Part 15 - Home of the Hutt.   Posted by The Force.Group: 0
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.