaller than the Gundark's Dream, swoops low overhead, tracked by the gun emplacements as it slows and starts to circle above the palace.  Somewhere a public address system kicks in, relaying incomprehensible instructions, which seem to stir up a fair bit of activity among Oomba's people, more of whom hurry from the palace...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 726 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Sat 13 Sep 2014
at 11:20
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans spared a moment for a glance up at the small freighter.  "Well...with a little luck, they'll be busy thinking about shooting at him...so focused on that, they won't look at us twice..."

As long as it was only thinking...if someone actually started shooting, the smaller ship would be a good warmup for their own.  He wanted them to still feel some hesitation about shooting anything.
Shard
 player, 757 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 15 Sep 2014
at 18:15
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The older woman spares a moment for a quick, appraising look at her partner.  Then she nods.  "Rhijans' baseline is annoyance; at least this will give him a reason."  There's no judgement in her voice, only mild amusement.

"Get in with the others," Shard mutters to Wakuda, her voice strangely distant.  "Haarmon, can you get the cell doors open?  I've only one way, myself, and after that they can't be locked again.  Please tell me you can." Her eyes narrow as she studies Oomba's former employee.  "You.  They were going to torture you to death.  I'm giving you a chance for freedom.  You really think betraying us will get you off the block with Oomba?  I don't.  And even if you figure it's worth the risk, you'll be the first person I kill if you open your mouth."

She leans in close.  "Shut up.  Stick with the other slaves.  And you'll walk out of here alive."  She raises a hand to point at the twin halves of the droid.  "Otherwise, that's you...if you're lucky and I get you before Oomba does."

Once everyone is out of the torture chamber, she closes the door and checks to see if it can be locked.
The Force
 GM, 541 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 15 Sep 2014
at 20:02
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon nods, "Just give me a second." and he runs back into the torture chamber, skipping past the two pieces of droid.  And there it is, the thing he had noticed when he first entered the room.  A control terminal  Hopefully it will open the door of the slave pen.

Sure enough, it does.  A few moments work, with Haarmon demonstrating more of his usual flair, and the lock disengages.  And not a moment too soon.  The elevator is on its way back down...

The elevator isn't the only thing descending.  Outside, the YT-1300 drops into the yard a good fifty metres from Gundark's Dream.  The ramp lowers immediately and a man appears, yelling at Oomba's people, "Hurry up!  Get the containers unloaded before anybody realises we've made an extra stop!"

The hutt's minions swarm up the ramp and, soon after, they start to reappear in pairs, carrying cargo containers between them. 

Each pair of workers heads straight for the palace, lugging their container along...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 727 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 16 Sep 2014
at 10:13
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans watched the unloading with feigned disinterest...one illicit businessman carefully ignoring the activities of another.  Mentally, though, his mind was racing.

"Imperial weapon crates?" he mused, just loud enough to be heard by Karja and Juragga.  "And not part of the regular delivery route..."

While apparently assessing some scuff mark on the toe of his boot, he asked Karja, without looking at her, "You recognize the freighter?"
The Force
 GM, 542 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 18 Sep 2014
at 19:40
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Karja shakes her head, a minimal movement, "Can't be sure.  YT-1300s all look the same to me.  Might be Fool's Errand or Lucky Sthondat."  She opens her mouth to add something else, before closing it again, frowning, then saying, "No, probably not that one."

Haarmon returns from the torture chamber, closing the door behind him, and pressing the stud to lock it again.  "Pen door's unlocked." he announces.  Perhaps not the best thing to say.  The slaves start moving towards the door, as if intending to just walk out of their confinement.  And the elevator drops lower...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 728 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 19 Sep 2014
at 05:58
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans gave a mirthless grin.  "What are the chances it's someone that recognizes YOUR ship?" he asked.  "And if they do, should we be concerned about any potential repercussions of that recognition?"

He would have phrased the question differently under other conditions...but saying 'Are they gonna blow our cover?' in the middle of potentially hostile terrain went well past 'foolhardy' and into 'downright stupid'.  And Rhijans consciously made a continuous effort to avoid doing stupid things.
Juragga
 player, 362 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sat 20 Sep 2014
at 07:19
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh," Juragga commented. I have a bad feeling about this...
Shard
 player, 759 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 22 Sep 2014
at 11:22
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Shard hurries to the door as best she can, hopefully getting there before the slaves.  "No, please - we have to keep this looking like we're taking you away!  It's the only way for everyone to get out of here - you step out of there now, they'll know something is up and nobody gets free!"

She takes a quick glance over her shoulder.  "Wakuda, you and...that one -" the former employee "- need to get in here and hide yourselves among the slaves."  Back to the slaves. "We are getting you all out of here," she stresses. "You just need to trust me a little longer."
The Force
 GM, 543 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 22 Sep 2014
at 17:23
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The prisoners hesitate for a moment, unsure what to do.  Then the one who had spoken up before does so again.  "Everybody get back.  And when the Hutt's people come to fetch us out, nobody rush for the door.  Act scared.  Which shouldn't be too hard."

And, as if by some kind of Jedi mind trick, they all start back into the cage.  And just a second after the door slams and locks again, the elevator arrives, disgorging several assorted disreputable looking individuals.  "Who they?" growls one of them, jerking his head towards the two rebels.

"Come ins-spect slaves them buy." Ludocht (or possibly Gask) explains, "All clear like with Hoshat."

One of the new arrivals steps to one side and, after a brief inspection, depresses a panel on the wall, which drops down to reveal a console.

"Hurry up.  Not want be here if IT-24 wake up." the leader grumbles.  And a moment later, the cage is unlocked again.  None of the slaves move.  Instead they just stand there, looking exhausted and terrified.  Perfect...

Karja sucks on her lip.  "Not much chance." she says, finally, "Well... maybe some chance they might recognise the ship, or me, but no chance they'll think there's anything wrong with me being here.  I've never worked for Oomba, but I've sometimes delivered cargoes to other Hutts.  Of course, after this, I might never be able to work for them again."

What appears to be the last of the cases comes off the YT-1300, and the pilot wastes no time making preparations to leave.

For somebody who claimed there was no danger of anybody being suspicious of her presence here, Karja looks very relieved...
Haarmon Dak
 player, 373 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Wed 24 Sep 2014
at 12:44
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon left the terminal with some hesitation. He had access to the facility's entire network. He could do almost anything to almost anything. Lights. Power. Weapons. Gates. Anything. But only from the terminal. With his fingers on the keyboard, he could do anything. Once he let it go, he was just another goober.

But he couldn't hide down here forever. And he was afraid to mess with anything, for fear it might be noticed at the wrong time and cause a problem where none existed.

With a sigh he logged out and ran to catch up with Shard and see what was happening with the slaves.
Shard
 player, 761 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 25 Sep 2014
at 11:25
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Shard studies the prisoners for a long moment, briefly worried that she did...something to them.  But no, maybe she's just making sense and that spokesperson is their de facto leader.  Whatever the reason, it gets results.

The elevator arrives...with guards. "Inspect, yes," she replies to Ludocht/Gask's comment. "I've seen a lot worse.  Some of them are pretty banged up, but we'll give those ones a little extra time to heal before putting them to work." She grimaces.  "Sometimes you have to pay out to take in."

Void, I need to wash out my mouth.

Moving toward the cell, she shouts over her shoulder.  "Dak!  Let's...oh, there you are.  Let's get them moving.  From the sound of it, we don't want to be here if that...droid finds out." The older woman spins to face the guards, leaning close to whisper.  "Someone was screaming in that other room.  It stopped just before you arrived."

Back to the slaves.  "C'mon, out of there.  Don't try anything and don't lag.  Move well, you'll be treated well.  I don't want these fine gentlemen roughing up my merchandise, but they will if you don't step quick."

Her right hand remains inside her cloak, fingers wrapped around warm metal.
The Force
 GM, 544 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 25 Sep 2014
at 18:15
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Blasters are brandished, but not fired, fists are raised threateningly, buy very few blows actually land. and those that do tend to be more for show than for injury.  Orders are snarled, and the soon-to-be-ex-slaves start to shuffle towards the elevator...

Karja looks about the area, then back to Rhijans.  "I wish your friends would hurry up.  Those turrets are making me nervous."  She jerks a thumb over her shoulder. without looking in that direction, "There's one over there pointing right at my back, isn't there."

The elevator starts to rise, full of slaves.  Looking down, Shard and Haarmon can see that the slave pen is empty.

So far so good.  They're almost clear, and nothing has gone seriously wrong...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 729 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 25 Sep 2014
at 19:15
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans did a slow once-over of the entire courtyard, giving him a chance to look in the direction Karja had gestured without arousing any suspicion.  "At this point, I'd be happy if they'd just answer the damned commlink," he growled quietly.

There seemed to be some kind of activity near what he presumed to be the elevator down to Oomba's slave pens and dungeons...but whatever it was didn't seem to be cause for much alarm among Oomba's people.  "One more time..." he said, more to himself than anybody else, and he raised his commlink to his mouth.

"Are you two going to be coming sometime this decade?" he asked into the commlink.  "We've got a timetable to maintain..."

The barest hint of vocal stress crept into his tone...to someone who didn't know him well, it would most likely pass for impatience.  Rhijans, however, was not prone to vocal displays of impatience...to someone familiar with him (or as familiar as he let anyone get), it was genuine worry.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 375 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 29 Sep 2014
at 02:17
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon was getting edgy. Too many people. Too many variables. He was pretty sure that Rhij and Rags had the Oomba sitch pretty much locked away upstairs, but the thing down here seemed on the verge of going totally sideways.

And since Shard seemed to be playing leader, he figured slave-wrangling was up to him, if only to leave her free for going all Jedi if (when) the need arose. After all, off the terminal, what else was he good at 'sides verbal abuse?

"All right then," he called out to the mob that was milling it's way out of the cells far too slowly for his liking, "You heard the lady. Everybody shuffle your downtrodden little feetsies this way, toward the elevator. We want you all moving, but no shoving or pushing, you dig? I don't want anyone damaging our investment. Everyone be nice and we'll have you all out of here and hard at work with all your limbs. Anyone decides to cause trouble, there'll be more work and fewer extremities. Got it? Now move along!"
Shard
 player, 764 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 29 Sep 2014
at 13:33
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon takes charge of the slaves and once again, Shard gives him credit; he's awfully good at this.  It's not his nature to be cruel, she knows that, but he manages a solid impression.  Speaking of which....

"Hey," she inquires of the guards as Rhijans' less-than-pleased query comes over the comm, "we need our blasters back.  Don't want to deal with this group unarmed - less chance they'll do something dumb."  Then she rolls her eyes.  "Partner's getting antsy.  Just a second."

+ We're coming, Rhijans - picked up everything, you'll see us and the cargo in a moment. +

"That ought to do it," she continues, hoping it will.  There's a stab of guilt at not having checked in, but...
The Force
 GM, 545 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 29 Sep 2014
at 16:59
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
The elevator arrives at ground level, moments after Shard closes the link, and Haarmon helps drive the slaves out.  Hopefully only Shard and himself will notice that his charges are struggling not to skip merrily towards the waiting ship.  Weapons are returned to the two "buyers", and Oomba's men continue to drive the slaves onward...

"Here they come." Karja murmurs, glad that she'll soon be getting out of here, "I'm heading up.  Let me know whey you have everybody settled in."

The slaves cross the yard under the muzzles of the weapon emplacements, and start to ascend the ramp into Gundark's Dream, passing Rhijans and Rags in the entrance to the ship...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 731 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 30 Sep 2014
at 06:23
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans managed to not visibly relax when he finally heard from Shard...but there was a tension around his eyes that was missing when he turned to give Karja a thumbs-up after hearing the response.

He did one of the things that he did best...stood at the base of the ramp, looking stern, as the 'slaves' walked toward the ship.  He followed the first few halfway up the ramp, pausing there to continue moving traffic.  "Once you're aboard, follow the walkway back toward engineering, keep it moving so we've got space for everyone aboard," he directed the first few...he assumed Karja would have one of her crew there to show them exactly where to go but he wanted to make sure they didn't just get inside and then start milling about, and slow things down.

"C'mon, c'mon...we're on a schedule here, people, let's not make this more difficult than it has to be."  The blaster he brandished gave credence to his words...at least, hopefully, in the eyes of any of Oomba's people that were still watching them.  And now that things were coming together smoothly, he was even more keyed up than he'd been at the beginning when it seemed like anything and everything could go wrong.  He was waiting for someone to cry out...or one of the weapon turrets to traverse and cover the ship...or the undisciplined shuffle of a gang of thugs come to stop them.

But the only thing he could do, until any of that happened, was continue to get people aboard.
Shard
 player, 765 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 30 Sep 2014
at 12:32
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"Move it, move it."  Somehow Shard manages to seem bored.  Inside, her guts are knotting up; whatever serenity she had managed gain had left, and she'd lost her balanced centering somewhere in the elevator.  Now, she just waits for a problem to materialize.  Her pistol she holds loosely in her hand, using it to indicate the path to the ship.

If trouble does start, she's likely to drop it.

"Hey, Rhijans.  It's a pretty sad lot we've got here, but they'll have to do."  Her lips twitch in something resembling a smile.  "Haarmon's been doing a good job wrangling them.  Should be out of here shortly, get our profit margin back up."

The glitter in her eyes is near-hysterical.  Any moment, someone might discover Wakuda is missing.  Any moment, someone might check in on their torturer (albeit less likely than the former).

Any moment, Oomba might have a change of whatever-passes-for-a-heart and decide he wants to keep the money AND the slaves, with a few new additions.
Juragga
 player, 363 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Wed 1 Oct 2014
at 04:51
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga had fallen back to the ramp, and stood with bowcaster in paws, slightly concealed by his poncho, but ready for action.  His teal eyes panned left to right, looking for trouble.
The Force
 GM, 546 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 2 Oct 2014
at 16:28
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Time seems to slow to a crawl, with every moment presenting a hundred opportunities for the whole plan to shatter into a thousand pieces.

And, somehow, that one-in-a-million chance comes out of nowhere, and nothing goes wrong.  The last of the slaves makes it into the hold.  Oomba's minions depart the ship without so much as a backward glance.  Rhijans slaps the control that closes the door and lifts the ramp.

A call to Karja, and the engines, idling until now, start to build power.

And Gundark's Dream starts to lift...

"Where are we going next?" a voice calls out from the sea of anxious faces.  The spokesman and apparent leader.

The ship clears the rim of the compound, skimming past the gun emplacements, before dropping to fly low across the ocean.

Wakuda has questions of her own, "And what will happen to me?  And to Oomba's man?"

The ship pulls up into a sudden, steep climb...
Shard
 player, 766 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 2 Oct 2014
at 17:44
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Shard has stood, paralyzed, just inside the door.  Waiting.  It's all out of her hands, out of their hands, the only thing they could possibly add right now would be manning weapon systems.  Pointless, as the crew can handle that just fine.

Then they're off the ground.  In the air.  Slowly moving out of the range of the cannons, she prays.  There'll be ships in orbit.  They need to get past those ships, first.  Then?

She turns and stares in the direction of the first speaker.  "Away from this cursed planet, to start," she replies.  "Keep it down.  Don't jinx it.  I don't want anything to go wrong."  Please, please don't go wrong.

Her lips thin.  "But whatever happens, you're free.  Now.  If any of you have shackles, let's get them off you.  Otherwise, sit down and hang on.  This could still get bumpy."

Her gaze flicks toward Wakuda.  "That goes for you as well.  You're free.  We'll work out where everyone's going to go later.  For now...maybe you'll let us in on who you represent, and why you were there to free the slaves."  She snorts.  "Like us.  Drove our price up, nicely done...and maybe it was.  Oombah was satisfied and didn't backstab us.  Yet."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 732 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 2 Oct 2014
at 18:21
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
At the question, Rhijans' eyes tightened as his jaw clenched.  Truth be told, he really didn't know where they were going next.  He didn't think it would be wise to head straight back to the base...

He raised his commlink, calling Karja.  "So...do we have some intermediate stop planned?  Given who some of our passengers used to work for, I'm not sure going straight home is a strategically wise choice..."
Haarmon Dak
 player, 377 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 3 Oct 2014
at 14:07
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon was sitting in the corner, trying really hard not to say We made it. He was trying really hard to not even think it. And the best distraction from that internal struggle was the terminal. And more specifically, trawling the planet's defense nets, to see if anyone was (visibly) following them, and/or anything else horrible on its way toward them.

Only sure for the ironic hand of Fate was relentless pessimism.
Juragga
 player, 364 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Sat 4 Oct 2014
at 02:32
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAArrrrrrgh," Juragga commented as everyone seemed to be holding their breath.

Is there anything to eat?
The Force
 GM, 547 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 6 Oct 2014
at 19:51
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Karja's voice comes back over the link, "I was paid to get you here and get you home.  If you have somewhere you want the... cargo... dropping off, you'd best let me know quick, I'm working up the hyperspace calculations now." 

Wakuda sighs, "Had I known what you were up to, I would have backed out sooner to keep the price down.  As it was, I thought you were slavers, so I tried to keep these people out of your hands.  I represent a group of philanthropists, intent on disrupting the slave trade throughout this sector, and on freeing slaves from their bondage."

"As I'm sure you realise, we often masquerade as slavers and buyers to achieve our goals."


Juraga, meanwhile, appears to have more mundane concerns...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 733 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 7 Oct 2014
at 06:32
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans shrugged, inwardly.  The Colonel hadn't really given directions about what to do with the...they weren't slaves anymore, he wasn't sure just what to call them at this point.  As he thought about it, any intermediate stop would be mildly pointless, at best, because if there happened to be an Imperial sympathizer or spy in the lot, they wouldn't have the ability to find out...and he seriously doubted anyone in such a role would just speak up or offer to not go further with the rest of the group.

"No, didn't really have anything in mind," he replied, evenly.  "Just didn't know if the Colonel had suggested something or not.  Guess it becomes his problem, vetting them all to know who can stay and who has to be smuggled out of the sector because they're a security risk.  I know I'm not equipped for the job."

Haarmon might be, maybe...with access to the right network.  But that kind of access was another mission in and of itself, and definitely not something Karja had signed on for, Rhijans was quite certain.  If Kourene had only made 'there and back' arrangements, he wasn't going to second-guess it.  Yet.
Shard
 player, 767 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 7 Oct 2014
at 12:22
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
They're further from the planet now, and the hyperspace coordinates are being fed in.  Not long, not long now...and Shard's fingernails, such as they are, bite deeply into her palms.  "Come on," she whispers.  Then breaks into sharp laughter at Juragga's request.

"Don't know, Juragga.  After the jump, we'll go looking for food, for us and for our new friends."  She shoots a quick look at Wakuda.  "Don't worry about it.  Money well-spent, and it's good to know there are more people out there looking to free slaves.  Maybe we can talk with your philanthropists, figure something out.  Pool our efforts, avoid getting ourselves tangled up again."

She raises her voice slightly, going over the comm.  "But I'm with Rhijans.  Let's stick to the plan, get everyone back, then start sorting things out."  If we make it.  "He can work out the details of getting everyone back to their homes, or wherever they want to go."

Probably going to catch some flack from Rhijans for this.  Should have checked in.

Haarmon Dak
 player, 378 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Wed 8 Oct 2014
at 14:38
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon satisfied himself that there was nothing bad going on that he could find and logged out of the terminal. He walked back into the common room to the ensuing conversation.

"I think we're in the clear. If anything's coming to get us, it's off the grid."

After some thought.

"Why don't we drop them off wherever her people were planning to bring them?" said, pointing at Wakuda, whose name he couldn't quite remember. "They must have had a plan, right? I think taking em back with us is maybe not the best. Security breaches and all. But where else we gonna put them? Coruscant?"
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 734 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Thu 9 Oct 2014
at 04:30
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans had concluded his conversation just in time to catch the tail end of Haarmon's suggestion.  "Not a bad idea...but if we'd taken them from the mines, like we were originally thinking before that damned Ubese entered the equation, they'd have all ended up back at the base with us.  Pretty sure the Colonel's got the means to go through a vetting process...some of them may want to sign on with the Alliance.  Anyone who's spying has been through a helluva lot of effort to be convincing about it...but it's still possible for there to be a deep-cover operative in there.  Given the amount of exposure we've had to them, I'd personally feel more comfortable with someone doing some kind of background check make sure none of them are Imperial, before we turn them loose to roam the sector at will."

He'd apparently missed Shard's commentary about him...or didn't deign to acknowledge it with a comment.  He did, however, turn a calculating eye on the...survivors?  It was as good a title as any, he supposed.  If anyone started showing any sign of abnormal behavior, he wanted to catch it early.
The Force
 GM, 548 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 9 Oct 2014
at 20:48
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
A few moments later, the ship lurches and the lights flicker, and there is the unmistakable sensation of acceleration to lightspeed and beyond...

"Sorry.  Didn't want to hang about any longer, just in case.  We're out of there now, and on the way home."

Wakuda looks at Haarmon, "That could be a good idea.  We had planned to pay Oomba to deliver them to Altomen.  It's a busy port, so we thought that we could arrange transport to just about anywhere from there."

"I'm afraid we hadn't considered the possibility that there might be spies hidden among the slaves.  Do you think taht's a possibility?"


The newly liberated slaves are, meanwhile, making themselves as comfortable as possible in the cavernous hold of the ship...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 735 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 10 Oct 2014
at 02:27
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans shrugged, still watching them all with a clinical eye.  "Depends on how desperate Sector Command is feeling...or how inventive ISB is getting.  While I'm sure that the Empire would expect the Alliance to look for new recruits in a group of liberated slaves, I'm not sure that Imperial arrogance would allow them to foresee the possibility of a bunch of slaves being liberated from an Imperial installation."

Before Wakuda could ask, he turned and looked at her.  "Yes, they were.  Unfortunately, the individual piloting the ship they were all put on decided he wanted to make a little spending money and took them to Oomba.  We came out to correct that particular oversight."

He looked at the others in the group and let out something that might almost have been a sigh, had it been greater in magnitude.  "At least the Ubese wasn't present when we showed up.  That could have been...awkward."
Haarmon Dak
 player, 381 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Mon 13 Oct 2014
at 03:54
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"It's not even spies you gotta worry about," Haarmon said, "It's opportunists. I don't think IBS has anyone squirreled away in our little batch of domestic staff, there. But that's not to say that any one of them won't sell us out for a few credits. Or that the boys in black won't squeeze something out of them in a dimly lit room somewhere."

He paused. Swallowed. Visions of the torture droid flitted through his brain. He shook his head to clear them. He wasn't a drinking man, but he thought there was a dingy bar and a few tankards of cheap ale waiting for him the moment they were done here.

"I think we should keep them as far from us, from base, as we can. I don't want to seem cold-hearted or anything, but we did our part. They're someone else's problem now."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 736 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Mon 13 Oct 2014
at 07:14
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans gave Haarmon an inscrutable look, and seemed, for just a moment, to be debating with himself.  "Yeah, they are someone else's problem now...the guy who sent us to go get them.  I don't know about you, but I have pretty much no experience in liberating former Imperial slaves, so I don't know what to look for.  And while I'm not sure the Colonel is any more experienced at it than I am, I'm sure he's got access to personnel who are.  If he doesn't know the right questions to ask and the right things to look for, he can find someone who does know it."

He probably would have been more reassuring if he'd sounded confident, rather than resigned...his inherent sense of caution agreed with Haarmon.  But he also had no reason to doubt Kourene...and a sense akin to professional obligation, since the man had sent them...essentially, hired them...to carry out the mission.  And his instructions had been, as Rhijans interpreted them, 'get the slaves and return them here.'

Professional ethics overruled personal caution...at least, this time.
The Force
 GM, 549 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Mon 13 Oct 2014
at 17:57
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
After a few moments of discussion, the door to the crew section of the ship opens, and Karja steps through.  She makes her way along the catwalk, stopping twice to look down at the liberated slaves on the hold deck, and eventually reaches the group in the workshop-turned-makeshift-passenger-accomodation.

"Sorry we jumped so quickly, I wanted to get us away from there before Oomba decided to hold us to ransom or something.  If you want to change destination, I can drop us out and plot a new course, before going on to the original one.  But only the once... I'm not going to run all around the galaxy like some sort of passenger cruiser."

"Altomen." Wakuda says, with a certain degree of conviction, and gets a dirty look from Karja.

"Who's this?  Why does she think she's in charge?"

Rhijans Thanus
 player, 737 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 14 Oct 2014
at 06:51
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans shrugged.  He'd said his peace on the subject, but someone had other ideas.  He'd leave the final decision to be made by others.  After all, he wasn't in command, here...he wasn't really certain that anyone was, formally.

"She was there for the same thing we were, just for different people.  Might be worth taking the suggestion...they were apparently already geared up to have this many new people show up, and I'm not altogether certain that we were.  I'm under the impression the Colonel wanted us to bring them back there, but nobody seems to recall any specific order to that effect, so..."  He shrugged, and looked at the others.
Shard
 player, 769 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 14 Oct 2014
at 13:08
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
"I think we're better off taking them back with us," Shard states, meandering back to the group from her musings.  "I don't want to have another situation like the last one.  Before we turn anyone over to 'liberators', I want to be sure of who we're dealing with."  She cocks an eyebrow at Wakuda.  "Just because you're on the level doesn't mean your bosses will be.  If you want us to just drop off these people -" she doesn't use the word slaves, no "- with you, we'll need more information.  Lots more."

Her lips twist into a grimace.  "Last time we trusted someone - someone whose life we saved, sound familiar? - he took these people and dumped them off on Oomba to make a profit.  That is not happening again."

She shoots a quick glance at Haarmon.  "If that Ubese had been there, it would have turned bad, yes.  Lucky for us he wasn't." Lucky for him as well...would have made sure he went down before we did.

With that, Shard blows out a long breath, nodding her head.  "Now, maybe the Colonel will check things out and decide Wakuda's employers are on the level, in which case everything's good.  But I'm sure you can understand -" this to Wakuda "- that we can't just turn them over to anyone.  Not after last time.  Secondly?  Haarmon has a good point."  Again.  Has been happening a lot, recently.  "We need to find a way to contain potential information leaks, first."

Then Shard rubs her forehead - there's a dull pain forming there, mostly due to stress but partly due to guilt.  "And Rhijans?  I screwed up.  Should have reported in to you through comm, let you know something of what was going on.  It's my fault, not Haarmon's - I was worried about interception, but that's not the whole truth.  Part of it was I was flying by the seat of my pants, and maybe..."  She sighs.  "Maybe I didn't want someone telling me it was a bad idea."

She spreads her hands wide.  "It could have gone badly, and success is no excuse.  I'm sorry.  That put us all in danger, and next time I'll make sure to consult."
Juragga
 player, 366 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Tue 14 Oct 2014
at 15:11
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga bared his fangs at mention of the Urbese.  He rumbled a low note of disappointment that he hadn't been there.  He would have enjoyed educating him about what Wookiees did to traitors and slavers.

At Shard's apology, he simply shrugged.  To his view, the Jedi had done well and he didn't find it his place to question her judgement.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 738 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Wed 15 Oct 2014
at 07:52
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans gave the slightest hint of a dry chuckle, and an almost-half-grin.  "Flying by the seat of your pants?" he repeated...and, remarkably, there was no mistaking the humor he found in the statement.

"Have we ever done anything else, really?" he asked, still amused, and followed it up with a shrug.  "We...all of us...were making it up as we went along, down there, and while I would have appreciated knowing where you were and what you were doing, the only truly disconcerting thing was having no idea if you were even still alive, much less operating on your own volition as opposed to being tucked away in one of Oomba's pens."

The humor faded, into something...hard to describe, exactly, but there was a warmth there that was more than the standard 'professional mask' that he wore as his typical expression.

"You did good down there...both of you."
The Force
 GM, 550 posts
 These aren't the dice
 rolls you're looking for.
Thu 16 Oct 2014
at 17:07
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Wakuda nods her head, and lets out a loud sigh, "Very well.  Under the circumstances, I can see you point of view, and understand it.  I'll drop the idea of Altomen and go with your plan."

"My only request is that you speak to your... Colonel, was it?... and ask him to arrange transport for me when this is over, even if for nobody else.  I have a family and friends I'd quite like to see again."


Karja relaxes visibly at that, "That's that settled then.  I'll take you straight home.  I just hope that Oomba doesn't start thinking that somebody pulled a fast one on him.  Hutts can be unpredictable about that sort of thing."

"I'll head back up to the bridge, and I'll make sure that my people know not to mention our destination on this side of the bulkhead, just in case the Colonel would like to keep it secret."

Haarmon Dak
 player, 382 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 17 Oct 2014
at 01:59
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Haarmon shrugged. He still thought it was a bad idea. The Colonel knew what he was doing, sure, but like a lot of the Rebel brass, he could be surprisingly idealistic about the level of support he could expect from the civvies.

But it was out of his hands.

"No reason to think Oomba'll get his slime in a knot," he said, "We didn't pull a fast one. He had slaves for sale. We gave him fair retail price. What's it to him where we take them or what we do with them?"

He turns to the woman he and Shard took out of the Hutt's headquarters. "So," he said, "Is someone going to tell me who this is? And why we had to go..." he shuddered at the thought of the torture room, "...places... and get her?"
Shard
 player, 770 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Mon 20 Oct 2014
at 12:56
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Juragga's disregard for her reckless behavior is heartening.  It's good to know such things can be forgiven.  Likewise for Rhijans, and Shard finds herself mildly embarassed by his praise.  It's a good feeling; she hasn't been part of a solid team in a long time. "Good to know." A wave of the hand and a mildly bemused smile follow.  "Even if I don't really wear pants."  There's that, as well.

Everything worked out.  Her team is well, and even pleased (mostly; Haarmon doesn't look 100% convinced).  And for once, she didn't have to kill anyone.

"I can assure you that keeping out of Oomba's pens was at the forefront of my mind."

She cocks an eyebrow at Wakuda's request. "I don't have any trouble with that.  As for talking with the Colonel?  I suspect he'll want to talk to you, as well - politely.  We'd probably be interested in your group of philanthropists."  Then Shard nods at Haarmon's comment.  "I agree, Haarmon.  Though it's possible Oomba might be a little torqued at losing his new playtoy, the guard he planned on disciplining, and having to spring for a new torture droid."

It's an ugly memory, and she shakes it off.

"Right.  Haarmon, this is Wakuda.  She was our competition in the bidding war, only she's not a slaver.  Turns out she was hired to get the slaves so she could free them.  Plenty of irony to go around, there.  Anyway, she ticked off Oomba - not hard with a Hutt - and he used that excuse to grab her and have her dragged off for...void knows what."  Shard makes a disgusted moue.  "No way I was going to leave her to that."
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 739 posts
 Just let me do my job and
 nobody else gets hurt.
Tue 21 Oct 2014
at 05:44
Re: Part 15 - Home of the Hutt
Rhijans sighed and shrugged.  "All we can hope is that Oomba doesn't somehow connect anything that happened with us."  Apparently, there was a LOT more that happened down in the Hutt's dungeons than just releasing the slaves and retrieving Wakuda, however...

"At any rate, we'll have to hope that we don't cross paths with him again.  And if we do, figure out some way to blame the Empire for what happened.  If we can get the Hutts and the Imperials going after each other, life will become a lot easier out here for the rest of us..."

There was a good chance it wouldn't, actually, because the two forces would be more active about going after each other and thus more vigilant about anyone unexpected coming across their threshold.  But it would also split suspicions about any actions taken against either side...anti-Imperial actions could be just another Alliance attack...or it could be the Hutts trying to get a leg up...

That was all hypothetical, however.  For now, their best bet was to avoid notice, altogether.