Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast.   Posted by The Force.Group: 0
The Force
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Thu 3 Mar 2016
at 19:47
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
The discussion regarding how they should get out of the ship continues for several minutes, while Haarmon simultaneously accesses the ship's computer. 

Juragga yawns, scratches himself and looks around.  Suddenly he pats Haarmon on the shoulder and points at the viewscreen.

Techs,  Four of them.  Coming across the hangar towards the Bantha, accompanied by a black astromech droid with silver panelling.
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 923 posts
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 nobody else gets hurt.
Fri 4 Mar 2016
at 07:47
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Rhijans watched, trying to get some idea of a flow of personnel...gauging if there was any sort of rhythm to way things worked on the deck, if there would be an optimal time to walk out...or, at least, figuring out if there was a least optimal time to walk out.

"I was thinking, if anyone started asking questions, that they called us down here to check the sewage reclamation systems and make sure nothing was being carried there that shouldn't be.  It's a job nobody would want, and likely something they have specific teams to work on, so it would be a good reason why nobody would recognize us and would also kind of cover the detail that we're not exactly your standard Imperial tech crew...we're the kind that they'd trust to clear crap."

Juragga started indicating something out the window, and Rhijans focused his attention in that direction.

"Guess that's the cover story we're going to have to run with...since we look to be having company join us in a few moments..."
Shard
 player, 972 posts
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 ...or drunk.
Tue 8 Mar 2016
at 14:48
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
"Works for me," Shard mutters, nervously peeking out at the techs. "Everyone else?  Juragga, you ready with your 'slave' gear?"  She closes her eyes. "Void.  We need to be new on this ship.  Like, really new - otherwise everyone would have heard about 'the Wookie'.  Going to have to wing it, I suppose."

Winging it.  That never works, Shard thinks, only now it's going to have to do so.

"I don't think we thought this through well enough," she whispers, wiping her rather sweaty palms on her Imperial uniform.
Rhijans Thanus
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Wed 9 Mar 2016
at 07:03
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Rhijans gave a soft snort...and for a brief moment, the look of amusement in his eyes was easy to read.  "'Thought this through?'" he echoed.  "Like how we thought through what we were going to say when we had you impersonating Nimadda?  Or how we thought through getting the slaves out of Oomba's palace and onto the ship?"

The amusement shifted, subtly, a cynical edge creeping into his voice as his eyes lost the amused gleam...but didn't quite return to their typical inscrutable hardness.  "Winging it seems to have been working pretty well for us, I'd say.  And, let's face it...if we don't know what we're going to do next, just imagine how hard it is for the Imperials to try and be a step ahead of us."
Juragga
 player, 460 posts
 Wookiee Warrior
 Bringing the Boom
Wed 9 Mar 2016
at 18:38
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Juragga warbled a low complaint, even as he secured his faux shackles.
Rhijans Thanus
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Thu 10 Mar 2016
at 05:38
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Again, that almost-amused look crept into his eyes.  "Duly noted," he said to Juragga, even though he honestly had no idea what the specifics of the Wookiee's complaint might be.

"And...just in case...see if you can work your way around behind them once they get in here.  We might be able to dump enough starshine to convince them we are what we claim to be...but if we don't, we can't risk them getting to the hatch and calling for help."
The Force
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Thu 10 Mar 2016
at 17:31
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
The techs, and their droid, make their way up the ramp and in to Dancing Bantha's cargo hold.  One of them, obviously in charge starts giving instructions.

"You two start running diagnostics on the computer, in case the faults are due to a software glitch.  You, you're with me.  We'll take a look at the reactor and the coolant system."

"Droid... " said with some distaste... "Link into the Navcomp and see if you can find out where this garbage scow has been.  It's a long shot, but I've been told that the pilot seems like a rank amateur, so he might not have erased the records.  Let us know if you find anything interesting."

Two of the techs, accompanied by the black and silver astromech unit, start moving towards the cockpit, entirely unaware that there is already a group of "techs"  there.  The other two head towards Engineering.
Rhijans Thanus
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Thu 10 Mar 2016
at 17:55
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Rhijans had been prepared to ask for some tool or other...but the moment it became apparent that their presence wasn't considered noteworthy, he opted to keep his mouth shut.  He was pretty sure Jalt had his bases covered, as far as what those techs were looking for...

He watched them separate and go to their various sections of the ship, and shrugged.  "Well, that was easier than I expected, " he muttered softly, and then turned to the rest of the group.

"So...let's go raise some mayhem, then...get the gear, let's move."
Shard
 player, 974 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Thu 10 Mar 2016
at 17:59
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
"Point," Shard grudgingly admits, finding herself oddly embarrassed.  "We'll just have to run this one by ear as well.  Though the 'most dangerous opponent is the untrained one because they are unpredictable' thing falls apart in practice." Rhijans probably knows this already, of course.

"Here they come," she continues, checking her clothing.  All set, it seems.  "Agreed.  Let's meet them halfway - act as if this is some kind of huge confusion, military mixup, something like that.  After that?  Maybe knock them out, stuff them in the smuggling bins."

Closing her eyes and uttering a brief prayer - to nobody in particular - she steps out into the hallway. "Haarmon, we're going to need you to talk tech."

This message was last edited by the player at 18:00, Thu 10 Mar 2016.

The Force
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Mon 14 Mar 2016
at 20:36
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
The two techs round the corner and stop dead.  "Frotz!" snarls one of them as their astromech runs into the back of his legs.

The other just looks at Shard and Rhijans for a few seconds that seem to last several eons.  Then...  "What are you doing in here?"  His eyes narrow, and he adds, "I don't recognise either of you.  What department are you with?"

The other tech, recovered from the collision, sniffs the air and screws up his face in disgust.  "What's that stink?  It smells like a wet garral!"

"Never mind that, it's probably nothing important.  Go and fetch Hanaat."
Rhijans Thanus
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Mon 14 Mar 2016
at 22:41
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Rhijans had been preparing some kind of technobabble...something he hoped would pass.  "Do you have the tubular spanner we sent after?  Someone decided the sanitary systems should be checked to make sure nothing was being smuggled there...I think the lieutenant is still sore from losing so much on sabacc last week..."

He honestly had no idea if such a tool even existed...but he was betting a computer or engineering tech wouldn't know, either, if it was something specific to on-board sanitary plumbing...
Shard
 player, 975 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 15 Mar 2016
at 12:52
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
"Excuse me!" Shard shrilly states over the conversation, affecting a slightly nasal tone. "Coming through, make a hole."  Hurrying forward, she pushes past the two techs.  There's going to be no good discussion, here; the techs have already recognized them as The Wrong Teamô, and it's only a matter of time before they make the jump to Rebels.

She needs to block off their path; if she can't, the best they can hope for is a gun battle, right here, which means stormtroopers surrounding the ship moments later.
Juragga
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 Bringing the Boom
Wed 16 Mar 2016
at 00:51
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
There were always alternatives to gun battles.

One of which was a massive Wookiee thumping the bajoonies out of everyone before they could raise the alarm.

Pulling in on himself, Juragga did his best to minimize his presence and play the role of a defeated slave.  But he coiled, ready to strike, at the first hint of urgency.
The Force
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Thu 17 Mar 2016
at 18:37
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
The second tech turns to leave, and finds his way blocked by the droid.  "Will you move, you malfunctioning pile of scrap!?!"  The droid responds with a stream of sounds which definitely sound insulting, but it backs up and moves to one side.  The tech edges past it, on his way to fetch somebody called Hanaat.

And then Shard barges past him, and he finds his path obstructed again.

His partner, meanwhile, stands his ground.  "We were told to come over here and work on this junk pile.  We weren't told to expect anybody else to be here."  He frowns and peers at the patches on Rhijan's uniform.  "What department did you say you're with?"
Rhijans Thanus
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Fri 18 Mar 2016
at 00:06
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
"Sanitation," Rhijans said without hesitation.  He had no idea if it was a good story or not...but he knew enough to know that half-hearted answers would kill even the best cover, so he was committed to this one...even if it blew up in his face.

After all, there were ways to deal with that, too.

"They told us to come check the dump tanks for the head and the fresher, make sure there wasn't anything there that shouldn't be.  But some dumb son-of-a-gundark took the spanner I need out of my kit, and they said they were sending another one right up...about five minutes ago.  Now, do you have it, or do I have to go discuss my displeasure with the situation with my duty officer?"
Haarmon Dak
 player, 515 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Fri 18 Mar 2016
at 14:04
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Haarmon had been frozen by the terminal. He wanted to whip up something clever and awesome before the techs got on board, but there was just too much digital red tape and not enough time. And then he wasn't sure what to do. He figured he'd better let the invincible tech-ninja do his thing. And Shard, whatever it was she was up to, was probably better than whatever he'd think up.

Then Rhijans said sanitation. And he had an idea.

He tapped a few screens. He was already into the Bantha's innards, so it was a simple enough process. He accessed the waste management system. Reversed the pressure on the tanks. Tried to  explode all the filth and mess he could out of the tanks.

He hoped it had been a while since Jalt had emptied them. A lot of pilots never do. Especially ones in a rush and/or on secret missions.

If nothing else, the sound and the smell should sow some chaos. And chaos was always on their side.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:00, Sat 19 Mar 2016.

The Force
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Mon 21 Mar 2016
at 19:47
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
"Sanitation?  And they sent you to look around the ship before it had been cleared by us?"  The tech steps back a pace, and disgust wrinkles his nose, almost as if he can smell something unpleasant.  "You'll have to leave.  Wait outside or something.  You can come back after we... "

"Slag!" the second man suddenly declares, "What's that stink?  It's worse than the other one!"

A wave of something not altogether pleasant seems to flood the atmosphere in the confined space of the ship.  At the same time, there are three distinct sounds...

The first is a series of similar cries of disgust from somewhere deeper into the ship...

The second is an indescribably horrendous bubbling, gurgling, rushing noise...

And the third is the increasing whine of the fans in Dancing Bantha's atmospheric recirculation system struggling to clear the air...

"Ugh!  I think we're all going to have to wait... "  The tech turns away from Rhijans abruptly, retches, and vomits on the deck... adding a new stench to the tainted air...
Rhijans Thanus
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Tue 22 Mar 2016
at 08:24
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
The smell was vile...probably not the worst thing that Rhijans had ever smelled, but that was debatable.  He risked a quick glance over his shoulder in Haarmon's direction...not that he'd be able to recognize if Haarmon had done anything or not.

"That's the second time...when I find out who took that spanner out of my kit, blood's gonna be shed, because we could have fixed that by now if I had it!"  He looked at the tech, who was trying to keep his innards where they belonged, and shook his head minutely, a vague frown on his face.

"If you don't have the spanner, we're going to have to go chase one down, I guess.  You can wait here and take your chances on whether or not the system blows back a third time, but I'd seriously suggest you give it a few minutes until we clear that problem and you can work safely."

He shrugged, not even bothering to keep the distasteful expression off his face.  "It's your lunch, of course...if you want to mop it up off the deck a couple more times before we get back, that's your business..."
Shard
 player, 978 posts
 Most days, I'm tired.
 ...or drunk.
Tue 22 Mar 2016
at 11:23
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
"Void!"

It comes out as a gasp more than a curse.  "Yeah, we'll leave," she mutters in belated reply to the tech's command.  "Not so much our problem any more."  Her voice rises slightly - also somewhat nasal, as Shard has decided to try breathing through her mouth.  "We should probably also bring some portable air supplies..."

The call to Rhijans trails off as the older woman decides it's better to go back to breathing through her nose.  Her stomach heaves and she swallows the taste of bile.  Amazingly enough, the acrid flavour is a distinct improvement.  Oh, there are things she could do right now, small tricks allowing her to ignore the smell, but why?

This way, it's not acting; it's reality.

"I'm gonna..."  Again the words trail off, and she jerks a thumb toward the hatch. "C'mon, you lot," Shard gags.  "Everyone clear!"  And off she goes, hurrying for the way out, tool-kit clutched to her chest, a pathetically ineffective shield against the horrific stench.

Poor Juragga, and his sensitive nose!  Had the malfunction been Haarmon?  The timing seems all too fortuitous.  Brilliant, brilliant ploy...

...there's no cursed way I'm using the fresher until we get back to the base.
Haarmon Dak
 player, 517 posts
 Are you talking to me?
Tue 22 Mar 2016
at 15:53
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Haarmon heard the noises, caught the edge of the stink, and was getting geared up to be rather pleased with himself when the real miasma hit his nose and most of his attention was taken up with not soiling his fresh new uniform.

He put an arm over his nose and tried to hurredly schedule another filth-explosion in ten minutes or so, if he could, before closing down the Bantha's network (maybe throw down a password or a firewall or something if he happened to have it point and click handy).

And then he was turning away from the terminal. "Sorry," he croaked, "Thought I could seal the breach without the spanner." Retch. "Wrong." Retch. "Very wrong."

He stumbles toward the door.

"Someone grab the Wookie, quick, or it'll smell like this for days."
The Force
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Thu 24 Mar 2016
at 19:04
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
All of the techs, both real and fake, exit the Dancing Bantha, which has become uninhabitable.  One of the real ones, perhaps Hanaat, staggers over to report to the hangar's deck officer.

Leaving the fake techs to come up with a new plan.  Not so oddly, the people moving about in the hangar have started taking a slight detour around the Bantha.

Looking about, the rebels can see a number of exits from the hangar (excluding the very large one that opens out to space.  Of course, there is the slight problem that none of them really know their way around a star destroyer.

From where Hanaat is making his report comes a loud yell, "I don't care what you smell!  Get in there!"  It seems that his report is not going down well...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 935 posts
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Fri 25 Mar 2016
at 05:50
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Rhijans started away from the Bantha at a casual pace, pulling the team with him if need be.  "This would be a good time to make ourselves scarce...everyone got everything we need for our assignment?"  If they'd left anything aboard the Bantha, he was nearly convinced they'd be better off trying to wing it without the 'toys' that had been assigned to them, rather than try and get back in with that smell.

"I hope there's an easy way to purge that aroma when it's time to leave," he muttered, just loud enough for the group to hear him.  "And suggestions on the best place to set Haarmon up?  We can fan out from there, try and draw attention to other areas on the ship..."
Juragga
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Sat 26 Mar 2016
at 05:01
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Juragga couldn't help it.  He was gagging on the way out, and even once outside, couldn't help but puke on the landing ramp of the Bantha.

That smell!

He moaned piteously as Rhijans took charge, gurgling the Wookiee equivalent of 'Whatever you say'.
The Force
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Mon 28 Mar 2016
at 15:50
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
The nearest exit from the hangar is a wide corridor, with a set of open blast doors.  There seems to be a fair amount of traffic - personnel, droids, skiffs - moving along the passage, to and from the hangar.

It looks like it could be fairly easy to mingle with the crowd, as long as everybody tries not to draw too much attention to themselves.

And there are openings along both sides of the main passage, only a few of which seem to be guarded...
Rhijans Thanus
 player, 936 posts
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Tue 29 Mar 2016
at 05:56
Part 19 - The Belly of the Beast
Rhijans looked at the almost-steaming pool of Wookiee vomit on the ramp, then up at the Wookiee who'd produced it.  "You're cleaning that up when we get back!" he declared loudly, with a barely perceptible wink to Juragga.  Without waiting for any kind of response, he turned and started for the traffic flowing in the corridor, giving a vague wave of his hand for the rest of the team to follow.

"I am going to FLAY whoever ran off with my tools, when I find them!" he growled through clenched jaws, as he moved.  He had no idea how an Imperial sewage technician would behave...but he hoped this would pass for it.  Thanks what he assumed was some timely assistance from Haarmon, it had gotten them off the ship safely, at least...