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